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I can lose, too
Being owned
And what does that say about me?
Hassan wants revenge
EPT Monte Carlo
Schenefeld Open
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Katja made EPT final table in Warsaw
3rd, wow
Go, Lucky, Go!

Thomas on Back from Cardiff
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Lucky Luckbox Nov 29, 2006 / 03:46 AM

Sebastian "miamivice" from Luckbox.de is a REAL luckbox.

Royal Today we had a "work meeting" all afternoon to discuss some limit holdem strategies and went to diner together with Katja before playing the bi-weekly €200 NLH tournament in HH-Schenefeld. After we all three busted out of the full tournament (30 players) without making the money Katja played some NLH cashgame and Sebastian and I played €500 pot limit holdem with 10/20 blinds as usual.

Right away I crashed with Sebastian, getting his first 500 with J-J vs. his A-K. I never looked back and scored a nice win for the session but that was nothing compared to what the Luckbox got. Not only did he win about 4000€ in the session, he also scooped the Jackpot of €2200 which you get when you have a Royal Flush. If that is not enough he won a very nice pot with the hand. Seb called a raise preflop to see a board of A-J-K with J and K of hearts, his opponent had A-K. Sebastian, holding the Q-T of hearts, made a pot sized bet on the flop after his opponent checked. Opponent calls. Both players checked the turn which was a J, pairing the board. River: A of hearts! His opponent bets only 100€, Sebastian thinks for a few seconds and finally raises to 700! No you must know that you get the Jackpot only if there is a showdown, if his opponents folds here Sebastian would not get the €2200 jackpot which he knewed!! Opponent only calls (both players had deep stacks of about 3000 left in front of them). Sebastian shows the ultra-nuts, scoops the pot and the jackpot.

Good thing is I get (yet another) free luxus meal from Sebastian, a "big" how we call it.

You must know that this comes to him after winning the Partypoker German Open (50k), two final tables last weekend (25k) and qualifiing for Aussie Million (15k package) and EPT Deauville (8k package) THIS weekend. What a rush! Congrats for the 100th time this year. I am speachless.

Category: Our poker life | Permalink | Comments (5)

The Real German Poker Champion Nov 23, 2006 / 03:03 AM

Upon discussing stakes for a rematch with Sebastian from Luckbox.de in our little "the best player alive" competition we agreed on making this an open event so everyone can enter. We're pretty sure everyone agrees that by playing a "best of 5" format with different games good play and players will be rewarded and the the luck factor is decreased (so Sebastian is dead money right away :)

We decided that we call the winner of this match -even if only Sebastian and I are playing- "The Real German Poker Champion". So, if you don't like either of us carrying this title come and play.

The Real German Poker Champion
The event logo, free to use

Here are the rules:

  1. All players from Germany, Austria and Switzerland are welcome.
  2. The format will be Heads-Up. To win a round one must win 3 out of 5 matches in 5 different games ("best of 5" format).
  3. The games are Omaha Pot Limit High, Holdem Fixed Limit, Seven Card Stud, Holdem No Limit and Omaha High/Low 8-or-better Pot Limit Sit&Go heads-up tournaments.
  4. The sequence of the games can only be changed if both players agree.
  5. The rounds will be throughout December. We hope to have a final about x-mas this year.
  6. Buyin:
    1. To participate in the event you must pay a $100 buyin. This money builds the pricepool and will be distributed 100% back to the winning players (2-n in the money depening on the number of entrants, we think about 8% should be in the money).
      I'll keep a list of all paid entries here.


    2. You must pay your buyins into the up to 5 different matches vs. your opponent for every round. If you win, you also keep those winnings of course. The minimum buyin is $5 ($10 for stud) but if both opponents agree to play higher - no problem! That's totally up to the players. Important for this event is only if you win the match.
  7. The opponents will be be assigned randomly.
  8. Only matches played on PokerStars using their Sit&Go > Heads-Up tournaments count.
  9. To reach the next round the tournament reports emailed by pokerstars got to be forwared as proof.
  10. All players will have 3 days to agree on date/time and play their matches. Players are asked (read: required) to publish date&time for the audience being able to watch. Particpants agree to have their contact data forwarded to their assigned opponents.
  11. Results will be published on the german pokerstars blog.
  12. We will call the winner the "real german poker champion" and have tears in our eyes every time we whisper his holy screenname
  13. A german explanation of these rules (probably more complete than this first outline) will be published shortly on www.luckbox.de and the german pokerstars blog, www.pokerstarsblog.de.
  14. (!)
    Players are allowed to specify one tag line (~100 characters, no html) of text as "branding". This line will be visible on the result page on pokerstarsblog.de. Only inappropriate lines will be censored, if you specify your slogan/sponsor/website/homepage-URL that is absolutly OK, even if it mentions other online poker providers/sites.
  15. To reserve your seat/register for the event send $100 to "50outs" (Hamburg) by PokerStars money transfer. If this event does not get started for any reason of course the money will be refunded. Please send also an email to me ([email protected]) with your Screenname, your tag line (if any) and contact informations (email and/or phone, msn, whatever) to forward to your opponent(s).
  16. You need to register until December 1st (or maybe 3rd)

Right now I am trying to get some added price money from PokerStars for this event. Looks very good, stay tuned! We are not sure how many seats we will allow, depends how many of you guys like to particpate. Please note: this is not a PokerStars marketing idea. Sebastian and I came up with this as we are competing about almost everything (we're also heavy props players as regular readers might now).

Fellow bloggers: please write about this and help adressing players. We want as many players in this event as possible. We also invite everybody to watch the matches (check pokerstarsblog.de for updated information about scheduled matches) and report about them as much as you like.

The Real German Poker Champion

Category: Our poker life | Permalink | Comments (8)

The Best Player Alive Nov 21, 2006 / 12:37 AM

Sebastian "Luckbox" ist back in town after his Singapure adventure (betfair asian poker tour). In his first night back he already made 17k by placing 2nd and 3rd in two tournaments. His MSN status message read: "Best player alive" - you got to give this young chicken some credit, he is only 22 years old and one of the biggests winners around here.

Anyway, I thought "I should teach this young man a lesson" (lol) and asked him for a match. First we agreed on the stakes, then on the games and finally on the sequence. The stakes were not that serious but you can buy a brandnew nice car handy from it. Here is what we agreed on: best of 5 games win, games are Omaha High Pot Limit, Holdem Fixed Limit, Stud, Holdem No Limit and Omaha High/Low 8-or-better Pot Limit. To not generate to much rake we played $5 heads-up tournaments on PokerStars.

First game Omaha High was a big fight right away. Finally I got ahead and won the game. Next was a non-brainer for me, Limit Holdem is what I play day-in-day-out, and I won that pretty fast without ever being in danger. Seb played that pretty strange sometimes, got to ask him about his thinkings. So I was ahead 2-0 after two matches. Seb kindly asked to move his main game, No Limit Holdem, up one slot and I agreed (we are close friends). Still, I tried to needle him and pressed him into a small side-bet for that game, one regular meal for the other guy with friends/family (we call this a "small" meal, compared to the "big" meals which we play for sometimes, you don't wanna know all the tasty details...). He accepted, needling me back. Game was on. Luckbox raised the first hand and I called with T7o. Flop came J-K-9 with two diamonds, he bet, I called. Turn is the T, giving me a pair. He wins with K, Q, J now and any overpair. He bets after some consideration, I made one of my new fantastic reads and put him on nothing (AK maybe) and re-raised "all-in". Seb gladly called in a microsecond, showing QQ. I was drawing dead to a tie for two outs, Q's. Seb won that game after 15 seconds and a "small" from me, new score: 2-1.

Next stop: Seven Card Stud. The first game I ever played and the one I consider my very best although I don't have that much headsup expierience. I thought this would be piece of cake for me but boy was I wrong, he gave me a super-fight. The stacks went left and right and the match lasted for well over an hour and was finally decided in the 200/400 blinds level (3,000 chips on the table). I got the lucky end and won the game and the match.

Hey Sebastian, who is now the best player alive?? What are you telling all you fellow readers on luckbox.de about that one? Old school wins? No way! Want revenge?

Sebastians corrected MSN status after "the defeat"

Expect to see me around with a nice new handy (Nokia N95 is what I selected) very soon, they are around on eBay already :D.


Serious: the new german champion, Florian "Morgoth" Langmann (congrats btw) is now also blogging on luckbox.de. This one site has now most likely the best players in germany blogging all togehter right now - except me and the great Korn of course ;). Korn, btw, if you read this: any objections on quoting you in our next pokermagazine column "Hello, I am an successful online player. Now I want to play in a real casino for the first time. Can you give me some help? Korn, 25" ? :D

Category: Our poker life | Permalink | Comments (3)

Berlin over and out Nov 20, 2006 / 07:05 PM

We drove home Saturday night late from Berlin to Hamburg. We had a fantastic drive and have been home after about two hours only. Your own home and bed is still the best, even after all those those high-class hotels we have been staying in lately.

Sunday I was sleeping long hours, went to bed in the afternoon for two hours and then went sleeping before midnight, which means my personal adult life record in hours sleept per 24 hours. In the meanwhile I managed to play PokerStars new "Sunday Warm-Up" tournament, a $200+15 event which is perfectly timed for europeans at 18:30h german time. If doubled early with Aces but then flopped two pair Aces with ATo (flop A-T-7 rainbow). Headup I called a pot sized bet on the flop (planning to raise on the turn) but the turn brought the Q and now I had to consider my opponent holding AQ. He went all-in! This was a very large bet and screamed weakness to me so I called allin after some hesitation. Well done, opponent had K-J for a straight. My streak of perfect reads continues, omg.

Playing two shorthanded 10-20 games at the same time did not help my patient game I guess and losing my ass of there (60 BB) also did not help. I finished bad mooded.

Much better for my friend Sebastian "Luckbox". He played about all major events sunday night and ended up being 2nd and 3rd in two events. See his lobby screenshots here and here. Congrats one two more times. This is getting old Sebastian!

PokerStars is now trying to increase sells in their FPP store ;)

Category: Our poker life | Permalink | Comments (0)

Berlin, Berlin Nov 18, 2006 / 03:23 PM

We're still in Berlin for the German Poker Championship 2006. The tournament itself is a joke, badly organized and run. Have you ever played a hand of Texas Holdem No Limit without a Big Blind? No? Come to Berlin, where rulings like this can be made. Have you ever been allowed to take your chips into your pockets and go to diner break? No? Come to Berlin? Have you ever been invited to play a second qualification day if you don't make it on the first day in the official, published tournement flyer but still get no seat because "the computer opens only one seat up"? No? You guessed it - Berlin is your place.

Besides all this €150,000 went into the price pool and will be awarded today to the final 10 players. At 8 pm the final day with 40 qualifiers will start today, 10 in-the-money. Katja made the cut on the second quailification day (yesterday) but is low on chips with 5600. The blinds re-start today at 100/200 so it is not hopeless yet. I tried the first qualification day and made it to the last 35 players (20 make the cut) before I did a bloddy beginners mistake that costed me all my chips (more details in german pokerstars blog).

Katja at Checkpoint Charlie

I had average chips with 12k, the blind being at 500/1000 and I raised in EP to 4k with ATs. The only player having me covered reraised to 11k after some hestitation when a MP player thought for long time and looked like calling. I read this as weakness lol and re-raised myself all-in for 1000 more. He called, showing AA, So much for my super-duper reads. This is one of the worst mistakes I made in a long while (well, imo). I played aggressivly for 3 hours, having only one showdown on my way from 3k chips to 12k. I knew I will get only action from big hands as the players have been all unexperienced ecept Sigi Stockinger but he was sitting on my right and having a low stack so he was no real problem to me. I should have folded my hand. Really, that mistakes still bugs me almost 48 hours later now.

Horst Koch, GPPA

On day one I had the 'honor' of playing with Horst Koch from the German Poker Players Association (GPPA). We knew each other for many many years back in the days when he was the german champion (1998?). Early in the tournament he limp/called with A3 of spades and chased a flush by calling me all the way to the river on every street when the board had two spades (I had top pair K). After that hand (which he lost as no spade came, oh wonder) we started to actually trash talking each other (a little only). Not Tony G. style but still, way out of normal for me at least as I almost never attack other players on the poker table personally. Still, it was fun! Reminds of my friend Matt Maaron trash-talking Phil Hellmuth (klick it, it is a must-read). Not that Horst is like Phil Hellmuth... before trapping myself here let's change subject.

Stardock today anounced a windows skinning set for Texas Holdem. If your enthusiastic about poker and think a nice boot screen will improve your game, go there ;)

Michael Keiner, Katja Thater and Todd Kobrin

The DPM 2006 also brought a meeting of former frieds, then somewhat enemies, now friends again with Michael Keiner, Todd Kobrin and Katja. Katja was in the 888 Nations Cup early this year but when 888 failed to negotiate a working sponsoring deal with Katja PokerStars jumped in. This brought some bad blood, Michael Keiner was also upset with 888 (see his german post at ISA-Casinos here) but finally signed an endorsement deal with them late this summer. There have been some loud word between Katja, Todd and Michael but now the sun shines again and Katja will also be playing in the next 888's nations cup early 2007. Well done guys!

Category: Our poker life | Permalink | Comments (2)

I am a Berliner Nov 15, 2006 / 06:06 PM

Reporting live from the crazyness of a TV commercial production here. I am sitting in one of the most beautiful hotel rooms I have ever been in, a €3,600/night hotel suite in the Adlon Hotel in Berlin and I feel like the eye of a storm. I have no task here except to stay out of everyones way. Everyone is like 20+ people who are producing a commercial TV spot for PokerStars for the german market here with Katja.


The stuff they brought into the room should bring a rocket to the moon, that much is it. People everywhere. Sound, camera, director, assistants, visagists, PokerStars marketing people etc. etc. - you get the image. The online poker lion showing it's teeth here.

Having sleept only 3 hours is not really helfull here, Katja is in action so she is not really feeling the tireness but I do. Yesterday we went to our local cardroom, played the small €200 NLH tourney (I got 2nd, splitting the pricemoney 50/50) and joinded the pot limit holdem game thereafter. Bad idea. We both got outdrawn in some big pots for the first 4 hours and while Katja made a small comeback to lose only a very small amount I lost big time. Some examples? Katja had 5-5, flop A-5-9, all the money goes in (known opponent, Ace was sure thing) with bet-raise-reraise-allin. Turn 4, river 3, opponent shows A-2 (straight). I play A-9 vs. Q-9, board reads 8-9-K-9, almost all the money goes in (2k), river Q. I resucked one time when I flopped two pair, three hearts on the flop. Opponent has flush ready but I river a full house. That was about the only lucky break I got all night. Anyway, it got late, 4 AM before we left the casino and we had to leave at nine to Berlin for this shooting. Nothing packed. Oh well.

Anyway we're here, Katja in great shape making it very easy for the production team as always, she is just a natural in this media work. I do some emails and watch the professionals here doing a tremendous job.


Tomorrow starts the german poker championship here in Berlin. I already wrote about all the details in the german pokerstars blog.

Category: Our poker life | Permalink | Comments (0)

Interesting vodcast Nov 09, 2006 / 03:09 PM

For all who understand german here is an very interesting law vodcast (wow what is possible these days...) from Kanzlei Dr. Bahr about the legality to participate in online casinos (which covers poker as far as my understanding goes):


Category: Our poker life | Permalink | Comments (4)

Fast visit - ever Nov 08, 2006 / 01:46 PM

Yesterday was our fastest visit ever to Casino Schenefeld. We went there to play the Tuesday €200 NLH tournament and arrived late due to heavy traffic (George Michael concert traffic). The tournament was not yet started so no problem. 26 players showed up. Katja busted out in 24th place when she re-raised from 200 to 600 on the button with about 1100 left, holding A-K. The player in the small blind went all-in, the first raiser folded, Katja called. K-K for the small blind, no A on the board, Katja out. I was sitting on 2000 chips from 1500 to start with but folded two pocket pairs on the flop and was down to 1000 then. Blinds 80/160 now, I found 7-7 and after one limper I went all-in right away, all folded but the limper slow played A-A and flopped one more ace, oh my. 22nd place for me.

Katja Thater and me watching the EPT final table in Dublin

We thought about staying for the cash games but they would be at least one hour away so we drove back home and played some online games (break even there).

Last saturday Katja won the very same tournament (splitted 1st price money with heads-up opponent). The friday night before I played some live 20/40, went down like 50 BB but came back to make a small winning. Saturday after Katja's win we got roasted; Katja in the 20/40 limit game and I in the pot limit. I spare all the dirty details but it was bad...

Next friday both Katja and I will play in Kiel. They host a €100 NLH tournament and Spiegel TV is filming for a some kind of reportage. They want to show Katja for the poker part. I was never there yet so will be interesting to see how they run the tournaments up there.

Category: Our poker life | Permalink | Comments (0)

Lucky 21 Nov 06, 2006 / 12:27 PM

Yesterday was again one of those small Black Jack tournaments in Casino Schenefeld. This is where we go to play local NLH tournaments twice a week (€200+10 buyin, 20-35 players) and cash games afterwards (10/20, 20/40+, NL and our bred-and-butter €500 pot limit holdem game). They are hosting this kind of black jack tournament 3-4 times a year.

In the recent one we did not make any money but Katja won a nice jackpot with three sevens. Here is another tournament report.

So, yesterday there was one again. Slightly modified, this time with a €100+10 buyin and several added prices. About 60 players showed up. Mode was as follows: two qualifications rounds to get into the semi-final (35 players), semi-final table winners and two chip count qualifiers get o the final table. The €10 fee got you a *very good* asian buffet comp. The casino added a €400 "lucky loser" price, a Krügerrand gold coin (worth €500 euros), several ladies prices (perfume etc.) and a trip for two to Travemünde.

Both Katja and I made it to the semi-finals in the first round. They played 3 shoes with 30 chips starting bankroll. I won my table by a lucky break: late in the 3rd shoe I had 20 chips left, played maximum (10 chips), got two face cards vs. face card for the dealer, did the split, got an ace on the first and an ace on the second one also! Those paid full 2:1 as blackjack each and skyrocketed me to 60 chips. Still it was close but two more winners got me to 88 chips, enough to win the table (with 66 for the second). Katja got 2nd by one chip in her round so we did not had to play the second qualifications round but could go to the buffet, which was very good.

The semi finals required you to win the table (with two more players advancing by overall chip counts) and I was able to do this. Katja had no luck and busted but my buddy Frank had more luck and made it also. We agreed on a 50/50 split no matter who is winning what (we were both ITM and guaranteed ~€700 together). In the final itself I had no chance at all. Two times I made huge bets with a very good count, got an ace as the door card but then all cards went wrong and I lost both hands. So I was out in 7th place (from 7 finalists). Frank fought better and had the chance to win the whole tournament in the last hand. Unfortuantly he had only 17 vs. bank's 18 and got 5th only.

Still it was fun and we each made €400.

Finally they made a draw for the trip between all players. The guest drawn first have not been there anymore, therefore not qualifiing for the price. Second draw: guest not in the casino anymore. Third draw: guest not in the casino anymore! Time for 4th draw: casino chief said something to the tone of "this guest is 100% here" and laughed before announcing - my name! Now thats a lucky one. Frank and I joked about going together, enjoying a nice double room with king size bed. Frank is one of my best buddies all around and we spend virtually thousands of nights togehter, sharing hotel rooms all around the world (lately 2 years in Stuttgart in the same one-room appartment).

So we continue being very lucky in those black jack tournaments and having lots of fun. A good reason to go to the next one also... and I love the way the casino is organizing and running those, really personal and professional at the same time, a real pleasure.

Talking about tournaments: this Casino Schenefeld will host another deep-stack poker tournament early December, 2nd and 3rd. €500 buyin, 5,000 starting chips, 2 day format what I heard. Get your seats, this one will be full also pretty quickly.

Category: Our poker life | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Hammer fails? Nov 02, 2006 / 02:28 PM

7-2 offsuit, also known as the hammer, is the worst hand you can have in Texas Holdem. Since years many people try to win pots with this hand, especially for poker bloggers it is an honor to "drop the hammer" and win a nice pot with this hand. I myself have made fun of my opponents (and embarrassed myself way to often) by playing this hand, even going all-in preflop by raising with it but I never had the balls to do this in a real high-limit game or big-buyin tournament. While I chicken here, others do not. In a 25-50 live No Limit Holdem Cashgame at this years WSOP was a big-money table with name players who had a special deal: everyone winning any pot with 7-2 offsuit gets $200 from each other player in the game! I heard stories about monster pots won (and lost ) with the hammer there. Watch here how the hammer might fail:

Watching this made me re-think. Maybe playing the hammer is not a good idea? Is there something wrong? How can Can Cim Hua lose there? That's not right! If you go in with the the absolute worst hand you should really win the pot, that's a nature rule! I went into "the tank" (which is actually my kitchen) and thought about it. Finally I found the flaw in our thinking: 7-2 is actually not the worst hand to play!!! WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT I hear you asking now. Think seriously. We're now changing from joking around to really think about poker and it's changing situations.

Of course, we are investigating preflop situations only here and we don't value our holding by possible hand ranges from our opponents (like somebody has raised or re-raised or the rock-tight young lady looks to uninterested to hold anything valueable) but what we should consider of course is how many players are in the hand. This changes the outlook for 7-2 offsuit to:

versus 5-9 players: hand rank 169/169 (worst hand)
versus 3 players: hand rank 168/169 (second worst hand only!)
versus 2 players: hand rank 168/169
versus 1 player: hand rank 165/169 (!)

Wow. 7-2 offsuit not the worst hand in 33% percent (1-3 opponents). For your information, those hands are even worse: 3-2off against 2 and 3 opponents and 3-2o, 4-2o, 5-2o and 6-2o in heads-up situations. Now, the world can rest in peace again, the hammer is save, Can Cim Hua just played BAAAAAAD. He should really have checked his hand here in the BB and wait for premium trash such as 3-2 offsuit!

How are those hand rankings obtained?
Based on 10 million "nofoldem" deals with this method:

For each possible hole card combination (suits simplyfied, 1=AAo - 169=32o)
   For each possible number of opponents (1-9)
      Simulate 10,000,000 hands of 'nofoldem' (see the river), save win/loss probability
List starting hand by win probability

Category: Our poker life | Permalink | Comments (0)