Friday, December 30, 2005

On the down side to end the year

My limit game is in the tank. I don't think there is any other way to say it. I am having a winning session 1 every 4 times. I am not losing a lot per session but I am losing.

Well, saying my game is in the tank may not be necessarily accurate. At least the way I have analyzed it. I am mainly playing 3/6. Over the last 2 months I have had trouble making money at the tables. I played with Poker Tracker to analyze how I have played over this time period. According to it, I have actually played pretty well. Are the cards just not falling in my favor?

One thing it has told me is that I am not being as aggressive as I used to be. Well, with the beats I have taken, I can understand why I have pulled back a bit. I looked over hands and there are many times I have left bets on the river but the possible flush or straight card has usually hit. Am I over thinking?

I even started playing limit on a site that I had no hand history at (was strictly playing tournaments). PT told me I was playing a solid game, but soon I was tight neutral, then tight passive and back to tight neutral.

Guess this is just one of those things you can only cure by riding it out. If I am playing some solid aggressive poker and still losing, I either have a big hole to find and fill, or I will begin to win again at some point.

I have started to dabble a bit more into low limit no limit. I find it rather interesting but I end up folding quite a bit. Then my good hands get sucked out on. But from playing a couple of these sessions, I feel I will eventually do well there. Amazing what some people will throw money to see a flop with some crap cards.

Now if only the cards would fall my way for a stretch of time...

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Another attempt at the WWdN invitational- The Obie version

I can't help but feel I am a bit overdue at these blogger events. I seem to play myself out of them too many times when I am doing pretty good. I planned to make this one different. I have done good in other tournaments and this one should be no different. I just need to get through 60 players to take home the crown. Let's hit it.

I feel like I have a celebrity table to start. Among those sitting are Dr. Pauly, CJ and factgirl. There is some guy named Gabe Kaplan as well so you know the Kotter jokes are going to fly.

I get some good hands to start. K K shows up early and I take some limpers chips. Next 10 10 comes walking by me and I chipped up some more. I got off to a nice start, but would I be able to keep it going. Maybe a good sign was being able to drop the Hammer. It is so much easier to play the Hammer early in a tournament than later.

But will the Hammer go away in 2006? There are some rumblings going on....

I take down my first big pot when A K gets me a straight on turn. The BB was slow playing a good pair and probably had flopped trips. He took some time to call my raise. When he checked, I knew to check behind for the free card. He then bet out the turn, Factgirl called and I pushed, hoping for at least one of them to call. Neither did but it was a good pot none the less.

I try to play 3 3 from early position but CJ raises behind me. I call to see a flop come 9 9 5.
I like that flop but check it. He bets out and I have a bad feeling I am a victim of a hammer.
Sure enough, I fold and he shows the JackHammer. Damn. I had a read but no cajones to act on it.

Since I am folding a lot of hands, I decide to start typing in song lyrics from whatever is playing at the moment. For no reason, I type in "balls to the wall" (Accept). Then it was "all hell's breakin loose" (Kiss). I am a bit disappointed that I didn't get any kind of reaction.

I busted CJ out with 7 5 from the SB. I caught a nice flop of 4 6 7. I bet the pot and he called. The turn was an 8. I bet the pot again and he pushed his last 330. Easy call. He had top pair and a gut shot. River was a rag and the Luckbox was gone. I was happy to have him off my left shoulder. If you have played against him, you know how that can be.

"Scotty doesn't know. Don't tell Scotty " A little Lustra. No reaction from anyone. Not even the one named Scott.

I take down some small pots to get over 4k. Otherwise it is fold city. There was one interesting hand that went down. EP raised to 750. MP pushed all in to 1400. BB calls. They show 9 9, 10 10, and 8 9 suited? Tens hold up and he moves to the top of the list.

I am able to lay the hammer again before being moved to a new table. There I run into Iggy and thg. Now I have Iggy on my left. That isn't an improvement from having CJ there. Soon Change100 shows and things may get interesting. Time for a beer.

The only hand I play of interest is J J, which gets me the blinds before I am moved once again. Now I am up against Obie and the Poker Princess. Of course right into the blinds as well. But this table is rather quiet. Let's throw a lyric out there. She's all lips and hips. reaction.

I fold quite a bit until I get 8 8 in the SB. 3 limpers? Pfft! Raise. They all fold and I get my blinds back. But I give it up on the next hand by calling a raise with A Q. It is a J high flop. They bet the pot and I fold. I even try to drop the hammer for a third time but the Poker Princess won't let me. Damn again! It gets worse as she starts to bully the table. There is little I can do as I am getting a good hand every one and a half orbits. So I sit back in envy as my chips go away.

We are down to two tables and I am getting barely any decent hands and stealing when I can. Then I get 10 10 in MP. UTG+2 raises to 400 (100/200/25). I pop it to 1400 and it folds back. I rather not see that flop too. Pauly survives an all in to which I give an Anthrax lyric- you cannot kill what doesn't die. But he goes out soon after that when his K K is cracked by an A.

I chip up a bit with A Ks. It was raised UTG. I bumped it to 2000. He took some time before he folded. I figure he had A Q at best or a small pair. Best part is now I can survive some small stacks pushing on me. With 5700, I have a bit of breathing room. So with A 10 suited, I raise it up UTG. Blinds have increase to 200/400/25. I am hoping to take advantage of sticker shock. It folds around.

Next in the SB, I call with K 10 diamonds. BB raises to 1200 and I call. Flop is Q J 3, two diamonds. I like that flop. I bet it out and call the min raise. The turn is a blank. I check. He checks behind me. River is another 3. I have a choice here. Bluff or fold. I take the latter.
I check. He takes time before showing K J for the pot. Lots of outs and they didn't hit. I probably should have bet the turn again, but doing so would have committed me to the pot.

Next hand, I push all in with A Ko. The original raiser calls me with A 10. I feel like giving my dissertation on how A 10 is not a calling hand. It is a pushing hand. Thankfully, no 10 hits and I basically double back to where I was. A J in the BB and I get some more chips. But I hate when I have 8 8 and raise it up just to be re-raised by a big stack. As much as I feel he has just A high, it isn't worth the risk here. So I fold.

Then I pick off a steal attempt with A J in the small blind bumping me back to where I was pre-8s. We hit the second break and I have 6565, which puts me in 6th place. There are 11 runners left. Final table is the payday.

Blinds increase to 300/600. One hand after the break, we are at the final table. And the big stacks are antsy. Very antsy. I get some weak aces and am tempted to play them but it gets raised in front of me each time. Even when I get the Hammer, it is raised. With 9 9, I raise to 2000 and it folds around. I am the tiny stack at 6300.

I realize if I am going to get anywhere I need to be aggressive. And lucky. A Js earns me the blinds and antes. But I need more than that.

But it seems like I will not get it. Blinds go by and I have nothing to defend with. So when I have K 10 on the button, it looks so good that I push. I get called by the BB with 9 9. Flop gives me more outs as a straight is possible. But with 10 outs, I hit none. I finished in 7th. That was good for $33. Whoo hoo!

I feel good about the way I played tonight too. Play some solid poker. Didn't get stupid and stayed calm. Of course, I will wonder if I should have waited for something better than K high but it was the way to go. At the very least, it felt good to cash in a blogger-like event once again. It is something to build on.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Good and bad

Had little success this past weekend online. I was about to say mixed but that wouldn't quite be the truth. Yeah, there was some successes but overall I didn't like the way I played overall.

I lost money playing ring games on Full Tilt. Never a big losing session but I just cannot seem to get something consistent going on those tables. As much as I want to blame other players for sucking out on me (like the guy playing 8 2off and calling with 2 overcards on the flop just to make two pair on the turn), that will not make me a better player. I realize I need to regroup a bit and focus on what isn't working and what is.

I played like a fool in some tournaments. Fortunately they didn't cost me much as I was tearing up the "token" tables. I have won tokens in the last 5 I played. I took two of those and pissed them away on the MTTs. It just wasn't a good weekend for playing the bigger tournies. Except for Friday when I took 15th in a 20 table on Stars. But I played the last hand there poorly too.

The "token" tournies are my bread and butter right now. Most people don't understand how to play them. Patience will pay off 95% of the time. The other 5% is a bad beat. People are playing big stacks poorly (keep playing hand after hand), getting into unnecessary confrontations, and thinking they are invincible. Good hand yesterday. We are down to 5 and I have about 4k. The low stack is under 1500 (and on my right) and blinds are 300/600. UTG, the chip leader raises to 1800. It folds around to me in the BB. I have J J. I take my time and fold. I even tell the guy I folded pocket jacks. He said I was crazy. I chose not to explain myself. I did tell him I would have probably folded aces there too. Why do I want to go out in 5th and get $4 when the low stack is forced to make a move within the next orbit? Isn't that simple tournament strategy when you are about to make the money?

I missed a great chance to make money in a HORSE tourney on Full Tilt as well. I sat there dumbfounded during the Razz portion as 3 people were betting and raising as they each showed 3 cards above10. I am not kidding! A 10 low won the hand. People were just donking the chips off left and right in Omaha as well.

I have decided to keep playing the tournies on Full Tilt for the forseeable future as well as popping in on Stars from time to time for their tournies. The "token" tournaments are juicy. I also figure to start taking shots at the $75 tokens as well. The payout there is even better. I just wonder how the caliber of player is.

In the meantime, I need to stay away from the ring games.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Fantasy poker

Saw this ESPN Fantasy Poker thing mentioned over at Iggy's place. I went and played around and signed up a team. Then I saw that they have groups set up as well. So I set up a WPBT group. If you are interested in joining, drop me a line for the password.

What else are you going to do? Fantasy football is just about over. You can take 1/34 th of the time you spent on your football squad and put it into this.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Let's try this tourney thing again.

I entered the FTP $6500 guaranteed tonight. For once there was a small overlay. With all the fishes swimming, these are still good games to play.

I play my first major hand with AK suited. I re-raise the size of the pot, get called by table chip leader who calls 500 more. We see a flop of Q J 6. I make a continuation bet figuring that he has just an ace as well or a small pair. Into a pot of 1300, I push my last 800. I get called by....10 10?
Turn is my A and I double through.

I try to steal some blinds but get re-raised in each of my attempts.

I watch someone re-raise all in with 2 2. That is always a winning move. It is as he flopped his set and took down the pot. Meanwhile, I seem card dead. Or am I playing way too tight? 10 10 gets me the blinds and an all in bet for 35. Whoo hoo!

I soon am moved to a new table. One that has more aggressive players.

For the 3rd time in the last 3 tournaments I have played in, I see Q Q crack K K. Brutal!
I think the guy with the Qs misplayed it too by pushing all in preflop to a re-raise. He should have known his opponent had one of 3 hands, two that have him dominated. But again, with the level of play here, his quick push wasn’t a surprise. He got saved by the river.

I finish the 1st hour with just 2605. I hit a high mark of just 2995 but have failed to get any traction. Of the 264 that started, only 108 remain. Last 3 tables pay and I sit in 65th spot. Not bad considering I haven’t had premium cards. I have been able to bluff my way in some pots but getting caught stealing twice really hurt.

I may a terrible fold in the beginning of the second session. In the cutoff with A Q suited, I watch one guy limp and the guy on my right raise just 3xs the blind to 360. I didn’t like that and quickly folded. Then I wondered why I quickly folded? It was only 360. Even more the flop hit I was mad as the BB called and the limper went away. Flop was 9 9 Q. AAAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!!!!!!! Yeah, I would have tripled up as the BB had 4 4 and the initial raiser A Joff. Damn! I should have called- or better yet raised as my intial thought was before any action occurred.

I feel a bit redeemed- not much- when I am able to punish the 5 limpers and raise big from the BB with 10 10. I then fold for awhile again. I watch the chip leader play the I call “any and every hand from the BB poker” as he promptly beat the Hiltons with 10 7off. Ouch! The Qs only raised it 2.5 times so maybe he had it coming.

I then play fold em again for another 2 orbits all the time wondering if I am the biggest poker pansy in the world. I have no aggression at all right now. So I raise with K 10off to get some chips. Hey it worked! Next hand I get 7 7 and try again. BB calls. Flop is 8 9 4. He pushes. What? How could that have helped? Damn, I have to fold.

Blinds go by and now I am in all in mode. And quite unhappy. So I put on my best push monkey face and gloves and get my finger ready for the move. Fold, fold, fold. Here it is, the push monkey hand! A 2 offsuit. I push my 960 in and see a re-raise from the SB. Damn, that foils my plan. BB folds. I am up against 9 9. Flop gives me a deuce. The turn a straight draw. The river is a nice A and I more than double up to 2200. Nice, but I am still on life support.

Of course I donk some chips off by defending the big blind with K Q just to fold on the A high flop. Back to push monkey mode. I like the A 5off for the monkey move but someone raises ahead of me and I run away. I am officially in last place too.

Then I go on a tear. UTG- A Q suited. Push get called by Q Q. A on the flop and I double up. Next in the BB I get those same queens. Aggro boy in the SB pushes. Uh...I call? He shows 8 8 and I double up again. Plus, he goes on tilt! He goes off.
Aggro: Omg, un fn real.
Me: What? That 8s got beat?
Aggro: omg... you have no clue
Me: I have no clue how Q Q beat 8 8? Yeah, you are right.
Aggro: and you’re an idiot.
Me: but not as much as the player on my right donking off his chips

I fold for a bit until I see Q Q again. The player that I busted their Qs with had raised. I re-raise of the pot would leave me with 1400 behind. He has me covered so I push to show strength, knowing there is a good chance he calls no matter what. He thinks and folds.

I just about make another borderline stupid move. With 9 9 in EP, I think of folding it because of Aggro boy in the BB. Pfft. Only a wimp does that. So I raise it up and it folds around. Must remember that most of these players are rather passive.

At the second break, I have 8200 in chips and sit at 27th place. Guess that makes me the bubble boy! There are only a couple small stacks (<3000) so this will take some time to get down to the money. But I need to double up a couple of times to make a charge to the final table.

One obstacle are the two big stacks to left. I test them and their defense systems. With K 4 I raise on the button. They fold. Sweet! But I remind myself to be careful and selective. 9 9 is good so I raise again to capture the blinds and antes. A Q off in the SB nets me the BB ante and a limper. But because I am being selective now, I fold A 10 on the button to a raise because the player has been really tight lately.

When we are down to 31 players, I notice that 3 of the small stacks are all at my table. And all on my right, including Aggro boy who has donked off most of his chips. Blinds are now 300/600/75. I need more chips if I want to make a final table.

I get 8 8 and raise it up. Uh oh. Big stack is taking his time. He bumps it 6k more. Damn. I fold. That hurt but it was the right play I believe as we are near cashing. One hand later and we now go hand for hand. Before that even starts I am switched to a new table and have made some coin.

I double up at the new table with A Joff under the gun. I raise it the pot which is just about 2/5 of my stack. I get a call from a chip leader. Flop is J high. I push. He comments that there is too much in the pot for him to fold and calls. He shows A 10. There is a K on the turn which gives him a gutshot but it doesn’t hit and I double up to 14k.

Couple hands later I get K K in the BB. Good thing this isn’t live poker. My eyes lit up like a Christmas tree as I am begging for someone to try and steal. Instead it folds around. Ugh!

I begin to wonder if I should limp with some ok hands like 8 9 suited. It folds to me in late position and I fold as well though I felt like calling. Button calls and both blinds see the flop. Of course I would have had a boat on the turn but that is what you get for playing tight. Is anyone playing that hand late in a tournament with a small stack compared to the others at the table? Everyone behind me had twice what I had.

I bounce over 20k with a nice hand from the BB. I see a free flop with Q 2 off. Flop is K 3 Q but all spades. I bet it out and get called. I check the turn 9d. River is a Q, no spade. I bet half the pot and get raised. It is only a min raise. Hmmm... Did he slow play the flush? I just call, though I really wanted to pop it. He shows A 9 for two pair. I take down a nice pot. Soon, we are down to 2 tables.

That is when I make an unfortunate blind steal. With 4 5 I raise it up 4xs and get called by the BB. Flop is Q Q 8. He bets the pot and I am gone.

I fold and get anted away for what seems like forever. Then I donk it all off with 6 7 suited in the small blind. I try to steal with a raise but get called. The flop is 4 6 A. I push and get called by the A. Damn. I played some good poker for too long to donk out in 15th. Chalk it up to experience I guess.

I was a bit surprised that the play was all that fishy when we got to 50 players. It was pretty tight and solid. Until I played my last hand that is.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005


How does someone call a raise of 1400 (from their raise of 600) to 2000 with 6 6?

That is what I am trying to figure out. It was down to 3 tables in the Wil Wheaton tourney and I was short stacked. EP raised to 600 (100/200/25). I popped it to 2000. He pushed me in for my last 700. I had to call.

I was surprised to see the 6 6.

I guess I should have pushed but I thought the raise was better to show more strength. Guess not.

Makes me feel like singing the Donkey song.

Monday, December 19, 2005

It is not like they are tougher,

but I can't seem to cash for the life of me now.

I still think the $6 Full Tilt 2 tabler for the tokens is a gold mine. Which means I am 0 for 5 in my last attempts. I use to hit 75% of them. What happened?

It isn't that the play is better. I keep watching people push with gutshot or flush draws on the turn. Making calls with 3rd pair for all their chips. The games are quite nice.

The super aggressive types are winning right now. I have tried to adjust but I am card dead as well. Or what feels like being card dead. I haven't raised too many pots lately because I have had weak hands.

When I do get some good hands, I am up against better hands or get sucked out on. Tonight, it was pushing with A Q (I had a small stack) vs the aggro type and he had Q Q. Or pushing with K K against another super aggro who had Q Q and flopped the set.

It has been a bit frustrating but I haven't lost much. That is the good side. Patience should pay off. But in the meantime, I will vent.

Which reminds me...why do people bitch about poker sites as they play? On Sunday, 3 players were bitching up a storm about PokerStars in a MTT. One guy got sucked out on (A 4o hit his straight on the river to beat 10 10 ) and blasted PokerStars for the next 10 minutes. If you hate the site, then why play there idiot? I should have gone for the tilt move and blasted him but I didn't.

Don't like a site? Go to one you do like. This ain't rocket science people. Plus, we do not want to hear you whining about your beats. It happens. Get over it. No site will hit more flushes, 2 or 3 outers or miracle 5 on the river than any other.

Time to get back on the horse and ride this one out.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Screw Time Warner!

Was playing in a Full Tilt SnG for a token last night. Got down to six players. Two more drops and a token is mine. I am in second place ready to take the token and run when...

My internet service is gone. Gawdamnmudderfuggers!!!

Boy am I pissed. Now I have to wait to see if these dipwads blinded me off or not (They did).Either way these cable people are going to get a piece of my mind.

So I might as well talk about some of the Vegas poker action. It won’t take too long. I only played at 3 places this time around. The MGM, Excalibur, and Imperial Palace.

Only 1 word can summarize it: SOFT!

I couldn’t believe how soft things are still in Vegas. We all knew the Castle was a money making machine but I hadn’t realized how many bad players were at the MGM.

Which of course means I made money in two of three sessions playing 4/8 w/half kill. On Thursday, everyone was able to hit their cards to crack my kinds and aces. But the strange part was they weren’t betting the nuts. I remember one clown catching his gutshot and not raising with it. Another caught a flush and didn’t bet it. They were very passive.

On Sunday I was able to dodge the lady playing any ace, connectors and suited. She was bad too. She chipped up early and gave it all back. Rebought, chipped up again and was giving it back when I left. One old Marine was giving chips out but not as bad as the New Yawker who was one of the biggest donks I ever watched play.

And of course I heard the immortal line of “I hate aces. They never win for me. I rather have a low pair!” to which one other player totally agreed. Those people crack me up every single time with their nonsense. People, aces get cracked. It happens. Get over remembering the times you have lost with them and think of the pots they have raked for you.

Nothing has changed at the Excalibur. Except for maybe they don’t like having drunks in their room. I was cut off by the room manager when I sat down. He told me I could play if I didn’t drink. I gave him a dumb look and agreed. Within 5 minutes I had another beer in front of me. Things were going good until he tried to cut me off again some hours later. I walked up to him and asked what the hell was going on. He explained I had enough. Bullshit! So I negotiated a deal. Got my drinking privileges back as long as I had some coffee too.

Was back in the Castle on Saturday night. It was the first bad session I have ever had in their 2-6 spread game. Everyone hit their hands on me. It was rough. And I wasn’t losing pots to bad players either. They just happen to hit their set or flush each time. At one point, I had my aces cracked twice in about 20 minutes. Spun the wheel to get some of the money back but the double wheel spin bonus was gone.

I think I should apologize to Shep too. With all the bad luck I was having, I made up the Donkey Song and started singing it. Again and again and again. Want to hear it? Of course you do.
Donnnnn key, a donkey, donkey, donkey,
I am the biggest donkey in the poker room.

That ditty will keep him up at nights. He is probably singing it right now too.

As for the IP, I didn’t play their much after the tournament was done. I donked most chips off to Falstaff’s set of jacks and that was about it.

But those game are a gold mine right now. Next time, I stay focused and play more poker.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

WPBT Winter Classic

I had high hopes walking into the Winter Classic. I mean, everyone wants to win the tournament they enter, but this one feels special and I wanted to do my best. With the extra cash payout, I was focused on playing my game and doing what it took to win.

I had an interesting table to start at. Iggy, BG, Maudie, MissT74, TeamScottSmith, among others (apologies to anyone I forgot). When the blinds came around to me I quickly tossed a mini bottle of Souther Comfort on my chips to sweeten the pot. I had 3 more to liven the game up with should I lose this one.

I think it was the first BB I had that won me my first pot. MissT74 raised from early position. I looked down and saw A K off. I re-raised and she called. Flop was all rags but I bet out anyways. Turn missed and I continued my bet. River was a K. I thought for a second, wondering if she was slow playing a set. I was also scared to be the first out and win the Gigli prize. I tossed out my last 1000 chip hoping my pair was best. Thankfully it was. She called and was a bit ticked that I rivered her J J.

I proceeded to chip up a bit from there. Moved tables a couple of times and stole some blinds. At the end of the first break I had tripled up and was feeling good. I floated a bit from there.

With 3 tables left, I made myself a good laydown. I had Q J in one of the blinds and saw the flop for free. It came Q high and I bet it out. I was then re-raised. I looked at her and wondered if I was beat by a set again. I went into the tank. I wasn’t so sure I had the best hand. I also wasn’t willing to bleed a bunch of chips when she could have A Q or K Q. Part of me said to call but the logical part- the one that wasn’t drinking as much- said to lay it down and wait for the next hand. So I did. Later she would tell me she had K Q and would have called if I came over the top.

So I survived for now. I stole some blinds even though the dangerous Rooster was in the BB. Very next hand I raise it again with 10 10 UTG. Mid position stops to think. Turns out it is Studio Glyphic. He asks how much I have left. I don’t say a word and spread the chips out. It is around 5400 or 5900. My chip count probably had me in the top 10 at this point, top 3 at the table and only down by a little. Glyph thought it out a bit more and pushed. It folded around. He had me covered so this wasn’t an easy decision.

Were my 10s good? I was pretty confident they were. I put him on a A K, A Q, or a smaller pair. I thought it out some more. If I fold, I still have some chips to move with. But if I call and take it down, I am in fantastic position to make the final table and be a force. The more I thought about it, and the bet he made, I was feeling good that I had the best hand. The other thought I had was that you need to win these kinds of hands to win tournaments. So I called and flipped over my 10s.

He didn’t like that and showed pocket 8s. I was ahead, but needed to survive the board. Flop was good. But an 8 hit the turn. No miracle on the river and I was out in the high 20s. That sucked. Studio Glyphic would go on to win the tournament. Congrats!

There is little you can do when you get your chips in with the best hand they hit a 2 outer on you. The thoughts I have after a beat like that is whether it is the right spot to make a move or not. If I lay it down, will I get a monster hand later? Would that even hold up?

In the end, I was happy with my play. Yes, it would have been better to make the money, but you can’t get there without taking any chances. My risk was low but the poker gods had other thoughts that day.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

What do you mean the Hammer is no good in Pai Gow?

Yeah, I tried. But the dealer nor the supervisor would have any of it.

I was at Harrahs on Monday afternoon playing Pai Gow. I looked down at my hand and saw a bunch of crap. Actually a pair of Jacks with 9 7 5 3 2. You know, a real powerhouse!

So I snickered and put the jacks down and the Hammer up. The dealer flipped the cards and gave me a strange look. She didn't like it when I yelled Hammer! either.

Though I insisted they pay me, they wouldn't. That felt like a Pai Gow bad beat.

Look for more later. I placed around 27 or 28 in the WPBT Winter Classic. Bad beat there. I dropped my chips to the eventual winner. At least I got all my chips in with the best hand. It just didn't hold up for me.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Too much complaining

I played in the 6k guarantee on Full Tilt as a warm up for the Vegas festivities. I was ready to get into a poker frame of mind when all the bitchin and moanin started. People complaining about getting big pairs cracked, suck outs, runner runner flushes. It was so annoying.

Things looked like they could start well when I had J J under the gun on the first hand. Two people call the pot size bet and see a flop of 5 7 9, two clubs. I bet it. The push monkey on my left goes all in. I have no problem dropping it as I sure don't want to go out on the first hand. My guess is he flopped either the nut flush draw or a set. Either way I can get away with folding the over pair on the first hand.

I ran into one of the bitchers later. I am in the BB with A 10s. It folds around and the SB limps. I raise to 150. He calls. Flop is Qc, Js, 9c. I make the continuation bet of 200 and get called. Turn is the K of spades. SB bets 700. Having only 900 behind, I push with all my outs. He calls and shows 8 4 clubs. River is a Q and I double up. SB then goes on a rant about how I called with nothing. He conveniently ignores the fact he called pre-flop with nothing and was behind all the way. Well, I couldn't let him talk smack and pointed that out. He got quiet for a bit.

I then get A 10d a couple hands later, raise it up from mid position, and go up against the blinds. I manage to get runner runner for the flush and the bitcher starts up again. A 10 is his hand! Over and over. I wanted to reach over the virtual table and slap him.

As the game goes on, I am amazed by the extremely loose play going on. Limp, raise, re-raise, call, call. Any A is worth the calls! Small pair? No problem! Just a draw? I'll call the all-in bet anways!


I am at about 3400 at the break. Over half of the 266 starting field is gone.

But there are still some donks in. Coming over the top with 3 3? Lots of bad bluffs going on. Calling all your chips with 9 9 and 2 over cards on the board? I am not playing much as I get moved from table to table. I am on my 5th table now. I haven't had many chances to steal. I tried once but the chip leader squashed that attempt. Later I would laugh as one guy had a total tirade, swearing up a storm when his A Qo ran into A A. It was rather funny when everone ragged on him.

Meanwhile, I still can't catch a hand. I am sitting at 2340 now and blinds are pushing to 120/240/25. I go on a little rush with A J UTG and take the blinds and antes. Then in the BB, I have two limpers. With 9 9, I raise the pot. First limper pushes, other folds. I have him covered and call the extra 400. He shows K 4 suited??? Thanks for the double up.

Meanwhile the chip leader is pulling hands out of his ass. His A 2 suited bests A K suited with the gutshot on the river. It may have helped if the dope with Big Slick had raised instead of limping and slowplaying the K on board.

After folding a lot, I get a bit of a groove and chip up, stealing some blinds along the way. I am a bit shocked that one time it folded around to me in the BB. That was 650 free! A J gets me the blinds. K K gets me the blinds and a limper. I belive the rush kicked in when I got a beer.

Not many hands being played now. We have one joker at the table who is slow playing every hand. Slow playing as in taking the full amount of time hoping to fall into the money. With just 27 places paying, we have 39 left. I hope this dillweed stops this nonsense. At the 2nd break, I have 7228 with 36 left. I plan to play somewhat conservative til we hit the money. Unless the table gets extra tight, then I will steal. It should be easier now that the chip leader is no longer in the BB when I have the button.

But reality is I get nothing to play for the next 25 minutes. We get into the money but there nothing worthy to push with. I finally get 10 10 and push, re-raising the UTG. I was perplexed when he insta-called 1600 more with K Qo. His K hits the flop but with 2 other spades. Turn is a spade, river a spade and it is a split pot!

A couple hands later I get K 10 and push. Chip leader calls and wakes up with A Jo. Damn! Flop comes A Q 3, all hearts. Turn is a heart. Can I split again? NO. River is a 2 of diamonds and I am done in 21st.

I should have waited a bit longer than to push with K 10 off. Otherwise I am content with my game tonight. The cards were few and far between throughout the 2 1/2 hours. Patience paid off. If only I had gotten a bit luckier when it counted...

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Mixed results

I seem to be in a quandary lately. I can't seem to make a dime playing ring games but do well in the SnGs. This has be a bit concerned as Vegas gets close. I was hot in September and did well at the Excalibur.

But lately it seems every joker hits their set, pulls out the flush, or calls to the river with bottom pair and catches second pair or trips to beat me. I have been pushing this off to variance but it is really annoying.

I have decided to pull out the book and get refresher on the plane, if not a bit earlier. The rodeo is in town and the cowboys like to gambool. The fruit is ripe and ready to be picked. I just need to plug the holes first so I am not the one picked.

Needless to say the WPBT Winter Classic tournament on Saturday will be a good time. I can't help but notice how many people are running so well right now. CJ has been cleaning up. Joe Speaker has taken down some good cash. Bobby Ipod is rockin and rollin. And Joanne has been kickin ass and takin names all year. Lots of players look to be towards the top of their tourney game. I like to think I am not doing so bad having a good cash just a couple weeks back and comfortable with how my game is, but I am not running as well as many others. The competition will be extra tough come Saturday. There are too many players I just do not want to see at my table.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Comfortably numb

In one week, the WPBT Winter Classic will be underway. I will have a nice buzz a-going. I have every intention to start drinking before the tournament like I did in June. I do feel I play better poker with alcohol surging through my veins.

Plus, I have something up my sleeve that may cause a chuckle or two at my table.

Less than a week. Time cannot move fast enough.

Thursday, December 01, 2005


I have been in California this week and thusly there has been no play to talk about. I do not have a lap top to use at the hotel room. Otherwise I would probably be spending some time in the evenings playing.

I did play a two table SNG on Monday before leaving. Played along with the Spaceman. I hadn't noticed him at first but quickly said hi when I did. We chatted a bit. I was able to drop the Hammer on him. Soon we ended up squaring off at the end. Top 4 received tokens to move on so the other two quickly went all in when it didn't matter and were eliminated.

Jason and I then played a little heads up. His straight got the better of my top pair and the took the honors. It did remind me of one part of my game I do need to work on. Heads up play. I realize I tend to bet all my chips when I don't have the best hand. I always apply the pressure at the wrong time. Sure I may pick up a lot of small pots but I usually dump chips back going for the kill or on a stupid bluff. I may take some time to focus on this aspect of my game.

Just a week now until Vegas. Go ahead and click on the banner above to see what you are missing. Jealous, huh? If you are going, go ahead and click the banner and giggle like a school girl thinking about all the booze and poker and booze and friends and booze there will be.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Last afternoon with Pauly

I took my shot at the last Afternoon with Pauly tournament. Came in 16th. Should have gone higher but was drawn out on. It pissed me off at first. I re-raised a loose player from the BB wiht A Jo. He called with K 9o. Hit his gutshot for a straight on the river.


But that is how my weekend of poker has gone. Play tight, get some good cards and have a doofus hit their card on the river to beat me.


Only thing to do is keep plugging. It should come back my way at some point. Shouldn't it?

Big thanks to Pauly for hosting the series. I owe you a beer in Vegas. Bet you get that a lot, huh?

Friday, November 25, 2005

Suckered in

I was suckered in again at Party. I logged on and saw the bad beat jackpot was over $550k. So I opened a couple of tables and went to work.

I then proceeded to get smacked silly. Time and time again, some clown hit their card on the river. Have bottom pair? Just call it down and get lucky on the river. Play the K 4 suited to a raise in the cutoff. Call a raise with 3 3 and play it to the river. Sure your 3s will beat my A K when I don't hit. Play 9 2off in the SB to a raise and get lucky when two other deuces hit the board.

I was so frustrated watching the players with the little Poker Tracker fish icons catching cards or calling down bets with tiny pairs. The level of play was killing me when I was sucked out on again and again. But that is why we play. Knowing it should come back to my favor with disciplined play.

I did make a chunk back but it was a losing session. Like others, I may abandon Party. I don't particularly like the site to begin with but the badbeat jackpot is alluring.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005


Played in the Full Tilt 9k guaranteed tourney. I plunked down my coin to take on the field of 393. Unfortunately, I have no great success to report here.

For an hour and a half I didn't really catch many cards. It looked promising when I caught 10s in the first hand and took down a small pot, but that would be it for a while. I folded many hands from there as I willing to play tight for the first hour. I did watch a guy limp with A A and put all his chips in on the turn. He lost to 7 3o (two pair). I never go that, especially early in a tournament. Unless I am positive I am going to get that raise down the way and only later on in a tournament. I was going to slam him in the chat for his great move but decided not to. Odds are strong that you are going to be called with a regular raise. If it folds around, so what? Flip the cards in and hope it plays more to your favor afterwards.

But that wasn't the stupidest play I saw last night. The limp re-raise all with A 10 wins that award. What are some people thinking? I have mentioned many a time how I think people overplay that hand. Especially with the way this push monkey was playing. He had gotten short stacked and was pushing a lot pre flop. Did he actually think he was going to represent pocket rockets?

Meanwhile I was still not getting many good hands. When I did, I didn't hit flops or my big pairs were not called. I also seemed to get a lot of Q Jo and J 10o out of position. Folded those again and again. I was playing rather tight but too tight? I did note that only once would I have won a sizable pot. Otherwise I was tossing chips away.

With all the folding I was doing, I began to feel desperate. You aren't going to be a successful poker player when you are feeling desperate. If you are not getting cards, you are not getting cards. Nothing can be done about it. About the only thing you can do is be disciplined and wait for the right moment. But I didn't. Called a raise with A 9s that of ourse totally missed me and wiped out 20% of my stack.

Now I am short stacked and need to chip up a bit. But two big stacks are raising every pot. I was trying to be patient to catch a hand to fire back with. I had my discipline back but needed to load my gun. Then I made my move.

To another table. Was put in the SB and had to sit out a hand. But just like earlier, I am not catching any cards. 5 5 in the BB was the best I saw and I just got the SB money when I raised it up. So when the blinds were 120/240, 25 ante, I had to push my 1400 in with A Qs. The BB awoke with 10 10. Thus I was done at 106.

Mixed thoughts here. I played patiently and got in with coin toss at the end. There were some weak calls I made but recognized it and tightened up. For some reason, I feel I played rather well considering the cards I was getting. I have noticed I can consistently get to the top 30% of a field. I usually find myself in the middle of the pack at the first break. I am comfortable there as I feel I can chip up during the second period and make a move then. But that is hard when the cards come as sporadically as they did yesterday.

I also have started to play some NL ring games. This is one area I do need some work on. Thus I have had a couple of sessions playing .25/.50, 6 max. Doing ok. One thing I have learned to not to be fancy and limp with A x suited. Twice I had the board totally miss me and let the BB win with 8 3o and 9 2o. Apparently there was no way he was folding the pair of 2s or 3s, even though I have the bets on the flop and turn.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

BadBlood gets it too

BadBlood plays Poker

Go read what Blood has to say. Then you can click on the WPBT banner above and read about the festivities. If you are not going, you can be jealous. If you are, I can't wait to tip a couple back with you. Guaranteed I will have a beer with me from beginning to end of the tournament.

I wish I had some connection to the Miller guys. It would be funny if a big Milwaukee's Best can would be set up in the corner. Or at the very least, free beer. I can dream can't I?

Any which way, I look forward to doing well in this match. I placed 7th back in June. It was a thrill. I hope to do as well this time. Otis has a nice the great people at PokerStars offering a cool jacket up for the winner. Who doesn't want that?

So if you are considering playing online, click on one of the banner on some of those sites on the right. Show support for the companies that care about you.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Shot in the Shootout

I didn't play that well in any of these tournaments. I am rather disappointed. I really wanted to play the final table in Vegas.

As I sit here thinking about it, I guess I played way too aggressive. I put myself into a bad spot in each of the tournaments. Then when I would build my stack back up, I would give it away again. I don't mind losing, but when I lose because of bad play on my part, it is hard to take.

I just didn't play the game I like to play. I have tried to be more aggressive as of late. It has paid off in some instances, but not all. Just another adjustment I need to make.

I look forward to playing another tournament this week. I wasn't able to play in Dr. Pauly's tourney on Saturday. Thus I need to make it up somewhere.

Friday, November 18, 2005

You know, we could save time and you could just give me your money

I went to a reunion of sorts last night. A group of people I used to work with got together to relive the old times. Some were amazed by some of my poker stories.

Others thought I was full of shit.

But he wasn't at the end of the night. For the record, I think I am still drunk as I type this. Note the time stamp. Yes it is just about 8 in the morning.

But said person wanted to play poker. So I indulged him when he found a deck of cards. I though we were going to play no limit. That is why I suggested we just play for $20. But he wanted to play limit.

Mistake on his part.

Isn't it fun when the deck hits you hard in a HU situation? I was getting K K, J J, A Ko a couple of times. I got cards left and right. Even my crappy blinds hit something on the board.

$40 later, he realized he was outmatched. I smiled, thanked him and walked away. I like getting paid to drink.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Donk poker

I hadn't had much time to play any poker this week. I have had numerous things to take care on Monday and Tuesday and will have other stuff to do Thursday through Sunday. So when I had time to enter a tournament, I fired up PokerStars to check out the 20 table max tournaments they run. I have heard some good things and wanted to see how I would run.

Chipped up a bit early but gave it away. Then had each flop miss me again and again. Then I went card dead for about 45 minutes.

I was then short stacked and had to push with the power that is K 4. UTG had raised it with 8 8. But the K hit the flop and I double up. Next hand I push on the OESD flop and catch my straight on the turn to double again. I was now back to 2400 and in a spot to play. I move up to 4200 when my 10s hold up against A 5.

Next I donk it all away. I raise UTG with K Q spades. It folds to the BB and he pushes for 2800. I think and decide to call. Why? I thought I may be good there. Why? I don't friggin know! He shows A Q. Needless to say, no K and I am back to short stacked. I then push with K 9o and go up against a big stack who calls with K Js. See ya! Done in 42nd. I could have stayed tight and had a much better chance at cashing.

I had played rather patiently with my short stack to build up. I still can't understand why I didn't fold the suited K Q.

I have read a number of posts from others stating they think tournament poker is for suckers. They believe it comes down to getting lucky. That it is like playing the lottery. My comment would be that maybe you are playing tournaments like cash games. Or the wrong tournaments. It takes one good payout to make up for all the entry fees you pay. Along the way, you should be making the money here and there as well- not all the time but enough to make it worth while. If you are not, then you may not be cut out for it.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Finally, another score

Played the Full Tilt $14k guaranteed tourney tonight after a day of drinking. Finished 4th out of 643 when my pocket 4s was beat by A 10s with the river 10. Won $1350 for my efforts. Some details to follow. Right now I need some sleep.

Update 11/13

I had come home from watching the Badger lose their game to the Hawkeyes. I had a belly full of Leinie's Red and Goldschlager. Some say you should play poker while drinking. I say they don't know what they are talking about. I think I play better when tanked.

That may be why I didn't do as well in Pauly's tournament. I finished somewhere in the 20s I believe. I had built up a decent stack and was doing well until I lost chunk of chips when my flopped set of 7s ran into flopped set of Qs. But I fought my way back and was doing well again until I donked off my chips to GRob. He took the last of my stack when the Hiltons beat my pocket 10s. Seems fitting.

So when I got home half in the bag and fired up the pc, I didn't intend to play another tournament. Intentions are one thing. Actions are another. I registered for a Razz tourney on Full Tilt. Did ok for a while before I got two great starting hands hit with a ton of bricks. Finished 38 out of 66 there.

As the Razz tournament was going I saw there appeared to be a nice overlay on the $14k tournament that was to start in 10 minutes. Why does there always seem to be a mad rush in the last couple of minutes that kills the overlay?

The no limit tourney started out well. I double up early and was playing pretty good. I had just about tripled up when I lost 3/4 of my chips losing A Qo to 9 10 suited. I had raised it preflop 3.5xs the BB and the SB came along. Flop was Q 9 4. He bet the pot on the flop. I just min-raised thinking that would get him out. He called. The 10 hit the turn and he checked. I pushed him all in and he insta-called showing the two pair. At first I was shocked. Then mad. I should have made a bigger flop raise.

It was at this point that I realized the problem I was having in these tournaments. I was playing aggressively but wasn't changing gears. If I built up my chips early on, I would end up getting involved in pots with weak hands when I was trying to steal. I needed to tighten up in the middle of the games when the time was right. That is what I did during the 14k.

Of course, I did get lucky along the way. I had built my stack back up thanks to some Cowboys and Pocket Rockets. I went on a little rush that got me back into the game. But there were two key hands that not only propelled me into the top ten, but also guaranteed I would be in the money with 90 left and 63 paying.

With A 8o, and about 18k in chips, I made my first move. I think blinds were 800/1600. UTG limped and it folded to me in MP. The LPs were all pretty passive so I figured I could take down the pot right there. I read the limp by the UTG player to be a weak ace as well. A weak ace that he would fold. So I was surprised to see the call and him turn over A 9o. I wouldn't play that to a push. So I was about to leave when an 8 hit the flop. I hit my 3 outer for once and doubled up. My opponent then started bitching in the chat box. I did my best to get him totally on tilt and chatted it up. Sure enough, he donked off the rest of his chips within the next 5 hands.

Later with about 88k, I got really lucky. I was dealt 10 10 UTG. I made a pot size raise. It folded to the button who re-raised the min. That left him just 10k behind. The blinds got out of the way and it was 51k to me. I pushed him all in. I figured he had A K or A Q at best. I was partially right. He did have an A. But he had another one to go with it. I looked to see if I lost the hand I would have 11k with. The flop looked innocuous- Q 9 x. The J on the turn suddenly gave me 4 more outs. I was pleasantly surprised to see the K on the river giving me a straight. The table went bonkers and I was able to sit back and breathe a sigh of relief.

I was now over 160k. From there I tightened up into the money. I was able to steal some blinds along the way but I stopped making too many loose calls in an effort to knock people out. People fell like flies and before I knew it, it was the final table. My plan was simple at this point. Outlast the 4 small stacks to get a bigger payday and get some chips to make a stab at victory. The small guys stuck around for about a half hour before dropping off. I was able to win some good pots but never got over 225k. I lost a chunk with A 3. My continuation bet was called on a Q high flop. I made one last stab with on the river with a 30k bet but had to fold to a raise. I could have tried to outlast one other player into 3rd place, but to do so would mean not playing to win. If I was going to win, it meant I had to double up and get the ammo I would need to be a force. Thus, I had to win a coin toss with my 4 4. It looked so good until the river.

I felt ok about 4th. The payout was nice. Third was good for another 400 while second would have meant another grand. I was also lucky enough that the power didn't go out on me. A big wind storm came blowing through Milwaukee in the early hours. With 5 of us left, the light flickered and I though the electricity was going to go. About 4 hours later, it did. So I feel I dodged a bullet there as well.

Now if only I can win today in the shootout...

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Wouldn't this be somthin'!

My play last night was rather abysmal. I couldn't take advantage of the clown who liked to push with any two cards. It was amazing watching him win hand after hand when he a huge underdog preflop. A Ks vs. 8 5 off? No problem. Flop the 5 and watch it hold up. This happened time and time again. I hoped to double through on him but it never happened. I switched tables a couple times and never got any traction. That clown finished 62nd.

I got a little redemption by making the money in a 2 tabler, but donked off my chips on a bad read. I think I need to step back and take a day or two off. I feel like I am playing well at times, but I can't get as deep as I need to.

The WPBT Winter Classic is approaching fast. Bill, PokerProf, and HDouble have put a lot work into making this happen. Again, I can't thank them enough. But I also noticed on Linda's blog at Table Tango that she is working on getting Daniel Negreanu to show as well. Daniel even quipped about playing the winner of the tournament head's up in a freeroll. Wouldn't that be somethin'! Granted he may not be in town and this is far from a done deal. Thanks for thinking of us little guys Linda.

Yeah, Vegas is totally on my mind now. It should be a fantastic time, once again.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

As good as what else is on

I feel a bit inspired today after reading the Poker Geek's idea. Over the last couple days I have been getting deep into tournaments just to fall about 20 places out of the money. All except for one is a result of being drawn out. My A Q runs into A J. J J beat by A K. People hitting runner runner flushes. It is quite exasperating. But I feel a bit better knowing I got my money in as a favorite. Right now I am losing all the coin tosses.

So when I read the letter that the Geek had "sent" to the WPT founder, I couldn't help but think what would be even better than those bad boys of poker. The answer was quite simple.

They should show a WPBT tournament. Seriously. It would be as good as any of the celebrity poker, the Ultimate Poker Challenges, or the GSN shows. There are a number of reasons why.

  1. Characters- The WPBT is full of great, funny, lovable characters. Picture a table with Iggy, Dr. Pauly, CJ, AlCantHang, BG, Bobby Bracelet, Derek, Badblood, the Poker Princess & Maudie. You can't begin to imagine the table talk. Hands would be slowed down for dial-a-shots across the table. Prop bets would be slinging around. Guns flexed. Junk exposed- er, well hopefully not. The banter and razzing going on between everyone would have a TV audience laughing on their couches. Of course, Iggy wouldn't be shown on TV but we could always put a fuzzy box over his face.
  2. The play- Wouldn't it be something to see the Hammer played out on TV? Not like Matusow did in the WSOP with his call, but a pre-flop raise and hard action afterwards. The people that will be at the Imperial Palace play good poker. Maybe not "world class" according to some but much better than anyone on Celebrity Poker.
  3. The "relate to them" factor- Regular home game players would also be able to relate to what they are seeing on TV. Not only could they put a face on some of their favorite bloggers, but they would get the jokes and understand more of why some of the hands are played out. They have seen such plays either online or at their home games. It is just a regular bunch of poker players whooping it up, having some fun. Face it, TV poker needs more drinking and bullshitting going on at the tables.

There are more reasons. That I am sure of. Just that now I am brain dead and need to work. But you can see the premise. A show of just a regular bunch of guys from over the country playing poker could work. I am not talking WSOP or WPT ratings but better than Celebrity Poker at least.

Monday, November 07, 2005

So much for the weekend

I am not sure what is worse. Suffering a bad beat or playing well throughout a tournament just to make one bad move that cripples you.

I feel I played well in both Dr. Pauly's tournament on Saturday and Bill's Shootout on Sunday. But in each, I made one bad move that killed me. A move I didn't need to make but did so to be more aggressive.

Lately, I have been very aggressive in my tournament play. It is working well for the beginning of the tournaments. Mid way through, I turn the aggression down a bit and look for the right spots. But on this weekend, when I thought I had the right spot, I was either wrong, or I just played it like crap.

Yesterday was just picking the wrong spot. I was short stacked with 13 people left in the Shootout. Blinds were 100/200 and I had a stack at 1800. I could wait another orbit if I needed to. I posted the BB and was dealt A 6. It was bad enough I had Hank on my right who was either the biggest thief or on a rush. He was raising quite often forcing me to fold. I was just hoping to push back at any point. So when Joe Speaker raised on the button for the second consecutive orbit, I put him on a steal. I re-raised all in hoping he was going K high. I was right about the K. But that wasn't his high card. Didn't catch one of my sixes and I was done. I didn't think Joe was that strong. I could have waited for something stronger and in retrospect think it was the right move. I took him for a steal which seemed logical. Just that he wasn't. Oh well.

As for the Pauly tournament on Saturday, I was a little pissed off on the way I went out. It was a combination of me playing the hand wrong, and my opponent making- in my opinion- a very loose call. Of course I don't like the call because it crippled me, but it seems like a bad play even when I think it over. I believe blinds were 100/200. MP raises to 600. I am in the BB with J 8 diamonds. I have seen this person make some weird moves already and decide I want to see a flop. It comes J high, rainbow, no straight possibilities. I check. He bets out 900. I raise to 1800. He pushes. It is only 500 more to call, which I do. He shows A Qo. What? Of course, the A hits the turn and a Q on the river to rub it in.

On the flop, I was very confident he missed with his A high. I thought my raise would get him out of the hand. Why are you going to push with just two overcards? I think that was a horrible move on their part. You have to figure you are behind. Someone called your pre-flop raise, then check-raised you. How can you make the call there?

But my play on it was bad too. I either should have pushed on the flop, or check-raised all in. Now mind you, I am not sure my opponent folds in either spot. But I can apply pressure by making the move first. Especially on the flop. But either way, I should have been the one to push in I expected them to lay down their hand. That one hurt as I was cruising along quite well.

I feel I played some good poker, but not good enough. I am going to work on my game during the week to make sure I am ready for the weekend. Both of these tournaments are quite good.

Friday, November 04, 2005

I didn't really want to play that tournament anyway

Signed up for the Wil Wheaton weekly. I looked like the maniac at first too playing all 3 hands.
Yes 3.

Got pocket 10s on the first hand took down a tiny pot.

Then tried to slam the hammer down but my opponent turned the straight and I had to fold.

Finally I got the Cowboys. Ran into a re-raise that turned all-in. I even called it typing in the chat that I was running into A A. A good player would fold there, knowing what they had.

Not me. Done at 125. Oh, 128 started so I wasn't first out.

Whatever that is worth. Maybe I will have better luck in Dr. Pauly's tournament.

I thought I would at least get my buyin back on a SnG but that table was so damn tight. I ended in 3rd when A Q went down to A 10 and then a rivered straight took out my deuces.

Crap. Time to hit the bar.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Damn those girls!

I jumped back into the fray tonight. Got involved with the Full Tilt 5k guarantee. 249 to take on. Should be fun.
I watch a guy chip up even though he was really weak. He was getting away with his min raises. Well, not for long. I started to raise it up against him. I jacked it with any pocket pair and played the board hard.

I played my 7 7 aggressively on a K 5 4 flop. I raised his 1/4 pot bet and bet 1/3 on the turn. That was too much for his A Q (or so he said). Before that, I represented a set with 9 9 and two Jacks on the board.

Watched as one guy had his A A cracked by trip 9s. He slowplayed the rockets and was beat by A 9. He knew he messed up and typed it in the chat. So when I raised with A A moments later and showed it, something great happened. Everyone started to show their raised hands.


I pick up some blinds here and there and finish the first session just under a triple up.
The second session starts slow. I play my blinds but don’t get many good hands. I just check in late position with A Jo when 2 people limp and fold to the pot size flop bet. Later when I get A Jo again, I raise it up and all 3 limpers fold. Figured if they are just limping, I must be ahead.
I get a straight with my BB hand of 9 10 but the small blind is way too tight to bite on my min bet. I would have checked the turn, but the flush draw was there. Plus, he has been pushing preflop with any decent hand.

The push monkey on my right is finally called down by someone. Though he bet 1700 with blinds of 100/200, a guy with A Ko decided that is good. A lot of people think A Ko is a great call. I don’t. Not saying I would lay it down, but you are still drawing against a very tight player. Not a good move.

I then get 10 10 and raise it up to 600. Big stack on my left goes all in for 10k. WTF? I don’t understand that raise.

In the blinds I call the button raise with 9 10 clubs. Flop comes 9 10 J, two diamonds. I check. He bets 1000 into a 1300 pot. I have 3700 and raise it to 2500. He pushes. I am confident I have the best hand, with him having a draw at best. I call to see 5 5. Huh? I was pot committed. What did he think that raise was going to do? I bump my way up over 8.5k.

I was a guy’s A A run into A Qs and have flashbacks to Sunday. The A Q had their straight on the turn but a Q hit the river for a split pot. Were was that on Sunday?!?!?!?!

I fold a lot until I get Cowboys in the SB. With the big stack still on my left, I raise it again hoping he would be froggy. Nope. Just blinds and antes come my way. So it’s time to start stealing blinds again.

But it is tough when your Q Q runs into K K. I am done in 48th. I saw the small raise and figured he had a ragged A at best. Thus I pushed on a 7 8 8 flop. I had figured on pushing pre-flop.


Oh well, back to the drawing board.

Shocked and disappointed

Just received an email from PokerShare. I have reprinted just the first sentence.

We would like to thank you for being a member of PokerShare. We are
writing to inform you that due to a policy change as of November 1, 2005 North
American residents are no longer able to play in the PokerShare cardroom.

Needless to say, I very disappointed. They only reason I can see them doing that is because of security registration laws. My guess is they are looking to go public sooner than expected.

However, I cannot help but wonder if it has anything to do with me having an old Ultimate Bet account there as well. I contacted support because it would not take a deposit from my Firepay account. As soon as I provided them a user name, I got the email shutting me out. At least I just took the bulk of my funds out on Sunday.

If anyone else was playing at PokerShare from the U.S., I would like to know if the plug was pulled on you too.

Time to focus on my Full Tilt tournament.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

A day of poker to forget

Sometimes, it just doesn't matter what you do. It seems everyone hits their 2 and 3 outers to beat you again and again on the river.

That is how this Sunday went. Every joker that played their J x suited hit two pair on the river. Everyone that needed their Q or J on the river to hit their gutshot straight got it on the river. My A A and K K were slapped silly again and again.

To add injury to insult, I was playing well in the Poker Blue freeroll just to have my A A cracked by A Q by hitting runner runner Q Q to have my aces full of queens beat by quads.

EP raised and I came over the top with a pot sized bet. He moved all in and had me covered by about 500. Flop came x A Q. Needless to say I was shocked to see the case Q hit. Seriously. What kind of idiot moves all in after he was just re-raised with A Q offsuit?

That was hard to take. I would have been the chip leader. Instead I was staring blankly at my monitor.

I give up.

The poker gods don't want me to win this today. As much as I want to get back on the horse and win, I just can't do it.

The donkeys win. For now.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

The Hammer claims another victim

As I have said before, I rarely chat while I play poker. But when the opportunity arises, I love to just piss someone off.

Let's take a look at what happened at Titan Poker on Saturday. Hand folds around to me in the SB. I have the Hammer and promptly raise. BB calls. Flop is A high and totally misses me. Of course, I bet. He folds.

StB shows 7 2

StB: Hammer!

Hammer Victim: smart ass
Hammer Victim: way to make yourself look cool
StB: you have no clue what just happened to you
Hammer Victim: you acting cocky and really having the best hand
StB: dropping the hammer isn't about being cocky
StB: I will let you vent your anger afterall, you just took the brunt of the Hammer
Hammer Victim: I'm not angry..just think it's funny you though you bluffed me..I was behind when I folded
StB:it wasn't a bluff
Hammer Victim: lol ok
StB: I knew I had the best hand
StB: I had the best hand in poker
Hammer Victim: now you are just talking out your asswhich I'm surprised you can..normally something else in it
StB: your tongue?
StB: usually people recover from the Hammer better than that
Hammer Victim:I was behind dipshit
StB:in life too I see
Hammer Victim:I made the right play
StB:of course, you fear the Hammer!
Hammer Victim: you must be 12 tell dad to password protect his computer
StB: you funny
StB: next time I raise I will have the Hammer again
Hammer Victim:you talk a lot for someone who had his ass handed to him a few times (I was up 10BB at this point)
victim leaves table

It was quite fun tilting this guy. I should go find another victim.

Friday, October 28, 2005

The line starts here

Didn't play much last night. I did get in a two table tourney on Full Tilt. I felt cold-decked throughout the game. I defended blinds and hit flops. So when it came time to push with my short stack, I was happy to do so with A Ko. With 3 limpers, I was going to triple up (actually ver close to tripling). Only the big stack called my push. But when I saw A 8o, I had the ugly vision. The vision was reality. The 8 came quickly and that was it. I was done in 8th.

Such is poker. The stupid callers will hit their 3 outer.

But let's talk about stupid television poker. Where to begin? I am willing to form the line. I know it will be a long line too. This line is to have the chance to slap Norm Chad for every stupid remark he makes during the WSOP shows.

Is there any time he may actually give internet players some credit? His stupidity is amazing. The last two players spent a lot of time playing at PokerStars before they won. Sure Raymer also played Foxwoods but honed his craft online. Stop making comments about how bad the internet players supposedly are. Because you are able to comment after the hands have gone down, don't be so pompous on how the players have played them. Hell, I bet the majority of them could beat Norm any and every day. There are some plays I make that I am positive people laugh about. But if they understood what I was trying to do (steal blinds, bluff, etc.) and the timing of the play, it may make sense to them.

The other night Chad made a stupid comment about how internet players are too tied up in defending their blinds. To him it is a stupid concept that just makes them play inferior cards and lose more chips. Not all the time there Chad. I fully believe defending your blind in a tournament can be important. You don't do it all the time but if you have a very aggressive button on your butt, you will need them to stop if you intend to win. Chad likes to make it sound like every internet player if calling raises with 8 3o in the BB. When the time is right, I will defend my blinds. But only when the time is right.

And Lon McEachern isn't much better either. His smarmy comments warrant opening a line to smack him around too. The "pros can do no wrong" attitude of his gets boring quickly. Every time they bluff some one out of a pot, the pro has made a great move. If the amateur does it, they got lucky on a bad play.

So boys, how about getting your head out of your asses and give some of these unknown players some credit. They don't get this far in the tournament on luck alone. They must have some skill to have first won their way in, and two, make it into the money.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Trying to get it going

After playing some unspectacular poker yesterday (no money in two tournament finishing in the top 40% and donking off some cash in 3/6), I had to do something to get back on the horse and be on the winning side.

So joined the $5k guaranteed at Full Tilt. Not much happened in the first session as I chipped on up to about 2.5k. In the second session, I had the deck hit me in the face and chipped to 4.5k.
One hand left me wondering if I had misplayed it. I must have because I don't think I got the most chips off of my opponent. In the BB, I had A Jo. MP had raised the pot. It folded to me. I call. Flop is A A J. I slow play and check on the flop and turn. My opponent bets the turn. I pause then call. River is a rag. I bet about a third of the pot. I do not get called. I wonder if I should have raised on the turn. Do I check hoping my opponent makes another grab at the pot? The river also gave a heart flush. I hate trying to check raise the river.

Meanwhile, I get A Q three out of the next four hands and get more chips with it failing on just one flop. Things are going great until the push monkeys take over. With blinds of 80/160, suddenly everyone needs to go all in for 2500, 3200, etc. Made no sense but the push monkeys were having fun. Little do they realize that they could make more by just raising. Then again, maybe they are scared to actually play poker. One guy could have gotten more chips off of me if had just raised a smaller amount. I was open ended on a straight draw and started the betting. Guy on my left raises 3500 into a 650 pot. I folded though I would have called a smaller bet. I knew he was on a flush draw. But the dope save me some chips instead. Do some play a game other than I were the purpose is to get the fewest amount of chips?

I chug along picking up some blinds but losing them when I have to post. I pull off a nice bluff with 7 5 off in the SB. I smooth called to see a flop of 8 4 3. I have the gut shot and call his pot sized flop bet. Loose? Yeah a bit but I was sure he didn't have anything. He was a push monkey and he didn't push. Turn was a 10. It checked around. River was a Q. I bet 500 and he folded. If I was on the other side, I would have raised on the...

Good question. What would I have raised on? We don't know because Blogger ate the post. You think I would learn by now and type this in Word or notepad instead of blogger.

Let's see what happened. I got lucky to stay alive. I lost a big post when KK was beat by AK. I made the money coming in 18th.

I also talked about how hot Ninya in American Casino is. She has a nice rack and finally showed some cleavage.

Of course, the writeup I had was quite a bit more interesting than the recap, but Blogger didn't want you to read that.

At least I was happy with the way I played tonight. Without some bad breaks, I feel I would have made the final table. Anyway, it is a good step forward.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

I'd like to thank the Academy...

I feel honored to have PokerStars pick my entry for what makes a good blog. I tried to express my thoughts on how I have made some great friends that share an interest in being a better poker player. I soon realized that there are bigger payoffs by sharing with others.

This blog may never be the most popular, the best written, or the most informative. There are links on the right for that. If you are not reading Dr. Pauly, Iggy, the Up For Poker gang, or the Poker Prof, you are missing out on a lot. They are much better writers than I. They have better content. They play better poker.

I am just humbled that people enjoy what I type away here. It started as a way to pass along stories about playing poker to my friends. It has evolved into a kind of therapy, where I can vent or seek help about how to play better.

What it has done is made life better. I have new friends from around the country. I have found a hobby that is exciting, profitable (at least for now), and exercises the brain. Simply put, I am having a blast playing this game and the numerous payoffs that it provides. When you realize it is more than the money, then you are truly winning at poker.

Sunday, October 23, 2005


I fucked up. Yeah, there is no other way to say it.

I fucked up.

I thought the Poker Stars tournament started at 5 CST. Thus when I logged in at 4:30, I was a little shocked that the tournament was well under way.

To add insult to injury, I get K K 2 hands in and push with my tiny count of 245 (blinds of 100/200) and run into A A. I barely had time to talk with BadBlood on my left.

Total crap. I give up. The one tournament I was looking forward to playing and I totally screwed it up! DAMN!

Because I was in the mood to play some poker, I then further screwed up some more at Full Tilt. I had a token for a $24 entry tournament. Without realizing what the prize was, I signed up for a Ultimate Poker Challenge satellite tournament. That didn't start for another 30 minutes so I hopped on a $5 dollar MTT to wait for the other to start.

Why I joined the $24 MTT I do not know as I had intended to use that for a $8k guaranteed MTT. Of course, I pissed that tournament away in record time, last 15 minutes when I tried to run my high cards against the guy who refused to fold his pair of 10s. My A Q offsuit was clobbered even though a K was on the board. Yeah, I could have folded it but I was ticked off.

But I did hit the final table on my $5 buy in. I ended in 8th. Final tables at Full Tilt are still pretty cool with the audience background. I probably should have survived longer but when I tried to go all in on the flop, I didn't quite pull the cursor over to the left before hitting the raise button. So my opponent hit his pair on the river to knock me out. At least I cashed at a final table. And I dropped the Hammer midway through the tournament. My victim had no clue what the heck hit him.

But I think I need to take G-Rob's advice via Otis, and start playing higher buy in tournaments that the $5 dollar jobs. I have some confidence in my play and will never get anywhere playing some of these lower limit buy ins that do not pay that much.

Thus my goal is now to play at least two of the $24 buy ins at Full Tilt each month, if not more. I feel I can do well in these. It is now time to put my skills to the test.

Update: The PokerStars tournament wasn't a total loss. I did get an email saying my entry for a good blog won me a fleece pullover. Thanks Ryan at PokerStars!

Friday, October 21, 2005

Big weekend

Poker Championship

StB will be playing in theOnline Poker Blogger Championship!

This event is powered by PokerStars.

Registration code: 7848011

It all end with this bad baby. Should be interesting to say the least. With over 1400 signed up, I expect this to be a lot like the PokerRoom freerolls. Lots of calling stations and mind boggling calls are on the way.

I will have a snoot full by the time it gets going. Nothing better than playing drunken poker!

Bad read, lucky river

I can't be the only one who notices this. Yesterday while playing 4/8 on PokerShare (Bonus Code Iggy BeerCity), I had an interesting hand go down. On the previous hand, I had raised with A Jo on the button and was re-raised by the BB. Flop came A high. I was check raised on the flop. On the turn I just called fearing my kicker wasn't good and I was up against A K or A Q. The river was checked and I took down the pot with my pair of aces beating his pocket queens. I kicked myself for not betting the river when he checked for two reasons. One, I left a bet out there and two, I could have taken his last $7. Because I knew what would happen on the very next hand.

I was in the cutoff with 6 6. Two players limp and I limp as well. The $7 man, of course, raises (think Seinfeld here "Did you ever notice how someone will lose the majority of their stack and raise the very next hand to go all in no matter what they have?). UTG+1, who had limped, now re-raises. Damn, if I taken that schmuck out, I wouldn't be tossing in 3 bets to see a flop with a pair of 6s.

The flop comes J 9 3. The limp re-raiser bets. I think and call. It seems that every time some limp re-raises, he never has a monster hand. NEVER. I put the clown on A 10 or A 9. Without an A on the board, I think I am ahead, but will see what he does. The turn is a blank. He bets, I call. The river is a beautiful 6. Yeah, I got lucky. But my opponent checks. I bet, he calls and mucks. I check the hand history to find he had A 9 offsuit.

He then goes bezerk in the chat. I rarely pay attention to chat, but every once in a while, I like to toss some fuel on the fire and tilt someone good. I go back and forth with him for a bit until he busts out 10 hands later. I noticed he then went to a 3/6 table. I tried to get on that table but it was full and I waited forever.

I had the right read on him. I was confident he was playing a ragged ace. Little did I know I was behind. But when is limp re-raising in a limit game ever a good idea? I say never. But that is just me.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Who wouldn't play this hand?

You are in the BB in a limit game. MP raises. Two others call. You look down and see 4 2 offsuit. Is there a reason you wouldn't call?

If you hit the flop, chances are great you are taking down a monster. Especially if an A or K is on the board. Best yet, you have the chance to tilt someone or have them think you will play any two cards.

That is exactly what happened to me while playing last night. Flop came down 2 2 K. It checked to the button who bet. But I was the only one who called. That sucked. When a 3 hit the turn, I check raised. I then bet the river and got two more bets out of him. He had A K.

He then proceeded to give me a ton of action. Not respecting my raises and calling down with A or even K high. Nice action for what I believe was properly playing my blind.

Of course it wasn't all rosy tonight. I busted out of a tournament half way through. I had made a nice comeback from 600 up to 3700. I maximized my hand twice to double through on a set and a flopped straight.

But I went out on play that I still can't believe my opponent called. Tell me if he/she played this hand well: UTG limps. I am UTG+1 and I raise it the pot with A J clubs. It folds to the limper. He calls. Flop comes 9 2 6, 2 clubs. UTG bets the min. The pot is at 1300. I have about 2100 behind, my opponent 3700. I push. I figure I represented a big hand preflop and that I don't want him to have a cheap draw. He thinks and calls with 5 5. No help and I am done.

Should I have pushed? If I make pot size raise, I don't know if he gets out of the hand. Is pushing screaming I don't want to see another card? How can they call with two overcards on the board? Especially with a low pair?

Aahhh! Questions. Please, give me some answers.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

What makes a good poker blog? PStars wants to know!

PokerStars is having a contest that I found to be rather thought provoking. They ask what makes a good blog? To make it more interesting and relevant, if you have a poker blog, what makes a good poker blog? So with out further ado, here are my thoughts.


A good poker blog tells you a story that you can relate to and fosters friendships. Whether the purpose is to give you current news, updates on tournaments, trip reports, or the progress of the writer’s skills, if you can relate to what they are saying, you can visualize it in your mind and not only learn by their experiences, you enjoy the tale they tell. You are then going to check out what they have to say on a daily basis. Soon you are leaving comments, then exchanging emails, and finally meeting off in Vegas to meet and play in tournaments.
Let’s translate this to real life. I started reading poker blogs about a year ago. I found some that were more interesting than others. I liked how they told their tournament stories or how they were moving up in limits. The best blogs were those that were honest. They told how they went on tilt and blew a lead or how they dump a large portion of their bankroll by playing- by their own admission- bad poker. They weren’t blaming their results on bad beats, dead cards, or luck. On the other side of the coin, their success wasn’t always the result of superior skill. They admitted they got lucky at times or caught a nice rush of cards.
Even better, they would explain key hands that led to their success or failure. They give you opportunities to learn from their skills or mistakes. They give you tips that can help improve your own game.
Good blog writers don’t brag about winning a big prize or killing a game. They tell their story in a way that you feel like you have won too. Soon enough, they are giving you feedback on your own blog entries; encouraging you on your victories, consoling you on defeats.
You feel you know them personally. They invite you to play on online tournaments so you can meet others that hold the same interest in you. The emboldened take it a step further by setting up a live tournament in Vegas. Even when you can’t make it, you read the stories they have to tell, some the same story told by a different vantage point, that make you feel like you weren’t miles away but were behind them as a sweater. It feels all that much better when you are able to attend the next big get together and meet everyone in person.
A good blog fosters a friendship that can last a lifetime. I have already met some great people by reading their blogs. I hope to see them in December. It will be a successful trip whether I win or lose.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Tournament poker and football

I sat back watching the Cowboys at and playing poker all day. The Cowboys won. Would I?

It started at Party Poker. I started playing the Party Poker Millions SnG step tournies. I played the first one and squandered a lead at the end to finish second. I played the second one and came in second again. If it pointed out anything, it is I need to work on my heads up game. I didn't play that well when it was down to the last two.

So I still have a Step 1 to complete. As I watched the game, I then pulled up Bodog to see what tournies they had scheduled. All the big overlays were over an hour out. But they did have one of their "Cheap Seats" about to start so I put down the entire $1.50 to play. If I would place in the top 6, I could move on to a regular tournament with the ultimate prize being a WPT or WSOP seat.

The Bodog software isn't the best in the world, but it also isn't the worst. It always sounds like an old motor sputtering around. But with the caliber of the player that puts their cash down at Bodog, it is just about always +EV.

This game was different. I folded a lot but pushed the envelope when I could. The calls that these people make are mind boggling. Lots of calling all in with just draws. I chipped up nicely because of that. With just under 2 hours into the tournament, the 127 starters was down to 20. I was the chip leader with just over 21k. Second was at 15k. 3rd was at 8k. I knew I could push with my stack but not be too stupid as to donk it away.

I didn't have much to worry about. I did like how some guy min-raised with his A A. He then checked the flop thus allowing the other guy to catch his straight on the turn. But soon enough, someone would be willing to call down with Q Q and two Ks on the board. Yeah, I was trying to steal it with 4 2o, but how does someone call with that. Yes, call, not raise it back. I would like someone to tell me how his play was good. I was at that table for maybe 5 hands so there wasn't any read he could have.

If anything, it told me how to play him. Heavy and hard. With K 9 in the SB, I saw the cheap flop against him of K J Q. I kept betting it out just to have him call. So I pushed after two rags hit. He folded. I then watched someone else not bet enough to keep him on his draw. Makes me wonder if people pay attention to how others play.

We get down to the final table. My lead is now gone. But I am only in 3rd. There are 4 stacks below 10k so I need to make sure I play my chips well. Especially with the leader on my left.

It is also at this time that the Poker Blue tournament started up. There were 187 players battling for the WPT/WSOP seat.

As I was logging into Poker Blue, one guy got knocked out. There are 8 left. I need to survive two of them to get the second entry. Basically I can sit back and wait on a hand. Which is nice because I am getting crappy cards.

In both tournaments. My Poker Blue is off to a very slow start. Getting nothing there. On Bodog, the small stacks are playing scared. It is rather boring. Thankfully a big stack makes his move on a small one- who pushes on his draw- and knock him out with his pair of 8s.

I can now focus on the Poker Blue tourney. In moving back and forth, I noticed one guy at my table who was playing a lot of hands and calling a lot down. He had moved to over 6k quickly. I set my sights on taking him down a notch.

But instead I dribble some chips off by playing A 8 suited. I raised it up and then stupidly called a re-raise and a flop bet. I should have folded to the re-raise. Now I have a bit of a hole to dig out of. Worse yet, my focus wasn't on the game. I didn't really fell like playing. I try to steal a pot with a turn raise (on an open ended straight draw) but just check the river. WTF? If I am trying to steal I need to make that bet. My opponent won with A high. I then call a raise with 7 7 and push on the flop to basically get knocked out. It was the wild guy I was up against. I figured he had a big A at best. Sure enough. A Qo. So I get back above 1000 to 1170. Now if I can get focused.

Having those stupid Burger King commercials on TV doesn't help much. Is it me or is that king character just plain creepy. Like molest your daughter if he could creepy.

So I continue to not catch cards and fold for a while. Mike, who was at the Bash at the Boathouse, is at my table and talking to me. Of course I am not paying much attention to the chat until someone asks about bloggers. I was laying low until Mike outed me. Not that it matters. I might as well chat if I don't have any cards.

I catch my most loathed hand, A 10o and try to get a pot with a raise. But I fold to the re-raise. I hate that hand! So I feel better when K K shows up but I only get the blinds and a limper.

I get some blinds with K Qo and try to make Presto work but all paint hits the flop. I then get 9 9 and raise it up. I have one caller, UTG who limped. Flop comes K Q 4. I bet it again and he calls. Is he slowplaying me? Turn is a 3. He checks. I bet again and he calls. River is a 4. He checks yet again. This time I check as well. He shows J 10. Interesting. I finally am above the starting stack.

Then the Hiltons come to visit. UTG raises it. It folds to me in the BB. I raise it the pot. He promptly comes over the top and all in. He shows A Ks. No help on the board and I double up. Needless to say, I am a bit more focused now. Except for typing this up.

I take down a good pot with K J clubs. I raised it and had 3 callers. I didn't like the flop though- Q Q 7. Only 1 club. But I bet it again. Two callers. Turn is a club. Not bad. I bet a small amount and get called again. River is a beautiful 10 of clubs. I push him all in- and he calls with 5 5! How dumb was that? Anything on the board had him beat. If you are going to put those chips out there do it right away. Then again, maybe he wasn't focused like me.

I am up to 9th now with 5500. I can push some people around and make a move now. Still there are 69 people left so there is a long time to go. A K suited comes along but it is only the blinds I will get. Same thing with Q 10 suited.

Then the big boys come. UTG+1 I have A A. I raise it like normal but everyone folds again. They aren't thinking I am stealing by raising again? I was tempted to just call or min-raise but that never seems to work well. Plus, I am 99.9% against it.

The table then seems to fall into moron mode. One guy pushes with his draw and is called by second pair. Another pushes on a bluff to run into quad 8s. He then pushes his remaining chips with K Qs to run into A A. Bad part is none of these guys is bleeding them off to me. A guy raises and then re-raises with 2 callers just to show 6 6. It stood up to K Js and A Ks. What the K J was doing in there I don't know. It was bad enough the 6 6 pushed to a raise. The A Ks then went out on the next hand (surprise!) with 7 9 suited. All the while I am folding.

I call a pot raise in the BB with A 6s. Flop gives me two of the suit so I bet enough to put him all in. He folds. I can't get anyone to play with me. But I do notice one new guy at the table who is pretty hyper. I loosen up a bit to see if I can take some chips from him. With K Jo, I raise it up 3xs. It fold around to hyperboy but he folds. The chip leader is in the BB and takes his sweet time to fold. He has seen me raise but fold to re-raises so I am glad he doesn't put a move on me. I try again with A Ko. This time the person to my right goes over the top. They just got moved here. I look and call quickly not realizing that it is over 2k to call. Here is one thing I don't like about Poker Blue. When you go to showdown, you don't see your opponent's cards until the river is dealt. I was happy to see them show A Q and I move up over 10k. I have a chance to do something now with 31 players remaining.

Just before the break, I dump 5k on Q 4 from the BB. I was getting 7-1 odds to see a flop. Flop came K high and it checked around. Turn is a Q. I bet and get insta-called by the original raiser. The others fold. River is a Q. I bet 2k, just under half the pot. He min-raises. I have a bad feeling he has a Q and easily outkicks me. I call to see his A Q. Ouch. Now I have to work my way up again. 29 runners left and I don't want to be number 29 out.

After the break I fold, fold, fold, fold. Until the Hiltons come along again. I smile. But the guy on my right pushes. Hmmm... I call (he has me covered by 300). A tiny stack decides to try and get lucky and goes along for the ride. Nicki and Paris stand tall again knocking A 6 and Q J. Yes the pusher had Q Jo! Yowza! Back over 10k. I then get frisky in the BB with A 8 calling a min raise. Flop comes A 4 5. I check and then push on his bet. Oops. The chip leader. This could be trouble. Fold. Whew! I am over 16k and up to 5. Time to focus some more.

I get A Qo in the big blind. 3 people try to limp. I don't allow limping and raise it 3k. They all fold. Nice of them to give those chips up. On the button I steal the blinds to go over 20k. Then Nicki and Paris come by again. But no flop. Then I get 9 9. This time I limp. Yeah, not a good move but the flop is 5 high. I bet and the BB folds.

We then play fold em for a couple orbits. Or so it seemed. 10 2, J 3, 8 2, 7 3. Fold-a-rama. I see the Hiltons get cracked by 7 7 on the river. The short stacks are pushing and taking blinds left and right. And there is nothing I can do about it. The same guy has his 10s cracked by 4 7 off suit. I finish him of in the BB with 5 7 off with a small call.

But then I make a dumb call with Q 10 suited. I raised it to 4k and was re-raised by the BB. It was another 8k to call. Not a good move as I watched the chips move across the table. Now I am in a bad spot. With 11 left I am in 9th place. Chip leader is over 50k. I have quite a lot of ground to make up. Crap in the BB doesn't help. Worse crap in SB kills me. I then try to get my blinds back with Q J suited. After saying "Don't call" 20 times, the blinds fold. The blinds come around with more crap. Nice to get 3 4 off in both blinds. Being at the 5 person table is hurting my chances. Blinds are coming around fast. Nice of them to all fold for once.

The blinds are 100/2000 and I have 7100. Need to do something and quick. Let's see, 4 9o? No. Not that desperate. Q 3o? Nah. A 8 in BB? Yep. SB had just called so I pushed. He thinks and calls. Q J. His two pair knock me out in 11th place. No final table for me.

It rather sucks. To play that long and hard with nothing to show for it. One bad call killed my stack. Time to regroup and get ready for the PokerStars tourney next week. If I can play as well next Sunday as I did today, I can take some swag home.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Break even

I played about 3 hours on the bad beat tables yesterday at Party. Jackpot was over $500k. I plodded around the 2/4 tables swinging wildly up and down. Net take was $1.25.

Pretty sad, huh?

Shocking how people will call 2 bets with K 4 suited, and then suck out runner runner to fill their flush. Of course, that is with having a flop completely miss you.

I also had my flopped set of 10s beat by the flop set of Kings. It happens. I must have been up against one of the brainiacs because he didn't raise pre-flop with the kings. He did raise me on the flop, but not the turn or river. I would try to figure that out but I would have to lose IQ points to understand why he wasn't betting 4th or 5th street. Saved me money.

Thanks to Beck for giving an opinion on playing the bad beat tables. I totally agree. People will still play their big gapped suited cards no matter how many bets are out there. Last I checked, big gap suited will not win you a jackpot. But no other thoughts on the matter?

It did get me to thinking. I haven't looked but does Party show a history of who has won the jackpots and with what hands? I would really like to see that. I would find it hard to believe that someone's 7 high straight flush beat quads to take it down.

My guess is that most hands are quads over quads or the aces full of kings being taken out by quad kings. I just hope the jackpot is still up there by the time I get home.