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.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Shorthanded Limit Hold'em is SICK

It is by far the sickest game ever invented and anyone who continues to play it must be truly very, very sick.

I get sucked out on constantly in that game. It's absolutely unreal. People are sitting there trying to give their money away and I still get stuck $75 in 200 hands of 1/2. I swear to god I can't figure out why I'm not beating this game. I really felt like I was playing well this morning, but my god, every time I had a good hand I got beat. Every time I thought a card had helped me it had given someone else an even better the K on the river that gave my KK a set, but gave my Q9 playing opponent a straight. Or, when I flopped a set after raising pre-flop with 88 and lost 67o who flopped a straight, or when I raise pre-flop with QQ, flop a set, turn K, river K, villain with with K5o for a bigger boat than mine. SICK SICK SICK.

Then tilt from that and bubbling 2 turbo SnGs causes me to lose $50 at the UB blackjack tables in the most rigged fashion I've ever seen. ARGH. I really need to learn to control myself better when I start losing.

Monday, October 30, 2006

I Had a Decent Trip

3 hrs. of card dead 1/2 NL - -$155

9 hrs of 10/20 Hold'em in 2 sessions - +$280

1 $550 Buy-in MTT - -$550

Experiencing the WSOP Circuit and finding that I still LOVE poker - priceless

I had a decent trip overall and I realized again how much I love poker, especially live. I want once again to be able to go pro. I'm seriously considering trying to get into dealing so that I can make decent money and learn more about the game for a couple years, then try to TP/MM. All in all, the WSOP Circuit was a good experience for me and I want to play in another one as soon as I can.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Caesars Indiana WSOP Circuit Trip Report

I got to Louisville around 9pm on Wednesday night, checked into my hotel, then drove out to the Casino. I talked to them about registering for Thursday's tournament and the lady said I'd need to be there by about 9 am in order not to be an alternate. So, I decided I wasn't going to play very long that night and I'd go back to my hotel and try to sleep around 1 or 1:30. That business taken care of, I sat down in a 1/2 NL game and started losing. I couldn't find much in the way of cards, called a few raises with pocket pairs, didn't flop any sets and got away from AQ on the turn after flopping top pair, when a lady to my right made a straight. I also paid $6 every half hour for the privilege of losing my money. Just as an aside, I'd never played with a seat charge before and I really think that it screws tight players pretty hard. Anyhow, I finally got fed up around 1 am and left after dropping about $150 on the night. Not a good start to my trip, but I was determined to win it back.

I didn't get much sleep that night and finally gave up and went down to Caesars at about 8:30 am. Unfortunately, the lady from the night before had led me wrong, the computer system is down and I can't register for the tourney yet. So, I spent the next 3 hours wandering around killing a little time losing money at video poker and basically just wasting time. I finally got to sign up around 11 o'clock which was when I had originally planned to get there until the lady steered me wrong, and of course I wasn't an alternate. The tourney got underway promptly at Noon . The structure was decent with 50 minute levels and 2k starting chips, starting blinds were 25/25, then went up to 25/50 in the 2nd level. Unfortunately I was pretty card dead for the entire time. I think I played like one hand volunarily in the first level when I limped with JT and folded the flop or something. It was a hand that I was forced to play though that would screw me. Towards the end of the first level I was in the small blind (both blinds were 25) with 42o and got to see a free flop. The flop came down 448 and with, I believe, 125 in the pot, I bet out 125 right away. I only got called by one player, and older guy who I didn't have much of a read on except that he wasn't very good. The turn came an Ace and for some reason I decided to check and see what he would do. As it turned out he had 2 chips left at that point, a purple 500 chip and a green 25 chip...he threw both in the pot, but announced 125. It was a pretty small bet and I smelled a rat, but I felt like I had to call with trips. The river came a Ten I believe, putting no straights or flushes on the board and again I checked. My opponent then put his last 400 in the pot. I thought for a bit and figured his most likely hand was probably A4, but I thought he could also have A8 and eventually I made the crying call. Unfortunately, he did have A4 and I was down to about 1100. In retrospect, I really feel like I should have folded that river as any 4 was beating me.

After that hand, I did a lot of folding. I got Ace-rag alot, but other than that no hands of note. I never saw so much as a KJ or KQ and had one pair the entire tournament. I made it to the first break (after the 2nd level) with 950 in chips and blinds going to up to 50/100. Early on in the 3rd level I found an ATo in the CO or hijack and open-raised to 300 to pick up the blinds, but that would be the only pot I'd win in the tournament. I folded for another round or so and was back down to 950 when the blind got to me again. I was in the BB for 100 and the older guy from the trip 4's hand limped, then the SB (who was pretty new at the table) raised to 600 and I looked down at pocket 8's and had a decision to make. It was my first pair of the tournament and the best starting hand I'd had, yet this guy had just made a bet that pot-committed him, not to mention that it was an overbet that was nowhere near the standard. The only things I'd seen from this guy so far were that he had called a raise with 99, then folded face-up when the flop came all overcards. After thinking long and hard, I decided to fold fearing that there was just too much chance he had an over pair. In retrospect, I don't know...but that may be the hand I should have gone with. The very next hand though, I was in the small blind and the same older guy limped, then the guy to my right (who was now the button) limped also and I looked down at AcTc and put my last 800 in the pot. I figured I had enough that I might be able to induce a couple of folds and pick up 300 chips and live to fight another day. Unfortunately, the button had a fairly large stack and decided to call me with 44. I lost the race and it was GG me.

When I look back I really feel like I played the tournament pretty well overall. I didn't make any major mistakes and I didn't donkey off my chips. All of my moves are at very least debatable in my mind. In some ways, I feel like I should have gone with the 8's, and a friend of mine who I've discussed it with thinks I should have, but I think the situation dictates that the ATs was a better hand to move in with and here's why...with the 8's I knew that I was going to be all-in no matter what I probably best-case scenario I would be in a race. With the ATs, I really felt like I could possibly just pick up the dead money and move on to another hand, nobody had shown any strength so if I got called by an Ace my kicker figured to be good and as it turned out, I ended up losing a very close race. Anyhow, I think I'm going to end up posting that sequence in tourney strat and see what kind of responses I get. All in all, the $550 tourney was a good experience for me. I played well and I found that the level of play was pretty bad. I definitely plan to play in another one sometime when I have the money as I believe that these are just as beatable as any $20 online tourney and the structure really seems pretty similar to that.

After the tourney I got in a 10/20 game for a few hours and after being stuck as much as about $390 I fought back and quit down $220 after about 4 hours. I didn't play bad, but I ran pretty bad for most of it and just couldn't get anything going. I'll be going back to the boat today for a while and I'll try to get some of my losses back. I'm not sure what I'll play. I could play 10/20 again, but that would take the last of the cash that I have on hand for poker. I might play a little lower, but either way I hope to finally post a win for this trip.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006


The WSOP Circuit Event is fast approaching and I'm really stoked. Tonight is my last night of work before I go down to Louisville to play. I'm going down tomorrow evening to play some cash games and probably sign up for Thursday's tourney. I'll then play the Noon $550 Tourney on Thursday and probably some cash games after if I don't make it deep. I think I'll also likely play Friday whether I make the Final Table or not.

I really feel like I'm ready for this Tournament. I'm in great form in MTT's having cashed in the last 4 I played online with one final table and 3 2nd to last tables. The last time I played online MTTs I cashed in 3 at once, but had to fight a shortstack for a long time in the Tilt $8k, never did manage to double up and ended up busting 16th when I was the shortest stack in the tourney and called off the last of my chip out of the BB with A9 against the button who ended up having AK. There were also over 500 players in the Stars 1 am $22 that I played that night and I believe I busted 17th, but the hand that crippled me came with about 28 players left. I had a pretty large stack and was doing well when I raised on the button with AK, I had about 45k and blinds were 1k/2k with some smallish ante so I made it 6k to go. The SB who had a little over 20k total moved in and I of course insta-called. He had KQ, but flopped a Queen and I went from looking like I was going to have about 70k with 27 players left to being crippled and down to under 25k. From there I never got anything going and ended up pushing my last 18k in with blinds at 1.5k/3k and QJo in the CO. Unfortunately I got called by A7 and JJ and A7 won the pot with an Ace on the flop and I was out 17th. Still, I played well in both tourneys and ran pretty well. I'm probably pretty near the peak of my tournament game right now, so this is the time for me to head to Louisville and pwn this $550 Event.

Wish me luck.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Getting the Bug Again

I feel like I'm really starting to get the poker bug again and it feels pretty good.

Sunday morning I was trying to decide whether to stay up until the Bengals game or sleep for a couple of hours and I opened up a 2/4 table on FullTilt at about 9:30. Well, I quickly got down almost $50 by playing bad and getting coolered and I felt like I couldn't just quit, so I decided to play my way back to even. I stayed at that 2/4 table and started up the $4k guaranteed $24+2 tourney that started at 10 am. Things didn't get any better at the 2/4 table and I ended up losing $100 before calling it quits there. After I went broke on the 2/4 table I was still in the tourney and didn't want to 1-table just yet, so I sat down with $60 at a .5/1 blinds CAP NL game (CAP is $30). I don't really remember what happened and I was pretty tired so I don't think I played very well, but I ended up losing that $60. So, at this point I'm down $160 in cash games and I'm assuming (as I always do) that I'll also be stuck the $26 tournament buy-in. At that point, I was getting a bit depressed, it obviously wasn't my day and I'd dropped somewhere in the neighborhood of 1/6th of my bankroll. Things, would turn around in a big way though.

I managed to stay alive in the tourney for a long time and I don't remember a ton, but I'm pretty sure I was never all-in for my tournament life before the money bubble except maybe once when I was a big favorite. I built my stack well, except for one hand that I feel like my opponent misplayed pretty badly. With a fairly large stack in the middle stages I raised in EP with KTs (we can debate the merits of this play, but it's a pretty standard blind steal for me), dude to my left cold-called and we took a flop heads-up. The flop came down JTx rainbow and I of course bet out about 2/3 - 3/4 of the pot (again, pretty standard and I'm doing this pretty much whether I've flopped anything or not). He calls my flop bet, then proceeds to call of the rest of his stack (I believe on the turn) with ATo. I think his play of the whole hand was pretty bad, but he definitely should have folded pre-flop and I can't imagine a situation where I'm ever calling off my entire stack with 2nd pair. Anyway, that hand left me short, though not terribly so (I had like 10 big blinds left), and I managed to battle back and work my way down into the money (27 cashed). From there the most excited hand was when I was getting short and I open-shoved in LP with 87s, got called by AKs (same suit also) and thought I was done. Fortunately I flopped an 8 for my only suckout of the tourney.

I actually played quite well and caught decent cards at the next to last table and went into the FT with a solid stack near the top. Unfortunately, it just wasn't my final table. Things started off bad when it folded to me in the SB early on and I raised with K7o, shortstack BB shoved and I was getting 2-1 so I called was actually ahead of his QJ. Unfortunately, he spiked his pair and things were not off to a great start. After that, I did have A3 hold up against KQ and I busted another player on a hand I can't remember and managed to get the chiplead. Then, I lost all-in pots with JJ vs. AT and 88 vs. K7, doubling people up. Then, the real defining hand of the tournament came up. I raised with 77 and the somewhat shortstacked BB thought for quite a while before moving in, I was getting pretty good odds and decided to call, but he had JJ and I lost that one also. I battled back from my shortstacked once again and we went to a break with 5 players left. I was the shortstack with like 45k and blinds at I belive 4k/8k, but I felt like I wasn't in terrible shape, especially considering all the hands that I'd lost. Then, first hand after the break I'm in the BB with K9 and the SB open-raises (he had a big stack and could have done this with anything I thought) so I moved in. He thought for a while and called with K4s, spiked a 4 and it was gg me. I ended up cashing $497 for 5th though and I wiped out my earlier losses to turn in a $300 win, so that felt good. I also really felt like I played the whole tourney and the final table well, just didn't catch the luck when I needed it. To recap, at the Final Table I lost all-in pots vs. shorter stack with K7 vs. QJ, JJ vs. AT, 88 vs. K7, and 77 vs JJ...then I lost a pot for all of my chips with K9 vs K4. Like I said, just wasn't my day.

I feel pretty good overall about my game right now though and the combination of my success in Sunday's tourney and in my recent trips to the boat has me planning to for sure play in the WSOP Circuit Event in Louisville on the 26th. It looks like I may end up with backing for 20-40%, which would be pretty perfect for me. That will leave me with plenty left over to take a solid shot at 10/20 while I'm there as well (though hopefully I won't get much chance to play cash games).

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Quick Brag Post

I finally beat a NL cash game for a solid score tonight and boy did it feel good. I went out to Argosy hoping to play 10/20, but unfortunately there wasn't a game going and they never did start one (even though the interest list seemed long enough to me...strange are the ways of poker room management). Anyhow, since I couldn't play 10/20 I ended up playing $1-$3 NL instead. I bought in for the $300 max and won a hand early, then lost some to get down a little, then I started winning and big. Little by little I ground my may up, I don't really remember how I got there, but I remember noticing after about 4 hours that I'd doubled my money and then some. Then, about 5-5.5 hours in the big hand came up.

I limped with Ad8d and the flop came 88A with 2 clubs. I smooth called another players' $10 flop bet and so did at least 2 others. Then, it checked to me on the 9d turn and I bet $20 and got called by 3 people. The river came a 3c completing a possible flush and it checked to me and I bet $80, one player called and showed his Kc2c for the losing flush and I raked a huge pot. That pot and a couple other small ones after it put me up to $1k on the table. Unfortunately, I didn't leave then, and I lost some back before finally cashing out $775 about 7.5 hours after I started. Still a very nice score for 7.5 hours of work all in all I felt pretty good about the way I played. I then proceeded to take $75 of my winnings and turn it into $160 on a blackjack table, so I walked out of the casino with $560 worth of profit on the night. If I could do that every night, there'd be no excuse for me to not go pro.

Any way you slice though, I'm now certain that I will go to the WSOP Circuit Event in Louisville. I now have plenty of money in my live roll for the cash games and almost enough to buy into the $550 tourney that I want to play. I may still try to see if I can get a stake for half though.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

The World Series of Poker come to Louisville

In just a couple weeks now the World Series of Poker Circuit is coming to Caesars Indiana just outside Louisville and I plan to be there at least to play in cash games.

I'm sure the cash games will be softer than normal so I want to get in at least little time at the Circuit Event, but I'm also very seriously considering playing in one of the preliminary tournaments. Right now I'm targeting the $550 buy-in event because the structure looks decent (though not great), 2k starting chips and 50 minute levels. Unfortunately, there's no way I can justify spending $550 on one tournament and I'm sure I'd be scared money if I bought in, so I'm going to try to sell at least half of my action and if I can do so I'll probably pay the rest of my way. Of course, the ideal situation would be to get 100% staked under the old 100% buy-in for 50% of profit deal, but I'm not likely to find anybody willing to do that, so I may just sell off half my action and go that route.

At any rate, I do plan to be in Louisville for the Circuit Event and I'm really looking forward to it.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

A Chip and A Chair...

...Well, 72 chips to be exact. That's what I was down to the other night in a tourney on FullTilt and I came roaring back to cash. With about 120 players left and blinds at 200/400 with a 50 ante I raised with AK, got one caller and open-pushed a flop of 779, unfortunately the pre-flop caller called my flop bet with 44 and had 72 chips less than me, so that's what I had left when I didn't hit anything on the turn or river. I won't get into the merits of my play or his, but I will say that I'm pretty damn excited that I turned my remaining 72 chips into an improbable cash. Like I said there were about 120 left and 72 players would cash and I had only 22 chips left after posting the ante. Of course I put it all in with whatever I had (can't really remember the exact hand now) and I managed to suck out and quadruple up to I think 280. I folded one hand and was down to 230, then got all-in for 180 (plus my ante of 50) with I think 86o. I more than doubled again and now I had almost 2k. Still very shortstacked, but not dead yet. I managed to double at least twice more by the bubble and ended up reaching the money bubble with a slightly below average stack of abou 10k. I was pretty damn excited. Unfortunately, I busted 50th and didn't cash much and I can't even remember the hand I went out on, but for those few minutes while I was going from 72 chips to 10k I was on top of the world. What a great feeling.

In other news, I've pulled all my money off of Partypoker after the news that they're planning to cut off U.S. players after Bush signs this atrocious new law into effect. I plan to continue playing on any site that will allow me to and my Party money will likely go on UB since I'm playing mostly tourneys and SnG's these days anyway. It's a shame to lose Party though, it was my first site and definitely the softest of the ones I played on. Right now it looks like Neteller may be a gray area with this new law, so I'm gonna be patient and wait it out and see how things go. My online roll is only around $1200 anyway, so it's not like I've got huge money to worry about. Like I said, I guess I'll just see where things go from here and hope that I won't get cut off completely from online poker.