Thursday, August 31, 2006

My lucky charm?

When you are in a slump, you will try anything to change your luck and regain your senses and skills. Get a new rabbit's foot. Shine up a lucky penny. Get a troll doll. Knowing the Bash Charity tournament was tonight, I needed some libations to make it through the night. I saw exactly what I needed when I walked in the door. This could be my slump buster.
This may give me the advantage I need to get over the hump. Let's see how it works. If my lucky charms don't work, I may take a sabbatical. See you at Full Tilt Poker!

I figured I would play extra aggressive to start out. Maybe that could get out of my slump that way. Twice I would raise it up with A 10 off and take down a pot with a continuation bet. Except for having two blinds folded to me, I wouldn't take down another pot for a while.

I then get the Hammer and play it. UTG limps. I raise to 165 (from 40). He calls. Flop comes J 10 Q. Not good. I fire and he calls. Turn is a little diamond. I fire and he calls. River is the K of diamonds. I am screwed and check see he had called with 9 7 of diamonds. Calling the bets after the flop I understand, but preflop?

I am shorstacked and on tilt. My lucky charm is not working. But I get lucky and double up with... A 10! I get tempted to try and run the Hammer again when it shows up but decide not to. The guy on my left is extremely loose and playing any two cards and hitting. Can't wait to double through on him again.

Sidenote: I wonder if anyone realizes I am doing this live. I could be giving some info away. Not like it would matter with how I have been running.

I get just a tad more chips at BG's expense when my K Q held up on a scary board. I thought I was going to lose to a flush or straight.

I soon get A 10 again. Seeing how this is the one hand that works for me, I potted it. I probably shouldn't have since the loose dude on my right had limped in and I know he is calling. Flop comes 7 7 8. Not bad, but suddenly he bets out. WTF? Not the way he had been playing. I quickly fold and cuss a bit. I would love a table change. Next time, I don't pot it.

I then have the Hilton Sisters show at my door. Maudie had raised in early position. Loose boy called and I pushed all in. When Maudie instantly called, I knew I was in trouble. When the Kings were shown, I sighed and then fell back in the chair when a K showed in the door. Oh well. That's the way it goes.

I keep on givin'

I will be playing tonight in the Gavin Smith Charity Satellite. I already told you yesterday I am dead money so you have one less person to worry about. If you are one of the lucky 8, you may be at the first table with me and I may just donk off my chips to you in a most ignominious fashion. Even if you are not going to the Bash, you can still play. Hell, if you win, you can give me the seat and I can look like a fool in front of some pros. That must be good for a laugh or ten. The money you donate will still go to some good causes. So head over to Full Tilt and sign up already!

Banner courtesy of TripJax. Can't say I am a huge Clonie fan but she does look smokin' in the picture.

Speakin' of words with dropped off "g"s and apostrophes, go read Dr. Pauly's latest edition of Truckin'. Always some good readin' there.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

I need a slump buster

If there is anything such as a poker slump buster, please let me know.

It has been a while since I have had a significant winning session. Or a meaningful tournament payday. And over the last 2 months I have dropped 20% of the bankroll.

It has been frustrating. Draws don't hit for you, but the other guy hangs on to the river to fill the gutshot straight or 10 high flush. Your K K runs into A A or they have Q Q and flop the two outer. When the hand does stand up, the pot is small. You know, nothing works in your favor the way it was over the last couple of months when you were booking steady, profitable winning sessions.

I sat there thinking about it in the WWdN last night (gone in like 30 something, not even lasting the first session). I felt like I wasn't getting any hands. But was it that I wasn't getting any hands, or was I playing too timid? Was I not pushing edges that I used to? Was I just way too tight? Was it bad play beating me or was my play bad?

I have read others go through slumps before. I guess it was only a matter of time before the same would happen to me.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Poker got in the way of my drinking- well kinda of

It was a slow night. The Brewers game was not on TV so I knew my time at the bar would not be what I had hoped for. The Eagles/Steelers game was boring. I thought the best result for the night was to hit the Full Tilt guarantee toureny at 9. I could get a good buzz on, hit the liquor store for some reinforcement to the beer in my fridge (which was low at 3) and still hit the tourney with plenty of time to spare.

Yep. The best of plans mislaid.

As I was hoping to get a za to go before stopping at the liquor store, someone buys me another beer. At first I shrugged it off, but considering who it was, I knew it would be disrespectul to deny them. So I had another.

I would then keep looking at my watch seeing if I could down another 32 ounces of beer and still hit the tournament. No, I did down all 32 ounces. Only 20. I really wanted to play.

But then I started talking to the bartender's parents. Great people. But they were killing my time. I was polite. I didn't rush them, but as soon as I saw my out, I took it.

Got home just in time. Yes!

Didn't too much at first. Got a bit bold by raising UTG with A Js. Made a call to a raise with 2 2 that did not hit. But got it back by calling the min-raise with K 10 in the small blind. The K high flop was good enough to take down the pot when my opponent showed the Hiltons. Min raise with the Hiltons and a short stack? You deserve to go home!

I fold a bit more which is good because I can tap what little I have. The Leinie Sunset Wheat tastes great. But as I get back, I get my first table change. I feel like I just got relegated to the kiddie table. These people are tight!

So I figure to steal a bit. That is when I notice Aquaverse at the table. I then see SLB is chatting too. I add in some comments about bloggers and Hoy just to get their attention. Hey, if I don't get cards, I can have some fun.

Then I get A A and raise it 4xs from EP. No action. Damn. Next hand I get 10 10 and make the same move. A short stack makes the call with crap. A nice 10 on the flop makes me happy for a bit, but then I notice the spades and his 7. Bastard better not hit. He doesn't and I am happy.
Back to trying to tilt Aquaverse if I can.

I try to steal some pots with varied luck. Aqua gets busted when he moved all in with A K vs A 10. Some dude called his all in bet with A 10. Ouch when the 10 hits the flop. Ugly.

I could kill for some pizza right now. But I will forge ahead and drink my beer and wait for the break. If I can add to my stack, that would be nice. Instead I make a loose call with K Q on a raise. Though I have overcards, I don't feel it worthwhile to call the continuation bet.

Though aggresso boy is making attractive to call his raises, I just can't with Q 10s. I hate that hand. Call it the Varkoni factor.

I make a decent move with TPshitty kicker when I decide to re-raise an EP bet. Something told me he wasn't strong. Good pot comes my way. I then change my avatar to the 'angry' mode. I wonder if that actually influences people on your mood. As much as I want to think people are not that gullible, I know that I am most likely wrong.

Sidenote that means nothing: I wonder if Pauly has Smokey Mountain Rain on his Ipod.

At the break, I am sitting at with 2520 in chips. Not quite where I would like to be but hey, I am still in it. Actually, I am thinking about why my cleaning lady took the bottle out of the case and threw those away, but not the case they were in. That and the sadness that I have only one beer left. At the first break, I sit at 284 out of 482. Just about 10k behind the leader.

There is only one stack that is twice the size of the table average when we start the second round. I look to steal as many pots as I can here. Unfortunately, the runners to my right may be thinking the same way. This could get confrontational quickly.

And it does. Well, kind of. I am sitting in the BB with J J. Yep, those pussies that are Jacks. There is a raise from the cutoff that is called by the button. SB folds. How much to push those jokers out? I think pot, but that doesn't seem right. I pop it to 1800 (from 420) and they fold. I am glad they cannot hear me exhale as loudly as I do. I doubt those Jacks hold up well on a flop.

Then I have a total brain fart. With A Qs, I make a pot raise. I then get re-raised. I decided to move all in. I don't know. It was a totally moronic play. I see the K K and there is no A. I am pretty much screwed. Nice job dumbfuck!

J J in the BB doubles me up. Is there hope? Still pissed I made a totally dumb move.

But a round later I would go out in 390. I am quite pissed that I fucked this one up. I had the intention to play the long haul and made an idiotic move. Ugh! WTF was I thinking?

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Beer and/or Poker

Been busy over the last couple of days. Anyone care to guess what I was doing? I was being a civic minded person. Yes, helping the community.

I am proud to say I have done my part in Forbes naming Milwaukee as America's Drunkest City. I shed a tear as I type this.

Unfortunately, the beer couldn't help my game last night. The play at Absolute is quite maddening at times. Including my own. I should be doing better than I am there. I think I have finally adjusted my play in order to reap the rewards.

There are two things I have noticed lately that boggle my mind. First is the preflop raiser who will never fold. Last night, I defended my blinds with A 8. Flop came all clubs. I have no clubs. I checked and called the bet. I figured my opponent didn't have clubs either. When another club hit the board on turn, I took a chance to take the pot and bet it out. He just called. On the river I fired again with nothing and he called, showing 10 10. No club. There are two overcards on the board and a flush possibility and he calls it on down. Yeah, I know it is my fault to try and bluff, but to call down when the likelihood you are beat is high?

The other play that is interesting is the aggressive blind stealing that occurs. 95% of the time if it is folded to the cut-off or button, they will raise. If one of the blinds call, they will bet out. they will continue to play the hand aggressively, trying to push you out. In most cases, they have nothing. I watched one guy raise with (according to hand history) 3d 2d. He continued the bet on the flop, even re-raising. Same on the turn. Same on the river. Absolutely nothing. There were 3 hearts on the board on the turn and he kept firing away. That takes some balls.

After watching this, I have altered my game. I am willing to call these players down to the river when I have overcards or even second pair. It may be -EV in the long run if they ever figure out that I will defend my blinds, but after tagging certain players, it should be profitable in the short haul.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Hit the iron while it is hot

Those PStars HORSE games are so juicy right now. I feel like taking a day off of work to play.

Do most of these people even know what they are doing? Like others, I do not claim to be an expert card player. I am competent in these games. But when I see people showing 3 face cards in Razz and calling down, hoping to fill their 8 or 9, I have to chuckle.

Whenever I did play poker this weekend, I found myself playing some hold em and Omaha 8 on Absolute, with the PokerStars HORSE game in the background. Even when I got stuck, I knew that is would just be a matter of time before I would take down some good size pots to not only get even, but ahead.

All of the games, stud is probably my weak spot. I am overly tight and usually passive. Until I get a monster and then I bet like crazy. I should be easy to read. Funny though how I made most of my money in the stud rounds. That should tell you how poorly these games are being played.

Hit the iron while it is hot people.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

THE best poker site

I received an interesting magazine in the mail the other day. The Insiders Betting Digest. It was the Pro and College football edition. It featured updates on all 32 teams as well as some predictions on their order of finish. Interestingly enough, they do not go on to make playoff or Super Bowl predictions.

But the mag wasn't all football. No. They offered features such as Selecting the Right Sportsbook, Football Betting 101 (Learn how to win!), T.O. in the Big D, and Internet Poker: Tip to help you win online and the Top Ranked Poker Site.

Yes, the Top Ranked Poker Site.

You are probably racking your brain just wondering what the TOP RANKED poker site just might be. Could it be PokerStars? Full Tilt Poker? Paradise? PokerRoom?

No! It is City Poker!!! Yes, the TOP RANKED poker site- beating out all the rest- is City Poker. The article even says it was VOTED #1!!!

What, you have never heard of City Poker??? Neither have I. I would love to know who voted it #1, beside the owners of the site and the sportsbook that owns them-

And all this time I have been wasting my time at Full Tilt or PokerStars. I mean, I could have been playing at the place VOTED #1!!!

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Time off

I had taken a couple days off away from the virtual felt. The pain of losing a hand to Q 9 off on Sunday where the guy called 2 bets preflop left a bad taste in my mouth. With appointments on Monday and Tuesday, being away had to help.

I jumped back to the 5/10 game on Absolute. Pretty fishy, though the game may be too loose for my taste (see Q 9 off). Patience pays off here. Play your best hands hard and you will get paid. Chasing rarely pays off. In just under half an hour, I walked away up 3 bb. Would have played longer but it froze up on me.

The Omaha game is still fun. I waffle between chasing and reading my opponents. For example, last night I had two pair and folded to the turn bet. I knew one of the guys was chasing a low. But I felt my two pair wasn't going to hold up. Of course I would have filled up on the river, which also gave the flush. Sure enough, one guy had a bad low, while the other was chasing the flush. Later, I would make a call where I had the second nut low. Should have known better.

I would also be curious to know if other players view me as the fish at the table. My play probably looks erratic to most seasoned players.

Overall, I have been losing playing Omaha 8, but it isn't much. I am not concerned about that though. I am still in learning mode and do not expect to be walking over a table. There are times I make some great reads and lay down a hand. Other times I get very impatient and play hands I shouldn't. But I am still enjoying the game. Just need to find my groove and truly settle in.

Still need to get some good reading as well. Won some points on Full Tilt for participating in their WSOP fantasy poker game. I was disappointed that the books they offered didn't include an Omaha strategy book. Do any sites offer an Omaha book in their rewards program? Same thing over at PokerShare. I had a bunch of points there from earlier in the year to use (or lose) in their rewards program and couldn't find an Omaha strategy book there either. I had to settle for One of a Kind and Barry Greenstein's book. Yeah, poor me, I know.

As for Full Tilt, I don't know whether to get Phil Gordon's Little Blue Book or wait until I amass more points for something else. Phil's little Green Book has been very informative and entertaining. Just like the DVD. If you don't own any of them, you are missing out on some good reading/viewing.

Monday, August 14, 2006

You can't play with napkins

But you can play with Good n Plenty candies and sugar packets!
I look forward to defending the Good n Plenty championship next month.

After seeing the video on Iggy's site, I had to check out more. I need to get back to watching High Stakes poker on GSN, if not for the fighting between Matusow and Negreanu. Looks like highly entertaining stuff.

Didn't play much poker this weekend. I played a Full Tilt guarantee on Friday, making it to 7 places out of the money (370 runners). I didn't deserve to make the money as I played a short stack as bad as you possibly could. Fold, fold, fold, fold. I was quite disappointed with how I curled up into a ball and rolled on the floor. Never again.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Call it what you want

Call it variance. Or bad luck. Call it what you want, but I felt it the last two days.

People calling to the river with overcards and hitting their 3 outer. Flopping the nut straight just to have the board pair up on the river for a boat. Junk hands cracking my kings.

The last two days were brutal.

I reviewed how I played and found some bad moves on my part. Like trying to bet someone out of a pot when I should have known he wasn't going to fold. Chasing some draws. But overall I don't think my play was terrible. Just ran into some players who were luckier than I.

It sure takes the wind out of your sails to have back to back session take a bite out of your funds at a site. Guess I will take a day off and regroup and review again.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Chipping up

I didn't play that much poker this weekend. When I did though, I made it worth the while. It was close to a perfect weekend.

Made just a bit of money playing Omaha, made some more playing limit Hold Em, went 2 for 3 on the Full Tilt Peep SnGs, and came close to winning a spot in the FTOPS main event. The one with the $500 entry.

I came in 3rd in that tournament. First and second received entries (only 18 runners, one reason why I jumped into this). I got $34 for my $75 entry. I did use a token earned by climbing the ladder so in reality my $6 turned into $34.

I intend to play more of those qualifying events. However, the next time I won't make a stupid call. I finished 3rd because I called an all in with A 5. My opponent was pushing again and again. Whenever he was called, he had a crap hand. Problem was those crap hands kept hitting. Thus when he pushed for the umpteenth time, I expected to see Q 7 off again. Close but it was A Q off. I know it was a bad call on a bad read. I could have held off for a longer time but I also wanted a beer.

As always, go read Pauly at the Tao of Poker. Some of the best reporting from the WSOP that you will find. The boys at PokerStars are kicking ass too. And don't forget the PokerBlog crew.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006


I continued my quest for Omaha understanding tonight. Over the course of this journey, there has been one thing that has amazed me- how people do not read the board and figure out what their opponents have. Many times I have folded hands because I could place my opponent on a superior hand (not always the correct move I learned at showdown). It seemed many people do not read the board to see the straight possibilities or full houses that seem obvious from the betting pattern.

Well tonight, I was one of those people. I played like total shit. Twice I paid off a guy who had a wheel on the flop or turn. Twice I failed to see the A high straight. I also paid off full houses.

In other words, I played like a total donkey. An Omatard if you will.

It was one of those night where I could be double suited and see one of the other two suits flop. It sucks to not only play poorly, but to not hit any of your draws. I think the smartest thing I did was leave the table.

I took a hit on the bankroll, but not in the enthusiasm. Just another step in learning a new game. I look forward to trying again tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

That little Blue Book

I received my free copy of Phil Gordon's Little Blue Book in the mail yesterday. I look forward to reading it. Thanks again to Phil for allowing us bloggers to sign up for a free copy.

I have considered getting the Little Green Book before and after reading the blue one, will know for sure.

Still hacking away at 2/4 O8. Results have been mixed. Win some, lose some, but I am winning a bit more than losing. So far it has been a fun, learning experience. As it should be, I usually have more questions once I finish a session.

One thing I have noticed is some players playing Omaha Hi hands pretty strong. I can see how they could limp in in late position with a hand like that but they are usually raising from an early position with them. Is it a half bluff, trying to indicate a hand like AA2x? Or is it a smart thing to do?

I will have to figure that one out. But in due time. I know that I can't jump too far ahead after playing maybe 500 hands.