Implementing the full bet rule

After the recent controversy around the details of all-in raises and how they affect the option to re-raise, we need to formally adopt an HGPA position on this matter.

The position that most people seemed to advance was that we should formally adopt the “full bet rule” for all-in raises.

The common description of how this rule works is as follows:

If a player goes all in with a bet or raise rather than a call, another special rule comes into play. No-limit games usually use what is called the full bet rule. The full bet rule states that if the amount of an all-in bet is less than the minimum bet, or if the amount of an all-in raise is less than the full amount of the previous raise, it does not constitute a “real” raise, and therefore does not reopen the betting action.

For example, with the full bet rule in effect, a player opens the betting round for $20, and the next player has a total stake of $30. He may raise to $30, declaring himself all in, but this does not constitute a “real” raise, in the following sense: if a third player now calls the $30, and the first player’s turn to act comes up, he may now call the additional $10, but he does not have the right to re-raise further. The all-in player’s pseudo-raise was really just a call with some extra money, and the third player’s call was just a call, so the initial opener’s bet was simply called by both remaining players, closing the betting round (even though he must still equalize the money by putting in the additional $10).

If we can get a simple majority in favour of formally adopting this rule then it will be added to the Etiquette page as one of the standard HGPA rules.

Should the HGPA formally adopt the full bet rule for no-limit games?
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New H.G.P.A. crest art.

Most of you will have seen the original HGPA Crest, as displayed and explained in the HGPA History post.

The one problem with that incarnation of the art is that it was a scan of a drawing dating back to the dawn of the association, and therefore is of limited use in a number of modern computer operations.

In order to open some of these doors for us, I’ve come up with a new incarnation of the crest that is rendered in vector graphics. This allows us to scale the image to any size without losing any resolution, and also allows us to get better results using the crest in modern computer applications. The details of the crest have not changed, just the way the image is generated.

Here’s what the crest itself looks like:

You can click that image to get a larger (800 pixel height) version of the image.

HGPA Crest

A high-quality JPG version is also available.

And here’s the crest with the mantling and flourishes:

HGPA Crest with mantling

Again, click the thumbnail for an 800-pixel height version, or grab the great big version.

June Tournament Report

Things that happened at the June 30th tournament that have never happened before:

  • One of the people who ended in the money left the tournament several hours before it ended
  • A player was eliminated from the tournament twice
  • A winner of the tournament was announced twice
  • The tournament temporarily had a phantom player, who later appeared
  • Neil has a nice house
  • An HGPA member wins a tournament for the third time, earning a third place on the trophy
  • Unless Iím mistaken no one bought in more than twice
  • We barely saw any straights, flushes, or boats. The whole night was about pair, two pair, and trips a couple of times. Kickers played a lot.
  • Snazzy winnerís plaque (photo to follow)
  • Neil got kissed during the tournament
  • A major all-in was called based on the position of a womanís accessories
  • Wardís bladder was a major component in the speed of the tournament
  • Enough actual chairs for everyone present
  • We all saw Ward get high
  • We all saw Jarrod leave the game, with money on the table, because he was too high
  • I got to pick the music all night long. Ha!


  • 12. Merrick
  • 11. Chris “Party” Hardie
  • 10. Warden
  • 9. Tiger
  • 8. Neil
  • 7. Miguel
  • 6. Drake
  • 5. Hylander
  • 4. Shep
  • 3. “Jarrod” – §80 ((The generic currency symbol § is used here to represent “quatloos”, the pretend currency we plan in, since we would never engage in anything as legally questionable as gambling for actual money.))
  • 2. Bob “J” – §120
  • 1. Big Red – §200

(People in bold are previous tournament winners. People in italics where first time HGPA tournament attendees.)

June 30th Tournament

From left to right we have Tiger, Miguel, Ward, Jarrod, Merrick, Paul, Neil’s Beer Keg (glasses are for lesser men), and Hyland.

June 30th Tournament

Paul struggles to understand the pile of chips he’s won. Neil’s head appears slightly in frame, without the obscuring effect of his mighty keg.

The Champion!

(Courtesy of the new laser engraver at R & M Rubber Stamp, a.k.a “the business Tiger owns”.)


One of the people who ended in the money left the tournament several hours before it ended
This would be Jarrod, who begged off with most of a buyin in chips still sitting at the table. Rather than have us blind him out, Ward (already eliminated at this point) volunteered to play for Jarrod. This lead to a 3rd place finish, putting “Jarrod” in the money. This also lead to a lot of Ward referring to himself in the third-person as Jarrod, which very nearly got to punchable levels of annoying.
A player was eliminated from the tournament twice
This would be Ward, first eliminated as himself, and then later as “Jarrod”.
A winner of the tournament was announced twice
During the hand the eliminated “Jarrod”, Bob and I were both all-in. The flop had been . Ward’s hand was irrelevant. Bob showed up his hole cards as and he was heart-broken when I turned over , dominating him. Bob begged the gods for a three on the turn or river, but they came down and . Since my kicker beat Bob’s, and he hadn’t hit the magic card he needed, the hand was announced to me, eliminating both “Jarrod” and Bob at the same time… for a second. Until Tiger realized that the kickers didn’t play, and both Bob and I had a pair of aces to play along with the from the board. Bob and I both should have seen it, but in our defense it was 2:30 in the morning. (The very next hand was also an all in showdown between Bob and I, versus . Bob had me whupped pre-flop, but the flop had an ace in it, and it held up. Just for good measure the river was a third ace.)
The tournament temporarily had a phantom player, who later appeared
This would be Chris “Mr. Poker” Hardie, who threw in §20 to get blinded out, but who was later rejected from the Girl’s Party and figured he might as well play some poker. Until he went all-in against me, that is!
Neil has a nice house
Nothing really to add here. It’s a nice place. The colour scheme matches the cast of Clue.
An HGPA member wins a tournament for the third time, earning a third place on the trophy
Yes, that would be me, pulling ahead of the pack.
Unless Iím mistaken no one bought in more than twice
This is a really odd thing, and probably ties into the tight play item mentioned below. We didn’t have a lot of big moves in the early play (aside from the second hand, where my trip queens turned into a boat on the river to crush Bob’s trip queens with a superior kicker), so there weren’t a lot of rebuys in the rounds when it was an option. As the person who eventually won, I am somewhat saddened by this, since it meant the pot was smaller than it might have been, and I could always use more quatloos. On the other hand, this was one of the most fun tournaments we’ve had because of the improved play…
We barely saw any straights, flushes, or boats. The whole night was about pair, two pair, and trips a couple of times. Kickers played a lot.
I don’t know about everyone else, but I managed to make a number of good laydowns, and I think there was a lot of that going around. Mostly there was aggressive protective betting early on, which tended to drive out most draws. This, coupled with the good laydowns, meant that when we actually got to the showdown it was normally two pair at most that we saw.
Snazzy winnerís plaque
See the photo above.
Neil got kissed during the tournament
I really hope this has never happened before. Of course, almost immediately after his “kiss for luck” and reminder that he had to win some patio furniture money, Neil busted out, so maybe this wasn’t a good thing.
A major all-in was called based on the position of a womanís accessories
This was me busting out Mr. Poker. I needed to decide whether or not his all-in bet was a sign of strong hand, or a sign that he was preparing to leave shortly. I called in his girlfriend, who was observed by several people at the table to be wearing her purse on her shoulder. This was interpreted as a sign that Hardie had been given, or was being given, the “time to go” signal. Armed with this read, I called his all-in, and won the hand, busting him out.
Wardís bladder was a major component in the speed of the tournament
Dude needs to get a catheter before the next tournament. It takes him longer to piss than it does to shuffle.
Enough actual chairs for everyone present
Although with 12 at the table, we couldn’t actually all face in to the table, at least we all had a place to sit. And what’s more, all of them were chairs with backs, a definite improvement over the common HGPA experience.
We all saw Ward get high
While this did not help with his “speaking in the third person” issue, it did seem to improve his play.
We all saw Jarrod leave the game, with money on the table, because he was too high
Jarrod is the worst smoker ever, especially when you factor in experience.
I got to pick the music all night long. Ha!
High points of the night included Emerson, Lake, and Powell making heroic feelings rise in Neil, and that one Parliament song (during the 120 minute Parliament mix) that Neil wanted to sample for his doorbell. Oh, and the mocking of Tom Waits’ Hold On–until I announced that it was my favourite Waits song, and then proceeded to win two important hands while it was playing.

What Could Make Poker Even More Fun?

…well, maybe bikini models?

Players who win their way to the weeklong tournament through Absolute Poker will receive exclusive access to Serinda’s private bikini photo shoot, set on the backdrop of Aruba’s gorgeous beaches.

Clainer notes that the down-to-earth Texas Hold’em bombshell is no stranger to the poker world. Most players already know Swan from the popular online poker site’s web pages, print ads, television spots and other marketing pieces. Serinda also has her own feature table every Sunday where online poker players are invited to play with what is arguably the industry’s most attractive poker player.

Now, I don’t know if Serinda can actually play poker well, or not, but I do know that she’s Canadian, and pretty damn fine. Witness:

Serinda Swan

Sadly, she’s also 12 years younger than me, and incapable of spelling ‘holiday’.

Of course she’s not the only attractive woman connected with poker, and some of the others are much brighter.

Take, for example, Toronto girl Evelyn Ng, who’s made over a quarter million in professional tournaments, including a 2nd place finish at the World Poker Tour’s Ladies Night tournament and 5 finishes in the money at the WSOP. Clearly she’s got it on the ball, and she’s the same age as my wife, so she’s more interesting to me than Swan. And she could totally reduce Drake to a quivering mass at the table:

Evelyn Ng

I hear she’s single, so make your move Drake!

Texas Hold’em Bust in Nova Scotia

According to that disreputable local rag ((Please stop calling me at home and asking me to subscribe. Please.))beacon of journalistic professionalism, the Herald, a Truro bar has been charged for having a Hold ‘Em tournament:

Truro bar owner faces fine for allowing poker tournament

TRURO (CP) ó A Nova Scotia bar owner has been fined $1,000 for allowing gaming at his business.

Kevin Dawe, who owns Calico’s Lounge in Truro, was charged following a Texas Hold ‘Em poker tournament in January.

No word as to whether or not fine Truro beverages such as Great White or Murphy’s were served during the tournament.

Tournament Results

Well, Saturday’s tournament was pretty much an unqualified success–the house is still standing, with no capital expenditures required to put it into wife-ready order before Trish gets back, I think everyone had fun, and I certainly enjoyed myself. And, I got a lot of great stuff from the lads–giant cards, mathematically useful cards, poker signage, classy religious beer, fine whisky, etc.

I have some pretty amusing player profiles (in their own words), and the tournament results after the jump.

Table 1

We ended up with 13 competitors, which necessitated a split into two tables during the early part of the tournament. If we had been playing for moneyWhich, of course, we were not, since that would be illegal we would have had the largest tournament pot in the history of the HGPA.

Table 2

After the tournament there were cash gamesWhere “cash game” is, of course, slang for “not tournament style” and not any reference to playing for money–because that would be illegal until almost 4AM. While I did not last long enough in the tournament to get into the moneyWhere “into the money” is, of course, slang for “finishing in one of the top three places” and not any reference to playing for money–because, say it with me, that would be illegal I did pretty well in the after games, and had we been playing for moneyWhich, we certainly would never do. Honest. I certainly would have made enough in the after games to cover my hypothetical tournament expenditures.

This event generated one full dishwasher worth of dishes, one large garbage bag of garbage, and two large blue bags full of empties (plus two bottles of Green Ginger Wine–The Whiskey Mick is a powerful thing.)
Read more…

Common Poker Jargon (Part III)

Third in a series of posts defining some poker jargon that regularly does, or should, show up at H.G.P.A. events. These are terms in addition to the basic glossary available on Neil’s HGPA site. A related series of H.G.P.A.-coined jargon may follow. Previous entries: Part I, Part II

This entry will focus on “flop slang”, or special terms used to refer to the initial flop in Hold ‘Em (or Omaha).

If the flop is composed of cards with three different suits, the flop is referred to as “rainbow“.

If the flop is composed of cards with two different suites, the flop is referred to as “two-toned“.

If the flop is three low cards, the flop is referred to as “rags” or a “ragged flop“. This can be combined with the suit designation. For instance, a flop of three low cards of three different suits might be referred to as “rainbow rags“. (One possibly homophobic HGPA wit was heard to quip that this could also be referred to as a “pride flag”. There’s probably also a “motley” joke in there somewhere.)

If the flop is three face cards, this is referred to as “paint“, or a “painted flop“. A more fun term common for this is a “Picasso Flop“. (Of course, this begs the question of what a “Dali Flop” would look like. I guess if King-King-Queen is an example of a Picasso Flop, then a Dali Flop would be something like Six-King-Sheep.) This can also be combined with suit designations, so you could have a “two-toned Picasso flop”.

There doesn’t seem to be any common term for the single-suited flop. Seems like a place for a new HGPA term.

And now, a couple of bonus non-flop terms:

immortal: Unbeatable; often said of a hand that a player knows cannot be beaten under the circumstances of play. Also “lock”, “nuts”.

Smiley’s four tens were pretty much immortal unless Bob hit runner-runner kings. Even a river rat like Bob couldn’t pull that off, though.

outrun: To beat another hand, usually by being dealt extra cards after the initial deal.

Drake was dominating pre-flop, but after that two-toned flop of rags, Chris suddenly had a draw to outrun him with a flush.

Saturday Tournament

Ladies and Gentlemen, I present one of the people who made it into the money at Saturday’s tournament:

N.A.M., Esq

I’m not sure what this says about everyone who didn’t make it into the money…

Game Report 10/17/06

Location: Dr. Smiley’s Poker Emporium
Attendance: Chris, Neil, Smiley, Dirty, Miller

A sparse but hardy group decided to throw some cards at Smiley’s swanky South End pad once again. Everyone who didn’t come missed the chance to see Miller’s awesome Dr. Doom gloves (affectionately dubbed “The Cheese Graters of Doom”), the spiffy new folding chairs made out of iron and padding and the insane display of bad karma for poor old Neil.

The low numbers meant many games were on the table, so a lot of stud was mixed into regular rounds of Hold ‘Em and Omaha. Early round games saw Dirty and Smiley build some nice stacks. Eric and Neil played tight but just couldn’t get any cards. Chris’ stack swelled and shrunk like the tides, until a massive hand of Baseball early in the night saw him take a ginormous chip lead that he would lord over the table for the remainder of the games.

Further rounds of Omaha saw Neil take some catastrophic all-in losses thanks to several well timed river cards. Miller’s play saw him build some stacks only to lose out on some decent calls that just didn’t cut the mustard. Dirty’s once proud stack was soon decimated, but he managed to turn his first buy-in into a comfortable stack in short order. Smiley’s cryptic style of concealing his chips and cards with his hands made it hard to see how well he was doing, but he was smiling so who knows.

A few big hands of split-pot stud saw Dirty and Chris taking both ends of the pot, furthering their large stacks. Neil’s despair deepened as he failed to get decent hands and the hands he did move in on were summarily destroyed on the river by better hands. Chris saw his once omipotent stack slowly dwindle to a mere gargantuan one, as Miller solidified his position heading into Crazy Games.

The usual suspects were played, including Smiley’s Jesus Saves stud variation. Chris invented some kind a new Guts game called “Class Warfare” that allowed extra cards to be purchase based on a share of the pot. Neil desperately doubled-up a few times only to fall short on the third attempt, again thanks to the magic of the river card. Refusing to buy in for a sixth time, he watched the foursome hurl chips at one another in Pregnant Cows, Montezuma’s Revenge, Tic Tac Toe and more. In what seems to be a recurring theme in HGPA weekly games, a large Gang War was the last hand of the night, and the game was called at 1 a.m. sharp.

Big Winner: Chris likely had far more at one point, but still managed to cash out at a very respectable +$60.

Big Loser: Neil, keeping with his desire to be Big Something every week, to the tune of -$50

Quadalicious: Several people hit quads in non-crazy games through the night. Coupled with Miller’s Quadraphonia at the tourney last Saturday and it’s been raining them all week.

Old Man River: Neil saw his better hand decimated not once, not twice, not three, four, five or six times, but SEVEN times courtesy of the river card. Suffice to say, this did not do wonders for his morale over the evening.

Bob & Baseball: Despite no Bob, Baseball was played. And not even during the Crazy Games! Must have been the baseball on the TV influencing us.

Chips Ahoy!: Smiley knocked over his own stack of chips several times and was also nice enough to smash Dirty’s chips off the table at least 3-4 times over the course of the evening.

Throwing Down The Gauntlet: While not being forced into an Eric’s Trip this week, at one point Miller donned his Dr. Doom gauntlets to “turn his luck around”. Upon realizing he couldn’t manipulate his cards with any realistic expertise, he quickly ditched them.

Quote of the Night: “Unnnnnnngh … excellent. Well, here you go.” – Neil, after seeing the only card in the deck that could beat him arrive on the river, having to deliver all of his chips to Smiley in what was a common occurance during the evening.

Tournament Report 14/10/06

Eleven men entered, but only one left. Well, everyone left. Except me, as I lived there.

Anyways: The tourney was another rousing success, even without our reigning champ Chris there or the likes of Alex, Bob, Tiger, Ward, Cal or Jarrod cluttering things up.

Eleven entrants, split for a long while into two tables (5/6). Several rebuys, a lot of reloads and the pot swelled to a delicious $400.

Once again the tourney ran far too long (a full six hours, 9 p.m.-3 a.m.), prompting this observer to suggest a 20 min capped round time limit on these things.

Lots of good moments, but since it was more that 24 hours ago I don’t recall any of them. Good times, though.

Order of Elimination

11 – Cracker

10 – Dan Melvin

9 – Drake

8 – Neil

7 – Hyland

6 – Sean Jordan

5 – Speedbag

4 – Smiley

3 – Merrick ($80)

2 – Dirty ($120)

Grand Champion – Claming his first tourney win was Miller, netting $200 for his efforts which will surely salve some of the recent losses he has incurred at the weekly game. It was hard to not imagine him winning, since he hit quads an amazing four times through the night.

Since I was far too dazed after 2.5 hours of dealing cards to snap a picture, here’s an artist’s rendition of Eric enjoying his spoils:

Fun times, gents.