Life Shouldn't Be A Fuckin' Grind

I will never be a poker pro, but my lifetime poker ledger is positive and I think that's something to be proud of.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

I Swear the Grand Victoria is Jinxed

This post will basically be one continuous bad beat story. I need to get it out of my system.

After my big win last weekend playing cash games, I decided to take a shot at the Grand Victoria Casino's 5/10 game. The night started out well enough, when I flopped top pair no kicker from the big blind and took down a small pot, and I was up $20 or so early. Then all hell broke loose. I started losing chips little by little, with several memorably sucky hands. First, I lost with AK to K2, then my QQ lost to a set of 4's and I ended up paying 2 big bets on the turn and one of the river to find out. The very next hand I took down a small pot with JJ, but the beats continued from then on. After that I got trapped into seeing a capped flop with 77, I cold'called a raise in late position, with several early limpers in I expected to get paid off handsomely if I flopped a set. Unfortunately, I got trapped into seeing a 4 or 5 way flop in a capped pot. I didn't hit my set and had to fold the flop, then the river was a 7 which would have given me the best hand, so that really sucked. The next big one came when I limped ATo in EP and ending up being faced with a raise and a re-raise, I of course mucked my hand, only for the flop to come AAx and the two opponents to end up showing down TT and JJ. ARGH!! I should have stopped then realizing it wasn't my night, but gets better.

I finally won a hand, when I ended up getting my last $25 in with 99 and it held up, another spot I could have stopped, but I decided to continue to take my beating. So, I get moved to a new table and eventually I find AK, I raise and few people call, the flop comes x4x, no help to me, but I bet out anyway and get a caller or two. Turn is an Ace, but it puts three to a flush on the board. So, I play it cautiously and end up calling down a guy who hits quad 4's on the river, so that one really blew. Then I got all-in again, this time with QT of hearts and managed to better than triple my stack, bringing myself up over $100 again. Yet another opportunity for me to get out while the getting was good, but of course I declined and began to bleed chips again. I was down to my last $46 when my final hand came up. I picked up AdKd in EP and raised, the quad four's guy cold-called behind me and I think we took the flop heads-up, but I'm not sure. The flop came 877 with 2 diamonds, I bet and he called, by now we were definitely the only two in the hand. The turn was an offsuit 3 (hearts I think) and I bet out again, this time my nemesis raised and I called. The river was a diamond and I bet my last $10 (I had $1 left), he raised and I called off my last $1 with the nut flush. Of course, he turned over 87o for a boat and that was the end of my night.

I made a few mistakes here and there, but you make mistakes every time you play poker, overall though I feel like I played pretty well tonight and was mostly a victim of the cards not falling my way. However, I won't be playing that game again for a very long time. I'm back down to my original $300 as a live play bankroll and I'm going to have to play lower stakes from now on. If I can parlay that $300 into $3000, maybe then I'll take another shot at the 5/10 game until then, it's back to the 3/6, and preferrably 2/4 tables for me, and here's hoping I don't go broke before I can actually get a comfortable bankroll together.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

A Return to the Winner's Circle

Yesterday I played 1200 hands, mostly of 1/2, with a little .5/1 and 2/4 mixed in and I posted about +$85 day. My BB/100 has dropped to about 1.85 at the 1/2 level, which is a little disconcerting over almost 10k hands, but I'm well over 4 BB/100 over 10k+ hands of .5/1 so I'm not sure whether the 1/2 game is harder or I'm getting worse hands. I suspect that it is harder and I suspect that 2/4 is even harder than that. I think .5/1 plays about like the lowest stake live game you find at a given casino or cardroom and that the levels get exponentially harder online. For instance, everyone says like 2/4 is the biggest joke ever, online I don't think this is necessarily the case. It's certainly not filled with the greatest talent in the world, but I think it's definitely harder than .5/1. In particular, one thing I've learned is that the fish are more aggressive and more of maniacs at 1/2 and 2/4 and the fish at .5/1 are all loose/passive. This means that at .5/1 they can simply be run over by constant value betting. At 1/2 and 2/4 you have to adjust a little bit, and I'm not sure I've ever made that adjustment. As a matter of fact, I'm not entirely sure what the adjustment is that I need to make. At any rate, I'm pretty happy with the fact that I ended my session last night up about 70 bucks on the 2/4 table that I played, bringing me to +.24 BB/100 over about 2.7k hands. I still have a long way to go in order to bring those numbers to respectability, but I think it's possible. I just have to stop trying to be too fancy and just try to play my game.

In other news, Party Poker is running several promotions this weekend that have me tempted to stay in all weekend and play on there. First, there's the Halloween promotion where you get tickets for every hand you get that's 3 of a kind or better and makes it to showdown (whether you win with it or not; i.e. if your flush loses to a bigger flush you still get a ticket), at the end of the promo the 5500 players with the most tickets get cash prizes. I racked up 31 tickets yesterday, and I really don't know how many I will need to get money, but I'm tempted to play as much as I can. The interesting thing about it is that I would have thought that it would have brought the fish out in droves looking for tickets and bonus money, but instead I think it's lead to more folding. I'm not sure, but things seem a little different. The other thing is that I probably could have at least 40-50 tickets had some of my 3 of a kind or better hands made it to a showdown, however I don't think I should be altering my game at all, so I'm not really that tore up over it. The other big promo this weekend is the race to the 3 billionth hand. Party Poker is giving away money to the people who are at the table when each of several milestone hands is dealt leading up to 3 billion. I think the count is at about 2.95 billion right now, so I should be trying to at least give myself a shot at that, though it is entirely luck. Finally, I may still have points to clear in my party points for cash promo. Party claims that I still need 193 points by 10/31 to get my 60 bucks, but I'm not getting credit for hardly any points for the 1200 hands I played yesterday, or so it seems, so maybe it's just lagging behind and I'll get credit for them tomorrow. I feel like yesterday should have cleared most of them, but we'll see...the 60 bucks is definitely something I want, but it won't kill me to not get it.

Finally, I'm thinking about taking a trip to the B&M tonight. My cash bankroll is over $500 now after last weekend and I'm thinking about going back to the 5/10 game at the closest casino (which is still about 40 minutes away). I played there twice in March and got my ass handed to me, but I hadn't read SSHE yet and I only had 200 bucks (which I didn't even put into play all at once), so I think I can do better now. I'm thinking I'll probably at least take a shot at it, if not this weekend then soon. I'll buy-in for 250 and see what happens. The game is as weak as the 3/6 game I played last weekend, because it's the lowest level they have at that casino, so I should be a solid favorite. I guess the only thing that really worries me is that I only have about 500 big bets for the game, so if I lose I'll be in fairly bad shape bankroll-wise. Then again, I only had about 50 big bets for 3/6 when I started playing that last weekend, so as long as I don't get hit by the variance gods I should be ok. We'll see I guess.

Party: $1124
FullTilt: $77
Total: $1200

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Good News and Bad News

Right now I'm in the middle of a horrendous session. I just can't seem to beat 2/4 and it's driving me nuts. Earlier today I played a little over 300 hands and won almost $200 at 2/4. Then, I decided to play more and I'm not stuck over $250 on the current sessionn and almost $60 on the day. I'm planning to play just a few more hands before calling it a night, then dropping back down to 1/2 and grinding it out the next time I play. I feel like I'm running poorly at 2/4, but I also don't think I'm playing well enough. I feel like I'm getting outplayed even by the bad players sometimes and it's incredibly frustrating. All of a sudden I find my bankroll back below $1000 and I feel like I keep getting set back. If I can just get to the point where I'm consistently beating 2/4, I'll be very happy. I see all these people on FCP who are so far ahead of me and I wonder if I'll ever be able to get there. I start to wonder if I'll ever be good enough to go pro, which is really what I want to do. I really am not happy with law school and I don't think I could ever be happy in a regular job, but my current inability to beat 2/4 really has me wondering if I'm ever going to be good enough to be a pro player. I also donked up a $10+1 Tourney on FullTilt and lost another $10 or so playing shortstack NL, so I'm down to only $85 in that account now. I also just realized that I think one of my big problems at 2/4 has been trying too hard. I think that I'm trying to get too fancy, especially in heads-up pots. I need to get back to playing ABC poker, the games should be soft enough for that, and if they're not I shouldn't be playing them anyway.

In better and less depressing news, I played a lot of poker last weekend that I haven't had the chance to blog about yet. I played 3/6 at a charity tournament in Dayton, OH and I won big. My cash bankroll is very small, but it's all I have so I'm playing with it. I started with a bankroll of $300 and grew it to $520 this weekend. On Saturday night, while my friends were playing in the Tourney I played 3 hours of 3/6 and ended up about $70, then on Sunday I bought into the 3/6 game for $140 at about 12:15, I got down early, picked up only 1 playable hand in about the first hour or so (an AK that didn't hit the flop and I was forced to fold), then I got sucked out on a few times, once memorably when my KQ lost to 84 off in a pot that was capped pre-flop (I raised originally and ended up getting trapped for the cap myself). I was down as much as $80 and maybe a little more, then I started to turn things around fought my way all the way back to be up as much as $200. I ended up cashing out at $316 after 9 hours of play and taking out $36 from the weekends winnings to pay for gas and food. but I still had a huge weekend and grew the bankroll by $220, which was very exciting. My two most memorable hands on Saturday were first, when I picked up QQ and ended up having to lay it down on the turn when there was a K and 3 hearts on the board (I didn't hold the Q of hearts), I never got to see the hand that "beat" me, but I feel like I made a pretty good read, I had raised pre-flop and the villain led the K-high flop, I raised, he called and then bet right out into me again on the turn...I deduced that I was beat and folded. The second big hand was a huge winner and one that I ended up being lucky to even be in. I was on the button and looked down to find 66, for some reason I missed some of the action in front me and stated call as I put out my $3, I then looked up to realize that a middle position player had actually raised it, had I known this before stating my call and puting out my 3 bucks I probably would have thrown away my sixes, fortunately, I was now trapped into the hand. I believe it ended up being 4 players to the flop of 456 rainbow, so now I had a set, but the the board was very co-ordinated and kind of scary, thus I raised after an earlier player bet and the SB who had check called 2 cold, I instantly put him on a straight draw. Then, the turn brought a 3 and he instantly reached for his chips, then seemed to think better of it and looked across the table at me as he checked. Alarm bells went off in my head and I was certain that he had hit his draw was looking to check-raise me. Well, I wasn't going to let him, so I checked behind, figuring that I had several outs to a boat and if I didn't hit I'd probably still have to make the crying call on the river because of the pot size, fortunately the river brought a 5 and shortly afterward all of my poker wet dreams were fulfilled. The SB bet and I raised, he then 3-bet, allowing me to 4-bet which he finally called and of course my boat beat his straight that he had hit on the turn. I got lucky in that hand, but I also felt like I played it almost perfectly. All in all, it was a very good weekend of poker.

Total Online bankroll :
about $1100

Friday, October 21, 2005

Disappointing and exhilarating both at the same time

I had a pretty good poker night tonight. I played $.5/$1 for a while and made about $20-$30, and I played in a $10+1 Satellite to the Million Dollar Guaranteed Tournament that is being played on Sat. I played a great tourney and only got sucked out on once early on. I consistently got my money in with the better hands, and got pretty lucky to hit a couple of very profitable sets; I even cracked Aces once when I raised pre-flop with TT, got called by one player and the flop came Txx, I check he bet and I raised all-in...he called with the Aces and the rest was history. Unfortunately, with about 5 people left I turned into a donkey. 7 places paid out, 3 for money and the top 4 got to go to the tourney on Sat. I got down the the final 5 with about the second most chips on the table and I started thinking that I may be better off just playing for the $220 that 5th paid than trying to get into the big tourney and probably end up not cashing. So, I made a couple of donkey plays and then I got disconnected. By the time I got back I was shortstacked and I pushed with AsJs only to have the small blind wake up with AK and knock me out. So, I got paid $220 for my efforts, which is the biggest cash prize I've won to date in a tourney, but I lost out an a real chance for a lot more than that. I think I may spend a little of that money on another qualifier or two if I get the chance tomorrow. Now that I came so close, I really want to play in this thing.

Current Bankroll:
Party: $1020
FullTilt: $118 (including that pesky satellite token I still haven't gotten the balls to use)
Total: $1138

Thursday, October 20, 2005

My Writing

I don't know if anyone even reads this thing anyway, but I've just noticed that I have a tendency to write small novels for posts. I hope people who want to read don't get frustrated. It's usually just stream of consciousness, what's on my mind that's poker-related and I think writing this thing really helps me crystalize stuff I'm thinking about hands I've played or poker in general.

An Impromtu Trip to the Casino

After going to the Dentist today and getting my teeth all drilled up, I decided to reward myself and try to break out of the pain by taking a trip to the casino to play poker. This was only my second foray into casino poker and the first since I read SSHE and started winning online, so I was pretty excited. I'm on break from school this week, so I figured I could play as late as 3 am (that's when the poker room closes) no problem. Unfortunately, this was not the case.

I got there at about 8, and there were only 3 tables going, 2/4, 4/8 and NL. I suck at NL cash games, so that wasn't an option, and 4/8 is a little higher than I'd like to be playing, so I put my name down for 2/4. After waiting at least half an hour and not moving up any higher on the list, I noticed that there was an interest list for 3/6, so I put my name in for that as well, and about 9 o'clock, we managed to get a 3/6 game going.

I started off well, picking up a Big Blind special 2 pair with K6, then another pot with when my AhTh turned a flush and yet another one when I limped on the button with QJ and flopped the nuts; I was also happy with the way I played these hands, getting in check/raises on two of them to make me more money. I was quickly up 70 bucks in the first half hour. I continued playing and picked up a couple pots here and there, but my stack steadily seemed to dwindle for the next couple of hours. The only major mistake I can think of was when I had Q8 in the BB and saw a flop of Q33 for free. The SB bet and I raised (like a donkey) and then it was re-raised behind me. I then proceeded to compound my mistake by calling the re-raise and not folding until the turn. The 3-bettor was playing his first hand at the table and ended up taking down the pot with the Krablar, a hand which he had limped with...unreal. That one cost me 9 bucks for sure. Other than that, I missed a lot of flops and missed some good draws...I hit a couple of flops to take down small pots also.

2 other memorable hands were, when UTG straddled (raised in the dark) and everyone folded to me and I found 66 in the SB...I 3-bet to isoloate against his random hand, then bet a flop off TT7 (I believe) and he folded Q8 face-up. Essentially, I won a coinflip, but I'm proud of the way I played the hand aggressively and took control with my sixes. I think I played it right and I'm glad I had the balls to do so. I also lost a decent sized pot with AsQs...I raised pre-flop and got called in a couple of places, the flop came 2 spades and no Ace or Queen. I bet and got one caller, the turn was a blank for my hand, I bet and got raised (I don't remember the boardvery well, but I think there was a J & a Tl), I was getting about 7-1 and felt obligated to call, even though I though I didn't like it. I had the nut flush draw and a gutshot to the nut straight. I figured my opponent probably already had a made hand, such as a straight or set. The river was a blank and I folded and the guy showed 9s8s which gave him a straight, which he had made on the turn. I think I played the hand ok. I maybe could have checked the turn and I think I still would have been getting odds to call, but wouldn't have had so much invested. As I think about it now, the opponent didn't like to fold, so I don't think my turn bet really had any fold equity and hence wasn't a good one. I think that tends to be a weakness of mine (I keep pounding away with bets, when that's not always the best option).

After the AQ hand, I lost a few more bets here and there, mostly calling with pairs and not hitting sets...I also had JJ and I don't think I played it very well, but I don't remember enough details to discuss it here. At any rate, I got ground down to where I was stuck a few bucks when I picked up Ad9d UTG and limped...I think 2 people called, then it got raised and we ended up going to the flop with at least 5 people for 2 small bets each. I think the flop came 9Tx with 2 spades and no diamonds. We checked it around to the raiser who bet and I called with a presumed five-outer I I know we were heads-up by the river, but I think there was a least one other caller on the flop. The turn was my gin card the Ah (I say my gin card b/c I realize now that not all of my outs were clean...the As for instance could have given someone a flush). I think I gaybet the turn and the original raiser was the only caller and we went heads-up to the river which was the 8c leaving no flush possibilities and me with a solid two-pair. I bet out and he raised...I was completely mystified with the raise and couldn't put him on a hand so I made the crying call and it turned out he had JT suited. A pretty poor raise pre-flop in my opinion, but I think he played it fine from there. I don't really think I did anything wrong either though, I probably could have gotten away from the hand by folding instead of limping pre-flop, but that's about it...maybe if I'd been really paying attention I might have seen the 8 as a scare card and check/called the river, but I really don't see how I could put him on JT since he raised pre-flop and I don't like bet/fold here either, mostly because I felt like I'd started to develop a reputation for being able to make laydowns and this guy seemed like a decent player who could be taking a shot at me...I just don't like the image bet/fold projects, and when I can't put my opponent on a hand that makes sense...I like calling for info if nothing else.

At any rate, I had gone from up $70 to down $30 in the space of about 2.5 hours and I'd been sitting at the table for almost three. I was tired and I hadn't eaten much of anything because of oging to the dentist, so I don't think I was really playing my best poker. I started thinking about leaving even though I had planned on playing til 3. I just didn't feel like I was at my sharpest. However, the game was good and I was stuck, so I decided to stick it out a while longer. A few hands later I was in the SB when the villain from the A9 hand raised from MP and got a couple callers, I thought to myself please let it be Aces one time and looked down to find KK (almost as good), I of course 3-bet and we took a flop 4-handed. The flop came AT6 and I went ahead and bet to try to define my hand. Unfortunately, everybody called and I felt like I had learned nothing, except that it was likely that one of the callers had an Ace, since we were in a raised and re-raised pot. The turn was another 6 and I checked, not even sure if I would call a bet, I was pretty much scared of the Ace and figured I was probably done with the hand. However, it got checked around and the river brought a 4. We checked it around again and as it turned out the best hand out against me was a KT from my old foe and I managed to rake a pot that should probably have been a lot bigger. When I take a step back, I think I definitely should have bet the river. No one showed any strength prior to that, except to call the flop bet and once the turn got checked around I probably should have assumed no one had the Ace. After that pot I was almost exactly even and I really started contemplating leaving. I realized that I hadn't gotten nearly as much value out of my Cowboys as I probably should have and I'd been playing for three hourse, and like I said, probably wasn't at my best. So, I played a few more hands, limping with 88 and having to fold when the flop came all overcards...then standing up a few hands later to cash out for the exact same amount I had bought in for.

How often does a session end exactly even? Not often. Overall, I can find a few spots where I think I may have left money on the table, but all things considered I did ok. I think the next time I play I should make sure I'm not tired and hungry though. These things can definitely effect ones play.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005


Wow. I'm stuck $60 bucks tonight. I tried playing shortstack NL in the $.5/$1 blind game on Party tonight, buying in for 20 big blinds and playing the Miller strategy, and I had absolutely no luck at all. I lost $60, not sure if I played completely optimally, but I don't think I played badly overall. Probably the most memorable hand was when I lost my last buy-in. I had about $20 in front of me and I picked up QT in the BB, EP limped, the SB completed and I checked. The flop came ATx and it was checked around. The turn was a Q and I bet out $1 into a $3 pot. A little small maybe, but I wanted callers, EP called and the SB folded. The river was a 7, and with no possible flushes or straights I was pretty sure I had the best hand. I put my opponent on some sort of Ace and bet out $2.50 into a pot of just under $5. EP raised me to $6 and I pushed with my 2 pair. He called and flipped over 77 and that was that. Easy come, easy go. I'm not sure if I donked the hand up or not, but it sure did suck.

I also played in the FullTilt 1 am $5.50 Tourney tonight. I've had good overall results in this tourney so I definitely consider it plus EV. While I was playing, I played shortstack NL on the $.50 blind table with $10 and finished that up about $8, so my buy-in ended up being free. Anyhow, I played a very good tourney, with virtually no cards. But I stole some and was very shortstacked with about 50 players left, when I managed to get my JJ all-in against pockets 3s. That hand held up and I was back in the running. I stole a few times and had a decent stack going with about 30 left (the top 27 paid, but I wasn't really all that worried about the 7 bucks that 27th place gets), I picked up AK, with 300/600 blinds and 75 ante (I believe) I had a little less than 6k I believe and raised to 1800, the guy to my immediate right went all-in for 3900 or so and it came back around to me...I was pot committed and had to call. He flipped over AQ of hearts and I was very happy about getting my money in with the best hand. Unfortunately, he turned a Queen and I didn't improve and was down 1k in chips. The very next hand I picked up A7 and being 1 or 2 seats from being in the BB and having less than enough to cover both blinds if it folded around, I had push. I got called by AJ and couldn't catch a 7, and that was that, I was out 30th. It's kinda depressing because I woulda had somewhere around 12k if I won that hand where I was a big favorite and I really feel like I was playing a great tourney and coulda made a run, but that's poker I guess. I do have to say that it's very frustrating to bust out of Tourneys with the best hand, however I'd much rather do that than get my money in with a bad to bust out. All you can do in poker is getting your money in with the best of it and I did that in the tourney tonight.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Several Posts in One

I haven't updated this thing in a while, so this is going to be several topics rolled into one post.

  • I hate SnG's. I've played in several FullTilt SnG's lately and I've been having a very hard time cashing. I'm running really bad in coinflips right now and it seems that I end up in them a lot. My SnG's lately have consisted of me donking off some chips early because I raised pre-flop with something marginal (since I haven't been really catching any cards either), then continuing when the flop misses me and get called down by some weak shit that beats me. Then, I'm shortstacked, I push with a pair or two broadway cards and lose the coinflip. Or there's the SnG the other day, when I pushed with 77, got called by 66 and lost, then proceeded to make a comeback from about 100 chips down the the final four, only to finish 4th when I couldn't find any hands and eventually busted on a coinflip. So, it's been really frustrating for me, and they haven't even been fun, so I may try to keep from playing SnG's for a while.
  • I've also been having a really hard time in the 2/4 game on Party. I'm not sure if I'm running bad, playing bad/scared or some combination of both. Oddly, my VP$IP is lower than at any other level, but my W$atSD is higher than any other level. I'm winning 60% of showdowns. Yet, it seems like I'm missing a lot of draws and getting stuff like sets outdrawn alot. Yesterday, after a rollercoaster 560 hand session, I quit up about 15 bucks, but I'm still down about $40 after 2k hands (-.50 BB/100). This has been incredibly frustrating for me, because I'm pretty sure the game is softer (at least pre-flop) than 1/2. It's possible that I'm getting outplayed after the flop, or that I'm taking some of my hands too far unprofitably, but I don't think that's the only cause. I would say that my low VP$IP is probably related to me not getting as many playable hands and I'm not winning money when I saw the flop often enough. Yesterday, I think I lost with AA more often than I won with it. At any rate, I think I'm going to go back to 2/4, instead of dropping down, after I've re-evaluated my game and figgured out where I am. I have 200BB in my roll and I really think that's enough to make this jump (though I will probably wait for at least 200 to make the next one).
  • I picked up Ed Miller's Getting Started in Hold'em, and I think it's a pretty good book so far. It's a little too beginner oriented for me in some places, but I'm actually learning some stuff from it. I tested out the shortstack NL strategy a little bit today and made about $1, though I did make one semi-donkified play with an AJ from the SB, that I'm not sure was advisable. I raised several limpers and got one call. The flop came K33 rainbow and I pushed and got called by KT. Not sure if that was right or not, but I'd say that the strategy seems profitable so far and I'll probably give it some more testing. I also intend to read the other stuff in that book, about bigger stack NL and Tourneys, as well as the limit section, which is pretty good as well from what I've read of it so far. I also want to read Phil Gordon's Little Green Book on NL Hold'em, which I bought recently, but I'm not sure how soon I'll be able to get to it.
  • This week is Fall Break, which would probably normally mean a lot of online poker. However, since I'm in this downswing or whatever it is playing 2/4 and I've been in a SnG and NL funk of late as well, I think I'm going to try to spend as much time as I can this week studying poker. I'm about halfway through Theory of Poker and I'll probably keep reading that at the same pace I'm on (a few pages a day, usually before bed). However, I plan to finish all of Getting Started in Hold'em, which I've so far skipped around in alot. I'm also going to reread SSHE, virtually cover to cover. Then, I'll probably look at Jen Harman's Limit section in SS2 and/or Hold'em for Advanced Players, both of which I got through my last PSO promotion. So, I've got alot of reading to do as I try to study the game a little bit and hope to plug any leaks that have developed in my game.
  • I closed out my Bodog account the other day, after a rough session on 2/4 and put the money on Party. I decided that sports betting is -EV, so I'm not gonna do it anymore. I'll probably bet on the Super Bowl and maybe a couple of other major events and that's about it. Other than that, I have no reason to bleed myself dry by betting on random NFL games. I also hate Bodog's poker room interface, even though the play there is really bad...add in the fact that there just aren't enough limit games going and I'm tired of SnG's, especially the poorly structured ones there and I don't need that site. It served it's purpose, netting me about 50 bucks and two free books and now I'm done. I may go back at some point if they get more games and/or to bet on a major event like the Super Bowl, but for the most part I'm done.
  • Even though I've determined to definitely take the week off of 2/4, I may play some $.5/$1, since I've still got a little more than 1/3 of my points left to earn for the free 60 bucks on Party and while it's not a whole lot, it's still free money, which I would really like to earn. I still have two weeks to earn it though and I think what I have left could probably be done in one really long weekend of play if need be. We'll see how it goes, but I'll probably end up playing a little $.50/$1 or Smash strategy or shortstack NL to earn some more points.
  • Finally, I should be getting some money soon that I can play live with and I'm really looking forward to going to the Casino to do that. There's a casino about an hour away from me that has just about every limit, going as low as 2/4. The only time I've played at a casino in the past, it was a 5/10 game and I hadn't read SSHE yet, and really didn't know what I was doing. However, I don't think I played all that badly. I only had 200 bucks, and 20BB is nothing. I lose that much in a session all the time online, and I'm a consistent winner overall, so I'm pretty sure that I can beat a live game, with my improved play and better bankroll management. While I'm only going to have about $300 this time, I'll be playing 2/4 and even though 75BB isn't really enough, it would take me an incredibly long time to save up $1200 to play live with, and if you count it with my online money as part of an overall bankroll I would have enough. Basically, I just have to hope I hit a good run early, instead of a bad one and I should be able to turn that $300 into a lot more.
Current Bankroll:
Party: $830.88
FullTilt: $101.82
Total: $932.70

Monday, October 10, 2005

Wow...that game was soft

Tonight I took a shot at 2/4 and was absolutely amazed by how soft the game is. Party's 1/2 is a total rock garden in comparison. Hell, I almost think the 2/4 is softer than $.5/$1. Unfortunately, it wasn't a good session for me and I lost a little over 20 BB at it. I also got stuck a decent amount playing 1/2 and a plus $20 session on the FCP Strat table was the only good part of my night. I hit a lot of hands and feel like I played fairly decently. I'm not sure whether I'm going to play 2/4 again or whether I'm going to try to grind the bankroll back up before I try again. The hard thing for me is that I feel like the 2/4 is actually more beatable than 1/2. I just had a table where I couldn't hit a damn thing and lost like $140. I'm not sure...I've got about $100 in Neteller that I can add to my Party roll, which will give me $800 again, so I'll have 200 BB. I'm just not sure I'm comfortable trying it, mostly b/c I don't want to have to move back down again. I absolutely fucking HATE, Party 1/2 and I don't want to play it anymore. 2/4 seems like an infinitely better game, I'm just not sure that I should go ahead at it with only a 200BB roll. I guess I'll have to analyze my session and make a decision.

Bankroll: approx. $940

Sunday, October 09, 2005

The Fall of the Party Network

Well, today will likely be a day long remembered in the online poker community. PartyPoker cut the cord on it's skins, Empire, Eurobet, etc., that people were using to get rakeback. So, Party now has the fish and all the sharks left high and dry playing each other on the skins. There is much weeping and gnashing of teeth in online forums today. It actually doesn't affect me all that much, because I was never able to successfully get a rakeback deal. Due mostly to my own stupidity. Party also set up blackjack and a sidebet feature on their site. So, now I have the temptation of playing blackjack anytime I want. This is actually kinda scary because it could potentially really hurt my bankroll. So, now I have to decide whether it's worth it to me to look for another site where I can get good games and maybe a rakeback deal with no blackjack to contend with. Other than the blackjack though, I'm not really that worried about the PartyPoker changes. In fact, I think that it may benefit least in the short term, because I think the majority of the people playing on the skins were sharks and most of the fish were still playing on Party, so I should still have a goodly number of fish available to me.

In other news, things have been very swingy for me at 1/2 lately and after a pretty decent session tonight I'm at about 2.15BB/100 after about 8k hands. I've read on FCP that 1/2 is actually one of the worst games on Party, so I'll probably be moving up as soon as I have 200 BB for 2/4 and I've logged 10k hands at 1/2. I should have the $800 very soon too. I've got $50 sitting in Neteller that I took out of Bodog and I'm leaving $50 in there to bet on sports when I want to. I raided $50 to buy a couple of books and DVDs, the books will be on NL Hold'em, so hopefully that will help my game a lot. I also have a promotion from Party where I have to earn about 1200 Party points by 10/31 and I'll get 60 free dollars. After tonight's session I'm about a quarter of the way there I think, so hopefully I should be able to clear that. Finally, I've finished clearing my FullTilt bonus and I've got a little over $140 in there right now, after grinding some limit games and cashing in the FCP Ghost Town O on Thursday (the only NL I've played during my current hiatus).

All in all, I feel like I'm in pretty good shape poker-wise right now. The bankroll isn't quite as high as I would like it to be, but it's in decent shape especially since I raided it this week. I'm reading Theory of Poker right now and I feel like I'm really getting a lot out of it. I've got Ed Miller's Getting Started in Hold'em and Phil Gordon's Little Green Book on the way right now, and I really expect that to help out my NL game. I've also ordered Hold'em for Advanced Players and Super System 2, through PSO with the points from my Bodog promotion, so I should have plenty of poker reading over the next few months. I should also be getting 300 extra dollars in the next few days, from a short term real estate loan I did with a friend. I intend to make that money my live bankroll and take it to the casino. Preferrably I will find a 3/6 or 2/4 game, but if I have to I will take it all to the 5/10 game and hope that I can hit a rush early and not lose my 30 big bets.

Current Bankroll Numbers:
FullTilt (including Sat. token): $168.27
Party (including $ in neteller): $800 approx.
Total: $970

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

I Suck at NLHE

I've lost a lot of confidence in my NLHE and SnG game over the past few days. Not only am I losing a lot lately, which is due partially to bad beats, I'm finding myself feeling lost and making really bad decisions a lot. I played a PL Tourney on FullTilt tonight and I felt like I was constantly making laydowns. I did make one good laydown, when I raised the Pot after there were several limpers and I picked up QQ in late position. The flop came Axx and I think there were three of us in there. I folded to a raise and an all-in, and the raiser turned over AQ, so I made the correct play there. I actually don't remember the hand I went out on, but I don't feel like I made all that bad of a play...I think I just got outdrawn. I played several SnGs and lost a lot, and constantly felt like I was making bad decisions. I'm finally starting to realize that I'm not nearly as good at NLHE as I thought I was and it has ceased to be fun for me. So, I'm gonna take a two week break from playing it at all. On FCP advice I'm gonna pick up Ed Miller's Getting Started in Hold'em, and read up on NL. I might also look over HOH again, though I just read it a few weeks ago, so I'm not sure how much it will have to contribute. But, the main thought is that I'm taking a break from NL for a little while to recharge my batteries and try to reassess my game a little bit.

Too lazy to do the figures right now, but I only played on FT today and I'm down to something like $93 + my sat. token there, so I'd guess the total is around $1050 or so.

Monday, October 03, 2005

A weekend of bad beats

Last night I played in a home game in Lexington, and we played two NL SnG's. In the first one, I played pretty well...caught a few cards and got to heads-up with a pretty sizable chip lead. Then, I made one big mistake, when I just said all-in after it was checked to me on a flop that I completely whiffed. It turns out my opponent was slowplaying two pair, and all of a sudden I was the shortstack. However, the blinds were still decent and I still had a big enough stack to grind my way back to slightly ahead, when I decided to let him off the hook with a 55-45 split of the prize money. I knew I was better than the guy and definitely could and should have beaten him, but I went for the split because other people wanted to play another game. In the second game I got screwed hard when I had pocket Jacks and saw a flop of Txx with two spades three-handed. The first guy moved all-in, and I decided to call and just went all-in over the top because the guy behind me was a calling station and I figured my hand was good. Well, it was good...when the first guy turned over 79 for a stone-cold bluff and the other guy had KT. Unfortunately villain #1 caught a running 86 for a straight and I went from a 70% favorite to be the chipleader with only 2 other weak players left, to everyone being left and me with a fairly short stack. Unfortunately, I couldn't get anything going from there and ending up busting out when my A3 went down to a KT all-in pre-flop. Of course I was the favorite there, but as I would soon find, that was the story of my night and weekend in poker.

I got home really late and played a little $.5/$1 on Bodog and I lost $30 rather quickly. The memorable hands were AA going down to 57 offsuit on the river, QQ losing to AA in a set-over-set situation, KT flopping broadway and losing to a set off jacks that filled up when the board paired; then finally the last of my money got in when my 44 flopped a full house on a flop of 4JJ, of course the turn and the river were both sixes making the final board 4JJ66 and giving the villain a better full house with his AJ. I managed to get a chunk of it back today and clear the rest of my bonus, but I also busted out of several Bodog SnGs in spectacular fashion, one memorable one when I had a pretty good stack and got all-in against a shorter stack with AA vs. AQ and lost to a runner runner straight. I was never the same in that SnG again. I also lost a decent chunk of money on FullTilt, with 2 cashes in 4 $10 SnGs, but they were both 3rds, then I lost some money playing $.5/$1 on FT when I flopped a set of 7s and lost to a flopped two pair that filled on the turn. Oh yeah, and I played a little shortstack NL on FT buying into a $.25/$.50 game with $10 and getting it up over $20 when my AdJd flopped a royal flush and the villain flopped a smaller flush, however on the very next hand MP min-raised and I found JJ on the button. I donkishly pushed all $25 I had into the pot and he called with AA, I flopped a Jack, but he rivered an Ace to beat me. All in all, it's been a pretty tough weekend poker-wise, I just keep wondering what I'm gonna lose to next.

I also borrowed Theory of Poker from a friend and I've started reading it, so hopefully that will improve my game. I have to admit to being rather discouraged with my SnG and NL game in general right now. I think most of it stems from not being patient enough overall, but I'm starting to wonder if I just suck at NL Hold'em for some reason. I'm sure I don't, but I'm hoping that Theory of Poker can help me get my game back on track. Most of all though, I think I just need to start being more patient when I play NL. I should probably also swear off online NL cash games, because even though they have to potential to add a lot to my bankroll, I haven't won in a while and I think a lot of it is due to the fact that I get impatient and maybe don't have all that good of an idea of how to properly play NL cash games. I dunno though, I don't think the strategy should be all that different from tournament strategy. I think patience is probably the biggest factor, and that I try to hard to go for the big score and double up, instead of grinding it out and winning my money little by little. For some reason, I just don't seem to have the patience to play it properly.

Bodog: $151
FullTilt: $132 + $26
Party: $780
Total: $1089

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Bankroll over $1k for the first time ever

I earned another 60 Bodog points tonight, and killed the Party $1/$2 for almost 100 bucks. So, I'm now back up over 3 BB/100 after about 5.7k hands. I think my downswing may be over, though I'd assume I'll have another one at some point. Since 1/2 is more aggressive than $.5/$1 I think it's swingier, meaning that you win and lose more at a time big bet wise. I also upped my Bodog account by a few more bucks, despite losing like 4 of the 5 SnGs I entered. I played alot of $.5/$1 on there though and probably made a few bucks, but not much. I finally have a total bankroll of over $1k and I'm pretty happy about that. It's as high as it's ever been and I'm just a couple more good sessions away from clearing the Bodog bonus and being able to order my next two books.

Bankroll Figures -
Party: $780.49
FullTilt: $152.17 + $26 satellite token I haven't used yet
Bodog: $162.50
Total: $1121.16