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Archive for April 2008

- - -- by Ed Reif»
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Poker Bloggers are the sharpshooters that come down from the hill after the battle to shoot the wounded, in this case, the dead. I'll give it my best shot.
I'm talking about Gus Hansen blowing a huge chip stack in heads up play against David Chiu who won the $3.38 million first-place prize.
I am stunned.Oh well, That's Poker!




Gus, you learned English by listening to Pink Floyd albums. Gus, you were voted one of People magazine's sexiest men alive in 2004, Gus, you hold the record for winning the biggest pot on High Stakes Poker against Daniel Negreanu.
In your own words Gus, "If nothing is at stake, what's the point?" You have three WPT titles anyway. You couldn't pick up another WPT title, but still snagged the biggest payday of your "career" as a Pro Gambler.
Buying into a WPT event , unlike buying a car is a gamble that the future will represent an improved version of the past. And who knows whether that will be true? The cards don't have memory, and poker doesn't think.

It's not so much about "counting your outs" and "folding AK in a raise, re-raised pot"-- that cause-effect relationship stuff. It's more about the anti-poker game--situations. A collection of situations you haven't played yet; of the things you don't know.
There is a massive collection of unknowledge,the anti-hands that contain all the hands that may still change your poker life. That's what we mean by saying, I "pulled a Gus".

Gus Hansen's logic makes what you don't know far more relevant than what you do know. I considered that many of my Jackpots and big hands were caused and accelerated by their being unexpected.---of me being an anti-gambler. The upshot is that:Knowledge leads to action but lack of knowledge can also lead to action. At least, that was the case when Gus got rivered:


It took just 22 hands for Hansen to clear the final table. Chiu would need another 56 hands to take the chip lead and two more to close the deal. In the final hand, Hansen flopped bottom two pair and got the rest of his stack in on the turn. Chiu held As-9s and picked up a flush draw to go with his top pair on the Ac-10c-8s-5s board. The three-time bracelet winner would eventually make the call, finding out his hand was behind, but live. After the river Ah gave Chiu trips, the hand and ultimately, the title.
HOLDEM-Too Random to Be Left up to Chance
When it comes to NLH, what you don’t know is far more relevant than what you do know. Consider that many huge hands can be caused and sped up by their being unexpected, that case eight on the river for a suck out, a four card flush or in Chiu's case, trips on the river.
9/11 or Virginia Tech,... we retrofit a narrative to tell ourselves that someone should have seen it coming because we ourselves could not have been that stupid. And yet, we are no better prepared for the next one. Likewise, Gus played like Gus, and was on heavy steam throughout the tournament. Top two pair heads up, was good enough to shove all-in. It's when what is right is wrong with your game---the turn and river---changing things up that takes you from hero to zero.

Economically important things are consistently unexpected, in that people underestimate, on average, the probability and impact of improbable events We are chronic explainers-once an event happens we try our hardest to say I told you so and explain it...but that's poker-It is an infinite game;the overall phenomenon of NLH has no end. It is always a frontier, always on the edge. AND Gus is defintely one of the edgiest!

- - -- by Ed Reif»
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OJ Simpson's 405 Freeway Chase, William Jefferson's Monica Affair and Ace Jack-The road less traveled-the psycho path!

Ah the poker life! the older I get, the better my past gets...

There's Big Slick, AK, Big Chick AQ, Then there's Ace Jack, Napoleon, who suffers from the "Short Man's Complex"

I have a nickname for Ace Jack, AJ--- Jack Ass. because I donk off all my money with it, and feel like one.

Ace Jack is also known as Slick Willy-The Bill Clinton. I don't know why, ask Monica or Hillary, oh that's right a Head of State supposed to have a head, never mind...

DONK! Ace Jack is my Monica, and like Bill Clinton, I too admit to having an "inappropriate relationship" with Ace Jack! It keeps screwing me out of money. Not anymore, now that I have the secret-- Not, the movie-The Secret- that is about the law of attraction and results.

The secret of poker is not about results, it's about making good decisions. The way to get better is to think about process not results—focus on better decision making and ignoring short term results.

nb note to self:Oh I get it---Denial, it's not just a river in Vegas-It's not about winning, it's about excelling.

The Neuroeconomics of Real-Time Risk verses Imagined

Car Accidents and high-speed chases can reak havoc on the freeway. I remember LA’s concrete jungle, the 405, the four-oh-five, right by LAX and Wilshire Blvd . It was June 17, 1994, Friday, in Los Angeles, the day it became the world’s largest parking lot.

My Ford Mustang Convertible was all revved up, top down, with nowhere to go. It turned out to be a high-speed chase- the OJ Simpson -Al Cowlings White Bronco thing, an undirected, unpredicted Black Swan event.

The 3 second rule gets usurped by L.A.'s 45 minute One.


You have heard about the three second rule, regarding food that hits the ground, you have three seconds to eat it before it becomes contaminated. Unless of course you are in my condo-I eat my meals over the sink and have the three-hour-bachelor-slob rule! (100 man points!)


People began talking "Remember the plus 45 minutes rule". I started driving extra early for the next few week. I was worried about traffic jams, and allowed myself extra time.

This "rule" has continued throughout my years as a driver in the badlands of Southern California, as "The Pursuit of Happiness" LA TV media coverage of high-speed chases turns zeros into heros, and the freeways into abortions. And this opinion--- the 45 minute rule-- wasn't even mine! but heard/herd mentality

Worried if a freeway chase will be covered by the media, a code 10-22, I always looked up in the sky to see and hear a Newscoptor as a predictor. It's been my dipstick for determining if this has now become a newsworthy event. It might be an irrelevant reference point, but this, along with the "45" rule is where I have stood on driving in LA.

This crucial concept in behavioral finance is a bias known as "conservatism," which is the natural reluctance to change an opinion, even when confronted with data that suggest you should. They still have the chases . They tend to be like mini- instant- temporary reality shows, and don't go over the top, like the Simpson White Bronco media circus variety.

All this "behavior" of being fooled by randomness, even though the roads weren’t any more or less dangerous, not to mention how rare a large-impact type OJ event occurs, but make no mistake about it, they do occur---the law of large numbers says someone is going to win the lottery, and, some celebrity is going to try to outrun the highway patrol.

Last year, on my way to the Bicycle Casino, however, I threw caution to the wind, as I beat rush hour traffic, and made it from Santa Monica to Bell Gardens in a record 35 minutes time,without the 45 minute cushion ---- I was back to my same pedal-to-the-metal-driving habits, and forgot about the OJ Bronco rule. I finally broke free of its impact on my drive time.

The concept, know as anchoring in behavioral finance--- the tendency to attach or "anchor" our thoughts to a reference point (that OJ Bronco Chase) - even though it may have no logical relevance to the decision at hand---is how I have been treating AJ for years. I always seem to have the best of it pre flop, and some donkey calls and sucks out.

Where Attention Goes, Chips Flow

My mental accounting anchor of AJ=Bad Beat. Under mental accounting, I live a personal "storyline " concerning my history with each an every AJ I have ever played , not unlike having a personal Monica relationship with each AJ because I cannot get it through my thick skull that the loses-they are imaginary. It is not about winning or losing. It is about exceling.

A behavioral game theory approach realizes that anyone can get lucky 100% of the time, and, more than that, realize that, good play will have bad beats.

Behavioral Game theory is the more ‘down-to-earth’ approach dealing with one case at a time, especially when Lift Ticket plays with ATC, any two cards- if they don’t know what they’re doing how can you!

The hand that has the highest potential must be a hand that gets played in different ways and in different situations. It's going to be somewhere between the hands that are rarely folded, and the hands that are rarely played. Ace Jack Heads Up is almost never folded before the flop, so we know AJ cannot be the most profitable hand. So keep that in perspective.

Time without attention is worthless, so value attention over time. Therefore: Stop Waiting For “Better Spots” To Get Your Money In! Pick a favorite hand--commit your attention to it and play it strong.

If you don’t have attention, you don’t have time, and if you don't have time-er, well time is money. Can't play poker without money.

- - -- by Ed Reif»
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Free Roll Poker Tournaments--Scratch Out Tickets--The Poker Free Lunch

Poker is, after all, anything you can get away with--and when you play free rolls, you can't get something for nothing. Most hands go to showdown, and there is first place and no place---coming in second, who cares.

In No Limit Holdem, things don't even out with time, they even out with the number of hands you play. Sometimes nothing can be a good hand....but I am rethinking free rolls.

Advice for limit applies to No Limit Free rolls: Free Roll Hold em is a game of high cards, and kickers. Likewise, in Limit Hold em, the number of players increases, so big cards must be played most of the time.

Hand selection is very important since almost all the time you are going to a showdown---the one with the best hand usually wins; and bluffing is a rather hard thing to pull off, since it only costs one small bet for Deputy Barney Fife to "keep you honest". Likewise in a free roll, calling to the river is a way of folding--the bad beats are part of free rolls, and "keeping you honest" is free. Nevertheless, You, the guy who realizes this, can bet or raise with ATC, any two cards, but your call MUST have a positive mathematical expectation. Calling for value must outweigh the risks you are taking.


INS and OUTS


For the beginner, everything is even money, when you don't know any better. Replacing that with true odds is the goal. There is one goal and many pathways. There is the psycho path way, playing like a Kramer maniac.---the push and pray NLH way, hoping to hit the flop big. There is the rocky road, playing a tight-is-right, the Jerry game of counting your outs---the number of unseen cards that will give you the best hand---the NUTS!


There is wise and there is otherwise. Generally speaking if the FLOP gives you 10 or more outs--go all the way to the river, regardless of the number of opponents in the pot.
If your draws have less than 9 outs 2 handed, that will yield you a negative result more often than not.
A Multi-handed raised pot with six or more outs =profit.

ADVICE THAT DOESN'T WORK IN FREE ROLLS:If a guy has 20k behind him, and you are first to act and bet 6K. He is really betting 20K if he calls your 6K.(the implied turn and river bets) You bet 6K. he bets 20K That is the threat of NLH, the all-in threat. PUT THE COMMITMENT ON HIM.

In The Beginning...The best way to win more is to fold more! Hand selection is really something to consider; so is position. Playing too many starting hands is the How Not to Do It way..When it is raised in front of you-Your mantra should be "I'm looking for a way to fold this AJ offsuit.

- - -- by Ed Reif»
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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.

  • 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.

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.

- - -- by Ed Reif»
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FLOUNDERS verses ROUNDERS -The difference in playing with the belief and intention of winning against just being social.

For the poker Balla, nothing is better than when that average Joe Player sits down at a poker table. Why? Because he just sat down with money he INTENDS to lose!

There is no more +EV situation, and most tables in a live poker room are filled with players exactly like that. When you treat No Limit Hold em as only a game of chance instead of skill, it is not a law of probability, it's a fact for games with negative expectations: Risk of ruin is 100%.

JOES verses PROS

Joe plays when he "feels" like it, a Pro, all the time! Call them perpetual shortcuts JOES make when losing poker ASAP; and as any of the PROS will tell you, they don't need cards to win--that's for amateurs. Pro Players specialize in other people's biases! especially that malignant optimistic one that beats its chest and says, "I'm the best player at the table".

Secrets to Beating America's 92 Million Irrational Poker Players:Behavioral Finance-Part ART Part SCIENCE:

Common sense is not so common, and these common flaws are often consistent, predictable, and can be exploited for profit. We are not logical, we are emotional, and motion creates emotion-winning and losing in the stock market or in poker have some suprising failings--Let's reframe them and call them OUTCOMES:

Illusion of control - the tendency for players to believe they can control or at least influence outcomes which they clearly cannot. NLH is 100% luck and 100% chance. An opponent can (suck out) win one hand 100% of the time. NLH is too random to be left up to chance-yet good results will have you rejecting alternative ways to play--Nothing fails like success. Doing things right the first time is an obscenity--If your game isn't broke, don't just break it, break it before the competition does.

Loss aversion - The pain of chips lost generally is much greater than the pleasure of a chips gained. Playars strongly prefer avoiding losses over acquiring gains ( Quit early when winning and playing marathon sessions when stuck or chasing---see also sunk cost effects.

To win money over the long haul, you’ve got to win big pots. And to win big pots, you can’t be held back by this thinking error. You can't play a safe tight- is -right solid game and expect to win. You can't avoid crisis, you must be in a perpetual one that you create...but selectively picking your spots).

Bias blind spot - The left side of the brain will do the math. But the right side will "tag" it with a story. That story usually doesn't compensate for one’s own cognitive biases.

Choice-supportive bias - It's called "anchoring" remember one’s choices as better than they actually were. (Using the past to predict the future). There is never a certain prescribed way to play a hand, just a way to think about them. I've had racks of chips only to be felted 14 hours later because instead of an attitude of gratitude, I had the Mick Jaggar Tumbling Dice "Anything worth doing is worth overdoing"soundtrack playing.

Endowment effect - When I own something, I will tend to value it more highly. If I have to sell it, I will probably want to ask more than it is really worth. (Not being able to let go of QQ,AA,KK---rookie moves, and over betting the pot) There's the expected result, based on analysis, and the actual result, based on events. Poker is a game of situations---I've learned to thrown away Kings, Queens, and with a four card flush on the board, even two red Aces!

Confirmation bias - The Indians Rain Dance worked because they never stopped dancing! The Jeane Dixon effect-of making a few right predictions, and overlooking the false ones. Searching for information in a way that confirms one’s preconceptions. The delusions of reference--tells, lucky charms, hunches and coincidences.

Bandwagon effect - Do things because smart money people do or believe the same, like playing Helmeuth starting hands, or walking the painted line of Sklansky's Theory of Poker or Doyle's Super System. Related to groupthink, herd behaviour. That's what I find so cool about my game--being able to fire three barrels with squadush. (Thank you Poker Stars Sit and Go's)

Déformation professionnelle - the tendency to look at things according to the conventions of one’s own T.O.E., time on earth; assuming things that have similar traits are likely to be identical; forgetting any broader point of view. Past experience and feedback loops can make you Hola Lupe.

Disconfirmation bias -. We tend to use the information that is most handy when we make decisions/predictions. The path of least resistence mashed up with thin slicing.

Focusing effect - prediction bias occurring when players place too much importance on one aspect of an event; causes error in accurately predicting the utility of a future outcome.

Hyperbolic discounting - the tendency for players to have a stronger preference for more immediate payoffs relative to later payoffs, the closer to the present both payoffs are.

Impact bias -Our minds are suited for solving problems related to our survival, rather than being optimised for poker decisions. Players overestimate the length or the intensity of the impact of future feeling states.

Information bias - Seeking TMI, too much information, even when it cannot affect action. Try playing in the dark, or blind---With less information to be processed and filtered, the brain assigns higher priority to the information that it does receive.

Neglect of probability - the tendency to completely disregard probability when making a decision under uncertainty. Expected Value and Variance---weighing all the possible outcomes, weighting the more likely outcomes, and coming to a conclusion---play a big part in the decision process. There is therefore, never a certain prescribed way to play a hand, just a way to think about them.

Mere exposure effect - the tendency for players to express undue liking for things merely because they are familiar with them. If it's not broke, break it!

Omission bias - The tendency to judge harmful actions as worse, or less moral, than equally harmful omissions (inactions).

Outcome bias - the tendency to judge things on their outcome, and not on their process. Over weighing and overeacting to a bad beat-- the most recent information or circumstances.

Planning fallacy - the tendency to underestimate task-completion times. It has taken me ten years to become an overnight Holdem success!

Post-purchase rationalization - the tendency to persuade oneself through rational argument that a purchase was a good value.

Pseudocertainty effect - the tendency to make risk-averse choices if the expected outcome is positive, but make risk-seeking choices to avoid negative outcomes.

Selective perception - the tendency for expectations to affect perception. (Gamblers Fallacy)

Status quo bias - the tendency for players to like things to stay relatively the same.

Von Restorff effect - Purple Cows and items that “stands out like a sore thumb” have a tendency to be more likely to be remembered than other items.

Zero-risk bias - preference for reducing a small risk to zero over a greater reduction in a larger risk.

- - -- by Ed Reif»
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Wednesday, April 16, 2008 9:33 AM

Download -TODAY'S PODCAST

This Podcast was made with the Simplest Podcasting product API ever from BlogTalkRadio !


Still checking out Voice Blogging with SnapeVine. It eliminates downloads to itunes.Seems like one less step.


- - -- by Ed Reif»
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Keeping My Head Above Water



Here's your Business Class ticket to cool, with complimentary mojo after takeoff.

When your poker game crashes, here's the black box. One day, the whole plane will be made out of that stuff.

Make your whole game out of the POW, pearls of wisdom from the best damn poker blog.


The best things in life aren't things, they're people who write free advice on how to play poker without cards. It is after all, a game of money played with cards, not the other way around.


Pain For Sale-Don't treat Paper like Plastic, cash games for tournament chips.


PAPER: The Longest Journey begins with...a cash advance from Bank of America.


PLASTIC: "Money can't buy happiness but it can buy chips which is kinda the same thing"-



The sex of Poker is really a game of mistakes and the greatest one is rooted in pleasure. The fine line we walk between success and self-destruction comes down to asking that one dirty (Harry) question rooted in the loner cop’s message of personal freedom, “Do you feel lucky? Well, do ya punk?”



Poker is a game of situations. Winning poker is about making good decisions Feeling lucky and going to a casino 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!



In Blackjack, there is always a correct decision, a perfect strategy. No Limit Holdem, on the other hand, is a game of completing the puzzle of partial information; where players make inferences and “investments” under uncertainty. Fixed strategies don’t work because players don’t always act perfectly. You are, above all else, playing against other people, and conditions change.



No Limit Hold ‘em or NLH is designed to have a high luck factor that can quite easily lead to a sort of pathological optimism. It’s a fast, easy to understand game that pulls down huge bucketfuls of short-term luck. In fact, playing because you are “feeling lucky” is (almost) the right way to play.



Yet, the right way to play NLH and (almost) the right way to play is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug. I don’t want to steal your thunder but that’s what luck is--- the Thunder. Thunder is a good thing , thunder is impressive; but it is lightning that does all the work and gets the job done, and it doesn’t strike twice in the same place because the same place isn’t there anymore.



The sex of poker therefore can be misery. It no longer loves company. Nowadays it insists on it. The remarkable thing about luck is no matter how bad it gets, it can always get worse. Luck is a strange teacher. It gives the test first, the lesson afterwards. Luck is your university. The chips are your report card. Everything proceeds from there.



While it is true that it is the mark of an inexperienced player not to believe in luck, luck doesn’t always believe in you--- Luck is pauperized ecstasy because it lends but never gives. When you’re buying in to feeling lucky, there is plenty of pain for sale. It is easier to change your religion than your diet, and in the buffet of luck may have no calories, but everyone eventually goes home hungry.

If Pain is weakness leaving the body, then Poker pain is weakness leaving your game. It is not something we acquire. It is something we tune into--- the poker frequency. Do you play in-frequently? Is that one word or two?

Playing too many starting hands in a standard $2-$4 NL game is weakness. You should have a 20-30% view of the flop percentage. This means folding, saying “No” to AJ in first position, KT in middle position and QT in late position Just saying `no', to every hand, however prevents bad playing the way “Have a nice day” cures chronic depression. A Jackass who persists in his recklessness, nevertheless becomes a smart ass.




- - -- by Ed Reif»
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In poker, "The Nuts" refers to not only an unbeatable hand, It is also an unbeatable style of playah, a raisey-crazy one -man asylum., whose default mode of betting suffers from Jim Carey’s “advanced delusionary schizophrenia with involuntary narcissistic rage.”


An adrenaline junkie with demented energy, grandiose plans, he likes being feared. It imbues him with an intoxicating sensation of omnipotence. The Playah is inebriated by the looks of horror or repulsion on people's faces, as they fold with the best hand as you bluff--The poisoned joy to the poker world of depriving others of what you don’t have, a legitimate hand.



The crime and punishment for playing with the Playah is a malignant optimism. He plays a one-handed game of "Good Cop, Bad Cop" with different people. Stiring the pot, triangulating and pitting one against another. Gossip may be false intimacy but Torture is the ultimate act of his perverted intimacy. A kind of Traumatic bonding", akin to the Stockholm Syndrome, takes place… You are his “Supply”. He is your change agent—He find you; gets you,to love him; make you eventually hate him. That’s fine with him---He love to be hated and he hate to be loved The Playah uses up other people like candy bars; and, when he’s finished eating , he throw away the wrappers. Disposable relationships. No deposit. No return.


In RL (Real Life), When you define me you negate me, but in NLH, --- Love Thy Label As Thy Self. This Perception Shifting is the Most Promising to Define a New Space for winning at NLH. . Playahs need a reputation to live up to and tend to become whomever people see us as. Most of life is a self-fulfilling prophecy. (Players tend to confuse habits with identity. When asked WHO they are, most people resort to communicating their habits. Get into rearranging. Native American Indians on Caribbean Islands couldn't see Columbus's ships sitting on the horizon because they were beyond their knowledge. You don’t see it then believe it. You believe it then you see it.
All the lies will be washed away by the truth---In Poker, you are what you pretend to be. Go ahead, put the con back in confidence, the sin, back in sincere. Bet with with best hand or gamble with the worst!

- - -- by Ed Reif»
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Teach an old DOGMA New Tricks.

An Ace and A Race...

Paper or Plastic-Cash verses Chips

When you lose, you lose money, when you win, you lose respect for money. Yet too much respect for money makes you a bad player.... I must be a great player because I have lost total respect for money- and now I know why.



I treat cash game chips like tournament chips... I thought making the change from limit to NLH was apples to oranges, well, so is live cash verses tournament, where you have an infinite verses finite amount of chips to work with. On any given Friday night, people come to gamble in a cash game and they will call you down with ace high..

RAISE or FOLD- If you call, you are accepting someone else's odds.

Doyle's Super System says AK is his best hand...because it's easy to let it go. It is after all, a drawing hand, not a made one. In position, I'll almost always make a continuation bet, if the flop is low ball, and hardly ever check.


Being normal. It is the ideal aim of the unsuccessful and unimaginative. Ask your mother. Normal is the setting on her washing machine. Normal isn't a virtue. It denotes a lack of poker courage. You have to be Madonna, constantly reinventing yourself. Otherwise, it’s a vast, conforming suburb of the soul. You don’t want to be normal. Normal people spend their lives avoiding tense situation, Poker Playahs spend their lives getting into them. The whole upshot of NLH is that it be a perpetual crisis that you create. The Phish is the last one to know it is in the ocean. Phush swim in it. Players surf on it. Failure to plan creates crisis in RL (Real Life) In NLH, planning for crisis eliminates failure.


This is a Poker Mini-Satori- You abhor monotony and constancy, equating them, in your mind, with death. Seek upheaval, drama, and change.God may play dice with the universe,, but this ain’t no metaphysical crap shoot, it’s NLH. If you want to have “fun” then spin the wheel of fortune, phone a friend, buy a vowel, and get voted off the island. Deal or No Deal. If you want an “experience”, play NLH. It’s not a sport, it’s a concussion! Good NLH poker is not a "A-ha" experience, it is more of a "holy-shit" experience.


Suited And Booted

When I started playing NLH, the two expressions I said constantly, were, "I don't believe it!" and "...but they were suited". I stopped saying the last one, but it is still unbelievable, like losing with Quads to a straight flush online...that hurts-ouch!"- Ed Reif

Most playahs are experience rich and technique poor. Everything has been said before, but since nobody listens we have to keep going back and beginning all over again. Someday, this blog will start to read like one long typographical error, and you come away thinking, “From now on, I'll connect the dots my own way”. 'It’s like football - if you don't wear a helmet and pads, you're going to get hurt.. This blog is your equipment. It is a contact sport, and the more contact you have with other players, the more you will win.


You simply can’t play a solid, safe game. 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 a playah’s only redeeming qualities. When everything seems under control, you're just not going fast enough. Due to the effect of community cards, hold'em is a game of "domination. A hand is dominated if it has 3 or fewer outs against another, like AQ against AK.


The price of aggression, however, is not cheap. You have to be willing to lose in order to win. Aggression causes trouble. The trouble is you must use extreme self-discipline. If you cannot obey yourself you will be commanded by someone else’s play You cannot control the luck factor, but skill is something over which you have control, and you have the power to gain yet greater skill by becoming a Playah. A playah is just looking for opportunities, not guarantees. Don’t get me wrong. This isn’t amateur hour, this is gambling. All of life is risk exercise. It’s the only way to live more freely and interesting. Dream with your eyes open.


Aggression causes pressure and pressure makes diamonds and diamonds last forever--- It creates the mutant ability to do the impossible, win consistently at NLH. You deserve to win consistently, and the minute you settle for less than you deserve, you get even less than you settled for. But you don’t get what you deserve in poker, you get what you negotiate, and you better be good at negotiating risk.

In NLH, betting is far better than calling. That’s aggression. When you bet, you can win if you have the better hand or if your opponent folds. If you call, you can only win if you have your opponent beaten. If you bet, you determine the bet size. You determine the pot odds. If you call, you are accepting someone else's odds.

If you bet, you force people to pay you off when you have a good hand. If you are a caller, you have to hope someone else will willingly pay you off. The importance of aggression is why tight-passive players can win a lot more at Limit than No-Limit. If you were arrested for aggression would there be enough evidence for the poker police to convict you?

The gambling world is a kind of gambling kindergarten where millions of bewildered infants are trying to spell "Poker" with the wrong blocks.. You got “T” testosterone, that’s good, you’re gonna want that. You got “A”, aggression , that's even better. You're gonna want and need that too.

You can’t spell danger without anger, and every NLH needs to feel dangerous.But any two year old kid can throw a fit! NLH is about controlling that aggression , harnessing that aggression into a series of wins. Only people who die very young learn all they really need to know in kindergarten.

The antidote to anger is patience, and as we already know: infinite patience brings immediate results to your game. Yet the opposite of patience is aggression. We have this paradox. We are learning that NLH is more subtle and multiple than conventional 'either-or' limits have allowed. Our imaginations have some catching up to do. The power not of positive thinking but paradoxical thinking. The nearer you are to paradox, the nearer you are to beating the game. A Playah Passes The Test But Fails The Class---It's time for New AmeriCON Poker:

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.

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



"Money can't buy happiness but it can buy chips which is kinda the same thing"- Ed Reif"
The longest journey begins with a cash advance from the Bank of America"
The Kung Fu Book of Caine
Poker Without Money Is An Opinion-- Just busted out with Anna(looks good never wins!)...Here's my bad beat story...
The sex of Poker is really a game of mistakes and the greatest one is rooted in pleasure. The fine line we walk between success and self-destruction comes down to asking that one dirty (Harry) question rooted in the loner cop’s message of personal freedom, “Do you feel lucky? Well, do ya punk?”

Poker is a game of situations. Winning poker is about making good decisions Feeling lucky and going to a casino 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.

In Blackjack, there is always a correct decision, a perfect strategy. NLH, on the other hand, is a game of completing the puzzle of partial information; where players make inferences and “investments” under uncertainty. Fixed strategies don’t work because players don’t always act perfectly. You are, above all else, playing against other people, and conditions change.

No Limit Hold ‘em or NLH is designed to have a high luck factor that can quite easily lead to a sort of pathological optimism. It’s a fast, easy to understand game that pulls down huge bucketfuls of short-term luck. In fact, playing because you are “feeling lucky” is (almost) the right way to play.



Yet, the right way to play NLH and (almost) the right way to play is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug. I don’t want to steal your thunder but that’s what luck is--- the Thunder. Thunder is a good thing , thunder is impressive; but it is lightning that does all the work and gets the job done, and it doesn’t strike twice in the same place because the same place isn’t there anymore.
You can't spell Manslaughter without laughter, so when you eat what you kill, make sure your neighbors are having a good time. It’s not some felony conviction; more of a firm belief in magic, the process of putting the con back in confidence and creating community, paying them off with social currency and street cred.

You are not keeping up with the Joneses. You’re dragging them down to your level on the green felt jungle. It’s not how good you are. It’s how bad you want it. The quest is in the question of not, “ Who is going to let me?” Rather, “Who is going to stop me?” Power is never given. Power is taken.

Losing Holdem ASAP is about putting that monkey on your opponents back; the “hundredth monkey” that creates a critical mass of change in how they view your “table Presence” As they start believing your own B.S., your third eye and turd eye are one--- Shift Happens! Poker appears to be ’ user friendly. After all, it takes a minute to learn …and a lifetime to master. It isn’t user friendly, it’s user illusionary.

The cards are just there to confuse the bad players, the Hellen Keller’s. It’s not what you look at that matters but what you see. You don’t need cards to win. You need cards to lose.

Try=Fail.The illusion of control is like pushing an elevator button and thinking it will arrive faster. You can however push people’s buttons, and get them to do things faster, like calling your “All in” when you flop the nuts, an unbeatable hand, or folding when they have the best hand. Your mind can't tell the difference between what it sees and what it remembers. Nerons that wire together fire together. You have this social situation, where you get to create your own reality, your own table presence.


The Playah puts the odd(s) back into God--- a Megalomaniac who not only must confuse his thoughts with gods, but gets you to believe in his thoughts. Your reality check will not bounce because you create your own reality. It’s your world, others are just tourists in it and eventually, their own. They believe a monster truck is coming toward them, they will always jump out of the way. So keep on truckin, They have been gas lighted. “Let there be flop”….