Author Topic: Poker (the card game)  (Read 1557 times)

Puce Moment

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Poker (the card game)
« on: May 03, 2020, 03:47:30 PM »
I am a long-time player of Poker - when I was a young kid it was 5 card stud with my cousins in Dublin, playing until 2am with bets rarely exceeding 20p. I got the bug and have played regularly ever since. In my last job there was a solid group of very enthusiastic poker players, so we met monthly with £20 buy-ins playing Texas Hold 'Em. These would also run-on until 2-3am, with a max £10 re buy-in. It was usually winner takes all, so on a couple of occasions I was able to take home upwards of £200. Lots of fun!

Nowadays I don't really have people close-by who want to play, so I end up watching poker videos and really wanting a seat.

Some of the videos are great. If you follow poker you will know people like hugely successful Phil Ivey, or the hilariously obstreperous Phil Hellmuth, and the irritating but supernaturally incisive Daniel Negreanu, the eccentric Scotty Nguyen, and one of my favourite players - Tom ‘Durrrr’ Dwan - who has the most eerie and consistent poker face.

There are so many videos to post, and I would be interested to see what others have enjoyed. Here is one of Negreanu calling hands from fucking nowhere:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jSfd-8ZteHw

Does anyone play online? I have avoided it because I simply could not imagine how horrible it would be to get addicted and in financial trouble doing something I have always loved.

Most of my threads are still-born little blue babies, but this one might creep through!

Re: Poker (the card game)
« Reply #1 on: May 03, 2020, 05:06:53 PM »
Yeah I really enjoy poker. Have been playing with friends via zoom and pokerstars every week for small buy ins. I find my success depends largely on how well I can not get distracted and not get wound up when doing badly/well. There's a huge thrill when you call something well and squeeze people out of the game. I've been thinking of reading up on it a bit and trying to get better, but it seems pretty daunting. Have also largely stayed away from playing online for the same reasons. Have been enjoying playing with a zoom call going as it makes it easier to watch players closely and watch for tells.

Re: Poker (the card game)
« Reply #2 on: May 03, 2020, 08:28:59 PM »
Used to play a lot with my mates, but I struggle to get a game together these days. It's almost as if we're all grown up and have responsibilities and that.

Online poker doesn't work for me. There's no skill element to it.

Re: Poker (the card game)
« Reply #3 on: May 03, 2020, 08:52:35 PM »
Used to play in a local pub game about 15 years ago when I lived with my parents temporarily. Won twice and pocketed a few hundred quid but it was more social for me if I'm honest. It's a great way for manly men to make friends.

I used to watch that cash game about a decade ago, the one presented by Gabe Kaplan and AJ Benza but haven't watched any poker in ages. Poker went through a boom phase around 2002 to 2008 and the popularity put me off a bit. I'm a TV poker early adopter having watched Late Night Poker on channel 4 in the late 1990s. By 2007 it felt like poker was as popular as snooker was in the early to mid 80s. The banning of internet poker in America put a big dampener on that.

Coincidentally I played a dry run online poker game with a few mates last night on something called Pokerrr 2, having not played any poker at all in at least a decade.

I did once play online poker but stopped after I struggled to cash out my 200 quid winnings. I immediately decided it was a scam and never played online poker again. I much prefer real life poker as the online experience is less fun, also last night the random number generator seemed to be spitting out card combinations I'm convinced would be a lot rarer with real cards. I don't trust algorithyms because who programmed it and what's their agenda?

Still, looking forward to having a crack at it again next week with real money. It's not poker without real money, I don't care what anyone says.

Re: Poker (the card game)
« Reply #4 on: May 03, 2020, 09:17:25 PM »
I started Uni in 2005, so not long after ‘The Moneymaker effect’ had kicked in and got obsessed by it all by about 2006. Watching, more than playing though, strangely. Played mostly recreationally with mates and the odd pub/uni tournament but loved watching it. Watched a lot of the high stakes poker stuff online and most of the channel 4 (I think) stuff at the same time. Loved listening to Jesse May and couldn’t believe nobody had ever brutally beaten Hellmuth at a live event. I’ve always thought I’d get back into it at some point, I loved reading about poker strategy and theory and stuff but never really committed to the online game as I never really had the patience for it.

I’ll have to have a look now and see how everyone from that era is doing. Last I heard, Devilfish was dead (presumably still is) and Chris Ferguson and Howard Lederer (amongst others) had been caught up in some big fuck off pyramid scheme. Out of the rest, used to always get a laugh out of Tony G (obviously a prick though) and found Daniel Negreanu insufferable. Laak and Esfandiari seemed like alright fellas.

Uncle TechTip

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Re: Poker (the card game)
« Reply #5 on: May 03, 2020, 10:15:47 PM »
Still, looking forward to having a crack at it again next week with real money. It's not poker without real money, I don't care what anyone says.

A bunch of friends and I have maintained a game on most Saturdays but never for money, just chips, I know what you mean and I'd love to take it up a level. I've looked at casino or bingo hall tournaments but it would need a group and there's only me who's that keen.

I too followed the pro game, names like Negreanu and Hellmuth tend to divide fans, Negreanu is super-friendly and talkative, Hellmuth has the Brat persona but both are very entertaining to watch and they are what the games need, instead of random hoodie guys. I followed the Channel 4 Pokerstars shows for years (love Stapes) and it was always frustrating that variance meant a whole different set of names would be at the final table each time. You can follow the invite games like Poker After Dark but that feels like too little jeopardy and too much mumbling chat. The professional scene is difficult to follow in that regard and a lot of tournaments worldwide are disappearing fast, even before all this business.

I played a lot online up to the US ban but I'd never play now - if the site itself isn't cheating you then other players will be, whether that's colluding, stabling and having an observer guide them in key spots, or just using the vast amount of history that people accumulate to get the exact profile of your style of play, what you do in certain spots, and have it relayed back to them in real time. It's just a software arms race and I imagine the use of AI is wider than people think.

During lockdown we've had a couple of online Saturday sessions and the easiest option I've found is https://playcards.live/ , no signing up or downloads, just straight into a configurable table setup for NLHE, formats well on any device although it doesn't have a representation of the table - and the usual complaints about the random number generator abound. Maybe a CaB match next weekend? It's been great fun but needs Zoom alongside.


Re: Poker (the card game)
« Reply #6 on: May 04, 2020, 09:43:01 AM »

I played a lot online up to the US ban but I'd never play now - if the site itself isn't cheating you then other players will be, whether that's colluding, stabling and having an observer guide them in key spots, or just using the vast amount of history that people accumulate to get the exact profile of your style of play, what you do in certain spots, and have it relayed back to them in real time. It's just a software arms race and I imagine the use of AI is wider than people think.

This is something I've recently become aware of, all the main poker sites allowing you to use software (which costs a bomb) to effectively give you stats/data analysis to help you win, and to help people play many tables at once. Fuck that. Nothing like having real people in front of you/or on camera .

Re: Poker (the card game)
« Reply #7 on: May 04, 2020, 10:20:35 AM »
Does anyone play online? I have avoided it because I simply could not imagine how horrible it would be to get addicted and in financial trouble doing something I have always loved.

I found Zynga Poker to be a perfectly fun way to play without any genuine financial peril, although you still get a fairly convincing simulation of the thrill/misery of a big win/loss. Of course in the large group games you always get wankers who ruin it by going all-in on every blind (or bizarrely try and flirt with any player they suspect may be female), but they tend to be less common in tournaments.

I'd consider myself to be a pretty good player when I'm comfortable, but I find actual live games in casinos to be incredibly intimidating. I still haven't gotten used to that.

Re: Poker (the card game)
« Reply #8 on: May 06, 2020, 11:55:39 AM »
I wonder what Jesse May is up to these days.

Re: Poker (the card game)
« Reply #9 on: May 06, 2020, 03:18:15 PM »
I find poker almost impossible to talk about online outside of poker specific forums because anyone who is serious about the game will come across as patronising or condescending when speaking to the vast majority of people who have dabbled in the game.

I want to talk about Equilibrium, Pure, Node lock, Range asymmetry, GTO, Monker/Pio, Triple peak polarization, Backdoor Rocko and on the other hand people say things like play money is a decent approximation of real poker.

Don't really know what my point here is except to say that I don't want to look like a wanker (in the process obviously making myself look like a wanker)

Re: Poker (the card game)
« Reply #10 on: May 06, 2020, 04:01:07 PM »
I find poker almost impossible to talk about online outside of poker specific forums because anyone who is serious about the game will come across as patronising or condescending when speaking to the vast majority of people who have dabbled in the game.

I want to talk about Equilibrium, Pure, Node lock, Range asymmetry, GTO, Monker/Pio, Triple peak polarization, Backdoor Rocko and on the other hand people say things like play money is a decent approximation of real poker.

Don't really know what my point here is except to say that I don't want to look like a wanker (in the process obviously making myself look like a wanker)

I can understand this to a certain extent, I've tried to read/watch videos about some of these things, but to be honest I don't think I have the right brain for it all. It's helped me make slightly more sensible decisions but I can't get into all the mathematical stuff and all the fucking overblown lingo.

Sure play money is not the same as real poker, but even real money poker isn't the same for everyone, someone with millions in the bank is effectively going to play a low stakes game in the same way they would a play money game right?

Re: Poker (the card game)
« Reply #11 on: May 06, 2020, 05:32:51 PM »
I can understand this to a certain extent, I've tried to read/watch videos about some of these things, but to be honest I don't think I have the right brain for it all. It's helped me make slightly more sensible decisions but I can't get into all the mathematical stuff and all the fucking overblown lingo.

Sure play money is not the same as real poker, but even real money poker isn't the same for everyone, someone with millions in the bank is effectively going to play a low stakes game in the same way they would a play money game right?

I hear you and you're right on the second point. But in reality people with millions in the bank don't play micro stakes poker for the very reasons you've outlined.

I'm not sure if my issue is poker specific or if it's like any walk of life. You see a number of people having a conversation about something you know a lot about, and you see how wildly people can blindly and happily misinterpret things.


Puce Moment

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Re: Poker (the card game)
« Reply #12 on: May 11, 2020, 04:10:50 PM »
It does seem like there are a few people here who play, or who do not mind low buy-ins and not so egregious blinds.

I personally do prefer using my own money, just because I find that kind of (low level) stakes makes me play better, and stops opponents just pulling silly all-in moves at the start of the game.

I struggle with playing online for the same reasons outlined above - I'm okayish at calling tells, especially players that have a strong hand or get a good flop. I'm also pretty decent at bluffing, usually covering a good hand. I don't have much in the way of terminology or player psychology, but that is something I would really like to know more about.

The one thing you get with great players is the ability to pull out of a rising pot when they are already committed with a decent amount of money. Throwing those cards away and moving on, rather than doubling down on a speculative/bluff high bet, is the sign of a really level-headed pro.

Dewt

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Re: Poker (the card game)
« Reply #13 on: May 11, 2020, 04:19:40 PM »
The trouble with online poker is that you need to assume everybody at the table is working with an odds calculator in hand, which destroys the margins. And any serious game in real life is going to have you up against people who have taken the time to get really good at the mental calculations involved.

Yeah, there's another, less mathematical game on top of all of that (a mix of tactics and reading people), but it's difficult to leverage it when the odds are transparent.

In the early-2000s I did okay-ish with online poker. Chucked it all in when somebody called my 200 quid all-in bet on a straight when they had a low pair. It was just us two and I was all-in, so the cards were face up as the turn and river gave him a full house (not sure if these were the exact hands, but it was this situation). Just felt pointless and defeating that if you ever made it to a high-roller table you're playing with coked-up rich dickheads chasing thrills, making the game too volatile to play sensibly. I was an idiot too though.

Re: Poker (the card game)
« Reply #14 on: May 13, 2020, 11:16:33 PM »
It does seem like there are a few people here who play, or who do not mind low buy-ins and not so egregious blinds.

I personally do prefer using my own money, just because I find that kind of (low level) stakes makes me play better, and stops opponents just pulling silly all-in moves at the start of the game.

I struggle with playing online for the same reasons outlined above - I'm okayish at calling tells, especially players that have a strong hand or get a good flop. I'm also pretty decent at bluffing, usually covering a good hand. I don't have much in the way of terminology or player psychology, but that is something I would really like to know more about.

The one thing you get with great players is the ability to pull out of a rising pot when they are already committed with a decent amount of money. Throwing those cards away and moving on, rather than doubling down on a speculative/bluff high bet, is the sign of a really level-headed pro.

I would guess that you are not decent at bluffing, since bluffing is much less about pretending your face / body lying and much more about working out what % of the time you should be bluffing vs having value and then working out the most appropriate hands to use as a bluff.

On the last point - you are perhaps correct but I'd suggest the opposite is more true. Understanding how to use stack-to-pot ration is crucial.

Re: Poker (the card game)
« Reply #15 on: May 13, 2020, 11:21:02 PM »
The trouble with online poker is that you need to assume everybody at the table is working with an odds calculator in hand, which destroys the margins. And any serious game in real life is going to have you up against people who have taken the time to get really good at the mental calculations involved.

Yeah, there's another, less mathematical game on top of all of that (a mix of tactics and reading people), but it's difficult to leverage it when the odds are transparent.

In the early-2000s I did okay-ish with online poker. Chucked it all in when somebody called my 200 quid all-in bet on a straight when they had a low pair. It was just us two and I was all-in, so the cards were face up as the turn and river gave him a full house (not sure if these were the exact hands, but it was this situation). Just felt pointless and defeating that if you ever made it to a high-roller table you're playing with coked-up rich dickheads chasing thrills, making the game too volatile to play sensibly. I was an idiot too though.

First point is definitely not true. Lots of people make lots of money playing poker online. In no way do you need to make any such assumption about the people you are playing with and in fact assumptions like that will most likely hurt your win rate. Though yes, if you play serious players they will be able to calculate odds in their head. Anyone who even takes the game remotely seriously can do this.

The psychological game is largely irrelevant, unless you count things like mental focus, game selection, avoiding tilt etc

On your last paragraph:

 - A pair cannot river a full house. He would have had 2 pair.
 - I would love to play on a high-stakes table with the people you mention, sounds great?

Re: Poker (the card game)
« Reply #16 on: May 13, 2020, 11:22:52 PM »
I know I look like a prick doing this but I guess it annoys me to hear people say things like:

"I'm good at this game"

And then prove that they don't know the rules or basic strategy.

I don't know why this annoys me.

Re: Poker (the card game)
« Reply #17 on: May 14, 2020, 01:39:30 AM »
The only time its okay to wear shades indoors?

Re: Poker (the card game)
« Reply #18 on: May 14, 2020, 09:36:20 AM »
I know I look like a prick doing this but I guess it annoys me to hear people say things like:

"I'm good at this game"

And then prove that they don't know the rules or basic strategy.

I don't know why this annoys me.

I'm enjoying the insights!

Just from my own reading/viewing over the last few weeks of playing the same small buy in game every week on zoom/poker stars, I've learned so much stuff I gave almost no consideration to previously. For example position on the table and how this should effect how you play hands, how frequently to bet pre-flop (this was happening very rarely in my game), ways to figure out approx odds in your head based on how many of each card you need remains, as well as the concept of blockers where you have cards your opponent needs in your hand and can use this to your advantage. I know this is all rudimental stuff. I have a lot more respect for the top players after learning how much preparation goes into each decision.

Is there anything particular you would recommend me read as a beginner in order to progress a bit without having to be too quick with maths/memorisation of stuff?

Re: Poker (the card game)
« Reply #19 on: May 14, 2020, 09:58:37 AM »
but even real money poker isn't the same for everyone, someone with millions in the bank is effectively going to play a low stakes game in the same way they would a play money game right?

You rarely get millionaires playing with normies for pennies. With real money is real poker. Without money and limitless moneyless buy ins is not poker. Poker is a terrifying game and the reason is because you could win or lose money. Anyone who can't grasp that mechanic doesn't understand poker in my opinion.

Re: Poker (the card game)
« Reply #20 on: May 14, 2020, 10:04:06 AM »
- A pair cannot river a full house. He would have had 2 pair.

Didn't he say turn and river? A pocket pair could full house on the last two turn cards.

Gurke and Hare

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Re: Poker (the card game)
« Reply #21 on: May 14, 2020, 10:15:21 AM »
On your last paragraph:

 - A pair cannot river a full house. He would have had 2 pair.

The text you quoted actually said "the turn and river gave him a full house".

Edit: as has already been posted. I didn't get the "someone else has posted" warning!

Re: Poker (the card game)
« Reply #22 on: May 14, 2020, 02:01:22 PM »
You rarely get millionaires playing with normies for pennies. With real money is real poker. Without money and limitless moneyless buy ins is not poker. Poker is a terrifying game and the reason is because you could win or lose money. Anyone who can't grasp that mechanic doesn't understand poker in my opinion.

My point wasn't really about millionaires though, just that there is a massive sliding scale of money in terms of how much it means to you and how it effects your play. Generally it's just going to mean that you play safer than you would if it wasn't real money though.

I play a weekly game for usually £10 buy in. I don't earn a lot of money but this is not a huge amount of money to me, It's nice to win, but it's not going to ruin my life if I lose. It's totally different if I stand to win/lose bigger amounts of money that effect me in some way. Likewise if you have built up a decent bankroll playing it's not going to be quite the same as if you're playing with your last few bucks. All I'm saying is that the game is different for everyone anyway. I'm not entirely sure but If I played my usual weekly game with no buy in I'd still probably play it roughly the same way, perhaps with a little less excitement. This is probably due to bragging rights/competitive spirit I have built up with my pals. I accept if you play online the play money games are usually full of idiots playing very loose.

Re: Poker (the card game)
« Reply #23 on: May 14, 2020, 02:15:24 PM »
Is there anything particular you would recommend me read as a beginner in order to progress a bit without having to be too quick with maths/memorisation of stuff?

The Theory of Poker - David Sklansky used to be well recommended when I first got interested in it all. That was about 15 years ago so not sure if its reputation now but might be a good starting place

Re: Poker (the card game)
« Reply #24 on: May 14, 2020, 03:32:49 PM »
I'm enjoying the insights!

Just from my own reading/viewing over the last few weeks of playing the same small buy in game every week on zoom/poker stars, I've learned so much stuff I gave almost no consideration to previously. For example position on the table and how this should effect how you play hands, how frequently to bet pre-flop (this was happening very rarely in my game), ways to figure out approx odds in your head based on how many of each card you need remains, as well as the concept of blockers where you have cards your opponent needs in your hand and can use this to your advantage. I know this is all rudimental stuff. I have a lot more respect for the top players after learning how much preparation goes into each decision.

Is there anything particular you would recommend me read as a beginner in order to progress a bit without having to be too quick with maths/memorisation of stuff?

Glad you are enjoying it and I think your comments show that you are getting to grips with the basics well and starting to look at more complex strategy which is really cool.

I would suggest that rather than reading, you watch youtube videos as they tend to be pretty engaging.

The biggest name is probably Doug Polk who combines being one of the best players of recent years with an entertaining style. He's actually quit poker now but his channel has a good backlog of Poker (Polker) Hands videos to go through.


Re: Poker (the card game)
« Reply #25 on: May 14, 2020, 03:33:24 PM »
Didn't he say turn and river? A pocket pair could full house on the last two turn cards.

I'm an idiot.

Puce Moment

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Re: Poker (the card game)
« Reply #26 on: May 14, 2020, 04:26:03 PM »
I'm an idiot.

I think we can control our anger to forgive you this time.

MojoJojo

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Re: Poker (the card game)
« Reply #27 on: May 14, 2020, 05:33:21 PM »
In the early-2000s I did okay-ish with online poker. Chucked it all in when somebody called my 200 quid all-in bet on a straight when they had a low pair. It was just us two and I was all-in, so the cards were face up as the turn and river gave him a full house (not sure if these were the exact hands, but it was this situation). Just felt pointless and defeating that if you ever made it to a high-roller table you're playing with coked-up rich dickheads chasing thrills, making the game too volatile to play sensibly. I was an idiot too though.

I watch Jorbs, a now full time twitch streamer who used to play online poker professionally. He has said one of the reasons he stopped doing online poker was that there were days where he wouldn't make any mistakes but would still end up tens of thousands of dollars down and it was very hard, psychologically, to deal with that.

Re: Poker (the card game)
« Reply #28 on: May 14, 2020, 07:04:35 PM »
It’s a shame really because it’s a game I’m really interested in but have never really played a lot outside of social circles. When I had the time to play online (in and just after uni) I didn’t really have the patience to multi table and, even if I had, didn’t see much value in the stakes I’d have been playing at. They’d have been too low to put enough people off playing recklessly and, while you can use this to your advantage at times, I couldn’t face spending hours grinding only to end up hitting bad beat after bad beat because people in the pot didn’t care about the money they lost. Live games were arguably worse. The odd pub competition was decent as an extension of the smaller social games I’d played but eventually tables ended up full of people who would just relentless sound off about what hands they put you on because they’d watched Phil Ivey for five minutes on pokertube.

Dewt

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Re: Poker (the card game)
« Reply #29 on: May 15, 2020, 01:34:25 AM »
I'm an idiot.
Yeah no shit.

My stated opinion is hardly original, as demonstrated by MojoJojo's post. Plenty of people saying the same thing, and it's been that way for well over a decade. Shit players exist but it's slim pickings at low value tables or sheer chaos if they're on the bigger money tables, in which case I hope you're bankrolled by a millionaire. The effort involved to be competitive is immense and it's a pretty low quality of life, sitting in front of a screen with 10+ tables open at once.

Keep learning the game though cacciaguida, with a bit more experience you'll be able to keep up with these conversations. It's great to have newbies beginners like yourself involved!

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