Friday, October 01, 2004

A quick thanks go out to SirFWALGman for the open invite to play some $.50/1 last night. Of course, I got milked for $15, but it was entertaining if only to see how many times people raised with the Hammer. I got it once, raised and won when the board flopped A72. I folded a soooted Hammer pre-flop (horrors!) and promptly saw the flopped would-be flush. I also reaffirmed my hesitance to play more than one table at a time. I proved completely incapable of bi-tabling this game (and the conversation) and playing an O8 SnG, and when I bailed on the ring game, this is what I had in the SnG:

200/400 TourneyOmahaHiLoGameTable (Limit) (Tournament 6197768) - Thu Sep 30 22:07:29 EDT 2004
Table Table 11108 (Real Money) -- Seat 1 is the button
Total number of players : 7
Seat 1: ToddCommishE (404)
Seat 2: Garry1944 (477)
Seat 4: jrfosse (2564)
Seat 5: scans (922)
Seat 7: Kate22 (1369)
Seat 8: bigt4444 (1321)
Seat 10: KINGTHREEE (943)

By the end, a whopping twenty minutes later, it was:

500/1000 TourneyOmahaHiLoGameTable (Limit) (Tournament 6197768) - Thu Sep 30 22:27:40 EDT 2004
Table Table 11108 (Real Money) -- Seat 4 is the button
Total number of players : 2
Seat 1: ToddCommishE (4636)
Seat 4: jrfosse (3364)

And I snapped him off the very next hand. Amazing what one can do with a little focus.

I caved in and slid my first stake over to PokerStars, a piddly $100, but with a bonus of $25 through that I need to work off. I know a lot of the online gurus swear by this site, and while the glitz and eye-candy makes it an attractive “experience”, the online cardroom is a bit of a letdown. The card animation is really slow, as is the play and click response. I immediately turned off the “Images” because I don’t really give a rat’s ass what anyone looks like at the table, especially when it probably isn’t them anyway. I uploaded a picture of myself for my Image though, just in case some cyberstalker wants to know if I’m really the Todd he knew in high school, and so CJ and Otis won't mistake me for some other ToddCommish.

PokerStars has the nicest PRE-game lobby/entry of any site I’ve seen; I guess the online equivalent of the lobby at Caesars or Bellagio, with lots of glitz and glamour and gold. The tourney/game listing is a little cluttered though with messy, confusing formatting for the tables. It’s almost like they run TOO many SnG tables and consequently have an incredibly long list with nobody waiting and only one or two tables actually close to filling. I registered for a two-table O8 SnG as the sixth person and sat for twenty minutes before I noticed a single-table O8 $5+.5 that needed just two more to start, joined in, and still waited five minutes for the tournament to start. And while it was nice to start with 1500 chips, one of the appeals of SnG is the quick resolution (less than an hour) and the 1500 chip bankroll means a longer game, even with only nine players rather than the ten at most sites.

Level of play started very weak-tight with limpers galore (probably due to the low blind to bankroll ratio) with the more aggressive players asserting themselves as the blinds escalated. Nice note-taking interface (almost like a Palm) might come in handy down the road, it wasn’t really necessary for a single table. Cards seemed to be dealt verrrrrry slowly and jerkily. The betting interface was standard, but when it was your turn, the buttons got VERY big. This will help me when I’m, oh, eighty years old or so, but for now, was just annoying. Funny but if I sit and fold and observe for a cycle or two, I can pretty much figure out who’s gonna be around fighting for the money. Three guys got notes that said "Idiot. Will chase to the river. Raises with A2 preflop". Eighty minutes later, I ended up third for a whopping $3.5 profit, but was mainly just trying to acclimate to the interface and pace of play.

I still say that UltimateBet has the best playing interface. The empty chairs, the black background, and the green felt just seems right to me. Of course, I also lost my entire buy-in there, so you can see that I didn't let the nice interface affect my crappy play. PokerStars is almost TOO busy for me. I think the heavy page graphics slow down the chip movement and the card dealing which seemed klugey and choppy. The lobby is almost blindingly graphics intensive, but fun in a kitschy way. Oh, and gosh, didja know Raymer and Moneymaker played there…? WE GET IT. All in all, just another option on the online poker menu. I’m there to win money, not to admire the graphics. Time will tell if I can accomplish that.


At 6:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


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