Thursday, July 29, 2004

Aces Cracked

Entered the Wednesday tournament again at Casino AZ.  I got there early and tried to win my entry fee in the 4-8 game.  Oops.  Really a boring table.  Nobody was talking to each other and there was some bad play but I was not getting any cards.  I felt like I might be able to push the table around a little.  I raised with A-10 on button and missed the flop.  I bet out and everyone dropped but one.  He checked again and I bet, still with only A high.  Finally he checks on the end and I check through.  He had KK in the hole.  What the fuck?  First of all he doesn't raise before the flop and then his pair is higher than anything on the board and he never bets it?  Very passive.

Another hand was I had 33 on button and it was folded to me.  The blinds start talking about chopping before I even bet so I raise.  The big blind decides to call.  The flop misses both of us but I bet and he folds.  I turn it over and the whole table can't believe I would raise with 3's.  C'mon folks, I'd raise my grandma with 2-7 offsuit if she's in the blind talking about folding.

The problem was my image at the table was now loose and I did not account for it.  I tried to bully a couple more times and was just called down because they were not respecting my raises.  I lost $120 before the tournament even started.

As for the tournament, I feel it was the best I have played so far.  I really only made one small mistake and it really didn't cost me anything serious.  I called with K-10 hearts on the button with a couple of limpers in the pot.  The flop had a King.  The first bettor led out and I didn't like my 10 kicker with another person to act behind me.  Eventually the first guy went all in and the guy behind me won with two pair (I think).  Anyway the first guy had K-2 and was trying to buy the pot.  I made a bad read but I got lucky because the guy behind me hit his hand.

Other than that, every steal I made worked.  I had KK one time and won a decent pot.  I had KJ and flop came Jack high and won that with a bet on the flop.  I got up to 3,000 by the time the blinds moved up to 200-400.  Obviously I was below average because there were 6 tables left, but the deck was slapping me in the face.  Horrible cards but I did manage to steal a couple of blinds to at least stay even.

Finally I am on the button and second off of the BB raises to 1200.  I thought that's a healthy raise!  Everyone folds to me and I am looking at AA.  Finally!  Now I can win a decent sized pot and maybe even double up.  I move all in for about 2600.  Everyone folds to original better and he calls pretty quickly.  He turns over KK.  He's not happy.  That was pretty much the hand I put him on.  So here comes the flop.  K-J-10.  Boooooooooooo!  Now I desperately root for a Queen or Ace but the turn and river are no help and I am out.  Somewhere between 50-60th place.

I keep trying to cheer myself up and say I couldn't have played it any differently but one of these days I need to get a good run of cards and see what I can do with them.

Tuesday, July 27, 2004


Hey I think I might be learning something.

Last night I am playing Party Poker 3 table NL tournament.  I am holding steady and slowly increasing my stack.  Then in small blind I am dealt AA.  In the book I am reading on Tournament Poker by TJ Cloutier he suggests always limping with AA so that's what I am going to do.  The flop comes out 9-10-J and I make a standard bet just in case the board scares everyone else and to make sure nobody draws for free.  2 players come over the top of me, all in.  I fold and watch one of them win with the straight.  Which by the way, he didn't hit until the turn.

Ok, good for me, I didn't get hurt too bad.  Very next hand I have QQ on button.  A couple of limpers and I make standard 3x big blind raise.  The big blind goes all in which is about 6 times my bet, even though I have him covered.  I have been beat this way before.  There is actually another caller before it gets back to me.  I fold and they turn over KK and AK.  Jeez!

I lost about 1/2 my chips in those two hands but I think 90% of the players out there would have been eliminated.

A few hands later, I finally get lucky.  I am in late position with one limper and I raise my AJ.  The blinds fold and the limper calls.  Flop comes J-9-2 rainbow.  I go all in, which is a little more than the pot.  The limper calls me right away.  Uh oh?  He turns over slow played QQ.  Turn no help but BINGO! a Jack hits the river and I double up.  Now I am up to about the average stack with about 15 players left.

Nothing much happened after that.  I had horrible starting cards and was basically blinded off.  I made the final table as the short stack and couldn't catch any good cards.  I'm amazed I made the final table.

Monday, July 26, 2004

Is being retarded a good table image?

So I blow out of work on Friday afternoon and head to Casino AZ.  The 4-8 tables have a wait but 3-6 is open right away so I sit down.  Nobody looks scary at the table so I pretty much assume everyone is going to play like an idiot.

After a few hands of folding, I notice the player in the 1 seat seems to be taking a long time to make his decisions and is acting like he hasn't played before.  He's asking how much to bet, he stares at the board a long time seeing if he can make something out of his hand, etc.  Some of the players were starting to grumble that he was slowing up the game.  I took some initiative and told him that it would be more considerate to the dealer if he sped up his play because he depends on tips and the more hands he deals in an hour, the more money he makes (plus hopefully the more money I make, but I was trying to be nice).

He smiled and nodded like he understood, but kept on taking a long time.  Finally I get involved in a hand with him.  I have top pair with a good kicker and value bet it on the river.  He calls me and turns over middle pair along with another pair that he caught on the river.  Good if he's willing to draw to a 5 outer heads up then I am going to make some money.

About 45 minutes later, the seat changes next to me on my left and this player mentions that he has seen the "retard" playing before and that he thinks it's an act.  That he is actually a good player and knows what he is doing.  I don't know if I quite believe it, but it keeps me entertained for the next 1/2 hour looking for cracks in the facade.

Then the coup de grace.  Retard is in big blind, I am one off the button.  I am dealt J-10 offsuit with a Jack of diamonds.  A couple of limpers and I call and the guy on my left (button) calls as well.  Retard in BB raises and everyone calls.  Flop comes 7-8-9 with 2 diamonds.  I have the temporary nuts.  In this small cloud of euphoria I decide I am going to wait until the turn to raise to get the most money I can in the pot.  Retard leads out, two players fold, I call, and the button raises.  Hmmmm.  Now I think I'll check raise the turn.  The turn brings another diamond so now there are 3 on the board.  Rechecking my position I realize that trying for a check raise would be stupid since there is only one player on my left and he may check it through.  I am also watching the retard stare at the board and my read is that he may have one diamond but he doesn't have the flush or the straight. 

Retard bets and I raise.  The button folds and mutters to himself about his cursed luck.  Now I am waiting for this guy to cower in my presence but he raises back?!  He hasn't been this aggressive in any hand.  I call and pray for no more diamonds.  5th Street is........Ace of Diamonds.  Due to my optimistic nature I think to myself, well now I have the Jack high flush and there are only 3 hands that beat that.  The Ace, King, or Queen.  Now the Ace is out so there are only two that beat me.  Retard now asks the dealer,"What happens if we both have flushes, how is the winner determined?  Since it's an Ace high flush do we both split it?"

Alright, maybe has the flush but I am going to call no matter what because the pot's too big to walk away from.  He bets and I call.  He turns over two Kings.  For an instant I think I am good until I realize one of his Kings is a diamond.  Ugh!

Amazingly I kept my cool and said "good hand".  I have been chased down enough that I pretty much accept it as part of the game.  I also found it amusing that after the hand, the player on the button told me he also had J-10 for the nut straight but was scard to death of the third diamond on 4th street.  At least one person at the table respected my raise.

The retard used that hand as a spring board and won a few more and probably doubled up his chips before I had to leave.  His image was really irritating the other players and I think it was causing them to play stupid.  If it was an act, it was a pretty good one.  I give him credit.

As always any comments from lurkers are appreciated.

Friday, July 23, 2004

On the Bubble

I posted a question on the 2+2 poker message board about my strategies on the tournaments and basically I was told to slow down and only steal with decent cards.  So to practice I have played in a couple of 3 table sit-n-go's on Party Poker.  I have busted out on the final table twice just before finishing in the money.

Last night I was just above average in chips with 9 players left.  I was dealt AA late position.  I think I just doubled the blind which was 200 at the time.  The chip leader called on the button, and the first player who was utg raised all in.  I had him covered by about 1000 so I just called hoping to get the chip leader in the pot as well.

The flop came out rags and I moved all in.  The chip leader folded and left it to me and utg.  UTG turns over 7-6?????  I think he had paired the 6 on the flop and then bang the 7 hit on the river.  Now I am crippled to about 6 times the big blind left.

I pick up a couple of blinds but I am still about 6 th place in chips at the 9 person table and the blinds are getting expensive.

I am dealt QJ under the gun.  I want to play this hand because now there are just 7 players.  I think the blind was still 100-200.  I had about 1200 in chips left.  If I wait, I am facing 300 in blinds in the next two hands which leaves me with 900.  Enough to survive for a little while but I am not too comfortable with that.  If I raise to 600 , I still have chips left but not enough to scare anyone.  Plus I think what I really want is the blinds.  So I talk myself into raising all in.  Everyone folds until the big blind who seems to be thinking about calling.  He types in an expletive in the chat.  Uh oh, that must mean he has two high cards.  BB was sitting on around 3000 in chips so it would hurt if he lost.

He calls with KQ and I am crippled.  No one pairs anything and he wins the pot and I finish in 7th.

Post analysis.  What the fuck was I doing.  QJ in early position sucks.  Muck it.  It was not even suited.  Wait for the good cards and don't go crazy.  I keep taking unneccessary risks late in these tournaments.  I think the best strategy seems to be survival and quit taking shots at pots after the flop when nobody bets at them.  It doesn't seem to be worth it.

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Tournament 7-20-04

I am really getting confused on the best strategy for these tournaments.  You start with 2000 in chips and the blinds start at 25-50.  They increase every 20 minutes to 50-100, 75-150, 150-300. 

Logic tells me that you need to play aggressive because you can be blinded off fairly quickly.  The problem is anytime you get involved in a hand it seems like you are putting at least 1/2 your stack at risk.

For example I had 10-2 on the big blind and there were 4 limpers.  The flop came 10-7-3.  Pretty ragged.  I have top pair and I want to win it now.  The thought of going all in occurred to me, but I didn't want to risk all my chips since my kicker sucked.  I bet 400 into a pot of 600 I think.  Sure enough someone came over the top of me for 1000.  Now this pot has cost me 600, I have top pair, and I have to fold.

I was up and down for the whole hour I was there.  My last hand I still had just over 2000 in chips and was dealt 9-9 in late position.  UTG had raised the 300 blind another 300.  I thought that seemed kind of a weak raise so I didn't put him on a high pair.  Me and the raiser are about even in chips.   What to do?  I could call and get squashed if any over card hits on the flop.  I could fold because 99 is just a medium pair.  Or I could play aggressive and raise and hope to win the hand before the flop or hope the 99 hold up if he calls.  Since the blinds were expensive and I needed to double up, I went all in.  He turned over AK.  So my read was right and of course the flop had an Ace and I didn't hit my set.  Buh Bye.

The only time I have done really well in these tournaments was the first time when I just played supertight, didn't steal any blinds, and got a big hand early and tripled up.  Maybe next time I will play it that way and only steal on the button and just off the button.

Monday, July 19, 2004

Tucson Golf Bender Bash

It was time for the 5th annual Tucson Golf Bender Bash last weekend.  What was once a small weekend get away for 8 people has turned into a 36 person drunken party.  I was excited to play Vistoso just outside of Tucson and I was excited to play poker against some of my buddies.
We hadn't had a home game in quite a while so I thought we would have  a lot of interest.  Unfortunately I don't understand how these guys have no problem playing 3-6 at the indian casinos but then want to play 1-2 with each other.  What are they afraid of?
Anyways when it came to poker I did very well.  I won $14 the first night at 1-2 and then $60 when we moved it up to 2-4 the second night. 

It will be interesting if I ever get to the point where I play against the same guys often enough to know my game.  My friends all see me as a very tight player who only plays good cards.  They are all wary every time I am in the pot.  Sometimes I use this to my advantage, but one of these days it will be fun to just play wild and loose in the small stakes game just to throw them off.

Thursday, July 15, 2004

Tournament on 7-14-04

My schedule was a little tight as I need to find a way to pick up my dog Penny from the vet after her surgery. So I went to casino at 3:00 PM and hopped on an open 3-6 table to kill some time for an hour. They didn't start selling entries into the 7:00 PM tournament until 4:00 PM.

Again I went on another mad rush and won the first 3 hands I was dealt and I think 5 of the first 8. I quickly doubled my $100 buy in. I even flopped a nut flush one time and let another guy do all the betting for me, until I raised him on the river. Any ways I ended up $138 at 4:00 PM and went and used my profits to buy my tournament entry.

I ran over to Banfield and picked up Penny. Poor girl, she looked like the bride of Frankenstein with a 3 inch scar on her forehead and all the fur shaved off her forehead as well. As I was putting her in the truck, I blew out my slacks in the back so I guess it's time to go shopping for some new work slacks.

I barely got back to the casino for the start at 7:00 PM. I think I missed one or two hands. My immediate concern was to calm down and try to gauge the atmosphere at the table. I didn't see a lot of good players at the table, but I did see some calling stations so I knew that bluffing was probably not a good idea. Sure enough I saw someone go all in with K-2o on a pure bluff and get called by someone else with a mediocre hand. Before I knew it, 2 players had busted out before the blinds had even got to me.

I won a couple of hands early and I think I was up to $2400-$2600 when they broke up our table.

The next table was definitely tougher. I could not get any decent cards to start with. I wanted to focus on stealing at least one blind per rotation but I didn't want to bet 3 times the big blind when it moved up to 100 or 200 without at least the possibility of making a hand if I am called. The times I had the hand to steal, someone was in the pot before me. The times it was folded to me on the button, I had to fold because the player on my left seemed pretty good and not afraid to defend his blind. So I was trying to wait for a good hand and was getting blinded off.

One hand I remember was that I had AK and raised all in preflop to try and take the blinds and a someone who had just made a standard raise. He called and also turned up AK. So all we did was split the blinds.

Another time, I had AQ of diamonds and as I was getting ready to raise and hopefully double up, the girl on my right made a big bet. It would have put me all in and I still had enough of a stack to wait. I dropped an f-bomb while I thought about it. I folded, and another guy who had put in a decent bet folded. He had AK and she claims she had KK. Good laydown.

Finally I put my last $900 in with A-10 and got called twice. One guy had 99 and the girl had KQ and was all in as well. Well a King hit on the turn and I was done.

I think I was around 70th place. I feel like I played well but I just didn't have anything to work with. I feel like I may have wimped out on trying to bluff out some blinds, but there was a better than average chance that they would have called since there really seemed to be a lot of calling stations. I can't feel too bad though because I won my entry fee again. As long as I keep doing that I am sure I will show a profit before the year ends.

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

3 Table Tourney on Party Poker

I have to say I think these new tournaments are a great addition to Party Poker. They only take about 90 minutes if you make to the final table and the payouts are pretty good if you finish in the top 5.

Last night I played a $30 buy in. For some strange reason my table was pretty stupid as one player went all in on the first hand and busted out. Then about 6 hands later, another player did the same thing. I managed to get over $2000 in tournament chips before the blinds went up from 15-30 so after that I pretty much just picked my spots.

Once we got down the final table I was second or third in chips with about $4,000 but the chip leader had over $10,000. He must have been a one man wrecking crew on the other tables.

I was doing fine until I tried to steal a couple of times by overplaying hands that were normally a call. I figure if I can raise and get the blinds, that's good. If I get called, maybe the flop hits me and I can make a lot of money. If the flop misses, I may make a stab at it anyway. Anyway these moves cost me 1/2 my stack so now I had to play defense and hope the other smaller stacks knocked themselves out. And that's exactly what they did.

I really learned last night that it pays to be patient with the short stack when you are close to the money. There's always a chance that a big stack could wake up with AA and get busted out by someone who calls with a straight or flush draw and hits it. Obviously if I was dealt a good hand and I was first in the pot, I would move all in trying to double up.

In fact I was down to about $900 with the blinds at 200-400 when on the button I was dealt AA. The chip leader called the blind in front of me. I moved all in, and then the small blind who was one of the bigger stacks moved all in. The chip leader called him. Naturally I am esctatic because now I have a chance to triple up.

We turn over the cards, and the chip leader had KK and the small blind had JJ. What are the chances of that I wonder? Anyway, I tripled up, the small blind busted out, and the chip leader padded his lead nicely. The best part is, that elimination put me in the money and now I had a little breathing room on the blinds.

I got no help the rest of the way and ended up in thrid place and winning $140. Not a bad's night work. I really feel like I am ready to make a good run at one of the live tournaments.

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Taking a stab at 6-12

I sat down at a 6-12 table for the first time in a long time at Casino Arizona. I was a little nervous. Not so much from the higher stakes but looking like a fool because it was the first time playing with $2 chips instead of $1 chips. Once I convinced myself it was just like 3-6 poker with blue chips, my brain figured it out.

A couple of things I noticed. First table image is becoming more important against the better players. I won a couple of pots by being aggressive knowing that the other players thought I only raised with the nuts.

Second, these players seemed to play a lot of under pairs through the flop and turn. I don't know if they had a tell on their opponets or were just trying to mix up their play. It sure seemed that if you held out for good cards and only played top pair you could make some decent money from that table.

I did well and won $200 last night, but it easily could have been $300. Both times I won big pots, I gave 1/2 my profits away in the next couple of hands by playing stupid. The last one really irked me.

I was dealt k-6 of spades on the button. No raises preflop and 5 players to the flop. The flop is K-7-8. Its checked a couple of times and a middle position bets. No other callers so I raise him, hoping to scare him out of the pot with this bet or one on the turn. At this point I put him on a medium K. He calls and 4th street is a 4 of diamonds. He checks, I bet and he calls. Now I am rooting for a 5 so I can get the straight. Bang the 5 of diamonds comes. Hooray! Except now he bets into me. Huh? Still not thinking I raise. He visibly thinks about it for a minute. I can see him going through the hand in his mind and remembering the bets. I think he's going to fold, but then he musters up the courage and calls my bet. I happily call out straight. He then turns over his k-10 of diamonds for a flush. What? I forgot to check for the flush on the board and sure enough there it was, runner, runner. I haven't made that mistake for a while.

Oh well, the $200 was a nice session and it made up for the losing one I had on the internet over the weekend.

My total gambling stake between cash in the house and online is now over $2400. So according to the experts that means I have the proper bankroll to play 4-8 since I have 300 times the big bet.

Monday, July 12, 2004

One Table Sit n Go's

I didn't have time to get to the brick and mortar casinos over the weekend so I concentrated on the internet and Party Poker. I was down close to $200 over the weekend so I guess the big winning streak is over. My main loss was playing 5-10 online. I played well, I just lost a couple of big hands on the river and could not recover.

Mostly I played the one table sit n gos. I wanted to play the 3 table sit-n-gos but for some reason Party Poker was not running them.

My main strategy in the sit & gos was blind stealing. I wanted to try and steal 1-2 blinds per rotation. I would wait until I was the first one in the pot and I would usually raise 3 times the big blind. I was surprised how well it worked. It seemed like 1/2 the time I won the blinds without a fight, 25% I would have to lead out on the flop after someone called me and then I would win. The other 25%, someone would come over the top of me and I would fold or the would stay in the hand after a flop bet and I would have to hope to get lucky. I noticed it was especially effective if I won a big hand early and was the chip leader.

Naturally as the blinds went up, I would have to change gears and get a little more conservative, as one bad mistake and you were basically crippled. I still haven't had the guts to try the all in bet after a couple of limpers. I saw that a few times and it is effective, but it only has to not work one time for you to be knocked out.

My first two tournaments on the weekend were frustrating because I was doing very well, until I would put someone all in and they would catch the flush or straight on the river. After I got that out of the way, I pretty much finished in the money in the next few and won my last one. I got lucky in the last one heads up when I went all in the steal the blinds and he called. I only had A-2 and he had K-Q. Somehow the board gave me the straight on the river against his two pair. I almost felt bad about it. Oh well.

Friday, July 09, 2004

The luck continues

I played 4-8 at Casino Arizona last night for about 4 hours. I am waiting for the cards to turn on me because they have been ridiculously good for the last 2 weeks. I even put my name on the 6-12 list when I got there but they called me for 4-8 first so I settled into my comfort zone.

Sure enough my cards sucked and when I did get something good like A-Q I would raise, and the flop would miss me entirely. I was proud of myself for not getting too frustrated and I stayed patient even though I had to dig twice and ended up having $300 in play.

Suddenly the tide began to turn. I was dealt pocket Aces a couple of times and they held up. Then pocket 9's which turned into a set. Then I had J-4 on the big blind and flopped two pair. What I couldn't believe was the woman to my left who raised me twice. I was hoping she didn't have a set, and I was right it was just 5s and 4s for two pair. Suddenly I was up $37 for the evening after being down $240. The game was broken up and suddenly the players got tired of losing money. Unfortunately the called our table for a splash pot right after we broke up so we lost the chance for that.

Last night was a good example of one of the things I am struggling to learn about this game. One of the books I read says that all of your poker is just one big session. There should never be win goals or loss limits when you play. For the most part I agree with that statement. I used to base my sessions on how bad the other players were at my table. Win or lose, if the players at my table were really bad, I wanted to keep playing because I figured the cards would turn for me eventually. This got me in trouble once when I went on a big winning streak early and I thought I might be able to bust out the whole table. Unfortunately, my cards started to go cold, combined with a couple of bad beats. I went from $300 up to $200 down over 4 hours as I waited for the tide to turn. Now my theory is that I will ride the winning streak as long as the cards remain good. If I start to get bored and/or my starting cards go bad, I will just get up and walk away if I am way up.

If I am going bad, I will usually put a time limit on my self where I will tell my self that I will play for one more hour and if it doesn't change, I'll leave. Thankfully I tend to win more than I lose so I don't face the real tough decisions too often.

Thursday, July 08, 2004

Initial Post

I am venturing into the new world of internet blogs. Please forgive me if I screw up any protocol that I am supposed to follow. I know not what I do.

I am starting this blog to document my quest to win a poker tournament at the local indian casino and eventually get good enough to enter the World Series of Poker.

I started playing poker a few years ago when the first Indian casinos opened here. I started with 1-4 7 card stud and was immediately hooked. Back when all my friends were single we started going 3 or 4 times a week. We used to jokingly wonder if we had a gambling problem. "It's not a problem if I'm winning, right?" Looking back, I 'm amazed I did as well as I did because I really knew nothing about strategy other than don't start with anything worse than a pair of Jacks or 3 to a straight or flush. Well eventually we got bored and I gave it up for a couple of years.

Then Rounders came out and got me interested all over again. I had never played Texas Hold'em but I wanted to learn. So I bought some cheap software and learned the basics. Then the WPT and the WSOP on ESPN became red hot and saw the ads on the shows for Party Poker. Com. I have always had some form on gambling account on the internet so I am one of the folks that actually trusts most of the gaming sites. I figured that since they could afford to advertise on a major tv show that they must be legitimate. I deposited $100 and started playing $.50 - $1.00 limit hold'em.

I have been moderately successful playing online. I have been profitable at every level and now usually play $2-$4. Once I got hooked, I read a bunch of books on poker and figured out the most successful strategy there is on online poker. Play tight, don't chase, and respect most raises. The number one weakness I have seen with my opponets is a lack of patience. They just cannot sit there and fold 20 hands in a row if they don't get the cards. They want the action. Eventually I want to build up my bankroll to play $5-$10 and average $20 an hour in profits. I have just over $500 in my online account right now and $1,700 in my cash stake at home. The rule of thumb seems to be 300 Big Bets for the size of a bankroll for the game you want to play. So I guess I am almost there.

Starting 14 days ago I started an amazing run. I played in a poker tournament organized by one of my friends at his house. The buy in was $120 with unlimited rebuys for the first hour for $100. There were very few good players in the group so I felt pretty confident. By the break I had tripled up and was in the top 5 of chip leaders. I added on for another $100 and ended up at the final table. I eventually got down to the final 4. My friend Allan was also there as well as two other guys that I had just met that night. I was convinced that Allan was the only other one of the final four that knew what he was doing. Allan was getting down in chips and I figured that he might start trying to steal the blinds when he was in position. Sure enough, a few hands later he moved all in from the button. I was on the big blind and to call would have been about 1/2 my stack. Since I knew I was already getting my money back in prize money plus it was getting late, I called. I seriously thought he was trying to steal. I turn over 4-5 suited and he has A-J. Oops! But I got lucky and hit a 4 on the flop and a 5 on the turn. I should have just been patient but I got stupid when one of the other players moved all in. I had A-J and called. He had KK. I got no help and came in 3rd. $500 was the prize so I netted $280.

The next morning I played my friend Billy in golf for the $75 I owed him on bets from the US Open. Billy used to be a few shots better than me but over the last 3 years I have been practicing hard and he spends most of his time working or taking care of his two kids. This year I have been just killing him on our golf bets. Now we are both 8 handicaps. We both shot 37 on the front nine and started slipping on the back. Well I bogey 17 to fall one shot back going into 18. The previous week, Billy had choked on 18 when he had a short pitch over a bunker to the green which he layed sod over and stubbed it into the bunker. This time he gets on the tee and announces, "I am not going to choke on 18 like I did last time". We both manage to get our balls in the fairway. Then Billy sends his approach shot dead right into the desert. The door is now open. I hit a mediocre shot that lands 10 yards short of the green but at least it's in play. Billy eventually makes double bogey and I have 15 feet left for par. I stroke the putt and it's good the whole way. Bang! Another $75 taken from Billy who I have taken to calling ATM. He always gives me money whenever I need it.

Then it was on to Vegas for my brother's bachelor party. Two days and nights at the Palms. It was the first time ever I have gone to Vegas and not had at least one losing session. I played poker, blackjack, and craps and won every single time. I finished up $450 for the weekend.

Then the best night was last Tuesday when I went to the indian casino. I sat down at the $4-$8 table and won my first 2 hands, so now it's a kill pot. That means the stakes double to $8 - $16 and I have to post $8. I am on the button also so I get dealt JJ. Amazingly it's raised twice before it gets to me. Normally I would 3 bet it but I wanted to see a flop. The flop comes J-10-2. Whoopee! There's a bet, then a raise before it gets to me, so I raise, and the initial better raises again all in. Everyone calls. From there they all check to me and I bet and get called on the Turn and the River. Nothing higher than a 10 came on the turn or river. I had the nuts the whole way through. The pot was over $300 when it was over. I continued the great run and took away over $700 in profit in one night of $4-$8. That's like winning the lottery. A great night at 4-8 is winning $100.

So then I decided it was time to start entering the $130 buy in tournaments at the indian casino close to where I work. I have quickly discovered that players in these tournaments are much better than the players in the 4-8 games. I have made the top 50 out of 150 in the last two I have entered. I am still trying to figure out the proper strategies for no limit versus limit. I will write down my thoughts as I go and see if I can figure it out.