Sunday, December 31, 2006

Ouch or Darn, Darn, Darn

First round at table today. KK vs AQs (70%/30%) allin PF. Bang KOD puts it in my ass. $25 down right off the bat. Rebuy back to $50 max. 2 hands later and still in my first circut. QQ - the ladies. EP raises with only $10 total. I want to get isolated and get his other $7.50 in. I push from MP. LP calls my $50. Shit, Shit, Shit. Aces. AA vs QQ vs JJ. (68%/17%/15%). American Airlines stays in the sky, fending off the terrorists with box-cutters.

I'm down $75 in less than 10 min and it's time for a break to clear my brain.

Oh yea, as you've likely already noticed I've started throwing in some percintages. I figured that it would be a good way to start learning them better by taking the time to look them up. I downloaded Poker Stove for this. It is a nice piece of software to have.

Also I decided to start posting hands again. I recall that by posting key hands that while explaining and typing I would get greater insight into the situations that they present. So basically I am learning by analizing these hands that I take notes on. I start realizing just how amiturish I am playing some of my hands. Even some of the hands that I win. Time to fill some leaks again. It's actually kinds of humbling to see just how much I don't know.

I am also going to start posting HH's on AC and TP again.

The Fam Game or Crush

I crushed the mini-tourneys that we played. We played 6 games. 4 games had 6 players and 2 had 5. I was on fire. I got 1st twice, 2nd thrice, and 4th once. I made $30.

In all those games I only got my money allin with the worse hand 2 times, when I didn't have to push due to a short stack and increased blinds. I'm pretty proud of that. Twice when I got 2nd I had the best going in on the critical hand. both times it happened the same way. I was slightly ahead in in chips when we got it all in the middle PF. I then got bad beat and totally crimpled chip wise and was forced to push the very next hand. Bad beat 1 - AJo vs KTo (60%/40%) - 2 - 88 vs 77 (80%/20%) I didn't mind the coin toss, but the 4to1 fav hurt.

Don't let me get too high on my horse though. Once when I got 1st I put a huge suckout on Jv. A5o vs A8o (35%/65%) After that I was back in the game. It was pretty uneventful for awhile as the table dwendled down. Then It got down to me, Jv, and Bro. Jv was buyin pots as I was waiting for a hand to slap his ass out of the game with. I checked with AJo and he did the expected; he raised. Bro called which scared me, but he knows my style well so I figured I could isolate if I pushed and Jv called. I pushed. Jv called quick. Bro looked me up and down; then he folded it after posturing for a few min. If Jv wouldn't have called it would have been a harder dicision for him because he would have to decide if I was stealing or not. But with 2 allins he had to drop like I was hoping really hard while he sat there rubbing his head exaggaratedly forever and saying that he should call and that he was holding the best hand. We turned over AJo and A5o (70%/30%) and I already started continplating my HU strategy against Bro. 5 came and Jv jumped up started screaming and doing doing his usual Kung Fu moves. I said that it was payback for my earlier suckout but I was pretty pissed inside at the poetic justice BS. LOL. I was left with 400 in chips out of the 9000 in circulation. The blinds were at 400 I think. I was the dealer so I could wait one hand if neccessary but I had an Ace. I went allin. Jv who doesn't know anything about checking down raised Bro and he folded. I beat Jv and tripled up. Bro would have sucked out 2pr if Jv would have checked it down and moved up in the money. very next hand I wake up with AQs if I remember right. Jv calls, as does bro from the SB. I push from the big. Jv calls as does Bro and I start to worry as make a side pot with what I can win. Board comes down Ace and Queenless and I figure someone paired up. Bro checks Jv the big stack pushes. Bro thinks hard then folds. Jv turns over a total bluff with no card above a seven and off-suited to boot. He doesn't realize just how bad this play is. Yes he got Bro to fold but with nothing in the side pot he still has to beat me to make anything. I beat him and triple again. Bro soon is short stacked and is taken out. I then play aggressive against Jv heads-up. He isn't used to playing against aggression only being the aggressor. He folds to a few of my reraises of his bluffs and a few where he had a strong HU hand. I dwendle him down to the critical point and then fein weakness with a strong starting hand and reraise him. Game over. I was really happy with my play in this game other than the one mistake that could have lost my game for me. Also Jv's agression was my salvation in this game and all night long really. 2 nice hands at the end along with his bad play won me the high pedestal.

Very good night for poker. It almost got out of hand once though. Bro and Jv got buzzed and started arguing about stupid shit that does matter in the big sceem of life as usual. But they let itget really heating and we had to work hard to get them calmed down enough to continue to play nicely.

Me - 1st, 1st, 2nd, 2nd, 2nd, and out of the cash once.
Bro - 2nd, 3rd
Mom - 1st, 2nd or 3rd, and in the money possibly once more in 3rd.
Dad - 1st, 1st
Jv - 2nd, 3rd, maybe another 2nd or 3rd and a 1st/2nd split.
Mist - 2nd or 3rd, and a 1st/2nd split.


Saturday, December 30, 2006

Small Win or Making 3rd World Wages

I made $10 in around 5 hrs of my life. That equates to $2 an hr - 4 BB's an hr. It's enough to buy a Vietnamese child but still... Shit working for 5 hrs and not being able to buy a Big Mac - now that's a bitch.

Here's one of my leaks. The Blind Fight. I am sucked into this money-consuming ass-trap time and time again. How hard is it to realize that just because it's just you and the other blind left, that he isn't always stealing. Maybe he actually woke up with a monster under the bed. But no, my EGO (I capitalize because it big) gets all gravely and kicks out the De Niro from Taxi Driver,"You talkin' to me? No... No... You talkin' to me?) and I start firing back with starting hands that would almost always drop to a bet. When will I learn.

Folds around to ass in the SB. He raises to $2. "What, you talking to me... Make it $4." He makes it $6 and I call. Then I basically call the rest of the way with my pocket 2's. Yea that's right, pocket freakin' 2's. OK here's a wasted $15. What a leak!

Then comes the usual KOD. (Kiss of Death. KK.) I actually didn't lose much here but it just pisses me of when some fag calls my raise with shit and spikes his Ace. There's only one card that I'm really worried about on the flop (if someone sets it so be it, it was fate)and that Ace seems to come up often. I always pot raise anyways just to make sure. But so many guys play those A-rag hands and can't let them go. Away from the rant and back to the hand. He min-raises from EP. I reraise to $3.75. It folds back to him and he slowly makes the call. A96 Flop and he pushes for his last $10. What would some tard min-raise PF with, then call a over-bet-raise PF, and then open push. AQ or AJs or less likely 99 or 66. Would you push to the aggressor with a made set? Not I, I say. I let the aggressor bet then I push my last $10. So that leaves an afraid Ace IMO. If he pushed with QQ, JJ, or TT, I give it to him for having the balls and I tip my hat off to him, as I ask him to go outside for his ass-whippin'. "Head or Gut? It's your choice and be quick about it." I fold. Does anyone call this? Am I weak here?

Then comes the KOD again, but this time it's not the dumbass Suicide King. Limp-limp from UTG and UTG+1. Then I raise it to $2.75 with KOD. Folds back to UTG and he pushs his whole $8.50. UTG+1 calls. Holy crap, what do we have here. I push my $40+. He insta-calls. Board comes down all under Jack. UTG has A8o??? Only thing I can think is that maybe he was on tilt after losing a big hand, that I missed due to multi-tabling, which is why he only had $10 at a $50 table. UTG+1 turns out to be slow playing AKo or maybe he is just weak and I had him crushed. KOD holds up and I scoop in $50. 2 players fail to rebuy and there are 2 newly opened seats at the table.

Last hand of the night. I am so pissed that I decide to not even turn off the Auto Posts at my tables, I just X'ed out, took my sleeping pills, and headed for the bedroom, with thoughts of what if. This guy at the table is hyper-agro. He limps or raises every hand. He is in every hand anyways, limping more often than raising. He then mixes it up with calls, raises, and the occasional fold on the flop. He is basically running the table and I've watched lots of seats open up then fill back up as fish leave to find calmer water. (I guess, as to how I lost this the biggest hand of my night, maybe I shouldn't call others fish.) OK, I've set it up enough to try to Validate my play here. LOL. I'm SB with KQo. Limp to the flop. KJ6spades on the board. He over-bets. I call with TP, plus I have the Q of spades. X-small un-suited. He fires again and I call, just knowing that he is trying to buy this shit, but not brave enough to put him to the test. Blank on the river and I once again call him down. He turns over T2spades. Shit, Shit, Shit. Turns out he was protecting his small flush the whole time by betting. Plus the raises were him normal MO. I really played this bad. I'm not being results oriented either. If I was willing to call this fag all the way, I should have took that money and raised the flop to see where I was at. I guess unless I could go back in time I don't know if I would have believed his inevitable reraise anyways. I dropped like $30 on the hand.

So I made a measly $10 for the night. At least I see my leaks now I just have to learn from them.

OK, it's live poker tonight. Bro is coming over to Mom's house again for some Fam-tourney action. Let's see how JV's luck holds this time. I'm holding out and going for the kill with some check-raises tonight. Let's hope my luck holds and his Dago luck doesn't.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Round 2 or Ding Ding

I lost the 1st round to some gut-shots! No really I played good for the fisrt few SnG's and then when I went to the cash tables and lost the winnings and more. The cash game loses were my fault totally. I was calling big raises with shitty kickers and shittier draws.

... Cut me Mick... UH... I'm going back in there...

The jumped on UB and got 4 $50 tabs going. I played my normal game but with an extra dash of conseratisim. I soon found myself up on 3 and down on 1. I then started rat-holing when I found myself up over $10 at a table or down $15. Things kept rolling and I was playing in my usual zone. Cha-ching, Cha-ching.

I did make a few calls where I was beat, but I wouldn't classify them as bad. I won most of my races, though I was usually a big fav when the money went it. I don't think I can withstand too many coin-flips where I go in with the best and land on tails every time. I mentally really need Lady Variance to hook me up with some impartiallity for a while and let the fav when for a while. I need a confiedence boost and a down swing wouldn't be too helpful at this time.

I lost one big had for like $30 when my set got run-down by a runner-runner flush. Luckily that was the only real bad beat last night.

+$80.83 for the night.

What will tonight hold?

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Ramblings of a Mad Man

Holy shit… we have a celebrity in the house.

Sir Waffles actually dropped by for a read.

Gasp and swoon… I’ve caught the vapors!

Monday, December 25, 2006

Introspective retrospection

I found an old journal from early last year, I think. It is funny as hell. This is when I first started thinking about how to improve my game. I decided that I would write down all the hole cards that I was seeing a flop with. I’m pretty sure that I was just limping with most of them. Hopefully anyways. I then started watching how often I won with these hands. I also started watching how often I was getting out-kicked. I also tracked which hands I lost big pots with and what beat me in those hands. Getting better at poker is a process just like any other problem or system. You just have to keep an open mind and methodically work your way through. The genesis of my poker knowledge. It is pretty fun to get a glimpse back.

AA, AKo, AQo, AJo, ATo. AKs – A2s.

KK, KQo, KJo, KTo. KQs – K2s.

QQ, QJo, QTo. QJs – Q8s.

JJ, JTo. JTs – J7s.

TT – 22

All suited-connecters

Holy crap – no wonder I lost my first $75 playing the penny tables. Good thing I got serious and started logging my played hands. Oh, do you see how I only played suited hands from A9 down, K9 down. And real conservative (LOL) Q9s and Q8s and J9s – J7s, for the flush and straight possibilities. From the notes it looks like I pretty much played anything suited, all paint, and most cards over 8. Good stuff. I wish I would have written down my philosophies and strategies at that stage of my game. I’m sure it would be a fun and insightful read.

Baby Steps - Again

I actually sat down and played a little poker these last days off – not much mind you, but it’s a start. I played 3 $5 SnG’s. I got a 1st, a 3rd, and a 5th or 6th. The 3rd I am still a little pissed about because when it got down to just 3 of us left I had 11,000 in chips, leaving 4000 for the other 2 to split among themselves. I made a few ify calls trying to knock them out. I the lost a race where I had AJ vs KT, and of course he hit 2pr on the flop. I then pretty much donked off the rest. The Sng where I didn’t cash, I ran a nice hand into a nicer hand. It happened and though I lost, I feel justified in my choice.

I downloaded some trial software that allows me to record anything on my computer screen plus audio. I will play something small to see if I can put it on here like I have seen some other bloggers do. If not I think I might be able load it on U-tube and post a link to it. We will is. If for no other reason than I think it will be fun to try.

I played a few tables of $25NL on UB for around 30 min. I really am not playing well. I lost a big hand, thus losing what I had won from the SnG’s. This got me frustrated and I got off. So I maybe put in 3 hrs total this week. Oh yea, the hand that I played poorly.

PF – guy to my right min raises to .50. I am sitting pretty with QQ and reraise it to $1.50. Dude to the right calls. Folds back around to min-raiser who calls. Flop – J92 rainbow. Guy bets $1, I make it $3. The guy to my left pushed for $20. 1st gut drops. I know that even though I have an over-pr that I’m pretty much dead here. But the push bothered me at the time so I call. He shows AA and I lose a buy-in. Very stupid.

I truly don’t know what my problem is. I have to figure it out. But then again I need to play to figure out anything, so I need to get it in gear and play. Later.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

I'm Not Dead

Sorry everyone for the disappearing act. There are 5 reasons for the long sojourn: I have had some personal issues going on; I haven’t been playing at all or even getting on the computer often; hunting season; Final Fantasy XII; and I have been studiously enthralled in my Psych books. I will try to post more often that’s for sure.

I have really been dead and disinterested in poker. I just can’t get thrilled about sitting down in front of the virtual dealer. I haven’t played online in a month. I think what happened was that I got burned out after cashing out my roll. I cashed out most of my roll a few months back and then loaned out most of what I had left online. I was down to $30, then I moved down stakes drastically, and needed to make a comeback. I was down to $12 so I pulled out a strategy from my past, one Thrash coined shoeclerking. I played non-stop for a while and took that $12 and got enough of a roll to start climbing stakes and going back to my normal style. I took that $12 and at its zenith got it to $950. Then came Lady Variance from the depths of the maelstrom. She slapped me around time and time again. Going in with the best of it meant nothing to her. 2,3, and 4 outers were her weapons of choice. I honestly couldn’t win shit. My roll kept dwindling. My confidence dropped. I started second guessing my reads and plays. I went from playing solid poker with bad luck to playing bad with worse luck. I also started playing coin-flip poker, which is never good when you’re running bad. I began raising and chasing draws without the odds like the world owed me the outs to win big pots. I truly was playing bad the worse my luck ran. I said fuck it a month ago and decided it was time for a rest. My eggroll currently sits at $400 waiting for me to re-enter the ring. I still don’t feel ready, so I wait in the corner with the cut-man, listening for the bell to go, "Ding, Ding."

It Makes A Daddy Proud

I have been sitting with Ash-boy, who is 11, in my heated deer blind, with my bow. I haven’t even been hunting real hard this year. I have maybe sat 6 times now and it is already 2 and ½ months into bow season. I only have 2 weeks to go. Funny story, for those with a sense of humor, and aren’t Dr. Spock liberal nuts that love the FCC and the like. (Quick factoid: Dr Spock’s son committed suicide. I just find this funny – this guy writes a book telling the world how to raise their kids, yet obviously there must be some flaws in his techniques.) Let me set it up a little real quick. I let my kids cuss a little bit. It doesn’t bother me that much. They know that they aren’t allowed to cuss at school or in front of grown-ups. (If you think your kid doesn’t curse when they are with their friends – you have blinders on.) Anyways, I have a huge doe come in right before dark. I tap the boy and tell him that a deer is coming in. I grab my bow. I am shooting whatever comes in. This is the first deer that I have seen all season and it is going down – buck, doe, or fawn. It’s time for some jerky. The doe comes in and Ash-boy whispers it’s a big one daddy. I wait for a broad-side shot. There she turns, opening up those vitals for me. I draw back and let it go. Thwack. It hits her hard. (Actually I double-lung her, plus it went thru the heart also.) She tucks and runs. Ash-boy shouts loudly and all excited, “You smoked that motherfucker daddy!” I said wo boy calm down over there. Watch your mouth. But I couldn’t help laughing at his statement. It kind of brought a tear to my eyes. I was there for my boy’s first motherfucker.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Saturday, November 25, 2006

A Thanksgiving Turkey

Thanksgiving I went over to the in-laws after work to play a little poker. I had to work the next morning so this probably wasn’t the best idea, but damn it is hard to pass up a game. I played till 2 in the morning. We there were 5 of us playing mini-tourneys at $5 buyins. Nice friendly games. Mom played the first 4 then got tired. The rest of us kept drinking, playing, and talking shit. OK, final stats: Mom -$10, Bro -$5, JV and Mist -$5, and me the big winner +$10. We probably played 8 or so games. Though I did well, JV was the overall winner. We paid 2 places each game. JV was in the money more than not. I would like to see his variance over 50 games. I would guess he would be well in the hole. But the night was his night. He was winning all the races and sucking out often. He would put his chips in bad and need 1 card and miraculously it would appear out of the deck as if Johnny Angel the mind freak was dealing. It was eerie; he did it so many times. But don’t get me wrong, I give him respect for his game. He was hyper-agro all night long and talking shit the whole time that he was taking our chips. You never knew if he had it or not. He actually played pretty Tuff. And just to listen to his theories and philosophies on poker, betting, and gambling in general was well worth the price of admission. He said, “Boy I hate to fold those,” “I like to at least see a flop with those cards,” and, “Those hit more than not,” to the point that I realized that their aren’t any cards that the boy doesn’t like. He was a cool customer with his constant limping and barrage of BS bets and total aggression. Plus he always showed his cards, bluff or not. Basically he had the table half on tilt all night, making calls, bluffs, and raises in response to his overall lunacy. All in all, a great night of low-cost, high-fun poker. Oh yea huge argument on how often certain hands come up. He said that you will hit your pairs on 2’s and 3’s more than any other cards in the deck. He said our odds and outs are just math. It doesn’t mean shit. It doesn’t take into account the shuffling of the deck and luck. Give him 32s any day. We can have our shit hands. He plays the players not the cards. He’s like the fucking retarded Yogi Berra of poker. Fun night. Oh yea, I lost one tourney when my 2 pr ran up against Mist’s Royal Flush. I actually didn’t feel bad about losing the tournament. Ain’t too often you get whipped by one of those live.

But hey, he won, so what the hell do I know.

The 4-flushes or Casino Action

I went to the casino Weds. night to play $1/$2 NL again. This time I went with a friend from work. (He just started coming to my fish game. He is really new to the game is a level 1 player at best. Some level 1 bad habits he really needs to break: Only sees his holdings. Not seeing the difference between a concealed 2pr, small hole pr in hand and 1pr on the board, and pr on the board + 1 pr matching 1 hole card. Doesn’t protect his hand. Doesn’t value-bet. Ect. Ect. Unlike the rest of my fish, I have begun to teach him the game. Mainly due to the fact that he wants to start playing often with me live. Damn I’m a saint.) We drove the hr and got there a little after 7 pm. We walk into the main slot room and I can see that there is not a table running. My heart sinks. What a bitch it would be to drive a freakin’ hr to only turn around and go home, ‘cause believe me I hate the slots and won’t hang around and put even a quarter in one. He hits the Head and I walk over and ask the Pit-boss or whatever you call ‘em what’s up. He has 5 on the list, but needs 6 to open the table. I sign in and grab a rake of chips and pick on of the seats on the end. (Goes to show haw much I know yet about the game. I can’t even tell you what seat I’m in. I’m 3 to the left of the dealer anyways. I’m going to guess seat 3. If I’m wrong feel free to hook a brotha up with some knowledge.) Chris shows up and takes a seat straight across from the dealer. The Pit-boss starts paging over the P.A. that the table is open and also calls the names of the players on the list. Oh yea, a quick factoid: the max buyin at table is $100. I don’t know if this is normal or not for live $1/$2 NL games. I know that online the rule on most sites is 100xBB max buyin.

We are sitting there waiting for the players to show. The dealer shows up and goes thru his pre-game checks, i.e. counting the chips in his tray, that for some reason he never touches and fanning the cards out and verifying one-by-one that they are all there. I already could tell that I wouldn’t have the patience necessary to be a dealer; all that meticulous shit, plus having to be nice to drunks and the tards that just don’t pickup on things. I could just see me forgetting my pills one day and snapping on some dumbass. “Hey stupid you are now the small blind. What was your first clue. Last hand you were the big blind dikshit, what don’t you get here. Every fucking round it’s the same shit with you. What don’t you understand?” I start whipping cards at the guy like Jesus Ferguson taking out a watermelon. The rent-a-cops with their slot-keys and Mag Lights dragging me kicking and screaming out the back door to kick the living shit out of me, because they watched Good Fella’s too many times. Son-of-a, zoned off again.

It’s like 8 min and 3 pages later before the players start showing up. First I thought they were just finishing up at the BJ tables or cashing in quarters from the slot. But no, they were just taking their time so the wouldn’t break a hip. To say that these were elderly people would be an understatement. The 2 men where ancient wayways. The geriatrics squad takes their seats. Only 4 of the 5 showed, so it was 6 of us. The other one likely keeled over and died of old age or liver spot poisoning. Just joking, I love the extremely elderly. Especially the ones that take forever to make any decisions. I know, my day is coming.

As we started playing I noticed a few things. Here’s the breakdown. They all called small raises PF. They would even call smallish raises post flop with marginal holdings and draws. They all didn’t have much care or regard for kickers. The 1 young-old lady would call ½ pot raises with A-rag all day long without hitting it, then on the river fold if she missed. I watched her take down a few pots over the night from Chris due to this sad tactic. It did catch up to her in the end and she had to rebuy once. Chris actually was the player, in a moment of poetic justice, to put the deathblow on her first baby stack because of this bad habit of hers. Basically they all over-valued their holdings time and time again. The young-old lady’s dad was the most competent at the table, other than ME of course. (Aforementioned statement possibly skewed due to hypersensitive ego.) No really I was the most solid player at the table. (Aforementioned statement possibly skewed due to hypersensitive ego.) Sadly, even though I had good reads on them all, I didn’t really know how best to change up my tight-aggressive style to extract the most profit from these guys. So much for being a good player aye? I was pretty passive and waited for semi-strong hands to exploit their leaks. But as fate would have it, most of the time they would be rewarded at the table for their flaws. Retirees with more money than skill.

I chip down a little waiting for a hand. Chris’ stack is steadily dwindling because he is seeing almost every flop. Plus he would see small post flop raises with overs and draws and he wasn’t often connecting. I look down at cowboys a few rounds in after I got my reads. I raise to $7 and get 3 callers. No respect for raises. Innocuous flop and I bet out $10. Chris and Father Time drop. The skinny old lady calls. Turn is a blank and I see no reason to slow down, so I bet out $15, which is fairly small considering the size of the pot. She drops. Damn.

I watch Chris lose a nice pot to young-old lady. Chris bets TP on every street after she checks it to him. River brings an Ace and she bets out this time. Chris calls. She shows A-rag-off-suit for the win.

Soon after I have AKo. I throw out $7 again. A few callers. AKx flop with 2 clubs. The skinny old lady bets out $5. I raise it $10 after a fold. Only the skinny old lady calls. Turn, another club-small. She checks, I have no club, but figure that she is checking to the aggressor more likely than slow-rollin’. I bet out $20 and she calls. River is another club. She checks. I check behind. She turns over A4o, but the 4 is a club. Kickers apparently mean nothing to her. She hits my stack pretty hard. Her dropping the baby flush is pretty iffy to a river raise. Anyone bet that 4-flush river? I think betting that river is –EV overall, but especially against her.

An Indian with a long rat-rail joins the table to my right. Right where I want him. He is a regular. I have only played 3 or 4 times ever and I saw him there every time. He is fairly aggressive but also tuff and crafty. He likes to see most pots and is hoping for the 2pr spikes that will inevitably come his way. I actually mentioned him in a previous post about the first time I played live. Things are looking up for some profits. Oh yea, one cool thing about this dude that I got off him a few weeks back; he sits down with a full rack of yellow $1 chips. I asked him why no red $5 chips. He told me that back in the day when they first started up the room that everyone always had to ask for change with their $5 chips so it just became a habit. He said plus the goal was turn all his yellow chips red. I really thought that was a pretty cool statement. He also never drinks alcohol like the rest of the table usually does. He makes lots of odd bets with his $1 chips and never is consistent with his bet amounts.

We both start getting our chips red. Mine because I got a few hands that the calling stations paid off; his because of his aggression and spiked hands. Then comes a bad hand concocted just to smack my stack. I am in the big with J4o. I complete and the flop brings K44 with 2 diamonds. The whole table limped here. The antiquated guy from the cutoff bet $5. The 2 regs called. I just called to see how many more callers I could get. 2 more callers. The turn brings another diamond. I check, as does everyone around to the old guy. He makes it $15 to go. The 2 regulars drop. This is where I made my mistake. I should have check-raised here to see where I’m at. I am weak here in my game I’ll admit. I don’t know if I just don’t think or if I don’t want to increase the pot. I call $15. Chris also calls the bet. River a 4th fucking diamond and I start lamenting my luck. Twice a 4 flush was going to kick my ass tonight I start to think. Thanks Lady Luck, you biatch. I check my cards. Ooh, the Jack is a diamond; this might not turn out too bad after all. All that beats my flush is the A or Q, and of course a boat. I check. Chris checks the old guy bets out $15 into the close to a $100 pot. I decide that I pretty much have to call. Chris raises it $15 more. Damnit I think to myself. If he would have done that instead of checking the first time around I could have folded no problem. Old dude calls. I know that I’m beat now but with it only $15 to call $170 I feel propelled towards this ass-whippin’. I have the Jd. Chris has the Qd. And the old guy shows Ad. He scoops in a monster. Even though Chris’ river raise sucked, at least he had a pr of Kings until the river flushed. The old bastard had A-rag-off-suit. He raised with A-high all the way and got 2 running diamonds to keep himself from a good ol’ ass-smackin’ that even his grandchildren would have felt.

Another regular shows up and sits to the right of the Indian and the dealer. I also mentioned this dude before in my “first time playing live” post. He was the regular that kept getting smacked around by the cocky “that’s one powerful 6 and a 3” guy. I don’t really like seeing another good player at the table. My greedy ass wanted money for myself.

I only have half my starting stack due to that big hand. Chris has $8 and pushes the next hand. He then commences to buy back in for only $50 this time. We had barely been there for an hr. 2 huge slaps from 4-flushes and I’m still only down $50. Can’t ask for much more than that. Yes I can. Maybe being up to over $300 in my stack would have been a bit better. But hey, Lady Luck gets bored sometimes and needs to get her jollies off.

Stagnation, and then about 20 min later I am in the small or big again and have T7o. I wimp along with other callers. Flop T77. BANG. I check and Chris bets out and there are callers. I slow played until the turn and the check raised the 3 or 4-way pot. All folded but Chris. I put him allin for his last little bit on the river and showed him the bad luck for his junkass hand with a 7 in it. He doesn’t reach for his wallet right away, so I asked if he was ready to go home. Even though we had only been there an hr and a half and the fact that I didn’t want to leave the likely lucrative table, I figured it was time to leave. Chris was down $150, we had an hr drive home, plus we had to both work in the morning.

So I grabbed my chips and cashed in for a $26 profit. I still can’t help to think that I could have made over $300 if those 2 hands hadn’t went horribly wrong.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

The Fish Bowl

I played with the boys from work again on Tues. night. My little fish, I like to call them. I went home the big winner as usual. I have played with these guys more than 10 times and have only once went home down any money and that time was to a river suckout 4-outer. I had the nut-flush and they had 2pr. I got him to put all his money in on the turn and the river brings the 4-outer. Yea. Sorry to rehash that. As you can tell, I’m totally over it. Back to it; damn I get side-tracked easily. I think that is also part of my illness. Damn brain. Easy game, just wait for a hand and bet it. Once they fear your raises, bluff at the pot. Rinse and repeat. The big hands that I usually rake in are the over-valued hands. They have a bad habit OV’ing hands in a few different situations. 1 – if a 4-flush hits the board, no matter how small their flush-card is, all they see is flush. Often 3 or 4 will call big raises. 2 – 4 cards to a straight or a straight on the board. Nut straight isn’t a concept that they have learned yet. And of course their good buddy Ash ain’t telling them shit. 3 – pocket pairs. This is probably where they suck the most. If they have a PP they think that means that they are supposed to win that hand and that they can bet or call all the way to showdown and have a truly genuine look of befuddlement at the big loss. It is almost sickening to watch. Ex: Guy with pocket 6’s bets all the way to the river then calls the raise of his bet on a board with 4 overs and flush and straight draw possibilities. And then he said that he had to see.

4 Days Away

Poker didn’t go as I envisioned it while working last week on nights. I put away my school books and checked all the blogs. They pumped me up, see how good some of the guys were fairing. Wes in particular has been rushing for a while now, almost to the point that I don’t think variance is going to kick in. I hope to reach that level of play within the next 2 years. OK, back to reality. I just knew I would put up some big numbers and hit my Nov. goal. But alas, I played like a donkey thru-out my days off. I made some horribly calls. I made some sad bluffs. I didn’t value bet when I needed. And just all around played like an ass. OK, I also did get slapped around with a few horrible beats. 2 and 4-outers were the crux of my misery when I wasn’t spewing chips into the dead money side of the pot. All in all I dropped $150 or so. I have one more week to step it up. A grand seems quite the apex now.

I don’t really know what to do, but lately I have really been making some stupid calls. If I can’t stop the madness, I might have to concede and cut back on the tables that I play simultaneously. I usually have 6 or 7 going. Plus currently I have 2 sites at 2 different stakes going. I think maybe with all the extra thoughts that I have to calculate constantly; it is just too taxing to make adequate competent decisions.

I going on vacation from work in a few days and will have 12 straight days off. I’m not going anywhere but away from work. I am burnt-out right now. Plus if I didn’t take the days before the end of the year I would lose them back to the company. I will get some poker in and see where to go by my results. I have to have at least 4 tables going or I get bored. And my bankroll can’t sustain Lady Variance at the stakes that I would be able to pay full attention to just one table. Anyone else have this patience/attention-span issue? If I’m not rushing on the amount of the stakes I need to be making constant decisions. I think that is part of my illness.

I took all my money off of WPEX this week because there just is never a game going. Plus with UB having this new weekly points exchange bonus deal thingy going, and my normal bonus dollars accruing perpetually as I play, I see no need to waste my time waiting for a game on World. Now only if I could talk UB into hooking me up with Rakebreak I would be raking-in, (no pun intended, it just worked out that way,) the fucking dough. UB offers a 28% rake back thru Rakebreak for new members to bring in player base, but if you are already a registered user Fuckoff. I guess the way around this is to sign-up under a new alias and e-mail address. This is more work than I feel like doing, so bonus dollars and conversion monies will have to do. Oh yea, the whole point of this paragraph was meant to bring up a bragging session. So with no more ado, I have my roll in just 3 places now. 1 – a small amount at neteller for a rainy day, just in case you know, if something horrible happens to my eggroll, and it also gives me a little security blanket that keeps me from sleeping in the fetal position at night. 2 – UB, where most of the roll is rolling. 3 – FT. Remember from previous post that I found that $4 on Tilt. Well I have been shoeclerking the shit out of that $4 and it currently sits at $42.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

This Morn or Little-Big Big-Little

Goofy morning. I just remembered that I had an E-mail stating that I had a rake back of $4 at Full Tilt for the little time that I played last month. I got on and put all $4 on a $10NL table. I turned that into about $8 or so in the hr that I played before bed. I also had 4 50 NL UB tabs going. I ended about even.

I got up and got back on. I put $4 on 2 different tabs. I also got 3 $50’s going at UB. I played the same waiting shoe-clerk game. I hit my JJ on my raised pot and pushed the flop. I got called and doubled through. On the other table I limped in with my J2s on a multi-way pot from the SB. I hit my flush on the turn. I got some action and tripled up by slapping down the smaller flush. I ended up making $10. I ended even again on UB in the hr session before work. Due to the bonus dollars I made $5 for the day.

So we are talking $14 at the $10NL tables and only $5 at the $50NL. Hey at least it is in the right direction and after last week’s ass-bangin’, I’ll take any win I can.

Addendum to My Game

One thing that I have changed in my game this week on the road towards aggression is calling an average PF raise with small and mid-sized PP’s. [Aggressive poker is winning poker. This is a fact. A basic misconception believed by some players, is that statement means that aggressive is defined as loose. Aggressive doesn’t have a lot to do with starting hand requirements – OK, maybe a little. Basically it means that when you are involved in a hand you play it strongly.] I am obviously doing this for set value. I was talking with Rake about our current converse styles. He decided that he would tighten up a little until he gets out of his current rush. I decided that it was time for me to add this next weapon to my arsenal. It costs money to make money. In the long term this strategy should make me money in the long run for 2 reasons. Obviously foremost by hitting my set, but also by calling more raises people will consider me less of a rock and put me on a larger range of hands. So hitting my set – I miss it 7 out of 8 hands which sounds counter-intuitive to making money, but hear me out. That 1 time that I hit, if I play it right for the raiser’s holding I likely stack him or at least make a nice chunk of change. Therefore we are talking +EV for the new play. Plus the added bonus of players putting me on a wider range of starting hands, which in turn gets me more calls when I hit and raise that hand and successive hands. (+EV, for those that don’t know, means – Expected Value.) Example: 7 x $2 = $14. 1 x $25 = $25. $25 -$14 = +$11. So Expected Value for 8 hands with this play is $11. Let me break down how I came up with these numbers. Hitting your set is 7 to 1. Average Preflop raise is 4xBB, so at $.50 blinds, we are looking at $2. Then I estimate $25 for the 1 time that I do hit my set and considering in all likelihood what the average over time I would make on the set against a player’s hand, in my best summation. This includes me stacking him, me reraising and him folding on the flop, turn, or river, and the times when he stacks me due to SOS and hitting draws. I could be off quite a bit here in my estimations and it would still be a +EV play. This strategy might be considered basic to some people, but I have always been stingy with putting my money in the middle without pretty good odds of winning the hand. But hey, you must learn to walk before you can run – and I’m currently crawling. LOL.

I would currently consider my current style tight-semi-weak. OK, let me back up for a sec. My current game is based around easy decision making, that’s the weak part. I don’t make a lot of plays and my post flop game isn’t strong and I fold often to aggression if I’m not most-likely in the lead. Usually if I’m in a hand I am pretty positive where I stand throughout the hand, especially on the flop. This is accomplished by my starting hand requirements and how I go to the flop. If I likely have the best of it I pounce and don’t allow draws in cheaply. I make them make mistakes that ultimately pay off in the long term. The weak part can be broken down into a few parts: PF raising hands, and not CBing and otherwise betting without strong holds for folding equity often enough. I have loosened a little in these areas.

My current strategy is a proven money maker. (At least for me.) It is also a safe way to play. But it is also quite predictable to knowledgeable players which I will be up against if I continue to climb up stakes. My reasons for wanting to change my current lucrative style are because I want to grow as a player, maximize my profits, and because I want to go up in stakes. Adding the calling of raises with PP’s is only the beginning to my aggression goals. Growing or evolving as a player is essential for moving above the $200 NL game, and even will make the $100 and $200 NL more lucrative. I am wasting profits by sitting back and only playing safe. I should be the aggressor more often in the hands that I play. So I need to become less predictable, thus making me less easy to exploit. Plus playing all these different hands to the flop, I will have to strengthen my postflop game. My overall poker skill level will grow and I will become more diverse. Yah Me!

These are my future goals with aggression in my game. I believe them to work and have read that they work, but I want to go slowly. I believe in adding a new aspect only once I see and learn what my current change has contributed to my game or taken away from my game. Here they are.

1 – calling raises with PP’s for set value and table image.
2 – raising PF with TT and AQ.
3 – raising PF with PP’s.
4 – Ultimately adding position to my game.
5 – Limp less often and mostly go into a hand by being the aggressor with a PF raise.

I have recently added strong CB’s to my game and even firing a second shell on the turn when I think my opponent will drop. Watching how often players are folding to this aggression leads me to want to do it with a larger range of hands. So here’s where I want to be. Raising PF with a wider range of hands. I’ve noticed how many times I raise with the Big 5 and everyone folds - half the time or close. By adding in more PF raising hands I get 2 things: More chances to win the blinds and by playing more hands, loosening up my table image, thereby getting more calls with my premium hands. So basically win-win. And when they call my PF raise they will fold on the flop to my Continuation Bet at least half the time. (They will miss their hand 2/3 of the time, but will have an over-pr or overs to the board sometimes that they also just won’t fold. Majority of the time they fold un-hit overs though. So I estimate that they fold slightly over half the time, maybe 60%.) This makes these addenda to my game +EV. (Hopefully.) That is why I move slowly so I can watch the full effects on my game and make adjustments where deemed necessary. If it doesn’t do what I thought it would it least I know exactly what I changed. If I add lots of things I don’t know what has done what. This way I can easily go back to the drawing board.

So I am starting with my calling of average PF raises with small to mid PP’s. This still leads to very safe postflop decisions because either I hit my set or I don’t. So basically I just need to verify if I am making money by calling raises with losing hand the majority of the time. We shall see.

Double Ouch or Damn, Damn, Damn

Not a good week. My roll has taken quite the hit this last week. I probably dropped $350 or so. A major downswing that I wasn’t expecting, that’s for sure. A lot was due to bad beats ands suckouts, but I was also to blame. I made some bad calls. Some were really bad. I didn’t pay enough attention to the board a few times also. Maybe I would alleviate this tendency by playing less tables. I need to find that happy medium. Another factor was the hands designed to take your money. I.e.: SOS; flush to straight flush; and counterfeited bottom prs. I usually did some slow grinding, then a big hand would counterfeit all my hard work. Some of these were bad calls or plays, but most were beats where I was out-drawn; some big dogs and some just lost races. So basically I am once again halfway to my Nov. goal.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Ouch or The Shot

I played last night for around an hr. I was feeling frisky and decided to step up a level though my bankroll said no. Figured I’d give it a shot. I started up 2 $100 tabs on Px and 3 $100 tabs on UB. I held my own for close to an hr. I was up on 2 tables and down on 2 and the other 1 I was still even. Then comes the Big Slick. I raise it up and get 1 caller. K on the flop. I bet pot and he calls. Turn comes J. I bet big again. He pushes and I pretty much have to call that pot for the remainder of my cash. River is a blank. He shows down KJ. I don’t even wait for the blinds. I shout an expletive and go to bed pissed down a Hundo.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Played Live Again or The Mighty Resuck

I played live again Saturday night. Pretty much the same bunch of guys plus a few more. They all are horribly inexperienced. I almost felt bad about taking their money. Almost. It was actually kind’a aggravating having to tell everyone over and over who’s in the blinds and who won the pot. I had to explain that it is the best 5 cards over and over. Once 2 people went allin with the 4-flush on the board. 1 guy had the T and the other guy had the 6 plus an Ace of a different suit. They both thought that they were tied because they both had flushes and the guy with the Ace kicker was the winner. Not only was that sad but also that they both went allin with suckass small flushes. I once won a nice pot due to this on another 4-flush board. I had the Q and after seeing this first hand I had to raise the river. 2 guys called. 1 had and smaller flush and the other had a straight. They always say either that they had to see or that they had to keep everyone honest. Like I said, I almost felt bad about taking their money.

I also don’t teach too much at the table and give out too many tips. I figured that I will let them pay to learn. (What a friend, aye.) I once had to re-divide the chips. I didn’t see what was done until the hand was over. Phil asked his wife, who won the hand, to give her back the chips that he had loaned her for the river bet. I explained that the rest went in a side pot for the other 2 players that still had more money at the time of the bet. They didn’t gripe or anything and said that they now understood.

There were a few more things I noticed about the majority of these new players. One was that they would likely go all the way to the river with a hole Ace, just to see if it hit. (This you would have to watch out for if an Ace hit the board at any point during the hand.) And they would usually go to showdown with any pocket pair. Especially with the PP. They for some reason just figured that they are entitled to that hand because they likely started with the best hand. The other thing was that every once in a while these 2 certain players would throw out a huge raise, sometimes even pushing, with 2 paint or small pockets. I didn’t quite figure out why, only noticed that it was a pattern. Other times that they did this it was a total bluff. One more thing that they do is bet the same amount on every street. If they bet 4xBB PF they usually bet 2 again on the turn. Sometimes they raise it up on the river. Often they give me the odds to out-draw them.

Fast forward to the last hand of the night. It was down to 4 of us. It limps to me UTG+1 and I raise it up with my TT. SB pushes allin for 20xBB. BB folds. UTG waits for a while pondering, then calls. I figure by the reads I have on these 2 that I currently have the best hand. I figured that they both likely had overs or 1 might have A-rag suited. I truly believed that neither had me beat. I call. SB flips over 44 and UTG has KQ. All I could ask for really. I would have guessed 12 outs but in the end I only needed to dodge 8. But wouldn’t you know it, the flop came down with both a K and a Q. I audibly start lamenting my luck when the turn brings the resuck T. River is nice to me and I scoop in a huge pot.

It was late, so we called it a night instead of those guys rebuying. We divvy up the chips and I put $100 worth of bills in my pocket. Only real mistake that I made during the game was to try to bluff a whole hand with nothing. Every street I was called and lost a big pot to a boat. Once again no raise. They weren’t being tricky; just being passive.

As an aside, I plan on taking my $200 live bankroll to the casino my first day off and see what I can do with it. I will be playing $1/$2 NL holdem. I am willing to lose it all for the night’s entertainment. Hopefully that’s not how it goes, but so be it if it does. I have only played live a few times at a casino and am expecting to have fun.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

November Goal or Good Fortune Continues

I played quite a bit this week. (4 days off. I go by this instead of calendar week.) I played mostly on UB, 6 tabling $50NL. I pulled down close to $400 bringing my roll to $850. I ran out of time before work last week and lost my UB bonus. I need 750 points. I ended up with 630 or so. I had to leave for work and was almost late at that. Sucks getting that close. They are running the points bonus again this week and I already have over 1000 pts. They are accumulating quicker now that I have moved up stakes. Plus the 6 tabling helps. Hopefully this is a new weekly thing. I wish I would have signed up for rakeback before I started my UB account. But when I started it, there wasn’t rakeback yet. They don’t like to give existing members rakeback; only to help bring new members over. I couldn’t imagine getting rakeback, deposit bonus money, plus this new pts bonus, all at once.

I played pretty TAG. (My passive version of TAG anyways.) I am getting more aggressive in my game. I used to worry so much about putting money in the pot in position or throwing out a CB or bluff. Now I just see this as a cost of the game like the blinds. I still don’t raise PF with AQ or TT often, even with position. I have started to with TT sometimes. So my TAG game is coming along. I even fire a 2nd shell sometimes now. That’s CB’ing again on the turn after being called on the flop. I am amazed how many pots I take down with aggressive. No wonder they say aggressive poker is winning poker.

I set a goal of getting to $1000 by the end of November. I was at $500 or so when setting this short-term goal. I am happy with how it is going. So barring any bad streaks I should definitely reach my goal.

Couple hands that killed my bottomline this week: The old SOS. Set over set. Flush to higher flush. Going in on the turn with the nuts and with just the river coming, they spike one of their few possible outs. That is always good for the mood. I got Aces cracked twice. AA vs KT. I can’t believe he got all his money in with that shit. And the usual AA vs KK. Oh yea, don’t let me forget the asswhipping I took while having KK. Flop comes AAK. We end up getting all the money in and he had AA. Pretty much a hand designed to get all the money in. Not that I’m suggesting that anything is rigged in online poker – I don’t put much stake in that crap.

One last thing that I noticed this week and before. By playing 6 tables at a time I see variance on a compounded, intensified scale. This is kind’a odd seeing the swings all in one session. You can go on a bad streak and lose a group of races and endure it a little better. So instead of losing 5 sessions in a row, where you would definitely start questioning your game, you end down for 1 or 2 sessions, and fell less of the ill- effects.

OK, one more thing. Bad beats and suckouts. The reason we feel the effects of bad beats so much is because we usually go into the allin with the best hand more often than not. Being a tight player or an experienced player you usually know when you are ahead. You also don’t go for the draw as often. You put these things together and what you get is the suckout ratio is in the bad player’s favor. Basically they suckout more often than we do. It’s not a bad luck thing. It is actually a testament to our instinct, solid game, and overall poker prowess. Often players don’t see this correlation and have the misconception that the RNG (random number generator) isn’t quite so random. So though a lot of poker players are observant enough to see the lopsided suckout ratio, they just don’t see the connection. So next time you get sucked out on just feel proud that you had the skill to get your money in with the best of it.

A Little Live Action

I played a small game with a 3 friends from work. They are all pretty inexperienced. The have the luck mentality where everyone puts their money in and watches to see who wins. They have played holdem a bit but still haven’t learned many of the essentials. I saw a lot of flops and then tried to out-play post flop. The only problem with trying to out-play these guys is that they like to see the showdown and see if their kicker or 2nd pr is good, even calling some nice raises just to see. This makes bluffing at the pot pretty unproductive most times. Knowing when to bluff isn’t that hard though from late position. They usually bet their hands. So if they raise you drop, because you are likely going to showdown. The other difference you have to adjust for is figuring out what they hold. They undervalue their nice hands. They will often just call my river bet with 2 pr, straights, and flushes. I will see my TP crushed and wonder why they didn’t value bet at some point in the hand. This has its perks and it’s drawbacks; they don’t get maximum profits with the best hand against me, but I also throw in to much money with the worst hand when I’m the aggressor. Productive game though. They only had $38 to play with and I put all of that in my pocket.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Cowboys or The Gunslinger

Great morning this morn. I got off of work, still felt a bit spry, so decided to put in about an hr or so. World didn’t have any $25’s open so I figured that I’d risk a little more and sit with my ol’ buddy Rake at a $50 table. While waiting for a vacancy I started chatting a little with Rake in the girly chat. I told him to knock someone out so I could get the seat. He said he’d love to but the table was really timid. Man was he right, just a bunch of sheep at the table. Maybe it was because it was so early. Rake had switched gears and was taking full advantage of their timidity. Just about every hand he was making it $2 to go PF from every position and then adding a CB on the flop. They just wouldn’t show the backbone necessary to counter his sheer aggression. He was running the table. It was pretty cool to watch, because he seemed to realize when he was beat, and would drop. He had $175 at the $50 table. He finally knocked a guy out and I take the seat. I win 3 nice hands and they were all from my boy Rake. He wouldn’t leave me alone. So be it. LOL.

I started off well right out the gate. I have AK and double Rake’s PF raise and a K hits the flop. Rake bets, I raise, he folds, and I take down a smallish pot. I play tight and wait around for something to actually call a PF raise with. I call another of Rake’s PF raises with a pr of 4’s. I hit my set on the flop. He raises I smooth-call. He senses my slow-play and we both check the turn. I raise the river and he mucks without showing. I nab another smallish pot putting me up over $70. I continue waiting are for a hand while Rake continues to dominate to action. I miss a few raised and unraised pots and have to drop to aggression over the next half hr. I start giving him some shit about always seeing my raised pots at least to the flop and that he was trying to spike something and stack me. He said of course that was what he was doing. I told him to stop hating. Then came my Cowboys. He raises and I triple his usual bluster. Everyone folds but him; he calls. Flop is T76 - he bets and I raise. He calls. I don’t remember what the turn was, but I think it was small. He bets to put my last $40 in. Think tank: So it’s $40 to call $100. There is a lot in there but if I’m beat? I don’t know. Man he has been hyper-agro. He knows I am tight and also willing to make a big lay down. Man I have a nice hand. Straight possibility, but no flush on the board. Would he have bet out with the made straight on the flop? Trips maybe? I don’t think he has it. He knows that I am betting if he checks, which in turn will pot-commit me. So if he wants my money in, why put me to the decision now, where I might lay it down. He doesn’t want a call. I don’t know. Fuck it, I call. In goes my chips. He turns over TJ. He had TP plus a gut-shot straight draw. Cowboys win! I turn off the Auto Blind button and wait for my exit. Rake types – great call. He knew I had him beat, but he was certain that I would muck an over-pr to his aggression. Honestly if he wasn’t in agro-mode I likely dump that and wait for a better spot. One of those Hero or Zero moments where if you make the call and are right you look like a genius; if you call and are wrong, you truly are a dumbass.

I also did OK at my UB tables. I made a total of $90 before bed. Nice. Feels nice going to bed a hero this day.

I get up in the afternoon and flip through the channels while I wipe the sleep from my eyes. WSOP poker on ESPN: cool that is what I will do until dinner and time to get ready for work. JV needed me to transfer money online again already; he decided to give online Black Jack a try and found out it harder to master than he thought. (Nerd.) BJ leads to the Darkside young Padawon. So much for watching poker. If I have to get on there anyways, mind as well open some tabs. I have less than an hr to play so lets make something happen, by Crom. I open 2 World $25 tabs and 4 on UB. I also notice for the first time while on my account page making the transfer, that there is a bonus going on. Details read: If I accumulate 750 points from Oct. 27th – Nov. 2nd I get $.03 per point. It’s not a lot but free money anytime is nice, but free money while having an eggroll is priceless. I have already accumulated about 600 points without even knowing about this deal. I wouldn’t normally worry about it with only being one whole day left and me having to work, but shit I’m almost there already. I kicked some butt on UB in that 45 min. I bet I saw Cowboys 8 times. (On both sites.) That is a corral worth of gunslingers my friend. I had so many good hands going at the same time that I was actually holding up the games a little. I really should of close one or 2, but hey, greed is a needful lover. Crap I actually timed out once PF with KK being my hole cards. Just when I was trying to raise the tables started popping up. Of course everything slows down long enough for me to watch the dead hand. And sure enough the raising ensues. Two guys go at it and when the smoke clears, I see that I would have won a huge pot. But don’t pity me, for the cards were flowing like wine in Rome, and like I said the Cowboys had my back the whole time.

I ended slightly down on World. (Which of course was where I missed the hand.) But I won over $50 at UB. I was pumped. Less than 2 hrs work and I cleared slightly shy of $150. Tomorrow morn I’ll be back at it for sure. I need to clear that bonus. Hopefully my good fortune continues. And hopefully the JV stays away from the BJ table and starts playing tight and knocking down some wins also. (Nerd.)

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Pushmonkeys and Calling-stations oh my

Quick rundown of a few hands from today just because I feel they bring up a few topics that I want to elaborate on.

First topic and examples. The intermittent calling-station. This is the guy that doesn’t have the image at the table of being a calling-station, but for one or more hands he opens the bank. Hand 1 – I have AA. I raise 5xBB; he calls. Flop J-high. I raise it pot. He calls. I’m wondering now. Turn 9, I think. I bet big again, but not quite pot. He calls. Now I am scared that he is slow-rolling his set. River is a 6. Probably a bad bet on my part, but I only have a 3rd or so of the pot left so I put it in. A more sound play would have been to check/call this river, now that I think more about it. He calls again. He turns over AQ. WTF. I do not get this hand what so ever. I am totally befuddled. I should have added him to my buddy list. Hand 2 – I raise 5xBB with QQ; he calls. Flop 7-high. He checks. I bet pot and he calls. Check again from him to the J that hits on the turn. I bet big again and he calls. Ok he is playing me like a punk; I can sense the asswhipping coming. River he checks. I don’t even need to think about it so I check behind him. He shows down A7o. I once again have no clue her, but at least this dude had top pr on the flop. This is the first hand that I saw him play this horribly. Honestly, he didn’t even stand out for me. This might have more to do with the amount of tables that I play at once than due to him not showing this calling-station pattern. Maybe he thought that he had the best hand on the flop and thereafter just had a bad read on my holdings. This is the likely case IMO. So he should have raised me right there on the flop and got some info to where he stood in the hand. This is why I hate the calling style and I think you lose more money in the hands by just calling the other guy down; you have no idea where you’re at. Plus, this is why you will never see me call a PF raise with A7o. You hit TPTK and you are nowhere near in the lead on the hand.

Second topic and examples. World had a few Pushmonkeys at both tables. 2 at 1 tab and 1 at the other. I tangled twice in the ½ hr that I sat with them. I had one right to my right, which is exactly where you want a pushmonkey. He is in mid position a pushes his $4. I call with 88. (I don’t make this call with any one than a pushmonkey, especially not from MP.) Everyone obliges me and allows my isolation. Pushmoney turns over 55. His 20% chance doesn’t show up and it is Ash 1 – Pushmonkeys 0. Now lets forward the action, due to time constraints – Other table, 2 pushmoneys. Pushmonkey shoves $6 worth of chips into the center, for like the 6th time since I sat down, from EP. I have JJ in MP. I raise to $10. A guy in LP takes his whole time as I sweet out my huge bet with a semi-strong holding which is quite vulnerable. He finally folds and I let out a breath of relief. Push-boy turns over AKo and we are off to the races. My horse wins and it Ash 2 – Pushmoneys 0.

Pushmonkey: (Retardo erectus) Player that buys in for a small amount and pushes all of their chips into the pot when they get a good starting hand.

I will try to explain my theory and thoughts on this phenomenon. If you have anything to add to my thoughts, I would be happy to read. I think the overwhelming reason that they play this style is because they are afraid of their postflop skills. I think they are insecure with their abilities to out-play the players at the table. Basically they are intimidated so they just want to get their money in with a decent hand and hope for the best. Her are some of their traits. Some are tighter than others but these are mostly the hands you can expect them to push with: any Prs, KQs, AKs, AKo, AQs, AQo, KQs, KQo, and the looser version of push-fag even adds in weaker holdings like AJs, AJo, ATs, ATo, KJs, and QJs. I haven’t noticed any playing stronger or weaker holds in different positions; they just seem to push from anywhere as long as their starting requirements are met. There is no skill to this game, though it does put the table on edge. A lot of TAG and weak- tight players loosen up, including myself, and begin playing slightly above marginal hands against them. Everyone at the table is hoping to get a hand before the ATM runs out money and leaves the table pissed. These guys give some bad beats out while at the tables, as well as, winning allins that the other players would have normally never gotten into in the first place. So, basically the whole table is on tilt. A hot-bed of activity, often with 3 or 4 people going allin PF. It is truly crazy when the monkeys are out of their cages.

Halloween or Trick-or-Treat

30th – I only played for 10 min. I only played around 2 cycles. I had to quit and eat and get ready for work. I got on the computer to check out the forums and while reading I heard my Ultimate Buddy beep. I checked it out and noticed that the Fam was playing. I got on the Penny tabs with them. About my 3rd hand I get QQ. I ended up getting another guy to get all his money in with me on a low flop. K comes next and then my Q on the river. I double up. Very next hand comes AA. I raise. Then the player to my left doubles the bet. About 5 people call as it comes back around to me. I click the allin button as fast as I can. I get 3 callers. My Aces hold and I am up over $6. Dinner’s done in the next few hands so I call it a day. I end up making $4 or so for 10 min of my time.

31st, Halloween – I got off this morning and put in an hr and a half at the virtual felt. No tables were open at World so I played solely at UB. Damn I hate that the player base at Px is so small. I would play almost exclusively there because of the no rake if there were some freakin’ tables open at odd hrs. I figured with Party and the other scared sites that players would flock to other sites. Px hasn’t increased much that I can see. I guess some don’t totally understand the legislation and quit and most of the others hit the big 3. UB, FT, and Stars. I have noticed more people at UB. The games have loosened up considerably, at least at my current stakes. Boy I get side tracked easy. I won around a 20 spot. I hit a few big hands. My meds started kicking in and I had to hit the hay.

I got up and Ash-wife and Ash-kids were heading out the door to do a little trick-or-treating, so I showered up and hit the computer. I got 2 World tabs going and 4 UB. I made around $20 apiece on both sites in the hr and a half that I played before work.

Double-up Baby or Roll Rollin’

Quick Update. I am writing this just to give anyone that cares a small look into my poker career. I cashed out the rest of my bankroll 2 weeks ago. I decided I would start anew - personal reasons among others. Poker has been good to me this year. I have grown a lot in my game I feel. I have achieved more than I ever would have expected at the start of this year. If it sounds like I’m bragging, I’m sorry, for I am just passing on the story of my good fortune. I started with $180 dollars this year, which was last year’s total profits. I have thus far cashed out $4600 this year. So as I have already mentioned, I am starting over. 2 weeks ago I began with a $250 bankroll. So here we start with my journey. I this post was going to be rather short and succinct, but sadly it turned out quite lengthy. Read on at your own peril.

The first week of my new journey was pretty stagnant, with me holding my own but little else. I didn’t put in a lot of time at the tables either. Last week I messed around solely on UB for a few days. I had $130 starting roll on UB. I loaned out $100 of my online BR at UB. I got slapped with some bad beats, bad calls, and bad plays on the $10NL tables. I was left with a mere $12 at UB. Now here are my results from my last 4 days off. I was going on nights so I decided to stay up and play all-nighters. I played both at Px and UB. I would post these daily or so, but my computer locks-up when I try to on the net and play both of these sites at the same time. And when I decide to get off, I am usually too tired to type updates. So I start with $12 at UB and $100 at Px.

26th – I played for a long time – at least 5 hrs. I started off up on both sites. Then the bad beats started and I was down. Not fun when you have a small roll and variance decides it is time to kick in. Nothing like watching the session’s loot you accumulated through slow, hard-fought, small hands, disappear to bad beats on a few huge hands. I ground my way back into the black. I ended down slightly on Px. And up to $18 on UB at the Penny tables. Not a bad effort at those stakes. As aforementioned, Penny tabs at UB and $25NL at Px. As you can see I’m not conforming to my normal strict bankroll management system. I know that I have the skills to play with less of a roll. If variance contrives to put a major down swing on me I will surely drop to lower limits. (On Px that is. You can’t get any lower than the Penny tables. LOL) Total session: up $5 for all that work.

27th – A lot better results this night. I was in the flow with my reads, plus I hit a plethora of flops. I won some big hands. And when all the money went in with me having the best hand, I usually pulled out the win. Nothing better than when the odds work like they are meant to. Oh yea, lady luck did hook me up with a suckout for a nice pot. One weird thing is that I get barely any stimulation for allins and big bets at the Penny tabs anymore. When I started out on the Penny tabs I was on the edge of my seat just about every bet. Now it is just business as usual. I just play solid poker and let the chips go as they may. I did lose 2 big hands over the course of the all-nighter, but luckily my lead was large enough to sustain them. I played the usual stakes at Px, doing well and gaining more than a buyin. (2 tabling there.) On UB, playing 4 tables, I had a great night. Making $12 dollars at Pennys. (6 buyins!) When I got to $32 I was so pumped by my night’s luck that I decided to put all $30 on 3 $10 tabs and see how it went. I continued to slap people around and gained a few buyins there also. I did keep 1 .01/.02 table going so I could play with the Fam. Total earnings for the night: $85.

UB was the original site that I learned the game on. (That I made my way up the ladder on anyway.) One thing that I noticed as I am making my way back up through the ranks, is that tons of players are playing at the same stakes as a year ago. I don’t understand this. I remember these people because I took notes on them the first time around and UB makes it easy to mark them with colored dot icons. Did these people not gain enough experience to advance or are they satisfied with where they are? Do they just cashout each week? I don’t see ever being sated with my game or anything in my life, really. Maybe this is just a personal character trait or flaw possibly. I don’t know. Shouldn’t we always want to grow? Anyways, I just found this a bit weird. Plus another thing I kinda’ noticed with them is that most are TAG or weak-tight. Maybe that is the key: they are conservative by nature and therefore hold to order and normalcy. Just something that I noticed.

28th – Another night in the zone. This was an all-nighter to rival any before it. I made it up to $85 or so on the $10 tabs and decided to step-it-up. So I started playing on the $25 tables on both sites. Plus 1 tab again with the Fam to be sociable and have fun. Once again I was able to sustain a few hands that went totally wrong. I got slapped by a 2-outer. (Those always put me on the cusp of tilt. I did actually rage-tilt at the tables for a few min., but luckily pulled myself together before I lost any real money. I was betting and calling with shit.) Damn I hate when I spazz-out like that. Wouldn’t it be great to be able to just let it roll-off like some of the pros. Just be able to take it in stride. Hopefully one day after I see enough hands and watch enough money get passed around, I can be at that Zen level. I am actually close to that at the Penny tables. Though sometimes I would like to put my keyboard in a suckout’s arse or contemplate bashing their brains out – oh yea, if they had a brain they wouldn’t have made the call with 2nd-pr shit kicker, right, right. Sorry about the small rant. Onward-ho. I also made some bad reads and bluffs, but overall I was eating up the tables. (As must as a slow-paced TAG can.) Rocked for 4 max buyins. What a night. I think I have actually had 2 sessions where I gained more than 4 buyins at higher stakes, that is. I made money on both sites. Plus a nice rake on Px.

29th – Another good session. Man I am glad that, as of yet, variance has decided to let me get my roll building before she puts it to me. Got sacked (yea I wrote that right, sacked – full-force to the nads) by a 2-outer again. I know people hate bad beat stories, but damn, a 2-frickin’-outer. I have AK. They have AQ. K hits the flop. We check. Crafty me, hee, hee. Turn brings the Q and my huckleberry. I raise; he pushes. I call. I have him totally dominated. He is drawing to 2 Ladies in the deck. We’re talking like 22 to 1 odds here: 4.5%. River Q. And tilt comes full force. I throw my up in disgust. Crom, I scream shaking my fist up towards Valhala. (Crom for the unenlightened, is my poker good. Just ask Conan if you’re a nonbeliever.) But to “sort’a” make up for it I get the much-coveted Resuck. KK vs QQ PF allin for my whole buyin. Flop spikes the dreaded Q suckout. My heart sinks. Turn is a blank and I begin a facetious laugh lamenting my luck. Then comes the Cowboy, bringing the mighty resuck, as he guns her ass down in the street at high noon. OK, a little over-dramatized but redemption none-the-less. Overall this was a very slow night, card-wise. Most of my time this whole session was wrought with fold after fold. I was horribly card-dead. I did end up $60 or so. I won a few big hands, but the rest of the time I seemed to just fold. Very boring night. I was so bored that I called it a night early and went to be.

Quick recap. So I started 2 weeks ago with a $250 BR. These last 4 days I doubled that roll. I am sitting now with a little under $400 now. I would have over $500 now but I bankroll’d some of the Fam. I started with $12, 4 days ago on UB and now sit with $159. That is some power poker. I am very happy with my progress and my current game. Hopefully it continues to rollover exponentially at this pace. Thanks for your time. Later

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

My First Live Tourney - Part 2: The Final Table

They seat me in the BB with the short-stack. 1st hand I have to put in all my chips. I say loudly allin and get a few chuckles from the sympathetic viewers. I get dealt 96 of hearts. I figure at least they are suited. 2 people play the hand and I more than triple-up when 3 preordained hearts hit the flop. That is why 96h is now and forever will be my favorite hand.

I finally started getting some nice hole cards and took down a few nice pots. I also hit TP on the flop twice from the BB. I doubled and redoubled my chip count. I just kept playing tight and watched the table as the styles started to become evident. Some were blind stealing. A few players were bullying the table.

One in particular, Rahilly, was buying pots left and right. He was chipleader, drunk, and being loud and totally obnoxious. He was running his mouth as he bullied the table, often nonchalantly showing the bluff or semi-bluff. Twice he took out a short-stack by pushing and thus isolating with junk. Both times he sucked out on the river with the cards up. He would then shrug his shoulders and talk junk. I got sick of his mouth at started making loud comments about his attitude.

There were 6 of us left. Hero, then to my left respectively: The Blond Chick, Rahilly, Bro, Brian, and The Fat Old Guy.

Bro raised 4xBB twice with nice starting hands, but when it folded all the way back around to Rahilly, he would push. Both times this happened, Rahilly and his father would run their mouths at my Bro and say smartass shit. I got pissed and told the dude running the tournament, that if he wanted to let Rahilly be disrespectful, so be it, but that it was totally unprofessional to allow a bystander interfere in the game. Rahilly’s dad was told to quiet down. Bro folded to the pressure both times. Both times they both showed their holdings. The first time Rahilly was really running his mouth. Bro folded and Rahilly turned over 53s and said that my bro should’ve had some balls. 2nd hand my Bro had AT and folded to the aggression. I would have called this because of the prior bluff and the past shit-talking. He didn’t really talk that much on this hand. Bro folded and turned his cards up; Rahilly showed AJ. Nice fold on his part.

My Bro’s stack was pretty bad due to the folds. Brian’s wasn’t all that good either.

The table folded around to the SB, who raised. I figured that he was stealing. From the BB I called his raise. I hit trips on the flop. He min-raised and I smooth-called. The turn brought something that he liked and he raised hard. I pushed. I think he realized that I had him beat but he pot-committed so he called with TP. He sees his fate and no help comes. He says, “nice hand, one hell-of-a comeback,” gets up and steps into the crowd.

Chip stacks: Rahilly, Blond, Hero, Brain, and Bro.

Bro pushes his short-stack. Table folds around to Rahilly, who calls and turns over total junk like 73s or something of the sort. The crowd chuckles as Rahilly pompously shrugs his shoulders. Bro turns over 2 paint-cards. Nothing hits, Bro doubles, and Rahilly looks foolish.

Then like 2 hands later I take a small pot from him. He calls my PF raise with crap I’m sure. I bets on the flop. I got a nice piece of the flop, middle-pr or the like. I stare at him and start thinking what to do here. I figure I have him. He starts to act all cocky and starts with the lip. I’m not going to act like I have great reading skill or anything, but his strong/weak-weak/strong act was obvious, as I have found is usually typical of Agro players. I raise pretty hard over the top of him. He shuts up and stares me down. I don’t even look at him; I just stare ahead. I had played the whole tourney this way. Actually I still play this way. I believe often the stare back will usually get you a call or raise. Ok, enough about my tells. He takes forever as I sweat inside. He folds and I muck facedown. I would have dropped, had he pushed.

Within the next few hands Rahilly gets mixed up in a hand with the Blond and she doubles off the tilting drunk.

Very next hand he pushes for what little he has left, Brian calls, and bye-bye dumbass. People were clapping as each final-tabler dropped. So soon as the river dropped I stood up and started sardonically clapping my hands really fast and loud. Some people gave me dirty looks for being an ass, but others smiled their sly smiles, liking to see the bully topple and go down. He gave me a dirty look and walked away from the table. When It quieted down I said loudy and meanly, “now maybe it will finally quiet down a little bit in here,” and took my seat again. I know it was a little dramatic but I wasn’t medicated back then. LOL. He went from chipleader and running the tables pace to benchwarmer within 10 min.

I this point the stacks are: Blond, Hero, Brian, Bro. Bro’s stack is small even with the resent double-up. The Blond’s stack is quite impressive. Brain and I are neck and neck.

Up to this point at the final table if I stayed in a hand after the flop I won it. I played very tight even at this point in the tourney. This is another testament to my inexperience. I just watched and waited. If I could see the flop from the BB for free, that is about far as I ventured at that point.

Very soon after it was down to 4 of us left my Bro had to make a move with a half-ass hand. I don’t remember who it was who knocked him out, other than I know it wasn’t me. I didn’t get mixed up in any hands with him at the final table. Once I folded AQs to him early on when him and Rahilly were slugging it out. Not collusion per se, just not wanting to fight with him. If he was in a hand I wasn’t that’s all.

And it was down to 3. I have more than Brian but not by a lot. The Blond has as much as us 2 put together or close.

We start playing the blind game. The only difference at this point is that both of them would call in the small blind. If I had nothing, I folded to SB. So basically I was only seeing a flop in the Big. If I was raised in the BB I dropped if I had nothing. I wasn’t defending on purpose sort of. I wanted to keep my tight image even at this stage. Amateurish I know.

They both start playing getting aggressive. There wasn’t a lot of unraised pots PF. The Blond Chick was honestly the least skilled at the table at the moment and likely the whole final table. She raised a lot during the final table and when called she hit a lot of hands. She was allin a few times and doubled up on the river. But I will give her one thing, she stayed aggressive. Brian took over the second place spot in chips. I was hoping for one of them to win a big fight but they just kept passing money back and forth while I dropped blinds. I know it sounds like this went on for a while but it wasn’t real long. And I did pick up some hands here and there and took them down with a raise. Basically I had the image that if I didn’t hit the flop I was dropping to any bet.

Then when the blinds go up to 5000/10,000 I changed gears. I was in the SB. Brian dropped. I raise to 20,000 from the SB. She folds her blind to me. I have nothing.

They fight next hand. I fold to Brian’s SB raise to 20,000.

I call the SB this time. She checks the option. I bet out with nothing. She folds.

They fight. I drop to his push.

I get QQ in SB. I limp. She makes 20,000. I raise it to 40,000. She stares at me for a min. She said, “I don’t know,” as she keeps looking in my eyes. “I believe you. I fold.” I show everyone my Q’s. I say to her, I don’t bluff.

I retake 2nd and am real close to 1st.

She wins a hand from Brian. He checks from the SB and I raise it to 20,00 with 1 paint card. He folds.

I am in the lead now.

I limp from the SB with 72o. She makes it 20,000. I push 30,000 more chips in real fast and stare straight ahead like the time before. She didn’t make me sweat long before she said that she would drop. She is waiting and expecting to see me turn over my cards. I start to muck when my Bro, from the other side of the table, yells, “what you have?” I pull my hand up about to show the bluff, and then think better of it. “72 off-suit,” I say with a broad smile. I get a round of laughter. I show it to some acquaintances and friends that have moved in behind me since the final table started, so that way I could talk about it later. She says that if I did, it was a good bet. This is back before I knew about or called 72o “The Hammer.”

I am now well in the lead.

She folds the SB for the first time to Brian. I double the big bet from the big with a decent hand. He folds. I raise from the SB and she folds. She pushes from the SB and Brian calls. His hand is slightly better than her holdings and she is out in 3rd. I think she gets $160 for her effort.

Heads-up. Last 2 places: 1st - $360 for sure, and 2nd is $220, if I recall is worth much. I am still in chip lead. From short stack at the start to big stack HU. 6000/12,000.

We started going back and forth. He always called the SB. I did most of the time. He started raising from the Small and the Big, often pushing. I fought back often when he didn’t push. I stole a few blinds. But mostly I stayed tight. He was definitely the aggressor. He started to catch-up in chips. He was buying a lot of pots. We both began calling the SB and not folding it anymore except to a push. The chips were almost even. He would usually drop to my aggression because of my image. But any weakness he would push at this point.

I am in the SB. I just call. He pushes and says, “Allin.” I quickly say, “ I call.” He stands up and turns over 66 on the table. The group of at least 75 people surrounding the table went into a frenzy. Thinking that it was time to go to the races with him in the lead and me right behind with overs. I was a dramatic dumbass. I shook my head all distraught as I stood up and then turned over my 99. The people behind me started pushing me and patting on my shoulders, seeing that I had trapped him and that he was a 4 to 1 dog. We shake hands.

The dealer turns over Blank, Blank, Q.

Then another Q.

Then as I held my breath a 9 drops on the river and I fill up.

Cheers and hand shacks for minutes after. Then they present me with a check and a trophy and take my picture for the wall or a scrap book.

Boy I love that trophy.

If I could go back and change one thing about this tournament, it would be to show that awesome bluff. I’ve actually dreamed about showing that hand.

Baby Steps

I played for 2 hrs or so last night on Px at the $25 tables. I ended the session up over a buyin. It felt good to hit a win. I buckled down and played solid poker for a change. It wasn’t just variance; I was actually making solid plays. Not to say that variance couldn’t have slapped me around and even though playing well still ending down. My reads weren’t always right, but hey, they never were. I hope that this is the start of my comeback. I need to just focus and play my game. Even if I lose a few sessions I need to maintain my composure and right it through.

Other than playing with the Fam on UB, I plan on spending all my time on Px. Nothing like no rake.

Inward Thinking

Talking with my dad last night after work really helped me think and focus. And hopefully improve my current game and play standard. It helps to regularly analyze the way you are playing, skill level, and what is presently motivating you to play a particular way. I have gotten away from doing that. And nothing helps better than another perspective. It is a proven fact that we have a hard time being candid with ourselves, especially about faults and thus askewing self-concept. I started telling about some of the mistakes that I am making. The bad plays that are keeping me from making the money that I should be making. Just throwing away money from my bottomline on frivolous mistakes. When I told him about the QQ re-reraise allin, he knew something was amiss. I think he was spot-on with his conclusion. I am playing the catch-up game, wanting to win my bankroll back quickly, instead of the natural slow progression that got me that original roll in the first place. Making the dumb calls and questionable big bluffs. (The over-bluff, that is total over-kill, and likey is the whole reason that the guy calls in the first place. You know the kind; it sends out the BS vibe strongly.) The QQ allin against aggression is level 1 poker at best. Unless you have a read, IMO, never re-reraise or bet a large portion with Q’s, AK, or lower when the other guy is showing that he wants to rock. You’re likely a 4:1 dog in the hand or lower. Just take the hint and wait for a better position. If you got bluffed so be it.

Now that we have discussed it, I feel that his assessment is likely the crux of my current bad play issues. I want my roll back to the point of near desperation. Converse to the scared money syndrome, in catch-up mode, you are over-willing to get your chips in the middle. Even with marginal holdings, hoping for the big paydays that will rapidly increase the almighty roll. Though both hamper your bankroll building efforts, catch-up is more detrimental to your roll and overall natural game/skill progression, due to the negative self-esteem/reliance issues associated with big swings and big losses. Negative thoughts about your play and skills isn’t good for anything. When you are relaxed and confident in your game, that is when you are using your skills to their utmost; that is when a winning player will make money in the long-term. I know I am a winning player, with a large enough sample timeframe this year to prove it. I just have to get back on track and play my game. Ok, enough with the self-motivation therapy.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

New Fresh Look

I have a new blog scheme, as you can see. I figured I try the new bata version. My blog will be a work in progress for awhile. I will get back my sidebar back to where it was, plus more.

Dropped a Buyin Again or Need To Re-think

I played some after work last night. 3 tabling at UB and also playing 1 at Px. I end down a buyin for the session. It was mostly my fault. I could of ended even for the night if I changed one bad play. And it was bad. Oh yea, I was up on the penny table again.

I have QQ. Evildoer raises PF. I reraise like I should, IMO. He ups it some more. I push. That is the mistake. If you are reraised PF with Q’s, you have gotten the info that you need to fold. The only push hand here is AA or KK, IMO. But I played it horribly. He completes the ping-pong game and calls. Yes, the AA the he represented the whole time is what he turns over and there goes a buyin. I deserved it. I am playing at the $25NL tables and making the plays one would expect from someone at the Penny tables.

I work hard while playing with the Fam on the Penny tab. I get my buyin back on some nice plays and good cards with callers. Then the dreaded buyin slapper again. This time it was also my fault. Not as bad a play, yet not a play I should be making without thinking of what could beat me. I am in the SB with K2 spades. Flop comes Qs6s5d. I call a small raise and a 7 of spades flushes me. I call a small raise again. The river comes a 6d. He raises $6. I push for $15 more. He calls and turns over 55 for the ass-hurting boat. All that work down the drain because I try to value-bet the river. OK, here’s my after-the-fact analysis: Sadly I pretty much considered my hand the nuts. The only hand I was even halfway worried about was the nut flush. Here are the hands that I should have been thinking of: Ax spades, 55, 66, 77, QQ, 65, 76, and Q6. Yes my hand was strong, but with 8 hands that beat me, I wasn’t value-betting, he was. I should have definitely called, but that is all my hand warranted – a call. I got greedy and it cost me. Hopefully the next time I think the situation through and make the proper decision. Not to say that I know that I’m beat, just that I should only call here.

I am going to start playing $10NL on UB until I make some cash for my eggroll. I don’t know about Px. I have over $100 there. I don’t know. I think with the no rake, I will play 1 $25 buyin and if I lose it, I will drop down and play the $10 game there also.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

My First Live Tourney - Part 1: The Beginning

2005 Newberry Elks Holdem Tournament – 4/16/05

I found my notes so I figured that I would pass it on to my fellow bloggers. Now that I have read HOH Vol. 1 and half of Vol.2, I would have played it differently. Of course I wouldn’t likely have done as well if I would have played it differently. I can tell how much I have grown just by some of the things in my old notes. I didn’t know a lot of the slang and some of the slang that I did write was out of context. Plus once I just limped PF with less than 2 BB’s.

63 entrants. $50 buyin. 15 or so places paid out. Top 5 paid most of the prize pool, then it drastically dropped off, with the last 10 places not even paying half the buyin. Top prize was $360 and a trophy. Not much of a payday for the buyin, but it was a Little League fundraiser. I don’t remember what the starting stack was. Each round was 20 min. 100/200 starting blinds. You could only raise a SB PF and on the flop. On the turn and river you could bet double. Plus they started with 7 at each table. Just a nutty set-up all around. Weird set-up due to the inexperience of a lot of the players. Some of the entrants were Elks club patrons with little or no experience. There were also some players with as much experience as me, or more. [My experience level: At this point I had put in a year or so playing online poker and most of this time being at Free Money. I was probably at the Penny tables or possibly at the $5NL stakes at this point in my poker career. The only poker book so far would have been Phil’s 1st book.] Level 1 – 3 would be limit, to allow the inexperienced to get in some quality time at the table. Starting the 2nd hr and at level 4 and on would be NL.

My Bro, his wife, and I all played in the tourney. They also played online as long as me. Most of the other players at the tourney were the big names in town. (You know the kind.) The Preppies from school that think they are better than everyone. The people that walk around with their noses in the air and would return a wave if their live depended upon it.

I didn’t have many hands the 1st hr. Pocket 8’s once, 2 pr once, and pocket T’s once. I might have seen 5 hands to showdown in that 1st hr. I played very tight due to my inexperience at limit and the fact that people wouldn’t drop to a raise. My stack was small at the start of level 4. Quick recap of the 3 key hands from the 1st hr.

2 callers of my PF raise with my 88. I bet the flop. The lady stayed and the guy dropped. She was a loose calling-station. It was her 1st time playing and she saw every flop and then called down most hands. She hit some lucky rivers and was up. I bet the full amount on the turn and she folded. I got some much needed chips. This was in level 2 or 3; I think it was 3.

I get A4 in the blinds. Flop brings me 2 pr. Guy bet and I put him allin. He calls and turns over QQ that he didn’t raise PF with. I don’t know if this guy is good enough to even try a slowplay. (Not that it is a good idea with QQ, playing NL or limit.) The runner-runner puts 2 more diamonds on the board, which matches the guy’s Q, and I am almost out.

This is still level 3 and just a few hands later. I get TT in the hole. There really should have been no thinking here with the stack that I had. I should have just pushed with my small-stack. But hey, I was a rook, who thought that would never have folded Big Slick PF, no matter ring or tourney. (OK, maybe sometimes.) I just limped from early position. Someone raised 300. Then the QQ Guy reraises 300 more. I think ok this guy just limped with QQ, he must be really packing now. I drop. Flop comes T77 and my heart sinks and I die inside. I would’ve tripled up. What a sap.

Break comes and I am hurting. Due to being card dead, crazy high blinds, short tables, and limit structure, I have a small stack at the end of level 3. The blinds are now 400/800. I have 1300 in chips. Slightly more than 3xBB. I’m sweating the whole 20 min. break. I walk around to see how the Fam is faring. Bro was one of the current chipleaders if not the leader. Sis is middle of the pack. And you already see that I am one of the small-stacks.

I start in the SB. I have shit. I fold and decide that all of my chips are going in at some point in the next cycle. I have 5 or 6 looks before the Big gets to me. No paint at all, so I keep holding out. Finally UTG I find 55. I limp hoping for a few callers so I can more than double. This is totally stupid, but I was pretty green. Flop comes 8-high. I push. 2 callers and while I wait to see my fate, they raise the side pot up every street. Showdown one guy turns over AT and the other KT, to which neither paired the board. I more than triple-up. I have around 4000 in chips.

People start dropping like flies in the tourney. They consolidate my table and put me right to the left of my bro. He is sitting on 40,000 in chips and I am milking out my 4000 or so.

Soon I look down at AA from UTG. I need some chips so I decide to just min-raise. I think I get a caller or 2 before my Bro in the Big. He reraises. I pretend to give it some thought, then reluctantly push, hoping for a few calls. All fold back around to my Bro, who says, “Sorry but I have to call. I have AK.” I say, “I’m sorry too, ‘cause I have bullets.” I have him dominated and my stack ends up at around 10,000.

They put it down to 3 tables with 18 left. 6 at a table. This structure truly sucks for my conservative style. The short tables are killing me, with the blinds eating me alive. Bro, Sis, and I are all still in. I was playing tight because it was bubble time, with the $24 payout starting at the 15th spot. I really should have loosened up at this point, but this is another account of my inexperience. Then they quickly consolidated again down to 2 with everyone in the money. Sis went out on the bubble. Bro still faring well.

The blinds were at 1000/2000. I blinded down big-time because I was card dead. I mean totally dead. Plus there were only 5 people at my table. I was UTG with 3000 in chips and about to be put to the decision. It was about to hit the 2 hr mark when someone at the other table dropped. They called break and moved 9 people to the Final Table in the center of the room. The blinds go up to 1500/3000. Lots of claps from the spectators as everyone sat down at the final table.

I sit down at the final table in the BB with 3000 in chips. The blinds at 1500/3000.

Next - The Final Table.

One Bad Read is All it Takes or Boooo

I ended slightly down again at the end of this session. Hopefully this isn’t a trend that keeps up. Soon as I hit crunch-time I start losing. I am playing solid poker so this is just variance. Soon as I need some wins, Lady Variance starts slapping me around. At least they have been small losses so far. Now it’s time for a nice 3 buyin session.

I did some 4 tabling the other night. I played 3 $25NL tables and with the Fam on a Penny tab.

I held my own on the Penny table. I was up and down, yet ended up at the close. (At the Penny table that is.) I called a guy with TPTK and the other guy had 2 pr. Ouch. I ended up getting it back from the same guy later in the session. My Sis plays a lot tighter than her husband JV. (The crazy reckless Italian.) He is even getting better, lol.

I loaned out $70 more of my online roll. I hope to get $50 of it paid back online. I hope so. The other I always get paid offline.

I ground out a nice little margin then this hand knocked me down for the night. 1 hand and all that hard work for naught.

1 hand of note: I lost a buyin on this one. Of course it had to be on the $25 tab. I raise PF with JJ. I get 2 callers. Flop comes 22Q. I raise and get reraised. The between guy drops and I push hoping to knock out the other player. He was a real agro player. He looked at most flops and usually bet the flops, even showing down marginal holdings. I felt justified in my move. He turned over 24o, which he called my 4xBB PF raise with. Boo, I say. But hey it paid off for him. I don’t know how I feel about my move. With the guy being agro he could have been holding anything so I have to say in retrospect, that my call truly sucked. With that board, if he hit either card, I am beat. I probably fold here to anyone else.