Wednesday, August 31, 2005


Don't feel much like a large post right now, but I'll give you all the latest.

Played in a NL $20+2 at Stars yesterday. 1054 entrants. I try to play tight in tournaments, but for this tournament, I thought I'd really try to patch all the leaks and just play the premium hands. No raising with AJ in early position (which I'm sure you all would slap me for). I folded for pretty much the first two rounds, then found aces on the button. Doubled up through a guy that made his top pair (8's) on the flop. And then... more folding. And some more. My stack hit average, then sank below. I got Hilton sisters in early position, and ended up knocking out someone with a slightly smaller stack. I never really managed to build up an impressive lead over anyone, just got my money in when I could and folded everything else.
After we got down to three tables (top 100 positions paid), I started loosening up a little bit, stealing blinds when I could.

One hand I remember had me on the button with T6. Mucked around to me, so I raised into two guys that had both been surrendering their blinds habitually. Both of them called. Flop came with a six and a ten. Check check. I bet out half the pot, and they both called. Turn came another Ten. SB bet out a quarter of his stack, BB folded, I had him covered and raised all in, and SB called me with pocket 6's. The river was inconsequential and all of a sudden my stack was looking decent again.

Down to two tables. I'm starting to get a little antsy. I've never done this well in a large field before. The poker gods must have sensed my anxiety and decided to punish me, because I didn't get another decent pocket all night. I ended up busting in 10th. I feel like I could have done better, but still good for $190. Too bad though, that's where the payouts really started multiplying in size. 1st got $5270. Oh well. It's a start. This is my first final table in a field of over 200 people.

"Hooray Beer!"

Monday, August 22, 2005

Avoiding the Pitfalls

Sorry about the lack of posts lately. I've been uber-busy with work. Yes, that's right. Uber. Busy. Let me explain. I work in QA for a mid-sized software development company. Under optimal conditions, there should be: A manager, a lead, and three others who each have their own list of projects and work independently. For the last two months, two of the three "others" have been gone (I, obviously enough, am the third "other").

One of them, a 23 year old Japanese girl, just got married a few months ago and is awaiting her green card in the mail (Conveniently enough, she happened to get married a few days before her student visa ran out). She's MIA until the federal documents come knocking on her door.

The second missing person is a father of one of the troops that was deployed to Iraq. The kid saved his commanding officer from a grenade by throwing himself between the two, thus resulting in the quickest disappearing arm (and part of his left leg) act ever. It was a miracle that he even lived. The son was rushed home after receiving the proper medical attention, and like any good father, this guy was waiting for him at the gates. My heart goes out to him. It's hard enough to raise a child these days; when you throw in the amount of worrying this man must have done, what with the military and the missing limbs, it must have been a real head-fuck for him (As a lifetime resident of Eugene, Oregon he is obviously anti-military, and he didn't want his boy enlisting). But he stuck in there, and is trying to spend as much time as he can consoling his son, helping him move forward with his life.

Bug I digress.

These two people would have been at work this whole time (though now we can establish that they had valid reasons not to be) under normal circumstances, but since they weren't, I picked up both of their workloads. Then, to top it off, the lead on my team gets promoted to an Assistant Project Manager (big pay jump). All of a sudden, I'm the only guy left in QA, with the exception of my boss. Can we say 60-70 hours per week on salary pay? Bad times.

Good news is, when this evens back up, I should be due for a two week vacation (crosses fingers). I'm currently trying to decide if I want to spend that two weeks relaxing, or playing poker. Life is full of such tough decisions.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

A painful update

Well, I had a horrific run of cards these last few days, and have abandoned the $5 HU SnG challenge. I simply cannot continue. The main reason? In order to really do this well, I think I need to move up the scale a little bit, maybe to $10 or $20. I know that in heads up play your range should open up exponentially, but some of the shit these guys are calling with (to the river) are ludicrous. They just don't care. And who should? It's only $5, right?

Here's one HU SnG that really pissed me off.

Super LAG and I start with T1000 each. I resolve to play tight until I hit something, and then try and double up. Sure enough, about 4 minutes in (I'm down to about 950), I get pocket kings. He raises preflop, I call. Flop comes with a king. I check, he bets 300. I call. Turn x. He goes all in, I call. And we're at 1900 and 100.

Next hand I get AJ. He raises half of his stack and I raise him the remaining 50 to put him all in. He..... folds?!??

Chip count: Me: 1950 - LAG: 50

I get 8 5 off. He raises all in for 50 and I call. He has T 9 suited. I pair on the flop, he gets his flush on the river.

Chip count: ME: 1900 - Lag: 100

AT suited. He pushes again. I call. He shows 4 6 off. Hits a goddamn runner runner straight.

Chip count: ME: 1800 - Lag: 200

K8 off. He completes. I check. Flop is 8 high. He checks, I put him all in, he calls with 8 2. Turn brings a 2.

Chip count: ME: 1600 - Lag: 400

You see the direction this is going? Yes, he rivered his way through 5 or 6 hands in a row to even back out with me. This guy was literally hitting EVERYTHING he stayed in with. Didn't matter what it was.

The fateful hand.

He has a very tiny chip lead on me. I get JJ. He raises to 200, I raise to 600, he pushes and I call. He flips over 99.

Flop..... 9 9 J.

Can you fucking believe it?

Friday, August 05, 2005

Quick Update

I'm going to be adding a section into the column on the right to show my progress with the SnG's this month. Feel free to check up on it regularly and/or leave comments. I'll update it in a few hours, as I have a full schedule at work for the next three or four hours.

* * * * Update * * * *

See what I'm saving up for here.

I am a very bizarre person

A few buddies of mine from work play in a .25-.50 pot limit game every Thursday night with some laywers from around town. It's actually a pretty solid game, with the exception of one or two people who donate their money every week. The host is a rock, while his wife is the typical mother who thinks of this weekly game as her chance to socialize and get drunk. Fine by me, since she plays junk like Q3 all night. I've been a regular here for the past few months and have taken at least four or five hundred off them in that time.

About four hours in (we start at 9pm), I get red aces UTG. I've been folding for the past 30 minutes or so, and I open up with a max raise ($1.75 after I call the blind). I get two callers, one of which is the socializing wife. The host (a rock, as I mentioned earlier) thinks for a second, and re-raises $8.75. Both blinds fold, I call, one limper folds and the wife calls. Flop is ATx rainbow. I bet $4.00, and the wife absentmindedly mucks while talking to her neighbor about the price of paint at Home Depot. The rock insta-calls. Turn x. I bet $4.00 again. Rock pauses, looks at me, and fires out a $20 re-raise. I push for another $30. He has me covered, calls and flips over KK. River x. I win.

Here's the spooky hand of the night. I get the black Hilton Sisters in late position. UTG (very loose) raises, everyond folds to me, I call. Everyone behind me folds, including both blinds (Heads up for flop). Flop comes AsKs4c. UTG bets $3. I know you guys will think calling is a bad option here, but this guy's been bluffing shit all night, and I just had this feeling that I was ahead. I will admit that there is absolutely no rational reasoning behind this, I just couldn't put him on an ace or a king. Turn is a blank, and he bets $5. The feeling is still there, and I call (too passive?). River blank. He stares me down for a long while, and bet $10. Once again, I have no rational explanation for even holding cards at this point.

"If you have an Ace or a King, I'm fubar. But you don't have an ace or a king, you have pocket Jacks."

He just looks at me.

"You know what? I've more than quadrupled up, I'm tired, I think you're full of it, and.... I call." My chips go flying into the pot.

His head tilts to the side a bit, and I hear "You know, you're a very bizarre person.", and up come the pocket jacks. I leap up and almost tear the felt with my bitches as I throw them down.

And that's how you win a nice chunky pot in .25-.50 PL Holdem. I must be a huge donkey :)

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

HU SnG Day 1

Off to a good start for the SnG challenge!

Progress for today:
Win: 6
Loss: 0
Profit for the day: $30

Total Stats since 08/02/05:
Win: 11
Loss: 1
Total Profit: $50

I'll keep you all updated.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

I'm sure you've read about it a dozen times...

In light of my recent victories at shorthanded play (The last 6 live SnG's I've played in the last few weeks I've come in 1st; an astonishing track record) I've decided to undertake a HU SnG challenge. I will be starting off small, but that's the way it works when you haven't yet made any significant amounts of money from poker. Well, at least when you spend your winnings, and don't create any sort of definable bankroll.

Starting today, I played 6 $5 HU SnG matches. I won 5 of them. I will continue this pattern for the next month, posting regularly about my win/loss record. My bankroll and other info will also be reset at $0 profit, since I haven't really tracked it as much as I want to.

Back soon with more news.