Thursday, June 30, 2005

WSOP Qualifier

Out in 10th.... Obviously, I don't feel like elaborating.. Never really got cards... I hung out around average most of the way... KQ was my nemisis tonight. One time after the first break so the blinds are getting up there, I made a standand 3x raise from the button... BB went all in... I folded... he showed AA. My last hand... again on the button with KQ... I raised all-in... about 4x the blinds then... SB called with AK... I'm out... Dang...

I was up $262 in ring play; but that doesn't really make up for it.

Why do I do what I don't want to do.

In the Bible, the Apostle Paul in Romans 7 says "I don't understand myself at all, why do I do what I don't want to do". He's talking about the sin in his life; but I can parallel it to poker. First off, the plan was not to play at all last night; but with a sick kid, I had opportunities play while she slept. I tried to avoid it, I even did some housework; but eventually the temptation was too strong and sat down to play. Bad idea. After about an hour and a half, I was down $401. That is my self prescribed loss limit for the day. So I did stop... but found myself back at the computer a little later. I played one $50 SNG and sat at one table of Ring Play. About 40 minutes later, I was up $100 on ring play and I got a 2nd in the tourney for a net $95. So now, I'm back to down only $200. You think that was good enough... nope... I came back later that night and to quote John Cougar Mellancamp, "The Walls came Tumbling Down". I lost another $300. I felt I was playing very good and making all the right decisions. It just wasn't working out. I do plan on going back to study the hands and situations; but here is the summary stats:

Hands: 514
VPIP (flop) 20.12% - That is right in line where I want to be (18-22).
Went to Showdown - 28.18% - That is a little low.. should be over 30%
Won at Showdown - 32.26 - This is definitley the problem as this should be over 50%. This also illutsrates the river beats that I took.
Preflop Raise - 7.59% - That is OK. I like to be around 8%; but I really didn't get the hands.
Agression Factor 1.34 - This is also way low; but can be explained by the lack of strong hands coupled with the fact that I wasn't hitting flops either.

It didn't help that my Aces got cracked twice by lower pocket pairs. I'm going to pull out my Poker Tracker Guide and review the leaks chapter and hopefully that will help. To bad I just can't take a mulligan on the day.

Oh well... gotta move on. Tonight is the night.. It is the WSOP tourney. There will be 28 people in it. How cool would that be?

I said yesterday that I would post my current SNG stats and here they are. These stats only reflect $50 SNGs

Games: 140
1sts: 20 (14.29%)
2nds: 23 (16.43%)
3rds: 11 (7.86%)
Net Profit: $1,850
In the Money%: 38.57%
ROI: 24.03%

My goals are to do at least as good as above. I would like to get the ITM% ove 40% and the ROI over 25%. We'll see how it goes.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Rebuy Fest

Last night was the last night to qualify for the Poker World WSOP qualifier. Last nights tourney qualified you for tonights weekly tournament which the top 4 of that tournament go to the finals which is held tomorrow. I guess technically, you could buy in for each touranment. Tonights is $100 and I think tomorrows is $400. I played in last nights tourney and finished a disappointing 19th (out of 29). To say that there was loose play would be an understatement. There were 43 rebuys and 15 add ons. I saw one guy rebuy 3 straight hands. Wow. You won't hear me saying that I didn't get any cards because I did. What I didn't get was flops. Any major race that I was in, I lost. Ironically, I went out on about the exact same way as I did the forum challenge. I had 55 and was in a race with AQ. Queen on the flop and an Ace on the turn. Talk about deja-vu. Yikes. Unless you are willing to play the rebuy game (which I don't really like), it is hard to accumulate chips. I was the chip leader about 30 minutes into it; but then went flop dead. Oh well. I may take tonight off to be totally refreshed to play in tomorrow's final. Right now there are 21 people in it with the potential for 8 more.

I played 87 hands of 5/10 also and was up 15.33 BB/Hr ($115). So given that play minus the $42 for the tourney (I did rebuy once on the last hand before the break), I was up $73 for the day. That puts my winning streak at 11 sessions (+1,356) and ties my personal best. I also surpassed my previous high on bankroll so I don't have too much to complain about.

As of right now, I am still planning on doing all SNGs for the month of July. My ring play has improved greatly for that and I am very happy about that. Tomorrow, I will share my current SNG stats and my goals for the month of July.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

The Hammer!!

Is there really any more joy than dropping the hammer on somebody. Don't get me wrong. I'm not the kind of guy that just plays 72 for kicks and grins. I have to have the right situation. Anyway, more on that later.

I started off the night in the 1K guarantee. Too bad this is the last week for them. It really seems to be a rebuy fest. We had a more than usual 27 people in it last night. The prize pool ended up being $1,540 after 35 rebuys and 15 add-ons. I don't have to tell you that there is some very loose play in this. Unfortunatley, last night was not my night as I ran into pocket aces twice at inopportune times.. Like when I had top pair with a good kicker. I finished in 14th. So I was down $42 ($22 buying and one add-on).

Of course, while I was playing, I was playing a couple tables of 5/10. To say things weren't going very well would be an understatement. Like the tourney above, I was at some very loose tables. The flop percentages (VPIP) were both over 30%. Each table had at least two fish in them and no really solid players. So I lost $40 in the tourney above and I was down around $250 in ring play. One particular fish had my number. No matter what I had, he had me beat. He was playing over 50% of his hands and was winning with crap hands; but when I got a hand he seemed to have the goods. To show you how bad this guy was. I have 44 in the SB and we have a total of 4 players in an un-raised pot. Flop comes 4T3. I check and it goes checked around. Turn card is a 2. I bet out and only the fish calls me. River card is a 7. I bet out and the fish calls me with A5. Now, he didn't have the nut str8; but he did on the turn and he didn't raise either time. I can think of two other times that he had nealry or had the nuts and didn't raise. Beleive me, I'm grateful that he didn't. Anyway, here is pretty much the hand that turned it around for me:

***** Hand History for Game 2274330467 *****
$5/$10 Hold'em - Monday, June 27, 22:43:17 EDT 2005
Table Table 32898 (Real Money)
Seat 10 is the button
Total number of players : 9
Seat 3: asnrcr206 ( $605.59 )
Seat 10: wilwonka ( $264 )
Seat 6: usnavyvet ( $229 )
Seat 7: CrazyCheese ( $64 )
Seat 4: Spider61 ( $279.56 )
Seat 5: basscatcher5 ( $211.5 )
Seat 2: pbj11 ( $248.5 )
Seat 9: ezerhauden ( $443.9 )
Seat 1: irish1333 ( $200.25 )
irish1333 posts small blind [$2].
pbj11 posts big blind [$5].
ezerhauden posts big blind + dead [$7].
** Dealing down cards **
Dealt to wilwonka [ 2d 7d ]
asnrcr206 calls [$5].
Spider61 folds.
basscatcher5 folds.
usnavyvet calls [$5].
CrazyCheese folds.
ezerhauden checks.
wilwonka calls [$5].
irish1333 calls [$3].
pbj11 checks.
** Dealing Flop ** [ Ts, Qd, 7c ]
irish1333 checks.
pbj11 checks.
asnrcr206 bets [$5].
usnavyvet calls [$5].
ezerhauden folds.
wilwonka calls [$5].
irish1333 calls [$5].
pbj11 folds.
** Dealing Turn ** [ 9d ]
irish1333 checks.
asnrcr206 checks.
usnavyvet checks.
wilwonka checks.
** Dealing River ** [ Jd ]
irish1333 checks.
asnrcr206 checks.
usnavyvet checks.
wilwonka bets [$10].
irish1333 calls [$10].
asnrcr206 folds.
usnavyvet calls [$10].
wilwonka shows [ 2d, 7d ] a flush, queen high.
irish1333 doesn't show [ Qs, 8c ] a straight, eight to queen.
usnavyvet doesn't show [ Js, Td ] two pairs, jacks and tens.
wilwonka wins $79 from the main pot with a flush, queen high.

You got to love it. Dropping the hammer definitely turned it around and I went on a pretty good run. When the circumstances are right, the hammer can doubly help your game. First, your raking a pot.. that is always good. Second, you might get the rep of being a loose playing and get extra calls later on that you might not get. Play the hammer wisely and watch the money come in... The short story is that after 2.82 hours of ring play I ended up with 4.53 BB/hr ($127.50). I am very happy with these results for two reasons. One of course, is that it is a winning session (which brings the streak of winning sessions to 10... one more for the tie). Two, I kept the patience and played the cards. I believe I would have "tilted" a little bit in earlier days; but I was able to keep my calm and stay steady (especially against a very loose table). I think that really made easier as I knew if I waited for the hands, I would get paid off.... But even given that fact, it is still easy to get steamed at some bad beats. (for example my aces got cracked by 35s). Right now, I am presently $40 away from getting my bankroll to an all time high. If you count rakeback, I am already there; but I don't factor that in until the end of the month.

That should do it for now. The plan is to play in the last 1K guarantee tomorrow and see how it goes. Wednesday is the last qualifying day for the wsop entry. Hopefully, I will qualify tomorrow for the tourney to hopefully dwindle the final playing field. We'll see how it goes.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Week Ending Jun 26th 2006

WillWonka 06/20/2005 - 06/26/2005

Let's start with the stats for the week:

Ring Play (5/10):

857 Hands VPIP 18.90 W2SD 30.48 W$SD 56.14 PFR 6.53 AF 2.07
$ +493.50 (7.77 BB/hr when adjusting for multi-tabling)

SNG Play: Played 0 ($50) 1st 0 2nd 0 3rd 0 ITM 0 ROI 0 $0

MTT Play: Played 1 (Free) 135th out of 1432 $0

Net for the Week: +493.50

I played even less this week than last week and it pretty much for a lame reason. I probably played 5 out of the 7 days; but if I made $100 for the session, I quit. There are a couple of reasons for this. One, My longest daily winning streak is 11. I am currently at 9 and I would like to break that streak. Two, too many times I have been up early only to give it back later. Three, confidence. Ok, the last is kind of lame; but confidence can really help. What I am trying to avoid is the melt down days. I have had 94 of 131 days of positive session play. The problem is that those days have set me back 4 or 5 days. So for that reason, I have stopped and not allowed myself to have those meltdown days. I have really worked at this. My "tilt" factor is way down. Keeping a level head and reviewing hand histories has done the trick for me. If I review and see I put my chips into the pot at the right time, I am OK with the beats. Don't get me wrong, I'm not happy about it; but I can deal with it.

Thursday is a big day for me. I will making my last attempt of making the main event. The good news is that odds or the overlay on the tournament. There will only be at monst 32 people in it... but more likely, there will only be around 25 as you need to qualify to make the main event tourney. I plan on playing a few tournies on that site to prepare. It is a small site so mostly the same players are playing and hopefully it will help me prepare for Thursday.

In July, along with some other bloggers, I only plan on playing SNGS. My goal is to play 200 of them. We'll see how it goes.

I think one of the key things that has helped me this week is not playing Ax suited in early position. I know what you are saying... Daaaa!!!! But for whatever reason, I played them pretty often and as you could guess, it got me into trouble more than it helped me. As we all know, the chances of hitting a flush are around 5%, so it is not worth it. Having an ace with a low kicker and an ace hits the flop can only get you into trouble. We'll just chalk this one up to being a slow learner on this one. Poker Tracker has really helped me cure this leak.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Poker Forum Challenge

I played last night in the Poker Forum Challenge on Royal Vegas. I was representing Play-the-game-of-Poker. It's a small forum but was one of the first that I found. His website, is very good and has lots of articles in it. I highly reccomend it. Anyway, It starts out with 1,432 players. As per normal in these types of tournies, there were a bunch of loose players so I just waited it out. When I did get hands, I played them aggressively. Almost two hours into the tourney, there are only about 140 people left. I pick up J2s in the BB. I have about 13K (which is a little above average) in chips and blinds are 500/1000. UTG calls along with 2 others and I check. Flop comes 2k2. I check and UTG bets mininum and everybody calls including myself. The next card was the worst possible... K... UTG did have the K and I paid him off. Should I have raised on the flop? I think he calls no matter what. I'll chalk that one up to bad luck. The very next hand, I am in the SB with 55. Folds around to button who goes all-in. He has me covered. hmmmm... Call. He turns over AQ. Well, the Q on the flop and A on the turned sealed my fate. I was out in 135th. Boy, how quickly your tournament life can change. I'm not too unhappy with my play. It just wasn't in the cards. Maybe next time.

I then sat down at a 5/10 table at Party. I want to show this hand just to show what kind of players are playing 5/10.

***** Hand History for Game 2258179109 *****
$5/$10 Hold'em - Friday, June 24, 22:07:49 EDT 2005
Table Table 34596 (Real Money)
Seat 3 is the button
Total number of players : 10
Seat 1: crazykikr ( $169 )
Seat 4: seanster01 ( $127 )
Seat 5: coolsmooth ( $245 )
Seat 6: DeadBowHead ( $38.5 )
Seat 9: kangol_boise ( $26 )
Seat 10: Berserk111 ( $224.5 )
Seat 3: wilwonka ( $158 )
Seat 8: toratora2 ( $205 )
Seat 7: bobamiltee ( $250 )
Seat 2: rwmatts ( $336 )
seanster01 posts small blind [$2].
coolsmooth posts big blind [$5].
rwmatts posts big blind [$5].
** Dealing down cards **
Dealt to wilwonka [ Kc Ah ]
DeadBowHead folds.
toratora2 folds.
kangol_boise raises [$10].
Berserk111 folds.
crazykikr folds.
rwmatts folds.
>You have options at Table 34594 Table!.
wilwonka calls [$10].
seanster01 calls [$8].
coolsmooth calls [$5].
** Dealing Flop ** [ 9d, Kh, 3c ]
seanster01 bets [$5].
coolsmooth calls [$5].
kangol_boise raises [$10].
wilwonka calls [$10].
seanster01 calls [$5].
coolsmooth calls [$5].
** Dealing Turn ** [ 5s ]
seanster01 bets [$10].
coolsmooth calls [$10].
kangol_boise is all-In.
wilwonka raises [$20].
seanster01 calls [$10].
coolsmooth calls [$10].
** Dealing River ** [ 3d ]
seanster01 checks.
coolsmooth checks.
wilwonka bets [$10].
seanster01 calls [$10].
coolsmooth calls [$10].
wilwonka shows [ Kc, Ah ] two pairs, kings and threes.
seanster01 doesn't show [ Td, Tc ] two pairs, tens and threes.
coolsmooth doesn't show [ 9h, Qh ] two pairs, nines and threes.
kangol_boise doesn't show [ Qs, Qd ] two pairs, queens and threes.
wilwonka wins $72 from side pot #1 with two pairs, kings and threes.
wilwonka wins $106 from the main pot with two pairs, kings and threes.

At some point, you need to let your questionable hands go... but Party people will most of the time call you down. So anyway, I just played 18 hands and walked away with my $129 to go watch a movie. 25th Hour with Edward Norton. I didn't completely finish it yet. Just OK so far.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Respect the Streak

This seems like a typical week for me at the ol' 5/10 tables. I am striving for atypical results. I am currently on a 6 session winning streak (+840)... or should I say 6 day winning streak. For our purposes, I am defining a session as a day. The IRS may or may not agree with that... It's a little foggy. Anyway, where was I? Oh yeah. First, let's look back over this year.. I have played 129 days of which 92 of those have been positive (37 negative). Sounds good eh? Yes and no.. Like I have mentioned earlier, I seem to do good and then I seem to have the one blow up day that puts me back 4 or 5 days. So what am I doing this time to make it better. Besides wearing the same underwear and kissing the mouse 3 times before each session, I am trying to continue on playing the cards that are dealt to me. I know, I know.. we've all heard that before. That didn't stop my last winning streak of 9 days (+1333) going poof the following two days (-795). Also, I am going to set a loss limit of ...hmmm... let's say $400... just in case. That's 2 times my initial $150 buyin for each table and a $50 emergency fund per table in case I get under $40 and any one table. Let's take the 1st 4 hands tonight at one of my tables... 97o, 44, AQo, KJ. I didn't hit any of those flops but forced the issue and just like that I am down $75. OK.. calm down Wonka.. Proceeded to get back to my game I ended up with 7.37 BB/hr. Ok, I only played a litte under an hour... but I'll take the $70. I called it quits since I am little tired and would like to do some reading. I bought Matt Matros's book.

Since we are on the subject of streaks and I am a geeky accountant. Below is a chart that I keep that tracks my streaks.

So looking below.. I have 1 5 day losing streak, 5 3 day losing streaks... etc.

Breakdown of Winning / Losing Streaks

Streak count Total
-5 1 5
-4 0 0
-3 5 15
-2 13 26
-1 56 56
1 28 28
2 10 20
3 14 42
4 7 28
5 8 40
6 3 18
7 1 7
8 1 8
9 3 27
10 0 0
11 1 11

Winning Days: 229
Losing Days: 102

So again, I have many more winning days than losing ones (2.24 to 1). So hopefully, I can keep that going and do away with the blow up days. I'm thinking that I have mastered the art of "not" tilting. Some of those blow up days are almost directly to going on tilt and giving away an extra $200 or so. I'm sure we all know the feeling. That is one of the biggest things that I have worked on in the past months. How do I do it? I simply take a little break and review the hands from Poker Tracker and if I think I played it right and got my chips in at the right spot, then I am ok with it. I, then, either A) quit .. because the situation isn't right or B) continue on because the table is very beatable and I just got some unlucky breaks. We all know, some days the cards just aren't going our way. Deal with it and move on.

Ok.. we'll see how it goes..

Long live the winning streaks!!!!!!

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Greed and Grind

I started off the night in my normal 1K guarantee. This particular night, there was only 16 people. I was playing good as well as getting cards... People were rebuying like crazy... We got to the last hand before the 1st break and last chance to rebuy. Hand went like this:
The blinds are 100/200 and I am sitting at 5523 in chips. I am in MP and get AJs. 1st player goes all in (1110 chips), 2nd person goes all in (2040 chips), I call, and the next player goes all in (3600 in chips) and I call the remaining 1560. Unfortunately, at this site, that don't turn over cards in all in situations so this is what I saw:
Flop 244 (1 diamond).. Turn J... River... A... I took down the monster pot. The only other hand that I knew of was AQ so I did suck out on him.
So that gave me 14573 in chips and a pretty big chip lead. This is where the story goes south. I bullied for a little while and it worked.. getting my chips to over 20K. Blinds are now 300/600 and I get J8s in SB.. folded to Button who raises to 1200 and I defended my SB. Flop comes 845 (1 diam). I check and button goes all in for 5400. I had top pair... did he just have 2 over cards? I called... diamond on turn but no help on river... and button turned over QQ. That hurt. After thinking about it, that was a terrible call. A few hands later.. Blinds 400/800 and I have 13737 in chips... we are down to 7 people and top 3 pay. I am in 3rd place. I look down at KdQc in the BB... MP calls and SB calls. 7c7hKs is the flop. I check and so does everybody else.. Turn.. 5c.. SB checks and I bet out 1800 into the 2400 pot and get called by MP. River.. 3c... OK.. scare card.. I bet 3000 and get raised all in 12291. I think (but not for very long) and I called... and guy turns over nut flush. I can't believe how bad I played my last hand as that put me out in 7th place.

So the topic of the day is Greed. The two hands above showed my greed. I was too anxious to eliminate players and didn't take the needed to time to think these situations out. Greed made me get away from my game and cost me a pretty big cash in the tourney. The classic warnings signs were there on both hands and I chose to ignore that with my site on the prize as opposed to the situation at hand. Hopefully, I learned a valuable lesson. Could they have been bluffing? Sure.. I did have top pair in both... but I should have seen the signs.

Next up.. Party 5/10. Again I was not getting any cards; but I rememember my post from a few days ago and kept being patient and waiting for the cards or the right opportunities to make my move. I haven't been using Gametime recently to force me to keep focused on the table(s) at hand. I usually just play 2 tables so it is not too hard to keep things straight. By the way, I had 29 pocket pairs tonight and did not hit a set on any of them with the sole exception of my JJ hitting the set on the river... bad timing.. as I was drawing dead to somebody's full house. I also hit a nut flush on the turn to lose to a full house on the river. That's the bad news. The good news is that after 401 hands, I ended up $117. The below hand helped out:

***** Hand History for Game 2238677734 *****
$5/$10 Hold'em - Monday, June 20, 23:06:49 EDT 2005
Table Table 34813 (Real Money)
Seat 7 is the button
Total number of players : 8
Seat 9: wilwonka ( $182.5 )
Seat 3: msnyc ( $327 )
Seat 2: pkala69 ( $430 )
Seat 10: pstate67 ( $343.5 )
Seat 1: demons9 ( $601.7 )
Seat 7: SilvernGreen ( $185.62 )
Seat 6: elb76 ( $283 )
Seat 5: Dragon3 ( $100 )
wilwonka posts small blind [$2].
pstate67 posts big blind [$5].
** Dealing down cards **
Dealt to wilwonka [ 7h 9h ]
CllngStation has joined the table.
demons9 folds.
>You have options at Table 34594 Table!.
pkala69 calls [$5].
msnyc folds.
elb76 folds.
SilvernGreen folds.
sammyq has joined the table.
wilwonka calls [$3].
pstate67 raises [$5].
pkala69 calls [$5].
wilwonka calls [$5].
** Dealing Flop ** [ Jh, 8h, 2s ]
wilwonka bets [$5].
pstate67 raises [$10].
pkala69 calls [$10].
Dragon3 has left the table.
wilwonka calls [$5].
** Dealing Turn ** [ Th ]
wilwonka bets [$10].
pstate67 raises [$20].
pkala69 folds.
Octane has joined the table.
wilwonka raises [$20].
pstate67 calls [$10].
** Dealing River ** [ Qh ]
>You have options at Table 34594 Table!.
wilwonka bets [$10].
pstate67 calls [$10].
wilwonka shows [ 7h, 9h ] a straight flush, queen high.
pstate67 doesn't show [ Jc, Kc ] a pair of jacks.
wilwonka wins $137 from the main pot with a straight flush, queen high.

You gotta love the straight flushes.. although the Q on the river scared me. It turned out that it didn't matter as he only had KJ. Have I mentioned that I really hate KJ.

Anyway, 401 hands in 2 hours and 45 minutes for $117. On the surface I was thinking to myself... self.. you only have $117 to show for yourself after almost 3 hours... and then the logical part of me spoke up. 401 hands in 2h45m for $117 is 4.25BB / hr. That's $42.50/hr. Who am I kidding? If I can't be happy with that, then I have a problem. That seems to be over riding theme with things today. You are always looking for the big score... when Grinding it out over the long run is where you are going to make your money.

So the takeaway for today is on two subjects. Never let Greed make you lose site of the current situation. It's too easy to look to the future and lose site at the present to where you make mistakes that end up costing you (even though they are staring you in the face).... and.... Grind... Play the cards that are dealt to you... be happy with a steady return on your investment. Keeping your eye on the plan will help diminish those "meltdown" days and put dollars in your pockets.

Today is Tuesday so of course I won't be playing... ha.. see earlier post.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Week in Review - June 19th, 2005

WillWonka 06/13/2005 - 06/19/2005

Let's start with the stats for the week:

Ring Play (5/10):

1027 Hands VPIP 22.30 W2SD 29.06 W$SD 54.41PFR 9.35 AF 1.83
$ -333.76

SNG Play: Played 10 ($50) 1st 3 2nd 1 3rd 1 ITM 50% ROI 82% $ $450

MTT Play: Played 3 ($20) 10th, 18th, 4th. Net Winings $121

Net for the Week: 237.24

I didn't get a chance to play very much this week. The overriding theme seems to be my bad or should I say inconsistent ring play. Out of the last 19 days, I have had 15 up days. On the surface that sounds OK; but the problem is that those down days set me back 4 or 5 days. For whatever reason, I just can't seem to consistently win at the 5/10 level. After about 24K hands, I am down around 2K. My bankroll is still OK to be playing at the level (around 11.5K) so I will continue to play there. If anybody has any comments on the PT stats, please let me know. My total stats aren't too different from the ones above. I am one to believe that a VPIP of under 20 is probably too tight. I may be wrong on that one.

One thing I need to figure out is when to keep playing and when to stop. Typically, if I got up between $150 and $200, I will call it a day and be happy; but conversely, I sometimes will lose between $500-$600 on a given day. Obviously, we have an imbalance there and I need to figure that out. Dollars and cents shouldn't be the factor that makes you stop or go. It should be the "winnability" of the table(s) that you are playing. Anyway, that will be the #1 thing that I am working on... at least through the end of the month.

Why only to the end of the month..... because I think for the month of July, I am going to try and play only SNGs. I read on another blog where somebody is going to try and play 1000 SNGs for the month of July. I would never be able to play that much; but I am going to set a goal of 200 for the month and see what happens. I seem to be a better tourney player than ring player so I will put that theory to the test.

That should do it for this week. As I said earlier, I didn't get a chance to play much (although my wife would probably disagree with this statement... lol).

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Tourney Night

I did not play much last night. I played in the $20 nightly 1K guarantee. Last night it had 26 players. One of my early hands (Level 1 25/50), I got 89s in the MP. I limped in along with 6 others. Flop 867 rainbow. SB bets minimum 15.. I just call.. next guy raises to 110 and gets 2 callers. Turn card 10. SB checks and I bet out 150... and they both call. River card is a 2. SB checks... I bet out 400.. early raiser folds.. and then EP raises to 1100... Hmmm.. Have I fallen into his trap??? I think for a while and call... EP turns over nut straight and I throw my lower straight into the muck. Was it a bad call? Tough to say... After thinking about it, I feel comfortable with the call. It only left me with 110 chips. I go all in next hand with Q9o... get one caller... KQ.. oops... Got lucky and hit a flush on the Turn. I get AK 4 hands later and reraised, but didn't get called. Two hands later I get the pkt rockets and triple up. I work the chips all the way back up to 1285. They then dwindle down to 685 as the blinds are getting up there. At that point, I reraise all in with AT and lose out to AQ... Typically, I don't rebuy once I am out; but this tourney is usually pretty cashable so I rebuy back to 2000 chips... Things don't go well there and it dwindles down to 875.. and end up at 1175 at the first break. There is a 2K add-on; but that really doesn't help me much so I don't add on. First hand from break I get AQ in EP and go all in and get a get a caller with JJ. Luckily, I spike the Q on the river and double up. I ended up 4th in the tourney for a $207 payday. Last hand played out like this... I'm sitting on 18718 in chips with 5 people left. Blinds are 1500/3000. I look down to see pocket 6s. 1st guy folds and I bet out 5500... 1 caller and short stack goes all in. I call the 2K more as did the tourney leader. Flop comes.. 5KK. Big stack bets out 2000. What do you do? After thinking about it I re-raised all in... and he quickly calls. Turn and river both bring 4s and he turns over AA... Oops... I did beat the short stack and am out in 4th. Probably not the brightest move.

I then went to Party and played in 2 SNGs and got a 1st and a 3rd... I'll share one interesting hand from the tourney I ended up winning. This is the 3rd hand of the tourney. I look down at KK in MP. Blinds are 10/15. EP raises to 90. I raise to 300 and LP reraises all in. EP calls.... What do you do? Good chance that one of the two have the rockets; but I'm not throwing down Ks.. I just won't do it.. even if it the 3rd hand of the tourney. There are probably a lot of people that would disagree. Anway... EP guy turns over QQ... ah.... LP guy turns over AK... hmmm.. OK.. I'm feeling good... especially after flop... 87K... Turn does get an Ace.. but it is too late... river is an 8 and I triple up. I barely hold on to win.. Had a very good, up and down heads up battle.

The second SNG ended up with my TT getting beat by J9. He raised preflop and I just called and the flop came J38.. He bet out to put me all in and I thought and called. Oh well... What can you do? I didn't have to call; but at that point I would only have 1600.

So the night ended up a positive $382. I wasn't going to repeat the "give back" fiasco of the previous day so I called it a day. I finished up the night watching the Celebrity / Pro Poker challenge on the Gameshow Network that I had taped. To tell you the truth, I have kind of enjoyed this one. A couple of the celebs that they have are pretty good. One hand was pretty interesting where one of the Celebs had KK and Cindy Violette also got the Cowboys and raised him and he folded. Wow. On another note, I continue to be impressed with the play of Kathy Liebert (both on this show and the Pokerstars Invitational).

Anyway... there you have it and there you are.

Friday, June 17, 2005

When to leave Well Enough Alone

I was off of work yesterday due to a sick kid so during her naps had some opportunity to play. I played in 2 $50 SNGs and got a second out of one of them so that was $40. I then sat down to my normal 5/10 table. The short of it is that I ended up $239 (including SNG) for the day. Usually, if I hit that daily amount, I am happy and call it a day.

So, later that night my wife decided she was going to watch some of the Moonlighting DVD that we had rented from Netflix. I liked Moonlighting OK; but not enough to watch them again so of course, I decided to go play poker instead. There is that daily 1K guaranteed tourney that I like to play in since it only typically has between 20-30 players so I played that while playing some 5/10. Well, out in 17th (out of 20) on the tourney and down $150 in the ring play. I typically sit down with 30 times the small bet so that is $150 for ring play. I seem to keep running into small pkts that hit the set on the flop. The big hand beeing ATs on the button. The flop comes 46T (all clubs.. not my suit). I bet out immediately with the scary board. Turn nothing.. River is A. In retrospect, that was the worst card that could have come. Luckily, the "set" didn't raise me on the river. After that, I just quit and threw Rounders into the DVD player and watched about 1/2 of it. I guess my $150 loss is nothing compared to Mikey D's 3 stacks of high society... but I digress. Back to the situation at hand.

So my question to ponder is when to leave well enough alone. After thinking about it throughout the night and today, I still don't know. I'm thinking that the right answer is to not look at the dollars and cents of the day; but to look at the level of the competition. What does the table look like that you've just sat down at. I've never really datamined the tables via Poker Tracker / Gametime and maybe I should. I see the stats of the table and adjust my play accordingly. My feeling is that I can win at any type of table and I need the practice anyway. Maybe I'm just to lazy to search out the quality tables and that is not a good sign. I need to continue to work at this. I still feel confident that I'm OK at the 5/10 level.

Swithching Subjects..

After reading Poker Nerd's blog today and finding out that he is going to do another SNG fest in July. I believe I am going to join in the fun. He says that he is going to try and play 1000 SNGs for the month of July 8 tabling $50 (I think) SNGs. I don't play enough nor do I 8 table to justify playing 1000 SNGS so I am going to try and play 200 for the month of July. I have had relative success in SNGs. I will post stats on the journey and we will see how it goes.

Ok.. That should do it for today.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

5/10 still has my number

OK.. It was Wednesday night. As per my previous post, I was expecting a good night. I started off the night with 3 $50 SNGs. First one, I went out in 7th. The damage coming on two successive hands. I had AJ in late position... flop comes T55.. I get my ace next; but lost to the flopped FH of TT. The next had I get KJs and get K on flop but get outkicked by KQ. 2nd one was just a bad, bad decision, JJ from middle position and raise and then get re-reaised all in and for whatever reason I called... He turned over AA. Kind of funny thing is that were into Level 4 and nobody had been elimated.. Either a very tight table or no cards being dealt. Last one... Get dealt A7s in MP and I just call. 3 other limpers... Flop comes A79. EP leads out with 150 bet and I just call. 6 comes on turn and the EP checks.. I go all in and quickly get called... He had flopped a set of 9s. As it seems lately, not my night.

So I now sit down to the 5/10 tables to hopefully make it up. What a roller coaster ride. I ended up playing 864 hands and lost $386. I was up and down. The high beeing around $180. About hand 700 is where it all starting to go down hill. I was about even at that point. I had just had a couple of crushing river defeats and the following hand came up that pretty much put me over the top. First, let me tell you, that this wasn't a bad beat. Anyway, I had Q9 in the LP and we have 4 callers. Flop comes 8J8 and it gets checked around. Flop comes a Ten which gave me my gut shot. EP bets out and I raise and one guy cold calls and the better also calls. A 4 comes on river. Our cold caller now bets out. Other guy folds. A raise and he 3 bets me. He was a pretty loose player so I capped it. And this is the part that got me... He waited the full time alottment to finally call... He turned over 88 for quads. Again, not a bad beat; but the fact that he waited 30 seconds or whatever it was to finally call when he knew he had the nuts really got to me. I then proceeded to get beat with KQs and AKs.

I do have to say that my quad 2s beat a set of 10s so I had my share of good cards.

I went into the session planning on a tight aggressive style. My VPIP was for the most part around 18% until the end when it finally ended up around 21. That rise was justified as I was getting good cards at the end; but not hitting flops. I still won 53% of my showdowns. I was comfortable with my preflop raises which was 9.61% and my AF was 1.92 (most of the session was around 2.5 to 3).

Taking a look at my biggest losers of 4.5BB or more... of course the quad 8s debacle..

T9 (TPMK) lost to TT
KK lost 88
KTs (TPGK) lost a set of 6s
QQ lost to JJ (on river)
AA lost to 22
AJ lost to KQ (on turn)
A7 lost to AQ (bad read)
AK lost to KT (flush)
AK lost to J9
AK lost to AQ (on river)
QJ lost to KT .. flopped trips.. but lost to runner, runner flush
K7 lost to KQ ... flop AKA....

Winners of 5BB or more:

22 beat TT (quads over set)
AK beat A6
JJ beat KK
KK over ???
55 over QT
JTs over AQs (runner, runner Ts)
KJ over 87s
55 over AT
T8 over ??
KK over ??
99 over JJ
QQ over Q8s and A7

In conclusion... I just don't know.. Maybe I'm in over my head at 5/10.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Silly Stats

I have played a total of 329 days of poker since March of 2004. Being an accountant by trade, I love using Microsoft Excel. This is where I track my daily winnings and losses. I also keep what I will call "useless" information statistics... well somewhat useless. Today's silly stat question of the day. What day of the week do I do the best? See below chart:

DayCount RankPct

(note.. the count column counts the number of days played on that day and the Pct column is the percent of total winnings that day represents.)

I must note that this reflects everything except for days where I had tourney wins over $1,000 as I felt that would skew the results. I do use Poker Tracker which gives a similar type stats and even breaks it down to the hour. The problem there is that it only uses the time and date at the start of the sesssion. Another words, if I start a session on Friday at 8PM and play for hours. All the stats get recorded in the 8PM time frame. I hear the new version will break it down by actual time the hand is played and I can't wait for that. Plus the above results include tourney winnings and losses as well (plus bonus, plus rakeback). So the above may not be the best picture; but more or less can be used..... well for nothing... just for another bit of useless information. Useless or not, you probably won't find me playing on Tuesday... ha..

I plan on getting back to the tables tonight (after taking Tuesday off... of course). You'll probably find me at the $50 SNG tables at Party tonight plus if I get to the computer in time, the Poker World $1k guarantee (with only 20-30 players).

Also, one of main missions for the rest of the month is get back positive on my 5/10 ring play. It is really driving me nuts that I am not positive on that level. After that.. who knows where I will go. I will keep you updated on this quest. As it stands now, I am a terrible -.82 BB/100 after 23K hands.

I am going to keep increasing my links to other blogs as I find new ones that I enjoy. For now, I only want to be put blogs that I actually read on a normal basis. I will continue to try and find news ones to add to the list.

Monday, June 13, 2005

June 2005 - Part 1

Let's get you caught up to date for June 2005. It has been pretty un-eventful to say the least. I've played 10 of the 13 days for a net total of a whopping -$34. According to my math, that seems to be a negative EV... Not quite the way I wrote it up. OK... Let's back it up...

Days 1 - 4. This was the tail end of my very good streak where I went 12 for 13 days in positive sessions. For the 4 days in June, that tallied up to be $737. Great... Everything is going great. I'm just seemed to playing everything right. Of course, I was getting the cards; but I also felt that I was making the good laydowns and good steals.

Days 5-6. BOOOOOOOOOOMMMM!!!! As per the norm (or so it seems lately), I hit the wall. If there is one thing that I need to work on, it is the bad days. Day 5... I managed to lose $450 in 99 hands (1.03 hours) playing 5/10. Boy, you just have to be good to do that. I just wasn't getting cards and as I am prone to do, I start to push. Make all the wrong moves. I never did get rockets. I lost with KK (to a set of 8s). As a matter of fact, I just checked and I did not get any pkt pairs besides the Kings. I kept getting Ax in the blinds... usually a recipe for disaster. I lost with AK (both suited and offsuit). Lost with KJ (one off the button). KJ.... boy do I hate that hand... that is by far my biggest losing hand; but that is another post for another day. Anyway, this is where I decided to make it up on the $100 SNG tables. Oops... 8th place. Both times I got my money in as an underdog. That is always a good sign of bad play. Day 6 was a carbon copy of Day 5 except for I only loss $128. I lost with KK (to a flopped FH from somebody with TT). I had no other pkts. So that day, I'm not too unhappy. Chalk it up to just one of those days. I did get a 2nd it a $50 SNG which helped a little.

Days 7 -10. 2 of the days, I just played 2 SNGs each day(short on time) and got a 1st and a 2nd. The highlight of this stretch was yesterday. I'm on the button with Q6s and it is folded to me. As any law abiding poker player would do, I raised to steal the blinds. The SB raises me. Hmmm, seen that one before... but I just called. Flop comes QQQ. Yikes... not a bad flop. SB has AJo and bets out. I call. Turn comes 7.. AJ bets.. I raise and he just calls. River is 3 and he checked and called. Too bad an A or J didn't hit the river.

So after the great start in June... I have lost $360 in ring play and made around $330 in tourney play. Let's see what the 2nd half of June brings.

Note to self... work on consistency and patience (especially when the cards aren't coming).

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Home Tourney and "Mr All-In"

No love in the home tourney last night. Out of 23, I probably barely made the top 1/2. I definitely never got any cards and when I did, it never worked out. Any plays at the pot I made were met with resistance... Just one of those nights. The tourney ended very anti-climatically. The tourney was over 4 hours old and we were down to two. I became the dealer at the final table to speed things up. It finally got down to 2 people. One pretty good player and one person who I will just label "Mr All-In". That strategy is fine if that is the way you want to play it. What is the saying... It works everytime ... Except for once. That being said... The other guy went in... After thinking for a while.. "Mr All-In" called it. First guy turns over JJ and what does "Mr All-In" turn over... 56o. WHAT?????!?!!?!?!?!?!!? After 4 hours and a 1st prize of around $600 (compared to $200 for 2nd), he called with 56. He almost drew out on it; but didn't and he was out in 2nd place. I guess I will just say.... I don't get it.

We played another tourney after that. We are at the final table and I still haven't been getting cards; but have made some moves on some pots. Anyway, I got KTs in the BB. SB minimum raises me and I go all-in. He thought for a while and called and he turned over ATo. Not what I wanted to see. Nothing worse than being totally dominated. Flop comes KK5. Wow, what a relief. I just might knock him out (he was the winner of the first tourney). Turn cards come J. OK, scare card; but still a pretty big favorite. River card... you guessed it, Q. He hit runner, runner to get the straight. I had a few more chips; but went out shortly thereafter. Right before I left for the night. "Mr All-in" did the same thing. Called a huge all-in play with something like 2-6. It is one thing to go all-in with this; but to call with this is just ludicrous. I don't know where "Mr All-In" finished; but I'm guessing he didn't get 2nd this time.

Oh well, what can you do.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

To Know or Not to Know... That is the Question

As I am typing, Event #10 is going on in Las Vegas. While I can't help checking out the results, my question of the day is whether it is better to know or not to know. Would it make for better TV watching if I didn't know the results. The good news these days is that ESPN shows so many of the final tables, that it is virtually impossible to remember all of the winners; but on the other hand, my undying curiosity wants to know NOW. This question isn't just for the WSOP. It includes all other events. For example, would it have been great not to know that Danny Nguyen was going to win last week on the WPT. Watching all those incredible suck-outs would have been even more amazing had I not known the outcome.

OK.. The bottom line... for me. I am going to try to limit myself from finding out who wins. Of course, that in no way counts for the main event. I will be watching and looking for every update I can on that one. Luckily, we have fellow bloggers, notably Pauly, that will keep us informed. BTW, last week's WPT maybe was the most amazing final table I have ever seen. How many people felt "The Master's" pain when that 3rd Jack for Danny came up. As bad as that was, that doesn't even compare to running 7s. Maybe people watching that show will think that is OK to call when you are a huge underdog and that will be better for us in the long run.

Swithching subjects...

Well, after 18 straight days of playing, I am now on my 3rd day of not playing. This is pretty much wife enforced. I know many players have the support of the significant others. Unfortunately, I don't fall into that camp. She, of course, thinks that my poker playing is an addiction; but any attempts to try and explain otherwise falls on deaf ears. Oh well, I will just have to continue to deal with it. Wish me luck.

Anyway, I was on a pretty good roll. I had 12 out of 13 positive sessions for a profit of about $1,700. And then... as usual it seems these days, I had the very bad day where I lost $660. It was of those days that we all have and I am OK with it. The bad thing was that after a few very bad suck-outs, I decided to go to the 100 SNGs to make it up (instead of the normal 50s). Anyway, bad idea... 8th place in both. Obviously, I wasn't in a good mindset to play those (even though I had a 75% ITM rate before them). The next day was another down day; but have made that up recently.

I have a neighborhood tourney tonight so I won't be online. It's a $40 buy in with about 24 people. We will see how it goes.

Friday, June 10, 2005

One Step Closer to WSOP

Well, I am one step closer to Vegas and the Main Event. I played in the 2nd tourney (of 3) to get to the WSOP. The first tourney was a $20 buyin with top 3 going to the weekly tourney which qualifies for the final match which guarantees a 1 in 32 chance of going to the WSOP. It also had a $1K guarantee on it. Normally, they are rebuy tourneys; but this one wasn't. Anyway, I finished 2nd for a $240 payday an entry to the weekly. I played the next night also. This one was a rebuy. I didn't rebuy or add on; but I did get 4th for a $120 payday. Very nice overlay on these tourneys as there is usually only between 20 and 30 people in it.

We started off with 1500 chips (around 29 players) and after a few orbits I was down to around 400. Things went crazy from there and by the time the 1st break came, I was up to 11K in chips and about a 3-1 chip lead over the 2nd place person. So, knowing that the top 4 make it the final tourney, I decided to go into a shell and bascially fold my way into the finals. OK, maybe not the best strategy. By the time it was down to the final table, I still had a 2-1 chip lead; but when it got down to it, the short stacks were hitting their all-ins. A little while later with 5 people remaining, I found myself in 5th place. Uh oh. Luckily, someone went out and I squeaked in. I just went all in on the next hand and finished 4th. I hope I learned my lesson to not go into a shell in these things.

Anyway, the final tourney is not until the end of the month; but as I said earlier, there will be no more than 32 people in it so you got to like the odds.

I also had a 2nd and a 3rd tonight in my 2 SNGs so it was a pretty profitable night (+140).

There is another site that has a nice overlay for their WSOP qualifiers; but it is on Sunday nights and that is hard for me to make. If anybody knows of any others, let me know.

Thursday, June 09, 2005


After reading many blogs over the past few months, I decided that I'm going to try and join in the fun. First off, a little Intro. I, like many other poker enthusiasts, starting playing online poker after watching Chris Moneymaker do his thing back in 2003. I officially started online back in March of 2004 by putting $60 into PokerStars. I played the 10c/25c NL tables there and did OK. At the end of March, my poker balance was at $350.

Online poker, for me, is simply a hobby... Something I enjoy doing. It was never intended to be any kind of money generator and to this day, I have not withdrawn any money (other than back to my Neteller account).

The first few months were small and steady based on the small limits that I was playing. It looked kind of like this... April + 337 May +408 June +205 bringing my bankroll to $1,296. July 04 was my first losing month as I lost $450. I was about ready to call it quits and get out while I was ahead.

August was my breakthrough month, of sorts. I received an invitation to a 5K Empire Freeroll. Short story.... 983 players and I won netting $2100. From there, my tourney success continued. August +2675 Sept +2262 Oct +1959 Nov + 206.

For whatever reason, I started playing Limit Hold'em in November starting with 1/2, 2/4 and 3/6 games. In December, I moved up to 5/10 games because I was overly frustrated with the loose plays of the lower limits and had some success.... Dec... +1677

That brings us to 2005. To say that 2005 has been a disappointment, would be an under statement. Maybe we will call it the sophomore jinx. Anyway, I have not been able to conquer the 5/10 game. Here is how 2005 has gone... Jan -70 Feb +973 Mar +272 Apr -292 May +855. My problem seems to be that I will have 4 or 5 consecutive up days and then loose it all in one day. Any success that I have is primarily due to SNGs which I also started in Octoberish.

That brings me to now. I look forward to hopefully joining the poker blogging community while sharing my poker adventures.
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