On August 31, 2010 the Duke Women’s Volleyball team defeated Campbell in Cameron Indoor Stadium. Below is a slideshow from Chronicle photographers Caroline Rodriguez and Chelsea Peironi.
Quick, name a Duke graduate who had a single major with no minor or certificate.
You can probably count the number of people who had just one area of concentration on your right hand, and for a good reason—it’s important to have versatility in your studies and also have your main area of study complemented by other subjects. What you learn in mathematics not only complements your physics studies, it’s pretty much essential to understanding physics.
In poker, it’s no different. There’s often an unsaid but very common assumption that when I tell people I am a professional poker player, they assume I am actually a professional no-limit hold ‘em player. No-limit hold ‘em is definitely a game I play on a consistent basis and I enjoy it very much. But it is far from the only type of poker game I play for a living—in fact, I would doubt it’s 50 percent of my total playing time.
Just off the top of my head, there’s pot-limit Omaha, limit Omaha hi-lo, razz, seven-card stud, seven-card stud hi-lo, 2-7 low draw, 2-7 triple draw, five-card draw, badugi and baduci. Have I blown your mind yet? That doesn’t even include random home games that you would never find in a casino, such as baseball, deuces wild and follow the queen.
Now clearly, I’m not going to be playing every single one of these games every day. In fact, of the games listed above, I probably play less than half seriously and admit that I have no idea how to play badugi and baduci properly. But that’s not the main point here.
The main point is that by playing so many different games, you begin to learn the different aspects of poker that get especially magnetized in certain games. Let’s look at the five games that I play the most: no-limit hold ‘em, pot-limit Omaha, limit Omaha hi-lo, razz and seven card-stud.
No limit hold ‘em will teach you to read your opponents and understand their thought processes very quickly. Unlike limit games, where paying off a river bet with a marginal hand might only cost you a tenth of your stack, in no-limit you need to understand your opponent as close to perfectly as possible or you will go broke, and quickly at that. Similarly, because of the greater bluff potential, you have to understand your opponents folding and calling tendencies in order to run effective bluffs.
Pot-limit Omaha, meanwhile, will force you to learn the math of the game. For example, did you know that on a board of Jc-10d-3h, if you have Ad-Kc-Qd-9c you are actually a 55 percent favorite to win over Jh-10h-5s-6s? You have no made hand and your opponent has two-pair, but you have so many cards that can improve your hand that you are the favorite here. This game will force you to understand how many cards can improve your hand, what kind of cards will kill your hand and what the odds are when you have X number of cards that will make you a winner.
Limit Omaha hi-lo makes you look at the versatility of every starting hand. In this game, the best high hand (set, straight, flush, etc.) and the best 8-card low hand (i.e. A-2-3-4-5 is best) split the pot. In an ideal world, however, you want to have both hands locked up, so you look at all the possibilities of every starting hand. A hand like A-K-Q-J is strong in pot-limit, but it has no potential to win the low. A board like A-K-4-5-8 might mean you have the best high hand with two pair, but you are still splitting the pot with a hand like A-2-3-5. A hand like A-K-2-3, on the other hand, is very strong, because you can win the low and the high. There’s nothing better than winning a pot on a board like A-4-5-9-10 because you have the 2-3 for the straight and the best low hand possible.
Razz will (sometimes begrudgingly) teach you to adjust on every round of betting to your opponent as the best hand can often change on a dime. The best starting hand in razz is A-2-3, but against a hand like 8-7-6, a very marginal starting hand, it only wins 50.5 percent of the time. That’s not to say it’s a game of pure luck, but rather, you are forced to figure out every street if you are ahead or behind and if you can draw to a better hand rather than just jamming.
Finally, seven-card stud teaches us the importance of relative hand strength. Because you have four of your seven cards exposed, you have a lot more information about your opponents. You might have a 4-5-6-7-8 straight, but if your opponent shows four to the same suit, do you really think your straight is good? Probably not. Learning to fold hands that are normally strong but weak to your opponent is extremely critical to success in seven-card stud.
As always, there is overlay in all of the games. Relative hand strength is a big factor in pot-limit Omaha, and understanding the psychology of your opponents is critical in any game. But by playing many different games, your skills become more fine-tuned as a result of each different game and you become a better overall poker player as a result.
Duke head football coach David Cutcliffe is known for starting press conferences off on a lighthearted note. Today’s media luncheon was no exception.
“I have a bulletin that just came in from Duke Sports Medicine,” said Cutcliffe to start off his talk. “It informs me that the sports information office is no longer allowed to play basketball. Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina has said the next case will be a death penalty,” he said to the audible delight of the media in the room. The team’s sports information director, Art Chase, had been sporting a big black boot this summer boot due to an injury sustained in a basketball friendly.
Cutcliffe attributed his amiable mood to the good work the Blue Devils have done in preparation for Saturday’s 7:00 p.m. game against Elon. He offered genuine praise of the Phoenix (“that’s not just coach speak,” he said) and admitted to having some pregame nerves.
“Someone was talking to me today saying I’m sure it makes you nervous to play that kind of opponent to start,” Cutcliffe said in reference to Elon. “And I said I’m nervous about all of them. I think it’s great for us to play a quality team that knows how to win because we need to measure ourselves.”
The young Duke team will take this year one game at a time, Cutcliffe said, and take each contest as an opportunity to build a stronger program. “Every time we play is a golden opportunity to grow our program,” he said.
Other highlights included:
- Expect some true freshman to take the field on Saturday. Cutcliffe rattled off the names of running backs Josh Snead and Juwan Thompson and wide receiver Brandon Braxton when asked who fans should expect to see. He also said that he wants quarterback Brandon Connette to work in for a few snaps as well.
- Cutcliffe said the defense was one of the “unknowns that I’m anxious to see” in the first game. He is confident the defense, which is breaking in several new starters, will chase after the ball aggressively. He has been pleased with the unit’s performance when scrimmaging the first-team offense.
- Duke will start a new tradition this year and run out of the tunnel behind three flags—those of the ACC, the United States and North Carolina. Each flag will be carried by a member of the scout team that has performed well in practice that week.
The Duke-UNC rivalry is known as one of the best in collegiate sports, but the animosity that epitomizes Tobacco Road seems to be extending into the realm of high school basketball.
Exhibit A was this gem of a trash-talk session between UNC’s Harrison Barnes and Kendall Marshall and Duke’s Kyrie Irving while the trio were still months away from entering college.
Now, a pair of 2011 recruits in Duke’s Michael Gbinije and UNC’s James McAdoo are joining the fray.
In a recent interview with DraftExpress.com, the pair exchanged numerous verbal barbs. Gbinije, predictably so, brought up the Tar Heels’ NIT season last year, while McAdoo shifted the focus to UNC’s recent national titles and prowess sending players to the NBA.
Gbinije also facetiously mentioned his desire to go to the NBA after one season in Durham, but quickly retracted the statement under pressure from McAdoo.
What do you think of the future Dukie, folks?
If Cameron North is Madison Square Garden, the New York Times’ Pete Thamel may have found “Cameron East.”
In his analysis yesterday of Team USA’s 99-77 win over Slovenia, Thamel, a predominately college sports writer, found more than a few connections to Duke and the FIBA Championships, including an observation that the heavily pro-Slovenia crowd in Instanbul’s Abdi Ipekçi Arena was like a “chanting, green version of the one at Cameron Indoor Stadium.”
Thamel also saw head coach Mike Krzyzewski to be a calm within the storm, even though, in his younger years, he would have thrown a chair after the U.S.’s listless first half.
There were no chairs thrown at the Abdi Ipekçi Arena, but Krzyzewski asked a Turkish reporter, “Do you know my reputation?”
Check back later tonight for analysis of Krzyzewski’s coaching decisions in Team USA’s game against Brazil.
With the 2010 football season just over a week away, Duke has sold out its allotment of season tickets at Wallace Wade Stadium.
While it is unclear the last time that Duke sold out all of its season tickets, it is clear that it has been at least a decade.
“I think it’s huge, for the momentum it’s building for this program, for Coach Cutcliffe, the players, for being more recognizable,” said Boo Corrigan, Duke’s senior associate athletic director for external affairs.
While Robbi Pickeral of the Raleigh News and Observer speculates that this run on tickets can be attributed mainly to the high-profile matchup with defending national champion Alabama on September 18th, enthusiasm for Blue Devil football is certainly at an all time-high as the third year of the David Cutcliffe Era begins.
In fact, when the Crimson Tide roll into town, there will be an extra 3,900 seats put into the end zone and concourses, which will increase Wallace Wade’s capacity to 37,841. It will be interesting to see if there is more crimson or blue in the stadium on the 18th, as the game in Durham represents the only chance for many Tide fans to see their team this year.
With single game tickets still available for all other home matchups, those in Duke athletics hope the Blue Devils performance on the field will lead to subsequent sellouts.