Poker Bat on Deck to Bat at WSOP Riches

The Poker Bat took a vacation.  Wasn’t at the Poker Hospital or the real hospital the Bat was just on leave from blogging.  The Bat can blog in his sleep or so the Bat thinks but every time he lays down to sleep he never blogs.  The Bat knows so many of you loyal, avid, aimless, lecherous, and deceitful readers get amped up for a Bat post so it must have been disappointing to go through the last two weeks without a taste of the Bat to tide you by.  The Bat has been playing Texas Hold em poker online, which should come to no surprise to you, the Bat’s faithful readership, but for the rest of you, the unfaithful, the haters, but those that still read and still badger the Bat with insults, here’s the surprise… the Bat’s been killing it.

Yeah, cry the Bat a river. You think he’s a donk yet all he does is win. The Bat is a one man poker school and you’d be wise to sign up and take lessons. First off, the Bat has been playing some cash games with some big dummies online. They all race to sit down at the Bat’s table and talk about VPIP-PITY split, career EV, and abbreviates the Bat don’t care to read or care about.

All the Bat knows is he’s dropping them as the Bat is on a heater like Jaime Gold at the World Series. You got pocket kings MrSwed1sh the Bat’s got a set of 10s. Eat it Scandi. The Bat’s been amassing cash and gearing up for the two World Series of Poker events that are going to be taking place on the coast. The IP has an event the Bat is going to crash and win, so too Harrahs of New Orleans. Don’t know how many tournaments the Bat will play or if the Bat will just nurse the teet of the cash games, but the Bat will be there.

By the way, question for the IP? Why not move the cash tables into the tournament area and create one huge poker clusterdump during the Circuit Satellite event. Rather than players walking up and down a flight of escalators (even when the Bat’s riding one of those things, the tug of gravity on the Bat’s muffin top makes it feel like work) and trotting half a building to go back and forth put all that in one place. Say a player busts out of a tournament and goes on insta-tilt here’s a cash game for him to join. No need for him to walk for five minutes and talk himself out of it, or to cool off his tilt.

Bat likes players hot and freshly busted. Try to win that entry back on one hand you big dummy. The Bat’s got something for you.

The Harrahs event is part of that big tournament circuit where points are tabulated and it acts a bit like the Nike Tour and then they give away a bracelet for it. Yawn. The Bat’s only interested in one thing, busting players, busting tables, and trying not to bust ass while doing it. Yes, the Bat’s known to have a bit of a flatuation problem, but a little gas ain’t harmful to no one but the guy at the table behind him. You are going to know the Bat tooted because the Bat will be standing up pointing at some other guy and talking about the dead racoon he’s storing in his large intestine. Never admit a fart, that’s one of the Bat’s rules to live by.

Oh yeah, congrats to the guy that co-owns the site, Wild Bill, for chopping that soft as molasses Harrahs weekly tournament he calls the Donkley. It must be a stable of donkeys for that nit to win.  Note to Wild Bill and Gene D:  move the Bat up the Gulf Coast Poker. Net blog list.

Odds and Ends

-Annie Duke is compared to Hitler.  Joan Rivers made the remark in the board room of Celebrity Apprentice.  Rivers then apologized to Hitler via Twitter for comparing him to Duke.

Annie Duke in the same episode bragged about her blow-job prowess.  Wonder if Hitler ever did that.

-Phil Ivy is reported to have dropped a million in Bobby’s room.  So sayeth Doyle Brunson via twitter.

-I need to get a twitter account.  How behind the times is the PokerBat if the wig-set, so old they’ve shed their blue hair, is twittering and I’m not.

-Recently, heard Gavin Smith refuse to call a tweet, a tweet, to him it’s a twit.  To me that makes sense, but did I mention 80 year olds are more cutting edge then me.  So maybe we are the twits.  It’s only a matter of time before I look blankly at a remote control and try and will the TV on with no success.

-Speaking of Gavin Smith, sad news on PokerRoad podcast.  Shronk, a producer on the show, and long time collaborator has passed.  My thoughts are with the gang on PokerRoad.  Joe Sebok blogged about that recently.

-The WPT Championship has started.  My money is on Shannon Shorr with something to prove this year.

-Lady Gaga’s Pokerface song has an explicit meaning.  It’s the look she makes when being with a man and fantasizing about a woman.  Which begs the question what look does she make when she’s with a woman and fantasizing about a man.  Oh?  I’ve just been informed by the most recent of the Mrs. PokerBat’s that doesn’t happen.  I will have to step away from this blog post for a second to confront this.

-I’m back.  Word of warning don’t ask who your partner has fantasized about.  It could surprise you.  Joan Rivers?  Really? 

-I hate big hands too.  This guy’s got a point.

China's Great Wall far longer than thought: surveyThe Great Wall in China is longer than previously thought.  Sure, the desert might have rolled over it and part of it might have been made by non-stone materials, but how do you miss 180 miles of wall? 

-Sometimes the most obvious of information is right in front of you but you chose to ignore it.   If he’s betting like he’s got the nuts–a lot of times he has the nuts.  Whether it is live or online poker sometimes the obvious answer IS the answer.

The Transparency Project

Once again I have to give kudos to a company that gets it.  Harvard University partnered up with bwin to track and study the root causes of online addiction to discover ways to prevent problem gambling.  For those of us familiar with the bright side of poker but more importantly the dark side of the game it’s a refreshing stance to be taken by an online poker site. 

Invariably, there were some critics who thought something smelled funny in a private study funded by an online gaming company.  To prove their motives were altruistic bwin and Harvard have tried to make their data open and available to other scientists.  In an effort to advance the empirical evidence and knowledge base of addictions, bwin will make available actual Internet gaming activity records.  Bwin seeks to accelerate their understanding of problem gaming and institute mechanisms to detect it early.

I made this comparison before but this is night and day from the studies done by cigarette companies in the 50s and 60s.  Then they used the studies to figure out how to addict people and did it in their own closed offices in military like top secret fashion.  Now, this study is being done out in the open, in partnership with Harvard, and it’s to prevent harmful habits rather than accelerate them.

I thought the cigarette companies were idiots from the beginning.  Their science shouldn’t have been researching how to addict their customers, it always should have been figuring out a way to make their product non-harmful.   Forty years of research may have discovered a cigarette that doesn’t inflict cancer, a filter that delivers the nicotine without the carcinogens, or any number of advances. 

However, I must be clear, I compare gaming to cigarettes only to reveal how different they are from one another.  Certain people struggle with gambling addictions but the vast majority of players can enjoy it responsibly at an even keel.  This study seeks to help and prevent the few that struggle with their compulsions from getting addicted and to foster a healthy gambling relationship with those that don’t struggle with it.

For those of us that play online poker, that have a conscience, efforts like this might relieve some of the survivor-guilt.  I personally don’t want to play somebody that can’t afford to lose what he’s gambling.  There is the saying a fool and his money are soon parted, so if not by me someone else will do it, BUT if the opponent has a problem that he can’t control I’d rather play someone else.  The fact that these players play poker online beyond their control still does not sit right with me.  Online poker should be about fun, making money off people that can afford to lose it, and wagering folks that are wagering for the right reasons.

It’s refreshing to see an online poker site that agrees with me.  Live casinos will boot a player that is so drunk he doesn’t know what he’s doing.  Some are winning but most are losing.  In the long run that’s a good policy.  In the short run the player may complain.  They also track problem gamblers and try to help them out.  Bwin doing the same is a great thing.  I love to scoop pots, I love to play bad players, but I don’t like to take from somebody that is playing  afford to give it.  Such a weird dichotomy for us poker players. 

On February 16th, Professor Howard J. Shaffer, Director, Divisons of Addictions, will participate in a discussion in Burssels hosted by the European Gaming and betting Association.    For more invormation visit  http://www.thetransparencyproject.org.

Situations to Fold Pocket Kings Preflop

1.  Never

2.  Never-Ever.

3.  Bet, Raise, Re-raise, Re-raise, Re-raise, action to you… maybe.

4.  On the bubble in a multi-table texas hold’me satellite.  Everybody wins the same prize if they survive the bubble and one person is knocked out.   Three shorter stacks are all in.  Each of them has you covered.  Looks like the two players behind you are going to ship it too.  They also have you covered.

5.  You’ve won more than you’ve ever had.  Everything you own is on the table, all of it, including your house note, your stocks, bonds, and savings, and number 3 happens.

You won’t find that in most strategy books or online strategy sections, like this one.

I’ve only folded them a couple of times…

In a cash game, I was deep and my opponent was deeper.  One of my better nights.  He bet, a couple of callers, I popped it.  He repopped.  I repopped. He pushed another couple of thousand in which would put all my chips in.  Hmmm.  My opponent was the embodiment of the tight stereotype.  You could call him ‘the nuts’ because he always had them when he shoved.  Never saw somebody snap off his bluffs because he didn’t bluff.  I turned them face up and mucked him.  He didn’t SHOW the aces but after I cooled off he and walked around the house a little bit.  He said he had them.

In a MTT, we were down to the money bubble.  A guy bet, I raised, another guy went over the top all-in, another guy went over the top all in.  The initial raiser followed suit.  If I folded I’d have plenty of chips for the money play.  To me one of them HAD to have Aces.  Two of them had me covered.  I wasn’t getting a 4 to 1 price.  I laid them down.  AA, 1010, QQ.  Flop brought a King.  Yeah… Still it was the right decision.

I gotten away from Kings plenty of times after a flop, even one that for all intents and purposes didn’t justify the agression of a player at a table, but really rare preflop.  Long run it’s a lose-lose situation.  Kind of like folding sets on non-textured boards. 

The ev is there.  For a helpful tool in calculating starting hands ev check out this site, bwin’s poker strategy as well.  If you don’t know what ev is, learn it.  Shorthand it’s the expected value of the hand.  Plus ev is good.  Negative ev is bad.  Kings have a strong plus ev from any position.

Trip to Porto

2009 promises to be a fun year. I only now became aware of an awesome opportunity for poker players that like to combine poker, travel and sports. Who doesn’t, right? Well, I know some of my peers like to travel to the Bahamas to play poker online all day. That’s fun. Get a wireless connection and stay in your room. At least maid and room service can convince you it’s no different than home.  Who cares if there is an island outside to explore.  And who needs sunlight, right?

For players that like to venture outside of their hotel rooms, bwin is debuting their new promotion the ”Magic Moment of Poker” 2009 that will offer players different opportunities to travel around Europe. Winners of online poker tournaments will get a prize package that will include a visit to a city in Europe, a sporting event, and a seat at a televised poker table. Not too shabby.

The first stop in this tour is a visit to Porto, Portugal. After taking in the sites of the Coastal city, the winners will get tickets to a game between two of the most illustrious soccer (er.. football) clubs in the country. The match takes place at Estadio do Dragao March 1st.

Touted as VIP accommodations, and surely a helping of old world charm, the stay should be just as fun as the poker. Bwin takes care of hotel, airfare, and meals. The entry into the tournament with a chance to win a seat in next November’s Vienna final will be the capper of the visit.

The trip gives travelers four days to see the sights, take in the game, and play some poker. The big three in Portugese soccer are Porto, Sporting Lisbon and Benfica, and even casual fans will enjoy the chance to see two of them engage in a 90 minute drama while sitting in the beautiful 52000 seat stadium. The rivalry over the years is so close that Sporting Lisbon only holds a three game advantage in the win column.

After the game, the winners will then head to their televised match up. Seems like a pipe-dream huh? Actually, bwin Poker is offering a series of online satellites to get there. Play online poker for some low stakes and you could be there.  The first step costs but $6. Even better bwin is offering $50 to the pirze pools of each tournament.

These are the days to play in the satellites:
Thursday January 15
Sunday January 18
Monday January 19
Wednesday January 21
Thursday January 22
Sunday January 25
Monday January 26
Wednesday January 28
Thursday January 29
Sunday February 1

The final will feature:
1st – Soccer package to Portugal valued at €3,150
2nd – $200 cash
3rd – $100 cash “

Good luck to anybody playing. And have fun in Portugal. I had a friend stay there, 10 years ago, for essentially a Worlds Fair, though I think its called something else like World Showcase, and he raved about it and the people.

Alpine Cup Finalists

According to bwin’s poker blog (http://www.bwinpokerblog.com/ ) focusing on online poker tournaments, bwin’s top three finishers in their December 27th Alpine Cup texas holdem finals are kingmemo36, Hydro8, and Don Cool. They, as the latest members of bwin, can claim their $8,000 online poker prize package and get a ski/snowboarding weekend fit for poker royalty. PokerNews teamed up with bwin to reward these guys with a package at the PokerNews Cup Austria.

The PokerNews Cup Austria is held at Salzburg’s Concord Card Casino. The winners that make up Team bwin have won accommodations in the posh Alpine Palace nestled in the awe-inspiring Austrian Alps. The bwin Team is in for a luxury trip combining first class poker with winter fun. How to qualify now! The qualifiers run from now to early Febuary.

Here is what the $8,000 PokerNews Cup Premium Package includes;
• 7 nights luxury accommodation at the 5 star Alpine Palace
• Buy-in to the PokerNews Cup Main Event and 1 side event
• Flights and spending money
• Ski pass for the duration of your stay
• VIP shuttle from Salzburg to Alpine Palace with return by helicopter
• The VIP treatment including a spa treatment and invite to the VIP Welcome Party

Kingmemo36, Hydro8, and Don Cool join previous winners mazlumb2, liverpool170, and mr.Schne for a fun-filled weekend. The action was fast and furious and it took a bad beat for the winners to get their prize money as badblatt61, the bubble boy, got it all in with pocket Queens only to have the dominated pocket 10s of Kingmemo36 set up on the flop. The set held and badblatt61 was bad beated and sent home. He got a final ticket and $241 in cash for 4th. The top three are jet-setting though.

Kingmemo36 ran well with pocket 10s as he also knocked out the fifth place finisher, Playboy Royal, with them too. Playboy had 8s and hit his set on the flop, but Kingmemo36 also hit his set and Playboy, who was the chipleader at the beginning of 5 handed play was drawing thin and then sent to the rail.

The Aussie Millions Winners

Unfortunately I did not advance deep  to the finals stages of the Aussie Millions to win the $18,000 play texas hold’em prize package offered on PokerRoom ( http://www.pokerroom.com/promos/right-now/aussie-millions-how-to.html).  However, I must send out my congratulations to those that did including ChipLieder85, AmazingRiver, and CorpseGR.

Can’t beat the systems or the variety of means to get there. ..  

You can start in the Lucky Dollar level, where $1.00 + $0.10 gets you a chance to advance to the next level playing Texas Holdem online, $15 +$1.50, and from there $69 +$6.  Win a seat there and it gets you into the equivalent of a $500 +$40 buy-in.  Remember how Chris Moneymaker won big at the WSOP, same principle to get there.  Shannon Shorr of the Gulf Coast started his career with qualifiers to the Aussie Millions and then crushed the field once he got there. 

You could also have won the Big Bounty event which paid the top two places with the $18,000 packages and give you the opportunity to win $100 for each Team PokerRoom member you knocked out.  Then there was the Mobile Millions online texas hold’em poker challenge (http://www.pokerroom.com/promos/right-now/aussie-millions-mobile.html), and coming soon the Leaderboard Challenge and the Sit ‘n Go Jackpot.  All great wins to win the prize package.  There is another qualifier starting tonight. 

I hope to play tonight.  I have had a good streak going on this site and think I can advance past the early levels.  I’ve seen how hard Will Souther is working on a similar structure and I know it’s a challenge.  But it’s a fun one.   Pretty soon, I hope to be reporting from Melbourne.  Just as long as my big cards hold and my little ones improve.