Wednesday, December 20, 2006

How to Double Your Bankroll in 3 Hours AKA Live Poker is my Bitch

Damn the real job. I've been working fairly dilligently, as I'm outta here at noon Friday and am not coming back until Jan 2nd or 3rd (haven't decided yet), and I don't really want to come back to a bunch of junk, so I'm trying to knock it out and walk outta there with a clear conscience. So I haven't felt like blogging when I got home.

Anyway, its really cramping my blog reading and blogging style. So you get an excerpt from my email to Jorgen, slightly enhanced, reporting on my unbelievable cash game session from Saturday.

I'll be damned if this poker experience didn't actually live up to expectations and was actually everything it was cracked up to be. I was starting to get antsy when I was about 4-5 hours through the session and I was basically spinning my wheels, but boy did things change.

I ended up heading out a little earlier than I was planning because I was bored sitting at home with the little lady already having left to go out w/the girls. But in the end it didn't matter because I stayed later than I had planned (thank you, Red Bull at 1:30 AM). So, after some Empress Chicken and a Red Bull on the way to the casino at about 8:30 I got a seat at 1/2 NL at 9:07. The first 5 hours are literally not worth talking about. Three things happened. An hour or two in, I made a great call all the way through a board with decent draws with an overpair of 10s. I was up about $60. FOREVER. Then I bet an AQo $20 preflop, $20 on a JQ-high flop, and then $40 on the 9 turn, where I got raised all-in. I had invested $80 to this point, and he had me covered. It was this old greek codger with a bad attitude who was relatively new to the table, and I had missed the one hand he played when I was in the pisser so I had NO idea what to put him on. I had to lay it down figuring he had JJ or the straight. He told me he had KQ, and I have no reason not to believe him. So the money I lost and the equity I had in the hand burned me for about an hour, but he did have outs, so I very well could've gone broke, too. Then finally in about the 5th hour I pick up and bet AKo preflop in the BB against this guy who was drunk and could have been playing any two, on a junk flop, and on the turn. When the river still didn't hit I gave up and checked. We'd been betting $15 the whole way and on the river he puts on this show looking me up and down going "So you didn't hit your AK. What can you call? You've gotta be able to call $10, right? You have to call $10. ...Right?" So he bets $10. I hem and haw for a while and eventually call because he's drunk, because I wanna see what he has, because its $10 into a $100 pot, and because I very well could have him beat. He shows AQ, and commends me on my call. I commend him on his clever river ploy. He was a cool guy, and we were all having a great time. So anyway, we played 7-handed for quite a while, and at this point we were playing 5-handed and had been for...well...for longer than you'd really care to play 5-handed live poker. I was just biding my time until I could take money from the two drunk guys at the table, but I'd have really liked to have been playing at a full table. But I figured full table = more chips, but as long as we're playing 5-handed I might as well be playing against two drunk guys with 200-300 in their stacks. Anyway, finally the AQ drunk guy calls the floor over and says he doesn't wanna play 5-handed anymore, and he's only playing one more orbit. I pipe up and agree, and at about 2:30 our table breaks and fill the other two 1/2 NL tables. This whole time I hadn't got cards worth talking about (Ace-rag, 6-4, 10-6, unsuited connectors), or hadn't cashed big on the hands I did make, but I knew I could stay there as long as I needed to to hit my rush, so it was really easy to be patient, pick my spots, and just watch the play. I scooped pots here and there to plateau whether I was up or down or at my buy-in, but my biggest moves were up to $160, down as low as $60, and back up to about $110. So, after 5 1/2 hours, I was looking forward to a change of scenery and 9 other stacks to go after.

Well, it didn't take long. By 2:45 I was winning. I won a moderate sized pot, but I'll be damned if I can't remember anything about the hand. It might have been AA holding up. The very next hand I find 88 in LP, limp, and see a beautiful 8AJ action flop. There's an early bet, I raise, and then the other drunk guy from my former table moves all-in for his last $80. He was involved in the previous pot I was in and seemed to be making a stand. Other player folds, of course I call and he shows an ace with like a 6 kicker, and after the turn he's drawing dead. Mission accomplished on busting a drunk guy. The very next hand I find JQ suited. There's a pretty small PF raise from another guy at my former table and I go ahead and call with position (I fold if its not suited). The flop comes Q-high and I call another bet. The turn is a J and I call again. The river is a 5 and he moves all-in for like another $40 or something and I call. He's got Q5 and hit 2 pair on the river. My two pair is better. Three winning hands in a row, and about a $200-300 profit to show for it. A little further down the line I've got AQ and smooth call a raise with it in the small blind. The flop comes QQx. We check the flop. The turn is a K. The PF raiser bets, and I raise. UTG calls, PF raiser folds, UTG calls. The river is meaningless. I bet, UTG moves all-in for prolly like $80. I stew over it for a couple minutes because I'm afraid he's got KQ, but finally decide I can't lay it down. He's got Q 10 and I'm raking the pot. I won more hands I don't remember, but from 2:45-3:45 I took my stack from ~$110 to $550ish. Then between 3:45 and 5:10 I won another $200, with a couple more sets and other hands I just can't remember. I know there were a couple of AKs in there, somewhere (either before or in this period) there was an AA that held up, a set of 6s I flopped and had to actually double check to make sure I had because I couldn't believe it. On top of all that, I was trying to mix up my play sometimes (limped w/AK a time or two) to keep chips headed my way. But the table just would not believe me when I was in a hand for some reason. It was a perfect table for my playing style and they were paying me off better than I could've ever imagined. There was one guy who had about $800 in play when I sat at that table, and when I left that had been cut in about half, and most of 'em came my way. In the middle of it all I sat at $650 for a handfull of orbits and wanted to make 50 more dollars to get to $700 and get outta there, and then I'll be damned if I didn't nail trip queens again and made over $50 on that hand. I played for a few more orbits and scooped a pot or two, but when the replay of the ISU vs. Bradley game from Saturday afternoon on ESPNU got over, it was 5 AM, I was starting to crash from my 1:30 Red Bull boost, and I had $749 in chips, I decided the stars were pretty aligned for my leaving and the only way I'm going from here is down, so much to the dismay of the table, I racked em up and called it a night.

$650 profit, which more than doubled my entire bankroll. So that's an OK win. ;-) I've got $950 in my B&M roll, and about $300 in my online roll, so I'm starting to get deep. Of course, if I'm gonna take a shot at the Circuit Event and be able to come back and maintain my monitary level of play, I'd still like to keep building. But at this point I'm actually starting to feel like it would be really hard to go broke, which I've NEVER had the pleasure of feeling before. And of course, I'm laughing in the face of the poker gods by reporting this publically, so I'm sure I'll now go straight broke in very short order.

Live poker just comes so naturally to me. When I'm playing live I feel like I can't lose. As long as I maintain my patience and play my game, all I have to do is let everyone else make their mistakes. I can't believe how you can go 20-30 hands w/o playing and then when you come in raising you still get people calling you with bad hands. I can see it online because its harder to pay that much attention, but I would sit out 2 or 3 orbits on Saturday night right in front of 7-10 people and then when I come in raising and show down nothing but good hands, people would still play with me. Of course this wouldn't fly at higher levels, but I'll cross that bridge when I get there. Plus, I know I sound like a broken record talking about this, but the people reading just comes naturally to me. I'd never be able to write a book on poker tells, but I have a natural instinct that I can't explain of being able to tell when someone's weak and when someone's strong. I felt like a real poker player Saturday night. I sat at a poker table for 8 hours patient, disciplined, and vigilant, and came away with 6 1/2 more buy-ins than I started with. Sometimes I stop and wonder if I just hit a lucky rush and I can't take credit for the big win. Well, I did hit a lucky rush, but at the same time, in order to get to that rush, I had to fold for FIVE HOURS, and I think I can be proud of myself for having that discipline, because a lot of players wouldn't have that patience to even get to the point where they were seeing the cards. Hell, I saw several players come in, try and force wins out of bad cards, complain about their luck, and leave $200-300 on the table. I could've done that just as easily, but I came to grind it out, I grinded it out, and I was rewarded with a run of cards. It feels like that's what its all about, but any more experienced players out there can enlighten me on their feelings on this subject if they'd like.

Anyway, its all fun and games until I experience some live variance and have to invest 3 or 4 buy-ins before I finally decide its a losing session, but for now I'm just gonna live large and be proud of the win.

So, now that my big live objective is in the books with a mission accomplished, I now focus on 5-6 days off next week where my main objective will be poker. I'll probably play mostly online, but it would probably be in my best interest to get out and put in a couple of live sessions as well. I should probably play the Tuesday tourney at the casino and then hopefully there will be some fruitful cash games when that's over. My big goal is to hit the $1300-$1400 mark and actually move into the black on life (which will be a very proud accomplishment for me considering how much I hate myself for what I did in 2005 and early 2006), but of course I'd like to very much surpass that and concrete my ability to head to Council Bluffs and give the Circuit Event a run. Before all is said and done, that will probably also mean another big Friday or Saturday night session like this one sometime in January, so hopefully with about 30 days to go I can get plenty deep to take some shots at the WSOP and not feel too much of a sting to the bankroll, and get back to the grind after taking a shot.

But as I've been doing since I started to really focus on becoming a winning player, I'm going to continue taking it one step at a time, and the next steps are to hit that illustrious "winner for life" mark two years after I started playing for real money, and to be sure to stay disciplined in many hours of poker between Christmas and New Year's and keep things trending upward.

That's probably it for me between now and Christmas, so anyone who reads this be sure to have a happy holiday, and a nice break from work, safe travels, and good luck on the felt as hopefully the donkeys are out in full force blowing their Christmas bonuses.

Check ya.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Trending Upward

Well I'm WAY behind on reading and have yet to even get to WPBT trip reports yet, but I just have to blog before I forget everything that's happened.

Since Dec. 1, when I deposited $50 at Mansion, I have made $420. $280 of it was made online in $5 and $10 SNGs and $.25/.50 NL cash. Not only am I VERY comfortable at this level, and are players giving me buy-ins with reckless abandon, but I'm actually *very* close to being appropriately bankrolled for this level! I made about $40 at our poker night on Friday, attributed to 2 baby cashes in tournaments and some cash game winnings. And then Sunday I ventured out to the casino for a little $1/2 NL, where I managed to double my $100 buy-in.

So...all is good. Poker gods, you just simmer down. I'm not getting cocky, I'm just simply reporting on what's been going on.

Last Friday I was home for the day. I played a couple of different sessions, and I'll be damned if it wasn't the first time I believe I've won on a day off. In the morning I managed to take my $220 and turn it into $270. This win can all be attributed to cash games, as players just couldn't help but dump buy-ins to me. I played one $10 MTT that I was really excited to play well in and win (the 67 person field was quite ripe for the taking), but my hopes were dashed early when I flopped a set of 2s on an all heart board, and when I pushed, I was called by the ace of hearts, and his flush fell on the turn. That was dirty, but at least it was early. I also played in a $10 SNG, which I don't recall making much of a splash in. But I had doubled my buy-in in one cash game, and the $20 win at another cash table covered my tourney losses. I then took a break for lunch, and went back at it again. I popped open another cash game and another $10 SNG. This time in the SNG I went out the very first hand when my 10 10 got all in against QQ. I was hoping for AK or AQ, but obviously missed on my read there. At this point I got mad at myself for donking off $33 in buy-ins at the $10 level when I was killing the $5 level. But I wasn't *that* mad, because yet again, I was killing the cash game. With about 2 hours until I was due to leave for poker night, I decided to give one more SNG a try to try and get the monkey off my back. I came from 6th out of 6 left to win that one, and the $45 cash gave me a $1 profit at the $10 level, and enough to take me off ten dollar tilt. Meanwhile, I had cashed about $20 in cash games, to bring my 2nd session profit total to $50 again. So that's a $100 online Friday, and had me in a good mood headed off to poker night.

I don't need to get too deep into the details of poker night, although I made a couple of solid critical plays for some cash, the structure is too disgusting for anything to really matter. After a poor start in the first tourney which amounted to winning one single hand and then blinding out around the middle of the pack, I had some decent hands hold up for a nice cash game win, then took 3rd and 2nd in the last two tourneys. Second would've paid decent earlier in the night, but we only had 9 players for the last tourney. Regardless, its always nice to win a little pocket change at poker night.

Sunday the wife headed out home for some baking, and I decided I'd head out and have a go at the Sunday noon tournament bustees at the local casino. My buddy and I got seats at the $1/2 NL table that was just kicking up at about 12:45, and it was off to the races.

I lost somewhere in the neighborhood of $50 on the very first hand when my KJ in the SB paired a 10 X J flop, then rivered a K-high straight, only to lose to an unraised preflop AK that had turned the nuts. I bet the pot when I hit top pair second kicker on the flop, but it wasn't enough to chase out the drawer two seats to my left. We checked the turn (Q), and then he raised my $15 bet on the river 9 and I paid him off, knowing I was only beat by AK, and with no preflop raise, I couldn't put him on it. I was disappointed, but I think I probably lost the least amount possible in the hand, and he got ridiculously lucky to have me on a hand I couldn't get away from. That's poker. Time to get to work.

Thankfully I didn't have to wait but a couple of revolutions until I picked up AA in the big. I raised to $7 preflop and got at least 6 callers, which I wasn't thrilled about. With a small raise like that you know you're gonna get some callers, but that is a LOT of hands that could crack my aces. The flop came XQK rainbow, and I immediately moved my short stack in. I believe it was only a little bit more than the pot. Immediately after I moved in I realized that it would have been simple for someone to have called preflop w/QK, and I felt like I had just done myself in. But the story ends well, as your hero doubles through one player who didn't show down, and picks up all the preflop action as well, which put me up over my $100 buy-in.

The next big hand happened a few more times around the table later when I picked up 68c UTG. I have really been experimenting with suited gappers lately, and a recent article I read said its a good hand to raise UTG if you feel like getting tricky. Well, I felt like getting tricky, but was too much of a wimp to raise, so really what happened was I was playing a terrible hand out of position. And I paid the price when the flop came 6 4 8, I bet, was raised all-in by UTG+1, was happy to call, only to see his pocket 8s. A 7 of clubs gave me some hope on the turn, then a river 6 gave me the third nuts. Which, of course, lost to the nuts. And I'm down to about $30. This hand is irritating because I had no business in it, but chances are even if I had raised it like I was "supposed to", the 8s would've stayed with me and the result would've been the same. Of course the obvious answer is to fold the hand, but I didn't do that this time, so cest la vie.

By the time I played my next hand, I was hovering around the $25 mark, and was looking for a hand to push with. Of course, I could've chipped up to $100, but that's just not how I roll. I wanted to either win my way back or bust and rebuy. Here I picked up AKc in the big blind, and pushed my last $25 or so. I got 3 callers, the flop brought an ace, and my hand held up. And I'm back in the game. At this point I never looked back.

Up, Up, Up
I eventually picked up KK again in the BB, which saw a raise from the table's resident LAG. I re-raised her, and she called. The flop actually came Ace-high, which I hated, but knew I was up against the one opponent who could easily not have an ace. Regardless, after going into the tank for a while, I checked, and she checked behind. I think she thought she was catching me trying to slow play here, so I really had her right where I wanted her. The turn was a blank, I checked again (I know...weak), and she checked behind. The river was another blank, and here I made a weak bet (something like $20) at the decent sized pot. She thought for a while and min-raised me, and I had to pay it off. I was just looking to get out of the hand and with any luck take it down. I think she said she had a lower pocket pair. I know I couldn't have played this hand much worse, but I was just happy to take it down. After that I won another pot that turned out to be a decent size when I called a J-high, uncoordinated board down with nothing more than AK. I liked my play here as I limped my AK preflop UTG, and a donkey who was down about $175 made it 5 to go from MP. I think a couple more, including the crazy loose chick (poker loose, you perverts) called the $5, and we saw a J-high, uncoordinated flop. We checked around. On the turn 3, the MP donkey put his last $15 all-in reeking of weakness, LAG called, and I called. The turn was another blank, we checked down, and I took the pot w/AK high.

I'm only gonna pain you with one more hand, as it was a little bit interesting, and a little bit creepy. For about three table revolutions I had been hovering around the $190-195 mark. My buddy had gotten his ass handed to him for to the tune of 2 buy-ins (poor guy couldn't catch a break, it was pretty sick) and was gone, so I was looking to get to $200 and call it quits. But at the same time, I had a couple more hours I could've played and the action was pretty good if I could just get in a pot w/the right people, so I wasn't opposed to staying. Anyway, it comes to a point where I pick up A 10o on the button. I *always* take my two chips and toss them out, but for some reason this time I grabbed a stack to drop chips off the bottom of. Of course, in doing this, the chips were sticky and I manage to drop 3 instead of two. I pull back the other chip and let the action move on. I'd seen it happen a million times to other people, no big deal. Maybe it was because I didn't say call or something (even though I'm sure I probably did), but this time the dealer had issue with it and said that because I had dropped more than 2 chips, I had to raise. With a decent holding like A 10 on the button, being up, and not wanting to give away any information about my hand, I didn't much mind, so I tossed in the extra two chips. As did the other 4-5 people in the hand. I'm surprised nobody re-raised at this point, but that's a whole other line of thought. The flop came all low, and we miraculously checked around. Which had happened probably 2 times previously with more than 3 people in a pot. The turn is a 10. It checks around again, I fire a pot-sized bet and take it down. Upon counting my chips, I find $201. A dollar to the dealer, and I've hit my mark. Creepy, no? I, of course, stick around for my last 9 hands, during which I find nothing interesting, and walk away with my doubled buy-in. Just a weird turn of events that really seemed like it was trying to tell me that my work there was done.

So all-in-all a damn decent 3 1/2 hour session. I made one glaring mistake w/the 68c UTG limp hand, but luckily some big hands held up for me and I was able to pull out a win. Did I play well enough to deserve a winning session? I'd like to think so, as I definitely made some plays and reads here and there. But I certainly thank the poker gods for plenty of good fortune as well. As I've said before, I really feel like I'm in my element playing live. I couldn't bullet point specifics, but I have a much better feel for the table than playing online. I have *always* had a natural talent at reading people in a general sense, and I find it simple to apply at a live table. Take, for instance, the hand where I called the small turn all-in w/just AK. Online I'd have never done that, giving the player credit for the J or any other pair. But live it was a pretty easy call based on the my general feel for how he got his money in, which resulted in about a $40 win. There are dozens of little things like that that I couldn't explain but I'm able to exploit when I'm playing live, so I really really like it.

That said, I'm finally taking an opportunity next Saturday night to test my "cherry picking the drunks" theory. I'm gonna take a nice long nap Saturday sometime, and then head out to the casino about 10 or 11 PM and play until I'm blue in the face. The idea is that hopefully by going out at that time I'll get into it with the more casual crowd that is out for a fun Saturday night, having some drinks, and spewing chips in the process. Meanwhile, I'll be there with my A game with my sights set directly on their stacks. Basically, its the same as going and playing in Vegas against tourists *anytime*, only my best opportunity is probably Friday or Saturday night here in the heart of the midwest.

So I'm REALLY looking forward to that. Until then, a little bit of online action this week, and hopefully things will continue to go well.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Much Better...

You know those "big scores" I was talking about yesterday that I couldn't quite bring home?

Yeah...well...put a big checkmark next to those.

Last night I bought into a .25/.50 NL game on Mansion, and in the blink of an eye was down $30. But I made sure to keep myself no lower than $45 at the table, and just tried to persevere. I eventually picked up A10 in LP and limped. The flop came A 10 Q w/2 spades, and I raised an MP bettor big to try and take it down. Both left in the hand stayed with me, so I was on alert. I honestly don't remember the rest of the hand, but the bottom line is that miraculously one had a pair and the other missed their draw and I won a $35 pot. Eventually I pick up pocket aces on the button. I preflop RE-raise from $2 to $6, and the original raiser calls along with a player that I pegged immediately two days ago as a bluffer/donkey. And yet somehow I hadn't seen him with less than $80 at a .25/.50 table, generally over $100.

That was about to change.

The flop comes a "couldn't be any more beautiful" Ace-high rainbow. It was almost *too* nice, and I was afraid I couldn't get paid off. But the original raiser goes ahead and fires a continuation bet of about $6, which gets called by bluffer and by me. The turn is another harmless card. First guy checks, bluffer checks, and I bet about 1/2 the pot. I lose the original raiser, but bluffer calls. The river is a 5, and with no flush possibilities and I don't think any straight possibilities, I may actually have the nuts. Bluffer bets, I raise, he re-raises, and I re-raise all-in. He eventually calls and shows J5o. JACK. FIVE. OFF. I didn't review the hand, but I'm pretty sure he didn't have trips, and I'm positive there wasn't a jack on the board.

That's right, folks, he pulled the ever so illustrious "bluff call" on me.

So here I am...$180. But I didn't stack him. His remaining $.71 went in on the next hand but didn't hold up.

A couple hands later the poker gods have the nerve to deal me pocket kings. I make a preflop raise and its called in a few places. I flopped a set again, and when all was said and done I had $211.

I ended my session at $213, bringing my bankroll to $220.

So, no more complaining for me for the immediate future. But I have to be sure now that I'm a little deep again that I stay disciplined. I'm going to stay at the .25/.50 level for now because its quite lucrative and fits *better* within my bankroll, even though its still technically above where I should be playing. But I think I could win just as much here as I can at .50/1 because the play is just SO bad. I just have to pick my spots and hope I don't get drawn out on when I pick up my hands.

I also played in a SNG last night. It wasn't a $10 because that would've taken too long to fill with the limited time frame I had. It was a good thing, as I bubbled in 4th. I never got a whole lot of early momentum, but with the good structure I eventually hit a run of cards in 6th out of 6 that propelled me to 3rd and some shoutin' chips. We got down to 4, and were just passing chips around the table. I spent time as the leader, then time as the dog, and then back to the leader, and obviously eventually out. Its the second SNG in a row where the bubble took FOREVER. Four players for probably 35 minutes. That does not suit me well, as bubble play is probably my biggest SNG weakness. But I'm not complaining, I love the play. I didn't really play badly to bubble, its just that I couldn't win a couple of coin flips to take players out, and when I should have been good with some decent A-high hands to take out short stacks, they were waking up w/pocket pairs or a 40% hand like JK. And for that matter, nobody else could whack a short stack either. So its always disappointing to bubble, but that's just the way they fell this time. I probably could've done better, but I'm not gonna dwell on it. I was busy winning $130 playing cash.

I have tomorrow off which hopefully means some serious hours, and then our monthly home game tomorrow night which I ALWAYS look forward to.

But for now, off to drink!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Big Blind Special...Like, "Helmet" Special

This might be the sickest river card I've ever had the displeasure of dealing with.

Mansion Poker - .25/.50 NL
Seat 1: MP2(53.18)
Seat 2: Cutoff(84.13)
Seat 3: Button(3.97)
Seat 5: SB(25.50)
Seat 6: WindBreak247(36.05)
Seat 7: UTG(102.53)
Seat 8: UTG+1(14.55)
Seat 9: Villian(61.90)

SB posts small blind (0.25)
WindBreak247 posts big blind (0.50)
WindBreak247 is dealt down [Ts Kd]
Villian calls (0.50)
Cutoff calls (0.50)
Button calls (0.50)
SB calls (0.50)
WindBreak247 checks - I'm not in love with this hand preflop and happy to check.
flop: [3s 5d Th]
SB checks
WindBreak247 bets (2.40) - Pretty damn nice board for this hand, so I'll bet the pot and see what develops. I'm happy to keep playing or take it down.
Villian calls (2.40) - This guy has shown some moxxy, so I'll be wary, but I *really* like where I'm at.
Everyone Else Folds
turn: [Tc]
WindBreak247 checks - Obviously I'm pretty sure I've got the best hand (I'm only scared of 33, 55, 10s, and A10), but I'd like to see where Villian is at.
Villian checks - Now I'm positive I've got the best hand.
river: [5h]
WindBreak247 bets (3.15) - I'm now only losing to pocket fives. I bet about half the pot, because first and foremost I want a call. But I think he's got a 5 here and I'm about to double through him.
Villian raises to (59) and is all-in - This came disturbingly fast
WindBreak247 says: "pocket 5s?"
WindBreak247 says: "that'd be sick"
WindBreak247 calls (33.15) and is all-in - I absolutely cannot fold the nut full house, can I???
Villian is refunded (25.85)
Villian shows [5s 5c] for four of a kind, fives
WindBreak247 shows [Ts Kd] for a full house, tens full of fives

Turns out this guy was ahead of me the entire way. Could I have played it in a manner where I'd have been able to get away from it, or is this just one of those disgusting hands that you have to deal with every few thousand hands?

Anyway, in spite of that hand, I took a very minor loss last night. I lost about $43 in cash, but I played two SNGs, taking 1st and 2nd (have I told you I love the Mansion SNGs?), and cleared a piece of my bonus (which I know shouldn't technically count), which left me about $7 down for the night.

Cash was (obviously) a struggle, as I took my lumps and waited patiently to make a big score but never quite did. I lost another sick $20-25 hand involving a flush on the river that villian had NO odds to chase after the flop and I didn't put him on at ALL, and also had my flopped set of 9s outrun by an obvious flush on the turn (I got away), and had flopped trips w/a K in my hand get outrun by a 4-flush on the river (I couldn't have played this hand worse, and just paid a small bet on the river to prove it). But in general I feel very comfortable at the table, have a pretty good feel for where I'm at any given hand, and if I'm patient, I can get them right where I want them.

The 2nd SNG I played in was unreal. Even I hated myself as I luckboxed my way out of the jaws of death FOUR times. I sucked out as a 60% dog for my tourney life when the board made a 4-flush with my K against Ax. I sucked out for my tourney life w/88 against 99 when the board came K 10 K 10 J. I sucked out for my tourney life w/A4 vs. QQ when the board came 356-7-Q. And finally, I sucked out as a 60% dog again when my Q10 paired a 10 against Ax. I'm not gonna apologize for the suckouts, though. Just the poker universe attempting to level itself out, and a little karma cashout. I should've won it, as my heads up opponent was nobody to write home about, but when a river card made me 2 pair and my opponent a straight, that was all she wrote.

I have a definite advantage in these SNGs, as most other players seem to not have the patience allowed by a SNG that actually has some play in it. This is especially apparent in the early stages, and then again in heads up. I feel like giving a $10 one a shot, simply because I think it'd be a +EV move, plus the things take 80-90 mins, so you can't play as many. But we shall see. So far I've invested $33 and cashed $58.50, and I'd like to keep it that way.

Thats plenty for today. I'm completely jealous of all you bloggers leaving over the next 2-3 days to head out to Vegas. Hope you all have a blast, and can't wait to hear of the debauchery.

Saturday, December 02, 2006


Well, I just busted out of my first blogger tourney in 31st out of 132 after a stellar performance.

"Stellar?" you say?

"But you got 31st. That's not great."

Well, I spent most of the tournament in the top 10, and of that time in the top 10, at least half of it in the top 5. At this point we're about an hour and 35 mins in, and I had spent the first hour and 15 mins or so in the top 10.

I went into a card-dead spell, but was hanging around the middle of the field, below the average, but w/more than 10 big blinds in my stack. I was perfectly fine with this situation.

And then THIS happened.

I'm dealt K7o in the big, and miraculously only the chip leader calls on the button. I happily check. The flop comes QK5. I check, to see what the button thinks about the flop. The button min-bets, and I call. The turn is another 5, counterfeiting my kicker. At this point I have less in my stack than what is in the pot, so I push it, happy to split, but hoping the button is on a Q. The button was NOT on a Q as she insta-calls and rolls the nuts on me. Just sick. Looking at it, there's pretty much no possible way I could've gotten her off her hand or not gotten all my chips in, so I guess that's about the only piece of mind I can take away. I suppose I *maybe* could've collected the blinds by pushing, but there's pretty much no way I'm ever doing that in this situation.

I was excited to get the field down to 30 as our table would've broken and I was hoping a change of scenery would help me out. Ironically, the table broke when I busted.

With 18 to go and 10 paying, our boy Lightning36 is still hanging around the bubble. I'm sure he won't have a problem working his way into the money. HERE is the tourney results page, so be sure to check on him.

Man, I felt like this tourney was poised to bail me out of my busto, but I'm done in, yet again, by a sick turn of events.

Oh well...on to the rest of the weekend in the real world!

Quickie Update & BPT Freeroll Today!

I'm gonna do this bullet style so hopefully I won't get too long-winded.

-Wanna get this out of the way first for those who can't make it through one of my miserable posts. Blogger Poker Tour freeroll in an hour and a half at You probably can still play if you start the signup process now. This will be my first blogger tourney, and the money is very important now, so I'm extremely excited to make my blogger tourney debut!! Come join us!!

-Went broke yesterday afternoon at Was a little anxious about it, but more-or-less was tired of the absolutely shitty play in the $2 SNGs anyway.

-I'm a fucking idiot and left what turned out to be my last $11 at on the table when I signed up for the $11 6-handed SNG where the winner gets a $60 ticket, forgot about it, and no-showed. REALLY pissed at myself about this.

-Signed up w/Poker Savvy at TripJax advice and downloaded Mansion through them.

-Went to work on Mansion w/just a $50 deposit from my B&M bankroll. I'm working off the 100% deposit bonus, and trying to clear $10 (says Jax) or $20 (says Savvy) rake to get my $90 from Poker Savvy. Ridiculously awesome bonuses.

-I like their SNGs. There is a LOT of play in them, and I find myself with a big advantage. Bubbled the first cuz I'm an idiot, won the 2nd because I was playing idiots, had my AA cracked by Q3 in the third (more on that later), and couldn't get anything going in the fourth.

-Lost $25 winning 0 out of 64 hands in .25/.50 NL, then won $16 in .10/.20. With the SNG win, ended up 90 cents up at Mansion yesterday.

-Today I made over $60 in .25/.50 and have my Mansion bankroll over the century mark. I'm quite happy.

-Had my AA cracked in a SNG in a chip lead vs 2nd in chips confrontation. With blinds at 75/150, I raised to 500 in the BB. Chip lead stays with me. Flop comes 8-high, two diamonds. I bet the pot, chip lead calls. Turn is an offsuit Q. I push my last 1k and chip lead calls and rolls Q3 w/the flush draw...not that he needed it. Aint nothing you can do about that.

-I sat down at the juciest .25/.50 game and bought in for $50. A couple hands in I pick up a red AK suited in the BB. I pump it 5xBB, get a caller UTG+1 and a caller in the CO. The flop comes all low spades. I hate it and make a continuation bet. UTG+1 calls, CO folds. Turn is another low black card. I make about the same sized bet again (yes, I know this is hella weak), and f'n UTG+1 pumps it up. I fold, $10 down already. The next hand I pick up AQo and make the same raise. Same guy two seats to my left calls. F'ing flop comes AKQ, all clubs. I make another continuation bet, and this guy raises me again. Now I'm pissed. I go into the tank, and finally decide this guy is pushing me around. He could've easily made a call here w/AK, 2 clubs, or even J10, but I finally decide that he decided I'm a pushover and wants to take it down right now. I come over the top for my stack of $37. He doesn't instacall, but he doesn't hesitate. The last two cards come out blank, and he shows down Q9o, both red. I am crazy extatic with my poker prowess, and eventually cash out of the table with more than $85.

I still have another story from an MTT yesterday, but I'll refrain for now...maybe forever.

Obviously bullets don't help my long-windedness. Oh well, I tried.

Come play the BPT blogger freeroll!