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Week 11

With a two-week break before the regional, about 45 players showed up at the Knickerbocker on Monday night for a practice game. The top prize was a fancy chip set.

With a two-week break before the regional, about 45 players showed up at the Knickerbocker on Monday night for a practice game. The top prize was a fancy chip set.

The beauty of the impromptu game was that if you lost before the 400/800 blinds, you could earn your way back into the main game at a "satellite" table.

Well, so much for that. I lost a large gulp of my chips in the main event when I called with A-J against a pair of 9s. But at least I made a good read, putting this guy on something close to a pair of 10s before I called.

At the satellite table, another guy went all-in with pocket rockets, and I, being on the big blind and on full tilt, oddly called with 8-6 suited.

Things looked good with a 7-5-x flop, but no help came down the road.


I was a bit pokered out by this time since my chip stack flowed like a roller coaster all night.

Don't get me wrong, I really wanted that chip set since I'm still playing with the plastic Bicycle chips at home. That's probably why I can't host a game, but that's for another column.

The debate over the Dakota Poker League by some is that it really isn't poker unless you have tossed your car keys and other things of importance into the pot. Those kind of comments filled the in-forum message board when our poker series ran a month ago.

People can look at this league any way they want. For me, it's great entertainment and a chance to get out of the house. It's also a great way to get to know people. It's also well organized. And, for those who don't have $10,000 under the mattress for a World Series of Poker emergency, it's the cheapest way for a chance to win millions.

Over the course of the league, there's little dissention that the best players advanced to the regionals or state final.

Sure, there's probably some good players who fell a few points short because of a couple bad beats against players who might have actually busted A-A with 8-6 suited. But over 10 weeks, there's little doubt that if you received the 100 bonus points for attendance and played steadily and wisely, the chances that you advanced were in your favor.

I was looking back at some of the hands I've played this season to wonder if I would've made the same plays if real money was on the line. My guess is I'd probably play the same about 90 percent of the time.

That said, I'm saying there is a difference between playing for dough and playing for show in the DPL.


But probably not as much as people believe.

The larger gap is playing for nothing at all.

If you had 10 friends over and zilch was on the line, you might have five players going all-in so they can get back to the couch and watch TV. You'd probably have the same result even if you had a bag of potato chips on the line.

It's pretty hard to brag about sour cream and onion, especially to someone's face.

So, a chance at real chips in Vegas has kept the season from growing stale.

It's something to munch on.

Rob Beer is the design coordinator at The Forum and a first-year poker player. E-mail your bad beat stories to rbeer@forumcomm.com

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