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.)