Saturday, January 27, 2007

The Swings Continue or Friday's Outlook

Not a great week in poker, that’s for sure. I lost like $300 and I’m back below my goal of $1000 for the month. I’m at about $825 right now. My aces and kings have been running up to flopped sets quite regularly. It is getting really old. I’m overall playing pretty solid poker, but reaping no rewards. I am going to play some $25NL for a while until this downswing subsides a little. Maybe I’m just a $25NL kinda guy. No, I don’t believe that, but this crap is getting on my nerves. I have 2 days left after work and 2 days off to get back above $1000 and meet that G goal.

Friday Chris and I are going to the casino and play in a holdem tournament. It will be a first for us both. I played at the elks once, but no a real tourney where everyone knows the game. It is a $30 buyin with $10 rebuys. And I’m guessing a $10 addon. You can buy back in anytime during the first 3 rounds. The guy said that usually around 40 people enter. We will see. I really know nothing about the tourney structure. I don’t expect to cash but I think I should go kinda deep. Not because I’m a great player or anything but because I plan to sit and wait for some nice hands. I’ll play hard when I hit, but I’ll not get in a lot of hands. I’ll play my usual cash game strategy during the early going. I’ll loosen up in the middle some if I have chipped down. If I get to the push game, I will tight right up and pick my spots, depending mostly on my stack and If I can isolate. Also I will be semi-playing the HOH M-game, but I don’t see mixing it up with total crap as early as he suggests. But when my stack starts looking bad I will look for a place to make a stand. Hopefully if I get caught-up in the losing end of a nice hand it is early on when the blinds are small and I have time to try at a comeback. All I can really hope for is to have fun this first time, gain a little live tourney experience, and not lose to a suckout. I’ll try to keep good mental notes and give a thorough update next week. I am looking forward to playing in a live tourney. I’ve heard some of the players at the cash games at a different casino talk about playing in this tourney. So I will get to see experienced players play. Hopefully they take me for an ESPN watching fish-boy and call me down or bluff me with TPSK’s, not respecting my game and thinking I over-value hands.

The Fish Bowl

Fish bowl game didn’t workout in my favor as usual. Ouch. I didn’t actually lose a lot. The lost profits are what really hurt. Crazy night. Biggest game yet. 9 people showed up. The usual and 2 new guys were in attendance. A regular’s younger brother and his young friend; I’m guessing 21 to 23 year’s old. One sucked like his brother. LOL.

The brother’s friend AJ knew how to play, but was a fish no less, just not small fry. The thing was I could spot that he was the 2nd best player at the table besides me. I stayed away from him and watched his game. I really had nothing to fight with anyway. He might have pushed me off a hand or two. He knew how to check-raise and value bet, so he had some skills. The kid’s big problem was trying to muscle out the fish bowl’s calling-stations. He would play solid poker and then blow it all on a huge semi-bluffs, which were called with marginal holding and taken down. I saw him have A8 and reraise allin, which was a huge overbet, with 3 spades on the flop. His Ace was a spade, plus he had middle pr with the 8. EP bet. MP raised. He pushed with his marginal hand + the possible. EP dropped. MP thought about it for merely a second and tossed in the huge call with TPSK. The kicker was like a 3 or something sad like that. I would have folded to that bet in a heartbeat. But Phil called, no spade came and he took down the pot. AJ kinda ran his mouth about the call, but of course I said good call Phil, way to not let him bluff you. It was a horrible call but, but hey that is how I usually make my money. He did a similar semi-bluff move later in the night and was called down. He bought in for $30 and ended up buying back in for $20 or$30 more. He ended around $40 up for the night because he won the last 2 hands of the night. All in all, he was an alright player. He was the only guy at the table that I would have to watch really close if we got in a hand together. I’m sure it will happen sooner or later, because he won some money and he saw the soft game, where he sees some easy money potential. He’ll be back. Kinda sucks having someone else with skill horning in on my fish game. LOL. Oh yea, he won the last 2 hands both on the river to boot. He was the aggressor the whole time and came from behind on the river to win it. One I would have been raising also just like him, but the other one was a strong-armed bluff hand that ended with a nice river.

We played for 4 hrs and I won 4 hands all night. That is super card dead. One of the hands I won was a nice pot. I had 2 horrible hands that took my total for the night to $52 in the hole. 10 min into the game I look down at AA. Phil to my immediate right raised PF. I triple that bet. My ISO works and everyone folds back to Phil who calls. Flop comes K-high. He bets out and I raise big; he calls. Turn is x-small. He bets again. I push and he calls. He turns over pocket cowboys and shoots my $30 down with a flopped set that cracked my Aces. With him leading out every street I probably should have just called him down and took a semi-small ass-whippin’. But with some of the crap these guys play and bet with I just had a hard time slowing down here. I watched him lose a huge pot later where he kept leading out the whole hand with pocket ducks. When the other guy scooped the pot he didn’t see his play as folly. Once again that is why I usually cash every game. The other hand that totally killed me was where my nut straight got river by a paired board. Flop comes 987rainbow. I check, Chris bets, and I raise a nice smite. He calls. Turn comes an A. I lead out big-time. He calls. River comes another 8. I push the last little amount that remains in my stack. He calls and turns over 98 for the 2 paired boat special. The 4 outer. That really hurt. So if, if, if, I would have won those 2 hands I likely would have been up $75 or so. I am happy with my play. My loss was due more to two tough hands than me playing poorly.

Quick rundown of the night’s winners. AJ sucked out 2 big hands on the every last 2 hands of the night to go from do $40. AJ, if he comes back will win more often than lose, I think. He’ll win a lot if he learns to not bluff the calling-stations. Chris was the big winner with about $120. He rivered that huge hand off me. He also rivered a few more hands throughout the night with crap that panned-out in the end. But most of his money came because he had good cards all night and played them hard. He is the one player that is getting better every time we play. And then there is Philly-Dilly-Dilly-My-Boy. He won $75. That is only like the second time that he has won. They remember their wins more than the pain of tons of loses, so he will be back often. Phil is a fish that will never get better and I don’t have the patience to teach him. He still tries to check from every position PF. Oh, I forgot, so I have to put in $.50 to see the flop, damn.

One key hand was the last hand of the night. I was not in this hand. Flop comes AJx. AJ had AJ. Maki had JJ. VH had A8. Bets. Turn x with bigger bets. River A. Everyone went allin. VH with trip Aces. Maki with JJJAA. AJ with AAAJJ. Ouch.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Quickies or Live at the Fish Bowl

I’ve played only a few hrs in the last 2 days. I played online and live both days. Online I made $50 and $50. Live with my fishies I made $16 and $18. I have a big game planned for Tuesday night. Tuesdays at the fish bowl. Nothing real big happened the last 2 days, just normal tight poker. I play looser at the fish game obviously. Pretty easy to read them. They are getting better though. Occasionally I will misread 2pr that they didn’t bet hard. They also don’t value bet often, which saves me a little bit when my reads are off. Online I played the $50 games usually 3 or 4 tables have been going at 7:30 when I get home in the morning. I’ve been putting in an hr or 2, then calling it quits, opting for sleep. I’ve been having some issues getting click2pay going. I missed the phone call that usually comes soon after signing up, so they locked my account. I couldn’t get a hold of them via phone for 2 days now and they didn’t respond to my e-mail. Just when I was about to give up they finally answered their phones. They needed more info to verify my identity. I actually had to fax them a copy of my phone bill. They said that they already sent 2 small deposits to my bank account. Monday I should be able to verify my account and get that bonus I’ve been waiting for on UB. Hopefully I don’t have to deposit first from my bank account. I’d like to transfer money to them from UB and then put it right back on. Time’s running out on my bonus. That’s $650 free bucks that I don’t want to miss.

Friday, January 19, 2007

GOOOOAAAAALLLLLL or Ahhhh, I Love the Smell of Poker in the Morning

Take a minute to imagine 30 Spaniards at the World Cup of Poker - GOOOOOOAL

I have officially surpassed my January goal of getting my stack to $1000. Doubling the old roll in a month ain’t bad. Now I just need to tow the line and keep’er above that mark.

I am going to move back up to the $50 tables again. I won that $500 at the $25’s, but it is time to move up. Hell I’m at 20x buyin rule anyways. When I get up a couple hundred more I’m likely to take a night and give $100NL a whirl. If I cash well I stay; if not I drop back to the minors. I’ve proven myself at these stakes before, so I can afford taking more chances this time around. I’m not ever going to achieve my 10-Grand goal for the year if I don’t take some risks. My roll fluctuated more these last few weeks and I ended up on top, so I should be able to handle myself. Pep-talk complete – on to next paragraph.

Another change that I’ve made is to only play 5 tables at a time, which now gives me time to view the forums and internet while playing. This I’ve found in the last 2 weeks of playing non-stop helps to keep me from getting bored. And with that one less table going I have more time to make the tough decisions without as many tables popping up. It still makes me fold sometimes even with only 5 tabs going. I accidentally folded AA PF once and I hit the fold and show button once with the nut straight when my opponent was betting into me. I’m sure people at the table either thought that I was slightly retarded or that there was some collusion going on.

Neteller gave the online poker community a scare this week. Them and Citadel both backed out of the US market for online gaming. Effective immediately they both stopped making transfers to or from online gaming sites. So if you have monies on sites you will have to find an alterative means of getting it off of those sites. Anything left on Net or Cit can just be withdrawn to your B&M bank or possibly transferred to a new online bank account. This happened like 2 days after some Neteller bigwigs got arrested in US territories on, I think, money laundering or something to that affect. I really am starting to worry a little about the future of my online get rich scheme. I read around for a new online intermediary bank and found that I liked Click2Pay the best. All the sites take them, plus they have debit card and ATM functionality. So no more waiting days to get my money. And with the way it is looking you never know when I might need to get my money. Now if I can just get the poker sites to transfer my money to my online bank a little quicker life would be just peachy. Another thing that would be cool to find is an online bank that has interest bearing accounts. Yes, I know I’m a greedy little bastard. Another unexpected bonus to this whole situation is that UB is running a nice offer until the 26th of this month. If you deposit money to UB byway of one of these other online banking institutions they will give 100% in bonus dollars up to the equivalent of $650. All I have to do is cashout $650 to Click2Pay and the deposit it right back to UB and I have lots of BD’s to turn into cash. That’s good because I am currently out. That actually cost me a few hundred dollars over my vacation merely because my BD account was depleted. I was knocking down a $40 to $50 conversion a night and that was at the $25 tables.

Just like learning anything, poker is a process. I really like the new aggression strategy that I’ve recently implemented. I know this isn’t new to a lot of players, they think anyways. Yes I’ve read tons on aggression and position play, but it was never fully developed in my game. It’s still not, but it is quickly becoming another weapon in my growing arsenal. I am still a bit in awe of how effective position aggression in general is at taking down pots that I otherwise would not score. And even if they know what you are doing, if they haven’t caught a piece, they usually give it up. These are position raises on the flop BTW. I still usually don’t blind steal. Hell, maybe that will be the next advancement in my overall game. It’s a process. I have noticed that the blinds like to defend PF more than they do on the flop. Taking down these small pots add up quick and more than make up for the blinds that you are paying in the long-run at the table. Putting in these long sessions, I noticed that more often than not I was up on most tables. The longer I had been at one, the more I was up. I was even overcoming medium deficits incurred from a bad beat or a hand with a lot invested that I have to drop due to a scare-card on the river followed by a big bet. That means that I will be consistently making money over the rake in the long-haul. I need to put in a little more time in to totally prove the fact to myself, but as of right now it is looking pretty promising. Another factor to think about is just how effective is this strategy going to work at $50 and $100 stakes. Likely it is well-known at those stakes and thus must get countered to some degree. That’s the cool thing, as you move up the trickier it gets and the more you have to adapt and learn to make money at the same rate. Another quick thought with this technique is how effective will it prove in tourney play. Is this how some players consistently have a growing stack that seems to be impervious to the blinds. OK, not impervious, but partially immune to their vampiric lusting for chip stacks. Something to think about anyway.

While on vacation I stopped my habit of rat-holing after getting up a bit. Rat-holing: gaining money on a table then leaving and jumping onto another table minus the profit earned. I used to do this over and over. Honestly I believe it was partially due to a lack of confidence in my game. I could only lose what was at the table you know. Well, I realized that just like my max buyin rule, the more I have at the table means more that I can take from the big stacks. And I am surprised at how loose a lot of big stacks are. They seem to have the mentality that, heck, I’m up, I can raise this guy off the hand and if not my weak kicker will still probably win at showdown. I have found myself frequently the big stack at the table. They seem to fold even more often to my aggression when I am sitting with 3 buyins. Respect for my game maybe. I don’t know. But this will be something else I will begin to learn: playing with the big stack at the table. Hopefully I learn how to put pressure on the table and bully some extra chips. Ahhh, I love the smell of poker in the morning!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Over-due Update: Lengthy Sessions Increase Poker Aptitude

I haven't felt like updating my blog on purpose lately. It is kinda a superstitious thought that just appeared in my sad neural unit. Every night lately that I wrote a positive account of my advancement towards my monthly goal or even that I was up for the last session, disaster would occur like clockwork. Say how well you are doing and Bamm right back to square-one. It's time for the foil-hat I think.

I have always been one of the guys that can play all night long and end up within half a buyin up or down for most of the time. Then every few sessions I would bust my harness and pull down a nice session. Rarely did in lose 3 buyins in a sitting. So my roll was always slowly but surely going up. Occasionally a down-swing would come in, but for the most part even poker with a gradual upward curve. Basically my roll doesn't normally fluctuate much and psychologically I can handle that.

Well, a few months back I cashed out almost everything and loaned out most of what was left. I then went on a huge heater and turned $12 into $950 in little more than a month. I know for everyone that reads this blog, you have already lived it with me, but I just am trying to bring you into what I view as emotional poker trauma. How it insidiously crept in and changed my game for the worse and yet ultimately how just like the saying goes, "What ever doesn't kill you only makes you stronger," has changed my game for the better. I'm sorry, I digress, now back to it. I then went on a major downturn; I couldn't win anything. It actually became depressing. The bad beats were mounting. I had a few early super-tight sessions I played great, but sadly the big hands where my whole buyin went in the middle, the underdog won almost exclusively. And no I wasn't the underdog; i was the guy going in with great odds most of the time. It just seemed that I wasn't supposed to win. The negativity started working its way into my game. I started going for big coin-flop hands, which isn't my style, and was losing more than my share of those it seemed. Then my game got worse; I started chasing draws and going to showdown with weak kickers. These bad tendencies were somehow getting incorporated into my tight-semi-weak/semi-aggressive game. I wasn't oblivious to the fact that it was now mostly me playing badly that was the cause of my plight. Amazing what a down-swing can do to the psyche. I tried moving up stakes to get it back quick, but as we all know, that didn't work because my game was currently in the hole. I dropped all the way back down to $400. I decided that it was time for a break. Good thing I decided this while I still had some cash left. Most poker epiphanies come to gamblers when they are broke; just like an addict doesn't seek help until they hit rock bottom. I took off a month from poker. After about two weeks of not even thinking about poker the urge to play was back, but until I dissected my issues I vowed not to play. I didn't even update my blog. I totally zoned poker out. Well now that the urge was back I decided to read instead of play. I hit my forums again. I started watching TV poker for that rush that it imbues in me. I started thinking about poker again. I started talking about it; some people I think started avoiding because I answered questions with poker analogies and turned conversations towards poker. I'd get the look, you know the look, the STFU, you are aggravating the hell out of my with your weird sort of happiness, look. I still didn't really know what my problem was but it had been a month and it was time to get back in there. I did decide to try to play tight at first.

I started playing a little over 2 weeks ago. I have been on vacation for the past 10 days and have played non-stop all-nighters. What I've noticed since coming back is that I am swinging horribly. I'm up and down, up and down. That isn't normal progression. I have noticed also that my game hasn't been what it used to be. I am still making big calls or raises with draws. Yes there is a place for it but I am using it to excess. Overall I am gambling more, if you get my drift. I'm hoping for luck. I am getting into tight situations and am hoping to get the best of it. That's big-winner/big-loser poker and not really a good business strategy. I am still making unusually bad plays and calls that I normally could rationalize much better and get away from. Two positives that has come out of this is pure unadulterated aggression and a new understanding for the power of position. OK maybe not unadulterated, but I am quite aggressive now. I am taking down tons of pots that I normally would just check. I am taking down hands while in position with absolutely nothing; I am purely betting because of position. How did I make $5000 last year and not understand this aspect of the game. I am genuinely excited about this. I'm tweaking my game nightly right now by slow increments. The reason I can evolve my game so quickly is because of how much I am playing. I am playing so many hands per night (over 4000) that I have like an inflated view of how my style is affecting the outcome of hands. I think that this is normally a very slow process and is so subtle that it is hard to figure out what aspects of your style changes what at the table. These increased hands nightly has put me into a flow, win or lose, to the point that it magnifies for me what exactly is going on at the table. I have increased some of the new aggressive positional tendencies to my game and have diminished a few bad habits that I see costing me money. This flow is cool to say the least. I almost feel like taking another vacation just to see where I end up.

So no matter how the sessions go for now on, I will try to not let it invade my game again. I will hone my own game. I have enough bad tendencies in my game without letting tilt add to them. OK, it is time for a test of my superstition. I'll state something positive and see if it has any negative immplications. I have done really well the last two nights and only stand $100 away from my monthly goal of making it to $1000. Let's see if I have a good night. Later all.
I'm sorry for all the Hand Histories lately, but I figured they would give a little more insight to what I was trying to express. I will calm down on them for now. Um... after this one, OK.

This is just another point to my max buyin post. This sums it up right up. It is a little on the extreme side but you get idea. Both of these guys are sitting at a $25 No Limit table with less than $5. The reason this is bad is because they can't protect their hands. They both get a nice piece of the flop. I'm the aggressor in the hand. They call my PF raise with marginal holdings. I CB the flop and they both go allin. I am totally priced in the hand; I have to call their raises. If either had enough to raise over-top of me properly I am forced to cut my loses and fold my over-card-gut-shot-draw. They both would likely call this a bad beat, but it is one of their own doing.

Hand #37040479-68399 at West Fargo (No Limit Hold'em)
Started at 16/Jan/07 06:07:16

alcyon is at seat 0 with $26.75.
teleben is at seat 1 with $10.70.
t1mber is at seat 2 with $44.10.
RunKQ is at seat 3 with $44.65.
biglimit4051 is at seat 4 with $24.45.
BB100 is at seat 5 with $32.75.
mcash2 is at seat 6 with $27.05.
truebasic is at seat 7 with $15.35.
kizerslowplay is at seat 8 with $3.75.
1_forthemoney is at seat 9 with $4.90.
The button is at seat 4.

BB100 posts the small blind of $.10.
mcash2 posts the big blind of $.25.

alcyon: -- --
teleben: -- --
t1mber: -- --
RunKQ: -- --
biglimit4051: -- --
BB100: -- --
mcash2: As Ks
truebasic: -- --
kizerslowplay: -- --
1_forthemoney: -- --


truebasic folds. kizerslowplay calls. 1_forthemoney
calls. alcyon folds. teleben folds. t1mber folds.
RunKQ folds. biglimit4051 folds. BB100 folds.
mcash2 raises to $1.10. kizerslowplay calls.
1_forthemoney calls.

Flop (board: Td 4d Jh):

mcash2 bets $1.50. kizerslowplay goes all-in for
$2.65. 1_forthemoney goes all-in for $3.80. mcash2

Turn (board: Td 4d Jh 5c):

(no action in this round)

River (board: Td 4d Jh 5c Qs):

(no action in this round)


1_forthemoney shows Jd 9s.
1_forthemoney has Jd 9s Td Jh Qs: a pair of jacks.
mcash2 shows As Ks.
mcash2 has As Ks Td Jh Qs: straight, ace high.
kizerslowplay shows Jc Qc.
kizerslowplay has Jc Qc Td Jh Qs: two pair, queens and jacks.

Hand #37040479-68399 Summary:

$.65 is raked from a total pot of $13.65.
$.55 is raked from the main pot of $11.35.
$.10 is raked from side pot #1 of $2.30.
mcash2 wins the main pot $10.80 with straight, ace high.
mcash2 wins the side pot $2.20 with straight, ace high.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Always Buyin For Max

IMO you should always buyin for max at a cash game. That is how you get max value when you hit. If you drop 1/3 of that original buyin, you need to chip back up to max for that added value. Too many times I watch short stacks go allin with the nuts and the side pot is triple his earnings. That is stupid poker and bad business.

Reason #2 - you lose a lot of your tools by playing short. How can you pull off a nasty bluff when warranted? How do you protect your holdings? How do you play and not become pot-committed? In most cases you can't do any of these things because your stack demands no respect.

Reason #3 - Because of the aforementioned negative issues with the short stack, you are not advancing as fast in your game as you be. You can't learn to integrate these elements to your game if they aren't even a part of your hand dynamics.

Often you are left with push-monkey poker. You sit back and wait for a good hand and then push, hoping that someone calls and your hand holds up. You aren't advancing in your level of play. So by in for max and let's play some poker.

He are 2 examples where I just had no respect for their stacks. If they have more money I play them totally different and likely take down neither one.

Hand #37040466-75164 at Ames (No Limit Hold'em)
Started at 15/Jan/07 04:02:15

kman333 is at seat 0 with $23.40.
AGSK_REP is at seat 1 with $25.60.
Breppe is at seat 2 with $17.85.
devilbiss is at seat 3 with $26.75.
mcash2 is at seat 4 with $47.65.
spcome is at seat 5 with $27 (sitting out).
teleben is at seat 6 with $8.80.
SlushyBOB is at seat 7 with $6.55.
i_slang_hats is at seat 8 with $9.75.
Ralph Wiggam is at seat 9 with $8.60.
The button is at seat 4.

teleben posts the small blind of $.10.
SlushyBOB posts the big blind of $.25.

kman333: -- --
AGSK_REP: -- --
Breppe: -- --
devilbiss: -- --
mcash2: Kc Qc
teleben: -- --
SlushyBOB: -- --
i_slang_hats: -- --
Ralph Wiggam: -- --


i_slang_hats folds. Ralph Wiggam folds. kman333
folds. AGSK_REP folds. Breppe folds. devilbiss
folds. mcash2 calls. teleben calls. SlushyBOB

Flop (board: 3s 6s 7s):

teleben checks. SlushyBOB checks. mcash2 bets $.75.
teleben folds. SlushyBOB calls.

Turn (board: 3s 6s 7s 7c):

SlushyBOB checks. mcash2 bets $2.25. SlushyBOB

River (board: 3s 6s 7s 7c 6c):

SlushyBOB checks. mcash2 bets $6.75. SlushyBOB
folds. mcash2 is returned $6.75 (uncalled).

Hand #37040466-75164 Summary:

$.30 is raked from a pot of $6.75.
mcash2 wins $6.45.

Hand #37040459-79043 at Abou-Gerg (No Limit Hold'em)
Started at 15/Jan/07 06:15:36

mcash2 is at seat 0 with $21.25.
BlackSee is at seat 1 with $11.85.
kerti is at seat 2 with $19.40 (sitting out).
Global82 is at seat 3 with $5.
hawg-ryder is at seat 4 with $33.90.
Varvinsky is at seat 5 with $18.05.
headz51230 is at seat 6 with $31 (sitting out).
spcome is at seat 7 with $25.05 (sitting out).
teleben is at seat 8 with $10.35.
meastwood98 is at seat 9 with $23.
The button is at seat 4.

Varvinsky posts the small blind of $.10.
teleben posts the big blind of $.25.

mcash2: Qc Jc
BlackSee: -- --
Global82: -- --
hawg-ryder: -- --
Varvinsky: -- --
teleben: -- --
meastwood98: -- --


meastwood98 folds. mcash2 calls. BlackSee calls.
Global82 calls. hawg-ryder calls. Varvinsky calls.
teleben checks.

Flop (board: Ah 7c 5c):

Varvinsky checks. teleben checks. mcash2 checks.
BlackSee bets $1.50. Global82 goes all-in for $4.75.
hawg-ryder folds. Varvinsky folds. teleben folds.
mcash2 calls. BlackSee calls.

Turn (board: Ah 7c 5c 2h):

mcash2 goes all-in for $16.25. BlackSee goes all-in
for $6.85. mcash2 is returned $9.40 (uncalled).

River (board: Ah 7c 5c 2h 3c):

(no action in this round)


mcash2 shows Qc Jc.
mcash2 has Qc Jc 7c 5c 3c: flush, queen high.
BlackSee shows 8s Ac.
BlackSee has 8s Ac Ah 7c 5c: a pair of aces.
Global82 shows 9d Ad.
Global82 has 9d Ad Ah 7c 5c: a pair of aces.

Hand #37040459-79043 Summary:

$1.40 is raked from a total pot of $29.45.
$.75 is raked from the main pot of $15.75.
$.65 is raked from side pot #1 of $13.70.
mcash2 wins the main pot $15 with flush, queen high.
mcash2 wins the side pot $13.05 with flush, queen high.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Ahhh: The Subsidence of Tilt

I did play any more that night; which was probably for the best. I was not in a good frame of mind at the time. I don't think I have ever tilted that bad. I remembered that Poker After Dark comes on at 2am so I watched that instead of playing. Then I just went to bed.

I got on last night and decided to give $50NL one shot for the night, with the stipulation that if I lost one buyin I would move down. After about 30 min of folding and small hands I look down at KK. It's min-raised in front me, I raise to $3, then a guy a few seats to my left pushes for the rest of my $50. I was still so worried about my luck that I almost just folded. I did figured he probably had Aces but I never fold PF with Aces or Kings. I talked myself into calling. The board came down with AQTxx and my heart sunk. He turns over QQ and takes my money.

I just couldn't take it so I X-off all my tables and get off the computer. Ash-wife wasn't feeling well so I went and laid down with her and watched some TV. We dosed off and I am then awoke by the phone about an hr after falling asleep. My mom was on the phone and she wanted to watch me play on UB.

I got on 6 $25NL tables. As soon as I started playing the hands began coming. I actually won some hands. The clouds began to open up and the sun's rays began shining down. (OK, maybe not, it was night-time.) What was this sensation that I was feeling? Happiness? confidence? Power? I couldn't quite put my finger on it, but whatever it was it was nice to have it back. I went into the zone. I could see what these guys were trying and playing. Most of the time anyway. They still tricked me on some hands, but most of the time my money went in with the best. I made some calls that I truly felt proud about. I started noticing that there are some major differences between the play at $50 and $25. It was almost palpable. The play at $50 is much better than at $25. The $50 guys are thinking rationally about most plays. There is a systematic approach to their game. They can make a laydown. Overall they are more well-rounded and tougher to deceive. And yes, there are still the dumbasses that have more money that brains, but overall much more skilled. Of course, I have made this statement comparing 1 night of $25 against a month of $50NL. So put what stake in my opinion that you can. $25NL players were calling huge raises with nothing other than draws. You get these guys at $50, but the sheer amount of these players was amazing. It was hard to fold anything. They would miss their draws and reraise allin all the time. They were being agro with 2nd and 3rd pr. On multiple occasions I sat in much trepidation worrying over calls, finally giving into the gambler inside me, only to see these people of pure unadulterated BS plays. So times their cards didn't even coordinate with the board. It was total lunacy. I did get sucked-out on quite a few times, but by that time I was up enough that it did no permanent harm to my psyche. With as many draws as they were trying, they had to hit a few at some point. Also they were chasing big raises with gut-shots and A-highs.

But truly last night was utterly horrible to watch. I won 9 buyins off these tards. I can actually afford play $50 again. But this brings on a bad thought; one that I will have to watch closely. Am I just on a downswing at $50NL or am I just not at that level of play yet. I know it is a bad thought, but hell I made more money playing a night at the $25 tables than I have in a long time at $50. Back before I cashed out my roll I had already crushed the $50's, was doing rather well at $100NL, and was just starting to step into $200. So I hope that isn't the case, but it is a feeling that is currently swimming around in my skull.

Tonight I will try the $50 tables, but If I drop 3 buyins, it's back to the Baby tables. My roll is currently at $700 again. What a crazy month so far. I can't take these roller coaster roll. This must be how aggressive players rolls swell and shrink. I can still make my month's goal of $1000 if the coaster finds an apex and stays out of the valleys.

Good luck all and wish me some too. Oh yea, I almost forgot, take a look at this hand. I didn't win much, but you can still bow before me!

Hand #37040502-46122 at Acre (No Limit Hold'em)
Started at 12/Jan/07 05:59:11

kevjoe31 is at seat 0 with $10.
7homey7 is at seat 1 with $57.90.
mcash2 is at seat 2 with $73.10.
AGSK_REP is at seat 3 with $16.35.
Kinetix is at seat 4 with $24.60.
Loose Rock is at seat 5 with $13.05.
TobyTwist is at seat 6 with $6.40.
Scarehooker is at seat 7 with $37 (sitting out).
Imur is at seat 8 with $48.80.
vdawg69 is at seat 9 with $13.30.
The button is at seat 4.

Loose Rock posts the small blind of $.10.
TobyTwist posts the big blind of $.25.

7homey7: -- --
mcash2: 9s 9d
AGSK_REP: -- --
Kinetix: -- --
Loose Rock: -- --
TobyTwist: -- --
Imur: -- --
vdawg69: -- --


Imur calls. vdawg69 folds. 7homey7 folds. mcash2
calls. AGSK_REP folds. Kinetix folds. Loose Rock
calls. TobyTwist checks.

Flop (board: Ts Qs Js):

Loose Rock checks. TobyTwist checks. Imur bets $1.
mcash2 calls. Loose Rock folds. TobyTwist folds.

Turn (board: Ts Qs Js 8s):

Imur checks. mcash2 checks.

River (board: Ts Qs Js 8s 8h):

Imur bets $1. mcash2 raises to $3.50. Imur calls.


mcash2 shows 9s 9d.
mcash2 has 9s Ts Qs Js 8s: straight flush, queen high.
Imur mucks cards.
(Imur has Qc As.)

Hand #37040502-46122 Summary:

$.50 is raked from a pot of $10.
mcash2 wins $9.50 with straight flush, queen high.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

I'm Fucking Tilting Right Now

My head is spinning and I have a freakin' horrible headache that I just now noticed. Probably a stress headache. I played over 4000 hands last night and ended down a $50 buyin. Not too bad; I could deal with that. But tonight was just sick. Not bad beats either. I seemed to always get the 2nd best hand. I did also get sucked out on like 4 times but they were smaller pots. Out of the 7 allin buyin hands (yea they just kept coming but never to fruitation for me) I only won once. most were allins on the flop. Yea, I'm going to whine - deal with it!!!

AK on a K flop. evil-doer hit set of 8's. Allins. Not bad I seen worse.

KK - dude hit's set of 9's on 9-high flop. Allins. KOD. Ouch that hurt.

KK vs KQ. We see flop of 3 hearts. Allins. He has KQh. KO fucking D.

I flop set of 6's on a 6-high flop. Allins. He flopped 7-high straight. OK, I'm about to snap.

AK, raise, call. A on flop, bet, call. 2, bet, call. 2, he bets, call allin. A2o. FFFFUUUUUCCCCCKKKKKK.

JJ vs 66 - flop J6x. Allins. JJJ wins. I just got lucky - a 6 as probably next card if there was a 6th street. I force a smile.

AK - dude hits his set of T's on my A-high flop. Allins. I turn of UB and go find my pills.

I have never dealt with such shit. Yea I was behind when the money went in but come on. This is just horrible luck. Should I fold every time someone wants to duke it out on the flop. Do they always have a set? tonight hell yea. I must have pissed Crom off in Valhala. I haven't even added it up yet. $350 that I lost. $300 tonight and $50 last eve. I have put in slightly over 2000 hands so far tonight. I now have $400 in my roll. I have to move back down to $25NL again. That sucks, but that is the way I get through these bad times. Bankroll management never forget it.

Now that I've sat here and typed this up I have begun to calm down. I'm not ready for bed even though it is 2am. I am getting back in there and play $25NL. I WILL crush some low-rent asses tonight.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Last night's recap

Yesterday and last night went well. I put in some major hrs playing. I put in just over 3000 hands and made a little over $200. Around $6.50/100 hands. That ain't too bad. I actually played pretty weak and tried to stay away from big hands unless I was really strong. I know that I folded the best hand on a few occasions. They were overly aggressive with their bets and I just opted to let it go. It seemed to work out for me, but I will continue an see if it stays that way. I was noticing that I would grind away with tons of small wins and then in a few big hands counterfeit all that work. So unless I am almost positive I'm not gambling on big hands as often.

Oh yea, scroll down the blog and check out that sick 1-outer that cost me half a buyin.

Phil Hellmuth Gets Pissed

These are some pretty funny clips. They had me rolling. Enjoy.

Phil snaps part 1

Phil snaps part 2

Phil snaps part 3

Sunday or Funday

I only put in around 400 hands on Sunday. I played extra tight due the prior day's ass-spanking. Things pretty much rolled in my favor and I held my side of the line in the races. Nothing really trilling happened; I just played well and got rewarded buy winning 1 buyin for my 400 hands worth of work. I won close to $50 for my time. I'm happy with that.


Hand #37040519-65534 at Edmond (No Limit Hold'em)
Started at 08/Jan/07 23:44:51

red hook is at seat 0 with $50.
OneEye_Jacks is at seat 1 with $18.50.
bunacon is at seat 2 with $86.40.
CarazyOne is at seat 3 with $46.30.
stevep52 is at seat 4 with $48.55.
mcash2 is at seat 5 with $45.
dehdoh is at seat 6 with $32.20.
delrey28 is at seat 7 with $25.85.
soapstar is at seat 8 with $93.40.
LILIMEI is at seat 9 with $69.95.
The button is at seat 1.

bunacon posts the small blind of $.25.
CarazyOne posts the big blind of $.50.

red hook: -- --
OneEye_Jacks: -- --
bunacon: -- --
CarazyOne: -- --
stevep52: -- --
mcash2: Js Jd
dehdoh: -- --
delrey28: -- --
soapstar: -- --
LILIMEI: -- --


stevep52 folds. mcash2 raises to $1.75. dehdoh
folds. delrey28 folds. soapstar folds. LILIMEI
folds. red hook folds. OneEye_Jacks calls.
bunacon folds. CarazyOne folds.

Flop (board: Jh Kd 7c):

mcash2 checks. OneEye_Jacks bets $4.25. mcash2

Turn (board: Jh Kd 7c Ac):

mcash2 checks. OneEye_Jacks goes all-in for $12.50.
mcash2 calls.

River (board: Jh Kd 7c Ac 7s):

(no action in this round)


OneEye_Jacks shows 7h 7d.
OneEye_Jacks has 7h 7d 7c Ac 7s: four sevens.
mcash2 mucks cards.
(mcash2 has Js Jd.)

Hand #37040519-65534 Summary:

$1.85 is raked from a pot of $37.75.
OneEye_Jacks wins $35.90 with four sevens.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Ash's Thoughts: Maniacs

The biggest advice I can give against a maniac is to not tilt. He usually will have the table on edge and is usually running the show. Don't get caughtup in the flashy show, just realize that it is his style and play accordingly.

Play tight and play your hand hard when you hit. Slow-play your monsters. Let him do the betting. Depending on position decide to show power on turn or river. If he has position - you should go for the reraise on the turn not the river. If you check to him on the river he will likely just check behind you. If you have position you can wait until the river to raise him.

Another tip - a maniac is usually succeptable (did I spell that right, ahh who cares) afraid of the reraise. the maniac is looking for easy money with scare tactics, and when you stand up to the bully, he thinks you mean business. He will usually fold. But if you get reraised, he usually hit his junk hard, so be ready to fold anything that isn't a monster.

Also be willing to call him down once or twice (as long as it isn't too expensive) with 2nd pr or TPWK (top pr weak kicker). Hopefully you win these hands but either way you have shown him that you don't really respect his bets for strong holdings. This image will make you money now if you hit a strong hand within an hr. He will be more apt to call a monster or strong hand of yours, that you have waited cautiously for, with weaker holdings because of that image.

Just keep rope-a-doping him with these plays (but mostly waiting for the slow-played, smooth-calling monsters) and you will take the bully's money.


Boy oh boy. I took an ass-whippin' Sat. I lost $150 or so. I took a few bad beats, but that wasn't the real problem; I was playing like total crap. I was chasing bad all day and going for coin-flips. Sadly I didn't hit my share of these hands. But I can't really complain too much because often I was the one going in with the worst of it. I played about 2000 hands total. That's a lot of hands. Oh yea I ran my KK into AA twice for 2 of those buyins. I'm not just saying that I was playing badly because I ended down; no, I was truly gambling too much. An example of my bad play you say? No problem. I am just happy that this dude was on a chase-bluff or I'd have been down $200 for the session. He called me every name you can think after the hand. He probably added me to his buddy list also. LOL.

Hand #37040550-53284 at Coleraine (No Limit Hold'em)
Started at 06/Jan/07 18:22:39

rbj is at seat 0 with $25.
Don Fenuci is at seat 1 with $25.
Parlay420 is at seat 2 with $50.40.
DeuceCal is at seat 3 with $21.50.
permits1 is at seat 4 with $76.55.
GarthBrooks is at seat 5 with $183.10.
Ghotiman is at seat 6 with $50.
Jeremy11785 is at seat 7 with $7.50.
Cannonfodderr is at seat 8 with $102.25.
mcash2 is at seat 9 with $47.15.
The button is at seat 2.

DeuceCal posts the small blind of $.25.
permits1 posts the big blind of $.50.
Don Fenuci posts out of turn for $.50.

Don Fenuci: -- --
Parlay420: -- --
DeuceCal: -- --
permits1: -- --
GarthBrooks: -- --
Jeremy11785: -- --
Cannonfodderr: -- --
mcash2: Ad 4d


GarthBrooks raises to $2.25. Jeremy11785 folds.
Cannonfodderr folds. mcash2 calls. Don Fenuci
folds. Parlay420 folds. DeuceCal folds. permits1

Flop (board: 7d 3h 9d):

GarthBrooks checks. mcash2 bets $4.50. GarthBrooks
raises to $19.25.
mcash2 calls.

Turn (board: 7d 3h 9d 8s):

GarthBrooks bets $44.25. mcash2 goes all-in for
GarthBrooks is returned $18.60 (uncalled).

River (board: 7d 3h 9d 8s 2c):

(no action in this round)


GarthBrooks shows Jd Qd.
GarthBrooks has Jd Qd 7d 9d 8s: queen high.
mcash2 shows Ad 4d.
mcash2 has Ad 4d 7d 9d 8s: ace high.

Hand #37040550-53284 Summary:

$3 is raked from a pot of $95.55.
mcash2 wins $92.55 with ace high.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Another Good Day or Weeeeee

I played for a few hrs after work again. I did well. I made around $60. The big problem was finding a table. Only 1 $50 was open and 2 $25’s. So I pulled up all 3. (See previous post) The reason that I multi-tabled at different stakes is because it was only 3 tables and I am also comfortable playing for these stakes. If it had be 1 $50 and 2 $100 tables, I would have just dropped the $50 table and dealt with my impatience. Things were pretty uneventful. No monster hands; I just ground out a bunch of small victories and ended up a bit for the session.

I also put in my first live game of the year today. I played a short, small game with the work troupe. I slapped them around as usual, but not for as much as usual. I got caught in a nasty bluff and it really put a dent in my profit. He called my complete bluff with 2nd pair on a paired board. Plus there was a straight and flush possibility. His call was horrible, but hey, maybe he knew I was full of shit. Naaaaa, his call sucked. Normally it would have put money in my pocket when I really did have the goods and he called my raises with shit. Fun time though. A few are getting better at the game and a few aren’t. It’s fun to watch some of their plays. I won $13. Not bad for a start.

I am now off of work for 12 days straight and I play to put in a ton of hands. If I remember, I will try to keep tabs on just how many. My goal is to reason $1000 by the time I go back to work. If Lady Variance leaves me be most of the time, and I actually get rewarded for going in with the best hand, I think that I can surpass this goal. Wish me luck.


1 - Playing multiple tables at different stakes. I don’t advise doing this for most people. When you multi-table you are making more decisions with less information exponentially for every table that you add. So you want to keep it as simple as possible. When you add different stakes to the mix, you have to think about betting and calculating different amounts on different tables. That’s just one more thing that can add confusion to your play. And the whole reason to play multi-tables is to add to your profit margin by increasing your hands per hr. Confusion by making too many decisions at once defeats the whole purpose of what you are trying to accomplish. Missteps cost you money and time.

2 - Anyone that has ever multi-tabled has accidentally done this because the screens kept popping up faster than you could keep up: folded a great hand because you ran out of time. As for running out of time you only have one option and that is to gain more time. One way to accomplish having the necessary time when you need it is to constantly scroll through all your tables and make easy decisions and then move on to the next. Don’t just sit and wait for the screens to pop up for you. If you see a premium starting hand quickly check your other tables, see if there are some decisions that you can make right then, and hopefully free up some time for you to concentrate on the big hand. Another reason you are running out of time is that you are quite likely playing too many tables at once. Back down one table and see how that works out.

3 – Another issue that has plagued multi-tablers is accidentally hitting the wrong button and either folding a monster or going allin with nothing. This problem hits you right in the pockets by missing out on potential profits or wasting profits. Another ill effect of this issue is a lowered positive mental state, which can lower confidence and possibly can induce tilt. The best way to alleviate this issue is to reconfigure the way your tables appear on the screen. You can raise your resolution, thus making your tables smaller, and move them to different areas of the screen. For the guys that like their tables bigger on the screen and don’t want to raise the resolution, they can just stagger their tables so that the buttons do not line up with buttons on the other tables. The trick here is to make sure that one table’s buttons don’t overlap another table’s buttons at all. You wouldn’t want to accidentally place your bet button over an adjacent table’s fold button for instance. I know I am starting a pattern here, but once again, you might have too many tables running at once.

4 - Multi-tabling SnG’s (Sit and Go). This creates a whole new problem for time conservation. The farther you make it into the tournament, as more players drop out, the more hands you play in the same amount of time. If you get down to the final three on a few different tables, you are truly pressed for time. And obviously if you are Heads-up on more than one table your decisions will be coming exceedingly quick. So to alleviate this problem a nice trick for the multi-table SnG player is to stagger the times that you enter a game. Wait a few rounds and then throw your name on the sign-up list. It is truly up to the discretion of the player and their abilities.

5 - The biggest thing about multi-tabling is finding out just how many tables you can concentrate on and still play profitable poker. If you are multi-tabling and you start finding your decisions are being overly rushed and it is affecting your game or ability to make normal moves and plays, you need to drop one table. You will likely find that you can actually make more profits with fewer hands per hour in most cases. You really just need to find that happy median. And don’t let your ego get in the way; you are there to make money, not see how many things you can juggle at once.

Friday, January 05, 2007

The Last Two Days or Small Wins Are Good Wins In My Book

The last 2 days I’ve put in around a total of 3 hrs. I am currently on night shift and get off my 12 hr shift at 7 am. I get as many 50 NL tables as are running at that time of the morning – usually 3 to 4. Both days I hit a few nice hands early on. 1st morning my SC’c hit their flush on the turn and the reraise brought me $25 or so. This morning I got a little action with a couple of high pairs PF where the players just had unsuited high cards and were willing to go for it. I also got lucky and turned my semi-bluff small pair into trips on the river and took out a higher pocket pair that just kept smooth calling my raises on every street. This morning when I won these 3 nice hands my opponents didn’t have much of a stack when we tangled. This probably had a lot to due with their original willingness to mix it up with marginal holdings in the first place. It might be coincidence but there seems to be a lot of guys playing this style in the mornings. They just keep reloading the minimum or ½ max and are willing to battle with marginal hands. Often playing fairly aggressively with multiple over-cards to their pairs on the board. Weird. They seem to want to gamble and see how their luck is going to run for the day. But hey if I keep seeing these ATM’s, I might just have to start getting up in the morning.

The biggest hand in the last 2 days has me wondering a little. I think I over-valued my hand and lost a buyin, but if I had won, I wouldn’t be thinking that way. I have QQ. The pot is opened PF before me for $2 or so. I make it $5. He calls. Here I played it solid. If he had pushed here I would have folded my Q’s. I think that would have been the prudent play it that case – no reason to get $45 more dollars when he is telling me that I’m behind. OK, he doesn’t – he calls. He could easily have checked here with AA, KK, or AK, which 2 of those have me crushed. Me? I reraise with AA or KK PF and put players to the decision right off the bat before they get a look at the flop. AK I fold 30% of the time and check the other 70%. Some guys are more agro and reraise with AK, but that’s not me. He could also be playing mid to small pairs hoping to see the flop fairly cheap after his PF raise was upped. J96 flops. He bets $6; I raise to $12. He then puts another $6 on top of my raise. Here is where most people would slow down and go into the think tank. He is obviously portraying AA, KK, or a spiked set. But I have seen plenty of people at these stakes play AJ strong here. But would he have played the way he did PF with AJs or AJ? Not likely, but I’ve seen it more than once. So basically here is where I think I made my mistake for going any farther with the hand. Am I being weak? I then push for my last $30 or so. He insta-calls and at showdown scoops the pot and my pride and good zone mood with it. Bad push? I think so and not because I lost, but really there was pretty much of nothing that I beat here by the way he had played the thus far. Only a bluff or semi-bluff are really all I have beat here. I should have just let it go. $50 on this hand in this situation – I lose more than I gain. Damn it, lost profits again. I really must plug these leaks. I couldn’t have save $20 of it here, but the other $30 I just gave away.

So with that big hand lost, I still made $30 or so a day. That equates to $20 an hr, and I can live with that

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

2006 earnings* and 2007 Supposition**

DISCLAIMER: What you are about to read in regard to one’s yearly earnings is only gratuitous nonsensical fiction only stated to make one seem validated and vindicated in one’s time spent playing poker. No real money was earned. All amounts of play money are approximations and likely stated well above one’s actual earnings of play money. All play money is worthless as US legal tender and thus holds no real monetary value.

I had a great year. And here is the run-down. I started the year with $180 in my online accounts. Throughout the year I cashed out $4740 in earnings. At year’s end I have a $507 online bankroll. So that sums-up to $5067 for 2006. That is a far cry for what I started the year with. I am truly satisfied with my online cash game.

I also did a little Live action over 2006. Most were local home games with my friends from work. I also played a few times with the Family in low buyin tourneys. And I put a little time in at the casino. I made a grand total of $767 at live action play last year.

Casino – lost $139.00 – 3 wins/2 losses.
Local home games – earned $821.00 – 18 wins/3 losses.
Fam Games – earned $85 – 4 wins/0 losses.

My monetary goal for this year is to double last year’s earnings. Online will be tough, but it is attainable. I started last year at the $10 tables and was hyper-conservative and anal about moving up stakes. Often I had more than 35 max buyins before I made the move because I wanted to crush the level before moving up stakes. I waited until I could consistently make money and know that level’s plays and moves. I don’t need to learn how to beat these stakes again because I already can. Plus I am starting the year at $500 and am playing the $50NL tables. I am willing to take greater risks this year, but I will move down if a downswing comes by. So $10,000. Man that’s a lot of money. Only $9,500 to go. Hopefully the government and sites leave us US players alone long enough for me to beat this goal.

*Earnings: Figurative monetary units.
**Supposition: Estimate of future earnings*.

An Old Year in Retrospect and A New Year’s Goals

I learned a lot this year. I also achieved a lot. I am very happy and proud of how the year went. The biggest improvement in my game started early this year when I began read poker books and articles and discussing poker with other players at poker forums. I soon learned some new tricks with the guidance from these sources. I have made a lot of changes to my game last year and hopeful make a lot more.

I now buyin for the max at the table to give me the optimum opportunity to earn the maximum from my opponents’ mistakes. I started the year playing super-tight push-monkey poker while buying in for the minimum. Don’t get me wrong here, you can make money this way as I learned early on, but you are not growing as a player; you’re not gain levels in your poker knowledge. I wasn’t really using my head; I was just waiting for a great starting hand and then pushing with it. I was making money slowly, but I wasn’t gaining any new skills. One positive was that I was getting lots of hands in, gradually letting me see how others were playing hands and gaining experience that only comes from sitting at the table.

I truly learned the value of aggression. This one advancement in my poker arsenal has added expected value to every session. I started the year weak and envisioning monsters under every bed, often folding strong holdings to others’ aggression. I hated to put money in the middle without an almost certain guaranty of returned compensation. I realize now through much trial and error and castigation from peers, that in certain situations it is lucrative in the long-term to bet even with marginal holdings. Continuation bets are a must. It took a lot for my conservative psyche to turn these tricks. I still have a long way to go, yet I am on the path.

I also have learned a bit about position over the year. I started out only playing certain hands and betting those hands the same at a full ring game no matter where I was in the hand. I have begun to be more aggressive with lesser holdings the better my position. It has increased my profits and also wins a lot of hands that I wouldn’t stand a chance with at showdown. The fewer people in the hand the less likely someone hit their hand and when they do how hard they hit. Another bet from position on a later street is quite likely to make them drop their holdings. I still have a long way to go here with my overall game.

I have begun to not only play with the hand I’m holding but also think about my opponents’ holdings and play accordingly. I’m starting to get an elementary grasp of possible holdings due to the way they play the hand. What are their betting patterns showing or portraying about their holdings? At the beginning of this year this was basically a nonexistent skill for me. But if you would have asked me if I thought about what they were holding, I would have ignorantly said of course I do. Yea, I half-ass guessed what they had, but without the depth of thinking currently involved. Once again I have plenty to learn here.

I have lowered my starting hand requirements. I started the year playing hyper-tight poker. I was playing top 15-25 hands solely. As aforementioned, I usually pushed my purposely-intentioned short-stack when I found those hands. It took a while for my mind to comprehend that loosening up didn’t mean going all willy-nilly and just throwing your money in with anything for any reason. I now play lots of combinations of starting hands in an array of situations and positions lucratively, by knowing exactly what and how I expect to hit those hands before investing anymore time or money into the hand. This is an ongoing and I’m guessing ever-changing part of my future game.

I have stopped adhering to my-believed finite rules of play. I have begun to play the player and/or situation. I don’t robotically make the moves that so easily defined what I held. I have begun to portray what I want them to think I hold or don’t hold. I exploit others mistakes with move and counter-move. I have begun to use pinpoint bluffing. It’s not hard to push in your chips and hope for the best. What’s hard is to know or make an educated guess as to when they will fold. I have begun to raise early in the hand for no other reason than to gain information as to their holds and how strong they are. I truly have lots to learn here and would fair to guess always will continue to always learn more and refine.

All of the aforementioned aspects and areas of my game that I have grown and embellished upon this past year, I hope and expect to continue educating myself further this next year. I look forward to it actually. I will keep an open-mind to new concepts and strategies, even if they seem far-fetched at first. I will continue to listen, discuss, and analyze every aspect that I can. Just like the psychology I am studying with fervor and I feel, an inherent love, I also feel for poker. There is nothing that makes a person thrive at something more than a love for it. Numerically I hope to double my earnings from last year. It is obtainable. Am I up to the task? Who knows, but you can bet your ass I will try. Onward I will grow and hopefully hit that unlikely plateau that, we all that love poker surreptitiously hope for, breaking the confines of the harnessed and controlled yoke of corporate society, to become a thriving Pro that lives doing what he loves.


I put in an all-nighter at the tables while most were out partying like it was 1999… er, I mean 2007. I did have one eye on the TV as the ball dropped. I was a very long night. As seen on my 12/31 quickie post, I was down $75 right out the gate and had to take a break in the early evening. Well when I got back on after my cooldown session I decided to move down and play on the $25 tables. I got 5 of those going and started grinding. I recouped my losses and ended the day’s overall session up $6. I was happy with that. I will post a year’s review soon.

Now to go through my big hands of the night. I forgot to grab one hand. I played that one horridly. I have a half-ass excuse, but I am pissed at my oversight. I was in another big hand and the tables kept popping back and forth on me. I was trying to concentrate on both but didn’t notice the suits on the board, just the overall figures. I don’t even remember what I had just that the river brought the 4-flush on the board, I went allin, and I didn’t have a card of that suit. It cost me a buyin. It would have put me on tilt likely if it would have been higher stakes.

For those that don’t like to go through hands, go ahead and start skipping the hands by not reading the numbered items from now on. I have decided to start going through these hands again to see what I can learn from my big or key hands. These are the hands that will make or break your sessions. You can grind all night all with small pots slowly, methodically inching forward and in one fell swoop drop everything you have spent all night long earning. I feel that this is one of my leaks and I will start to reflect on these key pots to see if I can improve in any way or if mostly the losses or under-paid pots are due to variance. I’m guessing I have a lot to learn and gain here. We will see.

1 – QQ. Raise $1.35 in front. I reraise to $3.75. It is then reraised to 6.35. I call. J66 – flop. He bets $3 and I call. 2 – turn. He bets $3 again and I just call. River – K. He bets $5 and I call. He turns over AKo and takes down a nice pot.

Looking back I played this hand like a chump. My problem here was that I thought he had AA or KK when I called the PF reraise. The problem with this is that I passively called down this pot and was out-drawn. I had absolutely no info as to what he had. If I was willing to keep putting small amounts of money in I should have raised to see where I was at in the hand. The $3 raise was very weak. The pot at that point had $13 or so into it. $3 is pretty much a ¼ pot bet and is very weak. I need to put him to the decision right then and there. AA or KK would likely bet pot he to protect the hand and to get extra value. Maybe JJ bets this way instead of checking because a check would be fishy. But ¼ pot bet is pretty damn fishy. Maybe AA or KK hoping for me to raise so he could push. I just plain played this hand bad. I usually fold PF in this situation. Meaning if it is raised PF and I then reraise only to get reraised right back that usually means AA or KK. But here I called $3 to see $10 pot hoping to hit my set. The problem was his weird bet. I am totally unhappy here with my play. Enough incoherent rambling; on to the next hand.

2 – KQo. Limp-limp-limp-limp-SB, I call-check. QK7 rainbow. We all check – me hoping for a check-raise here. K – turn. Checks till button, who makes it $1.50. I bump to $3. Him allin with last $4. I obviously call, wishing that he had more money. He has AK. A on the River.

Nothing thing to learn here; I just whining. He hit a 4 outer. Almost 12 to 1 odds.

3 – AA vs KK allin PF. A 4-flush hits the board and I drop another buyin.

I’m whining again. But this was a big key hand, which hurt my bottom-line for the night, so I added it in.

4 – 6d5d. $.75 to me and I call. J43. $.75 to me and I call. 7 boom. $3 and I call. A on River. $3 and I raise it to $6. He calls. He has K7o.

??? Real weird hand all around. Normally I don’t play suited-connectors below 98s. I pulled this one out of the Greb book of tricks. He threw out the BS PF raise hoping to buy the pot and then followed with a ½ pot CB. Raised with his gay 7. But I don’t really see ever calling that river-raise of mine. Especially with 2 overs and an Ace on the river. Way too many people hold on to those A-rag hands to call that raise.

5 – JcTc. Limp, limp, I limp and the BB min-raises. I call the other $.25. Flop – AAQ. Checky-check around. K on Turn. BB min-bets. Call-call. I raise to $1.75, BB calls, and the other 2 drop. 4 – river. Check, Me - $4.80, allin for $20, and I call. AQ and I drop another buyin.

At first when I looked at this hand I just figured bad luck on my part with 2 big hands butting heads, but now I feel otherwise. At first I thought that you pretty much have to value-bet this river, thinking that in the long-run you make more money. I should have checked this river. I actually set myself up for the river check by being the aggressor. There are way more hands that beat be here than I cared to think about. AK, AQ, AA, KK, QQ, and 44. That’s a lot of hands. This is one of my leaks that I need to work on: Not fully looking at the board and seeing what his me beat. I just knew that I had the nut straight. I knew it wasn’t the overall nuts, but figured I was good here. Another aspect of the hand that I totally missed and didn’t take into account – He min-raised PF. What hands would BB min-raise with PF, with 3 limpers left to act, and have me beat with this board? AA, KK, QQ, AK – no I don’t think so usually. You have to figure that all 3 limpers would call the extra quarter and that is too many people in the hand to get cute with your premium hands. So that leaves AQ and 44, hell I even throw AK back in the mix also because so many people play it weak. Yes many people min-raise with all these 3 hands in this situation. I totally missed this raise. Also some people limp with these same hands – the AQ and 44 the most often. I should have checked this river and tried to win a small pot than risk losing a big one. I paid for it this time. Hopefully I don’t try to value bet here again opening myself up to the big reraise where I don’t hold the nuts.

6 – ThTd. I limp from MP. Cutoff min-raises. BB and I both call. JcTs7d – rainbow flop. BB and I check. Cutoff opens for $1.60. I raise to $4.50. BB fold and bettor calls. As on Turn. Me - $8.50 and he calls. Qs river. I push for $13.25. He calls and shows down Js9s for all my money.

In retrospect I played this one with my gut instead of my head. You just shouldn’t lose with a spiked set, right? Well tonight you should. First off most of you more aggressive players would say that the PF raise would likely solve the whole problem. That just isn’t how I play right now. I don’t raise with AQ or TT PF that often – occasionally in LP. I’ll keep my eye on how these type hands work out any who knows maybe I will in the future. Now for a play that I probably should have done here – I could have reraised his PF min-raise. Min-raise could be any junk hand and possibly a few good ones. So I really should have bumped him $.50 raise up to around $2.50 or $3. This would have likely taken the hands PF or if he called, my CB would maybe take it on the flop if he was smart – TPSK (Top Pair Shit Kicker) doesn’t mean much in a reraised PF pot. OK, next up. He could have flopped a straight. I thought about that but decided to try to make some money here. So there is a small straight draw, nut straight draw, and an already possible straight right on the flop. So another mistake that I made was not betting out here. Better to win a small pot than lose a big one, I’ve heard tell. But like I said I figured I’d try the check-raise. I did and he really should have folded here to it, so I can’t fix stupid luck. He really can’t think his J9s is good here. Ace of spades hits the Turn. I fire again to a deaf ear - $8.50. So now he has TPSK and a straight draw. He once again he has to think he is behind here. He should think that he needs the flush to win here but lets give him the benefit of the doubt and say he knows exactly where he is at. He needs 3.4 to 1 to call with 14 outs and he is only getting 2.3 to 1. So that makes his call bad here, but hey, for all I know I might need the boat to beat a straight at this point also. River Qs. I am pretty much dead in the water here. That Q of spades just put tons more hands above mine here. A King kills me here, as does all the other hands that have me crushed, so my push here is really a hope and a prayer, and overall a horrible move. I guess I was hoping he didn’t have the nuts and maybe would fold. But seeing as how he called he all the way through the hand I should have been seeing monsters.

So what do I gain here. 6 hands were huge where at least $20 of my money went in. 1 was a small whine hand where I wanted to show their 4-outer. 1 was the 4-flush hand that I didn’t watch the board. So 6 huge hands that decide how your session is going to go. I lost 5 of them. 1 of those is the AA vs KK bad beat so that is just variance. The other 4, as you have read, I could have saved a lot of money in these hands. I’m not saying that I always should win or drop when I’m beat; I’m just saying that I should minimize the amount that I lose in some hands. All in all, I think conservatively that I save $40 in these hands if I play them better. And that equates to an $80 swing to my bottom-line. Early in the night I lost 2 huge hands and was down $75. This post is about when I got back and dropped down stakes and played the $25 tables. I won $6 total for the day, so that means that I won $81 in this later session. In a great world without my missteps you add in the other possible $80. That’s $161 for the night at the $25NL tables! Now we are talkin’ some money. I will get better by finding and filling these leaks. If you agree, disagree, or have something to add, I would be grateful to hear your thoughts. The more we think, discuss, and talk about poker the better we will all become. Plus a different perspective always adds more insight.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

New Year Is Already Looking Good or For Those That Don't Like Hand Histories Just Read The Bold Print

Hand #37040519-54455 at Edmond (No Limit Hold'em)
Started at 02/Jan/07 01:32:37

futbol2109 is at seat 0 with $32.65.
Mayweed is at seat 1 with $52.75.
montecarlox is at seat 2 with $46.
scoop25785 is at seat 3 with $15.80.
mcash2 is at seat 4 with $43.40.
Mozambee is at seat 5 with $50.05.
Michilito is at seat 6 with $54.30.
MCHoops is at seat 7 with $51.65 (sitting out).
zboss is at seat 8 with $56.80.
digbyrodent is at seat 9 with $24.25.
The button is at seat 2.

scoop25785 posts the small blind of $.25.
mcash2 posts the big blind of $.50.

futbol2109: -- --
Mayweed: -- --
montecarlox: -- --
scoop25785: -- --
mcash2: Ah Kh
Mozambee: -- --
Michilito: -- --
zboss: -- --
digbyrodent: -- --


Mozambee folds. Michilito folds. zboss raises to
$1.75. digbyrodent folds. futbol2109 folds.
Mayweed folds. montecarlox folds. scoop25785 folds.
mcash2 calls.

Flop (board: 6s Jh Kd):

mcash2 checks. zboss checks.

Turn (board: 6s Jh Kd Th):

mcash2 bets $3.75. zboss calls.

River (board: 6s Jh Kd Th Qh):

mcash2 bets $11.25. zboss raises to $45. mcash2
goes all-in for $37.90. zboss is returned $7.10


zboss shows Ad Tc.
zboss has Ad Tc Jh Kd Qh: straight, ace high.
mcash2 shows Ah Kh.
mcash2 has Ah Kh Jh Th Qh: royal flush.

Hand #37040519-54455 Summary:

$3 is raked from a pot of $87.05.
mcash2 wins $84.05 with royal flush.

Hand #37040550-46386 at Coleraine (No Limit Hold'em)
Started at 02/Jan/07 02:36:32

mcash2 is at seat 0 with $48.65.
atzbeach is at seat 1 with $11.
Doom Jedi is at seat 2 with $27.40.
Blind Ninja is at seat 3 with $84.10.
MCHoops is at seat 4 with $49.15 (sitting out).
blanted is at seat 6 with $65.35 (sitting out).
666satan666 is at seat 7 with $50.15.
OkIWilPayUOff is at seat 8 with $65.60.
betman88 is at seat 9 with $42.50.
The button is at seat 9.

mcash2 posts the small blind of $.25.
atzbeach posts the big blind of $.50.

mcash2: Ah As
atzbeach: -- --
Doom Jedi: -- --
Blind Ninja: -- --
666satan666: -- --
OkIWilPayUOff: -- --
betman88: -- --


Doom Jedi calls. Blind Ninja folds. 666satan666
raises to $2.25. OkIWilPayUOff folds. betman88
folds. mcash2 re-raises to $5.25. atzbeach folds.
Doom Jedi folds. 666satan666 calls.

Flop (board: 3c 9s Ad):

mcash2 checks. 666satan666 checks.

Turn (board: 3c 9s Ad Ac):

mcash2 bets $2.50. 666satan666 calls.

River (board: 3c 9s Ad Ac 2c):

mcash2 bets $6.50. 666satan666 folds. mcash2 is
returned $6.50 (uncalled).

Hand #37040550-46386 Summary:

$.80 is raked from a pot of $16.50.

mcash2 wins $15.70.