Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Maybe I should have waited the week

Well, I made it one day without a game. I then had some work to do downstairs, and one thing turned to another. I actually went on a huge tilt. I should have known my night was going to be bad with the following hands:

$5/1 Tourney
9d3h : Bet $50
5 people call.

Flop Ks10h9s

I check
Next Guy Bets $150,
Two other people call,
I Fold

Next two cards: 9h9c. Would have been nice. If only I could have checked into the next card. Oh Well. I think the call was the correct one over the long hall but it still hurts. The worst part about it is about 3 hands later I did it again! I saw 2 sets of 4 of a kind in one night, and I made nothing on either one!!!

Anyway, my whole night was like that. My Qd flush trumped by Ad. The guy was taunting me to bet, and I should have known better. I went out 5th with my $850 stack gone, knowing that the call was the wrong decision. I keep making the wrong decisions, and then making poor decisions trying to get into a hand. I missed making a boat because I folded, but that turned out well, as the other player ended up with a SF.
I think I lost 5 $5/1 Tourneys and then $10 on some ring games before I brought my stack back up to $170 with a second place finish in a $10/$1 tourney.

On a better note, I was able to get in a few games in .50/1$ ring play. I lost $10. I then went to a 6 player 1/2$ table. The competition was extremely easy here, and I brought my stack all the way from $150 up to almost $200 again. That was a nice feeling. I may try the $1/$2 tables again. I put in $20 to play, which lets me go round enough times to try and get ahead a little. I like the 6-person format. I think I do MUCH better with fewer players and a little larger pot.

I am going to try a $10/$1 tourney and some more $1/2 ring games to see how I do tonight. If I loose $30 my goal is to stop myself at that point, and wait another day to make it up. If I win $50 my goal is to stop at $250 and call it a night. I will keep you informed.

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Day One..

Day one of my self imposed exile went well. I did not play any poker. It helped that my second job (Mon/Wed) ended up being later than usual. I did not get out of there until 10PM. The life of a programmer! Oh well. Nothing good to report.

I had a nice dream that I was head to head in the final table of WSOP and was playing rings around the top pro's. It was a nice dream. Everything I did worked out. The pro's were yelling at me, and telling me my stupid play sucked. Except every time I would beat them bad, and taunt them some more. I probably should stop taunting people. It is kinda rude. Oh well. I am a good looser, but a bad winner.

I think the exile will go well for the next 3 days. The Red Sox and Yankees are playing, and while this is a GREAT game to watch while playing poker, it also work fine by itself.

I can not wait to get back to the tables. I have been reading up, and I think instead of moving to the $10/1 tourney tables all the time, I might keep slaughtering people at $5/1, but play 2-3 tables at once. I will try this and see how it works.

Monday, June 28, 2004

Top 10 TV Shows

It is very important to have a distraction when playing tournament games. It keeps you from going in just to see a hand. So here is my top 10 winners:

10. Twilight Zone (Sci-Fi)
9. Inuyasha (Cartoon Network)
8. Yu Yu Hakisha (Cartoon Network)
7. Aqua Teen Hunger Force (Cartoon Network)
6. Case Closed (Cartoon Network)
5. Cowboy Bebop (Cartoon Network)
4. Howard Stern (E!)
3. WPT (Travel Channel)
2. Hollywood Home Game (Travel Channel)

And the number one show to gamble by:

1. Major League Baseball – Red Sox! (Talk about gambling!)

198 and change

I have my pot up to a tad under $200, and I did this with some bad playing. I played a few $10 tourneys. Brought my pot down from $175 to $138 and one point, then played some more tourneys, finally hit a few, got back to around $170. I then started watching White Dwarf on Sci-Fi. It was interesting, so I did some .50/1$ ring play, and went from $5 to $16. Ending up at $198+. Anyway, even though I was on a little tilt, and not slowing down, I ended up ok. Not very pleasing to me. I am going to take a couple of days off since I have been staying up way too late playing, and need to focus at work a little. We will have to see how well I do taking time off. I am already a Video Game Addict, and when you add gambling to the mix there is a good chance to go off the deep end as I have been a little. Getting some more discipline and staying off the tables for a few days will be a good thing.

Sunday, June 27, 2004

Some thoughts on my latest plays..

I was thinking about my play latetly and think it has been good. I think I did two very good things the other night that I am proud of.

The first was on a questionable play. I got Pocket Rockets, had about $2,000. Bet them up to 4xBB or 200 bucks. A few people were in with me. Flopped 3-9-2. Nothing scary. Possible straight draw. So I bet another $200. One person calls, the other two fold. A J comes on the turn. I bet again, $400 hoping to knock the late player out. The player calls me. The final card comes up, it is a 7. No help for anyone. I figure my rockets are good. I am not sure why the last person is still in however, so I bet small, $200. She calls. Shows me Trip 3's! Being the whiny bitch I can be I complain alot. Anyway, this play is not what I am happy about. I played well, if not correctly, probably should have folded when the caller showed no hesitation. What makes me happy is instead of self destructing, and going in on bad hands, I collected myself, keep it together, and won the tourney. First place. Including a BAD beat tho the chick who got me with the 3's. I think keeping my cool was a good step in my growth as a player.

The second thing I was pleased with, and this is alot more marginal, is a call I made. I had KK, bet it light, had a few calls, finally it gets down to me and another guy. A 4th spade shows at the river, and the other guy pauses for a minute, and then calls all in. Now I had a decent hand in trips, but something in the way he hesitated, and the way he had been betting, convinced me that he had not made the straight. I instantly called him, and beat his hand. Now I know this could be considered a bad call, but I think poker has something to do about reading people, and this read was sooo strong, and sooo right, I think I did the right thing.

Anyway, I hope I am getting better. My bankroll has been growing steadily, and I would like to see it succeed.

Saturday, June 26, 2004

Over 175 now..

After hovering around 140 for a while, I finally had a good day. Pushed myself up to $175 playing 5/1 tourney. I seem to do well in these. I have finished 3 1st, 1 3rd, and a few out in the last few days. I am going to move up to $10 for a hand or two. Try and take some bigger pots.

I still stink at .50/$1. I keep falling into the bad play trap. I see people taking huge pots on A high, and suddenly that becomes a great hand! All in baby! At least I am limiting myself to $5 at a time.

Friday, June 25, 2004

Good Night!

Had a decent night tonight. Play a $5 tourney, and came in first. Then I wasted $15 of that losing a $10 tourney and $5 in .50/1. I then entered another $5 tourney and came in first again. Go figure. My style of play seems well suited to tourneys.

I have been using Poker Tracker, but to be honest, I have no idea what any of the stats mean. I do see that I am not an aggressive player (where I would have said I was tight/aggressive). Maybe my lack of aggression allows me to get into the final 3, then loosen up and win! Could be a good strategy.

Here are the finishing moves on my last tourney. Very fun:

***** Hand History for Game 702933641 *****
SirFWALGMan: nh
500/1000 TourneyTexasHTGameTable (NL) (Tournament 4368431) - Sat Jun 26 00:53:09 EDT 2004
Table Table 12453 (Real Money) -- Seat 2 is the button
Total number of players : 2
Seat 2: EazyZ (3880)
Seat 7: SirFWALGMan (4120)
EazyZ posts small blind (250)
SirFWALGMan posts big blind (500)
** Dealing down cards **
Dealt to SirFWALGMan [ Js, 3d ]
EazyZ calls (250)
SirFWALGMan checks.
** Dealing Flop ** : [ 8s, 9d, Jd ]
SirFWALGMan bets (1000)
EazyZ calls (1000)
** Dealing Turn ** : [ 2d ]
SirFWALGMan bets (2620)
SirFWALGMan is all-In.
EazyZ calls (2380)
EazyZ is all-In.
** Dealing River ** : [ Jh ]
Creating Main Pot with $7760 with EazyZ
Creating Side Pot 1 with $240 with SirFWALGMan
** Summary **
Main Pot: 7760 | Side Pot 1: 240
Board: [ 8s 9d Jd 2d Jh ]
EazyZ balance 0, lost 3880 [ 8d Qc ] [ two pairs, jacks and eights -- Qc,Jd,Jh,8d,8s ]
SirFWALGMan balance 8000, bet 4120, collected 8000, net +3880 [ Js 3d ] [ three of a kind, jacks -- Js,Jd,Jh,9d,8s ]

Bad Night - 6/24/2004

Oh well. It happens to everyone. I had a bad night after the good night I previously reported. I was up to $150. I then proceeded to loose 2 $10 tourneys badly, and $5 at a table game.

The first $10 table the only mistakes I made were calling into large bets with marginal hands. For instance, I would get an A3 suited, which is a hand I love and always want to see the flop for. Unfortunately there was a guy at the table that constantly raised 200$-300$ just for the hell of it. He was taking hands, but more often than not, he did not have to show. It is a very interesting strategy, probably not for me. So anyway, I would get a little antsy, and call one of these bets, get a bad flop, and finally ended up in a bad way. If I was smarter I would probably have laid down on those bets, and let other people go out faster.

The second $10 table I do not think I made a mistake, I just got killed at the river.
I start with a marginal hand 8h 10s. I am the big blind, so I check in, and get to see a flop. The flop ends up being 10h 5d 3d. Sweet. I have the high pair! No straights in sight. A possible flush, but not bad. So the guy with all the luck at the table calls me all in. We flip cards, and he has Qd 2d. I am thinking I have a good shot at this. Just need to dodge 2 25% chances and I am doubled up. As shows up. I am thinking ya! I am going to make it! Then the Kd comes, nailing me at the river. I feel bad about being beat, but I do not think it was a bad bet. If anyone has an opinion let me know.

So then I am getting angry, decide to play .50/$1 table to try and make back some of my money, and play poorly and loose there too. At least I was able to just say goodnight and wait for another day. We will have to see what happens tonight.

Thursday, June 24, 2004

What are people thinking..

I am playing online in the .5/1$ Empire Poker table. I am playing very strong opening hands only. I am up $7 in the first 5 minutes.

I do not know what people at these tables are thinking. I have been called at the river several times with A High nothing, Low Set, and other junk. Even when I bet heavy into every hand, I still have 2-3 people calling everything.

I just do not understand these people. I think my strategy of going in on premium hands only let's me almost always win large pots at the river. I understand I will never make alot of money here, but this is crazy! I kind of like doing a tourney game (I came in first in a 5$ NL), and using $5 from my winnings to try and make some money at the little tables.

Soon I will be caught up from my loosing ways. I dropped $200 while learning how to play better. I am up to $145 now, with about a week of good play. Not too bad.

Anyway, I downloaded Poker Tracker and I am going to start playing with the free version. So far I have not seen much good, especially since there are SOOOO many people, I hardly see the same ones. But maybe it will help. Will post about it sometime this week.

The Dark and Deadly Spiral

I figure I will talk about some of my bad tendencies today, since one of the reared it’s ugly head last night. I like to call it the Dark and Deadly Spiral. Anyway, it went something like this.

I was looking for some good tourney play last night. I got through playing a $5 tournament, and going out about 5th. I think I played really well, but I just did not get the cards. I was getting kind of antsy down around $400, so followed a K2 suited a little too far, getting beat down to like $100, and then went out on the next hand.

Anyway, Empire poker then started having a lot of problems with there system. Not sure what was going on, but all tournaments were not working. So I take my $5 and reluctantly head for the $5 table. I decide to play my normal conservative tournament style play, and see what happens. After a while I am up to $20, and feeling pretty good. I then do something really stupid. I follow A’s down to the end, betting in every round, figuring the possible straight was just bluffing. He was not. So I loose $5. I then start the spiral. I feel like I need to win the huge amount I lost back quickly, so I start playing hands that are marginally good. Which causes me to loose more. I start feeling like I have to make it all back on the next hand. Now I am playing really poorly, going in on bad hands, following 2 cards to a straight too far, doing stupid stuff. This is the Dark and Deadly Spiral. When you take a bad beat, or start getting down, and try and make it all back in one hand. You spiral out of control, and loose it all. I was lucky last night. I calmed myself down when I got down to a few bucks, started playing only premium hands (20 points or more in Black Jack, or Suited A High or K High) caught a nice A high flush that people started betting into, and a few hours later ended up with $27, up $22 for the session. The point is: if your feeling desperate, or your changing your style after a bad beat, calm down, take a breath, and play the way you know you should.

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

In the Beginning...

Online poker is all the rage these days. Ever since the Travel channel started televising the WSOP everyone wants to play. It seems so simple, watching these guys make their moves. It’s exciting to see the pair of 4’s beat the AA when both players call all in. It is fun to second-guess the great poker players of the world.

I decided to start playing online poker for several reasons.

A. It is fun. The excitement when you call all in is amazing. You never know if your hand is really going to win, and as those cards start appearing, your heart starts racing, the endorphins kick in, it is a real rush!
B. It seems easy. Watching on television, and then playing in free tournaments online it seemed very easy to win. Before I ever picked up a book and tried to figure out how to play, I was winning in free tournaments.
C. You can make money. I am still trying to get to the point where it would be profitable. I will keep everyone posted as to my win/loss state as I progress in the game, but I think you can make decent amounts of money online.

Once I decided to play for some money I picked up a few books on playing. I decided to read Ken Warren Teaches Texas Holdem. I found it to be a decent book on playing. It gives nice simple lists of hands that you should go in on, based on pot odds and position at the table.

I signed up with Empire Poker. It was a little scary giving them a credit card number, but they have some other options you can use. I find the site very easy to use, and the UI is very good. You have to download an Application that installs on your system and handles the gaming. It is all very easy to setup. I use the screen name of SirFWALGMan (Maybe let you know what the hell that stands for later), so if you see me at Empire say hello.

Obviously I though I would jump straight into 1/2, 2/4 dollar tables and start making some money. This was probably a mistake; since I tended to loose money ask quickly as I made it. It is much easier to win a little money, and much safer, by playing in online tournaments. It is very easy to loose a lot of money quickly in table games. So while I am in my learning stage I am sticking to the 5$ and 10$ tourneys. The way these work is you pay the ante plus 1$ fee for the poker site. If you wind up being one of the last 3 players, you win the pot. Each tournament has 10 players, so for a 5$ tourney the take is 25, 15, and 10. The $10 tourney is $50, $30, and $20. I have found that the key to winning these is playing good starting hands, and knowing when to fold.

I will post more of my observations and some of the games I play in future BLOGS. Let me know if any of this is interesting.