Monday, October 31, 2005

Sleep deprived

About a week ago, I tossed on some warm clothes and headed out in the good ol' Integra, hoping it would guide me to a juicy NL game. Tuesday night usually means the cabbie game, which basically means that it's a bunch of guys that are drunk and/or high that want to have a little fun with a paycheck. Most of them work the night shift, and as this was their weekend, it meant that the game could run from about 9pm till at least sunrise. It was perfect. The stakes were a little low for my taste, but full of fishy play.

I get to the house, mosey on up and walk into a garage. But what's this? It's dark??!?! What the fuck? Whip out my cellphone.


Adam: "Sup Chris?

Me: "Adam? What the fuck? Where is everyone?"

Adam: "Yeah.... no cabbie game. But there's a $1-2 NL game starting in 20 minutes. You in?

Me: "Hell yeah. Let me hit an ATM."


And so the night took an unexpected turn, and I found myself sitting in a very wealthy, unfamiliar neighborhood waiting for my friends to show up. I made a promise to myself to keep my play super tight/aggressive until I felt a little more comfortable with the people I would soon be meeting.


To be continued

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Tuesday, October 25, 2005


A few of SirFWalgman's posts lately have sparked some thoughts in my noggin. What kind of money over time could someone expect to make playing only MTT's? Seems to me that if you consistently made it deep into these tourneys, it could be much more profitable than playing ring. For instance.... let's say I were to play 5 $20 MTT/week, each with a gauranteed prize pool of 10k. (I don't know if that would be entirely accurate). I'm investing $100/week - $400/month - $4800/year. That's 240 tournaments per year.

240 tournaments.

I've played in 6 tournaments online, and made the money in 3 of them.

Food for thought.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Poker blogger tourney...

Here's some semi up-to-date notes about the tourney.

*NOTE* I'm on the west coast. Tourney started at 1pm for me :)

1:20: Lost about half my stack when guy sucked out his river second pair

1:40: Hit a set of Queens on the flop and repaired some of the damage.

2:05: Just before break, hit two pair on the flop, took down a modest pot. Up to 4k.


Forgot to keep updating.

Two hands in the last 20 minutes (3:46PM), first time, QQ, get all in preflop against AA. He wins, I'm down from 20k to 8k.

10 minutes later, I get all in preflop with the same guy with QKs... he's got AA again. I don't improve, IGHN.

Finished in 148th.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Poker Stars Blogger Tournament

It looks like the field is going to be 1400 or more. I wouldn't be surprised if at least a few hundred more hop in before registration closes.

I'm playing to win. Are you?

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Getting Close

I've managed to save up an extra $1k, which I will be depositing on NETeller unless disaster strikes in the next seven days. I will also be purchasing Poker Tracker and the Poker Tracker Guide. I've been hearing interesting things about some of the other programs that can be used. GameTime+ and PokerACE are both supposed to be great "plug-ins" for Poker Tracker, so I'll be getting those. I've heard great things about PokerEdge, but to my knowledge Party and the other large poker giants are freezing accounts that use the program. I have heard some interesting things about using it within VMWare..... good thing I just "found" the most recent version online, eh? :)

Hopefully things will start off good for me. I'm going to be keeping close track of my stats, and I'll try to start off playing at least 20-30 hours a week. That may end up being unrealistic as I also work 40-50 hours a week and will be dedicating a large part of the time spent at home with my girlfriend. I'll work it out somehow. I've been thinking a lot about where I want to start out. $2-4 sounds a lot more reasonable to me than $1-2, as I'm used to playing $3-6 (or $4-8) live. For the first week, I'm going to two-table, after that I'll bump it to three, and two weeks later, if I'm doing well there I'll try four.


Things I would like to achieve in the next six months:

1. Work my way up to four-tabling successfully. If I find that I can get to that level and still play without any problems, I may keep moving up.

2. Make the final table in a $20-$50 MTT with a starting field of 1k+.

3. See the bankroll hit $5k. I think that's actually a very modest goal for six months, playing at $2-4. We'll see.


Feel free to leave comments, or criticism. If I actually start getting any significant amount of traffic through here I will start doing comment responses.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

My game

What makes a great tournament player? I've heard so many different theories, I'm starting to think that there's no legitimately correct way. Some people like to make it purely a mathematical endeavor. Others prefer to play by instinct, feeling out their opponent's weaknesses as the game progresses. And then there's Doyle Brunson. He talks a lot about playing extremely agressive, betting hard at any pot you think you might have a chance at picking up. All of these "small" pots will give you significant edge later on if you should choose to get into an all-in situation against someone. If all the pot thievery worked out previously, then this is essentially a freeroll.

So. I've been analyzing my play a lot during these last few months, and though I'm fairly tight-aggressive, I think I tend to give my opponents way too much credit. I credit myself as a good player. Not great, yet. But definitely dangerous at a table. The problems with my game tend to revolve around post-flop betting. Not my betting, but my opponents.


.25-.50 NL
I'm in LP with AKs. All fold to a pothead LAG (He's a pretty good player when he's sober, but after a couple bowls his skill drops like a rock), who raises from $.50 to $1.50. I think for a bit and re-raise to $9.00. He hems and haws, then calls.

Flop is 2s 4s 5d.

He is completely still for a moment, then fires out a $50 bet. This well over twice the current pot.

Now, in this situation, there's only a couple of possible conclusions that I can come to.

1) He's on a straight of flush draw of some kind, more likely a straight draw.
2) He hit a set.
3) He stayed in with trash (completely possible with this player) and hit the nuts on the flop.
4) He's completely full of shit and just wants to buy the pot.

These are all obvious possibilities. The problem I have is that I generally tend to believe that he's got top set, or the nut straight. Now, in this situation, he just priced me off the pot with that bet. I don't have the odds to call, so it would be correct to muck.

However, some of you might also be thinking that this is a very suspicious bet, and you'd be right. 2x the pot? He's trying to buy it! Put him all in! Your A high is good! Yeah, yeah, yeah. In this particular example (which probably makes it a bad example), the player I chose to portray as my rival is a very very aggro player most of the time. He has no problem buying in 10 times so he can hit that one lucky streak and make it all back. In short, the perfect enemy.

Basically, I think the point I'm trying to make is that sometimes the bet overwhelms my ability to play my A game. If I make a read, but it's going to potentially cost my entire stack to see it, I'm not sure I can always make that call. But then again, why the fuck am I sitting at a no limit table if I'm not willing to make those choices now and then?

[For the curious, I did not lay this hand down. I put him on a flush draw (lower than my flush draw, since I had AK spades) and I was right. He had J7s. Neither of us hit and I scooped a $180 pot with A high.]

To be continued... maybe.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

The Big Jump

I've been the owner of this blog for the last year or so now, and I think it's about time I actually start writing about poker, seeing as that's why I started this damn thing.

I've decided to make the leap to playing every day online. What with my job, girlfriend, social life and every other variable you can think of, poker has been a luxury (at least on any regular sort of basis). I just haven't had the time. However, due to a lot of peer pressure from my friends, both live and online, I feel that I need to at least take a real shot at this. I don't have an unreal idea of my skill at this game, but I believe firmly that I have what it takes to be a high stakes player, and a long-time winner.

My whole life, I was never really much good at math. I never felt that it was a question of my intelligence, or ability to absorb and process information; it's more that I have hated every math teacher I ever had. And for what reason? Well, to be honest, they sucked at teaching. None of them ever tried to make the class interesting, they just droned on an on out of a textbook for an hour and a half each day. My main problem was always that I'd understand something up to a certain point, miss one thing, and then be lost for four more chapters.

Who am I kidding? Math is necessary to be a long-time winner in poker. You have to be able to figure out odds on the fly. Implied odds, reverse implied odds, pot odds... without the abilities in math, how could someone possibly survive in this game? Before I get into this, let me just tell you. I may suck at some of the advanced math theory that I tried to pass in high school, but I'm not stupid. I can do quick math in my head, piece of cake. I can figure pot odds no problem; I know how often my flush draw will hit with two cards left to come. The things are I have trouble with are concepts like fold equity, or reverse implied odds. I think that if I had the proper teacher, it would be no problem to pick this up. Not to say that Sklansky isn't a good teacher, but if I have a question that the book can't answer, I'm up the creek without a paddle.

The reason this blog still exists and I haven't just thrown in the towel is because I think that even without these skills (Which I will becomed determined to learn as my poker career progresses) I possess something that will allow me to win. Every game that I go to, every tournament I play in, I get comments on a regular basis about making the correct call. When I'm in a tough spot to call, and I think he might have me beat, but something.... something makes me hesitate. And then I make the call, and I get commended on it by everyone at the table. You might call that a read, you might call it whatever the hell you want. I call it intuition. Maybe my brain is unconsciously figuring the odds for me without me even knowing. Who the hell knows. All I can say is that I am consistently making the correct calls / laydowns. And it feels right.

If any of you want to laugh at me for this, go ahead. I understand. :) I bet if Matt read this he'd be calling me a donkey in no time.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Why is it so funny to watch a chubby kid singing a strange song to a web cam? I don't know. And please stop asking me. Link

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

"MIA", "AWOL"..... they both apply

And I have no excuse. I'm sorry. Metaphorically speaking, I've been trying to juggle 15 plates on a tray that's a foot in diameter and has spikes on the bottom... you get the idea. It's been an orgy of stress and worry, to say the least. To start it off, my girlfriend got pretty sick a few weeks ago, and what with balancing work, finances and and sleep, I'm not entirely sure I had what it took to keep her spirits as high as they could have been.

The situation at work isn't great either. My company is primarily a software contracting company; people pay us to make and/or perform regular maintenance on their web sites. We just found out that our annual budget has been frozen, and at the current burn rate, we'll make it through November. So, that means layoffs. 5% of the company staff just got axed in the last week. I hope they're all done now, but who the hell knows. Yet another knot in my back. Just gotta keep my head down and try to be invisible for the next two months. I'm not really all that worried about it, if anything happened I think I could probably land another decent job in a week or two. Maybe at Symantec. *shrug* As long as I have my Tara, I really don't care.

For me, the sun rises and sets with her. I can't say that I'm a great catch, and I would find it simply amazing if she decided to stick around for the rest of her life, let alone the next couple of years. I think a lot of the reason she's still here is the simple fact that I employ a few seemingly old fashioned values; namely, that she knows that no matter what happened, I would never EVER raise a hand to her. She also knows without a shred of a doubt that I've never lied to her. She feels safe with me. And that's good. Because I'm not a mean person. But.... don't nice guys finish last?

That's what I always thought.