Apr 07 2010

Out of the Gate Slow

Published by under Personal

1st week is down for my 30k goal month. I’m a bit off pace to start out. By my count, I should have about 6700 hands done, but I just have 5800. 900 isn’t that bad and I’ll try and catch up this weekend.

So far, I’ve really been liking Rush. It’s been giving me the freedom to squeak in a couple hundred hands when I have 15 minutes, so it’s been a little easier getting hands in. I’ve read several posts from people saying they thing the players are too tight and the rush format allows people to be patient. If that’s the case, I haven’t seen it. There are a ton of pretty tight regs in the game, but they can only play 4 tables. So my tables aren’t like they were when I was playing the normal games which was like 4 or 5 tags, 2 laggy regs and 1 recreational player. I think I see a lot more laggy regs and rec type players at rush. The only issue I’ve had is it’s harder to tag them. I have to come up with a better process for that as I think color coding players is probably more important in rush.

I’ve had some nights I’ve played pretty well. Other nights, I think I’m the mark at the table. Either way, I started out pretty decent for the month so far. See for yourself.

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I’ll try and post updates at least once a month. That way JT can lick his chops as he notices me fall ever so short on my motivational prop bet with him. I hope you get something nice with that $100, JT.

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Aug 09 2009

Short and Sweet

Published by under Poker

So first week in August is in the books. Was a rough week in terms of me trying to find time to play. That has been putting my 30k hand goal for the month in jeopardy. It was a pretty awful week though. Last weekend we were at my inlaws to see my BIL and his family while they were up from vegas. I still tried to play but got sick on Saturday and didn’t do much of anything but sleep.

The rest of the week, we just had stuff going on. We had 2 taekwondo testings to attend and then this weekend we went to Fargo to visit with my other BIL who is moving his family back to California. Yeah, we’ve been traveling a lot. I still tried the best I could to at least keep up and play as much as I can so I can make a run at Iron Man this month. I can miss 6 days during the month, and still hit it. I’ve used 2 of those up so far so gonna have to be super diligent for the rest of the month.

The little bit of poker I have played has gone well. I’ve been able to stick it out at the 200s and have been running really decent. Let’s just say that if I can maintain this for the month and I hit my 30k hands, I’ll be very happy with my monthly results. I only have 3500 hands put in so far, so that means I’m really gonna have to kick it in the ass if I want to even come close to hitting that. Fortunately, the kids start school in a couple of weeks, so that will hopefully give me a bit more time once they are going to bed at a reasonable hour.

If you want to track my progress, I made a little chart to track my progress to 30k. I’m well on my way, but behind where I would like to be. Looking to catch up this week so hopefully I will have better news to report on that front next time.

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Aug 03 2009

Back in the Black

Published by under Poker

I was trying to look back and it seems I haven’t given a real poker update in a while. I think the last full one was back in January after my atrocious month. I lost nearly $700 that month which forced me to move down to the 25’s and 10’s. I also switched to the full ring games since the variance was killing me and I have friends who have been cleaning up on the full ring games.

I did pretty well at them but really wanted to get back to the stakes I had become accustomed. I was able to play at lower stakes, but was anxious to move up since I knew I could beat them. I was fortunate enough to find some one to stake me for the 100s back at the end of April. I had a bad run there and broke about even through May.

In June, I found some good games and made some adjustments that paid off well. All told, I did just over $3k in that month. My first $3k month ever so I was pretty stoked about that. With the stake, only half of that was my share, but it still was more than plenty to finally but me in the black for the year. Also a good feeling as I hadn’t ever had a loosing year in poker and certainly didn’t want to make this my first.

jun09

My good run also allowed me to move up to the 200s. I have played the 200s before but never other than taking shots or chasing bad players. Progress always feels good. Unfortunately, I had a bad run which is bad when trying to move up stakes. That was what killed me back in January forcing me to drop down stakes. While I still had enough to stay at the 200s, I dropped down early in the month until I built my confidence back up. I had a long break even stretch during which I thought I was playing well. It took me a couple of weeks that I was playing far to passive and it was costing me money. It was difficult to see the leak in my stats so it took me a while to come to that realization.

By the time I made the adjustments, I wasn’t able to overcome the slide I had taken at the 200s but fortunately, I had plenty of bonuses last month that eased the pain. I only suffered a $700 or so slide. Bad enough, but coulda been worse and still put me at a reasonable profit for the stake.

This month, I’m taking another stab at the 200’s as I believe I’ve fixed a lot of my issues. Last month I played about 26k hands and I would like to shoot for 30k this month. I’ll try and post weekly statuses to force me to evaluate my progress. If I can run like I did in June with a higher volume, I expect good things for the month.

But guess what, it’s already the 3rd and I only have 600 hands under my belt. Saturday I had intentions of putting in a few hands but got hit with the flu at my inlaws and really didn’t feel much like playing. Hopefully I can make up my ground. Good news is I am currently on a 5 day streak of winning sessions. In June I ended the month with 13 winning days. Seems like a good sign to me.

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Jun 23 2009

Reading Souls

Published by under Poker

For those of you who don’t care, this post is gonna be pretty poker heavy. You’ve been warned. But really, who wouldn’t care?

I think I’ve been playing pretty well lately even though I haven’t been getting particularly lucky. For those of you who are going to criticize me for bet sizing, I’m going to defend it by saying I was trying to get thin value as I didn’t think he had much of a hand. How good of a hand could he have had if I had top set? Any way, he hit his 4 outer and I actually thought, could he have AT here? I quickly dismissed that as a small part of his holdings and figured if he had that, then his poor play will put me in a good position to get the money back. It didn’t happen, but this isn’t the hand I wanted to dwell on. Not that I want to dwell on any hand, but you know what I mean.

I had been playing about break even for an hour and there was this really loose players at one of my tables. He’s got a 400bb stack and talking smack with another player who really seems like he’s getting tilty. Any way, the loose player has position on me and in a previous hand got me to fold KK when he was betting strong on an Ace high flop. I called a flop bet and folded the turn to a big turn bet. Since he had been really aggressive and trying to control the table, I decided to give him some rope next time I had KK (yeah, I had a few hands).

There have been a few times where I filter my hands in HEM and see this option to filter limp/raised hands. As a rule, I don’t limp/raise just cause, well, I don’t open limp much at all. But it got me thinking if there were spots where this would be good. I can’t think of a spot better than this. I have a big hand that I would like to play a big pot with. I have a loose, aggressive player to my left who likes to see flops and past him are a bunch of players getting into verbal altercations with the loose player. This has some seriously nice potential if it works out. I decided to limp with intentions of raising if the loose player raised and we got another caller in between. Well, I got half of that plan. The loose player decides to raise to 11x. Unfortunately that healthy raise kinda cleared out the field. I decided to change my plan and since I only had 110bbs to start the hand, I called instead. I didn’t want to chase him off and my hand looks really weak. I think he will try and get me to fold in a lot of spots. So what happens? Fortune smiles down on me, but not one of those “give an old friend a hug” type smiles. No, it was more of a “Look at this fool that I’m going to plant my boot firmly into his balls” kinda smiles.

Yep, there I am staring at yet another Ace high flops. Well, at least I have a back door flush draw. I can have my time at PLO to thank for this small glimmer of hope since PLO is the type of game where you try and find any backdoor draw and jump into the pool of razor blades hoping to come out unscathed. Back to the hand though. I figured I would check and see what he does. He bet small so I figured maybe he was just taking a stab with any pair. I knew I couldn’t raise and not get called by a better hand, so I just called. Come one backdoor draw. Nope. An 8. Sigh. Well, I checked again. Now he fires 33 into like 40. I tanked pretty hard here. Can this dude really hit a hand each time? Yes we know they can. But then I thought a bit more logically. He definitely could have an Ace but I think he could also have garbage just trying to bully me out. The small flop bet was kinda weird, but again, I can’t raise and just get it in as he folds pretty much every non ace or flush draw.

I end up deciding I’m going down with the ship and call. He fires another 55 on the river which was about half pot and was most of my remaining stack. It was a shitty card to bring the flush too. That couldn’t have hit on the turn? FFS. Any way, the plan was to call down once I called the turn, so I pretty much wince and snap call. He showed down 9To. Whew. This was one of the toughest call downs I’ve had to make in a while, cause truth be told, people have been just handing me money at the table lately.

Games are dead? Far from it. They’ve just changed and you have to change to figure out how to get the value out of them in another way. Some may not care for my colorful recap of the hand, so if you want to see how it went, you can check it out.

A little while later at the same table, I played this hand. This was a completely different type of hand. Didn’t really have much of a read on the guy but I’ll go through what I was thinking a bit. Preflop, I make a raise, get called by the cutoff and see a flop that gives me top pair. I continuation bet as normal and get minraised. I’ve been seeing a lot of minraising lately, and it seems to mean different things for different people. I can’t give up on the odds I’m getting, so I call but mostly, I just want to see how he treats the turn. Turn is a king which isn’t a great card but I doubt it changes our hands much but he checks it back. The flop was pretty dry which makes it really hard to put him on many draws, but his play seems to be really odd. River is a 2 blank which, again, I don’t think changes the hand much at all, but he fires again. I tank forever but the hands I’m really worried about, I think either bet the turn or check behind the river which is QJ and AJ type hands. I end up calling since I can’t put him on a hand. Turns out I made a good call. At this point, he rants about how he can’t bluff. I almost told him I woulda folded to a turn bet, which I was totally going to, but decided not to try and improve him game any.

I think the same player made a river bluff on me a few hands later, but that was to be my last hand at the table so didn’t make another miracle call with 99 on a KQxxx board. I think that would have totally put that guy on tilt had I done it correctly, but I was leaving the table and wouldn’t get any tilt value from it.

So yeah, I still ended up having a good night at the table. My month isn’t looking too bad either. Any guesses how life’s going then? Well, I’m trying to concentrate on the good things right now, so I won’t get into that. I guess I just need to play tons more poker and let my worries wash away as I shower myself balla style in 100s. Ok, not really, but it’s a nice thought.

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Mar 06 2008

Ugh

Published by under Poker

march_06

That is all…

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Feb 26 2008

Crazy Day of Poker

Published by under Poker

Yesterday, Amy took the kids to McD’s and then to TaeKwonDo so that I could play some poker. I still needed to get a few more points to finish my goal for the month. She does, after all, still want that TV and I’m gonna make a sincere run at it this year.So I got home, sat down and plugged away for a few hours. I’ve been trying to concentrate on getting my hands in recently and not get to hung up on results. I’ve been at this a while now and I know swings come and go. I think I can beat the games I’m playing and it’s just a matter of having the motivation to put the hands in.

88 minutes and 542 hands later, I was complaining to everyone within IMs reach of what a horrible day I was having. And indeed, it was shaking up to look like one that would measure up to the marks of one of my worst days. Not thee worst, but probably in the top 5 or 6. I left the tables after I had donked off a stack and determined a break was in order. Surely I can find some high point in all that carnage. But no. It was riddled with coolers and FPS (fancy play syndrome).

Check out the chart for yourself. Being in the red for $323 wasn’t something I wanted to mar what had been turning out to be a reasonable month. But as I said, swings have and will happen. I tried to not let that affect me and continued on.

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Amy was giving me the opportunity to play, and my goal was to make points, so make points I was gonna do. I played another 35 minute session right before Amy and the kids got home. I was playing well, and although I think I misplayed a hand where I had a monster draw that negated some positive results for the session, I still etched out a measly $3. Wasn’t gonna put a big dent in that early skirmish, but certainly helped my psyche that I could play well enough to not break my entire bankroll, at least.

But that big drop still held firm in the back of my mind eating away at me. I know I will have to sit down and evaluate my play there, but just the fact that it happened, was wearing on me. While it wasn’t by any means the largest I’ve lost in a day, it had been a while since I had lost, what is to me, a significant amount. I let it go, though, and helped the kids to bed, tried to help Amy relax (she had 4 kids at McDs and TKD, afterall) and then after I cleaned up for the evening, sat down for once last stretch to try and reclaim some of the lost money and pride. It’s hard to separate ego from poker.

As demoralizing as that first session was, my last session was every bit of a poker hot streak as I’ve had. For better or for worse, I think that first session was affecting my play and I wasn’t backing down on big hands. Not always the smartest way to play, but I had sound reasoning behind my moves I was making, and in the end, they worked out. My last 24 minutes of poker with the 167 hands blazed by and wiped clean my deficit for the day and scooped $338 from the tables to put me in the black for the day. I don’t know that I’ve ever been so pleased with a $17 profit for what ended up being almost 1000 hands, but pleased I was.

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It was a crazy ride, but I’m just happy it ended on a high note. It’s easier to not let those downswings affect you when the last swing was a positive one. I even think the positive variance tastes just a bit sweeter since it wiped out such a horrible swing.

Oh and the TV? I’m a little 10% of the way there. It will take me the better part of the year to do it, but it’s as good of a goal as any.

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