Poker Ramblings of cmitch

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FTP has new Mult-Table SNGs

Saturday, October 28, 2006

I noticed that FTP put up a few new MTT SNGs including a 9 table, 6 person per table $55 SNG that pays the top 6. I played one tonight and came in first for $999. I am 1 win for 1 played. I should not play any more of them ever and I can retire with a perfect record. :) Seriously though these seem like a great opportunity to play a quick small field MTT. They have following at the top of their Tourney Lobby right now:

$55 Deep Stack 54 players 6/table - pays top 6
$22 90 players 9/table - pays top 18
$11 90 players 9/table - pays top 18
$5.50 90 players 9/table - pays top 18
$1.25 90 players 9/table - pays top 18

Harrahs announced plans to develop a hard wired/wireless online poker system that is only accessible in it's casinos throughout the US. It looks like they are trying to capitalize on the Safe Port Act. Basically, you will be able to play poker within the casino property on a hard wired or wireless device against other players at the Harrahs casino you are located at or against players at others Harrahs properties. You can play at the bar, by the pool, etc.

Link to the full press release

Looks like an interesting 1st step towards regulation possibly.

Update (Low content alert!!)

Thursday, October 26, 2006

I have been a slacker when it comes to updating the blog, so here is a summary of my week. I will try to post more frequently (I am working on the next "I think that you think that I'm thinking..." post)

Fri - Got new tires on my SUV
Fri-Sun - No poker; went to beach with wife for anniversary - No kids along; had fun.
Sun afternoon - Changed flat tire!!! Did I mention that the tires were new.
Sun Night - Played in the Blogger Big Game; busted well before the money; play some cash games and won
Monday - Replaced flat tire - $12 (thanks to road hazard ins being included). Played a Pokerstars PCA sat to the $650 for $80; busted with top set against flush draw early - all money when in on flop; guy turned the flush. Cash games bad.
Tues - Cash games good.
Wed - Cash games good; Played $80 PCA sat and busted about 7 spots from a $650 seat when I overplayed a hand.

Other than that I have been busy at work.

If you haven't checked it out yet, go browse through the new online tourney rankings. They are pretty interesting. - LINKAGE.

That is all.

Neteller - Yuk!!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

"...NETELLER, a company registered outside the US, will comply with the Act and its related regulations as if it were subject to the Act’s jurisdiction. This action is intended to ensure that the Company is able to continue to operate with the support of its principal commercial partners and to protect its shareholders, business partners, employees and reputation."

From their press release - link.

Pokerstars Caribbean Adventure is back!!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Pokerstars just started running their sats. to the Pokerstars Caribbean Adventure today!! I really want to go to Atlantis this time around. I am going to come up with a plan to try to get there. I need a few days to think about it. (It isn't going to be easy since I can't seem to win on stars - I must have done something to make Lee Jones mad.)

I re-read the post that I made yesterday and feel like I am just re-hashing stuff that everyone already knows. I'll try to get into more specific details/analysis with examples in the future posts of "I think that you think that I'm thinking.." I wasn't trying to make it sound like the (Elephant, Eagle, Mouse) Phil Hellmuth book - hopefully it hasn't come off that way.

(Part 1 of ?)

(My game is highly dependent upon my impression of what the other players at the table are going to do. Below are my initial ramblings on getting into the other players’ thought processes to maximize value. I will probably edit it into one long article after I finish all my posts on the subject.)

We are always trying to make the most profitable play in every situation, whether it is folding when we know we are beat and our opponent won’t lay his hand down, betting the maximum amount that our opponent will call when we have the best hand, making the right bluff at the right time, making the right size bet when we are bluffing, or making the tough call when you know your opponent is bluffing. The biggest variable is what thoughts are going through the other players’ heads. Knowing the players that you are playing against can greatly improve your profits.

It can be extremely difficult to get into some player’s heads while other players appear to be open books. You must be aware of who is at your table and put yourself into their heads. How do they play their premium hands against me/others - Do they always try to trap, bet big, or mix it up? Are they calling stations? Are they rocks? Are they clueless? Are they tilting? Are they tricky? The key is to pay attention to their play/patterns and exploit it to the best of your ability.

What do they think of you?
You should also ask yourself what other players think of you. What do they think you are capable of? How are they going to react to your play based on your table image/past hands? Do they think you play way too loose or too tight? Have you folded to some re-raises from the same player more than once? Is he/she going to keep pushing until you push back? Is he/she more likely to believe that you have a hand because you have folded to those re-raises in the past? Are they more likely to raise/call you lightly because you have been playing too loose? Are you getting called down way too often when you are representing big hands? Are the other players folding every time you bet?

Make them pay for underestimating you. Switch gears to throw them off. Stay unpredictable and keep them guessing. If you have been playing tight for a while, use that to your advantage by taking down some pots by representing big hands. If you have been playing loose for a while, maximize your profits on your big hands. If they are calling you too lightly when they shouldn’t, sit back and wait and your big hands will probably get paid big.

Do they think that you/everyone plays the same way they do?
After playing with someone for a while you will start to notice some of their tendencies/ betting patterns. Some less observant players think that you/everyone play like them. Use this to your advantage. If he/she bluffs a lot by making oversized bets then make an oversized bet when you have a huge hand in a heads up pot with him. If he/she makes oversized bets with big draws, then make oversized bets when you flop a monster (set, etc) on a draw heavy board? Does he/she usually check (hoping for a check-raise) when they make a huge hand? If so, check-raise them occasionally when it looks like you may have hit your draw. Basically, if they think that you play like them, do the opposite at the optimum times.

Are they capable of folding?
Some players will not fold top pair or a high pocket pair with an over card on the board. Identify these players and punish them. If you know a guy won’t fold top pair, top kicker get as many chips in the pot as you can against him when you have better than top pair, top kicker. The passive calling station type that can’t fold will stop betting, but keep calling, when you raise them if they only has top pair, top kicker. They will usually re-raise with a better hand than top pair, top kicker and you can re-evaluate your hand. The aggressive donk might think top pair, top kicker is the nuts and push all-in to a re-raise. Be patient with them until you are sure you are best, then move in for the kill.

More to come….

Cash out those Party Poker Freerolls

Friday, October 13, 2006

I went to the "convert your Party Poker freerolls to cash" section on Party Poker (since Party Poker is no longer accepting US players) not expecting to find anything. Lucky me. I had $12 worth of freerolls - long forgotten Mini-Step freerolls. Wooohooo!!! :)

To check to see if you have any Party Poker freerolls that you can convert to cash, do the following:

1. Log into your account (web-based)
2. Click Game Info pull down menu
3. Click Freeroll Activity
4. Click Convert freerolls to cash
5. Get the money out of Party Poker as fast as possible.

Is the scheduled maintenance the beginning of the end?

WSOP/WPT Satellites - A Thing of the Past?

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

(OK, OK. I know, I can't stop posting about this bill)

It looks like one the biggest hits to poker from the online gambling bill is going be live WSOP and WPT tourneys. The poker sites that remain are not going to be sending people to the World Series of Poker or the World Poker Tour events in the United States. Unless they find a work around this is very bad news for those of us (US Players) that want to play in the World Series of Poker or a WPT (US based) event.

Maybe more WPT events in the Bahamas or Caribbean will start to pop up.

Gboro780 won a FTP Winner's Choice Satellite before the bill and just received the following email that he posted on Pocket Fives:

Date: 10/07/06 07:33 pm
Subject: Re: Important Winner's Choice Prize Information

Dear gboro780,

Unfortunately due to the upcoming change in legislation Full Tilt Pokerwill no longer be able to satellite US residents into live tournaments inUS. This policy will be effective immediately. There are currently 3options that you have with your winner?s choice package.

1. We can credit your account with the $10K buy in. This money would beyours to do with what you please. We will also send you a full assortmentof Full Tilt Poker gear and accessories.

2. You can choose to attend the WPT $10K tournament at the Falls ViewCasino in Niagara Falls, Canada. This event starts on the 24th of Oct andwe would need to know by this Wednesday, the 11th if you would like toplay in this tournament.

3. You can choose to attend the Dublin All-Star Tournament in Dublin,Ireland. This tournament begins on the 17th of Nov. The prize packagefor this event is $8K so in addition to the $2k that you have alreadyreceived and the entry into the tournament, you would be credited another$6K for travel expenses and spending money.

We are extremely sorry for this inconvenience and we hope that you canunderstand the position that we have been put in because of the currentlegal situation.

Please feel free to respond with any questions you may have along withyour decision about what you want to do with your prize package.

Thank you,

Team Full Tilt

It was pretty cool for FTP to give him all of those options, but it sounds like no more WSOP/WPT sats for US Players on FTP.


Mr. Lobo won a WPT Foxwoods Satellite on Paradise Poker before the bill and received the following email that he posted on Pocket Fives:

Dear Mr. Lobo,

The World Poker Tour 'World Poker Finals' event is taking place November 12-16 at the Foxwoods Resort & Casino. Due to the uncertainty of recent US legislation, Paradise has decided to provide the cash value of your $10,000 seat win directly to your ParadisePoker Player Account.

The funds have now been placed in your account balance and are available for cashout. This is detailed in your account history as per the following transaction line:

(...$10,000.00 added to account)

Please note that you will need to purchase your World Poker Finals seat if you are planning on attending the upcoming event. Attached to this email, you'll find a "Foxwoods" document that provides tournament structure, start times and seat purchase directions should you buy your seat upon your arrival at Foxwoods. For information on how to purchase your WPT seat in advance, please call Foxwoods Resort at 1-800-FOXWOODS and ask for the Poker Room.

We regret not being able to host Team Paradise at the WPT main event at Foxwoods this fall and offer our sincere apologies for any inconvenience caused.
Should you have any further questions regarding your seat or if assistance is required to help expedite a cashout, please do not hesitate to contact me directly at Please be assured that the upcoming Team Paradise Niagara event is not affected.

Looking forward to seeing in Niagara in just a few weeks,

Best Regards,

Paradise Promotions

This means there probably won't be many/any poker sites running satellites to the Main Event this year and that sucks.

OK. I said I wasn't going to post any more about the online gambling bill, but I had to share a phone call that I got from my Mom this weekend.

First, let me preface this by saying that my Mom tends to overact.

Saturday afternoon. My wife was out for the evening. I'm feeding my kids (4 1/2 year old daughter and my 1 year old son) dinner, eating and am trying to watch the Gator game (very close game at the time) when the phone rings. I look at the caller ID and see that it is my Mom.

Me: Hello

Mom: I just got off the phone with Helen (her friend that has a son my age). I am not sure if you have seen it yet, but they made online gaming illeg....

Me: I've seen it and have been following it closely, you are over-reacting.

Mom: But, Helen said Robert (Helen's son - 30-something that bets on a ton of sports) is really worried and is taking all his money out of the internet sites because they are going to keep the money and not give it back to him. (She seems 100% certain that they are taking everyone's money)

Me: Robert is over-reacting. I know all of the details and...

Mom: But, it was in the paper today. It was in the paper today. They are shutting down...

Me: I know the details and some sites are shutting down while others are staying. (I explain to her why sites wouldn't take our money and most of the details that we all know - Neteller, Party, FTP, how it isn't illegal to play, poker not falling into the wire act, etc.)

Mom: I was just worried about them taking all your money.

Me: I'll call you later and explain the whole thing. Right now, I am trying to get the kids fed, bathed and ready for bed.

I called back after the kids went to sleep and explained it all to her. She seemed to feel a little better about it but still wasn't 100% sure that "they" weren't going to take my money.

I think the hardest thing to overcome (in relation to this bill) is going to be the lay person's reaction to the news surronding the bill. I have had a couple of non-poker playing friends come up to me and ask what I was going to do for extra money now that online poker is illegal.

Good Game Public view of Online Poker.

It stings to get close

Thursday, October 05, 2006

OK - no post today about the new poker bill.

I sometimes wonder why I even play tourneys. They can be profitable if you make the top 3 - otherwise sometimes I feel like I am just treading water. I bubbled the final table (10th place in the$150 MTT on Full Tilt) last night after my KK lost to AJs all in preflop when I made a set on the flop and my opponent made his flush. I am seriously thinking of just playing mostly cash games for a while - a lot more profits there.

Results since Sunday

Sunday - Party Poker Sunday Million (1,552 out of 5,060) lost KK vs. AK = -$215
Sunday - Titan Poker $215 $100k Guar (finished in middle of pack) = -$215
Sunday - Full Tilt Poker $215 $250k Guar (102 out of 1,279 for $396) = +$181
Monday - Didn't play any MTTs
Tuesday - Didn't play any MTTs
Wednesday - Full Tilt Poker $163 $22k Guar (10 out of 240 for $450) = +$287

Total Sun-Wed = +$38

So you can see why I am a little frustrated with tourneys as of late. The cash games are going well, but I feel like I am wasting time playing the tourneys. I'm sure my opinion would be different if things had gone my way a couple of times late.

Head Spinning

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

My head is spinning.

Must. Stop. Reading. Message. Boards. Must. Stop. NOW!!

I have gotten way to sucked into the drama, speculation, rumors, and facts surronding the new Safe Port Act. Our ports are secure - hooray!! Senators suck and like to slip last minute agendas (internet gambling financial transcation ban) into completely unrelated bills - boo!! hiss!! boo!!

I have done my best to filter through all the BS out there and have a simplistic take on the whole situation and how it relates to the online poker industry:

1. President signs the bill sometime soon. - Given

2. The weak sisters unwilling to laugh in the face of a vague somewhat ambiguous US law shut down. - Party Poker, Cryptologic Sites, Pacific Poker, and a few other smaller sites.

3. Pokerstars 50/50 (could go either way) - They seem to have been gearing themselves to go public over the last few years. They may have difficultly getting listed on the London Exchange if they still accept US business. Pokerstars is probably crunching the numbers on how much the stock would be worth without US business. If it is valuable enough in the open market without US customers, they may ditch us. I guess we have to wait and see.

4. Affliates are screwed - need to make sure your rakeback is through a foreign company. Affliates could be considered aiding in online financial transactions.

5. 270 days pass. Banks are told to stop allowing transactions to poker sites. If they have trouble blocking the transactions, they can not be held liable. They are not required to review paper checks to see if they are payments to/from gaming sites since it would be a major burden to install equipment to review every check.

6. Neteller blows up even bigger than it is now. You may no longer be able to have the poker sites pay insta-cash neteller fees. Bank---> Neteller---> Poker Site ----> Neteller ----> Bank. There is never any direct line from a US financial institution to a gaming site.

7. The sites that remain get bigger thanks to the Party Poker player base. Online poker is almost identical as it was two weeks ago.

8. Justice Department gets a little crazy and tries to shut down Neteller. Nope - Can't do it!! Not allowed!! Illegal!! Go back to Jail!! Do not pass GO!! Do not collect $200 Bonus!!! They can't shut down a foreign company that deals with poker sites and other service related internet sites. They can't regulate Neteller either, because they are located in the Isle of Man. It would be the equivalent of France trying to shut down Paypal because they don't like the fact that Paypal allows you to buy wine from places other than France. (weak analogy, but you get the idea)

9. Business as usual. A few less fish because they might have a little trouble depositing immediately when they hit $0.

10. One day in the distant future (I can dream) online poker becomes regulated. The good/great players profit enormously and even the mediocre players become profitable players due to all the fresh new faces that decide to give this regulated poker thing a try. Hello to,, etc., etc., etc.

This is my last post on the subject in the near future. The issue is near and dear to my heart (and wallet), but I don't think anyone wants to read a blog that is a recap of all the rumors, speculations, and facts from the message boards.

So for the most up to date and best information go to:

Pocket Fives
Two Plus Two - Poker Legislative Forum

Good Luck and Let's all start talking about poker again.

Both and are keeping lists of each site's stance on the new internet gambling bill. Official Statement from various poker sites. - A locked thread single post that appears to be updated as information comes out. Statement from Sites Regarding Legislation - You need to read through the entire thread to get the most updated information.

Things don't seem as bleak today as they did yesterday. The only major change in the near future seems to be Party Poker and Cryptologic sites. The more I read about the bill, the better I feel.

Cardplayer had a pretty good take on the whole subject. (basically, they say it just makes the movement of money onto the poker sites more difficult. It sounds like they think Neteller shouldn't be effected and if they are it violates our personal freedoms.)

Link to Cardplayer article

I am sure there will be some work arounds or sites that still accept US customers for the next 270 days, but after that we may be doomed. :(

It looks like the party might be over (sorry for the cliche)

Link to Party's statement on the bill.

Pokerstars seems to be taking a "let's wait and see" attitude. Item 3 seems particularly disturbing. seems to have some information that Pokerstars might follow right behind Party. - Link.

Lee Jones Post on

Hi folks -Obviously, there are many unanswered questions at this point - we'll let you know more as time progresses.

However, there are three important things that we can tell you right now:

1. Your money is completely safe at PokerStars. It's kept in a segregated account at one of the largest banks in Europe.

2. You do, and will, have 24/7 access to your account funds. You will always be able to get to your money.

3. We have not made a decision one way or another as regards closing our American accounts.

The other thing that I can promise is that we'll keep the lines of communication open to forums such as these. Stay tuned.

Best regards,
Lee Jones
PokerStars Poker Room Manager

I have never played at, but I might start.

This was their statement posted on 2+2:

Can I make a Deposit to TruePoker from the United States ?

Congress passed the UIGE Act of 2006, which covers deposits made by US players to certain types of sites. Our read is that Act covers only sites which offer Sports Betting or Casino type games where you bet against the Site itself. We are not going to be breaking any laws, we believe this Act does not apply to sites not in "the business of betting or wagering", which we are not.

We will need to see what develops in the payments processing industry over the next few weeks with respect to your ability to send money, but TruePoker's poker operations will continue for US players.

Summary: TruePoker does NOT make or accept bets or wagers in which it has any stake in the outcome. So, our games and tournaments, and your deposits, are not covered by this UIGE Act of 2006.

TruePoker does not have a stake in the outcome of the games or tournaments we offer, in the US or anywhere else. (We do not offer casino games or sports betting, and so have no stake in the outcome and are not in the "business of betting or wagering")

Business Decisions:
Certain sites, such as Party and Pacific, have decided to abandon the US poker market as a busness decision. We view our commitment to our customes a bit differently. The Act does not outlaw playing poker on the Internet from the US, period. We certainly will accept deposits and new accounts as long as we can do so. We see NO reason to cut off play in any event under this Act.

As you do, We await developments in the payments processing industry, but it is business as usual for Truepoker's poker operations.

Internet Gambling Bill Passes (Sort of)

Sunday, October 01, 2006

I think it only effects payments from your bank/credit cards directly to online poker/sports betting sites.

Regardless, it will be 9 months (270 days) until we know the full fall out from the bill
Link - Front Page Article on the Subject.

888/Pacific Poker drops US Players - MSN Article Link

Then on the flip side of Pacific Poker
From WSEX (found this on 2+2):

Hi xxxx,

We have absolutely no plans whatsoever of dropping any players.

In short, it will be business as usual. and all its sister companies are legal and licensed businesses regulated by the Gaming Commission of Antigua and Barbuda. We are wholly located in Antigua and do no business or run any part of our operation on US soil.

The World Trade Organization (WTO) has recognized the right of Antiguan companies to be in this business and has instructed the United States to stop trying to block US residents from playing at Antiguan operations.

Nothing in the bill criminalizes placing a bet or sending money to or receiving money from an offshore gambling business.

We strongly suggest that our players/bettors get set up with alternative payment systems (such as Neteller and First Pay).

Thanks for your enquiry xxxx.

WSEX is here to stay.

Best regards,