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I'm back and it feels good

I really should be working right now, but I'll see if I can squeeze out a quick entry. But then it's all business for me for the rest of the day...

First off, I've found my love of the game we all know and love (and hate...) that I'd lost last week. I have my wife to thank for my continued poker play: when I wanted to cash out and call it quits, she told me to sleep on it and see how I felt in a week. Well I slept and now I'm back for more - thanks baby!

So, I stuck to my guns this past weekend and played only SNGs and a tournament - although I won't make as much money playing SNGs, I couldn't care less. I'm at the point in my poker career where I'm not really good enough to pull in the big bucks - instead, I need to focus on having fun above all else. And with this attitude in mind, I hit the tables this weekend while my wife was out of town and crossed my fingers that all would go well.

Friday November 18
I played a couple of SNGs on Friday at Eurobet. I didn't want to spend all that much time playing and wanted to jump straight into the action. Since Eurobet starts each player at 800 in chips and with the blinds going up pretty quickly, I was guaranteed an exciting ride.

The first SNG I played, I came in second! The great part about that result is that I displayed patience. When I was short stacked, I didn't do anything stupid and push all my chips in with a 96o as I used to do in the past. Instead, I forced myself to wait for the right moment to strike and I found myself doubling up and stealing blinds. When I got heads up, I was pretty big dog with the chip leader holding a 4 to 1 edge over me. I pushed all in with an A8 and lost to a K7. Still, I was up $9 after taking second.

The next SNG didn't go quite as well and I was out in 6th. The reason is that I didn't switch back to the conservative style to which I'm accustomed for the start of an SNG. Basically, I took the chip lead early and pissed it all away by trying to bully people of their hands when I had no cards to back it up. I find that I tend to get overly aggressive when another player at the table is pushing everyone around. I've been working on forcing myself to wait for the right moment to strike: let the maniac push all-in when I'm holding AA.

All in all, up $3 on Friday. A winning day!

Saturday November 19
I was registered to play in Rake The Rake's CPC Lite tourney. Top 6 spots paid and the winner got a package to play in Interpoker's Caribbean Classic next month. I was thinking that there would be hundreds of players but I was wrong - only 51 players entered.

Before the big tournament, I thought I'd give another SNG a try, this time at Poker Room. Again, I played the patience game and focused on trying to guess my opponent's hands when I was sitting back. When we got down to 4 players, I started playing more aggressively and successfully knocked everyone off their games. I was bullying everyone and once heads up, trapped my opponent into going all-in against me. He had started to push all-in quite a bit after I'd taken three straight pots from him when he let me see the flop. When I picked up 88 on the button, I limped in. He instantly went all-in and I called before his chips were in the middle of the table. What did he go all in with? 5h3h! Nice - it was all over and I was up $19.50 (1st pays $25 - $5.50 entry fee).

This put me in a good state of mind for the tournament. When I sat down, I wasn't sure what type of opponents I'd be up against. Luckily, there were good players and bad players. I definitely held my own, remaining at or above the average stack size. With about 30 players left, an over-aggressive player at my table kept pushing all-in pre-flop on every hand and he was making quite a profit by stealing the blinds. Although I was bleeding chips by not playing, I forced myself to wait for the right time to strike. Finally, I pick up rockets and limp in from UTG. Right on cue, the maniac pushes all-in from the EP3 seat. Everyone folds to me and I call, wiping the smile (I'm assuming) right off his face. He has an A9o and he's dead in the water. The very next hand, he's knocked out when he runs into another opponent holding rockets. Some people never learn. It's so satisfying to see that happen - there's a reason why the pros don't play the all-in game unless they have to and Mr. Maniac learned that lesson well.

So, with 11 players left, I'm at T8000 or so with the blinds getting fairly high but still not too bad. I don't have that much time to sit around, but I'm still above average in chips. Then I get punked. I pick up T6 in the BB and get to see the flop for free. Flop comes down 3 6 T (two clubs). I put in a pot-sized bet against my one opponent and he goes all-in. I call since I've got him covered and I know him to be a loose player. He shows a Q5s of clubs and it's a race to see if he can catch his flush. The very next card to come down is the 7 of clubs and I'm dead to a T or a 6 on the river. Nope, nada...I'm down to T2000. I'm at the final table the very next hand. Instead of being at T14000 as the chip leader, I'm at T2000 and hurting.

Although I manage to stick around for a bit, everyone is waiting for me to go out. I don't have enough chips to steal the blinds (which would've been easy since everyone had tightened up) so I had to wait to push all-in with a half-decent hand. I doubled up once with a T4o from UTG (had to do it since I was almost out) when I hit trip tens on the flop and filled out on the river. I went out 8 hands later when my A8 ran into the chip leaders AJ.

So I finished in 10th spot - I didn't get paid but I was very happy with how I played. Except for my desperation all-ins at the end the tournament, my money only went in when I had the best hand and that's all I can ask for.

I played a couple more SNGs later Saturday evening but ended up coming in 5/10 at a $5 PokerRoom SNG and 3/6 at a TigerGaming $3 SNG. The only notes I have are for the TigerGaming SNG and here's what I wrote immediately after being knocked out:

Out on the bubble with KK when a guy catches his runner-runner straight on the river.

The pot was pretty big since I'd raised PF. When the flop came down all low cards, I pushed with two flush cards on the board. The chip leader folded but the loose player to my right called with a J9o (I felt like Ellix Powers - "You called me with a jack high!"). In order to beat me, he had to catch to running cards and he did. Oh well, I'll get him next time.

So, I was up $10.55 total on Saturday and up $13.55 for the weekend so far.

Sunday November 20
I played 6 SNGs on Sunday, hoping to build on the momentum picked up on Saturday. I was feeling pretty good about my game and was finding myself enjoying poker more than I had in a long time. Once again, I don't have any real notes but let's see what I can put together.

SNG 1: TigerGaming $3
I came in 3/6 - here are my comments from PokerDominator: "Lost when I went all in with AQ and got called by chip leader with KJ - spiked the king on the flop and I was out." I had set up a trap for the chip leader and went it came time to spring it, there was a backfire and I was out. Had I won the hand, I would've easily taken first place since the third place player (at the time) had less than T1000 in chips. Once thing that I pride myself on is the fact that I don't back down from a fight when I'm on the bubble - I'm not playing these things to come in 2nd. I'm in it to win it (damn that's cheesy but it's true).

SNG 2: Poker Stars $5
I had $6 left in my PokerStars account from my blogger tourney play. I decided "What the heck" and sat down for a SNG. In the past, I'd done alright at PokerStars but in the last few SNGs I'd played there, I had been easily dispatched by my opponents. The one thing I find about players at PokerStars is that they all think themselves to be experts. So, how do you play against people who think they're all that (myself included)? You sandbag them (not to be confused with tea-bagging which is something altogether different and altogether nightmare-inducingly horrific).

What made this SNG interesting is that the early chip leader typed into the chat: "I can't play with players as bad as you guys. You all have no idea how to play.". Not word for word, but you get the gist - I remember it being far more insulting than that. The guy to his immediate right takes offense and they start duking it out any chance they get. The guy who thought he was "all that" kept complaining about one hand where he pushed all-in with his pocket 5s with board showing 6 7 T (two cards suited). The guy to his left and his only opponent in the pot calls, showing his J8s - he had a flush draw and gut-shot straight draw. Well, he hits his straight on the turn and Mr. Know-it-all (his screen name is CAllAllIn99 I think if you feel like playing against tilty-McGee) goes ballistic. For the next 20 minutes, he calls the other guy every name in the book using clever use of punctuation to have the words display properly. I just sat back smiling and waiting for my time to strike.

Well, my time came when there were 3 of us left: me, CAllAllIn99 and his nemesis. I knock out his nemesis with my pocket Ts and I'm heads-up. CallAllIn99 resorts to the brilliant all-in strategy every hand when he realizes that he may be a little out-matched - I was slow-playing everything. When I had a good hand, I'd slow-play and induce a bluff. When I had a bad hand, he was giving me free cards and allowing me to draw out on him. When he played passively, I'd put in random raises to throw him off. I'm whittling him down (he had a pretty substantial chip lead on me) when I hit the wall: I limp in with my AQs and he pushes all-in. I call and he shows his 74s.
Well, he hits a 7 on the flop and it's over.

So I pick up 2nd place for a profit of $8.

SNG 3: InterPoker $5
I decide to give InterPoker's $5 SNGs a chance. Luckily, they're filling up pretty quickly and I only need to wait a few minutes before any given SNG starts. I won't go into too much detail, however here are my notes:
Two good plays: knocked out 3rd place by calling his all in with my 88 (his AT). He was aggressive. Won the SNG on the next hand when I raised PF with KJ, opp re-raises I call. Flop is 6 J Q. Opp. goes all-in, I think about it and realize I'm ahead - why would he not try to trap? Game.

The one thing that I've noticed myself doing recently that I was not doing before was trying to look at my play from my opponent's eyes. I've also started to really think about what my opponent could have based on his betting patterns and the board and started to trust my judgment a bit more. Granted, I'm not 100% with my guesses, but I can feel my game changing and getting better. Here's hoping that I continue to improve.

Anyway, after this SNG, another $19 in profit.

SNG 4: Interpoker $5
Given my last victory, I thought I'd give InterPoker another shot. Long story short, I won again: back to back baby! Another $19 in profits. Here are my notes from PokerDominator:
Played a good, patient game - made some good calls against opponents. Starting to try to see the game from their shoes when making my decisions. It's working so far.


SNG 5: TigerGaming $3
Thought I'd give TigerGaming another shot seeing how I'd been doing well at the $5 SNGs. Came in 5/6 when one guy totally punked me. I isolated when he pushed all-in early when he was really short-stacked. I lost about T400 when my 88 ran into his QQ...ouch! The one time that he has a hand...

The very next hand, I pick up QQ and raise it up to T100. Flop comes rags and I push all in since the pot is pretty big and I'm trying to get a loose call from someone. Well, my nemesis calls my all-in with his J7o. He has nothing and is drawing dead to 4 outs to hit his gutshot straight...and he hits it. With only 30 chips left, I'm out shortly thereafter.

SNG 6: Pacific Poker $5
Thought I'd give Pacific Poker a shot and boy do I regret it. I was out in 8/10 - I played poorly, simple as that. Here are my notes:
Card dead except for an early AKs where I lost half my stack to an A8s - should not have called the big bet on the flop. Play is really tight.


RECAP
All in all, I was very happy with my performance this weekend. Out of the 11 SNGs I played, I placed 1st three times and 2nd twice! I made $47.15 in profit with an ITM % (in the money) of 41.67% and an ROI of 83.67%. That puts me up $19.40 for the month by my play alone and up about $45 on the month with my EuroBet bonus.

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Thinking about trying some Omaha hi/lo at some point to see if I can play it or not. It seemed to work for Al and maybe it'll work for me too. I've been reading Super System 2 and if I'm correct in my thinking, I should be an Omaha expert by now. If you didn't pick up the sarcasm in that last comment, something's wrong with you.

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If you feel like reading a good post, go check out the latest post on the Law School Dropout's blog. He briefly discusses why he thinks he got to where he is in poker (and by "where" I mean playing high stakes limit poker). Very interesting read and well worth the effort.

Ok - back to work for me. More posts later? Maybe, maybe not. We'll see...

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I can't resist...here's a list of some more searches that have found my shitty blog:

  • Here, I'm guessing someone's either looking to discover how well GameTime+ works with Interpoker. Either that or it's someone looking for performance tips when playing at InterPoker. Does GameTime+ work with Interpoker? I have no idea. Performance tips for playing at InterPoker? Chase all gutshot draws and back end flush draws, bottom pair is not a bad hand and you should bet it aggressively, and ace high is usually the nuts so play it that way!
    gametime interpoker performance

  • Here, I'm guessing someone else has been burned by a paired flop in hold'em and is looking for a way to get even. Hmmm...your best bet is to either suck it up and get them next time or find out where your opponent lives and pair his flop with your foot...(I have no idea what I'm talking about...)
    paired flop hold em

  • Someone looking for the Law School Dropout's blog. You've come to the right place...kinda - links to his blog are everywhere on this page.
    law school dropout poker blog

  • This next guy or gal must have been drunk on coolers and had their rockets cracked by the cowboys. What's a slang term for this? Being F'd in the A.
    poker slang aa vs. kk cooler




5

Geez, lots of hits today! I even had some hits on the weekend which is strange - I'd assume that the only people who'd want to read this blog are people trying to avoid working (that's the only reason I'm writing right now). I'm well over 300 hits so far and counting. I'm even getting a few return visitors now and then, which is nice I guess. I wish I had some sort of cool insight into the mind of a poker player, but I don't know any.

I'm still trying to find a good way to post multiple posts in a day and I'm gonna try the numbering thing I've got going on now. We'll see how I like that (I'm sick, I know...why do I care so much about how things are ordered on this site?).

I'm going to try and do a post tonight that outlines the different affiliate codes I have set up at some different places, but if I get too lazy then I'll let it slide yet another week. I'm pretty sure no ones gonna sign up through me so I'm not rushing to get it done.

One last thing: will I be playing poker tonight? Yep. I'll be playing the SNGs at various sites, most likely Interpoker and PokerRoom. I may try another $3 SNG at TigerGaming as well, but they're starting to piss me off. Half the players are ok, the other half are crap, and sometimes you're walking a fine line when deciding whether or not to call an out-of-place all-in from a player. Still, I get pissed off when I have problems beating something so I may donate another $3 to the fine players at TigerGaming.

Another thing - does anyone out there know how hard or easy the Full Tilt SNGs are? What about PokerShare? Does anyone know where I can find the softest Omaha hi/lo SNGs? I'd really like to try Omaha a couple times and I need to know where to find the cheapest/easiest games. I could find this information out myself, but I'm trying to goad one of my readers into actually posting a comment so that my writing here is justified.

Ok, that's it for now. Time to take off my poker hat (still waiting for my Interpoker cap to arrive in the mail...wtf!?) and put on my developer hat again...it's tight and itchy and I don't like it...oh well, it pays the bills...


I'm up to April 2005 in Dr. Pauly's Tao of Poker. I just read something funny that I totally agree with - well, I agree with the sentiment behind this line:
At any rate, that was the second Quads of the night. Live poker is rigged, man.

That's right all you complaining pricks out there! Live poker is just as rigged as online poker. We're all playing on the same battlefield and if, at the end of the day, you're down $50 and I'm up $50, you may want to consider the fact that the game isn't rigged in anyone's favour. The cold hard truth may be simply that you need to work on your game and stop relying on luck to win hands for you and start relying on probability, math and good reads. My advice to you: get busy livin' or get busy dyin' and save the bitching for someone else because we've all had our share of bad beats, bad luck, and bad opponents. Frankly, no one likes a sore loser...unless of course you go on tilt and become the table's ATM machine.

Just for the record though, online poker is totally rigged...

2 comments:

MrVercetti said...

AFAIK, "cooler" is the same as "cold deck".

Klopzi said...

I guess that means that I only play with coolers then...

K.