Friday, December 29, 2006

2006: Year in Review

This is x-posted from the year end thread in MTT Community on 2+2.

I started the year with approximately an 8-9K bankroll, after losing 4K over Christmas when I moved up to $100+ tournaments for the first time and did poorly. I was not happy with my game and the "huge" downswing had hurt my confidence some. So I moved down to a lot of $22-$55 tournaments with occasional shots at the $100s. Unfortunately the year started very badly with a 3 month break even streak. I was playing a lot better again though and I knew it was just a matter of time until I broke out. My results in NL tournaments were terrible, with no top 3 finishes over the entire period (maybe one 2nd in a 20/180 or something small). However, I was killing limit holdem tournaments and the $22-$55 stud hi/low tournaments on Stars to stay even. These were small tournaments and I basically won one every week.

Finally, in April things started to turn around. I won a few small tournaments like 20/180s and got moving in the right direction. May was my breakout month. I finally started running good in NL tournaments and put up several 2K-5K scores. I also won my WSOP seat, my first ever big live event. At this point it was still kind of depressing that the WSOP package was worth twice as much as my largest cash, and an enormous % of my bankroll. However my roll was over $20K and I was playing all the big $150-$200 tournaments and even $100 rebuys on Dise and Stars when they had the bigger fields. At some point in here I had -10K week but then won $10K over a weekend. My introduction to real MTT variance. In July a few weeks before the WSOP I won the Stars $162 for $20K. Finally that huge breakthrough cash. I'd also started playing some NL cash with immediate success and that helped me really understand the game a lot better. I went to Vegas as confident as ever in my game.

Vegas got off to a slow start. I wasn't doing great in the cash games and I busted Day 1 of the WSOP after 12 hours of my chip count yoyoing when I made a fairly bad mistake. When in Vegas bankroll management goes out the window so I started playing a lot of the daily $1000 Bellagio Cup events. These things were incredibly soft so it seemed somewhat justifiable. On my 5th try I chopped one 6-handed with the chiplead for $44K (I wouldn't normally want to chop so early but for several reasons this was indredibly good for me).

I continued to do well when I got home playing a lot of 5/10 NL and big tournaments. But I couldn't stay on the good side of variance forever. I lost about 15 buy-ins at 5/10, several more trying out shortstacking the 25/50 games, and a whole lot more when I failed to cash a single tournament in the WCOOP and FTOPS, despite playing most events. In total it was a $40K downswing. Forunately, over the last 2 months I've made the money back and more. I moved down and killed 3/6 NL for about 6ptBB/100 over ~25K hands. My tournament results finally turned around this month with a couple wins on UB, and most recently I won a $100 rebuy on Stars for $23K to erase what was left of my downswing. I also won my PCA seat so I'm actually ahead since August now. Finally, on the last week of the year I cracked the Pocket Fives rankings.

Cliffs Notes:

-8K roll to start
- 4 month break even streak
- Make 5 figures plus WSOP seat in May
- Win stuper for 20K in July.
- Donk out of WSOP but chop $1K Bellagio Cup event for $44K.
- $40K downswing.
- Pwn 3/6 NL.
- Win PCA seat.
- Win $100 rebuy on Stars for $23K to get out of downswing.
- SirWatts ranked.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

My biggest online score!

I got myself an early Christmas present tonight winning the $100 rebuy on Stars. I played pretty well (there were some tough spots I'm still not sure about), and got very lucky when I had to. It's a really good feeling when things go right near the end of a big tournament for once. First paid $23K. For anyone trying to keep track I am now out of my downswing and officially a winning player since I got home from Vegas in August. That's always a relief, though I could easily go on another huge losing streak now so I'll try not to get too happy about it. Here is probably my biggest key hand from the tournament. I walk into a huge cooler but draw out huge to vault into contention at the final table.

equity (%)
Hand 1: 42.1556 % { AhKh }
Hand 2: 05.4930 % { AdQs }
Hand 3: 52.3514 % { QcQh }

Anyways I'm not sure what else to say about this right now. I should easily be ranked in the top 100 online players on PocketFives now this week. It doesn't really mean much, but I can't lie a little recognition is nice sometimes considering the amount of effort I put into this silly game. I'm heading home for Christmas break this Friday and I'll be busy until then so you won't see me at the tables for a few days at least. I'd better get some sleep, I have to proctor then mark a final exam all day tomorrow. Back to the real world :-).


Sunday, December 17, 2006

Selling some % of my PCA action

A few people asked me about this recently, here's what I've decided. The buy-in for the event is $8000, so I will sell 1% of my action for $100 (US), minimum purchase 1% up to whatever. I probably only want to sell 15-20% at most though, so first come first served, except I'll save a few % for people I've already talked to that expressed interest. E-mail me at if you're interested, or PM me on 2+2 (TheNewf) or CPF. I can probably arrange to meet people that I know in town, otherwise I can take transfers on most online sites (Stars in particular is easy).


Monday, December 11, 2006

Up and Down Week

I had some good scores this week, but I played a lot of tournaments so I didn't really do very well overall. Thursday night I won the 30r on UB for 6K, and on Saturday things were looking very promising as I was deep in the $320s on Stars and Party. I made the final table on Stars and was on the final table bubble on Party when things started going wrong. I took a tough beat on Party for a decent number of chips (but also made a small mistake that was probably quite costly), but battled back from my short stack to a respectable level, and then lost it all again on a hand I probably misplayed where I had A8 on an AKJ flop. I feel like I probably didn't have to get broke here, but my stack was short enough that it was awkward to find a fold, so I shoved it in and bubbled. On Stars, from two tables left and on, I basically lost every coinflip or better that would give me a lot of chips, but then won every hand I got all-in preflop once I became a shortstack, despite usually having the worst of it. I finally built up to 2nd/5 but then played a hand poorly against the chipleader and bluffed off 1/3 of my chips. Then I decided to lose more coinflips and bust 5th. $4300 is good and all, but first was 21K and even 2nd was easily 5 figures. Oh well.

The Sunday tournaments went badly again, and I lost tons of money as usual. On the plus side I'm happy with my play lately. I've been a lot smarter about picking my spots. I've got some extra tricks now I can use, but I'm not overdoing it like I was for a while. Talking to Steve today he basically said something that was exactly what I've been thinking lately about the higher buy-in tournaments, so I think I've definitely got the right idea with these adjustments. I'm confident I'll be on top of my game for the Bahamas, so if I can get lucky at the right times I just might make a run.


Monday, December 04, 2006

I win a poker tournament!

Finally! It took two outers on the river, winning all-in preflop with several dominated hands, and not tilting when my super passive opponents kept picking up monsters at all the wrong times for me, but I managed to luckbox my way to victory in the 3pm $18 rebuy (20K guaranteed) on Doyle's Room, for $8K. It was a relief to finally win something fairly big. I've had a lot of close calls lately (including a 4th in the 20 rebuy on Stars Friday night) so finally getting over the hump feels good. Not much luck in my other tournaments on the day though. I managed one small cash in the $163 tournament on Full Tilt, but got shutout everywhere else. Anways, it's definitely nice to make money on a Sunday for a change, I'm going to try to make a habit of it. I'm too tired to go into any details or talk about much strategy today, other than that I actually cut back on the resteals slightly today in marginal spots and I think that helps a bit, though it's obviously something that can't be analyzed just by looking at the reults of a few hands. Good night!


Monday, November 27, 2006

Awful Day

I played a million tournaments today and made the money in zero. The only one that was looking particularly proimising was the Stars million, but I blew off 80K chips in 2 hands 20 players from the bubble. Both hands involved resteals as usual, though the 2nd was perfectly standard and I just lost a flip. The first was at least slightly crazy but probably not bad overall, however I ran into a big hand. I have to be a little more selective still I think. It seems to me that ideally I should be making my moves earlier before they're expecting them. Once I'm short enough that I'm kinda desperate they're going to call more because they're getting better odds against my shorter stack and they know I have to make a move. It's obviously a very high variance play so I'm going to bust out on them a lot even when picking good situations, but I think I'm doing it a little too much. In particular, I need to stop shoving hands with marginal showdown value like Ax or KJ when it's otherwise a bad situation to resteal because having a few extra % against his range when called doesn't come anywhere close to making up for getting called every time, compared to having a weak hand but in a situation where he's going to fold a large % of the time. Once I get this all balanced I will be a tougher player then ever.

Edit: After consulting my databse and adding numbers in my head: 19 tournaments played, 0 cashes, $4220 in buy-ins. Thinly veiled brag post?


Monday, November 20, 2006

Every Sunday I lose thousands of dollars

OK every now and then I have a little luck on my side and make a decent score, but in these big field tournaments you're going to lose a lot more often than you win (but your wins occasionally be huge to make up for it). The only tournament I was really doing well in was the $150 8:00 tournament on Full Tilt where I was top 3 for quite a while, but I cooled off to drop back to the pack and then got rivered in a big pot where I was able to get a guy to put all his chips in with 5 outs on the flop. This was my only cash of the day.

Pocket Fives has their new tournament leaderboard up on their site now. It's based on the results of the biggest tournaments from all the main online sites. I've always liked these leaderboards, so getting a dececnt ranking on there will be added to my list of goals, though I definitely don't have the time to play enough to have any chance of competing with the best players. Oh, I finished 4th for $3k Saturday night in a $100 tournament on Full Tilt when I blew a huge chiplead 7 handed on the final table bubble (it was a 6-max tournament). I think I say this every week but I'm really going to have to look at reverting to a more conservative style. More players seem to have figured out how to adjust to the loose aggressive players properly, at least at the higher stakes. At the very least I need to pick my spots more carefully and recognize when to switch gears. There are too many times when I know someone is very likely going to reraise me if I steal or call if I reraise them but I go ahead and make my default play instead of adjusting to the specific situation. When I'm playing well I tend to have a good feel for the flow of the game and I know when people are likely to make certain plays before they do, but I don't use or trust this information enough a lot of the time.


Tuesday, November 14, 2006

A couple decent scores

I finished 3rd in the 30r on UB for $2300 and 3rd in the 22r on Stars for $5K last night. I should probably try winning some of these 4-figure in EV coinflips 3 handed next time. Still a pretty good night!


Monday, November 13, 2006

Attention Grabbing Blog Entry Title

Wow what a roller coaster weekend. This picture should explain what I mean:

The hands on Friday and Saturday went pretty terribly, but as the picture shows, Sunday went more than a little well. At one point I had over $5800 on one table (the most you can buy-in for is $600 but profit stays on the table). I made $6300 on the day for 10.5 buy-ins. Awesome hands include the following:

How not to play AA (my flop call is pretty marginal but I know what he has and I'm pretty sure I can bust him if I get lucky, so the price is about right)

Of course I also played a lot of tournaments and despite building several promising stacks I only managed a few small cashes, so I lost a bit back from those. Still, what a sick rush it was. Also, since as a math guy I love these graphs, here's an extra BBV-style commented graph of all holdem hands from all limits in my database, before this weekend.


Sunday, November 05, 2006


I won my seat in the Pokerstars Caribbean Adventure (WPT event) at the Atlantis resort in Bahamas today. I played the $650 supersatellite and after some stressful hours where the shortstacks refused to bust I managed to squeak into one of the last spots. A guy at my table sat out thinking he could fold his way in I guess (or maybe connection problem or something), but he miscalculated slightly. He was sitting out about to blind off in two hands, 19 people were left with 18 receiving seats, so I got to make one of the more interesting folds in poker:

Pocket aces go in the muck

I'll be down there Jan. 4-11. The $12K package includes the $8K buy-in, $1K for travel expense, and the other $3K covers hotel, meals, etc... from what I understand Pokerstars takes care of its satellite winners pretty well at the event. Also, I finished 2nd in a 150+13 tournament on Full Tilt for $7600, so I have some extra money to donk off down there. Maybe I'll write more of a report about these tournaments later if I have the time but I'm gonna call it a night now. Woot!


Monday, October 30, 2006

More Niagara and Sunday Report

I went back to Niagara Friday morning with Steve and Aaron to hang out, sweat Steve, and play some poker. Steve ran pretty bad on Friday, getting sucked out on several times all-in with the best of it, but was still doing pretty well when he got all-in with AA vs QQ 3 players from the money for a 1.5x average stack and lost. I hung out with gobbo, AaronBeen, and Mike some more on Saturday then came home late last night. Today I played a bunch of tournaments and was doing fairly well, but fell short again. I lost a flip for ten times the starting stack on Stars in the million to bust before the money. UB I lost AK vs KQ for about 7 times starting stack and on Full Tilt I lost A4s vs JTo and then KQs vs A6o to bust 22/1700+. So close. On the plus side I'm still running incredibly good at 3/6 NL. I'm gonna keep this one short and get to bed. Night,


Thursday, October 26, 2006

Niagara Trip Report

I got a ride with Steve and Aaron up to Fallsview Casino Tuesday night. The plan was to play one last live satellite and try to qualify for the WPT, and if that didn't work then just hang and play cash games. We arrive around 8 and meet up with gobboboy (who won the UB 200K guarnateed on Sunday for 45K), AaronBeen, and Ansky near the poker room. After grabbing some food with those guys Steve, Aaron, and I got in a $1200 satellite for the WPT. I didn't really want both those guys at my table but Steve got moved to fill the last seat in another satellite, and got to play against fellow Team Pokerstars member Barry Greenstein.

My table basically consisted of a bunch of bad and/or weak-tight players, plus myself, and Aaron sitting on my right. We started with 2500 chips and I got off to a hot start flopping TPTK to win a decent pot, along with a few other small ones. Then I won a huge pot when I flopped a set of 9s out of the SB in a multiway limped pot on Q97 flop. I manged to get all-in on the flop against AQ and a shortstack with 86 to move to around 9K in chips. Once we reached the 100/200 a25 level Aaron was opening a ton of pots and I was opening almost every one that he folded, and occasionally reraising him. Unforunately things started to go wrong for me around here. I raised preflop and cont. bet an A-hi flop only to get raised and fold. Then I lost a flip in a 6K pot against one of the tighties when my blind steal with QT got pushed on by 66 and I called getting around 2:1. Another cont. bet into an A-hi flop getting pushed on later and I was down to around 3K, well in last place with only myself, tighty (who kept picking up monsters), and Aaron left. I shove K2o on the button at 200/400 a75 and get called by tighty in the SB who shows AT. He flops a bunch of tens and I'm out. Aaron ended up making a deal HU where the other guy got the seat but paid him a few grand. As usual, Steve was luckboxing along nicely (his 64 beat JJ AIPF) and made it heads up against Barry Greenstein a bit behind in chips. Unfortunately they both flopped top pair, but Barry had the better kicker to bust him.

The play was so bad in my satellite and I really wanted to play the WPT so I decided to get on the list for another. In the mean time I ran into gobbo and he talked me into playing 25/50 limit holdem wih him while I was waiting since the game looked good and it was the only thing with no waiting list. I got dealt aces a couple times and flopped top pair a couple more to end up leaving the game ahead 600. After about an hour though all the weak spots had left and the game consisted of like 6 2+2ers (including Josh. and his friend next to me who I talked to a bit) so I got up. Perfect timing as my satellite was starting so I got in.

In this one I got off to a bad start and never was dealt any hands but I hung in there and stole some pots to keep afolat. There was a lot more action in this satellite, in and between pots. On the very first hand, an older guy won a pretty big pot off a younger kid when older guy obviously had a premium pair and young guy lost half his chips before folding his overpair TT face up to the turn push. Older guy eventually told him he made a good fold and then Indian kid flipped out for no reason and started cussing the guy out right to his face. The old guy got right back in his face and security had to come by to pull them away from each other and tell them to stop yelling at each other. It was so retarded. I believe the kid's logic was that if the older guy was going to tell him he had him beat then he should have also showed his hand, and that telling him but not showing the hand was bad poker etiquette. Obviously this was completely absurd and only makes him look like more an idiot than trying to get in a fight with someone over a hand of poker already did. Fortunately the young kid busted quickly and civility was restored. Anyways nothing particularly interesting happened in hands I played and long story short I get dealt K2o on the button shortstacked again, go all-in, and lose to fairly solid young guy who had all the chips in the BB with 44. Stupid king-deuce.

At this point it was like 4am and I had decided I was not going to sleep and just play a lot of poker. The next ~14 hours were spent playing 5/10 NL. I was up as much as 1200 but was a bit unlucky to only finish up 100. There are three interesting hands I can recall.

There is a huge call station fish who was been hitting everything and is up quite a bit. He limps in late position as does the SB and I check my BB with K4o. The flop is T83 and gets checked around. The river is a 5, the SB checks, I figure no one has anything and bet 20 trying to win it right there, but call station quickly calls and the SB folds. The turn is an A and I check. Call station hesitates and thinks for a second, then bets 30. In general he had been playing pretty quickly. Something seemed not quite right here. If he had a pair on the flop I don't think he would have checked it through, and I don't think he'd be value betting a weak pair here (though it's possible because he obviously doesn't think about these things the same way a good player would and I'd seen him make some weird bets). Also, on the turn there are a lot of open-ended or gutshot straight draws and he would probably call my bet with any of these (definitely the open enders and maybe the gutshots). None of them can win a showdown so "the only way for him to win here is to bet", as Mike Sexton says 8 million times per WPT episode. The pot is offering over 3:1 on a call so I only need to be right 25% of the time to show a profit if I call. So, after all this analysis; the possible physical tell, the hand reading, and the pot odds, king high isn't looking so bad anymore so I go ahead and call. He flips over the 64 and I get to table my monster and rake in the pot. I heard some of the other players mutter "wow that's sick a read" or similar things, but really the physical tell is a very small part of it, the hand reading and pot odds are the most important aspects.

Hand 2: I have been raising a lot of pots and playing pretty aggressive because the table was 6 handed at the time and I wanted to get rid of my supertight image due to card deadness, and beause other people were playing pretty tight. This time I find AKs and raise to 40, and get called by a player on my left who seems to play pretty well (solid TAG style). The flop is 663 and I check because my hand has some showdown value and I figure he will play fairly predictably. He checks behind and the turn is a 9. Again we both check and the river is a T. I'm pretty sure he doesn't have a pair either unless he just caught a pair of tens (and I don't think he calls my raise preflop with many hands containing a ten) so I likely have the best hand, and given that I've been playing pretty loose he might not give me credit for anything here and call with a worse hand thinking I'm just trying to steal it since he checked back twice. I bet 60 for value (or hoping he folds the same hand as me). He hums and haws wondering if i have AT and just caught a pair but eventually calls and mucks what was probably AQ. Value betting ace-high in a no-limit game is definitely a good feeling when it works, though there aren't many situations where it's a good idea to do it.

Hand 3: Random guy UTG doubles to 20. In this game these raises almost always seem to be pot builders with marginal hands so when I find AK in MP I go ahead and make it 80. The BB, who has been playing very tight, cold calls the 80 and UTG folds. Flop K82 rainbow UTG leads for 200, and has a bit over 300 left. I think and fold. I just couldn't figure out any reasonable hand he can have here that I beat. Given what I'd seen of his play I couldn't see him calling with KQ or KJ preflop and even if he did the flop bet doesn't make any sense. Maybe he has QQ or JJ but again the flop bet doesn't make sesne. When tight live players fire out huge bets I tend to believe them. So I figure his most likely hand is AK, but there's also a good chance he could have AA, since he may not reraise preflop because when he puts in the 4th bet preflop it's going to be obvious that he has a monster, so calling disguises his hand a bit. It's certainly also possible that he has 88 or 22 and called hoping to flop a set and bust me, though he didn't have that much money behind so they're less likely. Putting in another $500 hoping to chop and win half the $185 already in there preflop when I could easily be drawing to 2 outs or less didn't seem like a great idea so I just folded. Maybe I gave him too much credit here, but I think the fold is best.

So when my 24 hours of poker marathon ended I went to see how Steve and Aaron were doing in the WPT event. Steve had like 40K and Aaron 70K (starting stack 20K) but their fortunes quickly reversed. Aaron lost huge pot with QQ when someone flopped a flush on him and he didn't get away, and eventually was busted by Juanda when he restole preflop with K9 and ended up getting it in after a 985 flop against Juanda's marginal preflop call with 76s. Steve had AA vs KK to get to over 65K and then TT vs 88 on a T85 flop against the chipleader to get a huge stack and take the chiplead himself. Juanda continued on his rush and finished the day with around 173K though apparently, but Steve finished 3rd on the day with 144.6K. Today is the second day 1 and he plays again on Friday. We drove back this morning for school and stuff but I'm heading back out there with him tomorrow morning to sweat him a bit, play some more live poker, and hang out with whoever else we know that's still there. Live poker can be incredibly boring though (too slow, too few tables) so I'm not sure how much of that I'm going actually going to want to play after already putting in a 24hr session yesterday. Anyways wish Steve luck, he has his day 1 report posted on his blog now if you want to read about what a crazy luckbox he is.


Monday, October 23, 2006

Not quite luckbox enough

Hooray! Today was Sunday so I played lots of poker. It was a pretty good day but again I came a bit short from the big score. I cashed the 215 on on Full Tilt and the 100r on Stars. The 100r was my last tournament of the day and I was running a little bit insane: 56 beats A6, 53 beats A9, Q2 beats 55, AT beats AQ, A2 beats JJ. Yeah, I'm a luckbox. I didn't actually get dealt any real hands though so I was only average stack with 16 left. It was folded to a good aggressive player on the button who had 120K, and raised 3xBB to 24K. I'm in the SB with 155K holding A3 and reraise, then am committed to call his push. He has the QQ and somehow I fail to hit my guthot+overcard on the river (rigged). Seems like a pretty obvious resteal spot but I ran into a big hand, damn. I seriously need to stop busting with two tables left this is getting ridiculous. On the plus side I also made a grand at 3/6 NL 6-max. Woot.

I think I've learned to adapt to the 6-max game pretty well, but my main leak seems to be occasionally just having a brain cramp and refusing to fold hands that are fairly clearly beat. I make good laydowns usually but every now and then I just decide not to drop a hand like TPTK or an overpair when it's clear my opponent has one pair beat. There are times to make stands with these hands but I'm talking about situations where my instincts are saying I'm beat, as well as the action. I'll need to tighten this up a bit or it'll really start to show in my results when I stop running so hot. I'm going to Niagara on Tuesday. It turns out that UB invented this supersatellite and it doesn't actually exist (wtf?), so I'll take a shot at one of the 1200 single tables and if that doesn't work I'll probably just play a bunch of cash games. Last chance if anyone out there wants to volunteer to stake me!


Monday, October 16, 2006

Sunday just isn't the same

No Party Million and no Dise 150K were the major differences. Since Bush signed the bill into law on Friday the online poker world has changed. Party seems to be surviving at least, but they've moved around their entire tournament schedule to try to cater to European players more, so their big tournaments are at different times than everyone else. Dise looks to be almost dead, despite the fact that most Americans are still allowed to play there (but they can no longer deposit). As far as I can tell the only tournaments left worth playing are their flagship 30+rebuys at 3 and 9, but even those have had their guarantees cut in half. However, the other main sites I play tournaments on seem to be doing fine. UB had a small overlay in the 200K guaranteed and full tilt got over 1000 players for their monthly $530 Sunday tournament. Stars had record attendance for their Sunday Million (over 6100 players) and will surely gain the most from Party dropping out. Hopefully the Party cash game fish get over their soon though because despite the fact that I've been killing the 600 NL games lately they're not exactly soft (I've just been running good), usually with 4-5 regulars at every 6-max table.

Speaking of which, I posted a hand on 2+2 and my opponent happened to see the thread and posted the results from his perspective. Basically, he pulled a sick bluff and owned me as badly as I've ever been owned. Pleeease Party fish hurry and get on Pokerstars. The 600 NL 6-max games need you. I have KThh in this hand:

So owned

In the thread he said he thought I folded bottom set. Yes, he knowingly tried to bluff me off of bottom set. People aren't supposed to be doing this stuff at 600NL. Also, I didn't play the hand very well. I was trying to mix up my play by checkraising without a monster for once and yeah, it got me in to lots of trouble. Still, I need to find some way to mix up my play here. I can't have my good opponents folding one pair hands every time I show strength on the flop, or I need to exploit it if they do. NL cash games are so complicated against good players.

Oh yeah as for tournaments I cashed the UB 200K and Full Tilt 500K. I was 4/90 when we made the money on UBafter running the table over on the bubble but two unfortunate hands later I was on the rail with TT running into KK and AQ meeting QQ. ON Full Tilt I was pretty shortstacked in the money and got a resteal snapped off to bust. I might have to ease up on the restealing. I really want to play WPT Niagara, but I've done terribly in almost every satellite I've played. If I actually manage to win a seat now I'll have barely saved any money over just paying the buy-in directly. Apparently they're running a supersattellite next Tuesday so Steve and I are probably going to go up there to play it.That'll likely be my only other shot at this one. Anyways I'm off for now. Later,


Friday, October 06, 2006

Closing the Gap

As a rule of thumb when I say I'm taking a break from poker on here I actually mean that I know I *should* take a break, but I rarely get away from the game completely. I've been sneaking in some poker at night and the results have been very positive. I played some turbo single table tournaments on Stars (a mix of the 60s, 114s, and 225s) and ran hot, then on Wednesday I played in the 20/180 challenge organized on 2+2. What ended up happening is 21 people (all people who post in the MTT forum on 2+2) each wagered $160 on who would have the best results over 5 consecutive $22 180-man SNGs on Stars based on a point system rewarding how long you last in each. I was chip leader with 25 left in 2 of them and mananged a 2nd place in one of those to vault me into 1st place in the sidebet. The tournament only paid $720 for 2nd but I won over $2600 (80% of the pot) on the sidebet.

I've also played about 3000 hands of $600 NL (6-max tables) cash games and am up over $4K, running extremely hot. There have been some really bad players at these tables and I've started flopping some monsters again, and I'm actually getting some action when I do. This combination was basically never happening on my cash game downswing. Moving down against worse players defnitely makes a difference since they give me more action with weaker hands but it's about time I started flopping more hands that I can play big pots with. I've also made a few good laydowns. I folded trips with a weak kicker once when I knew I had to be up against a full house (I didn't even have to think about this fold) and bottom set another time when I figured I had to be up against a bigger set or a straight (35J7 board). Both hands were 3-way pots which made the laydowns easier and I got to confirm that I was right since the other player called down both times. Understanding how/when to control pot size and recognizing when you need to be able to fold a strong hand are probably the 2 key skills in these mid-limit games.

Anyways I've grinded my way back up to only about 30K from my peak a few months ago. I won't be playing tournaments this weekend because I'm doing the family thing for Thanksgving but hopefully I can continue to chop away at my downswing if I have time to play next week.


Monday, October 02, 2006

WCOOP #18: $2600 NL Main Event

Over 2500 players played this thing for a prize pool over 6.25 million. First was more than 1.1 million. I got pwned. I had a great table draw, there were several very weak players at my table and no one I recognized. I went up and down between 10K and 15K (we started with 10K chips) for the first few hours and then I eventually won a few pots and stole some blinds to get over 25K. I continued going up and down for a bit until I was back down to 18K or so and raised 3xBB to 4500 with AA. The BB called. The flop came J33 and he checks to me and I check behind. The slowplay might be suspicious to some players but this guy was just pretty bad and I wanted to make sure to give him every chance to get his money in against me here. The turn was a blank and he shoved so I instacalled. He had the KJ so my slowplay didn't matter anyways, and he's drawing to 2 outs.

I didn't do much in the other tournaments I was playing either, busting just before the final table again in a 100r on Dise for my only cash. I've probably done that 3 times in the last few weeks and only made one final table in these (a 5th). I'm not sure what the plan will be to rebuild from here, but it will probably involve some sort of break from poker for a week or 2 at least. I hit the 40K mark today and I only have about 10K left in my online accounts now. I could reload some from what I've cashed out and won playing live but I'm really not happy it'd have come to that. Sadly, playing these big field tournaments the variance really is that sick. On the other hand I'm really not thrilled with the idea of moving way down in limits since it feels like I'd be giving away so much in EV when I still have more than enough money back to cover playing higher if I need it. I'll figure sometihng out. Oh well, I guess I'm not going to have a whole lot of time for this silly game for the rest of the year anyways.


Saturday, September 30, 2006

WCOOP #17: $1050 Limit Holdem

Yeah I ended up playing this but I sold half my action so I'd only lose half as much when I didn't make the money. I had a big stack a few hours in but I missed a big draw and had an opponent get there vs my overpair to bring me back a bit. Then, as usual, I got outplayed in a huge pot: Pwned again

Yes, he did peel the flop with no pair no draw. This may seem like a bad thing, but in reality, by the dueness theory, this is the best thing that could have happened. Now I'm reeeeeally due for a big score in the main event tomorrow. Hooray!


This is not good

It remains to be seen how bad this will actually be for online poker, but it's certainly not good. It doesn't affect me directly in Canada, but it probably means less fish and therefore less money for me. I don't understand the exact effect this will have yet, but I'm definitely not happy about it.


Friday, September 29, 2006

WCOOP #14: $530 Stud 8

Another bubble.... I never had a lot of chips at any point in this thing but I hung on and scooped a few pots when I had to to stay around. Several of the players at my table were awful but I didn't really get the cards to take advantage of them often enough. I made a couple mistakes that were a bit costly but I think I played pretty well overall. My bustout hand was when my 345 failed to get anywhere against my opponent's aces, and I finished 88th. 72 spots paid. The good news is that by the standard theory of dueness I figure to have a big Sunday.


Wednesday, September 27, 2006

WCOOP #13: $320 6-handed PL Holdem

Yet another poor showing for me today. I busted Isabelle Mercier early on to double up but after that I went almost completely card dead and anted back down to where I started over the next hour or 2. I busted out when I just called a raise from UTG with AA hoping to trap and the BB also called. The flop was checked to me and I bet, and the BB checkraised me all-in. I didn't have that many chips so it was an obvious call but I ran into a set of 4s. That's obviously one of the risks involved with slowplaying the hand preflop but on my stack it was worth taking some chances to try to win a big pot and get back in contention. Tomorrow is the $530 Stud Hi/Lo which I'm looking forward to and then the only other event I'm planning to play is the main event on Sunday. Hopefully I'll make a run in one of those, maybe I'm just saving all my luck for Sunday.


Tuesday, September 26, 2006

WCOOP #12: $320 PLO8

I busted out near the midpoint of the field but I was happy with my play. Three of my biggest hand involved pocket aces flopping top set. The first one I won a nice pot when no low draws got there and then 2nd I just folded on the flop because I was only playing for half the pot when 3 low cards flopped! The 3rd was my bustout hand which I'll talk about a bit.

Busto hand

I should say up front that I'm not a PLO8 expert but I think I play a little better than most people. So I start with AAQ9 with one suited ace. The first thing to notice is that my hand has no low potential. If the stacks were a little bit shallower I'd go ahead and pot it right here hoping that everyone folds or at least to get it heads up where I'm prboably 50/50 against a lot of hands. However, here I have enough chips that if I get called my hand is going to be really hard to play after the flop. Instead I opt to just limp along and hope to catch a big flop.

At first the flop looks really good for my hand, I have top set after all! However there are a few problems. First, there is a low draw and a flush draw out there, and also anyone with a 24/25/or 45 low draw has a gutshot as well. If they have 245 they have a little wrap straight draw since any 2,4, or 5 give them a wheel. So if we're up against some combination of these draws we may not actually been in that great shape after all. I decide to wait for a safe turn card before committing to the pot. Any thing that doesn't complete a low or the flush and I will jam the pot on the turn. If a heart comes on the turn I can fold and if the low draw is completed and he bets big I may also have to fold (especially if it's a 2,4, or 5).

So I get a safe turn card and he pots it. Now it looks like he either has a smaller set or a huge draw. With only one card to come I figure to be well ahead unless he has the biggest of drawing hands (if he happened to have both flush draws and the wrap wheel draw I'd still be an underdog!), but a smaller set seems far more likely, which would be a great matchup for me. So I go ahead and re-pot all-in and he calls. It turns out not only did he turn a smaller set, he also had a flush draw, low draw, and gutshot wheel draw. I was actually only a 60:40 favourite going to the river, a nice edge but not as big as I'd have liked. Of course he hits on the river and that's it for me. It's worth noting that on the flop he was a 51:49 favourite, so by waiting for the turn I was able to get all my money in when I had a real edge (and I could save some money if he outdrew me). In split pot games you need to be careful when you're only going for a high hand.


Monday, September 25, 2006

This is Getting Kind of Stupid

Today the onslaught of terrible beats continued as I passed the 30K mark. I didn't cash in a single tournament, though at least I won at cash games for once. I lost a massive pot in the $1000 WCOOP event that would have given me a top 10 stack at least. Supposedly the guy who busted me was TJ Cloutier, or at least it's supposed to be his account. He was playing like a pretty big fish so I have no idea if it was actually him, but it very well could be. I'd reraised him a few hands earlier when he raised in late position and I guess he wasn't going to let me do it again, even though the situation is completely different when it happens in early position. Pwned

Similar stuff happened in most of the other tournaments. In particular I lost another really big pot on Full Tilt when my AA got all-in against QQ and he spiked a Q on the river. Anyways that's enough talk about bad beats they're really not very interesting. Amazingly I'm not overly upset about this. I guess it's proboably because even after losing the 30K I'm still way ahead of where I was 4 months ago. Like 6 months ago my bankroll was barely 5 figures and now I've lost 3 times that in a couple months and I'm ok. When I zoom out and look at the big picture this year is still going very well overall and I guess knowing that, along with the fact that I know I'm still playing well and it's just a matter of time before I start winning, are the things I focus on to know that this is going to be fine eventually. Though I still can't help but feel like it'd sure be nice if eventually happened sooner than later. Oh well, I'm going to get some sleep. Not playing tomorrow but I'm planning to play the WCOOP events on tues/wed/thurs. I'll probably buy into a couple with frequent player points just to help ease the swing a bit.


Sunday, September 24, 2006

WCOOP #7 & 8: 215 HORSE and 530 PL Holdem

I got off to a poor start in both events, but then rebounded a bit though I never got back to average stack in either. I had my stack just over 6000 in the pot limit tourney when I picked up AK and raised to 900 (150/300 blinds) for the 3rd consecutive hand. This time I got reraised to 2700 and given how active I'd been this didn't seem like a time to be folding AK. So that leaves calling or pushing. If I call I would probably push any flop hoping to get him to fold the same hand if I missed. The problem is if I do flop an A or K he might get away from a smaller pair. I decided instead to just go ahead and get it all-in preflop since I figured he could have AQ. Of course he actually had the aces and I went busto. In the horsament I fought up to 8K after a good 2nd round through all the games. Around now Steve was coming to pick me up to watch the UFC fight on PPV at Aaron's, so Aaron covered for me for a few minutes. He had my stack up to 12K by the end of limit holdem but I guess he busted me in the O8 before I got over there. Doh. Today is a $1000 NL tourney. It'd be a good time to make my first cash of the WCOOP. After Vegas my ROI in $1000 tournaments is around 800%, so I'm going in very confident for this one :P. Wish me luck!


Thursday, September 21, 2006

WCOOP #6: 215 rebuy

Again today looked promising for a while. I picked up a few chips in the rebuy period at a tight table and finished the rebuy period with around 9500 which was a slightly above average, in for the "minimum" ($615). I flopped a set in the 2nd hour to get to 15K and was able to gradually build my stack to a peak of around 28K. But then some guy decided to make a bunch of flushes against me and take all my chips. What a jerk. My play on hand 1 looks weird but I think it's better than most of the other more obvious options. (Edit: The replies to my post of that hand are so bad. The last one comparing it to having KK when an A flops is my favourite, since the comparison makes no sense to begin with and his advice for that situation is also wrong.)

Hand 0

Hand 1

Hand 2

I won't be playing the limit tournament tomorrow but I plan to play both events Saturday, and Sunday will be the usual deal.


Tuesday, September 19, 2006

WCOOP #4: $215 Heads-up Matches

Won my first 2 matches easily and got paired against the biggest donkey ever in the 3rd round. All I had to do was make a couple hands and let him call off all his chips. I was ahead the whole match and then when blinds got bigger I lost every pot and he had a bazillion overpairs so I cried and stuff. Poker sucks.


Monday, September 18, 2006

Bad day for all

Sunday was not kind to the boys from Waterloo as none of us made a run at anything substantial. I donked off a 60K stack before the money in the Party million trying to make some insane hero call and took 2 bad beats in my first WCOOP event on Stars to fall just short of the money there as well. I hung on for a few hours after the 1st and finally got it in with JJ vs 99 in a pot that would have given me a somehwat playable stack again, but I got outflopped. I also lost a fairly big pot on Full Tilt when my overpair lost all-in preflop to another set on the flop in their $150 tournament. I did cash in the 100 rebuy on Paradise but busted with 2 tables left again. That was my only holdem cash today, though I finished 2nd in a $100 PLO8 tournament on Stars. There were only 90 runners so it just paid $1800 though. Go figure. I also lost $2200 at 5/10 NL to finish down like 3K on the day.

I kind of don't like talking about big downswings on here while they're happening because I don't want any of you to get too worried about me or anything for no reason. They're just part of the game that I've learned to accept and deal with fairly well, but to "normal people" the thought of losing that much money probably seems more than a little crazy. I also know that enough of the data is out there anyways if people really want to find out they can, and in general I try to be honest about everything in here. I'm not trying to make it look like I always win or something ridiculous like that. Anyways, I'm on a $20K downswing and it kinda sucks.

A lot of that has been at the cash games recently now that my hot streak has turned around. I know I'm a solid winning player in my tournaments and I'm just running bad right now so that's no concern, but I don't have as much experience in the no-limit cash games so I'll have to keep an eye on that and make sure there's no major leaks in my game. I've definitely been running a little bad in those too but there's so many more tough decisions there that I'm less sure about whereas most of my play in tournaments is a lot more automatic. Anyways, the plan is still to play a lot of WCOOP events and then reevaluate how my bankroll stands after that. I was fairly overrolled to start though so I won't necessarily have to move down in limits, especially with the money I won in Vegas left to back me up if I need it.

Finally, I'd like to give a big thank you to everyone that played and/or helped run the Ryder Cup team tournament on Saturday. It was a lot of fun once again. Things really didn't go our way this time around as against all odds we actually failed to repeat, but we made a nice comeback in the final round to sneak into 3rd and make a little money that at least covered a few beers. My next WCOOP event will be the $215 heads-up on Tuesday. I'll try to post at least a brief report after each of my WCOOP events saying how they went, though there probably won't always be much interesting stuff to talk about. Night,


Monday, September 11, 2006

Frustrating Weekend

I played a bit this weekend and made some money for a change, but it was a lot less than I was hoping for. On Saturday I played a few tournaments in the afternoon. I took a bad beat in the $300 tournament on Party to finish a disappointing 14th for like $900. Coming close to the big money but falling short became the story of the weekend. I did manage to win a $100 tournament on Ultimate Bet a couple hours later, but it only had 92 people so it paid only $2850. It was a win though so I was feeling confident coming into today. From the begining today things were just going right. I was hitting flops, and catching lucky cards all over the place. I don't think I've ever run as good as I did for a 2 hour period this afternoon. I hit a completely insane number of 2 outers coming back from 1500 chips to 40K in the $200 on Ultimate bet and 1000 chips to 16K in the $100 rebuy on Paradise. But once again, I went cold at the most important times.

I had big stacks deep in the $200 buy-ins on UB, Dise, and Full Tilt, but I just couldn't make a final table. First I busted 35/893 on UB, then 27/812 on Dise. I took a bad beat on FT when my AQ lost to A5 all-in preflop but battled back to a respectable stack before losing a coinflip, 22 losing to AK to bust 25/1217. Between the three I cashed for a total of $2600, which at least was enough to put me slightly ahead on the day. You really have to make final tables to win any real money at these things though.

Anyways, no more poker until next weekend when the WCOOP starts and I'm also playing in a friendly team tournament on Saturday with some good people from I'm a member of the defending champs, Team Waterloo, and it's hard to imagine us not repeating :P. OK now that I got my trash talking in I'm heading to bed. Peace,


Monday, September 04, 2006

Back after a short break

I didn't play much poker at all in the week I was home. I was only there for a week so I tried to spend as much of that time as I could with friends and family. Then when I got back I had to move into my new place for the fall. I played some this week though once I got settled in and the results have continued to be fairly poor. I haven't had any good scores in a while though my cash games results have still been very good to help balance things a little. Today I did the usual Sunday thing and it was looking very promising for a while before I took a few tough beats. My TPTK got outdrawn by a donkey with a flush draw fairly deep in the Stars million and I lost a fairly big pot when my 2 pair got outdrawn on the river in the 2nd chance. I was chipleader in the $200 tournament on Full Tilt early on but couldn't find hands to continue building my stack and ended up busting just short of the money. Steve and Mike both made final tables though in $200 buy-ins. Mike finished 6th on Paradise for $6K, and Steve finished 2nd on UB for a nice $26K.

The plan from here is to not play too much for the next couple weeks until the WCOOP where I'm planning to play all of the events that are in games I know how to play. Should that go poorly I will officially be on a nice downswing, but that's poker. I mentioned I had some poker goals in my last post and I guess I'll write them here. I don't know how many of these I'll actually be able to accomplish but you need something to aim for and keep you motivated.

1. Final table a WCOOP event.
2. Final table then make a big score in a "major" Sunday tournament (I have one final table in the $200 on Paradise, 7th for about 5K).
3. Satellite into WPT Niagara (the first ever WPT event in Canada).
4. Satellite into the Pokerstars WPT event in the Bahamas in January.
5. Sustain a good winrate at $1000 NL cash games.

Obviously all I can actually control is playing my best all the time and continuing to try to improve as a player, but with a little luck hopefully a few of the above will follow.


Sunday, August 20, 2006

It was a bad day

I'm calling it an early night. I played a bunch of tournaments and lost like 3 grand or something when I failed to cash any. I didn't get much sleep last night due to partying too much and it caught up to me later in the evening. When I get tired I lose focus/patience and I make more mistakes. I also lost a key coinflip in the only tournament I was really doing well in. At least I realized there was no point to keep playing. I'm heading back home to Newfoundland tomorrow for a week so I probably won't be playing as much. I guess I'm going to have to get used to that because I need to spend a lot more time on school next term.

I know school still needs to be my first priority but when I see first hand the kind of money I've been able to make this summer and even moreso the money my friends like Steve/Aaron/hit21hit have cashed this year I sometimes feel like I'm just giving away a lot of money if I don't get in a lot of hours at the tables each week. It's hard to say how long poker will remain this profitable so it's tempting to try to capatalize as much as possible while the getting's good. Like I said I know what my priorities need to be and it's not like I'm going to do anything stupid, but it's easy to go through stretches where you get too caught up in the game. I don't think I've been too bad overall. I'll almost always hang out with friends over poker for example, but on the other hand I haven't gotten as much exercise lately (playing sports especially) as I should have. I'll keep an eye on things and try to make sure I keep a healthy balance. The fact is that other than the occasional night like tonight where my head just isn't into it I still really enjoy playing this game. Combine that with the money and it's natural that I'm going to want to spend a lot of time at it. However, it's important to remember that there are so many things in life that are more important than playing poker and making money. Like most things in life it's all about balance.

I'm not sure why I decided to bring all this up tonight but it's something I think about a lot. I could go on and on about it but I'm already pretty tired. I'd better go throw some things in a suitcase for tomorrow.


Holy crap

hit21hit won 323.8K in that freeroll. So sick.


Monday, August 14, 2006

Back to Online Poker

After a few days off last week I got back into playing poker a bit more and did the usual Sunday thing yesterday. I played the normal selection of big Sunday tournaments and got off to a really bad start. It seemed like the day went terrible, but in the end I won a seat into the $2600 WCOOP main event and made a small profit at 5/10 NL, though I was up pretty big at one point, to end up a few hundred on the day.

In other news, hit21hit, a friend of mine in Waterloo, won his way into the Paradise Poker POWER leaderboard final table. He'll be playing a 10 person single table tournament this Saturday for one million dollars. That's a lot of money, so hopefully he takes it down. Also, the Full Tilt Online Poker Series is running this week so I'll probably play a few of those tournaments. I think I'll leave this a short entry. Later on,


Monday, August 07, 2006

Vegas: Days 9 & 10

I get back to my room unmugged and make my quick post on here then pass out. Aaron calls around 12:30 for lunch and I inform him of the events of the previous night. I manage to haul myself out of bed and go to the buffet. I think I went back to sleep for the afternoon then headed over to Bellagio for another buffet (Bellagio has an excellent buffet though it's pretty expensive), and then to the poker room for some 5/10 NL action. Now it should be noted that I'd been playing 5/10 NL as my main cash game online for a couple weeks and I didn't just move up because of my tourney win. I had only been playing 2/5 NL in Vegas because I didn't bring that much cash and didn't want to lose it all (which I did anyways, but Steve/Aaron had been doing well and had lots). Of course after winning the tournament this was no longer an issue, so I played my normal game.

Aaron was at my table also and killing the game, and I managed to come back and win a decent number. The only hand I remember is the following: It's folded to the button who makes it 40 and before looking at my cards I make some comment about him trying to steal the blinds, and call with 66 in the SB. The flop is T65 and I lead for 60. The lead is good here for a few reasons: The first is the standard reason that if he has a strong hand he'll prbobaly raise me and we can build a big pot. The second is that it kind of looks like I'm trying to steal the pot from him and he seemed aggressive enough that he might raise me with nothing. He does raise it to 160, and I decide he can do that with enough marginal hands that I'd prefer to let him fire again on the turn before putting in a big raise. The turn is a Q and I check. He bets 200 and I raise 400 more. He thinks and claims he folded 88. I ended up quitting ahead about a solid $400. We don't play too late because he have to check out of the Monte Carlo by 11am the next morning. Also, Steve and his mom and sister flew back tonight.

So we get up just before 11 and check out. We grab some food then head over to the Rio because Aaron has a few things he has to do there. While we're at it we get in a 5/10 NL no cap game. I donk off some money on the following hand. I raise to 40 with 89c in MP and get called by the button and a blind. The flop comes KJ9 2 spades and is checked around. Turn is an offsuit 9 and I bet 75. The button calls. The river is a low spade and I bet 150. I think this is a mistake because I'm not getting paid off by many worse hands. He puhses for 230 more. I decide there's enough of a chance he's bluffing and make the crying call getting about 3.5:1. He has the As5s and I lose a big pot. The call of his push is marginal but I think the big mistake is betting the river, or at least betting that big.

Anyways, the dealers are terrible and the game isn't great so we decide to leave and check out Caesar's since we heard the games were good and we hadn't been there yet. We get to the poker room and it's pretty big, they even have a tournament room in the back. Aaron decides to go do some shopping and I get in the 5/10 NL no cap game and sit with *just* $1000. I then proceed to go on a huge rush. An active player makes it 50 in EP and I call with the 75h in MP, and 3 others come along. The flop comes A85 with 2 hearts and the SB minbets blind (wtf?). The originial raiser makes it 160 and I make it 400 with my pair and flush draw. The donk min better shoves for 510 more, the raiser folds the winner I assume, and I have to call at this point because I'm getting huge odds. The only hand I'm in bad shape against is a set, or I guess A5 isn't great either, but he took some time to think and doesn't seem that strong. The turn and river are blanks and oh well, I guess I lose a big one. But he says "You're probably good, I have king high". I table my pair and he shows KTh. Ship it. Gotta love winning those $2200 coin flips. Also, his push on the flop is just terrible. At some point after that I win a huge pot when I flop top set of queens and get paid off by JJ and have no idea why.

There was one other big hand at this table. It was a must-move table meaning when a seat opened up at the other table whoever had been here longest had to move to the other table. I really didn't want to leave this table of course. Anyways, my last big pot before I had to move happened when I limped with 45 offsuit on the button behind like 5 limpers. I don't recommend making this play, but live poker can be boring and my table was pretty bad and I was on a rush are my terrible excuses. The flop comes 3s4s5c and a solid seeming player on my right bets 75. I just call planning to put him all-in on a safe turn card since he only has a few hundred left. Then the JJ donk from earlier checkraises 100 more and the original bettor just calls. Both have less than 200 left now and the pot is already huge. I still think I'm good so I just put them in. Both call and the turn and river are bricks, and my hand is good. The original bettor had 5s6s and missed a huge draw, and the other guy didn't show but he was pretty bad so he may not have had much.

I move to the other table with like $4200 already and there's some real money on this table. Several players have me covered. I'm certainly not used to playing this deep stacked, but I'm not too worried about it either. When you're this deep deception seems to be very important. I imagine most of these guys would never put $4000 in the pot without the nuts or close to it. I want them to think I'm capable of making huge bluffs so that my big hands can actually get paid off, and I want to add some deception to my game. I'd consider doing strange things like limping with a big pair behind several players hoping to flop set over set on someone since they'd have a hard time putting me on a bigger set and I might get their stack. I absolutely love opening for a raise with middle suited connectors this deep as well since if you hit the flop hard your hand is disguised. Anyways, I mange to win a couple nice pots when I get lucky in my short time at this table. First, I raise to 60 on the button behind a couple limpers with AQo and get called in 2 spots. The flop comes K82r and they both check to me and I bet 120. Only the SB calls. The turn is an ace and we both check. The river is a blank and he bets 100. I call and beat his KQ. Not too long after this a player limps UTG and I make it 50 with 89d. 2 others call and the limper calls. The flop is a dream: JT7 rainbow. Checked to me and I bet 150. Only the UTG limper calls. The turn is a 5. UTG checks and I bet 400 hoping he has a set. He calls. The turn is an 8. He checks and I put him all-in for his last 800 or so. Sadly, he folds.

Aaron came back just before this hand so I quit before my next blind up $4000 and we went to Caesar's buffet for dinner. This buffet was very good as well. I tried a Sierra Nevada pale ale with dinner which I'd been told was very good, and was not disappointed. Very smooth beer. We go back and kill our last hour in the poker room playing 2/5 NL, and I win another $700 mostly from when I suck out on top 2 pair all-in on the flop when my nut flush draw gets there. It's worth noting my opponent had J9h. Your hand sucks Pinhead. We don't play long and head back to the hotel to pick up our bags, then cab to the airport. It turned out we were on different flights to Toronto but leaving/arriving around the same time (11:30pm/7am), which was convenient. We were planning to meet over at his/Steve's house later in the afternoon and play the big Sunday tournaments online because we're degenerates like that, but I got very little sleep on the plane and when I get to my house at 9:30am I just crashed and slept all day. Overall, this was an awesome trip, and I'd be telling you that even if I came home a big loser, which it looked like I was going to for a while there. Vegas was a ton of fun, though making a bunch of money obviously made it that much better. I'll be looking for any excuse to go back.


Vegas: Day 8

This one got very long. I get up early and head over to the Rio around 8:30 to buy-in to the $1000 World Series event. Before I leave I check the schedule on my laptop and realize it starts earlier than most events, at 10am. Oops, I'm probably not going to get in. Sure enough it's sold out when I get there so I grab some breakfast and head over to the Bellagio. I register for the 2pm tournament and head over to the poker room to play some 2/5 NL before then. The game is softer than it had been previoiusly and I make some hands to quit up 800. I had a lot of big pairs in the hole and I caught a few lucky flops from the blinds that I can recall. 2pm rolls around and I cash out to play the tournament.

I kind of hang around early and win some small pots. Finally I pick up a hand and open to 600 on the button at 100/200 with KK. The big blind calls. The flop is KJ9 and he checks to me and I bet like 800. He calls and leads for 1500 on the blank turn. I push and he tanks and claims he folded KJ. That's just ridiculous. At this point I decide to bluff more to take advantage of these people. Shortly after this Amir Vahedi sits down as a really late alternate and immediately doubles up when he gets like half his chips in preflop with 54c calling a reraise and pushes the Q73 2 club flop, cracking aces on the river. After that he calms down a little, though he's still in lots of pots. So some guy in Paradise Poker gear makes it 600 from early/middle postition and I assume he's probably not very good because he's already lost some chips doing weak looking things, and because most people on Paradise aren't very good. Amir calls. Paradise doesn't have enough chips to cripple me and seems slightly on the loose side, I've been super tight, and Amir can have like anything, so I decide to run a squeeze and make it 2600 with 66. Paradise thinks for a while and folds, and Amir folds very quickly.

The next big hand comes when Amir opens to 700 at 100/200 a25 as he does fairly often and I deicde to make it 2700 on the button with the Q7o because restealing is fun and I still should have a pretty tight image. Amir calls. Oh crap. The flop comes Kxx. He checks and I bet 5000 of my ~7000. He instamucks and I decide to start breathing again. I don't really remeber much after that. I win/lose some small to medium sized pots but go card dead and eventually shove A9 into AK and bust around 7:30. I walk around for a minute or 2 then figure I might as well get in the night tournament as well starting at 8pm.

I'm an alternate but not that far down the list and get in before the end of level 1. Hasan Habib and Simon Trumper are the only names I recognize at my table. Trumper seems to play very straightforward and has the standard online tell of raising more than usual with a strong but tricky hand like AK or JJ/TT. Habib likes to control pot size and his standard raise is 2.5xBB. He also limped a lot early and seemed to play well postflop. I really don't pick up any hands early and win a few small pots. Our table breaks and I eventually end up shoving 87 spades from early position for around 6500 at 300/600 a75. I get called by AKh and the flop comes 732 one heart. Turn 4h. But the river is an offsuit 3 and I double up. Then I win a huge flip. I make it 2200 with 33 from the cutoff at 400/800 a100 and the button pushes. I call getting well over 2:1 and hold against AJ.

From this point on I start picking up some hands at the right times and bust some shortstacks. At one point there is a raise and reraise all-in in front of me and I actually look down and find AA. That never happens. I build a nice chip stack but take a hit when AK<A7. Still, I'm average stack when we collapse to 3 tables of 9. There were only 208 runners that night so only the top 18 spots get paid. I win another key coinflip when TT>AQ and pick up some hands to steal the blinds a couple times. The chipleader is 2 to my left so it's hard to try to abuse the bubble much since he's an aggressive player, but I make the money with about 70-80K when average is just over 50K.

Then a huge hand happens. The chipleader makes it 10K to go in early/middle position at 1500/3000 a500 and I call on the button with AQs. The flop comes QTx rainbow and he checks. I bet 15K and he moves me in. This is just a weird line and I can't think of any reason he'd play a real hand this way so I call. He tables AJ and I dodge a king to take the chiplead. At some point I call a shortstack push in the BB with 66 getting 1.5:1 (probably marginal but I think it was correct) and flop a set to bust his AJ. I make the final table as chipleader with over 200K of the 1.04M in play. People are already trying to talk deal but I'm not interested yet. I'd much rather try to donk off my chiplead. The following hand is completely ridiculously and shows how weak/tight live players can be, especially when a lot of money is on the line. It's folded to me in the CO and I make it 22K with A4h at 4K/8K a1K. The button folds and the SB who's 2nd in chips tanks for like 2 minutes and folds. The BB quickly calls and the flop come Q53. The BB checks and I fire 35K. He folds and says he had a middle pair. The SB says he folded JJ??? since he ddin't want to get in a huge pot with me. I tell him I only had 2 overcards so it would have been a race and it looks like I actually had a Q. Now donk time.

A good solid player who I've played with a lot in 2/5 NL raises on the button and he's 2nd or 3rd in chips so I just call with AJhh in my BB. The flop comes 832 one heart and we both check. The turn is the Kh. I check and het bets 30K. I raise him all-in for 80K more with my overcard and nut flush draw but he doesn't buy it and calls with KQ fairly quickly. The river is the very pretty As and I'm over 400K. Woot. I lose some back quickly though. I raise A9 in the CO to 22K and the BB instapushes for 61K more. I don't think he's that strong and reluctantly call getting a bit less than 2:1. He isn't very happy with the call until he sees my hand, and his AT holds. I guess my read was sorta right though. fwiw the villian in this hand was Eddy Scharf who has 2 WSOP bracelets in Omaha and I remember from the 2004 WSOP main event coverage when he finished very deep so I figured I had to respect the possibility he was on a complete resteal as I'd been fairly active, though I hadn't seem him make any crazy moves yet.

Anyways, shortly after this hand we agree to talk deal and the fine people at Bellagio run the chip chop numbers for us. I'm still chip leader with over 300K. Like I said in my earlier post the entire time I tried to act very reluctant because this deal is very good for me and I know it. I would have been quite willing to take a couple grand less if it came down to it but no one wanted to risk busting 6th for only 7K when they could walk away with a lot more right now so everyone agreed. I'm sure the fact that it was 7am had sometihng to do with it as well. I took home $44K. I guess I left a fairly small tip for the organizers/dealers but really they already get their cut from the $80 entry fee so I don't see why I should be expected to leave more really. I just did it because it's standard practice and I didn't want to leave with a bad reputation or anything. Also, the Bellagio dealers really are quite good so I didn't mind that much. I guess this just leaves a combined day 9/10 report where I continue my heater playing 5/10 NL.


Friday, August 04, 2006

Ship $44K

The WSOP event was sold out by the time I got there to register today so instead I went over to the Bellagio and played the tournaments there. I busted out of the 2pm Bellagio Cup event at 7:30 just in time to sign up for the 8pm event. I luckboxed my way to the chiplead in that one and chopped by chip count with 6 players left for 44K, which was 2nd place money. This was such a great deal for me, I definitely would have given up a few grand had they tried, but I tried to act reluctantly towards accepting a deal so they would just be happy that I agreed since they all seemed to want one pretty badly. Full report will follow at some point, but I'm pretty exhausted right now since I've basically been playing poker for the last 24 hours.


Thursday, August 03, 2006

Vegas: Day 7

Wake up at 2. Sit around then go to Rio hoping to meet Aaron for his dinner break, only to later find out he busted shortly before I got there. Play some poker and lose more mobneys. Decide to take vengeance on Vegas in the WSOP event tomorrow. Get some sleep.


Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Vegas: Day 6

This is probably gonna be a short one. I slept in and didn't do anything until after dinner. Then I played the $1080 buy-in Bellagio Cup again. I had 20K at the first break (start with 5K) when I took down several pots preflop by reraising with AK and the following hand:

An alternate who got seated at the table a level or so in and doesn't seem good raises to 550 at 100/200 in EP. I make it 1750 with KK and he calls. The flop comes Q84 with 2 diamonds. He pushes for 7500. I call and he tables the A7 of hearts. Donkaments, lol. More brilliant play follows. At 100/200 a25 3 players limp and I make it 1000 to go from the SB. The BB minireraises to 2200 and I'm confused but call. Flop AT8. I check and he bets 2500, I raise him in for his last 1700 and he calls and tables the A8d. Great. Then I get some chips back by sucking out against a set with a flush draw but proceed to go card dead and basically blind off/lose a couple pots when I raise and miss or get reraised and I'm down to 8K when I shove with 66 at 400/800 a75 and get called by the aces.

Then I go play 2/5 NL and don't make any hands for a while. I go up and down a couple hundred and I'm a little tired but several people are playing much worse. One guy blind raises to 15 every hand and he's on my left which is sweet. He's clearly tired and in a gambling mood (he laid me 105:100 on betting red/black on the flop so I took the offer and obviously lost). So I pick up QQ and limp. He makes it 15 and 5 people call. I reraise 100 more, and he quickly makes it 300 more on top of that. The others fold and I just can't believe him. After thinking for a bit I shove in for $550 total and he says "well I only looked at one" and calls. When an A comes on the flop I know I'm dead. $1100 pot shipped the other way to his A8o. I go home and go to bed since it's 7am now. I dunno what I'm going to do today. Maybe I'll head over to the Rio to sweat Aaron and get in a game there. I guess I'll waste another $1000 on the WSOP event tomorrow since I was planning to play that one all along, even though the structure does suck. Hopefully things will turn around for me soon.


Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Vegas: Day 5

I checked out the Wynn buffet for lunch which was quite good, and then didn't do much until the 2+2 meet up for dinner at ESPNZone at 8. We'd prepaid $55 a head to get a private room with an open beer bar and dinner included. They gave us tons of food and we drank lots of beer so it was well worth the price. Anyways, I basically met most of the "big names" on 2+2 that are old enough to play the WSOP, and a few that weren't. Rizen, sirio11, nath, Foucault, Jurollo, ZBT, yabastid to name a few. Also, underagers gobboboy, Ozzy87, and even the infamous ZeeJustin made an appearance to everyone's surprise (very mixed reaction to that from people I talked to). I guess he's turning 21 in a couple months so he's going to be back in the poker world and trying to slowly make up for what he did. So we hung around there until they kicked us out and just talked poker, life, etc... Everyone I met was pretty cool, and being in that room talking to so many good players was awesome. After that 9 of us made our way over to Treasure Island for some fun: Drunken 2/4 limit mixed games.

I think we played 7 games: Badugi, Crazy Pineapple, Razz, 2-7 triple draw, double flop holdem (2 boards are dealt at each street and the pot split between the winners of the 2 boards. We finished that round with one hand of triple flop and one hand of quadruple flop holdem), Stud 8/b, Omaha 8/b. We played some of the biggest 2/4 pots ever seen. It was not uncommon for a pot to be capped preflop before anyone saw their cards, even though at TI they allow 5 bets per round.

One hand I vaguely recall: Playing double flop holdem I get in a 475845-way capped pot preflop with KcJd. yabastid is raising blind at every oppurtunity. One flop comes AdTd3d and the Qd is on the other board so I call some bets on the flop hoping to win that board. The turn is a black queen on that board so I make broadway. yabastid is still blind raising at every oppurtunity and nath is pumping in the bets as well so we go capped like 4 ways. The river puts a 4th diamond out there and I have the 2nd nuts, but there's a good chance I'm not good. Still, I call a capped river because there's like $5679587950 in the pot. It looks like I'm good for half until yabastid, who still hasn't looked at his cards, yells "SHIP IT!" and spikes his cards over on the table revealing the Kd. That's basically how the game went down. Everyone was donating and we were tipping the dealers ridiculously well for dealing all these crazy games and putting up with us. Actually, everyone was having a great time. They loved that we were just having some fun and not taking it too serious, and of course tipping well, though some of the "serious" players at other tables gave our game some funny looks because we all had 300-800 $1 chips in front of us, and several pots must have been in the $200-300 range. I finished down $75, not bad considering I had many drinks and a ton of fun. We played one lap of each game for a total of 70 hands. This took approximately 6 hours.

That helped blow off some steam and I'm ready to get back in there and play some real poker soon. Not sure what the plan will be for the last few days but I'll probably play at least one more $1000 tournament. Either the World Series event on the 3rd or another Bellagio Cup event. The Bellgio tournament has a much better structure but the World Series event has the advantage of being a Wold Series event, and also prboably having a big field with a shot at a huge payout. I'll definitely get in some cash games too and try to grind back some of the money I've lost. The most important thing is I'm having a good time down here though, win or lose.


Monday, July 31, 2006

Vegas: Day 4. The Main Event.

Breaking News: SirWatts terrible at poker. This day didn't go at all like I was expecting. I played really loose aggressive all day trying to take advantage of the tight players and kept getting in tough spots. This resulted in monstrous roller coaster swings of my chip stack. Here's how it went down.

I sit around and fold for a bit. Everyone is playing stupidly tight so I decide to start raising a lot and I steal some chips and am lucky enough to hit a flop or 2 as well and get some chips, but then I donk one up.

Blinds 25/50

Hand 1: I raise it to 200 with 89o from some position, likely enitrely too early to even be considered reasonable, and get called by the solid young player on my left. Flop 887. I bet 300 he calls. Turn 6 I bet 600 and he calls. River K I bet 1500 and he folds. Probably a little too greedy there.

Hand 2: I raise UTG with 54s and get one caller. Then random tight guy on the other side of the table makes it 600 on the button. I call and other dude calls. Flop Q44. Check to tighty who bets 800. I make it 2200 and get 2 folds. So lame.

Hand 3: I make it 200 with KQs in the CO and nit lady in the BB makes it 600. I call (I should probably just fold). Flop K87 she bets 1000 I call because, well, I have top pair omgomg. Turn 6, check/check. River 8 she bets 600 I make it 1600 because I'm not good at poker. She almost folds, and then calls and shows AK. It's hard to play this bad, seriously. I end the level with 8K, bad times.

Blinds 50/100

Hand 4: I limp 99 UTG with about 8K behind. Nit lady makes it 600, others fold and I call because she definitely has the aces. Flop 982, I lead for 1000 and she makes it 2000. Oh the aces are going down in flames here. I call. Turn brick. I check and she bets 2000. I raise all-in for 4000 more and she folds. Sigh.

Hand 5: I make it 300 from EP with the T7s and get 2 callers. Flop 972 and I bet 600. First guy folds and good(?)/tricky aggressive player makes it 1800 and I just don't believe him since he's made moves like this before, and I think I gave off some weakness tells so I call. Turn and river help no one and it gets checked down. I table my monster and it's good. Cool. I have about 16K at this point, woot!

Blinds 100/200. Everything goes to shit.

Hand 6: Weak player limps and I make it 800 with KQo. He calls. Flop 853 rainbow. He checks and I bet 1200, he calls. Turn 4, check/check. River Q. He bets 2000 super quick. Like I'm not even sure if he saw the river card first. I'm pretty sure I'm dead, but I make the crying call and lose to his 76s.

Hand 7: Folded to tightish guy on button who makes it 700. I call in the SB with 89s (I think this is a poor call, we're not as deep as earlier). Flop J9x and I check/call 1200. Turn blank I check and he checks, sweet I'm good. River A and I check/fold to his 2000 bet. Crap. I get reraised once and I'm down to like 5K when I get absolutely pwned.

Hand 8: I make it 600 from the hijack with QTo and the solid guy on my left calls as does tricky/good player in the BB. Flop J43 I bet 1200 and tricky guy calls. Turn 8 check/check. River A he checks and I bet bet 2000 of my last 3500 trying to make it look like I want a call. He tanks and calls with K3. WTF? fvjdksjfdlfkaslfk;asldas;lfdfdkf. I manage to steal my way up to 3000 before the end of the level.

Blinds 100/200 a25

Hand 9: Open shove J5s from the SB for 2600 or so and win the blinds.

Hand 10: Donk raises to 600 in EP and SB calls. I find AK in the BB and shove for like 3K total. Donk folds and SB calls with 77. I flop a K and win.

Hand 11: I make it 700 with KQo and the same tricky aggressive player from the K3 pwnage/donk call calls. Flop QJ5 he check/calls my 1500. Turn Q. He checks and I decide to just push my last 4500. He tanks and calls with 44. Yes, 44. I have over 13K all of a sudden and have regained my confidence.

Hand 12: Folded to me in the SB and I make 700 with KK. Solid young player defends his BB. Flop JJ2 2 hearts. I check, he bets 700 and I call. Turn blank, I check and he bets 1500. I call. River Ad. I check, he bets 3000, I tank and fold. Gross. I steal some and bust a short stack to get up to 17K or so then lose a huge pot.

Blinds 150/300 a25

Hand 13: I raise to 1000 UTG with the T8d and get called in 3 spots. Flop comes QJ2 with 2 diamonds. I bet 2300 (about half the pot) planning to push over a raise. Donk pushes for like 6K more and I have to call. He shows QQ. Turn 9! River 2. Back to 7500. I bust a shortstack when my aces hold to get to 11K. Then I donk everything up.

Hand 14: Raise ATo to 1000 in MP and the BB chipleader tight/solid guy calls. Flop T72 2 spades. He check/calls my 1500 bet. Turn 8 spades. He leads for 4000. I'm basically ready to fold but there's enough semibluffs out there that I at least want to think about it. Really this guy just isn't that tricky and he's almost certainly protecting a strong made hand against the flush draw. I stare him down and pick up something that makes me think he's weak. I go with it and push. He calls and shows 22, I fire my cards in the muck as I don't even have a flush draw. 22 is probably what I'd guess he had before I found my "tell". Nice read me. Being an online donk sucks.

Big 2+2 dinner tonight. I'll probably end up checking out some of the night life with those guys after, so the next report could be interesting. Open beer bar + 40 degenerates trying to maximize ROI by drinking as many as possible will likely result in awesomeness.


I donked out

Just made a terrible play and busted, I yoyo'd up and down from 16K to 1500 back up to 18K and back down to 7500 before donking off my last 10K on the final hand. Basically, I thought I picked up a tell and pushed when I would normally fold. Very upset with the play, I guess I'll eventually write a detailed report but I feel like crap right now.


Sunday, July 30, 2006

Vegas: Day 3

Today was not a good day pokerwise for any of us. I generally avoid posting bad beats but since this one isn't mine I think it's ok.

At 100/200 25 ante Steve is down to about 8K. Some guy who likes to limp then fold to raises limps and Steve makes it 1000 with T5o from the SB. The limper calls this time though and the flop comes A55. Steve bets about half the pot and the guy pushes like 6000 more. Steve beats him into the pot, and the guy shows AK. Turn K. River K.

As for me, I put in a 7 hour session of 2/5 NL at the Bellagio. I made approximately zero hands in this period. I didn't actually win a pot until about 2 hours in. Basically, there were 2 huge LAGs raising like every hand and hitting every flop. Both had like 2-3K behind, and the max buy-in was 500. The thing about these guys is they were both good players postflop and when a lot of money went in the pot they almost always had the goods. People just didn't seem to catch onto this though because of their awful preflop play and kept paying them off. So Lag 1 raises to 25 and gets a caller. I find KK in the SB and make it 100. LAG calls. Flop QJx. This is a terible flop for my hand under normal circumstances since a solid player has QQ or JJ in his position a lot. However against this guy I thought it was great because he could have like anything and lots of stuff might pay me off. For some reason I forgot that this guy actually knew what he was doing and had just called a substantial reraise from the tightest guy at the table. I fire 200 and he pushes me in for my last 170 or so. I have to call and lose to AA. Good times. I guess I'm prboably just supposed to go broke here anyways.

Eventually this guy leaves and there's only 1 LAG left. We've had a few small confrontations, usually with me folding marginal hands to his aggression before I had a good read on his play. Anwyays I find AQs and raise to 20 behind a limper. One guy calls behind, LAG calls from the blinds, and limper calls. Flop AJ9 rainbow. Checked to me and I bet 50. LAG checkraises to 150. Like I said he actually played pretty solid postflop and he had to figure I have a hand here so what is he checkraising me with? A worse ace he probably just calls and I don't think he'd even play a straight draw this aggressive since he probably doesn't expect me to fold a good hand here given his image. Anyways he's also a big tellbox and says "Kings are no good" at which point I muck pretty quickly because I'm not good. He shows an ace as he rakes the pot, and I'm pretty confident he had 2 pair.

This brings us to the most ridiculous hand of the session. LAG opens to 20, weak lady calls, and I randomly call with the Q9s from the SB. Flop Q54, I check and LAG bets only 20 (tell 1). lady folds and I call. Turn Q. I check, LAG bets 30. I still feel like he could be very strong and if he has nothing I'd rather let him continue to bet anyways. River A and I check again. He asks how much I have left and puts me allin for my last 400. Holy massive overbet. OK, I'm pretty sure I'm beat right here (he's not actually crazy remember, just trying to appear that way), but I strongly consider tilt calling. Then he says something like "You didn't slowplay kings again did you?" (tell 2). Then he turns over one of his cards, an ace (tell 3) and says see, kings no good. At this point I turbomuck because I'm not an idiot. For some reason I showed the queen and he later tells me I made a good fold, but I was pretty sure of that one anyways. I play a little longer and miss some more flops and stuff before quitting down only $1000.

For people interested in "poker celebs", they were playing the big game at Bellagio today and I saw Chip Reese, Gus Hansen, and Barry Greensein playing it. Minh Ly was down there waiting for a seat also and I saw Sean Sheikhan as well. Going to bed now. Tomorrow is a big day, hopefully Aaron and I fare better than Steve.


Saturday, July 29, 2006

Vegas: Day 2

Today was a much more relaxed day, I didn't even play any poker! Got up around 11 and went for lunch at the MGM Grand buffet which was pretty good, since we had to pick up some tickets for the show we were going to that night over there. This afternoon I didn't do anything. I got my internet set up in my room and browsed a little, then chilled with Steve and Aaron. They were pretty burnt out from poker and didn't want to play, and with the WSOP starting today there'd probably be long lineups everywhere to get a decent game so I didn't bother since the show was at 7.

We saw the Cirque du Soleil Beatles show. It was good but it was more of a musical. Not a lot of really crazy acrobatics which I personally probably would have enjoyed more. It was still pretty cool though and I'm glad I got out to at least one show. I think a bigger Beatles fan would really like it and probably understand more of it than I did.

After the show Aaron and I went to the Rio to pick up our seat cards for the ME and just check out the scene over there in general. Steve said it was insane in the morning but it had calmed down a little by the time we got there. There's still not much room for people to watch the action though and the rail was pretty crowded so we didn't stick around long. I only saw a couple faces I recognized playing, no one really big. Steve plays tomorrow and Aaron and I both play on Sunday. I start at table 141 seat 6, and I'll probably be there the entire day since they break tables on the other half of the room first. No plans for tomorrow yet. I may try to meet up with the elusive haddon, and I'll probably play a decent cash game session.


Friday, July 28, 2006

Hookers & Blow

OK, now that I've got your attention it's time for day 1 of the Vegas trip report. The day begins with me waking up early for the first time in months to get to the airport for my 7:30am flight. The flight is pretty uneventful and I manage a little extra sleep. We actually arrive half an hour early and from the airport I grab a shuttle to the Monte Carlo, where Stars has me staying. My room is pretty nice: king sized bed, nice decor, and very spacious. Nothing extravagant, but I'm sure I'll be quite comfortable for the small amount of time I spend in it. Anyways I head up to Steve and Aaron's room to meet up with those guys. They're just getting up from a late night of poker, but once we get organized we head over to the Rio. The Rio was absolutely crazy. We get some lunch at the Sao Paulo restaurant there which was decent and then head to the poker room. The poker room was packed, but the lines were actually moving and I eventually got seated in a 2/5 NL 500 max game. I sorta do nothing for a while and win/lose some small pots. Then I lose 3 medium sized pots:

First, I raise preflop to 25 behind 2 weakish limpers. One guy behind me calls and the limpers fold. I cont. bet the flop with air, then give up when called. The 2nd time I raise the J9d UTG and get called by the same guy. Flop is Qs2d3d and I bet about the pot, and he minraises. I call and see a blank turn card and check. He checks behind giving me a free river card but I miss my flush and check/fold. In the 3rd hand I make it 20 with 88 in the CO behind a weak limper and get called by the button, who seems fairly solid, a call station in the SB, and the limper. Flop is 653 and I bet $60 into an $80 pot. The button calls as does call station. I don't beat much the button can call with here, so I check the turn and we end up checking it down. Call station shows A5 and button scoops the pot with TT. So I'm down about 250 but then I make a few hands.

The first big hand I have the 54 of spades in the BB. It's folded to the button who doubles it and loose aggressive kid in the SB calls as do I. The flop comes 7s6s3h. Bingo. I decide to go for a checkraise and check to the button who bets 25. The SB makes it 65 and I'm not sure whether I should just call and try to slowplay or raise. I figure calling looks so suspicious anyways I might as well just raise and make it 165. Both fold and I win a decent pot. The next big hand I limp 88 UTG with about 625 behind. Call station from a previous hand makes it 20 and loose aggressive kid also calls in the blinds. The flop comes T84 rainbow and LAG Kid leads out for 35. I don't normally slowplay my big hands much but this seems like the perfect time. I'd like to keep the callstaion around since he only has about 120 left which he's quite capable of calling off drawing dead and I also want to let the LAG kid keep firing away, and there's not many draws to worry about. So I call the 35 as does call station. Then turn is a brick and LAG bets 100. I pretend to think for a second then call, and call station calls off his last chips. The turn is a 5 for a board of T8425 and LAG bets 200. It's now clear that he has a very strong hand so I think for a second to make sure pushing is correct. 76 is possible on the flop with the double gutter but he seems smart enough not to bluff the turn since call station is basically never folding. So the only thing that I need to worry about is TT but there's lots of other hands I beat that call my push so I stop being an idiot and push for another 270. He quickly calls and mucks when I turn over my hand. He didn't say what he had, and I rake in about a $1350 pot. Shortly after that Steve and Aaron got bored and my table really wasn't all that great anyways so I cash out and we head to the Bellagio.

The plan was to eat at the buffet there but the line is ginormous so we go the chinese place there called Noodles, where the wait is only 25 mins. The food again was pretty good but not amazing. Steve and Aaron are kind of burnt out from poker but we go by the Bellagio poker room to see what's going on. It turns out the 7:00 Bellagio Cup event started late and was only in level one. We all decide to plunk down the $1000 buy-in and eventually get in half way through level 2 as alternates. Yes, the biggest tournament I've ever played and I missed the first hour. Aaron busts out early and Steve follows suit not too much later. I'm hanging in there pretty card dead but finally double up when an aggressive kid in the CO raises and I shove with A7o on the button and boat up against his KT. Then I do nothing for a while again until I'm forced to push with AhJ and get called by KhK. The first 4 cards on the board are hearts and I double through. The next hand I push over a raise with AKs and everyone folds. I'm actually above average all of a sudden. As usual it doesn't last as I push over a raise and short stack reraise all-in with AKs. I manage to fold out the original raiser but lose to 99 on the KJ9 flop. Again shortstacked, I eventually push behind 2 limpers with AQo and get called by the 2nd limper with 33. The door card on the flop is a 3 and even the queen next to it is no help. I busted around 50/220, and stumbled around the Bellagio eventually finding my way outside to the cab stand and getting back to my room. I really like this tournament though and will probably continue my ways of solid bankroll management by playing it again at some point this trip. You start with 5000 chips and 25/50 blinds, 40 min levels. The dealers are very good, unlike at the Rio, and there's plenty of dead money in them. So yeah, so far Vegas is awesome, but with the time difference I've been up over 24 hours now so I need to get some sleep. Later,


Wednesday, July 26, 2006

This does not look good

I'm not impressed they went to the jersey thing, it's a pretty lame idea. What's wrong with the good ol fashioned polo/golf shirts? At least I don't have to wear that awful UB jersey.


Monday, July 24, 2006

Last weekend before WSOP!

My flight is Thursday and the plan is to play a lot live and hopefully meet a lot of people before I play my day 1 on Sunday. Today I did the usual Sunday thing and had little success. I played 8 tournaments, only cashing in the million on Stars for just over a grand. So I took a nice loss on those. Fortunately, I played a lot of 5/10 NL too and ran pretty well overall to wind up back in the vicinity of even on the day. I'm going to post some 5/10 NL hands and make this a short entry. I'll have my laptop in Vegas and I'm planning to post updates around once a day, or at least whenever I'm in not too tired from a marathon session at the tables or the bars. Anwyays, some 5/10 NL hands:

The Good: The villian is this hand was like 80/10 preflop and generally just as bad postflop. I would normally never get this much money in with TPTK but against this guy it's a monster (his preflop action doesn't actually mean anything other than that he doesn't have J4o this time). If you can't fold an overpair when you're pretty clearly beat you're going to lose a lot of money at this level.

The Bad: A horrendous river call. The fact that I made 2 pair is irrelevant since he has a set, a flush, or nothing, with nothing being unlikely. His flop minraise screams set, but folding seems so weak. Then I pick up the nut flush draw and call one more time. I was planning to turbomuck the river since even the unlikely bluffs just got there.

The I wanted to kill myself when I made this laydown: How can he not have aces though? This is probably terrible, but I dunno. How can he not have aces? Sigh.

Anyways, look for sick Vegas reports starting Friday.


Monday, July 17, 2006

Another crazy Sunday

It was a rollercoaster day for me. I played even higher this week than I have been with that extra 20K of padding in my bankroll. I started the day dropping a buy-in at 5/10 NL when I got stacked for the first time at that level. I couldn't push a guy off TPTK and my gutshot royal flush draw missed. Stuck a grand right off the bat, awesome. Throughout the course of the day I played the big WSOP sats on Stars and Full Tilt as well as various $100-200 freezeous and a couple $100 rebuys. I was in for $3500 in buy-ins by the end of it all and with only 3 tournaments left I had managed only one cash for $650 in the Party million. It was looking like a record day of the worst kind. However I got on a rush all of a sudden in the 3 remaining tournaments: the 100r and 2nd chance $370 WSOP satellite on Stars, and the $150+13 buy-in freezeout on Full Tilt. Unfortunately I flamed out on the bubble of the 100r when I ran TT into AA in a hand I feel I overplayed, and I turned a flush only to run into the nut flush in the satellite. However things went much better on Full Tilt as I made the final table and fought my way to heads up down 2:1 in chips. HU lasted all of one hand when my KQs lost the coinflip to his A8o. Fortunately I pulled in $7300 for 2nd to swing me from a big loss to a nice win on the day. It's 2 weeks until day one of the WSOP for me. Now that will be a really crazy Sunday.