Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner!!!!!
Thursday, June 30, 2005
Wow. What a night.
First, I get in a 5 dollar re-buy tournament on Noble. 77 players start in this one and who ends up at the final table???? Jordan, from HighOnPoker and yours truly, GCox25. Now, I know it isn't huge money in these tournaments, but to me, money is money, brother. Jordan played great and ended up taking third place. I got knocked out in 5th and was disappointed at the time, but that would soon change. I didn't take any notes, but I did push back against Jordan tonight. Much better showing than the last time at a final table with him. He wore me out in Pauly's tournament 6 weeks ago. Great job Jordan, I thought we both played great.
Now, on to the real story. I entered the 20 dollar tournament on Noble right after getting knocked out of the first tournament. 64 players start and we are off and running.
I didn't take specific notes, but I have the totals at the breaks.
1st break-22 players left, I'm in 10th with 2250 chips.
2nd break-13 left-I'm in 7th.
Down to 5 players-I'm in 4th place and really need a hand to push with. A-7 Diamonds-woo hoo, double up.
Last break-4 left, I'm in 4th.
Another player mentions that the chip leader will probably end up in 4th place. I disagree completely with him, but little did I know how close to correct he would be. I double up on the first hand out of the break and the other person goes out shortly after that. Now comes the hand of destiny(or pure bullshit luck, whichever you prefer, I prefer destiny). I pick up Q-Q on the button and raise it up. Big blind calls and the flop is A-K-9 with two clubs. One of my Queens is a club. He checks and I throw out a 6000 chip bet. Smooth call, damnit. Turn is another Ace. He checks again and I am in the tank........and finally decide to push. I was pot committed anyway, as was he. He turns over K-4 offsuit. Damnit, I only have two outs and what is the river???? Of course, it is a lovely triplet of my beautiful Hilton sisters. Woo Hooo!!!
Heads up went about 20 hands and changed leads probably 4 times during that run. I finally get K-Q in the big blind and call a raise. Flop is K-Q-4, all spades. The spades scared me a bit, but I pushed over his bet and he calls with Q-10, no spades and I win!!!! $384.00 for my little 20 dollar buy-in. If you don't have Noble downloaded yet, use my link to Poker Source Online, referral code GCox25, and sign up. They have great bonuses and the site is wonderful. Or, if you want to sign up for Ultimate Bet, TripJax, you can do that also.
Jordan, thanks for the luck you sent my way and great playing tonight. That was way cool in my books, being at the final table with you. And....yes, I am a cowboy, baby, with the top laid back and the sunshine shining.
Talk to you all later.
posted by GaryC @ 10:43 PM, ,
I am completely snowed under at work today, so this will have to be quick.
I played in 6 SNG's last night and had two 2nd places and two bubbles. I really need to work on finishing the job when it gets down to 4 handed. I am patient and bide my time, but it seems like I am always picking up 2nd best hand in this situation.
I also played the $20 tournament at Noble last night with very good results. I placed 4th out of 65 entries for a $130 prize. I was severely short-stacked at the final table but picked up 8-8, 2-2, J-J and A-10 back to back to back to back. I double up twice and don't get called when I push on the last two hands. That allowed me to last to 4th. Ended up all in with A-J against chipleader's K-Q. King on the turn sealed my fate.
I had a tourney recap from last night, but I don't have time to post it today. I also wrote up some stuff yesterday on the value of changing up your betting patterns on one table SNG's. That will have to wait for another day.
Edit****Maybe I will save that post until after the SNG challenge.
If anyone is interested in joining the SNG challenge, go to HighOnPoker for the deteails.
posted by GaryC @ 11:55 AM, ,
Same Old, Same Old...
Wednesday, June 29, 2005
I got to play some more Poker last night. I had to mow the yard when I got off work, so I got a little bit of a late start. I played three more SNG's on UB last night with unexpected results in all. I bubbled out of two of them in 4th place when it appeared I had the money in the bag. "Soul-crushing" is the term I would use in both instances. I need to remember that, at the levels I play (5's and 10's), you cannot price somebody out of a pot. I got AA's cracked on a river flush and KK's cracked on a river straight. How they could justify the call, I do not know. In the other SNG, we got down to heads up and were pretty even in chips and the player that I was up against suggested a chop. I was a bit surprised as this had never happened to me on-line before. I've always been one to chop the money in live tournaments (combined prize money is always better than 2nd alone) and I agreed. He let me win and I transferred $10 to his account shortly after. He even came and found me on another table and thanked me. Axle Rose, if you happen to read this, it was fun playing with you. You are a good player, sir.
So that brings my two day total to 8 SNG's played. I've bubbled out of 3 in 4th place (maybe a little more patience is needed) and finished in the money in 3 of them. 1-1st place, 1-2nd place and 1 chop. I've invested 88.00 in tournament fees so far and my return has been $120.00. Could be better, could be worse.
I also played in the $5 + 1 Guaranteed $3000 with 852 other hopefuls. The following is my 1st attempt at a tourney recap. Note:I was well into my 2nd 12-pack, so there are no times listed. I could barely keep up with everything else.
1st Hour: Not a whole lot going on. I'm hardly playing anything for the first few orbits. Finally, in the 4th level, I pick up A-K of diamonds in small blind. Button pot-raises and I push all in for 1275. He insta-calls and I am a bit relieved to see A-K offsuit. I'm even more relieved when the flop reveals three beautiful diamonds. Double-up. One other hand I lay down Q-8 suited in LP and the flop is 8-8-6. Wouldn't have gotten any action anyway.
During the first hour, I was playing a ring game at Noble and this hand happened. 7-7 on the button and I limp in with 5 others. Flop is 7-7-A, with two spades. EP bets $1 and I raise it to $3 and get 2 callers. Turn is a blank (I'm begging for another Ace or a spade to hit the board) and they check to me. I bet $5 and the small blind is my only caller. Turn is a beautiful spade and the small blind bets $5. I put him all in for $12 more and he calls in a heartbeat. Nice $50 dollar pot while I'm playing my MTT at UltimateBet.
1st break-down to 392 players. I am in 139th place with 3625 chips. Average is 3260.
Wow! A-K suited in the big blind, LP raises to 500 and I put him all in over the top. EP folds what he says later was 5-5 and LP calls instantly.....with Q-6 off-suit. Apparently, he had to go to bed. I double up easily with a K on the flop. Of course, EP wears me out about his set that would have hit. (247 left-I'm in 97th)
100-200 blinds. Big double up with K-10 spades in late position. I raise it up and get one caller. Flop is 10-x-x with two spades. Checked to me and I lead out with a pot bet and the other guy pushes all in over the top. I make the crying call, figuring on a set, but he has J-10 and doesn't improve.
2nd Break. 122 players left, 90 make money. I am in 80th with 9090 chips.
1st hand after the break, I'm in the big blind with A-4 Diamonds and the flop is A-3-Q with two spades. I check, LP bets the pot and I raise him. He debates and finally calls. Oops. Turn is the 3rd spade on the board and I immediately move all in. Thank goodness he finally folds, but made me sweat. I'm sure I was behind in this hand, but I don't think he was very confident in his Ace. Quickly up to 13,000 chips. 112 left and I'm in 40th.
Action is fast and furious with the short stacks pushing left and right and on every turn.
What you are about to read next could be construed as a "Bad Beat Story." For that, I apologize in advance.
A-9 on the button, folded to me and I make a pot raise(love that new feature at UB and will be writing a post on some of my betting strategy soon). Small blind calls and the flop is A-A-x with 2 spades. He fires a min. bet and I raise him all in. He debates for the whole 15 seconds and finally calls, his entire stack, with the 3-6 of spades. Turn is harmless, but the river is, of course, the 7 of spades and I am down to 2500 chips.
I end up pushing with A-J suited and get knocked out a few hands later. Probably a little tilty play on my part. I just could not understand making that call for all his chips at that point in the tournament. He still had almost 9000 chips and a better than average chance to make the money. I wasn't playing for the Super-Size upgrade of just making the money anyway. I was playing to set myself up for a deep run into the money. Oh well, like they say, easy come, easy go. And, boy, am I easy.
I ended the night with some drunken Omaha 8B at Noble and won about $15. I do love that game.
It looks like Kipper, Jordan, DNasty and myself are in. If anyone else wants to join us, you are more than welcome. Check out HighOnPoker for the details in the coming days. Also, I've added a few new links and they are all well worth the time to read. I also have a referral code for Poker Source Online now. I just got verification that my free chips are on their way. Pretty cool thing, check it out.
**EDIT**SteelerJosh is in! We have 5 now and I have added him to my link list.
posted by GaryC @ 5:57 AM, ,
A Little Normalcy
Tuesday, June 28, 2005
Last night I got back to a little normalcy in my little poker world. I still ended up getting my AA's cracked twice to bounce out of tournaments, but for the most part, my good hands held up and I even managed a pretty good suck-out to make the money in a SNG.
I finished up my bonus at BoDog last night. I signed up through Poker Source Online, via DuggleBogey's blog. I am going to try and add a link to it later. It was pretty painless and only took me about a week to accumulate the 200 BoDog points to claim my chip set. I already have two chip sets (1000 each) but figured 300 more couldn't hurt. If you haven't set up an account through Poker Source Online, I would highly reccomend it, especially if you are thinking about signing up at any new on-line sites. They offer some pretty good promotions and I will probably be getting my own referal code in the future.
*Edit-I have added DuggleBogey's link to the right, so if you are interested in Poker Source Online, click on it and sign up with his referral code.
**Double Edit-I now have a referral code and a link for Poker Source Online on the right. The code is GCox25. Take a look at the site, it is really cool.
I got in some practice for the SNG challenge last night. Jordan, it sounds like there will be several contestants for your challenge. Let me know if I can help you put it together. Anyway, I played 5 $10 + 1 SNG tournaments on UltimateBet last night. 1-1st place, 1-2nd place, 1 bubble and out of 2 early. $55 dollars spent in entry fees - $80 return on investment. Not bad, but could have been alot better. The tourney I finished on the bubble, I was the chip leader with 4 left until I got my AA's cracked. Some genius decided 10-8 sooted was worth a 6x the big blind raise.
I actually ended the night with some Omaha 8B at Noble last night and I really like that game. As long as I am careful with my starting hands, it is a gold mine. If you happen to make the nuts AND they hold up, someone is always around to pay you off.(normally more than one person if the table is full) I finished the night up about 55 dollars. Not alot of money in the big picture, but after the weekend I had, I will take a good solid win.
Finally, I want to direct you to Maudie's Poker Perspectives and Poker with WillWonka. They both linked me up yesterday and I have added their links as well. Give them a read when you have a time, they are both well worth it. Read everybody else over there too. My links are starting to grow and I am pleased with that.
Have a good one.
posted by GaryC @ 5:55 AM, ,
If You Can't Find The Fish.......
Monday, June 27, 2005
...........then it must be you.
I spent the weekend searching for fish on all three sites that I play on. Ultimate Bet.....no fish. Noble Poker.....no fish. Bodog......no fish. Last night about 11:00 pm, it finally dawned on me that I was the fish!
I played 2nd best hard all weekend and lost. I got my money in with the best hand and lost. I drew to gut-shot straight draws and lost. In general, I played horrible poker and my bankroll paid the price......all weekend long.
I also went to our local Indian Casino (Lucky Star) and tried my hand at their brand of 3-6 No Fold Em, Limit Hold Em. Suffice it to say I ran through a buy-in there also. I saw some atrocious play, including one guy who showed down 7-3 off suit twice and won both hands. No, they weren't suited and no, he wasn't in the blinds. He racked up three buy-ins before he left.
Three hands in particular stand out. I have J-9 suited in the big blind and the flop is all spades. I flopped the flush and lead out. Small blind is the only caller. Turn is an innocent 7. Bet, call. River is the 2nd 9(pairing the board). Small blind checks to me and I check, sensing a problem. He rants about not getting to check-raise and turns over 7-9 off-suit for the full house.
Two rounds later, I am again in the big blind with K-9. Flop is K-K-4. I bet and again, only the small blind calls. Turn is a 6. I bet, he calls. River is a 7. He checks and again, I sense a problem and check also. Again, he (same guy) raises hell that he didn't get to check-raise me and turns over 3-5 for the rivered straight.
The last hand that I remember was the only hand that I remember winning. I am on the button and pick up J-10 suited and limp in with 8 others. Flop comes down J-10-x. Small blind bets, every other person at the table folds and I call. I've been lamenting the play with this guy for a couple of hours and when I call, he looks over and says something along the lines of "We must have the same hand." We checked it down and he turns over J-10 and we split about a thirty dollar pot. I just could not spit the lure out of my mouth all weekend.
Ugly, ugly weekend on the poker front. My wife is out of town until Wednesday night and my daughter left yesterday for summer camp, so I will be trying to get back on the good side of variance.
My overall review for the Indian Casino is a good one. I was impressed with the size and cleanliness of the poker room. The dealers were fairly knowledgable for a new room and the amount of traffic was good. I played on Friday night from 2 am until 6 am and they still had at least three full tables the entire time. The fish are abundant and I am sure the only person that didn't make any money that night was me. Next time.
Have a good week.
posted by GaryC @ 6:03 AM, ,
Friday, June 24, 2005
I don't know about everybody else, but I am thrilled that it is Friday. I have to do Karaoke tonight after work at the Elks Club in El Reno, but after that, my weekend is free and clear. In fact, my wife is leaving Saturday on a business trip and my daughter leaves Sunday for church camp. I think that will leave me enough time to play some serious poker for 4 or 5 days.
Last night reminded me of just how old I am.(6 months shy of 40) I agreed to go out and sub for my company softball team. They play doubleheaders every Thursday night. That is just ridiculous. It will take me three weeks to recover and be able to play again, so I am officially in retirement from any form of league softball. I will still play my two weekends a year with my buddies, but that will be it from now on.
I played poker for about two hours before I left last night. It appears that the SNG's on Bodog are pretty easy to beat. I played a 5 + .50 and managed a 2nd after being short-stacked with 6 to go. Then I turned around and played a 10 + 1 and came back for a win. I was outchipped 3-1 at the start of heads up, but a "brilliantly disguised flopped full house" (that means I checked it to him) got me over the hump. I am up a total of $100 on Bodog in 4 days so far. So far, I have played a little ring game NL and three SNG's, but have spent the most time playing pot limit Omaha 8B. There are some very aggressive players there, so if you catch some cards, you can make good money.
I want to send out a thank you to SirFWALGman for the shout-out and link. If you haven't read "Ramblings of a Mad Man" click on his link I added on the right and check it out. He is a very good read. I also want to say thanks to Jordan at HighOnPoker, Kipper, Drizztdj and Jason at TripJax.
Have a good weekend.
I also wanted to throw in a shout out to a blogger that I haven't contacted yet about linking, but I was so moved by his post yesterday that I thought it deserved mentioning. BG (aka Boy Genius at GamblingBlues) wrote a post yesterday about his grandfather's funeral. I added a link to his blog on the right. Trust me when I tell you it is an absolutely fabulous piece of writing. I aspire to be able to write something of that magnitude some time in my life. Warning though, if you have lost a close loved one, you will probably need some tissues.
posted by GaryC @ 6:04 AM, ,
Thursday, June 23, 2005
I read an interesting post at Nickle and Dimes (Drizztdj's blog) on Tuesday. In it he discusses what motivates us to play poker.(Click the link to the right and scan down to the post)
I thought about it for a good, long while and even though I agree with every other reason that Drizz lists, I always come back to money.
I am playing this game 4 or 5 hours a night, after work, as a means to make money. I am not grinding away at the .25/.50 NL table just so next month I can grind away at a .50/1.00 table. I have worked my way up to $800 total and then withdrawn $400 to help pay for my vacation earlier this year.
I then turned around and built it up to $1800. (granted, there was a lucky MTT win in there) It was then that I withdrew $1000 to help with some bills and to partially fund my "live" bankroll.
I am currently sitting at just under $800 and am trying to build it back up with the same thoughts of withdrawing a portion for whatever might come along.(surprises, bills, home projects etc)
Like Drizz, I have played sports all my life and I enjoy the competitive aspects that poker provides. I also enjoy the "problem-solving" aspect involved in this.(Math was always my best subject in school) All the reasons he talks about are part of why I play the game, but, make no mistake, I am in it to win it and I play for the money.
I played quite a bit last night and didn't make or lose a dime. Actually, I lost about $50 on UltimateBet entering tournaments that didn't pan out, but I won about $50 on BoDog, so I broke even for the night. Right now, the only real variance I have noticed isn't really variance. It seems as though I either book a solid win on all the sites, or I book a win on one site and lose only that much on the others, for a break-even night. I'm certainly not upset with breaking even, I just need to work on having more solid wins.
Thanks for listening and a special thanks to TripJax, at Poker In Arrears, who linked me up yesterday. I have added his link to the right, so go see him. He has an awesome design on his site.
*I also wanted to add, that while I don't know Spaceman or Charlie personally, I have been reading about them for a while now. Jason, my thoughts and prayers are with you as well as Iggy. Tragic, tragic news and I feel for both of you.
posted by GaryC @ 5:54 AM, ,
Live No Limit
Wednesday, June 22, 2005
I went to a live $1/$2 No Limit game last night. I got there, bought in for $100, played for 7 hours and left my $100 in somebody else's stack. I played two hands all night to the river and got my money in with the best of it both times. But, that old river. Damn that river.
First the table line-up:
3S-Me, weak-uber tight.
8S-LAG followed by Calling station.
Not exactly my dream line-up to play poker with, but there is a lot of money in this game and if I pick up the right cards, it can be very profitable. Needless to say, last night I picked up no cards.
Like I said, I played two hands ALL night! Here's the first one:
I am on the button and look down at 8-8. MP raises to 8 bucks and I smooth call, followed by a call from the big blind. ($25 in the pot)
Flop is 6-8-10 rainbow. Big blind checks and MP fires $5. I raise it to $10, which generally slows these guys down if they know I have a hand. Big blind immediately re-raises to $30. MP goes all in for an additional 8 dollars. At this point, I decide to smooth call and the big blind just calls also.($139 in pot and I have $18 left in front of me)
Turn is a 7. Big blind checks and I go all in for the rest of my $18 and the big blind calls to put $36 in a side pot.(Total is $175)
Cards are flipped up and MP has 6-6 for a set of sixes. I have my set of 8's and the big blind flips over K-10 for top pair. WTF???
So, at this point I'm pretty happy. All I have to dodge is the case 6 and I'm golden right? River is a 9 and suddenly everybody is sharing this pot. Unbelievable, live poker is so rigged.
The other hand I played was right at the end. I had about $40 in front of me and picked up A-8s and call the big blind in early position. The button is a notorious bluffer and he raises to $20 and all fold to me. I felt like I was good here and push for my last $20. He mumbles something about "pot odds" and "on a steal" and calls me. With Q-6 off-suit. Flop is x-x-8, with two diamonds. Turn Q. River 6. No diamonds. No flooosh for me and IGHN.
Suffice it to say, I will be happy to sweat my big hands holding up on Noble and UltimateBet tonight after work. I played for 7 hours live and the biggest pair I picked up were 8's and the biggest hand other than that was A-K off-suit, exactly once. I'm pretty sure that live poker is rigged.
Go read Jordan at High On Poker or Kipper in the links to the right. I appreciate the link-ups guys. Keep up the good work.
posted by GaryC @ 6:01 AM, ,
BoDog Part 2
Tuesday, June 21, 2005
Well, I got started on BoDog last night. I played for about three hours and the results were good. I ended up plus 19.oo dollars on mostly .10/.25 NL. I played a little PLOmaha 8b, but I prefer to play limit and there were no limit games going. Of course, the first pot I play costs me 5.00 dollars, because my nut low is not very good on a regular Omaha table. Damn new site, I signed up for a regular Omaha game, but I was playing low, and of course, low doesn't pay very well on a regular Omaha game.
I went through three hours of drawing great starting hands for Omaha 8b, but could not connect after the flop to save my life. I finished the night down 16.00 dollars total. I would have been in the black for the night, but I decided to play the $20 dollar tournament on Noble before I went to bed and flamed out about 30th or so.
It is so frustrating to go completely card dead after the break and end up all in with 8-8. Of course, I get called by Q-Q and A-K and I go to bed now. I was down to about three big blinds and they were coming around to me again, so I really didn't have much choice but to push. I can't even complain about the calls, because anyone in their right mind would have called there also. A-K guy took all the chips when an A hit on the flop and no 8 or Q came to help the short stacks.
I think maybe I need to loosen up my play in the first few orbits to try and pick up more pots early. I have been playing tight and not playing many hands and when you don't pick up many good hands, this is a recipe for an early exit.
BoDog appears to be like most of the other web-sites. The third hand I played, I picked up K-K and popped it up to $1.50 and got called. Flop was K-8-3, with two diamonds and I led out $4.00 and got called. Turn was a beautiful 8 of diamonds and I put him all-in (only 2.50 more) and he, of course, called it. He did have a K-9 with one diamond. Thanks alot buddy.
I have a question for any bloggers that might accidentally stop by here and read this blog. How do I politely go about getting other bloggers to link me up? I don't want to piss anybody off or hassle anyone, but I would like to link other bloggers (with their permission) and have them put a link to mine on their blog. If there is a standard way to go about this, I would appreciate somebody letting me know.
posted by GaryC @ 6:15 AM, ,
Monday, June 20, 2005
I was reading DuggleBogey's blog on Friday and decided to join Poker Source Online and get me some free chips. I signed up for the bonus at BoDog.com and will be depositing money in there tonight. If you've played this site and have any inside knowledge that might help me, I would appreciate it. It appears that the bonus will be pretty easy to work off, with the only problem being I will have to play a little higher limits than I am used to. I think I will start with the Omaha 8B tables as I have been cleaning up on them everywhere else.
I had a busy weekend that did not include alot of poker. We did karaoke shows friday and saturday night, so I only got to play for about an hour on friday and then for about 5 hours last night. I finished the weekend up about 75 dollars.
Here's a tip for you. Do not sign up for a tournament when you are too tired to complete it. I signed up for the nightly $20 tourney on Noble last night and knew I was ready to go to bed. 80 people signed up and when we are down to about 35, I decided to push with A-9 suited. Oh well, I guess I really was ready for bed. That was a complete waste of $22 dollars. Live and learn.
Have a good week.
posted by GaryC @ 6:29 AM, ,
Sunday, June 19, 2005
Happy Father's Day Dad.
I love you and miss you.
posted by GaryC @ 11:55 AM, ,
Big Softball Write-Up
Thursday, June 16, 2005
Warning:No poker content until the very end.
I play on a softball team with 11 of my closest friends in the world. I think our average age is almost 39 now, so softball has become a little less competitive than it used to be. We have truly become a band of brothers.
We've been playing together for 12 or 13 years now and the funny thing is that we only play 2 weekends a year. The team consists of players from Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, Missouri, Ohio and Florida. We meet in Topeka, KS every year on the weekend before Mother's Day and play a "tune-up" tournament. Then, the following weekend we all drive to Great Bend, KS for the "big" tournament. I use the word big, but it is big only to us. There are usually 10-12 teams and it is a round robin on Saturday and a seeded, single-elimination tournament on Sunday.
We've been lucky enough, or good enough, depending on who you talk to, to win the tournament 6 times together. We originally would drive into Great Bend on friday night, play on saturday and sunday and then drive back home. But after playing together for so long and developing the friendships that we have, we now take our vacations together and spend 10 days in the great state of Kansas.
Obviously, we all have very cool wives and girlfriends that allow our brand of "drunk, jackass softball" to go on every year on Mother's Day weekend. The weekend is complete after the final game when the picture-taking marathon begins. This usually lasts about 6-8 beers before the long drive home for everyone.
I'm not really going anywhere with this, it is just my own little shout-out to my buds and their wives. The greatest group of friends a guy can have.
Here they are, followed by their wives/girlfriends and then the kids:
no wife---Joe, Kelsey
Ivan--Big Al, Shorty
2B--Mike(He Ain't Flashy)
SS--Roger(The Burr Headed Freak)
Becky(Julie)--Asia, Aniah, Janae, Brant
SS--Lance(Hoop, too many others to list)
Deanna--Ashley, Tyler, Katelyn
Lynn-- Riley, Knic, Hayley, Carson
I just want all of you folks to know that I love you all like family. The 'stones are on me!
As far as poker, I played for a little while last night. UB Omaha O8 tables are a gold mine if you are getting cards. I bought in for $10 bucks and played for about an hour and cashed out $39.00. Of course, I turned around and blew the winnings on a bubble finish in SNG and $20 freeze-out. Oh well, even for the night, it could have been much worse.
Have a good weekend.
posted by GaryC @ 1:30 PM, ,
Wednesday, June 15, 2005
I haven't really ever sat down with a calculator and figured out exactly how much of a winning or losing player I am. So, I thought I would go over some of the numbers here.
About a year ago, I deposited $50 into Ultimate Bet and hit the ground running. I was playing mainly $5 + .50 SNG's then and I quickly ran my total up to $150.00. After the requisite bragging to everyone I knew about how good I was at poker and how easy these games seemed to be, I quickly went bust.
By this time, I was completely hooked and deposited another $50 into Ultimate Bet and $40 into Party Poker. ( I was now reading blogs daily and everyone said how easy it was to win money from the fish at Party) It was about this time that I discovered the only way to clear bonus money was to play in the ring games. I went on a very good rush and soon ran my total up to +/- $300.00.
I kept playing and began to withdraw $50 at a time to re-deposit into other sites, chasing the small bonuses that they offered.(Full Tilt, Pacific, etc.) Everywhere I went, at least at the micro-levels, the same fish were there for the catching.
A friend of mine then told me about Royal Vegas Poker and how much money he was making there on a regular basis. One night after work, I threw $20 into my account there (mainly to get the $10 free) and sat down at a cash table. After about an hour, I had tripled my buy-in to almost $60. I logged off to eat dinner with the family and when I returned, I had an e-mail from Royal Vegas informing me that I was eligible for a $1000 dollar free roll later that night. I logged on and it was starting in 10 minutes. I signed up for it and 4 hours later, I finished 2nd and had added another 210.00 dollars to my total there.
In May, I took my annual softball vacation (very long story-another day) and before I left I withdrew $400 from my on-line bankroll to pay for the trip. That left me with just over $300 on-line. When I returned from vacation, I went on another nice rush and soon had almost $900.00 in my on-line accounts.
Then came the biggest break. I won a $10 + 1 MTT with 380 people registered. That pay day was $920 and still my biggest to date. I recently withdrew 1000.00 dollars to help out with expenses around the house and to give me a bankroll for live play. (Oklahoma just recently passed a law allowing the Indian Casinos to spread Texas Hold Em) I am sitting at almost $700 right now on-line after a couple of tough days this week, but I know the variance will change direction and my big pairs will start holding up again soon.
I am not posting any of these numbers in an effort to brag or to make myself look better than anyone else. Shoot, I still learn something everyday reading all the bloggers' posts and I also still play at basically micro-limits. (The highest I play is .25/.50 NL) I only post it to say that I am a winning player over the long run, at least so far. I hope one day to make enough money to move up and play higher limits, but right now I need to withdraw some of my winnings to cover other expenses.
Poker went well last night. I made up for the losses from the previous two nights with a final table (fourth place) finish in a $20 freezeout on Noble and a win in a $10 + 1 SNG on Ultimate Bet. Since I have withdrawn a large portion of my on-line bankroll, I am limiting myself to playing these two sites, unless Party wants to throw $20 in my account again.
posted by GaryC @ 12:32 PM, ,
My kids absolutely crack me up sometimes.
My 9-year old daughter has had two pet frogs for about the last two years. About a month ago, she comes home from school and announces that she wants a guinea pig. Mrs. GCox25 and I agree that in order for her to have a guinea pig, she will have to get rid of her frogs and come up with the money herself to buy the guinea pig. We both thought this would deter her from any further discussion about the guinea pig.
She thinks about it for a little while and then asks "Can I use the digital camera?" She goes in her room and takes a few pictures of her frogs and then prints off the best picture. Neither my wife nor I thought anything more about it.
The next day she comes home from school and informs us that she has the frogs "sold" to a classmate and that it will be enough money for her to buy the guinea pig. Sure enough, a few hours later, her classmate and parent show up at the door, fork over the money and take the frogs home.
Needless to say, we were off to Petsmart and home with a brand new guinea pig, Scampy. I was astounded by her ingenuity and smarts. My kid is going to make millions one day and take care of her old man....and she still cracks me up. Casey, if Mommy lets you read this, I love you baby.
I want to also send out a big thank you to Jordan, from High On Poker, for giving me some free publicity on his blog.
posted by GaryC @ 5:56 AM, ,
LAG, TAG or Weak/Tight?
Tuesday, June 14, 2005
I have always thought of my poker playing self as a rock. That is, until recently. I have come to the conclusion that it is not always the case. As my results from recent NL tournaments would indicate, my game has evolved into a varied, more aggressive style.
I used to sit back and wait for a big hand and play it very aggressively. While this strategy works well in a ring game, assuming you are patient and smart enough to get away from it when you think you are beat, it does not always translate into success in tournaments. I found myself often making the money, but almost always being short-stacked at that point, usually due to a cold deck or my ultra-conservativeness.(Is that a word?)
So as of late, I have taken to changing up my style, throughout the tournament, to more of a TWAG game and have had much better results. I still don't play a ton of hands, but now, especially early in the tournament, I will play some different hands in the right situation. As a result, I end up showing down some not-so-brilliant plays and this sets me up, at least with the guys on my table, for stronger plays with better hands later in the tourney. I think this type of play sets me up for deeper runs into the higher paying spots in the tournament.
All the different descriptions of players around today, loose-aggressive, tight-aggressive etc, have their benefits and can certainly be succesful in the right situations. I think the key to long term success, at least in tournaments, is being able to change your style depending on the situation. I think my new definition for my playing style is "tight/weak aggressive." Just call me a TWAG. I wonder if Phil Hellmuth has an animal description for that?
I played a little poker last night with very poor results. I lost two buy-ins at the NL ring games, but it was more bad luck than bad play and I can live with that.
posted by GaryC @ 5:55 AM, ,
Defending Your Blinds
Monday, June 13, 2005
I've had a bit of a discussion with Jordan, from High On Poker, about defending your blinds. I thought I would write down some of my thought process involved with this tactic. This may not be anything earth-shattering, in fact, it might be straight out of every poker text that has ever been written about No Limit Hold Em.
Whenever I am in the big blind and the button makes a standard raise, attempting to steal, I will either call the raise or re-raise, in an effort to stop him from doing this in the future. Occasionally, the button will lay this hand down immediately and respect my big blind in the future. Occasionally, I will take this hand to a showdown, if I catch any piece of the flop, just to show him I am willing to play my big blind. This sometimes costs me chips, but in the long term, I feel like the benefits outweigh the negatives.
Often times, the button is raising with less than premium hands and a simple re-raise will collect the pot. (assuming there is nobody else involved in the hand) Also, once you have shown the willingness to defend your blind, this will create more action for you when you pick up a monster in the big blind. I would be willing to play for all my chips, especially late in a tournament, with a top 10 hand, regardless of the raise from the button. Say it is folded around to the button and he makes a standard raise. I am in the big blind with A-Ko and re-raise. At this point, the button will lay his hand down if he was on a steal attempt. But also assume that you have played two hands earlier with the same button, in the same situation. He will be more willing to play his hand, regardless of what he has, because he knows you don't want to lay down your big blind hand. This can lead to a big pot, sometimes for all of your chips. I certainly would get away from it if I don't catch any of the flop and he leads out, but if I catch part of the flop, then he will have to make the decision.
I've also played many hands in defense where, after the flop, I lead out with a decent bet and the button will lay his hand down. These are smaller buy-in no-limit tournaments that I play in and I am sure as you move up in limits, this strategy has to be changed to account for better players, but I am a big believer in defending my big blind, under the right circumstances.
Have a good week.
posted by GaryC @ 5:50 AM, ,
Home Game Success
Saturday, June 11, 2005
Well, the wife and I went to some friends house last night for a cook-out and a little Texas Hole Em. We ended up playong two freeze-outs, the first one with 7 people and the second one with 6 people. The friends that we played against (for the first time) definitely knew what they were doing. I ended up in 2nd place in the first tournament and chopping first place with Chip, in the second tournament. So, after paying the entries and re-buys for my wife and I for both tournaments, I made exactly $0 and lost exactly $0. All in all, we had a great time and got to spend some time with good friends that we hadn't seen in a while. I want to send a special thank you to Chip and Debbie, we had a great time.
Tonight, we are headed to the lake to do karaoke for a wedding reception for some friends of ours. They are having an outdoor wedding tonight and we will be setting up karaoke in their garage after the wedding. It is currently pouring down rain, so we are hoping that this storm moves on through and leaves us with good weather for the event tonight.
No on-line poker last night or today and Sunday will be yard day. We've had showers three days this week and my yard is out of control, so it will be Sunday evening before I get a chance to play any poker on the computer.
Have a good weekend!
posted by GaryC @ 5:00 AM, ,
Friday, June 10, 2005
I would love to do a really cool "strategy" post that would open some eyes, but the truth of the matter is all of my personal strategy has come from the likes of HDouble, Chris Halverson, Professional Poker Player and the huge list of poker bloggers that I have been reading on a daily basis for the past year. Hence, any light bulb moments or brilliant play on my part is all due to the postings of other bloggers. For that, I thank each and every one of you.
I believe in attacking the blinds, defending my own blinds and play a fairly tight, aggressive game. This has resulted in being able to show a consistent, if slow, progress toward building a substantial bankroll.
Some personal stuff:
I have been married to a great woman for almost 11 years. She will be referred to from now on as Mrs. GCox25, but you can call her Ivan.
I have two daughters, ages 17 and 11, that are both a handful, but I love them very much.
Mrs. GCox25 and I run karaoke on a semi-regular basis. We used to run shows 4-5 nights per week as a second income, but are a tad old to stay out until 2 a.m. 4-5 nights per week anymore. We still enjoy it and do it about 3-4 times per month now. (Insert karaoke joke here)
I also bowl, play softball (occasionally) and play alot of on-line poker on alot of different sites. My nickname is GCox25 on every site and I am usually at a .25/.50 NL table or $5/$10 MTT and SNG's. Feel free to sit down and play with me or say hello to me, just don't raise my big blind(Jordan).
That's all I have for today. The Mrs. and I are headed to a home game tonight with some friends. Hopefully, I can write up a big win tomorrow, but we'll have to wait and see.
posted by GaryC @ 5:48 AM, ,
My First MTT Win
Thursday, June 09, 2005
It was 10:55 p.m. My cell phone rang and it was my buddy, Josh. He tells me there is a $10 + 1 MTT on UltimateBet that starts in 5 minutes. It is a guaranteed $3000 and there are only 150 people signed up.....SO FAR. I stress the "so far" part because, by the time I sign up, go to my table and the registration ends, there are 380 of my closest friends giving it a go. So much for overlay.
After the start, it gets very fuzzy due to the time of the night and the amount of Miller lite. Somewhere around 11:25 p.m. Josh calls me back. "I'm out. Bastard slow-played Kings." I had been sweating his table while playing, so I was fully aware of this. Apparently, Josh couldn't hear me screaming "lay it down" through my monitor. Oh well, easy come, easy go, that's Josh.
First break, around 140 left and I have a little above average stack. I would like to go into some particular hands, but I had no idea then that I would be writing this up and I probably wouldn't have been able to read any notes the next day anway.
Second break=complete mystery. I think we are close to the bubble (top 30 paid) and I am comfortably (18th?) in the money without any huge brain farts.
Third break, we are down to five people and I am sitting in 3rd place. The chip leader, who would be my heads-up opponent, was very aggressive and had a decent overall lead. After the break, he immediately busted out the 5th place guy. Then, I went on a good run, making him lay down a pre-flop raise with K-K and then busting out the 4th and 3rd place guys. This drew us almost even in chips.
After about 15 hands, I had taken a decent chip lead. (the blinds were huge and I had won one pot) Other than that, it was raise, fold, repeat.
Finally, the hand of destiny. I pick up A-2 o in the big blind and he min-raises. (just like every other time to my big blind) I call this time and the flop comes 2-J-2. I almost fell out of my chair. I checked it to him and he immediately went all in.(his SOP when I checked after a flop) I insta-called and the rest, as they say, is history. I had won my first MTT. $920.00 for 3-1/2 hours of work.
I then proceeded to wake everyone in my house (wife, kids, cats, dog, guinea pig, etc) up to share my good fortune. Needless to say, at 2:30 in the morning, nobody wanted to share my good fortune. So, I called my buddy, Josh. He didn't pick up, so I left him a rambling voice mail and when he called me the next morning, he said the only thing he could make out was "I won the fooking thing!" Obviously, copious amounts of Miller Lite does wonders for my MTT game.
So, in closing, I want to say "thanks" to my buddy, Josh, for the call on the tourney. By far, my biggest win to date.
posted by GaryC @ 6:23 AM, ,
Wednesday, June 08, 2005
My name is Gary and I am a low level on-line poker player from Oklahoma.
I'm not sure where this is going to go, but after reading hundreds of poker blogs daily, I am going to give it a shot. Hopefully, I will contribute enough to be considered part of the family.
Wish me luck.
posted by GaryC @ 8:40 PM, ,