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Manic Monday

Not really manic, but it was playing on the radio as I pulled into the parking garage this morning. I'm really a sports talk radio type of guy, but AM reception in the parking garage (and most of downtown Ottawa) is shit. Hence The Bangles at 8 am on a Monday (although my wife does accuse me of listening to little girl, no-talent, skank music).

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I actually had a pretty busy weekend. It doesn't look like any of the hand history-type texts that I send to my work e-mail made it through, so I'll have to wing it.

First off (how many times do I say this?), Poker Dominator went down last week and finally re-emerged from the rubble on Saturday afternoon. For those who don't know, Poker Dominator is an online service that allows a poker player to track their money at different online poker rooms (or any other place for that matter) and record poker session information and results. Basically, it is without a doubt the single most important web site that I have ever used with regards to my mediocre poker career. Unfortunately, they lost all record of my poker sessions since September 30.

So what did I do? Reset - I started a new account and re-calculated my bankroll by going from site to site and checking account balances. After playing the blogger's tournament (which I'll describe a bit later) and a short limit session at Interpoker Saturday afternoon, my bankroll was at $1350. Looking back at my post on Nov. 1, I guess this means I've lost $10 this month so far. Hmmm...

Anyway, enough of this nonsense. Just wanted to say that, in some senses, I'm basically starting my career anew. In another sense, I'm not. And now, the blogger tourney...

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Saturday's with Dr. Pauly


Although I wasn't sure if I was going to play this tournament, I decided to give it a shot at the last minute. At this point in my career, I still had not spent $10 to play in a tournament and was worried that the level of play would be far higher than what I was used to. So, I loaded up PokerStars, registerd and sat down to play. Was the play better than the usual games I play? Yes...yes it was.

The only name I remember (and I apologize to any other players out there whom I've forgotten) is Up4Poker. Why do I remember that name? Simple - he busted me. He busted me with his pocket 7s against my desperation all-in with K5s (h). I'll try and give you a little build up to me busting though...

Update: Thanks to Dr. Pauly, I now have some names with which to fill in the blanks...

When I sat down, I was a little nervous. But it was only $10 and I was sure that I'd be able to make it up by playing some 0.50/1.00 games later that day. The one thing I realized immediately was that there was to be no limping in the game. Every pot was raised PF, which for me meant that I'd have to have some quality hands. I don't trust myself to outplay any other bloggers post-flop.

I really lost the tournament in level 2 when I picked up AQo on the button. Kochun88 raised from middle position and I re-raised it up to T300. Kochun88 calls and we see a flop: J x x. At this point, I have position. When Kochun88 checks, I bet about 2/3 of the pot hoping to steal the pot and move on. Nope...Kochun88 calls. The turn is another J. Perfect - I'll try for another steal. I bet another 300 into the pot...Kochun88 calls. Shit! I'm screwed. The best thing to do now would be to check it down on the river or fold to a big bet. So when the river comes with another blank and Kochun88 checks, I wisely put out a nice big bet. Kochun88 thinks for a split-second, then comes over the top for what would be almost my entire stack. I chicken out and fold, putting him on a probable full-house (something full of jacks), or trip jacks (KJ, QJ or JT). After this disastrous hand, I'm down to about T500 in chips and royally screwed. I should learn to play it more conservative earlier in the tournament - why in God's name did I think I was ahead? I was behind the whole way, I think.

Other than my AQ, I'm completely card dead until level 4 or 5 when I pick up AK. I push all-in hoping that I'd get a call from either the current chip leader (who had 6x my chips) or CJ (playing as Up4Poker) (who had 5x my chips). Nope...everyone folds and I pick up the crappy little blinds. The problem with being short-stacked is that I didn't have enough chips to try and get fancy. In hindsight, I probably should've limped and let the chip leaders dictate the hand from that point on.

Anyway, two hands later I pick up AKs! I consider limping but decide against it in favour of pushing again. First off, I've only got about T400 at this point (and the blinds are extremely high compared to what I've got left) and since I'd just gone all-in, I was hoping someone would look me up. Nope...everyone folds.

As the table hits the next blind level, I'm really short-stacked and desperate. When I pick up K5s UTG, I push and CJ called me with his pocket 7s and I was done. I ended up in 64th spot out of 98 players. Not too bad given that it was my first tournament played against real players (not counting the $20 buy-in tourney at Absolute...but I didn't pay for that one).

So consider this fair warning to all poker bloggers and anyone else who likes taking my chips: I'm coming for you! Especially Kochun88 for making me royally screw myself in level 1 by playing a good, solid game - those good players are all the same. I'll keep playing in these blogger tourneys until I make the money: if anything, it'll make me a better player and you can't put a price on that (as long as it's less than $1350).

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Saturday night, my wife, MrVercetti and another friend (I'll call him SC) head out to Local Heroes to catch the Sens vs. Islanders game. The Sens totally outplayed and ultimately crushed/embarrassed the Islanders, so a great time was had by all. After a few beers and some nachos, it was back to the apartment for some poker (for me) and Lego Star Wars (for MrVercetti and SC).

Being a little on the tipsy side, I decided to try my luck at the $3 Tiger Gaming SNG instead of a $5 SNG at Poker Room. I don't have my notes, but I remember that I only played about 3 hands the entire SNG. When I made it to heads up, the chip leader had a 5 to 1 chip lead on me and it was all over in a couple hands.

I honestly don't remember anything about the hands I picked up except for pocket rockets which I slowplayed pre-flop. The short stack at the table pushed all-in after I limped and I called. My aces crushed his puny pocket 5s. The chip leader then knocked out the third player left (who was second in chips at that point) and I made it into the money. This was miracle enough for me, so I didn't feel too bad for losing shortly thereafter.

I then played some $10 NL at Pacific Poker and more than doubled my buy-in to $22.20 in the space of 1 hour. Not too shabby. At that point, I'd more than made up for my $11 lost in the blogger's tourney and promptly kicked everyone out of the apartment so that my wife and I could get some sleep.

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Sunday was a day more or less spent with family. After church and a huge lunch, my wife and I finally got home. We watched the movie Darkness and an episode of CSI. Afterwards, I played 40 minutes of 0.50/1.00 at Eurobet and lost $14. Yuck...there were a lot of TAGs playing, but it was the fish to my left on one of the tables who cost me the most. He called all my pre-flop raises with reckless abandon and rivered me three times. He called two bets cold pre-flop with his 75o when I re-raised it from the CO with KK - he rivered a straight on me. He also cracked my top pair (AQ) when the hit a second 2 to give him trip 2s on the river. Oh well, if it weren't for the fish, I'd never win and sometimes, the game's gotta go their way.

After that horrid display, I loaded up Pacific Poker for some more $10 NL play - which has been treating me nicely as of late. I'll tell you - when 8 or 9 players are seeing the flop, you're gonna come out ahead if you show a little patience. I can't believe some of these players...basically, it's awesome!

I picked up two good hands while playing: KK and QQ. With the QQ, I was in the SB and decided to raise it up to $1.50 pre-flop. Although there had been 8 limpers, only the UTG player called the raise. Flop came down T 8 8. Mother f*cker! If you've been reading my blog, you'll know that I always lose when the flop pairs. I play it fishy and check - UTG bets the pot. At this point, he could be betting to steal it since I showed so much weakness by checking after the flop, so I call the bet. Turn is a 6 and I check again. UTG bets $1. Why so small? Either he is trying to milk me or he is not sure about his hand. Since I don't believe the level of play is so high that players would be this tricky, I read the $1 bet as a sure sign of weakness and decide to bet come over the top all-in for my last $5. I was pretty sure that UTG did not hold an 8. I was thinking he held a T with a weak kicker or possibly a lower pocket pair. When UTG insta-calls, I'm a little worried that I've been outplayed...that is, until he turns over his pocket 4s. River is a blank and I'm up to $19.

A little later, I put myself down to $16 or so when I raised to 1.52 with my pocket kings from UTG. I didn't want to scare everyone off, so I kept the bet small. For future reference, I should never do this. Even if you go all-in, you get callers about 90% of the time. But the table had been a bit tighter lately, so I wanted to guarantee some action. I got three callers including one guy who was all in. When the flop came down 2 3 6, I quickly bet the pot and everyone folded except for Mr. All-In. Well, the turn comes down with a 5 and the river is a 6. I'm thinking that my cowboys are good - but no! Mr. All-in is holding a 34o for the straight. Dirty mo-fo!

I called it quits for the night a few minutes later, having turned my $10 buy-in into $16.41 after just over an hour. I'm definitely gonna play more of this NL stuff and pray that my luck holds out. I think the game is definitely +EV for me. I may try the $25 NL play at InterPoker once I'm more confident in my game. I actually read at The Law School Dropout's blog that 2+2 publishing is coming out with a NL ring game strategy book which might be an interesting read.

That's it for now...I just typed as fast as I could and spewed as much info out as possible. I've learned that I have as many as three regular readers now (MrVercetti, SC, and JP) - still no endorsement deals though.

I may post something later today if I have time or get too bored with work...

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Bored already...pathetic. Just wanted to point out that my bankroll is at $1,333.95. I guess this means that I've dropped $15 this month. In actuality, I think that my previous bankroll may have been erroneous or that I've missed a chunk of change sitting at some site somewhere on the Internet. Some people leave $20 bills in their pockets and lose it in the laundry. I lose $20 when bankroll tracking web sites crash. Maybe my claim to blogger fame will be that I'll be the first person to misplace a full $1K somewhere on the Internet. Sounds like something I'd do...

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I'm also taking this opportunity to pimp another blogging site: Up For Poker. Maybe I'll make this a new habit of mine: anytime a blogger knocks me out of a tournament (in this case CJ), he or she will get instant pimping on my site. Any pimping done here is completely meaningless since my readership is almost non-existant (note the almost...). But hey - pimping is pimping and that's all I have to say about that.

Anyway, check out the links on the right under Poker Blogs to see Up For Poker's new ultra-P-I-M-P link.

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MrVercetti sent me a link the other day that outlines a few ways to increase blog readership. Unfortunately, one of those ways is to provide unique information that cannot be obtained elsewhere. I don't know - are there any other blogs out there that describe shitty poker play and horrid bad beats? I think this site may take off...(I'm being sarcastic).

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I posted a comment on Up For Poker and I'm hoping that the Up4Poker blogger that knocked me out of Saturday's tourney was in fact G-Rob and not some other guy just stealing the name. I guess I'll find out soon enough.

According to Dr. Pauly, it was CJ who knocked me out and not G-Rob...my bad...I never did pay all that much attention to what I was doing. CJ did go on to win a WPBT Shootout Satellite on Sunday after coming in 5th in the Saturdays with Dr. Pauly tourney at PokerStars. At least I know that I was knocked out by a far better player than me.

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Gonna play a $5 SNG (I keep wanting to "an" SNG but I don't think that's grammatically correct) tonight and probably some $10 NL. I'm hesitant to play any 0.50/1.00 since I got bitch-slapped last night. Here's hoping for a big night - at least in NL, there is a chance. Let's see, if I double up 5 times, I'll make $320. So, if I double up 10 times, I'll make $10K. That sounds good - I'll aim for that.

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