Friday, December 29, 2006

Nik Finishes 4th in Jungle Poker Tourney

I made it to the final table as a slight chip leader in a 446 player tourney. I slow played KK to get a smaller stack to commit with A9 suited. The flop had ALL his suit.

This dropped me to 3rd in chips and some heavy action by others had 6 more out before I knew it and me now in 4th of four.

I raise 5 times the BB with 99 and get called in two spots! Ouch. Well, I put the medium stack on TT or JJ and the bigger one on AK.

The flop Q93 rainbow. I got to go all in and they BOTH call! The Med stack has JJ and the Big stack called with JT suited. An eight on the river and I am slammed into 4th.

This qualifies me for a big freeroll on Saturday. I'll let you know how that goes.

Nik Finishes 8th in Bugsy's Club Tourney

Bugsy's Club actually doesn't have freerolls, but they have micro-entry tourneys in which you can win a seat in a bigger entry tourney - which I did. The micro-tourneys are rebuy and add-on tourneys so you end up spending a little anyway.

I won a seat, got in and soon found out I had won a seat in another rebuy and add-on tournament! So not only would I have to fight a bunch of all-in 'catch lightening in a bottle' players, but I was going to have to open up the wallet again also. Oh, well.

This close to freeroll I won, ended up costing me more than I normally play for. By the time I got thru with all the add-ons - one before the tourney started and a double one at the break - I was in DEEP. Everyone is doing it and you will be short-stacked if you don't participate.

Just to give you an idea, I gave 6 units to get in the original qualifier, it cost me an additional 66 units to play in the tourney I 'won' the seat in. Winning the seat 'saved' me a whole 16 units. Big deal!!! A nice prize pool developed however as 172 entered and re-bought and added on. On to the action:

I was doing ok early - stole some blinds and won a small pot. But then my QQ got cracked by 34 unsuited. Yes, I raised but he called from the button and got the straight on the turn. That cut me in half.

I limped in and had to go all in with KQ when the flop came Q84 four-handed. An A4 suited called me as he had the 4's and the Q8 were of his suit. He didn't get there.

I went all in again with 33 against AJ suited and won that race. That made me healthy and the very next hand I got AA, overbet the pot slightly and got called by the BIG STACK. The flop was 7Q3. I move all-in and he calls with his KQ suited with only one of his suit on the board and he never improves. Now I got chips!

I try to steal a pot with 54 suited in the big blind when the flop comes 239. A big stack goes all in so I have to dump it. Cost some ammo however.

I get the the final table in great shape as my AK outlasts a good size stack all-in with KQ. I reach the final table in 6th place. Not bad for a guy who just got his butt handed to him by the NPP internet boyzzzzzza!

My cards go absolutely dead after I steal the first pot of the final table. I mean I never saw a card bigger than a ten or gapped worse than 3 spots. This lasted an hour! Awful. Meanwhile the smaller stacks went all-in six times against the bigger stacks during this time and they won every confrontation. They got healthy and I got sicker and sicker!

I call an all-in by a somewhat smaller stack with TT and he has 88. The 8 on the turn was a crusher. I go all in next hand with JT and get called by AK and 99. Needless to say, I was out in 8th place.

For my investment and not going to bed until the wee hours of the morning I did make back 10 times my entry. - Hank Dagny

Thursday, December 28, 2006

FourPutt Wins NPP Internet #12!

Last tourney of the year and only five made it to the felt. Dave the Dog (Fourputt) got in late and then took control late.

Matchy, going for a three-peat, was aggressive early and got short stacked early. Cigar4John made his usual 'just after registration closes' appearance at the table to harrass the players.

Momo (5th) was in for a shocker when he found out the game was HORSE and not just Texas Holdem. He got knocked out on Level 4 when his 7-stud hand lost.

I(4th) ran into a Dave the Dog wheel which beat my 7-low and two pair hand at Level 5. It crippled my stack, but I rebuilt during Holdem and held on until Level 7, when my 7-low Razz hand got snapped off in a multi-way pot.

Matchy (3rd) got a ton of second bests after coming back from the dead to get close to the chip lead a few times. But he finally was done in also in a multi-way pot.

The heads up match started with Boother with a 4 to 3 chip lead on the Dog. But by the break, the situation was reversed. Dave built it to a 6 to 1 advantage before his 6622 two-pair beat Boother's (2nd) QQ and it was over. Congratulations to Dave the Dog - webmaster Fourputt.

1st - DavetheDog
2nd - Boother
3rd - Matchy
4th - Nik Faldo
5th - Momo

Final 2006 internet standings;

1st = Nik 58
2nd = Beerhog 53 NPP Internet Player of the Year!!!!!!
3rd = Matchy 48
4th = Sev4Sev 30
5th = DavetheDog 30
6th = Boother 25
7th = hlam14 24
8th = Sparty 13
9th = Thai Food 9
10th = Bronco76 5
11th = Sack 3
12th = Cigar 2
13th = Momo 1

I will pick a date in January to start NPP Internet 2007. The Dog selected NL Holdem for the first one. - Nik

Nik Wins Qualifier On Bugsy Club!

There is good news, bad news and really bad news.

Good news: I won a freeroll tourney of 95 players to make it to a Big guaranteed prize pool tourney.

Bad news: Halfway thru I started hitting the beers pretty heavily. I was washing down sausage, cheese and crackers - (you know, one of those Xmas gifts) from Hickory or Pepperidge or some Ecoili Farms). Had three in oh - 15 minutes.

Won the tourney and looked to see what time Saturday or Sunday the tournament was.

Really bad news: The tourney starts in two hours!!! I could barely keep my eyes open to finish the last one. Where are the Tums and the coffee???

Report to follow - but I hope not too quicky.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Nik Finishes 10th in an Ultimate Bet Tourney

I got into this tourney as an alternate, as UB allows entries until the first break after the start of the tourney. A total of 356 players entered by that breaktime.

There was a guy at my first table that stated after 15 minutes that he had unexpected visitors and had to go. He proceeded to go all in 27 straight times. He did not get called on 15 hands and busted 15 players in the same run. He won with hands like K3, 86, 73 and Q9.

I doubled up against him with KK against his 86, but with a scare. The flop was 75Q, but I held on. He easily had the chip lead when our table busted up. But I luckily got a few of the gift chips before he bled them off at another table.

As I have said before, you have to get lucky sometimes in big tourneys to make final tables. My all in bluff with QJ unsuited beat KK with a flop of 987 and a ten on the river.

I also won an all in with QQ against AK after a K came on the flop but a Q came on the turn.

I made the final table in 10th place out of 10. I went all in with KT of hearts and was called by A9 of hearts after a flop of KT3 and two hearts. Yep, I made my flush to knock myself out. Netted four times the entry.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Bad Connection/NPP Tourney

Poker Odds and Ends - and a 5th Place for Nik

I said I was not going to try any more poker sites, but I did it anyway. Tropical Poker is getting some trial play from me. I'll report on it early next year. That woman with the blog 'Poker Happs' was playing there and said they stood by their software glitches (refunding money and giving freerolls in qualifiers for the trouble) - which they claim are solved. So far not impressed with the software. I was there once before to look around and left because there were not enough players and the software was average. Everything seems to still apply, but they do have a nice line-up of cheap big tourneys.

I finished 5th in a World Poker Exchange tourney - netting only a 4 times return on my entry, but the field was only 52 players. Big enough to qualify for a BIG tourney (under 46 players is a SNG) but not a big enough tourney to write a story about.

Speaking of the WPE, it is a nice second or third site to have. NO RAKE!. Give it a look.

I have been playing a ton of freerolls at the Sportsbook .com Poker Room. They are trying out the software right now so all they have is $100 freerolls and satellites to a $100,000 tourney later. The software is really clean, good looking and fast. I think is the same software The Poker Room/Hollywood Poker uses (both sites now closed to US Players). Just different avatars and SB doesn't show the percentages when all-ins occur. It is not a skin of those two other sites, however. It is a different player pool all together. I think it is another site you should check out.

What drives me crazy is there is no link to their sportsbook from the poker site. You have to go to the sportsbook via the internet address. Very annoying if you want to check game lines while playing poker. They should fix that.

FYI - Thai Food has been downtown battling the mopes at the Greektown and Motor City casinos. Send positive vibes his way. I plan on sitting out 2006 in the casinos, but plan on making trips to Mt. Pleasant again next year - at least every other month. Detroit gets none of my money if I can avoid it.

Next year - internet poker wise - IS the year. I have experimented with sites, tourneys, SNG's, money management systems, styles of play, rabbit's feet - and I was even going to sacrifice a virgin but Fourputt would not hold still long enough. I have to set a goal for next year and then hit it.

I'm up some bling on the internet, but after about a year and a half of trial and error - it is not what I would call enough to write a book over. Time to throw out what I don't think works and go with what does - or at least is working at the time.

I was experimenting alot and didn't take advantage of situations that I should of. Like I was killing SNG's - on every site - early this year. But I only played in them in my standard rotation of play of things I was trying out and charting results. I should of played nothing but SNG's until the players caught up to me and the cash stopped pouring in. I didn't.

I was playing ring on one particular poker site and absolutely destroying the tables every time I played there. I mean every time - for 2 hours on three tables - cashing on all three. Did I stay there and ATM the site until the bank was empty? NOoooooo! I rotated and went to new sites to get their hours of play up. I even played longer at sites that were beating me early to get back to even with them. Just STUPID. Eventually, the site I was killing - toughened up.

Certain sites at certain times always have freerolls into big tourneys. I could of played in them until I won a seat - like Beerhog did - then try to catch lightening in a bottle for a nice payday. I blew them off to win chump change trying different sites and tourney types.

Next year I am all about value and overlays. I did my homework and had my practice time and got out unscathed. Time to do something - one way or the other on-line. In order to do that I have to not only play well - but pick my spots better.

Of course I do this NOW that the sites have all got alot tougher. What a genius I am. - Nik Faldo

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Matchy Wins 2nd NPP Internet Tourney in a Row!

Actually - make it three! Matchy won the tourney to end the regular monthly game also. Quite an accomplishment against this group of players. No one in the history of NPP has dominated this group like this - this early. Although Larry P handled himself at the main game from the git-go.

Quite a few firsts happened in this tourney:
First time players had internet connection problems (cigar4john, Hlam14 and 747)
First time we played HORSE instead of NL Holdem.
First time we had a back to back winners of the tourneys, back to back - Matchy and me.
First time we had the same two players finish 1,2 - Matchy and Beerhog.
First time your host failed to get a point in the internet tourneys (ouch! - that hurt to write).

On to the game:

Boother (8th) thought it was Razz and spent his last chips calling down Sev4Sev's two pair with an 8-low (pair of 6's). Ouch!

I (7th) was the next player gone. I got 5 very good starting hands in a row that turned into feet as soon as my chips went into the pot. That's poker. As the guys watching the chat box will verify - I took it well.

Hlam14 (6th) is eliminated as his K-high straight is beaten by Beerhog's A-high one.

Matchy's two pair ended Cigar4John's night (5th).

Matchy then eliminated a gallant survival run by Sev4Sev (4th) in Omaha.

Matchy took out DavetheDog (3rd) next.

That left a repeat of the final two from the last tourney. Very nice guys. Matchy had the chip lead early but Beerhog wrestled it away in Razz when Beerhog's 65 beat Matchy's 75.

Matchy got the chip lead back as he 4-flushed showing in a big pot of 7-stud and Beerhog gave it up.

The end came when Matchy's QQ22 (1st) beat Beerhog's 8855 (2nd). Congratulations Matchy!

I will post the standings one last time prior to the tourney on the 28th. Password - 10ofspades.

That's a Shame

Sunday, December 17, 2006

The Herbavor Curve

No-Show Mystery Solved

Last Game of the Year at NPP Looked Like the Others

The last live round of NPP went pretty much the way the whole year went – Herbavor running hot and the rest of us six players chasing. Herb got hot early and stayed that way. Fourputt showed up for his bi-annual visit and The Wall also made his quarterly appearance.

Herbavor was the big winner in the ring game. Larry P was second and Matchy third.

The tourney was a shorter version since some guys had to get up early. It started out as a replay of the ring game as Larry P took the early lead in chips. Herbavor took over with a good size chip lead, but he couldn’t hold onto it. Matchy took Herbavor out. I took Larry P out, and 7forty7 took me out. Matchy finished first and 7forty7 was second – the only two spots that collected bling.

So Herbavor hung on to the top spot by just a little as Matchy closed the gap with his tourney win.

The next NPP game at the Palace is January 20th.

Look for the 2006 Nik’s Poker Player of the Year Awards posting – coming soon. – Nik Faldo

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Matchy Wins NPP Internet #10

A short field but that does not mean Matchy didn’t earn this victory. We had full table tourneys that ended quicker than this one did.

A surprisingly small field of four showed up for the game. I have no clue why. On to the game:

Sack showed up late and was the victim of a big pot loss early. I missed the hand, wrote down the number to follow up, and then threw that out by accident.

But with a short stack, Sack goes all in with KK looking for action and gets it from me with 65 suited in hearts. Two hearts on the flop and another one on the river and I bad beat Sack (4th) out of there.

Beerhog was the low man now, but he got back in the game when his A7 suited flushed against Matchy’s trip tens.

Matchy gets healthy off of me when we both hit trip sevens on the board, but his K7 beats my 87. Ouch!

He puts the proverbial wood to me soon after when I go all in with A8 suited when the flop is 866 with a diamond. I got top two pair and a backdoor flush draw. As a short stack, I might as well try and take the pot now. Matchy is holding 66, and your host’s hopes (3rd) for a 3-peat is over.

Now the epic battle begins. Beerhog and Matchy go back and forth for over 45 minutes in this heads-up battle. You guys missed some really great poker.

Beerhog gets the chip lead when he trips 6’s on Matchy. Not quads, but good enough. Beerhog builds his chip lead to 6 to 1.

Matchy is able to climb out of his dire hole to only being behind 2 to 1 when he turns and rivers a straight when Beerhog tries to trap Matchy with AA.

They continue to go back and forth with the chip lead for a half-hour. Far too many hands to cover here. But Matchy finally grows his chip lead to 7 to 1, then 12 to 1 when Beerhog (2nd) makes his stand with Q6. Matchy (1st) has his beloved 66 and the board never sees a Queen.

Matchy has picked HORSE as the game next week on the 19th. Password ‘8ofspades’.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Nik Finishes 7th in Poker. com Tourney

Poker Poker (or Poker .com) is the newest addition to my rotation. The software is kinda vanilla but some features make the site playable. Not as many cheap tourneys as I would like to see, but enought to be on the play rotation.

The tournament player count is small enough where if you do not have 6 hours to commit to a tournament, the 50 to 400 player tourneys on this site might be up your alley. This one had 56 players.

I'll give you the hand that propelled me to the final table. I went pretty much card dead after this.

Three tables about 27 players left. Only the final table cashes. I am in my usual low area in chip count (2400) and time is getting short. Blindes are 100 - 200. I'm in the small blind with AT suited in hearts. The under the gun and the guy next to him call the 200 big blind. Three middle guys also call, so I have an easy call and the big blind does not raise. That's right - 7 of the 9 players see the flop. There are 1400 chips in the pot.

The flop is 5s 7h 9h. I got the nut heart draw, a backdoor straight draw and two overcards. The flop could of been alot worse for me. I throw a 200 bet out there to see where I am at. Everybody folding would be fine with me.

I get 5 callers. They can have everything from slow-playing trips, high cards looking to hit or a straight draw like me.

The turn is the 6c. Now anyone with an eight got there. I pretend it is me because I still have both the straight and flush draw left. That is enough outs if I get called. I bet the 400 standard raise.

Yankee raises to 800, Fox calls, Senor raises 2000 and Lottabluff goes all-in for 6400 chip and it is on me. That was not the plan. They both must have the eight that I pretended I had. What to do?

I have 1800 chips left and will be in kind of rough shape if I fold. On the positive side of folding, I will get 8 or 9 hands to choose one to make a last stand.

But what about calling? There is 7000 in the pot that I can fight for. That is almost enough to cover my flush draw if I call. Do I think the pot will get juicier if I call?

Yankee has 1000 left and may go ahead and commit. Fox has 500 left and should call on whatever draw he is chasing. I think it is worth a shot here that I will get more than the odds to draw to my flush. Plus there may be 2 or 3 eights still available for my straight if that can hold up if it gets there. I call all-in.

Better than expected - as both Yankee and Fox call - as does Senor.

River 3h. MONEY card! Happy dance!

Yankee has an 8 for the straight and is busted. Fox and Senor fold without showing - also busted. I take the main pot and Lottabluff takes the side pot with 8h 6h.

Whew! Dodged the straight flush draw for Lotta. Hitting the flush was a break, but the biggest break was all those players having hands justifying them filling the pot, and making the flush worth chasing for me. Then I hit - and they did not. Those chips carried me to the final table.

To do well in tourneys, you have to be good AND lucky. - Nik

Saturday, December 09, 2006

The "NPP" Best Internet Poker Site Rankings

Got some new players hopefully coming to play in the Poker Stars tourneys and hopefully making an appearance at the actual center of the poker universe, Nik's Poker Palace.

I have researched 214 poker sites. There is no reason for anyone reading this blog to put money in a site without checking with me first. I have been to just about every single one of them.

Here is my current play list - in order - of the best that are still open to USA players:
1. Poker Stars - no other site is close. Five stars!!!!! Great software, features, and always 30,000 to 125,000 players on line at any time – day or night.

2. World Poker Exchange - no rake!, nice tournaments, and a sports bookie! Why this site is not #2 in the world is a mystery to me. Not many players yet. Get over there!

3. Ultimate Bet - nice site, lots of players.

4. Absolute Poker - I don't like the software but plenty of tourneys and freeroll touneys.

5. Full Tilt Poker - Expensive tourneys and alot of rebuy tourneys which I don't like. But tons of pros play there and plenty of chances to sit at a table with them if you want to do that.

6. Bugsy's Club - Nice software, but not a ton of players

7. Jungle Poker – Nice site, less players than Bugsy

8. Poker4Ever - Nice site, just not many players.

9. Poker .com – Returns to the list. May be moving up in the standings.

10. Sportsbook - No poker yet except freerolls to test software. Software looks and plays well. A major sports bookie also.

My Minor League List. Nice sites too – just not my cup of tea. Might be yours.

11. Bo Dog Poker - I just hate the software, but it is a 30,000 player site and a sports bookie to boot.

12. True Poker – Beautiful and fun graphics for ring play, but not alot of tournaments. I like tourneys.

13. Platinum Poker - Part of Doyles Poker Room Network (Doyles Room, PamalaPoker, etc.), but all their tournaments have high blinds and fast round changes. It's bingo night. SNG's the same way. Ring play ok, but mostly no-limit – which is all the rage now anyway.

Here is a safest and best list of poker sites to try, in my never humble opinion . Questions about anything - you can always drop a question here on the blog or drop me a line at – Nik Faldo

Best Way to Fund Internet Poker Sites

Monthly article for the newbies that make it to this site. You veterans of the NPP wars are promoting the site, the game and our Poker Stars tourney right?

The best and safest way I have found to add chips to your poker site is thru the internet bank called Net Teller. This is a FREE Internet banking site. It is quite easy to use, lightening fast in depositing into poker sites and cashing back out is as fast as the poker site allows.

I say ‘free’ but there is about a 9% transaction fee up to a certain amout transferred or amount deposited – then after that it is free. Still, Net Teller is a publicly traded company in England and is as safe as any bank I would imagine.

Here are the steps to get ready for internet poker.

Step 1. Open a checking account with your poker stake money in a bank that you do no other business with. This will be your ‘poker’ account. Do not use a savings account as those accounts do not allow transfers.

Step 3. Open a Net Teller account on line.

Step 4. Transfer money to Net Teller using the account and funds you deposited in your new ‘Poker’ Bank Savings Account. Be sure to leave the minimum required in the checking account so you can transfer winnings back.

Now you will be able to load money into any poker site from Net Teller that is still taking USA customers.

This way, the poker world can only reach back to Net Teller and Net Teller can only reach back to your poker checking account. Never use your main accounts for anything on line. I am pretty sure Net Teller and the poker sites I suggest are on the up and up, but better safe than sorry.

See NPP’s lists of ‘good’ internet poker sites which always follows or preceeds this post. NPP strongly suggests that Poker Stars be a newbie’s first stop. It is simply the best site out there. Then try some of the others for a change of pace, scenery or the infamous ‘deck change’ or ‘seat change’.

This is just another friendly public service announcement of NPP. - Faldo

Friday, December 08, 2006

How to play H.O.R.S.E.

A wise owner of thoroughbred horses and a semi-regular player at NPP – The Wall – told me the secret to making a small fortune betting and investing in horses. The secret he said was to, “Start with a BIG fortune.”

This is a good thing to visualize when you start playing H.O.R.S.E. – the poker game.

There is talk that H.O.R.S.E. – with a $50,000 buy-in, but with a NL Holdem final table – will be the new ‘main event’ at the World Series of Poker. The professionals already consider the HORSE WSOP tourney the most prestigious bracelet of them all.

The format is a mix of limit poker in this rotation:
Omaha eight-or-better,
Seven-stud and
Seven-stud eight-or-better.

This all but ensures a wild tournament ride. Throw in the fact that Holdem, Omaha and Razz could be played pot limit instead of limit – and you have a statistical nightmare and brain drain for most players.

The game follows the rotation shown above. That is a key fact to remember. Some players may play much more aggressively in what they consider to be their ‘best’ game and much tighter in the game they don’t feel comfortable with. Take that into consideration when watching the table action.

Keep in mind that you usually cannot win the tournament the first time thru the rotation. The blinds are not big enough compared to the player’s stacks to make the kills. So collect chips if you get cards, but giving away chips early will hurt you on the next pass thru these games.

On the flip side, recognize that as the blinds increase in the later rounds of these limit games, even a simple call may make you pot committed. So raising or folding may be the only two options if you get on the short-stacked side of the players left.

Holdem I think you all have a handle on, so I will move onto the rest.

Omaha eight-or-better: Played like Holdem, but you HAVE to use two cards in your hand! There has to be 3 cards on the board 8 or lower and you have to have 2 cards that are lower than an 8 that DO NOT pair any of the low cards out there. For instance:

Board cards: A359K
Player 1 = 46KQ
Player 2 = A26T
Player 3 = A23J

Player One loses as his low cards give him hands of A3456 for low and pair of Kings for high.
Player Two wins low as his A2356 beats Player One’s A3456. Player Two does not use the Ace in his hand as it paired the board.
Player Three wins high as his two pair of Aces and Threes beat Player Two’s pair of Aces.

If the players have the same hands but the board was AA39K, there would be no low hand possible since there are only two unpaired cards under 8 showing. Player Three's full house would win the entire pot.

Razz is a 7-card stud – low only game where A2345 is the best hand. Straights and flushes do not count against the low cards but pairs do! You can win with a pair, but it is not likely.

Seven Stud is standard but the low man brings in the first bet. A pain when you get short stacked.

Seven-stud eight-or-better combines the rules of Omaha 8 or better (but all the cards are in your hand) and Seven Stud.

I hope this helps a little. I would like to see BOSHMER played:
Omaha eight-or-better,
sEven-stud eight-or-better

Now you have nearly every poker game dealt in the casinos – except Draw Poker. The action in the middle on each pass would be wild. Hell, lets put that in too – BOSHMERD – Nik Faldo

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

More Choices Available On Poker Stars for Our Internet Tourney

Poker Stars has expanded the menu of games available to NPP for our weekly tournament. We now have these choices:

1. Holdem - NL

2. Holdem - Pot Limit

3. Holdem - Limit

4. Omaha - NL

5. Omaha - Pot Limit

6. Omaha - Limit

7. Omaha H/L 8 qualifier - NL

8. Omaha H/L 8 qualifier - Pot Limit

9. Omaha H/L 8 qualifier - Limit

10. 7-Stud - Limit

11. 7-Stud H/L 8 qualifier - Limit

12. Razz - Limit

13. HOSE - Limit Holdem, Omaha H/L 8 qualifier - Limit, 7-Stud - Limit, 7-Stud H/L 8
qualifier - Limit

14. HORSE - Limit Holdem, Omaha H/L 8 qualifier - Limit, Razz - Limit, 7-Stud - Limit, 7-Stud H/L 8 qualifier - Limit

What do you guys think of the idea of the winner of the last tourney naming the game for the next tourney? Let's hear your opinion. - Nik Faldo

Nik Wins NPP #9 Boother Classic

Seven players started this epic battle that lasted over two hours. Lots of twists and turns and lead changes.

DavetheDog (Fourputt)took out his first victim with AKs when a short-stacked Cigar4John (7th) made the move with AQs. A K on the turn sealed the humidor.

I (Nik) got my 1st pair of AA (of three of the night) and got the action required as the tournament name holder Boother (6th) ran into them with QQ. Ouch!

DavetheDog took out his second player of the night when his 99 held up against a short-stacked Matchy's (5th) AQ - giving the Dog the chip lead.

I took the chip lead from Dog when his AQ {with a Q on the flop} ran into my second AA of the night. That left the Dog yelping.

But there was still fight in the Dog as he regained a bunch of chips when his all-in with K3 [and a K on the flop] took some ammo from Sev4Sev (7Forty7) and his 77.

Soon after however, Beerhog sent the Dog to the pound when his QQ beat the Dog's (4th) AQs. Beerhog had a nice chip lead at this point.

Sev4Sev got back in the hunt when he won a decisive hand from Beerhog. He picked up even more with the 'bad beat' of the night when his 44 spiked a 4 on the river to beat Beerhog's JJ.

Beerhog got crippled soon after when his 99 ran into my (Nik) QQ. Not a nice run of luck for the Beerhog.

I (Nik) ended Beerhog's misery (3rd) when his now short-stacked JT could not beat my KJ when I made the tough call.

Heads up now, 747 outplayed me and took the chip lead by a good margin. Here is where I got a stunning run of cards on the board.

My desparation allin with 64s hit a straight with a card on the river to beat 747's 99. I get a huge chip lead when my al-in little 22 wins the coin flip against A9s.

The luck factor turns for a moment as 747 holds on by winning pots as a big dog with 84 and K9 - cutting my lead to a little more than 2 to 1.

I close it out when my K6 spikes a KJ8 on the flop and 747 (2nd) has to call when his 94s gets two of his suit in there also. The flush draw doesn't get there and the long battle is over.

1st = Nik Faldo
2nd = Sev4Sev
3rd = Beerhog
4th = DavetheDog
5th = Matchy
6th = Boother
7th = Cigar4John

Reminder: Same time next Tuesday and the BIG game is on the horizon!

Friday, December 01, 2006

NPP - Poker Stars Internet Standings

Report card time. Eight Tourneys played.
Now before you liberals cry about it being unfair and we should go be average score vs tourney's played, I don't want to hear it. In other words - If you want points, PLAY!

We are using the same scoring method that Poker Superstars use on the TV show. 1st = 10 points, 2nd = 7, 3rd = 5, 4th = 3 and 5th = 1.

Here are the standings and we have four tourneys left:
1st = Nik Faldo (mikeniks) 40 pts
2nd = Beerhog 34 pts
3rd = Hlam (Herbavor) 24 pts
4th = Matchy 22 pts
5th = 7Forty7 20 pts
6th = Boother 18 pts
7th = SpartyToJo 13 pts
8th = Dave the Dog (Fourputt) 12 pts
9th = Jane/Louanna (Thai Food) 9 pts
10th = Bronco76 5 pts
11th = Cigar4John 1 pt
12th = Sack
13th = Momo

In theory everyone is still alive for the title. Four to go!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Nik Wins NPP Internet #8 - Hlam Open

Weird night. Short night. Plenty of missing players.
How does the guy who the tournament is named after - miss it???
How does the probable tournament winner - CigarJohn - show up 1 minute late???
How does your humble scribe and host win the tournament without hitting a single flop???

Very weird evening. We all have stories to tell, but as champ and writer, you have to listen to mine.

The tournament starts off with me having to fold 99, KK and AK suited as I of course bet pre-flop, miss the flops and have to fold because there are raises after the flop hits. I am already low chip man and Beerhog has yet to go all in once. Not good.

The Sack goes out (6th) as his K7 loses to J8 with a board of K2J86.

Beerhog gets the 'bad beat' of the night when he is ousted (5th) as his A9 suited is called by Matchy's 43 suited in spades, and three spades come on the flop and a 4th on the turn.

SpartyToJo is gone (4th) as he loses back to back hands to Boother. They both get a ton of chips in the pot - 33 for ToJo and Q9 suited for Boother. The board is all paint of AQJT. And when a rag hits the river, ToJo bluffs at the pot and Boother calls him down. ToJo's suited 52 lose to Boother's Q7 the next hand.

I managed to sneak in some pots as my A6 wins as the flop is 68J23, with more garbage on the turn and river. Boother bets and I call and he has A9. My bottom pair wins. That same type thing happens two more times and now I got a little bling in my stack.

I take the chip lead when Boother's A9 runs into my JJ and it holds up.

Matchy takes out Boother (3rd) when Boother's QQ gets run over by Matchy's K2 with a king on the flop.

Matchy plays well and wrestles the chip lead away from me. But Matchy's dual hands of A2 lose to my TT and 77, as no ace comes on the boards and I close it out.

I don't think this has ever happened before where someone wins a tournament and did not hit a single flop except for a few bottom pairs. I never even hit a flop with any of my folded hands. I never had a hand bigger than a pair, and they were usually in my hand. Incredible!

1st - Nik Faldo
2nd - Matchy
3rd - Boother
4th - SpartyToJo
5th - Beerhog
6th - Sack

Sunday, November 26, 2006

The Four Stages of Life

It's a good thing that poker goes with the last three...

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Beerhog Moves on to Level #3 in the Moneymaker Millions!

Beerhog says he has his favorite tropical butt floss thong packed as he plans on going all the way.

I hope he doesn't mean all the way with the Cabana boy, once he gets to the tropics.

I have been playing on Poker Stars lately, and all I can say about it was best summed up by Hlam at the last NPP internet tournament. I say DITTO! It's the best site and I like them. They don't like me.

Beerhog has no such problem, proving talent outlasts whining every time. Keep going Beerhog!

NPP guys are good!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Nik Finishes 3rd in NL Holdem Tourney at the World Poker Exchange

My first big tournament cash on this site. It was a field of 71 players, but I managed to make a final table and won 9 times my entry.

This site's lobby is clean to look at. The look at the table has a classic feel. I like the software.

Tournaments are reasonable and plentiful. The ring play has enough players to sustain a few tables at most limits.

The best part is that once a month they return every cent of rake back to the players! It is also a first class sports betting site.

If you want to try another poker site, try this one. Even the poker God himself Dave the Dog - Fourputt plays there. - Nik Faldo

NPP Internet Beerhog Classis #7 - Has It's 7th Straight Different Winner!

Our biggest field of all time joined the fray. Two new players joined this week - Sack and Momo. All I can say is - men, welcome! And a special thank you for the short niknames!

It was all Cigar early in this one. His AKs takes out Momo's KT (11th) first when two kings hit on the flop. This is what's known as Nik Faldo luck, Momo. It's contageous as you will see later in this tourney.

ToJo went out in (10th), but I didn't see the hand. I had run to get a beer and missed it completely. My bad. Whoever wants to can comment and fill me in.

Matchy got the prize for the "Bad Beat" of the night. Boother goes all in with trips on the turn - right into Matchy's (9th) full house - 99977. But a ten falls on the river and Boother's 999TT takes it. It just may be someone's night.

Cigar ended Hlam's cold cold night at the table when his KK ran over Hlam's (8th)all-in with Q6 when a Q hit the board.

The Dog sacrifices the southern gent he brought to the game. Very rude! Sack (7th) gets his short stack all-in with QJ and two pair on the flop [JQQ] and walks right into a big-blind hand of Q2 for the Dog. Ouch!

But the celebration is short-lived as Beerhog [A9] decimates the Dog's stack [A2]. I (Faldo) eliminate the Dog (6th) shortly thereafter.

A big betting war erupts as the suprisingly mute 747's QQ takes out Cigar's (5th) AQ when a Q hits the board.

I (Faldo) decide it is time to do my usual kamakaze play (that has never worked by the way) and go all in to take some much needed blind money with QT (4th) and run in 747's KK. Yes, he saw more pairs in two hands than I saw all night.

Beerhog then takes a big chunk of Boother's stack to pull even for second place when his AK beats Boother's AQ. We got a horserace now.

But our internet tournament point leader Beerhog's(3rd) AQ runs into a 23 in the blind - and a straight - by Boother with a flop of [A45].

It is a classic and long battle with Boother coming from 2 to 1 down to a 3 to 1 chip lead when all the chips finally hit the center. Boother with 66 and 747 with AK. The coin flip preflop odds are tilted away from 747 (2nd) as a six hits the flop and a boat on the turn for our 7th new champion, Boother.

1st - Boother
2nd - 747
3rd - Beerhog
4th - Faldo
5th - Cigar4John
6th - The Dog (Fourputt)
7th - Sackett
8th - Hlam
9th - Matchy
10th - Tojo
11th - Momo

Next internet tourney is Nov. 28. Invite your friends - if any of you have any besides this pack of rabble.

The password is '3ofdiamonds'.

The December 5th tourney is posted. Fourputt the password is '3ofclubs'.

I had posted a different password, but Fourputt can't read. I have to start writing blog orders to him in German I think. - Nik

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

The Best Way to Fund Internet Poker Sites

At Fourputt’s suggestion and in preparation for entering the Nik’s Poker Palace On-line tournaments, I will re-print the article from October 11, 2006.

The best and safest way I have found to add chips to your poker site is thru Net Teller. This is a FREE Internet banking site. It is quite easy to use, lightening fast in depositing into poker sites and only a day or two wait cashing back out.

I say ‘free’ but there is about a 9% transaction fee up to a certain amout or amount deposited – then after that it is free. Still, Net Teller is a publicly traded company in England and is as safe as any bank I would imagine.

Here are the steps to get ready for internet poker.

Step 1. Open a checking account with your poker stake money in a bank that you do no other business with. This will be your ‘poker’ account. Do not use a savings account as those accounts do not allow transfers.

Step 3. Open a Net Teller account on line.

Step 4. Transfer money to Net Teller using the account and funds you deposited in your new ‘Poker’ Bank Savings Account. Be sure to leave the minimum required in the checking account so you can transfer winnings back.

Now you will be able to load money into any poker site from Net Teller that is still taking USA customers. See NPP’s lists of ‘good’ sites. NPP strongly suggests that Poker Stars be a newbie’s first stop. It is simply the best site out there.

This way, the poker world can only reach back to Net Teller and Net Teller can only reach back to your poker checking account. Never use your main accounts for anything on line. I am pretty sure Net Teller and the poker sites I suggest are on the up and up, but better safe than sorry.

This is just another friendly public service announcement of NPP. - Faldo

Monday, November 20, 2006

NPP Roll Call

Fourteen years this game has rolled on. In order to keep it moving on, we need players added for next year. They can be in the form of like 6 more part-timers or 2 more full timers. But that is about what we need.

Here are the number of FULL TIME NPP Players. The Core!
1. Beerhog
2. Herbavor
3. Larry P.
4. Thai Food
5. 7Forty7
6. Nik Faldo

Part timers or new arrivals:
7. ToJo
8. Gridlock
9. The Wall
10. CigarJohn
11. Fourputt
12. Matchy (new)
13. Boother (possible)
14. Mark the Shark (possible)

If you have a core of eight players and eight part-timers, you should always have a full table for the game. On average two regulars will have to miss and two PT's will show up to fill the game.

What hurts NPP is that even though our FT's are solid, our PT pool is quite lame. As in Brokeback Mt. lame. Like in "They play for the pink team lame." We need to add alot more PT's or a few more FT's.

Like a college football coach, I like to stack my bench of starters and reserves. You never have such a thing as too many players. An interesting phenomenon occurs. A packed game keeps the game packed. Nobody wants to miss out on the action. Like a crowded restaurant has a line out the door. Where a game low on players can't keep the momentum going, like a restaurant without customers looks lousy.

So get out there and recruit.

Friday, November 17, 2006

A Tribute to All the Players Who Have Played

I'm going to list everyone first name or nickname alphabetically.

7Forty7, Alex K.,Andy S., Andy W., Bart B., Beerhog,
Bill R. Sr., Bill R. Jr., Billy Z., Bob M., Bob R.,
Bobby Z., Brandon S., Bruce J., Butch N., Charlie L.,
Chris Bid, Cigar4John, Dan J., Dan the Bank., Darren L.,
Dave K., Dennis D., Doug C., Ed ?, Eric M., Fourputt,
Greg P., Gridlock, Hank W., Herbavor, J. Moore,
Jason R., Jason S., Jeff C., Jeff J., Jeff P., Jerry R.,
Jim M., Johnny B., John V., John W., Joe Mc., Kelly C.,
Kurt J., Larry P., Larry R., Larry W., Lee J., Manny R.,
Mark M., Mark Z., Matt N., Matt P., Mike C., Matchy,
Mike M., Mike R., Nate M., Nik Faldo, Paul ?, Ralph R.,
Randy K., Roberto B., Ryan M., Sean B., SpartyToJo,
Steve D., Steve N., Thai Food, Tolly, Tom B., Tom U.,
? Cullinan, The Wall

That is the group that has made at least one appearance. 75 players in the 14 years of the game. Did I miss anyone?

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Another Internet Poker Site Review

Got some new players hopefully coming to the site, playing in the Poker Stars tourneys and hopefully making an appearance at the actual center of all poker, Nik's Poker Palace.

I have been researching poker sites for a couple of years now - 214 to be exact! Sites - not years!

There is no reason for anyone reading this blog to put money in a site without checking with me first. I have been to just about every single one of them.

Here is my list - in order - of the best that are still open to USA players:

1. Poker Stars - no other site is close. Five stars!!!!!

2. World Poker Exchange - no rake!, nice tournaments, and a sports bookie!

3. Ultimate Bet - nice site, lots of players.

4. Absolute Poker - I don't like the software but plenty of freerolls

5. Full Tilt Poker - Expensive tourneys and alot of rebuy tourneys which I don't like

6. Bugsy's Club - Nice software, but not too many players

7. Jungle Poker - less players than Bugsy

8. Poker4Ever - Nice site, just not many players.

9. Bo Dog Poker - I hate the software, but a big site and a sports bookie.

10. True Poker - Nice graphics for ring play, but not alot of tournaments.

11. Platinum Poker - Part of Doyles Poker Room Network (Doyles Room, PamalaPoker, etc.), but all their tournaments have high blinds and fast round changes. It's bingo night. Ring and SNG's ok.

12. Sportsbook - No poker yet - but soon - and a sports book.

Here is a safe list of poker sites to research. Questions about anything - you can always drop a question on the blog or drop me a line at

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Louanna Memorial Tourney Service was Short - and Sweet for Hlam

Only five players made it to the gate this evening.
CigarJohn was in Canada at the ballet.
Fourputt was painting his toenails or his wife's - he forgot who's.
7forty7 was behind the shed with Thai Food (aka - man with no Poker Stars address).

But a new player joined - a friend of Matchy's - Boother36.
Nice to see new blood. We may get a full tourney of 9 or 10 soon.

Beerhog was his usual aggressive self but the flops were not cooperating. Hlam's 55 took out Beerhog's AJ (5th) and we had our first casualty of the evening.

Boother limps in from the SB with 35 and Hlam calls from the BB with T6 suited. The flop is a disaster for Boother - 663. All the chips go in and Boother is out in 4th.

Matchy kept beating the host up with A-better kicker in three hands - two to the river. This made me the short stack. I go up against Hlam with QJ against his AK and survive as I make a straight beating his two pair.

This was fair since his J9 went runner-runner full house to beat me the hand before.

But my comeback was short-lived as my AJ suited lost (3rd) to Hlam's 77.

The next hand Hlam closed out the deal with AJ against A9 for Matchy (2nd).
AJ was a loser all night until the last hand.

Final order of finish:
1st - Hlam
2nd - Matchy
3rd - Nik Faldo
4th - Boother
5th - Beerhog

The next tournament is next Tuesday, 9pm - PW is 6ofdiamonds.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

November 06 Game Was Classic Poker

Six players made it to the gate. We all tried to meet at a local pub for a pre-game beer and cigar, but the place did not allow cigars (the dirty bastards!).
Herbavor was held up by road construction and Thai Food was late because...well, he is always late.

The game started with five players. Joining NPP was 'Matchy' the 75th player to sit at the hallowed felt of NPP. Thai Food made it six when he got there.

Herbavor started out by getting smoked in hands and Beerhog was on fire early. The fortunes were reversed by night's end.

Thai Food won a big pot near the end from 7forty7, and I lost a stack on the last three hands myself.

The NPP players showed their usual rude behavior to first time players, by never letting Matchy get rolling.

The ring game and big winner of the night was Herbavor, with Thai Food blowing past me and 7forty7 on the totals board in the last three hands.

The tourney was won by 7forty7 as his AK took out my A9 suited.
Beerhog went out on the bubble.
Thai Food was 4th.
Herbavor, arm weary from chip stacking in the ring game, went out 5th.
Matchy declined to enter the night ending affair.

Next NPP game is December 16th.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

New and Improved NPP Calendar

Our beloved webmaster and NPP Pokerstars prodigy has improved the NPP calendar!!! It's a shame he doesn't have the skill to actually play at NPP but I digress.

Look at the calendar in the right-hand column. Click on a highlighted date in order to get more information.

Poker Chips for Sale

Just in time for Xmas! Chip overstock!
Nik's Poker Palace has a barely used standard 500 chip poker set for sale.
11.5 gram chips.

150 Whites
150 Reds
100 Blues
50 Greens
50 Blacks

Set comes in a lockable case, and includes two decks of cards, chip separators (that do not come with a store-bought set), and 'Missed Blind' button that could be used as a 'Dealer' button (that do not come with a store-bought set).

These sets are selling for around $60 on Overstocked dot com including shipping.
NPP will open the bidding at $40 to NPP players.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Sparty On Open Won by Beerhog

Seven players made it to the table and the guy that called for a Thursday night tourney 'forgot' to play in it. Next time I listen to Fourputt, somebody take me out to the shed.

It opened with Beerhog crippling the winner whose name was on this tourney, SpartyToJo.

ThaiFood(Jane) hit a flush with his AK suited to end Tojo's (7th) night against 88.

ThaiFood(Jane) hit trip 5's with his Q5 and 7forty7 is out (6th) when his flush draw did not get there, K8 suited.

Beerhog then hurt ThaiFood with KK vs 88 as the kings held up.

Beerhog finished my night as my cards were cold and I was short-stacked most of the night. He had the slight lead with 99 vs my KT suited pre-flop - but I got the K on the flop. This left Beerhog a two outer with two cards to go. A 9 on the river and my motel room furniture got 're-arranged'(5th).

Short-stacked Hlam (4th) was the next Beerhog victim as his AQ got out-flopped by Beerhog - who paired his 3 (K3suited).

That left three. Matchy was playing solid and crippled Thaifood when his AJ held up against Thaifood's K9.

Thaifood stayed alive as his AT beat Beerhog's QJ.

Thaifood finished in 3rd when he hit his flop with K4. The flop was 65K. Matchy called with his 65.

The heads up match lasted a while as Matchy cut Beerhog's chip lead from 4 to 1 all the way down to 2 to 1.

They went all in as Matchy had AK and Beerhog had A3 suited (diamonds).

The flop was all diamonds (as was the turn and river) and Beerhog took the victory.

1st - Beerhog
2nd - Matchy
3rd - Thaifood
4th - Hlam
5th - Faldo
6th - 7forty7
7th - SpartyToJo

Monday, November 06, 2006

4Putt Fixed Open Won by Rush Limbaugh

This was the biggest tourney we've had so far. Louanna let RushLimbaugh, of Absolute Poker fame, step into his seat for the evening. Rush bears a striking resemblance to Tolly.

Let's see how it unfolded - or folded as the case may be:

Rush took out internet superstar Beerhog when his KK held up over Beer's 77.

7forty7 put the hurt on Cigar4john next when his QQ held up against John's AT and straight draw.

Fourputt knocked out last tourney winner SpartyToJo in 7th with KK when Sparty's AT hit a T on the flop.

Cigar4John got back in the tourney when his QQ beat Rush's AK.

Cigar4John then cripples Hlam when his AK bested Herbavor's AQ. All Aces and paint on the flop. I personally agonized pre-flop calling the all-ins with 99 on the button (I raised initially and they both went all-in from the blinds) but thought one of them would have a higher pair so I folded. Smart move as every 2 and 3 outer card flopped to kill me if I had called. They ended up splitting a small pot instead of my chips.

Cigar4John then goes out in 6th when his AT loses to 7forty7's AK.

Rush takes me out when I overbet to get Hlam to fold or call for value as he was shortstacked and to keep Tolly from calling. Hlam folded, and Rush pushed his luck as he was a much larger stack. His 66 beat my AK and I was out in 5th.

Hlam goes from 4th to 1st in chips when his AK beats 7forty7's J4 suited. The flop if I recall had a KJ4 and two diamonds, so it was not an unreasonable play. 7forty7 still had chips in which to inflict pain, but Herbavor went from worst to first.

7forty7 finished 4th when his 75 lost to DavetheDog's JT as they both hit the flop.

Rush took out DavetheDog next in 3rd place when his KK beat Dave's QJ when Dave hit the Q on the flop.

Very quickly the night ended when Rush's 99 beat Hlam's AK. A couple hands later and it was over. 'Rush' returns with a victory.

Remember to RSVP for Saturday at 6pm.

Also remember the NPP Sparty On Open at 9pm on Thursday. Or, should I cancel it? Let's RSVP for this one too.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Reminder - There Are Two NPP On-line Tourneys This Week!

Thanks to Fourputt crying for a Thursday tournament - and then later saying he really wants to play on the normal day of Monday - we got two this week.

I guess his union got him Monday and Tuesday off. Monday to fill out absentee ballots by the thousands for Democrats and then all day Tuesday to stuff them in the ballot boxes. But I digress.

Monday Nov. 6 at 9:00pm is the #5 Fourputt 'Fixed' Open. #35034825

Thursday Nov. 9 at 9:00pm is the #4 Sparty On Open. #34826702

Both have the password of '2ofclubs'.

Alert your friends. Let's recruit for these tourneys and the BIG one on Saturday the 11th.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Some Help When You Are Running Cold - Part 1

We have all been there if you play this game long enough. Long losing streaks where nothing goes right. Every good hand is cracked. Draws never get there or do and get beat on the river. We gets cards but no action or the chips are flying and our hands look like feet. Hour upon hour of bad cards or even worse - a string of flops that hit your opponents between the eyes every hand.

Been there, done that. Bought the t-shirt AND sent the postcards. It is UGLY when you are in the middle of it!

I went a year and a half (that is 18 months for those of you in Ann Arbor, MI) barely breaking even in casinos after winning for 20 months straight. I went six straight months with losing results on-line.

I am currently in a fourteen year losing streak at the NPP game. Ok, sixteen years.....ALRIGHT, eighteen years!

Here is an article I saved after I destroyed my third on-line poker computer and cursing the charity casinos in Windsor, Ont. Just kidding about the computers. ALRIGHT...two computers!


"Blaming forces beyond our control is often easier than taking responsibility for our own actions and holding ourselves accountable for the results we receive.

So you flopped six or seven flush draws in a row and they didn’t pan out. Whom should you blame - the dealer, the cards, the casino or website itself? All of them make good targets. After all, they cannot prove they didn’t do it.

But that is inconsequential. You are the poker player, the man at the switch, the engineer driving the train, the pilot, the guy with the compass plotting the course. And if you end up somewhere you’d rather not be, there are only two things that could of gone wrong.

Either you screwed up or you got unlucky and it is no one’s fault. And as far as a turn of a card is concerned, neither you nor anyone else has any control over that – as long as the game is on the up and up.

If you have made all the right decisions, you can absolve yourself of blame. After all if the pot odds exceed the odds of making your hand, calling or raising is the right decision –whether you win or lose that particular hand.

If you lose that time or six of seven times in a row after that – it is no one’s fault. Poker has an element of chance ingrained in every part of the game. No one can change that, and it does no good to blame anyone for bad fortune dictated by the turn of a card. Railing against randomness does about as much good as bare-knuckle punching a brick wall. [Editor's Note: I've done that and the author is right. It didn't help.]

Do yourself a favor and assume you are the problem. Even if it is not true, at least this assumption leads you down the path to corrective action. If you refuse to look at yourself as the reason you are not doing well, you may never discover the leak in your game. You may continue to make the same error time and time again.

If losing due to bad luck kills you, then lower your stakes. Make it a non-painful as possible. Continue to play your best game, continue to study and improve and the cards will eventually reward your hard work.

Money saved when running badly, spends exactly the same as money won when running well."

I read this from time to time. It saves my computers and my knuckles.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Nik Finishes 4th in BoDog Tourney

Hoping to win my second on-line big tourney of the year, I made it to 4th against 195 players.

It was a boring tournament. I played nothing but premium hands that seem to come by often enough to where I never got desperate. Some mope would bet, I would go all in, he would call and my better hand held up.

I bet a few hands that didn't get called and probably got bet off a few winners. But all in all - kind of boring. Except for a stretch of four straight hands where I folded hands like J4, 93, K2 and another lump of coal I can't remember - and I would of taken down four monster pots and been the easy chip leader about three-quarters of the way through.

It happens of course but watching the flop hit my hand and then improve to the nuts while idiot after idiot went all in - was hard to take since Bo Dog leaves your folded cards visible but faded and stamped folded.

I went out when my first and only loss with the best hand happend. My AJ got beat by A8 - with the dreaded 8 on the river. I won 16 times my entry.

Monday, October 30, 2006

The NPP 747 Open Drew the Most Players!

Seven battle ready NPP regulars squared off. For you NPP readers not getting in the action, you are missing a great time. Fourputt - according to the Man Laws carved in stone - redeemed himself for missing last week's internet game by making this one in spite of a vasectomy earlier in the day! That is NPP spirit.

The guys - being the buddies that they are - all volunteered to service his bride while he recovers. Fourputt was overwhelmed with the generous nature of his poker buddies.

On to the action:

In a very unsporting kick to the nads, SpartanToJo in his first appearance in this on-line specatular, disposes of the hairless and sore sack of Davethedog (Fourputt) - when his AJ took out Fourputt's AT when they both flopped their lower card on the flop. Dave must of retired to the ice bag, as we heard no more from him.

Sparty almost took me out and should of when his AK lost to my AT. I was running low and made a move when we both flopped an Ace. I spiked a T on the turn. (I got a Tolly card finally!)

Hlam (Herbavor) then crippled the last tourney winner 747 when his KQ of spades somehow bested 747's AJ of spades when a Q hit the board.

Beerhog came back from the dead when his 98s hit a straight against Sparty's 44. Notice the run of lower hands beating the better hands?

Beerhog picked up more chips from the tourney leader when his A9 beat Sparty's A8.

Beerhog then took out the short stacked 747, guaranteeing a different champion tonight.

Louanna got back in the hunt when his 88 beat Sparty's A3.

Hlam bit the dust when he hit two pair with his T7 against Sparty's AA. But a pair of 8's also hit the board and it was goodbye Herbavor.

Beerhog continued his run of cards and luck as he knocks out Louanna (Thai Food) when he spikes a J with AJ against Louanna's AK. Ouch! I officially demand the cards turn for Thai Food from this point forward. The poker Gods have been pooping in Thai Food's plate lately. His cards have been running hot - but sour.

That left three and I did it again! I got froggy with nothing and said good night when my QT lost to Sparty's A9.

Beerhog got a bad break when he flops a K holding K2 and moves in, just to get called by Sparty's AA! Congrats SpartanToJo!

1st = SpartanToJo
2nd = Beerhog
3rd = Nik Faldo
4th = Louanna
5th = Hlam
6th = Sev4TSev
7th = Davethedog

We had two suggestions - one is to have the next game on Thursday.
Second to have the game at 9pm. I'm going to make an executive decision and grant both requests, since I saw no objections at the table.

Next on-line tourney (NPP #4) will be on November 9 at 9pm, only two days from the next NPP game. The password will the '2ofclubs'. #34826702

Other exciting news - Thai Food is investigating 'rake free' tourneys at the World Poker Exchange. He will keep up informed I'm sure. - Nik Faldo

Monday, October 23, 2006

7Forty7 Wins NPP Internet Classic #2

We had six players this time - one up from last time.

Fourputt was a no - show. Actually, he was a withdraw since he was registered at one time. Pad must have been leaking or maybe he broke a nail. Anyway, he stopped by but gave no reason for being AWOL. His brother CigarJohn was having his bikini wax done on game night and missed also.

On to the action:

I busted Louanna out when he unhappily got QQ when I had KK. He and Hlam got short-stacked as Beerhog got a run of full houses!

Beerhog uncerimoniously eliminated the new guy Mikemach32 when his TT outlasted Machy's flush draw which failed.

Hlam survived one all in pushing in with T9 and beating Beerhog's K3.

But 7forty7 finally took Hlam out lost as his A3 ran into AK.

I misread Beerhog for a bluff and pushed all in with K9 when the flop was J94. Beerhog had KJ. That crippled me and I went out on the next blind.

Beerhog pulled even with 7forty7 when his AA survived QT for 7forty7 and a flop of 6QT. But a six on the turn gave Beerhog the bigger two pair.

It ended when Beerhog's AJ got cracked by 7forty7's J9 when they both paired the J on the flop and went all in, but a 9 spiked on the river.

1st - Sev-4T-Sev
2nd - Beerhog
3rd - mikeniks
4th - hlam
5th - mikemach32
6th - Louanna

Next tourney already posted for next Monday night. Same time - same password.

Nik's Poker Palace Classic #3 - The 747 Open!

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Reminder - NPP Online Tournament @ PokerStars

Beerhog Makes Another Final Table!

The game Limit Razz. The site was Poker Stars.
The number of players was 328.

Beerhog by is own admission - got sidetracked:

"This time i got to the final table and the world series started and I could
not pay attention. started final table in 5th and speed bet my way to

Louanna is killing the limit tables. Tolly is crushing the mopes at Absolute Poker. Beerhog owns the tourney trail on Poker Stars!

Meanwhile, this humble scribe has logged 643 hours of tournament and ring play on eleven different sites this month and I have a cool $3.45 profit securely held in my left jeans pocket. I have a hole in my right jeans pocket for something to do while waiting for SNG's to fill. - Nik Faldo

Friday, October 20, 2006

Nik's Internet Poker Rooms

My excursion scanning the globe for poker sites is over. It was halted at 208.
There are four reasons I stopped my quest to visit every poker site running:

> Our government is crushing sites left and right with their lame brain laws so I have no idea who will be here tomorrow.

> Sites are not always returning funds when they go out of business or stop taking USA business.

> Sites like Mansion Poker are taking your money, then asking for identification and information they do not need - in order for you to cash out.

> I am going to stick with the sites that stuck with US players during this debacle.

I get letters from women all over the world. For instance Jessica Simpson, Scarlett Johansson and Natalie Gulbis keep asking "Where does Nik Faldo play poker? We want to play with his chips!" Well, who can blame them?

Here are the sites I am on now and the list can only shrink. Time for me to get some FPP equity in the sites I play in.

1. Poker Stars – the best site in my opinion and didn’t run out on US players like Party Poker. This leaves Poker Stars above the rest by a long shot.

2. World Poker Exchange – NO RAKE! Few players, but plenty of free rolls and a sports bookie – if you like to look up the lines for information only!
3. Bugsy’s Club – Nice software
4. The Gaming Club – Don’t like the software but they have plenty of tournaments
5. Full Tilt Poker – Plenty of players and nice software.
6. Ultimate Bet – Plenty of players but I hate the lobby.
7. Bo Dog Poker – I just don’t like the software or the lobby, but a bookie also.
8. Absolute Poker – I don’t trust this site for some reason, don’t like the service or the software, but plenty of free rolls
9. Platinum Poker (Doyle’s Poker Network) – Don’t like the software but tourneys are plentiful enough
10. True Poker – Been around a long time and never gets any bigger or any better. Horrible lobby, few players, tournaments are few, SNG’s never fill, but the graphics are great for ring play.
11. Jungle Poker – the little site that could! Plenty of tourneys and they are still open!

This is where I am playing, but in my opinion Poker Stars is the best bar none! - Nik Faldo

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Beerhog is on Fire on Poker Stars!

A 21st place finish in a 600 player HORSE tourney,
a 7th place finish in an 80 player limit Razz tourney,
and a SNG win!

Very impressive as Razz is not easy and HORSE involves playing five different games during the tournament. Of course playing at NPP prepares you for that.

Quite a run for Beerhog since returning to the Poker Stars tables.

We may need to gang up on him next Monday night to have a chance the way he is playing right now.

Good job Beerhog!
NPP Players - "These guys are good!"

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Online Poker Sites and Financial Processors: Who Raised and Who Folded?

I have received definitive confirmation from Card Player Magazine that the following companies are NOT pulling out of the United States:

Absolute Poker (I have funds)
Bodog Poker
Doyle Brunson Network (Platinum Poker – I have funds)
Doyle’s Room
Full Tilt Poker (I have funds)
Full Contact Poker
Poker Stars (I have funds)

I have determined that Bugsy’s Club (I have funds), The Gaming Club (I have funds), Jungle Poker and World Poker Exchange (I have funds) are still operating for US Customers.

However, I still took my money out of Jungle Poker as they are a small site and I got worried. I also exited Bo Dog Poker. Not because I was worried, but because I just don’t like the software and their tourneys are all expensive. I may go back.

Card Player also has it on good authority that Ultimate Bet’s intention is to accept US customers. As a matter of fact, many of these sites have rewarded US players by offering specials for their customers.

I logged on to Ultimate Bet (I have funds) and there did not seem to be any problems there either.

Paradise Poker closed my account but allowed me to withdraw my funds. They did not send me an email so get there if you have money there and get it out. You have until November 13th, 2006.

Royal Vegas Poker also sent me a notice telling me they were closing, but I did not have any funds there any longer. They use the same skin as The Gaming Club, so I am surprised The Gaming Club is still open to US players.

Financial Processors: Who’s In and Who’s Out?

NETeller’s decision to stay in the US has been confirmed. In case any of Card Player’s readers missed it, the decision was reported in the Wall Street Journal:

“A NETeller PLC executive said the British company, which handles payments for online gambling companies and others, will continue to operate in the US, despite the recent passage of antigambling legislation.”

At about the same time NETeller made its decision to continue, FirePay sent a letter to all its customers saying that the moment President Bush signs the bill, FirePay will decline purchase transactions with online gaming sites.

Bottom line to all this is: I have been to 208 poker sites.

The best site is Poker Stars and the safest site is Poker Stars. All of the player’s money is in a separate account from Poker Star’s finances. If Poker Stars closed tomorrow all money in player’s accounts could be refunded without a problem.

The safest internet bank to use for transfer to Poker Stars is Net Teller. I have never had an issue in several years of moving funds to and from Net Teller. – Nik Faldo

Monday, October 16, 2006

Nik Wins the NPP Tourney Kickoff

Well the fix was not in, but I know it sure smells like it when the sponsor of the tourney wins the first one.

Louanna ran into the Dog's AA.
Beerhog's AK ran into Dog's KK.
Bronco76 ousted Beerhog a long while later as Beerhog battled gamely short-stacked.
I eliminated my son with a flush and a while later with trip 7's to his two pair.

That left the heads up to Fourputt and me. My A5 flopped two pair to best his A8. Last time Fourputt and I locked horns heads up, he won at NPP for the tourney win, so I owed him this!

Final order of finish:

mikeniks = Nik Faldo
davethedog = Fourputt
bronco76 = Faldo Jr.
Beerhog = As himself
Louanna = Nicky "thai food"

hlam14 (Herbavor), matchy and tigercub all stopped by to watch the action. I guess they had a little trouble finding backers. With that line-up of 5 killers, it was no wonder no one backed them.

Guys, get your requests in for proper funding for the next tournament, Oct. 23. Remember, NPP transfer fees are a tiny 400%.

The goal is a full table of nine players for the one next Monday night.
Besides the three players above, we may have


Like to see this grow to 18 players, but 9 every week would be just fine.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Sign up for the NPP Classic on Poker Stars!!!

The 1st Nik's Poker Palace Classic is now available for sign up on Poker Stars.

Tournament #33706110
October 16, Monday Night at 20:30 (8:30 pm)
The password for entry is... 9ofdiamonds

Simply log onto Poker Stars,

Hit the "Tourney" tab at the top of the main board.

Click on the "Private" tab

Scroll down to the tourney and sign up!

In honor of Nik's Poker Palace joining the Poker Stars family, Poker Stars is offering a 100% sign up bonus right now! So get an account and join NPP at the tables on Poker Stars! - Nik Faldo

Jet Set Poker Closes and Party Poker Closes to US Players!!!

Another site where I was a tourney winner has closed because of our intrusive and all controlling Federal Government.

Party Poker - the largest site in the world just shut down to US players.

CD Poker, Royal Vegas Poker, Titan Poker, Action Poker, Pro Poker, Pkr Poker, Pokertropolis and many others have either closed or have banned US players.

The problem our government has is not that people may be hurt by gambling. They will say that but the hypocrits have their lotteries and casino - and their payoffs from said casinos.
No, their problem is that they are not getting the tax revenue or the political 'contributions' the government and their officials think they are entitled to.

It is a joke and a crime and an infringement on our ability to do what we want with our money.

Tell your Congresscritter what you think of them as soon as possible.

Jet Set Poker said they will be sending checks out to close all accounts. I ain't buying it. They could of stayed open a week to let players get their money or they could of auto-transferred the money to Net Teller already. I will let you know if I ever get paid off.

This is a dark mark on what our government thinks is important. Our social security is insolvent, our borders are wide open - but they go after citizens trying to play a little poker in their own homes.

I repeat - tell the little Hitler-congress people that represents his wallet and not you - that his Gestapo tactics are a bucket of fertilizer and you will deal with him this next election. - Nik Faldo

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Get a Netteller Account and Get a Poker Account in a New Bank - NOW!

In preparation for entering the Nik’s Poker Palace On-line tournaments, I will re-print an old article. Actually, I have to re-write it since Fourputt LOST two years of articles somehow spilling his douche on the keyboard!!! But I digress.

The best and safest way I have found to add chips to your poker site is thru Net Teller. This is a FREE Internet banking site. It is quite easy to use, lightening fast in depositing into poker sites and only a day or two wait cashing back out.

Step 1. Borrow stake money from Fourputt’s brother Cigar4John. He has all the money. Give him some Maker’s Mark and he will forget he gave it to you.

Step 2. Open a checking account with the stake money in a bank that you do no other business with. Do not use a savings account as those accounts do not allow transfers.

Step 3. Open a Net Teller account on line.

Step 4. Transfer money to Net Teller using the account and funds you deposited in your new ‘Poker’ Bank Savings Account.

Now you will be able to load money into the poker site NPP will use to hold our tournaments.

Get’er done this week. I don’t want any slackers when I announce the site, date and time of the first NPP Online Classic!

Another option would be to let Nik’s Poker Palace act as your deposit agent.

Let’s say you want to deposit $100 into your poker account. Well $20 would go in and $80 would be the NPP fee for the transaction. 7Forty7 doesn’t mind this small rake NPP takes.

This is just another friendly service of NPP. - Faldo

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

October Game Cancelled! But Exciting News!!!

Well, we are going to keep NPP dark this October. I just can't seem to get a break with my schedule either. I may have to be in Tennessee on the 21st and I'm not recovered enough from my bee sting infection to play this weekend.

The next two dates are carved in stone - as opposed to a 'rock' like the play of Beerhog and the 'bricks' I get in 'Buy-two' when going low. Those dates are:

November 11 and
December 16

Plan accordingly!

Now for the exciting news (tip of the cap to Fourputt)!

I am working on getting a private WEEKLY Nik's Poker Palace Tournament held on Poker Stars! We would have a password and only people we invite by giving them the PW could play in it.

The buy-in could be as low as $11. This could get to be a decent size tourney as alot of guys that don't make the NPP game might want to test their mettle here first.

What I want from you boneheads is the week night and time that would be the best for you to play. Give me your three best nights for this game in order. For those of you from Ann Arbor, that means list them, 1., 2. and 3.

Obviously, the trash talk both on IM's and in the chat window will be expected in volumes. Can't you see sitting down with your cider beer, throwing up, ordering expensive pizza and then getting ready to play? Most of you will have your Brokeback Mountain DVD playing on the TV also!

Get your votes in as I want to get back with Poker Stars as soon as possible.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Roll Call Time

Two weeks before the next NPP game and it is time for roll call. Let us look at the line up shall we.

Regulars (6): Beerhog, Herbavor, LP, Thai Food, 7Forty7, Nik
Part Time (3): Gridlock, The Wall, ToJo
Occasional visitors (3): Fourputt, CigarJ, BZ84
Possible new players (1): Matchy

The game is in OK shape. For the game to be GOOD - we need 6 regulars and for half the Part Timers to show half the time. We are hanging around a 6.5 player average game

A GREAT game is an automatic 7 players by just picking any day, and Part Timers fighting for seats! That is what we should be striving for.

What I am asking for here is another recruitment push. Find some good guys that play a little poker and get them here.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Bugsy Club Explains the New Internet Gambling Laws for us.

This is right off the Bugsy Club email I receive and is posted on a link on the webpage I will give you at the end of this article. Tip of the Cap to the Bugsy's Club Poker Room.

"Regarding the recent bill passed regulating payments to online gaming sites-

Most important is that this bill does NOT make it illegal for individuals to play poker online.

The bill targets payment processors and US banks and is basically trying to make it difficult for online poker sites to allow their customers to fund their accounts (nothing new here really).

The bill does not take effect immediately. After the president signs the bill into law (if) (within the next 7-10 days), a government board will have 270 days to come up with new regulations for the banks and payment processors to follow. And even after the regulations are published they will likely not go into effect immediately, since the banks and payment processors will need time to add systems to comply with the new regulations. Smaller banks have already stated they would not even have the necessary resources in place to monitor such transactions.

We want you to know that we will continue doing business with our US customers. We are a legal and licensed business in the Netherlands Antilles and none of our operations are carried out on US soil. We have no intention of closing USA player accounts or restricting their ability to play on BugsysClub.

The World Trade Organization ruling brought by Antigua and Barbuda has repeatedly instructed the United States to stop trying to block US residents from playing at such operations while the US simultaneously favors certain US operations (such as horse betting, lottery etc).

I will personally update you with any updates to this situation if or when they occur."

Luck Bugsy

Again thanks to Bugsy's Club and here is the link if you want to give them a try. I play there and have a big tournament win on the site (May, 2005) so how tough can the competition be if they let me win? - Nik Faldo

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Nik Finishes 5th in Poker Stars Tourney

In the name of freedom I made another final table again in a 180 person tourney.

It was a strange tournament as I won a ton of hands by not getting called. I won an astounding 30 hands without getting called in just under 200 hands played.

I won my share of showdowns, which you have to - 7 of 10, including the only one I was behind - except for the last one - in AK vs 55. I hit the flop with an ace.

I lost the last hand as a big draught of cards left me the low man, I went all in with 87s and got called by AK - who hit not one, but two aces on the flop.
I collected a smooth 12 times the entry fee.

Monday, October 02, 2006

US Outlaws Online Gambling

"As reported earlier, in the closing hours of the US Congressional session on Friday, September 29, the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 (H.R.4411.RH) was attached to the Safe Port Act of 2006 H.R.4954.EAS. To the surprise of many, the bill passed both the House and the Senate, and Bush is expected to sign it into law this week. This effectively outlaws online gambling in the US, by way of making it illegal for credit-card companies to collect payments for bets. The financial markets punished the stock of online gambling companies today as some prepared to pull out of the US entirely."

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Nik Makes Final Table on Platinum Poker

Well, it took a while but I made a final table in a big tourney (310 players). My play has been terrible lately, as proven by the butt kicking I received at the last NPP game.

Trying to rebuild my game since I can't play golf due to poor weather and a work travel schedule that is a killer.

Platinum Poker is a skin of Doyles Poker Room. But in fact the Platinum software was sold to Doyle's Poker Room and DPR became the main site. There are quite a few other skins out there for DPR, like Pamala's (Anderson) Poker, Bet US, Blue Lizard Poker, Flamingo Poker, Lets Poker, Poker Aces and Vertical Poker. I stay with Platinum because they have some tourneys and the software is fast.

The key hand came when I was - as usual - low in chips and caught TT. Going all in, I was called by two major stacks with AK and A9s, then another small stack also called with K9s. When my hand held up, I was now in the middle in chips.

This is the kind of luck, no one really talks about - getting good cards when opponents do and holding on. You need this luck to cash in tournaments.

I took the tourney lead when I won my two blind hands in a row with the 54s of clubs!

I tried to take out some smaller stacks with JJ, A3s and KQs and lost all three hands! This hurt my stack and was especially costly when I had to virtualy fold thru two blind increases.

When the final table got there I was 7th of nine.

Got to limp in with KQs of spades and the flop was AQT, and one of my suit. I called a minimum bet and the turn was a 2 of spades. The 'hook' card, and I am on the hook. I called another minimum bet (the guy must have an Ace and will not fold, but can't bet either as I could be slow-playing the nuts).

The turn is an 8. No help. He bets the minimum again and I have to call it. He shows his A3s. That hurt my chip stack.

I finish 8th when my AT doesn't catch a pair of sixes. Won seven times the entry.

Online Gambling Bill Passed in House

"The Washington Post is reporting that the House passed a measure that makes it illegal for banks in the US to handle online gambling transactions." There's still no such move in the Senate, but it's a step towards banning online gambling nonetheless. Since this bill isn't expected to affect the usual, legal ways of gambling domestically, one wonders if such legislation would be sought after, were online gambling to be headquartered here in the states, rather than overseas

Paradise Poker Returns - Party Poker OUT

Party Poker has screwed me for the last time! The biggest site has obviously has got too big for their britches.

Party Poker has a policy that if you do not earn FPP's during a ONE MONTH period, they erase all the FPP's you have earned - without warning!

I called them on this the first time they did it and they stated their policy, returned my FPP's and said they would send me an email the next time I got within a week of the cutoff.

Well I got a couple of emails warning me on the 2 occasions over the year I didn't make it back in time and I dutifly returned to the site to earn some points. This last time - no email and swoosh! - FFP's gone again.

I sent them an email telling them what I thought of their policy and that I was cashing out - which I did. I got an email back telling me how to reclaim my points - which I also did.

But still, this threat of losing points if you do not play in a month is just too antagonistic. Poker Stars waits a year and then sends you emails before closing your account. Party Poker takes first and makes you work to get them back.

Paradise is returning for two reasons: First, they are a good site and they have a $1 tourney at 9am and 2:15 pm that I can play in on the weekends now that golf is all done for the year pretty much.

Second, they have a sports book on which I can get the lines on the football games - for news information only of course!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Broke the 200 site Mark!

Visited over 200 poker sites now. Things you do to entertain yourself when alone in motel rooms - between showers after a porn movie that is.

Visited Tropical Poker - a site recomended by Maggie of Poker Happs. I found very few players and only SNG tourneys available. OUT

Pokerspot is closed and Dutch Boyd - the pro that owned it - is said by some to owe around $500,000 to players that got stuck when the site closed. OUT

Third Bullet is actually True Poker. A nice site with 3-D graphics, but not many tournaments or SNG action. OUT

Full Contact Poker is Daniel Negreanu's new poker site and it is nothing more than a skin of the Poker Room. Hollywood Poker and a few others are also skins of this site. I checked Danny's old site - Poker Mountain and it is closed for maintenance. Both sites - OUT

Lets Poker is a Doyle's Room skin, but unlike Pamela's Poker or Platinum Poker, this site adds eight cards to the deck - and 11 card and a 12 card. These eight cards are unsuited, however. The thought is these added cards will limit the flush and straight bad beats from happening so often. It may temporarily increase action as pairs go up in value, but why can't you get bad beat by a pair of 12's on the river beating your tens? Or your AA losing to two pair - KK and 11's? People will play K-11 probably more than K-8. Just a thought. OUT

Poker sites are becoming like margarine, car batteries and cosmetics - different names but all the same stuff - just different labels.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

It Hurts But Paradise Poker is OUT!

Paradise Poker is a nice site. The software is great and it even has a sports book for those last minute football or horse bets. The ring play was fair to good.

But I had to take my profit and run. $5 SNG's have the $1 juice and I can play the $10 SNG's anywhere.

Their Frequent Player Point program takes forever to earn points and it is never clear what the points are good for.

And their worse sin in my opinion was the lack of cheap BIG tourneys. The $5 + $1 were about as low as they go and most of those were either satelites or re-buy tourneys - both of which I am not a fan of.

I kept them for as long as I did because Paradise Poker is big, well established site with a nice sports book, and they do run a cheap tourney twice a day - 9am and 2:15 pm.

But I am not making those times right now - maybe this winter. But they are off the main list right now.

Next Post: Updated list of where I am playing right now.

PS: Number of internet sites visited now stands at ... 198

Friday, September 15, 2006

My Sites Are Shrinking!

I guess it was Pokertropolis closing, Mansion Poker stealing my money and Party Poker stealing my frequent player points that got me on the site reduction binge.

As readers know, I was researching sites and always trying new ones. I still have a few on the list to get to, but from now on it will be with play money ONLY! The glut of poker sites and the fact that our Congress may cut into our freedoms again at any moment, has me squeemish as to trusting my money into a non-established site.

I used to bounce around a ton of sites at one time - between 15 and 20 of them usually. But no more. I have dropped a bunch for various reasons. Good sites too, just tired of having to search or wait for the tournament type I wanted. Here is the recent casualty list and why:

Bet Royal Poker - Expensive tourneys
CD Poker - Too many re-buy tourneys and expensive tourneys
Mansion Poker - Liars and cheats
Pacific Poker - Not enough starting chips in tourneys
Poker Host - Not enough starting chips in tourneys
Pokertropolis - closed
Poker Room - Expensive tourneys and poor software
Poker Poker - Not enough tourneys
Poker 4 Ever - Not enough players
Royal Vegas Poker - same site as the Gaming Club
Titan Poker - same site as CD Poker

I also have some sites on the bubble:
Bo Dog Poker - Expensive tourneys and don't like the new software
Jet Set Poker - Not enough players
Jungle Poker - Not enough players
Paradise Poker - Expensive tourneys
Full Tilt Poker - Expensive tourneys
Ultimate Bet Poker - Mostly Rebuy tourneys
Platinum Poker (Doyle's Room) - Don't like the site
Absolute Poker - Don't like the software or really trust the site
Party Poker - Pissed me off with their 'must play' rules to keep FPP's

Who is still on my Happy List? I will discuss that on my first post after the NPP game.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Pokertropolis Came Thru!

Well, I have a little bit of good news to report., Pokertropolis - a site that I was playing on that closed - returned all the money that was in my account back to Net Teller.

I want to thank all of the principles and employees of Pokertropolis for their honesty in this regard.

As I said even before my refund, I thought this site had one of the nicest software and graphics of the poker sites I have been on. Prima Poker should drop their garbage software and go to the Pokertropolis software.

As far as playing poker goes, my record on SNG's has been pretty good lately. However, some of these SNG's were suppose to be low cost tournaments that never got enough players in them to qualify as a BIG tourney. Anyway, I have eight (8) seconds in my last twelve SNG's, which is showing a hole in my Head's Up play.

I have been trying to play in more BIG tourneys and much fewer SNG's but I have been visiting Jungle Poker and the World Poker Exchange. They have so many freerolls on their site that it sucks up the entries for the buy-in tourneys.

On Both sites there will be 800 to 1200 players in a freeroll and 12 players in a buy in tourney at the same time. And we are not talking about the buy-in being large either. I think you can have too much of a good thing - like freerolls.

If you like them, these two sites have them.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Pokertropolis Closes - Another Possible 'Ouch!'

I am having a string of bad luck with poker sites lately - and it has nothing to do with my play or the way the cards are running. There may be an indication out there that the internet poker boom is fading.

I just got an email from Pokertropolis, telling me that they had closed their doors. Of course I had money in the site as it was a site I had done well in tournaments on.

The email said my funds would be transferred back to me within seven days. They did give me contact information to try if my funds do not make it back. I can only hope. But this looks like a classy way to go out if indeed they did close.

I have to tell you, I loved the software at Pokertropolis. It has all the fast tabs you needed in addition to rotating between posting the top 6 in the tourney you were playing and your overall position, average chip count, number left, and nunber started. The software was clean, fast and nice to look at. It looked like a businessman's Paradise Poker layout.

The reason I did not play there alot was that they had few tourneys and the ones they had were usually high priced. They never had alot of players either so SNG's filled slowly and there were very few selections for ring play. They had one low priced tourney at 9pm daily and that was the one I almost always played in when their rotation came around on my list.

I blame their demise on lack of advertising and lack of tourneys because their software was top drawer. They had some bugs early where tourneys shut down, but they got it fixed. The two times it shut down when I was playing - I got the cash prize for the spot I was in when it shut down, and the time I was not in the money yet, I got a entry refund. Classy. But that was a year or so ago.

Some other sites with ugly software (Absolute, Poker Champs, and tons of sites using the skins of main sites) should buy that software and convert over. It was a nice program.

I am trying 'Jungle Poker' right now and I finished second in two straight SNG's on the site. I tried to 'cash out' some of my money - just as a test - and sure enough the "Withdraw" part of the software was not operating. I sent an email to them and they wrote me back saying it would be up and running by Friday. Gulp!

That is three sites in three days where either my poker funds were stolen or placed in limbo. Refer to the NEW POKER FEES for NPP. - Thank you. - Nik Faldo

Monday, August 28, 2006

Mansion Poker is a Complete Rip Off Site! Do NOT DEPOSIT Money There!

In the review of almost 200 poker sites on-line, it was only a matter of time until I ran across an actual bunch of thieves.

Mansion Poker took my deposit thru Net Teller - but would not allow a cash out unless I sent them my driver's license number or passport number.

Now I don't know about the rest of you out there in poker land, but I am not about to send my picture and either one of those two pieces of information to some bunch of minimum wage phone jockeys half way around the planet. Not in this day and age. Who knows how my ID could be used and by whom.

They gave me the speel about in the fine print they state they require it. I told their on line chat people that it was a farce and the information cannot be used for what they SAY they are trying to use it for. I told them they would not be getting my #'s or my photo. They told me I would not be getting my money back.

If Mansion Poker was not trying to steal money or collect ID's for who knows what reason - they would ask for the information BEFORE taking deposits. Very underhanded and very slimy. May they all rot in HELL at Mansion Poker!

Oh well, chalk it up to a bad beat and use all my poker connections to try and ruin the site every way I can. That work starts tomorrow. Count on it.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Poker Driving Artificial Intelligence

"The Canadian Press has a story about a University of Alberta team that is using Texas Hold-'em to study artificial intelligence. Poker seems to be a much more useful game for this research than chess. From the article: 'Poker has what are currently some of the biggest challenges to (artificial intelligence) systems, and uncertainty is the primary hurdle that we're facing,' said Michael Bowling, adding that the University of Alberta program was able to use its opponents' actions to infer certain things about their hands. 'The same techniques, the same principles that we're developing to build poker systems are the same principles that can be applied to many other problems. The nice thing about chess as a property of the game is what we call perfect information. You look at the board, you know where all the pieces are, you know whose turn it is — you have complete knowledge of the game,' he said. 'But in the real world, knowing everything is just so rare. Everything we do all day long is all about partial information. So poker's much more representative of what the real world's like, and in that sense it becomes a much harder problem.'"

Hints to Winning Big (Large) Tournaments On-line

As a four-time winner of large field tournaments on-line, I think I can speak with a little authority. Not a lot of authority – but a little.

The first thing you should look for is tournaments or sites that start you with an ample amount of chips. The more chips you have in relationship to the size of the blinds, the more skill comes into play – and less ‘bingo’ betting has to employed.

You should look for tournaments with the starting chips at 50 times the starting big blind or bigger. The bigger the ratio, the better it is for the skilled player.

NPP guys should find tourneys with only 3 starting chips and the blinds at 1 – 2, with blinds going up every 5 seconds. But I digress.

Blinds that go up every 15 minutes is a good time limit for on-line. Live tourneys should have at least a 30-minute gap.

Personally, I also hate re-buy tournaments. I got in an unlimited re-buy tourney at at the Mirage in Las Vegas and a loose cannon at my table lost his starting stack 8 times before the first blind increase! I didn’t win any of those stacks from him and was at a distinct disadvantage right off the bat.

In other words, re-buy tourneys are another possible luck factor for the maniacs to pad their chip stacks before the the re-buy period ends and the ‘real’ tournament begins. You can play in them, but be aware that gambling a little or maybe a lot, may be the best strategy in them.

The last issue is the payout. Some experts want the money spread out to between 15 and 30 percent of the field, getting some return to as many as possible. Some experts want only the final table or at the most the final two tables cashing.

I have no preference really as you have to ‘go deep’ in a few tourneys a year in order to make money anyway. Well maybe I do prefer it more spread out as I hate big swings in my bankroll.

But I think – for the good tournament player – he will make just about the same amount regardless of how the tournament directors set it up. The gaps between paychecks might be longer with the one or two table payouts, but the end result of money I think would be almost the same if you play in enough tourneys and are good enough.

But you need to be aware that if it is a big spread of cashing players, you must be very patient and think of survival at all times. You still have to be willing to attack other ‘scared’ players at the right time – near those dreaded ‘bubble’ finishes (just off the money).

If only the final table or two get paid, be aware that you NEED chips to have any hope of getting there. So gambling at some point will be required. Up to you to pick when, but with practice you will figure it out. I will make it a topic for another article. – Nik Faldo

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Nice Poker Blog - Nice Lady

I was in a few tourneys at the same time on Bugsy's Club Saturday night and this nice lady mentions she has a poker blog to some Italian who lives in Switzerland and is trying to score long distance.

I took a look and she has some great and current stuff she posts. Take a look NPP readers. Fourputt - lets link her blog! - Nik

Monday, July 24, 2006

Top Five Sites for Ring Play

For those of you in Ann Arbor, MI., ring play is your standard poker game. It could be fixed limit betting, pot limit betting or no limit betting. If you lose your initial buy-in, you can always re-load your chips. In other words - this is non-tournament poker.

Now some of you are saying to yourself, "Why did Nik use a whole paragraph to explain the obvious?" Well, many people have just found poker recently and all they know is no - limit tournament poker. So you have to explain the other type so they can understand the diferences between games.

My criteria for being a 'best' ring play site is basically 'lots of players'. You want to be able to change tables, limits, game types - plus get into a game quickly. Here, bigger is better! The bigger the site, the quicker you can play and the better selection of games you will have.

1. Poker Stars - Not the biggest site, but almost. Good variety of games.
2. Party Poker - The biggest site, but limits start at .50/$1. A little rough for some beginners, but if you got the cash - this site has the most players.
3. Absolute Poker or Bo Dog Poker - tied for third. Good variety of games and enough players to find action and new tables.
4. Paradise Poker - nice software
5. Full Tilt Poker and Ultimate Bet Poker - These sites are different, but use similar looking software.

I know I actually listed seven sites here, but after #1 and #2, they were all about even.