Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Thurs 7/12 11-2a.m. Session


During current Hold'em session you were dealt 207 hands and saw flop:
- 14 out of 23 times while in big blind (60%)
- 12 out of 26 times while in small blind (46%)
- 26 out of 158 times in other positions (16%)
- a total of 52 out of 207 (25%)
Pots won at showdown - 3 of 7 (42%)
Pots won without showdown - 9

I need to get PokerTracker up and post those stats. Poor session here. I didn't catch many hands and missed most flops with hands like AK/AQ/AJ after pre-flop raises. I also limped more than average, partly due to the number of weak holdings and number of limpers before me. I don't like overlimping, but I didn't want to build a big pot with these type hands. Perhaps a mistake. 2 Showdowns were due to many players checking all the way. I lost two big pots. One with AA to a short-stack that flopped a straight, the other to another short stack after he called a large pot sized bet with a flush draw, hit it on the turn, and made a pot bet all-in on the river. In hindsight I could probably have gotten away from KQ (top pair) here since he's not making that move with any hand I beat. He just played the flush very strangely and I knew he didn't have a set or two pair. I was mostly worried about AK at the time, but should have been able to sniff out the slow-played flush with more thought. I didn't make any big hands this session. No sets, no straights, flushes, or full houses and so I didn't win any big pots as well.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Most Profitable Poker Ever

Florida recently opened up from $2 bet max to $5 bet max as well as opening $1/2 No-Limit. At the local cardroom in Jasper, the place suddenly got extrememly busy. On my first trip back after the change, I had to wait an hour just for a seat! I haven't sat down at the 1/2 No Limit, but I've heard stories and I've seen stacks. Rednecks/Young Guns love the All-in and there are people busting out left and right. Monster chip stacks in front of people that are playing on a wing and a prayer. People are dropping 3-400 a trip and other people are cashing out a Grand in the plus only a few hours later. It's completely sic.

I plan to play as soon as possible and hopefully before all the people dropping off money figure out they might not be as good at this game as their home game leads them to beleive. The problem is that I need an extra large bankroll to play right in this game. NL is swingy as is, but when you're playing with a table full of people that overbet, overvalue, and love to bluff, you're going to experience extra large swings. The volatility should be through the roof and even if you play far better, you will sometimes hit a downswing full of suckouts that could cause you to lose several hundred.

Working my bankroll up to the amount I need to have will also give me time to work on things that will be effective in that game such as pot control.

Right now there are internet pros in Florida making a killing playing as low as 1/2. It's like releasing only a few sharks among thousands of fish. Utopia. If Florida completely opens up the limits, it will attract a new tourist - Pros.

Florida will EASILY be the most profitable place in the world to play poker. At least until the sharks swarm in.

Wed 7/11 10-12p.m.

During current Hold'em session you were dealt 219 hands and saw flop:
- 17 out of 27 times while in big blind (62%)
- 11 out of 28 times while in small blind (39%)
- 29 out of 164 times in other positions (17%)
- a total of 57 out of 219 (26%)
Pots won at showdown - 11 of 12 (91%)
Pots won without showdown - 10

Folded hands like AJ and KJ to raises pre-flop. Folded A10, KJ etc from early position. Only played connectors from very late position, raising a couple times. Limped only occasionally, mostly either raising or folding. This was especially effective after several rounds at the table when my tight image was established and a small raise could get it 2 or 3 handed. Bluffed via continuation bets only 2 or 3 times. Mostly straightforward value betting or folding. Folded top two pair J8, on a J87 flop to a limper who re-raised my flop raise, then led a double-the-pot sized bet on K turn. No idea how he played. Not sure if folding was right or not, just a bit unsure how to proceed so I folded, not knowing where I was and he wanted to play a big pot. Wished I had paid more attention to how he played top pair/two pair/sets. Otherwise just stayed out of trouble with marginal hands and tried to play small pots with top pair.


You know what sucks? Getting in all-in over and over late in sit-n-gos with something like AQ vs AJ and constantly losing. Seems like dominated hands are a huge favorite against me because I'm something like 1-5 vs them when 1st or 2nd is on the line. Occasionally, it's something simple like the J and that's no biggie. Too often I watch in horror as the turn puts 3 to a straight or flush out and the river brings the 4-flush or 4-straight which their live card fits neatly into. Over and over. GGrr. Why do I lose in such spectacular fashion. Can't I just go down to a pocket pair or overcards?

The runner-runner thing has just been killing me lately. After I see the turn card help their hand, I'm a huge dog to lose to the 3 outer on the river. I know this is bad logic and over the long run this is just an anomaly, but I'm experiencing that little blip right now a lot for such a small sample.

For instance, the other day in a limit game I made exactly two strong hands. The first of which I have QT in the BB. 4 other players limp. Flop is KJ9 rainbow. I flopped the nut straight. I lead out and it gets called by all 4 players. Here we go, with the way things are going recently, I'm almost expecting a Q or T to fall, but praying it doesn't. I'm thinking "No Q, no T, no Q no T." The Turn: A Ten obv. Fuck. The pot is pretty big at this point and I'm ok with at least splitting with someone. One guy bets, 1 caller, I raise, the original bettor calls, the caller in between us raises accidently (she thought she was calling but puts too much in the pot), and I cap it out. There's about 80 in the pot now. "Ok, anything but a Q, anything but a Q" River: Q. Now the exact fucking straight I flopped is sitting on the board and anyone with an Ace takes it down.

Odds of Q or T on turn: about 1 in 8 times.
Odds of the remaining card on the river: about 1 in 15
Odds of Runner-Runner after flop: 1-2%

Running bad and hating every minute of it.

Friday, February 09, 2007

The Worst Bad Beat *I* Ever Put On a Guy

Bad beats happen all the time. It's just part of the game. Every player has given and received his fair share. But whenever you're the one who takes the really bad beat, it feels like it etches a piece of itself under your skin. You may remember this line uttered by Mike McDermott during Rounders: In "Confessions of a Winning Poker Player," Jack King said, "Few players recall big pots they have won, strange as it seems, but every player can remember with remarkable accuracy the outstanding tough beats of his career." The truth in that is remarkable.

I wanted to use this post to share a bad beat that actually hurt me a little when it happened, even though I was the beneficiary. That night I had been chatting with the guy next to me who was very friendly and had been to Vegas and several places down in Florida. I was pretty curious about how the games were and such and he was being pretty helpful. He was also a very solid player, one of the better players I've seen in there. Unfortunately, the guy just couldn't catch a break. He wasn't being dealt many playable hands and when he did catch a good flop, it seemed like he always got ran down. He flopped a set and lost to a backdoor flush; He held QQ and flopped an Ace and a King, folded to some bets, and the turn brought a third Queen; He flopped two pair and lost to a backdoor straight. He would show me some hands and I felt kind of bad because it seemed like whenever he folded, he'd have won and whenever he made a big hand and stayed, he always got drawn out on. He hadn't won a pot in a long, long time. I know how that feels. Even so, he was not upset about it, never once complained, and kept a pretty friendly demeaner, just showing me some of his beats and smiling as he mucked his hand, his stack slowly dwindling down.

Now the hand comes up...

I held AK next to the Button and raised before the flop. There were several callers including the guy sitting to my left who I mentioned above. The flop brings A99 rainbow. Someone raises from an early position and there are 3 calls before it's my turn. I decide to raise, partially for value, partially to see if the first raiser had a 9 so I would know where I stood. That guy, let's call him Jim, calls two bets cold which raises my suspicion because he's a tight player and calling two bets cold meant he must have had something good. To better the story, I'll go ahead and tell you what he had: a pocket pair of 8's. Well, the turn brings an 8, making Jim a boat, by far the best hand at the table and the best hand he's had all night. He's waited patiently for this hand all night. The pot is very big by this point, somewhere around $50 or 25BB's. I'm getting ready to raise since the 8 seemed innocent, but something strange happens. The dealer quickly burns a card, and flips the river, a 4 of clubs. He had completely skipped all of us! His mind must have been elsewhere. Jim says "Whoa, Whoa, you skipped everyone, nobody got a chance..." feeling like he had finally made the hand and wasn't even getting a chance to bet it. The decision is made to back up to the Turn, shuffle the 4 of clubs back in and allow things to start again. Satisfied, Jim bets his full house on the Turn. There are calls and I'm getting the odds to try to spike one of the remaining two Aces, so I call as well. At this point, I'm thinking "ACE ACE ACE ACE" because I figure that's my only real chance to win. I'd missed it the first time, but now there was a second chance. The dealer snaps the river card out; it's an Ace of Diamonds. There's a raise, and I re-raise.

With 2 bets to go, his hand turning from a monster to losing to any Ace, Jim just looks at me, and with a painful smile, throws his cards into the muck. He went broke shortly after that.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Saturday and the Coaster

I played on Saturday for the first time ever at the card room and it was a rollercoaster to say the least. I got there about 4 in the afternoon and the house was full. Every table looked soft. I mean, at Hamilton's, you have about 3 classes of players. They are:

Young guns

The retirees are passive. The rednecks vary. The young guns are aggressive. Everyone is very, very loose.

I was seated at a table who's youngest member was about 56 and everyone referred to him as the "kid". This table was very passive, not raising pre-flop ever. Even with KK, no raise pre-flop. For that first hour and a half, there were only 3 or 4 pre-flop raises and all came from me. I started limping in with lots of suited connectors and Kx and Ax suited cards from every position and managed to hit a couple big hands. By 5:30, I was up $95 (47.5BB). You know that sound rollercoasters make when you're climbing?

*click* *click* *click* *click* Throw your hands up and scream cause we're about to go over the edge.


The next two hours had me on a downswing as I was card dead and I just folded 90% of the time. The 10% I did get involved had me stuck with missed draws, marginal decisions, and river'd 2nd best hands. I fell back to about $40 up (20BB) and decided to move over to the straight $2 table to try to win big and leave.

Straight $2 is just limit hold'em but all the bets are $2 and don't double on the turn. It's 2/4 without the 4. I usually stay away to keep the integrity in my standard limit structure game, but the pots are larger at straight $2 so I gave it a shot. I had already thought about it in depth and decided it was a bad game because you can't protect your hand on the turn since the pot is so big by that point and the bet doesn't double. Most people that call a bet on the turn aren't adding dead money to the pot with almost any hand, even a lowly pair, so all the dead money would have to come from the pre-flop action and occasionally flop action. This mean I would need to only bet heavily on monster hands where all future calls would pretty much be dead money. That's where your profit comes from in small stakes Limit.

*click* *click* *click* *click*

Well, I moved steadily back up to $90. After that I got involved in a hand where I flopped a set, value betted it since I couldn't do anything to protect it, and lost the $50 (25BB) pot to a river'd gutshot straight. Oh well, it happends 1 out of 11.5 times.

"Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!! OH shit, a Loop!"

The next big pot saw me with AJs, flop top pair, turn top two pair, and lose to a river'd gutshot.....again. This was about a $60 (30BB) pot and it stung a little. On the flop, a player before me raised. I took the opportunity to re-raise making it 2 to go hoping to get folds or dead money. Several people still called so I knew it was value bet at best time from there on out and when the J turned I was happy to do so. I raised the river, got re-raised, knew I was beat but unable to fold such a large pot for 1 bet and paid him off. After which he replied "Man, I pulled that one out of my ass" while it took the dealer three pushes to get all the chips over to him. I think he got up and did some cartwheels after that, I'm not sure, I was too busy trying to find a window to jump out of. Don't worry, it's only a 1-story building. I just wanted to make a statement.

*The coaster derails, lands on an old lady, there are no survivors.*

I ended the night up about $40 (20BBs) for 5 hours. Below what I'm used to, but happy I wasn't down after those two hands.

That's all for now. I've vented and my soul is at rest again. I'll try to post up some constructive stuff later on.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Quick Update

I thought I make a quick post since I haven't in a while. I'm doing so well live it's scary. This week I only played about 15 hours and am up about 110 BB's. I'll be going out to Vegas in June and maybe July so hopefully I'll have a comfortable bankroll to play the higher limits by then.

I'm convinced if Florida were to open up its gambling (instead of the $2 max law), it would be the most profitable place in the country (and therefore the world) to play poker. Florida would be a vacation meca: Beautiful beaches, great fishing, theme and amusement parks, great weather, and real casinos. Tons of tourists. Lots of rednecks. It's already full of retirees, many of which love to gamble in their spare time and don't mind losing...a lot. The last governor, Jeb Bush, is out of office and he was holding it back. With the new governor, there is a chance in a few years the state might open up. Trump, who owns the Taj, and Dan Harrington both bought a lot of land near Tampa recently so they might be thinking the same thing. The biggest hurdle is probably the fact that Florida is in the Bible Belt. We'll see what happens, but if it does opens up, it will be a poker utopia.

Anyways, if you haven't seen Poker After Dark then you should. It's a whole lot of table talk from the players and there are lots of interesting stories and even some strategy and tips to pick up. You can find the episodes on At least NBC is smart enough regarding YouTube that their stance is the whole "If you can't beat'em, join'em" thing. NBC puts almost all of their shows up on their site now. Thank you YouTube for so many things.

Also, The Circuit is a radio show at that does a lot of coverage during the big tournaments that you'll be watching on tv in the future. Every show has a guest Pro from the tournament like Matusow, Negreanu, Hellmuth and there is usually some nice tourney strategy that you can pick up. They're not exactly giving away their entire strategy, but sometimes they'll go over hands and how and why they played them a certain way. Good stuff.

There's really nothing else interesting to mention right now. Maybe I can make it 500 BB's by the end of month. I'm about 150 BB's shy, so I have some work to do.