Saturday, June 30, 2007

A Shitty Month

I've now had two losing months this year. Sadly the two losing months outpace the four winning ones making me a small ($100) loser on the year so far. This also marks as the worst year I've had at the tables. Technically the years only half way over with so all this could/will change but I've never been down at this point in a year since starting in 2003. Granted my bankroll also hasn't been this small since 2003 so that may have something to do with it.

This month was a combination of losing at .25/.50 NL, having a bad run in my SNG's, and continuing my bad streak in the MTT arena. When it all happens it seems to happen at once. If you refer back to my June goal post I fell victim to weakness number one. I took shots at hight levels that failed and then I let number four keep me from dropping back down.

I'm confident July will turn out to be a different story for me as I'm going to stick to playing within my bankroll (really I will this time, I promise).

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Calling Station

If you looked up "Calling Station" in the dictionary, you would see this guy.

Click here to view a larger version.

This guys was so tight and so weak that I became a little scared of him having QQ so I pussied out a little on the river.

Friday, June 22, 2007

The Biggest Loser #1

In what has been a disastrous week at the tables so far I bring you my first Biggest Loser hand. I'm actually bending the rules a little because this was not my actual biggest losing hand. Exactly two hands after the one listed I lost an entire buy in when preflop I got all in with QQ vs. AA. Chalk that one up to tilt. I also had a winning hand that was slightly more than this losing hand but it was just a case of my having a bigger two pair and a donkey to pay me off.

I find this hand to be a little interesting because I have what looks to be the best hand at first glance. The check raise by my opponent on the flop should have been more of an indication to me what my opponent had, but I locked in on my opponent having a weaker Ace and I blocked out all other possibilities. The turn card locks me in and I'm committed at that point.

My question is this. Did I just get coolered or should I have been able to read my opponents holdings better and been able to get away on the turn?

Here's the hand:

Click here to view a larger version.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007


Sunday was tournament day for me and I managed to come up with a big goose egg. In fact I only played one event half way well and in that one I definitely brought my "A" game. I unfortunately was sucked out on by the overall tournament chip leader and it soured my willingness to play for the rest of the day.

I took Monday off and then my SNG play yesterday amounted to a -50% ROI effort.

mmmm... poker goodness.

So in a last ditch effort to make a little scratch I headed of to some low limit no limit action. My only hand of any note for the session also ended up being the KING OF THE WORLD hand for today. As is my style I like to open up for a raise when I'm first to act and then the continuation bet is a large part of my overall strategy. The best ways to combat someone who employs this strategy is to either call the continuation bet or just lead out at the flop. This puts the pressure back on the original raiser as they now have to decide if it's worth firing another bullet at the pot.

The player I'm in this hand with has been my designated whipping boy. He was the loosest (68.57% VPiP) and weakest (Aggression Factor 0.9) at the table and had continually folded to my continuation bets. He chose to call me this time but I couldn't give him credit for a real hand since he only called my bets. His bet on the river screams of a missed flush/steal attempt so I acted accordingly.

Click here to view a larger version.

Sunday, June 17, 2007


In an effort to display my cash game idiocy to the world (while possibly learning something along the way) I'm introducing two new features to the blog. King Of The World, and The Biggest Loser.

The day after I play a cash session I will revue the Poker Tracker numbers and then post either the biggest winning hand or the biggest losing hand depending on which is greater. Yesterday it happened to be a winner.

Staying true to my work (kinda) I started the day at a 25NL table. Within an hour I was up three buy ins and decided to take some of that money and buy in to a 50NL game. About forty minutes later that buy in was gone and I was back at a 25 table. I managed to take a little more money and ended the day up around $60. I don't know why but I can't get a handle on the 50NL tables. It seems from looking at the histories that I'm bluffing way to much but I don't know why I keep doing it.

Anyway let's move onto my KING OF THE WORLD hand.

I could try to justify my play here but from an odds standpoint I really had no business staying in the hand after the SB pushes. I really felt I had the best flush draw and I just knew the button would call based on his past play. In the moment I thought the call was right. Feel free to rip in with constructive criticism.

Click here to view a larger version.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Is This Common?

I've become addicted to the cash games now. I find myself whipping through my SNG's so I can get to playing them. This has lead to some bad play on my part as I've ignored my own guidelines for quitting recently. To get back in the groove I'm dropping back to the 25NL games.

In an effort to gain some insight I'm posing this question. Is this a common play from opponents at this level with a flush draw? This seems screwy to me but others at the table berated me for my bad read of the situation. Pleas comment on this.

Click here to view a larger version.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Up or Down

Still no MTT's played this week but I did start playing the $24 Turbo's and the $50NL games by the end of the week. I'm going to see how things go and I may split time and different levels for a while. I'm not going to update the stats for SNG's based on every 100 anymore. Since I may be switching out at varying levels it will just be easier to start doing the stats on a monthly basis, utilizing the stats from that month only along with year to date charts on occasion.

Speaking of year to date I was looking at my best and worst day of play since I started with the SNG's this year.

After 1,048 SNG's that ranged from $5 HU to $24 Turbo's
best day: $193.50 on February 1st
worst day: -$410.40 on May 23rd

It would be so much nicer if those numbers were reversed. It's amazing that I'm still up after such a big loss day. That day accounts for me having a 5.5% ROI overall for all money levels combined this year.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Multi Table Apathy

My enthusiasm for MTT play has been severely lacking lately. I played a total of five events in May and four of those were blogger donkaments. So far in June I've sat down for four tourneys. Again mostly blogger events. I'm in a MTT rut.

What was once my favorite game has been reduced to an effort in just throwing money away so I can move onto something else. I'm not sure what can be done to get the spark back. I'm tossing around the idea of putting some money on PokerStars and trying to qualify for the Sunday Million. Then I can just take the tournament dollars and play a bunch of events on someone else's dime. At any rate I'm done with the blogger events, at least for the next little while. I don't enjoy them and really just dump my chips anyway.

Friday, June 01, 2007

June Goal

The last goal I set for myself was back in March as I emptied my bankroll down to $300 in a effort to see if I could rebuild. I considered that goal a success at the end of April and have since just been playing the SNG's.

In an effort to give myself something new to look forward to I felt I had to address my weaknesses as a poker player. So in no particular order I came up with the following:

1) I'm very risk adverse. I know I cannot resupply my bankroll so if it ever runs dry I'll have to quit playing for a while. As a result I don't handle downswings very well. It also means I'm very cautious about putting my bankroll at risk.

2) I get bored quickly. No matter how much I want to play the game, after about an hour or so my mind starts to wander and I make critical mistakes. This has been my achilles heel in the cash games. This is also why the turbo SNG's work well for me.

3) Don't like to study. This is a bit of a fallacy. When something is new to me I consume as much information as possible. On the poker front I've been playing for several years and I just figure if I have the time to study the game, I have the time to play. I'm quite certain this is the reason I'm more of a feel player than a math player.

4) Pride/Ego. This has always been a problem for me. I simply don't like to lose and rarely do so gracefully. Combine this with being risk adverse and I can sometimes spiral downwardly out of control. I don't consider anyone, and I do mean anyone, to be a better player than I either am or have the potential to be.

With those highlights in mind I've approached my next goal with some careful planning.

I want to post a positive month in NL cash game play.

This may not seem like much a high reaching goal, but when the above listed issues have reared their ugly heads, I've been a cash game loser over my three years of play. So how do I plan to address each of the above issues in my new goal:

1) Going back to a philosophy I adhered to when I first began playing this game, I'm installing a stop loss. That will be in the amount of one buy in per session. It also means that I'm going to limit myself to one table at a time and in an effort to have as little regard for the money as possible I'm going to play $25NL 6 max.

2) To curb the boredom I'm going to limit each session to 60 minutes. This seems to be my threshold but I will allow flexibility if I feel I'm really into the game. I may also extend it if I'm just having my way at a table.

3) I really still don't like to study. I will make an effort to do reviews of key hands from each session though.

4) I'm hoping 1 and 2 take care of number 4.

I'm not giving up on my SNG play. In fact I have qualified for Iron Man status for seven months in a row so far and I don't want to lose that. To make up my points I'll be playing 16 $12 Turbos at least 5 days a week.