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.

Friday, June 30, 2006

Quick Update

I haven't played much poker lately for two reasons. I've been busy and I haven't had much desire to play. Right now, I'm not playing unless I really want to play and I think that's a really smart idea. I'm a little burned out right now and I definitely won't be playing any limit Hold'em until August 1 at the earliest. I may not play much at all for a couple more weeks, depending on my mood.

I did play a few tournaments on Tuesday night which was my day off work. I couldn't get anything going in the FTP 17k or the $75 11k guarantee, or the 11:30 pm $22 on Stars. I did build a decent stack in the Party 40k though and was just a bit below average when it got into the money. Then, a fairly aggressive big stack made it 8k from MP with blinds of 1k/2k and a smallish ante. I had about 28k left and found TT in the BB, I jammed and he insta-called with 33. 66k in the pot and a 3 hits on the river. GG me and $12 profit. Sucked, but what're you gonna do, woulda been worse if it had been on the bubble or really deep. It hurt, but that's poker, I still woulda had a long way to go even though my stack would have been almost twice the average.

Anyway, haven't played poker since that night and may not play again until Sunday at the earliest. We shall see. I do plan to have a blog soon about bankroll management and going broke in response to yet another gone broke thread on FCP earlier this week. I'm tired of reading about people going broke because I truly believe that it's not inevitable for everybody. For a long-term loser of course it is, but for anybody capable of beating the game, going broke is not inevitable, you just have to know how to manage your bankroll.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Not Just One, but TWO Final Tables

After last night's debacle, I played 2 tourneys tonight and I final-tabled both. What a sweet feeling it is.

I played the 1 am 8k guaranteed on FullTilt ($26 buy-in) and a Stars 180-man $20+2 SnG. On Stars I finished 3rd for a profit of a little over $400. On FT I finished 8th, after donking off my chips with 10 players left, but still felt good about the way I played the tourney.
With 5 at each table and 10 left on the final table bubble I was the shortstack. Then, I decided to start picking up blinds and I starting stealing and re-stealing with trash hands and managed to start getting a decent stack going again just throught theft. I had 62k with blinds at 1500/3000 and a 400 ante and like I said I just gone through a stretch where I'd raised or re-raised like 5 out of 6 hands with utter trash. Then, I picked up AJo 2nd to act and got happy about actually having a hand. However, UTG with 48k raised it to 9k...a little background on UTG, he'd min-raised several times and I'd made him my bitch with re-steals on a couple of those....His raise to 9k should have set off warning bells and somewhere in the back of my mind it did. But, I still moved in on him anyway, he had KK and I was down to 13k. Luckily for me, the very next hand someone else went broke and the first hand of the final table another player went broke. So, after donking off my chips I lucked into 8th, when I probably shoulda had 10th. 8th paid almost $250 in profit, so I'm ok with the result, but pissed at myself for squandering a golden opportunity to go deeper.

Still though, I can't complain about 2 finals tables and $650 in profit for the night. Totally wipes out yesterday's losses and then some. Now, if only I can avoid making stupid mistakes late, or getting drawn out on late...maybe I'll finish final 3 in a big one here soon and win a couple grand.


Totally unrelated note. I'm going to talk more soon in another blog about some of the things addressed in last night's blog. I'm still thinking about my poker future and some thoughts about the next few months are roaming around in my head. I'll get them out here in print soon.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Coming to Grips...

Little by little I think I'm starting to come to grips with the fact that I may never be a pro poker player. I'm good, but maybe not great and I don't know that I have the temperment, patience and will to put up with the swings of playing for a living. If I can find something to do with my life that I will enjoy and make the contributions to society that I know I should be making that would be great. If I can be a winning poker player on the side and have fun at the same time, that'd be awesome. Before I die, I WILL play in the WSOP ME. I WILL in fact play in more than one major poker tournament in my life. But, will I ever make my living playing poker? Probably not. I will never say never and I'm not giving up the dream completely, but right now I think it's counterproductive for me to constantly be thinking about it and striving for it.

I will continue to play poker as much as I can and want to, I will continue to constantly try to improve my game. I will continue to study the game and attempt to become as well-rounded of a player as I can be. Maybe someday when I'm least expecting it I'll be making more from poker than I am from a job and I'll decide to try out going full-time for a while. Maybe that will never happen...for now I'm not gonna worry about it. I'm gonna take the pressure off myself completely.

Report from Tonight -
I played a lot of tournaments tonight, didn't cash in a single one. Got stuck $281 in tournament buy-ins, which is a pretty big number for me considering my bankroll was in the neighborhood of $3k coming into the night. I don't feel that bad about it though, poker works that way sometimes. I played a few hands of SH LHE and won a little bit, I also took about 80 hands off the 1k that I need in the next week to clear a $100 Party bonus. Yes, I'm back to clearing Party bonuses. I needed to reload my account anyway using some of the money I'd been keeping offline, so I may as well get a bonus out of it.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Argosy Trip Report

As requested, I will go ahead and write about my trip to the Argosy's new Poker Room. Last Thursday I got off work at 11 pm and didn't have to go in on Friday until 11 pm for 3rd shift, so I decided to take a trip out to Argosy and check out the new Poker room. The Argosy is the biggest riverboat in the Cincinnati area and also the closest, but up until about 2 weeks ago they didn't have poker. Well, all that's changed and I have a feeling this will very much hurt the poker action at the other area boats. I got down there around 11:30 and found the poker room. It was smaller than I expected, and the tables were packed pretty tightly together, however I was pleasantly surprised by the number of tables they had running on a Thursday night. All in all, it looked like they were going to have much trouble with getting action in the room.

There were seats open at 4/8 and I sat down right away around 11:45. As soon as I sat down though, several people left and we had like 3 people at the table. We paused for a few minutes until a couple more showed up and we started back playing at 4 or 5. The first hand I remember playing we were shorthanded and I wanted to play, so I limped in with Q7o. The BB (an older lady who I'd played with at Belterra once) raised and I immediately hated my hand, from my history with her I knew that she was a decent player, somewhat TAG and definitely wouldn't raise out of the BB with junk. I called anyway since I had money in the pot and like I said, wanted to see a flop. I hit a dream flop of 779 and ended up cracking her KK with my trips and winning a nice sized pot. The game started to fill up a few hands later and I vowed not to play Q7o again.

After the table had filled up some I had a sequence of hands where I won all of my profit for the night. First I limped in with 33, flopped a set and managed to get in a couple of raises to take down a pretty large pot. Then, a couple hands later I picked up Ad6d and limped in. The flop came something like 5d3d9d, I'd flopped my flush. An EP player bet out and I just called planning to wait til the turn to raise. Well, the tight/solid older lady raised behind me and I decided to just call again. The turn was another diamond and that slowed things down some, but I think I still got 2 bets in from a couple of players, the river was a blank and after another round of betting I showed the nuts and raked a huge pot. The older lady told me that she had mucked a smaller flush and would have made a straight flush with my 6d. Just a few hands after that I found 88 and flopped a set with that, but didn't manage to get it all the way to the river. Still, at that point I was up over $200 after a just a little more than an hour of play.

The interesting thing about the session was that I played very loose pre-flop. I was constanty limping hands like 9s7s, 56s and the like. I also had one where I called a raise out of the BB with Td8d. I didn't really hit any of those hands though and I hovered for quite a bit. I did win a nice pot later on when I cold-called a raise on the button with KhQh and flopped top two pair. And I won another good sized pot when I limped in EP with KJo, called a raise and cracked KK when the flop came JJx. After about 2.5-3 hours the game started to get shorthanded again and I started to get really tired, I'd spent some of my profit limping in and trying to hit flops and I lost some when I raised with AQo, flopped top pair on an AKJ board and got called down by K2 who hit 2 pair on the river. By the time the game broke around 3:15 am I was getting very tired and I knew my play was deteriorating, so I decided to just rack up and go home with a $117 profit on the night. All in all, it was a fun night and the poker gods were definitely on my side when it came to hitting flops. However, oddly enough, the best hands I had pre-flop were 88 twice, AQo once, KQs and KQo once each and KJo once. I made virtually all my money off my two sets, my flush and a couple of other lucky flops. I saw no premium pairs and didn't see AK, and I still won a solid profit. It was a pretty fun night and it's nice to run more lucky than good every now and then. I actually won a couple of pots I'm not proud of, going in with the worst hand with the Q7o and the KJo and sucking out in spots where I probably shouldn't have been in there, but like they say in the Cincinnati Kid, sometimes poker is about making the wrong move at the right time.

Overall I was pretty impressed with the Argosy poker room. They had good game selection, a professional atmosphere and they did a very good job of keeping it smoke free (I walked out with my clothes smelling only faintly of smoke from the time I had to spend in the main casino to get in and out). I will certainly be back the next opportunity I get and I may even try to jump into the 6/12 game if they have it running again. I wasn't in the right frame of mind to play that high the other night, but next I may be. The only real drawbacks were that the bathroom is on the other end of the boat, so it's a bit of a hike and you're gonna miss a couple of hands when you go. I also thought the felt was a little softer than I'd like, it was kind of hard to move chips and cards on it, but I'd imagine that will change some as the tables get more use. Overall, I'd give the room 3.5 stars and I most likely will spend most of my live poker time there from now on since it's closest and will probably have the most action. I may still go out to Belterra for a change of pace from time to time, but it wouldn't surprise me if Argosy's room eventually shut them down.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Thinking About Taking a Shot

I've been getting soo frustrated with the way things have been going lately and with how stagnant my bankroll has been, that I'm starting to seriously consider taking a shot at 5/10 and starting almost completely over if it fails. I'm very seriously considering putting my Party account at $1k and playing 5/10 6-max until I either go broke or am properly rolled. If I go broke I'll still have my Tournament roll and enough in my cash game roll to sit down at .5/1 - 6 and work my way all the way back up the levels. Maybe even trying to learn to play like 4 tables at a time. I dunno if I have quite this much gamble in me, but I'm getting so bored with lower limits that I may just try it.

Oh, and before my anonymous flamer comes on here to tell me that I'll fail I just want to point out that I'm fully aware that something like this would have a high chance of failure and that I may not even be good enough to beat 5/10, but maybe doing something like this will get my head screwed back on straight from a poker standpoint. I dunno, I just need something to bust out of this funk that I'm in in Limit Hold'em.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Poker Tournament

I have registered to play in the PokerStars World Blogger Championship of Online Poker!

This Online Poker Tournament is a No Limit Texas Holdem event exclusive to Bloggers.

Registration code: 4472357

Thursday, June 08, 2006


I haven't played much poker in the last week or so, but what I have played has gone about average. I've played a little bit of 2/4 6-max and done pretty well. There's obviously a major difference between my success in that game and my lack of success at 3/6. My VPIP is higher at 2/4 and I'm both stealing and defending blinds more often. It may seem odd, but this has somehow led to a great deal more success. I have 5800 hands of 2/4 and 8600 of 3/6 so it's not like I can just chalk it up to variance either. I think that the level of play is significantly better at 3/6 and I probably didn't do a great job of adapting my style of play. I really want to find a way to beat that game though. If I could beat 5/10 or 10/20 for the same rate I've beaten 2/4 for I'd be making a fortune, but I digress. Any tips would certainly be welcome though.

In tournaments and SnGs I've probably lost some money, and I've also already broken one of my June resolutions. I haven't kept SnG and Tourney records at all. I plan to buy a bigass day planner of some kind tomorrow and keep records in there. I actually think that will be easier for me than trying to keep it in a computer file and I've been trying to do for the last month or so and failing miserably. I'm still doing pretty well in MTTs though and that's some good news. I got screwed in a Pokerstars $20+2 180 man SnG when my KK went up against TT and AQ and the TT hit a set. I would have had over 6k in the early going if I won that hand, instead I found myself with about 1500 left. Couldn't get anything going from there, so I ended up busting out of two of those tonight. I did make a sort of Final Table tonight, going out 9th in the FullTilt $20+2 11:59 pm tourney. With 10 left I was shortstacked and on the button 5-handed with A3o. I open pushed and the SB chipleader called me with A8s, fortunately for me, the BB had less chips than I did and came along with J7o. SB made Aces and 8's on the turn and I made Aces and 3's on the river to bust out in 9th. Silver lining is that I got quite a bit more for 9th than I would have for 10th. I just wish I could make it to the final 3 in one of these things again though. That's where the real money is and I seem to be coming up just short ALOT lately. Oh well, if I keep getting deep I'm bound to win one eventually.

Friday, June 02, 2006

June Goals and Resolutions

The June goals thread in general strat on FCP has inspired me to write a blog with my goals and a couple of resolutions.

- Get back to winning at limit cash games. Play 6k-8k hands of 2/4 6-max; start out 2-tabling and maybe try to get really comfortable with three by the end of the month. Win enough money at 2/4 to be able to go back to playing 3/6 6-max in July.

-Continue to work on my NL cash game play by playing at least 1k-2k hands of .25/.50 NL cash and maybe a litte .5/1 NL cash.

-Win one of the nightly guarantee tourneys on FullTilt and final table at least 2 180 man SnGs on Stars. Win at least $3k playing MTTs.

-Satellite into the July 16 $535 WSOP 100 seat guarantee on FTP, or win a seat outright on Stars.

-Keep better records of Tournament play. I need to start keeping perfect records of every tournament I play, the buy-in, whether or not I cashed and how much I won or lost. This includes SnGs.

-Keep better records of NL cash game play. This will mostly just mean importing my FullTilt hands into pokertracker.

-Keep exacting records of how much I have at the beginning and end of each month and any monies I've cashed out or deposited for tax purposes.

-Improve my SH limit game through examination of hand histories and the FCP strat forum.

-Get a Poker Mentor to help me with working towards my ultimate goal of being able to go pro someday.

With the limited amount of time that I actually have to play poker, some of the above goals may be a little beyond reach, but I like to set the bar high. All of the resolutions though are things that I can make happen and need to make happen. From now on, I will update my total overall bankroll as of the first day of every month in my records. I will not however post it online.

May Recap

May was a really shitty month for me in cash games. For what I think is the first time since I started playing seriously last July I had a losing month in limit cash games. In the month of May I played exclusively 3/6 6-max in limit hold'em and I lost something like $136 or -.36 BB/100. Somehow (probably through tournaments that I haven't kept good enough records of), my Party Poker cash game bankroll has also dropped to the point where I really can no longer play 3/6 with the proper bankroll. I have something like $1900 in that roll at the moment, which gives me enough to safely play 2/4 6, but not really 3/6. So, in the month of June I will probably have to drop down and also try to regain my confidence and see if I can find a game that can beat 6-max.

I know that the number of hands that I've played isn't all that significant, but it does make me wonder if the style that I'm playing is a winning one. I may post my stats in the Strat forum and see if anything jumps out at anybody. I think the biggest things that are hurting me are: paying off with 2nd best hands in spots where I know I'm beat or in spots where I think that my hand is really good and someone has a better one; trying to win too many pots (I seem to have this sense of entitlement that I should win every pot I play); for some reason it seems like I'm not getting paid off on my strong hands even though I'm paying off other people's strong hands (there could definitely be an element of variance in that one); my VPIP might be a little low (21.5 at 3/6) but I think a lot of that is probably attributable to the blind structure. My main guess is that I'm playing a bit too aggressively in the wrong spots and taking losing hands a bit too far. I'm probably also running a little bit worse than I should be and I know that I've tilted a bit a few times and I'm sure that's cost me some money as well. At any rate, I'll get back on the horse again here soon and play 2/4 again for awhile. I'd still like to get to 10/20 by the end of the year. I don't know if that's realistic or not, but I'm pretty sure that beating 5/10 by the end of the year is. I have to believe I'm capable, I have the ability to be good at this game.

The good news about May is that I had to very nice Tournament scores and a couple of 2nd to last tables, which put me solidly in the black for Tournament play on the month. I had a 6th place in the FTP 17k guarantee early in the month for about $650 and on May 31 I came in 2nd in a Stars $20+2 180 man SnG for $720. Excluding buy-ins I probably made somewhere in the neighborhood of $1k at tournaments in May and I also think I probably won a little money playing .25/.50 NL cash games on FullTilt. Overall, it was a tough month for me, but that should just give me more incentive to come back strong in June.