Thursday, February 28, 2008

What are the Chances?

I was playing at a local club and was at the 4/8 limit game. I'm dealt A-8 off suit and on the button. It is a family pot. The flop comes A A A. Everyone freaked out as if they had just seen a three headed alien or something. The first three hands check, player 4 bets, player 5 calls, 6 folds, 7 folds, 8 calls, and me seat number 9 smooth calls. Players 1,2 & 3 fold. I have four aces, and I can't believe that I got as much action as I did. With three aces on the flop, I thought it would be hard to get anyone to even play the hand out. So the turns comes Kc. The first to act bets again. Spot 5 folds, but spot 8 calls again, I once again simply call. The turn comes a 9c. Once again first to act bets, spot 8 finally folds and I have to raise at this point. Last chance to get all the money I could. I was lucky that this player filled up on the turn with a king in his hand, so he was obliged to call me. He said that he didn't think I had the ace because of the way I was playing, so he called. Damn, a raise would have been nice here! So he drops his chips in and I turn over the ace for quad aces. It was a nicer pot than I had thought. I was in perfect position to have caught that ace in my hand. I think I played it rather well, just easily riding it to the river before bumping the action.

Okay, that hand is over, and I am stacking my chips. I am dealt pocket Jacks this time. I couldn't believe the flop, I am not kidding you, it was A A A! Two hand in a row, two different decks of cards and the trip aces come on the flop. This time, I flop the full house. I was sure there had to be an Ace out there somewhere, so I basically check called all the way. As it turns out, no one had the ace and my Jacks were good. Damn close, I wish that they would have been beaten. This was a prime time to get a bad-beat jackpot. Oh well, I won another nice pot, and I was glad that there were people in the pot that time too.

I don't recall what my next hand was, but the flop came 5 A A. Wow, those decks were loaded with Aces.

Tally for the day: +475.00

Let's Get The Cards In The Air!

A casino mogul expects to start cashing in soon on the long trip between Macau and Las Vegas

Adelson’s newest tactic to rake in gambling revenue — by ferrying high rollers between his Venetian resorts in Macau and Las Vegas and breaking out the baccarat tables at 30,000 feet — raises the question: Why hasn’t someone else already done it?

At least one competing company, MGM Mirage, didn’t think it was legal.

The earnings potential for high-altitude gambling, untapped for now, is immense. Because transoceanic flights operate in international airspace, there’s no government to regulate the games or collect taxes. (Nevada taxes billions of dollars of Las Vegas Strip gambling revenue at 6.75 percent, and the tax rate in Macau, which generates similar revenue, is about 40 percent.)

Adelson’s Las Vegas Sands Corp., which expects to begin in-flight gambling soon after purchasing two Lockheed wide-bodied jets, is benefiting from an exception to a U.S. law that tightly restricts gambling on aircraft.

In 1994 Congress amended a law that regulates the transportation of gambling devices in the United States by specifically prohibiting the operation of gambling devices on flights into and out of the country.

The amendment came as foreign airlines were beginning to offer gambling on flights outside of the country as well as on flights destined for the United States.

The Federal Aviation Administration says the law effectively excludes private aircraft and charter flights from the gambling ban. FAA spokesman Ian Gregor says nothing in the law, then, bans the kind of high-altitude gambling envisioned by Las Vegas Sands over the Pacific Ocean.
That comes as a surprise to at least one competitor.

MGM Mirage had discussed the possibility of offering gambling on charter flights over the years, but the idea didn’t get very far “because we were not aware of any legal or regulatory approval for this,” spokesman Alan Feldman said.Would the company reconsider now? Feldman said he wasn’t sure.

Steve Wynn has considered and rejected in-flight gambling ventures for other than legal reasons, people close to him say.Gambling on commercial flights remains controversial, not to mention illegal, in the United States.

Before the 1994 amendment that all but banned in-flight gambling, only a few airlines had experimented with or even discussed gambling onboard aircraft. They included Singapore Airlines, which offered a few slot machines on certain flights, and Swissair, which offered an electronic entertainment system that included gambling. The ban, along with the 1998 crash of Swissair Flight 111 off Nova Scotia, chilled future efforts to explore gambling options. According to news accounts of the crash, the Swissair plane was brought down by a fire that started in the entertainment system.

More than a decade ago, Harrah’s Entertainment tested a gambling system for use on airplanes but abandoned the effort after the system ran into technical difficulties.

Gaming attorney Tony Cabot said Las Vegas Sands might have another legal avenue for offering high-altitude baccarat games. The 1994 amendment refers to a federal law that applies to electric or mechanical gambling games rather than table games, he said.

Adelson’s aircraft would offer only table games, according to the state Gaming Control Board, which has been notified of the company’s plans.Las Vegas Sands representatives did not return phone calls for comment.The prospect of gambling onboard aircraft raises other regulatory questions.

Gaming Control Board Chairman Dennis Neilander said gambling onboard aircraft falls under the state’s foreign gaming law, which applies to gambling activities offered by Nevada companies outside of the state. Under the foreign gaming rules, Nevada casino operators must submit periodic reports to Nevada authorities on their operations to show they are conducting business honestly. Companies also have to submit annual reports showing proper auditing and surveillance procedures. They also must run their out-of-state casinos according to the rules and regulations of the other state, foreign country or tribal reservation.

But these rules weren’t designed to accommodate airline casinos, because the regulatory authority in question — the FAA — doesn’t regulate gambling operations.

“We don’t have the authority to tell people they can or cannot gamble,” Gregor said.

Although no casino operator has attempted an aircraft casino, the Gaming Control Board has some history overseeing casinos located in a regulatory no man’s land.

Years ago, a few Nevada operators managed small casinos onboard cruise ships that operated in international waters. Today, no Las Vegas companies are connected with cruise ship gambling. Nevada regulators historically required that Nevada companies operate cruise ship casinos like their land-based casinos, with some exceptions. Casino executives on cruise ships weren’t licensed, nor did regulators mediate patron disputes on the high seas. Attorneys say regulators will similarly oversee aircraft casinos.

Neilander won’t speculate about the aircraft casino offered by Las Vegas Sands, which hasn’t submitted a formal plan to the Gaming Control Board.

A Nevada company operating an aircraft casino probably would submit a proposal outlining its security and accounting procedures before moving forward, he said. The company wouldn’t have to receive prior approval for the proposal but could be subject to disciplinary action if information in its reports to the board revealed possible violations of basic operating procedures or put Nevada in a bad light, Neilander said.

Gambling in the air presents an unusual challenge that goes beyond cruise ship gambling, which is virtually indistinguishable from a land-based casino, legal experts say.

The Association of Flight Attendants criticized gambling in the 1990s, telling the FAA that it feared unruly customers who had lost money and was uncomfortable with the prospect of mediating gambling disputes.

The federal government has been reluctant to allow gambling on commercial flights, citing among other things concerns about whether it would exacerbate problem gambling.

Before the 1994 ban, several manufacturers were building expensive aircraft entertainment systems with gambling features. Former Chrysler chief Lee Iacocca considered them potential cash cows that could generate $1 billion a year for a single airline, mostly from gambling.

Few airlines offer gambling, and the business has been slow to expand, even on foreign flights over international waters, where they aren’t subject to any country’s laws. Among the reasons: cost, space at the expense of passenger seats — and passengers arriving in a foul mood after a bad luck streak at 30,000 feet.

Los Angeles-based gaming attorney I. Nelson Rose suspects there isn’t much demand for in-flight gambling because it is so widespread on land and at sea.

Aircraft giant Airbus is considering building a casino onboard its A380, the world’s largest passenger plane.

At least one carrier, Dublin, Ireland-based Ryanair, says it plans to expand its gambling offerings on flights over the English Channel, and has raised the possibility that it wouldn’t charge for tickets — because there would be enough gambling revenue to cover the airfare.
Beats a free drink.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Money Management

Money management is a big factor here in the low-limit games. I have seen some guys do very phenomenal on 3-6 hold em. Starting with a rack of chips ($100) and building that into $800+. It is very hard to do on 3-6 but it can be done. It does take a lot more luck to do this, because it is a numbers game on the 3-6 table. The more you play the more others are going to beat you, it's just plain and simple math.

Now, this guy who was up $800 I just spoke of, he continued playing, and by the end of another 2-3 hours of play, he was back down to his original $100. This is just stupid. Yes it is a fun game, and I realize that we play it because of the enjoyment factor, but deep down, aren't we all playing the game to make money? Isn't that the whole nuts and bolts of the game?

When you get on a lucky streak like this at a 3-6 game, thank the table (and don't forget to thank and tip the dealers), rack your chips and head for the cage! Because it is a numbers game, the longer you stay, the more likely you will be to play all your chips back.

Personally, If I am up $200 or more, I will cash it out, and be happy with those winnings. I have done it before where I stayed too long, and sure I was up about $500, but as time went on, it slowly was re-distributed among the dingy blondes at the table. Nothing more frustrating that have a great couple of hours at limit hold em, only to walk away with nothing. CASH OUT!!!!!

I have made my own rules to live by, and have followed them to a "T". In upcoming posts you will see how I bought it, and what I cashed out. You will see that you can make a living at limit games, if you know and respect the game you are playing!

Widen Your Starting Hands

In no-limit hold em, you wanna stick to playing the premium hands; AQ, AK, JJ, QQ, KK, AA. These are the hands that are usually rewarded in the no limit arenas. However, when you are playing the lower limit games, you have to change gears a bit, and play a wider range of hands. I have seen many people bust out of the game, frustrated because this new blonde ding bat was playing every hand. Yes, this happens, and they usually hit for a while too when they do this.

Now keep in mind you don't want to play every hand, but you want to play a lot more than you would in no-limit. 7,8 suited might not look like such a good hand in no-limit, but here in the little games, take a shot. See the flop more. If you want to beat the dingy blonde, you gotta be in the pot with her, right!

Adapt to the Game

Playing the lower limit games such as 3-6 and 4-8 require you to adapt and become a low limit player. You can not go to these lower limit games with the same mentality as you would play a no-limit game. You will be crushed. You have to be a chameleon and become a low limit player, both in body and mind.

For example, when playing in a no limit game, many of the posts can be won pre-flop or on the flop. Sometimes you don't even get to the turn or the river card. Simply because the risk is to great. You're not going to be calling an all in raise of a pair of pocket aces, to make your gut-shot straight draw, or your flush, you just can't do that in no-limit or you would be on the rail before no time.

It Can Be Done!

Hello Poker Pals,

I have heard it time and time again..."You can't really get ahead playing limit poker." Well, I want you to know that it is possible, and even quite lucrative if you play your cards right. - no pun intended.

Many people think that because the lower limit games such as 3-6, and 4-8 is so full of amateurs that the chances of actually making a profit from it is too hard. It is true that it is harder to get people to fold when you have the best hand, and many times they can draw out on you and make a better hand. This is truly the nature of the beast and can frustrate many people. You have to know this ahead of time, and anticipate that you are playing in a game of "No Fold Em, Hold Em". Visualizing this and being prepared to go to the river can greatly increase your chances of making the lower limit game profitable for you.

So get your bathing suit on, grab your fishin' pole and get ready to go to the river on every hand!