Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Sitting by the phone...

No, I'm not waiting for a date to call, unless it's Shana Hiatt telling me I've won the contest to play the "Bad Boys" of poker....

I've got my co-workers willing to cover me tomorrow from 2pm to 6pm in case nature calls and I'm forced to be away from my phone. That 5 day vacation to Vegas would be so sweet.....

Tougher on the Weekdays

I'm pretty sure my success on weekend days and limited success and some failures during the weekdays are no coincidence. Last night, I knew I'd be in for a tough session due to the astounding cards I was dealt yesterday. My instincts were proven correct when my KQs got thumped on the river by 7,3 offsuit when the runner-runner straight showed up.

I finished down $32, which isn't to catastrophic. I'm not sure if that small loss will appease the cash-out curse gods, but I sure hope so. I'll have more evidence tonight as I'm sure I'll end up playing during the WTP show from 9 to 11.

I did actually watch Pauly from Tao of Poker play a bit during his WPT qualifier tournament. I couldn't watch too long, but you can read about his attempt at stardom here: Tao of Poker

Tuesday, March 30, 2004

When Things Go Good

Went back to the 1/2 tables last night for about 2 hours. Managed to play with roughly the same discipline as I did yesterday at the 5/10 and it paid off. Not to mention the fact that 3 of my wired pairs matched up on the flop. Finished up with a net gain of $87.

Since my required bankroll at the 1/2 tables is $400, I decided to cash out $100 each time my bankroll blossoms to over $500. I hope it happens often, but today was the first day I could actually do it. I hope to avoid the cashout curse as well as I avoided the home game host's curse last week.

Starting point: -2100
Current status: -1653

Monday, March 29, 2004

RSS Feed

I've added an RSS feed to this blog, simply clicking the link at the above right should subscribe you. That should increase my readership from 0 to non-zero. An infinite gain!

Weekend Update

You know, I told myself not to do it, but I couldn't help it.

I spent the bulk of Saturday and Sunday morning getting my great starting hands busted by people who were just throwing their money at the flop for no apparent reason. AA, AK, AQ, you name it. Crushed. And yes, I let it get to me. I started playing their game instead of mine and found myself down $75 at the 1/2 tables.

Solution #1: Play at the no-limit tables.

Result #1: I put in $25 at 1 table and didn't make much headway. That is, until I had AQ with an Axx flop. Bet decent after the flop and was called by 1 other player. Turn is nothing, and I go all in. Called. River is a J and my opponent is holding AJ. Goodbye $25. So I went to a $50 no-limit table. Basically the same results, and I'm now down $150 for the weekend.

Solution #2: Play at the 5/10 tables.

Result #2: Well, this is exactly the type of behavior I swore off, yet I found myself doing it yet again. This time, the 5/10 betting seemed very steep after over a week of 1/2. So I played tight. As in super-tight. As in walnut-crushing-sphincter tight. The first good hand I was dealt was KQ suited. I lost on the river. But it didn't phase me. I still folded Ax offsuit with x below 10. This paid off when I saw the flop with AJ. The flop was 9,10,Q. At this point, I have a straight draw with A over card. Turn comes A, and 1 other player goes crazy. At first I'm thinking K.J for him, but was willing to see the river. River is trash and I call his next $10 bet. He shows A,5 and I take it down. That's exactly why I really have to be disciplined and throw away those A5, A6, etc. hands. They just win you a little and lose you a lot.

End of story sees me win $265 at the 5/10 table putting me back up $115 for the weekend. Back to the 1/2 tables again for a while.....I hope.

Quest update:

Starting point: -2100
Current point: - 1740

Friday, March 26, 2004

Home Game Fun

First the results: Up $168

Second the commentary: For those of you who play online, do you find that when you transition back to a live game there is so much more information available to you? What I mean is that while playing with live people in front of you, there are so many tells people give away that it actually makes your decision making process much easier. Since I began playing online, the wealth of extra information at live games has become so much more obvious to me.

Mike Caro's book about poker tells is a great source of adding an extra weapon to your poker arsenal. My favorite is the "sitting back with arms folded" tell. It basically means that player has a great hand and is not worried about what you may do betting-wise. It's amazing how many people subconsciously find themselves in this position, not even knowing it. I've even caught myself doing it, then sitting up straight, hoping nobody saw my tell. At our home games, people frequently show their cards after the hand, and so far this tell has been the most reliable.

Last night also was the first night we got to use my new chips. We actually used to use cash and toss paper money into the pots. This has it's benefits and drawbacks. At the beginning of the night, there is no buy-in, and at the end, there is no cash-out; just take what you have left home. However, we play many hi/lo games with 2 winners and splitting the pot is a nightmare when we're using cash. We voted that using the chips sped up the splitting of the pots enough to overcome the buy-in/cash-out delays, and the sheer fun of splashing, stacking, and simply using real clay chips was well worth it.

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Back on Track

As Godsmack like to say..."Back, back, back on track, get off a my back. Yeah."

Next time I quote some metal, I'll leave it up to the 0 readers out there to guess what song it's from.

Anway, won $32 today online in about 2 hours while watching WPT. Anybody else do that? If I'm only playing one table, I need to be doing something else to take my mind off the boredom of folding the crap that I'm usually dealt.

In home game news, I'll be hosting a home game tomorrow. The best part will be the fact that I can use my newly purchased clay chips. They arrived today, 500 chips ready to be splashed around frivolously. I hope to avoid the hosting curse wherein whomever hosts gets nailed to the wall by their invitees. Happens all to often around these parts.

For an hour before the WPT show, I spent time teaching my wife how to play Hold 'em. Well needless to say after I flopped the nut straight, she went on to river me with a full house. God bless her. Those who can't, teach.

In depth analysis of K,K vs. 6,4

I guess you could say that I get a little peeved when I get rivered by an obviously inferior hand, so I figured I'd analyze my favorite hand from last night. The betting up until the river card is shown is me either raising or betting followed by simple calls by my opponent, who I shall call "Maroon".

Me: Ks, Kd
Maroon: 6c, 4s

Pre-flop, my chances of winning this hand is 82.87% according to some evaluation software that I have. Yet still at this point out of over 1.7 million combinations of boards, there are still 286,560 boards that let him win. I guess he knew that and continued to call me.

Flop comes 6s, 3c, 2d

My chances of winning drop to only 66.46% and now there are only 320 remaining possible combinations that give him the win.

Turn is 10h.

My chances sky rocket back to 79.55% and he has only 9 outs according to my software: 2 sixes, 4 fives, and 3 fours.

River is a 5. Sweet joy. Not.

My software evaluates the result thusly:

Me: %win 0.00
Maroon: %win 100.00

4 out of 5 ain't bad

Had a losing session tonight of $50. Just couldn't catch the cards on the flop. My first 4 AQ's and AK's were shot down. Had a KK rivered by a 6,4 offsuit. Just wasn't happening. Managed to make a comeback late, but ended up drifting down again. Saw my table evolve from very loose to very tight and adjusted my play accordingly. But as they say "just didn't get the cards."

Tuesday, March 23, 2004


I feel way impressed with my ability to add Haloscan comments as well as a link to email me. The email link must be de-spamified, but I'm sure the tech-savvy among you will figure it out, if need be by trial-and-error. :)

Please feel free to contact me for tournament play. I'd be happy to donate my money to a worthy cause.

Monday, March 22, 2004

A little of this and a little of that

Won a massive $22 today in about 3 hours of play. Could have won about $50 more if a few more things went my way, but alas such is Hold 'em. Remind me never to complain about a winning session.

Spent most of the time watching TiVo'd Headbanger's Ball episodes. Great stuff. The best video for sure is Drowning Pool's "Step Up." Sweet looking babes in that one. Sweet.

Sunday, March 21, 2004

End of Day Summary

Ok, for the purposes of documenting progress and the inevitable failings of my quest:

Starting point: -2100
Current status: -1840

Big Pots

Well, I was down again, about $60 at a 1/2 table, having 3 straight set flops go belly up against rivered straights. Then I said to myself, "self, these are the players you want in the game."

So, my 4th pair dealt to me flops a set (4,4) but of course along come with it a straight and a flush draw. Well, not again....

Man, 4th time is the charm for everything today. Board pairs a 10, the straight draw becomes open-ended and I walk away with a $43 pot, 4's over 10's.

Then, when I limp in w/7,8 diamonds only to see A,K,4, of diamonds on the flop, I think I may have another pot. But my luck dictates that a 4th diamond will show and someone will be holding the 9,10,J, or Q.

Well, no more diamonds show up, and people chase my flush to the tune of $25. In minutes I'm back even.

I figured out that in my previous foray at the 5/10 tables, such behavior of losing with trips 3 times in a row coupled with roughly a $300 net loss used to throw me for a loop. My play would suffer greatly as I'd become impatient. One time I remember simply moving to a 15/30 table instead. Brilliant! Now, at the 1/2 tables, a $50 loss - equivalent to a $250 loss at the 5/10's - doesn't throw me on tilt. Even more Brilliant!

9,9 Revisited

Update on the 9,9....

Looks like 4th time is the charm. Rivered a 3rd 9 with a straight draw out there, but based on the betting knew noone had the straight. Like I say, patience is key...

Update to update :)

5th time worked too. Raised pre-flop and got called down to the river, but I kept up the betting and it was folds all around.

Make that 6th....flopped a set, and had someone raising into my bets. The flop was Q,9,4 rainbow. I began to worry about QQ so I began to call after 4th street. Lucky for me, the other person had 4,4. Schwing.

I hate 9,9

Ok, well 9,9 ain't so good a starting hand for me today. Got it 3 times and in all three ended up with a loss. Once it was to 4 queens. Nice.

Anyway, to progess my current status towards my unattainable goal:

Starting point of project: -2100
Current status: -1943

I'm not sure how much playing time I'll have the rest of the day since I have my kids and it's very sunny out. Also, I really need to install Unreal Tournament 2004....

Saturday, March 20, 2004

Definition of the Goal

The key phrase tonight is "This is not my flop." In a 3 1/2 hour time frame at Party Poker at a 1/2 table, I went from being down $87 to up $70. Very decent comeback fueled by tight play and morons who will call a pre-flop raise with J,8 offsuit. God bless them.

I used to think I could play at the 5/10 tables with a limited bank roll. This is no longer true. Perhaps it was never true. Ok, I'm sure it never was. The last 9 months saw me lose a good $2k at these tables, having been up close to $1k at one point. Still, I had too small a bankroll to survive the variation of Texas Hold 'em at those betting levels.

So, my goal is to recoup that large loss at the 1/2 tables.....

Can it be done? Stay tuned.....

Intro, of sorts...

I began looking at poker blogs after one of the sites I frequent WWdN linked to the Guinness fueled poker blog Guinness and Poker.

Ah yes, a community that I could understand. Poker.

Well, at this point in time, I'd played for a few years off-line. And about 9 months on-line, many that I'd like to forget.....