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A $90 Story and You Decide #8

On Saturday, I had a first. I visited a pokerroom on Long Island. An illegal pokerroom. In NYC, there is no legal casinos within a 2 hr radius. I don't have a car, so its few and far between when I can play in a legitimate (i.e., not a home or Internet) game. I guess the illegal pokerroom is no exception, but it was closer to the real deal.

On Saturday morning, the local newspaper had an article about two raids on illegal pokerrooms in NYC. The rooms must have been getting too popular, because they had been operating for a while without problems. Their usual take was about $10,000-20,000 a night. At the time of the raid, $100,000 in cash was seized. The players originally thought they were being robbed. Cops reported hearing them say, "Thank god, its only the police." "Thank god" is right, because the players were allowed to leave without trouble.

I've always avoided the NYC cardrooms for one major reason: I love poker. I thought that my fixed income would be put at risk if I had a game accessible 24/7. But then my little brother's friend (little bro = 23 yrs old) told me that he was dealing in a room on LI. I grew up on LI. My parents live on LI. So I'm there every couple of weeks. When he told me about the pokerroom, my mind started to put things together. Here was a room that I could not go to without a 1 hr train ride and arranging a car with my family. The last piece of the puzzle fell into place when he told me about the $30 rebuy tourneys on the weekends. So here it was: a pokerroom, close enough to get to conveniently, far enough to be only an occasional thing, and cheap enough to play responsibly.

On Saturday, I got to the pokerroom at 2pm, expecting the tourney to start at 3. I was wrong, as the tourney starts promptly at 2, and players can buy in for the first hour. In the future, I may intentionally miss the beginning, but this is yet to be seen. After reassuring the doormen that I was who I said I was (they didn't believe my I.D. until I showed them my work idea and the progression of my follicle exodus until my present state) I sat at a table with a rag-tag group of players. Included were two black guys who were clearly sharp players, a couple of young guys who were the marks, a couple of old guys who looked like they'd rather spend their money on a long-shot bet than on a spin-cycle at the local laundramat, and a chain smoking middle-aged woman. What a crowd! I was right at home.

Chip counts started at T1000, and blinds at 25/25, raising to 25/50, 50/100, and then the rebuys stop and the antes come into play.

My first big hand was when I raised it to 200 with 66 on the button. The flop was T94 with two clubs. There was just me and some kid wearing a full-on jacket where most people were wearing shorts. The dude looked doofy, but I was not 100% sure of his game yet. He had certainly been aggressive. He called two all-ins a couple of hands ago post-flop with the nut-flush draw and hit it, tripling up.

With all of this info, I raised it up 200. He pushed me all in for just shy of 600 more. All-in would've been tough. I thought for a minute about my options, and then I looked at JacketMan. He was looking at the table quietly. Thank you Mr. Caro. I called the scared kid, but only after stating, "Well, if you paired the 9 or 10 I'm screwed, but I'm willing to bet you are on a draw." I was wrong. The twerp had pocket 5s. At least I picked up on his tell. He didn't want the call, but that's what he got, and I doubled up.

A while later, a strong hand of mine was cracked and I ended up double rebuying (they allowed this) for $40 and T2000. I also did a single add-on at the break to keep my exposure below $100 (the rest of the table bought a double-add-on. At the end, I was shortstacked with about 1200 (remember all of their add-ons), with 50 ante and 150/300 blinds. I went all-in UTG with AQs, and one player called with AKo. The flop was QJ4 and I was singing, "Lady in Red" quietly as the Q was a Q of hearts. However, ole lady luck stuck it to me good when she coughed up a T to give my opponent a Broadway straight.

Losing sucks, but at least I've found a new place to play. Now I'd like to direction your attention to:

You Decide #8
In the tournament at one point with 100/200 blinds I was down to about 1400. One of the black guys, an aggressive player, raised it from 100 to 500 UTG+1. The table folded to me in the BB. I was thinking that I would likely lay it down until I saw my cards, AA. I raised it to 1000, leaving myself with 400. At the time, I wanted him to call. I announced, "I'm making a play for your chips." I expected him to push me all-in, but he called.

The flop looked okay to me: 562. I raised all-in for 400 more. I told the guy that he could save himself 400 if he wanted. Realistically, he was going to call no matter what. I was happy when I saw 78s. The turn was uneventful, but the river was a 4.

Did I play this wrong? Felicia (I think) recently posted a comment that stated that you try to protect your good hands in tournaments and get value in ring games. I definitely didn't play to protect, but I didn't slowplay either. Here I thought that I could get my opponent to call heads-up with inferior cards. I was hoping for a high pocket pair, but you see what I got. I was still dominating, but luck has to come into play somewhere. So there you have it. Did I play this wrong or right? You decide. Post a comment. Your thoughts are always appreciated.

Poker poker poker.

posted by Jordan @ 9:29 AM, , links to this post




Do I Suck?

What a question: Do I suck? I'm afraid that the answer might be yes. Last night, I was sucked out more than an ice cream cone with a cracked bottom. Playing limit is killing me. These players will stay in with anything. In one hand, the flop was AQ5, and I had AK. I rammed and jammed until some yahoo hit his trip 5 on the river. This was typical for me. But I have to admit, I gave some chips away too, chasing things that were not going to happen. I am currently at a bit shy of $25 on Noble, which is ridiculous. At this rate, I will have to reload my account just to play in the Limit Challenge against DNasty.

This all brings me back to my original question: Do I suck? I placed 4th out of 153 a couple of days ago; in Jan I placed 2nd out of 180 or so; in Feb AND March I placed 1st our of over 180. These stats alone would lead me to believe that I don't suck. But my play on the cash tables has been pretty inconsistent, leading to what I estimate to be more losses than wins. Then I see on TV or read in a blog that player x cleans up online, and I wonder, what the hell is wrong with me?! Why aren't I a winning player online?

I've been thinking about this and a couple of things might alleviate some of my concerns. (1) Maybe I'm just a good tournament player and I should stick to my strengths. MTTs have generally gone well for me in the past. Should I change focus? The problem here is that I usually don't have enough time to dedicate to these long tourneys. (2) I need to close up shop whenever I have a losing table image. Maybe this is why players keep calling me down. When I'm losing left and right, why not call me down. (3) I need to stop chasing, bluffing, and semi-bluffing at low limits. These players just won't fold. So, I am losing a lot of value to my chasing/semi-bluffs. My belief is that if you have a draw, you may as well bet because your opponent may call and you can hit your card OR the opponent might fold right away, in which case you don't need your draw. The second aspect is gone with these low limit players. At least in NL I can force them out. The same is true for a bluff. You can't bluff someone when there is a AKQ on the board if they are willing to call with J high (it just happened!). Things that make you go hmmmm. Finally, (4) NL might just be the way for me. I'm not saying that I always win in NL, but I do feel like I am more in control. I've made this argument before, so I don't want to get repetitive. But, bottom line, NL is more my game of choice.

That said, to become a well-rounded player, I'm sticking to the Limit Challenge and hoping that this dip is just a bit of variance. Hopefully, I've used up all of my bad luck just in time to show DNasty whose the boss...and it ain't Tony Danza.

Before I go, let me show a hand that I won. It still exhibits two things: the ridiculous calls by my opponents on Noble Poker and my ridiculous plays. After all, it is not just my opponents' fault:

I have the Hammer, 27o, in the SB heads up against a player "OneOf" who only has 1.72 left at the .50/1 limit table. I limp in and he checks. The flop is KQ4, so I check. He checks too. The turn is A. Feeling that he won't call a $1 bet with only 1.22 left, I bet. After all, there is no way I can win on a showdown, and worse case scenario, I only lose another 1.22. He calls, and I know I am in trouble. At the very least, he must have a high-card. The river is a 9, and I dutifully check. He checks too, and shows his 56o! The dude was calling me down with 6 high, and I took it down with my 7. I almost didn't understand how I won at first.

Damn fish! I may've won the hand, but it shouldn't have played out like it did.

Have a good day, and a better tomorrow.

posted by Jordan @ 10:16 AM, , links to this post




Counting Flowers on the Wall...

...that don't bother me at all. Playing solitaire till dawn with a deck of 51. Smoking cigarettes and watching Captain Kangaroo. Now don't tell me, I've nothing to do.

If you don't know what that quote is from, its lyrics to the song "Flowers On The Wall" by The Statler Brothers. I know the song from the Pulp Fiction soundtrack, one of the best soundtracks ever put together (but not the best, which is probably the soundtrack to Trainspotting).

The song embodies my late afternoon. After a very prolific and efficient morning, I'm counting flowers on the wall. With about 45 minutes left in the work day, this is a bad thing. Mostly, its bad because I have to bill for my time, as a lawyer. So, sitting on my hands for the next 45 minutes would be sweet if I were a government employee or had some regular gig. Instead, while I have to make up my hours so that I can fulfill my annual requirement of 2000 billed hours. Boo hoo hoo. At least it is the Friday before a long weekend, which is probably why things have slowed down (I am waiting on about 5 calls and 10 documents to be sent to me).

This weekend will be an eventful one. Fiance Kim and I have a bat mitzvah on Saturday night and a wedding on Monday night. As a result, we are missing work on Tuesday. Not too shabby. As for tonight, fiance Kim wanted to stay in and pack. That girl loves her options so packing for two major events and several days in between should be quite a sight. In the meanwhile, I, her loyal man, will be waiting at the rail. Or more accurately, I will be playing online poker to keep myself from going stir crazy. Tomorrow morning, fiance Kim heads out early for girlie stuff, so I can sleep late and stroll back to Long Island (NYC suburbs) whenever I damn well please. More time for poker? Don't mind if I do! Of course, Saturday night will be filled with small talk and "free" food and drink (is it really free when I am hemorraging gift money?). Sunday should be laid back, so maybe I can get into the cardroom tournament in Long Island. I'll have to speak to my connection, a dealer at the cardroom. As I've placed 4th of 153 or so this week, I'm feeling good about my tournament play. Monday will be shot, poker-wise, but by then, I'm sure I would have had played enough to hold me over.

I read today that Scott Fischman won two braceletes back to back in the $1500 NLHE and $2000 HORSE tournaments at the WSOP. Why didn't I know this? I've always felt that he looks like a prick, but I guess I have to give credit where it is due. Maybe I'll open an account with the Fishtank poker room...HA!! Why would anyone play on a site like that when there are more popular sites? Then again, I am playing on Noble Poker...he in glass houses...

While I am rambling, something really got my goat yesterday. I'm watching Britney and Kevin: Chaotic on MTV. Why, you ask? Well, because my on demand service isn't working (SCREW YOU TIME WARNER) and my computer was uber-slow (SCREW YOU TIME WARNER) while it downloaded the Noble software. Fiance Kim was in the bedroom on the phone and using the laptop, so this was my only entertainment option.

So I'm watching Britney's show and I'm thinking, WHY? Why would she volunteer and produce a show about how deluded and desperate she is? The show is her own home videos showing her courting Kevin Federline. The problem is, she is clearly throwing herself at him, and he consistently rejected her. I can't blame him, because in the occasions in which a girl has thrown herself at me (I can count it on one hand) it's usually a turn-off. Its sort of like the old pre-kid-toucher Woody Allen line, "I don't want to be in any club that would have me as a member." Come to think of it, that may have been a Marx brothers line. But I digress.

Here I am watching Britney show the world how pathetic she is. And then it gets worse. She starts asking everyone she can what their favorite sex position is. And then she goes on to talk about what celebrity she would most like to bang. I'm thinking, damn, get that girl a man, stat! She came off looking like a ditzy, attention-desperate whore. Now, I like ditzy, attention-loving whores as much as the next guy, but come on...she's PREGNANT. Which means she will have a kid within a year. Does she want this video to be available to baby Spears-Federline?! Discretion please.

Okay, that had nothing to do with poker, and everything to do with having too much time on my hands. Sorry readers. I'm out!

posted by Jordan @ 4:36 PM, , links to this post




Let the Games Begin

It's official. DNasty13 and I are locked in mortal combat. A limit challenge has been proposed and accepted. Now all that is left to see who will be crowned the 2005 Limit Challenge Champion!

If you have been reading for a while, you may recall that about a month ago I picked up on something in DNasty's blog. DNasty posted a chart that was taken from DoubleAs's site, which was taken from someone else. The concept is as follows:

Start with a set amount of money. In this case, DN and I are starting with $50, as opposed to the $25 suggested by the original Limit Challenge spreadsheet. With $50, we start at .25/.50 limit table ONLY. Once the bankroll reaches $110, we can move up to the .50/1 tables. Then at $215 move to 1/2, $370 to 2/4 and so on. There are also drop-back levels. For instance, if I'm at .50/1 and drop to less than $100, I'm put back at .25/.50.

Now, personally, I think this will be good as a test in sustainability and profitability over time. It is also a test in discipline. There are a couple of potential difficulties, however.

First, I am ADD when it comes to poker. I change my game (SNG, low limits, NL, Omaha) ever couple of days. The challenge will require me to buckle down and play only one game consistently. I am almost tempted to open a new account on a different site so I can still play other games and not mess with my Limit Challenge Bankroll. Of course, the short-coming there is that such a move will cut into my Limit Challenge time. We will see how this plays out.

Second, I am currently on Noble Poker (online poker serial monogomist that I am), and NP offers a 100% bonus that is based on the limit you are playing. Starting at .25/.50 will slow down that progress. But this is something I will just have to accept.

Third, I have been running cold on limit, especially at low limits. I've been playing limit for a couple of days in preparation, and it has not been going well. In fact, I think my Noble bankroll may have dipped below the $50 mark. If that is the case, then I'll have to start a new account elsewhere just to start the Challenge. I am seriously considering entering money at Ultamite Bet, the favored site of DNasty. This way we can potentially play the Challenge at the same table here and there. This might be the best move, so I can start with a clean $50. The only shortcoming I can see is that I have read (and only read, never tried) that UB has quality players. Hopefully, that is not the case at the .25/.50 tables.

So, that is it for now. I am looking forward to the Challenge. It is set to last for 6 weeks, starting on Monday, May 30th (when I will be at a wedding, thereby giving DNasty a head start). At the end of the 6 weeks, Sunday, July 10th, DNasty and I will compare bankrolls and see who came out the winner. If either of us bust out before then, the other player is the default winner. The prize, a cool $25. Okay, it won't break the bank, but it is just to keep things interesting.

Stay tuned, as I hope to update my Challenge standings often, starting Monday. Thanks for reading.

Life is like a starting hole card, you never know what you are going to get.

posted by Jordan @ 8:56 AM, , links to this post




AK-47, They Ain't Just Two Poker Hands

I recently emailed TripJax. I checked out his site after playing with him at the Pauly freeroll, and wanted to leave a quick message. As it turns out, Trip had seen my site before, and he mentioned that he laughed at my pic with the AK-47. Reflecting on it, I thought I should share the story of how that picture came to be.

When taking photographs, I often like to shake things up. I can only do so many cheesy smiling pics. It isn't my style. So, when I was at my friend's summer home in the Hamptons (yeah, he's got dough) and he told me his dad, a gun aficianado, bought an AK-47 before they were banned in NY, I had to get the shot. Hence my freedom-fighter pose. I don't think I've ever really shot a gun, except for a rifle at summer camp once or twice. So, I'm not a gun nut...I just like absurd humor.

There you go. For now on, however, I will be adding 47s (and not 47o) to my playable/bluffable hands, in commemoration of this posting [notice my clever way of turning this into a poker posting].

posted by Jordan @ 6:04 PM, , links to this post




Lost

In commemoration of the season finale of Lost, I lost some money! I surrepticiously played some quick 1/2 action early last night while fiance Kim was on the phone with one of her friends. It was surrepticious because I told fiance Kim that I was going to take a night off. I should have followed my own advice, because I gave up about $15-20. I made some great laydowns, including folding an overpair on the river after betting the entire way. The river matched the low card on the board, and there were four players still in the hand. Some schmuck must have stayed in with that low pair, and probably made trips. I didn't want to fold, but when one player bet out and another called, I knew my goose was cooked. I folded TPTK, and the bettor showed his trips. Of course, it sucks that he hit trips on the river. But that will happen. It is up to me to avoid giving him any more of my money when it happens.

On a separate note, I have not played a game with fellow poker degenerates Robbie Hole or Rouss in some time. I've been very busy with family obligations lately, and I haven't spoken to the guys recently either. Come to think of it, I haven't spoken to a lot of people. Once I am done with this weekend (chock full of a distant cousin's bat mitzvah and fiance Kim's friends wedding), I'll have to change that. Make some calls, do some drinks, and if poker is a possibility, that too. The three of us are going to AC of June 5th (thanks to a free room at Resorts), so that is also coming up. Thank god, because this self-imposed exile is starting to make me stir crazy.

Not much in the way of poker, I know. But all in due time.

I got an email from some dude who wants to advertise on my site. I was flattered, but in order for me to get anything out of it, I'd have to provide players for some online casino or another. I don't know if I have the pull or the readership for that, so as of now, I'm asking questions of the ad guy before making any decisions.

If anyone is playing on Noble Poker, let me know your screenname and maybe we can meet up and kick some poor unsuspecting table's ass. I'm liking the site. I'm not sure how I feel about the players though. NP bankroll is now in the mid-to-high 70s. I also have to consider when to withdraw my funds. I need to start chalking up some wins, because I am behind my goal of $100 in profit per month. I know it ain't much, but its a goal I can reasonably hit without playing limits that I cannot afford.

That's all(-in) folks.

posted by Jordan @ 9:21 AM, , links to this post




Tourney Story

Let me start this off with a quick apology to anyone I pissed off during the Noble Poker $200 Freeroll. Sometimes, while sitting at my computer playing poker, I get a bit chatty. Unfortunately, my sarcasm often doesn't come across in type...a little bit of tone of voice can go a long way. I tend to gloat when I hit hands or win with a bluff, and I even sulk at times when things aren't going well. I guess with the non-face-to-face computer setup, it can get even worse. So, my apology if I came off as a prick to anyone.

Okay. So I kept notes on Blogger throughout the entire freeroll tournament. I have to thank Pauly once again for setting this thing up. I expected Noble Poker to be a sub-par site, but it was just the opposite. I deposited $50 for my own purposes, and will receive a 100% bonus, depending on how many raked hands I play (rather than the amount of rake per hand). I also recieved an immediate $10 bonus, as well as an entry into a freeroll on June 5th (I will be in AC, ironically). The graphics are good. The players are sufficient in number. Overall, good stuff.

The Freeroll started at 9pm. I was in bed next to fiance Kim who was watching Rob and Amber's Wedding. I was more than happy to have something like poker to distract me. Admittedly, the notes to follow will focus almost entirely on hands I was involved with. It was hard enough keeping notes while playing (which caused me at one point to auto-fold 22 pre-flop; a 2 came out on the flop!). As a result, I kept the notes to my hands only, especially later on in the tournament.

So, I start the freeroll at a table with Otis, G-Rob, and Spaceman, to name a few. We start with 1500 chips. Right away, I can tell this is a different game. Lots of chat. I get into the flow of laying down hand after hand. Nothing much is happening. I have visions of blinding myself to death (ala Broomcorn's uncle).

9:14. I have the Hammer (27o) UTG. I raise 4x blind, and get only one caller. I miss flop, but make a pot-sized raise anyway, and my opponent folds. Naturally, I show the hammer and type "HAMMER!" in the chat.

9:18. Greggie goes all in with 99 in MP and is called by Pokerama w/ AK. Greggie doubles up to 1550.

9:23. The table is really tight. I’ve had the SB fold to me twice already. What’s going on here? I’m the 2nd big stack with just short of 2000.

9:25. Obie is all-in post flop with 66. BigSlickNuts calls (he is now all-in as Obie is chip leader) with AQ. Flop was 9Q5/K/A. Obie is at 855. BSN is near 3000.

9:29. Otis moves all-in pre-flop with 99, and is called by BigSlickNuts with AA. When a 9 hits the flop, Otis takes it down. Immediately followiung, BSN takes out G-Rob when G is preflop all-in with AT against BSN’s QQ. BSN is running hot, and back to 3000. Meanwhile, I appreciate the fine linen chosen for the tables at Rob and Amber's wedding.

9:35. I take out Pokerama when he goes all-in KQs and I have 99 pre-flop. I'm now at 2170.

9:37. BigSlickNuts raises with the Hammer pre-flop and takes down a hand. He then goes all-in, called by Otis. BSN has Hammer (again!), Otis has KK. Its academic. BSN is at 100. Otis is at 4600.

9:40. Moved to a table with BadBlood, thefatguy, BSN, and Tripjax, to name a few. Tripjax turned out to be one of the more entertaining players. More than a few witty statements were shared.

9:42. Dnasty shows up to join the fun. My bad. He just stopped by to say hi. He and SteelerJosh are playing at another table in the tourney.

9:51. What? Pauly was already out in 119! Sucker!

9:54. TripJax takes out KingPenguin, when Penguin is all-in with K7 agains Trip’s 67...and a 6 and 7 come out. I’m the shortstack besides absentees (people who were not there but still entered the tournament) with just north of 2000.

9:57. Trips' AK against Funknee's AJ all-in pre-flop. J comes on river, but makes Trips makes a flush with the J. Funknee is out.

9:59. Double up off of donkeyman when my AT suited hits T high flop. I have only 800 and bet it into a 900 pot (all-in) after donkey checks. He calls with middle pair and a shit kicker. I take it down. 2740, and we are at the break. I watch Rob and Amber buy each other way-too-expensive wedding gifts.

10:09. I get JJ in the BB, but all fold to me. Damn those cowards.

10:10. I get Hammer on the Button. All fold to me. I move all-in, knowing full well that the SB and BB are absentees and will auto-fold. However, SB was already all-in in the SB and has to call. BB folds. SB has A7 v. 27, and then hits 4 of a kind As on the flop. I lose 30 or so.

10:13. AKo in MP, with a caller before me and a caller after. KJT flop. It's checked to me. I bet 900, and all fold. I’m at 4480.

10:26. Some players tell me my blog isn’t working, I checked and it ain’t. Too many things at once. I’ll deal with it tomorrow. Its nice to know they tried.

10:37. PokerProf’s AJ takes out KQ and AT which were both all-in. He now has 20,000. I am short of 6800.

10:47. I have KK, to the right of Button. All fold to me. I double blinds from 1000 to 2000. Snailtrax calls in the BB. 683 flop. Snail goes all in w/ Q6 and I call. Double up to over 15K.

10:51. 22 Utg+1. I raise to 2000. A9 goes all-in for 2000 more. I call, hoping he has two high cards. I'm right, but he hits the straight...until a rivered A gives me the same straight and we split. Whew.

10:53. I play 64o in the SB with only the BB (GCox) in the hand. An opportune bluff after the flop pays off. I show my cards. Booya!

10:57. 16 players left, and 15 spots pay. I limp for 1500 UTG with KJs, hearts. I am currently 4th in chips. I take down the hand on the flop (K high with two hearts) with a small bet.

11:03. 12 players left, and I’m in 4th. Sydrian in SB doubles up on me when he raises a small amount all-in and his A high pocket beats my K high pocket. 20,000 chips.

11:09. Break time and I’m in 7th out of 11. I have to make it to 5 to move up a payout from $5 to $10. Plus, I’m playing for street cred. Right now, things are ok. I’ve been slightly wild (or at least that’s what I want the table to think). GCox, on my left, is getting the worst of it. I showed him two bluffs earlier with 25o and 64o back to back, and ever since then he has been more aggressive against me. He’s the table chip leader (3rd overall) and the wrong person to mess with, but he is also my current target. Oh well, I’ve made my bed.

11:12. In the first hand back, I get 99 on the button. I double the blind. GCox in SB called. KQx board. I raise the minimum. GCox calls. 6 on the turn. I raise the minimum again, feigning strength (as though I want him to call). He folds.

11:15. Poker Prof in Button goes all-in for an additional 5500 or so, after I limped with 44 in MP for 2000. I call to see his QTs. I hit the 4 on the river and take it down (no QT anyway). The low pairs are paying off. Final table time.

11:17. With AK, I double the blind. Iggy in the BB calls. TT9. I fold after he goes all in for 11000+.

11:21. I play AJ on the button. It was a big mistake, as Jedi raises from 2000 to 7000 in BB. I call. The flop is three low cards, two suited. He raises me all-in and I fold with 20K in chips left. In 6th place out of 9.

11:23. I call a raiser with 67s after a minimum preflop raise. Long story short, I fold to his all-in on the flop, in which I hit mid pair. 14K. I'm starting to lose my game.

11:27. Sydrian is out in 9th, after dodging many bullets. I lose my SB and BB to Jedi, the chipleader bully. Down to 9700, 8th of 9.

11:29. albet is all-in in the SB for 4800. Two callers. ReadChom is all-in after the flop. Jedi calls. Chom takes it down with 77 (no one hit the board), and albet is out. I'm in 8th out of 8.

11:31. I’m BB. I might have to make a move no matter what. 9800 chips, 4000 BB. ReadChom in the SB raises me all-in. I call. My Q high v. his J high, and I win. 17500.

11:35. Iggy is all-in and loses to Slayre. I am 6th out of 6.

11:37. GCox is all-in preflop v. Jedi. Jedi's QK takes out GCox’s 99, when a Q flops. 5th out of 5? I just scratched my way into $10. Now can I make it $20?

11:39. I am all-in preflop on the button with Q2s. SB (Jedi) and BB (Slayre) fold to me. 17.5K.

11:40. ReadChom's AA takes out slayre's AJ. Slayre is out, and I'm in 4th! $20! Kaching. I immediately double up against Jedi when my QJ flushes his AQ.

11:49. I am all-in on BB, and triple up when I river a trip 4s (with one 4 in my hand). But I'm out in the next hand when my top pair loses to a baby straight.

That's it. Jedi took it down. I called it following my loss, and Snailtrax didn't seem too pleased. Jedi was playing a forceful game and was the chipleader for most, if not all, of the time I was at his table. It was a great time, and reminded me that I can play some fine poker. I bluffed a good amount. I did not slowplay at all. I don't even think I got to too many showdowns without going all-in.

No poker tonight, because I plan on spending some much needed time with fiance Kim. And the Lost finale is on. If you've never seen the show, you don't know what you are missing.

They can take our lives, but they can't take our Poker!

posted by Jordan @ 11:54 PM, , links to this post




Freerolling, Compliments of Dr. Pauly

I'm looking forward to tonight's $200 Freeroll, in honor of Dr. Pauly's move from NYC to Las Vegas. I've said it before, and I'll say it again: I hope Pauly rides this thing to the top. He's a very personable guy with great writing and poker skills. How could you not want this guy to succeed? My guess is that it is only a matter of time before he shows up commentating on some round-table discussion airing on a new Poker or Casino channel (I believe there is more than one in the works).

Tonight is Pauly's going away freeroll on Noble Poker. I've got to sign up when I get home later, and make a better showing then my recent bubble trouble. Hopefully, playing sober will help me a bit.

That's pretty much it for today, considering that I posted two or three times yesterday. Thanks again to all the new readers. I had almost 60 visitors yesterday, which isn't too bad considering that my previous high was in the 20s, and my average was single-digits. Thanks also to Double A and Lou for posting comments to my You Decide #7 post. Your insight was much appreciated. I knew that, generally, I played the hand wrong, but your comments have provided me with a different viewpoint, as well as different aspects of the game that I was not focusing on enough.

For anyone who hasn't seen You Decide #7, please take a look. Feel free to continue posting comments, as I get all comments automatically emailed to me. I respond to just about every comment as well, because I really appreciate the feedback.

Ask not what your poker can do for you, ask what you can do for your poker.

posted by Jordan @ 12:10 PM, , links to this post




You Decide #7

So, here is a hand I faced in NLHE, .05/.10. You tell me, did I mess up? Did I play it perfectly? Post a comment.

I was dealt Ac Kc, and called $0.10. Two players call behind me, and the two buttons called as well. Five players in the hand.

The flop is 6c 3c Jc. SB and BB check. I check. Bettor to my right bets $0.50. All fold. I call.

The turn is 5s. I check, Bettor bets $0.50. I call.

The river is 6s. I check. Bettor bets $0.50. I raise it to $1.30. Bettor re-raises to $3.50. I go all-in, knowing full well that he only has another $1.25. He calls and shows a rivered full house, J6 in the pocket. My nut flush was crushed. So was my FT bankroll.

So what do you think? I usually don't slowplay, but I thought I was in like flint. Was I wrong to do so? Should I have simply called on the river? Leave a comment and share your thoughts. Poker on!

Now, as an aside, I finally busted out on Full Tilt. I believe my $100 lasted about a month. $100 for a month is not a ridiculous amount of money to lose, but I am woefully behind on my goal to end the year up $1200 ($100 per mo.) Once I deposit in a new site, that'll bring my winnings down as well (I consider any deposit a loss until I cash out and make it a win). But, I've been up and down before. It looks like UB is the next site on my bonus whore tour. That way, I can join DNasty13 and (possibly) SteelerJosh in a Limit Challenge. Details to follow.

posted by Jordan @ 8:20 PM, , links to this post




Welcome New Visitors

Thank you Dr. Pauly and fellow bloggers. Today, I've had about three times the traffic as usual. I may have bubbled out on both tournaments, but at least there was some tangible benefit, aside, of course, from cavorting with my fellow bloggers. Keep reading, people. The writing is just going to keep getting better.

So, work has been light today. I took my lunch hour, and went home to scarf down some grub while watching Elimination Match 11 of PokerStars II. This game featured two of my favorite players, Doyle Brunson, the man whose SuperSystem 1 helped me harness my present game, and Mike Sexton, the WPT announcer whose verbal insight and cheesy lines are forever embedded in my brain whenever I play poker.

An Asian feller by the name of Young (I think) went out in one of the first hands due to some horrific decision making. Sexton with TT raised the pot in early position. Young with AQo raised it up. Mimi Yan (I think that's her name) re-raised all-in with AA. Sexton threw his hand away, and Young thought for a minute before calling. What the hell!? Look, Young, there are only five or so hands she could have had, and the fifth, JJ, is highly unlikely in this situation. There was already two raises, so Mimi could not have been trying to push people out of the hand with a low pair. She would be too vulnerable from one of the big hands, and vulnerable to two high overcards as well (all others, presumably, would fold). So she had to have a premium hand. This included AA, KK, QQ, AK, and maybe...MAYBE JJ. I say maybe JJ because some people might make the all-in move with JJ hoping to force out smaller hands, but also confident that someone might call with overcards or an underpair such as TT or 99 might call. But realistically, JJ is not a good hand to go all-in with here, because the re-raiser, Young, was representing a premium hand. Why call Young? It just goes to show you that even professionals make bad plays. I wouldn't expect this play from anyone other than a novice.

My Full Tilt bankroll has been on life support for a while. I've been putting it all in one NLHE table with the hopes of busting out or doubling up, but neither has happened. Last night, I did double up from about $7.50 to $15, but then gave away $5 in a heads-up SNG. In the SNG, I was a bit distracted, and thought my A9 was suited, with a nut flush draw after the flop. I had been bullying for a while, so I pushed all-in only to be called by AA. When I looked at my cards again, I realized that I was off-suit. I guess it is a donation to the gambling god of stupidity. Maybe Young and I can start a support group.

Poker on, people.

posted by Jordan @ 2:10 PM, , links to this post




Trouble on the Bubble

"I'm in trouble on the Bubble," I joked as I sat around a table with two fellow bloggers and a couple of other players. I was the short stack out of 5 players left in a 14 person tournament. I did not know how prophetic my remark was. For tonight, I was Bubblicious. Two tournaments, both out on the bubble.

The night was not an entire loss. For at the tournament was none other than my Blogger role model (okay, maybe more like my blogger inspiration) Dr. Pauly himself. And along with Pauly, was a couple of other bloggers, including F-Train, Mas, and Joaquin. How did I end up in a mid-town apartment Saturday afternoon and evening with a bunch of strangers and an assortment of bloggers? I guess that goes back to Pauly, too. See, when I started this website, it was because I found Pauly's and some other bloggers' sites. I was more than entertained. Here was a way for an individual to share his or her (poker) experiences and reflect. So, I jumped on the bandwagon, and started my ongoing effort to build my blog by contacting some of my favorite bloggers. Pauly, a fellow NYer, is the closest thing to an Internet poker celebrity that there is. His site is widely read, and the content is top-notch. So I contacted him first and foremost. He gave me some solid tips on how to start my blog, and over time invited me to the tournament at his friend's apartment. I was flattered, for sure. But I also knew I had to take the opportunity to meet Pauly and play some poker.

I am not a shy person, but I am also not necessarily outgoing either. I mean, I can be sociable, but my crass, sarcastic humor has put off more than a few people...and that's when things are going smoothly. Entering Toni's apartment (the host of the tourney) I didn't know what to expect. Small talk is not my specialty. However, after entering the slightly ajar door (no one responded to my knock or doorbell), Pauly sighted me and called me over. He was talking to F-Train, a fellow blogger whose site I had only perused (for SurfControl reasons). Soon, Joaquin and "Poker Genius" Mas, two other bloggers, joined the group. I must say, everything was really cool. All three of the guys I mentioned, as well as Pauly's bro Derek, and Ugarte, were good people. What I mean by that is, some people are assholes. Or they put on airs. Or they have a host of other serious social defects. But not this crowd. This was a fun time crowd. Good people all around. We got along well, had some drinks, smoked a bit, and played some poker.

Now for the poker. I played fairly well. Not great, but not terribly either. I was hoping for a big win in front of my poker peers, but left down a sad $115. Let me suggest that you check out Pauly or F-Train's blogs for more details. These two players were sighted taking notes that will far surpass my drunken recall. So, I will just give a broad idea of how the games went, until I can copy and paste some better details. Hahaha! Of course, I'm joking. No copy-and-pasting for me...it's not the plagiarism that burns me. I'm just lazy.

The first $50 tournament started with 14 people. I sat to the left of Kathy, a newer player who apparently had a decent poker streak going for her. I ended up sitting behind in at EVERY table that night. Lucky for me, she was good company. Pauly was on my right. More good company. I took down the first two or three hands due to some aggressive play and lucky flops. I thereafter grinded my way into the top 9, when the tables combined. I was placed, by random, to the left of Kathy again. But this time, to my right was F-Train with so many chips the table was ready to buckle on him. Through some selective hands and aggressive play, I coasted into the top 5. Four spots paid. One player, Ken, was way short on chips. But an unfortunate (for me) double up off of F-Train got him healthy again. The other short-stack, Kathy, went all-in two times in a row, stealing Pauly's small and big blinds. I expected Pauly to call and take her out, but he must not have gotten the telepathic signals I was sending.

Suddenly I look down, and I am the short stack. I had enough for two blinds, and I was in the big blind. My cards were atrocious (I can't remember what) and faced with a large raise and a caller, I folded it down. In the small blind, I knew it was now or never. Fortunately, it was only me and the big blind, F-Train. I looked down for 56o. Yipee! I raised all-in, which was the same as calling F's big blind. Without a decision, F-Train flipped his AJo. I triumphantly announced, "I've got you dominated," and showed my 56o. After a chuckle from the table and five undesirable cards, I was out of the tourney, on the bubble.

I mulled about for a bit, trying to regain my mental composure. I sat with $20 in a cash game, dealer's choice, and gave out another $15 in donations. Omaha hi/lo, my pick, went horribly wrong, after I overvalued my low. Other games faired just as bad. When the second tournament was announced, I had $53 in cash and chips, just enough for the $50 buy-in.

I really was proud of my play mid-way through the second tournament. I called a decent pre-flop raise from Mas in the BB with 34o and missed the flop by a mile. When Mas checked to me, I made a raise that was just short of the pot. He laid down his cards, and I showed my 34o. More accurately, I threw them on the table face up, and when I realized that a couple of beer bottles blocked his view, I pushed the cards right in front of him in an act of involuntary gloating. I really just wanted to make sure he saw those damn cards. A little while later, I was faced with AA with a shorter stack. A player in front of me raised to 200 (we start with 1000), and I went all-in with 600. A player after me, Steve, called all-in with his 550, and the original bettor called as well. I had my AA, Bettor had KK, Steve had QQ. After five uneventful cards, I tripled up. Two hands later, I raised pre-flop with 27o, the hammer. Mas had limped in already. He and the blinds laid it down to my monster hand. I showed it again and announced, "The Hammer!" Grubby would've been proud. I showed another bluff to Mas (he was getting the brunt of my bluffing attacks), and loosened up my play a bit. When it was down to 5 (4 paid) I was in decent shape. I was in the top 2 or 3, but I got into some situations in which I had to call someone else's all-in after my pre-flop raise. In one instance, I had KJ, bet 600 pre-flop (higher blinds), and was raised another 250. I called to see AJ in my opponent's hand. I hit my K (two in fact), but the AJ hit the Broadway straight. I finally went out when I faced Toni. I was in the BB, with about T800, and short-stacked. The BB was 200. I had 9 10o, and all players folded to Toni, the SB, who raised to 400. I could either fold and lose 1/4 of my chips, call and likely fold anyway losing 1/2 of my chips, or go all-in. I looked at Toni for a while. If she is reading this, I'm giving away some info, but she was such a gracious host that I consider it a gift. She was bobbing her head left and right humming to the song playing on the stereo. She was doing it in such a way that it could not be missed. She wanted me to think that she had no cares in the world. But I saw through it. I saw her faking her strength. Ask Mike Caro, and he'll tell you, Weak means Strong, and Strong means Weak. She was acting Strong, so I knew she was Weak. I went all-in. She stated that she thought she had 2 overcards (she thought I had a small pocket pair), and called. She held JQ, definitely a weaker hand. But not as weak as mine. I was out in 5th place.

Some of the players were already playing a cash game, but I had only $3 on me, and I knew that any playing would be on tilt anyway. I took it as a cue to leave, and I did just that. It was a great experience. Bloggers are good people, and their friends are the same. I hope to be invited again in the future. Pauly is off to Vegas soon, but when he gets back, we are definitely going to meet up. Thank you to all at the game. Ugarte, sorry I didn't post your link, but as soon as I get your website URL, consider it done. I'm out!

posted by Jordan @ 11:16 PM, , links to this post




Divine Intervention?

Last night, my Internet connect at home finally gave up. I've been having problems with my Time Warner cable service anyway, but this is totally new. The cable modem is just not working. I'm no engineer, but I'm sure it has nothing to do with the cable connection. Rather, it is a hardware problem. Since Time Warner won't come to my home until next Friday night, and my laptop with wireless modem is not recognizing the wireless card anymore (nothing is working in my home lately), I am without Internet. It's like being in the stone ages. I actually had to look outside to see the weather! (I was too lazy to wait for the Local Weather on the 8s on the Weather Channel.)

Because of my lack of Internet, I was unable to play online poker last night. So, my goal of giving away the rest of my Full Tilt $7.50 bankroll will be postponed. That said, I think this may have been a blessing in disguise. I've been playing daily. Even when I intended on taking a day off, I played one quick heads-up game. Forced to not play poker, I had a decent night of watching poker. I've had several games DVR'ed, so I sat down to watch the Poker Stars II game between Carlos Mortensen, Chris Moneymaker, Kathy Liebert, Todd Brunson (son of Doyle), some guy named Gray, and the magician Espendiari (I'm definitely spelling that wrong). What a pleasure to watch top players without being distracted. I was able to really focus and see how each player played.

Let me start by saying that I never saw Poker Stars before. Its on Fox Sports, by the way. The setup is great. There is a roster of 20 or 30 some odd professional players that play in six qualifying matches each. Each qualifier has 6 players, with points awarded on a sliding scale for the first five places (6th place gets nada). Then after all qualifying rounds, the sixteen players with the most points move to the 16 player playoffs. Then there are the quarter finals, semi-finals and the finals (the last two are heads up matches). You receive $10,000 for each 1st place in a qualifying round, and more money for winning later playoff rounds. The winner of the whole shebang gets $400,000, on top of whatever else they've earned on the way there. Sounds complicated? It is. But that is good. The structure is made to find the top player, and I think it gives enough opportunities for players so that getting lucky is not enough.

In the game I watched, Moneymaker was pretty pathetic. In his first two qualifiers, he placed 5th and 6th, leaving him with 1 pt only. In this game, he came in fourth, but only because he played scared. I root for the guy, because I feel that everyone considered him lucky to win the 2003 WSOP. Its hard to shake that reputation of being lucky. Without respect at the table, it is even harder to play forcefully. But you have to make things happen in poker, and Moneymaker was playing like me after Vegas, a scared kitten. Never good at the table.

Mortensen is a mad man. I have some respect for his game. He came in 6th and 1st in his first two qualifiers, and took down the win in this one. He was aggressive, maybe overly so, but it got the job done. He was heads up with Liebert at the end of the game. Liebert already won her first two qualifiers, and spent much of her time at the table yapping away. I was watching from the comfort of my bed and even I wanted to strangle her. Heads up, and Liebert has maybe T200,000 to Mortensen's T1,000,000. After doubling up, Mortensen was ahead by less than T100,000. It didn't look good when Mortensen was first to act and went all in with 56o. Kathy, naturally, called with AJ. Mortensen made a straight on the river, to win the tournament. Some may say that he was lucky, but I'd disagree wholeheartedly. Before that fateful hand, Mortensen called Kathy's all-in bets (and many earlier all-in bets by other players) and lost more often than not. But the law of chance demand that he win eventually. People may think that Mortensen gave up a lot of his chips by making stupid calls, and then won the game by getting lucky. I propose that he lost a lot of chips by being unlucky a bunch of times, and he won the tournament by getting lucky once. However, by his style, he had the cushion to be unlucky, and only had to be lucky once to win it all. A bit convoluted? Sorry, its the best I can do.

I have to get some meaningful work done now. But let me just say that Full Tilt sent me an email with a reload bonus offer. Are they mocking me?

posted by Jordan @ 11:14 AM, , links to this post




Turkey Sandwich and a Snapple Iced Tea

My Full Tilt bankroll is now at a turkey sandwich and a Snapple iced tea. In other words, I'm down to $7.50. Quite pathetic. I'm looking forward to sitting in a NLHE table later and either giving it away to the highest bidder or playing for a come back. Either way, I'm happy. I think it's time for me to up and move to greener pastures. Party Poker anyone? Maybe Ultimate Bet, the site of choice for fellow bloggers DNasty and Steeler Josh. This may even be an opportunity to try the limit challenge I wrote about a couple of weeks ago. Part of me is sad about losing money. But it is part of the game. My near $400 total bankroll will be exposed in the next few weeks too, so this brings pause.

On Saturday, I am playing in a $50 14-person max tournament in NYC. I got invited thanks to Dr. Pauly. I'm actually looking forward to meeting the Internet poker celebrity. Hopefully it'll go better than my last celebrity encounter, in which the WWF's Raven essentially told me to fuck off. My fingers are crossed.

Now, as for that tournament, I have mixed emotions. On one hand, I really can't stand to lose right now. I'm very vulnerable. Okay, well, maybe not vulnerable. But in the past, losing a game did not phase me, but right now I am definitely questioning my game. This is never good. I MUST get over this before the tourney. Maybe some poker reading will help. I might need to review Sklansky's "Theory" and Caro's "Book of Tells", and check Brunson's "SuperSystem 2" to see if there are any good tournament nuggets in there.

On the other hand, I play best at home games against strangers. My record for large home games against strangers is 2 for 2. I placed 3rd out of 22, and 2nd out of 13, so I'm no slouch. Of course, those were just two occassions, but I felt the difference playing in those environments. I'm not distracted by all of the people around me as much. Plus, I can gauge them on who they are at that very moment, rather than how I think of them in general. For instance, when playing against Mikey Aps, I'm inclined to think that he is an aggressive bully because I've known him since we were children and the aggressive bully (in poker, and not elsewhere) would fit my mental image of how Aps would play poker. Unfortunately, Aps is clever, so he can use this to his advantage. Or, he can change his game for other reasons, but I'm still stuck on my initial opinion. But when I'm playing against Stranger X, I don't have an initial opinion. I meet the person in the game, and I get to know them through their game. So, maybe I'll be padding, instead of stripping, my bankroll on Saturday. Time will tell.

Aside from Saturday, I'm hitting AC on June 5th, and plan on putting some money into whichever site has the best bonuses. So, I'm a poker-playing fool.

posted by Jordan @ 3:11 PM, , links to this post




Feel the Flow

During my lunch hour, I went home (a short 5 min walk) to save some money. After enjoying my PB&J while finishing the last 15 minutes of Deadwood (highly recommended), I sat down for a quick $5 NLHE heads-up tournament.

While playing, I realized that the flow of the game is key to heads-up play. During the game, you start by getting a feel for your opponent. Hopefully, you can call him down on a few hands, so that you can see what he is willing to play. In this specific game, my opponent was raising doubling the blinds on a slew of hands including KTo, and even J4o. So, I knew to call his minor raises more often than not. By doing this, I was able to interrupt his flow of a small raise followed by my fold, repeated over and over.

In addition, I spent the time feeling out my opponent's willingness to call raises. Pre-flop, I generally made a pot-sized raise (ex. from 20 to 60; from 30 to 90) with any decent hand from Ax, to KQ, and even 89s. He folded a lot. But when he didn't fold, I'd raise the pot again after the flop regardless of whether or not I hit it. I did this because I realized, more often than not, that he would fold when he called my pre-flop bet and did not hit anything on the flop.

So, I was starting to feel the flow. All the while, I was up and down. Starting with 1500 chips each, I was at 1800 or so at my highest, and 800 or so at my lowest. But I was not concerned one bit. I knew that all I needed to do was hit that one hand.

During the game, amongst all of this, there is a flow. He wins a bunch of hands in a row, and then we start going back and forth, and then I am winning a bunch of hands. He's aggressive for a while, then I'm aggressive. Its this ebb and flow that I really started noticing. Its not something as clear-cut as I just described. Its sort of like a feeling.

I decided to use the flow to my advantage. I began making pot-sized raises on a series of hands. It may've started with A3s. If I'm not mistaken, then came KQ, QT, TT, and finally 66. All the while, if my opponent called the pre-flop bet, I bet out on the flop. My opponent folded to the A3s. On the KQ, I didn't hit the flop, but I did bet out and my opponent folded. With my QT, the flop came out QKK, so I bet the pot. My opponent folded again. Now he must've been frustrated, which is the point. When I saw TT, I knew what to do. I didn't want to slow-play. That would mess up the flow. I bet pot-sized, pre-flop. He called. The flop was A33. Uh oh. If he hit the A, I was in trouble. I bet anyway. Feel the flow. He folded. My next hand was the 66. I raised pot-sized and got a call. I could feel that the flow was built up to the point where something was going to happen big. The flop was 6JQ. I made a pot-sized bet...and he...raised. He raised the minimum back at me, but at this point, that was a decent chunk of change. I had him covered by about 100 chips. I re-raised the minimum back at him. If he called he would have about 600 left. I was hoping he'd make a move. He did, and went all in. My trips 6s crushed his pair of J4, for a pair of Js...the middle pair. He did not go all in because he had the nuts. He went all in because the flow was on my side. He was frustrated by my constant raising. He was probably thinking that he was getting pushed around by someone who had nothing over and over again. He had a small piece of the board. There was no stopping the flow. He was going to give me his money.

Ka Ching!

My Full Tilt bankroll is now at $23.50. Slow and steady wins the race.

posted by Jordan @ 1:59 PM, , links to this post




Cycling

Excuse my bummer of a post yesterday. Come to think of it, I'm sure a couple of my recent posts were real downers. Well, this will change, I assure you. Yesterday, I played in a slew of heads-up tournaments, winning only one more than I lost. However, in heads-up, that means that I won a couple of bucks overall. So, my bankroll made a modest climb from $15, to just under $19. Not great, but it is in the right direction.

After playing a couple of the heads-ups, I decided to give it a rest for the night. While lying in bed, I had a thought. Earlier this month, I was down to $15 (or maybe even less) in my Full Tilt account. That occurred after going on a two or three day tilt-fest. But I rebounded and made it back to $90. Now, I am in the same spot. I spend two days on tilt and lost most of my bankroll. Through heads-up SNGs, I hope to make some breathing room. When they get old, I will move onto some cash games or maybe single table SNGs.

Then I thought somemore. Earlier this year, I was up about $500 overall. I then went on a several-day tilt-fest in Vegas, and lost about $460. My bankroll was down to a lowly $40. It took me several days to recover mentally, but when I did, I started making strides. My overall bankroll currently sits at just short of $400 (I account any money in an online account as lost until it is withdrawn). I would like to be at $550 ($100 per month, 5 1/2 months), but I am not that far off.

My point is, there is a pattern, a cycle. I do well, build up a bankroll, tilt for a few days, lose most of it, take some time to find my footing, and climb back up. This cycle is not catastrophic. In fact, if I can control my tilt, it will more or less be nullified.

Lessons Learned:
1) When on Tilt, STOP PLAYING! It seems obvious, but it is hard to NOT play when I feel like I NEED TO WIN. See the problem?
2) When I lose a session or even a few sessions, don't let it effect me mentally. The game is cyclical. I'm not always going to get the best cards, I'm not always going to be lucky, and I'm not always going to play my best game, but I do not have to allow these things to effect me.

I wish there was a third, but I haven't found it yet. Things are going to turn around. That is the key. Until then, keep poking.

posted by Jordan @ 9:19 AM, , links to this post




What's the Point?

My third or fourth home game in a row was cancelled. Regardless of the several people asking me to host a game, and the twenty or so people I invited, I could not fill a table of six. Utterly pathetic.

My Full Tilt bankroll is now $15, AFTER recieving my third $10 bonus.

I was invited to a poker game via Dr. Pauly, but I may have to miss it due to a cousin's 40th birthday and (much deserved) loyalty to fiance Kim. As stupid as it sounds, I cannot think of leaving her on a Saturday night to play poker with virtual strangers. That said, I am really sore about this situation, since Pauly was nice enough to get me invited, and this would likely be one of my few (if not only) chance to meet the man that got me into blogging before he moves to Vegas.

What's the point? I don't plan on arranging any future games, but then again, I am willing to host them. My FT bankroll is so pathetic that I am tempted to just put it all at one NLHE table. My prospects to play poker in the future have dwindled away to nothing.

I guess that kind of sucks. But I have to keep things in perspective. I have my health, even though I haven't gone to the gym in two to three weeks (which will change, starting....now). The weather is beautiful. I've got a wonderful fiance and a great job.

"Stop bitching," I tell myself. "Stop bitching and man up." That is all there is to it. Boohoohoo! No poker! I think I'm over it.

Rouss always jokes that I am moderate to high on the poker addiction scale (after originally being securely low-moderate). Well, I do feel a bit closer to high, as I am aching for some action. But perception is everything. I think my FT losses are due to my rush for action, so a breather is probably very necessary. So, good pokering to all you out there. I'm going to sit back, relax, and kick into low-moderate.

posted by Jordan @ 3:16 PM, , links to this post




Tilt!

Wow! I sucked yesterday. Sucked royally. My Full Tilt bankroll is now at $15! Ridiculous, I know. I can't blame anyone else. I played in two SNGs and made some bad decisions leading to suckouts. One case involved calling an all-in re-raise pre-flop. I had JJ. The two other players in the hand had 66 and AK. So, in fact, I was in with the best of it. Only, I shouldn't have exposed my entire stack to a suckout, which occurred when the AK hit his A AND the 66 hit a third 6, both on the flop. In the other SNG, I made a similar mistake, although the specific elude me.

Meanwhile, I got my ass handed to me in a couple of ring games. I felt myself playing poorly, but I didn't stop. That failure to stop is the real problem in this story.

As for my home game tonight, I might have to regrettably cancel, due to one of the players getting sick. My fear is that if I cancel, no one will ever want to play at my games anymore, due to inconsistency. But if I hold the game and it tops out at five, well, it isn't a tragedy, but it isn't a full game either. I think I'll send an email to the players who RSVP'ed yes, and let them decide. What a pain in the ass. Although, truth be told, part of me wouldn't mind cancelling and spending the night with fiance Kim. What's a man to do?

posted by Jordan @ 8:32 AM, , links to this post




Full Tilt Indeed

Last night, I took a savage beating at the hands of Full Tilt. My bankroll is now at about $45. I had a tough night dealing with further Time Warner Cable issues and wholey unrelated computer issues, as well. Generally, these things drive me nuts, and last night was no exception. After giving up, I sat at a couple of NL and Limit tables on Full Tilt and gave away my money. I hit fold on at least one occassion when I mean to hit call.

I made some horrible calls as well, including calling a $20-30 all-in with two pair. I held 58o in one of the blinds. Two other players were in the hand. The flop was T52. I called a small bet of .50-1. The turn was a 5. I believe I raised. One guy called. The next guy (who I think was the original better) went all in. I thought I was good with my two pair, assuming he had a straight top pair, top kicker (A 10). So, I called the major re-raise. The guy after me called as well. What a pot! I, of course, had two pair, 5s and 8s. The guy after me had two pair, 2s and 8s. The bettor had two pair, 10s and 8s.

It reminded me of a hand at Ruff's game a while ago in which I made a straight on the flop with 84 in my hand and 567 on the flop. Hole went all in for a small $2-5. I reraised all in with abut $20 total. Ruff called. Hole had the small straight (34/567). I had the mid straight (4/567/8). Ruff had...the nut straight (567/89). At least on that occassion, I felt it. But this time, I had no idea. Lately, I've found it tough to fold to a large raise when I have a decent hand. I still do it, but part of me usually believes there is a good chance that the bettor does not have as strong of a hand as he/she wanted. Otherwise, they'd bet small and hope to get more callers.

I have a home game scheduled for tomorrow. Hopefully, we can fill a table, since as of writing this, we only have 5 definites. Go figure, D-Root and Slacker, the two guys who suggested I throw a game, cannot make it. What a kick in the sack!

Hey WPBT! Can we get a tournament that isn't for the WSOP? I understand why they've been for the WSOP, but I am damn anxious to play in one of their tournaments, but I can't go to the WSOP.

Shout out to Dr. Pauly. Gentleman Pauly was kind enough to get me invited to a game Saturday. I'd love to go, and will do whatever I can to get there and meet the Doctor himself. But unfortunately, one of my 821 cousins are having a surprise 40th birthday party on Long Island, and my ma wasn't too happy when I suggested that the surprise should be me not showing up. To make it worse, I should spend that evening with fiance Kim. I just can't see myself realistically making her go to one of my family functions and then telling her to piss off while I play poker with my blogger buddies. Well, actually I did tell her, but in such a way that it is not definite. On top of all of this, on Sunday fiance Kim and I are going to her godfather's tombstone unveiling, so ideally we'd like to be in the same place Sunday morning.

Felicity Huffman's character on Desperate Housewives once said, "Half of life is obligations." More like 3/4 lately. And, yes, I watch Desperate Housewives. If you haven't caught on yet, I watch a lot of crappy television.

Final thought: Should I get Poker Tracker. It is software that keeps track of your and your opponents' plays and stats. I hear it is useful, but part of me feels as though it is almost un-poker-ish to use technology in that way. Part of me also does not want to deal with the hassle of using new software. I guess I should get it though, because my abacus is not too handy when faced with tough decisions. Poker a day, keeps Gam Anon away.

posted by Jordan @ 5:13 PM, , links to this post




Old Friends, New Game

As an update, my Full Tilt bankroll is now $90. I was down to $69, but some 1/2 limit brought me back. I don't really know what my goal is. I was planning on cashing out and moving to a new site with easier bonuses, but now that I am playing higher stakes, it looks like my FT bonus might be easier to earn. I've already earned $20 out of the $100 bonus, so I may as well stay put for a while.

Last night, fiance Kim and I went out for a late dinner at Uptown Lounge (highly recommended) with my long time pal DP and his girlfriend Maia. It was a good time, as we all get along great. It seems like most of my friends have paired off with a chick, which is a relatively rare thing for my group of social misfits. That's a bit of an exaggeration, but overall it never seemed like we were all in committed relationships. After dinner, the four of us went to Copper Door, a bar in the Gramercy area. While there, we met up with DP's pals (and originally through DP, my pals), D-Root and Slacker. It was great seeing them. It was made even better when Slacker asked me what happened to the poker games I used to have. Later that night, entirely independent, D-Root said the same. I was surprised, and explained to them that the games just dried up. I stopped calling them because I didn't want to appear like I was just calling them because I personally wanted to gamble. I had no idea they were so into it.

As a result, I am thinking about hosting a game at my apartment on Tuesday. Hopefully, I can make it happen. Poker, anyone?

posted by Jordan @ 1:39 PM, , links to this post




An Experiment in Blog Writing

Here is an experiment in writing a blog while a tournament is in progress. I hope it doesn't suck:

The tourney started with 194 people. The first hand I played was AQ. Eventually, me and two other players were all in, very early in the game. The board was Q34Q, so I thought I was good, until one player showed 44 (the other fool had 56). I was behind until the river came down with a 3. I made a better full house on the river. And I was tripled up.

A little while later, I got AQ again. Not my favorite hand, but in the BB and a small raise before me, why the fuck not. Plus they already paid out. This time, the A hits, I bet and some guy calls me down until he is all in. His A2 lost.

20 minutes into the game and I'm at 7800, 6th place out of 124 players.

OOH! I'm in M/LP with QQ. Someone raises behind me. I go all-in, as the big stack. Two callers after me, but not the original raiser, who was just a few chips shy of me. I had to match about 1800. The other guys have JJ and A7. Hahaha. Until A7 hits a miracle straight with 689T on the board. Doh! As it turned out though, he only could get half of the pot. So I take about 2000 back, and in the end, won about 200. Better than nothing.

I lose with Trip 6s to a flush that he hits on the river, after I put him all in on the turn. Guy had top pair, flush kicker. Took about 1000 or so from me. Whoops!

34 minutes into the game, and I'm at 7000, 11th out of 98.

AJ in mid position. What to do? Call. No betters before me. Only me, BB and SB. Flop is KQx. Both check to me. I raise 400 into a 600 pot, and take it down. Standard move, really.

In two hands in EP, I force myself to fold Ax hands. Hey, they are just Ax, but damn do they look good. Patience...its more than just a Guns & Roses song. Nowatamean?

66 on the button. Time to steal some blinds. Raise so one guy has no choice but fold or all in. He chooses all in, with JT suited. He then hits a full house, Js over Ts. Why hath you forsaken me?

Showed a successful bluff to the table. Started chatting a bit. Time to set them up. And then it happens. A-10 UTG. Limp. Flop is AA4. Wha? The SB goes all in. WHA? I call. He has 33, and gift wraps his 1700 chips for me.

AA on the button. 2000 raise before me. Call. 396 rainbow. He's all in which puts me all in. He has 55. And I DOUBLE UP.

15,500 chips, after 48 min. 2nd out of 67.

Going to relax and slow it down for a bit. This waiting stuff is tough...Sure is quiet. Its easy to fold all the T6 hands I'm getting...or 37. Whoop-dee-doo! Patience.

Damn. Lost some chips, thanks to some stupid calls. Now they moved my table. Lare (short form of his name, for anonymity of course), is the chip leader by far with 48000. Two other players have me slightly covered. The game just changed.

12800 after 60 min. 10 out of 41. Break in progress.

And I took myself out of the game. Went against the chip leader. Flopped the nut flush and straight draw and chased them over the edge. 32 doesn't pay, so I get NOTHING. Whoops!

That may've been an error on my part at the end. But I knew that if I hit, I would be in position to take it all. As it turns out, I didn't hit. But, for a free tourney, I got my fill. Woulda been nice to have taken it though...

To make matters worse, I lost a $20 Multitable tournament on Full Tilt that same night. I usually don't play these MTTs because the cost is high for my bankroll and the chance of winning is low. But I was in a MTT mood. My FT bankroll is now $113, which means that on my initial deposit, I'm up $13, but in reality, with $20 received as a bonus, I'm down $7. Don't matter to me though. The 1/2 Limit game may be my new hangout, since it has paid well recently. I've also noticed that changing my game every few weeks helps my luck out. I have no idea why, but I do better when playing games I haven't played recently. Maybe it's because it perks me up and I pay more attention. Tomorrow (Saturday), I plan on playing a lot in the afternoon from my parents' home on LI. I'm heading home tonight to hang with fiance Kim who has to have a dress fitted and then visit her fresh-from-the-hospital mother-in-law. I think a little change of scenery will be good too.

Thanks for reading. Poker on!

posted by Jordan @ 10:17 PM, , links to this post




Rant and Rave

Rant- FUCK TIME WARNER CABLE! I swear to god, if I ever spend another 45 minutes on the phone waiting to speak to some apathetic fool, I will snap! I mean, hide the guns and lockdown the bell tower.

Rave- I am SO excited for the $1000 Freeroll on Golden Palace tonight. That's right, GP, baby! I'm not putting anymore money in it, because I am now a bonus whore. But, I still have Action Points (like comp points) on the site, which can get me into these freerolls. I've won this freeroll twice (Mar, Feb) and came in second once this year (Jan). I don't think I played at all in April. But hopefully I'll place tonight. No Pressure. Especially since I plan on spending my night with fiance Kim. I'm going to see if I can either post and fold in the money, or post and fold until I am able to sign on.

Last note. I just won about $30 on 1/2 limit. Its much easier than .25/50, or even 50/1. I may've just gotten lucky, but the play seemed different. Oh well. Stay tuned.

posted by Jordan @ 8:33 PM, , links to this post




Back in the Saddle and You Decide #6

First off, let me say welcome to Newbie Poker. I found Newbie Poker's blog while following random links from other blogs. He's got an interesting angle on poker, being that he is from (and lives in) Sweden. Plus, he's a newbie, so its an interesting read hearing how he plans to tackle the game.

Now for the quick recap of last night's action. Overall, it was a successful night. In the last hand (hand report to follow), I won a $80+, which is huge for .25/.50 NLHE. Overall, my table image hurt me. Apparently, I AM known for being a loud-mouth bully. Unintended, I swear. In the future, I will keep my mouth in check. I just think its funny to say stuff like, "Hide you money, 'cause Jordan is here!" when I walk in. Is that so wrong? I consider it all fun and games. But I can see why that and my natural cockiness at the table may cause people to think of me as a bully.

The worst part is, a lot of the players had me read right. I mean, I was doing okay on my reads too. I was able to call a couple of hands and fold beat hands. I didn't pay enough attention at the table, but I was head-and-shoulders more concentrated than at Hole's house two days ago. Score one for sobriety! But in general, a couple of players were able to call my bullying bluffs. For instance, on one hand, with little to work with, the flop came down with KJJ, or something thereabout. Ruff, a solid player, had raised preflop, and Bridge and I called. I held 35 diamonds, but I figured that if I outdrew either player, I could bet paid big. Unfortunately, post flop, Ruff makes a weak 2.50 raise, I smelled opportunity, and raised it to 7. He called. Checked on the next card. I raised it 8, and he went all in. I made a show of counting him down and then I laid down my hand. Even after my big show, Ruff and Hole were convinced (correctly) that I was bluffing and bullying.

I tried using my table image to my advantage. There were two particular hands that stood out, one good, one bad. I'm dealt JJ in the SB. I think I raised to 1 preflop. Ruff and Big Al (there is a big Al at just about every game I go to) called. The flop was 2JJ, which was odd, since (a) I hit quads, and (b) everyone was talking earlier about how J and 2 usually come out together. Well, I thought, and then raised $3. I was trying to look like a bully. Shit, thats what everyone thought I was. But both players folded. If I had checked, I probably could've induced a bluff. But I figured they'd call me because I'm "a bluffer and a bully." Jerks!

The last hand of the game, I got KK in late position. I check. The SB, Ruff, raises to 2. Hole, UTG, re-raised to $3.50. I thought for a minute...I'll show them bully...$18.50! They way I saw it, one of them probably had another high pair, and it probably wasn't Aces. But they'd call because I am a bully...right?! Ruff took at least 5 min to decide. During that I stood up. My heart was pounding. I made a big point that I was nervous. I figured that it might tip them off that I had a big hand, but more likely their decision had more to do with their confidence in their hand than in mine. In fact, Ruff stated that I had nothing, and he was more worried about Hole acting behind him. Ruff folded, and I internally scolded myself. But then Hole, who is often a loose player, called. Big pot coming up. The flop was AKQ, with two clubs. Hole checked to me. I thought for a moment, and then raised $20, hoping to make the table think that I was bluffing some more. And if he folded, at least I didn't have to worry about him sucking out with a straight or flush. Hole called, leaving him with less than 25 in chips (maybe even less than 15). The next card was an offsuit 9. Hole announced, I have to go all in now, and did just that. I called and did not even bother to count his chips. I showed my KK to oohs and ahhs. Hole showed a Q9, for two pair, made on the turn. I prayed for no Q or 9, but I now realized that I had him beat no matter what. His Q or 9 would've made me a better full house. With that hand, I went from up 30 or less to up 75. And that was that.

You Decide #6
One last hand. I was on the BB with TT. Most players before me folded, and I raised to 1.50. Timmy Bones, in the SB, called. He's a solid player, who I dont see bluff often. Ruff, in the BB, pushed all in for another $13.50. What's a man to do? He could have me beat, but I put him on AK or AQ. I called. Bones complained about how he wanted to call, and then laid it down. I was right. Ruff had AK. Bones showed his folded hand, AK as well. I was looking good. Five cards later, and my tens held up. I'm still not sure if I played this hand well. I had another flashback to my Vegas catastrophe, in which I folded pre-flop TT, when my $7 raise was reraised by another $47, and the bettor had 88, with a called with 55. TT came out on the flop, and I missed my quads because I feared the heavy raise. So, what do you think, people? Lets say you have no read on your opponent. Is TT a hand to call big all-in raise, heads up? I'm honestly not quite sure. You are probably taking a coin flip gamble, but I think I am good enough that maybe I shouldn't be exposing myself to that sort of risk when I can definitely win money on later hands with less exposure.

That's all folks. See you next time. Same URL, Same Poker Blogger.

posted by Jordan @ 8:17 AM, , links to this post




The Build Up

WOOOO! Another game tonight. Its a rare back-to-back poker experience for the ole Jordo. Tonight, I will be attending a .25/.50 cash game in the armpit of America, New Jersey. For anyone who hasn't visited New Jersey, count your blessings. Nearest I can tell, the only parts worth visiting are the north-east, which is close enough to NYC to be considered more "New York" than Albany (that's NY state's capital, in upstate NY, 5 or so hours from the world's business, art, fashion, theatre, and fun-time capital, NYC), and Atlantic City, Las Vegas' little, retarded brother.

The game should be opposite of last night's which was a loose game at Robbie Hole's. I'm looking to get back into the swing of things tonight, and won't accept failure as an option.

Work at the office has been weird. On Monday, I was like a madman, getting obscene amounts of work done. Tuesday was slower. Now, at the end of Wednesday, its a trickle. I mean, I suppose there is stuff to do, but I'm playing the waiting game with a bunch of people and documents, so I'm in a holding pattern. Lets hope it breaks soon.

Shout out to SteelerJosh, whose wife recently was in the hospital. I hope all is well with you and her. Shout out to DNasty, who is preparing for a big change, a move from Detroit to Florida. Good luck to you.

Its nice to have people reading the blog. I've been thinking about finding ways to increase readership. I have learned a lot about myself and poker through writing, so in the end, that is the most important thing. But I see the poker blogger community, and I am in awe of the openness of it all. I've always felt that we, as people, have more in common with each other than differences. In fact, that's a saying from the Dalhi Lahma. In that vein, I've always tried to be inclusive rather than exclusive. I see that the blogger community shares the same general philosophy. Bloggers, by nature, are sharers, I suppose. We type about what we are thinking, or whats going on in our lives, hoping in a way to include people in our lives. Even though I have not met Dr. Pauly, Grubby, the Poker Gamer, DNasty, or SteelerJosh, I feel like I know them. Hell, I plan on entering a "challenge" (limit or otherwise) with some fellow bloggers in coming weeks/months, and Pauly was even nice enough to pass my email along to someone who may be having some home games in the NY area. So, thanks blogger community. I hope to spread my site around a bit. Maybe have some blogger/reader games in my apartment, or play in some other home games I hear about through my blog. Thanks for reading, guys.

It's Poker Time!

posted by Jordan @ 4:15 PM, , links to this post




Poker on the Clock

A couple of interesting things about tonights game.

First off, I lost $15. Its an insignificant loss, but it is a loss nonetheless.

Second, I am very disturbed by my table image. I'm the guy that everyone wants to lose. That sucks. I guess it started from me talking myself up in goofy emails when I responded to an email about a game. But, I guess the bigger truth is that, I can and should beat that table.

And that leads me to my third thing: is there a certain amount of time to play a 'good' session. I mean, I played for about 3 hours. At the end, I was ready to go for another 3, but train schedules and the need for some amount of sleep required otherwise. So, I leave down $15. But if I could have stayed their longer...I just felt that it wasn't enough. But then again, I don't do anything else for a straight 3 hours.

I guess this is just bitching, moaning and second-guessing. The bottom line is that I was not getting any cards and I didn't play many hands. Maybe I was too tight, especially considering time pressures. But I guess part of me didn't want to lose like my $80 debacle last time. I have to shake that shit off. Especially since I am playing at Ruff's place tomorrow with Robbie Hole. Hole, if you are reading this, we are running rough shod over that table. Ruff, if you are reading this, hey!

Oh, and good news, I'm psychic. Not really, but I did call two hands to perfection, one hand eerily close, and another hand accidentally tonight. I don't know what the hell that was all about. Whatever it is, it didn't help me when I needed it.

So, lots of live poker this weak, after a two week drought. I'm going to watch Amazing Race now.

Pokerific!

posted by Jordan @ 12:20 AM, , links to this post




The Call of the Queens

I was faced with a decision a moment ago. My plan to go for dollar beers at Third and Long was handicapped by the fact that only my good pal DP and his girlfriend would attend. It was essentially holding a 23, the two are my pal and his girlfriend, and I'm that left over three.

And then I heard through the grapevine that Rouss was trying to get a game together at Robbie Hole's place in Queens. Poker in Queens = pocket Queens.

So it should be of no surprise to anyone to find out that I folded the 23 and decided to follow the Queens to Queens. I'll be playing for revenge tonight. Last time I played at Hole's I got myself a new hole ripped in me. I bled $80 at a game that I thought I would be ruling. But suckouts galore, and an inability to recover left me shamed.

Tonight, I need to get in there and whoop ass. Confidence will be an important factor. I also have to avoid any mind-altering substances, as they tend to effect my game horribly. Finally, I'm going to have to focus. I should have a read on these players by now. I think I do, but I'm concerned that I might be sticking to a read that has become outdated. Players change, and I need to see if and how its happened with these players.

I also found out that Ruff's NJ game is happening tomorrow. Hole is nice enough to pick me (and maybe even everyone's favorite risk-adverse player, DP) out to the armpit of the US of A, New Jersey. Thanks Hole!

When it rains, it pours. Now lets hope I get showered in good luck!

posted by Jordan @ 5:36 PM, , links to this post




Another Day

I'm at work, trying to get through a pile of documents that I have to review, a bunch of research to perform, and a bucket load of documents I have to write. I've made plans to go drinking tonight at Third & Long, a place with $1 beers on Tuesdays. The special is only on Bud and Bud Light, but that does the job fine. In fact, its preferable, because the 10oz or so glass they give you for $1 is easy to chug down with the delicious watery substance that is Bud Light. Make no doubt about it. If you want to consume mass amounts of beer, your can't find a better beer than Bud Light. Hell, that should be their new slogan: Goes down like water!

I've noticed that SteelerJosh and DNasty have not been posting lately. Neither have PokerGrub or IntrepidCardPlayer. I hope everyone is okay. I must complain though. You are cutting into my daily distraction time. Don't worry though. I'm keeping up the fort.

Poker is going well. Wednesday night at Ruff's in NJ is looking ok, as soon as I hear that Ruff can dig up three more definites, and if Robbie Hole doesn't back out. I wouldn't blame him, as I think there are rumblings of a game in his neck of the woods. But I'd hate to switch games, especially seeing as Ruff mentioned that he has had a hard time getting games together. I can relate.

If I don't play on Wednesday, I will at least get some quality time in with fiance Kim. I know most people don't get it right away, but even when living with someone, that doesn't necessarily mean that you get to spend a lot of time interacting. She's often on the phone and I'm often playing poker, so when her and I can sit down and relax together, its a special treat. Okay, now I am making myself sick.

I guess this is little more than rambling. Have good poker everyone.

posted by Jordan @ 11:48 AM, , links to this post




Random Thoughts While Playing Online Poker

I hopped on Full Tilt today to work off the rest of my bonus increment and promptly lost $13 while attempting to earn a $10 bonus. Well, I guess the bonus is good luck, because I just went roughshod over a .25/.50 limit table, in warmup to the Limit Challenge I hope to commit to in future weeks. At least playing limit will help my limit game in AC (assuming I don't just gorge on NL).

I took about $8.50, or a whopping 19 BB in about 15 min. Meanwhile, I took another $5 in a .05/.10 NL. Along with some earlier play, I had brought my bankroll to a zaftig $86. I'm about to hop on a heads up SNG, which is my new drug of choice thanks to the NBC Heads Up Championship. I've played 4 recently, and only lost once. I'm hoping to go 5 for 6...

Wow. That was...quick. A quick $10 WIN! Up to about $96. Almost back to even. I just checked the clock...4 min. I've been faster, but this one felt especially nice. I played this guy like a fiddle. He gets points for his screenname, which was a misspelling of drop a duece.

The game started slow. I decide that I am tired of winning T40 chips when I have 1500 to start. I start raising randomly, but relatively aggressive. We go back and forth. I'm up by about 200-300 but winning pots left and right. My man is set to fall.

I'm dealt Ac9c in the BB. I could feel the cards calling for my victory. Duece raises small, from 20 to 40. I think about raising, but I feel that I have this hand. I didn't even really put him on a hand, other than the general feeling that he was forcing his action. I called. Dealer: HighOnPoker calls 20

The flop is Qc Ts Kc. I set the trap and check. Duece takes another weak stab with a bet of 20. I call, feeling a good card coming. I'm still trapping because my hand is such potential. An overcard, a four-card straight draw, and two chances to make nut flush.

The turn is Js. I must admit, at first this scared me. Then I realized that I made the straight (I was hoping for the flush. Regardless, I was in like flint, except for the possibility of a split. So, I check, giving Duece more rope with which to hang himself. Duece makes another weak 20 bet. I call.

The river is 9d. Now this is a tricky one. I have the board beat, but Duece might think that a bet was a steal and protect the pot thinking it will split. If he has the A, we split, so there is little exposure. I have the nuts. But, stupidly, I didn't think all of this at that point. I checked, instead. I wouldn't do that again. If he checks too, I get nothing extra and have to show my slow play.

It worked out okay, because Duece bet 160 (I knew he had some balls!). I throw it right back at him, to 640. Surprisingly he raises it back, so he has pretty much gone all in. I go all in (I've got him covered by 300), he calls...and I win. Kinda quick. Kinda easy. Good time though.

I'd like to play more poker, but Deadwood on HBO on Demand is calling me. See you all at the table.

posted by Jordan @ 10:29 PM, , links to this post




So Much to Type, So Little Time

Wow. Work is kicking my ass, with one problem after another. But its helping me focus (save for this hopefully short post). My hands are killing me due to some condition that might be carpal tunnel, and might be arthritis. Hell, it might be psychosymatic. All I know is that is recurring and started more than a year ago. I guess I've been typing too much or playing too much online poker. Either way, I've learned to live with the pain, so I'll tough it out.

I caught NBC's National Heads Up Championship this weekend. The commentating was atrocious. I disagreed with the commentators' statements left and right. As a small example, when pointing out all of the outs of one of the players, the commentator ignored the overcards. Thats an important factor when making a call. I guess that's what happens when you hire Gabe Kaplan ("Welcome Back Kotter") for color commentary.

I have to say though, it is a great concept. When you see two players heads up, you get a better understanding of their game, table demeanor, betting style, everything. Negreanu played against Antonio Espariandi, and Hellmuth played against Paul Phillips at the main tables. I won't post results, because some people might want to catch it on reruns. But I will say that there was one hand that bothered me. I'll post it later, when I have time.

Let me give away one thing. Mike Sexton took out Eric Lindgren. You can joke all you want about how cheesy Sexton's commentary is on the WPT. However, the WPT was my real introduction to the game and Sexton holds a special place in my heart and esteem. He was taken out in first place on a WPT author's tournament, so it was good to see him play well and advance. Go Sexton!

That's it for now. My online bankroll is at a growing $83. I hope to attend a game in NJ on Wednesday. Cross you fingers for me, because its been a while. May the cards be with you...

posted by Jordan @ 2:53 PM, , links to this post




S-N-Geez!

My Full Tilt bankroll is now…$65, with about $1.50 left to earn of my second $10 bonus payout. I was down to about $40, or even less, but I got paid out on 2 of 2 $5 SNGs I played. In one, I took 3rd place. In the other, I took the big prize, el numero uno. Its my first 1st place win on FT, so I feel it is well deserved. This is especially so, since when it was down to three people, at one point I had 1500 and the ChipLeader had 10,000 or so. At that point, I was joking with Big Bro Keith about how I was going to take the lead and win the tourney. In hindsight, I guess I wasn’t joking at all.

Two interesting notes. First, while playing the tournaments, some people came by to look at the couch that my roommates and I are selling. So, being the only one home, I had to click “Away from the Table” and show them the friggin couch. At that point, both tables had about 6 people left in the SNG. What a pain in the ass! The entire time I am thinking, come on people, it’s a fucking couch. Shit or get off of the couch! When I returned to my SNGs, my chip count was a little lighter, but there were only three people left at one SNG and four at the other. Not too shabby!

The second note is a quick hand summary. This was the hand that changed the game in which I placed 1st. I had about 4500 chips. My competition had 10,500. Up to this point, while heads up, I was going all in left and right. Looking at my suited AQ, I decided to play it differently. I limped for another 200 (200/400 blinds). The ChipLeader called. The flop came down KJ8, with only one spade. Bad news. ChipLeader was first to act. He raised half the pot, 800. I called, hoping to catch runner runner flush, a ten, or an Ace. Short-stacked, I would’ve been happy with a Q. I weighed my options and decided to check as well. The next card off was the ten of spades. I hit Broadway, the nut hand, with a nut flush draw. ChipLeader checked. I decided to check as well. A little bit of weakness would hopefully induce a bluff, and I did not have any fear of ChipLeader catching a card to beat me. The river was an innocuous 7 of diamonds. ChipLeader must’ve picked up on my weakness (or so I thought), because he bet out 1500. I put the rest of my chips in, which at that point was just another 1505 to the ChipLeader. He called, and I took down the pot. I later checked and found out that he had the baby straight, with 69o. A little bit of luck on my part certainly. But I also gave him the opportunity to hit his straight, thus drawing him in deeper. Thereafter, I was relentless with my raises. It helped that I literally got JKs, A9o, 44, and 99 in a row. All-ins left and right, and the former ChipLeader, which I more aptly will call MyBitch was blinding out. I finally took him out when he had no choice but to go all in with 59o to my J6o. I hit my J and called it a day.

So there you have it.

On a final note, fellow degenerates Robbie Hole and David Rouss went to Atlantic City last night (without yours truly, sadly) and played some 2/4 limit poker at the Sands. It didn’t turn out well for Hole due to some premium hands being cracked, but Dave was down to 6$ and made a comeback, leaving with $120. Good for you Dave. Hole also told me about a new table game in the main casino, Texas Hold’em. Apparently, it is so new that even the pit bosses were still learning the rules. I’ll give it a go in June when Hole, Rouss and I return to AC!

So, that’s it folks. I haven’t heard anything from DNasty of SteelerJosh about my Limit Challenge wager. But they haven’t posted on their sites lately, so hopefully that’ll change soon. Of course, they could be hiding from a REAL challenge. Bring…it…

posted by Jordan @ 6:03 PM, , links to this post




The Poker Commercial Awards & The Limit Challenge

If you've ever been up at 3 in the morning watching the umpteenth rerun of any of the many poker shows on tv, you've definitely seen some poker commercials. There's the one with Chris Moneymaker and Greg Reimer, in which the two "tough guys" are standing back to back and hyping Paradise or Party poker. The commercial looks like something from a bad technical college. Then there are the commercials where the player is at the table until his wife comes over and bitches and then he's taken back to reality, where he is in his shitty apartment, with his shitty computer, and his shitty wife. Man, that commercial bugs me!

Recently, by way of the Poker Gamer's blog, I stumbled upon Full Tilt's commercials. You can see them by clicking THIS LINK. I watched them at work, and let me just say...Best...Commercials...Ever! They are funny, flattering to the iconic poker superstars that appear in them (Ivey, Ferguson, and Lederer), and effective. Damn. Full Tilt's bonuses are a pain in the ass, but their commercials are top dollar. I give a lot of credit to Full Tilt. A little class in their commercials could help them be the Cadillac of online poker sites. And the poker professionals behind the site are hard to disrespect.

So, onto another thing that I am stealing from someone else's blog. This is actually a re-theft, in that DNasty13's blog "borrowed" it from DoubleA's blog (and gave DoubleA credit for it). Here's the deal. DoubleA, in his infinite wisdom, came up with a limit challenge. This may have been created by him a while ago. I can't quite say. Anyway, the limit challenge involves starting at .10/.25 limit with $25, playing until you reach $55, at which point, you move up to .25/.50. When you've reached $110, advance to .50/1. From there it is 1/2 with $215, 2/4 with $370, 3/6 with 550, and so on. The full details are on DNasty13's blog , in his May 3 posting.

I'd like to take on the challenge, but there are a few obstacles. First, I like playing a variety of games. Second, Full Tilt (my current bonus mongering site) does not have the .10/.25 limit game, and my bankroll is lower than the $50 or so that I need to start at step two. Third, I'd like to play the challenge with or against any other players. The challenge is on, and I'm looking at you DNasty and SteelerJosh. Hell, I'm looking at anyone who has the balls to try the challenge. Here's what I suggest. A wager. It can be a simple $20, just enough to care if you win, but don't care if you lose. Or $50 is fine with me. It needs to be with someone I trust, because I don't need your, "I'm already on the 11th level on the first day bullshit!" I suggest we set up on Golden Palace because they have the low limits necessary and its a solid site. But, if this doesn't fly, I'll do it on any site. We'll set a time limit (a month?) or even a level limit (first to make $25 into $100 [or $200] OR when the loser busts out). So, there is my proposal. I accept all comers. Email me, post a comment, or if you have a blog that's listed on my site, just post your acceptance on your site. I'll be reading it. For that matter, if you have a blog not listed on my site, let me know about it.

Keep on poking!

posted by Jordan @ 9:37 AM, , links to this post




Viva el Cinco de Mayo

Me gusta todos mexicanos. La lengua, las cervezas, las playas, y los burritos. Asi, cinco de mayo es un pasa bien por migo.

Okay, that may not have been correct spelling or grammar, but the gist is this: I love all things Mexican. Apparently, all things Mexican like me too, because today I finally had the turn around I was waiting for. For those who don't know, I recently suffered a -$80 swing on Full Tilt leaving me with only $20. I've been playing .05/.10 NL Holdem in hopes of earning my bonus faster (about $3.50 left to earn until my 2nd bonus payout), win back my dough, or go bust (at which point I will close shop at FT).

Well, after work today I came home and attempted to squeeze some poker in before I head with fiance Kim to her co-worker's place for Mexican beer and wine and guacamole. So I'm playing on three tables at once, and something becomes apparent to me...I'm winning. At each table. I mean, calling all ins with top pair and knowing, not hoping or guessing, but knowing, that I am in the lead. My $20 grew to $42, which is quite a jump if I must say so myself.

So, my bankroll is healthy again. Its not optimal, but at least I am not just trying to go broke anymore. This change will hopefully only continue, as I hope to tighten my game and play to my full ability.

posted by Jordan @ 10:49 PM, , links to this post