Poker Source Online More than just free online poker gifts! Check out our free poker league.
Play Poker Online
Online Poker at Full Tilt Poker
Play poker at the fastest growing online poker room

Friday, December 30, 2005

Cannot... win... online...

This has been a semi-brutal month for me playing poker. I'm down about $600 on the month, which although not terrible by any stretch, is still bugging the hell out of me because I feel like overall I've played better than average. The losses have been about 3-2 between NL hold'em and some Omaha Hi-Lo. In fact, I've logged a lot of hours of Omaha 8 this month. It is by far my favorite game other than NL hold'em but I've had mixed success. I have been playing mostly 5-max Omaha 8 at $1-2 and $2-4, with a few hours spent playing at full tables. I still need to log a lot more hours playing but I think, as I mentioned in another post earlier this month, that this game could be incredibly profitable. It appears to be the same mix of about 25 players, of which, I think 6 know what they're really doing.

It's been an especially harsh last couple days, my last three sessions being a net loss of 80BB. There are about four pots I can attribute it to also, so I'm not so concerned with the loss. I keep hearing how Razz is such a big kick in the balls, but I'm really beginning to think that Omaha 8 could give a run more the money in that category. When the action is capped in front of you when you're holding the nuts on every street until the river puts a higher straight on board, or pairs, or counterfeits your nut low... well, bruised testes abound.

But overall, I've definitely enjoyed it, I'm learning a lot, and hopefully after another month or so, I'll be much more comfortable with my opponents. On the NL hold'em front, my live play has been very positive. My online play has not translated into the same success. I don't know what it is, but the last two months I can't win online NL ring games, but I have been killing in my live play. It doesn't make much sense to me but hopefully it will turn itself around in '06.

Booked a room for the Borgata Winter Poker Open with some friends. I'm definitely playing in the first event, possibly the second and trying a couple of the supersatellites for the main event. If anyone else is going to AC for the tournament, leave a note, wouldn't mind finally meeting some fellow bloggers.

I hope everyone had a safe and happy holiday, and will have a safe and happy New Year! See in 2006...

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Some more review...

Overall in the ring games I think I played below average, but I still found a lot of good spots and was up $450 overall for the cash games. I took some bad beats, some tough beats and made a couple of really donkey-esque decisions of my own, otherwise I may have done much better. There are a lot of holes in my game but now when I make a mistake I know exactly what I've done most of the time, so I feel like I'm at least making progress.

I think the two biggest problems I have, and one really just contributes to the other, are that I'm not taking enough time to think through what's just happened when a player acts and that I'm still paying off some value bets on the river when I know I'm beat. Paying $25 or 30 more in either a raise or a river bet from another player when I'm almost 98% certain I'm beat is definitely costing me money I don't need to lose. I just need to tighten up in those situations and be willing to pitch those 2% that are winning hands anyway so as not to keep costing myself those bets.

One situation in particular I'm still unsure of whether I really made a mistake or not, but I definitely could have taken a bit more time to think it through. I was sitting at a $1-2 NL table with about $300 in front of me and I picked up pocket kings one off under the gun. I raised to $12 and got called in four places. The flop came down J 10 5 rainbow and I led out for $30. One player mucked and the next one to act raised it up to $80 and the action folded back around to me. I thought for a second and had him on Ace or King with a Jack. I certainly thought he could have had a set as well, I definitely didn't have him on Jacks, Queens or Aces because I am pretty sure from what I saw out of him he would have reraised me with any of those hands.

So I moved in, and after thinking for a second and listening as he started wondering aloud if I had really made top set, I knew I was in trouble. He finally called with his set of tens and I bricked out. I was really confident I was ahead, especially because just a few orbits earlier I had seen him make the same move on a Queen high board with Ace-King and stick himself against a flopped set of Queens.

I really don't know if I would not go broke on that hand even if I played it differently. If I smooth call his raise, which I don't think is an option there, the card on the turn was a 6 leaving me with $200 in front of me and a pot of about $215. I have to bet a decent amount on the turn if I think I'm still ahead because now I have to wonder if he's on a OESD and may have picked up a flush draw. I probably would bet about $100 and if he raises me there he's putting me all-in, the pot is then laying me over 5-1 odds and I have an overpair to the board. Basically I could reraise him on the flop and make it $75 more, which means he either moves it in there or smooth calls me and I'm in the same predicament I just explained.

I think the only way I get away from the hand would be to reraise the flop and pitch if he moves in there. He could certainly have two pair like J-10 as well, so I think I was a bit too quick to move in on the flop, when a reraise would have been the best option. It's certainly not a hand that's impossible to get away from, I just acted too quickly. Love to hear some others' thoughts on what they have done or would do in this situation.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Atlantic City, Part Deux

I think I can best sum up how poker went on this trip with the following:

We were down to about 25 players remaining in the morning tournament at the Borgata. I had finally picked up some hands and had gotten my stack up around 15,000 or so chips and the level was at 800-1600 with 300 antes. The short stack to my right moves his 2300 in blind as he's about to pick up the big blind and I look down at AQ. So with 7100 already in the pot I move my stack in to try and isolate on the guy to my right. The first two players to act after me fold, and then a guy with a semi-short stack of about 5000 goes into the tank. He eventually talks himself into calling and everyone else at the table folds. After the pots get separated out, the blind hand turns up K4 and the other guy turns up A7. We get an Ace on the flop and now I'm pleading for no seven. My prayers were heard until the river card and A7 scooped a big pot. That dropped me down to 8700 in chips remaining.

That left me under the gun with blinds now up to 1000-2000 with a 500 ante. I look down and find AQ again. Great. I move it in and get called in one place... two places... and then the big blind with about 12,000 behind after paying the big blind moves his entire stack in as well. It wasn't enough to open more raising so both the other callers pay into his side pot and the dealer goes to work. KQxxx. I'm trying to gauge reactions from the other players, but not picking up anything. My buddy Don has come over from his table and we're thinking it's possible my Queen might be good here. I'm very skeptical but hopeful as the two players with chips left check it all the way down. I flip up my AQ, and the first caller turns over pocket tens. Yes! The second caller turns up AJ. YES! The big blind then turns over K7. *enter sound of record skipping and scratching to a halt here* Huh?

Facing an all-in from up front and two calls by people who can bust him, this guy, who will have plenty of chips and an entire round to wait for a better spot puts all his money in with K7 offsuit. It's been two days and I'm still shocked that that's the hand that he pushed with and that it's the hand that won. Oh well.

I'll cover more about the fabulous poker room at the Borgata after I get some rest. Good luck avoiding the donkeys.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

The Week in Review

It's been an interesting, but losing, week of poker. My weeks of poker are measured from Saturday through Friday, and I promptly started off the week stuck. Played in a poker extravaganza at Bailey's house, which was a $150 buy-in for at least three tournaments. The first was a freezeout NL, the second was a heads-up challenge and the third was a NL rebuy and add-on shorthanded shootout. You accumulated points throughout the whole thing and the top five point finishers were put in a freeroll NL freezeout.

My poker play was still good but just ran into some people who fit into one of the following three categories: (A) No idea what they were doing, (B) Didn't care what they were doing because they were drinking, or (C) both A and B. But I'd take my chances with that group any day. I finished in 7th in the first tourney, 3rd in the heads-up tourney and 10th in the rebuy tourney, which amounted to me missing the final table by 1.5 points. All told, I was stuck $165 after entry fees and rebuys and a minimal cash in the heads-up portion.

It also prevented me from playing the cash game at Vollmer, which is where I'm primarily going to be making money around these parts. Friday through Sunday I did a lot of experimenting online with a poker niche I'm hoping may be profitable. I need to log a lot more time playing, but shorthanded Omaha 8 is looking like a potential cash cow. I put together a statistically improbable run at the $1-2 limit tables which was quickly humbled by a few forays up to $2-4. But I definitely plan on working my Omaha 8 game as it's very clear that people have even less of clue playing that game than they do with hold'em.

Went deep in a few tournaments online but wasn't able to do anything major at the end of them because I never got cards late and the blinds just ate me up. But I'm feeling really confident with my tournament play and I will be more than happy to trade the last week for a good finish in the Party Poker Million Dollar Guaranteed on Saturday. At last check there are only 486 people registered with about a day and a half to go, so I'm wondering how big the field is going to get for this thing. I can't imagine there are 1500 people that will suddenly plunk down $640, but maybe I'm wrong. I'll keep my fingers crossed for a huge overlay, though I know that's probably unlikely.

Other than that, a little three day jaunt up to AC starts on Sunday, so you'll most likely find me in the basement of the Borgata during that 72 hours. I'll be playing in at least one of the WPT Winter Open tournaments while trying to satellite into the main event there at the end of January as well. And a plan is formulating that may include three to four weeks in Vegas from the middle of March through the middle of April.

On a semi-related Vegas note, most of us in the regular home game were surging with jealousy when one of our buddies Jag came home from a week out there. Not only did he run really well in a bunch of tournaments including the Ultimate Poker Challenge at the Plaza where he knocked out Men the Master, but then he was approached with the dream job. A rep from Full Tilt offered him a spot on the team where Full Tilt would back him in four tournaments a month plus cash games and provide room and board. He spent one night getting schmoozed by the rep and John Juanda and Jesus Ferguson but because of real life back here in Richmond, he was unable to accept.

That has most of us salivating about long dreamt about possibilities. Talk about living the dream...

Monday, December 05, 2005

A Nomination for a New Tiltboy...

Richard stared hard at the board, 6s Qs As Kd 8s, for a full minute, trying to figure out how he'd just gotten knocked out of the tournament. He looked down at his AhAc again, the picture that he had just gotten fully kicked in the junk developing clearer, and then you could see it begin. The burning rage in his eyes, mouth open in disbelief... a full-on Hellmuthian tirade trying to escape his lips but the words just not coming. "How..." and then he shook his head and walked out of the room. In a daze he drifted towards the living room, turning around halfway and walking back towards the table, "How do you make so bad a play?"

While slowly stacking up chips the answer comes with a slight chuckle, "I know, that was a really bad play, wasn't it?" And then Richard is off again, shaking his head, too angry and confused to say anything more. There's not much more that can be said, Richard is just the latest victim of the one and only, Footloose.

Phil Gordon often writes about an interesting poker concept called implied Tilt odds. I've never seen someone so in tune with that concept than one of the regulars in our Sunday and Monday tournaments, Footloose. The name pretty much sums up his game, and he always stacks a mountain of chips in the first few levels of our tournaments. Last night he was in rare form however. He is the namesake of the hand 74, and recently added K4 to his repetoire, now known as the BigFoot.

On the third hand of the tournament, Foot is in the big blind and Bob is under the gun. Bob is a tight-passive player, and he open raises to $12 it folds around to Foot and he smooth calls. The flop comes down 3h3d5d. Foot checks and Bob fires out $20, Foot smooth calls again. At about this time, a friend of ours who is just learning the game hears the phrase "smooth call" used, and asks a smart ass question to the effect of, "if that's a smooth call, what's a rough call?"

As the dealer slides the turn card, 6c, onto the board, I answer him by saying, "A rough call is what Foot is doing to Bob when he turns over 74 and completely whores out Bob's hand with a straight." Foot checks again, Bob bets $25, Foot raises to $75 and Bob calls. River is a brick, Foot bets $50, Bob calls and turns over Kings, and Foot turns over his hand, naturally the 74 offsuit for a straight.

Bob goes out the next hand to Matt when he runs into Matt's Aces. Two orbits later Matt, another tight-passive player, limps under the gun and I find pocket sevens on the button. I raise to $12, Foot re-raises to $36 and I'm immediately thinking, bullshit. As I ponder how much I'll reraise him, Matt smooth calls from under the gun. Ruh-roh. I call taking a shot that I'll hit a set. Flop comes down 6d8h10s and Foot immediately fires 100 into the pot. Matt slows down for a minute and says, "I've gotta make a bet and find out where I'm at, I'm all in."

I make a very easy fold and Foot sheepishly calls, turning over 79 offsuit for the flopped nuts, knocking out Matt who was holding pocket Jacks. Foot is two for two. We get down to four handed and it's Foot, Richard, myself and Avery (the novice player). And that's when magic of Tilt happened.

Richard has been playing very tight all night long and he would like to believe that he has a very tight table image. However, he has an extremely loose image to everyone because though he appears to be tight, he sometimes gets caught making a big bluff and gets crippled or knocked out. A lot of it has to do with how he used to play months ago, which he has tightened up considerably from, but reputations take a while to change. So he comes in for his standard raise and I fold on the button, and Footloose thinks for a bit before announcing a reraise up to $75. Richard now goes into one of his routines, and I'm trying to figure out which one he's giving us. He counts down all his chips a couple times, looks back at his cards, counts them down again, and announces a reraise of $85 more. Now I'm positive he's holding Aces, this definitely appears to be the Aces show he's giving, but you never know with him for sure.

Foot goes back in the tank, starts counting down all his chips. He asks Richard how much he has behind it and Richard announces $161. Foot counts down his chips again, and then says, "I just don't see how I can lay this hand down." So knowing Foot, I suddenly wonder if he's somewhere between 99-JJ or AK and thinks that Richard is just full of it. Anything QQ or KK and Foot would already have his money in the middle. He counts down his stacks one more time and says again, "I just don't think I can lay this down... I'm all in," before he can finish his sentence Richard has insta-called and flips up pocket Aces. Foot smiles and turns over 7h4s. He had Richard covered by $3.

I think we were all in shock, I know Foot is crazy, but I didn't think he was that crazy. I then dealt out his flush and knocked Richard out of the tournament. I'm impressed Richard didn't go get a weapon to use on Foot. A short while later I busted Foot out heads-up when I got a ridiculous run of cards and finished him off with AA.

But Footloose knocked out KK, JJ and AA with some magical force last night that would have made Phil Gordon proud.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Thank you, Party Poker!

Computer has been on the fritz this week, so I hadn't been able to check my emails for about four days. I finally get that taken care of earlier this afternoon and as I'm going through everything I click open an email from Party Poker. Since I hadn't played there in a while they had given me a $25 bonus deposit into my account, which brought my grand total to around $28. So after sorting everything out, I decide to fire up Party and see what's happening. I'm feeling really good about my tournament game lately, so I'm going to be playing a bunch of satellites and see if I can get my way into some big events coming up.

Well, as soon as I log on I find a $5+1 rebuy qualifier for the Million Dollar Guarantee that's about to start. I register and proceed to fold for the first level and a half. I finally get a hand, pocket tens and I'm waiting for my chance to act but when it gets to me none of the action buttons are on my screen. So for the next twenty minutes I'm logging on and off Party Poker and my computer trying to figure out what's wrong. I finally get the software to work with about 13 minutes left in the rebuy period. I still have over 1800 in chips since I did a rebuy as soon as the tourney started, and then I pick up pocket eights, limp and smooth call a raise in early/middle position. Flop comes Ace high and I decided to try a stop and go, only this guy had raised with pocket fours in late position and flopped his set, so I'm busted on the first hand I play. Double rebuy with not much time left in the level.

I finally win a hand to get to 2100 in chips at the break and after my add-on I have T3600. The first hand out of the gates I'm in the small blind and pick up Aces. We're at 75/150 and it gets raised to 600 by the guy who flopped his set against me, he gets called in two places and then I push, which he calls with sevens. My Aces hold up and I'm sitting at T7200 and in pretty decent shape. About three minutes later I'm one off under the gun, UTG limps, I raise to 600, it folds around to him, he moves in for 2000, and after I call he proceeds to crack me by hitting a set of Jacks on the turn.

I spent most of the next hour hovering between 5000 and 8000 in chips, and people are rocketing by me in stack size. But I am able to steal here and there, and pick off a few pots after the flop. I got lucky when I pushed with QdJd with about 6BB's left and rivered a set of queens versus the Ac10c that had called me and flopped his Ace. I basically just stole blinds all the way to the final table from there. I saw some truly ridiculous play that never ceases to amaze me on Party Poker. People limping K4 from UTG and check-calling all the way to the river on AKx flop, calling with connectors under all three cards on the flop and going runner-runner straight, etc.

I picked off a few pots when we got down to seven handed then picked up Aces twice in three hands and had moved my stack up to about 65,000 which was good for fifth place. Top two got seats, third through fifth got some cash back. Chip leader had about T110,000, 2nd had about 95,000 and the rest of us we're pretty much even. When we got to six handed I picked up pocket Jacks in the cutoff and raised to 18000, which was 3x the BB. I got called in two places and the flop came J 10 9 rainbow. UTG had called and checked to me, and I led out for $25,000 into the $55,000 pot and he called. The turn was an Ace and I knew that we were going to get all our money in there. I had him on a drawing hand like AQ on the flop, or he had flopped the nuts and I was pretty screwed, but he checked again, I moved him in for another 19,000 and he called, turning over AQ. I dodged the Kings and Eights and we were five handed and I was the new chip leader.

We got down to three handed pretty quick and the 2nd place stack and I worked the other guy all the way down to 2.5 BB's before he caught cards in two big pots and got us all back to even at over 100K in chips apiece. Then the guy who had been 2nd got stuck in a rut and lost all his money in a pot to the other guy.

So after four days of no computer, Party gives me $25 free dollars which I then turn into a free seat in the Million Dollar Guarantee. All in all, not a bad day or a bad tournament to be freerolling.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Listed on BlogShares