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So I am Going to Write a Book

Posted by BlackRain79

Similar to coaching, writing blog posts or making videos, this would come pretty naturally to me. As tilted and annoyed as I get by this game at times, if I didn't enjoy poker immensely overall, I would have quit about 5 million hands ago :)

I believe that I can add a lot of value to the micro stakes community, given the success that I have had. I see a serious lack of information out there on how to beat the lowest stakes. To my knowledge, I am the only person on any training site, that is consistently making videos at these limits.

The information on forums is kind of sketchy to say the least (it does depend on the forum though). But the advice is often from people who don't actually play in these games, or from beginners who probably shouldn't be giving advice in the first place.

And any books that I could find out there purporting to cover the micro stakes seem to suffer from the same problem. The authors don't actually play at the micro stakes. Or much poker at all in some cases since the games got tough!

All of this is crazy to me. These are the limits where everybody starts at. And they are the most popular ones on the internet. I just checked on Pokerscout and there are more tables currently running on Pokerstars at NL2 than any other limit.

Do we really need another book on how to beat 5/10 when there are a grand total of 2 full tables running right now at that limit on the biggest poker room in the world?

And if everybody was just breezing through the micros like all the experts on the forums believe you should, then nobody would be visiting this blog, commenting on my PTR, watching my videos on DragTheBar etc. They would all be balling it up at 5/10 with all the other superstars out there.

The reality of course is much different.

So I intend to write this book about the lowest limits. The ones that I am either famous or infamous for depending on who you talk to. That would be NL2 and NL5. I have had more success than anyone in history at these stakes but perhaps more importantly, I still crush these games today. This is why I feel comfortable writing this book.

My goal with this book is very simple. I want to put to virtual ink the playbook in my head that has allowed me to have a lot of success in these games. I feel that unlike other formats be it coaching, videos or blog posts, a book is kind of a mammoth block of information that cannot be denied.

The information in those other formats is always far more limited to time and space constraints. My intention with this book, is a comprehensive statement on how to beat these particular games, in 2011, at the highest winrate possible.

So unlike some other poker books out there, you won't find many pretty diagrams in this one. Hardly any math. No plot. No gripping story lines. Hardly any fancy pictures. No complex EV calculations. No fluff. Just results.

I don't plan on writing another book on poker ever again. While it has been enjoyable so far, it has also been a massive undertaking.

I have actually already written most of the book. I didn't want to say anything about this until I actually sat down and really got started. I have written so much at this point that there is no way that I don't release it. I expect the editing and formatting to take weeks still and my goal at this point is simply to release it before the end of this year. But hopefully a bit sooner than that.

But as I said this is still very much a work in progress. So I would like your input on anything that you would like to see covered in it. For example, your most burning questions or problems relating to these games. As I said before, I want to leave no stone unturned in this book and it will not be released until I am very satisfied that that is the case.

Lastly, if you are an author yourself or have any advice or input on how to write or release a book please let me know as well as I have never done this before. My intention right now is to release this as an eBook (PDF format) only, but if there is some interest in a hardcover or paperback version, I may consider that as well.

As always guys, and girls, thanks for the support here on my blog and elsewhere. Hope you are all doing well!

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Welcome to the Occupation

Posted by preachercasy151

Hey everyone,

Unfortunately I won't be able to grind much for the rest of the week, but I'm going to be coaching more.  I'm at my parents' house until I make the move from Aberdeen to Edinburgh on Sunday. My sister, her husband and their two wee girls are coming to spend time with us, which is always a delight.  My brother, his girlfriend and an assortment of family friends will also be visiting, so it's going to be a bit of a free-for-all.  I find it impossible to keep focused on grinding when there is a lot of activity in the house, and the games are tough these days.  Anything less than 100% focus is a leak, and so I'm going to take the opportunity to log some coaching hours and make some videos for Drag The Bar.

It is also a great opportunity for me to review my game a lot.  With so many students, coaching and writing commitments it can be easy to get lazy and neglect my own improvement.  Fortunately I am lucky in that I can turn to some fantastic players in Team Moshman and the wider poker community for advice anytime that I feel I'm getting a little bit stale.  My HEM problems are incredibly tilting; in short, despite my various rebuilds and the help of some HEM experts, it still is randomly ignoring HHs, the HUD is volatile and the replayer temperamental.  Not much puts me on tilt at the tables; the window cleaner banging away at my window and broadband/connection problems are pretty much the extent of it.  I guess I can now add HEM problems to the list.  All I can say is roll on PokerTracker 4!

So if you don't see me at the tables much for the rest of the week, it isn't because I have become lazy (well, I am lazy, but that's not the reason!).  Simply, every setback has opportunity attached; Monteroy taught me that, and he was bang on.   With all this family around, things are going to be too hectic to do much grinding.  However, there are tons of poker-related activities that I can instead turn my focus to in order to both improve my game and that of my students.  Plus, the new records from Wilco and The Waterboys have both just been released, and they're magnificent.  It would be a shame not to give them the attention that they deserve.  See you in five days!

All the best, everyone.


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Poker Musings

Posted by Leatherass

I have had a lot of thoughts and musings regarding the poker world lately. So I thought I would compile them into one blog here for whatever it's worth.

- I guess you could say the timing of my last blog railing against Annie Duke and her Epic Poker League was pretty funny. I just got through calling her brother Howard Lederer the "Bernie Madoff of Poker" and two days later I read a headline news story calling FTP (for which Howard is a significant shareholder and Board member) a "Ponzi scheme." I wouldn't go so far as to label it that myself, but there is no question at this point that they were paying themselves with player funds, so call it what you want, that SOB still belongs in prison. For that matter, you can go ahead and throw anyone else who was "in the know" (it will be interesting to find out how many of our poker heroes that entails) regarding FTP in there as well. Maybe they can all go the the same prison and play poker against each other. The loser must "drop the soap" in the showers....That seems to be a fitting payback for Howard Lederer, a man who made himself out to be a poker superstar when he was terrible at poker. Now maybe he might wish he had simply tried to improve his poker game rather than trying to think he was above the law and run an online poker room from the United States.

I was always amazed that those guys tried to get away with that. I don't care how good their lawyers were and how well they tried to create a firewall between their shell company and Full Tilt Poker, you still have to be able to sleep at night don't ya? They thought they had a loophole around the very clear law that has always existed which says that you can not own or operate an online gaming business from the United States. I guess they thought their shell company (Tiltware and now Pocket Kings ltd.) would always keep them protected. Well, they were wrong. I guess in retrospect we as poker players probably should have better sense than we had. Why would we expect someone with the mentality of trying to skirt the law (and flaunt it once they felt they were successful) to also run their business in an ethical way? Anyone with that kind of mentality would surely have to be a strong candidate to do other shady things. Man, I kind of feel a little dumb now for buying in to their whole facade. I hope we see a lot of jail time for these folks involved in this mess.

- Now that such a large number of poker players have been involved in scams as I pointed out in my last blog, and the FTP squad will almost surely never see another endorsement dollar ever again (unless the people paying them are stupid), who the hell are the Las Vegas poker rooms going to endorse if/when online poker becomes licensed and regulated? Who will their "red pros" be? If you think about it, there aren't many poker players left!

A lot depends on who the sponsors are. For example, Phil Hellmuth should be fine to endorse an online Vegas run poker room (think or etc.). But if our goal is to get major Fortune 500 brands sponsoring poker players at some point (by wearing clothing at the tables much like golfers wear a major companies logo), in my opinion Hellmuth is screwed. Him continuing to support UB after all of their disasters and also him just looking like a fool on TV all the time isn't going to ever land him a Fortune 500 brand. I think he really shot himself in the foot for the long term, but my guess is he probably made more money than he will ever need, so maybe he is the smart one haha. That being said, I am SHOCKED that Hellmuth and Annie Duke haven't come across more scrutiny over their UB relationship considering they were essentially paid with player funds as well. I mean UB can't pay everyone now right? And Hellmuth has a truckload of UB money. How is that any different than the situation with Lederer, Furgueson, Furst etc? Why are we so comfortable asking them to return the money but not Hellmuth and Duke? Shoot, I know I wouldn't want to be though of as a thief if for example my brother were to do something sketchy, so I don't want to draw the comparison that Annie deserves to be investigated simply because her brother is a crook, but often times the apple doesn't fall far from the tree and Annie has an eerily similar situation so I don't understand why she is getting a free pass here.

It will be interesting to see who the Vegas casinos choose to endorse their online poker rooms whenever that day comes. My guess is that they will be looking for people who don't have any baggage. Since the industry will be essentially resetting itself, my hope is that they choose people who were able to stay out of the criminal side of the game of poker and look for representatives who people can actually trust. But the list is so short now! I guess this is a good example of how doing the right thing in life might actually reward you in the long run. Every prominent player who maintained a clean image and ignored temptation to become a crook has now watched their stock go up tremendously in a licensed and regulated poker environment. Congrats to everyone who falls under the category!

- I do want to applaud Tom Dwan for opening himself up to the poker community by doing open Q & As as well as interviews. He made himself available to answering questions to Noah Stephens-Davidowitz, who in my opinion is easily the most respected poker journalist in the world right now. He runs a site called <a href="">Subject Poker</a> which is designed to be a hard hitting journalism that exists in the poker industry today. If you want to real scoop on what is going on in our industry, Subject Poker is very clearly the best website for that.

Back to Dwan though. I think Dwan's promise to return every cent he was paid from FTP is a great gesture. He plans to return over a million dollars to the players. He is the only player who has stepped up to this point and I think this is a very smart and noble move by Tom Dwan. He was also able to answer a number of tough questions, which I think is nice. In some of his interviews, even he has admitted that he still thinks he might be somewhat jaded on his perspective regarding some of the people running FTP because he was friends with them at one point. So he seems somewhat reluctant to fully admit that some of his friends are in fact scumbag criminals, although he has admitted that there is no question that some are. My 2 cents would be that Tom Dwan ought to have a "come to Jesus" (and I don't mean Jesus Furgueson!) moment with himself and just realize that anyone who he even thinks "might" be a criminal, IS a criminal.

I have had a very similar situation in my past, and it always takes awhile to be truly convinced that your friends or business partners are indeed scumbags. But in the end, I did come to realize that in my situation that my friends and business partners were all scumbags. I think Tom Dwan is young and it is hard to fault him. But he is going to realize that if it looks like scum, smells like scum and acts like scum, IT IS SCUM!

- I think it will be interesting to see how the FTP mess affects our prospects of fully licensed and regulated online poker. On one hand, it could be viewed as the poster child for why we do need licensing and regulation. On the other hand, it could be viewed as the exact reason why the government should just kill the industry the way they have been. We are all obviously hoping for the former, but man, who knows. This is UGLY! Within 10 minutes of FTP being labeled a "Ponzi scheme" by the DOJ, I had like 10 emails from the article being forwarded to me from friends who don't even play online poker. I will never know their honest opinions on how they perceive this stuff as I am sure they wouldn't want to make me feel badly, but you never know how people perceive this stuff. Sure, every sensible person I talk to agrees that the industry should be regulated, but our country is not run by sensible people.

- They say congress has a 12% approval rating right now. This doesn't make sense because only 1% of the country is rich.

Have you ever met one of these "12%ers"? I would sure be interested to know what categories these people fall under. For example, are they all people who spend under 1 hour a year reading the news? Are they mentally challenged in some way? Are they very poor and have no access to information they way other folks do? Are they people who try and just stay positive no matter what their circumstances? Are they lobbyists that are getting everything they want? I would be interested to know who these people are because I have personally never met one of these exotic "12%ers"?

- I was thinking the other day that the FTP saga would make for an amazing movie someday. Then I saw on 2+2 that they were already throwing around names for what that movie might be called. I do think it would make an amazing movie. You reading this Hollywood?

- Oh what the hell I'm just going to say this: Man am I glad I endorsed Poker Stars and not FTP!

FTP would not have been possible post 2008 for me. I would have taken a pro spot prior to that if offered, but once I realized that they could not prove they were segregating player accounts, I would not have represented them. Once I found that out, I always kept my FTP balances much, much lower than Poker Stars. I was never afraid to keep basically any amount in my account in Poker Stars money, but always cashed out of FTP as fast as I made it, for the most part. Eventually I quit playing on the site in early 2010.

- Finally, I am going to end this blog with a completely shameless plug for my book <a href="">Treat Your Poker Like A Business</a> Since so many folks are trying to earn money in poker illegitimately, for those who are looking to do things the "right way", this book is perfect for you.

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Adios REM

Posted by preachercasy151

Hey folks.  I was all set to write a poker blog this week and then the news got through that REM have split.  From the moment I got into music as a young'un, it was Stipe, Mills, Berry and Buck all the way.  Green still ranks up their with my favourite records of all time and, although I can live without their most recent output, their 80s catalogue is probably the most consistent run of brilliant albums in musical history.  A bold claim, of course, but let's think about it:



Fables of the Reconstruction

Lifes Rich Pageant (the lack of apostrophe always tilted me)



Barely a dodgy track, let alone a whole album, between them.  If there was a gun to my head, I would pick Can't Get There From Here from their worst.  Beyond that, I can honestly say that I would happily listen to every single song that they released in the 80s (minus a couple from Dead Letter Office, their odds n sods contract-filling compilation).  Even the mighty Wilco and Waterboys can not hand-on-heart claim to have matched REM's consistency over the course of six records, let alone their first six.  And that's before you include Out of Time, Automatic, Monster and New Adventures (each of which are outstanding records in the context of anybody else's repertoire).  Modest Mouse had Long Drive, Lonesome Crowded West, Moon and Antarctica, and Good News; four quite brilliant releases that rival almost anything from the 90s onwards.  Still, they lag behind REM for consistency.

While my musical tastes have evolved and I have fallen in and out of love with countless bands, REM have remained a constant.  They deserve to be spoken about alongside the all-time greats.

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We Need Punishments That Fit The Crime

Posted by Leatherass

What is going on these days in the poker community? It seems not a day goes where we find out on 2+2 that someone isn't scamming someone. I think we have had 5 or 6 such incidents in the past few weeks alone. Then we obviously have the Full Tilt and UB mess. Geez, what an industry I am a part of! To be honest, it has been very disheartening to see all of this go on. I badly want to be proud of the industry I am involved in, but it is becoming increasingly difficult with all of the scams that are going on.

I think this points towards why we need licensed and regulated online poker so badly. I hope that in the future once we clearly establish all of the rules on everything, that it calls for player penalties much like the SEC might (not that they catch or even bother to try and catch everyone) throw a person in jail for fraud in the financial services industry.

Honestly, jail is where a long list of these poker scammers belong. I know us poker players seem to be fighting to eliminate player penalties, but I  wish we wouldn't. Once the rules are clearly in place, there is just too much money floating around in the poker economy to let people off the hook. As it stands right now, a loss of reputation and likely ostracism from the poker community are really the only things deterring people from trying to pull off these scams. I am sorry, but if the worst thing that happens to someone for trying to scam people out of 6 figures is that they get called out on 2+2 (which has now devolved into the TMZ for poker) is simply not enough of a deterrent. These scammers belong in jail!

The problem is there is no leadership. Leadership needs to start from the top. Sadly, just this week the Epic Poker League, which is essentially trying to become the PGA Tour of poker, stiffed a guy out of $20,000. Annie Duke (aka the Sarah Palin of poker) and her Epic Poker League told a winner of a satellite event into an Epic Poker League event that they couldn't play the event itself because of a prior conviction as a sex offender. Not only did the league decide that this person should not be allowed to compete in the event proper, but also stole the $20,000 the man won fair and square. All they did was refund the man's entry fee and tell him to go away, essentially. How much do you want to bet that had he not won, not in a million years could he have asked for his money back on the grounds that he shouldn't have been able to play. They basically just free rolled the guy.

The irony in this is astounding. Annie Duke herself used to pimp UB which has stolen tens of millions (if not more) for a large fee (and to my knowledge has kept all the money) and rumor has it, has had a number of shady dealings in the past. Her own brother is basically the Bernie Madoff of poker. Yet she is the one telling others that they are too shady to allow a seat in her Epic Poker League, and stealing money from them in the process. Of course if you are on of her friends like Mike Matusow who is a convicted felon, then that is obviously not a problem. What a world we live in!

I wish the poker community could simply keep their lying to the tables! The lying I am referring to is bluffing, of course. I guess in a way we are all highly trained and skilled liars. But the decent ones draw the line at the tables, and others take it a bit further, which is unfortunate. I honestly don't know if it will ever change. As much as I want this mind sport (which is what poker is now considered according to the IMSA) to become like the sport I most love, golf, I have lost pretty much all hope in that.

Golf has its share of issues as well, but they pale in comparison to poker. About the biggest scandal that comes along in golf is finding out someone smoked pot or got a DUI or something. You never hear about people cheating or pulling off scams. In fact, it is routine for players to call penalties on themselves even when no one other than themselves witnessed the infraction! Even the Tiger Woods "scandal" really is not that much of a scandal at all. He cheated on his wife like crazy. So does half or more of married couples. Besides, that is away from the sport itself. Tiger hasn't cheated anyone on the golf course.

I think moving forward we need to have some clear boundaries and some stiff penalties. We have a Wild, Wild West right now in poker. And the rules haven't always been clear. Obviously when Eli Elezra is going on TV and talking about how he has 16 FTP accounts in his name, he clearly didn't realize he was doing anything wrong. Shoot, I would venture to guess at some point in their career, almost every well known poker player has had a second account or done something technically wrong. The vast majority had no idea they were doing anything wrong because the code of ethics in poker was evolving and there wasn't a clear consensus on things the way there is now.

My hope is that we can get things cleared up when we finally license and regulate poker. I hope the true crooks out there (not someone who just has a relatively minor infraction like having a 2nd account when they are a small to midstakes full ring player) get treated the way they would in any other industry. I mean, why would we lobby for any other way? Imagine if someone in any other industry tried to steal 6 figures from people and after they stole from you, about the best recourse you had was to post on an internet forum hoping that somehow you would get some money back? I mean what a joke! We need laws with strong deterrents just like they have in any other industry and when people cheat, there needs to be a much cleaner way of reporting it and hopefully some penalties that fit the crime.

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The Good And Bad Of No Online Poker

Posted by Leatherass

My post Black Friday days have sure gone a lot differently than pre Black Friday, mostly for the good fortunately. After both my daughter and my son peeing on me, along with my son spitting up on me several times, my daughter and I made our way to the grocery store. We have been doing a lot of stuff together lately (she's about 2 years old) and it has been pretty fun. She ate an entire apple in the grocery store and did the Hokey Poker in the frozen foods aisle! This is quite a departure from my typical pre Black Friday day when I was mostly grinding high stakes poker online for most of the day.

While poker will forever make me look at money a lot differently than before, I have started to reach a middle ground I believe. My wife and I were reminiscing today about the good old days of online poker. For our first anniversary (which was four years ago last week) we stayed at a posh hotel and went wine tasting. We got pretty drunk and bought a case of wine at every winery we went to. I think I probably spent $4-5k on that 3 day trip and didn't even think twice about it. In fact, I probably made twice that money back within a day or two of returning to the tables. I certainly didn't think much about spending money, but did manage to save the vast majority I made, mostly because I knew a day like Black Friday could come and also because I was playing so much poker I didn't even have time to spend much.

Things are still great even without poker, but I don't care how much I have in the bank, I will never spend more than I have coming in each month. These days I have only a fraction of what I used to make coming in, so I have started to look at prices of things a lot more and almost became physically ill in the grocery store when I realized that the Goat's milk I buy my daughter cost $17 a gallon! She needs to drink a lot of that, since it is her doctor's orders, but geez! Hopefully congress can pull their heads out of their asses soon enough and we can all get back to playing poker again. I need it to pay for milk! Before nothing really bothered me. If our water heater went out, heck, that was just a continuation bet at the games I was playing, no biggie. Or at least that was the way I looked at it. At least until poker comes back, needless to say, that is not how I will be looking at it moving forward.

So long as poker returns, I will probably be forever grateful for poker vanishing overnight. I have gotten the chance to spend so much quality time with my family. My daughter Lennon and I are like best friends these days. We have been doing virtually everything together since my wife is occupied with our newborn. We have water balloon fights, color, watch Elmo and Blue's Clues, go to the water park, do the Hokey Pokey, read books, play with flash cards and countless other things. I even took her to the golf course for the first time and she had a blast. I can just tell the way she is looking at me that she is really enjoying it. She behaves extremely well with me and virtually always has a smile on her face. I can't imagine having more fun than I am having with her. I hope she feels the same way.

Words can not describe how awesome the past few months have been. My golf game has been arguably better than it has ever been. I have been playing a lot more golf lately with some pretty good results. I reached a +4 handicap which is as low as I have ever been. I won my club championship last month and just last week, had probably the most fun I have ever had on the golf course playing in the Idaho Open. I honestly didn't have any expectations going into the event. I just wanted to compete and have fun. I figured the field would be decent, but not great. Boy was I wrong! Turns out the Nationwide Tour was off that week and with the Nationwide tour coming to Boise the following week, many of the tour pros came to the Idaho Open to tune up for the Nationwide event. There were probably 30 players with some level of Nationwide or PGA tour experience and then there was me who was playing in his first pro event since my heart attack 7 years ago haha.

I ended up having (for me anyway) somewhat of a magical week. I started off with a 65 on day 1 to end the day in 3rd place. I followed it up with a 67 on day 2 and found myself in the 2nd to last pairing with a legitimate chance to win with one more great round. I birdied 3 of my first 4 holes of the final round to grab a share of the lead. The wheels came off after that and after a double bogey on the final hole, shot a 73 to come in 18th place. While it probably looks like I choked, I honestly didn't. I was having a great time out there and I am just simply not as good as those guys. I just began playing again a couple of months ago and to even do as well as I did was far beyond anything I even knew I was capable of at this point. It was probably the most positive experience I have had on the golf course in my entire professional career. Going into the last day, I was actually watching a current active PGA Tour pro (Troy Merrit) tee off in front of me because I was beating him! I mean that is sort of like a dream for me. I got to play with Clay Ogden in the final round and he played in the Master's Tournament a few years ago. The whole thing was just nuts. If you want to check out the scores, you can do so by clicking <a href="">Idaho Open Scores</a>

In the last month I have had a great time with my students teaching them poker, witnessed the birth of my son which was one of the most powerful experiences of my life, got to play a ton of golf, won the club championship, had a chance to win the Idaho Open with 14 holes to go, and compiled so many positive experiences with my daughter. I just don't know how it could get much better than that. If poker was still around, I am sure I would have just sat with a bunch of miserable people at the WSOP (not everyone is miserable of course, but it sure seems like that when you play those things) and spent most of the rest of the time in front of a computer screen. No thanks!

I do miss the ability to just print money on the computer of course. And I obviously realize that if poker never comes back, at some point I am going to have to do something to get the money train going again, and it likely won't be as fun, easy or as profitable as poker. But for now anyway, I am pretty content to be in the situation I am in.

The good Oregon weather is on its last legs. We are probably about 4-5 weeks away from our standard terrible fall, winter and spring months. Right now I do know at least one thing that I am going to be doing and that is finishing
<a href="">Treat Your Poker Like A Business 2</a> . I have toyed around with the idea of also writing another book, but I am not sure if I will or not. I might wait and see if the "Super Committee" will finally agree to license and regulate online poker by the end of the year. As I understand it, they have until their winter recess to find at least 1.5 trillion dollars in budget savings. With poker generating about $50B over 10 years in tax revenue, I am optimistic that they will once and for all pull their heads out of their asses, but I honestly don't know why I am optimistic considering they fuck up just about everything that they get their hands on. But that is a discussion for another day.

Lastly, if anyone was in contact me about coaching and didn't receive a reply, that is because my coaching email address was hacked. Please write me again at And if you are a new prospective student, please write me there as well if you are interested in coaching. I am close to reaching my maximum number of students, so please write me soon if you are interested.

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How to Spend Your Pokerstars FPP’s

Posted by BlackRain79

Supernova+ players should just buy the cash bonuses of $1500 for 100k FPP or $4000 for 250k FPP. These equate to 1.5c and 1.6c per FPP respectively.

What if you are a micro stakes or casual player who isn't supernova though? Surely you don't need another Chris Moneymaker poster (do they still offer those? lol)

The best way to spend your FPP's in my opinion is to play the 235 FPP hyper turbo satellites (You will find these at Sit & Go > Satellite > FPP). These 6max sit n go's award an entry into the Sunday Storm (an $11 value) if you finish in the top 2 spots. 3rd place is awarded a largely meaningless 10 FPP and everybody else gets nothing.

A completely average player (cashing 1/3 times) would get 1.6c per FPP playing these things which is already equal to the best supernova rate so the value here is fantastic. That said, there is a time component that must be factored in as well (you have to play them!). Generally I will wait until I have at least 10k FPP sitting around and I should be able to blow through that by 4 tabling these things for a couple hours.

Since you only start with 10 big blinds and blinds increase every 3 minutes, at a first glance these will look like one big stupid shove fest to you. Truthfully they are pretty ridiculous (channel that inner degen!) However there is definitely still some skill involved in them by following a few strategy guidelines.

235 FPP Hyper Turbo Strategy

During the first level (25/50) only play 88+ and AQ+ (always shove of course)

Don't get caught up with all the random idiots shoving any two cards. Stay alive and just be patient. Usually 1 or 2 people will be eliminated during this stage.

During the second level (50/100) shove any Ace, pair, broadway and reasonable King

You have to start moving the chips around a little more now although I might still fold the very bottom end of this range in early position (i.e. hands like A2/22/QT/K9). Stealing the blinds is very important. But again, stay patient, don't worry if you only have like 3 big blinds. Its ok.

End Game

Again stay patient. Do not shove any two. But you will need to add most Queens and suited connectors to the range above now. Stealing the blinds is of critical importance. But you also don't want to finish 3rd.

I have played a lot of these things over the years. I think I have been able to maintain about 1.8c or 1.9c per FPP following the above strategy which is a very good "rakeback" rate. It kinda goes without saying that there is heavy variance in these things though. I am sure I have gone like 20 in a row without even cashing.

What To Do When You Win

I should mention just in case anyone wasn't aware. I don't actually play in the Sunday Storm if I finish in the top 2 spots in the satellite (although you can if you want). I unregister and have $11 in T$ credited to my account. I then go to the 2+2 marketplace thread and trade it for real money at a rate of 99.5%.

Example: I have T$100. I make a post on there offering it for $99.50. Somebody pm's me (usually very quickly) and we do the trade through the Pokerstars software. There is no scamming or BS possible. Both parties must agree to the trade price and then Pokerstars (usually within minutes) approves it. Easy as that.

One last thing, you might be able to achieve the best results in these satellites by playing them on the morning of the actual target tournament which is a Sunday. People may be more desperate to get a spot and play even worse than normal.

Hope this helps. If you have any questions feel free to leave them below and I will answer them as best I can.

Quick note about the blog:
This blog is now located at The old URL will redirect there. You may want to update your bookmarks although I believe it will redirect forever basically. I hope there aren't any problems for regular readers of this blog. Please let me know if there are.

Announcing “Crushing Online Sit and Go’s” By Zerosum79

Posted by zerosum79

I am proud to announce that after over a year of development, I have finally put the finishing touches on my poker training course "Crushing Online Sit and Go's!"

Crushing online sit and go's is more than just an ebook, it's a comprehensive training course geared toward teaching exactly how to implement correct sit and go strategy. When I set out to develop this course, it was my intention to create something that had never been attempted before in poker literature. Rather than rehash the same sit-and-go information that has already been covered in books, I wanted to create a course that simulated the learning environment that takes place in one-on-one coaching at a price that was much more reasonable for a player of limited means. Not only does this book provide all of the strategy necessary to make correct decisions while playing in a sit-and-go, it also utilizes interactive videos to help demonstrate and reinforce the information contained in the book.

The primary concept my strategy relies on is a revolutionary new method for thinking about common sit-and-go situations. This method, which I call “Pivot Points,” will simplify most of the difficult decisions you will face as you play sit-and-go's. Pivot points will help you to develop a concrete strategy for crushing the online games, and will eliminate your doubts that you are playing proper sit-and-go strategy.

Contained in this course is everything that a beginning player needs to learn to make correct decisions in low- and mid-stakes sit-and-go's. Properly implementing this strategy will allow you to rapidly transform into a winning player. The material in this course has been distilled to key concepts that are easy to understand and also easy to apply over a broad range of situations, leaving very few gray areas to explore. Furthermore, the strategy contained in this course is fundamental and will provide the proper foundation for thinking about sit-and-go's as you are ready to move up in stakes.

The strength of this strategy is that it will grow with you as you gain expertise. Only minor adjustments will be necessary to beat higher stakes games. Regardless of your current level of expertise, this course will offer new insights into how to better solve sit-and-go problems, because it will teach how to use the tools necessary to analyze your own play. The ability to think objectively and solve difficult poker problems without the assistance of a coach is the most important step on the journey to mastering sit-and-go’s.

The book and videos are complete and will be offered initially as an ebook. The initial cover price will be $99.99 but I will soon be announcing a presale where you can purchase an advance copy for $69.99 (this has been updated since the initial post). I think that this represents a huge bargain since the information covered is comparable to my beginner and intermediate coaching packages which combined would cost $1000 for 10 hours of coaching. In the next few weeks I'll be releasing further information and launching the presale site so stay tuned!


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Do You Judge a Book by its Cover?

Posted by hotjenny314

When I was little, there was one thing I would get in trouble for over and over.  No, it wasn’t boys, forgetting to do my homework, or refusing to clean my room. It was staying up all night reading old books by candlelight in my walk-in closet.

Every night the books eyed me from their shelves in the hallway, beckoning me with their gilded titles and musty aroma.  Inside my closet with candles lit around me, I would run my fingers along the raised type as I read and inhale sharply as I lifted an airy sheet of tissue paper to take in an etching from The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.

Clearly, my first love affair was with Mark Twain.

Fast forward 15 years and I long to crack the spine of that book all over again.  In lieu of spending my life savings on commissioning a private jet to fly me to my Dad’s house this very instant, I take out my iPad. In a few seconds, and for free, I have re-kindled my romance with Twain.

Without the holy beauty of an antique book to wrap me in musk or sprinkle me with fairy dust, I realized that the words alone are what really made me fall in love. Furthermore, without the glamour of the sexy thick paper to distract me, the words have more weight, for they alone cast the spell.

While I will always love antique books, I find the anti-EReader arguments for physical book nostalgia (of which I was once guilty of), such as “I love to feel the spine in my hands,” or “I want to lick my finger to turn the pages,” actually to be an insult to the manuscripts themselves.  To use tactile arguments to avoid EReaders forever is to be guilty of the biggest cliché in existence: To judge a book by its cover.

Recently, I completed my first novel, co-written with my husband, called The Superuser.  The reality of EPublishing is that I will never hold a hard copy of the book in my hands. But it is likely that more people end up reading the book than if it had been traditionally published, for the simple fact that we are able to price our book at $2.99.

Sometimes I wonder what Twain would think about this new era of EPublishing, and I am reminded of this quote:

“Often, the less there is to justify a traditional custom, the harder it is to get rid of it.”

Training Mental Toughness

Posted by Jared Tendler

There’s a great article in the NY Times today about elite tennis players training mental toughness. This quote epitomizes what the article is about and is something I’ve been pushing poker players to realize for the past several years:

The brain, like a muscle, gets stronger when pushed to the point of failure. In “Rafa,” his recently published autobiography, Rafael Nadal articulated what becomes patently obvious to anyone at the Open who watches the parade of players hitting on the practice courts.

“‘If you watch the No. 10 player in the world and the No. 500 in training, you won’t necessarily be able to tell who is higher up in the rankings,’ Nadal wrote. ‘Without the pressure of competition, they’ll move and hit the ball much the same way.’”

But in the caldron of competition, cooler, clearer heads prevail.

Real mental toughness doesn’t happen by forcing yourself to be fearless or tiltless or supremely confident once or twice. You have to train it by pushing yourself to develop real mental skill and proper mental technique.

The problem is that many poker players, athletes, and people in all walks of life, react to mentally failing under pressure so negatively they can’t use that failure to become stronger mentally. When you’re in the gym lifting weights and your muscles are so tired they can’t push any farther, that’s failure. When you’re playing poker and a bad beat causes so much anger that you can’t control how you play thereafter, that’s failure. Both are equal in their opportunity to increase strength, however, tilt is rarely seen that way.

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