Saturday, November 26, 2005

Last afternoon with Pauly

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


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


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

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

Friday, November 25, 2005

Suckered in

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, November 23, 2005


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

BadBlood gets it too

BadBlood plays Poker

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

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

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

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

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Shot in the Shootout

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

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

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

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

Friday, November 18, 2005

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

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

Others thought I was full of shit.

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

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

Mistake on his part.

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

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

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Donk poker

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Finally, another score

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

Update 11/13

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Wouldn't this be somthin'!

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

As good as what else is on

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, November 07, 2005

So much for the weekend

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, November 04, 2005

I didn't really want to play that tournament anyway

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Crap. Time to hit the bar.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Damn those girls!

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Oh well, back to the drawing board.

Shocked and disappointed

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

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

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

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

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

Time to focus on my Full Tilt tournament.