Monday, June 26, 2006
2nd Place, Wedding, TV, and Me
2nd Place Shark Poker Tour Global Invite
This was a freeroll tourney that had around 100 or so people with $1000 added over 54 places. Only the final table paid more than $10. There was some controversy at first when players who didn't qualify registered. They ended up playing and actually taking some of the money away from regular SPT players. Good field of players and I ended up 2nd for $100. Not bad for about 4 hours of work. Plus, it was free to enter for me.
Went to Iowa this past weekend for a good friend's wedding. My girlfriend and I got there Friday night, about a 3 hour drive there, and went to the rehearsal dinner. Stayed up fairly late and then crashed, pretty drunk. Great buffett in the morening, all free. Even better!
Saturday was the wedding and it was a blast. Saw a bunch of people from high school and drank just like we used to do in high school. My volleyball coach was there, a Brother, not colored, collared. A Christian Brother. Caught up on new times and reminisced about old times. Danced and drank, then went to hotel bar and danced and drank. Too much fun!
Sunday brunch was good. The drive home was terrible though. Hit a ton of bad weather in Illinois and then hit a shit ton of traffic in construction zone. Got home around 4ish and left around noon. 4 hours back, that sucked. We had to stop at a cheese place so my girlfriend could load up on some curds. Later on came the "my stomach hurts." I wonder why?
Mansion Poker Dome?
Last night, after we relaxed and at some dinner, I watched the Masion Poker Donkfest on Fox Sports. These players acutally won a tournament to get there. Most of them are horrible. This isn't the first time I've watched this show either. Last time I saw one player fold a set of 4s. No real danger on the board. Ok, whatever.
Last night, I saw a player fold the best hand twice. Once with A-Q and another time a different player folded A-K with top pair Kings, nut flush draw with a pair of queens on board on the turn. This is ridiculous poker. Players were limping all over the place with big hands, A-Q, then folding when they flop an ace. Guy called on flop after he took his time extension. It's speed poker after all. Then check, check turn. He then proceeded to fold on river to a big bet. WOW! What a joke this tournament is. I need to hit Mansion Poker because it seems like there are tons of donkeys there. Maybe I'll check it out.
I've been doing well at the tables. Not phenomenal, but good. I'm up to around $500 and I have another $150 in bonus money to clear. I keep doing the withdrawal and then deposit when they have their re-deposit bonuses at Absolute Poker. I'm waiting to get around $800-$1000 and then moving $600 over to Full Tilt for their initial deposit bonus of 100% up to $600. Clear that and I'll have around $2000.
I'll probably start cashing out my winnings once I hit $2500 and take out $500 at a crack. I'll try to keep it around 2K in my account and keep doing the bonuses at AP. I'm a VIP there so I get 30-35% unlike the normal 20%. I'll keep the updates coming whenever I can.
Remember to e-mail me with anything you got. firstname.lastname@example.org
Good Luck at the tables,
Friday, June 16, 2006
I made a move in the middle when I called out of BB with 10-8 os and check raised when A-K-5 rainbow board hit. Player called and we checked down with another Ace hitting turn. He had K-10, what a call. I had only 900 chips left, so I decided that even if he didn't have an ace, he could, and more importantly, WOULD call. I was left short stacked, got up to around 2400 and lost some in the blinds that were getting bigger, then moved all in with 6s for about 1200. Got called by QQ and lost. Oh well.
Early, I would have been a monster chip leader and wouldn't have to make these types of plays had I called out of small blind when I would've hit 2 pair. Another hand, limped in late position with A-3 hearts for 20 and SB makes it 200. A few callers, but felt that it wasn't the right time. Would've flopped nut flush draw. Flop gets checked around with K high, turn brings another heart. Could've had at least a 1200 chip pot. Shit! Lots of could ofs would ofs in poker. That's how it is. We learn from our play and move on.
I was playing in a $10 3-table sit n go at Absolute also and was chip leader throughout most of it. I took out 3 players at the first table. Flopped a set of 5s with an ace on board. Those are the best money makers, and I'm not talking about Chris the douchebag. He's the luckiest fucker ever. I guess I would rather be lucky than good at the WSOP main event also. Anywho, I kept chippin' away and become a monster chip leader at my table. Made it down to the final 9, paid 5, a slight chip leader when we combined tables. Perfect position with the aggressive player with 2nd most chips to my right. I'm gonna win this I thought.
One by one, they were knocked off. I get a sweet flop when I called from SB with 7-4. Thought about folding, but there was only 5 players left, TIme to get lucky and BAM! 4-7-7. FUCK YEAH! Check, check, check. Turn 3. I bet small, around 600. Gets raised by BB to 1500. Limper folds, I re-raise and get called. River 3. Now I hope he has a 7 because he's going broke. I bet out small enough, around 1800, to get called and hopefully raised. He just calls and I show my monster. I'll take that huge pot thank you. Check the replay and he had ROCKETS! I said thanks for not raising pre-flop. He said nothing. He was slow playing a lot of hands throughout the tourney. He limped with KK and got a guy to go all-in after him with 10s on the final table bubble.
We get down to 3 and then it gets real fun. Good player (GP) who limps with monsters to my left, aggro on my right. Me and aggro are about even around 17K with GP around 5K. Aggro is very aggressive for about 15 minutes and I've got the chip lead on him. Then this hand comes up. I'm in BB with A-6 spades, aggro raises, I re-raise, he goes all-in and I quickly call. He has K-8 diamonds. Flop A-DIAMOND-DIAMOND. I'm like yes, shit. I only saw the Ace for a second. Turn blank, river 6. I make 2 pair, he makes third place money for his efforts. YEE HAW! I've got over 30K and GP has around 6K. Figured I'll take my time and I did.
We played for a while and then the blinds got to 600-1,200 and he had around 5K left. Finally, we both get our money in. I have K-2, he's got A-8. Flop comes 2-2-x. Very good game I say. He says the same. Got a little lucky at the end, but would still have had a chip lead on him. It was a hard fought battle with him pushing all-in on a few occassions, then me doing the same. We saw a few flops with no help to either of us and just checking down. With monster chips, I didn't want to give him any more than I had to and just waited for my spot. Good days effort -$5 for Shark Poker Tour buy-in. -$11 for sit n go buy-in. +$108 for tourney win = $92. Not bad. And I won $4 playing limit while I was at the final table. Overall good day, and gives me an ego boost, knowing I can play some good solid poker. Post some comments if you got any. I would like to see who is reading my blog, if anybody.
Thanks and Good Luck,
Tuesday, June 13, 2006
Big Blind Play in Limit
In Limit Hold 'em, the big blind is one of the toughest position to play. You're out of position, and that's never a good thing, but usually, you'll be getting excellent odds to continue with the hand. Against a single opponent who has raised, you'll be getting better than 3 to 1 and, in most hands, you're no more than a 2 to 1 dog. The problem is, you'll often find yourself going into the flop with shaky cards and, at that point, you're sure to face some tough decisions.
Before I talk about some tricky situations that develop in the big blind, I want to note that you can make your life a little easier by folding some hands pre-flop. If you're holding a medium Ace and you're facing an early position raise from a player who you know plays only good cards up front, then fold. It may seem like you're getting a nice price to continue, but in this spot, you're only going to get into trouble. When you miss the flop completely, it's going to be tough to continue and, if you hit an Ace, you may lose a lot to a hand that has you dominated. I'd rather play 6-7 against an early position raise from a tight player than A-7.
There are some hole cards that are just hopeless. If I'm facing a raise from any position and I find something like J-2, T-3, or 9-4. I'm going to surrender the hand.
The really difficult situations arise when you hold a mediocre hand, something like A-8 or pocket 6s, and you face a raise from late position. Many players will raise with just about anything in the cutoff or on the button, so it's tough to know where you stand with these medium strength hands.
What should you do?
Unfortunately, there are no easy answers. My best advice is to vary your play so as to take advantage of a particular opponent's tendencies. For example, if you hold A-8 in the big blind and face a late-position raise from a player who tends to be a little weak after the flop, you should probably re-raise pre-flop and then follow up with a bet on the flop most of the time. Against this type of player, this kind of action will force a lot of folds.
If the opponent who raises in late position is tricky and very aggressive post flop, I'll often call the pre-flop raise and then check-raise on most flops, whether or not I got a piece of the board. Even if the check-raise doesn't win the pot, this move helps keep a tough, aggressive player off balance.
Of course, you'll need to consider the flop as you move forward in the hand. If you call a pre-flop raise with pocket 6s and see a flop of T-Q-K, there's little point in going to war. Give your opponent credit for a hand that beats yours and look for a better spot. But this doesn't mean that you should be willing to give up on anything less than top pair.
Against a single opponent, I'll play second pair pretty aggressively. Sometimes, I'll lead at the pot with this hand, and sometimes, I'll check-raise with it. Taking this aggressive approach with a shaky hand allows me to play my big hands in the same manner. When my opponents see me check-raise, they won't know if I'm making this play with as little as second pair or as much as a set.
As I said earlier, playing from the big blind in limit poker is tricky. In my opinion, it's one of the toughest spots in all of poker. My best advice is that you should stay alert to your opponent's tendencies and look to mix up your play. If you're on your game, it will be tough for other players to put you on a hand while you'll have a pretty good idea of what they're doing.
Monday, June 12, 2006
We left on Friday morning, got to Enterprise, and they don't take check cards without a bunch of shit. So we left an hour late. No huge deal. Picked up my brother and sister-in-law, and headed to Cincy. Traffic through Chicago sucked ass.
Pretty uneventful trip down. We stopped at a Wendy's for food, and they were in no hurry to get our food. It took longer than a fast food place should. About 10 people doing the job of 4. We weren't that far south. I'd hate to see how slow it gets the father south you go.
Arrive in Cincy about an hour and a half before gametime. They have a "Manager's Reception." AKA Open Bar! Sweet, let's save some $$$ by drinking a few before the game. Nice!
Left a about 15 minutes before gametime and walked across the river. We stayed in Kentucky. Beautiful day Friday was. Headed to our seats, and it took about 10 minutes to find them. We walked up and up and up, then we had to walk down and down and down. Got to our seats, pretty nice. Upper deck bleachers in left field. First row in second section, nobody in front of us, sun in our face.
Game went well, unlikely hero Henry Blanco hits 3 RBIs and Maddog gets his 325th or 335? Summin' like dat. Go grab some food after the game by our hotel and go to sleep. We're tired!
Saturday morning get some breakfast. They have a free for guests buffet with a omlette cook. Didn't get that Saturday, but would definitley on Sunday. We get ready, trying to switch our car (never happens), then take a shuttle to Levee something. They've got food, shops, stuff like that. AND, Gameworks, a place with games. We eat lunch at a sweet Irish Pub called Claddagh. I wasn't too hungry so I just split an appetizer with my brother. Great food and atmosphere. It felt like a real Irish Pub, not like I'd know, but if I were to guess what it would be like, that was it.
It started to pour, so we, actually I, decided to go to Gameworks. Got a card with points for $22. Played some racing games with everybody and did fairly well. My girlfriend was still talkin' smack about beating me a those mini-hoops games so I had to woop her ass. ALL 3 GAMES! He He!
Screwed around in there for a while, then we went back to the hotel. Hung out until the Manager's Reception started at 5:30. The game on Saturday was at 6:10 so we didn't have as long to drink. I managed to have 5, 16 oz. beers in a half hour. Holy Cow did I feel it later. Took a roadie with me and ended up spilling some of it when I tripped on my sister-in-laws foot when we were trying to kick each other in the ass. Laughed my ass off!
They're calling for rain, so we didn't mind making it into the game in the 2nd inning. Long story short, get wasted, Barrett hits a grand salami, I make an ass out of myself, go home and pass out, forgetting the last hour of the night.
Sunday morning, get hangover omelette. It's amazing. Have only 1 plate of food compared to 3 on Saturday morning, then head for home. Stopped at a Bob Evans on the way home, pretty good, but made us gassy. Have a run in with some douchebags in a Mercedes. Not from America and can't f%*#ing drive. Trying to impress the girls in the front seat, they speed up and break, speed up and break. Cut us off, and that's when the fingers started flying. A$$HOLES!
Total trip, about 14 hours in the car. Make it there and back in 2 tanks of gas, not bad. Returned the car this morning. Good trip! Next year, who knows?
What to do with $100?
I'd then move to another site. I'd use the Full Tilt Poker link and get a 100% deposit bonus again, giving me at least an extra $200, hopefully more. I'd move up limits to at least .50/1 with $25 buy-ins which leaves me with 8 buy-ins. Once again, play break even poker which leaves me with $400.
I'd then move to yet another site, Absolute Poker, get another 100% deposit bonus for an extra $400, at least. Clear that bonus at break even poker, leaves me with $800.
Now, I'd stay at Absolute, because first of all, I'd get rakeback which is added money at the end of each month. Secondly, they have a ton of deposit bonuses each week. All you have to do is transfer your money back and forth from the Neteller account to get these bonuses, usually 20-30%. Take out $300, put it back in during deposit time and get $60-$90. Not bad for doing nothing. You can do this each week.
See the pattern. You can play with the site's money, play decent enough poker not to lose, then get some money. Keep moving up levels, and if you do poorly, move back down. Play some $10-$20 buy-in tourneys and hope for a decent payday.
Keep it up and have some fun. E-mail me with any questions.
Trip report from Cubbies games from Cincinatti forthcoming!
Monday, June 05, 2006
1. I did make it to graduation. My whole family was there which is nice because we don't get together all that often.
2. I got an A- for the class with a project and may actually have a consulting job through our client. Extremely part-time, but still extra $$$.
3. I got another bartending job, which will help pay the bills while I work on getting a book together to find a real job.
4. Just started working on some pro-bono work to get my book going.
5. Definitely played more poker, sometimes better, sometimes not. I'm up, but I'd like to make it up $400 so I can start playing some 2/4 games.
6. Haven't hit the gym yet. First day is tomorrow.
7. The Cubs have been sad. I'm not enjoying watching them lately, except for last weekend against the Cards. They were actually hitting the ball and had more confidence. Can't wait to see them in Cincinatti next weekend. Road trip report to come.
Overall, I'd say pretty good for the month. I need to set goals every month now so I can keep myself on path to becoming a better me. I put goals for June up hopefully tomorrow. New bed arrives tomorrow. Might try it out in the afternoon.
Thursday, June 01, 2006
Put some info about it on the Shark Poker Tour Forum. Playing in one of the $5 tourneys on Absolute right now. Check out the forum. http://sharkpokertour.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?p=8856#8856
Live Tourney Play
Personally, I always wait until the action gets to me to look at my cards. There are 2 reasons that I do this.
- To watch the other players and see what they are doing. Some look at their chips, while others just get uninterested in playing anymore. These are both tells that can help you escape some bad situations. With bad players though, they may think they have a better hand than they actually do. A-4 suited looks like a monster to some.
- This allows you to not give away the strength of your hand by you doing some of those tells that you are looking for in your opponents.
If anybody has an opinion, let me know. Everybody plays differently and there's no absolutes in poker.