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.

Saturday, December 31, 2005

Second Place is the First Loser

Well, I finally ended my crummy streak in MTTs tonight and yet I still feel sick. Why is this you ask? Probably because I finished 2nd and I think I should have won. I had $15 left on FullTilt and after donking around a little bit, I bought into the 1 AM $5.50 with almost the last of my money (I probably had about a buck or two left). I played a great tourney the whole way and luck was essentially on my side until the very end.

I made one semi-mistake in the middle stages when I had about 11k with about 60 players left. I raised in EP with AhKh and the BB re-raised, I pushed and he had me covered by just a little and called with AdAs. The flop brought 2 hearts and the turn was another and I sucked out on AA and never really looked back. I felt bad enough about it, that I told him I'd refund his buy-in if I final-tabled, which I did. But really, I don't think I played the hand that badly. I probably should have just called pre-flop, but it's not like I was gonna fold on the flop with a 4-flush and 2 overs. So in retrospect, I don't think I could have done much differently.

From there, I played very good, solid poker to reach the final table. I won 2 key coinflips with 99 and another at the final table when it was 3-handed, so I guess that was my lucky hand for the tourney. I made one really sick call at the final table too, that I think I should write about. I'm not sure whether it was donkified or really good, but I would tend towards good. With 7 players left and the blinds at 2500/5k with a 600 ante, I had 100k and the chipleader with like 130k was directly to my right. He limped UTG and I made it 20k with QhJh, a guy to my right called the raise and had about 77k left behind and the chipleader called the raise as well, putting 71k in the pot preflop. The flop came J3K and it got checked around. I didn't like the 2 callers and the fact that I only had middle pair, so I checked after the chipleader did and the guy behind me checked as well. I decided that they wouldn't be checking Kings on the flop and that I was going to bet a blank turn, well, the turn was another 3 and the chipleader bet the pot for about 5k less than I had in my stack. For some reason I got the action a little wrong and instead of pushing for my last 5k as well, I just called, I was of course pot committed now and would have to put my last 5k in on the river anyway. Well, the guy behind me called as well, leaving himself only about 6k, not really sure what he was thinking. The river was a complete blank, I think it was a 5 or something but I'm not sure. The chipleader bet 5k into me and had like 5200 so I just went all-in. The other guy folded and the chipleader called and mucked 22, and I took down a pot of 296k. Sickest call I've ever made and I think it was probably the right one.

After that I cruised to heads-up going in with a chiplead of about 340k to 160k. I made a very costly mistake heads-up though I raised on the button with Qc8c and he called, the flop was Txx with 2 clubs and he bet the minimum (which he'd been doing a lot of), I raised it 4 times his bet and he called. The turn was a blank (2s I think) and he bet the minimum again, and I pushed like a donkey. He had JT and I didn't improve on the river and he took a huge chiplead. In hindsight, after he called my raise on the flop and donkbet the turn I should have just called hoping to catch my flush on the river or fold if I missed. It was a mis-step and a fairly costly one since the tourney ended a few hands later when he min-raised on the button and I pushed with QTo and he called with 55 and won the race. That push may have been a mistake as well, as I still had 120k and the blinds were only 4k/8k. Then again, I thought he might fold and I don't know that it was all that smart of him to risk doubling me up and letting me back in it on what was likely a coinflip at best.

I think poor heads-up play cost me about $160, as 2nd cashed for $280 or so, $160 less than first. But, you live and learned and I learned that I definitely need to work on my HU deepstack NL game. I think that's what was killing me when I was playing the $20+2 SnGs on FTP a while back as well. I kept finishing 2nd and now I know why. I am happy that I'm back off the tourney schnide and I once again have confidence that I'm capable of playing well and going deep. I just need to remember that there is a ton of luck to deal with.

Incidentally, I played 2 tourneys on UB tonight as well, busting early in both. One on a donkey move and one when I raised pre-flop with QQ, got two callers and pushed all-in for a ridiculous amount on a flop of 86x with 2 spades I think. I got called by A7o and he hit an Ace on the river to break me. It was probably the most ridiculous MTT call I've seen, since the size of the pot in proportion to my push was very small and he had a nothing hand. He may have had a gutshot to go along with the Ace (I don't remember for sure) but it was still incredibly silly. So, I probably could have done well in that one also, but that's the breaks.

Finally tonight, since I haven't blogged in a while, I'll report that I'm doing pretty well in the 2/4 this week as well. I've probably played 2-3k hands and made about $2-$300. I'm at 2.08 BB/100 over about 13.5k hands if I recall correctly. I think I'll probably move up after I've completed 20k hands of 2/4 as long as my winrate is 2 BB/100 for those 20k. I should start playing 6-max at some point, and I'll probably do that as soon as I have a job and feel like I can afford to move back down to 1/2. Right now I need to be playing as high as I can to maximize my earn rate in case I have to take some out to help cover bills for a couple weeks. I also need to finish HPFAP and read the SS2 limit section. I plan to get into that very soon as well. For tonight though, I think I may go grab some breakfast, then hit the hay for a few hours. Happy New Year to any and all readers I may have.

Current Bankroll -

About $2900

Sunday, December 18, 2005

He called me with King high !!

Friday night I played a home game with my old group of friends from Student Government in colllege. It was great to see some people I hadn't seen in a while. I played well and picked up some hands early and got off to a really good starting, doubling my stack in about the first 20 minutes or so. I then proceeded to basically hang on for the rest of the game. There were 6 who started and I had a little over 1/3 of the chips in play by the time there were 4 left. I had one interesting hand where I raised with QsTs and they guy on my left (the only player at the table I was afraid) went all-in. I counted it up and I was getting something in the neighborhood of 1.5-1 to call and it wasn't going to put a huge dent in my stack if I lost. He'd gotten me to fold a pair of 6's earlier when he went all-in and he showed me A3s that time, so I knew his range was pretty wide and I figured I probably wasn't in terrible shape with QTs so I called. He flipped over 8's and we were off the races. I picked up a Q on the flop eliminated him, so I felt pretty good about that hand. I'm not sure it was a great call, but it turned out to be the right one. The thing is, this guy beats me most of the time we play and his biggest strength is that he's a bully at the table. I simply felt like I couldn't let him bully me.

I eliminated the other player and went heads-up with a pretty large chiplead, when I proceeded to stub my toe a little. I can't remember all the details, but I pushed all-in with QT on a flop of J9x and my opponent called off 11k chips with KT. The turn and river were blanks and he beat me with K-high. I felt like his call was completely donkish and utterly inexplicable seeing as how he's normally a decent player. I had him covered, but that crippled me and had me steaming for about 15 minutes. I managed to claw my way back to even, mostly thanks to a pretty bad call when I was pretty shortstacked and pushed all-in with 97 on a board of J9x. He called with A-high and doubled me up, which I felt was again inexplicable. At that point I'd regained a small chiplead and I raised pre-flop with AK, he re-raised and I immediately pushed. He called with KT and I was a huge favorite to win. To add suspense the first card off on the flop was a ten, but I hit an Ace on the turn and it was all over.

Overall I felt like I played pretty well and padded my bankroll a little bit, so I was happy with my performance. The only other poker I've played this weekend was a $10 SnG on UB which I finished 2nd in. I think I made a mistake heads-up though, so I'm pretty sure my heads-up game could use work. I also played a little tonight, with a $5 SnG on FullTilt which I busted out of when I got all-in with QQ against 44 and my opponent hit a 4 on the river (surprise, surprise). I did make my money back and a little more in like 10 hands on a .25/.50 table though. I swear that .25/.50 is the softest limit game I've ever seen. Finally, I tried out Royal Hold'em on UB tonight. I think that game is rather retarded and I'm pretty sure I'm not going to play it anymore. I donked off a couple bucks, but not much.

Hopefully next post I'll have more 2/4 success to write about.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Awesome Session

I played about an hour and 45 mins. of 2/4 tonight when I got home. I was tired, so it was all I could really handle. I caught some big hands on some juicy tables. One hand I flopped 4 Jacks and ending up winning a pot of more than $70 against only 2 opponents. Then, I decided I was going to quit around 11:45 and while I was taking my free hands after deciding not to post anymore I caught a nice little rush and instead of ending the session +$140, I ended it +$245. Two-hundred forty five fucking dollars in less than 2 hours and only 290 hands. It was totally awesome. I feel very good about my 2/4 game right now. I've finally reached 2 BB/100, I'm actually at 2.3 BB/100 over about 9700 hands or so. I have the money to start playing 3/6, but I'm not sure if I'm going to play it yet. I'm currently trying to decide whether I want to take the time and effort to try to get good at 6-max. I don't enjoy that game, I don't really like the pace of it very well. I don't like the fact that I'm constantly in marginal situations. People say it's crucial to higher level play though, so I dunno, maybe I will get into it at some point.

For now though I think I might play 2/4 for a while longer and maybe incorporate in a little 3/6 full-ring and see how that goes. I can't say I have complete confidence in my winrate, since most of it is due to a huge rush over less than 4k hands, with my first 6k being a slight loss. I kinda feel like I need another 10k or so at 2/4 to find out where I really am. That could take a while, but it might be worth it in the long run. It would also give me the opportunity to take out some money and spend it on myself. I'm thinking about getting myself a video game system so that I can have another hobby. I also think I'm going to buy some books and try to get back into reading, which I used to do a lot of and kind of stopped doing for pleasure while I was in law school. Well, now that I've given up the law school thing maybe it's time to get back into reading. We'll see how it goes though. For now I'm just happy about a really good session tonight.

Bankroll - about $2650

Monday, December 12, 2005

Live Poker Rules

I played at the casino on Friday and did pretty well. I made about $200 playing 3/6, then gave about $80 of it back playing 2/4, when I played a little too loose and didn't hit any flushes or str8's, and got two sets cracked by straights.

Yesterday, I leaked most of my winnings off on strippers and booze for my friends' birthday. At some point though I'm going to have to start building my cash bankroll though. I also got a reload bonus offer from Party and after playing over 1200 hands today I've cleared all but 15 raked hands of my $100 bonus, so I can pretty much count that as part of my roll now. I made a little bit mostly playing 1/2 to clear the bonus, I'm up about $45 today in cash and of course, with the bonus almost totally cleared I've also made almost another $100.

In other news, I've decided to withdraw from law school. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with my life at this point, but I have some ideas in mind. This is a poker blog though so I'm not going to get into a ton of depth here. I have to get a job soon though, unfortunately I can't support myself playing poker....yet. I do hope to be able to someday though.

Finally for tonight, here's a hand I posted on FCP from my session on Friday. I thought it was an interesting hand. My blog won't let me copy/paste it in, so here's the link to the thread.


About $2450

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

A New Resolution...

I had another solid night playing 2/4 tonight, ending the night up about $75 in a little over 300 hands. I two-tabled and played a SnG at the same time, so I'm starting to regain my confidence enough to multi-table. I can't say that I played perfectly or as well as I'd like to. In fact, I'm sure I misplayed some hands, but that happens every time you play poker and I posted a few, so hopefully I can learn from my mistakes.

Now, the bad news. I had a horrendous night tonight on FullTilt. After being up to a little over $900 on that site after I won that tournament and being as high as $800+ even after I withdrew $175 for Christmas presents I was down to $590 or so at the start of the night and it just got worse and worse. I lost about $20 playing SnG's. Three I didn't cash in due to getting my money in with the best and getting drawn out on. One I won and one 2-table one I doubled up early, then donked off half my stack with AQ and made it to the 2nd table shortstacked and eventually pushed and lost. It wasn't a memorable beat, so I'll assume it wasn't too horrible, but I'd guess I lost on the river. Anyway, later I decided to play NL cash games. I played a .5/1 table with $20 playing the shortstack strategy and ended up ending my session up about $4. Then, on the other table I was playing full buy-in .25/.50 and I lost two buyins.

I was up to about $60 when I raise UTG with JJ got called in like 2 places, then one of the blinds went all-in for about $7 total and I pushed in to isolate. Unfortunately both of the other players called me (luckily they had shorter stacks) one had 99, the other QQ and the broke player had AJ...well, then just to tease me, the deck decided to give me the case J on the flop, then river a third Q so that I could lose half my stack in spectacular fashion. Then, a couple of hands later I flopped two pair with Qs9s on a flop of AQ9 all clubs, I pushed in like a dumbass after a raise and a re-raise and of course the re-raiser called me with a flush. So, that was the first $50 down the drain.

Then the very next hand after I rebought, I got 8s9s in the big blind and called a raise to $2 by the small blind, one other player called and we saw a flop of QsJc4s, I bet a little less than half the pot and both players called. Then, the turn was the Tc and I'd made the 2nd nut straight and had a flush re-draw just in case I was beat. I bet out $6 really hoping to get my whole stack in, the MP players just called, but the SB re-raised me to $15 and I insta-raised all-in. Of course he called with AK, I missed my flush on the river and that was another $50 down the drain.

So, I've decided to 1) stop playing cash game NL completely for awhile. I may not actually suck at it, but it sure seems that way. It just doesn't seem to be my game. I win a lot of small pots, but always seem to get my ass kicked in big pots. Then again, maybe the FullTilt poker gods just hate me, I do seem to get sucked out on a lot. At any rate, I'm not gonna play NL cash anymore, I'm just bleeding off money. 2) I'm on a bad run in tourneys lately, so I'm gonna take some time off from playing those on FT. 3) I'm not really running very well in SnG's either, so I've withdrawn $200 from my account and I've got 25 buy-ins for $10+1 SnG's left on the site. If I play on FT I will play $10+1's and I won't play anything else on that site until I've played 100 $10+1's.

I'm not sure whether I'm going to deposit the $200 on another site, or just leave it in Neteller for awhile. I really haven't decided yet. I should probably bonus-whore a little with it. I'm also toying with the idea of withdrawing some money from Party in the hopes that they'll offer me a reload bonus. In fact, I think I'll go ahead and do that, though I'm a little leery of letting money sit in Neteller for any extended period of time, I think I trust my money to them even less than I trust it to the poker sites, which is probably just silly...I dunno.

About $2260

Monday, December 05, 2005


Does anyone read this thing? Not like it's going to change whether or how much I write. I mostly write it for myself, so that I can keep a record of stuff that goes on in poker for me and my bankroll on a semi-regular basis, but I'd be interested to know if I have any regular readers. So, if you read my blog on any kind of a regular basis please feel free to comment and also feel free to let me know if you'd like me to do anything, like write a weekly strategy piece or something like that.

Some Days I Just Hate Poker

I played a few tournaments today and couldn't really get anything going. In the afternoon I tried one more time to qualify for the FullTilt 200k, but I finished 2nd in the SnG satellite, which was impressive in and of itself since I only had about 1200 chips going into the 3-handed play, but I picked my spots and kept moving all-in til I'd built my chips to about 2k, then I got AA and pushed and got called by A8, from there I managed to reach heads-up play, but at a 2-1 chip disadvantage. I also played a $20+2 at the same time and finished 2nd, I'm still having a hard time trying to get first in FullTilt SnG's and it's getting pretty frustrating.

Anyway, I also played several tourneys tonight. I played a $10+1 on FullTilt and built up to about 4k, then proceeded to essentially donk it all off, mostly by running into better hands. Then I played in the 8 o'clock 9k guarantee and I played great for about the first 70 minutes or so, and built my stack to about 7k, just by playing good solid poker, I lost a little and was down to about 5900 when the following hand came up. I picked up AhQh in the blind and raised a couple of limpers, the flop came Q7x all spades. I bet out and was raised all-in by a player that had me slightly covered. I called hoping that he was on a flush draw, but unfortunately he'd flopped a set of 7's and that awas it for me. I was pretty pissed because I'd played so well the whole time and then it was all gone.

After that I decided to go ahead and play in the 14k guarantee at 10 o'clock. I didn't find any hands for quite awhile, and then with blinds of 25/50 the CO raised to 100 and I called from the small blind with 5c7c, basically looking to hit the flop hard and get all my chips in or get out cheaply if I missed, well, the flop came 5J5 rainbow and I checked, the CO also checked and the button bet the pot of 350, I delayed for a second, then called and the CO pushed, the button folded and I gladly called the rest of my stack. Well, the CO showed QJ, but rivered a Jack to finish off my tournament for me. At the same time as I was playing that I donked up a $20+2 when I decided I would "re-steal" a button raise by going all-in from the small blind with Jh7h, unfortunately, the button had 99 which held up for him.

Finally, while I was playing the 14k I took a shot at .5/1 NL. I bought in for the full amount of $100 and had two keys hands that really screwed me. The first was when I raised with JJ and got called, the flop came 886 and I somehow managed to get half my stack all-in on the flop against a shorter stack who had A6, of course he hit caught a 6 on the river and I was immediately stuck. Then, once I'd gotten all the way back, I got a bunch of money in again as a solid 64-36 favorite when I put a guy all-in on the turn with a pot-sized bet, but he rivered his flush and I lost again. I ended up quitting the game stuck about $50, which really blew, but I think I played pretty well and that's all that really matters.

Finally, I played some 2/4 tonight while I was playing the 9k and after being down almost $100 at one point, I managed to fight all the way back to just about even, so I do feel pretty good about that. But, that's about the only thing I feel good about tonight poker-wise. My FullTilt roll took a major hit today and I'm really starting to doubt that I'll ever be able to go deep or cash in an MTT again. I'm also starting to doubt my heads-up game a little, since I have so damn many 2nds in $20+2's, but only like 2-3 firsts.

Oh yeah, I was the first pick in the 2nd round of the draft for the FCP Forum challenge today, so that's pretty exciting. I'm glad to know that Suited_Up thought highly enough of my skills to draft me so high.

Bankroll -
Party: $1704.30
FullTilt: $590.57
Total: $2294.87

Saturday, December 03, 2005


I've cracked that elusive 1 BB/100 mark at 2/4. After 7k hands I'm now at 1.43 BB/100 and I'm winning a ton more than that over the last 1k. I've started playing less tables at a time, which I believe has lead to me making much better decisions in those crucial shorthanded pots. I've regained my confidence, it's only a matter of time now before I take the poker world by storm.

Of course, my tourney game is not in nearly as good of shape right now. I've been running really bad in FullTilt Tourneys and failed something like 3 attempts to qualify for the 200k guaranteed on Sunday. I maybe take one more crack at it tomorrow bringing my total money spent trying to get into that Tourney to a little over $100. Maybe I shoulda just spent the extra $100 and bought in. Oh well, I can't keep getting rivered forever and I will eventually start going deep in tourneys again and make a few more final tables. If I could just get past the first hour a little more often I'd be deadly.

I also cashed in a HORSE tourney today, and I feel like I played well in all games except Omaha, so that gives me a lot of confidence in myself as an overall poker player. I do need to learn Omaha at some point, but that's still a little ways down the road. First I need to get to being a consistent winner at 5/10 Hold'em. Then I can move on to really trying to master other games. Forever now I'll be content in the knowledge that I'm pretty sure I'm not a complete donkey in those games.

I also want to mention that I won't be counting the $22 that I have on Stars in my bankroll calculations. I plan to play two more Negreanu opens with that money and if I cash well in either, then maybe I will count that as part of my bankroll. Until then, it doesn't matter to my real roll. Party is mostly my limit roll and FullTilt is my tourney, SnG and NL roll.

Bankroll -
Party: $1734.94
FullTilt: $742.17
Total: $2477.11

Thursday, December 01, 2005

I'm Back in Black Baby!

I've started playing a little 2/4 again and I'm finally posting solid wins and feeling pretty good about the way I'm playing. I've probably played about 4-500 hands in the past couple days and I've won somewhere around $150-$200. I think what has really helped is that I've been 1-tabling it and really concentrating on making the right decisions in every hand. I'll be doing other things and playing other games, but I'm only playing one-table of 2/4 at a time and I really think that that's helped me to concentrate on each and every hand I play. I've also been paying much closer attention to what hands I'm playing from what positions and trying not to get involved with dominated hands out of position. I'm obviously nowhere near where I'd like to be overall, and I think it will be a long time before I feel like I'm beating 2/4 at a high enough rate that I can move up. I also need to get into six-max play at some point since that's where the money is at higher levels and I need to learn to play shorthanded pots anyway. I just don't feel comfortable there right now and I need to keep working on my game and reading all the material I can get ahold of. Right now though, I think I really am burned out because I don't even have any desire to study my poker materials, let alone the law school finals that are coming up in two weeks and that I need to start studying for. Oh well, I'm just going to keep on grinding. I'd say that my goals and dreams of being able to support myself playing poker within a couple of years are probably a little unrealistic at the moment, however I do think that I have the potential and the ability to get there eventually and I just need to keep plugging away and trying to play the best poker I can everytime I sit down to a table, and also trying to study as much as I can.

My bankroll would probably be a little higher tonight except that I decided to try a $50+5 SnG on Party and I couldn't find any hands and ended up going out 9th. I recouped some of those losses by finishing 2nd in a $10+1, but I'm still stuck for the night on SnG play and I probably won't play anymore of those $50+5's for a while. They probably could be +EV for me if I put enough time and effort into them, but I really would rather work on my limit game right now and I feel more comfortable grinding on those tables, then risking a nice sized chunk of my bankroll on each SnG I sit down to.

Approximately $2280