Saturday, October 20, 2007

$60 shot on $0.50/$1

I sat down tonight with $60 after coming home from town and put it on $0.50/$1 in a shit or bust effort. I also took a $30 buyin on $0.25/$0.50 to keep me from being bored. I made 3 huge hand in a row after waiting for about 20-30mins. They were 2 huge pots and then a nice small pot afterward that probably did not merit getting as big as it did, but my guess is the villain was floating in order to steal it from me. The 2 big pots came from a villain who was most likely tilting or else had no idea what he was at.

$98 pot: flopped 2nd nuts and a redraw to a flush

$195 pot: flopped top set and the guy chases his draw after the board pairs on the turn!!

$45 pot: check the turn to give the floater a chance to steal.

Then an hour later:

$75 pot: Nuts vs 2nd nuts to finish the session off.

I probably could have got a 3/4 pot to a pot bet off the 2nd nuts. Maybe the 1/2 pot bet would have been better if the flush hit. Hard to tell, im not sure about this one.

Current Balance: $1046

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Getting there

I don't know if its a regular thing for people to get a lot of abuse at the tables online. Well i've been getting an excessive amount recently. The only thing I can guess is my aggressive play makes people very uncomfortable. I get huge abuse when i reship double suited run downs against aces and win. People hate losing with aces. I get called donk 'once' a day. Loads of other names aswell. Whats up with that?? Then this guy here calls me a mutt for reshipping with a straight and flush draw against him. I had been folding to his pot raises all day. Like he wouldn't do the same with that hand!? Anyway fuck it, im having a good time right now with PLO on stars.

Current Balance: $763

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Momentum

Finding my groove again with PLO on pokerstars. Had a couple of good sessions now, hopefully it'll remain the same for another while. I'm beginning to think winning and losing in poker has a lot to do with your frame of mind. Not much to report other than every other session has been a monster for me recently on PS.

Current Balance: $642

Monday, October 15, 2007

Yum Yum

Back on the up .. for the time being!! Finally i can dodge flushes and hit em.
Some big hands from the session.. i win a nice pot against aces to get back in contention.
Then later i am reminded i am but a wee fish!

Note the lack of brm. Im a little disappointed in this. I did drop down to short stacking $0.10/$0.25 for a while but that brought me down to an uber low of $50. AKA Square One!

Current Balance: $378

Sunday, October 14, 2007

New low!

wow i must be retarded. I plyed about 2 hours of $0.25/$0.50 PLO and blew $260. I don't understand how it can happen that you can play for so long and keep losing!? Thats pretty crazy. Maybe my hand selection isn't the best.. i have no idea? I'm shocked ive come this low! Time to invest in some brm!!

Current Balance: $101

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Rubble

This post is just a quick update on whats been happening over the last month and a half. Basically i have been swamped with work i've had to do at college for my PhD and regardless i've been playing poker when i didn't really have the time. My play during this period has been really down. I bust my FTP account following many runs of going over $1000 and below $300. It was all on the $0.25/$0.50 tables. My pokerstars account has experienced the same fate and it has largely been to bad brm and most of all bad play i think. Right now im going to start rebuilding on PS. Wish me luck!!

Current Balance: $330

Saturday, August 18, 2007

There'll be ...

... ups and downs, smiles and frowns ...

What do i mean by that?? Well, for the past 2 weeks i ran like a demon on full tilt, this week it was like i was trying to run through a brick wall! Nothing was working for me at all. My semi-bluffs/draws missed, when i had my money in ahead i ended up behind. In all i dropped $700 from the full tilt account. I got some genuinely sick beats. No 60/40 bullshit.

Flop the nuts and lose to a 4 outer!
I fail to see how bpl21 got $60+ into this pot with 3rd pair and a gut shot (not a double belly buster!).

Bottom set and second nut flush draw to top 2 pair.

I don't want to bore anyone too much by going through a sickening run of 50/50s that i've lost. When coming in for half a buy in at $0.50/$1 its hard to avoid them. Perhaps playing for a full buy in at $0.25/$0.50 is worth dropping down to. Guess i was asking for trouble since i was playing outside of my bankroll rules. Thats the risk i guess when playing too high. My confidence at the tables took a hit from this 'bad run' and my play deteriorated as a result. Playing passive in wrong spots and too aggressive in others, etc.

I switched to playing on stars again recently and took a major hit worth -$400. The balance on stars now lies at $600 and the full tilt roll is also on $600. I haven't posted my checkyourbets graph before. It only covers my progress/regression on stars and i have not been tracking my full tilt progress on it. Its a bit late to start doing that now.



The main thing different i need to do right now is slow down(once again) and drop limits to $0.25/$0.50. I made a decision before to play fewer and longer sessions which i think has not been working for me in the long run. I'm going to switch this up to more frequent and shorter sessions. Even though the thought of playing a stop-win irritates me, its seems the better choice to bag a couple winning sessions and stay fresh at the tables. I know i can play top quality poker but periods of fatigue and a lack of concentration means that intermittently some sessions can be very costly. This new approach is an attempt to reduce these bankroll burners. During these types of sessions i find myself completely oblivious as to who the target is at the table. The most likely explanation is that i become the target when playing so bad =(

Current Balance: ~$1200

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Loving PLO on Full Tilt.

Pokerstars has taken a back burner for the last while and i've been playing PLO ($0.50/$1) 6 handed on full tilt almost exclusively. I can really see my game sharpening up a huge deal. I always buy in for $50 on the tables and run it up until thte table is dry, or if i'm getting creamed i've been able to leave (sometimes!).
The main improvement i've had is playing each street rather than check-raise, ship-ship-ship. It really helps a load in certain spots. I love catching people who like to value bet their non nut hands on the river with check raises and what not. The most difficult but rewarding part has been finding the right spots to bluff and what flops to continuation bet.

I'll keep playing PLO on full tilt until i can run the balance there up to about $2500 before i think about taking any shots at $1/$2. Really liking $0.50/$1 at the moment. No doubt the most profitable game i've played yet.

I bluff tooo much.

Can't help it.

It could be an addiction.

I just saw this sick hand while railing Humberto Brenes on the Sunday millions tonight. Earlier he was outdrawn for a $100k pot with TT vs 99 on a 578 board and had rebuilt. Then this happened!! He's on $300,000 now. gl.

Balance on full tilt is now $1200 and pokerstars remains at $1000.

Current Balance: $2200

Friday, August 3, 2007

Some Casino Time

Dismal tournament post =(
    I played the €200 freezeout last night in the Macau casino. It was a wicked game but I don't think i've played soo bad in a long time. It was the most passive i've played in ages. Nothing to do with the buy in or anything, it just seemed to be the mood i was in. Early on i got up to about 11k from 8k with KK vs JJ. Following this, I was playing uber tight, and it seemed to be on the side of tight passive =(. I don't really know why as my table was relatively soft and i really could have took advantage of it.
    I kept telling myself i'd open once the antes kicked in. Two sickening folds i made cost me momentum and playing chips. With a tight~ish limper utg and EP (100/200 level) I make it 900 with TT from MP. The sb calls and the limper utg ships for 2700 more. I gave him credit for a descent hand and dumped. The sb then called and lost with AQo vs his 77. Later with about 8000 in the 150/300 level, i made a raise with AQs from MP with a limper in front to 1000. I get a loose caller in the blinds and the limper asks how much I'm playing, and then flat calls. Flop comes down AQT all spades. Its checked to me and i reluctantly made a 2000 bet. The player in the blinds makes an obviously loose call and the limper ships all in. In this spot i really don't think he's bluffing with the caller in the blinds. Also i've seen him to be aggressive when he hits flops. I can't get KJ out of my mind here, and maybe he has KQ with the Ks. With 5000 left behind, i cringed and folded. The player in the blinds also folded. Later he said he had AT.
    So I'm still playing uber tight, and i've no chips but i manage to get back up to about 7000. There was about 40 runners and we are down to the final two tables in the 300/600 level. Theres a limper utg in my bb, sb completes and we see a flop of J-rag-rag all spades. Its checked to the turn which is another low spade, and then i bluff the river and get called by a 9 high flush. I hate bluffing the river. Really bad play by me. After that I'm down to 4000 and end up shipping with KTo in the cut-off and get called by QJo in the sb (!!wtf!!) and AJ in the bb. I flop top pair but AJ makes a straight on the river.

Revitalizing cash game post =)
    Afterwards, I'm feeling really unsatisfied by the tournament and sat down with €120 at a round of each cash game. It was €1/€2 hold'em and then €1/€1 Omaha. The second hand i play, I've got (A7)99 in hearts. Everyone limps. I can't believe how loose these games are. Fucking goldmines!!! The button makes it €10, i call, everyone calls!! Flop comes down KJX all hearts. Checked to the button who pushes all in, I'm all in, he is drawing dead with QhThXxXx and i double up straight away.
Note to self: Poker is easy. Flop the nuts, check it, player goes all in. Call. Easy Money.
    Then in hold'em i limp with AJ utg, theres a small raise (doesn't really matter) everyone calls. I call. Flop top 2 pair(AJ5 all spades). Check it, a guy bets, ridiculously loose (slash semi-retarded) button calls, i call. I've got the bettor on a draw and the button on an Alice in Wonderland fantasy. Turn is a 6 (AsJs5s6x) I check again he bets, button calls. If I'm playing my usual game i ship here, but I'm playing uber passive so i call. River is a J for my house. (Nice one for making it easy poker gods) I check but no-one bites. Cost myself a little money here as the button had 56, two pair on the turn and a 6 high flush draw. Pot was about €80/€90.
    Eventually the games breaks up and I've about €300. We stared playing €1/€1/€5 omaha exclusively and then a couple of rounds of €1/€1/€5/€10. Pretty savage game. I really enjoyed it, even though i didn't play too good. I was in such an uber passive mood and I don't think i bluffed once. Which isn't a bad thing when the game is so loose, but I definitely could have made more. There was never any doubt as to where anyone was in a hand and something that should be milked for all its worth. In the end i left with €360 after a peak of about €450.

    I lasted all of 20minutes in the $100k monthly freeroll i mentioned in my last post. One of the lads ran me up saying they were heading out and i proceeded to bluff my whole stack off on the phone to him, lol. Guess i just wanted to got out.
    Haven't played much online. Bankroll is still about the same. I've been letting my brother play for me on my pokerstars account and its floating about $1000. I played 30mins on Omaha during the week and lost this hand. Again notice the passive check-call on the turn!! Ffs, what am i doing!?!

Current Balance: ~$1600

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Grinding again.

I luff to bluff. Just can't help it. Omaha is just the game to play deep stacked if bluffing is your game. On this hand i made a check raise bluff with just the bare Ad. It works a high % of the time, but the player in this hand repumped with his J high flush. Ballsy/stupid, i don't know. Against me its probably ballsy. Although, he hadn't been playing with me all that long.
Anyone else think this is a tough fold?

I'm in the process of building up both my bank rolls on full tilt and pokerstars. The poker stars bankroll is back over $1000 now. The full tilt roll is on about $650, so there's a bit of work to be done there. I have a ticket for $100k monthly freeroll for goldstar+ which is on today. A bit of luck early on in this one wouldn't go astray.

Imagine having these skills at the poker table!! It would be too easy.


Current Balance: $1640

Monday, July 23, 2007

I did it again!

Last weekend (13th-15th) i ran though a total of $1000 of my bankroll. I was playing my usual (25c/50c) PLO cash on Sunday 15th and my roll was on a comfortable $1800. I had lost about $200 from playing on friday. I dropped another $200, which was pretty sickening. Basically i was consistently losing races. I really don't think my play was lacking. Originally, I had $500 in my LepRecon777 account and $1500 in another one on stars. The $500 became ~$120, and i stuck it on $3/$6 and short stacked it. After missing every flop i limped into i shipped it with this hand preflop and got felted.
Feeling a little tilted afterwards i think and i took $1000 from the other account and transfered it over to my LepRecon777 account. I was left with $500 in my other account, called 'UstackMe', (i won't be using it again), with which I started playing $1/$2 and $2/$4 PLO. I could not win a race. It was that simple. I was playing the short stack approach to PLO at $1/$2 and $2/$4. An example of some spots that i stuck my money in are: hand1, hand2, hand3.
Once i finished off the last of the bankroll in that account i quit. I didn't play then for the rest of the week as i was really pissed with poker. I handed the LepRecon777 account over to my brother who played a bunch of MTTs with it. He ended up breaking even with the account so i took it from him with $1000 left in it. I played a bunch of MTTs and no cash games on friday and didn't catch any breaks. So with ~$890 in the account i stopped playing it.

I deposited $200 on full tilt on friday last. Really, i just wanted a change from Stars as i was sooo sick of it after last weekend. I played exclusively PLO cash (& 1 $30 PLO tourney) and some PLO8 ($0.50/$1). Each time i came in for a buyin of $50 and ran with it until the table dried up. By the time i went to bed i had doubled my stake and the balance on full tilt was just under $400. I withdrew $200 and left $200 on the account at that site. I found the games there waaaaay easier, and really just walked over the PLO tables. It took me forever to make anything on PLO8 and it wasn't till the last half hour that i was able to run the stake of $50 up to ~$130 before i left.
I didn't play any poker on saturday and then on sunday evening i played the bloggerment and some PLO cash on fulltilt. The bloggerment was a good game and i enjoyed it till kenn sickened me and took out my KK with JQo!!! AArrrGGHhhh!! I guess i would have still had chips if i hadn't donated to Bluescouses cause with A5s vs his KK, and in another hand i ended up calling a nice value raise he made against me on a dangerous board. I would have had more value in the hand if i rebluffed when he raised my blocker bet. Ahh well. At the same time i was playing some PLO cash $0.50/$1 and i ran well and played well. I was able to pump the $200 i had on that site up to $677. So in total my bankroll is now ~$1500. I still got some sickening beats. He would have lead out or at least check-raised with top two.

I'm a bit disappointed i didn't post when i was down. But i think its very hard to post when losing. I'll try do it in the future but no promises! Also, i shouldn't have got so impatient and gambled it up on $1/$2 and higher. The damage is done now though, so i'm back in repair mode!

With the €150 i won in the cash game with the lads at the start of the month i'm going to play the €200 monthly freezeout in the macau. Colin won a satellite to the tournament and is selling me the ticket for €150. He wants 10% if i come first(only first), which i hastily agreed to. In hindsight i can't believe i did as thats such a crap deal. I should have just bought the 10% off him for €50. I would be happier whilst playing the tournament.

Current Balance: $1567

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Stuck in Neutral

One thing about poker is its tolerable to break even but at the same time incredibly boring. I've been mixing it up between Hold'em and Omaha cash (25c/50c). I don't know how many times i've sat down at a Hold'em cash table and within 5-10mins I have doubled or tripled my buyin. I'm not the type to hit and run so usually ill end up playing for 10/20mins more. By that time (while still playing loose aggro!) I've unloaded it all and am usually lucky if i have my initial $30 stake left. My fault, certainly for not adjusting strategy.
I assume a lot of players find it hard to judge the optimum time to leave a table, whether you are winning or losing. Harder than that is having the discipline to leave, when you know you should. My guess is, that the decision whether to reload (when felted) or stay (when stacked), is solely dependant on who at the table has a lot of chips. If the player is very live, reload/stay, if the player is competent/good, it is perhaps worthwhile looking for another table.

I've been in and out of quite a number of holes paying Omaha. Its some hell of a rollercoaster ride. I can see my game improving all the time. The constant jamming approach to playing the game has pretty much filtered itself out of my game and i've begun playing more small ball. I've become more adept at picking off and inducing bluffs.

Usually when we play home games we would head to someones gaff and everyone would put up €10 or €20 and we play a sit and go which pays 1st 2nd 3rd .. etc. This week we played a cash game (25c/50c) after the usual tourney, which is very unusual for us. After dropping a buyin early on with JJ vs AJ all in pre (€80 pot) i came out of the game €150 better off! There was one sick bluff i made that i'm very proud of. I'm playing about ~€200 and colin is utg with something similar. He raises to €2, its folded to me in the sb and i call with KJo, Darren in the bb calls. The flop comes T97, rainbow. I lead out for €4 which was called by the bb(Darren) and the initial raiser(colin). At this point I'm done bar a K or Q on the turn. The turn comes a T. I checked and bb(darren) bet €8 which colin flat called. I was reasonably confident neither had a T and bumped it up to €20. Darren dumped it immediately. Colin (initial raiser) thinks for ages and eventually folds QQ face up. I was surprised he was that strong, but i think it was a good fold given the situation. He can't put me on much else apart from a ten or a bluff in that spot.

Current Balance: $2005

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Sunday Million $1050 ticket

Played some more (25c/50c) cash. Maybe a bit too loose aggressive, and dropped about $110. (I also played a $20 PLO8 tournament with no joy.)Some hands were tough, like running KK into 33 on an 833 board for a buyin. There were some other 'not much you can do about it' situations but i can't recall too many right now. I made some folds in the wrong spots. One pretty sick hand, i had a straight with 25o on the button. A board of 2346 and 3 hearts. I raised preflop, and got a free turn card, which completed my straight. The sb bets the flush/straight card, and the bb raises all in. I dumped and the sb called with aa which held against the bb's 77. I was a bit flahed sitting down to play but did anyway. I think that showed and my play was defo sup-par.

My biggest news of this week is winning a Sunday millions ticket. I played a $27 double shootout for the Sunday million quarterly ($1050) and got the ticket. In my first table i came from behind twice to survive. One hand was AT vs AQ, and spiked a T, the other was AK vs KK to flop my A. Both were all in pre. Anyway, the main thing is i have the ticket now, I'm really tempted to play as its the Quarterly $1050 entry. With a small(er) field and big prize pool it'll be a wicked game. Although, it would really mean a load to my roll if i took the tournament dollers. Another option is to play the warm up tournament and bankroll the rest. I'll see how i feel before the tournament starts.

~Update~
Busted out in the $200/$400 level with QQ vs KK. Fooking horrible. Couldn't manage to hold chips together. I was up and down between 10,000 and 15,000. So i stuck it in that spot from the big blind. If i had of played a flop, i think i wouldn't have gone broke, funnily enough. Ahh well. No regrets anyway.

Current Balance: $1974

Thursday, June 21, 2007

No need to bluff the river!

PokerStars Game #10551173765: Hold'em No Limit ($0.25/$0.50)

Table 'Galanthus II' 6-max Seat #2 is the button
Seat 2: stef4n ($67.55 in chips)
Seat 3: mambreno ($50 in chips)
Seat 4: mclauren30 ($30 in chips)
Seat 5: jordyreplay ($121.95 in chips)
Seat 6: LepRecon777 ($38.60 in chips)
mambreno: posts small blind $0.25
mclauren30: posts big blind $0.50

*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to LepRecon777 [6h 2d]
jordyreplay: calls $0.50
LepRecon777: raises $1.50 to $2
stef4n: folds
MarkJDaniels joins the table at seat #1
mambreno: folds
mclauren30: calls $1.50
jordyreplay: calls $1.50

*** FLOP *** [9s 9c 8h]
mclauren30: checks
jordyreplay: checks
LepRecon777: bets $4.50
mclauren30: folds
jordyreplay: calls $4.50

*** TURN *** [9s 9c 8h] [Ah]
jordyreplay: checks
LepRecon777: bets $9.50
jordyreplay: calls $9.50

*** RIVER *** [9s 9c 8h Ah] [2h]
jordyreplay: checks
LepRecon777: checks

*** SHOW DOWN ***
jordyreplay: shows [Ts Js] (a pair of Nines)
LepRecon777: shows [6h 2d] (two pair, Nines and Deuces)
LepRecon777 collected $32.60 from pot

The guy playing that hand freaked out at me after the showdown. Can't blame him really. I raised the hand however as he was calling very light preflop and on the flop. I was just trying to steal a pot really. Prior to this hand he took me for a buyin holding T5o on a 235 board. I was holding AK with a flush draw and shipped to his flop bet.
My internet connection is capped for the month so if i want to play i have to use an internet cafe until July. Played tonight and started off the session dropping a buyin with T6s vs 55 on a 579 with 2 spades board. Dropped another buyin and then ran well ending up ~$120 for the 3 hour session. During it i had an overbet paid off! I river the nut straight holding 74s and a $2.25 pot became a $34 pot. Don't know what to say about that one!

Current Balance: $2129

Monday, June 18, 2007

New Focus

I've been playing a good deal of PLO (25c/50c) and MTTs. Intermittently playing some STTs, which i seem to be just blowing off steam in really. Not particularily playing well in them apart from the 10x $20 STTs which i still have to finish. Generally just oscillating about $2k. Twice I've won some $$ playing tournaments and just blown it on cash and too many MTT entries. Don't want to let that happen again now.
I'm finding PLO very draining at the moment. While it can be lot of fun playing small ball, and running bluffs (when they work) constantly being either side of a 60/40 is really a hard way to get by. From playing Betfair I've noticed the level of play at Pokerstars is way higher. I love playing hard games cause I'm all about stepping my play up, but i'm taking a short break from it for a while. Its too tough to be thinking about it as a way to build a roll, which is what i need to be doing right now. I hadn't played NLHE cash in ages and just recently I sat down and actually found the play reasonably soft. I managed to pull myself out of a $200 hole from MTTs and PLO in about 2 hours. I'll keep playing (25c/50c) until i have enough of a roll behind me that i can bring my full game to the NLH ($0.50/$1) tables and on and on.
Aside from PLO cash I've been playing my usual 'any multi-table tournament that on' when i sit down. I'm working on my heads up game as much as possible and I'm a regular at the $20 Heads up tournaments on Stars. So far I haven't had any big results but hopefully it'll happen soon. Definitely room for improvement there.

So here it is, I'm going to focus on 6 handed NLHE cash until i reach $3000. I'll try keep it to cash as much as possible, but if there is a tourney on ill probably play it. Theres no point me trying to stop playing tourneys, even temporarily, as I'm addicted! Also as many $20 Heads up MTTs as possible.

PLO is a sick way to win or lose money. Just as a good entry for the blog I've been trying to get a descent run where ill start with $30 on the (25c/50c) tables and once i get to $60 take it to the ($0.50/$1) tables, then $120 on the ($1/$2) tables ... etc. Usually i go broke on the ($1/$2) tables. Its just for fun really, so if i get a sick run up to the ($5/$10) or ($10/$20) watch this space!! It'll probably end up with me losing it but it should be a good read. Since I've no experience on high stakes it'll be an inhibition buster, as long as it doesn't end on the first hand!!

If anyone hasn't seen The Rise and Fall of Stu Ungar check it out on pokertube. I posted his tournament winning hand from his '97 comeback on pokerhand.org

Current Balance: $2006

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Journey to the Final Table. PLO8.

I said I'd try to make a PLO8 final table for a 'Journey to the final table' post, so here it is. It was a $30 freeze out with 63 runners. Its not such a large field as the $20 $4000 gaurnteed but still an example of my game and the play in these tourneys. There are a couple of leaks in my game which should be evident in some of the hands posted. I've pointed out the most obvious ones and hope to plug the rest as time goes on.
I gambled early to get a stack, and usually when you get chips together early these tourneys can run very smoothly.



You finished in 1st place (eliminated at hand #10333028318).

217 hands played and saw flop:
- 23 times out of 35 while in small blind (66%)
- 25 times out of 35 while in big blind (71%)
- 51 times out of 147 in other positions (35%)
- a total of 99 times out of 217 (46%)

Pots won at showdown - 36 out of 44 (82%)
Pots won without showdown - 25

Some early gambles and up to $5000 by the $25/$50 level.
    I catch a dream flop, 24T, in a limp pot with (A3)68. With a draw to the nut low I'm looking to play a big multiway pot. There is a bet and a call and 4 players behind me. I could have made a small raise here but i just called (hoping everyone would) and the next player ships. I never advocate drawing to split, but i thought he may have a similar hand to me, and i could 3/4 it if his low were counterfeit. So we played all in. He showed a set of 2s with no low, and i lucked out catching a 5 for the scoop. A badly played hand by both of us.
    I call a button raise with (AJ)Q2 and two callers behind me. Flop is (37)T, giving me a bare nut low draw. I played it aggressively, betting into the two callers in the middle. Another line might be to bet small (1/2 the pot) so that they might both call, and should the button raise we can play all in. I played it aggro though because the button might then fold if he was raising A2 as he shouldn't want to get 3/4d. As it happened, he played all in with me and i paired my Jack which was enough to take the high pot.

From $5,500 to $30,000 between $75/$150 and $200/$400.
    I pick up A(A69) and call a LP raise in the sb. I've played with 55lucky55 before and i know he's raising a descent lo or else a hi hand. Flop comes (58)9 which gives me a flush draw, but there is 2 low cards out there. I bet out and he calls. The turn is an 8 which is a very safe card for me. So i bet my two pair & flush draw which is enough to commit him and he calls trying to catch his low/4. River blanks for him and i take the $11k pot. Not too much later, i flop trip aces with a low draw to his Kings full. I pair my 5 to fill and get the scoop for $4k.
    I take down a small pot ($3.5k) with a set holding T(T2)2. I called a raise from a big~ish stack holding (A2K)K and flop the nut low (draw) and flush draw against his 2 pair and nut low draw. It goes all in and i win the race taking 3/4 of the pot for $8.5k. With (QA)(AJ) i take on two short stacks. I go behind on the flop but river the flush for the scoop and $7k. Another small pot won with 3A(A5) and im up to $33,000.

The meltdown, $30,000 to $10,000, and the key bluff on the final table.
    A steal doesn't go my way, -$4k, and then i make an ill timed missed-draw river-bluff, -$7k, and the villain involved gets paid the maximum. Then i get involved with a trash Hi/Lo hand, losing $2.4k and doubling a short stack, and again, losing another $2.4k. Then a disgraceful bluff on a board of Q9(A45) against a short stack for -$6.4k.
    Down to $11,000 from a big chip lead and its looking like i could bust if i keep it up. The button limps on my bb and im holding 4(2J)8 and i take a stab at a board of KJ3 which gets called. The turn is an A, giving me the nut low draw and i check call his turn bet. If i hit my low (without being counterfeit) i can ship for the steal. Once again i miss my draw and bet the river. I like this bluff though, as i could easily have been value betting a QT, and he can't call here without the straight. Thankfully he folds, +$5k. I'm now back up to ~$16000.

Back up to $30k by $800/$1600. Don't bluff the empty side pot!!
    I make some raises and get a few call-check-folds and work my way back up to $22,000. Then bust a short stack with a flopped 2 pair, and we are down to 6. Some more aggressive stealing with dirt (that finally works!!) and im up to $34,000.
    We are down to 5 and the short stack left has a little more than 1 big blind. I make a pair of Js on the flop and i'm happily checking it down when someone bets their flush draw!! He misses and the shorty 4x's up. My J would have took it. I'm not too bothered by this since i have the chip lead and can use it to pressure the other medium stacks whilst the shorty is hanging around. Anyway, i cripple the empty sidepot bluffer when i make a flush and a low against him. I manage to get him to call almost his whole stack with 2 pair and no low!!

Using the big stack with the shorty hanging around.
    The stacks are now, button: $6.5k, small blind: $27.5, me(bb): $53k, utg: $7k. I start putting pressure on the other big stack. Down to 3 and after making some hands against him, a house and two pair, i manage to swing the chip lead in my favour as a 2:1. Once i got this safe margain against him its time to start laying it on thick. He makes a button raise and I repump out of the small blind with (A7)Q3. Its basically all in or fold for him. Ideally, i don't want any action here and id rather he would fold. But he calls with A(J5)3 and i win the race.
    Finally I'm heads up with a monster lead $83k to $10k. I take down a small pot and then finally finish it. Its funny that the player who was all in (to 4x up) when i was bluffed off the best hand came in second.

Current Balance: $2174

Thursday, June 7, 2007

10 x $20 STTs

I've been looking at some of my stats and trying to determine where I've lost most of my money recently. A large chunk has been lost playing $25,$30 and some $50 STTs. Mostly from medium stakes turbo sngs. So this post here is a conscious effort to try and improve my %ROI from playing SnGs.
I'll fill this post as i play the $20 STTs with results and any good/bad plays i made.

1. (1/9) Can't say I'm overly proud of this win as i got wicked lucky in some spots. First off i got short from some bad bets and make a little squeeze play with 88 vs AK to double. Win a small 40/60 vs a short stack. Then i crack aces x1. But no apologies there, he played them dangerous. crack aces x2. That was lousey. Heads up I finished it off in fine style with AKd vs TJo.
A good start but its gonna be a bumpy one i think.

2. (2/9) Went low again at the start and then picked up 3 hands in a row that got me into the money. A3h in the bb, A9o steal from the sb, a cdu holding A9 on the button. Played a bit fast heads up, the first hand i limp-reraise allin with A3 against JJ. I figured he'd raise no matter what.

3. (5/9) Some aggressive play early on and i got up to $2000. Then overplaying 2 hands in succession i dump most of my stack. Preflop, I reraise with AQo and the button calls and raises my continuation bet. I'm sure he had a big pair. Alarm bells should have went off but didn't. Then i really could have check folded with AJh when i missed the flop. More often than not, a limp call preflop from a short stack is a small pair. I survived with push fold poker for ages and then made this loose call. He had just lost AQ vs 55, and i figured he'd push any 2. Don't know if it was a good/bad call. Then TT vs A4o to bust.

4. (3/9)

Just cleaned out my betfair account. I ran it up to about $140 and busted it tonight. I'll blame this hand. I wasn't playing particularly good(shying away from some stealing opportunities), but winning that pot would have got me right back in it.

Current Balance: n/a

Monday, June 4, 2007

Ante down

I playing a good deal of PLO8 last weekend. It was mainly $0.50/$1 and i dropped the guts of $400 and another $200+ on MTTs & STTs. Pokerhand was down so i didnt post any hands, but the general gist of my play was i played okay, and got unlucky in some spots, but mostly i think i overvalued hands in different situations.
One spot came up when i had AA67 suited to the A in the small blind. It was a 6way limp pot and i min-raised. The limper utg re-raised all in for $18($20). The next player calls and its folded to me. I have a stack of $130 and the other player has $120. As it worked out, i could reraise the pot and have only $35 behind, which i did. I missed the flop completely which was 2Q7 with 2 spades. As it happened it was a dream flop for the caller who held A34Q suited in spades. I've won a large deal with aces in PLO8 but if they dont have a 2 or 3 they're usually dirt (one suit = essential).

I'm not going to harp on about it much more other than to say i'm just dropping down to 25c/50c again until things turn better.

Macau Summer Festival
I played the $200 satellite for the $1500 main event at the Macau Club in Cork this weekend. Its the only event of the festival I've played so far and I busted in the 3rd level. This can be attributed to mainly two hands. I ran my $7000 stack up to about $9500 and made a raise with AKs in MP. I'd been playing relatively aggressive and was very comfortable at my table. So i make it $450 (blinds $75/$150) and the small blind pushes all in for $6000+!!!! Like wtf!?!? If it was the first time he did it i would seriously consider folding as i didn't think i needed to gamble at this table. That being said, i called and his QJs hit a Q which held. Not too later i picked up TT with a raise of $375 in front of me. I shipped and got insta-called for my $2200. His pair of sevens made a four card flush.

The most interesting hand i had was in the $25/$50 level. A guy raised on my right to $400. I instantly put him on AQ, and gave him a small probability of hold JJ or less.
I have AK, and flat call. Flop comes J9x he bets $400 i call, turn is a 9, he bets $400 i call, river is a J (which i hated seeing) and he bets $1100. What do you do?

My thinking is he either has JJ for quads or else AQ. Don't think he'd bet TT there. If i raise he'll fold AQ, or else he'll re-raise with quads or a J and if i call best case is ill split.
Unfortunately, i didn't make a play for the pot and flat called, he showed AQ to split.

I wanted to take a shot at playing the last event in the festival in the Macau. Its the €250+€20 Pub Challenge. Not willing to fork out €270 i thought i'd give a shot at running €60 up to €330 for the buy in, or else lose it. So I put €60 down on betfair. Since Omaha is the fastest way to win and/or lose money I put it all on a $0.50/$1 omaha cash table. I'm happy to say I was able to work the $80 up to about $500 which was enough to cash out €330 and have $50 left on the account at that site. So ill be playing the pub challenge tonight.

A really strange PLO hand.
Whilst playing omaha on betfair i got a sick outdraw. Not that i was a huge favourite or anything, (i had a flush against a set) but the pot developed from nothing ($6) to a $250 pot and the guy got rewarded for his stupidity. It was particularly annoying as it seemed to me he was playing well and this was his only mistake all night. I raised in the sb to $3 with a suited ace of clubs and trash, the bb calls. I flop the nut flush and bet the pot. He min-raises to $12, i make it $24, he makes it $36.... Hold on ... now i check to make sure there is no straight flushes out there... J86, im good. So i ship. He calls with 88xx and betfair wastes no time to pair the board on the turn. That was a $250 pot and i was left with $150, which luckily enough, i was able to run back up. That guy left not long after.

~Update~ Well i busted out in the second level of the Pub Challenge. With a limper utg, i limp utg+1 with KQh.. considered raising, another limper and we see a flop of 9TJ with 2 diamonds. The limper utg bets $400 into $500, i make it $1200, she showed some irritation and called. Turn comes a T and she checks forcefully. I've already put her on TJ for calling the raise, but in case she had JQ i made a small bet of $1000. She makes it $2500... ughhh. The original plan was to fold to a check raise. I thought about it for a while but couldn't bring myself to dumping it. She had all the signs of filling a house and some speech play by her just reinforced that idea. Still couldn't release. The other option was to check the turn and call a river bet, but by betting here i think its possible to get out cheaper (except when you can't fold). The only hand i want to see now is QT, which really isn't a limp utg hand(imo). So, i ship, she calls and showed TJ then for the house. Should have been an easy fold on the turn.
    On my table i sat to the right of Flipper, Jimmy McSweeney and Eoin Tobin. Being oop of all these players meant id be playing for their blinds, which was going to be tough, but I was looking forward to seeing how i fared. Unfortunately i didn't last long enough.
Going to see if i can run the remaining $50 on betfair up enough for a buy-in for one of the €100 weekly freezeouts.

Current Balance: $1950

Friday, May 25, 2007

Bread and Butter

Here's the $5+R PLO8 tourney from last weekend. As you can see i have the bridesmaid dress on. I was thinking of doing a 'Journey to the final table' with this one but I'm not sure if the interest is there for PLO8. Anyway the pokerhand website seems to be down or sold or something. This is a bit of a dose as all the hands i have linked on my posts are not retrievable anymore. I had a look at Brian Townsend's blog some others and it seems to be the same deal everywhere.



I've had a relatively quiet poker week since two mammoth sessions on Friday and Saturday last weekend. Just played a small bit of PLO on the $0.50/$1 tables during the week and made a small profit which i lost on MTTs and STTs.

Following some advice from 4CardGrind I've opened another account on Pokerstars which i'll use for holding my bankroll. Just a small security measure since I'm posting my balance at the end of each post. If i decide to post any hands i play using that account it'll be the Hero-Villain story that people use.

As regards my goals for the month I think i achieved all of them. Number 1, i always made sure i had a winning attitude when sitting down to play. Not too sure if I've been play tighter but i think i've been bluffing less, which is good i think. Especially in PLO. I learned that not everyone plays the nuts, the hard way. Taking that extra 5 seconds and engaging the brain is a life saver. The days of 'Aaahhhh fuck you I'm all in' are hopefully done. Playing less and longer sessions is working for me. Its easier be patient when you know you gonna be playing for a while. And finally, I tripled my bankroll which is also nice.

Won't be playing much poker this weekend cause I'm goin to see Nas in Dublin on Sunday. Seen him the last time he was in Eire and it was well sick, so I'm looking forward to this one. I'll put a descent session in during the week and post some hands and that.

Current Balance: $2671

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Journey to the Final Table. NL Hold'em.

I made two final tables this weekend. One in NL hold'em and one in PL Omaha H/L. This post is a little insight into my game and should explain why i make some of the decisions i do in tournament poker. IMO, the most important part of the tournament is getting a good start and some chips together. With chips you can do damage but without chips you are nothing. I hope this is an interesting read, and it should give some indication of the magnitude of things that need to go your way to make a final table. Any thoughts, comments or criticisms welcome.

My stats from this tournament are:
You finished in 7th place (eliminated at hand #10007081214).

400 hands played and saw flop:
- 10 times out of 48 while in small blind (20%)
- 14 times out of 46 while in big blind (30%)
- 27 times out of 306 in other positions (8%)
- a total of 51 times out of 400 (12%)

Pots won at showdown - 14 out of 19 (73%)
Pots won without showdown - 39

    Which obviously shows very tight play. Often my style(tight/loose,passive/aggressive) can be mood dependant, or card dependant. I didn't get a particularly great run of cards, but what i did get were some great situations which i was lucky enough to be involved in and take advantage of. My stats for the PLO8 tournament are more loose aggro, playing 33% of hands.



    The average chip count for the final table is ~$650,000. So once i had a stack of $10,000 the aim was to run it up to approximately $650,000 gradually.

A Good Start.
-Up to $10,000 by the $75/$150 level.
    By the $75/$150 level i had tripled my starting stack of $3000 up to $9000. This run started with one of the luckiest folds i have ever made. Whilst holding QQ in the BB the action before me went loose limper in EP, then a strong raise and a strong button re-raise. I folded after some pain and both showed AK (river coming an A) to split the pot between them.
    One of a very few bluffs i made all tournament (aside from steals) was with J3o in the cop. My brother was beside me at the time and he dared me win the blinds, then UTG+1 raised 3x. Willing to give it a go anyway, I re-raised, he called, and i was lucky enough to catch a K on the flop to bet, which was enough to take down a $3000 pot. I assume he had a pair of some sort.

Double up and double down between $100/$200 and $200/$400 level.
    Holding AJs in the big blind i flat call a button raise and unknown to myself catch a very lucky flop. A26 with two hearts. Obviously the button will bet here 90% of the time, with or without an ace. I reasoned my best play in this spot was to check raise all in. By doing so i represent a flush draw(and take it down if he has no piece) or i just might get called by a weaker ace which is what happened.
    Two levels later i make a raise with AJo from MP and get a caller in the sb. My continuation bet gets check-minraised on a paired board. I really should have let go now but fearing i might be getting bluffed, i re-raised. There are really no hands i can beat that the sb would call and check-raise this flop, so an obvious overplay on my part with this hand.
-A missed doubling up opportunity.
    In the same level i flat call a raise with AA from the sb, and lead at a K high flop. I am really praying he has a K and comes over the top but he says he has JJ and folds. An easy double up missed if i had pushed all in pre.

$10,000 to $40,000 in the $300/$600 level.
    I'm dealt A3o in the sb. It is folded around to the button who has been raising a lot of hands recently, and he has doubled up recently aswell. He raises the button as expected. I reraised all in here. Two reasons: I want to take the pot down there and then, ie a steal, and i feel my ace is most likely good to the buttons range. He insta-calls, so i obviously assume i'm way behind, but he show KQ and i win the race and double through.
    In EP i'm dealt 75d. The bb is all in in this hand and i limp. This is worthwhile as i get to see a cheap flop and the likelihood of someone bluffing me off the best hand is low. The sb completes and we see a flop of J86 all diamonds. He checks, i bet my flush and he raises all in!! I call, fully expecting to see a jack with a A,K or Q of diamonds. He shows a black 64!! I guess he wanted to steal the sidepot, but that was free dough for me.
    That brings me up to the $35,000 mark. I win a small pot with 45s in the sb, and there is not much more action for me till i get dealt KK in the bb. I got really frustrated with this player. He is rather loose aggro and raises my blind. I reraise and he calls. After flopping top set i try slow playing but he doesn't bite, and ends up making running flush cards for a 6high flush with his A6o!! For fuck sake, what kinda donk calls a reraise with A6o and then doesn't even use his position once?? For this kind of stupid play i steal a nice pot off him when he min raises utg. Most likely some suited trash, probably Jh9h given his interest after calling the turn raise, otherwise a pair like JJ or QQ are possible too.

A courtesy double up and a tight fold.
-Just stack maintenace till the $800/$1600 level.
    After a raise with 99 and a call i see a flop of Q92 oop(out of position). Begging for some action i make a weak continuation bet, which gets raised. With some hollywood i let the timer run down. He says "will show u" and i reply "f it" and ship. I assumed he had a Q, but he called with JJ and i double through.
    Not too long later the same player makes a strong raise utg, and i have AQd in the bb. I could assume he is steaming and give him some action, but i gave him respect and folded.

Excessive action from trueye
-$65,000 to $120,000 in the $1000/$2000 level
    A loose aggressive player who had built a stack without showing down many hands was on the button when i raise AQs in EP. He's probably the player i am most happy to see call, as im pretty sure i've the best hand. Being oop i really need to hit the flop, else it'll be hard to play. The flop is good, AK7 rainbow. There is ~$15,000 in the centre and i make a weakish looking continuation bet. Its a small enough bet that he might call and try take it off me on the turn if i check. This is exactly what happened, and exactly what i hoped would happen (unless he has pocket 7s). I then check-raised the turn all in. I assume he had no piece of it. Later i make a flush against him that gets paid.

No cards survival.
-A lot of folding from $1000/$2000 till $4000/$8000, stack size oscillates between $120,000 and below $100,000.
    For then next three levels i run completely card dead. Survival is of paramount importance so any opportunities to take blinds i took advantage of. The entire time there was a really loose aggressive player directly on my right. This killed a lot of hands i could play and really i was looking for something big to double through him asap. Unfortunately this never happened as i couldn't get dealt anything strong enough to play him. He eventually went broke with 88 vs JJ. I'm then in the cop when the player who just bust him and doubled up is in the bb. Players who have just won pots are very vulnerable to stealing. Since they've just doubled up/won a big pot, they don't want to get involved and give it all back with a sub-premium hand. Taking advantage of this (along with my super tight image) and stealing their blinds is absolutely essential. Else if they limp the next hand, ill raise pre-flop to isolate, and then steal on about 80% of boards.

Another cdu and winning a race.
-Finally some hands in the $4000/$8000 level.
    Later i get lucky and someone randomly donates chips to my cause. I call a min raise with J7s in the bb and get excessive action from K high. Why does everyone assume checking the turn is weakness?!?. Luckily the board blanks on the river and i double up.
    Then came the essential race. I raised with JJ from utg+1 and the bb pushes. Its not my tournament but i really could do with winning this one. Luckily i do and i'm in a great chip position for making the final table.
    With $300,000 in the $4000/$8000 level, i'm up in the top 5 chip spots so i use my stack to accumulate some more chips with medium strength hands until i reach about $500,000 by the final two tables. The average for the final table being ~$650,000.

Tightest fold of my life!
-The final table bubble and under pressure from the big stack in the $15,000/$30,000 level.
    After some winning some small pots and avoiding big confrontation i'm up to $500,000 on the bubble of the final table. I'm dealt AQo on the button and make a standard raise. The bb is the chip leader and has been playing excellent big stack poker pushing everyone around. He was re-raising a lot and putting people to a decision for their chips on numerous occasions. He hasn't been playing with me long enough to observe my tight play but i doubt he cared really! His range for reraising me here is very large. I'll guess any pair, any ace, two paints maybe even a suited connector. I can't believe i caved to the pressure, but i really did want to make the final table so bad, and there was about three/four short stacks left. Its definitely a hand that will haunt me but a mistake i won't make again. Maybe it was a good fold or even a lucky fold i don't know. But when playing for first i think this is exactly the type of hand i need to lay the hammer down with.
  If anyone has any opinions please share.

Losing a race at the final table.
-A walk on my first big blind and then no cards till i see 66.
    My final hand came with 66 in the bb. This was the first hand i had seen after folding for 3or4 orbits. The villain from before raised from the sb and i shipped. I'm pretty much guaranteed a call unless he's raising absolute dirt, so maybe a fold could be justified. If i did fold, I'd be left with playing push-fold poker for survival. But if i double up ill have a good chip stack and position on the most aggressive player at the table. His A9o made a pair of aces on the turn and that's game over.

Any thoughts, comments or criticisms welcome.

Current Balance: $2640

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Quick Update

After the tournament on Saturday i played the $20+$2 Omaha H/L $4000 guaranteed. Along side this i played a $30+3 turbo Omaha H/L sng and an Omaha H/L cash table. Generally i don't like playing cash tables and sngs at the same time as the mentality is very different for both. Usually ill multitable cash or sngs but i think i just wanted to gamble it up a bit.

PLO8 Cash and Sng
The $30 sng i went out in 5th, due to over aggression on my part. I went a bit crazy with the first hand i played on the cash table(25c/50c). Now this happens quite a bit for me! Usually ill bluff the balls off the first hand or just g crazy with a draw. It actually helps me settle, win or lose. I limped in EP with A2JT suited to the T. There was a caller behind and the BB raised it up. I flat call the raise and the limper reraised it. Now, this is where things started to get weird. The BB flat calls the reraise. I was thinking i have A2, 5 handed, so i don't mind playing a big pot. If i push all in however, i might lose one of the players. Since i have A2 i want a big pot before the flop played 3way. So i re-raised it to $20 total, which left me with $10 behind. I was hoping for an all in from the limping reraiser and then the BB would surley call. Instead the action went call, call. So there is $60 in the pot before the flop, which ended up completely missing me, maybe i'm a fish as i can't fold with only $10 behind. So i lost that buyin. I rebought for another $30 and i think i was down another $20 before leaving.

$20 Omaha H/L
Things went well for me throughout the tournament but i ended up bubbling. There were about 250 runners and i placed 30th. My chip count peaked at about $50,000 which is enough for the final table but i really wasn't playing my A game and could hold-on to my stack. I doubled a short stack whilst holding A349 on a J92 board. He held AJ23 and i was genuinely shocked when he showed a pair of jacks. I really thought my pair of 9s was good, as i was putting him on a strong low hand given his raise pre. I simply thought the flop missed him and i was good(I think he went on to win). Then on the bubble i got involved with a speculative hand that i will accept a lot of criticism for. The raiser was very loose aggro and the players in the blinds had tightened up a great deal. Given this, i thought my hand would be worth seeing a flop in position. I had A2Q9 suited to the A and the flop came A88. He made a suspicious AAxx type bet which i wasn't going to buy. It seemed more a 23xx bet. My big mistake in the hand was on the flop (i think?). I should have pushed all in or folded then. Instead i called and then the turn card committed me. I'm behind to AKxx and drawing thin against any ace with low cards (which is the hand i would rather have). Luckily i had a coin flip but i missed/he hit and was out in 30th.

My roll was down to $1500 then. I had made the plan in my own mind to try and keep that a new zero mark. Unfortunately it is just above $1400 now but I'm going to try keep it above $1500 in the future. This will basically mean slowing down and dropping to lower stakes sooner if i am losing.
I didn't play Sunday(apart from the blogger tourney) or Monday. I played last night (Tuesday) even though i was feeling a bit run down. I was pretty tired from work and not really feeling like going to battle on the cash tables but i did anyway. It was soon obvious that my game wasn't sharp. I lost 2 buyins of $30 on 25c/50c and they can be attributed to basically 2 hands.

Hold 'em Cash
The first was JJ in the BB. I reraised a LP raiser and played a $20 pot oop heads up. With $18 behind, the flop came QQ8 with 2 spades. I made a pot committing continuation bet ... villian ended up showing down KQs for the winner. Then on another table, a new player arrived and after sitting through the blinds he limps in MP and i raise on the button with 99. He calls and check-raises me on an 8 high board with 2 hearts. I can beat a flush draw and A8, but would some really check raise A8?? Memories of 'ahh fuck it' come to mind and it ended up all in. He showed down TT for the winner.
Wish i didn't play last night as it goes against my fewer and longer sessions goal for the month. Definitely not going to play next time i'm not juiced for it. It simply way less profitable.

Bloggerment 8
I played the Blogger tourney on Sunday night. I haven't played it for ages as i've been away most weekends recently, so i was happy to give it a crack of the whip. Not much to report on my game as i went out in 10th. I over-committed myself with 67 on a 78x board. It was obvious i was behind when the sb check-raised me. I called trying to make 2 pair and get a stack that would give me a good shot at making the money but no joy.
I very nearly went out first, which was actually fairly scary. (Down to $700 after AT got drawn out on by two flushes!). Admittedly i could have gotten away way cheaper. First out is the so called 'Walk of Shame' with which, comes an accompanying dunce pic for your blog. No thanks, i don't want that! So, you can understand the terror rush. Its a strange feeling as i have never had any qualms about busting outta tourney first before!

Sammy Farha
My all time favorite pro is Sam Farha. The essence of cool at the poker table. I saw this video of Sam vs Phil Helmuth on youtube recently. I was laughing so hard at how much he wound up Phil and got him to call a raise with 3rd pair on the river! This is so funny cause I always see Phil making those stupid small bets on the river to get a cheap showdown and so many amateurs call and then get ridiculed for their play against him. Look how embarrassed he is after the hand, hahahaha, he even forgets what Sammy had, and starts blubbering. lol.



Current Balance: $1441

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Final Table #6

I made my 6th final table of this mission tonight. The final tables so far are: 2nd in the $20 Omaha H/L for $935.48, 6th in a $10 Omaha for $150, 6th in a $3 Hold'em for $120, 1st in a $2 Hold'em heads up for $256, 2nd in a $4 Hold'em for $144 and today a 2nd place in a $5 hold'em for $685. Hopefully if i keep getting this far that tournament win that has been avoiding me up to now will eventually come around.



I ran 99 into TT heads up. He limp re-raised me. This is actually the second time that this happened when i have been heads up in a tourney holding 99. Both times 99 was no good. To make things extra sick we both made sets on the flop so no matter what the money was going in there. I then pushed, maybe a bit too hard, with a (weak) flush draw and overs cards on the last hand. His top pair held up.

Playing the cash tables with Pahud and Poker-tracker has been really productive. Recently, it helped me make a really tough call against an aggressive player. I had QQ on the button on a K high flop. To make things worse the flush hit the river which was also a possibility. You can't have everything though, and in the end I made the call as his betting seemed strange and his stats backed up the fact that it would be worth giving him action.

Current Balance: $1591

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

One Dime

Had a good session today which included winning two $20 sit and go's back to back!! In the middle of all this i gave the sickest beat ever. I mean ever-ever-ever-ever. I flopped top two pair and made a weak bet hoping i might get bluff check-raised or a little action. Well, i did get check raised, and was happy out till i saw his set of 9s. Then came two running flush cards to the rescue!! 25/1 shot = no problem. No training required. Just relax and let the money come to you.
I can safely say my bad run has come to an end (at least for the moment).

For anyone else having trouble with their sit and go strategy, i have found the diamond in the rough.



For a little more solid advice, my friend forwarded me a link to the STT Strategy Guide from boards. Although, i have to admit, i haven't got around to reading it yet! But its probably just as good!!

I have only just gotten Pahud and Poker Tracker working in conjunction recently. I can't imagine playing online cash again without them. They expose the players you want to give action to and those you want to avoid playing big pots with very quickly. Heres a random button bluff against a loose player. Generally these plays are dumb but what can i say, stolen water tastes sweet!!

Right at the beginning of the session I made a very marginal check-raise-all-in with 88 on a T956 board. I had no idea or stats on the player but i had seen he was active whilst i was waiting for the big blind. It was just one of those feelings you get that the guy is just jerking you around with something like JQ or JK. An expensive play, but it worked out this time.

Current Balance: $1031

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Could be back on track!

I experienced the sickest hand so far for the mission in an $8 MTT. I had been building my stack slowly whilst avoiding confrontation from the other big stacks. At the $75/$150 level i have $15k in chips and am the chip leader of the tourney with 300 runners left. Top 150 get paid. So the field was about 1500 strong at the start.
After my recent episode where i lost a huge stack with JJ vs KK against another big stack deep in a tourney, i think im ready to fold everything up to QQ against heavy action. This is where the story starts, ... i get dealt KK in the sb. With a short stacked limper the other big stack at the table makes it 3x. I reraise big, and the short stack follows suit. Then the big stack pushes all in!!! My initial reaction was instant anger, like, "what the hell is goin on?!?". So i call hoping to see QQ or AK but no joy, he had AA and that was him doubled up. How incredibly lucky is that!! Two big stacks, other guy KK and you hold AA. As it happened i managed to finish in 28th place in that tournament whilst suffering the pains of the short stack all the way through. So it wasn't all a loss.

The most recent expense to my bankroll has been STTs. I've lost a lump on $20 STTs. Getting the bubble quite a lot. I tend to push the action on the bubble, and usually end up at either end of a 55-45. When i win these 50-50s it usually give me great momentum to go ahead and take 1st spot, but I've been losing them consistently and its costing me. I'm going to look into varying my strategies around the bubble. Maybe applying limited pressure and avoiding all ins for more than half my stack.
I think i might just have broken the karma of bubbling with the last STT i played. On the bubble, I folded JJ preflop, which is shit hot for a fish like me! I was up against AK, KK and A6. As it happened the BB woke up with KK but i would have been happy with the fold even if i was against just AK and A6.

I made back most of my losses playing a $2 heads-up tournament, winner-takes-all. Heads-up is definitely the strongest part of my game. I made back losses i experienced earlier in the mission by playing heads-up tournaments.
The level of play in this particular tournament was pretty soft. I didn't come up against any real competition until the quarter and semi rounds. In the quarters the guy was a serial bluff raiser. After a raise and a reraise (i reraised from the bb with A6), I lead out with a bet of $220 into a $600+ pot, and a board of AA8 rainbow. It left me with exactly $700 behind (suggesting i might fold). I'm praying the guy comes OTT and thats just what he did. All in with KTo and drawing dead! I think that was the biggest hand. The rest of the matches i was usually playing small pots.



Note: I hit a low of $500 !!

Stopped off to dump some cash on the omaha tables quickly. This is the only bit of cash game Omaha i've played in over 2 weeks. What a sick game!! Only 82% to double. Then i get a ton of abuse for re-raising him.

>>>laneythedog said, "thats what u get"
>>>laneythedog said, "dont ever raise a rasier"
>>>laneythedog said, "omaha lesson for u lep"
...
>>>laneythedog said, "i wish u had a thous dollars"
etc.
and then,
>>>laneythedog said, "THATS WHAT U GET FOR PLAYIN JUNK"

!!! Can you believe that?!!

He says he didn't like me raising cause he could have had AAA. The way i saw it, he either had AAA with the flush draw (explain the weak bet). Else I'm way out in front. So, you either got it, or you don't. Mightn't be the best way to play it but i rather being assertive than passive.

Current Balance: $785

Friday, May 4, 2007

Can't find a Grape

Over the last two days i've played a couple of cash games and sit and go's. Its way less fun posting a loss than a win, but its gotta be done. The sit and go's i played were two $20 and one $30 STT.

STT
The first of the two $20 tourneys i raised a limper on the button from the sb with KJd. I led into a 789 board with 2 diamonds to get raised, so i ship and he calls with A6o!! With no diamonds! But there you go, shit happens. Perhaps a bit of over play on my part in the early levels. I don't usually like to gamble against player i consider weak(partly the reason for my raise from sb), I rather race with good/better players as i think playing more flops with weaker players is +EV.
The other $20 i bubbled after a gruelling battle which reached the end of the 200/400 level. I placed second in the $30STT. Heads up i'm 2:1 behind and chose to limp-reraise all-in with A2 and he calls with KTd. A rivered T wins him the tourney.

At the 10c/25c tables i can account for losing about $100. Firstly the easy hands.
Cracked KK
I held KK in the sb and there was a limper in EP, a raise in LP. I reraise. The limper reraises and i push. He shows QQ and turns a set. -1 buyin. I guess he could have had AA just as easy, so i could be considered lucky he held QQ and unlucky he turned the set. On another table i reraised an active short stack who raised in LP with $12 behind. I'm holding AQo and it ends up all in. His KQ hit a K and thats half my stack. Trying to make something happen with the rest of that buy in i raised from 25c to $3.25 after 4 limpers enter the pot. I was holding AK in the sb. I get two callers and decided to just push my remaining $11 in on a KT9 board. Probably not a good play. I'm only getting called if i'm beat, but i can't really check-fold or bet-fold whith $11 left. If im lucky, someone has stuck around with KQ or KJ suited that wants to pay me off. Didn't work like that however, the EP limper calls with 99 for a set.
-2 buyins.

Same overpair vs same set x2!
During all this i ran JJ into a set of 4s, twice!! The first hand i think i should have been able to get away from. Both hands could have been easy folds, well lesson learned now. Both situations i wasn't giving either player too much credit for a hand. The first player was relatively passive and i really should not have given him action when he was reraising me. I think it was a 945 board. I went with him hoping he'd show A9 or something like that but no joy. His concealed set was good.
The second hand i held JJ on the button to raise and get a caller in the blinds and MP weak-limper called. The player in the blinds lead out into a 468 board with two clubs. I really considered folding as i hated the board and wasn't fond of raising. The only card I'd be comfortable seeing on the turn was a non club J, so calling wasn't an option. I thought maybe he was playing 89 or 78 or a flush draw and figured the MP limper would fold 80% of hands. If he played me for high cards or just for isolating the weak limper i would have to fold most hands on this board. With that line of thinking i pushed in and he called with 44 for a set.
-4 buyins
Perhaps a good deal of over-thinking the hand on my part and the simple answer was the right one. There was a lot of hands beating me on that board and the rest i'm probably even money against, so a big -EV play there. With regard to these decisions with JJ, they were slightly impulsive and didn't give enough consideration to the players i was against so thats something to work on.

Definitely not going to be over playing big pairs in the future. At the moment my confidence in my game is taking a hammering. Some good things i can take away from this session was in the couple of hands i was outdrawn i really wasn't bothered. Did all i could, so i was happy with my play. I lost $80 in each session and stopped playing. I think setting out a max to lose in a session isn't a bad idea. Its a good quitting point to have when things aren't working out. Big change from sitting down with a target to reach, which is how i played before. I wanna play like that again so bad!!

Current Balance: $725

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Back against the Wall

After the great run i had over the easter break i have taken quite a hit. My bankroll now lies at $880 :( I had plans of making this post and showing a ton of 60/40s that i have lost playing omaha in one particular session and blaming it on that, but upon reflection its obvious that its not the sole cause of destruction. After taking some nasty hits, i went down the classic road of gambling it up to make it back. This has involved pushing some very marginal hands and situations in an effort to regain what i lost. Often this would happen after buying into a higher table at a min buyin. I could double/triple my buyin and then push a draw and lose it all. Instead of just leaving it another buyin seems to be the best option. Then enter major tilt. Its incredible how much damage you can do to your roll in a few sessions like this. I've talked to a couple of players who have experienced similar a pain and they agree that you can feel the tension building in the front of your forehead, and you know you are self destructing. You know you are not playing your best game by any means but yet cannot take yourself away from the table. Even if you double once or twice usually the end result is the same, that you stay till all is lost.

With this all said my back is now against the wall. Its shape up or ship out time. Even though it kills me to do it, I'm dropping down the blind levels. This is absolutely necessary to get back on track. Its a new month and with that (hopefully) a new beginning. Most importantly i have got my hunger back. I'm gonna cream those 10c/25c tables, lol. I'm setting out some goals for this month. In order of preference here they are:

1. To gain complete attitude control at the tables at all times.
2. To increase my ratio of pots played to pots won.
3. To eliminate impulse reactions and eradicate tilt.
(-If I am forced to reload more than once I must sit out 10mins.)
4. To have fewer and longer sessions.
(-I am intending to post twice weekly now, and after every major session)
5. To double my bankroll.

On another note, Chris Ferguson has just started a $0to$10,000 mission on full tilt. Its definitely worth a look. I have no doubt he'll get there before me. Going to blame that one on time constraints, lol. This mission was done and blogged by a player on pacific by the name of McFly, i think. I read the blog before but i have lost the link. I'd love to add it to the blog list so if anyone comes across it could you please leave me the url.

Current Balance: $880

Friday, April 20, 2007

Damage Control

I've just went through a big losing streak. It started as going broke to a 4 outer at an Omaha final table. Followed by losing a couple of 50-50s and 60-40s at the omaha 50c/$1 tables. This quickly developed into major tilt. I demolished my bankroll and my play became completely irrational. I would automatically assume everyone at the tables was jerking me around and consistently ended up paying people off. I stopped visibly thinking about hands almost completely and would just decide what hand my opponent would have. Usually whatever would be convenient. When i had lost about $400 and my balance was below $1800 I stopped recording my play on checkyourbets (bad idea). Hoping to 'make it back'. This hasn't happened of course and im stuck about $600 now. I have filled in the games i have omitted as best i can remember. The graph looks a bit like this unfortunately:



Repairs are under way.


Every time so far i have tried to level up on the cash tables i have found it difficult until my bankroll is about 1.5 to 2 times the required minimum balance according to my bankroll management. This is usually because i play a little too tight when i first start at a level. However, at the $0.50/$1.00 i blew a lot of dough playing too loose aggressive in the wrong spots, too passive at the wrong times etc. Couldn't seem to ever get it right. Multitabling 4 tables at 25c/50c at one time (& losing on all !!) didn't help either. Before i would play maybe 2 tables and target players, which has worked well, but too many tables and it becomes all about the cards. I've dropped down to 25c/50c for now and ill level up again once i build my roll over $2200.

I lost a $150 pot on the omaha tables against a maniac. Has anyone any thoughts on this hand ??? This player was super loose aggressive, i think i had to call the turn bet. I'm not quite priced in, but is this a fold that a good PL Omaha player would make? I know he doesn't have the straight, and i'm thinking that he'd probably make this bet if the board paired aswell. Any thoughts?

I think ill take a step back from Omaha for the moment. I was beating it for a while but i'm getting annihilated at the moment. I initially tilted, but i tuned my game back up and it's just not happening for me. Maybe I'm geting outplayed alot or maybe it's just the big swings, I don't really know.

Switching to hold'em cash and tournies for a while now. With that said here is a hand i lost in an $8+R event. There are 100 players left and 90 get paid, and i'm up in the top 6 spots. This one came up just before the break. I had just moved tables and the villain in question had taken down about 3 of the last 4 pots. I get dealt JJ in EP and raise 3x, i get a caller and soon to be winning a massive pot reraised huge. He types in 'break time' and i fell for it hook line and sinker. I called after some time and pushed on a T high flop. He of course held KK and i was pretty much finished. This was particularly disappointing as i had crawled back from gettin short after losing AA vs QQ all in preflop. Uuggh.

A dismal post i know. Hopefully the next one will be on the up.

Current Balance: $1560

Friday, April 13, 2007

2nd Place Syndrome!

I've been looking forward to playing the $20 Pot-Limit Omaha High/Low tournament for ages. I wanted to wait till i got over $2000 but i just couldn't resist. Anyway i played it and finished second!! Whats going on though? I've never won a tournament yet!! I made a second place on pacific poker $10k guaranteed before after playing heads up for over an hour and a half. Its like a mental block. I just can't seal the deal. This second place is driving me mad. Its gotta be because its Friday the 13th, right!?!



The tournament was great though. I was only all in twice in the whole game (except the final hand). The first hand was interesting. The other big stack at the table was super aggressive and i was looking for push in with him. It was basically going to be me or him left at the table, because he was basically just running over everyone. I later called a raise with TTK9s and on a TJQ board, i check raised all in against the aggro big stack. I was hoping he might fold the second nut straight if that was what he was betting, but he called me with it!! Have a look. Luckily for me, i drew out on him and doubled through.

The other hand i was all in with, i held a double suited high hand and took a gamble against another big stack, and a short. Here it is.

After those two hands it was plain sailing to the final table. I was first/second chip leader the whole way through and just kept feeding off the shorts. I got short on the last two tables after losing a couple of races. Thankfully, when i pushed with trash, i wasn't called, and was able to get a stack back together. Once i had some chips again, i was able to play enough to survive.

When it was 3-way i pussied out of calling both players all in from the big blind with an excellent high hand. See what you think. I could have finished it right there. Cuda-Wuda-Shuda and then there was the final hand.
I hadn't played with JareemWeaver until the final table. It was soon pretty obvious that he was strongest player at the table and with him on my direct left, that made things a bit harder for me. All in all, maybe he deserved first and i deserved second, so i guess i shouldn't be too disappointed. However, I don't think you can ever feel satisfied after playing a tournament that you don't win.

Also, make note, I play to win, not to cash (just can't seem to do it!!):

This hand is from the final table. Note the super short stack.

Small Blind 8000: Nezera (143266 in chips)
Big Blind 16000: chowmein (104972 in chips)
UTG: jitterbug777 (89712 in chips)
EP: LepRecon777 (73101 in chips)
MP: JareemWeaver (156510 in chips)
LP: gunner shere (196930 in chips)
Super Shorty: XXTickerXX (6509 in chips)

Dealt to LepRecon777:


RAISE jitterbug777, 16000 to 32000
RAISE LepRecon777 , 41101 to 73101 and is all-in

Fold everyone... back to jitterbug777,

FOLD jitterbug777
LepRecon777 collected 88000 from pot

I built a huge stack after that hand!

Current Balance: $2,239

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

$50 withdrawal

I have withdrawn $50 from my bankroll so essentially now i am 'freerolling'. It doesn't seem like that however due to the time and effort i have put in so far. My main motivation for withdrawing the money is so my account on checkyourbets (username: 20kmission) displays my correct balance online, hours played and hourly rate etc. My graph of my wins/losses now runs from $0 rather than $50 as before.

I have had a brief go at the low stakes $0.25/$0.50 Omaha tables and was able to sandbag my way from $10 to $199, ala Rolf Slotbloom. This basically meant trapping and limp reraising overly aggressive players. One very aggressive player felted me with this hand on the 10c/25c tables. I flopped the nut flush and he flopped a straight flush. He was exceptionally active and i was hoping that by betting weak at the flop i could get him to bluff at the pot, which i thought i was successful at. Then when he bet the turn strong (which was a blank) i was thinking his play was so strange that he had to have the straight flush / King high flush. I don't think i am or ever will be able to lay down the nut flush to a straight flush. He is welcome to my money in this spot.

Now that i am over $1000 i will be rounding down my balance for the end of each post. As per my Bankroll Management i will be playing the 25c/50c tables now. I might continue playing the micro stakes for a while however, until i get to about $1300, so i will be more comfortable moving up to low stakes.

Also congratulations to Martin smith for winning the Irish Poker Open and also to Roland De Wolf for another incredible finish. He really is dominating the tournament circuit at the moment.

Current Balance: $1115

Friday, April 6, 2007

Genius or Insanity??

I swear i'm never bluffing again in $4+0.40 180 player sit and go's. I don't know whether this guy is a genius or insane but it's definitely a fine line!! Make your own mind up though. This guy was limping a lot so i decided i'd try a steal.
Maybe i need to be more selective about the quality of player i try plays on.

$4.00+$0.40 Hold'em No Limit - Level V (75/150)
Table '47159433 6' 9-max Seat #7 is the button

Seat 1: mitchelltril (3116 in chips)
Seat 3: alfie225 (7590 in chips)
Seat 4: BADPLAY_100 (2986 in chips) is sitting out
Seat 5: deigojd (2865 in chips)
Seat 6: LepRecon777 (5958 in chips)
Seat 7: Le_Klem (6341 in chips)
Seat 8: Fullhousekim (3215 in chips)
Seat 9: juss10 (6730 in chips)
Fullhousekim: posts small blind 75
juss10: posts big blind 150

Holecards:
Dealt to LepRecon777:

He limps once again,

CALL alfie225, 150

I'm hoping to take the pot down here with a raise,

RAISE LepRecon777, 450 to 600
CALL alfie225, 450

no such luck...

Flop:

CHECK alfie225:

Time to represent the Queen. Its a dangerous board for AQ so a large bet should show i'm serious.

BET LepRecon777 , 1200
He thinks for a while...
CALL alfie225, 1200

Attempted steal failed. Although its a strange call, where is the check-raise?? I'm thinking maybe AJ or TT.

Turn:

CHECK alfie225:
A king hits the turn, but i can't represent everything, so i check behind him.
CHECK LepRecon777:

River:

Perfect, the river brings another bluffing card, my 'hand' has improved so i can fire again.

CHECK alfie225:
I considered going all in in this spot but i figured that a descent sized bet would do just the same...
BET LepRecon777 , 2150
I don't think he even considered folding.
CALL alfie225, 2150

Okay, i assume i'm going to see the Q he slow rolled me with,...

Showdown:
LepRecon777 shows:

(a pair of Queens)

alfie225 shows:

(two pair Queens and Fours)
alfie225 collected 8125 from pot

What a fucking Hero.

I was completely amazed. I don't think i could make that call if i played for 20 lifetimes.

Current Balance: $904.26