Anything But Hold Em

There\’s More to Poker Than Texas Hold Em

Archive for the ‘Miscellaneous’ Category

High Stakes Lowball

Posted by pmpoker on April 21, 2008

Billy Baxter talks to Card Player Magazine’s Lizzy Harrison:

LH: When you are playing for fun, how do you select the stakes that you play?

BB: Well, I always prefer to play no-limit poker, no matter what game I am playing. Lately, though, around here, there have been a lot of mixed games and lowball games; those are mostly limit. I have been playing $400-$800 and $600-$1,200 at Bellagio lately, mostly those new games like badugi and triple-draw deuce-to-seven. All of those weird games are very popular now.

LH: What are the highest stakes you have ever played?

BB: I have played in what was the biggest game ever, if you compare the value of a dollar in the ’70s to the value of a dollar today. We played no-limit deuce-to-seven with $1,000-$2,000 blinds and a $500 ante. Doyle Brunson, Bobby Baldwin, Major Riddle, and Jimmy Chagra, the infamous drug dealer, all played in that game back in the ’70s seventies. Chagra had deep pockets; he would show up at the poker table with duffle bags full of cash. He always brought his money in duffle bags.

Billy Baxter, in addition to his poker playing that includes seven WSOSP bracelets (4 in deuce-to-seven no-limit, all in some form of lowball), is known as a backer for the late Stu Ungar, who got burned by some drug-induced no-shows. Major Riddle, whose first name was actually Major (if I recall correctly) was the owner of the Dunes. Jimmy Chagra appears in A. Alvarez’s The Biggest Game In Town, gambling millions while awaiting trial for murder in Texas.


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Posted by pmpoker on March 25, 2008

This 2+2 Caesar’s Palace gossip thread turned into a badugi strategy thread with good contributions from two players I respect, *TT* and Nate. There’s also a little bit of poker psychology concerning the hand range of a knowledgeable nit like Mason Malmuth when playing his first orbit of badugi and how players with 2-7 triple draw make bad adjustments when learning badugi.

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Doyle Brunson Plays 2-7 Lowball

Posted by pmpoker on February 24, 2008

Texas Dolly describes it:

I found a one hundred dollar ante, three hundred/six hundred blinds, 2-7 lowball game that was really gambling. The six players had between $20,000 and $100,000 each in front of them.

I’m assuming it’s 2-7 no-limit single-draw.

Also, Doyle likes Obama, but wishes we could have Bill back.

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I Hate Asians

Posted by pmpoker on January 11, 2008

Well, okay, no, not really. That would be sort of self-hating. But Gary Carson tries to understand the Crazy Asian Gambler, suggesting that this player is playing the table and not the individual. The Crazy Asian Gambler, in my experience, tends to believe that luck is a predictable quantity. I’ve actually been against an opponent who might show me the nut flush draw and fold for one bet on the flop, then tell me after the river comes that he knew the flush wouldn’t get there, while on another hand, he might cap the flop with a flush draw because he believes it will come in.

I’ve talked to enough Crazy Asian Gamblers to know that they often believe in playing the rush or that certain days are going to be luckier than others. They are very prone to the gambler’s fallacy.

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One of these Days, I Should Go on a BARGE Trip

Posted by pmpoker on August 6, 2007

Lou Krieger’s describes Chowaha:

They play Chowaha at BARGE. It’s a staple of the fun and frivolity. The game is a variant of hold’em, only it’s played with three flops, two turn cards, and one river card. Each player is dealt two cards, and both hole cards must play. Three flops are then spread—one on top of another. Two turn cards are dealt, one placed between the top and middle flop, the other between the middle and bottom flop. The top turn card plays with the top and middle flops, and the bottom turn card plays with the middle and bottom flop. There is one river card, and it plays with all available combinations.

If some dealers were confused by Chowaha’s intricacies, they loved the game’s fringe benefits, particularly the occasional cries of “mandatory toke,” which required each player to flip a dollar chip in the general direction of the dealer. These mandatory tokes quickly made Chowaha a dealer favorite. Another innovation, designed to liven up the “anyone-can-afford-it” $2-$4 limits, was the occasional multi-straddle, in which four successive players placed progressively larger blind bets.

Chowaha was such a hit that off duty dealers are usually eager to join in the fun and play. One of my endearing BARGE memories was the absolute incongruity of an announcement made at 4:00 a.m., in an otherwise quiet and mostly empty poker room, when a deep and somber voice on the public address system intoned: “Seating is now available in the must-move Chowaha game, table two.”

I’ve never played Chowaha, but my guess is that suited connectors go up in value, since they can work towards strong five-card hands with multiple flops while pocket pairs go down in value because they are more likely to beaten (although they are often still playable for set value).

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This Ain’t Your Normal Home Game

Posted by pmpoker on July 19, 2007

Bryan Devonshire writes about playing games like five-card no-peek baseball with the likes of John D’Agostino, Dan Druff, and Brian Micon. I’m going to have to dig out my copy of Baseball for Advanced Players by David Sklansky.

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2+2 Drama

Posted by pmpoker on July 2, 2007

The 2+2 boards were abuzz with the banning of poster Nate. by Mason Malmuth over this thread critical of 2+2 editing quality.

Since the thread is locked and Nate. reinstated, I will give my thoughts here:

Nate. had what I consider a reasonable complaint about 2+2’s mastery of the English language. He is well-respected poster who has been around, so he should have known that Mason Malmuth’s actual response was a reasonably probably response, so either he went in with the understanding that drama was a more likely outcome than Mason Malmuth admitting any flaws in his product or he was strangely naive. I’m not sure which it is.

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Eskimo Clark Claims to Have Invented Badugi

Posted by pmpoker on April 10, 2007

According to the Poker Blog from Full Tilt Poker by Michael Craig, as he is at the Bellagio watching Mike Matusow negotiate a mix of games:

Still, there’s no game taking place. The lull gives me a chance to introduce myself to Paul “Eskimo” Clark. He speaks softly, with a Louisiana accent that, in the cacophony of the poker room, could pass for a foreign language. He also doesn’t answer questions in a direct fashion, which I’m fine with. I mentioned who I was, be he doesn’t know me, so I’m pleased to get any response from some stranger I’m bothering in the Bellagio poker room. And by leading me through a maze to answer my one question, I learned some other things.

My question: Where did Badugi come from?

I can translate Eskimo’s 15 minutes on the subject pretty simply: From Paul “Eskimo” Clark.

Here is what else I learned:

*Paul will turn 60 on June 2, 2007, the first day of the World Series of Poker.

*He served in the Army during the Vietnam War.

*He developed the game of Badugi, though he says the proper spelling – he wrote it in my notebook – is p-a-d-u-g-i-e. He gives Yosh Nakano some of the credit/blame for the more common spelling.

*The word means “spotted dog” or “colors” in Korean.

*The triple-draw version of the game is only the most recent. He has compiled a book about the game, which started with a seven-stud version and includes criss-cross, big-L, and little-L versions. He started explaining the nuances of the different forms, but I was lost from the start.

They may never know who invented Texas hold em or be completely sure about why stud poker is called “stud”, but at least someone is taking the credit for introducing badugi. I have no idea what big-L and little-L versions would look like.

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Some California Lowball and Mississippi Stud/8

Posted by pmpoker on March 27, 2007

Via Mark Gritter, a trip report by ts4z that includes some Mississippi Stud/8 and California lowball.

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Greg Raymer Plays Five Card Draw

Posted by pmpoker on March 19, 2007

As Tom Bayes notes, PokerStars weekly tournament leaderboard winner ShaunDeeb made the unusual choice of limit five card draw for his heads-up freeroll against Greg Raymer, implying in the chat that perhaps he chose it because Raymer is relatively inexperienced in it. Raymer ended up winning after a key suckout. There’s also a 2+2 thread with a couple of hands posted.

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