New Link: Mid States Poker Tour

Mid States Poker Tour – (http://msptpoker.com/) has its next stop at the Tropicana Casino in Evansville Indiana.

 

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WSOP is coming to Chicago in October 2017

This weekend World Series of Poker (WSOP) is having a circuit stop in Hammond, Indiana.  Which is the East Chicago area.  The are having a full schedule of events, kicking off with a $350 buy in, $500,000 guaranteed NL Hold’em on October 12th, and culminating with the $1,675 Main Event which will have a cool 1 million dollar guarantee.

I am going to play the $350 event on Saturday.  They have 3 starting days, and I will drive up to Chicago on Friday, get a good nights sleep, and play the even on Saturday morning.  I will let you know how it turns out.

Greatest Poker Books

This whole poker book idea got me all worked up.  I looked through my library and found a few must have poker books for the beginning.  But since I no longer consider myself the beginner, but more of an intermediate (at least !) level, I thought it would be helpful to find some books that explore other aspects of poker player’s life.  And because I still believe that a good old fashioned book, that you can hold in your hand and flip through and shit, is much better then any of those digital versions, I have put up some links.  Just click on the cover image if you want to buy one.  I will also have a running (and hopefully updated) list running on my Poker Page.  Check it out.

Greatest Poker Books

 “Super System” by Doyle Burnson – the “Bible” of all the poker books.
 “Super System 2” by Doyle Brunson – the update to the classic.
 “Caro’s Book of Poker Tells” by Mike Caro.
Essential Poker Math
 “Every Hand Revealed” by Gus Hansen
 “The Theory of Poker” by David Sklansky
 “Hold’em Poker: For Advanced Players” by David Sklansky and Mason Malmuth
 “Harrington on Hold’em” by Dan Harrington (2006)
 “Harrington on Hold’em: Vol. 2” by Dan Harrington
 “Winning Poker Systems” by Norman Zadeh (1974)
 “Real Poker Psychology” by Mason Malmuth (2015)
 “Poker Essays” by Mason Malmuth
 “Excelling at No-Limit Hold’em” by Jonathan Little (2015)
 “Raiser’s Edge” by Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier (2011)
 “Ace on the River” by Barry Greenstein (2005)
 “Life’s A Gamble” by Mike Sexton
 “Phil Gordon’s Little Green Book: Lessons and Teachings in No-Limit Texas Hold’em” by Phil Gordon
 “Phil Gordon’s Little Gold Book: Advanced Lessons for Mastering Poker 2.0” by Phil Gordon
 “Phil Gordon’s Little Blue Book: More Lessons and Hand Analysis in No-Limit Texas Hold’em” by Phil Gordon
 “Poker’s 1%: The One Big Secret That Keeps Elite Players on Top” by Ed Miller
 “Kill Everyone” by Lee Nelson

 

WSOP Circuit stop in Louisville

The WSOP is in Horseshoe Southern Indiana, in the Louisville area.  I am too busy to play any of the early events, and my bankroll is not big enough to play the $1675 Main Event.  So, I am skipping the whole thing.  Although I may go play the $365 NL Hold’em on Sunday October 8th, 2017.  This will be the last event other then the seniors only.

Must-have Poker Books

After I pulled my Super System from the shelf, and flipped through the pages, I thought that it would be of great benefit to the starting out poker player to see a list of amazing books on poker.  I have started the list under my Poker page, check it out.  Each and every one of those publications is a vast reservoir of poker knowledge.

  • “Super System” by Doyle Brunson
  • “Super System 2” by Doyle Brunson, second edition includes some revisions and a whole section on Online Poker.
  • “The Theory of Poker” by David Sklansky
  • “Caro’s Book of Poker Tells” by Mike Caro
  • “Every Hand Revealed” by Gus Hansen

Poker book review: Super System

I wanted to take some time and discuss poker’s greatest textbook, the “Bible” of poker books: Doyle Brunson’s “Super System”. This book was not the first poker publication, but it is the most influential.  Doyle Brunson collaborated with some of the best poker players in the world, and produced a seven part book covering the most popular variations of the game.  Doyle himself wrote the section on the No Limit (NL) Hold’em.   “Crazy Mike” Caro, the same guy that authored the “Caro’s Book of Poker Tells” (another must have for a serious poker player) wrote the section on Five Card Draw Poker.  Obviously, he is the best at reading people, so the game with no cards exposed makes him the expert.  The section on Limit Hold’em was written by Bobby “The Owl” Baldwin, a 1978 World Poker Champion and a 2003 inductee into the Poker Hall of Fame. David “Einstein” Sklansky, who is considered to be one of the top poker theorists, put together the section on High-Low Split and High-Low Declare. The section on Lowball was written by Joey Hawthorne.  Nicknamed “Howard Hughes”, he is well known in the top poker games both as a player and as an author and theorist.  Chip Reese, another legend of the poker world wrote the section on Seven Card Stud.   Click on the cover image to buy this great poker book on Amazon.

 

Things to consider when planning your own home poker game

I started thinking about the logistics of the home poker game last Thursday, when I was playing at the Dealers’ Game.  It is ran by a former casino poker dealer, and the setup is very nice, yet very simple.  They have everything, rotating dealers, food and drink, two steps away from the back yard if you need a smoke or just a breath of fresh air.  I guess the game has been running for a long time before I even got invited, but I was still pleasantly surprised.  It got me thinking about the logistics of the game, and what takes to make a good home game.  And I know it does not have to be fancy.  My Thursday night game is not fancy at all.  It is still awesome.  We keep it simple.  Playing the same $1/$2 no limit as THEY deal at the casino.  Drinking beer.  Eating pizza and cheese-stuffed garlic bread.  Cracking jokes at the table.  Its not fancy.  Its a real life game.

Planning – Is this a cash game or a tournament?  Is this an all day event, or does it stop at a certain hour? These, and a bunch of other questions that will come up along the way are better off answered BEFORE the desired starting time.  I recommend sending out a text/email/tweet/eVite or whatever it is that you use to communicate with your poker buddies, and getting an accurate headcount. On this communique put the start time, location, game information, and any promotions that you may be running, and ask your players to respond with a Yes/No confirmation.  Offering a simple $25 high card for the button will attract players and motivate them to show up on time.  Although cash giveaways are always nice, if you can’t afford to give out cash, give out some kind of poker merchandise.  It could be as simple as a new deck of cards (fancy deck maybe?), or as elaborate as a clay poker chip set.  It all depends on your income level, and your willingness to part with your money.  ( Fancy clay poker chip set )

Attendance – Do you have enough people for a full game?  Do you have more people then seats ?  Nothing sucks demon cock more is more disappointing then showing up to a poker game and having to wait an unknown amount of time to sit down at the table.  It is at this planning stage that you need to figure out how many people are coming and how many seats are available.  (The demon cock is a reference to Patton Oswald’s stand up about Las Vegas.  I will try to put up a link to the video.)

Location – Home game usually means at home, but even within the home there are plenty of different areas that would NOT make for a good poker game locale.  Game rooms, man caves, meeting rooms, basements and libraries are all good choices.  Living room coffee tables, couch seating and poker tables in the garage is usually a bad idea.

Lighting – A well lit poker table is an absolute must.  This game is very visual.  And no, not just to see the cards in the middle, but to see your opponents, see their reaction, gestures, tells.  That is why the game table should be very well lit, people should not be squinting or shining the flashlight at their cards.  I hope in your fairly domesticated household you can find some good light for the game.

Table / Chairs – This should be pretty self-explanatory.  Comfortable and roomy.  Convenient.  That’s about all you need out of your table and chairs.

Equipment – Chips, cards, dealer button, cut card.  All that stuff is usually included in the Deluxe type chip set.  If you do not have one, Click Here and buy one.  These things are awesome.  Especially if you get the high quality ones.  Like the ones in the casinos.

Bank – Who holds the cash?  The person who is holding all the money should be the only one who cashes people in or out.

Food / Beverage – I am all about the food and drink, as long as it does not interfere with the game.  There is not much more gross things that watching someone try and shuffle cards with oil and pizza sauce dripping off their fingers.  If you are playing a tournament (or an all day/night cash game), it is good practice to set up a dinner break, and stop the game so everyone can get some calories.  Cup holders are also a good idea.

Bathrooms – this one gets more important with age.  Make sure there are adequate “facilities” present.  Some of those old people can’t hold it for long periods of time, and poker is definitely a time consuming game.

Smoking area – I do not smoke cigarettes anymore, so I understand the urge and the influence of that “monkey on the back”, but I am firmly against people smoking at the poker table.  Really dude, I inhale enough pollutants with my daily breaths without the need for your smoke.  But a good portion of the population still puffs so it would benefit the host to have a designated smoking area.  (preferably outdoors)

Ambiance: music / TV – I am all about having some football game on in the background, but as long as its not interfering with the poker game.  I played home games where the game paused because everyone was turned to the TV, and it is really distracting.  If you do have the TV on, make sure its off in the corner, so it does not grab the attention and ruin the game.