Wednesday, March 26, 2008

There are still fish in the sea

This moron had pushed all in preflop a couple of times in the 10-15 hands I had been at the table already. Luckily I picked up Aces at the right time. Instead of isolating, I figured I might throw a little chum in the water and see if someone wanted to try and push me out of the hand.

What do you know? Sometimes a plan works perfectly.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Charity Poker and 5-150 at Casino AZ

My friend Jeff held another charity poker tournament called Aces and Bases last night. The entry fee to this one was a little more reasonable than his Super Bowl week party as this one was only $125. I tried to have my friends over for a tournament at my house, but I could only get 3 other guys. So I canceled my party and played in Jeff''s event instead.

Jeff had been messaging and calling me, trying to get me to play. He had a tough time rounding up a lot of players and offered to put me at the same table as Kim, who won the Super Bowl tournament. Kim is a very attractive woman, who does title work. I know her through Bill and Rob and amazingly she has won two of the charity tournaments that Jeff has put together.

When Kim won the Super Bowl poker tournament, she won a $10,000 seat in the World Series of Poker. I offered to buy it from her for $8,000, but she has not figured out a way to sell it yet. After watching her play, she better find a way, or that money is as good as gone.

Kim relies on a lot of luck to get by in these tournaments. She plays a very typical charity tournament type of game. Call with any 2 cards before the flop. If you hit something and the bets are not big, then call it down to the end. If you miss, but have over cards, call it down until you hit something.

I was two seats to her left and it was a weird coincidence that the few times I picked up hands, I was under the gun plus 1 which put the big blind on Kim. I bluffed her out of one pot with As6s when the flop came 3s-4s-5c. I pushed all in for a little more than the pot and got the guy on my left to fold a weak five and Kim to fold as well.

I busted Kim for the first time, when I picked up pocket Jacks on my big blind. A couple guys limped as did Kim, I pushed all in. One guy called with Ace-King and Kim called with pocket 3's. Somehow my hand held up and tripled up.

A short time later, Reggie Sanders, the ex Diamondback baseball player, was moved to our table. He barely had enough to pay the blind. He was in the small blind and I was the big blind. Everyone folded to Reggie who was all in. I got a slight refund on my Big Blind and turned over Qc3c. Reggie had A-3. I hit my flush on the river to bust him.

Overall there were 50-60 players at the start. I busted out in 12th place when my AhTh got beat by K-9 when a nine spiked on the river. I'm not sure how I lasted this long with the blinds doubling every 15 minutes for the first 4 levels and every 10 minutes after that.

I'm pretty sure I am done playing in charity tournaments. I know that I should not take the poker so seriously, but I'm not wired that way. It annoys me when I see players not follow the buy in rules. Many players at my table were allowed to rebuy after the deadline had passed. And not only were they allowed to rebuy, but they finagled a way to buy 2 to 3 times the original starting stack. Theoretically I could have rebought for $5 twenty times until I was one of the last remaining four players and won a prize. This drives me up the wall.

After my exit, I decided to hit Casino Arizona. On the way there, I decided to take another shot at the 5-150 game since it was a Saturday night and I might run into a few donkeys at my table. The stakes of this game are larger than I should be playing with my bankroll rules, but I felt like taking a stab at it.

When I arrived the entire parking lot was full and I had to park in an auxiliary lot down the road. The poker room was packed with lists running for every game. The poker boom is not showing any signs of slowing down here in Arizona. Luckily the list was not too long for 5-150 since they had about 10 tables of it running.

I decided to buy in for $300 and that was my loss limit. One bullet only. I came in at utg + 1 and folded my first hand. My second hand utg was AdKd. I did not even have my chips yet from the runner. I signaled to the dealer that my bet was $25. A young blond haired kid who had just lost the last hand when the drunk on my left hit his flush with Qc3c, called my bet. Everyone else folded. The flop was a beautiful 7d-Qd-8d. Yahtzee!!!

I bet $30 to build a bigger pot, hoping he had at least flopped a pair. He called. The turn was a blank. I go for my Academy Award and act weak. I sigh and check. Now it looks like I am on the draw and since he just got beat by the flush on the last hand, he is sure to make me pay to draw on this one. He bets $65 and I think for a little bit then call.

The river is the 10 of diamonds. Not exactly the card I want since it will probably kill my action. I decide not to risk him checking through, so I bet $75. He whines and moans as he throws away his pocket 10's. Even with that card to give him trips, I think he was too gun shy to fire a bet on the river into a board with 4 diamonds.

I am off and running with a $125 profit on my second hand. I fold for the next 20 minutes when I pick up two black Queens in the cutoff. I open raise to $25 and the drunk on my left (the Qc3c guy from earlier) calls. The flop is Kc-Qh-9c.

Since "Shrek" on my left has been calling big bets a lot, I decide that I need to be ready to put everything in on this hand. I bet $40 and he raises me the $150 max. That only leaves him with $35 and it's $190 to call. I immediately reraise all in, hoping that he did not luck into a straight. Shrek calls and tables A-K. The turn and river do not give Shrek any hope and I win another huge pot!

I won two other small pots and called it a night after two hours of playing. My net profit was $407. Definitely one of my better nights in that casino and it has been long over due. The poker bankroll is over $2,200 now and climbing steadily.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Proper Bluffing Frequency

I suddenly had a thought while playing No Limit online a few days ago. Is it worth it to run naked bluffs when playing low limits?

I don't do it very often. I make frequent semi bluffs with straight and flush draws, but rarely do I raise someone with air.

You bluff for two reasons. 1) To win the pot and 2) To build a bluffing image so you get paid off with your good hands.

I was playing a weird session where every bluff I ran was called or raised. I would lose a little here and there until half my buy in was gone. Then I would pick up Aces or Kings and manage to get it all in preflop or on the flop and double back up to even. It was hard to tell if I was getting the action because of my bluffing, but that is what it felt like.

The problem with bluffing online is that the only one who notices that you bluffed is the player who is in the pot with you. Even then, they may not see the hand if you are set up on auto muck. They have to go through the effort of looking up the hand history. The other players at the table probably are not even paying attention. They either have 4 other tables open or they are watching internet porn in another window.

I think once you get to the higher limits, you run into the same players more often and it may make sense from a meta strategy sense. At the limits I play at, I'm lucky if I run into a player I have notes on, once every three or four sessions.

My favorite move is when some donkey runs a crazy bluff at the table and loses all their money. Then instead of reloading and using their well established goof ball image against us, they run away from the table like a dog that just got caught shitting on the rug. It makes absolutely no sense.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Jake is Walking, Weird Tournament

Here is a video I made of my son learning to walk.

I played in the Mookie as part of the BBT3. It was strange in that for the first 10 levels I only saw the river once and that was a small blind vs big blind where I called a flop bet and checked it down.

Other than that hand, everyone folded to me preflop or after a continuation bet on the flop. It was a slow and steady climb in chips, but it's never fast enough to keep up with the blinds unless you double up a couple of times.

I finished 20th out of 105 which was two from the money. No money but I think I got a couple of points for the leaderboard. If I had just won a couple of races with Ace-King I might have done something really good.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Live Blogging the "Big Game"

Tonight is the first in the BBT series where Full Tilt is giving away some World Series of Poker seats to the Tournament of Champions winners. The only way you get into the TOC is to win one of the Blogger Series of Tournaments.

I spent $25 of my last $32 on Full Tilt to satellite into the $75 Big Game. The $75 token 2 table satellite paid 6 places and 7th would receive $54. I must say it was some of the worst bubble play in a satellite that I have ever seen. I saw two different guys with 20 BB stacks go all in with flush draws on the bubble. Idiots!

Tonight I will try to live blog my tournament and see if anything interesting comes of it.

Opening table starting to my left: Dr.Pauly, weak_player, garthmeister, Maudie, LAprivileges, Schaubs, scurvydog.

I start with $5,000 in chips and the blinds are 15-30 and go up every ten minutes. 105 players to start. First place is $1,956.

JJ and I raise to 90. Everyone folds.

AhKc in BB. LAprivileges limps on cutoff and scurvy dog limps in sb. I raise to 120. Both call. Flop is A-K-J with two diamonds. I bet 360 and they both fold.

I always wonder in these tournaments if I need to be more tricky because the bloggers supposedly know poker. I guess we'll find out.

Blinds 20-40. LAprivileges raises to 140 utg, gets called by Schaubs. I fold ATo.

KcJh in BB. weak_player raises to 120, garthmeister reraises to 400. Everyone folds including me.

Blinds 25-50

AsAd on button. LAprivileges limps first in, I raise to 150 on button. Blinds fold, it's heads up. Flop is 2-2-9 with two spades. I'm pretty sure that missed LA so I only bet 250 into 325 pot. He folds. I think it's right to bet here. If he has a pair that he was trying to slow play before the flop, I may get all his chips if he is incapable of folding an over pair. Plus there was a flush draw possible. Can't let'em draw for free.

Garthmeister is early chip leader at table with 7400 in chips. Claims are made that deck is hitting him hard. I don't know, I can't think of a single hand that has been played to river yet.

Dr. Pauly drops the hammer from the big blind. First hand anyone has shown.

The scurvy dog raises first in. I call with KhQh in cutoff. Everyone else folds. Flop is Qd5c6d. scurvy bets pot of 425 and I call with top pair. Turn is another club and he bets pot again. I min raise and he calls. River is 4 of diamonds putting one card to straight out there. He checks and I check behind. He shows Ac8c and I rake in a monster.

Two hands later I pick up Aces again and raise to 150. I get called by Pauly and garthmeister. The flop is As-Jh-7c. I bet and everyone folds. Damn! I am up to 8800. I am chip leader for the entire tournament, even ahead of professional player, Scott Fischman.

Blinds up to 30-60.

AhKd and I raise to 180. Garthmesiter calls in cutoff. Flop is 3-4-5 with two diamonds. I check. Garth bets 300 and I call. Turn is 8d. I bet 500 and Garthmeister folds. Stack up to 9420.

Blinds 40-80.

5c4c and I decide to get frisky. I raise first in to 240. Maudie calls in BB. Flop 4-7-3 two spades. I cont bet and she folds.

Next hand is KJo. I raise and everyone folds.

QQ under the gun. I limp and LA privileges limps on button. Both blinds call.

Flop is Js6s9d. Schaubs leads out from the small blind for 320. I call. Turn is another Jack. Schaubs bets 720 and I min raise to 1440. He calls. River pairs the 6. He checks and I check behind to see his J-8. Stupid fucking move on my part limping with the Queens.

I call Schaubs raise in cutoff with Ad8d. Fold to his cont bet on flop.

Blinds 50-100 now and I have 7,660 in chips.

JhJs utg plus one. I raise to 300 and get called by garth and Maudie. Flop is AcTh3c. I continuation bet for 500 and get called twice. I'm done with hand. Turn is a club. I check and they check behind. River is 4th club. I decide to take a stab at it for 1000. garthmeister raises to 3000 and I fold quickly.

Down to 5,860. I've fucked up some good hands. Time to lock it down for a little while.

J9o on button. I limp behind LAprivileges. Flop misses and LA bets, I fold.

ATo late position. I raise and win the blinds.

The first break and there are 96 players remaining out of 105. Chip leader is currently Columbo with 24,980. I have 5760 which is just above the average.

Blinds are now 60-120.

KhQs early and I raise to 360. Garth calls. Flop is 2-9-7 rainbow. Turn is Qh. I bet 1500 and garth requests time and then folds. I am up to 6900. He claims to have hit the flop of 2-9-7 rainbow. So that means he will call raises with low suited connectors preflop. But they just moved him to another table so I guess I'll file that away for later.

KsQs utg plus one. I raise to 360. Everyone folds to blinds who both call. Flop is 2dAc3h. Checked to me. I check behind. Turn is 8c. They both check again and I bet 500 to try and take down orphan pot. It works and they both fold. I am up to 7,320.

Blinds 80-160.

I am moved to new table. Starting to my left: Bone_Daddy84, cmitch, RNallin, on_thg, a104l9, Roberto55, garthmeister, and wwonka69.

First hand at new table I get KsKc. I raise to 480 and get no callers. I have 7,560 and am 4th in chips at my table. I have position on wwonka69 and garth but Bone_Daddy is on my left.

I thought Garthmeister was going to double up with a set of 8's versus top pair, Jack kicker by Roberto, but Roberto hit runner, runner for a straight to take Garth down to 4500. Roberto now has 11,500.

Blinds 100-200.

Pocket 5's in BB. Early position raise by cmitch to 500. I call. Flop is 4h3cJd. I think about leading out, but chicken out. cmitch bets 700 and I fold.

6860 in chips now.

Blinds 120-240 ante 25. Garthmeister was moved from our table again. No replacement.

Shabazz Jenkins has joined us two to my right with 9100 in chips.

8hTh on button. I raise to 700 and steal blinds.

Blinds 150-300 25 ante.

KQo in middle position. I raise to 900 and win blinds and antes.

I have had this hand a ton tonight. 7,340 in chips.

Table seems pretty tight. I try raising KhJd utg to 750. I get called by on_thg. He calls 1/4 of his stack so it smells like a trap. However I flop a King and go all in hoping it's not AA or KK. He takes forever and finally calls with QQ. I win the pot and am now up to 11,335.

Remember now the table has seen me raise utg with KJo.

New player is corron10 with 4938 in chips.

AdJc in cutoff. Roberto raises to 900. I call. Flop misses and I fold to his c-bet. I thought about reraising preflop, but seems a little crazy.

pvanharibo has joined the table with 6,334 in chips.

Js9h in middle I raise trying to steal blinds. It works.

200-400 with 50 ante.

10,935 in chips.

AcQd on button. pvanharibo raises to 1150 and has 4484 behind. I raise all in. He turns over AhKh and it holds up. Down to 4,501. Some song on my Itunes called "Cry Out To Jesus" is playing while this hand goes on. Since I am athiest, I don't suck out. I delete the song, I don't know how it got my computer.

JL514 joines our table with 10,775 in chips. My chips that I lost to pvanharibo go to RNallin when she sucks out with 9To vs Ace Jack and she hits three tens after an Ace flops.

Going to second break and I am blinded down to 3,551. Next level will be 250-500 with 50 ante. It's all in or fold time.

First hand back I have 10c7c in cutoff. cmitch is on button with 12,185, then RNallin has 5,000 and corron10 has 3600. This seems like a good spot, since 2 of 3 will risk their tournament life to call. I ship and RNallin wakes up with AK and IGHN. 59TH Place.