Thursday, February 22, 2007

Hi/Lo to the rescue

Last Tuesday, I began a session of some of the worst poker ive played since i started the mission. In all, i dropped over two buy-ins on the hold'em tables and the bankroll fell to about $116. It consisted of me making some very loose calls/bets and managing to put a full $5 behind 34s on a board of A789T. Scare cards kept hitting and i just kept betting .. should have know the guy wasn't folding his ace. He smooth called each street till i was left with my pants down. So i took a break for 2 days to get my head away from lunatic suicide poker. Sessions like that are just too costly.

Back to the cash tables today and i played a 3 hour session 2 tabling on 2c/5c Omaha H/L. I managed to leave almost $40 in the black! Which means i increased my bankroll by about 33% in 1 session!!! Hella juice!! I had one or two lucky situations to be fair. After 1 big pot i won the guy was postulating that the server is programmed to put big hands against each other to generate rake. That theory is too crazy for me, but it was an ultimate cooler hand. I held KhKcAd5d on a board of KT4 with 2 diamonds. With top set and the nut flush draw i was expecting no action but instead i got check raised and ended up all in. The other player held TTQx suited in diamonds, middle set and a flush draw. Whilst he was drawing virtually dead i could help but feel sorry for him. Situation reversed i know i'm going broke there. My sympathy quickly departed when the $20+ pot was pushed toward me.. ahhhhh. I love this crazy game.

Current balance: $152.97

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Ante up

I've just broken the $100 mark and levelled up to $0.02/$0.05, so far the tables have been pretty good to me. Its definitely a step up from the super passive 1c/2c as players are more aggressive and play back a bit more.

I've entered & won a $3 sit n go and with the $15 from that i started playing. The first table i left even. On the second table there was a particularly aggressive player on my left. Its a better idea to play with position on such an aggressive opponent but nonetheless i played on. I bought into the table for $5 and managed to double up to $10. The aggressor to my left had $10 also when i picked up KK in the small blind with 2 limpers in the pot, one under the gun (utg) and another in late position.
Now, i'd seen him raise from the bb before when the table has shown weakness, so i limped. He raised to 30c ... which was exactly what i needed, and the utg limper called after a think (late position folded). I reraised to $1.40 and he called. I had played back at him before like this once from the sb and before from a limp utg, so with that he must have been getting pretty sick. He called (utg folded) and i led out with about $1.70 on a T43 board he called. To give him a chance to bluff, i checked a 5 on the turn and he pushed. I called instantly, the river came a 5 and KK was good enough for a $20 pot. Didn't get to find out if he had the T but i wouldn't be surprised if he had nothing.

I think that has been my favourite hand so far.

Current Balance: $127.63

Friday, February 16, 2007

Bankroll Management

For the mission, bankroll management is playing a primary role in achieving my goal.
I have divided the 20k mission into ten levels. Each level represents a blind structure on the cash tables. First and foremost i am playing using the 10% rule. Never at any one time will i risk more than 10% of my bankroll. With that in mind there is a minimum balance i must have in my account to play any level. Typically i will play two tables at a time and usually buy in for about 100 big blinds.

So with 200 big blinds in play i need that to represent less than 10% of my bankroll. To play any level i will need more than 2000 big blinds, or 20 buy ins minimum.

I will be playing the levels according to the table below. The levels are as follows:
Level
Blinds
Minimum Bankroll
1
$0.01/$0.02
$50
2
$0.02/$0.05
$100
3
$0.05/$0.10
$200
4
$0.10/$0.25
$500
5
$0.25/$0.50
$1,000
6
$0.50/$1.00
$2,000
7
$1/$2
$4,000
8
$2/$4
$8,000
9
$3/$6
$12,000
10
$5/$10
$20,000

The chart above covers playing 2 cash tables at a time with the minimum bankroll. If i want to play 4 tables at a time i have to drop a level.
eg. if bankroll = $500, i can play 2x $25 buyins @ $0.10/$0.25 or 4x $10 buyins @ $0.05/$0.10

If i manage to level up every 5 weeks the mission will be complete by the end of the year. That could be a bit over ambitious but we'll see how it goes.

Current Balance: $99.09

Monday, February 12, 2007

Dabbling with Pot Limit Omaha High/Low

Just finished a nice session of PL Omaha H/L today. I have a love-hate relationship with this game, i find it can be cruel and very, very kind. I'm not too sure as to how well i played, as i know there were a couple of "why am i calling this huge bet just to split?" - situations, which i need to work on. But generally, i thought my hand selection was descent which seems to be a decisive factor in this game.

The major appeal with Omaha H/L are the huge pots. There is nothing like building a nice pot and then jamming to steal it with a low when a scare card hits, or just jamming in general with a made hand. It is absolutely a fascinating game, perfect for all action junkies. I don't think any hold 'em session can match a good Omaha H/L session. There is just no comparison to the stack you can leave tables with. I love it but i'm well aware of the big swings in this game.

If anyone has opinions/advice or any comments about their own experiences with Omaha H/L i'd love to hear them.

Current Balance: $88.65

Friday, February 9, 2007

First winning session

The cash tables are proving to be quite a roller coaster ride for me. I find i can play well for about the first hour or so and make some steady progress, but then by playing too long, fatigue sets in and i tilt when i lose. At a low point in oscillating about $50 i was in need of a break from the cash tables and found a $3 sit and go. I got heads up with the maniac of the table and was lucky enough to pick up some hands to trap him with. $15 is quite handy at this stage.

Then on to the cash tables. I picked out 2 loose aggressive tables to play. It quickly became obvious that there was a complete maniac at one table. The guy would bet-bet-raise every pot, and his preflop raises were between 20c and 30c. Dying to get involved i found 99 and reraised his super-raise to isolate. On a 9 high flop i managed to get him to bluff off his chips to double me up by the river. It was so sweet.

He went broke and i followed him to another table. An interesting hand then occured. With a $3 stack i limped with AhTh in early position and about 6 people saw a flop of KJ3 with 2hearts. ~16c in the pot and first to act bets 14c, i call to see the action, next player min raises, next player goes all in, original bettor is all in, leaving a $8 pot that could get bigger!! I decided to gamble my flush and inside straight draw and called. Turn blank, and river T. So i have a pair of tens on a KJT35 board. Would you not be surprised to see everyone muck and the $9+ pot get push toward you?!? It was crazy!! All i can think is the 2 players all in had QT.

Meanwhile my crazy friend had managed to get himself a stack of $7+. The low limit tables can be surprisingly passive. I picked up AJo in second position. A guy limps utg and i limp hoping loonie balls will make another uber-raise from the small blind. Right on cue the stakes are pushed from 2c to 22c, and utg calls (slightly worrying). I don't want him in the pot, plus i think i have the best hand, so i reraise to $1.30 to isolate myself with the loose cannon. He calls of course, and utg folds. The flop comes 554 rainbow. It seems a good flop for me. He bets 50c into ~<$3. I call and the turn is a 5. He bets $2. I have $4+ left so i ship and he thinks for ages and calls ... river Q. At this point if he just spiked a Q i think i would crack up. However, he shows KJo and i take the $12 pot with AJ high.

A lot more work to do.

Current Balance: $69.72

Friday, February 2, 2007

Shaky start

Well, I've haven't had a smooth start. I've had a busy month with other commitments meaning not having as much time as i would like to spend playing, and the action at the 1c/2c tables hasn't been treating me as well as i hoped. I expected to run into little difficulty at this level, but I've had my fair share of outdraws and, combined with some bad play, the bankroll has taken some hits. My low point so far has been $41.48.

I envisaged my second post reporting a swift breeze past the 1c/2c levels and details of my first attempts at the 2c/5c level. No such joy!

I'm more accustomed to tournament play and sit & go's, I think this is showing a bit in my play.
I've been seeking to play the loose passive tables and have maintained a loose aggressive approach, with little success so far. At these tables I have spent most of the time pushing the action and it has been reasonably easy to take down a lot of small pots, and when the action gets heavy its often obvious where you stand. However, maintaining patience and loose aggression is a tough balance so I'm going to try the loose aggressive tables and try a tight aggressive approach and see how well this works.

This could be tough as I'm naturally loose aggressive.

Current Balance: $44.81