Pocket Bullets Paris

During a recent poker game, I took a pretty large pot with a 7 of hearts and 2 of clubs. A novice player, who was watching the action, asked me a frequently asked question in poker. He wanted to know  “when is it a good time to bluff?” I gave him a couple of tips and after thanking me and patting me on the back for taking that hefty pot with just a 7 and 2 off suit, he left. 

I thought about his question and decided that although bluffing has been a topic in many “How To Play Poker” books and I had written about it and talked about it many times, I would revisit the topic once again. 

Best times to bluff:

  1. Bluff if you only have one other player still at the table.
  2. Hit it hard if the board cards or  the cards you have showing allow you to represent a winning hand.
  3. When your image at the table is that you are a very strong player.
  4. If you are in late position and no one has represented any kind of strong hand.
  5. If you can read your opponents and you really believe that they will fold to your bet or raise.

But you have to tread carefully through the bluffing canyons or you could slip and fall pretty heavily. You really need to try to read your opponents and especially pick up on how they played any of their winning hands.
There are very definite times when you should not bluff:

Worst times to bluff:

  1. If you know of any player still in the hand who will always call even when he has nothing. When you meet a player like this it’s best to let him or her shoot themselves in the foot!
  2. If one of the players has raked in a huge pile of poker chips and he can easily cover your bet or raise without much damage to him. Stay away; play it safe!
  3. If there are still  a lot of players at the table. Don’t do it!

Texas Poker Store Custom ChipsJust remember these simple do’s and don’ts and be a winner! And while you are wondering about bluffing, remember that we co-wrote the song “I May Be Bluffin’ “. Here it is for your enjoyment:

 

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

Although she hasn’t really been a professional poker player since 2011, Annie Duke’s name recognition is way up there. Her poker resume includes a World Series Of Poker gold bracelet in 2004, winning the NBC National Heads-Up Championship in 2010 and a net worth of around $8 million. In fact, she was once the leading money winner among women in WSOP history (that title now belongs to Vanessa Selbst)

Annie Duke Poker ProNevertheless, her image hasn’t always been bright and shiny; she’s the sister of Howard Lederer, a player virtually exiled from poker. Her main sponsor, Ultimate Bet, was wiped out after being embroiled in a scandal in 2013, compelling her to distance herself from the brand as well as from high profile poker tournaments. Oh yes, and in 2009 she was a contestant on a little game show called “Celebrity Apprentice” where she raised over $700,000 for her charity, Refugees International, finishing second to Joan Rivers.

Nevertheless, Duke, (who double majored in English and psychology at Columbia University, leaving a month short of completing her doctorate) parlayed her poker career, scholarship and reputation as an expert in the field of smart decision making into a new career as a corporate speaker and “Decision Strategist.” In fact, Forbes, GQ and Entrepreneur have all done specials on her, and currently she’s back in the news.

Duke is teaming up with money management firm Hartford Funds. The firm is using her experience as a professional poker player to prevent financial advisors and investors from imploding, emotionally, when the going gets tough.

She has also been featured on the Hartford Funds Podcast “Human-centric Investing Podcast” and will host an exclusive webinar on Tuesday, September 10 at 16:00 (ET), called “Decision-making tips from a poker pro.

When all is said and done, we are still waiting for her to make an appearance at the poker tables and regain her reputation as one of the leading women in poker.

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Pocket Bullets Paris

Jim “Pocket Bullets” Paris 

Every so often we get asked a “poker history” question which we try to answer in our blog. We figure if one poker fan wants to know about something poker-related, then probably a lot more of you would like to know too. Questions about poker chips come up a lot, so once again we are revisiting a blog that we published a couple of times in the past.

If you google “The History of poker chips” you will find enough results to satisfy your desire to learn all about the “poker chips” we have been playing with since the early 1800s. There’s nothing new that I can tell you that hasn’t already been said. Maybe future technology will come up with some mind-blowingly different way to go “all in,” but for right now it is still pretty much the same as it always was, and using poker chips is still the most accurate and fun way to play the game.

Texas Poker Store Custom ChipsAt least for now, the biggest question still out there is; what exactly is a “Casino Quality Poker Chip”? Ever since poker’s current popularity, almost anyone you ask and certainly most players believe that a real casino quality chip is 11.5 grams and made out of clay. Not so fast.

Today, a standard casino chip is 39 millimeters in diameter with a weight ranging from 8.5 grams to 10.5 grams…not 11.5! Clay composition chips are very popular with casinos and the general poker-playing public. The vast majority of “Casino Quality Poker Chips” are “clay” chips that in reality are better described as compression molded chips.

However, ceramic chips were introduced sometime in the 80s as an alternative to clay chips and are also currently used by casinos worldwide.These ceramic chips are actually injection-molded chips made with a special plastic or resin formula that approximates the feel and sound of ceramic or porcelain.

Las Vegas 14 Gram Poker ChipsGoing against most players way of thinking, I’m here to tell you that no poker chip, or any kind of casino gaming chip,  going back all the way to the 80s, 70s, 60s and maybe even before that, has been made out of 100% clay. As far as I know that’s the real story. Check out this set of 300 Las Vegas chips, ideal for bringing the casino feel to your next home game. Each chip is made of clay composite materials and weighs 14 grams. The chips are housed in a walnut case. 

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Pocket Bullets Paris

Jim “Pocket Bullets” Paris 

First things first;  the perfect man cave to you may not be perfect to others. We’re going to make our suggestions based on what would be some cool stuff to put into a poker-themed man cave. The following suggestions are based on our experiences playing poker at way too many places from California to New York.

The man caves we have had the privilege of being invited to range from tiny rooms to large open spaces that could fit several poker tables as well as maybe a craps table, a pool table, and even a full bar. 

First and foremost for any poker-themed room would, of course, be the perfect table, and that would obviously depend on your budget. So, we’ll begin today with some ideas for a medium- budget room:

Lumen Poker TableThe Lumen Poker Table, priced at just under $2400 (including shipping), is a kidney-bean shaped table with 11 positions (10 players + a dealer). It has integrated LED lighting, cup holders, Napa pedestal legs, and can be fully customized with your own graphics, USB Ports, Dealer chip trays, and lots more. Great table perfect for that medium-end budget.

Desert Heat 1000 count chip set

Then, of course, you’ll need some poker chips. The perfect set for this set-up,  the 1000 count Claysmith “Desert Heat” chip set in an aluminum case, comes in at just slightly more than $200.00, and it even includes a dealer button and three decks of cards.

You can then decorate your room, again depending on your budget, with a large screen TV, maybe a few poker signs, a cool sound system to play your favorite tunes, a bar with a mini fridge, and you’re ready to host some friendly poker games.

Send us your comments or questions!