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How many raked hands?

Another day, another dollar. I've got to get some real work done today. I've got a meeting next Monday and I'd better make sure I'm ready. So I'll try not to be too long-winded today, if possible...probably not.

I was out later than expected again last night. It's hard to head out to a birthday party and leave early. It's especially hard when you're trying to set up a Hot Wheels race track thingy. Are they serious? This thing had 15 or 20 pieces and a bunch of stickers that had to get placed on each piece. Then trying to build the thing while my nephews played with the individual pieces was nuts! Still, I got cake and spinach dip (not at the same time), so I was happy. Unfortunately, my wife made me eat dinner before we left so I wouldn't make a pig of myself - that plan backfired...

We got home around 10 pm or so and after getting settled in, I fired up the laptop and checked my Neteller account. The cashout at Absolute had gone through and I was ready for Empire Poker. First, the good news: they have a 100% deposit bonus up to $300. That is an awesome deal! The bad news: you need to play 20x raked hands to clear. I foolishly deposited $125, leaving me with 2500 raked hands to play to get my $125 bonus. In two hours of playing last night, I only cleared about 100 raked hands (and I was 3-tabling for a good chunk of that time). So I will probably not clear the bonus...

I was only playing 0.50/1.00 but I was just trying to get a feel for the play on the site. Well, same as it ever was - some players fishy, some players not. One thing I have noticed is how the overall play at most sites is a lot tighter and a lot more aggressive than it was even 6 months ago. WTF? Either I suck a lot harder than I thought or I'm in real trouble if I think I can make any money playing poker.

After two hours of play, I was up $8.75. Excellent. Finally a winning night again - albeit at 0.50/1.00 but a winning night all-the-same. I e-mailed myself a list of some hands to post this morning, but the e-mail never showed. I'll try and recap some of the hands below.

First off, the first 1h 20m of play sucked hard. Twice, I had my pocket pairs run into higher pocket pairs. On one hand, my pocket 6s ran into pocket 7s. Being an aggressive player, I tried to take the pot down on the flop and on the turn to no avail. I sometimes wonder about these people who call down a player betting aggressively with two overcards on the board. I lost a chunk of change on this hand.

Big slick big sucked for me last night - lost twice, split twice (when my opponents were also holding big slick). The funny thing is that I was the aggressor in the splits and again, these guys are calling down everything. I never realized I was so transparent..

I had a huge loss when I got totally screwed over on a heads-up hand (I seem to be on the losing end of these things more often than not). Here's the recap:

Hero dealt [Qh 6d]
All fold to the SB, Hero is in BB

SB raises to $1
Hero calls [This guy's record showed he was 4/4 for steal attempts]
Flop comes down J 6 4
SB checks, Hero bets, SB Calls.
Turn is another 6.
SB bets, Hero raises, SB re-raises, Hero calls [WTF? Is it possible we both have the set?]
River is a blank.
SB Bets, Hero calls [I'm not going to raise now]
Pot is $12 - SB shows [J J] and wins with full house, Jacks over sixes.

Well...shit! I hate getting a monster hand heads-up and losing.

Some other awful hands included two hands played against an aggressive PF raiser who liked to steal my blinds. Twice I defended with TT and with AJs. My TT ran into his J7s with a J on the board (this guy capped it pre-flop with a J7s...stupid/lucky bastard!) and my AJs ran into his AQ. Stupid cold deck!

I also played AA like a baby and failed to get some extra bets on the end. In my defense, the flop came down with a flush draw and straight draw. The turn showed a third suited card for the possible flush draw and put a high card on the board. The river put a card down that put four to a straight on the board. Luckily for me, my one opponent had cowboys. Maybe I should have bet more aggressively since the pot was heads-up and we capped it pre-flop. Still, my record in heads-up play is garbage.

On a good note, I won a monster pot ($20) with my AJs when I flopped two-pair and picked up my full-house on the turn. There were two players in the pot with me betting like crazy, so I made off like a bandit in this one.

At this point, I'm only down $24 from my play this month. I may give $1/$2 a try at Empire and see if it's any better than Interpoker. I'm also gonna play some SNGs tonight with MrVercetti as my wingman. I'll see what I can do about clearing my deposit bonus at Empire, but it's looking grim. I really wish I'd brought my laptop to work - I'd be able to put down some boring stats and other fun stuff.

Oh well, off to the wonderful world of flow charts...

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