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.