Monday, April 27, 2009

30-60 Holdem, Other Games Returning to the Bike?

I played 30-60 limit holdem at the Bike this past week, and the game was also spread at least two other times since then. This is the first time in months that the Bike has had anything between 20-40 and 200-400. It's a welcome sight to me, because although I do not have to play in games bigger than 20-40 limit, I usually have the option to do so. If I were playing on my own (rather than propping for the Bike), I think I would be playing 40-80 limit mostly. The competition is actually often worse at 30-60 and 40-80 than at 20-40, because the worst players from the 20-40 game are actually the most likely to move up in stakes. In particular, these are often the extremely wealthy people who come to blow off steam but have no patience for trying to play well. I think they just like the comraderie of the game and the excitement of gambling.

Meanwhile, some other new games have been spread at the Bike the past couple of weeks. The most successful is a $100-$300 buyin NL game that has replaced the $100 fixed buyin NL game. It still uses 2-3 blinds, but now players can buyin up to $300. Obviously, this game overlaps with the $200 NL game, which has indeed suffered. Usually, in the afternoon there have been about four $100-$300 and one $200 NL game, although there have been as many as ten $100-$300 NL games at once.

Another thing I'm keeping my eye on is an effort to convert the 20-40 stud hi-lo game into a mixed game combining that and Omaha hi-lo. Hollywood Park has been spreading this exact mix game for years now, and supposedly they often have two games a day (as they did last time I was there). So far I haven't seen this mixed game get started, but other mixed games have occassionally been spread at the 15-30 limit level. For example, I played a badugi-razz mix for two hours two weeks ago, a badugi-razz-holdem-2/7 triple draw the next day, and a badugi-razz-stud hi/lo-2/7 triple draw this week (I won $580 total). I tend to do well in these mixed games. I like to think that it's because I have a good understand of genreal gambling/poker theory, but for the amount I've played, the results depend mostly on luck.

Friday, April 17, 2009


I've mentioned my disdain for the jackpot promotions in poker rooms quite a few times in this blog. As I was complaining to my brother this weekend, nobody will be willing to listen to my complaints anymore, as I won a jackpot for over $20k on Friday (the 10th) around 3pm. Then, on Tuesday, the jackpot was hit again at my table, and I won an additional $1477 for the table share. I've calculated that I've contributed between $5k-$10k to the jackpot drop since I started, so I'm now up a considerable amount. I still think the jackpot is stupid. Anyway, here's how it happened:

I was in the big blind, playing 6 handed. The first player limped, the second player (Joel, a host for the $500 NL game), raised, and everyone folded to me. I reraised with QQ, the limper folded, and Joel called. The flop was A86, and I bet (not my standard play, but I think it was okay against Joel, who I think is more likely to call me with a pocket pair than to try to bluff my with one). Joel called. The turn was another A. I checked, Joel bet, and I called (I had the jackpot possibility in mind at this point, but I likely would have called anyway). The river was a third A. I sat straight  up a bit in surprise. Again, I checked, Joel bet, and I called. 

"I hope you have it," said Joel, but I wasn't sure if he meant he hoped I had the A (he could have been holding KK, QQ, JJ, or TT, and hoping that I had the A, but he probably would have expected I would keep raising in that case). He showed AJ. The bad beat jackpot require that both cards in both players' hands play. The losing hand must be aces full of tens or better, and the winning hand must be four of a kind or better. I've come close to winning before, but was thwarted by my opponent's small kicker not playing. 

The jackpot was up over $46k (it starts at $40 and goes up by a few hundred a day until it is hit). I got 45% (20,911), Joel got 20%, the other four player in the hand got 5% each, and the players at the other 20-40 table shared the last 15%. 

We had to wait two hours to get paid (the excuse was that another jackpot was hit in the casino just after ours, and we had to wait for all the paper work to be done). After finally getting my money (paid in chips), I opened a player's bank account so that I would not have to carry it all home with me. So now I have money at the casino that I can withdraw whenever I want, which is nice because I don't have to carry much cash to the casino with me anymore.