Sunday, August 31, 2008

Moneybookers out of PokerStars

A lot of online players are affected by Moneybookers pulling out of PokerStars. Read about it in PokerManila.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Online Bankroll Update

I haven't been able to give an update on my online bankroll. Actually, I wanted to give an update after I've recovered it but that's not going to happen anytime soon.

My bankroll started at $45 and was funded through a friend. It really was just for me to test online poker to see if I wanted to play regularly online. I played various games just to see what it had to offer. I played 7-card stud, Razz, Omaha, HORSE, Holdem cash tables and I played STT's and MTT's. I learned a lot everytime I play. Most important lesson I learned is that I should never play a multi-rebuy tournament while drunk. To cut the long story short, I'm now down to $0.04.

I was planning to deposit through Moneybookers but when I viewed the Deposit Options, the Moneybookers button was no longer there. I emailed PokerStars and found out that Moneybookers "changed their policies and are no longer allowing gaming transactions". Well, that's too bad for me. I'll probably check what my other options are next time.

Friday, August 22, 2008


I'm planning to make a deposit in PokerStars and from other online players' recommendations, I decided to open a Moneybookers account to do that. I originally wanted to deposit directly through my credit card but PokerStars wouldn't accept transactions with a Citibank credit card. I have an American Express credit card but PokerStars doesn't allow it either. So I will course my American Expres credit card transaction through Moneybookers and use that for PokerStars. It's a workaround but it gets the money to the PokerStars account.

Moneybookers works the way Paypal does except that Paypal can't be used for PokerStars. (I think they shut down or something.) But Moneybookers is tried and tested. They can accept transfers from various credit cards for a minimal fee or through bank transfers for free. They accept bank transfers from the Philippines too. For simplicity, I'll use the credit card transfer because the PokerStars bonus will more than cover the fee I need to pay.

In case you also want to use Moneybookers, just click on this link,

And if you still don't have a PokerStars account, use this one,

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Am I a Compulsive Gambler?

I was looking for the next article to post in the blog and I came across Gamblers Anonymous site. On the site I found the twenty questions that would determine if one's a compulsive gambler. I might as well find out if my playing poker is a problem.

Did you ever lose time from work or school due to gambling? No - Whew! I'm off to a good start.
Has gambling ever made your home life unhappy? No
Did gambling affect your reputation? Hmmm... I'm not sure what's being asked. If it's asking if my playing poker has affected my reputation negatively, then I would have to say No.
Have you ever felt remorse after gambling? At one point or another, everyone has felt remorse after calling for the sake of knowing the opponents hand when they knew they were beat. So, Yes.
Did you ever gamble to get money with which to pay debts or otherwise solve financial difficulties? There was a time when I was out with friends and we didn't have enough money to drink. So we gambled until we had enough. Yes again.
Did gambling cause a decrease in your ambition or efficiency? On the contrary, it made me more ambitious.
After losing did you feel you must return as soon as possible and win back your losses? Maybe when I was starting. But part of my poker maturity is to know when to stand-up. Unless I'm drunk, but I'll save that for the Alcoholics Anonymous.
After a win did you have a strong urge to return and win more? Same answer as the previous question. No.
Did you often gamble until your last dollar was gone? This is a hard question. I know I do which is why I leave non-gambling money and ATM cards and credit cards at home when playing. So my answer is No because I don't bring it with me.
Did you ever borrow to finance your gambling? I never borrow for gambling unless I know that I can pay it back immediately. I won't borrow if I can't pay it back.
Have you ever sold anything to finance gambling? There's nothing of value to sell.
Were you reluctant to use "gambling money" for normal expenditures? Never.
Did gambling make you careless of the welfare of yourself or your family? I can't see how this could happen.
Did you ever gamble longer than you had planned? Yes.
Have you ever gambled to escape worry, trouble, boredom or loneliness? Yes. Especially boredom.
Have you ever committed, or considered committing, an illegal act to finance gambling? No.
Did gambling cause you to have difficulty in sleeping? Yes. There are some bad calls, bad folds, bad beats, or bad players who can really keep me up all night.
Do arguments, disappointments or frustrations create within you an urge to gamble? No.
Did you ever have an urge to celebrate any good fortune by a few hours of gambling? Poker players should stop being superstitious. Luck has a hand in poker but it's not what should determine the results of the whole game.
Have you ever considered self destruction or suicide as a result of your gambling? No.

That's a total of 5 Yes answers. The site said compulsive gamblers score at least a 7. I'm not a Compulsive Gambler! Cool. Just in case you found out you are, you can email They have weekly meetings all around the world. Including the Philippines.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Featured Player - Derick Hernandez

35 years old

When did you start playing?
I started playing poker December 1999. I know this because I started playing online and they have the date when you registered to them. That’s the first time I played holdem.
Where do you usually play (live and online)?
Live I play at The Metro. Online I play Pokerstars and Fulltilt poker.

What stakes do you usually play (live and online)?
Live I play as much as 500-1k. Online now a days I prefer tounaments as much as 1k buyin.

Preference: Online or Live poker? (Optional question, Why?)
Of course live games but I wanna play online in between those games. I think I play much better live but online gives me a lot more convenience and rake is much lesser and you don’t have to give tips.

Preference: Cash games or Tournament? (Optional question, Why?)
Tournaments. When I win a tournament it feel like I’ve accomplished something aside from winning money. You don’t get that on cash games.

What are the biggest tournaments you've entered and what place did you finish?
Well the biggest was the last main event of the WSOP. The field was almost 7k players. The buyin was 10k usd. And I finished 700+. Didn’t made the money though. Money was 666 players.

In your opinion, who's the best international player and why?
I don’t watch a lot of high stakes poker on tv anymore but I always liked Phil Ivey and Gus Hansen.

In your opinion, who's the best local player and why?
Me. Well aside from me Kent del rosario and Franco Mabanta I think are among the best on cash games. On tournaments I would say Niel Arce. Online poker I would say Ronnel Sto Thomas but for some reason he is a fish on live games.

Fearless forecast: Who among the Filipino players will last the longest in this year's APPT Manila ?

What does it take for a good player to become a great player?
A great player learns from everyone. A good player thinks he is already good on his own.

Walk us through what was going through your mind when you busted out Phil Gordon in this year's WSOP Main Event.
Wow! I busted Phil with only pokets 4’s hehe isn’t that amazing! Everyone on my table was in awe with that single hand. Seriously because everyone were playing so tight and both of didn’t hit anything on the board and both of us have good stacks.

What would you change in the way Filipino poker players play?

If I could change anything it’s the game itself. I think poker would be more successful if the game is limit holdem instead of no limit holdem. The trend now a days is no limit but limit is more fun and have less seriousness in it coz u don’t have to lose your whole stack in one hand.

If you go to Commerce Casino in LA you would see more limit games than no limit games. That’s why it is running good up to this day coz of limit games.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Filipino Time

Poker has been in the Philippines for years and a lot has improved. The structures are better. The plays are now more strategic. More people know how to play. Attendance is far from when we were starting. Payouts are definitely bigger. What has not changed is the time it starts!

Back in the day, there'd be a tournament advertised for 2pm and it'll start by 3pm or 4pm. Nothing has changed at all when it comes to the actual first deal. Players do not arrive early because they know it's delayed. Organizers do not start on time because players have not arrived. It's vicious cycle and I don't see a snap-of-a-finger solution to it in the near future. But it really has to stop.

Too much time has been wasted waiting for the tournament to start. As of this writing, I'm waiting for The Metro Bounty Tournament to start. It was advertised to start at 8pm and it's now 9pm+. I've walked around Metrowalk several times and I know it won't start in the next few minutes. Such a waste...

This is not particular to The Metro. All other poker rooms I've been to experience the same problem. But if The Metro wants to be the poker room all other poker rooms want to be, starting tournaments on time would be a good place to start.

Let's make this a "petition" post. If you're in favor of tournaments starting on time, just leave a comment on this particular post. Make your voice heard.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Interview with a House Player

Hold'em is like no other casino card game because the players play against each other and not against the house. It's better because the house doesn't care whether you win or lose as long as they have their rake. Downside to this is when a big money player enters an empty poker room, he'll just leave because there's no one to play against. This was solved by some poker rooms hiring house players or prop players to guarantee that there will always be people to play with. Not all poker rooms employ house players but room who do are often more successful because there will always be action on the table. There are also different terms for each room. Generally, they are seated in tables where there aren't enough players and they stand when there's a player who needs the seat. They play with their own money but are given a "salary" as long as they complete the required number of hours. This is my interview with a house player.

Where/When/How did you start playing poker?
I have always thought that poker is a great game from what i saw in the movies since my childhood days. i didnt know how to play then but i knew that poker is a family of various games and that its a game of betting, calculating odds and reading opponents. in 2004 i taught myself the texas holdem and other variants through books and the internet when i knew that poker will become popular in the country.

How did you become a house player?
I was already one of regular players in the local scene when the cardroom needed house players so i was offered the job and i accepted it.

How often do you play?
Right now i have to play there five days a week, 8 hours a day.

How has being a house player changed poker for you?
it helped me build my bankroll because of the regular income.

What have you learned from being a house player?
That the game is really hard to beat at our local scene. if its hard to beat even for a paid props player who get a daily pay, more so for any other player who dont get any pay for playing.

Are there any disadvantages to being a house player?
You dont have table selection. sit when you have to, stand when you have to.

Do people play differenty if they know they're playing with a house player?
Yes. because generally, house players are better players and people know that because they see you play almost everyday.

Should they steer away from playing against house players?
Yes if possible.

What would you change in the way Filipino poker players play?
I have always wondered why it is only here in our country where the rake is too much at 10% with maximum reaching PHP 500.00 or more for higher stakes and anywhere else it is only 5% with a maximum of $3 per pot. If it doesnt change, it will be really very hard to beat the game, even for top-class pros, i believe.

Any last words for the readers of Final Table Donkey?
Nothing more, i think i talked too much already. lol.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

The Filipino Poker Tour: Red Cross Freeroll - Phase 2

I just busted out of the level 2 satellite for the Aug 9 event. Seems like it's a recurring theme where I win the level 1 but never get close in the level 2.

Well, there's always a next time.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

The Filipino Poker Tour: Red Cross Freeroll - Phase 1

I was able to win the level 1 satellite for the Filipino Poker Tour: Red Cross (tournament 99142101). There were a total of 487 entries and the top 10 would get a seat for the level 2 satellite (tournament 99139091) on August 3, 2008 at 7:00pm MNL. The main event will be held at The Metro Card Club in Metrowalk, Pasig City, Philippines on August 9, 2008.

The level 1 freeroll satellites will continue nightly at PokerStars. There's one at 7:00pm and 10:00 pm MNL. They can be found on the Tournaments/Regional tab.

One problem with the freeroll is that majority of those who play are not even from the Philippines. I don't even know if they know where the Philippines is. I asked one player and he said that he plans to sell the seat if he wins. Tough luck for those who actually intend on playing the main event.

Friday, August 1, 2008

The Filipino Poker Tour: Red Cross

On August 9, 2008, there will be a Filipino Poker Tour Tournament. Unless I'm mistaken, the tournament buy-in will be Php 5,000.

There will be freerolls in PokerStars for this event. Nightly level 1s and then a level 2. I'm currently playing the 10pm MNL level 1 which is why I need to stop blogging and pay attention to the game.