Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Homer Simpson

I was not a huge Simpsons fan; but I seem to remember an episode where either Homer or Bart would stick something in a electrical outlet and get shocked and go "Doh!!!!"... and then do it again, and again.... maybe it was a Pavlov's Dog thing where they had electrodes attached to a jelly donut and Homer would go... mmmm Donut... ...shock... Doh.... mmm Donut.... .. shock... Doh!!!!!!

That is how a felt last night... I have guaranteed a losing month after last night... Only the third one that I have had... except for this one is pretty substantial.

It started off in the 1K guarantee.... Everytime I decided to push.. I ran into AA or KK.. Nothing I can do about those.. The one thing that got under my skin... I have KQs... There was a raise and I went over the top... We ended up all in before the flop.... He won with A6... the very next hand (after I had rebought by the way).. I had AJs and I raise... we don't get all in... but he wins with KQs (hearts.. which is the same thing I had)... Now ain't that a kick in the junk...

Now on to ring play... The flavor of the day there was BB specials.... unfortunately I was on the wrong end of them.. Hands like Q2, 83, 76 were calling my preflop raises and winning.. Oh by the way did I say my high pocket pairs ran into Quads tonight... twice... Overall, it could have been a lot worse.. I ened up down $198. This was one of those nights that the cards weren't going my way; but I wasn't letting it affect me.. I just shook my head.

So to recap.... mmmm fishy table....... shock.... Doh!!!!!... mmmm fishy table.. .. shock Doh!!!... mmmmm fishy table... . shock... Doh!!!!

Apparently, PokerRoom has a 6K guarantee freeroll if you get so many points in a week.. I'm going to give that a try tonight.. Law of averages.. right?? lol.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Should I stay or should I go now

Again, this was going to be a weekend that I was really excited about. I was wifeless and kidless for a couple of days. I didn't play very much on Friday but did win about $130 so things started of good... So here comes Saturday.. the plan.... Poker. and lots of it.. Unfortunately, right from the beginning, things didn't go right.. other than blind steals.. I didn't win a hand for 44 straight hands... no big losses there.. I pushed a little with mid pocket pairs....
I also won't go into details into what I lost with... just that I had 25 hands of where I lost 4BB or more vs vs 27 wins of over 4 BB.. so where did all the losses go.... All those mid hands where you get the cards but miss the flop and over a period of 839 hands added up to a $500 loss... add to that another $250 from Poker World which isn't traced by Poker Tracker and that makes for a terrible Saturday.. At one point, I was nearly $1000 down.. which begs the question.. When should you quit vs when should keep playing. Stop losses were mentioned in a couple of messages I read yesterday and here is my thoughts:

I typically set a stop loss at 2.67 buyins which is about $400. The thing about it is that is not an automatic stop... It is more or less a trigger to re-evaluate the situation... I then ask myself these four questions:

1) Am i playing badly?
2) Am I tilting at all?
3) What is the table like? (it is a bad table)
4) Am I tired?

If I answer yes to two or more of them, then I quit. Unfortuantely, Saturday, when I got to that point, I convinced myself that everything was still fine. I am a huge advocate of if the table conditions are good, then you need to keep playing if the other conditions don't overrule them. The bad thing is that I had to judge table conditions based on experience (as opposed to poker tracer) since I was playing at UB and Poker Room that doesn't work with Poker Ace.

What are good table conditions... To me, a good table condition is where you have some money donaters.. If the table has a VPIP of over 21 and a lot of preflop rasing... and add to that that the overall bb/100 is negative.. I'm in... It's ok if there are some tight aggressives at the table.. I just need to watch my step against those people.

On the bright side, I played 8 minutes yesterday and won $101.50.. A flopped flush and set with people raising me did the trick. My only goal was to win $20 that I gave away on my last hand on Sunday... So I made that with the Flush; but when I thought I turned off the auto post to the blinds, I didn't and I got 33 in the BB with one raiser.. I called to see if I hit the set and fortunately, I did... He continued to bet into me... I won the pot and left... Hit and Run..

A couple more days of 5/10 and then I will set a plan/goal for September. For sure, I will probably be playing less due to football and prime time shows. Mrs Wonka loves watching a few shows and it something that we do together. We started with Prison Break last night... If you didn't get a chance to catch it, I highly reccomend it... It was awesome!!! Looks great.. The basic premise is that a brother is on death row and the other brother attempted to rob a bank with the intention of getting thrown in jail to help his brother escape. As it turns out, he helped design the prison... I won't say anything else... I will just say that it is worth a look.

Did I mention football... I am totally psyched.. after good weeks from both the Cowboys and Rams, I am ready. Plus, my fantasy footbal draft is Thursday. Color me giddy... I can't wait.. Plus someone even mention fantasy football for college football... Heaven!!!

Friday, August 26, 2005

Free Weekend

I played a little bit on PokerRoom last night. Since it was a new site to me, I started out slow. It does work with Poker Tracker so I do like that... espcially since you can do auto-importing of hands. The graphics are pretty nice; but I don't really care about graphics. Some notable things that are missing... at least I haven't found them yet...

  1. There is no button to punch in for auto-posting. Typically when I am ready to call it quits, I continue to play until the big blind comes to me. This is normally when I have de-selected the auto post blinds button. It then prompts me and I select to sit out. As far as I can tell, you can't do this here. You just have to pay attention. Not a biggie
  2. At one point, my $150 buyin was down to $40. Usually when it gets this low, I like to add on a half-buy in or something.. just in case I do get the big hand, I don't want to lose out. My cashier button was greyed out and I couldn't add on. It never got to a point where I would have been all in... I ended up the night in positive territory.. albeit barely.

Again, I just started playing there so I hope to learn more about it. This was another PSO promotion (yes, I'm on the PSO bandwagon). If you are looking to try out new sites and get free stuff as well as deposit bonuses, give it try. Please use a referral code, if you do it... There are plenty to use such as WillWonka, GCOX25, HighonPoker, or Tripjax. Especially take a look at the PSO store if you don't like the gifts that they offer. Until August 31st, you can get an extra 3000 PSO points for a special bonus code ("PSOALLIN"). Check out their forum for details. While PSO is great, if you plan on playing on the site a bunch you might want to look for a rakeback deal. I know that PSO has one... but I didn't look at the details too much. There are plenty of sites they offer them.. just do a search on "rakeback".

Now for the weekend. My wife and daughter are on their way to KC for a baby shower so I am left home alone. Hmmm.. I wonder what I will do. Probably wash some clothes... do some vacuuming, cut the grass, rearrange the sock drawer..... wait... what am I saying... I am home alone!!!!! Shuffle up and deal!!!, I say... I may try to do a mega-session tomorrow to see what it is truly like for the fulltime poker players.... Maybe do an 2 4 hour sessions. I am going to a concert tonight (Sonic Flood) and might even frequent the local casino after that.. if it is not too late. Other than the concert, I obviously plan on playing a bunch of cards... including some tournaments that I always feel guilty about playing since they take so long.... Any suggestions on nice tournaments with a nice overlay would be appreciated... especially daytime tournaments.

Have a good weekend!!!

Thursday, August 25, 2005

A Different kind of You Decide

Nothing too exciting going on with poker. I am continuing to play 5/10 at UB. I have to say that I didn't really care much for the software when I first started; but I like it now... especially the mini view. What started out as a good month has deteriorated into a bad month. I am down $300 for the month so I will do what I can to get back to positive before the end of the month. With hands like the one I'm going to show you, I doubt I'll make it.... so in this edition of You Decide... I'm not looking for what you would of done; but rather who is the bigger donkey... me or the other bozo.... Anyway here it is..

AdamHutch is at seat 0 with $349.
katsu is at seat 1 with $302.
Zachy Chan is at seat 2 with $137.
TwoLucky is at seat 3 with $200.
Bukeye_One is at seat 4 with $134.
ForgiveMeGod is at seat 5 with $153.
DuffMann is at seat 6 with $334.
itsjustrob420 is at seat 7 with $482.50.
larry j is at seat 8 with $364.
willwonka is at seat 9 with $211.
The button is at seat 4.

ForgiveMeGod posts the small blind of $2.
DuffMann posts the big blind of $5.
TwoLucky posts out of turn for $5.

willwonka: Qh Qs


itsjustrob420 folds. larry j folds. willwonka
raises to $10. AdamHutch re-raises to $15. katsu
folds. Zachy Chan folds. TwoLucky folds.
Bukeye_One folds. ForgiveMeGod folds. DuffMann
calls. willwonka re-raises to $20. AdamHutch calls.
DuffMann calls.

Flop (board: 6c Tc 8c):

DuffMann checks. willwonka bets $5. AdamHutch
calls. DuffMann calls.

Turn (board: 6c Tc 8c 5c):

DuffMann bets $10. willwonka raises to $20.
AdamHutch folds. DuffMann calls.

River (board: 6c Tc 8c 5c 4h):

TwoLucky has disconnected, is dropped.
DuffMann checks. willwonka bets $10. DuffMann


willwonka shows Qh Qs.
willwonka has Qh Qs 6c Tc 8c: a pair of queens.
DuffMann shows 4d 7d.
DuffMann has 4d 7d 6c 8c 5c: straight, eight high.

Hand #7897409-1753 Summary:

$3 is raked from a pot of $142.
DuffMann wins $139 with straight, eight high

Sure, I had no business betting on that board; but what is Duffman thinking with 74s... first off to call 4 bets preflop with that... then with an obvious flush on the board, he calls with his straight. Now, I knew going in that he was a bad player which is why I pushed... The other guy folded KK...

Well, my HU challenge is over.. I finished a marathon session with Mourn. We must of played at least 10 hands... the old flopped full house gets me every time. I enjoyed it very much. Good luck to the rest of you.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Winding Down

As the days start getting shorter (I know this because I am cutting the yard at 8:00 a couple of nights ago and it is almost dark) and as I start seeing kids going back to school and the summer is winding down, it can only really mean one thing......


This is absolutely my favorite time of the year. Preseason Pro football has started... and the college season is about to begin. This time of year, you still have high hopes that your teams (for me that is the Dallas Cowboys and Texas Longhorns) are going to win championships. By the way, I live in St Louis so I am a Rams fan; but my allegience goes to the city where I was born... Dallas. I just bought some front row tickets for the home opener on Monday night where Troy, Emmitt and Michael will all be inducted onto the ring of honor.. Even better, we're going to have hockey this year. BTW, I do believe this is the year for both of my teams.. OK, OK.. I say that every year... but watching the Cowboys on TV last night just got me more psyched for the season.... not because they played good or bad... just because it is here. Our fantasy football draft is fastly (is that a word) approaching. It is a week from this Thursday and I am the defending champ so I have some pressure (albeit all self inflicted) to repeat. We are having it a week earlier than normal due to people taking vacations.. but that's ok.. put that all together and....

I've got my college spreadsheets all ready to go to rank all 119 Division 1A football teams that will also generate my predicted spread to compare to the real spread. I will try to publish my top 6 picks every week on Tuesdays or Wednesdays starting in about week 5.

Put this all together and.....


Ok, this is a poker blog and due to the football game and me being a little under the weather, I didn't get a chance to play any last night; but I hppe to be out there tonight to complete my HU Challenge for the 1st (and my last) round.


In a previous post, where I made 2nd nut straight on turn only to lose to the nuts, I wrote Matt Matros about it. I was very happy to hear that he more or less agreed with how I played it. Here are some of his comments:

I probably call on the flop, and probably reraise the turn unless the rock is a super-rock.

I might be able to fold the river, but I would never fault a call with a hand that big in a pot that big.

As far as the guy being a super rock, I really didn't have enough hands to really judge that. I want to really thank Matt for getting back to me as I know he doesn't have to take the time to answer all the emails that he must receive on a daily basis. By the way, if you have not read his book, it is definitely worth the read. I thouroughly enjoyed it. Again, it didn't set out to be a full blown strategy book.. more or less his road from the kitchen table to where he is now.

Speaking of books, I just finished the Chris Moneymaker biography. It brings on a whole new light as to how I percieve Moneymaker. It also was a very good read and I highy reccomend this one as well.

That should do it for now.... Bring on the pigskin...

PS.. if there happens to be any Oklahoma boys out there (and you know who you are)... revenge is ours this year at the Red River Shootout...

Monday, August 22, 2005

Weekend in Review

Man, was I totally psyched about this weekend... Home tourney on Friday and then $100 home tourney on Saturday. Well, as usual, things never goes as planned. Friday night, I didn't win a single hand until my second to last when I had hardly any chips and won with KK... Oh well. Maybe Saturday would be better... Only 14 people showed up for this $100 buyin (was supposed to be 24). It still had a $700 first prize which is worth playing for... OK, even it is free, it is worth playing.. It's poker, for crying out loud.

There is an old saying that you can't win a big tournament without beating AK and winning with AK. Ok, this may not have been a big tournament; but the old adage held true. The only time where I had the pkt pair and would have gone up against AK, I folded preflop (77) with a raise and re-rasie.. it ended up being AK vs AT... and the AT won... that's poker. Anyway, it got down to the final 6 (paid out 4) and I get the big slick...soooted even.. I throw in all my chips (a little over 3x) and get called by 33 and I don't improve. I go out in 6th. The good news is that my brother ended being the winner and my other buddy got 2nd. See if that guy ever invites me and my friends again.. Actually, they said I could come back..... ha...

So we started up a second one.. only $20 and about 8 or 9 people. 1 table is all that I really remember. Anyway top 2 pay and we are down to 3 and I get AK on the button.. I shove as the blinds are getting pretty high. Anyway.. big blind and big chip leader calls... Yep, he had 33 and I don't improve... Now ain't that a big kick in the junk.

I am such a wimp during live play. Plays that I wouldn't think twice about online, I am too chicken to do in Live play. I definitely need work on that.

I didn't play much online... about an hour Sunday night for a plus $50.

I need to search out Mourn to finish my HU Challenge committment. I should be lurking about after 8PM tonight.. I will continue to grind out the remainder of August to hopefully get back to positive territory.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Variance or Randomness

Another banner evening last night. I had a chance to play in the 1K guarantee last night and was chip leader with 6 to go... A couple of bad plays with mid pocket pairs and I was down a bunch... Final hand... 5 handed... I'm in the BB with ATs... folded to button... who goes all in.. I barely have covered... what do you do?

I called.... Dang... He had AK... what... T on the flop.... victory is mine.... what K on the river... I'm all but out... went out on the next hand.. Bummer!!

I was also killed on the ring tables.. The question of the day is what is the difference betweeen variance and randomness. Are they mutually exclusive? Are they subsets of each other? Or is one just a smaller piece of the other? Let's talk it out. Randomenss is what is what it is. Your starting hands are slaves to the random number generator. I'm not even going to begin with a conspiracy theory about how online poker is rigged. I am in the camp that these sites have too much to lose if it were discovered that random number generator wasn't indeed random. At the same time, I don't know what kind of regulation is put upon these sites that are all over the world. We'll leave it at random is random. We should get the same amount of good hands as bad hands. Last night just happen to be a bad night.. I played a little over 170 hands last night and didn't get AA, KK or QQ. The good news it that I did get JJ once and even hit my full house; but lost to 66 who hit quads.

Now what exactly is this variance thing that we speak. Is it just simply the swings that we are going to experience playing poker?.. meaning our good hands are going to hold up some time and somtims they are not? Maybe it is just a way of us justifing our bad play (I'm pointing at myself by the way). Truly, our bad sessions might have some bad beats (I was rivered at least 6 times last night).. but at the same time, I bet it is inter-weaved with donkey-ish play. Obviously, the JJ hand was my biggest loser and I don't think there was anyway of getting out of that one... but my next 3 losers involved A2s, A3 and Q9s (ironically, my A3 lost to Q9 with Ace on board)... so I'm sure I had my reasons for playing those hands.... So again, what is variance? I really don't know.

I didn't play any HU nor did I check in with everybody.. I wasn't in the best of moods... lol.

I have a home game tonight and tomorrow is another home tourney. Tomorow is a $100 tourney with about 20-24 guys. I'm not the best of live players (or online as things have been going lately).. so I'm a little tentative about tomorrow. We'll see how it goes.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Terry Metcalf

Unless you are an old diehard Football Cardinal fan (back in the St Louis Cardinal days), you may not of heard of Terry Metcalf. You may of heard of his son Eric Metcalf who went to the University of Texas and played with the Browns. His father, Terry, was just as exciting to watch. He was a little guy.. probably 5'9" and in the 160s; but did that guy have some moves. One game in particular that I remember watching was a play that started as sweep to the left (like many dozens of plays that he had done before) and with his speed, he would find the corner and make good yardage. Well, this particular play, the corner wasn't there, so instead of running out of bounds or pounding out a yard or two, he completely reversed his field and started the other way. The bad news was that when he got to the other sideline, it was closed off as well... so again, instead of running out of bounds or getting a yard or two, he reversed his field again. A good ending to this story would be that he found a hole (ala Marcus Allen in the Superbowl) and ran 60 yards for a touchdown. This story, unfortunately, doesn't have such an ending. After reversing his direction again and running to the other sideline, he ended up with a 1 yard gain... albeit, one of the most exciting one yard games that I have ever seen. That play always stuck with me and as it happened, I was in the Cardinal locker room a few weeks later. Joe Gibbs (now the Redskins coach) was the offensive cooridinator for the Cards at the time and also a friend of the family as we both went to the same small church in West St Louis County. Anyways, I went up to Terry Metcalf to get an autograph on a football card that I had of his (I was about 12 years old at the time) and asked him about the play. I told him how much I enjoyed that play and I asked him how he felt afterwards.. was he tired? He took what seemed at the time a while to answer and in full and eager anticipation I listened. "Yes", he exclaimed and that was the end of it. He signed my card and went and did a TV interview. Also, during that visit to the locker room, myself and a friend went up to the then Head Coach, Don Coryell, and asked him why he never had a smile on face while at their coaching. He proceeded to tell us that there wasn't much to smile about when out there on the field... and again, that was the end of that. I was always taken back by that comment.. How can football not be fun?.. It's football, for crying out loud.

Anyway, where is this going? This year of poker playing has brought back old memories of these two boyhood idols of mine. Here lately, I have 2 or 3 good sessions only to reverse my field and have a whopping bad session that erases the gain to only 1 anemic yard. And after all that playing, it just makes me tired... I can almost bet dollars to donuts that I don't have a smile on my face anymore while I'm playing. How can I not be smiling? It's poker for crying out loud. When I first starting playing, it was so enjoyable. I wasn't in it for the money.. I just wanted to play... and I loved it. The good news/bad news story is that I was moderately successful in my first year. Wow, I'm thinking, maybe I can actually make some money at this.... so there started the Grind.. This is about December of last year... where I started playing limit poker... why??? because that is what you do (I thought)... If you want to prove your stripes in poker, you need to learn the theory and be able to best other poker players at the limit tables.. at least here you won't have the huge swings that bigger time NL would bring. Well, after making $750 in three days to then give back $500 the next day is just mind boggling and it is making me tired. Before, I didn't know any better and expected to lose... I didn't know I was getting sucked out on 2 outers (unless I had premo, premo hands); but now knowing what I know, it makes me (quoting ScurvyDog) throw up in the mouth a little.

So again, what is the take away from here... and here are the things that I will thinking about the rest of the month. Maybe I do need to get back to NL as that it where my success has been.. especially on the tourney side. I definetly see more Single table and multi table tournaments in my future. Do I actually move up in limits as was a possible suggestion? I just don't know.

On the bright side, I am really enjoying the HU Challenge and hope that we do it again soon as I am all but eliminated this time around. I had a great match with DNasty that lasted a very, very long time. I never did look at the hands count; but it had to be up there. I had him all but out; but then got over aggressive with a KJs that never hit... and the rest was downhill from there. Good Game D.

I then played Mr High On Poker himself and also had a good match that ended very badly for him. I probably had him out chipped a little at this point when I picked up the rockets... The flop came something like 3A3... a little bit a betting going back and forth and on the river we ended up getting all our chips in... and as he was calling, he something like "bad timing"..... I turn over rockets.... and then he said "FOR ME".... as he turned over A3. Bad beat there brother.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

The Double Edged Sword

First, a little HU Update. I had a doubly sweet victory in the Head's Up Challenge . First off, it got me off the schnide (sp) with my first victory. Secondly, because it was against a Pittsburgh Steelers fan. Now, I have nothing against Josh. He just happens to be a Steelers fan and I'm a Cowboys fan. Enough said. As usual, it came down to who got the cards and I got them at the right moment. That's the good and bad of this challenge. It's good that we play everybody and therefore can make up for any bad cards in one match. It's bad, that for the most part, whoever gets the cards in a particular match will usually win. That is not always the case. Maybe next time we will make the original matches 2 out of 3 or something. Anyways (and this is the whole point), I am having a good time participating and watching the matches. Now I will quote one of favorite lines for Kipper, Mourn and DNasty...
, , I'm coming to get YOU...
John J Rambo... First Blood

Now for the double edged sword... the chase. I would have to say that this is where I have lost the most money. Not only on me chasing my open ended straights or flush draws; but also on the other people that are doing the same thing and hit their money cards. Again, I'm not a mathie, but this is where basic math has to be part of my game. I don't have any specific examples of this so I'm going to study up a little on this and get back with my results... but basically I use the 4 and 2 rule for figuring out my odds. This is the basic rule that everybody uses to figure out pot odds. It basically states that you take the number of outs that you have and multiply that by 4 after the flop and multiply by 2 after the turn to figure out your odds of hitting your card. When you don't have the odds to be calling, then you are chasing and that is -EV overall. Sure, you might hit one or two and that is where the double edged sword comes from because now that you have one or two, you will continue to do it. In the long run, you will obviously miss on most of your chases and that will cost you.. so that is why it is so vitally important to have the right odds to call so that when you do hit your flush or straight or whatever, you will get paid.

I continued to play at UB last night and was up a little over $283 so another pretty good night. The good and bad of UB is that they don't have very many 5/10 tables so the same people are playing every night. I did get a little lucky last night; but that's poker.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

HU - Practice

I'm sure glad that we decided to have a practice day on the HU Challenge. Otherwise, I would be pretty embarrassed that I went 0 for 3. Since it was practice, I tried a few different things and the obviously didn't work. I now know not to do those things when things really count. Seriously, I am not really surprised with the results. I knew my HU game was lacking and DoubleAs, GCox, and TripJax all played good games and notched easy victories. I could cry that I didn't get any cards; but that really would be a bad sport so I won't do that. I will just say that I didn't play the cards I got to their maximum potential. Congrats guys.

Check out Challenge Results for up to date results.

Otherwise, I continued to grind away at my Ultimate Bet bonus. I did OK and had an overall positive day making $91.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Let The Games Begin

OK, sports fans... Let the Head's Up Challenge Begin. It should be fun. It will be worth the $25 donation just to get in some good practice at the HU table. Good luck to all my competitors (although you know I don't mean it ;) ). I should be around most nights after 8PM Central. I was lurking around UB late last night; but didn't see anybody. I was clearing my PSO balance. I was able to get the 500 UB points pretty quickly. I haven't completely cleared the bonus (still have a ways to go there); but did clear the PSO part so I should be getting some more chips shortly. After playing UB for a while, I will go on the record that I'm not a big fan of the software. I also thought that UB was bigger that it is.. There is usually only about 3 or 4 5/10 tables going (not including 6 Max tables). I really like the mini-table view and I think all sites should do that. The software seems sluggish at times and I wasn't able to connect a few times. The games are pretty soft as I was able to show a $334 profit for the week there even thought I wasn't getting great cards (which also includes a down down of $350). Last night, I got AK, AA, AA in three consecutive hands. I lost the AK when a 4 flush came on the board and only picked up the blinds on the AA. Talk about disappointing. I then proceeded to get KK on my other table and got beat by A8 when an Ace came on the turn. Unfortunately, things didn't go as good elsewhere as I was down over $800 for the week.

I appreciate all the comments on my "questionable" play on a hand that I posted last week. This is going to really punctuate why I am a losing player; but what the heck. If I can get good enough numbers to draw to the second nut (and I am saying that I did with the callers behind me) then I am going to do it everytime. It's really no different that going in with KTs and getting beat by Ax s on a flush draw. If you play like everybody has the nuts everytime, I can't believe that you are going to be an overall winner. How often does someone make the nuts. I can't believe it is very often. Now, conversely, when he came back over the top of me, then the writing was pretty much on the wall since he was a rock (tight passive). Anybody else, and I'm not as worried about the nuts. Anyway, thanks for the discussion and it will make me analyze things differently next time. There is nothing than better than actual experience at the tables. You can read all you want (and I'm still reading Sklansky's theory of poker); but experience is where it comes from.

Friday, August 12, 2005

White Flag?

When to you get to the point at a certain level that you figure out that you just can't compete at the level. Is it like that I was a pretty good high school football player; but I once I looked at a couple of colleges and saw how big and fast they were compared to me, I knew I would be out of my element. That was a pretty easy (but hard) decision because I really loved playing football. I had played for 10 years and it was something that I just did come fall time. Have I reached that same pinnacle in poker. I was pretty good micro limit player; but at the "low" limits, I am getting it handed to me. When do you just throw up the white flag. Now, conversely, my bankroll is in no danger at all. In fact, I could be playing safely at higher levels... according to the 400 big bet rule for managing bankroll. Obviously, it would be insane to increase levels when your are getting your butt chewed at 5/10. I have now played over 29K hands at 5/10 and have lost .68BB/100 ($1,982). Is that a big enough sample size to say that I can't win at this level? The frustrating thing is the level of play I see at this level.. .which I perceive to not be that good... of course that makes it even more frustrating that I can't win. The theory of poker according to Sklansky is to play your cards as if you know what they have. In theory, that sounds great and you might have great reads on players... but if they are still calling you down with K and A high or bottom pair, how can it all work? Perhaps, that theory only works at higher levels.

So as you probably guessed, I had a nice session last night where I dropped $358.. again negating my previous two sessions. I am at a total loss on where to go from here. Most likely, I will continue down the 5/10 path for the rest of the month as that was my pre-prescribed plan for the month.

In an effort to get better, I would like to throw at my biggest losing hand last night to get anybody's comments on them. Perhaps reviewing my biggest losing and winning hands (per advice from the pokertrackerguide), I can get better.

I am MP+2.. and get dealt T9s.. I love this starting hand if I can see it for free and with a couple of callers. I get my wish as I get 3 callers in front of me.. only 1 behind (BB)... So there is $27 in the pot.. The flop comes 3JK rainbow. Not really a good flop; but I do have a gut shot... 2 checks and then EP bets out.... 1 fold.. now to me.. what do you do?
Again, I'm not a mathie... but $32 in the pot.. so about 6-1 to call... but my gut shot is only about 8-1... I think that says to fold; but assuming that I will get a caller or two behind me may justify the call. Anyway I called as did the other two behind me... putting $47 in the pot. My money card came on the turn.. a Q.. 3 checks and I bet out and I get check raised by a rock (tight passive) which scares me. A fold in front of me... $97 in the pot.. what do you do? The last player is a tight aggresive player.
I raised... only to get capped by the rock and we both called... Now, I'm wishing for an Ace to get a split... A Jack comes on the flop.. Now the SB leads out and gets raised by the rock (all in).. What do you do? $197 in the pot?
I called... and now SB re-reraises. What do you do? $237 in pot.
I obviously have to call at this point... TAG turns over J5s (huh?)... for 3 jacks.. so I take a small side pot.. and the rock turned over what was the nuts on the turn. .AT... and he raked in the big $244 pot.

Any thoughts?

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Hit and Run

I only played on Party for about 30 mintutes. Unlike most days, I made a few hands early and made a quick $154. I decided to call it quits. I wanted to get set up at Ultimate Bet for the Head's Up Challenge. I signed up (via PSO..G) and played a few matches. Clearly, I am going to be donating during the challenge. My HU play is lacking. I went 1-2 at the $5 and I won a $10.

Something that I have been thinking about is my quick hit and run sessions. It obviously makes sense that I may have 4 or 5 days only to be negated by one bad day. If I don't continue to play when I am winning, I will never notch a big day... but at the same time, I don't want to give back the profits. I could always leave the table and come back at a normal buy-in. I will figure it out.

That's all for now.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

I'll Take It

When is making $126 a good day.....

I only got to play a couple of hours. I didn't get started in time to play in the 1K guarantee so I just fired up 2 tables of Party. As was the plan, I am just playing two tables at a time and doing reading during the "off" time. One of my tables was pretty tight and the other was a good table. The tables seem to be getting softer and softer at Party. I also had two "fishies" to my right which also makes things interesting.

The bad news again was that the cards were not cooperating as I was only seeing around 16% of the flops. I was holding my own on the tight table and steadily grinding up... but wasn't winning the one big one. Meanwhile on the LAG table.... I didn't win a hand in my first 54 hands. Ouch!!.. Finally on hand 55, I get the rockets... My friends to my right raised and called.. I joined the party and raised on the flop of all clubs (I don't have any)... Of course one of them stayed around to the end which ended up being a split pot when the board made a flush and neither of us could improve the board. Oh, btw, he open raised from EP with 56s. Sometimes, you just have to love party. So anyway, I got half a win... By this time, though, I have already gone through a buyin and a small reload. So I have reloaded a full buyin (which is 30 SBs for me). I then finally won a small hand on hand 60 and then things started falling into place. At one point on this table I was over $250 down. I finally brought that back to positive territory and called it a night to go watch the WSOP on TV.

So when is $126 a good day. It is a good day when you stay disciplined to the plan and don't chase the cards and when you make the right moves. It is so easy to start playing mediocre cards in hopes of getting a flop to finally get a win. That is how you drain the bankroll. I was very happy that I was able to fight of the bad beats and stay the course. Especially, after a bad day the day before, I sometimes will try to push to make it up. I didn't do that, which maybe that means I have taken a positve step forward.

I am really enjoying re-reading and finishing the pokertracker guide . Hopefully that will help even more.

I am also looking forward to making my donation in the Head's Up Challenge . If anybody is interested in joining in click on the link above. It basically, a series of heads up SNGs in a tournament type style. It should be fun.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Murphy's Law

Yep, not a good session so I'm going to keep this short and sweet... more like short and sour. The condtions were unbelievably good last night; but the cards didn't play along.

In the 1K.. I rebought 3 times and was out before the break... The last hand, with AT on the button, I raise... get called... T high flop.. and I bet out... get raised and reraise all in... Turns out that he was a flush draw... and got it... Can you believe somebody would commit almost all of their chips on a flush draw? Crazy... oh wait a minute... something is coming back to me... Oh yeh, I did it yesterday.. Oh well.. at least for today.. .what can go wrong is going wrong.

Then in ring play... any cards I got were not good enough... No aces... 1-4 with Kings... 0-3 with Queens... etc, etc.. I won't bore you with the details.

Everytime I have a session like this, I promise to myself that I'm going to set loss limits... which I've always said should be between 400-600. So I'm going to toy with that again. The thing is that tables were really good. For example, on 2 occasions, I got called down with people with just K high or pkt 2s. I guess it worked out for them as they raked in the pot... but imagine being check raised and then still calling down the turn and river with just K high or pkt 2s.

Oh well... I'll live to fight another day... Mr Murphy gave me a good kick in the junk; but I'll try to bounce back..

Monday, August 08, 2005

August Goal

OK, Short and sweet today. I didn't play any poker yesterday. As we know that in July, I focused on my SNG play. Likewise, I am going to really concentrate on my ring game this month... So what does that mean.

I will playing pretty much all Ring Play, specifically 5/10. I am an overall loser at this level and I need to do whatever I need to do get that rectified. Again, let's set a baseline. Through July here are my 5/10 stats (at least from sites poker tracker tracks).

Total Hands... 26,555
VPIP... 23.19 (Voluntary Put $ in flop..prob should be a little lower)
WSD... 33.16% (Went to Showdown.. shold be over 35)
W$SD... 50.54% (Won $ at Showdwon... should be over 50)
W$WSF... 34.55% (I'm not sure what this should be... seems low)
PFR... 7.95 (Preflop Raise.. should be over 8)
BB/100... -.65 (Big Blinds won/loss.. should be positive.. lol)
OAG... 1.48 (Overall Agression...needs to be over 1.50)

After a terrible start in August and I am up a little bit for the month in 5/10 play. I will post the August stats throughout the month... probably on a weekly basis.

Does this mean that I won't play an occasional set of SNGs or MTT? Absolutely not. As time allows, I will do both... Of course, I will doing some Heads Up in the Challengs.

I also plan to do some reading. I've pulled out my Poker Tracker Guide that I never completed and I've also pulled out Sklansky's Theory of Poker that I bought but never read. Hopefully, that will also help identify leaks and improve overall play. So instead of playing 3 or 4 tables, the plan is to only play 2 and also catch up on some reading.

So, that is my plan for the month.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

A Good Day

Yesterday was a good day. I did not play a bunch during the day as Mrs Wonka was still at her convention. She got home in the afternoon and what does she do that night.... Yep, she goes over to a friends house to scrap book. And she calls my poker playing an addiction.. lol. So, I played during baby Wonka's nap... and made around $100.

The neighbors called for a home game during the evening; but unfortunately, I had to decline due to Mrs Wonka being out... boy, I'm glad I did.

As usual, I played in the Poker World 1K. Things went pretty well during the 1st hour as I didn't need to rebuy as I either had a hand (and it held up) or I got bad hands that I didn't play. So by the end of the rebuy period, I was second in chips... I did do an add-on. Things were a little up a down. There were 3 hands down the stretch the vaulted me to the top.

The first was where I had KT in the BB... the SB (short stack) went all in and I called and got to Ks on the flop. It may have been a bad beat as he cried about it; but didn't show. The second was when we were down to 6 handed and I get JJ in the BB.. UTG goes all in (short stacked) and gets a caller (chip leader) I raise all in and get called by the chip leader.. all little cards and I tripled up.

And here is the hand of the match and this is where I would like some feedback as to what is the right call. It is bubble time as the top 3 pay and there are 4 people left.

Game started at: 23:04:28 08/06/05
Game ID: 8109713 2000/4000 *Saturday $1000 Guaranteed, Table 1 (Hold'em)
Seat 2 is the button
Seat 2: RubberSpoon (13746).
Seat 3: pokerwayne (22963).
Seat 6: mssally (13427).
Seat 8: willwonka (28364).
Player pokerwayne has small blind (1000)
Player mssally has big blind (2000)
Player willwonka received card: [Kd]
Player willwonka received card: [Qd]
Player willwonka calls (2000)
Player RubberSpoon folds
Player pokerwayne calls (1000)
Player mssally checks
*** FLOP ***: [7c 10d 6d]
Player pokerwayne checks
Player mssally checks
Player willwonka checks
*** TURN ***: [7c 10d 6d][Qs]
Player pokerwayne bets (4000)
Player mssally folds
Player willwonka raises (10000)
Player pokerwayne allin (16963)

What is the correct call here?... or should I say what would you do? Pokerwayne is a good player is all the read that I have on him.

Well, here is what I did.

Player willwonka calls (10963)
*** RIVER ***: [7c 10d 6d Qs][5d]

He showed down a set 0f 7s so my flush rivered him. So I sucked out on him. I'm still not sure that I made the right call (even preflop may have been bad just calling). Had I know that I was just on the diamond draw, then it was a bad call... but anyway that vaulted to me to top position and went on to win 20 hands later. It was a nice $500 payday.

Meanwhile, I was barely treading water on my 2 5/10 tables at Party; but then hit a few big hands and ended up the day up a little over $300... so together an $800 day. So again, I'm glad I didn't make it over to the neighbors where I might have won $50... lol. These kind of days are few and far between so I try to relish (sp?) them when they happen.

I will most likely take today off as it is a pretty busy day.

As always, thanks for stopping by.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

A Tale of Two Cities

It was the worst of times and the best of times... Ok.. I reversed it.. get over it..
Anyway, as previosuly mentioned, Mrs Wonka was out for the evening at some scrapbook convention and baby Wonka was with the I talked my brother into visiting our local Harrahs. Now, I know going in that this is pretty much No Fold'em poker.. especially at the 3/6 level. My brother was late arriving so I just dove in.

My first hand.. in the BB was 8h6h.. I think there were 57 callers... ok, not that many... we'll just say over half. I flopped an OESD and flush draw and bet out.. for whatever reason, I wanted to have a betting rep... well, I got raised... hmmm... pushing around the new guy.... reraise.... and he just called... turn... nothing... checked around to the button... will I get a free card... nope.. bet... I just called.. maybe raising is better.. I don't know.. anyway.. didn't hit and I'm down after one hand... The short of it was that after about 3 hours, I lost my buyin of $100. The big hand (and a very good lesson) was when I got AK on the button... flop... 8A8... everybody checks and I bet.. raise and a call... I just called.. turn brought no more help and EP led out and then gets raised by Mr 80% VPIPer. Yikes.. can one them possibly be holding an eight. I called and got no more help on river... I called down their raises and they both had an eight. A very good lesson on falling in love with hands when it is blatantly obvious that you are beat. I will attribute it being "out of my element" at live play. Now, back to Mr 80%. I would normally say that this is as fishy as it gets; but my read was that he was an excellent post flop player and drug a bunch of pots when he smelled weakness. I guess it helped that he was getting full houses with 62 (out of position), flushes with Q6 and J5, etc, etc. I drug 2 pots the entire evening.. Once my Aces held up.. and once my KQ wasn't called on the river... I had totally missed but didn't get called. I was 0-2 with Big Slick. I will say, however, that I did enjoy it.

Well, my brother finally did show up.. and proceeded to double his buyin within 15 minutes.. helped by a flopped full house with 6 people following along. I left by then.. and I hope he didn't give any or much of it back. We are playing in a home tourney in a couple weeks with a $100 buyin.. so he made his buyin.. so I hope he left shortly after I did.

So, I can home and fired up a couple of tables of Party... Ahhh... back to my safe haven of online poker... even better were the cards I was getting.. I played just under an hour... and was..

4-4 with AK
2-2 with KK
2 -2 with TT... now you know something is going right
2 -2 with 66... pinch me
2 - 2 with AQ... now, I know I am dreaming

I could go on... just one of those nights... to the positive.

Here are some of the stats:

VPIP - 27.63
PFR - 14.47
WSD - 31.91
W$SD - 86.67
bb/hr - 43.34
$ - +397.25

Boy, you have sessions like that and you just don't want to quit... but I don't want to get greedy.

I also finally fired up my IM and chatted with the SNG challenge folks for a while (GCox, Kipper and TripJax). Thanks for letting me into your world.. albeit just for a short time. I'm looking forward to the upcoming Heads Up Challenge.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Kicked in the Junk

Besides it being true, I always wanted to just utter the words "kicked in the junk"... or I could say ... Just one of the nights.. the sequel. As usual, I started with the PokerWolds 1K. Bombed out of that... 2 rebuys was my limit this time... Here are three ways that I went out last night... 1st... TPTK to overpair... Straight to higher straight... and finally flopped set to higher flopped set. By that point, I had had enough. And then, as usual, I went to the PW 5/10 tables... only 5 people (including me).. I'm not a good shorthanded limit player; but I need the work. Things went well and I over doubled my buy-in. Do I quit? Nope... By then, it was a full table and I'm back in my comfort zone... yeah right!!!.. Kicked in the junk... How about these.. Another straight to higher straight.. another TP (good kicker) to overpair... and this is what more or less sent me home.. turned FH to lost to rivered quads. By about then, I only had $100 left and everybody left except for one person.. OK.. heads up.. this guy had been giving his money away... Kicked in the Junk.. terrible cards and if I did get something... it was second best. Hmmm Heads-up.. Maybe that was preparing you for something... Sure enough...

I am officially announcing my participaton in the Heads Up Challenge (see Head's Up Challenge ). I was going to go the route of full press conference with the media; but then decided that a simple insertion into my blog would work. I look forward to giving my donation to the eventual winner.. One of my goals in my SNG fest was to have more 1sts than 2nds. Well, I failed on that end and this will be good practice for those situations. Another words, I look forwad to being kicked in the Junk.

I did OK on Party... considering... I did lose $127 on there; but the cards weren't there. I played 2 tables and yes, there was some kicking in the junk. I almost titled todays entry "Rivered". According to Poker Tracker on one my tables I was going to showdown 25% of the time and winning at showdown 23%. Now, those numbers are historically and should be around 35% and over 50%, respectively. So what does that mean.... (OK, OK.. besides kicked in the junk). It meas first and foremost that I was not getting cards (or at least, I wasn't getting good flops). Secondly, the cards that I was getting wasn't good enough. Sure, some of those stats include me being aggressive on missed flops playing against some calling stations or fishies... but that is the nature of the beast. Mostly, it just means that I was getting out-rivered. The other table was the same, but different... I was getting cards as represented by around a 30% VPIP; but wasn't getting the flops and if I did... yep you guessed it.. KITJ.

I really have only myself to blame as I again started spouting off again about getting to a new all time high in bankroll and talking about withdrawing and doing something with the money.. and as always.. poker... (you know.. I don't have to say it). Not that those plans have changed.. maybe I will just keep it to myself next time.

I have a free evening tonight as Mrs Wonka is going to some scrapbook conference (yes, apparently they have these things). It's a two day thing even. Wow. It's great because I know she enjoys it and I have said before, she does a great job. Baby Wonka is going to the grandparents... so a rare free night. I toyed with going to Harrah's or Ameristar to play some live poker... but will probably just end up here.

I want to thank Matt Maroon for linking me up on his site (The Poker Chronicles ). If you ever want to hear from a professional online poker player and the trials and tribs that he goes through, stop by. I have him linked up over on the link list. He also has a book coming out in Setpember or October. I believe it will be around $10 so it should be interesting to hear what he has to say.

I will have more about my general playing strategy for the upcoming month.. but that will have to wait for another time.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

One of those days

I played quite a bit yesterday. Now I remember why I'm not a big fan of the ring game. More on that later. I play a set of SNGs and only got 1 2nd out 3 tournies... so that put me down. There were only 16 people in the $1K guarantee last night so I played that. It was a night of second best hands. Since the overlay was so good, I did rebuy and addon... so I put I probably put $100 into it. No good... out in 8th. So then I sat down at the 5/10 table then (btw.. I am playing 2 5/10 tables at Party also). It was the normal loose play that I'm accustomed to at Poker World; but unfortanely my good hands weren't holding up. I went through one $150 buyin and rebought in... It was down to $75 and then I went on a run. The short of it is that I made up both buyins and the buyin of the tourney and made a whopping $6 on Poker World. BTW, I had mentioned something about their topless, permanent 20% bonus. This may the hardest bonus to clear that I have ever seen so I would not reccomend it.

So onto Party. Unfortunately, that didn't go so well. The only good news is that this was the first time that I got to play using PokerAce's software, Poker Ace HUD . This program is awesome. I even used the layout that had on their website along with the table mods. Awesome!!! As mentioned at other places, probably the best feature to this program is that it automatically shows the hole cards of mucked hands at showdown. It is simply amazing the hands people are calling on the river. Again, it was just one of those days. Everytime, I would fight back, I would get knocked right back down. Take a look at the hand below and you will see the typical things I was running into. This is also the hand that sent me home.

***** Hand History for Game 2475012618 *****
$5/$10 Texas Hold'em - Thursday, August 04, 01:28:57 EDT 2005
Table Table 12580 (Real Money)
Seat 8 is the button
Total number of players : 10
Seat 3: wilwonka ( $62 )
Seat 5: ShipMeURCash ( $434.50 )
Seat 2: Rebel63 ( $93 )
Seat 10: AceSky ( $103 )
Seat 9: mindi1004 ( $251 )
Seat 8: Outbacker013 ( $211.50 )
Seat 1: Lyrax ( $183 )
Seat 6: keepatit ( $339 )
Seat 4: dooprep ( $241 )
Seat 7: Aaahhh ( $100 )
mindi1004 posts small blind [$2].
AceSky posts big blind [$5].
Aaahhh posts big blind [$5].
** Dealing down cards **
Dealt to wilwonka [ Th 9h ]
Lyrax folds.
Rebel63 calls [$5].
wilwonka calls [$5].
dooprep folds.
ShipMeURCash folds.
keepatit folds.
Aaahhh checks.
Outbacker013 folds.
mindi1004 calls [$3].
AceSky checks.
** Dealing Flop ** [ Kd, Qc, Jc ]
mindi1004 checks.
AceSky checks.
Rebel63 bets [$5].
wilwonka raises [$10].
Aaahhh folds.
mindi1004 folds.
AceSky folds.
Rebel63 calls [$5].
** Dealing Turn ** [ 3h ]
Rebel63 checks.
wilwonka bets [$10].
Rebel63 calls [$10].
** Dealing River ** [ 3c ]
Rebel63 checks.
wilwonka bets [$10].
Rebel63 raises [$20].
wilwonka calls [$10].
Rebel63 shows [ 3d, Kh ] a full house, Threes full of kings.
wilwonka doesn't show [ Th, 9h ] a straight, nine to king.
Rebel63 wins $102 from the main pot with a full house, Threes full of kings.

Nice running 3's. Oh well. So after about 5 hours (which is unusual for me to play that long. Mrs Wonka was out for the evening)... I was down 50BB. Why do people tell you that way? I was down $507. I guess to hide the limits that they are playing and I guess I can't blame them. It's really none of our business.

I was due for a pullback. After 7 straight positive days, I was due. But as usual, it was a big down down which cancels 3 or 4 good days. I did clear a casino bonus a $76 profit.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005


Well, I've decided to do some consolidation. I will changing my template on the top right soon; but I am going to take out my money on the sites that I just am not playing at. Presently, the plans are to leave money in only Party Poker, Poker World and BoDog. BoDog not so much for poker but for sports. I am really big into college football. In fact, I have my own rankings where I rank all 117 teams and then based on my ratings predict what the spread should be for the games and compare that to the actual spreads and make bets accordingly. I wouldn't say that they are rock solid but usually around 58-60%. It takes a few weeks before the rankings really mean anything in my spreadsheet so I usually don't start betting until around week 5. Professional Football is my favorite to watch; but I typically stay away from it betting wise. I just have not been too successful on those.

Now, back to consolidation. Leaving everything else besides the three above in neteller is obviously not the best thing. As I said from the very beginning (, I am not really in this for the money. More for just the fun of it. That is why I have never withdrawn even a penny from neteller. Now, with my bankroll closing in on 14K, I feel I should be putting the money to work.. either by investing, interest, or even buying something. Taxes is another thing. Right or wrong, I have not been paying taxes on any winnings. My thoughts being that when that money reaches the US and into one of my accounts, then I would be obligated to pay taxes on them. So I'm torn.. Do I want to do the right thing and withdraw the funds and put that money to work (again.. I'm an accountant) and give Uncle Sam what I owe... or just continue on the status quo. Any thoughts? Has anybody else gone through this process?

Well, I did play a little poker last night... exclusively on Poker World. It was a really strange night. As I mentioned before, they have a very limited selection of games and really the only thing going with more than 4 people were two 2/4 tables... so I sat down to them and was getting clocked. All the big hands weren't coming in. I was down $75 on one table (not easy to do in 2/4) and down just $20 on the other. Then.. almost at the same time, I won a $100 hand on the one table (again.. not easy to do in 2/4... I wish I could remember the details. ) and I won and $30 hand on the other. I then played another orbit on each until the blinds got to me and walked away... because.. As I have also said, they have a very sweet 1K guarantee tourney. I decided to play in it last night and things were very loose as usual. Typically, when I go out, I stay out (don't rebuy)... last night I did. I went out on a bluff and rebought.. I then even added on during the break. It was just one of those good nights as I had my chips in at least twice while being dominated and I got the card that I needed (AQ vs AK and 99 vs TT). Yes, you read that right... AQ actually came through for me. Anyway, I didn't win the thing but I did get second for a $342 payday. The last hand nobody did anything wrong. I raised with 66. He re-raised with A4s and I went all-in. He had me covered about 3-2. He caught his flush on the turn and it was over.

One final thing.. ScurvyDog asked if I was going to continue my SNG fest. The short and lame answer to that is I don't know. I will continue to play SNGs; but it won't be exclusive for a little while as I do want to get back into my ring game and try to improve that. I am still a little negative on my 5/10 game and I want to try and get that figured out. I enjoy the SNGs too much not to continue playing them. They have so many things going for them. First and foremost, they are typically short and sweet... so if I don't have a lot of time or am getting extra pressure from Mrs Wonka, I can just say give me an hour and I will be done. Now saying that on a ring game can be dangerous because you have to be prepared to play a while to make for a good session.

That should do it for today.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

SNG - Month in Review

First off, I would like to thank everyone for their nice comments regarding my SNG Fest. It was surely a roller coaster ride. More on this later.

It was a little strange last night. I sat down at the PC last night and I wasn't quite sure what to do. I had been doing the SNG thing for a month and was quite accustomed to sitting down and getting right to work by opening 3 or 4 SNGs. Last night, that wasn't the plan so what do I do? A friend had given me $50 because I posted the most messages on his forum. He was trying to kick start his forum and unfortunately, the $50 bonus didn't help. Anyway, because of that, I decided to go over to Poker World and play. I originally signed up there under him so I played there to help him recoup his $50 by getting some affiliate money from me. BTW, PokerWorld has a new promotion where they have topless reload bonues and if you sign up with them, every deposit (original and reload) will receive a 20% bonus. The catch is that they virtually have no traffic. They still have the nightly $1K guaranteed tourney ($20 with rebuys and addons). The still are only average between 20-30 people. I haven't had a chance to play in one of these in a while; but it still great overlay. I played for a short while and made around $106 and called it quits there for the night.

Now, some thoughts on the month was the SNG Fest. First, a quick recap of the final numbers:

Tourneys: 282
1sts - 31
2nds - 35
3rds - 34
ITM - 35.46%
ROI - 5.74%
$ - +890

As I mentioned, this was quite the roller coaster ride and I/we talked about the variance that goes into all poker. I originally thought that variance was really more suited to ring play. Why? Because that is where I had experienced it most. To show the variance or swings this month, see below where I show my balances throughout the month:

Ending Date - Balance

first 9 SNGs - +305
07/03/05 - (675)
07/12/05 - +920
07/21/05 - (-740)
07/31/05 - +890

Wow.. I didn't really realize the swings when I was actually playing. I guess I was so much into focusing on the negative... For sure, I continued to focus on July 16th when I went 0 for my first 18. That $990 investment sure put a damper on the month to date numbers. The bright side is that I hopefully didn't let it get me down. Every new set was exactly that. A new set. You can't dwell on the past.

One of my 19 month old daughter's favorite show is JoJo's Circus. In that show, at the end of the show they ask JoJo what she has learned. Well, I would like to do the same. WillWonka, what did you learn? So, below will be take away from all my SNGS. They really aren't in any order.

  1. Play to Win. Who cares if you finish 4th or 10th. It pays the same. If you are afraid of losing your stack, then that is exactly what you will do. You need to play with confidence of making the money. One step further and this is probably an obvious one. Making the moeny should not be the goal either. Play to win. Take advantage of those bubble moments where people are playing a little bit tighter to make the money. Obviously, don't go crazy; but don't lose out on the opportunities because you are afraid of being bubbled out.
  2. Position. Some of these, you will have heard from everybody and I will try not to rehash the blatently obvious ones; but this one deserves repeating. The single most important thing in Poker is position. Enough said.
  3. Play aggressive early. I'm not saying to take any two cards and try to buy pots early; but play those good cards aggresively early. Winning the small pots at the beginning of tournies is what enables you to make moves later. What happens if the cards don't come? Wait it out. This is obviously hard; but patience is another important key to success. Speaking in Party SNG terms. If you haven't had any cards by level 4 or 5. You need to start gambling. Remember, 4th pays just as much as 7th or 8th. Some games, you are not going to get the cards.
  4. Unpredictably Predictable. Play the good cards the same as the bad cards. If you are open raises with Aces with 3x the blinds, then do the same with 65s. Adjusting your open raises may seem to be a good plan as to keeping your opponents confused; but I am not a fan of this strategy. In my humble opinion, if you do the same thing everytime, then there is no way of them knowing what you have.
  5. Paired flops. Flops that have a pair, especially a low pair are good opportunities to pick up the pots. Remember, we are not always going for the big score. An accumulation of small pots is what gives you power.
  6. Mid-Range Hands. Stay away from middle range hands in early position (KJ, KT, QJ, A2-A8). Just don't do it. If they are suited, then a limp might work but be careful if you get raised. Of course, I'm talking about full or mostly full tables here. When it is get's short handed, this obviously changes things.
  7. Slowplaying big hands preflop is -EV. Again, don't do it. Why people like to slow play Aces or Kings in EP is beyond me. Did you know that AA against a full table will only win about 31% of the time. It simply is not worth it. So what if nobody plays with you. Again, it is about accumulating chips.
  8. Don't Dwell on Past. This goes for past hands in the same tourney or for past SNGs. Trying to get even quickly is the biggest mistake that we poker players make and yes I am absolutely guilty of this at times. Each hand should be treated like new. Learn from the past and use that information wisely in the future.
  9. Don't show your cards. I sound like a broken record.... just don't do it. It is very hard to resist the urge of showing a great bluff; but what do you gain? OK, maybe the table will call you next time when you have the goods... maybe not. Why risk it?
  10. Putting oppenents on a range of hands. This is one of my biggest flaws. I like to play fast. After so many games, sometimes you get into an autopilot mode and that is bad. Before you call or bet, you need to be putting your opponent on a range of hands based on his betting this hand and past hands. This will help in figuring out what the right call is. I'm an accountant by trade; but I don't consider myself a "mathie" when it comes to poker. I do the simple odds caculations and that in itself helps me with my decisions. Even if you are not a "mathie", you need to be doing some pot odds calculations and knowing your outs.

I'm not big on posting strategy posts because I don't consider myself to be in a position to be giving out advice. The above points are a few of things that go through my head while playing. Do I follow the advice above all the time. NOOOOO. You do need to be able to adjust your playing based on game conditions.

Well, it was a fun July. Counting my poker, blackjack and rakeback, it made for a month over $1,300 and I can't really complain about that.

Monday, August 01, 2005

SNG - Day 26 - Final

Well, the SNG Fest is over. My original goal was to play 200 and I easily did that. I will try to write a review this week; but for now, here are the final numbers:

July SNG Breakdown
July 31
5 - 7
8 - 10

  1. 9th - AJs lost to AK.. shortstacked
  2. 7th - J9 lost to AQs.. shortstacked
  3. 3rd - A8 lost to 33
  4. 3rd - T5s lost to 99
  5. 3rd - 97 lost to KQ
  6. 2nd - J8 lost to QQ

It was unfortunate because I had the chip lead in every one of the tourneys that I finished in the money. Oh well, what can you do. The good news is that I did finish out the month strong. I am now back to within $30 of my all time high as far as total bankroll goes. If you count rakeback and my casino bonuses, I am well over that total. OK.. more to come... but that will do it for now.

Who links to my website?