Friday, May 30, 2008

Hand from Yesterday & Lost

No poker last night as I wasn't feeling to well and Mrs Wonka wanted to watch the 3 hour Lost show. Let me tell you, that is a lot of TV show. To keep it brief, I was happy with the show and did not expect to Locke in the casket. Let's put it this way, the ending was good enough to keep me interested for next year.

Anyway, I wanted to repost the hand from yesterday with some more details.

Here is the setup. The villain in this hand is a good player and his stats look like this over 350 hands:

VPIP 21, PFR 17, 3bet 3, fold to 3 bet 57, 4 bet 0
AF 2.2, Squeezes 9, Cbets 86, Folds CBet 29
Steals 38, Button steal 47, folds SB 100, folds BB to Steal 79

He has lost 1 1/2 buyins; but over this short sample, I won't look at that too much.

So, I put all those stats to help in making the decision that I was faced with.

On a side note, I was listening to Cash Plays with Bart Hanson with guess Leatherass this week. I haven't finished listening to it; but they made an interesting comment and I would like to get your thoughts.

They said the bad players... mostly the lower limit players rely too much on the HUD stats and that you should be able to play without the stats and these people put too many stats on their HUD. I couldn't disagree more; but of course I fall exactly into the sample player that they are referring to. Look, here is the thing. At my levels, you are seeing hundreds if not thousands of different players over the course of a month and it can only help to have some information on them. Do I post too many stats? Maybe. I'll be the judge of that over time and continue to monitor what stats I really use and which stats actually help me in my decision process. For me, the bad part is that I have always been an awful note taker. So while I disagree, what do others think?

Anyway, back to the hand. Looking at the stats, I will say that this guy is a strong player. I say this with a bit of chagrin as these stats are very similar to mine so what does that tell you?

Here is the hand in its entirety.

Full Tilt Poker $50.00 No Limit Hold'em - 5 players

The Official Hand History Converter

SB: $102.95
BB: $111.90
Hero (UTG): $91.55
CO: $54.45
BTN: $168.50

Pre Flop: Hero is UTG with A A

Hero raises to $1.75, 2 folds, SB calls $1.75, 1 fold

Flop: ($3.50) 8 9 A (2 players)

SB checks, Hero bets $3.00, SB calls $3

Turn: ($9.50) 4 (2 players)

SB checks, Hero bets $7.00, SB raises to $23, Hero raises to $86.80, SB folds

What do you think of this line? Does anybody just flat call the raise on the turn with the plans of getting it in on a non heart river?

Have a nice weekend!!!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

More HEM, Mook and WSOP

Short post today.

I'm still really enjoying Holdem Manager One thing that is pretty bad and seemingly pretty basic is that it doesn't have a "Start Day at x time" similar to Poker Tracker. So, depending on what site you are playing at, your stats may different when it crosses over to the AM. Of course I never do (wink wink), but I'm sure that some of you play later than Midnight.

I'll continue to throw in more HEM stuff as I find them.

One stat that I've thrown on my Overall Stats is Flop Set %. It's always nice to know if you are flopping a set at the average rate of 1 of 8 or 12.5%. Last night, of course, I was at 8%. Dang!!! For a change, I was up almost 2 buyins to start off; but over the course of the time that I was playing the Mook, I lost a buyin mostly on some positional moves that didn't work out. I keep telling myself that I don't need to do anything like this at these levels; but what is the fun in that?

Speaking of the Mook, I was out fairly early on a hand that I don't think I can ever get away from. Somebody (I think MorningThunder) limps in front of me and I raise 3.5x with Aces. Flop comes all spades (I have the Ace of spades). Anyway, he hit his set with 22 and we got it all in on the turn I believe. I don't remember who pushed; but I don't think that I can ever get away from that. From there, I pushed with one my favorite hands (T8s) and got 2 callers. A T or 8 on the flop gave me hope; but somebody had Jacks and IGHN.

Speaking of Aces, I had a hand in the cash game that I probably didn't get max value.

I have Aces and flop a set; but the board is all Hearts. I do a c-bet and get called. Turn comes a non-heart and I bet out again; but this time get raised pretty big. Again, it will be hard to get away from this hand; but who just calls here vs pushing?

I'll put what I did in the comments if I get any responses and let you know the results of the hand.

The World Series of Poker starts tomorrow. I always look forward to this day and then get a little inwardly depressed knowing that I won't be out there for any of the fun. Full Tilt is doing some sort of Fantasy Thing for WSOP so I might do that to keep me somewhat connected with the happenings in Vegas.

Have a nice day!!!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

And the winner is..... Holdem Manager

After hem hawing for many weeks I have finally decided to give Holdem Manager a try. It really does kind of hurt as I was really planning and hoping that it would be PokerTracker3; but for now, Holdem Manager is my choice. Why? I'll tell you.

But First, I did play in the MATH and went out right before the first break. Our resident Presto Man put in an early position raise 3x from UTG and I push for 4.5X that bet wih 88 and he insta calls with JTs getting the nice price of .69 to 1. Nice call. Flop AK2, Turn 5, and the River was a Q giving him a straight. Now, me off all people shouldn't gripe about the JTs hand as I love to play it as well. In my humble opinion, he probably wasn't getting the right price to call. He hit his hand and so be it. It really makes no difference to me. I just went off to finish playing my cash games and playing with HEM.

So, no deep run in the MATH this week. Next week, I guess we will be back down to the normal numbers. I am going to try to continue to play these; especially if it is going to remain 6 max; but it will hard to justify to continue playing so much without the BBT reason I was throwing Mrs Wonka.


While I am just scratching the service of HEM as I try to learn about it, here are a couple of reasons that I chose it.

Let's start with some minor points:

1) They have a small stakes edition that plays of up 25c/50c NL (it has limit and tourney limits as well). Since I am only playing 25c/50c right now, I was ok in paying the $55 for the SSE. If and when I move up and can pay the extra $25 to move up to unlimited.

2) They support Absolute Poker. I know, I know.. why do I play there given all the controversy. Because, at my level, I am not really worried about cheating and the games there are really soft. Given the fact that I get 30% rakeback there also is a big factor. I still call Full Tilt home as that is where I play the most.

3) They have a working Heads Up Display (HUD). PT3 is still rumored to be a bit buggy. This HUD is amazing. The updates are about 2 or 3 seconds after the hand and of course the amount of stats you can display or get to is simply unbelievable.

4) Speaking of the HUD, they use the HUD when you replay hands (see below).. It even can display the stats up to the day that you played making reviewing the hand much easier. I believe they are still working on making the stats the exact same as when you played it (if they haven't already done so).

They are also working on the ability to tag a hand while you are playing to go back and review. This is built into the HUD already; but soon to be integrated with HEM.

So Taking a look at my stats, I have 4 lines. (they are working on having the stats with more than one box). Anyway,

Line 1: Name, Hands and Winnings
Line 2: VPIP, PFR, 3 Bet, Fold to 3 bet and 4 bet
Line 3: Aggr Factor, Squeeze, Flop Continuation Bet and Fold to Flop C-Bet
Line 4: Steal, BTN Steal, SB Fold to Steal, BB Fold to Steal

Again, I am just playing around with what I want to display. If you mouse over any of those stats, a pop up screen comes up and even breaks down the stats to a ridiculous level. I really love the Squeeze stat as that tells a lot about the person.

5) Too many custom stats and filters to even mention and to be truthful, I am still learning about these.
6) A player detail page that is pretty cool. While my stats aren't too impressive, just take a look at the analysis that it gives.

7) Graphs. I still think there is a lot to be done here and perhaps I haven't delved into it too much. The interesting thing here is that taking a look at the chart below, can you tell when I purchased and started using HEM? This is a chart for my month so far.

Can you say about hand 13K? Of course, this software isn't the whole reason as some of my big hands started holding up, etc, etc... HEM does give you the EV of when you went ALL In and there is some sort of report to give some All In EV information; but I have not found that yet. Anyway, a certainly dismal month has turned into just a bad month and given the rakeback and other stuff, I am actually positive for the month albeit barely so I really can't complain.
8) There is a document being prepared to help you find leaks using HEM. I believe that this document is going to be made available to all HEM customers free of charge. Here is a link to the 2+2 thread about it.
9) Speaking of 2+2. You can pull up a HEM HH right after the hand. Again, you will be able to flag it for future use, but you can also copy a format that can be pasted to 2+2 in the right format for their forums. Pretty cool, I tried it out and it worked pretty good even though it wasn't the best hand to review.
10) Hmmm, I need to make one more to get to an even 10 reasons. I can't really think of anything other to say that this program (as is PT3) is still a work in progress and is constantly being updated. To be fair, it is not very updated on the tourney side yet; but that is what Roy and company are focusing on next. The big release will include better tourney support, better use of multiple DBs, if wanted, and a better way of purging old hands.
I don't think they can match the support that PT and I'm sure PT3 is giving; but he is constantly updating and answering questions on the massive 2+2 thread. Their website leaves a lot to be desired and is in the midst of a professional redesign. I hope to see it at the level of PT3 with shared report repositories and a better forum.
One thing that it really needs is better documentation. This is something that PT has always been great at and I'm sure that HEM will catch up with the documentation soon.
So, that is all that I can really think of at the moment. I will continue to update you on things that I find.
Have a nice day!!!!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

MATH, Idol and When it Rome and Bad Beat Jackpot Bad Beat

Did I ever mention that I love the 6max format in Hoy's MATH. Not only does it make the tourney more action packed; but it also makes it quicker which is good for someone that already doesn't get enough sleep already. I must like it because I don't think that I had ever cashed in the HOY before the 6 max; but I have had 2 or 3 cashes since then.

I will say that I did try a 2 table SNG to get a token and that didn't go very well when AQ < class="blsp-spelling-error" id="SPELLING_ERROR_4">preflop. Dang!! So I bought in and played very well making the final table. OK, I kid. I got lucky when my 99 was better than KK (I think from Vinnay); but if anybody still thinks that you don't necessarily need to get lucky in a tournament then we will have to agree to disagree. I finished 4th for about $160 which offset my dismal night at the cash tables. At one point was down over 4 buyins. It was one of those nights where there wasn't any real big hands or bad beats. I just wasn't hitting flops, semi bluffs weren't working, you know the drill. So, as the BBT is wrapping up, it will be interesting to see the turnout again in these bloggerments.


American Idol. I really, really do not know what is going through the judges mind. Little David won the night?? HUH? Big David easily should be the AI; but I should have made that bet at 2-1 on little David as it looks like he just might pull it off. One things sums it up for me. I can honestly say that I do not remember any one of his performances specifically. Rather, I remember them as all one big performance together as he made every song that he song sound exactly the same. Cook, on the other hand, continued to mix things up and could sing many different styles. We shall see.


So, I decided to play on Absolute Poker last night as I had already gotten my needed points on FTP. I still find it pretty amazing on how play is different when you go from site to site. To me, FTP is a much tougher place to play; but at the same time, they have the most tables (not counting Stars) and you can usually find a good game. Of course, I often don't find those good tables as well as I should. I still need to work on leaving a table once it is determined that it is not a good table.

Anyway, it started off on a quasi sour note last night. AP has bad beat jackpot tables. I generally stay away from them to avoid that added rake. Unfortunately, they just don't offer too many non BBJ tables. I sit down at one of the tables and I am waiting for my BB when somebody hits the BBJ. Now, it wasn't at my table; but for whatever reason, AP also added that they were giving around $150 to all players that were sitting at a 25c/50c table. Dang!!! missed it by 2 hands. Isn't that a fine how do you do.

The play at AP is way more passive that FTP so I say when in Rome play as the Romans. The first few times, I tried my normal 6 max style which is on the aggressive side; but too many callers made it a little strange. For the most parts in 6 max my stats will look something like 21/17/2.6. The goal is usually to have the PFR pretty close to the VPIP. What was my stats last night on AP? Over just 517 hands, the stats read 26.89/17.21/3.96. Yikes, a little different; but what can you do when you have 4 limpers in front of you and you have 76o in the SB? You could try to steal it; but more often than not, you are just going to call and come along for the ride and hope to hit a hand.

So, what is the end result of a night like this? Well, this night it equated out to be 5.90 bb/100 which I will of course take especially given that my Aces were cracked twice on all in pots. Certainly one of them was my fault as I didn't think that somebody would cold call a 3 bet with QJ. Oops. Can you say boat? The other was just bad; but that is the way it goes sometime.


I'm continuing to debate the Holdem Manager vs Poker Tracker 3 question. Still not much closer to deciding. I change my mind every day. Truthfully, I want to go with PT3 as I am very confident that it will be a great product once it is completed. But the fact that is still buggy and doesn't support AP yet is making me wait. I did download HM so I hope to take a look at that if I still can. I think the trial run was limited.


See you at the MOOOOOK tonight

Friday, May 16, 2008

Bloggerments and the BoDonkey

Despite what a lot of people are saying about the bloggerments out there, I am still really enjoying the weekly tournaments. Now, that I am playing the MATH more often, it is making it doubly fun.

One tournament that I have really wanted to play and may start real so is the Tuesday Night, Bodog Poker Blogger Tournament Series . This is great tournament that our buddy Smookee has been touting for a while now. Bodog has added money in these things and really makes it worth it to play. The problem for my typically has been the 8:00 Central start time; but I am really going to try to make it as the series ends on June 3rd.

So come join the fun with the likes of these fine bloggers (and others) who find themselves in the top 5 of the leader board:

NewinNov, Emptyman, Drizz, GoldenHammer and Vinnay.

The top 18 who finish up in the tourney leader board get a chance to go to the Main Event of World Series of Poker with the some other added monies for the runner ups. There is added money each week which makes this unlike most Blogger Tournies.

So, if I'm able to get the kids to sleep in time, I will try to make it to the tables of Bodog this Tuesday night.

Of course, Bodog has other ways that you can satellite to the World Series, so check them out.

Have a Nice Day!!!!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

American Idol Pot Odds and Mook and Do You make the Call

So, American Idol is down to the final two and nobody is surprised that it is the two Davids although as I said, I believe Cook and Syesha should be in the finals; buy maybe and just maybe, this is better for Syesha. After she gets done whatever AI tour there is, she will be very successful. Wait a minute, this is a poker blog so let's talk poker.... lingo at least.

According to our friend Change100, David Cook is a huge 5-12 favorite with David Archuleta at almost 2-1 (19-10). I haven't seen any updated odds after last nights show so I will assume that they are still in that ballpark. My question to all your gambooolers out there.. Do we have pot odds to call a bet on Archuleta.

David Cook is by far and away the best contestant and it shouldn't really be close. He sings better, better stage present, etc, etc.. and it is no surprise that he is the favorite; but it would be a sucker bet to bet on him at those odds.

David Archuleta on the other hand is getting nice odds. In poker, we almost always call when getting 2-1. The boy definitely has a following. This is the first season that I have ever watched of AI; but I can assume that the best do NOT always win making this bet rather intriguing.

So, while I think Cook is going to win, I just may have to plop $50 down on Archuleta (I know, big spender) and see what happens.


Speaking of friends, we know our buddy Jamyhawk preaches the gospel of folding KK, I may need to change that around. I played in the Mook last night like I always do and for the 3rd straight bloggerment, my JJ lost to a bigger pair. At least this time it wasn't AA like it was the previous 2 times. It was Drizz's QQ that did me in this time. Even before I called I know I'm going home and type in gg and proceeded to see me leave the tournament early... again. So, I may be changing my blog name to How to Fold JJ.

BTW, I did get my KK cracked again last night. This time with AT. It is always amazing that somebody will not only 4 bet with AT; but will call a 5 bet all in with AT. I guess he knows that there is always an Ace on the board so why not. It doesn't help anything that the Ace came on the river. DOH!!!!!

I was just above break even on the night in Cash Games. I had one fairly tough call to make or not make. It was definitely in the category of Overbet for Value.

The villain is your typical uber LAGgy Maniac with stats of 60/40/3.

Full Tilt Poker $0.25/$0.50 No Limit Hold'em - 6 players
The Official 2+2 Hand Converter Powered By
CO: $22.75
Hero (BTN): $53.40
SB: $19.50
BB: $37.05
UTG: $20.00
MP: $57.25

Pre Flop: Hero is BTN with Ks As
1 fold, MP calls $0.50, CO raises to $1.50, Hero raises to $5.75, 2 folds, MP raises to $10, 1 fold, Hero calls $4.25

Flop: ($22.25) 5d 7s 3s (2 players)

MP bets $47.25 all in, Hero ????

Anybody make this call?

Anybody just push preflop?

Have a nice day!!!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

When it Rains it Pours, A couple of hands and American Idol

Always nice when you write a post and Blogger eats it. Take 2!!

Although my last three sessions were winning ones, my down pour continued donating to the masses. Again, KK was my Nemesis. 63s, TT, and 77 were the beneficiaries of my stack this time. Jamy, I might really be down with the sickness and need to fold these Cowboys. I really need to take my anti-set medicine or at least have my set detection devices on full alert as I continue to pay of loads and loads of sets. You know what, if they bet like a set, it if looks like a set, if it even smells like a set, then it must be a set and must lay down TPTK. How many times do people need to tell you that you don't lose your stack with TPTK. Note to self.. OK, Noted.

I did play in Hoy's tourney and for the second consecutive week, my JJ ran into AA at the wrong time.

I did play a couple of hands and would like your thoughts.

The villain here is a 30/12/2 guy. One bit of info was that this guy did crack my Kings with sevens one or two orbits before this hand. It is really irrelevant to this hand; but certainly on my mind during the hand. The question of the day is if it is OK to peel the flop?

Absolute Poker $0.25/$0.50 No Limit Hold'em - 5 players

The Official Hand History Converter

CO: $27.80
BTN: $12.70
SB: $88.70
BB: $124.65
Hero (UTG): $66.25

Pre Flop: Hero is UTG with 9 9

Hero raises to $1.75, 2 folds, SB calls $1.50, BB raises to $6.50,

I read recently that in NL Holdem, pocket pairs are the most under used or under something. Having that though, I called. After, I do have Position.

Hero calls $4.75, 1 fold

Flop: ($14.75) 3 Q 5 (2 players)
BB bets $10,

Yikes!! not really the flop I was looking for. Can I peel the flop here? Wait, what if I do hit my nine, I may be already drawing really thin with a flopped flush. Ah, never fear the monster, I call.
Hero calls $10

Turn: ($34.75) 9 (2 players)

BB bets $25,

Yikes again! I hit my set and he is leading out. What do you?

Hero raises to $49.75 all in, BB calls $24.75

Push and Pray, I say

River: ($134.25) Q (2 players - 1 is all in)

Final Pot: $134.25

BB shows As Kc (One pair, queens)
Hero shows 9s 9d (Full house, nines full of queens)
Hero wins $130.75
(Rake: $3.50)

Turns it we were 50/50 on flop and by the turn I was big favorite. Get your money in good, that is what I say.

The next hand is probably just badly played considering villain.

Villain is uber LAG with 40/35/2.7 stats.

Full Tilt Poker $0.25/$0.50 No Limit Hold'em - 5 players

The Official Hand History Converter

Hero (SB): $50.00
BB: $102.75
UTG: $104.20
CO: $103.10
BTN: $123.00

Pre Flop: Hero is SB with A 6

3 folds, Hero raises to $1.50, BB raises to $5, Hero raises to $15, BB raises to $102.75 all in, 1 fold

Final Pot: $30.00
BB wins $30.00

The first time I wrote this I posted my details. But really, I just want to know your thoughts on 4 betting this guy preflop? A6o is probably not the best hand to be doing this.


Some people say that Online Poker is rigged. Maybe I agree, maybe I don't; but one thing I am beginning to suspect. American Idol is rigged. Sometimes, I just don't know if the judges are watching the same show that I am. The fact that Paula (the whacked person that she is) told Syesha that she probably wasn't good enough to make the finals. What??? Wha a 180 from last week. Simon more or less did the same thing. If I were voting, my vote would be for Syesha because I believe that she belongs in the final 2 with David Cook. One thing I do know, is that I have gotten out of AI.

1) Again, it must be rigged after listening to these judges week after week.

2) I have a brand new appreciation for the original singers of the songs that the AI people did. Yes, they did have their moments. David Cook sang a favorite song of mine and Mrs Wonka's tonight from Switchfoot and as good as he is, he isn't even close to Switchfoot. The 2nd night they did the Beatles (which was my first time that I had ever watched the show), I was about ready to put a permanent ban on the show.

Oh well. We will see what happens.

Speaking of reality shows. I can't believe Parvati pulled off Survivor. Oh well, such is life.

Have a nice day!!!!

Thursday, May 08, 2008

The inevitable and Coffee Cake

Consistency. That is the key.

One thing that I am very consistent is having a steady climb over a week or so and then have that one mega tilt session where I give all or most of it way. Similar to RecessRampage, things just went badly. Given, my one bad which was 10 Buyins only equated to one of Alan's losing Hands (about $400), it still hurts; especially when you are winding down due to the time or being tired or whatever... and then it happens... The time is coming up on midnight and I am happy to call it a day with yet another break even session to catch up some z's. Again, and then it happens...

Flopped Trips get beaten by a turned Full House.
KK loses to 88.
KK loses to JJ.

3 straight stackings and now you can't leave, can you? The answer is a most definite yes; but did I? Nope. Instead, 56s UTG looks good and I raise it up. Boy, if I hit, I'm going to get paid. What position? Meh.. overrated.. Marginal Hand... Meh... if I hit.. bingo bango bongo.

A5s... raised and reraised... ah, they just have KK and QQ. If I hit my Ace, I'll get paid. Flop.. hmmm, two of my suit, I have to stick around now. River... Nice!!!!! Flush.... but wait the board paired... No way he has a full house. Wait, why are the chips going the other way?

The point is that if you are not going to play good poker, you HAVE to stop. Unbeknownst to me, there is no golden rule that says that you have to chase your losses in the same day. Maybe one of these days I'll figure that out. I also find myself calling more during these chasing times.

BTW, I blame all of Tuesday on Mrs Wonka. I had already accumulated my points for Iron Man the previous night as I played late. It was going to be a TV night. Nope, she fell asleep while putting Toddler Wonka to sleep. Hmmm, it's only 9:30PM, let's shuffle up and deal!.

Last night, was the MOOOOOOOOKKKKKKKKKKK. I'm ready to go. A little quiz for you. What happens when you get Aces cracked early and then your AT runs into AA. Yep, an early exit. A second Quiz. Who had the AA. I know this is a tough one. None other than the culinary spectacular, Astin.

Speaking of Astin, a little food trivia. I may be the only one to not know this; but did you know that Coffee Cake doesn't have any coffee in it. Apparently, it's called coffee cake because people normally drink coffee with it. How Gay is That? Do they call it chocolate cake because people eat chocolate with it? Carrot cake because people eat carrot cake? I think I am going to continue to not eat coffee cake just on the principle of it.


By the way, thanks for the comments on yesterday's post. They still haven't found the guy that crashed into the two guys which just seems strange. There was no real mention of the truck being stolen so I'm pretty sure they know who they are looking for. I hope they find this guy soon so we can put some closure to that piece at least.

There was a comment from an Anheuser Busch guy and I was just going to reply to him in the comments; but I might as well do it here. It is my blog after all. It was not my intent at all to "pick" on beer as I probably just used it as a quasi generic term for alcohol... maybe because I always have trouble with spelling alcohol (thank Heavens for spell checkers). Although, I would think that you have stats backwards as I would think that the majority of alcohol related accidents ARE beer related and not hard liquor (I googled; but couldn't really find anything); but to me the point is moot. Alcohol is alcohol. I don't care what the proof on the bottle/can says. I am also not making light of other things that cause accidents such as cell phones; but when something causes 39% of the traffic-related fatalities, it deserves to be singled out. More than 100,000 U.S. deaths are caused by excessive alcohol consumption each year. Direct and indirect causes of death include drunk driving, cirrhosis of the liver, falls, cancer, and stroke. So again, it deserves to be singled out.

Death penalty? This one has always been a tough one for me. I've never been the "eye for an eye" type; but at the same time the punishment should typically follow the crime. In the case of drunk driving, I do NOT believe in the death penalty. I feel rehabilitation and of course incarceration is the answer. Pre-conceived murder or should I say capital or 1st degree murder, that is the tough one for me and I can see the need for the death penalty for this. I would hope that the threat of the death penalty would be somewhat of a deterrent for this crime.

I hope that answers your question and thanks for reading. DORK!!! (OK, I know the AB guy and I couldn't resist. The Dork comment obviously has nothing to do with his opinion)

Have a nice Day!!

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Ticked Off with the World

I've been around a while in this thing we call life and there are still way too many things that I just don't get. So much of it just ticks me off to no end.

But before I get to that and because this is a poker blog. I crashed out of the MATH last night a little after the first break when I lost 234,476,745 races. Unfortunately, those lost races carried over to my cash games as I again I found myself chasing losses. While I was down $400 at one point, I did end up only being down around $130 after about 1,000 hands. Nothing to exciting. I did have to lay down both KK and AA post flop which is never fun.

A recent event took place which again diminished my hope for humanity and saddens me to the state of the world that we live in. Especially with 2 young girls, I yearn for better times.

Here is a look at a few headlines from STLToday which is the website for the St Louis Post Dispatch. These headlines are from today and yesterday.

The last story is the one which spurred on this renewed animosity of that state of "things". The basic gist is the a couple of guys had been to a Cardinal baseball game and then went to a casino. After that, which they often did, they went to a Diner to grab something to eat. While making a right turn into the diner, a driver behind them decided to slam into them which then made the cars/trucks overturn and slam into a pole. The driver then kicked out his windshield and proceeded to run away. At this moment, he has not been found although they obviously know who the guy is since his truck was still there. I guess he could have been driving somebody Else's truck; but that is not the point. The point is that somebody needlessly ended two peoples lives and then ran away from it.

Why does this concern me so much? We see this everyday, right? Well, that in itself is enough to concern me; but this particular story happen to be with 2 guys that I knew. I will say that I was not close with them; but I was close with others around them including the brother of one of the victims. Now, I am usually a pretty calm and laid back and able to take what the world gives us; but sometimes I go on world tilt and just want to choke somebody or something.

Although not confirmed in this case, the leading factor in this incident was probably alcohol which is this is the part where I alienate myself from not only the world but most likely 90% of the poker blogger world as well. The simple question is why?

Before I start and as a matter of disclosure, I walked the straight and narrow during high school . After all, I was going to be the next great Tight End for the Dallas Cowboys. I was also raised Southern Baptist and drinking was just something that we just didn't do or should I say weren't supposed to do. Anyway, after the shock of reality hit, I continued on with my life as does everybody and headed of to college. Let's just say that I didn't walk the straight and narrow there. Nothing major although it did almost cost me from graduating as I was .001 below my needed Grade Point Average to graduate with my degree. So again, what is the great fascination with drinking and why is so ingrained and accepted in our culture?

A coworker recently asked me why I don't drink. The answer to me was fairly simple but also contained multiple reasons. First and foremost, as a Christian, I believe in setting the right examples to help others from taking mis-steps. If somebody saw me drinking a beer (even it was an O'Douls as I once used to do), it could lead to the misrepresentation that drinking (or should I say over drinking) is OK. Let me also say that drinking in of itself is not terrible. As a Bible believer, there was plenty of drinking going on then; but the Bible is very plain on its talks of over drinking or getting drunk. Simply Stated... Don't do it. Obviously, not everybody is a Bible follower and probably could care less what it says and that's your prerogative; but the effect that it has on all of us is so material that we should really think why it is that we as a society do and even embrace it. I hear so much and read so much talk about we did this and that and it required mass amounts of alcohol and everybody chuckles.... Everybody except for me as it really, deeply disturbs me that this is what this world has come to.

Let me throw out some stats (since we all know that I like to look at stats) and show how drinking affects us all.

  • In 2006, 17,602 people died in alcohol related traffic crashes.
  • About 3 in every ten Americans will be involved in an alcohol related crash.
  • Over 1.46 million drivers were arrested for DUI in 2006.
  • Alcohol related crashes in the US alone cost the public and estimated 114.3 billion dollars in the year 2000.

Of course I could go on and talk about how this has affected not only lives but the cost of insurance and so many other things not related to driving but stilling directly related to drinking such as domestic abuse, verbal abuse, and just other "beer goggle" related things.

Having said all of that, if you want to drink socially or in your home, by all means go ahead. Just show yourself and the others around you some responsibility of knowing when to say when. That also goes for others watching your family and friends know when to say when. Perhaps, if somebody had done that to this driver, my two buddies or countless other victims would still be around today.

Have a nice day!

Monday, May 05, 2008

What kind of day did I have?

I'm going throw a few stats out there and see if you can figure out what kind of session I had yesterday. Of course, with No Limit, stats can be completely skewed by one or two hands so take that into account. Did I have a winning session or losing session? Let's take a look.

But first, I did play at Harrah's on Friday in their $55 Tourney and went out fairly early (right before the first break). To begin with, I signed up for the tourney which was at 1PM. I had a 12:15 doctors appt pretty close to Harrah's so I thought I would be able to make the start of the tourney since it was just a first visit regarding a sleep study that I will taking this week. I get to the office and of course wait 15 minutes before I go into a room. I then wait another 30 minutes before the Dr comes in and spends all of 5 minutes with me. So I was on tilt before I even got to the tourney about 30 minutes late. Actually, it wasn't too big of a deal as I had plenty of chips and won a pretty big hand early on. It all went south from there.

I then sat at the 1/2 NL tables for a bit and lost a buy in. Flopped Straights are definitely NOT gold. I didn't have to pay off on the river; but never fear the monster. Top pair loses a little later and I am gone. I have $15 left with me and I head to black with the attitude that this $15 is going to $200 or $0. I placed the $15 down and won twice so I started to get hopeful. It wasn't meant to be. My bustout hand (a few hands later) was fairly interesting. I had 16. Dealer had a 4 showing and of course I stick. He turns over a 10 or face card for 14 so again I'm hopeful. Next card... Ace... Next card... Ace. Yep.. you guessed it, next card.... ACE!!! Running Aces to bust me. Such is life in Blackjack.

Back to Yesterday...

Hint #1

I played 1320 hands over about 3 hours time. What does this mean? Typically, it means that I am chasing losses? Or does it? Friday night, all day Saturday and Sunday morning and afternoon I had official kid duty as my wife was doing whatever she does so maybe this 3 hours was just me finally getting to play some poker this weekend. Any guesses?

Hint #2

My VPIP was 25.35. My PFR was 19.85 and my Total Agression was 2.74. Well, this looks a little passive preflop which really doesn't tell us anything. Let's look at the aggression by street. Flop aggresion was 2.89, Turn AF was 3.22 and River Aggression was 3.67. These (at least to me) look pretty good as the aggression stayed pretty well constant throughout the hand. This typically leads to a positive session. Did it?

Hint #3

Blinds. I attempted to steal 39%. I folded SB to steal 81% and folded to BB steal 51%. To tell you the truth, I haven't really figured out optimal numbers for this yet. I know if I see someboy at or greater than 39%, I am more prone to 3 bet this person. I think I am ok with folded to steals. I did mix in calling and raising from the BB. No exact science there for me yet. More on feel and opponent reads. I don't have my blind stats as far as dollars; but I don't think this helps our case for figuring out how I did? How do these stats look (even over this small sample)?

Hint #4

I got Aces twice and lost a 98BBs. I got AKs 9 times and lost 65BBs. AKo (5 times) lost me 95BBs. This can never be good when you lose 258BB from these 3 hands. Did these losses lead to a losing session. Putting this together with Hint#1, it sure does look that way. BTW AQs, AQo, AJs, AJo, ATs, Ato and A9s led to a 39BB gain. Unfortunately, I do not have my KK, QQ, JJ, TT stats. I will say I thought I had the making of a huge hand. I had 77 on Button and raise. Good agressive guy 3 bets me. Nothing new as he probably has PT as well. I decided that he knew I was on a steal and bumped. Having known that he knew that I knew, I decided to 4 bet which I rarely do and he just called. The flop comes AT7r. I just knew he was getting stacked here. He checked and I bet because we all bet sets on flop, right? and he..... folded. Dang!!!! Did my chasing pay off?

Hint #5

More stats. I won 44% of hands I saw the flop. Good. Went to Showdown 23%. Not sure on this number? Won $ at Showdown 38%. Gulp!!! Terrible. OK, I had good aggression through all streets as noted above; but only won 38% of showdowns? Was I just getting rivered to death? Was I just being a calling station? Did I win enough without showdown to make up for these losses?

OK, enough hints. Let's make this multiple choice.

A) Big winner (>200 BBs)
B) Winner (> 100BBs)
C) Slight Winner (>50BBs)
D) Break Even ( Between losing 50BB and winning 50BBs)
E) Slight Loser (>50BBs)
F) Loser (> 100BBs)
G) Big Loser (>200 BBs)

And the answer is........

Hmmmm maybe there isn't enough information to form an intelligent decision. Maybe I should give you some more information such other pocket pairs, or winnings by position... Nope.. The answer is:


I won 31BBs.

Here is the chart.

There you have and there you are. Just a different way of judging a session albeit with incomplete information.
Have a Nice Day!!!

Thursday, May 01, 2008

I can dodge bullets Baby!!

A brief; but good night of poker tonight. Going into tonight, my only goal was really to get 100 points and call it a night. I played everyday in April and really played quite a bit amassing over 20K hands which is a lot for me.

Tonight, however, only 342 hands at a 20.18/14.62/2.12 pace. I was way more passive preflop. Basically it was on one table where there was a super maniacal ATMish time bomb. Which caused me to be a little more passive preflop. I ended up the night at 49.17 bb/100 playing 50NL still.

Full Tilt now has 200BB buyins now. I'm not sure that I am ready for that just yet. I played 2 of each tonight. I happen to get good hands on the deep stack tables so I guess it was all good.

Speaking of the super maniac, I am dedicating this next hand to my St Louis buddy Jamyhawk.

Here's the setup.

I am in the BB with KK.
Super Maniac (72.15/45.57/2.90) is on my left and UTG.
Super Tight (11.63/4.65/4.00) is on my right and in the SB although during this hand he had a VPIP of 7.7.

Full Tilt Poker $0.25/$0.50 No Limit Hold'em - 6 players

The Official Hand History Converter

Hero (BB): $132.45
UTG: $168.85 <---- Maniac
MP: $26.95
CO: $145.75
BTN: $100.00
SB: $91.90 <----Tightie

Pre Flop: Hero is BB with K K

Got to love that hand...

UTG raises to $4, 3 folds, SB calls $3.75, Hero calls $3.50

SuperManiac is raising every hand and over raising most hands. Super Tightie is only playing a few hands. 90% of the time I am raising this hand; but against Super LAG, I will see a flop and make him pay for any mistakes.

Flop: ($12.00) 2 T J (3 players)

Not a terrible flop; but not a real good one either.

SB checks, Hero checks, UTG bets $10, SB raises to $27.50, Hero folds, UTG raises to $164.85 all in, SB calls $60.40 all in

Due to the nature of the board and knowing 100% that super LAG is going to c-bet I also check and he didn't let me down. Uh oh... Super Tightie is popping it with a check raise. Yep, he stole my thunder. Part of me wants to ship it right now. Part of me wants to call and see what Mr Maniac does; but the nitty part of me prevailed and yes JamyHawk, that is How you fold KK. Was I right? Does it even matter? Let's watch.

Turn: ($187.80) Q

River: ($187.80) T

Final Pot: $187.80
UTG shows Ah 8h (a pair of Tens)
SB shows 2s 2d (a full house, Twos full of Tens)
SB wins $184.80
(Rake: $3.00)

Turns out I was only 7% to win after the flop. So yes, I can dodge bullets baby!!!! Most likely if I had repopped preflop Mr 22 would have folded; but it is what it is. I still don't mind calling in this situation from time to time.

Dodging Bullets #2.

This hand I just played bad; but maybe could have lost a lot more. The winner here was a little irate here saying that I should have gone broke on this hand. Little did he know that Phil Helmuth is not the only one that can dodge bullets. Thoughts?

The villain here is a 30/28 guy so really aggressive. I will sometimes slow down with these guys.

Full Tilt Poker $0.25/$0.50 No Limit Hold'em - 6 players

The Official Hand History Converter

Hero (BB): $98.10
UTG: $57.30
MP: $32.85
CO: $50.00
BTN: $142.25
SB: $60.40

Pre Flop: Hero is BB with Q 9

2 folds, CO raises to $1.75, 2 folds, Hero calls $1.25

Flop: ($3.75) A 8 A (2 players)

Hero checks, CO bets $3, Hero calls $3

Turn: ($9.75) 3 (2 players)

Hero checks, CO checks

River: ($9.75) K (2 players)

Hero checks, CO bets $8, Hero calls $8

Final Pot: $25.75

Hero mucks Qs 9s
CO shows Kh Kc (a full house, Kings full of Aces)
CO wins $24.50
(Rake: $1.25)

I ended up convincing myself that the only thing that would call me would beat me. Ax just didn't make sense to me here although AK was certainly what I thought he had.

There are lots of good posts out there regarding the WSOP. We may have a general consensus that this is ridiculous; but probably profitable for the TV and casino folks. It's sort of like the skyrocketing gas prices are bad for us; but companies like Exxon and Chevron are making out like bandits. What are you going to do?

Have a nice day!!!!

I can't believe what I just saw

OK, this rumors about the WSOP working its way to the final table and then taking a break for nearly 120 days has been floating around for a while now. As others are posting and according to this USA Today Story, it seems that it now not a rumor; but fact or at least we will know after the press conference scheduled today.

To quote the late great Jack Buck (St Louis Cardinal play by play man) after he watched Kirk Gibson's home run in the World Series, "I can't believe what I just saw". What I saw was the aforementioned USA Today article that pretty much confirmed the rumors.

What are your thoughts about this? Well, I will tell you mine and No, it WON'T come later. No beating around the bush on this one. I'm going to come right out and say it. I wouldn't want to delay my thoughts on this because I feel it is THAT important. So, I might as well get right to it and quit hem hawing around. Oh, oh .. right... to the point.


What on earth were they possible thinking? Why would they do it. Actually, it is quite simple. GREED!!!

I am looking at this from the perspective of the player and avid poker fan. Let's start out with the good.

1. OK, Harrahs and ESPN will probably make out like a bandit here.
2. The players will undoubtedly get better sponsorship deals.
3. The players will be rested (which is actually a bad thing for me).

There are maybe some others; but I am going into detail why I do not like this.

Now listen, this tournament is the top dog, big cheese, head honcho, numero uno when it comes to poker tournaments. It's the one that you want to win to place yourself into the history books. Now, I will say, that it is not really the tournament that tells us who the best poker player is. We'll save that honor for the 50K HORSE tourney or the 25K WPT championship. The WSOP Main Event is just a semblance of pros and amateurs going for the biggest title in the sport.

The Main Event has become a grueling marathon while weeding through thousands of players over almost 2 weeks of 12-14 hour days. So the first reason I hate this is:

Integrity. You are taking a tournament that has just spent almost 2 weeks defining what it is going to be and then what... you going to delay the outcome? I liken that to playing the Super Bowl until the 2 minute warning and taking a 2 week break. Yes, the Super Bowl is already live so maybe this is an apple to orange comparison. The real question about people that watch the broadcast on ESPN. How many people watching the broadcast actually know who is going to win? Of course the diehards such as myself and other poker enthusiasts will know; but I'll bet the number is really, really low. For example, watching the 2003 WSOP for me was truly exciting because I didn't already know. This kind of leads to my next point:

Stamina. Again, this is a long, grueling tournament and I do not believe that you change the outcome by giving people a rest. Dan Harrington has said many times that the reason that he lost or should I say one of the biggest reasons that he lost was that the long hours had taken an effect on him and he had trouble concentrating and playing his best poker. This makes me wonder how George Foreman would have done against Ali during the rope a dope fight if George would have gotten some more time to rest. OK, I know. George would have knocked Ali into the next decade. What if a pitcher after throwing 8 innings of no hit ball could then rest for a couple of days before they played the ninth inning. I'm sure you get idea. Nobody likes being tired; but to prove that you belong with the WSOP Main Event elite, you need to finish it out like everybody else has done.

Coaching. This kind of goes along with integrity. Whenever they do finally play the final table, it won't be against the same players. Or should I say against the same players playing the same way. How crazy is it for you to play a tournament for however many days and get reads on those players and then all of that going for squat. Will it make for better poker since the amateurs will be coached? Maybe from a theory standpoint; but the beauty of watching amateurs is putting ourselves in their place and saying that could be me.

Travel. What about the guys that are from overseas? OK, they are obviously make a ton of money by making the final table; but why should they be inconvenienced to worry about travel and hotels again. Again, unnecessary in my book.

So, those are a few of my grievances. I think I could go on for hours on this one.


In other news, I busted out of the Mookie early last night when my 55 was sucked out on by TT. Apparently, Presto is NOT gold.
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