April 2009 - Poker Root


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Saturday, April 25, 2009

Dragan Galic Dominates EPT San Remo but Falls Short

April 25, 2009 2
Dragan Galic, poker pro from croatia, dominated EPT Tournament: San Remo. He held the chip in the tournament at the beginning of all 5 days of the tournament which has never been done before in EPT history.

He made some great and crazy plays and it worked well for him. But his luck ran out with 5 players remaining. Galic moved all in for 2 million with nines, Rijkenberg (Later goes on to win the tournament) calls with ace queen and and flop comes K-J-10. Turn and river are blanks and Galic exits in 5th place for €314,000.

Galic was disappointed that did not win the €1.5 million first prize and said you have to win coin flips in order to win tournaments.

You can watch the EPT episodes on Pokerstars.tv

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Turning Made Hands Into Bluffs - Evan Roberts (PokerSavvy/CardPlayer Video)

April 25, 2009 1
Here is a clip of Evan Roberts reviewing a $25/$50 headsup no limit hand he played:

Evan is a poker pro who has won millions of dollars playing high-stakes online cash games. He is a heads-up NL specialist who plays mostly on Prima and OnGame, at stakes $25/$50 and up. He recently graduated from Stanford University and is an extremely bright guy and a very good instructor.

Be sure to check out Evan's other video; Evan Roberts - Bluffing w/ a Made Hand
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Thoughts on Omaha-8 - Jennifer Harman

April 25, 2009 1
In an earlier tip, I gave advice for playing Stud-8 or Better. For this article, I'll look at the other popular hi/lo split game, Omaha-8 or Better. In my article on Stud-8, I encouraged players to look for hands that have the possibility of scooping entire pots. The same goes for Omaha-8: whenever possible, you need to position yourself to take every chip from a big pot.

The best Omaha-8 hands have four cards that work together. Something like Ad-Ks-2d-4s is a terrific hand. It gives opportunities for high hands with flushes and straights. It's also likely to make a winning low. When you see a hand with this sort of potential, play it aggressively pre-flop. You also want to play hands like Ad-2c-3h-5s, Ad-2c-3s-8c, and Ah-2d-3c-Qc, but since these hands don't have as many opportunities to make great highs, you may not want to be as aggressive.

Some players overvalue any hand that contains A-2. For example, a hand like Ah-2c-8s-Jd isn't all that great. It's got a chance to win the low half of a pot, but it's unlikely to make a decent high. Another problem is that a hand with A-2 and not much else is in danger of "getting quartered." That means if another player holds A-2, you'll only win half of the low half. Getting quartered in a big Omaha-8 hand isn't much fun.

That warning aside, in very loose Omaha-8 games where six or seven players are seeing every flop, you should play most hands that have A-2. The pots will be large enough to justify playing for only the low half of the pot. But even in a multi-way pot, there's no need to play every hand with A-2 aggressively. When you have little chance of winning a high, you're better off seeing a flop cheaply.

In tight games, where only two or three players are contesting most pots, you can muck a hand like Ah-2c-8s-Jd pre-flop. When the pots are small, you don't want to get involved in any confrontation where you have little chance of making a good high hand.

Many players undervalue hands that contain four high cards. For example, a hand like K-Q-J-T is a solid Omaha-8 hand. Any flop that has two cards above a 9 will give K-Q-J-T a straight draw, two-pair, or a set. On such a flop, there probably won't be a qualifying low, so there's a great chance to scoop. (In Omaha-8, three of the board cards must be 8 or below for anyone to make a low that can take half the pot.) If the flop has three low cards, you can abandon K-Q-J-T, knowing that it's got essentially no chance to win.

Should you find yourself playing a hand with four high cards, don't be seduced by a flop that gives you only top pair. A flop of K-5-2 is not good if you're holding K-Q-J-T. With such a flop, you can be pretty sure that some of your opponents are playing the low end of the deck and are working on powerful lows and straight draws. In fact, in multi-way pots, you should be wary of any single pair or even two-pair. It usually takes a strong hand to take the high-half of a multi-way Omaha-8 pot; a five-card hand - a straight, flush or full house is often necessary to win.

Omaha-8 attracts players who love to play pots. Many draw too frequently and play hands that can only get them in trouble. If you learn to play Omaha-8, you can take advantage of these loose players and turn a solid profit.

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Friday, April 24, 2009

Poker Challenge +$167 Today - Best Day Of Poker Yet

April 24, 2009 3
So I had a good today, I'm up $167. Bankroll: $1223. I was up $220 but had 2 coolers where I lost with a flush to a full house then the next hand I lose with an over pair to an idiot end gut shot who hit on the turn..That put me on extreme tilt; steam was coming out of my ears! lol.

It would have felt a lot better losing then winning instead of vise visa. It reminds me of this Gus hansen video, he lost 1.1 million then won 1.1 million and he felt great even though he just broke even.

So, I was playing at 3 NL25 tables and someone came to the table and said he reads my blog and that my $0-$10k Challenge is an inspiration to new poker players. That made me feel good:) I told him I would visit his blog but I didn't get a chance to write down his address because Pokerstar's chat only has like 5 lines of chat before the previous lines get erased and I was a little busy playing some hands. I remember his name, keion. So keion, if you're reading this, you can post your blog in the comments.


Here are some hands:

This hand turned out well I think I got the maximum but I don't know if I should be playing it like this everytime. Like maybe I should be raising a little more on flop so it's not a pot size bet on the turn.

PokerStars No-Limit Hold'em, $0.25 BB (6 handed)

saw flop | saw showdown

BB ($25)
UTG ($47)
MP ($15.25)
CO ($15)
Hero (Button) ($31.20)
SB ($25)

Preflop: Hero is Button with KSpade, Kclub
UTG bets $0.75, MP calls $0.75, CO calls $0.75, Hero raises to $4.50, 2 folds, UTG calls $3.75, MP calls $3.75, 1 fold

Flop: ($14.70) 6Diamond, 10Heart, 4Heart (3 players)
UTG checks, MP checks, Hero bets $6, UTG calls $6, 1 fold

Turn: ($26.70) 3Spade (2 players)
UTG checks, Hero bets $20.70 (All-In), UTG calls $20.70

River: ($68.10) 2Diamond (2 players, 1 all-in)

Total pot: $68.10 | Rake: $3
Main pot: $68.10 between UTG and Hero, won by Hero

Hero had KSpade, Kclub (one pair, Kings).
UTG had 10Diamond, KDiamond (one pair, tens).
Outcome: Hero won $65.10


Nice river. Could he have avoided going broke, probably. He played his hand passively and playing out of position is always harder.

PokerStars No-Limit Hold'em, $0.25 BB (4 handed)

saw flop | saw showdown

BB ($14.55)
Hero (UTG) ($24.75)
Button ($42.80)
SB ($20.90)

Preflop: Hero is UTG with QDiamond, ADiamond
Hero bets $1, Button calls $1, SB calls $0.90, 1 fold

Flop: ($3.25) 10club, JSpade, 8club (3 players)
SB checks, Hero checks, Button bets $1, SB calls $1, Hero calls $1

Turn: ($6.25) 5Heart (3 players)
SB checks, Hero checks, Button checks

River: ($6.25) KDiamond (3 players)
SB bets $5, Hero raises to $20.25, 1 fold, SB calls $13.90 (All-In)

Total pot: $44.05 | Rake: $2
Main pot: $44.05 between Hero and SB, won by Hero

SB mucked Kclub, JDiamond (two pair, Kings and Jacks).
Hero had QDiamond, ADiamond (straight, Ace high).
Outcome: Hero won $42.05


Aww man, I was hoping he had an over pair. Actually I was hoping he had ace king and calls but unfortunately he folds. There's no point in slow playing and just calling the $1.5 flop bet. The pot is small and he showed strength preflop and flop. Plus he seemed somewhat of a good player so he proabbly knows that it is likely that I missed the paired flop and that I could be trying steal the pot in position.

PokerStars No-Limit Hold'em, $0.25 BB (4 handed)

saw flop | saw showdown

Hero (BB) ($23.40)
UTG ($17.20)
Button ($33.50)
SB ($51.45)

Preflop: Hero is BB with 6Diamond, 6club
2 folds, SB bets $1, Hero calls $0.75

Flop: ($2) 6Heart, 10club, 10Heart (2 players)
SB bets $1.50, Hero raises to $4.50, SB raises to $12.50, Hero raises to $22.40 (All-In), 1 fold

Total pot: $27 | Rake: $1.30
Main pot: $27 returned to Hero

Hero didn't show 6Diamond, 6club (nothing).
Outcome: Hero won $25.70


This hand is kind of funny. I really shouldn't semi bluff with a flush draw out of position against bad players but it worked out.

PokerStars No-Limit Hold'em, $0.25 BB (6 handed)

saw flop | saw showdown

UTG ($25)
Hero (MP) ($29.70)
CO ($8.70)
Button ($14.95)
SB ($26.95)
BB ($26.25)

Preflop: Hero is MP with 7club, 10club
1 fold, Hero calls $0.25, 1 fold, Button bets $0.75, 2 folds, Hero calls $0.50

Flop: ($1.85) KSpade, Kclub, 5club (2 players)
Hero checks, Button bets $1.25, Hero raises to $4, Button calls $2.75

Turn: ($9.85) 6Diamond (2 players)
Hero checks, Button bets $5, Hero calls $5

River: ($19.85) 7Heart (2 players)
Hero bets $7.25, Button calls $5.20 (All-In)

Total pot: $30.25 | Rake: $1.45
Main pot: $30.25 between Hero and Button, won by Hero

Button mucked 6Spade, 5Spade (two pair, Kings and sixes).
Hero had 7club, 10club (two pair, Kings and sevens).
Outcome: Hero won $28.80


Bankroll $1223
Silverstar Status for April: Need 746 of 1200 VPP

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Two More Free Full-Length Cardplayer/PokerSavvy Poker Training Videos

April 24, 2009 1
Hey guys, here is the 5th and 6th free full length videos from Cardplayer/PokerSavvy. Be sure to check out the other free Poker Savvy videos (Links Below). If you want access to all the CardPlayer/PokerSavvy Videos than you can sign up for a free 7 day here.

Noah "NoahSD" Stephens-Davidowitz - $100 Training Member Review Poker Pro Noah Stephens - Davidowitz reviews a CardPlayer Pro members play at $100 No Limit and breaks down the key hands he played, helping him play difficult spots and find areas for improvement.

Andrew "Foucault" Brokos - SCOOP $2,000 Satellite - Andrew "Foucault" Brokos recaps the early stages of a $2,000 Satellite Tournament for the Spring Championship of Online Poker.

View More Free PokerSavvy Plus Videos

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In Defense of the Call - Gavin Smith

April 24, 2009 1
In Defense of the Call - Gavin SmithMost poker literature warns of the dangers of becoming a calling station. Common wisdom has it that when you’re playing a hand, you should be betting, raising or folding. Calling is usually considered the worst thing you can do.

I disagree. When I play in No-Limit Hold 'em tournaments, I find a lot of situations where calling is the best available option. A strategic call might keep me from going broke in a hand where I hold a good, but second-best hand. Or, a well-timed call might allow me to pick up a pot with a hand that wouldn’t win at showdown. Take a look at the following examples. I think you’ll see that the call is a powerful and underutilized weapon.

Say you’re in the middle stages of a tournament and you have a stack that is slightly above average. A tight player opens in early position for a raise of three times the big blind. You look at your cards and see pocket Tens. You probably don’t want to fold Tens. It might be as good a hand as you’ve seen in a long while, and it may very well be the best hand at that moment. Many people would say that, in this situation, you should throw in a large re-raise.

But the re-raise can be dangerous. Depending on the size of your stack, you could end up committed to the pot and have no choice but to call if your opponent moves all-in. If that happens, you’re probably up against a higher pair or, at best, A-K. You never want to commit all your chips when you’re either a small favorite or a big underdog.

If, however, you just call the open-raise, you’ll have a far better opportunity to make a good decision after the flop. The flop might come A-Q-7, at which point, you can fold to any bet, knowing there’s essentially no chance your hand is best. Should you see a flop of 4-4-6 and your opponent bets, you can raise. Most opponents holding only A-K would fold at that point. If your opponent then moves all-in, you can be pretty sure that your Tens are no good. You can fold, having preserved a good portion of your stack.

However the hand plays out, you’re sure to have a lot more information to work with if you just call the pre-flop raise. You’ll get to see three of the five community cards before you commit the bulk of your stack. You’ll also force your opponent to react to the flop. His action – his bet or check - is sure to help you determine the strength of his hand.

Here’s another situation where calling pre-flop has great advantages. Say you’re in late position with pocket 7s and a player from middle position open-raises. For the sake of this example, assume that the opponent holds pocket Jacks. The flop comes A-K-4. It’s nearly impossible for the player with Jacks to continue with the hand. A good percentage of the time, this player will check. When that happens, you can bet representing the Ace, which will probably force a fold. You’ll have earned a pot by outplaying your opponent. There’s no better feeling in poker.

These are just a couple of simple examples, but I want to make the larger point. A lot of beginners seem eager to make all of their plays before the flop. On any decent hand, they’re raising and re-raising, doing their best to get all-in. I believe that playing after the flop opens up opportunities for tough lay downs and good bluffs that aren’t available pre-flop. Playing post-flop is actually a lot of fun. In your next tournament, try some calls in spots where you might have re-raised. I think you'll enjoy the experience.

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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Are you a winning poker player?

April 22, 2009 1
Yes - 8 Votes (53%)
No - 7 Votes (46%)

Total Votes: 15
Started: April 22, 2009
Ended: May 6, 2009
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Gus Hansen Loses over $1.2 Million In Just One Day

April 22, 2009 1
Last Friday, Gus Hansen battled it out with Di “Urindanger” Dang and David “MR B 2 U SON” Benyamine on Full Tilt Poker for one his biggest loses of his career. Gus Hansen posted over $1.2 million in losses, losing most of it playing heads-up pot-limit Omaha against Urindanger and Benyamine.

Gus Hansen Loses over $1.2 Million In Just One Day

The three of them played a lot pots, many over $200k. But in the end, Dang took +$740,000 off Hansen and Benyamine finished +$645,000.

Here are some big hands:

The biggest hand Gus actually won. Gus flopped a straight flush 8-Q of clubs, and Benyamine flopped an ace high club flush. All the money went in on the flop and Gus took down the 242k pot.

Gus then loses a $236k pot to Benyamine when they both flopped a set! Gus flopped a set of deuces while Benyamine flopped a set of queens on a Q,10,2 board. Gus Hansen, out of position, check called on the flop and check raised on the turn. Benyamine raises all in and his hand holds up.

Another big hand: Urindanger and Gus play a $238k pot. Urindanger makes a big bluff on the turn with a flush draw and gut shot straight draw. Gus makes the call because he turned a set of jacks. Unfortunately for Gus, Urindanger hits a flush on the river and collects the $238k pot.

Free $100 Bankroll at Full Tilt Poker

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Continueing Pokerstar's Challenge

April 22, 2009 1
I'm finally continuing my Pokerstar's Challenge. I've been a little sick and having internet connection problems. Anyway, I played about 400 hands and up $30 which is not bad.

My Pokerstar's cash Game Results
My Pokerstar's cash Game Results

I seem to be playing good but I'm not enjoying cash game very much.. I'd probably have more fun if I move up to NL50 but I think I should play some more hands first. I've thought about playing sngs again or moving to limit holdem or trying out omaha. I don't know, we'll see.

Here's a couple hands:

I pick up king queen of clubs in the big blind, small bets preflop and on the flop. I check on the turn because it is 3 handed and if I bet right out after calling the flop than it is going to look obvious that I have a flush. So I check hoping player #3 raises, player 1 calls and than I'll reraise but unfortunately he checks behind. River, is a 10 of hearts. I was actually not hoping for a 10 of clubs to give me a royal flush because than there is no way I'd get paid off with 4 clubs on board. Player #1 bets out weak on the river, probably a blocking bet and has 1 pair. I raise anyway hoping player #3 reraises with a smaller flush. He pushes all in, player 1 folds and I have the nuts so I obviously call:) He shows a straight and I collect a $40 pot. I think the check on the turn made him believe I didn't have a flush but he should not have raised on the river and should have just called.

PokerStars No-Limit Hold'em, $0.25 BB (6 handed)

saw flop | saw showdown

Hero (BB) ($36.30)
UTG ($44.20)
MP ($20)
CO ($25)
Button ($19.95)
SB ($11.10)

Preflop: Hero is BB with Kclub, Qclub
1 fold, MP calls $0.25, 2 folds, SB bets $1, Hero calls $0.75, MP calls $0.75

Flop: ($3) 8club, Aclub, 7Diamond (3 players)
SB bets $0.50, Hero calls $0.50, MP calls $0.50

Turn: ($4.50) Jclub (3 players)
SB checks, Hero checks, MP checks

River: ($4.50) 10Diamond (3 players)
SB bets $0.50, Hero raises to $3, MP raises to $18.50 (All-In), 1 fold, Hero calls $15.50

Total pot: $42 | Rake: $2.05
Main pot: $42 between Hero and MP, won by Hero

Hero had Kclub, Qclub (flush, Ace high).
MP had 9Diamond, 8Heart (straight, Jack high).
Outcome: Hero won $39.95


Two Hands later I pick up k10 on the button. I want to raise preflop but decided to play small ball poker. On the turn, my opponent bets out weak and I put him/her on a drawing hand like 89 or j9. Instead of going all in I put a value bet. River is an alright card, a lot of hands beat mine but I'm getting 3-1 on a call. So I call and my opponent shows 7,9 for second pair..He/she played it terrible...That's one reason why I hate playing deep stacked, opponents make huge bluffs..Makes me want to try limit holdem.

PokerStars No-Limit Hold'em, $0.25 BB (5 handed)

saw flop | saw showdown

Hero (Button) ($56.15)
SB ($44.30)
BB ($25)
UTG ($19.95)
MP ($9.10)

Preflop: Hero is Button with KHeart, 10club
1 fold, MP calls $0.25, Hero calls $0.25, SB calls $0.15, BB checks

Flop: ($1) 10Heart, 7Spade, 2Diamond (4 players)
SB checks, BB checks, MP checks, Hero bets $0.75, 2 folds, MP calls $0.75

Turn: ($2.50) 2Spade (2 players)
MP bets $0.75, Hero raises to $3.50, MP calls $2.75

River: ($9.50) 8Spade (2 players)
MP bets $4.60 (All-In), Hero calls $4.60

Total pot: $18.70 | Rake: $0.90
Main pot: $18.70 between Hero and MP, won by Hero

Hero had KHeart, 10club (two pair, tens and twos).
MP had 9club, 7club (two pair, sevens and twos).
Outcome: Hero won $17.80


Today: +$30
Bankroll: $1040
Silverstar Status for April: 380 of 1200 VPP

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