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Poker News | PokerWorks Op-Ed

Poker Pundit - Jeremy “Chipsteela” Menard - Easy as Cake

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A blog of sorts, a story to be told, the true depth of poker is about to unfold:

Hey what’s up guys, now that I’m back from the PCA I’ve been putting in some sick sessions grinding online. For the most part I’ve seen pretty lack luster results this year, and have been having a tough time squeezing out profit after going back into makeup with my backers from all the events I played at the PCA. I’m telling you it’s such a vicious cycle that at times seems nearly impossible to break. I usually don’t play on any other sites outside of the usual PokerStars, Full Tilt, and UB do to the lack of tournaments with good prize pools and also because I can’t stand to look at the skins of some of these sites.

I also am hesitant to add more tourneys to my already hectic schedule since I don’t focus as well when I have over 12 tables going at once, and you definitely need to be dialed in when you are playing against the minefield of tough regs in most of the high stakes tourneys I play in day to day. Well I had heard from some friends that the Cake Poker site was insanely soft and also offers a pretty decent selection of tourneys, particularly their Sunday major, which often has an overlay. So despite the fact that the skin looked like something I played on Super Nintendo when I was 9, I decided to give it a shot.

After playing a few tourneys on Cake I could definitely tell there was a big difference in the level of play. It was like I went back in time 5 years where nearly everyone has a weak tight style, and if you’re willing to apply some pressure they almost always fold. I also found that later in tournaments the players were much less likely to call shoves from short stacks unless they had basically the nuts. This is just awesome because push/fold strategy is so important deep in tournaments, and nowadays I’m not surprised when people call my shoves with the most marginal hands. This definitely takes a lot of variance out of poker, and is a breath of fresh air compared to the absurd shovefests that are the high stakes tourneys where you just have to pray that you can win an insane amount of flips just to make a final table. This is all great, but the one thing I love the most about this site is that you have the ability to change your screen name once a week, allowing good players to become completely ambiguous. I feel like when I play with the same people over and over, so much meta-game develops between us and it makes the game of poker so much more complex, and though this makes the game more  fun and challenging, it also takes away a lot from my bottom line. I’m all for the spirit of competition, but I’d much rather have money just handed to me thank you very much.  
    
Due to all the factors stated above, it didn’t take long for me to get my first decent cash on the site. Cake runs their flagship tourney that offers a $250k guaranteed prize pool every last Sunday of the month, and though I was short for most of the tournament it was easy for me to maintain at least a semi decent stack by shoving all in pre flop whenever possible since I pretty much never got called. I actually remember counting being all in over ten times in a row at one point without being called once.  That’s just ridiculous. Still I never really was able to get my stack up at the final table and ended up finishing in 6th for around $11k. It wasn’t until the next weekend that I really started making that cake.
    
Flashforward one week, and I again found myself deep on this newfound goldmine of a poker site. This week it was a $162 buy-in with a $125k guarantee instead though. Since the buy-in was a little lower the field was recognizably weaker, and I made sure to abuse the table as much as possible under my new alias DnkyPnch.  It did help that I won several key races deep, but I also was able to win a lot of pots uncontested through sheer aggression and that’s what really wins tournaments. I entered the final table with the chip lead but the blinds were getting pretty big and it wasn’t long before I lost nearly my entire stack when my A-K was unable to hold against an aggressive player who moved in his whole 20bb stack with K-T. I kept my head in the game despite my misfortune, and was soon able to double up through the same person when he made a similar shove w the K-Js and I woke up with A-A and it miraculously held.

From then on I used my chips to put pressure on those looking to just move up the pay ladder, and was able to get away with murder. I think this had a lot to do with the fact that no one recognized my screen name.  Before I knew it I was heads up with the chip lead and it was all over in just a few hands as I got my top pair, top kicker in for all the chips against my opponents flush draw and held again! The win was good for $22k, but really it just felt nice to be back in the winner’s circle after what has seemed like a long hiatus.  Sometimes you just need that confidence boost.

For those who have yet to play on Cake I definitely recommended trying it out as long as you can get over the interface created by a 6 year old.  Take it from me, the fish are still floundering around all over this site and their money is ripe for the taking. Just remember who let you in on the secret when you’re at my table and considering 3-betting me with air and it will be all good.  Check back in next time, I’ve got a feeling there are big things coming in the future…

Study poker with Jeremy “Chipsteela” Menard at DragtheBar.com

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