Cactus Kev's Poker Page

Although I enjoy playing any and all card games, I find poker one of the more interesting ones, for the following reasons:

  1. It is one of the few games where the best hand doesn't always win (i.e. you can bluff)
  2. It is the only casino game where you are playing against other players, instead of the house.
  3. It is truly a game of both luck and skill, whereas other casinos games (such as craps, slots, or roulette) are games of pure chance.
  4. It appeals to my mathematical nature.
  5. It has a rich American history.
I have played poker in many casinos over the years, collecting a poker chip from each establishment. Click here for the complete list. As a programmer, I once decided to write my own five-card poker hand evaluator. If you dig that sort of stuff, be sure to check it out. I have also written a lengthy discourse on probabilities and combinatorics in the game Omaha. Most recently, I embarked on a major journey to enumerate all possible five card poker hands with Deuces Wild. Experience the madness by visiting here :) Lastly, I wrote a short article about using wild cards in poker games.

Poker Tables

My annual ATLARGE trips

ATLARGE stands for "ATLantic City Annual Rec.Gambling Excursion". Every year, people who post and read the newsgroup get together for a weekend in March to meet each other and play poker. It's a time you can finally put an actual face to someone you've only talked with via the newsgroup. I have attended six ATLARGE events so far, from 2000 to 2005. At these events, I play in the official ATLARGE poker tournaments: the No-Limit Texas Hold'Em tournament, the Limit 7-card Stud tournament, and the H.O.E. tournament - a new addition to the 2003 event. (In case you've never played tournament poker, each player pays an entry fee. All entrants start with the same number of "tournament" chips. You play until one player has won everybody else's chips. Needless to say, tournaments can take quite a long time to finish). ATLARGE 2001 was exciting, because both my friends Dennis and Chris made it to the final table in the limit 7-card Stud tourney. Both finished in the money, with Chris getting 6th place, and Dennis taking 3rd place. However, ATLARGE 2002 will be the one I remember for some time, since ten of us descended upon Atlantic City, and we had an absolutely fantastic time. I was fortunate enough to make it to the final table in the No-Limit Hold'Em tourney, and managed to fight my way to a third place finish! You can read all the details in my trip report. This following year (2003) was also a record-setting trip for the 8-2 Club, as four of us placed in the money. Greg matched my placement last year by winning 3rd in the NLHE tourney, but Dave topped us all by winning First Place! And in the Stud tourney, Chris won 8th and Mike won 4th. Again, read my trip report for more info. We didn't fare so well in 2004, but Mike managed to make the final table in the Stud tourney, keeping our club's "final table" streak alive. 2005 was the year that fifteen 8-2'rs attended ATLARGE, and we had an absolute blast. It was a good one for me, as I was the only member to make a final table, and I also won the "Best in Show" pool. Check out the details. In 2006, a whopping twenty-one 8-2'rs made the trek to A.C. Although I didn't place in the money, I still had a fantastic time, which you can read all about here.

Kevin at ATLARGE 2000
That's me playing in the 2000 Hold'Em tournament


Kevin at ATLARGE 2001
That's me playing in the 2001 Hold'Em tournament


Kevin at ATLARGE 2002
That's me playing in the 2002 Hold'Em tournament.
I made it to the final table and placed third!


Kevin at ATLARGE 2002
That's me after picking up my third
place tournament certificate check


Kevin at ATLARGE 2003
Me playing in the 2003 Stud tourney


The 82-Poker Gang at ATLARGE 2004
The 8-2 Poker Club enjoying ATLARGE 2004
(Note the way cool custom logo'd shirts)


Me and 8-2 Mike enjoying ATLARGE 2004
Me and 8-2 Mike enjoying ATLARGE 2004


8-2 Club at ATLARGE 2005
The 8-2 Poker Club at ATLARGE 2005


Cactus Kev at the banquet
Enjoying the ATLARGE 2005 PokerStars banquet


Ron, Dennis and Kevin at the Luxor
Ron, Dennis and I playing at the Luxor in Vegas


Kevin playing at the Bellagio
Raking in the chips at The Bellagio