Friday, January 14, 2005

All Good Things

It $25 NL streak is over. Lost my buy in Friday AM session.
It was a great run.
I'll miss it.


678 hands without a rebuy
38.22 bb/hour


All started with .05 win
Finished 4th in 72os Event 1
Had 3 double-up buy in sessions
Finished 40th in TGC $5k New Player Freeroll
Won 1 Live event SnG
Ended with JJ vs. 55 with a 275(r) flop

Not as sad as finding out about Santa
Not as sad as waking up to find no underwear
Not as sad as "Tilt"

But a sad day still the same.

Before I had time to fully mourn the passing of a great rush....I have started another. PM Session win! Lets see how long I can have this one last.

It's fun to win and beleive it or not it is OK to lose. I now its frustrating and horrid and whatever other words you can think of. I get caught in the emotions when it gets really bad and like to rant myself. If you really sit and think about it though, if you never lost, you would never learn. Sometimes I forget that,in poker, no lessons are free. I also forget that the reason I am still playing is that my gains always out run my losses in the long run.

Here's an Iggy quote from today:

But I'm used to losing. That sounds funny to write, but it's true. I don't get overly excited when I book a big win and I don't get upset when I suffer through extended losses. I obviously wasn't born this way but I taught myself this attitude through experience. Surely, like me, you know some poker players who have the biggest problem in the game are the ones who almost "demand" something from it. It's as if they feel it owes them something or they 'have something coming.'

That's a poor attitude to have in poker, imho. A certain measure of indifference is required to succeed long-term. Impatience in a poker room, especially online, will destroy your bankroll quickly.

Its fun to hype up the winning streaks though, keeping in mind that one day it will end and start again. "A certain measure of indifference is required to succeed long-term. Impatience in a poker room, especially online, will destroy your bankroll quickly." That should be required print in the start of every poker book. Swings are an uncontrolable part of this game; how you handle them emotionally could be the difference in a positive bankroll and negative one.

So tonight I toast another streak....just not sure which way it will go yet!

Till next time ponder this:

Why are there braile instructions on a drive up ATM?

Good Week So Far But ......

nothing like the sites are having. Check this out from Poker Gazzette:

UNITED KINGDOM –In the two years since online poker first tempted punters, the industry has grown from $100,000 in gross rake per day in January 2002 to between a staggering global $2m and $2.5m While online gaming itself continues to grow at a dramatic pace, the online poker industry has more than tripled in the past year according to statistics provided by

"The top operators are earning around $200m per year, while an estimated $16m was wagered at online poker sites in the last year. In that time many gaming companies, web and lifestyle brands have entered the poker space, particularly in the UK. There are now some 300 sites, around 20 networks or stand-alone rooms, and there are still more commercial and gaming brands planning to launch a poker room.

Watched "Tilt" last night. I found a well written, insightful review that about sums it up for me....."It's bad, folks."
I'm afraid I have to jump on the bangwagon on this one.

Now on to poker:

I have been on a great run this week that has continued through yesterday. I played NL at Poker Room and the AM session was up. Since I had the $5K New Player Freeroll at The Gaming Club I slipped in a late afternoon round and finished that up also! After an uneventful start to the $5k freeroll and got on a run and ended up finishing 40 out of 740 for $25! Last hand I was in better than average shape and made a push for the final table. I was 20th out of 40 when I get ATs in EP2. Blinds are 1500/3K. I have a friend sweating me and coaching along the way. He's last comment was "No limping now" so I raised the minimum. I get one caller and see a xTx flop rainbow. I go All In and he calls with AQs...proceeds to hit RR flush and I am gone! I was dissappointed but hey, I won $25 from $0. I guess my luck was used up on this hand!

Blinds were 500/1000 and I get JJ in the SB. Folded to me and I raised the minimum hoping for a call from BB. He does. Flop if X4X. I bet half his stack, I have him about doubled in chips. He calls. Turn is a 4 and I go all in and I am instantly called. DAMN! He flips over KK. I am toast! What a great slowplay. Wait! The chips are coming my way! The river was the improbable 2-outer J! I have been told that to finish well in a MTT you have to win a few coin flips, play well, pick your spots, and get a little lucky. Guess I had all them going last night.

On top of all that I get the "we want you back and here is the free money to prove it" email from Party Poker. COOL! Its only $20 but it is with this money I will break into the blogger NL table! But so far, this table has alluded my grasp. Maybe I need to learn the secret hand shake or something. :) Maybe the sound of a NL Wanna-Be Newbie Fish with $20 will be enough to get me in!!! Only time will tell.

Till next Time:

The one serious conviction that a man should have is that nothing is to be taken too seriously.

Nicholas Butler

Thursday, January 13, 2005

NL Run and Live Play

I must first take the time to show my solidarity with my fellow bloggers and let it be known that 72os is a powerful hand! There are still "doubters" though. My God have mercy on your souls.

There has been a lot happening in our community lately and since Maudie captured it all, I’ll be lazy and let her tell it.

Still playing NL and loving it. I know that all will not stay right in my little world for long buy for now I will live in the blissful happiness. (Up 41 BB’s or $11.70 an hour) The only complaint I have so far is that if you play a hand correctly, hit that hand and make some money…..the table breaks up.

I’ve only played 606 hands so obviously the reverse effect will come soon. That’s why I am cramming myself with as much NL info from books and forums as I can. A correction in the numbers above is inevitable I just want to be prepared to keep as much of my winning as possible.

Jsaw found a web site for a Texas Holdem league near our homes. We went there last night and played. The tournaments were run in a SNG type fashion with dealers provided. Was a superb set up and we played over top a bar…what could be better! I played live for only the 3rd time in my life. There were 20+ people there and we played two tournaments. Its $6 to play per tourney and your rewarded points, top point winners get a special tournament at end of season. Start with 3500 chips.

1st tourney had a guy there, had been drinking a “little”, playing every hand to the river and had a horseshoe up his ass. I was card dead and just folding my way around. Was four of us left when the horseshoe fell out and one of the regulars took out the drunken guy. Down to three - Jsaw in third with ~T2000 chips, me in second with T2200 and the leader with a bunch of chips. Jsaw goes all in next hand and is taken down by the leader. They want to set up another tourney so me being behind over 15 - 1 and go all in blind and tell them to deal one more and lets start over. I was more than happy with 2nd and my cards really were crap.

I doubled up. Ok I said, do it again. I doubled. Blinds went up to 800/1500 and I had some chips. Won the next two hands and game on! Next couple hands were folded by me. Then I call BB with QTs and see a flop of QJx. He goes all in, I call and he shows AJ. No help and now I am the chip leader! Next hand he goes all in again with KQo, I call with 55 and he spikes a Q and we are about even again.

We swap hands a few times and the final hand has me go all in with AKs and getting called by his KQo. I have him covered and we share a K on the flop. No more help and I complete the miraculous comeback. What a time to get a rush of cards and also for lady luck to wake up and shine her light on me.

In the 2nd game. Jsaw doubles up on first hand by hitting his OESD on the river against the now really drunk guy. That was all she wrote. He plays great anyway but with a big stack he is murder. I found that I had used up all my power for the evening and bowed out unceremoniously 6th. Jsaw went on to win and hopefully will write about it soon.

Going to be a busy evening because I am still trying to clear Poker Room bonus, have a Gaming Club New Player freeroll and “Tilt” is on ESPN. I know all about the reviews but want to see for myself.

Till next time I leave you with a point to ponder:

How much deeper would the ocean be without sponges?

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

NL = Patience

I am happy to report that I am up over $100 in less than 10 hours of my NL playing. That would be 3 sessions in two days. I bring this up because:

1) I am proud of it

2) I am not on a good run of cards

Now, my cards have been OK and I have had some good pay off hands but not anything I would consider abnormal. Every PP hasn’t been a set; every draw has not come through, ECT.

Patience does pay off though, maybe better than limit. Now before everyone thinks I have jumped off the limit bandwagon, I have not. I still strongly believe that limit is where you can make your best money per hour. NL is a profitable diversion though. I have begun wondering if the $25 “Minor League” NL tables are more worthwhile to play than the lower limit tables. I have a ways to go in hands and experience to decide that.

Before I hammer home the patience theme with my experience from last night’s table, I must admit that my search for the NL “Holy Grail” table of bloggers failed last night. I will never give up the search though!

Now last night’s table. There was a player there ironically with “nut” as part of his name. Now Nut was playing 100% of the hands and 100% of the time would raise the minimum pre flop. If it was raised before him he would reraise .25 and kept reraising .25 till you gave up. Of course he was getting lucky as his $2 pre flop call with T5o hit two pair and his 36o UTG turned a straight. He busted a couple people and the ranting began! He was up about $40 at this point.

“I can not believe you played that!”, “What an Idiot!”, “Moron” and all the rest we have heard. Now, I’m sitting there wondering why these people want to run this guy off and the strangest thing happened. Nut replied “HeHeHe” and “You’ll never know what I am playing”. Instead of leaving, he was giving it back in the chat and kept playing his game. Now the people he beat left! I couldn’t believe it. The table was down to 6 and I feared it would break up but in a few seconds it was full again and all was well. I was folding a lot waiting for the right time. See ….Patience!

While I was waiting to pounce, with the chat now buzzing with the new player’s comments, a fellow player chimed in “If you want to bust this moron you have to play more hands!” Now, normally I would guess that this was a shark trying to set the whole table up and keep one eye on him but, he was down half his buy in and not playing the most stellar poker I have ever seen so I just figure that was tilt talking and forgot about him. At .35 a round in blinds why not just wait for the big payoff! Patience again!

As you can see I am not getting an over abundance of great hands here but then I look down to see TT in MP1. I limp knowing that Nut will raise and also I needed a set to win because at this point, if you were in, you were end to the end because Nut was playing everything to the river. My first break came preflop when only 4 people saw flop after Nut’s minimum raise. The flop came A6T two suited. WOOT! An EP checks, I check, ready to unload the fury of my whole stack. Nut makes a pot size bet, which was no surprise had done that the last few hands, 1 fold and the EP goes all in for around $18. Now EP was a decent enough player so far and I now he either had AT, A with good kicker or maybe flush draw. I also know he wanted to be heads up with Nut, I almost felt sorry for him as I went all in over top of him. Nut wasn’t going to call, he folded 9-10 times if you raised over top of him on the flop, and the new guys just didn’t know that. Sure enough, EP was on flush draw and my set holds out. So 1 hand in an about 30 minutes and I double up.

I notice now that there must be blood in the water, a few more people leave and a few more sit down and everyone now wants Nut one on one. The sharks have arrived. I see Nuts stack go from a high of $65 down to $25 in a few hands. He gets on another run to build it to $40 but in less than 1 more orbit he is busted. A chant of “Reload” “Reload” reverberates in the chat box. He obliges and the race continues. I get a few more unspectacular hands and leave up $36. Our hero? At last look he was down to $8. Let the chants begin.

Till Next Time,

Some people are angry at the thorns among the roses...others are happy that there are roses among the thorns.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

More NL Observations

Generally in limit play I believe the top three things to keep in mind are:

1) Position – Most important in any HE game

2) Your starting hand – Tight is right

3) Type of player you are playing – Helps with those marginal calls

Example: AA in the BB in limit with 4 limpers and SB completes. Your raise here will generally not run anyone out and sometimes give the odds for the draws to chase you.

You’re out of position and any board could be scary.

In NL I have found the top three things to keep in mind are:

1) Position – Still most important to me

2) Type of Player – Will he buy a pot, does he over bet a bluff, under bet a monster, ECT.

3) Starting Hand – Tight is still right but with 5+ people seeing the flop you can take more chances late

Same Example: AA in the BB in NL with 4 limpers and SB completes. Your 3-5x BB raise here will generally run out some. Now with a read on the type of players left, make bets and take down the pot or even fold on later streets if necessary with a little more confidence.

I’m hoping this is a solid foundation to build on.

The biggest difference (obviously) that I have to deal with is that there could be any amount bet at any time. I was run out of 2 QQ hands today when an A fell on one flop and an AK fell on other. Both times I raised pre-flop and both times I was bet into (about ½ pot) on the flop. Maybe showing too much respect I folded both. The bettors showed down 88 and JJ respectively. The first hand for sure I would have at least checked/called to the river if it was limit. So I still have a lot to learn about betting strategy and reading bets.

Trying to spend as much time as possible between sessions reading as many of the 2+2 threads on NL as I can and going to railbird the blogger table at Party Poker also. At least take notes on successfully playing “The Hammer”.

This leads me to pulling off a bluff. At the $1/$2-$2/$4 limit tables I have played at mostly these last couple months, a pure bluff by me was rare. I would raise from LP to Button like most but if I missed the flop or turn, would give it up to any resistance. You rarely could get heads up with anyone and it just wasn’t a profitable play. Now I see were I can get away with it from just about anywhere on the table with a properly placed raise. I now have to figure out with what frequency I use this technique; once a session, once an hour or more frequently. I have heard and read about some people picking a card and a suit and every time they get that combination they raise it “x” times the BB. I guess the key will be to keep not only my game from being predictable but also my betting.

So this is a little of my learning curve so far. As you see I have a long way to go but so far it has been successful and have gotten back almost all of my limit losses from last week.

Till next time:

Never argue with and idiot, they will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience


Nice to get away from limit for a while and the $25 NL was good today. Surprised to see how passive the tables were. Sat at three tables today that seemed like it was limit. Minimum bets, minimum raises, checking down, no one tried to buy anything. It was crazy. I raised QQ $2 twice and everyone folded, limp in, 6-7 would see the flop.

Did run into one guy today that liked to see flops. Played anything face, but would bet big when he hit. Caught on to that real quick and I guess the others did too, he ran it up a little then re-bought twice and left.

Found a quote today that sums up my last few days of poker:
Just remember... if the world didn't suck, we'd all fall off

It was fun playing again today. I realize that I missed that the last few days. Iggy brought that up somewhere in his uber-post. Got to keep it fun. My wife even noticed that I was cussing at the computer a lot more lately, so I will work on some poker diversions and keeping the game fun. Some NL will become a staple to keep the diversity in. I have read everywhere lately it seems about people getting beat up. Even some of our fellow bloggers are having it ruff.

I remember reading a lot last year at this time about bad runs also. I guess it could be expected. All the Christmas money pouring into the sites, dreams of there minimum deposit becoming retirement, quitting their jobs and going pro, ect. Its interesting thinking of this now because I know that eventually with good play and solid decisions they money will come my way.

In reading some of the blogs and posts on forums, there is a quite confidence in the "good" players that you can see in there posts and writing. Even when they are complaining about this beat or that beat, you get the feeling that they are a moving closer and closer to the kill. Just a matter of time and the luck will run out and all will be right with the world again. I know, I'm rambling again. It is just even during the downward struggles of my limit game lately, I remember telling my wife, just need more hours. I guess there is a quite confidence in my game also.

Monday, January 10, 2005

Time for a change

Limit is still in the downward spiral mode so I an going to switched to a little $25 NL action for a while starting today. I need a change of pace and the NL is not new to me, I have played it before. Going to play a couple MTT's and then go back and maybe limit will seem better. May even try some .05/.10 NL on Bet 365 with my new found freeroll gain.

Well the 72os Freeroll Tour started last night and I finished 4th out of about 140. I was third and went all in with 99, really didn't want a caller but BB called with QTs, spiked a T on flop and I was done.

Since the 72os was the only game I played yesterday, not much to report. Up $8 so far at the NL table! Better than last week already...maybe I should take my winnings and run!!!!

See Ya At The Tables!

Sunday, January 09, 2005

I Can't Win

This has been the second worst losing streak I have had in by short 1 year poker career. Horrendous doesn't even come close to describing it. I have dropped 100 bb's in two days with no end in site. The only reason it hasn't been worst is that I have ended my sessions early.

Some examples:

AQ has lost to AK with A on board 11 times

28 PP's = 3 sets that have all lost

Can not remember last flush or straight I have hit

Some detail:

KTo in sb - 4 people see flop of KT8..I bet-BB calls as does 1 other. Turn=8 I bet BB raises and I check down to see his 82o. Not a bad beat just the fact that his 2 outer hit. Then I watched as he gave all his money away in the next 2 orbits. None back to me.

QQ in mp-I raise. 4 see rag board and I lose to slowplayed KK

NEXT HAND: QQ-Capped Preflop. Qxx board and 2 hearts. Capped Flopped Turn is heart checked around. River is heart and I lose to J8o!!! and the J of hearts.

Rivered 12 times in a SB/BB showdown and lost.

I know it will turn and the cards will start hitting but it doesn't help with the frustration and anger I feel when someone flips over crap to beat you over and over and over.

I think even worst is the guy at the table playing 85% of the hands, over betting every face card and getting bailed out on the river time and time again and you see him up over $100.

Then everything comes full circle when you start misplaying hands and folding winners to over betting fish with any ace and the frustration level blows through the top.

As half my brain is focusing on venting as I write this, the other half is telling me all the things I would say to someone if it was written by them. Even knowing the answers is frustratiing.

So before tonights session I am going to review my play and make sure I am making the right decisions and then continue on hoping the poker gods will take pity.

Right now, at this moment, I hate this game.