Wednesday, August 31, 2005
"I'll always be the man in love with you." - George Strait (also sung by GCox25 to MrsGCox25 11 years ago today)
12 years ago today, if you had told me I would be celebrating my 11th anniversary of marriage, I would have called you a liar. I was recently divorced and had sworn off women entirely. Well, not entirely, but definitely marriage-wise.
Fast forward 9 months and I'm standing at the front of the church with my Dad by my side, as my best man. We're in our monkey suits, waiting for my soon-to-be-wife to walk down the aisle. My Dad looks over at me and says "Are you sure?" Are you fucking kidding me, Dad?? It's a little too late to be asking that question, don't you think?
Of course, I was sure. As sure as I'd ever been of anything in my life. I was 29 years old, had a 4 year old daughter and was taking the plunge just 14 months removed from an ugly divorce. You're damn right I'm sure.
My wife and I are the couple that other couples hate. We work well together. We play well together. We sleep well.....okay that's really none of your business, but yes, after 11 years of practice, we sleep well together too.
We sing together, we play golf together and we still party together occasionally. At our ages now, it's less than it used to be, but we still tie one on every now and again.
Our single friends, especially the females, are jealous of the relationship that my wife and I have. We are both Capricorns and are both only children. We grew up not needing someone around 24/7. We know how to entertain ourselves and are both very comfortable doing our own thing.
Neither of us have a jealous bone in our bodies. When we do a karaoke show, I work the girls in the crowd and my wife works all the men in the room. Alot of our friends do not understand how we can do that in a bar setting. It comes down to one thing: Trust. I trust her and she trusts me, completely.
The picture at the top of this post was taken this year at our annual softball vacation every May in Kansas. It might be my favorite picture ever taken of us........walking off into the sunset, arm in arm. Me and my very best friend.
Thanks for being you and for letting me be me.
Happy Anniversary, baby, I love you more now than I ever have.
posted by GaryC @ 5:21 PM, ,
Tuesday, August 30, 2005
"I'm just sittin' here, just wastin' time, drinkin', smokin', tryin' to free my mind."- Kid Rock
That's basically me in a nutshell right now. My life, my work, my poker, etc. In particular, the work and the poker. My life is going good right now. Since I had my realization of needing more balance between family time and poker time, my family life has improved dramatically. I'm doing more things with my wife and my kids now and enjoying the time away from the computer. The problem I have with it is that my bankroll has made no moves in an upward direction in almost two months, hovering within $100-$150 of the same amount for what seems like the longest time. I've been down to $950 (very recently) and been as high as $1250.00, but can never get there and beyond.
***Warning:Work rant ahead***
Work is another story altogether now. As I'm sure you all can tell by my frequency of posts and comments on your blogs, I am bored to tears with my job. There are alot of things I like about my job, but there are also alot of things that I absolutely hate about my job. I'm sure many of you feel the same way, but my problems always seem to get in my way.
Why is it that if you want a raise, you have to threaten to quit before it happens? I've had two job offers in the last 4 years from other companies. Both times, I turned in my two weeks' notice only to be wined and dined and offered raises, because I was "too valuable" for them to let me walk out the door. If that were the case (that I was too valuable) don't you think I deserve a review and raise yearly? at a minimum? How about instead of a cost of living raise, we start with a "merit" raise? Like, maybe I earned it, huh?
I show up to work every day, on time, in my little cubicle monkey uniform. Does that not stand for anything anymore? We have guys that call in sick at least once a month, but nothing is ever said about it. I've called in sick twice in 8 years and both times, my boss gave me a ration of shit about missing work. I sell parts for Heavy Equipment and I am the longest-tenured parts guy at our office. I have "seniority" over every other person in my department other than the two managers. Seniority and .50 cents will get you a cup of coffee around here. I'll be the first to admit that when I started my job, I didn't have the foggiest idea what I was doing. But, I'm a fast learner and I'm also good with people(read: customers) so I adapted very quickly. Half of my job was dealing with people on the phone and half was in person in the office. I have since been "promoted" to the Crane parts man. I basically take all the parts calls from customers and mechanics regarding our Crane line. Specialization. Again with the cup of coffee analogy from above.
Add all these things up and it makes a very frustrated GCox25. I truly like my job, I like dealing with people and I like the actual work involved, but I cannot stand to be taken advantage of and that is exactly what I feel is happening right now. I am not considering a career change at this point in my life, because I don't want to throw away 8 years at the same job and 8 years of damn good 401K earnings. I know I could transfer those right over to a new company, but 8 years is 8 years, damnit. I'm nothing if I'm not loyal. Maybe stupidly or blindly loyal, but I'm loyal.
***End work rant***
Lately on the poker front, I've also felt like I was wasting my time. I've played Power Player for the last 8-10 days to earn their $75 sign-up bonus and by the time I cleared the bonus hands, I had lost money on the deal. PokerRoom will be the same way unless I hit a magical run of cards very soon. I used to cash in these bonuses on top of my winnings on the site while I was grinding. In fact, PokerRewards, I started off the same way as PokerRoom, but eventually it turned around and I finished up +$200 in bonuses and winnings.
I had an even longer rant prepared for the poker side, but thankfully, variance has stepped aside and I've posted two winning sessions in a row. Although they are small samples and last nights' was really pretty short, they are winning sessions nonetheless and right now, beggars can't be too picky. I played for an hour before I left for the bowling alley. .50/1.00 Limit Omaha 8b at PokerRoom. Wow, it was like the old days, when the deck just smacked me in the face the entire time. Doubled my buy-in.
I bowled about average. I had a 608 series, unfortunately I shot 246 right off the bat and then struggled mightily the last two games. I'm still pleased to have almost shot my average. It is a severe letdown after the way I've started out this year, but I knew those huge scores couldn't continue.
I got home and logged on and there was the 7th most popular blogger anywhere, logging on and looking for a good 2/4 game. We hit Noble and played for a short while. Man, I am not used to those swings. My normal .50/1.00 game might have a $15 or $20 pot. The pots in this game were routinely $50. One bad call and you are out a (short) buy-in. I realized last night that I do not have the bankroll to play 2/4. I've played with Jordan the last two nights and posted winning sessions both times, but I was pretty close to busting my $50 buy-in. I caught a lucky hand when I was down to about $16 and finished at around $75.00(+$25). I realize that I am playing over my head and bankroll doing this with Jordan and do not plan on doing it in the future. That being said, the people playing 2/4 at Noble are freaking idiots.(me included)
I don't have much else to say, other than let's get ready to rumble in the HU Challenge's 2nd round. The playoff should be over this week and hopefully, we can start the next round this weekend or early next week. I'm ready. By the way, if you haven't signed up for PokerSourceOnline yet, you are missing out. Earning free promotions doing what you are already doing:Playing poker on-line. Use this Bonus Code:HighOnPoker.
Thursday Preview: Tomorrow's post will be of no use to anyone looking for poker content. I will be paying my dues and as Jordan said, it will probably be a bit embarrassing for me. Oh well, tomorrow the wife and I cross 11 years of matrimonial bliss and I will be paying homage to my better half. Stay tuned.
posted by GaryC @ 1:58 PM, ,
Back to my usual grind and results were much better last night. Thanks to everyone for commenting on the hand from over the weekend. I posted the results and my thinking in the comments of the last post. Like I said, the sets were in my thinking, unfortunately, what he ultimately had was not in my range of hands that I had given him credit(or dis-credit) for.
I posted a solid $66.00 upswing last night, due in part to some loose play by my opponents and in part to catching some great cards at the $2/$4 Limit table with Jordan. That was my first time to play $2/$4 Limit at Noble and if it weren't for Jordan, I never would have been on that table in the first place. But, after catching pocket Aces early, I went on a run with pocket 10's three times in five hands and won two of those hands, one of them a rather large pot. I felt bad about the pocket Aces hand, because it was Jordan's small blind and I raised. He raised me back and we went at it until the after the flop, when he finally laid down the hammer! Sorry, buddy, you know I lay down there without a hand, but I couldn't get away from American Airlines.
I started out last night at PokerRoom and during the first orbit, I pick up A-4 suited in the big blind. Free flop to me of 4-6-4. I lead out .50 and everyone folds to MP and he goes all-in for around $8.00. Now, this is the exact situation I was faced with all weekend long. How in the hell does he have something better than me?? Pocket sixes immediately come to mind, as does 6-4 off-suit. No.fucking.way. I thought for a minute and finally called and he turned over 6-9 off-suit. That is the play I'm used to seeing at my levels. I believe TripJax calls it "profiting from other people's donk plays." Thank you and my fours hold up. Small victories are good with me right now.
Attitude has so much to do with my sessions right now. When I begin with the right attitude, it seems to carry over for the entire session. I've said this before, but when I sit down and win a hand right off the bat, it sets the tone for my entire session and I play with a confidence that I don't always have. I wish I could sit down at every table with that same confidence, but when I do it's normally over-confidence and I get run over by monkeys making fishy plays, which in turn causes me to tilt and play the same way. If I sit down with no expectations, except to play solid poker, and get ahead early, it's a different night altogether. That will be my expectations from this day forward. I will sit down at each table expecting to play solid poker and make the best decisions I can make, regardless of outcome. Thanks, LittleAcornMan, for the advice.
SteelerJosh and DNasty mentioned last night that after reading my recent posts and chatting on IM they thought I sounded "down" and they were exactly right. I am not down about life, other than hating my job, but poker has become a bit of a bore. To make matters worse, I have been losing or remaining stagnant for a good while now. I heartily agreed with them both, but have vowed to turn it around. Josh mentioned that it would turn around sooner or later and I know that he is right on the money. I'm in one of those variance downswings and I really haven't lost that much money relative to my bankroll. I'm in no danger of busting out, except of course on Party Poker, but hell, I've busted there before and will probably bust there again. My chin is now up and I'm ready to start swinging again. I don't plan on letting variance keep me down, so KISS MY ASS variance.
I appreciate everybody's support and plan on clearing my bonus at PokerRoom by Monday of next week. Unfortunately, at the levels I play, it clears much slower than the levels that Will plays. He has already finished that promotion and he started it after me. Thanks for the PSO points Will.
I'll be at the bowling alley tonight, but will log on a tad drunk when I get to the house.(10:30) By the way, Jordan, forget about $2/$4 tonight.
Have a good day.
posted by GaryC @ 5:40 AM, ,
Monday, August 29, 2005
After spending the morning self-examining all aspects of my poker game and my bankroll, I have come to a few conclusions that I need to learn to live with, in order to be more succesful in the future than I was this weekend. Contrary to what I posted this morning about being a "poor" bonus-chaser, I have come to the realization that I'm just not very smart. It has nothing to do with being a poor bonus chaser and everything to do with game selection and table selection.
I haven't been "grinding" as the title of my blog would suggest. I have been playing far too much Pot Limit and No Limit, in search of the big score or the quick double-up. That is not my game and I know it. I need to get back to what has made me succesful in the past and stop the win-it-all right now attitude that I've developed in the last couple of weeks. Remember "Greed?"
I have about ten more hands to clear before I release my bonus at Power Player and about 175 more raked hands to go at PokerRoom until I clear the PSO promotion and release their paltry bonus. I will be going back to "grinding" which is what I do the best. No more Pot Limit and very little No Limit in my immediate future, unless it is in a SNG. I will be playing Omaha 8b Limit at the .50/1.00 level in order to clear these bonuses and hopefully, work the bankroll up in the right direction. I will also be throwing in more SNG's in the near future, because I feel that is a strength of mine. I played one SNG yesterday and made the final three. The other two guys were moaning about how long it had taken (app. 125 hands) and that you have to play two or three at a time to make it worth your while. This is something I'm going to look into in the future, once I finish up my bonuses.
I don't like the Turbo SNG's, but at least at UB, they start you out with 1500 chips. This still allows for some time to be patient and play a few hands. Unlike Party Poker, where they start you with 800 chips and it is a push-fest from start to finish.
I'm not sure if I will have the concentration level needed to make two or three at a time more profitable or if I should stick to one at a time, in order to ensure they are +EV for me. I know if I play one at a time, I will pay more attention and probably pick up something during the tourney that will help me out later when there are 3 or 4 people left. That is almost always the case when I play one at a time.
Low Limit Grinder: There is a reason I chose that name for my blog. I just forgot why that was this weekend and really for the last several weeks. Starting tonight, I am going back to grinding out little wins and hopefully my bankroll will rebound in the right direction.
We still have the second and hopefully, the last round of the HU Challenge to play and I will definitely be playing those games, even though I feel they are -EV in the long run for me. I'm still not sure how I made it to the 2nd round but am proud to be there. The other second round finalists (whoever they may be) will certainly be the favorites, at least in my book.
I would like to play in some Rio SNG's with Jordan and the rest of the challengers, but, at least right now, I will be sticking to grinding my way back to respectability for a while at the low limit tables. I may even toss in an occasional MTT if I've had a particularly good night, because I have had some success there in the past also.
Back to the "grind" for me.
By the way, here's a "you decide" from a SNG yesterday on Party.
8 people left and I'm on the button with an average stack. (+/- 900)
Blinds are 20/40 and EP raises to 100. I smooth call with A-K on the button.*edit*
Flop is 9-2-4. EP checks and I fire same 100. Smooth call. Turn is a K. I'm preparing a pot-sized bet when he fires 200. Hmm, I just call and see the river K. EP moves all in for approximately 300 more. Now, the other King is definitely in the range I have him raising from EP with, but there is no way I can get away from A-K in this position.
What do you think he had?
*I edited position above as I was on the button, not in the big blind. I'm going to wait until tomorrow or later on tonight and I will post his hand in the comments section.
posted by GaryC @ 8:44 AM, ,
Horrible weekend of -EV, craptacular activities!
Suffice it to say, I was no-hit by the very people I want at my table. They hit their miracle draws, counterfeited my hand and in general, kicked my ass all.freaking.weekend. I'm not going to bore you with hand histories, suck-out stories or draws gone wrong, but in general I took it in the shorts in everything I tried to do. Throw in the horse racing debacle and I finished the weekend down $200.00.
It has taken me a while to figure this out, but I have determined that I am a poor bonus chaser. I used to be able to sit down at a ring game and grind away a good chunk of bonus without risking a good portion of my bankroll, but as of late, that is not the case at all. It's been a combination of many things, including suck-outs, fishy play on my part and an overall looseness of my game that has not been present in the past. I think it comes down to one thing: GREED.
I'm a tight, greedy SOB by nature. My father and grandfather ingrained in me the theory of miseritis. They were both tight-ass misers that saved nearly every penny they ever made and never gambled on anything in their lives, unless they knew they couldn't lose. That is the attitude that has bitten me right in the ass. After playing for over a year and making money on a consistent basis, I have developed an air of over-confidence that has affected my entire game. I don't think I can lose when I sit down at the low limit tables. As we all know, variance catches up with all of us, sooner or later. Normally, Mr. Variance shows up and I lose a buy-in or two before wising up and getting the hell out of Dodge. Not this weekend, though. I played too long and chased too many losses all throughout the weekend.
My game will be in slow-motion this week. I plan on playing Monday, Wednesday and Friday night this week, but I will be one careful sonofagun. If you think I was tight before, wait until you see me this week. I have to get back to basics and back to the strategies that have made me consistent money and stop the chasing, stop the bluffing and stop the overall loose play that cost me this weekend and really the last three weeks.
TripJax wrote up a post on working at Poker and brother, I am right there with you. I am going to be sitting down and reviewing my game selection and reviewing my game play in the coming weeks. I will be looking for the consistent money-makers and which games I am consistently losing money at. I am going to start taking detailed notes, in order to make my reviews a little more meaningful. I'm going to try and knock out the PSO bonus at PokerRoom this week, because the quicker I finish it, the quicker I have PokerTracker and lord knows, right now my game needs all the help it can get.
That's the end of my rant for today. Good luck to everyone and check out the HU Challenge blog to see where everyone stands. We might be starting the 2nd round some time this week. Good luck to all the challengers that are still in it. See you on the felt.
posted by GaryC @ 5:25 AM, ,
Ode to BG
Sunday, August 28, 2005
Just checking in this Sunday morning to offer up my sincere thanks to BG for his tips yesterday. He took the time out of his schedule yesteray to handicap some races for me and I am very grateful.
Every year, a group of my friends rents a suite at Remington Park and we get to go out for a night at the horse races. Free food, free booze, air conditioning, simulcast wagering and a good group of friends. Last night was that night for me. I got this grand idea Friday at work, that I would e-mail BG and ask for his help on some of the races. He was extremely gracious and quick to respond. Neither myself or any of this group of friends has any idea how to wager on the horses, so I figured any help BG could offer would be a bonus.
He e-mailed me back yesterday morning with a detailed list of tips for not only Remington Park, but also for Del Mar, where he was going to be betting. We had some wins and some losses, but his tips were spot on. A couple of near misses or it would have been a very profitable evening. We ended up losing a few dollars but a good time was had by all.
I'm sure my friends and I drove the odds down on a few of his picks at Del Mar, because after I won the first bet on Del Mar, I had a bunch of new "friends" wanting tips on the simulcast.
A couple of highlights:
-One of the races (3rd) had an owner with my exact full name. Needless to say, all of us amateurs had to bet on that horse. He won, of course and we celebrated with another round of shots.
-One of BG's long shot picks had a tough time. He had tabbed a certain horse as worth a bet if he was above certain odds. He ended up going off at 50-1, after rearing up and falling down before he got in the starting gate and then nearly went to the ground coming out of the gate at the start. We all had a good laugh at that one and made our money with his favorite on that race.
-The wifey, mother-in-law and I ended up at a karaoke bar until 2:00 am and got home from there with approximately $40.00 worth of Taco Mayo in our possession. MMMM good stuff at 2:30 am.
It was a great night and I want to again say a huge THANKS to BG for all his help. My mother-in-law ended up about a hundred bucks ahead and sends her thanks too. She was buried in your e-mail from the time we got there until the time we left.
Thanks again buddy, we really appreciate it.
posted by GaryC @ 8:53 AM, ,
Friday, August 26, 2005
After reading my comments to yesterday's rambling, whiney post, I found a few interesting points that I thought I would address.
LittleAcornMan brought up the point of ring games being a more boring, grind, if you will. I felt this exact way when I started out also. I was "grinding" away at ring games, trying to earn my paltry $30 or $40 dollars in bonus money, all the while trying to break even or come out a little ahead on my bankroll. That truly was a "grind" and played a part in how I chose my name for this blog.
Kipper mentioned that he wasn't having much luck at ring games and was going back to the "boring" SNG's that he has had success at in the past. When I read his comment, I found myself in complete agreement with him. SNG's are boring for the most part now. It probably has something to do with the fact that we both are coming off the SNG Challenge and played 60 or 70 something SNG's in four weeks time, but they really are boring. Fold, fold, fold, RAISE, fold, fold, fold, etc. The cash game running in the background is more interesting to me now than the actual SNG.
During the ring game, there is always something going on for me. I'm trying to put the other players on a hand or watching betting patterns, trying to learn something about them to gain an "edge." While this is important in SNG's also, a patient SNG player can almost always fold to the final 5 and then start really playing.
As an example, I played a $20 SNG on UltimateBet Wednesday night. I literally played one hand in the first 40. Admittedly, I got a little lucky, but we were down to 5 and I was the chip leader and had only played one hand the entire time. I had A-Q and it was by far the strongest hand I had seen thus far. We ended up with 3 of us all-in with a Q high board and I won the pot and knocked out two players.
I ended up bubbling out due to an ill-advised all-in call, but the point remains, SNG's are boring and any patient player can stay out of the way long enough to make the money on a consistent basis in these things. Some of the players are so bad, it is ridiculous. I see somebody type in "NH" in the chat box and wonder just what in the hell they are watching. Did you even notice that he was a 2 to 1 underdog and caught runner-runner to make his flush??? What the hell makes that a "NH?" I know, don't tap on the glass, but for god's sake, this is a $20 SNG. Fools, I tell you, fools.
Anyway, back to my topic, the cash games are the draw for me right now. I have to find a way to work in a few more "boring" SNG's though, because they are consistent money-makers. I know exactly where Kipper is coming from on this one and agree with him completely. Cash games offer you the opportunity to double up immediately and several times in just a few hands, but they also offer the opportunity to lose your entire stack in one hand. Right now, I have to play the ring games in order to clear my bonus, but I need to work in more SNG's to help build that bankroll on a more consistent basis.
Anyhow, boring or not, ring game or SNG, it's all about the cards and I'm all-in.
I'll leave you with this Vince Van Patten masterpiece, ever heard it?
"Oh my, he flopped a set and he has show tunes going off in his head right now!"
posted by GaryC @ 10:45 AM, ,
---Begin bowling rant.
Last night was the first night of bowling in our mixed league. My wife took the year off last year and I only bowled in one league, which is what I thought was going to happen this year. A few weeks ago, she called me up at work and told me that I needed to find us a league, because she really wanted to bowl this year. So, my attempts at balancing my family life and my poker life just took a good turn. She knows I love to bowl and she looks at my bowling with her as, sort of a concession on my part. Taking a night off from playing poker to spend time bowling and drinking beer with her. I look at it as a win-win situation. I still got to play poker last night when I got home from the bowling alley. Made a few bucks, too.
Back to the bowling alley, when we started warming up I mentioned to my wife that it felt like the exact same shot we had on Tuesday night when I had struggled. It took me two games to figure out exactly where to line up and I finished Tuesday with a 610 series.
Last night, I moved to where I had ended on Tuesday night and the strikes came and came and came. I shot 259-289-247 for a 795 series. In fact, if I had struck on my 2nd ball in the 10th frame of the last game, I would have shot my first 800 series. For those of you who don't know, an 800 series is more rare than a 300 game. I've now shot 792, 793 and 795, but have never reached the elusive 800. Last night was a golden opportunity and I let it slip away. I stepped up to the lane for that 2nd ball, knowing full well that if it carried I would have done it and if it didn't, I don't make it. I threw it good, but it broke a little bit high and left a 4 pin. That and 6 other 10 pins were all I left all night and I spared them all.
Oh well, I guess there will be a next time. It just seems like that goal is just out of my reach.
---End bowling rant.
My wife and I are going to the horse races Saturday evening with a group of our friends. Talk about a -EV proposition. BG, if you catch this and have any tips for Saturday evening, I am listening. We have two groups of gamblers in this group. The husbands all think they are geniuses (me included) and pore over the programs and tip sheets looking for the best pick for each race. The wives look at the names and pick either the funniest one or the one that matches somebody in our group. Last year, BigGaryC was the horse of choice. Winner. The women always make more money than the men do.
Poker, yeah, this is a poker blog. I only played for about an hour last night and am making very slow progress toward finishing my bonuses. The good news is that I have built both the bankrolls on the bonus sites up to 3/4 of their starting stack. Slow and steady wins the race and I am nothing, if not slow and steady at this point.
I originally thought the raked hands would clear quickly enough playing .25 No Limit, but that is not the case. So, I have taken to playing the .25 Pot Limit Omaha 8b games and they are clearing much quicker. You really have to be careful with your starting hands though when playing pot limit. Especially with the Europeans as they don't give any free cards, ever.
I should be on-line tonight looking for some action. I might even play a few SNG's on UltimateBet tonight. I'm out and have a short Friday and a good weekend.
posted by GaryC @ 5:51 AM, ,
A monkey, a fish and a shark......
Wednesday, August 24, 2005
...........walk into a bar.....no, that's not it.
My question of the day is this: How do you tell if you are a fish, a monkey or a shark???? At the low limits that I play, I sometimes feel like all three in just three orbits around the table. I'd like to think I have a little skill after the amount of hands I've played and the amount of blogs and strategy posts I read on a daily basis, but that doesn't always seem to be the case.
I sit down at a table and win a hand immediately. I post in MP and am dealt 10-8. I check and see a free flop of 10-8-x. Long story short, I get one caller and win a $5 pot. Now, there is nothing "sharky" about this play, honestly, a monkey could have played the hand as long as he knew where the bet button was on the screen. However, while table image is almost completely useless at my levels, if I start out with a quick win, it does wonders for my attitude or my psyche. There is nothing worse to me than sitting down at a table and folding for four orbits. Of course, that situation is more realistic and normally leads to me playing more marginal hands and bleeding off chips.
I try to pick out a "target" after watching a few hands at the table. Somebody that is aggressive and has about the same amount of money that I have. ($25 at the NL tables) This person invariably turns out to be the person to my immediate left, someone that I will never have position on. When that is the case, why not change tables? Why not you say? Because I'm not only a little slow, I'm fucking hard-headed too. Identifying a few of these "leaks" is the key to playing winning poker in the long run.
I have entirely too many leaks in my game to just concentrate on one, so I made up an entire list of my leaks:
1. Tilt - probably the single biggest weakness of most low limit players. Nothing worse than getting sucked out on big-time and then re-buying and bleeding another stack away trying to "get even" with the jackass that sucked out on you. Leave the table, moron, I know you can feel it coming on.
2. Falling in love with your hand - You've got pocket Kings and make a big raise, only to be called by two people, out of position. Here's your flop A-x-x. Time to get away, numbnut. Sure enough, Mr. "I'll play any Ace" takes down your pot and most of your stack.
3. Playing marginal hands out of position - Nothing worse than playing that A-x sooooted UTG and catching two to your miracle flush on the flop, chasing it to the river only to not make your hand and folding meekly to any under-bet after the river. Starting hand requirements, jackass, you might want to read up on them and read about position while you're at it.
4. Calling instead of raising - I am so guilty of this. I have A-K and raise it up 3x the blinds. Two callers for a flop of K-x-x. Mr. K-4 soooooted fires a bet and instead of raising him right here, I just call and let him pair his undercard to take away a pot that I should have won. Raise when you think you have the best hand, dumbass.
5. Steal attempts on the button - As my understanding of position has progressed, my attempts to implement more aggression in my game has progressed also. However, why is it that every time I raise in a steal attempt, the big blind wakes up with K-K? Conversely, why is it every time I feel a button is trying to steal my big blind, that sonofabitch has K-K also? Can anyone explain that one to me?
6. Defending my blinds - see above.
As I have gotten more experience lately on the short-handed tables and heads up with the challenge going on, I have started to play more of the short-handed games and I like them. Well, most nights I like them. Like the nights I'm catching cards. Other than those nights, short-handed tables suck. I have a difficult time adjusting to a short-handed table or a loose table. I know that they require loosening up your starting hand requirements, but somehow cannot make myself do this, even while in position. Meanwhile, every other person at the table is stealing on the button every chance they get.
I'm just a ball of confusion today. I'm just kind of rambling about what I see as deficiencies in my game. I haven't gone and tilted off half of my bankroll, it just feels that way. I'm not getting big starting hands very often and when I do, one of two things happens every.single.time. 1)I raise and pick up the blinds or 2)I raise, only to be re-raised and then have to lay my hand down after a horrible flop. That's another thing that has been running poorly lately. I get in cheap to see a flop with K-Q of Hearts and the flop is A-4-5, all spades. I definitely have been running cold. Perhaps, I am in need of a break, like JoeSpeaker or, perhaps I'm just being a whiney ass that needs to buck up and play better poker. I know what to do and how to do it, it's just a matter of doing it.
Time to cowboy up.
Please note:All the name calling in the above post was directed at yours truly.
posted by GaryC @ 10:46 AM, ,
On-Line Poker Sites & My Bankroll
Tuesday, August 23, 2005
Taking a cue from Will-Wonka, I thought I would break down where my on-line bankroll is and why I have it there. I'm not smart enough to get it near my links up on the right hand side of the page like Will has and I am definitely too lazy to update it on a regular basis, so here goes nothing.
UltimateBet: 36% - UB was the first site that I ever played on for play money and the first site that I ever deposited real money on for gambooling purposes. I have consistently made money there and absolutely love their SNG's for a variety of reasons. I like sitting in the same chair every time. I like their structure better than any other poker room. I like their software and I have found that I can somewhat consistently beat the competition there.
My biggest payday ever also came at UB when I won a $10 + 1 MTT for a $920 first prize.
Noble Poker: 17% - I first deposited on Noble because of their sign up bonus and the fact that I was intrigued by their 3D view at the tables. I have since tired of the 3D view and play only from the overhead view now, but have found their tables to be plenty soft. I've made numerous final tables in their $20 freeze-out and actually won one of them for a $400 payday.
PokerRewards: 15% - I signed up through PokerSourceOnline on PokerRewards in order to earn their giveaway. At first, it was a tough battle there, but once I switched to the No Limit games, things went very well. No big scores, but after completing the hand requirements for PSO and receiving their sign on bonus as well, I had more than tripled my original buy-in. I like the site and the software is fast enough, it's just not my first choice overall.
Absolute Poker: 13% - I played on Absolute originally just to earn their bonus at the time. They called me back about a month ago, offering more bonuses and free entries into tournaments, so I redeposited and went to work. None of the tourneys paid off for me, but I did earn all their bonus money without losing any of my own money. That being said, it is rather difficult to earn their bonuses, especially at the lower limits. I think the play on this site is remarkably tighter than most on-line sites.
PokerStars: 9% - I redeposited on PokerStars after a very poor run there my first time. I actually rejoined in order to play in the benefit for Charlie Tuttle with some other bloggers. I've never been able to make much money there, but I like their software and there are always plenty of games to be found, no matter your favorite. I have taken to playing the Pot Limit Omaha SNG's and done fairly well there lately with 4 cashes out of 5 tries.
Party Poker: 5% - There is a reason only 5% of my bankroll is on this site. I cannot seem to win here regardless of what game or tourney I choose. I know most people are tearing up the competition here, but for me-not so. I've deposited $50 on here twice and busted out both times. My bankroll on Party Poker now is from the $100 Gift Certificate I earned through PSO. I am still laboring at it there, but still don't have very many positive results to show. I detest their SNG structure and play mostly $25 NL tables now.
PokerRoom: 4% - This is my latest room through PSO and the jury is still out. I am about halfway through my raked hand requirements and about halfway through my starting bankroll. I think it will come around though, as I've seen some very fishy play here. The two biggest pots I've lost here were to very retarded calls by my opponents.
Power Player: 1% - Power Player is a skin of PokerRoom(not sure of the parent site) and has the exact same players and exact same rooms. Same story as PokerRoom with the hand requirements for the bonus and the state of my bankroll. Again, it will turn around, I have no doubt. Same fishy players making the same retarded calls.
Neteller: 0% - I see that Will keeps about half of his bankroll on Neteller and this is something that I would like to be able to do in the future. Just in case I have an urgent need to get my hands on some of my money, I could eliminate two or three days of the wait if I kept a portion of my bankroll on Neteller. I think I would also tighten up my game, knowing that I had less money on the actual site. That would probably be a good thing, although I'm sure most of you would classify me as "tight" already.
So, that's where my money is and why it is there. I would be interested in hearing any of your comments or recomendations for future deposits, as I will be looking again soon when I finish up the hand requirements at PokerRoom.
Bowling went pretty good last night, except for the team results. We tied the first game and lost the last two by a combined 10 pins. Tough way to earn 1/2 a win. I shot 610, with a 236 in the last game. We had a hard time carrying the ten pin last night. I think I ended up leaving 8 for the night, but the good news there is that I made 7 of them.
I got home in time to fire up the computer and bang out about $40 worth of profit. Shhhh, don't tell anyone, I actually posted a winning session on Party Poker. My bonuses are both about halfway home and I still have a lot of work to do on both PokerRoom and Power Player, but I am making progress. I need more quad's, it must be easier with quad's.
Color me GREEN with envy reading all the trip reports from Brad-o-ween. It sounds like everybody had a great time in S.C. I would sure like to make the Vegas trip in December, but I still don't know if I'll be able to or not. That would be a great time, I know.
I must work now, but look for me tonight. It is poker night at my house.
By the way Will: OKLAHOMA SOONERS > TEXAS LONGHORNS
posted by GaryC @ 8:17 AM, ,
I had a lodge meeting in El Reno last night at 6:00. When we finished, my buddy Josh (porkchop fin) talked me into accompanying him over to his Aunt's house to join in on a little home game. $10 buy-in, 4 players with deep stacks, No Limit Hold Em.
We get over there and the Aunt and cousin are not home yet, so we decide to play heads up. Can't beat the practice right? Wrong. We started with entirely too many chips, but some 15 minutes later, I was bust. Still no sign of the relatives and we are out of beer. Another heads up match, this time it's Pot Limit Omaha. My buddy wins the first 6 hands and by hand number 12, I'm all in and all out.
His relatives finally show up and we get rolling with the freeze-out. By this time, I'm down $10 and need to win just to break even. Big Slick on the button, first hand. I make an obscene raise and my buddy calls. A-x-x on the flop and I bet the pot, he just calls. He doesn't just call, ever, so I'm concerned about a set, two pair, etc. Blanks on the turn and river and he just calls my substantially lower bets and turns over A-5 and my kicker wins. He ends up busting out first, but we let him rebuy half the starting chips for another $10. Same thing with his cousin, after an ill-advised all-in bluff against his mom, who was holding A-A and turned a set and rivered quads. Doh!
We end up playing for about two hours until we bust out my buddy and his cousin again. Auntie and I are heads up and she has a slight lead in chips. Can you say split? I thought that you could. I took the $30 and ran to my truck for the half hour drive home.
After a weekend of not-so-good poker, it was nice to catch some cards and then to connect with them on the flop. I did get my pocket Jacks cracked by a pair of slow-played pocket Kings, but there is no way I could have seen that coming. I did pay her off though, even though I was very suspicious of the last bet.
In the theme of Jordan at HighOnPoker, you decide:
I'm in the big blind with J-J. Everybody limps in and I decide to slow play. (probably mistake #1)
Flop is 10-10-10. Small blind leads out a min. bet and I decide to find out where I'm at with a 4x the pot raise. EP calls and the other two fold.
Turn is a blank and I bet the pot. She calls. (Now I'm beginning to sweat the other 10) River is another blank, but I'm smelling a rat by now and check.(mistake #2) She fires out a large bet. (it was a big pot already and she bet maybe 3/4 of it) I really want to lay it down, but in the end I can't(mistake #3) and she turns up K-K. I give her the well-played and nice hand and go back to work.
You decide:Could I have done anything differently, other than raising pre-flop to find out where I was? And, as noted, were all three moves a mistake? Let me know what you think.
It's bowling night for me tonight and the wifey and I start our mixed league this Thursday. I enjoy bowling with my wife, but I don't enjoy bowling two nights a week anymore. Especially now that I have my own entertainment waiting for me at home every night. But, in order to appease her and the family, I will endure 20 something weeks of bowling in a mixed league. The good side of it is this is a large league, so winning it would pay off very well.
Dentist's office at 4:00 for my annual cleaning. I'm out. Have a good day.
posted by GaryC @ 5:30 AM, ,
HU Challenge Update
Monday, August 22, 2005
After a full week of heads up matches, we still have several left to finish up the first round. If I am reading the results right, I am officially in the 2nd round. I finished at 5-2 and techically, three challengers can tie me at 5-2. TripJax, SteelerJosh and Mourn could all run their records to 5-2 and DNasty13 could reach 6-1 and be the top seed. However, with all four of those competitors having some remaining matches against one another, I think I am home free to the 2nd round.
That being said, I am very cautiously optimistic. Several of my first round matches were decided by coin flips where I got extremely lucky to win. Those included a couple of big time suck-outs, one in particular against Mourn. If I'm going to compete in the finals, which will be a best 3 of 5 matches, I will have to be on top of my game. I believe the 2nd round will be a best 2 of 3 match to determine the finalists and that will make it an even truer test than the 1st round matches proved to be. I will be the first to admit that my record was more a reflection on the cards I caught than any supposed "ability" at playing heads up.
I'm not going to even conjure a guess as to who the other three semi-finalists will be at this point. There are endless possibilities with plenty of games remaining to be played. I do think that playing in this challenge has helped my short handed game overall though. I've posted a couple of winning sessions at the 6-max tables on Noble and plan on trying those out more often in the future.
Aggression is the key to heads up and shorthanded play, for sure, but knowing or sensing when to get away from a hand is equally important. It is amazing to me to see the action flops that occur during a heads up match. Jordan and DoubleAs final hand being a prime example. Jordan, holding A-K and DoubleAs holding the wicked hammer.(7-2) The flop comes A-7-2. There is no way either of them is giving up that hand. It happens nearly every time on the final hand when both competitors have ample chips and they both catch a large piece of the flop. Maybe I am reading too much into it and certainly, playing as many hands in a short period of time is no indicator. I've never played heads up live, so I assume over the same amount of hands, there would be just as much action live as on-line. Personally, I think both options (live and on-line) are rigged! LOL.
I think most of the matches will be finished up this week, with the exception of TripJax's last match against DNasty13. TripJax will be on vacation through the end of this week, so we will have to wait until next week to start the semi-finals. Keep an eye on the progress and records of all the challengers on their blogs or here.
I'll be on-line tonight around 8:00 pm CST and will be rail-birding any 1st round matches going on. I think I will be concentrating on UltimateBet's SNG's for a while this week also, in an effort to beef up my bankroll. I have to do something to make up for my losses on PokerRoom's ring games.
posted by GaryC @ 12:51 PM, ,
Good morning, fellow bloggers.
It's been a long and unprosperous weekend on the bonus chasing front. Power Player and PokerRoom both whipped my ass to the tune of about 3/4 of my beginning bankroll on both sites. However, I'm still alive on both sites and moving ever closer to the $75 bonus that releases at 250 points.(which I assume is raked hands) I sat at a table Friday evening for a little while with LittleAcornMan. We had some enjoyable chat but unfortunately we had no cards to play. I had a good time Zagga. We'll catch some cards next time.
After dropping some bankroll chasing the bonuses, I went back to my old, reliable money-maker. I played some full table SNG's on PokerStars, PokerRewards and UltimateBet. Bingo! I'm not sure why I stray from these, as I seem to consistently be able to outlast at least seven people time after time. I cashed in 6 of 7 and bubbled out of the one that I didn't cash in. I must make myself play these SNG's more often.
I want to send out my best wishes to Jordan this morning as he starts his new job. Give 'em hell, brother. Also, to DNasty13 down in Florida, congrats on the succesful move and welcome back to blogging.
I may have a post later on today, but for now, let me say, I am jealous as hell reading all the trip reports from Bradoween down in G-Vegas. Sounds like they all had a blast this weekend. Good times indeed.
May your work week speed by and TripJax, may your week of vacation drag by slowly. Have a good one.
posted by GaryC @ 6:23 AM, ,
Oh Hammer, Oh Hammer, Why Hast Thou Forsaken Me?
Friday, August 19, 2005
Count me in. I am "officially" a blogger now. I'll explain later in this post.
First things first, I need to take care of a little blogger business.
If you get a chance go by BigSlickNuts and wish him well or at least send some good vibes down Florida way. It sucks getting laid off, I've been there, brother. Good luck in the search. After getting the word of the bad news yesterday from TripJax, I went over to his blog and damn if he didn't have me linked up. Thanks a lot, I really appreciate it.
Secondly, I'd like to send a thank you out to Scurvydog over at Sounds of a Suckout. I've been reading his blog for a while now and just noticed yesterday that he had me linked up also. Imagine that, without asking, twice. Thanks Scurvy and BigSlickNuts, much appreciated and reciprocated.
Thanks to everyone who commented on my hand from yesterday. I was pretty sure that I wasn't too fishy on that hand, but it helps to get some analysis from players that are better than me. Thanks again.
There were a million things running through my mind to come back at the villain with, but I couldn't get them transferred to chat before he was gone. Biggest and funniest one would have been "Sorry, buddy, it's my first time to play on-line. I've been watching on TV. It sure seems easy." Needless to say, I couldn't get it out in time.
I went to my daughters' fast pitch softball game last night in the never-ending search for "balance." Nothing like paying 4 bucks to get in, 2 bucks for a bottle of water and sitting in the 100 degree heat to watch your daughter play one inning in right field. She's pretty frustrated, too, because she knows I don't make every game and she really wanted to play. She's just a sophomore, so her time will come. She is going to be a really good hitter, if I can ever get her to stop trying to pull everything.
Lodge meeting last night = bored shitless, daydreaming of chasing down miracle gutshot straight draws and flushes.
SteelerJosh and I played our first round match in the HU Challenge last night when I got home. It was my last match of the 1st round, assuming we don't go to the best of 3 format. I played each of the 7 competitors and finished the round 5-2. I am absolutely thrilled with that record. I wasn't sure I would win any matches before we started this, due to my inexperience at HU, but things went extremely well, er, lucky. Yeah, that's it.
On to the match last night. Josh played aggressively and took an early chip lead of about 2300 to 700. I was able to chip away and pretty soon, we got back to even. We played a few more hands and pretty soon, I had the chip lead. It didn't take long though, until it was back to me on the short stack. I look down at the hole cards and what do I see? The Hammer baby. 7-2 off-suit. Josh raises and I only see one option at this point.
Let me also add that I had the hammer like 5 times already and raised and bet only to get re-raised every time. I was running into A-Q and J-J, at least I like to think that's what he had. Anyway, being on the short stack, I saw no other option but to push all my remaining chips in the middle. Josh used up most of his time and I was sure he could hear me screaming FOLD! FOLD! through my monitor, but alas, he called with Q-10. I caught a 7 on the flop but there was also a Q and I was sent packing, to the wows of my opponent and our only railbird, TripJax. Yes sir, I am officially a blogger now, I have been unceremoniously booted from a tournament with all my chips going across the felt with "the worst starting hand in holdem" and "the most powerful hand in the land to bloggers everywhere."
Josh played great, strong and aggressive the whole time. I couldn't get him to back off for a minute. I think we would have played a marathon, like TripJax and I did in the first match, had I not gotten impatient and seen the hand of hands. Well done, Josh.
In other news last night, I dropped yet another buy-in at PokerRoom in my attempt to clear the hand requirements in the latest PSO promotion.(referral code-HighOnPoker, damnit) It's nothing outstanding or unbelievable, just getting my money in ahead and losing in the end. Bad luck or variance, whichever you want to call it. Last night it was my TPTK against his TP-shitty-kicker and he paired his 2 (I told you it was a shitty kicker) on the river. Oh well, the play has been fairly standard on there so far, so I know I will make it back. Just a matter of time.
LittleAcornMan, to answer your question regarding the play on PokerRoom, it's about average. I would say your analysis is spot on. The players, as a rule, suck at the lower limits that I play. A lot of patience and a little luck will make money consistently on this site, at least at the levels I am playing at. I will say this though, the Pot Limit Omaha 8b players are much better here than at the other sites I've played. Not as many gamboolers pre-flop as say, RoyalVegas. I don't prefer Pot Limit, but if that's all that's available, sometimes you have gambool.
It's finally Friday and it's payday here at my office. I'm looking forward to a pretty relaxing weekend around the casa. Not much going on, other than yard work and on-line poker.
TripJax, I hope you and your family have a great vacation. You deserve it and I will see you back at the tables some time next week.
I'm out, look me up on PokerRoom as 25GCox25.
**EDIT** I've also added another new blogger to my links up there on the right. The New has just started, so give him a visit and leave him a comment. Encouragement, people, encouragement.
posted by GaryC @ 5:42 AM, ,
Thursday, August 18, 2005
I know, I know, two posts in one day. What can I say, I'm bored to tears at work, so sue me.
This is going to be a hand history, as well as I can remember it. I would like your comments on the action as well as my response to the villain.
I'm in the big blind with about 7 players total at the table.
.25/.25 No Limit on PokerRoom.
I'm dealt J-10 suited. I love this hand, but I normally don't play it too strong. After reading LittleAcornMan's blog yesterday about BB play, here's what I did:
3 limpers in front of me and I bump it up to $2.00. MP calls, as does the button.
Flop is J-7-J. I lead out $2.00 and both call.
Turn is a 2. This time I lead out for $5.00. MP calls and Button raises to $10.00. I don't have him on a hand, but have seen him bleed chips off for the last 20 minutes or so. I almost put him all in right here, but decided to smooth call, hoping MP would come along. MP folds.
River is a 10. I lead out my same $5.00 and he pushes, I think about $15.00 more. I call immediately and he turns over 2-2 for the smaller full house.
Villain: you've got to be kidding me.
Villain: you suck
25GCox25: I do not
Villain: that call sucked
25GCox25: I don't think so
Villain: you only had 4 outs
Villain: How do you figure?
25GCox25: one jack, three 10's and three 7's.
25GCox25: I could have counted the deuce also
Villain: that would have made me quads
25GCox25: I didn't know that
Villain: that's obvious
25GCox25: what was obvious is that you are bleeding chips off right and left
25GCox25: and I gave you no credit for a hand
At this point, he left the table and another player across the table said "nice hand, I was waiting to bust his ass."
So, I ended up sucking out on him in the end, but just seeing him play for that short time, I certainly didn't think he made the full house on the turn. I'm not sure of my pot odds or implied odds (that's where I would like some help) but, looking back, I still like the call. I probably pay him off on the river anyways, if I don't make my boat on the end.
posted by GaryC @ 11:56 AM, ,
Welcome back D, it was good to sling chips with you again.
Last night, I sped home after work to get my yard baled before I logged on to the computer. I was anticipating a big night of poker playing and I wasn't disappointed. I was trolling along playing a table of NL at PokerRoom and a table of PL Omaha at PowerPlayer. I'm clearing PSO hands on PokerRoom and trying to finish some bonus money off on PowerPlayer. They are definitely skins and have the exact same software and, I'm sure, players also.
Why is it every time I pick up pocket Kings that some jackass has to have A-A, every.freaking.time? I make a nice raise and either get raised back, try giving someone at PokerRoom credit for the one hand that has you beat, or they slow play me and get all my money anyway. Two times last night and remember what I said about "How much money could I save if I developed some discipline?" Forget it, maybe I can lay down middle pair to a re-raise, but K-K??? No freaking way, abslutely not. Lost two stacks with the Kings.
Good news is that I came back both times and finished $30 ahead for the night, plus played a ton of raked hands to earn those bonus points.
More on the blogger-linking controversy. It seems some of the veterans out there are tired of the newcomers requesting links on their blogs. I have asked for and received links with some various bloggers and I've also linked other bloggers up first on my blog, but ... I've also seen some bloggers get pissed off if they get linked up to somebody else's blog without being asked. I guess it is a slippery slope right now and a topic that there are a thousand different opinions about. You know the old saying, opinions are like....I'll let you fill in the blank.
Here's one man's opinion:
"Someone is eventually going to tell you, indirectly, that your shit stinks. The only advice I'll ever give .... write for yourself and get a good healthy dose of the 'piss off, if you don't like it, don't read it' attitude." --- AlCantHang
That is it in a nutshell. Leave it to Al to set it straight. Also, if you want to be linked to Al, he was gracious enough to put up an e-mail address. You can e-mail him with the request and I'm sure he will link you up.
As far as I'm concerned, link away. If you want me to link to you, let me know and I will. Personally, it is flattering to me that someone reads my blog. Like it or not, just read it. Agree or disagree with what I have to say, just read it. It makes me no difference.
Jordan, from HighOnPoker, showed up last night and was ready to get in some matches in the challenge. After a little while, our long, lost brother of the cross-country move, DNasty13 made an appearance. It seems he hijacked somebody's wireless connection last night and was dying to play some heads up! I ended up playing a match against each one of them and caught some insanely good cards. That will be the one piece of advice I give out before this challenge ends. I've learned an awful lot by playing these HU matches and by watching all the other HU battles, but if I can relay this: "He who catches cards normally wins when it is heads up."
I know that isn't "earth-shattering" news, but for me, it has been the doggone truth. I don't feel like I've outplayed anyone yet, but at 5-1 in the challenge, I have just caught some fabulous cards. Example, D had pocket Kings on our last hand and raised. I called with 6-7 and the flop was 7-5-7. He bet, I raised and he called. Turn was an 8 and D pushed. He turned over his Kings and that was all she wrote. Obviously, if I don't hit that flop hard, I'm out of there, but that is the way this whole challenge has gone for me. I wish I could transfer it to my ring game for, say, about three weeks.
As for the game with Jordan, I don't remember any specific hands, but I know it wasn't a matter of him playing bad and me playing good. More like, he played pretty good and I outdrew him. A recurring theme, that I'm not at all unhappy about, mind you.
More of the gang showed up and we had Will-Wonka, DoubleAs and Mourn ready to challenge all comers as well. We even had Kipper, the mean practice monkey, on the rail, ready to jump in with anyone who needed a practice match. Sound familiar, SteelerJosh? I didn't see all the results, but go here to see for yourself. I'm sure they will be updated today.
I probably won't get to play much tonight until after 8:00 or 9:00 pm. I am headed to my oldest daughters' softball game (balance) and then to a Lodge meeting in El Reno after that. Hopefully, I will be home by 9:00 and ready to go.
Finally, a little pimpage. PokerSourceOnline is the place to go to earn extra bonuses on top of the money the sites are giving away. You can earn a ton of free shit for doing exactly what you are doing now, playing on-line poker. Chip sets, poker tracker, table-tops, etc. They are giving them away after you clear their requirements on certain sites. Go by there today and sign up and when you do, use this referral code: HighOnPoker.
That's all I got, have a good day.
***edit*** I almost forgot that during the challenge last night, the point was brought up that we might extend the first round matches to best 2 out of 3. I imagine Jordan will weigh in on this later and will extend it to a vote of the challengers. I'll be the first to say, it is cool with me. If we want to make it 2 out of 3, I'm okay with that and if we want to leave it at one match, I'm cool with that. I'm easy like that.
posted by GaryC @ 5:28 AM, ,
Wednesday, August 17, 2005
In the interest of posting something other than "I won this" and "bad beat that," here is my take on the world of blogging. There has been much discussion on many blogs lately regarding linking other bloggers and why some people will link and others won't. How to go about getting linked etc, etc.
When I first started blogging, I commented on others' blogs and requested a link. I even e-mailed Jordan, asking for a link and asking his advice. I had played in Dr. Pauly's freeroll on Noble and sat next to him at the final table. He was very gracious, linked me up and offered up any advice that I asked for. I, with the help of Jordan, have since expanded my "inner circle" to include a good number of bloggers and I'm very happy with where I am at right now. I would love to get linked to the big boys out there, but right now, I figure that's only going to happen if I turn out good posts, worthy of reading.
This blog is an ego thing for me, for sure. I started it to try and get involved in a community that I had been reading for nearly a year. When somebody links me up, it is a great rush, no doubt. When someone you respect leaves a comment like "Wow, you're really getting good at this blogging thing," I sit up and take notice. I also take a great deal of pride in that. It is difficult, on a daily basis, to turn out something that certain people will want to read, let alone an entire blogging community. I don't know if I will ever be able to put out entertaining stuff on a daily basis and frankly, right now I don't care if others find it entertaining. I'm writing this blog for me, more so than for anyone else. If people read, cool, if not, that's cool too.
I thought I would step out of the "inner circle" and let you know who I read on a daily basis and why. This list won't include anybody that I have linked, because if I linked them, it goes without saying that I read them every day. Here goes my list and my reasons:
HDouble - He doesn't post as often as he used to, but his strategy posts are among the very best on the web. Dig through his archives and see how fast you can kill a days' worth of work. Excellent material, always.
Felicia Lee - Felicia has run into some health problems and I send good thoughts and prayers her way for a speedy recovery. She has a unique sense of humor that not every one takes the right way, but I find it hilarious. She also gives professional advice and strategy tips.
ScurvyDog - He gives great insight from a player moving up the ladder in limits. He always has something of value that you can apply to your own game.
AlCantHang - Al is always good for a laugh. He might be the one blogger that I want to meet personally more than any other. He's very funny and destroys workplace productivity every time I click on his blog. By the way, I've been reading Eva also and she's getting damn good at blogging too.
Drizztdj - Drizz has a great sense of humor that comes across perfectly in his blog. He's also a softball player and a bowler, which makes me like him even more.
Maudie - She was the first of the "big name" bloggers to link me up, mostly because I'm from Oklahoma, I think. She was also very gracious when I met her in person at the T-Bird. She has a great blog, influenced by her theater background. Always a great read and now a great listen, also.
DuggleBogey - The 2nd "big-name" blogger to link me up. OklahomaDug has a unique sense of humor and after meeting him in person, his posts are now even funnier than they were before. He also posts a poker cartoon regularly that is always funny.
BoyGenius - BG hasn't been posting as much lately as he used to, but his writing is almost unmatched in the poker blogosphere. I turned my wife on to his site and now she reads him nearly every day, also. He recently challenged the entire community to post more "worthwhile" stuff in their blogs. I am honestly trying to get better at this everyday, though I'm not sure it shows.
Chris Halverson, Professional Poker Player - Chris was the first blog I ever read and I enjoy it to this day because it reminds me of, well, me. He is far ahead of me in terms of writing ability and bankroll, but, especially his older posts, seem to be right where I am right now, both blogging-wise and poker-wise. He also writes up good reviews on books, DVD's and such.
Here is a short list of everyone else that I read. I fear that going into detail will just be rehashing the same stuff that I said about everyone else. Trust me when I tell you, the rest of these guys/gals are just as funny/good read/great strategy as everyone else on my list.
The Fat Guy
Up For Poker
And finally the two biggies:
Tao Of Poker
Guinness and Poker
When I started this post, I didn't have the intent to suck up to anyone in particular, but rather to pay homage to those that came before me. I don't want anything in particular from any of them. If they check me out and link me up, great. If not, no big deal.
If you happen by here and you aren't reading any of the above people, you are truly missing out. The best thing about reading them all is that the work day goes by alot faster and you might actually learn something.
If you're reading this and you are just starting a blog, leave me a comment and I will link you up. That and $.50 will get you a cup of coffee, but we all have to start somewhere.
Have a good day.
posted by GaryC @ 8:21 AM, ,
Well, it's been 4 months since I threw a bowling ball, but with League starting last night, you could hardly see the rust in my game. I started off with 279, 216, 201 for a 696 series. It should have been an easy 700 series, but I will take it for the first night. I certainly won't average 232 for the year, but it was a nice start.
Bad news at the bowling alley this year. Pitchers of beer are now $8.25. That's a crock of shit and has my team already discussing the possibility of bringing coolers of beer and making routine trips outside. They have already banned smoking, so we have to walk outside to smoke anyway. We'll just have to get their early to stake out a primo parking spot right by the back door.
I got home about 10:45 and logged on with the intention of working on my PokerRoom bonus. I get it fired up and Mourn IM's me and he's ready to play. Great, another veteran blogger ready to play me in the HU Challenge. I've mentioned my trepidation with DoubleAs and Will-Wonka already and it was no different with Mourn. I've been reading back through his archives the last few days at work and it is a very good read. If you haven't checked out his blog, give it a look.
Anyway, we get the Challenge under way and I am immediately off-guard and bleeding away chips. He's betting and I'm calling, half expecting to hit a monster hand on the flop that never came. I think we battled into the 60's in total hands. Finally, with a slightly smaller chip stack, I made my stand with A-Q. I know, that hand sucks and I honestly felt like I was behind (I was) when I made the move. I made the move after the flop (which helped neither of us) praying I was ahead. Wrong. Mourn flipped up J-J and I'm down to my old "suck out better hands" strategy. Runner - Q - Runner - Q. I quickly apologized and Mourn took it well, but I still felt bad. A few hands later, I called his all-in with Q-3 and hit another Q to take it down.
In my haste to type "gg" into the chat box, I guess I re-challenged him to another match and he accepted, apparently by mistake also. Mourn hammered my ass in the 2nd one, which I guess was some consolation. It would have been for me. So...luck prevails again over skill and experience. That's three straight wins where I felt extremely lucky to win. I haven't felt particularly over-matched yet, but I have gotten alot of breaks so far.
I watched Mourn and DoubleAs do battle after my match and I think Mourn took that one down about 40-some hands in. There was some serious raising and re-raising going on in that game. I also watched DoubleAs play a "BIG" money NL ring game after they were finished. When I say "BIG" I mean "FUCKING BIG." I won't divulge the amounts here, because I'm not sure how DoubleAs would feel about it, but it was a huge game, compared to the limits we are playing in the HU Challenge. I must admit, after watching that, I am that much more impressed that DoubleAs would step down and join our HU Challenge.
Jordan has a great write-up on his trip to Atlantic City. Go by and check it out. Also, DNasty has made his re-appearance in the humid state of Florida. D, if you didn't like winter, you have made the right move, brother. He won't have high-speed access until next week and is worried about moving the competition along. I, for one, vote to hold off finishing the first round matches until he gets up and running. We could realistically finish this challenge in a couple of days if we wanted to, so I say we wait for D. We can put it to a vote though, if everyone else wants to go ahead.
Kipper had a nice post questioning some SNG strategy involving betting patterns and showing cards, etc. to get paid off bigger in the long run. My feelings on the matter are this: I am not a big fan of showing my cards to the other players, especially at the levels that we play. It works occasionally to show a bluff early and get paid off later by somebody that thinks you are bluffing again. But, for the most part, especially at our levels, you are going to get paid off by most of the monkeys. I don't believe in giving your opponent any more information that they might possibly use against you later on in the tournament.
I'm taking the little one to play tennis after work tonight, in my never-ending chase of "Balance." That is going well, although I have to admit a certain amount of withdrawl so far, not being able to play as much as I was before. Starting next week though, the balancing will take care of itself as the Mrs. and I start our mixed bowling league on Thursday nights. That will be two nights of not playing very much every week, which is two less than I was playing before.
I will be on tonight and clearing bonus at PokerRoom. Hit me up on AIM and we can try to get some more of the challenges done. Jordan, are you out there? I'm waiting for you, brother.
posted by GaryC @ 5:48 AM, ,
HU Challenge Begins
Tuesday, August 16, 2005
I got home from work last night and received a pleasant surprise. We had some huge thunderstorms this weekend and when I got home on Sunday, my high speed internet access was down. They said it would be Friday before they could have a technician out to fix it.
I headed home armed with some possible "fixes" from the "experts" here at work and some of my own ideas that might solve the problem. After screwing around with cables for about 30 minutes, I gave up, cracked a cold beer and sat back in my chair, dejected that once again, there would be no poker at my house tonight. Five minutes later, I'm turning cart wheels and spilling beer as my internet connects for the first time since last Thursday night. Woot!
So, the HU Challenge got under way last night. First things first, TripJax has created a home away from home for the bloggers to keep track of the standings. Without further ado, please go to Heads-Up Challenge to check out the latest results. Thanks, J, for the hard work.
I played three of my first round matches last night and was more than pleased with the results, going 2-1 for the night. I knew when I saw who was on-line that they would not be easy and I was right.
I started off with TripJax and knew before I started that this would be a tough match, because we had played so much together that we knew each others' game pretty well. I was not dissappointed because it went some 150 hands. I was able to double up a couple of times and pull even but for the most part was behind the whole match. TripJax did a great job of keeping the pressure on and finally finished me off after a long battle. 0-1.
Next came the match I was dreading the most of all, DoubleAs. I have been reading his blog and his strategy posts for some time and knew that he would be ultra-aggressive, which doesn't fit my style of play very well. I countered with the "suck out better hands" strategy. Aah, an oldie but a goodie. I managed to get lucky and hit some flops very hard and was able to parlay that into a substantial lead and hold him off in the end. That would be my "strategy" tip of the day:Catch good cards on the flop! It was a good match, though, and to be completely truthful, we played another match while waiting for Will and TripJax to finish and DoubleAs spanked me pretty good. 1-1.
The last match of the evening came against Will-Wonka, another competitor I was a little worried about. First, I had never watched him play and second, I know what levels he plays and the successes he has had from reading his blog. I pulled out another old, faithful strategy at the very start of the match. The old "catch monster cards to start" strategy. I must have had 6 pocket pairs and A-K at least 6 times also. It seemed like every time I had A-K, Will had A-x, so I was very lucky in that respect. It was still a good match and I enjoyed it very much. 2-1.
Not a bad first night and I ended it up with some 6-Max NL on Noble Poker. I know, I know, I don't like the short-handed tables. I thought that maybe I was learning a few things about using my aggression, so I gave it a shot and tripled my buy-in in only about 30 minutes of play. I was particularly hard on two guys at the table while we were 3 handed. I stole every other hand and called two all-ins (with the nuts) to take two of their buy-ins. It was by far the best session I've ever had at a short-handed table and I know I have the HU Challengers to thank for that.
A little pimpin' before I go:
Jordan, HighOnPoker: Excellent read and the first blogger to link me up, he will always be at the top of my blogroll. He gives excellent Limit Hold Em advice and is hilariously funny. This is where to go for legal advice.
TripJax: Another very funny writer and excellent short game player. He also has another blog created just to share your painful suck-out stories, KickedInTheJunk. He is the authority on burping babies and cleaning puke out of your keyboard. This is your man for investment advice.
SteelerJosh: As his name suggests, he is a huge Steelers fan. He also rides motorcycles and is tearing up Party Poker right now, despite the "cash-out curse." He will be right there at the end of the HU Challenge. IT advice comes from Josh.
DNasty13: D is in the middle of a cross-country move and will be joining the Challenge, hopefully by the end of the week. I can promise you this guy knows how to play short-handed also and will be a tough challenger. Hurry up with that pesky move, D.
Will-Wonka: Will is tearing up the 5/10 game on Party Poker right now and just finished an entire month of $50 SNG's, which he finished up strongly and had a nice month overall. He's a St. Louis blogger who roots for the Texas Longhorns. I won't hold that against you, Will.
Mourn: Mourn is a Houston, Texas blogger that I don't know alot about, other than I have read his blog and know that he is a veteran of the tables and of writing. Welcome to the competition, Mourn, I look forward to playing against you.
DoubleAs: If you have never read DoubleAs blog, let me just tell you that you are missing out. If you are already a fish and have no hope of improving, do not click over to his blog. He's a great writer and even better strategist. His posts are always well-written and very informative and easy to read. I've learned more reading his strategy posts than just about any other blogger. I fully expect him to be right there at the end of this competition also.
That's all I got for today. Blogger already ate this once, so ..... here goes nothing.
posted by GaryC @ 6:53 AM, ,