Sunday, February 26, 2006

Makes you Throw Up in Your Mouth A Little

OK.. I'm stealing a phrase from our good buddy Scurvy; but I can't think of a better phrase better describes my weekend. Wow, what a ride...

Friday started off by coming home from dinner and the neighborhood guys are playing... Great!!! Mrs Wonka gives me her blessing and off I go... There were 7 of us and was probably the 2nd or 3rd one out.... no biggie.. Just $10 buyins... more social than anything.. I decide to leave after one and come home and finish watching the most recent Batman movie. For the most part the Mrs and I give it a thumbs up...

Since we are expecting Baby #2 in August, Mrs Wonka is still going through that sick and tired feeling so whe went to bed. My hats off to all women that have to go through all that during the first few months of pregnancy... Anyway, what am I going to do... Dah!!! Upstairs I go... and the trend of bad results continued.. Rivered Flushes were the demon of choice tonight... 92s.. T8s.... 43s... J3s.... are a few that hit me... The short story... I found myself stuck again.. This time $800.. Still the same things go through my head on whether I should quit or not for the night.... and I still feel OK to play... So on the night, I played 1,222 hands of poker and I ended up having a playing loss of $8.72 but add the $90 in bonus and we'll call it a positive night... but man... coulda, woulda, shoulda...

Saturday... I tell myself... no poker today... many, many things to do... yeah right... I find myself at the computer at 10:30 checking on things... Oh, maybe I'll play a few hands and see how it goes.... Bad Wonka... Bad Wonka... This was roller coaster night... be then end result was bad, very bad.....4 digits bad... I would be over $1,000 down and would get it back to around $500... even $400 one time... but it just wasn't meant to be... and this time after further review, I told myself that I had to quit.. because indeed I wasn't playing my best poker... I looked at the PT stats and nothing was too out of line there... I even won 50% of hands that went to showdown which is the lowest you want; but it certainly doesn't point to a 4 digit loss night...

Somebody in the comments was commenting on a prior comeback and also added to "watch out". Let me tell you... I hear you loud and clear... It is something that I need to work on... you know.. that telling yourself that you are better than you actually are... I can beat this table everyday including Sunday.... OK... but just not Saturday... It is amazing when you look at my daily totals and how Saturday sticks out like a sore thumb... overall negative..... way negative. One of these days I will listen to myself and not play on Saturday... But man... like many others... it is sooooo hard to quit a session when you are down.

This brings us to Sunday... talking about being afraid to play... You can't help but be a little tentative after a big losing day... The real downer was that I was probably going to lose my weekly winning streak.. I had won now for 12 straight weeks... I played 2 multis tonight including the PokerSourceOnline tourney... Bombed out of both of them just after the first break.

The other site was PokerWorld... I played a little after that on their micro tables.. Here is a great summation as to how my weekend went.... I have 88.... flop the set... Turned the Boat and lost to a rivered straight flush.... Man, what can you do... just grin and bear it. Only once (and this was on Saturday night, did I truly feel like throwing something... that is pretty much when I quit)

So, I just had a bad day... what do you do... Of course... Head to the 15/30 tables... (by the way, 5/10 was the game that really kicked my butt on Saturday... I was positive on 10/20 and was positive on 15/30 until the last 30 minutes or so where it went south real fast... Again the short story.. 425 hands for a playing profit of $771.. throw in $40 in bonus... and some losses on the multis and ring play on PW (not supported by Poker Tracker) and I end up the day $781. The really good news is that it put my week to date total at $34.63.. So the streak continues...

I definitely enjoyed getting back to the 10/20 and 15/30 games... this time around short handed.. but wow... those swings.. "Just makes you want to throw up in your Mouth a Little"... I'm sure that I will gladly return back to 3/6 land this coming week. This whole thing started when both Prima and Absolute didn't have any 3/6 SH games running when I signed on..

That should do it for today...


Thursday, February 23, 2006

When it Rains It Poors

Wow... what a bloodbath tonight... I just couldn't get anything going... The big hands were just not holding up... I'm not whining... It is just the way things go.. I realize that... but I want to be honest in my blog and report the good nights along with the bad nights...

Playing 3 tables of 3/6 SH on Absolute found me $300 in the hole after a couple hours... As usual, the evil side of me told me to step up... so that is what I did... After I lost all my buyin from one of my 3/6 tables, I loaded up on a 10/20 table. Now, I have played the 10/20 tables at Absolute and I had done well with them being about 6.57 bb/100... so I wasn't worried that I couldn't handle the competition... It was the swings that I now worry about...

Anyway, things of course went south there as well.... Things like AKo with Ace high flop losing to 92o (two pair)... A couple of rivered straights or flushes.. mostly flushes tonight.. and a couple of rebuys, I am down $1,100 between 2 3/6 tables and the one 10/20 table.

A long time ago, I mentioned what goes through my head when it is time to decide if it is time to quit... EDIT... I found the post... Should I Stay or Go Now.... A few of those things are (with my answers tonight):

Am I tired.... No
Are you playing well... not my best... but not on tilt either...
Are the games good... definitely..

Keep playing then... At the 10/20 table there was a guy seeing 90% of the flops... and of course winning..... at first... he made $500... gave back half (unfortunately not to me... lol) of it and left... So I buckled in and went back to work... Things didn't change much as I busted out of another 3/6 table... and this time I opened a 5/10 table... so I have one 10/20, one 5/10 and one 3/6 table going... all short handed... How about that for variety.. At first, I wasn't careful enough to pay attention... The games are definitely different at 10/20 than they are at 3/6... Doh!!!! Maybe I am tired...

Well, I won't bore you with too many details; but my hands started holding up... Made some right moves and picked up some small pots... the happy ending story would be that I made it all back and then some... The reality of it is that I made $900 of it back to end $283.75 less $70 bonus so a net of $213.75 down for the evening playing 948 hands 4 hours.

My biggest loser by far was Big Slick.. Yep, it is only a drawing hand; but it should would be nice to hit the flop once in a while with it. Check that... This just in... Pocket Tens were my biggest loser... The big blow being my set losing to a flush...

On the bright side, I did have quad aces tonight... It was even in the 10/20 game... It was just heads up so it wasn't too big of a pot..

Well, it is late so I'm going to call it a night...

Thanks to those of you who signed up with ThisIsTheNuts and are now getting paid to play. The guys over there don't handle referrals until the end of the month so I won't be able to confirm that they have linked me up with you until then. Let me know if you have signed up (you can find my email on my profile if you don't want to leave it in the comments) so that I can double check them.... or if have any questions.


Have Deals, will Travel

Well, I've never been one to stay with one site exclusively... It's just not the way I roll. lol.. So these days, I find myself back at Absolute Poker. Mainly due to a pretty nice league being thown by the guys over at They are offering the winner of the league to go to one of the $1,500 buyins of the WSOP. Last night was the first night. You still have time to join as you only need to play in 6 of the 10 tournies as the best 6 is what qualifies you.

Things were going very well for me last night as I even spent some time as the chip leader in the early stages. Lady luck would not be on my side. About an hour and half into the tournament, I look down to see KK in the BB. It gets folded to the SB who only limps. I do the 3x raise and comes over the top of me and I of course go all in. He turns over AQs and it is over quickly as an Ace comes on the flop. So I finished a disappointing 97th. Nothing you can do.. It is just the way it is.

Congras to Kipper and Mr HighonPoker for nice finishes in them. Unfortunately, Kipper was the bubble boy finishing one out of the money; but a good finish nonetheless. It was nice to see that the guy who sucked out on me went on to win the tournament. He sucked out on three people right in a row to get a huge chip lead when I was ousted. It wasn't by bad play.. he just happened to be behind when the chips went in... he even cracked aces one time.

Well, of course, if you're playing at Absolute, they have bonuses so of course I deposited and will be chasing $200 worth of bonus. So far so good in two days of Absolute Play.

Day #1 brought $105 plus $10 in 158 hands (18.42 bb/hr).
Day #2 brought $183.75 plus $10 in 116 hands (37.50 bb/hr).

I really find Absoulte pretty nice to play at. They get an A for effort for trying to improve their software. They still have a ways to go; but they have decent enough traffic where I don't ever have too much of a problem getting into a game.... at least at the 3/6 and 5/10 level.

So if you not playing there and would like to.. Please take a look at the ThisIsTheNuts banner over on the right. They will get you set up on Absolute with at least a 28% rakeback. Again, one of the real nice things about Absolute is that the bonuses that you chase do not count against your rakeback (at least the last time I checked) so if you are not getting "paid" to play, please check them out... and tell them Will Wonka sent you. Let me know how it goes or if you have any questions. They also have their own WSOP qualifier for Absolute sign ups. I'm not real sure of the details, though.


Monday, February 20, 2006

Where did the week go?

What a week, where did it go? Definitely a week to NOT remember. It started off on Monday where things did not go well on the virtual tables as earlier posted. I had been a little under the weather about 1 week earlier that caused one day off work and a complete weekend down. Well, Tuesday night it started to come back (Mrs Wonka was also sick). I was down for the count... typcial symptoms of sever sore throat (it honestly felt like I was swallowing razor blades), fever, achiness, stuffiness... yep, all that fun stuff.. By the morning, I was feeling better and went to work; but by lunch time... I could feel it coming back.. I actually went to my car and took about a 45 minute nap and that helped... but by quitting time... I was again down for the count. Unfortunately, I was a little worse off than Mrs Wonka and she had to deal with the 2 year old... I barely even remember Thursday and Friday... by Saturday afternoon, I was pretty much back except for the terrible sore throat. Then during Baby Wonka's bathtime, we found a huge blister on the back of her ear that alarmed us; we took her to the Urgent Care (gotta love those things) and it turned out to be something called impetigo which is a pretty common skin infection for kids easily treatable; but very contagious...

Anyway, I obviously didn't get much poker in and after Monday's down day, I was in danger of breaking an 11 week winning streak. Luckily, Saturday and Sunday came through for me and I book a whopping $38 winning week. I have updated my stats through Monday Night as I did play a little tonight... Little being the opportune word. I think this might qualify as a hit and run. Here are the numbers.

12 hands... 50%VPIP.. 16.67 PFR.. 3.0 TAF.. $137.50... yes not a bad 190.97 bb/hr.

I wanted to blog a little so I called it a quick night... you don't see those too often. It started off with a 54s in the BB... I call a raise with 1 caller.. 356 (all spades.. not my suit).. UTG bets out and I just call.. 3 players.. Turn 5c.. UTG bets, I raise and both call.. River 4s... UTG Checks, I bet, prevoius guy for along the ride now raises... as I always say... never fear the monster and I 3 bet (probably a bad play in retro-spect) and they both call and my boat takes it. Any thoughts on the 3 bet? (btw, one player had the ace of spades and the other called had the 9 of spades)

I then get Aces a few hands later that hold up when somebody with 4th pairs calls me down.

2 hands later on another table, I get KK where I 3 bet preflop.. 3 players.. 8d4dAc on flop (why is it when I have KK, that an Ace always come... soooo rigged... lol).. Anyway, EP (good player) pauses and then bets... not a good sign... You just can't be sure... so I do a token/typical raise to find out where I'm at.... other guy folds and as I guessed, EP 3 bets it... now, I know that I am beat; but will peel one more bet to see the turn as it is only $3 to into a $42 pot. What do you know, a king (spades) on the turn.. he just now check calls; but then leads out after a 7c... of course I raise and he calls and I win a nice pot. Any thoughts on the flop raise and then call after 3 bet? What do you think he had? answer in white ---> He had A7 of diamonds.

So not a bad night after only 12 hands of which the last 4 I didn't play as I did my usual victory lap on both tables.


Even though I will still pretty sick at the time, I did get to play in DADI III. As usual, these things are great fun. I started off with what I believe to be one of the Aprils (fattabbymama). I don't remember the details; but it was a quick match as I fortunately got the cards. If anybody knows who that is for sure, I will link it up.

The second match was from a blogger that is on my must read list (over on the right). I don't remember his exact screenname (I think it was sportingmag); but none other than C-Mitch from O-Poker who has been running great in his 50K challenge for the year. If you have not checked it out lately, take a look as it is quite impressive. He has been doing very well on the 6 Max NL tables... Having known that, I knew I was in trouble. If you look at his blog, he will tell you that he got worked by Mr Wonka. I got some cards and played some draws and non-threatning boards a little aggressively which gave me an early lead. It was a good match; but his pkt nines ran into my Hilton Sisters and that was that. I really enjoyed playing you cmitch and continued success on your road to ..... dare I say 100K?

The next match brought me to a match where I thought I was looking in the mirror. Head over to 3Jacks site to see a screen shot. It was a blogger that I had not run across before who uses the screen name wwonka and his blog is hammerlover or Drop the Hammer. No surprise that he loves the Hammer; although that hand didn't play a part in this match. The one time that he did have it, I had put a big raise late in the match and he really couldn't afford to try something. It was definitely a back and forth match in which I somehow came out on top. wwonka, I have added you to my bloglines list and look forward to reading you in the future.

That win put me in the money. My next opponent was another person that I did not know but was creating a buzz during the tournament as being a guy with a web radio poker show. He even hopes to put the two DADI conspirators on the show sometime in the near future. How cool would that be? Anyway, I again took an early lead; but ran into problems when we both pushed... I had AQ and he had AK... Q on the flop looked good; but the K sitting next to it dashed all my hopes. That hand put him into the lead. From there, I believe that I put up a good fight almost getting back even a few times; but it just wasn't meant to be and after a fairly long match (for me anyway), PokerScout won the match and ended up winning the tourney against the infamous Wil Weaton. I did not stay up to watch up as I immediately hit the sack after I was out. So I went out in 6th (of 62) for a small $38 payday.

I would also like to congratulate Mr GCox who finished in 7th place. Anybody surprised that this great underdog who always flies under the radar and has no chance of winning always finds his way to the money? Not me....

Rumors are that a 6Max tourney is on slate for March. Count me in and I will, as usual, donate.


March Madness is almost here. It is always one of my favorite times of year... Especially now when it looks like a school from Missouri will make it to the big dance... my beloved Missouri State (formally Southwest Missouri State). They had a nice win on Bracketbuster Saturday at the U of Wisconsin - Milwaukee. That puts MSU around 28th in the RPI and the Missouri Valley may actually get 5 teams into the big dance. How cool would that be? Arch Madness (the Missouri Valley Tournament) starts not this weekend; but the next and is always in St Louis and I am really looking forward to heading down to Savvis to watch some good basketball. There might even be some good crowds this year. MSU still has 2 more regular season game including a home game against Creighton for the last game of the season. If they could pull that one off, that would be awesome!!


A little bit of humor... probably had to be there but I tell you anyway... sometimes I can get a little bit of a "fishy" look to me... Anyway, I don't remember the exact hand from the weekend; but I somehow won on with something like 96o from the BB. Anway, Mr Poker Pro really went off on me (nothing new). He finally went... nh... wow... I usually ignore them; but this time.. I just typed in that I'd rather be lucky than good.... after about a minute, he types in "ply good"... and I paused and typed in.. "is that anything like ply wood?"... He left the table within a couple of hands... Hated to see him leave... Oh by the way, the hand before he left, I had AA and he thought I was just being "fishy"and pushed back.... gotta love it.

Well, that should do it for today...


Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Boy, I hate losing

Last night started like any other poker playing night. Hopeful expectations of another winning session. I was in the midst of a 11 session (day) winning streak and 36 of 39 winning sessions so things were going good as I did also reach goal #4 this week. Not unlike many days, I happened to get stuck $100 pretty much from the get go. No problems, I've battled back many times before; but tonight would be different.

Without going into too many details, that $100 turned into $200 which turned into $300 which turned into nearly $400. Was I doing anything differently? Let's look at the daily numbers.

822 hands... 30.17 VPIP.. 14.23 PFR.. 2.25 TAF.. won when seeing flop 34%.. went to showdown 32%.. and won at showdown 52%.

Those numbers are pretty consistent with what I have been doing since December when I changed and went to short handed play. The moral of the story is that some nights, it's just not going to work. Your top pair is going to get beat by 2 pair.. your draws aren't going to hit... nobody is going to play with you when you get the monsters.. I understand this, you understand this.. heck, we all understand this; but it doesn't change the fact that I hate losing sessions.

So, what do I do.. I play, and play, and play. Why is it that we will continue to play and play when getting behind; but will cut sessions short when we are winning. I know, I know, we have talked about this 100 times; but it doesn't change the fact that it happens all too often. The truth be told, I am OK with this theme.... as long as the playing conditions are still favorable. The fact that I quit after a short winning session is OK also as it allows me time to spend with family... or should I say Mrs Wonka as Baby Wonka is normally in bed by the time I start playing.

So, I kept playing. I played for 3.37 hours and finally just called it quits down $170 as I wanted to watch some of the Olympics that I had recorded. Definitely not the end of the world. I was able to make a bit of a comeback. Truthfully, I felt as if I was playing well and was making more of a comeback but I just wasn't erasing the deficit. It is obviously hard to always calculate this when you are playing 3 tables; which is why I keep the ring statistics going on Poker Tracker to tell me exactly where I am at during the evening.

And also as I am prone to do, I stepped up to 5/10 to help make up the difference. As usual with sites that don't have a whole lot of traffic, I saw some of the same guys that I played at 3/6. Upon further review, I remembered my declaration to stay at this level until the end of the month and stopped the 5/10 session short at 23 hands for a $69 profit.... after of course getting stuck $75 from the get go... I was able to play the same game with the same results which is re-assuring to me for if and when I do make the move up.

So, given the fact that you are going to have losing nights, it is so important to make sure that you keep you eye on the long term and come into the next session with a fresh outlook with no memory of the past session. Of course, this is easier said than done; especially after a few bad nights in a row.


Well, the results of the poll about what type of game that you play. After 26 votes, the majority 46%) are still playing full ring games... with about 4 people (17%) playing both short and full ring. I urge people that are playing full ring to give short handed a try; but perhaps a little study of the differences might be in order... as it really is a different game.


After reading many people talk about the VIP program at Party, I decided to send them an email to set what was what. Afterall, I did play over 5,400 hands last month on Party. I know that is not a lot; but I thought it might get me in the door. Nope... A pretty immediate reply saying that I don't play enough to be a Party VIP. I need to play 5,000 raked hands... so clearly, I was probably a good ways from that as 3/6 SH hands typically has about a 50-55% shot of being raked off the top of my head. Oh well, I will continue on with Battlefield (with my 40% rakeback) with an occasional dip into Party if and when the Battlefield tables are barren. No big whoop.

That should do it for today.


Sunday, February 12, 2006

Slow and Steady

There's an old saying that slow and steady wins the race and that is the adage that I am taking with Poker these days. As I had mentioned, I was about ready to move up to the 5/10 SH tables; but upon further review, I believe I am going to finish out the month continuing to play at the 3/6 SH. No real reason, other than I am in no hurry as my current win rate is fine with me.

I have updated my February stats for the month and as you can see, it was a slow and steady week. I played 1,766 hands (7.13 hrs as adjusted for multi-tabling) for a win rate of 9.48 bb/hr. I am not doing any bonus chasing, as I am almost 100% on Battlefield (prima) and receiving 40% rakeback. As I have mentioned before, rakeback is a very good thing. I don't update my rakeback stats until the end of the month (I don't know why, since I know the totals); but I have earned $122 this month in rakeback.

So, again, if anybody, is not getting "paid to play", in might be worth your while to look into it. This is the Nuts is the site that I use. Similar to their deal with Sun Poker, This is the Nuts is running a similar deal with Absolute Poker for a chance for the 2006 WSOP via a freeroll tournament. Check with them for more details. As many of you know, Absolute is one of the best sites to bonus chase on... The even better thing about Absolute is that the bonus does not count against your rakeback... so while you are chasing their near weekly re-deposit bonuses, you can also be earning 28% rakeback. Feel free to use Will Wonka as your referral code if you like. As I have said before, this is not for me... I do get a small 2.5% of the rake for the referral; but that is nothing compared to the 28% that you get... plus now a chance to go to the WSOP... and earn 100% deposit bonus ... up to $300. Good luck and let me know how it goes there or if you have any questions.


I did play in the home tournament over the weekend. We had 11 players. I picked up a few hands early and was doing OK... but as it goes, it doesn't really do a whole lot of good to pick of the early pots when the blinds are so low.... of course it doesn't hurt either. I started at a table with The Force, Iceman, Iceman Jr, and relatively new comer Mr Free. The normally very good Force took an early exit while Iceman and Iceman Jr went to war a few times. The big hand at the table was when Iceman when all-in on a J high flop with the Hilton sisters... Mr Free called him down with KJ and spike a J on the river... this would be a continuing theme... As our table was rolling along... The professor continued to roll on the other table and when it came to final table time, he had a big lead. The final three got paid and it wound down to myself, the professor and Mr Free... The Prof easily had over half the chips in play. A key hand for me came down when Mr Free pushed all in from the SB. I had Q6s. I did have him out-chipped; but I layed it down.. he later told me he had A9s.. When did a mock flop that ended up being Q high... Doh!!!.. Anyway, I ended up going out in 3rd with A3 in the SB.. The professor insta called with AT.. no improvement... I got my buy in back plus $10.. oh well... better than losing... From there, the professor probably held a 10-1 chip lead over Mr Free... in a matter of 3 hands where Mr Free flopped top pair and outkick the Prof's top pair, to a flopped straight and flopped flush ened up doing the professor in. Nice job and nice cards got Mr Free his first win... he had continually been moving up the ladder... now the pressure is on him.. we'll see how he does.


One pretty funny non-poker story... Anybody who has any small kids undoubtedly knows about Barney. Well, at the end of the show, Barney always does his "I love you, you love me" thing and gives out hugs. Baby Wonka (barely 2 years old), was lying down watching Barney and all of sudden when that part came on and she popped up and came and give Mrs Wonka and myself big hugs.. that was pretty cool... but then after that, she went and gave Barney (aka.. the TV) a big hug.. We couldn't stop laughing.. I don't know what to make of that... hmmm... perhaps she is watching a little too much TV... a kid after my own heart.

Have a good week...


Thursday, February 09, 2006

Goal Update

Again, I want to thank everybody for their comments. I keep on repeating myself here; but this is truly what makes blogging so great. Even more so, are the opinions that are contrary to mine. Keep those coming. I'm certainly not the kind of guy that takes offense to someone that has an opinion that is different from mine. Quite the contrary.. Anything that will make think about things differently is what I crave. Whether or not I agree is besides the point because as we know, there are many different lines that you can take on a poker hand. Re-evaluating the line that you took can only make you better.... not to mention that the guys making comments are much, much more versed in poker theory than I am... so ... again.. Thank you very much.

Back on Jan 23rd, I wrote down some goals to achieve in the upcoming months... which is to more or less build my bankroll back to an all time high after my demoralizing bad streak at the end of last year (where I lost almost 60% of my bankroll). I believe that I am much better poker player after experiencing that. I reached goal #1 on Jan 28th. I then back tracked a bit; but was able to reach goal #2 on Feb 4th. I then was able to reach goal #3 tonight. Short handed play continues to be good for me.

I still have a lot more to learn here and I hope to keep learning and applying the thoughts in the upcoming week. The plan after this weekend is to move from 3/6 to 5/10 short handed to re-test those waters. As of right now, I am going to stay conservative and observe the 1000 BB bankroll rule for short handed play. I am in no big hurry to return to the 15/30 waters. Like I have said before, I am comfortable with my win rate now and where I am playing. If things don't go well, I will gladly drop back down to 3/6. Right now, I have about a 200BB cushion over the 1000bb rule to play with at 5/10.

We'll see how it goes.

I've got the monthly home game this Friday where just a small group of buddies get together for a short tournament and then the fun begins with Dealer's choice games. I haven't had the best of luck there lately; but it sure is fun. It is something that I truly look forward to every month.

I've got a couple of things on my mind that I will be sharing in the upcoming week (most likely).. so until then....

Have a great weekend..


Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Do I Bluff?

Yesterday, PokerandPeaking ask me the following question:

"I'm just wondering how much you bluff and how aggressively you play your hands"? Another words Do I Bluff?

The simple answer is Yes.... and No... OK, so maybe not so simple. Let's go into a bit more detail.

Do I Bluff?

One could say that if you are not bluffing, you are not playing poker. While I somewhat agree with that, the hows, whens, whats and whys is what makes bluffing such a beautiful thing.

First off, I rarely, if ever, do a Hammer type bluff. Meaning.. I hardly ever just choose a hand and go crazy with it. To me, I just don't see the advantages of it.... except for maybe it is fun.. especially when it pays off. Now, on the other hand, it may be appropriate to bluff with it; but before we get into that, I want to lay some ground rules of this post.

All of this post will be directed towards short handed limit play. My current flavor of choice is 3/6 Shorthanded. Why this is my flavor of choice will be discussed a little later. Next, if you don't have any aids such as Poker Tracker and/or PokerAce HUD, then stop reading right now and go get them. Collectively, they cost $75 and are worth their weight in gold. And lastly, every situation is different so the decisions are always changing. This post is just to get an idea of what I think about during hands that I think it might be worth taking a stab at with a bluff.

Now, back to our regularly scheduled post.

I mentioned that there are times when I would bluff raise with the Hammer (72o). That time might be when I am on the button and I have 2 pretty tight people that are prone to fold to blind steals. Yes, this is a stat on PT and you need to know how the people play around you... especially the 2 people to the left of you and the 2 people to the right of you. So, if I have two loose people that will call almost any blind steal, then I don't do it; but I won't hesitate at all if I have a couple of tight people to my left.. especially if the Big Blind is tight.

Now flip that around and I am now in the BB and I have a guy that loves to blind steal; but can be pushed away from it after the flop; but for the most part, I will never raise/bluff with a bad, bad hand such as 72o. It's just not worth it to me... Now semi-bluffing is a whole different story.

What is semi-bluffing? In my humble opinion, semi-bluffing is when:

1) You are on a draw such as a open ended straight draw or flush draw
2) You have middle or bottom pair
3) You have top pair with a poor kicker in a multi-way pot.
4) You have an inside straight draw and maybe some overcards.

To me, this may be one of the single most important parts of playing poker... especially limit poker. In order for the above things to pay off, you need to be getting the right kind of odds. One way of doing that is by semi-bluff raising. This will get the necessary chips into the pot to make it worthwhile in the long run. You need to be thinking in the long run when you do this type things because obviously you will not hit your draws every time so that is why you need to increase the pot sizes for when you do hit those draws that will help offset the losses.... not to mention that you might just take the pots down without showdown... which to me is the ultimate goal. I don't need monster pots. It's all about accumulating chips.

Here's an example from last night. I had 86o in the BB. There were 4 limpers and I also checked. The flop gave me an open ended straight draw. SB check and so did I... It checked around to the button and he bet and the SB check raised... hmm... Cold calling is out of the question here because it tells me nothing of where I am at in the hand. I'm either folding or raising.. I decided to raise it and everybody folded except for the SB. The turn brought an Ace.. Yikes.. didn't want to see that... or did I? SB checked and I immediately bet out... he waited and folded. Who knows what he had; but the point is that this semi bluff put me into the lead and made the SB make the decisions. While this was not a monster post, it was a nice sized pot and these are the type pots that I never used to win.

Now what if he would have called or even raised the Turn. This is another important factor. You need to know when you are beat. Now, it is time to re-evaluate whether or not you have odds to continue. Like I have mentioned before, saving the bets when you are beat and making the value bets is where you win. Just because he check raised you doesn't mean that you still don't have odds to call.. Since you have built the pot up earlier, you may very well have odds to see a river.

Let's say that you don't hit your straight on the river and the SB for some reason checks to you again. You're pretty sure that he will call you so you also check and show your busted draw (I realize that you probably just muck your cards; but I'm sure you know what I mean). In my humble opinion, this only helps you because it gives the maniac type perception from the others... and as we know Perception is nine tenths of the law in poker.

Of course, there are going to be times when you are just not getting cards. You have to continue to be patient as usually the cards will come. For example, I was stuck around $200 last night after about an hour of playing. Between bad cards and draws not hitting or second best hand itus, I was in bad shape. I continued to be patient and ended up with a profit of $121 after 621 hands (2.37 hours). Taking a look at some of my stats last night will kind of illustrate what I mean:

VPIP: 29.85 (usually mid thirties)
Preflop Raise: 13.73 (usually between 16-18)

I just wasn't getting the premium hands and my preflop aggressiveness was obviously down... and that is OK. Because I was patient, I ended up making 8.54 bb/hr (as adjusted for multi-tabling). With rakeback, you can add another 2.25 bb/hr giving me a nice 10.79 bb/hr... or $65/hr. My total aggressive factor was 3.08 (the usual assumption for aggressive behavior starts at 1.50) which is right around average for me.... so another words, I continued to be aggressive even though I wasn't winning early and made the important lay downs when it wasn't right for me to keep going.... which included QQ and 99 and KK when I knew I was beat.

Which brings up another point. You have to be ready and willing to throw those extra bets into the pot knowing full well that you don't have the best hand.... and may have to muck the hand. If you are not comfortable with doing that because of the level you are playing you need to move down. This part of the game is so important and if you can't make these bets then you are only costing yourself (as opposed to saving because you are not betting). After my prolonged downswing, I am very comfortable at the present time at the 3/6 level even though I have a bankroll more suited for 15/30.... unless you go by the 1000bb rule for short handed play that Scurvy posted about the other week which I think may be a bit much. I may move up next week to 5/10 shorthanded next week. We'll see how this week goes. Right now, I am content with my win rate.

There is one more thing that I want throw out regarding bluffing which may seem a little backwards. We all know that position is the name of the game in poker. The later the position, the better because you will know how the rest of the table is going to act. Well, from a bluffers standpoint, early position is the best. Why is that? Well, a bluffer wants to put pressure on the other players and one way of doing that is by betting out in early position or doing some check raising. Almost all preflop raisers are going to bet out on the flop when it is checked to them. These are the times that are golden for a bluffer.. especially if it is a low board. Other types of boards that are good for bluffers are when the board has a pair on it... or if the board is all of one suit. Take some stabs at these pots and see what kind of pressure is put back on you.

One rule that I like to follow is to never fear the monster. While others will have those monster hands every once in a while; more often than not, they will not have it and will fold to your pressure. Play around with it and see how it works.... especially on those tighter tables.

Pokerpeaker also asked if you have to have cards to win or can you clear a winning session without any good hands and that I must since I win all the time. Truth be told, I only wish that I won all the time. Unfortunately, I do not. As I wrote during my August-December downfall where I lost almost 60% of my bankroll... Sometimes it just doesn't work out. Variance can be a very rewarding thing or a very painful thing. Patience is the key. You just need to keep looking at things in the long term. You also just need to find that game that fits you the best. I am a big overall loser in full ring limit games; but short handed has been a completely different story. Find out what works best for you... maybe it is Full Ring... maybe it is No Limit or Pot Limit... Maybe it is SNG or tournaments... maybe it is Stud or Omaha... Keep looking and you will find a game that fits your style and play.

So in review... Do I Bluff... You bet I do.. I just try to be smart with them. Semi-Bluffing is still bluffing and it helps put in you in control of the hands that you play. Selective aggressiveness and selective bluffing will help add $ to your bankroll. Just be smart about it. Does it work all the time? Absolutely not... Continue to keep your eyes on the decisions and not the results. In addition, look at your results in the long term as you will run through rough stretches.

Good Luck!!!


Sunday, February 05, 2006

WSOP Offer

One more thing I wanted mention about ThisIsTheNuts is that they have a pretty incredible WSOP offer going with a huge overlay. In partnership with Sun Poker, TITN and SP are giving away 10 seats to a WSOP Single Table tournament (Plus $1,000 for travel and hotel). Unfortunately, I had already signed up at Sun Poker so I will not be doing it; but let me give some of the details.

3 seats will be given away for the players with the most rake on Sun Poker during the promotional period. The promotional period is from Feb 1st thru April 30th so you would not be too late into the game (they keep a daily leaderboard so you can always check your status).

3 seats to the next ten players (4-13) with the highest rake on Sun Poker during the same time. Those 10 players will play in a SNG to get to another SNG that will send you to the WSOP.

3 seats will be awarded from among players who generate at least $1,500 in rake during the same period. All of those will play in a Multi-table tourney with top 3 moving to SNG to go to the WSOP.

1 seat will be award to somebody with over $10,000 in rake on Sun Poker and that has the most posts on their forum.

Check out all the details on their website . Currently, they only have 45 people signed up for this deal so get in while you can and head to the Crypto tables of Sun Poker. Oh, and by the way, you would also be making 32% rakeback while playing. Good luck to you and if you like.. use referral code will wonka. Thanks!!

I also have a link over to the right if that makes it any easier.

Well, I played in the Iron Man Challenge tournament this weekend over at Full Tilt. You know, I just need to not look so forward to them because it inevitably leads to disappointment. Things started out well and weird sort of way. Out of the 9 or 10 people seated at my table, only 3 were actually playing. I was in the middle of the three so it was kind of hard to steal blinds; but ended up doing OK and by the first break, I found myself in 20th place out of the 781 that started. About midway through the 1st hour, I did get switched tables so that kind of stunk. There weren't as many sitouts at that table.

Anyway, I moved into the top 10 about midway through the second hour and then got rivered to take away almost 40% of my stack.. We had a guy at the table that was just hitting everything and doing everything he could to bully the table (not that there is anything wrong with that).

Well, I decided to push back with JJ and re-reaised him preflop... Flop came 10 high and he bet out to put me all in. Of course, I called and he showed KQ.. Good news is that the J came on the turn.. The bad news is that his straight card came on the river to knock off my set of Jacks... so I went out in an unimpressive 225th. I don't mind when people beat me; but calling off 60% of his chips... I don't know.. I won't whine too much.. You have to get lucky in multi's as we all know and it just wasn't my day. At least I get a T-shirt out of the deal so I have that going for me.


I've posted my stats from the 1st week of February over to the right. So far so good on the Prima site of Battlefield Poker. For the most part, they seem to be looser and more passive than some of the other sites that I play. It varies a bit as you will find those ultra LAG tables. That is where Poker Tracker and Pokerace HUD really pay off. You simply adjust to the table you are at and off you go. So far in the first week, my BB/hr playing 3/6 short is 30.81 bb/hr... and that does not include the 40% rakeback that I am getting.


As far as the Super Bowl tonight... I main wish if for a good game. Obviously, I hate the Steelers; but I'm not a huge fan of the Seahawks either (as they are in the same division as the Rams). If I were betting on the game (which I am not this year), I would be putting my money on the Hawks to cover... and possibly even win.


And finally, I played in some SNGs with some fellow bloggers and as usual had a great time. So.. GCox, 3Jacks, High and the Posion.. thanks for letting me in.. One of these days, I will get a headset and converse with you normally as opposed to me just typing.. By the way, I just toyed with them finishing 2nd in an 18 person SNG and more importantly, I won the Single Table H.O.R.S.E tourney that we all played.. that I barely got in. OK, maybe toyed is not the right word.. Got lucky might be more appropriate. Anyway, I had a great time and it is truly refreshing to play in these to get away from the grind of everyday online poker. DADI III here I come... I hope.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Getting Paid to Play

As I mentioned in my previous post, I am playing at a new site this month. The site that I am playing is a Prima site called Battlefield Poker. I've never really played on Prima before. Maybe a tournament or two in the forum challenges. I ,like a lot of people signed up to get a free $10 with no deposit on one Prima site in my early days; but that obviously didn't last too long. Actually, I still do have about $65 on that site; but have never deposited so I can't withdraw now. One of these days, I will get to it.

Anyway, I had another short and sweet session last night at Battlefield. As I realize these type sessions are not normal, it is still pretty fun to post. Here they are:

38 Hands (13 minutes)
VPIP (basically flop% w/o BB): 31.58
PFR (preflop raise): 15.79
AF (aggression factor): 6.0 (yikes)
bb/hr (big blinds per hour): 149.23
w$wsf (won $ when seeing flop): 64.71%
wsd (went to showdown): 41.18%
w$sd (won $ at showdown): 71.43%
Net $ won: 194.00

So that is an amazing $376.50 in two days on only 129 hands (or 45 minutes). You just gotta love those numbers. I'm obviously liking Prima these days; but at the same time, as everyone knows, I know all about variance... both positive and negative.

Which brings me to my subject of today.

If I knew then (when I first started playing online poker) what I know now, there are many, many things I would do differently. I dove blindly into poker after seeing Moneymaker do his thing in 2003. I didn't know that sites actually gave bonuses to sign up. I didn't know anything about rake or rakeback. I just wanted to play.

Fast forward to present time and the number one thing that I believe every online poker player should be doing (at any level) is getting paid to play. Of course, that can mean chasing bonuses; but as you know that can become a grind. Believe it or not, it makes you play differently. Either dropping down levels to get in more raked hands or maybe it is just player tighter and hope others get the pot up to get a raked hand. Or perhaps you can use services like pokersourceonline and vegaspokerpro to get merchandise which is also great. I have done this myself.

But the best alternative and much easier way to do this is to sign on through some big affiliate that is offering nice rakebacks. What is rakeback, you ask? Rakeback is simply getting part of your rake that you pay in the ring games or tournaments paid back to you. How does getting back 25-40% of your rake paid back to you sound? Well, that is what you can do.

The affiliate that I would like to make everybody aware of is ThisIsTheNuts . One of the main reasons I chose them was that I believe that this site is affiliated with Pat and company over at Poker Tracker. Anything that I can do to help those guys out, I will do. Anyway, like I said, this site pays you to play. Well, maybe you think that you have to play obscure sites with low traffic to get this rakeback. Not true. Here are the sites that that promote with the proposed rakeback percentage:

Battlefield Poker (prima): 35%+
Bet Holdem (prima): 35%
Sun Poker (crypto): 32%
Interpoker (crypto): 32%
Absolute Poker: 28%+
Ultimate Bet: 28%+
Empire Poker: 30%
EuroBet (pokerroom now): email for rates
Full Tilt Poker: 27%
Doyles Room: 25%

So, as you can see, there are plenty of choices to make. Obviously, we all know about Party and their stance against rakeback and PokerStars does their own thing as well (VPP points). So the easy choice seems to pick one of the above sites and give it a try and see if you like it. Not that is a big deal; but in the 129 hands that I have played on Battlefield, I have earned a rakeback of $12.17. Boy, that seems like $1 for every 10 hands I play... not bad. Another nice thing about Battlefield is that the Rakeback is credited right back to your poker account via your poker client. You can't get much easier than that. The rakeback stats are updated daily and can be seen via the poker client or over at ThisIsTheNuts.

Let me try to put in more absolute or monetary terms. Let's say that you are a 1/2 Limit holdem player and you play maybe 1000 hands a month. You could add about $24 a month to your bankroll. Maybe you do play a little more... Let's say you play on average 100 hands a day. You could add $60 a month to your bankroll. One more.. Let's say you are 3/6 SH player that plays 100 hands a day on average. How does $150 a month added to your bankroll sound? Doing it this way, you never had to track how many raked hands you are playing as we all do when we are bonus chasing. This is good for every poker hand that you play.... forever.

So, give it some thought and take a look at ThisIsTheNuts. You won't be disappointed. They have over 3,000 players so they definitely one of the big players. I have put a banner and link over to the right. And if you are feeling a little generous, please use referral code of "will wonka" and I get a small percentage as well (2.5% - 5%). This, of course, does not lessen the amount of rakeback that you get... it is just an additional perk that these guys do... which is another reason that sets them apart from the rest.


And finally, if you haven't answered the poll question of the week, please scroll down and vote. This weeks question is regarding ring play and whether you play full ring or shorthanded or both.



Thursday, February 02, 2006

Some Habits are Hard to Break

Like any addiction, quitting cold turkey can be a very difficult thing to do. Well, that was my intention so that I could rest the strain on my wrist... you know Doctor's orders. Not so fast, my friend. So last night.... watched my school (Missouri State.. formally Southwest Missouri State) whip up on the Bulldogs from Drake... I, then, plan on going to watch Lost with Mrs Wonka... Repeat!!! Doh!!! Don't do repeats so I then watched the end of the Texas game where they beat Mizzou by double digits...

Now what? Nothing else really on TV. OK, OK, off to the tables I go to get a small hit of my addiction. I'm playing on a new site this month (more on this later in the next few days) so I opened up 2 3/6 tables... yep, standard operating procedures... I'm not looking for any big gains; just looking to get my "fix". So barring in big losses, I should be playing less than an hour.

As it turns out, I only played 32 minutes... 91 hands for a $182.50 profit. This site definitely has some potential. Some of the stats look pretty standard (26.37 VPIP, 14.29PFR, 3.40 AF); but others were not normal (w$wsf 57.69, w$sd 88.89, bb/hr 57.03). These stats definitely do not help my case for not playing to rest my wrist.

I still need to and plan to play less often and for not as long for the short term because the meds don't seem to be helping much so it seems that my destiny includes a probably not too pleasant shot of Cortisone.


Well, the results are in from my first poll. Many thanks to those who voted and commented. It really does help to know what kind of players are reading.

Again, the question was what type/levels of Poker do you play. Out of 61 responses, here is the final results:

Limit Holdem 1/2 or less - 15 votes or 25%
Limit Holdem 2/4 - 5/10 - 19 votes or 31%
Limit Holdem over 5/10 - 4 votes or 7%
No/Pot Limit 1/2 or less - 12 votes or 20%
No/Pot Limit over 1/2 - 0 votes or 0%
Mostly Omaha or other Non Holdem Games - 7 votes or 11%
Mostly Tournaments - 4 votes or 7%

So along with me at the current moment, the majority seems to be in the lower limits which is pretty much what I expected. There were a lot more Non Holdem players than I thought which is cool. I need to start diversifying. I was thinking that there would possibly be a few more NL players. Shows what I know. For the record, I fell into the Limit Holdem 2/4 - 5/10 category which was the big winner so we have that going for us.... We are the majority.

Now, I would like to dig a little deeper into the play of the Ring Players. As I have be saying over the last month or so, Short Handed has really treated me right. I was a full ring player for a really long time and was never really a winner. It was more like my tournaments were funding my ring play. So, having said that, Do you find yourself playing shorthanded more than full ring or the other way around. Or is it that you pretty much play them both equally. Like my first poll, this will be a week long poll.

Create polls and vote for free.


And finally, did anybody else see the High Stakes poker episode where Daniel Negreanu (sp) flopped the 2nd nut flush and bet a $1 million (really $250 K since that is all that Barry Greenstein had at the table) and got called by BG with nothing more than a nut flush draw.... and then spiking it on the river. That had to be painful. Perhaps, if Daniel had slowed it down a little and made the big bet on the turn, BG would have layed it down; but of course, DN doesn't want him to lay it down so I guess that why he over bet the pot to look like he was buying it.

That should do it for today.


Wednesday, February 01, 2006


They say that confession is good for the soul. Now, I'm not Catholic; but I will give it a go anyway. Bless me poker blog readers, for I have.... oh you know the drill. This post is spurred by Scurvy's post today. If you haven't read it yet, it is a must read.

Our last story ended on Saturday where I said that I was going to take some time off to hopefully heal my tendonitus in my wrist. Well, Sunday comes along and I forget that I have qualified for a Party 10K freeroll along with over 1,800 other freerollers. Anway, I get ready to start and decide that I can't just single table, can I? So I open up Poker World to play in their 1K guarantee w/ rebuys. Now, there is usually a fairly low turnout for these and Sunday was no different. So, about 23 of us start that tourney at the same time as the Party. Things are going OK with Party as I am 3 times average at the 1st break. Now, over at PW, things aren't going as well and I rebuy twice... Things go good from there and I vault to chip lead. A missed flop with AKs takes a good chunk from me. A couple of woulda-coulda-shoulda hands come up. I'm on the button with 99. UTG Maniac raises it up as he has been doing nearly every hand. The the Cutoff re-raises it. The cutoff is a regular of this game and is the current leader on the PW Tourney leaderboard... another words, I typically respect his re-raises. With the blinds and UTG Maniac yet to act, I lay down my 99... One of the blinds call and UTG maniac pushes all in and they both call. I don't rember the exact board except for two cards... x9x9x. Doh!!!! To make things worse, 1 orbit later, same type scenario and I lay down KJ... Flop AQT... Doh!!!!

Anyway, we get down to the final 4 (top 3 pay). There are two massive chip leaders. I am in 3rd with about 3 times the amount of the short stack so I decide to go conservative and let him blind out. That just never works, does it? He wins 3 straight all-ins and now I am the short stack. I end up pushing from the SB with A8 and BB (chip leader) calls with K6 and spikes the 6 on the river. Dang!!! I'm out. I put $82 into the tourney to just bubble out. Obviously, I'm not too happy at the moment.

Meanwhile, things are still going OK with Party through the second break, then in about 3 hands I am gone..... Nothing too earth shattering; but gone none the less.

So, the logical side of me says.. you still had a good month and you are not supposed to be playing anyway.. Take the $82 hit and call it a month. Now back to PW and I decide I am going to get my buy-in back. The only thing they have going is a 1.50/3.00 NL game. I sit down and immediately lose a $50 buyin... I rebuy (of course) and make part of it back and the table breaks up and I am down about $5 for the session. Other than micro limit games, the only other thing available (as this is a very low traffic site) is somebody waiting to play 10/20 Heads Up. Now, I know this guy as you know all of the regulars and know that he is a decent player. But with my new found SH success, I am ready. I won't bore you with the details; but between him and a few others that decided to come along, I dropped my complete PW bankroll ($977 which includes the $82 loss from the tourney). I had the old "decisions not results" thing going for me as I was rivered at least 6 times which adds up pretty quickly; but that didn't really comfort me at all.

I do, at least, decide to call it a night. It is about 11PM and I have the starting signs of getting sick. I go down to watch some TV to hopefully put me to sleep and out of my misery. Well, between a sore throat among other things, I laid on the couch for 5 hours and couldn't sleep a wink. I then decide to go to bed to try and get some sleep. I tossed and turned for about an hour and just gave up. So what do I do? I violate Scurvy's #6 by not moving up limits to chase losses.

I pull up 2 15/30 games on Party. Do I need to say what comes next? Obviously, I can't be at the top of my game even though I tell myself that I don't feel tired. Table 1 immediately goes south and I lose half of my buyin... But then something changes.. I suck out on somebody with AJ against AK with Ace high flop... J on the turn. From there, I proceed to go go up $750 in around 45 minutes. By this time, the sun is coming up and I need to hit the shower to get to work. I take the shower and then the body just broke down. I ended up staying home and sleeping the rest of the day with the flu.

So, I have re-updated my monthly stats and feel fortunate to be where I am at considering my quasi-meltdown. When will I ever learn?

So yes, I am pleading guilty to over half of Scurvy's Notes to Self and hope that this is truly a wake up call. Hopefully, writing this down has secured this re-occuring theme in my play that has to stop.

Switching subjects:

Again, I would like to thank everbybody for voting in my poll below on the limits and type of poker that you are playing. If you have not done this yet, I encourage you to do that as the poll is almost closed. Skip down a few messages and you will find the poll.
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