Friday, April 28, 2006

Cracked Aces

Pocket Aces, the Grand Poo-Bah of starting hands. the experts say you will be dealt this hand 1 every 220 times on average. This would mean if your playing online at a table that is averaging 40 hands per hour you could expect to see someone at the table turn over aces every 33 minutes. This is if there are 10 players at your table.

You see it all the time. Someone makes a big preflop bet when they are holding AA, which is exactly what you should do if your holding rockets and Joe Donkey calls with his pocket twos. The flop gives Mr Donkey his third duece for trips and cracks those aces right down the middle. Then of course the typical rant pursues about how the site is rigged for action and Mr Donkeys sexual preference is brought into question and it goes down hill from there. I guess poker being a gentlemans game is a thing of the past.

Calling a big preflop raise in an effort to crack aces is not a profitable play in the long run but if your just in the game paying for some excitement here is some info you might find interesting.

Against AA:
1.)Your pocket 2's or any other pocket pair are a 4.42 to 1 underdog .
(Pokerstove results: 81.548% to 18.452%)

2.)A/Ks puts you in as an even worse position as a 7.2 to 1 underdog.
(Pokerstove results: 87.859% to 12.141%)

3.)K/Qs doesn't help you as its still a 4.65 to 1 losser.
(Pokerstove results: 82.315% to 17.685%)

4.)Believe it or not your best bet at cracking those aces are with 7/6s, 8/7s or
9/8s where you are only a 3.41 to 1 underdog and this is only if your suit
is different than those of the aces.
(Pokerstove results: 76.967% to 23.033%)

The bottom line, AA is the best starting hand in poker, if you get it, bet it. If your up against it, fold. Your bankroll will thank you.

P.S. I created the above graphic. Your welcome to steal it but at least have the courtesy of adding Poker Chaos to your blog roll.

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Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Bounty Hunting

If you play hold'em tournaments I'm sure you have run across the situation where a player has a bounty on their head, meaning if you get in a hand with this player and happen to get lucky enough to take all his chips you win the cash amount of the bounty.

If you've enjoyed hunting in these type of tourneys your going to love this site. is a bounty management site where you can sign up to hunt bounties on other players at designated poker sites. Quite a few of the bounties are placed on players in freerolls and anyone can collect on them, but if your a true bounty hunter and want to jump into the real gunfight you can put a bounty on yourself and qualify to hunt and be hunted in all the listed tourneys.

The guys at bounty player have done a great job of setting up the site so everything is automated. You just go to the tourney lobby and click "sign up" at the top of the page, its free. Once you have your user id and password you can gain access to all the features. The lobby lists all tourneys that have bounties offered. The drop down menus towards the top of the page let you filter the tournament list to suit your preferences. Be sure to check out the sponsor's links, these are the guys that make the free bounties available and you can find some great info on their sites. For example, Redeyed at Pokerchamps League sponsors a bunch of bounties and lists freerolls daily at her forum . Holdem Radio also list bounties in their forum. Both forums are a great place to find information, so join up and tell them Strat sent you.

Spend some time at Bounty Player. Look at the rules tab to see how bounties are created, claimed. and all about their reputation system. The accounts page features all you personal information, transaction history and funding options. I really like that they let you fund your bounties from your poker site accounts. If you have any questions don't hesitate to e-mail Todd, he is one of the most helpful support guys you will ever run across.

Bounty Player also has a great affiliate program that can help you direct more customers to poker rooms with your affiliate links and can give your website more exposure. BP does charge a small fee to manage bounties but offers a commission for bringing more players to the site. Its a win, win situation all around.

Get on over to Bounty Player and start by hunting the free bounties on Stratman's head, but beware you better have some big guns if you want my bounty.

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Sunday, April 23, 2006

Strip Poker

I told myself I wasn't going to post any more videos, but I happened to stumble across this one and its just to damn funny, I couldn't resist.

Btw, if you don't follow the stumble link above and sign up, you are missing the best content on the net without a doubt. I've never mislead you before.

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Thursday, April 20, 2006

Rest In Peace

During my daily travels I logged into Pokerchamps forum and found the following post from Ox Loki ( Forum Admin):

"Hi everyone,

Well its been fun while it lasted. The new owners of the forum have made a business decision that due to the recent low traffic at the site will be decomissioned.

Let me thank everyone who contributed to the forum. Whilst we did not get everything we wanted at pokerchamps we were integral in getting some things changed and I firmly believe that without the voice of this forum these things would not have occured.

Thank you all once again. I have met and made some great friends through Champs and this forum, and I thank each and every one of you for the support you all have given it over the past 14 months.

Say hi when you see me at the tables.

Best of luck to all.

Pokerchamps Forum was started by "Fenwick" a Swedish poker player and avid fisherman, hence the name. Fenwick fishing Rods are some of the best in the world. Fen invited a friend, Oz Loki to help administer the forum and the two managed to build quite a following with membership reaching 860 with over 4000 posts.

Around October of last year professional poker player Tony G. at the time CEO of Pokerchamps made a play and bought the forum from Fenwick. It appears now that Tony knowing of the impending purchase of Pokerchamps by Betfair, a British sports betting Company, was trying to capitalize even more by holding ownership of the forum domain name. Tony also owns from what I understand.

Since the purchase by Betfair, Pokerchamps and the forum have experienced a unexpected continual decline in traffic to the point we find the above post. It's a shame that Betfair screwed around and has made very little effort to promote or fine tune what I thought was some of the best software in the industry. I only hope that they will pull there heads out of the sand (I'm being nice) and make the changes necessary to keep Pokerchamps from experiencing the fate of its associated forum.

I'm going to miss the forum. Its like a part of me is dying as my posted words of wisdom, humor and occasional sarcasm are tossed into the virtual digital trash with no record of them ever having existed other than the memories of the people that endured reading them. It makes me realize that anything you write on the internet is kinda like drawing on an etch-a-sketch. Maybe I should print out my daily rants for the sake of posterity....Nah, get it while its hot.

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Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Some times poker sucks

I have neglected the blog lately simply because poker has been about as much fun as a blind man has trying to drive nails with a 16oz. framing hammer. I have been so pissed by the time I leave the poker table I could care less about anything to do with the game.

I'm suffering one of those streaks where I can't seem to catch a break. I get my money in the pot with the best hand and get out drawn every time. It enough to make one question his sanity. I'm sure no one wants to hear me moan and complain, or describe bad beats so I won't but something has got to give soon.

The only bright side is that its not my first time having lady luck piss in my corn flakes so I know how to limit my losses. I get up and leave the table when I feel that familiar tilt feeling coming on. I don't try to compensate for loses by moving up in stakes and I really try to play tight and don't let myself get sloppy. I'm Sorry I don't have any great words of wisdom or humor to offer up today but I will leave you with a little find of mine. If you like playing freerolls you have to check out Pokerchamps League, they hold quite a few freerolls as well as league play.

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Sunday, April 16, 2006

Do you suffer from CRS ( can't remember shit)

Well I do, but I have found a bit of software to help me remember those league and freeroll tournaments.

It was getting ridiculous the amount of "post-its" that I had plastered all over my monitor. I would register for a freeroll a few days away, slap a note on the monitor and get so used to seeing it that I would still forget to play.

If your like me and need a little help organizing and remembering those little things, then your in luck. Stickies is PC utility that is the digital version of a post it note. The cool part is that you can set an alarm for each sticky so that it will pop up and wiggles until you click on it. Stickies can be formatted for color, size, visible or hidden and the program is free. Check out the site, download stickies and start showing up on time for those tourneys.

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Wednesday, April 12, 2006

A sign from god

Ok, I'm convinced now. I was sent here to carry the burden. My bad luck is not just a series cosmic random occurrences but are a part of a higher purpose. There is reason I suffer all those bad beats. I can play with a new found freedom. Hallelujah!

Only kidding, I don't want to piss off the religious right. I just came across this site that lets you put up any sign you want on the church bulletin board. Thought it was funny. I'm sure God has a sense of humor.

Where I live here in North Carolina all the churches have bingo on Wednesday night but hosting a poker tourney would be a mortal sin. With the popularity of poker now, I just hope to live long enough to see "Poker Night" on one of these signs for real. Maybe an aggressive man of faith will get a vision on how he can increase his membership and it will happen. "Rake for god", I'll be there.

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Dead Hand

As if poker and getting out drawn on the river is not suicidal enough, these guys have come up with a deck of cards that has a sick twist. When the cards have played out and a winner has been determined you burn a card and flip the next card off the deck to reveal the "dead card" each card has a hidden (hologram) image on it that can kill your winning hand. They describe it as an unholy union of poker and Russian roulette. Just great, that's what I need, donkey boy drawing to his one outter. I like their TM, Chaos Poker, to bad they got it ass backwards.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Poker Pros

More content can you believe it. I've added a drop down menu to the right with links to some professional players web sites.

There is no need for you to spend time surfing the net in search of news or the latest site in the poker world, let me do it for you. I hope to keep adding and updating the info on a daily basis and figure in a couple of months I should have the entire internet linked here. At least the good parts. Well maybe not, but I will be working hard to bring you information to entertain and help you improve your game, so keep checking back.

Don't forget you can leave comments on anything here, or about anything you would like me to add or even if you just want to say hello. For that matter you can leave insults, I don't mind, might help with my table composure. I've been called fish, donkey, chaser, dumbass, retard, moron and all that was just this afternoon at the tables. So feel free to add to the list.

Monday, April 10, 2006

New Site and Magazine

Players Edge Poker is a new poker site I heard about during the Holdem Radio Sunday with friends freeroll at WSOP Allin last weekend. In a partnership with Holdem Radio, Pokers edge is going to start hosting freerolls on tuesday nights. Check out Holdem's site for more info. Go to their forum and sign up and post, tell em Strat sent ya. They have lots of good stuff going on, well worth a visit.

I have been on the prowl for more poker resources and found another great magazine in the process, American Poker Player. Although they offer a paid print subscription, you can get a free digital copy. Their advertising says "each issue includes an instructional poker article and various other card games, the hand of the month, places to play, poker fashion, a players section featuring questions from our readers answered by the pros, interviews with poker personalities, an ongoing fictional poker story, upcoming tournament schedule for local casinos, as well as schedule of Upcoming poker related shows on television." So go take a gander or whip out the credit card and order some new reading material for the library.

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Sunday, April 09, 2006

Site changes

I've made a couple small changes to the site that I hope will add to your visit here.
In the right side bar take a look at the scrolling "Poker News". This ticker lists up to date news articles related to the poker industry. You'll see posts from many sources listed. Definitely worth checking out and It will be updated daily.

I also included a area for you to send me your e-mail address if you would like to know about any special promotions or events I come across, such as private freerolls. Don't worry I'm not looking to spam you to death, just giving you a heads up without broadcasting passwords to every Tom, Dick and Harry. Keep checking back for more new stuff.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Top Pair

Strat's been surfing again. My latest find is a poker magazine. Top Pair claims to provide cutting edge content, poker tips, interviews, book reviews and of course the "Poker Angels". I took advantage of the free PDF download and took a look around their first issue.(June 05) Seems to be a good rag. I'll have to go back and check out other issues as well. They are deffinitely marketing towards the 18 to 35 demographic with lots of photos of young ladies. It's sort of a cross between Card Player and Playboy.

Their publisher is self proclaimed poker pro, model and entrepreneur Jill Ann Spaulding. Jill has her own porn site....excuse me I mean poker site where you will soon be able to play heads-up strip poker with her. She also does a interview with Doyle Brunson and the associated picture cracks me up. Doyle looks like he's about to fall out of his chair trying to avoid getting bitch slapped by Jill's bazookas. It seems that Jill is also a writer and you can get a digital copy of her book "Hefnerland" here. She's a busy girl.

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What is this number?

( Not enough room on that line, add 12 zeros )

Do you have any idea what this number represents? (Answer Below in white, Click and drag your mouse over it to view) and no, it's not the cost of the war in Iraq.

How many different ways a deck of cards can be shuffled. In other words, how many different arrangements of the 52 cards that are possible. Every time you shuffle a deck of 52 cards, you get a new arrangement of the cards that has never been seen by anyone before, and will never occur again!

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Hand history reader

I'm a big fan of studying hand histories to improve your game,. I spend a lot of time reading hand history posts at the 2+2 forum. In the past a lot of people shy away from HH's because they can be difficult to read and picture in your mind. I have discovered a new bit of software to ease that struggle and it's free.

Now you can upload a poker hand and have it automatically animated by the PokerXFactor (PXF) Hand Viewer. All submitted hands have a "discussion area," allowing you to describe the situation in detail, ask questions, and receive feedback. If you wish, your hand can be submitted for judging for the Great Play or Bad Beat Leader Boards! Registered members can also vote on the hand as a "Great Play" or "Bad Beat," but registration is not required for your friends to view the hand. PokerXFactor also provides a paid subscription service to training videos. Checkout their site it's cool.

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Online poker under attack

The Internet Gambling Prohibition Act proposes to make it illegal for Americans to use the Internet for gambling and would authorize law enforcement officials to stop credit card payments and other forms of electronic payments.

The funny thing is, online gaming sites are begging to be legalized and regulated. A better approach would be to allow them to set up shop in the U.S., contribute to the U.S. economy, be regulated by U.S. markets, and be subject to U.S. courts.

Resently, Howard Lederer, Chris Ferguson and Greg Raymer traveled to Washington, DC to lobby against the idea of banning internet poker. To read the complete story and help stop this ridiculous attack of our personal freedoms vist the Poker Players Alliance website. Be sure to support their efforts and sign up.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Is Online Poker Rigged ?

Ok here we go again. The big question that you see at all the poker forums. Is online poker rigged? Someone starts making claims that such and such site is rigged for action. They are thoroughly convinced of it because of all the large pocket pairs that show up within the same hand or there are to many flushes. They claim there is no way a site is fair because of the statistical improbabilities they have witnessed during their sessions at the site . The response is always the same. You stupid newbie don’t you know that poker is naturally rigged for action. You see more bad beats online because you play more hands per hour. The poker sites have nothing to gain by rigging the deal because most small limit tables are so loose they reach the maximum without any help...... Bill Rinni, in his blog goes into great detail responding to all the accusations made about online poker being rigged. Most of Bill's arguments revolve around the premise that if a online casino were to juice the action they would be exposed by review of hand histories via Poker Tracker and I agree, but what about poker sites that don't provide hand histories?

How could they juice the pot and would it be blatantly obvious. Well for starters lets look at how a computers goes about producing a random shuffle. I am by no means a expert on the subject but here is how it has been explained by the Lotteries an Gaming Commission of Malta which regulates online casinos operating from their country. I got this from Cooler's site.

It starts with a software algorithm used to shuffle a set of numbers. This algorithm will produce different outcomes (known as permutations) of the same set of numbers for different "seed" values. Suppose f(x) is the shuffling function, where x is the seed and the set of numbers is [1,2,3,4] then the following may be possible permutations:

f(1)= [2,4,1,3]
f(2)= [1,3,2,4]
f(3)= [4,1,3,2] and so on ...

The problem with this algorithm is how to determine the seed since a PC, like any other machine, are quite precise and deterministic. To solve this problem programmers use a RNG (Random Number Generator) which is a "device that generates random values from chaotic sources". Such sources can be quantum energy in solid state electronics, white noise in electronic devices or radioactive decay to list a few examples. These
device generate a bitstream of values (i.e. 1's and 0's) at random. A sequence within this stream, usually 128 consecutive bits, are placed into the algorithm as the seed. For the case of a poker game with one deck of cards the set is from 1 to 52 to represent every card in the deck.

What if the programmer introduced additional decks into this algorithm to increase permutations. For example lets look at the odds in a normal deck of 52 cards, 10 handed game:

52 total cards, 2 cards dealt to each of 10 players for a total of 20, The flop and turn equal 4 more cards. So now there have been 24 cards dealt from 52 which leaves 28 cards. At this point let's say you have 4 cards to a flush. You would have a 9 cards of your suit of the remaining 28 cards or a 1 in 3.11 chance of hitting your flush on the river.

Now lets look at the same scenario, only this time using a 2 deck shoe. The algorithm would simply discard any duplicate cards dealt. We start with 104 cards, 20 dealt to the players, 4 on the flop+ turn. This time we have dealt 24 cards of 104 which leaves 80 cards and 22 of these are of the suit you need. The odds arenow 1 in 3.6 of hitting your flush. the same would be true for all cards draws. If you had a pair of kings on the turn you would have 6 outs in a 2 deck shoe versus 2 outs in a 1 deck shoe. 5 % chance versus 13%. Would these differences be enough to be noticeable with out the statistical review by Poker Tracker? I don't know but it sure makes you wonder.

Bottom line is that most online poker sites are probably legit but without the benefit of empirical data in the form of a large sample of hand histories there is just no way to know for sure. My experience of many years in business have shown me that greed is a powerful force and it would not surprise me if a site was to be
exposed for juicing the action. If your playing at a site and you feel like its just not quite right, find another to play at. One of the more well known sites that offers hand histories would be a good bet.

Manage Your Luck

Managing your luck might seem ridiculous because it's not something you have control over. Luck is a mysterious creature that can be your best friend one day and a mortal enemy the next. The proper monitoring of this element of your game can be part of the edge that turns you from a average poker player to a member of the 10% club, those players that make a long term profit.

I'm sure you have heard of the Saffir- Simpson scale for rating hurricanes. Well let me introduce you to the Stratman Lady Luck Scale where we rate the intensity of our luck on any given day.

Category 1.) Your cards are just plain bad. You go all night with out hardly ever seeing a decent starting hand and when you do, you miss the flop or just get no action. This is where luck produces a slow leak in your game. Your going to lose chips but you have control over how many. You have to tighten up and go with the flow. I call this part of my game Texas NL Fold'em. It's when you ignore the fact that lady luck is pissing in your corn flakes and you continue to forge ahead. You start playing that Q/7o because it's the first face card you have seen in a hour. You start thinking that you don't need luck, your good enough to play your way through this situation. Wrong!

The pro's say that luck doesn’t matter, that they can win playing no limit without ever looking at there hole cards. Well, that may work for the $200/$400 at the Bellaggio but you got to have good cards to win at your average online small limit game. Other wise you'll get your bankroll blistered.

Category 2.) Is where your getting good to great cards but you can't win a freaking hand. What your seeing is unbelievable. Total fish are beating you by drawing to a 2 outter on the river, every time. Statistical improbabilities are hitting you like rain drops in a thunderstorm. No matter how good your cards are, you find yourself holding a hand full of Johnson with the second best hand. It keeps happening over and over. Your playing well, your making good decisions, you haven't gone on tilt, yet you can't win a hand.

When you find yourself in this category and you will. Quit playing. You can't recover your loses and if you try your just going to go broke. To many times I've tried to tighten up, only play premium hand trying to recoup my loses just to take another badbeat. This is when your luck is so bad you start to question if you even know how to play the game
at all. You get so frustrated that you actually lose the ability to make good decisions. Again I tell you stop, do as I say not as I do.

Category 3.) Is where most of us are the majority of the time. The cards seem to be distributed fairly. Your getting your fair share of good starting hands. People are respecting your bets, you win a few pots as well as lose a few. Your not getting rich but poker is fun.

Category 4.) Is a warm fuzzy place. You are really having fun at this game called poker. You getting great starting hands Your getting a piece of just about every flop. Your able to play position and buff. You bets get respect. You winning a lot of money. You have it figured out, you knew how to play all along. You think about moving up in stakes, maybe even going pro. Watch out Phil Ivey there is a new dawg in the house.

Category 5.) A place know as nirvana. You reach this level of luck only rarely. Cherish the moment when it arrives. Its called the "rush". It typically doesn’t last for more than a session, although Gus Hansen had unreal luck for a year or more. Won three WPT titles playing any two cards. Its a thing of beauty when it hits. You cant lose, you check a potdown with your 7/2o and find that your pair of duces is the best hand. Any card you need to make the nuts hits. Your flopping straights and flushes. Your at least hitting 2 pair every time. The action, oh man your getting players betting into your nut hand like they're crazy. Your flopped set only get better when it quads up in a large multi way pot. It's just freaking amazing, You find that your the only one left at the table because you
busted everyone else.

I can pretty much put myself in one of these categories every time I play. So pay attention to your luck and adjust your game accordingly. Good luck loosen up a bit, bad luck put your sword away and put up your shield. If your lucks is just terrible, stop playing. Find something else to do. With online poker you know there will be a table open any time, any day.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

BPT Event #2 (Biggestron's Jokers Wild)

The second in a series of eight qualifying freerolls leading up to the final event with the winner going to the 2006 WSOP. The Blogger Poker Tour is sponsored by and is designed to give a blogger a chance to play in the big one.

Event #2 featured 57 entries and was held on April Fools day but the only fool I saw was a player named NutFlopper who gained this distinction with his "this is the gayest table I've ever played at" comment.

I had another slow start with no hands worth playing for at least 30 minutes. I limped in on a couple of hands hoping to catch a flop with no success. My starting cards were so bad that after the first 45 minutes I decided to start writing them down so I could post them here for proof but after logging a 6/2o and 6/3s I hit A/Qs and doubled up. Then very next hand got A/Ks and lost half my stack to 10/10. A little to aggressive I guess, even tho I was only a 53% to 47% underdog I played to strong to early. It was just not my date for lady luck, which seems to be the norm for the last week or so.

Even so, my luck was not as bad as DawgRoyal who heads up had KK versus Pedregulho's 10/10 when Ped caught a 10 on the river. Dawg you win my bad beat of the tourney award and if I can find out which blog is yours I'll be linking to your site.

My cards went cold again and an hour and a half in, I found myself short stacked. I decided it was time for the ole now or never play. I hold a lowly A/6 off in a late position and I'm hoping to steal some blinds, so I go all in. I get a call from the BB. He has my stack covered and turns over a Q/10 suited. Alright, at least I'm not drawing dead. The flop mimimal damage with two hearts giving my opponent four to the flush. Turn no help. River, #$%$#%$, You guessed it, heart flush. I hate this game.

I finished better than last week but still no money for Strat. Maybe next week.
Congrats to the Winners:

1.) PearlSnapMan
2.) freeroll26
3.) natsdad
4.) bergeroo
5.) vmavrou
6.) crACEy
7.) Skitzo
8.) bolcs5
9.) GmanIV
10) Papahun