Saturday, April 29, 2006

Just got home

Tired from a long day of travelling with a 2 year old on a 4 hour flight.... she was actually quite good. Always nice to get home after a week away but still looking forward to the next trip in Sept to LA.

Forgot to mention in my last post that the superstar sucked out on me with his 6 on the turn. Since we both had hearts I wish the flush showed! I still can't believe calling an all in with suited connectors that low... sort of like giving up or feeling really lucky.

Friday, April 28, 2006

On vacation

Down in Pheonix this week with the family. Found my way to a local casino and played in a NL tourney for $60 buy in. 120 players with 1.5k starting chips but blinds were going up every 20 minutes so M was dropping fast. Luckily my QQ held up and I almost doubled up against AQ. The crazy hand came when a dude trying to look like Phil Ivey with the big headphones sits down at the table. I watched him for the first few hands and he carries that "I am the best player" attitude. It gets to my BB and I see K9h and I see 4 limpers including the superstar... I push all in with blinds at 100/200 and I have a 2900 stack. The superstar calls right away and I figure I am screwed but when everyone else folds he turns over 56h. Since I have him covered I still can't imagine that he makes that call since he had over 2k chips at the time. If he pushed and I called that I can understand but this play is just horrible in my mind....

Anyone have any thoughts? It did give me more time to spend with the family. Oh and I did just pull off a 1st place finish in a Rio SNG. Starting to get better at those.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Playing Live = Fun!

Playing online you really get to play tons of hands, but live there is so much else to watch and notice, that it is a great change of pace. The first time I made it to this poker room in Toronto I found myself only taking the 15 seconds to make up my mind. Then it hit me that the goal is to ponder more, and think through a hand like a pro (assuming it isn't just an easy decision of course). Figuring out stack sizes and stuff also takes time, and I had to adjust to calcing this instead of it being in front of me all the time. I am just starting to get comfortable with making my bets and counting chips.

Last night was a blast. A buddy of mine likes to go for a couple cold ones prior to our live session. I don't mind because there is a $30 tournament (rebuys for first two levels) that takes time and lets me regain my composure. Also, most of the guys playing couldn't handle one beer so they usually think of me as the silly drunk guy. My buddy busts me out of the tournament by calling my steal with J10s when I was just trying to steal the blinds. Time for the ring game for me!

These guys play 1/2 NL $200 max but I am the big buy in for $100. The goal is to play a classic tight aggressive style and make them fear when I am in a hand. Most are buying in with $60 and calling preflop raises of $8-10. They seem to realize that when I pot the flop they are probably behind and let hands go. Using this technique I managed to get myself to the $140 range by the time of my last orbit (get to that soon). During this time my buddy has joined the table and the effects of a couple quick ones at the bar next door are having an effect on him. He buys in for $60 and gets stacked quite quickly. He rebuys and continues to play a very loose aggressive style. His K high all in bluff into a AA9 board didn't work against the guy holding A9. His all in bluff with K high on a QQQ73 board didn't work against the guy holding the case Q! Each time he rebuys and the table is loving him. I am starting to get worried so I announce that this is our last orbit and he should sit out... he rebuys again since I have one last hand to play before the BB gets to me. That should have been the sign that I should have picked up right there but figured it would have to be a good hand to play.

So here is the hand... dealt KJd and I limp along with Villian 1 and my buddy while BB completes.

Flop is Qd 10d 8x pot $9. Beautiful flop for me and since guys will call almost anything I bet out $10 to see if this board helped anyone else. Villan 1 calls, Buddy calls, BB reraises to $60.

Hmm... he could have a set but I saw him call down for half of his stack 5 hands earlier with K10o on a K high board. I figure he could have a hand like QJ or KQ and bet like that or it could be two pair, or set. The BB stack is about $150 so he has me covered while the other two stacks are around $70 each. I decide to push since I figure I have to have some fold equity and he would need a set or the Q high straight to call. And if he does I have a few outs!

I push, Villan 1 calls, Buddy calls, BB calls.... oh shit! Now I have no clue what is about to get turned over.

Hero: Kd Jd
Villian 1: Jx 9x
Buddy: 4x 4d
BB Qx 10x

So I have the OESFD while Villian 1 has Q high straight, Buddy looking for miracle runner runner to win with 4's, and BB has top two pair. Good news is only 1 diamond showing and one 9 gone... no A's showing!

Ran it through Poker Stove and this is what came up:

Board: Qd Td 8h

equity (%) win (%) tie (%)
Hand 1: 47.1297 % 46.22% 00.91% { KdJd }
Hand 2: 18.1655 % 18.17% 00.00% { QcTh }
Hand 3: 33.8495 % 32.94% 00.91% { Jc9s }
Hand 4: 00.8554 % 00.86% 00.00% { 4d4s }

Turn is a 5 and river is a 10 giving BB a full house. Stacked and time to go home. Amazing that I am ahead of even the Q high straight when my cash went in the middle.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Crying on the River

Another full night of Full Tilting my way to a 40 dollar loss. It was a lot more bleak at one point with me down over 150 but finally after 400 hands I started seeing some good starting hands and some of them held up.

Met my favorite gambler last night who just owned me on two hands. First one really hurt because I get him all in on the turn with my two pair AJ vs his AQ. Rivers a Q and my wife who is watching can't believe I just lost $125. She doesn't watch often but I had to explain to her that I actually wanted the donk to call but his 6% chance to hit will show up some nights. Last night was the night!

Worked my way back closer to even with some good value betting and a couple good steals. On Full Tilt there are more players who like to call flop, min raise turn, push river. Those of us who read 2+2 know that to be some scary betting patterns out of people. I know the only time I am supposed to call these crazy pushes is with the nuts. My 3-outer tried to pull this move but I had hit my J high flush on turn so when he reraised I popped it up again! He calls and the board pairs and his pushes river like I expected. It is another $60 to call and I am thinking "did he really have a set and now a full house?" Blah.... call and he of course has the full house. One guy rivers me twice but the second time I should have saved some coin. That being said he is the guy I am looking for the next time I am playing!

Monday, April 17, 2006

Rio's.... no love yet!

Well played nothing but Rio's SNG's because I am addicted to the action these games have. So far I am breaking even but playing well. Also managed to get through a night without getting stacked while playing overpairs. AA is finally showing a profit on Full Tilt which is a step in the right direction!

The truth is that it has only been 1,500 hands on that site and I am still adjusting to the players. Lots of people at NL100 trying to make fancy moves that it almost pays off to just play ABC poker. One guy pushed all in on me 4 times and I believe he stole against me twice. At least when I did call I was ahead and managed to stack him so my patience paid off. When running bad you try to force the good situation and run into a monster pushing you further into a hole.

This past weekend was also a good start on not making any crazy bluffs for 1/2 stack. Build the right image first and then you can pull off one 1/3 stack steal a night. Adds to the ptbb / 100 stat but doesn't start your evening trying to get back to even!

By playing an easier game I can multi table 3 tables instead of 2 and wait for better situations to put my cash in the middle. players gave me $100 this weekend as well which helped offset any Rio losses!

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Partying too hard!

Thanks for the words of encouragement guys! Went and tried these Rio SNG's over at Titan that I heard were so profitable. I agree that the players are horrible but they can get lucky sometimes.

First attempt finds me with JJ in CO with blinds of 50/100 and EP raises to 400. Folds to me and I push to isolate and he calls with 10 8 sooted! He flops two pair and I shake my head. Short stacked and wasn't able to come back. 5th.

Second attempt I just smooth call a large raise with AA and flop is KKJ. Bets and reraises ahead of me so I fold but that cost me 30% of my stack. I know I probably should have pushed but I did want one of the blinds to call as well. The hand that hurt was me reraising preflop with AK and getting all in against QJs. The flush works and I am out early again. 5th.

Third attempt.... darn easy to win things are killing me! I end up pulling out a first place finish. The hand that gave me the chip lead was AK in EP and I just called. Folds to button and he raises, the blinds fold. I push figuring that these guys will call with small pair or AQ which wouldn't be a bad situation. He calls with AJ! Thanks for the chips... gotta love when donks don't suckout.

Okay now I have to go win another one to get this streak of 6 put together.... almost doesn't seem possible but I will give it a go for 25k.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Running Bad

It is always puzzling on how a poker player goes into a slump. Do we start to doubt our reads? Or do we push what we perceive to be small edges when we are incorrect? For me, a lot of the problem comes from overconfidence. Instead of looking for a good table you open the first one you see. Why? Simple, I can beat them all! Instead, an hour has gone by playing against 3 tight aggressive stacks against other competent players. One wrong move and you are down a buyin and now start to play loose and more aggressive. Down two buyins and you are talking to the computer, the significant other, yourself about how things never go your way.

The above explains how I felt on Saturday night on Full Tilt (very well named based on some unmentionable bad beats). At some point, I finally just stopped for a minute and took mental inventory of what I was doing. When things aren't going well for me I find that I stop asking the basic questions: "What does he have to call me with?" "What does he think I have?" "What image does the table have of me?" Instead I revert to a situation where I put a person on a specific hand. This causes me to overplay my hands such as overpairs or flush draws. Next week I am folding all big pairs to serious aggression even if that makes me weak tight. Get rid of the fancy play which many people don't see and get it back to the basics that I built the bankroll with.

My biggest losing hands were AA, KK, QQ, and JJ wasn't far behind! My fourth best winning hand was the hammer! It was behind 88, AKs, AQs so it wasn't a total loss for hands holding up.

Long way of saying that I played poorly on top of big starting hands not holding up = -$250 on the weekend. Good thing is that I am in a positive mood that I can turn this around.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

What Beat isn't Bad?!!

Had fun playing in Iggy's tourney last night. The quality of players at my starting table was a bit too tough of course with Doubleas to my immediate left. I told myself to adapt and play the opposite of how he was playing. He was tighter than I would have expected, since he plays a lot of 6 max and he should find us easy to push around post flop. Also, the big stacks and low blinds we started with all play to his strengths but he was taking it easy on us.

I did call a couple of his raises with junk hoping to connect but no luck and ended up folding to the pot sized c-betting. My goal was to play loose and mix it up but in small pots which wouldn't cost me a ton of chips. I end up raising from UTG with QQ on my fateful hand and get reraised from the BB. Now I put Rgpars on AA or KK with a slight chance for AK. I call and flop is a beautiful Q 7 3. Since Rgpars is out of position he leads out for about 1/2 pot. Smooth call and look at another low card. He leads out again for 3/4 pot to get rid of any flush draws and I push which was almost 4x the size of his bet. He goes into the tank and finally calls and the river is the dreaded A. My tourney is done but I played well and put myself in a great spot to double up but it wasn't to be tonight.

Went to Full Tilt with Hoyazo and got involved in one of the $8 token tourneys. Donked it up and ended up finishing one ahead of Hoyazo when the large stack called with OESD vs. my TP no kicker! He rivered a J and I was done on the bubble. Blah! Again good read but bad result.

Time for some ring and play! So solid for 200 hands and finally get KK in late position. Standard raise and two callers. Low flop and I bet and get a caller. Turn puts flush draw out and I bet again. Min-raised... oh oh. This is where the mistakes start. I call (don't think it is a mistake) and should have only been willing to call a value bet on river. Am I against a set or AA? Villian pushes who is large stack at table and I think about it and call for pot sized bet. The AA comes up and I am a donk who is $114 shorter than a minute ago. To think that I could have saved $70 on that river call is sickening.

Played a bit today and managed to claw back about $100 so in the end it is all okay. Now I have two days done of the Iron Man challenge. I know I can get 10 days... 15 is a bit of a stretch and 20 is almost impossible. Going on vacation later this month for a week which will eat into my playing days.

This Wednesday there is Kat's Tourney on Pokerstars (I found out last night why they call it Riverstars) and I plan on attending. Playing against bloggers rocks!

Monday, April 03, 2006

Close Call

Had a tire blowout on me on the highway going around 120-130 km / hr. Felt like a helicopter was landing on the roof of the car. Luckily got the family and myself to safety on the side of the road but it was a wobbly experience to say the least. CAA showed up promptly and we were on our way with the donut tire installed but now I will get 4 new tires installed tomorrow. Ack! I overpay to get my car fixed so these situations don't arise.

Not much poker on the weekend. Last night I played like crap in the 19k guaranteed tourney on FT. Only hand I played in the first three rounds was AA vs KK and doubled up. Before I get to use my tight image I find myself moved with a large stack to my left. Patience wasn't something that I had last night so raised from MP with K10o. I know that was the first mistake. Flop is Q 10 5 with two dimonds. Big stack raises and I call thinking he is on straight or flush draw. Turn is no help and he bets again and I push. He calls with A10d and my three outer didn't show.

Horrible to try to read someone without seeing any of their plays to that point. I should have played it weak on the flop and found a better place to put my chips in the middle.

Live and learn. I might play the blogger tourney tonight or just play the 17k guaranteed tourney with my last token. Time to play a couple token tourneys as well.