ESPN.com Poker Club with Andrew Feldman
Send 'em in now, join Feldman later!
Andrew Feldman (11:57 AM)
Hey everyone. Looking forward to answering all your poker related questions. Send in questions about the Degree All In Poker Challenge or just poker strategy questions in general. We'll get started in a couple minutes.
So... who the heck are you?
Andrew Feldman (12:02 PM)
Good question, I would be wondering the same thing. I am ESPN.com's Poker Producer, Tournament Director for the Degree All-In Poker Challenge, and occasionally poker writer.
Geoff (Bristol, CT)
Big Time - My poker tends to be hot, and I tend to run the luck off the table, winning a lot in several hands, following it up with the loss of several hands. How can I get a grip on the quick swings that occur in Poker...especially if everyone is playing with free money, and they can bet it all without hesitation?
Andrew Feldman (12:04 PM)
Good question Geoff. In order to get a grip on the swings, you must think of each hand as a separate event. Each hand should be treated the exact same way mentally, whether you are on a string of good hands, or a string of bad beats. When it comes to the free money play, people tend to go all in on anything. If you are patient enough, you can wait for your hands, and make your move at the right moment.
Why is pocket fours so lucky?
Andrew Feldman (12:07 PM)
Maybe for you, not for everyone. Small pocket pairs must be played very carefully. Seeing a cheap flop is very important, because without hitting trips, your pocket fours are probably not going to win that hand.
I play every friday with friends, tourney style. Play is generally tight and when I played this way I was consistently winning money, then decided to swtch it up and play agressive and have been getting killed. Any suggestions?
Andrew Feldman (12:10 PM)
Larry, its almost written in every book that the most successful poker players are the aggressive ones. However, the key is to play a tight aggressive game. Wait to make your move and play those hands aggressively. Be patient when playing agressive and that should put you back in the money.
Would it be possible to devise some sort of queue system for the Challenge? The mad scramble for seats at the beginning of each tournament is very frustrating.
Andrew Feldman (12:12 PM)
Just this morning at 3 am we released a new version of the game which should alleviate the mad dash to get a seat in the tournaments. We have added 300 new single table tournaments and these should no longer be an issue. The multi-table tournament issue is a different story since the rules have been set, and cannot be changed.
PGApro82 (New Jersey)
AJ, since you mentioned poker books... which ones do you recommend
Andrew Feldman (12:15 PM)
I hate to give this generic answer, but Doyle's Super System is truly the best. Whether you are a new player or someone who has been playing for years, this book will improve your game. Additionally, Mike Caro's Book of Poker Tells is great to catch the little nuances of the everyday player. One last book that I recently got was Barry Shulman's 52 hints to Hold Em. Very basic, but each tip is something to remember at all times.
d (st. louis)
The poker challenge single table tournamnets are not very much fun, at least 5-7 people go all in on the 1st hand no matter what they have. It makes it no fun and no strategy required.
Andrew Feldman (12:17 PM)
D, as I mentioned earlier, we changed the game today. Players will now have to buy in to the tournament tables. They will not be able to play these tournaments without the play money in their account, Going all in should no longer be a valid strategy since they only have a couple of chances each day to play. Hopefully the gameplay should change starting today.
How do you signup for the All-in Challenge?
Andrew Feldman (12:18 PM)
Go to http://games.espn.go.com/poker/index and sign up there.
what is the all-in poker challenge? is it an espn.com thing?
Andrew Feldman (12:19 PM)
The All-In Poker Challenge is a 10 week promotion where one player will be sent to play in the World Series of Poker. For more information, check out the link I just posted above.
Jeremy (New York City)
People who are using software to track hands played online are taking the fun out of it for me. Do you think this new tracking technology will lessen the popularity of online poker?
Andrew Feldman (12:22 PM)
This has become a very sensative issue. A program called Poker Spy can track hands played for you as it connects directly with the poker application. I do not think it will lessen the popularity because it is not cheating at all, its just helping a player out with watching how other players act. I do not like how these applications show mucked cards, but it does give you a small advantage when reading players online. On a side note, Poker Spy does not work with our application.
Jesse (New Britain, CT)
I'm kind of confused on adding additional chips. Can you go ahead and add chips when you have none left or do you have to have a certain amount?
Andrew Feldman (12:24 PM)
A player can add additional chips when they are below $500 play money. They are eligible to receive $500 more chips, twice a day. To do this you must go to your account screen and hit, "More Play Money"
Some folks tend to get a bit rowdy in the heat of the moment. I can handle a bit of trash talking, but if there is a clear case of offensive language or inappropriate behavior, what should I do? What steps does ESPN take to limit misconduct?
Andrew Feldman (12:25 PM)
We have a 24 hour a day customer service group that watches out for this issue. However, if they do not catch it, please feel free to email customer service and we will resolve the problem.
Sally (El Paso, Texas)
is espn ever thinking about making a real money site?
Andrew Feldman (12:26 PM)
Enough Poker Challenge questions! Let's talk some poker. In your eyes, who is the #1 player in the world right now? My vote goes to Negraneau.
Andrew Feldman (12:28 PM)
I agree Dave. He has consistently been the top player in the last 6 months. However, I think that John Juanda has also been playing at the top of his game.
Now that steroids are a topic the Major League baseball and other sports have dealt with, do you think it time that poker does the same? I mean, do they even have rules stopping players from being juiced?
Andrew Feldman (12:30 PM)
I do not believe that there are any rules restricting the use of steroids for poker players. I also don't think that steroids will help any pro player in their gameplay. Perhaps caffeine to keep them awake, but not steroids.
JB (Shreveport, LA)
All these celebrity, battle of the sexes, etc. really seem to suck. However watching the WSOP, WPT, etc. seems to be really good. Watching Doyle Brunson dominate the final table was especially entertaining earlier this week. Who do you enjoy watching and do you think these novelty shows should go away?
Andrew Feldman (12:33 PM)
This weeks' WPT with Doyle was a great show, but I agree that some of the celebrity shows are really just for entertainment purposes (and really not entertaining to the true poker player). These shows will not teach you how to be a better poker player, but more likely, show what not to do at a table. If you want to watch and learn about poker gameplay, the WSOP on ESPN and the WPT are the shows to watch.
Joe "Tight Knuckles"
How do you know people aren't on the phone with each other and in cahoots to cheat?
Andrew Feldman (12:35 PM)
Well, Tight Knuckles, collusion through the phone is very tough issue to address, but is also the most common way for online players to cheat. However, in all online software there is anti-collusion programs which keep track of these issues. If players continue to play in the same room repeatedly, the program will pick up on it and report it to the game administrators.
I'm a sucker for a straights. I always get burned on em. When's the best time to chase a straight
Andrew Feldman (12:37 PM)
Chasing a straight is really never a good idea. The only time I would chase a straight is if it is open ended and pot odds tell me to call.
JB (Shreveport, LA)
A lot of the young players whoop and holler on winning hands. I'm only 26, but I like the laid back, business as usual types: Brunson, Ivey, Lederer, ect. Which do you prefer?
Andrew Feldman (12:39 PM)
Yelling and screaming after winning hands is really unnecessary. I think players should be respectful at the table, no matter what the situation. Act like you belong there.
How 'bout those Mets?
Andrew Feldman (12:41 PM)
They are going to be good.
Tigress (Boulder, CO)
I like watching poker but no one of my friends play. I am skeptical about the internet. Is playing on the internet safe?
Andrew Feldman (12:42 PM)
Playing on the internet is very safe. Most sites have a customer service staff that calls to confirm that you wish to join their site. The ESPN Poker Club is very safe to play on.
Mike (New York)
For an amateur, what's a good general guideline for what pocket hands to play and which not to play? 2 picture cards always a play? 8,9 suited a definite play? Thanks.
Andrew Feldman (12:46 PM)
Mike, there is no 100% perfect guideline for playing pocket cards. I think a lot of the time, playing your hand depends on your position and the action that has happened before you. If I am sitting with QJ in early position, it is not always a call. Suited connectors (8,9) are the same way, and I actually prefer not to play them unless it will not cost me that much to call.
Rich (Tulsa, Okla)
What is your all in calling strategy. I seem to get burned often calling all in bets and having the better cards before the flop, but getting out drawn. Any suggestions?
Andrew Feldman (12:50 PM)
Rich, unfortunately getting out drawn is poker. When I am deciding to call an all-in, I basically think if I am going in with the best hand. If I come to that conclusion, I'll call. If I think I am beat, I probably wont take that risk. If I've got a great draw and it will not cost me that much, I will reconsider. My personal feeling is that a player should go all in the fewest times as possible.
jonathan (somerville, NJ)
As a players whos been playing alot of cash games in casinos and amongst friends, what would you suggest for one hoping to find success in starting to compete in tournaments?
Andrew Feldman (12:52 PM)
Cash games and tournaments are completely different. In order to have success in that transition, I would go into the game with a good gameplan. Make sure that you are comfortable in that environment as well. There's more stress when you know that every hand could be your last.
Mike (St. Louis)
Please answer this - I have a meeting at noon. What is a good counter strategy when playing against ultra-aggressive, cocky players?
Andrew Feldman (12:54 PM)
I addressed this a little earlier, but in this situation you should be extra tight. Make sure they know that too. Let the aggressive players build the pots and then when you have your hand, take them down. It takes one bad hand for a cocky player to realize that they are not the best at the table. Good luck.
Is it possible to make any money playing cheaper limit tables? Seems like everyone chases, and somebody is bound to catch.
Andrew Feldman (12:55 PM)
Low limit tables are very difficult places to make money. You are right that everyone calls and chases their hands. A strategy here is to never let anyone see a free card. Even though it is a small bet, it might be enough to get a couple people out.
Two part question. 1. Which hands do you like to play the most? Or which cards do you prefer to have underneath, aside from pocket aces. 2. What's your strategy tip for someone who has an opponent who checks everything - all the time?
Andrew Feldman (12:59 PM)
I'm a big fan of A x suited if I can get in the flop for cheap. If you face an opponent who checks everything, what you need to know is if they continue to check, they will never be able to build the pot. I'd wait for the very conservative player to bet, at that point you'll know if he's made his hand or not. On the other hand, if you come out strong, this player is more likely to fold.
Andrew Feldman (1:00 PM)
It's been fun everyone, but I've got to go. Thanks for the questions! Look forward to chatting with everyone again or playing you all in the Degree All-In Poker Challenge.