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 though...at 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.