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Game Over

There are many times in life that I find myself arriving late to the party. This applies to many aspects of my life, be it food-related, bathroom-related, or poker-related...

I get to a party and realize that all the spinach dip has been eaten, forcing me to choke down stale potato chips or the uneaten carrots and celery from the veggie platter.

I get to a party and realize that there is plenty of spinach dip, yet no crackers or bread with which to transport the dip from bowl to mouth, forcing me to use uneaten carrots, celery, and drink coasters in place of pumpernickel bread.

I go to eat some cheese fondue and realize that there is no bread left, forcing me to use the pieces of banana from the chocolate fondue dipping tray.

Go to the washroom, get a couple good wipes in, and then realize that there is no toilet paper left in the house, forcing me to use the pieces of banana from the chocolate fondue dipping tray.

Feel a big sneeze coming on and grab the last tissue from the tissue box just as I sneeze the tissue apart into a wet, sloppy mess, forcing me use the inside of my sleeve to soak up the rest of the juice dripping into my mouth and down my chin.

Start to play online poker and work hard to move up in the limits, then realizing that recent U.S. law has killed the availability of high-stakes games at the rooms I frequent.

Improve my poker game to the point where I feel confident enough in my abilities to bring home money on a nightly basis, then realizing that no one really cares about or plays poker anymore.

Sure, the last two points are quite subjective, but it's the way I feel. For the past couple weeks, I've tried to force myself to play poker but I just can't seem to do it. Honestly, I'm having more fun playing with son, watching TV with my wife, and playing games on my Xbox 360.

For those who don't own an Xbox 360, each game comes with unlockable achievements. Each achievement unlocked awards points to your Xbox Live account. Finally, every game you play, every achievement you unlock, and every point you earn are all tracked online and are viewable by any and all other players.

Granted, money is a lot better than points but I'm not holding out for a way to make money by playing video games. If that were the case, I'm sure the U.S. gov't would introduce the Unlawful Internet Video Gaming Enforcement Act (UIVGEA) and the party would be over.

In the foreseeable future, poker will take a back seat in my life. I will continue to play at Interpoker's $2/$4 SHFL tables in an effort to clear the monthly bonuses offered. I may even play a tournament or two here or there. However, thanks to all the BS that's surrounded the online gambling world in the past few months, I just don't get the same amount of enjoyment out of poker anymore. Much like a part-time job at McDonald's, I'm only in it for the money and would prefer to do other things with my free time.

As for the blog, you've no doubt noticed the number of posts dwindling. I guess I just don't care anymore. I really enjoyed writing here everyday; however, with no poker being played, I have nothing to post.

Unless I find a newfound love for online poker, this site will most likely continue to exist for the sole purpose of tracking my online win rates and bankroll. And if I do make the infrequent post, it may or may not be about poker. Maybe I should start up a new blog that discusses video games and video game news?

Over the past couple years, I thought that I was becoming a poker player. I guess I was wrong. I'm really just a normal guy who happens to like video games and girly fruit drinks. Online poker was just another video game for me. But when the rules of the game can change so quickly and without warning, I can't help but look elsewhere for my next fix.

I hope things turn around soon for all of us. If not, you can find me grinding away at Interpoker trying to make enough money to pay for a few video games each month.


Keep reading "Game Over"

CSI: Caruso

Just listening to Opie and Anthony and they're talking about David Caruso's one-liners at the start of each episode of CSI:Miami.

Anyway, there's a YouTube video that features a compilation of Caruso's one-liners and it's pretty entertaining. So, here you go:

Keep reading "CSI: Caruso"

How oh-old, how oh-old, how old are you?

Well, I'm not going to say anything about the whole Neteller thing. It sucks for U.S. players. It sucks for everyone else because we're going to lose the influx of new U.S. fish funding their brand new accounts, or making tilty reload à la CC (he said it, not me), with Neteller. If it makes any of my American readers feel better, I seriously haven't had a chance to play any poker this week.

I've still got a bonus to clear at Interpoker (43% done) for $200 and then we'll see what I'm doing. In all honesty, this Neteller thing has very little immediate effect on my ability to play poker. As a Canadian, I can deposit money wherever I like, however I like. And since I play at Interpoker, the fish that I play against are not from the U.S. Man, the U.S. government really fucked things up, didn't they?!

Anyway, back to the post...this online poker/UIGEA/Neteller nonsense keeps finding its way back into my train of thought...

In other news, it's my birthday this weekend. Not too old, not too young, just right. My plans include a couple parties, a day with my wife and son, and a day of Xbox 360 and poker. However, plans have a way of changing so I can't guarantee anything right now.

I do plan on playing Elder Scrolls IV Oblivion and Gears Of War as well. I'm almost finished Gears Of War and Oblivion is coming along quite nicely. I'm also anxious to get back into Dead Rising: for anyone out there liking the whole zombie thing, this is your game.

If you don't own an Xbox 360, I highly recommend them. Need proof? Watch the following ads for Gears Of War, Elder Scrolls IV Oblivion, and Dead Rising and try and tell me that these games don't look cool. Embrace your inner child and start playing video games again: it'll soften the blow of online poker leaving us all behind.

Gears of War

Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion

Dead Rising

Anyway, I'll be back on Tuesday, rested and hopefully a little richer.

Good luck this weekend at the tables! I hope everything turns around and the glory days of online poker return once more.

See you at the tables?

Keep reading "How oh-old, how oh-old, how old are you?"

The Abominable Snow-Donkey

Hope everyone had a good weekend. I would've posted yesterday, but the day started off so poorly that I didn't get the chance. We got hit by a snowstorm early yesterday morning and everything quickly went to Hell in a handbasket.

Although I no longer drive to work, I did end up standing in a blizzard with no hat, no gloves, and a useless fall/winter jacket while waiting for my bus to arrive. The bus ended up being 55 minutes late and my core body temperature had undoubtedly dropped to a few degrees above "fuckin' cold"!

It was only -25 °C out this morning and my bus was only 20 minutes late, so let's get to it...

Actually, there's really not that much to report. I ended up playing some $25 6-max NL at Interpoker on Friday night. In my mind, I remember being pretty good at the game. My play on Friday night painted an altogether different reality for me and I quickly dropped 3 buy-ins before calling it a night. I'll post a couple hands for you towards the end of the post so you can all laugh at my donkey play.

Other than that, I spent a little time at the $2/$4 6-max tables at Interpoker. I'm still clearing away the last little bit of my $300 monthly bonus. I've got a few more hours of 3-tabling before the bonus is mine.

Once I'm finished at Interpoker, I'll either hit up PokerPlex for their monthly $200 bonus or hit up Poker Stars $2/$4 SHFL tables and try to clear my $120 bonus.

Before I post the NL hands, I do have to say that I much prefer limit poker to no-limit...for the time being anyway. As I sat there playing on Friday, I found myself bored and impatient. Unlike the 6-max limit games, my opponents were slow and took their time pondering every single decision that came their way. In my SHFL games, I'll typically see anywhere from 80 to 120 hands each and every hour; I was lucky to have seen 50 hands per hour at the SHNL tables.

So if you're looking for NL strategy, you've come to the wrong place. Until my ability to sit and wait for a premium hand comes back, my site's gonna be all about the short-handed limit hold'em.

That being said, here are a couple misplayed hands from last Friday. I am a donkey...

In this first hand, watch as I break the so-called number one rule of NL hold'em: Don't go broke with one pair!

$25 NL Hold'em (6-max)

Preflop: Hero ($25) is Button with A, K.
UTG ($20) raises to $1, 2 folds, Hero raises to $3, 2 folds, UTG calls.

(UTG is a fairly tight player: somewhat aggressive post-flop, but nothing out of the ordinary. His PFR is pretty low at about 7%, so I put him on AA-99, AK - AJ.)

Flop: ($6) K, 6, 3 (2 players)
UTG Checks, Hero checks.

(In the past, I'd c-bet here. However, I was trying to be stupid and greedy and wanted to let my opponent catch up enough to steal the pot from me...)

Turn: ($6) J (2 players)
UTG bets $5, Hero raises to $15, UTG raises to $17 and is all-in, Hero calls.

(I was pretty positive that my opponent was on either an AQ or an AJ given the flop betting, so imagine how happy I was to see the J hit on the turn. My intention was to get all the money in on the turn and UTG obliged.)

River: ($40) 2

Final Pot:
Results in white below
UTG has 3c 3h (Three of a kind threes)
Hero has Ah Kd (One pair kings)
UTG wins $40.

Well, it seems that my impatience really cost me quite a bit of money. In the past, I would have c-bet the flop and probably folded to a re-raise from UTG (or pushed) depending on my read. In this case, I prematurely put my opponent on a hand and ended up overplaying TPTK.

This second hand was played against a complete LAG. I'm not sure if there's any getting away from this hand given the way it was played.

$25 NL Hold'em (6-max)

Preflop: Hero ($40) is Button with A, Q.
2 folds, CO ($35) raises to $1.50, Hero raises to $5, 2 folds, CO calls.

(The CO is your typical 60/40/5 LAG. He tended to bet on any street when shown weakness and had recently paid off another player at showdown with a T-high.)

Flop: ($10) 7, Q, 5 (2 players)
CO bets $3, Hero calls.

(Again, with only TPTK, you'd like to win the pot right away. Small hands, small pots; big hands, big pots. TPTK is a good hand in a 6-max game, but it's not a monster. With the pot at $13 after CO bets, I should have made a pot-sized bet and tried to take it down right there. In this case, had the CO pushed all in for his last $25, I would have probably called given his recent play.)

Turn: ($6) 4 (2 players)
CO bets $5, Hero raises to $15, CO calls.

(When I raise to $15 and CO just calls, I'm pretty sure that I have my opponent beat: either that or the CO has me drawing dead.)

River: ($40) A
CO bets $10 and is all-in, Hero calls $10.

(The river was both a good and a bad card for me. If CO has two pair, I know have him beat. However, if he was drawing to the flush on the turn or if he hit a set on the turn or on the flop, I'm dead. In either case, I felt that I was ahead enough of the times to call being layed 6:1 odds.)

Final Pot:
Results in white below
CO has Jh 9h (Ace-high flush)
Hero has Ah Kd (Two pair aces and queens)
CO wins $70.

And thus ended an incredibly frustrating night at the tables.

Anyway, that's it for me. I'll be playing a little $2/$4 SHFL this week and a lot of Xbox 360 (and I'm getting back into Grand Theft Auto Vice City Stories for the Sony PSP as well).

Through it all, I'll be working on my limit game and trying to get myself (and my bankroll) ready for the jump up to $3/$6. If all goes well, the jump should take place in the next few months. However, I wouldn't be surprised for a move to occur sometime during the summer months.

Have a good one...

Keep reading "The Abominable Snow-Donkey"

The dangerous games we play...

In a desperate effort to improve my 6-max limit hold'em game, I've done a number of different things:

Although the 2+2 Forums are great, I haven't posted any hands there, thereby foregoing one the bigger advantages of the forum. Maybe I should. For the time being though, I'd like some of our resident 6-max experts out there to take a look at some hands and help me see the error of my ways.

Many times, I'll find myself strongly believing that I have the best hand. I tend to keep faith in my hand until such a time that I'm raised. However, in the case below, is the river an easy fold on my part?

$2/$4 Hold'em (6-max)

Preflop: Hero is BB with 7, 7.
3 folds, Button raises, 1 folds, Hero 3-bets, Button calls.

(This is an easy 3-bet. The button has stolen my blinds in each of the last 3 orbits and I've been unable to defend until now.)

Flop: (6.50 SB) 2, 8, 9 (2 players)
Hero bets, Button calls.

(I bet the flop here and would generally call a raise and bet out on the turn due to the presence of the flush draw. In this case, I put the button on overcards or a flush draw since he just smooth calls the bet.)

Turn: (4.25 BB) 4 (2 players)
Hero bets, Button calls.

(Again, if the button holds overcards or a flush draw, I need to bet the turn. The fact that he doesn't raise further confirms my suspicions.)

River: (6.25 BB) 6 (2 players)
Hero bets, Button raises, Hero calls.

(I bet the river here thinking that the button would probably call with an A-high, not believing that I had anything. I think that this thinking is flawed. In hindsight, I think a check-call is better in this spot. Would a check-fold be better? As played, would you call the raise on the river here? )

Final Pot:
10.25 BB.
Results in white below
Button has Kc Tc (A Flush, King high)
Button wins 9.75 BB.

Here's a situation that comes up a lot: you have an ace and the board double-pairs in a heads-up pot. Am I just spewing in believing that we're playing for a split pot? Or am I right enough of the time, including those times when the Villain will call down or bet a king-high hand, to warrant playing as I did in this next hand?

$2/$4 Hold'em (6-max)

Preflop: Hero is Button with 8, A.
2 folds, CO calls, Hero raises, 1 folds, BB 3-bets, 1 folds, Hero calls.

(Standard position raise. When the BB 3-bets, I make the call in position. The BB is a fairly aggressive player. Although he's somewhat tight, I have been raising a lot of hands and would suspect him to make a play back at me at some point.)

Flop: (7.50 SB) T, T, 5 (2 players)
BB bets, Hero calls.

(Why am I calling here? At the time, I was thinking that the BB was most likely throwing out a bet on the assumption that the flop missed me. I float the call on the flop looking to improve on the turn. In my mind, following cards improve my hand: any Ace, any 8, any T, and any 5.
Looking back now, I totally disregarded the fact that he 3-bet pre-flop with another limper already in the pot. Also, would a raise be better in this spot to better define my hand and possibly buy a free card on the turn? I'd most definitely fold to a 3-bet on the flop in this case.)

Turn: (4.75 BB) 5 (2 players)
BB bets, Hero calls.

(Assuming that my flop call was utter trash, here's where I always fall apart. I've now "improved" my hand with two-pair on the board since I'm now tied with any Ax hand (except AT and A5. How bad is my call here on the turn, given that I'll most likely have to call the river here? Is this a major leak? Is this play as bad against a 50/40/3.5 maniac?)

River: (6.75 BB) 4 (2 players)
BB bets, Hero calls.

(Again, I'm calling here assuming praying that I'm looking at a split pot. Mr. V. tells me that playing for a split pot is, against most opponents, a donkey-ish play. He's also mentioned that I tend to put others on steals more often than they actually occur. I think he may be right...)

Final Pot: 8.75 BB.
Results in white below
BB has Ks Kc (Two Pairs, Kings and Tens, Five high)
BB wins 8.31 BB.

Here's one last hand where I'm pretty sure I'm ahead the entire way. The question I have is: if you've taken the lead in betting throughout the whole hand, do you fire 3-bullets against an unknown opponent? If you do check on the river, are you forced to call a bet since you've displayed weakness?

$2/$4 Hold'em (6-max)

Preflop: Hero is SB with 7, 7.
3 folds, Hero raises, BB calls.

Flop: (4.00 SB) 2, K, 6 (2 players)
Hero bets, BB calls.

(I raised pre-flop, the king could very well have hit me, so I bet it. When BB calls, I still know very little about his hand.)

Turn: (3.00 BB) J (2 players)
Hero bets, BB calls.

(Yuck, another card that potentially sinks my hand. I bet it here and plan to fold to a raise with two cards now in the playing zone. With the Villain calling here, I think it's hard to narrow down his range of holdings to anything less than Ax, Kx, Qx, Jx, or a small pocket pair. )

River: (5.00 BB) Q (2 players)
Hero checks, BB checks.

(When the Q hits, I decided to check it. With 3 cards in the playing zone, I think betting out here is crazy. My opponent will fold most holdings that I beat and call or raise with any that have me dead on the river.

If my opponent bets here, is this an easy call? My check basically screams out, "I have nothing." Yet, with my 77, I think I have enough to pick off a potential river-bluff. The fact that there are no obvious draws, though, makes it unlikely that the Villain would be a hand that I can beat. Anyone?)

Final Pot: 5.00 BB.
Results in white below
Hero has 7h 7c (A Pair of Sevens, King high)
BB has Td Ts (A Pair of Tens, King high)
BB wins 4.75 BB.

I'll easily admit that I still have a lot to learn when it comes to these 6-max games, and poker in general. By putting these hands out there, I get the chance to analyze my own play, which really helps accelerate my learning, and it gives me the chance of receiving advice from some of my more knowledgeable readers. As I said earlier, if any of you out there have anything to add, please feel free to comment.

Anyway, the plans for this weekend include family time and some poker. Mr. V. and Marl may be coming over tonight, in which case I may give the 6-max games a break and play some 6-max no-limit hold'em over at InterPoker or Full Tilt.

Have a great weekend everyone! And thanks in advance for any advice thrown my way.

See you at the tables!

Keep reading "The dangerous games we play..."


Things have been rolling along quite nicely at the $2/$4 tables. Not great in the sense that I'm making money; however, I feel that my decision-making process is coming along as I grow more comfortable at these slightly-higher-stake tables.

In yesterday's post, I expressed a little concern over the number of times I folded before reaching the showdown in a hand. The results of this leak increased my W$SD (Won Money at ShowDown) percentage, though I suspected that I was losing money by not getting to the showdown more often.

In my past few sessions, I've made a concerted effort to show down my cards more frequently. If you take a look at the following snapshot from my Poker Tracker stats, you'll see that I'm on the right track.

I've only played about 1200 hands and things will change over time; still, the groundwork's in place and I hope to build on these numbers. I'm hoping that a little more time will see me make it into the black for these $2/$4 games. Until then, I'll have to rely on Interpoker's bonuses and rakeback to pull me through these dark times.

I've actually tried to determine whether I'm running hot or cold right now. I read something on the 2+2 forums about using Poker Tracker to determine whether you're running good or bad. Unfortunately, given the rather limited sample size of hands that I've played, I don't think there's any way of quantifying my luck or lack thereof. Of course, that doesn't mean that I can't give you a little sample of some of the good and bad hands that have happened recently.

On the positive side of the spectrum, there have been three hands that really stand out:

  • When the table maniac raised yet again from the MP, I decided to re-raise from the SB with my [Kd Jc]. Unfortunately, the TAG in the BB decided to come along for the ride by capping the betting pre-flop.

    The flop comes jack high and I decide to go for the check-raise. When the BB checks, the maniac bets and I raise as planned. Unfortunately, the BB decides to call both bets before the maniac makes it three bets. Although I'd normally cap the betting here, I don't like the fact that the BB called the two bets: I wimp out and make the call along with the BB.

    The turn is the 6d, giving me top pair with a good kicker and the second-nut flush draw. I decide to bet out and see where that gets me. The BB calls and the maniac raises: nor surprises here. I decide that now is the time to raise and drive out the pesky TAG in the BB: I can't see him calling with less than a set or a flush.

    Well, the BB caps the betting and the maniac calls. Getting 21 to 1 on my call, I throw in another $4 and hope for the flush on river that doesn't pair the board. And joy of joys, the river comes up [3d]. I bet out, getting called by both the BB and the maniac and take down a pretty big pot of just under $100.

  • I was the beneficiary of another fortunate turn of events when I raised with my [AQo] from UTG and got called by the button. The two of us see an unbelievable [A Q Q] flop. Not one to slowplay, I came out betting and was quickly raised by the button. Looking at the board, I noticed a couple clubs and figured that the button, who was a fairly solid player, was most likely trying to buy the free card on the turn.

    I quickly called the button's raise and obliged on the turn by checking: as expected, it got checked through.

    The river was my money card: the ten of clubs. I decided to represent trip Queens and bet out on the river, figuring that he'd still raise with his flush assuming that I'd missed a check-raise on the turn - the button instantly raised.

    At Interpoker (and any other Cryptologic site), there is no cap to the betting in a round of limit hold'em if the round begins heads-up. Knowing this, I clicked the raise button and hoped that the button liked his hand enough to get into a raising war.

    We kept raising each other until the button finally ended things by calling, both of us having put $28 in on the river. My full house held up and I picked up a $70 pot.

With the good, however, has come the bad. Here are three of my favourite "awful" hands. Two of the following three hands were played against the same maniac. The third hand discussed below was played against the BB who found himself losing to my rivered king-high flush above.

  • In this first hand, I found myself sitting in the BB with [Ad As]. The button, an 80/55/4 maniac, came in with yet another steal raise on the button. Having already stolen my blinds a number of times prior to this hand, I was more than happy to 3-bet him after the small blind quickly folded. As hoped, the maniacal button player capped the betting and I called.

    The flop came down [8h 5h 3h]. Given that the pot was heads-up, I wasn't too worried about my opponent having flopped the flush. The maniac's stack was sitting at $30 and when he quickly raised me after I bet out, I was pretty sure that we could get it all in right then and there. Back and forth we raised and re-raised until the pot sat at $74 (counting the rake already taken out).

    When the cards were turned over, imagine my disappointment to see that the maniac had picked up a real hand this time: [Ac Ah]. And imagine my horror when I realized that, not only was I not going to win this pot, but my opponent had a two card freeroll to beat me with a flush by the river.

    Luckily, the flush never materialized, leaving me down $1 for the hand (courtesy of le rake). But ain't it always the case that the table maniac picks up a real hand when you're finally ready to go to war with a hand.

    For the record, this is the only the fourth time that I've run my own AA into another's...

  • Twenty minutes later, the very same maniac as above is sitting on the button again. This time, I find myself in MP (this is at another table) holding [AKo]. I quickly raise and get isolated yet again by that laggy prick, something he'd done numerous times so far in the session. I capped the betting and he called.

    Flop comes down [A K 6] rainbow. Bingo! Here were go!

    This time, I decide to check-raise and the button obliges by betting after I check. When he 3-bets the flop after my raise, I double check that I am indeed holding top two pair. Deciding that capping the betting on the flop would too easily convey the strength of my hand, I decide to wait until the turn to spring my trap.

    When the turn comes down another blank, I fire out a donk-bet, looking for a raise on the button's part. Yet again, he kindly follows the plan, allowing me to make it 3-bets back to him. However, when the button 4-bets, I get a little worried: could he have the set? I look at the flop and notice that the turn card had put a diamond draw on the board. It was quite possible for my opponent to cap the betting on a flush draw as well. I decide to call and not raise, planning to bet out on the river if no diamond falls.

    The river puts a third diamond on the board and I quickly check-call. The maniac turns over his [Ad Kd] for the rivered flush and I can only sit and wonder how someone playing 80% of his hands can so consistently freeroll his way to my wallet.

  • This last hand was played against the TAG from the king-flush hand. When everyone folded to me in the SB, it was an easy decision to go for the steal with my [Ah Th]. The BB quickly made it 3-bets and I called. Some, I'm sure, would argue that I could cap the betting here, but I'll let you in on a little secret: I'm not that good a player.

    The flop is a rainbow of low rags, and I decide to check-raise this flop in an attempt to take the pot down quickly and cheaply. The TAG quickly bets when checked to and I check-raise him right back just as quickly. Although I'm prepared to lay down my hand if the TAG makes it 3-bets here, he decides to just call the raise.

    When the turn puts the [Td] on the board, I happily bet out knowing that my opponent may easily mistake my bet for a bluff and raise me. The BB makes it $4 more to go and I push an additional $4 into the pot: the BB calls my 3-bet and we see the river.

    The river is the [Qd]. Noticing that there is now a completed diamond draw on the board, I mull it over and decide that, discretion being the better part of valour, a check-call is in order. When the BB bets after my show of weakness, I call getting 12 to 1 odds and hoping that I've picked off a bluff or a mediocre hand. Alas, the BB shows the [Ad Td], thereby crowning me the King of the Freeroll.

    Nothing strokes the ego more than knowing that you were extremely thin for the entire hand.

Poker's all about the ups and downs, the big wins and the big losses, thin value bets and picked-off bluffs. I'm hoping that my next few thousand hands at the $2/$4 6-max tables prove as exciting as the first 1,200 hands. Mind you, I wouldn't mind being on the good end of one of those freerolls...

That's it for me! Have a good one and I'll see you at the tables!

Keep reading "Freeroll!"

Year in Review: Poker Stats 2006

Not only was 2006 a busy year away from the tables: it ended up being my best year of poker. Granted, that's not that big a deal since it was my first full year of playing poker online.

A big goal of mine was to earn more per hour playing poker than a McDonald's employee can make flipping burgers. Was I successful? I was...if just barely.

Enough chit-chat - let's take a look at the year that was...

Here's an general overview of my time at the tables.

Although the numbers look pretty good, better than last year at any rate, there is one thing that the numbers and graph don't say: these numbers count my time and winnings at the blackjack tables. I'll begrudgingly admit that a good 60% of my winnings came from blackjack: these winnings increased my hourly rate of return far beyond what I could have earned from poker alone.

Forgetting about blackjack, let's take a look at how I fared in each of the four forms of poker I played last years: limit hold'em (FL), 6-max limit hold'em (SHFL), no-limit hold'em (NL), and 6-max no-limit holdem (SHNL). I've ignored my MTT and SNG play due to the numbers being grossly skewed due to my MTT win back in November.

Limit Hold'em
For much of 2005, limit hold'em was my bread and butter. I spent the bulk of my time sitting at the $0.50/$1 tables grinding out a small profit.

2006 saw me deviate from my tried and true "money maker" and dabble in the NL cash games. However, as 2006 came to a close, I started to focus much more on the limit hold'em aspects of my game in an attempt to move up in stakes.

Here are my 2006 stats in full ring limit hold'em, according to Poker Tracker.

A few more stats:

  • Best Hand: AA (2.81 BB/Hand, $914.12)

  • Worst Hand: KQs (-0.36 BB/hand, -$88.77)

  • Most Dealt Hand: 82o (214 Times)

  • Least Dealt Hand: 73s (49 times)

6-max Limit Hold'em
As the year grew to a close and as good full ring limit hold'em tables became harder and harder to find, I decided to shift my focus from full-ring to 6-max games.

I'd really enjoyed the 6-max tables while playing no-limit hold'em and was curious to see how much I'd enjoy the short-handed limit tables. After a very brief (and unsuccessful) first attempt at SHFL back in the summer, I read as much as I could on the subject of short-handed limit hold'em games and hit the tables.

A few more stats:

  • Best Hand: AJs (2.93 BB/Hand, $57.75)

  • Worst Hand: Q9s (-0.98 BB/hand, -$17.00)

  • Most Dealt Hand: K6o (49 Times)

  • Least Dealt Hand: 42s (2 times)

No-Limit Hold'em:
When 2006 first started, I was still recovering from an extreme bout of tilt and poker apathy that first crept into my game back in November 2005.

As I struggled to beat SNGs and the $1/$2 FL games, I got fed up and wanted to explore new territory: the no-limit cash games.

Starting at the lowly $5 tables at Tiger Gaming, I worked on my game and played as much as I could, eventually finding myself at the $50 NL tables at Full Tilt and Interpoker.

Although things took a small turn for the worse at the $50 NL tables (meaning that I gave up way to early after an awful bad beat), I enjoyed playing the NL cash games and I'll most likely return to those games with renewed vigour.

A few more stats:

  • Best Hand: KK (5.33 BB/Hand, $54.50)

  • Worst Hand: T3s (-2.86 BB/hand, -$5.50)

  • Most Dealt 86o (72 Times)

  • Least Dealt Hand: 62s (8 times)

6-max No-Limit Hold'em:
The 6-max no-limit cash games at Interpoker were one of my biggest money makers of the year. As with the full-ring NL cash games, I left the tables after a few rough nights and have yet to return. After looking at my numbers, though, I wonder if I should sit back down sooner rather than later.

A few more stats:

  • Best Hand: AKs (6.96 BB/Hand, $58.92)

  • Worst Hand: 88 (-3.62 BB/hand, -$46.83)

  • Most Dealt: ATo (101 Times)

  • Least Dealt Hand: 87s (14 times)


Looking at my Poker Tracker numbers and the feelings I have surrounding the games I played, I realize a few things:

  1. I played squeaky tight during my time at the tables. That being said, I don't think that there's a better style of play for beginning players such as myself. Sure, my numbers and winnings are a joke to most seasoned vets, but they provide a good starting point for my future poker play.

  2. I gave up too quickly. A few buy-ins or BBs lost too easily clouded my ability to judge my level of play. The same is true of the inverse, where I would let a few lucky sessions make me feel like I was the best poker player on the 'Net. In this coming year, I am going to force myself to focus on making good decisions and disregarding my results (within reason).

  3. I gave up on hands too easily, folding too often before getting to the showdown. You'll see that I folded almost 80% of my hands before getting to the showdown. Of course, this meant that I won a large percentage of my showdowns, well over 60% in most cases. However, by taking a few more chances and by trusting my instincts and reads, I should be able to increase my hourly win rate by seeing more showdowns.

  4. I didn't play enough hands to place all that much faith in my stats. Given that I have played less than 40K hands across all forms of poker in the past year and a half, many of my numbers are statistically insignificant. As I put more time at thte tables this year, I'm hoping to log enough hands to be able to sit back and really analyze my play.

There are many other things about my game that need changing; likewise, there are many things that I do like about my game. Most importantly, I feel that I am a better poker player now than I was last year at this time. Due to to this simple fact, I'd have to say that 2006 proved a great success!


To close things off, here are a few more charts and numbers from my PokerDominator.com account.

Overall Statistics 2006

Best & Worst of 2006

Bankroll Growth 2006


I'll admit that this post is more for my benefit than for my readers'. Still, it's posts like these that keep me honest which is what I've always set out to do in this blog. Judging from what I've seen here today, I've definitely got my work cut out for me in 2007.

See you at the tables!

Keep reading "Year in Review: Poker Stats 2006"

Best of 2006: Top 10 Posts of the Year

2006 was a fairly busy year for me. Checking the tally, I see that I wrote 268 posts of varying quality over the course of 365 days. Today, I wanted to list my Top Ten posts of 2006. These aren't the stuff of literary legend, but they're a pretty good read if you're looking to kill a few minutes.

I've also given a few other posts honorary mention as warranted by a piece of "brilliant" insight or, in some cases, due to the complete opposite. I'm not too embarrassed to go back and see just how poorly I've played in the past twelve months.

  1. It's a boy!
    Without a doubt, the most important event to happen in 2006 was the birth of my son. He's worth more to me than poker, video games, money, or anything else in this world. Of all the things I've done in this world, he's sitting right there at the top of the heap, along with my wife, of course!

  2. Rakeback (or How To Cover Your Ace in Online Poker)
    This post can be pretty helpful to brand new online poker players. Lots of advice regarding rakeback, bonuses, and other methods for break-even players to stay afloat in the sharky online waters.

  3. The stages of a poker blogger (Part I)
    This was the first post that attracted the attention of the other bloggers out there. Looking back, it's not really well-thought out or well-written, but it does have its moments and accurately describes the feelings I had towards my blog towards the beginning of 2006.

  4. I like this NL thing!
    2006 also marked my first foray into the realm of NL cash games. Both frustrating and profitable, this post marked the initial excitement I had while learning a new game and enjoying a modicum of success. Although times changed and now see me foregoing no-limit games for limit games, reading this post makes me want to sit back down and give the NL games a shot yet again.

  5. Are you greedy?
    This post actually changed the landscape of my online gambling career. After reading Scurvydog's blog, I realized the benefits of using blackjack bonuses to build my bankroll. This post was a turning point, after which my bankroll grew large enough to support some higher-stakes poker play.

  6. Who do you love?
    After making the decision to focus on my limit hold'em game, a reader asked me why I would do such a thing. This post is my response and provides a comparison between limit and no-limit hold'em.

  7. Freedom
    Every poker player has reasons for playing. For me, it all comes down to Freedom...

  8. Step on a crack...
    As more and more bloggers ran bad, I noticed a few mentions here and there of Poker Gods and other superstitious mumbo-jumbo. After running a little bad myself, I took a look at the superstition and its place in poker.

  9. Something wicked this way comes...
    After the Fristing we all got in October, I felt it necessary to look at the online poker economy and examine where I fit into the grand scheme of things.

  10. Finding the way
    Having just purchased and moved into our new home, and with the birth of our son quickly approaching, I needed to sit back and re-evaluate. Where was this poker thing taking me and, when I got there, would I be happy with what I'd accomplished?

Honorable mentions

Keep reading "Best of 2006: Top 10 Posts of the Year"

Site Stats 2006

Bored at work? Looking for something mindless to read while counting down the minutes before you can finally get up and leave? Well, there's nothing more mindless and meaningless then web site statistics. And, oh lucky day, that's what I've got for you right here.

The stats shown here cover the period of time from March 27, 2006 to December 31, 2006. All in all, I think the year was a success in terms of site traffic. My traffic increased twenty fold. While I may not be the biggest or best site out there, I am pretty happy that I have a regular bunch of readers who feel the need to pop by and see if I'm going on hiatus or returning from hiatus (my two favourite activities, it seems).

Total Visits6,748
Total Hits15,222
New Visitors (%)43.39%
Returning Visitors56.61%
Top 5 PagesKlopzi's Mediocre Poker
Sink or Swim Challenge
Daniel Negreanu's Stacked: A Review
Klopzi's Challenges 2006
Stacked with Daniel Negreanu!
Top 5 ReferrersThe Poker Chronicles - Matt Maroon (670)
Sound of a Suckout - Scurvydog (192)
Freeroll 2 Bankroll - Doubleuwhy (161)
Floppy JT's Poker Blog - FloppyJT (127)
badbeatsandcallingstations - Derbywhite (98)
Top 5 Visiting CountriesUnited States (2,729 visits)
Canada (2,211 visits)
United Kingdom (499 visits)
Puerto Rico (196 visits)
Australia (177 visits)
Top 5 Keyword Searchesklopzi (71)
Interpoker tight (41)
poker (25)
pokerace hud registration code (24)
klopzi how to cover your ace in poker (22)
Top 5 Weird Searchesgirls pissing at their napkins.com
how to be a dealer fo tigergaming
tiger gaming poker jerky screen
lindsey lohan bikiniwax
gag on my.nl

Keep reading "Site Stats 2006"

Movin' on up!

I finally got a chance to play some poker yesterday. First session of 2007 in the history books, hundreds more to go. As mentioned a few days ago, my go-to site once again Interpoker; however, I find the new bonus scheme most definitely wanting...

When I first hit up Interpoker in 2005, I came armed with a solid rakeback deal (via RakeTheRake) and the knowledge that Interpoker had the best monthly bonus around. I deposited a couple hundred dollars and played my ass off at the $0.50/$1 limit tables. Starting with one table, I threw a second table into the mix by the end of my first month.

After about 3000 hands played by month's end, I was surprised to see that I had not yet cleared the $100 deposit bonus. "What the hell?", I thought to myself. I mean, I only needed 500 raked hands to clear the thing. Looking at Poker Tracker, I quickly confirmed that I had a large number of raked hands. So where was my money?

Well, back then, a "raked hand" was any hand that was raked for 1 unit or more. For example, if you played in US dollars, $1 would have to be raked in order for the hand to count. In the 5000 hands that I'd played, I noticed only a handful had reached the magical "1 unit" mark.

However, Interpoker was also kind enough to count any raked hand not reaching 1 unit as 1/4 of a raked hand. Even so, I still had well over 200 raked hands left to clear before getting my free $100.

The easy 5x raked hands bonus requirement was actually 20x bonus for the lowly micro-limit players, such as myself. Awful...

This realization forced me to move up to the $1/$2 limit games, a move that definitely cost me some money at first (and in the long run too). At the $1/$2 games, I found the players tough and tight: everyone was just going through the motions without trying to play actual poker. Those players were there for the bonuses and nothing else. Average pot sizes sat around $6 with table VP$IPs somewhere in the 15%-25% range.

The old Interpoker bonus scheme continued until late 2006. Until that point in time, I had only managed to clear one additional $100 reload bonus Interpoker (outlined in my Interpoker OCT bonus challenge): as for the rest of the monthly reload bonuses, I counted on blackjack and InterCasino to help me out.

The new bonus scheme instantly changed the landscape of play at Interpoker. The biggest change was that only players sitting at tables with stakes at 1/2 or more (limit or no-limit) could qualify for the montly reload bonus. The second change, and one that was very good for me, was that any and all raked hands counted as FULL raked hands.

Instead of clearing 30 or 40 raked hands an hour, it was now possible to clear upwards of 200 raked hands an hour. This was made all the better by the fact that I was playing multiple tables of 6-max limit hold'em: playing more than 250 hands per hour earned me an overlay of about $20/hour when all was said and done.

And then, a short couple days ago, Interpoker changed their bonus schedule yet again. The monthly reload bonus is once again available to ALL players at Interpoker, regardless of table stakes. And, even better, the monthly reload bonus can be as high as $500 if you have enough time and money to take full advantage of the deal.

Although I was pretty excited by the news, my enthusiasm was instantly put in check when I discovered that the raked hand definition had reverted back to the "old" definition. $1 or more of rake equals 1 raked hand; everything else counts for a 1/4 raked hand.

Hmmm, not so good for me sitting there playing $1/$2 6-max limit hold'em. I wasn't sure how many raked hands (or MPPs as their called) I could earn per table hour given the new scheme. I wasn't even sure how many pots would hit the magical $20 mark, required for the pot to be raked for $1 and thus earning me one full MPP.

To top things off, I discovered that the $500 monthly bonus required more than just 2500 MPPs to clear as well. In fact, the MPP requirement climbs to a somewhat-hefty 8000 MPPs! To put it into perspective, this would most likely require a $0.50/$1 LHE player to play about 50,000 hands of poker in one month. I have only played about 25,000 in the past year and a half!

Don't get me wrong: I am not bashing Interpoker here. They have the most generous monthly reload bonus that I have ever seen! If they want to make it hard for people to clear a gigantic bonus then that's their prerogative.

In all fairness, players can choose the size of the bonus they'd like to clear. If you're only looking for a $100 monthly reload bonus, it only takes 450 MPPs to clear: at 4.5 raked hands per dollar of bonus, you're not going to find a better deal out there! Also, the bigger bonuses come with "base camps" that allow you to pocket money at certain milestones in your bonus-clearing journey.

This brings us to last night. I deposited $400 at Interpoker in order to take advantage of the 100% up to $400 bonus. This bonus clears in 3 stages: 450 MPPs for $100, another 1150 MPPs for $200 more, and a final 1000 MPPs for a $100 top-up.

And so, I sat down and started playing. I loaded up 3 tables of $1/$2 SHFL and started clicking. 156 minutes later, I was up $40. Good. And then I decided to see how many MPPs I'd cleared during my 156 table minutes of playing: twenty-two!

You have got to be kidding me...

A little math...22 raked hands in 156 minutes = 0.14 raked hands per minute.

If I need 2500 raked hands, I'd need to play for 17,857 minutes, or 297 table hours, before January 31st.

I play 3 tables at once, which means that I only need to play 99 hours in order to clear $400.

This puts my hourly overlay at $4 per hour...if I can actually get in 99 hours at the tables this month. I believe that the most time I've ever put towards playing poker in any given month is about 68 table hours.

Long story short, me = pwned.

So what can I do to make things right? That's right: it's time to pull a George and move on up!

I'm going to start hitting up the $2/$4 6-max tables effective immediately. Hopefully, the tables treat me well. If not, it'll give you, my readers, something to smile about. Nothing better than watching someone fall: it's like America's Funniest Home Videos and Poker Night Live all rolled up into one.

I honestly think I'll do fine. I've got the bankroll, I've read the material, and I'm ready to play. And hopefully my cheery attitude holds up when I hit my first downswing of 100 BB.

Next week, I'll be sure to cover the following topics:

  • Best of 2006: Klopzi's Best Ten Posts
  • Site Stats 2006: Boring but more interesting than work
  • Poker Stats 2006 (or How to Earn $2/hr with quite a bit of effort)

Until then, have a great weekend everyone!

See you at the tables!

Keep reading "Movin' on up!"

Under Construction

Update: Looks like I've got everything more or less back to normal. The site looks a little better when viewed with Firefox, as opposed to IE. For some reason, I have a lot of difficulty in getting my site banner to line up correctly with the other page elements.

Still, close enough for now.

Unfortunately, the tinkering has left me little time to prepare any of the "quality posts" I promised two days ago.

I do have a quick comment concerning the games I'm playing now and what January holds in store for me. Other than that, the site stats, year in review, and the best of 2007 posts will have to wait until next week.


Well, it looks like my site may be screwed up for a day or two. I'm currently upgrading the site template and I've got a few things left to figure out.

That being said, all my posts are fully accessible and the site is still running quite well. You may just notice a few things missing from the side menu and there may be a few missing banners (and I know how much you all love banners).

I'm at home today taking care of my wife and son (one is sick, one is "screamy"). I'll be back tomorrow with some more content and an upgraded site template.

See you at the tables!

Keep reading "Under Construction"


A two-post day?! Go figure. Actually, just some random stuff that I wanted to get out there while I had a second.


Tomorrow, I'll probably post the web stats for my site. Wondering how many people visited in 2006? Want to know what searches resulted in the most hits for my site? Want to know who my best referrers were?

Probably not...but that's too bad because I'm posting those stats anyway.


In a couple days, I'll try and post my Year in Review that will cover all my poker playing stats. It won't be Shakespeare, but it'll be better than the usual crap that I post.


By the end of the week, I'd like to put up a "Best Of 2006" of all the posts I made last year. Even though most of the shit I pound out is...well, shit, there are a few peanuts of wisdom that I feel are worth reading.


I've been remiss in adding a link to Haley's Poker Bl-Auggh!! ... the XML Version.

Poor Haley linked me up months and months ago and I've been a real prick in reciprocating.

Haley, consider yourself linked.


You'll notice the picture of the train wreck that I've uploaded with this blog entry. I find the picture quite fitting as I point you to one of the funnier "poker" blogs on the net: Redpill's Poker Journey.

Grab a coffee, a donut, and then sit yourself down for one of the funniest and strangest reads on the Internet.

Redpill is a bipolar, narcissistic, sexist, racist piece of human trash. He fails miserably in life; he is a huge donkey at the tables. Normally, I'd never such things about someone, but I can't stand people who are racist, sexist, or extremely irresponsible: it seems that Redpill is the perfect storm of everything I hate in the world!

Although his "journey" starts off like many poker blogs out there, things get stranger as he starts to lose his battle with the bouts of mania and depression that seem to ebb and flow in all areas of his life.

Want to know how NOT to play poker? Redpill's got the answers.

Want to know about 9/11 and Area 51? Redpill's got the goods.

Want to know how to be the worst you can be? Redpill's your man.

It can be quite hard to continue reading at times, as his downward spiral is depressing, infuriating, and disgusting all at once. If you can stomach it, give him a read.

Oh, and make sure to read the comments. They are, by far, the best part of the blog.


Thanks to Waffles, I've got some more uber-ghey quizzes for you. Actually, I like super heroes and super villains, so these quizzes aren't that bad.


Your results:
You are Superman

Wonder Woman
Iron Man
Green Lantern
The Flash
You are mild-mannered, good,
strong and you love to help others.
Click here to take the "Which Superhero am I?" quiz...


Your results:
You are Dr. Doom
Dr. Doom
Lex Luthor
The Joker
Mr. Freeze
Poison Ivy
Green Goblin
Dark Phoenix
Blessed with smarts and power but burdened by vanity.
Click here to take the Supervillain Personality Quiz

Keep reading "Unbreakable"

What A Year!

Brand new year, brand new goals and benchmarks to hit. I don't have much time, which is becoming far too common as of late, so let's get to it.

First off, Happy New Year to all my readers! Given that my posts are coming in at a snail's pacek, I'm sure that there are only a small handful of people still checking in to see what's up. Oh well, less readers means less pressure to produce.

Last year at this time, I set two goals for myself.

  1. Hit a $5K bankroll.
  2. Drop 55 lbs.

Well, I easily smashed through the $5K bankroll goal that I set for myself. Having only cleared $1K after my first 6-7 months of online play, I thought that $5000 was rather ambitious. Little did I know that I would soon read Scurvydog's blog and, after careful consideration, join the hordes of casino whores out there. Had I not played any poker last year, my blackjack winnings would have put me very close to the $5000 mark by themselves.

In fact, looking back on 2006, it was a very good year for me. All told, I cleared more than $8000. To some, that is not a lot of money. To others, it's an incomprehensible sum of money to won via online gambling. To me, it is just a stepping stone, a tool, to be used to hit the next level of my poker career.

Truth be told, the $8K also helped me buy many of the things that I'd been wanting for a long time. The good thing about buying stuff using bankroll money is that all purchases are completely guilt-free. Here's a list of some stuff that was bought this past year:

2006 saw many other changes to my life, each having a profound affect on my growth as a poker player and a poker blogger.

Early 2006 saw me getting bored and frustrated with limit hold'em. The microlimit stakes of $0.50/$1.00 were killing my enthusiasm to play poker. Although I was able to clear quite a bit of bonus money, the stakes were too small to matter. Unfortunately, my performance at the $1/$2 tables was so poor that I found myself stuck being a rock and a hard place: I didn't want to play micro-limit poker but I wasn't good enough to play anything but.

That's when I decided to make the switch to NL hold'em cash games. I started at Tiger Gaming's $5 tables and quickly left my mark. After getting a number of hours under my belt, I got sick of playing for such small stakes and moved up the $10 tables at PokerRoom. The tables were soft, the players were crap, and I was soon ready to move up again.

Over the next couple months, I moved from the $10 NL tables at PokerRoom to the $25 NL tables at Interpoker. Yet again, I found the games pretty soft and quickly found myself ready to jump up the $50 NL tables at Interpoker. I soon found myself losing ground and, probably due to my growing losses, bored and frustrated with the full ring NL games.

After getting a little push from Huma and little encouragement from Wes's success at the 6-max NL tables, I decided to give the $20 and $25 short-handed no-limit games a try. Although I only played these games for about four months last summer, I actually did pretty well. I stopped playing the $25 SHNL games after suffering a string of tough beats and donkey play on my part. Looking at my win rate for the $25 6-max games, I really should get back into it at some point in 2007.

As my short-handed NL game got progressively worse, my wife and I continued to prepare ourselves to move into our new house. July and August were chock-full of hard labour, juggling finances, and preparing for the biggest move of our lives. It's no wonder that my game suffered during this time: I was constantly exhausted and my mind was always pre-occupied with matters far more important than poker. Over the course of August, I got sick of trying to beat the NL cash games and wanted to move on.

With the NL hold'em games behind me, I decided to test the limit hold'em waters yet again. After the success I'd had in the NL cash game arena, I was reluctant to play the $1/$2 limit games again. I didn't want to play at such small stakes. I didn't want to play against the rest of the bonus grinders out there. I didn't want to continue to spew money to players just trying to break even on any given session.

In the end, I decided to take the path travelled numerous times by the fish, monkeys, and poor poker players out there: I jumped up in limits. I couldn't imagine the $3/$6 LHE players being all that much better than the $1/$2 players at Interpoker. After 7K hands, I can say that $3/$6 is not all that different from $1/$2 LHE: I'm a losing player at both games. Still, winning a few big pots will erase my deficit at $3/$6 and put me back into the black again.

Unfortunately, just as my $3/6 game was coming together, the anti-gambling bill came into effect in the States. The unfortunate effect of this bill is that it killed the full ring limit traffic at my preferred online poker rooms. It was also around this time that my son was born.

Although I continued to play $3/$6 at PokerStars for the most of October and November, I was getting more and more frustrated with the game. And with poker time becoming very limited, I decided to focus yet again on clearing poker bonuses and getting as much rakeback as I could.

But first, I played a $5K freeroll, courtesy of RakeTheRake, at Party Poker. With less than one hundred players registered, it took me less than 4 hours to take down my very first tournament, earning a cool $1000 for me and Mr. V.

I finished off 2006 sitting at the 6-max limit hold'em tables. The players seem just as poor as the 6-max NL crowd, alternatively playing too aggressively or too passively, with very few opponents able to bring balance to their game. With traffic being quite good for the 6-max games and with bonuses clearing extremely quickly at these tables, the SHFL seem like a very good fit for me at this point in time.

Looking back on 2006, I can easily say that the birth of my son was the most significant thing to happen this year. My wife and I buying our first home slides into second place. Third place would go to my wife and I celebrating our first anniversary together as husband and wife. As for my success at poker, it would fall somewhere in the top ten I guess.

So, my goals for 2007?

  1. I'd really like to hit $20K in career earnings. I'm not sure whether I'll make it given that I have a wonderful wife and son that I want to spend time with and a crippling Xbox 360 addiction; however, I'll do my best. It will definitely be much harder to earn money this year given that I will be staying clear of the blackjack tables in an effort to focus solely on my poker game.

  2. I'd like to drop 65 lbs. this year. Yep...I gained weight last year. I really packed on the weight when my wife was pregnant...about 30 lbs if my calculations are correct.

  3. I'd like to find myself playing at the $4/$8 and $5/$10 short-handed limit hold'em by the end of the year. Given the criteria outlined here, that means that I'll have to play at least 25,000 hands of very good poker. The plan will be to finish off the last 5000 or so hands at the 1/2 tables, then play 10K hands at 2/4, and another 10K at 3/6. At that point, I hope that my game is solid enough to begin tackling the bigger games.

Although I may not post as much this year as I have in the past year and a half, I will stick around for the foreseeable future. Given Interpoker's new bonus scheme and grotesque $500 monthly bonus, the bulk of my playing time will be spent there.

I hope that 2006 treated all of you well. And I hope that 2007 brings tons of good things our way as well!

For those of you who like the poker, good luck in 2007 and I'll see you at the tables!

Keep reading "What A Year!"