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Blogs, Poker, Training Videos, and a Hostage Situation

I didn't play any poker last night. My youngest is still not sleeping leaving me a little groggy at times. Although I could have played some poker at 10:30 PM last night, my head was a little sore and my eyes were pretty tired. So I played some Lost Odyssey instead.

But I am still very much in "poker" mode. After the jump, I've got a new blog for all of you to check out, a poker hand or two (I'll see what I've got), a preliminary review of Harrington on Cash Games Vol. 1, a "hostage" situation, and an update on my Zune/iPod poker training video search.

What do you get when you cross The Onion with poker? The answer is Melted Felt (though I should also give props to Tripjax for his Onion-esque articles).

Melted Felt is a well-written and funny blog containing a bunch of hilarious articles. Melted Felt tackles many diverse issues such as Russ Hamilton and the UB scandal, Level 38 thinking, and poker blogs. Funny, funny stuff! There's so much to check out at Melted Felt that I urge all of you to go take a look.

Harrington on Cash Games...let's see...

What's good? General NL concepts and big hand vs. small hand considerations.

What's bad? Hand examples (especially in Chapter 3), the constant use of a wrist watch to dictate what action to perform, the overall nitty style of gameplay guaranteed to leave most online players scratching their heads, and a poor understanding of short-stack play and mentality.

Once again, let me just re-iterate that many live cash game theories and concepts do not translate well into the online arena. Many online players are aggressive, ruthless, fast, smart, and willing to gamble. Limping UTG with AKs when the second hand on my watch is between the 45 second and 60 second mark seems ludicrous to me. Am I wrong here?

I guess I should also mention that I don't wear a watch so maybe the Harrington book was not written for one such as myself.

Here's a hand that I played the other night at Full Tilt (rakeback available). I'm sure many of you have been in this situation: you flop the nuts and someone bets into you. Do you raise? Or do you flat call in the hopes of getting even more money (i.e. the greedy bastard approach)?

Full Tilt Poker
No Limit Holdem Ring game
Blinds: $0.50/$1
6 players

Stack sizes:
Villain (UTG): $49.65
UTG+1: $154.80
CO: $14.60
Hero (Button): $100
SB: $135.65
BB: $20.95

Pre-flop: (6 players) Hero is Button with T♠ A♠
Villain raises to $2, 2 folds, Hero calls, SB calls, BB folds.

(Villain was a fish (56% VP$IP, 0% PFR). I could have re-raised from the button; however, Villain hadn't raised in over 60 hands so I decided to flat call. Players in the blinds were both pretty loose too so I didn't mind playing a family pot.)

Flop: Q♠ 2♠ J♠ ($7, 3 players)
SB checks, Villain bets $3, Hero calls, SB folds.

(I flopped the nuts! Now what? My options were to raise or call. I opted for the call because I wanted to keep the SB in the pot. I was just hoping that either Villain or SB had the K♠.)

Turn: 6♠ ($13, 2 players)
Villain bets $8, Hero raises to $16, Villain folds.
Uncalled bets: $8 returned to Hero.

(The fourth spade hit on the turn. When the Villain bet, I hoped that he'd hit the flush. Just in case, I went for the min-raise to string him along to the river where I'd either make a large raise if Villain bet or 1/2 - 3/4 pot value bet.

Unfortunately, the Villain insta-folded. I guess he didn't have a spade. The fourth spade hitting the turn completely killed my action. I misinterpreted the Villain's pre-flop raise, flop bet, and turn bet as being representative of strength instead of haphazard probe bets.

I don't mind my line given the presence of a somewhat loose SB on the flop. If we'd been heads-up on the flop, I would have probably raised the pot in the hopes that the Villain would put me on a draw or as simply defending a hand like top-pair. A raise on the flop would also get more money into the pot before a fourth spade kills any further chances to make money.)

Final pot: $29

In other news, PokerTime has decided to screw me over. They gave me $10 to use at their tables. I ran that up to $70 and tried to withdraw: no good.

I then deposited some of my own money from my Moneybookers account. I was hoping that the transaction had been denied because I'd never deposited using Moneybookers. Once again, my transaction was denied.

I contacted PokerTime support and finally receive an answer today. It seems that PokerTime does not allow any withdrawals until their players have earned 50 poker points at PokerTime's exclusive super user account "green" tables. Are you f*cking kidding me?! I even offered to reimburse the original $10 bonus that they had given me and simply withdraw my earnings and my recent deposit. As of right now, I believe that this is a no-go as well.

PokerTime is now holding $80 of my money hostage. I guess I'll have to go free my funds by facing off against POTRIPPER and friends. Who knows - maybe I'll get my money out more or less intact?

I'll keep everyone posted on any new developments to this completely uninteresting story.

I found a pretty good site that reviews the big poker training video sites out there: pokertrainingguide. It's a real site, it's good, and this is not an advertisement! Normally these types of site are crap but pokertrainingguide actually contains useful and valid information.

In any case, I found out that PokerSavvy has DRM-free downloadable videos that are iPod compatible. Is there anyone out there who can confirm this for me? I asked Foucault if he knew anything about this since he recently did some videos for PokerSavvy.

If I can download videos to a portable device, the only other questions I have is: How easy or hard is it to see what's happening at a poker table in a video being played on a tiny screen? I believe that most of the value from poker training videos comes from listening to the instructor describing the action and his thoughts; I'd still like to see the cards and chip counts though.

If any of you reading this have ever played a poker training video on an iPod or Zune, could you please leave a comment describing your thoughts on the subject? I'd appreciate it.

That's it for today! Have a good one!


actyper said...

Hey Klopzi,

Thank you for the kind words on pokertrainingguide. Pokersavvyplus definately has drm free videos that you can download and play on your ipod, I actually do that myself. Deucescracked is the same as well. They come in .m4v format. When playing on the ipod, its sometimes hard to see exact numbers, bet sizes etc, but the rest of it is pretty clear. Limited to single table videos due to screen size though. Let me know if you have any questions, but both savvy and deuces offer 7 day free trials where you can dl and try them out yourself first.

Riverrun said...

Thanks for the shout out!

We have worked very hard on PokerTrainingGuide and love when we get this kind of feed back. We saw a need for real information in the training market place and decided to step up and fill the void. We just launched a free PokerVT membership contest (30 mins ago) so stop by and throw your email in the hat and see if your lucky.

Thanks again for the feedback. Feel free to delete this.

Klopzi said...

actyper/riverrun -

Thanks for the information. Finally I have a definitive answer. I'll definitely check out both PokerSavvy and DeucesCracked once I've picked up a Zune.