Archive for November 2017

Lynn "Queen of Hearts" ParisLynn “Queen of Hearts” Paris

The title is actually a line spoken by entrepreneur Molly Bloom, played by Jessica Chastain in the upcoming poker thriller, “Molly’s Game.” I’ve written two previous blogs about this film as I eagerly awaited its release. The reasons are simple:

  1. What could possibly intrigue a poker blogger more than a movie about high-stakes poker, especially one written by one of my all-time favorite screenwriters, Oscar-winner Aaron Sorkin, also making his directorial debut
  2. In the late 2000s, Bloom ran the most exclusive high-stakes star-studded underground poker game ever seen in Hollywood;
  3. Poker-themed movies are generally filled with tension, humor, paranoia, excitement suspense and lots of poker chips;
  4. Idris Elba

So, if you’re ready to see the next great poker movie, you’re in luck. The movie has already received great reviews from film critics and was recently honored by the American Film Institute to run as its closing night gala.

Bloom, a world-class skier headed for the Olympics before a freak accident kept her out of the Salt Lake City games, went instead to Los Angeles where, as Sorkin states, she “ended up running for 12 years the world’s most exclusive high-stakes poker game, a game where there were movie stars (like Ben Affleck, Matt Damon and Toby McGuire) and hedge fund managers, big name athletes, Saudi princes and millions of dollars changing hands in the course of a night. She became known as the biggest game-runner in the world.”

To find out more about the woman who’d been on her way to Harvard Law School and wound up running a poker room, you’ll have to see the film. And I can finally say, we won’t have to wait much longer. “Molly’s Game” is opening on Christmas Day!

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Pocket Bullets ParisJim “Pocket Bullets” Paris

Because it is the Thanksgiving weekend we decided to play a little quick game of Texas Hold’em. It was a friendly heads-up game between  me and my partner and love of my life Lynn “Queen of Hearts” Paris. I had pocket Kings and the flop was King – 7 – 7.  I tried to trap my baby by just checking and she threw in the min bet which I, of course, snap called, thinking that now the trap was solidified.

The turn was a blank, as was the river and I knew I had her beat with my Kings over 7s boat. I splashed the pot with about a third of my stack just for value and she jumped all in. I gave her a “I’m sorry” look with a wicked smile on my face and threw in the rest of my stack, stood up ready to rake it all in. It was not to be;  she destroyed me by flipping over a pair of 7s to complete her winning hand of Quad Sevens.

Watch the video below to see why our little game reminded me of the amazing poker game on an episode of Star Trek that ended with Dr. Stephen Hawking betting and Dr. Albert Einstein calling him.

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Tadas PeckaitisTadas “My Poker Coaching” Peckaitis

In my last blog I wrote about the fact that most poker players stick to games they know, like Texas Hold’em, or maybe Omaha or 7 Card Stud. However, there are so many other formats that can bring another level of excitement to your game. So, if you are bored playing the same games or just want to try something new, I highly recommend learning 2-7 Triple Draw Low ball Poker.

Even if you won’t play this game very often, learn the rules and try it out. I really think you’ll enjoy it.

2-7 Triple Draw Low Ball Rules

The game starts when players post the blinds, and everyone gets their five cards. Just like in any popular 5-Card Draw variant, your holdings are only visible to you. Moreover, there are no community cards, so you are just playing your own hand.

Before jumping into game play, I want to emphasize that the goal of this game is to make the worst possible combination! Therefore, if you end the hand having a flush, straight, trips or even just a pair, your holding is extremely weak, and you are unlikely to win. Another rule that is exceptional for this game is that an Ace only counts as a high card. So while in other games such as Razz, A 2 3 4 7 would be a great combination, in 2-7 Triple Draw Low ball it is a weak hand just because of this exception. For this game, the best possible combination is 2 3 4 5 7, and your goal is to get as close to it as possible.

Going back to the game play, as you probably understand from the name, you have a chance to draw new cards. Actually, there are three drawing rounds in total after each betting round, so you have many ways to improve your hand. In each round, you can draw as many cards as you like or stay with your original hand and keep all of your cards. After all drawing and betting rounds end, a showdown follows and the player holding the lowest combination wins.

All you have to do is follow these simple rules to try this game. It is definitely more fun than it sounds from the description and you are doomed to have a good time.

Conclusion

Playing this and other less well-known formats can bring new challenges, as well as a lot of fun, to your games. It is extremely helpful if you choose an online poker site which offers many different games in one place so you can enjoy the action.

Try new games, learn new things and you will start enjoying yourself at the poker tables like never before!

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Tadas PeckaitisTadas “My Poker Coaching” Peckaitis

Most poker players choose to play Texas Hold’em or Omaha and ignore the fact that there are so many different poker games which can also be a lot of fun. Obviously, it would be hard to play these games for a living, but they work well if you want to introduce something different into your weekly home game routine. If you feel like trying something new, why not give these two games a chance?

Chinese Poker

Before trying it, make sure to study and understand the rules. It plays very differently from standard poker games and is based on counting points instead of betting and raising as we are used to seeing. Moreover, it has a few different formats, so you have to learn the basics before jumping into this game.

The most popular variant is OFC (Open Face Chinese) poker. This game can be played with two, three or four players and each of them gets a total of 13 cards. The goal is to arrange your cards in three lines:

  • The top line has only three cards, and the best possible combination here is trips. This hand should be the weakest one compared to the other lines.
  • The middle line has five cards and all combinations count like in regular poker. It has to be stronger than the top line, but weaker than the bottom.
  • The bottom line has five cards as well and has to be the strongest one.

If you do not follow the rule for the strength of the lines, you fault the hand and lose at once. Therefore, you have to think in advance and try not to make this mistake.

Before playing the game, you have to decide the value of the points and pay out winning players accordingly. To learn how to count points simply Google “OFC points” and you will quickly get a feel for this game.

Irish poker

This game is much easier because it relies on Texas Hold’em poker rules with some mix of Omaha. We can say it brings the best from both games and combines them to produce maximum fun at the table.

The game play is fairly straightforward; players post blinds and everyone is dealt in. The only difference from Texas Hold’em is that you get four cards at the beginning instead of two and the action starts. The whole beauty of the game appears on the flop, where every player has to decide which two cards he is going to fold and which he is going to keep.

That is the only difference in the game. After seeing the flop and choosing which cards you are playing, you continue as in any Texas Hold’em hand until everyone folds, or you see a showdown.

If you have not tried this game try to explain it to your poker buddies, and you’ll be surprised how much excitement and/or confusion it can bring to your poker routine.

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