Monday, May 31, 2004

Stupid Is As Stupid Does

That would be the overall theme for the night when describing my play. I was determined not to let Party pick my table so I scouted out three possibilities and joined the waiting lists. Being promptly seated I played one orbit. The next table became available and since a known fish was at that table I decided to bail and join the new one. In the one orbit of play at the original table I did get involved in one pot and was down 2BB.

At the new table I was just horrible. I was not playing anything like myself and within an hour I was one pot away from hitting my stop loss. Fortunately I snapped out of it and hit a good run of cards. Looking back at the play I can’t for sure say what happened. It looked like I was on tilt but I had no reason to be. I did read an article earlier in the day about “Ram and Jam”. Maybe subconsciously I was trying to do this, but if so I’m not very good at it.

Seeing my buy-in dwindling to nothing must have snapped me out of it. I started laying down hands and combined with a good run I was able to squeeze out a profit for the night. The hand that turned it all around for me also was the biggest pot seen at the table while I was there. A woman I would describe as a possible “rock” raised preflop and if I didn’t have position I would have folded. Luckily I did not and the rest is history. (it also helped that mr. fish was in the hand)

Big Pot Of The Night

Party Poker 1/2 Hold'em (8 handed) converter

Preflop: lifesagrind is Button with Jc, Tc.

UTG folds, UTG+1 folds, MP1 (fishy) calls, MP2 (Mrs. Rock) raises, CO calls, lifesagrind calls, SB folds, BB folds, MP1 [color:purple](fishy)[/color] calls.

Flop: (9.50 SB) 7h, 9c, 8c (4 players)

fishy bets
, Mrs. Rock calls, CO calls, lifesagrind raises, fishy calls, Mrs. Rock calls, CO calls.

Turn: (8.75 BB) Ad (4 players)

fishy checks, Mrs. Rock bets, CO raises, lifesagrind 3-bets, fishy calls, Mrs. Rock folds, CO calls.

River: (18.75 BB) 3h (3 players)

fishy checks, CO checks, lifesagrind bets, fishy folds, CO calls.

Final Pot: 20.75 BB

CO shows As 6s (one pair, aces).

lifesagrind shows Jc Tc (straight, jack high).

Outcome: lifesagrind wins 20.75 BB.

Table One – 9 minutes, -2.25BB, -15BB/Hr, 10 hands
Table Two – 125 minutes, 10BB, 4.8BB/Hr, 139 hands
Total – 134 minutes, 7.75BB, 3,47BB/Hr, 149 hands

Also another week has come and gone. I’m still satisfied with my 1/2 performance overall. I hope to be able to start leaving some of my profits in the account soon so I can move up another level.

Week Ending Numbers
9.3 hours, $11.73/Hour, 590 hands, $109.13 for the week

Sunday, May 30, 2004

Oh What A Relief It Is

The cable guy showed up yesterday morning before I had to go to work and replaced my cable modem. This had me back in business and I was actually getting excited on the way home from work anticipating the play. I was sure the recent downturn was behind me and last night was going to be big.

With a night of no internet access at all on Friday the Wife and I decided to watch some movies. First up was The Last Samurai. I didn’t expect much from this movie and I was pleasantly surprised when it ended up being a good flick. Next up I decided to watch Rounders. I bought the DVD a while back but hadn’t watched it since I started playing online about a year ago. After watching it two things stood out to me:

1) They sure say the “F” word a lot.
2) That guy was really stupid.

I’m sure when I started out I wanted to be a “Mike”, but after learning more and seeing my style of play I’d much rather be a “Knish”. Sure the quick take is enticing but the odds of success and the cash necessary to weather the lack of money placings just don’t appeal to me. No limit tourneys will always be a fun game but the steady income of limit play will remain my focus. I think a sequel needs to be made following the Knish character. It would be nice to see a sensible, responsible poker player portrayed in film.

Onto the poker play. I sat down and again Party did not have any 1/2 tables available. I joined the waiting list for the first available and was seated about 30 seconds later. Once again letting Party Poker pick my table was disastrous. After 27 hands I knew this table wasn’t for me and I was bleeding money away quickly. I didn’t play badly, I just wasn’t getting anything on the board to help my hole cards. I did win one very small pot but I decided to check the lobby and test the waters.

Since Party doesn’t give you much information about the tables you are looking at I usually just look for one with an average pot size of $14 dollars and join it. This has been leading to a few more tight players at the table than I like so I went for something new. I joined a table with an $18 average pot. I was greeted by a player with stats I don’t recall ever seeing before. I’ve seen plenty of players that want to see every flop but this guy would raise just about every time preflop no matter what he had. He would even reraise your raise if he had the chance. He was seated two seats to my left and he caught me a little off guard at first. His Poker Tracker numbers are pretty amazing so I’ll share them with you. VP$IP 85.71%, Went to SD% 58.54, PF Raise % 77.55, Won $ at SD 45.83%.
According to Tracker after about 12 hands he was the only, and I do mean only, player at the table who had won money. He was in everything and his cards were hitting left and right. Since he raised indiscriminately his raises meant nothing to me but if others were staying I had to really weigh whether it was worth being in the hand. This forced me to tighten up a lot and for a while I couldn’t get anything going.

It didn’t take long though to realize that the Maniac was actually a Fish. If he had any part of the flop he would stay, if he didn’t he’d fold it. The tricky part came in knowing what part of the flop he had. Since I was reduced to playing primarily premium hands, if I also had a part of the flop I would pound him. It wasn’t 100% effective but for the most part I would have the better of it. He eventually played back everything he had gained and left. There was the normal influx and departure of players and after the big fish left things were pretty normal. I was really able to get into my game and if not for the first table loss I would have had an exceptional night.

Table One – 23 minutes, -13BB, -33.91BB/Hr, 27 hands
Table Two – 118 minutes, 37.5BB, 19.07BB/Hr, 128 hands
Total – 141 minutes, 24.5BB, 10.43BB/Hr, 155 hands

I would like to thank Habsfanca11 for responding to my call for help in finding some good poker books. Now the rest of you need to get up off your butts and respond as well.

Friday, May 28, 2004

Sometimes I Feel Like, Somebody's Watchin' Me

Or perhaps their really just out to get me. I logged onto Party last night with high hopes and dreams of glory. I immediately found the perfect table and was just getting into the groove when Party reports "Connection Lost". I have cable internet so I'm hardly ever out of service, but low and behold the cable light was dark on the modem. I rushed downstairs to check the TV and the cable was working. I then dashed back up but the telltale light was still out. I tried to reset the modem and to my overjoyment I was back in business. Well...for the time being. Fifteen minutes later I'm again disconnected and nothing I tried would bring the internet service back up. Upon being forced to leave the table I was up 7.9BB. I only have about half of the hand histories so I don't have the statistics but I was doing very well at the time. A phone call to my cable provider was absolutely no help and the earliest they can get someone out to fix it is Saturday morning. Unless a miracle happens I won't be playing tonight. This makes the wife happy so maybe another night off will do the homelife good.

Thursday, May 27, 2004

Something is Amiss

3 losing days in the last 4 played. That is not like me. Ok scratch that. I just looked at my spreadsheet and back in April I actually had 4 losses out of six days. I bounced back from that with 2 big days so maybe I do have a bright horizon before me. Overall though this doesn’t happen to me very often. Looking over the results so far in 2004 I have to go back to January 28-Feb 02 to find another multi day down spin. I lost four days in a row back then and I was playing .25/.50 at the time. Since January 1st I have 57 black days and 28 red days. That’s a ratio of 2.04:1. The red days include a bad run in January-February where I lost 6 out of 8 days. As long as my wins are consistently bigger than my losses I should be in good shape. I do need to work on widening this ratio. That will become my next goal. I would like to see this ratio move to around 3:1 at this level. I don’t think that’s impossible but will be difficult. This will force me to become a more disciplined player.

Reviewing the levels I’ve played this year starting with .25/.50, the win to loss ratio was 1:1. Not good at all, I’ve stated it before but I really struggled at that level for some reason and my losses were bigger than my wins. The next level (and the one I’ve played the most) the ratio is 2.8:1. At .50/1 I felt like I had a lot of success. I was able to build my bankroll up pretty fast considering the amounts played. With the feeling of success and a ratio of 2.8:1, 3:1 should leave me ecstatic. My new level, 1/2 is still in its infancy. I’ve only played 12 days and my ratio is 1.4:1. Still much to early to tell anything and the recent bad run is included in that. I’ve been able to have my wins far out pace my losses though so I’m still up 80BB even with the tight ratio.

If you’ve read everything so far you have surely figured out that last night was a loss. I started on one table, realized the players were not to my liking, and moved to another. The second table started out better but quickly deteriorated and I suffered because of it. I was very surprised to log on last night and find that not one 10 seat table at 1/2 had an empty seat. I joined a waiting list for the next available table and was seated at a table full of tight players. I was the loosest player at the table so the “chips” were stacked against me. I bled of a few BB and realized I was not going to be staking a claim. I went back to the lobby and discovered a listing of 10 or 12 tables available.

I found one that met my criteria and as I sat down two players left. The table chat eluded to a fish being ran off and I should have taken that as a bad sign and left myself. I didn’t follow the fish though and quickly found myself up against 8 weak/tight players and 1 loose player. This was alright because the weak players were laying down hands and the loose player was paying off. I settled in to what I thought was going to be a good night but then the inevitable happened. The loose player sucked out on the table “expert”. He quickly began to berate the offending player. Two hands later the “expert” won a pot in which both myself and the loose player stayed to the river. The “expert” let loose with “TAKE THAT!”. I did not want Mr. Loose to leave so I responded with “OOOOO AAAAHHH”. It was too late though and Mr. Loose took leave of the table. The “expert” then began to bitch about how the “fish” left with “his” money. DUUH!! If the stupid bastard had kept his virtual mouth shut he would have eventually gotten his money back and we all may have profited.

The “expert” left shortly thereafter but I couldn’t mount anything against the remaining opponents. I started bleeding off bets. It seemed that all the pots I won were small and all the pots I lost were big. I should have expected that against a table full of weak/tight players. The reasoning’s for table selection have eluded me during my poker “career”, but now that info is starting to sink in. Next month I will be reaching my one year poker anniversary. It seems as though a lot of the bloggers are now reaching that mile marker and I will soon join the ranks.

Table One – 29 minutes, -9.25BB, -19.14BB/Hr, 25 hands
Table Two – 88 minutes, -10.63BB, -7.24BB/Hr, 102 hands
Total – 117 minutes, -19.88BB, -10.19BB/Hr, 127 hands

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Back In the Saddle Again

I haven’t posted in a few days because my weekend play was crap. I took a night of to regroup then came back last night with a healthy win.

Saturday – 63 minutes, -17.13BB, -16.31BB/Hr, 77 hands. I had a few pots I shouldn’t have been in but overall I just wasn’t getting any cards to help me. Sometimes the cards don’t fall your way and this was one of those days.

Table One – 44 minutes, -4.88BB, -6.65BB/Hr, 50 hands. Things weren’t going my way on this table so I decided to quit and look for greener pastures. For the most part I was holding my own but since the table was full of tight players we were just feeding off of eachother.
Table Two – 176 minutes, -13.13BB, -4.47BB/Hr, 194 hands. Mediocre hands, bad beats, and disinterest. That pretty much sums up the table and the night.

Monday: All important day off. The more I thought about it I was playing on Sunday night because I felt I had to, not because I wanted to. That meant I needed a night off.

Tuesday – 122 minutes, 34.32BB, 16.88BB/Hr, 117 hands. I admit that the cards fell my way at the right time and the bad beats were few and far between, but I felt like I was back in the groove. With three loose players and everyone else a rock it was pretty easy to know what to do and when to do it. One particular loose player fed everyone at the table for quite a while. After the loose players left though we began turning our attention on each other. When this happened it seemed like a good time to leave and call it a night.

Big Pot of the Night
This occurred on Sunday night. The night was bad but this hand was good. I have no idea what my opponent was thinking. We were heads up after the flop and this guy was certainly not paying attention. Perhaps he was trying to push me off the hand but since I lead out betting the flop it wasn’t a very smart play.

Party Poker 1/2 Hold'em (10 handed) converter

Preflop: lifesagrind is SB with 8c, 8d.

UTG folds, UTG+1 raises, UTG+2 calls, MP1 folds, MP2 calls, MP3 folds, CO calls, Button folds, lifesagrind calls, BB calls.

Flop: (12 SB) 9h, 2c, 4s (6 players)

lifesagrind bets
, BB folds, UTG+1 folds, UTG+2 folds, MP2 calls, CO calls.

Turn: (7.50 BB) 6h (3 players)

lifesagrind bets
, MP2 raises, CO folds, lifesagrind calls.

River: (11.50 BB) 8s (2 players)

lifesagrind checks, MP2 bets, lifesagrind raises, MP2 3-bets, lifesagrind caps, MP2 calls.

Final Pot: 19.50 BB

lifesagrind shows 8c 8d (three of a kind, eights).

MP2 shows Kc Qs (high card, king).

Outcome: lifesagrind wins 19.50 BB.

I still have not rec. any book recommendations. Don’t any of you read? :)

Saturday, May 22, 2004

A Hurdle to Overcome

Last night definitely proved the greatest challenge of my short poker career. I sat at the computer and fired up UltimateBet expecting easy money. I was instead slapped hard in the face. Not by cards, but by my pot adversaries. I searched the lobby like a good little poker player. Gleaning as much information as possible hoping against hope that I could find the perfect table. There it was…a beacon in the night. Not perfect, nothing ever is, but close. The flop percentage could be a little higher but hey, beggars can’t be chosers. I clicked the “Join Table” button and was off.

First hand, Big Blind, 6 3 offsuit, let it go better cards will come, if they deal them, they will come. Second hand, Small Blind, 2 2, ah here we go. Certainly not a monster, not even close, but they can be deceptive if the right cards flop. Two callers to me, what to do, what to do, just call. Big blind raise, crap, I want to see the flop. Call, Call, Call. Let the flop fall right, please fall right…Yahoo!! Qd3d2c..sweet. Be cool…be cool. Check, Bet yes, Raise yes, Fold, Hit the button, just hit the button…Raise, BB caps it what the hell, Call, Call.

Stay small, stay small…YES! Turn 7c. Raise, Oh Shit does he have QQ in the hole? The doubt is I getting sucked in…no way to tell but to play it. Call, Let’s see where I’m at…Raise. BB calls Whew!, LP calls.

All right, just one more little one and I’m set. River…10c. Allright, no straight on the board…possible flush but no one is going to call that many bets trying for a club flush…Bet! BB raise, WTF! Ok, calm down…he overplayed his pair of Queens earlier and now he’s hit two pair...nothing to worry about. LP call. Sucker…you will pay for your transgressions against me…Raise!! BB caps it, MUWAHAHA!! Let’s all pay the price and see me...what…no…it can’t be…he has what…that’s impossible...NOOOOOOOO!!! fade to black. You’re traveling through another dimension, a dimension of not only sight and sound but of mind; a journey into a wondrous land whose boundaries are that of the imagination – Next stop, The Suckout Zone!

Yes weary travelers…the dreaded runner runner flush took down our ignorant hero and thus set the tone for the rest of the evening. In one hand I not only saw the largest pot I’ve seen at this level, $61, but I lost the most I’ve ever lost in one hand, $20. Now normally if I lose 10BB at a table without winning a single hand I will look for greener pastures. As this was only my second hand…and I really wanted to take my money back…I decided to stick it out.

The lobby stats had this table pegged all wrong and you were lucky if more than two people saw the flop. It was a real grind but I wanted my money back, damnit! I was eventually able to wring a profit out of this group of tight wads (even mister runner runner tightened up). The table broke up a couple hours later and I felt I had accomplished something. Had the second hand of the night gone my way it would have been a much more enjoyable night, yet the feeling of coming back did leave me satisfied.

Table – 130 minutes, 6BB, 2.77BB/Hr, 179 hands – (Profit on the big pot was 20BB for the winner!)

Friday, May 21, 2004

Don’t Worry, Be Happy

Looking at the numbers from last night I should be happy. Problem is I really screwed up a good night by playing stupidly down to my loss limit. I had a solid 35BB night working and I blew a majority of the profit on 2 overplayed hands. I did learn something from reviewing the play in Poker Tracker today. I suppose if you learn something from your mistakes all is well. The key is not to forget what you learn and apply it in future sessions. I won’t waste the space to give a blow by blow hand history but I will briefly summarize.

The lesson learned is not to overvalue your hand and play it too aggressively. I made the same mistake on all three hands. In bad play #1 I had two pair on the flop and when it was checked around to me I bet from last position. The player to my right check-raised it and I called. So far all is OK. On the turn he bet into me, this is a huge flag, especially with this player. I was locked in on what I believed he had (which was top pair) and did not take the time to review the board. I then raised him, mistake 1. He re-raised and instead of properly folding I called, mistake 2. On the river I at least didn’t raise again but of course made a third mistake by calling the bet. He showed a flopped straight and I was down 5.5BB.

Bad play #2 was very similiar. Everyone called the BB and I flopped top pair w/ a J 10. The board was a J57o. I bet out from EP to be raised by someone I had labeled a fish in LP. I called the raise. (see a pattern here?) Turn brought a 4 for a rainbow and I bet out again…I’m still debating this move. My thinking was LP was a fish and I would let him know his raise would not intimidate me. I think this was the right move but comments are welcomed with explanation. Anyway he raised again (red flag) I then made legitimate mistake number 1 and re-raised. I think at the time I didn’t believe he had a hand with that board. The betting indicates otherwise though and I was too dense to see it at this point. He capped it and mistake #2 was made with the call. The river was a blank and at least I wisened up a little to check then fold to his bet. He had a set of 5’s and I was beat from the flop once again. Another 5.5BB down the drain. A collection of little losses accounted for the rest and I ended the night as follows:

120 minutes, 12.88BB, 6.44BB/Hr, 118 hands

I still had a profitable evening though and since I reached my stop loss with an hour to go before bed time I headed back to Aztec Poker. I wanted to play off some more of my 250 raked hands for the chip set. I started out with two tables of .50/1 like the night before but things went even better. I was up 19.25BB at one table when it broke up and on the other I played for the full hour to achieve a 6.75BB profit. For my one hour of play I saw 47 hands and netted a profit of 26BB. Further bonus to my bonus.

I earned my largest pot ever tonight as well. It wasn’t the biggest pot I’ve seen at 1/2 or even the biggest pot of the night at the table. Still it was my biggest ever and I was happy to receive it.

Big Pot Of The Night

Party Poker 1/2 Hold'em (10 handed) converter

Preflop: lifesagrind is Button with Qd, Th.

UTG folds, UTG+1 folds, UTG+2 calls, MP1 folds, MP2 calls, MP3 calls, CO calls, lifesagrind calls, SB folds, BB checks.

Flop: (6.50 SB) 7s, Kc, 9c (6 players)

BB checks, UTG+2 bets, MP2 calls, MP3 calls, CO calls, lifesagrind calls, BB folds.

Turn: (5.75 BB) Js (5 players)

UTG+2 bets
, MP2 calls, MP3 folds, CO calls, lifesagrind raises, UTG+2 3-bets, MP2 calls, CO calls $1.25 (All-In), lifesagrind caps, UTG+2 calls, MP2 calls.

River: (19.37 BB) Jd (4 players, 1 all-in)

UTG+2 checks, MP2 checks, lifesagrind bets, UTG+2 calls, MP2 calls.

Final Pot: 22.37 BB

UTG+2 shows Kd 7d (two pair, kings and jacks).

MP2 shows 4c Ac (one pair, jacks).

CO shows As Qc (one pair, jacks).

lifesagrind shows Qd Th (straight, king high).

Outcome: lifesagrind wins 22.37 BB.

That was a fun one. Had the club come on the river I was dead, but I was making him pay to see it. :)

On a side note, Some of the advanced topics I hear and read about playing poker are now making sense to me. In recongnition, and celebration, of this fact I have decided to purchase a few poker books and start some hard studying. I would like to hear your recommendations. Please post some recommended reading along with why you would recommend it in the comments section. Thank You

Thursday, May 20, 2004

A Night Off...Sort Of

I didn't play any serious poker last night. The Wife and I watched a couple of back episodes of 24. With only about an hour left before nighty-nigh time I decided to play at Aztec and work off some of the 250 hands needed foe the chip set. I saw 156 hands. I played two tables of .50/1 at the same time and received much of the same results as I used to. A little better than before since I was just going to try ABC poker and not make any plays. I finished up around $13 on one table and down $1.50 on the other. I had a slightly loss earlier in the day yesterday when I played for about 1/2 an hour after downloading the software. Overall I'm up $8.99 over the deposit bonus. Pretty good results and I can't complain about anything.. Tonight I'll get back to the grind and shoot for some more profit. See ya at the tables.

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

The Continuum

I didn’t have time to write an update yesterday but Monday and Tuesday were spent at the 1/2 table’s of PartyPoker. I’ll get to the write up in a moment but first I would like to pass on what I think is a hell of a bonus. I heard about this while reading Decker’s Journal. Poker Source Online is offering a free 300 11.5g chip set for signing up with Aztec Riches. On top of that Aztec is offering a 50% bonus. I’ve deposited a $100 for my $50 bonus. I’ve decided I want the chips more than the money so I’m going to play 2 tables of .50/1 until I reach my 250 hands for the chip set. If I make money off of the $50 then that’s further bonus, but I just want to get the 250 hands out of the way though so I can get the chips.

Monday Night – My first night of Party 1/2. I didn’t find the play much different than at UB except maybe a few more players playing any A and staying till the river w/ second pair. This night was for getting a feel of the tables and I was concentrating more on how the players were reacting than working my cards. I would have finished up a few BB’s and I only have myself to blame for not doing so. I had to get up early Tuesday morning for a field trip with my son’s class and I wasn’t watching the clock. I wanted to see if I could push a new player to the table off his hand when I found myself heads up holding what I believed to be the second best hand. He wouldn’t fold though and I lost my little profit. When I realized what time it was I just called it quits and ended the night as close to even as one can get. (without actually being even that is)

Tuesday Night – Now here we go. I found hand after hand hitting me when I first sat down and within 9 hands I was up 16BB. I went loose and within the next 7 hands I was down 3BB from my original buy in. This little wake up call brought me back to reality and I started playing my normal game. I had a few good runs of cards and never dropped below my original buy in again. In fact I doubled my buy in before leaving the table.

I’m torn between which site I should spend most of my time. It appears that playing either one will be profitable. I still have some bonus points at UB I need to convert but I end up playing against the same players much more often there. This may hurt me in the long run if people start to adapt to my play. I know I’m supposed to switch things up,and I try to, but fresh meat always seems more appealing. Party provides this but suckouts will happen more often there. Party will probably get more playing time from me, but UB may be my new weekend hangout.

Monday – 77 minutes, -.25BB, -.39BB/Hr, 77 hands – another minutes match hands anomaly.
Tuesday – 117 minutes, 25.75BB, 13.21BB/Hr, 126 hands

Finally had a pot that seemed big enough to mention.

Big Pot Of The Night
Party Poker 1/2 Hold'em (10 handed) converter

Preflop: lifesagrind is Button with Td, Ad.

UTG folds, UTG+1 calls, UTG+2 folds, MP1 folds, MP2 folds, MP3 folds, CO calls, lifesagrind raises, SB folds, BB calls, UTG+1 calls, CO 3-bets, lifesagrind calls, BB calls, UTG+1 calls.

Flop: (12.50 SB) Ts, 4h, 5h (4 players)

BB checks, UTG+1 checks, CO bets, lifesagrind raises, BB folds, UTG+1 3-bets, CO caps, lifesagrind calls, UTG+1 calls $1 (All-In).

Turn: (12.25 BB) 6d (3 players, 1 all-in)

CO bets
, lifesagrind calls.

River: (14.25 BB) Jd (3 players, 1 all-in)

CO bets
, lifesagrind calls.

Final Pot: 16.25 BB

UTG+1 shows 7h Ac (high card, ace).

CO shows Th Kc (one pair, tens).

lifesagrind shows Td Ad (one pair, tens).

Outcome: lifesagrind wins 16.25 BB.

Monday, May 17, 2004

Rollin, Rollin, Rollin On The River

What a weekend. Saturday night was solid, followed by an unsuccessful outing at the World Blogger Tour III, and then my second biggest night ever on the tables as I send a player on tilt. How Poker was meant to be. I’ll start with the blogger tourney. I left the few notes I took at home so I don’t have much of a recap. It was fun playing although I didn’t really know anyone involved. I managed to take the chip lead for a very short period of time early in the tournament when my full house ended up being bigger than another players. My apologies for not having his identity but like I said, my notes are at home. I continued to play card dead for quite some time after that. I splashed in a few pots but eventually found myself shortstacked with 435 in chips. I was on the button and found myself looking at pocket 7’s. An EP raised and I foolishly decided to make my stand, pushing all in. I wasn’t going to survive much longer due to blinds but I should have known better. I thought I would be up against over cards and race to the river. SB called me for his all-in and the three of us went to the river with no help. I went down to the Hilton Sisters. I finished 19th out of 30. My only solace is in the knowledge that Otis knocked me out and he went on to win the tourney. So it stands to reason that he was the only player at the table better than me. Surely I would have finished second if we did not start out on the same table. That’s sound logic, isn’t it? :)

Saturday night I played two separate tables. Looking back at the numbers I probably should have just stayed on the first one, live and learn. I went down early on table one and after struggling to come back I worked a profit. I wasn’t feeling entirely comfortable against the players so I decided to find a different table. The next table turned out to be a total grind. I spent twice as much time on it and only earned about 1/3 as much. Overall I had a solid night.

Table One – 56 minutes, 9BB, 9.64BB/Hr, 67 hands
Table Two – 102 minutes, 2.5BB, 1.47BB/Hr, 133 hands
Overall – 158 minutes, 11.5BB, 4.37BB/Hr, 200 hands – This win cancelled out the previous nights loss leaving the UB bankroll still able to handle 1/2 action.

Sunday Night. First the tourney, then back to UltimateBet for some 1/2 limit action. As in the previous nights play I started out down and contemplated changing tables. We were starting to get some turnover, which was like changing tables, so I decided to stick it out. This, as it turns out, was the smart play to make. I went on a tear and found myself seated with a table comprised of primarily very tight players. These players would be aggressive preflop, raising it up but then go passive if they didn’t flop a hand. This made the pot’s decent to begin with and the odds dictated allot of post flop play. As I mentioned earlier I managed to send a player on tilt. I’m sure I’ve done this in the past and will do so in the future, but this is the first time I can remember a player actually throwing out comments. He did not attack me personally and I never responded to him directly, but his chatter certainly helped me take down more pots as he swayed others to his thinking. I should probably reward him by offering up a toke, nnnaaaahhh, I’ll just look for him next time and try to do the same thing again.

Since it amused me so, I will share with you what happened. It all started innocently enough. I was dealt QhTh UTG and limped into see the flop. The flop came two hearts with a J high on the board. Tilter lead out from the SB and I called. Turn brought a T giving me second pair so I raised him, and he called. River brought a heart and I took down the pot. He held a QJ so I did river him and he remained silent at this time.

Exactly one orbit later I limp in with Jc10c, Tilter in SB raises and I call. Flop came 6,8,10 all diamonds. Tilter bet out, I had top pair on the board and he was so weak/tight I knew a raise would shut him down so that’s what I did. Everyone else folded and he checked to me on the turn. I bet he called. River brought a J giving me the two pair and again tilter checked and called. I took down his AA with my two pair. Again I rivered him, and if he had played his AA back at me I would have folded the flop. This is where slow playing can kill you. Even though the flop showed flush the odds are in the 150’s to 1 that you will flop a flush. I’ve seen it happen on several occasions but he should have reraised me to see where he was at. This of course is where he went on tilt. UltimateBet does not seem to put the chat into the hand histories so I don’t have the quotes but he made reference to me rivering him twice.

I then took another pot with another player where the river gave me two pair. I was ahead before the river and would have won anyway but the tilter was fixated on the fact that I two-paired the river and again made a comment. This distracted everyone from actually paying attention to my play and the pot. I started getting raised up and the straw that broke the tilters back wasn’t even against him. I was in MP w/ KQ and raised preflop. The flop came 9TQ giving me top pair and the inside straight draw. The turn was another 9 and the river brought a J giving me the straight. Again I was ahead the whole time as my opponent had QJ and the river gave him two pair. Tilter didn’t see this though and began making comments about how I called the flop without even a draw. Huh? I was labeled a river chaser from that point forward and was paid off nicely because of it for the rest of the night. Eventually tilter left and the play became pretty straight forward. I decided to take my bounty and leave.

Table – 138 minutes, 37.75BB, 16.41BB/Hr, 188 hands

I’ve heard bad things about the Party 1/2 tables being hard to beat. I’ve done alright with the tight play at UB though so I’m going to give it a shot at Party. See You There.

Saturday, May 15, 2004

I Am What I Am

Last night I didn’t fare so well at the 1/2 tables. I managed to not lose as much as I won on Thursday night so I’m still up but things were pretty hairy there for a while. I was getting beat up on the first table I sat down at and fortunately I decided to get up and move on to another before my loss limit was reached. I did exceptionally better at the next table but then gave it back till I hit my loss limit. As I type this I have not looked at the sessions in Poker Tracker yet so I can’t explain it fully. As a little experiment though I’m going to write out here what I think happened. Then I’m going to review the data in Poker Tracker and see if I was even close.

Before I get into that though I want to converse a little on what type of poker player I believe I am. A few days ago Poker Nerd wrote about the types of players you see at the table. He listed the “Maniac”, “Know it all”, “Calling station”, “Average guy”, and “Potential Real Poker Player – PRPP”. After some soul searching I believe that I am between the “average guy” and the “PRPP”. I will never fit into his exact definition of a PRPP though. He listed a player of this level having 15%-20% VP$IP, 6%-10% PFR, and an aggression factor of at least 1. Using my stats since May 1 (I won’t use before that because the data includes my multi table fiasco when I wasn’t playing like myself). Including both .5/1 and 1/2 levels: 28.87% VP$IP, 6.15% PFR, and aggression factor of .88. I enjoy seeing the flops too much to have a VP$IP below 20%. I believe that I am too restricted when cutting my starting hands down that much. I’ve never played serious poker in a B&M but I am of the belief that the type of personality you have will eventually determine the type of poker player that you will be. Since I have no in person interaction with other players my thoughts are purely speculatory and I primarily draw upon my own personal experience.

When I started playing it was purely for the fun aspect. Since discovering that I can play with a positive EV it has moved from being a “fun” game to “all about the Benjamin’s”. With that said I still think of poker as fun. If it wasn’t I wouldn’t play because I certainly do not play at a level where any kind of serious income could be derived. What I mean by all this is that I keep an eye on the bankroll and my goal is to have a profit building instead of “playing” at the tables. I take my play seriously, and I hope to learn to play well enough so that one day I can earn a serious part time income.

Now going back to the definition listed as a PRPP, If I just wanted to build money then I should become a 19% VP$IP players. This is what the “ABC’s” would dictate as the prudent course of action. I have spent some time with these players at my tables and the stats I show is that some make allot of money this way and some don’t. Again I have to draw upon my own limited experience here but this is very boring poker. I still need the “fun” aspect to keep me interested. This is where personality comes in. Having the “fun” aspect and striving to build a profit appear to be conflicted. If you go completely after one you have to forego the other. My personality is also conflicted in that I am very very conservative in some of my views yet very very liberal in others. I won’t go into details or politics but this part of my makeup is what I believe keeps me seeing flops and perhaps playing a few more drawing hands than the textbook player. I know I can play tight which will also lower my variance (and that would have been nice last night) but I still need the action while building to the next level. I believe that the experience I gain by seeing 10% more flops will help me read hands better and get a sense for what I can and can’t draw to. I generally follow the pot odds and try to determine implied odds after the flop. I’ve been able to sneak in some big pots I normally would not have received this way and do so without giving too much away. My seeing a higher percentage of flops also attributes to my aggression factor being slightly below the prescribed “1”. This is due to limping in sometimes if I feel no one is going to raise the pot and I have a possible drawing hand.

I won’t bore you anymore with my psychological inward perspective. Take it all with a grain of salt because who knows, maybe one day I will become a tighter player. All of this may be because of the levels I’m playing at. Only the future will tell and right now it’s not talking.

Back to what I usually write about, last night’s play. Now without looking at the Tracker data yet I believe this is what happened. At table one things were in complete disarray. I normally play in the room all by myself without the TV on and just play poker. Last night my wife wanted to catch up on Alias and since we haven’t unpacked or setup the media room yet the only TV setup is in the den. So I had my wife talking to me and the TV was going and I just wasn’t paying attention to the cards. This was a recipe for disaster at a level I’m not comfortable with yet and I quickly found myself 13BB down. Now I did something smart and left the table. I waited till Alias was over and my wife retired to the living room. I fired back up and found a table I could flourish at. I had a nice mixture of loose and tight players and cards were hitting me constantly. Within probably 30-45 minutes I was up 22BB. I was feeling supremely confident and blew off the early downturn. Suddenly the table makeup changed. I still had loose and tight players but now the tight were on my right and the loose on my left. One particular loose player began becoming more aggressive. This is still a weak part of my game but I believe I played correctly against him. He had a very nice runner runner flush (said with sarcasm) take me for a chunk of change as well as some other river dancing that left me reeling. In a very short period of time I had played back 20BB and reached my loss limit. A very small profit for the table was secured but combined with my early loss I ended up down 10BB.

Now with the Poker Tracker data. Things were horrible at the first table but as it turns out the TV and wife were not the distraction I thought they were. I did get involved in one pot I should have laid down but other than that I was card dead. I only played three hands past the flop and two of them were cracked on the river. One by an inside straight draw and the other by catching an overpair. For the second table it seems that I was a bit off on my analysis as well. I had a real good run going but then I started overvaluing my hands. I was doing some losing w/ second best. After getting over that I folded for a while and then did in fact loose two big pots to players fishing on the river. It’s amazing how I translated those two losses to account for my entire loss before actually looking at the data.

Table One – 24 minutes, -13BB, -32.5BB/Hr, 30 hands
Table Two – 56 minutes, 2.5BB, 2.68BB/Hr, 72 hands
Total – 80 minutes, -10.5BB, -7.88BB/Hr, 102 hands

Friday, May 14, 2004

Earnings In Mirror Are Larger Than They Appear

I made my deposit at UltimateBet last night and played the 1/2 table. There was certainly an adjustment in making the move. Seeing the pots twice the size of what I’m used to scared me a little at the beginning. I just had to keep telling myself they are Small Bets and Big Bets, same as always. After an orbit or two I finally got into the swing of things and settled in rather nicely. My one night of play is far from an overall experience at this level but there was more raising and folding before the river going on than I have seen at .50/1.00. This required a little adjustment but I found it not to difficult to overcome.

Mindset is going to be everything for a while. I found players trying to push me off a pot more so than at the .5/1 level as well. I was giving in at first but after sensing what was going on I started pushing back and taking pots of my own. I was also able to target the tighter players (thanks to Poker Tracker Game Time Window) and push some players off pots myself. I found myself up against a fairly loose player from the BB and thought he was trying to force me out. I managed to flop two small pair and the board didn’t show much help for a big hand. We maxed out the flop and turn before slowing down on the river. He flashed a pair of two’s for a set and that pot hurt me. That was really my only foolish play of the night though and feel that I was solid. I managed a pretty nice profit in the time I was playing but I don’t think that will be the norm, at least not yet. With the win though and the bonus I have no reason to stop checking out the 1/2 tables. I’ll stick to UltimateBet through the weekend and see how things work out.

Table – 132 minutes, 17.75BB, 8.07BB/Hr, 171 hands

I was not part of any big pots last night. I will have to play some more to even get a feel for what a big pot is here. If it’s twice what .5/1 is then I was only winning average ones last night.

Thursday, May 13, 2004


Last night was a little odd. I started out good but then after an hour and a half a player came to the table that completely changed the complection of the game. I would describe him as a maniac but there was method to his madness. Within a few hands he dominated the table and had everyone playing so tight he took down pot after pot. He used the chat to his advantage as well. He wasn’t trash talking per se but he certainly was using it as a distraction. Talking about his hand and others play. I wanted desperately to take him down but I couldn’t get a hand or draw to save my life. I played back at him for a while but then was forced to tighten up when my bankroll reached a negative. I was able to play a hand about 30 minutes after he arrived that took a pot from him. After that he really didn’t play with me after the flop. In retrospect I should have used this to my advantage and tried to force him out more often. The cards were definitely falling his way though and that would have been dangerous if I was working on a draw. Once he left the table players loosened up again and I took back my profit.

Table – 179 minutes, 7.75BB, 2.6BB/Hour, 179 hands – This was the first time I have been at a table and had my minutes played exactly match my hands played. I can’t help but wonder how I would have fared if the maniac hadn’t joined my table. I played back 12BB after he arrived.

I was reviewing my stats and I’ve discovered something. As many of you know I had to pull out a majority of my bankroll to help with the new house. I lowered myself to $300 which I felt I needed for the .50/1.00 tables. I have continued to pull money out every week to put into the house as well. To play at the 1/2 level I would need a $600 bankroll to meet my requirements. After looking at my .50/1.00 stats I see that I have played for 103 hours and made $3.86/Hour. This is an earning of $397.58. Had I left my bankroll alone each week I would be over the $600 needed for the level change. Now yesterday I rec. the UltimateBet newsletter and they are offering a 25% reload bonus. I have decided to put money back into that account since Absolute doesn’t have enough players to support the .50/1.00 play. Using the bonus I plan to deposit enough money so my bonus will cover a loss limt at 1/2. This will in essence allow me to get my feet wet with no risk to my bankroll. If I can turn a profit then I will continue to play, if not then I will drop back to the .50/1.00 level and be no worse off. I will continue to play the .50/1.00 level at Party until I see how things go at Ultimatebet. I’ve said before I consider the play at Ultimate to be much tougher, so if I make it there Party should be no problem.

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

In Like a Lion, Out Like a Lamb

Things couldn’t have been better for the first two orbits of the table last night. Within playing 21 hands I was up 13BB and every dream card that could fill me up was hitting the board. Alas starting with hand 22 I couldn’t catch a card to give me half a tank, much less fill it up. I was locked into a mindset by then and everytime I had a possible hand I convinced myself that the board would continue to pay homage to my greatness. This ladies and gentleman is what we refer to as “Chasing the River”. Any poker player worth his salt will tell you it’s fools folly. No self respecting player would dare tempt the fates and play in such a manner. The jury is out and I apparently have no self respect, and am not worth my salt. In the next 45 hands I managed give back all that I had taken and if not for a self imposed loss limit, I surely would have given away more. As it stood my loss limit is structured in such a way that the loss was minimal. Someone should have slapped me around hand 25 and brought me back to reality. Reminded me that I know how to play this game, that I can expect to take a meager win if I just settle down and play my normal game.

Upon leaving the table I then broke my loss limit guidelines. “Bad Poker Player, Bad” I would normally quit for the night after giving back so much and try to sleep it off. Instead I said, “Hey I’m not down so much, I can take back a profit for the night and then go to bed.” Well I did manage to grind a very small win at the next table but my sagging eyelids would not assist me in my quest for profit. I would have just been better off getting the extra half hour sleep and being ready to tackle the tables tonight.

Table One – 70 minutes, -3.5BB, -3BB/Hr, 66 hands
Table Two – 33 minutes, 1.25BB, 2.27BB/Hr, 27 hands

Total – 103 minutes, -2.25BB, -1.31BB/Hr, 103 hands

My biggest pot for the night was $13.50 so nothing spectacular, I just hit several medium sized pots early to give me my lead.

I will play tonight but then take Friday night off. I have to be to work early on Saturday for the Preakness. If you’re a loose passive player feel free to stop by my table tonight. :) See ya there.

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

You should be able to see the graph now in the post from a few days ago :)

So So, Blegh, Whatever

That sums up last nights adventure at the tables. I started off by going directly to my buddy list and searching for a mark. I found two potentials at the tables and joined one. Things went really well for a while and I quickly built up a 13BB profit. A freeroll was starting at this time on Absolute and I started to play both at the same time. Turns out this spelled disaster and before I knew it I was back down to my original buy-in. I clicked the sit-out button on the tourney and put my full concentration back on the limit game. I managed to build back up to 7BB before the table broke up.

I switched back to the tourney and managed a meager increase in chips before dropping out 438th of 1000. Instead of doing the smart thing and going to bed I again searched my buddy list and joined another table. I found a table with 60% seeing the flop and the river dance began. One particular player saw every single flop and managed to lose 19BB before leaving the table. This would have been a good thing if some of that had gone my way. Problem was he kept dancing on me and giving his money to everyone else. I found myself back down to the original buyin when Mr. Loose left the table. This also would have been a good time to retire but my ego demanded that I could score a big pot and then quit. Needless to say that did not happen and after playing a few more orbits I called it quits down 1.62BB.

Night - 191 minutes, +5.38BB, +1.69BB/Hr, 197 hands

Table One – 108 minutes, +7BB, 3.89BB/Hr, 111 hands

Table Two – 83 minutes, -1.62BB, -1.17BB/Hr, 86 hands

No big pots tonight. (see title of post)

Monday, May 10, 2004

Players, Oh Players, Where For Art Thou Players

Well I’m going to have to rethink my weekend play at Absolute. The table selection has become non-existent at the .50/1.00 level. The only play seems to be at the 6 max table and even then it’s not always full. At the .25/.50 and 1/2 levels there are plenty of tables. I don’t want to drop down a level because I’ll lose the earning potential and as much as I’d like to play 1/2 I’m going to wait for the bankroll to build. This leaves Party so I’ll have to spend my weekend time there as well as my weekday. The freeroll NL tourneys at Absolute will still be an option though a few times a week.

I was going to take Saturday night off but my wife just wanted to get some sleep. Being left to my own devices I found myself at the tables. I logged onto Absolute and finding nothing but 6 max available I sat down to get pummeled. Fortunately I took the hint and switched to Party to recover my loss. On Sunday night I forwent even trying Absolute and went straight to Party for some deep sea fishing.

Table One (Absolute) – 40 minutes, -7.25BB, -10.88BB/Hr, 60 hands – As I stated earlier I was being pummeled here. My aggressive play killed me. When I had the best of it I couldn’t get any play and when I was second best I gave away more than I should. I had my fair share of suck outs on the river but after looking at it I was just to aggressive against these opponents. I found myself with top two pair against sets on several hands. As a matter of fact it appears that I was up against an unusually large amount of sets. In fact 6 of the 60 hands played or 10% were of a set or full house. I’ve never checked this statistic before and correct me if I’m wrong but this just doesn’t seem normal. I know cards can run like that and I was just sitting at a table that was running them, but why couldn’t I get them? :(

Table Two (Party) – 41 minutes, 11.5BB, 16.83BB/Hr, 39 hands – In roughly the same amount of time, and about 2/3 the number of hands I was able to make back my loss and then a little so I could claim a profit on the day. A good weekend at Party can make you believe the bad ones are aberrations. As you will remember I swore off weekend play at Party, now I have to come back. Party is like and evil vortex that sucks you in, spits you out, and then sucks you in again. I’m reminded of the “Come Back to Jamaica” commercial but with a twist “Come Back to the Fish”. Or was it “You Call it Corn, We Call it Maze.” I don’t remember. Anyway I was happy with my return to weekend play at Party and that’s all I was trying to convey in the preceding rambling paragraph.

Table One (Party) – 69 minutes, 23BB, 20BB/Hr, 70 hands – “To Dream The Impossible Dream”, Wow the fish were biting at this table I was sorry to see it end but alas it seemed that all at once everyone bailed on me.

Table Two – 46 minutes, 2BB, 2.61BB/Hr, 46 minutes – As you can see these were dangerous waters. This table was more of a steady grind as several tight players were ruining it for the rest of us. By “rest of us” I mean me. I just didn’t have the right mix of players at this one and after grinding a way 3/4 of an hour I decided to take my 25BB profit for the night and go to bed.

Can’t complain about a thing and the whole week has been a breath of fresh air after trying the two tables at once fiasco. I still feel as though I’m missing something by not playing multiple tables but my win rate just can’t justify it.

Stats for the Week:
10.92 hours, 7.43BB/Hr, 662 hands

Two Week Total:
19.08 hours, $109.36 profit, 5.73BB/Hr, 7.89BB/100, 1386 hands

A fine two weeks of work earning me better than minimum wage. After the rocky start last week this week turned out to be stellar. A good foundation to build on so I have high hopes for this coming week.

Well blogger went and changed things on me. Since I haven't read the new posting rules it appears the comments aren't working. If you have any just email me

Saturday, May 08, 2004

Dashed Dreams

Well my cocky boast of a win streak in the last post cursed me. I dreamed of being in the midst of a record run only to be crushed by my own ego. I logged onto Absolute last night and found basically the same players at the table that I crushed last weekend. My belief that I could destroy them once again, led to my downfall.

Table One – 8 mins., +4BB, +30BB/Hour, 10 hands. This was a maximum 6 player table. I sat down and played while waiting for a seat at a full table to open up. As the numbers show I should have just stayed at this one and played.

Table Two – 63 mins., -25BB, -23.81BB/Hour, 54 hands. I was booted from the table due to a connection problem at one point and I didn’t know what my bankroll was at. When I returned I bought back in for my original buyin and played it down to my loss limit. After reviewing things in Poker Tracker I see that I was chasing cards I had no business chasing. I was staying with stupid things like bottom pair and overcard calling to the river and playing two pair when I knew in the back of my mind I was playing against trips. I was completely ignoring that little voice that tells me what my opponents have. I so thoroughly believed that these players could not beat me that I was just handing them my stack. Time after time I played into them.

Probably won’t play tonight. I’ll have to see if the wife wants to do anything and just kick back and relax. I read a post on RPG that reflected something I was thinking about a few weeks ago. That is “Is there such a thing as too many fish?” The question relates to six or seven players seeing the river. When this happens at least one is going to make their hand and beat you. The consensus of the replies was that this was a fallacy. If you adjust your game you should still be able to beat them. When this occurs you have to loosen up your own game and play looser. This “problem” is why I have quit playing party on the weekends. I’m not sure I agree with the replies on this one. I’m sure you can limit your risk in some ways but how do you draw the line between being a good player whose loosened up and just playing like another fish. I certainly don’t have the experience necessary to comment on this with authority. But that’s my two cents.

I wanted to take a look at my variance so I used my numbers and had excel do up a chart. It looks like my variance is around +-10BB. I have several spikes that hit twenty but when you average things out I’m between 7 and 10. You can see by the chart that when I started playing two tables at once my variance fluctuated dramatically. The inset chart is of my bankroll for .50/1.00 since January 1st. I started in the hole $64 on Jan. 1 but as you can see the trendline shows a nice steady incline.

I took this quote from Iggy’s website. He had it listed at the start of one of his posts. Everytime I sit down at the tables I keep thinking about it so I thought I would share it with you.

"Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake."
Napoleon Bonaparte

If ever their was a quote tailored for poker, this has to be it. So many players overvalue their hands and then continue to bet into you. If I don’t play tonight I ‘ll post on Monday. See ya then.

Friday, May 07, 2004

Blast From the Past

Well it appears that going back to my roots and only playing one table at a time is paying off for me. I’ve missed a days post due to lack of time so I’ll post stats for both days. I’m short of time today also so I’ll keep this brief.

Day 1 – 76min., +14.25BB, 11.25BB/hour, 72 hands
Day 2 – 104 min., +3.5BB, 2.02BB/hour, 100 hands

Day 1 looks more impressive than day 2 but I was up 15BB on day two at one time before playing it down to 3. I had a great loose player on my right that blew his stack but then reupped and started hitting everything. I was cursing myself for not leaving earlier and taking the bigger profit but I’m on a 5 day win streak so I’ll take it. My record is a 9 day streak which I did back in March so I’m looking to top that. Since it’s Friday I’ll be moving to the tables at Absolute tonight. This combination of switching it up worked well last weekend so I’m hopeful that it will continue.

I’m going to eliminate the bad beat posting since this happens to everyone. Unless something just horrendous happens I’ll leave it out. I enjoy reliving the big pot’s though so if I have one of note I’ll still list it.

Big Pot of the Night

Happened on Day 1 and I’m trying a hand converter to save some time and make things cleaner.
Party Poker 0.50/1 Hold'em (8 handed) converter

Preflop: lifesagrind is UTG with 9h, Jh.

lifesagrind calls, UTG+1 folds, MP1 folds, MP2 folds, CO calls, Button folds, SB completes, BB checks.

Flop: (4 SB) Ts, 7d, 8c (4 players)

SB checks, BB checks, lifesagrind bets, CO raises, SB folds, BB folds, lifesagrind 3-bets, CO calls.

Turn: (5 BB) 6c (2 players)

lifesagrind bets, CO raises, lifesagrind 3-bets, CO caps, lifesagrind calls.

River: (13 BB) 6d (2 players)

lifesagrind bets, CO raises, lifesagrind 3-bets, CO caps, lifesagrind calls.

Final Pot: 21 BB


lifesagrind shows 9h Jh (straight, jack high).

CO shows 9s Ac (straight, ten high).

Outcome: lifesagrind wins 21 BB.

As a side note I have decided to change my partypoker alias to “lifesagrind”. Stop by and see me…but be nice.


Wednesday, May 05, 2004

What is Normal Anyway?

I wish I could report another 50BB night but things seemed to be back to normal for me. After a full day of yard work and baseball practice I sat down for what I was hoping would be a big night.

75 mins., +5.61BB, 4.49BB/hour, 80 hands.

The results referenced above are a pretty fair representation of the results I had before trying unsuccessfully to work multiple tables. I should have left this table after the first few rounds since I knew more profitable ones were out there. I have a mental block that seems to prevent me from leaving a table down money if I haven’t hit my stop loss. I felt I could eventually beat the table and I made it my goal for the evening to do so. I wasted precious earning time doing this. I waffled up and down anywhere from +12BB to -12BB. The last ten hands I played were shorthanded having no more than 4 players. I started the short hand play down 4.75BB. The last hand of the night was a pot for $12.23 which put me up enough to quit and go to bed.

I was on the button with 3h3c.
A fourth player had just joined the table and posted in the cutoff. I raised, SB reraised, BB raised all in for .12 more, and we all called.
Flop 3d6sAs
SB checks, BB is all in, CO checks, I bet.
Turn 2h
SB check, CO checks, I bet and both call (why do people play shorthanded no matter what they have?)
River 3s
I get the rare 4 of a kind and as usual I’m not going to get any play on it.
SB check, CO checks, I bet, SB calls, now the CO folds.
SB had a pair of Tens and just called all the way. He really played this hand to weak shorthanded. I wasn’t going to fold my pair, especially after getting the set but he should have applied pressure. The flop showed an A but he should have raised it up to test the table. It would have been better to lose an extra SB than to call out an additional 2BB. Of course everyone reading this already knows this so I’m preaching to the choir.


Tuesday, May 04, 2004

Surprise! You’re Dead!!

In keeping with something that Iggy pointed out to me, I get bonus points for this title too. Last night was another spectacular display of dead money. I don’t know who brought out all the bad players but I hope they keep them around. There were a few tight players at the table but they just weren’t getting the cards they needed to keep me under control. :) I’m sure I went into their notes as a maniac but when everyone is going to let me control the table, I’ll do it.

133 mins., +49.5BB, +22.33BB/hour, 133 hands

Table One - 83 min., +45.5BB, 32.89BB/hour, 87 hands. I was worried during the first orbit when everyone was folding, but then it was like a switch was thrown and most of them loosened up. This worked to my advantage and I was able to take control of the table. I don’t know if everyone just wanted to beat me or they thought they had good hands but someone was always eager to pay me off. Eventually the table broke up and I had to look for fresh fish.

Table Two – 45 min., +4BB, +5.33BB/hour, 46 hands. I almost made a grave error at this one. I was fresh from the first table and sat down trying to play the same way I had just been. These players would have none of that and started to make me pay for my transgression. It took me about a 10BB loss to start changing my play. Fortunately I was able to adjust and worked my way back into the black before this table broke up. Since it was late I decided to call it a night and go to bed.

Bad Beat of the Night
None to report.

Big Pot of the Night

I was on the button with 8c8s
The table folded around to LP who called, cutoff poster checks, I call, SB calls, BB checks. 5 see the flop
Flop 8d10h10c
SB checks, BB leads out, LP calls, CO folds, I decided to slow play figuring my fullhouse will be the nuts and just call, SB calls, 4 see the turn
Turn 9d
SB bets, BB raises, LP calls, I raise now putting the BB on a 10 and knowing he wont fold, SB raises making it four bets, I’m thinking a straight, BB and LP calls. 4 see the river
River Ah
Check around to me, I bet, SB raises, BB calls, LP folds, I raise, SB and BB call.
SB has QdJh for the straight, BB has Kd10s, I show the full house and take down $28.50 after the $1 rake.


Monday, May 03, 2004

Wife Takes the Seat

I had to work late last night and got home about an hour before I had to go pick my mom up at the airport. I didn’t feel I had time to get settled into a ring game so I thought I’d check out the SNG (Sit-N-Go) selection at Absolute. I was surprised to find that they offered NLHE for .60. .50 went to the pool and .10 to Absolute. I figured it would be fun to while away my 40 minutes left of free time for less than a buck. What I didn’t count on was the extremely tight play. It was like these guys thought they were at a final WPT table. This was a good environment for winning but I wanted to be done in 40 minutes. Needless to say there were still four of us at the table when it came time for me to leave.

I had the chip lead by about 2000 chips so I called my wife in to finish for me. She has never played poker before and only knows the terminology of the game because I talk about it. She had been busy unpacking and I thought it would be fun for her. She said she didn’t want to play but I told her it would be a fun break and even if she lost we would only be out 60 cents. She agreed to give it a shot and I played a few hands with her so she knew where the buttons were and told her she only had to outlast one player to make money. I then got on the road. About ten minutes later my curiosity got the best of me and I called home to check on her progress. She reported she wasn’t doing well and had lost about 1000 dollars. I told her I’d help over the phone and we continued to play this way till the tourney was over. On every deal she would tell me which cards she had, which suit and what went onto the board. It was hard to follow sometimes but we soon found ourselves heads up when our opponent eliminated the other two players in one hand. We went back and forth for about 5 or 10 minutes then when in the big blind my wife reported that we had a 5 of diamonds and a 2 of puppy feet. Yes she calls clubs “puppy feet”. Our opponent called and we checked.
Flop Jh 4h 6h
Opponent bet 2,000, we raised, opponent went all-in, we only had 300 left so we called.
Turn Jd
River 3h
We caught our straight but our opponent had a Qh and caught the flush. We finished second and took a cool $1.35.

I wouldn’t recommend trying to play over the phone when the person talking to you doesn’t have a clue how to play, but overall we had a lot of fun and she got a small glimpse into what I spend so much time doing.


Sunday, May 02, 2004


Ok, I recently saw Bring It On and the Fear Factor episode with the cheering couple. As corny as it is, this was definitely the theme of the night. I logged onto Absolute Poker for a little single table action. I debated playing at all for the whole weekend but Absolute had their 15% one year anniversary deposit bonus. I didn’t want to miss out on free money so I reloaded and played with the following results:

50 min, +57.75BB, 69.3BB/hour, 44 hands

This table was a dream. The table never filled up while I was there and we usually had between 6 and 8 players. I could do no wrong and with 2 players that were seeing virtually every flop I was getting paid. I had 5 pots over 10BB. Everyone at the table was passive and could be pushed off of hands. Even the loose preflop players would lay down after I burned them. A preflop raise still didn’t mean much but after the flop I could command the table. The cards were also falling my way. The big blind brought me two winners when I saw J4s turn into a set of 4’s and 76o became a straight on the turn. I would have played a whole lot longer but before starting I signed up for a freeroll multi tourney. When the tournament started I decided to quit while I was ahead. This big win more than makes up for my losses earlier this week and has really raised my spirits.

The tourney was uneventful. I caught a big hand early but then lost out when my two pair A’s and 6’s lost to A’s and 8’s. This hand put me on life support and I went all in a few hands later to go out before the first break. 999 people entered and I was out around 650 or something. I wasn’t really paying to much attention and was just happy to have the big table win earlier.

Bad Beat of the Night

Yeah, right :). I didn’t have any hands strong enough to start with that could qualify for a bad beat. I was seeing incredible flops. The highest A I had was AJo and the only pair I had was 10’s which paid me handsomely

Big Pot of the Night

This was my 9th hand of the night and my 3rd winner. This hand allowed me to start scaring the other players. It wasn’t a beautiful play or anything, it just set the tone for the rest of the night.
Six of us are at the table. I’m on the button with AcJh
Two callers, one fold, I raise. Blinds and all others call. Five see the flop.
Flop 10d 3h Ah
Check around to late position who bets, I raise, SB calls, BB folds, EP calls, LP raises, I call since I’ve been fired back at, remaining players call. 4 see the turn
Turn 5d
Check to LP who bets, everyone calls. 4 see the river
River Jc
Check to LP who again leads out, I raise. A flush is no longer possible and even if LP has made two pair with the A, my two pair are now bigger. SB folds and EP calls as does LP.
Absolute has a feature where you don’t have to show your hand if you are the loser and you’ve called, so I don’t know what everyone else had. I do know that my hand held up though and I took down a $20 pot after the $1 rake.

Another observation. I am definitely an advocate of putting as much time as you can in at the tables. Experience can make a huge difference. In the past two weeks I have had two sessions which posted over 50BB. Before that the biggest win I had was at 37BB. I know I was despondent about my losses earlier this week but I truly believe that without some of the things I’ve learned since starting this, I never would have been able to control the table like I did last night. I would have been a winner, but not as big a winner.