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.