Wednesday, April 27, 2011

That's it I guess. No more PokerStars.

That's it I guess. No more PokerStars.

I had seen a tweet saying the PStars was allowing people to cash out. I didn't think much of it. It piqued my curiousity but not much more than that.

When I got home from work I decided to check it out. I figured an email had been sent out giving an explanation of what was going on. Nope. I shouldn't be shocked there. As I mentioned last week I still have not seen any communication from any site about the status of an account.

So I logged on. Sure enough, it stated that I must cash out. That's weird. Someone forcing you to take your money. I actually didn't want to cash out. I wanted to keep the money there thinking that somehow, sometime, someway I would be able to play poker on the site again.

It was like tough love. Or a cheesy scene out of an old movie where a guy is yelling at a dog or kid telling them to go away, choking back tears as he does. Go on, take your money and get out of here, sniff, we don't want you around.

Hopefully someday I'll play on PokerStars again. And it will be legal.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Ugly brown chips

One Pai Gow table. A craps game that doesn't use dice. And a 1-3 NL game that uses ugly brown $2 chips.

I'll be content if I never step into Agua Caliente again.

Maybe I am being a bit harsh. The play in the NL game was pretty bad. I did walk away +226 so I shouldn't complain. Even when I had my aces cracked by J 8o, I didn't fall into sore loser mode but became more determined to get my chips back. I knew he would spew them out and I wanted to be the benefactor.

But I am getting ahead of myself. I was expecting some wild play when I sat down. I assumed all California poker rooms were the same. Crazy aggressive action. Two cards? All in!

But this table was the opposite. A couple guys who had a clue about what they were doing but the rest were rather timid. But those timid players ended up being the gamblers of the group.

For example, the tight grumpy old guy. He was going to see a flop with any ace no matter what. In one hand, the old Asian guy opened for 12. TGOG calls. I call with Q Q (I didn't raise because it wouldn't have thinned the field). Lady two spots to my left calls. The SB then makes it 40. Old Asian quickly grabs chips and calls. TGOG just about beats him into the pot. Upon seeing that, I am thinking he has a monster. I know Old Asian has a good hand, at least K K. I figure TGOG must have A A. I toss my Q Q in the muck.

3 players see a flop of A 10 x. SB does all in for like $80. Old Asian calls as does TGOG. This is the first huge pot I have seen at this table. Over $500 in those ugly brown chips. Turn is a J. The rest of the money goes in. River is an 8. What do you think these players had?

SB shows A K off. Old Asian shows K K. TGOG shows.... A 10 off. He wins with 2 pair. I was a bit surprised to see him put so much money in with A 10 off. He had to know he was way behind before the flop. But that wasn't the worst of it. How does the Old Asian guy not re-raise preflop to try and get rid of some of those other players? I'd have pushed when it got popped to 40 and taken my chances with the guy who ended up with A K.

Sad part, the lady who had called 12 claims she had 8 8. She acknowledged she wouldn't have seen the river with all the action. I liked her honesty.

Other action at the table included me flopping quad 8s. Later someone would flop quad 9s and eventually someone would hit quad 10s. I was excited when I was dealt J J thinking it would follow the natural progression and hit. Nope. Lost to the old lady who meekly played her Q Q.

Otherwise I played a slow methodical game. I could find my spots and hit them. There were some times when I wasn't sure where I was. This crowd was going to chase. Old Asian was going to see the river no matter what. So there were a lot of river checks when the board looked dangerous.

For example on one hand, I was dealt K K. Old Asian had already called so I knew he would call my raise to 14. Flop was A high. I tossed a continuation bet to see what he would do. He called. Being stubborn, I bet the turn too. He called. Finally, with a possible flush on the river, I just checked. Inside I sighed because I pretty much had to fold to any bet. But he checked and my kings were good. I was pleasantly surprised.

Playing live again was fun. I enjoyed making some reads on players and putting them on hands. Some of the young guys were predictable. I knew when they were attempting to buy the pot. I knew I could let them think they were controlling the action and I knew I would win those pots. In fact, I only lost 2 pots at showdown, both around $150.

I ended up leaving the table after 3 hours. The call stations had left and only a couple of the better players were left. There was a new guy in the 9 seat that quickly tried to take over the table. I tangled with him once. It was the only time I had really put much of my stack at stake.

I called his 12 bet preflop with A K off. I did that a lot last night. Just called with some good hands and let them dictate the pace. With a K high flop, I check and called his 24 bet. When a rage hit the turn, I checked again, allowing him to bet 34. I stopped to think of what he had. I quickly ruled out A A. I wondered if he had an A at all. Maybe Qs or Js.

I decided to push. Part of me wanted to have that "all in" button in front of me. The other part said I was ahead and I could take all of his chips.

I then began to try and stay motionless. I then wondered if he would notice my tell. Only 1 person has ever called me out on it, but even he didn't know if it was good or bad. The guy went into the tank and tried to figure it out. I could see it in his eyes that he thought I was bluffing him. But he couldn't pull the trigger and folded.

I left after that, satisfied with my double. Not sure I was happy with the room itself but the dealers were good. At least the poker room was better than the stripperless strip club BadBlood took us to.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

What say them? Apparently nothing

Black Friday. The ultimate 'doomsday switch' has been flipped. For some, they lose a bit of cash that they had online. For others, they had a sizable chunk on some sites and it looks like it is gone. And worse yet, some very good people are literally out of a job. Their livelihoods snuffed out like the end of a cigarette.

I know some good people that relied on this industry for their income. Some are out of a job. Others? Well we don't know at this point so we can only hope for the best. I am hoping that with the European sites still going that they can still grab a paycheck, if they so desire.

What is else is there to say that hasn't been already said?

Not much except for one little thing. I had money on both Full Tilt and PokerStars. Maybe $1500 total. I never consider it to be real. It was always just those electronic numbers. It was money to have fun with.

My issue is that there has been no word from either company yet. I don't expect an email telling me what has happened to that money. What I would like is for someone there to tell us what they are doing about the whole thing. It wouldn't be that tough for them to bust out an email explaining what they are doing and tell us their side and what they think can happen.

Or in other words, reach out to your customers and reassure them you still care about them. This may be some of the worst PR in the history of the world. I have worked for companies that have had fisticuffs with the feds. They made sure they kept customers informed about what was happening and their position. I don't think it would be that difficult for PStars or Full Tilt to do the same.