Saturday, January 29, 2005

SSSHHH...Don't tell anyone

True Poker is like Party but with only 5000 people. Ever wonder how much money you could make if you played the same people over and over again at Party? Well you can at True Poker.

It is unreal the amount of times I have seen 4-5 handed pots and someone shows down ace high or how many times I have seen someone have "A""crap" and hit the ace on river and win with the three outer. Passive? You would think that only a select few actually have a raise button they can see!!! Now when they do find the raise button...FOLD!! They have hit or slow played a monster.

I have only ventured into the $1/$2 games so far. I’ve been doing so well, no need to push my luck. Never had trouble finding a game and I have looked at the $2/$4 tables and have always seen 2-3 of them going. They have special SnG tourneys for new players daily, and will look into them Monday and see how they are.

I am up over 40 bb's in three days plus cleared $30 of bonus(which is going pretty fast).

So for those of you that may have missed it, I am back grinding again. The NL was fun, profitable and most of all different. It was a much needed break and it has elevated my game in a way that at this time I can not articulate. I just have a better understanding; maybe I can post on that later.

One thing I can comment on is that my game now has an aggressive patience about it. I posted about this a few months ago about trying to break the weak/tight mode. I had read SSH and was going through it the second time. I was trying to pick my spots and implement the book as it started to sink in this thick head of mine. It was working until I hit that real bad run and looking back at it through Poker Tracker I see that I had, very quickly, reverted back to my weak/tight tendencies.

This is where NL helped me the most. It reinforced:

Patience – Waiting for the right hands is something that I do not have to elaborate on. I am not suggesting top 10 hands or anything like that but playing the right hands in the right position and playing them hard when the time warrants.

Aggressiveness – Be aggressive when you have the opportunity. Sometimes it will cost you, sometimes it will pay off. That’s part of the game and I am trying to learn that controlled aggressiveness is the way to go.

– I don’t think that my ability to read other peoples betting patterns and putting them on a hand would be were it is at now without the NL experience. I have always been a note taker and really never tried to learn reading hands and just relied on my notes. Now I see were they work together and it really progressed that part of my game.

So I am back to grinding and hopefully I can maintain and build on this new found “wisdom”.

Till next time!

Friday, January 28, 2005

A Good Poker Player

There have been a couple of well written posts about the insights of a poker session. It got me to thinking about what a good poker player is. This has been discussed at all the popular forums and there are as many different views as there are posts. Like many poker questions the answer can be summed up as “it depends” but to me, there is a quantitative value that helps define a good poker player.

The two post that I am referring to are from -EV and from Mean Gene

In tournament play, you can measure how good you are by how many final tables you are in. You can conceivably make money and never be in a final table but to measure greatness, which has to be part of the equation, how many final tables is an important measuring stick. Let’s be honest, if it wasn’t for back to back final tables there would be no Dan Harrington book.

What about us grinders, ring gaming “x” hours a day, “x” days a week. How do we know we are a good poker player? We all have read over and over that you shouldn’t be results oriented and should concentrate on making the right decisions and playing the right cards in the right position and making the most of it. There has to be, in the break down of things, a quantitative value that proves you are a good poker player. Basically a good poker player is a winning poker player over time and that boils down to money.

A respected poster at the ITH forum once said the size of your bankroll has nothing to do with how good a poker player you are. I believe that whole heartedly. Case in point is bonus chasing. A good bonus chaser can expand is bankroll on a monthly basis and be a break even or even a little worse poker player. Going from site to site, reloading and chasing monthly crypto’s could find a player with a roll big enough to play at higher limits but not be good enough to survive there. I’m not saying bonuses are bad, as a matter of fact, I believe –EV hit it on the head when he said they are an important part of the game. To a good poker player, a bonus is just that, a bonus….free money. It not only adds to a winning session but also lessens the effect of a bad run. It’s like a safety net, you don’t want to use it, but glad it is there.

I believe, for us grinders, a good poker player has to have the stats to back it up. The most useful stat to show you are winning would be BB/hour. That’s were a program such as Poker Tracker comes in handy. Numbers don’t lie and if your BB/hour is not where it should be you have an issue that needs to be addressed. No matter were your bankroll is. In my opinion, ~2 BB/hour is a good number for low limit games and 1 BB/hour for the higher limit games. I do not emphasis this number on a monthly basis buy I do track it quarterly to try to identify trends in my game and it helps me spot a leak that may be creeping up. (There are many). This number keeps me honest. If it is extraordinarily high, I am running well, I have to watch for overconfidence and make sure that I am still playing the right starting hands and making the right decisions. I do not want to bleed off any of my profit because I start chasing the good run. The same goes with extraordinary low bb/hour numbers. Is it time for a break, or am I chasing good cards I know I should be folding, forcing my hands and the like.

Though it may seem like it, I am not focusing on the results here but tracking trends to make sure my game stays on track and moving forward. Poker, as it has been said many times, is two steps forward and one back, you just have to keep the step back smaller than the steps forward.

It seems that all things great have some sort of measurement with them. Good players have their records, good teams have their championships and good poker players make money.

The other thing they have is longevity. The stand the test of time and are still talked about year after year. Marino, Elway, Montana, Gretzky, Jordan, Magic, Byrd, Ruth, Mays, Williams, Yankees, Braves, 49’ers, Steelers, Cowboys and the list could go on and on. A good poker player is also measured by time. A good poker player understands the variance and concentrates on the long haul. Not session to session or even month to month. To come out on top, in the positive, year after year….now that is a measure of greatness.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

New "To Me" Site

If you ever dreamed of owning a drunk, color blind is your chance. Go Al Go!


New look for site. Check it out and email me comments. I did it all by myself with no outside help except for dreamweaver "help" section. So if you don't like it, keep it to yourself! (hehehe)


One of the advantages I have with the freeroll calendar is that I get to see a lot of sites. Currently listing 80+ freerolls from 23 sites. So as I await all my money to consolidate into Neteller, I went to True Poker which offers a 30% bonus up to $100 ($333 to max).

It has a 3D table view and some neat avatars and options. The dealer talks, "dealing flop", "dealing turn" and announces winning hand. Players talk "call","bet","raise","reraise" and also laugh when you type in "lol" and say thank you when you type "ty". The avatars look at their cards,make jestures,some smoke and some drink . Of course most of these option you can cut off and after a while they do get annoying but it was fun to play at first because it was different.

You can choose from a regular or high definition download. I chose high definition and the software is still pretty fast. Understandably not UB fast buy not AP slow either. I played about a hour last night after I decided to go and had all the options on and it played at a normal speed with no lagging or delays. Smallest limit tables were $1/$2 and smallest NL was $25 buy in. There were 6 $1/$2 tables and 5 $2/$4 tables going at 1:00am so traffic was good. Out of the 6 $1/$2 tables a got a seat at the tighest one I could find (47%!). After just a very little sample I would say the tables are pretty loose. (Example: I raise pre flop with KK, 6 see flop, I hit set on flop with rags and 4 call me to the river. I won.)The other thing different about this site is that the SB and BB are both $1 and there are no buttons to pre-make your decision, you have to wait your turn. I don't use these buttons to bet but I do use it to auto fold in turn, but I can live with it.

Bonus is $10 for every 100 raked hands and I got 42 raked in a hour last night. Their freerolls are all point buy in freerolls for members and True Poker gives you 100 bonus points for signing up and depositing. That is enough for one $500 freeroll or 2 $250 ones. These freerolls have good overlays and I will try a couple before I go.

Only time will tell but my initial reaction to the site is very positive (finishing up $30 in a hour did not sway my opinion). For you bonus chasers, this site is more than adequate to chase the $100 bonus.

Monday, January 24, 2005

Odds and Ends

Go check out the stories in the new edition if Truckin'. Great stuff and also a new contributor.


Also there is a great new movie post from HDouble


Added Noble Poker to the calendar and it is now over 80 freerolls listed on most days. Thanks to all who have emailed suggestions and freerolls. Keep them coming and I will keep adding!


A part of my youth past away this week with Johnny Carson. I used to beg and plead to stay up and watch him. I know I only saw the twilight of his career but he was a very funny man.


My money is in cyber land waiting to show up in Neteller. Going to reload at Party Poker as soon as it shows up. Probably not much in the way of poker tomorrow. Can play the NL tables at Bet 365 but also have to clean the upstairs of the garage. Wife home next two days so I can't put it off any longer.


I also have to commend The Gaming Club today. I thought I was missing $20 of my bonus that never showed up in my account. I gave them a call and they verified that I should have gotten the last $20 and had it fixed in no time. No hassle, No yelling.....just good service.

Sunday, January 23, 2005

OK! OK! I'll Play!

Watched the movie "I Robot" with family last night. It was entertaining and overall a pretty good movie. Pretty typical man builds computer, computer tries to take over man, man beats computer movie but with a thought provoking twist. Well worth the rental.

Afterwards I'm checking email and surfing a little when I get an IM from Jsaw telling be about a $1 buy in tourney at Ultimate Bet getting ready to start. I said no, no money in UB right now. Then I get "it is only 250 points to enter" (He knows I have that). I said no, then I couldn't play the $5 I wanted to play. Jsaw is one of those sneaky persistent people. Nothing for about a minute and I get..."It's a $1000 guarantee" in the IM box. Still sticking to my guns I say no. A little bit later I get this link from a recent Scott Fischman article in card player. He talks about online tourneys and
Playing a few online tournaments per day can provide you years of experience in a short span of time. I believe this is part of the reason that so many young players have been very successful on the live tournament scene lately. The Internet is a tool that is available for the growth and improvement of your poker game. I have used it as a strategy to improve my game, and have found myself possessing a great feel for the technical aspects of poker tournaments.

OK! OK! I'm in. (Alright, I'll admit it. Doesn't take much to get me to play. Hell, it was free!)

Start with T1500 in chips and after the first hour of 1 played hand I am at T965. So I have successfully practice folding all cards that equal to 9!

Almost looking forward to my first playable hand getting cracked and crawling into bed, the second hour begins and for 48 minutes I continue to practice folding. I get one BB special and amazingly I am at T965 with about 12 minutes to go in second hour. I look down to see JJ and go all in and double up. With about 150 players left Jsaw surmises that T7500 gets me in the money. I've played toooo long not to try now even though the cards are crap. 9 minutes till break I look down to see AKo. I go all in from LP and get called by BB's 88. Spike a K and now sitting at T5020 with about 138 left. Close enough to taste that $1.51 now!

3 minutes left till break and EP minimum raises, I look down and see the rockets! Folded to me in CO and I push BB and EP call with AK and AJs and I triple up. T15500 and the next hand I call a minimum raise with ATs and flop two pair, push and get called by AJ, turn a full house and at second break I am in 4th with T25000!

What a wild rush in the span of about 12 minutes! Top 80 pay out and 97 left. WOOT! Jsaw gets a bad beat when his flopped trips get run down by flush but is at T6500 at break. Beginning of third hour back to what I was doing best...folding. Jsaw gets QQ in BB and pushes, only to see other player with AA and is out in 95th. He brings up my table and starts sweating me. Its nice to have someone there to ask about a hand and get support...thanks! I build to T31000 but that’s as high as I get.

I end up going out with AA in the CO. Folded to me and I limp trying to get it to pay. SB completes and BB raises. I call as does SB. 9 high flop, BB bets and I go all in, SB folds and BB calls and flips 99. I get no help and out 32nd for $4.01. I don't feel bad about how I played it, would have been all in no matter what with the board being all rags, he may have folded 99 if I had pushed pre-flop but who knows.

I counted about 5 hands I misplayed that all ended up winners. So I have some more practicing to do. I now have $4 to do so.

Enjoy the games today. Being I have no favorite in this fight, I am hoping for Steelers and Falcons. What could be a better Super Bowl story line: "The Rookie" vs. "The Best Show on Turf"

See You at the Tables!