Posts Tagged ‘full tilt poker’


July 2011 Gambling Results

August 1, 2011

Maybe Black Friday was the best thing that could happen to me. For the second straight month, I killed the live small stakes games and turned a profit of $1500+. I certainly wasn’t turning that kind of profit online.

It’s been an interesting month for me. My cover is blown. I’m no longer a decent player that ventures into the casino a couple times a month. I play several times a week for many hours and when you crush a game consistently over a couple months people take notice. I think I’ve been a somewhat respected player for a long time, but this past month things elevated to a new level. Here are some of the things people have said about me:

“You’re the last person I wanted to see walk in right now.”

Opponent: “I have to raise.”
Other Player: “Yeah, but you’re raising the wrong guy.”

“Normally, I would call, but I’m not playing against you.”

“As far as I can see, this kid is the chalk. If I had to put my money on anyone, it’d be him.”

“Best player in the county.”

Ok… I can admit, it’s nice to hear things like that and quite an ego-boost, but there’s also a downside. I definitely don’t want to hear people saying, “normally I would call.” If people are adjusting when I’m in the game that’s never a good thing for my bottom line. I want them to gamble with me, not tighten up.

Also, as good as my results have been the past two months, I still have some severe leaks in my game. I don’t play a ton of $3-$6, but I’m starting to think I shouldn’t play it at all. I’m -1.65 BB/HR over 55 hours the past 3+ months in that game. I mostly play that game on Wednesdays to kill time between tournaments. Aside from the harsher affect of the rake and tipping on my win rate, the day game seems to play much tighter and passive than the night games… which means if I get stuck it’s much harder to get even and I can play a lot less hands profitably. It’s just not my kind of game.

Playing tons of hours over the past couple months has helped my steam factor quite a bit. In the past, I could start to tilt if I was down $50-$60 to start a session… but now, I understand the concept of a “it’s all one long session.” Many nights over the past two months, I’ve been stuck $200-$300 at some point only to show a profit by the end of the night. If the game is good, the variance is going to be a lot greater, but so is your chances of turning things around. If you’re stuck in a tight game with little action, you might as well go home. I’ve learned to take my beats in stride because the money comes back eventually.

Even so, I haven’t completely freed myself of the Tilt Monster. For the second straight month I had a 85+ big bet downswing in the final week, turning a spectacular month into a merely good one. I use the word downswing loosely, however, because I can’t blame it all on bad luck. During my past four sessions, I was mostly playing poorly. I’ve gotten used to my aces being cracked, losing to flushes and straights on the rivers, but when you’re continually losing to 2-5 outers on the turn and river, while missing your big combo draws all in the same session, it can be incredibly frustrating… and when I’m frustrated, I don’t play good poker. Frustration probably cost me about $400 over the past four days. It’s a leak that needs to be addressed, because like it can turn a great month into a good one, it can turn a winning month into a losing one.

Future Plans

With a decent bankroll built up, I’m looking at playing some bigger events. I’ll be playing the $300 NL event at Muckleshoot on Friday, September 9th, and I’m planning on going to The Fall Poker Round-Up in Pendleton, Oregon at the Wildhorse Casino in November. At the moment, I’ll be playing the first six events, but that’s subject to change based on how well I do the next three months and how much backing I can get.

July Results:

Overall Gambling: +$1791
Overall Poker: +$1875
Live: +$1568
House Games: +$307
Pit: -$84
$3-$6: -$40 over 22.66 hours
$4-$8: +$834 over 103.08 hours
NL: +$465 over 6.83 hours
Tournaments: +$418 (13 tournaments, 6 cashes, 2 1sts)

YTD Overall: +$4756.80


Check-Raise: The Road To Professional Gambling – June 2011

June 29, 2011

Poker is a cruel game. Even for the educated player, it can play tricks on your mind. For the uninitiated… good luck staying sane.

As many of you know, my goal this year was to make money gambling and through the first three months of the year, I had managed to eke out a profit, but it was almost entirely due to the rakeback I was receiving from Full Tilt Poker. You can read my update for the first three months here.

April changed everything for aspiring poker players when the FBI shutdown the three major online sites: Full Tilt Poker, Poker Stars, and Absolute Poker, making it impossible for players to gamble online in the United States. Of course, that happened just as I was realizing some of the major leaks in my game and starting to turn things around. I was already killing tournaments, but my cash game play was starting to come along as well. I had turned a profit in online cash games for the first time in many, many months. To make matters worse, I made my biggest tournament score of the year the day before Black Friday. So when the sites shut down and access to your funds became restricted, I happened to have significantly more money online than I usually do; and it’s still there.

With online play no longer an option, I turned to the local casinos, a bold move for someone trying to build a bankroll with limited money. I went from playing $0.50-$1 limit online to playing $4-$8 live, a significant jump in stakes even though the latter game is almost certainly much softer.

I had already identified cash games as a leak in my gambling. I previously noted how bad I was doing online, but my live stats weren’t much better. For the year, through April, I was down roughly $400 playing live cash games… plus in April alone, I was down $625 playing live period, whether it was tournaments or cash games. With online play no longer an option, my poker future was looking grim.

Then I went to jail for most of May. In jail, I read several poker books and came out on May 20th thinking I might have a shot at making money playing live poker. I only played for one week in May and 15 hours total and promptly managed to lose $298, logging my first losing month of the year. Also, on May 24th and May 25th, I managed to lose $450 in 3.5 hours of total play, such an absurdly bad run that I strongly considered quitting playing altogether. I was completely demoralized.

Being the gambler I am though, that notion didn’t last very long and I was quickly back in action in June. I got off to a hot start and by June 10th I was up $549 in the live game. Then, June 10th changed everything. I hit the Lightning Strikes Twice jackpot at Chips Casino for $1562 and had my best session of the year on top of that. By the end of the night, I was up $1809 total (after tipping the dealer $200 for the jackpot) and suddenly had a legitimate bankroll. By June 20th, including the jackpot hit, I had beat the live game for $3038 in profit. I felt unstoppable. I had a losing session here and there, but I was on a serious upswing, and my confidence was soaring. Unfortunately, the last week wasn’t so kind and is the reason I opened this post by saying how cruel poker can be. I’m down $715 in the live game over the past week and have felt completely defeated at times. Fortunately, I have the bankroll now to withstand this kind of big downswing, and at -89 Big Bets of my current limit, this isn’t even close to how bad it will be some other future time.

That’s the thing about poker that most people don’t understand. Even the best players are going to go through terrible streaks due to bad luck. It can be incredibly painful when it happens–which is not uncommon–but even a 200 Big Bet (-$1600 @ $4-$8) downswing is almost inevitable. But if you’re a good, winning player, luck always evens out in the end, and you have to win in the long run.

In total, I made $2406 gambling in June (more than at my day job). I got lucky with the big jackpot, but it was a great month besides that and now my goal to play for a living by 2013 seems plausible. Grinding it out at $4-$8 is going to be a long road, but now I have the bankroll to gamble with comfortably and never have to touch any of the money I actually work for. Also, if Full Tilt ever gets their shit together and cashes out their players, I’ll have a large enough bankroll to move up in stakes to $8-$16 and potentially double my hourly rate.

June Stats

Live play:
$3-$6: -$372 over 11.92 hours (-5 BB/HR) <— potential leak?
$4-$8: +$1342 over 85.67 hours (1.96 BB/HR)
+$1362 Lightning Strikes Twice Jackpot
+$164 in Tournament play
+$2496 total

Additional Gambling:
BlackJack Match Plays: +$15
Sports Betting: +$10
House Games: +$38
Side Bets: +$20

Overall Gambling since December 1st, 2010: +$3287.80


Check-Raise: My Journey From Spewy Amateur To Poker Professional – March 2011

March 31, 2011

It’s no secret that I fancy myself a poker player. I’ve been dabbling in the hobby for years now. Those of you that are familiar with my story know that I went on an insanely hot and extended run early in my poker career way back in 2005. I played my first hand of Texas Hold Em in August of 2004 and by June of 2005 I had a bankroll of $25,000. I was good, sure. I studied the game extensively, reading any book I could get my hand on and I thought about poker day and night, even when I was away from the tables. More importantly, I was absurdly lucky. I was making all sorts of mistakes when it comes to sustaining a bankroll. I’d move up two levels within the same session and happened to go on an upswing that lasted for three months through every level I tried. I wasn’t rolled for the levels I was playing, but it didn’t matter because I wasn’t losing. So when I did start to go through the inevitable downswings, I couldn’t afford them at the levels I was playing at and soon found myself struggling to get by financially. That was pretty problematic since I’d already quit my job and dropped out of the University Of Washington. Why bother going to class when I could be making $100 an hour gambling online? It was a fair question and even if my degree was within arm’s reach, what good was a college diploma going to do me if I was playing cards for a living? Needless to say, my early run of success completely blinded me as a poker player and practically ruined my life. Six years later, I’m still recovering from some of the damage I caused myself.

But poker never left me. Throughout the years, I’ve had a lot of minor successes. I’ve always been a good tournament player and every once in a while I’ll pull off a huge, life-saving cash in a big tournament. Then I’ll be rolled for a couple months until I blow it all back in cash games. This has pretty much been my poker career since my year as a moronic “pro.”

Yet, for some reason, I’ve always thought of myself as a good player… but that’s total bullshit. Whatever minor successes I may have had playing cards over the past five years has been completely negated by my alcoholism or severe leaks in my poker game. I might deposit $50 online and grind my way to a $600 bankroll, go out for drinks one night, come home plastered, wake up the next day, log on to my poker account and see my balance sitting at $0. This happened on several occassions. Why can’t they make an interlock system for computers?! I would have saved thousands over the years. With alcohol mostly out of my life for the past three years (I relapsed for about 8 months), I can no longer blame drunkenness for my inability to maintain a bankroll. I have roughly three years of sobriety since January 2008, but I’ve been a consistent loser during that time. I might have a month or two of profit here and there, but I recently purchased some online tracking software and my cash game results over the past couple years are alarming. They are terrible.

So with all this in mind, I made a vow to myself that in 2011 I would make money gambling. I don’t care how much I win, I just don’t want to be a loser anymore. I’ll save my goal to be a professional for 2013. Right now, I just want to slowly turn this ship around. So far, so good.

First off, let me make a disclaimer. For absurd reasons, gambling online in Washington is illegal. The sites I play on enforce this law. I will be making references to my “online” results frequently in my blog posts. THESE RESULTS SHOULD NOT BE TAKEN SERIOUSLY. ALL ONLINE RESULTS I POST ARE EITHER A FIGMENT OF MY IMAGINATION OR FOR PLAY CHIPS ONLINE. I INCLUDE THEM WITH MY OVERALL RESULTS BECAUSE… UHHH…. IT MAKES ME FEEL GOOD.

I have tracked my results sporatically for years now, but I’ll usually lose interest when I start to go through a rough patch or I don’t like what I’m seeing anymore. I can’t say I have a lot of big losing months saved on my computer anywhere… but most of my really good months can be easily located. This year, I decided it’s best to be honest with myself. Starting in January, I’ve tracked every single aspect of gambling that I’ve done: from “online” gambling, live cash games, local tournaments, house games to pit games, sports betting, and personal wagers. If I bet someone $5 that they can’t eat a certain jalepeno pepper, I’m logging that bet somewhere. I know EXACTLY how well I’ve done since the start of 2011 and my results are promising.

I’m currently on a four month winning stretch that started with a +$528 month in December. Here are my 2011 results:

January: +$71.91
February: +$212.68
March: +$129.16

Total: +$413.75 (+$941.75 including December)

Pretty modest numbers, but mission accomplished so far. I’m making money gambling, consistently. Even so, those results are disappointing if we do a little more number crunching. Here are some other notable facts:

*I’m up $792 in live tournaments in 2011. I’ve played 16 tournaments and cashed in 7 of them for a 44% in the money rate. Even more ridiculous, I’ve finished in the top three 6 of the 7 times I’ve cashed and I have 3 wins. I’m destroying live tournaments.

*I’m up $666.45 in online tournaments in 2011. I’ve cashed in 60 of 361 tournaments I’ve played (16.6%). My biggest cash is for $360, so I’m yet to get that huge score I’m anxiously waiting for. I’ve done well in online tournaments for the year, but I’ve had some incredibly bad luck so far. I usually have something absurd happen to me in the very late stages of big money tournaments.

*I’ve made $474.14 in rakeback in 2011. Rakeback is a feature offered on some poker sites. Every pot you play gets raked and Full Tilt Poker offers 27% rakeback, so once a week, I get a depost into my account for rakeback.

*Between tournaments, rakeback, and live cash games (~+$179), I’ve made about $2110… yet I’m showing a mere $400 profit for the year.

The conclusion: When it comes to online cash games, I AM THE WORST PLAYER ALIVE. To be specific, I’m down roughly $1500 playing cash games online and I’ve spent most of March trying to figure out what exactly I’m doing wrong. I started reading my fixed limit books again and I tried to focus on playing one limit only: $0.50-$1… and I had success. I showed an $83.85 profit at that limit for the month of March. Unfortunately, I didn’t start this plan until the 4th of the month and I’d already done severe damage to my bankroll by then. I also strayed away from my plan later in the month. For instance, tonight I decided to play one table of $2-$4 and got unlucky on back-to-back hands in my first orbit. A crushing start to a game I shouldn’t even be playing. Of course, I tilted after that and blew 100 big bets of my current limit before I swallowed my pride and left the table. In 40 minutes, I lost more money in one session of $2-$4 than I made all month grinding it out at $0.50-$1. It’s these kinds of scenarios that have kept me from sustained success: poor bankroll decisions, playing too many tables, steaming/tilting when I get unlucky, chasing losses, and running absurdly poorly when I do take a chance. Even though I was more restrained in March than I’ve ever been–78% of the hands I played were at the $0.50-$1 fixed limit level–I still managed to show a big loss in online cash games. In the 22% of hands I played outside my preferred limit I lost $663. Talk about a painful lesson in bankroll management… but at least I’m making sure I see it… and I proved I could make a profit if I stick to my guns and play the limits I should be playing.

A third of the way through 2011, I feel decent about my chances to be a successful poker player. I’ve shown a tremendous flair for winning tournaments, both online and live, and revisiting some poker literature really helped my live cash game out this month. I had a rough patch the past couple days that turned a great month into a merely good one, but I see good things ahead in that respect. I still feel like I’m swimming upstream, fighting my inability to win playing cash games online. Despite all the success I’ve had, my profit margin is small and I can blame it entirely on getting destroyed in online cash games… but it’s a leak I’m working and my big goal for April 2011 is to a show a profit in the online games. If I can turn that around for good, my modest profits will start to turn into substantial ones and I’ll be well on my way to achieving my 2013 goal.

Other notes:

*I’m up $13.70 in house games… playing for change with my dad, my brother and his friend.

*I’m stuck $25 in the pit (all from BlackJack) year-to-date. I avoid The Pit like The Plague, but Chips Casino in Bremerton offers a $5 and $10 Match Play on Wednesdays and turns a few hands of BlackJack into highly profitable bets. Unfortunately, I fall for the trick and keep playing after using my coupons. Stupid.

*I lost $122 on the NCAA tournament this year. RAPED.


Poker: September 2010 Results

September 13, 2010

This is a bit premature, but I self-excluded myself from playing online poker for the rest of the month, so it’s not going to change much. Here are the results:

Starting Bankroll: $109.75
Ending Bankroll: $0.04
Net Profit: -$100.71
Deposits: $25
Cash Outs: $100
Transfers: $0
Rake Back: $35.71 (through Sept. 10th)
Bonuses: $50
Tournaments: +$69.20
Cash Games: -$341.33


-I went busto on September 2nd and had to deposit money for the first time in ages. I put in $25 and got about $20 in rake back and built that $45 up to a peak of $366 within a week.

-I only cashed in 3 of 23 online tournaments I played before banning myself, but all of them were final tables. My best showing was 1st of 135 for +$149.50.

-When my bankroll reached $366, I decided to do something rare: cash some out.

-After my cash out and a couple days basically treading water, I decided to take a shot at a $100 buy-in NL cash game. This was 10x higher than I was usually playing and it seems whenever I decide to take a shot, the Gods punish me for it. The pivotal hands:

—I have Tc8c in the BB and someone raises it to $5. I’m going to fold if it folds around to me, but the SB calls and I decide to take a flop. The board comes T83 with two hearts. SB checks and the opening raiser has about $42 left and my objective is to get as much of it as possible. I figure if he has an overpair, I’m stacking him no matter what. If he has unpaired high cards, he might not call if I bet, but he’ll likely make a continuation bet if it checks to him and maybe even price himself in. Since checking seems to make me more money, that’s what I do. He goes all-in. Yay! The small blind calls $42. Boo! Not what I was hoping for at all. What does this guy have? I go into the tank for a bit… It’s really unlikely that he has TT or 88 since I have two of those cards and two of them are on the board… 33 is certainly a possibility, but I convince myself that it’s probably a big heart draw. Since I’m playing way over my head, the safe play would be to fold, but if I end up folding the winning hand, I’m not going to forgive myself. Since I think my hand is good, calling is out of the question, and I go all-in for $108. The SB calls and shows AhKh and the 4h comes on the turn and I don’t fill up. $270 pot and roughly 40% of my bankroll gets shipped to him.

—After that last beat, I decide to call it a night, but I can’t sleep at all because I’m steaming so bad. So I get back online and sit down in the same game looking to make my money back quickly. After a few hands, I pick up KK and make it $3.50 to go. Someone re-raises me to $10.50. Ugh. Am I really going to be up against aces right now? The button calls him. It folds back to me… only one hand has me beat, but do I believe it? I decide to go Matt Damon in Rounders and just shove it all-in for $100+. The re-raiser folds, which is great, but the button calls, which is shocking. What does this guy have that he’d play that way? Amazingly, he shows 22 and before I can even get over the shock of seeing his hand, he spikes a set on the flop, and stacks 70% of my remaining bankroll. Unbelievable. I’m playing on a Rush table, so I don’t even get the satisfaction of being able to berate him for such a horrendous play.

—I’m down to like $45 and take it to same $100NL game and decide that I’m getting it all-in at the first sane opportunity. After a few spots where my opponents fold, I pick up AQ and get one caller with position on me. I bet the pot on an A high flop and he calls. I get it all-in on a blank turn and he shows a flopped set and I’m busto for the second time this month.

-I played live for the first time in a loooooooong while. I went into Bremerton Lanes to see if they had a tournament and it was super dead. There were about five people waiting around in a live game and I decided to sit down against my better judgement. I bought in for $100 to play $4-$8, to kill the hour before the tournament, and basically just dwindled. I won two pots and they were both small and I never picked up any big hands. Lost $66.

Highlights from the live tournament:

—blinds @ 50-100 on deep stacks. One person limps, I limp with 66, SB calls, BB raises to $600. First limper folds, and since we are on deep stacks and I know this player will dump if I spike a set, I call. SB folds and the flop comes 953. He checks to me and it looks like a bet, but I’ve played with this guy before and I don’t think he’d make that raise w/out a pair, so I check behind and take one off. Turn is a 2 and he bets $800. I’m still pretty sure he has an overpair, but his check on the flop leaves enough doubt that I speculate with a call, plus I should have six outs, position, and some other river cards I might be able to bluff with. River is gin: a four peels off. No flush on board, so I’m sure I have the nuts. He leads out for $1000, which looks like an ace. I doubt he’d make that bet with KK/QQ/JJ, so I expect to get paid off and raise it to $2700, hoping he might even re-raise. He just calls and I’m surprised when he tables 99 for top set. hahaha… sorry buddy! Nice pot for me. It’s a pretty odd river call for him, but sometimes I think people need to show how bad of a beat they took… and I appreciate it!

—blinds @ 200-400. UTG goes all-in for about 1900 and I’m UTG+1 with AA and about $12K. I decide to just call because some players behind me have been raise happy. Everyone folds except the small blind, who calls also. The flop comes AT9 with two hearts. SB checks to me and even though I have top set, a bet is in order because that board is super draw-friendly. I bet out $1500 and the small blind becomes exasperated. I’m all for the cooperation play in a lot of spots, but this is not one of them. After throwing a mini-fit, he says “Fine, I’ll all-in” and raises about $7500 more. Hahahahhahaha. I call and flip over my aces and he tables QQ and walks away sonned.

—blinds @ 300-600. I pick up AA and raise to 1500. I have over $20K at this point and a player behind me has even more chips. We are easily the chip leaders at the table. He’s been really raise happy and doesn’t disappoint when he makes it $5500 to go. It folds around back to me and I go into acting mode. I count my chips, see how much I’d have left if I call and fold later, basically trying to sell AK or some other hand… After a minute or so, I go all-in and he instacalls and shows JJ. I hold and I have an enormous chip lead. I got chastised by a couple players after this hand, including my opponent. Some of the comments: “he had to think about that one” — “yeah, he must’ve been worried I had a set” etc. Uhhh… okay noobs. If I shove all-in without thinking about it, my hand range can be narrowed down pretty easily. I know if I had JJ in his spot, I would fold it. Hell, I wouldn’t have re-raised in the first place. Maybe my acting job didn’t play a role at all and he would have spewed with JJ regardless, but there’s certainly no rule that says if you have aces you must reraise as soon as possible.

—Per usual, when I get a huge chip lead, I get card dead for a long time and eventually dwindle down to an average stack. I make the final table with a good amount of chips, but all my opening raises get shoved on and I have to fold my attempts to steal the blinds.

—Busto hand: blinds are 2000-4000 and I have about $21K. Two people limp in, SB calls, and I have AT in the BB. I have enough chips left behind that the limpers can’t call me without fear and the limps indicate there isn’t a lot of strength out there, so I shove and take my chances. First person folds, but the second hesitates for a bit, sighs, and decides to call. She tables 99 and flops a set. GG. 7th place for money back. Laaaaaaaaaaaame.

Another shitty month… but on the bright side, I cashed out more money than I put into gambling this month, so my wallet actually saw a profit. I keep saying that playing above my bankroll is one of my biggest leaks, but I don’t think it’s wrong to take shots. I don’t want to grind it out for nickels and dimes and no one makes it big by playing it safe. It would just be nice if one time I took a shot something ridiculous didn’t happen. Sigh. Until next month….


August 2010 Poker Results

September 2, 2010

Disclaimer: Since I live in a state where gambling online is illegal everything I’m about to post is clearly a figment of my imagination. I’m a law-abiding citizen.

I started viciously tracking my results this past month in an effort to improve my game and be honest about my results. When it comes to gambling, unless you happen to make a huge score in a tournament, it’s a daily grind that features a lot of ups and downs along the way. In the past, I liked to start tracking my results after a good day and then suddenly lose interest when things turned sour. This past month, I confirmed a lot of what I have long suspected have been leaks in my game. Here are my results:

Starting Bankroll: $163.41
Ending Bankroll: $109.75
Net Profit: -$53.66
Deposits: $0
Cash Outs: $0
Transfers: $0
RakeBack: +$243.49
Tournaments: +$254.98
Cash Games: -$552.13


-My bankroll peaked at $716 on August 19th. I combined terrible luck with poor bankroll management and sketchy play over the last two weeks of the month, resulting in a horrid stretch that left me in the red for the month.

-My cash game results are terrible and represent the biggest inconsistency in my poker game. I can dominate for long stretches of time, but if there’s one thing I’ve noticed about myself it’s that I tend to implode when I start to hit a bad run. I never seem to have a minor losing stretch, I always compound my bad luck with horrible decision-making.

-I played 61 tournaments in August, with an average field of 586, and cashed in 14 of them, which gave me a respectable 23% In The Money rate.

-My biggest cash was a net profit of $363.73 for a 7th place finish in $3.30 No Limit rebuy tournament that had a field of 1,761 players.

-I went on a sick tournament streak in the middle of the month. I cashed in 10 of 17 tournaments over five days, including five final tables in a wide variety of games (3rd in HORSE, 5th in Pot Limit Omaha, 1st in Stud, 3rd in NL, and 7th in NL+rebuys). During this stretch, I made $555.94 playing tournaments.

Goals For September:

-Limit my cash game play even though it’s how I build rakeback. I obviously lost more playing them than I made in rakeback.

-Take some days off.

-Make at least one big tournament score.

-Have a winning month!


Full Tilt Rush Poker

May 14, 2010

I recently received a comment on my blog asking what happened to me and why I haven’t been posting, specifically about poker, which has dominated my blog topics over the past few months:

1) I dropped out of college in my last quarter at The University Of Washington in 2005 and finally got around to taking my last two classes this quarter at Olympic College. I cut down my hours at work, banned myself from playing poker on Poker Stars, and obviously haven’t spent any time on my blog. I just want to focus on school for a few months to avoid making the same mistakes I’ve made in the past. I will finally get my UW degree in June 2010.

2) In addition to my self-banning from online poker, my favorite local card room recently closed down. I’ve taken some heat for calling Bremerton Lanes my favorite card room because I have made friends with dealers at both Chips Casino and All-Star Lanes. The thing is, I don’t care much for the live games anywhere. Between the rake and the low limits, it’s just too hard to grind out a consistent profit. I think the games are beatable, but the edge is pretty small and not really worth the time it takes to make money, plus I don’t really have a bankroll at the moment and any significant losses are always damaging to my bill-paying abilities! With that said, the reason I really enjoyed playing at Bremerton Lanes was solely because of their great tournament structure. Unfortunately, those kind of structures aren’t beneficial to a small card room. They take too long to complete, which lowers the amount of time rake is being dragged from the live game and increases the amount of time the casino has to pay extra dealers. That simple formula has led to the demise of the Bremerton Lanes card room, which hosted tournaments that I often blogged about. All of the other casinos employ a speed-style tournament structure, which I find to be a waste of my time and money most of the time. There is skill involved in these tournaments, but the luck factor is increased exponentially.

I may have banned myself from playing on Poker Stars, but I recently put money onto Full Tilt Poker and discovered that they have developed a completely new style of playing the game called Rush Poker. It’s really an innovative and ground-breaking concept and Howard Lederer is right to say “it will revolutionize the way poker is played.” Here’s the concept: Instead of having set tables with players fixed at a particular seat, Rush Poker starts you at one table and then moves you to another one as soon as you fold your hand or complete your action at the current table. The concept works for both tournaments and cash games. For example, in a cash game, a set limit has one game that you can enter and you can have a player pool of, say, 90 players. As soon as you fold your hand or complete your action, you’re just moved to another table ready to start the next hand. Position is no longer fixed and the big blind is determined by the player at a table who has gone the most hands without having to post a big blind.

Here are some of the pluses I’ve noticed in my short time playing Rush Poker:

-you can still have multiple entries into the same game for those used to multi-tabling
-you see way more hands per hour
-the action is super face-paced, so players with patience issues will probably find themselves with better hand selection
-if you take advantage of rakeback, you will see a significant increase in how much you get back because you receive money back for every pot you were dealt a hand in that gets raked, even if you are long gone from the table

The only cons I’ve noticed so far is that your familiarity with players will decrease. This doesn’t matter much in a fixed limit structure, but can be critical in a no limit cash game or the late stages of a big tournament.

(note: after writing this, I thought of another con. It seems like Rush Poker is limited on what stakes it offers. The highest limit game I see offered is $0.50-$1. I’m hoping this an oversight on my part, but I just don’t think I’m that stupid. Hopefully, this will be fixed in the near future.)

Since my hours are down at work, I don’t really have a lot of money to gamble with at the moment, but I took a mere $18 and turned it into $114 within a few hours of multi-tabling $0.25-$0.50 and $0.50-$1 fixed limit Rush Poker. During the day, the limit games are pretty full, but when I came home after work and wanted to play, they were completely dead. So I tried my first hand at no limit Rush Poker (which was still booming, even at that late hour) and wasn’t nearly as successful. In fact, I got crushed. As I said in the previous paragraph, having an idea of how the people at your table play is critical in a no limit format and playing Rush Poker hopping from one table to another, you really don’t get a feel for what the people around you are capable of and mostly have to play your hands for value, which is not how I prefer to play no limit poker. I had such a bad night that I nearly squandered all my winnings from earlier in the day, but fortunately, I managed a 7th place finish in a $3.30 rebuy Rush Poker tournament and ended the night right about where I started.

Anyways, I’m sort of in love with the concept of Rush Poker and I’m hoping it brings even more players back to the online game. Between the Rush format and rakeback, I’m excited about what’s going to happen to my bankroll over the summer.