Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Another Tuesday

Not much to talk about from last night. Went out 18th in the WWdN. Felt the cards weren't really coming to me. Thus, I was not shocked when my K K went down to A K. I had the feeling of dread hit when I saw the A in my opponent's hand. I knew I was going to lose that hand. Such is the game. But I felt I played well. There was one hand I should have been a tad more aggressive with but I don't think it would have mattered in the outcome.

I ran two tables of Triple Draw before playing the tournament. On one table, I could do no wrong, hitting good hands early and getting paid off. On the other, I had a sucker all lined up, but couldn't take advantage. Each time he would suck out on me. Call two bets and draw 3 0r 4. Was usually drawing two on the last pull as well. But my 7 6 5 would go down to 7 6 4. When that happened twice and two big pots slid away from me, I knew it was time to leave that table.

Ever have that happen? You play well, but you are always catching second best hand. Like the table is cursed.

At least I was able to peg 3 more players to sit down and play TD with. Nice to really enjoy playing the game- even with the frustrating moments- and make some money.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Omaha suckage

I played all of 7 hands in the WPBT event last night. Made one of the mistakes people tell you to avoid in Omaha. I pushed with the dumb ass end of a straight. Thus, I was the first one out.

It wasn't a good weekend of poker. Did ok playing TD, went deep in a tournament but didn't cash. I am thinking of hunkering down and playing more tournaments, getting back into that groove. Only problem there is I have to be in to work early and the best tournaments would be finishing around midnight to 1 am, leaving me with 4-5 hours of sleep.

Maybe that is a bridge I should learn to cross once I get there.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Get your undies out of a bunch

We all take bad beats along the way. It is not unusual to read about how someone made a bad play and got lucky to knock you out of a tournament, or cripple you. We can bitch about the donkey catching his two outer or hitting runner runner flush. But is it right to critique them on their own blog?

I don't think so. Especially when you have never met the person, even read their blog or have a clue they exist.

Seems bayne was on serious tilt after I wielded the mighty Hammer on him in CC's tourney Thursday night. He felt the need to insult my play on his blog and twice on my own comments. His original thought was "May I be 1st to suggest you would be better off spending your poker dollars with the purchase of lottery tickets." Wow, quite witty. Very original.

That was brought on by the aforementioned hammer dropping. Quick recap: Bayne raises in EP to 200 (25/50). In the SB, I re-raise to 650 with the Hammer. He calls. On the flop, 6d 5d, 10h, I push for 705. He calls with a Q high flush draw. I hit runner runner for the straight.

Bayne called it "a ridiculous pre-flop re-raise and an even lamer post flop push". Ridiculous pre-flop re-raise? I have the Hammer. What, you think I should be folding? Only a wuss tosses it away in a blogger tournament. The re-raise is the proper play. I can push you off the hand and take it down right there. A re-raise should signify strength, especially one that is out of position. Yes, it is a very loose aggressive play. But I am hoping to win pre-flop. And it is the Hammer!

You just called. Thanks! You just told me you do not have a big hand. Thus, that flop looks even better. If you caught your set, fine, IGHN. If not, I can take it down there again. Because I have the Hammer, I am betting at the friendly flop now. Lamer post flop push? Not quite.

The thing that amazed me though is your call. You have been re-raised pre-flop and then are calling a bet that is more than half of your stack. With Queen high. Queen fuggin high and a draw. Somehow only you and Phil Hellmuth make the call and even brag about it being a great read.

So I hit runner runner for the straight. Get your undies out of a bunch. It is not a shameful thing to be beaten by the Hammer. You do know that folding is an option, don't you?

But you weren't done yet. You said you had "Pot odds on my pre-flop call were good if just against 2 overs and I would be left with enough chips to still play if I lost." Sure 600 left is nice. 1350 is better. I gambled. You gambled. You lost. Again, you had Q high and a draw. Nothing stellar. You then say you cashed. Round of applause for Bayne! Good for you. Means nothing to me, but I guess it strokes your ego to brag about it.

You also had this gem "I adjusted play to exploit loose image. You continued loose play with loose image". Oh really. From the 30-40 minutes we were at the table, you were able to judge me as the loose player. Furthermore, you must have stalked me at another table to say that I continued to play loose. Not quite. I played aggressively, but not loose. Well, except for one more Hammer push. Other than that, you really have no clue how I was playing.

But it was this line that I loved the most. It shows you have no clue that one should play the Hammer as if it were aces. Quote "If you looked as far back in my blog you will see I overplayed a Hammer in Hoy as well but there several differences" So you played it once and decided you didn't have the stones to play it again because apparently you didn't win with it. That explains a lot. How does one OVERPLAY the Hammer, especially if they are betting out? Again, you raised, got re-raised and then called an all in bet. With Queen high! Ever think your call may be the worse of the two plays?

Get your undies out of a bunch. It was just one hand in the many thousands you will play.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Just like the Mighty Thor

I headed out to the bar right after work yesterday. Bosses were in town and I was forced to go have a drink after work with them. Ok, maybe not "forced". And yeah, I was at the bar an hour before they arrived but I had to kill some time. Bars work for me.

A couple hours of pouring some Leinie's Big Butt Bock into my belly provided the fuel I needed to play the RiverChasers and CC tournaments last night. Made decent runs in both before I lost focus and donked myself out.

I was playing steady on the RiverChasers side. But I got a little too greedy stealing blinds. Table was tight so the time seemed right. Unfortunately for me, I ran my A 4 suited into a real hand and was done somewhere around 19.

Over on CC's side, I was a Hammer playing fool. Caught it a number of times and wielded it just as the Mighty Thor would. Beside taking pots down preflop, I continued to play it aggressively post flop. In one sick play, the Hammer stood tall after going runner runner for the straight.
Edit: Bayne has the hand history posted. Seems to still have a lump from where the Hammer hit him on the head.

It worked so well that I tried again. In EP I raised 4xs the blind but got re-raised. Who dare re-raise on a Hammer play? Of course I called another grand and was up against K K. No problem. Flop the OESD, but didn't fill. What happened? My Hammer!! Soon I would get outplayed by Pauly, get short stacked and be done. But I had fun.

Funny how that was the only poker I had played all week. That will change this weekend, especially if we get hit with the snow storm that they are expecting. Could be a Saturday/Sunday of nothing but tournaments. Just need to walk the block to the liquor store to get the necessary survival supplies.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

I needs an Ipod

Once again the fine people at PokeronaMac are putting together a tourney. Jump on in for an Ipod if you are one of those (like me) that don't own one already. Heck, even if you do, get another if you got the chops. At the very least, check them out.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Knocked back down

I took a hit this weekend. Tried to play 5/10 triple draw and got my ass handed to me. It really was two big hands. One where my 7 6 lost to the nuts and another where my made 8 6 lost on the third draw to 7 6. In the end, I lost a chunk of what I had on Stars.

In retrospect, maybe I shouldn't have been taking a shot at a higher table. It was Friday night after I got back from the bar. My rule is to not play cash games after drinking. I lose too much when I do it. I stick to SnGs.

Well, this time I didn't follow my own set rules and paid the price. Funny how I did well in one SnG taking second, but then got crushed when my K K got cracked by K Q. They hit their flush on the turn. Ouch!

After the beating on Friday night, I basically stayed away on Saturday. On Sunday morning I played a rock of a 3/6 HE table (what rock garden?) that was boring. There were some fishy players but the pots weren't getting any size to them. Thus, it was boring. I booked a small profit before making a stab at a super sat for the FTOPs. Yeah, that went no where when someone slow played K K against my steal attempt.

Little card slinging this week. Going away for work for a couple days. That should be just enough to charge the batteries. Plus I figure I can read the Omaha book I have on the plane. Maybe there will be some O8 in my future again.

Friday, February 16, 2007

What rock garden?

With all that is happening in the online poker world, players are bemoaning many different ideas on how things are going to be different. One that pops up a lot is "the games are going to be like rock gardens, with the same people trading money back and forth."

When I read this, I think how short sighted people are. Apparently they think the poker market has been tapped out. That either there are no new players left in the world or just Americans suck at the games and with them gone, so is the "easy" money.

Simply put, that hasn't been my experience. Though I am a recreational player- maybe playing 2 hours, 4-5 nights a week, I keep seeing all kinds of not so good players in the 3/6 limit games on Stars. I have not seen the game get any tougher on that level, though maybe it is on higher levels or no limit.

What I have seen is more European players at the tables. And Asians are sprouting up as well. This gives credence to some of the moves by the poker sites to pull out of the US. I own shares of Cryptologic. They moved their headquarter from Canada to Ireland last year. One major reason was to get closer to their player base in Europe. The other was to establish partnerships in China. They said that is where the true growth was going to come from. Even though it is early in the game, that appears to be what is happening.

Thus, I am not worrying about any rock gardens any time soon.

Here is another thought. Why not play another game? Back in December, I started playing Triple Draw. Working off of just the basics and picking the brain of Garth at times, I have attained enough of the game to be profitable so far at 3/6. Here is a garden with rich soil, very few rocks. Players are willing to chase to the last draw just about all the time. Or they will draw one and stay pat on a 10 for the last two draws. Or call down with a J low. Some think they can bully you by betting all the time. I love check raising these guys. Usually an 8 is good enough to win against them. A 7 is pure gold. There is money to be made for patient players.

Playing TD alongside HE keeps me going right now. Plus it is easier to rack up VPP points on Stars or clear applicable bonuses.

To me, the choice is simple. Keep bitching and moaning about the fishing hole being dried up, or pick your line up and go where the fish still bite.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

A disturbing trend

I didn't do well in the WWdN tonight. Finished 32 out of 53, going out just after the first break.

I was very slow on playing the first two hands after the break as I was trying to make a drink. I had some cherry/lime water that I wanted to try with brandy. I kept running to the pc to make my play. Once I got the drink made and sat down, I lost a huge pot crippling me. Next hand, I was out as someone hit their 2 outer.

It was then I noticed this trend. I tend to go bust just after making a drink. Not from drinking a lot but from getting a new cocktail.

WTF? That is disturbing.

I may have to track this and figure out how to stop the trend from reoccurring.

But all was not lost on the night. I found one of the worst TD players sitting at a 2/4 table. He had 312 in front of him when I joined the waiting list. By the time I got a seat, he still had 280. Before I was done, he had busted. I only got $53 of it but I ain't complaining. Especially since I found another bad player on the 3/6 table that was good for another $49 in a short time span.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Drowned at the river by a HORSE

I may a decent run in the Riverchasers HORSE tournament yesterday. I think it was 32 runners in the beginning. I ended up 6th, two spots out of the money.

Not too shabby, but I knew that my flush in O8 was no good. With a small stack, I had to take the chance with a bet and ran into the nut flush.

I did find it amusing how many people were bitching about other player's game. Yes, there were some pretty horrible plays being made, but I don't think it is right to complain and berate someone for it (Yes Derek, I said it. Sore losers are allowed to!). But that is what happened. I believe I was told I sucked after I busted someone out. His proof was a hand he wasn't even involved in.

Here is the scene. We are in the H round with about 15 players left. I have A 8 diamonds UTG. My cards have sucked and I am mid range in chips. I believe blind are either 400/800 or 600/1200. So I raised UTG hoping that I can portray a strong hand and capture the blinds. But the BB calls. Flop is K Q J, rainbow. My opponent bets out. I have the straight draw and decide to just call. Turn is a rag. My opponent bets again. I put him on at least a king, probably two pair, but I need to see where I truly am. I decide to show strength and raise. After all, I raised UTG. With 3 face cards on the board, I can make him think I have flopped a set. It appears to work as he goes into the tank. He calls. The river is a nice 10 giving me the nuts. I bet and he calls. Yes, I got very lucky on the river. If he had re-raised me on the turn, I would have had to fold as my chip count would have taken a serious blow. I also check or fold on the river to any bet if I missed.

I can understand why the guy called me a terrible player with that move. Without knowing the thought process of your opponent, many moves can look awful unless you understand why they are making such a bet, or what their desired result is. My bet was intended to scream that I had a set. Instead I hit one of my outs for a straight. But I do believe it got my opponent to thinking. Don't think he would have folded to a river bet if I had missed, but it confused him. And isn't that what we are sometimes looking for when playing poker, deception?

Wednesday, February 07, 2007


I finished in 72 place in tonights Hammer Event.

I am quite proud of that distinction.

Feel like I should get some reward. Instead I was the victim of a poor play by my opponent. Such is poker.

Happy Hammer Day

It was one of those mixed nights of poker yesterday. I had a table of 2/4 TD running alongside the 3/6 HE. I was yo-yo-ing in the TD game while not getting any good cards in the HE game.

Then the slide occurred. Some donk hit a runner runner straight on me with his A 6 to beat my A K. I knew I had him until the river but he hit his card. From there it went down hill. About the only hands I seemed to win were the "what-the-hell-I-will-defend-my-blinds-with-this-cuz-it-is-suited" hands. But I trugdged on.

The TD game dried up and then I was down to the the HE game. I was getting bored with that though. So I jumped into a 2/4 HORSE game and did quite well.

After an hour and a half, I was done 3/4 of my buy in playing hold em and called it quits. I wasn't getting any where and the table was breaking. Thankfully I did quite well playing HORSE. Add that to the small win in TD and I was only down a couple bucks on the night.

Funny how that has been happening to me lately. I haven't had many big wins or losses lately. Either small losses or moderate wins. Nothing big.

Thus I wasn't sure whether I would play the WWdN last night. I was pretty much against it, but decided to hop in at the last minute. Long story short, I finished 2nd. I felt pretty good about my play too. I didn't donk it up early (well, not totally) and I avoided a "I don't feel like playing anymore" attitude towards the end. I stayed focus and worked towards making some money.

Not that I played perfect poker either. I had some suckouts along the way.

Maybe I was destined to do well. On the very first hand, I had the Hammer UTG. I raised and saw a flop with the BB. There was a 7 on the board so I bet it out and then called the raise. The 7 on the turn looked great. But I made a mistake when I pushed. I thought I could get something out of it but my opponent folded. But a Hammer start must be good, right?

I continued to chip up. I felt my reads were pretty good, but not perfect. I got lucky on one hand where I had flopped top pair and a gutshot straight. With two hearts on the board, I figured my opponent was on the flush draw when he raised the flop bet. The A on the turn didn't scare me and I bet it out again. When I got re-raised though I went into the tank. I still had him on the flush draw. But I wasn't taking into consideration that A. I made the call with the thought that I could still chip back up, but also, I thought my hand was good. Man, was I wrong. Oh, he was on the flush draw, but with the A of hearts. Bad call. But I spiked a 6 on the river for the straight. Having been on the bad end of those beats many a time, I don't blame him for being upset.

As the game continued, I kept the pressure on my opponents. It was when we were down to 2 tables that I believe I played my best poker. I had brdweb (sorry man, don't have a link for you, please supply) and wwonka on my left so I know I have to play well. I also have to be aggressive. If I get involved with either of them, I can quickly go from being a front runner to being out of the tournament.

I chip up nicely on a bluff and later on a hefty re-raise with K K. Soon I would be at the final table. I was avoiding any big confrontations with the bigger stacks. I was attacking the small ones when I could. I had Maigrey stealing my blinds like there was no tomorrow but there was little I could do. Each time I had crap. Sure she may have had crap too, but I had really crappy crap. I just hoped there would be a time where I had something and could play back. Later I would with A A, but not until I managed to survive that far.

I went on a little run with small pairs. After taking the blinds for a couple hands, someone pushed back on my 3 3. They had 4 4 and suddenly I was the short stack at the table. On the bubble. So of course I pushed with the Hammer on the very next hand. It is a nice rush you get when pushing with the Hammer on the bubble.

When it got heads up, I found my opponent to be on the aggressive side, raising 5xs the BB. I figured I could stay about even until I found a big hand. A Q looked big and I popped him back on his raise. All the money when in and I was up against 7 7. Flop was K J x giving me more outs, but none would hit.

As I said, I was happy with how I played. Hopefully it is something I can build on.

Tonight I will be playing Al's Hammer event. How can anyone miss this? While you are playing, make sure you raise a toast to the Father of the Hammer, Grubby.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Grinding weekend

I managed to grind out a nice little profit this weekend. Two tabling triple draw along side hold em worked out well. But I need to make sure I don't dig myself into a hole first.

Each time I stared up, I found myself dropping a quarter to a third of my starting count within the first orbit. Whether it was I wasn't hitting my draws or that hands weren't holding up, putting yourself in a hole right away sucks. Yet, I have noticed I do this again and again. It gets me some action later but it isn't like losing right away in my intention.

I should be thankful I found some very aggressive players. In both TD and HE, I would get paid off when I had the nuts. Each time these hands would propel me from being stuck to small profits that I could build off of into nice sessions.

I did enjoy the 2/4 TD tables where there were a couple people raising aggressively and then staying pat on a 9. I found I could reverse the tables on them. I tightened up and showed down a couple good hands. Then I turned their own game on them, raising and staying pat on 9 or 8, hands I normally wouldn't stay on with better players. I was getting people to fold hands quickly. Of course those were balanced by have 5 4 3 2 and bricking 3 times.

Al posted an update on the Neteller situation. Shouldn't the government be working to get U.S. citizens their money back? I have kissed that cash goodbye. Unfortunately for others, they are stuck quite a bit more. I hope the ending is much better for them.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Sportsbook isn't worth it

Like many others, I received a disc from announcing their new poker room. Apparently if you had an account at Paradise Poker, you received a disc. They were offering any where from $10 to $100 free, no deposit required. All you had to do was load the software, establish an account, and enter the code from your mail.

Easier said than done. Everything loaded ok, but I had some minor issues opening the account. It didn't want to take any info. Once I got it to work, I tried entering the code for the cash. I waited and waited, but the server wasn't working.

So I tried again the next night. This time it worked, but it didn't tell me how much I had been rewarded. Neither the poker account nor the sportsbook showed a balance. WTF?

On the third night, I logged in just to see if something had been updated. I hadn't received any notification email of any money being put in the account. Thus I was surprised to see $20. Well, better than nothing I thought. I figured I would try and bump that up for a MTT SnG. I found a $5 table and signed up. Nothing happened. Then the tournament started without me. Ok, guess I didn't get registered in time. Let's try again.

The second time I did get a confirmation saying I was registered in the tournament. But once again, it started without me. Huh? I check the tournament lobby for my name. Nope, wasn't there. It said I was in, but it won't let me play. Ah screw it.

So then I try to log out and now it won't let me. I get a message saying I have registered for one or more SnGs. Please unregister before signing out. I click on the "My tournament registration" button on the main screen and it come up blank. WTF? Still the software will not let me leave. Now it is beginning to piss me off.

So I try their live help. More like dead help. It take a couple minutes for someone to respond. I explain the situation to "Graham". It takes me another couple minutes to acknowledge I am out there. He then gives instruction pertaining to clearing out my browsers cache. I begin to wonder why that would have an effect on the poker software, but do it anyway. Of course nothing changed. I ask Graham why I would use the browser to make a change in their software. No response. Nice.

Finally after a couple minutes, Graham is back on saying they will have to look at it and will email me with notes on what they have found out.

So basically, the Sportsbook poker room is dead to me. I took the $20 and put in on the Colts in the Super Bowl. When I win I will see how many times I can double it up until I can either withdraw or lose it. One thing I do know, I won't be playing any poker on their site.