Saturday, December 31, 2005

Going Forward In Reverse

Rather than looking back at the year that was, lets look forward at what will be. That's not to say that last year wasn't worth remembering. I had a very nice year at the tables. It's just that if anyone really wants to know, then read the archives. Personally, I'm more interested in what I will accomplish in the future.

The first part of this coming year has to be dedicated to bankroll building. After a rather expensive Christmas of giving, and receiving, I have left the bankroll in some sad shape. The total currently sits at $436.69. In order to be able to play the range of tables and tournaments that I want to I'm going to need about three times that amount. I'm not willing to put any money into the bankroll at this point so that means it's bonus whoring time. For the immediate future if I don't have a bonus or some other incentive to play at a site, I won't be playing there.

To go along with the bonus whoring, I've also decided to not play any ring games at a site if it is not supported by Poker Tracker. Being able to review all hands played will be important if I'm going to improve myself as I restart the building process. Taking this edict into account, I will have to give up some bonus money awaiting me at Titan and Noble. The bonus was substantial at Titan but I'm willing to give that up for the ability to review my hands in Poker Tracker. I may still play tournaments at these other sites, just no ring games. It's time to put that money I spent on the Poker Tracker Guide to good use. I may even begin doing daily updates. (The aforementioned was meant to be said with sarcasm.) But seriously, I might.

I've always been a devout proponent of having 300BB's at a limit before playing that level. I've fluctuated the levels I've played at in the past based on it. Having said that though, I'm going to break form and play $1/$2 with my $400 bankroll. I am very confident that my risk of ruin at that level is close to zero. I should be able to clear bonuses faster than playing at the .50/1 level as well. In order to feel comfortable with that decision though I'm going to have to make some sacrifices. Namely my recent Sit-N-Go adventures will now have to go on hiatus. I also can't afford to spend money on many multi-table tournaments.

I will continue to play in the weekly Kansas City Poker Club online tournaments which occur on Mondays. These are only $5 buy in events and usually there are only 6-8 of us even playing. In the 4 that I've played I've managed 2 wins and a second. I will also play the monthly KCPC live tournaments but I'm going to have to give up my monthly Casino play until I can get a live bankroll going.

Since I brought up a "live" bankroll, I've also decided to split my bankroll up a little. I will concentrate on bonuses and bankroll until I hit the $700 mark. I will then take $200 of that and create a "tournament" bankroll. This will be used for multi as well as single table tournaments. The goal is to have this bankroll be self sustainable so the buy-ins I play will be adjusted according to my comfort level within that confined bankroll. A third bankroll will be setup for "live" play. For the January tournament I will just pay out of pocket for the buy-in. For all future tournaments and casino play I will use an established bankroll which will also need to be self sustainable.

Once I have been able to establish each of the bankrolls I will begin to use my online ring game roll to delve more into the no limit arena. Online no limit was kicking my ass a little last year so I want to get in the black with those games as quickly as possible. I also want to get in the black at 5/10 but it may take a while to get back to that level.

Of course all of this will be dependent on my doing something I've never been able to do before. That is to leave my bankroll alone. I hope to take a weekend in Vegas come March and then perhaps take a trip out during the WSOP. These trips need to be paid for entirely by the poker bankrolls. Everything from the plane tickets to the food I eat. That means no screwing around and building as quickly as possible.

After taking a few weeks off I'm ready to get back into it. I will be playing at Check N Raise until my last $30 in bonus is retrieved. I'll then take advantage of the Full Tilt reload before the 4th. I currently have $650 in bonuses spread out among a few sites so after the Full Tilt reload I'll move onto those before taking advantage of another reload.

See Ya At The Tables

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Ooops, I did it again

What did I do again you may ask. I cashed out most of the bankroll again, that's what. It will make for a Merry Christmas in my household but won't do anything to further my poker playing. As it stands though I probably won't be playing much for the rest of the year anyway. I leave on Saturday to pick up my son for the Holidays and he will be here till Jan. 1. That will be family time so other than maybe a few short hours I won't be playing for the rest of the year.

I'm working on a plan for next year that will involve some serious effort. I want to start with what I have left in Neteller and build it into something meaningful. It won't be anything as ambitious as some of these project 100K's you read about, but I have certain performance, not necessarily monetary, goals in mind. I'll finalize the plan of action and post it up when I'm ready after the new year.

Happy Holidays Everyone!

Sunday, December 11, 2005


That would be the way to describe this week of poker for me. Nothing seemed to go my way at the cash games or the SNG's. Rather than drone on about details no one, including myself cares about. I present this weeks $20 SNG numbers.

47 played
6 wins
5 seconds
6 thirds

ITM 36.17%
ROI 0.97%
$10.00 profit

Just stellar.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Fuckin Bluff Poker Tour

I probably shouldn't be writing this right now as I am very pissed off but I have to vent. One of the final two events has been cancelled without an apparent reschedule. Since I am 115 points behind the leader, and the most points given per event is 100, it is now impossible for myself, or anyone else to catch the points leader. Bluff magazine is giving the current leader the three seats without completion of the advertised tour.

The way my multi game has been going recently I'm not overly confident in my chances to take the lead in the end, but I shouldn't be robbed of the opportunity without explanation or compensation. I invested months of effort and followed the tour to some really crappy poker sites because I wanted a shot at those seats. Now the Bluff Magazine people are just cutting the tour short. No one from the magazine has offered an explanation even on it's own forums. It's like they just don't give a shit. They got what they wanted out of the thing so fuck the participants.

If I'm wrong about this and I hear otherwise I'll state so here, but until then I'm really disappointed. The final stop is next week at With an added prize pool I'll go ahead and play for the money. I'll finish out the season and play the one seat freeroll since if the rules are actually followed I should begin with a chip advantage. I've invested too much time and effort to walk away at the end.

I hope I'm wrong and I hear something soon.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

First Results for Twenty

I just ended my first week of $20+2 SNG's. I'm very pleased with the overall results but I was suprised to see that my 2nd place finishes were outnumbering my 1st's. Whenever I get down to heads up I feel that I am the favorite. I'll need to go back and look at the hand histories to determine if I was playing badly or getting unlucky.

Toward the end of my $10 SNG's I was able to settle into a rythm that has carried forward to the $20's. At first I was struggling with playing two heads up matches at the same time. As I worked through that I tried to find a way of multi tabling. I read that others were recommending a staggering of the start times by 15 to 20 minutes, but that wasn't working out well for me. I found that I needed to start 3 tables, one after the other, in order to play efficiently. This allowed the start time of the first table to be within 3 to 5 minutes of the last one. I found that it was important to me to have all of the tables within the same blind structure so I could transition fluidly from one to the next. Playing two heads up situations has become easier but my heart rate still climbs when I'm down in the money on all three.

Here are the results:
30 played
6 wins
7 seconds
2 thirds

ITM 50.0%
ROI 50.0%
$330.00 profit

I'll take a look at the hand histories and talk a little about the differences I'm seeing between the $10 and $20 level in a future post.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Quick Note

I just got around to catching up on my blog reading. I know you already read iggy's blog but on the off chance you don't....

this is, in my opinion, the best post he has ever written.

How Much Is My Blog Worth?

My blog is worth $7,339.02.
How much is your blog worth?

I wish I could sell it for that much :)

updated: 01/07/06

Monday, November 28, 2005


Didn't have to spend long at the 10+1 level to meet my goal. I'm now going to spend an extended period of time at the $20 SNG's so I can get a good reading of where I'm at.

$10+1 Stats:
24 played
7 wins
2 seconds
2 thirds

ITM 45.83%
ROI 53.41%
$141.00 profit

Friday, November 25, 2005

Template Update

It's only been 362 days since I last updated my blogroll so I finally got around to doing a refresh. Not a whole lot has changed but the blogs listed are the ones I'm reading now. If you don't have an RSS feed I no longer read you, sorry.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Going to 11

Finally won 10 buyins at the $5 level sit-n-go's. Took me longer than I expected but now I'm moving to the $10+1's. I plan to work toward the 10 buyin mark at this level as well and then I'll camp out at the $20-$30 level. A decent amount can be won at that level and that should get me through christmas. Here's the final $5 level stats:

92 played
16 wins
12 seconds
7 thirds

ITM 38.04%
ROI 13.2%
$66.75 profit

The ROI is low but I'm happy with the fact that the majority of my money finishes are wins. Still out performing the stock market though so my moneys in the right place. :)

Monday, November 21, 2005

Saturday Night Live and SNG

The Kansas City Poker Club was an excercise in futility as I busted out within the first three on Saturday night. I then ventured to the local Harrah's for some no limit play and placed myself on the waiting list. Two hours later and down $40 from video poker my name was called for the 1/2 no limit. When you think 1/2 no limit one would normally envision the blinds to be $1/$2. This is not the case. At Harrah's this refers to the table buy-ins of $100 min and $200 max. The blinds are then $2 and $5.

Didn't play a hand for the first two orbits then got someone to double me up. It was really the only notable hand of the night. I was in the Big Blind holding pocket Aces. It folded around to the cut off who called and then the SB went all in for his last $23. I called hoping to bring along the CU. He suprised me by raising it to $50 and I reciprocated with a bump to $100. He then pushed all in and he knew he was in trouble with my immediate call. He flipped up pocked K's and the small blind had AJ suited. My hand held up for almost a double up. I managed to take in another $100 over the course of the next two hours and decided to call it a night. The table was next to the rail and with all the smokers hanging out at the rail I quickly developed a headache. As a former smoker I find smoking all the more irritating.

A quick $300 for three hours work which allowed me to buy a GPS Unit. We are goint to start GeoCaching as a family activity. This should be fun and educational activity for the kids as well as get us out of the house.

The Sit N Go playing started out cold but got hot at the end. Lack of time kept me from playing many games but here are the stats for this week.

25 played
5 wins
4 seconds
0 thirds

ITM 36%
ROI 12.2%
$16.75 profit

Saturday, November 19, 2005


I haven't been playing any multi table tournaments lately except the Bluff events, WWdN, and Pauly tournaments on the weekends. I have had absolutley no success in any of these lately but last night I managed my first final table in quite some time. In fact I was in a zone that I haven't been in for quite a while. You know what it's like, right moves at the right times, making the tough laydowns and betting better hands out of the pot.

I expected to fire up the computer and play in the WWdN last night but it was already over when I went to sign up. I must have missed the memo on the earlier start time. Feeling the urge to play a tourney I found a $10+1 w/ 1 rebuy and 1 add-on starting at PokerStars. I took advantage of both options and had a total buy-in of $31. My stack size stayed within the top 15 for most of the tournament and after 739 players were eliminated we were at the final table. Going into the final table second in chips I had a lot of confidence that victory was imminent. First hand in I put a small stack to the test with my pocket 9's when the flop came 8 high. He ended up all in and his pocket 10's had me dominated. This left me as the short stack and I went about fighting my way back to about even with the bottom 3 players. I held my own until getting down to six players. I was in the BB with pocket 6's and it folded around to the chip leader in the SB. He raised and I pushed. His pocket 9's had me dominated and I was out in 6th.

A nice little $750 win and more than the money, it reminded me that I am capable of playing an excellent tournament game. My bad run in the Bluff events recently has had me down and I needed this confidence boost. Tonight I have the Kansas City Poker Club tournament in Olathe, after which I will head to Harrah's for some live no limit.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Boredom the Giant Killer

Found another leak in my SNG strategy...Boredom. If I don't have other tables open to occupy myself in the early levels I just play to many hands. This leads to either going out very early or building a big stack. This unfortunately is not how I like to play so I've gone to having 2 limit tables open for bonus whoring while I play 1 SNG. This has worked well over the last two days as I've managed to money in 5 out of 9 with no 3rd place finishes.

The Bluff event last night completely sucked. The structure was way to fast for my liking as we were at the 50/100 level a half hour into it. I didn't check the final finish but if the player to my right kept catching like he did early on their was going to be no stopping him. All 5 players atop of the leader board were out before the first break. This means I'm still in second but I have a very large uphill battle ahead. I've read on the forum that a new site has been added to replace one of the later events. It is a skin on the same network as Doyle's Room. Problem is that network does not allow you to have accounts on more than one skin. I'm sure that the usual ways of getting around this will still work but the Bluff Magazine people really need to address the leaks in this format. If they take away another points event, like PokerShare, then the race for the win will really be a sham.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Week 1 of Sit n Go's

Started with a roar but ended with a whimper. I went on a bad run after a stellar start and barely finished up. I have discovered that I'm calling to many bets in the early rounds and being too aggresive (without thinking, there's nothing wrong with smart aggression) in the later. I believe I've been able to work through most of it as I was able to money in the last few I played on Saturday night.

Here's the stats:
42 played
5 wins
6 seconds
5 thirds

ITM 38.1%
ROI 3.25%
$7.50 profit

Sad state of affairs but I fully believe that next week will be better.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Falling Behind

Quackpot had another final table finish on the Bluff Tour last night. This is going to make catching him a daunting task with only 5 events left. I should remain in second place after last night but his lead will now be stretched to over 100 points when the standings are updated. It's a bit dissapointing after leading for most of the tour, but I only have myself to blame.

I wasn't getting much in the way of cards last night but I did get AK three times. I had to lay it down the first two when the flop missed me and I was faced with aggression. The third time I should have layed it down. I hit my A on the flop but another player flopped two pair and I was out in 41st. Only 58 players were present so my finish was less than spectacular.

I'm continuing to hammer out some SNG's when I get the chance. I couldn't play on Wed. because I spent 16 hours at work. I played 6 last night and ended up down a little as I only cashed in two of them. I think I'll hold off on posting stats until the end of the week.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

And You Lose Some

Two days in a row of great success wasn't meant to be. It was kind of odd yesterday...I started out by firing up 2 SNG's at the same time and finished 2nd in both. I then fired up 2 more and finished 4th in both of those. Two more and I finish 6th in both of those. Another 2 and 5th place in both of them. Anyone seeing a pattern here. I decided to quit for the afternoon and played just one more at night before going to bed. I won that one so my net for the day was exactly $0. No win, No Loss.

The only real thing I took out of the days play was that I don't like playing heads up on two tables at the same time. Too many decisions to make and the pace is too much. I'm pretty sure that's why I finished second in both of them. I was fairly confident that I was the better player at at least one if not both of those tables.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Make Up Your Mind

I discovered that working 68 hours a week and trying to tackle no limt ring games at the same time..and I do mean same time. As in playing while at work. Surprisingly this is detrimental to winning. Who da thot. :)

Since the work schedule isn't likely to change all that much in the coming weeks or months I need to stick to what I know for now, with a twist. Sticking to what I know will entail playing low limit poker to clear that $1,000 in bonus money I have laying around at various sites. The twist is that I'm going to start playing sit n go's and more multi table tournies.

When I can sit for 4 or 5 at work, I'll play MTT. When I have less time I'll try to knock out some SNG's. I'm enjoying a 46% ROI on the multi table touneys after playing 188 tournaments so far this year. The SNG's are another story though. I haven't played any in some time but year to date I'm at a -25% ROI after 111 of these.

On both fronts the buyins span from $0 to $100. Since I need a greater amount of work on the single table tournaments I'm going to start small with the $5.50 buyins at Poker Stars. The plan is to force myself to have success at each level before moving up. This brings up the question of what quantifies success at a level. I'm going to research this a little but if I manage to show enough profit at one level to support 10 buyins at the next I'll probably move up.

Anyway that's my plan and I'm sticking to it...unless I think of a new plan in which case disregard what I said earlier.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Swimming With Sharks

Having tested my footing at the online no limit tables I had the opportunity to check out some live play at the local Harrah's. The buy in is $100 min with a $200 max. The blinds were $2 and $5. This seemed a little steep for a $200 buy in but since everyone was working under the same restrictions I figured all was well. As luck would have it they opened up a new table just as I arrived so I sat immediately and got to work.

I found the play to be comparable to the $100 tables online and certainly superior the the live 3/6 tables. I managed to garner some respect from the regulars and had an overall excellent time. I played my first buy in down to $50 and rebought for another $100. I treaded water for a while when the following hand comes up. I play a standard raise from middle position with AA. I get a few callers and the flop comes A high with 2 clubs. The A of clubs was on board so I had no flush draw. Deciding to take down the pot I lead out with a pot size bet.

The loose aggressive button looked at the small blind and said, "I'm going to get him out of this pot." Referring to me of course. He then proceeded to push all in. It folds around to me so I reply, "If you make your flush you can have it" as I push my stack into the middle. We show our cards and sure enough he's on the nut flush draw. The turn is a harmless two but then the table erupts as a third club hits the board. I hold my head in disgust and am about to get up when my friend sitting to my left points out that yes it was a club, but it was also a 2 giving me the full house. This puts me back to around even and I continue to take down a few pots here and there.

As midnight approached (my self designated leaving time), I find myself $35 up and figured I'd just play till my blind. I then way...way...way overplay top pair to another loose aggressive and I find myself down $150. Vowing to get my money back I play until the table breaks at 3:30 am. I never got my money back but I did fight back to only $40 down. I had the opportunity to outplay my nemesis to pay me off a few times but he just refused to do it. He was a decent player but the cards were flowing his way all night and he was the monster stack with over $1,100 when we finally broke apart.

As players began to leave the table just wasn't filling up from the waiting list. When a floor came over one of the regulars asked what was going on and the floor replied that no one wanted to play at the Shark Table. I couldn't help thinking that if this is the Shark Table, I certainly belong here.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

The Next Chapter

It's been a while since I've written about what I'm doing in the ring game arena, and much has changed.

The last time I wrote about the ring games I had just moved to the 5/10 limit level. I spent most of September trying to find my bearings but after 6,107 hands I was running down 1.78BB/100. This amount is roughly equal to the rake that's been paid during that time period. I was playing even with the players but losing the rake to the house. Nothing some study and concentration couldn't overcome but usual...I had to dip into the bankroll. This left me with too little left to withstand any losses necessary to overcome the learning curve.

Moving back to 3/6 really wasn't all that appealing to me so I needed a new direction. I had always talked about making Omaha the next game I would delve heavily into. The money though, it seemed, was all at the no limit tables. Now I was a die hard limit player. The only no limit I played was in tournaments. Having had some success in these I figured no limit would be an easy transition.

At first it was. I started out playing the $100NL tables and met with early success. As has always been the case in my past poker experience...early success...translates into horrid downswings. I began by going on a nice run and finishing up seven buy ins my first week. During the course of the next two I would go on to lose fifteen.

Faced with an ever dwindling bankroll I dropped to the $50 tables. Here is where I have begun to find my way. A large problem I had for a few days after moving down was that I wasn't thinking in correct terms when it came to bets. In limit poker everything translates into small and big bets. In no limit you deal with the big blind preflop and the pot size post flop. Without being able to translate my wagers into these limit type finite bet numbers the actual dollar amounts were my only concern. I found it to easy to put money into the middle when the entire pot size was going to end up being smaller than an amount I was putting in preflop just weeks earlier. No limit has also put a new meaning to the words bad beat for me. Technically the donkeys chasing aren't any different, it's just that now I can lose an entire buy-in when one happens. When they happen in uncharacteristic succession it really puts a damper on the whole poker experience.

Finally, last night, I took a look at where my game is heading. The results I'm witnessing are very similar to the progression I went through as a starting limit player. My preflop numbers are now indicative of much tighter play than I had as a limit player. I'm also much more aggressive post flop. This aggression is both a blessing and a curse. I feel that if I am going to become successful at no limit I'm going to have to gain further control of that aspect of my game. I'm able to easily win the small pots but I'm losing to many big ones. Since there are so many more calling stations playing than I'm used to I have a hard time gauging the strength of my hand in relation to others. This then leads to a tendency of overplaying my holdings.

I have some work to do and I'm looking forward to the learning process. Hopefully it won't be a long process since I've gone through it before.

What does all this mean? Well I should have a reason to blog more now. It's almost like starting over and I'm going to have to spend more time looking at everything in Poker Tracker. This lends itself to needing a way to get everything to sink in...that's where the blog comes in. It used to be my way of expressing what I was trying to get into my thick skull. No reason why it can't be again.

In unrelated drivel - I'm sure everyone is up in arms over the PokerShare fiasco. As I liked to play my tournaments almost exclusively at UltimateBet by way of PokerShare, I no longer have my tournament bankroll. They say a check is on the way but that could take forever. In the mean time if anyone is looking to bankroll a moderately successful tournament player drop me a note.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Bogger Championship

I think I finished respectably at 42nd. I was pushing for at least 36th in this event so I could get one of the larger prizes but it wasn't meant to be. Short stacked at 24,000 I made a blind steal holding AJ. The chip leader, and eventual winner of the whole thing, reraised me all in and I felt I had to call. His QQ held up as I couldn't catch my Ace and that was it.

I think I will receive a tshirt or hat from PokerStars for my finish but I'm not 100% sure about that. Thanks to PokerStars for hosting this event and offering up the great prizes.

Monday, October 17, 2005

To Big For It's Britches

I know the poker "explosion" is huge...but cmon. AOL as the "exclusive online partner of the World Series of Poker"...that's just too much.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Another Bluff Tour Event

Last night the Bluff Tour invaded Full Tilt Poker. As was the case last time we played there, the turn out was good. With 223 players this puts it up as one of the largest fields we've had. I spent most of the tournament struggling to find a playable hand. Even with the bad cards I was able to finish in 13th spot earning me about another 55 points towards the championship. This has helped to pad my lead a little bit but Quackpot outlasted me finishing in 11th. This should provide him with enough points to overtake second place.

My play as a whole was completely unexciting. I managed a nice suckout when we were down to around 20 players but then I gave the chips back to the same player a few hands later. The thing that was different about this tournament was the player reactions to my presence. Other than an occasional "How ya doin", I rarely get noticed or chatted to during these things. Last night was the complete opposite. From the beginning I had a railbird offering me good luck and a few players voiced (chatted) their dismay to being placed at the same table as me. I found even a few were giving me a wide berth when getting involved in pots with me. It was nice for a change and I guess being the points leader does have it's privledges.

There is a dark side to all this. The well wishers of today may turn into the head hunters of tomorrow. The ego stroking felt good last night but I fear that with it comes a large bullseye painted on my back. With only 11 or 12 events left we are getting ready to head down the home stretch and I really don't want people taking shots at me just so they can say they busted me. Anything less than my "A" game from here on out may cost me my goal.

On a side note I have rec. the sketch of what my second Nutz Chip should look like. Hopefully I'll have it next week and I'll post it up here.

Friday, September 30, 2005

Blogger Championship!!!

Poker Championship

I have registered to play in the
Online Poker Blogger Championship!

This event is powered by PokerStars.

Registration code: 9665423

How cool is this!!
I know I have the requirement for time down as I'm pushing 2 years. Since I only post when I have something to say, I hope I meet the frequency requirement. That would completely suck if they didn't let me play because of that.

Friday, September 16, 2005

pissed....yeah, pissed is a good word

Last night was the ultimate in self destruction.

I haven't been updating so as a quick recap, I'm still trying to do my best on the Bluff Poker Tour. In fact at the present time I have the points lead. I have two wins and a few money finishes so I'm up by about 40 points right now over second place.

Last nights event had the makings of a good one for me as anyone who could catch me in the points race went out fairly early. I was playing a very good game and held the chip lead for quite a while. My problems started when we were down to 16. Since only 101 players had signed up for the event I needed to get a top 10 finish to pad my points lead.

Dealt AQ suited on the button I raised it up 3x the BB when it's folded to me. The small blind calls and we are heads up to a flop that comes Jack high. The SB checks so I make a 1/2 to 3/4 size pot bet and I'm called again. At this point I'm worried he's hit the Jack. An Ace on the turn belays my fears. He checks again so I bet the pot and he calls again. Now I'm done with the hand. We both check the blanked river and he shows me AK. Why he didn't bet this hand is beyond me, but I make a mental note for future reference and now I'm down to about 5th in chips.

Fast forward to 13 left and now I pick up pocket 10's on the button. I make the 3x raise and again the SB calls. Were heads up and the flop comes rainbow w/ 9 high. He checks, now remembering what happened last time I decide to take it down now and I overbet the pot. Just as last time, he calls. The turn is another small card and it's checked to me.

Based on my previous dealings with this player I know he will let me lead the whole way. I feel that I have to bet my overpair in this situation. I still can't, after thinking about it, decide what the correct course of action would have been for me to do in this situation. I decided that the best thing to do was put my opponent all in. He made the call and beat down my hand w/ pocket Queens. I'm not sure I could have seen this coming, perhaps I played it wrong, I just don't know.

Moving on. I'm now the short stack and there are 12 players left. I need to make the top ten but I don't have the chips to do it. The cards provide me with a few survived all-ins and I'm now in 8th chip position and should be able to squeeze in.

Proceed with self destruct sequence. As a little background the player on my immediate right has been a pretty fast and wild player. He should have busted several times but always managed to stick around. Im in the BB and it's folded to the SB. He bets enough to put me all-in and based on his previous play I believe he could have any two cards. I have K 6 offsuit. I know, the hand of champions. Anyway, as soon as he bets, instead of thinking it through, I instantly think double up and a shot to win the tournament. My call is met by pocket 9's. "I have an overcard", I think to myself as a 9 hits the flop and I'm gone in 12th.

Not my finest hour. I was so stupid that it has continued to bother me the next day and that rarely ever happens. Writing this down has helped though so maybe now I can get on with my day.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Bold Moves, Good Laydowns, and Lucky Catches

That pretty much sums up the progression of play I went through as I captured my second title on the Bluff Poker Tour.

I know I haven't posted in a very long time, but since no one noticed, I'll assume I wasn't missed. My progession as a player has been coming along and this week I took the step up to the 5/10 limit game. I've only had two sessions so far and I'm up about 3BB's. Nothing to get excited about but at first glance the play isn't much different than what I was experiencing at 3/6. The aggression is turned up a notch but I'm also seeing more fish and maniacs than I'm used to.

I'm going to give it a week or two and then post more about my thoughts on the new level.

Friday, August 05, 2005


That describes how my tournament game has been lately. Over aggressive to begin with and then changing gears at the wrong time and playing into made hands. If I played any worse I'd bust out earlier...oh wait, I'm already busting out early. Operation Work On Tournament Play begins tonight in the $5,000 freeroll being hosted by The Gaming Club.

Pauly made mention of a Smoking Gun article in his latest entry that details the arrests of several "dancers". Having fully read the article I have to say the Florida police really need to realign their priorities. They busted girls on prostitution for merely fingering themselves and rubbing their naked crotches on guys pants. HELLO...when you frequent a strip club you are hoping for this kind of "entertainment". None of the police reports published mentioned the offering of actual sexual intercourse or oral stimulation. These girls were merely providing a "service" that the general male (and some female) public enjoys.

Pauly goes onto somewhat diss the girls looks. Now I haven't "frequented" an exotic dancing establishment in over 12 years and I haven't even seen the inside of one in over 8. This may skew my view of what's considered the norm nowadays but with the exception of the Lilith from Frasier lookalike and the bloody eyeball girl, I'd have to say I'd enjoy a dance from the others. Come on Pauly, don't be a hater.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Check Out My Nutz

I finally received my Nutz Chip for winning the Bluff Poker Tour event. It is solid silver and has more heft to it than I had thought it would. It comes in a clear plastic case that fits around the chip but it can be easily taken out. It also came with a silver pouch for storage. I won't be using this at a casino since I already have a card protector I like, this will instead find a place on my bookcase for viewing.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

An Exercise in Being Card Dead

Last nights Tour stop at Crazy Poker was not an enjoyable experience. Our starting chips were the standard 1500 but the blind structure was horrible. It increased with leaps and bounds as we were at 100/200 blinds at the first break.

This is all well and good if you have hands that will hold up in an all-in fest but when that's not the case, your left to the luck of the draw.

My only hands of any note were all against the same player. Tournament regular aintsotuff was seated on my left and we clashed early and often. When we were alone in the blinds I was able to push him off a hand early in the tournament. He commented that he felt like he had, been played. He had, but in order to diffuse him, so I could do it again, I commented that I had pocket 10's. I don't remember my exact hand but I think it was Ace garbage that never connected.

A few orbits later we were again heads up in the blinds. This time I actually did have 10's and I took it down when the flop came 9 high. He commented that he was laying down J's. I think I could have come up with a better lie than that but I did show the 10's this time.

These seemed to be the only pots I could win until I finally (after being blinded down to a about 9x the big blind) got pocket K's. Unfortunately no one wanted to play and I only won the blinds.

The next time around I was again heads up in the blinds. I had 98 off this time and only completed the big blind. With a flop of 9 high I bet the pot and aintsotuff pushed back at me, putting me all in. He had been catching some big cards and big draws to build a very nice stack and I knew he was sick of me taking his blinds when I had the opportunity. I went ahead and called for the double up. He had caught middle pair on that hand.

This gave me a slightly bigger than average stack but I managed to squander half of it away in one orbit when I rec. a succession of middle pocket pairs and busted draws. I had to release all of my hands by the turn, but with preflop raises and called bets it didn't take much to put me back down again.

Heads up, yet again, with 43s aintsotuff pushed back hard preflop and I had to release the hand. Three hands later I was dealt 99 and decided I was going to play for all of my chips. I raised preflop and aintsotuff reraised. It was folded to me and I pushed. He called and showed his Hilton Sisters. I couldn't suck out and was done in 30th. Only 77 players ponied up for this event and it looks like none of the point leaders managed to cash in this one. That means my 2nd place standing should still be safe.

On a somber note this may be the end of my poker playing for a while. I had some unavoidable financial obligations that are causing me to liquidate my poker accounts. I really don't want to quit playing. I have done well since starting two plus years ago and I am on track to hopefully make some big tournaments this year. I may be asking for some help with the bankroll but I'm not sure how to go about it. I'm going to have to think about this for a few days. If anyone has any suggestions feel free to comment or email me at (lifesagrind at yahoo dot com).

Friday, July 22, 2005

Donkey Is As Donkey Does

Bluff Poker Tour Event #8. If you want to know how to win a tournament look elsewhere. If you want to know how to lose one, read on.

"You may only see my whole cards, but you'll read my every thought as I make losing decisions at the poker table."

Thirty four minutes, five flops. It's not the quickest I've ever been busted out, but its awfully damn close. The key to losing a tournament is in the preparation.
First you must go straight from work to your daughter's T-Ball game. Then rush home for the tournament, but make sure that you read your email and catch up on some internet reading while playing the early rounds. This way you will have no idea how the other players are playing. This in turn leads to best guess scenario's and those are always 100% correct.

Flop #1: I'm dealt a middle pocket pair in late position and I call a raise. The flop misses me and brings an over card. An early position bet and I fold.

Flop #2: It's folded around to the small blind who makes a standard 3x raise. I find pocket 5's in the big blind and decide that since the small blind is short stacked for the table, that he is trying to just steal here. If he had any pair I think he'd just push all-in and force me out that way. With this read I reraise forcing him to call off all of his chips. He takes a while to decide and I know I'm ahead before he makes the call. He shows A 10 off and I win the coin flip. I'm now well over the average stack size and I'm about to go back to reading when...

Flop #3: From my small blind I have Q3 spades. A hand I would never play but I outthink myself. There are about 4 or 5 limpers and it's only going to cost me 1/2 a bet. If I flop big I may get a nice pot out of it so I call. The flop comes king high but with 2 spades. I check to see what the table does. It goes check, pot sized bet, then folds around to me. My inner voice says fold, heads up this is not worth it. My outer voice says, I've got a decent stack lets gamble a little.

I call, turn, no spade. I check, he makes same bet. Again my outer voice overrides the inner and I decide to see the river. Again, no spade. This time it goes check, check and my opponent has been on a complete bluff. He managed to pair the river though so I'm still a schmuck.

Flop #4: After chasing a stupid draw I'm left with an average size stack. Two hands later and now in the cutoff I find AA. Two callers to me, I make my standard raise. Big blind calls, original limper calls, others fold. Flop comes down J 7 6 with two spades.

First well cover what really happened, then we'll cover what should have happened.

Blind bets out with a pot size bet. Limper raises the minimum amount and now I have a decision to make. I have no idea how these guys play so I make a guess and put them on top pair and a straight draw. I know a flush draw is out there but for my decision I go with a straight draw. Now I don't want that draw to stick around. I have to make this an unprofitable situation mathematically so I make a pot size bet. I have both of these players covered although just barely. My raise is such a large amount that in order to call me, the players will be forced to go ahead and push all-in.

Sadly the big blind instantly pushes all-in the limper instantly pushes as well. Now I know I'm screwed. Problem is that I'm committed to this now so I have to call the little bit more. As it turns out the hands I chose were correct. Unfortunately one of these players had both hands. The blind had pocket sevens for the flopped set. The limper had J 10 clubs for the top pair and a gutshot draw. I played this hand badly, but what the hell was this guy thinking. Maybe he was psychic because his 9 came on the river for the straight, and the win.

What did I do wrong? Aside from not paying attention, this is how I should have played it. Everything looks good until my decision on the flop. I put them on top pair and a straight draw. The top pair is a feasible read but the straight draw was not. Turns out it was a correct read but it shouldn't have been. Since the blind bet out a pot size bet I can't put him on the draw. He was willing to call a raise knowing he has to act first so unless he likes to gamble it up he's not likely to call with connectors. Suited connectors maybe, but then I don't see him betting into the pot. He'll want others to do the betting for him.

The limper then raised the pot. Not something a drawing hand will want to do. He has to know that given the way most people play he is going to be called by the blind. He may be going for the free card on the turn but he still has to contend with me. I may have an over pair for all he knows so a raise makes no sense. A call would be his best bet if he wants to pursue the draw.

Since after doing some minor thought I could have eliminated the drawing hands I now have to reconsider what I'm up against. With hindsight I know this would be wrong, but looking at the betting pattern I would put the blind on top pair. Now with the raise from limper I have to assume he can beat that top pair. He didn't raise preflop and then called the raise. This screams middle pair so I should have put him on a set of sixes or sevens.

With the big over pair I can't just lay this down though. Instead of the huge bet I should have put out a feeler and just raised the limpers raise by 3x's. This still would have allowed one of them to push and would have allowed me to gather more solid information without putting myself in dire jeopardy. My analysis would have had the hands backwards but at least I would have been able to get away from it with some chips to fight with.

Flop #5: Again it's two hands later(a recurring theme). I only have 2x the big blind left after my big blunder. There are 2 limpers before me and I decide to push with 98 of hearts. A good multiway hand and I have the opportunity to quadruple up. The dealer keeps the board as far away from connecting with my cards as possible and within 38 minutes I'm gone.

I was left to watch those with enough points to catch me and one of them pulled it off. I've gone from a 60 point lead to what should now be a 40 point deficit. I'll still be in second but Quackpot has proven himself to be a good player. This marks his second win in a row and he has moneyed in all but one of the other events he played in. Looks like I'm going to have an uphill battle from here.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Bobbing for Points

The rescheduled Bluff Poker Tour at was played last night. Coming off a 2nd place finish at a tournament on Wednesday and an 18th on Monday I was feeling very good about my game.

I was able to double up within the first level and take the chip lead when my KK held up against an AK. I managed to stay within the top six or so throughout the tournament. Having said that, I'm a little disappointed in myself.

I'm not sure if I should be though so here's the tale, help me decide.

I've stated before that winning this points race is my top priority until it's over in December. The WPT seats that are up for grabs are important to me and the family is behind me 100%. We are making sure that family scheduling conflicts do not occur on tournament nights and everyone tries to stay quiet during game time.

Since last nights tournament had to be rescheduled we only had 60 players show up. A generous 10 places were paying which means I had a 1 in 6 chance of collecting points. I mentioned earlier that I doubled up fairly early and I never had a problem maintaining a stack throughout.

I begin to question myself as we get down to around 18 players. I'm in a position to easily fold into the money and thus earn more points. Only one player remains who has a good chance of making some ground up against me. He has fewer chips than me and as such I make it my goal to outlast him at all costs. The Tour lasts for a long time and any advantage I can get will be needed.

With this new mindset, my raises become completely ineffective. We are at the stage in the tournament where small stacks are having to push in. I would make my standard 3xBB raise and a small stack would push. I could call and still have plenty of chips. I should call as the small stacks are desperate at this point. Problem is that in the back of my mind I don't feel that I can burn any chips on a coin flip. I have to outlast this other player. I fold, and fold again to small stack pushes.

Two of the players realize that I'm playing like a pussy and use all-in pushes to force me to fold all of my hands. It only takes a few times for me to realize what they are doing so I'm left folding every hand. If I had received a big pocket pair I certainly would have called them but my small pairs and middle cards made the decisions pretty easy.

When my worrisome opponent finally busts out in 8th I decided to switch gears and start actually playing.

As a side note: My username on PokerRewards is nothing like my bluff name so no one knew who I was. It wasn't by design but it was nice knowing no one was worried about out lasting me.

Anyway, I change gears, announce to the table who I am, and start to go aggressive. I pick up a few pots and am one double up away from being a contender. I get a suited big slick and make my standard raise. Here is where my past comes to haunt me. One of the players who was effectively using the all in against me earlier decides to look me up and calls. The flop comes all low cards and my read of the situation is that I have the best hand at this point. I make a pot size bet and he pushes back at me all in. I go with my read and call. He shows to small cards for a flopped open end straight and he's on nothing but a draw. The river brings his straight and I'm out in 5th.

It was a good night for points but had I played my normal game I'm very confident that I take down this tournament. The big picture is the points, but if I continue to play like a pussy I won't win another one. If I go for the win each time I might not get any points. What do I do?

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Play Perfect Poker, Play Perfect Poker, Play Perfect Poker

Last night was supposed to be the Bluff Poker Tour event at
. I say supposed to be because PokerRewards screwed it up and listed it as a private tournament, then couldn't correct their mistake. The tournament has been rescheduled for Friday. I had been preparing myself all day for battle and I really needed to get some tournament play in.

I headed to my tournament standby site of
and found a $30+3 starting within the hour. My play was inspired even if I do say so myself. I was able to make some laydowns that I felt trapped into playing in the past, read my opponents well, made good decisions, and played one of my best games ever.

This of course went all out the window once I hit the final table. I can't explain what happened but I went into the final table in second chip position. The chip leader (who had about 1/3 of total chips) was the consummate bully and I'd managed to bleed off some chips early learning this fact. He played the part beautifully and in order to assure my survival I decided to avoid him. I tried to bully the rest of the field and either my timing was way off, I lost my nerve, or all these guys were suddenly catching cards. It was more than likely a combination of all of the above but I soon found myself treading water in the middle of the field.

A few players began to be knocked out and it was time to go for a steal with QJ suited in middle position. The player on my left called and I decided to push him off his hand when the flop came down AJx with one diamond. When he pushed back at me, all in, I knew I was behind. If I fold in this spot I only have about 5 or 6 times the big blind so I decided to call. I hoped to catch two pair but was instead rewarded with running diamonds for the flush and the double up. I knew I had just laid a bad beat on him and I offered my condolences. He remained silent and pushed all in when my big blind came around. I had to make the call and I eliminated him.

When we were down to four players the game became very tough. My adversaries were good players and I really was feeling like the odd man out. I managed to take the chip lead (don't know how I did this) and then laid another horrible suckout on the second chip position. I needed runner runner to make my hand and it came in the form of another rivered flush.

I then eliminated the third player when I misread the board. I almost laid down the nuts to his all in bet on the river. I had made my straight on the turn but for some reason, (probably the fact my eyes were growing very sleepy), I thought I only had four to the straight. As I was getting ready to fold I finally realized this fact and made the call.

Once we were heads up I had a nice 3 to 1 chip lead but I was no longer in any condition to make good decisions. I blew off my chips with bad calls and bad bets. It didn't take long and I finished in second place. A nice paycheck for sure, but I really only played well enough to earn 5th or 6th. The wall I ran into once I hit the final table I just couldn't overcome without lucky cards. I hated to eliminate some of those guys that way, especially since they were playing so well. I know they have me listed as a player who just got lucky, and for once I'd agree.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Suckout and Re-Suckout are Sitting on a Fence

Another Bluff Poker Tour Event has come and gone. Only 121 players this time and you had to make the final table to accumulate any points. I played a very good game right up until I busted out in 32nd.

The flops were bizarre last night as I saw many 4 flushes hit. Whenever multiple players were all-in pre-flop the board was nuts. The flop would give the worst hands a suckout, the turn would give another player a suckout, finally the river would make the third player the winner for a final suckout. It was really rather amazing to see.

In my final hand I held AQ of diamonds with a stack about 11x the big blind. I made a 3x preflop raise and a short stack on my left went all-in. I was expecting this play but when a very tight player to his left pushed all-in I figured I was behind. I've only seen him push with AA and AK so I gave him credit for either AK or KK in this instance. When it got back to me I didn't want to try nursing a short stack. With having to make the final 10 I decided to take the chance to just about triple up.

The first all in held KJ of clubs and the tight player indeed held AK. I liked the fact that they shared the K so when the flop came Q high I took a nice lead. The turn was a blank and I had visions of a final table appearance until one of the remaining two Kings hit the river sending me out. I usually don't get overly upset but the two outer on the river really pissed me off. I spent five minutes pacing around the room and cooling off before hitting the cash tables.

My cash game has shown great improvement since I've rededicate myself to the craft. This past week I've had solid winning sessions and last night would prove to be a very nice session as I more than doubled my buy-in. The suckouts would continue though throughout the night but the last one had me laughing.

I held pocket 6's in the small blind and a new player to my immediate right raised it up. He had only been sitting for three hands at the table and had raised two of them. Without a solid read I went with a loose maniac read and called. The two of us saw a flop come J high and the original raiser bet out. I couldn't put him on a hand so I decided to see what the turn was going to bring. The turn paired an 8 from the flop and I decided to try and take this pot away from him. I check raised representing the 8 and after thinking for a second he raised back at me. Since he hesitated I now put him on a Jack. I knew I was going to lose this hand unless I took it from him so I capped it. I expected him to make the call and then fold the river if a Jack didn't come. The river brought my third 6 and a full house. I knew I had the nuts and now I hoped he wasn't a smart player. I went ahead and followed through with my representation of the 8 and he called.

This guy went completely ballistic, the chat window was a constant stream of profanity and cutdowns as he couldn't believe I capped the turn with that crap. I almost fell out of my chair laughing as it felt so good to hit my own two-outer after the loss earlier. I wanted to ask him how he could call the raises with the board pairing the turn but I kept silent and let him place the donkey label on my note sheet.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Basic Training

After a dismal night at the Isle of Capri casino I have come to two realizations.

One: I really need to learn more about Omaha8

Two: My game needs some serious readjustment

I've never studied Omaha and last night it really showed. We played 4/8 HOE and it seemed like in the 7 hours I was there I folded all of my Hold'em hands and played most of my Omaha hands. As it turns out this is not a recipe for winning.

Upon my arrival back home my loss was logged in and the spreadsheet was showing me something I didn't want to see.

So far this year I have managed to earn more than 3 times what I did last year. Yipee for me! The problem is that it is all due to tournament cashes. My ring game is showing red for the year and that's where my concentration needs to be focused. The ring games are so far in the red in fact that if I was just to look at them, I would have lost more this year than I earned in all of last year.

I'm going to continue playing the tournaments, especially the Bluff Poker Tour but overall I'm going to cut down on them and spend more nights just playing ring games. Being negative in both 2/4 and 3/6 I've started to gambool far too often.

The increase in tournament play may be what's causing my problem. I'm having difficulty switching modes when going back and forth. My habit of playing both at the same time will have to come to an end for the time being. I'm also going to limit myself to one table at a time until I can pull out at least one consistent week of play. The color red on the tracking spreadsheet is rather annoying so I'm going to work the 2/4 limit first. Once that is corrected I'll move onto 3/6. Once accomplishing that, then it's time to learn some serious Omaha.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Bluff Poker Tour Event #3 & #4

Event #3

I suck

Event #4


I'm going to rant here a little because I need to purge it out of my system.
I sat down last night feeling very good about my chances in event four. I hadn't played at PokerHost before and not many people signed up for it since we only had 79 players. I was still atop the Bluff Poker Tour Leader Board but after the third event my margin had shriveled to only 2 points.

I didn't recognize anyone at my table so I figured I would try to push around a little and just outplay my competition. After about 10 hands it was obvious that these guys were completely unwilling to lay down a hand. I got the distinct impression that to most of these boys Ax represented a monster. Against players like these it can become very easy to lose a lot of chips to a big suckout. I resolved myself to only playing big hands until I could be moved, or enough of these guys busted out.

About 20 minutes in I received Qh Qc in late middle position. UTG+1 made a smallish raise to 80 and the player on his left called. It folded to me and I decided if I was going to play these, I wasn't going to let anyone in cheap. I had 1,100 in chips left and I made a large raise to 400. Action folded around the table to the original raiser, who called. The remaining player folded and we were heads up.

The flop brought a beautiful Qs to turn my sisters into triplets. She brought along a 10h and a 6h. I loved the Queen but didn't care for the two hearts too much. My opponent took a few seconds and pushed all in. He had me covered by about 1,000 chips so this was my perfect opportunity to double up. When I double up here I know I'll outlast this table and move onto greener pastures. I call and my opponent shows the Ah Kh.

Why did he push here? He has nothing but a draw at this point. He has lots of outs but what makes him think he is good to go here?

Was it a stop and go play? I don't think so, these guys weren't that smart. I believe he was blinded by the Royal Flush draw possibility. He didn't know I had the Queen so it wasn't possible.

He also holds the plain nut flush draw and the broadway straight draw. Still, these are only draws and he's betting into an opponent that showed a large amount of strength preflop. Even if I was a player like the rest of them he would have to at minimum put me on an AK like him, or AQ. Either way he's looking to possibly split if the straight comes or lose to a made hand on the flop. This says nothing of if I held AA, KK or what I truly had, QQ.

He bet all in to what was the nuts at the time. I held a 67% lead on the flop and the turn showed a 9d. Percentages don't guarantee success and when a Jack hit the river I was out.

Thanks for coming by, don't let the door hit ya in the ass on the way out.

I was royally pissed at the time and my ring games suffered for the rest of the night because of it. I spent the rest of the night chasing to many second bests and managed to lose $100.

The more I think about it I'm not sure I can fault my opponents play too much. Doing what he did was really his only way to stop me in the hand. He made the wrong play but I knew these guys were making the wrong plays. I suppose I can't be upset about people being themselves. I'd never lay that hand down, but I'm going to lose it 32% of time on that flop, against those cards.

Ok, now I feel a little better.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Chain Smoking and Asian Lesbians

The doors to the 767 sardine can are closed, Germany spreads out below me, and a child is screaming at the top of their lungs 3 rows up. Oddly enough I'm not upset with this predicament.

The reason for this trip to Frankfurt was to pick up my son for the summer. Mission accomplished so nothing can spoil my mood. The poor kid screaming his head off is probably in pain due to pressure in the ears. My daughter suffered from this on our last plane trip so I'm sympathetic.

No poker content, so in homage to the hard working crew at LasVegasVegas I give you my nines list.

Top Nine Odd Things About Frankfurt:
9. No Obese people. I know the rest of the world doesn't have the same diet as the US, but I felt like the fattest guy in Germany.
8. Only homeless people have beards. No I'm not referring to the wife of a gay guy. I saw a few stache's but no full on facial hair. (like I needed another reason to stand out)
7. Hot chicks. If your under 40 it is law that you must be a super model.
6. Toilet paper is rectangular. Instead of square sheets they are rectangular. I like this, nothing better than more wiping real estate.
5. Toilet paper doubles as industrial grade sandpaper. This may be the actual reason for the rectangular sheets. Makes it easier to attach them to electric sanders that way.
4. No toilet tanks. All toilets have the plumbing in the walls and a button to push for flushing. Looks cool but I wouldn't want to pay the plumber.
3. No door knobs. All the doors have levers to push instead of knobs to turn.
2. All Asian chicks are lesbians. OK, maybe not all of them but the first few I saw were and when you take #7 into account, wishful thinking may have gone into effect.
1. Chain smokers paradise. I know European countries have a higher percentage of smokers than the U.S., but every German has to smoke. Their are (and I'm not kidding here) mini cigarette machines mounted into the sidewalks every few blocks. You will never have to want for a smoke unless you have no money. I witnessed someone tearing up butts and using them to roll a new cig.

P.S. I'm flying with the laziest and most rude air waitresses ever. This is the same crew I flew out with and they were rude then too. I'm sitting on the aisle and every time one walks by they hit my shoulder. Never have I heard an apology or "excuse me". After eight hours of this it's getting very old. I hit the service bell located on the armrest and ordered a diet pepsi when they arrived. They then responded with "come on back and I'll get you one." Shouldn't they be bringing that to me?

Saturday, June 11, 2005

The Hardest Working Man In Bloggerdom

For the latest and greatest in WSOP coverage go visit Pauly.
He is not only writing for his own site, but for, Poker Player Newspaper, and does phone interviews for the CardClub Podcast.

Thanks for all you do Pauly.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

To the last I grapple with thee...

"To the last I grapple with thee; from hell's heart I stab at thee; for hate's sake I spit my last breath at thee."

Herman Melville

I'm not sure whether to be humble or boastful. After a two week drought in the multi-table No Limit Tournament scene I have managed to money in four of my last five. This includes three final table appearances and one win.

The win came last night in the second stop of the Bluff Poker Tour. I surprised myself by just making it into the money since I was playing card dead for most of the night. A series of blind steals kept me afloat for most of the tournament.

This leg of the series was hosted by Absolute Poker and the blind structure moved faster than their normal pace. With an increase every 10 minutes I was sure I would be lost to the players catching lucky early. I saw on several occasions players pushing a big raise UTG with nothing more than Ax suited when they still had chips to play. This is a bad move, especially from early position but enough were catching post flop that the play became contagious. These players were ripe for punishment and I dealt the death blow to a few before making the final table.

When the final eight were seated I found myself in sixth chip position. The two big stacks at the table would prove resilient and we made up the final three. By this time I had amassed a large stack and I began pushing around. The players became a little too weak and by the time the break came I had over 2/3 of the total chips.

Coolbreeze eliminated the third player and we were heads up. The chip counts were, me: 149,430 Coolbreeze: 77,070 blinds were 2,000/4,000 with a 200 ante.

After only a few hands of play I found myself with the beautiful Hilton Sisters. I called the blind and we saw a flop. The flop came down 4h,8c,10c and we both checked. I really was hunting for the trap here and when a 9s came on the turn I continued the check. Coolbreeze bet out 12,000 and I reraised to 28,000. Without though he reraised and I really couldn't put him on a straight. It didn't seem to fit and although I might have slowplayed my way up against two pair I had him covered and decided to push all in. He insta-called and flipped up a 9d,3c. I had him dominated and it was all over. Or so I thought. A miracle 3 came on the river to give him the pot and the chip lead.

I truly felt I could outplay him post flop so I decided to make an effort to limp into as many pots as possible. I was able to take a majority of the pots post flop and slowly began to come back. He made adjustments though and we began a long bought of trading pots, and the chip lead. After what seemed like the longest 33 minutes of my life we finally came upon the deciding hand. My opponent had begun to adopt the push all in preflop play with more frequency and I knew I would have to make a stand. By this time I had regained the chip lead and had him outchipped by 4 to 1. He pushed all in preflop and I decided to call with Q,8. He had me beat with a K,4 but the board would bring me a runner runner straight and the win.

The points haven't been posted yet but I should have a comfortable lead going into event 3. For my win I also receive a custom silver card protector from It is valued at $999 so I'm really looking forward to getting more details on it. I don't know if I will get to pick the customization or not but when I get it I'll post pictures.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Rookie Mistake

I created an account on on Wednesday for the sole purpose of playing in the Bluff Poker Tour's first event. For those of you that aren't aware of it, the Bluff Poker Tour is sponsored by Bluff Magazine. It is a six month long series of no-limit tournaments to find the best online player. With points accumulated for each money finish the player with the most points at the end of it all wins three buy-ins to WPT events. Last nights tournament was important to me because I really want to do my best in these events.

Three hundred forty nine players put up their thirty dollar entry fee and when the final table was seated I found myself the chip leader. The structure of the tournament really seemed to favor the skilled player as we began with 2,500 in chips and the blinds 10/20. At no point in the tournament did I feel pressure because the blinds were getting to high. They moved the game along but I truly feel that with the quality of players out there today, the blinds could never increase beyond the initial amount and you would still lose half the field by the first break.

My first hand at the final table I decided to test the action. I made a standard 3x BB raise from middle position and the player on my left doubled the bet. I really didn't have much of anything but in order to save face I made the call. The flop missed me completely and I check folded. These guys weren't going to be pushed around so easily. Putting my toes in to test the water cost me my chip lead but I was still very comfortable in third. We were quickly taken to a break after a few more hands and I resolved to bide my time, waiting for a good opportunity.

Two hands after the break I received manna from heaven in the form of QQ. The chip leader made a min raise to 12,000 as the blinds were now 3,000/6,000. Everyone folded to me in the big blind and now I had to make a decision. I hadn't played with the chip leader so I didn't know if he would push around or not. The raise was inconsequential based on the blind size and he may be trying to steal. My main concern was that he was one of the few players that could bust me. I had approx. 128,000 in chips and he sat around 145,000. I decided to not take the risk of allowing him a flop and I pushed 40,000 out into the middle.

The say... hell I believe, that you have to have at least one lucky hand, or suckout to win a multi table tournament. About half way through the tournament I was dealt K 10 offsuit in late position. I was 30th in chip stack at the time and the chip leader was sitting in the big blind. Everyone folded to me and I made my standard raise to steal the blinds. It folds to the big blind who calls. The flop comes rags but with two spades. My 10 is a spade but that does not inspire confidence. The big blind checks and I put out a half pot sized bet. He calls and the Turn brings a K. This makes my hand but it's a spade representing the flush. The chip leader bets out a small amount and sensing a bluff I push back with about 3/4 of my stack. The chip leader calls me and river brings another spade. I feel I'm dead now. He wouldn't have stuck around if he didn't have a big spade and perhaps he had Ace Rag and caught a little of the flop. He checks, I check, and I take it down. When I see his cards he held two small suited connectors and I suckout out on his made flush.

This pot allows me to start being a bit of a bully when I feel I can get away with it. That leads to my present situation, staring at a big hand at the final table. The chip leader immediately doubles my bet to 80,000. I freeze. I just know deep down inside that he has Aces. Sure he has me covered but no way will he risk a bluff when I'm representing so much strength. I even say the words out loud, "He has Aces." I need to make a big laydown here so I can go for the win. I know this yet the mouse slides effortlessly to the all-in image on the screen. The left button seems to click of it's own accord and my fate is no longer my own.

My opponent calls as I knew he would and sure enough it's A's vs. Q's. The flop comes 10 J A and I now need a K or I'm done. I've already had my suckout for the night and the King never comes. I'm out in tenth place. From Hero to Zero in an instant.

It was a good finish long term thinking wise but remember kids. Do as I say, not as I do.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005


It's been depressing reading all the other poker blogs today. I feel like I'm the only one not going to Vegas this weekend. I have to many other responsibilities this month and they negate my ability to go.

I forgot to mention that Iggy IM'd me while I was at Ameristar playing and he asked if I was going. I had to hang my head in shame responding that I couldn't make it. I took solace in the fact that neither hell nor high water was going to keep me from the next blogger get together. He then informed me that there wouldn't be another one. This was it, the apex. Man I hope he was wrong because that news makes it even worse knowing I won't be there.

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Memorial Weekend Live

With my sister and brother in-law in town I was able to visit the Ameristar Poker Room under the guise of taking them out to the casino. Saturday nights trip was uneventful and I managed to lose my $100 buy in at 3/6. The casino was nearly empty and I found seats with no wait in the card room. I don't know where everyone went but the entire city seemed short in the population department for the entire weekend.

The first table I sat at had to be the tightest live table I've ever seen. This was in stark contrast to my previous visits and no one at the table was having any fun. No conversation, No family pots, and No winning for me. After losing a buy in and taking a short walk I headed back and found myself finally seated at a fun table. It was obvious at least two of the players knew what they were doing but I felt I could exploit them and win back some of my earlier losses. I was able to enjoy this thought for about 15 minutes when my brother in-law announced he was ready to leave. I didn't get my chance but I knew we'd be back the next night and I'd have it then.

Fast forward 24 hours and the card room still doesn't have a waiting list. I sit down and everyone is having a good time. Conversation is flowing almost as fast as the chips and I'm up $50 in half an hour. Then the sky abruptly falls in around me as a few players get up and our table is shut down. There are three other tables hosting 3/6 in the room and I pick the one with three empty seats. I had a 1 in 3 chance of picking the right table to play at and I'll give you three guesses to figure out if I picked the right one. Not only that but with a seat at each end available, I can sit on the fun side, or the dark side. Staying true to form I mistakenly take the dark side. Before I even get my first cards the player two to my right is bitching about the suckouts he's taking and how bad the players are. His mouth never stops spewing forth a bitter barage of negativity. I so want to reach out and put my fist down his throat. He doesn't have the temperament for the game and is sucking my emotional stability down with him.

The player to my immediate left is a super LAG. Never saw a pot he didn't want to raise preflop and never saw a river that didn't seem to make his hand. Between the two of them I was mired in a tar pit of seething darkness from which I could not escape. Before too long the table was comprised of half regular full time players and half recreational players looking to have fun. The regulars kept berating the recreational players and criticized every mistake to poker protocol being performed. Even the dealers weren't immune to the lashing being dealt out by these guys. It turns out that the original whiner was a regular along with the LAG and they had no love for each other. I can say with great sarcasm that it was a joy to be seated between them. Looking back I should have asked to be moved to another table. I'm still new to this live thing and I just wanted to keep my head down and my mouth shut.

About 4 hours into play I finally get a new regular to my right. He's a young guy but he knows the game and we immediately start a decent conversation. As my eternal luck holds true though my sister and husband are now ready to leave and I've had all but $25 sucked out of me. The LAG was catching (but only against me it seemed) and with the lack of playable hands at this table it's just been a small grind.all night. Since I want to have some action before leaving I announce to the dealer I'm going to straddle the blinds. I don't care what I get for cards and I'm getting all of my remaining money into this pot. The LAG calls and it's folded around to the BB who calls. As I'm reaching out to raise the dealer scoops all the chips off into the pot and then realizes he didn't give me the option to raise. Everyone now knows I wanted to but I tell the dealer to go ahead and give a flop. The recreational side of the table then utters their confusion as to how I can raise and one of the regulars begins to school them on the principles of the straddle bet.

Anyway the flop comes rags and I bet out. Both players call. Turn, another rag and I bet out. LAG calls, BB folds. The river pairs the board, I bet out again. The LAG raises and I put the rest of my chips all-in. I announce that I haven't looked at my cards yet and ask the LAG if he wants to see them with me. I flip the cards up on the table revealing a KJ suited and I have King high. The LAG shows pocket A's and he's managed to beat me again. As I get up everyone gives me the nod and the recreationals are aghast that I never looked at my cards. As I reach the exit and swipe my card I hear the table laughing and finally having a good time. Your welcome regulars.

Damn, I should have done that earlier.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

You Know The Romance Is Gone When...

Not poker related but the wife and I had this conversation tonight. smell good.
Well, I've been farting a lot tonight.
Yeah.....probably not the smell I was refering to.

nuff said.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Wrong Time, Wrong Place

It will be interesting to see if I still have a job over the next few days. I managed to get into an argument with one of our customers today and I told him to stop being a dick. I work in a unique industry where my office is located on site with our contract customers. I've done the job for 15 years and have never lost my cool like this before. The contracts are more important than the employees so I could be out if the situation escalates.

If I was jobless could I supplement my income playing poker? I don't think so. I'm still to impatient at times and that costs me. Everytime I want to win I usually end up losing because of the pressure I put on myself. If I don't care, I win. Since my bankroll could support my family for a month I would have to look real hard at just cashing out. I suppose I might give it a shot for a week or two but if I didn't have instant results I'd have to do the sensible thing.

My impatience is helping though in my new endeavor to learn short handed play. I have $1600 in bonuses spread out among 4 sites that still needs to be cleared. I'll end up losing most of that if I don't start clearing it quickly. In an effort to do so I've taken up the 1/2 6 max tables. The bonus money is clearing at a quick rate everywhere. That is everywhere but Full Tilt. The only 6 max tables they have are at 2/4 and higher, I'm just not comfortable enough to play that level yet shorthanded. The $540 still pending at that site disappears the first week of June. It's all but hopeless to work on it since it clears so slowly compared to the other sites.

Anyway I may have to shut down operations if the worst occurs. Wish me luck.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

The Last Hoorah?

In what was probably the last WPBT WSOP event I have proven that again I was just dead money. My AK with a short stack ran into PokerNation's AA. I finished in an unimpressive 28th out of 81 entrants.

On the lighter side of things I got a hit from this search term:
girls forced to take close off over losing poker

If only. :)

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Tournament Progress

First off if you saw me in the LasVegaVegas Noble Poker freeroll last night, that wasn't me. I wasn't able to get home in time so my wife played for me and busted out in the first half hour. I didn't check the hand histories but I know she called an all-in on the turn with only A high. She's still learning.

Thought I'd throw an update out as to how the increased volume of multi-table tournament play is going. Since posting about taking a renewed interest in these I've played it 24 events. In an effort to make my tournament play self sustainable I have split off a small portion of my bankroll and made it an exclusive tournament bankroll. The higher it builds the higher the buy-ins I will consider playing. If it drops to zero then I will still play just not with the regularity I do now.

My buy ins have been:
Freerolls = 4 no money finishes
$5.50 = 8 w/ 2 money + 1 final table - I'm liking the UltimateBet $3,000 guarantee that they run nightly
$11 = 2 w/ 1 money finish
$11 w/ rebuys = 1 no money finish
$22 = 4 w/ 1 money finish
$33 = 4 w/ 1 final table
$44 = 1 no money finish

That's $381 invested in buy ins and winnings of $706.78. A nice little profit of $325.78 and so far so good. I went a little crazy on the rebuy tournament and that cut into the profits. I also included the WPBT WSOP tourneys and they were not of the normal payout structure.

I might try a $100 buy in event here soon and see if the competition is any different. With the Online Series of Poker getting ready to start up, I'd like to take my shot. I'm stuck working nights all this week so I don't know if I'll get any play in. Tonight is the WPBT event an I'll be playing from work so I'm sure I won't do too well. I just want to get off the bottom of the rankings.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Chat Attack

Normally I ignore the chat window but there was no avoiding this player. He had me literally laughing outloud sometimes and was doing a decent job of putting players on tilt. He even managed to goad me into two pots I shouldn't have played. I present to you some of the highlights of his verbal assault. I't's a little long and I had to edit out quite a bit of it.

Here I catch my flush on the river and it begins
AtrossMark: i am getting rivered to death the last 3 hands
AtrossMark: nice hand loser
lifeagrind: way to call K3o preflop loser
AtrossMark: you hit the str8 on the river
lifeagrind: flush moron
AtrossMark: go XXXX yourself lol
AtrossMark: 3 river rats in a row
AtrossMark: lifeagrind

Someone else beats him on the river
AtrossMark: i don't respect players who suck out on the river
AtrossMark: like you
AtrossMark: or lifeagrind
AtrossMark: esp after calling 3 raises
AtrossMark: lol
AtrossMark: that's called LUCK
AtrossMark: blind luck
AtrossMark: but it'll come back to bite ya in the ass
AtrossMark: hey capt pug
AtrossMark: u suck
AtrossMark: don't forget that, k

Here I take one down and goad him a little
lifeagrind: str8 didn't hit huh
AtrossMark: wasn't looking for a straight
AtrossMark: or anything else for that matter
AtrossMark: i wanted to see what you had
lifeagrind: satisfied
AtrossMark: very much so yes
lifeagrind: glad I could help
AtrossMark: just help yourself you need it
AtrossMark: just like don and capt pug
AtrossMark: 3 losers

He wins one
AtrossMark: that's what i thought beatches
AtrossMark: that's what I thought
AtrossMark: eat XXXX
AtrossMark: you pussies
AtrossMark: i thought you caught a flush mike
AtrossMark: but guess not sucker
AtrossMark: you caught nothin!
AtrossMark: i know you had Kings too epuss
AtrossMark: read you like a BOOK!
AtrossMark: LIKE A BOOK!
#1950099122: AtrossMark wins $37 from the main pot with a straight, eight to queen.
AtrossMark: yeah that's right PUNK BEATCH
AtrossMark: that's right
AtrossMark: eat it!
AtrossMark: eat it!
AtrossMark: all day
AtrossMark: all day you punks

Now he gets on a roll. Manages to win a few pots.
AtrossMark: don't make me beatch slap u like i did with the punks to your right
AtrossMark: pug wash is washin my balls
AtrossMark: and mick is dead broke on tilt
AtrossMark: broke as a joke
AtrossMark: broke as a JOKE!
AtrossMark: LOL!!!!!!
AtrossMark: OHHHHHH
AtrossMark: doesn't that suck
AtrossMark: doesn't that suck to be on tilt
AtrossMark: he's on tilt
AtrossMark: broke as a joke
AtrossMark: did u think u won those hands mick?
AtrossMark: i mean seriously
AtrossMark: did u think u had them?
AtrossMark: did u?
AtrossMark: honestly
AtrossMark: be straight
AtrossMark: u did, didn't u
AtrossMark: that's the beauty of that
AtrossMark: the way u and pug ball washer were betting into me
AtrossMark: it was like Christmas
AtrossMark: really
AtrossMark: it was
AtrossMark: i had to ask myself
AtrossMark: "is this Christmas"?
AtrossMark: it feels like April
AtrossMark: maybe Christmas has come early
AtrossMark: I have the nuts and these two morons are betting into me
AtrossMark: how could this be
AtrossMark: there are planters nuts in my hand
AtrossMark: yet
AtrossMark: these ball washers
AtrossMark: are betting into me
AtrossMark: and reraising me
AtrossMark: 2 and 3 times
AtrossMark: wowwwww

AtrossMark: here's a $1
AtrossMark: go buy youself a book on poker
AtrossMark: k bud
AtrossMark: "how not to reraise into the NUTS"
AtrossMark: you might learn something from it
AtrossMark: i was thinking u guys were hitting the wrong button
AtrossMark: for a secon
AtrossMark: d
AtrossMark: i was like "damn, is this a computer malfunction"
AtrossMark: what's going on
AtrossMark: must be another computer malfunction

Here I manage to not put him on the nuts and he takes it down
AtrossMark: ohhhhhhhh
AtrossMark: another CHUMP
AtrossMark: steps to the table
AtrossMark: lifeagrind
AtrossMark: been waiting for that one
AtrossMark: YOU CHUMP!!!!!
AtrossMark: been waiting awhile for that one!!!!!!!!
lifeagrind: u da ma mark
AtrossMark: lifeagrind
AtrossMark: how did that feel
AtrossMark: to take it up the ass
AtrossMark: seriously
AtrossMark: be honest
AtrossMark: how did it feel
AtrossMark: cmon,
AtrossMark: be honest
AtrossMark: it felt kindof good
lifeagrind: refreshing, wouldn't want it any other way, you da man
AtrossMark: to reraise into the king
AtrossMark: lol!!!!

Now I'm his verbal whipping boy
AtrossMark: ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh
AtrossMark: ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh
AtrossMark: ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh
AtrossMark: all day and nightall DAY AND NIGHT
AtrossMark: pug will be washing my balls next
AtrossMark: the pug wash
AtrossMark: washing my balls
AtrossMark: mick about to go broke
AtrossMark: lifeagrind
AtrossMark: paying me off
AtrossMark: with interest
AtrossMark: all day
AtrossMark: now who's talkin
AtrossMark: hey punks?
AtrossMark: now who's geting their asses kik'd
AtrossMark: all you all
AtrossMark: lifeagrind with his foot in his mouth
AtrossMark: GOD you suck, lifeagrind
AtrossMark: wow
AtrossMark: was waiting for that hand for an hour
AtrossMark: u jumped right in
AtrossMark: 2x in a row
AtrossMark: 2x in a row
AtrossMark: i read u and mick like books
lifeagrind: at least you have a plan
AtrossMark: then dumped your ass on queer street
AtrossMark: poor mick
AtrossMark: he has to fight back
AtrossMark: from getting his stack butchered by the master
AtrossMark: poooor guy

AtrossMark: u just lost to a retard dude
AtrossMark: how can u live with yourself
AtrossMark: seriously
AtrossMark: the guy played you like a beatch
AtrossMark: and u lost
AtrossMark: wow
AtrossMark: that's got to be tough to take
AtrossMark: that's like losing to lifeagrind
AtrossMark: the king CHUMP
AtrossMark: coco the monkey
AtrossMark: hey coco the monkey

Monday, April 25, 2005


I'm not going to Vegas yet. Last nights tournament was a hell of a good time. The play was top notch and the raibirds were providing some much needed levity. It was the first time I stuck around to watch the final table and I have to say I'll make a habit of it in the blogger events from now on. 78 players signed up and I made it all the way to 22. I was eliminated by Phill who took down second place. If your going to be eliminated at least be eliminated by a contender.

I played a pretty good game but in the spirit of things I tried to steal blinds with the hammer and got played back at. I saw others push back all-in and get lucky on the flop with those cards last night, but I didn't want to take the chance and had to lay it down. I went out when with AJ against 77. I was commited enough that I had to call his all-in which put me all-in. I hit my A but he hit his 7 and that was that.

Congratulation to Bob for winning it all. Make us proud.

Friday, April 22, 2005

Television Poker

I've always dabbled but never really put myself full force into the arena of Television Poker. It looked exciting. The suspense, the all-ins, the never knowing if your opponent was bluffing or if you were dominated. Seeing the pros push each other around and then eventually taking in the lovely girl on the floor as she perform their exit interviews. It looked glamorous but was tournament play really that cool?

The thought of forking over hard earned money for the chance of coming away empty handed didn't appeal to me in the slightest. When I first started playing poker I was of the firm belief that real poker was of the limit variety. Grinding out an acceptable win rate to sustain and improve ones bankroll. Having a 300 big bet cushion to survive the inevitable swings but always knowing that in the end I'd come out on top. Sure the occasional freeroll or $5 tournament was a fun distraction but there were just too many variables to contend with. Making these a steady staple of my poker diet just didn't make much sense.

Then I went and won what was at the time my biggest poker victory. I won the freeroll tournament for a CardPlayer Cruise. It was very exciting and things went my way but I still didn't take tournament play all that seriously. I thought I had, but really I wasn't putting much time into it. I played Sit-n-Go's every now and then, took in a few more tournaments but still, nothing hard core.

Then we fast forward to March of 2005. I posted a very nice win in an Absolute Poker $6,000 guarantee tourney. Then I tried another tournament and things began to click. The puzzle pieces were sliding into place and my play had improved. I'm even considering getting Harrington's book on Hold'em. This would be a big leap for me since I don't like reading poker books that much.

My improved play still hasn't helped me that much when it comes to the tournaments where I feel I must perform well. When I'm in a WPBT event or a PSO league tournament I always seem to end up middle of the pack. I don't know if this is due to trying to get fancy or just trying too hard. At any rate I hope I'm over that when the WSOP event tournament rolls around this Sunday.

I'm going to start making the effort to play one tournament a night while I multi-table 2 or 3 $1/$2 limit tables to clear my various bonuses. This should allow me to play ABC on the limit tables and concentrate on the multi-table tourney. Since March 5th I've played in 19 multi-table tournaments, with 7 money finishes, 4 final tables, and 2 wins. Not too shabby if I do say so myself.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

The Power Play

I’m sure there is a stamped and authorized name for this play but I don’t know it. I’ve decided to call it the Power Play and it seems to be appropriate.

To set this up I’m playing in a Multi-table Tournament last night at Ultimatebet when the following scenario unfolds. We started with 832 players and were down to 159. I have around 6800 in chips with the average being in the 5,000 chip range. I’m dealt AQo in early middle position and the current chip leader who has about 25,000 in chips limps in on my immediate right. I bet the pot, which represents around 1/5 of my stack. It folds around to the Chip Leader who reraises to 5,200.

The Chip Leader has just executed what I like to call the Power Play. She has feigned weakness, then come over the top when I chased off the other players with my raise. Although this play can be executed with any two cards, I believe only a fool would do so without a very large pocket pair. I’m talking K’s or A’s, possibly Q’s if the table conditions are right. You also want to be one of the large stacks at the table. If you are short stacked it is better to just get your chips in up front.

This is a risky play. If you get a raiser to isolate you from the rest of the field, it’s quite possible they also have a hand, and are willing to call your raise. The thing is, you want them to call. This is why it is best to have a large stack, and in optimum conditions have your opponent covered. I play a relatively tight tournament style. If I’m at a table where the other players are paying attention to that, and folding to my raises, this becomes a nice way to add to my chip count. When reraising you want to force your opponent to make a decision for all their chips. Performing a minimum raise only allows them to see a flop without mortal risk. This gives your opponent a chance to improve on the flop, or get away from their hand. You do not want this. If played correctly you should have the best hand preflop and you want your opponent to join you when you have that advantage.

The play is similar in style to a Stop-N-Go, but in reverse. The Stop-N-Go is used as a bluffing tool to force your opponent to fold. Here we are not bluffing but want it to appear that perhaps we are, thus enticing the call. Since we are only making this play in optimum conditions it becomes a nice way to mix things up without having to consciously make a decision to do so. The caveat is that it won’t always work. You can never foresee someone raising behind you. As such is the case it is best to be UTG or UTG +1 so there are plenty of players left to act. If you get a few limpers and then someone in late position raises, that’s all the better. The early limpers are likely to fold and the late position may have been on a steal all along. It’s possible to take this pot down without having to worry about being drawn out on. In the process you have also added enough chips to nicely enhance your stack.

When does this not work. Well, when no one raises. You are more than likely still best post flop and you should try to take it down at that time. Keep in mind that if you get a lot of callers you need to watch for the flush and straight draws. The discipline needs to be in place to even get away from A’s if your likely beat in this situation. This play can run the risk of wasting a good pocket pair. Remember your supposed to be in a good position before making the play so the short term loss of one hand shouldn’t affect you.

Now back to my situation. The chip leader had not been using her stack to push people around. She had also been playing a tight game. As soon as she made her move I knew I was behind in the hand. My options were to lay the hand down and pick a better spot, or push all in for the remainder of my chips. A call was going to leave me pot committed anyway and when this occurs, it’s best to push. I would spout off all the percentages and statistics that reflected my hands chance of winning against what I thought my opponent had, but I don’t have these things memorized and I didn’t consider them when I made my decision. If I was looking to play a good sensible game I should fold in this situation. By not folding I am giving my opponent everything she is looking for.

I knew I was against a pair of Q’s or better and at best I was less than a coin flip, and at worst a huge dog. I let external influences guide my decision. If I wasn’t going to make the top 8 in this tournament it wasn’t worth my time to continue playing in it. The real money didn’t come till this point and I didn’t want to spend 5 hours only to make $20 or $30. I was also tired and looking for an out. If I could double up through the chip leader it would hurt her and put me within the top 20 in chip stacks. I could then be in a decent enough position to make my run for the final table.

With the decision made I pushed all in and she called. Sure enough she had pocket K’s and I called for an A on the flop. My request was granted and I figured I had the shot I wanted. As fate intervened a K came on the turn so I was drawing dead. She gave me the obligatory “gg” but I knew she was secretly thinking, “sucker”.

The computer was shutdown and off to dreamland I went. At least I got a post out of it.