Tuesday, December 9, 2008

My disagreement with MIKE CARO

What's up? So I am reading the november issue of bluff magazine, yes the one with the two blondes on the front cover and I work back to Mike Caros article called Mental Malfunctions. Mike Caro is brillant and has had a lot of impact in the world of poker. Today, I am going to have to disagree on a point that he made under his topic-The pot is too big to fold-at the end of this portion of his article he says this "Another mistake players sometimes make is to play low quality hands before the flop when many players have already entered the pot. You might assume you're getting good odds, but thing about this: Everyone can't be getting good odds, so someone must be taking the worst of it. If you're playing 8-7 off-suit, that someone is you."

I totally disagree, my understanding is that his many players refers to three or more limpers before it gets to you, 8-7 in a multiway pot is golden. This hand will hit or miss and when you miss it is easy to let it go. On the other hand, he might be talking about you being the second one in and than having many players limp in after, that would be a bad move because if they had not limped in after the price was not right. But in general when you have odds greater than 3 or 4 to 1, almost anything is playable in my eyes. I don't know maybe I'm wrong here hit me back and correct me, is Mike Caro right and I cannot see what he is talking about or am I right understanding that the odds before a flop with a holding of 8-7 off at 3-1 is not a bad play? Heck there may be even more that I am not seeing, help me see it. I know I kept it short and sweet, just going to wait for any responses.

Stay nice as rice and mello as jello!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

E-GADS! Not three in a row...

Had to let this one settle in before I told the tale...finished a marathon session last week in a 1-2 NL game that I should have left much earlier but just would not do it. You see I was that guy in highschool that got all the signs that the girls were digging me but had no idea until I went to college and they told me about it, two summers later, FRAK!!! Well I am the same way in a bad game, got all the signs to get out but I don't. I think I know what a bad game is for me now.

I went six dealers until I got a playable hand, 30 min a down, three hours, I mean is that a long time? Yes. My first playable hand, not including the big blind, where I had to fold to all raises and check down to the river and muck, anyways, my first playable hand came during the last dealer where I picked up pocket nines in the hi-jack, I pop to 12 after two limp in, the button calls and big blind re-pops for a bunch...into the muck I go! The button re-popped himself and they got it all in pre-flop, button aces, big blind kings. Button snaps off the big blind. BIG SMOOVE GET OUT OF THIS GAME! Six dealers later I get three hands in a row, yes six dealers later. The hands pocket nines, raise, get four callers, ace hits the board bet into me, call, raise, I fold. Second hand, pocket eights, raise, get five callers, ace hits along with queen, again, bet, call, raise, re-raise, I fold. Third hand, pocket 10's, raise, four callers, flop is AK10, bet into me, raise, re-raise, all in...my lord, I fold. The jack hits the turn and a deuce on the river. Goondingy, GET OUT OF THIS GAME! I am not telling bad beat stories, this is how I know when to get out of a game, six hours and four hands! Gotta get out, the final nail in the coffin, about three more hours later I pick up pocket fives in the cutt-off and I have a maniac to my left, he has raised 95% of the time and admits to being a maniac and wanting to change but cannot. It was quite funny, anyways, I open with my fives, get re-popped by the button, min raise and get two callers at $24 to me. Shoot, okay, $12 more, i call to close the betting down. The flop is QQQ. Checks around to me, now here is what I figure, let me make a bet, I get a call, that's the other queen, I get raised I may be beat but I may be able to call, but hopefully this bet will shut it all down. I cut out $50 and bet, MANIAC pops it another $100, the first caller contemplated for sometime, (HE SAID HE HAD POCKET 10's), but folds and everyone folds around to me. I look at the maniac, who when is confident is very talkative and full of fun, at this time he is stoic and stares straight ahead. I ask how come he's not talking. Folks, another reason to leave a game is when you don't have anymore bullets to fire (rebuys) and you feel like you are scared to lose what is in front of you. Well the maniac does not say anything, but the whole time I am thinking, sixes, sevens, eights, nines, tens, and jacks. I'm thinking now, why the hell did I bet, drek, I could be beat but the kid is stone quiet, not like him, he thinks he's beat, but maybe he did it with AK, "GOON you're good here, just call, and check call the rest of the way," I say to myself but I don't want to lose what's in front of me. After about three long minutes I fold and as I am folding I want my cards back because why would he raise with the queen, well I reverted back to the kid that did that to me with AQ when two hit the board two weeks ago. So I let it go. The kid finally breathes and says to me, I did not want that other kid to call, I was pushing FOURS!!!! ARGH!!!! UGH!!!! SHYTE!!!! I knew I was good but could not commit, if I was Davey I think I may have raised right there, he has this knack for seeing those things better than me. Well, after that it was over, I continued to grind away getting nothing but face card deuce, etc. It went like that for hours, very embarrased because I should have recognized when to get out, yet okay with the way I played for the most part. Going to take sometime off and get ready for this Christmas thing but I got someone to hook me up on full tilt so you might see me in there sometime soon. 'nuff for now.

Stay nice as rice and mello as jello!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Harrah's Week Two, 11/01/08

Returned to Harrah's this past Saturday and met up with Bill and Davey. They were on table 15 sitting next to each other and the game looked...hmm, not good. Though they did have that cat who thinks he's nice that I would not have minded sitting in the game to break it off in him. But alas I would be put on table 23, I think, by the poker room cage. Before I got there I talked to Davey and Bill for a minute, Davey was up quite a bit, but I know how he plays and I am sure he opened this table up, and had probably pissed a few people off, but that's my boy. Bill was chilling waiting for his time. I got called to my table and said my see ya's and told them that I'll make a table change and be back soon.

So I sit down, (mental checklist, tight aggressive, watch for a bit, play position.) I get in under the gun, look down at AQ of spades and make it $12 to go in the 1-2 NL game. I get three callers. The flop is JJ2, big blind bets, I call, turn pairs the board again, BB beats I call, river is a blank, BB beats again, I call. WHY? WHAT THE HELL CAN I BEAT? MAYBE A BLUFF! MAYBE!!!! Well he shows AJ off and I muck quickly and smile at myself...first hand, mental checklist out the window and $75 down.

Another thing that I like to do is get to know the guys next to me or at least be nice to them, you see I am a very large guy and quite intimidating, so that it is easier to take money from them. Well it worked, had a very loose weak aggressive player to my left and a nice young weak tight kid to my right. We talked and it was more small talk then anything. I was back on my game plan and up a couple hundred at this point. The guy two to my right was another decent player who had about six hundred in front of him due to hitting quad kings versus pocket aces, where they got it all in on the flop, he turned the quads...lol! At least that was the story I got when I got back from the bathroom.

Well, here is how being nice sorta works out. I am in the big blind, 7-4 off, three limpers to the flop, weak aggressive, descent player on the button and weak tight in the small blind. The flop, 10 7 7 rainbow, YAHTZEE! Check around to the button, $10 bet. SB calls, I call, the rest fold. Turn card, 7, UNO!!!! Well, that was the first thing that came to mind. SB bets $20, I call button calls. River is a deuce. SB checks-"WHAT THE HELL!"-I can't check behind, because I notice the button wants to check also. Shoot! Well I cut out $70, slight overbet, or it looks like it and bet. The button stands up and looks at me, "You got quads?" In the amount of time that I am typing this I had to answer, which I did, "Yes, I do." I tried to sound like a liar. He said that according to the way I had been playing he believed me. I did not like that he said that but oh well, I really was hoping for a call, he folded. The SB with about $100 left goes, "Do you really have quads?"
I answer, "Yes, I do," now with a lot of confidence.
"Will you show if I fold?"
"NOPE!" I said quickly. Now I figured he was not going to call.
"Well, I gotta see them. Right?"
He cuts out $70, and slowly pushes it across the line and quickly flips up his 10 8 off. I show my 7-4 off and pull in the pot.
"Guess you were telling the truth," as he smiled at me, pushed away from the table and said good game as he cashed out.
I don't know if he called because it was easy to give me his money or because he thought I was a liar, I'm going with easy because I think I was likeable.

Well the game eventually broke and I was up real nice for a 1-2nl game. I move to another table where the action was a little crazy. Four way limped pots and a $20 bet when the flop would hit...YUMMY! I entered with about $350 and after an hour I was down to $125, freaking crazy, I had to let a lot of big hands go. Well I straddle, I have my reasons for straddling in a loose game. I may give that away another time. There are six callers including the blinds, here is a funny thing, the big blind completes and at this point I am raising with whatever I have to take this pot down, when the one seat, about middle middle position, throws out four red chips. The dealer said you already called. He looks a little frustrated so instead of raising, I look down at 10-5 off and knock the board. The flop comes 10 5 2, check around to the guy who wanted to raise. He throws out $20, this guy who has been playing slow, min raises quickly. YIKES, I think, big hand. 5's, deuces? Folds around to me and I just call the $20. Folds to the bettor and he re-raises all in, about $60 more. I look down at what I got left and go F it! I'm all in, the other guy beats me in the pot. The two guys to my left say I like your hand, the original bettor turns over pocket kings, the slow player who got fast all of a sudden turns over pocket deuces. I still have not turned my cards over. The kings go, "what you got man?"
"I'm in second and you're in third place," I respond.
The turn is five. "I just took first place, fellas."
The river is an ace, I show my 10 5 off and they don't look happy. The original bettor goes, "shoulda raised."
I get up after a few big blinds and get away up $60, from that second session and head home. I may get to get away again for a third week in a row...wish me luck.

Stay nice as rice and mello as jello!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Harrah's...a wonderful return...

I have not played at Harrah's New Orleans for sometime and it was a nice time, got to see some regulars and talk to some of the floor staff and dealers. I got there around 10 pm and did not leave until 6 am. Yes it was a long session.
My game plan was to come in and play tight aggressive, observe the table for a number of hands to get a good feel and play position poker. I played well for the first two hours and then began to play very loose. It is funny when I do not believe someone though my very first read was, "he has more of that than you do." Here is how one of those hands played out...I'm in middle last position and limp in after two others and the big blind who is new raises to $15, two callers to me I call with A8 unsuited. Flop comes QQ8, rainbow. BB fires, quickly, $15. I instantly think, he's got the queen, but when it gets folded to myself I begin to think for minute, why would he bet three of a kind to a rainbow flop? He's making a continuation bet, is what I concluded, with AK. I call, we are heads up. The turn is a 7, he bets $15, he's very stoic, quiet, leaning towards the board and not looking around, very focused on the board. I call. The river is a 7. He cuts out $20 and bets, I now know I am beat but with odds I gotta call. Yet I say to him, just to get a final read for a future reference, "You tricked me huh? You had the queen the whole time," as he looked up and gave me a quick smile. Yep, I'm beat as I throw out $20. He turns over the AQ off and I muck.
Later I made a move on the button with A2 hearts and got called on the river by the trip jacks, he could have put me to the test but I was suprised he only called instead of raising. He told me later that he felt like he could only call my bet, and could not raise.
Well I got short stacked at about 3 am and three hours later I left up a few hundred. Long session but it was a wonderful return.
I came to play with a game plan, I put about four things down for myself to use in order to play well and within myself.
1-Play tight/aggressive
2-Observe even when not in the hand
3-Do not get emotional
4-Have fun.
Of course during your session, there are plays that you make and many audibles that you must call during game play. I've talked before that when I get loose aggressive and I am the only one, I lose. When I play tighter into loose aggressive, I win. I had to make that adjustment into the last three hours. Well that was fun, looking forward to my next sit down.

Stay nice as rice and mello as jello!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Pop Warner football drama

I missed Big Bills wedding Saturday. I had to make a decision, see the one time event in my boy's life or watch my seven year old step son who finally got to start in his first game, which should have started at 3 pm but did not go until 5 pm. I took the later. It sucks and I talked to the Wild One, told him what was up, but it still sucks.
My boy's team won on a last ditch effort, here is what happened. We are in the fourth quarter, no one has scored yet, there were several offensive penalties putting the team back to about third and 20, they tried to sweep the ball to the open side with their star running back, DJ, (I have seen and played with some great backs and I promise you this kid will be a star in the next ten years if he keeps his head on correct), well the defense is set up to stop the outside sweep and they lose another 10 yards. Greenlawn Eagles, my son's team, is on their 10 yard line, it is fourth down with 1:20 left. If they punt the other team gets the ball thirty yards from the line of scrimmage so Green lawn goes for it. The parents are yelling, "PUNT THE BALL!" They don't, the ball is hiked and and there is a hand off, it is tough to throw in the 6-7 age group, and DJ bursts through the middle, the sideline erupts, moms and dads are running down the sideline yelling, "GO, GO, GO!" 90 yards later he scores, they do not get the extra point and eventually the game is over, 6-0. I start laughing and yelling that was not supposed to happen, we should have punted, you should have stopped him, and I truly felt dirty, but we would take the win. It was the first one of the year, 1-4. My boy did okay, he just needs to stop jumping around like a bunny rabbit. Of course I am eager to bestow as much of my football knowledge upon him but he is not really into it, which sucks but maybe when he understands the game a tad bit more, he'll take my advice and crush those who are larger than he.

Been studying poker and talking about poker with Minnesota Mike and a few others, talking about situations and such. Always playing the top five game, best position game versus player types and opening hands game. Ever play these? I do because it is so hard to get away, but I will be out there, be it the Beau, or Harrah's in the next week or two, because my boy AT@T gets back from Africa and he wants to roll. Perfect excuse. Enough of my rambling.

Stay nice as rice and mello as jello!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Fumble nuts...

Got off the phone with a very good friend of mine up in Pittsburgh, Bi'lal Brookly the Tenth Son, and we were just shooting the shyte and talking about old times and what was going on today. Well he is doing great and is about to enter an amatuer body building contest which I thought was amazing, so kudos to him. We talked about his business and how it at times involves poker players and dealers. Wait a minute, Pittsburgh's got a casino? Nah, they have them in West Virginia and poker rooms are pretty nice up there. I asked him what games they are playing up there and he had not idea because he's a black jack kinda guy and cannot stand how slow poker moves. LOL! I wonder how many pros made a move up there just to pick off all of those luchboxes. I remember talking to a guy a few years ago who moved to Oklahoma when they started getting into larger poker rooms and how he was making a killing up there. Hmmm, ahh well. I mean think about it...all that easy money up there...GOSH!

Why do Loose Aggressive Players put themselves into positions where they know they should fold but while they are in the hand...THEY CAN NOT DO IT! I mean if you just pulled yourself away from your body and watched what was going on and the read was to fold, you would fold. Yet, when it comes down to it even when you keep telling yourself that "he has me out kicked, or that f'ing card hit him on the river, and finally he doesn't bluff all his money away because you've never seen it and he has not done it in the last four hours you have seen him play." Yet, what always happens, something, maybe the little devil, that voice inside says very softly, "I hope he doesn't have it." That is followed up by, "We committed too much money to this pot already, if we are right we are getting PAID."

FUMBLE NUTS! You know you're beat, you know you have to lay it down, but you always hear your body as your essence floats away say..."Call!" And you watch your bodies reaction to the nuts that the other guy has, it's eyes open wide, mouth drops open, and an expletive slowly rolls out of the mouth. You get up from the table and talk to yourself...and always ask your self this question..."WHY?"

Well one day I will be able to get away more often than I do now but if there is a way or if someone has a trick...Let it be known!

Just a few words from myself, I was rambling about this the other day and just wanted to put it down, maybe get some advice...who knows! I'm out!

Stay nice as rice and mello as jello!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

A BET and a smile...HOOOOWAAAAA!!!

So I just wanted to get on because I am enjoying all the poker talk and my butt is itching to get into a brick and mortar to rip up a nice game of no limit hold'em. So hard with such a large family and all the work I do to get those chips out there for your consumption.
Well I am a fan of the Dallas Cowboys, as far back as I can remember. A friend of the family pulled me next to him as he and my dad watched the game and he said to me we like the cowboys because the cheerleaders have big pom poms, of course he was grabbing his chest and smiling. My dad didn't really appreciate it but I was too young to understand but it stuck and stayed with me through all these years. ANYWAYS...I do understand football and though I am a cowboys fan I can look pass that and see that my team may not be the best going into a game, shoot I'll back 'em and hope, but will understand that they may not have a big chance. So I have been talking to some of my employees and they seem to be fans, those types of fans that think that their team can do nothing but right, that this guy is a better quarterback than that guy etc. Well they are Saints fans and one in particular said that the Saints will be better than the Cowboys...smell a wager coming on. We talked and I bet two different things...first bet, Cowboys will have a better record than the Saints by week 8. I am a favorite but you never know. Second bet, not a favorite here, the Cowboys go to the Superbowl. Sometimes I get a little carried away.

Well, my bud AT@T is heading to Tunica for the tourneys up there and I am somewhat sad because I can't go. But I have an awesome wife and a great family, thus the reason for being "somewhat sad." Another note, just some kudos to my bud Mitchy...he was playing at Harrahs on Tuesday, I believe where they have the aces cracked get a rack promotion going on. I was talking to my bud AT@T and he told me this story, AT was not doing too well and Mitchy came over and got a seat next to him. Well in the big bling Mitchy looks at a couple of aces, there were two or three others in the hand and one of them raised. He really did not want to protect, he wanted to play it small, get cracked and get his rack. Well he calls and they go to the flop of 774, two suited to a flush, checked around. The turn is an Ace, Mitchy again checks, the raiser bets a little, another player calls and Mitchy calls, I believe. The river is a king, Mitchy decides to hell with the rack, there's more for the taking and bets out, the raiser calls and the other guy raises, Mitchy jams, pre-flop raiser folds and the other guy calls and tables pocket kings with a smile, Mitchy turns over the aces... and he could not lose the rest of the night! Nice job Mitchy! The profit you pulled out of that 1-2 No Limit game was outstanding!

Got a lot of people in Houston and I hope they are all well...please shoot out a prayer for those involved with IKE...heck we sure know what they are going through.

Well, that will do for the night. Y'all stay nice as rice and mello as jello!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

$40 home tourney...

Last friday night I get invited to play at a home tourney on the Westbank by my bud, Mitchell. Most of this group were guys and gals that I played with back before Katrina. I looked forward to seeing some of the guys and prepared myself mentally for a night filled with lunchboxes. AHHHHWOOOOO! "THIS IS WHERE WE FIGHT! THIS IS WHERE THEY DIE!" That quickly went through my head.

I made my way to the westbank as I headed EAST, and made it past the pot hole infested, mini roller coaster ridden roads of Gen. Dugole(I spelled this incorrectly, just spelled it the way it sounds to me...my apologies). Made it to the house and walked in, two large dogs immediately stepped up to me sniffed and continued their journey to another room. In the living room they had one of the two tables set up with my bud and six others. He directs me to a back room where they have six others and my empty seat. I missed the first level of 25-50, 20 minute levels with a starting stack of 5000. I play my first hand in middle position, with a limp. Three others come in and the big blind raises big. I fold. I finally look around the table and recognize two other players, we will call them A and B. The rest...lunchboxes. Well three levels later I am down to about $3500 and this hand occurs that I am not involved in. Early middle opens for a raise and A calls. The flop is AQ7 rainbow. The lunchbox who raised checks, A bets half the pot. LB, calls. The turn is an 8. LB, checks, A fires in a pot sized bet. LB calls. The river is a J, rainbow board, and LB goes...all in. A thinks for a minute and eventually fires his cards towards the muck. One turns up, an Ace and the player asks for the other...A looks at the LB and turns the other over for him, a Queen for top two. The LB goes, "Gosh, you laid that down!" I think A had the odds to make the call but it was pretty obvious that the Jack on the river made the guys hand...so what did the LB have? Shoot, let me spoil it...K 10 hearts. YEP. This is the part that I did not like but said nothing...it's a home game. The guy shows us his hand and A smiles and says, "That's one of the hands you could have had, you're not good enough to bluff there." I shake my head and some of the other guys laugh a little and A finishes with "...what, buddy, it's true isn't it?"

The very next hand I am under the gun and peek at a couple of street walkers(QhQd). I pop it 3x and get called by a lunchbox, A says raise and takes his eyes off of the tv and makes it what I raised, we tell him that I already raised and he min raises my raise. Right here I think maybe I should re-pop but I put him on AK through A10 maybe mid-pair but not Aces or Kings. I don't pop and just call as does LB. The flop is Jh9h2c. I fire out half the pot, LB folds, A goes all in for another 2500. I have him covered and I instantly think drawing at the hearts. Yet for some reason, it does not FEEL that way. I start thinking and I am really trying to put all these things through my head, pot odds, enemies possible hands, and should I call. But why do I feel like I am beat here. Now he starts to talk, "I guess Ray is on a draw and figuring out his outs." Stuff like that...eventually I figure he has AJ and does not want me drawing for the hearts, I can be that kind of player sometimes, and I call. He turns up his pocket nines. I turn a heart draw and miss on the river. I am out 10 minutes later. So who was actually the luchbox, lol! ME!

During my time playing when a player starts to talk to others or starts to monologue, HE IS STRONG! I forgot that up until I said call. As soon as I said call, that ran through my head and it hurt a little. He sat back and crossed his arms, all signs of strength and I just missed them all. My timing was a little off.

I played two heads up matches and went 1 for 2, the last match is when I did push on the flush draw with bottom pair. Ahhh, who cares! It was fun. Honestly, I should have cut that game up but I truly did not play correct...may have been because I was watching the Olympics Opening event ceremony. Nah, just another excuse but there is something said about poker and TV, if you want to win, watch the players not the TV.

Stay nice as rice and mello as jello!

Sunday, July 27, 2008


What is up? So yep I wanted to throw something up before July was out. I was looking through some of my journals and I saw something that I wanted to share with the community.

I took my first trip to Tunica, Ms back in '03 and all I wanted to do was visit the different casinos with poker rooms. My first visit was to the Goldstrike, decent size and not much action going on. I walked across the crosswalk to the Horseshoe and did not leave for a day.

I observed a no limit game where the mississippi straddle was in play, but did not understand what was going on. I kept seeing the small blind act first, I kept away from that game because I thought is was not normal, which it is not. I spent most of my day playing 4-8 limit and finally got into my game of 10-20 limit and stayed until the table broke. So it was not until the year of Katrina, when I lived in Memphis for a few weeks, that I got properly introduced to the mississippi straddle.

I entered the Horshoe, (customer service here was the best and the games were always juicy) and got into the 5-5 no limit game. I sat down next to Steve a high stakes player out of New Orleans who was also here due to Katrina. Well the button comes to him and I post my five bucks and he puts out $10. I look at him with confusion and he said to me,"Strap on your seatbelt, going to be a long ride. Don't take it personally as soon as I learned that I could do this, I've been doing it ever since."

I smile and am first to act, as I look down at 7-2 off, of course, and muck. Three limpers to him and he puts in a nice sized raise and takes it down. I sit there for six orbits, $30 dollars later, seat opens up to Steve's right and I move quickly. Needless to say we sliced the game up for the next two weeks.

So what the heck is this mississippi straddle thing? It is a double the big blind, blind bet from any position other than the blinds. Normally a straddle is in the Under The Gun position right after the big blind but the Ms. straddle can be placed in middle position or late position but the only straddle that is allowed is the one closest to or on the button. So if three people straddle for position mind you, the straddle is last to act pre-flop, if the button is the fourth the other three must pick their money up. I have seen it used in the mid limit games 15-30 and of course the higher limit games 25-50. They will not allow it in the low limit, 4-8 nor have I seen it in the 10-20. This is usually allowed in No Limit games. Of course you do have games that there is a mandatory UTG rock (straddle), but the table has to totally agree.

Strategically, if you like to act last at all times from the button, this would be something to utilize. So is the straddle profitable? I had one view of the straddle for the longest time...waste of money. I have now opened my thought process and allowed others to show me something different. I have seen the straddle, a normal straddle, open up a tight game. I learned last year that a straddle is also good in a loose game, so instead of limping at the cost of the big blind the stakes get higher and the straddler can put even more pressure on the table. So, again, my opinions but I wanted to share the Ms. straddle with you. Very general description but I hope you enjoyed!

Stay nice as rice and mello as jello!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Minnesota Mike and me...

I took a trip down the road to meet up with a good friend of mine, Minnesota Mike. A business owner from Minnesota who travels to Florida often. Well on this trip he decides to hook up with me and asked if he should come to New Orleans. I told him to stay in Biloxi and the Beau would probably be the best spot, he did and it worked out for him. I have worked with Mike on his game for the last few years and he is coming around. He is currently on an eight session win streak and yes he is more about results than play but he is starting to understand that though you may lose, it is how you played.

When I met up with Minnesota I talked about what we would be learning this day and it would be observing tells and making reads based on betting and body language and though we may be talking in between hands that we would watch the others and learn bits and pieces and discuss. Well we got into a 1-2 NL game after 9:30 pm and had to wait until the button passed us. So I get my first hand in the cut-off seat, multiple limpers to me and I look down at pocket 3's. The big blind raises the under the gun calls, so does another out of position. Hmm, guess I'll call the extra $10. The flop, 5 10 3...YAHTZEE! Big blind bets out...SCREAMS continuation bet, under the gun calls the other folds and I call also. The turn is a 5, BB bets again, UTG min raises, i'm confused but I give UTG a five at least...maybe A5, well I call and BB folds. The river is an A...ARGH! UTG fires at me, now I am going to call no matter what but I go into the tank and am just wondering if I can raise here? The kid has me covered and there is quite a bit of money in the pot already but if I raise will it be for not, this is my first hand and maybe he did limp call with A5 off. I decide that since it was my first hand and I do not have a solid feel for the table, because I did not scout first, that I would just call. UTG tables 45 off suit. I win and did not look back all night, I was never at risk for my initial buy in. Minnesota was up and down and finally got to a point where he was making a lot of money by making great reads and folding when he was supposed to.
Well after about eight hours of play I have doubled my buy in and have been folding like a tight wad. Believe it or not when I would raise they would lay down to me. There were a few times my top two got snapped off or my set got snapped off by the worst hand only because I slowplayed it and they sprinted to the river to get there. So eventually our table breaks and we move to the table right below the upper level right by the stairs, a couple of guys had big stacks and it felt like it was going to be a long one and that we should leave but I had a goal and wanted to get there. So Mike starts to snap off a couple of the guys and he is up big. I go to the bathroom and return to a very short game of six people and get back in time for the big blind. We now have a local dealer who is dating a female friend of mine, Gretchen, and a young guy with a decent stack but I have him covered another lunchbox weasel in the 10 seat and Minnesota in the three seat next to me. Mike folds, Gretchen's boy limps and so does young kid. The sixth person in the small blind calls, I look down at 10-3 off and knuckle the table. The flop comes 10 k 10...eeewwww so NICE! SB checks, I check it is checked around. The turn is a rainbow 6, check, I check, GB bets out, young kid calls, sb folds, I min raise. GB folds and young kid min raises me! WhAT! Crap...do you have K10, nah, but you have a 10. Geez! Maybe you think that I have a king and your king has a better kicker, nah! Ugh...I call, the river.....off suit 3!!!! I look at the kids stack he has a little over $200 left. I quickly push in $160, wanna make it look like I'm strong, yet weak, and I'll get a call, if he shoves all in quickly I may be dead but I'll have to call. The kid thinks about it, he doesn't have K-10 or a full house...YES!!!! After about 20 seconds the kid shrugs his shoulders and pushes all in...I make it look like I need to think about it, respect, and call the additional $60 or more. He tables the 10-8 off and I show my hand. The kid looks like I slapped him across the face and just sits there as the money is shoved towards me. MIRACLE RIVER, that goes my way...that is why I do not freak when it happens to me anymore.

The freaky thing is that I had several pocket aces, pocket kings, queens, jacks and 10's...once. I had AK several times and AJ several times but only made a bit at a time. 10-3 was my biggest gain and only because I got lucky. An hour later I scooped up my earnings along with Mike and we left and talked about our very long session.

Yes, we both won and yes it felt GOOD!!!!

Well thanks for sharing with me and hopefully there will be many more winning sessions and I'll break down more hands in the future from this session or the next.

Stay nice as rice and mello as jello!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Was it a return or a return to the old ways....?

Got back in the game recently and it was GREAT!!! New players and they still play like lunchboxes!!! Well I had to let what I did this past weekend marinate before I laid it out for you and myself.

I came into the game to play ubbertight aggressive. Get a feel for the table, know who to attack, who to leave alone and just hang out and talk to Bill about different hands, life and continue with our table observations while out of the hand, which is key. It was like getting back on a bike, but I was on a roller coaster...I was down most of the time and had to battle back, and I would and be winning somewhat but for the next six hours, it was a struggle.

A key hand for me came at about hour five. I am on the button and a guy I was sitting next to earlier in the game, (he was in seat five-I was in seat six-hate that seat-eventually moved to seat 9), was out of position and opened for $12, for some freaking reason, with only $250 in front of me, I knew that I could outplay him and I had this feeling that he was on AK, nothing else, just AK. He had about $600 in front of him and it was not because of solid play. (side note-this guy showed down some bad hands, which lost but kept playing them and hoping and it worked once with A2 out of position with a flop of 22A versus the most aggressive player at the table, they both got it in on the river. The other fella, loose aggressive at the table, showed down 6-2 for a full house on the turn. So this is how this fella doubled up and eventually won a few more getting his stack to about $600). He's from Hammond and plays with his buds but does not come down to New Orleans often he plays in Shreveport when he gets the chance also. I got this guy, I am going to take this guy down. I called with a weak hand because I told myself to call with anything. The flop is Q45 rainbow, it is just he and I and he bets $20...and sorta looks at me, I think nothing of it, I have that feeling that he is on air and call, telling myself that on the turn if he bets as long as it is not a face card...RAISE! The turn is a 7d, good let me try to represent a diamond draw with top pair. The guy bets like $40 or $50 and I pop it, $75 more. He thinks for a minute and I also realized that he was staring at me like he did when he had that A2 against the other guy. He calls and the river brings the Jd, he checks I push in $100 leaving behind about $50 or $60. He just calls and quickly turns over QJ off. This is not a bad beat story this is me trying to play level three with a level one player and this is me with a smile and a muck. I never recovered. WHY DO I TRY TO PUSH AGAINST THE BETTER HAND! WHY DO I THINK THAT HE WOULD THINK THAT I HAD THE DIAMOND DRAW-GOT THERE AND WANTED HIM TO PAY ME OFF BY VALUE BETTING LEAVING A FEW BUCKS BEHIND TO MAKE IT LOOK LIKE THAT! WHY DO I DO THAT TO MYSELF! ARRRRRGGGGGHHHHH! By the way I figured out that is one of my tells...so at least I learned something about myself. So basically I did not win I lost but I believe I played well for being out as long as I was. The cards did not run over me, I had to fight and scrape everytime and playing poker like that is not very fun. Good thing my bud Bill was there. So yeah, not bad, though I made bad plays, not great...just good and after marinating and not thinking about the results, I played well. I wish the results would have reflected this but it did not. Looking forward to getting back in there, and it will be soon. Hopefully we will make a trip to the Beau and hook up with fellow blogger Reid, hmmm who knows.


Stay nice as rice and mello as jello!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

How to play Pocket Aces...in my opinion.

I want to give away some free advice that may bite me in the ass down the road but none the less it is my opinion so you can take it or leave it. By the way, this advice that I am about to share...AWESOME!!!!

Pocket Aces the best starting hand in Texas Hold'em poker, limit, no-limit, or pot limit. Of course there are people who would rather have something else, so they so, but this is the best hand. Okay, here are some things that you have to look at before you sit down. If you really like to win you will scout the tables out and try to get a feel for the games that are going on if you see a particular game you can specifically ask the floor person to put you on the list for that game, if you are playing 1-2, 2-5, or low to medium limit games just scout them all and get ready, sometimes the wait for that table can be long. Now the scouting has been done and you have an idea of how the table plays. So you sit down, hopefully, after the blinds but lets say you sit down in the under the gun (UTG) position and pick up pocket aces. First thing that happens...deep inside there is a "Spartans!" and you reply to yourself inside that is "WHOWAA!", so you are pumped but how do I play this hand, I just got in the game, what should I do? Okay, if you had scouted you might have an idea of who the maniac is and where he/she is at the table, if you have one raise normally even if they are on your left. Now, lets say that you are put in a game that you have no idea what is going on, again you raise with your aces.

So the game is going on and you have some loose players to your left and are looking for that trap hand, you pick up aces. You have not raised for quite awhile but you want to trap these loose bastards what do you do? Since I happen to be one of those loose bastards, I would either raise as normal, so the L.B. will play with you because he thinks you have aces and looks down at 9-10 off and smiles to himself and knows that if he hits he will turn you upside down and bleed you dry. Geez, did I write all that? Sorry, well you either raise and get a caller or two or you limp and let the L.B.'s get in cheap to smack you around if they do hit. Please just raise with the Aces is my point.

It is very rare that you will slow play your aces...case in point it was a time ago, not sure when '07 or '06, it was about 2am on a Friday morning and I was getting up from a broken 1-2 NL game. You play in the game that you can consistently beat, at that time it was the 1-2 NL. Well I start to leave I have my checks racked up in two racks and I walk by the only 2-5 game and watch j-7 take down a pot with over $1000. I stop and watch as the maniac next to him, a middle aged guy with a lot of energy, terrorize the table. He bluffed more than normal but you could not put him on a hand. He lost that big pot but came out and won three in a row and had over $2000 in front of him. My mouth started to salivate, the seat to the right of him opened up and I jumped in the game...of course I did not put all my glimmer into play, just about $800. Well I start talking to the guy and I am dumping A10, AJ, AQ, small pairs because of the position I was in, this guy was just pushing almost every hand...$30, $40, $50 and sometimes $100 to go! One time, please is what I was thinking. Well as I am talking to him I find out why he is pushing so hard, he is a professional black jack player and he just lost over $20,000 and wants to get some of it back. Last year he lost six figures! How can you be a pro blackjack player with that kind of loss?!? UGHHHH!!! Well about an hour into it I've picked up a few hundred by using position and just waiting, it is tough to have a maniac to your left, you WANT A MANIAC ON YOUR RIGHT SO IF YOU CAN GET A SEAT CHANGE THERE DO IT!
I pick up pocket aces under the gun and limp, he makes it $50 to go and we get two callers..."UHHH I don't think so", I think and I jam in another $350. To the sane most players you go yikes, okay you can have the $150 plus blinds, well this guy is so focused on money and not how I have been playing, he makes a move to get me off my hand, "ALL IN!"
Stanley hits the bottom of the table as the blood rushes in, I got the lunchbox, finally! I have over $800 left and I think and finally call after the other two fold. He flips up AK, actually had a hand this time...Flop comes K2A rainbow turn a 2 river a 3. Slow playing da aces at the right time. I told the gentleman good luck after playing to my button and taking my winnings to the window. Gotta love guys like that.

So there you have it, the morale of the story...Raise with aces!

Stay nice as rice and mello as jello!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Can you randomnize?

The other day I was talking to a good friend of mine that I met in the poker room a few years ago. I did not like him when I first met him but I appreciated his game. There are a few of my friends that I have that this happened also...hmmm so weird! Anyhow, we were talking about his recent tournament cash and how I had not received my 10% yet and how I gave him my off shore account number and it is taking too long and what the hell! Oops sorry about the ramble. We laughed and since I have not been playing, just studying, writing, and teaching about poker I wanted to hear how he smashed it. Basically he was in poker heaven, eight ultra tight players and a loose aggressive who understood when to open. The ultra tights would not defend against a raise and the blinds were stolen by either my buddy or the other guy. He continued to explain that later he would get lucky in certain spots but he picked his fights very well...as I expected. He continued to explain how he finally could read them like some guys we both know very well. We got onto the subjec on how we would be able to read them for the rest of their poker lives...why? Ahh, exactly the reason why I am writing this and if you are reading this, bub, this is based on our conversation that we had as I drove across the causeway.
We have known players for several years that play the same way they have not nor will not change their game up. When you see them shove in certain spots you know what they have, if you see them overbet, you know what they have.
It was a fun talk and it made me wonder why do people over play pocket jacks? Why do they play A10 correctly but over play AJ? Some of the reasons might be because they always lose with that hand or they may have lost a huge pot with that hand and it is stuck in their sub-conscious and it tells them to take the blinds and move on...
In order to win on a consistent basis...you have to open AJ as you would AK, you have to play JJ as you would QQ. In the long run it will pay off. This one is short and sweet but I just had to put this out there...don't let that little mental devil mess you up, you know how to play to get the most do it, if you miss dump it. One last thing...do not get married to your hand! Pocket Aces with a flop of J109 with two others in the hand (this is an easy example but I have seen lunchboxes get busted with their aces and show them because KQsuited called and the aces should have won.) FOLD!

This freaking post was so random!!! BE COOL!!!

Stay nice as rice and mello as jello!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

A look at Level three play...

I picked up a good book to re-read, "Your Worst Poker Enemy" by Allan N. Schoonmaker, out of my library and I was just thinking about this play that occurred a time ago between two people that I know. Charlie, who is currently living in Vegas and deals at Ceasers. Wayne H. a well known high limit grinder, want to talk about a guy who I have never seen get felted, this is the guy. Charlie a time ago was grinding out and playing in a lot of games,5-5 NLH, 5-10 NLH, 10-25 Pot limit Omaha. Wayne H. has been around for a long time, older gentleman who wears a ball cap 95% of the time. He has played just about anywhere in the United states and is usually walking around at a large tournament looking for a good cash game to sit in. Both of these guys know their way around a poker table.

So, I am sitting in a 5-5 NLH game next to Charlie, he is in the two seat, I am in the three seat and Wayne is in the ten seat, right next to the dealer...he likes that seat, go figure. I am under the gun and fold. Two limpers to Wayne, on the button, who pops it to about $20. Now Wayne has not been involved in any hands for about an hour, since he had sat down. Charlie knows Wayne, as would any regular at Harrahs. Small blind folds, Charlie, big blind, contemplates for a few seconds and calls in a theatrical, splash my chips kinda way. One of the original limpers calls also. SIDE NOTE: Could the limper have a strong hand to call a tight player and a hesitating BB flat call? Odds? Hand strength? Just wondering...nothing to do with the rest of this...very random huh?
The flop...babies, 2c5h7d, rainbow at that. Charlie checks, limper checks, Wayne...checks! Turn card is a 10s, Charlie bets 3/4 of the pot, limper folds and Wayne pops it another $100. Charlie goes into the think tank, he's making hand movements and talking to himself and shaking his head and nodding his head and shaking his head and you know what I mean...sorta Gus Hansen like. SIDE NOTE: I have this read on Wayne, I knew at this moment that he was semi-bluffing...also if he did have the best he would not have put in the raise here he calls and makes his play on the river, yet I was sort of right and I was sort of wrong...lets read and you will see.
Charlie, reluctantly, calls! So now I am sitting there going what the hell, A10 Charlie(I was thinking of a lot of hands but will not list them here)? I can see that Charlie is hurting because he does not know where he is with Wayne and he is trying very hard to put him on a range of hands here but can not figure out why he raised other than to get him off his hand, thus the reluctant call...hmmm?
The river is a 3c, Charlie, checks, Wayne counts out his chips, now at this time at Harrahs you could buy in for whatever you wanted, Wayne looks at Charlie's stack of $1200 and casually...CASUALLY tosses in two pink chips...$500 a piece! Charlie starts to pull his hair out! Almost, literally. So we have over $200 in the pot, an F'ed up board and an over sorry super over bet of $1000...WHY are you SQUIRMING Charlie! He literally asks for time stands up and is going through what can beat him and ruling them out...Wayne could have played anything from that position...wait until I tell yah what he played...GOSH!
Somebody, after five long minutes, asks if they can call clock...I step in and say "NO! let him think it out, that's a lot of money." Usually when I say no people tend to listen, wonder why?
Finally Charlie says..."I've seen you make this play with absolutely nothing and they always laid it down to you...I call!"
Wayne sticks his head out and non-chalantly says, "Huh, you call?" Looks back at his cards and looks back at Charlie. Charlie, who is very eager now, flips his cards over...two black Kings!
"I know that, Charlie." Wayne said. "But you let me get there, this time."
Wayne tables the A4spades!
Charlie yells something goes over and shakes Wayne's hand and picks up the rest of his chips, says bye to me and leaves with a red ass.
I talked to Charlie later and asked him why he did not raise back into Wayne on the turn, he said that he wanted Wayne to make that play on the river but it was bigger than he thought and he HOPED it was a bluff.
Egads, and that was an actual hand that happened a while ago but these two were level threeing it the whole time.
Any questions?

Stay nice as rice and mello as jello!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Inspiration or a Death Wish...who knows?

I was inspired today as I listened to my buddy, Jeff, tell me what has been going on in his poker life. First of all three years ago Jeff was a newb, a luchbox, or a donkey, knew about hold'em and saw it on TV and wanted to learn how to play. You see we got together with a few of his friends once a while and played cards. Seven card stud, midnight baseball, follow the queen etc. Quarter ante and bet kinda stuff. Well after one of the sessions Jeff wanted to learn how to play hold'em, his step brother and I agreed to help. We basically treated him like a lunchbox and kept taking his money.

Fast forward to 2008, Jeff has a tight/aggressive game and has worked with his brother to develop it and it has developed.

Well to my original reason for writing, he called me today and we talked about his recent visits to Harrahs that started a couple of weeks ago. He told me he has won 13 of the last 15 sessions between the 2-5 NL game and the 5-10NL game. My thoughts flashed back to the time when we were playing quarter-fifty blinds and taking $100 a session from him so long ago. So now my eagerness to get back on the felt has increased ten fold...I'm freaking foaming at the mouth to get on a table and take my first pot down. He continues to say, the reason why he called is because he took down the biggest pot in his life. I know that Jeff had been playing 2-5 NL and mixing 5-10 NL in during 2007, he must have won several thousand at one time. That is what I say and he says just listen...

He is getting snapped off at the 5-10 game this weekend, he came into the Casino with about $4500, a good part of his bankroll. His first buy in was $1000, in three hands ALL GONE. He rebuys for $1500 an hour later...ALL GONE. He has $2000 in the game and has built it up to $2600, he is called for his seat in the 10-25 NL game.

"What!" I exclaimed.

He chuckled over the phone and continues with his story, he sits down with $2600, in about three hours he is up to $6500.

"You left, right?" I said

He smiled through the phone and continued his story. He is in the small blind and looks down at pocket fours. UTG pops it for $125, three or more call to Jeff who calls. The flop is K 4 6 two clubs. Jeff checks, UTG fires out $300, one caller to Jeff you raises another $1000. UTG calls (UTG has over $15,000 in front of him). Jeff wanted to take the pot down right here but is now very nervous and he felt that the guy knew that he was nervous. The turn is a red 9. Jeff is so nervous that he checks to UTG, who makes a big bet. Jeff contemplates and calls. The river brings a dry 8. Jeff looks at the guy and taps the table again! (My thoughts..."UGH!") The guy makes the hand movements and sorta mumbles "ALL IN." Here is what went through Jeff"s head...

"he has a set of Kings or he has nothing. Yes I see the set of sixes but I can not feel that he has that hand, not a set of 9's or 8's most certain that he does not have a straight. Why did he make the hand gesture and mumble all in when he could have value betted on the river to get me to pay him off if he had my set beat? I'm going to put him on air."

Jeff called and the guy asked him again if he had called and Jeff quickly said yes I call you. The guy folds and Jeff took down about $15,000. SO NICE!!!

Congrats Jeff for having the balls to sit in that game with so little money and being David and taking down a Goliath! Stay strong and thanks for the inspiration! Hell this could have been a death wish if it had done the wrong way...who knows?

Until next time stay nice as rice and mello as jello!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Cub takes down a championship!

If you do not know about Cub, watch out, one of the nicest most friendly but deadly players at the table. I first met Cub in Tunica, Ms, and he showed me how nice he was. He had a very good read on me and when I made a move that looked as though I had the best hand he came over the top and shut it down. He even showed bottom pair to me, stating that he just needed a little protection. He is uncanny in his reading ability, subtle at the table but can talk the talk when it needs to be done. This dude can change gears at any time. He will push when it is right and he will sit back when it is right...they say that to be great you gotta have the timing right...Cub has been grinding for some time now and has found his mark, look for him to do big things throughout the rest of the year and years to come.

Good luck to my fellow bloggers during tourney time wish I could be with y'all.

Stay nice as rice and mello as jello!!!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Best Damn...Ultimate Bet poker Challenge with Annie Duke and Phil Hellmuth

Anybody catch this show? I did and I liked it. I want to talk about three different things that the pros talked about but did not go into great detail about...I will try to.

The first example was the first elimination. I am going off of memory so bear with me. The format is six players at the televised table and at anytime the pros, Annie and Phil, will come out and eliminate a player. Around the televised table are four or five other tables playing but also waiting for their chance to not become eliminated. It seemed like the pros wanted people to play good poker not bad poker. If you played bad and were still a winner, still not good. This leads me into my first example.

Older gentleman, Rich, I believe, is in the small or big blind...early middle raises, hi jack seat calls and Rich looks down at 3 5 diamonds. Now Rich is the table chip leader he has hit two flops earlier with Q 10 suited and Q 10 off. According to some of the players and the pros his calls with those two hands were bad.
Okay, so Rich looks down and has 3 5 Diamonds and he calls the raise. What is the problem here? Okay, he is first to act into a solid raise, and a solid caller. The call with a weak hand by an amateur is wrong, there is no read of weakness by either player and the only thing you can do here is flop the nuts. My only thought is that Rich is a lunchbox and saw two suited small cards, figured that those two called with big ACES and if he his his hand they would have no idea.

The flop is, 2 4 6, with a diamond deep left draw (card card for a flush). What does Rich do? HE BETS into the raiser! Even if his thought process was what I talked about above, you DO NOT BET THE NUTS INTO THE PRE-FLOP RAISER, you let him bet which, with that flop will possibly be a continuation bet and the solid pre flop caller may also call so more money to take down.
Well he bets, like I said, and they both fold their hands. Annie and Phil run out immediately, explain what he did with that hand and the other two hands and elimanate the chip leader. They did a good job explaining what it was but lunchboxes just do not comprehend. He walked out but was upset because he was the chip leader! Thank you Phil and Annie for trying to explain to a lunchbox that though you have the chips now, the way you play they will be gone later.

My second example was Annie's boyfriend raises with AA he gets two calls, late middle who had KQ, I think and cut-off with 10 10. Now I like the play by smooth calling, no need to squeeze here at all. The flop is 10 high! Aces bet a nice bet, about 1/4 the pot, KQ folds, pocket tens calls. UGH!!!! WHY? Do you agree with the call? I do not, as Phill and Annie did not also. Why? Okay, what does the raiser have if you smooth call, you do not really know! 10 high, he could be making a continuation bet to try and take the pot there and now with your call, he gives up if you bet the turn, but if you do not bet the turn and he hits a miracle you are S.O.L.! If he does have the over pair and you just call he now has the chance to catch up without grief. If your plan is to push on the turn why not here on the flop? Find out where you are, if he does have the overpair your plan on the turn just happened a little earlier. If he does not have that over pair he will check you may bet and he folds. Put 'em to the test early because if it is an overpair they will call 8 out of 10 times.
Well they got it in and aces got cracked. He was not eliminated because it is hard to get away from that hand, plus the format is good play, boo to bad play. The pocket tens was not a bad play but I believe pros would have played it much better.

My final example was the quickest elimination. Under the gun raises, early middle re-raises. The button, a lovely lady, looks down at AK suited and folds. On the button with AK suited and folds! YES i repeated that statement. AK suited, though it is overated this is a great hand six handed, is either minimum call maximum push all in. What are you scared of? The UTG pushing after the re-raise and call? Gotta be aggressive with that hand especially on the button!

Well Annie and Phil run out and eliminate her for that bad play. Her arguement was that there was a raise and re-raise and she felt that her hand was losing. Okay, maybe but you HAVE THE BUTTON!!! See what happens and re-evaluate after the flop.

Can't wait until the next episode...Phil and Annie get after each other and Annie walks away pissed...there were a whole lot of bleeps too.

Until next time...stay nice as rice and mello as jello!!!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Table Stereotypes

So yeah, when I step to a table what does everyone see? Yep, BBM...big black man. Some are instantly intimidated, some want my money in their pocket right now, some want to outplay me because of that bully in highschool who I remind them of.

Hell we all look at the different people who come to the table and instantly put them into different categories.

African Americans or as I call 'em Black folk: They gamble their asses off, this comes from the idea that we like to play craps ANYWHERE! Is it a fair stereo type?

Asians...OH WEEE they play fast as hell! Do they? Again, it has been said that they are gamblers who will push it in fast and furious, they are deemed high end gamblers who want to get it fast or lose it fast. Fair?

Caucasians-Old guys...tight! Young guys...wild and loose. Fair?

Women-CAN'T PLAY A LICK!!! Fair?

I am not going to get into what I have been through but a lot of the factors I talked about are true, they are true about everyone that sits at that table. For some time I put people into categories by the way they even dressed. Now I have gotten away from that and use other methods to find the good ones and the luchboxes.

This is what you can do to get yourself away from the stereotypes which can cause you to lose money in the long run.

Check out how they stack their chips. One thing I do hate is the "Bitch Stack" what is that, when players start stacking their red chips in $50 increments and white chips in $10 dollar columns...ERRRR it eats me up! They are taking up room and it just looks silly. The reason they do this though is because they play at home games where the table probably moves a great deal so a smaller stack is a safer stack. Also, they probably do not know how to cut their chips so,"let me put them down like this...it's easier!" UGH! Yet, if they have their stacks nice and neat, they are not going to want to get out there and gamble too much, if the stacks are haphazard get ready to rumble.
How do they handle their chips, do they know tricks, do they mess with their chips at all? Players who know tricks have spent a lot of time at a table, does that mean they know what they are doing? Not always but if they know tricks they might be a little more patient. So look out for that.
When they bet, is it fast and furious or do they take their time. Sometimes a pro can mix up his game and bet fast too look fast, over time while sitting with him/her you will figure this out. If they take their time is it because they are drunk or are they thinking about what you have and how much they can extract from you? Be careful of the thinker.
Table talk, if they are constantly talking about the WPT and or the WSOP on ESPN...lunchbox! Get ready to get paid. If they are talking about outs, and possible this and or that...be very very careful with him/her. Also, just because they talk a lot of shit, like "Call me, you know you want to!" Most of the time, they are bluffing!
General table etiquette, playing in turn, not talking while out of the hand. If a player is doing this watch out for him/her. If the player does the opposite, he has gotten lucky many times and that is why he/she is at the table. Get ready to get paid.

So next time, look at how they play and not who they are, it just might help in the long run!

Stay nice as rice and mello as jello!