Friday, November 17, 2006

New Games on Poker Stars, Derek Wins Blogger Quiz, and I Win CC's Thursday's Bash

A few weeks ago, PokerStars added Razz to their Stud tables. Earlier this week, PokerStars introduced Five Card Draw and 2-7 Triple Draw Tables to their mix of cash games. I like the philosophy that PokerStars is laying out for their clients... NL Hold'em is king and can make you rich and famous, but here are some other cool games you can play too.

The addition of Five Card Draw and 2-7 Triple Draw is good news for folks who like playing those games. Not only do they get to play their favorite games that are hard to find on online card rooms, but their competition consists the majority of the player who have no idea how to play. That means if you have marginal skill in any of those games... you'll be shooting fish in a barrel... and padding your bankroll.

If you don't know how to play Triple Draw...
1. Take a peak at this article called The Other Games of Poker: Triple Draw Lowball (

2. I recommend buying Super System 2. They devote 36 pages to the Triple Draw chapter written by Daniel Negreanu.

3. And you should go read the archives of Chris "Triple Draw" Fargis' blog. He's one of the best TD players in this solar system.
TD is an action game. That's why I'm hooked on it like Homer Simpson on donuts, like Judy Garland on Dry Martinis, or like Bill Clinton on chubby interns. I crave action. Playing Triple Draw makes me feel like I'm alive. The heart starts racing. The pots start building. I dig in deeper and focus harder. The world slows down and if a butterfly flaps its wings in Cambodia and I can hear it. Plus there's the added excitement of drawing non-community cards.

Sure, luck plays a factor in a card game, but TD is one of those games like PLO where if your good hands hold off and fend off any suckout artists... which means you'll be scooping a big pot. And the pots in TD are massive.

I've played a few TD sessions on PokerStars and I've turned a slim profit. For now, TD is a guilty pleasure while I gain more experience and play as many hands as I can to accelerate the learning curve.

PLO is still the game of all games for me. I play those tables for pleasure and the thrill of poker. I grind it out at the 5/10 Limit tables which is completely boring but it's profitable, especially over the long term.

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By the way, I forgot to reveal the winner of the Pauly & AlCanthang Quiz... it's Derek.

He's been to almost every single main blogger function since the inception and that gave him a slight edge. Plus the fact that one of the first thing Daddy ever mentioned to Derek was his ERA during his sophomore year in college.

Congrats again to Derek. He gets a free buy-in to a blogger event of his choice. Thanks to everyone who particpated.

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I played in several blogger tournaments this week. I've cut tournaments out of my daily poker diet so even though there's one tourney every night, I have not been interested in playing.

Besides, I've either been too busy writing or traveling to find the time to play, especially after jumping around different time zones. I've had more than one instance when I thought, "Hey, I should play in the Mookie..." and then I fire it up to discover that it already started.

My brother sucked out on me in a WPBT event at PokerStars on Sunday. It was Stud 8 or better, which meant suckouts galore. I started out with three suited connectors and on fourth street I had an open-ended straight flush. He picked up a gutshot straight flush draw by fifth street. My 9 high flush lost to his Jack high flush that he rivered me with. Derek finished in 9th place and bubbled off the final table.

On Tuesday, I played in the WWdN tournament on PokerStars for the first time since Picard knows how long. With a shortstack, I moved all in with The Hammer. I had Maudie pondering the notion of folding, but she called with two seconds left on her shot clock and stomped out my Hammer bluff with 8-8. I quickly hit the rail searching for a kitten to toss into the microwave.

I signed up for the WWdN second chance tourney and spaced out. I thought the tourney was at 11:30pm. It started at 10:30pm. I got a text message at 11:27pm from Change100 that read, "Congrats. You outlasted me by sitting out. I hate you." I logged on and played one hand before the break. I was the short stack after getting blinded down. I went out two hands later and yes I outlasted about ten people by posting and folding.

I played in the Mookie at Full Tilt on Wednesday and finished in 17th place. I lost most my stack when my A-Q ran into DNasty's A-A in the big blind. Why do I always run into Aces in the blinds? Ryan eventually finished me off.

My Bad Beat of the Day Week was issued to Miami Don when I cracked his A-K to my A-Q. I flopped the Queen. Ouch. Sorry, Don. That was no more than twenty minutes after he gave me a juicy tip with West Virginia.

"The spread is 11," I said. "You sure?"

"WV will win by twice as much," he confidently typed into the chat.

"I like your confidence. It's like walking into a bar and pointing at a girl and saying that you're not just going to pick her up... you're gonna fuck her twice."

And Miami Don is the Beano Cook of the blogger world. West Virginia beat Pitt 45-27. They covered and I won $300. I'm gonna roll the money over into Miami Don's next pick of the week... Kansas State at Kansas -2.

I played a couple of PLO Satellites for Saturday's $200 PLO Event on Full Tilt. I finished in 12th and 3rd in the last two sats I played. Looks like I'll buy in directly to the $200 event on Saturday afternoon.

On Thursday night in the middle of watching The OC, I signed up to play in CC's Thursday Bash on Poker Stars. There was a glitch and the tournament format was Limit Hold'em instead of NL. I was irked at first before I realized that (when I'm not traveling) I average a thousand hands of Limit Hold'em a week. I was finally playing in a tournament where I was the favorite. Maudie, who is also a Limit player, had been running over our table with a big stack. I kept catching a series of sick cards... plenty of Big Aces or when I played junk hands, I'd inadvertently flop two pair.

When I was heads up with Darval, I held a 4-1 chip lead. He played some great heads-up poker. He didn't give up and fought back despite my hyper aggressiveness. At one point I lost momentum and lost three hands in a row as I coughed up the chip lead after Darval flopped a straight with Q-9.

The slide continued and I was on the ropes as I trailed 4-1 on the verge of elimination. Then I did something out of character... I folded my small blind. I had been raising it every time and for some reason I decided to muck my 4-2o. I stood up and stretched to collect my thoughts. I had about 3BB left and my fold saved me the tournament. Darval showed Q-Q in the BB and I most likely would have been toast.

I won a couple of hands to pull within even as Darval went card dead. On the final hand, I had Q-10 and flopped a straight on a board of K-J-9. Darval had 10-8 and pushed. I happily called and the turn and river were running aces to seal the victory.

I had not won a tournament in a while. And I've never won a LIMIT hold'em tournament before. Perhaps I found a new niche? Limit MTTs? The victory felt good after a week where I finished 2nd and 3rd in two PLO satellites.

Thanks to CC for hosting and thanks to Poker Works for adding $100 to the prize pool. I'm currently tied for first in his Thursday night series!

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If you'd like to play Razz, Five Card Draw, or 2-7 Triple Draw... you can download Poker Stars here.

If you'd like to play in an Aussie Millions satellite or play in the remaining FTOPS events... you can download Full Tilt here.

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