Monday, June 26, 2006

Big Downswing, Huge Recovery

It turned out that last Sunday was just the beginning of a nice downswing for me. By Saturday night I was down over 5 grand from where my bankroll had peaked 2 weeks earlier. I was running pretty brutal, my hands never holding, losing the key coinflips, running big hands into bigger hands etc.... The usual stuff. I was actually considering switching to 2/4 NL as my primary game for a while because I've been killing those games over a completely insignificant number of hands where I'm running good, and I want the deepstack practice for the main event anyways. I mean, when you're on a 5K downswing and you're biggest score ever (other than the WSOP seat) is only 4K it's a bit depressing.

6/24/2006 11:49:32 PM Watts if I"m still terrible after tomorrow then maybe I'll switch
6/24/2006 11:49:53 PM Brad good know you're going to win one tonight now right :P

The Pinhead (Brad) is a smart man, though he was slightly off on this one. I final tabled the $10 rebuy 55K guaranteed on Stars and after winning all-in with the worst hand like 4 times (I'd been saving them up for the last week or 2) I was chipleader 3 handed. Then I proceeded to get screwed over 3 times by the cards and I managed to bustout 3rd losing to two fairly weak players (one was sorta ok and the other was awful). I did cash for $5400 which basically took care of my donswing, but I was so close to that 14K first prize. Anyways, I went to bed after that at 7am and got up at 2 with a more positive outlook on tournament poker, ready to do some damage in the big Sunday tournaments.

With Stars running it's quarterly $1000 tournament this week, the lineup consisted of the usual $200 buy-ins on Dise and Party, the $200 2nd chance on Stars, and I also decided to play the $650 WSOP sat again at the last minute, along with a couple other smaller tourneys. I busted out of the WSOP sat early due to set over set but I was on fire from the beginning in the $200 buy-ins. I had a monster stack on Party before my AA lost to JJ AIPF when he flopped quads. This brought me back to average but I recovered from there and made another good run before eventually going cold and busting 138/5021 for $1305. On Stars I also had a huge stack at one point but I went pretty card dead there as well and just treaded water until the blinds caught up to me and I was forced to make a move, which ran into a real hand. I finished 61/954 for $420. However, Paradise has been my best server lately and it didn't let me down today.

I built a big stack there early as well before losing a big pot with a set against a flopped straight that I probably played too aggressively. The flop was all spades and I pushed the turn trying to price him off his flush draw. Oops. But I bounced back and won several huge pots, usually getting paid off by hands that should never have paid me off. The funniest was when I saw a free flop in the BB with 83 and it came J83 rainbow. I meant to bet 3600 into the 5000 chip pot but I accidentally bet 13600 instead. The limper on the button still managed to get broke with his JT. Soon enough I had a monster stack but stopped picking up hands and was treading water for a long time. I managed to win 2 key coinflips on the final table bubble to get back into contention. I survived down to 7 players before pushing 55 all-in as the shortstack. It was folded to the BB who instacalled.

"Please have AK, please have AK."

Sadly he flipped QQ and my day was done. 7th paid $5400 for the 2nd consecutive day, putting me up over 10K in a 24 hour period. Like I keep telling you guys, tournament poker is just crazy. I'm happy to be writing this on the happy side of variance again, it's amazing how quickly things change sometimes. I might post some of these hand histories on pokerxfactor if anyone is interested in looking at them. I respond well to peer pressure so let me know. Guess I'd better go do some real world stuff for a bit. Later on,


Friday, June 23, 2006

Day 1C

Just got my confirmation e-mail from Harrah's. The main event begins for me on Sunday, July 30. When I registered with Pokerstars this was my first choice for starting day because it gives me a couple days to get comfortable in Vegas (I arrive on the 27th), but if I had to wait for the very last day the anticipation would probably get to be too much. Also, it seems so soon but the WSOP starts next week. Best of luck to everyone heading down for the preliminary events.


Monday, June 19, 2006

Sometimes you just lose

So yesterday was Sunday, and in the online poker world Sunday means big tournaments. I played a lot of them again this week hoping for that elusive big score. Unfortunately, when you run bad in said tournaments you take a nice downswing.

Tournament/Total buy-in counting rebuys and add-ons if available/place/$$ won


Million Guaranteed $215 983/4299 $0
2nd Chance $215 373/749 $0
$100 Rebuy $309 90/255 $0 (No, I shouldn't be playing this high)
$100 PLO8 $109 36/144 $0
$10r 55K Guar. $71 886/1534 $0


Million Guaranteed $215 1376/4002 $0
$100 NL 40K Guar. $109 78/630 $0
$150 NL $162 349/360 $0
$100 NL $109 35/275 $0 (I lost my connection and blinded off %$^%$#)

$150K Guaranteed $200 72/610 $0 (donked out 2 from the money on a poorly timed resteal)
$30r 100K Guaranteed $210 100/1021 $120!!!! (SHIP IT)
$60 NL $60 35/146 $0

I did make like $110 playing 2/4 NL briefly so I managed to keep the damage under 2K at least. Stretches like these are pretty common playing tournaments, sometimes the cards just don't fall your way. It sucks when they happen while you're playing your biggest games for the week of course, but so it goes. This post shows how sick variance can be in the big tournaments. That's it for now,


Thursday, June 15, 2006

I'm not sure what I want to do with this blog...

The main reason I finally signed up and started this blog was so I'd have a place to post updates and write about my experience at the WSOP. So come late July/August there will be some sweet content here, but in the mean time I'm not sure how often I'll post and what I'll write about. I guess I'll just randomly post whatever seems interesting for a while and hopefully it will become clear what works best. Feel free to drop me any suggestions.


Monday, June 12, 2006

Running good, TLB, & WSOP

Hey all. You're undoubtedly on the edge of your seat after I left you hanging in my last post, wondering if our hero would ever win at poker again. The title obviously gives it away as a lot of you prboably knew anyways, so let's get back to the story. I finished my last course at the end of March and decided that to celebrate I would take a run at the weekly tournament leader board on Stars. The winner gets his picture on the main page of the Stars software for a week and a heads-up match against a Team Pokerstars player for $1000. I really had no reason to think I had any chance, but I didn't do too badly: TLB Report.

The rest of April went ok, but I kept falling just short of the big prize. In the span of about 3 weeks I busted with 2 tables left 5 times, all in tournaments with between 5K-15K for first. And then came May. It started with me taking my first shot at the $650 WSOP satellite on Sunday (through an $80 satellite). I was hanging in there on a fairly short stack and then pushed AKs into AA 8 from the bubble. However, I was so close I knew I could make it with a little more luck next time, and in general the level of competition was surprisingly poor. The structure of the tournament gives you the time you need to wait for a hand and take advantage of these players as well. Many times I'd flop a set and double through a surprisingly weak hand (for like 50-100 times the blind). Being so close again just motivated me further. I was determined to breakthrough soon, and in a big way.

It started with a $55 PL Holdem victory for $1450. Then I won 2 $20 180 man tourneys and a $55 limit holdem tournament, and there was a 3rd in a $100 NL Holdem tournament. But the biggest day of all was 2 Sundays after my original shot at the WSOP satellite. I was deep in the $215 500K Guaranteed tournament on Party, but my other table had me more excited. I had built a monster stack in the $650 Sunday WSOP satellite, and was more or less in position to coast to a main event seat. I busted 41st on Party for for $1400 or so, but I was hardly upset. There was an hour or 2 left in the tournament but it was all but guaranteed. I was going to Vegas to play in the WSOP. Ifinished the tournament off in grand style as chip leader after busting the bubble player. Since then I've continued to run well and put up some nice scores, bankroll still on the rise. Hopefully things will stay that way until, I dunno, at least a couple weeks into August.


Tuesday, June 06, 2006

My first real post!

So I wanted to write my first post as a little introduction to who I am and how I got to where I am in poker since if anyone ever reads this I imagine they wouldn't know a whole lot about me. Then I realized I can't actually remember all the way back to the beginning of my poker career. So my story is going to begin in summer 2005. I'd just finished my undergrad degree and was home for the summer. I'd been playing for about a year at this point and built up a decent online bankroll. I didn't need a lot of money so the plan was to just play poker over the summer and make a few bucks without having to work a "real" job. However despite putting in a good number of hours things really didn't go very well. I was getting killed at 5/10 shorthanded limit holdem and i couldn't figure out why. My tournament results were positive but not amazing. I ended up making only a very modest profit for the summer and was very disappointed.

So September comes and I head back to Waterloo to start my Masters. I decided to concentrate more on tournaments and give up my limit cash games for a bit. Finally in October I got hot. Pokerstars runs a $10 NL tournament at 7:45 ET every night that at the time attracted between 1400-1700 players on a usual night. In the span of a month, I finished first once and second twice in these huge fields, cashing almost 8K combined. Unfortunately I was back to playing more limit cash games between these scores and dusted off a couple grand running bad/being a donk, but I was finally running very good again overall and my confidence in my game was high. I continued to turn in decent results for the rest of the term and I felt like it was just a matter of time before I started making a run at some big money. But every rush has to end, and when it does there's usually a big downswing waiting.

The term ended and I went home for Christmas break. Between catching up with everyone I hadn't seen in a few months I was still fitting in a lot of poker, a lot of it late at night when I was tired. A combination of running bad, fatigue, and just being off my game (and not being nearly as good as I thought I was in the first place, you NEVER are) contributed to my biggest downswing yet, as I dusted off 4K in 2 weeks. I'd been through bad runs before though, and I told myself if i just kept working on my game eventually things would have to turn around. Eventually can be a long time though in poker, especially when it comes to MTT. Over the next 3 months I broke even. I was playing a lot and playing fairly well again, but I was getting killed in NL Holdem tournaments. My results in limit holdem tournaments and stud hi/lo tournaments over this period were the only thing keeping me even as I seemed to be winning one of these almost every week. Unfortunately these are small tournaments compared to the NL tournaments I was playing, in terms of number of players and the size of my buy-ins. I was still waiting on that big score that would instantly erase all my recent struggles. This is getting really long already so I'll save the save the rest for my next post!