Thursday Poker Blog! “August and Everything After”

Welcome back to everyone’s favorite part of this blog — Poker Thursday!  Today’s title and photo has multiple meanings.  The album cover to the Counting Crows’ first album, “August and Everything After,” signifies a) an homage to my many Jewish friends celebrating their new year today (The CC’s singer Adam Duritz is a fellow enlightened one!); and b) signifies the rarified dominant air I have enjoyed in my poker home game since the beginning of August!

Interestingly, my good friend and biggest rival (another attorney btw, check him out at had similar runs in previous years where he let the field linger for the first half of the season and then, when August came around, Boom!  He was out of sight ahead of the field (and yes, btw, we know this because we keep detailed standings!). 

So, let’s review the bidding.  Our home game typically gets between 7-9 players a week, with occasional bigger games going up to 14-16 on rare occasions.  Our buy-in is $30 per game and we play two games per meeting.  On occasion, we will play one large game for $60 instead of 2.  We typically pay out 2-3 players per game depending on the number of players (in other words, it’s not “winner-take-all”).

So, since and including July 27th, my group has played 18 games.  I have made the money in 14 of them, winning or chopping in 11 of those (“chops” are when the remaining players agree to some equitable split of the prize money instead of playing the tournament out to the end).  It’s been probably the hottest string of poker in my life (over $1,300 in winnings in a low-stakes game).

The reasons?  Of course, luck has to work in your favor.  Your good hands have to consistently hold up, you must win the key races, and yes, I have had the fortune of overcoming the odds in multiple circumstances.

However, you cannot have a run like that without making some really good decisions.  For me, I would have to say that recent renewed interest in NBC’s “Poker After Dark” has been a big help.  The show is not perfect by any means, but watching top pros operate has really reinforced the basics:

1) Position is huge.  Don’t draw from out of position, don’t be afraid to see a flop with modest holdings when you have position. 

2) Having the best hand is great, but never count out the second way of winning a pot — betting

3)  Pot odds.  If there’s a raise with several callers and you’re in the big blind with a fatty cut of meat (a weak hand), don’t be afraid to see a flop

4) Don’t be afraid to call all-ins with middling hands when you know you’re opponent is in a position to shove with any two cards.

We can spend years going over neat little poker moves every Thursday, but never forget the basics. …

Explore posts in the same categories: Poker Tips and Tales

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