Monday, December 05, 2011

Falling in love (with AK)

I know better but it still happens way too often.  I try to get too smart and maximize my profits (although in this case it didn't matter).

Imagine Sicily, 1934... (sorry, bad Golden Girls reference).

I was playing a ring game, NL Holdem, $0.10/$0.25 blinds.  I had been playing for a while when I was dealt AdKc behind the dealer.  2nd under the gun raises to $0.75 and I reraise to $1.50.  He was a pretty loose player and it seemed safe.  Everyone else folded.
Flop comes 3dAdKc.  He checks then calls my 1/2 pot bet ($1.67)
Turn comes 4s and I am still in love with my cards so I bet another 1/2 pot ($4.46)
River comes 2c and I am blinded by how good my cards are (or not).  I push all in for another $14.08.  You know how this is going to end - what does he have?

The obvious one I should have seen was a 5 for the straight but there is obviously a bunch of other hand (anything tripped).  Given his behavior from the start I might have seen a small pocket pair and since he was with me from the beginning, you could guess 3s.  In my defense he was a pretty loose aggressive player and as I said in the title, I was in love with my AK.

He turned over 33 and took the pot.  I wasn't busted because I had a larger stack than him but it definitely made this the worse session since I started playing again.

Just to end my night on a nice note, I played a $11 S&G (not a bounty one) and managed to finish first.  The last opponent wasn't overly happy and made some stupid comment which I have been using my $50 winnings to pleasantly forget about.

Bounty S&Gs

I think my new love as an S&G type game is something called Bounty Sit and Go's.  The concept works something like the following.  Instead of simply paying an entry fee plus rake, you pay an entry fee, bounty plus rake.  For example normally an $11 S&G breaks down as $10 entry plus $1 fee.  In an $11 bounty S&G, it breaks down as $5 entry, $5 bounty and $1 fee.

So what does this mean and why I am in love with it.  Well the bounty is paid to you when you take someone out.  Or in other words, you put a $5 bounty on your head which is paid when someone takes you out.  The down side is the prize pool is 1/2 (in this example) what it normally would be.

A couple examples from recent successes (we won't talk about the cases where it didn't work like this).  My best example to date was about 9 days ago when I entered a $5+5+1 bounty S&G.  Over the first hour or so I managed to take out 2 people which basically paid for the S&G.  This is an important aspect if you are trying to be really careful with your bankroll.

Anyway, I kept winning and ended up with 5 bounties to my credit.  It got much harder as the game went on and became much more like a traditional S&G.  The top 20 or so positions paid and I ended up finishing in 4th place.  Looking at the money is interesting.
I made $25 in bounties and $55 for finishing in 4th place.  If I had played a normal S&G for this size of crowd, I would have made $110 instead of $80 ($25+$55) however I think I was much more likely to break even with the bounty approach.  I find I almost always have my bankroll in the back of my mind and knowing I am in profitable territory makes the game much less stressful for me.

As an aside, when I tried a similar S&G this weekend, of course, I lost so quick I managed no bounties.  It drove me to immediately try another one but all that was available for a $1+$1+$0.20 turbo S&G.  So I snapped it up.

This one went more like the first one.  I managed to take out 3 people for $3 and enough to break even.  I made the final table again and this time because the turbo nature it was a continual all-in fest.  Eventually it doesn't work out and I went out in 6th place for $11 prize.  In both cases, I ended up winning around 7 times my entry cost which isn't huge but I will happily take it every day.

Back to it!

After a couple years of not playing much poker, I am back into it again and slowly ramping up my play.  I started playing at a site called and have had some minor success (defined as my bankroll moving positive) there.

I will write some more from my adventures this weekend soon but I wanted to post some kind of "I'm back..." post as much for a reminder to me as anyone actually following this.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Good news or bad?

I am playing a small S&G ($5.50) 9 person.  It is early and I get KJ offsuit under the gun.  I raise a couple BB just to make sure everyone playing is serious (and I am under the gun after all).  I get called by a couple people including the big stack (1.5 times the average).  He is batting 100% VPIP so this is no surprise. The flop comes 3A4 and I do a continuation bet of a couple BB.  Our new friend raises about 10BB and everyone (including me) folds.  I figured he has an ace. He is generous to show us that he has 34 unsuited for 2 pair.

I am grateful he was willing to play with 34o in the presence of a 3BB raise under the gun.  One of these times I will get his money (if someone doesn't beat me to it).

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Have you ever had this hand?

You know the hand. You finally get dealt some good cards - pocket Kings just when you need them. You are not yet down to the push it all in stage but it is getting close enough that you are thinking about it.

The pocket Kings come along so you make a big raise kind of hoping someone will call you - but scared that if they do they will still suck out. So you make your raise and someone comes over the top. You decide this is probably the best hand you are going to see anyway so you push all-in.

Of course they turn over pocket Aces.

Well tonight I was that guy. Not the one with the Kings - the one with the Aces. It was a nice feeling to see someone play into my Aces that way.

It was even a nicer feeling to see them actually stand up through the river and win the hand - that usually doesn't happen on Riverstars.

This was in one of the cheap ($2+0.20) tournaments - lots of players (>3000) and it is still going. If I go out now, I will win a grand total of $7.31.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

When you really do't want to go all in

I haven't been playing that much - not like I used to but I wanted to post something about the hand I just played. I had to smile when it happened (because I have often been on the other side of this).

I am playing in a $10+1 180 person S&G at Pokerstars and getting some of the worse cards I have gotten in a while. I am usually a semi-loose fairly aggressive player but I was working on being the tightest player at the table. We were about 45 hands in and although our table had lost a couple players our table had been kept together since the start and I wasn't the only one playing tight.

Over a period of about 3 hands we lost a couple people and they were replaced with some fresh blood (I mean new players). Obviously they weren't used to such tight play because after about 4 hands one newbie complained "that this was the tightest table they had seen". I smiled.

The next hand I got dealt A10 suited. I was under the button and decided to min raise. As expected most folded but one of the short stacks pushed all-in. The guy in front of me decided to call and I, perhaps foolishly, decided to just call. The call was for just less than half my stack and since these were the best cards I had seen, I went with it.

It was clearly my hand as the flop came A10A. The guy in front of me decided it was his time to push. I smiled and called. The cards were revealed and the original all-in had pocket queens, the guy in front of me had pocket kings - they had me beat until the flop. The hand played out, I increased my stack by about 2.5 times and they broke our table up.

The last thing I saw in the chat box was the newbie saying "now that's more like it".

I smiled.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Time flys

It has been over 3 years since I posted here and I have to blame a lot of it on my sheer lack of poker playing. Although I had never really intended this blog to be only about poker, it appears that when the poker stopped, so did the blogging.

To drive the final nail in the coffin and all that, I decided to revisit online poker playing last week and sure enough the urge to blog about it came with - the proof being this entry right here.

Given the challenge of getting money into poker sites now days I finally figured out the trick and used the eCheck mechanism that Pokerstars supports. My original intent was to use a check from one of my Canadian accounts but I discovered that Pokerstars assumes that if you live in the US, you would only have checks from US accounts. They are wrong but after a conversation with support, I realized that this was too difficult a thing to ask of them. They do support checks from Canadian banks if you live in Canada tho. :P

So last week I managed to get $100 into my Pokerstars account (which is the max you can write your first eCheck for) and decided to get back into the game. I had always liked S&Gs, so I tried a couple of a format I hadn't seen before. They are called Double or Nothing - basically 10 person S&Gs where the top 5 win double the entry (minus the rake). I found I had mixed success with these - people actually played quite tight (which was surprising) and I lost more than I won.

I then moved on to cash games - given my big bankroll I decided 0.10/0.25 NL was a good place for me to start. I put a few hours into this over a couple days and managed to eek out about $7/hr which I guess is pretty good given the limits I was playing at. It was fun at any rate.

Yesterday I decided to try one of the larger tournaments. They didn't have addons or rebuys but they had what they called extended registration which is really just rebuys by another name. Registration stayed open for an hour and you could reenter as often as you wanted. This took us from about 2100 original players to a total of 4791 when the first hour was up. I don't remember the numbers after that but by the end of 3 hrs I was in the money with 720 people left. After 4 hours we were under 100 players and I had actually been as high as 12th place at one time. During that 5th hour it was obvious my luck was running cold at the wrong time. I couldn't get any cards and the blinds were now in the 3k/6k to the 5k/10k range. I went out in 51st place at about 4hrs 40mins.

It was kind of neat to play the bigger tournament, especially when you are winning. It turned out that 51st place was worth $8.86. The tournament after all had only cost $1.10 to play. ;-)

By the sounds of it I am back playing poker, slowly, and back writing my blog.. Slowly..

Thursday, November 16, 2006

No, I'm not dead..

It is kind of hard to believe it has been 6 weeks since I last posted. However between having no internet at home for about a month, it took me a little while to get back into using the internet at home again.

Apparently a lot changed in the online poker world since I last posted anything. I won't make much of a comment about it other than to say that I closed out my pokerroom account (thanks to them wimping out) and still am playing at pokerstars.

I haven't played much poker tho. I played a couple tournies over the last couple weeks and managed to actually make the WWdN: Not last week. So this week I decided to play again (that is actually more of a choice than it sounds - I just haven't been into poker much lately). Of course while I was waiting, I discovered CC's Bash.

I hadn't played last week in it, and in fact didn't know much about it other than it appeared to have some of the regular crowd there so I signed up. So while waiting for the tourny to start (actually both of them since I was also signed into the WWdN: Not) I noticed that the Bash was Limit! Awk! I don't like limit, don't do good at it and limit tournament seems just painful. Unfortunately it was already too late to unregister.

So I fumbled my way along for the 1st half hour, then the WWdN: Not started. Now it got confusing - playing limit in one window and NL in the other. I struggled on.

We seemed to play in lockstep which each tournament - 8 players in one window, 8 in the other.. Then 7 and 7, 6 and 6, etc.. It was eerie. I couldn't follow the conversations in each chat window - I had trouble clicking on the fold/bet button at time.

As an aside, I have no idea how people actually play multiple tournament at the same time - my hat's off to those who do it successfully.

Through nothing more than pure luck on my part, I managed to break the bubble on the limit game and make it into the money. I moved up and before I knew it, I was heads up with the Doctor himself. I actually managed to come back and have a huge chip lead and force him all-in a couple times before my cards turned cold again and he returned to trounce me. We did manage to beat on each other for what felt like half an hour (it was probably 5 minutes).

Somewhere in the intensity of it all, I managed to be the bubble boy on the WWdN: Not tourney - not bad for really not paying too much attention.

Anyway, it was a great game CC and Pauly. I will certainly try to come back next time and add to my points (now that I have some). Please try not to make it limit again tho. ;-)

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Staying in touch..

After last weeks adventures, I figured I was all done. But oh, no, there is more to come.

As I discovered last week, my EVDO card which I use for internet access didn't like the area I was living in. That should have been all fine and fixed up when I returned to my normal location last Sunday. However, I found that a problem I was having with the EVDO card last week was the precusor of more problems to come. I managed to get connected once on Sunday and after that, it gave up the ghost. To the point where the computer doesn't even recognise it as a PC card anymore.

Of course I went to the Sprint store on Monday, and after spending 1 1/2 hrs "helping" the support guy realise that I really did know what I was talking about when I said it was dead - he insisted on having me bring in the laptop, uninstall the software, reinstall the software, etc.. All to get to the same conclusion I had. He then went on to say that since it was out of the 30 day warantee (and I didn't pay for the insurance), I would have to contact the manufacturer to have it replaced under their warantee. The card is about 60 days old.

So I am now in the process of waiting for an RMA number, so I can send the card in and wait for a replacement - regardless it means probably at least another week+ before I get internet at home again.

Huh? What do you mean the government banned online gambling? I guess I won't know anything about that til I get my internet back at home and I try to get to any of my regular sites. Amazing what happens when you lose your internet access for a couple days.

Anyway, I obviously won't be there again this week for the WWdN: Not, but if yesterday's WWdN turnout was any measure, we may have record crowds. I would be there if I could, but since I can't, now is the time to set the record! Good luck everyone!