Sunday, March 9, 2014

Girls Rule!

After 4 events in the CMPPA season,  each event has been won by an Amanda. Yesterday was the 5th Annual CMPPA Charity event. We had a great turn out of almost 60 players. $1300 was raised for the Coborn's Cancer Center at the St Cloud Hospital. It was a lot of fun seeing some old faces and reminiscing about 10 years of Bar Poker in Minnesota.. Congratulation to Amanda Mock, who took down her third event of the young CMPPA season and has a big lead on the player of the year race. It's hard to believe that it has been 10 years since I started running bar poker at the Granite Bowl and even harder that later this spring the Granite Bowl will be gone forever. Even though we were not able to play at the Granite Bowl yesterday, I think the tournament was a great tribute to all that had played their over the years. Once again it proves that bar poker can unit a group of very diverse people for a great cause.

Why are the ladies dominating the CMPPA this season? I think it is easy to explain. Amanda is a very good poker player that has an advantage that I can never have. She plays a game that is mostly a male dominated game. I don't mean that in the sense that males are better, I mean that males out number the females. Looking at the CMPPA so far this season we have 30 members of which 5 are female. That is 16% of the field. We actually have a larger percent of women then what you would find in most tournament fields. I would think the average would be around 8 to 10 %. Her advantage lies in the male physique. Most males think they are better poker player then females. They also believe that a women is incapable of bluffing. This gives a good female player an advantage over a table of men, especially ones that she doesn't play with regularly. When a female bets or calls at a poker table most men will think that they have a good hand and thus fold to her bluffs. I believe a female that bluffs at pots will win a bigger percentage of those bluffed hands then the same skill level male will win. Of course, this will only work if the female player knows this and can use it to her advantage against a table of guys. I believe that Amanda knows this well and uses it to her advantage. I am guilty of this stereotype all the time. I have played with Amanda enough to know she is a good player, but if I am on a table with a female that I don't know, I will play her thinking she is a tight player and will only play if she has a good hand. Right or wrong this is how most men think. I try not thinking this way when at a poker table, but it is hard because so many women especially new players have the same style and are easy to read. So to those of you that aren't, I say take advantage of any thing you've got because most males will let you. To Amanda, I say good luck and keep it going your having a hell of a season so far!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Drink Dilemma

After a long drought, I finally have had some time to play some free poker. A couple of weeks ago I chopped the Friday Ultimate after playing really well all night. The last couple haven't gone as well for me, but then that's poker. I have been happy with the play of my new style and I believe that it is working well for me. Would really like to give it a try at a casino, but that doesn't look too promising in the near future. Today's topic is about what drinking during a bar poker does to your play. No I'm not talking about drinking too much which certainly can happen. I'm talking about the phenomenon known as the Drink Dilemma. It happens more often then you think especially late around the second break. You are having a fun relaxing evening playing bar poker and enjoying your beverage of choice. It is around the second break and you have a small to mid size stack, but with blind increasing your options are becoming less and less. You look down and your drink is about empty. Here is your dilemma. Do you buy another drink and try and grind it out and hope for the best or do you push, take chances or go all in to try and increase your stack before you order another beverage. This may not seem like much, but you can use a persons level of their beverage to your advantage. If someone moves all in or re-raises late in the middle of poker tournament one of the first things I will try and figure what is their motive for moving all. I will check their chip stack and compare it to the big blind. I will look at their drink to see if they are close to finishing it. A really big tell is when they ask a server for their bar tab while they are still in the game. I will ask them if they are trying to go home and see what their response is. This is all information that can lead you to folding or making the call. I will call with a sub par hand if I believe a person is making a move to double up or go home. The last two Friday's I have found myself in the dilemma. The first week, I pushed to try and double up and ended up getting knocked out quickly. The second week, I pushed it again, and managed to double up, so I bought another drink. How did that work out for me? Not so good. Right after I got my drink, I re-raised into Aces and got knocked out. I sure hate leaving a partial drink that I paid for, but there is nothing worse then getting knocked out of a bar poker tournament and having to hang around and have people want to talk about what happened while you are finishing your beverage.
So, remember, there are many tells in a poker game, but bar poker creates many ones that you might not face in a casino tournament.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

New Year

Happy New Year all!

With the new year, I am hoping to once again start to write a few posts.
I haven't had a lot of time to play poker as of late, but when I do, I have been making the best of it. I have actually been on quite a roll playing at the Ultimate. I am thinking maybe I have found that line between playing hyper aggressive and more of a controlled aggression. It is fun to play and really leaves people wondering what you are up too. It also makes your big hands turn into bigger ones. I have also taken the attitude that if I lose a big pot that I am confident to know that I can bring it back. It does help that I play bar poker with lots of very predictable players.

This has been quite a year for me. A new job with a couple of big promotions and I think that I may have finally found something other then running bowling centers that I am good at and enjoy. I took a fun vacation to California with my wife seeing most of Southern California. I became a grandfather with birth of Logan by my daughter Kara. Kyle got his first after college job, bought a house and got engaged to a great future daughter in law. I continue to live life to it's fullest with the help of my kids to keep feeling young.

My organization that I am a part of continues to grow. The CMJTT & SMJTT that Kara and I run are looking to have our biggest turnouts ever and the new CMPPA season looks to be historic. This year marks the 10 year anniversary of the beginning of bar poker at the Granite Bowl and even though it is closed I am planning on hosting an anniversary event in conjunction with the annual Bad Beat on Cancer charity poker tournament. More details to come.

Next Saturday, January 11, begins the 5th season of the CMPPA. The organization has joined with the Free Poker Network to give CMPPA members a chance to win State Tournament seats and a chance at big prizes. Membership is still a very reasonable $60 with 10 scheduled events. More information is available at

That's it for today.
I look forward to seeing many of you over the next few weeks and remember.
It's ok to fold a flush draw for most of your chips!
See you soon.