Daniel - Poker Journal
Poker and Props, Gotta Love it!17 Nov 2005
I just love it. I used to watch these guys play props and think to myself, "These guys are nuts, how can they concentrate on the poker?"
Well, now I know. When you are playing props it forces you to pay attention to the action so that you don't miss anything. That helps you subconsciously as your brain collects more data than it would if you were not paying full attention.
Plus, it's sooo much fun. For a group of guys that love to gamble, but don't want to pay the house edge, props gives them the chance to gamble while not giving up an edge- unless of course they sleep their props.
Adding props to the mix also has an effect on people's emotional state. You could be up $20,000 in the poker game, but "steaming" because you are down $150,000 in props!
So anyway, last night I show up at Bobby's room at about 10:00pm. Within about 15 minutes after I'd started, somebody showed up that I was supposed to meet with during the day. I took some time away from the table and when I got back grabbed a pen and a piece of paper to start the props action.
The game was $2000-$4000 H.O.S.E., 2-7 Triple Draw, and High Low Regular. Seated were:
Eli Elezra, Barry Greenstein, Gus Hansen, and Phil Ivey. Later, more players showed and the game filled up as Chau Giang, Jennifer Harman, Johnny Chan, and then later Ralph Perry showed up.
Ming Ly "dropped in," but he is a poker superstar businessman now so he doesn't play poker much.
I started out hitting "my jack" on the very first hand dealt. In stud, the Jack of spades (my jack) was my up card which pays $10,000 a man. We were playing props 3 handed so I was up $20,000 right off the bat.
It got worse from there, though, as after about 2 hours I was stuck $180,000 in props, and another $140,000 in the poker game.
Frankly, I don't remember any interesting hands from the evening as my mind was so focused on the props and the poker. I didn't make any mental notes thinking, "This would be good for the blog."
Well, as the night wore on, Phil Ivey quit as he was headed to Monte Carlo which left Chau, Ralph, Barry, and Gus playing short handed most of the night.
Historically, I have always done much, much better playing in short handed games. Not that I've been unsuccessful in ring games, but I prefer the fast paced action that short handed poker provides.
It sparked my rush in poker, but not so much in props. At my peak, I was stuck $227,000 playing props. Luckily for me, I was playing some pretty good poker and was winning about $260,000 in the poker game!
At this point I was only playing props heads up, when I hit my dream flop: 5-5-5. That flop pays me out huge since I have a 5 in 5 out of my 7 props:
4-5-6 (big boy)
When you flop trips, that pays double also, so this prop was worth:
4 x $7000= $28,000
1 x $10,000= $10,000
x 2 for trips= $76,000
Now, if I was on for triples and hit this prop playing four handed, it would pay me a cool $684,000!
Unfortunately in this case, I was only on for singles and my opponent was on for doubles and had a 5 in one of his props. He owed me $76,000 but I had to pay him back $28,000. Still, a $48,000 profit.
Then, to my surprise I hit my second biggest prop when I was on for doubles. The flop came 7-7-7 and I have three 7's in my props, so that one paid:
3 x $7000= $21,000
x 2 for trips= $42,000
x 2 for doubles= $84,000
He was on for singles and has a 7 in his big boy and another 7, so this prop netted me $50,000.
Y'all confused yet? Lol. Once you get the hang of it, it all starts to make perfect sense.
It was nearing the morning and I was in a race trying to win more in the poker game than I was losing in props! Finally, at about 8:00am after a 10 hour session I couldn't keep my eyes open any longer. I ended up winning $207,500 in the poker game. As for props, I lost $136,000 there, so I netted $71,500 on the evening.
It is kind of strange that after a 10 hour session the only interesting hands I can remember are the props flops! Oh well, next time I promise to post a hand or two in the blog.