Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Cash Game Conundrum

One of my recent posts was all about hating on the live cash game. 

Yesterday, Fike sent out his usual weekly cash game invite and I soooooo wanted to tell him to go eff himself and his home game;  I didn't, but I wanted to.  I didn't rush my reply.  I kept telling myself that I had no business playing that game and I should just flush a couple buyins down the toilet and call it even.

I don't know what possessed me but, sometime in the afternoon, I sent him an email that said I might make it to the game.  I'm such a pussy.

I had several errands to run on the way.  One more was added when I got the text telling me I could stop by the bowling alley to pick up the prize money from the summer league.  Good thing it was on the way to Fike's house AND now I had found money to blow at the game.  [sarcasm warning] Wooot me! [/sarcasm warning]

I ended up arriving late and getting one of the worst seats in the house for watching the ESPN broadcast of the WSOP 40K event.  I didn't notice at the time but there was already one rebuy in the 20 minutes before I got there.  Fike also had to rebuy not long after I got there.  I'm pretty sure I've mentioned what an action game this is.

One of the worst players was on my left - he's a total calling station and, for a while there, a total luckbox.  He was forever out running me after all 5 cards were out.  The previous game he started to get punished for his bad habits of chasing weak flush draws and other bad play.  He must have spewed 3 buyins last time and was on track for the same last night.

I picked up a couple small pots but mostly tried to fold those bad cards that are so tempting to play when the guy next to you is playing stuff like T4sooooooted.  I managed to flop a set on an all spade board.  I raised Fike's bet knowing he didn't have the flush but might have the As.  He, of course, called hoping to hit as he's done in the past but notspade hit on the turn.  I went all in and he insta-folded.

When Fike is down to a short stack he starts shipping it with all kinds of hands.  Pretty much any A, any small suited connectors.  He got caught with a 56hh hand and had to rebuy.  If Fike has had to rebuy and he's down during the last hour of play all hell breaks loose.  He starts raising a lot and shipping when he hits anything hoping to get called by a marginal hand because people think of him as a loose player.  Last night was no exception.

Fike shipped a 125bb stack on a KTh6h board after Gunn bet into him.  Gunn practically insta-called him with AK.  Fike is stunned that he's called and shows Jh9h that doesn't improve.  Gunn has enough experience with Fike to know that he often plays recklessly when he's behind for the night, especially the later it gets.  There was some argument about who was the favorite on the flop and Fike even went so far as to get out his netbook and load up the hands into a odds calculator.  He swore that he was the favorite but he was a slight dog. 

Next thing I know Fike is playing on Full Tilt trying to win back some of his losses.  He ends up losing a buying with top pair vs. a flopped set.  Guess it just wasn't his night.

After another rebuy by Fike and some spewage on his part he's down to about 25bb in chips that he ships in ahead of me.  I look down and AJo and I'm sure that I'm ahead of his range and I have the chips to spew should I lose this hand so I call.  Little did I know that the calling station behind me would also call.  Sigh.

The board comes out 89x.  I check.  CS checks.  Turn is a T giving me an oesd and two overs so I bet 20bb.  CS decides to ship for another 12bb.  I'm priced in and have to call.  No hands are shown but I see Fike's cards hit the muck as he peeked ahead and knew the river was an A; he figure one of us was bound to have an ace.  He was right.  Turns out my rivered ace was good and I scoop the sidepot and main pot for a profit of about 100bb. 

Most of the time I just spew off the better part of my original buyin when I play Fike's game.  There was one night when I lost QQ<KK for almost a whole buying after losing a buyin before than - by far my worst night.  My biggest complaint about this game is that the stakes are low enough to be mostly meaningless to the players and they make bad plays because the $ is insignificant and/or they are just plain bad players (mostly not the case).

I have had the worst time getting traction in that game as I don't have this need to "go big".  It seems that these guys often play for stacks especially later in the night and it's often a 60/40 type of race. 

Last night's buyin+ profit was ego boosting for sure.  I desperately needed to book a win in that game or I was going to give it up because the morale beating I was taking was becoming too much.  The annoying thing is that I had to take such a risk with the A and the J and suck out on the river to win the hand. 

Is it just me or does everybody's good night usually come down to one or two big hands?  Does anybody actually grind out a profit a little at a time?  Do you go for the BIG one even if the chances are just 50/50 ish?  Isn't that supposed to be the beauty of cash game: that you can rebuy at any time, you are supposed to take the risks with only a marginal/slim lead?   Is poker really about taking coin flips all night long? 

Crack is Whack

Started playing again a little on Sunday and Monday. Started to grind again on the crack tables of the poker world, 6-max PLO. Dear jeebus these people are so terrible. I think it was last May (2008) when I was grinding these things to a pulp to make iron man. Granted I'm only playing .10/.25 maybe a little .25/.50 so it took a little doing. Especially since my multi-table skills are not on the level of most. At any rate, they went on the shelf for a while and now I'm bringing them back.

So far results have been pretty good. Sessions have been pretty short and I'm really trying not to burn out on them. I have been enjoying playing again and with some cash wins it makes me feel like getting back into the MTT's again. See how things go but I'm thinking if I keep my sessions short and sweet on the cash game side it will make things more enjoyable for me in the long run.

ESPN coverage started last night. First 4 hands, 4 allins I think. And that's all I will write about ESPN poker coverage.

More importantly, 3 days til the MLB trading deadling and the Phillies are in the middle of every pitching rumor out there. I still want Roy Halladay but I'm going to start the Cliff Lee fan club. See the Dodgers and Red Sox can really only afford Lee. If the Phils jump in and grab him, they screw them both and leave JP Assmunch GM in Toronto holding his jock. My apologies to our Canadian contingent of bloggers. I like getting players and fucking someone else in the process.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Thursday, July 23, 2009


Why is poker kicking me in the balls, picking me up, and then kicking me again? Here is why (warning, bad beat story ahead).

In my last two double or nothings, which cleaned out my account:

PokerStars No-Limit Hold'em, $5.00+$0.20 Tournament, 10/20 Blinds (10 handed) - Poker-Stars Converter Tool from

CO (t1500)
Button (t1490)
Hero (SB) (t1480)
BB (t1500)
UTG (t1100)
UTG+1 (t1280)
UTG+2 (t1500)
MP1 (t1500)
MP2 (t1500)
MP3 (t2150)

Hero's M: 49.33

Preflop: Hero is SB with 10, 7
UTG calls t20, UTG+1 calls t20, 5 folds, Button calls t20, Hero calls t10, BB checks

Flop: (t100) 10, 7, A (5 players)
Hero bets t100, 1 fold, UTG raises to t200, 2 folds, Hero raises to t1460 (All-In), UTG calls t880 (All-In)

Turn: (t2260) J (2 players, 2 all-in)

River: (t2260) 8 (2 players, 2 all-in)

Total pot: t2260

Hero had 10, 7 (two pair, tens and sevens).
UTG had 9, A (straight, Jack high).
Outcome: UTG won t2260

PokerStars No-Limit Hold'em, $5.00+$0.20 Tournament, 15/30 Blinds (10 handed) - Poker-Stars Converter Tool from

MP2 (t1530)
MP3 (t1215)
CO (t1415)
Button (t1590)
SB (t1190)
Hero (BB) (t1530)
UTG (t2535)
UTG+1 (t1310)
UTG+2 (t1470)
MP1 (t1215)

Hero's M: 34.00

Preflop: Hero is BB with A, A
5 folds, MP3 bets t1215 (All-In), 3 folds, Hero calls t1185

Flop: (t2445) 6, 4, 9 (2 players, 1 all-in)

Turn: (t2445) 5 (2 players, 1 all-in)

River: (t2445) Q (2 players, 1 all-in)

Total pot: t2445

Hero had A, A (one pair, Aces).
MP3 had A, Q (flush, Ace high).
Outcome: MP3 won t2445

Monday, July 20, 2009

AC Wrap Up

Not too much to report from last Wednesday but nonetheless here I am. Snatched Snuffy from the Borgata about 8 o'clock or so, checked into the free room at Bally's (where the desk clerk assumed Snuffy and I were lovers). OK, here's the side note. Snuffy was standing next to me in line while I checked in, she asked if I wanted a King or 2 Queens and when I said King, she immediately looked at Snuffy. I laughed and said he's not staying here, then she proceeded to give me two room keys anyway. Gay lovers FTW! (Not that there's anything wrong with that).

Moving on. We went to check out Bally's room but they were only spreading 1-3 NL, neither of us felt like playing that so we huffed over to Caesar's for 1-2. There insued an entire 2 hour session of bleeding off boring ass 1-2 no limit. I missed just about every flop with about every hand for the entire time and bled off about 80 bucks. Did have one big hand where I had AK and eventually called a shove on the turn which ended up being another AK, chop it up.

About 11:30 we headed to The Taj, where the sands turn to gold, to play the midnight tourny. Here insued some of the worst MTT play I've seen in a long time. First hour was quiet for me. Then picked things up in the second hour. Won a nice pot where I 3 bet AK preflop, got 1 caller and took it down on the turn. Picked up a few here and there and got my original 15K up to about 35K or so. Then spewed it back. The blinds rocket up in this thing so I was really trying to accumulate in the middle stages. Lost a 13K pot when I got flushed on the river, then lost a race with AQ vs 99. Then in the 3rd hour (blinds somewhere around 800-1600), won a monsterpotten with a set of 3's vs TP. Eventually I open shove the suited consenza (A10ss) for 55K, blinds 5K-10K, and get called by monster stack and his 77. Can't win the race and I am out 26th of 148 with the top 18 paying. Good night and good luck, the sun will be up in about 45 minutes. Played well, just couldn't get lucky early the coupla times I needed it to get a really nice stack.

On the online front I haven't played at all in 2 weeks and can honestly say I don't miss it. I really have no desire to play, so I don't really intend to. Maybe now that things are a little less hectic at home and work I will settle in one night. But then again maybe not.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

PokerSlut Tour XIV HORSE

Oops posted too soon.  PokerSlut Tour plays on Sunday.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

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Sunday, July 12, 2009

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Rest of Vegas Trip Report

Friday, Day 4 (Last Day)

I was unsure what I wanted to do. Play cash games? Single table satellites? MTT? I was up fairly early and drove over to the Rio to see what single table sats they had going. At 8am nothing. I got back in the car and drove over to MGM to play some 1/2. I bought in for $100 and quickly had it up to $230 or so. I got in a hand with Q7 on a K7232 board calling a bet every street. Right read that he didn't have a K but he did have 88 and most of my profit was gone. I ended up leaving after an hour or so with a $10 profit.

I decided to drive back to the Rio and look to play one more single table sat in the hopes to get enough to play a mega satellite later in the day. I signed up for a $175. Early on I had KK and busted a player with AQ that flopped top top to get to 1600. After that I had QQ and won the blinds. Next interesting hand came in the first level vs a euro who had busted someone and had me covered. I had 1010 and called his raise pre. Flop Kxx. Call a bet, call turn and call river where my 1010 is good and I am up to 2325.

Moving to the 25/50 level we still have 9 people left and the same euro raises to 175. I look down at AA and raise to to 425 and after some thought he calls. Flop comes J52 rainbow. He checks and I bet 700. He thinks for a good minute or so and decides to shove 1025 total in. I table the aces and he shows A3 off. You all know how this story ends as the 4 hits the turn and I am down to 800. If I win that hand I am sitting on around 4k and can easily walk my way into a chop or have a chance to scoop it all. I win that one outright I am unstuck for the trip too. Alas I bust shortly after in a 4-way all-in with 22.

Done with sats I go back over to Caesars and sign up for the Noon tournament. I late reg'd about 10 minutes in and I drew the first table to break. I played pretty much any two cards in the first two levels and made some decent bluffs to make up for the misses and I was sitting on 14k at the first break. Early in level 3 our table breaks and I get moved to a table with 2 crasian ladies and a shitload of other players who like to gamble it up. A good table draw for me. I wanna get a stack built or I wanna bust. I lost 5k pretty quickly and was sitting on 9k when the bustout hand happened.

Playing 75/150 I limped with Q7 soooted and then called a raise to 750. Why I have no idea. Flop J7Xddd. The person who raised bets out for around 1k and I call. Based on the play that I saw I thought maybe he hit the J or had the naked Ad. I thought I would call and re-evaluate on the turn. I didn't watch the turn come out, just watched the player. he fires 2k at the pot. I look over to see another 7 hit the turn. I ship my last 6500 or so in the pot and he takes about 30 seconds and calls. I table my hand, he stares at it for a good 10 seconds then tables KQdd for the lovely slowroll. I started swearing at him calling him a fucking slowroller and said its gonna be fuckin sweet when the board pairs on the river. It didn't and I huffed away from the table.

All in all a disaster of a trip. One thing I learned is to not go out under-rolled. I need to go out there and have the buyins I need to play what I want and not have to worry about winning a satellite to play what I want. MTT's are just so hard to cash in. IF I happen to go out next year I really need to stick to the cash games and the single table satellites. If I plan on going for a week I need a minimum of $4k to go with. Since that's probably not gonna happen I might have to just skip a year. Maybe the looser FL laws will allow a series to come to town where I can play some sats. Who knows.

I think I might play a night or two of tournaments at the Borgata next week when I am up there on a business trip then swear them off for life. Yeah, that's not gonna happen.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Vegas Recap

So I wrote about day 1 when I was still out there. Never found the time to write-up the rest of the trip until now. With the help of Twitter in another window, here it goes:

Wednesday, Day 2

I was up after about 5 hours of sleep ready to go. I walked over to the V to use my $10 food voucher for breakfast. I remembered them having a sweet $10 breakfast plate, and it delivered. Walking back to Harrah's to relax before the tourney I go my Casino Royale and get suckered into signing up for their frequent players card and the "free $50" in slot play. I sign up and they say come back between 10am and midnight to play it. It was about 9am so I come back to play. When I get there I am given a paper certificate that the machine takes. You have to play $1 machines and you can only cash out if you hit a jackpot. Lolz. Knew there was a catch. I got nothing.

Venetian event started at noon and you got 12k in chips to start with 40 minute levels and blinds starting at 50/100. After the first two levels I have nothing interesting to play and drip down to 10,100. Early in level three I lose a couple quick hands and drop to 8k. One hand I flatted with 1010 vs a manic. Why I don't reraise in that spot is beyond me. I ended up folding on a Kxx flop. late in level 4 I raised QQ UTG and got one caller. Flop comes Axx and I check fold and get shown AJ. Good fold. The last hand before the 2nd break I am down around 5k and limp with 33. I flop bottom set and bet every street with the river bet being all-in and I get called and get the double back to 11k.

The start of level 5 went well. I limper 75cc and call a raise. I end up flopping trips and river a boat. A got a decent payoff in the hand and was up to 18k. Those chips were short lived and I dropped all the way down to 9k at the end of the 6th level. Nothing interesting, just a steady drop. At the beginning of level 7 I was able to shove my 10bb stack in with 1010 and lost to QJ.

There were two interesting characters at my table. the guy to my immediately left had "GAMBLE" tattooed on his arm. Might as well have said "DOUCHE". Early on he 3-bet to around 1000 and got 2 callers before the original raiser put in a 4-bet to 6600. He thought it was only around 2600 and had his chips across the line in his hand before he asked. Somehow he was able to take them back and muck JJ face up with two people yet to act. One round penalty. Later on in one dealer down he asked the dealer to wash the cards 5 times. He asked a total of 9 times in around 90 minutes. Jeebus. I ended up having the dealer call the floor over and talk to him. One other thing, he loved to fold out of turn and head for the bathroom. this happened twice. He commented on how strict everything is. Go back to your fuckin' home game buddy.

The other character at the table just loved to touch the chips on the table. He would always scoop up the ante chips on our side of the table for the dealer. One time he reached into the pot to make change. Tool. The good thing is that both of these jokers were eliminated on the same hand in the 5th level.

Later on I played th 7m tournament. With only 20 minute levels it became a shovefest late and I busted with around 10 tables left and it paying only 3 tables.

Thursday, Day 3

Having to watch what I was able to play the rest of the way I went over to Harrah's in the morning looking for a single table satellite. I was seated in a $125 and we ended up chopping it up 3 ways. Enough for the Caesar's Noon event.

My starting table was tough to say the least. They had around 180 runners and I pulled a table where 7-8 of them actually knew what they were doing. Looking at the other tables ANY OTHER ONE would have been better. You started with 15k in chips, 50 minute levels and 25/50 starting blinds. Very nice structure.

The first 4 levels were pretty meh. I had my 15,025 at the end of the 2nd level and 16k at the end of the 4th level. One interesting hand came on the last one before the 1st break. I have 43ss and limp for $100 along with about 4 others. The BB makes it 1k to go which looked a ton like a steal spot. I ended up calling along with 2 others. Flop comes A,4,5 and it gets checked around. Turn 4. I threw in a raise and took the pot down to get back to my starting stack at the end of 2nd level.

The 5th and 6th levels proved to be interesting. I was able to chip up to 18k before a wild 11 hands stretch. A player that was playing aggro early but had slowed down the last few levels raised to 1800 at 300/600. I found AK and 3bet it to 4400. He tanked and folded. Next lap around the table he raises to 1800 again and I 3bet him with AA to 4200 and he folds again. The very next hand he raises to 2200 and I find AK suited and 3bet him yet again to 5k and he folds AQ. W..T...F? I was able to get it to 28k without seeing a flop but damn, it could have been so much more. I was able to get it to 30k at the end of level 7 and the dinner break. Average was around 33k or so.

Levels 8 and 9 didn't go as well and I quickly slipped to 19k. I found AK and shipped over a big pre-flop raise and based on the player I actually thought I may have been behind. He had AK as well. I flopped the freeroll flush draw but we ended up chopping. At the end of the 9th level I had only 10k going to 1k/2k. I shipped the first ace I saw but only one the blinds. My next ship was from the SB when it was folded to me and I saw a Q and shipped. BB called and showed KQ. I squeezed the other card which was a suited J. I flopped the flush draw but bricked the turn and river and busted around 45th with only the top 18 getting paid. About 10 hours of play for nothing. The next day I saw the guy I busted to was the CL nearing the final table. At least he used my chips well.

After the tourney I walked over to the IP for a little 1/2 NL action. After about an hour I called it a day winning $20.

Getting a little long, will post the last day up tomorrow.

Monday, July 6, 2009


Too much of everything else in life at this point to find time or energy to write or play poker. Life has been crazy on the weekends, so neither me nor the wife feel like we are getting any rest. Put on top of that work being really crazy for me and a child who seems to want to spike random fevers during the week, and exhaution has set in. I get home and only want to spend time mindlessly watching TV, the thought of putting mental energy into a poker game is unfathomable. Top it off with pretty much falling asleep on the couch by 9PM and you can see why I have played twice in the last two weeks.

I also don't have any poker direction at this point. I was enjoying focusing on the BBT and the MTT's that went with it and would like to keep with that. However, having no mental edge at the end of the day and no energy to go with it, kinda makes that a losing venture (something I found out in the first few weeks after the BBT). I really have no desire to grind on cash at the end of the day and was running abismally in SNGs before the last few weeks. At this point, I think I will continue to play sparsly for at least the next coupla weeks. Brother's wedding is in 2 weeks then the schedule lightens up, both at home and at work. Snuffy is supposedly coming to AC in the middle of the month, so that will be some good live play. Maybe after that I'll start to feel like playing more regularly online again. In the meantime I'll try to have some profound poker thoughts to share with y'all.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Get me the Fuck Outta Here

In 10 hours I get to go home. I will get around to writing within a week or so. Maybe some serious revelations. Here is a short summary:

Venetian - Last 6 hours for nothing
Venetian 7p - Go deep but lost when it became a pushfest
Caesars - Play 9 hours for nothing
Caesars - Bust early on a showroll motherficker.
Last STT - AA v A2 and I lost. I win I have 4k out of 10 in play with 8 left. Lose shortly after.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Vegas Day 1

Sitting in my hotel this morning trying to come up with a rallying strategy. Yesterday was by no means horrendous, but it could have been better. My flight landed at 11:15am and I busted a nut getting to the rental car shuttle (no checked baggage). When I got to the Dollar 'Express" counter I had to wait behind 5 people with ONE agent. 25 minutes later I was in my Ford Mustang (I said no to the ghey PT Cruiser) and going 80 down I15 to get to the Golden Nugget for the Noon $200 2-7 tournament.

I walked in to the Nugget at 12:15 or so and there was about 10 minutes gone on the clock. I registered and found out that I was only number 20 to get in. I was the 4th to sit at a new table and the cards when in the air right away. 12k in chips to start and 40 minute levels. Blinds started 25/50 and doubled until we got to 150/300. Very decent structure but in a limit tournament its just too much. I would have been happy to start at 100/200. After late registration was over there were a total of 27 runners and only the top 3 would be paid. IF I knew it would be that small I think I would have passed on the tourney.

At the first break I had somewhere around 10.5k. Myself and three others from my table walked over to Mermaid's and got the $0.99 hot dogs. Pretty good actually. In levels 4-6 I could not win back to back hands. Win one lose one. At the end of level 6 I had worked my stack up to 17.5k. We had only lost 3 people by the break. Level 7 was the disaster. Starting the level with 400/800 blinds I had 22 bbs. I proceeded to go bust with 5 minutes left in the level. Moose cock for me bro. A total of 5 times in the event I was holding an 86 or an 85 and lost to 7's. When that happens there is just no way you can win. My last hand was 7532 vs an opponent who drew 4. Yeah, I lost.

After the tournament I walked over to Binions to see how CK was doing. They were just going on the first break and I got to meet TJ and Drizz. It was easy to know who TJ was based on the accent. I didn't even have to ask. Drizz was wearing a Joe Mauer jersey. Turns out he is from Minny. I talked to him for a bit before I headed out the meet Dan (wvapoker). BTW, congrats to CK and Drizz for their final tables in the O8 event.

I met wva at Planet Ho for their 7pm tournament. I think I lasted about 25 minutes and wva lasted just after the break. While waiting to wva I played some 2/4 and lost $29. At least I won $4 from my free $5 in slot play. Woot!

After the Ho we drove over to the Rio to sweat the 50k HORSE and watch some other events. We also watched some of the 6max going on. The 6max was interesting to watch. One really interesting hand we saw was AQ vs A10 on a AQ10 flop. All the chips go in and the 10 ball hits the river. Dude who won screamed like there was no tomorrow. Shannon Shorr was at the table and he put it perfectly

"Omg the mark at the table just laid a dirty one to bust gboro and gives the single loudest celebratory yell I've ever witnessed."

Dirty to say the least. I also saw Gene Todd walk by after he busted when his KK ran into AA again. Moose cock for him too. I also railed Jamie Pickering's table for a bit as well. After watching for a bit I dropped wva off at Mandalay and when I got back to Harrahs I walked over to Venetian and registered for the tourney today. GLGL me. Run goot one time plz.