Archive for May, 2010

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Full Tilt Rush Poker

May 14, 2010

I recently received a comment on my blog asking what happened to me and why I haven’t been posting, specifically about poker, which has dominated my blog topics over the past few months:

1) I dropped out of college in my last quarter at The University Of Washington in 2005 and finally got around to taking my last two classes this quarter at Olympic College. I cut down my hours at work, banned myself from playing poker on Poker Stars, and obviously haven’t spent any time on my blog. I just want to focus on school for a few months to avoid making the same mistakes I’ve made in the past. I will finally get my UW degree in June 2010.

2) In addition to my self-banning from online poker, my favorite local card room recently closed down. I’ve taken some heat for calling Bremerton Lanes my favorite card room because I have made friends with dealers at both Chips Casino and All-Star Lanes. The thing is, I don’t care much for the live games anywhere. Between the rake and the low limits, it’s just too hard to grind out a consistent profit. I think the games are beatable, but the edge is pretty small and not really worth the time it takes to make money, plus I don’t really have a bankroll at the moment and any significant losses are always damaging to my bill-paying abilities! With that said, the reason I really enjoyed playing at Bremerton Lanes was solely because of their great tournament structure. Unfortunately, those kind of structures aren’t beneficial to a small card room. They take too long to complete, which lowers the amount of time rake is being dragged from the live game and increases the amount of time the casino has to pay extra dealers. That simple formula has led to the demise of the Bremerton Lanes card room, which hosted tournaments that I often blogged about. All of the other casinos employ a speed-style tournament structure, which I find to be a waste of my time and money most of the time. There is skill involved in these tournaments, but the luck factor is increased exponentially.

I may have banned myself from playing on Poker Stars, but I recently put money onto Full Tilt Poker and discovered that they have developed a completely new style of playing the game called Rush Poker. It’s really an innovative and ground-breaking concept and Howard Lederer is right to say “it will revolutionize the way poker is played.” Here’s the concept: Instead of having set tables with players fixed at a particular seat, Rush Poker starts you at one table and then moves you to another one as soon as you fold your hand or complete your action at the current table. The concept works for both tournaments and cash games. For example, in a cash game, a set limit has one game that you can enter and you can have a player pool of, say, 90 players. As soon as you fold your hand or complete your action, you’re just moved to another table ready to start the next hand. Position is no longer fixed and the big blind is determined by the player at a table who has gone the most hands without having to post a big blind.

Here are some of the pluses I’ve noticed in my short time playing Rush Poker:

-you can still have multiple entries into the same game for those used to multi-tabling
-you see way more hands per hour
-the action is super face-paced, so players with patience issues will probably find themselves with better hand selection
-if you take advantage of rakeback, you will see a significant increase in how much you get back because you receive money back for every pot you were dealt a hand in that gets raked, even if you are long gone from the table

The only cons I’ve noticed so far is that your familiarity with players will decrease. This doesn’t matter much in a fixed limit structure, but can be critical in a no limit cash game or the late stages of a big tournament.

(note: after writing this, I thought of another con. It seems like Rush Poker is limited on what stakes it offers. The highest limit game I see offered is $0.50-$1. I’m hoping this an oversight on my part, but I just don’t think I’m that stupid. Hopefully, this will be fixed in the near future.)

Since my hours are down at work, I don’t really have a lot of money to gamble with at the moment, but I took a mere $18 and turned it into $114 within a few hours of multi-tabling $0.25-$0.50 and $0.50-$1 fixed limit Rush Poker. During the day, the limit games are pretty full, but when I came home after work and wanted to play, they were completely dead. So I tried my first hand at no limit Rush Poker (which was still booming, even at that late hour) and wasn’t nearly as successful. In fact, I got crushed. As I said in the previous paragraph, having an idea of how the people at your table play is critical in a no limit format and playing Rush Poker hopping from one table to another, you really don’t get a feel for what the people around you are capable of and mostly have to play your hands for value, which is not how I prefer to play no limit poker. I had such a bad night that I nearly squandered all my winnings from earlier in the day, but fortunately, I managed a 7th place finish in a $3.30 rebuy Rush Poker tournament and ended the night right about where I started.

Anyways, I’m sort of in love with the concept of Rush Poker and I’m hoping it brings even more players back to the online game. Between the Rush format and rakeback, I’m excited about what’s going to happen to my bankroll over the summer.

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