Friday, April 29, 2005


I have updated some links on the side. I added the pages that I check out on a daily basis. There is a good mix of stuff over there. Some damn good writers, good strategy, and other stories of people like myself who are learning and enjoy playing the game. I will be adding more later so I hope I don't offend anyone at this point by leaving them off.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

P-Stars play

Thanks for some recs. That was appreciated. I did check out Bodog and will probably throw some money in there to play there tournaments. I did check out the site and it may have what I am looking for in the tourney area. And if the games are soft, all the better!

I also played the $10 tourney on Poker Stars last night. I don't know what the words were to describe it. Interesting. Amazing. Surprising.

First off, 1273 people signed up for it. Wow! I am not used to seeing that unless it is a buck entry or a freeroll. First place was over $1200. Sweet. To make the money, you needed to come in at least 135 and would get $30. Not bad. The level of play? Pretty bad at times.
From my experiences in freerolls, I wasn't too concerned about not making the money. I can play tight and wait for hands. As long as I don't suffer from a bad beat, I am ok.

My table was pretty decent. There were some loose players that wanted to see flops. You could raise the blind up from 10 to 150 and you were going to get 4 callers. Not truly what I wanted to have but if they didn't catch any piece of the flop, they were gone. I dumped some chips on exactly that. With A K suited I jacked it up to 150 and 4 of us saw a flop that came all rags, and all hearts. I checked it and some guy moved all in with A K hearts. No big deal there. I would chips up with 10 10 when I hit a set on the flop. I bet out half the pot, knowing I would get called. Sure enough, someone moved all in and I called. He showed his open ended straight draw. That became meaniningless when a 5 paired the board giving me a safe boat.

I played A K aggressively next bluffing my way on a 10 high flop. It took the second bullet but I took it down. From there, I hardly played a hand for the next 20 minutes. Didn't catch much. I was a bit amazed that people were dropping like flies. 30 minutes in and half the field was gone. I don't know why but I assumed that was just a low limit tourney or a freeroll experience where people move on anything. Guess not.

I got booted around 600. Got dealt K K in the small blind. I moved it up to 350, knowing the BB would not fold. I have seen him call everytime he had money in, so I am going to get all I can out of this. Flop comes 9 high. I bet the pot and he calls. Not a surprise. Turn is a J. I push basically because it is a pot size bet and I think I should be good here. He insta calls and shows J 9 off. See ya. I don't think I could have done anything else here except push on the flop or pre-flop. Even then it wouldn't have mattered. He wasn't going to fold.

Funny how this game can smack you around. I feel I played pretty good, though maybe a tad tighter than I should. The thought of making some money in that tournament is very appealing. I know I will enter it again. Right now though, I will deposit some into Bodog and check that out.

I don't know if I will play tonight. I got 2 books to read. On the advice of many better bloggers, I got Dan Harrington's book on tournament poker and Sklanky's Theory of Poker. Must reads that I need to get some time to, well, read. That is kind of tough though. Whenever I start reading, I end up wanting to play. If worse comes to worse, I will read on the plane to Vegas in June.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Rollercoaster poker

Went back to the $5 multi at PokerRoom. As much as I would like to play higher, and will, I thought I shouldn't necessarily be moving up quite yet. I got to thinking about how tournament entries are like limits in ring games. As you get better, you should move up. However, winning one of these tournaments does not necessarily mean I am killing this game. I have cashed in 5 of 7 that I have played, but that was only 2 final tables. Plus, the time is right on this tourney with a start at 5:30. This will get at least 300 people involved which makes for a decent payout and some cash back in 40th position. The $10 tourneys at PokerRoom never seem to attract 200 entrants and pay only the final table. Other tournaments seem to start later which means I may be up until 1am which doesn't make me spring fresh for my job. I will have to scout around. Until then, the $5 should do me good.

Played on the tight side at first. But made nice bets when my reads were feeling good. I have started taking more notes and tagging everyone. That info is pretty valuable, even early on. For example, my first big pot is won with 8 8. I limped in UTG+2. I should have raised it up but I knew that I would be raised by at least one other and if the flop totally missed me, I didn't want to get crippled. I had already lost 700 of my starting 1500 on missed flops. 5 others tried to limp in but the BB wasn't having any of that. He pushed. UTG called but only after some hesitation. I knew the BB didn't have much for him to push. The hesitancy by UTG told me he had an ace at best, no pair. I called even though it would put me all in. I was confident I was ahead and was hoping their cards would nullify each others. What I didn't like was another limper going for the ride as well. BB had K 9, UTG and the other caller had A Q. Cards all came low and suddenly I am up over 3600.

I build it up nicely to 9700. My notes continue to pay off as I watch one guy with a nice big stack play too many hands. I get paid off by him when I raise my J J up to his min raise. I jump it 5xs the BB. I was a bit surprised when he pushed. I thought WTF and had to call. He showed 6 6 and I jumped up again to 16000.

Then disaster struck. With 9 10 suited, I called a min raise from the small blind. BB folded and MP and I saw this flop.

J 10 6. I bet out my second pair to see where I might be. I am called. Turn 9. I bet it out again, 2500, feeling he may have a jack or a higher pair. I think my 2 pair are good here. He raises me? I call. River 4. I put out a small feeler bet and am shocked that he pushes. I quickly call. He turns over K Q for a straight. Huh? I beat myself up for not seeing the straight possibility on the board.

I have been knocked down to 1800. Time to push on any high cards. I get lucky when I push with K J suited and get a straight. I push with A2 and split a pot with A 7 with all high cards on he board. At 4000 I push with A 10 and beat out A 7 to get to over 8000. Then pocket rocket come in a most opportune time and I more than double to 19000. Back in the game!

Soon we are in the money which means a minimum of $14.50, a whole 9 dollar net! First is just under $500 so I need to find my way to get there.

I don't start well when A Q doesn't hit a flop and 8 8 has me betting out and being called down by second pair (my own mistake as I bet out the A high flop and didn't follow up with a turn bet. Must fire the second bullet!). The big stack on my right is a problem. I can't seem to win a pot from him and I can't tell if he is bullying.

Sitting just under 7k, I suddenly feel desperate and push with A 6 from EP. I am relieved when it folds around. I push from the small blind when their is a limper and the big stack on my right raises up. I am behind when I see the one caller has A 10 to my A 8. But the board pairs up twice and it is a split. I am alive!

I notice a couple times that when someone is all in, that the other players are not checking down to try and eliminate that person. That is poor poker play for a tournament. Calling in mid position with A rag is killing a number of people as well. Good.

I get lucky in the BB with K 8. Flop comes 10 Q K. I bet it out and get re-raised. I call to see some one playing Q 10. But an 8 hits the turn and I am over 21k.

I hope to steal the blinds with J 10 suited but can't call the all in bet from the small blind. Next hand I get A K and re-raise the min bet. I push and run into A A. Damn!

With 9 9 I put my 1100 in. That isn't even a full call. 4 people see the flop that come K Q 2. NO help. 4 on the turn, 5 on the river. I am out at 20th and get 20 bucks.

I had a roller coaster ride tonight. I was able to find my places, push with a small stack, and get back into contention. That was encouraging. Yes, I got really lucky in a number of spots, but that is poker. Let's see how this one goes later this week.

If anyone knows of a good $10 tournament online, let me know. Any thoughts on moving up are appreciated as well.

I am a bit disappointed. I built up a stack 3 times and to finish at 20th wasn't where I wanted to be.

Monday, April 25, 2005


Congrats to Bob for winning the satellite for the $1500 buy in at the WSOP. He played well and made a nice rush at the end. I started on his immediate right at the beginning of the tournament so maybe I had something to do with his victory. Yeah, I didn't make any moves and didn't play as smart as he did. Maybe if I stole more of his blinds or something (or didn't play like an idiot) it would have been me.

Go check his "junk" out.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Blogger tourney

Not much to report here. I played on the stupid side tonight. I started well but got impatient. I had the early chip lead when I bluffed at a pot with A J. Made it look like I had the flush.

I dropped the Hammer as well. I think that was the highlight. I called too much with J 10, not catching a flop. My draws weren't good.

And then it was over. I limp in with K 3 of hearts in the small blind. Flop come K high with 2 hearts. I bet the pot and get raised to 600. Hmm... I call. Turn is not a heart. I push all in. I realize right away that was a dumb move as my kicker sucks and I really need a heart. I am called and way behind. My opponent flopped a set. No heart mean I will be a railbird.

Man, did I play that like an idiot.

But I did clear the bonus at Party Poker. Wow are there some really bad players out there. I won pots with ace high. Ace high! Too many people playing hand after hand and staying in until the end. I knew I could call the last bet because they had nothing. The bad beats were thankfully kept to a minimum. I did see a lot of runner runner flushes. I was gracious enough not to berate anyone for their stupid play. Too many times they were calling 2-3 bets preflop and calling down many more bets in their suckouts. I may now bonus whore somewhere else. Noble Poker has some nice reviews but they apparently do not have enough players to make it worthwhile.

I also played a $30 SnG on Saturday night. That was kinda by accident. I was out drinking all day when I logged on. Had come in 4th in a $10 SnG and I thought I would make it all up and then some. I signed up for the $30 and waited for it to fill up. Suddenly I realized how foolish I was being. I tried to unregister but it was too late. The table lit up and it was on. I hung in pretty well. Made the money coming in second. Sweet.

I think now I will play some of the small buy ins at Full Tilt in hopes of winning something bigger. Wish me luck.

Friday, April 22, 2005

BadBlood plays Poker

My submission for BadBlood.

I thought about sobering up before the tournament started. But decided to just go with it. Saturday had been spent watching the NFL draft, drinking beer and eating wings at Hooters. Kinda like pre-game ritual as of late.

When I woke up on Sunday morning, I was tired but excited about the prospects of winning a seat into a WSOP tournament. I had run well, even winning a tournament the prior week. I got out of bed, hung over. Went into the bathroom to pee and shave my tongue. Why the hell did I smoke that Dutch Master cigar? I see my car on the street. I recall not driving home, so that is good.

I look at the clock and see that is is 11 in the morning. Just then the phone rings. It is my partner in crime, Brian. We had run up the bill pretty well at Hooters yesterday. The beer portion was higher than the food portion- a sign of victory. And we always have at least 50 wings when we are there. Brian wanted to go to the Brewers game. He wanted to get in some tailgating before hand. I feel my brain swimming in alcohol still. Somehow I mumbled a “sure, let me take a shower” and hung up the phone.

He shows up 20 minutes later and we are heading to the stadium. As he drives he is telling me about the crazy stuff I was doing last night. Like ordering a pitcher of Guinness. He asks about who this Iggy guy is and how could I drink that much Guinness so fast. He says I was drinking everything in sight. I did shots of SoCo, dedicating them to Al, Heineken saluting BadBlood, and even found some Red Stripe giving shout outs to the “good Dr.”. He told me how he had to stop me from trying to pick up the cardboard cutout chick that was the Miller Lite display. He also said to stay away from that bar, as the owner may not appreciate me hurling on the front steps.

After we parked, he thrusted a beer into my hand and told me to drink up. I did. That hurt at first but hey, hair of the dog always works. The game goes well, or at least what I remember of it. Next thing I know I am logging on for the blogger tournament.

I arrive in Hellmuthian style, 20 minutes late. I have lost some chips to the blinds but am in a respectable place. I notice some familiar names. Human Head, Dr. Pauly, BG. Others I not familiar with. I am sure I make a great impression with my drunk typing.
I must be making an ass out of myself as I try to horn in on the continual side bets between BG and Dr. Pauly.

I play some hands but don’t win a single pot. I don’t deserve to win a pot playing K 4 unsuited or J 7. I am impatient as not a single hand is coming my way. I get visited by the Hilton Sisters and make a silly move by pushing my 1000 all in with blinds just 20/40. It cracks someone’s aces and I being applauded by some. Ok, I am applauding myself for getting lucky. From there, the deck hits me silly. Pocket rockets come by twice in 5 hands. A Q suited flops the flush and I slow play it well. I fill a straight flush with 3 4 suited from the button. It is like I can do no wrong.

I play well, though I am legally still drunk. I get to the final table in second place only to BadBlood. I figure I can wait and just play good cards. That is when I get a call. This chick that has been badgering me about sushi calls and yelling at me about some call I made last night. As I argue with her I decide to try and steal the blinds but make the mistake of moving all in instead of just raising it up. A 2 won a tournament for me before so why not now?

Weeks later I am in Vegas, strutting down Fremont Street. I proudly display the banner of the WPBT on my shirt. I go right on in to the Horseshoe with a beer in my hand to the back looking for the tournament. But the poker room is quite bare. Only 3 tables are in play. I check my watch. No I am on time. Just at the wrong casino. Crap!

I grab a taxi just in time to see the winner of the satellite slam the Hammer down on the table. I buy the bloggers on the rail a round of drinks. They begin to talk about how my flopped set of aces lost out to the Jack Hammer that hit quad 4s. Damn you Blood, damn you!

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Gearing up for the satellite in a BIG way

As I mentioned earlier, I was going to play some mutltis to warm up for the WSoP satellite on Sunday. I hopped onto PokerRoom to play the $5 multi in hopes of revving my play up. Little did I know it would be historic night.

340 players started. Not much happened over the first hour. I survived. Didn't have much to play early on. Q Q got busted down when the board was showing one overcard but a flush and straight possibility. Had to lay it down to the river bet. As the cards went bad, I began to wonder if my strategy of playing big multis was right. There would be only 50 in satellite. Would going up against 340 be of any use for a smaller tournament? Well of course I would. Guess I should focus on the game at hand.

As I said, I survived until the first break. I believe I was 90 out of 104. I got lucky as my 10 10 went up against J J and hit my set on the flop. That was the first time I had put all my chips out there. It also propelled me comfortably into the money.

From there I played pretty tight. I even folded J J at one point to a raise and a call. The raise came from UTG so I was skeptical. Too many times I have seen a min raise off of aces or kings. I figured my jacks probably weren't good. What I didn't do was factor in the previous play of the UTG guy. I had taken notes on many players, notes that would pay off nicely later. I should have known that he would only min-raise with an ace. If he had something stronger, his bet would have been higher. I should have flat called there. Flop would come all rags. They checked it to the river (which happened to be a jack). I could have taken down a nice pot there.

Long story short, I made it to the final table. I came into the final table in 9th. Blinds were 1000/2000 I had 22000 so I had some wiggle room. At this point I was focusing on how I could get up to 4th place where the real money paid out. At that point I would figure how I could win it as well. Problem was the chip leader (140k) was on my right and knew how to use a big stack.

I just about double up defending the blinds and playing aggressive with the flops. In the BB, my 3 4 off sees a flop of 2 5 J. I bet out the pot and get called by a big stack. Crap. Turn is a 4. I push and he folds. I had watched him call many a flop bet and fold on the turn. I felt my fours were good.

Next in the small blind I get 9 10 suited. I complete and see the flop with 2 others. 10 high. I make a pot size bet which takes it down. Up to 32000 now.

Two hands later I try to limp in with Q J. BB raises to 9000 and I fold. Flop came Q high. Turn was a Q. I doubt the BB was playing A Q or K Q. I start to think I just missed another good opportunity. Especially when the deck goes cold for awhile.

Like 12 hands awhile. Two sets of blinds gone.

Then it hits me silly. Totally silly. Next four hands are J J J J 10 10 A K. I collect on each (nothing huge but good size bets from the big stack) and suddenly I am at 102000. I have gone from 8th place (last) to second.

I don't know if I make a mistake here or not. As it would play out, it would be not, but I believe I would do this again. I lay down Big Slick. UTG raised it. UTG+1 pushes all in. If he goes out, I advance one more spot in the money. That is my rational for laying it down. Turns out UTG had A A. UTG+1 had 4 4 and hit his set. Ugly. The runner with aces goes out on the next hand. Can you say tilt?

I am comfortably in second now and waiting to pick my spot now. Defend the blinds well. That is my mantra as I don't get many good hands.

Down to 6. Darn, no lights or camera. I thought we may be on TV.

The big stack starts to totally bully the table raising 5 hands in a row. That takes my blinds. I fold 5 5 to his raise. Good thing as the flop came all paint.

But I dump 60000 from the BB with 9 10. I see the flop for free that comes 7 3 9. Big stack bets out and I call. Turn is a rag. He bets and I raise to see where I am in the hand. He re-raises me. I didn't expect that. I make what I believe is another error. I call, albeit,reluctantly. River is a K. I feel I am beat and can't call that 20k bet. I am now at 47k.

Next hand is A J and I push. BB folds. Next I get J J. The big stack raises to 25k. I push. He calls and shows A 5 suited. No help and I am back to 122k. What a swing!

But we are still at 6. Someone gets knocked down to being bounced out but bounces back instead. One clown then starts pushing on every hand. I am surprised and then again, I am not. That is his only move. At an earlier table, he never raised a logicial amount of 3 or 4 times. It was always all in. He is pushing 80k when blinds are 3k/6k. That is just plain stupid. And he would pay for it. He finally get knocked out when A J beats his A Q. He was mad about it too. Let's see, if you just raise it up and see a flop that didn't help you, you can fold. Instead, you push with an ok hand.

I am glad to see the numbskull gone. He seemed to be a good guy; on of those who always typed "nh". I pretty much hate that, but he was different. What I also didn't like was the fact it was the big stack that took him out. He is over 300k.

And bullying even more. Except when I get K K. Then he folds. WTF.

We get down to 4 soon and the good money. Big guy has 330k. I have 97k. Next is at 47k and the bottom at 26k. Blinds are whipping around at 4000/8000. For my $5.50 entry fee, the least I will get is 4th, which pays out $136. 3rd at $170. 2nd at 255 with 1st at $425. It will be the most I have ever won in a tournament, eclipsing the $125 mark off of a freeroll.

My strategy is a bit different now. I am waiting for the small stacks to go bust. I can let the bully do his job and just play premium hands. That is how I will try to win this tournament. Try to get heads up with the big guy. If I can I will pick off a short stack. But they aren't pickable. A Q goes down to A K. I take a stab at it twice with marginal hands making big bets to force them to fold. That works poorly and suddenly find myself in 3rd place!

The deck is cold again. I start to bleed away in the blinds. I watch others go all in and hit miracle cards on the river. Where was my miracle card?

I get lucky when the big stack doesn't bet a flop on me (rare for him) and I push with nothing. I breathe the sigh of relief when he folds. I notice his fold is predictable too. He bets quickly but if he pauses, he is going to fold. If he waits a longer amount of time, he will raise.

I so happy to see A K come along. Big guy raises to 25k. I push my 20some thousand in. Big stack calls as does another!! They show K Q and K J. Ace on the flop is all I need. I am up to 77k. That won't last as blinds are now 5000/10000 and flying around fast.

I play Doyles hand out of the BB. Bluff my way to victory on the turn. 10 2 off is quite powerful. I get rid of the last guy with K 10 to his Q 10. We are now heads up!

I am out chipped 355k to 126k. At first I think I can be content with second place. But that changes when my brain starts kicking my skull. I worked my way up here, not try to find a way to win damnit!

So I do. I play good flops aggressively. I don't put all my chips at risk unless I am confident I have the best hand. Two pair on the flop, make him pay to see another card. Flush on the flop? That doens't scare me. I will bet like I have that flush. It works well. I mix in my raises with min raises and 3xs the blind bets. I work my way up and take the chip lead!

We go back and forth a bit. I stick to my strategy and give the lead back for a bit. One hand to be exact. I nail him back down to just under 100k. Now he is pushing a lot. I need the right hand to push back.

That hand would be A 2 off. Yeah, that powerhouse! I raised it up from the small blind. He goes all in. At that point, I felt he didn't have an ace. I felt he didn't have a pocket pair either. My read is two face cards. I call. He shows K J. Offsuit even. A duck on the flop and I am quacking to the bank.

I finally win my first multi!!! 1 out of 340. Out chipped practically 3 to 1 and I fought back to win. Afterwards, I realize there was only one showdown while we heads up. The last one. I had only put my chips, my tournament life, at risk 2 times during the entire night.

I also didn't play the best game I could. Should have seen a flop with those jacks. But I had a nice laydown with Big Slick too. Even still, I am quite proud of the accomplishment. Next goal is to win a bigger first place prize.

Sunday sounds good.

Monday, April 18, 2005

Running better but not great

My results of playing over the weekend weren't much to brag about. Stunk in the freerolls. Looked lousy in the Lucky Dollar. And I won a single SnG.

I was drunk when I did it. Ok, not really drunk but it was a session of poker after coming home from 6 hours at a bar. I think that is a sign.

I did play a multi on Sunday. There was one hand that kinds pissed me off. I hadn't made any real traction in this game but I had a chance. I needed to make the final table to cash. I was sitting with about 2200 when I posted the big blind and got 7 5. Got to see a free flop, thank the heavens. Flop came 4 6 10. I bet out 350 and got called in two places. Turn was a Q. I bet out 400 more. The first guy calls but the second on raises. Hmmm...I call the other 400 as well. I have pot odds to do so. But the other guy now pushes all in. WTF? He is immediately called by the other guy. Huh? I have to fold as I am only on a draw. River is an 8. That would have been my straight. The pusher shows his slow played K K. He lost to Q 4 suited and two pair. Ugh!

I was pissed. If the guy doesn't raise, then the other one doesn't push. And he didn't have to push. Well, I can see why he would. He could have tried to keep me in at the end. Anyways, it set me off. I would have been over 6000 and had a great chance to make that final table. Instead I was soon out in 64th. All the while I couldn't forget about that one hand that could have propelled me upwards. I may have blown it on a bluff later but at least I would have had the opportunity.

After that, I was done and walked away. With some trepidation I played again Monday night. Hopped on a SnG and had the deck hit me silly. Got Q Q followed by J J and then 10 10. Only the 10s cashed for me. On the jacks and queens, someone pushed all in on me on the flopped king. I would chip back up just to bet out on a nice pocket pair and have to fold to the over card. One time I did call when the board went runner runner to fill the flush. I thought my two pair was good and wouldn't have expected the guy in the cut off to be playing 10 6 suited.

But that is what a lot of these knuckleheads were doing. Playing the suited, the connecters and the one gappers like crazy. Once I noted this, I calmed down my play a bit and adjusted to my own level of aggressiveness. Well, I had no choice as I had only 265 chips left.

I doubled up with my 10 10. I bluffed another good pot on the blinds by just betting on a crap flop. I got 5 5 and it help up on A J. Before I knew it, I was back in the game with over 2300. With about 5 left, I now had a chance to play again.

And I did.

I stole more blinds. I avoided the chip leader. I used my notes on the last goofball against him. I slow played some aces to take the chip lead. Things got interesting when we got down to 3. First, the short stack just wouldn't die. He went all in on a number of ace rag hands and always hit the rag. He went from 800 back to over 4000.

As that happened, I was taking apart the chip leader. He begun to raise every hand, no matter what. Unless I had something, I didn't play unless I had the blinds. Then I defended my blinds. I would call him on the flop as well. Then I used a nice play I picked up on the WPT. I was calling the blinds and then raising him on the river. It worked like a charm. I did this to him 3 straight times. You would think he would notice, but nope. That popped me up nicely.

The former short stack had recovered enough to later take out the former chip leader. It would only take me about 10 hands to finish the little guy off. His problem was that he folded too many hands heads up. He got blinded down. Finally, my A K took out his 7 7 and the big comeback was complete.

I plan to play some multis this week to get in shape for the WPBT WSOP $1500 event. It may be unlikely that I will win this tourney considering how I have been playing lately. But when I play well, I know I have a chance. Hopefully I can get my game going by Sunday.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Poker on TV

Iggy got me to thinking when I saw this on his site. The amount of money floating around in poker has already been talked about. Now with players cashing in on sponsorships, it is getting even bigger. Natural evolution of the sport.

The gripe of the players is that they cannot have their sponsor shown on a WPT or Poker Superstars broadcast. But they can have their image used to "support" a rival sponsor in their televised shows. I understand where they are coming from.

Watch NASCAR and see how it is when Jeff Gordon wins the Coca Cola 600. Funny how he drives a Pepsi car instead of a DuPont car for that race. Then they jam Coke bottles all over the roof of the car as he drinks the Pepsi.

But isn't this a case of the players benefiting from the WPT? Would they be getting all the deals if they didn't have the WPT? Doubtful. Second, they do not have to play in the tournament. Sounds like they are being selfish.

But this is America. They have the right to try and make as much as they can. If that is by selling themselves, then so be it. I applaud them.

In the end, I think both side will give in a bit. If not, they will ruin a good thing. Or someone else will come along (Harrahs is already there with their WSOP satellite events) that will give in to the pros and that could hurt the WPT. Howard Lederer acknowledges this. He knows it can be worked out. Last thing the WPT needs is for the pros to leave and become an amateur event.

I think the next evolution of the WPT is to have a poker player friendly version of the show. I would like to be able to choose between views I have. If I want to see the hole cards, I can. If I choose not to, I get a show that doesn't show the cards nor does it have Sexton or Van Patten talking about them. You get the audience version of the game. I would watch that version for a while at least.

You would get a real perspective of the game. It may feel like you are there, playing against the top pros as you think about what they may be holding and how you might play. At the end of the hand, they could then show the winners cards. Play the second version on a sister channel of Travel. Hey, I think it could work.

Since my game sucks, I am on a 2 day hiatus. Though I think I played well enough the other day, I am still not winning. That sucks.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Bad run

Been on a bad run lately. Don't know quite what it is. I have played a lot of limit lately and am trying to get back into the NL swing of things.

But something just isn't right.

I don't know what it is. Out of the last 6 SnGs I have played, I have come in 3rd just once. Nothing higher. I won't count the 1st and 2nd I won for a friend. That doesn't affect my totals.

I seem to play pretty good in the beginning usually doubling up for a nice lead. But things go down hill from there and I end up in 4th or 5th.

I know this weekend I hardly won any coin tosses. I would try to take the short stack out with A K or even A Q and be up against a smaller pair. Just couldn't hit my card. Of course, that would send me into a tailspin when the exact opposite would occur. My smaller pair would be taken out by the A Q when their card hit.

I know that the only solution is the stay on the bike and ride. That is what I tried last night. Played 3 SnGs. Came in 3rd in the first one. Came in 8th in the 2nd one when my kings ran into aces. Nothing I could do on that one. I thought he had A K at best. Then came in 4th in the last. I got smacked down early in that one running my top pair good kicker. Player stuck around with second pair and caught another on the river. Came back and was in a position to eke some money out but short stacked, K J ran into A A.

On the last table, it was the first time I thought that two players might be working together. Whenever Player 1 got shortstacked, Player 2 always seemed to fold to him. Now, I didn't pay that close attention to it at first, but there was one play at the end that made me suspicious. The big stack (Player 2)was just to the right of the short stack (Player 1). Every once in a while he would tell him to send some chips over. Now that alone doesn't mean anything. But when they aren't really playing against each other, that could mean something. There was one hand in particular that made me think I was getting shafted.

Player 2, the big stack, in the SB just calls. Player 1, raises the minimum to 1600 and has just 900 left. Player 2, should go all in to force him to play. It would cost him 1700 to do so and he would have 4200 left and a healthy lead. Instead, he folded. Now, this guy had raised my big blind for the last 4 rounds and suddenly he can't call another 800 against a short stack in an attempt to knock him out?

No, that isn't an "online poker is rigged" rant. But I know some people will cheat to win. I pity them. They will never understand what winning is truly about and won't have that nice sense of accomplishment.

Friday, April 08, 2005

Jesus has arrived at the table

Played a couple SnGs last night with bad results. That will happen when you play bad poker. I think my NL game is out of whack lately because I have been playing some limit. Trying to draw out only cost you money in NL. You may hit and take in a huge pot but you will lose more in the long haul.

Since my game was pretty crappy and I had two long bouts of getting really bad cards, I decided to play the $1 Razz tourney at Full Tilt. For those you aren't in the know, the object of Razz is to get the worst hand. It is like the opposite of 7 Card Stud. Straights and flushes do not count. I figured I could parlay my bad card streak into something good.

Of course, that doesn't happen. When I play Razz, I get pairs up the wazoo. I can turn a good starting hand like A 2 5 into 3 pair. That happened quite a bit yesterday. I bounced along in the tournament eventually busting out at 21 (out of a starting 121). I had no one to blame for myself as I played one hand way further than I should have. Yeah, I should have tightened up and made the money at 16 and come out a whole 64 cents ahead. But I had a good time.

At one point, Chris "Jesus" Ferguson showed up at the table. I was ahead of him at the time. It is interesting when a pro gets moved to your table. Some people start asking a ton of questions, others just say hi (that would be me), others gun for them. My guess is he had his chat off as he didn't respond. But I did talk with Mr Cant Hang making sure to introduce myself so he didn't think I was some crazy stalker.

Hopefully I will be playing some hold em at a church smoker tonight. Live play again. Could be good.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Why are you Badgering me?

The other day, someone commented about when I would play in Badger Poker again. My answer is quite simple.

I don't know.

There are a number of factors that go into this. By no means am I saying I won't play in one of these events again. But why would I? I can go online and make money playing. That alone sums it up.

Then again, I will give anonymous some credit. Writing about live play is soooooo much better than online play. Seeing people, what they wear, and how they act is good stuff. Too many people act like they are superstar poker players (why do I think of Bagman?). Commenting on their antics is fun. But not profitable.

I did peruse the locations of the current season for BP. I would venture a guess that parking for Longs is atrocious. Don't know where Flappers is exactly but by the address it looks rather residential (as in corner pub) so parking probably sucks there too. Ain't going to Waukesha and my lungs will keep me from the smokehouse that is the Bavarian Inn.

Plus, just from reading the comments at the BP forum, I don't know if I would enjoy it. Too many people cheating, acting like a-holes, and smoking up a storm. It is a free tournament. People take it a little too seriously.

Hmm...then again, those dipshits make for some good writing. As I did in Keshena, I could pull out the Palm and start jotting notes right away and they would not have a clue.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Last play at Poker Mountain.

I pulled everything out of Poker Mountain. Tried to play their tournaments over the weekend but they kept having problems. On Saturday it froze up 45 minutes after the start. It worked on Sunday but I have little trust in their software working.

On Sunday I had an interesting game. I bounced in the beginning before doubling up with A Q when one idiot gets moved to the table and is pushing on every hand. I get lucky when the flop comes 3 6 9. He has A 3. Turn is a 6 and the river an A. My Q kicker wins me the pot.

Later I would take a huge pot with Cowboys. Blinds are 30/60 and UTG goes for a raise to 180. I raise it up to 480 mainly to put him all in. I get 3 callers altogether! Not quite what I expected. I wonder am I in trouble here? Flop comes K high but with 2 spades. I am first to act and push my last 720 in. The two left with chips call. Huh? One has A Q spades. The other has A 10 off. The early pusher had 3s. I jump to 3600 and into the top 7.

But then I start to give chips away. I raise with K Q suited from early position and get re-raised by the min. I call and totally miss the flop. I bet it out and get re-raised again. I have no choice but to fold. Same thing happens with 5 5. Limp in and miss the flop. Bet it and get re-raised. My table image must be for shit now.

I am sitting around 1500 now as the cards are pretty cold. I finally get a hand. Pocket rockets. UTG, a small stack goes all in. Blinds are 150/300. The 60 overbet is nothing. I decide to just limp in, hoping I can trap someone and build a pot. I rarely make a move like this but then again, it was the second time I did it in this tournament. SB completes and the BB checks. Flop comes 9 high. I push and get one caller, the SB, with J 9. No help and I am back to 3800 and 6th spot when I knock someone out with 8 8.

But now the play changes. It seems to be to go all in on any hand. Too many people going all in with huge bets with crap hands, just trying to steal. All they are doing is helping the small stacks survive when they suck out on the river. Happened to me twice and I was getting mad. Some people just do not want to play poker at the high levels and want to get lucky. Yeah, I should have folded the A 10 but he only had J 9.

I get a major boost when two blacks aces show up again. I am able to triple up to over 13000. Suddenly I am in 2nd with 17 left.

I can sit back and wait for a while and play only good hands. We get to the final table and SURPRISE the site goes down and kicks everyone out. No wonder I moved my money out. We are able to get back on only for it to go down again. One option Poker Mountain has is the ability to make deals and split the prize pool. With the instability of the site, you think people would consider it. No, 3 people are not willing to proportionately split it up.

One guy gets knocked out but he gets dealt cards in the next hand. There is no flop. Nothing is happening. We are locked because of a player who is no longer playing is still seated and the software is waiting for him to act. Unbelievable. Then the site goes down again. This time, you cannot connect to the server.

I email them and they finally (after a half hour) reply that the tournament is over and you will win money based on the chip count. So I should have 40 some bucks coming in.

I am fine tuning my play. I had played earlier at PokerRoom paying $5 to play with 491 others. Came in 62nd after I blew chips out the wazoo in the second session. I was disappointed as I was in 11th at the break but played too many hands out of position. This time around, I played a bit tighter and let the better hands do their job. I threw a lot of hands away that I used to play. K 10 off in early position. Low pairs in early position. Hands that if you don't hit the flop you are screwed if you move them off their hands. But I still dump chips in bad bluff scenarios. If you are going to fire the first bullet, you better be prepared to fire the next two.

Overall a good weekend of poker when I played. Hopefully I will get some live play later this week.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Freerolls have been very good to me

Hit the final table once again at PokerRoom. I was in 7th having beaten out 2390 others to get this far and guarantee myself at least $22. Yep. Big stakes.

I didn't necessarily get lucky to be this far. At one spot I did suck out a Q on the river to beat some jacks but I played some solid poker. A few bluffs here, a good read now and then, aggressive play. I felt good, making some bets that I could get away from if it didn't work.

I sure didn't get more than my share of solid starting cards. Kings once. Aces maybe twice. The Hiltons just once. Never big slick suited. Ms Slick suited a couple of times.

I did have one good read. UTG limps and it folds to me in the small blind. I bump it up to 32000, a pot sized bet with A Q spades. BB goes away. UTG thinks and quickly pushes. I didn't expect that. I wonder if he is slow playing aces. No. That isn't it. I then think he has queens or jacks at best. I am confident I have at least overcards. I have him covered so I call and see K Q. Huh? I am shocked he didn't lay it down. Did he think he could bluff? Not a bad spot in hind sight, acting like he may have aces or kings.

But I wasn't going to let him get away with it. I like to take the chance and knock people out, especially when I feel I may have the best hand.

That propelled me into the top ten where I would stay. At the final table I would steal the blinds once. Hit a set with some 4s but get no action. I thought with a K up there he might make a play or think I was stealing.

I watched a knucklehead raise and re-raise with a gut shot and then hit it. Boy did that piss off the victim.

I then get the Hiltons again. It has been min raised ahead of me by the previously mentioned knucklehead and one caller. I bump it up to 150k. It folds back to knucklehead who raises again, pushing me all in. I call and see he has A J off. Not the best play I would say but I am ahead and liking it. Until the window card on the flop is an ace. Shit. There is a 10 as well. When the K hits the turn, I have the straight draw now. I need a Q or J. Nope, a 5 and I finish 7th. I did what I could. Got my money in with the best hand. I finish 7th and get $35 for my efforts.

I am playing a couple of dollar tourney later. Hopefully it is a good poker Saturday.