you CAN make money gambling

I’ve been up all night and I should be asleep, but at the moment I’m too buzzed on adrenaline. I just wrapped up an online poker tournament and I finished in the money. Second place to be exact.

I got myself into trouble on the very first hand. I had A-J suited and an A came on the flop. I bet it pretty aggressively and one opponent kept calling. Turns out he had pocket As so I paid him half my chips. Could’ve been worse. I just feel fortunate a J didn’t come on the board because I very possibly would have gone all in and busted out right then.

I got really lucky when we were down to three players. I went all in with a pair of 8s and a guy called me with A-K. A-K-x came on the flop so I figured I was screwed. Turn was no help but I got my third 8 on the river to take him out. Scared the crap out of my cats screaming YES! at the top of my lungs.

I might very well have won, but I was playing an A-9 and my brain just seems to shut down with that hand. I never play it right, suited, unsuited, in position, out of position, and if I fold it invariably I would have won with it. Anyway, I was heads-up with it. He raised and I called pre-flop. Flop and turn were both check/check. An ace had come on the flop so I had top pair with a 9 kicker. Nothing else on the board above a J, no straight draws, no flush draws. An 8 came on the river, I checked and the guy went all in. Based on his previous play I thought he was trying to buy it with a mid-level pair so I called him. He flips up J-8 for two pair. We ended up about even in chips after that pot and I hit a cold streak of cards and ended up outstacked by about 50 to 1. I still managed to battle back to almost even, then he busted me out on a hand I can’t even remember.

This was a $5+1 no-limit Texas hold 'em tournament on, so my buy-in was $6 and I won $71.50 for my trouble. Not a bad little profit on that investment. I know to some of the high rollers who stop by the boards every so often that’s a ridiculously low payday, but this was only the second cash tournament I’ve played so (other than that damn A-9) I’m very proud of how I played it.

And if any of those self-same high rollers have some tips on playing A-9 feel free to post them.

There is so much wrong with your A-9 hand. You basically made a mistake on every street.

Pre-flop: If you’re heads-up A-9 is a big raising hand. If he was raising with J-8 then he has a better notion than you about playing heads up. Be aggressive heads-up.

You should have bet the flop. Here you can find out where out where you are. Din’t give him a chance to suck out. If you only thought he would raise pre-flop with an ace, then a check is arguable. But you still should think you have him out-kicked. It’s heads up. You have top pair and a kicker in the upper half of the spectrum.

On the turn, after he checked the flop, put the test to him. Pressure. Agression.

On the river. Well. . .you’re just inconsistent here. On the flop and turn you played like you were scared of an ace. On the river you told yourself, “he doesn’t have an ace.” Is this really a guy who will bluff his whole stack.

In short, you got NO money in the pot when you were ahead. You got a ton of money in the pot when you were behind.

Congrats on the win, but don’t go moving up any time soon. The results you posted the other day indicate a lot of errors too. this isn’t a good forum for hand analysis. go to or if you’re really looking for hand discussion.

Also, 5+$1 is a HUGE rake. That’s 20% (or more like 17%). You need to out-perform any reasonable expectation to overcome that rake in the long run. It almost can’t be beat.

Gee, thanks a lot, Captain Bringdown!

No seriously, thanks for the advice. I don’t know why A-9 always gives me fits. I just get burned on it a lot, to the point where my first response upon seeing it is to throw it away (an impulse I generally resist depending on the situation but still a wrong reaction).

Maybe I’m misunderstanding your use of the term “rake.” I thought it refered specifically to the money the house pulled off the pot on a per-hand basis? There is no per-hand rake for these tournaments. The $1 is a one-time fee that goes to the house (so the rake I guess) The prize pool comes from the remaining $5 and the payouts vary by the number of players, but the entire prize pool is paid out. Here are the results from my game this morning. 71 players at $5 is $355 and the payouts add up to $355.

I will admit I had the big vision of giving up on gainful employment and living on poker winnings but that was the adrenaline and lack of sleep talking. I know I’m not anywhere near good enough to contemplate that as anything other than the pipiest of pipe dreams. I definitely have no plans to move to higher buy-in tournaments.

Be sure to call when you come to Vegas for the World Poker Tournament! That little $10,000 buy-in will pay off in spades…but aren’t there some of those on-line games where you can actually win a buy-in?

Seriously…since those games have been shown on television, I cannot begin to tell you how many long lost friends suddenly are showing up here to visit. Some of them have done pretty well here (not in the big games, but in the smaller table games at the local casinos).

I was in Melbourne recently and evryone told me that I should visit the casino. So I did. I haven’t been to one before, so I thought I’d have a go in one of the 5 cent slot machines. I put in $1 coin pressed a few flashing button (dunno what I’m doing as I haven’t used one before) I ended up with AUS$1378!! I collected my money and walked out the casino. I haven’t been back either.

Crown Casino? Isn’t it revolting. So glitzy.


Use the winnings to buy Turbo Texas Hold’ Em.

It is a phenomenal learning tool.

It is rather

A-9 is a tough hand to play. At a full table, it’s easily “dominated”. That is, if people are playing somewhat correctly, you’re likely to be up against AK, AQ, AJ, or AT.

What you’re really hoping for is to pair the 9 and hope that no car higher than a 9 falls. But, first of all, that’s very unlikely. Second of all, if that does happen, then there are tons of straights possible (5 cards, 9 or lower), and so you might not be able to “value bet it” even if it is best.

I’m a little out of practice, but I’d raise with it, particularly suited, if I’m the first one in in the last two positions. If there’s a raise before me, its in the muck. If I’m in early position, its in the muck.

BUT, heads-up, it’s a powerhouse. Any ace is a good hand heads-up and you should be coming in for a raise. If you’re worried “but he’ll know I have an ace if I raise,” then you’re not raising enough with your non-ace hands. All you’re looking for is something in the top half of hands, and ANY ace fills the bill.

Often times, the ace will win just because noone made a pair, but you need to charge your opponent. You’re likely ahead pre-flop, flop, turn and river with any ace. Make him pay.

OK – second topic.

$5 + $1. call the $1 a tournament fee or a rake or whatever. It’s what the house is charging you to play.

Here’s the deal: let’s say 10 of you are playing each other over and over. It costs you all $6 to enter, and $50 goes to the winner. Nothing to second.

Let’s say that you play 60 times, and you are so good that you win the tournament 7 times. That means you’re about 11% better than average. Believe me, it doesn’t sound like much, but that’s not easy to do.

Well, you just paid $360 in entry fees and won $350. You lost $10, and you’re way better than the rest of the table. There’s ENOUGH luck in poker that almost no one is 11% better than the average. That is – IN THE LONG RUN – you all will lose money playing this game.

Let’s make the rake a little more reasonable. Say you all pay $11 and they take $1. After 60 games, you’ve won 7. You’ve paid $660 but won $700. A $40 gain, a nice little 6% “return on investment”. Now, you only need to be about 8% better than the table on average. This is still difficult to overcome. But it should demonstrate what a big effect the rake can have.

(this all still makes sense with a large number of players or if they pay second – that just means the winner gets less).

A9 is probably my favorite limping hand.

Heh, I like glitzy. I spent a week in Melbourne and probably 25% of that week was spent in the Crown. Made decent profits too. :smiley:

I’d have to win a lot more and buy a PC first. I’m on a Mac.

Trunk I guess I get what you’re saying about losing money but I’m not looking at this as a source of revenue. I’m not gambling with money that I’m not prepared to lose. This is entertainment for me and the way I’m looking at it is I’ve paid $12 in entry fees and received $72 back so I can play 10 more tournaments on someone else’s dime. I’ll play to win of course but I’m not going to be on the streets if I lose.