Tilt Poker Series, episode one

Just started watching this series last night after waiting almost a month to have the DVD box set delivered to me.

Ebay was the only place i could find the series, I paid 6 bucks for it including shipping.

It's super low budget, cheesy acting, and a lot of the typical over dramatic slow rolling poker calls that movies are guilty of, but the realism of the hands is at least one thing they have gotten right.

Often when a movie has a poker scene you get these ultimate case bad beat hands. A good example is in Casino Royal, the last hand of the tournament where it's straight flush beating full house beating smaller full house beating flush (I cant remember exactly what it was but you get the point). Basically the problem with this is that the maker of the movie gives the audience the impression that this sort of thing happens often in poker, when in reality straight flushes are incredibly rare, and for a straight flush to beat the second nut hand is so rare that casinos offer sometimes huge jackpots to people that lose in this type of situation.

A few years back 109 players shared a $914,474 progressive bad beat across all the participating Caesars Entertainment poker rooms. The soon-to-be happiest unlucky guy in Vegas, Robert Kopke, picked up pocket kings and faced off against Jungok "Sarah" Whang with her pocket Aces at the no-limit game at Planet Hollywood. They got all the money in pre-flop and the flop of A-K-A made for an exciting wait for the turn and river. Two shots for his 1 outer for 182,952 is about 3.8%, but he managed to hit it and send the room into hysteria.

The "winner's" share of the jackpot was $91,447. The other 107 people playing at the qualifying tables won $5,982 each. I don't know about you, but at the levels that I play at, that would make for a very successful Vegas trip.

These types of situations don't happen as frequently as Hollywood would make you believe, and in the new series "Tilt", the hands are more realistic. In one of the first hands they show, Chris Bauer's (Whom you might remember as Frank Sobotka from "The Wire") character flops a set of 2s, only to be run over by Michael Madsen's (Whom you might know from everything) character's 2nd nut straight, when he hits it on the turn. Michael Madsen plays the wiley Pro, and they manage to get all the chips in the middle because he frustrates and confuses Chris Bauer's character. Very realistic hand situationally, banter-wise definitely less realistic, but at least the banter makes sense even though Madsen overacts horribly in this scene.

They introduce you to a few other characters, and there is the implication that there is some cheating going on, but we don't really know how other than some vague reference to hand signals and chip stacking. And then another character makes a deal with some stranger to dump all his chips to him in a tournament, and there doesn't really seem to be a clear sense as to his motivation for doing this.

If that sounds confusing, good, because yes I'm confused.

The realism of the hands, and the celebrity appearances (Saw T.J. Cloutier and Daniel Negreanu in the first episode) is going to be enough to prod me into finishing this series, It's pretty entertaining and fun to watch even with all the overacting and confusing plot lines.


A large part of me wanted to just let this whole project die.

I thought for a long while and then decided this last weekend that I would revive the site. A short but heated debate with a close friend of mine led me to trying out my app to see what the actual odds were, only to discover that the application was out of date with the old version of Silverlight, and that the Blog site was no longer functional.

In short the site need a shot in the arm (or maybe the face), I spent a few hours upgrading the app it to the latest version of Silverlight, and then I decided that maybe I'll port over all the stuff I built and build a mobile friendly web app from it. I've started building that, I don't have an estimate as to how long that will take, but I'll keep everyone updated here on progress. I also don't really have any stats on how much the hand analyzer has been used over the years, however I absolutely know that I have found it useful on a few different occasions when I was curious as to what the actual odds were in a particular situation.

If one is a curious person, they can sit down and try to work the odds out, I've found this to be a rather cumbersome exercise, and often when I try to figure out exact odds I miss some subtle thing that might occur. Like lets say odds of runner runner winning it. How does this thing change the situation? Missing these subtleties might mean you end up getting the odds slightly wrong, and this can definitely effect your bottom line as a player if you go for years with the odds wrong.

Personally I've found my greatest success at the poker table to be at the Limit Table. If you don't know your odds at limit cards you'll get eaten alive.

It's because of this that this project was initially spawned over 10 years ago. I built it thinking that Silverlight would last forever, now I see that Microsoft has announced that Silverlight will not be supported past 2021. Anyways, the hand analyzer as far as I know only works in Internet Explorer, if you find another browser it is compatible with please let me know.

This blog used to be on Blogger.com, but they decided to change they way they do things, and I'm more technically a little more capable now so I just set up my own blog site that I have 99.9% control over (still using a remote host). So far a few hurdles have needed to be overcome, but Blogengine.net (thats not the url, but the name of the project, google it) seems to be pretty solid and stable, so we'll try it for a bit and see how it goes.

Let me know if you are interested in becoming a contributor to the site.