They say (whoever they are!) that variety is the spice of life and the same can be said of poker.

When a major online tournament series is just around the corner (such as Pokerstar's SCOOP) and you look at the schedule of tournaments, you realise there is more to poker life than straight forward, full ring, No Limit Texas Hold'em.

You find that there are several different formats for Hold'em, such as 6-max, Heads Up, Shootouts and Knockout tournaments to name a few. But also there are a large variety of other forms of Poker around as well as the SCOOP reflects these different tastes in a variety of ways.

As well as you No Limit Hold'em there's Limit, Pot Limit and Mixed varieties.

Then there's Ohama. With Pot Limit, 6-max and Hi Low Split to name a few.

And then there are other varieties as well; such as Badugi, 7 Card Stud and 5 Card Draw.

For those not familiar with these other varieties of poker, Pokerstars have put up some videos both on and YouTube to give you a taste of what these are like.

For those who are interested in Badugi, Pokerstars have posted a video on YouTube "How to Play Badugi" and there is highlights of the WCOOP 2009: Event 15 - $320 FL Badugi here on

For those who are interested in 7 Card Stud, highlights of the WCOOP 2009: Event 13 - $320 7-Card Stud can be seen here and highlights of the WCOOP 2009: Event 32 - $530 7-Card Stud Hi/Lo can been seen here.

Also for those not familiar with Mixed games events here is a video on "How to Play 8 Game Mix" and highlights of the WCOOP 2009: Event 42 - $2,100 8-Game can be seen here.

Personally, I'm quite taken with 5 Card Draw, so will be playing Event 06-L; $11 Pot Limit 5 Card Draw. Pokerstars ran a Pot Limit 5 Card Draw event at last year's WCOOP and made a highlights show of the final table that you can find here.

So lots of ideas if there is anyone looking for a change from No Limit Hold'em.

With the upcoming Pokerstar's SCOOP Online Poker Tournament, as the S of SCOOP is for Spring, it set me to wondering if you could argue that Online Poker was environmentally friendly.

On the one hand you have thousands of people sitting in their own homes playing poker. This means they are not going out in their cars to travel, at times, long distances, to live venues such as casinos, so this cuts down on the potential for pollution for car journeys.

On the other hand you have large server farms running all the online poker systems (such as Pokerstars) which can require a large amount of power and electricity to function. As to the environmental impact of this, it is obviously not so easy to gauge as it is dependant on the companies that provide these server facilities and if they get their power from power companies that in turn use environmentally friendly power generation.

With the slow, but inevitable move towards power companies using more environmentally friendly power generation, you could argue that any negative impact of this will reduce over time, so, personally speaking, I would say, yes, online poker is environmentally friendly, or at least heading that way. 

Sometimes poker really, really sucks. You get times (in my case quite often) when you just can't get anything going. You become card dead or get sucked on constantly, or end up running into bad spots time and time again.


There are times when playing poker is great and you come across the occasional hand that you can talk about again and again and again.

Last night I had one of those hands.

In the grand scheme of things, the significance of the hand will hardly be life changing, the last hand of a $1 SitNGo, with a first prize of a princely $5, but oh how that prize was won!

If I had to give this hand a title it would be '4 into 1 does go, sometimes!'.

How to beat 3 players in one go! Here it is:

iPoker Game 2869301170 / Tournament
Table Toronto - 2010-03-03 01:39:31
Blinds : 200/400

4 players
[SB] SaDJesteRRR (2190)
[BB] RickyPluto (1485)
[1] pinheiropkr (2985)
[But] ordinarymark3 (8340)

ordinarymark3 Q 9 Initial Pot: 600

pinheiropkr calls 400
ordinarymark3 calls 400
SaDJesteRRR is All in
RickyPluto is All in
pinheiropkr calls 1790
ordinarymark3 is All in
pinheiropkr is All in
### FLOP ### 2 8 A Pot: 15000
### TURN ### 5 Pot: 15000
### RIVER ### K Pot: 15000
SaDJesteRRR shows Q A
RickyPluto shows 8 9
pinheiropkr shows A T
ordinarymark3 shows Q 9
ordinarymark3 wins 5355 from side pot n°1 with A Flush, ace high
ordinarymark3 wins 1590 from side pot n°2 with A Flush, ace high
ordinarymark3 wins 2115 from side pot n°3 with A Flush, ace high
ordinarymark3 wins 5940 from the main pot with A Flush, ace high

After waiting with baited breath/absolute anticipation Pokerstars have announced the schedule of events for the Spring Championship of Online Poker 2010, otherwise know as the SCOOP!

After winning a $33 ticket to a SCOOP event from one of the WBCOOP event last month I've been eagerly awaiting this news.

The one thing I will say, thank God this takes place in May this year. Last years SCOOP took place at the beginning of April which meant I couldn't play in any as a) it clashed with my birthday and my wife's birthday and b) we had my mother-in-law staying with us, meaning it would've proved difficult trying to have an all night poker session with a guest in the house, especially one who considers 11pm to be way past their bedtime (as most of tournements start at 7pm or later local time, chances are they will still be running well into the night) :-(

Unfortunately my mother-in-law is one of those people who still look at poker as gambling and it is difficult to explain that because you control what you do with the cards you are dealt, it's not easy to say to her "...which is why playing poker is clearly a game of skill"

All I have to do this year is hope it doesn't clash with odd shifts at work

The following hand happened after getting Aces cracked with an opponent hitting a set of nines on the flop.

There were 10 outs between both of the remaining players after all the money went in on the turn:

My usual get-sucked-out-on-in-a-horrendous-fashion type hand (This kind of suck out is par for the course for me at the moment). According to the Odds Calculator and the replay below, I was a 95% favourite to win the hand at the point all the money went in. Busted out of the Tournament 6 hands later running Pocket Kings into Pocket Aces :-(

After a relatively successful run in Event 1 of the WBCOOP, I was looking forward to another good run in Event 6 on Saturday night (had to swap to Event 6 instead of the Main Event due to work shifts).

Managed to chip up during the first hour or so and managed to reach the first break with a good chip stack (albeit slightly below the average stack at that point). Carried on build my stack slowly and managed to out last the dead stacks on the tournament.

Unfortunately that is about as good as it got.

Not long after the dead stacks got blinded out, I finally hit a decent hand, not just a decent hand but the best starting hand in Hold'em, Pocket Aces. Not only that but after my initial raise, I had someone re-raise me, someone with a bigger stack than I had. Brilliant. Fantastic. So I shove all-in and he calls and turns over AJo. I couldn't believe it. I was practically assured of a double up, which would've meant I was sure to get another ticket of some value as we weren't too far from the prize places at that point.

Running the hand through the odds calculator at shows that I was a 91% favourite to win the hand. I don't think you can get better odds to win a hand pre-flop than that.

God on the other hand had other ideas.

The flop came down all Clubs. This was a worry as my opponent was holding the Ace of Clubs.

OK. Scary flop, but still a 63% favourite to win the hand. Until the Turn card.

Another Club!!!!

At that point I was drawing dead and out of the tournament. Unbelievable.

Oh well. I'll have to console myself with the prize from Event 1 and look forward to having a go when the SCOOP comes along in the next couple of months.

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