Cleaning Up At Stars
Thursday, September 28, 2006
I am finishing up my 100 SNG Challenge right now on PokerStars and my results have been excellent of late. I have been playing strictly the $20 + 2 variety and have made the money in 11 consecutive SNG’s and 15 of the last 17 overall. It has not only been a boon to the bankroll, but my statistics for the challenge have suddenly taken a large upswing to very positive in the last week or so. Those bigger paydays at the $22 tournaments are certainly nice also. I only have three more SNG’s to finish and I will have completed 100 in the last couple of months, keeping detailed records along the way. I am going to wait until I finish the last three to post my overall numbers, but suffice it to say, I am very happy with the results right now.
I have also figured out a couple of more things along the way. While I knew I could beat the $5.50 SNG’s on a consistent basis, my track record in the $22 variety was spotty at best. In the last two weeks, playing a total of 10 tournaments at the $22 level, I have figured out that I can beat that level too. Deep down inside, I knew that my tight nature would allow me to compete, but with a small bankroll, the hits that come with a bad run at that level were more than I was willing to risk. I have found that my concentration is much more intense also, knowing I have more money than usual riding on the outcome of one tournament. That can only help my play in the long run, in my opinion.
The opponents at the $22 level have been pretty miserable all the way around. I have run into a few good, solid players, but for the most part, they seem to be the normal hyper-aggressive push monkeys that inhabit my normal $5.50 tournaments. One tournament last night featured a three way all in on the very first hand of the tournament. I will never understand those guys, but am thankful that they are out there.
I will probably finish the SNG’s tonight and have the overall statistics up some time tomorrow. Wish me luck, I would love to finish this thing out with a run of 14 straight money finishes. I am even thinking of throwing in a $50 + 5 as the 100th and final SNG, assuming things continue to go well. That would be the highest buy in SNG I have ever played and I am curious to see if I can compete at that level, as well.
You’ll notice a few new partners in my sidebar over on the right. Give them a look if you have time. Most of the new ones are affiliate deals, so I don’t make anything for the click, but they are offering some pretty good deals and if you are in the market, give it a shot.
Thanks for stopping by.
posted by GaryC @ 3:13 PM, ,
Move Along, Nothing To See Here
Wednesday, September 27, 2006
I am going to try to join the Mookie tonight, but I have a ton of stuff going on right now.
My play has been limited a bit due to all the work that has been going in to loading my new karaoke player. It appears that this project is going to take at least a solid month to have it finished the right way. We have to download every single one of our discs, note the new number for each individual song and then change all the current numbers in our books to the corresponding new numbers. It is a big job, but when we get it finished, it will be well worth it. I already wish it was over.
So, couple that with the fact that I have to mow the back yard tonight and there is a chance I will miss the tourney, but I am still going to try and make it out.
You should to, Mookie is doing a fabulous job with this tournament and the field is very strong. If you want to see where you rank or how your game measures up with some very solid players, go sign up now, because this field will put you to the test.
Congratulations to our buddy Surflexus. He is playing a circuit event in Tunica and last night at the dinner break was way above the average stack size. Here is hoping that he took it all the way to the final table. Good luck brother!
Work is kicking my ass right now too, but I promise I am going to start writing something more useful in the very near future. Okay, maybe not, but it is my blog and I can lie if I want to, no?
See you tonight on the virtual felt.
posted by GaryC @ 3:15 PM, ,
Some Things I Am Beginning To Understand
Monday, September 25, 2006
What exactly is the difference between a winning session and a losing session?
Often times, it is simply recognizing that things are not going your way and cutting your losses at the opportune time, rather than continuing to chase the opportunities that are not destined to come your way that evening.
I have had four roller coaster sessions during the last four evenings that I decided to sit down and play. I have booked two nice wins and had two fairly significant losses. Often times I sit down in the correct mindset to fold garbage and only play my strong hands. This is opportune poker for me and I am coming to that realization after thousands of hands. I already knew this, of course, but knowing and recognizing and reacting are completely different things.
You know those nights when you sit down and can do nothing wrong, no matter how you play each and every hand. I had one of those nights late Friday evening. I ran over anybody and everybody who decided they wanted to play with me the entire three plus hours. Fast forward to Saturday and, after folding for what seemed like an eternity, my Aces were cracked by 6-7 sooted. I started to realize that my playing style dictates that I only play a certain percentage of hands and if the deck is not cooperating, I need to either log off or at least, change tables to protect my image.
If I sit down at a table and fold for 43 straight hands, how much action am I going to get when I finally do raise it up with a premium pair? Especially at the six handed tables that I have been playing, none would be the correct answer.
It is really kind of scary at this point, but maybe, just maybe, I am starting to figure things out a little bit. I know that changing my style up does not work very well for me, but maybe if I pay enough attention and change tables a little more often, I can still find a way to make a dime at this game.
Thanks for reading.
posted by GaryC @ 4:01 PM, ,
Thursday, September 21, 2006
Tonight, be there or be square.
Short post today, because I have been busier than a one-legged man in an ass-kicking contest. (no offense to any one-legged men out there)
I'm extremely envious of some of our fellow blogging brethren headed to Philly this weekend. I checked today just out of curiosity, but the wife said we didn't have an extra 1K laying around for the flight. Fuck me!
I hope you all have a great time, I will be there in spirit.
See you tonight.
posted by GaryC @ 4:53 PM, ,
Wednesday, September 20, 2006
Mookie Tonight Full Tilt Be there!
DADI 9 tomorrow night Full Tilt Be there for some HORSE action.
The cash tables took a turn for the better and have finally become a boon for my struggling bankroll. I have gone back and forth lately between playing Stud, Stud Hi-Lo and I am now back to NL Hold Em. I am concentrating on the 6-Max $50 NL tables for the time being and, although the swings are a bit bigger than I am used to, the opponents complete lack of skill more than makes up for the difference.
I completed my PSO promotion on PokerShare a while back, but left around $40 sitting on the site after I withdrew most of my winnings. I hit them up yesterday for some NL action and ran my roll up to around $180 with tight, solid play. That, and a set of Jacks against Mr. Re-raisewithA-K, got me a good portion of that. I will never understand how somebody can call an all-in bet with A-K unimproved after the flop, but I am sure glad they still do it sometimes.
The new CAP games at Full Tilt are pleasing to this guy. If you have not seen your personal email from Howard Lederer, the CAP games are just your standard No Limit or Limit games and structures with one very noticeable difference. At the .25/.50 NL tables, there is a $15 CAP on the action in any given hand. That means that you can raise all-in just like normal, but no more than $15 of each opponent may go into the pot. While I can see that this style of game definitely hurts the aggressive gambler by limiting his double up potential, it suits a low limit guy just fine and definitely protects your exposure on any one given hand, as $15 is the most you can lose in one pot. It’s like No Limit with Limits or training wheels for us low ballers.
My poker playing time will definitely start picking up now that summer is almost over. The water at the lake is getting colder by the day, so the time at the lake will definitely slow down and that leaves much more time for me to play poker. I have always played more in the winter anyway, but I am definitely going to concentrate on building my bankroll one step at a time now. I have a lot of building to do between now and next spring if I want to continue to finance my vacations through poker winnings.
I also have a lot of work ahead of me with my new karaoke machine, but I plan on doing a few discs a night and trying not to let it interfere with my poker playing time. It is a long and tiring process downloading all the discs and changing all the numbers in our books, but when it is finished, it will be a great investment and well worth the money. I cannot wait until that day is here and we actually get to use it at one of our shows.
That is all I have for today, see you tonight on the felt.
posted by GaryC @ 4:46 PM, ,
Tuesday, September 19, 2006
If you have been under a rock, DADI 9, scheduled for this Thursday evening, has been moved. Full Tilt Poker will be the new home of the DADI, after showing a willingness to help us out and I assume it will remain there for a while. Their customer service is second to none and I, for one, am very pleased with the move away from River…., er, never mind.
I’ve been playing a bit of poker lately, but not quite as much as normal. My new karaoke machine is taking up quite a bit of my time. We have our work cut out for us getting all of our discs downloaded into the machine and then revamping our books with all the new numbers. It will be well worth it when it is finished, but it might just take all winter to get it all finished.
Back to poker, my tournament game has been running hot and my cash game has been just the opposite. I got stacked for $50 last night when I flopped a set and got called down by a gut shot that hit on the river. What are you going to do? He called my all in on the turn, but I am sure he was screaming JACK as loud as he could. Either that or he just really HAD A FEELING. Unfortunately, I was unable to hang around long enough to put a dent in his stack.
My SNG challenge is within about 10 of being completed. The numbers are getting better as I have cashed now in 5 of my last 6, including two 1st place finishes in $20 + 2 tourneys. I got a wild hair the other night and thought I would just try a $22 buy in to see if I could amp up my ROI and so far, it has worked like a charm. I’ve played in two of the $22 tourneys and won 1st in both of them. It only pays $90 for 1st, but I will certainly take that.
The family and I have to make our annual trip to the State Fair this week and right now, I am not sure which night it will be. I am pushing for it NOT to be on Thursday night, due to the DADI tournament, but that might mean I miss the Mookie on Wednesday night. I hate to miss it, since I have had two final tables in a row, but family might have to come first this time.
Have a good one,
posted by GaryC @ 3:05 PM, ,
You Might Be A Replay Official From Oregon
Monday, September 18, 2006
If you have ever blown two calls in the space of about one minute, you might be a replay official from Oregon.
If you think the kicking team recovers EVERY onside kick, you might be a replay official from Oregon.
If you graduated from the Oregon State School for the Blind, you might be a replay offical from Oregon.
And finally, if you can't find your ass with both hands, you might be a replay official from Oregon!
Yup, still a bit bitter about it.
posted by GaryC @ 5:28 PM, ,
Im Still Tryin
Sunday, September 17, 2006
This getting up early pulling double shifts is gonna make an old man of me long before I ever get rich, but Im still tryin. - Trace Adkins
With all the I am tired of blogging posts out there lately, I thought I would address the issue a bit today,
First, let me say, that I agree with everybody at this point. I know I have not been blogging as long as a lot of the folks out there, but I understand fully what a chore it can become. When I first started blogging, I would sometimes throw up two or three posts in a day and it was very rare that I missed a day at all, excluding weekends. These days, I am lucky to be able to spit out 3 posts a week and most of those are in the neighborhood of the same old tripe, over and over again.
I still want to blog, but the trick, at least for me, is to try and continue to come up with new and/or interesting content. That is where the true work lies. I do not have the writing ability of Joe Speaker (who I could read all day long every day until I finished his entire archives) nor do I have the poker ability of DoubleAs, but what I do have is this, my space, my little blog, the Low Limit Grinder . I have made numerous lasting friendships through this little thing called my blog and I am very proud of what it and I represent. I am part of a community that leaps to aid in the form of charity tournaments. We defend our own when an outsider oversteps their bounds. Do I always get my points across eloquently? Uh, no, but somehow, some way, if you read my tripe, you will know that I am not sitting on a fence, I will tell you how I really feel, both of you.
So, yeah, it is a challenge every single day to try and come up with something that the few readers who do stop by will enjoy, learn from or stop and think about, but it is a challenge that I am not ready to give up on yet. Maybe a year from now, I will not feel the same passion or urges toward this blog, but right now, for the first time in my life, I have been writing on a regular basis and it feels pretty good. It feels damn good when a bit of your poker advice meets with welcoming ears. It feels damn good when a personal post, that means a lot to you, actually means something to one or more of your readers. Like everybody else, I probably started this blog to try and fit in, hell, I know I did, I have stated that right here on this blog many times. I wanted to be a part of the growing community of poker bloggers that were having so much fun together on a regular basis. I feel like I have achieved that goal, even if it is on a smaller scale than most.
In closing, I will not be giving up the fight. I may continue to post boring hand histories or bad beat stories on a semi regular basis, but keep checking back, you never know when a GOLDEN post might accidentally hit the blogosphere.
Hang in there, all of you and keep on writing.
posted by GaryC @ 3:53 PM, ,
But, It's Gary...
Thursday, September 14, 2006
That is a direct quote from the Mookie last night. I played, enjoyed and even stumbled and bumbled my way into a fourth place pay day. That makes two straight weeks in the money for me and I am very happy with my finishes. But, back to the quote, Miami Don seemed to be running big hands into bigger hands all night and his hand with me was no exception. He raised in EP with Q-Q and I am sitting behind him with K-K and throw out the re-raise. He thinks about it for a while and tells the table that he is mucking Q-Q. Somebody at the table gave him a bit of grief and his reply was the title to this post. I showed the Kings and told him nice fold. I am not sure if anybody else at the table realized it at the time, but 90% or more of us go broke right there with pocket Queens. I know from the many blogger events and from playing a bit of live poker with Don and Carmen in Vegas that he is a very tough player and that lay down just proves my point.
I got an email yesterday at work from PokerSavvy about a $1,000 dollar freeroll they were having last night at Poker.com. Hmmm, I wonder if there might be some overlay in that one? I decided to install the software and try to get in the tourney as soon as I got home from work. After getting their software installed, I set up my account and soon realized that I had given them my work email. I realized this as soon as I could not register for the tournament, since I had not confirmed my account through their email. I got on the phone and luckily there were still a few guys at work last night, so I had one of them log in and confirm my account. I got in the tournament in the nick of time.
There were only 20 or so players signed up and off we went with top 3 places paying. Foreshadowing. There were a bunch of familiar names in the tourney as it was a blogger only freeroll. Stb, my nemesis from the Mookie tournament last week was right beside me at my first table. Katitude was also there, although we would not see each other until later on in the tournament. Drewspop was also at my first table, but he apparently had better things to do, cause he was out pretty quick.
This tournament was almost a push-fest from the start, as we only started with 1K in chips and the blinds seemed to be rising pretty quickly. I was able to hold my own and take down a few pots here and there and within the first hour, we were down to our final table. Cut to the chase, First place pays $500, Second pays $300 and Third pays $200 in free money from PokerSavvy. We are now down to four players. One player with a huge stack, another with a medium stack and Kat and I nursing relatively small stacks. We traded between 3rd and 4th several times, but the guy with the huge stack and the horseshoe rammed perfectly up his ass just continued to catch hands. I ended up bubbling out in fourth place and got nothing to show for my efforts. I sure wanted that money, but when it got down to nut cutting time, I could not pick up a hand to save my life. Kat was battling horseshoeuphisassman heads up when I finally closed the table to concentrate on the Mookie. Great playing last night Kat.
The Mookie was blessed with the longest bout of bubble play in the history of $10 tournaments. You would have thought we were all needing the money to buy medicine for our sick mother the way we played when we got to the bubble. Of course, that is the way I always play, so there was nothing new from me. Here were your final 6 competing for the 5 paying spots:
Yours truly, the drawing donkey
We played for what seemed like an hour 6 handed and to be honest with you, I do not even remember who bubbled. I think it was Drraz and then xkm1245 was out shortly after that in 5th. I ended up going out in fourth when my K-9 sooooted was no match for SurfLexus 10-9 soooted. I flopped a flush draw and had, I think, 12 outs twice, on the turn and river, but could not suck out. Surf went on to take it down for his 4th win at the Mookie tourney. Nice job, G and thanks as always to Mookie for hosting. You have really got something good going and are doing a great job.
I am going to leave you with the musings of a very solid poker player. The next time GCox25 re-raises you and you are clearly getting the correct odds, but are not as strong as you would like to be, remember this but, its Gary.
Technology is a truly amazing thing.
I do not know how many of you have any idea about what it takes to run karaoke, but I had to share this little gem that I stumbled upon and just purchased.
In the old days, and in fact, right up until now, our karaoke show involved me hauling in a big blue bag filled with five CD books that were stuffed to the gills. We have approximately 10,000 different songs in our collection and while that is not a huge collection, it is certainly a well rounded, diverse collection and offers our singers a multitude of choices. I have had more than one person come up to me at different shows and tell me that if somebody cannot find a song to sing in our book, then they do not really want to sing in the first place. I agree completely. During the actual course of the show, we had to have a large table beside our player that held all of these CD books and all our discs. We had to search for the disc, plug it in and then play it for the singer.
Enter the JB199.
This fantastic little device comes loaded with a multitude of songs for karaoke. You can choose the amount of songs, but ours is loaded with almost 11,000 song titles. It has a remote control that allows us to sit at our table at the bar, call up the next singer, plug in the song and never leave our seat. All of the music is stored on a hard drive inside the machine. Now, if that was not cool enough, our machine also came with a little attachment that will allow us to download all of our discs into the hard drive as well, thus making our show disc-less, if you will. Try saying that three times real fast.
It will take a lot of hard work in the beginning, from getting all of our songs downloaded in to the machine to renumbering all of our song books that we use at the shows, but in the long run, it will save us a lot of hassle at our shows and before and after our shows. I cannot count the number of times we have dropped, scratched, broken or misplaced a CD during or after a show. This machine will make those problems disappear completely and I am really looking forward to getting it ready for our test run.
I just thought I would share a little of what I waste some of my poker winnings on. The technology in the world today continues to increase on what seems like a daily basis and most of it is beyond me, but this particular investment suits me to a tee.
That is all.
Hope everybody has a great weekend.
posted by GaryC @ 4:15 PM, ,
Wednesday, September 13, 2006
-When a hard ROCK goes on tilt, it is just awesome! And conservative players are much more likely to break down emotionally against live ones. After all, it is the live players who most often make a totally ridiculous play and draw out on the ROCK.
Joey Howard Hughes Hawethorne
So, as you can tell, I have finally gotten around to reading the original Super System by Doyle Brunson and a bunch of collaborators. TripJax was kind enough to bring it with him to Okie Vegas this year and bestow upon me the biggest book I own, let alone poker strategy book. I think I could read this thing for the next two years and still not get through all of it.
I have started on the lowball games, which is Joey Hawthornes expertise. I have to think that even though I have never seen him play poker on TV, if Doyle asks you to write a section in his book, you probably know what you are doing. After reading a good portion of his low ball section, I concur.
Back to the quote, is there anything more true than that? I like to think of myself as a hard rock and when he says I am more likely to go on tilt, he could not have been any more correct.
Seeing as how this is exactly what I have been dealing with over the last three plus months, I thought I would expound on what I have learned and how I am dealing with it these days. I would like to tell you that I have completely overcome the tilt demons that have haunted me for a while now, but that would be bullshit, so I will not even go there.
What I have learned is this, once you are faced with a serious bout with tilt, it becomes something that can appear out of nowhere, again and again, and you are almost always going to face it at some point again in the near future. I have not found a way to shake it or overcome it yet. I am dealing with it better now than at any point since it started, but to say that you are OVER IT would just be a lie.
I do not think anybody ever gets past that feeling when somebody calls you down to the river or calls your all in bet and spikes that one outer or two outer on the river to cripple you. That feeling is soul crushing and it is soul crushing every single time it happens, it is how you learn to deal with it and cope with those feelings that separate the good players from the tilt monsters.
I will be the first to admit that I was a tilt freaking monster for about three or four weeks. Even when it was not a particularly bad beat, I was not dealing with it in a manner that was conducive to winning poker. It was really pissing me off and my play reflected that for a good long while. I was continuing to play, even though I knew I was in no mood or mindset to play solid, winning poker.
That is about the time I decided to take a break from poker. No, I did not quit playing altogether, I just limited my time online and my time playing the game. I even limited the games that I thought were causing me most of my problem. I did not play much Hold Em at all during those two weeks or so. Instead, I played Stud and Razz and tried very hard to get my mind off of going and staying on tilt.
Playing the different games seemed to help. At least with Stud and Razz, you know they are drawing games and you know there are going to be times when people draw all the way to the river and finally catch up with you. Not that I did not know that people were going to risk all their chips on just a draw in Hold Em, as well, because it happens all the time, especially at the limits that I play, but it seemed easier to deal with while playing Stud or Razz. The competition was not nearly as strong at Stud or Razz either and I think that helped my progress, as well.
In order to be a solid, winning poker player, you must learn how to deal with the stress associated with tilt, because you will, at some point, cross the line. I thought I was a pretty level headed, non emotional player, but when the monster rears its ugly head, it does not matter how emotionally stable you are, you are probably going to spew chips like a penny slot machine spews cents under Drizzs watchful eye. Learning to deal with it in a way that allows you to continue playing solid poker is a tough part of the learning curve, but a part that we all must learn to deal with at some point.
Good luck with it and join me at the Mookie tonight on Full Tilt.
posted by GaryC @ 3:02 PM, ,
Tuesday, September 12, 2006
September 11 was yesterday and its been a full five years since the attacks on the World Trade Centers. I remember it like it was yesterday. That shock never seems to go away, especially when you see the replays of those planes hitting the tower and the faces on the firefighters and all the other workers from Ground Zero.
I was half a world away from my family, in Pennsylvania, for a school that my work had sent me to for training. We were not real close, but not too far either, from where the third plane crashed in that field, where, we learned later, a few heroic Americans fought the terrorists with all they had after finding out what was going on. LETS ROLL was the saying from that airplane, if I remember correctly. I would like to think if I had been on that plane, that I would have reacted the exact same way when faced with that plight.
Having already lived through the Oklahoma City bombing and spent two days straight on the couch, watching endless coverage of the bombing, I found myself in a peculiar position. All the people in my training class were staying at the same hotel and we all congregated in the bar to watch the continuing, disturbing coverage of 9/11. It was more like a morgue than a bar as everybody sat in stunned silence, sipping a beer every now and again and shaking their heads in disgust. There were tears, as well, for the victims as well as their families. I sat in that bar for 5 hours with total strangers and could not muster any conversation at all.
When we first heard what had happened that morning of the 11th, training was immediately over. The television was switched on and we sat there in stunned silence, instructors and students, and feared that the attacks would continue. I immediately called my wife and told her that if they continued, to load up the car with everything she could haul down to our lake place and get our girls and get out of the city. I had a rental car with me in Pennsylvania and that if they continued the attacks, that I would make it home somehow, but to head away from the city as fast as possible.
Of course, as we know, the fourth and final plane was stopped from reaching its destination and the horror was over, at least as far as the attacks are concerned. All that was left was watching the devastation on television. Endless, 24 hour a day coverage filled nearly every channel on TV, and we watched and watched. The evenings reminded me eerily of the Oklahoma attacks as we all sat there open mouthed and stunned and watched the replays over and over again.
I was approximately four miles away from the Murrah building in Oklahoma City when the bomb went off there. It nearly shook me out of my bed and scared the hell out of me. Of course, at the time, nobody knew what had happened there. It did not take long for all that to change as the radio stations and local television stations made their way downtown. I first checked with my wife, who was about a mile closer than I was to the bombing and she was okay. They had felt the ripples and heard the explosion, but no damage was done to her building.
I then called my ex-wife, whose building sat directly across the street from the Murrah building. She was at work, looking out the window when it went off. It blew the windows out of her building and nearly knocked her out of her chair, but she was okay, scared, but okay.
I guess I tie these two events so closely together, because of my reactions to them both. I was in complete shock that something like this could happen right here in the heartland and that an American had done it. At the onset, we all thought that it had been terrorists and the thought of an American actually doing something like this was unfathomable. I think the fact that we knew pretty early on that terrorists had flown those planes into the World Trade Centers made it seem more true, after all, we expect terrorists to do this kind of thing and we expect them to be from terrorist countries, no? Just knowing that McVeigh was responsible for the attack here in Oklahoma City was a bit much to comprehend at the time.
I was not going to write anything at all about 9/11 in an effort to let the day go by with as little amount of fan-fare as possible, but after reading Jordans excellent post last night, I felt the need to jot down a little something.
I do not think I will ever forget where I was when both of these horrific events took place. From my little bedroom in a rent house on May Avenue to a training room in Pennsylvania, my reactions were eerily similar and so was everybody elses reaction around me. Shock is the word I would use to describe it. I know everybody was in shock that day and I continue to be in shock over all that has occurred in the past five years. It is certainly not the same world we grew up in back in the 70s and 80s. It appears that the entire world has a hatred for the United States like no other in recent memory. The question now is this, what the hell can or should we do about it?
posted by GaryC @ 3:05 PM, ,
DADI 9 Pimpage
Monday, September 11, 2006
It appears I have been a bit remiss in my Pimpage lately, so here goes nothing.
Please come out and join us for next installment of the DADI, Donkeys Always Draw Invitational,I will be playing the part of the drawing donkey in this one for sure.
The game of choice this time is all the games, HORSE, to be exact. Jordan has procured some fantastic prizes from our regular sponsors and I promise you, it will be a good time. Feel free to stop by the DADI website and take a look around or leave any questions you might have right here in my comments and I will get you the answers as soon as possible.
Thanks for stopping by, now move along, there is nothing more to see here.
posted by GaryC @ 3:30 PM, ,
Thursday, September 07, 2006
Wow, what a great tournament last night. Mookies inaugural event on Full Tilt was a smashing success with 66 runners turning out. I ended up going out in 3rd place and won a little scratch, plus a years subscription to Cardplayer magazine. I’m already looking forward to reading those on a regular basis. Great job, as always, Mook.
The first hour saw me picking up some very big hands. The good cards enabled me to run my stack up to around 8K at the first break. I had five or six pocket pairs over 9-9 and the only time I picked up 8-8, I flopped a set with it. There really was not much brain surgery going on, I had big hands and I played them hard. I think I was 7 of 8 at showdown after the first hour. The one hand that got me started, however, was a big blind special against Loopy. I had 10-5 of hearts and the flop came 5 high with two hearts. I bet out and Loopy just called. The turn was a black 10, giving me two pair and I checked. He bet and I smooth called, really hoping to make my flush on the river. No flush came, but I called his large bet and my two pair took it down. I really had a feeling that he had flopped a set, but could not force myself to lay down the hand. Probably a bit donkeyesque, but it almost doubled me up and got me off to a good start. I also hit what turned out to be a one-outer against On_THG in the first round. As soon as I hit the all-in button with my Q-Q, A-A hit me square in the jaw. I caught the miracle Queen on the river, but only that one would have done it, as the Queen of Clubs would have given him a flush, so it was a one-outer. Sorry for the beat Mike, I was lucky, lucky, lucky.
The second hour started off slowly, but I was able to maintain my chip count with some well timed steals and a couple of decent hands. I remember outracing Al’s A-J with my Q-Q, but I don’t remember a lot of other hands. The one that stands out was right before the 2nd break and just before the final table. Stb, who would prove to be a worthy challenger the rest of the evening, moved his last 4K into the middle and I woke up with A-A. Easy call for me and I have him dominated, until a 9 on the flop leaves me dominated and my Aces cracked. I went to the final table with around 8K in chips.
The next hand I remember was terrible. It was terrible pre-flop, terrible post-flop and terribly played by me on all streets. I cannot remember who was in the hand with me, but I min-raised in EP with K-Q. I get a few callers and the flop is K-4-4 with two hearts. I check and the player to my left moves all-in. Everybody else folds and I just cannot make myself lay down this hand and I call. I was ahead, as he had pushed with A-6 of hearts and the flush draw. The turn was a 6 and the river an Ace to drown my hopes. I was down to around 2K in chips at this point with either 8 or 9 still left at the final table.
Here is where things get incredibly fuzzy, because unlike Mookie and a few others, I was NOT out of beer at this point. I remember getting it all-in a couple of times, once with A-6 that held and once with 7-7 that also held up, but after those few hands, the next thing I remember, we are down to 4 or 5 handed and Drizz has moved all-in and again, I look down at Q-Q. I told you I woke up with some huge hands in this deal. His 10-10 gets no love and I knock him out and have the chip lead.
The chip lead was mine off and on from very early on in the tournament. It seemed like every time I won a big hand, I would turn right around and give it back and this time was no exception. Stb is immediately to my right and has been pounding me during the final two tables. He raises out of the small blind and I call with K-9. The flop is 9 high and I just cannot give him the credit he deserved and his 10-10 doubles through. That was basically the end of the end for me and I ended up all in with middle pair and a very short stack. NewinNov and NightRanger (Stb) both called and I knew I was gone in 3rd place.
It was a great tournament though and I enjoyed it very much. It has been a while since I made a decent run in one of these things and it felt good to get back. It just proves the old adage, the bigger hands you pick up during a tournament, the easier it is to not fuck up. Okay, I made that up and it sucks, sorry. Thanks again to Mookie for putting it on, great tournament. Congrats to NewinNov, who eventually took it down and to Stb for 2nd place. They both played good, solid poker all evening.
I think surf patrol is temporarily on the fritz at my work. I have been able to read a few blogs that I had previously been unable to pull up at work and there is a ton of good stuff out there.
If you have not already read Iakaris’s latest post regarding his play, I challenge you to go read it right now and tell me that has not been your mindset at some point in this journey we are all on. Spot on as far as my last six months or so are concerned and his writing is excellent as well. I read it top to bottom and felt like I was reading stuff to myself out of my own head.
As far as the funk, there is no easy answer to getting out of it. You just have to find your own way. Just know that we have all been there and dealt with the same questions along the way. I still do not deal with bad beats very well, but I am getting better at it and I feel like my game is better for having gone through it. The steps and the road to recovery all lead through the exact same place, our own little mind. Until we get used to dealing with things of this nature and getting past them quickly without letting them affect our play, we cannot transition to the next stage of development, whatever that stage might be.
I do not have a clue which stage of said development I am in right now, but I know that over the last six months, I’ve experienced more ups and downs than I would have liked. It has been topsy turvy around the Low Limit Grinder for a while now, but I finally feel like I am starting to make some serious headway toward becoming profitable again. It has certainly not been an easy ride to deal with, but at this point, I feel good about playing again and honestly feel like I have a chance, even against good players. Last nights blogger tournament was a prime example, even though I was blessed with very good cards throughout most of the tournament, I also made two strong comebacks from what I consider to be bad beats, not letting the beats affect my play in the least. It felt damn good to finally go deep in a MTT again, especially considering the level of the competition we were all faced with last night.
Developing as a poker player is an almost non-stop exercise in futility. At least it has felt like that to this player for the past two years. I feel like if you aren’t learning something new about your game or the game every time you play, you are backing up in your evolution as a player. Like I said, I do not know where I am at in this development, but I know one thing for sure, I am still in there swinging and trying my best to learn and cope on a regular basis. You should keep swinging too.
That is all I have today and I will be heading West after work tomorrow, so this might be it until Sunday or Monday. I hope everybody has a great weekend.
posted by GaryC @ 3:47 PM, ,
Wanna Get Rich?
Wednesday, September 06, 2006
Why is it that we (and I, for that matter) continue to spend so much time playing this game on-line? I know, for me at least, the allure of making money is the main reason I continue to try and grind it out, night after night. Oh, I realize full well that at the stakes I am currently playing, there is never going to be a night where I roll up a profit of $1000. It is simply not going to happen at .25/.50 or .50/1.00. However, over time, there is steady profit to be made for sure.
My online bankroll has fluctuated quite significantly lately and really, over the last year and a half. I have withdrawn several times for various things (vacations, home improvement, etc.) and left myself with very little money left with which to invest in this game. That is why I am continually forced back down to the lower limits. I have also built it back up continually into enough money to finance other endeavors playing at these limits, so I know they can be beat regularly.
My question today is this, can I, when the time is right, expect the same results when I move up a few notches on the online poker ladder? I do not anticipate a move to 2/4 or 5/10 anywhere in the near future, but I thin1/2 is definitely coming up soon. Through some recent successful bonus whoring sessions through PSO and a few ads right here on this humble little blog, I have nearly doubled my bankroll in the last two months. I plan on continuing on right now exactly the way I have been going for the last two months, at least for the time being, but if things continue to go well, a move up to at least .50/1.00 is just around the bend and perhap1/2 if the competition dictates.
My game of choice lately has been .25/.50 Stud Hi/Lo. I have had some mixed results, but I have also had some rather excellent results on a couple of different sites. I have also taken to playing Razz at Full Tilt and Absolute, although Absolute very seldom has a game going that stays together. Perhaps it is the newness of the game to that particular site, but aside from not knowing the game very well, everybody buys in for $2.00 and appears to be experimenting with the game there. Tilt, on the other hand, normally has plenty of games going at all levels and, as I have said before, their players are the most knowledgeable about the game.
I have found it very difficult to multi-table Stud or Razz, though, because of the fact that you need to pay very strict attention to the board and to every other players cards. It is incredibly easy to chase to the river and realize that you were drawing dead from 5th street on. These are definitely games that require an inordinate amount of your attention at one table. Hold Em, on the other hand, can be played with 4 or 5 tables going and making decisions based solely on starting hands and odds. Not to suggest that you could not be more profitable by concentrating harder on a single table, but the individual games are so different (and the players so poor, for the most part) that you can make decisions in a split second on most occasions and in most instances, be right with your decisions.
I still find that there are a lot of players out there playing Stud and Razz that do not understand the concepts very well. It is kind of like when I play Triple Draw with SoxLover at UB. There are so many variables to all of these games, that to play them well, you really have to be focused and stick to your own set of guidelines in order to be successful. (and hopefully show a profit) That is, after all, how we define success in this little game, is it not? In order to show a consistent profit, you have to find a game that you enjoy playing, learn all you can learn about the game and then, you still have to find a table (or limit) that you can consistently beat.
Oh well, just some random thoughts about poker.
I have read recently, I am sorry, I forget the blog, that as the winter months approach, we will probably see an increase in the amount of traffic at the online tables. I agree with that assessment completely. I know, for me at least, that my time will increase as the opportunity for outside activities decreases. We will not be going to the lake nearly as often in the winter and that will leave a lot of time at the tables for me. It seems like we have gone to the lake at least three weekends a month all summer long and that will probably not stop until the end of September anyway. Our weather has started to cool off a little bit already and last weekend was a bit chilly out on the water. It will not be long until we will not be able to get on the water at all and that will definitely slow down our trips until next spring.
We do have two more weekends planned at the lake, assuming the weather cooperates. This weekend for karaoke at the jet boat races and the following weekend, with my oldest daughter to spend time on the water. She is almost 17 now and driving. She also started her first job this summer and I have to say, I am impressed with how she has handled it. I am a bit disappointed that she will not be playing softball this year, but since she is keeping her job, I do not have a big problem with it. She finally asked for a weekend off after working nearly every weekend all summer long and will get to join us next weekend for what will probably be the last trip out of the year. We might sneak in one more trip, but there is not much time left.
That is about all I have time for today, be sure to check out Mookies blog for all the details on the Full Tilt tournament tonight at 9 PM CST. I am going to try and make it for that one.
I am out.
posted by GaryC @ 3:54 PM, ,
Tuesday, September 05, 2006
Do you ever wonder if the things you do have as much impact on other people as you seem to think they do? I wonder about things like that from time to time. Does anybody that reads this blog on a regular basis actually get anything useful from it? Does the fact that my wife and I are pretty good at running Karaoke hold any sway over the people that continually show up to sing at our shows?
My youngest daughter came up to us out on the lake a few months back and said, you know Dad, you and Mommy are kind of famous down here at Ft. Cobb. It wasn’t a question so much as a statement. You see, we were hanging out on our friends boat with a bunch of folks that she had never met before and she overheard some of them talking about us and our show. I don’t know what was said, but it must have been pretty good, because it certainly made an impression on her. I told her, you know what, I guess you could probably say that about us down here. I’ve never really thought of myself as famous in any respect, but down there at least, most of the people that frequent that lake, know us by name or by reputation.
A couple of weeks after that, I took off early on a Friday and drove down to the lake to haul our jet ski’s to the nearest town in order to get them tagged and licensed for the coming year. I drove into Binger, home of Johnny Bench for you baseball fans, and parked across the street from the tag office. Now, the tag office at Binger is connected to another little shop on Main Street that just happens to be the flower shop. I was sitting in the tag office, minding my own business, getting my tags for the jet ski’s when a lady appeared through the door of the flower shop. She kept looking at me and at first, I was a bit uncomfortable. Pretty soon, she lets loose a big grin and says, I told you Joan, it is the karaoke dude from the Crows Roost. She went on and on about how her husband and she had been at the last show down there and it was fabulous. For a moment, I indeed felt a bit famous.
I immediately called my daughter on the cell phone on the way back down to the trailer and told her that, yes, I agreed, her Mom and I are indeed kind of famous at Ft. Cobb Lake.
Why is it that when you write something personal, you always get a better response than when you post something that you consider to be at least pretty good, strategy wise? I guess we all want to know a bit more about the people we read on a regular basis and when the post is personal, it is kind of like letting the readers into your personal life. I want to thank everybody that stopped by and commented on my last two posts. It means a great deal to me and to my wife and yes, finding the person that makes your life complete is a monumental task, but when it happens, it is most definitely the very best thing that you could ever have happen to you. I am living proof of that. Thanks again for all the kind words.
I had a rather boring Labor Day weekend. I had to work on Saturday until noon and then I drove down to the lake on Saturday afternoon for karaoke at the bar. We finished up our show around 2 am and after getting all my gear loaded in the truck, we received a phone call from a couple that had come down to the bar to sing that evening. It seemed that their truck had lost its’ transmission about 10 miles away and they needed a ride. Knowing full well that I had to go home in the morning anyway, because I was on call at work, I offered to go ahead and drive them home. We ended up back in the city around 5:30 am and after dropping them off, I went home to crash and crash I did. I slept until about 1 pm on Sunday afternoon, got up, ate a little lunch and went back down until around 6 pm that evening. I played a bit of poker that night, but ended up falling asleep around 9 pm and sleeping through the night. Yesterday, it was rainy and brought more of the same. Although I did manage to sneak in about three hours or poker, I also snuck in around 5 hours of napping, all told. I don’t know what it is about a rainy day, but I find it incredibly difficult to do much of anything that requires me to be up and out of the bed.
I woke up this morning still hung over from my coma of Sunday and Monday and headed off to work bright eyed and bushy tailed. I hadn’t felt that way heading to work in a while, but, I haven’t slept for nearly 36 hours prior to going back to work in a while either. I feel pretty good about things right now and I hope that attitude carries over to the other things that are important right now, as well.
I played mostly Stud yesterday on DreamPoker and Absolute. I won a little and lost a little, like always. No earth shattering revelations about the play on either site. It was mostly the same on both sites, a few guys that know what they are doing and a few that are there to strictly gamble and play every hand to the river. One particular luck box was playing every single hand and went from a $25 buy in to over $130 in the course of a couple of hours. He was catching phenomenal cards and even when he didn’t, he was showing down a higher two pair every time, it seemed. Incredible run to watch, but I know every single person at the table felt exactly like me. I wanted to bust that guys chops so bad, it hurt. Unfortunately, I was never able to do it more than one hand out of ten. I assume he knew what he was doing, but it still looked like an incredible run of luck to me.
We’ve got a very busy weekend ahead of us this weekend, like always this time of year. We have karaoke on Friday and Saturday night and have to go to the jet boat races at our little lake on Saturday, as well. It’s always a good time, but right now, our forecast is for a 70% chance of rain next weekend, so that will put a damper on things.
Hope everybody has a great week and thanks again for all the nice comments.
posted by GaryC @ 3:09 PM, ,
Two-Outer In Life
Monday, September 04, 2006
She was blonde, sexy AND athletic looking. Those are three traits at the very top of my personal list. In fact, they would be numbers 2, 3 and 4 on MY personal list. Of course, number 1 would have to be well endowed, which it turns out, well, she had that area covered pretty well also. Hmm, it is a damn shame I am still married was what I thought to myself.
She played left field and then second base and finally, first base after a few years. It was obvious to anyone who had played the game that she was a baller, perhaps an old school baller, but a baller just the same. She appeared to be a bit older than I, but not so much that anybody else could probably tell. She could hang in the parking lot, slugging back cold beer til the wee hours of the morning with the boys. Yet another trait that enamored me with her right off the bat.
I was still a young(27), brash ball player back then. I was cocky, god was I cocky. So cocky, in fact, that she never thought she would have anything to do with me. I was JoseCansecoRoidRageOnAThreeDayBender cocky, yeah, I thought I was pretty good. The fact that I WAS pretty good only made it that much harder to be around me, I assume. I was also still married to my first wife at the time.
We played softball together for a couple of years, trading pleasantries and sharing the occasional beer in the parking lot after hot summer ball games. No mention was ever made of any possible relationship. We became pretty good friends, me listening to her stories about men and her listening to my constant problems with my home life. She was a good listener, I played a good listener on TV.
Deep down inside, the thought never even once occurred to me that we would ever be more than friends. Not.One.Single.Time, until my wife asked me for a divorce, TOLD me that we were getting a divorce is more like it happened. I was devastated. I had never been rejected in my life. Oh, I had girls turn me down before, but this was like the ultimate rejection. My wife and the mother of my child no longer wanted anything to do with me, other than a check every month. I went into a tail spin for about a year.
I kept playing ball, but I was clearly not the same person. She, in the meantime, had moved in with a friend that I had introduced her to and they were beginning to plan for a wedding. At this point, I still had no feelings other than friendship for her. I certainly had no plans to break her and my friend up. I leaned on both of them for support and they were both there for me on a regular basis. I have thanked them both for that on numerous occasions. Without their support, I would have had a much harder time getting through that stage of my life.
Then, quite suddenly, it happened. We met for drinks at a karaoke bar. Innocent meeting, in fact, her boyfriend was invited, but chose not to attend. I had not seen them in a while and apparently, things were not going too well for them. I invited the entire softball team and their significant others, as well. Nobody showed up but her and I.
We laughed, sang and drank until our hearts were content that night, never speaking of the possibilities that would become reality in a very short while. At the close of the night, she kissed me and I kissed her back. Damn, I thought, this is not good, we cannot be doing this but it sure felt good. We stopped finally before going any farther and I drove off to work and she drove home to her boyfriend, my friend, some 25 miles away. He was waiting in the living room, half knowing all that had gone on, even though nothing had really gone on and nothing further would have happened between us.
He told her to pack her shit and get out that night. The next day, knowing full well that I could not come and help her, she called her step dad and he drug his trailer down there and moved her out. She moved in with her parents for a short while, but we were living together inside of two months and married, not 9 months later. It has been twelve years now, I sure hope my friend has gotten over his anger with us.
She does not play softball anymore, in fact, her last game was about 11 years ago. She was 6 or 7 months pregnant with our daughter at the time. We had moved her to 1st base and, while turning a double play at shortstop with my usual zeal, I fired a laser between her glove and her head, missing her head by inches and leaving a dent in the chain link fence behind her. That was her last play, but make no mistake, she is still a baller, she is just my baller now.
Somehow, I never really expected any of what actually happened to happen, but it did and at this point, it was the luckiest break I have ever caught. Somewhere, the relationship Gods were smiling on me that day and I moved all-in at precisely the right time and caught a two-outer on the river. I hope everybody who reads this can be as lucky as I was that night at some point in their lives.
posted by GaryC @ 6:16 AM, ,