Caution - Playing online poker involves financial risk and gambling addiction. Success requires intelligence and guts. If you already have an account at Cake Poker, try the Titan Poker Bonus Code for the best poker fun. This is a good place to play some Texas Holdem or PLO. As one of the largest European poker sites you are sure to find plenty of action there and to meet poker friends from all over the world.

7 Card Stud

August 23rd, 2010

7 Card Stud is a simple poker game that is easy enough for new players to pick up, but also challenging and interesting enough to hold your attention beyond the basic level. It’s a classic poker game that was very popular during the Second World War.

A good variation can be found at most free poker sites. The game begins with an ante, where every player puts a small predetermined amount of money into the pot to start it off. Beginning to the left of the dealer, each player is dealt two cards face down known as the “hole” or “pocket” cards and one card face up.

After each player looks at their hole cards to see what they’ve been dealt, the player who has the lowest card face up is required to place a small bet known as the “bring in”. Play then continues to that player’s left, and each player around the table can call, raise or fold their cards.

Once this round of betting has been completed, each player is dealt another card face up known as the “turn” card or the “Fourth Street”. Another round of betting takes place, but this time it is the player with the highest two cards showing who begins. From this point onwards, it is always the player with the highest combination of face up cards who starts the bet.

Once the second round of betting is complete, another is dealt to each player face down known as the “river” or the “Fifth Street”. Each player should now have three cards face up on the table. A round of betting follows, then another face up card is dealt to each player, bringing the total to four.

Another round of betting takes place before the last face up card is dealt. This is the fifth face up card for each player, but their seventh card in total including their hole cards. Each player now has their maximum amount of cards.

A final round of betting occurs after every player has seven cards. Each player must then reveal their hand at the showdown, and the player who is able to make the best five card hand from a combination of their hole and face up cards is the winner.

Some Cake Poker play

July 30th, 2010

Ok so I get myself setup. I got registered and deposited on Cake Poker. I get my Pokeredge installed and ready to play with.

When I log into Cake Poker, I sit down at a 10NL table and decide I want to try to see cheap flops (I am trying to work off 200 raked hands) and otherwise I play only premium hands and then just mash the bet button.

This seems to be what I read around forums and stuff when playing these micro limits. I sit down with my first 5$ and start to try to see as many flops as I can for $0.10, both hoping to flop monsters and also to work down those raked hands. It takes me a while and a really bad suck-out to realize this isn’t your normal poker table.

I am down stuck 4$ and laughing at both my play and the tables play. Without realizing it, I am trying to play poker when these people certainly are not. I quickly toss aside my “cheap flop” idea and go super tight and when I get a premium starting hand, I basically just mash the “bet pot” button.

Sure it’s boring as I am basically card dead for the next hour and a half. I decide to change the skin design on Cake Poker, so I have to log out back in and with that comes a change of table. I immediately start to get decent cards, not premium but at least stuff I can think about playing.

I play a few AKo and they pay off pretty nicely and I am back to just under my initial buy in. Finally I get pocket 7’s and spike the set on the flop. The good thing about these tables is it’s pretty easy to get paid off and I do for about 2$ and that puts me up for the 3 hour session. Not exactly what I had in mind, but now that I got it sort of figured out, I should do much better.

I worked off whatever Cake Poker bonus they had and got like 10$ bonus to my bankroll. I haven’t decided if I should count that to my bankroll, but I suppose I should as it was gotten from playing poker. I plan to sit down today and clock at least two three hour sessions and see what I can do.

My goal is to sit at the 10$ NL table and try to triple that up in both sessions. If I get stuck for 10$, I am done for that session and if I triple I walk as well.

The linemaker

June 21st, 2010

From Steve Wynn to Buster Douglas, Jimmy Vaccaro has truly seen it all from the counter of his Las Vegas sports book.

The only person to have served as race and sports book director for five major Las Vegas casinos. Considered the guru of linemakers, Jimmy came to the desert in 1975 and quickly impressed a number of properties with his gaming and managerial expertise. It culminated in his helping Steve Wynn establish his sports book when the Mirage opened its doors in 1989.

Nowadays, he handles promotions and media relations for Leroy’s Race and Sports Books, which operate more than 60 Nevada betting emporiums. Through it all, Jimmy Vaccaro has seen some pretty unbelievable things. In his own words, here are some of the historic events that have shaped his life as a Las Vegas icon.

November, 1989: The Mirage opens its doors on the Las Vegas strip. There’s absolutely no doubt in his mind that the race and sports book that you see now in the state of Nevada is a prototype of what he did at the Mirage. The Mirage itself was a turning point for the strip in general. People told Steve Wynn he was crazy to build with, at that time, an astronomical fee of $600 million to put it next to Caesar’s Palace.

Now, the Red Rock Casino, which is a local hotel, cost $1 billion to build. Put it this way, it was a new fucking ballgame. he was on the coattails, which was fun. Even the race and sports book had to be pristine. Nothing in that hotel was undercut. Nothing in that hotel was left to be desired.

1981: James Toback tells Caesars Palace to go fuck off. James Toback is the screenwriter who did the movie the Gambler in 1973. He also did Bugsy in 1992. He’s a stone-boned degenerate gambler who has more nerve than anyone he has run across in his entire life. There was a five to six month period back in 1981 where he would bet just about every game on the board. He was betting anywhere between $1-2 million a day on baseball games. As the word spread, every moustache in the world was heading into Barbary Coast where Vaccaro was employed at the time to see what Jim was going to do. This went on for months. There were some days he might bet $2.2 million within a 20-minute span in the morning.

Yes indeed Las Vegas is where the biggest gamblers go, and this has not changed.

Play better Texas Hold’em

March 8th, 2010

If you are a beginner at Texas Holdem poker, here are a few elements for correct play. If you are experienced already, you can still read this as a refresher.

The most important thing that all PokerStars pros know is to raise and reraise big pairs and big aces at the first round of betting, in other words pre flop. The main reason for doing that is to make the pot size larger when you have a high chance of winning it. The second reason is that you want weak hands to fold, because there is hardly a worse situation than getting your rockets cracked by a garbage hand like 96o when the flop comes K96.

Another key point that Phil Hellmuth mentions in his book is to avoid drawing to the idiot side of a straight, i.e the lower side of the straight. If you hold 98s and the flop comes JT4 rainbow, it is not too good an idea to bet or call big bets with such a straight draw. Because you will often win a small pot or lose a big pot. The reason is if the pot gets big someone else has a big hand and if a queen comes, there is a good chance another player has a higher straight than you.

The next tip is to fold unconnected cards of medium strength most of the time. Even low pairs should be mucked unless you are set mining. But even if you hit a set, there is always the chance that another player has a higher set, and it is very costly to lose a huge pot in a battle of sets when you are dominated like that without mercy. Remember you want to win big pots and lose small pots, so the habit of folding such low cards is a good one to have.

Finally top poker pros say that learning how to catch a bluff is a fundamental skill to have. Learn to understand which of your opponents bluff a lot to attempt to make you fold your good hands. Try to be not predictable yourself. Master how to bluff perfectly, since this will potentially add a lot of money to your wallet. Study your competitors to see if they are easy to bluff, or if they bluff all the time.

Even if you spend a lot of time playing online poker, you may not win money immediately. You do need to first sharpen your skills to become good at the game of poker so read articles like this one to learn strategy.

Some recent poker sessions

January 27th, 2010

Some updates for my online poker yesterday and this morning.

I finished off my last Cake Poker bonus. The fishiness of the play is hard to believe, but it can be very tough to know where you are sometimes. I end up making calls that would be stupid on say the PS $100 tables. This morning I called down a guy who had overbet the pot, then slowed right up. I had top pair decent kicker (AJ – ace on flop – I had raised from BB after limps so was pretty sure my kicker was good on the flop). He had Q2o (which had caught bottom pair).

I buy in short ($40) and by the river he had put me all in with bottom pair (no draws). What can you do but laugh off the occasional bad beats and misreads and count the PTBB/100 ? Shocking.

I have played 520 hands in the last 24 hours. I made $270 @ 26 PTBB/100, quite impressive. I played 2 $15 SnG’s – unplaced and 3rd for -$5. So this is a total increase in bankroll of about $265 for 4 hours play. This week I played about 20 hours of online poker at Cake for +$900 or $50/hour, not too shabby for $15 SnG’s and 2 tabling $100 NL tables.

OK but I started the week badly at NL ring on Monday. I had a nightmare session and every time I hit a hand someone had a bigger one, I dropped 2 buy-ins ($200) like that. On the other hand my heads up play is going astonishingly well.

Since I restarted $15 SnG’s (9-player) last week, I have got heads up eight times and won them all. I have also started playing HU SnG’s at Cake Poker ($5 + $10). I have now played 10 and won nine. I have only come across one guy who had any clue at all and I was 2-1 against him. That makes me 17 wins out of 18 in heads up in the past week or so.

The real question is should I buy this poker book about heads up that everyone raves about or will it put me off my stride? At least it reassures me that I might be able to play this game profitably even without Poker Tracker.

Early poker days

September 21st, 2009

The Journey Continues

A pastor once told me that each decade in one’s life offered new challenges. The twenties are usually spent finding one’s place and developing a career. I may have found God, but exited my twenties without a career. I left that decade still working at Wendy’s and fearing I wouldn’t ever find my lot in life.

Thankfully, at the ripe old age of 32 I found poker. Unlike today’s young guns I was a decade late and a computer short, but I was on my way. Earlier, I described the beginning of my poker career which started out playing $1-2 limit holdem and $20 tournaments.

Now I will share my personal travels through tournament poker along with some of the key discoveries I’ve made along the way.With my first five-figure win in Lake Elsinore, a $10,000 bankroll seemed sufficient to take on the poker world. It probably would have been enough if I had proper money management skills.

Instead I bought a new Ninja motorcycle and jumped into the biggest game in the casino, which at that time was $40/$80. But my skills couldn’t keep up with my ego, and it wasn’t long before I took a hard fall onto the pavement of reality. I refused to learn my lesson and spent the next few years wandering and squandering my bankroll.

I wanted to turn poker pro, but lacked the financial discipline to make the jump. I eventually found my way back to the $20/$40 games at the Hollywood Park Casino. It was then that I met Lucia, a long-time professional who possessed perhaps the best money-management skills of anyone in poker.

Lucia took me under her wing and began to teach me how to invest my cash game winnings into satellites and parlay satellite wins into tournaments. Her style, while different from my own, led me to learn the value of discipline and patience – but more importantly how to survive. in the late 90′s, I was either lucky or smart enough to have surrounded myself with twenty-plus-year professionals like her and others, all of whom gave me a greater perspective of the game.

Alone I would not have made it anywhere as big as I did in poker.

Early days of poker

July 13th, 2009

This follows on my post about poker in the early days.

I started watching the yellow chip ($5-10) games and began setting my sights on them. I was making $125 a day dealing and probably was squeaking out another $100 from the felt.

The moral decision still hung in the back of my head, but I made the move and continued to play. I began losing and eventually went broke more then once. I would borrow money, win and pay back, and then go broke again. It was a vicious cycle.

I remember one night in particular, sitting in my car in the parking lot of HPC, crying and wondering what I was going to do next. My emotions hidden by the dark night as I slumped against the steering wheel, I picked myself up but still struggled to balance work and stay in action. This went on for a year until I was promoted from dealer to running the daily tournaments.

Then in 1997 I had an epiphany, the notion that poker was not a game of me against everyone else, but rather a game of me against myself. My ability to develop and apply qualities such as discipline, patience, and the ability to read people and their actions not only brought better poker results, but helped develop character beyond the table.

As I learned the game and improved, I found that the game held me accountable for my new found knowledge, and that if I deviated from what I knew was right I was usually punished. My lack of patience, of waiting for the proper hands or situations, is a high cost for education; it’s a class in which I am continually enrolled.

I began to see the game come alive and become a microcosm for life. I now understood that the work was within and not looking out, and the chips were just a way of keeping score. With my moral dilemma resolved, I started playing more of the $20 tournaments and experienced some good results.

I liked the idea that everyone started on equal footing and that the champion would be decided by who played their cards best that day. I won my first weekly tournament that year and, in between work, extended my tournament travels to Lake Elsinore.

The tournaments were bigger ($200 buy-ins) and the structures offered the players more chips and longer rounds. One night, I finished second to Jun Prado and just like that I won over $10,000, had a bankroll, and felt ready to conquer the poker world.

The early days of poker

June 2nd, 2009

The Early Days

TJ, Doyle, Chip, Bobby, and the legendary rounders might laugh when I refer to 1995 as the early days, but even then it was a much different game.

Poker had come out of the smoky back rooms where choosing the best seat meant the one facing the door. But there was still plenty of smoke. Players were still allowed to puff away at the table and were generally cast in a bad light. Many hid their “addiction” from friends, family, and coworkers, afraid of the repercussions they might suffer for simply enjoying a $20 poker tournament.

The $20 buy-in tournaments at Hollywood Park Casino were part of this era. I had secured a job as a dealer and was putting my earnings in play at the lowest levels. Along with the evening daily tournaments, I started playing $1-2 limit. I purchased my first poker book, Hold’em Poker for Advanced Players by Sklanski and Malmuth, on the advice of a friend.

“Hell, I’m advanced,” I thought, “It’s time to move up to $2-4!” The book was written for $10-20 and above, but I was applying the tactics at the $2-4 and $3-6 levels. Reading and studying the game became routine. I kept log books of not only my results, but sometimes of every hand I played.

Even though I enjoyed playing and learning, I didn’t seem to fit in. These players were not interested in getting better, but rather were just looking for an escape from the harsh realities of the outside world. It was disturbing, because it felt like I was playing with people that were gambling with welfare checks.

I began to question whether it was right to play a game where the goal was to take someone else money. I grew up in a small town in the Midwest and came from a middle class family. I arrived in California innocent and naive, sheltered from these harsh realities.

high-stakes fantasy football

March 13th, 2009

Peter “Nordberg” Feldman is a damn fine poker player. He regularly dominates major online tournaments and he even beat Gavin Smith to win the 2006 World Series of Poker Circuit championship at Harrah’s New Orleans, good for a payday of more than $500,000.

But as Andy Wang gears up for his heads-up battle with Feldman, it’s clear he’s overmatched. Andy is relaxed and ready to dominate, knowing that he really has no chance.

A couple of weeks after trouncing Feldman, Andy was faced with a heads-up challenge that might intimidate many poker players, but naturally he realized that it was going to be another cakewalk. If you’ve seen his opponent that week, Jean Gluck, on Calvin Ayre’s Wild Card Poker, you know this former model is the type of girl who can disarm novices with her beauty.

Gluck might look sweet as a kitten, but she is fierce as a tiger when trying to separate you from your chips. And yet once again he just knows he is going to destroy her as well. Have we mentioned that they were not playing poker?

Of course, after the first six weeks of his fantasy football league with a bunch of poker pros, most of whom he has never met, these are the only two match-ups he has won. So maybe we should stop the smack-talking now. In that case, we might as well take the opportunity to thank NFL stars Lamont Jordan and Hines Ward for being so worthless. They have picked a pretty inopportune time to have an off-year.

Yes it is easy to beat any strong poker player in a heads-up match if it is in fantasy football, and not in No Limit Texas Holdem Poker. Luck plays a much bigger role in fantasy football, and this is why there are no real pros in this game. But there are many pros in poker, because skill really counts a lot in the long-term.

Erica Schoenberg Gets Naked on Strip Poker

December 26th, 2008

Poker princess Erica Schoenberg caught topless on a new strip poker DVD! Men and women alike unite in happiness.

Seasoned poker player Erica Schoenberg has apparently been showing down a lot more than just her cards lately. In a story that seems almost too good to be true, Erica was caught with more than just her pants down – in fact, from what was seen, she’s completely devoid of both pants….and bra!

The gorgeous 28-year old poker professional, who is also the official ambassador for Mansion Poker and the former girlfriend of high stakes pro David Benyamine, is clearly seen topless in a new DVD titled “Carmen Electra’s Strip Poker.”

There has been no official confirmation that the person in the screen capture (from the DVD) is indeed Erica, but the internet poker forums are buzzing over the prospect of yet another big time poker name being busted for naked shenanigans. But from what can be seen and read, this is definitely the real deal. The shot in question are posted all over the Web, and maybe you can determine if this her. Just try not to get too overly excited over there, ok?

Now on a side note, this isn’t the first time a well-known poker player has been caught doing indecent acts with their bodies.

In fact, online juggernaut Jennifer “Jennicide” Leigh caused quite an uproar several years ago when racy photos of her in lingerie were plastered all over NeverWinPoker. And just last year, photos of a naked Gavin Griffin were leaked onto the same site – with 2004 WSOP Main Event 2nd place winner David Williams’ foot fetish porn video being found and posted all over the interweb shortly after that!

The moral of the story kids? If you get naked in front of a camera – and are a big time poker player….the evidence of it will eventually be found and posted on the internet for our viewing pleasure. Just food for thought.