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


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


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.

My Current Addiction

By the way I don't know who this tard is - I googled addiction.

I’m currently pretty addicted again. Poker lives in my thoughts most of my waking hrs. But the big difference between this time and many times before in the last 3 or 4 years, is that I play almost solely at night, as to not interfere with my time with my family. I am working hard at that. Poker pops in my head often and I actually have to stop myself from going to the computer. My mind tries different plots all the time to find reasons that I should play. It is crazy I’m telling you. Excuses will pop in there and I have to tell myself to stop BS’ing and just deal with not playing for a few hrs. Sad really. I took a few months off as my few regulars well know. Obviously when I go from 20 posts a month to 3 or 6. But at least it isn’t making me neglect my family this year other than my internal struggle to band poker thoughts all damn day long. I will keep fighting and it that way, in regards to not letting it affect family life. Otherwise I don’t really see where it is a negative thing. It doesn’t affect my Psychology studies because I usually only study at work anyways. I don’t use my family’s money to support my habit. I would be playing games or some other random addiction with my free time anyways. At least this addiction has always made us money, due to winning poker play and strick bankroll management, and on multiple occasions supplemented our income or helped pay for emergencies or expensive repairs or down payments. Starting halfway though last year and to date my wife has been out of work without pay due to a work-related injury so lat year my winnings really helped out and so far this year my live roll has been needed on a few occasions. I have as of yet just kept enough seed money to not dip into our money; the rest has gone to the family in one way on another. I’m not trying to justify my addiction, well I guess I am, but it does have its positive side. Oh yea, I almost forgot to mention another aspect of my poker addiction: Poker related merchandise. We have been tinkering around with E-bay, selling off my old “addictions” LOL: Books, comics, cards, video games, DVD’s, and odds and ends. We have made around $400 or more. I have spend over $100 of those earnings on poker shit, “that I just had to have.” I bought 2 Full Tilt Matusow jerseys off E-bay, as well as, a bulk lot of plastic cards with 36 decks, a Teddy KGB card guard, and the 2004 DVD edition of Rounders. I have also spent a lot of sites’ points for and odds book, poker shirts, and a hoodie: Stars shirt, UB shirt, FT hoodie and 2 different styled shirts. Plus I was playing live very often. But all in all, I’m happy with where I’m at currently in my poker career. Hey, maybe addiction is good sometimes! I need my fix baby!!!

Friday, July 13, 2007

HORSE Freeroll

My Bro played that Horse tourney freeroll on Sun. He started at 3:10pm and when I got off of work he was still playing. I think it was about 8pm when he finally busted out. He made it to 4th place and cashed for $335, which we split for a nice payday of $167 apiece.

As luck would have it we both lost around $130-$140 that day and won a buy-in, LOL. He didn’t have his account at Tilt open yet so I let him use my roll while he was on my account playing the tourney. He didn’t use my preferred bankroll management strategy, for which I was only rolled for $50NL, and instead opted to play $100. He got the old PF all-in battle of KK VS AA and dropped $100. He also lost $40 more just playing, so He ended up winning $26 for the day. Me, well I just sucked that night and made some iffy calls, to which I lost $130 at the $50 tables. 2 ½ buy-ins ain’t that bad really; it is going to happen at times, hopefully due to bad beats so you can at least have the solace of feeling justified in your good plays. But no, I really did suck and played like total shit.

But on the bright-side we both ended up for that day’s session.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Being a Poker Player Doesn't Mean Being a Gambler

This post is my advice to fellow blogger's post yet was too lengthy to put in his comments section, so I will leave him a linky-link to this post. I think it is sound advice if you want to stay in the game. If you think not, leave me a rebuttal or your theory, and we can have a conversation on the matter. I have an open mind. lets talk. Am I high-strung?

I can’t disagree with you more XXXX on your BR management theory. Your friend got lucky if he was risking 1/4 of his roll at once and made money. I will bet it wasn’t long-term with that percenage of his roll on the table everytime he played. Plus you said he made money on his “last roll!” You want to talk physics of poker, lets talk about variance. You can play perfect poker and be the best poker player in the world and still lose 4 buy-ins in a row. I know I’ve had 4 bad beats in a row before, not to mention adding in a few hands are made to take your buy-in also, like set-over-set and AA VS KK. That is just an inherent aspect of poker’s odds. Playing with that much of your roll on the table, you are destined to go belly-up; you can’t support a downswing. And obviously if you scooped it up to $400 you would give $100NL a shot with this theory. At that pace, staying on that path, you won’t be heading up the ladder for long. Yea, you’ll have a huge rush while your climbing that ladder on a heater, but with risking that much you statically will be back to nothing before long, so you better enjoy that success while it lasts. I’m not trying to be a nay-sayer here and tell you how to live your poker life, I am just trying to save you some bumps in the road. I went bust a few years back, with 2 small buy-ins of $25 when I first started out, because I sucked and didn’t know how to play, but once I read a few books and frequented forums I gained some skill and became a winning player. I won enough to take off my original money so I could play with sheer profits. That was at the beginning of last year and I have never gone bust again. This is because I’m a winning player that uses BR management. Once I had a 3 month downswing, but although I lost money over and over and over, I was never near going broke because I didn’t put a large percentage of my BR at risk.

The reason why most players go broke is because they won’t take advice and learn the whole game from wiser more accomplished players. (Not me – Pros) And when I say the whole game I don’t mean only the cards, hand odds, and outs; I mean the business, the lifestyle, and how to safely go pro. If you listen to the pros, it is a methodical systematic process, not taking risk after risk. Being a poker player doesn’t mean being a gambler.

Most Pros say to always have 15 to 20x the max Buy-in at the NL stakes you are playing. I used that system last year and went from the Penny tables on UB to playing $200NL and cashed out $4500 last year. This year as of yet, I suck and am playing like a punk and dropped down to $60 playing and having to play $10NL on Tilt, but in the last month and a half I’ve built that back up to $600 and playing the $50NL tabs again. If I would have stayed on tables with 1’4 of my roll, I would be working over-time to get some more seed money.

Most Pros say no matter what, never have more than 10% of your total roll on the table at once. I will say that I have junked both of those theories just because I have already crushed these stakes before and have already learned the differences between each level on my up the 1st time. But I am doing something close the 10 buy-in rule. I am playing tables if I have 8 buy-ins. Ex: to play $50NL I reached $400. If I lost 1 buy-in and hit $350 I would drop back down to $25NL and get that $50 back. That means if I lose 1 buy-in at the start of a new level and have to drop down I have 3 full buy-ins at that level that I’d have to lose before dropping down again. That is pretty safe if you ask me. With this system I get the best of both worlds: I am conservative enough to sustain downswings due to variance, yet willing and ready enough to move up stakes quickly. I think this hyper-minimized-management strategy is the most liberal you should ever be with your BR. Any looser with your roll and guaranteed you will go broke. Try this management system at least, if you can’t conform to the Pros more conservative management systems and you will be able to move up stakes quickly enough for your gambler’s spirit if you do well and secure enough that if you do badly, you will still have enough of a roll for another shot when the downswing is over. It takes discipline, but you will find it hard to go broke using BR management system.

The Solace of Losing

I was down $50 at one point while getting my 200 points. I was actually all over the place. I was never up any money though; bad play and a suck-out made sure of that. Right out the gate, even before all of my 8 tables where around to the BB so I could begin playing, I get dealt QQ. I reraise a guy PR and he pushes. It was only $15 to call, ergo I disregard my usual fold in this situation due to the fact that it was less than half my stack, plus it was $15 to call $22. He turns over 88. The flop comes with an 8 for his 2-outer and I’m down $20 to start my session.

After that hurtful event I fight back grinding small pots and then I donk off a nice pot where I knew I was beat but couldn’t make the lay-down. I really have been good about the dumb calls lately since I changed my game, but the last few nights I have been making some bad moves and calls. I grind back a little and win one nice pot to put me back within $10 of where I started the session.

I get in a hand with AK from LP. I raise it to $2 and get 2 callers. Flop comes K75. EP bets $8. MP raises to $15. I have $40 or so at the time and I jam. Original flop bettor calls with the $15 he has left and so does MP guy who has me covered by a few bucks. EP guy shows AJ whom I have crushed. 2nd guy has 75s for a spiked junker. The board doesn’t pair, nor does an A or K and I’m down close to a full buy-in on the hand. This was a horrible play IMO. Not because I lost, thus just being a results oriented bastard, but because with a pot-sized bet and then a raise before me, I have to think that my TPTK isn’t good here. It screams trips actually. I only had $2 total invested in the had at that point and with double-aggression before me on the flop, I definitely should have folded and waited for a better opportunity.

I have had an issue in the last few days with these kinds of plays, where I will call or bet when I am pretty positive that I’m beat. I luckily haven’t lost a lot much because of my grinding and a few un-sucked big pots to put me back close to even – slightly up or slightly down. I have just wanted to get my chips in there and hope for the best. I think the problem here is that I also win some of these hands. So by getting rewarded on occasion, it is hard to extinguish the bad habit. (It’s a lot like trying to teach your dog to stop begging for food at the dinner table, but occasionally handing him a little snack off your plate. This intermittent reward will ensure that the bad habit will never become extinct.) It is the reason why fish keep coming back for more; they suck-out and think they played it well or at least they were rewarded with a nice pot here and there. Make sense? And since I understand what is going on, I have the opportunity to change. Now I just have to follow through. I’ve been so good lately. I honestly think this is where my game went earlier this year; I was playing like shit, doing exactly this bad habit. I will now make a conscious effort to stop and hopefully at least alleviate the issue. Of course I will make some bad plays and bad calls, but if I think through the big decisions on the monster pots and be willing to fold, I will make more profits because I am already coming out close to even, even with these bad plays and suck-outs. I just don’t want to revert back to my lemur big hand style. I fixed that leak over a month ago and I will fight tooth and nail each time I see it rearing its ugly head. I’m positive that if I would have just folded my iffy calls and bad all-in raises, I’d be up around $300 more last week. That is huge. I’m not talking normal calls and raises where you likely have the best hand and just were wrong; no, I’m talking stupid plays were if you think about how the hand was played out or looked at the scary board, you know your most likely beat.

Another thing I need to work on is value beating the river when the only way I get called, most of the time anyways, is if I’m beat. You know what I’m talking about. Where someone checks to you on each street, and when they check to you on the river, and you don’t have the nuts or even real close, but still bet the river. Or when the river pairs the board or completes the flush or straight draw, making your strong hand weaker and more vulnerable. I have improved substantially, but I still need to work on it. I don’t want to be overly passive either and miss out on extra profits. I’m just saying that I need to think about it a little harder.

A solace last night at least is that I came back from being down $50 and ended the session down only $20. I can live with that. Being down ½ a buy-in on a losing day truly isn’t bad at all. I am currently sitting at $445. That is after taking off $60 and BR’ing one of my Bros. I also still have my $130ish coming sometime soon from RakeBreak. So I am finally up for the year again and that truly is a solace to me. I have mentally been so negative about poker for most of the year, feeling defeated and unskilled, so this really has given me a much-needed psychological boost. I can honestly say that I once again feel in control of my game. I feel that I once again can and should be earning money the majority of the sessions like I used to. As I play now I check the cashier pop-up and watch my status every so often and my trend is always positive. If I lose a nice hand I drop of course, but then it starts climbing again steadily earning above the blinds and rake. So I know if I can keep the iffy big pots under control and I don’t get too many bad beats I will always end sessions in the black for the most part. I finally have a winning style again like last year’s and I don’t want to stray too far from grace. I honestly think my current game has more earning potential than last year’s tried and proven style, plus I’m not playing like a robot. I am currently out-playing opponents with my aggressive flop play with marginal hands and taking down a lot of smallish pots, where my old style I always waited and waited for a nice hand and then rammed and jammed a tight-weak-aggressive game. It worked but I wasn’t really learning anything new and I was earning less over the same amount of hands. I think once I made it up the ladder too much further the players at those stages of the game, with their higher poker thinking levels, they would have seen right through my uncomplicated and robotic style, and I would have found it difficult to make a profit at those levels. I would have been stuck at $100NL or maybe $200NL forever. Not that I couldn’t make a nice profit at those stakes, but I truly do have aspirations to go higher. I mean shit, some under-aged kids are playing on their father’s accounts or finding other ways around it and are pulling in so much money that they will never even think about going to college or if they do, it will be totally for educational purposes and not to find a decent paying career. I know a kid that sold his Stars’ freemoney, starting out with $10 that he made from those free dollars, and in his senior year in high school, made $100,000. Could you imagine being 17 year’s old with 100G’s of your own money. It is likely a good thing that I didn’t, because I’d probably be dead. But anyways, I am happy with my game and if I stop with the shitty big-pot play, I think I can start to make some nice coin and continue to learn more aspects of the game. One of the reasons that I took the time to write an in-depth account of my current style, is in case I start losing again, like up until just recently, I have something to go back and reference, so it hopefully doesn’t take as long to fix the leaks like it did this time.

Lastly, today is the day for the HORSE tourney. As I stated yesterday, my Bro is playing for me. It starts at 3:10pm. I get off at 7pm and I hope he is still in it. Being limit I’m guessing it is longer than a 4 hr tourney. I don’t really know, because I don’t play many tournaments. Total cash pool is $5000, with 1st place paying out a cool $900. $450 would really boost my BR. $90 places pay out. If the previous 3 freerolls that I’ve qualified for were any indication of how this tourney’s turnout will be, I’d say 400 out of the 1000 will register. Well since this one is for $5000 instead of $2 Grand more players will likely make time. Plus it is on Sunday in the middle of the day, so that might also increase the turnout. I hope not, because they pay 90 places no matter the turnout, so the less the better.

My Current Style: Part 4


Now here comes the fun stuff that is here to test my post flop savvy and reading skills. All D-Hands have some things in common: I will not call a PF raise with them and the only way I will limp in PF is if I can get in half price from the SB, although I will try a blind steal with a few. All have some major draw-backs and thus weren’t a part of my old strategy, I now have enough hands under my belt that I have somewhat of a post flop game. But in most cases I expect to hit these hard on the flop or I’m done with them.


A lot of people love paint. Paint is made to be dominated. Often you would have better odds of winning the hand with mid-suited-cons or even 2 medium unsuited cards because at least both cards are usually live. These are the kinds of hands that pay me off. People hit a pr and are then willing to get in a kicker fight. I really don’t get it, but hey, it makes me money. I will not raise or call a raise PF, hell, I don’t even limp with these hands. I will occasionally try to steal the blinds in an unraised pot from the button or steal the BB from the SB with these hands, because they likely have junk that they will fold or if they call, I likely can steal on the flop even if I don’t pair-up. The other time I will enter the pot PF is from the SB where I get in for a discount. They do have straight potential after all, or likely will be TP if you hit the board, plus you could always spike 2pr or trips. But ultimately I play these very cautious post flop. Depending on how many players are in the hand with me dictates how I play it on the flop. I will most often be 1st to act so I’m out of position. If I hit a pr on the flop it is most likely TP or 2ndpr, so if it’s 1-3 players with me I will lead out a pot-sized bet, and if I get RR’d I drop. If I am called I usually C/C or C/F the remaining streets depending on how aggressive the betting gets. So position is huge factor on how I play these paint cards. So basically it is thrifty SB call, blind steal or fold. It’s that simple.

King anything suited – KTs, K9s, K8s, K7s, K6s, K5s, K4’s, K3s, K2s

There are some obvious drawbacks here with K-suited. With the A-suited hands you know you have the nut flush, but with K-high flushes you can stand to lose a few big pots. But most of the time 2nd nut is usually good. With the KTs and K9s I also have the straight possibility as a bonus. Also Kings-up is a monster when it hits, so overall I am willing to throw in the other half of the blind. But as with most of my hands I won’t fight too hard without a good certainty that I’m good or that there is a good indication that they will drop before I fold and wait for a better play to risk my stack. I refuse to get into a kicker fight with a pebble in my hand if the stakes get high.

Suited-Connectors – 65s, 54s, 43s, 32s

These are total junk hands, but they are so concealed when they hit that they can make you some good money. But they have some major drawbacks so I will only see them for half price from the SB. Here’s what makes these SC’s so much worse than their SC big brothers. They are almost always the bottom pr, the low end of a straight, and a vulnerable flush. If you hit your flush on the flop and make a pot-sized bet you are often called with 1-card flush draws and if that 4-flush hits on the turn or river you are usually forced to lay it down before the showdown along with all the money that you already invested. They are also real susceptible to being counterfeited on the turn and river even when you hit a strong hand like 2pr. So you really have a lot of stressful decisions to make when playing these cards. And sadly sometimes even when you hit your hand you are already nearly drawing dead. But it’s almost worth all the risk solely because of how bad it tilts some players when you reveal these cards at showdown and scoop the pot. I can see the chat box light up now expletives comments about my intelligence.

Suited –Gappers – KTs, K9s, QTs, Q9s, Q8s, J9s, J8s, J7s, T8s, T7s, T6s, 97s, 96s, 95s, 86s, 85s, 84s, 75s, 74s, 73s, 64s, 63s, 62s, 53s, 52s, 42s

And last but not least – uh actually they do rank least – we have the Suited-Gappers. These cards totally suck, but they do have both straight and flush possibilities, and they are so well concealed that you can snipe off some nice pots when you hit hard. With these holdings I hit hard or I saying bye. Sometimes hitting the flop I can push out 1 or 2 opponents that whiffed. I try not to spend much on the draws either.


I would say that most of my big pots come from A and B hands, but C and D Hands are well concealed and bring in good money when they occasionally hit really hard. My A-hands also win a lot of smallish pots where everyone drops to my PF raise or they fold the flop to my CB. Position isn’t a big aspect of this current strategy PF except for the frequent blind steal attempts. If I hit any part of the board with any hand that I’m in I will bet it against 1 or 2 opponents on the flop. I am quite aggressive against few opponents because they are just as likely to have missed or barely hit as myself. If I am in position against 1 or 2 players and get checked to, I bet pot. I take down many smallish pots this way also. Often because I am limping in pots from lots of positions PF I find myself on the flop with only the blinds and I’m in position. Likely they check to me and I take the hand with a pot-sized bet. Often the blinds are folding hands where they hit BP or 2ndpr but figure I paired the over-card to their pr, especially when an A or K comes on the flop and I bet from position, they figure I stayed PF with A or K rag which is an extremely common occurrence. So the big concepts of this strategy are: 1 - Play only hands where you know how strong you are when you hit. 2 - Play mostly hands that aren’t at a disadvantage due to bad kickers. 3 - Play lots of hands that you can get in with cheaply, but pack a powerful punch when they hit. 4 - Win lots of small pots due to blind steals and aggressive short-handed flop aggression.

My game has changed enormously from last year, with me adding more starting hands and being a little more aggressive on the flop when putting in a bet isn’t killing my stack but is surely scary to players that missed their holdings. I am still fairly weak with some hands and my aggression with them, so hopefully I can at some point move some more of those hands up in my rankings. My current style is a mere semblance of last year’s, so who knows what another year will hold for my game?

Saturday, July 07, 2007

QQ: The Lemur Hand

I played last night for around 2 hrs. I decided to get 200 points. I was up $60 right as I neared 200 points. I then get dealt QQ. It was raised before me. I reraised his $2 raise up to $5.50 and he called. Flop came TT8. He bet out about $8. I raised it to $15 and he called. Flop came an A. He checked and I pushed. He called and showed AK. OK, so he bluffed the flop. I raised him. I think he made a bad call here, because he took his stab and I raised. You think someone would let AKo go. Shit he didn’t even have a pr. But I admit played the turn like a total donkey. I really couldn’t put him on a hand so I just pushed like a lemur. He raised PF before I reraised and then he just called. Possible hands that would do that. A slow-rolled AA or KK after the initial raise. Most likely they would just reraise again and try to get it all-in PF; so not too likely IMO. QQ, JJ, AK, TT. QQ – very unlikely because I have 2. JJ and TT – both quite likely PF holdings. JJ might try to throw in a flop bet and see where he was at due to the Ten-high board, but you’d think he would have to fold to the raise. But some people can’t fold an over-pr with their tiny little brains; shit some people will even call with just over-cards, obviously. TT – likely PF holding, but why not check to the PF raiser if you spiked quads? I didn’t believe that for a sec. AK – really don’t see how you don’t fold to the flop raise of your ¾ pot bet. I really just couldn’t put him on any hand really. Hmm, ATs or A8s or 88? I don’t know too many people raising with any of these from EP PF and then calling a PF reraise. I don’t know? All I know is that I played it bad. Maybe check the turn and then Check/Call or Check/Fold river? So anyways I got my points about 15 min after that and got off $20 ahead. Hell, at least I won something.

I am now in 8th place in the Full Tilt Fantasy Poker League. Now with only the Main Event earnings standing in my way, I have 2 weeks to wait and see if I get knock out of the Top100, lose my entry to the final freeroll.

I have to work tomorrow so I can’t play in the HORSE freeroll, because it starts at 3:10 PM. I have my Bro playing for me. I told him we’ll split anything he wins for me. SUCKER…no wait…shit I had to give him my ID and password so he could play. I was just kidding Bro, I wasn’t going to renig on our agreement. Jokes, it was all just jokes.

My Current Style: Part 3


There are 3 categories of C-Hands. Each is played a little different, but one thing they have in common is that I intend only to limp in with them PF.

Ace anything suited – AQs, AJs, ATs, A9s, A8, A7s, A6s A5s, A4s, A3s, A2s

A-suited doesn’t hit hard often, but when it does flush you have the nuts on an unpaired board, so it is possible to make some change. Conversely it also put you on a lot of draws to which you can waste a lot of coin. Another adverse problem inherent to A-suited is when an Ace comes on the board or the rag is top pair you are very vulnerable – now you have to really be careful. These are the kinds of things that I don’t enjoy. I like to know where I stand, especially on the flop, before I start putting in a lot of chips, and with A and B hands I usually know right where I stand – not tons of think-tank moments. But hitting TP can really cost you here if you choose to get in a kicker fight. So I play these hole cards sparingly after the flop. I do take some small pots against 1 or 2 players if they check to my position or if I bet out because I paired and they whiffed. But I refuse to lose my stack with A-shitkicker. I limp with these hands. If I already limped and it is min-raised on the way back around I will call also as long as there are at least a few other callers also, giving me a nice pot to look forward to. The more people that get in these hands the better. I will try to steal the blinds in an unopened pot from the CO or the button with the AQs, AJs, or ATs.

Suited Connectors down to 65s – KQs, QJs, JTs, T9s, 98s, 87s, 76s, 65s

I obviously play these cards because of the triple-threat – straights, flushes, or maybe the 2pr/trip possibilities. These cards can be deadly when they hit, because they are well concealed, and therefore can win you some nice pots. The flushes can be scary at times, but overall you are best when you hit. I currently only limp with these cards, although I have been stacked on many occasion when someone calls my PF raise with them. If I already limped and it is min-raised on the way back around I will call also only if is a multi-wat pot giving me good money to draw for. The more people that get in these hands the better. Unless I hit hard I don’t waste a lot of cash after the flop. Once again this can be a chasing hand and you can chip down if you get greedy. You must be careful not to over estimate you outs when chasing with these holdings, because you could be dead if you hit your flush or your straight at times. You have to be on you game when playing low junk. I will try to steal the blinds in an unopened pot from the CO or the button with the KQs, QJs and JTs because even if they call I have position.


I will limp with these hands. I know a lot of players love these hands – shit to some of you they are A-Hands. Now why I don’t hold them in high esteem. If you raise with them and are called you are often dominated, especially when you hit the pr you were looking for. When someone raises PF I fold these cards for the same reason. If I have already limped and someone else then min-raises, I won’t even throw in another BB. Weak you say? Safe I say. I make enough winning small pots with flop aggression that I don’t need to hazard what these cards can bring When someone’s hand is good enough for a PF raise it is possible that you are crushed even when you hit. It is quite possible that you only have 1 live out. That can mean some big losses. Like I have stated before, this strategy is about having a real good idea of where you’re at before getting too much money in the middle. Now don’t get me wrong these are great holdings, I just like their power in unraised pots where if I hit I am usually in good shape. I will try to steal the blinds in an unopened pot from the CO or the button.

D-Hands and Summary yet to come...

I was doing a little archiving of my old blogroll and came across this diddy from TripJax. Give it a look-see - you will be glad you did.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Get Your Asses To Bed Kids

Free Online Dating

This rating was determined based on the presence of the following words:

shit (17x) fucking (5x) bitch (4x) hurt (3x) fuck (2x) bitches (1x)

Give it a shot you sickos.

What the hell, you can't say hurt! What kind of kiddie party are we talking about here. You know what I say...FUCK IT!!!

Last Night

Well last night didn’t go as well as planned. Within in the first 10 mins on I get dealt pocket K’s. My fuckin’ mouse was dirty for some reason. (You know, the internal wheels that that form the ball socket were built up with junk.) Therefore the mouse was locking up and just being jumpy, thus making it difficult to manipulate. So between the mouse issue and tables popping up, all I got to do was min-raise PF. Well, about 3 callers complete. Pretty innocent looking board so I bet pot. All fold but 1 guy; he goes all-in and I make a crying call. He had hit 2-pr on the flop with total unadulterated shiat. I’m down a buy-in right off the bat. The golden rule is not to go all the way with minor holdings like over-pr or TPTK on the flop when it was unraised PF. They could have anything. And a min-raise is pretty much an unraised pot. Bad play on my part. I suck I know, but man sometimes it is so hard to get off an over-pr. It wouldn’t have been as bad a play if I had put in a nice raise PF like I meant to, but time was running out and I couldn’t get the betting slide bar to move where I wanted due to the dirty mouse. But hey, we have already been through this once already. I suck, lets move on. So after about 10 min I am down around $60 due to that hand and the consumption of blinds at 8 tables. I started worrying that I would have to move back down stakes if I lost another buy-in. But I started winning my normal small pots and they quickly added up. Throw in a few slightly larger pots and I was catching up nicely. I was only on an hr and when I logged out I was only down $16. I’ll live with that after being down right out the gate. So I’m back up to 2 buy-in before I drop down if needed.

At the $50 tables that I am currently playing I get my 100 Ironman points in about an hr. That is nice when I am working, because I work 12 hr days so I need to hit the hay as soon as possible. So an hr is perfect when I am on day shift – eat, shower, poker, and then an hr or 2 for the family.

I looked and I’m currently at 6th overall in FT Fantasy Poker League with only 2 events left. Hopefully the Main Event doesn’t stick it to me and knock me out off the top 100. That would suck.

My Current Style: Part 2



I don’t worry about position with A-hands. I raise PF with all of these hands. I will reraise PF with AA, KK, QQ. If the aggressor is another player I will reraise PF with all 3 of these. If someone goes back overtop of my goodly sized reraise I will push all-in with AA and KK. I will fold the QQ to this aggression because the predominate holdings are AA or KK. Yes you might get the hyper-aggressive reraise or push with QQ, AK, JJ, AQs, and AJs, but I think in the long-run you will pay out much more than you will win in this situation. Depending on how much the reraise was I will call the flop and see if I spike that Q. With AK or JJ I just call a PF raise and hope to hit a nice flop and can hopefully then bet or more often CR the flop. I am cautious with JJ on low flopped boards. I will bet or CR it and if I get too much resistance I am done with the hand or depending on bet size C/C to showdown. I prefer to just bet it and see where I stand instead for calling bets. I figure if I’m willing to put a certain amount in the pot I mind as well put him to the decision because if they don’t have a premium hand or are afraid of overs they are more apt to fold to that aggression. If I am the PF aggressor and get 1 or 2 callers I will always CB the flop no matter the board. With 3 or more in the flop hand I will always bet AA and KK. I will sometimes slowdown with overs on the board with my PF raised QQ and JJ, because with 4 callers odds are that I’m beat and they are looking to CR. Sometimes I will bet a little over ½ pot to reduce the field and gather some info. If I’m CR’d here I’m done. If my AK whiffs the flop I will always CB with 1 or 2 PF callers. If 3 or 4 are with me to the flop, I either check hoping to see the turn or I will bet a little over ½ pot to see where I stand. I don’t go broke as often with K’s, Q’s, AK, and JJ anymore. I do still find it hard to let K’s and Q’s go if there are no overs. But now if I get all-in action over my CB and there are overs on the table I drop and save my stack for another opportunity. I might hold the winning hand on occasion but why risk it all the time. The rest of strategy wins enough small pots that I don’t want to lose all my grinding money on one big hand where I put it all-in with the worst hand. I will break my own rules here if I have a read on the player, but that goes without saying. If I totally crush the flop with a set or trips I will usually slow-roll till the turn or depending on their aggression CB the flop instead. If the board isn’t all that innocuous, but instead is coordinated with straight and flush draws, I bet out even my monsters as to make them pay to chase. A big no-no for me is slow-playing PF. I always bet PF; I don’t care if is folded around to me in the SB, they pay to play – this ain’t a Holiday Inn Express. Lastly, I obviously bet PF to isolate against 1 player or 2 at the most; anymore than that and you are just asking for trouble.


All prs Ten and under – TT, 99, 88, 77, 66, 55, 44, 33, 22

I play these cards for set value. I usually limp and do a little set-farming. If I’m able to limp in and hit the flop I usually slow-play the flop. If the flop is bet I CR or smooth-call opting for the turn bet or CR. If there is a bet and 1 or more callers on the flop, I add their bets to the current pot and raise that amount, because they are showing that they are willing to add money to the pot and if they are on draws I definitely need to make them pay to see. If the board is scary I don’t even mess around, I just bet pot and see where we go from there. I will fight a little bit on the flop if I have an over-pr (usually opening or RR’ing for info and hopefully taking it down right there) but as a rule you should never put all your money in on an unraised pot, because the other limpers could be holding anything because they weren’t forced out PF. (2pr is a very likely holdings.) With TT and 99 I will raise PF in an unopened or un-limped pot if I’m the cut-off or button because I will have position on my side if I get any takers. I will call a PF raise with any of these pairs for set value. This tactic works especially well against a PF raiser, because they might have premium hole cards that they will find hard to fold and double me up. The more people that get in PF the better, because it usually juices up the pot for my set. Also the PF raiser usually CB’s the flop, which increases the pot. I usually check to the PF aggressor, then I decide to smooth call or CR according to the board. I prefer to CR on the flop and hope we can get all the money in right there, and optimally they are drawing to a 2-outer, but it also keeps them from drawing cheaply. If I’m out of position and it is a drawy board I just lead out and hope to take it down.

C and D hands plus the summary coming up next.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

My Current Style: Part 1

My current game

It is somewhat passive, but it is designed to let me know where I stand on the flop, and to minimize hands where I’m dominated. I make money with this style so don’t knock it too readily. I am averaging over a buy-in per session. (8 tables for 1 ½ to 2 hrs) With no bad beats on big hands I am making 2 or 3 full buy-ins. I have added in some hands omitted from my old rock stratagem, so I play more hands, and thus get more callers when I do have premium hands, plus I spike more junk hands because I’m seeing more flops. I have added in these other hands because I have gained a post flop game and often can take down small pots without risking much. I’m not great, but don’t check to me. I’ll go through the basics of my PF strategy. I will also explain how I play some things on the flop. I know a lot of players would rank some of these hands different, but this is my current style. In case you are wondering – this Style is made for Full Ring Micro to Small stakes play. In this 1st segment I will just give you the hand ranks, to be elaborated on in subsequent posts.




All prs Ten and under – TT, 99, 88, 77, 66, 55, 44, 33, 22


Ace anything suited – AQs, AJs, ATs, A9s, A8, A7s, A6s A5s, A4s, A3s, A2s

Suited Connectors down to 76s – KQs, QJs, JTs, T9s, 98s, 87s, 76s




King anything suited – KTs, K9s, K8s, K7s, K6s, K5s, K4’s, K3s, K2s

Suited-Connectors – 65s, 54s, 43s, 32s

Suited –Gappers – KTs, K9s, QTs, Q9s, Q8s, J9s, J8s, J7s, T8s, T7s, T6s, 97s, 96s, 95s, 86s, 85s, 84s, 75s, 74s, 73s, 64s, 63s, 62s, 53s, 52s, 42s

Nice Week - Still Moving Forward

Poker is continuing to go well. As long as I don’t get hit with too many suck-outs in my session I usually end up money for that session. If I don’t get any big hand bad beats I am currently doing rather well. I took that $300 from last week and have turned it into $500. At $400 I got on the $50 tables and hovered around $425. I decided if I dropped a buy-in would drop back down to $25 and make my way back up again for another try. I won some nice hands hit $550 at one point in that night’s session. I slowly dwindled back down to even due to a mix of bad play, bad luck, and bad beats; I would say that most of it was due to tilting after a few ugly hands. I got a few mid-level pots taken away when I went in with the best. And then I slow-played my set of 4’s on the flopped board of A4T rainbow. Turn comes a 3 and I raise his bet, to which he pushes. I call and he shows 52o for the nut. My boat misses port and I drop another buy-in. At that point I’m back to even and was playing badly. I knew it was time to get off. I un-check all of my auto-blinds and as I’m waiting for the blinds I get dealt KK. I reraise PF to $5 and get a call from the original raiser and another player between us. How come 2, 6, 8 - 2-suited. It is bet and I push for the rest of my chips. $80 worth of calls from the 2. If I lose this hand I am down a buy-in for the session and would have been totally distraught at how the session went to shit. The tables got out of hand for a min and when I finally clicked back I was up 80 bucks. I didn’t even look to see what they called with. I finally gave out a bad beat other than a coin-flip. I had KK I raised and got 1 caller. The board was something like J,8,2. I bet the flop and he shoves. I just couldn’t see justifying a lay-down here. Yes, a set comes to mind, but so does AJ, or an aggressive AK. A lot of people can’t give up that AK. AA or QQ would have likely reraised or pushed the flop. I call and see I’m looking at a 2-outer some kind of triple-runner. River brings my king and the unlucky bastard started with a tirade of expletives about my donkass skills and overall intellect.

I loaned out $40 to one of my Bros so I currently sit at $460. I still haven’t gotten last month’s rakebreak so I still have a nice chunk of change coming. I’m really accruing a lot of rake this month as of yet due to being on the $50 tables. I’m keeping that same strategy as I try to move my way back up. If I reach 8 full buy-ins for a stake I will move up and play at that stake. If I lose a buy-in I will drop and make it back to 8 buy-ins. Hopefully I hit $800 soon so I can play at the Hundo tables. I think this strategy gives me the best of both worlds: bankroll management and advancement opportunity. I play 8 tables at a time so it works out well, especially if I chip-up early on so I get a little cushion.

Oh yea a really cool thing. A guy at work told me about the Fantasy Poke League on Tilt over a month ago when I started back on tilt. I picked my 15 pros and just stuck with them through every single event. My picks have done well. I have now won entry into 3 events. And I am in 4th place overall in the entire league. There are only 3 or so events left to go in the WSOP for the ’07 series. If I stay in the top 100 I will get an entry into a big tourney with a chance at a seat in the ’08 Main Event. I also won a hat. I could easily get bumped out of the top 100 if a few pros cash in the Main even and they aren’t my picks. I did pick 3 bracelet winners: Helmuth, Cunningham, and Deeb. One of the tourneys that I got in was Stud Hi Fixed. This really sucked and I wasted 1 ½ hrs of my life playing this slow game. Now I have qualified for the Horse freeroll. I played a SNG just to see how to play somewhat. I got 2nd. Not bad but I’m pretty sure I will get my ass handed to me. 1000 players max, yet so far in these freerolls, less than half the people register. I cashed in 1 event. NL with 388 starting. I end up felting in 37th for a measly $10 cash. I was in the top 10 for the whole tourney right until the end where I lost a huge had to a bad beat and then I donked off the remainder within the next 3 cycles.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Live Update and Analysis of My Home Game Players

Live is still going well. Shit actually it is booming. I have the game totally under my control. I’m not running the table, but I am waiting in the wings ready to pounce as often as I can. I often fold, fold and watch the blinds and missed flops eat away my stack and then swoop in and accumulate a moderate to large pot. I then eat myself slowly away again and play the waiting game. But as this happens my stack grows larger each time well above what the blinds are doing to me. I do see a lot more hands than at a FR game due to the shorter game and because I can often out-play certain players. I out-play opponents and they call me dirty for the moves I use to get the maximum chips from the hands that I play. I get deep respect from some players and they are scared of my bets and I can often push them of their hands with a well-timed bet. Some are calling-stations and I do need the best hand because we are likely going to showdown. I know the players so well that I know exactly how to approach each hand by which one of the guys is in the hand with me. This has been a long process, but we have played together for so long that it’s hard not to learn their styles. Here are my results since my last live update: +$31, +$136, +$20, +$74, -$7, +$59, +$27, +$15, +$34. 10 to 1 win/loss ratio isn’t bad that is for sure. This in itself is a big factor why my bets get respect – they know I almost always go home with a win and they don’t want to risk being a help to lining my pockets. I’m not trying to brag up my game here I am just telling you how well I have the usual players figured out. Knowing everyone’s weaknesses, strengths, motivations, plays, and abilities does help enormously and lets you know which moves you can make on which players because you know where each one’s knowledge base is at. But that doesn’t always mean you will win. Earlier in the year I lost 4 out of 5 sessions and was totally bummed about my ability as a player. I was also sucking at online poker, which I have most of this year anyways, and that was adding to my negative outlook. I was second-guessing every decision that I made and really was furthering my plight, but the card dead nights and horrible multi-suck-out sessions left and I was back in business, with variance back in the black.

I also played the Fam Game twice since the last update. We always play small $5 tourneys. 1st time I dropped -$20 and the 2nd time I lost -$5. Some to bad play on my part and some to horrible and moderate beats. It is about playing with family and less about winning, but I am always very competitive. I can’t help that and of course you are supposed to play your best game every time out anyways, right? I don’t care that it is only $5 when I make my decisions; I play with my stack and I play as well as possible. It does frustrate me some when I go in with the best and am called with shit and the shit hits. Races don’t bother me ever, that just is poker in my mind. But a bad call from an opponent for all my or their chips when I am 70% or better cuts me deep when they spike their shit. I know that there are outs for a reason but damn. I guess it hurts because it doesn’t often go the other way because I hardly ever put my money in with the worst of it. Not to say that I’m this great player that never makes bad calls, I’m just stating that I more often than not go in with the best of it, so the suck-out ratio is skewed towards the other players. Basically I’m saying that when I play cards I am never in Freeroll mode. I always do have fun at the Fam Game, I just think I take it a little too seriously sometimes.

I will now tell you about each player’s styles and weaknesses and strengths and little tells and odds-and-ins I have noticed with their games. These are the Home Game guys not the Fam Game players. The rest of this post is on each player’s current style – just warning you so you don’t waste your time if you don’t like player analysis of people you don’t know. I’m am really doing it more for myself because as I write, it makes me really think about their game and my counter-methods to their styles. Long post ensues.

Smitty – He is a total LAG. He has never seen hole cards that he didn’t like. He always wants to see the flop no matter his holdings. He will either raise PF or call and will rarely fold to a raise or reraise PF. If he is the aggressor just let him keep betting for you and depending how innocuous the board is make your decision on which street to raise or CR him. If I have the hand and he is in position I just bet out and forget the slow-rolling because if he has any pr or any possibility of making a flush or a straight he will chase it as long as I don’t bet too much. If he has 4 cards to a straight (even gut-shot or the low end) or a flush he will find it hard to fold to any sized bet. If he has 2 hearts and 1 heart hits the flop that constitutes a flush-draw in his mind or if he has 2 cards and the flop brings 1 more card in succession that constitutes a flush-draw to him. So for example, if he has Ts, Jc and the flop brings Ks, 7s, 2h he will see the turn for a nice bet just to see if another spade or an A, Q, 9, 8, comes so he can chase again on the river. Sometimes he hits these long-shots and rivers a huge pot, which keeps him trying. He is very aggressive. If he raises PF, which does often, he will CB every street no matter the board or if he hit anything or if the board is all overs to a small PP. So if I have any suited-cons, PP’s, or nice paint is dealt to me I will call for the possibility of a nice score. You can usually CR the river and he will call with any pr just to see if you are bluffing. He hates to be out-played. If you bluff him he takes it as a personal slight towards his manhood and will call you down most of the night just to make sure you don’t hurt his pride further. So basically I will bluff with a busted draw often early on in the session just so I can turn up the bluff and induced the vendetta grudge mode. He amasses tons of chips early on every session with his aggression. This always happens because he is betting on just about every hand. He then gets pissed because in his mind he should win any hand where he showed aggression the whole way. If he loses a few busted aggressive hands, especially if someone calls him down with horrible holdings in a short period of time, bad beats, getting bluffed, river beats especially if they called to the river with total junk where he had them crushed the whole way, or any combination of these 4 common occurrences he hits ultra-full-tilt-mode. Guaranteed he will push all-in PF or on the flop very soon after he starts bitching about others horrid play or his unwarranted bad luck. He usually has shit and needs to prove to himself that he is in control of the table again. Depending on how much he has left when he shoves and what I holding I will call even with minor holdings that I normally wouldn’t call with because he see making this move PF with any Ace, any suited cards, small pr, paint, and on the flop if he hit any part of the board or with any flush or straight draw. If he doesn’t get smacked-down too often in a short period of time he doesn’t tilt and I can continue to take nice pots from his growing stack. He ends sessions usually up big or down big and both happen about half the time. It looks like a lot to remember, but really he is pretty predictable. Oh yea, one tell that he has makes and/or saves me large river bets. If he takes a long time on the river and keeps recounting his chips in a stack like he is trying to figure out exactly how much he wants to bet, he almost is always bluffing a busted draw. If he just bets river quickly he can have it or be on a bluff and put you to a decision, but if he does the long think-tank chip stacking routine he is usually full of shit and on a busted draw. He is still pretty new to the game and I try to teach him here and there, even though it took him a run of losing sessions before he would fight his ego and listen. He still has issues with reading the board at showdown. He has trouble with the best 5 card rule and how to figure out which cards play. I argued with him for 3 minutes just last game before he relinquished the pot. The board was 664QQ. He bet with T4 and was called by Van Horn with K7. He just kept saying that he had a pr and that it shouldn’t go to kickers. I told him that your trying play 3pr. He also has a hard time deciphering kicker fights and what cards exactly play on the board. I often have to actually push the cards up for both players and count out the 5 cards that play. He is smart so I really don’t get why he is having suck a hard time with this basic aspect of the game.

Van Horn – He is loose-passive to the extreme. He wants to see every flop, yet doesn’t raise often, but when he does, it is usually just a min-raise. The min-raise is usually nice paint. When he bets a little more he has a PP, you just have to figure out how high. He will always CB once if he raised PF. If you CR him he will usually just call. If he has an over-pr to the flop he will reraise your CR. That is when you know your holdings and drop out with weak holdings. If the flop brings a flush draw or a nicely coordinated straight draw he will just call your CR and check-call the rest of the way. So you can lose some change if you don’t be careful. He will usually call to the river with his small PP’s set-faming the turn and river for the anemic 2-outer because he doesn’t realize how bad his odds are of spiking – he will usually drop to the river bet with his small PP. If 4 cards to a flush hit he will call a moderate bet with a weak card of that suit and say that he had to see. He likes being the sheriff and if everyone folds he is more apt to stay in to “keep you honest.” Back to PF - he loves to see the flop and likes junk cards for odd superstitious reasons. Anytime he folds he always states that he hated to fold because he just knows it will hit. He makes a big deal when it does hit and that is a big reason why he such a call-station. He barely ever goes home with any money unless he gets some monster hands or sucks-out on some monster hands. Over the session he just calls it all away. He is the one that usually ends up putting Smitty over the edge, by hitting the river with junk that anyone else would have folded PF or to any bet. He is a checker, slow-playing most hands that he hits. But he doesn’t raise much on the river when his traps work. Often he just calls. He is a very weak player. You barely ever know when he has you beat or not because he just check-calls all the way to showdown even with nice hands. He is afraid of the board often thinking monsters are in the closet at every flush, gut-shot, or paired board, yet he almost always will call to the showdown to sheriff the table. He usually wins these pots, but since he calls bottom-pr and mid-pr and every possible draw imaginable to the river or showdown. Ultimately he usually ends up short-stacked early in every session with Smitty accumulating most of his chips because he calls all Smitty’s bets to the river and then usually folds. He is the ultimate weak calling-station. When he gets short-stacked he always says it’s almost time for an all-in hand and then subsequently he pushes within a few hands with marginal holdings at best – usually suited though. Since Smitty and Van Horn both love to see the flop they often call each other’s all-ins when the pusher is tilting with their shorty with holdings just as marginal and near races ensue. Van Horn always buys back in and plays the exact same style. Just hit the flop and keep betting and he will usually call you better hand to showdown and build your stack.

Smutek - He barely ever wins and thus doesn’t play often. When he does play and loses his first buy-in of $20 or $25 he calls it a night. He is so predictable that everyone knows his game and get out of the hands and he only takes the blinds or one bet. If he bets the flop he usually has TP or better. Everyone folds and he wins a baby pot. Also if he weakly hit the flop he will look down at his chips for a second, shit sometimes reaching for his stack, and then he will check. At that point most people check their draws opting for a free card or put in a nice bet and he usually folds his pr. He respects my game to the point at he folds even nice hands to my bets thinking I’m suckering him in for his money. He folds the winning hands quite often because he thinks that every time a flush or straight is on the board that a bet from someone means that that’s what they have. He plays scared which isn’t winning poker in the least. Everyone knows this and just slowly scares Smutek out of pots or folds to his bets so he wins minuscule pots and his stack keeps dwindling. Often he will double up once short-stacked because he finally has to make a stand and the other players are still in predator mode thus bullying with shit. Therefore he most often drops that last hand to bad beats which always sucks to exit with. He also will lose a big hand when 4 cards to a flush or a 4-flush is on the board. He will call the flush with marginal holdings and fight with the small side of the straight. I have been working on these leaks with him but he is slow to grasp what I’m trying to teach him. I have stopped a few of his bad habits, which is helping his game. First of all I told him to stop showing his cards when people fold. He is the only player that folds PF more than I do, so when he does get into a hands he is already under scrutiny by everyone at the table. So when he bets and everyone drops and then he shows them that he had it, they know that they made the right call and that predictable Smutek hasn’t changed his game. Now he never shows his hands unless they pay to see. The other leak that he had was telling everyone at the table when he was on a draw. He would call someone’s bet and say out loud that he wanted to see one more card. So if a coordinated card hit the board they could slow down in the hand or if the card whiffed, they would bet hard knowing he would fold. I am working with him on other aspects trying to help him compete. But as it stands right now, if he gets in a hand and he acts first and bets you drop or if he checks you bet. If you are first to act you make a nice bet and if he calls you know he has something. It’s sadly that simple.

Phil – He is a weird player, but also highly predictable at times. But he will put money in the pot with good cards and shit cards with equal frequency so you have to be careful. He likes to see the flop, but will fold total junk. If he is up he usually sees every flop. He will call PF raises with marginal hole cards. He will pay moderate calls to the river chasing his flushes, often even large bets. He then folds if he misses. He also opening but unwittingly visually and sometimes vocally lets all know he is on a draw. You know to raise if next card is innocuous. He finds it hard to get away with from small prs and will bet them just as hard as if he held TPTK. Sometimes I put him on 2pr or something nice and once everyone folds he will show pocket 6’s. At other times I will reraise him and he will keep calling my bets for the remainder of the hand, often leading the betting again on the next street and I will slow down. I then bet big on the river with a monster and he calls and shows down pocket 4’s that was lower than any card on the board, thus only beating a total bluff. He honestly doesn’t think your bluffing, he just has some weird idea that if you likely have the best hand PF you are supposed to win the hand. I don’t get it, but at least once a session he makes a horrible call for a lot of money with a total shit hand that has everyone scratching their heads. I always just hope it is when I’m in the big hand with him. He has brain farts – that is the nicest way I can put it. Like he will miss-read his cards and think he has a straight or last time he paid off a full-boat for a huge pot with “3 pair.” No lie, he thought he won the hand. He often goes up early on and accumulates chips because he doesn’t know how to fold and picks off Smitty’s BS bluffs, which in turn infuriates him. He also picks up pots where his big bets make players drop. Honestly he aggravates me often, to the point that I won’t sit beside him. Every time around the table you have to remind him that he is the big blind and then most of the time tell him that he is the small blind on the very next fucking hand. And I mean every time around the table. And then he has trouble putting in the right amount of chips for the blinds that he is in. I’m not joking. You can probably see how this can be irritating. And then if that isn’t bad enough when the action comes back around to him in the small blind he will say check or put in a whole big blind instead of the other half of his small blind so the guy next to him has to at that point, to speed up the game, just scoot him back has original small blind chip. And if he is in the big blind you have to yell out a preemptive strike by telling him that he can check because he will always throw in a chip because he remembers that he is BB. And if you don’t catch him before he throws in his chip, depending on how you phrase it, he will either pull it back out or bet it. If you say you can check, he will say oops and pull it back out or if someone says are you raising it, he say ahhh, yea I’ll raise it. He really slows down the game and aggravates the fuck out of me until I get 1 beer in me or I find a way to stop ruminating of his stupidity. When we first start playing I can’t help but focus on it when it is about his turn. It will say to myself, he it comes. Just to put this little rant into perspective – will never get better, we have been playing for 2 years now, so if he hasn’t figured it out by now he never will. I actually like it when he doesn’t show up to the games; it really takes down my stress level. The only reason I have never snapped and hurt him is because he can’t help it and he is the nicest person you will ever meet, who is willing to help out any friend with whatever shit task without even thinking twice about it. Nice but fucking aggravating.

To be continued…