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November 23, 2005

Las Vegas Hilton

One way to deal with the unenviable consequence of finding your hand dominated by a Partypoker opponent who also has the advantage of acting last is to avoid getting into this kettle of fish in the first place. You can avoid that boiling cauldron by severely restricting the hands you play from early position. While face cards are pretty, they're not equally desirable, and a hand like Q-J in early position - or even in middle position in an aggressive game - flings the door to domination wide open.

Sure, there'll be times when the maniac really has a big Partypoker hand, but there'll be many more times when you'll find that he raised just because his desire to intimidate his opponents superceded any other considerations about playing strategically sound poker. That's when you'll capture the pot. If you hold a hand like A-K or A-Q, you can also reraise and try to get heads up against the maniac.

This might even slow down the maniac a bit, since he should eventually learn that a check on your part doesn't always imply weakness. There are, however, many maniacs who just ignore these subtler features of the game. They prefer a bludgeon to a foil. When you're playing against a maniac of this magnitude, forget all about subtlety. It won't work.

Imperial Palace Pokerparty

With gaming opportunities mushrooming as casinos open closer to home, you might find yourself living a lot closer to a casino than the old five-hour plane ride. If you live near a casino, setting a gaming budget and sticking with it is even more important than it is when you have to travel a relatively long way before you can belly up to the tables.After all, losing a few hundred dollars always feels a little bit better once a free trip to the buffet or coffee shop is thrown in. And it feels a lot better for your food and wait in a long Pokerparty line too.

Suppose you're wagering thirty dollars each time the roulette wheel is spun. You know the house edge is 5.26 percent, and you estimate that the wheel spins 20 times per hour. The cost per hour of that game is easily figured. Multiply 5.26 percent by thirty dollars by 20 spins per hour. After all, at 20 spins per hour, you are betting $600 per hour.

Now that you know this, what can you do about that blasted roller coaster ride? One thought has been rattling around in our heads is team play. Team Partypoker is found in a number of gambling venues, most commonly blackjack where teams usually made up of five or so players, all of whom are expert card counters, combine their bankrolls and share in the spoils.

But if you quit as a winner today and lose tomorrow, are you any worse off than if you simply played on and lost what you had won earlier? Of course not; you simply pocketed those winnings for a few more hours. Downsiders advise setting stop-loss limits. "Once you've lost $500 at one session" -- it doesn't have to be precisely $500, you can plug any amount into the equation -- "it's time to quit.

The player who posted the one-dollar blind bet has an option to fold, call, or raise, and the Partypoker player who posted the two-dollar blind even has an opportunity to raise his own blind bet if he so desires. In most casino games, a bet and either three or four raises per betting round are permitted. Once the first round of betting is complete, three community cards, called "the flop" to be used by all players in conjunction with their private cards are dealt face-up in the center of the table.

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