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Going Pro?


Things have been pretty busy, precluding me from getting started on my "Pocket Queens Suck" posts (name liable to change). Instead, I've been making some hit and run posts over at my other site - The Greedy Gamer.

On the plus side, my traffic is booming over at The Greedy Gamer. On the downside, increased game time means that my poker bankroll has only grown a measly $100 this month.

In poker-related news, have you read Alan's recent post where he hints that he'll be testing the waters of playing online poker professionally? I gather that he's still a few months away from taking the plunge but it's still exciting news. Since I'll never go pro myself, I'll have to live vicariously through those who can. C'mon Alan - let's do this already!

And in completely unrelated news, I'm finally getting a little more sleep. I'm sure that simply posting this will subject me to countless sleepless nights from this point forward. Still, I had to say something given the number of "I'm tired" posts in the past year and a half.

That's all for today unfortunately. Have a good one!

Keep reading "Going Pro?"

Who flipped the switch?

Is it just me or is the entire poker blogger community going through a downswing right now? Everywhere I turn, I'm reading about tough hands, bad luck, tilty plays, and thousands of dollars lost over very few hands.

So...who flipped the Doom Switch?

I'll be honest. I've managed to avoid the bad luck this month. You might argue that's because I've played less than two thousand hands...and you'd be right. It's amazing how much of my bankroll I'm able to save by simply limiting the amount of poker that I play.

I guess I went through my spurt of bad luck last month. Actually, what started as bad luck quickly turned into mild tilt. Mild tilt brought on some dubious plays which led to super donkey tilt. And, of course, super donkey tilt caused me to forget how to play poker and things just got worse from there.

So for all of you out there getting beaten down, either hang in there or take a break while you still can. If poker were easy, everyone would be playing it, right?

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If you do plan on sticking with poker, why not sign up for some rakeback to help cushion the blow?

And if you plan on taking a break, why not pick up a copy of GTA IV for your Xbox 360 or Playstation3? The greatest video game ever gets released this coming Tuesday April 29!

Keep reading "Who flipped the switch?"

Pocket Queens

I've never understood why so many poker players have an irrational fear of Pocket Queens. Jacks? Sure - sometimes they can be tricky. But Queens?! Come on! If you're not winning with Queens, how good a hand are you looking for?

But then a friend of mine sent me a series of hands featuring his Queens against his Villains' various hands. And it's not pretty...

I'll be back in the next day or two with some of these hands and a few of my own. Let's see just how happy or sad you should be to turn up your cards and find Siegfried & Roy (aka. The Hilton Sisters) staring back at you.

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Quick Update: Poker not going so well. Very few hands played. Even fewer "good" hands played. I've actually thought about sending the following letter: anyone have a mailing address for me?


Dear Poker Gods,

WTF?!

Regards,

K.

Have a good one!

Keep reading "Pocket Queens"

Nowhere Fast

I played about a hundred hands at Stars yesterday. I ended up about even for the day. I got screwed over when I got all-in with my AK in the BB against the button's AA. But I cold-decked the same guy five or six orbits later with my AA versus his KK. There's something to be said about not losing money in a session - but I need to string together some winning sessions if I'm going to regain my desire to climb the ranks of the poker world.

Unfortunately I'm still not really "feeling" poker. One month ago, poker was all I cared about. I was determined to play the higher stakes and start making the big bucks. Twenty losing sessions later, my desire to play has waned to the point where I've started to question poker's place in my life.

I seem to go through the same phases of loving, tolerating, and hating poker over and over, so I have no doubts that poker will return in full-force eventually. I think sleep deprivation has played a role in killing my game. It's hard to play well on less than six hours sleep. And I haven't even had fours hours of uninterrupted sleep since early March. I've also found that exhaustion does not help my patience at the tables nor does it help me to better accept the intricacies of chance and variance.

Until I get bitten by the poker bug again, I probably won't play very much poker. But I'm going to do my best to continue posting hand histories and looking for advice for the hands that I do play. If I can keep my game from getting too rusty, my transition back to poker should go pretty smoothly.

I'll be back next week with some hands and some poker talk. I'm going to hit the tables this weekend and see if I can clear a good chunk of my Poker Stars bonus.

Have a great weekend eveyone!

Keep reading "Nowhere Fast"

Sleepwalking


I'm back at Stars for the time being. My goal? Grind out 2400 FPPs and earn myself a $120 bonus. A secondary goal is to make back some of the cash that I lost at Stars back in March.

I'm not going to worry too much about my past play. I think it's time to look forward and to stop dwelling on the past. I'm still up quite a bit for 2008 so I'll stop complaining and looking for excuses regarding my poker playing abilities.

I've played very well at times and I've played terribly too. That's poker and that's life. All I can change is how well I play in my next session.

The only question now is: when is that next session going to happen? I had little-to-no free time over the weekend. On Friday night, I deposited some money onto Stars. The few minutes it took to complete that transaction represented the entirety of my poker-time that night. I spent the rest of the evening relaxing with my wife.

Saturday and Sunday were both extremely busy. Running on just shy of 6 hours sleep since for the entire weekend, I was far too tired to play poker when 10:30 PM on Sunday night rolled around. Instead, I played some video games before hitting the sack.

As much as I'd like to give poker a shot tonight, I barely slept three hours last night; frankly, I'm exhausted. My life is fast becoming a waking dream. I find myself losing bits and pieces of the day. I'm at the point where I don't remember how I get to and from work everyday. The only way I can tell that I am going to work at all is that I'm still receiving regular paychecks.

With time being such a rare commodity nowadays, I'm happy that I've got three months to grind out my bonus . If I can two or three table the $100 NLHE tables, I'm looking at about 24 hours of "work" to get this done. This is certainly do-able, though I fear that Grand Theft Auto IV will hog all of my free time for the entire month of May.

In the end, I need to start winning money at the tables again. I want to feel that feeling of invincibility that comes parcel and package with a heater. I want to sit down at a table and know that I'll be winning a bundle.

For the time being, I'd settle for a nice meal, a drink or two, and a solid seven hours of sleep...

Keep reading "Sleepwalking"

Weekends, Gambling, and Games

I thought I had another hand to post today. Upon further inspection, it appears I was wrong. Let's just pretend that I had second pair in a multiway pot, pushed, and got insta-called by a supposed horrible player holding the nuts. Now call me a donkey!

I didn't have a particular hand in mind while presenting the vague hand above. But the scenario is quite believable given my play of late. Although I'm still in my "poker-hates-me-so-I'm-going-to-play-video-games" mood, I am going to try and hit the tables a little more in the next couple weeks. A good first step will be returning to Poker Stars and spending some time at the $0.50/$1 NLHE while I try to grind out 2400 FPPs in order to clear a $120 bonus.

For my sake, I hope things go well. Another big losing streak might put me on super monkey tilt and force me to cash out a little more of my bankroll and place it in the "video game fund". I envy all the pro and semi-pro poker players out there who have the nerve to keep playing their A-games while experiencing a losing streak: I find it next to impossible myself.

One thing I may do if things don't improve is to try sit-n-gos again. I'll still lose but at a much slower pace. I seem to recall doing quite well playing SNGs until I hit another one of my disastrous down-swings.

I hate variance! If I saw variance on the street, I'd go up and slap his face and steal his wallet...I think video game violence is getting to me. I saw it coming the other day when I found myself jumping on some mushrooms that had fallen to the ground in the grocery store. Then, of course, there was that incident where I jumped on a turtle in my backyard, picked him up, and chucked him at the kid next door quietly lobbing hammers at me...

Have a great weekend everyone! I'm off to gamble and/or play video games and/or drink...

Keep reading "Weekends, Gambling, and Games"

PokerStars Reload Bonus: April 2008!


Well, the Sens game last night was a disaster. I need cheering up. What's that? PokerStars reload bonus time? 20% up to $120? Excellent! More details after the jump.

To receive the bonus, simply make your next deposit with the bonus code “BOP”. Just use any of our convenient deposit option between 12:00 pm ET on April 8, 2008 and 11:59 pm ET on April 16, 2008 - and you will be eligible for the bonus (conditions apply*). The maximum bonus is $120 on a deposit of $600.

If you don't have a PokerStars account, click here to sign up and download the software.

As for me, I just need to scrounge up $600 and start hitting the tables!

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Keep reading "PokerStars Reload Bonus: April 2008!"

Go Sens Go!


NHL Playoffs start tonight! And for me, I'm only concerned with the Ottawa Senators versus the Pittsburgh Penguins. But I'm afraid that my Sens won't be getting to the Stanley Cup Finals this year. Still, I have hope!

In other news, less poker this week and more video games. It's funny how one hobby must always come at the expense of the other.

And if you're wondering why I'm playing less poker, take a look at this next hand. The one question I should have asked myself pre-flop: what range of hands to do I beat when a solid player is willing to 4-bet (and not simply push all-in) while out of position? I guess the video games are rotting my mind.


Absolute Life Poker 0.50/1.00, hand converted by the iPoker Converter at Talking-Poker

saw flop | saw showdown

Button ($103.10)
SB Villain ($323.60)
BB Hero ($61.85)
UTG ($105.50)
UTG+1 ($100.00)
CO ($118.55)

Preflop: Hero is in the BB with A K
4 folds, Villain raises to 3.50, Hero raises to 12.00, Villain raises to 21.00, Hero moves all-in for 48.85, Villain calls 36.85.

(Now who's the donkey? Oh wait, still me...)

Flop (123.70) 9 4 8

Turn (123.70) T

River (123.70) 6

Hero shows A K
Villain shows K K

Villain wins 123.70 with One pair, Kings


In my defense, I believe it was the Villain's birthday...

Keep reading "Go Sens Go!"

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Keep reading "New Site Sponsor: BetWin Poker"

Who's the donkey?

I actually played poker this weekend! I wasn't sure if I'd find the time but I did. I played about 400 hands or so. Not too bad given my current level of exhaustion. Even though things didn't turn out all that well for me (note to self: tight, straight-forward villains do NOT 4-bet out of position with anything less than AA or KK), I felt a little better about my game.

Here's one of the hands that played out on Saturday night. I've been trying to work on my turn and river aggression. Specifically, I've been trying to back up my c-bets with some turn bets as well. I'm finding that firing off a second bullet can sometimes steal me a pot or two against villains who habitually call c-bets on the flops.


Titan Poker 0.50/1.00, hand converted by the iPoker Converter at Talking-Poker

saw flop | saw showdown

Button ($324.60)
SB Hero ($51.00)
BB BB ($100.00)
UTG ($100.00)
UTG+1 ($117.55)
CO ($100.00)

Preflop: Hero is in the SB with K J
4 folds, Hero raises to 4.00, Villain calls 3.50.

(I'm still pretty new to the table. I've noticed that the Villain likes to play a few more pots than normal. Still, he's done nothing to really make me think he's a donkey.)

Flop (9.00) Q 5 5
Hero bets 6.00, Villain calls 6.00.

(This seems like a good place to c-bet. The Villain calls me a little hesitantly. I decide to fire off a second bullet on the turn unless an ace happens to hit the board.)

Turn (21.00) Q
Hero bets 12.00, Villain calls 12.00.

(I raised pre-flop and bet on the flop hoping to represent a pocket pair or a Qx-type hand. The Villain didn't seem to like the flop all that much so I figured a second bullet would take down the pot. When the Villain called again, I got a little worried.)

River (45.00) 7
Hero checks, Villain checks

(No draws have completed here. Given that the Villain called me on the both the flop and turn, I was pretty sure that I was up against a hand like a slowplayed A5, a pocket pair in the JJ-66 range, or a club draw. I decided to cut my losses and just check. I wonder if a jam on the river might have worked to push the Villain off his hand?)

Villain shows A T
Hero shows K J

Villain wins 45.00 with Two pair, Queens and Fives with a Ace for a kicker


After watching the Villain play a while longer, I'm still not convinced that a jam on the river would have worked. He was a bit of calling station. Then again, that doesn't mean much once he's seen the river card and is facing a large bet holding a busted draw or an ace-high. I'm still a little baffled by his call on the flop and the turn. I wouldn't make those calls myself unless I had reason to believe that I could take the pot away on the turn. If he's calling on the flop in order to steal the hand from me later, why not raise the turn? If he thought he beat, why call?

Am I simply guilty of trying to outhink a level one thinker? Do you fire a second bullet on the turn when the board's double-paired? As always, comments, nice or nasty, are welcomed.

Keep reading "Who's the donkey?"

Time to relax...

It's the weekend! And that means that I finally have time to spend time with my wife and kids, play video games, and play poker. It's hard having too much to do and too little time. I actually planned to play a lot more poker this month than I have so far. But plans change, I guess.

Being as results-oriented as I am, I find it very hard to get motivated to play after running into a rough patch at the tables. I guess it's a good thing that I never went pro, though the thought's never seriously crossed my mind. I guess I'd go pro if I could earn somewhere around $25,000 per month. I'd probably need that much to stay motivated and afford the proper therapy to stay sane. In any case, I'm nowhere near earning that much so let's move on.

I'm going to try and put in a thousand hands this weekend. That may be a little high given my renewed love of video games. But it's a goal and goal's should be set high. I'm still about eight buy-ins away from trying my hand at the $1/$2 NLHE games again. I'm hoping that I'll learn enough in the coming weeks to better prepare me for the games at the higher stake tables. The last time I played the $1/$2 games, I got greedy, I got impatient, and I paid the price and dropped a good chunk of my bankroll. I don't plan on making the same mistake again.

Have a great weekend everyone! And be sure to check out RakeTheRake if you're looking for rakeback and The Greedy Gamer if you're looking for random video game talk.

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By the way, the image above (source) has nothing to do with this post. I just find it hilarious...

Keep reading "Time to relax..."

Haven't played yet...

For those of you waiting to see if the month of April's gonna make me or break me, I apologize. Busy schedules and no sleep means no poker for me. I think I learned my lesson last month. Trying to play poker after only 4 hours sleep in a 38 hour period is not good for my bankroll or my sanity.

Poker's on its way. My best guess would be tomorrow night at Titan Poker. Probably around the 10 PM EST mark. We'll see if I can get a good run while 3-tabling some $100 NLHE.

In the meantime, feel free to check out my other site. It's far easier to play video games while exhausted since there's nothing riding on those games...

Keep reading "Haven't played yet..."