Friday, July 29, 2005


I like to play by some simple rules. One rule is quite simple. Never play ring games after a night of drinking. Except if you are in Vegas of course.

But I broke that rule last night, pissing away half of my FTP bankroll. If it was a series of bad beats, I would be upset. But last night, I donked away a portion of it as well.

That is the part that hurts.

Yeah, it doesn't help when you are two tabling 2/4, see Q Q on one, K K on the other, and see a big A hit the flop. Guaranteed that the guy in EP who called has an A as well. I laid one down to a river bet, the other I called down to see his A 10 suited.

I did flop quad queens. That is like a Hilton gang bang. I did collect a nice pot on that one.

But in the end, half of my cash was gone. Remember kids, stick to SnGs after a night of drinking. You will be happier the next day.

On the good side, I should be booking a Vegas trip for the Labor Day week. Probably staying at Luxor or the Castle. Either way, between Mandalay and Excalibur, I feel I can hit some kind of jackpot or wheel spin.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Gettin better

Ever feel you are on the edge of a breakthrough? That is how I feel. Though I am a low limit player, I can feel my ring game is getting better. I am seeing things at the table that I hadn't noticed as much before. There are pots that I am taking down that are bigger than what I used to win because I have extracted extra bets out.

It is a damn good feeling. On the down side, I still see some holes that are quite closed up. Last night I paid off a couple hands on the river even though I knew I was outkicked. That caused me to also lose some pots when I folded with a medium kicker just to see it would have taken down the pot. Such is poker.

I am also feeling better about my aggression. There are spots I know I can push people out just with continuation bets though the flop has totally missed me. But at times that same aggression gets me trapped. In the end though, I am coming out on top. It may not be a lto but it is a positive.

And it feels good.

Felicia, thanks for the laugh. I may be getting a little smarter on this game, but I still donate to the better players. Unless you can point me to a good resource on playing stud games...

Which is what Easycure has apparently done. Making some coin on stud. Nice! It seems like a lot of people are taking little vacations from hold em to play other games. Whether it be Razz, Stud or Omaha, it can be good to take a break.

Enjoy your vacation Iggy. Somehow I get a feeling I may actually get some work done. My boss is going to wonder what the hell is going on with all the stuff I am getting done. Also, congrats on your sponsor. To say you deserve it is a understatement. In Iggy's absence, maybe everyone can take a turn at their own uber-post?

I am thinking about making a serious run at winning a WPT seat. I see Full Tilt is running tables for Borgata. I may have to take a couple hundred and set it aside towards winning a seat. Any other suggestions on sites to try and win a seat are appreciated. I was thinking of trying on Bodog but they don't have anything going there right now. Plus, I am sure the swag FTP gives would be much better. The FTP hat I got at the WPBT Aladdin hat is nice. Thanks to Hank on that one.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Yo Yo

My weekend at the tables started out rather poorly. As I lamented on Friday, I got knocked around pretty good. Saturday morning was much better. I tried on 2/4 table on Full Tilt to try and get something back. I have run 2/4 over at Noble and have done well. I figured the same would happen at FTP.

Not quite. I didn't play too well, and had my share of bad beats. I found myself calling too far with just over cards, playing second pair and paying off top pair. I realized I was playing bad poker. When my J J was beat by K 7 suited when a K spiked the river, I walked away. I was stuck on the weekend for $160. My profit at FTP was gone and then some.

I sat there and steamed a bit. I had to make a decision. My answer wasn't necessarily the correct one. I loaded up Noble Poker and played 2/4 there. After bouncing around for a bit, I finished up 6 BB in 30 minutes. Just felt the need to notch a win and get out while I could.

I later played the Lucky Dollar and was out in 800 something. I was never a factor there. It was a waste of time to sit around playing a game I was mentally into.

Being late on Saturday afternoon, I got in touch with some friends about going out that night. Though it was raining buckets, there was a festival to hit up when the skies cleared. But that wasn't for a couple of hours. Here is the smartest thing I did all weekend.

I picked up a book. Winning Small Stakes Hold Em. Right off the top I liked what they were saying mainly because they hit on some principles I already was thinking. One thing they hammered home was that the majority of the people you will play against in the small stakes arena are going to be bad players. I have already mentioned how I have given players to much credit. This book said to not give them any. In fact, take advantage of them. Yeah, that is such a simple thought but it needs to done. It also mentioned another very simple fact. You will fold a lot of hands. Only play the best. A very simple concept that few follow.

I hadn't gotten to any actual play and I was feeling more confident about my game already. The next morning, I woke up, ran some errands before hopping to play. As I played (or should I say folded), I kept reading the book. I was now on pre-flop hand selection. Like most books, they layed out the best starting hands. But they backed it up with why. They also pointed out where to raise and when to lay back. I have seen this in other books but not in such detail. I sat there reading, looking up to raise or fold, and just blasting away when I had a good hand.

I kept my sessions somewhat short. Only about an hour or so. But I was playing 2 tables at once (I have noticed my results dip when I try to do 3). After watching a movie and agreeing to meet some friends for dinner, I played one more quick session.

After a sweaty meal at Hooters- never go somewhere to eat hot spicy food when the air conditioning isn't working well and it is near 100 degrees- I came home to play some more before vegging out to the Simpsons. I usually do well with beer and wings in my belly. I played for roughly an hour before the toons were on.

I thought I was done for the night. After trying to sleep, I found myself wide awake at 1:30 in the morning. Instead of laying around in a warm room, I decided to go play some more. That might make me sleepy. After about 45 minutes, I turned off the pc and went back to bed.

The end result was making half of my money back. I am basically just above where I started. Each of my sessions on Sunday resulted in winning sessions. Best yet, I felt pretty good about how I played. Forgetting some bad beats, I played pretty solid. At spots where I got sloppy, I quickly learned why I shouldn't be making that play and stopped it. I folded hands I knew my opponents would play. Extremely few of those would have taken down a pot. The hands I did play, I played aggressively. If I knew I was beat, I got out. I mucked a flopped straight, feeling pretty strongly that the raiser had the big end of it. Having the dummy end can lose quite a bit of money for you. Plus it didn't hurt that the turn made higher straights possible as well.

So what the hell does all of this mean? It is all about goals and getting back to basics. One goal I was going to focus on was to improve my tournament or ring game play. I think that by improving my ring game, it will make me a better player overall, thus making my tournament game stronger. I can be very patient in tourneys. I just need to learn to be as patient in a ring game.

I would suggest if you are running bad, go back to your bookcase and pull down a book and read. Poker can be like major sports. When baseball teams are playing bad, what do they do? The practise the basics- fielding, hitting, throwing, bunting. Same thing with basketball players. They practise their jumpers, free throws, etc. after the team workout. Ok, maybe not basketball players, but you get the point. It doesn't hurt to regroup yourself and relearn basic skills.

Friday, July 22, 2005

I guess there was a reason I was playing Razz

I didn't play any Razz yesterday. Instead, I focused on the Full Tilt 1/2 limit hold em game. I was running well in it. After work, I got home, worked out a bit and loaded it up. Went on a nice run, playing for about an hour and ending up 25 BB.

I played my big hands aggressively and they paid off. I was a bit shocked at how many people were paying off with 3rd pair. Of course it didn't hurt that I defended my big blind and hit some big hands. It was even better when one guy started going off on me.

For example, I have 4 5 off in the big blind. UTG limps. Mid position raises to 2. Cut off and button call. I have odds to see a flop. Plus, I believe Brunson mentions something about playing low connectors every once in a while because if you hit it, it will pay off big. So I call. Flop comes 2 3 K. Original raiser bets and everyone calls. Being open ended, I am willing to see another card for just a buck. 8 outs, probably 6 clean as I have to assume someone has an A out there, if not two. Turn is my jackpot card, a 6. No flush possibility. I have the nuts unless the board pairs up. I check raise it and we lose two players. River is an A. Sweet card. I bet out and just get called. I show my straight and take down a nice pot. Original raiser had A K. He starts typing in the chat ROFL. I ask what was so funny. Of course he asks how I could call with that. My response is how could I not call with that?

Same player would give me more action, but would fold if I was betting on the turn or river. Later, with 4 6 off in the BB again, I would hit another straight and take down a big pot again. The cards were hitting me well.

Then I went off to the bar to have a couple of beers. I believe the FTP hangover was officially done. Yes, the FTP hangover. You do very well for a couple of sessions and then give it all back in one horrendously bad run. In that run, people will suckout on every good hand you have, will hit runner runner to beat you, will crack your aces with deuces, will do anything imaginable to totally frustrate you and your bankroll.

I came back, fired Full Tilt up again and got smacked around like a red headed step child. I get my K K cracked by Q Q when it goes runner runner hearts, putting 4 on the board. My flopped set runs into a runner runner straight. My J J gets beat by K Q on a river Q. Now that one truly pissed me off. I hate getting beat by the clown who stays in with the over pair, no pot odds, and nothing but a hope and a prayer. My A Q would get nothing on a flop of J K 9. I would give the continuation bet, see a rag on the turn, bet it, get called, and give up on the river just to get beat by 7 7. Yeah, all those over cards mean nothing to his 7 7 and I should have fired that last bullet on the river but I gave up. I was frustrated.

I should have been playing Razz with the cards I was getting.

But I made a bit up on a SnG, coming back from a tiny stack to make the money. I took a bad beat when I filled my straight with J 9. Only hand that could beat me was K J. Yep, he had it. But I played my small stack well and took 3rd for some cash. Hopefully that will be my turnaround point.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

I suck(out)

Was playing Razz tonight with the lovely MrsCantHang. The deck hit me silly about the time she sat down. I quickly moved up to doubling my buy in before people started to leave the table. Early on I had played one hand like a total donk and again it got me action. I then watched some guy get all pissy because he got drawn out on twice. Hell, that is Razz for ya!

But the hand of the night for me had to be this one. I had made my 8 on 5th. My opponent was showing 9 8 . I had him pegged for having made just a 9. Thinking I was ahead, I even typed in "I feel a suckout coming". On 6th he raised my bet. Seeing he had little left, I raised him to put him all in. Then his cards were shown. I was behind. 8 5 to 8 7. Ugh! But a nice 4 slid my way and so did the pot.

Yep, there was a suckout. But instead of being the suckee, I was the sucker. I hang my head in shame. But I did walk away with double my buy in. That after just about doubling up in 1/2 while playing Hold Em.


I got 3 new books the other day (the ones previously mentioned). I finished the Professor, the Banker and the Suicide King. Funny thing, I have no clue who they are referring to as the Suicide King. I did like the book, but it left me asking questions. Like why did Andy Beal insist on raising the stakes to such high levels with the intent of getting the pros out of their comfort zone? He wasn't in it to make money but to defeat them at their game. Wouldn't defeating them at their game be at their customary level of 4000/8000? Or playing in mixed games? Also, why show up during major tournaments? Again, trying to get slight advantages, but then not giving in to some of their demands?

Money doesn't matter to Beal in this case. All it took was one winning week and he could have seriously hurt the pros, possibly hurting live games in Vegas for a time. A couple good rushes or suckouts and he is a winner. The one hand where he made his miracle boat on the river to beat Todd Brunson in one hand is a great example.

It was still a good story, one that may not be truly over. Plus they give you some background on the pros involved in the game. Things the WPT won't mention.

Next up is Harrington on Hold Em, Vol 2. I started reading this on Sunday and got through just one chapter. Vol 1 was great, a must read if you want to do well in tournament poker. Right off the bat I am having the same problem with 2 as I did with 1. As I read, I want to go play right away. I read, learn and then want to put something into action right away. Having no restraint whatsoever, I usually put the book down and hit the tables.

Lately I have been playing low limit Razz on Full Tilt. I can tell I am getting better slowly already. That or people truly suck at the game. At the very least I am having a blast playing. I love to play one hand really stupid and show it down. Do that once or twice and everyone thinks you are the biggest fish at the table. You will get lots of action when you hit your hands. People will chase you down with a 9 or 10. Then you make a stupid comment to totally piss them off. Fun stuff.

Beyond playing Razz I have been playing ring games, usually 1/2 or 2/4. After I finish Harrington, I will get back on the tournament trail. I will be keeping an eye out for one of the WPT event qualifiers, either Borgata or Foxwoods. Time to shoot for one of my goals.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Party Poker Half Mil

There were 2334 players starting. $816k up for grabs with first paying over $170k. There are fireworks right away on the first hand- AA beats KK. Before I am able to get comfortable one guy is already out. Nice.

On the second hand, I see A J suited. I raise it up but fold to the re-raise. Yeah, I am feeling pretty tight at the start here.

Red aces come along. I get one caller who fold on my half pot bet on the K high flop.

Out of the BB, I call min raise with A 6. Catch 6 on the flop, J high. Bet it and get called by 2. Bet the turn and river to take down a small pot.

K Q in the small blind nets me a nice pot too when a K hits the flops and I have the open end straight draw. Guy was trying to bluff out on his busted flush.

It seems like forever before I play another hand. K Q in EP looks good so I raise it up to 70. Get one caller, the busted flush guy. Flop of 9 4 4. I bet it and he folds. Pretty tight table so far. Except for busted flush, no one is playing many hands. Makes me wonder if I really am on Party Poker. Wait, there are a ton of min raises going on so I know I am on Party.

I go card dead, not playing a hand for 20 minutes. It seems I get a 2 every time. WTF?

I then get Phil Hellmuth's favorite hand, two black 9s. I call the raise to see a flop of K 4 2. The raiser just check. So I fire a bet out to see where I stand. He folds. Interesting. The K scared him?

I try to buy some pots but just bleed out chips. At the first break I am basically back where I started. 1710 still remain. That seems surprising as I would have expected half the field to be gone.

Still not playing many hands. I get some back witch J J. I just called the preflop raise. Again, no call of my flop bet. Then I get 10 10. UTG limps. I bump it to 225. The loose guy and UTG call. Flop comes 9 9 3. It checks to me. I bet 400. Loose guy folds, but the limper pushes. Huh? Right away I wonder if he limped with aces or kinds. Or does he have a 9? I take the time bank and think. Do I have the best hand? I am not sure and fold. I don't want to go out if he has the 9 or overpair. What it does is put me on a short stack with just 900 now.

I steal some blinds with K Q. Then when I am in the BB I get big slick suited in diamonds. UTG limps as does another and the small blind. I push. UTG folds. The second limper thinks and calls. SB fold. He shows Q J diamonds. Nice call. Then a J comes flying out of the deck. Shit! But the A of hearts hits the river and I am alive!!!

An orbit later I get big slick again in the SB. But I fold it. There was a huge bet out there and my gut told me I was beat. I would basically have to re-raise all in at this spot and would rather wait for a better opportunity. Maybe not the best move, but I am comfortable with it.

My pocket 8s net me the blinds. Then I get them again, but lay them down to a raise. Glad I did as the flop came A J J. Guy showed an ace when folding. At the second break there are still 876 people playing. I am still on the short stack and need to get to 220 to cash.

I get red 9s and call the all in bet ahead of me. This push monkey was going on any ace. He shows A K. Unfortunately for me, a K comes out right away and I am crippled. I soon push with 5 5. That promptly runs into the Hilton Sisters. I am done in 810 place. No cash today.

I feel I played ok. Not great, but not terrible either. I did make some bad calls, but I don't think the push on the 9s was one of them. Maybe next time.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

10,000 Bodog bones

I had gone out to get the emissions checked on my truck yesterday just to find the place closed. Since there was no one at the bar, I headed home to play some poker. I had seen Full Tilt had a 24+2, $2000 guaranteed pool starting at 7 that interested me. As I waited for it to begin, I fired up Bodog to see what they had going on. They had a 25+2, $10,000 guaranteed pool starting at 7:30. Hmm...simple math tells me the Bodog tournament is much better. And not just with the prize pool. Play is pretty soft in Bodog land. Patience pays off big time here. I just had to get through 355 to take down $2500.

My game doesn't start well. I misplay A J early on by raising and calling a re-raise. Flop misses me and I have to fold.

Play K 10 to a weak player in the BB. Flop comes K high and doesn't improve. I bet the pot on each street and get paid off. Nice.

I then get A J again and raise it up again since it worked so well the first time. Two callers. Flop comes 9 9 J. I bet the pot to force out the flush draw. The guy to my left raises all in. Hmm... I figure he doesn't have a 9 (playing A 9 or K 9 to a raise?) and has a lower pair. I call, while the other folds. The pusher shows the Hilton Sisters. WTF? No re-raise preflop? A blank on the turn and a sweet J on the river give me the boat. He re-raises preflop and I may be gone. Or with a bet on the flop I may go away too. Instead, he is out of the tournament.

Here is an interesting hand. It folds around to me in the SB. I call with Q 9 suited. BB checks. Flop comes A K 6. It checks around. Turn is a K. I bet the min and get called. River is a K. I bet the min again and get called. He turns over K 4 for the full house. What, no raise on the river?

I fold a number of hands, steal some pots until the Hilton Sisters come to visit. UTG raises to 100 (blinds 20/40). UTG +1 calls. I pop it up to 700, feeling pretty good that I have a better hand that either of these two. It fold around to UTG who pushes all in for 765 total. The other one folds. I instacall. His 8 8 is not match. Thank you Nicki and Paris.

There is a guy at the table named Scuba_Steve. I inquire if he knows AlCantHang. Nope. That would have been interesting if he was Al's pal.

After the break, I start with about 2500. There are 172 left. I defend my BB with K 8 to a min raise. Flop comes K high. My opponent bets out 300. Not trusting my kicker, I raise it right there. He thinks and thinks and folds. Back over 3000.

I have watched one player go from 5 all the way to 465. Beyond lucky on some hands, like flopping a full house. I'll give him credit. He had some patience and waited for some hands and got lucky.

I go through a couple table changes, not playing much. Suddenly I am put to the left of a huge stack. Crap. The table in general seems very aggressive. Raises, re-raises, chips flying all over the table. Blinds are now 75/150. UTG I get Big Slick, raise it up but get no callers. In the BB I get A 7. I am ready to defend on the min raise, but the button pushes. I have to fold. Min raise had A K while the button had K 9. WTF? Of couse, I would have won the pot with 2 pair. A couple of hands later I try to steal but run into a push monkey.

I feel lucky when I get away with a bone headed play. With 10 10, there is a limp, and a min raise to me. I push. I should have raised to about 1200, instead of putting all my chips at risk. I breathe a sigh of relief when they both fold. The re-raise was from the chip leader.

I see K K in the small blind. I am begging for limpers and a raiser to jump in. 1 limper and a min raise. Yes! I bump it to 1800 to go. Fold and a push. Yes! I instacall. My black kings are met by his red kings. Damn!!!

My A Q runs into 10 10. I raise it up and called his push. Though I flop an A, a 10 hits as well. The A on the turn give him a boat. No Q on the river to save me and I lose half my stack. Next hand I get K J suited. It gets checked back and forth until the K hits the river. I push just to get called by Q 10 off, who has the straight. Done in 95th.

I felt I played well, but got too antsy in the end. My patience went out the window.

WSOP thoughts

Quick go over to Dr. Pauly to see the chip count.

I am a bit surprised that of the 27 left, only 3 are recognizable pros (no slight to anyone on the list I do not know). I am not surprised that those 3, Phil Ivey, Mike Matusow, and Greg Raymer are in the top 10. Anyone who doubts Raymer's ability is a moron. The guy can play.

Of the 3, I am rooting for Matusow. Yeah, he is a loud mouth and can be a total ass (or at least that is how TV portrays him) but the real story is he is a great guy who does anything for his friends. Even jail time.

Of course, it would be great to see Phil Ivey win it as well. True class at a poker table.

The good Dr also linked up the cutie he has been working and partying with, Sherry at Let's Poker. All I can say is yum! I am jealous of Pauly.

Also go listen to the Dr. Pauly and Otis Show at Up for Poker. Hilarious.

One final I the only one that thinks to say that this year's WSOP champion beat out 5600 other players is incorrect? Let's think about it. They had 3 first day flights. About 1870 people per flight. Thus you didn't have to survive against 3700 of these people. None of them put your chips at risk. I like this to a big tournament online. I have played against 2400 before, more than what you go against in the WSOP this year. Maybe I am the only one that thought about this. Amazing feat in the end still.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

It has been awhile

I just busted out of a Party freeroll. Amazing how stupid play in these. If you have patience and play the freeroll like a real tournament, you can win some decent money. In this case, 1st place was $525.

I went out at 105. After I did, I was angry. I was the victim of a bad beat. Not the baddest of beats mind you but I still wasn't happy. With a below average stack, I raised the bet to 1800 (blinds 300/600) with K 10 off. The table has been on the tight side and I have stolen a number of blinds from all over the table with K 10 already, never showing. It had been the second best hand I had seen over 3 hours. A Q being the best.

Anyway, I wasn't too happy to have 2 callers. I know right away that if I don't hit the flop I will be folding and playing the push game. If I do hit the flop, I need to make the continuation bet. So the flop comes 8 7 K, two diamonds. I push my last 2500 in. They both call. Turn is a rag. They both check. River is the A of diamonds. I figure the flush draw hit it and get ready to go. One guy shows K 9 suited while the winner shows A 8 off. WTF? Staying in on second pair, let alone calling with crap. The mudderfugger sucked out on me.

Then I realized it has been a long time since I have had a bad beat. So what the hell am I complaining about anyways?

I don't have a friggin clue! I played pretty well again tonight and I am happy with that. I just need to do some damage on Sunday.

Playing poker for a good cause

WPBT "Charlie" Tournament

When? 6PM EST Sunday July 17th

Where? PokerStars

How Much? $20 - every penny goes to charity

What Do I Get When I Win? The comfort of knowing you're doing something good for someone else. No, Really... No. Really.

All proceeds to go to wherever Charlie Tuttle's family wants them.

The tournament is open to bloggers and readers.

Go sign up now. If you don't have an account at Poker Stars, go check out the blogs on the right. If they have a Poker Stars banner, click through on it. Give one of the bloggers some credit. Dr. Pauly has a banner and has been working his ass off to give good reports from Vegas on the WSOP. Just scroll waaaaayyyy down on the left. You'll find it eventually.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Back to the Party

I played in the Half Million Qualifier on Party today. To hit one of my goals, I need to play these qualifiers more often. Where better than where all the fishes swim? 115 plopped down $15+1 to win a chance at big money. 4 places got a seat in the big game with the next 3 getting some cash.

I mixed it up quite a bit in the beginning. I was fortunate enough to double up when someone limped with K K and could let it go. My A 10 from the BB flopped two pair. Why he called it down with an A on the board, I will never know. Oh wait, this is Party. Nevermind.

I had a good lay down midway through the game. I laid down my 10 10 when the UTG limper pushed on my raise. I was covered and wasn't quite sure I had the best hand. I am also sick of falling to that move every time. Better safe than sorry here.

I never really held any chips early in the tournament. As we got below 30, I was still above average but not by much. Any opportunity I could get, I would use to double up. Then one came. I had my A Q called by Q 10 with about 20 to go. WTF? Why call with Q 10 off?

I just about push with 7 7 UTG but instead raise it 3xs to 1200. Maybe not the best move to bet just under half of my chips but I figure a push might get callers while a regular bet might look like I have a bigger hand and want callers. I get one loose caller. Flop comes A K K. CRAP! He checks. I push and he folds. Whew!

I chip up again from the big blind with A 3 when a 3 hits the flop. I bet the turn when the board pairs to give me two pair. I also bet the river though queen hit. Small pot but I need the chips.

With 15 left, I am in 12th place. I have room to move as blinds are 300/600 and I have 5600. We are 7 handed at the table. I need to find spots to steal blinds until I get a real hand. K 10 suited gets me the blinds. I post the BB just to have it fold around. I like that.

I also like a glitch in the software that allows the BB to pass right by you. The guy on my right posted the BB. There was no small because he got busted out. Next hand, the button passed directly to the guy who just posted the BB putting me in the small blind. Sweet!

I don't play a hand for what seems like forever. Nothing is coming my way. When I get decent cards, someone else is raising in front of me. I don't want to be forced in to playing A anything but I feel I must do so soon. Blinds kill me as 9 3 off to a raise is beyond stupid. I pick up a small pot with 9 10 in the small blind when we see a flop and he fold on my bet.

Back to 5xs the BB now as blinds have been bumped to 400/800. There are just 5 at my table and the blinds are flying around. A huge stack is on my left and he isn't interested in playing much so that is good. Looks like I need to win a coin toss soon unless a big hand comes my way.

Then someone on the other table gets busted and we hit the final table. I have a little room to work with as the blinds won't hit me for 4 hands. 9 7 off. Not good but I accidentally hit the call button. F%&#!!! Flop comes 7 8 5. I push which is basically a pot size bet. I get called by 8 5. Damn. But a 6 comes out of nowhere on the river to save me and more than double me up. I pulled a Homer!!!

I am in 8th place right now. 7 pay off. Then one of the big stacks loses it all when he plays Q 6 suited from mid position. Huh? Pays off the trip aces in the end. How stupid can one be to play Q 6 suited late in a tournament? Maybe as stupid as one of the leaders who is still playing hands left and right. He can fold to a seat in the big one if he is smart enough.

As I type that, the Hilton Sisters come by for a visit. I bump the bet to 3000 and get called by the BB. The flop is all rags. He bets out and I push. He folds and I am over 12k and in 4th place with 8 left. Then pocket 10s show up. The big stack UTG+1 raises. Damn. I don't want to play here so I fold them instead of being a potential bubble boy.

Now I get cold decked. Just need one more to drop and I can't catch a card. Meanwhile the big stack keep raising any time I have a worthy stealing hand. I don't mind it as much because he could bust the last person out, but from a strategy point of view, the guy is a total idiot.

I try to play a hand by raising with K Q off just to have someone move over the top all in. Damn! Crap in the blind and I bleed some more. I feel like I have a big target on my forehead as I am getting pushed around. Enough. Time to push back!

After a break, I get K J off. The big stack limps. I push my last 4200 in. One of the bullies calls me and the big stack goes away. He shows J 6 off. WTF? The K on the flop was beautiful. Just play donkey. I am back over 10k. Meanwhile the small stack keeps pushing once per orbit and no one is taking him on.

I try to take out a small stack with A Q. My read on the guy is a ragged ace, no pair. I called his all in bet to see A 10. But the board pairs up twice for a spit pot. Then the small stack double up twice making this game seem that much longer to end.

I push from the small blind with 6 6. The former small stack had raised to 3000. It is another 3k for him to call and he does quickly. He shows K K. Ouch! But a 6 shows on the flop and I double up. Finally the 8th place person busts out on a big blind special.

I then get 10 10 UTG+1. The big stack on my right limps in. I bump it up to 5000. He calls. Flop comes Q high. He checks and I push to take down a decent pot. I am over 20k. I get A J and raise it up to take the blinds. Then A 10 to get another small pot. I am in a spot to play little and capture one of the seats to the Half Million Tournament. And all along, the big stacks cannot help but go to war with each other. I just don't get it.

I finally knock one of the small guys out when he pushes his last 7900 out. I have K Q off in the big blind so I have to call just 5k more. The K on the flop and the Q on the turn is good enough to send him packing. I am now just under 30k and in 2nd place. Watch this folding machine work. The other funny part is how much respect I am suddenly getting. The mini rush worked. No one is questioning my bets. And the former big stack on my right- yes FORMER- is now the low. Serves him right.

My position at the table is pretty bad. Both small stacks are to my right. I can put any real pressure on them. The big stacks on my left may play back at me. I get a couple A x hands and raise it up. Both times they take their time before folding. I hate that.

Ouch! Damnit! Leg cramp! I hop up trying to walk it out dropping F bombs left and right. Enough to make even Mike Matusow blush. I wonder how many penalty minutes I would have racked up for the number of times I just said "fuck".

The table is very tight now. There are two small stacks getting blinded down. One is able to go on a rush when he catches A K and then A A. The other isn't so lucky. Yep, the FORMER big stack on my right is bleeding away. I put him out of his misery when he pushes and I have J J. He flips up 3 3. See ya!

I could even claim I won the tournament. Because the 4 all received a seat, I expected the game to end right there but it didn't. We played a couple more hands until 3 of us went all in on one hand just to end it. My 3 4 soooted caught the flush on the river. Then I pushed in with J 10 soooted to win. Yes, I won again!!! Now if only I knew how to print the screen and show it on this blog. Help anyone?

Friday, July 08, 2005


The main event of the WSOP has started. So why are you reading this?

Go read Dr. Pauly for blow by blow action! And hookers.

Also check out Otis and the PokerStars crew.

I also stole an idea from BG. I took some of the money won and put it to good use by buying some poker books. Dan Harrington Pt 2, Winning Small Stakes Hold 'Em so I can improve on my ring game, and based on Iggy's comments, The Professor, The Banker, and the Suicide King. I always like books based on true stories so my guess is I will love this one. If it is anything like Positively Fifth Street or American Roulette, it will be done in a day.

I see someone hit the Noble SnG Maui Jackpot. Congrats to that person. Now Noble has stepped it up. I really need to focus on that one.

Why you still here? Go read about the WSOP already.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

2nd Quarter report

Wow, what a helluva quarter that was for me at the virtual tables! Even the real ones in Vegas!
Needless to say I did very well, blowing away some goals I had set for myself by year's end. I now look back at what I typed in March:

I am trying formulate some goals for the rest of the year. I would like to see
my bankroll at least hit the $1000 mark. I would like to think that may be
easy considering the first 3 months but that would be too presumptuous.
With some luck and decent play, I have over $4500 online. Yeah, small potatoes for some of the big boys, but I am still learning here. The bulk came from a second place finish at Noble that was good for $2k and another $800 for 3rd at Bodog.

Let's see what else I was trying to accomplish:

I want to win a multi. A big multi with over 300 players. The buy in doesn't
matter. I want to cash in some good coin and take one down.
I accomplished that one as well, winning a tournament with over 344 players. Buy in was just $5 but it was the win I was aiming at more than the money.

I even had some success in Vegas. I am quite proud of my 7th place finish in the WPBT Aladdin Classic. I wish I could have pulled it out for those who had some money on me. A couple days later I would win a small tournament at the Imperial Palace that paid over $700.

Still the best thing about Vegas was meeting some great people. You know who you are as you see me lurking on your blogs. It was a fantastic weekend. Can't wait until it happens again.

Now I am beginning to formulate some goals for the 3rd quarter. Winning another multi is on top of the list again. I have come up short lately with 2nd and 3rd place finishes. I may be overly aggressive preflop, which may be hurting me. That is the one leak I may have in my game right now. I am not quite sure it is a leak but I have been pissing away decent leads by trying to steal too much as of late.

I guess another goal is to now cash over $2k in an event. Of course winning my way into a trip to a WPT event is still on the radar. I just need to start playing those qualifiers.

I also am trying to improve my ring game play. I see holes that I have right now that can be filled.

Or do I stick to tournaments? That is where I am stronger.

Finally, I want to say thanks to all of those who have expressed words of encouragement. It is nice to feel support from others working towards the same goals. Thank you. I hope I have been able to reciprocate that encouragement back to you on your blogs.

Now let's go play poker!

Friday, July 01, 2005

Lucky dollar indeed

I spent my day off playing quite a bit of poker. I played a couple of the Maui SnGs at Noble to little avail. Made my money back except for the juice. Either you get a table that has such craptacular play where 3 people bust out in the first orbit, or you get one that is extra tight where there are 6 people left and blinds are 100/200.

I had a taste of both. In the first half the field was gone in the first 10 minutes. An ugly beat sent me home there. Then I got very loose at the tight table and started to ram and jam. An ugly beat sent me out in 3rd when I raised all in with A K off and 4 of the 5 remaining players called. J J was ahead early but an A came on the flop. Another player called with A 9 suited (WTF?) while the 4th had K 10 (double WTF? both of these players could have folded). I looked golden- having all players covered- until the 9 hit the river giving both 2 pair. I pissed out on the next hand.

The scary thing was that I wasn't getting any cards to play in either. Lots of folding that made me force certain hands out there.

Seeing that I was getting crap, I of course went to PokerRoom to cash in some points and play a SnG over there. Came in 3rd again. I like what PokerRoom has done with their tourneys. Showing the percentages on the showdowns is great.

From there I went to Party to take advantage of the bonus (Bonus code IGGY!!!). Played there for 20 minutes only because I had noticed PokerRoom had a Lucky Dollar starting up. They pop extra cash into these so if you make the top 5, there is a decent payout. This one had an extra $1000 added. Not bad but the Saturday afternoon always has an extra $2500, giving first place in excess of $1500. Not too shabby for beating out 2000 players.

The Friday tourney started with 1265 players. I took my time early on. I actually was getting some nice starting hands. Kings came by twice for me and I chipped up. My best hand though came with Q J spades in early position. I raised it up on the tight table. Get 2 callers. Flop comes A K spades and a 9. Nice. I bet it and only one caller. Turn is a rag. We both check. River is the 10 of spades. Sweet, a Royal Flush. I bet just over the pot, trying to make it look like a steal. No dice as he folds. I show it for the oohs and aahs at the table.

That appeared to be the highlight for a while. First break would come and go with me just under the middle of the pack. Second break had me even lower. At the third break, we were in the money (it pays a lot of spots) and I was sitting 30 out of 40. I had gotten this far mainly on some lucky blinds play. Stuff like 8 3 offsuit hitting two pair on a free flop.

Once we got back from the break I was able to make my move. I go from 30th to 10th in 2 hands. 3 hands later, I am sitting in first! Q2 flops me two pair and I shove my stack in- around 6k- and get enough callers to pop me to 24k. I hit another big hand with two other callers to pop me to 80k. Then K K comes along again. I raise it up UTG a standard 3xs the BB. The big blind pushes. His 10 10 is no match for my Cowboys and I am on top of the mountain.

I slow down my play as we get closer to two tables, then one. I pick off the blinds here and there but avoid major confrontation with the big stacks. I drop a bit to 4th when I catch no flops. I get decent staring hands but the flops are missing me. J J would see a flop with two overcards. My opponents were too predictable too. An A on the flop would guarantee someone would push. Big connectors weren't hitting me either. I felt sick raising it up, then folding to a big re-raise on the flop.

At the final table, we are slowly moving along. With 6 left, the table is extremely tight. No one is playing, just folding. I start to raise a bit with mediocre hands and get some blinds. I have a chance to put this one away and have a commanding stack when I see K K and just give a min raise. The big blind pushes with 9 9. A 9 hits the flop. I go from being over 1 million in chips to a short stack right there.

I need some cards again. 10 10 doubles me up. I knock a guy out when Big Slick comes through. We get down to 3 and then it happens again. I go flop dead. Again. This is painful because the short stack is pissing away chip and then getting lucky. When we are down to 3, the short stack keeps winning his all in bets. Just can't get knocked out. Q J beats A Q. Then he gets A K up against A Q. He hits everything to stay alive.

Me? I piss it away on a missed flop and then push instead of being blinded out. Finished 3rd which was good for $185.73. The weekend Lucky Dollar would have paid me another $500 which would be nice. I will settle for the $185 though.

I felt pretty good about my game, mixing it up, speeding up and slowing down. It gives me some encouragement to play some bigger tourneys this weekend.

It also had me thinking of some things that I will have in a different post. I am beginning to wonder if table image really matters online. My answer right now is no. More thought later on that one.

A pro will win

Have you noticed the number of events the pros are winning at the WSOP? Johnny Chan and Doyle Brunson win their 10th bracelets is great. Plus the pros and hitting final tables and winning tons of cash. Of course you know this because you read Dr. Pauly's updates and are reading the Poker Profs recaps as well. I am now waiting for Phil Hellmuth to win his 10th this year.

I am going out on a limb here...a pro will win the big one. The internet players (the majority of them will burn and crash. A known name will win the 10k buyin. I won't venture a guess but I think someone like Phil Ivey or John Juanda will win it. The amateurs do not have a chance this year.

It is simple. The pros are much better. They learned a lesson last year and changed their games up. TJ Cloutier played a lot of online poker to adjust his style. He won another bracelet this year as a result. I wouldn't be shocked if others did the same kind of "training".

Seeing that it is the end of the 2nd quarter, I need to review how things went and give a status report. I know that the quarter was excellent. Won a nice sum of cash but also met some fantastic people in Vegas. That is worth more than the cash. Look for that summary shortly.