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A fine line

I ended up playing couple SNGs at TigerGaming last night while watching Survivor and The Apprentice.

I came in 5th out of 6 in the first one. Basically, with the blinds at 50/100, there were still 5 people left in the game. [Is it just me or are players getting better?] Anyway, I only had 600 in chips left (I was card dead). I limp in with 86o from the big blind. Flop comes down 7 8 9 rainbow. The chipleader in the SB min-bets into the pot. I decide that now's as good a time as any to try to double up so I push. The other two players in the pot fold and the chip leader insta-calls showing his 97o for two pair. Unfortunately, I didn't improve and was out.

Seriously, I've always prided myself on being better than average at most things that I do. I'm a better-than-average software designer - for what I charge, any employer should be pretty happy with my results. Videogames? I can beat the pants off most people in any game - well, console games anyway. Board games? Ditto. Card games? Ditto. By no means am I rich or famous, but I've got everything I need right now: great wife and (coming sometime in the next year or two) family, good friends, good food and drink, good job, and lots of cool toys. For these reasons, poker is a kick square in the nuts for me. Why can't I dominate this damn game? I've read the books and still I'm floundering at the micro-limit tables. I guess it just takes time and I'll have to re-evaluate at the end of 2006 before I can really assess my growth as a player. I've only played about 17000 hands of limit poker, about 150 SNGs (100 of which were 0.10 + 0.02 SNGs) and at most 25 MTTs. I'm still a newbie and I have to remind myself of that fact before I take my losses and erratic play too personally. I mean, I'm still feeling the sting of being owned at the $1/$2 FL games. I didn't think I was that bad a player, but I got owned. The same "own-age" seemed to start occurring at the 0.50/1 FL games as well. I guess I'll have to give it more time...

Anyway, enough deep thoughts and crazily long paragraphs filled with run-on sentences. The second SNG that I played saw me take 2nd out of 6 for a whopping $6.30 prize. I was happy with my play in general. I doubled up when I got the chance, made a great river call on the eventual winner, and had my money all-in with the best of it in all but one hand.

For all the good plays that I made, it was all overshadowed by an aweful misstep on the final hand. With the blinds at 200/400 and with my chip stack at 1500 vs. chip leaders 3500, I decided to raise to 800 PF with my J5s on the button - it was heads up and I had just folded a bunch of trash hands in a row and I didn't want the chip leader to raise me out the pot yet again. Plus, after a string of cards like 72, 73, 93, 92, 63, etc., a J5s looks like the f*cking nuts! Anyway, my opponent quickly re-raises me to 1200. My options now are simple: fold or push. I should've folded but I pushed and was just south of a 4 to 1 dog when the chip leader turned over KK. I guess I got impatient and desperate...the mistake was not in pushing all in - I f*cked up when I decided to play the J5s. Obviously, the chip leader had made it clear that limping was no longer allowed. So if I flat called on the button, I was going to get raised and would have to fold. I should've folded the hand PF and waited for the next hand. I may have been steaming a bit from a previous hand where I had the cowboys and got very little action.

Still, I ended up down 90 cents on the night. But I shouldn't be worrying about the money for now...


Here are some new goals that I've set for myself and my poker game:

  1. Try to regain my love of the game by playing for fun and not worrying about the money.

  2. Play 10 $3 SNGs at TigerGaming and try to make it into the top three 7 times.

  3. Play 30 $5 SNGs at Eurobet and get an ITM of more than 30%

  4. Play 30 $5 SNGs at Interpoker and get an ITM of more than 30%

  5. Play 30 $5 SNGs at IntertopsPoker (now part of the Party Network again) and get an ITM of more than 30%

I'll stick with that for now. How long will this take? I'll aim for an average of 1 SNG per day. That means 100 days...I hope in that time that I find my game and start feeling good about poker again. I may throw in some limit play again if I feel the need, however I want to leave time to play some videogames too (I am such a nerd and I love it!). There are some games that I want to pick up at some point. I'll make another post today (slow day at work) outlining what games I have and what games I want. I'll do my own reviews of the games I've played during my poker hiatus and provide some links if you feel the need to buy anything (I need to the money to fund my money-losing poker addiction).


BTW, bankroll's sitting at about a grand right now. As I mentioned a while ago (I think), I took $300 and bought my PS2 and some games. I give a final bankroll breakdown at the end of the year.

Since starting my bankroll and SNG performance anew on November 5 (after PokerDominator's horrific crash in the fall that resulted in my losing all my records, I've had the following SNG results:

Played: 2
Won: $0
Avg. Finish: 5.5
ITM %: 50%

$3 SNGs
Played: 9
Won: -$18.45
Avg. Finish: 3.4
ITM: 22%

$5 SNGs
Played: 14
Won: $48.50
Avg. Finish: 3.5
ITM: 50%

Blogger Tourneys
Played: 2
Won: -$22.00
Avg. Finish: 43
ITM: 0%

Not too shabby I guess. I had one good weekend on the $5 tables that knocked my numbers up, but the blogger tourneys definitely bring my numbers down.

Ok, stay tuned for more keyword search fun and some blatant videogame pimping.

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