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, November 30, 2008

A Longish Trip Report

I've been in Texas since early August and I haven't been able to play live poker once since I've been here, because there aren't any casinos in Texas and it's been bugging me. So, this weekend I drove out to the only casino that's technically in Texas. I say technically because it may as well be in Mexico. It's in a small border town called Eagle Pass, about 3 hours, through absolute nothingness, from San Antonio. This place is definite proof that ownership of a casino is basically a license to print money. Like I said, it's in a small town on the Texas/Mexico border hours from any significant city, yet the place was hopping, with between 10 and 15 poker tables running and a ton of slot machines as well.

I only brought $200 with me, but I ended up playing 5/10 LHE because it was the first seat they had available. $200 is a bit of a short buy, but I was willing to go to the ATM if I got too shortstacked, so I figured I was probably ok. It was great to be able to play with chips and cards and people for the first time in a quite a while. I forget sometimes how much I miss playing practially every friday night at the Argosy in Cincinnati back in 2006 and early 2007. But anyway, I digress. I definitely played some hands a little bit differently last night than I might have online. I straddled one round because everybody at the table had agreed to it. Nothing significant happened, but I do believe that it's EV neutral at worst when everybody agrees and can definitely be +EV from an image standpoint. The game I played in was decent, but not great. I'd guess the 3/6 was probably softer, but there were definitely donkeys at the table. I had a pretty swingy session, I was stuck several times, up as much as $85 at one point early on and ultimately ended up breaking even with a $4 win. I did make a couple of straights and flushes and even flopped a set once with TT to beat QQ, but ultimately couldn't get enough going to book a real win.

I'll try to recount a couple of interesting hands for my own records and for whatever readers I may have.

The first hand happened fairly early on and just really flat out confused me. A couple of people limped and I limped on the button with 9cTc. I think 6 people saw a flop of J8x rainbow. It checked around to me, and I decided to bet my OESD with the intention of taking a free cards on the turn (at least most of the time). Two people called and the turn came another Jack. At this point, there are approximately 4 BB in the pot and I don't think either of my opponents has a Jack, they check to me and I decide to bet in an attempt to represent a Jack in my hand, one guy folds, but the other raises. He's an older guy, who has seemed like an ok player so far, nothing special but not terrible either. I hadn't seen him get out of line yet, but it was still early so I didn't have a great read. Obviously, I put him on the Jack at this point, but couldn't fold my OESD, so I called. The river brought an insignificant card, I think it was a 3, and he checked to me. Now, I'm really confused, I have no idea what he has here, but I don't see how he's folding any hand that he could raise the turn with, so I just checked behind and gave up. He showed KQo (WTF?!). I have no idea what he was doing in this hand, and the sick thing is that I probably could have bet him off it on the river. Oh well, interesting hand and a fairly good story nonetheless.

The next hand is one that I would never play this way online (at least I wouldn't have recently, though maybe I should think about it). At any rate, I raised in EP with TT and got called by the SB and I think the BB. The flop came 98x with 2 clubs (I did not have a club) and the SB bet out into me. The SB here was a pretty poor poker player and I was pretty sure that his bets and raises generally meant what they looked like. Of course, this was still a pretty good flop for my hand, so I raised him. He called and it was heads-up to the turn, which came another 9 and he lead out again. Here, I'm pretty certain he has the 9, but I called anyway (in hindsight I think I should have folded right there). The river was a complete blank and he lead out again. Now, I'm certain he has the 9 and after tanking for a short time, I folded. I think it was a pretty interesting hand because I almost always pay that off on the river in an online game, but with the read I had, it was really that hard of a fold in a live game.

Finally, there was a hand that I could almost never play the way I did in an online game. Late in the session, there were two limpers and I picked up A9o in LP, I actually wasn't sure what to do, but didn't think folding was correct and wasn't sure I was really strong enough to raise, so I decided to call and see what happened. We saw a flop (I think five-handed) of AK8 with 2 clubs and it checked around to me. I bet and was called by only one player (I think he was one of the blinds) who was fairly new to the table. The turn came another club and while I had the 9 of clubs, I didn't really like that very well. He had a stack of chips in his hand, acted like he was thinking about betting (and I think he actually was) and ultimately checked. I decided to check myself here because I wanted to get to showdown as cheaply as I could. I thought he might well have the flush and I didn't want to get check-raised. It was a pretty scary board for A9o (I think there was a K and a Q out there as well as 3 clubs, but I don't remember exactly). The river was a blank and this time the villain did bet out. I thought he probably had a flush, but since he was pretty new at the table and I didn't really have a read on him, I didn't feel like I could fold. If nothing else, I'd get some info about the way he played. He showed A2o and I raked the pot. Strange hand, that I think I played the way I did, only because of game texture and being able to physically be there at the table with the other players.

All in all, it was a pretty enjoyable experience. I wish I'd won instead of broken even and I wish I hadn't had to drive 3 hours each way to get there and consequently had to pay for a hotel room because I didn't want to drive that far at midnight when I felt really tired. But, I had a good time and I enjoyed being able to play live again.

Why I Play Poker

First a couple of housekeeping items. I think I ended up having a winning day today, though not by a whole lot. I say I think because I keep terrible records and really don't remember exactly what I started the day with. I do know that I had a winning day in cash games and that's a definite plus. I'd been running really bad this week, but I win a bit at HORSE and overall, I think I was up over 20 BB in over 300 hands of .5/1 SHLHE. That should help my confidence a little if nothing else. Sadly, the same cannot be said for my SnG game. I think I lost well over $20 playing SnG's today and I think I'm going to drop down and play $5.50's exclusively, with maybe the occaisional $22 Matrix mixed in (which is basically the same thing as playing 4 $5.50's with a bonus for finishing well in more than one). I know from Sharkscope that I'm basically a break-even SnG player overall and today I feel like I ran exceptionally bad in them. So, why do I continue to play them?

It goes the crux of the issue of why I play poker in the first place. I play poker for several reasons, but one of the main ones is that I am an intensely competitive person by nature. I don't have an outlet for that in the form of sports or anything, so poker provides the outlet for my competitive desire. SnG's are the utltimate in poker competition. There is always a winner, and hence they're probably the most competitive form of poker that I play. I'm not that good at NL cash games and I don't see LHE as being all that competitive of a game, at least not at the limits I play. Yeah sure, it's a competition from the aspect of there being winners and losers at any table and in any given hand, but it's very much a mechanical game. In limit, we outplay our opponents by playing better cards than them pre-flop and playing those cards better after the flop. Plus, a cash game is essentially one never-ending session. A SnG has a beginning and an end and has a clear-cut winner. So, I will continue to play SnGs mostly as a competitive outlet, with the realization that I'm not going to win much in them.

Since I'm on the topic, I'd like to talk about some of the other reasons why I play poker. I've already mentioned that I play for the competition of it. I also really like the action, I love that it is a game that I can analyze from all angles. I can take a given hand and analyze it to death from every possible angle, and sometimes there still isn't a perfect solution. I'm a very analytical person, so this aspect turns me on as well. The money is definitely a factor, because I can't play for play money, but that's mostly because I wouldn't care as much about winning and losing. I don't think I'd play if I was a losing player either because I tend to not have fun at things I can't win at and I wouldn't play poker if it wasn't fun at least part of the time.

So, to sum it a bit. I play cash games for money, action, competition and my enjoyment of the nuances of the game. I play SnG's mostly for the competition of it, but I also enjoy the nuances of what the right plays are at different times as well. Finally, I play MTT's for similar reasons as why I play SnG's, but with MTT's there is the added bonus of essentially trying to get that big score. I believe that I am essentially good enough to cash for decent money often enough to break-even most of the time, so on those rare occaisions when I can finish top 3, but I can make some real money.

Anyway, tomorrow I'll be back to the grindstone a bit. I'll try to play a few MTT's and probably some .5/1 LHE (I'll probably mix SH and FR) and finally, I had a revelation the other day and I think I've figured out how to win at Limit O8 (so long as it's a full table), so I may play a little of that as well.

Current Bankroll -

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Running Bad?

I can't decide for sure whether I'm running bad or playing bad (or more likely some combination of the two), but I'm down even more since Bloody Sunday. I don't think I've had a winning day yet this week and I feel like I'm doing especially bad at .5/1 6-max. For some reason I don't think I'm very good at that game. I think I'm probably playing too many hands, too far. I sit a bit below $400 for the first time in like two weeks as I write this and while I intend to load on another $40 or so in rakeback, probably tomorrow, I'm suffering from a distinct lack of confidence. I think I'm probably going to take tomorrow off, then go back to my bread and butter (low limit SnGs and Full Ring .5/1 LHE). Those are my two best games and I need to rebuild a little, both bankroll and confidence.

I got a look at Winning Tough Hold'em Games, by stoxtrader, today and it looks like it should really help my SHLHE game a lot. Something I've always struggled with in shorthanded is knowing what starting hands to play and the book has what looks like a very good section on that, it should probably also help me with playing marginal hands postflop, something I also struggle mightily with, especially in HU pots. So, I'm probably going to pick that up before I go back to playing 6-max on a regular basis. I may wait and try to get it for Christmas though.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Sunday, Bloody Sunday

I came into today with the biggest bankroll I've had since I started my comeback and I was really psyched to get to the tables and have a big Sunday. I sat down to play a full slate of tournaments and a few cash games. I was excited, but everything went horribly wrong. I started out up about $20 on a 1/2 FR table and hanging around in some tourneys, but it didn't last very long at all. I hit a few bad hands at the 1/2 table and before I knew it, I was stuck, then I was stuck more and just kept running worse and worse.

I fired up a .5/1 6-max table to try to alleviate some of the stress of the 1/2 table, but I promptly started running bad there too. Ultimately, I got stuck nearly 100 bucks at the cash tables. It was ugly. I put in almost 580 hands between the 1/2 FR and the .5/1 6-max and I could never get anything going. Anytime I got a good starting hand, the pot would be raised and re-raised before the flop and I end up losing somehow. It was positively sick.

In tournament action, I played a standard $10+1 that started at 1400 and quickly donked out of that. I played an $8.80, 180 max and got down to about 60 players before I made my unceremonious exit. I played the Early Double, two $5+1's that start at 1500 central time, with half of the rake going to a prize pool for people who can cash in both. I couldn't get anything going in either. In the first one I got all-in preflop with KK only to find my opponent with AA, have the flop come K high giving me a set, then the turn bring his third Ace. So, that was really sick. Then in the other I got deeper, but never really managed to get much of a stack going and I don't remember how I went out, but I'm pretty sure it was rather gay. I either lost a coinflip or got my chips in behind in a spot where I couldn't really avoid it.

While this was going on, I also played two $10+1 SnGs, hoping to make up some of my losses there, and in the first one I went out pretty early, after having QQ very early, and having to fold it to a raise on an Ace-high flop, then I think I lost a coinflip after that. In the second one I played pretty well, got 4-handed witha pretty decent chance to cash then made a kind of donkified play to go out. I was third in chips, but not really desperate, then I called a fairly large raise out of the BB with JhTh. The flop came KJ9 with 2 spades and one heart and I open shoved for like 1670 in chips. The original raiser called me with pocket Q's and of course I didn't suck out. In hindsight, I probably should have just folded that hand pre-flop and moved on, but oh well.

Finally, I played the $24+2 $21K guarantee that started at 1700 central time. It was a double stack tourney starting with 3000 chips and I started out ok. I got up over 4k, then I lost two coinflips, 99 < AKs that left me with about 1800 chips, then 88 < AKo to end my tournament.

In the long run it was a pretty horrible day of carnage. I dropped about $80 in MTT and SnG buy-ins and ~$85 at cash games for a total of ~$165. Which was more than 25% of my bankroll starting the day. So, now it's time to rebuild again. I'm dropping back down to .5/1 exclusively in cash games and probably not going to spend more than $10 on a SnG or MTT buy-in until I can build my roll back up again. My goal of ending the month with $600 isn't looking good right now either, but I've got another week to play and maybe I can get there.

The one good thing I can take away from today's experience is that I feel like I didn't really tilt. I played pretty tight/solid poker most of the way in the cash games. I made a couple of plays here or there that weren't great, but that happens in any session. As frustrated and angry as I got, shouting at the computer screen and banging my hands against the arm of the chair, I didn't berate anyone (because I couldn't, I emailed FullTilt and had them disable my chat), and I didn't really make any stupid tilty plays that I can remember. If I can just find a way to keep my cool, maybe I can be successful at poker in the long-term.

Current Bankroll -


I'm pretty frustrated right now, and hence I don't really want to go to bed and try to sleep.

I played the Midnight Madness on FTP, one .5/1 6-max LHE table, one 1/2 Stud8 table and a $10 SnG tonight. I won the SnG, but had a pretty frustrating night at everything else. I built a stack in the first hour of the tourney by playing some hands pretty aggressively b/c I decided that with over 2000 players I wanted to go big or go home. I had one frustrating hand were I raised with QQ in the SB, got called by the BB and the flop came T87, I bet about half the pot and he called. The turn was an A, and I fearlessly put him all-in, leaving myself about 1500 in my stack, he called with 99 and hit a 9 on the river to knock me down pretty good. I don't really like his play very well as he called off like 2k into a pot of like 4k with only 10 outs once, but oh well. I rebuilt my stack and made it into the money with a little over 7k in chips. Then the most important hand of the tournament came up. With blinds at 250/500 with like a 50 ante, a guy in EP limped and I found 7s7c in MP, I made it 2000 to go and the limper called. The flop came T96 with 2 spades and he led out for the minimum of 500, I put him on the flush draw just called (in hindsight, I think this was my mistake, I should have gone all-in at that moment). The turn was the 9d and he checked. I put him all-in and he thought for a bit, then called with AsQs and caught the 4s on the river for a flush. I busted soon after when one guy limped UTG with blinds of 300/600, and it was folded around to me in the SB with Kc8c, I decided to limp and see what happened on the flop. The BB checked and the flop came A8x rainbow. I shoveled for about 1700 and the UTG limper called me with 99 (??? how fucking horrible is that, I can't think of a worse way for him to play that hand). So, I came away with $15 for my efforts, but a quite a bit of frustration too.

While all of this was going on, I was having a very frustrating day at the cash tables. I think I lost $30 at the 1/2 Stud8 table. I was getting virtually no playable hands and when I did, I'd catch horrible on 4th. I don't think I scooped a single hand that went to showdown. It was flat out the most frustrating session I've ever had. In addition, I had a very swingy and frustrating session at the 6-max table. I had an aggrodonk to my left who was constantly raising and re-raising with garbage, and while that was great and I took a lot of money from him, he was still kind of frustrating to play against. One hand that typifies this is the following...the first player limped and I limped with Th8h, button called, aggrodonk raises from the SB and everybody calls. The flop comes 864 rainbow and aggrodonk bets out, I raise him, I think he 3-bet and we got it HU. The turn was a T, giving me two pair and I was certain that I was ahead. We got either three or four bets in on the turn (I can't remember which), but I think I slowed down and just called the river. He of course showed 44 to beat me. In the end though, I think I managed to come out about even on that table, but it was still a very frustrating session.

In other news, I cashed out another $80 in rakeback, giving me $155 in rakeback that I've added since I made my comeback on October 11. After tonights session, my roll sits a bit over $600 and I've reached bronze ironman already. I just need four days of 100 points to get to silver for the month, which I think is fairly likely to happen. And, I feel good about my chances of having at least $600 at the end of the month reaching that goal as well.

Current Bankroll - $610.86

Saturday, November 22, 2008

An Old Thread Bump Costs Me $$

I've been tired all day and I got home tonight at like 1045 pm central, planning to watch an episode of Lost on my DVR, then go to bed. But, I got on the computer and looked at the FCP Forum, saw a thread about the FTP Midnight Madness, realized it was starting soon and decided to play. After all, tomorrow's Saturday and I can sleep as late as I want. So, I signed up for the Midnight Madness and for the $5.50 HORSE that started at 2345 Eastern. I got virtually no cards in the Midnight Madness and with my stack at around 1300, I busted about 40 minutes in. The blinds were 40/80 and one guy in early position raised to 240, another guy called and decided to go ahead and shovel in the SB with 88 b/c it was the best hand I'd seen all tournament. The EP raiser called me with KK and I didn't suck out. In fact, he caught a K on the flop just to add insult to injury. I also played a $10 SnG while this was going on and ended up busting pretty early after dancing with two left feet the entire time.

In the $5.50 HORSE, I actually did fairly well, it started with 180, with 24 people cashing and I managed to get my stack as high ast 4500 or so. But, I lost a pretty big pot on a fairly bad play in a Stud8 hand. I think I had Q's and 9's on fifth and my opponent was showing two 8's and an Ace he/she had been leading the whole time, then checked and I decided to go ahead and bet, hoping maybe my hand was good. She called, then checked again on 6th. At this point I was pretty sure I was beat, so I checked behind. The river brought me another Q, giving me a full house and my opponent bet into me. I actually thought I was probably beat, but it was 300 into a pot of 1800 so I called and of course, she showed Aces full, which I'm pretty sure she actually hit on fifth. Then, a few hands later I caught 3c4cAc, and and ended up making nothing but 8's and 3's and losing both sides of a huge multi-way pot. By all rights, I should have won at least half of that pot and that's what really makes limit tourneys so frustrating for me.

From there, I managed to survive through the Hold'em and Omaha8 rounds on a micro shortstack, even doubling up once to a little over 2k. Unfortunately, at this point the stakes were huge for my stack (75 ante and 400/800 limits). I folded several hands in razz until I found an A63 and decided to get all-in with it. Of course, I caught a Q on 4th, but now I was committed and couldn't fold. I ended up making an 87 low to my opponents 76 and I was out in like 35th. All in all, it was a pretty frustrating tourney, as limit tourneys tend to be. However, I do feel like I'm good enough at all of the games in HORSE that if I can keep my concentration and run decently I ought to be able to cash in one of those things eventually.

Anyway, the real moral of this post is that you shouldn't play when you're tired. Good things usually don't happen. I should never have even opened the poker client tonight and I could have saved 27 bucks out of my bankroll. But, that's how it goes, it's not a huge loss and I'll move on. For now, I plan to continue playing .5/1 6-max and maybe a little 1/2 ring here and there if I can stomach it. I also want to continue playing some SnGs and MTTs. I'm running at like 35% ROI in SnG's since I made my comeback in October and while I'm not up by much, I'm also ahead in MTTs. I enjoy playing those formats a lot, but they don't generate much rakeback, so it's hard to justify playing them a lot. Still, I'm definitley in search of that big tourney score that makes me a few thousand at once and I'm certain that I'm capable of getting there if I run well.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Being A Long Term Winner

You know, I was reading a post on FCP and something occurred to me. It didn't have enough relevance to the thread to post it there, so I'll throw up a quick post here. Really, it's harder to be a long-term winner at poker than most people think and it's not because poker is a difficult game to beat. Most people with any intelligence and a little bit of discipline can figure out how to play winning poker in any given session. It's really quite easy to figure out how to play well and "beat the game." At least at the lower levels.

What makes poker hard to beat really is a lack of discipline. Most people go on tilt, play higher than they can afford, or do any number of other stupid things that cause them to lose money. Most people who could be winning players aren't because they can't control themselves. Poker is a gambling game and it attracts gamblers and gamblers do stupid stuff sometimes. Look at Mike Matusow, he has a brilliant mind for the game, and the ability to play extremely well, but from everything I've read, he's a degenerate who's losing at the game of life. It's sad really.

So, how does all of this apply to me? Well, it's like this...I will probably never make enough money at poker to make a living at it, but as long as I can stick to levels that I can afford. Where the money matters enough to me to make me play well, but to where the losses don't hurt me enough to make me go on tilt and be an idiot, I can grind out a small profit playing poker and stay ahead for life. Maybe someday I'll be able to play for significant money and not tilt when I lose, that's one of my biggest goals, but for now I'll stick to finding that level that's a happy medium. My hourly rate may suck, but I can stay ahead of the game and keep myself from doing stupid things to tilt off my roll.

By the way, I also can't stop thinking about how I lost most of my roll back in February of '07. I had a good solid roll going (like $1600 at some point in January), then I went on a downswing. Instead of dropping down to try to get some wins and some confidence back and grind my way up, I started chasing my losses. It was the stupidest thing I've ever done. I was playing 2/4 SHLHE with way less bankroll than I was comfortable with, I was doing the same thing with 3/6 full ring. I even sat down at a 5/10 SH table once to try to chase my losses. None of it worked and ultimately, that was probably a good thing. Now that I'm back, I plan to focus on playing only what I have the roll for and sticking to 300 BB for ring and 500 BB for SH. It may take a while to build that way, but it should keep me from doing anything stupid. One thing's for sure, I think I learned my lesson the hard way about chasing losses and I hope I never do anything that stupid again.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Minbet Tourneys and SHLHE

After a really frustrating afternoon on Sunday when I started tilting at 1/2 Full Ring LHE and berating players in the chatbox again, I realized that I wasn't as healed as I thought I was. I took a drive cleared my head and browsed a few poker books at a bookstore. And, it occurred to me that I need to find a way to calm down at the table. I think the biggest realization that I'm coming to is that I need to find a comfort level. If the stakes aren't high enough to keep interested I don't play as well, but if losing is enough to really hurt me, I start tilting when I lose and don't play as well. So, I've decided to quit 1/2 FR for a while and concentrate trying to build my roll other ways. I've been doing pretty well in SnGs since I made my comeback, so I've been playing more of those and I've also started playing some .5/1 6-max LHE. I'm shocked by how different it is than full ring. I've never been comfortable playing shorthanded and I'm still not really that comfortable with it, but the quality of play is so low there right now that I think it could be insanely profitable.

I've got about $500 in my roll at the moment, well on my way to my goal for the month of being at $600 at the end of the month. I also set myself a goal of reaching silver ironman this month and I'm only 7 100 point days away from that. Of course, I've been thinking lately that I'm not sure there's a whole lot of EV in going for ironman because I could end up playing a longer session just to get points and that could end up costing me. Anyhow, I'm still probably going to get there this month, but I'm not sure I'm going to set that as a goal in the future.

In other news, I transferred $11 with an FCPer last night so that I could play the Stud8 Negreanu Open on Stars. Only 13 players played, with the top 3 cashing and while I caught some cards early and was the chipleader for a while, I ended up donking out in 9th. I feel like I played too many hands and of course, couldn't catch when I needed to, but I do feel like I have a major problem in limit tournaments. I've always done well in limit cash games, but never in limit tournarments. I think I start playing too many hands and pressing too much in the tournament format, but I'm not exactly sure what the real problem is. I'll have to reasearch that a little more.

Current Bankroll -


Sunday, November 16, 2008

I'm Back ... in the Black

This blog has been dead for about a year and a half now, but I've decided to resurrect it. After staying away from online poker for quite a while, I deposited $100 on FullTilt on October 11. I sit tonight at $426, though the last two weeks have been very up and down, as I was at $400 on November 1, dropped all the way to $240, rebuilt to $460, then dropped to like $330 again before coming in 25th out of over 2000 in the FTP Midnight Madness tourney tonight for like $85.

I've been playing mostly .5/1 LHE and some 1/2 since I came back. I've also been mixing in some SnGs and Donkaments and have actually done quite well in Tourneys. I've done pretty well at .5/1, but probably am down at 1/2. I've found the play to be much different than when I played a lot online years ago. The games are ton tighter, even as low as .5/1, but still probably beatable. I'd definitely like to read some more and try to figure out how best to adapt to the new style. I'm pretty sure I'm not playing completely optimally right now.

Anyway, on to the Midnight Madness tonight. I actually think I caught worse than average starting hands tonight, but managed to make things work by hitting a few key flops. Early on it was a rollercoaster, I'd get to like 4k, double somebody up and drop to just under 2k, then win a coinflip to double up myself. I did this at least twice. I was sitting at just under 7k when the key hand of the tournament came up. I raised in EPish with 8d5d and the button went all-in for like 220, then the SB called. It came back to me and I had to call 220 into a pot of like 3k, obviously I couldn't fold. The flop came something like 852 rainbow and the SB went all-in for 1700, of course I called, the SB showed AA and bricked out and I was up over 10k.

After that, I played solid poker, stole a lot of blinds and antes to build my stack. Won a few key pots where I raised on a steal and was forced to call the all-in of a shortstack. I made it all the way down to the fourth to last table with a pretty solid chipstack, but by the time we got down to 28 or 29 players left I was in like 17th and had several big stacks to my left. I wasn't getting many cards and really hurt myself when I tried to steal with KTo. With about 90k behind, I raised to 15k with blinds at 2.5k/5k with like a 600 ante. I got called by a huge stack two to my left who had over 200k behind. I decided that I pretty much needed to flop huge or I was done with the hand. Then the flop came A74 and I decided that my opponent might have a middle pair and and I should represent the Ace, so I bet 21k into pot of just over 41k. He instantly went all-in and I was forced to fold. That knocked me down to like 40k in chips, with huge blinds and 24 out of 27. With an M of like 3, I managed to win the blinds with 3 or 4 all-ins with fairly weak hands, since I still wasn't getting much in the way of hands. Then, with about 50k left and the blinds at 3k/6k with a 750 ante, I picked up 77. An EP player shoved for like 85k and I felt like I had to call since 77 was the best hand I'd seen in a while and his raise looked kinda weak anyway (in hindsight, I kinda think I maybe could've folded and looked for a better least maybe a spot where I could get my chips in the pot first instead of having to call off my stack). Anyhow, had 88 and I didn't suck out. All in all, I played a pretty good tourney and ran really well on some key hands even though I never really did hold much in the way of starting hands. I really wanted to win, or at least final table, but it seems to be my destiny to go deep, but not quite deep enough.

Anyway, I'm back...feeling pretty good about my game and hoping to improve and rebuild a decent sized bankroll.