Sunday, December 31, 2006

SNG Fest - Final Numbers

Well, another month of SNGs is in the books. As with the last time I did, I really enjoyed it. So much so that I will probably continue it into January. I was able to reach Iron Man Level on FTP. They are expanding the Iron Man Challenge with additional features in 2007 so I will probably continue to try to attain Iron Level. I haven't really thoroughly read the details but will do that in the upcoming days. It is obviously takes more time to do this on a daily basis playing SNGs as opposed to ring games; but I will give it a go.. I did end up around 215th on the SNG High Leaderboard; but that doesn't get you anything... you need to finish in top 100.

Anyway, I played 35 SNGs since last update. Here's how it went:

SNGs: 35
ITM: 40%
ROI: 10.79%

1sts - 5
2nds - 4
3rds - 5
4ths - 6

So again, 3rds and 4ths outweighed 1sts and 2nds so things could be much better. I will definitely try some training materials. As stated, I will have a review of a video training site and will also look at some others. I have downloaded SNG Wiz for their free 30 day trial. I'll have more on this as well as a deeper look at the month of SNGs a little later in the week.

Overall Standings:

SNGs: 253
ITM: 39.13
ROI: .76% (so pretty much break even for the month... disappointing)

1sts - 29
2nds - 24
3rds - 46
4ths - 37

Day 24

  1. 7th - Q6 lost to 99
  2. 5th - 65s lost to 79s

Day 25

  1. 1st - AQs beat Q7
  2. 5th - T6 lost to J6s.. short
  3. 4th - A6 lost to QQ
  4. 3rd - A9s lost to 88 on river
  5. 4th - A4 lost to A7
  6. 6th - 77 lost to A7
  7. 6th - K3s lost to QJ
  8. 6th - A6 lost to K7
  9. 2nd - J3 lost to J6 allin on 452J board
  10. 5th - QQ lsot to KQs on river

Day 26

  1. 5th - AJ lost to A6
  2. 5th - A4 lost to AA and QQ... oops
  3. 5th - AJ lost to JJ
  4. 4th - 87 lost to K8... short
  5. 1st - JJ beat 74
  6. 1st - 72 beat AA... BOOOYAH... click here for the hand. this wasn't final hand; but it was the one that really crippled him.

Day 27

  1. 9th - AA lost to QQ.. nice start ... NOT!!!!
  2. 7th - AQs lost to AA.. Q high flop... this was really a brain fart on my part.
  3. 2nd - 86 lost to AQ... AQ again... what were the odds.
  4. 3rd - K6 lost to KQ
  5. 1st - A3 beat A3s... this was bad but I have been on the other side too many times... I obviously got a 4 flush

Day 28

  1. 6th - JTs lost to AJ... pushed OESD
  2. 2nd - J8 lost to K9
  3. 3rd - A8 lost to A9
  4. 4th - J7 lost to 77
  5. 2nd - A3 lost to QT
  6. 7th - J5 lost to AT... short
  7. 3rd - 88 lost to 99... went from huge chip lead with 4 left to 3rd place... last few hands... A9 split with A9... AK lost to A8.... 88 lost to 99
  8. 4th - AK lost to 77
  9. 3rd - AA lost to 87

Day 29

  1. 6th - KQ lost to AJ and AJ... all in preflop... I had to like my chances... didn't hit
  2. 1st - K3 beat J8
  3. 4th - J2 lost to 87... this bubble went on forever and I would say at least 10 all in underdogs won... unfortunately, I came in on the short in of the stick... Kind of fitting way to end.

So there you have it and there you are... I hope your 2006 was great and that your 2007 will be even better!!!

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Hand Of the Day - Hammer Style

No explanation necessary.... HU in $33 Turbo on a 9 person FTP SNG ..

Full Tilt Poker
No Limit Holdem Tournament
Blinds: t400/t800
2 players

Stack sizes:
SB: t7800
Hero: t5700

Pre-flop: (2 players) Hero is BB with :2s :7h
SB calls t400 (pot was t1200), Hero checks.

Flop: :2d :qd :5c (t1600, 2 players)
Hero bets t1000, SB raises to t2000, Hero calls t1000 (pot was t4600).

Turn: :kc (t5600, 2 players)
Hero is all-in t2900, SB calls t2900 (pot was t8500).

River: :7c (t11400, 1 player + 1 all-in - Main pot: t11400)

Final pot: t11400
Hero showed 2s 7h
SB showed As Ad

Somewhere in the blogger world, people are smiling :-)

I am SO Done With......

One radio show that I listen to when I go out to lunch on is Fox Sports Radio on my XM Satellite. Steve Czaben out of DC runs the show. Anyway, one of the bits they do every week is.... I am SO Done With.....

Well, I made a small list... and to top it off

  • I am SO Done with... Terrell Owens. Obviously I am a Dallas Cowboys Fan and this guy continues to make a total jerk out of himself. So again this week, he starts complaining about not getting the ball early and often. Newsflash to TO... start catching some balls and perhaps they will throw them to you.. understand the bigger picture and get with the team concept. Perhaps talking out against the coaching is not the best way to get into the gameplan.
  • I am SO Done with... Fair Weather Fans. And this goes both ways... The people that jump on the bandwagon when things are going good and especially the people that jump on the nay sayer bangwagon when people are losing. This really goes out to my father in law who watched one half of one game that the Rams played. I live in St Louis so naturally I root for the Rams (when they are not playing the 'Boys). Newsflash... Watch some games and then maybe I'll listen to some of your unsubstaniated opinions. Anybody can plagerize what the media says and for the most part, most of the media doesn't get it right. They just want the ratings so they bring up controversy. For the same reason that I don't nay say too much about politics since I don't really follow that. I do vote; but am not well informed on all the issues.
  • I am SO Done with... Gutshots. Especially, the runner, runner variety. I can't tell you how many times I've run into these LAGs catching their gutshots this week. Enough Said.
  • I am SO Done with... Reality Shows.... OK, not really as I do watch Survivor, Apprentice. Heck, I remember watching one of the first reality shows... Real World on MTV... Anybody remember Puck? I probably caught the first 4 or 5... but some of these are just ludicrous and it just shows the lengths that the networks will go to get viewers. Obviously, it works, but it doesn't mean that I like it.
  • I am SO Done with.... Deal or No Deal... Now, I like a good game show as much as the next guy... but picking numbers and making an entire show about it is boring. I was able to get through one of these shows. I can't even rationalize DVRing this and just fast forwarding to the end; but it is every where... You can even buy the board game. Boy, that must be a real hoot.
  • I am SO Done with.. Gas Prices... Not so much the prices themselves... but the fact that they go down a few cents every week and them BOOM!!!! up a quarter. Of course, the day I need gas typically is the day of the price hikes.

OK, so there you have it and there you are....

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

SNG Fest - Day 23

I hope everybody's Christmas went well!!!

SNG Good.... Ring Bad...

I had another ring game session where my won $ at SD was under 40%. It is simply amazing the amount of people that will call down to the river on gut shot straight draws (Including cracking my KK that turned a set and then lost to a rivered runner, runner gut shot. It is what it is; but unfortunately, it wiped out whatever gains I did get back on the SNG side. Of course, this was all predicated on my trying to get my allotted amount of points to qualify for Iron Man.

On that day, I knew I wasn't going to get enough points playing SNGs (because I started too late in the day... so I fired up one 5/10 table. Funny thing, with about 5 minutes left to go until midnight Eastern, I really had to go to the bathroom. I didn't think I was close to the needed 200 pts, so I sat out and did my business. I went back and checked and I actually ended up with 197 pts... Doh.... I would have obviously received 3 pts in 5 minutes.. Bad Beat.... self inflicted...

Anyway, back to the SNGs..

I have played 38 since last update...

ITM - 44.72%
ROI - 25.92%

1sts - 7
2nds - 3
3rds - 7
4ths - 5

Much better as the ratio between 1st and 2nds to 3rds and 4ths is much better. Also, 1sts are better than 2nds and 3rds are better than fourths. Much nicer, but as always, could have been better. I've actually started keeping track of my allins and what the odds were when the money went in and then the results.. .more on that in a later post; but I plan to incorporate more of those stats on the occasional updates.

Here are the overall stats..

218 SNGs
ITM - 38.99%
ROI - -0.85%

1sts - 24
2nds - 20
3rds - 41
4ths - 31

Better, but not yet to the positive with only a few days to go.

Day 20
  1. 5th - A5 lost KJ
  2. 5th - AT lost to JT
  3. 1st - A2s beat KJ
  4. 2nd - 98 lost to 98s on 75838 board
  5. 5th - 99 lost to AJ
  6. 3rd - KJs lost to 99.. .isn't it funny how I lose with one hand and then the next game I lose to the same hand... yeah, funny alright... funny, peculiar
  7. 6th - KT lost to 98
  8. 1st - A7 beat J2s
  9. 3rd - AK lost to A8

Day 21

  1. 9th - AK lsot to 33 on A high flop. He hit his set and went all in. I didn't think he would do that right on the flop betting in EP... on second thought, it makes sense...
  2. 6th - T9 lost to K2s
  3. 3rd - AK lost to 44
  4. 2nd - Q7 lost to KT
  5. 8th - 77 lost to AJ
  6. 5th - Q3s lost to KJ
  7. 7th - AK lost to AQ... foreshadowing... I still really hate AQ... btw.. we were all in preflop
  8. 1st to AK beat KQ
  9. 5th - A6 lost to 55
  10. 4th - A5s lost to A9s
  11. 4th - K6 lost to J7
  12. 3rd - A3 lost to K6... right b4... JJ lost to AQ
  13. 1st - QJ beat Q4
  14. 1st - K5 beat Q9 ... nice finish to set

Day 22

  1. 6th - A8 lost to 88 on river... Ace on flop and 8 on river gives me 2 pair... oops gave him a set
  2. 5th - Q8 lost to A7
  3. 5th - 33 lost to 87 on river
  4. 4th - A7 lost to KQ
  5. 3rd - KQ lost to AJ (again... lose with and lose against...)

Day 23

  1. 4th - 53 lost to Q2s on river
  2. 3rd - AT lost to TT
  3. 3rd - 33 lost to 64s... right b4... AJ lost to T9
  4. 1st - AQ beat KJ... wahoo... AQ actually came through
  5. 4th - K8 lost to Q9
  6. 7th - AQ lost to KJ on JAQ board... T on turn... yep I love AQ
  7. 1st - JJ beat A7
  8. 6th - A3 lost to A7
  9. 2nd - Q7 lost to 66
  10. 5th - AQ lsot to KJ on turn... Q high flop... nice... again he hit his str8... love the AQ

So like I said... could have been better... I will finish out the month and see where I land. I will also review a video training site so come back a little later in the week.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

SNG Fest Day 19 Another Broken Record

Swimingly... That is the word that I would describe how things are going... NOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I've run bad before; but man oh man....

I few tidbits before I get into SNG results...

I did play in the mookie and while things went pretty good as I finished in 3rd out of 37 or 38. I went out when KK lost to 52. I was 3rd in chips and I believe I slow played it a bit and let the aggressive big stacks dictate the pace. Prophesy hit a two on the flop and pushed and I insta called only to see a 5 hit on the turn and IGHN. Not a very good birthday present from Tommy2Tone.

I would be interested to see a YTD results of this thing... You know if there was 35 players and you finished first, you get 35 pts kind of thing. I didn't get to play in many; but I would be interseted to see how things fared for the years. If somebody has the summarys, I can do the figuring. I have my ideas of who would be on top.

While playing the mookie and my SNGs, I also had a 5/10 table going (42 VPIP 10 PFR). It was a nice juicy table which of course these days means that it is a great opportunity to leak some cash. I was seeing about the same amount of flops and raising about what I normally do. Typically, you want to win $ at showdown at least around 50% of the time. My glorius number was 34%. Simply amazing... I played a little ring today... First hand QQ... lost to KT... Next hand... AA lost to 65... Next hand AK (yes, my first 3 hands)... chopped on river against A5... Maybe sometime I will look back and laugh...

OK, the SNG numbers.... And yes, they continue to bad...

I've played 29 SNGs since the last update

ITM - 31.03%... just brutal
ROI - -17.50%

1sts - 3
2nds - 2
3rds - 4
4ths - 3


180 SNGs
ITM - 37.78... 40% should be the lowest that I can live with
ROI - -6.50%... obviously want this over 10%

1sts - 17
2nds - 17
3rds - 34
4ths - 26 so 53% in top 4... not terrible... 55% is probalby about right.

The 2 to 1 ratio of 3rds and 4ths to 1sts and 2nds continues to be the reason for the results.

Day 16

  1. 5th - J4 lost to J8 on a 4J8 board... flopped 2 pair no good
  2. 3rd - QT lost to KQ
  3. 7th - AA lost to J9
  4. 2nd - KJ lost to AQ
  5. 1st - 95 beat 88

Day 17

  1. 8th - QTs lost to ATs
  2. 4th - JTs lost to T5s
  3. 4th - Q8 lost to KJ
  4. 6th - A4s lost to TT
  5. 5th - T9s lost to 87... my flopped 2 pair no good against his flopped str8
  6. 3rd - A7 lost to A8 hand b4... AQ lost A5
  7. 1st - AJs beat 87
  8. 5th - A9s lost to 77

Day 18

  1. 8th - KK lost to JJ... DQB
  2. 7th - 77 lost to 88 and QJ
  3. 3rd - KJ lost to A7
  4. 6th - QT lost to 88
  5. 1st - ATs beat K5s
  6. 6th - A7 lost to AT
  7. 5th - J9s lost to KQ
  8. 5th - 99 lost to A8
  9. 9th - AK lost to A5s... flopped flush.. brain fart on me.. bad push
  10. 6th - A9s lost to 76s... str8 flush
  11. 4th - A5 lost to AK

Day 19

  1. 6th - KQ lost to AA
  2. 1st - KK beat 62
  3. 5th - KT lost to 92 all in preflop
  4. 3rd - Q7 lost to Q9.. bad stop and go move
  5. 3rd - K8 lost to 75
  6. 8th - AA lost KK... .ON river of course lost all but 300 chips.. next hand my KJ lost to AA.. now ain't that a kick in the butt
  7. 8th - KQ lost to 54
  8. 2nd - QJs lost to 65 on T68 flop 2 of my suit.. he called my all in with bottom pair.. good call, I guess.. I only had a ba-jillion outs
  9. 6th - 98 lost to 82
  10. 2nd - A3 lost to T6

Monday, December 18, 2006

SNG Fest - Day 15

Unfortunately, more of the same. My bubble play is gone real, real bad. As I mentioned, I did win some money on a NFL eliminator pool, so I think I am going to take some of that money and purchase some kind of SNG tool. If anybody has used anything like SNG Power Tools, or SNG Wizard, or or sngicons, please let me know as I need to decide.

So I have played 44 SNGs since the last update. Here are the numbers from those:

44 games
38.64 ITM
-10% ROI

1sts - 3
2nds - 5
3rds - 9
4ths - 8

Meaning 56% in the top 4. My 3rds and 4ths continue to double my 1sts and seconds... OK overall:

146 SNGs
38.36 ITM
-6.76 ROI

1sts - 13
2nds - 14
3rds - 29
4ths - 23


Day 13
  1. 2nd - T4 lost to KQ short
  2. 3rd - K8 lost to JT
  3. 1st -Q3 beat 84
  4. 6th - J6s lost to QJ
  5. 6th - JJ lost to QQ
  6. 8th - QJ lost to KJ
  7. 7th - KJ lost to 88

Day 14

  1. 6th - 87 lost to QT... right b4 99 lost to AT
  2. 4th - 86 lost to K2... short
  3. 4th - ATs lost to QQ
  4. 3rd - A5s lost to A9
  5. 2nd - 76s lost to Q6
  6. 3rd - Qgs lost to A8... right b4... AK lost to Q4
  7. 5th - J9 lost to JT
  8. 3rd - AQs lost to JJ
  9. 3rd - K3 lost to A7
  10. 6th - AK lost to TT
  11. 6th - J9 lost to AA and AK... oops
  12. 1st - 86 beat QJ
  13. 4th - A7 lost to AQ
  14. 2nd - T9 lost to KT
  15. 2nd - KT lost to 28
  16. 6th - A8 lost to 33... Ace high flop lost to DQB
  17. 4th - A3 lost to 63... on river str8
  18. 3rd - 65 lost to 75 on 6 high flop.. turned str8
  19. A6 lost to JQ on turn
  20. 6th - A6 lost to 75s.. he flopped str8
  21. 5th - J7 lost to KJ.. battle of blinds
  22. 2nd - Q6s lost to QJs
  23. 3rd - 85 lost to JJ
  24. 7th - J8s lost to KT
  25. 5th - 22 lost to AJ
  26. 7th - A7 lost to QJ on river

Day 15

  1. 8th - TT lost to JJ on all in on 367 flop
  2. 4th - AK lost to A5
  3. 4th - KK lsot to A8... he hit trips on turn... all on flop
  4. 5th - K3 lost to KJ on K high flop
  5. 6th - JTs lost to Q2.. J high flop... lost to runner, runner 4 flush
  6. 3rd - KK lost to AJ
  7. 3rd - A8 lost to AK on A high flop
  8. 1st - Q3s beat 44
  9. 5th - AJ lost to AQ
  10. 4th - K5 lost to 88

So there you have it and there you are. Hopefully things will change.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

SNG Fest - Day 12

I'm going to take a look at how things started again with a little more detail.

We are already know:

35 games
51.43 ITM
24.93 ROI

1sts - 4
2nds - 5
3rds - 9
4ths - 3

Let's now contrast that to where I am now.... YIKES!!!!!

102 Games
38.24 ITM
-5.37 ROI

1sts - 10
2nds - 9

and now the brunt of the problem

3rds - 20
4ths - 15

I guess the good news is that I have more 1sts than 2nds and more 3rds than 4ths which is always a goal; but don't like a 2 to 1 ration of 3rds to 1sts. Hopefully, we're calling it variance; but there is a good chance that I just suck at poker.

Here are the results:

Day 12
  1. 7th - 87 loses to 65 on K78 board ( money in as 70% fav)
  2. 6th - AT loses to 44
  3. 3rd - A8 lost to T5 ... runner runner str8
  4. 7th - AT lost to 44... got my pair.. he got his set
  5. 6th - TT lost to 43s.. money in preflop... he got trips on turn
  6. 5th - KK lost to AA... figures
  7. 6th - K8s lost to JJ
  8. 2nd - A9 lost Q6
  9. 5th - AQs lost to AK
  10. 5th - Q2s lost to 76
  11. 3rd - A4 lost to 99
  12. 1st - KK beat Q6s
  13. 3rd - A9 lost to AJs

So, for now, I will keep on going and see where it leads me.


Something pretty interesting came up yesterday and it definitely seems to be a regional difference of how things are done. I played in one of those Elimantor pools. These are where you make one NFL pick and if the team wins you keep going to the next week. If your team loses, you are out. This turned out to be a fairly large pool with around 550 people in it at $20 a pop. Obviosuly, with a pool this big there are groups of guys that get together and I was no different. We had five guys get together with the intention of if any one of us won we would split it 5 ways. No big deal, it was obvious by the usernames that lots of people did this.

Fast forward to yesterday and it is down to 3 people. We are one of them so we offer to split most of the pot 3 ways (and then play out the rest for the remaining portion). No different than chopping a poker tournament. The admin got ahold of the other two and they agreed. Now, here is the funny part or should I say the difference of opinion. The admin then asks us how much we want the check made out for? Huh???? What do you mean.... The deal was that we were going to take 3K each and play for the rest. The admin goes, yes, but it is customary to tip the admin.. AGAIN>>> HUH??????? I have run tons of pools (including my Eliminator pool this year... albeit not near as big... around 150 people) and I NEVER, I say NEVER ask for anything. We said.. OK.. we'll give you $50 for your trouble. The admin writes back on how much time it takes to run these things. Now, let me say this. Running big pools is never easy; but this pool was all done via the web. The only thing the admin did was collect the money which I definitely know to be a pain. Anyway, the admin want 10%... WHAT!!!!!! That would be over $1,000 for running the pool. That is RIDICULOUS.

There are so many things wrong with that. The admin could obviously play numerous times (over 20.. or more) if he/she expected to get that much back at the end.

So my question out to the masses, is this customary in the region that you live?

Oh, well, live and learn

Have a good day!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

SNG Fest Update - Cold Decked

What goes up, must come down.... and in a hurry. Unfortunately, I don't have updated stats as the program I used for creating tournament summaries quit working when Full Tilt updated their software. The program was updated and now works; but I have not taken the time to go back in and manually create the tourney summaries. I will try to do that soon.

Suffice it to say, that things started of great and I knew that it was unattainable; but what I didn't expect was to blow through the whole profit and then some. So after almost 90 SNGs, I am setting about down 3 buyins (around $100). I wasn't going to list the tourneys themselves as there is pretty many of them and as you know, when you are running bad, you tend to not update things as quickly.

I do want to add that as bad as I have been running in SNGs, it has been much, much worse in ring play. Typically, I see about 25% of flops in a short handed 5/10 game and raise preflop about 15%. Now, this is neither aggressive/loose or passive tight. Now here is the stats from the other night after about 50 hands. VPIP (flop) 65%... Preflop Raise (45%)... W$SD (Won $ at showdown) 0%. My first few starting hands were 66, AQ, Q2, AK, 87, 96o, A3s, AKs, A9, Q9o, AQ, 63o, AK, A6, KK, 63o, K3s, JT, 66, 84o, J5, 76o, TT, Q9, KK, JJ. I think you get the idea. Some of them aren't great hands but were in the BB and were good enough to defend... especially when multi handed. I went on to lose about 4 or 5 buyins as the table was a good table (45 / 10).

Anyway, here are the SNG results... pay particluar attention toward the end.

Day 5

  1. 6th 77 lost to AK... all in preflop .. board J88J... counterfieted again.. Dang!
  2. 6th A9 lost to AK... oops.
  3. 4th AK lost to KQ on river.. 80% loser.... good times
  4. 1st T5 beat 75.. He had a huge lead on me and then got disconnected. Do you stall or push? I pushed. With the blinds going up so fast, I can't wait. I waited a little (2 or so hands)

Day 6

  1. 6th - A6 lost to A5 should I keep count of these 4-1 losers? Nah..
  2. 5th - 33 lost 95
  3. 6th - AT lost to QQ
  4. 6th - 99 lost to AA... bad decision on resteal attempt
  5. 6th - QQ lost to K9... OK not 4-1; but it still hurts
  6. 2nd - A6 lost to J9
  7. 6th - A8 lost to QT on board of 8TJ89... on river... all in on Turn
  8. 4th - A2 lost to K8
  9. 4th - A8 lost to 99... bubble, bubble
  10. 1st - AQ beat T6
  11. 4th - A7s lost to 66.. I can take a bath with all of these bubbles.
  12. 4th - Q9s lost to AA.. short stacked...
  13. 3rd - J9 lost to 99 on JK594 board
  14. 6th - At lost to AQ short
  15. 5th - Q9s lost to 88

Day 7

  1. 7th - 44 lost to 66
  2. 4th - AT lost to TT.. bubble
  3. 6th - AT lost to JT... 80%er
  4. 3rd - 62 lost to KT.. short
  5. 3rd - A4 lost to 33
  6. 4th - AT lost to AQ.. I can't believe I lost being a 4 to 1 dog.. that's poker

Day 8

  1. 9th - AQ loses to AK and KQ.. KQ scooped the huge pot.. figures
  2. 9th - AKs loste to KK.. what can I say, I'm not afraid to put my chips in the middle.
  3. 5th - AJ lost to KQ.. .right before... 99 lost to AQ.. I was chip leader to out in 2 hands.
  4. 6th - A9s lost to KJ
  5. 4th - A9 lost to JTs
  6. 3rd - K9 lost to A5... 2 pair counterfeited on river
  7. 4th - QQ lost to AK... all in on JJJ flop... went south from there... Turn K... River K.. overkill, don't you think? lol

Day 9

  1. 4th - ATs lost to 99. BUBBLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!! AHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!
  2. 2nd - AJ lost to AA.. what can you do?
  3. 3rd - TT lost to J6.. typical
  4. 2nd - J3 lost to TT.. is that a jab for the FTP gods?
  5. 1st - A6 beat T8
  6. 4th - AT lost to KK start and end with BUBBLES... More Good Times.

Day 10

  1. 3rd - AA lost to AJs... runner runner straight. oh boy, here we go again... at least it wasn't a bubble
  2. 5th - AT loses to AQ
  3. 4th - K6 lsto to K8s... hand b4... KJs on K high flop lost to 33 on a 4 flush board.
  4. 6th - AJ lost to AA on J high flop
  5. 3rd - A6 lsot to A5 on 85A flop... figures
  6. 3rd - and finally to really rub my face in the mud... KQ loses to...... KQ 4 flush board.

Day 11

  1. 6th - JJ loses to AK where I flopped set... he gets runner, runner FLUSH... 4 flushed again.
  2. 5th - 33 loses to T2 where he gets runner runner str8... 4 board straight... What have I done to upset the SNG gods?
  3. 1st - AT beats QTs
  4. 1st - K7 beat QJ.. got extemely lucky on this one after Aces were cracked four handed.

So there you have and there you are... You are caught up. We'll see where it goes from here. I do plan on taking the night off tonight and getting back into it tomorrow. I obviously need to turn some of those bubbles into money.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Easy Fold or Easy Call (cont)

OK.. Let's look at what I did...

Here is where we started

FullTiltPoker Game #1341154365: $33 + $3 Sit & Go (Turbo) (9433297), Table 1 - 80/160 - No Limit Hold'em - 14:48:02 ET - 2006/12/02
Seat 1: Button (5,375)
Seat 3: SB (1,525)
Seat 4: willwonka (735)
Seat 5: UTG (1,200)
Seat 6: UTG+1 (1,900)
Seat 9: CO (2,765)
SB posts the small blind of 80
willwonka posts the big blind of 160
The button is in seat #1
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to willwonka [5h 6h]
UTG folds
UTG+1 folds
CO raises to 650
Button calls 650
SB raises to 1,525, and is all in
willwonka ??????

Here are some of the things that went through my head:

First. These guys are a little loose so my range for these guys are pretty wide. Ultimiately, I'm looking for them to be sharing some Aces and/or Kings thus reducing their outs; but realistically, somebody may have a pair bigger than sixes.

Second. Like I said I am playing in a Full Tilt Turbo and beleive it or not the blinds move up every 3 minutes. If I fold I will have about 3.5 BBs left to push in the next hand or two.

Third.. It's going to cost me 575 chips into at least a 2885 chip pot (possible more if there are some calls behind me) giving me at least 5-1.

Fourth.. My mid suited connectors are most likely live against any non pair that they might have... not to mention the flush and straight possibilities

Fifth. I hate blinding out tournies.

I guess you can see where I am going with this.

I called and one person said Wow and folded and the next guy called. Mr All in turned over AQs and the last caller turned over KQ. Nice... Just what I was hoping for... Now, I just don't want to see a face card.

Flop... 9h4s2d rainbow... Nice.... I need hearts, a 3 , a 5 or a 6
Turn... 7d.... Outsanding... 3, 5, 6 or 8
River... 5d.... BOOK IT!!!!

OK, OK.. maybe not the best decision; but it worked out.

Any thoughts?


In other news, I lost a good battle to Fuel55 in the HUC . We went the full 5 games. The best person definitely lost... HA.. I kid.. I did get a bunch of second best cards that ending up costing me such as JJ vs AA and and flopped trips vs flopped full house. That's the way it goes. Nice match. I'll try to get a more detailed write up later.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Easy Call or Easy Fold

I want to throw out a hand that I had recently and wanted to get the opinions of you tournament experts. About Midway through a $33 SNG and I am the low man on the totem poll when the following hand came up.

Is it an easy call or an easy fold?

FullTiltPoker Game #1341154365: $33 + $3 Sit & Go (Turbo) (9433297), Table 1 - 80/160 - No Limit Hold'em - 14:48:02 ET - 2006/12/02
Seat 1: Button (5,375)
Seat 3: SB (1,525)
Seat 4: willwonka (735)
Seat 5: UTG (1,200)
Seat 6: UTG+1 (1,900)
Seat 9: CO (2,765)
SB posts the small blind of 80
willwonka posts the big blind of 160
The button is in seat #1
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to willwonka [5h 6h]
UTG folds
UTG+1 folds
CO raises to 650
Button calls 650
SB raises to 1,525, and is all in
willwonka ??????

Not many reads but this is what I do have:
CO is a littly LAGY (40/20)
Button (34/13)
SB (30/21)

What do you do? I won't post what I did or what the results were until tomorrow. I kind of got some mixed reaction when talking to some people.

One quick not on Full Tilt Support. I emailed them this evening on some Full Tilt Points questions that I had and I received an email back within 15 minutes probalby. Very Nice. In case anybody is interested, my question was concerning when you receive your full tilt points when playing tournaments. This becomes relevent if you are trying to qualify for the Iron Man Freerolls. Anyway, here is the response that I got back:

Hello Willwonka,

Thank you for writing to Full Tilt Poker.

If you entered a tournament since the inception of the Iron Man
promotion, you may have experienced an apparent discrepancy between the
number of Full Tilt points you expected to accumulate for a given day
and the actual number of points attributed that day. This apparent
discrepancy arose because of the manner in which Full Tilt points are
added to your account.

Players accumulate Full Tilt points through real money play, based on
the raked portion of a cash game pot, or the tournament fee that is paid
in addition to the buy-in.

The actual time that Full Tilt points accumulated on tournament fees are
added to a player's account has caused some confusion. Full Tilt points
are not awarded at the time of registration, nor are they awarded at the
completion of the tournament; players will see their point total update
immediately after they bust from any tournament or SNG.

What does this mean in relation to the Iron Man promotion? If you
registered for a tournament at 9:00 PM ET on a Tuesday, and busted at
1:12 AM ET Wednesday morning, the Full Tilt points added to your account
would count towards the total for Wednesday, not the Tuesday total. We
apologize for any inconvenience that may have been caused by this

So Again I say.. Thanks for Full Tilt for the quick and complete answer to my question.

I look forward to some of the responses on the Easy Call or Easy Fold.

Monday, December 04, 2006

December SNG Fest - The Beginning

A few notes before I get into my SNG numbers.

Boy, is everything good with the weekend when the Cowboys beat the Giants. Tony Romo continues to impress even with a less than spectacular game, he hung in there and led the team to a game winning FG drive. So far, so good with Martin Automatica. He missed his first one and the ulcer came back to me; but he steadied the ship from there. Plus, add in 3 Fantasy victories and also add in the Missouri Valley Basketball Conference doing well. Everything is good in the sports world. I will say, however, that I think a Ohio State / Michigan rematch was the best matchup; but I'm not too overall upset with OSU and Florida. I'm pretty sure that I know someone that might be rooting for the Gators so that is good enough for me... GO GATORS !!!!!! I don't really like the Big Ten so it was an easy choice for me.

OK.. The SNG numbers. I didn't make up a template just yet so the number may not be presented too pretty. I'll try to get that going next time. I am going to do it a little different this time. I am going to try to post my numbers at least once a week and then do a couple of interesting hand posts to get some opinions on how to play it.

I'm not going to subscribe to sharkscope. Perhaps, if I could get stats for games that are going on I would do it; but you can't do that with Full Tilt. I did download the SNG Power Tools; but haven't really looked at the tutorials just yet. Per some reviews I've read, I'm sure that it would help as the fold/push game is vital during the end game of a SNG.

OK Numbers (Note... as of right now, I am playing $33+3 Turbo SNGs on FullTilt):

SNGs Played: 35
ITM (In the Money): 51.43%
ROI: 24.93

These could have been so much better; but lost some 80%ers yesterday. I can handle the 60/40 losses; but those 4-1 beats hurt. Of course, I had some 3 outers come in as well so what am I complaining about.

Here is a quit recap of the games:

Day 1: ( SNG/ITM/ROI 13/38.46/14.23)
  1. 1st - K7 beat A5
  2. 5th - 55 lost to AQ on river
  3. 7th - A4s lost to JJ and AA... oops.. I was short
  4. 7th - Q9 lost to 87s on turn. crippled hand before with TT to someone that obviously called with an OE Straight Flush Draw.
  5. 6th - KT lost to QQ.. No cards
  6. 2nd - A5 lost to 67 on Q8A95 board. don't you lover runner, runners.
  7. 7th - T9 lost to 99.. short again
  8. 8th - 77 lost to QQ
  9. 5th - AK lost to AT on river
  10. 3rd - K8 lost to Q9
  11. 5th - TT lost to JJ on QATK7 board.. .Doh!!! Who said sets are golden
  12. 2nd - A3 lost to K7
  13. 1st - 98 beat 76. QQ on 2nd and 3rd to last hand helped her... ;-)

Day 2: (6 / 33.33 / 37.50%)

  1. 9th - AQ lost to K7s on turn. All chips in as 65/35 fav.. what can you do?
  2. 8th - Q9s lost to JTs... at least it was on flop
  3. 1st - K5s beat JTs
  4. 7th - TT lost to 86o on river
  5. 9th - QQ lost to AK on turn
  6. 1st - KTs beat A2

Day 3: (16 / 68.75 / 28.91 %)

  1. 4th - Q7 lost to 96s. Hand B4... AQ lost to T9s on river. I hope AQ isn't bad to me like the last challenge
  2. 3rd - 95s lost KTs... win some blind steals... lose some blind steals
  3. 3rd - AJs lost to KT
  4. 6th - J5 lost to AA... oops
  5. 4th - A9 lost Q5
  6. 3rd - TT lost to K7 on KATJQ.. 4 flush board... agains.. Sets aren't golden
  7. 2nd - T5s lost to K9.. pushed on Flush Draw board... he called with K high and it held up.
  8. 3rd - 64s lost to J6s.. pushed OESD he called with flush draw that held.. not to mention he was ahead anyway... DOH!!!
  9. 3rd - AK lost to KQ.. These are the ones that hurt
  10. 3rd - AK lost to A6... ibid
  11. 5th - AT lost to AK
  12. 2nd - TT lost to A6.. I've been noticing that pairs haven't been winning the races (not that this was a race... but just general comment)
  13. 3rd - J7 lost to A8
  14. 3rd - KQ lost to 77 on Q high flop; but he hit his set on flop.. OK sometimes the pairs hold up... maybe sets are golden... for other people
  15. 2nd - 99 lost to 44.. 4 flush board
  16. 4th - A9 lost to AJ.... right before... AK lost to J8... 4 straight board

There you have it and there you are..

Have a good day!!!

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Couldn't Stay Away

Well, is anybody surprised that I couldn't stay away. While things have changed on the home front, I'm still getting my poker in and as long as I am awake late at night, I'm going to try and keep up with the blogging.

To make things worse (probably); I'm going to again attempt to qualify for the Full Tilt Iron Man Challenge for December. I'm going to go about it differently than I have in the past. Instead of almost exclusively playing ring games, I'm going the other direction and I am going back focusing on SNGs (ala my SNG Fest that I did way back in July of 2005). This accomplishes a couple of things. I get back to playing SNGs which I really enjoy; however, this time around I am going to start at the $33+3 Turbo level (as opposed to the $50+5 levels like last time).

I may search or come up with a schedule for possible moving up if and when I get to a certain level... whatever that might be. At the $33 level, it will take about 10 a day which is certainly not out of the question even given the time constraints.

I might also look into some SNG tools this time around such as SNG Power Tools. I may or may not use sharkscope. I'm not sure that it is worth it. Has anybody used these tools or any others with any success?

I started warming up the last week of November playing 35 SNGs with a little success (51.43 ITM and a 45.47% ROI). Those numbers are of course not sustainable; but we will see how it goes.

One thing with doing a SNG Challenge, it will be easy to blog if I use the same type template that I used last time. I probably won't update daily like last time as I am still in the poker doghouse with Mrs Wonka. She hasn't taken my keyboard and mouse lately and hidden it so it must be better.

So not much to say really other than I couldn't stay away.

By the way, for any of you Mid Westerners out there, this weather is just crazy... 71 one day and the next day it sleets 1/2 inch and then we are supposed to get 5.9 inches of snow tonight. Crazy!!!!


Friday, November 10, 2006

Number 200 and Forced Changes

Longevity in any activity is something to be impressed with whatever the activity might be. I recall my beginning days of playing poker that eventually led to blogging. This here post marks my 200th post which in reality is really nothing to be impressed with as it took about a year and a half to get there. I remember my first days of blogging how exciting it was to talk poker (especially when there is nobody to really talk poker around me). I would make a post and check back often to see if someone had replied or commented and low and behold on the 11th post, I got some comments. Happy Days... especially when it was from people that I had been reading. Hella Holdem was my very first commenter followed closed by Mourn who has sense stop blogging. Soon after that, I met some great blogger friends and the rest is pretty much history. I remember the days of blogging and then getting into chatting and the whole nine yards and it was awesome. There have also been some blogger heavyweights that have been instrumental in me keeping up the habit. One thing is for sure, blogging seems to be a continuing cycle which is great. Every few months, a new wave of new poker bloggers show up and it definitely keeps things refreshing. On the other hand, there are bloggers that seem to quit. I'm quite positive they all had their reasons and that they were good ones.

One thing that has not been nice about poker and blogging is the un-support (for lack of better words) that I was/am getting from my wife. Well, the fit hit the shan last week. One promise that I had made was that I wouldn't play poker until the kids were in bed. That was a pretty easy promise as I love staying up with the kids and spending time with my wife watching shows are whatever. Really kid, at this point. The two year old takes most of my time while the 3 month old spends most of her time with Mrs Wonka. Anyway, rewind back to last Wed. I actually decided to sign up for the Mook early, which I rarely do as I don't always get up to the computer early in the evening and if I do, it is only to check email. So I signed up around dinner time and told Mrs Wonka that I would be playing around 9PM Central Time. Around 7:30, after I had given Toddler Wonka a bath, she got pretty zoned in on movie (Toy Story I believe which she calls Woody) so I decided to decided to go check on things upstairs. I told her that I would be right back. I didn't have much email so for whatever reason, I decided to open a poker table and as we all know by now, the Mook started one hour early this night so I never did make it down to put her to bed and Mrs Wonka had to do it. Well, suffice it to say, she wasn't very happy and certainly wasn't enthuised when I told her that I won it. Anyway, that was pretty much the beginning of the end. Couple that with her actually taking my keyboard and mouse and hiding it the next morning (which I did find with out too much problem; but that is besides the point), we have definitely reached a crossroads. Of course, it is a no brainer as to who/what is going to win. I knew the problem had climaxed as I offered to feed Baby Wonka around 11PM the next night. Rewind a bit, for whatever reason, Baby Wonka this time around does not want to sleep through the night so my wife is getting up multiple times to feed and she was obviously complaining about being tired. By this time, here 12 weeks were up and she was already back to work so the lack of sleep was definitely not a good thing. Anyway, when I said that I would feed her in return for telling me where the keyboard and mouse was and she said no, that told me the extremity of the problem. So things changed the next day.

So, blogging is probably, most likely going to be the one thing that I will give up. As I mentioned above, the early days was exciting and I sure didn't have much trouble coming up with things to write about. Well, that has certainly ended as I struggle all the time and pretty much just crank out very similar posts regarding my play for that week which must get very boring over time. Will my poker playing go down? Most likely; but probably not a whole lot. I still enjoy playing very much. I just won't blog about it as often. I don't plan to go completely away; but will again be taking a little break around it until we get settled more around the house with the kids.

So last Wed night had emotions to both extremes. It was very exciting winning my first Mook; but the cost might not have been worth it. It will be OK as we have gone through this before. I was just a little more hard headed on the compromises that I/we had to make. I realize now that I have not be holding up my part of the bargain in helping out with the kids and household chores and hopefully things will improve.

I will still will be making it when I can to blogger events such as the Hoy and Mook and DADI, when possible. I will be defending my title in the Heads Up Challenge which starts this week so I will be around and look forward to contiuing to read about how things are going.

So for now,

See you later!!!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Please Shoot Me

This has not been a very fun week and a half. Luckily, it hasn't been due to poker playing. I got some bacterial infection that totally kicked my butt. I was totally useless. Everything hurt. After 4 days, I finally broke down and went to the doctor and he gave me some drugs. They seem to be slowly but surely working; but the bad news is that my little 2 month old now seems to have the same thing.

I also had some surgery done to my ailing wrist (tendonitus). I still have a a wrist bandage on and will have it until early next week which stinks. Having to cover it up when you takes showers is a pain in the butt. So the last time that I played poker was last Friday and I tried doing it left handed on the mouse. It just didn't feel right so I ended up going back to using my right hand. It was one of those sessions that you just couldn't really believe your eyes . If I hit top pair, then it held up. Two pair on flop. Good!!! Etc, Etc... I'll take thame when I can get them.

So besides that, I haven't played any poker in a week. I am ready to get back to the action.

I did play in the 2nd chance Mookie last night. I don't know if it is legal to play in the 2nd chance when you didn't play in the first chance. Anyway, there were 4 tokens available and was lucky enough to make it to the final 4. I had gotten a little unlucky prior to that with the big stack losing on the river when I had people dominitated; but they hit their off card. Towards the bubble, I'm the one that got lucky when my flopped top pair wasn't good enough for someone's flopped two pair. The board paired and I ended up with a bigger two pair. That's Poker. We pretty much all went all in when we got down to final 4 and we all had tokens. My powerful 86o got 2 pair for the win. We are now heads up and my TT luckily caught a nice river against JJ and I took it down. Some are now saying that they would rather this continue to be money tournaments instead of token tournaments. While I understand why they feel this way, Mookie is just trying to help others make it to the big game and for that, my vote continues for the token 2nd chance tourney.

I did win my way to the Iron Man Freeroll this month and as always am looking forward to that.

Have a good day.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Theory Vs Reality

Do you ever do anything with good intentions? It always seems good on paper. I don't have any specific example; but I'm sure that you know what I am talking about. We all know of past history of how I have been starting poker sessions. For whatever reason, they always head south before they head north. What to do?

Well, here was my theory for last night. Let's start off a little more conservative preflop and then based on flop, filter in the needed selective aggressiveness. Nothing exciting in first 3 hands (K4 in BB, A3s in SB, and 53o) . Just losing the blinds. Not going to take a flyer on anything just yet. Again, the table selection at FTP has been a little better of late, in my humble opinion.

Now to hands 5 and 6 and they both include me getting middle pocket pairs. Typically, I don't have problems raising with these; but the theory and/or gameplan on the night was to see flops and go from there.

I would love to have some feedback on these. I will give my thoughts after hand.

Exhibit A

FullTiltPoker Game #1122935597: Table Amato (6 max) - $3/$6 - Limit Hold'em - 22:34:46 ET - 2006/10/19
Seat 1: razzleplayr ($431)
Seat 2: SplattG ($143)
Seat 3: willwonka ($85.50)
Seat 4: xiangqi ($124.50)
Seat 5: And_How ($84.50)
Seat 6: That Fish ($87.50)
And_How posts the small blind of $1.50
That Fish posts the big blind of $3
The button is in seat #4
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to willwonka [8s 8d]
razzleplayr calls $3
SplattG folds
willwonka calls $3
xiangqi folds
And_How calls $1.50
That Fish checks
*** FLOP *** [2c 6s Jh]
And_How checks
That Fish bets $3
razzleplayr calls $3
willwonka calls $3
And_How calls $3
*** TURN *** [2c 6s Jh] [8c]
And_How checks
That Fish bets $6
razzleplayr folds
willwonka calls $6
And_How folds
*** RIVER *** [2c 6s Jh 8c] [Td]
That Fish bets $6
willwonka raises to $12
That Fish raises to $18
willwonka raises to $24
That Fish calls $6
*** SHOW DOWN ***
willwonka shows [8s 8d] (three of a kind, Eights)
That Fish shows [Qd 9s] (a straight, Queen high)
That Fish wins the pot ($81) with a straight, Queen high
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot $84 Rake $3
Board: [2c 6s Jh 8c Td]
Seat 1: razzleplayr folded on the Turn
Seat 2: SplattG didn't bet (folded)
Seat 3: willwonka showed [8s 8d] and lost with three of a kind, Eights
Seat 4: xiangqi (button) didn't bet (folded)
Seat 5: And_How (small blind) folded on the Turn
Seat 6: That Fish (big blind) showed [Qd 9s] and won ($81) with a straight, Queen high

BB Special... Dang!!! Again, being a little less aggressive early on preflop and limping with pocket pair and just calling flop. Hit set on turn and slow play. There aren't a lot of places that slow playing is good in limit; but when you get an aggressive type (which this guy was) leading into you, you let him do it and ding him on the river. Of course, when he 3 bets on the river, I'm only afraid of one hand so that is why I can justify capping it. As it turned out, he had that one hand.

Exhibit B

FullTiltPoker Game #1122936199: Table IND (speed, 6 max) - $3/$6 - Limit Hold'em - 22:34:53 ET - 2006/10/19
Seat 1: Carbont ($195.50)
Seat 2: YardDog99 ($109.50)
Seat 3: willwonka ($90)
Seat 4: RandomRemix ($67)
Seat 5: j326 ($150)
Seat 6: Jarzbrd1 ($158)
YardDog99 posts the small blind of $1.50
willwonka posts the big blind of $3
The button is in seat #1
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to willwonka [9h 9d]
RandomRemix calls $3
j326 has 7 seconds left to act
j326 folds
Jarzbrd1 folds
Carbont calls $3
YardDog99 calls $1.50
willwonka checks
*** FLOP *** [Ah Ad 8s]
YardDog99 checks
willwonka bets $3
RandomRemix folds
Carbont folds
YardDog99 calls $3
*** TURN *** [Ah Ad 8s] [Ac]
YardDog99 checks
willwonka bets $6
YardDog99 raises to $12
willwonka raises to $18
YardDog99 raises to $24
willwonka calls $6
*** RIVER *** [Ah Ad 8s Ac] [3c]
YardDog99 bets $6
willwonka calls $6
*** SHOW DOWN ***
YardDog99 shows [Js As] (four of a kind, Aces)
willwonka mucks
YardDog99 wins the pot ($75) with four of a kind, Aces
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot $78 Rake $3
Board: [Ah Ad 8s Ac 3c]
Seat 1: Carbont (button) folded on the Flop
Seat 2: YardDog99 (small blind) showed [Js As] and won ($75) with four of a kind, Aces
Seat 3: willwonka (big blind) mucked [9h 9d] - a full house, Aces full of Nines
Seat 4: RandomRemix folded on the Flop
Seat 5: j326 didn't bet (folded)
Seat 6: Jarzbrd1 didn't bet (folded)

This was just unfortunate. I had him labelled as a calling station so I should have taken more notice of his raises. The only thing I went on here was that he didn't raise preflop so I put him on an 8 or smaller pkt pair.

Throw in a missed flush draw a couple hands later and somebody that rivered his flush when I flopped TPTK. Yep, history has repeated itself. All of sudden, I find my self way down at the beginning of the session. Again, luckily, I was able to make a comeback for a whopping $9.50; but how many times am I going to say wouldof, shouldof, couldof. I didn't win a showdown last night until something like the 60th hand. That can get depressing.

So here is a case that you can make that the theory sounds good on paper; but the reality doesn't always happen as planned. Had I stuck to normal playing tendancies, I probably could have salvaged the first hand with a flop raise or continuation bet. I'm not sure where I go from here; but I can say that my preflop raises have been under 10% playing short handed the last two sessions and that really can't be a good thing. Yes, perhaps, I can lessen the amount of downside variance; but the it goes the other way and I am losing something on the top side. My aggression has been OK as it is about 2.30 for the last two sessions which I can live with.

So now we head into the weekend which have historically not been so nice to me. We'll see how and what strategy I take into those games. I only have 7 more days to qualify for the Iron Man. I want to get those done right away as I will be giving into my wrist pain next Friday and will be having surgery on it to take away my tendonitus. I'll probably be instructed to take some days off from the computer... if not by the doctors, Mrs Wonka.


Oh, one final thing for you data miners out there. There is a program out there called Idle Miner which was a data mining tool for Party Poker. While that doesn't really do us US players any good; but they have just released the same program for Full Tilt players. I downloaded it last night and it works pretty nicely. It is in the beginning stages, but lots of promise there. Take a look. It basically opens FTP and Poker Tracker (if you want it to) and opens up a preset amount of tables that you have designated at the limits that you designate. It will also factor in the amount of people at the table if you wan to. If you do like and would like it for free, check out ThisIsTheNuts promo for this where if you have signed up for them and generate $500 in rake for the month, you can get it for free (not to mention the rakeback that you would get). If you haven't signed up for them, then click on the link and you can do it. TITN also has poker videos from Stoxtrader for people that get over $500. They are some nice videos for all levels. Otherwise, I believe it is $35.

Have a good weekend

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Upside Down Chart

I have to admit, I enjoy Wednesdays. One reason is I do enjoy watching Lost with my wife; although, talking about your strange episodes. That show gets weirder and weirder. I'm sure that it will come together; but being confusing just for the sake of being confusing doesn't really do it for me. Since it is a good show, I will give it a pass for last night. I will say that the new show Studio 60 has become my favorite show. It's similar to another Sorkin show, Sports Night, which one of my all time favorites.

The other reason is for the Wednesday night Mookie blogger tourney. 60 people showed up last night which is awesome. It's really cool to play a tournament with the same people on a regular basis. I've never really faired well (a couple of final tables and top half finishes); but that is besides the point. I should have been out a lot sooner than I was; but my AQ sucked out on Lifesagrind AK. And in typical fashion, I didn't even see what happened. When I saw the cards, I was forced to pay attention to my other 3 tables and missed the action. Apparently a Queen showed her face and won one for the good guys. Lord knows that you have to get lucky in tournaments. In fact LaG knows it, I'm sure as he has had his fair share of good luck (not last night though). Things went smoothly from there until after the first break. I then got 3 consecutive medium pocket pairs (66,77,88) or at least more or less consecutive. I can't remember for sure. It was within one orbit for sure. I stole the blinds with 66. I passed on the 77 as I don't really like raising in early position 2 times in a row with mid pairs; however, I did try with the 88 and got re-raised all in and had to call as it wasn't much more. He had KK and it severely crippled me. I then went out in some un-exciting fashion. So I wasn't able to take my good fortune suckout and make good use of it. This isn't the case for the eventual winner, 3jacks, as he took his suckout early on and rode it to victory lane. Congrats TJ.

So while I was playing the tourney, I was doing my normal 3/6ing. See Chart Below and tell me what is wrong with this chart?

It must be upside down, eh? I lost the first few hands and then went up. Actually, top pairs were holding up. One thing that I have noticed is that FTP has gotten more fishy, in my honest opinion, since the Party Shack closed down. For example, I raise up AJ and get called by crazy guy who has recently shown aggression and stole some pots. Ace on flop I do my continuation bet and get raised. Nothing too threatening on turn and I check raise this guy and then follow through with a bet on river that he calls. Yep, he had either K high or 3rd pair. Some nights are like that. Sometimes the maniacs hit their two pair and sometimes they don't... but they still end up calling you down. I'll take it when I can get it.

So here is my thought for the day. OK, maybe two. Don't you hate it when you hit a sit with your middle pocket pairs; but there is an ace on board. It almost always kills your action (assuming that you raised preflop). But, don't you love it when your middle pair hits its set with an ace on board and somebody has an ace. Worst of worlds, best of worlds. I guess you have to take the good with the bad. I hit three sets last night and all of them had Aces on board. The first two were folded on my continuation bets; but the last one, someone had an ace.

Final thought, is there ever a card that just seems to eat you up. In other words, whenever I see a K, it has meant bad news for me lately. Either I have QQ or JJ or AT or some other top pair or I have KTs or something and hit my K only to lose to higher kicker. or I have something like KK and lose to ace or straight or flush or something. Either way, Kings have not been good to me. I wish I could justifiably document this as it has been really strange, frustrating, irritating, etc.... Last night, AJ. Preflop raised and I get called all the way down with K8. Oh yeah, King on the river. DOH!!!! Now, I just shake my head when the Kings come.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

To Calldown or Not Call Down

First, I would like to say thanks to those that answered the poll question regarding whether or no you liked me putting in my poker session charts. I will continue to do so when it deems appropriate. Anybody that hasn't voted, please feel free to do so by scrolling down a bit.

As usual, when things start going down you take a look at where it could be better. While I'm not going to regurgitate all the things that I do as I have covered that before in my finding leaks posts (which you can find over on the right). One thing that has always plagued me is when to calldown and when not to call down. Also and similarly, when to keep betting (more on that later). Obviously, there are many BB that can be saved by just folding and waiting for a better spot; but the other side is that you can make up BB by calling down people who were bluffing or just on strong draws. The first part of this post will centered around the below hand.

FullTiltPoker Game #1111190972: Table Alpine (6 max) - $3/$6 - Limit Hold'em - 22:39:23 ET - 2006/10/16
Seat 1: AustinisTight ($219.50)
Seat 4: willwonka ($61.50)
Seat 5: mRaise ($62)
Seat 6: serch19 ($182.50)
mRaise posts the small blind of $1.50
serch19 posts the big blind of $3
The button is in seat #4
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to willwonka [Kh Ks]
AustinisTight calls $3
willwonka raises to $6
mRaise raises to $9
serch19 folds
AustinisTight calls $6
willwonka raises to $12
mRaise calls $3
AustinisTight has 15 seconds left to act
AustinisTight calls $3
*** FLOP *** [As Jc Ad]
DR DOOBIUS sits down
mRaise bets $3
AustinisTight folds
willwonka raises to $6
DR DOOBIUS adds $60
mRaise raises to $9
willwonka calls $3
*** TURN *** [As Jc Ad] [Jh]
AustinisTight is sitting out
mRaise bets $6
dwyatt1012 sits down
willwonka has 15 seconds left to act
willwonka folds
Uncalled bet of $6 returned to mRaise
mRaise mucks
mRaise wins the pot ($55)
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot $57 Rake $2
Board: [As Jc Ad Jh]
Seat 1: AustinisTight folded on the Flop
Seat 4: willwonka (button) folded on the Turn
Seat 5: mRaise (small blind) collected ($55), mucked
Seat 6: serch19 (big blind) folded before the Flop

Here are things that go into my thinking process.

How many people in the hand and my position on the hand. In this hand, I was on the button with 4 people in the hand. Of course this my favorite place to be. UTG limped and I'm obviously raising with KK. Now SB raises and BB folds and UTG calls. Again, no brainer as I am capping this with the 2nd Nut preflop hand and again both guys come along putting 6BB in the hand preflop. The flop comes AJA rainbow and this is where things become interesting (at least somewhat). Small blind leads out. Hmmm what to do from here? Let's look at some other things first.

Stack Sizes. Many times short stacks will just go crazy and just hope to get lucky... either by getting somebody to fold or actually hit their hand. In this case, the SB is short with only 10BB to start with. I am in a similar situation and the other two were deep. In my opinion, I don't usually see maniacal play when you have 10BB. At least maniacal as I definied above. There are maniacs everywhere which leads to my next though.

Reads. Reads can be formulated many ways and I am speaking of the online poker variety. The simplest is by direct obsevation. What hands has this guy actually shown down and how has play been. This kind of read can become a challenge when you are playing 3 or 4 tables. That is where things like Poker Tracker and Pokerace HUD come into play. Yes, they are crutch; but fairly dependable. 90% of my reads are from this method. OK, This hand. The table had been a full 6 man table for a while but was now just 4. The SB was definitely a LAG (48 VPIP, 18PFR) so his range is very wide. UTG was also loose. So my decision to Fold, Call or raise. Given my read, I raised and I did it pretty quickly. He doesn't have to have an Ace or JJ; but he might and I want to him to tell me early on. Well, he replies all right. He raised me back. Next thought.

One similar thought. puts out a poll everyday and encourage everybody to go take a look as it is good stuff. Today's question was "I use hand-tracking software when I play online poker". The options were yes and no. Any guesses on the results? With 1,672 votes, only 17% of the players said yes. I found this pretty surprising. First off, we are on Cardplayer magazine so we have poker enthusiasts. I guess the thing I didn't factor in is the level of play of people that actually going out to the site. Sounds like mostly lower limits. I find it hard to believe that just 2 out of the 6 people at the table (of which I am one of) are using something like PT. More stuff to come later. Anyway, back to our regularly scheduled program.

TiltFactor. Another way of saying TiltFactor is how have things gone for the night and how would that be affecting your decisions. It was fairly late in the night and here is a quick glimpse of how the night went. In my first session (which I will define session as me getting the need 200 pts to qualify for FTP Iron Man), I flopped 2 pair 3 times, sets 2 times, Trips 1 time, straights 2 times and AA lost all of them (eerily familiar to an earlier night just few nights ago). Also relevant is that I had KK 3 times before that. One time in the BB where everybody folded. DOH!!!! hate that. The other two times Ace came on the flop. I didn't lose both hands; but I did lose one of them (the one I won was folded after my contiuation bet). So KK is not my friend tonight. Anyway, that 1st session saw me lose $150. I decided to play another session after sitting a bit because since it was past 11pM (Central Time), I could start on my next days 200 pts for FTP Iron Man. This time thing were going better and I made up $100 up to the point of this hand (approximately). So, he raised me back. He's trying to tell me that he has an ace or JJ (or is he). I rarely run up against the time clock; but I did put some thought into this. One more thought before we finish up.

Pot Odds. How many times do I need to win in a call down situation to make it worth it. I'm not a math guy at the poker tables; but given the read on the guy, it is probably reasonable to just call down from here. It would cost me 2 1/2 BBs to win 11BB. Probably worth it, I call. The Turn bring another J. Crap!!! He leads out again. Given the fact that I was doing OK in the second session and most likely was behind. I gave it up.

So my question is.... Who calls this down? Given the LAGgy nature of this guy, I would not argue with it. So I potentially save 2 BBs. I was hoping we would show; but he didn't. It kind of wears on you because you just want to know if you were beat or bluffed... which you could live with both. You just WANT to know.

Speaking of Cardplayer earlier, in addition to their daily poll questions, they also have Poker Quizzes. These are taken from Bob Caiffone and Jim Brier's book, Middle Limit Holdem Poker. They rotate these throughout the day and it is excellent stuff.

One of the quizzes today was about betting at the end. Which again could potentially be a leak. When is it good to get that value bet in and when is better just to check fold or check call. Take a look below.

TOPIC: Betting on the End
A $15-$30 game. You open with a raise from middle position with the A-Q. Two other middle players call. There is $115 in the pot and three players. The flop comes: 9-7-5, giving you a backdoor nut flush-draw and two overcards. You bet into two opponents. Only one opponent calls. There is $145 in the pot and two players. The turn is the 9. You bet again because the top card has paired, your opponent did not raise your flop bet, and you might win the pot outright. He calls. There is $205 in the pot. The river is the 3. What do you do?

What do you do? We have all been bitten by the raise on the river so let's take a look at their answer.

Check. The reason this problem is included is because the player bet the river, and later argued that if his opponent did not have a flush, he was worried that the person would have a pair, and that he could not survive a showdown. Checking and calling is much better, since you gain $30 when he is bluffing. Betting here would be bad because he will call with any pair and raise with a made hand like a flush. He might fold an ace-king, but with this hand, he might not even be in the pot at this point.

Yep, I agree. I probably agree 80%-90% with what they say which obviously means absolute nothing as they are the experts, not me. A lot of the times, I think my answers differ due to playing short handed versus full ring which I assume that these questions are based from. Anyway, good stuff and I encourage everybody to make a daily stop there.

Have a good day.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Bloggers Curse

Bloggers' Curse. What is that. It is something that we all know about; but yet we still do it. Here is an excerpt from my last blog.

"So, having said that, I will start with poker. Things are moving in the right direction. Alot of should of, could of, would ofs; but that's poker. I just need to avoid that one really bad session that inevitably comes to knock down the previous weeks gains."

Why do we do it? The mere mention of running good... BAM.... What took me 7 days to make $1,200 is gone in a weekend. The sessions all look the same; but the bad ones just have the villains hitting their trips, or two pair or whatever it is to beat you. Man, it just blows you away. I hate to have to start thinking about stop limits again; because the table should dictate (or should I say the players at the table) whether you stay or go.

So obviously, I'm not going to show this depressing chart which is goes totally south; but I will stay on the subject of poker charts. Do you enjoy seeing them? Does it add anything? The return (albeit brief one) of the poll question is below. Please let me know. Thanks.

Create polls and vote for free.


Now onto something that I've really always wondered about but not been able to quite figure it out. Rakeback vs Bonus. Which is better and when does it change from one to the other. So, I'm going to throw some numbers out there and I would appreciate any help or suggestions for trying to figure it out.

First 3/6 Shorthanded.

Using Poker Tracker and showing hands for the last few months, I have played 19,593 hands (with at least 3 people in the hand) that has generated $17,756 in rake (ain't that depressing) with an average of 5.46 players. Using the simple rakeback formula of Rake / Players dealt cards * Rakeback %, My rb at 27% rb % is around $878.04. Bonus (at least at FTP) is calculated at 6 cents per rake dollar (see below) which turns out to be $1065.36. Is there really that much of a discrepancy. Somehow I think I should be factoring in the number of hands somewhere in the payback/comparison.

I've always hear that somewhere between 3/6 and 5/10 is where the difference is so let's look at 5/10.

I've played 10,612 hands at 5/10 this year with a rake of $14,920.50 with an average of 5.49 players at the table.

Again using the same assumptions as above Rakeback = $733.80 vs Bonus = $895.23 so there isn't much difference.

Here is a cut and paste from FTP pokers website regarding bonus payment.

For each dollar raked from a pot, every player who was dealt cards for that hand will earn one point. You can earn partial points if less than one dollar is raked, and you can earn up to three points per hand.
Each point is worth $.06, so you can earn up to $18 per hundred hands.

So why am I asking? I was trying to figure out if I was going to do the FTP reload bonus as bonus gets subtracted from your rake (UPDATE... I had it backwards and confused by mistake) at FTP (which isn't the case at Absolute). Anyway, per above, I decided to deposit to get the max bonus; but I think I am missing something in my calculations.

Any thoughts?

Have a good week.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Baseball Rant

What??? Baseball. This is a poker blog. Especially from me who says a poker blog should be about that... poker.

So, having said that, I will start with poker. Thing as moving in the right direction. Alot of should of, could of, would ofs; but that's poker. I just need to avoid that one really bad session that inevitably comes to knock down the previous weeks gains.

Last night, was a poster child for just being patient. Just be patient and the cards will come. Check that, the cards will usually come. Anyway, as I mentioned earlier, I am trying to qualify for the Full Tilt Iron Man 30K Freeroll. so you need 200 pts a day. I got the needed 200 pts and was up fairly nicely and pondered whether I should continue onto Absolute to work off some bonus (and make rakeback... gotta love AP). It was still fairly early, so what the heck. Ooops. Luckily, I made back the early losses on AP and called it a night early. So I only need 14 more days of 200 pts to reach the freeroll.

Hands down, FTP is my favorite poker site now. They still don't have the traffic of Party or Stars; but that may change next week as I believe the President is going to sign the anti-gambling act today. It's probably more of a bonus for Stars as most people will migrate over there. I will say that Stars is actually second to none in most categories. The software is great, the traffic is great (both ring and tourney), the support is great, etc.... So how can Full Tilt be better especially when you factor in that I am an overall loser at FTP (after my terrible stretch a few months ago) and I am an overall winner at Stars. I wouldn't call it greed; but the fact that FTP gives rakeback and you are able to datamine their tables is what sets them a part for me. Full Tilt also has the BIG games going that is very entertaining to watch with recognizable players. We'll see how the volume of players changes next week.

By the way, if you are not making rakeback at Full Tilt or Absolute, let me know as they are letting people get rakeback, even if you already have an account. As usual, some restrictions apply. Just leave me a comment or check out my profile which has my email address.


OK, switching subjects. I should preface my remarks is that I do NOT watch Major League Baseball. I have boycotted the game pretty much from the last strike. I could go on and on why I don't watch baseball; but I don't want to bore the 1 or 2 readers that I do have. I'm from St Louis, of course and a co-worker came up to me and said that if he had 4 front row tickets behind home played for a Cardinals World Series game, would I go. Easy decision. Pass!!

Anyway, onto my beef. Why does baseball have to be 162 games. That is entirely too long. What fun is playing or for more importantly watching baseball when it is 40 degrees outside. That is crazy. They could easily take a month off of the schedule. Football starts in September. Baseball should be done or almost done by then. Ratings prove that. More people watched football than the baseball playoffs as I believe the Cowboys/Eagles game got the best sports ratings last week (per ESPN radio). I cannot think of a single reason why the sport has to go for so long. I know why it does; because the owners want the dollars. Not that there is anything wrong with that and they obviously have a market for it; but for crying out loud. The boys of Summer can't like playing baseball in the cold weather, brutal winds and snow. Some cities get it at the beginning of the season in April and most people get it at the end of the season.

I could say the same thing for Hockey as their season ( or at least their playoffs go too long). I realize that there is no way that the baseball season will ever be shortened; but if I had my say (which I don't and shouldn't especially since I don't even watch the game), they would shorten it at least a month.

By the way, I really consider baseball more of a social event anyway as it really isn't all that exciting (except in spurts); but it was always, always nice to go out the ball park during a summer night.

Have a good weekend!!!!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Broken Record

OK, this may sound like a broken record; but...

I started off in the hole again and had to fight my way back.... scratch.. I started off in the hole again and had to fight my way back.... scratch.. I started off in the hole again and had to fight my way back.... scratch.. I started off in the hole again and had to fight my way back.... scratch..

I don't know what it is; but I can NOT get off to a good start. OK, I know a little about what it is. Last night, I flopped 2 pair twice, a set once, and pocket aces all of which lost. I also turned a straight to lose to a rivered flush so yep, I know how it happened. The next question what do I do about it. The answer. Keep doing what I am doing. Hopefully, winning 40% at showdown is not a long term trend. It does usually make itself to 50% by the end of the session.

I had AA last night an incredible 7 times (plus 2 more in tourney) out of about 460 hands. Unfortunately, I did not win at the historical 80% clip. I won 60% of the hands which of course is not bad; but you would think that if you had AA that many times that it would be your overwhelmingly biggest hand of the night. Nope, finished around 7th so at least it was positive.

I'm still seeking some leak finding thing that can capsulize my play. Winning $ at showdown is misleading. Obviously, VPIP, PFR and aggression Factor are just baselines. I'm going to dig deeper here and see what I find.

See below charts for the last few days sessions.

I was able to win a small rebuy tourney for $260 last night. There was one hand that came about midway through the first and second break. We are past the rebuy/addon level. I am in the BB with AKs. EP raises it up about the standard 3x. 2 callers in front of me so I just called (thoughts?). Flop come something like 68J with 2 hearts (my suit). EP guy now goes all in and the one other guy calls so it is a little over $1000 to call with nearly $6,000 in the pot. What do you do? I was the chip leader at the time..

Anyway... I called... EP turned over QQ and the other guy had a Jack I think. Anyway, I did not improve... but I think I'm OK with the decision. Thoughts?


Vicious rumors about Neteller (courtesy of NetFilter) calling it quits for US players and confirmed rumors about Firepay. This is not looking good.


I'm again shooting for the Iron Man status on Full Tilt. I've made the needed 200 pts everyday this month except for one. We'll see if I can make it. 30K freerolls are always nice. You need 200 pts 25 days out of the month.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Weighing In

OK, after reading, reading, reading and more reading I will now weigh in on the state of affairs.

First off, I have not quit playing poker; although maybe I should with me latest results. Yesterday ending up about even. More on that later.

I'll start off with some interesting links.

ABC News Poll asking whether or not an online ban of gambling is necessary. The results are NOT surprising at all.

Sen Frist's campaign contributors. Look who weighs in at #13. I may be wrong; but that might be related to the industry that you are banning. Do as I say, not as I do, eh?

Latest tally of who's in and out. I haven't heard about Prima yet. Are we missing any other big ones? Titan shows as undecided; but I can speak from personal experience that they recently would not let me start up an account with them.

As you already know, there is way more information out there. It ain't hard to find.

OK, my take.

First let me say that I am more than saddened or sickened by the declining morality in the US / World. We've come a long with from Leave it to Beaver and Any Griffith and for the most part, this is good. As an American, I believe we should have the right to speak out and do what we choose (within the law, of course). I don't drink, smoke, cuss, etc etc.... but guess what. I don't have anything against people that do (again within reason). It is my simple choice to not do so and I just avoid that environment. I have my reasons for not doing so as I'm sure that people have their reasons. Let's just all get along.

Having two small children, I am worried... check that... concerned (I don't really worry about anything) with how things are now and will be in the future. I am up for the challenge and will do everything in my power to bring up my girls in a sound, moral way.

Having said that, one of my biggest pet peeves are people that hypocrites. I try to keep an open book. For example, I like the taste of beer and would personally have no trouble drinking non-alcoholic beer such as ODouls (sp?) or whatever; but I fear that it may be perceived as hypocritical for someone seeing me drink that and not knowing that is non alcoholic. Again, my choice not to say that I don't have an occasional O'Douls. On the other hand, when I hear that someone is drafting and passing legislation to ban online gambling but takes money from a Huge Gambling institution, he loses all credibility.

Secondly, I consider myself to be a conservative (obviously). This doesn't mean that I am a devout Republican. I just tend to agree with most things that they stand for. Having said that, you are always going to have your extreme rights and extreme lefts as far as politics go. I am not into politics. I don't follow it. Maybe it is because of the hypocritical stereotype that transcends it. So a republican drafted this bill. OK, take your pot shots at them, if you choose. But as far as I know, this thing passed almost unanimously from both Parties so don't just toss your stones at the extreme rights.

Where do I go from here? I will be on the fence. I have taken my money out of Stars and will do so on Party (and Empire) in the next few days and will continue to play on Absolute and Full Tilt. These two (among others) have the potential to get a lot more traffic which could be good or it could be bad. As long as they have the bandwidth and technology to handle this, it will good; but I lose connection to Full Tilt at least once a night and as we all know, Absolute is not the slickest software in town.

I have also started using a different rakeback provider which is not based in the US. I have emailed my previous rakeback provider; but have not heard back from them. Anyway, RakeTheRake is one of the biggest out there and have lots of good promotions. For example, the have monthly $7,500 Freerolls for their Absolute customers and another $7,500 for their Full Tilt customers. All together, they have about $100K in tourney freerolls according to their site. They have over 14,000 members so they must be doing something right. They also have a decent referral program. The referral program is not automated just yet; but they are working on it. Feel free to let them know that willwonka sent you. As with any rakeback site, this won't take away from your rakeback. You can check your account anytime.

OK, enough of that. One more thing to weigh in on before I move onto last nights action. The whole topic of Poker Blogs dying out. I was more than amused when I read BGs take on it. As usual, he has some good stuff. I would like to quote one thing from him from his post from Friday regarding what a poker blog is.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but much like how there hasn't been variation in sitcom plotlines for years, there really are only a small number of poker blog post types on which the poker blogger relies:

-- How I did last night at the tables
-- Playing with bloggers
-- Home game/casino trip report
-- Strategy and hand analysis
-- The bad beat story
-- Venting about losing
-- Poker truths and the grand scheme of life

It's really just variations on a theme from there.

He is absolute right.... But.....

When I go to a poker blog, I want to see stuff about poker. While other stuff thrown in there is nice, it is not why I go there. There are notable exceptions, but that is my general rule.

When I go to a football game, I don't expect a baseball game to start or people to stop and break into some kind of Oprah show.

When I go to church, I expect to hear a sermon, I don't expect to break out in politics.

You get the idea. In my mind, poker blogs aren't dyeing. There is a continual changing of the guard so to speak. Some of the first blogs that I stared reading (poker nerd) are no longer posting. It is what it is. There are plenty of new ones to pick from that are posting just as good of stuff. Personally, it has been hard for me to post as much as I once did. I could use the crutch of having two kids; but that isn't really it. Truth be told. I really just want to play poker and not so much write about it as much. I do enjoy writing about; but I just don't have the zeal I once did.

OK, moving on very briefly to last night. Only briefly, because it is the same thing. Down early and came back. See chart below.

I'm sure that many people will enjoy this one. I don't have the hand history; but my opponent was seeing a little over half the flops. I have pocket Aces and do all that raising and re-raising stuff only to lose to none other than the hand the everybody loves.... 72o (it may have been suited); but the flop of 2x7 sealed my doom and of course I didn't believe him. Woe is me. So the end of the day saw me playing over 400 hands for a nice $3.50 profit. I'll try not to spend it all in one place.

At one point, I was winning $ at showdown at a impressive 39%. That will more or less tell how my session was going at the beginning. That number ended up a nearly 52% which is more like it.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Wonka's Law

I hate poker.

OK, not really; but sometimes... oof.

You've all heard of Murphy's Law. Well, I am now renaming it to Wonka's Law. Whatever can go wrong, will go wrong.

Of course that is an exaggeration; but do you ever feel like that?

I had been having a nice month closing in on 2K. Well, until last night.

Ring Play:

Actually started off well here. After 100 or so hands I was up a hundy. Dropped 2 hundy in a flash and flatlined for awhile. Some things went south in tournies (more on that later) and had some adverse effects on Ring Play. It was just one of those nights when you name it was happening. Runner Runner gutshot, flopped trips going down, etc, etc.... I won't bore you with details. At the end of the night, I was down almost $600. Ouch!!!


This was an up and down exercise. Just before the bubble, I made the almost mandatory raise and continuation bet with the hammer. Didn't work out; although, hammer play the sequel did work so I got some of the chips back. I get KK and raise it and a shortstack goes all in (sorry didn't capture names and links). He turns over QJ and I'm hopefully in good shape. That is until he flops trips. Anyway, onto bubble time as there are 5 payouts and I find myself in 1st place. There was talk about who was going to bubble and I said to myself that I knew it was going to be me because that was just the way things were going this evening. Two major pots that I probably played badly. Both of them involved middle suited aces. I have never been a good front runner as my bullying or whatever never seems to work out. Anyway, both times I raised it up only to be pushed by others. Now, both of these guys are very capable of making plays and I called both of their all ins. Both of them had AK. First hand, no help. Second hand, the pusher was in the BB and had folded to some reraises earlier, so I called. I flopped my lower pair, only to see it counterfeited by the river and as advertised, I bubbled out. I couldn't even watch the rest.

Final tabled another tourney that had $500 1st place... ran into Aces twice on the final table and then went out on an uninteresting hand where I again got rivered. Talk about drowning on the river. That was me last night.

This was about the time that I decided to open up a 5/10 table. It was a great table as there was a 55%er and a 70%er. I guess "great" is in the eye of the beholder because again after getting up a hundy it all went south on 4 card flushes and straights and river gut shots.. blah blah blah..

So things went bad and I was coming down to wind down with some TV or something, I mentioned to Mrs Wonka (who was up feeding baby #2) that it was a bad night, she decided to bring up the "poker addiction" conversation. Obviously, I was in no mood for it. Luckily, I just let her make her speech and said. OK, I'm addicted.. you happy and that was it.

That should do it and hopefully, tumor (or whenever I play next) is a better day.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Roller Coaster and What comes Around, Goes Around

I would like to start off with a great quote that I heard from Mike Ditka on ESPN Radio this morning. It is not an original Mike Ditka quote (I don't think); but it is awesome. The context of the quote is about Jeremy Shockey (and Kellen Winslow) spouting off against whatever they spout off against... which is plenty. Here is the quote (to the best of my memory):

"It is better to shut up and appear stupid than to open your mouth and remove all doubt"

Classic!!!! Actually, I just looked it up and it appears the Mark Twain penned the phrase.

This holds very true to my poker session last night. More on that later.

As I mentioned a little bit previously, I am trying to gain a little more consistentcy on the early part of my poker sessions. One thing is that I am trying to play at least 300 hands during a session to get a better representation of the session. I'm also trying to avoid getting down early in the session as that can sometimes change everything. Not unlike the Saints game last night where they blocked a punt early for a touchdown. It changes things. It just does. Same thing with getting down early. It shouldn't change things; but typically it just does. I'm not saying that people go on tilt; but they might take a flyer on a middle pair or ride that flush draw with beaucoup raises in front of him. OK, it will come as no surprise that I did just that. I fell down early again over a weekend session. It turned out to be quite the roller coaster rides. Now, I love roller coasters; but not so much when it revolves around poker. I was down $100, got back even, down $100 again, now I'm up $100, now I'm back down $100, I ended up over $185 for the session. Once I was up $100, I was tempted to take the money and run; but I remembered by 300 hand pledge. Onward I go, and sure enough, say bye-bye to the profits; but this story has a happy ending as I finished with quite a flurry, reached the 300 hand mark and called it quits. For the record, I must say that playing 300 hands a day is not a hard goal to reach as it typically takes less than 1 1/2 hours; but as other fathers can attest (especially ones with young ones), getting time to play poker can be a challenge. Anyway, I was happy to call it quits and book the profits.

Here I am talking about $200 profits when on Full Tilt, John D'Agistino has been talking about a few more zeroes. Yesterday, someone posted (sorry, I can't remember who) that Dags took about an 100K hit to Brad Booth. Well, the rematch was on and I had the table up while I was playing my 3 tables. Bad news for D'ags as he took another $139K hit. That has to hurt; even for a top professional.

Now let's get back to looking stupid. Again remember that I am working on consistency. Very first hand last night, I get 43o. I 52% VPIPer and 24% PFRer limps from early position and it gets limped around to me. I check. Flop comes something like A3x. He bets out and I call to see a turn. A blank comes on the turn and again he bets out. What do I do? Fold? Wrong!!!!!!! I'm not buying his strength and check raise him. Now wait???? How does that fit into the plan of being consistent and NOT getting down early? Oh yeah, it doesn't. Some people just never learn and I guess I fall into that camp; but wait, this just in. A 4 on the river and I take down the pot against his weak Ace. Of course he had some choice words for me so I am faced with:

Is it better to shut up and appear stupid or open my chat-mouth and remove all doubt? Maybe I chose the middle as I just typed in HeeHaw. I later sucked out on him again when My KQ on a Q high flopped spiked a K on the river when he had actually flopped two pair. It was all good and nothing really came of it. He called BS on the first river suckout and I agreed. End of story. As you can see on the chart, it was a good session and I broke another rule and only played a bit over 200 hands; but booked another nice session for me of over $200.

One interesting hand come up about mid way through the session. Well, interesting to me at least. I get 43o in the blinds again; but this time there is a preflop raiser (different from the first time); but I called anyway with a total of 4 people in the pot. Again, the flop comes A3x and again the EP guys bets out and I start to fold; but wait, maybe 43o is my hand of destiny tonight. CALL. What is that on the turn? Yep, a 4. Can you believe it. Check-Raise (oh how I love to check raise... it's an art, you know). Oh no!!! An Ace on the river. I have to represent (or do I?). Turns out I shouldn't have as he raised me and folded. It might have been worth that final call just for "looking stupid" reasons; but I didn't. It just goes to show you..... What comes around, goes around. I just chuckled and moved on and ended up nicely even though I did shut things down prematurely (at 200 hands).

Duggle has a link to a TIME magazine article regarding whether Poker is good for kids. I think it may have a positive slant to it. I haven't had a chance to read it; but plan to shortly. I'd be interested hearing other people's take on that. I, for one, plan on teaching the Wonka girls how to play cards as early as possible.

Have a nice day!!!!

Friday, September 22, 2006

Disturbing Trend

I put in another 600 hands or so last night. For the most of the night it was 4 tabling. 2 at Absolute, 1 at Full Tilt and one on a smaller site. I'm trying to concentrate more on table selection that I have in the past. One thing that I don't do, however, is move from a table that starts off good but then degrades into a tougher table due to the bad players busting or hit and runs by the bad players or whatever. For the most part, once I sit down, the roots start to grow. I really need to pay attention to that as Absolute and Full Tilt have plenty enough tables to choose from at my level.

Anyway, as you will see in the graph again that my session started in a Southward trend. This trend is becoming quite disturbing. So the question begs should I be playing any differently at the beginning of a session as related to later in the session. If you would have asked me that last week, I would have said NO hands down. It doesn't matter when you are playing, you should be playing the same game. To tell you the truth, I still believe that.

To be honest, I didn't sit down with the best frame of mind. It was a little bit later than I normally start so I wasn't sure that I was up to putting in a full session. So the first hand ended up being a blind on blind hand with a know aggressive person. I went with the bluff re-steal as I believed he was on the bluff steal. Nope. No biggie, that's poker. So, here's the deal. Do I press more when I get down early? I would like to think not as my Poker Tracker stats did not seem out of whack. One thing that really stood out is that other than the one time I had AA, my A9(suited and offsuit) and better was not an overall winner for the night. Another words, overall for each hand over A9, they were overall losers for the night; albeit not gross loser as I think it added up to 10BB; but typically you want wins there to offset some of the others.

Speaking of the AA hand that I did win, it was a strange one. Not so much the hand itself but how the people played and what they played it with. I don't put too many raw hand histories; but this one does the talking for itself. Here it is:

FullTiltPoker Game #1025502206: Table Clark (6 max) - $3/$6 - Limit Hold'em - 0:29:18 ET - 2006/09/22
Seat 1: willwonka ($52)
Seat 2: RailCityCrew ($141.50)
Seat 3: dirtybird81 ($127)
Seat 4: KindOfBlue00 ($182)
Seat 5: BLUEHUT43 ($15)
Seat 6: kezinch8 ($254.50)
willwonka posts the small blind of $1.50
RailCityCrew posts the big blind of $3
The button is in seat #6
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to willwonka [Ac As]
dirtybird81 folds
KindOfBlue00 folds
BLUEHUT43 raises to $6
kezinch8 calls $6
willwonka raises to $9
RailCityCrew calls $6
BLUEHUT43 raises to $12
kezinch8 calls $6
willwonka calls $3
RailCityCrew calls $3
*** FLOP *** [4s 2d 9h]
willwonka bets $3
RailCityCrew calls $3
BLUEHUT43 calls $3, and is all in
kezinch8 calls $3
*** TURN *** [4s 2d 9h] [Ad]
willwonka bets $6
RailCityCrew calls $6
kezinch8 calls $6
*** RIVER *** [4s 2d 9h Ad] [8c]
willwonka bets $6
RailCityCrew calls $6
kezinch8 calls $6
*** SHOW DOWN ***
willwonka shows [Ac As] (three of a kind, Aces)
RailCityCrew mucks
kezinch8 mucks
willwonka wins the side pot ($36) with three of a kind, Aces
BLUEHUT43 mucks
willwonka wins the main pot ($57) with three of a kind, Aces
BLUEHUT43 is sitting out
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot $96 Main pot $60. Side pot $36. Rake $3
Board: [4s 2d 9h Ad 8c]
Seat 1: willwonka (small blind) showed [Ac As] and won ($93) with three of a kind, Aces
Seat 2: RailCityCrew (big blind) mucked [Qd Ah] - a pair of Aces
Seat 3: dirtybird81 didn't bet (folded)
Seat 4: KindOfBlue00 didn't bet (folded)
Seat 5: BLUEHUT43 mucked [5c 6h] - Ace Nine high
Seat 6: kezinch8 (button) mucked [Ts 9d] - a pair of Nines

Typically, at least lately, the crazy guys have been hitting their gutshots; but luckily not this time. I did lose drawing hands vs being drawn out on; but again, that is normal as I expect to be outdrawn more than I draw out on people.

I did get called a donkey last night when I did call down to the river only to hit my pair on the river against his AKo that didn't connect. You know what I say, if you can't beat them, join them. My only response to him was...... HeeHaw. Enough said.

I did end up the night in positive territory so I can never complain too loudly about that.

Speaking of Donkeys, I did get a chance to play DADI last night; but I had to play on my laptop and the wireless connection was terrible. I chipped up nicely at the beginning; but lost it fittingly trying to draw to a flush or something in Omaha. Ooops. Thanks to 3Jacks for dropping the hammer on me when I had the best of it and making me fold. Nice play sir. I should have known.

Have a nice weekend!!!!!
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