Thursday, January 29, 2015

Lammer jammer mamma

Above: When you play in satellites, they pay you with tournament buy-in chips called lammers (see below for Wiki definition).

The WSOPC hasn't gone well. I played the first few days with nothing to show for it. In one, I made a big mistake and didn't recover. Another I had two bad beats: I lost with K K to K 10, all-in pre-flop when the board ran out with four diamonds. I built my stack back up, then called a guy's all-in on the flop of 4-3-3 when he had 2 2 and I had A A. A 2 on the river was the two-outer he needed. When you're running bad, you're running bad. I took a couple of days off to regroup.

When I was in Las Vegas last summer, I talked to a guy who told me he won all his entry fees (he played the Senior Event and the Main Event) by playing the one-table satellites there. I've always avoided them thinking they were a crap shoot -- low starting chips and fast levels. He swore no, they were beatable, but (paradoxically) you have to play ultra-tight. That didn't make sense to me, so I expressed my skepticism, but he continued to tell me the same thing. This was a guy I played with, talked to, and liked. He wasn't some nut, so I had to a least consider what he was saying.

After I took two days off here, I decided to try them as an experiment. The Tunica Horseshoe event is offering three kinds: $75 buy-in with 1500 starting chips and 10-minute levels, $125 buy-in with 2000 starting chips (pays $1125) and 15-minute levels, and $200 buy-in with 3000 chips and 15-minute levels (pays $1850).

Tuesday, I played in three of the $125 type and chopped one of them, so came out ahead for the day. What I discovered is that you do have more play than you would suspect, and playing tight is right. If you have one misstep, however, you are in trouble. You don't have enough chips to withstand that unless you were lucky enough to double up early.

Wednesday, I played in one of the $200s. When there were two of us left, we each had 15K chips, so agreed to an even chop. Chops are common when two- or three-handed. Even the bad players know that anything can happen when short-handed, so they are willing to minimize the risk by chopping. That was a $925 profit, so, hey, I think I might like these things.

You are paid with lammers and cash, but mostly lammers. You can sell them to anyone entering a tournament, so they are essentially the same as cash (see photo above).

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In a casino setting, lammers are also used to indicate which variant is being used, whose turn it is to pay the blind etc.., and lammers are also a name for "chips" awarded in satellite tournaments as buy-in chips to larger tournaments.

Poker equipment - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Image taken with my cell phone. I brought my camera, but left my cable (to connect to my laptop) in FL, so using phone.


  1. Chop, chop! You done good, my friend. Sorry about leaving your cord behind. We have people coming to Florida who leave things behind - like spouses, kids, jobs, etc., but not usually going the other way. :)

  2. Man, those are some B.R.U.T.A.L. tournament beats! Glad to hear you scored some cash (um, lammers . . .) in the single table games. The small stacks and quick levels would definitely not be my game, either. But, I guess if people chop when down to 2 or 3, perhaps they can be profitable simply by playing tight and waiting for a few folks to either make mistakes or get into bad spots

  3. Our tournament syles are so similar, this is defintely food for thought for the future. The bad beats are gonna happen - just keep playing your game MOJO... ;)

  4. Good job, Mojo! ~jusdealem

  5. are u still in florida any? i moved to Tampa

  6. Early on I played a ton of SnG's online. The more passive early play described was the way to go there too. It is also a solid small tournament strategy. I've used it successfully in rebuys too.

    You'd think waiting just lets sharks be those you will be forced to play but often its tunas -- big tunas from their loose early play. Those become chips for the taking later.

  7. Only really tried it once to get into a Venetian deep stack. Two at the table got lammers and I was one of them. Played uber tight and pushed hard when needed. Problem was that I didn't plan things properly. Was switching hotels that day, played the sat in the morning, then the deepstack almost immediately afterwards in the afternoon. Didn't allow the proper time for lunch, relaxation, etc.