Sunday, July 30, 2006

Weird how playing good poker can make you feel better. Went deep in two tournaments, a Full Tilt WSOP freeroll and a qualifier to the 200k guarantee. Made a whole $3.75. And feel really good about it.

I haven't done well in tournaments lately, usually going out very early. It felt good to play hard and tough for a couple of hours. Even though the monetary payout was basically nil, I felt good about my game.

Things were going good in the qualifier. I was the leader about 2 hours in. My good hands were holding up and my betting was respected. Still haven't found a cure for being card dead, but that didn't hurt me that bad. There were two hands that killed me. One being a bluff gone bad and the other a good bet by my opponent.

I had completed from the SB with J 8. Board came 9 10 x, two hearts. I bet it out and was called. Turn was a blank. It checked around. River was the 7 of hearts. I bet out a third of the pot and was raised. I thought about re-raising all in. Something told me he just had an 8, maybe A 8. But I didn't want to take a risk here and mucked. My opponent then showed J 8! I was a tad pissed there.

Later I would push with A J just to be called by the chip leader with K Q. A J kills me again when the Q flops. Ugh!

Played quite a bit of Omaha 8 this weekend as well. It is nice to have a game of hold em going with Omaha in the back. If I hadn't gone on tilt in one session and dropped the whole buy in, I would have had a good record for the weekend. As it is, I was down about $50 but made it up playing HE.

Omaha is testing my brain more. I am probably playing a very basic strategy and could expand some starting hands. That should come in due time. It seems a lot of people have trouble reading the board and figuring out what their opponents are playing. There were many times were I had a good low but not the nut, and knew right away what others had. The betting patterns are good reads. If someone was raising preflop, it was a guarantee they had AA2x. If they suddenly bet out, they had made the nut low. After watching this, I would even pop a bet in there to bluff people out. Not much but on occasion.

I understand the pain of being quartered and the joy of doing the quartering. In one session that was pretty much every pot that I won. It was 3/4 each time.

Of course scooping is great. I love the slight pause at the end of the hand, just before the player hits the MUCK button, that you feel the entire pot coming your way. I think I scared my cat a number of times yelling out SCOOP!

Thanks Buffalo for the reading links. They have been helpful.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Make money last night? Absolutely!

After receiving 5691 emails from Absolute Poker about their $750 bonus, I finally decided to make a deposit there and work in earnest on improving my game. I figured if I made some bonus money as I played, it would be a nice add on/buffer against any losses. After I made the deposit, I looked through the bonus rules and realized it highly doubtful I will complete the bonus. After playing about an hour and a half, I had earned only 75 points. Later I would play about 45 minutes of O8 and earn another 30. At that pace, I would need 75 days to clear the entire bonus. That ain't gonna happen. Thankfully they pay out in $10 payments per 100 raked hands so I can earn a good portion of it.

I played 5/10 for just over 90 minutes. Ended up $105. Not too shabby. I was card dead for the first 40 minutes and migrated down as I saw flops mainly from the blinds. But then I caught some cards and had some fishes calling me down. Always a nice feeling to have people raising you when you have flopped a set and they have only top pair.

As I played hold em, I signed up for a Stud freeroll for shits and giggles. Got bored about 2 hours into it and donked my chips off. I got what I wanted to out of it. Some Stud experience. I didn't feel the need to put another couple hours in to win a buck or two.

But as I played Stud, I got bored with the monkey play and opened up some 2/4 O8. Drizz had recommended it and was dead on. Very loose play. All you need to do is play the nuts hard. It was an easy way to collect those bonus points as well. I ended up $33 for playing about 40 minutes. Not too bad for a guy that is still learning.

I believe I really need to get the Ray Zee book that Al and Felicia recommend for playing Stud/Omaha games. In the meantime, I will be scrouging the net for any strategy I can find. Anyone have any good sites for me to read? Beside 2+2.

The big one starts today at the WSOP. If for some reason you have not been reading Pauly or the gang at PokerBlog, you are missing out on some good stuff. Chips counts are boring. Get the real stories from the Amazon Ballroom. And less I forget, the PokerStars blog has been great as well. Otis and Wil are providing some great stories on their players. I wish I had stopped in the suite earlier this month. I would have if I had known they had the Battleship set up going.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Tournament at the Bourbon Street Casino?

I was watching Daniel Negreanu's video blog this morning and couldn't help but chuckle. He was talking about the WPT lawsuit and rambling on about how the players are wrong and it is a case they cannot win.

One item he pointed out was how the WPT had signed up the MGM resorts to only allow WPT televised events happen at their casinos. Nothing wrong with that, it is a business deal. DN then goes on to say it isn't a big deal because any place can have their own tournaments for these players to play at. The Barbary Coast could host a tournament. Bourbon Street could hold a tournament.

Bourbon Street? Where amongst the rubble? The place has been torn down. But hey, their website is still alive!

Guess Daniel doesn't go where the little people go.

I have seen a number of comments on blogs that held the same opinion. They wished that Phil Hellmuth would have lost just so they could have seen him cry. It is amazing how many people do not like this guy simply because of his confidence (read by many as arrogance) and success. Who hasn't blown up when hit by a bad beat after a bad play from an opponent?

I met Phil a year or two ago. Seemed like a really nice guy. His peers enjoy his company as well. People want to think he is the same guy at the table as in real person and hate him for it. I just wonder why. C'mon people, he was one of the first to donate to For Peyton. Have many other big name pros?

In the end, like him or not, you need to respect his playing ability. Or you can stew in your own jealousy. If you could make the kind of cash he is by the way he is acting, you probably would.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Man, do I stink

My game is in the toilet. A new low. I have no idea how to play this game.

I didn't even last 30 minutes in the WWdN last night. Actually, it wasn't even 25.

I stink.

I have been very impatient, made bad calls, used poor judgement. I know I can right the ship, but it will take a bit of time. With it being summer, that is one thing I don't have right now. Why stay inside when the weather is beautiful outside? I rather be on my bike taking a ride than wondering if I can steal someone's blinds. When the time comes, I will get my house back in order. But the crap play I showed last night still bothers me.

So what does one do when their NL game is in the dumps? Go for the real kick in the balls and play some heads up Razz! That is therapy when you are running bad. Of course, I lost the heads up match. At least I made both the buy ins back later playing some limit.

I was quite pleased to see Hellmuth won his 10th bracelet. No matter how much you may dislike how the guy acts, you must admit he is a damn good player. He continues to do well at the WSOP this year. I wouldn't be shocked if he cashed in the big one as well.

In the meantime, go check out the guys at Blind Bet.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

The hand you dread

This is not a bad beat story. I don't want people demanding I owe them a buck.

It is a story of dread. Everyone has been there. You raise. Get re-raised, and push or call the push. Your opponent has just enough to eliminate or cripple you.

You wait in anticipation for the second it takes for the site to show the cards.

Your initial reaction is "Yes!" as you see you are ahead. You have your opponent dominated.

Then your eyes focus on his cards. Your brain screams two words.

You're screwed!

You have been here time and time again. This one hand always beats you, no matter what. There is nothing you can do but cry inside as they hit their 3-outer on the flop, or the board fills in the 4 card flush or straight. You could cuss up a storm but don't. Instead you sigh and wonder why it happens all the time.

For me, it is A J. Many times I have made a move with A Q vs A J. The J always hits. Always. It is the one hand I dread seeing in my opponents paws. A J has sent me to the rail time and time again.

What is the hand you dread seeing in front of your opponent?

Monday, July 24, 2006

Blah weekend of poker

I actually played some poker this weekend. Didn't win much, didn't lose much. Was pretty much even for the weekend.

I went back to my roots and started playing SnGs again. Whenever I am running rough on the MTT side, it works for me to go back to the beginning and iron things out. I especially thought it would help me with the Ipod tourney but it didn't. I was out early when my flopped straight rain into a full house on the turn. I figure he had trips Qs at best. Oh well. At least Dnasty used my chips to win the thing. Well done sir!

Also played a number of Omaha SnGs as well. Though I am still learning the nuances of the game, the plays I see people making are quite horrible. Calling down with two pair, high pair, calling the pot size bet with 4 outs. I really need to get some reading material on Omaha. I can see how the money can be made playing this game.

I watched part of the Aussie Millions (finally). Wow, there are some bad players on there. How did these guys get on TV? They should be embarrassed. Especially that Minas kid. He is looking like total donkey on the show. Ivey must think he is in heaven.

As the WSOP churns along, I think the biggest surprise to me is the performance of Phil Hellmuth. He is doing everything but winning a bracelet now. Two final tables, multiple cashes. He is playing well for someone who didn't seem to play much at all lately. Would be nice to see him win #10.

Friday, July 21, 2006

My game has been in the toilet for the last month or so. I really need something to get me out of the funk. Hey, a freeroll may just be the trick! Well, I guess that depends on the level of donkness that goes on. Still hope I can pull myself out of the gutter and play well once again.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

I feel slighted, but...

Go check out For
it is for a good cause. Someone better bid high, damn it!

Bobby Bracelet has added some more items to the auction. I am still holding out, waiting for the opportunity for the Mike Matusow jersey. Still waiting for Spaceman to work some magic.

One item that I see offered has me intrigued but insulted. Howard Lederer's WSOB and Karaoke Championship. No, I don't feel like belting out some Barry Manilow while I am smashed. It is the WSOB part. That would be the World Series of Beer. How can they hold such an event without ME being there???

I'll get over it. Somehow. But I do feel slighted. That is an event I could win.

But go and check out the stuff they have to offer. Feel free to toss some money around.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Bad play but I was still a winner

I donked off my chips in a most donkey-like fashion in the WWdN tonight. Went chasing on a flush with two Qs on the board. Didn't think he had a queen, but of course he did. Hee Haw!

I would soon be out in 33rd position minutes later. Why bother to even show up eh?

Cuz you can still be a winner!

Got a prop bet with Iggy on whether Bobby Bracelet would stop watching the porn and come play poker. Time was until the top of the hour- 20 minutes. Bob's junk was too important that junk hands and I was 20 bones richer.

See, you can donk off your chips and still come out $9 ahead on the night.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Stop them in their tracks

Last night, I found myself sitting at the bar of the local watering hole, watching the Mansion Poker Pro/Am tournament. I think it was John Gale who just hit quad 7s, when a guy who was playing volleyball walks up to the bar to get some beer. I have no idea who he is. He notices I am watching the poker game.

Volleyball guy: "Want to hear about the bad beat I took last night?"
Me: "Sure, but you will have to give me a dollar."
VG: "What?"
Me: "Yeah, you need to give me a dollar if I have to listen to your bad beat story. It's a rule."
VG: "Uh, no." And he walks away.

That is how you save yourself from some unknown twit babbling on about a bad beat story. Enforce the rules.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

What tournaments?

I played pretty poorly in the tournament in Vegas. All I have to show for it is a gaudy Ballys shirt. That sucks.

I felt my poker play was dead on during the trip. But I made one really bad bet against Otis, and one stupid all in move when I knew what my opponent had flopped a set of kings to beat my pocket aces. It may be good therapy to go over those later.

Still had a great time though. Met up with some great friends from the past and met new people.

The Ballys tournament was a joke. They had over 1100 people signed up and switched to a shootout on the first day and a half with a final regular tournament for the winners. The grumpy old bitch felt it was a great idea to call my huge bet with A 9o. When the flop came A K 9 and she bet out, I knew she had two pair and I should have folded. Instead I pushed in anger. A couple hands later I was done and walking over to the Bellagio to play some limit.

But now it is back to the real world of online poker. I may have some other stories to tell but only after I clear them with my lawyer.

Go read Pauly if for some reason you are not. He took some of us to an awesome little Italian place at the Forum shops where I had a chicken parm that was killer. The gelato wasn't bad either.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Liver training

With Vegas coming up, Summerfest has been a great way to train the liver. Lord know I will be imbibing a bit while in Sin City so I felt the need to put my liver into training in hopes in doesn't get shocked by what hits it. Then again, it has held up in the past so it should be fine this weekend.

Which leads me to point out the finer points for anyone hitting a live WPBT event for the first time.

First, drink on your own pace. There are a number of professional drinkers in the field here. It is not your mission to keep up with anyone. By no means should you feel like you need to. Drink at you own pace. Never feel like you need to keep up with anyone.

Second, if someone is doing shots or drinking their booze neat, don't try to copy or match them if that is not what you do. You are in Vegas to have a good time and meet people, not to keep up with someone to prove a point. Drink in moderation.

Finally, if you are tired and want to call it a day, do so. There is no embarrassment in calling it a night when you are done. You will most likely be better off the next day when you are refreshed and taking some good coin off a tourist at the poker tables.

Simply put, be smart in Vegas to have a good time.