Friday, April 28, 2006

End of a long week

winding down the day here at work, grooving to some tunes on the trusty iPod and generally waiting for the clock to hit 4:30 so I can bolt out of here.

Looking forward to the big tourney tomorrow...playing in a live tourney with the largest buy-in that I've ever played in tomrrow. Looks like about 22 players in the tourney, so a decent shot at winning some cash and rebuilding some of the recent damage to my bankroll. Will let everyone know how it goes later in the weekend...

Not much else to speak of...hopefully we'll have the sign in the front yard by the end of next week to sell the house. Still looking, but we didn't want to miss the boat on getting the house on the market in the prime time. If we sell and don't have a place, we'll probably rent a place until we can find a house...or just live in the van down by the

Hoping to play some poker later this evening...probably something small and quick just to brush up on playng NL for tomorrow. May hit the limit tables as well if I have time and try and get a quick session in....who knows.

btw, today is Jessica Alba's birthday (at least according to the gang over at
Barstool Sports)....Happy Birthday Jessica....

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Upcoming poker play

well...I've switched off of UB again. Dropped the $800 I deposited at the beginning of the month in a series of lost buy-ins at the $5/10 tables. Swiftest quick in the junk happened on the following hand with my final $200 on the table...

me - A-J suited (hearts)
SB - xx
BB - xx
donkey - X X

so, donkey calls the BB UTG...couple of players fold out to me in late position with the suited big slick. I raise to $10 and get the SB, BB and donkey to call me. Flop comes down K, Q, 6 with 2 clubs. All check to me and I toss a bet in the pot. SB and BB both fold and donkey smooth I'm thinking I may be in trouble, but I have the straight draw and a strong Ace, so we're off to the turn. 7 of clubs hits and he checks to this point I either bet to try and bluff out the pot or put him on a hand and he's waiting for a reraise....His play was generally timid, so I didn't put him on a re-raise...and if he does here, I fold the hand and walk away...I bet and he smooth calls again. WTF? A fourth club hits the river and know I'm pretty much dead here with my A high. He checks and I check behind him, not wanting to risk the re-raise against any random club he has in his hand. He flips over 4-4 with the four of clubs and rakes the pot. Now...WTF is he in this hand to the river for? He's dead on the flop to any number of hands I could have held...over pair...AK, AQ, etc. then he calls down to the river and takes down a nice pot with a crummy pair of fours. Amazing.

So...needless to say I've run crying from UB yet again to try and build my stack on another site. I'm up about $400 so far playing 6-handed $5/10...which is a bit of a change for me, as I've usually shied away from the shorthanded games, reasoning that I can see more hands outside of the blinds each round...but I'm finding that the good hands stand up a bit better against 5 players rather then 9 players...the short-handed sessions have been good to me so far. matter of fact I was up about $350 in one session before loosing a good chunk with AA against 66 when we both flopped a set and he rivered quads to take down a pot that we capped on the turn and river...not upset about that pot, as I had him dominated 6 ways from Sunday until the poker gods give him the one outer on the river. I then proceeded to drop another $150 in successive hands (QQ looses to A7 when he hits an A on the turn) and then AQ versus AK when we both flop an A and I loose to a close kicker battle.

So while I was jubliant at one minute being up $350, I was struggling to stay up $100 in about 4 hands. I bounced back up to +$150 before walking away from the table. Hopefully I can get some play in later this week, but we're pretty busy getting ready to put the house on the market, so that takes precident.


Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Hard to blog about the downswings

Nothing to report....I reloaded on UB on April 8 and 8 days later the cash is gone. Four straight loosing sessions loaded with suckouts, bad beats and poor play on my part had me wondering what the hell I was doing. I took a few days off to reflect about how I played and here is what I have come up with...

- avoid tables with calling stations: While some may like these players at the table, they tend to ruin the way I play limit. Calling stations won't fold to a bluff if they catch any part of the flop. Not sure how many times I lost hands with cards like AQ on a A-9-7 flop to get called down with 7-5 os and see a 7 or 5 hit the river.

- Avoid tables with maniacs: Why you may ask...I tend to have terrible timing when it comes to going up against maniacs KK runs into the table maniac that wakes up with 22 and flops the set, end result, I loose $40-50, as I have no way to put him on a hand.

- Keep playing or give up and go home. There is no in-between when playing poker. While I am blessed to be able to do this as a hobby, and have been fortunate to make some money over the last year in doing so (unlike my previous 3 hobbies...shooting pool, throwing darts and playing Magic:the Gathering), I've actually been able to self-support this hobby from the comfort of my home. As long as I still have money online, then I'm good. I haven't had to risk household money for over a year and that a GOOD THING!!!. And my first year of car payments have been made due to poker, so that's TWO GOOD THINGS.

So...what does an $800 loss represent at this point. My bankroll still has about $1K sitting in it, so I'm nowhere near broke at this point. I'm still hoping to build enough cash to justify a trip to Vegas for a WSOP event this summer, but it's looking pretty slim at this point unless I focus on winning an online qualifier rather than grinding out the cash at the limit tables.

With tha being said....I loaded up on UB last night and played about 30 min of $5/10 with Alan rooting me on and walked away with a tidy $90 profit. The table was 'normal' in that it was a full table of 10 good players that respected raises, didn't call bets with 9-2os and basically played solid poker.

My kind of table....

My bluffs were more successful. Positional raises were respected and my solid hands heald up. My only 'huge mistake' hand was a pre-flop raise with KK from mid-position that saw the button and BB call. Flop comes down 6-6-7 and I end up loosing a nice pot to the button that called my raise with 67os. Otherwise, everything worked out well and I walked away with a solid profit.

Which brings me to a question....if anyone cares to answer....what is a suitable amount at a ring game to walk away with? When I play $5/10, I try to make 10 BB ($100) before I think about walking away from the table. Again, table selection and how the cards are falling has a huge impact...but in general, at what point in making a profit at a table should a player start to think about walking away.....10 BB, 20 BB, more....any thoughts?

Lunch is over....back to work....ttfn.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Bad and Ugly much for a successful return to UB....after hitting my first session on a positive note the other day, yesterday was a nightmare. Dropped two buy-ins at the $5/10 tables ($400) in two seperate sessions last night.

First session was a typical one....I hit a couple of small hands early, then made a couple of ill-timed bluffs at pots that cost me a bit of money. From there, it was a steady diest of 7-3os and J-2os and other unplayable cards. The hands I did get, (AK, KK, etc) either didn't get any callers, or one caller and a quick fold to my bets post-flop for some small wins. Big losses occured as follows...

AA looses to a flopped flush, when I hit the set on thr flop, but the loose SB calls with 56 suited and hits the flop.

A-10 looses to a loose player that calls down the pot with third pair with 10-9os on a board of K-7-9-2-J.

So anyway, $200 goes out the I'm down about $75 for the 2 sessions on UB. I come back later in the evening after the kids are in bed and try my luck again. I play about 150 hands at a very loose table (5-6 players routinely calling pre-flop raises) and my big hands get run all over. I go from $200 to $50 then back to $220 when the following happens over the course of 7 hands....

AA crushed when loose BB calls pre-flop raise with 73os to see K-Q-7, calls my bets to the river where he sees another 7 for trips and a nice pot, as we go to war at the river.

JJ crushed in my BB when the button raises, I call along with 2 others to see a flop of 7-J-2. I check my set and call the BB bet. Blank hits turn and the war begins....I check, MP checks, BB bets, I raise, MP calls, BB re-raises, I cap, MP folds and BB calls. An A spikes the river and my set looses to the BB AA and the spiked two outer. Needless to say we capped the post-river betting as well.

KQ suited looses on a three way pot that sees a flop of A-K-9, turn Q and river 6....winning hand had J-10 os and other player had my turned two pair ended up the worst hand of the three and cost me my last $60 of the session. I admit I was on mini-tilt at this point after getting run down on the last few hands....never guessed I was that far behind on this hand though. I have about $400 left on UB now and I know I won't play tonight, so hopefully I can get back in a groove later in the week and recoup the losses. Hopefully this was just 'one of those nights' and not the start of another UB meltdown like in least I know not to try and move up in stakes right now....I may try and play some tourneys or no-limit to get ready for the big tourney at the end of the month....will see what mood strikes me later in the week.


Monday, April 10, 2006

I'm a disgrace to bloggers everywhere

Here I sit with my head POUNDNG at work on a Monday morning and I can't even say that it has anything to do with shots of SoCo, beer or anything else. Didn't drink anything over the weekend....

my blogger card should be revoked...

Anyway, on to poker news. Pulled my cash out of Paradise after finishing my bonus from They have confirmed that my chipset is on the way, and I made $100 from Paradise in deposit bonus, as well as profiting about $1100 at the $5/10 tables. Since I had no more bonus to work off, I figured I'd pull the money out and put it to use on another site and some additional bonus cash.

So...I'm back on UltimateBet....they were running another 20% reload bonus over the weekend, so $800 goes onto UB for the max $200 bonus (giving me over $900 in bonus cash to work off) and I'm off and running.

Had a few minutes yesterday morning to sit and play $5/10, hit my first hand for top pair and won a nice pot...then waited for solid hands....had AA cracked by a turned straight....I was on the button (hadn't played a hand except for that first hand) and raised an unopened pot from the button with the bullets. BB called and we see a flop of 6-7-4 rainbow. He bets 5 and I should have re-raised, but I just called, figuring he had hit a small pair out of the BB....turn comes a 5 for a 4 card straight on the board and I'm now worried about my AA....he checks, I bet, he raises and I know I'm in trouble. I call and then call his lead bet after the river to see his 9-3 of clubs for a turned straight to crack my AA. I have no idea if he would have called a re-raise on his initial bet on the flop...if he does, then I'm out even more money on the hand. Donkeys will be donkeys I guess. This hand eats the profit from the first hand.

So I sit and wait for some more cards. I hit a nice pot from the button again on the next cycle of the table with a raise from mid-position and the same BB comes along for the ride. flop comes 10-6-J with 2 diamonds and I'm thinking on how to maximize my hand at this point. BB checks, MP bets $5, I call and the BB far, so good. Turn brings a blank, with the same betting sequence. River brings a glorious 10d, completing the flush draw and giving me the nut full-house...the only thing that can beat me is the Quads at this point. BB checks, MP bets, I raise, BB reraises, MP calls, I cap and they both call. BB shows 6-10os for a flopped 2 pair, rivered full-house, MP shows a Q high flush (raising from MP with Q3 suited????), and I take down a very nice pot with my top boat....wheeeee.

I look at a couple of flops in the next round of hands....seeing nothing with small pairs or suited connectors on the flop and bailing. Last hand (UTG) I see A6 of hearts and and decide to limp into the pot. 2 others do the same and we see a flop of J-2-7 with 2 hearts, so it looks like I'm commited to seeing this pot to the end....catch the third heart on the turn and bust the BB that had AJos and called my re-raise twice (on the turn and river) when he led into the pot. His loss, my gain. Wrapped up the session +135 or so, plus a miniscule $0.85 in bonus cash for about 30 hands played.

I wish UB had not revised their bonus pay-out last year....they used to give 1 bonus point per max-raked hand at every level, so it was reasonably easy to clear bonus cash of the site (each bonus point equal to a dime of bonus cash) 1000 hands of raked play was pretty much $100 in bonus cash. Last summer they adjusted to 0.5 points per hand, doubling the number of hands you have to play to get the same bonus amount off the site. I currently have over $900 in bonus cash waiting to clear, but will need to play roughly 18,000 hands to clear it off the site. For me, that is a years worth of play. Was nice to clear the $100 on Paradise in about two weeks of casual play, as opposed to the months it will take to clear on UB. But I guess that is why they keep offering reloads on UB every other week....keeps people playing on the site.

The good news is that I didn't see any lags or hick-ups on UB yesterday. Seems like they have their server problems solved from last month. As long as they continue to perform smoothly, then I'll be happy to play there again and work off some of that bonus cash.

Not sure how much more I'll play this week....more work on the house tonight, and then Jen works Tues-Thurs-Fri-Sat, with my class sandwiched in on Wed evening, then off to Toledo for Easter on Sunday....busy, busy week.

So...enough for now...ttfn.

PS...been about an hour since I stared this post (had some meetings to attend)...thankfully the Excedrin have quieted the dude with the jackhammer in my head, so life is good.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Good Morning from Monterrey Mexico

Wish I had a camera phone to take some pics of the surroundings....very nice down here. A little more hot and humid than I'm used, considering I was scraping frost off my car yesterday morning on the way to the airport.

Anyway....had a very nice session on Paradise this morning to polish off my Poker Source Online brand new chip set should be on its way to my house very soon. Picked up about $420 playing this morning when I woke up at 5am Mexico time (6am for those back home)...since I can't get connected to work to check emails, and can't call the help desk for some reason (I can call home on the international cell phone, but can't call work...weird). So I played some poker instead. Good thing, as the +$400 this morning off set the -$300 from last night. Should know better than to play poker after a few beers...actually I didn't play badly last night, just kept getting run down by gutshots and weak flush draws on by solid hands, then running bluffs into made hands....makes for a bad session.

Like I said, made up for it this morning by catching some solid hands and having them hold up. Also sat to the left of the table bully and big stack...he was multi-tabeling from Kansas at $5/10 and I helped relieve him of some of his money. He seemed to think he was some kind of poker god or something, especially late in the session when I cracked some kind of hand of his with a A6s when I ran down the flush on the river.....he berated me for, when I get to see a cheap flop from the BB with a suited A, catch two to the flush on the flop...hell yes I'm going to hang around for min-bets to try and catch the nut flush.....his mistake was not raising when he should with his top pair and then trying to raise me out of the pot on the river when I catch the nut flush.

Funny thing was, he turned around the next hand and did the same thing to another guy with Q-10 suited, on a raised flop and cracked AA from some poor sap when he ran down the river for the, not sure who this guy thinks he is....but then he started blabbing when I was leaving the table about my time to work comment....apparently he must be working the later shifts at McDonald's in Topeka.

Well...time to hit the shower and get some grub before we start the day.


Monday, April 03, 2006

Paradise tightening up a bit

Interesting weekend of poker. Didn't get to play as much as I would have liked, but then with Jen, three kids and a house almost ready for the market, I'm surprised I was able to play at all. Spent most of the weekend making up for the $200 loss last week, which I was able to do with some much more difficult sessions on Paradise than what I had started out with two weeks ago. The first sessions on Paradise felt like playing at an ATM machine...I mean 11 pretty easy positive sessions in a row and clearing about $1400 in the process is nothing to sneeze at.

Then I lose a buy in last week for no good reason. The table was very loose, pre-flop raises were not really respected and I wasn't hitting. Should have walked after loosing the first $100 and chalked it up for a cold deck. But I tried to fight through it and ended up with a mini-tilt and lost the whole thing. It happens.

Played 4 sessions ove rthe course of the weekend...first three went well, picking up about $230 in the process. However the tables were much different than previous sessions. I was struggling to hit hands, big hands either didn't hold up or just picked up he blinds. suited connectors didn't connect and so forth. The exact opposite of the first two weeks on Paradise, when everything hit. But anyway, I made back the $200 I lost and was up for the start of April by about $70.

Then I was able to play last night with all three kids sleeping. What a disaster. Here I am thinking that I'll finally be able to concentrate on the game and get a nice session going and I sit down at a table of maniacs....Multi-way pots capped pre-flop, $150+ pots were the norm, and a couple of players that would try to buy pots at the first hint of a scary flop or hesitation by an opponent. Anyway, long story short, I was struggling to stay close to even for most of the session...I think I was up $40 at one point, but then lost it when my KK ran into a set of 3s. That was the hand the put me on the mini-tilt....four players see a flop that had been 3-bet pre-flop. 6-7-J rainbow...I check-raise on the flop, hoping to ditch some players and get to heads up...which I'm successful at doing. 10 on the turn, as 10-J had been getting played alot, and I was worried I had just walked into two pair. Remaining player checks and I bet into the pot, he calls and the river hits a 3. He bets, I raise, he-re-raises and I call....shows the set of threes and I cringe that he chased that down. Of course, KK was cracked about 8 times last night, so just chalk me up as one of the 8....amazing that he would chase that down. But that was the type of table I was at last night. 2-3 players that would call down any pot they were in, regardless of their cards. No way to bluff at pots (which cost me a chunk of change to figure out, as bluffing is a pretty big part of my game). So, in the end I loose my buy in when my last $40 goes into a pot with QQ and I get called down by A3os that hit a 3 on the flop and spikes an A on the river for 2 pair.

I have to get better about changing gears at these types of tables, as I know how to beat them. Biggest thing is to stop bluffing at pots without a solid hand, as some of these players think nothing of calling a 2-3 BB raise with third pair, almost like they know what you have in your's pretty scary to watch happen.

Speaking of, I'm seeing more and more internet sites offering up ways to cheat by getting players to download small software programs that will allow you to see their hole cards. I'm wondering if it is possible and if I've hit one of them by signing up through some of the shill sites to get better bonuses and free stuff. Might be time to run the anti-apyware stuff at home and see if anything is lurking on the computer...or maybe do a dump and re-install.

I'm probably just being paraniod, but I will start to make a list of players on Paradise that have been playing way too loose and keep an eye out for them. I had become way to reliant on PokerTracker on UB that would keep track of players for me. Since Paradise won't allow me to utilize the software live (have to email hand histories), I'll have to be more dilligent of my note taking.

Lots to do today....need to pack tonight for the Mexico trip and also hoping to play in Iggy's Blogger tourney on Pokerstars tonight at 9. I need to start focusing on tourney play soon if I have any hope of playing in and doing well in a WSOP event, or even Bishop's big event at the end of the month. Jen's working, so that will had a layer of complexity to the evening. at least I found my passport last night, so that's all set.

Not sure how much I'll be able to play or post over the balance of the week from Mexico...I'll have the laptop, but unsure about the connections and such from Mexico, not to mention that I'll hopefully have more to do in the evenings than sit in the hotel room. Hoping to find something for Jen and the kids on this trip, as I have no idea when I might make it back to Mexico.

Something to make Monday more bearable here at work