Friday, April 01, 2005

Some Friends and Heros

Today I thought I would talk about some other players, instead of myself, for once (lol).

Barry Greenstein has been somewhat of a mentor to me. Not that we are super close, that he comes to my house for dinner or anything. But we do exchange e-mails and just observing him, while asking him questions about my own play, has provided quite a bit of an uplifting spirit to my life and my game.

Max Pescatori has been kind to me from day one of the WPPA fiasco. I would write more, but I have written so much already that he probably feels like I'm a butt kisser. I truly love Max, and saying the word "love" is a big deal in my book. Max has had his share of hardship, and has worked from the ground up, in both life and poker. He is a huge inspiration!

Shirley Rosario has recently changed her webpage. Please update your links. There is a lot to be learned from Shirley, and if you are avoiding her page because it is pink, or because you think you cannot learn from female players, you are doing yourself a great disservice.

Ted Forrest was the person I first looked up to in tournament poker. He and I played for over 8 hours at the same WSOP Stud table, and I was more impressed by him every one of those hours. Not only is he a world class player, in every sense of the word, but he is a world class human being, too. Now, if I could just get him to respond to e-mail more frequently...

Dr. Alan Shoonmaker was one of the first rocks I met in Hold'em. I met Dr. Al when I was first learning HE. Back then there were no 1/2 or 2/4 games in Vegas like there are now. The beginners went to Excalibur and played $2-6 spread limit HE. That is where I met Dr. Al, who had infinite patience. I didn't even know who he was, that he wrote for Cardplayer or had a book! I remember thinking he was a rock, that he liked tons of pillows and that he handled himself very well, psychologically, which is something I always notice, because I try to be a model of good sportsmanship at the table.

When Dr. Al learned about my cancer, he offered some free shrinking, lol, which is probably what I need. I have probably always needed to be shrunk, haha. Seriously, though, it is more about just talking over the phone and letting out all of the frustration of having cancer and getting no answers. He was never a clinical psychologist, but the point is, he offered to help and has always been a great friend!

Carl Frommer has been one of my best friends and mentors since the WPPA days. Carl took 5th in the second biggest WSOP event ever. He is a fantastic player and a wonderful, loyal friend.

Simon Trumper finally renewed his contract with UK Betting. Thank God! Now we will get to read those fantastic journal entries again! Thanks for the great jokes, Simon!

Glenn Bagrowski is my true hero. He has been by my side for nine years now, and has listened to all of my little dramas. He has to put up with a high strung, masculine personality, while he himself is laid back and passive. He has to listen to all of my rants and raves. He has to read not-so-flattering things about himself all over the Internet written by yours truly. And yeah, his farts are vicious. They make mine look tame in comparison!

Felicia :)

Some Random Omaha 8 Advice

I was lurking around on 2+2 today, and found a post asking for some O8 advice. Since I have nothing better to do (sitting around watching your cancer spread is not a fulfilling activity), I decided to respond.

The poster was so hyped up that he PM'd me. I wrote back. Then I realized that a lot of people who play O8, don't even know this stuff. Either all of their experience is online, or they are just too new to O8 to be aware of it. There is nothing wrong with being new! I was new not very long ago, especially when it comes to O8.

So here, for your reading pleasure (or just to pass the time at work on a Friday), is my re-post of our conversation:


Thank you very much for your response. I have to admit, I am very intrigued by your answer. I have been playing poker for many years. Lately, I feel like I have really come in to my own in terms of playing omaha/8. That, coupled with the fact that it has been a life goal to compete in the WSOP, has prompted me to play in one or more of the omaha/8 events this year. However, like many other players, much of this experience is online. In fact, although I have a fair amount of live ring game play, I essentially have zero live tournament experience. Thus, if you do not mind, I have several questions for you...


Okay, first off, be very choosy about your live tourney play. If one venue is offering 5% juice and another is offering 10%, don't let pride get in the way and play the 10% instead just because of the name of the festival. Let the money do the talking!


1. You seem quite emphatic about not relooking at one's cards. Why is this?


There is a saying in Omaha..."You can tell the quality of the player by how many times he has to look back at his cards."

While I don't necessarily agree with this 100% (after 12 hours at a tourney table, sometimes it's simply unavoidable due to fatigue), you will notice that the best players don't look back.

So say you raised up front with double suited aces and maybe deuce/four. You see two suits on the board. But you forgot, did you have spades or clubs? You know you had suited black, but can't remember which suit. You look back.

Great players are going to know, if two low didn't fall, that you have aces with a flush draw, if you stay in or bet into them. They will refuse to pay you off if you hit, and charge you the maximum to draw, while tricking you into a check-raise when they know you are bluffing. It's a horrible situation to be in, to have your hand virtually turned over, exposed, for the best players to exploit on every street.


2. You mentioned a memorization short-cut in order to not have to look back at your cards?

I memorize from the top down in high games, and from the bottom up in split games or low games. So say I'm playing HE, I memorize: AcKd. KcJs, etc.

In Stud; AcAdTh, KcQcJd.

In Stud 8; Ad4h5c. 2h3c4d.

In Razz; 458 (suits aren't necessary, obviously).

In Omaha 8; A46K (then whatever highest suited cards)

Ace is always high in high games, always low in split or low games.

So I am dealt my four O8 cards. I memorize each as they come to me, then I put them in low-high order, then repeat in my head the highest suited card. So here are some examples:

"A249 ace-hearts" (doesn't matter about sidecard, unless it can make a straight flush)

"234K king-diamonds, four-hearts" (that means I'm double suited, with the highest rank of each suited card being the one I memorize)

"A26Q queen-hearts"

It really is simple if you do all of this before the flop, repeating again and again what you have, in order, with suits that matter (rainbow obviously doesn't matter at all in O8).

Chanting these words, several times, while watching other players who are receiving their cards, is a sure way to memorize your own cards, while at the same time getting a bead on what other players may hold.


3. Do you play tournament omaha/8? If so, can you please share any general insights that may prove helpful?


Yes, I've played from small, $25 buy-in tourneys up to $1500 tourneys (and the $1500 we chopped three ways, so I got really lucky there!). I've played in big venues and small. You can read some of my write-up's in the archives, in "other poker," since we didn't have an O8 section of 2+2 then.


4. Because of where I am geographically, obtaining live tournament experience is not much of an option. Other than that, can you suggest anything I should be doing to prepare myself for these events?

Just deal yourself four random cards and practice memorizing them. Also make sure you put a chip on top of your cards, or some kind of protector. In today's poker boom (with mostly new, inexperienced dealers), if you don't protect your hand, it will get snatched away sooner or later. Don't make this during the final table of a big tourney, when thousands of real dollars are on the line!

Felicia :)

Thursday, March 31, 2005

No Poker This Week in Phoenix

So-so news from Phoenix. Yeah, it doesn't sound so good, but on the other hand, if I know what I'm fighting, at least I can come into the brawl completely prepared and be proactive in mapping out a game plan.

I liked the surgeon, so that is a plus, too!

Felicia :)

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Bill's Parody

I wanted to do a funny kind of intro to Bill's parody. But I realize that nothing I can say will be a good enough introduction for the hilarity that will ensue if you just read it yourself.

Off to Phoenix, wish me luck!

Felicia :)