Friday, December 4, 2009

Brief Updates

Dominion is out. Looks good.

Mining Director I is done, the Industrial Command Ship skill is the last step to Orca pre-reqs. But it is expensive. Then there is that little hurdle of actually purchasing the Orca.

I'm researching a great deal about the manufacture and industrial aspects of EVE. I'm reading alot in Market Discussions and blogs about the supply chain from Moons -> Components -> End Products. I really want an income stream other than 30day pilot licenses to fill the wallet.

My reasearch skills are progressing and I am close to Research Projects in order to allow multiple R&D agents.

My mining skills are improving with T2 strips on the Hulk and Veldspar / Plagi. focal crystals in place.

I moved the small tower out of our Worm hole system as the corp is looking for new ground deeper in W space. But prior to the POS take down I put up my first Labratory and researched several BPOs' material efficiency. I'm selling some bomb launchers, gas miners and medium cargo rigs on the market now.

I need to finish bringing my ship assets to the hi sec HQ so I'm not strewn all over empire. Then I'll be joining the corporation in the new Worm Hole.

So much to little time....

Sunday, November 15, 2009

What I'm Learning

In terms of skills, I just finished Mining V (T2 miners for the hulk) and am staring down 12+ days of Mining Forman V which is almost the final barrier to an Orca (minus the several hundred million Isk).

In terms of knowledge, I've been practicing small time trading with an alt. Diametrix has a fair number of trade skills but she's busy in WH space. So, I've hired an alt to assist with hi sec operations.

I'm learning about markets within the market. In the interest of gaining positive cash flow quickly, I will find a product (say, named Meta 2 or 3 hybrid rails) and post a buy order within 3 or 4 jumps that is slightly higher than the top current buy order.

Within a day or two I'll have 30 or so guns I need to part with. I've done my homework and I see these products on the lowest sell orders for at least 7-10X my buy order. That means there is margin to work inside of.

I will list for sale the guns I've garnished. Sometimes after gathering them into one spot but sometimes just selling them wherever they ended up in my assets page. I set the sell price well below the lowest regional sell price but still double or triple my buy price.

This does a couple of things: 1) I discourage the .01 isk game buy drastically underselling. 2) *and this is the important part* I end up selling to a much larger set of customers.

Who is going to buy these underpriced items? People who want the guns for ships and will fly a few more jumps for a great deal. AND: Traders who recognize the value of moving me and my low priced stuff out of their market. I'm selling to buyers and sellers.

This increases the velocity of my inventory and cashflow. It stimulates the market as a whole and it helps me to identify areas of exploitable market activity.

In poker: I'm practicing patience. I'll finally learn this lesson some time after I'm dead, I'm sure. But I have to remind myself that, especially in low limit games, you HAVE to have good cards to tangle in pots. Trying to manipulate the game or even a particular hand is a recipe for disaster. Bluffing is such a razor thin equity move at these levels. I'm trying to wait for cards.

Saturday, November 14, 2009


Been a long time since I blogged here. Too long. I went to fan fest 09 and played in the Hold'm Tourney. I finished 3 out of 60 or so. It was a crazy fast format. Blinds went up at least once or twice an orbit.

Iceland was terrific. We'll be back next year.

I've taken up with a Wormhole corporation. Its good to be with a team and the W-space environment is great for learning new stuff and trying creative schemes.

Poker has been teaching me a thing or two about variance. I've been on a downswing lately. I've read a ton about long downswings and I'm not letting emotional fluctuations impact my game. I've not been playing on EOH much. I'm struggling abit finding my place in a NL ring game.

Sometimes you play in a game that you want to label 'loose, weak, passive, crazy, amatursih...whatever'. I'm deciding that I can't look for games that fit 'my style'. A good game should be any game I sit down in. The key is to figure out what kind of game it is and know that my style is flexible enough to adjust to and profit from that particular game (or player).

So, labels are ok, but I have to constantly reapply them and consistently adjust my play to them. Otherwise, they're just name calling and that's weak defensiveness.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Reports and Updates

I was very lucky to be seated at a 2/4isk NL table on EOH Hold’Em between two of my favorite players: Mynxee (on my left) and Quofous “Q” (on my right). If I’d had my druthers I would have put Mynxee on my right as she plays a bit tighter and more straight forward than Q.

The table was fully 9 handed with chips stacked between 100 and 700+. I sat down with the max buy in, 300.

I’ve been working on my ring game lately. I’m reading ‘Harrington on Cash Games’ by ‘Action’ Dan Harrington and Bill Robertie. Like the rest of the Harrington on…series it’s terrific. Highly recommended. And one of the aspects the book teaches that I’m working hard to develop in my game is putting everyone involved on an accurate range of hands.

Just a few hands into this session I look down in late position at AA after its limped 4 or 5 ways to me. In case you haven’t played EOH Poker, almost every hand is limped from every position until someone min-raises or goes All In. That’s about the gist of it. I espoused earlier in my blog about how maddening this is but I have evolved. I don’t want my opponents to learn why this is terrible play…I want to learn to better exploit it. I want these kinds of tables and I want to adjust my game to beat it.

So, AA and I pop it up to about 16 or 20. The raise gets called in 2 or three spots and the flop comes 7, T, 4 rainbow (or something like that). Check, check and I bet about 3/4s of the 70 chip pot. [estimates based on poor recollection throughout all hand history]

Fold from the BB and min raise from the early position limp/caller, fold in mid and back to me. The check raiser has more chips than me and although I’m not deep here I hate to lose a stack early. So I quickly put this hand back together. This guy open limps from early position and flat calls my late position raise pre-flop. So he doesn’t have a huge hand but he could have a small pair or big connectors. There is no obvious straight or flush draw. So, worse case I’m staring down a made set. Could he have T7 or some other weird 2 pair? Yes. I don’t know him at all. But, I decide that regardless, the range of hands he could have that don’t beat me and the range that he’s ahead but I could still overcome justify staying in. I shove and he hesitates but calls…turn and river blank off and he shows JT off suit for top pair medium kicker. AA holds up.

I start to watch players to determine what kind of hands they open with, what kind of hands they raise with and what kind of betting they do when in a hand. There is SO MUCH info to be gathered and interpreted but making this part of my game is critical.

Most of the players at this table limp with anything. They are seeing greater than 50-70% of hands when they can limp in. A couple of players are ‘tight’ and see less than 30% or even less than 20% of hands. These are very rough estimates as this is my first time seeing most of these players and I’ve only watched a few orbits.

In later positions I’m limping along with the crowd with suited connectors and Ax suited. I will even come along with trouble hands like QJ or KJ for cheap. When I play hands like these my goal is not to hit a pair. I will fold QJ when the board pairs a Q high and I encounter a lot of action. Why? Because these players will limp AQ the same as Q7 off….you have to be cautious. What I’m really looking for is straight, flush or 2 pair at the very least against an aggressive stack with at least 25-30+ big bets behind.

I don’t find too much of what I’m looking for and my stack dwindles down to close to my original buy in.

Last couple of hands I get QQ back to back. The first time is in early position and I open raise to 16, I think. It gets called by a mid position player that fits the LAG profile I described above and gets called in the BB by Q. I tell myself that if over cards flop and I meet resistance these bitches are hitting the muck. Flop: A, blank, K with 2 spades. Bleh.

I think Q checked and I probably checked here too…but the mid position caller led out and Q called. That’s all I needed to know…bye bye Hilton Sisters. And it turned out to be a good fold as both players held strong-ish Ace and King hands. Folding big hands like this is something I’m learning to do more and more. It’s a vital step in a beginning player’s repertoire.

Last hand and the very next deal I get the girls right back, QQ. Limped in a couple of spots and back to me…I raise it up to 20 I think. I get called in a couple of places and the flop comes rag-rag-Ace. There is around 70 in the pot. (I’m actually last to act here because the blinds for some reason skipped me due to player changes).

Check, Check and it’s to me. I know very well that either of these guys could and would call with any weak ace. I decide, however, that this fact does not justify a weak check behind given my hand. So I bet out 2/3rds of the pot with the expectation that if I get called I’m backing off this hand. But they both fold and I turn up the girls and call it a night.

Now, before I close this entry I want to try to relate one hand I saw Q play when I was not involved. He has about 400+ in stack and the pot gets limped into from an early player then a mid position player raises to about 12 chips and Q in the cutoff re-raises to about approximately 40+. I have AJ clubs and realize that this hand is probably behind…fold. Early limper folds and mid position raiser flat calls.

The flop comes ace high and the mid position player checks to Q. After a few moments of hesitation Q shoves over 400 chips into a pot that holds less than 100. All this while I’m trying to put people on hands. I originally put Q on a very strong hand but now I’m re-assessing. What does that monster over bet say? It does NOT say, I have an ace and want you to call. In fact, it screams I don’t have an ace….please just give me this pot. I don’t think there was an obvious straight or flush draw but I could be wrong.

After a few more moments in the tank the mid position player calls with KK and takes the pot when Q turns up 88. I’m learning more and more to rebuild the action in a hand in my head and interpret what it means about a player’s holding. This is so vital.

And it’s necessary as I was describing to Mynxee that next week my employer is sending me to Las Vegas for a 5 day medical management conference. How nice! I’ll be at the Mirage for 6 days and I’ll be trying to jot down notes and blog some about live action.

Friday, February 13, 2009

EVE in the Blogosphere

Raph Koster is a well known game developer and MMO enthusiast. He commented recently on the whole DBoB affair.

I posted a comment as well that I want to repost here. This just repeats how strongly I feel about the great value of EVE in this gaming market.

""I’m a EVE player. I’ve also played most of the other MMOs on the market, starting with Island of Kesmai, Gemstone, UO and on and on to present.

I think Raph’s in depth analysis of the social dynamics of EVE is compelling. But I take some issue with his opening comments that suggest “another EVE Scam…ho hum”.
EVE, as many will tell you, is probably the most complex simulation/MMO on the market today. Even if you don’t care for the harsh PVP or the Sci-Fi genre you have to be impressed with the intricacy of the game itself.

But the true value, the real driver of what keeps players sticking around EVE for years and years is the humanity of it all. Yukon Sam seems to suggest, eloquently, that the MMO market would benefit from a game that pursues a more utopian interaction from players. I personally find some aspect of that kind of play in ATITD. But what keeps me coming back to EVE is that the game has found that blend of qualities that endear it to the true human spirit. Conflict is part of humanity. Tribes (clans, corporations, alliances) are what we, as humans, do. Exploring the good, bad and ugly of human interaction is one of the best parts of multiplayer gaming.

The ability to ‘scam’, pirate, steal, etc. in EVE gets a lot of press. But, regardless of how often those things happen, there is a great deal more communication, trust, community development happening in this game. It’s just that the more morally ambiguous behavior garnishes the public response.

What happened to BoB is terrific. Not because it happened the way it did but because it is yet another step forward in the social sandbox of EVE. I disregard the notion about ‘in-game’ versus ‘out of game’ mechanics. EVE inspires ‘out of game behavior’. EVE TV, EVE Radio, Killboards, blogs, interaction at every level is what MMOs should be about. How GoonSwarm did this is not as important as is the fact that they DID THIS. Of course, BoB isn’t ‘gone’. The players are still there and the alliance will be reborn. But the anthill has overturned and the interactions generated are so great for the game.

Rome fell. Europe and the British Empire evolved because of it. Machiavellian politics and plots happened. We all should appreciate the wealth of human interaction that arises from our inherent xenophobic Tribal tendencies. It is our base urges toward conflict as well as our occasional insights into the value of cooperation and charity that make us human. The Jailor’s dilemma, isn’t it?

I love EVE because it embodies the best place in the current gaming market to explore all of this human content. ""

Monday, February 9, 2009

The Way Forward

EVE Online has bridged a significant gap amongst MMOs. I don’t mean eclipsing the peak concurrent user record for simultaneous players on a single server: >51,000!

What I’m referring to is CCP’s success at moving massively multiplayer games into an increasing variety of media outlets that actively involve players. This creates a self reciprocating synergy that grows immersion and popularity of the product.

Not only do we explore, research, build, buy, sell, hunt, kill and explode inside a single massive multiplayer server galaxy…but we also Facebook, blog, YouTube, teamspeak, twitter, killboard, web radio and now: EVE TV!

This weekend’s Alliance Tournament VI broadcast on EVE TV was a spectacular venue to watch and listen to EVE commentators, developers and players taking part in an exciting culmination of the Swiss-style tournament.

CCP flew well known players to Iceland to commentate and interact with developer staff. The studio, camera settings, in game video and graphics overlays were very well done considering this is not the full time medium CCP operates in. And you have to appreciate the videos interspersed throughout the tourney coverage. They were great.

Rebroadcasts of memorable footage from 2008 Fan Fest was mingled with insightful interviews of various developer staff at CCP in their office spaces. CCP Soundwave did a terrific job coordinating interviews and showcasing information about the upcoming Apocrypha expansion.

Taking questions from players on IRC chat as well as those from the in studio guest players, we got to hear a lot of new information about not only what we’ll see in EVE after 10March, but also how it is designed, developed and what might come in the future.

On the in-game Alliance Tournament chat channel there were grumblings from a few about not being interested in how CCP utilized the new program management styles, SCRUM and AGILE to bring Apocrypha to light, but I found it fascinating and I’d like to make a few points about this well put together piece.

How many WoW or Everquest players would give their eye-teeth to get a fraction of the developer interaction with their communities that we enjoy in EVE? A lot. And when was the last time you saw Blizzard or Sony present any significant information about the inner workings of their development houses with the kind of transparency that CCP embraces?

You’ve heard it before and this weekend displayed it again: CCP has an out of the box approach to developing, marketing and interacting with a customer community that the rest of the industry should pay attention to.

The MMO business started out as an unfettered, unexplored marketplace but it is evolving into an industry where competition is fierce and market share is fought hard for. The behemoth in the room is currently unassailable due to its shear size and momentum. Ok, there is unlikely to be a game in the near future that will over take World of Warcraft for total subscriptions. But there are many healthy and viable companies that wax and wane versus one another. There is plenty of market out there to be had and it is still growing each year. The MMO company that is most innovative, knowledgeable and in touch with what the market wants (and delivers it) will seize a larger piece of the pie and retain it.

CCP is going above and beyond its competition by involving the community in ways the rest won’t. By building the kind of gritty daring game that is sought by players and not hobbling its product to large corporate ideas of politically correct market dynamics. CCP and EVE are not only pushing but blowing the envelope wide open when it comes to trying new things and involving players in exciting ways.

The Alliance Tournament VI was great. The coverage was amazing and the evidence that CCP is leading the charge into the future of MMOs is apparent.

That’s my (more than) 2 cents. Thanks for listening.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Faction Warfare Microcosm

I discussed my views about FW in my previous post. Specifically, that Faction Warfare is meant to be a stepping stone between Carebear/Hi Sec/PVE and Lo-Null Sec/PVP/’EndGame’ content.

I also mentioned my idea that plexing, as an FW system, serves a very powerful role that most capsuleers don’t fully appreciate. Plexing provides a conflict space where you can have fleet fights (or solo engagements) between very specific hull categories. Is plexing boring? Maybe, if all you do it for is capturing a control point. Does plexing have any intrinsic reward or payback? Not really, unless you covet a rank insignia.
Will plexing or faction warfare change in the future to provide any of these enhancements? Good question. We’ll see I guess.

In the mean time I’d like to focus on what Faction Warfare and Plexing do provide. Last night was a perfect example. Some corpmates and I formed a small (6 or 7) fleet of a few stealth bombers and a merlin or two. Our goal was just a long patrol through Gallente Lo-Sec. We started out in Verge Vendor and proceeded through northern Placid. We ended up crossing the Gallente/Caldari border space at the Aldranette-Nennamaila stargate.

In Nenna we found a lone Catalyst flying wartarget in a minor plex. We warped to the acceleration gate and the stealth bombers began moving away to cloak. Stealth bombers, being T2 frigates, can’t enter a minor plex. The acceleration gates only allow T1 frigates and destroyers, primarily. A few of our absent fleet members arrived in system with a destroyer and another frigate at about the same time a second wartarget catalyst come into local.

Those able to get in jumped into the plex and good fights ensued. We were outmatched and lost 2 ships to their 1. Myself and a couple more team mates dashed off to dock our T2 hulls and grab a couple of griffins. Some additional wandering wartargets in more destroyers arrived and more good fights happened inside the plex confines.

Overall, this was a very good, low cost series of small gang fights. I have seen some seriously large ballistic furballs inside plexes as well. I’ve read that if you want to pvp you need to have the skills to fly a HAC, Recon, Battleship, etc. And that T1 frigates and, especially destroyers, have no place in pvp.

Thanks to faction warfare plexing, these statements are not true. Excellent, tactical, well fought pvp is happening in FW plexes all over the galaxy. If you are just starting out in EVE and want to learn the pvp ropes while being a vital part of the team, or if you are an experienced pilot with wisdom to share who needs a break from the blob and pos fights, get into FW, find a plex and have a good fight.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Poker & Internet Spaceships

Poker: Eve Online Hold’em ring games remain down after someone hacked many accounts and absconded with much isk. Selene has given reassurance that the ring games will return with new and refortified security measures. I have not played many of the sit&go style tables on EOH because they require some very specific tactics that I’m not developing right now.

I picked up a copy of one of Dan Harrington’s newest books: Harrington on Cash Games Vol. 1. If I haven’t mentioned it before, his 3 volume set, Harrington on Hold’Em is the best investment I have made in poker thus far. And I’ve made a lot of investments, from Poker Tracker and Poker Stove software to a veritable library of books.

So I’m focusing my game on cash ring play right now. I got back on Full Tilt and am playing the micro limits. I find it amazing that you can sometimes pull down a $15 pot in a $.05/.10 game.

Internet Spaceships: I’m still involved in Faction Warfare on the side of the State Protectorate. The 22nd Black Rise Defensive Unit (my corporation) has made many inroads of late into the plexing and system flipping niche.

A lot of people lament that FW and plexing in particular are no fun because the systems lack any inherent reward. To some degree I concur. I wish there was a more substantial return on investment for the time spent plexing. But, the more I think about it, the more I am convinced of a couple of points:

CCP does not want FW to be an end in itself. It was always meant as a stepping stone between the Hi Sec Carebear population and the LoSec/Null Sec PVP population. It is a gateway between the two play styles.

Secondly, plexing, although boring and without integral reward does something that no other mechanic in EVE has so successfully done; it provides a diverse conflict space for a wide variety of ship types. If you can only fly T1 frigates or destroyers you can still engage, fight and win while plexing in FW. If you can fly cruisers and T2 frigates but don’t want to be ganked by HACs or a BS gang…you can do it while plexing.

This mechanic enhances the first point, that Faction Warfare is a gateway system for new players or older PVE centered pilots who want to get their pvp legs under them without jumping straight into the deep end.

I grew tired of the FW grind about a month ago and left for a short time. I’m back now with this renewed perspective and I hope to utilize the FW community and multiple targets in limited conflict spaces to get some FC experience.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

EOH Anniversary Tournament

Well, I just busted out VERY close to the bubble in the EVE ONLINE HOLD'EM Anniversary Tournament.

The thing about poker tournaments is, no matter how big the field starts there is only ONE person who is happy about her finishing spot.
Everyone else thinks and wonders about the mistakes they made along the way and the last one that walked them to the door.

This was a terrific tournament with 100 players starting. 5000 tournament chips (TC) to start and 10min blinds (very short). Blinds started at 50/100 and raced upwards. But, regardless of the structure, this is the only game in New Eden and it was a lot of fun!

Early in the race my strategy was to play super tight and not bleed chips. I have found that in ring and, more importantly, tournament play seeing too many hands is one of the biggest leaks your game can have.

I turned AA in the big blind into 2500 TC within the first 2 rounds. Then my pocket jacks held up versus a very loose caller for about 4500. I coasted for a while and played more tight poker.

When the blinds were around 150/300 I found myself in the cutoff with around 15000, if I remember correctly. The player in the SB had a bigger stack. The big blind and UTG limper (if I'm remembering the positions correctly) had much smaller stacks.
I attempted to steal w/ a 3xBB raise to 900. The big stack called fast and after a few moments the BB went over the top for all his chips. UTG folded and I was only looking at 250 more chips.
But I was holding J8 off suit and looking at a bigger stack behind me still to act. I folded.

BB called right way and the AK of the big stack did not get ahead of the BB's pocket kings.

Player in the BB berated me for my fold when it was only 250 more to call and basically accused me of chip dumping or colluding. Now, I take poker pretty seriously and I took offense to the accusation. I made it clear in chat and some words were exchanged. Bottom line is: I abhore cheating and would never do it. This chap doesn't know me from Adam and I will admit to dragging out the discussion abit to see if I could rile him up. No such luck...he moved from the table shortly there after.

Not long after I had my one HUGE break of the tourney. Blinds are 200/400 and I'm SB. It is limped from early position in one place and I wake up w/ 99. Early position has around 3000 tc and BB has abit more. I have close to 8000. I shove w/ my medium pp over the top of both and BB calls fast followed by early limper. Uh oh...

99 vs. KK (BB) vs. JJ (early limper). Flop: 99 x...x...x

Wow, ok..huge break for me. But that is poker.

I nursed my stack up and kept it going for a LONG time. I watched the field dwindle and played safe. One big motivator was the fact that I had made a side bet with Mynxee for 25million ISK over who would last longer. So, I kept an eye on her and forced myself to be disciplined.

Mynxee is a very steady player. She can wait and wait for a hand and when she has one she'll be agressive. But I rarely see her bluff. This served both of us well as her stack never got overly large but her survival kept me motivated. When we were around 18-20 players left, Mynxee spoke from the rail to tell me she'd busted out. Great Game Mynxee!

I got somewhat shorted in chips (around 20k tc) vs very large (40-60k +) stacks. My last hand was:

I'm BB w/ about 25k TC. UTG +1 limps with blinds of 2000/4000. There are 12 players left. 9 places pay out. Mid positon (The_Gov) with a 50k+ stack min raises to 8000. SB (Phoebus) with an even bigger stack (~75k) calls. I look down at AK off suit.

I can limp for 4k more. But I'm already short and looking at 3 more rounds (20 hands) at best. I have to outlast 3 more players and I'm 9th in chips overall right now. I tried to decide how much fold equity my opponents had. I know AK does best when it sees all 5 cards to the river.

I shoved all my chips in and early limper folds. The_Gov thinks for a good amount of time and calls...SB considers abit and folds.

I have AK off vs. The_Gov w/ 66. I failed to catch up in the race and I'm out 12th place.

So, back to the beginning of this story: the only good place to finish a poker tournament is 1st. If the Ace or King came (Phoebus folded AQ making this harder to hit), I am golden. But when it doesn't I second guess myself. I could have smooth called for 4k more and if I miss the flop I give it up. Not a bad idea and I considered it. But I didn't know the strength of my opponents hands and they all seemed better than avg players. I know they are able to lay down moderate cards and the fold equity may have been there.

All in all it was a great tourney. I'm watching the final 5 now and rooting for The_Gov as some of his bullets were mine a short time ago.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Trip Report

Late on entries again. Ce’ La Vi!

I played some live poker over the weekend. I’m not far at all from the Viejas Casino in San Diego and I go there and Sycuan for my live poker fix from time to time.

This weekend Viejas was hosting its annual Viejas Poker Classic, a two day $1050 buy in NL tourney. There were 487 entrants ( I was not one of them) which makes the prize pool $487,000. First place was $100,000 and second was over $59,000.

I played in the ring games on Sunday. When it comes to live poker I’m small time. I don’t maintain a real bankroll so I usually play 3/6 limit or 1/2 NLHE. When I can, and the game looks good, I’ll jump into an Omaha Hi Lo or a Stud game.

The interesting thing about Viejas and a lot of the southern California cardrooms is that the limit games are often Killed. This means that if you win a pot you get the “Kill” button in front of you for the next hand, blue side up. If you win the next pot the Kill button flips over to the red side for the next hand and the limits are doubled.

This means that for a 3/6 limit game, whenever a player wins back to back pots the next hand is a 6/12 game!

Remember, in Limit Hold’em the betting is fixed. So it’s $1 small blind/$3 big blind. $3 to call pre-flop and $3 bet on the flop. Then $6 to bet or call on the turn and river. Any time you raise, you increase your bet by one increment (usually capped at 4 raises).

So, blinds are posted, UTG calls $3, 2nd position raises to $6, Button cold calls $6, SB folds, BB calls the extra $3, UTG calls and the pot stands at: $25. But Wait! RAKE!!

The house drags the blinds off of every hand dealt if a flop is seen. So $3 goes to the house and the SB $1 goes to the house by way of adding to the jackpot pool.

With $4 being taken from the table every hand, you’d better be a winning player to stay ahead of these games. The trick is to not play so many hands! Especially in ‘No Fold’em Hold’em’ as low limit Limit play is often referred. You will often have 5-7 players at a 9 handed table seeing a flop regardless of raises or re-raises.

It is vital to play position well, folding moderate, easily dominated hands early and coming in as inexpensively as possible late in multi-way situations with drawing hands like suited connectors or Ace-Rag suited.

For the record, I bought into this game for a ‘rack of blue’ ($100 of blue $1 chips) and played for almost 5 hours. I got off the table with $262 even after the rake, bad beats and dealer tips. I usually tip 1 chip on an average pot and 2 on a large pot.

For the session I had pocket aces cracked once on the river when my sole opponent’s J8 offsuit caught a third 8 on the river. And I managed to fold pocket aces on the river when I was up against 2 aggressive players who kept betting and raising into a rainbow ragged uncoordinated board. I was way behind as they each had a made set. In fact, if I was playing against more conservative players I could have folded safely on the turn. I probably should have in this case as well.

Anyway, that’s my trip report for this weekend. I hope to be back live soon. I’ve been reading Joe Navarro’s Read Them and Reap. It’s an excellent book about physical tells. I’m weak in this area as most of my poker experience is online.

Take care everyone. Hope to see you on the felt.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Chipping Up

I’ve tried to play more ring games in the EVE Online Hold’Em room but to be honest, there isn’t much action. I don’t really have the bankroll to play the 1000 limit tables and the 200 tables don’t fill up much.

One side effect of this is that I’ve been exercising my short handed game more and that is a good workout.

Last night I played several tournaments on PSO. I played a Limit Hold’em with 22 starters. A Razz with 24 starters and a Stud Hi with 21 starters. (Poker School Online is not Party Poker by any stretch. You just don’t get 100 players in a field.)

I finished 13th in the Razz (by far my worst game). I finished fourth (the money bubble) in the Limit Hold’em. And I finished 2nd in the Stud.

Playing a variety of games is great fun. My favorite format is HORSE (Hold’em, Omaha Hi/Lo, Razz, Stud Hi, Stud Hi/Lo). But I must admit that playing three separate tournaments, short handed, simultaneously is HARD on the brain cells. The screens keep popping to the front demanding action and I have to try to follow the play and remember what game each is very quickly.

Multi-tabling is not my forte.

In the Eve Online Hold’em room (EOHR), I feel like I’m starting to adjust to the kind of play that is most common. You still need to see lots and lots of hands by a particular player to get a decent read on them. But I’m beginning to feel more in tune with the general betting tendencies. When 6 players limp into a flop and the pot sits at 14 and it goes check check, UTG bets 2!, call call call. To be quite honest, this is terrible poker. But it is what it is. And if you want to take the chips you have to learn what language the natives are speaking.

I also am starting to have a better understanding of the overbet (another favorite move in the EOHR). A typical example might be an early position player limps and there are 3 callers. The pot stands at 8. SB and BB check and UTG bets 100! What? Why, where, how??

If the flop is terribly coordinated, say two flushed and 3 cards to a 5 card straight, it doesn’t matter if you have aces…these guys are going to call. But let me assure you, in the above example the over bettor does NOT always have aces or even a pocket pair. They will bet this way with over cards, top pair zero kicker, a draw, you name it.

And, of course, not everyone will do this the same way for the same reasons. But I’m improving my appreciation of who does it and why.

Enough for now, back to the tables.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


A less poker related entry:

I recently left my corporation, CAIN, to pursue other interests. In so doing, I also left the Caldari Militia and faction warfare.

I’ve been working on my exploration skills and some industrial and transport oriented sets. So for about 2 to 3 weeks I wandered about BlackRise and Lonetrek and various regions and systems looking for what was pulling me in that direction.

And what did I find? Nothing. Working for mission agents is mind numbing. Mining into a jet can (Hulk skills are down the road abit) is mind numbing. Flying through lo sec without much purpose while lacking war targets is slightly better than the other activities…but not by much.

The exploration wasn’t bad. Radar sites and some smaller combat sites were fun-ish. But after awhile I came to the realization that I missed the increased pulse pressure of combat.

So after looking about for a good spot I’ve settled back to what I know: Caldari Militia and Faction War. I’ve joined up with the 22nd Black Rise Defensive Unit and I’m flying with some fight behind me again.

This corporation seems focused more on the plexing aspect of faction war than the ‘find them and fight them’ game. The pilots are closer to my experience and skillpoint range than my previous corpmates in CAIN.

CAIN’s pilots are topnotch, highly skilled and very competent. To be honest, I often felt out of place not being able to assist or compete on my fleet members’ level.

So, for the foreseeable future, I’ll be flying under State’s flag again with a new crew. And I’ll see what I can do about putting some more time in on the poker tables as well.


Sometimes you have to get up away from the poker table and take a break.

Sometimes you have the insight to realize it is not just bad beats, not just unlucky draws, not just donkeys or noobs playing badly.

All these things may well be happening but after awhile they can take a definite effect on your play. You start making adjustments and changes to your game based on these outside influences.

We know we’re not supposed to do that. We know that aces and kings get cracked. We know that the flush draw only gets there slightly less than half the time. But it starts to seem like YOUR aces ALWAYS get cracked and YOUR opponent’s draws ALWAYS come in.

So, despite knowing what you’re supposed to not do, you do it anyway. You unconsciously start to play those aces soft and not pushing hard against that obvious draw. And now, instead of things improving like you might have hoped, they get worse!

Now, when you’re smart enough to recognize that you’ve made a bad situation worse, it’s time to push back and stand up and get off those tables for awhile. Think about poker. Think about things other than poker. Let your odds and karma and luck and inner turmoil settle back to a happy medium. Then, however long it takes, go back fresh and do things right. Starting from the basics and with a positive attitude – formulate a plan and set some modest goals.

And if things don’t go your way, stick with your plan, play the way you’re supposed to. Don’t give in to the urge to react to bad beats and freakish odds. Just play solid, aggressive, good poker based on your table. Make your opponents react to you. Take command!