Let's Try This One More Time
Wednesday, May 31, 2006
I sat about today creating my invitations for the NL Tournament at my house on Saturday, the 10th. Along with these directions, it dawned on me that I have a bit of planning to do, as well.
Let’s see, 15-20 people at my house for a tournament, right? That means I have to pick up the tables from Josh, create the invitations, bag up starting chips and re-buys(more on that later), decide on a plan for the giveaways and help the wife decide on her snack menu. She is pretty famous amongst my friends for providing the best “snacks” at any home game in our group.
I am leaving the drinks up to each individual, rather than provide a keg this time. There will be no juice on this tournament whatsoever, so I think everybody can bring their own libations. The format is going to be:
$40 buy-in for 2500 starting chips.
ONE optional $20 re-buy/add-on for 2000 more chips.(any time during the first hour)
20 minute blind intervals.
Mandatory hammer-play will be strictly enforced.
So, with only a week and a half to go, I have my work cut out for me, but I believe I am up to the challenge. If anyone has any problems and/or suggestions for the format, I am all ears and am open to just about anything. Let me know and we can discuss it.
I’ve taken up a couple of different types of SNG’s lately in my never ending quest to replenish my bankroll. The road is slow at my limits, but progress is being made in the right direction.
HORSE tournaments on Full Tilt.
I’m not sure what the attraction to these tournaments is for the novice player out there, but they seem to fill up rather quickly. Maybe I am the novice after all and these folks are just luring me in to their trap. So far I’ve cashed in probably half of the tournaments I’ve played in, so I can’t think that all these folks have a lot of experience in this format.
I make most of my money on the Stud levels, but poor play abounds at Razz and Omaha Hi-Lo as well. I can’t count the number of times we’ve switched from Razz to Stud and some moron continues betting and calling all the way to the river with a low hand. Doh! It’s easy to do, in fact, I’ve done it, but I’ve found that if you only play these tournaments by themselves, without a ton of other distractions, it’s pretty easy to stay in the game and know what game you are playing. It also tells you at the top of the page, in case you lose track.
Unless I pick up a monster, I very seldom even play a Limit Hold Em hand, just because the chances are very minimal that you can get anybody to lay down a hand there. That and the fact that pots are much easier to win at the other games combine to make laying low during the LHE round a +EV move for me.
Stud Hi-Lo tournaments on Stars.
This is the other new variety of tournament that I have started playing recently. They don’t fill up nearly as fast as the HORSE tourneys, but if you catch one with 4-5 players already in it, it doesn’t take too long to fill up after that and again, the play I’ve witnessed is pretty horrible.
I sit back and wait for big pairs with no others showing, three suited cards or three low cards(under 8) and bide my time. Pretty much any time you make your hand, you are going to get at least half of the pot with numerous callers to the river every.single.time. At one point on Monday, I won three straight Stud H/L tournaments and cashed in 5 straight. There is definitely money to be made here if you have ANY understanding of the game at all.
The amount of weekly, semi-weekly and/or monthly blogger events seems to be growing at a very rapid pace. I don’t know about you, but even though these tournaments are mostly –EV for yours truly, I do enjoy playing in as many as possible. All the events, including DADI, Mookie, WWdN and WPBT, are an opportunity to play poker with the people we read on a daily basis and also an opportunity for a somewhat unknown blogger to rub elbows with the big boys.
I don’t have any grand scheme of ever being an A-lister in the blogosphere, but I do enjoy playing poker with and chatting it up in the girlie chat thingy with everybody. All the bloggers that I have ever chatted with, either on Yahoo, at the tables or in person, have always been very cordial, even if they don’t read my blog. I enjoy the camaraderie that is so evident when any number of this group gets together and that seems to be getting better and better every event, IMO.
So, I guess what I am trying to say is, who cares if it is a “sanctioned” event or not, if you want to play poker with bloggers, there are more opportunities out there right now than there ever has been. If you don’t want to play certain events, don’t play, it won’t stop the event from happening and if playing in one of these events doesn’t fit your schedule, skip it. I guess I am oblivious to or uninformed of the controversies that some of these tournaments have caused, but it doesn’t make any sense to me for anybody to play an event that they don’t deem acceptable. Can’t we all just get along? Maybe not, I suppose.
The wifey is out of town tonight and my daughter is spending the night at a friends’ house, so it will be pokery goodness all evening, not that it hasn’t been that way lately anyway. I plan on playing in the Mookie tonight and you should also. It has the feel of a simple home game and they seem to be getting more and more players every week. It starts at 9 pm on Stars and the password is vegas1, as always. Mookie is doing an excellent job putting this tourney together each week, as well as live-blogging it on his blog. You should do yourself a favor and play in this tournament, I promise that you will enjoy yourself.
I've also worked out a bit of a bankroll strategy/protection plan that I am putting into effect tonight. Check it out:
Working with a miniscule bankroll since withdrawing funds for vacation, I have been hitting up a lot of SNG’s in order to build my bankroll. The problem with that is the fact that I am playing such small stakes that in order to build the roll noticeably, I have to money in nearly every one of them. This can be done, but I sat down today to try and develop a plan. Here’s what I came up with:
Fire up two simultaneous $5 + .50 SNG’s.
If I cash in BOTH of the SNG’s, then I move up to a $10 + 1 SNG. If I cash in only one SNG or neither SNG, I go back and fire up two more $5 + .50’s.
If I win the $10 + 1 SNG, then I move up to a $20 + 2 SNG. If I take 2nd or third in the 10 + 1 SNG, then I try another 10 + 1. If I don’t make the money, I move back down to the $5 + .50 level.
I think that by covering the buy-ins as I go with placings and or wins in the smaller SNG’s, taking the stabs at the larger SNG’s will become a bit more routine for me. I still face a bit of anxiety when sitting down at the $20 + 2 tables, even though I haven’t seen a lot of fancy play there when I did play them. I know the players have to be at least a bit better than at my normal level, but there are still plenty of fish with plenty of money to blow on a higher buy-in tournament.
I speak of the $20 + 2’s like they are some super-high buy-in and I know that for most of you, that is not the case, but for me, well, it is 4 times as much as I normally risk in a single table SNG. It really isn’t that $20 is that much money, it’s just the fact that I haven’t played too many tournies at that level on-line and I am still a bit anxious when I sit down for one.
I think my plan above is going to allow me to be more comfortable there, knowing that I have financed my way there with previous wins, rather than taking that shot after a down night trying to recoup losses. That’s a losing proposition for the most part and that has become clear to me in the past few weeks.
I’m still going to play the blogger tournaments and the occasional cash game and I still plan on joining another new room through PSO in the next month or so and that will see me head back to the cash Stud tables for sure. But for the present, I will be grinding away at the SNG’s, which have always been my bread and butter.
Let me know your thoughts about my plan, good, bad or indifferent. Thanks for reading.
posted by GaryC @ 3:23 PM, ,
and the DADi went!
Tuesday, May 30, 2006
Just like that.
When I logged on last night to prepare for the DADI tournament, I could tell I was making a huge mistake. I wasn't into it and it was obvious from the very get-go. I limped twice in the first 5 or 6 hands only to fold to a raise or re-raise pre-flop. That is not my game and I know it, but like I said, I was not into it.
I floundered around and down to around 800 chips by the first break. Then something happened-I got lucky. I picked up Q-Q and decided we were playing it for the rest of my chips. Luckily, after a pot-sized raise, Surflexus made it easy for me raising enough to put me all-in. cool, I'm not playing worth a shit anyway. But, he had A-10 suited and after hitting a 10 on the flop, found no more help and I doubled up. No problems with Surf's play there as he knows full well that I will lay down a less-than-top-ten hand to a big re-raise, but at this point, I was playing my Hiltons.
After that, it was a blur until the last hand. I called an all-in with A-K sooooted and got no help against PresDaveLee's Hilton Sisters. Dave deserves the comeback of the day award, coming from around 200 chips early on and finishing strongly in 2nd place. Congrats also to the newest luckbox on the planet, Hoyazo, who won the whole thing. I keed, Mike, excellent job, as usual, you are certainly on your game and congrats again on the big score last week. If you haven't seen these guys blogs, please go take a look, they're doing a great job. I also want to send out congratulations to DNasty on his 3rd place finish last night. Well played, D, good to see you back in the swing of things.
Good times all, I really enjoyed it even though I felt like I was on auto-pilot the whole time. One of these days, I plan on realizing that I am not in the mood and stay away from the tables for a night. Eh, maybe not!
posted by GaryC @ 3:20 PM, ,
Sunday, May 28, 2006
As your honorary Master Of Ceremonies, I bid you, go to Stars and sign up now!
posted by GaryC @ 4:55 PM, ,
Friday, May 26, 2006
Hitting That Stride
Several comments lately have made mention to me “hitting my stride” or “being on fire” here on this lowly little piece of the blogosphere and I first want to say thank you for the kind words. This can really be an overwhelming challenge for someone that is not well-versed in the rigors of writing, especially for someone who considers himself a “private” person for the most part. I reckon that “private” part is bullshit, as evidenced by the fact that I continue to post here for anybody in the world to read. Personal stories, stories from the past and stories involving my feelings are not and probably never will be something that I am entirely comfortable discussing publicly. Perhaps it is the anonymity of the blogosphere that brings this out in me, yeah, that has to be it.
For some odd reason, I have been typing and typing and typing lately at work. Thoughts continue to come to me and so far, they have translated well to the blog. Maybe it is the fact that I have been doing this for what will soon be a full year or maybe it is the fact that the people I read on a regular basis are finally starting to rub off on me. Either way, I am thrilled to no end with the postings lately and I really appreciate the kind words and the fact that you continue to stop by my little space. Thanks again.
Triple Draw Lessons Learned
For the last couple of weeks, when bored, I have been visiting the triple draw tables at Ultimate Bet. SoxLover originally turned me on to the game and offered some insight and I was almost immediately hooked. It seems the play is fairly mediocre, if not atrocious, all the way up to his levels of 3/6 and 5/10. I have been hanging around at the .25/.50 level and doing fairly well, that is, until last night.
Sox was on as well and not doing very well at his NL table, so it was off to find triple draw! The only game going was ½ and he beckoned me to the open seat on his left. Duh, okay! I’m easy like that, you know. He assured me that there was a donkey at the table named Gary (thank god he meant GaryM and not yours truly, although my play later would probably change his thinking)
I know full well that I am underfunded for ½ right now with my recent withdrawls for vacation purposes, but, if this donkey was going to be giving away his money, I wanted in on it, so in I got. This player was the type of player that played EVERY.SINGLE.HAND. It didn’t matter if it was three-bet or capped pre-flop, this jackass was going to draw. We watched him call three bets cold pre-flop and draw 5! That’s the most you can draw in this silly little game. Pure genius.
Well, this guy proceeds to go on a run of cards and run his stack up to somewhere in the $130-dollar range and, then, he starts bleeding it back. Perfect! This is what we were waiting for, I’m going to get me some of that. After a well-timed bluff on 5th street, ( I know there are no streets in triple draw, but it works for my analogy) I showed the donkey my bluff, in hopes he would continue chasing and paying off bets. Uh, no problem there, he was gonna chase and chase he continued to do and hit cards he continued to do, until he finally made a nut 2-7 and took the last of my chips.
-Don’t play ½ unless you have enough bankroll to support it, the swings are much greater than I am used to and make it too difficult to play with that careless abandon that you need to have in this game.
-Sometimes, the donkey that you are chasing is actually chasing you. It didn’t matter who he was up against, this guy was calling and drawing cards and to focus solely on one person was not good for my game and the results show that.
-Position might be more important in triple draw than it is in hold em. Playing marginal hands out of position in this game is a bad, bad thing.
SoxLover has pointed these things out to me in the past and again last night, but sometimes you just have to pay for your lessons. I appreciate the help and plan on continuing to play this game, perhaps not at his levels for a while, but I’m definitely going to play the game.
One helpful hint from the author: If you are going to play triple draw, you want to be sure and check the top of the table before starting to figure out if you are playing 2-7 (2,3,4,5,7=best hand) or A-5 (low wheel=best hand.) This will almost certainly save you a few bets while you figure out who the donkeys at the table are and it will be much more pleasurable in the long run.
With all the loss experienced lately across the blogosphere, I felt like I needed to offer my condolences, as well. I’m not very good with the words in these situations, but just know that I feel for you and you are all in my thoughts. Good thoughts to the families involved as well.
Right now, with our “plans” still up in the air a bit for Okie-Vegas, it appears that TripJax, SteelerJosh and I will be leading a barrage of dial-a-shots during our meet-up. If you are interested in being included on the list, please get with me on Yahoo in the upcoming days and let me know your number. AlCantHang, of course, HAS to be included in any mention of dial-a-shots and I already have his number plugged into my phone. Katitude has requested dial-a-shot service from north of the border and we will be glad to include her, as well. DNasty will be included as well, as Josh will be bringing his number along from Ohio or is it Michigan yet, Josh?
As the three of us have no concrete plans for the first couple of days, there has been talk of crashing the Mookie tourney on Stars that Wednesday night. We could all fire up the laptops at my house and then deal out a ration of shit to the entire field regarding who has to go to work the next day and who will be headed to the casino as soon as the virtual tourney is over. It’s not a done deal yet, but negotiations are under way.
Remember, if you are interested in dial-a-shots, get me your number and we will be happy to oblige. SoCo will be the drink of choice, so if your supply is low, feel free to stock up now in anticipation.
I’m going to hopefully be adding a few ad’s to my side bar at the right this weekend. I was contacted by two different companies regarding an ad on my blog and I am going to go for it. My bankroll can use all the help it can get right now and the new ads are more link-based than click-through type of ads, so there will be no onus on any of my readers to click on and/or use their product. I would recommend that you check them out, though, as I think they are both offering worthwhile services. Anyway, those should be up some time before next week.
I am working this Saturday morning until noon at the grind and then heading to the lake for the Memorial Day Karaoke night at the Redneck Riviera. I’ll be back home some time on Sunday though, as I will be on call all day Sunday and Monday and will need to be around the house in case someone needs to pick something up at the office___
I’ve read some posts and comments lately around the ‘sphere stating that folks don’t wear a tin foil hat or they have recently disposed of their tin foil hat and have no plans of wearing one in the future. Have you folks lost your freaking minds? My tin foil hat never leaves that special place I have for it right beside my computer in the bedroom. You never know when you are going to have to get all your money in the pot and grab that hat at the last second to prevent such things as “riverstars strikes again” or “cashout curse.” To think you could possibly taking on this game we all love without the tin-foil hat just completely blows my mind. Talk about taunting the poker gods that control this “rigged” endeavor already. I need all the karma I can generate and throwing away my tin-foil hat would be an uber-mistake, in my own personal opinion. (tongue in cheek folks)
Which brings me to the point of this little story. Have you ever mentioned the word “rigged” in a chat box when there weren’t any bloggers at the table? If so, were you immediately responded to by more than one person at the table who are completely in agreement with you? Exactly why do these jackasses continue to log on, play poker on-line and donate their money to the better players. Now, I’m reasonably sure that they have had bad experiences at the tables, I mean, we all have those inexplicable moments when our A-A doesn’t win, right? If they honestly think it is rigged, which the ones I’ve chatted with undeniably believe it, why in the world would they continue to deposit money on a site and gamble when they know full well they are going to lose? Can someone explain that to me?
Now, I obviously am in the group that believes the poker sites are on the up and up, after all, I play on a ton of them on a regular basis, but it is absolutely beyond my scope of understanding for someone to continue to play anywhere when they don’t think they are getting a fair shake. If you haven’t experienced this phenomenon yet, try this the next time somebody gets sucked out on. Simply type “rigged” into the chat box and wait to see how long it takes the guy that got sucked out on to respond to you. Particularly if he is the bubble boy in a SNG, I promise you it won’t be seconds before he is in there in full agreement with you. Try it, and for god’s sake, keep that tin foil hat handy.
If you are around and playing this weekend, look me up, I will be happy for the company.
Have a good holiday weekend and Monday off from work.
posted by GaryC @ 3:15 PM, ,
State Of The Union
Thursday, May 25, 2006
Wow, this blogosphere never ceases to amaze me. A little more than one year ago, I posted my first bit of musings on this lowly little blog and today I have an endless number of what I would consider “good” friends. I have also improved my overall poker game despite a severe learning disability (I drink too much) by simply reading these folks and paying a little bit of attention to what they have to say. The thing that amazes me the most though, is the thought that I might actually be able to make a little scratch off of this thing we call blogging.
I have received an e-mail each of the last two days with inquiries into putting ads up on my blog. I feel more than a bit honored that someone would feel like they could gain something by having an ad here on the “Low Limit Grinder.” Starting from scratch almost a year ago, those thoughts would have never even entered my mind. Hell, I just wanted somebody to link me up. The thought of supplementing my poker bankroll or income (depending on how you look at it) was something that I could never have imagined in my wildest dreams.
And yet, here we are, nearly a year into it and those opportunities are staring me right in the face. I guess I can honestly say that I have a bit of trepidation moving forward with it. I know a lot of other bloggers have spoken up about ad space, etc. in the past and I also know that not all of them agree with my position on it. For that I will simply say, to each his own. We are at a point now that blogging is as hot as it has ever been and there are a ton of opportunities for us as bloggers, as well as for potential advertisers to target their core audience. The time is now so I will be striking while the iron is hot.
Some of my concerns would be that these possible ads be for a legitimate product that I would have no problem whatsoever endorsing. If it were for a product for a company that I had no faith in, I would have a problem putting that ad up, but so far that has not been the case. PokerSourceOnline is currently the only ad on my blog and you all know where I stand with them. I would recommend them to anybody starting out in this little poker adventure as a way of building bankroll and earning bonuses above and beyond the simple deposit bonuses at the poker sites. They give fantastic value for your hard earned dollar, excellent information through their forum and their customer service is second to none.
The two companies that have contacted me about a possible ad appear to be legitimate and I don’t see any problem with them whatsoever either, so I will probably be doing business with and putting their ads up very soon. As I said before, I feel very fortunate that a possible advertiser would see enough potential in this lowly little blog to invest in it. Either that or everybody in the blogosphere gets to display their ad. Either of those possibilities work for me.
I have tried to never take myself too seriously here on these pages. At the poker tables is one thing, but either here on this page or in a chat room with multiple personalities of bloggers, I’m simply trying to have a good time and trying to get to know some people better.
-Katitude apparently only has one eye.(and it may or may not be made of glass)
-Surflexus’s middle name is Ernie.(even one his work buddies didn’t know that)
-SoxLover still has SirF’s chat muted on Yahoo AND he definitely hands out worthwhile tips at the triple draw tables AND his wife puts on a hilarious show when she takes a bad beat.(not that all of us don’t do that on occasion)
-Carmen puts on a verbal display worthy of a veteran pirate when she takes a bad beat.(at least she did last night, I was blushing)
-TripJax likes to be incognito in the chat room, but loud and verbose at the poker table and with his stack of chips.
-Jordan likes to be loud and verbose everywhere.
-I know who Grupper is at PokerStars and you don’t.
-Neither Garth nor Jules can tell us how the hell they cut up those gigantic onions at Outback. G’Day mates!
-Mookie’s home game has got to be the loosest, no fold em action south of the Red River.
-Weak_Player is a magnet for A-A.
-MiamiDon is pretty passive post-flop according to SoxLover.
-Both TripJax and Hoyazo have posted screen shots showing that they clearly have “Notes” on yours truly at Stars.
-After a fiery beginning, DuggleBogey now has a soft spot for Veneno.
-Apparently, I’m a “rock.”
Those are just a few things you can pick up on if you pay any sort of attention in the chat rooms with fellow bloggers. Last night was a fun time and I already look forward to the next time. Listening to everybody explain themselves, getting over their bad beats and in general, letting loose and having a good time is what makes these chat rooms so much fun. Occasionally, someone will even tell you what they have, you just have to be paying attention to find out.
Okie-Vegas is coming together and will be upon us before we know it, just 13 short days away. I can’t wait, although we got news that Surflexus would not be able to make the trip this week. That is bad news definitely, but we will wage on with this get-together.
Another blogger, CC from Quest of A Closet Poker Player, has expressed an interest, but apparently felt uninvited. CC, you are most definitely invited and more than welcome to join us. This will not be the size or scope of the Vegas get-together and it is just around the corner, but I promise to make it as fun as possible for anyone who attends. Now you’ve officially been invited, what say you? If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment here or hit me up on Yahoo – gcoxy25.
I’ve been a bit remiss in pimpage of the DADI 6, coming up next Monday evening at PokerStars. The 6th installment of this event finds us playing Pot Limit Hold Em and will be a good time, I assure you. Jordan and Trip have done a great job putting these tournaments together for us, so everybody that is home by some time on Monday, please join us for the tourney. I have been dubbed “Master of Ceremonies” for this event, which, although I am not sure what that entails, I am happy to try my best. I assume I will be the welcome wagon and travel from table to table welcoming all the players and deciding which table would best be described as the “TV table.” Again, this event will not count toward POY points, but we would still like to have as many competitors as possible, so do us a favor and sign up early.
That’s about all I have time for today, as work is kicking me consistently in the junk. Have a good one.
posted by GaryC @ 3:47 PM, ,
How Do I Follow That Up?
Wednesday, May 24, 2006
I almost forgot this:
I have registered to play in the PokerStars World Blogger Championship of Online Poker!
This Online Poker Tournament is a No Limit Texas Holdem event exclusive to Bloggers.
Registration code: 7330476
I guess I just thought I didn’t have much time at work yesterday. I started off intending to just do a quick post and be on my merry way and that turned into four different e-mails that I sent home to myself yesterday. By the time I got it all copied and pasted in the way I wanted it in the post, I had wasted 20 minutes of poker time. Another hour and a half later, I finally finished all the links in the post. I must have been channeling Iggy yesterday. Uber! Indeed!
Thanks to everybody who read “War and Peace” yesterday and a special thanks to everybody that commented. I do appreciate you stopping by this blog every so often and I really appreciate the comments. PokerPeaker, thank you a lot buddy. When I sit down and try to come up with a list of my “talents,” writing is not one that comes in at the top of the list. Don’t get me wrong, I love to write, but being able to get it down on paper like it appears in my head can sometimes be a difficult challenge. Having read people like JoeSpeaker, BG and Drizz for the longest time, I find myself trying and failing most of the time, to put out the type of quality “writing” that these guys deliver on a regular basis. The “want to” is definitely there, no question about that, it’s just that the ability always seems to be deficient. Regardless, I will keep pounding these posts out as often as possible and I thank everybody for their kind words.
I remember reading about the Vegas Blogger get-together from 2004 on a variety of blogs back in the day. It is one of the reasons that I became interested in this in the first place. I stumbled on to Chris Halverson, Professional Poker Player in my everyday surfing here at work and the rest, as they say, is history. I motored around from one blog to the next like a kid in a candy store, reading about what a great time it was meeting, drinking and playing cards with all their virtual friends. Soon, I stumbled onto Miss Maudie and quickly realized that we were living in the same general vicinity. Soon after that discovery came DuggleBogey and the links, PSO promotions and my first meet-up was right around the corner.
Like other bloggers have said, there is a certain connection when you meet someone that you have been reading about for a while and know that they have read your tripe as well. I would be lying if I said there wasn’t some apprehension that first night at the casino in Norman, but all the fears went away quickly when I sat down in the 8 seat, with Maudie in the 9 and DuggleBogey in the 10. It was like a reunion of sorts, even though I didn’t know either of them before that minute. I had e-mailed both of them when I started this blog and they were both kind enough to link to me and stop by from time to time. When the time came to actually meet them at a live game, the only concern I had was that my poker skills would be over-evaluated or that I would turn into a complete, flaming donkey and blow my stack right in front of them.
Luckily for me, none of those things happened and we had a great time. Maudie was continually adding to her stack while Duggle and I bounced around a little up and a little down, but never in serious danger of losing our stack. It was Limit after all, but with some of the play we witnessed at the table, I was glad to have not picked up any huge hands for fear of being run down by the guy at the other end of the table with 8-5 off-suit. It happened more than I care to remember that night.
Meanwhile, little Miss Maudie continually pounded out winner after winner and the he-men, cowboys and young punks at the table eventually learned a valuable lesson. She means business and will take your chips, bro. She does not mess around at the poker table, pardner, she is there to get your chips, just like the rest of us, I don’t care how nice she appears, she’s a poker player!
Duggle was stuck with a cold deck most of the night, much like me, but it was great just chatting with them both while we were not involved in the hands. We talked about all the other bloggers (that they had actually met) and I could see the appreciation in their eyes that they had for others’ work. I’m sure the envy was showing on my face as we talked. It was a great time and just cemented the fact that I wanted to be a part of this community and meet more of my fellow bloggers.
Just four short weeks ago, while I was in Vegas for my friends’ wedding, I was lucky enough to meet my 3rd and 4th bloggers live and in person. I admit to not knowing much about either of them until about a week before my trip, but let me tell you, there is something about this group of people that really makes it seem like you are seeing old friends, even though you don’t really know them at all. When MiamiDon and Carmen stopped me in the casino at the Sahara that Friday morning, all the anxiety of meeting up with fellow bloggers and playing poker with them left my body immediately. I was at ease from the start and the way I figure it, that’s pretty much the way it will be every.single.time. I know I’ve said this many times in the last few weeks, but it bears repeating here, thanks again to both of you for your kindness and hospitality. I really enjoyed myself and only wish that I would have had more time to sit at the poker tables with you. Good fun.
You want to know when you are starting to get old?
Let me explain.
When I was a boy, my father used to sprinkle old adages around on a constant basis. He (and my grandfather, for that matter) seemed to have a saying for every occasion. Here are just a few examples of some of his wisdom:
“You’re going to shit and fall back in it, boy.” - This was his way of saying whatever it was that I was about to do was not going to be done properly or the way he saw fit. He was usually right, I hated that about him for a long time.
“Do as I say, not as I do.” - This was said whenever I caught him taking a shortcut or doing something “half-assed.” It was also usually followed by a crack on the back of my head.
“You need to learn the value of a dollar, boy.” - Before I reached the age of 12, this saying was brought out any time I asked for something that my dad felt was more than I deserved. For example, a new ball glove, when my old one was in fine shape or a new pair of basketball shoes, because my old Chuck Taylors weren’t nearly as flashy as the new leather shoes on the market.
This brings me to the point of this little examination. Yesterday, my oldest daughter e-mailed me that she was unhappy with her new (and first) job. She’s working retail (at a clothing store) and is not able to get away for any weekends in the near future to join us at the lake and play on the water. I, of course, pulled out my Dad’s old stand-by, “Well, Alex, at least you are learning the value of a dollar.” THAT'S when you know you are getting old, when you start using your Dad’s old lines that he used on you 30 years ago. It really sucks when that dawns on you, let me tell you.
That’s all I got for today, funny, that’s all I thought I had yesterday, too. Hmm, I’ll be damned!
Play the Mookie tonight, I am. (Information at the top of the page)
posted by GaryC @ 4:17 PM, ,
All Over The Place On A Tuesday
Tuesday, May 23, 2006
Lots of stuff to blog and not a lot of time to handle it. I will give it a go this morning.
After a few e-mails amongst participants yesterday, I don’t really know any more than I knew before about Okie-Vegas. Right now, the only positively, for-sure participants are me, TripJax, SteelerJosh, Miss Maudie and DuggleBogey. Trip and Josh will be here on Wednesday afternoon and Maudie and DuggleBogey will be joining us at the casino on Friday night. Surflexus and his boss are now on the “Maybe” list due to a possible computer upgrade at their work. TenMile is still riding the fence, but we are all hoping that he changes his mind and decides to make the trip down from the windy, steer-smelling state of Kansas. If you didn’t read his post yesterday and you’ve ever been to Kansas, you will completely agree with why they don’t mind if the wind blows up there. Ha ha, and it does blow like a son-of-a-gun most of the time. I still plan on making it as fun as possible for all the bloggers that do show up, so bring your “A” game and a well-rested liver.
On to other things.
Last week I detailed a few of my miniscule “goals” in regards to this game we play on a nightly basis. The most important goal at the moment was to run my tiny little bankroll up to a playable stack in a relatively short period of time. I started off last weekend by winning three consecutive “larger” buy-in SNG’s. One 10 dollar entry and two 20 dollar entry wins paid back almost $200 in profits. Of course, that old bitch, Variance, stuck her nose in some time on Saturday morning and withdrew all of that profit with several swift kicks to the junk. I ran K-K and Q-Q into A-A no less than 5 times on Saturday alone. At some point on Saturday, a wiser man than I would have decided that it wasn’t his day and logged off to do something productive, if only to save a bit of profit for the following week. I am not that wise!
Here’s a microcosm of how my day went Saturday. I had joined LittleAcornMan, TripJax and HighOnPoker on a cash table at Stars during their 5 Quad-zillionth hand giveaway which had been going on all day. We were playing .10/.20 Limit Hold Em and had been there a while, with no real success. I believe we were all playing “any two will do” at this point when Trip announces that he has to go out to dinner. “This is my last hand and I’m playing it hard regardless of what it is.” I look down and spy K-K and decide to make a move on him even though it is his last hand. We cap every street and after neither one of us get any help, he turns over A-A. Well played Trip, bad timing on my part, as the entire rest of the day would seem to go.
I played in the PSO freeroll on Absolute with +/- 120 other bloggers on Saturday night and it was my pleasure to be seated with Drizz for a good portion of that time. If you have never chatted with Drizz, let me just say, you are missing out. Kind, sincere and genuine would be the words I would use to describe him. I have no doubt that we would get along famously were we to ever sit at a poker table together. I enjoyed it Drizz and congrats on making the money.
I went out around bubble-time with no chips and a blogger-worthy 7-2 off-suit. That’s right, I pushed with the hammer over a pre-flop raise. I am a blogger after all, okay, a shitty, wannabe blogger, but a poker blogger nonetheless. If memory serves me correctly, we had a good collection of poker bloggers in the money at that point. DuggleBogey, Mookie, Katitude, DrewsPop and Kaellin were all there and still alive. If I’ve forgotten anybody, forgive me, I was drinking, you know?
Oh yeah, Jordan, from HighOnPoker, was doing his best CJ impression at the onset of the tournament. Needing to leave to meet some friends for their birthday party on the town in NYC, he pushed with any two probably 6 or 8 times, crushing much stronger hands every.single.time. From that point on, he decided to play poker and play poker he did. It was his best “little train that could” impression and color me damned impressed. Well played, J, well played indeed. I railed him through the end of the tournament and he went on to place 2nd and garner the $450 pay-out plus a $200 gift certificate to Nevada Jack’s. His opponent, Bruin(?)-see Jordan’s post for the link, played well also and collected $540 for the 1st place finish. Well played to both of you.
Knowing Jordan the way I do, let me tell you, the man has a unique ability to tilt the entire table if you do not know him. His brand of smash-mouth trash-talking sets off players right and left and that was evidenced by the amount of players he eliminated hanging around the chat to bad-mouth him throughout the rest of the tournament. One particular douchebag went out 112th and was still around at the end to throw in his two cents. He even took time to pound out a post dedicated to our hero, calling him all sorts of bad names in the process. Get a life, jackass! You got beat in a blogger freeroll, what’s next, you gonna bitch about somebody laying the hammer on you in a blogger tournament? Do you even know what the hammer is? My guess is no.
Go read Jordan’s write-up for more of the particulars, but J, nicely played, my friend.
How you handle a bad beat at the poker table, whether real or virtual, says a lot about the kind of person you are. I am mostly a non-commenter when I take a bad beat, but on occasion…..I’ve had those moments of implosion/explosion when the cards or the poker gods did not see it in their favor to help a brother out. My most recent explosion included “nice call genius.” Not one of my best efforts and made all the worse by the suckout-er exclaiming “LOL.” Reminded me of the Poker Champ and that enraged me even more.
Leave the table, moron! Sure, he called off half his stack with J-9, but he really felt like he was going to make that straight (pre-flop) ….and he did…….on the river…..and your puny little K-K can GHN! Take your beats like a man. I think expectation has a lot to do with how we deal with a bad beat. I EXPECT to make the right play most of the time. What I don’t EXPECT is for the other morons to be rewarded for their WRONG plays. I tend to forget that anybody with $5.50 can join these SNG’s that I agonize over on a regular basis. Most of the time, that is what works in my favor, but for those times that they don’t, take a deep breath, close the table and move on. Your cards are flat-out NOT going to hold up every time, I don’t care if you are ahead when the money goes in EVERY.SINGLE.TIME. The law of averages and our old pal, Variance, will jump up and bite you for what can seem like days or weeks on end, sometimes longer.
Ask my good friend Will-Wonka. I can assure you that man knows as much about Limit Hold Em as most of us know about NL, but with poker, comes Variance! And Variance is a bitch! If you don’t believe that, ask any good player. Sometimes you can do no wrong with your decision making and everything works out the way it should. Most of us minimize those situations with “I was ahead, they were supposed to hold up.” We lose track of how many times our good hands hold up and we beat the drawing monkey, but God Damnit, let one of those Lemurs draw out on us and we write in our blog that very minute. *Side Note* Will, it will turn around, you have to know that. I’ve looked at your hands and you know what you’re doing, keep at it and it WILL turn around.
Back to the topic, has anyone ever tracked a couple of things in their play?
1) How many times have you sucked out when behind as compared to how many times you’ve been sucked out on?
2) How many true “Races” have you lost? Was it really a race or was it really 60-40 against, because that is not a race.
Drizz hasn’t had the best luck at winning races in tournaments, anybody who has read his blog knows this. It can seem like eons between the times that a true coin-flip goes in your direction. This is variance. Prolonged variance in Drizz’s case, but variance nonetheless. If you play enough poker on a regular basis, you are going to experience both extremes of what I call variance. You are going to call some all-ins when you are behind and win despite the odds. You are going to get all your money in when you are ahead and your hands are going to hold up. You are also going to go through the “down” periods where it doesn’t matter what the cards are, what the odds are or what you do, your hand is going down and you might as well deal with it like a man, not a whining douchebag like we experienced in the PSO freeroll on Saturday night.
Hanging around the tournament, whether it be a blogger event or a regular one-table SNG, makes you look like a complete tool. I don’t give a shit how valid your argument is, you still look like a freaking tool. Devoting an entire post on your blog, complete with names, links and pictures makes you a douchebag. This all goes back to a saying of my Grandma’s. “If you can’t say anything good, keep your fucking mouth shut!” My granny was a helluva lady.
As hard as it sometimes is to do, take your beats like a man and STFU. If you can’t stand to take a bad beat, I would suggest that you move up in limits in order to get away from the more donktastic players on the internet. If you don’t have the bankroll to move up, shut your freaking pie hole
Last night, I got back to some of my regular grinding away at the low-level SNG’s on UltimateBet, Stars and Full Tilt. As soon as I got the beer on ice, I fired up one on all three sites. I don’t normally do three at a time, but what can I say, I was feeling froggy last night. I ended up in the money in two of the first three, with a 1st , a 2nd and a bubble finish to show for it. Okay, a little profit is better than NONE, right?
I took a break to eat dinner and logged back in and quickly joined two more SNG’s, this time on UB and Stars. Trip and Jordan logged on and wanted to play one together, but I passed and let them join one. More than two at a time is too much for this little brain cell-depleted brain to manage at one time. I went on to place 1st and 2nd in those two SNG’s and now had a little more profit for the night. This is usually the point where I move up and “take my shot” at a bigger buy-in tourney, but Trip was on and ready, so we settled on a $5 Omaha hi-lo PL tourney instead. It was a good decision by me to save the money, as I was not into it at that point and played tighter than I normally do at a Hold Em table. I think I went out in 5th or 6th and left Trip there to make all the money.
It was a good night overall, with a positive sign on my spreadsheet. I need to string about two weeks worth of those positive signs together to get back on track toward my modest goals, either that or hit a big score in a MTT some time soon. I just haven’t been in the mood to devote three or four hours of time that a MTT requires right now. Maybe soon, maybe.
Some personal stuff from last week.
My friends both had their surgeries toward the end of last week and their doctors’ are optimistic that everything went well. Jenn is home and recovering from the cancer surgery and her husband, Jim, seems to think she will pull through like a champ. Play like a champ today, Jenn, I’m so glad to hear that everything went well. My good buddy, Randy, had open heart surgery this past Friday morning and, although the pain was almost unbearable, he came through it and his doctors are thinking the best also. Hang in there brother, we’re all pulling for you. Thanks to everybody for their thoughts and/or prayers, these two people deserve every good thought that was sent their way. Great friends to the point that we consider them part of our family. Thanks again.
With my recent withdrawls depleting an already miniscule bankroll, I have been forced back to trolling the $5 + .50 SNG level more often than I would like in an effort to build it back up. I have taken to starting the evening off with two $5 SNG’s going on at the same time, but on different sites. I’m trying to accomplish two things mainly from this: 1) to get things off on the right track for the night and 2) not risking too much of my bankroll at any one time. So far, the stats don’t lie: 6 of 9 tournaments have resulted in ITM finishes. I can definitely beat that game on a regular basis.
This leads me into a different topic for today. Can I beat the $10 or $20 levels on a regular basis, like I seem to be able to beat the $5 level?
I have also taken to finishing up the night, whether ahead or behind with a jump up to the next level.
Tuesday night, after a bit of success, I moved up to the $10 + 1 level and finished off the night with a 2nd place finish, which is about equal to winning a $5 SNG. Wednesday night, after no success whatsoever, I fired up a $20 + 2 SNG in hopes of getting back into the black for the night. I ended up winning that SNG and turning a small losing night into a small winning night in the process.
Now while I know full well that there are donkeys at every level on-line, what I want to know from some or all of you is this:
-Do you like the idea of bumping it up a level or two if you are ahead for the night?
-What about if you are behind and feel the need to catch up? (I have done this in the past with mixed results, usually poor)
-What are the major differences that YOU see between the $5 level and the $10 and $20 levels?
I know that many of you play much higher limits than even these, so I am wondering if you see MUCH stronger play at the higher levels?
Here’s my experience in the $20 + 2 SNG on Ultimate Bet on Wednesday night:
I started out extremely tight (imagine that) and folded for a few orbits.
I finally picked up A-K on the button and called a raise with position on the bettor. The flop came K-K-x and I raised his pot bet the minimum and he called. The turn was my case King and after much deliberation, I checked behind his check, hoping to induce a bet on the river. (I like this play a lot, especially with what I deem to be “better” players) The river was a beautiful Ace and put out a $200 feeler bet. I raised to $600 fearing that he would not call an all-in at this point. (about the third orbit)
He used up most of his time and finally called and I got paid off. He didn’t show but I am assuming it was A-Q or Q-Q or possibly J-J. Whatever he had, he got himself in trouble calling my re-raise after the flop. Even if he assumes that I don’t have a King, he more or less committed himself to the hand by calling my re-raise, especially since I tried my best to price him into the pot the entire way.
Good? Bad? Or Indifferent on my play here? Could I have gotten more out of the hand?
The next major hand that I get involved in sees me with 5-7 in the big blind and a free flop of 5-7-K. The small blind fires out a minimum bet and I bet the pot. (I love that feature on UB, btw) Everyone else folds, but the small blind flat calls. The turn is another 7. He checks and I put him all in.( I had him covered slightly) He calls and turns up 6-7 and, of course, the river is a 6 and I am crippled down to around 350 chips. He types in the chat window “WOW.” I fire back with “Nice catch” but after re-playing the hand in my mind and right here on paper, I really don’t have a huge problem with the way he played it, other than calling a re-raise with middle pair, poor kicker after the flop. When he hit the set on the turn, I think we would have all gotten our money in there, so I chalk it up to bad luck, especially considering what happened later.
I came back very strong, doubling up numerous times by trapping the big stack bully. (same guy from above) I simply waited and trapped and eventually busted him out in 3rd place. After a long, see-saw battle heads up, I was finally able to get my opponent all-in and my K-J held up. It’s always nice to come back from the short stack to win a tournament, but it was especially sweet since it was a $20 + 2 SNG.
As I said earlier, there are still donkeys at the 10 + 1 and the 20 + 2 levels, it just appears to be less donkeys at every table than at the lower limits.
Here’s a flaming example from a $5 SNG last night on PokerStars:
Two people are knocked out on the very first hand of the tournament. Victim A had J-J and Victim B had 7-7. Triumphant, triple-up Lemur had A-6 sooooooted! He then types in the chat, “I hate the first hand of these SNG’s.” LOLOLOLOL at you, brother. Thank goodness I’m at the right table. We were down to 4 players by hand number 35 and the Lemur from above went out in 6th place after doubling up nearly everybody at the table. Donk-tastic play, sir. Thank you very much.
So far, my patient, “sit back and wait” approach has paid huge dividends in the past and continues to be a solid strategy. As long as I get some cards, there always seems to be someone around to pay me off. While I certainly cannot afford to continually play at the $20 level, I may still sneak one in every so often. I do like the $78 profit for an hour and fifteen minutes’ worth of work.
I’m not sure where I’m going to go today, but I’m going nonetheless.
How about a little pimpage? I haven’t done that in a while, so here goes nothing.
I first want to send a big thank you out to AlCantHang for his comments last week on my blog. Amen, brother, indeed. Help a newbie out and gain some karma points, that’s my idea in a nutshell. Thanks, Al and be warned, dial-a-shots are coming in a few weeks. When you see the (405) area code pop up, it will be me. I can’t freaking wait.
MiamiDon and CarmenSinCity: I met both of these bloggers during my recent trip to Vegas and I have nothing but good things to say about both of them. They are both very nice people and also very good poker players. I wasn’t uncomfortable around them in the least and the moment I met them I was at ease and enjoyed myself a great deal. I would recommend looking them up if you are in Vegas and looking to sling some chips. Carmen’s blog is filled with pictures and the trials and tribulations of a poker player, much like all of our blogs. Don’s blog is more along the lines of strategy and he puts out some good stuff for anybody looking to better their game. Nice job both of you and thanks again for being so hospitable to an Okie-blogger.
Hoyazo: Here’s a relatively new blog that is dedicated to telling his stories through screen shots. He does a great job of explaining his thinking and rationale behind every move he makes and talks you through every hand in a way that makes you feel like you were in the hand. Just as some say “You better have a hand if GCox raises,” you better be a damn good post-flop player if you call one of his pre-flop raises. I’ve been across the table from him many times in past blogger events and he will play “any two” like they are Aces and Aces like they are “any two,” so you better be ready. Congrats to Hoyazo also, for the recent double-final-table finish at the WPBT event. Tough competition at those two tournies and I’m sure you were on your game that night.
LittleAcornMan: It’s been a while since I mentioned my buddy across the pond, but he puts out quality post after quality post and if you aren’t reading him on a daily basis, you are missing out. He plays mainly NL cash games and is tearing it up on a regular basis. He also describes some of the hands he plays in a manner that truly makes you feel like you are there and describes his thinking behind each and every play he makes. He is an honorary member of my “Poker Mafioso” and has been on my links since the very beginning of my lowly little blog. If he ever makes it to this side of the pond for any reason, I will be doing everything in my power to be there also. He even went so far as to check out prices on a plane ticket from Scotland to Oklahoma City because he wanted to be at Okie-Vegas with us. That would have been fantastic, G.
*Editors Note* Of course, being a member of my “Mafioso” and having $5 in your pocket will get you a Double Mocha Latte at Starbucks, so, he has that going for him, too.
DuggleBogey: Not only does Duggle put out a witty cartoon every Wednesday, but his jabs nearly always land right square on somebody else’s nose. He pulls no punches and writes with a style that is all his own. I hate to say this out loud, but he is much nicer in person than he makes out in his blog. Sorry to burst any bubbles out there. He is not afraid to get in there and mix it up if he believes somebody is in the wrong and that ranges from the top of the blogosphere to the lower rungs. Check out some of his “donkey” posts if you want a good belly laugh. He’s also a damn good poker player and congrats on the final table the other night in the PSO freeroll.
And finally, I couldn’t do any pimping without including my two “twin brothers from different mothers.” TripJax and Jordan, from HighOnPoker.
Now, first let me say that I am 9 years older than Trip and 14 years older than Jordan, but from the very first time we hit a chat room together, I haven’t felt like an old fogey in the least. We have gotten along from the get-go like old friends who have known each other for a very long time. If you will remember back to the start of my blog, the three of us all hit a final table in one of Iggy’s freerolls on Noble Poker. I remember it like it was yesterday, because Jordan abused my blinds the entire time at the final table and I wasn’t comfortable the entire time.
It wasn’t long after that I decided to start this little blog, June 8th, if memory serves correctly. Wow, that means my blog-birthday is just around the corner. Anyway, when I first started, I had no clue how to link, how to get linked etc. Hell, I could barely post in my blog, let alone all the tricky little things I saw other bloggers doing on a regular basis. Never fear, one e-mail to the Devil’s Advocate of Poker Bloggers and all my questions were answered, as well as my first link was made. Without that kind response, I might not be blogging today. Thanks, brother.
Soon thereafter came the HighOnPoker SNG Challenge. Still being a relative newbie to the blogging game, I joined only because Jordan was putting it on and because I fancied myself a pretty good SNG player. That is where I met up with the likes of TripJax, Kipper(who I believe was my second link-up), DNasty and SteelerJosh. Back then, we had no headset chat availability so we would be furiously typing in the chat box between betting windows popping up on the screen. We started playing a lot of SNG’s together and Trip and I hit it off immediately. He did all the work on my beautiful banner at the top of this page and for that, I will be eternally grateful. It would be plain old generic template if it were up to me, but luckily, I have some good friends that are not E-tarded.
Every night we get together in chat seems like the first time, again, even though I rank a little older on the totem pole. When I hear Jordan crabbing about the cat jumping on everything, I look down and see my fat, OLD cat sitting in my lap, not moving for fear of being tossed to the curb. When I hear Trip’s kids running around screaming like someone is getting murdered, it reminds me of my girls when they were that age. It’s precious, brother, don’t ever take it for granted. I promise you that you are going to blink and they will be 16 and 10. That’s how fast it happens.
I am chomping at the bit for June 7TH to get here, so I can finally actually meet one of these two guys who have become such good “internet” buddies. I am saddened that Jordan can’t make the trip, but I also understand. We will meet soon enough, even if I have to fly to Atlantic City. Somewhere around 1:15 on Wednesday, June 7th, while the rest of you suckers are still at work, TripJax and I will be knocking back the first of many ice cold Keystone Lights.
Wish you were here.
I believe I mentioned that I had no plan for today. Ha! Told you so! Have a good 'un.
posted by GaryC @ 3:06 PM, ,
15 Days Away
Monday, May 22, 2006
As the time continues to draw nearer and nearer, I thought I would once again put out a post regarding the pending get-together known as “Okie-Vegas.”
If you haven’t bought your tickets yet, the fares will probably be outrageous now, so I will go with who I know for sure for the time being. If you are coming and haven’t contacted me yet, please do so and if you want it to be a complete surprise, that’s cool too.
TripJax and SteelerJosh are flying into Will Rogers World (?) Airport on Wednesday afternoon right after lunch. I plan on being there with mullet in full force, beers iced down in the truck and dial-a-shots at the ready. For anybody not attending, feel free to get me your cell phone number and be forewarned, the shots will be flowing and could involve multiple phone calls/shots per event/day/hour.
I think it will just be the three of us on Wednesday night and I have tentatively planned a trip out to El Reno to the county-famous “Lucky Star Casino.” When we have gotten our fill of the horrendous poker action displayed at their tables, we will move along about an hour or so Southwest and head to the “Redneck Riviera.” Depending on what time we get down there and get done partying on the lake, we will either meet SurfLexus and his boss back in OKC or I will be giving them directions down to the lake. We will just play this by ear as they aren’t sure what time they will be in the city, since they are stopping in Tunica on the way. If they make it to town early, we’ll get to a casino earlier, if not, we might be playing live SNG’s at my trailer at the lake. I’m sure I can find a few locals to jump in on that action as well.
Friday, I am going to let Miss Maudie pick the poker room, as I know she has her favorites. It will either be Thunderbird, if she doesn’t feel like traveling or Newcastle Gaming center, if she doesn’t mind driving. The last I heard, Newcastle was her room of choice, but I will leave that up to her. I think DuggleBogey will be back in town some time on Friday and be joining us at Newcastle. TenMile has expressed an interest in joining us, but has recently taken to "straddling the fence." Count me in the group that hopes he makes the trip down to join us.
Saturday, we are planning a barbecue at my house some time around noon. I plan on having any of my local friends showing up to my house at around 3:00 pm to get the NL tournament “home-game” under way, but the lunch will be just amongst bloggers and that will also give us a good chance to sit down and chat about really ghey things like blogging, etc.
My excitement has grown greatly over the last week, since I got home from vacation. I was excited before, but I knew I had so many things going on before it would get here. Now that it is firmly in my thoughts of pending fun, the thought of all the fun we are going to have is exciting me more and more each day.
Anybody that is going to be here, let me know if you have any questions. I will try to get you the answers as soon as possible.
You should really make it to this if there is any way possible. I promise, you won’t regret it.
posted by GaryC @ 3:16 PM, ,
Um, yeah, .....
Sunday, May 21, 2006
.......................what I said earlier? Scratch that! Variance is a bitch.
posted by GaryC @ 6:00 PM, ,
SNG Bankroll Building Update
Saturday, May 20, 2006
Last 3 SNG's on my favorite site: UltimateBet
$10 + 1 - 1st Place - $50
$20 + 2 - 1st Place - $100
$20 + 2 - 1st Place - $100
So, uh, yeah, a very good start to the weekend.
posted by GaryC @ 8:06 AM, ,
Friday, May 19, 2006
Having answered TripJax’s questionnaire yesterday, I came up with a new topic for my post today.
What exactly are my goals now with this on-line poker hobby/addiction?
When I first began playing on-line, my goals were simple. I wanted to be able to beat the game and continue to be able to play without depositing more of my hard-earned money every so often. I have accomplished this goal for the most part, not without some bumps and bruises along the way, but I’ve been able to continue to play on-line for almost two years now without re-depositing and I’ve even been able to make some sizable withdrawls along the way to cover vacation expenses, home projects, etc. I was helped out greatly by a large MTT win early last year and have been coasting up and down from there.
Of course, bonus whoring and the promotional sites have helped greatly with the building of the bankroll. PSO and VPP have both allowed me to clear bonuses and to build up a slightly depleted bankroll at different times and I absolutely love the Poker Site Gift Certificates from PSO. Sign up through PSO, clear their promotional requirements, earn the deposit bonus from the site and receive PSO Points redeemable for money on poker sites when you are done. Of course, the best way for all that to happen is to earn some profit at the site as well, but with patient play, anybody should be able to do that, as well.
So, I’ve been at this almost two years and I am fresh off my latest vacation. After withdrawing nearly $600 for the trip, I am left with a little over $400 on-line. Where do I go from here and what are my immediate short-term and long-range goals?
I have always played this game for the challenges it presents. Not that the money isn’t a motivating factor, because it is, just not the single greatest motivating factor for me. That has started to change a bit in the last few months. I think writing down goals in black and white is good for me. I have always been a goal-oriented individual, whether it be athletics, school or work. Seeing the prize in the background has always been a strong motivational force for me, so that is what I am going to do today.
Immediate Short-Term Goal:
I want to run that $400 that I have on-line right now up to around $1000 in the next two or three months. I plan on doing this through a variety of different options:
Right now, the first option is grinding away at the lower limit SNG’s, never risking a significant chunk of my bankroll and knowing that even though it is at the lower end of the profitability scale, it is still profitable. I have proved this in the past and will continue to grind away at them in the future. I know I can beat these games.
The second option, when the time is right, is to withdraw a bit from one of the sites and to re-deposit through PSO or VPP in order to earn even more bonuses through them. This will require more ring game play and I will be concentrating on Seven Card Stud for all of those requirements. I am very comfortable playing Stud right now and feel like I can beat that game for profit while taking care of the requirements to clear the bonus.
The third option has always been and will always be taking my occasional shot at the MTT’s out there. I have had some success in the past and am confident that I can continue to cash in my share of these events. Who knows, one final table finish in a big MTT and I could accomplish my short term goal in one night. It has happened before, you know.
Long Range Goals:
These will be more of the “I have a dream” type of goals, even though I would love for them to happen. They are not completely out of the realm of possibility, but would require a few more breaks along the way than I have received lately.
First, I would love to play in a WSOP event. After bubbling out in third place of Iggy’s event at Stars a few months ago, I sat and wondered, “What would you do if you won the seat?” I came to a few conclusions and even surprised myself a bit. I would love to go and sit down at a table with a few folks I have seen on TV. This all goes back to the “challenge” thing, but I think if we are not constantly challenging ourselves, we are never going to get much better. That’s why I love the blogger events. For the most part, you are playing good, solid poker players that will put you to the test, much more so than a normal SNG or MTT on any site on any given night. While I would never be able to justify buying my way into a WSOP event outright, there are multiple opportunities out there daily to win a seat through a satellite on-line.
Second, I would love to be able to tell the wife that I am supplementing our income through this little hobby/addiction of mine. At this point, she has seen several very small withdrawls that have come out of Neteller in the last two years, but I would love to get to the point where I could take a few hundred a month out of Neteller and into our checking account to help out around the house. That’s a pretty meager goal at this point, but, playing the stakes I currently play, would also require a huge jump up in limits to accomplish that type of change.
Third, and perhaps most importantly, I want to make it to Vegas for a blogger event, take my wife and finance the entire trip with poker winnings. Okie-Vegas is just around the corner and I absolutely cannot wait to meet the likes of TripJax, SteelerJosh, Surflexus, TenMile and any other bloggers that might make the trek to my little corner of the universe. We are going to have so much fun, but the thought of meeting ALL the bloggers that I have read for so long really intrigues me. One of the main reasons I started this humble little blog in the first place was that I was so jealous sitting here reading all the trip reports from the last get-together in Vegas. After I met Maudie and DuggleBogey in person here in Oklahoma, that just cemented the idea of how much I would like to knock back a shot with AlCantHang or take hair-styling lessons from JoeSpeaker. (J/K Joe)
So, there they are, my goals, modest as they may be. If I get a wild hair up my ass anytime soon, I may just give you an update on where I stand with them. Until then, Okie-Vegas is just 3 short weeks away, why not come play some cards with me?
posted by GaryC @ 3:23 PM, ,
Explanation and Questions/Answers
Thursday, May 18, 2006
Explanation of the picture in my previous post:
I was the 1st baseman on the play (and flat on my back in the picture.) Our pitcher is the guy in the blue shorts on his knees holding the ball in the picture and the guy in black was the left hand hitting pitcher from the other team.
The hitter lined a shot right down the first base line and I dove and got a glove on it. This set off a mad scramble and my pitcher is yelling “I’m here, Gary” the whole time, while sprinting to cover 1st base. I am scrambling to get to the ball and retrieve it just in time to fire a side-arm, half underhand rocket right off our pitcher’s shin. He went to the ground trying to come up with the ball and the result is that picture.
You may be wondering why I am flat on my back? That was my reaction to the whole playing being waved off and the umpire calling it a foul ball. That’s why I’m laughing so hard.
I thought I would take a moment to answer TripJax’s questionnaire from yesterday. If you haven’t seen it yet, by all means, go by his blog and check it out and take the time to answer his questions.
1. What is the biggest mistake people make at a No Limit table?
-I have dual answers for this one. I’ve already read somewhere else that overplaying A-K is the biggest mistake we see on a regular basis and I am guilty of that on occasion as well. I also see entirely too much aggression, at least at the levels I play. I just sit back, wait for a monster and trap the hyper monkey. It works nearly every time.
2. What is the biggest mistake people make at a Limit table?
-Again, I think it is overaggression. I see it even at my lower limits and even though that aggressive style can work when your opponent is capable of getting away from a hand, at my levels, you are almost trapping yourself.
3. Why do you play poker?
-To me, it all boils down to the competition. Yes, I play it to make money and finance other things in my life, but when it gets right down to it, I love the competition. I love being able to match wits with and out-wit my opponent, whether it be a regular SNG or a blogger tourney.
4. If you weren’t playing poker, what would you be doing?
-I don’t have an answer for that. I’ve been playing poker for so long now that it has become second nature. I’m not big into gaming, so I would probably be watching baseball.
5. What is your favorite poker book and why?
-Harrington on Hold Em, Vol. I and II. I haven’t read a lot of poker books, but I have read these and for pure tournament strategy, these two books cannot be beat. I also loved Positively Fifth Street by James McManus. It is not a strategy book, but still a very good read.
6. Who is your favorite poker player and why?
-Easy choice for me, see the answer to question # 5. Dan Harrington, because his style and mine are so similar.
7. What poker player do you dislike and why?
-Another very simple answer for me. Phil Hellmuth, because he is a whining jackass. I can promise you this, if I ever find myself at his table and he asks me if I know who he is, I will get a penalty and have to sit out for a while, because I will crack him right in the skull and then cuss him out.
8. Do your co-workers know about your blog?
-None of my immediate co-workers know about my blog, however, I’m pretty sure our Big Brother system administrator knows about it, since everything to do with blogspot is now off-limits for me at work.
9. What is the most money you have won in a cash game or MTT, either on-line or live?
-$920. I was lucky enough to have won a large field MTT on Ultimate Bet about a year ago.
10. What is the most money you have lost in one day either on-line or live?
-I’m pretty conservative, but I have had my share of bad streaks. Probably around $200 on-line when I was running bad.
11. What was your first poker blog to read?
-Chris Halverson, Professional Poker Player.
12. What satisfies you more-Pocket Aces holding up for a big pot or a big bluff working for a big pot?
-This will surprise none of you, but Pocket Aces holding up against an inferior hand with all the money in the middle. I don’t bluff enough at big pots to know what that would feel like.
13. Why do you blog?
-Originally, it was to become a part of this community and to play in blogger events. I wanted to meet some of the people that I had been reading on a regular basis and what better way than to start doing what they were doing. Today, it is more to continue the friendships that I have built and because I am a bit addicted to blogging, much like I am to poker.
14. Do you read blogs through RSS or some other reader or do you visit each blog?
-I’m not smart enough to use the readers, so I still click on the link and visit each blog indivually.
15. Would you rather play poker for a living than do what you currently do for a living?
-Most definitely. It is our dream to get across the table from the big name pro’s and drop the hammer right? If there were a chance I could make a living at it, you bet, I would do it in a second.
16. Do you wear a tin foil hat on occasion?
-Again, most definitely. If you don’t think that on-line poker is rigged and blogs are ghey, there is something wrong with you, not me.
17. Can you identify one specific trait of good poker players?
-The thing that I see over and over again, both on TV with the Pro’s and on-line with all of us amateurs, is the ability to read people. Re-raises at the perfect time or getting away from second best hands all comes down to being able to put your opponent on a hand and that ability to read people cannot be taught, you either have it or you don’t.
18. Is Drizz the coolest person on the planet for naming his baby Vegas?
-Drizz was already the coolest person on the planet, Vegas just cemented his position with me. My wife would never go for it, but hopefully one day, little Vegas will understand why her name is what it is.
19. What are your primary poker goals and are you close to reaching them?
-My primary goal when I started out was to become a winning player and not to have to re-deposit every month or so, just to be able to continue playing. I have certainly reached that goal and have financed my last two vacations with poker winnings. My goals have changed a bit in the last few months, but I will save that for a post, perhaps tomorrow.
20. What is your primary poker site and why?
-Ultimate Bet. UB was the first site that I ever played for real money on and the site of my biggest payday (see question 9). I know they have had server issues in recent weeks, but that appears to be behind them and I like the upgrades they have made. (Except for that damn blackjack) I’m nothing if I’m not loyal.
21. What site do you dislike the most and why?
-This is a simple question for me. Party Poker. Despite all the assurances that the fish are schooling and there is money to be made, I cannot win a hand, make a dime, have any success whatsoever at Party Poker. I am the fish there and that has not changed in the entire two years I have tried to play there. I give.
22. What does your spouse/significant other think about your poker addiction, er, hobby?
-My wife started out being very supportive of my little hobby. In fact, until it became a raving addiction, she would occasionally come in and watch for a while some nights. Over time and after some serious heart to heart talks, I have toned down the amount of time I spend on line with this “hobby” and I think she is okay with it now. It still takes up a lot of my time, but if I can continue to finance vacations, trips, etc. with winnings, I don’t think she will have too much of a problem with it. She is definitely in my corner and has my back on everything.
That's about all I have for today. Stay tuned for some posts with real poker content soon.
posted by GaryC @ 3:27 PM, ,