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Thursday, May 18, 2006

Donkey of the Week

Yeah, it's me.

I played like a complete and total donkey last night. Maybe I'm so out of practice with NL cash games that it was inevitable but I just made the most basic mistakes you can make, and busted twice because of it. It should have been three times but I got lucky and sucked out on the river on one hand.

If I haven't played badly this week, I've flopped the nuts and lost to runner-runner. But mainly I think I've just played bad. Horrible. Incompetent.

That, and of course PokerDon got me on the river when he was a 4-1 underdog. (Yes Don, I know there was no way you couldn't get your money in on that hand.)

After sessions like that one I try and figure out all this mistakes I made and how I could have done anything differently. After going through last night's session, I'm amazed that I've been playing poker for this long and did those things. I so obviously ignored my own instincts and the tells I was being given that I deserved to bust every time last night. My concentration was completely lacking and most likely because I was underestimating most of the guys I was playing with. I don't know if that's because I know most of them so well but I'm sure that has something to do with it.

All in all, I think that's pretty much the grand summation of my poker play of the last few months, lack of concentration. I haven't been taking my game serious enough every time I play and I can only hope that last night was a strong enough wake up call to get my act together the next time I'm at the tables.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Weekend roundup and one weird hand...

Played a little loose in an Omaha 8 session on PokerStars as it had been a little while for me in the game, but managed to come back and ended up the session down 15bb's when I whiffed on a monster double draw with trips versus a flopped straight. Had a loss in the family in the middle of the week, so I didn't get a whole lot of poker in. Unfortunately, that also means the SNG challenge might have to be put off as with all the travelling I'm doing this month, I don't see how I'm going to get in 100 SNGs.

Saturday night I ended up blowing off a little steam by going over to Jag's place and catching the De La Hoya fight, which was pretty much fantastic. Mayorga got his pride slapped all over that ring before the Golden Boy knocked him out in the 6th. And as much as De La Hoya's manager doesn't want the fight to happen, I'm going to keep my fingers crossed that this leads to Mayweather-De La Hoya, I think that could be a pretty amazing fight.

After the fight, we decided to play a little $10 tourney with one rebuy, but most of the guys were novices. I'm overall a fairly aggressive player, though I have been playing really tight the last couple months (shhh, don't tell the guys, they don't seem to have figured it out yet). However about an hour into the tourney I had to confirm with Footloose that I had in fact not open-raised a single pot to that point. Somehow I managed to make some hands anyways and stay afloat until the wackiest hand I've played in some time cropped up. I hadn't played a hand for about 15 minutes when I picked up J10 offsuit on the button. I limp in, as had the whole table, and Jag raises 25 from the big bling to try and curb the field. Everyone called... so I had to.

The flop came J 10 6, and the pot was already 217. Small blind led out for 30 and the whole table called again. WTF??!?! I moved in on the button for 208 more into the now T400 pot. Small blind calls off his last 93, Jag mucks, MP mucks, the next two are shortstacks and move in about 75 apiece which gets us to Footloose, who in typical fashion decides there is too much in the pot and calls my all-in as he had the whole table stacked. So now we've got 4 people all-in, in a 5-way pot for T1000 and everyone starts turning hands over. Small blind has KQ, Jag mucked AK, Shortstack1 had AK, shortstack2 had AQ and Footloose had K9d. And the other guy had folded an Ace. All the Aces and Kings are dead, so now I only had to worry about 3 nines and two queens until Footloose picked up a diamond draw on the turn. I survived the river, though if a diamond had fallen I may have puked all over the table.

That was bizarre, from beginning to end. I ended up taking down the win and heading home with a little spending money for Sunday. Tonight is the usual two table tourney and I've been running real well, so I hope that continues. I head out to San Francisco on Friday for a friend's wedding and I'm hoping that I may have some time to head out to the Bay 101 and play some poker while I'm there. I promise that a site update is in fact coming, but probably not till the end of May now due to family issues and travel. Thanks for bearing with me.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Poker is an evil mistress...

You feel like breaking up with her and then she lures you back in. Things went much better on Saturday night at the tables and I made up my losses and more from Thursday. I found pretty much ideal situations in position a number of times and was able to minimize my losses when I had some pretty big hands that were ultimately losers. Messed around on Sunday night and just played some goofy, loose tournies with the guys. But when we got down to three handed in the hold'em tourney, we actually played some poker. That thirty to forty minutes was worth the $20 to play.

Those are the situations that you almost never get to practice enough and that can make a quantum difference in your game overall if you are comfortable with them when they come up. Turned right around on Monday night and I think it made all the difference in the world on my way to another win. I had a good stack and pretty much abused the table when we got to six handed and almost doubled my stack through only preflop raises. I took a real tough beat three handed that left me short, but a well timed pair of Kings got me out of the hole and I used a combination of decent cards and a lot of aggression to carry me through. I really, really love playing heads up poker. The psychology of what's going on is more important than the cards in my opinion. I just leaned and leaned and leaned, and when I felt like I had pushed enough I would back off a bit, give up a few pots and then start leaning again. In the end, it worked and I got my opponent to start pushing with decent hands but I always had the better one.

I'll be playing my sit n' go challenge on PokerStars, as well as the WSoP satellite that I'll be running, which is tentatively looking like either the 18th or 25th of this month. I'll have my first update on the SNG challenge next Wednesday.

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