Tuesday, February 28, 2006
This post is for the express purpose of sending congratulations out to PokerSourceOnline for their 25,000 members. In order to find out why I'm typing this, go to Poker Forum and read all about it.
I've been pimping PSO for a long time on this blog and there is no time like the present to check out their offerings. They give you free stuff just to do what you are already doing on a regular basis. Play on-line poker. There is no better customer support and very few offers that even come close to giving you what PSO does on a regular basis. They are constantly trying to improve their promotions and they are already at the top of their game, so check them out today.
There are numerous referral codes to use when joining their site, but only one that means anything on this blog! GCox25. Go by there today and join up and make a little extra swag for something you are already doing.
Congratulations PokerSourceOnline for your 25,000th member and continue to keep up the good work!
I also want to send out a little shout to DuggleBogey, who got me started with PSO and who railbirded me to a win last night on PokerStars in a two-table SNG. Also, a shout out to my good buddy, Surflexus, who was right there until the end and graciously bowed out 5th allowing me to make the money and loosen up enough to come back for the win. Thanks both of you, I appreciate the support.
posted by GaryC @ 10:38 PM, ,
Addressing the Party SNG’s again today for just a minute. I played another one last night when I got home from the Lodge and the players are exactly the same. The only difference between their new structure and the old structure is that the lemurs are pushing in 2000 chips instead of 800.
They have changed the blind structure to 10 MINUTE intervals instead of 10 HAND intervals, which allows for a bit more play for the patient player. Remember that I am playing at the $5 + 1 level, so that is my only point of reference. I did not write down the exact starting blinds, but it seems to me that they were 25/50 to start, which means twenty minutes into a SNG, you are looking at 50/100 blinds, which are enormous, no matter the starting stack. Thirty minutes into the SNG, the blinds are 100/200 and with only 2000 starting chips, if you haven’t played a hand, you are in the rule of 10. It is not uncommon at all for me to have not even played a hand through the first three levels at UB, so I definitely have to adjust my play at Party to counteract the raising of the blinds.
When you are getting run over by the deck, as I was last night, this is a very good thing, but when you are cold-decked for three or four levels, it leads to pushing with sub-optimal hands. I flopped three sets last night and was lucky enough to get paid off every single time. I also re-raised all-in with American Airlines and was called by Q-Q. When the heads up play started, I held a 13,000 to 7,000 chip lead. One suck-out turned that all around and I was back to scratching and clawing to stay alive. I got all the way back to a slight chip lead when all the money went in pre-flop with his K-Q against my suited A-J and I was lucky enough to turn a flush and steal the win. After being such a huge chip leader for most of the tournament, it kind of felt like justice, although my opponent probably didn’t see it that way.
Thanks to everybody for your comments yesterday and to SoxLover for the heads-up on the link. I will give it a shot and see if I can fool big brother for a while. The lap top should happen in the next two weeks, so hopefully it will not be an issue after that.
The bankroll continues to hover in the mid-700’s and it seems that I am at least breaking even, if not posting wins on most nights. I will be continuing to slave away at the 5 dollar SNG’s and the .50/1.00 Stud tables for the near future in an effort to get back to where I used to be, before the downswing.
Temperatures are in the 70’s and 80’s here this week and the ice storm from weekend before last seems like a distant memory. However, the yard work that awaits me this weekend needs to be a distant memory also. I’m not looking forward to that at all, but it has to be done and I suppose I am just the guy to do it.
I will probably be looking for a game on Wednesday night this week and I will definitely be available for action on Friday night if anybody is interested, look me up. Have a good rest of the week.
posted by GaryC @ 2:55 PM, ,
Monday, February 27, 2006
I was worn out and hung over from a two day bender when I got home from the lake yesterday afternoon. I really wanted to play but after sitting down and reading a few blogs, I wasn’t sure if it was a good time to play or not. I waited a while, but finally succumbed and fired up two SNG’s, one on Party and one on UB. If you can avoid the suck-outs and the temptation to call an all-in early with a less than premium hand, it is fairly easy to make the money.
I wanted to address the “new” Party Poker software and the fact that they now start you off with 2000 chips instead of the old 800 chips. It is true, you start with 2000 chips, but the blinds also start out higher and go up just as fast as they did before, so after the first two or three rounds, it becomes a push-fest just like before. I don’t see any advantages over the old system, for a good and patient player. It works exactly like the old SNG system, in my opinion.
I ended up taking 2nd place in both SNG’s, coming off life support at Party with two pretty decent suck-outs of my own. I got all my money in with a flopped 2 pair from the big blind, only to see my opponent had flopped two bigger pair. Luckily, or fishily?, for me, the board made a straight and we chopped.
About two hands later, all my money went in when I flopped two pair with my K-Q suited, only to make runner, runner flush and take out a flopped set. I was extremely lucky to make the money, but like I said, it became a push-fest rather early, so I didn’t have a lot of choices. My heads-up opponent was a very good player, who survived one of my suck-outs to take down first place.
The other tournament at UB was a text book example of how to beat the low limit SNG’s. With 1500 starting chips and a nice, slow progression of blinds, UB allows a patient player more opportunities than just about any other site. (PokerStars is about the same) When we got down to the bubble, with 4 players left, I checked my stats and this is the tale of the tape.
Flops seen: 11%
Hands won: 4/4 100%
I had 2200 chips and was the short-stack of the four players left. The fact that I had only seen 11% of the flops was noticed by the other players and mentioned by one in the chat box. I simply did not reply and began stealing at every opportunity. Most of my raises got respect and I chipped up enough to eventually take 2nd place in the tourney. The only hand that all my money went into the pot was the final hand, when his A-3 beat my 10-10 after an Ace high flop.
Patience is golden, dear readers, absolutely golden!
I logged off, watched a little HBO and hit the sack. I will probably have time to play tonight and Wednesday this week after work. This Saturday is my day to work until noon, so Friday night will also be a poker night. If anyone is interested in playing some SNG’s or tournaments, let me know, I’ll be game.
Have a good week.
posted by GaryC @ 6:13 PM, ,
Bad Beats and Other Crap!
Sunday, February 26, 2006
I had a huge post all set to copy and paste into blogger and then I reread it and decided that nobody, including myself, should be subjected to that much tripe. Bad beat this, suck out that. Needless to say, it was not very entertaining, not that too much in this blog ever is, but that post was horrible.
Yes, I’ve been subjected to a few bad beats lately. None any worse than any of you have been subjected to on a fairly regular basis. The good news out of all of them over the last few days is this, my money is still going in ahead probably 90% of the time. Focus on making good decisions, not the results, right? The results have been bad lately, not “I tilted off 75% of my bankroll” bad, but still a reduction of almost $100 hurts a little bit. Just a bit of variance creeping up and biting me on the ass and it is to be expected to some degree after the terrific run of cards and results I’ve had over the last month and a half.
I played a bit Thursday night after I got home from the bowling alley and was invited to a conference on Yahoo with DNasty and SteelerJosh, both of whom are sporting new headsets. It’s always nice to put a voice with a screen name and Thursday night was no exception. I bombed out of a few SNG’s whilst we were chatting and rail-birded D in a HU SNG. We chatted for a bit about the upcoming gathering known as Okie-Vegas and I’m sure hoping they can both make it. I know they are going to try and that’s all I can ask. It would be great to hit one of our local poker rooms and run over a table of unsuspecting yokels.
I want to send out a thank you to TripJax for posting the screen shot of my Quads Beetches. Check out his blog and the announcement box on the top left of his screen. GCox does indeed love the ladies and his screen shot was just a second too soon as the chat box revealed “Dems quads beetches” just seconds later, I assure you.
My blog-reading habit has come to a grinding halt with the new web restrictions at work. This has made me incredibly sad. Before the controls were installed, I was able to read during every break I had at my job and that was quite often. I kept up with a good number, probably over 50 at least, of blogs on a daily basis and I really felt informed on everything that was going on. From upcoming tournaments, to Pauly’s coverage of the poker tournaments, to everyone’s daily ups and downs.
I’ve gotten pretty used to posting in the evening with the e-mail copy/paste thing, but I haven’t been able to come up with a good plan to continue reading everybody that I read in the past. It simply takes so much time and my evenings are for grinding away at the poker table. I’ve tried to surf and read while playing but to be honest with you, that takes away from my concentration and causes me to lose money. I have the attention span of a gnat anyway, so being able to play and surf at the same time does not work too well for me. I have taken to just opening one table and really concentrating hard on the play of the other people at the table and trying to pick up on anything I think I can use against them later in the game. It has worked extremely well for me over the last 6 weeks and I don’t see that changing in the near future.
Until something changes at work, I will just be popping in and out to all the blogs I used to read every day. If you are one of those bloggers, I apologize. I haven’t stopped reading your blog because of anything you said or did, it is just not convenient for me at this point. Hopefully, in the near future when I get the laptop, I will be able to start doing some reading on my lunch hour and get back to visiting everybody on a regular basis. Keep up the good work and keep me in mind if you ever have the opportunity to knock the shit out of an IT dude.
Have a good one, I’ll be back tomorrow.
posted by GaryC @ 6:57 PM, ,
Okie-Vegas-Yea or Nay????
Thursday, February 23, 2006
It is time to try and get a head count on anybody that is planning on attending Okie-Vegas in June of this year.
If you haven’t heard, we are planning a blogger get-together for June 7th – 11th of 2006 in Oklahoma City. I will be your humble host and try to make any arrangements necessary for anybody that needs a ride, a place to stay, etc. The plan right now is to fly in to Will Rogers World Airport in Oklahoma City on Wednesday night, June 7th. I will run the shuttle service between my house and the airport all night, if necessary, or until everybody that is coming arrives. We’ll have cocktails at my house and then head out to a poker room once everybody is present.
The rest of the week/weekend is kind of up in the air at this point, but here are some of the options:
Three poker rooms within about 30 minutes of my house.
Possible barbecue cookout at the home of world-famous, internationally known blogger extraordinaire, Maudie.
Possible day trip to my lake place to include boating, jet-ski’s, cookout and beer bash.
No limit tournament at a location to be determined.
I’ve done several of these update-type posts and have not gotten the type of response that I am looking for here. What I am looking for is some type of commitment, even if it is only “I’m going to try”, in order to get a head count on how many I should be expecting. Also, if you are planning on attending, the earlier you buy the plane tickets, the more money you will save and the more money you will have to donk off to some lemur playing 7-3 off-suit just because “it’s my favorite hand.”
So, step up to the plate people. Let me know if you are or are not interested and if you are seriously planning on attending or not, so I can make the necessary arrangements and start to get a head count on how many will be here. Also, if you have any questions about anything related to this little venture, fire away. I won’t lie to you or sugar-coat anything, I will tell you the truest answer I know to any question you ask.
Hit me back.
posted by GaryC @ 9:46 PM, ,
Wednesday, February 22, 2006
One of the things that really helped me get through my long downswing of the past several months was making damn sure my mindset was correct before sitting down to play.
During the downswing, I found myself sprinting in the door from work and logging on before I had my clothes changed. This is no way to play poker. I was calling bets and raising pots before I was comfortably situated to begin playing. This led to bleeding off a buy-in before I was anywhere near the right place, mind-wise, to try and play poker. There is nothing worse than starting the night down a buy-in and spending the rest of the evening either (A) bleeding off more of your bankroll or (B) playing desperation catch-up to the buy-in you’ve already flushed away.
Lately, I have tried to come in from work, take my time to get everything situated like I want it (read:beer cooler and ashtray) and sit down to play in the right frame of mind every time. It’s not always possible due to time constraints, family and life, but for the most part, I’ve found that when I am in a hurry, I make mistakes. When I sit down ready to play cards and concentrate, I usually post a winning session.
Friday night was a perfect example. I didn’t play very much last week, but had gotten the go-ahead from the family to play in the DADIII HU Tournament, uninterrupted. I got home form work, got all my ducks in a row and sat down in the perfect mindset to play winning poker. I posted two quick double-ups at the Stud tables before the tournament began and was able to win three matches and squeak into the money in the tournament, as well.
Tuesdays and Thursdays are prime examples of the opposite. I bowl every Tuesday and Thursday and I don’t get home until around 9:30 or 10:00, but I sprint in the door, change my clothes and fire up two Stud tables as fast as I can. This displays my growing addiction to this hobby, but is not the way to insure winning poker. From now on, I will probably not be playing very much after bowling on Tuesdays and Thursdays. It is simply not profitable and I plan on trying to be as profitable as possible from here on out.
I understand that you are supposed to think of this hobby as “one big session” and that, over time, the swings will even out and if you are a good, solid player, you will make money in the long run. Thinking in terms of “one big session” is extremely difficult to do when you spend three months losing seemingly every pot you play. Of course, that’s not entirely true, but in the middle of that type of downswing, it sure feels like you couldn’t win a hand if you had to.
The thing that I found helped me the most was a quote from Greg Raymer. I’m not going to quote it exactly, but it was something along the lines of “I’m not going to worry about results, just decisions.” As long as you sit down in the right frame of mind, ready to concentrate and ready to make the best decision you can make on every hand, the results will basically take care of themselves. That’s what I’ve been trying to do every time I sit down to play lately and it has shown through in my recent results.
Sure, I still make bad calls, but they seem to be less and less right now. Yes, I still limp into pots when I shouldn’t, but for the most part, I’m still able to get away from them if the flop misses me entirely.
Two other things come to mind when I think about my improved play. The first was a comment from DuggleBogey when we played live at the T-Bird. We took a smoke break right before I left for the night and he told me to sit down and play a session of Limit and do not call a single bet. Take a full buy-in to the table and either raise or fold every.single.time. Remember me? Mr. weak/tight over here. Raise or fold every time? You know what? He is absolutely right. If your hand is good enough to play, play it for a raise and if not, fold and get the hell out of there.
The other tidbit came from Lee Jones’ book that Surflexus so graciously sent me in his bounty from the initial DADI tournament. Jones says this: “Look for a reason to fold.” That’s very simple logic, but very powerful stuff for a Limit player. How many more bets per session do we bleed off thinking, “ah, what the hell, it’s only one more bet, maybe I will hit that miracle gut-shot on the river.” I did it all the time and still do occasionally, but I’ve found that Limit poker is all about two things: (1) save as many bets as possible when you are behind and (2) maximize your profit when you are ahead.
That is much easier said than done at the low limits that I play, but as long as you keep those thoughts in mind, you (and I) are well on our way to making better, more informed decisions and we all know that leads to profitability.
Look for a reason to fold.
Tonight is about the only night this week I have set aside for poker until Sunday evening. The family and I are headed down to the lake place to do Karaoke Saturday night at the bar. I will be driving down right after work on Friday evening so I can play in their weekly dart tournament on Friday night. My partner and I won the tournament the last time we went down in December, so I am looking forward to playing this week.
I bowled league last night and shot a 686 series. It could have been much better, but I got a little sloppy in the middle of the second game and only shot 197. I had a 255 in the first game and finished the night off with a 234. I started the first game off with 7 strikes in a row and had a very good feeling, but two ten pins later, it was just a 255. I’m still very happy with the results of the last few weeks at the bowling alley. The average is almost 220, so I cannot complain too loudly.
If you have time tonight, I will be looking for a game. I will probably be playing some Stud tables and try to squeeze in a few SNG’s, as well. Hit me up on Yahoo or at the tables.
posted by GaryC @ 4:12 PM, ,
The Low Limit Grinder
Tuesday, February 21, 2006
As the title of my blog suggests, my bankroll and my mindset at the virtual poker tables are geared towards the lower limits. This means that you won’t often see me at anything higher than .50/1.00 Limit tables or $10 + 1 tournament tables. I simply can’t afford to put much more than that in play at any one time.
Back when I originally talked my wife into letting me deposit some real money on-line to play with, after three or four months of killing at the play money tables, it was $50 to start with and that does not allow for any type of failure. I realized this after I went broke twice and finally deposited another $50. The last time I started out grinding away at the $5 SNG’s and before long, I had a playable stack.
One of my biggest problems was that once I had some success grinding away at the low limit tables, I got greedy and wanted to make even more profit and I wanted to make it faster, damnit. The only way I saw to do that was to move up in limits. As long as I was winning, all was good, of course, as we all know, the losses are more than you are used to losing when you move up in limits also.
The most important thing I’ve learned from my downswing is that I have to play at a table that I am comfortable at and at a limit that I am comfortable with also. Once in a while, I’ve dabbled in the $20 + 2 SNG’s at Ultimate Bet and although I’ve never found the competition to be that much better, my own mindset seemed to be different. I realize full well how much money I have at stake and I play differently as a result.
My style is pretty weak/tight to begin with, but at the higher levels, I was playing weak/scared and that is a sure way to lose your money. At my normal games, I switch gears as often as possible and I play my strong hands aggressively, regardless of resistance from other players. At the higher levels, I found myself giving the other players too much credit. One day I will make the move to the $20 SNG’s, but only when I feel like I can play my normal game there and be comfortable with it.
Unfortunately, even though I’ve had a real good run lately and built my bankroll up to the respectable range (at least for me), I am still uncomfortable moving up in limits. I’ve taken a few shots at the 1/2 Limit Stud tables and have had some success along with some failures. Again, it goes back to being comfortable at the table and with the level you are playing. Right now, at least for me, that means .25/.50 and .50/1.00 Limit tables and the $5 and $10 SNG’s.
I have no doubt that in the future, I will move up in limits. I want to move up in limits, but I will only do that when I feel like I can play the exact same game that I’m playing right now at the lower limits. It’s amazing what a month of solid play, good cards and very few suck-outs can do for your confidence. I can feel the confidence that I’ve built up playing Stud affecting all the other games I play. I am more sure of myself and my reads and have been a much better all around poker player since the upswing started.
I know that variance will still have its’ time to kick me in the junk, but I’m hoping that I realize it before it bites me in the ass. Solid play and knowing when to call it a night have been very good to me lately, here’s to hoping it continues.
It appears that I am going to go with Party Poker for my newest deposit. Don’t ask me why.
Hi, my name’s Gary and I’m a losing player at Party Poker.
The first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem, right? Well, I damn sure have a problem with Party Poker. I’ve busted out of there twice for $100 both times. The last couple of gift certificates I got from PokerSourceOnline, I was able to withdraw almost that much before going on a bad run there, but I have no profits to show for it. Hopefully, this time will be different. Watch out for me at the Stud tables.
It’s nice to see more comments starting to trickle in. I do appreciate them. I know I’ve been in a bit of a rut with this blog thing since my work took action to lock us down for 9 hours a day, but I’m starting to get in a groove with the e-mail thing. Anyway, thanks for stopping by and for commenting, they are always welcome.
I’ve got a busy week this week, so there won’t be much time for poker. Wednesday night looks to be the only open night and we are heading to the trailer at the lake on Friday after work for the weekend. Holler at me if you see me at a table or join in, I’m an equal opportunity tourist!
Have a good week.
posted by GaryC @ 3:00 PM, ,
Bloggers, Readers and Tourists
Monday, February 20, 2006
Well, if you missed this tourney, you missed a damn good time. Shame on you.
Let me first say that Heads Up is not my strong point. I will follow that up with this: I luck-boxed my way into the money. I didn’t take any notes during the tournament, but I seem to remember the hand of destiny for the every match pretty well. I played Bob Labah in the first match. I know he plays in a lot of blogger tournaments, but I don’t know if he is a blogger or not. Let me know if he is and I will gladly link to him tonight.
Anyway, we were going back and forth and he had taken a bit of a lead. I don’t remember how much of a lead, but 1800-1900 chips to my 1100 or 1200, if I remember correctly. We ended up getting in all-in after a flop of A-Q-x. He held A-Q and I held A-K. Oops! Anyway, the King came on the river and I sucked out on him. I tried in vain to relinquish that large chip lead, but the cards kept coming my way and I was able to advance to the next round.
The next match was with President Dave Lee. I don’t remember a lot about this match, other than I did get some pretty good cards and Dave is a very nice guy. The hand of destiny occurred pretty early with pre-flop raising and two clubs on the board. I made my flush on the turn and was able to convince him to lay down his hand, to his credit, but I took a large chunk of his chips in the process. I was able to advance to the next round and meet my Aussie buddy, Davee. Davee and I have played a few times together before and he is very aggressive, which I am not.
Normally, the aggressive play of an opponent completely throws me off my game, but for some reason, the cards were very good to me. I felt as if I was able to turn the tables on Davee and that I was the one playing the aggressor. The big hand was a doozy indeed. I held 8-9d and Davee had Q-6o, I believe. The flop was 10d, 6d, x. The turn was another 6, but the river made my straight when a 7 appeared. I ended up putting Davee all in and he couldn’t get away from his trip 6’s and I rivered another winner.
My last match, when we got down to 8, was with Dazza70, a reader and a damn good heads up player. My good run of cards came to an end and I had to lay down my good starting hands most times after missing the flop entirely. I don’t remember the specific hand that I went out on, but needless to say, I was outplayed and/or outflopped consistently and was in no position to do any damage at all during this match. Good match Dazza and congratulations on making the final 4.
So, I snuck into a $38 payday and I was damn proud to get that far. It took a few suck-outs and a pretty solid run of good cards, but I made the most of them also. I also enjoyed the hell out of playing with bloggers and readers and if you are not playing in these tournaments, you are missing out. The smack talk was flying and the good natured joking makes for a good time.
I missed out on the first SNG after the HU tourney, which featured Jordan, TripJax, Acornman, DNasty and Surflexus. I bombed out of the first SNG I played in with bloggers afterwards, but was able to win a 6-Max with Jordan and Trip to end the night on a positive note.
My slow and steady approach continues to build the bankroll $15-$20 a night. I’ve climbed within shouting distance of $800 and hope to make it past that total after tonight’s play. I went on a run last night and won 2 out of 3 SNG’s before hitting the sack. I came from the short stack both times to come back and win. Quite satisfying, indeed. After three months of consistently losing and dropping all the way down under $300, the last month and a half has been a welcome relief.
The first SNG, we are down to the bubble and I am in 3rd place in chips when the short stack goes all-in. I call with K-10 and the big stack calls with 6-x.(they were soooooooted) The flop is 10-6-x and we both check. Turn is a 6 and we both check again and the river is a beautiful 10. I am happy to check this down, but the big stack apparently lost his mind and fired a bet, waiting too long to bet and allowing me to catch up. I immediately went all-in over the top of him and now I’m second in chips with three remaining.
I knocked out 3rd place and I started heads up play down about $10,000 to $5,000. There were several huge swings during heads up play and it lasted about 30 hands or so. One particular hand, I called him down with 10 high and won a pot. He was bluffing furiously and I called him at every opportunity. We ended up all-in when he had Q-Q and I showed K-K. Thank you very much sir. I still think the dry side pot bet when he waited until the river ended up biting him in the ass and gave me the momentum I needed to finish him off.
Here is a question for anybody that stops by this blog. What is your favorite on-line poker room and why?
I’ll start with what is a pretty obvious choice if you know me at all. My favorite room is Ultimate Bet for a variety of reasons.
It was the first poker room I ever deposited money on and I have never busted out of UB. I like their software. It’s a very slick room and I never have any connection issues there. I’ve always gotten my withdrawls out of UB very quickly and finally, I love playing with the underwater, “fishy” background.
I think their competition is among the best on the internet, but there are always a few players strictly there to gamble it up. Their SnG’s have always been a consistent money-maker for me. While I think their competition is pretty solid for the most part, it makes you play a very patient game, which I am ultra-suited for anyway. I love their 10-person, regular blind structure SnG’s. The structure is outstanding, they start you out with 1500 chips and as long as you are patient, you can almost always make the money. For me, that is a recipe for success and I likely never will withdraw all my money from UB.
All that being said, I have freed up a little bit of money and am looking for another room to deposit with. I’m considering Party Poker again, since I downloaded their new software yesterday, but I’ve never had much success there. I have a ton of rooms already downloaded on my computer, but there is a reason I don’t have any money on them right now. I either didn’t like them or I busted out or left shortly after completing the initial PSO bonus with them.
I’m open to any suggestions and am especially curious about Doyle’s Room. How much traffic do they have and how soft are the games would be a couple of questions that I would be interested in hearing your opinions on. Also, any other room that you would recommend, I would appreciate the input.
That’s all I got today, thanks for stopping by and reading. Have a good week.
posted by GaryC @ 3:32 PM, ,
Big Pimpin' Friday
Friday, February 17, 2006
If you are not signed up yet for the DADIII Heads Up Championship, may I ask what the hell you are waiting for? I’m already signed up and that means that whoever draws me in the first round is getting the equivalent of a bye into the 2nd round. You would be silly not to sign up, it’s almost as fool-proof as playing the lottery. Get your ass over to PokerStars, go to the Private tourney tab, find the DADIII Invitational, use password blogsaregay and get your money in there.
I want to send out a huge thank you in advance to TripJax and Jordan from HighOnPoker for setting these tournaments up for all of us bloggers and readers to join. The on-line relationships that I’ve built through playing poker and writing/reading blogs have become more than I ever imagined back when I started this thing. I thought I would spend a little time today telling you about some of those relationships. My Poker Mafioso, if you will.
Jordan was the original blogger to link up the Low Limit Grinder. He took the time to answer my questions, pimp my blog and overall be a good friend back when I first started. We “met” at the final table of one of Pauly’s freeroll tournaments on Noble Poker back almost a year ago. He was seated immediately to my right and felt the need to hammer away at my blinds the entire time we were together at the final table. If you’ve ever played poker with Jordan, you know that he has his own style of witty banter, too. He also mentioned his blog while we were at the table and I immediately added him to my daily reading list. It wasn’t long after then that I decided I would give the blog thing a try. I had a million questions and Jordan was kind enough to help a brother out along the way. I’ve always tried to help new guys out since then because of that first experience nearly a year ago. Had Jordan not been so kind, who knows how this thing would have turned out? I might not be blogging at all today were it not for his patience and kindness. Thanks J, I’ve said it before but it bears repeating. You will always be at the top of my blogroll simply because of the way you treated me from the start. I appreciate your kindness and advice, but more importantly, I value your friendship. Thanks for being there.
There was yet another blogger at that same final table who I did not immediately recognize, even though he had the coolest banner of any site out there. TripJax still had his old “Poker In Arrears” banner up at that time and I had read him many times, but did not put two and two together until a few weeks later. When Jordan and I arranged the original SNG Challenge among 6 infamous bloggers, I met TripJax for the first time. Again, the common theme among all of these people was kindness. Trip has answered more of my inane questions and given me more advice than any blogger should have to give. He doesn’t play as often as most of us do, due to family considerations, but I can assure you, there is no better time to be had than sitting at a SNG table with TripJax and Jordan and chatting at the same time. There have been some times when I actually spewed beer out of my mouth and down through my nose, laughing my ass off at some of the chat that has been thrown out during these tournaments. Thanks Trip, for all the work you’ve done on my banner, for all the e-tard advice you’ve given and again, for being a good friend. I appreciate it more than you know.
The next group of bloggers I want to talk about all arrived in my sights at around the same time. Most in the SNG Challenge and a couple of others that started reading, commenting and linking at around the same time.
Kipper-He was one of the first two or three bloggers to link up to me and was also involved in the SNG Challenge. Kipper is a very tough competitor at a SNG table and has been great to talk to in the chat rooms, despite the occasional Chewbaca voice he gets through his head set. I’m exceedingly disappointed that he won’t be able to make Okie-Vegas this summer, but I understand family obligations all too well, so he is excused. There has been talk of a husband/wife get-together in Atlantic City later in the year and I hope that we will be able to meet face to face at that time. I look forward to that and thanks, Kipper, for taking the time to read my drivel and for linking me up on your blog.
DNasty-D was also involved in the SNG Challenge and despite a cross-country move thrown in there somewhere was always able to join in chatting and playing SNG’s with us. His work and school obligations have cut into his time for playing and blogging, but he still puts up some good stuff and is always worth the read. He’s become a good friend and I look forward to meeting him at Okie-Vegas this summer. Thanks, D, for linking me up and for being a good friend.
SteelerJosh-Josh gets a little slack since his Steelers won the Super Bowl this year. I am a Cowboy fan and have always hated the Steelers, but I will give credit where credit is due and tell Josh Congratulations on their win. Josh is always good for a laugh whether in his blog or in the chat room of a SNG. I miss playing at the same table with him and D like we used to do more often. Thanks Josh, for everything and I hope to meet you in June also.
WillWonka-Will missed out on the SNG Challenge, but joined us in the first HU Challenge and has been a constant reader/commenter since that time. Will also posts some great strategy and excellent thoughts regarding Limit Hold Em on a daily basis at his blog. Unfortunately, Limit Hold Em was my downfall during my earlier downswing. I obviously wasn’t paying enough attention to his strategy tips, because they are top-notch. Keep up the good work Will, you are a good friend and I hope to meet you in June also.
LittleAcornMan-my original link from “across the pond.” Acorn gives great insight into the NL cash game and always has some great advice. He will describe a hand that played out and delve into his thinking behind why he played the hand the way he did. He does this as good or better than anybody out there and if you are not reading him, you are missing out on some great critical-thinking posts. He’s also damn funny and a great guy to boot. I love his accent too. If you’ve never been involved in a chat room with LittleAcornMan, you are missing out on the opportunity to learn some things and have a great time, as well. Thanks, AcornMan, for reading and linking me up, I appreciate your friendship.
All of these guys have become very good friends of mine in the past year and I think that if we were to meet at a bar or at a real world poker table, we would get along as famously as we do on the virtual felt.
I don’t mean to exclude anybody and I know I haven’t added links in a while. I plan to work on that this weekend, if the weather is as bad as they say it is going to be here. To all the new bloggers that I do have linked, keep up the good work and be nice to any newbies that stop by your blog. That is the mantra that I’ve tried to stick to since my first encounter with Jordan.
Pay it forward.
posted by GaryC @ 4:36 PM, ,
Wow. I had never been to an NBA game before last night and I must say, I came away impressed, inspired and in awe of the whole experience. I had absolutely no idea what to expect walking in the Ford Center last night for the Hornets game with the visiting Portland Trialblazers.(who are horrible, I might add) I had not been in the Ford Center since it opened and I have to say, Oklahoma City has an NBA-worthy arena. Very impressive.
I’ve been to many Major League baseball games, several NFL games and scads of University of Oklahoma football games (which often are better than the NFL experience) but the entertainment value of the NBA is miles ahead of anything I’ve ever attended, other than music concerts. After last night, I honestly think that the NBA will put a team in Oklahoma City if and when the Hornets go back to New Orleans. They sell out every night (19,000+) and the arena is rocking every night.
I was talking to some of the big-wigs in the suite that we were invited to last night and about the only thing I can come up with to explain it is the fact that Oklahoma is a college state and Oklahoma City is a minor league town. We get behind our teams when we have a rooting interest, whether it be AAA baseball, minor league hockey or the colleges in the state. The city has really taken to this team and the atmosphere is more like a college football game than an NBA game. They definitely have a home court advantage just from the crowd noise and participation.
I say all this and of course, my tickets to the game and the food and beverage in the suite were all paid for by someone else, so I had a fantastic time. I recommend the Amstel Light and the fajitas if you ever find yourself in suite 50 at the Ford Center. I don’t think we would ever be season ticket holders, but there appears to be enough support to maintain an NBA team in Oklahoma City. Very impressive, indeed.
Oh yeah, the Hornets are not great, but they play hard and that is all the fans of Oklahoma City ask of them. Byron Scott does a nice job with more or less a patchwork lineup and Chris Paul is a Star-in-the-making. He is injured right now, but is a very talented player. I don’t think they will win anything this year, but I do think they will make the playoffs and with several playoff games at the Ford Center, they just might make some noise in the playoffs.
Okay, back to poker. I will be taking the night off tonight. I have a meeting at the Elks tonight at 7:00 pm and I plan on playing all night tomorrow night, so I will be posting this on the blog and spending the rest of the evening with the family. I have a busy weekend planned out in the yard with lots of work to do. If anyone is free, I will be cleaning out gutters and installing those covers so that I don’t have to clean them out again next year. We got a new roof last summer and I just noticed that the roofers took off all my gutter covers and did not replace them. Bastards!
Important Pimpage Ahead:
DADIII – Heads Up Championship – Friday, February 17, 2006 – 9 PM EST
PokerStars – Private tourney tab – Password: blogsaregay
If you have not registered yet, what the hell are you waiting for. I haven’t checked it the last few days, but I think this will at least come close to filling up and should be a hella good time. I’m looking forward to it.
See y’all tomorrow night.
posted by GaryC @ 8:07 PM, ,
Wednesday, February 15, 2006
Wednesday night-hump day is over and we are headed toward the weekend. Finally!
The wifey surprised me yesterday with tickets, parking passes and the whole nine yards to the New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets basketball game tonight. A colleague of hers in the insurance business invited her and since I'd never seen a pro basketball game, I decided to join her tonight. Normally I would stay put, watch the game on TV and not hassle with traffic, parking, people, etc. But, did I mention she had Suite Tickets? All the food and all the drink we want compliments of her colleague’s company. I see that as a win-win situation, assuming I can get into and out of BrickTown in a reasonable amount of time. The Hornets play the Portland Trailblazers and, although I would have rather seen a bigger name team, this will do for my first NBA experience.
As anticipated, the wife and I received extraordinary news from our CPA yesterday. It seems that after years of take, take, take, the tax man is actually giving this year, a lot! We are filing today and as soon as that check comes back in the mail, I will be shopping for a laptop in earnest. After discussing it with several veteran lap-toppers and a few of my computer geek buddies here, I have a pretty good idea what I’m going after. I look forward to hooking up the wireless router and going to town on a Stud table
while sitting on the couch with the family.
Yesterday was the 10th anniversary of the only 300 I’ve ever shot at the bowling alley. I drove to the bowling alley with the best of intentions last night, but what ensued was anything but perfect. My team (middle of the pack) was set to take on the 2nd place team in the league. The first game, I threw the first 9 shots right in the pocket and carried exactly three of them. Three seven pins and three ten pins later, I finished the first game with a 203. However, my team had rallied a bit and we won the first game by over a hundred pins.
I shot 236 the second game and 199 the last game after the oil pattern broke down. I think 201 was the highest game by either team in the last game, so I didn’t feel too bad. When the shot goes to hell, it is hard on everybody and it definitely went to hell during the final game last night.
That's all I have this evening, I'm off to the game in just a few minutes. I will be at the DADIII on Friday evening and will see everybody then. Have a good rest of the week,
posted by GaryC @ 2:57 PM, ,
Tuesday, February 14, 2006
True to my word, I came home last night and played for a couple of hours, like normal. Like I said yesterday, old habits are hard to break, damnit. The first key is wanting to break them and the second is having the motivation to break them. I’m close on both parts, but am still not quite there yet.
MrsGCox25, LittleGCox25 and I went out to eat for Valentine’s Day a little early. I met the family at Charleston’s last night since my wife still had a left-over Christmas gift certificate and we had a great meal. We both have too many things going on today, so last night was our mini-celebration. I had the Hawaiian Sirloin steak and the wife had Prime Rib. Excellent choices each and cooked to perfection. It’s not often you can go out for a good steak with three people and your bill is $12. Charleston’s is a tad over-priced but the food is excellent and the gift certificate made it that much better.
I want to take this opportunity to say Happy Valentine’s Day to all the loves in my life:
MrsGCox25-I love you with all my heart and have since the day I met you.
Mom-I know it hasn’t gotten any easier, but I love you and will be here for you if you need anything.
Mom(2)-You are the best mother-in-law a guy could wish for. I love you and thanks for being my friend.
Daughter(A)-I’ll never forget when they laid you in my arms 16 years ago. I love you and will be here for you whenever you should need me.
Daughter(C)-You are truly a joy. Just to see the light in your mother’s eyes is worth everything. I love you and will continue to do anything I can for you.
Okay, that’s it for the mushy stuff. I also want to send out a Happy Valentine’s Day to any readers that stop by today. I realize it will be late when this is posted, but I will send out well wishes to all of you anyway. Thanks for continuing to stop by here even though things have changed dramatically for me. Have a good one today and hug your spouse and kids.
I played two SNG’s with Jordan last night. First, we entered a 45 person SNG on PokerStars and decided on a $1 last longer bet. It didn’t take long as this tourney was filled with some of the worst play imaginable. Jordan ended up going out in about 27th when he ran top pair into a nicely slow-played pair of Aces, one of the few good plays I saw all night.
I went out shortly after in about 23rd when my top pair all-in re-raise couldn’t get another smaller stack off his flush draw. But, they were soooooted! I don’t care, it was still a 3 and a 5 genius. Nice hand, sir and off I go.
After we had both cooled down, Jordan talked me into a 6-Max SNG on Full Tilt. If it was possible for a table to be looser and crazier than the Stars SNG, this one was it. Two morons going at it every hand, trading chips at the start and Jordan and I sat back and watched. After one of the luckboxes disposed of the other, it was my turn to double up. He called an all-in with a four out gut-shot straight draw that doubled me up, but then turned around and called off all his chips with a flush draw that, of course, hit on the river. Very nicely played, sir. TY was his only reply.
I was done after that with only 400 chips and pushed out of the big blind with A-4 suited. Of course, he limped in and I told Jordan before I pushed that he had a monster. Pocket 10’s, no help on the flop and IGHN. I left, but I sure hope Jordan busted his ass.
After the ass-kicking I took at the SNG’s, it was a damn good thing I more than doubled up a buy-in at Paradise and Full Tilt playing Stud earlier in the evening. Still ahead for the night and I really love that game.
After bleeding my bankroll down to the 300 dollar mark in late December, I have been able to run it back up to over 700 bucks playing mainly Stud. I’ve been trying to read as much as possible, but to be honest, at my levels, just playing the game and gaining the experience at the low limit tables has been a boon for me. I’ve still got a long ways to go, but I feel like I am back on track.
Looking forward to DADIII Friday night. I have the go-ahead from the family and have already signed up for the event at PokerStars. Right now, I put myself as the longest shot of all the people that are signed up. Just the way I like it, I do play the underdog role well.
Good luck this week and if I don’t see you on-line before Friday, I will see you at the DADIII.
posted by GaryC @ 2:53 PM, ,
Applying the brakes
Monday, February 13, 2006
My family life, personal life and work life demand that I start applying the brakes a bit. I’ve been playing a lot lately and falling back into old habits. Old habits are hard to break sometimes, especially since I’ve overcome the downswing and have been on a solid upswing the last three or four weeks. It seems the better I play, the more I want to play. Funny, huh?
Anyway, the family is once again feeling a bit neglected and I know they are right. I’ve discussed many times how a hobby can turn into a full blown addiction in about thirty seconds for me. I don’t need to play every night to be successful and, at least for the time being, I won’t be playing every night for a while.
I’m going to try and limit my play to after my daughter is in bed and then one other night during the week. This will allow me to play on Tuesday and Thursday night after I get home from the bowling alley and then either Monday, Wednesday or Friday night depending on our karaoke schedule. With the DADIII scheduled for this Friday night, that means Friday will be my night to play this week. I may still get in a few hands tonight and Wednesday, but it will be very limited due to family concerns.
Balance, as usual, is the key and seems to be the hardest thing for me to stay on top of right now. Bankroll dominated my thinking for the last several weeks and I cannot allow that to happen. I have to spend more time with the family and less time locked away in the bedroom, playing poker by myself.
After a bit of a drunken session that saw me drop about $50 late Friday night, I battled back and finished ahead for the weekend, just barely. I spent a lot of time on the .50/1.00 Limit Stud tables on Paradise and Full Tilt and booked enough of a win on Sunday to be ahead for the weekend.
I finished it off last night with a win in a $10.00 SNG on Ultimate Bet. After reading TripJax’s post on Friday about opponents betting into a dry side pot, I was faced with the exact same situation in this SNG. I was a normal stack (around 2000 chips) and the overwhelming chip leader (around 5500 chips) and I both called a short stack who was all-in. I had pocket 3’s and the flop came 4-5-6. He fired at it and I just couldn’t see him having any of that flop so I called. The turn was a 2 and he fired again. I smooth-called him again and he decided he was beat and checked the river. I checked as well and took down a nice pot. I checked knowing full well that he wouldn’t have called another bet and to try and get my point across that we could have easily checked that down.
Several hands later, I’m holding 10-10 in the big blind and the same guy and I call another short stack all-in. The flop is 9-9-4 and I check. He fires a pot-sized bet out there again. I decided I was good and re-raised all-in over the top of him. He called with A-4 and I hit runner 10, runner 10 to make Quads, beetches. I put him out the very next hand with K-Q, when I flopped two pair and he had slow-played A-K into a loser. He went from a monster chip leader to out of the tournament on the bubble in about 5 hands.
I don’t really have a problem with betting into a side pot when there is reasoning behind it. If you flopped a monster that is still a bit vulnerable, I don’t mind a bet. If you are short-stacked, I don’t mind a bet. If you are positive you are ahead, I don’t mind a bet. But, when both of you have workable stacks and the flop misses you completely, don’t fire a bet at a dry side pot. The only good thing that can happen is you suck out on the person that is all-in. Most of the time, one person folds and the all-in short-stack has a better hand than the bettor. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen that happen. All of the sudden, that short-stack that was all-in triples up and is back in the game.
I guess what I’m trying to say is use your head when there are two people calling an all-in. There are a lot of circumstances where betting at the pot is absolutely wrong. If you can’t figure out when that is, you might well plan on bubbling out of a few tournaments until you learn when to bet and when to check. Just my two cents.
Remember, this Friday, the DADIII HU Championships will occur at PokerStars. I’ve already signed up and contributed my dead money to the prize pool. Feel free to do the same as I’m sure it will be full by the time Friday rolls around. Look under the Private Tournament tab for the DADIII Invitational and use the password blogsaregay. It will be a good time and you do not want to miss out, so get signed up today.
Time to run. If I don’t see you on-line much this week, I will catch you Friday before the DADIII starts. Thanks for stopping by and thanks for the comments on my last post.
posted by GaryC @ 4:13 PM, ,
Completely Over-Simplified Guide To Low Limt SNG's For Beginners
Saturday, February 11, 2006
Well, that in a nutshell, is what I feel like writing about today. Suffice it to say, I am speaking only of the $5 + .50 and $10 +1 variety of Sit N Go tournament, because that is where the majority of my experience comes from.
Sit back, fold, raise when you have the nuts, fold some more, get your money in with the best of it and pray that it holds up and then fold some more. Congratulations, more times than not, you have made the money and have an opportunity to try and win the tournament now.
Of course, that is way too simplistic, but in my opinion, this strategy works and works well, more often than not.
I start out a normal, 10-person SNG tournament in a bit of a loose mood. I will limp in with a few more speculative hands than I will play in the middle stages of a tournament, just hoping for the opportunity to flop a monster and take all of somebody else’s chips. If this happens once or twice in the early stages of a tournament, I am pretty much folding and stealing to the money from there on out.
If I don’t flop a monster with any of the speculative hands, often times I am still in strong enough chip position to threaten the larger stacks. Most of the time, I will wait for a big hand and try to trap the bigger stacks, however, stealing enough blinds to stay ahead of the game is imperative also. I will try to steal with just about any two cards from the button or one off, every single time it is folded around to me. I also defend my big blind aggressively when I feel like a button is on a straight steal, rather than raising with a solid hand.
I stay with my passive, wait for a big hand strategy until we are in the money most of the time. If I happen to become the short stack when we are at or approaching the bubble, I will go into push mode. Jordan has his “rule of 10” which, simply stated, says if you have less than 10x the Big blind in your stack, you should push with a strong hand. Don’t call anything, push or fold. When I say push, I mean move all-in by the way. I’m sure everyone knows that, but I thought I had better say it in case somebody new ever stops by my blog again.
Once in the money, my strategies vary depending on stack sizes. If I am the big stack, I like to bully the other players and steal as often as possible. However, if there is a very aggressive (maniac) player that I have identified throughout the course of the tournament and he has chips, I will wait, trap and let him hang himself.
If we are all close in chips, I revert back to my normal, tight-aggressive play for the most part. Obviously, there are still many opportunities to steal and I try to take advantage of those, but for the most part, I wait for a good hand and play it strong.
If I am the short stack of the three people left, my strategy becomes much like push or fold. If you’ve pushed three hands out of the last five and finally pick up a hand, your opponents are going to be more likely to call you with a less than stellar hand in hopes of drawing out on you. Remember, all you can do is get your money in with the best of it and hope they hold up.
I’m basically a weak/tight player and at the levels I play, that strategy of waiting for big hands will get you in the money more times than not. The amount of players in these SNG’s that are willing to put all their money in the pot on the first hand of one of these tournament never ceases to amaze me. If you don’t want to invest at least an hour, you should play a 6 Max table and probably make it a Turbo, as well. My game is based on patience, of which, I have plenty. If you are an action junkie, my strategy will not work for you. Remember, I am the guy that once played over 250 hands in a heads up SNG.
It appears that the tax man is going to be good to us again this year, so a new laptop is in my future. I plan on buying the laptop and installing the wireless router and being able to play poker in the living room while the wife and/or kids are able to play games or work on the desktop computer. Of course, with my e-tard skills, I’m sure that installing the wireless router will take two or three days, six or eight phone calls and finally, a service call from the internet provider. JK. I’ve heard it is fairly easy to do and it will have to be, if I’m going to make it work.
I think I’m going to go with a Dell. When I bought my desktop, I shopped around and asked around for advice and wound up going with Dell for a few different reasons. Their upgrades were cheaper and I got another discount by ordering the computer through my work. I’m elated with the performance of my desktop and will probably be going with Dell when I get ready to buy the laptop. Thanks to Trip and Jordan for answering my questions, I appreciate your input.
The bitching and moaning that has been so prevalent in this blog lately is coming to a close. The endless parade of suck-outs and the downswing of the last three months appear to be over and right now, I am playing solid poker every single session. I couldn’t be happier with my play and with the cards lately. I’ve still taken my share of bad beats, but for the most part, my money is going in the pot at the right time.
I think the switch from all Hold Em all the time to Stud and Stud 8b was exactly what the doctor ordered for me. It really made me step back and think about the game more and it presented me with a new challenge at the right time. I’m still learning the nuances of the game, but am enjoying it just like I did Hold Em way back when I first started playing on-line.
I still play at least one NL Hold Em SNG every night, so I’m not exclusive to Stud, but I think playing the different games has had a positive influence on my Hold Em game, as well. I’ve always been a patient player (for the most part) but since I started playing Stud, my tolerance for fold, fold, fold has increased and I am not as tempted to chase speculative hands as I once was. Toward the end of my downswing, I was playing pretty much any two cards and just hoping against hope to catch a monster flop. That has all changed now and I’m back to Mr. weak/tight and every so often, Mr. Tight/Aggressive. I still have a long way to go in the aggression department, but I’m still working on it.
The blogging thing is coming along nicely also, since I started e-mailing them home and copying/pasting them into blogger. So far, so good with that. It works well and doesn’t take much time at all, so it doesn’t cut into my actual poker playing time.
Thanks for stopping by, I hope to bring some better content along soon. By the way, I feel like I owe everybody an apology even though it is out of my hands. If I used to read your blog every day and comment on your blog all the time, you haven’t done anything to change that. It is my fault. I simply don’t have the time at home to catch up with everybody. When I was able to read all day at work, I was one happy camper and felt like I could keep up with everybody. Now that surf control has arrived, I can’t read anybody at work and my time at home is limited. I will still try to catch up with everyone on the weekends, so keep on posting. It isn’t anything personal, I promise. Believe me, it’s killing me not being able to read everybody’s blog every single day.
Have a great weekend.
posted by GaryC @ 1:13 AM, ,
Thursday, February 09, 2006
I’m going to make an attempt today to post something worthwhile. I know it’s been a while since I have, but I still have the urge, just not the ability right now.
I played a bit of poker last night while watching my Oklahoma Sooners whip up on the OSU Cowboys on the basketball court. OSU has a good squad but they are very young and my veteran Sooners got a rare win at Gallagher-Iba arena.
I played on Full Tilt for a while with Falstaff. It’s always nice to be called out by someone sitting at the table and I immediately recognized his screen name as one that I had played against in many of the blogger tourneys. Unfortunately, Razz was not cooperating last night, as I repeatedly was dealt killer starting hands for Stud, but nothing remotely playable for Razz. I still enjoyed it and it’s always nice to play with a fellow blogger at the same table.
I also had a nice long chat with PokerPeaker last night. He IM’ed me on Yahoo last night during a lull in my games and we had a nice 30 minute conversation. I appreciate you taking the time Peaker and enjoyed our chat. He mentioned that he had a MAC set-up. Does anybody know if any of the major rooms support MAC besides Full Tilt? I promise you Peak, playing tourneys with a bunch of bloggers is well worth the price of a new computer. In the meantime, I will see what I can do about re-depositing some money on PokerRoom or Hollywood.
I also chatted for a while with Jordan and TripJax. They even got to chat for a minute with the little GCox25 before she was hurried off to bed. Let’s see what we can do tonight about playing a SNG together when I get home from the bowling alley. I gave some false information last night, as well. We have a karaoke show tomorrow night and I will not be on-line playing poker until probably 2 am at the earliest. I don’t have anything else going on this weekend until Sunday at 3 pm, but I won’t be on-line Friday night until very late.
Speaking of 3 pm on Sundays, I have a commitment coming every Sunday at 3 pm CST for the next 8 weeks or so. It appears that I will not be able to participate if we do another ROW vs. USA tourney, at least for a while. I am sick that I will have to miss it, but obligations are obligations and I knew about the possibility of a tourney when I committed to this, so it is my own fault. It’s not like I was much of a threat anyway, it appears that LittleAcornMan owns me at the SNG table.
I thought I would dive in a little deeper into some thoughts about Stud, now that I have about a month and a half under my belt. I’ve been steadily progressing upward on the bankroll front and the knowledge front regarding Stud. I have read a little bit of strategy on it, but most of my thoughts come directly from grinding away at the .25/.50 and .50/1.00 Limit Stud tables.
Paradise Poker has been exactly that since I re-deposited $50 there 3 weeks ago. I’ve been playing .50/1.00 Limit Stud there (because that is their lowest limit) and am +$115.00 since then. It’s pretty much the same old story, wait for a good starting hand and don’t draw when you know you are behind. Save bets here and there and force the drawers to pay dearly when they are trying to catch up.
I’ve learned what are good raising and re-raising hands and when it is a good time to just smooth call, rather than re-raise early on. It really depends a lot on the player and the number of players still in the hand, but a lot of times, you want a lot of people in the hand when you are holding a monster. Most of those drawers will call one raise cold, but will be scared off by a re-raise early on.
Paying strict attention to the board and to the other players is a requirement to play Stud. I’ve found it difficult to play more than two tables at a time, due to that facet of the game. You really need to try to develop a bit of a personality to the players you are playing against. This is somewhat easier to do in Stud, because of the fact that you see the same players at the table night after night. Unlike Hold Em, a lot of the time I already have notes on three or four people at the table when I sit down to play Stud, especially at Paradise.
I’ve opened up my starting hand requirements a bit now that I have a little more experience at the game. I’m playing more starting connectors (7-8-9, for example) when the board isn’t too scary and there isn’t a lot of raising going on. If I catch open-ended and nobody is going crazy, I will continue, but if a flush board comes along, you have to be very careful. Everybody plays any three suited, including me, unless there are three or four of my suit already showing. I’ve also started playing three big cards more often when the board doesn’t show many also. Nothing better than a well-disguised broadway straight when there is no flush on the board.
I’ve made Quads probably six times in the last week and been fortunate enough to get paid off every single time. The hand I posted about yesterday could have been a suck-out, but most of the time I have made Quads, it has been on 5th street. That is the time that you are either going to get paid off handsomely or run the other players off immediately. Lately, I have been lucky enough to get paid off every single time.
That will have to do for today. This will be my second E-mail/copy/paste post from work and I must say, it worked out great yesterday. I plan on continuing this for a while, so my new posts won’t be hitting the net until around 5 or 6 pm every evening.
Let me know if anyone is up for a SNG tonight around 9 pm.
posted by GaryC @ 2:53 PM, ,
First E-Mail Copy/Paste Post
Wednesday, February 08, 2006
Well, it appears that I have received some comments that might actually work for me. Thanks to everybody for their suggestions. Unfortunately, I work on a “dummy” terminal at work and have no access to memory, floppy or CD drives. I think the e-mail thing is going to work, though, unless they are monitoring our e-mails, in which case I’ll be back to square one.
*Edit* It worked perfectly as long as big brother leaves my e-mail alone at work.*Edit*
Duggle, I agree completely, re-typing everything is insane, but if they take away my e-mail/copy/paste option, I think re-typing will be the only option left. Thanks for the comments.
PokerPeaker, thank you for the suggestions and I agree with you completely. My problem is that I WANT to post everyday, just not bad enough to forego playing poker at night. I’m going to try the e-mail thing today and see how it works. If I can log in and copy/paste it right to blogger in 5 minutes, I think that will work for me.
Surflexus, thanks for the comments and suggestions buddy, I appreciate it. I’m just caught between a rock and a hard place right now, but I’m still working at it.
Here’s an interesting hand from last night’s Stud table at Paradise:
My very first hand, I am dealt J-J down and a suited Q up. I raise and am re-raised by a guy with an Ace showing. My next card is a J and he gets a K. Cap. My next card is a Q and he catches a blank. Cap.
So, I’m sitting with J-J-Q-J-Q and my sixth card is another Q. He catches another Ace and we cap it again, headed to seventh street, which brings….my case Jack. I didn’t get to see what he mucked and don’t know if I needed the miracle one-outer on the river or not. If so, it was a huge suck-out and allowed me to rake a massive pot for my little game. If not, he was probably drawing to the miracle one-outer himself, but was probably ahead for at least part of the hand.
And you say on-line poker isn’t rigged? I guarantee you that guy thought it was rigged and he probably had to adjust his tinfoil hat afterwards also.
Congratulations to Sir Waffle, who won the WWdN tourney last night on PokerStars. I got logged on and invited into a chat room just soon enough to catch the last few hands of the heads up action. Also, congrats to TripJax and Kaellin for making the final table, as well. Nice job fellahs, I’m jealous that I couldn’t join last night.
posted by GaryC @ 3:08 PM, ,
Tuesday, February 07, 2006
I guess my last post was a little bit of bullshit. I just thought I was back, stronger than ever. It is definitely a difficult task to juggle posting at night with playing poker at night. The poker, at least for now, appears to be winning the battle and monopolizing my time. For readers stopping by here to find something new or entertaining, I apologize. I find it very hard to work all day and then come home and type up a post. I still have plenty of time to do it at work, it just takes up a lot of time at home to re-type it into blogger.
Oh well, enough whining. It is really very simple, I will not be posting or commenting as often as I was in the past. There it is. Very plainly, poker is more important to me, at least as of this time, than writing in my blog. I don't plan on quitting the blogging thing, but posting is definitely the 2nd priority on that list. So, in the future, don't look for any earth-shattering posts or any world record for the number of posts, because neither is likely to happen here.
I've been playing quite a bit the last few weeks and the good run seems to be continuing, at least for the time being. The nights of coming home and getting stuck a buy-in right off the bat are few and far between right now. I think it is a combination of things really. (A) I'm playing more conservatively and thinking through my decisions, rather than just clicking away. (B) I am paying much more attention to the play of my competitors at the table and (C) apparently, the players at the low limit Stud tables really suck. Either that or I am starting to get a good handle on the game.
I'm still playing a SNG or two nearly every night and have been able to at least make the money more times than not. I've moved up to the $10 SNG's at UltimateBet, because I've found the competition to be no better than the $5 games and the pay-off is double So far, at least, it seems there is at least one jopker willing to gamble his entire stack away on the first hand of the tournament. I find it remarkable that these people continue to show up and have the money to play the $10 SNG's.
I'm looking forward to the DADIII HU Championship next week. I'm not very good at HU, but the competition will more than make up for throwing away $11. It should be a good time and if you haven't joined yet, get over to PokerStars and sign up today. It may be limited to 64 players and you don't want to miss out. For more information on the tourney go to HighOnPoker or TripJax. They will spell it out clearly for you.
That will have to do today. Have a great week.
posted by GaryC @ 2:56 PM, ,
Friday, February 03, 2006
And it feels damn good to be back. I'm not sure if I will consistently have the time at night to post, but as of right now, I'm going to try to write my posts at work, either on Word or hand-written on a legal pad and then transfer them to blogger when I get home from work.
Thanks to everybody who has commented and left some helpful hints and suggestions of ways to try to circumvent the system at work. I'm lookiing into some things and beginning to face the cold, hard truth that I will have to change my blogging habits if I'm going to continue this way, but I still think I have it in me. The only thing it will effect is my poker playing time at home, which might, in actuality, be a blessing in disguise.
SteelerJosh, I hope you are continuing to stop by and read and I appreciate your direction. I may take you up on some of that advice at a later date. Here's all the luck I can send your Steelers for Sunday. (this coming from a die-hard Cowboy fan and Steeler-hater.) I do not think they will need the luck though, my personal pick is Pittsburgh by seven. Also, check out my previous post on Okie-Vegas if you have time. I'm sure hoping that you are planning in trying to be here for the event. It won't be the same without you.
Poker play is good right now. (Knocking on wood) I am relaxed, comfortable and for the most part, making good decisions. I won another $10 SNG last night on UB that I had joined with my buddy, Josh. We ended up heads up for 1st and 2nd and I flopped a straight with 3-7 to take it down.
My heads up play has been better lately. I've begun to loosen up my hand requirements when I get to heads up and the results have been good so far. Of course, I've had a decent chip lead most of the time also and that always helps.
I have a couple of reminders for you.
First, check out my last post or go here or here to get the information on the Donkeys Always Draw Invitational III. TripJax and Jordan have decided on a HU format for next blogger/reader challenge on PokerStars.
This Sunday we are trying to throw together ROW vs. USA Part 4. If you are interested, check out LittleAcornMan's blog for details. This Sunday at 4 pm EST on PokerStars. This is not a very organized tournament so if you would like to join, leave me a comment or contact me on Yahoo on Sunday. (Gcoxy25) I will invite you in the chat room and we will pick either a 27 or 45 person SNG and then all join at the same time. Let me know if you are interested.
My family life is going very good right now. The wife and I just had a weekend to ourselves out of town and had a great time. It's always nice to get away for a little while, but it's even better to get back home when you've been away.
My oldest daughter, Alex, has been driving for two months now and so far, so good. She has alot of work to do in the classroom, but I have faith that she will take care of her business. It's either that or start practicing "Would you like fries with that?" At least, that's how I explained it to her.
My youngest daughter, Casey, was just awarded the Gold Honor Roll at her school. She has straight A's again and I couldn't be prouder of her. She is Miss Chatty Kathy usually, but has really buckled down and proven to be a very quick learner. She will be 10 next month. Congratulations on the Honor Roll Shorty, Daddy loves you.
My Mom's birthday was Wednesday and I would be remiss if I didn't send her my best Birthday wishes. I am a Momma's boy, after all. Mom, I hope your birthday was all you expected. I love you. We are all driving about halfway between Tulsa and OKC tomorrow evening to taker her out for a steak dinner, so I will not be playing poker until later on Saturday night.
The wife and I are uber-busy from now through at least June. Between Karaoke, Elks events, kids school events, bowling, softball trips and work, our days and nights are all tied up. I want to take this opportunity to tell you that I love you baby. I know we get busy and sometimes forget (okay, I forget, she never forgets) to say the things we mean, so I'm saying it now. I love you more today than the day we were married. Thanks for being my best friend.
I also want to reming you all about VegasPokerPro and PokerSourceOnline. I know I've said it a million times, but for you that are stopping by here for the first time, I will say it again: If you are playing on-line poker and do not have an account with either of those two sites, you are simply missing the boat. You are not taking advantage of higher deposit bonuses and free swag you can earn simply by doing exactly what you are doing now. Playing on-line poker.
If you wish to join one of these sites, please click through my links on the right and use GCox25 as your referral code, if you like. I promise you will not be disappointed with the offers or the service from either of these sites. Class acts both! So get off your ass and sign up today.
I also want to send out a huge thank you to all my bloggers, readers and friends who have already used my referral codes on the sites. It is much appreciated.
That's all I have for Friday. I'm typing like a madman, because I could be slinging the virtual chips right now. I'm starting to become accustomed to posting at home and who knows, it might be better for me and my bankroll in the long run to take the time to post every day after I get home from work.
I hope everyone has a great weekend and please join us on Stars this Sunday if you get the chance.
posted by GaryC @ 4:57 PM, ,
Big Pimpin' Odds And Ends
Thursday, February 02, 2006
This Sunday afternoon, 4 PM EST, USA vs. ROW Part 4. I haven't spoken to LittleAcornMan, but from his comment, I took it that he was in and so am I. PokerStars, MTT. Get with us on Sunday afternoon if you are interested and we will arrange the start time, Tournament number, etc. in the Yahoo chat room. I am Gcoxy25 on Yahoo or you can leave me a comment and I will invite you in when I open a conference room. If, for some reason, someone cannot play this Sunday, let me know that also.
Donkeys Always Draw Invitational III
Heads Up Tournament
February 17th - 9 pm EST
Check out Jordan or TripJax's for password or just use blogsaregay.
I will most assuredly be the deadest money in the tournament field, so get your entries in early when the room is set up. I hear through the grapevine that it might be limited to 64 bloggers/readers and judging from the turnout for the last two DADI's, there will be no problem getting 64 players.
I think we should dub the winner of this event "JOPKER OF THE YEAR" in honor of the biggest jopker of them all: Phil Hellmuth, National Heads Up Champion and coiner of such classics:
"If there wasn't luck involved, I guess I'd win them all."
"I can dodge bullets, baby!"
"Donkeys always draw."
What an ass!
As many of you already know, work restrictions are limiting my access to reading all the blogs that I used to read on a daily basis. The powers that be have installed surf control and I cannot figure any way around it. It blocks me every time I try to go to a blog-site, as well as bloglines.
That was bad enough, but the topper came this week. They have now blocked my access to blogger as well, so I will not be able to post any more from work. I am looking at several ideas in order to get around this, but at this point, I am shut down.
I'm going to try to set up blogger so that I can e-mail my post to it and it will then publish it. I could do this on a daily basis easily enough, assuming big brother doesn't start monitoring e-mail activity as closely as they are the internet activity. I have heard that e-mail posting is supported by blogger, but have not done enough research to assume it as fact.
Another option is going to be my laptop. The wifey and I are going to purchase a laptop in the near future and it might be possible, on my lunch hour, to run out to my truck and post from there. I'm not sure of the access controls that my work has over their wireless network, but I'll be checking into that as well.
Yet another option, offered by my buddy Jordan, is to e-mail him my post and allow him the access required to go into blogger and post it for me. I really appreciate the offer, J, but I'm going to try a few other things first, hoping they work for me and that I don't have to burden you with that responsibility. Thanks very much for the offer.
Bankroll building continues to go well. I'm still grinding away at the .25/.50 Limit Stud tables and have been able to show consistent profits, night after night. I climbed over the 600 mark last night and hope to have it up to $1000 in time for Okie-Vegas in June.
I appreciate everybody's kind words, encouragement and support during my downswing and during this tough stretch with the blog. I also want to thank you for continuing to stop by here on a regular basis. I hope to get back on track and settle into a routine that allows me to post at least three or four times a week. I doubt I will ever get back to posting as often as I was before, but I am going to try to continue posting semi-regularly.
Here's a bad beat story:
Since I haven't shared anything humorous, personal or remotely interesting lately, I thought I would bore you with a story from last weekend.
I joined the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks two years ago because my buddy, Josh, was a member and they had a great poker game at the Lodge. Last year, he roped me into becoming an officer at the Lodge and along with several other duties, committees, etc. I became a member of their Ritual Team.
The Ritual Team consists of ten officers and they have to memorize their parts and perform the Initiation ceremony in front of a large panel of judges at District, State and National levels. Any Lodge can go to the District and State events, but only the winners of the State events are treated with round trip airfare and lodging to the National Grand Lodge competition.
Well, last weekend was our District's competition. Our Lodge and only one other Lodge competed from our entire district. Only one person at each "position" is awarded a plaque as the All-District performer and there is a travelling team trophy, based on all the individuals scores averaged together for a team total.
Each individual is judged on their part on several different criteria and are awarded point totals based on a 1-100 score. I scored a 93.42 out of a possible 100 for my part. This score is not that impressive, but is not too bad for a rookie to the Ritual Ceremony. It was also the 2nd highest score of any competitor in the entire competition. I outscored every single member of our team and only one member of the competing team scored higher, with a 93.6. Of course, that guy was also the guy on their team that was doing "my" part. So, long story short, every single member of my team won their respective parts and were thus awarded All-District plaques to be displayed at the Lodge. We also won the travelling team trophy for this year. I was the only person from our Lodge that competed and didn't win an individual plaque, even though I scored higher than every member of my team.
Now that's a bad beat!
Keep checking in with me, because I will still be trying to post some worthwhile stuff. No promises though.
I also want to send out a huge thank you to TripJax for the package I got in the mail today. Very.Effing.Cool. Thanks alot, bro.
One more day before the weekend!
I'm all in!
posted by GaryC @ 2:57 PM, ,