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.

Who links to my website?