Monthly Archives: September 2009

Sponsors Not Over the Moon with Darvin

I’m sorry; I couldn’t resist the title of this post. But I love the fact that the chip leader going into this year’s WSOP final, Darvin Moon, has so far spurned any sponsorship deals from the major online poker rooms, such as Poker Stars and Full Tilt. Apart from Phil Ivey, who of course is already sponsored by Full Tilt, the other players have all been snapped up – and will be showing off their well placed logos in November’s final. I mean, who wouldn’t wear a logo for a reported $100k? Darvin Moon – that’s who!

Poker Stars have benefited enormously from the WSOP, ever since Moneymaker’s 2003 win. On the back of that they had Raymer and Hachem taking it down in 2004 and 2005 with their Poker Stars apparel on full display. They know the value to be had from getting their brand associated with the winner of the WSOP Main Event. These days it doesn’t even matter if the player qualified via their site, they just want to sign them up – and will pay big bucks for it.

It seems that Darvin Moon is just an ordinary kind of guy, and very likeable. He knows that he’s guaranteed a huge wedge anyway and just doesn’t want to be tied down or associated with anything.

What I also really like about Darvin Moon is how honest he’s been about why he has reached the final table as the chip leader. Most poker players complain about being card dead or plain unlucky when they get busted out, yet when they win they put it down to superior skill. Darvin Moon just said it like it is; he got extremely lucky, and was dealt unbelievable hands when his opponents were holding very good hands. His words, not mine.

I’m hoping that Phil Ivey wins the WSOP Main Event in November, but my second choice will be for Darvin Moon.

Pot Limit Cash Games

Recently I’ve been playing more pot limit cash games in place of no limit hold’em. On many online poker sites there just isn’t the choice of playing pot limit hold’em, so it’s really just limited to the two big sites; Full Tilt and Poker Stars. My preferred choice at the moment is Full Tilt, simply because it’s the best site for cash games due to offering rakeback.

The reason I like pot limit games rather than no limit is quite simple. I find it more skilful and there’s less players who are willing to make huge pre-flop bets – which I like to avoid. Usually players who make pre-flop bets that are 20x the big blind, usually fall into one single category; maniacs. Don’t get me wrong it’s good to play these donkeys, but I prefer to commit chips post-flop, rather than pre-flop. Calling huge bets pre-flop without premium hands is far too risky. I can’t tell you the amount of times I’ve had QQ and faced someone holding AA or KK, who made massive oversized bets pre-flop. This just doesn’t happen in pot limit.

Now you might be thinking the players must be better at pot limit. But this isn’t what I’ve discovered at Full Tilt. There are a lot of players “playing scared” so it’s easy to win. I am finding a better win rate at pot limit than I have been with no limit.

If you’re used to playing no limit hold’em then you’ll have to learn to adjust to pot limit play. Obviously you are constrained and can only bet the size of the pot. Slow playing monster hands down to the river is a poor strategy. Because once you get to the river pot may be so small that it barely becomes worth winning. But as with any successful cash game strategy – you should be building big pots for the big hands, and keeping pots small for the not so big hands. So pot limit hold’em suits players who like to play the correct cash game strategy.