Monday, January 30, 2006

Party Time

One thing about Party that I usually forget, is to take my time. Since I use Poker Tracker, it is important to identify the poor players, before putting the stack at risk. Did a good job of it tonight and ended up $186. Not bad for 300 hands at NL50.

I did pull one bad beat on a guy though which really boosted the winnings tonight! KK from late position and it gets raised by MP2 to $2. Recently I have just been calling in these situations to hide the strength of my hand. The BB also calls and the flop is Ts 6d 4d. The BB checks and MP2 bets $5 so now I figure I better take down the hand so I raise to $33 (the rest of MP2's stack). I am totally expecting the BB to fold but instead he pushes all in to $68. So it is $35 for me to call into a pot of a little more than $100. I am worried about a set or a flush draw straight draw combo but figure I have to call.

Turn 10d, river 8d.... I don't have Kd so the pile of chips has to be going the other way.... but no I win the hand. He had 6s, 4s for a flopped two pair. So a nice $146 pot slides my way and I decide to call it a night. Only have 75 raked hands to play and I am done the bonus and then back to Paradise. I will be reraising with AA and KK as I would hate to get stacked by 64!

Party time - Paradise has gotta wait

Well a weekend went by and very little poker was played. I guess that is because I got trashed on Friday night at the Toronto Rock game and spent the next day recovering.

So the goal for the week is simple.... 1. Finish my Party bonus for $50 (need 250 raked hands) and 2. Try to get the Paradise bonus done so I can get my Nevada Jack Chipset, 3. Sign up for at least one of the 9,000 point PSO promos to do next month (maybe two).

And the tip of the week is to fold TPTK if someone pushes all in with the flush draw on the board. Most likely they have the set or the flush draw. Nothing worse than someone catching a flush against you holding top pair or you hoping for your two outer against the set!

Now if I could only listen to that tip my bankroll wouldn't have taken two big hits the other day. Live and learn... just play a few more 100,000 hands and I might finally learn.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Paradise - going for Nevada Jacks

So I have to play 1,000 raked hands to get my PSO promo of a 300 piece chipset from Nevada Jacks. Took me a while to get Pokertracker working with Paradise since you have to set up POP3 with your email. Not liking that part of it but the tables are quite predictable. Cleared almost 200 hands last night and up $35 from playing and earned a $10 bonus. The site only has a $50 first time deposit bonus which is quite small but they do seem to have lots of traffic at all levels. I only deposited $200 so taking it easy until I get over the $300 mark except for one hand against a maniac last night at the NL50 tables.

Guy sits directly to my left which isn't great and proceeds to raise 6 of the next 10 hands and doesn't have to showdown even once. Because of this he turns $50 into $80 in a short time with c-betting every flop. I get dealt AJo in MP2 and figure that I have been playing too tight (14%/7%/5) and decide to at least call and see a flop. Well maniac raises to $2 and I figure that I am due to police this guy so I call with one other caller to the flop. Flop is K4c3c so I check, maniac bets $3 and other guy folds. So I figure he missed because his bet is so small (he bet large on one hand and continued to bet big - probably made his hand) so I raise it to $12. He thinks about it for a bit and then calls. That lets me know that even if he has a K he isn't happy with his kicker but is hoping to his two pair with the next card or to see the flush hit the table and bet that. Turn puts another 4 on the board and I lead out for $15 and maniac folds. This was one of those cases where I showed him that all I had was A high and since I didn't get a nh comment I figure he is a bit pissed.

Too bad it was getting late so I logged off for the evening content that one hand got my cash back from losing $15 with AA. Horrible flop of KcQc 10, I bet $10 and a loose player calls, turn is a 10 and we check around and river is a 9. Loose guy bets $10 but it looked like a value bet to get more out of me and I laid it down. Trying to learn to let those nice looking hands go without losing my stack even if it means laying down the best hand once in a while.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Good finish to Poker Room bonus

Finally got the remainder of my points at Poker Room to clear the $176 bonus. So deposited $440 and taking out $1300. Needless to say I will be back to this site when they offer me reload bonuses. Starting to really get used to playing at the NL100 level as the players are just as bad as NL50.

Coolest person I met on the site was Oatmeal143... really cool chick from Michigan who is a single mom and has to put up with the "raunchy" buggers who hit on ladies at the poker table.

Now I am going to start up the Nevada Jack PSO promotion using Paradise as the site to clear with. I want to get my chips before my brother gets his set!

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Picking on short stacks too much

Well the good news is only another 350 Poker Room points to go.... bad news is that I am still playing too many hands and it is hurting my returns. Wierd thing is that I am having issues of getting people all in when I have the nuts. I think sometimes that our poker returns are quite dependant on our opponent's aggression paying us off.

Tonight I had a bunch of muppets at the table limping with big hands. First I call with 10 8 suited and flop is 10d 5s 2s and it gets checked around (5 players). I put in a bet on the turn when a Jc lands... figure I should see if anyone has anything. I get min raised but I decide to call because the reraise seemed a little off. River is 8s so it puts flush on board so I decide to check call and bet is 3/4 pot.... so I call and he has AA and my hand is good (mhig).

2nd hand I was in the big blind and get 45s... I saw 5 callers so I almost raise preflop as I get a feeling about the hand... of course I remember that I am clearing a bonus and should fold but the gut feel says see the flop. Well the flop was perfect with 2h 3s 6h so with the flush draw out there I bet pot when it is checked to me. I sort of expect that the hand is over at that point but the utg reraises me by pushing all in. I have no choice but to call and just hope that he doesn't hit his flush... well he had KK and again MHIG.

Luckily these guys are offsetting my bad beats and also my bone headed moves from the other day... stack on that site is back to 880 but at one point the other night it was 1,040 and the low was down to 720... so the variance has been big but when I put my mind to playing good poker I end up for the day.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006


I think I have played my fill of hands for a little while... yesterday played 700 hands and ended with a silly call with a set with a flush on the board. That cost me about 90 more than it should have but after 600 hands and a bottle of wine I felt like seeing what he had. Overall, the dumbest part of it was that I didn't need to win the hand as I was playing to earn my bonus. Up 40 on the night and earning lots of points and then I go all bone headed. Should have been up huge last night but found myself on the wrong end of set vs. set and lost an all in preflop of Q's vs. my A's.... that was a big hand and I don't think he would have folded even if I told him what I had!

My bro logged a few hands at the NL100 tables and found that people will call all in's with overpairs and they will catch once in a while. It wouldn't be so bad but he doesn't have the bankroll to play at these levels.

So only 750 more Poker Room points to go and I clear that $176 bonus... time to buckle down and grind it out while the wife is busy studying... make less moves and get more passive preflop. Good thing is that I am playing at the NL100 tables and not finding them any different than the NL50 tables that I usually beat up.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Back to the action

Got back from Central America after a quick business trip kept me from the poker tables for a few days. Wanted to play live this evening but that fell through as family responsibilities kept me home. The good thing is that I worked on getting through the Poker Room bonus that looks like it will take forever. Luckily for me it seems that the site is good at attracting lots of poor players. Up $131 tonight at the ring tables but then felt like playing in a couple tournaments. Started with a one table SNG for $5 and won that and then came 2nd in a two table $5 SNG. So that added another $44 to the win column.

Again it just felt like tonight in the SNG's that I would hit my lucky river when needed to keep me in the tourney. Also, I don't think I have ever spiked so many hands with top two pair and with blind escalation people get over aggressive.

At the ring tables I was struggling for a long time this evening. Played over 500 hands tonight which is a lot for me with only two tables open. I find that at some tables I just can't win so I am trying to leave those tables before they cost me too much. Had AA quite often tonight which probably explains the good results. That being said I think I only won the blinds with AA three times and lost $15 with it when someone called down to river with top pair and caught 2nd pair on the river against me. Close to the end of the time I was playing I decided to open a NL100 table and put in a few hands at that level. About three hands in I get AA from the dealer button. One limper and one raise ahead of me to 3.5x bb so I reraise it to $6 just to try to see how big of a hand he has. The limper folds and the raiser comes over the top and makes it $10 which in most cases I would just call in this situation (but I do dislike the min raise against me!). Instead, I decided to reraise as if I wanted to end the hand right there or to make it a huge pot so they have to call post flop. So I push it to $30 and get called right away.

Flop is A 2h 4h which is a great flop for me but I don't like that flush draw but I can't imagine that they called without a big pocket pair. Opponent leads out with a push all in and I can't click call fast enough! They had QQ and it was an easy $87 towards the win column.

About a min after this happens I get my big hand at the NL50 table. Dealt AA in EP and raise to 4x bb which is standard for me. It folds around to the SB who reraises. Now at NL50 tables people only reraise with AA or KK which is the only difference from the NL100 tables. So in this case to hide the AA (I believe he has KK at this point) I just call the reraise. Flop is 9c, 10h, 4s which should get him betting but I have to be careful to not let the fish off of the hook. He leads out for $4, I raise to $8 and get reraised to $12. Now I am quite sure that I have him, and I am hoping that he couldn't play this way with 10's! Call the $12 and watch a 4d come on turn and he leads out for a $10 bet into a $31 pot which looked small but a push by me would be a pot sized bet so I pushed. He called and the river was a J and I was right that he had KK and I pulled $54 to the win column for this hand.

So outside of these hands I was fooling around too much and giving away chips in silly ways. Been a bit too aggressive in attacking short stacks at the table which has cost me. More stuff to work on to improve the game.

But in the meantime I will continue to try to maximize my winnings from solid hands. Didn't get KK, QQ, JJ tonight but had a few 10's and A's to make up for it.

Monday, January 09, 2006 - laying down bad beats

I know we have all had those poker days when you can't catch a card. Today, I am on the opposite end of the luck scale while finishing reload bonus at Was just trying to clear the $25 reload bonus and really close to getting to the required points so telling myself to take it easy and try to do nothing stupid.

Playing NL100 (mostly because the site is full of crazy guys and a couple easy steals and I get the points needed) and get dealt KK from MP. Raise to $3.50 and get called by button and big blind.

Flop is Jh 9h 5s. I am not worried about the guy in the dealer button (last time I raised he called with K6o) but the big blind is a bit of an unknown. BB checks and I check to the maniac. He comes in for a nice $12 pot sized bet which is smooth called by the big blind. I start to panic a bit since the bb could just be on flush draw and maniac could be on top pair with no kicker. So I push all-in and hope for the best (about $94 after telling myself to do nothing stupid!).

Both players call and when the cards turn over I am in total shock. I am way behind everyone! BB had AA, while dealer had J5. Turn shows a blank and luckily for me river brings Kh putting flush on board but no one was drawing to that.

The hand gave me the points needed to get the bonus so in total I put $100 in, to get approx. $420 back out. Damn, I love this site for the bad players and the crazy luck factor that they give out. Caught quad A's as well which also helped in the return column.

Had a great day yesterday at Poker Room where I was up about $110 in 3 hours of play and up to 250 points out of 400 required for PSO promotion. Total bankroll is now $2,600 approx.

Playing mostly NL50 now as the bankroll can support it, and I actually have found the players easier to play against. They will fold hands easier than at NL25

Going to Central America in a couple days so I think I might try to get in some good poker before I go.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Party Poker - Fish Tank

Party Poker makes it so tough to not play there. I got the email saying that my party points were going to expire so I made the quick $150 deposit. In 30 mins of playing I am over $200 and wondering if the increased win rate pays for the lack of always playing for a bonus.

Looks like next week I will be taking a business trip to Central America, (and no I don't deal drugs) which means reduced playing hours. Should be good to get away for a couple days and take a trip that will make me more well rounded (that has always been one of my problems).

So this weekend it is back to Poker Room to clear my PSO bonus and the $176 deposit bonus I am working on... only 1/4 done PSO and 1/17th done deposit bonus. So lots of work left but that site has also been producing enough fish to make the playing worth while.

Put a little cash on the Canadian Junior Team last night and won $70 so bankroll around $2,300 right now.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Playing Live

I went to a nice live SNG tourney in Toronto last night. Buy in was $60 to I was a bit intimidated to start out. Checking the list I got a good seat at a passive table where I had a good view (seat 2) of the entire table. Starting out I probably played a little too tight, but that helped me about an hour later when it started to become a push fest. Best play I saw at the table was a guy who limped from early position, and then smooth calls the 4x bb raise. Flop comes 2 5 6 and he pushes all in and gets a caller who has QQ. He turns over 34 and doubles up but that was an interesting play that made it all but impossible to know what he had. Against that guy I called an all in raise with AQo and he called behind me. Maybe I should have pushed to isolate but I figured that the loose guys calling would have less than me and I could put pressure on them on the flop. Instead I see Kd K 9d and I check and Mr. 34 raises for about 1/4 of my remaining stack. I fold as I don't even have the flush draw and he turns over Ad6d. I still like my play post flop to fold because I was even losing to any 9 at that point. Next time I will remember to reraise all in when it gets to me to make guys like that pay to see the flop with an inferior A.

Ended up going all in with 2 2 with blinds getting to 300/600 with me with 2.1k left so just more than a standard raise. Guy to my left pushes all in with 88 and another guy after that goes all in with AJ. An 8 was the first card off of the deck and that was the end of the tourney for me. I finished in 14th place out of 40 but next time I would be much more aggressive in the earlier rounds.

I have been quite tired since New Year's and late nights post Leafs games out downtown so I headed home without waiting for a seat at the 1/2 NL table that they had. Next week the goal is to sit down at one of those live ring games and try to pick off the bad players. I felt that I did well when I isolated myself against bad players in the tournament. If I can do that in a ring game then I should be able to build a decent stack.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Happy New Year

Well with the new year upon us it is time to make some goals for the new year. For me, I would like to complete a ton of bonuses, and, hopefully make it to NL200 as my regular game. The bankroll requirement for that has to be well over 10k but I have no reason to think that I can't grow to that level.

The new year brought in the feeling that I wanted to play in a coulple multi table SNG's. In my first attempt I finished 9th while trying to figure out the quick blind escalation at Poker Room. In the 2nd attempt, the results started to pan out and I was able to take home the victory which is a good way to start the new year. When I started playing I found it easier to win at SNG's vs. ring but over time I have been working on the ring games as that is normally what casinos have available. Now that I am in touch with some of the games in the Toronto area, I think I will have to try out a bit more live play than in the past.

Current bankroll is about $2.1k.... long way to get it to 10k.