Monday, May 09, 2005


I currently am playing some limit over at Noble Poker. Doing a little bit of bonus whoring, plus that is where the next WPBT satellite is being held. The way I see it, at the very least, by catching the bonus, that alone pays my satellite entry. I have no complaints with that.

I am playing a mix of .5/1 and 1/2. I know the 1/2 game is better and will collect the bonus much faster but sometimes the swing of the bad beats came take the wind out of your sails.

For example, I played both games Saturday morning and had a nice little profit. Enough to make up for the drunken poker session late Friday. But when I played two tables of 1/2 in the afternoon, I ran into some of the worst beats in a long time. Specifically when 8 5 off beat my set and 3 5 suited stuck around calling capped betting rounds pre and post flop, and two more big bets on the turn to suck out his flush.

I lost 100 in about an hour. It isn't much but it was the principal. You want those suckers to stick around for the suckout because the majority of the time they will not hit. But it gets frustrating when the clown stays in with second or third pair, and hits his card on the river. I would be lying if I didn't admit that it affects my game. What then happens is that I play a hand like J J or 9 9 pretty soft, limping and calling instead of betting and taking control. I know you cannot play winning poker if you play passive all the time.

I would say the level of play at Noble is rather bad, which is good. On Sunday, I made up the loss I had on Saturday afternoon. I started on .5/1 and then moved up to the 1/2 again. There were at least 5 players that I watched who played any two cards. They were going to call any bet up to the river no matter what. I knew it was my job to make them pay for every little pair or draw they held. And I did.

I took down a nice $60 pot when the rounds were capped three times. My 9 9 didn't feel that good when I saw all the raising going on. When the flop came 8 10 7, I didn't mind it as much. When the J hit the turn, I was elated. Even more when everyone kept tossing chips in and I had the nuts (yeah someone could have Q 9, but with all the raising, it is doubtful even with all the idiots that were seated). I thought I was screwed when the river produced a Q. Now A K would take it down. But it check around to me. There is a nice pot out there. If you have A K, why wouldn't you bet it? When it came to me, I was about to check it as well, but the voice inside screamed "Bet it! Value bet at the minimum". Though I thought someone would be cute and check raise it, I realized that the betting pattern had changed enough that no on up front that had led the betting could have A K now. I bet it out and was called down. My straight was good.

I have yet to play any of the tournies at Noble. There doesn't appear to be much SnG action. I tried to sign up for freeroll on Saturday but it filled up within 7 minutes. That isn't too surprising as it was limited to 500 people, but at the time, there was supposedly only 350 on the site. WTF?

I must say that is it better than Poker Morgue Mountain. I am glad I pulled my funds out of there. I would be surprised if they don't shut down soon. I checked in there a couple of times over the weekend. Each time (it was about 4 and during the middle of the day), there was only 28 people logged in. Not a single one was playing for real money. Plus their tourney information is still about the Bellagio even over a month ago. Doesn't look like Daniel Negreanu or TJ Cloutier can save this one from going down.

Unfortunately, playing the tournies at BoDog haven't been as kind to me. I have made some playing the SnGs but am doing nothing at the multis. I think I know what I am doing wrong too. I may be too aggressive. There are a lot of bad players at BoDog. You cannot bluff them. You can't make plays on them. They will call you bullying bet with second or third pair even though it looks like you are representing the flush. You better have the best hand or you will lose.

I haven't had those hands. I have made it deep but keep finishing just out of the money. I think it is a matter of time but I will do some good there. Just need to keep plugging. What I don't like it the structure of the tournaments. You get 1000 chips but the blinds start at 5/10. Too low for my taste. If you bet out the pot a couple of times, you put yourself in a bad spot if you lose. Plus, you will not effectively weed out the drawing heads preflop with a raise to just 30 or 40.

The other part that isn't good on the SnGs, are the blinds will go up after every 10 hands played. It effectively makes it a crapshoot at the end. Hands are being folded quickly and the blinds climb fast. Actually, this isn't all bad. I have played very aggressive late in the SnGs and pushed people around. Even without a big stack. Too many people are extremely passive at the end of the SnGs. Great time to steal.

The blinds go up every 12 minutes (I believe) in the multis. That isn't as bad. But with the low blinds, I need to work on my patience and stay willing to fold the crap hands. For some reason, I haven't been able to do that. I think part of the reason is that I will have a good hand broken early on, putting me on the short stack, and trying to fight my way back up, instead of just playing the waiting game for a good hand. That is correctable, so I am not concerned. I still like the overlay they have on most tourneys so I will continue to play them.

With less than a month to Vegas, and the The World Poker Bloggers Tour Aladdin Casino Classic coming up, I feel pretty good about my game. I feel even better knowing I will be in Vegas!

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