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Texas Hold'em: Controlling the Game
Texas Hold'em Controlling the Game
Actor: Phil Laak
Genres: Special Interests, Educational
NR     2005     0hr 56min

Phil (Unabomber) Laak pulls off the hood to reveal the emotional aspect of professional poker. This fascinating behind the scene look at strategies and aspects of poker that have never before been revealed. Phil talks abou...  more »


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Movie Details

Actor: Phil Laak
Genres: Special Interests, Educational
Sub-Genres: Home & Garden, Educational
Studio: Cms Multimedia
Format: DVD - Color - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 09/01/2005
Release Year: 2005
Run Time: 0hr 56min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 2
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

It's good enough for $6, even though most of it is fairly ba
Poker Face | Toronto, Canada | 07/31/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)

"Actually, this is only 39 minutes long (not counting the 2 minutes of end credits) and it's in widescreen (1.78:1) format. My copy was of excellent picture and stereo sound quality. Better quality than even the less than stellar looking "Ultimate Poker Challenge" DVD sets.If you happen to get a bad one, then yes, return it.

There are 6 chapters. One where Phil talks about himself, another one about basic things like looking at your cards,one about acting only when it's your turn; bankroll; stealing pots and where to sit at the table.

I liked it, but I'm not so sure it's really worthwhile to buy this unless you're a Laak fan and are watching just to see what kind of goofy stuff he'll say. For example, he coined the term "Dormancy Vig", to describe someone who is so tight that if they time their steal attempts just right, because they were not playing very many hands (stayed dormant), they had a good chance of stealing the blinds or Vigorish (bookies collect Vigorish on bets, that's how they make a profit regardless of who wins). So if you can steal blinds, that's a good way to help you get started.

Phil says the best time to steal is when you are in late position (duh, we know that), but not just because you can see how many players that are left, that you have to bluff out of the pot, but also because if the hand is checked on the river and the guy shows you that you're beat, you can just muck your hand and no one's the wiser about your steal attempt--it's common etiquette for the first player that bets or checks(if 2nd player also checked) the river to show his cards first, unless you have the nuts, then you might spare him and show him your hand first). Nothing earth-shattering, I know, but Phil's an entertaining guy.

He also suggests that even if you miss the flop, and you're first to act, you should bet 2/3 of the flop, because your opponent (or no more than 3 opponents), will only hit the flop about 1 of 3 times. So, even if he calls and you later fold, the other two times you bet (assuming he's a typical player) you might get him to fold and you'll come out ahead. If you're against three players, even though you'll lose one extra time overall(5 out of 9 times), on average, you'll still come out ahead because you're betting less than the pot each time.

Also, be aware of other player's stacks. Let's say a rock (with $950)in seat 2, finally makes a pre-flop bet(of $300) that leaves him with only $650 left, so you know he likes his hand. The next guy(seat 3) has $5,300. He calls. The last guy(seat 1) has pocket aces and also $5300. He also calls. This last guy(seat 1) is first to act on the flop and it comes 10-J-2 of diff. suits. Phil saw the pocket aces guy make this dumb play. Mr. Pocket Aces knows the short stack(seat 2) likes his hand and will probably call anything, so he bets $650 and the short stack (seat 2) calls. (Phil made a mistake and said the pocket aces guy bet $600,but that wouldn't make his point, so my way seems correct). So now, seat 2 is all-in. The seat 3 guy also calls. The turn brings the 7. Mr. Pocket aces has already screwed up ,because he's given seat #3 a free card.

Mr. Pocket Aces makes a bet (doesn't really matter what, because the seat 3 guy has 8-9 and made the straight, so he makes a big bet or even can go all-in, if he thinks Mr.Pocket Aces has a good enough, but weaker hand, and will call).

Mr. Pocket aces should have only bet about $300 on the flop, knowing that the short stack likes his hand (it was pocket kings) and would probably raise. So then, if the short stack raises any amount, and then seat 3 calls, it still gives Mr. Pocket aces the opportunity to make a big raise or go all-in, to push the seat 3 big stack out of the pot, if he thinks the seat 3 guy's got a good drawing hand, etc.

By the way, Phil mentioned it's possible that the seat 3 guy could now have two pair or even a set (although very unlikely). Maybe that's why the smarter move for Mr. Pocket aces is not to raise more than the $300, until he sees how seat 3 responds to the short stack's (seat 2) probable raise to all-in. If seat 3 decided to semi-bluff his straight draw, and go all-in, it would be tough to throw the aces away, but at least the option is there if he thinks his aces are beat.

As far as bankroll goes, for No-limit, take 10% of what your bankroll for gambling is, lets say it's $10,000. So, that's $1000, for your buy in. To determine what blinds you should play, just divide your $1000 bankroll by 100 (because he wants you to have 100 times the big blind before you start playing). That gives you $10. So play NL games with $10 Big Blind.

There's some more good stuff as well, so feel free to buy the Dvd, it's so cheap, and good enough.

See you at the tables. The name's Face. Poker Face."