Monday, February 28, 2005

Fishing in Keshena

Spent the weekend up in Keshena, Wisconsin, gambling at the Menominee Casino where they proudly brag "The Wild Rice People" on the chips. To say it was a fishing expedition would be an understatement. They had only 3/6 being played. That should be sign one. Sign two- The number of people that chased to the river with 3rd pair was amazing. But you know what ends up happening. The number of people that chase with nothing sometimes hit their hand on the river and suck it all out.

That is how the weekend went. Friday night was a suckout while Saturday was quite profitable making the poker playing for the weekend practically a wash (down 10 bucks).

Sad part was after I had left the table on Friday, they consolidated to one table and raised the limit to 5/10. A friend of mine cleaned up at that point. I guess leaving when the table has cold decked you may not be the best option.

Details to come later.

Thursday, February 24, 2005


After numerous chances, I finally broke through and won a $20 SnG. I had come in 3rd twice before in like 7 chances but if feels good to finally win one and take down the hondo.

I find the aggression in the game interesting. In the beginning with blinds just 10/20, it is not uncommon for someone to raise it preflop to 150. I have yet to understand this. It is not that they are making a pot size bet, it is just the number they choose. But at some point, when a couple players have been knocked out, this action ceases. Regular 3xs the BB take over again. And this can happen with blinds at just 25/50. There really seems to be no rhyme or reason to it. It just means you need to be careful and get to know your opponents quickly. Otherwise you will bleed yourself out by limping.

I liked how I played in the SnG. I made my big hands pay off nicely. Got pocket rockets twice within 10 hands and was able to make it pay off both times. I doubled up the first time when I just raised it 3xs the BB. Someone re-raised and I pushed. They showed QQ and handed me their chips. The second time, they folded to my turn bet. Didn't clear as much but it was still a nice gain.

Things really got interesting when we were down to the bubble. One guy had gotten on a rush and zoomed up to over 7k in chips. I was roughly in second with 3000, another at 3000, and the low stack at 900. But the low stack was on the left of the big stack. I began to notice how he never raised the blinds on him. He folded again and again. I was a bit suspicious.

The big stack also bluffed me out on a pot with just the 4 of us around. I raised it up from the small blind with K 10 suited. Flop came K high. I bet out 400 and was raised 1000. If I call, I am down to only 1000 and do not want to go out on the bubble. I was thinking re-raise but wondered if he called with a small pair and filled his set. My kicker should be good, but I wasn't certain. I folded and he showed 10 4. He had no piece of it. Asshole!

I felt better later when I raised with A 8 off. He pushed all in. I called because I thought he was protecting this other guy still. He showed A K. Oops! But an 8 on the flop doubled me up to over 4k.

Funny thing when the small stack finally went out. He accused others of working against him. I though that was funny because I believe he and the big stacks were in cahoots. But if blinding someone down is working against him, then he needs to read up on strategy.

I take the other stack out with Q Q and go heads up against the bluffer. I start aggressively but slow down. I take the lead when I slow play a pair of kings. Now that I have the stacks, I push all in on him whenever he limps into a pot and bets the flop. I notice he will stay aggressive with any piece of it. I am able to slow play kings once again to win.

Heads up is always a challenge and it seems to be a mix of aggressiveness and slow playing. I may have to change my tactics more often.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Taking tips from other players

I am beginning to have fun with chat. Guy didn't like my steal attempt. It folded to me and I raised it up. I ended up winning when 4 spades were on the board. I also bet it out on the flop and river. So when he started I played dumb like I have seen so many others do.

Kurto: raises with A6 lol
S.t.B: that is not a raising hand?
Kurto: not last I heard
S.t.B: we raise it all the time at home
Kurto: you got runner runner to win
S.t.B: did I?
Marshall28: if hes on button and nobody raises in front of him its a raising hand

So any time I was raising I typed in A 6 off Kurto.

I also think I am someone's fish list. Whenever I play the NL ring game, one guy in particular keeps showing up at the table after I sit down. Guess he didn't like it when I doubled up on him but isn't that what us fishies do?

PokerStars State Satellites

I am rather hooched by the time this thing starts at 12:30 am. Yep, you read that right. A freeroll that was schedule to start just past midnight. I figured that this might be my game considering the success I have had with drunken poker.

Only there was one problem I wasn't aware that this was a heads up tournament. Shit! There were 97 people registered. I was seated against someone from Madison. At first he didn't show. I just kept betting and taking down blinds. He came in at 5th hand. First thing I noticed is he was an extremely passive player. He slow played everything he could. I am used to playing rather aggressively so I had to change my game up a bit.

I lose a huge pot with J 10 when I flop the straight on the 8 9 Q flop. I check as does he. Turn is a J. Only one hand can beat me K 10. I bet and he calls. River is a rag. I bet and he raises I push and he calls. He has K 10. You are kidding me.

I am beginning to lose my buzz so I get another beer. I play aggressive when it feels right and slow play some bigger hands. I get my chips back when I slow play my flopped flush. I bet out when I have pretty much nothing. It took me about 24 minutes to take him out. I am past round 1.

I found it interesting that when the next round started, you kept the chips you had at the end of the round. So we started with 3000 instead of 1500. Didn't know that.

I am up aginst Middleton now. I lose a big pot when the guy kills me with AK vs my AJ. He is slow playing too so I take time to watch and shift gears up. I want him to think I am overly aggressive and it works well. It sets up the slow play.

I get lucky when I push with A 5 and catch the A on the river. I wasn't down a lot but wanted to push his buttons a bit when I was done about 1000. His slow play is killing me and I don't think he really wants to play anything but a quality hand. I am still trailing. I have to be more aggresive and start to raise more. I am tired but I fight my way back to even at the break. Yes, there is a break after one hour. WTF? I am tired, losing my buzz and getting a headache from the monitor.

After the break, I am able to take the lead when I limp in with Q 8. Flop give me an 8. Turn 8 makes my set. River Q makes it a full boat. Best yet, the flush possibility is out there. I take down a huge pot when his flush is no good.

I win it when he pushes all in when I raised with A J suited. He has K J off. No help either way and my A takes it down.

So tired. Need sleep. Thankfully the next one starts right away.

I am up against someone from Kenosha. I notice a tell on his right away. He always bets big pre flop on his monter hands. If you bet on him, he would fold if you bet out on the flop that he had raised.

With the way he was playing, my preflop raises became random. He was most likely to fold if I raised preflop so I mixed it up. Many a time I raised with the Hammer or 8 3.

I pushed him around pretty good. But I let him back into the game when I flopped the flush but tried to slow play it. It allowed him to draw out on me when his K of hearts was good.

I get him back down but I cannot close him out. He is below 1500 but anytime I go for the knockout he wins. 9 7 beat A 10. I can't hit my diamond flush. I finally knock him out with A 2 suited over his J J when I flop the A.

I have made it to round 4, the final round. If I win here, I go on to the next tourney. Next up is someone from Racine.

This was ugly. I sucked. I totally sucked. I lost a couple of big pot early by being out kicked. K 8 sees a flop of K K 3. We both check it until the river where I bet and get raised. I re-raise and lose to K 10. Ugh!

Basically nothing went my way. If I caught some good cards, they weren't as good as my opponent. That hurt but not as much as I was simply playing bad, and my opponent took full advantage of it.

So close, but so far.

Friday, February 18, 2005

Never giving up

Beside that one hand SnG I played, I played a number of other tourneys last night. All with minimal success. I came in 2nd in one SnG out of 3 SnGs and one multi. For the most part, I didn't really catch any cards, nor was in a position to make any plays. I think I have played enough to realize that hey, this will happen, but it still sucks.

I started the night by playing a $20 SnG at Pokerroom. Aggressive as usual for the first couple of rounds. Opening bets were usually at 125 and someone would bully the table early. I don't believe I played a hand for the first 20. Wasn't even in a position to defend my blinds. But if you are going to get cold decked, early is always the best time to have it happen. It gives you so much time to read the table and see how the flow is going.

When I did get some cards to play, I was able to take down some pots but they were small. The highest I ever got was to 2000. Came in 5th when I had to push in the blinds with K 10.

I need to develop a better strategy for the $20 table. I can usually do pretty well at the $10 but the $20 gives me trouble. I probably should spend some more time at the 10 and build up the roll a bit more so I can then play 4 or 5 20s in a row. I know the aggression at the 20 is not a factor as I am willing to mix it up with them. It may be something as simple as patience.

After the defeat at Pokerroom, I headed over to PokerStars to check on the USA tournament they sent me an email on. For just 50 of their frequent player points, you can play in a freeroll against just people in your state and then move to a country level for a chance to go to a EPT even in London. I notice that the registration starts at 12:30 in the morning. WTF? The tourney is at 12:30 Saturday morning. So go and set my alarm to wake up just so I can register. I figure that this tourney should be easy. Drunken poker is my forte!!!

I play a ring NL game for a bit doing ok until I get a little too aggressive. Misread my opponents and tried to bluff a flush. I got out when they BOTH re-raised me. Ouch. About that time I noticed that PokerStars also had a $10 multi starting in 40 minutes. There were already 300 people in. Nice. That is what I was looking for over at Pokerroom.

When the 10 multi started there were over 1000 entered. First paid over $2100. Nice dream as I barely lasted 45 minutes. I got down early on chips when my two pair ran into the slow played baby flush. I still didn't get any real cards to play and folded quite a bit. I kept my chip stack relatively even but wasn't making it grow. I went out on a weak hand. Q 10 off. It looked so good. There was one raise in front and and pushed from the big blind. I read this player to have A high tops and was looking for him to lay down to the guy who was barely playing. He too his time before calling with A 10 suited. I knew I was done. A 10 always beats me.

The problem I had with that play was that I would rather push on a much stronger hand. I felt my read was right and would have won with any pair. But any pair sure wasn't coming my way.

So of course being cold decked the majority of the night I went and played a $10 SnG on Stars. Nice to see that things don't change. Cards still didn't come my way and I was sitting around 700-800 the majority of the time. Blinds were relatively low though. We lost 3 players right away. There were 4 big stacks and two small stacks. Funny, they just couldn't get rid of us. We were able to steal our fair share of pots. By the time the other small stack was finally taken out, two of the bigger stacks had come down quite a bit. If I could double up, I was easily back into this game.

I was able to do just that sending my 3 3 to battle with A Q suited. One double. I then ran top pair top kicker for another nice pot and suddenly I am in third. One of the formally big stacks gets knocked out after I weaken him. Before I knew it I was in second. Still down to the leader by 2500 but surprised by the charge I had made.

I ended up in 2nd place which I found to be a moral victory. It cleaned up the majority of what I lost on PokerStars that night which isn't bad. But it shows that when you aren't catching cards, you need to be patient and find the right spots to be aggressive when you have little. You cannot wait for A A or K K. That K 8 can look like A A with the right bet at the right time. You need to play to win, not just survive. That is the difference between being a winner and a donor.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Ever get that feeling?

You know that feeling. That feeling that only comes from playing online poker.

That feeling that, even though you flopped the nut straight, that the board will pair up and knock you out because someone's set just improved.

Saying that sucks doesn't even cover it. At least it was only 5 bucks.

But it did smart being that it was the first hand and I was talking to a friend. I even predicted the board would pair up.

I had 7 8 off in the big blind. Someone raised it to 60 and there were 4 limpers. Sure, let's see a flop.

4 5 6

Nice. Or so I thought. EP bets 250. I push him all in. Why not, I have the nuts!
He calls and shows 5 5. Ugh, Presto! I am sunk.

At least the board didn't waste my time. The turn was a 4. Done. One hand and goodbye.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Multi table madness

Did I really say I was going to stay away? Nah, couldn't have been me. I had to play the $5 multi as I had done pretty well in it in the past. For 5 bucks, how can you go wrong. Gets your poker fix and you could win a little.

My first table was mesmerizing. There were 3 guys in particular that seemed to have little clue about what they were doing. One thought any A was gold. Another that any suited was worth calling 4xs BB bets. And the third that was going to the river with any pair.

And they were winning. Catching their card on the river. I was salivating at watching this. I just need one hand, just one hand.

Instead I got foot after foot. I mean nothing close. I was going to play A 5 diamonds but the guy raised it to 5xs the BB. Of course I would have flopped the nuts but that would be a bad call. If they had limped in front of me, yes, but I was in early position.

I get to play from the BB with Q 8 and flop two pair. I bet and get a caller. I bet the turn A and he folds. None of the maniacs were in on that hand. Hopefully they don't bust before I can get a piece of it.

Instead I fold. Again and again. I am going mad watching this guy call every bet with 10 7 diamonds. The board flopped A A 9. Turn was an A and the river a 4. He had the board and kept calling. Guy betting is possibly the bigger idiot of the two. You cannot bluff a bad player.

Damn, one just busted out. He called an all in bet for 80% of his chips with A 5 off. He pushed his remainder on a flop that totally missed him.

I finally get a decent hand and bet out my A Q. Unfortunately, the only guy who I have seen play and is good calls me. Flop comes 7 6 2. Ugh! I have only one way out and that is to bet. However, I am confident that he called with a pair. I check and fold his push.

Two hands later I am done at 151 when I call an all in with J J. He shows A 10. A on the flop and one on the turn to rub it in. Ouch!

The frustrating part is not really getting any hands to play. And when I did, I played the one poorly and the other outdrawn on. I did have a nice time watching poker.

So what do you do after that? Play a SnG of course! Gained 500 right away. A couple of hands later I had tough hand to play. In the small blind, I called the min raise for a total of 40 with 7 5 off. There were 4 in so I wanted to play the pot. Flop hits me pretty good, J 4 6 two diamonds. Open ended straight is worth a bet. Pop out 150 and get called by all 4. Hmm...did I just make a mistake. I would like to see a nice black 3 to end it but see a black 9 instead. Ok, but not great. I bet 300 and get quickly called by the guy on my right. The others fold. River is a black K.

I am thinking I am in big trouble here. I know the only way to win is to bet. I am about to check when it hits me. The guy's calls were too quick. He was auto buttoning. He is on a flush draw. So I decide to bet a bit smaller into the pot to make it look like I want to be called or raised. After a bit, he folds. Firing that 3rd bullet can be tough, but you have to do it.

I make a run at a bluff that doesn't work. I check raised the flop with A 4 and a runner runner straight draw. Flop of 3 3 6. Turn is a 7. Not bad. River is a 9 but shows the flush possibility. Once again, my only chance is to bluff at it. I bet out only 400, a third of the pot and get called by J J. I tell the guy nice call only to have the a-hole come back with bad bluff. Ha ha.

So next hand I ram it up with a pot size bet with A Q diamonds. Four people had tried to limp in, but only one called. Flop comes A A K. I bet half the pot and get called. Interesting. Turn is a Q. Sweeeeeeeet. I bet the rest of his chips. He calls instantly with J 10 for the straight. I vault into the top.

Players are dropping. I get the feeling that the a-hole is targeting me. He starts to raise my blinds regularly. It doesn't affect me much because I steal some back. I am also pushing the small stacks when I can.

The two small stacks are trying to outlast each other for third. One finally puts a hurting on the other with 2 pair on the river. If the guy would have done more than the minimum bet, he would have won the hand.

The guy who won now has gotten frisky. He starts raising left and right. He tries but cannot knock out the tiny stack. The a-hole finally takes him out. I am comfortably in 2nd when we are in the money.

Now is the time to get a bit more aggressive in the right spot. But 5 2 in the blind won't do it. At one spot, I raise 4 hands in a row, call on, bet on a bluff and then raise the next 3. I take the lead just to let it go with 2 pair bad kicker. Damn!

Now the small stack starts pushing all in on every hand. Hmm...I get A K diamonds on the next hand. The a-hole raises. The small stack (which is not the big stack) does not call. Damn. So I reraise 800 more. He calls. Flop is J 9 8. I push and he folds. But that damn big stack on my right is pushing all in again. I need to get a hand I can play on that. I get A K suited in the BB. Yes! But he folds. Shit!

Now the a-hole is barely surviving. He has only 280 left after posting the BB. I push him all in from the SB with 4 2 off. I type in ATC. Flop comes 4 3 4. DAMN!

So I go headsup with the big stack who has a 2 to 1 advantage. Now he starts pushing in on every hand. I hate that. He must have no post flop play in him. When he stops, I take down a couple of pots but can't get a good handle on him and push out of boredom.

Any recommendation of a good heads up strategy site would be well appreciated. Besides just waiting for a hand, what do you do against someone who just keeps pushing?

Time to read

I realized I hadn't mentioned a fantastic book I had read American Roulette. Click on the link for the author's blog. Go get a copy of the book as well. Very good read. I couldn't put it down and was done in 3 days (damn work!).

Not much poker content today. I played a SnG at PokerStars last night. Only one ugly baby picture at the table. My A Q was beat by 4 4 when he hit his set and slowplayed to the river. It was a big hit to my stack that I couldn't recover from. I may take the day off and step away for a day or two.

I wish I could go play Badger Poker tonight as I wouldn't mind stepping back into see how that is going, but playing for fun doesn't really cut it right now. And I have a ton of laundry to do.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Rough weekend of poker

The cards didn't quite come my way this weekend. Before I get to the ugly details, I would like to thank Dr Pauly for the link. It is a true honor. He also had a comment about updating links, something I really need to do. Go read both of his sites. Good stuff.

I played a couple of SnGs and multis with little success. Came in 3,1,8,301,9, and 6th. Also played a ring NL game that saw me losing a whole 35 cents over an hour. I received the worst cards. At one point, I had played in 4 out of 34 hands. I was ready to change my screen name to K 2 offsuit. I believe I got that hand 3 times in a row. It wouldn't have been that bad but it was over at PokerStars and 3 of the people at the table had ugly baby pictures up for the icon. Why is it babies or dogs?

So when I wanted to play on Sunday night, I went to Pokerrroom. There I ran into a table of ATC will do and then the most aggressive table I have seen in a long time.

On the soft table, I watched someone win hand after hand with crap. Any suited or connectors were being played. If a player didn't bet high enough (so many min bets) they were sucked out on the river. Though I didn't make a min bet, I was a victim of one of the suckouts. I had J 8 in the big blind. I saw the flop for free that came that came 10 8 3, all hearts. I checked and the suckout artist bet the min. Though they had played any suited frequently, I didn't buy it that they had flopped the flush. So I called. The turn was the J of diamonds. Now I have two pair and bet out just under half the pot. I figured any bet would either make them fold or get re-raised by the flush. Instead, it was just called.

I wasn't going to give this player credit for slow playing a nut flush. The river was the A of hearts. There are 4 hearts on the board and I have the J of. Crap. Two cards can beat me. I bet half the pot which is just under half of their chip stack. They went all in. At first I thought this was a tough call. There are two cards they can hold that will beat me. But wait, that means there could be 7 cards they hold that lose to me. I have a 3.5 to 1 advantage (and if that logic is incorrect, please, someone leave a comment). So I called. They showed Q 9. The Q was a heart and I was down to 390. That hurt.

But then I looked at it and believe I played it right. This player was playing a wide range of cards. I bet the turn because I was confident I was ahead-and I was.
But it also showed how people were playing, looking for that gutshot or at least a miracle flush.

So I fought back by being aggressive when necessary. I got back to 975 but overplayed my 9 9. There was a min raise under the gun and I kicked it all in. They had J J and filled their set on the flop. To rub it in, I saw a third 9 on the river.

Over on the aggressive table, there were 3 people out in the first 7 hands. People played their 9 9 and A J beyond hard. I watched as the guy on my right slow played every big hand he had. The person on my left was using the auto buttons. That told me to always take a little more time to make a decision to ensure I saw the tell. Plus it didn't hurt that he was tighter than tight. He was practically handing his blinds to me. I just had to hope no one else had picked up on it.

I stacked up nicely until I was sitting in 3rd. Though we had lost 3 right away, it took forever to lose number 6. More players were using auto buttons now too. It wasn't until blinds were 100/200 that we lost number 6. 5 went shortly there after. Smallest stack was at 1500.

It was a crappy time to get cold decked. I didn't play or steal in 10 hands and was blinded down a bit. Plus, it looked like the guy on my left found a backbone and got a little more aggressive.

I ended in fourth when I saw a flop with J 10 that came 10 8 6. I bet out 500 and was raised all in. Here is where I have many a problem Top pair, ok kicker. Many times I run into someone slow playing a huge pair. Yep, I ran into the slow playing A A here and was done. Something told me to fold because of the tight guy on my left but I just couldn't do it.

Someday I will learn.

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Why can't they just lay it down?

One of the funnier things about playing on the net is that people just cannot lay down pocket rockets. They see that A A staring and they think it is their God given right to win this hand.

Case in point. I am playing a tourney at Pokerroom. I have K Q off in mid position and limp in for 20. The BB raises to 100. Because I just won the prior pot,I kick in to see a flop. It comes out 4 9 Q rainbow. I bet out 100, a third of the pot. He raises me back. I call. Turn is a Q. Now I bet just over half the pot, which is half of his chips. He pushes all in and loses to my trip queens.

Now I bet the flop and then bet heavier on the turn. That person must have realized they were behind at that time. I would have laid it down. It is early in a tournament. I can wait for a better situation.

It just amazes me how time after time, the flush, straight or set possibility is screaming at them like a $2 hooker looking to be paid and they pay it off every time.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Good night

I feel I have been playing some good poker lately. Reads seem to be good. Aggression good. Things are falling into place. I played well last night too. Started the night by playing a $10 SnG. Decided if I made some money here, I would play the $5 multi starting later. Not much happened for a while. Had a guy calling me down on just a pair of kings though the flush was more than apparent. Watched him draw dead a number of times. I was amazed at the hands he was showing down. K 2 suited. Any connectors. Amazing.

But after moving up early, I sat around and didn't play much. With blinds at 150/300, we still had 7 people at the table with no big leaders. 3 were above 2500 and 4 below 1600. That is where the deck hit me hard and I ran K J and K Q for two quick doubles and took control of the table. The K J ran over A K when I flopped two pair. The K Q took out K J from a pretty aggressive guy. I wasn't sure I sure call him but did because I knew there was a chance I was ahead and that I could take a 1600 hit.

After that, I rolled along to a victory. With a boost over $200, the next step is to try the $20 SnGs. The couple of times I have played them they have been like a Triumph song. Loose, wild and free.

I actually signed up for and started the multi before the SnG had finished. I wish Pokerroom had 10 multis that paid better. It seems you need over 300 to make it worthwhile. Usually they have between 100 and 200. In that range, only the final table pays. I may have to scout other sites to see if they have more players. My guess is Party does, or it could be that the $10 multi isn't really an option.

My multi started pretty much like the SnG. Nothing to play for first half hour. I tried to limp a couple of times but the table was very aggressive. I have yet to develop a plan for those who raise it 10xs the BB pre-flop. Any suggestions are gladly accepted. Right now, I just sit back and wait for a good hand to call/bet with. I am willing to be patient- most of the time. So I sat back for a while last night. Was blinded down a bit as the table calmed down. Still some wild looking bets out there but didn't matter until I caught some cards.

Finally American Airlines lands on my strip. I raise it up from late position to 500, roughly pot size. Flop came Q high. I bet out and get called. I bet the turn and river when no higher cards come out. Turns out I was called all the way down by K K. I double up to get myself in a position to go somewhere in this tourney. I am above average now and can take advantage of some smaller stacks.

I start to steal some blinds. I take out one guy when K Q busts QJ. He pushed on me when I was on a steal. It was a small bet to call so it wasn't a problem.

Things continue to go well when 99 fills into a full house when a flop of J 10 10 comes. I bet out the two pair and was surprised to see the guy push. Only 650 to call. I felt I was ahead and called. He showed K 8 off. As mentioned the full house was completed on the turn with the 9.

I am able to steal some blinds and sit at 6600 at the first break. Not bad I believe, especially after a slow start.

I hit a nice hand in the second session. I was in the BB with 9 7 spades. The small blind raised it up to 400, a min raise. With two others limping in, I figured they wouldn't re-raise and wanted to see a flop. They just called as well and the flop came A Q 3- all spades. Jackpot. Small blind bet out 400. Hmm...I raised to 2000. Probably not a good move on my part, but I wanted to see if my flush was good with just the 9. 3 other cards could beat me, especially if another spade hit the board. The other two folded and the SB called. Maybe I should have slow played it.

The turn was the 5 of diamonds. I like the card. SB pushed all in and showed A 2 diamonds. All of that on A high and the flush possibility. Thanks for the chips. That pushed me over 10k.

I had a hand that should have payed off a bit more. But my K J didn't pay off though I made straight on river. The river was the A of hearts but that made the flush possible. The chip leader just kept betting the min. He showed a pair of Ks. I should have put a value bet out on the river to see if he had made his flush.

I avoid potential disaster with 9 9. Thankfully a guy pushed 13k in with K K. Guess he was scared of an A coming out.

Then I get switched to a new table. That sucks as I had a good read on players and knew I could steal there. Currently I am sitting at 11th place with 73 players left. A 8 of spades loses me 2k when I try to play second pair out. He has 10 10. I made a nice size bet on the river to represent the straight, but he called. Must have been tough for him to lay down with straight possibility on board.

Knock a guy out by playing K Q from the BB. He moved all in for 2k from the button. The guy had been short stacked and limping a lot so I figured he didn't really have a strong hand. A 6 suited. Caught my Q on the turn and he was gone.

I then proceed to get cold decked for the next 10 hands. So bad that I play 7 5 diamond from the small blind. Flop comes 6 3 10. Gutshot. I bet and get called. Turn is a 3. Check check. River a 5. I feel he is slow playing the K. He has pushed all in a number of times. I am a bit surprised he checks the river too and I win a tidy little pot with two pair. So shocked that I don't try to steal the blinds on the next hand.

I watch a tremendously bad beat. Guy flopped the nut flush and tried to slow play it. On the turn his opponent made his set. The set bet itout only to get re-raised by the nut hand. He called. The board then paired to give him full house. Ouch!

Then some movers get placed at the table and jack the game up a bit. Get 9 9 and raise it up 3xs. One guy then re-raises to 9k. Huh? This guy has been really wild and has shown just face cards. I hope to get something to play against him.

Just before this hand, we hit the money so I know I can make at least 8 bucks!!! Get another 20 spots higher and I make 13!!!! Note the sarcasm please. Top 5 is where the better cash is.

Sitting comfortable I hope to play some more hands. I get 9 10 diamonds and limp in for 800. 3 players see the flop of 8D,7D,2C. I have a ton of outs here. The small blind bets out and I her up. She calls. Turn is a 10 of clubs. A bit of help as I now have top pair as well. She bet out and I just called. River is the 9 of spades. Filled my straight. She bets out. I take my time and raise to force them all in. They showed a pair of 8s. Put a lot in with just 8s.

This boosts me to 20200 and 8th place. That is nice but final table is my first goal tonight.

I poorly play A Q suited out of the BB, choosing to just check instead of raise it. No help on the board and I have to fold to a river bet.

At the second break I am sitting at 13 with 18200. Only 29 players left.

Come back from the break to see A K off. Guy in front of me pushes all in for 3300. One other caller and me see the flop. 8 8 4. Guy bets out 1000. With the over cards and size of the pot, I call. Turn is a 5. No help. He bets 2100 and I fold. He has 3 3 to the all in K Q. Q on the river keeps the pusher alive.

I try to limp with 9 10 hearts. There is a raise of 3k more. I folded. Flop came with two hearts so I would have been stuck. If I was in the hand, I may have pushed to try and steal the pot there. It would have worked because I would have filled my the straight on the river and really moved up. Damn! Since the break I have lost 1/3 of my stack. Would of could of should of.

Big blinds comes around and give me a beautiful 9 2 off. Seeing a flop is a joke there. Small blind gives me 9 10 off. I get to complete for just 500 but miss the flop and muck.

Blinds come around and I haven't played since. I get 9 10 again. It is now stalking me. Bastard.

I don't play anything for a while again. Then I get 5 5 and limp in. I was tempted to fold it and wait for a stronger hand but I haven't seen anything quite this good in close to 20 hands. 4 callers see a flop of 9 6 5. The say there are key hands in every tournament where you need to risk everything if you expect to make it to the final table and win. I thought this was one of those do or die hands to make the final table. I push my last 7500 in. One guy takes a while to think and calls. He has 6 6. AAAAAAAGGGHHHH! Done at 21.

The last session just plain sucked. I felt I had played well all night until that spot. I am happy to have made it that far but seem to get stuck in the 15 to 20 level lately. Hopefully, I can continue this and improve from here.


Everyone has been on the brutal side of some bad beats. For once I was on the delivering side last night. One was bad, the other was simply bad play.

I played two SnGs last night. One was ugly where I unfortunately got into the WTF mentality after some stupid play. It started with one guy trying to put the whole table on tilt. For the first 4 hands, he raised the bet to either 150 or 200. Each time, everyone folded without seeing a flop.

On the fourth hand, he raised to 300 and got a player to push all in. He showed A A and wallopped J J. This player jumped out to a big lead when he did the same thing to another player. He succeeded in setting the tone of the table as other players followed suit and would raise pre-flop a minimum of 5-7 bets each time. I tried to stay out of the fray for a while but couldn't. I caught A Q and A K a couple of times but totally missed the flop. I was puking chips with some decent hands. I went down quickly when they started stealing my blinds.

I was able to double up with A 8 suited when I caught a break. Against 6 6, the board paired up twice to have my A kicker become a winner. But a hand later, I just raised with 7 7 instead of pushing. Flop came Q high and I pushed. My opponent had K Q and took me out. I don't think it would have mattered if I had pushed preflop or not. He was probably going to call no matter what.

The second table was easy. I more than doubled up 3 hands in when I was dealt 10 10 on the button. It seemed like the whole table was limping in so I cranked the bet to 250. I had 3 callers. Didn't really care for that. Of course, any high card on the flop would put me in trouble. Flop was beautiful for me. 9 5 2. Strange thing was the mid position bet it out. 250. I wondered if he had a high pair that he was slow playing. Or did he play a small pocket pair. I just called this bet. The other two folded. Turn was a 7. MP bet out 350. He had about 1700 chips left. I wanted to take this pot down right here and raised it up to 1350. That should put him in a spot to totally commit right now. Either way, I was in to the end as it would be only 350 more to see it and I would still be way above average in the chip count.

I was a bit baffled when he just called. I would consider that a spot where you either fold or re-raise. Why do you just call? That means you are looking for help. Either way, it did work to confuse me. Especially when a 3 hit the river and he pushed his last 350 in. Huh? Hell, if he had the set, good for him. I was going to pay him off. I didn't think he did and was positive the river could not have helped him. He showed K 9 for a pair of 9s. Dumped over 2000 to me on a pair of 9s. Sweet.

From there I cruised along. When blinds got meaningful in the 75/150 level, I had over 5500 in chips. Second was around 2400. I then worked to bully the table. It worked well until I got cold decked for about 10 hands. Good thing that no one was playing loose as they simply took each other blinds. Flops became rare. I was sick of seeing 8 3 off or 9 2. Any K would do or any connector. I wanted to get in and take some one out.

With 5 left, I got my chance. UTG limped in for 200. I called with K 9 suited. Button folded as did the small blind. BB checked. Flop came 7 9 J. UTG bet out just 200. I went along as I thought there was a chance that my second pair could be good. My shot at the flush was a long shot as it would have to come runner runner. BB folded and we saw the river. K. My call paid off. Especially when he pushed all in. I was going to call his last 1500 no matter what. I was positive I had the best hand, but was going to take a bit of time to think about what he had. I ruled out K K right away. A K? K Q? K J? That last one was the only one that concerned me. Possible. Very possible. I was surprised when he showed A A. No river rocket for him and he was done.

I don't understand why he tried to slow play aces in that position. I mean, I know he wanted a bigger pot and all but, he wasn't in a position to back away. I would say his bet on the flop was pretty bad. There is 700 in the pot. I would bet half there, but I guess his bet shows he is looking for a caller and should set off an alarm. But he let me draw out and his aces were cracked.

We were down to four. On the very next hand, I raised it up to 600 UTG. The BB went all in. It cost me only 600 more here so I called with my A 8 diamonds. He showed A K. Flop came A high. Turn was my 8. River was nothing.

In back to back hands I had taken out AA and AK. Brutal.

With the 3 of us left getting the prize pool, I had a commanding lead. Over 11000 to their mid 15-1800 stacks. I disposed of one when my BB of 5 3 became a straight on the river.

Heads up took a bit longer as the beats came against me. Twice he was all in with the inferior hand but caught a card on the turn or river. Suddenly he went from 1400 to over 5000 and it was a game.

I am not the best heads up player, but I feel I have improved greatly. You can get a feeling for how others play heads up by their aggression. In this case, my opponent had none. I could raise anything and he would fold unless he had a hand. No chips would come from his side of the table unless he had a pair minimum. It took a bit more time but I won.

Best part was that my bankroll boosted to 300 bucks. Yeah, I ain't big time at all. Just having fun.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Drunk Poker weekend

Played quite a bit this weekend, both online and with actual cards. It was a profitable weekend too. Came in 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 1st in 6 different SnGs. All the pieces fell into place at the tables for me. I played a bit more aggressive that I usually would and it was working very well. Such a good feeling to go after pots with second pair, draws and or even nothing. When played back at, I was able to back away to avoid damage while possibly even setting my next hand.

And I had a first, someone trash talking me.

Not quite sure what exactly set him off, but I found it to be pretty damn funny. In a battle of wits, this guy was defenseless. It all started when I was on a steal. I was the chip leader and raised it up pre-flop on the button. He re-raised all in. With just 155 to call, I had no choice. My A 5 was up against his Q 4. Flop came Q 4 2. Turn was a 3, river a K. I filled my straight and knocked him out.

That is when it started. He started flaming me for getting lucky and playing that hand to begin with. Though I pointed out that he didn't have an all star hand to begin with, he tried to point out how many outs he had. So? He didn't hit them. It happens.

This player proceeded to stick around and critique every play I made. I had a commanding lead at this point. With only 3 players left, I will make a bit of cash, but should win it all. The clown finally appeared to have calmed down and left.

Or so I thought.

I manage to completely dissolve my lead in 4 hands going from over 10000 to 850. I stayed aggressive in my play but just ran into better hands.

And my heckling friend was loving it. Until I came all the way back to win it. Funny how he shut up quickly. I don't believe in trash talking other players but this person just got to me. I don't plan on doing that again any time soon.

Got in a quick 9 person game at the bar before the Super Bowl. Once again I would be playing a table of those who are pretty much learning the game or just enjoy it on TV. I feel extra pressure at these tables as I am one of the few who puts quite a bit of time learning and trying to improve my game. If I don't do well, it is the walk of shame.

Things didn't look good at the beginning. First hand UTG, I get 9 9 and raise it up to 10 (blinds 2/4). Four callers see a flop that comes K high. I bet it again and get just one caller. Turn is no help to me and I check. I am going to try and keep my aggression in check early on. My opponent bets it out and I call. River is no help and I fold to his bet.

In the big blind next hand, I get a whopper in J 4 suited. Thankfully I see the flop come J J 3. I check it around and then call the 10 bet. Still 4 players in. Turn is a 4. I now have the full house. I check again. Bettor comes out again and all 4 call. River is an A. Sweet! That should be my payoff card. I bet 25. The guy who was betting raises it to 50. One folder and then a caller before it is back to me. I go all in. I am confident that the raisor of course will be in, but I think the guy in the small blind will easily call as well. They both do and I show the nuts.

From there, it looks like I begin to bully the table, but I am not. I catch some good cards and apply pressure. I am doing whatever is necessary to prevent the suckouts. It doesn't hurt to get lucky as well. For instance, I limp in with Q 10 spades. I see a flop of 8 9 7, one spade. 5 players are in. One guy pushes all in for 37. There are two callers. I don't really like the call here as I am on the draw but I have pot odds. I call it and see the J on the turn. I have my straight along with a flush draw now. I slow play it on the turn and bet heavy on the river. No one calls and I only knock one person out.

I cruised to the money and gave up my big lead once again. I go for the knockout twice and fail. I step aside to let the two smaller stacks go at it but neither can't get the other out. It takes a visit from the Hilton Sisters to put one guy away. I have the lead back as we go heads up. I get aggressive with K 6 suited. I try to steal the pot on the king high flop and get pushed all in. I get called by K 5. His two pairs takes it down.

I put my aggression to use now and keep raising any hand. It works as I get my lead back. I take it all down with a nice slow play on a set. I usually don't slow play sets. Don't like to let anyone draw out. But sometimes you just need to do it. I had A 8 in the small blind and completed. Flop came 8 8 4. I check as does he. Turn is a K. I make a small bet. He raises! Nice. I re-raise him all in. That may have not have been the best play as he could still back out, but with only 100 left, he called. His pair of kings is no match for me and I win it all.

Later that night, after the Super Bowl festivities had died down, I went home to play on Poker Stars at 3 in the morning. Drunk poker suits me well the majority of the time. Played a $10 SnG and came in 2nd. Not bad before passing out.

Saturday, February 05, 2005

Poker Stars thoughts

After playing the WBPT the other night at Poker Stars, I stuck around to see how the games are. I have played some of the SnGs with good success as well as some of the ring games. The site is ok, don't have anything bad to say about it.

But I wonder about some of the players. One thing I find interesting about the site is that you can upload a picture, logo, whatever you want to symbolize who you are. No lame looking graphic person.

It appears the majority of the people that do upload an image, either use their kid or their dog. WTF? How original! I don't need to see Scruffy staring at me. Or some picture of your ugly kid. And believe me, there are some damn ugly kids on that site.

Poker hasn't been too kind to me on the second half of the week. I can't seem to do well at Pokerroom. Yesterday I had my A A cracked by 7 7 when he re-raised my re-raise before the flop and caught his set on the flop. Oh well.

Then someone called down every bet I made when I flopped my set. Though he had a pair of queens, he wasn't laying that down. Runner runner flush knocked me out.

I did then go to Poker Stars and came in 4th in a two table. It wasn't until later on, playing drunk poker, that I came in second on PR.

I wouldn't be shocked if there is a game tomorrow before the Super Bowl. I mean, doesn't everyone play poker before the big game?

And hey, check that banner out! Yep, I am now shilling for the Man!

Thursday, February 03, 2005

My venture into the WPBT waters

I played in my first WPBT event last night. Had a great time. Played some good poker. Things were a bit different playing this one. You knew the Hammer was going to be dropped and you had to be prepared for anything and everything. Like when the Hammer cracked A A. Amazing! So going in, I knew I would have to drop the Hammer on someone. If not, then the Jack Hammer or the Hilton Sisters. Making money was definitely secondary to having a good time. So I popped open a beer and got settled in.

My first table started on the tight side. No limpers allowed. If someone opened with a raise, it generally folded around. Raises were getting respect in the beginning as everyone felt each other out. My hands were pretty crappy to start. I folded quite a few hands. Stole a BB from Grubette. Played A K but had to fold on the river when nothing hit the board. Tried to play the Hammer but ran into J J.

Like a poker hemophiliac, I was bleeding chips. Kept defending my blinds as I was short stacked and that didn't help. Down around 390, I catch 10 10 and push. I get one caller (curzdog) who shows K Q. I double up when a third 10 hits the board. From there I go on a mini rush to finish at 1905 at the first break. Not great but felt good to be above where I started. There were 151 players at the start, and we are at 100 now. I am at 55.

One noteworthy blogger has been moved to our table.
Dr. Pauly is sitting in second place. Go take the time to see how he cracked pocket rockets with the Hammer. What legends are made of.

I kick off the second session with A Q. Raise it up but get no callers. I then misplay a nice hand from the BB. I am able to check it to see a gutshot straight draw. I bet out half the pot and get called. I fill the straight on the turn. This time I check. He bets and I call. River is a 10. I bet and get re-raised. I just called. There was a pair on the board and I thought maybe he had a full house. But right after I called, I regretted not raising. I probably would have collected more. The way the hand was played, I should have recognized that he didn't have the house. Instead, he showed down a pair of 10s. Can't help but feel I should have collected quite a bit more there.

I try to knock Grubette out of the tourney with 8 8. Flop came with a flush draw and I bet out 500. She had only 830 left so she had little choice on calling. It was either push or fold. She pushed and showed A 3 for the draw. No diamond on the turn, but an A on the river. Ouch!

But the river would help me. Sitting around 1400 now, and in the small blind, I see A 10. The button has been pushing me around on the blinds the majority of the night. I haven't had anything to defend with. Now that I do, I push all in. He thinks and calls with A J. Crap! I begin to type in a farewell message when I catch a 10 on the river. Guess I ain't going anywhere quite yet. Only place I am going is to the fridge for another beer. Dopplebocks are going down very well and starting to kick in.

Having doubled up, I am in a position to get aggressive again and steal some blinds, which I do. This is especially important now that antes have kicked in. This is one thing I do like about Poker Stars set up. Antes kick in around the 5th or 6th level so you cannot wait until you get a good hand. You do need to play as it will cost you each hand.

I play another hand rather crappily again. I defend my blind to a min raise and see a flop of Q 9 6. My 7 5 doesn't look too bad now as I can catch the 8 for the belly buster. I bet and am called. Turn is another 6. Now I check. Mistake. I should have stayed aggressive and bet it out. He checks as well. River is a rag and I have no chance to win this hand except to push hard. Having wimped on the turn hurt me.

Disappointed with that hand, I get A 10 and plan to push. You ever notice how some hands seem to always win? Lately, I have been getting clobbered by A 10. So I have started playing it more. Seeing this baby again had me thinking it was a sign. But not when there is a raise and re-raise. I muck. They show A Q and A J. Of course, the 10 hits the flop and would have been a winner.

Still on the short side, I call a raise to 1600 with A J spades forcing me all in. I am up against queens. They make their set on the flop but I go runner runner for a flush. Ugly. I think I even typed in something stupid like river river, chicken dinner.

At the second break, I am at 3250, placing me 26th. Last two tables get paid, so I have a chance to make some coin. Currently the cut off has 4875 so I have more work to do. Blinds are something like 300/600 about now with 50 ante, I think. I get to start the second session on the button so hopefully I can steal a bit.

But I run into a little problem called myradiohead. He is raising my blinds up every time and is killing me. Hopefully I can get back at him at some point, but will have to wait. He is playing pretty solid and I can't blame him for his actions. Of course, I have to give him shit. And I am able to get some of my chips back. I raise it up with A Q off. Only radio calls. Flop comes J J 9. I push. He folded A K and I feel pretty good about it. This puts me over 7100

Raise it up with A 10 again but do not see a flop. Next try the same with A J off in early position. Uh oh, a re-raise all in. It will cost me 1600 to see it. I go for it. He has K J and catches no help. I guess I caught the antichrist.I am now over 12000 and doing well. I have the final table in my sights.

But then it is fold city again. I do a couple of raises with some aces but just win the blinds and antes. Doesn't matter though because number 19 just busted and I will get some cash. Nice feeling to place, but I want that final table. Onward I press. Defend the blinds (600/1200) against a raise with J 9. See a flop of Q 10 3. I bet out 3000. Immediately I don't like my bet. It is just over half the pot. He could re-raise and I am in trouble. But luckily for me, he folds.

I get caught stealing with A 5. Flop comes K 10 5. I bet it out and get raised all in. It will cost me only 860 to call, which I have to do. He shows A Q. Turn is a rag but the river a J for the straight. Damn. So close.

That begins the downward spiral. I try to get away with the Big Lick, 6 9 suited. I get called down by A A and 4 3 suited (who was all in on the blinds). The 4 3 wins with a set of 3s! But I am crippled. Feeling little choice in the matter, I go all in on the big blind with Q 2 and run into K K.

Done at 15. I went from over 12000 to being out in like 3 hands. DOH!

Best of all, it was a great time. It was nice to make some money (36 some bucks on a 22 buyin netting 14 big ones!), but it was a good tourney over all. Great play.