Friday, December 2, 2005

Here's a poser...

If you're playing poker with idiots and you lose are you a bigger idiot? Me thinks so. Just call me Idiot4Yall instead....

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Missing live play

I'm realy missing sitting at a table with live players. I'm finding my usual online limit games very tedious. Even at the same limits I've always done well at I'm lucky to break even over time lately it seems like. It's been frustrating because the hands shown down are very weak. I just can't get cards to challenge them and when I do I get out drawn. I know I have to expect the outdraws and usually I don't mind. When I'm sitting there grinding away for a couple of hours for virtually nothing though it gets old.

I may switch to almost exclusively NL tournament play online. As I said in the previous entry I've done well in Poker Stars rebuy satellites for the Atlantis WPT tournament, not good enough yet to win a seat to the next level but I'm a net plus as far as costs go and I see no reason I can't win a seat the way I'm going.

I got frustrated yesterday and played a couple of sit and go's on UB yesterday. The first one I did pretty badly in. Not as much because of my play which I will admit started out a bit loose (well my my standards) but mostly I just didn't get cards. It happens. The second one went much better. With four players to go I was the short stack. By the time it was heads up the chip leader had a nearly 5:1 chip lead. He totally lost his patience though. He was making comments like "hurry up idiot" and "goooooo". Do you think I sped up because he intimidated me? Nope. I didn't exactly slow down but I did play very deliberately and very silently. In the end I took down first place. I guess he was in such a hurry he was willing to take second place. That's fine with me. I hope to find him again, or those like him. It was one of the easier heads up battles I've had. I'm not even sure it was good experience except that any heads up situation is probably good practice. It definately showed me that patience pays!

A bit less than two weeks and I'll be back in Tunica for a while and then again in January. Alas I don't think I can work in a trip between the two times because of holidays. I'll survive although you'll probably have to listen to me whine a bit.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Two good satellites

The past two nights I've played Poker Stars 7:30pm $3+0 rebuy satellite for a seat in the Saturday $650 buy in WPT Atlantis satellite. It's a way to turn just $3 into a seat in a WPT event plus travel and accomodations at the Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas where I went on vacation last year.

Last night I was 7th out of 207. Unfortunately the tournament paid through 6 places so I was out on the bubble. There were three seats to be awarded in that one.

Tonight I was 6th out of 225. Tonight the payout was 3 seats plus 4th through 15th paid $33 and 16th paid $9. I was happy with a $30 profit considering that I didn't rebuy and didn't add on so my total cost was $3.

Two final tables in two nights is encouraging especially in these somewhat whacky rebuy tournaments. On the other hand there was a lot of dead money floating around for the patient player. I have a real hope of winning a seat to the $650 satellite one day soon and I see no reason I could not parlay that into a seat in the WPT Atlantis event.

Time will tell but hopefully I'll be making entries here from the Bahamas one day :)

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Hey! It works!

I've now recently made two trips to Tunica to play and have done very well both times. The first trip I played mostly at the Gold Strike and did very well in their $3/$6 game.  I did well enough to pay for the trip and getting a table share of their bad beat jackpot was a nice bonus as well. The jackpot was not very big but there were few players in the room at the time so it worked out quite well.


The second trip there was no jackpot bonus involved but I did well enough to pay my expenses and bring some profits back. This latest time I played most in the Grand at a $4/$8 table.


These two trips, as well as all my other trips to Gulfport and Biloxi in the past, have given me a lot of hope for the future. I'll never get rich grinding it out in these low limit games but I will be able to supplement our income once Connie changes careers and we actually live near a poker room so that I don't have to spend most of my winnings just to pay my expenses.


Connie and I have talked about it and I'm considering getting an apartment in the Tunica area and splitting my time between there and Orlando. We found apartments ranging from $325 to $600 a month. The ones on the low end were older complexes in the south end of Memphis but looked fine. They may not have as nice a pool and I'd have a half hour drive to the casinos but that would be worth it to save $200-$300 a month in rent.


I've been able to average $60-$100 a day playing less than 8 hours a day so if I can play 14 days a month and do anywhere nearly that well that works out to $840-$1400 a month. Even if that is a little generous I should still manage to break even and I don't think that earn rate is over generous based on my previous results. Nor do I think I'll have trouble playing 14 days a month. I'llprobably manage more.


Connie seems fine with this play even though it has me gone a lot of the time. She has been so focused on school and work that there's not been that much time for us anyway and I've been pretty unhappy. I came back from this last trip to Tunica feeling on top of the world. My game works. I feel confident now that if I just play my game I will win over time. Sure I still have my down days. I sat in the Gold Strike for three and a half hours in a $3/$6 game and won a total of three pots on the way to losing $97. I never lost my cool, I was just getting crappy cards and a few out draws (I refuse to call them bad beats, they were just beats). I finally gave up because I felt I was losing focus. I really hated to leave this game, it was incredibly soft and it was frustrating that I could not get cards to take advantage of the money many players were seemingly trying to give away. That night though I went to the Grand and in just a couple of hours in their $4/$8 game I wiped out that loss and built a nice profit by doing just what I'd been doing earlier in the day when I'd had the losing session.


I feel my game has been improving as well. I've worked to mix it up some. Most of the time I don't bother and it's a fairly straightforward game with little bluffing or tricky plays. Most of the time they don't work at these low limit games and they aren't needed. At times I have noticed a few players adapting to my playing style though so I've changed up some. One of the things that's worked best is occasionally raising from early position when I'm first in with medium suited connectors or a medium or medium low pocket pair. Many times I'll have to dump it but other times I've managed to either hit my hand and really surprise somebody or better yet win a pot with what I really suspect was not the best hand. Even if I go on to lose a hand where I've done that it's seldom very expensive and I'm able to raise later in the game from early position with premium hands and get some action.


All in all I'm very encouraged. It feels good to have found something that I seem to be good at that seems like will allow me to actually make a contribution to our situation. Right now we don't need what I'll make so profits will go in my poker bankroll, which is big enough to absorb a few month's worth of losses if that should occur as it certainly can. I don't remember feeling as happy as I did after this trip for a very long time. I'm looking forward to being back in Tunica as soon as I can swing it.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Tunica Poker Update

I love this place. It's no Vegas in terms of places to play or game selection but it's got plenty of what I need and it doesn't have Vegas prices or traffic. The people are about as friendly as on the Gulf Coast too.

I had hoped for 1/4/8/8 spread limit games like they spread at the Gulf Coast casinos but mostly here it's 4/8 with occasional 3/6 and 10/20 games. I heard somebody spreads a 2/4 game.

I'm planning to mostly stick with the Gold Strike's 3/6 game. I'm doing nearly as well in that as I ever do in the 1/4/8/8 games in Gulfport. I will also always have a soft spot for that casino because yesterday I was playing when somebody on the other table playing at the time hit the bad beat jackpot. They give everybody in the room who was in a hand at the time a players share and mine came to $352 and change. Not bad for just being in the right place at the right time.

I'm playing my normal game and not trying to force any action and it's working. The only time I've deviated is when the table has gotten down to 6 handed, then I loosened up a bit and got much more aggressive. Much to the consternation of the other players I have to add. I know those looks, they are the ones I imagine I give the maniacs at the table. I spent some simulator time just for that eventuality and it worked just as I hoped it would. A little luck was involved of course because when my raises or re-raises didn't fold up the table I managed to hit enough of the flop to take the pot enough of the time to get respect for my raises.

In general I'm probably running around 20-25% flops seen, still in my mind fairly loose but mostly I'm just getting cards to play...sometimes. The one guy who I'm almost positive is a pro kept trying to push me off pots but would get out of the way when I'd push back. I got him off at least one hand where he almost HAD to have me beat but he'd been folding when I'd re-raise him and then bet out on the next street so I just went with it to see what would happen even though I'd missed the flop.

Mostly I'm just relieved to see my game working and to feel like I'm playing well and with confidence. It has also helped that the games have been on the loose-passive side. Most of the raising came from either me or the guy I suspect is a pro and mostly he and I seemed to be trying to stay out of each other's way. I know I was not playing anything close to a marginal hand if he was already in even though he could be very creative in what he'd play or raise, much more so that I am at this point. My game is still very straightforward and that's why I don't quite understand why nobody, or almost nobody seems to notice. I know I should mix it up more but it's working like this so I hesitate to change up and do anything that is slightly less comfortable and more risky. I do wonder if I am maximizing my winnings. I think I've got a handle on minimizing my losses thankfully so maximizing winnings is next. I think I did pretty well at that though.

All in all I'm a happy camper. I've made my expenses for the trip provided I don't have any really bad sessions now. It feels so good to have the bear off my back and feel good about poker again. I know I have a long way to go. I've not played any tournaments this trip as yet because nothing has really looked appealing so far. There's a lot to be said for cash game play least it can more steadily pay the bills.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Make that four

33rd out of 45 in my 4th one today. Raised 5 times the big blind under the gun with pocket Jacks. Somebody in Middle position called Cut off went all in. I had him covered by about 300 chips. I thought about it for a while and re-raised all in. Middle position called with about 225 more chips than the Cutoff man had. Three all-in with a side pot of about 450. I forget now what the Middle position guy had but it was junk. Cut off had AJ off suit. I'm thinking great all i've got to do is dodge an Ace. Wanna guess what the flop had in it? An Ace you say? No My luck is not even that good it had TWO aces so I was drawing dead. Cutoff wins the pot, triples up. I win the side pot and have 450 left with blinds of 15/30. My call was not real bright I guess but I think the Cutoff reraising all in was kinda dumb considering my large preflop raise under the gun indicated a very strong hand, had to be easy to read me on a big pocket pair. I actually hoped somebody would think Aces or Kings.

I finally went all in with around 350 chips and blinds of 25/50 from early position with KQ offsuit. I know, it was weak but at 7 times the big blind I couldn't be too picky I felt. AT least this time I was beat by a real hand. A Queen hit and the one person in the hand after the third caller folded showed AQ so I was out kicked.

It's been one of those times that I don't know if my decisions are suspect or I'm just having realy bad luck. Some of both I suppose. I'm really doubting any and every decision I make now and just fully expect to be out drawn no matter what I play. How do you get out of this mindset?

I need a mentor. I'd kill for a mentor. None on the horizon and who'd want to waste their time trying to teach me anyway?

Bad time for a slump

I appear to be in a very large slump, either that or I just can't play and if I suggest that I get yelled at so I'll just assume that the Poker Gods are against me. Three 45 seat sit and go tournaments today and no finish better than a stinking 16th. I could have sat out and been blinded out slower.

It is going to be very hard to go to Tunica feeling like this and play well. I'm starting to play very defensively, always assuming I'm going to be outdrawn because so much I am being out drawn. It makes me very easy to be out played so this trip is probably not gonna be good on my bankroll. I guess I have to do it though even though my whole being is screaming that this is the wrong thing. But I've been wrong so much lately I don't even trust that.

I hate playing like this and feeling like I'm constantly being out played. Sigh...I guess this too shall pass, lets just hope it does before my entire bankroll does. I DID get a 6th in one SnG earlier this week that paid for a little bit of this. What worries me is that any tournaments and cash games I will be playing in Tunica have MUCH more power to damage my bankroll than the little crap I've been playing online.

Actually the fact that I'm playing low buy in stuff may be hurting me because you can't fold these people up by having or representing a good hand, even when they have total crap they will usually call and frequently suck out. I wish I had the guts to really step up and risk some decent money on buy ins...oh well...maybe I'm learning something this way.


Friday, October 7, 2005

I couldn't even come up with a title for this entry so that should tell you it'll be all over the map at the best.

The closest thing I have to a positive note as far as poker goes right now is that I did finish the month of September ahead. Not nearly as much as I would have liked but enough to net the Red Cross $300 from me for the month's winnings.

I'm really missing being able to get to Gulfport/Biloxi. I should be there right now for the end of the WSOP circuit event that would have been there. As it is I have no real viable venue to play live poker. Lets face it Daytona pretty much sucks both the game and the facility. Melbourne is little better. Jacksonville is the best game and facility. All are hardly worth the time to drive there and the gas it costs to get there.

Online poker is not being fun. Actually poker in general is not being fun. It's been a very lonely thing lately and I have enough loneliness in my life. I wish I could find a way to rekindle the spark of excitement that I had. There must be a way. Right now when I play I feel 'flat' I can't describe it better than that. It's like I can't connect with the game.

For a while I'm going to back off, try to find other things to do and just play from time to time purely as entertainment. Hurts to say it but if I play right now what I'm really going to hurt is my bankroll, I'm just not playing well.

Partly right now it's the crappy weather speaking I think. Hopefully that will clear up and given time maybe poker will work again.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Another Final Table

This afternoon I played the $5+.50 buy-in tournament on UB. I play that one or the one in the morning several times a week. I've gotten where I cash fairly regularly which is very encouraging. I made the final table again today. At one point I was even leading.

I ended up finishing 7th after a somewhat dubious call. Ok maybe it was a stupid call. I was getting short stacked though with barely over 10x the big blind and when I hit top pair I went for it only to be shown top TWO pair by the chip leader. Well that's why he was the chip leader and I was out in 7th I guess :)

I'm learning and make fewer stupid plays like that now. Usually I limp along the whole tournament with a short stack just barely hanging on. I can generally make the money just doing that but it's a hell of a nerve-wracking way to play. Today was nice with plenty of chips to play with most of the day. I felt, if anything, like I played a bit on the timid side too much of the time but by no means all the time of course.

Maybe it's time to start playing some larger buy-in tournaments. I've played $10 and $20 tournaments online and cashed in both although I have yet to make a final table at one. I've also played UB's $200+$15 Sunday evening tournament after winning a seat for $3 in a rebuy satellite. I didn't cash in that one but felt like I was competative. I keep playing the satellites but have yet to win another seat. I've actually been wondering about just buying in. Probably I won't do this unless I win the $215 in some other tournament either a satellite or some other tournament. The $10 and $20 buy in tournaments could provide a good source of buy-ins for larger tournaments. I just need to step out and take a chance. I think it's time to try to step my game up to a new level. I'm getting too comfortable here. Actually right where I am could be very useful once Connie is teaching, the money I'm making would actually help us then. Now it could be better used being plowed back into trying to find out how good I can get at this game.

I guess I need to keep referring back to the entry I wrote about "Live like you were dying." I'm not dying but why wait? :)

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

An apology to pocket Queens

Lots I should catch up on here since lots has gone on since my last entry. I had no idea it had been that long and I will catch up on poker doings soon.

Right now though I owe pocket Queens a little bit of an apology. They CAN work out fabulously as this hand shows...

Hand #8113211-10750 at Madrid ($.50/$1 Hold'em)
Powered by UltimateBet
Started at 13/Sep/05 11:43:50
     goirish8 is at seat 0 with $47.35.
     wingnut_willy is at seat 1 with $22.50.
     pikoo is at seat 2 with $38.65.
     glenn453 is at seat 3 with $45.45.
     Country Livin is at seat 4 with $2.65.
     guru4yall is at seat 5 with $41.35.
     ToBones is at seat 6 with $57.95.
     bellypelly is at seat 7 with $17.25.
     St of Killers is at seat 8 with $23.55.
     mancie is at seat 9 with $77.75.
     The button is at seat 9.
     goirish8 posts the small blind of $.25.
     wingnut_willy posts the big blind of $.50.

     goirish8:  -- --
     wingnut_willy:  -- --
     pikoo:  -- --
     glenn453:  -- --
     Country Livin:  -- --
     guru4yall:  Qh Qc
     ToBones:  -- --
     bellypelly:  -- --
     St of Killers:  -- --
     mancie:  -- --

          pikoo folds.   glenn453 folds.   Country Livin calls. 
          guru4yall raises to $1.   ToBones folds.   bellypelly
          folds.   St of Killers calls.   mancie folds. 
          goirish8 folds.   wingnut_willy calls.   Country Livin

Flop (board: 7s Qs Qd):
          wingnut_willy checks.   Country Livin checks. 
          guru4yall checks.   St of Killers checks.  

Turn (board: 7s Qs Qd 6d):
          wingnut_willy checks.   Country Livin checks. 
          guru4yall bets $1.   St of Killers folds. 
          wingnut_willy raises to $2.   Country Livin folds. 
          guru4yall calls.  

River (board: 7s Qs Qd 6d 2c):
          wingnut_willy bets $1.   guru4yall raises to $2. 
          wingnut_willy calls.  


     guru4yall shows Qh Qc.
     guru4yall has Qh Qc 7s Qs Qd: four queens.
     wingnut_willy mucks cards.
     (wingnut_willy has Kc 7h.)

Hand #8113211-10750 Summary:
     $.60 is raked from a pot of $12.25.
     guru4yall wins $11.65 with four queens.

Wasn't a very big game but it adds up, at the least these $0.50/$1.00 games pay my tournament buy ins :) Hands like this help too!

Friday, August 26, 2005

Tough week

This is being a tough week. I've not had a decent tournament showing since I took third in the $65 buy in morning tournament at MGM a week ago tuesday. I think that mostly I'm just having bad luck but I also wonder if that accounts for all of it. For that matter I'm starting to once again question if my limited successes have been more luck than skill. It's so easy to start doubting yourself and I know no one who can sit down with me and analyze what I've been doing or watch while I play and critique my play. Oh how I'd love to find a mentor but with my virtual inability to make friends that is very unlikely to happen. I'll just have to spend some more time in books and keep practicing and hope that my skills get better and I find some luck somewhere along the way (other than bad luck, that I have plenty of.).

I should have posted an entry about the MGM tournament I got third in when I was still on a high from it and believed it wasn't just luck that got me there. Now is not the time to write about it. Oh well.

I'm off to get some tums or something, the 27 seat sit and go's I've busted out of tonight have me feeling like I'm getting an ulcer...also has me wanting chocolate, a lot of chocolate. Sigh.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

WSOP Circuit Event

I've been watchng the WSOP circuit events that ESPN has been covering as they work up to showing the 2005 WSOP. Even with all that it never occured to me to look on the web site to see when and where this year's circuit events would be held. A friend of Connie's told her that there will be one in Biloxi coming up before too long. I'd heard that the Biloxi Grand Casino was getting some sort of major poker tournament. That led me to finally check out the schedule.

I wish I'd checked it out earlier because starting tomorrow, August 11th and stretching through August 25th there will be an event in Tunica. I've always wanted to go to Tunica and this would have been the perfect time to go. Alas I've got my Vegas trip scheduled for most of that time period so I can't go.

The good news is that there is indeed an event coming up in Biloxi. It will be September 29th through October 12th. I've got mixed feelings about it. I have major questions as to whether I'm good enough to give it a shot but I'm excited about the opportunity.

I try to remind myself of that "Live like you were dying" philosophy I claimed I would try to live. Of course fiscal responsibility enters into the mix too. I will NOT be buying into the main event. Not with a $10,000 buy in I won't. On the other hand there will be continuous satellites and other smaller events. I can see very easily trying the $300 and $500 buy in events. Those I have enough for in my poker bankroll at the moment. I'd cheerfully use the results of cashing in one of those tournaments to buy into the main event if I don't just win a seat through the satellite process.

Like I said in my earlier entry I'm questioning my skill and ability somewhat but I think I have to give myself a shot, test myself against the people that are doing what I want to do. Only in that way can I know for sure where I stand. I'll be doing it with money I can afford to use, indeed with money set aside specifically to be used for that kind of thing. I've been almost hoarding it, afraid to lose it. If I keep that up I won't lose it....but I won't ever find out if I could have done more either.

Time to stop talking and start...

living like I was dying....

See ya'll in Biloxi Sept 29th through October 12th.

Luck or Skill?

I'm doing horribly in tournaments this week. I'm not sure if it's lack of luck or lack of skill. I wish I knew. I wish I had a little birdie who would sit on my shoulder and tell me if I suck or just have bad luck. Not a good sign when I'm supposed to go to Vegas this coming week. I may take the rest of this week off from poker because even cash games are not going well. I'm just trying to decide what will get me to Vegas in the best frame of mind. Actually if I could cancel it now I would but the air fare is not refundable. LOL might be cheaper to take that $200 hit than to go try to play though. I hate feeling this way but I have NO feedback other than my results and they suck. I need poker playing friends who can and will watch and discuss my good moves and my bone-headed ones. This is one of those times I really regret my total inability to make new friends. Well I'll muddle through and just hope that luck will smile on me.

Wednesday, August 3, 2005

Two Satellites, two disappointing finishes

I played two satellites today both $3 rebuy satellites for main events on Sunday.

The first was on UB and early on I had pocket aces overtaken by a worse hand and had to rebuy. I finally went out in that one when, holding pocket 8's,  I called an all in from a loose player. They flipped over pocket 7's and you'd think I was home free but fate didn't have that in mind, a 7 flopped and I didn't manage an 8 or the 10 I needed for a straight. My day was done, out in 20th place with 40 entries in that one.

The next satellite was on Poker Stars and was for the Sunday $500,000 guaranteed event. I played fairly well and decided to take the add on at the end of the rebuy period. I was not near the lead but I was roughly at the average stack size. Just before the second break at the 200/400 level (50 ante) I picked up pocket aces and made a healthy preflop raise. One other player raised me all-in with enough to cover my 8000+ chips. I couldn't not call. I really needed to double up. I hate calling off all my chips but I'd have gone all-in preflop if I thought I'd get a caller or two. He flipped over pocket 9's and you guessed it a 9 flopped ending my day. There were 392 entries in that one and I was out in 152nd. I needed to be in the top 19 for a seat that time.

Obviously this was just not my day but tomorrow will be another day.

Connie and I may go check out the Amateur Poker League thing they have at a local billiards place on Wednesday nights. The weather is REALLY bad though so it may not be worth going out. She just called and said she is not even leaving work until it settles down some. I'm interested to see how this league thing works since they don't play for money, just points or something. If it's decent poker it could be fun and good practice and have the side benefit of meeting some local people who play poker. I'm sure if and when I finally get there I'll write about it here.

Friday, July 29, 2005

July Tournament Play

The month of July has been a good one for me. Tournaments were especially encouraging. I played 7 live tournaments and was in the money three times with three final table appearances.

While Connie and I were in Vegas I played in 4 tournaments. Three were low buy in tournaments at the Gold Coast but in the last one I got 5th for 4 times my buy in. The fourth one in Vegas was the single WSOP super satellite I played. I wish now I'd started earlier and played more of them. I was intimidated by the prospect at the time. After finishing in the top 1/3 of the field while doing no rebuys and no addons I feel much better about my prospects for next year.

In Gulfport last week I played three tournaments. The Monday NL rebuy tourney, the Wednesday Limit rebuy and the Thursday NL freezeout.

On Monday I once again never did a rebuy and didn't do the add on. I made the final table very short stacked but managed to finish 8th. I got $270 for my efforts with a total investment of $15, not bad at all I don't think. It was amazing really, there were 95 entries, 310 rebuys and 68 add ons. One guy at the first table I was on must have rebought 10 times. Now you know why I didn't have to, I just kept taking his chips :)

Wednesday's tourney was something I tried because of my success in Vegas and on Monday. I really do NOT like rebuy tournaments and HATE limit tournaments. I figured I have to learn somehow though so I gave it a shot. I even did one rebuy since you got twice the starting chips for a rebuy. It didn't help though and I was out before the break as I determined it was just not worth another rebuy. I'm going to have to read up on Limit tourneys and log some simulator time I guess. I could just skip them but I have a feeling learning to play them could be beneficial to my game. I don't see how it can hurt.

Thursday I was actually late picking Connie up at the airport because I made the final table in the $60 NL freezeout tourney.  I was actually in decent chip position when I made the final table, probably around 5th as near as I could tell. It went up and down with them discussing and turning down deals. A couple of hands hurt me and I finally ended up out in 8th. I got $242 for that one. Naturally they chopped right after that and if I'd held on and let somebody ELSE go out first I'd have been $400 or so richer. Such is life.

Back here in Orlando I played some online tourneys this week. It wasn't going well at all. I barely made the top half of the field in anything early this week. Then one night I helped Connie win one of Poker Stars $1+.20 45 seat sit and go's. She is really pretty good at the early to middle stages of tourneys and I learn a lot from her patience in that phase. I hope she is learning from my aggression in the late middle to late stages though. She likes to just sit back and I find that doesn't work, you need to be attacking, constantly keeping pressure on your opponents. Sure sometimes I get beat that way but I am finishing higher and higher and have won many low buy in tourneys that way.

I played a $20+$2 tourney on UB a few minutes ago. There were 154 entries and I was finally out in 15th getting $30.80 for my efforts. LOL it only amounted to about $3 an hour profit but at least it WAS profit. I felt I played well which is good as early in the week I definately did NOT think I was playing well and it felt like I was being outplayed constantly. I see now that it was mostly me trying to make bad cards work for me. I was very card dead and was not as patient as I maybe could have been.

As much as I hate to admit it I think I may be starting to like tournament play as much and possibly (just possibly) more than cash games. I do like just sitting down to a live cash game though. I can be totally relaxed and enjoy the setting and the people. In the places I usually go and the games I usually play I now feel totally at ease which is cool. I like knowing that if I just play my game I can count on making at least SOME money by the end of the night. I did it again last night in Melbourne. It started out rocky as there was a total maniac on the table raising in the dark but he ran out of money and left. My main regret there is that I never got a hand that would get me any of his money :) I caught some good hands later and also out played a couple people for pots and was up around $22 when I left. Not much but 11 big bets in just a couple hours is not too bad either. It's not gonna make me rich but it was great entertainment.

I'll be heading back to Vegas on August 13. My plan is to play a lot of poker of course. I'll try to do at least one tournament a day for the week I'm there and fill the rest of the time with cash games, probably $2/$4 and $4/$8 at the Gold Coast and $3/$6 at MGM primarily. I may hop around and try out a few other poker rooms too, we'll have to see on that. I'll be hopping around to get in a tournament a day anyway as I'm going to aim for buy in's around $60 each day.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Aruba Satellite

I just finished a $3 + rebuys satellite for an entry to a $200 + $15. Wow was this thing wild! 46 people entered. There were 96 rebuys and 20 of the 29 people left at the end of the rebuy period did the add on. I thought I was just going to bail on this one during the rebuy period, the people were acting totally nuts. I had determined that rebuying would not be worth it. I was down to around 1100 chips when the guy to my right started one all in after another, rebuying when it didn't go his way. He did it in fairly late position meaning few potential callers after me and I had pocket 3's, not a great hand but I figured what the hell, I was so short stacked relative to the leaders that I just went for it. That doubled me up. Then the next hand he did it again and I had pocket 8's so I went for it again and doubled up again. A few hands later I did it again, or nearly and hit the end of the rebuy period very close to average in chips so I went ahead and paid the $3 for an add on.

Things settled down a lot, as you might figure, once the freezeout part started. I managed to move up some and held on well to make it to the final table but I was the small stack at roughly 1/8 or less of the leader. I doubled up on a desperation move with KTs which may have been questionable when I ended up all in against A4s, I had hearts he had diamonds. I caught a ten on the flop and it held up.

I won a few little hands, stole some blinds and held on to where I was 6th with 6 left. That was the bubble. The first two places paid seats and the last 3 cash.

I limped in in the small blind with K7o when the button limped, the big blind checked. The flop came down Q 7 3 rainbow. I bet out on the 7, around half the pot, about 1/4 of my stack I guess. The big blind (the chip leader) raised enough to put me all in. That is where I went brain dead. I called in the rest of my chips with a hand that could not even beat top pair. I had outs but not many. Far better I'd have just folded. I would not have had much to work with but I'd have had SOME chance to finish in the money then. The big blind turned up pocket 9's and my day was done when neither a K or another 7 came on the turn or river. 

Have I learned my lesson? I certainly hope so. No way should I have called like that without top pair and only 6 outs to even beat top pair. Also with the BB having limped in he could have had anything including any two pair. Oh well live and learn. I'm getting so sick of bubble finishes. I did it twice last night in SnG's. Those I think I played well though, just didn't get what I needed when I needed it. I was actually fairly lucky to get to 4th in those considering I was getting nothing much in the way of cards. In the second one I never even saw a real premium hand. I think the best I got was pocket 8's or maybe ATo.

Sometime soon I'll have to write about my poker experiences in Vegas. I had a blast needless to say and just being there while the WSOP was going on was awesome as was playing the one Super Satellite that I played.

On a happier note I've been in Melbourne and Daytona the past two days. Monday night in Melborune I took $65 out of the $2 straight game in around 2 1/2 hours. Tuesday in Daytona I was up $106 in about the same time period. I'd have stayed then but the table was breaking down, again, and didn't look like it was going to come back, also the player mix felt like it was changing and I decided it was as good a time as any to quit while I was ahead.

I've got a trip to Biloxi scheduled for this coming week and after that I think I may take a week off from poker and work on the other house. I'm starting to feel maybe  a little burned out since I've played a lot of hours and every single day for almost a month straight now including what will be three out of town trips in a little over a month.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Home from the Poker Mecca of Las Vegas

I will write an entry covering my experiences of a poker nature while I was in Vegas last week but for now I just wanted to report briefly (honest) on a tournament I just played online. It was a $3 rebuy satellite to UB's $200+$15 Sunday Evening $100,000 guaranteed tournament. I rebought only once and ended up finishing 36th out of 148 when I found my pocket Queens (naturally) up against Kings. To make it worse the other player hit a K on the flop. I briefly thought I'd doubled through when the river made my flush. Unfortunately it also made his full house busting me in 36th. I think I played well, continuing what I felt was overall good play in Vegas last week. I could also have laid down the Queens I guess but that seems like it might have been harder than to make the all in raise I did. At least I raised all-in and didn't call off all my chips. Naturally though he didn't take long to make the call. 

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Bubble Boy

Smiling here. What else can I do? I just went out of yet ANOTHER tournament on the bubble. For the uninitiated that means the last position before the money starts. I mean it's good that I'm getting so high up in the field. This one was another of the 45 players sit and go's and for like the 4th time in the past week I made the final table only to finish out of the money. Maybe my aggression is working against me at that point although it's what has gotten me there usualy. Take tonight. I was just not getting cards and was allowed to limp into a pot where it seemed to me nobody hit the flop so I bet at it. Not enough because I got one caller. Still I just didn't think he had much of it. I did have a tiny piece so when the turn brought an obvious blank I bet a bit bigger and sure enough he gave up. I did that, or something similar several times. I figure if I can't get good cards to play I'll just play the ones I have like they WERE good. Got to be careful of course and I did have to dump a couple of hands when it was obvious that my opponent had hit something but in general it worked great. I'm happy with my tournament play lately and my cash game play as well. Looks like Vegas will be fun next week!

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Biloxi and beyond

The trip to Biloxi went well. The drive itself was good and being there was great. I do love it there. Poker went well too which helped of course.

I had a couple of great sessions in the 1-4-8-8 game and no really bad ones. My hourly earn rate was not what I'd like but I learned a lot about my game and I think it was improving the whole time.

The tournaments didn't go so well. I simply played very poorly. I know I know better but they just 'feel' so different from the online ones I'm used to. The blind structure is radically different with very little time to be patient. I know I need to get used to that though so I'll keep trying. I did have fun anyway, even though I didn't have a very good showing.

I've done very well online since getting back home which kind of validates what I think I learned in Biloxi. I need to go to Daytona or Melbourne soon. That $2 straight game is weird though but its worth a shot. I also want to get to either Tampa or Jax but those pretty much require overnight stays. Still that could happen before Vegas on the first of July.

I'm looking forward to that trip. I'm not sure what to expect. Mostly i'm going with the idea of just having a ball.

That's about it for now. I'm sure I'll have more to say soon...

Thursday, June 9, 2005


Finally I won one of those 5 table 45 person sit and go's on Poker Stars. I played two tonight. In the first one I finished 8th, on the bubble and one out of the money. I felt like I played well in both though, especially in the one that I won of course. I'm having a lot of fun in these. I'm wondering if I'm playing better, if the structure is suited to my game or if the competition is just soft, they are very low buy in tournaments after all. So far I've played six of these and made the final table (nine players) in four of them.

If Tropical Storm Arlene does not keep me out of the Biloxi/Gulfport area starting on Sunday then i'll play the Monday and Thursday NL rebuy tournaments in Gulport. I don't know that I'll make the final table but I hope to play well. I'm also looking forward to the 1/4/8/8 game and maybe even the 6/12 that Biloxi spreads sometimes. Hopefully Arlene will move quickly and be gone from that area by Sunday Afternoon when I should be there.

Then July 1 is our trip to Vegas. I'm starting to really look forward to that as well now that I'm regaining a bit of confidence in my game. I miss having somebody to sweat me when I play online like I did for a while. It helped settle me down I think and really THINK about what I was doing since I was sort of teaching (scary thought) as I played.

I know I've got a LONG way to go but I feel now like I'm making progress.


Wednesday, June 8, 2005

Fun, but maybe not very nice

I was reading Card Player magazine a while ago in the reading room, you know, the one with the porceline seat. There was an article by Phil Hellmuth about raising in the dark. The gist of what he said was that he will sometimes raise in the dark (without looking at his cards) to the cap if possible preflop. Then he will bet out every round. If somebody bets first or raises then and only then does he look. I've read Phil's book Play Poker Like the Pros and his strategy didn't work well for me. I had trouble being that aggressive I guess. But I figured what the heck I'll give this raising in the dark thing a shot.

First I did it on the Wilson simulator and was pleasantly surprised to see that it works fairly well. It was a short test so it may well be luck. After all it it worked in the long run I would think you'd see it more.

Next I got on Paradise, a site I seldom play anymore, and tried it on a $0.02/$0.04 table. I think the players there must hate me although nobody said anything. I think one guy had figured out what I was doing and played along. It's harder there cuz you can't NOT look at your cards easily but I stuck a piece of a post-it over the spot on the screen my cards would come up and that did the trick.

I only played about half an hour but it turned out surprisingly well. I bought in for $2 and cashed out with $2.79 down from a high of $3.13. I did get lucky and win one huge hand. By this time I'm sure they were all thinking I was full of s*** and I got lucky enough to pick up AK and then hit the nut straight (and the nuts) on the turn. Because nobody put me on an actual hand they kept raising and capped both the turn and river.

I have my doubts how well it would work at higher limits, or whether I'd have the guts to even try it. I think I worry too much about the other player's perception of me which is really stupid since this is NOT a popularity contest. Besides if they don't like the way I am playing they can find another table. Actually doing this some might be good for me on the sites I play most because I know I have an ultra-tight reputation, at least if anybody is paying attention. Lately I've been playing tight as ever and worse semi-passive. Who knows maybe this raising in the dark thing of Phil's will help me loosen up slightly and get my aggression back.

I'm sure I'll do it again but I have to admit I wouldn't want to play against somebody who's doing it very often. On the other hand playing this way gave me some very interesting insights into my game and the game of others. It also should, I hope, teach me now to play against somebody who is doing this or maniacs in general.

Whether or not this was a good idea it was fun as hell so I'm sure I'll be doing it again.

Tuesday, June 7, 2005

Not exactly the big time but fun...

I found a very fun tournament on Poker Stars this afternoon. Seems they have just started having 45 seat (5 table) sit and go tournaments with a buy in of $1 + $0.20.
They pay to 7 places and first place is $14. Not a bad payout for a $1.20 investment. Great practice for small tournaments I'd think also.

I did very well in my first one. I was actually leading through most of the middle stages. I started sliding back as we neared the final table and hit the final 9 fairly short stacked. Still I held on and got 5th. That paid $5, also not bad for a $1.20 investment considering the fun I had.

There is still lots of room for improvement in my game. I'm pretty sure I was being outplayed a fair amount but then most of the people I thought were outplaying me went out before I did so maybe not. Over all it was not only fun but very encouraging. I will definately do more of them. It only took an hour and a half, probably 2 hours or less to the very end. That's not bad either.

Wednesday, June 1, 2005

I still don't have much confidence in my abilities but I recognize that it's not really about poker but life in general. I've been playing very low limit games online and doing ok. I've also been to Daytona a few times and have done acceptably. I don't feel like in either of those venues I'm being outplayed much at any rate. That is not saying a whole lot I realize but it's something. Nice to know I'm as good as somebody if not better.

I played a tiny little $1 sit and go today and finished second. Overall I feel I played acceptably. I even made a few good plays I think. I also kept the bad plays to a minimum. I got heads up with about an 8 to 1 chip advantage though and managed to end up finishing second. Still I think I played ok.

I've got a trip to the Gulfport-Biloxi area of Mississippi coming up June 12-17. I hope to play a couple of NL tournaments and a lot of their 1-4-8-8 cash game. Mostly I want to go have fun and relax, walk on the beach, play some video poker as well, eat at a buffet or two (and still try to stay within  my WW points).

July 1-7 Connie and I are going to Vegas. I'm no longer sure at all about trying to get into a satellite. I'll see how I do in Gulfport I guess. I know we'll have fun in Vegas though. I could spend a whole week just walking up and down the strip exploring the hotels and casinos. We'll have a car and I plan to visit some of the off strip locals casinos where they have good video poker. I do hope to play some low limit hold'em while I'm there too of course but doubt I'll get over $2-$4 unless I somehow magically acquire some confidence between now and then.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Done all I can do...

Time to face facts. I do not play winning poker. I cannot fool myself for any longer.

Oh sure, I can have winning sessions but overall I do not play winning poker. I do not know if it's lack of skill or lack of luck. I have no friends to advise me. I have no one to even discuss it with.

I will probably play casually from time to time hoping to hit a rare lucky winning session. Other than that I'll just find another hobby. One that can be done alone.

I'm certainly done embarrasing myself by writing about poker and making people think i'm actually competent which I am not. For anybody that did read this, thank you. If you happen to be a fan of poker hang in there, don't let me discourage you. There are plenty of bad players to take advantage of. Who knows you might find me at the tables, you could make a bundle that way.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Night and Day

Strange game poker. This afternoon I played a bit less than an hour and could do no wrong. The table broke up with me up me up $31. I was hitting everything. At one point with AJo under the gun the flop came JAJ naturally I got no action even after I checked. I didn't think anybody had an Ace but was hoping maybe for a pocket pair or somebody who thought a King might be good. The turn came a 3 which didn't help anybody unfortunately and then an A on the river sealed it. I bet out hoping somebody would think it was a bluff but they all folded. Still was a neat hand even if it was a small pot.

The best hand of the night was flopping the nut straight on a rainbow flop and having somebody cap the flop and turn with me. He wised up by the river but it was too late and I pulled in $31 on that hand alone.

This evening other than the hand I just mentioned I was either not hitting at all or hitting the second best hand most of the night. I felt totally beat up after around 2 hours of play. I also was down most of the $30 that I was up this afternoon.

Like I said, strange game poker, it can really be night and day in how it goes.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Out kinda early in another tournament

Just got bounced out of the 2:00 tournament on UB in 172nd place. 340 started. I was off to a quick start then slid back. I had a respectable if not fantastic chip count when this last hand came up. I felt the gamble was worth it...obviously I wish I had it to do over but then i'm not so sure it was such a bad thing. The main thing I think I did wrong was not raise pre-flop. I'd love to hear different if anybody would care to critique it :) (like anybody reads this...except you Robin..thanks for hanging in there through something that must be like Greek to you).

Here is the hand, you decide, how badly did I screw up?

Hand #5870958-60 at Tue2pmA-014 (No Limit tournament Hold'em)
Powered by UltimateBet
Started at 10/May/05 14:56:23
     guru4yall is at seat 0 with 2145.
     murt is at seat 1 with 2230.
     packman25 is at seat 2 with 3190.
     N8dogg2231 is at seat 3 with 2635.
     BigBlueNation is at seat 4 with 2530.
     Showpony is at seat 5 with 4810.
     Tooley is at seat 6 with 5690.
     Trout Bum is at seat 7 with 1395.
     jantan is at seat 8 with 660.
     dedave is at seat 9 with 1840.
     The button is at seat 1.
     packman25 posts the small blind of 30.
     N8dogg2231 posts the big blind of 60.

     guru4yall:  9d 9h
     murt:  -- --
     packman25:  -- --
     N8dogg2231:  -- --
     BigBlueNation:  -- --
     Showpony:  -- --
     Tooley:  -- --
     Trout Bum:  -- --
     jantan:  -- --
     dedave:  -- --

          BigBlueNation folds.   Showpony calls.   Tooley folds.
           Trout Bum calls.   jantan calls.   dedave folds. 
          guru4yall calls.   murt calls.   packman25 calls. 
          N8dogg2231 checks.  

Flop (board: 3c Ts 8d):
          packman25 checks.   N8dogg2231 checks.   Showpony
          checks.   Trout Bum checks.   jantan checks. 
          guru4yall bets 400.   murt calls.   packman25 folds. 
          N8dogg2231 folds.   Showpony folds.   Trout Bum folds.
           jantan folds.  

Turn (board: 3c Ts 8d Qh):
          guru4yall goes all-in for 1685.   murt calls.  

          Tournament all-in showdown -- players show:
               guru4yall shows 9d 9h.
               murt shows 7c Tc.

River (board: 3c Ts 8d Qh Kc):
        (no action in this round)


     guru4yall has 9d 9h Ts Qh Kc: a pair of nines.
     murt has Tc Ts 8d Qh Kc: a pair of tens.

Hand #5870958-60 Summary:
     No rake is taken for this hand.
     murt wins 4590 with a pair of tens.

Sunday, May 8, 2005


Nothing spectacular to report really. I played two tournaments this weekend. Both were low buy in's. I feel I did pretty well, no major mistakes, just didn't get what I needed to get in the money in either.

I played a $1/$2 cash game this evening and it started horribly. What I'm satisfied with is that I stuck to it and came out ahead. It took two hours to get to where I was up $5 but I came back from nearly $30 down early on. I feel I stuck to my game, played it the best I could and it worked out. Luck was up and down the whole night but obviously was slightly more up than down which is always good. If I'd been playing a $50/$100 table I'd have even made enough money to be useful :) Oh well, that will come in time.

Lots of learning in my future yet before I'm ready for anything much later than the $1/$2 tables. The notable exception would be the $1/$4/$8/$8 tables in Biloxi and Gulfport where I've always done well. I thought seriously about going this coming week but hesitated to do so because Connie has been gone so much and I've barely seen her. I've been so cranky though this weekend she probably wishes I'd go I imagine. I'm still thinking I may go. I could leave Tuesday and stay over Friday night. Normally I don't but there's no reason I can't if I can get a room. If not I can just come back on Friday.

We've, maybe, got a game here at home Saturday so I have to be back for that. I'm not sure anyone is even coming though. We'd had such poor turnouts that this is going to be the last one we try to organize. Anybody want to play Saturday night? Let me know and I'll give you directions :) (I'm not holding my breath on that one!)


Thursday, May 5, 2005

Stubborn or Stupid, that is the question.

Do you ever keep trying the same thing over and over again and start to wonder if it's because you're stubborn and exhibiting sticktoitiveness (ok so that's not a word...but it is in our house) or if you're being stupid and should just give up?

I went to Daytona yesterday in a driving rainstorm to play poker. Partly it was because I was lonely and tired of looking at these four walls. Partly it was because, as badly as it's been going, I just seem to love this silly game called poker.

It went well on all counts though. I played my game for the most part, a tad looser than usual because that game is so loose. I was also a tad passive I guess but that seems to work better there, especialy as tight as I play. If I play tight aggressive there I tend to fold the table up. I'm learning when to do it because I have a marginal hand that would likely be out-drawn and when not to because I have a strong hand that is unlikely to be beat.

The people were fun too. It's funny how sometimes a table will not talk at all and sometimes they will be one big happy family. I recognized a few of them and I think they were almost all regulars, even the ones I did not recognize. Oddly that is the problem playing in Daytona, not enough tourists. You'd think a city like Daytona would be loaded with tourists playing poker but that's not the case. Of course the poker room there is hardly a tourist draw. I doubt many tourists even know it's there.

It's hidden in the shadow of the Daytona International Speedway, miles from the beach, and frankly is kind of a pit. For all that I'm very glad I went though. I needed that interaction and winning a bit didn't hurt.

The night before last, Tuesday night that would be, I was really down about things. In part because I was lonely and missing Connie but poker was also going horribly. I have had more bad suckouts against me in one week than I can remember. I started drinking a bottle of wine that was in the fridge and normally I just flat will not play when i've had anything to drink.

Tuesday night I just had nothing else to do but play so I went to one of UB's micro limit tables. I actually had FUN. Probably more fun than i've had playing poker in quite a while. As Jennifer told me when I chatted with her maybe I just needed to kick a little ass. That I did. It was kinda like shooting ducks in a barrel though and I felt a little guilty about it. The people that play the 1 cent/ 2 cent tables are usually just learning and are making their first foray into real money play. I felt bad, kinda, for what I did to them. On the other hand maybe I gave them a little better feel for what it will be like when they move into larger stakes games, not that the $1/$2 tables I haunt are big games but they are 100 times larger than those micro limit tables. I especially had fun with one player who was trying to bully the table. Go figure that there at THAT table i'd get good cards but he (or she) tried it once too often and ran into me when I had good cards like three times in a row and I cut him off at the knees every time. It's kinda sick maybe but it felt good to put him in his place. I did it nicely, never made disparaging comments, just enjoyed the action while chatting with others at the table about the relative merits of different live poker rooms we'd played. LOL that may have bothered the guy more than anythng else. I was beating him without seeming to be paying attention to doing it. I'll never get rich playing at micro limit tables where the buy in a a whole $1 but on the other hand i've discovered I can have a lot of fun there. I guess there's nothing wrong with finding a game you can crush easily if you're having a down time in your normal game. I was also relaxed enough to actually talk at the table, something I seldom do if I'm playing seriously. Maybe that was a lesson too. Hmmm

Anyway that is the report for this rainy Thursday. Weight watchers in a bit and then Survivor tonight. Oh...and i'm sure i'll squeeze some poker into the day somewhere as well...ya think?

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

What's wrong?

I am either totally unlucky or have zero poker skills. I've been doing so horribly that it's really not even fun the last day or so. It really started Sunday in Tampa I just felt like I was playing lousy and while I felt like I played well yesterday and today I've had crappy results with today being nearly disasterous.

I'm seriously considering not going to Vegas now. I know I'm kidding myself. I'll never be more than a low to average level player. All I can say is that it's cheaper than  golf.

Hard to believe also that I can manage to be lonely playing with all those people but I have NO friends who are poker players. Connie plays but would rather not discuss the game. It's purely casual entertainment for her. I had one friend who seemed to have a bit of an interest and to be fairly serious but that is no more.

I've found one more thing that not only am I seemingly any good at but am all alone doing. Oh well I'm not really surprised I guess. I should have figured  it would go this way. I'm tired of going on alone with no feedback or anything.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Sunday Tournament

Connie loves tournaments and when she decided to play Paradise Poker's 4:00 Big Buck tournament I figured why not, it's only a buck after all. The blinds in this one go up very rapidly so you really have to play a lot. I was doing pretty well when, with blinds at 200/400 with 25 antes and 3600 or so chips I got pocket tens. One smaller stack went all in and had one caller, I raised all in and was called. My pocket tens were in second place it turned out as the small stack had 7's and the bigger stack (naturally) had Q's. The flop came QTA meaning the 7's were just about drawing dead and I was drawing really thin with only very few outs. My hopes were for running JK to make a straight or the sole remaining T. The turn came another A giving us both full houses but mine was the smaller. I now had one out on the river. A 6 fell and I was done in 319th but out of 1234 who started I guess it could have been worse. I think I put my money in when I needed to so I feel good about that.

The weekend's cash games have been disappointing. Yesterday I could get nothing going at all. On the other hand I didn't lose much so considering that I spend hours being card dead that's not bad. I had a so so session this morning that at least has me ahead for the weekend so far. I'm sure I'll play some more, maybe even trying some cash games on Poker Stars or one of their two table sit and go's.


Thursday, April 14, 2005

Fun over profit

I think sometimes I focus too much on trying to make money playing and not enough on having fun. Last night I felt like playing a Sit n Go but didn't feel like investing much because I've not been playing much no-limit this week and was feeling pretty un-lucky anyway. I decided to just play a $1+.10 one on UB. At first I thought, "why bother, you stand to win a whole $5 for over an hours work." Then I figured out I was kind of looking at it wrong. Not only would I get just as much fun out of playing a $1 SnG as I would a larger one but it would be good practice and besides what other game can I play for an hour or hour and a half and MAKE money? I mean if I was to go play golf it would take four hours and cost $30 with no hope of making any back. (I stand a LOT better chance making money at poker than I EVER will at golf!!!)

Anyway I played it and I won it. Not only am I $5 richer (minus the $1.10 cost) but I got about an hour and fifteen minutes entertainment as well as some decent practice. The competition was a tad soft, the table very loose passive which makes it very easy to play with my tight aggressive style. In the early stages I just mostly sat and let them bash each other apart. Once it got down to 6 people and the blinds got up around 50/100 I started to play a bit more. Luck was with me and I got the hands I needed when I needed them and I found myself with over 11,000 chips (of 15,000 on the table) with three people left. I got a scare briefly when I got down to heads up and lost a couple of hands to find myself tied with the other player. I just hunkered down and pulled it out though finally winning on pocket tens against AJo.

In the future I'll be more prone to play for fun I hope and put profit second. Somehow I have a feeling profit will follow eventually and thankfully I don't have to play to eat. I can't even imagine having to play with that kind of pressure.

Friday, April 8, 2005

A Royal Flush!

I just finished a nearly 3 hour session at a $1/$2 table on Ultimate Bet. I felt like I was playing well. I had to wait 20 minutes to get my first hand to play but that was pocket Aces and they held up. I went on a mini rush then and was up a bit before going into another card dead period.

Almost two hours in I got the hand I'm including below. I think I played it about right except that against most opponents I could not have checked the river with any expectation they would bet but I had a feeling he thought I was weak and would bet. I'm not sure WHY I thought that since I had check raised him on the river. He struck me as a decent player having a bad run but I don't understand his play on this hand at all.

Hand #5156122-10373 at Arlington ($1/$2 Hold'em)
Powered by UltimateBet
Started at 08/Apr/05 20:50:49
     jonrash is at seat 0 with $101.25.
     btn72 is at seat 1 with $36.
     jknow56 is at seat 2 with $24.
     WinConsultant is at seat 3 with $44.25.
     Rich_P is at seat 4 with $55.75.
     tjrdawg is at seat 5 with $100.
     VampireFox is at seat 6 with $53.50.
     GAMBLERMAS is at seat 7 with $26.
     Kirker is at seat 8 with $27.
     guru4yall is at seat 9 with $110.75.
     The button is at seat 7.
     Kirker posts the small blind of $.50.
     guru4yall posts the big blind of $1.
     tjrdawg posts out of turn for $1.
       jonrash:  -- --
     btn72:  -- --
     jknow56:  -- --
     WinConsultant:  -- --
     Rich_P:  -- --
     tjrdawg:  -- --
     VampireFox:  -- --
     GAMBLERMAS:  -- --
     Kirker:  -- --
     guru4yall:  Qc Kc
          jonrash folds.   btn72 folds.   jknow56 folds. 
          WinConsultant folds.   Rich_P folds.   tjrdawg checks.
           VampireFox folds.   GAMBLERMAS raises to $2.   Kirker
          calls.   guru4yall calls.   tjrdawg calls.  
  Flop (board: Jc 2d 3c):
          Kirker checks.   guru4yall checks.   tjrdawg bets $1. 
          GAMBLERMAS raises to $2.   Kirker folds.   guru4yall
          calls.   tjrdawg calls.  
  Turn (board: Jc 2d 3c Ac):
          guru4yall checks.   tjrdawg bets $2.   GAMBLERMAS
          folds.   guru4yall raises to $4.   tjrdawg calls.  
  River (board: Jc 2d 3c Ac Tc):
          guru4yall checks.   tjrdawg bets $2.   guru4yall raises
          to $4.   tjrdawg calls.  
     guru4yall shows Qc Kc.
     guru4yall has Qc Kc Jc Ac Tc: straight flush, ace high.
     tjrdawg mucks cards.
     (tjrdawg has Jd 4d.)
  Hand #5156122-10373 Summary:
     $1 is raked froma pot of $30.
     guru4yall wins $29 with straight flush, ace high.

Monday, April 4, 2005

Still going well...mostly

Lots to write about since it's been a while since I wrote last. I still feel like I'm on top of my game. Oh I've got plenty of room for improvement make no mistake about it. I fully intend to just keep improving. I've been mostly playing small limit games online, $0.50/$1.00 and $1.00/$2.00 and for two weeks now have been averaging around 10 big bets an hour or more. It's almost scary but considering the hands that show down when I win I guess I'm not surprised. I keep asking myself "what WERE they thinking?"

I made my first trip to the new poker room in the Melbourne Dog Track. It's an interesting place. Nice enough, better than Daytona but not as nice as Jacksonville. It's easier to get to than either though. It's got its downside. First off its a $2 straight game. $2 ever round not a $1/$2 like it should be. I"ve never been able to decide if it is an expensive $1/$2 game or a cheap $2/$4 game. I know I don't like it nearly as much as a real $1/$2 game. I wonder if the state of Florida will ever allow higher limits. Even a $2/$4 game would be nice. I'd love if they'd allow a game like the 1/4/8/8 spread limit game I like in Gulfport. Probably never happen though. The other thing I didn't like about the Melbourne poker room is the 8 person tables. They do it, no doubt, to get 20% more rake by having the extra 2 people from 4 tables make up a 5th table. I'd much rather play a full table of 10. The blinds come around slower and the pots are bigger when you do enter one. Just that may get me to Daytona a fair amount since other than road work on I-95 right now they are just about a wash time wise.

I did fairly well though in my two visits to Melbourne. I was up $62 the first time in two and a half hours and was down $36 in 4 hours the second time. The second visit I was getting sucked out on by unbelievable hands. I know that is a hazard of low limit "no fold 'em hold 'em" but it gets old after a while. It can make for a very up and down day and it did that day. Of course the first day I took advantage of the people playing crap because they did NOT manage to suck out on me so I guess it all evens up...actually since I came out at least a bit ahead it is not so bad.

I'm going to wrap up now but will have more later, including a bit about our home game this past Saturday night.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Have I found something?

I'm back to playing more cash games than tournaments but will try hard to continue to focus more on tournaments at least through WSOP time. Actually playing in that this year is probably not realistic but I'm sure there will be worse players there. I would rather not play being only dead money though. If I play I want to feel I have at least some chance to win it. Can I really play poker on that  level? Realistically no but on the other hand I don't see how I can  learn to play with the big boys if I don't try. Yeah it may not be pretty for a while but I learn pretty good so I have hopes I'll learn every time.

I've been focusing on a small, $0.50/$1.00 cash game UltimateBet and have been consistently beating it  for over a week. In part this is due to having poor  players to take advantage  of although there are some really good ones i've had to watch out for as well. I've also identified and fixed, permenently I hope, some leaks in my game. I'll probably stick to this smaller game for a bit more and then try moving up through the limits once  again.

It could be that I'll do better playing two tables at this level rather than playing a larger limit. There is just some appeal of moving up though. I guess it's an ego thing. Of course there  is also the chance of making more  money and while I do truly enjoy poker I have to be honest  enough with myself to admit that i'm really happiest when i'm making money and happier when I'm making more. It's my one and only source of income at the moment and unless I get moving and sell a novel it will continue that way. Since i'm feeling far more motivated to play poker  rather than slog through re-writes of any of a  few manuscripts I've got I'll be hoping poker works well.

I'd love to get to Gulfport soon to play there but with gas prices now well over $2 a gallon i'm not sure it's economically feasible to go. It would be a great vacation but as a business venture it would be dubious at best. I might actually do better to fly to Vegas. I'm exploring that alternative too since i've always done well in the 1/4/8/8 game in Gulfport and am sure I could  find some low limit games in Vegas I could do decent in.

It just feels good to finally feel on top of my game. I just hope it's not all just a run of good luck. That certainly is a factor but I do think there is a little skill there since I'm getting pretty good at putting people on hands. Now if only i'd listen to my instincts a bit more....

Monday, March 21, 2005

One to learn from

Well I just busted out of the Monday morning 10:00 $5+.50 tournament in 130th place. 243 players started this one. I was playing fairly well although I was surprisingly sleepy for some reason. That is no excuse for the hand I went out on though.  I'll just paste it in here I guess. Surely there can be no harm in revealing the other players screen names so it shouldn't matter. I'll stop doing it if anybody complains. I played it too timidly and then made the mistake of calling off all my chips on the river. I know better. I would have been left with a tad over 900 chips, not good but better by far than being out.

Hand #5005153-57 at Mon10amA-017 (No Limit tournament Hold'em)
Powered by UltimateBet
Started at 21/Mar/05 10:51:08
     guru4yall is at seat 0 with 1715.
     cleverguy13 is at seat 1 with 2060.
     nickalotpot is at seat 2 with 4110.
     johnnysack is at seat 3 with 2890.
     gamebuff5 is at seat 4 with 2195.
     U4ia is at seat 5 with 915.
     1Mo4DaRoad is at seat 6 with 2250.
     midwest PG is at seat 7 with 2915.
     MrOlu is at seat 9 with 2275.
     The button is at seat 6.
     midwest PG posts the small blind of 30.
     MrOlu posts the big blind of 60.

     guru4yall:  Ks Kc
     cleverguy13:  -- --
     nickalotpot:  -- --
     johnnysack:  -- --
     gamebuff5:  -- --
     U4ia:  -- --
     1Mo4DaRoad:  -- --
     midwest PG:  -- --
     MrOlu:  -- --

          guru4yall raises to 180.   cleverguy13 folds. 
          nickalotpot folds.   johnnysack folds.   gamebuff5
          calls.   U4ia calls.   1Mo4DaRoad folds.   midwest PG
          folds.   MrOlu folds.  

Flop (board: 6d 2d 3s):
          guru4yall bets 630.   gamebuff5 calls.   U4ia folds. 

Turn (board: 6d 2d 3s 4s):
          guru4yall checks.   gamebuff5 checks.  

River (board: 6d 2d 3s 4s Jd):
          guru4yall checks.   gamebuff5 goes all-in for 1385. 
          guru4yall goes all-in for 905.   gamebuff5 is returned
          480 (uncalled).  

          Tournament all-in showdown -- players show:
               guru4yall shows Ks Kc.
               gamebuff5 shows Kd Ad.


     guru4yall has Ks Kc 6d 4s Jd: a pair of kings.
     gamebuff5 has Kd Ad 6d 2d Jd: flush, ace high.

Hand #5005153-57 Summary:
     No rake is taken for this hand.
     gamebuff5 wins 3700 with flush, ace high.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Tonight's tournament results

I played Ultimate Bet's $5+.50 tournament at 7:00pm tonight. I was pretty much card dead most of the night. I managed to pick up one good pot and double up on pocket 6's as well as steal the blinds several times. There were really no terribly memorable hands.

710 people started the tournament and I went out in 147th with the blinds at 150/300. I had 2500 or so chips left in the big blind. Everybody folded to the small blind who raised to 600. I called with Ad6c. The flop came all low diamonds. The small blind bet out 300. I thought about it a bit and decided to raise all-in hoping really to win the pot right there but figuring any A, 6 or diamond might win it for me. The SB called after a lot of thought and showed A3 giving him a pair of 3's and putting me behind and with 3 fewer outs than i'd hoped. As it was any diamond or any 6 would give me the hand. That gave me 13 outs. Unfortunately none of them hit and out I went. I still feel I put my remaining chips in in the right situation. I could have won the pot outright and did have quite a few outs even if I got called.

That's it for tonight. I'm going to chat for a while and then go to bed so no more poker tonight.


Welcome to my journal. I envision this as a way to capture my triumphs and tragedies as I play my way, hopefully, to better and better poker. I will probably rant about bad beats and suck outs i've suffered as well as from time to time gloating about the same i've laid on other poor people who will probably be ranting in their own journals about me :)

The name of the journal, Pocket Queens is kind of a joke in that it's arguably my least favorite of hands. Oh I know it's a fairly good starting hand in Texas Hold'em but it's hurt me so many times! It has hurt me when I hold it and hurt me when I play against it. Just yesterday it bit me in the ass again when I was holding pocket deuces and the flop came 2QQ. I'm thinking, wow, flopped a full house, this is great. All seemed well until the cards were turned over and I saw that I'd been behind the whole time as my opponent had flopped quad Queens. Should I have been able to tell? I mean he did play fairly hard and there were a couple of hands he could have had that had me beat from the beginning. He could have had the QQ he did have or could have had Q2 and I'd have been behind. I just figured him for something like QA. Oh well, live and learn but that's just another example of why I really don't like Pocket Queens much.

I hope you, the reader will like Pocket Queens the journal though. Please feel free to comment either in the journal or in email.