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Daniel - Poker Journal

Poker Boot Camp Online and the FOX Cash Game Show

27 Mar 2010

So I'm in London, back at my favorite hotel with the Vegan room service menu. The view isn't quite as nice as the one in Austria, but I'm not too concerned with any of that. All I've been doing is sleeping and playing online.

My view from Austria:



My view from London:



The hotel I'm at is a nice one, and crazy expensive as all London rooms are, but yeah, the view? Well, not so much :-)

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PokerStars.net The Big Game

We've been working on this concept for quite some time now and I will bet big money you guys are going to freaking love this show! Absolutely love it. It's clear that die hard poker players are a bit bored with watching crap shoot hands on TV and are more interested in seeing deep stack play. People new to poker absolutely loved the Million Dollar Challenge, it was fast, exciting, and gave everyday people a shot at really big money.
Well now we are bringing you something a little different. Here are some of the details:

Buy in: $100,000 minimum $500,000 maximum
Blinds: $200-$400 with a $100 ante (the button will ante for the table)
Format: 6 handed (occasionally that may change) pot limit betting before the flop, no limit hold'em after the flop.

So why pot limit before the flop? Well, there is a very good reason for that which I'll get to in just a second when I tell you about the other sick twist to our show. With the antes in place, a raiser can still come in for 5x ($2000) so the fact that it's pot limit before the flop really won't affect the game much at all. If you've watched cash game poker, you rarely see raises or re-raises that exceed the pot.

The Twist: One of the six players at the table will be an online qualifier, "The Loose Cannon," who'll get a chance to sit in the game with $100,000... and it's a freeroll! Well, not entirely. The Loose Cannon must play the full session, and he can keep anything that he wins. If he loses, say $500 or $50,000, he gets nada.
Can you imagine what that will do to the game if in the late stages the Loose Cannon has, say, $60,000 in front of him? He has no incentive to keep it, so he's going to start shipping it in! That's going to create a crazy dynamic where the other pros at the table will all be licking their lips trying to get at that free money.
As you can now understand, THIS is the reason it's going to be played pot limit before the flop. That way, the Loose Cannon can only make a pot sized raise pre-flop, which allows the pros to see some flops with him. Otherwise, he would just be going all in every hand and that would be silly.

There is a lot more to tell you about in terms of twists, but I can't go into too much detail until it's all approved and finalized. Let's just say that aside from being on the show as a Loose Cannon, you high limit online grinders might also get your chance to get some exposure on FOX. Those details will come soon enough.

Interest in the show has once again been overwhelming, and we are going to have some sick lineups that you are going to love. Over the years I've come across a lot of interesting poker players that the public hasn't really had an opportunity to see, but they are engaging, and sometimes hilarious. You'll see some new faces, as well as a lot of the familiar faces you've grown accustomed to.

More on the show as more details are released...

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I've played over 60 hours online at PokerStars.com this month the most I've ever put in in a month, and the month isn't quite over yet. I've been playing almost exclusively in the $100-$200 no limit hold'em 6max games against some of the top online poker players in the world. It's been really tough making the adjustment, but I'm very pleased with my progress and my learning curve as I mentioned in my last blog.
I started off on fire, winning $200,000, but since then I've been on a losing streak and lost back about $180,000 of it. I'm still barely ahead, but these swings are pretty typical at these limits I guess. The interesting thing is that I think I've learned a lot more during the downswing than I did while I was running good and winning.
There are specific things about playing a 100 BB stack that I just flat out didn't know. I'm learning as I go, and talking to some online players that I respect about plugging some of my leaks. It's as simple as spotting the leaks and then plugging them. It doesn't require a major overhaul at all.
Playing 100 BB's deep is a little frustrating because you are still a bit handcuffed in terms of your options pre-flop. The deeper the stacks, the more creativity is rewarded and that suits me better.

I haven't unpacked my bag here in London, and I haven't left the room. The room service lady is the only contact with a human I've had outside of BBMing with my friend. Sprint is weird, as I can't text, but I can use BBM and she is the only person I really use that for.

So I've woken up at about 3:30am local time and I plan on getting some exercise today at the gym. Other than that, it will be another day of grinding/learning from some of the best.

People always have an opinion, and may believe I'm going about this the wrong way and should instead be multi-tabling the $5-$10 games. While they are entitled to their opinion, I couldn't disagree more. If you can afford to play against the best players on the site, then you can learn the fundamentals from them. I want to play against the best and while there are certainly great lower limit players online, I'm not interested in beating those games. My goal is to compete at the higher levels. I don't think playing smaller would hurt, but I just don't think it's necessary at all since the stakes I'm currently playing at are very comfortable for me.

I'm in London for a week, but have absolutely nothing to do until Tuesday. I'm here to work on some commercials and that's about it. That, and grinding in this game.

I'm really looking forward to playing on our cash game show. The one time I played cash on TV outside of HSP I won. HSP historically has been a disaster for me, but I've been working really hard on my fundamentals and stuff and am excited to see how I do in the future. I think I've already gotten a lot better after just this week...




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