Sunday, July 31, 2005
TripJax and GCox posted their lessons learned from the SNG Challenge, in which the two aforementioned bloggers, Kipper, DNasty, SteelerJosh, and I started with $55 and played SNGs solely with $25 on the line for each player. Winner gets $125. 2nd Place gets $25. I get nothing. I’ve already busted.
So, what did I learn while I lost my SNG Challenge Bankroll. More than I expected, really. This may not be very strategy focused, but that’s what you should expect from someone whose strategy involved losing. A lot of these are common sense. This may even bore you. Regardless, this is what I learned, looking back. Here goes:
Lesson 1: Poker is Fun with Others
I love poker. No doubt about that. But I enjoyed poker the most when I was at a table with any of the aforementioned players. There was someone to get my jokes, or to play into my “disguises,” like the time I pretended to be a new player. And losing is a lot less traumatic when you can talk out your donkey plays after the fact with two players who know you, know your poker, and saw every hand from the start.
Lesson 2: If You Play to Lose, You Will Succeed…at Losing
In my last SNG before busting out, I was coming after a stretch of five losses in a row. It was late, and GCox was still on. I thought, well, I might as well lose the last one now, and call it a challenge. And I succeeded at losing. Bottom line, you must always play to win. When you feel that you will not win, don’t play. This applied throughout the Challenge. It applies in life. I’m sure it will apply the next time I hit a casino and think “I never win in casinos.” I’ll work on that though, thanks to the lesson learned in the SNG Challenge.
Lesson 3: Bankroll Management is the Most Underrated Part of Playing Successful Poker
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Bankroll management is KEY to being a winning player. You are going to lose games or hands even though you should have won. The variance monster is going to jump out from under your bed and eat up you trips Aces on the flop, after shmucko calls your all in and hits runner runner straight. It will happen. If you play with your entire bankroll in that one game when it happens, you will go broke. Then, you will bitch and moan about the bad beat on which you lost your entire bankroll. News flash! You shouldn’t be betting your entire bankroll. The SNG Challenge was slightly different because toward the end there is incentive to playing with larger chunks of your bankroll. After all, not only can you win the SNG money, but there is an additional $125 to sweeten the deal, which changes your expectation. However, I bumped up the stakes too early. I was able to fight my way back to my original $55 from a low of about $25. Then I switched to $10 SNGs (from $5 SNGs), lost five in a row, and was broke. If I stayed with the $5 SNGs, I’d be down to $30 (assuming I lost 5 SNGs). I can come back from $30. I cannot come back from $5.
Lesson 4: Play YOUR Poker
I’m a showboat and a loudmouth, especially when competing. Some people find it annoying. I don’t think that those people know where I’m coming from (and why would they know). Other people get it. I’m a ham. I don’t mean it when I say, “If you are nice to me, I’ll carry you to second place.” or “Why don’t you just give me your money and save us the trouble.” I do it because there is something funny (to me) about the guy who is uber-confident. It’s a farce. That is how I am at the table. With my showboating personality comes a certain style of poker. I play a variety of hands, I play them loose and fast, I change things up a lot, and I go on big swings (of course, changing things up all the while). After losing a series of SNGs and watching GCox, I thought that my style of poker doesn’t work in SNGs. The swings put me at a disadvantage to bust early. So I switched to a more conservative approach. I was wrong. Trip plays aggressive AND he wins. It was probably some bad variance on my end. Changing my style of play worked in certain situations, but in the end, it wasn’t me. I think I would’ve been better off playing my style in the right environment. This leads me to:
Lesson 5: Choose Your Games Wisely
Do not play a 10-person regular speed SNG when you are in a rush. If you are conservative and have time, go for it. It’s made for you. Just ask GCox. Do not play a 6-person Turbo SNG if you are a very conservative player and only play a limited group of starting hands. You’ll be blinded to death, and bubble out more so than not. If you are an aggressive player, though, hop into the Turbo 6-person. It’s made for you. Go nuts, and have fun. I should have played more 6-person Turbos. Coulda woulda shoulda.
Lesson 6: If You Are Not Having Fun, You Aren’t Playing Poker; Poker is Playing You
When I’m not enjoying myself, I lose more often than not. This is usually when I’ve played 3 SNGs, lost them, and feel that I need to catch up with one more. I might be tired, or (god forbid) bored with poker, but still I play. Not good. When I’m up for it, though, winning or losing, I’m enjoying myself. So, if I lose $5.50 in an SNG, I’m paying for entertainment. And when I win…I WIN!! Poker is a game. A fun game. When it becomes a chore, take a break.
Class is out. I’m going to play some Noble .50/1 limit until my connection goes out again. Have a good weekend.
In the category of "Just Can't Win", I've moved into my new apartment, but will not get cable or Internet until Mon night. Right now, I am pirating off of my neighbors' week Wireless connections. This means no online poker, as I keep on losing my connection. And yet, I took off work on Monday, which would be a perfect time to devote my day to MTTs. I'm itching for MTTs. Oh, God, how you toy with me.
Read TripJax's post on SNGs. After reading it, I once again thought that I could've used his expert analysis BEFORE the SNG challenge. I think I am closer to TripJax's style of poker, but I was trying too hard to be like GCox. I'm aggressive, and I like taking advantage of the fact that most of the time in a 6-person SNG, the few players left in the pot post-flop don't hit enough of the board to call post-flop bets. I needed to send out more probe bets too.
I'm currently STILL reading Harrington on Holdem Vol. 1. Its good reading, but now that I am done with SNGs (for the time being), it isn't as applicable to my game. Harrington is all about the tourneys. That said, I do want to play more MTTs, so maybe I should pay more attention.
I'm also reading V for Vendetta, a comic book which is being made into a movie starring Natalie Portman. I had this interesting interaction with I'm-different-so-that people-have-a-reason-to-hate-me-besides-the-fact-that-I-am-chubby-ugly-stupid-and-have-the-personality-of-a-wet-mop PunkGirl, a clerk working the register at Borders:
[This conversation took place after hearing PunkGirl have a 10 min conversation about the virtues of Harry Potter to a disinterested customer. I stroll up and put down V for Vendetta.]
PunkGirl: Oh, they are making a movie out of this comic.
Me: Yep. I hope they do a good job. Its starring Natalie Portman
PG: I really want to see it when it comes out.
Me: Yeah? Did you read the comic?
PG: [with indignation] I don't read comics.
Me: Well, fuck you then. Enjoy your neo-classic Harry Potter, you self-righteous bitch!
Okay, what I actually said was. "Okay..." and then left.
I bring this whole thing up because brother Keith told me about an altercation he had with PunkGirl 2 days ago, without even knowing about my experience. He was buying a conservative book called, "100 People Who Are Ruining America" or some such tripe (it ain't my thing). She saw it and said, "I can't believe we've sold so many of these. It really makes me look down upon my fellow NYers." What is wrong with people? I'm thinking about going there today and buying that book just to bait her. When she makes the inevitable OpEd, I'll ask to see her manager. But that would be bad. And then God may not grant me a decent wireless connection.
All Moving and No Poker makes Jordan a Dull Boy!
Short and Sweet
Friday, July 29, 2005
I'm out of the office, and not doing much, so this'll be a short and sweet post. Besides, why write a lot when people like GCox are writing stellar SNG strategy posts. Played with GCox a little last night. I decided to get rid of my last $2.50 on UB. I did it in classic fashion. .05/.10 NLHE. I have AA in MP. I raise the pot (.65). 3-4 people call (not good). Flop is 8c6c4x, or thereabout. I push, and a player to my left raises a bunch to isolate. I need to start isolating. I knew immediately that the player had pocket 8s. Done and done.
I withdrew all $ from Bodog. As much good as I've done, I've only won about $30 there, due to a $20 loss last night in PL Omaha H/L and some shitty cards earlier this week. I think you might recall me bitching and moaning. So be it.
At least I'm on my way...I'm on my way...Home Sweet Home! Noble poker, natches! Time to lace up and whoop some limit and MTT ass. GCox sent me a forward from Noble regarding their new promotion. If you win 7 SNGs in a row, you get $1,000,000. Hahaha. Thanks G, because I am so damn good at SNGs.
Enjoy your weekend, folks. I'm moving a whopping 3 floors, so I might not have Internet for a few days. That's ok by me, since I withdrew from Bodog and have to wait a couple of days before the money is back in Neteller.
Poker poker poker. Adios!
Unlike Noble, the withdrawal from Bodog to Neteller was immediate. I'm back up in Noble. Hide your $$.
Sometimes you can't win. Noble's reload bonus isn't in effect now. So, I've withdrawn most of my bankroll from them, which will take a couple of days to return to Neteller. I left some in though ($40 or so), so I can play on a whim. The rest is off to Absolute. I'll see if I can get a better reload bonus through them directly v. through PokerSourceOnline (referral code GCox25 or TripJax).
In the Hole and You Decide #13
Thursday, July 28, 2005
I played at Hole's tonight. In fact, I'm still here. It didnt go well though. I lost $40, but fortunately stopped there. No need chasing good money with bad. Budgeting before the game was a good idea. The table was pretty full. It went as follows:
2. Scotty, aka Vader. He's a 40 some-odd guy, and didn't mind spending and losing money. Above all though, I appreciated that he could laugh at himself and my jokes. Case in point: when I cashed him in for the 4th time, he asked, while gesturing to a stack, if those were his chips. I replied, "They are for now, but probably not for long." And he laughed. When someone asked what he does for a living and I jumped in with "Poker" he laughed again. Thank god.
3. Pete. Definitely a shark. He knew what he was doing.
4. Robbie Hole. He played well, and for that I am proud.
5. Randy Hole. Very quiet this game, which is good for me. He always seem to take me out.
6. Dave Roose. He was hitting cards and playing well. I lost a big one to him even though I knew he held KK or AA. I couldn't help it. That was the epitomy of my evening...losing to hands when I knew I should fold.
7. Jeff Hole (Rob's bro). He played extremely fishy in the first hand. He then took me for my 1st $20. Fuck him. He deserved it.
8. G-Lon. He lost some more dough. Seems to be his thing. He makes the same mistakes as me, only he makes them more consistently. I'm always rooting for him though. I love the underdogs.
First off, the best pocket cards I had of the night was 77, once. I also had KQ once. No higher pocket pairs.
The first hand of the night was a doozee, and actually set up my later fall. The last time I played with Robbie Hole's brother, it was clear that he was a newbie. I expected more of the same tonight. The first hand solidified that image.
I was the dealer. Pete was SB. We only had 5 players, and Jeff was two seats to my right. Jeff raised from .50 to 1.50. Pete raised to $3. It was only the two of them when the flop came down. Jxx. Pete checked, and Jeff checked. The turn was a Q. Pete checked. Jeff bet a dollar. Pete called. The river was a 10. Pete checked. Jeff bet $5. Pete pushed all-in and Jeff called. Jeff had JQ. Obviously, Pete had AK. Obviously. I called it before he showed his cards. He told Jeff that if he had bet more on the turn, Pete would've folded. I don't know if that was Jeff's intention, but I knew before the river what Pete had.
A little while later, I was involved with a hand with Jeff. I had 97o in the button, but decided to see a flop. The flop looked good, 986. I bet out and pushed a couple of players out of the pot. I didn't need to worry about overcards. Jeff stayed in. I put him on a draw. The turn was an 8. I bet and he called. Again, I wasn't scared. The river was a 6. I hit a straight. I checked and he bet $5. I pushed for another $6. He called with T7. My read was off, and he slowplayed me. I deserved it too.
Other notable hands: I didn't lay down my 77 to Dave Roose's KK, even though I knew I was beaten. This is stupid. I did lay down my top pair on the river against Hole when he bet like he had the 8 needed to match the inside straight draw on the board. He told me later that I was right. He had the 8. I believe him. This is how I should've played all night.
My last hand has become:
You Decide #13
This one is all about pot-odds. Let's assume that I messed up by not folding in the first place.
I had Jc9c one to the right of the button. I was shortstacked. Randy, UTG, limps too. Roose folds. Jeff raises to $1. Ilan calls. I call, thinking I am acting in late position and there are good pot odds. Scotty calls. Pete calls. Robbie Hole raises to $4. Randy and Jeff call before me, so I called, thinking pot odds again. Scotty calls, but is very loose. Pete folds.
The flop was QTx, rainbow. Robbie Hole raises $10. Everyone folds to me. I look down at $6. I call, thinking...ready...pot odds. There was $36.50 in the pot (give or take $3). Scotty folds.
He has AQ. I have J9, for an open-ended straight draw. I don't hit and I'm out for the night.
Were the pot odds there? I think they were on the end. I don't even want to do the math.
This night was not an ideal one. I didn't have any cards. In the few hands I won, I played timidly, because I was reeling from over-straight from Jeff. Chasing demons! Woe is me!
Jc9c lost to AQ, QTx , PF raised to 1, called, raised to 3. flop. raised to 10 by Hole.
77, with Dave with KK
Jeff lost with JQ to a rivered straight by Pete.
I lost with 97, 986,8,5. Jeff had 107
**Warning: No Poker Content in this Posting**
"What's that sound?," I asked, knowing without a doubt in my mind that it couldn't be good. I looked around the 8'x8' room, and knew there was only one way out. What I didn't know was what would be waiting for me on the other side of that door.
"Shh...I'll be right back. Stay here," she said. I was hardly reassured. At this point, I could hear that the noise was a garage door openning. That garage was attached to the house, and the door from the garage to the house was a mere 2' from the very room in which I waited.
With nothing to do but wait, I started thinking about an exit strategy. A mere fifteen minutes before, I pulled up to my girlfriend's house and saw a note on her door. "Jordan- I'm in the shower. Come on in. -L"
I was a highschool senior and L was a sophomore. We met several months before through a your organization, and we immediately took to each other. I followed the note's instructions a little too literally.
After parking my car on the street, I came downstairs to L's bathroom. The girl, like many girls would do, had acquisitioned the families' second bathroom as her own. Unfortunately, the location was less than ideal. It was on the landing between the kitchen steps (up) and the den steps (down). On that landing were three doors: the bathroom, the garage, and the sliding backyard door.
I didn't hear the shower on, and was disappointed that I missed the moment, but L was still in the bathroom doing whatever girls do as they stare in the mirror in a towel. We didn't do much. No. I did, however, take my shirt off, and toss it without a care into the hallway. Her parents both worked and shouldn't be home for another hour. I would need about 1 1/2 minutes once game time started. Unfortunately, one of the wardens came home early, and it was time to scramble.
'It's cold in here', I thought, shirtless and hiding with my pants and shoes on in her shower. 'At least if her mother or father come in here, they might not open the curtain.' Suddenly the door openned. I winced as the curtain was pulled back. My shirt was thrown at me, and I fumbled a bit before I caught it. "You left this in the hallway!" It was L, thank the lord. "Who is it out there?"
I knew there were two choices: Mom or Dad. Dad was a large, but friendly guy. I liked him a lot, but he was always ignored by the family. He had lost his job a while back and found a new one. But I don't think he was ever able to regain the respect or head-of-household role that he deserved. All this said, I didn't know how he would react to finding me in an intimate position with his teenage daughter. Every man has his limits, and this was it. On the other hand, L's mother was a shark. Her and L always seemed to be fighting, probably for alpha female status. She was nice to me, but I had no doubt that she would clip my balls if she found me in the bathroom. Which one would it be?
"My Dad's home." I was semi-relieved. "We have to get you out of here. I'll keep him occupied." She left in a hurry.
"Hi Daddy," I heard her say as I slowly openned the door. They were in the kitchen, around a corner, so I was fortunately out of sight. L, with some foresight, has unlocked the sliding glass door. It was now or never. I moved the 10' with stealth. I knew that if the Big Man turned that corner, I'd be in direct sight from the top of the kitchen steps. I was glad when I finally eased the door shut behind me. But now, I had to make it out of the yard.
Like a ninja, I clinged to the wall as I rounded the corner of the house. I moved swiftly but silently to the front of the house, easing into the neighbors yard. The block was deserted except for the passing car.
Oh shit! My car! It was parked in front of the house. I had to leave it.
A lap around the block, and I returned to L's home with a plan. "Hello?" I asked as I entered the front door. "Hey, Jordan. Where were you?" the Big Man asked as he looked through the mail. Good, his attention was elsewhere. Now lets try out the well-planned lie.
"Eh, I came to see L, but she was in the shower. She left a note, but I decided to go around the corner to see Lori." Lori was a mutual friend. Thank god for Lori and her nearby home. I'd call her later that day to get our stories straight, just in case.
"Well, L's out now, but I think she's getting dressed."
"No problem. I'll wait for her here. Don't want to disturb her while she's getting ready."
I say this with total sincerity. On that day, and to this day, I have thanked god for the escape. If we didn't hear the garage, if she didn't get my shirt in time, if I didn't get to that back door or come up with my Lori alibi, it would've been ugly. Ugly. On that day, I had one thought: "God wanted us to hook up. Thank you god. I am the Golden Child."
Me and my dog, skipping through the forest.
Me and my dog, playing lots of poker.
Me and my dog, spinning and vomiting.
Me and my dog, making lots of money.
Me and my Bodog had a good time yesterday. I've taken all of my money from Noble and moved to Bodog a couple of days ago, in an effort to earn a Poker Source Online bonus. I put in for the red folding poker table because my current green one is starting to bow, and cards sometimes hit the lip at the fold. It isn't a big deal, but I think its time for a new table. Also, if I ever have a 2-table tournament at my place, the 2nd table top will be nice. The red is also a nice touch, as I haven't seen anything like it before (although I'm sure it exists).
As soon as I deposited in Bodog ($160--my former Noble bankroll after initially depositing $50, and withdrawing $100), I received the $32.50 bonus (something like that). I could probably get a better bonus if I didn't go through PSO, but I want that table, damnit. Plus, PSO has bonus codes (or referrals, or whatever) GCox25 and TripJax. If you use either code, they throw in an inflatable sheep sex doll! (Warning: Ignore that last comment if you are stupid, sensitive, or Trip or GCox). I guess that the instant bonus isn't withdraw-able until you clear 200 Bodog points, but that shouldn't concern me, as I've already lost it. In fact, I think I'm down to about $144 or so. I ran bad, and at one point was down to $112 or so. Thankfully, I played well last night, and turned $50 into $75 at 1/2. 1/2 is above the appropriate limit for my bankroll, (See Limit Challenge) but I think PSO said you need to play at that level or higher to earn the bonus. Sounds good to me. The swings are worse, but I should be able to outlive them.
I miss Noble though. You see, the thing about Noble was, bonuses were easy (I think Bodog might be easier), the players sucked, and I was a constant winner. This is a rare thing for me. (See Battered Poker Player Syndrome). In fact, I placed 3rd in a 77 person tournament, which I've never done before in a paying tournament (I placed 1st on two occassions in 170+ freerolls [$270], and placed 2nd in the same freeroll once [$170]). So I miss Noble. I plan on returning soon, probably after I get my table. The only problem is that PSO also offers Poker Tracker, a program that keeps track of your play and others'. It has been useful to some people, and I should probably buy it myself, but (a) I'm cheap, (b) I don't want to learn it, and (c) I stupidly feel that it ruins the soul of poker. Don't get me wrong. I don't look down on anyone who uses it. I'm all about having an edge. But I don't want to check my stats and find flaws in my game using Super Roboto Ultimo Pokernator 2000. I'd rather pay attention to my own play and make adjustments based on what I see happening. Call me old fashioned, but I like my poker non-computerized, my beer cold, and my women easy. Um, I meant classy.
So, next stop on the HighOnPoker bonus whore express is one of two places. I'll let you folks choose. Majority wins:
1. Absolute Poker via PSO, with a 50% bonus via Neteller.
2. Noble Poker with a 60% bonus.
Voting closes at 5:00pm today.
PS- I don't actually have a dog.
A Random Assortment
Wednesday, July 27, 2005
Just a random assortment of thoughts here.
It's near the end of my workday, and things are slowing down around the office. I fear that my work will dry up before Sept. 30th (my last day), and I'll have countless hours to twiddle my thumbs. Some might think this is golden, but at a law firm where you have to account for every .1 of every hour (6 minutes, math whiz), it's less than fun.
As a result of being laid off, I have to discontinue the namesake of this site. Should be interesting to see how this effects my poker (better concentration and no late-night loose-fests), and writing (late-night posts are back in effect).
Robbie Hole is hosting a homegame tomorrow. I'm going to take notes, because (a) they already make fun of me for having a blog, (b) I have never taken notes at a live game, (c) it should make for an easier and more detailed recap tomorrow, and (d) I won't be partaking in the namesake so it'll keep me busy.
Let's hope that Rob's game doesn't get too distracted, as often happens when namesake's involved. The game slows down to a crawl and I eventually get grumpy. Let's also see how I play when not with namesake, as this is usually a standard when hanging with the Hole. Oh, sweet temptation.
Hole's game will be my first live game in over a week (maybe 2)? I miss the Desi home games, and I'm going to have to ask him to host another one. They were always a cash cow for me, and afforded me the opportunity to play with a random group.
I am moving on Friday, officially, so its odd ordering items online or sending out letter and deciding with return address to use. Fortunately, I'm moving within the same building, so it'll all get to me anyway.
On Aug. 1st, I get cable in the new apartment. On Aug. 2nd, my couch, coffee table and end table will be delivered. On August 4th (Thurs) I want to have the 5 Diamond card room Inaugural game (5 Diamond for apt. 5D). But we'll be finally settled in, and I don't think fiance Kim will approve. I don't "have" to get her permission, but she is my fiance and roomee, so I want to keep things fair. She's usually cool with poker games, but I wouldn't be surprised if fiance Kim with a new apartment is like a kid with a new toy...she'll need a couple of days before she'll want to share.
Is it just me, or do bloggers (myself included) often share sad stories when not talking about poker. It is my goal to think of one entirely not sad story for my next non-poker post.
I played for an hour during lunch. I live 5 minutes from work, and since I don't need to impress anyone anymore, I've been going home for lunch. I fired up the bodog and played in 2 tables. One was a 6-person 1/2 limit. The other was a heads up 1/2 limit. I ran over the heads up guy, and then gave him back all of his money. I think overall, I lost $10 during lunch. Ignoring the bonus that I received (let's pretend that never happened) I'm down on bodog. I'm trying to convince myself that it has been some bad luck, and not that I suck. Nope. Not done convincing yet. At least I can justify losing by thinking "I'm just paying for my free table from Poker Source Online [referral from TripJax or GCox25, as if you didn't know]. I'm looking forward to clearing my bonus by Friday and withdrawing money from bodog for the next stop in the PSO whore-myself-for-prizes tour. Any suggestions as to sites where it is easy to clear bonuses? Don't just stand there; type something!
For all my readers that don't leave comments, don't feel obliged, but do feel free. I was always the kid in class raising his hand. I guess I always wanted to share my viewpoint, hence the blog. I'm sure there are a lot of you that didn't raise your hand. Well, feel free to raise it freely here. No one will laugh at you...to your face. And besides, I really enjoy feedback.
I guess that is it. Keep on folding!
Tuesday, July 26, 2005
FUCK YOU VARIANCE! FUCK YOU SUCKOUTS! FUCK YOU GUY WHO CALLS ME DOWN THE ENTIRE TIME ON AN INSIDE STRAIGHT DRAW AGAINST MY POCKET ACES AND HITS THE INSIDE STRAIGHT DRAW ON THE RIVER! FUCK YOU GUY WHO HITS A STRAIGHT ON THE RIVER CRUSHING MY TWO PAIR! FUCK YOU SUCKOUT AGAIN! FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK.
That is all.
I recently posted on Newbie Poker's site about the Limit Challenge. For those of you who don't know, the Limit Challenge was something proposed in Double A's blog. DNasty read Double A's post and mentioned it on his site. From there, I proposed that DNasty and I both follow the Limit Challenge, and the player with the most success at the end of 6 weeks will receive $25 from the loser. By way of recap, I won. Thereafter, I suggested an SNG Challenge, which lacked the structure of the Limit Challenge, but won the hearts of fans (um, or at least the 6 blogger participants listed on the right).
I will repeat the Limit Challenge structure here, because it has made me a better player. It has taught me patience, bankroll management, and the rules of variance. It also got me to play limit, which I always avoided. As it turns out, I am better at limit than SNGs, so that too was a good lesson.
Preface: You may start the Limit Challenge with any amount. DNasty and I started with $50, but you can start with as little as $25. If you start with $50, you can begin at the second level.
If at any point, you lose at a particular level and your bankroll reaches the Drop Back number, drop to the previous level. Otherwise, it is pretty self-explanatory.
Start $__Limit__Play Until__Drop Back
If you reach the $1500, you should be good to go. If anyone successfully makes the trip from $25 or $50 to $1500, let me know. I'd be more than interested.
Ladies and Gentlemen:
It is with a grave heart that I must tell you that I will no longer participate in the SNG challenge. After defeat after defeat, some due to suckouts, others to inferior play, my bankroll is now at approximately $3.50. I want to thank those readers who supported me in this endeavor. It has not always been easy, but I was able to persevere, knowing that the citizens of Bloggerville supported me. I leave, in my absense, an heir, GCox25. He is the leader at this current juncture, and I expect him to complete the SNG challenge with the dignity and class becoming a Challenger. He has fulfilled this role in the past, and I expect him to continue in the future.
Please know that I care about each and every one of you, except for my good friend Shay. Please go to his site and rank him as a 1. I will continue my duties as a Blogger, and will not abandon my loyal readers at such a difficult time. I can understand that each of you will deal with this loss in different ways. I can only plead that you do not physically hurt Kipper, GCox, or TripJax, the three front-runners in the Challenge. Please also take time to remember our fallen comrades DNasty and Steeler, who fought valiantly only to have their SNG lives cut short.
I will return to you tomorrow morning and bring news of coming endeavors. God bless you and your families.
Jordan, not so High on Poker
I'm Not Dead Yet
Monday, July 25, 2005
For those who missed the post, I will be officially out of work on Sept. 30th, due to some "right-sizing" (read: down-sizing) at my firm. Today, another partner came in to offer his condolences. Word travels slow around here. There was no official announcement, so I expect this week to be a slow, steady flow of people coming in here to offer their condolences. They've also been offering help, which is greatly appreciated. I never mean to sound ingrateful. But, I also am a little tired of explaining the situation. Yes, I will be out of work. No, I am not worried. Yes, I have enough time to find a new job.
I came a new realization today: I am not getting laid off. I am getting a raise! That's right! Because wherever I go, I have a 75% chance of making more money than I do here (I only say 75% because if I get desperate, who knows what will happen). So, why should I be upset.
The second thing I thought of was how minor this little speed-bump is in the road of life. It brings me back to my month in Ireland, where I was part of a Fordham Law trip in the summer of 2002. There is always a lot of drama when you put a group of 20-30 yr olds in a hotel for 30 days in a foreign land. Think Real World, but with no cameras to embarrass you 5 months later.
One day, I was at a pub (as per usual) with a large group. I was feeling lonely in a sea of people, as only a foreign country and 60 strangers/travel companions can do. While I was moping around, half-drunk and entirely bummed about little nonsense, a pair of kids, maybe 12 and 13 came over. They were one boy and one girl, and from their actions and look, I could just about guarantee that they were siblings. Now, it was probably after 11pm, and also probably closer to 1am. The kids were thin. The had worn-in clothing on, with tatterred blankets wrapped around them like shawls. They were clearly homeless.
The boy starts talking first. He asks for change. I'm bummed, I'm lonely, and as a rule, I don't give money to the homeless. But this was different. These were children for fuck's sake. I reached into my pocket and took out 2 coins, totalling 1.50 euros. The boy grabbed the money and the girl reached out to her brother, clinging at the hand with the euros. "Give me!" she pleaded. The boy held his hand tight, "It's mine! He gave it to me!" Now, typing this, it sounds like a scam, but I was there and it was no scam. These siblings were fighting over the 1.50, which is probably a damn good take on the streets of Dublin. Addressing the thin, pale girl, I said, "It's okay. I have some for you, too." I reached into my pocket and found another 1.50. "Now there is some for both of you. Share."
I wanted to ask them how they got to where they were. Were their parents abusive? addicted? crazy? Were they even around at all? Here I was feeling sorry for myself, when I realized just how lucky I was. I had a family that cared about me. I had food and shelter and money.
Those kids must be 14 and 15 now. She could be selling herself on the streets, if she wasn't doing so already. He could be doing the same. Either of them could be dead by an overdose or a beating at the hands of a 100,000 would-be attackers. I couldn't save them. But I can remember them. And I do. Whenever I'm down. Whenever I'm miserable. At least I'm not pre-pubescent on the streets of Dublin. And neither are you. Buck up, folks! I'll get another job. You'll find what you are looking for. And if you don't, at least you are who you are and not some other poor shlub.
This weekend I had the pleasure of doing very little (or so it felt). On Friday night, fiance Kim and I went to dinner at one of our favorite restaurants and came home to take it easy. I had just found out about my job and didn't feel like a late night. Saturday was a day of errands, which really didn't take up much time at all. Saturday night was the bachelor party (see previous post). Sunday was mostly packing for my move scheduled to occur sometime at the end of the week.
Because of this, I took the opportunity to play a bunch of SNGs on Sunday, while fiance Kim was running amok doing all the things I would put off to the last minute (love that fiance Kim!). My results were spectacular. I lost my first $10 SNG, which made me nervous. I figured it was time to kick it up a notch because the challenge is halfway done and I haven't gotten near the numbers of 1st, 2nd or 3rd place (GCox, TripJax and Kipper, in that order when I last checked). Losing didn't help. Fortunately, I placed 1st in two 6-person SNGs in a row ($5, this time), so I was up again, and in the black for the first time in a while. I later played a 6-person $10 SNG with GCox, and took 2nd. GCox took 1st after I giftwrapped it for him. I took out several players. One was a complete suckout. I had 34, and he had something like K2. I was the BB, he was the small. The flop was K64. He checked. I figured I'd put out a feeler bet. He raised me back, but he was doing this a lot. So I raised him back. He pushed. Now, I was the chipleader. And he had done this before with an AQ or something that didn't hit the board. So, I thought he had a couple of high cards that didn't hit. Worse case scenario, I knew I could possibly draw out on him. I called...and hit a 3 on the river for 2 pair. I felt a bit bad, but he was talking smack, so I let him have it, giving the usual, "sorry that you suck so much" and "check out highonpoker.blogspot.com if you want to learn poker". I'm an ass and a shill, admittedly. He called me predictable, which led to this hand against the 3rd place finisher. I was still chipleader on the button. I raised 2x the blind. GCox folded. BB called. The flop was J83 or something similar. J was the high card. I checked. He pushed on a small stack and I called, saying "how is this for predictable." Dude had J4 and lost to my JK. The truth is, the play WAS predictable, but it was profitable too. So now its just GCox and me. I have 6800 or so, and he has 2200. I don't remember exact hands, but he scraped his way back. Then a bad hand later, and I was down to 140. I doubled up once or twice, but it wasn't meant to be. Damn that GCox! Damn him to hell!
I'm still about $100 short, but I have a strategy which will hopefully pay off. I'm going to escalate to $10, because my play has improved since the beginning. Once next week rolls around I may bump it to $20, even if my bankroll hasn't grown much. I'm looking to win or place in this thing. I might lose my initial $55 in the process, but that extra $100 win (or $25 2nd place) will encourage me to go balls to the wall.
Have fun. The poker's fine.
Sunday, July 24, 2005
Came in 2nd out of 6, and 3rd out of 10 yesterday, to raise the SNG total to $47. I'm still negative, but at least I never dipped too low.
Last night, I went out to dinner and dancing with some friends. Well, actually, I didn't do much dancing. Instead, the dancing was done by girls with names like Jasmine, Daisy, Tiffany and Layla. And, instead of hip-hop dancing, or ballroom dancing, it was more...grinding. Without clothes.
Yes. Yesterday, I was at the Hustler Club in NYC, a fine strip club on the far west side. Now, strip clubs aren't my thing, but for a buddy about to get married, I'm game. And if I'm going to a strip club, I'm going to have fun. One thing Jordan from High On Poker is not, is a wet blanket.
The night started at Rare, a fancy burger place. If you ever get a chance, check it out. My father once said, "There is nothing better than a good cheeseburger." How right he was.
After, we headed to the Larry Flint-owned Hustler Club. My soon-to-be-married buddy, J, has loot. So we ended up in a raised VIP section, which was a bit too small to accomodate our group. Fortunate seating allowed me to get about 30-40% of J's lap dances. God bless! Good friends that I have, by the end of the night I had two lap dances on their dime. Not that I didn't get raped for dough. I most certainly did. The VIP area required that we each spend $50. Someone decided to order a bottle of Grey Goose, which came to $65 a head. At least I got hammered. Can't complain about that.
The place has talent. I'll give them that. But I was honestly more impressed by my trip to a place called the VIP lounge, where the girls were a consistent 8-10. Hustler had a bit more variance, but there were a couple of standouts. On dancer in particular had glasses on. This girl was a 10, no doubt, and ironically, I think the glasses put her to an 11. I don't know why that is. Maybe I need a little imperfection for a girl to be perfect. All that said, the real show-stopper was Layla, a Morrocan "Jew". I put that in quotes because once she found out she was hanging out with members of the Tribe, she immediately said, "I'm Moroccan. And a Jew." Yeah, and I'm a stripper and a bad actor. What she lacked in acting skills, she more than made up for in her performance. The NY Yankees stripper gear is pure genius. What do NY guys like more than strippers? The Yankees. Mix the two and you have a potent cocktail for lapdance fever. The other part that impressed was her pole climbing. Get your head out of the gutter! I'm talking about the stripper pole. The mainstage has a 20 foot high pole. Our Morrocan Jew is doing her thing dancing, and suddenly stops dead. She looks at the mirror behind her and takes a deep breath. And then, BAM! Like a wild animal she spins and attacks the pole. Bitch was touching the cieling in under 30 seconds, all the while keeping it hot. A little while later, a stripper who probably goes by the name of Double Chunk made a desperate attempt to repeat Layla's performance. I kid you not when I tell you that it looked like the fat kid in grade school panting as he barely got 1/4 of the way up the rope climb. But back to Layla. Eventually, we got her to come over. It wasn't hard, what with us being VIPs. The rest is a lapdance blur. I think out of the 4-5 of us left at that point, we each got a dance. She was a pro, and I thank her father for neglecting her as a child. Without him, she might be waitering at Applebee's and never discover her pole climbing talent.
Now, I'd love to give more details, but fiance Kim might read this, and I don't need to blow up J's spot. Nothing inappropriate happened. I know that much. I'm not a man for strip clubs, but if I'm going, I'm gonna have fun.
Live it up! It's a celebration!
One More Pic...
Saturday, July 23, 2005
Ok, this one is for fiance Kim, who insisted I had at least one picture that wasn't a complete farce. This picture is from last night, and was taken at O'Nieal's, one of fiance Kim and my favorite restaurants. My head can use a shave, but otherwise, I'm my usual handsome self.
And while you are here, check out Wired Pairs, a blog from a fell0w-NYer. He's a college kid, and he writes about poker and his day-to-day life, which makes for a good read.
Show N Tell
Friday, July 22, 2005
Okay, so it isn't the most 'traditional' of pictures, but you get the idea. I'm the idiot on the right with the badass horns and the pentagram on my head. Kim is the angel on the left. She's the best girl a guy could ever hope for; honest, respectable, sweet, caring, and a piece of ass. God Bless!
Not that I know how to add pics so easily, expect many in the near future.
And, yes, that is my real tongue.
Hi folks! Let me start by directing my readers and JapTrix to this post about the origin of the picture of me and an AK-47. Moving on...
I hope you are all having a wonderful day! I sure am. I won 2 out of 4 games last night, although for the life of me, I can only remember that I came in 1st in one. The other, who the fuck knows!
So, why am I so cheery this fine afternoon. I got laid off, of course! Yep. Here is an overall recap on why Jordan, the Hip Hop attorney got laid off. First, I was working for a department which only serviced a single client. The client started bitching and moaning about the work performed at my office. In all of this, a couple of people were singled out, but I was not included (as far as I knew). Months after the rumbling began, the client instructed that certain attorneys could no longer work on their cases. I was surprised to discover that I was one of the chosen ones. I asked the partner the reason for it. Why did I get singled out? My two superiors were more shocked than I was. As a new attorney, I was doing work that was way above my experience level. That said, my superiors overlooked everything before it went out. Not the quick, 'it looks ok to me', but the thorough red-pen type of editing. So, my work was quality, and of my 11 cases, I expected 6 to settle or be decided in our favor by the end of August.
When I got removed from the group, I was bummed. But at least I had my job at a law firm that paid reasonably (although below market) and had 9-5 hours (very rare!). I angled myself into a new group, and was continuing my work. I heard rumors of a couple of firms in need, so I sent out some resumes. I still await responses.
Then today, I went to court this morning. When I got back to the office, a note was waiting for me on my chair:
Please call me.
Now, Partner X is the same guy who told me that the client didn't want me on their files. I knew there was trouble. Fast-forward to when he gets to my office.
Partner X: Well, we've lost the client and we have to shift people around. We just don't have the work to sustain blah-blah-blah-blah. I'm sorry I have to do this, but you are being terminated. We're going to keep you on til Sept. 30.
[In my head: SWEET! Sept. 30th is right before my wedding. Fuck this. I'm so out of here anyway.]
Jordan: May I be frank. I was never told why I was taken off of the cases, and now I have no real reason why I am being terminated. It is what it is, and I understand that, but it would be so much easier with answers.
And that was it. I told some co-workers. I called my family. I have a trouble keeping news to myself. I called Kim.
The truth is, I am legitimately happy. I've had enough of this place. Its time to move on, and this just lit a fire under my ass.
A phrase keeps running through my head: "Bitches ain't shit but hoes and tricks." Its from a Snoop Dogg song, and its wholly inappropriate. But there it is, running through my head on loop. What does it mean? Well, I guess it means that this isn't a big deal. This bullshit ain't nothing. I smile when I think about being laid off because what else is there to do?
If anyone has any suggestions as to my upcoming job search, please feel free to leave them in the comments or email me at email@example.com. Thanks for reading.
Professional Poker Player ain't sounding too bad right about now...
Thursday, July 21, 2005
Once, in the law school library, my friend Desi and I were playing in the same SNG. This was two or three years ago. At the time, I realized that if you colluded via IM, you could run roughshod over a table. Desi and I would IM each other our cards. We'd have more information than anyone else at the table. I came in 8th. He came in 6th. It didn't help us one bit. It may have hurt us.
Now, Desi and I were amatuer cheaters. We probably could've arranged with more people to cover 1/2 or more of the tables in a $100 SNG and take it down with ease. But we weren't like that. We were just a couple of schmos who wanted to see if we could give ourselves a little advantage.
That was the ONLY time I ever cheated at poker. I've discussed the possibility with people before, but I never acted on it. Because, to me, poker is a sacred game, and to cheat would ruin the sanctity.
Several years later, I was playing in a home game at my apartment. I had a rotating cast of characters, all of which were friends or friends of friends. One of them, who will remain nameless, was an avid card player. I was inebriated, when I saw him as the dealer, holding the cards below the table and bending two cards up to see the next card that would come out on the turn or river. I don't remember details, but I do remember that this move irked me. If I remember correctly, he wasn't in the hand. A little later, the nameless player was the dealer again, but this time, he was in the hand when the cards went below the table. I watched him out of the corner of my eye. I wanted to see what he was doing before I accused him of anything. And I had to do it in a way that did not tip off the other players, because if cheating was discovered, it could potentially end my home games. The nameless one folded his hand eventually, and I never did see what he was doing.
After the game busted, I pulled him aside. Whispering, I told him, "Look, I saw you messing with the cards beneath the table. I don't know what you are doing, but whatever it is, stop. This is not the place to cheat. We are all friends here, and the stakes are small, so cut the shit." He told me that he wasn't cheating. Apparently, in other games he's been to, its common for players out of the hand to look at upcoming cards. "Well, not here," I laid down the law, "I don't want to see those cards below the table." Quite simply, that's not how we do. To this day, I don't know if he was cheating. He may have been, but I'll assume that he didn't. Its not worth wasting a friendship over.
About a month ago, my mother returned from the annual ABA (American Booksellers Assoc.) convention. My father is in publishing, so for as long as I could remember, every year my parents would go to Chicago or LA or wherever for the annual convention. My father would do whatever he does, and my mom would go around getting freebies for my brothers and me. This year was no exception. I got some choice comics (Kingdom Come trade paperback! I'm a dork.) and a book on poker written by Penn Gillete of Penn & Teller. The name of the book: "How to Cheat Your Friends at Poker." I read through the book for a bit one day at the beach. Realistically, the book alone is not going to teach you much. You need a lot of practice, by the book's own admission. But it does give some guidance on how to cheat. I read the interesting stuff, about how the co-author lived his life as a poker cheat. I then threw the book in the garbage. I'm no cheat. I don't want to be a cheat. And I don't need any of my friends finding the book and thinking I'm a cheat.
If you cheat, get some integrity. Cheat on your wife, cheat on your taxes, but don't cheat at my fucking poker game. That shit is sacred.
Yesterday, I went 2 for 4 in my SNGs, taking 1st in a 10 person SNG with bloggers GCox and Kipper, and taking 2nd in a 6 person SNG with DNasty and Trip. In both games, fellow bloggers placed (Kipper took 2nd out of 10; Trip took 1st out of 6), and I got to play with 4 out of 5 SNGers, with the sole exception being SteelerJosh, who is on SNG life-support. Our thoughts are with you and your family, Steeler. See the links on the right under 'SNG Challengers' for another view on the games played.
The highlight of the night must have been at the 10-person SNG. When my fellow SNGers play in a room together, we DO NOT COLLUDE. I don't play that way. I love the game, and to cheat would be to taint it. It just isn't worth it. "Other people are doing it!" you say? Well, other people can go fuck themselves.
So, we don't collude. But we do have a good time. This time, without any warning to Kip or GCox, I decided to play a character. I was Fishy McFisherson, the newest, most vanilla player around.
Me: "Hello everyone. This is my first time playing poker online!"
Dodo: "Hi High. Are you enjoying it?"
Me: "So far. This is cool."
Dodo: "You've never played before?"
Me: "I've played before, but never online. Mostly with friends, but we play with a lot of wilds."
You see how this went. Meanwhile, Kipper was goading me on with questions as well. The end result was that Dodo, on my immediate right, thought I was a newbie. This alone doesn't sound like it would do much, but in fact, it probably allowed me to win the whole tournament. Here is why:
Let me start by saying that Dodo was a good player, and a great sport. By the end of the game, we were joking around, and I meant no offense by my sly moves. In fact, by the end of the game, Dodo even checked out the blog. So, Dodo, if you are reading this, it was a pleasure.
It was early in the tournament. In one hand, everyone folded to Dodo, the SB (I'm the BB). He bets, and I flat call. I was mostly folding, as it was still early in the tournament and I was not getting good cards. So Dodo is thinking, if he's a fish, he's playing ABC poker. He won't call me pre-flop without a decent hand (i.e., JT or up). I actually had K2. The flop had an Ace, but nothing else of interest. Dodo bet at me. I raised him. He folded. With King high I got him to fold, because I induced the bluff on his part. Even if he had mid or low pair, he probably thought, "This HighOnPokr guy is a rookie, so he probably called with an Ace thinking an Ace alone was good...and now he hit the ace." I literally used this sort of an advantage in 6 or more hands. I knew what he thought of me, and I played into that.
The second part of my acting plan came quite accidentally. Dodo typed into the chat box, "I don't think High is a rookie. He doesn't play like one." (Thanks for the compliment Dodo). I knew I was making too many moves, but at this point, I was in good chip position and decided to take off the costume. "Hahaha. You got me, Dodo. HighOnPoker.blogspot.com." I replied in the chat box. Yes, I'm a shill for my site, even though it does nothing for me financially. Its an ego thing. Sure enough, Dodo took a quick look and got back to play. But now I had a new role, Sharky McSharkison. I switched to an overaggressive style and getting respect because the table thought that my whole ruse was the move of a sly, seasoned veteran. They didn't know it was the brainchild of boredom and over-creativity.
So, there you have it. My acting lesson for beginners. Try it out next time you are at a table. Say you are new, and play like you are new, until the opportunity arises to steal. Have fun with it, because if you aren't having fun playing poker, it isn't poker. It's just another poor paying job.
Poker, on the House!
Wednesday, July 20, 2005
Its been a long day at the office, but I still have to hand around for another 10 minutes or so, to ensure that I don't miss an important phone call. But surfing the Internet got boring, so here I am.
Tomorrow, I was supposed to play in a home game at Robbie Hole's place. Robbie Hole or any of my live-action friends haven't got a lot of screen time at my blog recently, due in large part to the distraction of the SNG challenge and my otherwise anti-social schedule. Unfortunately (sorta) Hole's game lacks the necessary players, so it isn't going to happen. However, I expect a game sometime next week at my place, Eight-C Duesy (for apt. 8C). I'm also looking forward to the first game at my new apartment in early August. My new "card room" name will be the Five Diamond Poker Club, for apt. 5D. Same building, because it just doesn't get better than my apt building. In the end, the cancelled Hole game might be a blessing, since fiance Kim won't be around until 8pm tonight, and I wanted to cook for her tomorrow. Yep, you read right. Jordan from High On Poker does the cooking in the house. Fiance Kim does the laundry, and by that I mean she runs the machines, but I still do the lifting and help with folding. All in all, its actually a good system, since I like cooking. Its an extension of art, when done right.
Oh, art. There is another topic. Jordan is a man of many diverse tastes. One is art. Specifically, my art, which is really just artistic masturbation. If you saw my recent post with the playing card collage, you see what sort of stuff I do. Its not all collages. In fact, that was my first one ever. But I am not a "fine artist". I'm rather industrial, and will use whatever is available to me. Some of my best works (in my humble opinion) are my wire sculptures. I use a rusty wire used in construction, and some of the stuff that I end up with is pretty sweet. Look for future pics. After all, if I make this shit, I might as well have someone see it.
Poker has replaced art in my life, in some respects. I used to do a lot of art in high school. I was good at it, but not the best. That discouraged me, as I knew I could never cut it commercially and I hate being 2nd place (you wouldnt know from my SNG play though). So, I went to college for Finance and Political Science. My art dropped off, but I'd get inspired in little spurts, especially when I had free time on my hands. Now, free time is for poker, which is probably largely unhealthy for my fragile psyche. When my father saw me carrying the frame that was to become the collage, he asked me why I insisted on buying it right away. I told him it was for an art idea I wanted to get right to. When I was packing up, apparently he said to fiance Kim that he was glad I was doing art. "It's therapuetic," he said. He's right. And I can use some right now. With the SNG challenge going poorly, my self-doubt at the tables, my anti-social routine, and my less-than-spectacular days at work, I can use all the help I can get.
The card-collage was the first artistic endeavor I have pursued in months. It was definitely fun mixing two of my hobbies, and maybe next, I'll do a painting or drawing of animals playing poker. Not dogs. No, that's typical. Maybe birds, or a gazelle, zebra, etc. Any suggestions? You know what to do. This is a forum people. Comment comment comment.
So, I guesss that's it. The phone hasn't rang, and I'm tire of waiting. Look for me at UB, as HighOnPokr. Maybe you can see some of my witty table banter, which is rapidly becoming my trademark.
Poker's a plenty for everyone.
If you are looking to sign up for an online poker site, please consider checking out GCox25's or TripJax's websites for bonus codes. You can earn yourself some extra bonuses, and help out some fine bloggers and finer people.
I personally will be signing up for BoDog soon (once my withdrawal from Noble to Neteller clears), through a GCox code. Next time I sign up for a site, Trip has dibs. I think I even signed up at UB through DNasty.
I have been wrestling with the idea of getting my own affiliate codes, but after reading a post from Bill Rini (click here to read the post, I've decided against it. Check out the link to Rini's post, because I thought it was a very interesting read.
That is all. Proceed.
Wow! I went 0 for 4 last night, dropping my SNG Challenge bankroll to $29.50. That is sad, really sad. My play was hampered by impatience, and just plain stupidity. It kind of felt like when I was a kid taking guitar lessons. I never practiced, so when my teacher would come over, I'd usually dissappoint both him and me. I guess this means, in part, that I need more practice. That would certainly help. Tonight, I should be able to get some uninterrupted games in before 8pm, but I need much more than practice. At this point, I think I need a break. I feel poker burnout. When I entered the SNGs last night, I didn't have the confidence that I was going to win. I didn't think I was going to lose either, but I played like I was desperate the entire way through.
Case in point: Its one of the first hands (if not the first hand) of a 6 person SNG, in which GCox, Kipper and I are playing. I have AQo on the button, and I limp in after two callers and GCox, the BB, called. The flop was A69. I check. MP bets. There are two callers. I raise. Someone else (I think GCox) re-raises. I push all-in. I know here that GCox has A6 or A9. I know this because (a) I know GCox and he isn't going to bet back at me with lesser hands, (b) very few players would re-raise without two pair here, and (c) the previous action was that of a man with an Ace low, probably suited, who hit their flop dead on and knew that they were probably facing an Ace high who missed. So, I call like a retard. He shows A6, but a 9 comes off on the turn, and I win with 2 pair, Aces and 9s, with a Q kicker. I think that suckout put ME on tilt, part because GCox is the better player and I felt guilty, and part because I was shocked at my own stupidity for calling in the first place. It wasn't too much later that I went against Kipper with my x4 v. his Ax (or something similar). The flop was 234, and I was short stacked. I bet and he called. The river was a 5. I bet, he raised, and I KNEW he had an ace. He had to have it. It made perfect sense. But I did it again and was all-in knowing I had the worst of it. I hit a 5 on the river, and we chopped, but that hand really took a lot out of me. In a later game, I pulled the A-high v. A-low with two pair move again, calling someone's all-in reraise or going all-in over them. This time I lost, and deserved it. Odd how those other suckouts actually upset me more than psyched me up.
So, here is the problem: I am playing like a jackel. I'm very aggressive, and it is causing large swings. In ring games, that is okay, if your bankroll can cover it. In tournaments, I only need to have one bad swing and its over. I must slow down.
I'm gonna make things right. Tonight, tonight, tonight. Oh-oh.
Picking Up Camp
Tuesday, July 19, 2005
I'm a serial poker-site monogomist by nature. I started playing on Golden Palace exclusively. I played a couple of SNGs on Party Poker, but quite honestly, I lost my shirt, and prefered the lower stakes offered at Golden Palace (as low as $0.10 STT SNGs). Then, I decided to become a bonus whore. I don't know what started it. All I know is, I started playing on new sites, solely for the benefit of winning bonuses (boni?). Eventually, I ended up at Noble Poker thanks to a Freeroll arranged by Pauly (home of the best WSOP live coverage ever), and an extremely reasonable 100% bonus, which is quite easy to earn, I might add. Fast-forward several months and a couple of hundred dollars profit, and I finished my initial $50 bonus. It feels good to have 'accomplished' something, but now I have to decide what my next step is.
Ok, first let me give you a quick recap. Last night, I got home from dinner with fiance Kim and found TripJax, GCox, DNasty and Kipper (see links on the right under "SNG Challengers") playing an SNG. Here I've been, bitching and moaning, moaning and bitching, all about playing with my fellow SNGers and they go and start a game without me. Its a good think I don't curse, or I'd call them all cocksuckers. But really, I'm glad it all worked out, and GCox and Trip placed, no less. Now I can look forward to playing with the large group in the near future. While I waited for them to finish up, I hopped on Noble, as my extended limit challenge (which I am using for self-discipline) has been moving along well. I ended up cleaning house. After a good hour or less of play on 1/2 tables, I was up 20BB (40$), bringing my total Noble bankroll to $150. To make matters better, I received an email confirmation that I collected the last $10 of my bonus. I subsequently played and lost an SNG, but that's a whole nother story (SNG banroll= $51.50, down from $55).
What to do now? I really like Noble. I seem to win regularly on their limit games. The interface is good and getting better. There are more players than ever there. It is easy fo sheezee to collect bonuses, unlike some sites (read: FullTilt). But, the bonus is gone, and I heard some good stuff about other sites.
I guess my next move is clear. I should withdraw entirely from Noble. I should put $110 into BoDog through PokerSourceOnline (PSO) or some other service which provides an extra bonus. I believe there is another service/site like PSO, and I would really appreciate any help my readers can give me. Regardless, I heard that BoDog is easy on the bonuses, which is key for me. I figure to go there and continue my extended limit challenge. The discipline it gives me is key.
That's it for now. I have to say congrats to Trip and GCox for placing in their SNG. It always makes me proud to see multiple SNGers place in the same SNG. Look for a post coming up about my new favorite word: Schaudenfreude!
Poker up, Hoes down!
I admit, this is too early to be posting this. I admit that I am definitely jumping the gun. But I love poker, and I can't help but think about the next challenge once in a while. After the SNG Challenge is complete, I am proposing a Heads-Up Challenge. It will be an elimination event, starting with 8 players, ideally. Members of the SNG Challenge will have first pic at spots, but beyond that, it is open. If we have enough interested parties, we can potentially move it beyond 8 players. The buy-in for the event (prize pool money) will be $25 as per usual. First place gets $150, and 2nd gets $50. The eight players will be required to have at least $40 in an account on a designated site. Each player will play each other player in a $5 heads-up game, resulting in 28 first round matches (trust me, I did the math). Each player will play 7 matches in total in the first round, and the top 4 players (win/loss record) will move onto the next round. If there are ties, players will have tie breakers. Then all four members in the second round will play each other for 6 matches in total. The two players with the best records in Round 2 (ignore Round 1 wins/losses) move to the finals. The final two players play heads-up five times. Best of five wins.
I like this format because it provides that any player entering will at least get to play 7 matches. I'm really excited for it too, because the SNG Challenge is whooping my ass. To make this work, we'd need 8 players who are able to coordinate their timing. This might be difficult, but hypothetically, we can have players arrange the timing for thier own matches amongst themselves and post the time/date on comments or on their blogs so that others can railbird. It should be interesting regardless.
I love poker. I don't love work. Hence this post. Go me!
What a weekend! I spent Friday night seeing Charlie and the Chocolate Factory with fiance Kim. I'm a big fan of Johnny Depp and Tim Burton, and the movie was definitely worth seeing, but I had the nagging feeling throughout that I was watching a rerun. Its a different movie, without a doubt, but you know where its going and how its getting there (for the most part). On the walk home (I live in NYC), we passed a book store where I pre-order the new Harry Potter book for fiance Kim. I'll admit that I read comic books, but I draw the line at Harry Potter. Long story short, it was 11pm and we decided to wait around until 12:15am when fiance Kim was able to buy her book. Highlight of the Borders wait was entering the bathroom while a 20-something year old 6' guy with a long ponytail and a receding hairline exited wearing a Harry Potter costume. I was tempted to mercy kill him, but I was too worried he'd hit me with a spell. So, what did you notice about Friday night? No poker.
Saturday was another whopper of a day. Fiance Kim and I woke up at 8am on our day off. We proceeded to rush to LI (a 1 hr train ride), load some stuff into my family's Jeep and head back to NYC to unload some furniture and household items. When we returned to NYC, I spent about 30 minutes playing some Limit Challenge, in an attempt to play some poker. Problem #1 in the SNG Challenge: SNGs require 45 minutes at least. So limit it was, but I made a $10 uptick, and by the end of the weekend, I doubled that. My limit challenge bankroll is now $111, just enough to move from .50/1 to 1/2. I can't wait.
So, we do all that furniture stuff and then drive back to LI to hang with fiance Kim's friends. Fast-forward to Sunday, running around LI with fiance Kim's mom running errands. When I got back to my apartment at 6pm, all I wanted to do was play poker. I finally got to do that at 9pm.
Hey SNG Challengers, why the hell have I only played against/with G$ux in the SNG Challenge?! Damn people! That has got to change.
So my first SNG was a 6-person turbo tournament. I wanted to get in there quick, and I was doing fine, but a bad play put me on a short-stack, and I eventually pushed with 55 after there was a bettor before me pre-flop. The bettor was locked in on price. I had him on 2 overcards. I didn't expect them to be JTo. He hit the K high straight and I was sent packing. Meanwhile G$ux was placing in his 6th SNG in a row. That guy!
I would've sat and watched G$ux play out the top three, but after losing I always need a break. It burns me bad, and I just need to get away from that screen so as to avoid jumping into another SNG while on tilt. Even if I don't play another SNG, just railbirding puts me on mental tilt, which sucks. It was about an hour later when I sat for a 10-person regular SNG. One particularly good move came when I called a small raise on the button with As8s. The flop was Qs9s7x. The other guy raised. I pushed with the flush draw and he called. I'd make this a You Decide, but I didn't keep good notes, and this hand was all about position and chip stacks. As you can imagine, I won it, but it wasn't a spade that did it. I rivered the A. For a layman, my move may have looked stupid. However, I had good pot-odds, and a lot of outs. My quote of the night (if I may say so myself): "I had more outs than a chinese whorehouse." Note that this makes no sense. I knew it, they knew it. But hell, I had to say something stupid. I ended up playing tight until I was in the top three. The two large stacks were playing at each other and I tried to avoid any serious conflicts. Eventually, one big stack went all-in against the other and suddenly I placed. It felt good that my patience paid off. Look for a posting later about lessons learned from the SNG Challenge.
As a result, for the SNG Challenge, I invested $11 and won $15, for a $4 uptick. I went from $53 to $57, which is in the black, but far from G$ux's near-$200. Jerk.
Enjoy! There'll probably be a new posting later today. I can feel its going to be one of those days.
Sunday, July 17, 2005
I haven't played an SNG since Thursday. Yesterday (Saturday), I played some limit on Noble, continuing the Limit Challenge solo, as a means to control my bankroll. It went well, and I ended up +$10, which is a whopping 20 BBs in under an hour.
That said, I'm jonesing for some SNG action, and as soon as I finish the day of 'responsibilities', I anticipate getting in there are whooping some a$$. So, if any of the challengers read this...hopefully, I'll see you tonight. For all my readers, I'm keeping this short. Have fun and be cool.
An SNG Play by Play
Thursday, July 14, 2005
As I awaited my 6 person $5 turbo SNG to start, I decided it was time to do another tournament play by play. I'll do my best to blog, play, and enjoy some innane banter with my fellow challengers (GSux and Kip are both in the middle of SNGs).
9:05pm Players start with 1500 chips. First hand is KhAh. I flop the nut flush and slowplay until a final bet on the end makes my opponent fold. 2060 in chips. Qc3c and Td5d are easy folds. I take the blinds post flop with T6 when I hit mid pair with the 6 and bet out with four players in the hand. A half-pot bet from the BB and they all bow to me. In the SB, I give up BB times two, when my JQ doesnt hit the flop.
9:10pm Blinds raise and I have 55 UTG. I double the blinds with 5 callers. AKT flop and I fold to someone else's raise. He shows 44. Ug. I give up a BB and SB without a fight. 1975. KAo, and UTG already bet. Raise the pot. Miss the 455 flop and fold. 66 wins 4 blinds on the flop with a QQ5 board. 1650. Our first player, someone I was actually 'scared of' is out. Hahaha! He lost to a fish on my right. 99 in SB. Button raises big and I call. Two other callers. 55T board. Someone pushes before me and I fold. He's out by the same fish.
9:15pm Blinds raise. 99 again! Lose. Down to 845 and have AhKh again. Some guy raises before me and I reraise. Next thing I know, I'm all in with AK v JJ and hit an A and K. The next hand JJ is out. 1830 with three players left. Intermittent Internet problems are giving me agita. I steal some blinds, but otherwise let the other players (with bigger stacks) collide. Treading water. 1300.
God loves me. I suck out the chip leader with my JT v. his 9K, T99 flop. All in. J turn, T river. Kaching. A little while later my stupid bluffs dont pay off. I should know better! Trip tens earns me a nice pot. I hit the Ts on the turn and river. SB folds to my hammer when I'm BB betting PF. Of course, I show. "HAMMER!"
I'm desperate and need to push. 1195. 75/150 blinds. Move all in with the hammer (again) and all fold. Get AA and move all in. Someone calls with 22 and I double up. Suddenly, after some aggressive play, I'm chipleader with 3800. Dropped the hammer (AGAIN!) after a PF bet makes the SB fold. Expert bluffing. But then I double someone up! Stupid flush and straight draw! 2880. I place when my Q8 hits four flush v AQ, taking out 3rd place. My K2 hits a 225 flop. My opponent raises minimum and I minimum reraise. He folds. Get into the ebb and flow, acting desperate, until I get AA, and I get him to call me all in with his A8.
But, about 12 hands later, I lose with KhQh v. 68 when he hits his 8. No harm. It was touch and go at the end. I'm just glad to have made the money. I focused and made some great moves as a result. Overall, a happy-ish ending. Next time, though, I'm taking first!
Wow! BG, of Gambling Blues recently made a post completely dismantling blogging that consists of "I played x SNGs and won y". GSux mentioned the post in his recent posting, so I had to check it out. While BG comes off strong (tempered by his admitted drunkedness), he makes a good point.
My blog has become a regurgitation of last nights win/loss record. I do occassionally go off into tangents, but overall my blog needs a style overhaul. Here's the deal. Every day I wake up, groggy and tired. If I'm lucky, I'll get up early and drag myself to the gym for 30 minutes of running three times a week. More often, I settle for two times a week because I hate mornings. I shower, listening to Howard Stern and accepting my fated day of office slavery. I put on a suit or slacks and a shirt and walk the 4 minutes to Koyzina Kafe where I get my eggwhites and cheese wrap. I get to the office after a 2 minute walk and sit down at my desk, where I fire up my computer and inevitably begin my daily procrastination. I read some blogs, I sleepwalk through writing a post, and then I get down to business. Eight hours later, I am staring at the clock and aching to get back to the comforts of home. I get home, play some poker, maybe go out to dinner with fiance Kim, watch some innane television, drink or smoke or just sit around until its time to hit the sack. Then I begrudgingly go to sleep and start it all over again. Once or twice a week, not including weekends, I may change it up a bit. Meet someone for drinks or a nice dinner. See a movie with fiance Kim or run some errands. This is life. This is every aching minute of my daily routine. Lather rinse repeat.
I escape in books like, "Haunted" the new book from "Fight Club" author Chuck Palahniuk. I escape in poker, one of my joys in life where I can challenge others and myself. I escape in the simple joys of spending an evening with fiance Kim, my anchor and lighthouse in the sea of neverending neverending.
This is life. This is every aching minute.
And in my routine, I get to my office and I sit at my desk and I be the cog in the machine and I do it all with a smile if someone is looking or a frown if someone is not. This is life. Every aching minute.
So, my blog writing suffers. My work product suffers. My poker suffers. My social interactions suffer.
Is it always like this? Is it always grumpy or depressed Jordan going through the motions but not doing anything with it? No. But its me now. Maybe its a summer rut, or an itch to change things up. Being about 10 months into my first "real" job, I am starting to feel that thing you feel when you near the end of a semester of school. That itch to end it and start again, not like a Phoenix out of the ashes, but like a lizard starting to molt. I feel that itch to say, okay, semester's over. Give me a month to relax and we can start fresh. But there is no starting fresh anymore. This is life. Aching minutes.
What's the point of all of this? BG is right. That's the point. Life is too fucking short (and too fucking long) to waste it in this fucking rut, writing or otherwise. I'm going to strike out at my own apathy, and in doing so I'm going to get back on the right track. Work hard and focus in the office. Play hard and enjoy my free time. Because this is life. Just minutes.
Two losses last night drop me from $60.50 to $49.50. In addition, GSux25 made strides via some fine play and a whole lot of luck, earning him the new nickname G-Lucks25, or G-Lux25 for short. The man has a 55, raises the entire way. Faces a re-raise and calls with all over-cards on the flop, and hits a 5 on the turn. He had aces twice within 20 minutes at another table. But all this doesn't add up to a hill of beans if he doesn't play his cards well, and that he did. Kudos to him. The oddest part of the SNG challenge has been simultaneously rooting for some guys to win and lose. In the end, I can't begrudge anyone thier wins, and its more envy (not jealousy) than anything. Besides, I already called him as my pick to win this.
So, in the first tournament, I got sucked out (why does that always sound gay?) to lose most of my stack. The rest of the game was a blur, but I think I went out 6th. The tournament was taking forever, and there were still 6 of us when the blinds were huge. Oh well Oh well.
The 2nd tournament (they were actually most simultaneous) was another GLux/HighOnPokr match-up, with both of us making it to the bubble. I lost there, though, and GLux probably swept it up. I didn't know, because post-losing, I'm like a ninja. I through some smoke bombs and disappear before they dissipate.
While playing with G, I came to a very obvious conclusion. Its not enough to understand pot-odds and such. You also need (1) patience and (2) focus, two things that I sadly lack.
The Patience I am trying to cultivate will help me avoid sticky situations where I can go bust earlier in an SNG. With patience, I could very potentially cost to the money.
The Focus will help me make better decisions when its time for decisions to be made. There are times when I play poker with the TV on, while cooking dinner, and reading the Internet. When my cards pop up, I bet or fold based on my position, chips, and the players left. QQ? Raise. T4o? Fold. Easy enough. But do I expect to make money this way (above all I want to be a profitable player)? The truth is, I can't expect to make money. The advantage I need is knowing that the last time player A re-raise all-in, he had the nuts. Or that player B limps with any two cards, so that seemingly harmless board is anything but.
Patience and Focus. How do I get them? Last night, I made a CD so that my laptop (where I usually play poker) will have some choice songs from my desktop. Mostly, its trance and hip hop with a beat. I'm hoping it'll help me tune into the poker rather than outside noises. I'm also only one-tabling for right now, so that I'm not jumping around. Finally, I am going to try my best not to play unless I know that I can play the entire tournament undisturbed. This will be easier said than done, but that's how I know its worth it.
Patience and Focus. Why do I feel that I blogged about them already? Enough with the blogging! It's time to take action. Patience and Focus are my new best friends.
Poker at ya!
On Suckouts and Suckers
Wednesday, July 13, 2005
Ka Ching! I'm back in black, with my SNG total jumping from $43 to $60.50 thanks to a win in 2 out of 3 SNGs last night. My first win was in another game with GCox25. Check out Coxy's site for a running leader board.
Straight away, GCox is an impressive player. He seems to win or place more often than busting out, and whenever I play with him, I seem to play better as well. I don't know what it is particularly about his play. I think he just has the patience and fundamentals to play good poker. We all get caught in bad spots (await my Suckout story for more info). But absent a bad spot, GCox is a good bet, any day. I'd suggest that he would be the favorite to win, if my over-inflated ego didn't tell me that he didn't have a chance aganist my awesome might!
Which brings me to my suckout. Picture it: Sicily, 1945...props to the first person who knows the reference. Okay...Picture it: 10-Person $5.50 SNG, and Bunny (a shortened version of a player's name) was a chipleader after some loose aggressive play. I'm looking at AJ in EP and limp in. Bunny, on the button, limps as well. The flop is JQx. I bet the pot, but Bunny comes over the top for a lot. It wasn't enough to put me all-in, but if I called, I would have a pittance left. I thought he was making a move. He wasn't. My AJ v. his AQ. The turn, J, the river, J. I sucked out with Quads.
What does one do when he sucks out a chipleader with quads? I apologized at first. And then I went through the efforts of putting the Bunny on Tilt. It started slow. He was saying that I was lucky. I told him that he sucked. Also, I told him that my suckout was well-planned and well-executed. This continued for about 10 min., during which Bunny lost most of his chiplead (some of the chips went to Coxy, who was ailing at that time). Trip, Stratham aka High Plains, and Steeler were railbirding, and we all got in on the fun. I must admit though. After some poor play, Bunny got back on track and took second overall.
After my suckout, my play definitely improved. I took first. Coxy took third. Bunny took second. I hope he's reading this (I was shilling my blog), because I love a good session of poker smack talk. It really is one of the many joys in my life.
I signed off, happy to have won. 45 minutes later, Kim was asleep, and I was watching GCox take down 2nd in another SNG. Does this guy ever lose? Inspired by his winning ways and my addiction to poker, I signed up for a six-person turbo SNG, which I promptly lost in 5th place when my T4 BB hit a AT4 flop. I slowplayed the flop. Another player bet. I smooth-called expecting that he was playing his A. The turn was a blank. He bet again, and I came over the top. He shot back at me and I called. My TT44 v. his AA44. He flopped a higher two pair. Maybe I should've gotten away from this hand, but I believe this is one of those situation when you get played by the cards. I don't blame myself. Ironically, I do blame myself for calling with AJ, even though I won that hand.
I chased the blues with one last 6-person turbo SNG, which I placed 2nd in. In my last hand, I had K9. The flop was 889. Checked to me, and I bet. He called. The turn was a blank. He checked. I checked. The river was a K. He checked again, and I bet. He re-raised. I called. He had 78 or something. I lost. Sucks, but at least I made some paper.
This brings me to the WSOP. Check out Pauly's site for some outstanding play-by-play coverage. I've read about several players losing early when their KK comes up against AA, or when their set loses to a higher set. Some people thing poker is all about luck. I hate to say it, but these people, idiots that they are, are partially correct. To win the WSOP you HAVE TO GET LUCKY. Bottom line. You are not going to win without getting semi-decent cards. More importantly, you are not going to win if your cards appear solid, but are actually outdone by someone elses'. Consider my flopped two-pair. Or the many times when I flopped a set only to be outdone by a higher set on a rainbow, no straight board. It hurts, but it is inevitable. I still want to play in the WSOP. Next year, I hope to try to qualify online. This year, with the wedding coming up and my meager bankroll, it really wasn't a possibility. But next year, who knows.
So, my heart goes out to all of the WSOP players who lost to hands that you just can't escape. Good luck next year, because you are going to need it.
Tuesday, July 12, 2005
A slow start for yours truly. It wasn't lack of play, but rather lack of good play that has dealt me my first blow in the SNG challenge. After playing three 6-person SNGs, I was 0 for 3. I later met up with GCox in a 10-person SNG, where I scrambled my way to third, for a $10 win. Put it all together and you have 22$ in fees and $10 in winnings for a net value of...-12$.
Being down $12 just gave me an idea. If I can just win one $10 SNG...This is the thinking that gets you (read: me) into trouble. Back to the $5 later. Slow and steady.
As for my 3rd place win, GCox also placed. I'm not sure if he placed 1st or 2nd, because after I lose, if I'm not playing again, I like to get the hell off the computer as soon as possible. I'm hoping he won it, but the SNG challenge would be easier if he hit 2nd. Regardless, I know GCox had a helluva night with several wins in the Challenge. DNasty kept me company with 3 losses, but I think he may've followed it up with a win. I think Trip and Steeler placed in tourneys as well, but my memory was pretty hazy at the end of the night. Kipper was off of my radar last night, but good luck to him as well.
While playing the Challenge in the same room as GCox, this thought occurred to me: "I would benefit in the Challenge if GCox loses." Too bad for me GCox wouldn't comply. Thanks for nothing GCox.
So, there you have it. -$12. A sad case, really, but the game is still very early, and I've come back from worse. My real problem is adjusting my strategy to the level of play (higher than other sites) and the SNGs themselves. Up until the challenge I was focusing more on limit.
Check out the other challengers. I've added a new section for their links specifically on the right. Thanks for reading.
Lunch with UB
Monday, July 11, 2005
Whenever I see UB, I think of my alma mater, University at Buffalo. But now it has taken on a new meaning, Ultimate Bet, home of the SNG Challenge. If you don't know about the SNG Challenge, your ass better call somebody. Or you can click here, which is indubitably easier.
Today, I went home for lunch, a quick 5 minute walk from my office. Things at the office have been less than ideal, so I'm happy to be able to escape for an hour. I decided that I was going to make some food and relax, but inevitably I ended up firing up UB for a quick $5 6-person SNG tournament. I lost, in third place. Yeah Bubble! It occurred to me that for me to win back my losses, I'd have to win 1st place in my next $5 6-person SNG, as 2nd only pays $9. Quite the conundrum.
So, how was my play? A little rushed, admittedly. I took out a player with A9 suited when I hit a flush draw on the flop, bet and was raised with the other player's all-in. I had to call, even though he had top pair. I hit the flush and took one down. I hit another 4-card flush draw a few hands later to make some more casheesh. But when it got down to 3 players, I was the smaller of the three stacks. I raised a couple of times when I shouldn't have, and consequently, had less than T1000, when I received 44 on the button. I made a minimum raise, and the BB called. The flop was 567. I raised all-in. The way I saw it, he could've had anything when calling the minimum bet, EXCEPT a bunch of off-suit low cards. With a board of low cards, an underpair and a straight draw, I thought I was golden. Hopefully he'd call with KJ or even AK. But he had J7 and I failed to improve.
Lessons learned? None really. I just have to focus more, I suppose. I'm going to remain single-tabling for the time being. The SNG challenge is structured so you can only lose 10 $5 SNGs before you go bust (without any wins). I don't plan on going out like that. First off, I'm a better player than that. Second, who isn't. But still, slow and steady wins the race.
I've noticed 21 new readers today. Welcome. Please enjoy the read. Take a look at some of my earlier posts if you have a chance. Personal favorites include The Mystery of the Missing Rake, Tourney Story, and all of my You Decides (see the sidebar for those links). If you have some advice on some of the You Decide hands, please leave a comment. I encourage and hope for discussion as much as possible. Most of all, thanks for reading. Without you, I'd be doing little more than literary masturbation.
My SNG practice didn't go exceding well. I won a $5 SNG and lost three. I also placed 2nd in a 6-person Omaha SNG, which I believe is ineligible for the SNG challenge (although since it was yesterday, it didn't matter).
I was thinking a lot about my limit play, which has been hurting recently. I believe that it may have been Sklansky who stated that you make money from limit with the individual bets and folds. It might seem inconsequential to call that last bet on the river, or to make that last bet on the river, but those are where your profits go or come from.
Its that hand where you have KK and the flop is J83 rainbow, the turn is an inconsequential 2 and the whole way you are betting and getting called by some loose player. The river comes down and its a big Ace, staring at you with the point of the A like a glaring middle finger pointed directly at your cowboys. Its when you check and the Calling Station suddenly raises that you have to decide what you are. Are you a hot-headed tough guy, scared of backing down? Are you a cool-headed but overly timid player scared of any overcards?
Or its the hand when you have JQo and the flop is KJT with two spades. You have none. A loose player bets out. You call the loose player's bet all the way down to the river, knowing in the back of your head that you might make that straight. But when you hit it, that Ace is an Ace of Spades. Loosey McGee bets, and you are sitting their looking at your straight, but knowing that Loosey may've hit his flush. What then? Are you going to value bet and let Loosey show his AK two-pair? Are you going to fold, loosing all of that money because of the ghost of the spade flush haunting you as you watch the screen?
This is where money is lost and made. This is where you become profitable or broke. This is where I am. I'm trying to come up with the right answers. At least I know the questions. That is something Loosey McGee and Calling Station will never understand.
Tonight I play at UB for the first time ever, as part of the SNG challenge. Stay tuned.
SNG Challenge Rules
Saturday, July 09, 2005
With the SNG challenge starting on Monday, and a slew of newer readers, here is a Rule Book for the SNG Challenge.
The SNG Challenge is a competition between six competitors: Me (Jordan aka HighOnPoker), DNasty, SteelerJosh, Kipper, GCox25, and TripJax.
Each player's entry fee is $25. The challenge starts this Monday, July 11th, and continues for four weeks, ending August 7th. The player with the most money at the end of the challenge wins $125 (their buy-in and $100 profit. The second place player wins their buy-in back ($25).
The challenge is structured as follows: Each player has $55 in an Ultimate Bet account. Players are to play SNGs ONLY with their $55. They can play ANY LIMIT SNG, and for that matter, but it must be a No Limit SNG, and it must NOT be heads-up. So, while I am still unfamiliar with Ultimate Bet, players can hypothetically play 6-person tournaments or 9/10 person tournaments. Likewise, players can start with $5 tournaments or go for broke with a $50 tournament. Bankroll management will obviously be a factor, as if a player busts out, he is automatically a loser in the challenge.
Players are on an honor system, but are expected to keep a spreadsheet or other record of their wins and losses.
That's basically it. If you are interested in railbirding or saying hi at UB, I'm under the screenname HighOnPokr (leave off the last E for +EV).
If you are interested in joining the challenge by game start on Monday, please leave a comment.
Keep an eye out for live SNG Challenge coverage. And please check out my competitor's sites, as I am sure they will have some great updates. Its only a matter of time before we play at the same SNG. Hillarity will ensue.
Preview: Coming soon, the Heads-Up Challenge, scheduled to start shortly after the SNG Challenge ends.
Friday, July 08, 2005
Damn me. During lunch, I took the short walk home. I didn't intend to play poker, but I had some time and I always have the inclination. I lost about $45 in a NL ring game because I suck. That's right. I suck. Players were very loose, and I played into one person's hand particularly. A short while later at another table, I made a poor call, followed by a good call that lost when the prag hit his flush on the river. If not for the flush, I would've been back to even. But gamblor, god of gambling, had something else in mind. He wanted to teach me a lesson.
I used to suck at online poker (maybe I still do). See this post to have an indication of how things went. Then things turned around. I started playing limit more, to control the variance. I also got into the limit challenge with DNasty, and consequently won $150 or so. While some might see $150 as a pittance, it is a good chunk of change for a player with my limited online bankroll.
The limit challenge ended, and I was free to roam the poker countryside. However, the countryside is riddled with all sorts of pitfalls. Most notably, my NL online game is crap. Pure crap. These players won't fold to pre-flop raises. Hell, they won't fold to any raises. And I know that I set up a pretty poor table image by my early aggression. I could work on my online NL ring game. OR I can revert back to the discipline of limit play.
I've chosen the latter. With the $115 or so left in my Noble account (I've already withdrew $100 not too long ago), I am going to return to the limit challenge format. I want to be a profitable player, and if playing limit makes me profitable, then limit it is. The SNG challenge will allow me to shake things up. The home cash games will keep me from NL ring game atrophy. But when I have a little while to play, it'll have to be limit, under the limit challenge guidelines. I said many times that I wanted to turn that $50 investment into $500. I've pissed away some of the money already and withdrew some as well, but I still will follow my old goal. From $50 to $500. To make it easier on myself, I'll include the $100 I withdrew, and assume that all of the money in my account is from the limit challenge (even though a chunk is from a MTT 3rd place finish). So, I am about $285 short of my goal.
Discipline. I don't got it, but I want it.
Love that Poker!
I won $20 at Robbie Hole's house. I was actually up about $40 when I ran into a disasterous hand (I was the cause of this disaster). Earlier in the night, I also had a monster suckout in my favor. These two hands together showed one thing: I was not playing good poker. I made some moves. I got value for some of my bets. But in general, I never got into a groove and my play was mediocre at best. I could blame it on the intoxicating substances that so often join poker games, but in the end I have two choices, stay sober or stop complaining.
I don't remember all of the betting, but Jefe, a friend of Hole's bet pre-flop to $2. I had AJs on the button, and decided to call. Big Mark (another pal o' Hole) in the SB called as well. The flop was AKQ. This was both good and bad. Jefe had been agressive all night, so I wasn't sure what he had. Mark was a very random player, so I couldn't place him either, really. I had top pair, top kicker, but someone certainly could've had KK, QQ, KQ, AK, or AQ, which would put me in the doghouse. On the other hand, these players could've raised with JJ, TT, 99, 88 or even suited connectors (loose table). Mark bet $2. Jefe thought for a minute and raised to $7. He had $10 more in front of him. I knew that it was now or never. Jefe, being aggressive, was probably on a steal. I thought I could push Mark out with a stong re-raise (he would be facing a raise, re-raise situation). At the very least, I had it in mind that I had the straight draw. That's a slim out, but one to consider. I put Jefe all-in for another $10 ($17 total). Mark saw the shit going down and folded. Jefe called, and I showed my cards. Jefe had AK. I was sunk. The next card was a 7. I was dealer, and before I dealt the last card, I said, "Show me that miracle ten." TADA! The next card off the deck was the ten. I apologized perfusely as I raked in Jefe's chips. I'm rarely on this end of a suckout.
You Decide #12: The Literal Tell
Earlier in the evening, I mentioned that I used to try to control my tells. I said that tightening up was boring and difficult for me, so instead I just let it flow. Well, maybe I should pay a bit more attention in the future. I was in the BB with 58s. To my right was Jefe's girlfriend, Steph, who was playing extremely well all night. She was catching cards, but people were paying her off. On two back to back hands she hit trip queens when the board was QQx. I hadn't seen her bluff yet, either.
So the hand starts and there are a decent amount of limpers. The flop is 9TJ, and I have an 8. I hate drawing to the dummy end of a straight, but when Stef checked to me, I threw out a modest $2 bet. All fold except Steph, who calls. The next card is a 7. I hit the straight. Checked to me, and I bet $3. Steph raises it to $8. I call, and say, "I could raise, but I think we have the same cards." The flop was an Ace. She goes all-in for $47. F-U-C-K. I did this to myself, you see. I'm playing in my head what has happened so far. She's been very lucky. She's been pushing hands and getting paid off. I also know that she isn't a mark. She knows what she's doing, even though she is a 21-yr-old, pixie-ish chick. And she HEARD me say we had the same hands. I ran through the possibilities. She might have an 8, in which case we chop. I didn't think about the probability of this in my head, ala Sklansky or Harrington, but I should've. If she had the 8, the all-in was a very mature move. She "knew" she couldn't lose because I just about announced my hand. Okay, so an 8 is a possibility. She could've had 8Q, or QK for a flopped straight, in which case she thinks I have a Jack high straight AND I think she has the 8 only, so an all-in could get paid off. I watched her for tells. She was chatty, but not too chatty. She laughed about something and seemed sincere. It was going to be one of my last hands in the night, and I was up about $20 if I folded. If I called and lost, I'd be down $30 or more. I folded begrudgingly and asked, "At least do me the favor of showing your cards." She obliged, A8. SHIT! I gave respect. She played great that night. I spoke to Rouss about the hand. He would've called. I ask you now, with all the info that was out there, with all of the info that I put out there, should I have called?
On a side note, the real answer to the hand is: KEEP MY FUCKING MOUTH SHUT! I did my self no favors by ACTUALLY ANNOUNCING MY HAND! I will kick myself in the ass for a week over that stupid slip. I felt at the time that Steph wasn't the type of shark to actually hear, analyze, and move on something like that. I was wrong.
So, what's worse than a tell? When you TELL your actual F'ing cards.
I suck. SNG Challenge, here I come.