Friday, January 04, 2013

One Bud Light and a Hefty Dose of Other People's Money, Please

The title of this post is what I commented when I checked in at the Prairie Meadows Poker Room on Foursquare for a 1/2 NL session on 12/21. Little could I have even imagined at the time...

I barely even got out & went that night. My wife had taken the kids and escaped a night early for an out of town family Christmas the next day. She had suggested I use the time to go play poker. But we'd gotten 12" of snow the day before and the roads were still as bad as I'd ever seen, I had stayed at work late on a Friday and even worked out afterward, gotten a haircut, and as of that point had done basically zero Christmas shopping for my lovely wife who deserved the world, which this Friday night on my own could've been perfect for. Plus, I was plenty tired, and a nice 10 hours of kid-free sleep would've done a body good.

But, like a true degenerate who hadn't played live casino poker in almost 9 months, I hopped in the truck at 8:00 and guzzled a 16 oz Red Bull as I made my way over the treacherously icy highway to the casino. After all, my wife had specifically told me I should go play poker. I'd hate to let her down.

It would turn out to be one of my best decisions of 2012. One other of which is also a poker decision dutifully captured in my last post.

Unfortunately for this poker blog, the narrative surrounding the actual hands at the table pales in comparison to that of me getting to & from the casino. I immersed myself in the playing, but blogging was the last thing on my mind as I sat in the casino for the first time since April Fools Day.

For the most part, I was a card rack. I made flushes, I made sets, and my aces held up. But I also can take a lot of pride away from well-timed aggression & play of opponents, position play, extracting max value, and one particular moment of testicular fortitude (AKA hero call).

I won a $190 pot playing 49s. I had gotten the hand twice prior & wanted to play it both times in honor of my good buddy Josh, for whom the 49 is a sentimental favorite. After adding some depth to my $120 buyin, I finally chose to limp with it in late position, I then was forced to call a little raise from the big blind, who was a pretty staunch, though non-threatening regular. I flopped a 4 and called a bet because A) it wasn't that big and B) I'd already come this far, why not take another card? The 4 on the turn was yahtzee and pivoted me from the fish to the shark role. I "begrudgingly" called another bet on the turn, then raised him on the river & got paid off. He didn't show, and the table was really on alert after that hand. Hello table image!

I won all hands I showed down except one. I had the dummy end of the straight, and was a little too deep into the Bud Light at that point in the night to realize I was quite simply beat. But I think I only lost like $60 on the hand, so it wasn't the end of the world.

At any rate, that little 49 showdown prompted payoff after payoff when I showed down the nuts most of the time the rest of the night. I stacked a guy with a set of Qs, I stacked the same guy w/a set of 7s, and I dinged him good in another pot where I slow played aces and called him down all the way when there was no way he had me beat. He was actually the reason I stayed 3 hours later than I wanted to, because after his 5th buyin he had actually accumulated some chips, so I was hoping to be the beneficiary of some of them one last time before I left. Anyway, continuing with my good fortune, somewhere along the way I made the nut flush for a nice pot, and for once in my life, I gambled and won.

I had JQd and I think called a small raise in late position to come along. Although that doesn't seem like me, so maybe not. In the end, it doesn't matter what went in wen, because after a 2 diamond flop, w/the Ad there was a bet of 20, a call of 20, I raised it to 70ish, an all-in, another all-in, and after stewing on it forever, I called, covering both stacks. Now, some may consider this an easy call, and some may consider it a dumb call, but regardless, this is a play I never make. I never consider this situation in a truly isolated poker fashion like I should. I had earned myself a nice stack, I was getting close to the time I wanted to leave, and if I called & lost, I'm pretty well back to square one. But this time, for whatever reason, I decided to make the big play. And it paid off to the tune of $500. The dealer peeled off the heart right on the turn, and my 2nd nut flush was good enough to ship it. As it turns out, I was up against another smaller flush draw and an open-ended straight-flush draw, with someone else claiming to have folded hearts, so we were drawing super slim to that flush, and in any case, my Q-high might have taken it on a board that nobody paired. Wow.

In one other hand I remember, I again limped AA, hoping for the preflop check-raise. No such opportunity, and I called incremental bets on every street from one of the blinds, who was a savvy player, but I just had a feeling he was getting squirrelly with me. Right on time, he put me to the test on the river with a $100 bet, but the K-high, flush & straight free board was so clean that he had to either have 2 pair, a set, or nothing. And I kind of threw out two pair right away because it felt like a set or nothing. I stewed on the river bet for quite some time, again in a situation where I feel like most of the time if I call, I lose to a garbage two pair or obvious set, and if I fold, they needle me w/the shown bluff, and just went back over the hand, his mannerisms, his disposition after the bet, and what I'd seen him do at the table, and I made the hero call, and got the "good call" with the muck.


Here was the peak of the night, when I should've packed it in & headed home, but was salivating over the table ATM's chips, and ended up dicking off about $100 of it before all was said & done.

When it got to be about 3 AM, 3 hours past when I told myself I'd leave, 4 hours before I needed to be up, and it was apparent my heater was behind me and things only stood to go downhill for me, I walked away with an $1100 profit, besting my previous best cash game win by $350 or $450, which must've come before I started tracking my play in 2008 cuz I can't find record of it. I just remember I either left w/$750 including buyin, or had $750 profit.

Then, on my way home, where the roads were much worse traveling than the direction *to* the casino, I got to call 911 after I saw an SUV roll it's way down an overpass/on-ramp embankment. Felt lucky to be home & in bed for my 3 hours of sleep.

At any rate, while I admittedly had a card rack kind of night, I feel like I earned some extra profit based on table image, well-timed aggression, good reads, position play, and strong situation analysis & focus. I know I can't expect to win $1100 every time I play, but by no means do I think it was a fluke.

And to think, I almost didn't go. But you'd better believe my wife got showered with gifts on Christmas. :-)

2012 was certainly a breakthrough profit year between my tournament win and epic cash game success, not to mention some consistent pocket change from my monthly game. My confidence is high, as I'm making a lot more good decisions than bad, and having a lot of "You know what? I might be good at this." moments. With the kids getting older and more manageable, I hope to be able to play a little more in 2013, and have had our April patronage to the WSOP Council Bluffs on the radar for several weeks now. I'm planning my first attempt at legitimate WSOP hardware, but worst case it'll be valuable experience and good times with friends.
No matter what the case, I'm just going to keep my level of focus high, and hope that I can continue to build that bankroll toward the next set of goals. WSOP debut in 2014?? You never know...

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Ship It!

Friday, March 30, 2012 (well, technically Saturday, March 31st): A milestone accomplishment comes off my poker bucket list. I won a World Series of Poker Sanctioned event! No hardware for this Circuit Event nightly, but a win's a win, and the WSOP brand was attached to the tournament.

I first went to the WSOP Horseshoe Council Bluffs Circuit Event in it's inaugural year, 2006. I had only been playing for about 2 years, maybe less, and a friend let me crash on the couch in his hotel room, so it was worth the 2 hour drive out and a few meals just to feel the buzz. I didn't have much of a bankroll at the time (in fact, I didn't have a "bankroll" at all and was playing out of pocket), so I had to be picky (read: cheap) when it came to what I played. I didn't have a lot of success. My cash game skills were weak and I was definitely a fish at the cash tables in Limit or NL, but had a little success with the SNGs since that's what I'd primarily played online. I didn't even get into any MTTs, because they were way outside my budget at the time. I think I was up for a day or so, but left town a loser. But it was a fun experience and helped me understand where I needed to go from there.

I'd always wanted to go back, but never made it much of a priority, because I had my monthly game, tourneys or cash at the local casino, once upon a time there was online poker, and was making regular sojourns out to Las Vegas to get my fix. Plus I'd have to be a pretty healthy winner just to turn a profit after gas, food, & jacked up hotel prices, the timing wasn't working out, and I just didn't know if my game was ready for it yet. Fast forward to this year, the opportunity was there, and I felt ready. My good buddy Being Rich is an RV owner and fellow degenerate, so we rallied one other guy, made plans to head out this March, pack the RV full of a couple meals a day plus booze, and stay in the casino parking lot/RV Park for $30 a night plus some fuel, and see what we could make of the early stages of the Circuit Event.

We got into town Thursday evening, grabbed some dinner, then headed to the room for some 1/3 NL, where we all promptly lost a nickel or two. But we got our feet wet. The focus was going to be the $150 nighties, with my ultimate goal being to get into the $350 Event 2, 2 day re-entry ring event.

So Friday afternoon, after a relaxing day in the zero gravity chair under the RV awning on an unseasonably warm March weekend in Iowa, I reported for duty & got back to the 1/3 NL grind about 4:00. By 6:45 when I had to quit to head over for the 7:00 nightly, I had reversed the prior night's loss, AND conveniently also locked up my $150 buyin. Freerolling the first tourney I was taking a shot at...nothing wrong with that! I went into the tourney thinking very positively. I'm sitting at a WSOP sanctioned event with a nice structure on a long weekend w/my buddies, freerolling the biggest buyin tourney I've played to date thanks to cash winnings, with another shot or two in subsequent nights if things don't go my way. My tourney game was admittedly out of shape, only having played one real MTT in almost 2 years, the $125 Aria nightly NLH in Vegas in January, where my game was so out of shape I didn't know which way was up. But that was against Vegas pros/grinders who know that tourney like the back of their hand and play it regularly, preying on outsiders like me, and I was admittedly shaken. While there was certainly going to be experience in this circuit nightly, I felt more on "my turf", playing in my neck of the woods against a lot of people under similar circumstances as myself. Plus, worst case, there was always the pile of action in the poker room or the pile of booze at the RV, were sorrows required to be drowned.

So away we go.

I should've done this blog sooner or taken some notes on my phone through the tourney or something, because I don't remember a lot of specific hands, but on the other hand, I wanted to focus on my table every single hand instead of dwelling on note taking. What good are notes if it means you missed a read or make a mistake that costs you your tournament life? Anyway, the first, and quite possibly biggest milestone in the tourney was in the 2nd hour. Antes had kicked in, and after being up a little bit after the first break, I was down into push or fold mode late in the hour. I came across AJ in early/mid position, jammed, ran into AK, flopped a Jack, and finally doubled into a playable stack. And play it I did. For the next 3 hours I played my heart out, and the cards were kind. My stack steadily grew in hours 3 & 4, then before I knew it in the 5th or so hour, I was a top 3 stack, with a lot of opportunities to steamroll. I was making hands, playing aggressively on draws, and consumed any size pot or stack that was up for the taking. My favorite was a total Hollywood job where I flopped a straight draw & turned the nuts after calling bets pre & post flop. I "agonized" over my turn call of his bet, which got him to give me his relatively sizable stack on the river. And if winning when I was ahead wasn't enough, I also busted AK w/KQ when I rivered a flush. I rose to a top 3 stack and could do no wrong as we went from 5 tables down to 3, but then as things got a little more challenging & the cream started to rise to the top, paying 15, I'd halved my stack on a couple of poor plays, between 27 & 19 left and was below the average for the first time since late in the 2nd hour. I continued riding a short stack down to two tables, where I took the toughest beat of the whole tourney. As the tables were rebalanced, I ended up with what was probably the shortest stack a table full of deep stacks, and the blinds approaching, which would take about half of what little I had left. It felt like as I looked around the table, people were looking at me and mentally licking their chops. I managed to shove & scoop blinds a time or two, but after coming all this way, it started to feel like I was going to manage to bubble this thing...

Then the clouds parted, the sun shone down, and the poker gods gave me the greatest gift I've gotten since I started playing this game in 2004. I got moved to the other table with much more reasonable stacks, with about 3 extra hands until the blinds got to me. I'd still be chum in the water to a few, but there far fewer sharks feeding. We managed to get past the money bubble, and I think I'd maybe scooped once, then finally, my time came. I got all my chips in in the big blind. There was a raise, a re-raise, a jam in the small blind, and I look down at AK in the big blind. Are you kidding me?? I tanked for a couple minutes, but in the end there's just no way I could let it go in that situation. Too big of a hand, too short of a stack, & too favorable of pot odds. The raise & re-raise called, and I figured I was drawing dead, but as we tabled the cards, there was still life. At the opposite end of the table the initial raisers tabled AQ & JJ. And I looked over to the SB, who surprisingly tabled an AK to match mine. I had some life, but two of my outs were staring me in the face. The flop came something like AJ10. I saw the Ace first and my vision went white, but I was quickly brought back to earth by my partner in Big Slick next to me, announcing the set. The outlook was bleak now, drawing to the 3-outer. The turn was a blank, but the river brought the miracle Q, and we were singing Broadway. What a hand. So we chopped a triple-up and the JJ guy had the AQ guy covered, busting him on the final table bubble. With a stack off life support now and a seat at the final table, I could relax just a little bit and take a chance to get refocused.

As final table play began, I still only had about 10 big blinds, or an M of just under 4, so I was still pretty much in push or fold mode, but at least had enough for a potential caller to think twice about. As fate would have it, not too far along I tripled up and busted someone to get us to 8. Then I busted the guy in 8th, and we were in business. I'm sitting on a 200k+ stack with blinds at 5k/10k/1k and could play some cards again. As we went on, 7th busted, then 6th busted and we were at a $1k payday. Being pretty superstitious, I'd been keeping to text updates to Josh (who by this point was back at the RV with Rich and some of our RV neighbors enjoying themselves) since that's what I'd been doing all tourney, but once we hit the $1k payday I was happy with any finish, so I asked them to come back & watch me finish this thing out if they wanted. I can't remember what happened to the guy in 5th, but I remember busting the guy in 4th when I called his all-in w/my 77 vs. his AK. The flop came A77.

With 3 left, I made a pretty major mistake that would've gotten me to heads up with a big chip lead. There was a guy playing, who, when I sat down with him with 27 left was already drunk at 11:00, then proceeded to keep pounding Coronas and be SUPER annoying but continuously amassing chips up to this point. I had flopped a set of 8s, and it was my action, when he acted out of turn saying "all-in". Instead of checking w/the dealer or floor to see what my options were, they returned action to me, and I abruptly put him all-in thinking he had an all-in hand and would naturally call, but it turns out he was on a move with his play, and he folded to my jam. As it turns out, if I would've checked, his all-in would've been binding. Assuming I would've busted him there, I would've been heads up with a commanding chip lead, but instead he ended up getting busted by my eventual heads up opponent, which would make heads up more of a fight.

We went into heads up with me probably having a little less than a 2:1 advantage. In the end, heads up was pretty straightforward, but I did get into my own head a little bit early on, feeling a little intimidated by my Asian opponent & giving up the chip lead. Once we got a few hands under our belt, I realized I was by no means outmatched, I buckled back down & things ended pretty quickly. After getting the chips back close to even, I limped w/Q7 and flopped 2 pair. He bet into me and I thought this was going to be it. I wanted to play it aggressively instead of trap, but he folded to my raise. I won the pot and had a slight chip lead. As it turns out, the next hand sealed the deal. I called a standard raise w/K9 and flopped trips on the KK5 flop. Villain tanked for a while and open jammed, and I made the most gratifying instacall of my life. He tabled A4, and of course with a deuce on the turn he got a sweat, but the river bricked and I TOOK IT DOWN!!

For being the last standing among 148 players, I banked $4824 of pure profit for the win, and with the tourney wrapping up just short of 2 AM, is a not too shabby $690 hourly pay rate. ;-) I could get into some in-depth analysis, but any experienced poker player knows that winning a tournament involves a good percentage of luck, and the stars definitely aligned for me. I had my one big suckout, I had the deck hitting me upside the head, and that table change with 16 or 17 left sure didn't hurt either. But I played my heart out to pick my spots, grind on a short stack, get the most value out of winning hands, and all the other dozens of places where skill plays a factor. I earned it.

I'd be remiss if I didn't thank Josh & Rich. Josh kept my morale high via text throughout the whole tournament and said all the right things at all the right times to keep my head in it & keep me believing in myself. And I guess one of the inherent things for my poker bucket list that comes along with winning a tournament is having someone spectate while you play cards, which was very surreal & very cool. Having them there in person to keep me focused, and the confidence *they* had in me as things neared the end had a major part in me having the wherewithal to take it down. I'll never forget hearing Rich say to Josh "He's gonna win it. Just look at him. He's got it." as the intensity peaked. I only wish my other biggest poker supporters in my brother-in-law & wife could've been there. Of course speaking of my wife, I have to thank her for letting me get away from the weekend & continue pursuing this poker journey I'm on. She was 8 months pregnant & stayed up until 3 AM being updated via text & waiting to talk to me after all the hub-hub died down. Next time I hope she's able to be there.

As for the rest of the trip, I played the tourney again the next night, and ironically, after being in good position to double to a decent chip stack in hour two just like I did the night before, this time I had the AK vs. the AJ and villain flopped the Jack to bust me. It felt kind of like a wink, nudge, & smirk from the poker gods after all I'd been blessed with the night before. Except this chick didn't ride her good fortune to victory. She was a total donkey.

Obviously after the tournament win I had the funds to enter the $350 Ring Event, but it turned out to run a day later than the original schedule had stated, and Rich needed to be back at work on Monday. Plus after actually *winning* a tournament as opposed to just securing some profit to play the $350, I'd found my high for the weekend and figured pursuit of a ring could wait until another time. I didn't want any "but"s to take away from a utopian weekend.

As fate would have it, between 5 cash game sessions & two tournaments, I zeroed out my tourney buyins with cash game winnings, and left town up exactly my $4824 tournament payout (minus celebration costs, of course). Being kind of a sentimental, overthinking-type bloke, it seems like there's some meaning somewhere in that, but all that aside, it's something to be proud of, be able to reflect on, and a nice foundation for moving onward & upward on that poker bucket list!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Live Poker is Where It's At

Well I wanted to stop in for a quick update because I have been playing some poker and I do have some things to report, but I haven't had time to settle in behind the computer & do just that. I've got a session at the local casino from a few months back, and was actually just out this past Friday as well, and I've got a few stories to tell.

So bear with me and I'll look to get those posted as soon as I can. Hope all is well with everyone out there!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


Well I think I'm well overdue for an update at this point. 2011 has been a kind poker year to me thus far. Save a couple of facets, I have sat down, and I have won.

It all started right away on Jan. 1, where I booked a $450 win at the local casino. Overall, it was a pretty routine session. You know, if routine is losing with aces and winning w/53s. Things started relatively slow, but I did get a pretty easy double a ways into the session when I flopped a set of deuces and doubled through. A little later I flopped another set and won another decent pot. So you know it's an above average session when you not only flop two sets, but get paid on both. I then went into a fairly long dry spell, not playing a lot of hands and kind of bleeding, but I rode it out. At one point I picked up rockets and had the opportunity to cash in on a poker "bucket list" item, if you will. The "stacking someone before their chips get to the table". A guy who looked & talked a whole lot like Seth Rogan had just gone broke, and as he was waiting on his chips, he raised in EP. Next player called that raise, and I re-raised. The details are cloudy as to whether I re-raise jammed right there or if he 3-bet & I 4-bet shoved, but regardless, I put him to a decision before his chips got to the table, he thought for a long time & eventually called with queens. And the asian between us came along the whole way, too, for his $70 stack and ended up having something ridiculous like 85 or J8 or something. Anyway, the queen spiked on the turn and I was out $170 profit in that hand and the illustrious stacking of no stack. The weirdest part was that I didn't let it bother me, kept my head in the game, and kept fighting.

At one point a pretty laggy, strong, obvious regular came and sat to my left. At this point this table was a bonafide action table, and part of that included this guy consistently straddling my big blind, and to make matters worse usually raising the straddle if it hadn't been done already. So with my nitty play, I was losing a lot of dead money. It was getting pretty irritating, but I knew I'd get my opportunity eventually. I kept an eye on his play, and noticed he was all about getting chips in the middle, but rarely had a truly big hand. Pretty typical LAG player. Well, my opportunity came, and it came with a most unlikely hand, the 53...but it was suited. Granted, I'm not trying to say I made a good play here, but I just happened to pick this hand to take a shot with, and things ended up working out. I limped the straddle from my big blind, knowing full well he'd pop it. He popped it, and I called. The flop was decent, with a 4 and a 6 of my suit, giving me an open-ended straight-flush right away. I checked, he bet, and I called after a little hollywooding. The turn brought my flush, but being a baby flush, I still wanted to tread carefully. He bet, and I called again. If I recall correctly, the board actually paired on the river, which scared me a little, but I decided that I had the best hand, so this time when he bet, I jammed, and after a lot of thinking, he called and I doubled through. This was one of the bigger pots of my poker life from a self-confidence perspective because I set him up & knocked him down just like I wanted to, and I really got into his head and earned his respect. He completely changed the way he played against me, and grilled me on the hand 3 or 4 times before all was said & done. Granted, it was a marginal situation to get involved in in the first place, but sometimes that's how these things have to start, and the up front risk was worth the reward in the end. One for the good guys, if you will. :-)

So I think that doubled me up to a very healthy stack, and I think I managed to make a little more money, and eventually call it quits around the 5 or 6 hour mark with my 2nd biggest win ever.

I actually had a "higher stakes" home game the next day where we did a $20 buyin (compared to our usual $5) with a smoother structure, and my rungood continued. I was in a really bad spot, all but broke and past the reasonable point of rebuying, but then stuck it in w/A3, doubled, and made my way to 2nd and an $80 profit that day.

I booked a couple of decent home game wins in March with our regular monthly game and a couples game we hosted, but gave a little back at the April game, and at this point I'm to the good close to $600, so not a bad quarter.

As far as online, I was also running good in SNGs on PokerStars before Black Friday and had my PokerStars roll up to a very comfortable level (for me, anyway...) around $250. As for Tilt, where I stick...excuse cash games because of the rakeback, after having run my bankroll up to a few hundred bucks, I tanked it again trying to clear a bonus a few weeks ago. The Rush Poker gods were NOT kind to me. I made a little recovery when all was said and done, and after transferring $20 to a friend, I think I ended up somewhere around $120.

So...Black Friday. That news hit me, like most online poker players, and likely most a LOT more than even me, hit me like a ton of bricks. Based on others' expert analysis of the UIGEA in '06, my understanding of things was that it wasn't actually illegal to *play* real money poker online, but it was illegal to move money in and out of sites. I built my Stars bankroll from freerolling, which I'm still proud of, and did make a small deposit on Tilt years ago, but otherwise have never moved money on or off sites and had always considered that money "not real" because I didn't want to break the law. I always figured that if I was fortunate enough to run it up I would either transfer to someone who could make the money real for me, or I would cash out once online poker was regulated. Well, now the sky has fallen, so I'm going to have to decide whether that money is real or not. As of right now the DoJ has said that they never intended to freeze player funds and they have agreements with Stars & Tilt to allow the transferring of funds, but what's confusing to me is they came down on the sites for their bank fraud, money laundering, and all these heinous financial crimes, so why/how all the sudden is it OK for players to withdraw and these sites to facilitate that? The conspiracy theorist and weak/tight poker player in me wonders if it is all just a ploy to take things a step further and go after players, and the amount of money I'd be cashing out isn't really worth criminal charges or scrutiny from the IRS. So for now I'm standing pat. If that money can someday be real to me, that's just gravy, but since I've never let myself consider it real money, there isn't a huge mental hurdle to conquer.

As for my general feelings on the matter, it's just really sad. There's plenty to be said about those who played for a living, or who's livings rely on online poker in the US, but for me it was a nice hobby/safety net/means to mentally stimulate myself/way to blow off some steam. I played a few hours a month, but they were a very fulfilling few hours a month, and it's definitely proven to be a lifestyle change for me just to know that's not there anymore. I'll try to get to the casino more, but with a wife and a 20 month old, that's just a pretty disrupting undertaking. I like to play and the best time to play is 8 PM - ?? AM, and that means not only consuming a weekend night, but also needing to sleep in that morning to recover from it. My wife is a saint, and will embrace me, but I still just won't get to play as much as I did when I could sit down during nap and play some cash or sit down after my little one goes to bed and multitable some SNGs, or take a shot at 4 figures in a MTT. I's just sad. I'm confident that eventually online poker will be fully legal & regulated in the US, but by my estimation we're looking at *at least* 3 years, and based on the latest speculation as of this moment, there's a plenty good chance it could be more.

Anyway...I've gotta split. Been nice to get out here on the interwebs and provide an update and do a little spitballing. Ironically, I'm wondering if I'll actually blog a little bit more as an outlet where before I would sit down and play, now maybe I'll sit down & blog. I guess we'll see. I'm hoping to get out to Prairie Meadows as early as this Friday, as it's been 3+ months since getting in some of that real, meaningful poker, and having been watching a lot of Poker After Dark & High Stakes Poker lately, I really need to get my fix.

All the best to everyone on the physical felt, and I'll be in touch.

Monday, January 03, 2011

Other People's Money...I Haz It

Yes, I'm still alive. And I even still play poker.

My latest results have been good from a profitability standpoint. With some time off, my wife being so gracious, and my little one settling into a routine conducive to such, I did get some more opportunity to play throughout the end of the year and am closing the year on a 3 month (9 session) Rush Poker winning streak, during which I have more than quintupled my Full Tilt bankroll (which isn't saying much, but is always a marked accomplishment), SNGs continue to be my breadwinner on Stars, and live has been very consistent. My big leak this year was MTTs online, where I still couldn't ever close the deal, and this year struggled cash like I used to (which isn't necessarily a bad thing), but I still came out in the black overall when all was said and done.

All that said, I got out to the local casino for the first time since August '09 (sick!) on Jan 1, put in a healthy session (felt great!), and booked a win twice the size of all of my 2010 take, and played some good poker to boot. I then turned around and nabbed another nice little score in a home game on the 2nd, making for my 2nd most profitable 24 hours yet.

I'll need to get these details documented soon as I want to remember it, and have also obviously tallied up my 2010 results & need to do a year in review, but can't do it right now.

Happy New Year to everyone, and I'll be back soon w/all the dirty details. Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

It's WBCOOP Time Again!

I think this is so cool that PokerStars does this for the bloggers. I can barely call myself a blogger anymore, but I am still out here playing intermittent poker and being marginally successful, and someday when I have a little more time on my hands I will even get back to blogging regularly about it. But you can be sure I am going to make some time to partake in the WBCOOP whenever it comes around.

Sign me up!

Monday, August 02, 2010


I know I said that I needed to get caught up and I was going to start posting more, but I seriously have played an hour of poker since then and my ass handed to me in a Full Tilt Rush session. Things just aren't breaking my way when it comes to work and family and free time in general. Of course, poker is fairly low on the priority food chain at the moment, and I wouldn't have it any other way. But I just wanted to report back and say that I wasn't lying about posting more. I'm hoping things settle down in the next few weeks and I can get back to being a good little poker player & blogger.

Plus, incidentally, I'm hoping to experiment tonight w/being able to play real money poker on my iPhone, so more on that to come as well.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Catching Up

I've been neglectful again. But what I can tell you is that my passion for poker is burning red hot right about now, and I have a plan for a huge update very soon and a recommitment to the game and the blog as well. So please stay tuned. In the words of Monty Python, "I'm not quite dead yet."

Sunday, March 07, 2010

First Big Sunday Tourney

So today I finally find myself with an opportunity to play in one of the "Big Sunday" tournaments. Usually I'm either busy enough, planning to play basketball in the evening, or not willing to stay up late enough, but today's the day to win 5 figures.

I registered late after playing the 30k Guarantee earlier today. After having an above average stack early, I took a couple of bad beats on my way out the door. Set under set to make my stack less than playable, then ironically the same guy called my >10BB open jam w/AQ at the 75/150 level w/A4, and I couldn't recover from the K4J flop.

So, saying I'd play the 1/4 Million if I busted from that tourney within the late registration, in the 1/4 Million I am. A whole minute late. :-)

2:31 CST - Win my first hand sitting down, raising w/35o & scooping the blinds. Up 30 chips! ;-) Now to settle in & hopefully find my groove.

2:48 - Up to 3445 after calling a 3x raise from button w/89s, flop As9Xs, calling a flop bet, then betting the turn & drawing a fold. Avg @ 3318

2:55 - First break. 3345 w/avg @ 3476. 10151 out of more than 32k & growing. Gonna crack a Boulevard Wheat.

3:10 - Baby's awake. Gonna make it a little tougher to play & blog.

3:14 - Down to 2800 after losing some betting an open-ender & getting jammed on, then open-raising w/KJo on the button & whiffing the A-high flop.

3:23 - Blinds getting worth scoping @ 75/150. I'm doing just that. 3125

3:30 - Hour in the books. 35898 in the tourney. 12797/22698 w/3537. Avg 4793.

3:42 - Nothing happening. Down to 2587 w/blinds @ 125/250/25. Jam or fold mode & blinds approaching. Folded JJ earlier to an UTG raise. Wondering if that was a mistake.

3:48 - Managed a double-up. Open jammed 1987 w/A5s in MP and got called by AK clubs. Board comes 764s6s5 TYVM! Just lost a little back raising w/KQ and not having the chips to back it up when I missed the board. 3575 avg 6869, blinds @ 150/300/25.

3:55 - Break time. Through the blinds w/3075. 14408 left.

4:10 - That's it. Jammed my stack UTG w/QhK and got called by BB w/A5c and board comes Ah9h6JhQ. Had flush & straight outs by turn but don't get there. Sometimes I just don't get the winning plays in these tourneys. How does a guy call there w/A5 for 1/3 of his stack?

So that was a very underwhelming first go-around in a big Sunday tourney. Pretty standard for me. Can't say I'd play it a whole lot different, except to play that JJ, given it was the best hand I got the whole time. Awesome. Hopefully I can play one of these again sometime in the next 5 years.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

WBCOOP Event #3

Well, I just busted from WBCOOP Event #3, event #1 for me, in 116th/1826 (as it turns out, I won't get this posted until sometime around the beginning of Event #4). I'm the proud owner of a bright & shiny $11 buyin to the SCOOP, which I'm plenty pleased with, as it will be the first time I'll ever take the opportunity to play in any sort of online tournament series.

Not a whole lot to my finish. I made some hay early when we were playing 3-5 handed w/4-6 sit-outs, playing some pretty good shorthanded poker and taking advantage of some spewy LAGs. That got me through the bustouts of all the sit-outs, and through the middle stages to the bubble I just kinda maintained w/some stealing. The key hand of the tournament came on the bubble, w/literally like 4 to the money, I was on the button w/A10s, and a bigger stack two to my right who was raising my button almost every time made his standard 2x raise, to which I responded by jamming, hoping to scoop or be ahead. In a past life I'd fold to the money here, but I'm trying to get away from that practice. At any rate, ahead I was not, but I managed to beat his pocket aces w/one flush card on the flop, and two subsequent on the turn & river. time for this guy! So that doubled my stack to just short of 20 BBs, and all the sudden I was in business w/the bubble bursting @ 153. With a little more scooping & a decent non-showdown pot w/KK on the button, I managed to build my stack to just short of the average, but alas, almost as quick as I was in business, I was out of business.

With blinds at 1400/700/175, I was dealt AQo in the SB and faced a raise from CO-1 to 4200. He had a decent stack, and with no profound read on him, it just felt like a steal, and not really wanting to call or fold, I felt my best move was to go ahead and overjam my 23450, really OK with a call, but expecting a fold. To throw a wrench into the whole scenario, the BB calls for less, and then with >2:1 on his money, the original raiser also calls. I thought for sure one of them would have me dominated w/AK or at least flipping coins, but was pleased to see I was 2:1 against each of them, or 50% to win against BBs KQo & LPs A10s. Just had to sweat 10s, Ks, & straights. Board J10xx9, BB doubles, LP takes the rest, and I'm sent to the rail disappointed, but if it weren't for my A10>AA, I wouldn't have been there to start with, so I *guess* I don't have a lot to complain about. But a 60+k stack and swiftly dwindling tourney field would've been nice. I tried to find these guys' blogs to link to to give them credit for their profound sucking out skills, but couldn't. ;-)

I liked the structure. Its a little quick, but I also think its flatter than Stars' everyday tournies. Its interesting how you have to approach it strategy-wise, with all the sit-outs at the beginning and how the average is deceiving. Not to mention if you're playing short-handed how much dead money is in each pot when the antes start and how there's some incentive to go after it. But once you get to just past the end of the first hour and the sit-outs are busting out and the average skyrockets, you'd better hope you got in on some of that dead money or you're in for a rude awakening. I'm eager to play in tonight's Event #4, then both events this weekend. Tomorrow night I'll be playing in a homegame w/my wife & a couple other couples. So I may hop in @ 5 & donate my stack quick before heading out to have some fun playing live.

The tournament did provide for a new experience for me, however, in that I played with my first sponsored pro. I'm sure I've played with dozens of grinder pros, and I've played with some Supernovas, etc, but my final table saw me 3 seats to the right of Marcin "Goral" Horecki, a Team PokerStars Pro from Poland, with $734k in winnings. So that was pretty neat, but I managed to play myself out of the tournament before I got to see him work...or before I got to bust him.

Anyway, Event #4 is officially underway @ this point, and 20 minutes in I'm stacked @ 5500, so hopefully I'll have a similar report to this one (or better?) come later tonight or tomorrow. Good luck everyone!

EDIT: Not so much. After making it through the sit-outs w/a slightly less than average stack, a hand folds around to me and I make a standard 3x steal raise raise w/58c on the button. SB & BB both call, flop comes 959, SB checks, BB bets, I figure if he's got a pocket pair bigger than 5s, so be it, I jam, he instacalls, & busts me w/97o. Uhhhhh...good call? I guess I shoulda raised 4x or more... Anyway, spend my chips well, RUPoker.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Pic Dump

Just wanted to post some screenshots I've taken over the months.

This first one is probably nothing terribly special. I'm sure its happened to others, and maybe even on more tables. But nonetheless, I thought it was pretty nifty.

Sadly, I didn't win a big pot in either instance. But I did win both hands.

This next one was a complete luckbox fluke. I was playing cash on FT & a tourney on Stars, and went to raise to 1300 in the tourney, but with the focus on the cash game table, instead vastly over-raised to $13.00 on this .05/.10 or .10/.25 table, out of position w/this gem (hey, it could be worse). It was of course re-popped by the KK, then QQ jammed. I was already priced in, and the rest, as they say, is history...

One time for this guy! :-)

I like to call this last one "drawing slim". UTG raised 4x to $1, an MP player called, I called, then AK jammed w/$4.28, UTG jammed his $5, MP folded, and with nothing behind for any opponents & better than 3:1 to call, it seemed a relative no-brainer for me. As you can see, I was drawing pretty much as slim as it gets.

Thanks to FT for not making me wait. :-)

So yeah...its true. From time to time I run good. But there isn't enough hard drive space on the planet for me to post screenshots of the times I'm on the other end.

Man, that's like 3 posts in a week!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

2009 Results - Breakthrough Year

So another year ends, which means another results post. 2009 saw me playing quite a bit less online poker, what with a move and things that come with being a homeowner of a brand new home, not to mention the preparations for and arrival of my firstborn in August.

The overall theme of 2009 was poor results online, but strong results live.

Online Misc - ($42.50) - 765 Hands
While in 2008 this category included satellites, shootouts, steps, my Battle of the Planets payout, and the Stars "Double or Nothings", in 2009 it only included 15 steps SNGs, with obviously marginal results. I paid out (but lost $$) in 3, broke even in 2, and moved on to the next step in only 2. That said, I have a few step 2s and at least one step 3 banked in my Stars account for my eventual run at Sunday Million Entries, WSOP ME, PCA, or whatever suits me. You know...when I have time.

Online Cash - ($16.61) - 58 sessions - Avg. ($.29)/session - 6320 Hands
2009 was an interesting year in online cash. I feel like I played a lot better and had a lot better results than the bottom line shows. I played primarily .05/.10 NL on Full Tilt, dabbling in .10/.25, which I liked a lot better, but just couldn't hang @ the level. My sessions would go such that I would run up a huge win on one or two and just be getting rolled on the remaining tables. I don't think I played enough to sweat the variance, because my Comments field reads like a bad beat handbook. If I'm going to be profitable online, I need to figure out a way to be profitable in cash games, but I just didn't play consistently enough to be too concerned about losing $17.

Online MTT - ($25.79) - 21 Tourneys - Avg. Buyin $12.94 - Avg. Finish 1196/3291 - 3307 Hands
I played 30 less MTTs in 2009 than I did in 2008, but my results, aside from profit, were very similar, with an average finish in the top 36% compared to the top 35%. What's most important about my 2009 MTT results is an obvious "win or go home" approach. My results show that I was looking to build a stack to run deep, or go home trying, and it produced some of my best online MTT finishes to date. 77th/1329, 13th/4635, 97th/1498, 32nd/1985. Each of these tournies I thought might be the breakthrough 4 figure cash of my online career, but ended in true Windbreaker fashion in most cases. Regardless, I feel like I played really well in a lot of cases, with an emphasis on aggression this year that helped me get to the verge of the "real" cashes that I'm after. I had a lot better concentration and decision making, and did a pretty good job controlling tilt. I still believe I've got serious MTT opportunity in me, I just still am better live than online.

Online SNG - $257.35 - 216 SNGs - Avg. Buyin $10.85 - Avg. Finish 7.24/15.46 - 16845 Hands
My SNG results in 2009 compared to 2008 are pretty consistent, finish wise, w/an avg. finish in the top 44% in 2008 vs 46% in 2009. But what allowed me to make the same amount of money in about half as many SNGs was my opportunity to play at the $11 or above level a good majority of the year, and playing and cashing in more 18 and 27 player SNGs (avg. players 12.07 to 15.46). My avg. buyin went from $6.52 to $10.85, and the $10.85 is skewed even worse by some $1.20 & $3.30 SNGs I mixed in to play with my brother-in-law. With regard to my "real" SNG results, it looks like after a hot start to the year, I did have to drop down to $5.50s for 28 SNGs in March, but aside from that it was primarily $11. I won't even begin to say I truly played at a $22 SNG level, because while I did play in 15, I can tell you my results at that level are poor w/o having to look. I got pretty much killed at that level, but I haven't been able to play there enough to determine whether it is a skill differential or variance. At any rate, SNGs are by far my best opportunity to make money online and my primary play. I am very comfortable at the $11 level and hope to continue to move up, but if I'm outmatched at the $22 level and above, so be it. I can just learn to multitable the $11 level to increase my profitability. But I truly believe I can be profitable at higher levels, and will continue to work toward that goal.

Live - $748 - 21 various sessions
For 2009 this category included 11 monthly games ($5-10 tourneys w/ or w/o rebuy, low stakes cash), 3 sessions of $1/2 NL (2 casino, 1 homegame), another low-stakes homegame, a $60 buyin tourney, and the first couple sessions of the Poker League I joined. The obvious, jump off the page stat for 2009 live play is that it was my bread and butter, and honestly it comes down to two key profits. The first being the 4th place out of 120 or so in the live tourney at the local casino. I banked $505 profit for that win, and reported in-depth on this great experience in a previous post. The second was a nice little under the gun, brink of the new year $200 win on 12/30 at a $1/2 NL homegame. This is a bittersweet win, as I was up over $300 at a point but couldn't bring myself to walk away given the dead money in the game, and obviously suffered for it. But I ran good when I needed to run good, stand by my decision to stay in the game against poorly skilled opponents, and banked an impressive & much needed big win and seed money for my June trip to Vegas, not to mention a little bankroll booster to cap off 2009. As for the league I joined, I dumped $100 into it with no results after the first couple sessions taking place in 2009, but turned it around with a profitable finish in the first session of 2010, and hopefully when all is said and done a nice three figure win in the final standings. Sometime I should probably dedicate a blog post to the league. Especially if when I win it. But that loss was balanced out and then some by my profitability in my monthly game.

So, despite less play and overall poor online results, 2009 was a key year in my poker journey, as I am officially calling myself a lifetime winner. I've probably talked before about 2005 when I first got a taste of online poker and it took me down a deep, dark path of degeneracy coupled with unskilled play, so I set what I thought was a reasonable bottom line that I lost that year (given I wasn't tracking), and 2009 saw me break free of that burden.

It also reinforced what I have known and continue to preach since I started playing poker seriously...that I am a much better live player than online. I have strong basic people observation skills, and while I consistenly try to improve my player reading capabilities online and build a table image I can use to my advantage, both come much more natually to me in person.

As far as 2010 goals, its pretty much the same ol' story for me. I want to continue to be successful and build on my success in SNGs, I want to continue to try & find opportunities to play live and hope that I can maintain consistent results there, and I want to try and improve my Online Cash & MTT results to where I'm a consistent cash winner and snatch that ellusive MTT big score.

Aside from trying to win the league I joined for what will likely be close to a 4-figure score, my big poker promised land for 2010 will be my 30th birthday trip to Vegas in June. I have already laid the groundwork that I will have an emphasis on getting to play more cards, possibly/hopefully at least once a day, so hopefully when it comes time to put the rubber to the road that can be accomplished, and if it isn't, its because I'm doing much more fun things with the friends and family that I'll be traveling out there with.

Now, all this talk about poker has me jonesing to play. I'm up a whopping $5 in SNGs so far in 2010 after 2 SNGs, but shoot, if I can maintain that profitability, I'd sign for it right now!

All the best.

One of my Favorite Things of the Year

Online Poker

I have registered to play in the PokerStars World Blogger Championship of Online Poker! is the home of Free Online Poker Games, bloggers can play for free in the exclusive WBCOOP tournament, register here to play: WBCOOP

Registration code: 673776

Monday, November 23, 2009

Something Worth Sharing

So I saw this post from Poker Grump today and ever since I started following @phPokerMgr a couple weeks ago, I have been really impressed with how he is using Twitter to tune in to his player/customer base, not to mention build a reputation for himself and Planet Hollywood. To summarize, since there's a lot to catch up on if you didn't read the original post, Grump and others saw some inconsistency in the logic around table changes and what chips you take with you according to the PH poker room rules, and Mr. Viator, instead of chalking it up to players bitching about rules and @ mentioning him to rub it in, took the time to dive into the issue, and actually discovered that the rule was, in fact, errant according to his own philosophy/stance/perception as well.

To me, this is a great example of using Twitter to your advantage and the advantage of your followers and patrons. Customers had feedback, Mr. Viator was in tune with the feedback, and in the end a wrong was righted by someone in agreement and with the power to do so, everyone involved was happier, and Planet Hollywood & phPokerMgr gained some pretty solid credibility. Note the players promising to play there in light of the conversation and the positive PR that will come of being exposed on a very popular poker blog. Using a Twitter account as a mix of business and personal is quite a tightrope, but so far Mr. Viator seems to be doing a *great* job, and it stands to revolutionize the image of the PH poker room if he can continue to expand his footprint.

Personally, I know that the PH Poker Room has always pretty much been an afterthought as far as desireable rooms to play in go, but as I prepare to celebrate my 30th in Vegas in June and am likely looking to actually stay *at* PH, I'm now quite a bit less likely to take my poker business to MGM, Venetian, or Caesars, knowing that the PH poker room is being managed by a caring, engaging personality concerned with its patrons' experience. Not to mention the name-dropping he does of the people who show up to play! ;-) Of course, I'll have to go where the action is, surely Mr. Viator understands that. ;-)

Incidentally, I have one poker playing experience @ PH (Aladdin at the time, to be fair) on my second trip to Vegas in '05. I played a SNG there, possibly my first live casino poker experience, definitely my first live casino poker experience in Vegas. So just nervous as hell and already on edge, action moved 2-3 players past me as I had yet to act, and as this creepy/crazy guy (thick, old style glasses, headphones, stocking cap, and disheveled demeanor) at the end of the table was cautioned about playing out of turn, he proceeded to go off on me about hiding my cards, to the extent of calling over the floor and having me reprimanded. Of course I wasn't angle shooting, I'm just 6'5" and my hands are a wee bit bigger than the size of a playing card, and while I'll admit to having my cards hidden, having just started playing I figured I could treat my cards like I wanted, it was up to the other players at the table to track the action appropriately, and I couldn't even begin to consider the angle shooting ramifications at the time of having them covered. It was at that point that I became very vigilant of following proper rules and ettiquite...not that I was being previously ignorant, I just didn't really wanna get reamed again by the table whackjob. Anyway, the story and the building will always hold a special place in my heart, and the joke to not cover my cards gets busted out on a regular basis at our monthly game.

So there's your personal poker content from me for this post.

BTW, I just have to say again that Poker Grump is just one of the best reads on the web. Its a perfect mix of strategy, hand analysis, poker industry insight, and the intriguing idiosyncrasies of being a Vegas grinder, all polished off with Poker Grump's own brand of charm. He gets a little grumpy, stodgy, & crotchedy from time to time, but he wouldn't be The Grump if he didn't!

As for me, I come to my blog and see its been 3 months again since I last posted. Pretty disgusting. But again I have to state that the lack of posting is in direct correlation with the lack of playing and the arrival of my first born. I have actually managed some decent duration cash sessions and a handfull of SNGs, but not enough worth blogging about. I have a couple of screen shots I need to share, but alas, I never even have time/never think about doing that.

As each day passess my little one gets a little more self-sustaining for longer periods of time, of which I'd love to fill with poker, but until that opportunity arrives this spot will remain neglected. For certain, though, I can tell you that I'll be taking my annual "poker pro for a week" week off between Christmas & New Year's, which I dedicate to as much poker as I can possibly stomach between the laptop and the local casino. Its tended to be a losing endeavour, but admittedly its because I'm like a junkie on a binge, playing as many hands as I can and chasing after big scores, than playing good, smart, focused poker. Naturally I always hope for the opposite, and this year I really feel like I'm understanding the game and how to win a lot more, so as long as I play with some discipline, I could make a nice little profit to bask in going into 2010. I'll need all the bankroll I can get looking forward to my Vegas trip in June.

That's it for now. Thanks for stopping.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Slow & Steady Wins the Race?

Sorry for the lack of posting lately. I assure you it is in direct correlation to a lack of playing.

However, before it got away from me I did want to post about my best live tournament performance to date. On 8/9 I went out to the local casino and played their weekly $60 Sunday tournament. In the past I've had lots of success in this tournament, and this outing was no different.

There really isn't a whole lot to the story. The structure isn't great, but you do get play for the first 90-120 minutes. Of course, during that time period I saw nary a hand and was essentially even due to blinding off, one small pot won, and a couple of scoops. At that point I went into push or fold mode and stayed there for the remainder of the tournament, all the way to a 4th place finish out of about 120 players.

The details are already getting blurry, so I think my best summary is the one I sent to my brother-in-law, recapping things the Monday morning after:

Yesterday felt like I would imagine it was supposed to feel to navigate your way through a tournament. I never got nervous, just knew what I had to do and played it as smart and deliberately as I could. It didn't hurt that I played push or fold basically from 2:00 to when I busted (5ish). On the one hand its an easy 50/50 decision, but on the other you're putting your tourney life @ risk so you'd better damn sure be right about it. I even made some plays that I wouldn't typically make, but I thought every one of them through, made what I felt like was the right decision, and was right every time. I won coin flips, too, so obviously if that hadn't happened it'd be a different story. I got a lot of compliments on how I played when I busted, from final table people I played with early, middle, and (obviously) late, so that felt good. I mean, to me, I didn't do anything terribly earth shattering, but to know that my perceived table image was that of a strong, respectable player, means what I was doing, I did right. They didn't see me as a pushmonkey, they saw me as a player making strong moves and good decisions, and a force to be reconed with. Or, maybe everybody was making $800 at a minimum so there was no reason to be disrespectful at that point. :-)

When I busted, the blinds were 10k/20k/2k with like 375k in play, so needless to say nobody had a lot of big blinds in their stack. Although in general the structure wasn't terrible. I feel like its missing a couple of levels, but I think it was also fair for $60 and in the casino's interest of getting it over reasonably quickly. If you were fortunate to have a big stack you could play some poker, if not you just needed to get 'em in the middle and hope to survive. And survive I did.

I wish I could play that tourney every weekend. Its ridiculously soft. I can't believe how many people are putting significant portions of their stacks at risk with non-all-in raises when the blinds get big. The structure is *decent*. You basically get play the first hour and 40 mins or so, and if you manage to accumulate a stack you can play for longer. But if you haven't managed to accumulate chips by then, you need to be shipping your stack and putting people to a decision. But people are putting out pathetic raises that big stacks can call easy, then if you miss the flop you have to check-fold or fold to a bet because the big stacks can bet any flop. If you can manage to keep 5-10 big blinds in your stack, the big stacks are WAY less apt to call light, and that's how I skated through from 60+ people left down to 4. Push or fold w/less than 10 BBs may be the most valuable piece of tournament advice I've ever read. Every now and then you'll push a little light in late position and run into a monster, but that's just unlucky. If you're careful about what hands you're pushing in what position, more often than not it gives you control, gives off no information other than you're willing to put your tourney life at stake, puts your opponents to a decision, and even if you don't get called, at that stage there's enough out there in blinds and antes that if you can scoop 1-3 times an orbit its enough to grow your stack w/o even getting to a flop. One can improve their chances to win a tournament probably 50, if not 75% just by sticking to that basic philosophy, but usually people are so afraid of going broke, they blind themselves off hoping to catch a monster, and then wonder what someone's doing calling their 2.5xBB all-in with 89 and beating their AK. I should know. I remember being that guy, and I'm kicking myself for all the money I lost being that guy.

Anyway, I'll climb down off my soap box. Needless to say it was fun and I'm really happy w/the way things went.

So, in the end I actually got my money in good w/AJvK10, but I had won an earlier 60/40 on my biggest mistake of the tournament (I didn't realize a guy had committed himself to the pot when I shoved, but managed to win, thankfully), I had chopped a 70/30 (AJvAx) earlier at the final table, and I had won a lot of flips, so losing a 60/40 to bust is certainly not the end of the world. And I feel like I got the first of the good payouts, making about 10x my buyin, whereas 5th & 6th made about 5-6x, although the 3rd-1st payouts were something to write home about! But I'm really happy with the way things went, and this makes for my 3rd cash out of either 5 or 6 tries in this particular tournament, which as anyone who knows tournament poker knows is pretty remarkable. Its just so damn soft.

I haven't run the numbers yet, but this win *may* have officially made me a winning player on life. I dumped an ugly amount of money in 2005 (the dark days) and have been determined to recover from that ever since, and I know I'm either really really close, or now officially a winning player, which is a giant accomplishment, and as I continue to make progress, I continue to hope for better things to come.

In other news, PokerStars recently ran a promotion where you could take a quiz on their VIP program and get an automatic bump to GoldStar VIP status if you pass. So I've been a GoldStar on Stars since the middle of July and get to keep the status through the end of August. Committed to taking advantage of this and maintaining the status I have played a whopping 2 SNGs during this time. *rolls eyes* I also have the Full Tilt bonus currently active and have yet to play one hand to try and clear it. But I've been busy, and poker hasn't been a focus.

Speaking of being busy, I've gotta split for now. My wife and I had our first baby last Monday, and I've been wasting the morning away at the computer, so I'd better go hang out w/the little fella, because I hear before you know it they're all grown up. :-)

Thanks for checking in, and all the best to everyone on the felt!

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Moving Down

Welp, so much for .10/.25 NL. Played another 500 hands tonight and just got it handed to me. More brutal beats, couldn't flop a thing when I stepped out with a marginal hand, and no action when I really wanted/needed it (hey, look @ that...just got a walk w/AA). Even though they'd probably suck out if they tried. So back to .05/.10 it is for me. Maybe I'll get a halfway decent rakeback payment though. *rolls eyes*

I also played a couple of the PokerStars Steps toward a WSOP seat. No hands in the first one, forced to fold AK preflop after a re-raise. Then in the 2nd one I played, I had KK beat by 10s after being up early, managed to survive to final 5, then jammed 10J and called by A8. Had an open-ender & flush draw by turn but bricked the river. Then, to finish me off, I pick up QQ all-in in the big blind and get beat by Q10, when he makes a straight. ALL IN ONE SNG.

So I continue to be the butt of online poker site's jokes. You'd think I'd get used to it, but when the object of the game is to get your money in good and win other people's chips, for some reason I just have a hard time shrugging it off.


Thursday, June 04, 2009


Hey all. Sorry I haven't been posting much. Just been busy, haven't played a lot, and when I have, its not much to post about. I'll have SHORT stretches where I feel like I'm playing well and thank the lord I'm running well, but overall I continue to run

Tonight I played a couple of 18-max SNGs and about 460 hands of .10/.25 NL. In my first SNG I was cruising along really well in about 5th or 6th of 10 when I picked up AK in mid-late position. I raised about 3.75x and get called by one of the bigger stacks in the SB. I don't remember the exact details of the hand, but when all was said and done the board read 3K2K4 and I was broke to his 33. Any way the action goes in that hand I don't think I'm getting away from going broke, and I can't imagine there are many players on this planet who are either. Such a sick cooler. In my other SNG I caught a nice hidden draw right off in the first level and had a nice stack going already. I messed around and got caught stealing in a pot and immediately pick up KK, and with my credibility shot in the eyes of my tablemates, I'm seeing dollar signs. I limp in UTG+1 and it gets raised 3x two seats behind me and called in a couple other places. I pop it 3x more and get a call from the original raiser and UTG. Sparing the details, the original raiser and I got it all-in on the flop and my KK had run straight into AA, and I found myself down around 1/2 a starting stack. I managed to survive to 7th when I jammed about 5BBs w/8 10s on the button and got called by 99 in the BB. Flop came 9JK, giving me life, the 9 on the turn shut me down hard. Yeah I got my money in pretty bad, do I have to pick up KK against AA when I'm rolling early, and can I at least have live cards when I jam the button w/8 10 and at least get my sweat all the way through the river? Its just so brutal.

The cash session was something else. I sat down at a regular NL table and a deep NL table, and it was 3x points Happy Hour, so the action was pretty good all around. I managed to run my stack up 100 BBs at the deep table pretty early with one gutsy play and some decent cards, but was getting brutalized at the other table. Lost w/66v55 on a 577 flop (villian was a short stack all-in for $5 on flop, thankfully), then lost w/AKvAJs on an A-high board when he rivered a flush after I priced him out with a turn raise. I raised PF, bet the flop, the A came on the turn and I check-raised. Anyway, I ended up getting stacked and had to reload on that table when I made a river two pair that made villian a straight, meanwhile steadily giving away all my profit and then some at the deep stack table.

Toward the end of the session I admit to playing very tilty, taking big risks to try and win big pots. I wouldn't even so much call it tilty as much as experimental as a result of frustration. :-) I've been watching a lot of Tom Dwan lately and really love the way he plays. I don't so much want to be as all-out reckless as him, but I'd love to figure out how to mix it up, be unpredictable, and win huge pots when I make big hands like he does. The problem I was running into last night was whenever I would try and represent big hands while actually holding garbage, it was like they could see my cards or actually had the hands I was representing and they were popping me every time. Meanwhile, every time I would think about mixing it up with an off-color hand but give it up because of position or some such extranneous factor, of course I'd flop the joint and miss out on a big pot. One hand in particular saw me hesitate over a 57s in EP in an already 5x raised and called pot, only to give it up and proceed to have made a full house in a pot that went all the way to the river with two big pocket pairs.

Anyway, in the end I was down as much as probably $30, if not maybe more, but cashed out about $7 down after finally making some hands late. I probably shouldn't have quit as I may have finally been teetering on the brink of "heater" status, but it was getting late-ish, and I had told my wife one more orbit but it had been more like three (and yet here I am blogging). So it was an interesting session. On the one hand I wish I'd have made a few more hands, but on the other, while it felt reckless and tilty at times I feel like I did make a handfull of good plays, as well as a handfull of mistakes, and learned a lot about getting involved and mixing it up. I also liked .10/.25 a lot more than .05/.10 so hopefully I can make this level work. Its one of those levels where you're still not playing for a lot of money from pot to pot, but it can start to add up a lot faster than .05/.10. I know I probably shouldn't have jumped a level AND changed my style of play, but hey, I don't get to play much, so I gotta do what I can to advance.

So I'm still not running great, but I do have my moments where the sites are throwing me a bone. I'm still working on trying to secure a Main Event package through PokerStars steps, but I've been trying to maintain a bankroll at the same time, and as little as I play (and as much as I lose :-) ) it doesn't leave a lot of opportunity to focus on that. I have been mixing in Step 1s as often as I can, and at the moment have about seven Step 2 tickets. I'm thinking at this point I'll quit trying to supplement w/SNGs and losing, play another 10 or so Step 1s, and then start to move on. Mathematically it doesn't put me anywhere near in a position for a ME package to be a solid bet, but if I can catch a few breaks and maybe run good for a day or two, its certainly not impossible. Worst case scenario I can get some Step 4 tix, which are good for Sunday Million entry, and hopefully some last chance ME sats which usually end up with quite a few seats up for grabs.

If anyone reads this, do you know if you have to use your first ME package you win @ Stars? Obviously I would likely opt to keep the money if I actually won one, but if you were required to play it, it certainly would make for a helluva experience.

So that's my story. I still feel good about 2009. I don't forsee getting to play any more than I typically do for the next few weeks with summer in full swing, but I think I'm gonna take a couple weeks off when my wee one arrives in August, which hopefully means a few hours a day. I also will be finding a time sooner rather than later for some cash and probably a tourney or two @ the local casino. I've been putting that off since January. I still love and feel like I am better at live poker, it just takes more time, dedicated focus (ie I can't do it in my kitchen while cooking dinner) and bankroll. So I really get amped to play live. When I'm not able to play, I'm doing my best to study. Continuing to watch High Stakes Poker and Poker After Dark, reading blogs, and I need to crack Negreanu's book which I got for Christmas. But I feel good about 2009. I'm gonna have a breakthrough, damn it! All the pieces are there, I just need that magical moment that everything comes together. But until then, I continue to grow as a player, and enjoy playing whether I'm winning or losing, because I know if I just continue to do my best, my time will come.

Friday, April 03, 2009

It Couldn't be Going Worse

Just wanted to check in quick and update that I am back to running bad. Or for me, about normal.

My log of my last 20 or so SNGs reads like a bad beat manual, with me getting sucked out on or getting cold-decked so hard its like its...normal. AA and KK are garbage, and I barely get a draw, let alone get there when I have one.

I was hoping to bankroll myself for a little SCOOP on PokerStars. Instead, I'm bankrolling myself for $1.20 SNGs. Well, not quite yet.

But close.

Right now I'm breaking my bankroll rules for the first time in a couple years. I should've moved down to the $5.50 level for certain by now, but I've got 2 $11 tables up and running as I type this.

The way 2009 started it, I thought things might be different. I honestly believe I'm playing about as well as I ever have, pushing my edges and putting pressure on my opponents. I've even worked on plugging a leak that started to become very obvious. I posted on Twitter the other day (@WindBreak247) that I may be the best in the world at getting my money in good, but I can't sweat an out to save my life. Usually, literally, my tournament life. 2-4 outs and you're in good shape...6+ and you may as well be a favorite.

Its really depressing. I try so hard to be disciplined and play good poker, and I got no luck when there's nothing left but cards to be laid on the table.

Anyway, that's probably enough whining. I just hoped that maybe if I posted, a little good vibes might be sent my way.

Speaking of posting, I'd love to be posting more, but unfortunately it'd be all like this. Its no fun to talk about or read about playing well and losing. So I'm sparing you the pity parties.

Please keep your eyes on this space, as I'm not giving up. Someday, somehow, I will make this a profitable, meaningful hobby, but right now I need some sort of spiritual intervention or something, because I have been plagued since the day I started this game.

Thanks for checkin' in.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Doom Switch Activated

After starting the year pretty hot, the online sites have flipped the doom switch on me something fierce. I can't do anything right. I raise & miss. I call & miss. I got something, they got more. I get in ahead, they catch up. I can't flop a set, I can't flop a draw, and if happen to, you'd better believe it won't fill. I can't remember the last time I had anything better than 2 pair, and usually my 2 pair are getting beat by someone making a better two pair on the turn or river.

I have cashed in 8 of my last 40 SNGs, ranging anywhere from 9-45 players. Luckily 5 of those cashes have been 9-man wins so my bankroll isn't yet swirling the drain, but it sure as shiznit isn't any fun. Especially when I'm playing my heart out and just getting snapped off at every turn.

It needs to stop soon. I'm about to go looney.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Still Here

Just wanted to stop by real quick and let everyone know that I'm still alive and kicking, and still love poker, I just have been overwhelmed the past 3-4 weeks with my recent move. Its not a lack of posting for once, its a lack of playing. I have played about 4 SNGs (0 cashes...I'm rusty) and 20 minutes of .05/.10 NL since my last post, and/or since we moved on 1/23. I'm starting to get back to some semblance of normal life again, which means hopefully getting back into things, including playing and posting.

Please don't forget about me. I'm looking for a big 2009!

Take care. Talk soon.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

2008 Results

Well, up until now, I have not ever been able to put up a results post because A) I didn't track my play, and B) I had nothing to be proud of. That all changes for 2008.

While I won't be playing pro for a living in 2009 by any stretch of the imagination, I am 95% sure I had my first profitable year. The breakdown is as follows:

Online Misc - ($72.03) - 3033 Hands
This category is the only one in 2008 that saw me in the red and includes satellites, shootouts, steps, my Battle of the Planets payout, and the Stars "Double or Nothings". Obviously there's room for improvement in this category. I really got rocked when I experimented with about 16 of the Turbo Double or Nothings one day, otherwise it looks as if this category would've been profitable, too. So I'm not too concerned about what I lost here.

Online Cash - $70.83 - 124 sessions - Avg. $.57/session - 9905 Hands
While I played anywhere from $.01/.02 NL on Stars to a couple of quick sessions of $.10/.25 NL, I primarily played $.05/.10 NL on Full Tilt. Obviously I didn't play a lot, and that's not because I don't like cash or anything. In fact, I really enjoy it and think I could play it profitably online. I would just prefer to play a little more meaningful stakes if I'm going to be playing cash and earning rakeback. Therefore I continue to cut my teeth primarily in SNGs and MTTs, trying to snag some sort of a bankroll breakthrough. But its nice to mix in a weekend of cash on Full Tilt maybe a weekend every month or two and earn some rakeback. If I can ever get rolled for even $.25/.50 or $.50/$1, I think I would be significantly more inclined to play cash more often.

Online MTT - $86.84 - 51 Tourneys - Avg. Buyin $7.60 - Avg. Finish 940/2638 - 5606 Hands
I'm proud to have turned a profit, albeit a small one, in MTTs. While the big cash I'm after continues to elude me, I am proud of consistently finishing in the top 35% or so of the MTTs I play. I am happy with the occasional micro to medium cash to remain profitable and keep myself bankrolled for MTTs, and think the breakthrough is coming. But the end of the year and a couple glimpses at missed final table opportunities definitely has me starting to understand why the successful MTT players live by a hard and fast motto of "go big or go home", because there is nothing exciting about being a consistent micro to medium casher, and the hunger for more is burning pretty hard for me right now. And I think the nourishment I'm after lies in the 6:15 PM CST $11 1R1A. Bottom line, I am thrilled to have been profitable for MTTs in 2008, but for 2009 I would almost rather see a big negative or a big positive.

Live - $213 - 25 various sessions
For 2008 this category included 12 monthly homegames ($5 tourneys, one rebuy @ the end of the night, $.25/$.50 NL side games), 6 $1/2 NL sessions & one $3/6 Limit session, one casino tourney that I FTed, & another small collection of various homegames with similar low stakes to the regular game. It was nice to make a small live profit this year, including an 11 months & counting profitability streak at the monthly game. I didn't play nearly as much in a casino as I did in 2007, which I despise, but also don't regret. Try and figure that one out. But with any luck, 2009 will provide more opportunity to do so, because I think my game is in much better shape to be profitable. But for this year, I was happy to nickle and dime a little money in the homegames and keep the big money in my pocket. The key for 2008 was bankroll management and focusing on fundamentals online.

Online SNG - $254.80 - 401 SNGs - Avg. Buyin $6.52 - Avg. Finish 5.37/12.07 - 30281 Hands
Its no secret that I consider this my bread and butter. While I may not pull huge numbers, this is what I do and have played the most of, and know the strategy best for. In a horrendous skid eventually ending in going broke on Full Tilt at the end of 2007, I only played one SNG on there for my last $1.25. The other 400 were at Stars, where I took money I made from a couple of freerolls and bounced around from $1.20 to $5.50 to $11 and back down between January & July, then finally made a pretty quick progression through $5.50 to $11 by September, finally dipping into $22s at the end of September but running horribly. So I eventually found my home at $11 throughout the end of the year. What's fun is I saw marked improvement over the course of the 2nd half of the year and think my SNG game is on point. I'm finding it a lot easier to know when to apply pressure to my opponents in the interest of getting them to fold, when to get away from marginal hands that will only get me in trouble, and playing very fearlessly, but in a profitable way. Now if I could find a way to port this confidence to the MTT arena, I think that would be the key to the breakthrough cash I'm after. Anyway, being comfortably in the $11 range, bankroll wise, allows me to excersize the whole "the money should be meaningless" concept and play the players, the cards, and the situations, and if I bust, on to the next one, but with the peace of mind that I played it right. I am very "zen" when it comes to SNGs these days. Its kinda nice.

So, 2008 was a big year, producing just over $550 in profits in around 50,000 hands. So its around a penny a hand, but hey...its profit.

Incidentally, I have come out ON FIRE in SNGs in 2009 and have for all intents and purposes already matched my entire 2008 profitability in 12 SNGs, including one 2nd place in a 45-max, and two wins in 27-max. So I'm on the verge of dipping into the $22s again, but will tread lightly because I don't want to throw a very fortunate start to 2009 out the window.

As for 2009 goals, in general they're pretty "duh", but I think for me they are legitimately achievable. Basically, improve upon my profitability and continue to move up in levels if bankroll permits and as I see fit, lock up that damn big score in MTTs that I've been saying I'm "on the verge of" for 2-3 years now, and continue to plug away at cash and move up in levels there as well. In general, if I continue to focus on improving upon my game, the rest will fall into place.

I think that's more than enough for now. Thanks for tuning in, and I'll check ya later!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Live Blog of 18:15 CST Stars $11 1R1A

Well, since I haven't blogged in a while I thought I might pick up here on hour two of what has become one of my favorite tournaments, even though I've only played it twice. I still never blogged about the first time I played it, when I took 23rd out of 837, and would like to sometime, but I figured I'll move forward with this blog for some prosperity.

Beginning of hour 2, approx. 7:20 CST. Made it through the first hour with 9590 + the 4k addon. I'm into it for the original $11 buyin + $10 addon.

7:20: Average is around my pre-addon stack, so I'm above average with my 13590. Lost almost 2k on first hand of hour 2. W/K7o in the BB, blind is min-raised in the SB to $300. I figure everyone else will call, so I call for the discount. Flop comes 5c 8 6c and I flop about as good as I can expect. SB bets 500, I call, folds around to LP, who bumps to 1.5k, SB calls and I call. Turn is non-club 10. Check, check, 5k bet, all-in, and I fold. LP shows a set of 5s and SB goes home.

7:32: Blinds 75/150 still, I raise to 450 UTG w/JJ. With a monster or no respect of the UTG raise, player two seats later makes it 1250, and it folds around to me and I fold. I hate Jacks. My stack and chip average @ 11k.

7:41: QQ UTG. Raise 3x to 600, folds around.

7:42: Very next hand UTG again, I pick up KK and have an opportunity to get it all-in and end up with a helluva sweat. This guy was table captain and on a SERIOUS heater and I managed to snap it off. 38th out of 634 remaining.

7:53: 55 in the big blind. One caller and I check. Flop comes 3 8 10. I fire 725 into the 850 pot and get called. Turn J. I check to see where he's at. Checks behind, and I put him on a draw or a hand he doesn't love. River blank and I fire 1300 into 2300 pot. He calls and shows K8o. Ick. Not sure how he can make that call, but I'm sure I played it bad.

7:57: Try to make a position play w/Q2c. Raise to 800 in the cutoff and button and BB call. Flop comes A-high, all diamonds. BB checks, I fire 1500 into 2k pot, button calls again. I check-fold the river.

8:00: Call in mid-position w/AJo. Flop comes K-high rainbow. I fire 900 into 1200 pot, button calls. Turn 6. I fire 1300 into 2300 pot, button calls. Have to check the river again, button checks and takes down the pot w/AQo. What am I doing wrong here?? Down to 16k, w/average @ 14k.

8:05: Limp into 6-way pot w/88 from the button. Flop 694. UTG bets 500. Folds around to me and I pop to 1500. UTG calls. Turn 9. Check to me and I bet 3500. UTG folds for once. For the record, UTG is the one that doubled me up earlier and the one that just made 2 hero calls in the last hand. He is officially my nemesis. Up to 18950.

8:11: AKo UTG+1. Raise to 1k w/blinds @ 150/300/25. Nemesis calls. A-high flop. I bet, nemesis min-raise, I jam...quick. WindBreaker 3 - Nemesis 1. And the Stars setup hand goes my way! Currently 38k & 14th/483.

8:25: Second Break. Currently 36,450, 25th/447, & big stack @ my table by ~10k. Avg. 16,921. Blinds going to 200/400/50, with me in the small.

8:35: Limp w/55 UTG. UTG+1 pops to 1200. SB call so I call. Flop 7 10 4. SB check, I bet 4250 into 4450 pot. 2 folds and I drag the pot. Then scoop blinds on next hand.

8:45: Nemesis eliminated when his A9 can't beat AK on an A-high flop. Too bad I didn't get him.

8:51: Up to 41,400 after a little scoopage. THIS HAND is my favorite.

8:53: AKo in 600 chip BB. Blinds @ 300/600/50, I call a raise to 1600 from a player who has shown loose tendencies. Flop comes 10 J 4. He bets 3k into 3950 pot. I make the CR to 9650. He tanks for a while & folds. Who is this masked marauder playing my screenname check-raising with air?! Up to 46,100 & 31/309 w/avg. @ 25k.

9:01: I have been and currently am @ Table 77. A little luck from my brother's old football number??

9:12: Mini-blowup. Find 22 in MP and limp w/it and see a 10 Q Q flop 4-ways. Three checks, and I fire 2850 into the 3875 pot. SB & BB fold, and EP calls. Turn 7 and EP checks to me. I fire 6k and he calls again. River 6, he bets somewhere North of 7k and I have to fold. He probably had a 10 the whole way or just as easily could have been slow-playing a Q. But I had to get caught one of these times. 35k left. Blinds headed to 500/1000/100 and I'm due a trip through the blinds.

9:16: Unfortunately, my table is very well stacked. Shortest stack is 14k and biggest is 54k, so no shortys to pick off and nobody desperate to get chips in the middle. What are the chances table is due to break? Anyway, gonna lock it up a little and hope for some good hands and see what happens as we approach the bubble.

9:19: So much for locking it up. Folds to me in Cutoff-1 and I open for 3775. Cutoff jams 16k and I have to let it go. 28,900 w/avg @ 33k.

9:22: I lied about bubble approaching. I guess we pay 117. I thought it was 171. Still got a LONG ways to go.

9:24: Woo PokerStars glitch! Got to skip my small blind when guy on my right busted!

9:28: Pick up 88 in UTG+2 & make it 4400 to go after 1 limper. Table big stack jams. I call and he shows QQ. I'm not sure why I called. He hadn't shown any play too far out of line, but I just thought the jam was a funny play and he was trying to scoop with a big ace, and I was willing to flip coins for the table chip lead. Horrible call in hindsight, obv, but I still would've had 25 BBs behind and approaching the 3rd break if I can fold, so its an EASY fold. This is why I don't win tournaments. All that promising play and I end up pissing it down my leg with one terrible play. I get this mindset that I'm being attacked and/or I'm due, and logic just completely escapes me.

To add insult to injury, table immediately breaks. Final verdict...208th out of 1035. I do love this tournament, though, and feel like it gives me the best opportunity to get that breakthrough win. I just wish I could avoid that bombshell mistake that always directly or indirectly shows me to the rail.

Well, here I am on the brink of my week off to spend at home and toil away the days in front of the laptop, and my bankroll is crap and I haven't been running too terribly hot. Guess I'd better hit the SNGs and see if I can get things turned around.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

How to Bust a Blogger Freeroll in 29 Hands

I'm steaming so bad right now its freakin' ridiculous.

Hand 3
I probably could've played this better, but its early. Considering he was on a draw, I thought I played it pretty well. God forbid Stars let me live on the river.

Hand 5
I win some back, yay!

Hand 6
I get a little feisty protecting my blind/trying to scoop the sit out big blind, but this guy has to have a hand here. Why do they have a hand every damn time I make a move?!

Hand 8
Flop a flush draw and position myself to win a big pot...but can't get there. I admit, I made a terrible call on the turn, but it was early and I was OK with it.

Hand 10
I'm already steaming a little and decide to call a cheap all-in with suited gappers, hoping nobody raises to isolate. This guy had just lost most of his stack on the previous hand, and what are the chances that he wakes up with JJ-AA, so at worst I'm 70/30, and most likely I'm 40%. So everybody cooperates, I out turn him, and of course he doubles on the river.

Hand 13, I move to another table.

Hand 18, I limp UTG w/ATd, flop comes QQ6, three checks, turn 9, BB checks, I bet 60 into 90 pot, BB calls, river 8, we check, BB shows 9J for the win.

Hand 20
I felt like I made a really good play here preflop, reraising the button raiser to see where he's at. I then proceed to butcher my chance at a flop play, and he turns the 2-outer. Admittedly I'll probably make that weak play on the flop every time, but I feel like more often than not it saves me money. Of course the 2-outer on the turn is a kick in the stones.

Now...drumroll please. Hand 29
I get a potentially cheap look at a flop and don't hate the king. I want to make sure I know where I'm at, so I bet the flop so I can get away ASAP if need be. I'm good with the big blind's call here. Now to see if I'm *really* winning the hand I make sure to bet the turn, too, and he jams. Now NOT FOR A SECOND did I think I was beat here. I don't know if it was timing or the way he played the hand up to this point, but I was positive the 5 sealed the deal for me on the turn. So I called pretty quickly and he's dead to six outs.

...and proceeds to hit it. GG me. 458th/559. Honestly, I can't believe I outlasted 100 people. Incidentally, Twitter tells me Pauly was one of those people, going out in 545th with a set of 7s vs. a Q6 flush draw. Quite ugly in its own right.

Anyway...*that*, my friends, is a conscise lesson on how to bust a blogger freeroll before dinnertime.

After taking 2-3 weeks off because of holiday and focusing on selling/buying a house, I have been running like this ever since I picked the laptop up on Saturday. It feels like summer 2006 to summer 2007 all over again. Bankroll is getting scarce again, so I'm in lockdown mode to try and recover. I was really excited to play this tourney tonight, but obviously Stars had other plans for me. Don't think I'll probably get to play in any of the others, so this is probably the abrupt beginning and end of my WBCOOP 2008.

Hope things are treating everyone else better!

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

WBCOOP - Count Me In!

Its that time of year again. This is AWESOME that PokerStars does this for bloggers. Just really really cool.

I was actually a little bit scared that it wasn't going to happen this year, because as I recall last year it was a lot closer to, if not affiliated with, the WCOOP. Now weather my pea brain just doesn't remember that right or its just different this year, it doesn't really matter, cuz its on.

It does look a little different this year in that instead of just one big tourney there's a series of freerolls and a Final. Pretty sweet.

So join the club!

Online Poker

I have registered to play in the PokerStars World Blogger Championship of Online Poker!

The WBCOOP is an online Poker tournament open to all Bloggers.

Registration code: 510155

Sunday, November 30, 2008

I Haven't Given Up Blogging

It may look like I'm no longer a blogger, but I assure you that is far from true. I'm doing a decent job *reading* blogs these days, but I have not found a lot of time for playing or blogging of my own.

While this past month's vice has been my new iPhone, the new TV season, and keeping busy with various whatnots, this next month's vice will most certainly be finding a home. The little lady and I have accepted an offer on our townhome, and while we're upside down on it, we have to get out from under it and try to start heading in the right direction with a home where all 4 walls are our own, so between now and 1/23, we will be looking for a home and moving into it.

You may think this means less playing and less blogging, but quite the contrary, I'm going to be trying to satellite like mad for the PCA, because the size of that package just so happens to be quite a significant amount in the grand scheme of our whole moving process. Lets just say if I were able to win a $13.5k prize package for PCA, that would get us right side up on the whole deal, with a little extra for a washer and dryer.

See you in the PCA Steps! Here's to running good! :-\