Thursday, March 31, 2016

Perspective And A Nice Win

It is kind of fucked how poker messes with your mind. One week you are the biggest loser in the world who could not win a hand if you sacrificed a virgin to the devil.. and the next week you are a ballah ready for the WSOP.

Last night I finally had the kind of night I want to have EVERY week. I was helped along by the high hand jackpot too. Poker is funny because the entire night came down to one hand that normally I would not gamble on.

I was in late position and raised to like $15. I had been up and down all night. I started out good when my kings held vs a guys overplayed tptk. I try and keep these overcard hands small, but the guys playing top pair try and make them huge. I then had my Queens cracked by bottom pair who rivered his Ace. That one hurt. I paid off an old guy too which always is a bad idea.. never pay off an old guy.

So anyways I was sitting with $75 and had my $15 in the pot.. and this guy a few seats after me jams all in. He has me slightly covered. I had Ace Kang. Now in my opinion in a cash game there are better spots than all in pre-flop with AK. However I had seen this guy jam one time before.. and he showed AQ. I am thinking - fuck it.. I am down a bit, I have a really good chance of dominating him, and fucking hell I should gamble more maybe. I make the call and the flop comes KKA. The guy has AQ so my read was dead on. This hand qualified me for the high hand jackpot which runs every 20 minutes.. If this hand happened like a couple hours earlier I would have made $600... but we were at the $300 portion of the every 20 minute promotion so say-la-vee.

I had to sweat out 18 minutes of the 20 minutes until my hand was declared the winner. I ignored the clock until it got down to like four minutes... then it was impossible to ignore... a few seconds after I won someone hits quad threes.

In one hand I was suddenly up $375. I tipped the dealer $25 and topped my stack off with the remaining $75.. I was entirely tempted to leave because how could it get any better than that? I stayed though because it was early and the table was very sociable and interesting.

I finished up with a net profit of $425. With the larger stack I was able to win some bluffs, and got lucky on a few more hands.. hitting good flops and the like.. I got a little spewy at times but nothing horrible.

Poker is funny. It fucks with your mind. If I lost the AK hand maybe I am writing that I suck at poker and never should call pre-flop with AK. Last week I pushed a diamond flush and gutterball draw and called it a shit move.. but it was a gutsy poker move, and had a ton of fold equity.. maybe I just need to stop searching for what is right and just play. I always seek the absolute right answer and maybe there is not one. Who knows.

I am pretty happy so far. It has not been perfect. I have had 8 sessions. Two of them have been losing my entire buyin. The first one was my first time back and I was rusty and was getting setup a bit with the cards. I played sucky too. My next two sessions were good sized wins. I then had a couple of tiny wins followed by a decent win because I said awfuckit in a 4-way pot vs lose players with AJ s00ted. Do or die! My last session I played good and I played bad. I tilted and spewed. Finally this last time I put it all together, got lucky, and had a monster session. I am averaging 2.3BB which is a good rate.. and I am up around $260 for the sessions. I so wish I had a casino in Boston. Ah well.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Then He Loses His Mind

Bound to happen eventually.. boo. Lost $300 this round at Mohegan. I played so tight for sooooo long and did alright.. then I don't know what happened but I go and try and snap off a fake with Flush and Straight draws on the turn. Got snap called by A5.. and did not improve. I loved that this guy was playing at my table. Rebuy $100!

I then got my stack back up to $200.. and get QQ. Basically I will say I overplayed it. However since the pre-flop was $15, the flop was $45, the turn was like $65... and then the river brought this guy his flush.... with his like 57 hearts.... well... in hindsight this is where I went insane! REBUY!

The last $100 I just kind of over-aggroed, donked off, and ended up donking out with AT on an A flop.. when some guy would not get away from AQ... ack. Really do not blame him after the way I started playing. FULL TILT!

Ah well.. Back to the RED side of poker which sucks.. But not by much. At least I realize some of my bad tendencies... now to try and correct them..

Thursday, March 10, 2016

On Style and Results

This week just happened to be my birthday. I was just going to hang out in my hotel for the grand night but someone from work suggested that I go play poker. I believe this was a ruse to hear a bad beat story from me.. however, once the thought was planted I was like "Fuck, it's pretty lame spending your birthday alone in a hotel".

So I took the slightly quicker jaunt down to Twin Rivers where I started my illustrious poker career at -$300. I played pretty tight.. probably too tight. My table started out really aggro and I played slightly badly, nothing too terrible, then it slowed down a bit, and I made my money back. I ended the night +22.

The next night I went back to Mogehan Sun. I keep wanting to hit that high hand jackpot! Six hundred bucks every 20 minutes! WHEE! Alas it was not to be. I had some decent players.. I played a little too tight.. again made a few slightly bad calls... got my stack down to $40 of the initial $100... Went super aggro... got it back up to $60ish, then when KK bet to my right, I jammed in, and got the call.. I took my $120 and again donked it down a bit over time... I usually leave Mohegan by 11:00 so I can get back by Midnight to sleep so I can be up at 6AM for work. So it was already around 11:45.. and my stack was down to $50... EP loose player slides out a stack of like 60, loose drunk guy next to me calls, I look down and see AJ s0000ted MOOO the call of the Donkey! So I think about it, then I say "Fuck it go big or go home!" and call.. and THEN the guy next to me calls. So we have a $205 side pot for me. The flop comes Jxx with one of my s00t. The loose guy jams all in... both other guys fold, and he turns over TT... my AJ holds up and I am suddenly $105 up for the night. I quickly rack and run. Bwahahaha.

The AJ call was pretty much a desperate who gives a fuck kind of call that worked out really well. In general I think I am playing a bit too tight... but it is working somewhat. An earn rate of $25/hr is not bad at 1/2... but it probably will go down. On the good side I am finally pretty decently on the win side of the ledger... having made up a lot of the deficit I started out in.

I have a theory too though that playing really tight and safe is actually not a bad plan. I have always been told to be super aggressive and I get it... but I did wayyyyy better playing a tight solid game with much less risk and aggression when I first started playing poker.... and I do think that I can make that work here. I do need to adjust a bit, but I think I am doing alright and I am on my way... We shall see.

Friday, March 04, 2016

The Ides of March - How to Be Breakeven

I had my latest poker career session this Wednesay. It was a lot of fun. I think the reasons I play poker now can be boiled down to three items.

I am really a fairly sociable guy but I need to be in situations where I can be social in order to talk to people. I have worked with people for over a year and not spoken a word to them.. and then something opens open a conversation and all of a sudden I will not shut up. At the poker table everyone at the table has something in common -- they are all poker pros. So you have something to chat about.

Mental Workout
I enjoy the mental aspects of poker. Now I will NEVER be they guy who calculates his chips vs pot equity and folds because it's the 1% edge thing to do. I am just not that into the maths. I have a good basic fundamental basis in poker math.. but I play a MUCH MORE read oriented game. It is fun to let my mind roam and figure out what people have and how I can exploit them. Knowing what my image is.. and manipulating people into paying me off.

Show Me The Money
This is the least of the reasons I play. I have a decent job.. and while a lot of my money goes to my kids (ya ya some day it will be Free Waffles), It is kind of nice to get a little extra. Right now my rate at poker is around $25/hr.. and that is with very little evidence that that will be maintainable.. It really does not excite me that much to be making advanced McDonalds mobney. The cheapskate in me loves the cash though. Also I LOVE winning beyond all things in this world... so there is that.

Remember the old days when we wrote real poker blogs? We would report on all the people at the table. I am not bringing that back.. but here is a slight blast from the past.

Seat 2 - The Poker Pro.
This guy played poker every day. I immediately recognized him as a regular. I think it is important to know who your against.. and I kind of weaseled it out of him as we talked. He was a solid player. He had one bad point in that he ALWAYS sort of complained about peoples play.. but then he would take it back "Oh I did not mean any offense.. I was just commenting on the hand.. good hand".

Seat 3 - Gung Ho
This was your normal craisian but he was not a bad, crazy, aggressive player. He was very solid too. His craisian side came out in his banter.. He was non-stop talking. He was a regular too. He cracked me up a lot and we chatted and became buddies at the tables.

Seat 4 - Waffles

Seat 5 -The Super Star
This was the classic guy who thought a hell of a lot more of himself than he deserved. He was your classic glasses wearing tough guy at the table. He sits down next to me and first words out of his mouth "Oh I play 2/5 usually.. I am just slumming with you guys while I wait for my tourney".. I knew he would be fun to play. I have more to say about him later but he pretty much donked off.

Seat 6 - Kojack Maguire
Just a friendly bald guy who played the stock market. He was fun to play with also. He had recently bought stock in the company the guy who died in the car crash was from. The stock had skyrocketed.. not sure if it's going to plunge now.

Seat 7 - The Bookie
This guy was fun too.. he was telling all sorts of stories about naked chicks which I liked. Apparently back in the day in New York him and his brother ran a bookie business. Pretty fascinating stuff. He reminded me of Dr. Pauly (Only because he was from NY) and Don Wade. We had so many good times at the Red Rock driving the people betting the favorites crazy!!

These were the major guys I socialized with on my side of the table. We immediately setup a code system for if we had the High Hand. Basically the high hand promotion going on is Boat or better, have to use both cards in your hands, every 20 minutes the highest hand in that 20 minute period wins $600 for the entire month of March. Also there HAS to be $20 in the pot.. You can not verbally communicate that you are on the high hand either. So we whispered "I will kick you under the table".. I would not have a problem helping someone get the needed twenty in the pot.

My table was pretty tame initially. I started off the game playing solid, tight. My strategy is to buy in for $100, and see what I can do. I bring $300.. and allow myself to lose all three buyins. I think I could maybe make more if I bought in for more, but I am not all that interested in going home after 5 minutes on a bad beat.

I stayed between $100 and $150 for a long time. Had a few close shots at the high hand but nothing really fell for me there. We got a really hot Asian dealer. Gung Ho was teasing her. It was obvious they knew each other. Somehow he got on about how she smelled.. and she was like "Well I took a shower".. and the whole table got wood.

She actually kind of fumbled the deck once and said "I don't know whats wrong I must be nervous".. so without missing a beat I put on a classic Waffles move and said "Hey, don't worry, I have that effect on women.".. We then had a bonding laugh together.. and I would have slept with her but HEY I am here for business people!

My only really big hand of the day came against the Super Star. He donked off a few chips with a top pair vs some nutty two pair hand. So we were pretty even at around $125 each. I look down to see the dreaded Aces. I raise to $7. He re-raises to $21. The rest of the table falls. So I say "ALL IN". I do not look at him at all. He calls. We flip and he is behind with Kangs. Flop is a nice rainbow, and the river did not fuck me. So I double up to $250. I would stay around there for the rest of the night ending at around $111.

All in all I think I played pretty well. I called a few hands for a bit too much when they had high hand potential.. and folded a few hands I maybe should have stayed in on.. I also paid one guy of with trips vs a T7 straight that I sort of allowed him to get... Was a small pot though.. I probably should have folded to his $21 river shove.. but it was marginal.

So according to the rules I play again next week. I am currently $25 in the red for poker.. but since I started at -$300 I think this is okay. My friend is having a friendly game tonight I am going to. I am on the fence if I should count it as poker winnings.. I probably will.. but these games are not really what I want to track.. I may keep a separate sheet for SNG/Tourney/Home Games just for the hell of it. My routine is working decently though.. Grab $300, go up to Rhode Island for work, Wednesday nights hit Mohegan, then when I get back pay my child support with the original $300 and any profits.. either that or buy groceries, or anything else I can spend cash on.