Friday, May 28, 2004

Not good...

Last night didn't go so well. It could have, but...

Logged in to Poker Stars around midnight my time. Got a seat at a 10+1 1 SnG.

Played very tight early on like I always try too. First hand I folded KQd UTG. Probably shouldn't have... Would have missed the flop and been out of position for the rest of the hand, so looking back it wasn't a bad decision at all.

Took down a small pot to put me ~T1700, and in to 3rd in chips. Folded some more junk hands.

We are down to 7 and I pick up K3o in the BB and there are 2 limpers. I check it and the flop comes 3KK. When this happens I hear Vince VanPatten's voice in my head, "The Star Spangled Banner is going off in his head", "How is he going to play it". I of course try to slowplay it.

Now back to Vince, "He's dug a hole and put the leaves and branches over it, and he is just waiting for his opponent to fall in".

SB bets out 150. I call. MP folds. Turn is J. I check. SB bets 300. I raise it to 600. He reraises to 900. I call. River is a T. I am thinking that he could have a straight and I believe there was even a 3 flush on the board. I bet out he has me covered and goes allin. I call.

He turns over KT for a rivered Full House. I say nh and close the window.

I don't think I played it too poorly. He could have been on a flush draw. I was ahead most of the way.

I cannot blame him for sticking around either, I know I would find it very hard to fold KT with 2 Kings on the flop.

Total: -$11

Nothing else is filling up so I end up sitting down at a .25/.50 NL. I buyin for my normal $20. (Would not mind some feedback on this buyin. To small? $50 is the limit at this level.)

I wait for the BB. End up folding a couple of hands.

3rd hand I get QQ. I am in MP. 2 limpers to me. I raise to $2. SB, BB, and EP call, MP folds. Flop comes A high. Checked to me so I bet $3. SB calls others fold. Turn is a K. I bet out $2 and he goes over the top enough to put me allin. I think for a bit and fold. I hate that.

These kind of hands have been getting me in trouble lately so I folded. Not sure it was the best play, but I really thought I was beat at this point. Although, it could have been that I showed weekness and he put me to the test. I will never know for sure.

So I am down about $12. I limp a few times, but have to fold when nothing hits and there is a bet or two in front of me, and I am down to around $8. I pick up a couple small pots to put me at $10.

I think by this time I should have just called it a night because this is when I start to overplay pairs and high cards.

Another short story long. I end up giving the rest of my 20 to the same guy that took the first half of it. I don't even remember the hand. I know he called a $5 bet with 3rd pair. I did not improve.

Total: -$31


Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Ended last night on the + side

Since I only have time to play around an hour at the .25/.50 NL ring and 1 or 2 $10+1 SnGs my good days will not sound as good as other bloggers that win or lose $500 - $1000 a day. Of course I want to win as much money as I can... I just don't have enough time without distractions in the day to play more than I do.

That being said, here are last nights results:

I usually get home around midnight here on the west coast (Portland, OR). I get something to eat and log in to Poker Stars. I check to see if any SnGs are close to filling and if not I see if I can find one of the NL tables without the regular sharks sitting at them. You know, the ones playing on 5 tables and usually up on most of them. So far that is my table selection criteria.

So, I log in and the SnG is not close to being filled so I check on the NL ring. Sweet, 1 seat open and none of the usual sharks. I sit down, buying for $20, and fold for the first 3 orbits and I am down to around $17. I get A6s one off the button and limp in with the blinds completing and checking. The flop comes with an A and nothing else. SB checks, BB bets .50 and I raise to $1. SB folds. BB calls. Turn is a 6. BB bets out $5 I rereaise to $10. He puts me allin and I call. River is a 6 and I take down a nice $36 pot.

I requested the hand history to see if I had rivered him. Nope he had A2o. Not even 2 pair, yummy.

Couple more orbits went by and I was just blinding away my winnings. $10+1 was filling up so I took my $15 profit and left.

Total +$15

I folded a couple marginal hands like KTs and Q9s, and wasn't really getting anything better. I was down around T1200 or so, and my PF raises were getting respect as they should have folding away for so long. I took advantage of it to steal a couple blinds here and there. Nothing over aggressive just staying alive.

Later I doubled up when my KK held up against AQo. We got down to 4 and I was short stacked as usual. I really think I play some of my best poker short stacked. I stole a couple blinds moving allin. Oddly enough there was another player there that was being 'coached' while we were playing. The 'coach' kept on telling this guy to "drop the hammer, NOW". It was irritating, but he ended up knocking out the bubble guy, so I was happy.

I went up to 2nd in chips and then quickly back down to last. Just hanging in stealing with decent hands and trying to weather the storm. The chip leader was playing pretty aggressive (as he should). The other guy was getting really irritated with the 'coach' and so was I. I doubled up off the chip leader when he called my allin A9o with A3o. The 'coach' said they would talk about that later, hehe.

It was like a rollercoaster up and down. I doubled up agaisnt the chip leader again. Okay so I drew out on him. He had an Ace I had QJo and I hit the J. The 'coach' told him everything was alright that I drew out on him. Blah, blah, blah.

Chip leader knocked the other guy out when he drew out on him. I don't remember the cards, but they were both allin PF.

We went back and forth with the 'coach' telling him to drop the hammer on me every couple hands. I ended up taking the chip lead from him for a while.

I got AKo and checked it. He called and the flop came K high all hearts. I did not have any hearts, but thought my pair was good. I bet he raised and I called. He had been doing this reraise pretty often on the orders from his 'coach'. I was still feeling pretty good about my top pair. Turn was a rag. I bet he raised and I reraised enough to put him allin. He went in to the think tank. The whole time his 'coach' was telling him to "drop the hammer, NOW!". He folded. Wish I knew what he had.

Short story long, as usual, I ended up out in 2nd. He was raising PF everyhand and I was just not getting any cards. I finally took a stand and busted out.

Overall I was pretty happy with my play. Hung in with the short stack, and gave him a run for the money at the end.

The coach offered his services for a 'small fee'. I said no thanks.

Total +$17

Night total +32


Monday, May 24, 2004

Getting late here...

What can I say, I've had better days, and I have had worse. So goes my poker life.

I really need to stop attempting to play when the wife and kids are around, or even awake, or even if the baby might wake up.

I have just recently moved from the $5+.50 to the $10+1 Sit and Goes. It took me a while to make the move. Maybe a bit longer than it should. I would dabble at the higher level here and there, but would scamper back to the lower level like a whipped dog after getting beat. I really need to start reviewing my hand histories, and should probably take the plunge and get Poker Tracker. It really seems like a valuable tool. Especially since I have started playing the .25/.50 NL ring games. Would be nice to have some stats on the other players. My note taking still needs much improvement. Plus, most of my notes were on the laptop, and now that there is no networking with the laptop, that is where they have to stay.

I don't really play a lot. Well, let me take that back. I do play a lot, but not compared to other bloggers. I usually will play around an hour a day at the NL ring, and 1 or 2 SnGs.

Today I played just that, I dropped my $20 buyin at the NL ring. It was really poorly played on my part. There was this one over aggressive guy that would call any raise and raise 5-6xBB with as low as 3rd pair. This was happening over and over again. I saw him showdown and win with more junk than I care to remember. It was just plain sick.

This is the kind of play I don't really like. It is hard for me to put them on a hand, and I either give them my buyin or double up off them. It's good it's bad, that is poker at the low limits.

Here is how this one breaks down. I have 77 in MP. Folded to me so I make it $1.50 and would have been happy to take the blinds. I usually play very tight and I had been there for maybe 3 rounds of blinds at the time. I had raise PF one time and everyone folded. I get 2 callers and the flop is J64 rainbow. Here is where I should have bet to see where I was, but I checked. He bet $2 and I called. Turn was no help. I lead out with $1.50 and he raised my to $5. I reraised for the rest of my stack and he called. He showed QJo and took the pot. I really hate when I do this because I feel really stupid. He showed aggression and I just let him work me over and take my money.

I didn't rebuy so I am down $20.

I entered a $10+1 SnG.

Nothing major happened here. I ended up out on the bubble. Didn't get many playable hands and when I did either I didn't hit the flop with my draws or there were just too many overcards to my low pair.

Out another $11. Total -$31.

The family and I were out most of the day. We saw Shrek 2. If you liked the first one you will most likely enjoy this one as well. Good stuff.

After the wife and kids were tucked in bed for the night I logged on to PS and checked the ring games. Mostly the usual sharks so I didn't dip my feet in that water.

I entered another $10+1.

I took a couple small pots early by hitting a straight in the BB and when my AQs hit a Q on the flop to put me around T1800. Then it was fold, fold, fold followed closely by more folding. Every time I would get a marginal hand there was a raise in front of me to make it look like junk. LUCKILY! I love it when they make the decision easy for me. The chip leader was taking people out left and right. It was great. He was hitting everything. If he needed a King to win it, he hit it on the river. He hit a straight to bust a guys poket Aces. We were down to 4 and the blinds were at 50/100. I was short stacked after being blinded down and not really having many chances to steal blinds. The chip leader was playing very aggressive and was raising most pots. He eventually knocked out the guy that was 2nd in chips. If there is one thing I had learned early in this game it was not to mess with this guy. He would hit what he needed to knock you out. Hell, I think he knocked everyone out.

I was in the money, weee. I love making it to the money. Especially when I have had to scrape buy on the short stack most of the way there. I was at ~T800 and the blinds were 75/150, so I was in the allin or fold with anything good. I stole a couple blinds and made it up around T1000, then that chip leader doubled up the other guy to about T2600, and I thought for sure I was destined for a 3rd place finish. Shortly after I doubled up off the chip leader with A6s when a 6 hit the flop and the river. I was still on the short stack, but was in the hunt again. I got blinded back down to around T800 again.

The guy in second could have folded every hand and taken the 2nd place money. Instead he decided to make a move with A7o. I folded whatever crap hand I had and the chip leader moved in enough to put him allin. He called and the soon after was out in 3rd. Unbelievable! I have done it myself, but have really tried to limit doing something like that lately. I was going to be gone within 3 rounds.

Short story long...

I made it interesting turning my T800 in to T4000 but eventually he picked me off when I got too aggressive with a flopped pair of 8s to his flopped pair of Ks.

+ $17.

Total for the day. -$14


Saturday, May 22, 2004

Beginning continued...

Let's see, where did I leave off...

Oh yea, I just got a $10 bankroll. If memory serves, and it usually doesn't, I entered a couple $1 multis. I believe I even made the money on one of them. Seems it was about an $0.82 profit. I went on to finally bust out of that first $10, but I kept on hanging out with my new poker friend, and for reasons still unknown to me, when he would win he would transfer me some dough. We talked poker quite a bit and he pointed me to the 2+2 forum.

I entered more micro buyin multis and made some very micro profits. One time when talking to my poker friend he suggested that I try out the head to head NL SnG, and he transfered me $11 to try a couple of the $5.25 buyin tables.

I turned that $11 into $50 before eventually busting out again. I would still play the Midnight my time NL freeroll on most nights. I took 2nd out of a 3800 player field which qualified me to play in the Sunday 2nd rounder for real money. The upcoming Sunday was a game that I was not used to playing so I emailed Poker Stars and asked them if they would move my entry to the following week so I could play limit Holdem. They did, and even though I got to the table about 1/2 hour late I ended up taking 2nd for a $50 win. What an unbelievable feeling that was. My bankroll was sitting at about $65 and I was feeling great about it.

After peaking at about $110 I ended up giving it all back. Looking back it was stupid things like playing well above my level at the $1/2 limit ring games instead of sticking with the NL SnG's and low buyin tourneys. Again I was busted.

This must have been around Christmas time. I asked Santa for a poker book that was recommended by the good people over at the 2+2 forums, and since I had been a good boy I received "Winning Low Limit Holdem" by Lee Jones . I also had read "Theory of Poker" by David Sklansky, but at the time it was a bit advanced. I didn't have enough of the basic strategies down, and the more advanced thinking just was over my head at the time. Maybe I will buy it and read it again. The first time I checked it out from the library.

After my first read of WLLH I really tightened up my game, even a bit more than what is suggested in the book. I found, like most new players, I was playing far too many hands in the wrong position. On a side note, I think I am playing a bit too tight at present.

Whenever I would talk to my poker friend he would ask how the bankroll was doing. I have always been totally honest with him. I really don't want to take advantage of his generosity. He has helped me so much, and I feel kind of guilty for accepting the money that I have. I would love to win a decent size chunk of change so I could pay him back. Maybe someday I will. He shipped me one last $20. I still do a find player whenever I log in to the tables and chat with him for a while. With me going back to work I don't get to talk to him much anymore. I miss that quite a bit. He still asks me how the roll is diong everytime we talk.

The best part... Now when he asks, I can tell him that the roll is solid. I have turned that last $20 he sent me in to over $250. I have always told him that if he ever said the word I would ship him the balance of my account... And I really mean it, if he asked it would be all his. I guess that is how I can sleep at night, hehe.

I guess that is enough about the beginning...


Friday, May 21, 2004

How did I get started you ask?

Okay, you didn't ask, but I will tell you anyway.

Like a lot of new poker players I got hooked while watching Moneymaker win it all on ESPN. It was not on the original run, but on one of the millions of repeats that ESPN has blessed/cursed us with. Chris had the Poker Stars hat on so that is where I went. This looked like fun so I thought I would see if they had play money games.

I started playing the play money tables and the freeroll tourneys.

The first time I signed up for a freeroll tourney I was away from the computer when it started. When I got back I was down to about T1200, I was looking at AKs, and being the WSOP viewer that I am I went allin... and LOST! WHAT! AK is not supposed to lose. Later I would learn that AK is still a drawing hand. About the best drawing hand you can have, but a drawing hand it is.

So I kept playing the freerolls and the playmoney tables. In my second freeroll I got 188th place, and could not have been happier. I was unaware of things like suckouts, dominated hands, position play, blind stealing and all the other things that a good player puts to use.

I would watch the higher limit tables. I picked a couple of the Leader Board players to watch, and also started watching the end of real money tournies here and there.

I had never played a real money game of Holdem. Ever. One day I was watching the end of a tourney and when it got down to 3 players they decided to chop it. They were having trouble coming up with the amounts each person would get. Round and round it went... what about this? What about that? No, nah. Jokingly I said, "One of you owes me $10 for sitting through this:)" I guess one of them got a kick out of it and he did indeed send me $10 real money.

WOW! I have a bankroll!

More rambling tomorrow.


Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Good news. Bad news.

The bad news first...

My laptop was sitting on the small table minding its own business like it usually does. It wasn’t bothering anyone. It was just sitting there waiting for me to fire up Poker Stars… Then it happened… Some idiot (read Me) knocked the table over and in very slow motion I see the beautiful laptop that only wants to let me sit on the comfortable couch while I play. It wants to save me from sitting in that damn office chair at the desk. It wants me to be able to stretch out or even lay down. That’s all it wants. So there it is falling backwards off the table (AGAIN!) last time I had to replace that proprietary AC adapter Dell uses. But wait the cord is caught on something… It’s turning… It’s going to land on the side… Uh, uh oh, that is where the wireless adapter is… After I picked it up I put it back on the table, plugged it back in and it started up fine?!? Whew, that was a close one. So, I thought, that was pretty lucky maybe I should log in and see if my good fortune will carry over to the tables.

Remember when I said “that is where the wireless adapter is”. Yep, dead, landed right on it and after I popped the laptop open I discovered it had pretty much crushed the card in to the slot and damaged the slot. Now I have to find out if that is repairable, or if I am stuck at the desk. Probably stuck at the desk.

Enough bad news…

On to the good news…

Some how IGGY found my blog and mentioned it on his site. An honor I hope I can live up to. If I can figure out how to put links on the side yours will be the first.

I will be putting up a real poker post telling about my beginnings soon. Would be great to hear from anyone...


Saturday, May 15, 2004

Cards in the air !

After reading many of the wonderful blogs that are out there currently, I thought it would be fun and educational to create my own. There are several that I read on a regular basis including PokerOdyssey, GuinessandPoker, CardSpeak and PokerWorks among others. There are many others (lots of free time at work), but those are the ones I read each day.

I do hope to make this a regularly updated blog, but it will depend on how much I think I am getting out of it. The main reason for doing this was from a post I read on PokerOdyssey... He said that writing about playing has helped his play a great deal. Now that sounds pretty great. My play can use some help.

Now on to my play. There is plenty to work on, but the top two things right now are table selection and opponent reading. Time and time again I read about the importance of table selection and getting good reads on people. I can usually pick out the maniac at the table or the ultra tight person, but there is so much more that I know I am not picking up.

Well I better get back to work (watching the game).


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