6.23.2006

 

Muck This

I played for two hours last night for a whopping -$60 profit which was offset by $20 in bonus and $26 in rakeback payment. My loss came from two hands where my instincts told me to fold, but instead I called. One day I vow to use the hand converter, but I usually post to Blogger from work, and the site is blocked. Anyways:

Hero is BB ($130)
Villian is UTG+2 ($90)

Cards dealt to Hero [Ah7h]

UTG+2 calls $1
MP Calls $1
SB calls $.50
BB checks

Flop: As 7d 9h

SB Checks
BB bets $4
UTG+2 Calls $4
MP folds.
SB folds.

Turn: 10h

Hero bets $8
UTG+2 calls $8

River: 10c

Hero bets $12
UTG+2 raises to $30

A little more than a mini-raise. I felt like he either had an Ace with a bigger kicker, or he had a monster hand. Either way I shouldn't have called, but I did. He had quad 10's. Fucker. Always nice to go from massive favorite to giant underdog when a 2 outer peels off on the turn. On to hand two.

Hero is SB ($115)
Villain is UTG ($80)

Hero is dealt [AdKc]

UTG calls $1
UTG+1 calls $1
MP calls $1
MP2 calls $1
Button calls $1
SB raises $5.50 to $6
BB folds
UTG calls $5
All others fold.

Flop: Ah Ac 6d

Hero bets $9
UTG calls $9

Turn: Js

Hero bets $25
UTG calls $25

River: 2c

Hero bets $20
Villain goes all-in for about $20 more.
Hero cals.

Villain had AJo. He played this poorly the whole way and peeled a 3 outer on the turn. If stacks were deeper I probably lay down at the end, but it was only $20 more to find out I was fucked.

So, what's the concensus here? Should I have laid them both down? I feel like I should have definitely folded in hand 1, but hand 2 was the unlucky lottery for me.

6.21.2006

 

180

Last night was a step backwards but today was two steps forwards. I managed to make up for all my losses, plus book a good profit. I feel a little stupid, because now I realize that on top of taking some brutal beats last night, I was also playing scared money. I wasn't making my usual semi-bluff raises, etc. I was probably very predictable to any solid players sitting at the table. I'd been so used to just running over everyone at the short handed $50 max tables that I became scared money when people didn't fold to continuation bets and the like.

Today was different. I mixed it up well, caught a lot of strong hands, and got action. Poker is about 80% skill, 20% luck and timing. Or maybe it's 60/40. I don't know. Point is, luck and timing came into play here. That was the difference between yesterday and today.

I have to tell myself that at this point in my poker 'career', on average, I am going to be better than 6 out of 9 people at a $100 max table. I need to play like it, though.

I averaged 32% flops seen across three tables. Without Pokertracker, I'm unable to get a true breakdown, but I think I'm LAG pre-flop with a tendency to tighten up post-flop. Not a good combination! I have to either play LAG post-flop or make my whole game TAG.

6.20.2006

 

Unf !!

That's the sound of me being kicked in the gut repeatedly. I've run into set over set and been on the losing end twice.

I'm getting dealt a lot of great starting hands and either whiffing the flop or having second best hand. You know those nights. All the trash hands you want to call, call. Except they fucking murder the flop.

Still, I've managed to not lose too much. It's been some shorter stacks doing the most damage to me. I'm down like $110. Really, that's nothing.

It's a double up away from getting back to even. Three medium sized pots away from even.

If I was superstitious, I'd say it's not in the cards tonight. But I keep getting dealt quality hands, damnit. This shit is bound to pay off at least once, right? Right ??? Sorry, kinda lost it there for a second.

I won't bother posting any hand history because a lot of it reads like either a bad beat sob story or the unlucky lottery. I'll just say this instead: I am fully comfortable with playing short-handed or 10 handed $100 max NL on this site and it will be my game of choice until ze bankroll reaches $3000.00

Good night, and good luck.

6.17.2006

 

Mechanical Play Experiment: Complete

I played a little over 2000 hands using the strategy I listed out below, and booked $200 profit.

There weren't many memorable hands. I found that most people will fold to an all in when there are three of one suit on the board and they will fold to an all in on a board that makes a straight.

My profit came from going all in after making a set on the flop.

There is definitely profit to be made by employing a strategy like this, but my win rate is higher when I play my usual game.

6.13.2006

 

Mechanical Play a.k.a. I, Bot

It's often said that limit hold em is a science, while no-limit hold em is an artform. I have to agree. It's so hard to push someone off a hand in limit because it's only one more bet to call. In no-limit, however, if you read your opponent as being weak, you can come over the top for a large amount of chips and force your opponent to go away.

I think playing mechanically at lower limits (read: 1-2 NL and lower online) can yield consistent profit, though, and I may put this to the test. Here is what I plan to do.

Pocket Pairs: Limp with 22-QQ preflop. If I hit a set, go all in. Go all in with KK and AA preflop.

Suited cards: Limp with Ace-X suited. Go all in if I hit the flush on a non-paired board. Limp with most suited connectors down to 56s. Go all in if I hit the straight or the flush as long as it doesn't feel like a higher straight or flush is out there.

That's really about it. It's my belief that enough people will think your massive overbet represents a bluff that it will become a +EV play. Of course this makes playing poker very boring, but it would allow me to play as many as 8 tables at once because the strategy is so mechanical.

I think I'll try it for about 2000 hands and post my results. That should only be about 5 hours of play if I get on 6 tables at a time. I'll definitely be doing 10 handed games with this strategy, though. It will involved a ton of folding so it becomes -EV at a short-handed game.

If anyone reads this, what do you think? Is it worth the time to experiment?

6.12.2006

 

EVERYBODY PANIC! -- Other Blog -- Cunt

I work for a large financial corporation and one floor of one building in a different city than the one in which I work had an outbreak of Measles so now we're all required to provide proof of vaccination. My Pediatrician is dead and my current doctor's secretary can't find my records. Any of them.

Well my disposition was to say fuck it and call it a day, but now I'm being asked to get a blood test. Uh, no. Sorry. I don't let my work dictate that stuff. I'm in a good position here as far as leverage and they've offered to refund any co-pay I may have plus give me a full day off for the blood test without it being deducted from my vacation, but it's about the principal and they don't understand that.

Different floor. Different building. Different city. None of these people have been here. I'm not getting the Measles. I had an MMR shot as an infant and a booster shot before college, and that was only 9 years ago.

Of course, this reminds me of Gary Sinise in Apollo 13 saying he doesn't have the Measles but I can't remember if he ever did get them or not, and Kevin Bacon won't be taking my spot if I'm told to stay home.

I'm sure that later on today when I'm not as annoyed, I'll agree to the blood test because it's a free day off to play poker all day in exchange for a prick on the finger and a half hour at the office.

***

Wes posted this NYTimes.come article about a kid robbing a bank to pay off poker losses. If there's any justice in this world, the last words that kid will here are "I'm all in" followed by a large black man probing his intestines while he weeps like a little bitch.

Be a man and own up to your shitty poker play, then kick the addiction. That teller must have been scared to death. Hopefully he gets what he deserves.

***

I managed to call a blogger a cunt today. Maybe it was due to my aggravating morning, but I doubt it. He defnitely had the tone of a cunt. Kind of an offensive word. Maybe some people will think I was angry. I wasn't. I throw swears around like any other words in the English language. I'll call someone a cunt if they make a right turn without a blinker. Doesn't mean I really care for more than a couple seconds.

And how can you take anything seriously in the blogosphere or whatever people call this artificial world? Unless you have get togethers, and I never will, we're all just faceless voices and versions of ourselves who share at least one common interest -- poker.

Enough breath wasted about this. Stay profitable unless I'm at your table.

6.11.2006

 

Goal #1 is Complete

It's only June 11th, so I am going to revise my goal of turning $500 into $1000. I'll shoot for $1500 now. When I signed up for rakeback through PokerInside.com there was a 300% up to $500 Deposit bonus, but I never received it. Now it's gone from the site. Kind of annoying, but that's my only complaint about the site and I'll write it off as a timing issue. I'd anxious to see what items they put in their PI Store. I'm guessing it will be along the same lines as PSO.com

I think that between rakeback and my solid play at these current stakes, another $500 is easily attainable. I'm going to focus on reaching the $1500 mark and then I'll blast through my 50 SnG Goal and post my results at the end. I'm off to a good start but that doesn't mean much.

***

I built it up so fast by playing six handed games, but the variance is so high with these that I should probably go back to a 10 handed game. I dunno. I'll say this after I drop $30 playing short-handed but then I stick it out and stack someone later.

Reaching $1000 also makes me sufficiently bankrolled for 10 handed .50/1 NL games so I may drop the short-handed pushfests completely to play at higher stakes. It's probably EV+ for me to do that. I'll give it a shot and see what happens.

6.10.2006

 

Running Goot and Karma Police

When I first started playing poker about a year ago, I was the only one inside my circle of friends to express any interest whatsoever. I tried to get a few of them to watch the WSOP with me on ESPN, but they laughed and said ESPN had become a joke. I attempted to argue, but two words kept springing to the front of my mind: SPELLING BEE. Yikes.

Anyways, what turned them on to the game was a trip to the casino six months ago. A bunch of us went down there for one friend's birthday, and while some played slots, blackjack, and roulette, I sat down at a 1-2 NL game. Two of my buddies who didn't care to gambool, Billy and TJ, decided to watch me play.

Like most tables there on a Saturday, this one had its fair share of drunks and troglodites, and I managed to make about $375 over two hours. I decided to quit while I was ahead (ugh) and left the game. I think I may have changed their minds about trying out poker.

- Dude, is it always that fucking easy?

No, it really isn't. We tracked down our other friends to find out they'd all lost money on whatever games they had decided to play. Well, all except my friend Caitlyn who's a total luckbox. She won about $100 playing roulette and only guessing red or black.

Anyways, when they were asking me about poker I explained how math comes into play and mentioned how I liked it because it's one of the few forms of gambling where you play against other than the house, and you control your own fate because the best cards don't always win, etc. TJ started watching WPT events on the travel channel and now he plays online all the time. Billy hosts a lot of really soft STT structured home games and I stay in his good graces by occasionally dumping to him if we get heads up, although last time I played he really stepped up the aggression and beat me through his own skill.

Those guys read my blog and they might become guest posters if I decide to keep this going. There aren't that many blogs out there with multiple authors -- or rather, ones I like that have multiple authors.

So, I should probably write something that has to do with the title I entered over an hour ago. I've been running really well lately with my worst sessions being break even, but it seems like every time I say that or think that, I end up on the ass end of variance for a stretch. Last night I managed to be up around $120 and then donk away $50 with a terrible play.

I was on the button with QJ of diamonds and elected to call a raise from the Under the Gun player who I read to be a loose big stack. The flop came down with two diamonds and a queen and I decided not to fast play it when he overbet the flop. I just called. Well, the turn brought a jack and he checked. I pushed all in, thinking he could have TPTK or an overpair and his looseness would bring a call. But my push was a gross overbet and he immediately called with JJ. Maybe a bad beat, but also a bad play on my part. Lesson learned. I'm just really mad at myself because that's a play I never make.

So a quick update on my goals.

I have a little over $700 now so I am almost halfway to my June goal. I've played six $10 SnG's. I won two, and bubbled out of the other four. But these are six handed with only two spots paying, so I am up overall. I think I'll end up with very good results because a lot of players either play way too agressive or way too passive when games are six handed at these limits. I keep seeing players bust out making stupid bluffs when the blinds are still so low, so I can only hope I'll be the one they bluff into.

That's it for now. Good luck and thanks for reading!

6.09.2006

 

Bill to Ban Online Poker and ... Wtf?

First, the bigger of the two jokes I've seen in teh intraweb lately. Washington is still trying to make internet poker illegal. Here's a quote from the article: "I am a big advocate of opening up the Internet to all kinds of legitimate uses," said Goodlatte, who is co-chairman of the Congressional Internet Caucus. "But we don't want the Internet to become the Wild West of the 21st century." Goodlatte said he opposes gambling because it leads to "a whole host of ills in society."

First of all, this guy has the world latte in his name so he's obviously a gigantic pussy. Secondly, the Wild West of the 21st century? Yeah, because poker is what made the Wild West such a rough patch in our history. It definitely was not the part about the highest murder rate, nor the slaughtering of Indians.

Here's an idea. If you want to start playing Moral Police, start by passing bills to ban the sale of firearms, alcohol, and tobacco because all of those do a lot more harm to society than playing a game of cards online for money. Granted, it's possible to become addicted and get into some seriously financial trouble, but that's better than, say, Cancer or Cirrhosis of the liver.

Silly backwards society.

***

Ok, on to the second joke I've seen. I won't mention any names or sites for obvious reasons.

While searching for quality poker blogs, I found a few that had posts about different classes of blogs -- as if this was Hollywood and there's an A-list on down the line. I also saw posts that basically told people what made a good poker blog. One person even had a list of things not to write about, like hand history or results. Hrm.

To those people I'd like to extend a nice big "get the fuck over yourself". To think there's some type of hierarchy of unpublished writers posting about playing a card game is a joke in itself. To find people actually giving advice as to how someone can move up this fake social ladder is just beyond retarded. I equate this with taking MySpace or Friendster seriously -- equally retarded.

This poker blog may be pretty short lived if I keep poking around and noticing almost everyone acting like this.

6.06.2006

 

Goal #1 is 25% Complete!

I had yesterday off and managed to book about $165 in profit in just three hours of work at two short-handed .25/.50 NL tables. I was worried that there wouldn't be much of a spread in the morning, but the quality of games were good. My tables had mostly Swedes and Brits at them, and they play a lot looser and faster than Americans at these stakes.

Re: Brits playing looser -- I wonder if it's due to the exchange rates? When they convert their Great British Pounds to US Dollars, they're getting 2 dollars per pound. Makes me wonder why they choose to play in US Dollars.

But I digress. I caught some decent cards yesterday, and my short-handed strategy seems to be working well at these stakes.

The General Strategy

Note: This is subject to change if I notice players who are either above average, or far below average

From Early Position - Limp with small pocket pairs like 22-66. Mix 50% calls and 50% raises with 77-99. Mix 20% calls and 80% raises with the other pocket pairs as well as with AKs, AKo, AQs, AQo, AJs, and AJ0. I'll also raise with KQs and KQo, but I usually fold KJs or KJo. I'll simply call with any suited connectors down to 78s. I'll generally call with ATs and fold most of the other weaker aces unless I feel like the majority of the table is weak. Then I'll simply limp because I don't want exclusively stronger hands calling my raise when I'm out of position. But, I generally fold because of the number of calling stations who could have me outkicked, but are afraid to raise yet won't fold.

From middle position - Since it's short-handed, I will raise with any pocket pair if the first two seats fold as well as all of the hands I mentioned from early position. I'll still just call with hands like JQs and JTs because I want everyone to come along for the ride with these speculation hands.

From the CO and Button - Raise any pocket pair, any suited connectors down to 78s. Raise with AKs through K8s including all the offsuit holdings. I'll still fold the crap hands like Q6s and the like.

The blinds - In an unraised pot, I will sometimes make a steal attempt by raising to 6x the BB if I know the other players are weak. Otherwise, I don't complete the SB too often without having any pocket pair, suited connectors, or paint with a good kicker. A lot of money is lost by completing the small blind and then folding to a flop bet. I seldom simply call a raise from the BB. I'm either re-raising or folding because you need to define your hand when you're out of position. Only in the rare case when I am dealt Aces in the BB will I simply call, hoping for a ragged flop so I can trap bet someone.

I'm sure I missed a little in between, but those are the very basics. I'll go into flop play and turn play in a different post. For now, I'll close with a short story about one night at the casino.

I was playing some 1-2 NL at a really loose table, and was sitting next to this giant black guy. He must have been 6'5 and about 300 pounds. He had absolutely no idea what he was doing, and told me so after a few hands. But, he was winning because he had such an unorthodox style and an intimidation factor. He'd bet something like $70 into a $30 pot with just a pair. Things like that. This guy was also pounding the drinks. It was kind of quiet that day so the waitress kept coming around, and he wasn't getting loud or anything so she was happy to get a $3 tip each time.

Well, there's finally a huge hand involving this guy and a mousy looking kid who is a good player. With the board reading Ad Kd 6d 6s Ac and a current pot of about $190, this guy bets his last $350 and the mousy kid calls right away. Big guy stands up and throws down his cards, Qd10d.

- Fluuuuuush, baby.

The mousy kid does a double take and so do I. He flips over AsKs.

- I have the nuts (wrong, but whatever).
- The what?
- Nuts.
- Nah, you don't have the nuts. I have the nuts.

And the black dude just whips his pants down right there and moons the kid. Pretty disgusting since I was right next to him and had to dive out of the way, but if you've ever seen the movie Waiting this next line will be funny. One kid at the table just blurts it out.

- Oh man, he got you with the GOAT!

Just another day at the office...

6.03.2006

 

The Goals

I will be playing .25/.50 NL on CD Poker to achieve goal 1. Since there is a fairly good deposit bonus, I should be able to achieve this through solid play.

I have already downloaded PokerTracker, and I will use pokertrackerguide.com and the PokerTracker forums to go through what all of the stats mean. I cannot wait to see how my own play is classified, and I am really curious to see how much I have made/lost with each hand.

I also play some home games and make a trip to a casino now and then, so I will be writing stories about those nights in as much detail as possible. I'll probably mix in some previous sessions because I've seen some crazy ass shit at the tables.

That's it for now. Time to hit the tables and get these goals started.


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