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I live in the space of gratitude

Archive for November 2007

- - -- by Ed Reif»
A Post Without Image


Every poker player wants to go to poker heaven, but no body wants to die.
Patrik Antonius was an Angel of death and creative destruction, a Finnish wrecking ball to the human hangover Sammy Farha: on Episode 14 of High Stakes Poker.
Patrik sent Sammy straight to Hellsinki, leaving poker's wiseguy with that "out of money" experience and a concussion, with, yes--a pair of nines verses a king high flush draw---believe it or not.

Antonius moved all-in with his flopped top pair of nines . Sammy Farha was feeling lucky with his king-high flush draw and two overs, and insta called. They must have read the cliff notes to Malcolm Gladwell's Blink.It's a book about rapid cognition, about the kind of thinking that happens without thinking, in a blink of an eye....and then you go broke.

At first it looked like Sammy was going straight to HELLsinki, but then when The Finddagrinder agreed to mercy him--and run it four times, things cooled off. It was more like heck---a 50-50 split pot situation--Antonius, however, won three times, walking away with about $750,000. Sammy, Patrik want's to thank you for not smoking your signature unlit lucky cigarette!

Sammy is fearless at the table. You have to give him that. Yet, feeling 100%fearless and playing deep stack poker is like feeling athletic and going to a sports bar. It’s a bad decision. It is the in to your sane, a kind of voluntary madness. The surest way of getting nothing from something. The road less traveled-the psycho path!

Denial is not just a river in Vegas

- - -- by Ed Reif»
A Post Without Image


"Don Dolleone, I am honored and grateful that you have invited me to your table on the biggest hand of televised poker history-Luca Brasi
10-2 offsuit- sleeps with the fishes and dines on the whales!

Doyle Brunson took Cirque du Soleil billionaire Guy Laliberté to clown college last night on High Stakes Poker---to say it was a circus, would be an insult to the bearded ladies, mimes and interpretive dancers. A moment of silence was in order as Guy was nearly drawing dead.

Doyle did "that thing with the thing bada bing-all-in" to Guy aka Moe Greene. It was the difference between Doyle's lightning Ad10d Suited verses Laliberté's lightning bug, Ace Rag.

Doyle agreed to run lightning twice and it struck in the same place twice!--- taking down the largest pot of record so far in Season 4---- $818,100; keeping the HIGH in High Stakes Poker. Spot on Texas Dolly.

Eating What You Kill Is So Money but it wasn't personal. They were not playing together, but were not playing against each other either. It was like...the smell of Napalm in the morning---Victory.




When the minimum buy-in was raised to $500,000 a few weeks ago, it was only a matter of when not if a huge heads up pot would be contested. Doyle, however, has been pretty tight-is-right. While Guy was loosey goosey, mixing it up, splashing pots, and making good calls, like calling Jamie Golds bluff the other night.
Doyle raised to $11,200 with Ad-Td, and got called by four players, including Laliberté who held with Ah-5h. The flop comes rainbow Ac-Js-4d. Doyle bets $40,000 and only Laliberté called.

Brunson fires another bullet when the 2d fell on the turn, betting his nut flush draw--$110,000. Any easy fold for Guy. Instead, Laliberté raises! to $310,000; putting Doyle almost all-in. Brunson Makes the right mistake (a 75% favorite to win) and calls. They run it twice. Guy loses both times--Brunson takes down $818,100, keeping the HIGH in High Stakes Poker. Spot on Texas Dolly.
One thing is for sure---Infinite patience brings immediate results to your deep stack game, and Doyle proves this time and time again.
Let there be flop!

Doyle Gets his Freak-onomics On: Hay Mr. Laliberté---When you don't have good cards, somebody else probably does: "You can't lose what you don't put into the pot." Too much respect for money makes you a bad NLH player---does that make Laliberté, one of Forbes rated richest in the world, a good one?

Well in an upcoming (unreleased) Episode (15)---the largest pot in High Stakes Poker History $1.2 Million! --- Guy, Quebec's second largest cultural export after Celine Dion, lets fellow francophone David Benyamine off the hook in a "Let them live" move with top two pair and David shoving all-in on the flop, drawing to the nut flush, a huge dog. In Ben's case--you don't get what you deserve, you get what you negotiate.

- - -- by Ed Reif»
A Post Without Image



When you're done with square one, pick it up and take it with you. Don't check it on the river!


Calling poker a sport is like calling bald a hair color. Yet this male pattern madness--- an 800 lb gorilla known as Texas No Limit Hold em (a.k.a. NLH)--- is getting a new haircut on High Stakes Poker. The artist formally known as Sammy Farha is the new Mr. Jennifer Tilly!


The new way to lose Holdem ASAP is the old way heated up in a microwave for 15 seconds—Cold pizza also known as The Sammy Farha Show : When both players got hit with the deck---Sammy's AA verses Gold's KK --- Farha had a chance to scalp Jamie--instead he gave him a buzz cut.

It was one of those boil the frog Mr. Science hands that plays itself. Bet. Call. Bet. Call. All-In. Call.


Jamie was practically broadcasting that he had Pocket Kings, And telling him he would call any bet, even an all-in. How Gold has any of his $10 Million left at first seems like an anomaly, but then you realize how great a bluffer he is.

You can't spell Manslaughter without laughter, so when Jamie eats what he kills, he makes sure his neighbors are having a good time. It's not keeping up with the Jonses, but dragging them down to his level. Sammy got spun with a no limit dyslexia, the inability to read the writing on the wall.

It was like Gold was asking Sammy "How many slices do you want your pizza cut, four or six?"--- Sammy's check on the river was like saying "Four, I don't think I can eat six". Mr Pabst Blue Robot, was playing under the influence...of Jamie's trash talk. Farha's failure to value bet ranks right up there with that Poker After Dark Rookie move----If you remember between Jennifer Tilly verses Patrik Antonius.

When playing deep stack poker, you will often find yourself on a draw after the flop. To decide how to play your draw, you should consider the pot odds, implied odds, reverse implied odds, and the chance of a redraw. Unless of course you are Sammy Farha. He is part Hugh Hefner, part Humphry Bogart, part James Bond. All the angry people from Iran and Iraq can make their own country--Irate---but Sammy (Isam) is from Lebanon, He rarely gets upset-, even when he gets played by Gold. Thank you for smoking! You even make that look cool.




On this weeks episode HSP It had that "Loyal Order of The Moose Lodge" -aqua velva stench to it---Playing poker like the Joes, -Karaoke Poker a cheap imtation of -The Phil Helmeuth Starting hand requirements for pre flop raises—AA,KK,AKsuited JJ---lots of banter and very little card playing.

The Randomness Of NLH Is Too Important To Be Left To Chance!

New Americon poker is talking someone out of a hand. Nobody does it better than Gold. Poker is a struggle for silence, and never interrupt an opponent when he is making a mistake. I was suprised Farha fell for it. Sammy looked like a deer in the headlights, as Jamie "only" lost 125K. Sammy didn't value betting the river with the stone cold nuts. Jamie would have been stuck with his KK to call any amount, including an all-in.


Drill Sergeant Gold:Gump! What's your sole purpose in this army?
Sammy Gump: To do whatever you tell me, drill sergeant! Drill Sergeant Gold: God damn it, Gump! You're a god damn genius! This is the most outstanding answer I have ever heard. You must have a goddamn I.Q. of 160. You are goddamn gifted, Private Gump .


Normal people spend their lives avoiding tense situation, Poker Ballas like Jamie Gold and Sammy Farha spend their lives getting into them. The whole upshot of NLH is that it be a perpetual crisis that you create. Poker rewards aggression, selective aggression.The cool thing about NLH No Limit Holdem is -you don't need cards to lose your whole bankroll …when you bet the right amount or in Jamie's case, convince your opponet to check the river.


Anyone who plays poker within their means suffers from a lack of imagination. You have to get in there and gamble.. Aggression makes you money. And the trouble with NLH is, if you don't risk anything, you risk even more. Poker very simply, rewards aggression. Aggression is the main source of energy for the NL playah.. NLH is about aggression and domination- it’s Jamie’s only redeeming qualities. He played his KK aggresively, and Sammy played his AA cautiously. That's because of deep stak poker. The price of aggression, however, is not cheap. You have to be willing to lose in order to win. Aggression causes trouble.



- - -- by Ed Reif»
A Post Without Image



Episode 11 of High Stakes Poker had a minimum $500K buy in; making ATC-any two cards ok for implied odds.

Yet is was ABC high cards Poker- as Jamie Gold's KK took Patrik Antonius' AJ to school as over $700K was on the table for an all-in confrontation that left Patrik insta calling Gold's Trip Kings. Patrik's nut Broadway straight went from first to worst on the river as Gold filled up.






From Poker Listings:

Patrik Antonius picked up As-Jd and raised to $4,000. Jamie Gold looked down on pocket kings, and re-raised to $14,000. Only Antonius called.


The flop came 3s-Qd-Th. Antonius checked and Gold bet $15,000 with his overpair. The Finnish player called with one overcard and a gut-shot straight draw.


Amazingly, the turn brought the Kh. Gold now had top set, while Antonius had the nuts, an ace-high straight.


Antonius bet $45,000, and Gold moved all-in for $341,500. Antonius immediately called, and thus created the biggest pot in the history of High Stakes Poker: $743,800 was on the table.


"Unbelievable, but what am I going to do, right?" Gold said.


Since it's a cash game, the players are allowed to make deals in situations like these. Gold and Antonius decided to play the river three times, with almost $250,000 at stake on each card.


Being a 3-1 underdog, Gold was hoping to catch at least one lucky card, and when the dealer placed Qh on the table, giving Gold a full house, he shouted "Yes!"


The 2006 World Series of Poker Main Event champion's luck continued when the second river card was dealt. The 3d gave Gold another full house.


"Ha ha! Wow!" was all Gold said this time, while Antonius hardly reacted at all.


Gold was hoping for the case king to come the third time, but instead it was 8s. Antonius' hand finally held up, and he calmly collected a third of the gigantic pot.


High Stakes Poker host AJ Benza summarized the most massive pot ever by saying, "I tell you one thing: Patrik can take a punch. Imagine if that was Phil Hellmuth."








- - -- by Ed Reif»
A Post Without Image

WSOPE Champion Annette_15 ---Annette Obrestad- will raise ATC (any two cards) be re-raised by players also holding a range of hands from 88 to A 10, and re-shove back over the top of them.

That’s The Power Of New Americon Poker—the language of betting, a slang that rolls up its sleeves, spits in the street, screams strength possibly more than any other and gets the work done. Tells Don’t Tell – People Do with the language of their betting. Poker is a game of partial information and the language of betting "last in" is information dominance.

Making a bet that leaves no option available to the opponent other than to call is asymmetrical warfare. It disarms their can of whoop ass-- deep stack arsenal. Hands which are ok to try and re-steal from a loose aggressive player are frequently horrible hands to call that final bet with. No one likes calling big all-ins with hands like 88 or A-10 regardless of how sure they are that a player is stealing from them.

The Power of New Americon Poker is about being the last in the pot. It too can be an extremely effective way of accumulating chips in spite of your hole cards, not because of them. Lights Out Poker is about playing 'in the dark': betting that your opponents DON'T have the cards rather than that they do.

If Phil Ivey is the Tiger Woods of Poker, than Annette O is Norwegian Wood-"knowing she would" re-raise her own "first in" money with marginal holdings to be the last in the pot. You still can't call, unless you have a monster. Most opponents know nothing more than to fold out of position or out of flop weakness.

Two years after they first invaded America, The Beatles, John Lennon said "We're More Popular Than Jesus". Annette doesn't have to say it--she is already more popular than Chris"Jesus" Ferguson. Can our Lord and Savior be far behind? Like the Ed Sullivan" premiere, the WSOPE is her Ticket to let it ride. Annette is The Fifth Beatle. She's playing Rock Star Poker!







First in vs. last in the pot. First is worst. Last is first.
First in vigorish is Dan Harrington’s concept. Being the first player to bet, "creates" the edge of being the first to put your chips into the middle of a pot. OK.

Sklansky’s old school calls it The Gap Concept ---“you need a better hand to call a raise with than you would need to open the betting yourself”. Sure.

Obrestad's WMD’s--Weapons of Mass Distraction --- Thinking like a marine, it's asymmetrical crazy delicious Davey and Goliath warfare--get em scared and then keep the scare on em. Exponentially scared 10x- win without fighting. Is there a generational gap? Mos Def.






Annette_15 vs The Alphabet A to Z Poker Soup World



On September 17, 2007 many of us realized that the rules of September 16, 2007 were no longer valid. It is like 9/11 epiphany. The rules have changed. It's a version of not fighting fair, attacking "by the book"holdem concepts--- American Poker strengths--- and using them as a weakness. The threat level has been raised to Code Marshmallow!
Action Dan says "Let Position rather than bet size do the work for you". Sure, but last in money has tournament players thinking about opportunity cost of making it to the money instead of sunken cost of "Pot Committed" money already paid and that you can’t get back.
That is to say, the costs of doing anything is that you’re NOT doing something else instead---like calling last in money. It has exactly the same size effect on your chip stack as “real” costs, but it's much harder to see.


Ok Class, here is ABC By The Book Poker- A is for aces...

Playing by the strategy of the last war, The Powell Doctrine-- Go big or go home! The West vs. the Rest! will get you stuck in Vietnam. The T J Cloutier Doctrine-Aces are the only hand big enough to go broke with in the early stages of a tournament will send you home broke! The Power Of New Americon Poker knows-- No other card has this flexibility that the ace has... to go broke.

Top Three Old School Concepts To Re-Think

Basically, Opponents can be divided into two types ---those that play like Sklansky, Gordon, and Harrington, and those that don't. Guess who does the dividing?


M Factor---there is no survival stage.
Gap Concept---your cards are immaterial more often than not.
First In--- hands of value are based on 1-2-3- 1,your position, 2,your chip stack, and 3, the players you are confronting.

First in Redux---

First in the pot is the old school idea of taking pots down pre-flop or pre-turn using stack pressure. Especially when a tournament is in the money stage. Today, Playahs may go into the game with a larger bank and better cards, they will lose in the long run to the Ballas, who are last in.

This can happen heads up in cash games too. NLH is a game of position, and not only being last to act but also this immediately shows the importance of making a play that leaves you last in.


Phil Ivey did it back in 2005 in Monte Carlo. It can backfire too, if you are playing against Stu Unger, who called Mansour Matloubi's all -in bluff.

Immediately following the 1992 World Series of Poker Stu Ungar faced off against Mansour Matloubi in no limit hold'em at the $50,000 buy-in heads-up freeze outs event. The final hand of the game had a board of 3-3-7-K-Q.
Matloubi tried to bluff Stuey all-in for $32,000. Ungar thought for a few seconds and told Maltoubi "You have 4-5 or 5-6 so I'm gonna call you with this" and flipped over a 10-high hand to win the pot and bust Maltoubi, who in fact held exactly what Ungar said he did.
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