Monday, May 29, 2006

Its been a long long weekend

But a good one. We had our regular Sunday game and actually managed to have up to 6 players at once. Unlike last time, my cards weren't that good (and I played like a donkey as usual). It was fun tho and that is what THAT game is all about.

I managed to get sucked into a tourny today at PokerRoom and was forced to play it for 3+ hours, only to have the cards turn lousy (as in I had good cards and the other guy has better) when I made the final table. I hit the 3rd break at 2nd place and finished in 6th. Not a bad finish if I didn't know I could do much better.

Then tonight, I play in the DADI on stars, get off to a good start and end up with my pocket 8s hitting a set on the flop. I decide to slow play (1st mistake) and the turn comes a 3rd club. Surflexus goes all-in and I understand he is representing a flush. I also know we have played enough to consider that it might be a bluff - so I call. (2nd mistake). I am now at T110. I managed to actually grow it back to pretty much the starting stack. I then flopped another set and watched it grow to 4 diamonds. I was bet into and I folded. At this point I was crippled again and never recovered. It was fun, with the same crowd as usual.

Speaking of usual. The WWdN: Not this week is set up:

What: WWdN: Not The
Where: Pokerstars
When: Thursday, June 1st, 7:30PM PT
Which: Tournament: 25596231
Cost: $10+1 NLHE
Password: monkey

And the following week, I am on a 3500 mile road trip and won't be around. The tournament is already set up for it though, so I hope all the regulars have a great time and someone can report on the results for me.

What: WWdN: Not The
Where: Pokerstars
When: Thursday, June 8st, 7:30PM PT
Which: Tournament: 25599892
Cost: $10+1 NLHE
Password: monkey

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Its all over including the crying

Although we managed to leave a few players behind with the new/old time for the WWdN: Not, we had a reasonable turnout and a good game. L0K1 and I managed to go out real early, but the regulars continued on to a great finish with Sowbug bubbling, drewspop finishing 3rd and smokkee and hoyazo going at hit heads up for quite a while. After much interesting play, hoyazo finished off for a great finish.

I went on to try my luck in 180 SnG and after 2 hours of play, I went out slightly pre-bubble in 25th place. It was fun, but disappointing to get that close and not make the money.

Oh well, maybe next time..

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Mookie's over, WWdN: Not is next

The Mookie is over for me tonight (15th place, mainly through suckouts), so this is a reminder for the WWdN: Not tomorrow night. In particular, it is now an hour earlier, so let's see some more Central and Eastern time zone folks come have a good time.

WWdN: Not The
Where: Pokerstars
When: Thursday, May 25th, 7:30PM PT
Which: Tournament: 25198207
Cost: $10+1 NLHE
Password: monkey

Oh yeah, apparently there was a bounty on Mookie's head tonight and I managed to prevent him from getting his haircut tonight. I wonder what I won?

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Online Poker Blogger Tournament

Played in the WWdN tonight and managed to get my TPTK busted by slow played Aces. Oh well, it was fun (as usual). Then I discovered this:

Online Poker

I have registered to play in the PokerStars World Blogger Championship of Online Poker!

This Online Poker Tournament is a No Limit Texas Holdem event exclusive to Bloggers.

Registration code: 7330476

This should be a given for our regular blogger crowd. ;-)

Monday, May 22, 2006

Same place, new time

I still can't beat mookie it seems, but by popular demand (or lack of complaints), we have moved the time up an hour.

WWdN: Not The
Where: Pokerstars
When: Thursday, May 25th, 7:30PM PT
Which: Tournament: 25198207
Cost: $10+1 NLHE
Password: monkey

1st place!

Or how I spent my weekend.

I started my Saturday applying an old fashioned wax job to my new car. I am not in good shape for the elbow grease required and in the shade it didn't look very different. But in the sunshine, wow, it just glowed. For a short while there, I didn't think it was worth the effort, but it made a huge difference (which means I will have to get in better shape by doing this more often - and no, I will not do any one elses cars to stay in practice).

After all that hard work, I had to drink a beer or two (I do admit I lost track) and never got around to look at my computer at all on Saturday. In fact I am not sure what happened to the rest of Saturday.

So I got up Sunday morning (stiff and slow moving) and decided my comfy chair was as far as I needed to go. I decided to crack open the laptop and see what was happening out there in poker blog land. I do have to admit the TripJax meme is certainly making it's way around. I don't normally do that kind of thing, but I found it interesting to read what everyone had to say.

I then headed over to Pokerstars to see what was happening. I noticed I missed the 5 billionth hand, so all the juicy fishness that came with that was probably dried up. I then looked for an interesting tournament or S&G to play and didn't find anything starting soon (it is the instant gratification thing coming into play).

I decided to fire up the Pokerroom client - I haven't played there in a little while and tend to switch back and forth between that and Pokerstars. Wandering through their client, I found a MTT about to start. It was a $30+3 which is normally above my bankroll, but I figured I would give it a shot.

When it started there were 178 people signed up. Because this is less than 200, they only paid out the final table. The good side of this is the prize money was higher (less to share it with), the bad side is you have to get into the top 10 to get in the money.

At the first break, I was at about 5k. Slightly better than average, but hanging in there.

At the second break, I was on a roll and in 2nd place with about 46k in chips.

The 3rd hour was very much a rollercoaster with the blinds increasing like crazy and all the short stacks going all-in. This was a juicy environment to chip up in, but you still need to be lucky to survive the suckouts. I got hit a couple times and actually went into the 3rd break at 22k. The good thing at this point was we were down to the final table (and in the money). The bad thing was I was in 7th of 7.

I managed to squeak through a couple hands, do a little blind stealing and watched number 7 and then 6 go out. The blinds were big enough and everyone was in the 30k range, so every hand, people seriously changed position. At this point I went on a mini-rush (I love these) and personally took out number 5, then 4 and was now the chip lead. With the chip lead and the momentum I had built from the mini rush, I never looked back and in the time blurred recall of the event, it seemed like seconds later, I cleared out the two remaining opponents and the game was over.

The nice thing with this was I was in first and I won a record (for me) $1602.

Wow. That was nice.

I figured that was it. I had just burned off all my poker luck for the day, week, month etc..

Now I normally play a small home game on Sunday afternoon/evening. And I mean small. It is usually 3-4 of us and we play high stakes. It is a cash game and $5 will buy you $50 of chips. Our blinds are $0.50 and $1, so we are effectly playing nickel and dime.

Unfortunately it clashed with the WPBT event (which looked interesting) but one has to do what one has to do.

We started at about 2:30 in the afternoon and other than a break for dinner, played through to 10:30 at night. I admit I was playing a little crazier than normal (well, maybe not), but at one point I was into my 4th buy-in ($20 invested). But I truely was lucky yesterday and managed to work that investment back up to end the evening with $600 in chips. After paying back my buy-in, I was up $40. Which is a great way to end your day when you are playing nickel and dime poker.

How was your weekend?

Friday, May 19, 2006

WWdN: Not times

Waffles just suggested we look at the time we start the WWdN: Not and consider starting an hour earlier. Some points pro and con:

The original WWdN:West Coast Warmup that Wil started for the west coasters was at 7:30 (Pacific) to make it easier for those who have to fight LA traffic to get home after work.

A significant partion of the players who show up are from further east and making it easier on them may help attendance.

Hmm.. Those points are both pro changing it.

So I would like to get some comments from those who will or have attended about changing the time to an hour earlier. Any west coasters who this will cause a problem for need to speak up!

Thursday, May 18, 2006

"Not" my night

Well that sucked. I swear I only played 5 minues (3 minutes and 21 seconds to be exact) and I managed to call an all-in with TPTK and be beaten by a straight.

Regardless, it was a great game (for everyone else) and we had a good enough showing to make it a fun game. I was really worried at the end that surflexus was going to win again. I think it is great he is doing as well as he is doing, but it is more fun to spread the wins around. (This was the real reason I donked off early - to give someone else a chance.)

Congratulations have to go to hoyazo for a great game and a nice finish, knocking out surflexus in 2nd place. Out own Waffles finished up in the last money place fighting hoyazo all the way. Well played guys.

I did manage to end the night up $23 in a 100NL ring game, so I am net positive for the night.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Twice beat

I am slow this week on writing anything here. I had plans to write someone about the use of the hammer in blogger events (and still may). However I noticed I have now been beat by both mookie and surflexus in announcing the WWdN: Not The this week.

Same time, same place as last week:

What: WWdN: Not The
Where: Pokerstars
When: Thursday, May 18th, 8:30PM PT
Which: Tournament: 24776895
Cost: $10+1 NLHE
Password: monkey

And as usual, I will be playing the WWdN tonight and the Mookie tomorrow night.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Its "Not" time again

Once again we have our regularly scheduled WWdN: Not The tournament. The turnout was slightly better than last week and once again I have to thank all the advertising for it from the readers out there.

I have to give a big shout out to SURFLEXUS who has managed to win the Mookie back to back and has now followed up with a win here tonight. I tried my best but he cleaned up on me heads up, even though I had a 2 to 1 chip advantage when we went heads up.

Thanks to all who came out to play (or to railbird), it was fun - as usual. See you all next week at the WWdN, the Mookie and, of course, the WWdN: Not.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

I got lucky tonight!

Where's your mind at? This is a blog about poker. ;-) I played in my new Wednesday standard tourny, The Mookie, and managed to hang on long enough to make it to 30th place. This is not the part where I got lucky (although it is fun). I will be there again next week.

So I decided to play one of my favorite shootouts. This plan was short circuited by the wait for another one to start. I was impatient (not a good trait playing poker), so I decided to play the turbo version of the shootout. Given the 5 minute blinds, I figure I should try to at least attempt to limp into just about any hands - I needed all the lucky flops I could get. This actually worked pretty well, but alas, not well enough. I went out around 30 something again, so this is not the part where I got lucky.

I still wanted to play something different, so I figured I would try a $20+2 single table SnG. This is above my normal SnGs where I play at the $5 or $10 games. This game seemed to be going pretty well until this hand came up:

Poker Stars
No Limit Holdem Tournament
Blinds: t10/t20
9 players

Stack sizes:
UTG: t1400
UTG+1: t1400
MP1: t2040
MP2: t2280
MP3: t940
CO: t1580
Button: t1430
darval: t1490
BB: t940

Pre-flop: (9 players) darval is SB with Qc Qd
UTG raises to t60, 4 folds, CO calls t60 (pot was t90), Button calls t60 (pot was t150), darval raises to t190, BB calls t180 (pot was t390), 2 folds, Button calls t140 (pot was t570).

Flop: 5s 6c 4s (t690, 3 players)
darval bets t500, BB folds, Button calls t500 (pot was t1190).

Turn: 7c (t1690, 2 players)
darval is all-in t790, Button calls all-in t730.
Uncalled bets: t60 returned to darval.

River: Ac (t3150, 0 player + 2 all-in - Main pot: t3150)

Final pot: t3150
darval showed Qc Qd
Button showed 3d 3s

Well that sucked. Here I am, 12 hands in and down to t60 after a stupid all-in bet. I didn't figure the guy for a 8 or a 3 and obviously I was way wrong. I took the approach that this was just a new challenge (albeit a potentially short one) and tried to see how far I could get with my 60 chips.

Now I got lucky. And lucky and lucky again. Then when there was no luck left I started to play smarter and kept going. Once again, luck had a role, but 50 minutes later, I got this in my email:

PokerStars Tournament #24536393, No Limit Hold'em
Buy-In: $20.00/$2.00
9 players
Total Prize Pool: $180.00
Tournament started - 2006/05/10 - 23:21:52 (ET)

Dear darval,

You finished the tournament in 1st place.
A $90.00 award has been credited to your Real Money account.

Thank you for participating.

Now that was a nice way to end the night. ;-)

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Mookie beat me too it

I was going to post something like I did last week, with a list of tournament which I planned to play in, but Mookie beat me to it. Regardless, I plan on the playing the WWdN tonight, The Mookie tomorrow and of course the WWdN: Not The on Thursday. I will see what else fits my schedule.

What: WWdN: Not The
Where: Pokerstars
When: Thursday, May 11th, 10:30PM CST
Which: Tournament: 24388333
Cost: $10+1 NLHE
Password: monkey

See you there.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

I love double shootouts!

Pokerstars has these regularly scheduled double shootout tournaments, which cost $10+1 and lead to two entries in the Sunday Million Tournament, or $215 in tournament dollars (which can be used for anything but cashing out).

I have played these before and tonight was the second time I have won it. In almost all of these games I have played tho, I have the feeling that I am dominating the other players. They can get lucky (and do) but I just feel it is an easy game. I am not complaining about it - in fact I will use it to work on my bankroll.

Tonight was interesting. I had just signed up when I called an neighbor and asked him about something for tomorrow. He invited me and the wife over for drinks, etc. I said I would check and wasn't sure. Then I remembered the tournament and, of course, the unregister time had just past. So I told my wife we could head over as soon as I blew through this tournament. I decided to play loose and agressive and I assumed I would not be long for this game.

I played at least 70% of the hands, in a lot of cases with any two cards. My extreme agression got me a lot of pots and the few times I was called I managed to suckout with some really bad cards. This made for a lot of pissed off players - especially the ones who lost to this kind of play. You can't imagine the things they were calling me. ;-) Needless to say I wiped out the last person in the first match with another suckout. That person was nice enough to tell me that I would never get anywhere playing that way and I needed to learn to play better. I thanked them.

Of course I now had a 40 minute wait til all the other tables finished - apparently when you don't play crazy like, the game actually takes longer to finish.

By the time we started again, I had already decided to not go visit, so the play on my part was much more normal. I still had the same feeling that if it wasn't for their luck I would clean up. When we got down to 4 players, I had 8000 in chips and I don't think anyone had more than 1800. We moved around a little when we got down to 3 players and with one guy severly short stacked, it was pretty quick until we got rid of him and ended the game.

I cashed my tournament entry in for some more tournament cash, but I do like those shootouts. I highly recommend them to others who play in the blogger tournaments - if you can play well in those, you will love these.

Definitely more of these on my agenda.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

SoxLover Rulez

We just finished this week's WWdN:Not tournament and congratulations has to go to SoxLover. Althought he played a really solid game, suckouts and bad beats almost changed the outcome. In the end, consistent good play (and nice deck with good cards) allowed him to finish in a dominating position.

We had a good turnout tonight (compared to a couple weeks ago) but didn't quite make the attendance from last week. Thanks to mookie99, 23skidoo, CarmenSinCity, SirFWALGMan, bdidde, smokkee, yosoyveneno, and DuggleBogey for playing and making the game a fun one. Special thanks to L0K1 for setting it up for us.

For those who's blog didn't get linked above (or I got them wrong), let me know in a comment and I will correct it.

WWdN: Not The tonight

After last weeks huge (well, it was relatively huge) turnout, don't forgot to come by tonight and see if we can set a new record.

What: WWdN: Not The
Where: PokerStars.
When: Thursday, May 4th, 8:30 PM PT
Tournament: 23665235
Password: monkey
Buy-in: $10+1

Monday, May 01, 2006

My poker week

This week is shaping up to be a regular tournament type week. We have the regular Tuesday Night WWdN Tourny:

What: WWdN: IlliniFan Invitational
Where: PokerStars.
When: Tuesday, May 2th, 8:30 PM ET
Tournament: 23665235
Password: monkey
Buy-in: $10+1

I plan on following this on Wednesday with Mookie's:

And then on Thursday, I haven't decided whether I want to register and then show up late for this (it starts a little early for those of us on the west coast and have to work):

But I will certainly make it for this west coast friendly (we really need a cool graphic):

What: WWdN: Not The
Where: PokerStars.
When: Thursday, May 4th, 8:30 PM PT
Tournament: 23665235
Password: monkey
Buy-in: $10+1

Please spread the word and see if we can get maximum attendance at all of these events.

Thinking about the stool

I have been thinking a bit lately about my 3 legged stool. I was trying to understand why I don't tend to see myself sucked out upon as often as some people. I think it comes down to how much you are trying to maximize your profit vs. how much variation you are willing to withstand.

I tend to be quite aggressive when I get starting cards. In many cases I will continue to push hard with my bets forcing the other player out of the hand. The advantage of this two-fold:
  • Much less suck-outs
  • Reveal very little of your cards
The disadvantage of this is you aren't really maximizing your profit.

Or are you? If you mix in a fair amount of bluffing in the above scenerio and develop a reputation as a tight, aggressive player, you can make profit in places that normally weren't possible.

Fundementally this is based on the idea that it takes better cards to call aggression than it does to bet/raise with them. By seldom revealing your cards, and always being aggressive with them, it takes really good cards for your opponent to call.

I think what I like best is even when they know you are doing it, it is still a hard call to make. Of course sometimes they make it and you actually have the cards you are representing. You can milk that play for the rest of the time you are at that table after that. ;-)

Of course you also have to mix your play up a little - it is really easy to stop being aggressive when you aren't really getting the cards - you just back off a little. If you are getting the cards, you have no reason to not continue the aggressive play.

The caveat here is you have to play with players who will actually recognise that you might have a hand - playing this way in a school of fish might not work as well. I suggest you try it when playing with bloggers - especially if you have the Hammer. ;-)

Obviously the devil is in the details and how much and when you do this makes a big difference. I adjust to the table I am playing with, the day of the week and lastly the phase of the moon. It appears to work fairly well for me.

Tell me what you think?