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