Friday, April 30, 2004


Well I sit here reviewing my Poker Tracker stats and here are the financials. All of these figures are from .50/1.00 play at Party Poker, Absolute Poker, and UlimateBet.

89 sessions, $208.25 won, 5,389 hands over 94.62 hours, $2.20/hour or 3.86BB/100 hands.

Nothing to be upset about here. 3.86/100 hands is very respectable from what I’ve been reading on the other blogs. When I started this process I stated that I wanted to take home about 5.15/hour. This has tuned out to be a bit far fetched. In the last two weeks though I have seen my BB/100 drop from the 5BB to the 3BB range. I have though quadrupled my actual hands played since then. With those stats projected out, the upper 2BB\100 range is probably a much more accurate read of my playing ability. Still nothing to be too upset about.

The question now is how do I go from 2BB, to 2.5BB, then 3BB/100. I thought when I started this that playing multiple tables was the answer. It took me a few days to get used to but I can now follow my hands without trouble. I can follow my hands, but not the tables. I feel this is a big distinction. When playing two tables I am playing the cards, not the cards and the players. Perhaps with time that will change but I’m going to drop back to playing just one table at a time for now. I will be operating in more of a comfort level that way. It seems that my swings are just over exaggerated when playing multiple tables. This was more than likely a pure product of my play. They say that playing two tables should just even out your BB/100 but I can’t remember ever having that many losing tables in succession. Almost every night I would have 2 losers to every winner. When I was playing one table I would have 1 loser to every 4 to 5 winners. I just hope that I don’t get bored because of the waiting involved to act with one table.

Another option would be to change levels. Recently several other bloggers have made the move to the 1/2 limit. They have reported success here since the play seems a bit more straight up. This would be something I would consider but I don’t feel my bankroll could handle it. I’m maintaining a bankroll of 300 right now and I would need 600 to comfortably move up. Since an increase in funds is not an option, neither is moving up.

A change of venue is in order. I had such a good run at Party Poker before the last two weeks. It will be difficult to leave but things have not been going my way. I will still play at Party but I’m going to be putting more time in at Absolute. I think I touched on this last week but I’ve decided to play Fri-Sun at Absolute and Mon-Thur at Party. I know I said I was taking the weekend off but my wife works tonight so I might put in one hour at Absolute before bed.

Now starting hand selection. Since I was struggling recently I had dusted off the chart of starting hands I made from Sklansky’s book. I have been referencing the chart over the past week and a half. Since going back to the chart my preflop percentage dropped from my normal 30% range to the 20% range. I wasn’t playing too many hands out of position before according to the chart, but they did allow me to make plays I’m not making now. This has been a product of the multiple tables. Perhaps now I can get back to playing my game rather than a text book game.


Thursday, April 29, 2004

The Road to Recovery

It’s been a very busy past few days and I made some bad decisions at the poker tables. Just sitting down at the tables was the first bad decision. I had so much going on and yet around 11 at night I would log on, exhausted, and play for a few hours. I would like to say it was the stress of the move or bad beats but I believe it was all me. Since starting this blog a few weeks ago I believe I’ve begun over thinking my play. This is the same thing that plagued me when I read Sklansky’s book. I’m trying to get too fancy. I wan’t to write about having huge success yet the harder I try the less I succeed. It’s time to get back to basics. It’s also time to take a few days off. This weekend is the Kentucky Derby and since I work in the industry I’m going to be putting in extra hours. It will afford me an excuse not to play over the weekend and that will be a good thing. I am going to spend some time studying my Poker Tracker info and try to see if it can help me determine some weaknesses. Some of them are glaringly obvious. The problems I can pinpoint are emotional. Specifically my overconfidence that I can thrash other players has led to me getting played in return. I even noticed this twice last night with two different players. I suppose the admission of a problem is the first step in recovery. I am hoping though that Tracker can help me pinpoint some starting hand or post flop technical problems I may have.

I know I haven’t posted in a few days and since I’ve tried to be somewhat stat oriented with this, here how things have stacked up.

April 25 – 178 minutes, -9.04BB, -3.05BB/hour, This marked the end of my first two weeks playing multiple tables at the same time. The numbers for the two week period are:
37.27 hours, +39.49BB, 1.06BB/hour, or 1.11BB/100 hands. This puts me below the curve. From what I’ve been able to gather a good player should be getting 2 to 2.5 BB/100 hands. Still a profits a profit.

April 26 – 126 minutes, -25BB, -11.9BB/hour, I completely screwed the pooch here. I not only ignored my loss limit, (I only played one table this night). But I tilted away my last few dollars just raising for no reason because I was pissed at the other players and I figured if they could do it to me, I should be able to do it to them. As we all know though, it never works that way and hence the big loss.

April 27 – 163 minutes, +5.5BB, +2.02/hour, I had a good time playing this night. Things were going my way and I even laughed about the few bad beats I took. It’s been said before but, attitude can help a lot at the tables.

April 28 – 151 minutes, -10BB, -3.97BB/hour, these were the tables that convinced me to take a break. I was holding my own for the first hour and a half and then I got a run on both tables that put me up. I decided to play another till the big blind came around on both tables and then quit. I did this on one table securing a profit. On the other however I lost a big pot right before the blinds. Since I was already done at the other table I thought I could play just one and guarantee a profit. When I was back in the black I would then quit. I went aggressive trying to secure my victory and a loose player to my right caught on and began pounding my aggression back into me taking me for some big losses. This guy would see every flop so it became inconceivable to me that he could pound me hand after hand. As inconceivable as I thought it was, it didn’t make it any less so. After taking a nice profit he left and another player was waiting quietly in the wings to continue the onslaught. He had a different approach though and was a bit tighter than his predecessor. When we went heads up in a hand he would drive me off mine by going aggressive. I eventually caught on though and fired back at him. He then realized that I had finally gotten it through my thick skull what he was doing and he backed off. It was late, I decided to lick my wounds and go to bed. I’m working on a rather nice loss this week and have virtually wiped out my previous two weeks profit. Thanks to a 15% deposit bonus my bankroll is still intact but the numbers don’t lie. I need a change.

Bad Beat of the Week

This occurred on the 25th. I actually left this table with +15.25BB.
I’m in the BB with AcAh
Everyone calls to the button who folds. With so many callers I should have weary of a drawing hand but I was doing very well at this table so I raise it up.
UTG +1 reraises, two fold, another raise out of the cutoff, SB calls, since no one can beat me at this point I make it four bets, remaining four players call and we see the flop.
Flop 2c4cKd
SB checks, I bet out (with players calling four bets preflop I’m not anticipating a K2 or K4), UTG fold, UTG+1 calls, cutoff raises, SB folds, I call, UTG+1 calls. 3 see the turn.
Turn Ad
I’ve made my trips so I bet out, next two players call.
River 5c
This is my nightmare suit but I bet out anyway. UTG+1 calls, cutoff raises, I can’t get past getting beat with 3 A’s so I make it 3 bets, cutoff calls.
We showdown and the cutoff has 8c6c. He types into the chat “sry suited connectors”.
Someone needed to explain to this guy that 6 & 8 aren’t connected and you really shouldn’t raise preflop, let alone call four bets. Oh well, what are ya goin ta do.

Big Pot of the Week

This was on the 27th. My only winning session so this week.
I’m in the cutoff with KsQs.
Fold to MP1 who calls, fold to me and I call, Button raises, SB, BB, and MP1 call as do I.
Flop 2s7sKc
Table checks to me, I check my flush draw and top pair because I want the button to start us out. Button bets, SB folds, BB calls, MP1 calls, I continue my slowplay and call.
Turn 5d
BB checks, MP1 bets, I call because MP1 led out and I now fear two pair. Button calls, BB calls
River Js
BB checks, MP1 bets out, I raise. My thinking here is that BB has been playing an A hoping to get lucky. MP1 bet on the turn so I’m thinking top pair or two not flush, button just called the bet on the turn so I don’t put him on anything higher than maybe Q’s. Button raises all in for a SB. BB calls, MP1 calls, I should have reraised because the button was all in but his raise did have me confused.
Showdown, Button shows 10h10d, my original thinking was correct. BB shows 9s8s, I was wrong here. MP1 shows Kh5h, and I had him pegged. If only I could see opponents cards like this in every hand. I suppose the pros do and that’s why they’re the pros.


Monday, April 26, 2004

A Quick Note

Hi All, I played last night for a little loss but I finished up for the two weeks. Today is a big packing day as the movers well be here tomorrow. My wife will kill me if she finds me at the computer so I'll have to save my writeup until tomorrow night or Wednesday. Have a great day!

Sunday, April 25, 2004

The Tables Call….

Well I couldn’t stay away so I fired up Absolute Poker and settled in for some playing. Only 2500 players were online total and only 5 .50/1.00 tables were available. Three of these were 6 seated tables which I don’t like and of the remaining two only one had any players at it. I joined up to this table and proceeded to have a pretty good run. Since I was only going to end up playing one table I looked at the tournament listing and found a freeroll was scheduled to start in about an hour. I went ahead and registered and then turned my attention to the ring game.

Table One – 70minutes, +15.25BB, +13.07BB/Hour. This table dried up when the tournament started. About 1,000 players were registered which accounted for almost half the players logged into the site. I obviously was doing well at this table and their were plenty of calling stations. After I had won 3 out of the first 4 hands I played though I couldn’t get but one caller after the flop. Their were some really loose players at the table but they were paying attention and got out of the pots I was in.

Since the table dried up I turned my attention to the tournament. This was a disaster and I was out before the third orbit of the table. On the very first hand I’m on the button and everyone folds to me. I call the bet only to have the blinds fold (yes even the big blind, who could have checked) and I win my first pot. A few hands later I’m In EP and I call with KK. My immediate left goes all in, a MP calls, and I go ahead and call since I can cover the bets. Player to my left shows 88, and MP shows 10 10. An 8 comes on the flop and I crash. I have T140 left but manage to double up an orbit later. After blinds go around I’m on the button and go all in with A9o, everyone folds to MP who calls. He shows QTo and 2 Q’s hit the board sending me packing. Thank goodness it was a freeroll.

Since I had a good run I didn’t have any bad beats in the short period I played. My biggest pot was also uneventful only taking in $13.


Friday, April 23, 2004

Another Day, Another Dollar

Last night was once again uneventful. I’ve adjusted my loss limit strategy to a level I’m comfortable with now and it seems to be working. I’ve decided that when I sit down I will fire up two tables. I will play these two tables in accordance with my aforementioned loss strategy. If I quit one table due to the loss limit or it breaking up, and I am down at that table, I cannot fire up another one until such time as I have profited on the remaining table in an amount to make myself even. As an illustration lets say table one breaks up and at the time I am down –2BB. On table two I am also down –1BB. I will continue to play table two and not start a new table until I am at least +2BB at the table. This in essence puts me at even money between the two tables and I can start another one with a clean slate. If I continue to lose at table two and hit my single table loss limit then I just quit for the night. This means I guarantee myself a loss on the session but it also prevents me from chasing the loss and more than likely losing more money. I believe that I am a good enough player that in the long run I can take these short losses without any real affect to my bankroll.

Now onto last nights play. I’ve gone back to reviewing my old chart of hands I adopted from Sklansky’s book. I’ve discovered that I have cut out some hands that I should be playing in late position. After reintroducing these hands to my play I feel a bit more like a well rounded player at the table. I also discovered that I was perhaps playing some hands in early position that I shouldn’t be. This will hopefully help me out, and so far it seems to be.

Stats: 109minutes – (+2.38BB) – (+1.31BB/hour) slow night but after pulling carpet for 5 hours it was ok. I know I said I was going to paint but the carpet people were coming this morning and my wife wanted to save the money we were going to pay them to do it. After being on my knees pulling staples out of the floor for hours with a pair of pliers I would have much rather just paid someone. Turns out they have a tool that is just run along the floor and it pops the staples right out. DOH! Every day you learn something. I knew when I was doing it there had to be an easier way. I digress.

Table One – 108min. – (+2.38BB) – (+1.32/hour) I was pretty tired and playing this table only because of a loss on table two. I hit a pot put myself in the black and went to bed.

Table Two – 34min. – (-2.5BB) – (-4.41BB/hour) This table broke up, I was staying pretty even up until that point. I had lost a pot I was in on but the cards just hadn’t started for me yet.

Bad Beat of the Night
Well tonight I’ve dedicated this to my big loss of the night.
This took place at table Two.
I have AhKd in big blind.
Fold to MP who raises, fold to SB who raises, I raise to cap it and both call.
Flop AdJc4s
SB checks, I fire out trying to take the pot, MP and SB call
Turn 3d
SB checks, I lead out here expecting to make someone pay to see their flush, MP folds, SB calls.
River 10d
SB checks, I don’t put the small blind on a hand because other than a preflop raise they have been content so fish. I think I might go down to a flush here but I decide to bet into it. SB calls
Showdown - SB shows pocket J’s for three of a kind. I just don’t get the play here. This guy is obviously a calling station but he took me for 4.5BB’s

Big Pot of the Day
I’m dealt 8c8s in SB
UTG calls, UTG+1 calls, EP calls, fold to MP who calls, fold to me, BB checks
Flop Ac3d8d
I’m instantly happy for all those players that will play any A and fearful of all those who will play any two suited. I check (probably the wrong thing here, I don’t actually remember what I was thinking except maybe not to scare anyone away and just slow play it. That usually bites you in the butt so I don’t like doing it. Maybe I was just tired :) ), BB checks, UTG bets, everyone calls including me, BB folds.
Turn 5h
I check expecting UTG to bet, he does, EP folds, MP calls, I now strike check-raising, UTG calls, MP reraises all in for another .5BB, I raise another BB, UTG calls.
River 4d
I could be sunk here, I lead out, UTG calls.
Showdown UTG has pair of A’s and MP has trip 3’s, I take down 15.25 with my trip 8’s. Not a stellar pot but I got decent action and it paid off.


Thursday, April 22, 2004

Even Steven

After a long night of activities after work (Batting Practice for my son’s baseball team which I manage, and then on my knees for hours pulling staples out of the floors we were pulling carpet up from.) I sat down for some relaxing poker. And boy was it relaxing, I found myself on several occasions closing my eyes after folding and just waiting for the speakers to beep at me for my next decision. And since I was sleeping through most of the process I had a very close to $0 night. 117 minutes, -0.44BB, -0.23BB/hour. All in all I can’t complain. I should have just gone to bed and taken the extra 2 hours sleep. Tonight will be more of the same as I’m scheduled to spend the whole evening painting. I had to break down and decide to pay some movers to actually move us over. This whole process has just been too exhausting. Only another week to go though and we should be all moved in. Then of course comes the unpacking but I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it. I’m writing this at work so I shouldn’t fire up Poker Tracker and review hands. Heck, I shouldn’t even be thinking about poker at work, but I find myself doing just that most of the time. I even finished some work early just so I could type this up. I just won’t want to take the time to do it later tonight before hitting the tables. Aw screw it, I’ll at least put up the table stats for the night then I must go.

Table One (+7.06BB) 51 minutes - Table broke up
Table Two (+7.5BB) 11 minutes – Table broke up
Table Three (-12.5BB) 38 minutes – Hit my loss limit
Table Four (+2BB) 31 minutes – Table broke up
Table Five (-4.5BB) 41 minutes – I was falling asleep at the keyboard

Lots of tables breaking up last night. The turnover was pretty large, I didn’t get to play with any one player for very long. Until tomorrow



When I changed templates I forgot to add my sitemeter tracker back onto the page. Maybe I'm not just talking to myself. If you stopped by over the last few days please leave a comment. Thanks


Wednesday, April 21, 2004

Perhaps I Was Wrong

I stated in an earlier post that I could lose money a lot faster than I could make money. Well last night I was proven wrong. Stats: 94 minutes – 3 tables - +78.55BB - +50.14BB/hour. WOW!!! That is definitely the most I’ve ever won in one sitting! I know that is not indicative of what can be expected in the future. It does prove though that once in a great while I can do it. Well for the next two weeks with all the house stuff going on I won’t be able to post anything but these quick notes. It won’t matter though since according to site meter no one has visited this site since Sunday. So really all I’m doing here is talking to myself. The men in the little white suits are coming… The men in the little white suits are coming…. Their coming to take me away… HA HA HEE HEE HO HO


Tuesday, April 20, 2004

A Win's A Win

Last night was a good session, I played for 157 minutes and ended up 16.97BB for an hourly earn rate of 6.49/hour. YooHoo!! I think I may have found a way to limit my losses on bad nights. I will try it again tonight and see if it holds up. We closed on our house today at 8:30 am so I'm busy arranging painters and carpet layers. I won't be able to post any details today but I'll try to go over everything tomorrow and do a double post.


Monday, April 19, 2004

Gotta Give A Little to Get A Little

That’s my motto for the past week. I had another abysmal session last night. 288 minutes, (-23.51BB), (-4.90BB/Hour). That brings my first week of playing 2 tables at once to a mighty disappointing 23.15 hours of play, losing $48.18, leaving me with a negative $2.08 per hour of play. And I managed to piss away a $2 an hour profit for the week going into Saturday. Maybe I just shouldn’t play on Saturday nights. Looking back over my stats since February I seem to do better during the weekdays anyway. I know the big fish are supposed to be biting on the weekends but this past weekend was pretty demoralizing. I was getting pulled into the water right along with them. As a matter of fact, the Hunter became the Hunted. Maybe that should have been my motto for the past week. I’m going to chalk it up as a learning experience and go into the new week with the satisfaction of knowing that even with the big loss of the weekend I’m still up $190 since Jan. 1. I believe I mentioned this earlier but from Jan. 1 to April 12 I had only played 39 hours of poker. I almost doubled that amount just this past week. I played 2368 hands last week compared to 2288 for the whole year up to the 13th. The pattern of tables all week seemed to be lose big at two tables, win even bigger at one, and win a little at one. The weekend blew that pattern to hell but it seems like under normal circumstances that is what it’s going to be like. It shouldn’t be though. If I’m going to have a losing table I need to keep it to a small amount. Over the next few sessions I’m going to try some different overall loss limits for a night so I can prevent another night like Saturday.

Absolute Poker sent me a letter in the mail. They sent along a rewards club card. It was nice to rec. an actual card in the mail. It made them seem more real than the other sites that way. The card looked just like most casino cards I’ve seen and included my rewards number printed on the front. In the letter was also a coupon for a $20 deposit bonus on my next $100 deposit and a coupon for a free $10 or $20 multitable tournament as long as I played on a weekday between 10am-6pm. It was nice to get a letter from them. I’ve spent the least amount of time on there site compared to Ultimatebet and Party yet they seem to appreciate it more. I hope Poker Tracker incorporates the hand importing from there site soon as I would like to move back to that site. I always did well there and with fewer players on the site at any given time it was easier to get on a good table.

To add to my weekend dysfunction I forgot to start up the auto hand history request option on Tracker during my play last night. As a result I only have the last 100 hands I played. Because of this I won’t be doing a summary today. This week was certainly a learning experience. I learned that I’m not the rock I thought I was, but I will be someday. I was reading a thread on 2+2 that I found through Chris Halverson’s blog. I pulled this quote from one of the many replies written by the original poster Ed Miller. “You guys are here to learn to play solid, winning poker. Solid winning poker means playing tight before the flop, tight in small pots, and aggressively in big pots.” Definitely food for thought. Thanks for taking time out of your day to read my ramblings.


Sunday, April 18, 2004

Give My Regards to Broadway

New look to the site today. I didn’t like the way the left column took up so much space so I changed things up a bit. Well that’s the only good news I have for today. Read on for the bad.

I debated even writing about last nights play. Things were so horrible that it ended up being my single worst night ever at the tables. I’m sure everyone taking notes on me last night has me labeled as the biggest fish in the pond. With that said when I started this blog I made a commitment to myself to do it. If I backed out on my first week I would be an even bigger fish than my play showed last night. Keep in mind that what makes this train wreck of poker play even more amazing is that I did it in only 90 minutes. The first 90 minutes of play I was on track and up about 9-10BB. Here is the damage:

208 minutes of play, -$61.50 in losses for a staggering -$17.74\hour. In one fell swoop I wiped out 10 days of earnings. I had over 50% Won $ at SD in the first 90 minutes, and around 10% in the last 90.

Table One (-14.74BB) 117 mins. – This was the table I played the longest. I was up 9.25BB when it all went wrong. I lost $6.50 in bets with Aks, $9.00 with AKo. On the suited front I had to fold one hand when a flush hit the board, on the other I lost to four J’s. On the offsuit cards I lost to KJ when a J hit the river, the other one the board never showed a card higher than a J and I was beat by pocket 6’s. My Bad Beat / Bone Head play of the night also came from this table. This table certainly forebode of what was to come.

Table Two (+0.25BB) 104 mins. – My only winner of the night. This table stayed pretty flat. I was up 5.75BB at one point but nickel and dimed it back down before the table broke up.

Table Three (-21BB) 83 mins. – 94 hands, 5 winners. My biggest winners were for a combined 5BB and they were with AA and KK. The biggest pot I lost at this table I had placed 4.5BB in play. I was flushed at the river with me holding top pair, top kicker. My opponent had bottom pair and runnered the flush. Oher than that my flop % was 18 and I did a whole lot of folding on the flop and turn when nothing developed.

Table Four (-16BB) 56 mins. – 61 hands, 4 winners and one was only a steal of the BB. My big loss at this table I had KQs. I bet 6.5BB only to lose to 56o when he catches the inside straight killing my top two pair. I did a lot of chasing at this table as my flop % was 34. My showdown % was 29. Nothing clicked and I had to fold a bunch of mediocre hands on the flop.

Table Five (-10BB) 20 mins. – The dreaded ego came into play here and I just threw the money away. I was tired and thought there was no way I could keep losing like this. I didn’t win one hand at this table. I just kept pouring money into the pot only to keep losing it. I saw the flop 35% of the time here. I was indeed chasing my loses.

Bad Beat of the Night (changed to Bone Head Play of the night for this one)

Table One.
Even after I knew I was beat I just couldn’t stop myself from hitting that Raise button.
I sit in MP with KQo .
Three players in front of me call, I call, everyone behind me folds, SB calls, BB checks. 6 see the flop
Flop comes 10c Ac Jh.
I’ve hit broadway on the flop and am up 70.99% according to Poker Tracker
SB bets (must have A;s) , BB raises (hmmm, maybe he has A's or two pair), fold to me, I call, SB calls. 3 see the turn.
Turn brings a Kd
Now I believe one of the remaining two players has hit the straight along with me.
SB checks, BB bets (OK I think he must AQ which would explain his raise on the flop), I raise (I believe I will be splitting the pot but hopefully I can suck more money out of the SB). SB calls as does the BB. We all see the river.
River card 10s
I see this and am a little worried, but dismiss it.
SB bets out. (This confuses and worries me, He led the betting on the flop but checked the river, maybe the 10 gives him trips and he’s just a stupid player, obviously my ego and not my brain doing the thinking here.) BB raises, I have him on my straight so not to be outdone I reraise, SB makes it 4 bets, BB calls, I can’t let it go and I call.
The showdown has me beat by both players. The 10 has given them both a full house. The SB held JJ for the win and the BB had A 10 for a smaller house. I read the BB completely wrong on this hand. I don’t feel his play dictated two pair on the turn. The SB worried me on the river but like I said my ego wouldn’t let me fold and I shoved in 7.5BB for my effort.

Big Pot of the Night

Table One
Ironically I took in the same amount that I lost overall on the table 14.75BB.
I hold 6d5h in the big blind
UTG calls, next is a Forced Bet new player who checks, next two call, another new player Forced Bet checks, button folds, BB calls, I check. 7 see the flop
Flop As8s9d
BB bets out, I have the inside straight draw with 2 cards coming. I believe that just about everyone will play this flop so I call on the implied odds. All but one player calls and 6 see the Turn.
Turn 7h BINGO
SB bets, I raise (looking back I probably shouldn’t have because 10 J with that flop was a real possibility), UTG calls, everyone folds to the BB who calls. 3 see the river.
River 3c
BB checks, I bet, both call and I win the pot. BB held 8c9c for two pair and UTG held AA. I’m sure I went in his bad beat list. If he had raised preflop I would have folded. Slowplaying can kill you just as bad as anything else at this level.

That concludes our horror film classic. I would appreciate comments on this night’s loss. Have any of you suffered this badly at .50/1.00

P.S. Thanks to Iggy for mentioning my site on his. The traffic has increased quite a bit.


Saturday, April 17, 2004

Things That Make You Go HMMMM.......

OK get this, 182 minutes of play, $2.36 in profit for a whopping $0.78/hour earn. After the way the whole night went though, and after reviewing things in Poker Tracker, I would have to say I’m happy with it. Since there wasn’t a whole lot to report I thought I might touch base on the topic of loss limits. Early in my still infant poker career I read that loss limits should not be used in poker. Since the cards are dealt in a random manner there should be no reason for a limit, every hand is unique which makes every betting opportunity unique. That is the case, and if we were machines and played every hand the exact same way every time I would agree. But we are not machines and emotions can and often due come into play. I discovered very early on, at least for myself, that I could lose money a whole lot faster than I could earn money. “A bankroll in motion tends to stay in motion.” Emotion gets in the way of rational thought and when the dreaded ego gets involved all can be lost. It takes discipline to stick to a loss limit but I believe it has helped me stay profitable in my poker run. I don’t have a set formula, I’ve just devised a structure that seems to work best for me. For the .50/1.00 level I use the following rules:

1) I always buy in at $25 dollars so I have a structure.

2) If I lose $10 without winning a hand, I finish the round then walk away. This allows me to stop myself from getting in a bad mindset or trying to chase back my losses. Based on my history if I start off that bad I continue to lose much more often than I turn it around.

3) Never lose more than $20 at one table. This prevents me from rebuying at the table and losing track of where I am. Also my history is a factor here on winning back funds. I apply this at all times. If I build up to $40 I will walk away if I drop to $20. $60 played back to $40 and so on. This also helps me lock in profits at a table if I get a good run. I do not have a profit limit, although sometimes when I do play back the $20 I wish I had one.

This loss limit will help explain why I left two of the tables below when I did.

On a side note there is a player that I have played 250 hands against and his stats in Poker Tracker are amazing. On the 250 hands I’ve been able to track he is up 18.5BB/100 Hands. I find that staggering. I personally have only lost $.50 to him, but I saw how tight he was and generally would only play with him if I had a very good starting hand. I checked in on his tables last night and it appeared as though this type of winning is normal for him. I’m going to try to get in on his tables so I can collect more data and maybe learn a thing or two.

And back to me…

Table One (+.25BB) 47 mins. – I actually played this table well. I left because it broke up. My win would have been 3BB larger but at the end when we were short handed I flopped a pair of K’s and two pair beat me.

Table Two (+18.49BB) 167 mins. – Best table of the night for me. Good solid play. Nothing spectacular just had the right cards at the right time.

Table Three (+1.75BB) 13 mins. – Who knows what may have happened here. I sit down and everyone leaves.

Table Four (-10.75BB) 43 mins. – 37 hands, not one winner. It was time to leave.

Table Five ( -19.25BB) 55 mins. – 60 hands, one winner. Should have left earlier. I was really disappointed in my play when I left the table. After reviewing it in Poker Tracker though I can honestly say the cards were very cold at this table. I only rec. pocket pair once and that was 7’s. I did get a few good drawing hands but they never developed. The garbage I was throwing away though was catching winning hands. Go Figure.

Table Six (+11.87BB) 16 mins. – I’m not the kind to usually hit and run but it was getting late, I saw that I had eeked out a profit for the night, so I was happy to not be down and went to bed.

Bad Beat of the Night

I would have to say I didn’t have one. I would also have to say that I caused a few though J

Big Pot of the Night

Not a stellar pot tonight. The whole night was kinda ho-hum. One could even argue that I should not have won this one. It occurred at Table Two and I was already up so I had a different mindset than normal for this hand.
I’m dealt 10c9c in middle position. There are two new players at the table with forced BB.
Fold to first forced bet who checks, I call, Loosey Goosey to my left calls, Next forced bet checks, Button calls, SB calls, BB checks. 7 see the flop
Flop comes 5c7cQd
SB checks, BB checks, Forced bet-bets out, I call the flush draw, loosey calls, Next forced bet calls, button folds, SB folds, BB calls. 5 see the turn
Turn comes 4h
BB checks, FB bets, At this point I have FB on a queen but I’m up so I chase the flush and call, Loosey folds, Next two call. 4 see the river.
River shows Qc – Hallelujah, Hallelujah, now I hope FB has a queen
BB checks, FB bets, I raise, next two fold, FB only calls and shows pocket 10’s. I win the pot for $13.25. Not a huge one but that was my night.

Friday, April 16, 2004

A Mixed Bag of Nuts

So I finish last night up $17.34 after playing for 3:03 hours. That netted me about 5.69/hour. This puts me slightly above my required earning range of 5.15/hour (US federal minimum wage) but I’m still left with a sinking feeling. I’ll expand more on my requirements in a moment, but first things first.

I was pretty happy with my ability to write a somewhat amateurish self-analysis of my play in the previous post. Problem is that it took forever. I spent just about as much time preparing and writing my first real blog entry that I did actually playing the tables. This might be a good thing, but with work and family time needed I must search for a different way to convey my playing.

So this is what I’ve come up with. I figure I will have a bit of a formula that I’ll use for all my posts from here on out. I’ll start each post with my financial stats for the night. I’ll then move onto a brief commentary of my overall feeling of the play or perhaps poker thoughts in general. Next I will still post individual table wins/losses and any specific items that I feel were important to the specific table. After that comes the Bad Beat Of The Night, and the Big Pot Of The Night. These two entries will have a blow by blow of what happened. And without further ado…

I mentioned requirements earlier and that I was not really all that happy with my play even though I met those requirements. Here is the deal. In my beginnings post I mentioned that I am in the midst of buying a home and that money is tight because of said home. I also cashed out all profits except for 300BB to help pay some of the associated costs. That was still not enough to offset everything so I convinced my wife, (somewhat foolishly), that I could supplement our income for a few months with my poker winnings. In an ego induced boast, (since I had averaged 6.85BB per hour since Jan. 1), I assured her that I could easily bring in the equivalent of a minimum wage part time job. Now I do not know if it’s the change in mind set at the tables, the fact that I’ve decided to now play two tables at once, or just a bad run, but things aren’t working out the way I had envisioned them. In the four days since starting this “project”, I have only averaged $2.91 an hour. In the back of my mind I know there is a learning curve to go through. I will need to make changes in my play to accommodate multiple tables. Besides, I’m still turning a profit. I just went into it thinking that “Hey, if I can make 6.85 at one table, I should be able to make 10.25 or about 1.5 times that at two tables.” This should still be the case and I believe I can in fact do it.

So how did last night work out…Well I’ve noticed two more leaks in my game. When playing one table I get to know my adversaries pretty well and I know who will fold to a bluff in the right circumstances. Doesn’t work every time, but often enough not to stop doing it. I found that I’m still trying it when playing two tables even though I do not know the other players. This is costing me. The other is I seem to be bleeding of ½ bets in the SB when I hold any A. I’ve always played by the rule that if I’ll play it from the button then I’ll play it from the small blind. Thing is, I don’t play just any A from the button and I don’t know why all of a sudden I’ve started doing it from the SB. Perhaps it comes from seeing to many other players beat me with it when I have a good hand. I don’t know for sure but I’ve got to stop that as well.

Table One (-6.25BB) : 50 minutes of play – This table really showed me the leaks mentioned above.

Table Two (+9.25BB) : 96 minutes of play – I just played this table perfectly, laid down when needed and pushed the issue when I had the best of it. I was playing this table the same time as table one so I don’t know why my play was so different.

Table Three (-17BB) : 29 minutes of play – So little time so many losses. My bat beat of the night came from this table. Two hands before the bat beat I lose holding 88 when an 8QT flopped. Winner held QQ which he slowplayed to the end. 29 hand not one winner so I leave.

Table Four (-6.66BB) Yes the table from hell: 82 minutes of play – Just not a good table, The hands I won I couldn’t get any one to play, and the hands I lost either never developed or I was beat by someone fishing for a river card.

Table Five (+38BB) And proof there is a God: 70 minutes of play – Obviously my big pot of the night came from this table. I fired up this one after the disaster that was table three and everything clicked. Several good-sized pots won of $11.25, $11.75, $26.50, and $10.75. It was just like everyone was an open book, it felt really good. The most I gave up in one hand at the table was $3.00.

Bad Beat of the Night.
After reviewing this I guess it may not be your prototypical bad beat but this was a hand that led to a turning point in my thought process for the night. I was so pissed when the showdown came that I shoved my keyboard drawer in hard and let out a few expletives. This of course peaked my wife’s interest and she suggested that I call it a night. I thankfully didn’t but it did have and instant calming effect on me. I believe my play got better because of this hand. When trying to understand why I was mad remember I was beat just a few hands earlier by a bigger three of a kind.

I hold AsJs in middle position, one early position limper, I limp, cutoff limps, Button raises, SB and BB call as do the rest of us.
6 of us see the flop which comes 8JJ rainbow. I have flopped a set with top kicker. Poker Tracker shows me a 92.63% favorite. Check to me, I lead out, cutoff calls, button folds, SB calls, BB folds, EP calls.
4 to the turn and a 2 comes showing all four suits on the board. Check to me, I lead out, cutoff folds, SB raises (what the hell), I reraise, SB reraises and were four bet to the river.
River brings a ten and what should be no help to anyone. SB bets and I have my moment of clarity. I have the sinking feeling that I screwed up but how could a 2 on the river when a pair of Jacks flopped actually help anyone. I’ve got to see it so I call. As I’m sure you’ve figured out, before I did obviously, that mister SB held 22. I go down in flames and thus begins my tirade.

Big Pot of the Night

I hold 22 and again I’m in middle position. Ok it just dawned on me that the hand I chose for the bad beat also involved pocket 2’s, scary.
EP calls, fold, I call, fold, cutoff calls, button calls, SB raises, BB folds, the rest of us call and 5 see the flop.
Flop comes 932 with the 32 of spades and again I have trips. SB leads out, EP calls, I raise, cutoff calls, button folds, SB calls, EP calls. 4 see the turn.
9 comes on the turn. Holy Cow I have the full house. SB again leads out, EP folds, I raise, cutoff raises (guess who has a 9), SB call, I make a four bet and all three of us see the river.
J comes on the river. No flush possibilities, not that I care. SB now checks, I lead out, cutoff raises, SB calls, I call (I know I should have raised here but I had the cutoff on a 9 already it seemed that him holding a J could be a distinct possibility). Hindsight being what it is and all, perhaps I’ve just seen the river destroy me so much over the last two days I was gun shy. Any way the showdown comes and I have the best of it. SB held AQo ( what the hell was he thinking), cutoff had Qs9s, I was right on the 9 but he also had a flush draw so I can understand the betting.
Anyway I take a $26.50 pot and put myself back in the black for the night.

Will the winning ways continue, stay tuned……..


Thursday, April 15, 2004


I would like to thank liquid swords and poker nerd for their words of encouragement. I have posted links to both sites and encourage everyone to check them out.


Last night was an unsettling rollercoaster of pots. I opened my third night of playing two tables simultaneously with a little trepidation. Night one brought me a 23BB profit while night two fed me an 8.75BB loss. I went from flying high to crash and burn in twenty-four hours. I played six tables last night (only two at a time) and the tale of the tape follows:

Table one (–8.75BB) Not much to tell here, the cards were cold and my play was colder. I stayed in some hands to long only to see I was beat from the beginning.

Table two (+35.5BB) Now this was a hot table. Shortly after sitting down I had a run of 5 good hands out of 7 deals. Started out with AKo and drove everyone out at the river so I didn’t have to show down. The next hand in the BB I see T8 and I check into the flop. An 8 comes on the flop and I get second pair with a T on the turn. This hand holds up against some big pocket cards and two players begin steaming. The next pot was my biggest of the night. I hold KTs in the SB and call to see the flop. Flop drops a JQA rainbow to give me the nut straight. Turn brings a Q which has me worried but I hold up through the river against two bettors and I’m shown trip Q’s and two pair AJ. The pot brings in 19.50 and I’m a happy camper. The action goes to me folding the next two hands preflop only to then have ATs making me the flush and 33 turn into a set on the next one. An orbit or two later all the players left and I should have taken that as a cue and called it a night myself. But of course I could never do that.

Table three (–17.5BB) Aside from a whole lot of junk one hand did me in on this table. 3 players in preflop and we three bet it. I’m holding AQo and flop comes 884. BB bets out, I call, button calls. Turn brings a Q. I’m golden and the BB again bets out. I call and the button raises. This should have been a red flag but I’m oblivious beyond my top pair. BB then reraises (yea I’m still not getting it), I call button makes it four bets and we both call. River shows a 3 which should still not be any help. Action goes about the same as the turn but we only get it up to 3 bets. When It’s shown at the end BB has AA, I have QQ and the button has QQQ. I’m just not paying attention to the tables like I can when only playing one.

Table four (–16.37BB) I wish I could point to a big loss at this table but it was really just a collection of little ones. I either couldn’t get a hand to develop on the board or I was rivered when I did.

Table five (+8.75BB)
Table six (+1.25BB)

These tables I only played for a short while before bed. I was able to use them to recover my losses and called it a night.

I’m still up for the week but nowhere near where I should be. Playing multiple tables will take some getting used to. I know that with practice it will be easier so I’ll hold out for the time being.


Wednesday, April 14, 2004

And so it begins...

Online poker life began for me in June of 2003. With great anticipation I deposited $30 into a new account at Ultimatebet and just new that riches would come my way. Since I didn’t have a freakin clue what I was doing I decided to take baby steps and start at the .01/.02 tables. Of course the worst thing that could happen to me did. I started to win. Since the limits were of the micro variety I wasn’t winning much, but still I was winning. Since my wife could see no value in wasting money on gambling, my time at the tables was limited. After the first 3 weeks I had racked up 15 hours of play and a .12 profit. I know what your thinking… “Ooooh a whole 12 cents”. Let’s put this in context though, I was earning 12 BB/hour, not too shabby.

With that I decided to take the next step to .25/.50 and play some single-table tournaments as well as multi-table. I was averaging a 4th place finish at the single-table tourneys so that wasn’t making me any money. The multi’s were also a losing proposition. My ring games though were at a little better than break even level, so at this point the second worst thing that can happen, happened. I read Sklansky’s Texas Hold’ Em for Advanced Players. I didn’t buy the book, but borrowed it from a friend so I absorbed as much info as I could and then had to give it back. I then mistakenly began to play the way I thought the book told me too. At these levels playing that tight only brought on bad beat after bad beat and I wasn’t taking advantage of more aggressive yet weaker starting hands. I dilligently made a chart in excel of the starting hand rankings, color-coded it based on seat position, and even kept a copy on my PDA for quick reference.

Although this killed my game for a few months it did teach me the value of good starting hands. After incorporating my own style to the mix and moving up to the .50/1.00 limit a profit began to build in my account. The play still seemed pretty tough to beat on some nights but by January of 2004, I had enough money in my account to start trying out other poker sites. Using the many deposit bonuses available I tried: The Gaming Club, Royal Vegas Poker, Pacific Poker, Absolute Poker, and Party Poker. While each site had its merits, (except Pacific Poker), I found myself playing mostly at Party with a night at Absolute thrown in every now and then. The play at Ultimatebet just seemed harder to overcome so I all but stopped playing there.

In March I discovered this whole other world know as “blogging”. I came across it quite by accident when searching for poker material online. It was through these wondrous postings that I heard of the amazing and spectacular program called Poker Tracker. I had been saving my hand histories from the beginning of play but I never had the patience to sit and go through them. With the use of Poker Tracker my poker life had taken a major shift. The only problem though, was I had only saved the hands I actually put money into voluntarily at Ultimatebet. Since this skewed all statistics these hand histories were useless to me. Fortunately, Party Poker doesn’t let you save them in that manner and so I deleted all the Ultimatebet hands and loaded up the Party ones. I had only been on Party since the end of January and had a little over 1,000 hands to start my self-analysis of play.

I have since built my had database to 2,088 hands as of April 14, 2004. With the puchase of a new home looming and the need for extra money I had to cut my bankroll down to the minimum life support of $300. This affords me what I believe to be the required bankroll at the .50/1.00 limit. I also thought that since I need the extra cash I would siphon off all profits for the next month or two before building my bankroll to the next level. To wrap this up I currently (as of two days ago) play two tables at a time exclusively at Party Poker. The money just seems to come easier for me there. Since I have a “real” job I play every chance I get but that usually is around 10 hours per week.

And so I begin a quest to offer my own blog of poker experiences…………