Monday, October 16, 2006 

Cash Games on

While I’m sure most are still discussing the potential downfall of internet poker and recent legislation, I want to focus on the fact that there is still money to be made.  I’m not sure if it’s just coincidence, fate, luck, or skill…but between 9pm Friday night and 1am this morning, I more than quadrupled my bankroll on  And not through typical means.  At least, not typical to my style of play as of late.

Before discussing details, I want to attribute this break of monotony to an article I read in Card Player Friday evening.  I forget the writer’s name and for whatever reason, does not reflect the magazine volume in its current archive list.  Otherwise, I would give the proper credit.  Long story short, this writer goes into detail why he opts for cash games and avoids the pressure of tournament play.  Having not played in a cash game in over a year…I decided to take his advice and just give it a whirl.  I’ve been playing so many tournaments lately, I needed a break.

Decided to sit down at a 2/4 limit game on  2 Hours Friday night.  6 Hours Saturday.  4 Hours Sunday.  Started with $140 and ended last night at $600.  All on 2/4 limit tables.  I attribute my success to a few simple tactics which pretty much lends itself to any limit game…but to be specific, I opted to play a very aggressive game to the river when in position.  Opened up my possible starting hands.  And decided to rarely limp.  Raise or fold unless I’m in horrible position.

This worked extremely well.  Had a few swings to extremely cruel beats on the river, but that’s par for the course and pretty much what I remember about limit cash games.  But all in all, this was a refreshing break.  Nearly $40 an hour is a rate I can live with.  Now if only I could sustain such an average, I’d have a lot less bitching to do in life. 

I make no claim to be a decent cash game player.  Back in the day before the moneymaker effect, I did extremely well with ring games.  As poker popularity increased, I leaned more toward tournament play.  The thinking was that I was always on equal ground and could control my destiny.  I never made such a score in ring games that my bankroll could accommodate a long term solution.  However, the tournament path treated me very well.  I stuck to it.  Past history would suggest that after returning to a cash game and doing well, I’ll quickly screw it up and be back in my tournaments.  However, I want to do things differently this time around.

Previously, after doing well in cash games, my biggest error is to rush the increase in stakes.  I’ll make a decent score and almost immediately try to shove my way forward.  Therefore, I’m going to continue to mess around with the 2/4 limit game on and attempt to increase my roll substantially before I take any “next steps”.  Depending on which book you read, or which pro you speak with, everyone has a theory on what your bankroll should be to accommodate various levels.  I’m going to take such advice and continue down this path and see what happens.  As I see it, playing purely on profit.  Nothing to lose.  Going to throw in my favorite tournaments for good measure and let the chips fall where they may.

If you find yourself over at bodog…look me up.

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , ,

Friday, October 13, 2006 

Major Suckage!

So, as much as I like to tell myself I’m a decent player…the fact remains I am still very susceptible to extremely bad play…

I was having a fairly decent day yesterday on  Snuck a few SnG’s in earlier in the day and was prepared for a good evening session.  I made the decision to bypass the 25k guarantee tourney and instead, focus on the $15 re-buy multi qualifier event.  I’ve been hearing good things about this tournament and wanted to check it out.  For the most part, glad I did.  I found the field very loose.  However, I was not happy that the format was shorthanded to such an extreme.  The tables were set at 5 handed for the duration.  I adjusted accordingly, but Bodog made no mention in the tournament details that it would be set up as such.  At least I didn’t see anything regarding it. 

My first table was very good to me during the re-buy session.  I sat down and re-bought right away.  If I mess with a re-buy tournament, I prefer to have the maximum amount starting off to combat the donks that are prepared to re-buy 18 times in that first hour.  I played a tight game the first hour and slowly built my stack.  We had one ATM machine on that table which benefited all others.  Once the add-on came and went, got down to business.  I continued to build my stack up to 20k over the next hour.  Things were going very well.  4 Places paid in this event.  Two breaks later and I’m still doing fantastic.  11 players left.  At this stage, I normally assess my situation, assess those I’m sitting with, stack size, player image, etc. and determine exactly what I must do to make the money.  I failed to adhere to this line of thinking which resulted in a meltdown a few hands into the level.  I became enchanted with a suited AQ against a small blind protecting his stake.  I raised in position with my AQ, he calls.  Flop brings absolutely no help to me.  536 rainbow.  In this situation I usually put out a decent bet having position…but always fear the blinds are likely to hit a flop like this.  So, I put my feeler out there.  He calls.  Turn brings another brick.  At this point I believe I can outplay him and test the theory.  I have him covered by 2k in chips.  I push all my chips.  He takes some time and thinks.  He calls and shows a 67. 

At this stage, there were 9 players left in the tournament yet I didn’t know that until after I lost the hand.  I was on auto-pilot for some reason and did not take all factors into consideration.  I am kicking myself in the ass today big time.  The next few hands were uneventful but I ended up busting out 7th.  Just no excuse for that.  I had a virtual lock and mucked it up all to hell.

So…with that off my chest…today’s a new day.  I will turn it around and move forward. 

Technorati Tags: , , , , ,

Thursday, October 12, 2006 

Neteller Committed to Staying in the U.S. Market

This may be old news to some...but this is very encouraging news for me and my little world of poker...

Pulled from

October 12, 2006
John Caldwell

The passage of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Act sent shockwaves
through the online poker industry. Reactions ranged from 'the sky is
falling' to 'all is well' as the industry analyzed the language of the
bill, looking for what the true impact would be.

As time went on, and it became clear that the core emphasis of the
bill was to prevent U.S. banks from taking gaming transactions. This
fact made the big question – What are Neteller going to do?

Neteller is a company that provides financial transactions between
consumers and third party vendors via the Internet. Most people that
play poker online have Neteller accounts, and a great portion of the
transactions that occur between players and online poker sites occur via Neteller.

Most players have had trouble in the past trying to fund via their
banks long before the bill was even introduced to Congress, so Neteller
has become a way of life for many online poker players.

So, if U.S. banks are forced via this law to stop taking gaming
transactions, companies like Neteller would be a player's only recourse
if he or she were to want to continue playing.

It is a great relief to all in the business that Neteller's
Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing Bruce Elliot told an
audience of online gaming executives in Barcelona yesterday.

"We are staying in the U.S. I don't think we have a problem."

A executive who is at the conference confirmed the
news, and spoke to another top Neteller executive who confirmed "We are
completely committed to the U.S.".

The last two weeks have been a dizzying ride for most people in the
online poker business, but the news over the last few days has mostly
been positive toward the continued survival of the business. By no
means is online poker 'out of the woods' with respect to possible
troubling times ahead, but the commitment of Neteller to the U.S.
market will put player's minds more at ease.

Technorati Tags: , , , , ,


Poker Blogs!

So now that things are finally calming down, I need to seriously get caught back up on my blog reading.  I will be doing so over the next few days.  If anyone would like a shameless plug, add a quick comment here and I'll be happy to mention you in my next post.

Next few posts I'm going to be taking on recent legislation and various lines of thinking.  Hopefully I'll be making a buck or two as well before I get arrested.


Technorati Tags: , , , , , ,

powered by performancing firefox

powered by performancing firefox

Tuesday, October 10, 2006 

Pics from Tunica

Adam LaBare with Barry GreensteinJust throwing up a few pics from Tunica. Wasn't much photo worthy...but did get a few pics while sitting with Barry Greenstein. Buddy of mine was kind enough to snap the shot. I really need a new camera. Sigh.

Adam LaBare Tunica 2006Not sure why but I tend to photograph each large buy-in event registration. Lame, sure. Do I care? Nah.

Adam LaBare Tunica 2006I was still on my first table when they snapped this.

Adam LaBare Tunica 2006
For the record, I hate Pepsi, let alone diet Pepsi. I was drinking the coffee. My neighbor had the wingspan of a condor.


An interesting situation happened to me while playing in the main event at Tunica last week. I will try my best to articulate this situation as it went down rather quickly.

I’m in middle position with a premium starting hand. 3 players ahead of me fold. I raise the action to 3x the BB. Button calls my raise as does the BB…or so the dealer thought.

The dealer pulls the chips into the pot, burns and turns the next card. As he’s turning the card over, I verbally announce that the pot is incorrect. The BB did not call the action.

The BB proceeds to argue the point but not in a way that was hostile, but in a way that you can just tell he’s trying to get away with something. He places all blame on the dealer at this point.

The dealer proceeds to count down the pot. Blinds accounted for. Antes accounted for. My raise accounted for. Buttons call accounted for. And that’s it. The BB did not call the action.

Now what?

Having been a dealer, my immediate thinking is that the BB’s hand is dead.

At this point, rather then debate the issue at the table, I figured the best recourse would be to get the floor involved. The dealer calls the floor over. “Bob” quickly arrives.

The dealer explains the situation to Bob as I have written it above. Bob thinks long and hard which I had hoped was a good sign. This is his ruling:

He informs the BB (the individual that did not call the action) that he can do one of two things. He can either choose to call the original raise and retain his hand, or fold his cards. Bear in mind, the flop is on the table in all its naked glory. No mention was made regarding the fate of that flop.

At this point, I start screaming (inside). The BB decides to forfeit his hand.

Rather than entertain a drawn out debate, I figure the point is moot and I carry on with the hand. However, during the next break, I present this hand to a few dealer friends who all believe the floor’s decision was wrong. How can you give this player the choice to remain in the hand after seeing the flop for free? In essence, you are giving him a huge advantage having seen that flop which could very much impact the play at hand. It seems to me the obvious choice would be to call the hand dead. And not that it matters at this point, but it is truly my belief that this individual hid his hand from the dealer in hopes of sneaking into the pot.

What are your thoughts?

Monday, October 09, 2006 

Are Circuit Events Drying Up?

A close friend and dealer at the Tunica event offered this question to the folks at and went on to say the following:

Are Circuit Events Drying Up?

Awol77 write “Adam, you might be able to shed an opinion on this one...
Last year this event brought over 300 players who forked over $10k to play. This year there were 200 players paying $5k. No television cameras either. All in all it was a pretty weak showing.

I did hear that the Apollo Group bought Harrahs on Wednesday. Maybe they will do something with it. Harrahs has no interest in poker so maybe they should think of selling the WSOP. It might be a good move for them and poker.”

My response to the above was as follows:

Short answer? Yes

I did some poking around on this topic after I returned from Tunica. I really wanted to explore the reasons why this field was so small. To be exact, the field consisted of 196 players paying a $5,000 entry fee. The popular consensus on various blogs and other outletts tends to lean toward the lack of television affiliation and for the most part, I agree. Without television, fewer big name players attend, less big cash games, poor local economy as a result. Hell...they probably made more money off of the dealers then they did the regional players making it in for 2 days.

Did you know that Circuit Events do not cover dealers accommodations? A daily rate of $34 per room is deducted from the monetary gains a dealer makes while working for the WSOP. Multiply that by 14 plus days with 60+ dealers, and you get the idea. At least, this is how it broke down in Tunica. Compare that to the WPT providing suites for dealers at no cost at all. If you can’t treat your hired help properly, how do you expect the public to react? And don’t event get me started on the dealer debacle at the 2006 WSOP in Vegas.

Compare the coverage this tournament received to WPT events or the World Series of Poker in Vegas. They've reduced the circuit event to nothing more then what farm leagues are to Major League Baseball. I think I saw 2 larger publications reporting there for the main event and two well known and respected bloggers. Hell, one of reporters/photographers was directly affiliated with the site where they charge you nearly $40 for your own photograph. The draw and appeal are gone without national coverage. Without Gabe Kaplan, we are nothing, lol. Joke.

The Circuit Events should be just as special as the yearly WSOP on a somewhat smaller scale. Each player at a WPT event truly feels they have a chance to make a "Life Change" if they take down first place. Circuit Events in their current state do not offer that key incentive. I hate to use this analogy, but a circuit event should be like a Broadway show that takes it's show on the road. No matter which city it ventures to, each show is sold out well in advance. Along with that comes marketing for each venue sometimes over a year in advance. Spend the marketing dollars to generate the interest, get the key players there along with a television audience and make these events special. Do you need an event every month? No. Cut the events down and make each specific event "special".

What I'm getting at here is that without the right owners, circuit events will continue to dwindle. Without the right marketing/advertising front runners, circuit events will be obsolete in less than 2 years. To take a $10k event and reduce the buy-in to $5k is not the answer. Spend the money to make the money. Appeal to the prima donna's, make them happy and attract the regional and national players. Get the t.v. deals lined up. Consider new markets such as video web casts, podcasts, etc. Hell, look how successful Live at the Bike is. For a monthly subscription, you have live poker ALL THE TIME. People are eating it up. With the right support, the circuit events should be HUGE. This SHOULD be what the PGA Tour is to golf.

In the end, you need an innovative group of people that not only have the marketing savvy, but a love and passion for the game and the desire to push it forward. I plead to the powers that be not to let this become a stagnant event. You have the brand, you have the technology....use it to make it better! In today's day and age, I should not have to wait 3 days after a tournements main event ends to determine the winner. The technology is available for live updates. Get the chips implemented and start with the circuit events. This alone would be huge! While some might think various markets are saturated with poker, I beg to differ. I thoroughly believe with the added benefits of technology, poker will become far more interactive from a players pespective as well as a fan's perspective.

Is the Apollo Group the answer? Who knows. Really depends on their vision for poker. This could make or break a great vision.

Sorry for the rant...


Wednesday, October 04, 2006 

Silenced by 33's

Sorry for the lack of updates. My network went screwy on my laptop and I have been unable to connect.

So here’s the deal…I busted at the end of level 7. Blinds were eating me alive and I had 12k in chips left. I’m on the button and am dealt QQ. Everyone folds to me, I raise it up 4x the BB roughly, somewhere around 3500. Small blind pops me back which is fine by me. I was hoping he thought I was just trying to steal blinds and antes. I push the rest of my stack and am psyched to see him turn over 33. Flop brings a 3 and no further help to me. My tournament is over.

Sure, that’s how it goes. I understand “that’s poker”. But I’m really letting this one bother me for some reason. After an entire day, 12+ hours…I played a great game. I didn’t do anything stupid. I waited for opportunity and maximized that opportunity. To finally leave the tournament against 33? I have no further words.

Needless to say, the trip back home was long. I’m pleased with my play overall so I will try to remain focused on that. Hopefully I can get back up on the bike quickly.

Monday, October 02, 2006 

Food break...

So-so last round. Made a great play w/ pocket 7’s again. Flop comes A74. I check, one guy left in it bets 2k, I raise back 2k. He thinks and thinks. There’s two hearts on the flop. After an eternity, he calls the 2k saying anything but a heart. Another heart hits on the turn…he’s goes ape shit absolutely convinced I’m on a heart draw. I bet 4k, he folds. He was not happy.

Currently I’m sitting with 16k in chips. Moved to a table with several large stacks. Going to continue to be patient and wait for my hand. Just getting back from the diner break. Time to play some cards.



Found internet connectivity...going to post my ramblings from the last few hours...

11:20am. 40 minutes until game time. I’m a little perplexed at the moment. There’s no one here. I realize I’m a little early, but generally the place would be swamped. Ton of tables set up. I checked in with the registration desk to see how many entrents are signed up thus far. I must have mis understood. I think she said 101. That just can’t be possible. Maybe she said 1001. Hmm. We shall see.

Ate breakfast at the Grand Buffet. Nothing special. Not sitting very well. One thing I will say about The Grand, their staff is very friendly. Everyone is eager to greet you. From the cleaning crew to the security, everone has a smile. Not used to that.

As I was walking into the casino this morning, walked by Barry Greenstein. So much for no big names. It’s funny to watch everyone scramble to get a photo or autograph. While While it’s certainly cool to meet and greet poker phenoms, Im just not that impressed with “poker celebrities”. I guess it’s a psychological thing. I figure if I act like everyone else and am blown away by their success, I’m setting myself up for not obtaining those same objectives. Does that make sense?

30 minutes and counting. Listening to my ipod. I enjoy listening to good music before tournaments. Certain songs help me prepare. It’s funny how certain songs can be associated with previous poker successes. In times past, I’ve often listened to music while playing online. When I’ve hit big…the songs playing during that tournament just tend to stand out. Going to listen to my favorite pre game song and head over to my table. Metallica-One. If this song doesn’t get your blood pumping, you’re a corpse.

Starting out at table #54 seat #7.

Just called my sister to wish her a happy birth-day. Happy birthday sis!

Okay, enough random banter. I’m off to the table.


First level was uneventfull which is probably a good thing. Barry Greestein was assigned to my table. He took a horrible beat with a PP against a guy who sucked out with a set on the river. Put him in tough position. Same guy ended up busting him at the end of the level.

Chips wise, I’ve won a few small hands. Sitting with just over my starting chips. About 10400.

Back to work.


Two more levels in the can. Not a whole lot going on with my stack. Had one opportunity to capitalize on AA. Been so long since I’ve seen them…was in a state of shock. Guy called it down to the river. Figured he hit a runner runner heart flush. He only had a pair of jacks. So…that worked out.

Few hands later, I came out with a raise w/ 77 under the gun. Had two callers, Flop brings junk, I continue betting and scoop the pot. Sitting with 12500 in chips. Next round introduces and ante. Should start to heat up. I have plenty of breathing room…but would much prefer to double up soon.



Rise and Shine...

9am and all is well. Got a good nights sleep which was desperately needed. Tried to take a nap yesterday afternoon which was next to impossible. Finally stopped trying, got up and explored.

Life away from The Grand in Tunica is bleak. Strange little town. Aside from a casino here, and there...there's nothing here. I imagine this is what Vegas was like before it was Vegas. Ended up right back at the Grand which was fine with me. Watched a lot of football.

Today's Game Plan?
Having sat with the locals yesterday I'm going to take Survivor's creed to heart...Outwit, Outplay, Outlast. Initial thinking lends me to believe practicing strong patience will be essential. Unless I'm dealt a behemoth, I'm going to stay out of the way the first level or two, get my bearings and go from there. We shall see. I'll be bringing my laptop over there with me and hope to update accordingly at various breaks in the day.

Off to grab some grub!

Sunday, October 01, 2006 

Made It In One Piece!

I tell you what...Tunica is not what I figured it to be. Granted, haven't seen much of it...but having spent a lot of time in Biloxi...didn't have any great expectations. Not that Biloxi was bad...I love Biloxi. But the casino's were small, and poker wise, often very cramped.

Upon arriving here in Tunica, The Grand's property is probably the biggest hotel property I've ever seen. Certainly not what I was expecting. There's not a "strip" here as you would be accustom to in Vegas or any other gambling mecas. But the Grand has it's own highway leading to the property. Kinda cool.

So I arrived before check in and my room wasn't available. I'm tired, dirty, and cranky. Luckily, good friend of mine is out here dealing. By coincidence, we're in the same hotel. Gave him a quick call and he let me lounge in his room to get a quick pit stop.

From there, took the shuttle to the main hotel/casino. Really reminds me of a larger Grand Biloxi casino...kindof on steroids. Everything seems very nicely spaced out. Went upstairs to check out the poker. Nice first glance...maybe 80 tables? Not sure.

While I was waiting for my room, decided to sit down to a $60 one table satellite. They start you out with $500 in chips. Not much. Tried to be patient....lost half my stack on a draw. Wanted to either strike first or get the hell out of dodge. At this point, just in a cranky mood. Missed my draw. Next hand, I push all in, one caller, I hit the flop. Get's just about back to even.

Two hands later, im on the BB and am dealt AQ suited. Everyone folds to the player to my right. He makes a raise 4x the BB which appears to be a steal. I say screw it and go all in. Blinds fold. He thinks, and calls like he has to. I turn over my AQ, he turns over K5 hearts. Ummm. Okay. My friends have been telling me these local yocols are loose, but cmon! I was fairly happy to see his hand until the flop came. KJ5. What the flying pig donkey! For a split second I was hopeful for my straight draw, then he turns another 5. That's that.

I need sleep.

At least it was just $60 but if that's a sign of things to come...preparing mentally now.

Okay all...lights out at 3 in the afternoon. More later. Next post will be more coherant and I'll even use spellchecker.


About me