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Poker Goals: 2010 Edition

I'm not sure how many more poker sessions I'll put in before this year's up. I took a quick look at my overall results for 2009 last night after another losing limit hold'em session. Without going into detail, I can say that 2009 has been my worst year in poker. I probably dropped between 20% - 25% of my working bankroll at the tables.

Keep reading "Poker Goals: 2010 Edition"

Klopzi's Game

I hope everyone had a great Christmas! I've had a great time over the past five days. I spent a ton of quality time with my family, ate way too much food, played a little poker, watched most of season five of The Office with my wife, played a bit of Borderlands, and did some reading too!

Keep reading "Klopzi's Game"

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

I hope everyone out there is ready for the holidays. The Christmas season has always been my favourite time of the year. No amount of hassle or familial obligations can dampen my spirits once Christmas carols and the smell of cookies and turkey fill the air. Of course, it's very easy for me to enjoy Christmas with my wife tackling the lion's share of the work in December.

Keep reading "Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!"

Friends, Drinks, and Pineapple

I played some live poker on Friday night. There was no money involved: just pride and lots of drinks. We played some three-way limit hold'em and Pineapple. I learned that I know more than the average person when it comes to limit hold'em. And I also learned that luck will beat out skill any day.

Keep reading "Friends, Drinks, and Pineapple"

'Twas the weekend before Christmas...

Weekend's here! I haven't had time to post in the past couple days due to a serious lack of free time.

Keep reading "'Twas the weekend before Christmas..."

Those who fight donkeys...

You ever have one of those nights where your good play gets punished and your bad play gets rewarded? That's exactly what happened last night. I guess it's only fair that I suck out every so often. It still feels dirty and cheap to me.

Keep reading "Those who fight donkeys..."


I played a two-hour session last night at Full Tilt. One table of 6-max limit hold'em and one of Omaha/8. I broke even in Omaha/8 and dropped another 16 BBs in LHE. I'm torn between attributing my losses in LHE to a few bad hands (flopped flush vs. slowplayed flopped nut flush, AA vs. rivered set, etc.) but I'm sure I'm doing other things poorly.

Keep reading "Time..."

It's not getting any easier...

My weekend at the tables started off rather poorly. I was so close to the break-even mark in $0.50/$1 6-max limit hold'em. And then I ran into a few tough situations. My worst enemy at these micro-stakes tables are the loose-passive players who wait until the river to check-raise me. I always seem to have a reasonable hand against these guys and usually pay off their flopped nuts or turned boats.

Keep reading "It's not getting any easier..."

Late Sessions, Poor Results

I've been starting my poker sessions much later at night in recent days. Kids, Christmas, exercise, and many other things keep me from firing up my laptop any earlier than eleven o'clock at night. I'm not sure how big a role fatigue plays in my results. I'm always tired. I don't think playing poker an hour or two earlier would improve my results very much.

Keep reading "Late Sessions, Poor Results"

Poker Results Summary

I took a look at all of my Poker Tracker 3 results last night. I recorded the numbers for every single game that I played and record in either Poker Tracker 3 and Poker Tracker Omaha. I'm happy to say that, overall, I'm still well ahead of the game. My results at the $100 and $200 SHNL games and $0.50/$1 and $1/$2 FL have helped cushion the results I've had at many of the other games and stakes that I've played in the past four years.

My results are available for you viewing pleasure after the jump...

Keep reading "Poker Results Summary"

Balancing the Books

A week has passed since my last post and for that I apologize. I was hoping to hit the elusive "1,000 posts" this year but it's not going to happen. Tilt, video games, and a busy life prevent me from keeping all of my readers up-to-date on my gambling hobby. I can say that I'm back to playing poker...for now. I took a bit of a break when Borderlands showed up on my doorstep. But for all that video games deliver, there are times when I need to sit back and play poker. Nothing beats the addictive combination of balls and brains (and rakeback and education) required to play and succeed at poker.

Keep reading "Balancing the Books"

What's Up?

Sorry for the lack of posts recently. I haven't played much poker since last Friday. Why, you ask? I think this post over at The Greedy Gamer explains things nicely.

Keep reading "What's Up?"

Picking Up The Pieces

I was really tempted to take a break from poker after getting beat down so badly over the weekend. In the past, that's how I've handled myself when short-term variance took a unexpected turn for the worse. I decided to approach the problem more methodically this time. I wanted to identify exactly what had happened, figure out if I could make any necessary changes to my game, and continue playing poker.

Keep reading "Picking Up The Pieces"


I can now say that I've tasted the ass-end of variance after a horrible weekend at the tables. I don't know what else to say at this point. I was cruising along well this month. I was up 100 BB in $1/$2 limit hold'em and was all set to clear my $100 PokerStars bonus, order my $250 gift certificate from the FPP Store, and possibly move up to $2/$4 by month's end.

And then it happened...

Keep reading "Ouch..."


It's been a busy week. Between the kids, shopping, work, and searching for a copy of Borderlands at my local Blockbuster, I'm exhausted.

Keep reading "Weekend...finally"

The Old One-Two

Yesterday I mentioned that I had a pretty good weekend at the tables. Right on schedule, I took a good hit at the tables last night. The games were quite good with a good mix of bad LAGs and fish. The downside to these types of games is that things can get expensive when you miss flops and turns in four-way pre-flop capped pots or when your opponents chase and hit an unlikely two pair on the river. Is there any feeling worse than getting check-raised on the river?

Keep reading "The Old One-Two"

Bonus at Full Tilt?

Has anyone else heard about a new bonus running over at Full Tilt? I plan on checking it out tonight. If there is a bonus, I'm definitely going to partake of Full Tilt's generosity.

Keep reading "Bonus at Full Tilt?"

Bad Beats?

I had a whole "thing" planned for today's post. I was going to talk about short-term variance, complain about bad beats, and try to get sympathy from my readers. But I don't have the time to be philosophical about this. And the only reason that most of us review others' bad beats is to feel better about our plight at the tables.

And so I'll see you off into the weekend with some hands that I played poorly, got unlucky, or both. Enjoy!

Keep reading "Bad Beats?"

Remembrance Day, Family, and Poker

I had the day off of work yesterday in honour of Remembrance Day. I feel a little guilty having taken the day off without doing anything to remember the veterans who fought and died for my freedom. I was at home taking care of both of my boys, one sick with a mild fever. Despite the fact that I was watching Disney's Cars during the minute of silence, I am infinitely grateful for all that everyone has sacrificed to keep the True North safe, strong, and free for me and my family. I really did enjoy spending the day relaxing with my wife and kids.

Keep reading "Remembrance Day, Family, and Poker"

What's Old is New Again

I hope everyone had a good weekend. I didn't play quite as much poker as I anticipated. I did squeeze in a fairly good session on Saturday night and things went well. I bookmarked a few hands that I wanted to post but forgot to copy them from Poker Tracker. If memory serves, I think one hand was a standard bad beat and a few others were of the "what the hell was my opponent thinking?" variety.

Keep reading "What's Old is New Again"

I Need a Vacation...

It's finally Friday and I'm exhausted. Between work, contractors, and H1N1 vaccination clinics, I'm beat and ready for a couple days off. My plans for the weekend involve relaxing, having a few drinks, a bit of exercise, and trying to plan a healthy diet for me to take up as soon as possible. My body's getting too old for the food I eat and I need to change things around.

But this change won't happen over the next two days so let's talk poker!

Keep reading "I Need a Vacation..."

A Rough Start

I was pretty tired last night after a long day. I considered playing some Uncharted 2 on my PS3 but decided that my time would be better spent working on my limit hold'em game. I'm not sure if last night's session taught me much of anything. Maybe that's not entirely true. I was forced to re-focus my efforts after dropping a number of hands right at the beginning of my sessions. I made some fairly substantial mistakes against the calling stations at my tables and paid the price in chips.

Keep reading "A Rough Start"

Take These and Call Me in the Morning

I planned quite a bit of poker last night but it wasn't meant to be. After supper and a spot of mindless television watching with my wife, I needed to take care of a few administrative tasks. I still managed to squeeze in 40 minutes of poker before I went to bed.

Keep reading "Take These and Call Me in the Morning"

Month in Review: October 2009

October was not my greatest month. My results were pretty poor and I barely played any hands. Family, video games, and illness took centre stage, pushing poker well into the background. I focused primarily on limit Omaha/8 at Stars but managed to squeeze in a bit of 6-max limit hold'em over the past week. And while my results weren't great, small sample sizes make it pretty difficult to ascertain what caused these losses: my poor judgment or my poor luck.

Keep reading "Month in Review: October 2009"

Party On!

I decided to stick with the 6-max limit hold'em last night instead of grinding out the Omaha/8 games. I felt like playing poker and wanted to challenge myself. I'd spent my commute to and from work watching a couple 6-max LHE videos and I was in the mood to play.

Keep reading "Party On!"

H1N1 Vaccinations and Losing Sessions

Anyone else concerned about the H1N1 virus? A second wave of this newest flu bug, also known as the "swine flu", is hitting Ottawa and things are bound to get ugly. There is a vaccine available but there are not enough clinics to handle the demand. Clinics are only open for six hours a day and the line-ups are so incredibly long (nine-hundred or more people) that most are turned away before the clinics even open their doors for the day. Canadian health care may be free but it's not the most efficient process around.

Keep reading "H1N1 Vaccinations and Losing Sessions"

Still Learning

It's amazing that I'm still so clueless about poker after all of these years. After four years of playing poker on a semi-regular basis and reading a ton of books on most forms of poker, I still have great difficulty with the game. I've tried to break into the mid-to-upper echelons of poker society but have been unable to post a winning record when I most needed it.

Keep reading "Still Learning"

Fighting the Good Fight

Anyone else out there desperately fighting the flu and other nasty viruses floating around? In the last couple of weeks, I've been sick three separate times and it's not getting any better. Today's symptoms including slight stomach ache, grogginess, and various nose/throat issues. I'll chalk up the stomach ache to the Hallowe'en candy that I ate last night. Diet's not going well but at least the trick-or-treaters won't have to worry about getting any delicious peanut-laden treats from my house. I'm not eating poorly: I'm performing a community service.

Keep reading "Fighting the Good Fight"

A Wiggly Weekend

It felt good to play poker again last night! I only logged around 80 hands of Omaha/8 and NLHE over the course of two hours but it was fun. I lost a couple real-life dollars but earned some much appreciated Sklansky Bucks in O/8 - par for the course. For the first time in a month, I'm actually planning on playing poker this weekend.

Keep reading "A Wiggly Weekend"

Déja Vu?

I started to feel poker calling my name yesterday morning. I was shaving at the time and thought, "I'd really like to play some poker". I've honestly given up trying to figure out the ebb and tide of my desire to play poker. For better or worse, poker is a part of my life now. It's more than a hobby, ridiculous as that sounds given my lifetime results. I don't define my life in terms of poker but it's become a part of my self-identity. There's no point fighting it: I'll keep playing poker for as long as I can. Small stakes or high stakes: it makes no difference. There will always come a time when I'll feel like doing nothing other than kicking back, mouse in hand and virtual cards in the air.

Keep reading "Déja Vu?"

Guide to Poker

For all the talk of casino games and sports betting that I've done this week, my favourite form of gambling is poker. I like the control - or sense thereof - that I get from poker. When I take my seat at the felt, I'm in charge of my own destiny. I'm not sure what that says about my supposed "skill" when I'm unable to put together more than a couple winning sessions in a row. I honestly believe that poker is more skill than hobby, more lifestyle choice than carefree pastime.

Keep reading "Guide to Poker"

Looking Ahead

Is anyone else out there really getting worried about the future of online poker? As much as I want to devote myself fully into poker again, I think I'm really bummed about the December UIGEA deadline. I hate the fact that the future of online poker seems tethered to the success or failure of online poker in the United States.

Keep reading "Looking Ahead"

Betting Choice

My holiday weekend is now over. Not much has changed from last week to this week save for a slightly larger waistline and an urge to avoid further turkey and apple pie dietary supplementation. On the poker front, I'm still not feeling "it" at the moment. It's times like these that my mind and imagination wander. I start scouring the Internet for new and exciting ways to make money. Let me re-phrase that: I start looking for easy ways to make money. And if there's one thing that movies and the Internet have taught me it's that there's no easier way to make money than with gambling!

Keep reading "Betting Choice"

Guide To Casinos

I had my first really big meal of the Thanksgiving weekend yesterday morning. It wasn't turkey and stuffing; rather, it was a ridiculously large breakfast at a local restaurant. After finishing up everything on my plate (and a good deal of what my wife and kids couldn't finish on theirs), the waitress was kind enough to drop off the bill. It's at moments like those that I regret not having focused more on poker over the past few months. A little extra money is always a good thing. Nothing is more true with the holidays fast approaching.

Keep reading "Guide To Casinos"

Thanksgiving Weekend!

It's been a very busy week. Kids' birthdays are always an exhausting fare. Two kids' birthdays within 7 days of each other is so incredibly draining that I can't even begin to describe it. Basically, I'm tapped out.

Keep reading "Thanksgiving Weekend!"

Weekend at a Glance

Played O/8 on Friday Night. 300 hands. Lost $2.58. Better than losing $68...

Tried to finish Lost Odyssey on my Xbox 360. Failed.


Stomach bug hit me Sunday night.

Shakes started around 1:00 AM on Monday morning.

Body purged at 1:36 AM. Not a great experience but not as bad as I thought it would be.

Slept until noon Monday.

Considered playing poker despite cramping, dizziness, and general "blah" feeling.

Played video games instead.

What has two thumbs and hates flu season?

Keep reading "Weekend at a Glance"

Never Stop Learning

I chose to play video games instead of poker last night. I was too groggy and sickly to fire up Stars and start grinding. I did do one thing to improve my Omaha/8 game last night: I started reading the Omaha/8 section in Super System 2. Thanks to that little section of the book, I've come to realize that I've been making many mistakes in my recent play that have undoubtedly contributed to my poor results.

I've really got to force myself to be a patient poker player. In the loose, multi-way pots found at the low-stakes Omaha/8 games on Stars and Full Tilt, playing for the nuts is the most important thing. A naked low-draw or even the nut-low itself should sometimes be folded when I'm not holding a second wheel card or decent high-hand potential. And drawing to high-only hands on boards where a nut-low or strong nut-low draws could exist is not always wise.

I also think my aggression has been misplaced. For example, betting a hand like top set on a board with two low-cards (A through 8) into multiple players is not that great a move. My hand is vulnerable and no one is folding. If a bet isn't for value and won't limit the field, why bet at all? Sometimes it's best to apply a little pot control and wait for the turn to see if a favourable card peels off. In that case, it's a little easier to charge opponents for their draws. And it's also much easier to lay down my hand if the turn comes ugly and the chips start flying.

I think my best bet right now is to revert back to a basic style of play. Play fit or fold on the flop. Bet my made hands strongly when I have locked up one side of the pot and have a reasonable chance to scoop. Fold non-nut or marginal hands that have very little chance of improving or, even worse, improving to a second-best hand.

Poker's a hard game and Omaha/8 is no exception. If I want to start winning, I'll have to take a little more care to think through my actions at the table.

Weekend's almost here! I'm looking forward to a couple days of poker and finally finishing off Lost Odyssey for my 360 (which I first started playing in June of last year).

Before I leave for the weekend, I wanted to point out that the amount of thought that I've been putting into poker lately is affecting my dreams. I had a dream last night that I won a chance to be on Survivor. However, Survivor was actually going to play out at the final table of the WSOP.

After hearing that I'd be playing at the final table of the WSOP Main Event, Todd Brunson took it upon himself to give me some pointers. He also gave me a signed, leather-bound copy of his Stud/8 section from Super System 2. All in all, it was a pretty good dream despite its bizarre nature.

That dream was followed by a dream where I was Superman. I assured my oldest son that I would protect him from any harm forever and ever. When I took off my shirt this morning before showering, I saw no signs of the iconic "S" on my chest. All I saw was a flabby, hairy mess. That doesn't mean that I won't protect my son at all costs but I may need the rest of the Justice League to lend a helping hand from time to time

Have a great weekend everyone!

Keep reading "Never Stop Learning"

Poker Bug or Flu Bug?

I'm definitely coming down with something right now. I'm not sure if it's a cold, allergy, or some form of flu. I got a little extra sleep last night so I don't think it's a general lack of sleep. I'm not a doctor though. I'll down an energy drink tonight, take some cold medicine, and some pepto-bismol: that should just about cover everything.

I'm not sure if I'm going to play any Omaha/8 tonight. I'm torn between poker, watching TV with my wife, or trying to finish off Lost Odyssey on my Xbox 360. I would really like to make a push with my poker game this month. Last month was pretty good because I spent a lot more time thinking about poker than I have in a while. I know that I could definitely start producing better results if I just stick to my game plan and play.

I may have just convinced myself to play poker tonight. Ok, I'll throw in Freakazoid or The Office into my PS3 and grind out a bunch of hands. A nice relaxing evening of poker and laughter. And no matter happens, I'll have my wife to keep me company and leftover birthday cake to put a smile on my waist.

Have a good one!

Keep reading "Poker Bug or Flu Bug?"

Month in Review: September 2009

It's been a long while since I felt it necessary to take a step back and review my past month's play. I find self-reflection much easier when things have gone either incredibly well or rather poorly at the tables; September 2009 falls into the latter category. To chalk up my losses to bad luck alone is ludicrous. We all make mistakes in poker and its these mistakes that have the most effect on our results. This is never more true than when learning a new game.

I'll take the good with the bad. Whether or not I am truly "running bad" means little. I've just got to focus on making correct decisions and the money may eventually come my way. Of course, this truth does little to help my bottom line. All things aside, September could have been much, much worse.

My primary goal for September was to play enough poker to clear my $50 Take 2 bonus at Full Tilt. I also wanted to play enough poker to hang on to a couple bonuses at Titan Poker and Party Poker. I cleared each of these goals without too much effort.

A secondary goal for the month was to focus on PLO. The first couple weeks of September seemed to go well. I played PLO, tried to improve my game, and managed to stay in the black for a little while. But things soon went sour and I started dropping buy-ins. I'm not sure if it was the super-short sessions at Full Tilt, my lack of experience in PLO, or my inability to sit back and wait for good spots: whatever the cause, I lost.

At that point, I shifted my focus back to limit Omaha/8. I have always been a fan of fixed-limit betting in poker. I'm not sure why. I guess I like the simplicity of the decisions: check/fold, bet/call, or raise/re-raise. I don't have to worry about bet sizing. I just need to make the best single-click decision given board texture, hand strength, pot odds, implied odds, and my opponents' tendencies. The reality, of course, is much different. It's so incredibly easy to call of an extra bet or two because I'm getting "great odds" on my call.

Let's start my September re-cap looking at some numbers.

Pot-Limit Omaha (PLO):

  • Stakes Played: $20, $25
  • Hands Played: 1,500
  • Won/Lost: -$113
  • All-In Luck: $10 (expected), -$36 (actual)
  • Sklansky Bucks: $21 earned (-$88 actual)
Not much to say here. I didn't play very many PLO hands in September. I ran a little cold. I'm not a huge fan of applying Sklansky Bucks to big-bet games (NL, PL) but I've listed those numbers for interest's sake. I'll continue to work on my game and give PLO another try when my interests in Omaha/8 start to wane.

Fixed-Limit Omaha/8 (O/8):
  • Stakes Played: $0.50/$1, $1/$2
  • Hands Played: 570 ($0.50/$1), 700 ($1/$2)
  • Won/Lost: $9 ($0.50/$1), -$180 ($1/$2)
  • Sklansky Bucks: $81 earned (-$175 actual)
I definitely ran into my fair share of coolers and horrific river cards in Omaha/8. But my sample size is still quite small. I'm sure that there are a number of spots where some tighter or more aggressive play could have increased my "luck" at the tables. I'll continue to work on my game and try improve my results and decision-making skills in October.

Before I continue with my "goals" for October, I thought I'd list the best and worst hands that I played in both PLO and Omaha/8 this past month. These are standard hands but I've decided to immortalize them nonetheless by posting them for all to ad admire or ridicule.

Worst Hand (PLO): Overpair and second nut-flush redraw not good...

Full Tilt Poker $0.10/$0.25 Pot Limit Omaha Hi - 9 players - View hand 281504
The Official DeucesCracked.com Hand History Converter

SB: $9.75
BB: $12.81
Hero (UTG): $25.00
UTG+1: $57.34
UTG+2: $21.64
MP1: $30.79
MP2: $30.12
CO: $23.09
BTN: $11.37

Pre Flop: ($0.35) Hero is UTG with K of clubs 4 of diamonds K of diamonds T of clubs
Hero calls $0.25, UTG+1 calls $0.25, 3 folds, CO raises to $1.35, 3 folds, Hero calls $1.10, UTG+1 calls $1.10

Flop: ($4.40) 5 of diamonds 8 of clubs 7 of clubs (3 players)
Hero checks, UTG+1 checks, CO bets $4.40, Hero raises to $17.60, UTG+1 folds, CO raises to $21.74 all in, Hero calls $4.14

Turn: ($47.88) Q of hearts (2 players - 1 is all in)

River: ($47.88) 5 of spades (2 players - 1 is all in)

Final Pot: $47.88
Hero shows K of clubs 4 of diamonds K of diamonds T of clubs (two pair, Kings and Fives)
CO shows J of clubs 9 of hearts 6 of diamonds T of diamonds (a straight, Nine high)
CO wins $45.49
(Rake: $2.39)

Best Hand (PLO): Set over set works just as well in PLO as it does in hold'em...

GAME #1828103322: Omaha PL $0.10/$0.20 2009-09-07 20:45:04
Table Rasps (No DP 50 bb min)
Seat 1: TeroVirtanen ($43.64 in chips)
Seat 3: athor84 ($11.48 in chips)
Seat 5: kvds68 ($72.37 in chips) DEALER
Seat 6: Laajm ($8.56 in chips)
Seat 8: DrKlopzi ($24.25 in chips)
Seat 10: jennafromhell ($20.95 in chips)
Laajm: Post SB $0.10
DrKlopzi: Post BB $0.20
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to TeroVirtanen [H8 DJ D9 S8]
Dealt to DrKlopzi [SK CK SQ H10]
jennafromhell: Fold
TeroVirtanen: Raise (NF) $0.40
athor84: Fold
kvds68: Fold
Laajm: Call $0.30
DrKlopzi: Call $0.20
*** FLOP *** [DK C3 D8]
Laajm: Check
DrKlopzi: Check
TeroVirtanen: Bet $1.00
Laajm: Fold
DrKlopzi: Raise (NF) $4.20
TeroVirtanen: Raise (NF) $13.80
DrKlopzi: Raise (NF) $23.85
TeroVirtanen: Call $10.05
*** TURN *** [DA]
*** RIVER *** [HA]
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot $46.46 Rake $2.44
DrKlopzi: wins $46.46

Worst Hand (O/8): Runner-runner quads > Queens Full...

PokerStars $1/$2 Limit Omaha Hi/Lo - 10 players - View hand 304647
The Official DeucesCracked.com Hand History Converter

CO posts a big blind (1 SB)

Pre Flop: (2.5 SB) Hero is UTG+2 with Q of clubs 7 of clubs Q of spades A of clubs
2 folds, Hero calls, 2 folds, MP3 calls, CO checks, 2 folds, BB checks

Flop: (4.5 SB) Q of diamonds 5 of clubs 6 of spades (4 players)
BB checks, Hero bets, MP3 folds, CO raises, BB folds, Hero calls

Turn: (4.25 BB) 5 of hearts (2 players)
Hero bets, CO raises, Hero 3-bets, CO calls

River: (10.25 BB) 5 of diamonds (2 players)
Hero bets, CO raises, Hero calls

Final Pot: 14.25 BB
Hero mucks Q of clubs 7 of clubs Q of spades A of clubs
CO shows Q of hearts 5 of spades 4 of diamonds 6 of diamonds (HI: four of a kind, Fives)
CO wins 13.75 BB
(Rake: $1.00)

Best Hand (O/8): I'm amazed that I scooped here...

PokerStars $0.50/$1.00 Limit Omaha Hi/Lo - 10 players - View hand 304648
The Official DeucesCracked.com Hand History Converter

Pre Flop: (1.5 SB) Hero is MP3 with 2 of diamonds 7 of clubs J of spades A of diamonds
UTG calls, UTG+1 calls, 1 fold, MP1 calls, 1 fold, Hero calls, 2 folds, SB calls, BB checks

Flop: (6 SB) 7 of diamonds 8 of spades J of diamonds (6 players)
SB checks, BB checks, UTG checks, UTG+1 checks, MP1 checks, Hero bets, SB calls, BB calls, UTG folds, UTG+1 calls, MP1 folds

Turn: (5 BB) T of clubs (4 players)
SB checks, BB bets, UTG+1 calls, Hero calls, SB calls

River: (9 BB) 6 of diamonds (4 players)
SB bets, BB calls, UTG+1 folds, Hero raises, SB calls, BB calls

Final Pot: 15 BB
Hero shows 2 of diamonds 7 of clubs J of spades A of diamonds (HI: a flush, Ace high; LO: 8,7,6,2,A)
SB mucks K of diamonds T of diamonds 5 of clubs A of spades
BB mucks 9 of hearts A of hearts 5 of spades 8 of hearts
Hero wins 7.25 BB
Hero wins 7.25 BB
(Rake: $0.50)

I have a few mini-goals for October. First and foremost, I'm going to work on reducing the frequency of some mistakes I'm making in Omaha/8:
  1. I'm playing for only half the pot far too often. The goal of O/8 is to scoop and I need to keep that in mind when blindly calling to a likely quarter.
  2. Avoid going to showdown with marginal one-way holdings. For example, second nut-low with top two-pair is pretty marginal in a multiway pot on the river. I'm also unsure of relative hand strengths in heads-up pots. I'll learn.
  3. I've got to stop the loose calls on the river after I've bricked or been counterfeited.
  4. I'm playing too loose/tricky with some marginal holdings.
  5. I'm not playing aggressively enough with solid hands where it might be correct to bet/raise to protect my holding or charge opponents' one-way drawing hands.
  6. My overall strategy at the low-stakes should come down to two simple words: nut peddle. Anything trickier than playing for the nuts is just not worth it at the stakes I play.
I'd also like to clear the first $100 chunk of my PokerStars WCOOP bonus. I took a look at the VPP I earned in September. I seem to be clearing about 70 VPP/hour playing four tables of Omaha/8 (roughly 177 hands/hour). At this rate, it will take me 29.5 hours to clear my bonus. I should be able to make a second deposit at PokerStars for an additional $100 WCOOP bonus and clear both bonuses before the February 2010 expiry date.

If I don't clear my Stars bonus this month, I'll get it next month. My goal over the next few months is to play as much Omaha/8 as I can stand to get a better feel for the game. If I continue to lose money at an alarming rate, I may have to re-evaluate my goals. For now, I'll just focus on making good decisions and letting my bankroll and win rates sort themselves out.

I'm taking the night off from poker tonight. It's my youngest son's birthday and we're having a party!

Have a good one!

Keep reading "Month in Review: September 2009"