Thursday, June 24, 2004


I will be out of town for a wedding until the 28th. Be back on then with more updates.

Monday, June 21, 2004

Ding Dong the Streak is Dead, the Streak is Dead, the Streak is Dead

Losing streak that is. Granted it was a shortened week of play but not one losing session out of the last four makes me feel good. I even played a few sit and go’s with success. I don’t usually play them but things worked out.

Saturday night I sat down to play and found that on the weekends Aztec Riches puts a lot of no limit tables up but not many limit ones. With only one 1/2 table available I had to join the wait list. I was anxious to play so I checked out the SNG tables and decided to try a $5.50 table. I haven’t played no limit in months and I wasn’t even a break even player when I did. Feeling frisky though I figured it was worth a shot until my regular table opened up.

Several bloggers I’ve been reading are playing the SNG tables regularly. They’ve been saying that early you need to play it very tight because many players will go all in early. I adopted this strategy and before long people were exiting. I wasn’t staying unless I was extremely confident I had the nuts and was even able to eliminate 2 players in one hand. I held the chip lead through most of the play and only started to sweat when it got down to two of us. Again I called upon the teachings of my fellow bloggers and went aggressive. I made sure I never folded the blind unless it was complete crap and raised when prudent to do so. My opponent happened to be the table “expert” as he chastised all non-conventional play. This played into me and he layed down a lot. He felt I was getting “lucky” on him and took every opportunity to tell me so. Even after beating him he continued to whine. Victory was indeed sweet.

With the confidence of the win I joined the limit table and continued to have success. I wasn’t going to break the bank but solid play helped me take a profit from the table and that’s all I ask of the game we love.

Sunday Was more of the same but I finished 3rd in the SNG instead of 1st. Still money won but I don’t think I will begin to play them regularly yet.

Saturday $5.50 Sit-N-Go, 1st place, $19.50 profit
Saturday Table – 105 minutes, 6.5BB, 3.71BB/Hr, 84 hands

Sunday $5.50 Sit-N-Go, 3rd place, $4.50 profit
Sunday Table – 50 minutes, 6.77BB, 8.12BB/Hr, 45 hands

Week total
SNG’s $24.00 profit
Tables – 5.97 hours, 29.02BB, 4.87BB/Hr, 349 hands

Saturday, June 19, 2004

Almost…Not Quite

Another win last night and I’m feeling pretty good. That’s only two wins since my losses, so I’m not ready to call an end to the slump yet, but things are looking good.

Another night of Aztec Poker and I found a table composition I hadn’t run into before. 9 out of the 10 players were playing very tight. I wouldn’t say they were all rocks as some were making mistakes but certainly not the loose tables I’m used to there. It was easier to get some of them to lay down hands on bluffs so that was fun to do every now and then. I feel I could have done better as I rocked back and forth between up and down for a while. A few table “experts” provided some amusement but they hurt more than they helped the table.

Stats – 138 minutes, 9.25BB, 4.02BB/Hr, 155 hands

Friday, June 18, 2004

Back From The Beyond

It’s been a while since my last update. That’s very unlike me but I’ve had the week from hell and I haven’t played any poker until last night. To start things off we have a massive Thunder Storm on Friday night. We discover on Saturday that we have lost allot and I do mean allot of equipment due to a lightning stike. I spend 34 hours straight at work and then my mom falls, shatters a disc in her back and breaks her foot. Between work, hospital, and trying to catch up on sleep, I have had no free time whatsoever.

Since I couldn’t finish through the weekend I ended a second week down although it was only -$17.25. Last night I decided to forgo sleep (which I still need desperately) and play some more at Aztec Riches. I had a hard time focusing but managed to make some money in the hour at the table. I don’t know if I’ll have time tonight to play but I need the adrenaline boost a good weekend at the tables can give.

Total – 65 minutes, 6.5BB, 6BB/Hr, 65 minutes

I have enabled a site feed now so newsreaders can pick up my posts. See the link in the links section.

Friday, June 11, 2004

A Change of Scenery

More of the same last night as the Party players handed me my ass hand after hand. I’m getting frustrated and pushing the issue to many times. You’d think I would learn that I can’t push a player off a hand if he’s holding the nuts. Oh well.

After reaching my loss limit yet again I decided to check out the 1/2 games at Aztec Poker. I forgot to mention that over the weekend I received my chip set from PokerSource for signing up at Aztec. It really is a nice set and I was pleasantly surprised by it’s quality. The aluminum case seems sturdy enough but it did have some minor cosmetic flaws when it arrived. A little ding and a chip in the case but it was free so I’m not going to be complaining. I will complain about Aztec Poker’s cashout process though. I tried to remove some money from the account and they wanted a copy of my drivers license and a utility bill to verify who I was. I just wanted the money deposited back into the original neteller account that it came out of so I feel this is unnecessary. I faxed them a copy of my license and they wrote me back to tell me it was illegible. I’ve heard others have had this problem as well so I’m just going to scan what they need and email it to them. Hopefully that will correct it.

Back to poker I sat at an Aztec table and really had a solid effort. I’m not usually one for superstitions but Party has been killing me the last week and a half so I’m going to go ahead and play Aztec for a little while. (At least until I can get some of my money out of there.) Poker Tracker now imports prima hand histories so I have no reason for not switching for a while.

Table One – 14 minutes, -11.5BB, -49.29BB/Hr, 17 hands
Table Two – 78 minutes, -19.63BB, -15.1BB/Hr, 83 hands
103 minutes, 15.63BB, 9.1BB/Hr, 107 hands

Total – 195 minutes, -15.5BB, -4.77BB/Hr, 207 hands

Thursday, June 10, 2004

A Tilt By Any Other Name Is Still A Tilt

I wanted to write a glorious tribute to my return to profitability but I can’t. I played for an hour on Monday night and did well. Tuesday night I did really well, and Wednesday night I gave back every penny I earned on Tuesday.

I was up early on Wednesday but soon found myself down to my loss limit. Instead of judiciously calling it a night I started to chase. I wasn’t chasing cards as I was still able to lay down a hand. I was chasing my money. I’ve stated before that chasing was my kryptonite and this just confirms it. Chasing is chasing.

Monday – 56 minutes, 7.75BB, 8.3BB/Hr, 57 hands
Tuesday – 93 minutes, 23BB, 14.84BB/Hr, 82 hands
Wednesday – 104 minutes, -23BB, -13.27BB/Hr, 109 hands

Monday, June 07, 2004

Tilt Is A Four Letter Word

I’ve just had my first overall loss for a week since moving to the 1/2 tables. My loss was not as great as last weeks win but close enough to make me worry. As those of you who have been following along know the entire week had been a struggle. I had managed to hold my own though and keep the losses to a minimum. That all changed on Friday night.

To set things up a player two to my right stated that he was having a problem chasing cards. Everyone chimed in on the chat and I stated something to the affect that it’s fine as long as I’m not in the pot. The comment was in jest but I should have taken it as a sign of things to come. Another player who was seated across from me was chatting freely and often showing his cards or telling everyone what he had when he was in a pot. The chatter seemed a little loose but was always talking and showing good cards so he appeared to be on a good run.

I decided to play tight (as it turns out a bad weak/tight) in preparation for the chasers play but was receiving a horrible run of cards. Looking at Poker Tracker I see that I got just about every combination of hands I could get with very few duplicates. I was not doing a good job of holding my own and found myself approaching my 20BB stop loss.

I saw what appeared to be a questionably played hand by the earlier chatter and decided to look at the hand histories. It turns out that the chatter had been lying about his hands a majority of the time and I was laying down to him. This started the tilting process as I knew I was being ignorant for taking him at his word. I wasn’t tilting because of the other player, I was tilting because of myself. He was deploying a strategy to hook the fishes and I was right there with them nibbling at the bait.

There was now no way I’m going to lay down to this guy and it would have been a sound strategy. I say would have been because this is also the time that the chaser decided to come alive. I would beat down chatter only to be beaten down by chaser catching his flush when 4 hit the board or making his bottom pair a set or any other possible suckout you can think of. I literally started yelling at the screen for the first time in months and actually was poised to throw my mouse at one time. If the week had been different up to that point I might not have reacted so harshly but enough was enough.

I blew through my loss limit and gave away the entire $50 that I sat down with. A sane and normal person would have stopped at that point but I was pissed and fired up another table and another $50. Then the amazing happened. My tilting led to aggression which led to pushing the table around which led to pots. I found myself on a roll and I took down the biggest pot I’ve ever had at $52. I didn’t want to look a gift horse in the mouth and after calming down I decided to call it quits for the night. I had not recovered my whole $50 loss yet but close enough that I could feel alright with it.

Saturday night would be more of the losing as I met my loss limit in a very uneventful manner. I can truly attribute Saturdays loss to cold cards and I don’t think I ‘ve really been able to do that up this point. I usually can pinpoint something I’ve done wrong but Saturday was played the way I play my game. In order to try to pull a winning night out I’m going to try to tighten up my starting hand selection. This should help minimize my swing and hopefully give me a confidence boost. I didn’t play Sunday night and as I’m at this moment on a plane headed home I don’t know if I will play tonight either. I really don’t want to take two nights off but a two day break may be in order.

Friday Night:
Table One – 108 minutes, -25BB, -13.89BB/Hr, 130 hands
Table Two – 82 minutes, 18.86BB, 13.81BB/Hr, 97 hands
Total – 190 minutes, -6.13BB, -1.93BB/Hr, 127 hands

Saturday – 98 minutes, -21.5BB, -13.16BB/Hr, 91 hands

Big Pot of the Weekend

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

Preflop: lifesagrind is SB with Ad, Jc.

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

Flop: (5 SB) Jh, 5s, 8h (5 players)

lifesagrind bets
, BB calls, UTG+2 calls, MP1 calls, Button raises, lifesagrind calls, BB calls, UTG+2 calls, MP1 calls.

Turn: (7.50 BB) Ac (5 players)

lifesagrind bets
, BB raises, UTG+2 folds, MP1 calls, Button calls, lifesagrind 3-bets, BB caps, MP1 calls, Button calls, lifesagrind calls.

River: (23.50 BB) 2c (4 players)

lifesagrind bets
, BB calls, MP1 calls, Button folds.

Final Pot: 26.50 BB

lifesagrind shows Ad Jc (two pair, aces and jacks).

BB shows Ah 5c (two pair, aces and fives).

MP1 shows As 5d (two pair, aces and fives).

Outcome: lifesagrind wins 26.50 BB.

Friday, June 04, 2004

Not What I Had In Mind

Well this entry will be short and sweet. I played a good game last night but couldn’t come up with the break out night I feel I need. I sat at one table and rec. 3 decent starting hands right off the bat but lost each of them. Then the table broke. I never got a rhythm and had to move on. The next one was better but I was only able to recover the loss from the first. I feel I played well and I wasn’t the victim of any unusual bad beats, I just didn’t get the cards I needed to have a good night.

I think I’m having a bad run but I don’t feel down and out. Last night was pretty much just cold cards. I have faith that I will still breakout this week.

Table One – 11 minutes, -6.5BB, -35.45BB/Hr, 12 hands – Told you it broke up fast.
Table Two – 160 minutes, 6.25BB, 2.34BB/Hr, 149 hands
Total – 171 minutes, -0.25BB, -0.09BB/Hr, 161 hands

Thursday, June 03, 2004

A Gamblin’ Good Time

I lost $12 last night and I feel good about it.

How’s that for a statement. I had such a good time with the family last night that when I sat down to play poker my good mood carried over and I wanted some action. Adopting a more loose and fast style I just sat and had fun playing the game. In retrospect I should have gone to a lower level to do this but what the heck.

My stack was in a constant state of flux. I would go from –18BB to +1BB and back down again. Over and over the cycle would continue and I really was enjoying myself. Normally around 11:30 pm my eyelids start to feel heavy but not last night. Before I knew it the clock was showing 2 am. And of course instead of being at the +1BB of the rotation I was at the negative end. Since it was late and I really did not want to log a –19BB loss for the night I became one with the “Rock”.

The entire table was loose but not stupid. It didn’t take long for them to catch onto my change of pace. It was actually quite amazing. I had been watching them but I hadn’t realized how closely they were watching me. After a few orbits my raises started carrying a lot of weight. I was super tight but aggressive and very few of my hands were making it to the river. In honor of my new found status I began to loosen up a little bit. I still had good starting hands but with some relaxed post flop play. After a few hands I ran into someone with the best of it and unfortunately the table realized what I was doing. I kept to strong hands but a few chasers kept me from getting back to even. At 3:20 I had to call it a night. I wasn’t tired but I knew the wake up time was fast approaching and if I wanted any sleep now was the time.

As with any endeavor one should learn something from ones experiences. Last night I realized just how crappy K10o can be. I don’t recall really getting this hand a lot in the past but last night it seemed like I was getting it about every other rotation. In light of my loose play I was playing it everytime I got it. I won with it a few times but overall it seemed to really be a crappy hand. If I remember correctly Sklansky recommends only playing it in late position. I’m going to have to agree. (like he needs my agreement)

Anyway, tonight will have to be back to serious play. The loss last night makes it seem like I’m having a bad run (5 losses and 5 wins in last ten)so I need to rectify that with a good night tonight.

Stats: 268 minutes, -6.07BB, -2.72BB/Hr, 279 hands

PS. I just checked my K10o stats in Poker Tracker and I in fact had the hand 7 times which was the most of any hand. Interestingly though it was an overall winner earning me .01BB for the night. Just thought I would point that out. Once again perception and fact don’t match up exactly. Also it was a loser from late position (4x) but a winner from early(2x w/ once in the BB as loser). Go Figure.
Overall, of the 9,143 hands I have in Poker Tracker I’ve rec. the hand 75 times. This has resulted in a -20.25BB’s. That tells me last night was a rare upswing for the hand and I need to be careful about when I play it. My biggest losing hand of all time so far is KJo for a -34.41BB’s. I’ve had it 111 times and need to be careful with this one also.

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

My Kryptonite

Faster than a small child.
More powerful than your Grandma.
Able to leap tall blades of grass in a single bound.

Look! At the Computer Desk!
It’s a white collar worker, it’s a short fat guy, it’s lifesagrind!

Yes! It’s lifesagrind – strange visitor from
Kansas who came Earth with powers and abilities
far beyond those of mortal fish. lifesagrind who
can change the course of mighty pots, bend chips
with bare hands, and who, disguised as an online
poker player, System Manager for a Metropolitan
Tote Company, fights the never ending battle for
Pots, Bankroll, and the American Way.

So what could possibly stop this behemoth of a man you ask? Chasing hands! That’s right viewers, his weakness known to few mortals is of his own doing. Can he overcome such a mighty foe! Will he be able to bounce back! Stay Tuned! Don’t Touch That Dial! More To Come!

Ok, perhaps I went a bit overboard. But, really, I went from feeling like superman to being brought down to earth with a crash. Monday night was a complete failure as I met my loss limit and Tuesday didn’t start out much better. I played down 10BB at one table then went to the next. As I started the next table the truth of my downfall washed over me like an acid bath. I couldn’t blame the cards or the players. I was the culprit.

It started out innocently enough. I’d have A10o and limp in. The flop would be rags and I’d convince myself overcards were enough to keep going. A 10 would come and I’d still feel I was good enough. Another rag on the river and I’d think, “They can’t bluff me off this pot!” Lo and Behold I wouldn’t have squat compared to the other player and I’d see 4 or more BB’s leaving my stack. I’m not sure what caused this behavior but I’m sure glad I was able to realize it.

The next table faired much better and I was able to recover the loss from the first one. I ran out of playable time and the table dried up before I could recover from the previous night though.

Monday Night – 118 minutes, -19.5BB, -9.92BB/Hr, 123 hands
Tuesday Night
Table One – 15 minutes, -12.75BB, -51BB/Hr, 16 hands
Table Two – 85 minutes, 20.13BB, 14.21BB/Hr, 90 hands
Total – 100 minutes, 7.38BB, 4.43BB/Hr, 106 hands