Tuesday, February 28, 2006

What am I doing?

That is what I was asking myself tonight. My game is all over the map. I am getting too streaky with the downside lasting longer than the upside.

I am finishing just out of the money too many times lately and frankly, it is pissing me off. I am getting sick of watching people make stupid plays and get paid off. I think that is because I see that and make the same damn move but do not get paid.

But I am seeing what my holes are. Not paying attention; reading too much in the beginning stages of tournaments. Trying to pick up a lot of small pots early. Running bluffs against bad players. These are correctable.

I am hoping that I am at the low point of the coaster ride again. Hopefully I can go on a nice little run soon and have some more fun.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

What are you doing here?

You should be off reading Dr. Pauly. Click on the banner because I am too lazy to put in the link.

I have been going through the ups and downs of tournament poker lately. Had some really bad beats. No, I won't talk about them. I am holding to the old adage that if you get all your chips in with the best hand, that is the best you can do.

That is my story and I am sticking to it.

This pro/am tourney going in Hollyweird seems pretty interesting. Wil Wheaton is doing well. I can't be the only one that noticed he has been running well lately. It would be nice to see him take one down.

I would like to play one of these events. Yeah, we all would but I would for a different reason. The Tilt Factor. For starters, I would wear a Bush/Cheney t-shirt. That would get the Hollywood crowd in an uproar. Oh, they would begin to hate me with a passion.

Second, I would stay quiet. I would only toss out little barbs in response to comments. Avoid confrontation. Heck, I would be there to have fun. And get polluted. I would be drinking beer from beginning to end.

I think that would be the winning strategy. The shirt alone would irritate this crowd. Even better would be the minority that would come up to you and silently agree with you.

Just another way to play the psychological side of poker.

Monday, February 20, 2006

SnGs- how some beats are killing me

Did pretty well over the last 10 SnGs. Monied in 6 of 10. 2 first, 3 second, 1 third. Not shabby.

Better yet, in each I have gotten my chips in with the best of them. That is all you can ask for. But the cards aren't always going to hit the board in your favor. I have had runner runner again and again to beat me. I can handle that.

The one beat that always sucks is when your pocket pair is defeated by someone playing A x. I don't mean be defeated by a pair of aces. I mean when the board double pairs and you lose by the A kicker. That is a swift gift to the family jewels.

The next 10 are under way and you can tell I am not off to a good start. The last one was the beat by the A. I felt good about the game too until my K K was cracked by Q Q. The guy even said I probably had A A or K K but he called my re-raise of his re-raise anyways. I had chips after that and was making a run until by pocket deuces were cracked by the A kicker.

Guess, I will go back to Full Tilt for a bit and win some tokens. That always makes me feel better.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Full Tilt 60k guarantee

Played the Full Tilt 60k guarantee. There were 457 players including Erick Lindgren, Layne Flack and Quiet Lion. I noticed something different right away when they started us with 2000 in chips. I am hoping to make some money today.

In the 2nd hand I am dealt A Qs in the SB. I raise to 100. BB makes it 300. Flop comes 3 4 6, two clubs. I bet 300 and get pushed all in. WTF? I hope this isn't how this is going to be as I fold.

Next I get 6 6 and raise it up to get one caller. I bet the Q high flop and get raised another 300. I call. On the turn, my opponent pushed. I fold. I have given up 1500 in chips already. Not the way I want to start. Maybe I should have made the “Fuck it” call and tossed my chips in. But that isn’t how I want to go out.

BB comes around and I get dealt A 10. UTG had min raised. Smells like A A. One caller and me see a flop of 8 7 5, 2 diamonds. My A is a diamond. Surpringly it checks around. The turn is a diamond, the 4. Checks around again. River is the 6 of diamonds. I have the nut flush but not the nuts. UTG checks. The other player bets the pot. I push with just 120 more, figuring I would see my opponent turn over the straight flush. Instead, he just has the K. I am back to 1000.

Now I plan to play extra tight. Fold K Qs to a raise. I watch a player call bets down on an A high flop just to hit their set of 9s on the river. Person betting never bet high enough to protect their pair of aces. I find this encouraging.

I get Q Q soon enough. UTG limped so I raised it to 250. It fold around to the limper. He calls. Flop looks good to me 2 7 8, two diamonds. He pushes. I kinda expected that. I call and see A K diamonds. Great. Of course it is the Q of diamonds that hits on the turn and I am done in 374. Just had absolutely nothing going for me today. No luck. Oh well, there is next time, I guess.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

In honor of THE live blogging Man...

Dr. Pauly is working his ass off in LA. For us poker players, he not only reports what is going on in the tournament, he gives us insight into the scene behind the scenes.

I had thought of sending an email off to Dr. Pauly to "interview" him. But then I realized he would be either too busy writing some more or catching his hour of sleep.

So I went to the next best source of Pauly. His brother, Derek. A fine writer in his own right. I posted Derek 3 questions on Pauly. He was gracious enough to answer. Go read D and Dr. Pauly already.

Now to the interview. I tried to come up with 3 good questions for Derek to answer about his brother. After 14 hours of beer, this is the best I could do:

1. Does Pauly never really sleep? Pauly is one of the few people who sleeps less than me. I usually get 4 maybe 5 hours of sleep a night max. Pauly gets even less sleep than that. He's a man on a mission. I feel like a sloth in comparison. He's a true insomniac whereas i'm just a fucking amatuer. Who needs sleep when there's so much booze and weed to consume.

2. How many strippers can he juggle at once? i must say that i've never been to a strip club with the good doctor. pretty weird huh? he says that his face seats 4 comfortably but grubby tells me that pauly's just being modest and that he can actually handle 5 strippers at once! i'm not too impressed though. now 6 strippers at once would be something to hoot and holler about. yawn.

3. Does he steal your stash when you are not looking? LOL!!! good question Stb. i like your thought process! He used to steal from my stash in the dark days of yester-year but ever since the poker boom in 2003 . . . our roles have been reversed. I find myself stealing from his stash more and more these days. the best part about that is that the good doctor is always on the road these days so my access to his large stash is unlimited. sorry pauly!! REFILL and REBUY!!!!

Bonus question: Will he pass out at the Boathouse this year? As Rodney Dangerfield once said . . . "I don't know how to fall asleep . . . I only know how to pass out." Though I will say this about Dr. Pauly . . . . he never passes out in public!

Friday, February 17, 2006

On a mission

Right now I am sitting back and drinking. I have a mission to complete. Plus it is cold outside. Let's see if I can win some money tonight. At the least, I will be reading what is going on at the LA Poker Classic. You should too. Go read Dr. Pauly!

I came in 2nd in a SnG. My opponent got lucky twice by having a bigger pocket pair than mine. I don't hit my outs and I end up just marginally richer.

Currently I am in the middle of a satellite to a $60k guarantee on Full Tilt. Doing good. 37 players were entered. There is one player though that has me close to tilting. Guy always calls my preflop raise. Always. No matter what. He then calls me down and usually hits something on the river.

Makes me feel like Rodney Dangerfield. No respect!

With 12 left, I am in 1st place. Top 4 go on to the next level. I am stealing when the opportunity is right.

Antes just kicked in. Time to kick it up a notch on the steal factor, especially with still just 6 at a table. After what seems like forever, we are at the final table. Currently I am in second. Need to keep my status. Time to play tight.

Just pulled off one of my favorite moves. 4 people limp to me in the big blind. I pop it the size of the pot and watch each one reluctantly fold. Of course it doesn't hurt to have A Ks. But I like to do that with any good calling hand. With all those limpers, you know they have marginal hands at best. The UTG guy is the only one who scares me as I have been burned by the limp re-raise with A A move many times.

Patience pays off when A A comes around. On the button, it folds to me. I raise it pot just to make it look like a button steal. BB calls. Nice. I then make a small bet on a 4 4 2 flop hoping to keep him along but he folds. Still, the pot was nice and puts me over 10k in chips.

Just about got into it with the chip leader. He limped in the cutoff. From the SB I made it 2k to go. BB folded but my opponent called. With a flop of J 6 7, I bet half the pot. He took his time before folding. My guess is he is playing any ace right now. 7 left and I am back on top.

I basically hold my own for a couple orbits. We are at 5 now and there are two stubborn short stacks hanging around. Funny part is one of them is a former chip leader who totally blew a hand and got crippled.

Well it is over. I took matter into my own hands and took out the last small stack. My A K held up over his A Q when I hit my K on the flop. He had a chance with a Q on the turn but the K on the river said I was playing for a piece of 60 grand on Sunday!

Thursday, February 16, 2006

LA Poker Classic

No, I am not there. But it feels like I am there. How?

I read Dr. Pauly to get my live blogging updates. You should too!

Go read Dr. Pauly now!

Monday, February 13, 2006

No smoker

I didn't play in the church game on Friday night. Got drunk instead. But for some stupid reason I did sign up to play in a "fund raiser" game at the bar that would benefit the softball teams. Benefit the softball teams is about all it was good for.

The structure and payout of the tournament was absolutely terrible. The level of play was crappy with luck being more of a factor than skill. I did ok but made two terrible moves that knocked me out.

With about 36 people playing, for some reason they had 6 tables of 6, instead of 4 tables of 9. None of this was explained on the signup sheets either which ticked me off. I believe we started with a total of 1200 in chips. Blinds started at 25/50 and would double every half hour. But with 6 at a table, they came around quickly. Plus, it was a rebuy tournament as well, another fact omitted to us. Personally, I hate rebuy tournies as they give the morons more a chance to get lucky. This rebuy was even worse in my opinion. They allowed rebuys for the first hour and a half, which only got you an extra 1000. By the end of the rebuy period, blinds were at 200/400. Why would you rebuy at that level?

They never did consolidate to one large table. They kept the going at 5 or 6 all the way through. With blinds at 400/800, I made the first of my bad moves. The guy on my right liked to raise with total crap. If he was going all in or making a 3xs raise, he had nothing. Knowing that, I made a call with A 8 suited. What I didn't know was my friend Jodi (who would end up in 2nd- CONGRATS AGAIN!), had only 200 more left behind the 1200 raise. If I had realized that, I wouldn't have called. I knew I had him beat, but I wasn't sure I would be ahead of her when she quickly called. Sure enough, her A J suited held up.

A couple of hands later, I made another move on the same guy out of the big blind with K 10. with 25% of my stack in as the BB, I went all in over his raise. UTG had limped and I figured I may take it down right there. But the UTG looked and decided to call. He flopped a set of deuces and took down the pot and knocking me out. How the hell do you limp with deuces, and then call a raise and re-raise? I really shouldn't have played the hand to begin with. I should have folded and wait another round.

But in the end it really wasn't worth it. I believe second play paid $150 or $190 or something like that. First I think was $350. With the final table being paid, they pocketed a portion the buyins and basically all the rebuys, which I know there was a number of. At my table alone, there 9. I am willing to bet they kept more than what they paid out.

Now, I don't mind them making money for their softball teams, but I would like to know exactly how much the teams are making. It just seemed like there was a lot of basic information withheld about what was going on. If you had told me it was a short handed tournament and a rebuy, I may have not played. At the very least, I would have gone in with a different strategy.

Friday, February 10, 2006


I may be attending another poker game at a church tonight. There is a smoker at St. Ritas tonight. Hopefully the same grade of player will show up and keep it easy. My plan is to hit if we have no snow.

From what I hear the food and drink is kept on the cheap there. It may be Milwaukee's Best on tap. Ugh! I will have to get a bit of a buzz going before going out I guess.

It is noon in my part of the world and I think that is a good time to leave work. I am bored. I am better off getting in a SnG or two after I shovel some snow.

Hopefully I will have a good story for you tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006


If I would post a picture of me on this site, it would have to be with my arms extended outward, with my hands up. That way, I can easily take my ass as it is handed to me.

The last 10 SnG tables have been UGLY. After winning the first, I then finished out of the money on the next 8. I finished in 3rd to end the losing streak.

I don't feel I necessarily played that bad. I did play one pretty damn stupid. But for the most part, I may have just played too tight. Time and again I went out 4th or 5th. Got short stacked and just couldn't recover. Yeah, there were some suckouts but that is only an excuse.

Yet I am still encouraged. The number of mind boggling plays I have seen is phenomonal. The concept of the weak kicker is very foreign to many players still. So is chasing the gutshot straight. Thus I still feel the experiment will be very profitable.

I need to tweak my game. I think I am playing the SnGs more like a MTT. I need to loosen up a bit and collect chips faster, especially when the price is right.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Expect nothing

Bill Rini has put forth a "challenge". He has asked people to blog on a central theme. Thinking it is a good idea, I decided to pop forth my own entry. Think the game show Password when you read this:

The theme is: Expect nothing from a hand. Play each street based on the information at hand.

Bill speaks of how various people play aces. I liked that. Thus, I will go on a slight tangent. A K. Big Slick. It is a strong starting hand, especially when suited. It will give you TPTK, nut straights or flushes. People love this hand.

Some love it too much. They play it like they have A A or K K. They feel they are entitled to the pot and cry when all rags hit the flop. Time and time again they just can let the hand go. Soon they are broke and busted out of the tournament.

A K is nothing more than a drawing hand. A strong drawing hand. But the majority of the time it needs help and won't stand on its own like a pocket pair will. You really need to read the board and more importantly, the actions of your opponents.

A hand I played last night in the WWdN tournament is a good example. I am in MP and have A Ko. I raise 3xs the blinds. I believe only BadBlood called in the BB. Flop comes all undercards. Damn, totally missed me. I bet out around half the pot. Blood calls. Hmm...I do not like that. Turn is another rag. I bet around a third of the pot. I have a bad feeling I am either slightly ahead or way behind, though it is possible he is about to lay the Hammer on me. Blood raises. I have really no decision. I have to fold. I will still have some chips left so I muck the hand. Turns out Blood had flopped a set of 5s. I was waaaay behind.

Yet, so many people would have not only called, hoping to draw a card on the river. They will not even recognize the call on the flop tells them they are in trouble. They may even try to push their opponent off their hand and go all in.

I think I took the best approach. Raise pre-flop, make a continuation bet on the flop, and a turn bet. My turn bet could have been higher but it didn't matter. The only way I was going to win the hand was to keep firing. The mistake would have been to try and check it down.

Likewise, Blood played the hand well too. I like his turn raise. Some would just call hoping to get more out of their opponent. But the extra card could make his set vulnerable.

With A K, you cannot expect to win. The flop will determine where you are going. You need to determine where you are and whether you can push someone off their hand.