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.