Archive for March, 2009 – Razz

Posted by Trix @ 12:00 AM, Monday Mar 30th, 2009 – Razz is a game which has been around for a number of years and involves a significant amount of assimilation of incomplete information.
Each player begins with two cards face down and one face up. The set up at this point and throughout the hand is similar to Seven Card Stud in many ways, as these three cards are followed by another face up, then another, a further card, before a final one face down. This gives each player seven board cards with four exposed, and three hidden.


The aim is not actually to make poker hands from our standard rankings, but to make the best unpaired five card low hand with the wheel (A,2,3,4,5) being the nuts.
Betting rounds take place between each player receiving a card after the first three have been dealt. Most Razz events are played in ‘limit’ format meaning that the action can be a little slow in the early stages of the tournament, but the game itself is still very enjoyable to play.
Razz has been scheduled in the WSOP calendar for a long time, although you could easily debate that it isn’t a form of poker at all. The key point though that links the game to other poker games is that you have to read the potential strength of your opponents hand, and relate that to betting patterns to form an opinion of how many cards your opponent has to a low hand and how low it is, and will potentially be if it improves.
Sometimes you can bluff when your opponent is dealt an ugly card that pairs an exposed card or is as high as a King or Queen and your own card is favourable. As ever though, it is not always about what hand you have, but what hands it appears you might

For Poker click the link – Case Study 4

Posted by Trix @ 12:00 AM, Monday Mar 23rd, 2009 – This is a hand I saw recently between Phil Hellmuth and Gabe Kaplan, and involved Phil calling a raise preflop to defend his blind with (Kh,Jh). The flop then falls (9h,6c,Jd) with Phil having already checked in the dark. Gabe with (Ad,9c) raises $2,400 an with around $11,0000 remaining, Phil calls. The turn card is terrible for Phil as it brings the (As) and he checks to Gabe. Gabe bets out $4,300 and after much consideration, Phil calls the bet. The (5d) on the river is no help to Hellmuth, and he checks, with Gabe putting him all in for his last $4,900. Eventually Phil calls partly as he has so much commited already, and he is elminated.


Phil is a great player in my opinion, but I feel he plays this hand badly. First of all, I think when he makes top pair and Gabe raises, he has to reraise. Gabe mentions to him that if he had a Jack he should have reraised on the flop, and the fact that Phil says he had (K,9) at the end and mucks his hand, hints that perhaps he knows that too.
As soon as he flat calls on the flop, any Ace or Queen is bound to leave him unsure of where his hand is, and if he reraises, he probably takes down the pot on the flop.

If he reraised and was called, he would probably think his opponent might have him outkickered with (A,J) and he can fold to the $4,300 bet when the Ace hits on the turn.

Afterwards, Phil says that he ‘had Gabe trapped’ on the flop. Personally I do not know how you can feel you have someone ‘trapped’ when you only have top pair without top kicker, and this seems a strange way to see things to me.
In my opinion, he should have ended the hand on the flop and never allowed Gabe to see the turn card.

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Partypokercom – Betting Amounts

Posted by Trix @ 12:00 AM, Tuesday Mar 17th, 2009 – In the most popular game today (NL Holdem) there is no limit on what amount you can bet at any given time. You can never force an opponent out of the game however by putting in more than they have in front of them. If there are multiple opponents in the pot, any extra goes into a side pot.


Just because there is no limit to what you can bet though, that doesn’t mean you should always bet it all when you are bluffing, as your bluff has to tie in with what you have done previously. Bear in mind that if you had just hit a big hand as you are trying to tell your opponent that you have, you wouldn’t shove it all in for fear of your opponent folding. that brings me to my next point, and that is betting the right amount when you do have a hand. If you hit the card you are looking for, you should be basing your bet size on a few different factors.

How strong do you think your opponents hand is? If you think they have top pair with a strong kicker, then you can certainly get some chips from them, but you could easily bet too big and convince them to fold too. Secondly, if your opponent already has a lot of chips commited to the pot, you can safely say that a larger bet is less likely to force them out if they have any sort of hand. Finally, as with many aspects of poker, your opponents table image is important. If they are a loose player and do not like to feel they are being bluffed, you have a better chance of extracting more chips with your hand. – Simple Plays

Posted by Trix @ 12:00 AM, Tuesday Mar 10th, 2009 – Sometimes we are forced to keep things simple in poker. One such circumstance would be when you have a shortstack in an MTT. One player at my local game last week was very low on chips and was still flat calling the blinds and seeing flops which is not how I like to play in such situations.


I think when you are shortstacked you have to use what little power you have left to ensure you are in a heads up situation when your chips go in. This maximises your chances of a double up and doesn’t give your opponents the chance to play back at you. Being a short stack generally means you can be pushed around in poker but the moment you switch to playing shove or fold poker, you take this advantage away from your opponent.
Simple plays are not only to be used in short stack situations though, as when you have a strong stack you can still maintain a solid yet simple style of play to preserve chips.

When it comes to playing hands in differing ways there are also some instances where keeping things simple can be to your benefit. Small pocket pairs are usually cards which I play in a simple way. Try and see the flop as cheaply as possible, disregarding the number of players who end up involved in the pot, works well for me. Most of the time you will miss the flop and can fold, but if you flop a set, you can then get involved in a pot which such a hand will often win.