Saturday, September 11, 2004


I'm back home for a couple of days. I'll try to post a report ASAP, but for now, just know that I didn't cash in the Four Queens $300 Stud event. I believe I came in 17th out of 71.

The Stud event I was going to play the next day (Friday) over at Binion's turned out to be a bust. I had no idea it was a women's event. On Poker Pages it simply said WPC. Dummy me. I almost passed out when I found out that it was cheeeesy.

I did, however, get to play some more 20/40 Stud at Bellagio. Excellent game, one of the same characters. Two of the players had just come from the Four Queens event. I lasted the longest, but we all three got paid the same: ZERO. Heehee :)

I made an easy $600 there, more details to follow.

The WPPA is advancing at lightning speed. I guess the poker boom is making every venture like this a success. Now they have a TV deal, pay-per-view proposal, major hotel deal for mega-tourneys, and yours truly might be writing up the tourney reports. E-mail me for more info about the upcoming big-time tourney at the Orleans. NO JUICE for televised tournaments!

Felicia :)

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Steamrollin' Stud 8

Monday, September 6, 2004

For my first Stud event of the month, I headed up to the Four Queens in Vegas to participate in the Four Queens Classic Stud 8 event.

I signed up for the first satellite of the day. I started off strong, winning the chip lead early and not giving back many chips. There was a guy in the eight seat, Terry, who simply played every hand. These guys crack me up, because if they aren't ready to proceed when the action gets to them, they make a big production of looking at their hole cards. Why? They are in EVERY hand! And since he was super passive, barely ever raising, what is the point? Just throw your chips out there if you are going to play every hand and never raise on third anyway. LOL. Terry made the first exit.

I ended up fizzling out when we were down to three. Maybe there are a few hands I should have played, given the speedy structure of a one table satellite. I don't know, it was close, either way. I ended up going all-in several hands, almost in a row, due to the high antes and bring-in's. I really couldn't afford to fold much of anything. My last all-in hand finally put me all-out. There wasn't time for another sat, so I just bought in, and Glenn and I took a walk around downtown cardrooms to see if there was any action.

Only 59 players showed up for the Stud 8 event. Part of the problem were the competing events on Labor Day. Another was maybe just Labor Day itself. The third, and most sad reason we only got 59 participants was likely that Stud 8 is simply not popular, given the overwhelming NLHE craze. Last year this event drew 113.

I thought I was going to make an early exit, when three of my premium hands were outdrawn in the first hour. I jammed the pot with these hands, but was ran down. We started with 1000 chips each, but I only had about 200 after an hour.

Sometimes ya just get help when you need it, right? I knew as soon as I got anything playable, I was going to have to go with it. Rolled up sixes couldn't have come at a better time (the only time I was rolled up in this tourney). An older man at my table had a king doorcard, which I'm sure signified a pair of kings. Luckily he wasn't making any reads of his own, and when I started jamming on fourth, he jammed back even harder. Another person at our table knew what I had, when I began jamming back. He even said it to his neighbor!!! This is a complete breach of etiquette by the way, and against the rules in most tournaments (it certainly was in this one, which followed TDA rules). Please, guys, if you are going to speculate on a big hand, keep it to yourself until the hand is over, or step away from the table. I could have ended up not tripling up that hand, because someone couldn't keep his mouth shut.

At any rate, the older man was completely oblivious to everything except his kings, so he gladly helped me go all-in.

Not long after that, one of our sun glassed, NLHE players decided to tangle with me. I had a premium starting hand, which developed into a four-flush, four low to a six on fourth. I kept jamming. He stayed with me, and even though I caught brick after brick, I bet. On the river, I paired jacks and he looked at my hand for a long time, then back at his hand. He wouldn't lay his hand down, nor claim the pot. I told him not to EVEN slow roll me, if he had the winner, turn it up. He said he wasn't slow rolling me, but simply took longer to muck. I think he was angry with himself for not betting the river. Who knows. He really was a nice guy, he just didn't realize we weren't playing NLHE, and crippled himself on that hand. He was out not long afterwards.

I caught a couple of really good starting hands that either held up, or were won early in the hand, and I found myself up to about 3000.

Our table broke, and we were down to four tables not long afterwards.

I couldn't play many hands at this table. I was at a huge "action" table, where 5-7 players seeing fourth, for any number of bets, was not uncommon.

Terry, from my satellite, was in seat eight again. His stacks went from the felt, to chip lead on almost any given hand. He was playing exactly like he had played the satellite. I guess his motto was, "any three 'til fourth, and never raise!" I figured he and I would get into a tangle, but somehow I stayed out of his way, for the most part.

After about an hour, I found myself getting anted down pretty heavily. I'd come to that table with about 3000, and after having one premium hand get cracked, plus sitting there folding forever, I had about 1700 left. Ugh, some players had close to 5000 in chips!

Terry got moved to another table, in order to balance it, but ended up coming back not long afterwards, in the same spot, to boot! We kept playing, and soon we had two tables.

In one memorable hand, I started with three babies, two suited. I completed, and Terry came along for the ride. On fourth I had A234, three suited. On fifth I had the wheel. I jammed and jammed, but Terry always found something worth calling. Finally I was all-in on seventh. Terry squeezed and squeezed his river card (like it is going to change, if he squeezes long enough), and magically produced his rivered straight to the nine. Split pot.

We kept getting shorter and shorter, but hanging on at the bubble was not as hard as I thought it would be, nor as hard as it's been in the past. We had such an action table, that not many of our players knew, nor cared that we were at the bubble. The other table was sweating it out, but ours just kept ramming and jamming, mostly with completely unplayable hands.

A guy named Glenn was two seats to my left, and had the chip lead. He was loving the bubble, making the best of his stack. He picked his moments well, knowing how loose our table was, and that Terry would call with...well, anything. He would only fold on later streets if he had no draw to anything, which wasn't likely. Usually he caught at least a pair, lol.

There was a woman in the seven seat who was wearing a poker bracelet. It wasn't a series bracelet, I could tell that much, but from another event. She played pretty well, but played too many hands, and ended up going from chip lead, when we were at four or five tables, to bubble girl. We were in the money.

I came to the final table as the chip dog ($1675). No complaints here, I'm used to that spot, and find myself in it often. The structure was pretty good, with a lot of room to maneuver and play, so I wasn't too worried. I'm usually good at picking my spots in Stud.

We were asked to complete a questionnaire and give a chip count. I drew the eight seat, so I wasn't so happy about my POV, but, on the other hand, I had the chip leader, Glenn, directly to my right in the seven seat with $19,205, and the next chip lead, Wayne, in the six with $14,925. Glenn was more of the bully type, using his big stack well, and picking his spots carefully. Wayne was a little more patient, but knew when to make moves, and played to win, not to place. This was Wayne's third final table since the Four Queens Classic had started. He couldn't believe how well he was running.

Four of the eight at our table were women. Had the other woman not gone out on the bubble it would have been five! There were probably less than 10 women in the whole tournament.

Seat one was a casino employee who was way too tight, given the circumstances. She was always just trying to outlast someone and move up. She would constantly ask how much so-and-so had left, then fold her premium hand, praying to move up one spot. She had $2775. When she did go out, she had anted herself off to her last $200. Ugh!

Seat two was a guy who was extremely worried about the bubble, and making it into the money. He was the second chip dog, behind me ($1925). He, like the casino employee, played too tightly, under the circumstances, IMO.

Terry made it to the final table, and was in seat three. He was in fourth place, with $6500.

Seat four was an older woman, who was fifth in chips and had $3775. She had just come in third the previous night, in the women's event. She was touting women's events, and we were all talking about it during a break. I told her I would never play in one, and the reasons why. She seemed kind of offended at first, and argued with me about women's events, and why they were good for poker. She then proceeded to make my case for me, telling the table that the juice was atrocious (20%), that the structure was awful, they were given no chips and the blinds went up at lightening pace. She said there was virtually "no play" in the women's event, due to it being such a horrible set-up. I just sat there, letting her make my case. If women's events are so great, WHY ARE THEY RIPPING WOMEN OFF??? At first, the other women had been on the fence about women's events, but I noticed the more she condemned the Four Queens event, the quieter we all got.

A woman who knew how to play was in seat five. She had no fear, and used her stack. She was third in chips with $7725.

I've already discussed seats six and seven. So concludes our final table line-up.

I didn't take long to start making moves. I couldn't hold out paying $50 antes and $100 bring-in's for long. The betting was 400/800 with only 23 minutes left. I kept doubling up, then sitting on my chips until the next playable hand. I did this probably five times in the course of my final table play. I played only premium hands with a lot of potential.

Glenn was the donator for most of my doubling up. He would make one of his frequent steal attempts with the big stack, only to have me go over the top. Sometimes, if I was the bring-in, I would limp, in the hopes he would go for a steal if Terry didn't come into the pot. He would almost always let me limp-reraise, and then feel obligated to call, due to his overwhelming chip lead and my tiny stack. I kept scooping pots against him all night, and he was getting progressively more agitated about it.

Terry had tightened up a miniscule bit, but was still in most every hand. He folded maybe 10% of the time.

The casino worker in seat one managed to move up one notch in the money by constantly folding. One time she tried to limp into a pot, and was completed by Glenn. She agonized over her decision for about a minute, finally flashing A34 with two diamonds as she folded. The good playing women and I immediately met eyes and gasped in horror. Her hand was so live! She had NO chips. I don't know what she was thinking, but I could never play that way.

The tight guy in seat two tried to hang on as long as he could, but finally went out in seventh place.

We didn't lose anyone for a couple of hours, and the limits rose to 1000/2000. We had a $200 ante and $400 bring-in. Naturally I had to keep going all-in whenever I was involved in a hand. Due to Terry being a calling station and one of the two chip leads feeling the need to be the table sheriff, I was usually called down, just like the other short stacks. The difference between me and the other short stacks was that I only went in with versatile hands, and I didn't wait until doubling up wouldn't really help me anymore. I took many more chances than the other short stacks, and scooped quite a few pots. I even managed to steal a couple here and there, when the chip leads had either already folded, or knew they had absolutely nothing to call me with. My stack fluctuated between about 3000 and 6000 at any given time. I knew if I could win just one more big hand, and triple up again, I would be in the running for first place.

Glenn was getting so frustrated at his inability to knock me out. I could see him getting more and more agitated. He had lost the chip lead long before, mostly because of me.

At about 8:30, we were down to four. The woman who played well just didn't get much luck towards the end, and her stacks diminished. She never gave me any action, but she got too much action herself, being sandwiched between calling station Terry and the two big stacks. Regardless of her starting hands, she was outdrawn one too many times, and went out at fifth.

Glenn was now the short stack. I was the next shortest, and Terry and Wayne were the big stacks. Glenn couldn't get his momentum back, and went out not long later. We were down to three, and I knew just one hand could mean the difference between my placing, and winning.

Wayne was getting very frustrated by Terry. Every time Terry would suck-out on someone (he rarely ever started with the best hand), Wayne would say "good hand" or tap the table. Everyone was very polite to Terry, given the way he was playing. On the other hand, Terry never said anything when any of us took down a pot. That got on Wayne's nerves. Terry talked about his hands endlessly, yet never said "good hand" or anything kind to anyone.

For whatever reason, Terry didn't bother me at all. Maybe because I'm used to so many passive calling stations in Laughlin. Who knows!

I was up to about 10k, of the 59k on the table. We had only been playing three handed for about five minutes. I had moved into Glenn's seat, the seven, so that I could see. I was dealt hidden aces with a jack doorcard. Terry also had a jack doorcard, and Wayne had a six. I completed Wayne's bring-in. Terry raised, I called. I caught another ace on fourth. We got all of our money into the pot. I turned up my hand and Terry exclaimed, "I thought I was trapping you, and all the while you were setting up a trap for me!" He laughed. I just watched the cards. Terry had jacks, no low draw. I had AAAJ. Terry caught a second pair, jacks and sixes, but he only had two outs to fill. He could catch the case jack (remember, I had a jack doorcard), or the case six (Wayne had a six doorcard).

Although we were all-in, on seventh the dealers still have to deal the card face down. I flipped mine over immediately. There is no advantage to squeezing and slow rolling in this situation. In fact, it is quite a detriment, since the clock is running.

Terry, however, did the squeeze, turn, squeeze, turn, bending the four corners of his card. He kept saying, "I need a jack or a six, baby. I need to fill!" I don't think he had any idea just how slim he was drawing.

Suddenly he screamed, "Yes, YES! A six! I did it, I filled!" like it was a magical feat that only he could perform, and had nothing to do with luck, lol.

I gathered up my stuff and went to collect my money. I think Terry realized just how ugly he was acting, because he suddenly started apologizing over and over again. Maybe Wayne reminded him again of how rude his behavior was. Wayne made sure to tell me how well I played, and that I was a really good Stud player. Thanks!

I collected my $1500 for third and hit the road.

I think I finally found my niche in tournament buy-in's. When I play the local, low buy-in tournaments, I almost feel like it's a joke. Kind of like playing with play money. The players are so slow and new that sometimes a hand takes five, ten minutes. I have to rely too much on luck, and not make any real moves at all.

At the other side of the spectrum are the $500+ buy-in events. Although I won satellites for the WSOP, I felt like a huge underdog in those events. Truly dead money. I was not up to their skills at all. Those players could get me to lay down a hand that I should have stayed in, by convincing me they had what they were representing. Then I would be sucked into a hand that I should have folded, by following the history of the way they played the hand to that point, and feeling I had the best of it. I was zigging when I should have been zagging, as the saying goes. Even at the $500 buy-in events in the California State Poker Championship, I felt outplayed. I hate being in that position. Outdrawn is one thing, outplayed is harsh.

So getting back to my point, I think that maybe the $200-400 events are where my skills are utilized best right now. I definitely felt like a favorite at the Four Queens. I NEVER got outplayed. I had no problem reading the hands of my opponents, nor did I have a problem outplaying them. I manipulated them into calling me when they should have folded, and vice versa. I was doing the driving, not being driven. I prefer that feeling of control, even if the prize pools aren't as good.

Maybe next year my skills will improve enough so that I won't feel so dead in the bigger events. Naturally, I'll keep trying to enter via satellites, so that I am freerolling, but I hope I won't be such an underdog. For right now, the skill set at the Four Queens buy-in levels are probably the best for me. I feel very comfortable there.

Today I read that Terry won the tournament. Everyone has his day. I think if my three aces would have held up, I could have won. Woulda, shoulda, coulda. The reason we win money is from players like Terry playing every hand, and getting the occasional win in order to keep them interested in poker. That is fine with me. Bad beats come and go, but the winners stay around to win again and again.

I love Stud!!!

Felicia :)

Sunday, September 05, 2004

Bad Beats or Bad Play???

***I will be out of town for most of September. My postings may be sporadic due to so many good Stud tournaments this month***


Thursday, September 2, 2004

I have recently joined the WPPA and am volunteering in the hopes that tournaments will be taken out of the hands of individual casinos and put back into the hands of the players, where they belong. Casinos feel it is their right to take 20, 25, 50% juice out of the prize pool from the players, while giving nothing back. The dealers in these tournaments are vastly inferior to cardroom dealers, are poorly trained and yet are abused and harrassed by other staff members and grumpy players. The WPPA promises to stop dealer abuse, as well as busting cheating teams, instead of allowing them to play (and cheat) time and again.

Casinos have virtually stopped players' benefits, like cheaper room rates, free players buffets and pre-tourney get togethers, while at the same time, continually increasing the juice. Casinos take advantage of the exposure that television gives them, while continuing to take money from the prize pools. This has got to stop. They have been taking and taking, yet giving nothing back, just taking even more. To top it off, some casinos are known to steal from the prize pools, taking even more from already exploited players.

As an added incentive to promote the WPPA, freerolls will be conducted in cardrooms all over the world. For zero buy-in, zero entry-fee, players everywhere will be able to compete in a satellite for one of the WPPA events. The WPPA wants to be about the "common man," not the big poker superstars. I will alert you as soon as the first freeroll is planned.


When Glenn and I were in Vegas last Friday night, I went over to check out the Nugget and the Plaza. I just wanted to see how business was faring, and what was new.

Nugget was finishing up their Friday night tourney. There were about seven players left, one woman. The room was pretty dead, which is too bad, but since they are moving it to an area where it will never thrive anyway, maybe it's meant to be. They had NO high limit games going on.The Plaza was running satellites for their ongoing tournament. I think this would be a good bet for a Vegas local, but for someone who cannot play every tourney, taking that large of a chunk out of the prize pool is simply a horrible bet. There is no way to win.

The Plaza had two Pan games going on, but I haven't played Pan in a long, long time, and have forgotten some of the basics. I thought they would have a print-out for me, just something simple so that I wouldn't get into too much trouble (you get penalized in Pan for making mistakes, and I'm not talking about losing the hand, I'm talking about money penalties), but due to the Hold'em explosion, they are doing nothing to promote Pan or keep up on it, in order to encourage new players. This is really too bad, but whatever, I'm not going to cry about it, next time I'll just bring my own cheat sheet along.

I saw Ed Miller at Bellagio. I haven't really seen him since last November, when we played together. I congratulated him on the book, which I've heard is a runaway hit. I told him I wished I had some passion for Hold'em. I wish I had that spark, that drive that would propell me into WCP status. I simply don't have it. I pick up HEFAP and get through about two pages before my mind starts to wander and I drift away. Granted, I have read this book at least a half dozen times already, but I know I need to continually brush-up, and instead, I just get bored and turn to something else. Now with Stud, the exact opposite is true. I have all of the Stud books, the good ones I read over and over again, and not just to brush up, I end up reading them cover-to-cover time and time again. I can't stop myself, I just get so excited and caught up. I picture scenarios in my head that involve Stud play (when I say Stud, I am always speaking of any form of stud: Stud, Stud 8, Razz). I see myself playing in tournaments, making the final table, playing with the world's best, and holding my own. I see myself becoming better and better. I picture myself as a WCP in Stud, even if nothing else. I have the passion, the drive to become the best.

I remember when Andy Glazer asked me about my poker dreams, and I told him this. I have the absolute perfect personality to become one of the best Stud players in the world. Mostly tournaments, naturally, since I have a passion for tourneys as well. Now, if I could become the best, yet no one would know my name...that would be nirvana, lol.

Anyway, I just don't have that passion for Hold'em. Not LHE, not NLHE. Not cash games, not tourneys. It is just another game. Sure, I like it better than Omaha 8, but it cannot even touch the way I feel about Stud.

I know I should be, could be, capitalizing on the HE boom. I could make a fortune in cash games, if I did a little bit of work and applied myself. I could do well in tournaments. I just don't care enough to even try. That is sad. The biggest boom we've known so far in poker history, and I don't even love the game enough to take advantage of it.

Surprisingly, Ed understood this. I guess Ed has layers. Who would believe that a man could actually have layers! Onions have layers, men don't have layers, lol. ***this is a joke***

I have been playing a lot of NLHE tourneys lately. I see my shortcomings clearly, and have tried to nip them in the bud. In this, I am partially successful, but still have a long way to go.

I am way too tight, not making the most of opportunites when they arise. My timing isn't always 100%.

I let myself get blinded down too often, and then have to rely on the mercy of the cards to keep me alive. Naturally this leads to lots of eliminations for me, when the situation could have been avoided. Someone said to me, "JHC, you take more bad beats than anyone I know!" Well, the truth of the matter is, I let myself get into those situations, needlessly, and then I'm at the mercy of the cards, I am subject to "luck" (someone else's luck, lol). This is not their fault, it is MINE. I take complete responsibility for getting myself into that situation in the first place.

Here are some examples of tourneys I've played in the last week, to help illustrate my point:

1) The blinds are 4000/8000. The average stack is only about 30k, so the structure is horrible, yes, but it is such a soft tourney that I can't pass it up. I am short with about 15k left. I post the BB of 8k. The SB is dead. It is passed to a very passive player on the button who limps in with 88 (let's not discuss just how badly this guy played, lol). The flop comes down all spades, I have no spade, but second pair is a nine, which pairs my T9o. No better time than the present, I go all-in with my last 7k. This is not even a full bet, so the button has no problem calling me with his eights, because one of them is a spade, which he hits on the river. IGHN, in 11th place.

2) Blinds are 400/800. I have 2300 left. I have not played a hand the entire tourney, over 1.5 hours. I've not had a pair nor a good ace. I have won two hands in the blinds, by other's passive play, but have not voluntarily entered a pot. We reach the final table, but I am shortest in chips. A player two to my right raises to 2500 on a steal. I cannot even raise him with my AKo. He flips over KTo and gets the gutshot on the river, IGHN.

3) In the first hour of a rebuy tournament I have only won two pots. One was before the flop, one was on the flop. Both times I am certain that I held the best hand. I still have less than average chips due to loose play and multiple rebuys by others. On the last hand before the rebuys end, the blinds are 100/200. I am in the SB. I have about 1k left. The button raises to 600 as a steal with ATo. I re-raise him all-in with AKo. It is no problem for him to call the additional 400. He gets his ten on the river. REBUY!!!

4) The blinds are 1000/2000. I am down to only 1500. In LP, I go all-in with 88. The BB gets 500 back. She has 95o. A nine hits the river and IGHN.

5) The blinds are 500/1000. I am on the button with KQs. I am a short stack with only about 1500 left. I go all-in. Both blinds call with nothing. The BB has T9o and hits a nine on the turn. IGHN.

So here I am trying to illustrate that I have a big, BIG hole in my NLHE tourney play. I don't need to let myself get blinded down so much that I can't protect my hand. I am really good at monitoring that when the number of chips is pretty good versus the blinds, but when it starts accelerating faster than I could possibly get any decent hands, I wimp out, I become too tight. I stop taking chances that I would normally take. I try to be calm and rational in a situation that is anything but rational. I need to make way, WAY more moves, and much sooner. I know the structure, I see where it is leading, but somehow I still convince myself that I cannot play certain hands that I should be playing. Bad, bad, bad.

Um, I hate Hold'em.

Just kidding! I may not have passion for HE, but I certainly don't hate it. It is my favorite form of poker after any Stud game.

So I've gotten off on the wrong track. I can right that course easily. I will go back to taking notes during play. I will be more diligent about my chances of success if I let myself get blinded down to 10x the BB or less. Wake up, wake up. It's time to get real, Felicia.

Friday, September 5, 2003

This post is more about the tournament setup at the Luxor, than an actual account of a tourney itself.

A month passed during the time I was looking for a home, and settling the details of the contract in Arizona.

My husband, Glenn, returned to Arizona from the east coast. Our house was sold and closed there, and we were free to start our new life in the southwest.

While we were waiting for the new house to close in Arizona, we stayed at my Mom's house in Vegas for 10 days during September, 2003.

I told Glenn about how juicy the tourneys were at Luxor. We decided to play in as many as we could while we were there.

We played in five tourneys. I cashed in 2 of the five, and Glenn cashed in 2. My total cashings at the Luxor were 3:6 (one second place chop, one fifth place, one third place). I have never had such success in multi-table tourneys (every tourney had at least 40, and all had alternates).

The 50% cash rate is not due to any brilliance on my part, but rather the inexperience of most participants. The players aren't bad, they just don't know how to play poker. Literally. They do not understand how poker is played.

In all, I think the Luxor tourneys are great for players who are not looking for a high hourly rate, but looking for more consistency in cashing tourneys (see Sklansky's Tournaments for Advanced Players). If your turbo game is good, and you are not afraid to take chances that would be suicide in a slow structured tourney, you will do well.

One of the things that could stand improvement at Luxor is getting rid of some of the stud tables and getting some hold'em tables. We were using stud tables for the tourneys, as well as the few precious hold'em tables, and we were very cramped playing 10 handed hold'em at a stud table.

Another thing that I have always disliked about certain tourneys is when the members of staff fail to tell the participants that the dealers add-on is exactly that. If participants are led to believe that the additional $3 goes into the prize pool, that is subterfuge we can do without. I love the dealers add-on's. I always take them, and I feel that they are quite welcome by both the players and the staff. My Mom, who just quit dealing last year due to a broken elbow, agrees that the dealers add-on's are terrific. It takes quite a bit of pressure off players who cash, and adds something for the dealers from each player, whether they win or lose.

Like I said, though, I feel that it should be a MUST to tell the players that the dealers add-on is for dealers tips, and is not added to the prize pool.

When things are good, the staff is friendly and cooperative, I always add a tip onto the add-on when I cash. I also will encourage my fellow winners to give a little extra for the dealers if they felt they were treated well. It is rare to be treated well in Vegas if one is a poker player (sorry, it's true). So if the staff of a poker room goes out of the way to treat the players well, I definitely encourage bonus tipping.

Another thing that could be done to improve the Luxor is to increase the lighting. It can be dark and intimidating for new players.

One rule in most tourney poker rooms is that railbirds must literally be at the rail. They cannot stand or sit behind players. This goes for anyone, husband and wife, friends, etc. I completely understand this rule, but have found that many poker rooms do not have a nice way of enforcing the rule. So many times I heard dealers yell, "Sir! Sir!!! Hey you! You canNOT stand there. You can't be there, you must be at the rail!" Maybe I was a CSR for too long, because I can find a million other ways to tell railbirds where to stand, without coming off so rudely. Unfortunately, most poker rooms that spread tourneys do not employ any tact whatsoever in asking a player to move to the rail.

In one tinfoil-biting moment at the Luxor, the following happened:

I was at the final table. A man just got busted out at 8th, on the bubble. Ouch. He moved over to watch the table play out. The male dealer told him to go to the rail. Then the dealer said, "Sir, Sir, come here." The railbird came back to the table. The dealer continued, "Sir, we have a couple of live games for you to participate in if you're interested." When the man declined, the dealer said, "Okay, now get back to the rail."

I know this dealer, and he did not intend to be rude at all. It just came across all wrong. I flinched. Ouch! This does not help the booming tournament poker world.

I played a little shorthanded 4/8 hold'em after I busted out of one tourney. I am a much better shorthanded player than full ring player. I ended about even, but the competition was not as soft as most games I've encountered at the lower limits. Two of the people keeping the game alive were cardroom employees. These two are pretty nice. I have seen them both go above and beyond for the players. Kudos!

For those of you who are interested, the Luxor spreads 2/4 and 1-4-8-8 hold'em as well as 1-5 Stud. I have never seen them spread anything else, although they have signs stating they will.

Overall, I have good feelings for the Luxor poker room. I feel that things can be improved, and they have definitely improved over the last year. I like the newer staff members better than the former ones. I feel that they are making good, striding efforts in the right direction to recruit new, young poker players into their room, and provide lots of low limit action. They are growing with the exploding poker world, and that is always a good thing!