Saturday, December 29, 2007

Just My Luck: Three Straight Flushes in One Week

I played live 3 different times live last week and once each day I saw a straight flush. That has to be some staggeringly enormous odds. Plus, if you add in the fact that I was the one that got beat each time by the straight flush it has to be completely nuts. 2 were one-outers and the other was a 2-outer.

First one the flop came 7c5c4c. I had 75o. I bet and got raised. 3 go to the turn and it is a non-spade 7 giving me a flush. I figured one had the flush already and the other had the A or K of clubs. I check, as does the guy to my left. Flop aggressor bets and I reraise. All call. River comes an 8c. I bet pot. My left calls and aggressor pushes for my last $25. I figured that I was beat. My friends are super loose and reckless so I called. There was 90 in the pot at this point and I figured my friend to the left would also call making it a $140 pot. Guy to my left shows As. Aggressor shows Xc6c for the open-ender SF draw that spiked my ass. What a cooler. I still won $60 this session, but I still lament that hand and all that I could have pocketed.

Second time was at my Mom’s house, where we always play $5 buy-in tourneys when the Fam gets together. I trap 2 players on the turn with a Q-high flush. My Sis just had a pair, but my Bro had a lower flush and was drawing dead to 1 card 1 time. 6s3s was on the board and he has 7s4s. I call the card coming and the 5s rivers and IGH on the bubble.

Lastly, the next day we continue with our Christmas drinking and tournaments. I go all-in on the flop with Mom. I had 2pr. She had a gutshot straight-flush draw. She turns another 5s if I remember the card right. Of course I call this one also before it falls after my previous luck during the week.

That is some bad bad luck my friends. I hate the holidays.

Friday, December 14, 2007

The Creeper

I have been slowly creeping my way up this week. I couldn’t play much because I was working. I played around an hr to 1 ½ hrs a night, just enough to get my 200 points. Out of the last 5 sessions I have profited 4 times. Once was for $45 and the others were in the teens and 20’s. But I am getting my confidence back and that is always good. I didn’t play well overall, thus bringing in small wins.

I have a friend at work that I have been talking poker with and he has started playing online. He is very green (he had only played twice live a home games,) but it is nice to have someone competent to talk poker and online poker hands with. He is a smart kid and wants to learn and has the drive and intelligence to become a good player once he gets some hands under his belt. Plus, it is cool to help him on his way. He is playing every day like I do, so we talk hands and scenarios daily.

Last night was a roller coaster ride of bad play and coolers. I jotted some big hands down so I could remember them for discussion with him and to show how a few bad plays can effect your night’s profits and bankroll growth overall. I wrote them down, so I mind as well post them here so you can relive my crappy plays and lucky coolers, which turned me a meager profit for the night.

1st hand – I limp in from the Small or Big with K6ss. Flop comes T87 with 2 spades. I don’t remember how many limped but it ended with just 2 of us after our action. I bet-out and the guy raises real big. I push with my pair and 2nd-nut FD. He only had $50 to start the hand and asked for time before he finally called his last $27 with ATo. I whiff and lose $50 soon after sitting down. I normally wouldn’t play the hand that aggressively, but I figured if I did call I would be pot committed anyways with my FD on the turn. It was fold or push IMO, so I decided to do it while I had some fold equity. I probably played it badly by calling or pushing. But I ended up having the better odds of winning the hand with 2 cards to come. But obviously I had to hit a K or spade. I honestly didn’t know this at the time. I’m not saying that is why I did it; I’m just trying to figure it all out now. Weird thing is I actually had better odds if he would have flopped the nuts. Down $50 or so at this time.

2nd hand – A guy had raised PF 3 times in a row. This time he does it UTG. I am the BB. I call the other $2 with K6s. Flop – 987 rainbow. I check; he bets; and I raise. He pushes. I call. He had around $50 or so at the start of the hand. He has pocket Q’s and takes it down. I know that this was horrible on my part. I have been getting stupid like this since the tilt session. It’s like I have some residual after tilt virus invading my play. This is a play that I can honestly say that I never do. OK, almost never. Not only did he show strength PF, he showed uber flop power also. To top this off I was drawing to the dumb-end of a straight. Pathetic. Plus, there was no fold equity whatsoever to make this play; I called his all-in. I’m embarrassed to even show this tripe. These are the kinds of plays that donks pay ME off with. Another $50 dropped. Down $100.

I call a PF raise and a call with 44. Two 4’s hit the flop. I am in position. Aggressor bets $8 and other dude folds. I just call obviously. No legitimate need to worry about him drawing out. Turn X. He bets $20 for me and I smooth-call again. River X. He bets out $30. I only have $64 so I push. He calls. Hand ends and he mucks face down. I’m guessing that at some point in the hand he made a boat. Aces or Kings would have to slow down to my calls at some point in the hand with a pair on the board. I wish I had more at the table because he had $200 in his stack. Well, I can’t play that hand wrong so I can’t sit here and say how I out played this dork. The hand played itself. Position was great in that hand. No guessing. Oh yea, this was one of the coolers I was talking about. Poor bastard. Usually when you hit quads or a boat on the flop you have the board crushed and don’t get much action. I was lucky here. +$100 or so and I’m back to even.

4th hand – Raise from EP and I call from the BB with J-small-suited. Flop delivers 2 beautiful Jacks. I check and he bets and I call again. Turn X. I check-raise him this time, putting in a goodly sized raise. He folds and I scoop a $60 pot. I’m up $30 or so at this point.

I then play a lot of small pots and steal tons of blinds. I get up around $75.

5th hand – Raise from EP again and I call with 99. Flop - Q9x. Check/check. He bets the turn; I raise; he RR’s; and I push. He calls and shows QQ. My 1-outer doesn’t come and I lose a $200 pot. Kick-ass, I’m down $25 again.

6th hand - I get off the computer to sneak a smoke. As the tables are timing out because I didn’t hit the sit-out buttons because I was aggravated with me play. (I know, you hate players that hold up the game.) I am walking back by from the kitchen and see an Ace on the popped-up screen. I also notice that there are like 6 Lemurs limpers. I see that I have A9dd. I call just as it is about to time-out. Flop comes 3 diamonds and I am last to act. Everyone checks to me and I decide to give a free card and hope that someone gets a piece of the turn and also pray that the board doesn’t pair. Turn is a blank. Checks to me again. I bet $3 this time. (Around ½ pot, wanting to look like a position steal.) Folds around and a guy min-raises me to $6. Anyways, we reraise back and forth until both stack arrive in the middle. He shows the best hand possible. (For me obviously.) I didn’t have to worry about a suck-out because he was drawing dead with Kxdd. Hmm…up $75 again.

I mess around for a little while longer and end my session only up $26. It really just goes to show how a few bad or iffy plays can turn good day’s profits into mere change. I am going to get my points tonight and try to play with smart aggression and not just blow all my profits throughout the session.

As an aside: Full Tilt is being very magnanimous this month and is matching your year’s whole accrued Iron Man Points at the end of this month. (Just regular accrual though, not bonus points or anything like that.) So starting January I will have 1496 IMP. I always buy $100 bonuses. They cost 600 IMP’s apiece. But for 300 in one shot you can save 200 and get them for 1600. I really want to buy them as soon as Jan gets here, but I don’t want to just buy $200 and miss out on a 200 savings. Well, last month they started giving bonus IM Points that compound every 500FTP’s that you accumulate daily. Ex: 500 = 2 IMP’s - 1000/5 - 1500/10 - 2000/20 - etc. Today is the 14th so I have half the month left to get 104 points. I will need to put in a few long sessions to accomplish this, but hopefully I can. Damn I love free money for my bankroll to eat. I should have close to $300 currently coming from rake back also.

Wish me luck. Later, Ash out…

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Quick Update and a Casino Trip

Ok, I revised the post. God was it horrid. I was writing at work and got busy, so I just hurried up and posted. I’m sorry for anyone that read it.

I played at the casino for the first time in over a year. After the Christmas party I got put on the waiting list. There was only one table going at that time. It was $1/$2. I was told that 5 dudes were on the list ahead of me, but they had called in ahead of time so I was essentially next up. After 20 mins of throwing quarters in hungry unproductive slots I checked back. He said that I was now 6th on the list again because they were in. I was chatting with the pitboss when someone left the table. He said fuck-it go ahead and jump in there.

I sat down in the 5th seat with a full table of regulars that I had seen before in my multiple visits to a different casino last year. Luckily a guy left and a huge chip-spewing fish took his seat in the 2 spot. I started mixing it up with him right off the bat. I won a few smallish pots from him. I then hook horns again with him. I reaise him with AA. He pushes and I call, making it a $120 pot. He shows AKo. He hits a flush on the turn. I reload $60, putting me back at the max buy-in of $100.

I get in with him again soon after and push for $35 more on the river, because he checks after being the aggressor on every prior street. It was a river bluff with AQs. He folded and I showed.

I later called $10 more from the BB with 43s to isolate against him again. I hit an open-ender and called a flop bet without the odds but hoping to hit. Turn brings me a pr of 3’s to add to my SD. I call another bet. River is a beautiful 3. He bets me on the river and I shove like the time before trying to portray the bluff again. He throws away his hand and says that he was trying to buy it with overs.

I also got lucky once. A guy to my left was short-stacked after losing a few hands. He pushes for $25 from UTG. Folds back to me in the BB. I have KJs. I decide to call. He shows AQo. I hit trip-jacks.

I also lost some nice bets when I got reraised preflop and had to laydown. I also had to drop a few hands when the turn got ugly. I only got to play 2 hrs because we rode with the in-laws and they along with my wife were ready to jet. I ended the session up $22. Ghey, but at least I didn’t lose. I wish I would have driven a separate car because my table got real juicy just before I had to go. 2 drunk guys sat down and it was obvious to most at the table that they were dead money.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Whine and Cheese

Your comment was spot-on Sub; I tilted my ass off. I had been averaging $75 a day for the last 2 ½ weeks. (See last post for stats.) I moved up to the $100NL tables a week and half ago. I was in a zone, a little weak on some hands maybe, but playing well. And then 12/17 came. It was a long session. I lost some big hands early and spazzed the fuck out after that and tilted off more and more. I actually quit twice (once I played WoW for awhile and then to watch Poker After Dark,) but kept coming back for more. I started chasing my money. I started calling hands and bets that I normally wouldn’t. I began chasing until the river against pot-sized bets. It was horrible. I started bluffing poorly. I was making bad calls all around and kept spiraling deeper. It was a sick sight. I totally forgot my new “big hands for big pots,” strategy. GOD. That is the biggest 1-day loss of my career.

I’m not normally a tilty player. I have been playing long enough to see just about anything. But I think the $100 a hand losses put me over the edge. 2 cracked Aces hands in a row. It all started with a 1-outer. AA vs TT. I reraise PF and he calls. He hits a set and smooth-calls my flop bet. Turn brings my Ace-nuts. We get all-in with one card to come and bang, mister Ten. It aggravated me but I was OK, sort of. Then I get AA again. I reraise PF. He RR back. I push and he calls $60 more. Guess with what? KTs. K-fucking-Ten-suited for a hundo. 2 Tens hit the board by the river and Tilty-Mcdonk is in full affect. I start playing bad and pair that with a cold deck and I see 3 more stacks leave to SOS (set over set), FOF (flush over flush), and KK vs AA. Combine that with some horrible play on my part and you have a negative 7-buy-in night. I even did something that I never do, because I was out of my flipping mind. I flopped the nut-flush and had a guy check-call me all the way to the river. The board paired and he checked again. I always just check behind after the board pairs the river. But not this time, I push and get called buy a river-boat. My night summed-up. I will give it another shot in the morning. If I hit $1000 I will drop back down to $50NL again until I hit $1200 or so.

The only positive is that I already have more rake this month on the 6th than I did all of last my total. $300 coming back so far. 8 $100 tables add up quick I tellz ya.

Later, Donkass Out…

Friday, December 07, 2007

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Quickie

I’m still doing well. I am pretty manic at the moment again with poker. I am reading non-stop. I got a bootlegged copy of Super System because it seems to be at the top of everyone’s list: the Poker Bible if you will. I also bought 2 Poker books with my Tilt points that I will start reading as soon as they arrive. I’m posting on forums, although most people don’t seem to agree with my theorems. Sadly most HH posts are 6-max these days.

Full Tilt has a kickass promotion going for December. They are matching your Iron Man points accumulated for the year as a bonus if you achieve any IM tier in December. That is cool of them. That means that by January or February I will be able to buy 2 $100 bonuses. That is always something nice for the BR.

BR still climbing. Currently at $1200. I will need to have one hell of a December to catch last year’s earnings. I doubt I will, but at least I have something to strive for. I don’t plan to cashout much so my roll should keep compounding exponentially as I move up stakes. I have currently made $1900 YTD. That’s $2600 below last year’s mark. Come on Lady Luck. $1900 is great considering that 6 months or so ago I was down $300 for the year.

My game has really been evolving in the last month or so. I tightened up my starting hands a bit, but I have become uber aggressive from the Highjack on with any 2. This is getting a ton of action for my normal starting hand range. I’m currently taking down nearly as many pots on the flop as I do PF to my CB’s. I am winning a ton of small pots now. Another big change in my game is that I am usually only playing big pots with big hands. TPTK all-in on the flop is basically nonexistent any more. I know I am folding the best hand often, but folding to hyper flop aggression with 1 pr isn’t too weak IMO. Why risk it with so little invested on the flop. Big hands for big pots is my new maxim. Since I am now winning a ton of smallish pots with my aggression why risk losing profits on an iffy endeavor. Also when I get called with my steal attempts and I flop TP or 2 pr I often get paid off nicely with moderate holdings because they don’t give me credit for a hand because I’m bulling their blinds so often. Lets see how these days off go.

Plus I have a home game tonight. Hopefully I can keep my streak alive. I had 15 straight wins in the home games going. I then lost $17 one game and now have a 4 game streak going again. Plus, I now have been given the invite to a local Corrections Officers’ game. It kinda sucks though because they usually only play $10 buy-ins tourneys, plus they start at 10:30 at night after they all get off of work. I’ve only gone once as of yet because of my work schedule, but I did OK that night. I bubbled the first one due to a horrid suckout, but it happens. The second one another guy and I chopped 1st and 2nd $ because it was 3:30 am.

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Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Rant to Come - Some of the Worst Calls Ever

3 big suckouts that cost me $150. I won $200+ this session, but here’s $150 profit lost to 2 total horrid calls and 1 not-so-bad call, I guess. I posted the odds for you.

Hand 1 - The first one the guy had TPTK when the money went in on the turn. I now don’t often put it all-in with TPTK, but when you play AKo that is the hand you are looking to get. I call his PF raise with T9s. Flop brings his King and my 2-pr. I check raise him on the flop. He calls. We get all-in on the turn. If he was going all the way I don’t understand why he didn’t push the flop when he had some fold equity, not that I was folding, but he couldn’t know that. I push the turn and the board pairs our turn card giving him Kings-up. I was a 4to1 fav here.






Hand 2 – It is folded around to the SB, where he tries to limp. I raise PF because I have a small pr and didn’t want to see a flop. He calls with T6s, which ain’t a bad play. I bet this tard on the flop with my set because of the straight and flush draw. This was a blind fight and he could have anything. He calls this second bet with T-high and no flush draw. Just bad unless he though I was CB’ing weak and was going to try to call my bluff on the turn. Well, it turns out that is just what he did with a gut-shot. I push for a way over-bet of the pot. He CALLS. No fold equity bluff mind you he tried but I pushed. He calls with crap and hits for my whole stack. 9to1 odds here.

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Hand 3 – This tard CALLs on the turn with a double belly-buster. 86% fav down the drain and another moron stacks me.

I understand that these idiots are the fish that bring us profits in the long-run, but damn. 2 9to1 spikes in 1 session is just outrageous even for Tilt. I can’t believe I pulled down a 4buy-in session with this crap going on.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Rollin'

I’ve been rockin’ the last few days on Tilt.

After getting off work on the 19th I played for like 2 ½ hrs on the $25NL tables to get my points. I all-in 3 times PF with Rockets. First 2 times were for the whole buy-ins. Both times AA vs KK and they held up for some odd reason. The last time was a 3-way all-in extravaganza. AA vs AK and 99, but both had push-monkey money and I netted a full buy-in between both their stacks. I only lost a few mid-sized pots that morning. I played one bad and just kept calling his bets with bottom 2-pr. I know that you should always play them hard but I was trying to keep him in and be Mr. Tricky. River paired the board low and he spiked Kings-up to counterfeit me. My aggressive position blind steals, whether PF or to my CB, kept me up on most tables. I ended the session + $90 and change to put me at $708.

20th I gave $50 another go. I had a horrible session of bad beats and total donkary. I also made a few bad calls I guess. Also the set-up set over set in a 3-way on the flop and lost a buy-in in that shitty hand. I got smacked by the worst played hand that I’ve witnessed in a long time. I don’t know how this tard can have the money to sit at these stakes. He tries to limp from late early position. I bump it up to $2 from around the button with big slick and he calls. Flop comes a nice KJ2 rainbow. He checks, I make it $5 to go, and he calls. Turn 7. Same betting and calling on the turn, where I make it $15 and he completes. My Spidey Senses are tingling thinking maybe a slow-rolled set or something. I plan to check call the river at this point. River Q. This time he leads out for $10 into the $45 pot. Ghey steal attempt or value bet. I call and he shows-down AT for a total floating, cold-calling, gut-busting, Broadway piece of ugly no-playing crap fest of a hand. The chat box goes wild and I didn’t type shit. I X-ed off the table. A few suckouts later and I was down close to $100 and about to leave and start the next day back at the quarter tables. I was playing solid I swear and did win a few mid-sized hands or I really would have been down. I start un-checking the auto post buttons on my 8 tabs while I was playing stupid tilty hands. I call a raise with 54 spades because I was tilting and getting off anyways. Late position player reraises and the OR calls, so I say F-it and call also. Flop comes 9c7s2s. Checkity-check, and then a nice bet. We both call. Turn brings the 6s. Now first guy leads out and I raise. Flop aggressor pushes as does the EP guy. I go all-in also afraid but not real worried because what could they really have that could beat me at this point with a PR raise and a reraise and call. OR PF shows KK with no spades. PF reraiser shows a donkalicious TT with one spade. And just as my day’s fucking luck would have it a 4th spade hits the river to give this dude a ten-high flush and I get totally fuckin’ pissed inside at my plight, but can’t move and just stare at the screen in exasperated awe. And then something odd happens and I watch the chips slide my way and my $50 turn into $150. Only then do I look back at the board and see that the last spade was a 3 of spades giving me the straight flush and sticking it right to the dumb no-playing asses. So I log-off only down $5 for the session.

21st I got back on the $50 tables and was in a zone from the start. The basketball hoop looked like a swimming pool. I did make a few ify calls, but all in all I was spot-on with my reads. I was getting some nice hands also. A few mid-sized suckouts against me, but not too many. It was weird I was keeping my ok hands in small pots and playing big pots with my big hands. I was very aggressive also. Only once did I not follow through with a read and didn’t open-bluff the aggressor on the river with my call-stationed bust flush draw. He checked and showed down an aggressively played pair of ducks that took down a nice pot. I won $140ish. I only played for slightly over an hr. I didn’t want to get off while on a rush but I needed some sleep.

That put my roll at $840. I withdrew $100 for some hunting money so I could get Ash-boy out to hopefully get his first deer.

Hopefully Lady variance leaves me be these days off.

Later, Ash out…

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Monday, November 12, 2007

Last 2 Sessions Were Nice or Back To The Top



OK, here we go again. I hope saying something positive doesn’t bring out the variance swing demons. My last 2 sessions have been nice. The 1st one was at $25NL and I took down 3 buy-ins. That equates to 12 Greb buy-ins. LOL. The last session I started with a roll of just under $650 so I decided to give the $50’s a shot. I knocked down over $80 as you can see in the screenshot. I made a few big laydowns in the 1st one and sucked-out when my PF Kings cracked my amazingly un-whiny opponent. That always helps. 2nd one I had 2 big hands and also had to lay down a few monsters when the board stuck it to me and they pushed on me.

Hand one I raise PF with AK and get 1 caller. Flop comes Kxxsmall. I bet and he smooth-calls. Turn comes an un-connecting mid-range card. He takes the lead and bets out and I pop him back. He then pushes. At this point it cost me around $30 into a pot $60 or so. I think about for a while and hit the time button. I end up calling and he showsdown KQ. No 3-outer and I drag a nice pot. What do you think of this call? I only had TPTK here. What do you put him on? Set maybe? I don’t know how I feel about this call. I have been dropping some of these kinds of hands lately in my winning sessions and waiting for my sets, straights, and flushes for big pots.

Next big hand was a no-brainer. I reaise PF with my AA and get fired right back at. I push and he calls and shows KK. Karma doesn’t intervene and I take this double-up.

I played for a total of 2 hrs in these 2 sessions. That’s around $80 an hr. God wouldn’t be great to be able to do that consistently. Yea, I know better. I have the next 4 days off and plan to put in around 2 hrs a day. Wish me luck at the $50’s.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

My Roll is Slowly Growing But Swings Suck

As of 11/9 I my roll is $560. I got my Rakebreak and lost a few bad hands. I had $680 when my rake came in. I stepped up to the $50’s and took some horrible loses. 3 quick hands where I lost: 1 – Nut flush on turn with me the aggressor the whole hand. Board pairs the river and he pushes. I only have $10 left and getting 9to1. I obviously call and he shows-down a river boat. 2 – I have trips and the board 4-flushes and I have to lay it down with like $30 invested. And 3 – I have an AK for TPTK and the board pairs one non-ace card, I bet and get called. River then commences to pair the other non-ace flop card. He pushes and I have to drop. With some other bad plays and beats I go down $150 for the session. I drop back to $25NL and recoup some. I am still playing $25NL. OK, I’m done whining now. I’m going to get $650 again before I try again. I am still having some problems dropping on the flop with premium pocket pairs to massive aggression. A single pair is often in bad shape in these situations, but it is so hard to drop Rockets on a low board, because sometimes they show smaller premium pockets and are willing to rock and roll with an overpair. I will continue to work on this and watch my stats closely.

Monday, November 05, 2007

A Streak Ends and Hopefully a New One Begins

Well the streak is over. I had an awesome Home Game streak going 15 straight winning sessions! I finally lost $17 the game before last. I got my A’s and K’s cracked the same session and never fully recovered. The next game I made $65 so I feel pretty happy about that. I was down $27 at one point because I played HU with an agro player (Smitty) and I hit a nut straight on the turn. I just called his turn bet and then the board paired on the river. I didn’t put him on a hand and raised him. He pushed and I called his boat. That was a $20 hand.

I bought back in for another $20 and chipped down a bit and then made 2 nice floats on the flop and turn and then re-raise the river bluffs and a good/bad call. Same agro player bet the PF 3 handed so I put him on 2 unmatched high cards. Flop was all low cards. He bet bigger than his normal bet when he has a hand so I figured he missed and was trying hard to take it down. I paired my 3 and called. He fired another bullet on the low turn card and I called again. He bet the river J hard and bet strong again. There was already a lot in the pot and I stayed with my read and hoped he missed the J. I called and he turned over AQo. I showed 63o and he went Hellmuth on me. I calmly told him that I had a read on him and he says the fuck I did and said it was the worst call he has ever seen. This put me even or so for my $40 buy-in.

Back when it was 4-handed a little earlier 2 players that have some bad blood between then got in some hands together. One guy (PV) has recently changed his style and now bets a lot PF with stuff like Q8s or worse and the other guy (RMc) got tired of holding like I don’t have a problem doing. He called with mid pair to the showdown and lost to a flopped 2pr. He bought back in and chipped up nicely and they got into it again soon after. He min-raised PF with Rockets and new agro-boy re-raises, which wasn’t much - Calling the $1 and raising $1.50. Smitty and I drop. RMc says that he will put PV all-in which was another $19, which was way over-kill and normally an –EV move with an isolated opponent. PV goes into the think-tank and starts saying that he is most likely behind but he loves his hand. He says that he has straight and flush draw possibilities all the while RMc goads him for a call. PV who has already bought in for $80 calls and turns over his Q9s 4 to 1 dawg. He flops a nine; turns a gutshot; and rivers a Q. RMc tightlipped, cashes out and storms off. This gives goofball $46 in chips. He makes some horrible calls and shows-down 3rd pair in a nice pot and pisses off Smitty all over again, who openly and vehemently bemoans his busted every-street bluff and berates both of us for our terrible plays. I am card dead for a while but managed to chip-up $12, while PV kept taking the tilting Smitty’s chips. And then comes the last hand of the night.

3-hand we both call PV’s Pf raise. I had KJo. Flop comes QTx-low rainbow. Smitty folds and I call PV’s flop bet. An A comes on turn giving me Broadway. He bets 3 measly dollars bumping it up from his $2 flop bet. He stares at me, placing the stack of 3 chips down and then places each chip in a row with emphasis on each chip. I smooth-call with no flush draw and hope the board doesn’t pair or bring a K or J and pantomime his chip placement while smiling at him. The river brings an 8. He bets 3 bucks again and does the chip act. I say raise and put the first 3 chips in mimicking him again and then do it again with 5 more $1 chips. He says all-in putting me to the test for my remaining $40. I figure we are holding the same whole cards but obviously call. He can’t wait to turn his J9s over and say he has the straight. I was shocked that he risked close to $40 without the nuts. I throw down my KJ and state that I have the nut straight. His just stares at me wide-eyed as I count out my remaining chip. The game broke up then and there. I waited for that hand all night. They just donk-off there chips between themselves all night while I fold and wait for semi-decent to limp in with and scoop small pots and then they run into my nuts for big pots, game after game. It’s like clockwork with these boys.

Where I'm At

It has been a good week. I have had 6 straight winning sessions. Halloween in 2 sessions I made over $200. That’s 8 buy-ins at the stakes that I have been playing. My roll is up over $550 now. I also have $100 coming from Rakebreak any day now. When I’m up over $600 I will give the $50’s a try again, but will drop back down if I hit $500.

I also changed up my game again and haven’t had a bad session yet. (Tightened up my starting requirements. I know I will lose eventually, but I think this change is for the best at these stakes. I got rid of my low/mid-end chasing hands. I dropped my suited-connectors 98 and lower and my Ax-suited A9 and below. This is keeping me from chasing so many straights and flushes and halting any urges for post-flop kicker fights. I am still rocking my position raises PF though; they are reaping nice dividends and giving me action when I have nice starting hands from my steal positions. You’d be amazed at the hands they will call you down with once they get tired of your steals. (2nd/3rd pair on the board.) I also have begun to lay down my PF monsters to uber aggression on the flop while I still have very little involved in the hand. (Most of the time anyway.) I was finding that I was often up against made hands in these situations. I know I am likely laying down the best half the time, but why chance it. I am playing 8 tables at a time and usually hit a set on the flop multiple times an hour. I am pretty confident that I have the best and when I call a goodly PF raise with my pairs and hit, they often will put it all-in on the flop. It seems to be working. I can dodge bullets baby! Lets see how it goes the rest of this week and I will have a better idea.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Doh - Check Out The Red Highlight - Back to the $25NL Tables Again - Damn




Full Tilt owes me some damn bad beats. For that matter, I’ll just be happy with some good beats. 10/17/07 really hurt. I lost 5 buy-ins that day. 4 were beats and 1 was a bad call on my part. I played even poker other than those big hands. All 3 times I hit trips and someone wanted to play I got smacked. I did suckout once and the dude had the nerve to whine after I had seen so many that day. I just let him bitch.

Quick rundown:

Beat 1: AA vs QQ. I raise and he reraises. I pop him back all-in and he calls. Q on the turn. Nice 2-outer.

Beat 2: Trips goes down to river flush after money goes in on turn.

Beat 3: Trips on A-high board with 2 clubs. He holds A6c. We get all-in on flop. He flushes me. I can’t say that I wouldn’t have made this same play on his part with TPSK and 2 cards to come to a nut flush.

Beat 4: TPTK on turn all-in. Dudes middle calls. Hits second pair on river.

Bad call 1: 2 callers of my raise PF with my AA. Flop rainbow T87. BB Checks to me. I bet pot. LP folds. BB raises all-in for 4xpot. I call he showsdown 96s for a suited-3-gapper. Here I knew I should have folded but his overbet seemed fishy. CR usually means a set or straight here. It was a bad play on my part but I was steaming.

Suckout 1: KK vs AA PF all-in. K on turn.

Come on $25 tables be good to Ash. $325 BR now. It will turn around.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Quick Update of My Week

The last week hasn’t been too kind. I only played 4 days this week due to a business trip. Man I hate long rides. The guy that we were following took a wrong turn and turned an already long 9 hr drive there into an excruciating 12.5 hr ride. Back to poker. I dropped back down the $25NL tables for a few days, but now I’m back at the $50 tabs. I started the week with a FT Br of $335 after a proverbial ass-whooping at the end of the previous week where I sat at over $450. I dipped as low as $280 a few times during a few sessions last week. I had a ton of bad beats although I couldn’t fault some of their calls and pushes due to outs or them thinking that their sets were good at the time of the all-ins. I also had a lot of non-beat second best hands that anyone would put all their chips at risk with. 2 SOS, KK vs AA, flopped boats over boat, where I held JJ and they held AJo on a AAJ flop. Luckily I was playing at the $25 tabs during this time and my other winning hands kept me close to even. With my move back up in stakes yesterday and raking-in a $75 win, I actually made $40 for the week. Add in my $175 Rakebreak deposit and I currently sit at $550 again. During this last week I have only given one badbeat of my own in one hand. I think I deserve more. My PF raised QQ went all-in on an innocuous T-high flop. The other dude hit 2-pr on the flop when he called my PFR with 54o. I hit my bitch on the river. Good that felt good. I did figure I was behind when I called his CR, but just said screw-it and hit the call button. So here’s to hoping. Come on roll grow again.

Could someone check my spreadsheet and tell me if it is read only when you view it? It would really suck if someone could muck with it. TY.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

My New Spreadsheet

A new feature that will be on my sidebar is a Bankroll spreadsheet. I robbed got the idea from Katitude while reading her blog yesterday.(Can you tell that I learned how to strike through. LOL.) She is doing a Chris Ferguson Challenge, with the exception that she isn’t doing the freeroll thing Jesus did to start out; she is starting with $100 on Tilt. You can read about the C.F. Challenge and her specific rules here. I basically copied her spreadsheet and did a lot of cutting and pasting along with adding additional categories and formulas. I have PT but I like this medium because all the info is right on one page. This spreadsheet will chronicle my online bankroll and live winnings. It will be updated daily or at least when I play. (Which is probably 25 or more days a month.) Since I don’t blog every day and if you’re jonesing to know how I’m doing, you can just click the link on the sidebar and see my day-to-day progress. It has different sections for Cash Games, SnG’s, and MTT’s. Also it has formulated online withdraw and Rakebreak deposit sections that will keep my BR accurate and up-to-date. I also have on the sheet two sections that display my FT points and monthly FT rake accumulation. And lastly I have an area for notes for online and live comments for that particular day. Steal it if you want and do some cutting and pasting of your own. It is online at Google Docs and I think you need a Google account to view it; but most bloggers and lurkers already have an account. Enjoy it, I know I will.

Upate, a Big Hand, and a Few Questions That I'd Like Your Opinion On

Well guys it hasn’t been a good week. I started with a Grand. I then cashed out $350 leaving my roll at $700 including $38 on stars. I lost a little under $300 due to bad plays and some of the most horrendous beats imaginable. 4to1 fav doesn’t mean shit these days apparently. I won’t go into them because I really don’t have the stomach to iterate them. I did make $60 last night though and with my Stars money thrown in I have recouped $100. So my FT account currently sits at $470. Man I really needed that win last night. I was feeling discouraged and felt like the RNG at Tilt was fucking with my resolve to the point that I didn’t even want to log-in. I started with $410 last night and really had a hard decision to make. Did I want to step down a level and play the uberdonks at $25NL or stick it out with the regular donks at $50NL. In the end I decided to stake at the $50 tables and if I hit $300 I would definitely drop stakes, but luckily I actually won a session. If I would stop with the withdraws I would even have to worry about this crap, but with the wife still off of work and Comp being dicks, sometimes I need to. But honestly being able to supplement my income with poker is pretty cool. As of yet I have added to our coffers a $1000 from online poker and $800 from my live local home games. I haven’t given the casino a try yet, but damn am I itching to.

Biggest hand of the week: I get 2 guys to put me all-in PF with my Bullets in the hole. I limp UTG and EP raises and then gets reraised by MP. I then elect to re-reraise to see where I’m at pad the pot. EP pushes the rest of his $50 and then MP also pushes, although he only had $30 at the beginning of the hand. I obviously call. EP shows AKo. MP shows JJ. I am totally stunned here. I don’t really know how these guys play because I have so many tables rocking at the same time. Are they normally donkeys or what? I will say that I had a pretty aggressive image at the time, at least from the cutoff on. Every time it was folded around to me I would bet the pot. In the Small or Big I would pot-bet if the Button and/or SB limped. No one improved and I took down a $130 pot, thus netting $80. That is one hell of a pot at the $.25/$.50 tables. I don’t know if my image had anything to do with their shit bad play in the hand. Me personally, I would be thinking I was dominated here with AKo or at least merely a coin-flip. But EP might have actually been pulling a squeeze play, thinking MP would drop all but AA or KK, and that I was full of crap (because of my image) and would also bail, leaving him a nice pot without ever having to see a flop. In my personal experience if UTG limps and then rearaises a PF raise he is almost certainly holding Aces. Maybe I’m weak, but I fold my AKo here every time. (1) How about you? MP is just plain stupid IMO. He obviously had to realize he was way behind with all that action, plus he only had his original $5 reraise invested here. I would drop for sure. (2) What would you do here you were him? If, and I mean If I also push, he will be getting slightly more than 4to1 here. (He would have to invest $25 to make $105.) And almost definitely he has to think he is a 4to1 dawg here. (3) Does the implied odds of me calling give you enough incentive to call here? Anyways, I think they played the hand poorly, but hey, that’s how we win our money. AK kills so many suckers.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Meh, Kind'a Happy

I’ve cashed-out $500 since my recent post on 8/15 for various reasons. I am doing well though. I currently have $1000 on Tilt and $50 on WPEX, $40 on stars, and $9 on Poker.com even though I haven’t played on those sites in awhile. I gave up my aggressive BR strategy and opted for a little more conservative one; the swings were just too volatile with a mere 8 buy-ins. I am currently playing at the $50 tables. When I hit $1200 I will move up to the hundred tables and give it a shot, but if I hit $1000 again I will drop down at that juncture. I am presently up $1300 for the year; that is a damn far cry from being down $400 a few months ago.

I have stopped playing the SnG’s for $26 tokens. I currently have 5 and that’s enough for the time being. I had 8 but used 3. I wish regular SnG’s for just money would fill up. I would rather have cash in-hand instead of unredeemable (is that a word) tokens. 1 token that I used I got into the same structured SnG but for a $75 token I won that tourney. (Well in the tokens anyways.) I got into $9000 guaranteed tourneys with the other 2. (Bitch time.) 1st tourney I couldn’t really get anywhere. When the blinds started getting too high I reraised all-in with Big Slick and got called by AQ and you I’ll give you one guess what came on the flop. The next tourney I chipped-up nicely early on with a stack of 6000. I have AA with a raise PF before me. I reraised only to be surprised when a guy with around 2000 2 seats to my left pushes. The original raiser also pushes with about 5000. I obviously call. Guy to the right has AKs and the OR shows-up KQs. Mister KQ runs a straight on my. I slowly work it back up to 2000, but can’t get over the hump. When the blinds get big I put my money in with the worst hand while trying to push the blinds and late position players out with JTs. It happens and I’ll get over it. I have 5 chances left and a teir 2 token to try making some nice coin. Rant over.

I am sticking with my pact with the wife and am only putting in around 2 hrs a day.

Live is going well. I still haven't seen the casino yet this year so all my cash is coming from the Home Game. I am up $705 year to date. that ain't bad seeing as how we play $.25/.50. My loses amount to a total of $90 while making that $700. I'm pretty happy about my stats with these guys; they usually just give me their money pretty much. Too bad my wife spends my live roll quicker than I win it. hopefully soon I can keep enough to get 2 buy-ins at the $1/$2 game at the local casino. I would love to give that a go again. My game has really changed and I'd like to see how I would fair. If I get my online roll rolling I might just cash-out enough to start that live roll. We will see.

Later, Ash out...

Sunday, September 09, 2007

New Aggression

I am really becoming more aggressive. I will go through a few examples here illustrating my new moves. They are really adding tons of small pots to my stack while I patiently wait for my big hands. My aggression also gets me more calls when I do have a real hand. Most of these advantageous plays are probably already in your arsenal, but as you all know I am a little slow at incorporating aggression into my Rocky style. I find myself even or above my original max buy-in stake on at least 4 of my 8 simultaneous played tables with-in the first 45 min of my session. And close to even on probably 2 others. So if you aren’t currently using these bets and raises, give them a shot and I think you will be pleasantly surprised at the results. I am playing at the $.25/.50 stakes. My bets are always pot-sized PF and pot-sized on the flop. I use pot-sized flop bets because they aren’t usually portrayed as Continuation Bets. It must also be stated that this is my online Full-ring cash-game strategy. I haven’t really tried it in tourneys yet so I don’t know how it will work in these more aggressive situations and/or at which stage they might be profitable.

1 – If it is folded around to me in the cut-off through the SB. I’m a little more conservative with the PF raise from the cut-off. Often I wait for paint or suited cards with an Ace or King. On the button if it is folded around to me I will bet pot with just about any 2 cards, unless I have very recently made this same move, because then I am more likely to get called or smacked with a re-steal. If it is folded around to me in the Small I definitely raise with any 2. If reraised I drop. If I get called by the Big, I will bet pot out of position regardless of the texture of the board. At this point they think I wasn’t just stealing and fold usually. 2/3 of the time they miss anyway. And often even if they hit it is mid or bottom pair and fold to my aggression. Another move that I have incorporated from the SB is when the button just limps. With almost any cards I will bet pot here. The button has shown weakness and the Big likely has naught. This is usually enough to take the pot PF, scooping an extra $.50 for my effort. This sandwich effect works well because I look strong by betting with 2 to act and the limper already he has a little somethin’-somethin’. Lastly from the Big I will always raise the SB. If I have 2 nice cards I will raise the SB and a Button or Cut-off limper.

2 - If it is folded around to me with 2 left to act before the blinds and I’m sitting on pockets (no matter if it is 2’s or A’s) I will bet pot. It looks less like a steal from this position so I usually pick up the blinds and with mid to small pockets I want to win the hand before the flop. Plus my pair is likely the best at the moment anyways. If I am reraised here I will usually fold here or call if it isn’t too much more and try to hit my set. I have only invested a$1.50 to $1.75 is this situation, which only equates to between 2%-4% of my stack anyways. If I get 1 caller and I am out of position on the flop I usually bet anyways and take it down. If I get 1 caller and end up with position on the flop I get info if they check. Some times they are slow-rolling to the aggressor, but more often than not they caught air and my pair is still best and win the pot. If my flop bet gets called I am pretty much done with the hand because more often than not they are slow-playing a monster or just smooth-calling top pair. In position I will usually get to set-farm the turn card as they check to me again as the aggressor, likely hoping for the check-raise. I will also make this bet with AK or AQ.

3 - In most cases from early and mid-position I will simply limp with mid and small pockets. If someone raises I will usually call and set-farm the flop unless they way overbet. Another likely scenario is when I end up the only limper with the blinds completing. If they check to me on the flop, I always bet no matter the flop. The majority of the time they fold here especially if an Ace or King is on the board. I pick up a lot of these pots.

4 – If I’m in the blinds and there is one late position limper. If I pair any part of the flop or get a draw I will throw out a pot-sized bet. The other blind likely missed or is worried about a kicker fight in the least. The late LP limper will miss 2/3 of the time and I usually take down the pot. If the flop pairs or is real ugly I will often bet, especially if I’m in the Big and it is checked to me. I will often make these plays even with 2 limpers other than the other blind. And as always, if the SB checks and then calls or raises my bet I am pretty much done with the hand. Sneaky bastards.

Later, Ash out…

Friday, August 24, 2007

What a Douche

I noticed the poker tip section on the Aces Cracked's main page today and because I was bored at work I decided to read them. Most were very generalized but this one made me smile. Just read #4 and notice that you are nodding as you read. What a douche!

Poker Peeves

I have long been an impatient person by nature; those close to me will contest to that. Time is of the essence and I cannot stand when people waste mine. Impatience is easily my worst character trait, not to mention one of my fiercest adversaries at the poker table. Though I do love the game, I often find myself furiously tapping my feet underneath the table, impatiently waiting for a playable hand. The hulking hours and repetitive nature of the game make it easy for its players to develop pet peeves, which, for impatient people like me, can simply drive you nuts. I’ve given the matter considerable thought and put together a list of my top five poker peeves, most of which are strongly driven by impatience. Perhaps you can relate.

1. Tournament players asking for a count when the bet they’re considering to call clearly puts them all in. I typically see this one at least twice throughout the course of a multi-table poker tournament. Usually on the turn or the river, after a majority of the hand has already been played, one player makes a large bet that puts another player all in. After some mysterious deliberation, the player facing the decision asks “how much is it?” when it’s apparent to everyone else at the table that he will be all in if he decides to call. The question bothers me for two reasons: the first, it’s a monumental waste of time! Unless you have terrible vision or are color blind, you should be able to infer from eyeing the size of your opponent’s chip stack and comparing it to your own that you will be all in if you call. Secondly, asking the dealer for a count at this point in the hand is a likely indication that the player neglected to consider his opponent’s chip stack at the beginning of the hand, which is one of the most important factors to consider in tournament poker.

2. Players in a limit poker game who consistently ask questions like: “how much is it to me?” or “how much can I bet?” Now that I exclusively play no-limit or pot-limit games, I no longer have to deal with these ever-annoying questions. Years ago, however, when I first started playing poker, this one never failed to blow my mind. Limit poker games are called limit for a reason. That reason, as I hope all or most of you reading this already know, is the simple and easy-to-understand concept (or so I thought) that the game has predetermined, fixed betting amounts that, with the exception of kill games, NEVER change. In a $4-$8 game, for example, the most anyone can bet on the flop, EVER, is four dollars. No more, no less. Four. Why then, is there always one ignoramus at the table who insists on asking “how much can I bet?” It would be one thing if this player was new to the game and simply needed to know its structure. That’s fine. Ask once, maybe twice if you need reminded, but when you ask the dealer every single stinking time you play a hand, it makes me want to find all of the people responsible for your education and let them know what a fine job they did teaching you how to learn, comprehend and apply the most basic of concepts. Perhaps if teachers were paid more than cocktail servers and garbage men, we wouldn’t have this problem.

3. Poker dealers who average 25 hands per down when dealing a cash game, but no more than half of that when dealing a tournament. I am not generalizing here, as this does not apply to all dealers; only those lazy few who are content with trudging through their tournament downs because they do not get paid per hand like they would in a cash game. These dealers assume that their tips from a tournament will remain the same, no matter how they decide to pace the game, failing to consider that the average poker player is extremely perceptive and often will tip according to a dealer’s performance. Poker dealers who also play the game, tournaments specifically, understand that the more hands you see per round, the better, as the blinds are always on the rise. Fewer hands per level means fewer opportunities to apply your poker skills, instead leaving your fate to chance, in hopes that you will land a couple of premium hands before the blinds raze your chip stack. Tournament directors should ultimately be held responsible for ensuring that their dealers do not take on-the-job vacations during tournaments, especially when you take into consideration the substantial amount of fees subtracted from tournament buy-ins. Shame on you, lazy poker dealer!

4. Jamie Gold and his blueberry fetish. Although this one has nothing to do with my own impatience, it certainly speaks to the issue of wasting peoples’ time. Sure, we know that your “mentor,” Johnny Chan, kept an orange on the table during his back-to-back (almost three peat) main event victories, but he did so to use the scent of a peeled orange to alleviate the smell of cigarette smoke, not to try and add some self-produced, only semi-interesting and utterly extraneous tidbit of personality to his legacy. You don’t need to remind us that those who came before you left their mark on the World Series with character; Chris Moneymaker with his Oakley sunglasses and proper last name, Greg Raymer with his trademark fossils and holograph lizard glasses and Joe Hachem, forever immersed in accented chants of “Aussie, Aussie, Aussie…Oy, Oy, Oy!” I can accept that you needed the blueberries during the marathon sessions you put in at the World Series, but don’t stop the flow of a five hour, six player Poker After Dark sit’n’go, or a heads-up match on national television to try and infuse the name Jamie Gold with a bowl of blueberries. Sadly, your WSOP legacy has already been created for you, in the form of your endless and often senseless table chatter, coupled with the deal you reneged on with Crispin Leyser to share half of your main event winnings. A gambler’s word is his livelihood, perhaps second only to his bankroll, and once it’s broken, it can rarely be salvaged. Sorry, Jamie, but if this was a credibility contest, you’d be out like the fat kid in dodgeball. Please. Enough is enough. Leave the blueberries alone.

5. Set-ups! Topping my list of poker peeves, without question, is the superstitious old guy at the table who asks for a “set-up” when facing a cold deck. For those of you unfamiliar with the term, a “set-up” is a brand new set of cards, still in the box, and still neatly arranged by suit. Unfortunately, most card rooms have a policy of honoring any player’s request for a set-up, in order to maintain the integrity of the game. The policy is in place to protect the deck from visible wear and tear or from suspected markings made by cheats. Instead, these disgruntled old men abuse this privilege and ask for a set-up anytime they feel the cards have not been falling in their favor. In other words, when Pops McGrumpypants feels as though his luck is worse than everyone else’s, so much so that no one in the history of poker has ever seen such a terrible run of cards, the game gets put on hold while the dealer spreads, examines and shuffles the new decks for the eye in the sky. Players like Pops fail to recognize that streaks of cold cards come with the territory of playing poker. Sitting out a hand, changing seats or calling it a day (which is probably the best way to deal with a cold deck) are all reasonable methods of “affecting” the cards, if you will, without slowing down the game and subsequently cutting into the dealer’s earnings for the down. What usually happens to players who ask for set-ups? Their “bad luck” continues through the new cards and they eventually find themselves storming out of the poker room, mumbling expletives under their breath, with much lighter pockets. For peeves’ sake, say no to set-ups!
“When superstition is allowed to perform the task of old age in dulling the human temperament, we can say good bye to all excellence in poetry, in painting, and in music (and poker!).” (Denis Diderot)

By Gary Gates
- Poker Expert


+EV Small Bets

The value of small flop bets. Lately I have been becoming a more aggressive player pre- and post-flop.

Here are a few examples that are bringing me a much needed small pot game.

In position in an unopened pot I will often bet pot with my normal limp hands. Often I will throw out a small half pot CB in a 2- or 3-way flop or smaller CB on a 4-way flop whether I hit the flop or not. I am taking down a lot of these hands both preflop and on the flop.

Lately I will also limp in preflop from position (Co or Button) with any 2 cards. I am hoping to get called only by the blinds when in the CO so I retain position on the flop. Most of the time the blinds both miss the flop or only hit it lightly and both check. I will go for the steal every time they check it to me, because normally they only held their hands because it was free or cheap in the first place. Usually I come in with a pot-sized bet because that is enough to get maximum scare value and also because anything smaller will often induce a call because the pot call ratio for them with overs or bottom-pr. They figure I have some kind of hand anyways for limping in anyways. I take down a major majority of hands in this situation.

Also if it is just down to us in the blinds and I’m in the BB I will often now bet pot and take the blinds with any 2 cards. If he originally tried to limp he likely didn’t have much to begin with. If he calls, whether because he thinks I’m bullying or because he figured he’d just see a flop because he had already put in some money anyways, I usually take down the pot when I throw out my small CB on the flop. If not I am through with the hand and C/F if I missed with my junk. He is going to miss his hand 2/3 of the time and if he hits mid- or bottom-pr he often will sometimes even let it go to my aggression.

Another situation is when I go to the flop from the blinds and see the flop 3- or 4-handed. If a pair is flopped I bet out half pot even without position with any 2 cards. Often everyone folds and I drag the pot. They know that I could hold anything in the blinds. Also betting half pot looks like I want a call. Plus betting out of position looks stronger than I used a position raise. And who wants to fight for a pot if I might be holding trips. They often fold nice hands here because they can’t beat trips. If I get a call I know that I’m beat and fold to the first bit of aggression, especially if the SB smooth calls after originally checking the flop. This play also usually gives me a free card that might help my stance.

Another way that I’ve been tinkering with a small raise is when I hit a mid- or bottom pair or a draw on a 3- or 4-way flop after limping in and the board is scary. Often this small informational probe will take the pot right there or at least give me a free card if I get any takers. If I get reraised I can get out cheaply or now get OK odds on a call with my draws, especially if they have a big stack. I am happy with how this has been working.

These steals are working out nicely. And added advantage is this runs with the Hellmuth small-ball theory. The pot is staying smaller until I hit my turn monsters and I am also getting a chance to take a lot of smallish pots outright or by outplaying opponents with my reads on later streets. This also works congruent with my TAG style of play. By playing these extra hands it conceals that I am mostly a tight player and gets me some added playback when I get premium holdings. These extra small pots are helping to keep me even or above the blinds and rake while I wait for my big hands.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

SnG's and New Playing Shedule

I have been doing half-ass well this week. I’m not losing anyways and that is always a plus.

I haven’t been fairing as well in my acquisition of $26 tokens. I am barely keeping my head above water in these things. I’m currently averaging paying about $20 for ever $26 token. I guess that ain’t too bad But I would love to get to about $14 per token. I think I will soon. I always, or usually anyways, go pretty deep in these things. I almost always hit the final table but 2/3rds of the time I am not a big stack at the table and end up having to make a move around the bubble. I think sometimes I wait a little too long where my stack doesn’t scare away the bigger stacks and get a call with moderate holdings and often get sucked out on. A lot of these hands are little more of a coin flip. I am still getting used too this turbo structure. I think I am going to employ a new strategy and see where it goes. With the blinds going up so fast I sometimes don’t get enough good starting hands to make it to the final table with enough chips to hit the tokens without pushing with crap. I think to alleviate this pattern I will start playing more hands in the first few levels when I have a good chip to blind ratio and hope to hit some winning hands early on - especially in position. I then can tighten up to my regular game in the later rounds. I will also be able to then push my larger stack around a little and put pressure on the blinds more. I think this just my fair well in these turbos.

I will then start taking some shots at some higher deep tourneys and try to make a nice cash. If nothing else I will gain some much needed tourney experience. I am also finding these SnG’s a refreshing extension to my cash game grinding. When multi-tabling I just open one less cash table and start up one of these instead. I would also probably fair better in these if I was playing less tables, but with my attention span I just can’t stomach single tabling or going below even 6 tables.

Lastly I am going to change my current session timing. I have in the last few months been waiting for everyone to go to bed before I get on so I could spend more time with the family. You see I get obsessive with a lot of things I do to the detriment of my family. The problem is that I am now sleeping longer due to the all-nighters and thereby am spending less time anyways. So to remedy this I will now only play to get my daily points, which takes only an hr or 2, depending on the stakes. I will do this at sometime during the day or evening and just get off at that point. I will then try to stay on their sleep schedule and thus be a normal part of my family. My wife and I think that is a good compromise. I will still occasionally be on at night due to my crazy work schedule. But the majority of the time will now fall on their time frame. I am happy with this as will they be.

Friday, August 17, 2007

UPDATE

I have had a few bad days currently. Have had currently. Ah, continuity, you have to love it. Anyways the last few days I’ve lost around $200 total. Not a major downswing. It is only 2 buy-ins, but it still hurt because I was playing solid poker. Current roll is $1150 on Tilt. WPEX - $50. Stars - $40. Poker.com - $9, they gave me $20 free. I’ve also cashed out $130 this week. Also in the last week I staked my Bro for 25% in 2 $200 buy-in ($100 total) Tourneys on Tilt. He made it deep in both but right out of the money on both occasions. I will do it again because he is a good player and plays tourneys often. He will make me some loot at some point because he has gone deep often. Damn that sounded sexual. LOL. I am currently up $880 for the year. I cashed out $4500 last year so I am hoping for a nice run in the last 3rd of the year to match that.

I put $50 on Stars to play with the Aces Cracked Team. I bubbled last week, when 4-handed I re-raised Sham’s open all-in and ran my *’s into his 9’s…OUCH. Hopefully I can redeem myself tomorrow night. Greb did well to make the money, because he was short-stacked most of the game. Sham and I hovered most of the time. Penn was the biggie the whole way. One hand that I was impressed with my play was against JB early on. I think I had TP the whole way. JB got tricky and checked the river with an over-pr trying to induce a bet out of me so he could CR me. I checked and saved myself some chips because I likely would have made a crying call when he pushed.

I’m not doing well with my $26 token accumulation efforts. I just started keeping track. I’ve lost 2 in a row so I need to win the next on just to make it even for this current token race. These 2 table $8 SnG’s are pretty plush so I should really start racking up some tokens. I will then take some shots at going deep in some bigger tourneys.

See you on the rail. Later, Ash out…

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Rolling Again

I’m running well again. I’ve made around $500 in the last 5 days or so. My rakebreak came in and I started with close to a Grand again. I decided to give $100NL another try. I made around $250 both first 2 days. I then played even poker for a few. If you add in the $160 or so of a FT reload bonus that was e-mailed to me I made around $300 anyways. I currently sit at slightly above $1300 because I cashed out $100 and staked my Bro for $50 twice in the last few days. He has been Satelliting into some $200 tourneys on Tilt with $26 tokens. I staked him for 25% both nights. He went deep both times but was always a pretty short stack and had to finally make a move. He doubled thru a few times but never really chipped-up enough to ride the wave into the money.

I’ve been tinkering around with the $8, 18-man SnG’s for $26 tokens. These games are pretty fat. Top 5 get tokens and 6th gets a small payday. Hell, you can sometimes steal a few blinds and hit the tokens when it is an aggressive game. Usually a double-up and a few blind steals will guaranty the payout. I usually get 7, $100 tables going and one SnG going. They fit on my monitor pretty well. I have 3 $26 tokens at the moment. I have been getting bad beat a little around the bubble lately though. I know I am getting more tokens than I pay out in tourney costs, but not by much. I will start keeping track just to see where I stand. I don’t count $26 tokens in my roll though. So even though I am playing even the last few days I am really winning buy-ins from my cash game play. I haven’t really thought about how I will spend these tokens. I will likely play in some tourneys with my Bro. I am also throwing around the Idea of playing SnG’s from $75 tokens with the same 2 table SnG strategy. I don’t like satellites because the way I see it you have to win 2 tourneys to actually get paid and going deep twice has less odds and ultimate will likely detrimental to my roll. I just don’t want to waste the effort that I put into acquiring them. But sooner or later I will get into some deep field tourneys and hope for a big score. Tilt runs a lot of nice guaranteed tourneys.

I haven't put in as much time this month, with only 3 days with 500+ point days. But I am still only 2 days from Silver status.

Hopefully your rolls swell and mine also. Later.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Online, Medical, and Live Updates

Poker has been a struggle lately. I was down to $350 at one time and made it back up to $550. I currently sit at $466. I still have $475 coming in rakeback. I think they are being dishonest with my accrual in rake from FT. I have noticed my rake going down a few times last month. I have just started keeping a daily running tally. If it continues I will ask for and explanation. I didn’t play one day this week and my rake went down $1 form one day to the next. I am just putting in the minimum time required to keep my IM status. After that I have been playing WoW.

On the live home game front I am still crushing the game. Latest 3 game go as follows: +$43, +$38, and +$28. Not a ton, but I am still winning and that is always positive. We have been a little strapped lately so every time I get some scratch built up I have to spend it. I do want to put a live roll together and start frequenting the casino and see where that takes me.

Update on the family work injury issue. On the medical front my wife is recuperating finally. At least she has diagnoses after a year of torment. She had some medical and psychological issues. I’m pretty sure that I have written about her work related injury in the past here, yet I am too lazy to go back and check. Quick background She had a 20lbs box fall on her head at work. She started having tremors some after the accident. She lately went in and got some pain shots in her neck. Once they took affect they took her off the meds that she was on for the prior year. The tremors soon after stopped. One of the size effects of one of her meds was tremors. She was also diagnosed with posttraumatic stress and clinical depression. After a year with no relief or closure, who would be depressed? And just the other day we got the results back from a test that they preformed. They put some kind of dye in her spine and X-rayed. They found a displaced disk in her neck where she had pointed to the whole time. Comp stopped paying over 6 months ago because two neurologists concluded that she had no physical injuries from the accident and it was purely psychological. We disputed at that time and have preformed tests for the last 6 months, with us taking on a lot of the medical bills. To see one Dr we had to pay him $1500 up front. Anyways, her Comp should definitely be reinstated, plus pay retroactive back to when we contested their decision. So hopefully things won’t be so tight soon.

Later, Ash out…

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

More Crack For Ash

OK, I’ve found a new obsession and I’m infected my son with my enthrallment. WoW. World of Warcraft for those that don’t know. Shit I actually didn’t play poker for 2 days this week. I downloaded the 10 day trail and I already know I will be a subscriber. My son and I used to play Runescape for hrs on end. WoW is actually a high-end version of Runescape. It is all I can currently think about at the moment. Shit, I’ve been cheating while at work by looking up info on the game and memorizing maps. I am done though. I don’t want to ruin the fun. I am currently a level 9 human warrior. That has always been my character ever time I have a choice in an RPG. OK, enough about that.

I still plan on getting 200 points a day but will likely get off as soon as I acheive that daily goal.

Later, Ash out.

Monday, July 30, 2007

GOSH

New pet peeve: people that say racist when they mean prejudice. Ex: “That’s racist man, you shouldn’t pick on fat people.” OK then, let’s pick on dumb people because you’re in a race of your own. God, this aggravates the hell out of me.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Slip-sliding Away

These last 4 days of playing sucked also. After work every night I would play for a few hrs to get my 200 points. I actually got at least 300 every night. I started the week with $850 and as of the end of last night’s schedule I now sit at $715. I hovered around even all week, winning and losing pots at and even rate living just above the rake.

Last night was different. I started with $865. I lost $100 on a hand where I knew I was beat, but for some dumb reason I just had to push and hope for the best. These are exactly the plays that I have been working on and were costing me so much hardship. These are the hands that I was folding and thus my roll was building. I can see that I need to revisit my strategy and buckle down again. I have been loosening up on big pots again, along with chasing.

Anyways here it is. I hold pocket Q’s. I raise to $4 PF and a guy in LP reraises it to $10. At this point I usually would have all the information I needed to get away from the hand. I normally would fold this right here the majority of the time or occasionally call and hope to spike a Q. But no not this time. I call and flop comes 9-high. I check and he bet $20. It comes to me and I push for close to $90. He insta-calls and shows his cowboys. $100 down the drain.

I started the session by opening 8 tables and registering for an $8 18-man SNG. I wanted to see if I could get a $24 token. These are turbos. I hate turbos, but decided to give it a shot anyways. First hand I have cowboys. Guy to my right raises. I quadruple his raise. Folds around and he calls. Flop is and uncoordinated T-high board. He pushes. I call and he shows AQo. No A and I double through on first hand. I blind down for a few blind increases. I win a few blind stills. I then see cowboys again. I win the blinds. The very next hand I get dealt QQ and raise it up again. The guy must have thought I was switching gears and bullying because he pushes with junk with 2500 in chips. I have him covered and call. I have him crushed because he had low QTo. The board saves him with a 76543. I would have been able to go get something to eat and still still have gotten my token if I would have scooped that pot. Later the blinds over 200 and I’m in the Big when a guy pushes with 700. I folds to me and I call the over 500 with AQ. He has 99 and doubles through me. It hurt and I blinded to the final table. Next thing I know we are down to 7 and I find myself with the shorty just over 1000. I push with AJs and double plus the blinds putting me back to around 3000. We get to 6 left and I have a high pocket pair. A guy with a bigger stack than mine pushes with 93 of clubs. I call and he hits runner-runner clubs to knock me out on the token bubble. I make about $5 for my efforts. Boo I say. It is so unfulfilling to bubble like that. At least it was a slightly profitable bubble.

I will get home tonight with just enough time to get my 200 points, eat, and shower before a local cash game starts. Looks like we will have a good turnout. It is at a different dude’s house so I won’t know a lot of the players that show-up. I will start slow and get a feel for them. Hopefully it is a very lucrative evening. I here that the CO’s are pretty fast and loose. Just the way I like them.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

WWWWAAAAAAAAAAAA

Not good on the home front. These last 4 days off I had some swings and ended the week back down to $850. I made it up to $1600 twice and lost my buy-in both times and had to drop back down to the $100 tables again. First time was a horrible 2-outer. The next time I went in with the worst hand. KK vs AA on the flop. Ouch. I hung around till I hit $1300 and gave up the try at advancement. On the $100 tables I took a $400 smackdown session. I know you are tired of hearing my bad beat sob-stories, but I’m telling you the last 2 days were the saddest days ever. I’m not going to go into detail but I got smacked on just about every big hand I played in and most of those I was a big favorite. The last night I took so many bad beats, yet I actually won $30. This was a super session. I played 8 $100 tables in a 10 hr all-nighter. I actually made more than 2000 FT points in that session. Guaranteed if it wasn’t for B-B’s I would have over $2000 in my BR. Variance has to go my way soon. So my roll went on a swing these last days off between $650 and $1600. I played stakes between $50NL and $200NL. I will play a few hrs tonight to get my $200 points. Hopefully it goes well. Just a few more days and I will be Iron Man for the month.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Quickie Update About Moving Up Stakes Again or Bad Beats Pay Big Dividends

I was at $1485 at the end of Thurs session. Well the last 2 mornings after getting off of work I got on just to get my 200 points. I made around $50 the first morning and then on Sun morn I made around $150. I now sit at $1675. That is over my 8 buy-in rule so in the morning when I get off of work I will be opening 8 $200 tables. I will have to drop to $1400, which is one buy-in from my minimum requirement to play that stake. So I have $275 to get me going in the right direction. $200NL is the highest I have ever played. I hope not to change up my game and go conservative due to being scared money. I will try very hard not to let it get me worried. I need to just think of it as a buy-in and not $200.

2 mornings of bad beats and I made money. I should probably also mention that I was the one delivering the bad beats. I was in a big pot for $50 or $60 of my money the first morning. I had JJ. PF a guy min-raises before me. I elect to just call and see a flop. I had this same scenario happen a few times in a row earlier. I reraised a small raise with JJ twice and QQ once. The flop came with overs and I throw out my CB and get raised. I had to let these hands go and each time we are talking at least $10, so I think I was a little gun-shy. Anyways the flop 9-high with no straight or flush possibilities. He over-bets the pot. I raise. He pushes the rest in although he only started the hand with around $50. At this point I already have slightly over $20 involved. With his reraise it was going to cost me about $30 more to call over $70. I honestly thought I had him beat here. I call and he turns over AA. Where I messed up, obviously now that it is all over, is PF. If I would have reraised his min-raise he likely would have revealed the strength of his holdings and I would have gotten away from his trap. I hit my 2-outer on the river to stack him. He wasn’t a happy-camper. The girly-chat was texted with hatred for me. The guy acted like he had never lost to a bad beat before. Welcome to my world buddy; that’s what I say. It invoked in me something that I usually steer clear of even when provoked: writing back and forth in the chat-box. Maybe the real reason I don’t do it is because I play so many tables at once. I acted stupid and typed stuff like I had outs and I had the odds to call and rebuttals to his continued reviling words. I did this until the blinds came back around and I left the tables with his money.

Yesterday morning I have AKo and raise PF I get called buy at least one guy. I don’t remember all the details about the betting sequence on the flop, but both of our $120 stacks go in the middle, on a board of K84. It was early in my session, when I haven’t gotten in my routine yet and I catch myself gambling a bit. That is usually more than I’m willing to put in with TPTK. I will admit when I put my money in I was fairly certain I was beat. Anyways he turns over K4o and my heart drops. Not trips which is good news. The turn comes another 8 and the river brings a 9 or something close. So we both have Kings-up K’s and 8’s, but now my A plays. This dude also writes tons of shit. I write back: TY u just bought my boy’s school shoes. I waited for the blinds and left as the epithets continue.

So I get lucky for 2 days, which are most of those days’ winnings. Hopefully I do well in the morning and my roll continues to swell. I know that I will have a downswing at some point but I sure hope it ain’t soon.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Iron Man Status and Overall Rake

I’ve made 8000points as of yet this month. That is a shitload my friends. You really accrue points fast at 100NL and I have put in quite a few hrs on the last 4 days off. I’ve played every day this month so far and in the last 4 days off I’ve made more points than the rest of the month combined. I have also made FT $700 in rake so far this month. That is almost 1 ½ last month’s rake already. The big difference is that I have been playing at $25-$100NL all month. I played $25 early on. I wasn’t at the $50 tables for long before I hit $800 and advanced upward to the $100NL game. Can’t wait until the middle of next month to get my Rakebreak, plus I can’t wait to see my month’s total rake. Holy shit, I wonder what kind of rakeback these guys that are playing $5/$10 are getting back every month. I hope to find out one day. Only 2 days early on this month did I get only 100 points, the rest have been over 200. I will definitely hit Iron Man this month, hopefully anyways. I have like 12 or so days left that I need 200. That leaves me a 3 or 4 day window. I still haven’t decided what I want to do with these IM points. Buy some tokens and try to cash in a big tourney? I don’t know. I rarely play tourneys so I feel like I might just be wasting my free cash. That is why I opted for bonus points instead of the freerolls. Plus with my schedule I’d likely end up letting my Bro play a lot of the time and splitting my winnings all the time. Not that I mind sharing, but there really isn’t a reason why I should purposely set myself up to not be able to play myself.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

My Recent Jump Back Into the Ring

So now to sum-up my journey back into the game and where I am currently. It really starts about a month and a half ago. I started playing fulltime at the beginning of June. I start with $350 and play my hardest and still continue on a downward spiral. I Hit $80 left on Tilt and $50 on WPEX. I was only playing FT though. Desperate then, I critiqued my game and really tightened up my big pot game. I hit $60 and while at the $10NL stakes began to start winning sessions. I then changed my BR management strategy, as to take more shots at the higher stakes. Now a month later I now have a $1500 BR, playing at $100NL, an on the cusp of moving up to the $200 tables if I earn another 100 bucks. $200 is the biggest stakes I have ever played and I am close. I started the year with $500, lost $400, and am now in the black up a G. I have to date made $1150, with the WPEX roll and also added in the $100 I have rolled one of my Bros, thus taking that money offline. I am happy. I have taken some bad sessions and still am swinging forward. Let’s hope my rush continues upward.

My Last 4 Days Off - Long Post

Lots to discuss. I had a crazy week. I’ve played a ton of hands and moved up stakes. I am close to doing it again, as long as the Force stays with me. I had some losing sessions along with some winning sessions. I also got money from 3 different sources to keep me from dropping back down in stakes during these last 4 days off. I had some crazy swings.

Night 1 - I was at $800 the 1st night when I got off of work due to Bro’s HORSE win so I started at $100NL for the first time during this comeback. I really passed through the $50 stakes very quickly. Hopefully I never look back and see them again. I got a little help from my Bro’s Horse win that night to keep me art the $100 tables. I only ended up winning $37 instead of $167 due to a loss of $130 that night. But even though I was pissed about my shitty night’s work, overall I did make money that night.

Night 2 - I was going to have to start the next night on the $50 tables because I was so close to $700 again, but during the daytime my Bro played enough to get me my referral $100 bonus for bringing him over to Tilt. (I knocked out my whole 1000 points the night prior. He needed 500 to fulfill his part of the deal and had some computer issues and ended quitting at 99% complete with a mere 6 points left.) So while I was running around during the day, his single ass was playing and got me back up around $800, so I could continue at the $100 stakes for another night. I ended up making close to $200 that night, although I made a few bad plays and calls. For the most part I did play solid poker.

Night 3 - The next night I made over $100, bringing me to around $1100. I was up to $1275 at one point during that night’s session. I once again made a few iffy calls and bad plays. I starting tilting somewhat after these hands and lost more due to more bad calls and chasing with bad odds, seeking those lost profits back.

Night 4 – This night hurt horribly. I got smacked for my second worse night ever. If I keep moving up stakes, I will surely lose more in a session due to the buy-in, though it will be a smaller percentage of my BR at that point for the same reason. But at this point, it feels like an arm and a leg, when I was already a paraplegic. I lost $350 this night. I got a few bad beats, but this night was due more to second best hands were you pretty much are guaranteed to put in a big portion or all of your stack. I got smacked with a flush-over-flush. I took a set-over-set for a dry-humping that hurt deep inside, and I likely won’t shit right for a week. I also got a cracked set when the board brought a turn and river same-suit flush for a guy that couldn’t get away from TPSK. This all happened in the same night, so I can’t really be surprised that I took a beating here. I did some tilting and also won some big pots to stay close to even other than the aforementioned losing hands.

The one solace, although I’m in no way happy about, is that I didn’t totally tilt and lose as much as my bro. He fell into an almost bottomless trap of mostly his own making and trying to take me with him for the fall, to which I luckily am almost immune. We decided that day that we were going to do the ole split our winnings deal like before. (You know, where he ended up $750 for the session and I end up a mere $52. So I reaped the benefit lopsidedly that night getting $375 from him and making him a cool $26 LOL.) But really it is truly a win-win situation in a way. Yes you lose some earnings if you win more than the other guy, but you still have the extra security of gaining some money even if you have a bad session. But sometimes both lose and all the losses are of your own, which is the way this session ended for us.

He had a nice session going before I got on that night to play. He was already up $400 or so and on the previous few days while playing he had also added to the $600 that he had put on the site earlier in the week. So at the time we decided to consolidate our winnings from that time on, he had slightly over $1200 and I had around $1100.

He did his usual agro game – not as agro as he gets sometimes, but loose and aggressive overall, and chipped-up steadily. I blinded down about $60 and lived there for a while. He hit a few really nice big pot hands and was up close to $1500. At that point I had lost 1 big pot and a few mid-sized ones also, throw in a few medium wins I was sitting about $150 to $200 in the hole.

The big hand that I lost at this point in the evening was a total mistake on my part. The flop came 567, 2 of which were hearts. I had A8 of hearts. I misread the board thinking that I had not the nuts but the high-end straight plus the nut flush-draw. I thought that the only current hand that had me beat was 98. I would like to blame it on multi-tabling, but I won’t try to shirk responsibility. There were at least 3 of us to the flop. BB, which 1st to act over-bets the flop. Bro, who was the 3rd player in the hand with me, calls. Seeing this much action I decide there is little reason to smooth-call here and I make a substantial raise to see if I can get paid-off by UTG. He pushes. Bro asks what the hell I have. I tell him the high-end straight and the nut flush-draw. I obviously call and as I have alluded to, and lost the hand, by a measly low-end straight of 43o. I was sickened by my play here; I know that some of you don’t find this as a bad play on my part due to the OESD/nut flush-draw, but that isn’t a move that I would usually make. I am a little more conservative here. I usually would just call here with my draw had hope to hit instead of making the pot any bigger than I have to before I hit. Maybe it wasn’t a bad move because I either take it down right there or have 15 outs as back-up; that is if he isn’t holding 98, wherein I lose 3, because one 4 is a heart. I definitely did have the odds to make the call. But the play whether OK or not isn’t the real problem for me, it is that I misread my hand and IMO over-played it. OK, now my bitch. With a call of his over-bet and then a push for $50 or $60 more after 2 players before him, do you think the bottom end of the straight is good? I don’t, but that’s me.

I was feeling like shit, mad at my night’s luck so far as well as at my stupidity, but more so because I thought he was holding up his end of the bargain, and I once again wasn’t. With my share of his winnings I was about even. We joked about that fact. And then it happened: he lost 2 big hands within 30 min or so of each other. While he was obsessively bitching about the first one, wherein he got the infernal KK vs AA, he took a bad beat where the guy hit runner-runner after all the chips went in on the flop. He then really goes on a tirade, which didn’t end until he got off at 5 in the morning. And believe me when I say that I heard about it for the rest of the night. He is a lot like Hellmuth; we loving call him that at our Fam games when things don’t go as planned for him, especially if he has had a few too many hops. We were wearing our headsets and talking via MSN Messenger so the berating of players was constant. After awhile it gets old, even when his arguments have validity. Outs are there for a reason. I know that we all bitch and me quite often on this very blog when I get a few sessions of negative variance, but he can be up 8 buy-ins for the night and take one bad beat and harp on it the rest of the evening. That sadly of course isn’t how this night ended, but you get my point.

Real quick I have another point to throw your way while I’m thinking about it. Back to the MSN for a minute, because I know that a lot of you scoffed at the mention of Messenger. We don’t really cheat. We just talk to each other all night while we play to break up the monotony. We live 2 hrs apart and don’t get to see each other often. Plus we get along well and both have an insatiable appetite for poker. We spend a lot of time talking theory and showing each other different styles and discussing what we think about them. Often showing examples in our play at the table to try to prove our views. We are usually playing 6 tables together (because he isn’t currently used to Tilt’s interface yet and can’t do my normal 8) and obviously there isn’t much time for cheating when you are making decisions every few seconds. We do say when we are in a big hand and what table it is on so we and click our options on as many tables as possible so as to maybe have enough time to watch the hand progress to showdown. If we miss how the big hand ended we talk about it and what the guy had and if it is a bad beat or about anything else that happened. Once again not so we know how the guy plays, because with 6 tables going, you really are playing solely your cards and your reads on how the opponent is playing the hand. [If my damn PT wasn’t locking up I would have some nice statistics on the players at the table though.] The closest thing that we do to cheating and maybe it kind of is, we will tell the other what we folded if the other is getting involved in the hand. Often we don’t even have time to pop up the table and give that info anyways but we do try to see if we have lost an out or not. We will also ask what the other guy raised PF with and get out usually, but this is really no different than if anyone was at a table with a friend. If I go to a casino with a friend or 2, I try to get out of any hand that they get into because I don’t want their money. Shit, that is basically like 3 or 4 regulars at the table. They try to all feast on the fish that has haphazardly wadded into the pool and not mix it up with each other. OK, I’m done with this huge argument on how I’m not an online cheater. Make your own decision, which you already have anyways.

Now back to the rest of the night’s debacles and misfortunes. He starts tilting and fueled by, IMO, too many brews, begins loosening up even more. He starts calling a lot of hands even for goodly-sized bets, which in itself was a major reason that he continued to chip-down. He then made some bad calls and bad bluffs, to which he ranted to me his opponents’ calls of his raises, as I will admit that I had also earlier in the evening about the dude going all-in with the low-end. Usually he has an uncanny sense of when to slow his aggression or drop a hand while playing his agro-style. That is what makes a good lag: their ability to ram and jam and when to bale-out and start aggressively again the next opportune moment. He seemed to not have this radar working properly and continued to fall. He took some more bad beats, which added more fuel to his internal inferno as he began to spontaneous combust. All of a sudden he is down like $800. We are talking the nights $700 profits plus $100 of the last few day’s winnings.

He then says do me a favor and let’s try something. I ask what? He wants to close all of our tables and get on one $400NL 6-max table. I tell him absolutely not, that I won’t chase my money, and that way leads to the Dark Side. He keeps on about it. I ask him to give me a competent reason why it was a good idea, to which he could only say that that’s where the money is. I try my hardest to explain to him that we have good potential to win money with much less risk at 6 $100 tables than at 1 $400. I tell him that no matter what he decides to do he can count me out because I have my trusty BR management system that I won’t stray from. He is quiet for a while and the next thing I know, I notice that he is missing from my tables. I look him up in the find a player drop-box and lo and behold he is sitting on a $400 6-max table with 4/7 of his total BR. (Like a nice respectable gentleman like Dan Harrington would phrase it: Absolutely fucking crazy!)

I then get my normal 8 tables going, hoping for a nice late session rally, all the while checking up on his progression or more aptly put digression downward. He talks for a little while saying how he was going to thrive at $400 and get it all back and then he was dead quiet and the only time he said anything was when I told him about a few tough losses that I sustained. I also slowly kept swinging, yet always further down with each swing. Lots of 2nd best hands as I mentioned before. He lived between $200 and $300 for a while and then I checked and he was gone. I later find out that he dropped the remainder and ended his session down $1200 from his highest. If I’m right he now sets at around $300, which is half of what he bought in for the other day. Now that is one hell of a swing with his BR. He really on lost like $500 from the start of his session. He was so upset by the end of the night that he didn’t even say goodbye, he just logged off. He always does this when he has a bad night or leaves for the night because of a nasty bad beat that he can’t cope with. I won’t lie; this act does piss me off. I see it as common courtesy. I would never just get off without saying later or good night, but that is just me. I got off soon after and ended down $350 – down 3 ½ buy-ins. That is an ass-whooping, for sure. Not really a bad beat losing night, just a bad luck night. Plus I’m happy that I was strong enough to not chase my money.

Night – 5: 12th late/13th early – I was back slightly below $700 due to the previous night’s ass-whipping, plus I BR’d the other Bro again for $40 and also I paid the share I owed from the HORSE tourney, which I forgot until reminded the night before. So I was all prepared to start my last all-nighter before going back on shift on the $50 tables, but to my delight, opened the cashier screen and found that I was sitting pretty at slightly over $800. I figured what it was and checked my E-mail and found my guess was correct, that my Rakebreak had come in finally. It comes about 1/3 to ½ way through the subsequent month. So this is 3 times in just about as many days that a nicely timed $100 bonus of some sort has saved me from dropping in stakes down to $50 again: Referal bonus, HORSE winnings, and last month’s Rakebreak. This doesn’t bode well for my confidence about my ability to play at the $100 stakes. This night turned out great. I actually think it might be my greatest one-day win. I made almost 7 buy-ins and ended the session at $1485. This was an impressive night of poker, although I had a bumpy start. Right out the gate I raise PF with AK. I get bet into on the flop and I raise back at him with TPTK. He pushes. At his point I only have $20 or so invested, but I put my remaining chips in and get throttled by a set. I am on the verge of dropping back down with on $20 above my $700 cutoff. From here I shot for the stars. Every big hand that I got into the remainder of this all-nighter I put my money in with the best hand and my hands held up. Pure unadulterated positive variance. It was crazy. I got sucked-out in a few mid-sized pots, but that really didn’t have much of an impact on my roll. Must of my CB’s were taking down vulnerable pots on a consistent basis. The plants just seemed aligned. It was truly a was a fun night to be at the tables. I didn’t what to quit, but the sun came up, so I figured it was time to halt my super session.