Thoughts About My Game
Wednesday, January 31, 2007
You want your shot against me???? Right over there is your chance tonight on Full Tilt. Come and get some.
After reading some comments from the Rooster and from Acornman, I thought I would discuss my own, personal strategy of playing the role of underdog. You see, from the very start of playing on-line, and really from way back before that, I have made it a habit to downplay my ability to anybody that will listen. I do this for one reason and for one reason only: To motivate myself.
Back at the start of the SNG Challenge, when I had really just met the likes of TripJax, DNasty, SteelerJosh, Kipper and having known the Devils Advocate of Poker Bloggers for just a short time, I had no idea what I was stepping off into when we started the challenge. I knew I was pretty salty at the $5 SNGs, but I had no idea if I could compete with the likes of this bunch or not. Deep down inside, I thought I could, but like my Daddy always said, thinking and doing are two entirely different things, boy.
So, I chose the role of underdog for myself and believe me, I play that role well. I have been over-achieving in that role since my youngest days of playing sports. I grew up in a small town, just south of Tulsa and our arch-rival, from the time I was knee-high was the Jenks Trojans. You might have heard of them, they have won about 15 State Championships here in Oklahoma and they are ranked in the top 5 in the nation usually in the USA Today high school poll. I mention this to reiterate the fact that I am used to being the underdog, in fact, I relish playing that role.
It is not a psychological ploy that I am using to try and confuse my opponents, it is simply a motivational tool for me and me alone. Honestly, I could care less if this blogger or that blogger has notes on me that say I am the weakest/tightest player to ever hit the felt. In fact, the more notes saying the exact same thing about me, the better, as far as I am concerned. I have cultivated the image of me being weak/tight from day one and to be completely honest, it was the absolute truth, at least at first. I was playing straight ABC poker, no moves, no ridonkulous calls and I was winning more than my share of SNGs. The strategy was paying off on a regular basis, so I saw no need to try and change things up.
When I started playing in blogger events on a regular basis, I finally did see the need to start changing things up. It has been a long and trying process and I still do not do it very well, but I am starting to see some changes in my game for the better. My feel of the table and the players has been the most dramatic change that I have noticed lately. I will be sitting there in late position and it folds to me and, rather than just continuing the folding, I pop it occasionally, with nothing! Definitely not every single time, but in the right spots, when I feel like I won't get re-popped.
I know full well what my image is at the table, especially with bloggers. I know that every single person out there that is playing on a regular basis has some sort of computer program running, telling them that I have seen 12% of the flops over the last 250 hands and that is fine. I also know that when I raise, given their information on me, I have a freaking hand. I do not get looked up very often and I have begun to use that to my benefit at the tables.
The other night in the WPBT tournament, I was not allowed to make any real moves at all, since I was the short stack from about 55 people left, until we got heads up. It was not exactly that way, but it sure seemed like it to me. It was really easy to play that tournament. I just sat back and folded trash and if I got a playable hand, I pushed. No big strategy or analysis needed there. I also got extremely lucky 3 or 4 times, which kept me around much longer than I expected, or quite frankly, longer than I deserved. My stats are much lower for the most part than any player in a blogger tournament, but Sunday was much lower than normal for me, because of the circumstances and the short stack. I simply had no opportunity, with my stack, to speculate with J-10 s00ted or A-rag s00ted. It was either push or fold and again, a monkey could have done it.
Does that mean that I take no pride in surviving that field and finishing in 2nd place? No fucking way. I thought I played great with the short stack, especially at the final table. Did I outplay anybody at that table? Nah, not really, but for me at least, I thought I played really good poker from about two tables on. My reads were pretty good for the most part and my raises usually met with respect. I ran into two hands that had me dominated and got lucky, lucky, lucky, but how many times have I heard? You have to get lucky a couple of times to go deep in these tournaments. I have had my share of unlucky runs in these things, Sunday night, things just went my way for a change.
I do not mean to sound like a broken record when I talk about how lucky I was or how my game is so weak/tight, blah, blah, blah. That is just me, psyching myself up. While I respect ALOT of the bloggers that I play against on a weekly basis, I am still trying to bust their ass every single time we play against one another and every single hand we play against one another, as well. If I can get a slight edge from the fact that they remember how tight I SAY I am, regardless of the stats, I will take that edge. If I can steal the blinds 3 or 4 more times per tournament than I should because of my weak/tight reputation, that works out great for me. I do not honestly think there is any HUGE difference in the majority of the fields we play against in the blogger tournaments. Granted, there are those who are more willing to gamble and more willing to make speculative calls, but, in the end, what it all comes down to, at least in my opinion, is the cards and how much you can make or save on a given hand. Some are better than others at this, but, really, how hard is it to call somebodys all-in re-raise when you are holding A-A? Its so easy, a caveman could do it.
I certainly do not mean to suggest that all bloggers have the same skill level, because that is certainly not the case either, but I do think, as a group, the skill level in these tournaments is on the VERY HIGH side when you compare it to your typical MTT on Full Tilt or PokerStars. There are pot-holes at every turn and any one of the people sitting at these tables can bust and/or outplay any other person at these tables in a given hand. We read too much, we study too much, we play too much and quite frankly, we give away too much information on a regular basis. How many people play back at Hoyazo now that he has posted in-depth hand analyses, complete with every screen shot throughout the entire hand? How about Smokkee, since he started blogging and describing his thinking behind the moves he was making?
I do not mean to pick on these two individually, because the same could be said about all of us from time to time. I do pick these two out individually because I have a great amount of respect for their game and I notice the changes they have made lately and I predict even more success for both of them in the very near future. It just will not be coming against me, if I can help it, because I feel you both, fellahs, and I GET what you are trying to do.
So, to make this LONG story a bit shorter, do not believe everything you read about me here, because alot of it is written for my benefit only. What you take out of it and what you perceive at the tables is completely up to you, but remember this, I AINT SCARED. I may get outplayed from time to time and I may get outdrawn from time to time, but I like where my game is right now and I will bust that ass, given the chance. Peace to all of you and join us for the Mookie tonight.
Until next time, I fold (or quite possibly, check-raise),
posted by GaryC @ 3:51 PM, ,
Always A Bridesmaid....
Monday, January 29, 2007
....never a fawking bride! But, damn, what a ride this bridesmaid had last night!
I played in the WPBT event last night, which was a deep stack NL tournament on Full Tilt and I went on full freaking tilt within the first 20 minutes of play. First off, I am getting re-raised every time I come in for a raise. Do these folks not know that I do not raise with crap? It turns out I ran my A-K s00ted into A-A on one hand and then, the very next hand, I run my K-K into A-A again! I was steaming at the coolering I was taking, but somehow, thanks to the deep stacks, I was able to avoid going broke, although, if WillWonka had pushed against my Kings at any point, I WOULD have gone broke. Thankfully, he just min-raised me back after I led out with what I thought was a VALUE bet on the river.
So, approximately 20 hands into the tournament, I am down to around 1200 chips and steaming. My daughter comes into the bedroom and politely asks Daddy, how are you doing in your tournament thingy??? I light into a diatribe, filled with expletives, uh, no, that is not how it went down. I took a deep breath and told her that Daddy was currently 54th out of 55 remaining players, so, uh, not so good right now. She was the one thing that kept my head in the game and stopped me from spewing the rest of my chips.
I basically sat on my hands with the auto-fold button clicked for.the.rest.of.the.entire.tournament. I knew there was no way I could put any pressure on anybody with my paltry stack, so I waited for a big hand and pushed and prayed. I was the short stack at 4 tables remaining, the short stack with 3 tables remaining, with 2 tables remaining and, if you can imagine, when we went to the pretty final table, I was still the short stack. I got just enough hands to stay alive. Every time the blinds were eating into my stack, I got a hand to push with and either stole the blinds or got lucky, lucky, lucky and doubled up.
I sucked out at least twice that I remember, but it could have certainly been more than that. I pushed once with about three tables left with Ac-10c and got a quick call from DNasty with A-Ko. I outflopped him when a 10 hit with four other low cards and was a lucky donkey there for sure. I also got it all in as a huge dog another time with Ah-Qh against WillWonkas A-Ko. I believe this one was at the final table and when an Ace hit the board, DNasty was furiously typing Q-Q-Q-Q-Q into the chat box and sure enough, the beautiful Queen hit the river and I had sucked out yet again.
I somehow managed to avoid most of the mine fields of the final table by basically folding or raising all-in. I stole just enough blinds to stay out of major trouble and sucked out when I got called. When we were down to three handed, Mean Gene and I were both WAY behind Rav and his monster chip stack, which he was wielding with great authority. It took me about two orbits to figure out that he was raising my blind up every single time, whether he had a hand or not, so I timed a couple of push-backs and was rewarded with some laydowns and one double up when I held Q-Q.
The entire final table featured solid play and I was lucky to make it as far as I did. When Gene finally succumbed in 3rd place, I thought Qc-Jc looked like Gold, Jerry! However, when Rav turned up Ad-Jd, my night was through and my magical run had ended. Knowing who all was in this tournament and seeing the final table of 9 and their chipstacks compared to mine, I had absolutely no business making it all the way to second place.
My play during the tournament was as weak/tight as you can possibly get, but, with some well-timed aggression. I made a couple of people, Summer_Babe and Rav for sure, lay down after raising my blinds with nothing when they were probably ahead. It is not something I do very often, but there were at least a couple of times that I was probably WAY behind, had they made the call. Another hand, against Bone-Daddy, he limped into my big blind and fired a feeler bet after a ragged flop. I had middle pair and I just sensed that he had two overs and pushed. He thought for a while and laid down A-K and I was able to hang around a while longer.
At one point, DNasty was still railbirding me and with 4 or 5 of us left, my flops seen percentage was 10%! I casually mentioned that 10% was a typical percentage for me whenever I am able to go deep in a tournament and that is the absolute truth. I cannot play 25% of my hands and stay competitive, due to my tight nature. I find it incredibly difficult to continue to fire at pots when I miss the flop entirely. So, call it weak/tight if you must, I would have to agree with you, but I still feel like my aggression is coming around. Not to the point of alot of other bloggers, but I am getting better at it. I think by simply sitting at these tables on a regular basis and watching the play of the people I would term aggressive, I have certainly improved my game. I can feel it every time I sit down at the table these days.
Thanks to everybody for the well wishes and kind words and especially to DNasty, for the railbirding and the HUGE Queen on the river. Thanks again, bro.
I also want to send out congratulations to Rav, for taking it down and to everybody that made the final table last night. It was indeed, a tough field to navigate. Well played to you all.
Until next time, I fold (to the money),
posted by GaryC @ 4:38 PM, ,
Friday, January 26, 2007
The Riverchasers tournament was a wild ride. I won nearly every coin flip I was involved in and even a few where I was a monster dog. Early on, after donking off half my stack, I got it all in with 2-2 against A-A - oops - and a beautiful duck came off on the flop to double me up. The hand before the first break, I again got it all in with 6-6 against A-Q and J-J and managed to turn a 6 to triple up and set me in better shape for the second hour.
The hand that did me in though was right at the bubble to the final table, with maybe 11 or 12 left in the tourney. I knew that 8 spots paid and I was sitting on about 8K or 9K. I could have easily folded to the final table and probably into the money, but a little voice kept whispering in my ear, you need to try and win this thing. So, you know what, I tried and failed.
I had 10-10 and raised it up pre-flop and was met by a push from a shorter stack (about 3K, I think) and another push from another stack with less than me. I have them both covered and my only thinking here is all those chips in the middle of the table. If I fold here, I still have around 6K to do battle with, but if I win this pot I am sitting with the chip leaders and have a real shot at winning the thing, so, I called, knowing full well I was behind and it was A-Q and J-J and I was WAY behind. No help came for me and I was left with crumbs, which I immediately pushed all in UTG on the next hand. Surprisingly, it folded around and I stole the blinds.
Almost simultaneously, we are moved to the final table and I am still on fumes. Knowing we were now on the money bubble, I knew that I had to get it all in and hope for the double up, if I wanted any chance at all to make the money. I called an early raise (which put me all-in) with 4-8 of clubs, just hoping my cards were live and they were. I turned a wheel and doubled up, making the original raiser the new short stack.
He went out on the next hand, I believe, and I had crept into the money again in one of these events. Call it lucky, because I was damn lucky all night. I immediately pushed all in on the next hand with the HAMMER, but was somehow sucked out on by an inferior hand and sent to the rail with minimum payback, but, like I have said after every one of these tourneys, any money is good money.
I want to say thanks again to Al, for inviting us to join and for railbirding last night. It is always nice to have someone in your corner and I do appreciate the kind words. I cannot wait for the next live gathering and the opportunity to drop back a few more SOCO shots with the Good Reverend.
I am planning on playing the WPBT event this weekend. I already have my $26 token sitting in the account, so as long as I can stay away from the 25K tonight, I will be there for sure. Join in and help us determine who this years Player of the Year will be.
I wanted to touch on a few things that I have read lately in the blogosphere.
Jordan wrote this week about being a loner and how it applied to us, as poker players and I wanted to discuss it here today, for good or bad. You see, I am most definitely what I would refer to as a loner, I have been all my life. I was born into a large extended family, but my immediate family was me, my Mom and my Dad. I had no brothers or sisters around and was the consumate only child. While my parents were not rich or extravagant, I was always referred to as the spoiled only child of the extended family and to be honest, I never wanted for much of anything that I did not get from my parents.
I am a Capricorn and I have included a few snippets from a web-site I found to explain some of the things about me and after reading it over, it is eerily spot-on to my personality.
Capricorn is one of the most stable and (mostly) serious of the zodiacal types. These independent, rocklike characters have many sterling qualities. They are normally confident, strong willed and calm. These hardworking, unemotional, shrewd, practical, responsible, persevering, and cautious to the extreme persons, are capable of persisting for as long as is necessary to accomplish a goal they have set for themselves. They are reliable workers in almost any profession they undertake.
Wow, that paragraph is a mouthful about me. I found a couple of things particularly accurate and applicable to the poker table, as well as life. -Independent, rocklike character- Hmm, maybe Harrington has less to do with my style than I originally thought, perhaps I was predisposed to a strategy of weak/tight? -are capable of persisting for as long as is necessary to accomplish a goal they have set for themselves- That would explain the ability to fold for long periods of time, waiting for that playable hand, just to try to eke into the money spots, huh?
They are, nevertheless, fair as well as demanding. Among their equals they are not always the most pleasant of work fellows for they are reserved and too conservative, valuing tradition more than innovation, however valuable the latter, and they are often humorless. There is also a tendency to pessimism, melancholy and even unhappiness.
If you know me at all, you will know that despite an outer facade that would suggest otherwise, I am mostly a pessimistic, unhappy person with a definite tendency toward unhappiness. I cannot explain it, it just is who I am. I can also be a bit of a bear to work with, though I think that is mostly due to the incompetence of others.;)
Their intellects are sometimes very subtle. They think profoundly and deeply, throughly exploring all possibilities before deciding on a 'safe' alternative. They have good memories and an insatiable yet methodical desire for knowledge. They are rational, logical and clearheaded, have good concentration, delight in debate in which they can show off their cleverness by luring their adversaries into traps and confounding them with logic.
Again, this paragraph is particularly applicable to the poker tables, in my opinion, as well as speaking to the jackassery side of me. While I try my best not to be mean-spirited, it is often hard for me to hold back when I feel like I have the upper hand or a valid argument. I am often accused of being too safe in my decision making at the tables, but again, that is who I am from stem to stern, so changing that is something that I must make a conscious effort to do, otherwise, I will always fall back into the safe mode.
In their personal relationships they are often ill-at-ease, if not downright unhappy. They are somewhat self-centered but not excessively so, wary and cautious around people they do not know very well, preferring not to meddle with others and in turn not to allow interference with themselves, thus they tend to attract people who do not understand them. Casual acquaintances they will treat with diplomacy, tact and, above all, reticence. They make few good friends but are intensely loyal to those they do make, and they can become bitter, and powerful enemies. They sometimes dislike the opposite sex and test the waters of affection gingerly before judging the temperature right for marriage. Once married, however, they are faithful, though inclined to jealousy. Most Capricornians marry for life.
Most of this paragraph is true for most Capricorns, with the one exception being the Capricorn that marries another Capricorn. Of all the signs in the Zodiac, the one sign that can inter-marry and have a chance to make it is Capricorn. Perhaps not the only sign, but the one sign with the best chance to last. My first wife was a Taurus and, while married to her, that paragraph above is an exact replica of those 5 years. I was unhappy, self-centered and had an extreme dislike for the opposite sex. I was, however, married for life, as far as I was concerned. Apparently, she did not feel the same way. Luckily, the child support checks STOP this coming November.
My current marriage, to Mrs. GCox25, is a Capricorn-Capricorn marriage and, according to people that I trust, there will be no more divorce or remarrying in my future. After more than 12 years, I could not imagine living with anybody else ever again. My wife is BIG into the zodiac and has read alot more than I have on the subject and I think this has helped us immensely in our marriage. She understands me better than anybody has ever understood me in my life.
The main reason for that is not the reading, but the fact that she is just like me, for the most part. She has unique qualities of her own, some that go against the traditional Capricorn listings, but overall, we are more alike than two people shoulld be allowed to be, certainly married folks. She is much more emotional than I am, but she has learned over the years that I am emotional, as well. I am just emotional when I am alone, as showing my emotions in public is not something that I readily do, in fact, it was pretty much ingrained in me to NOT show emotions at all. That would be a family thing as well as a Capricorn thing.
We are both very independent people and the mixture of family time and alone time at our house is probably at least 50/50. She simply does not need me around to feel needed or loved and vice versa. We both enjoy our time alone and our solo pursuits a great deal. While spending time with the family is also something I enjoy greatly, I do not HAVE to have that time to feel fulfilled.
So, I guess this long-winded diatribe is all about telling you that I agree with Jordan 100%. I think poker is a great game for a loner and the traits we possess serve us well at this pursuit. When playing, especially online, I can get lost for hours and not have any idea how late it has gotten, simply checking my starting hand, folding, raising, retrieving another beer, etc. It is so easy for me to get lost in the game, I have to make it a point to look for my family when they are talking to me, otherwise, my responses are mostly ugghs and uh-huhs.
The dates are still tentative, but right now I am looking at the week of July 16th - 21st. If anybody that wants to attend has a major problem with that week or weekend, please let me know OR if that date is good for you, please let me know that as well.
If you are interested in attending and would like to know some specifics for your travel searches, here you go:
-You will be flying into Will Rogers World Airport in Oklahoma City.
-My house is approximately 12 miles from the airport, but if things work out like I plan, there will be no need for cab service, as I will be providing that throughout the stay.
-There is a Marriott Hotel located less than a mile from my house on Independence Avenue in OKC. I have not contacted them yet, but I will before it gets too far down the road, in order to secure at least a bit better room rate than what they normally charge.
-There are 6 casinos(maybe more), with poker rooms, within about a 30 minute drive of my house, so pokery goodness will be at our finger tips, HOWEVER, some things you should know about our Indian Casinos:
-No free drinks in Oklahoma Casinos.
-You have to ante to play Blackjack in Oklahoma Casinos.
-There are some varieties of 3 Card Poker and Hold Em table games, but as far as I know, no Pai Gow tables.
-The tentative plans call for casino trips on the days/nights leading up to the weekend. I plan on having a home game tournament at my house on saturday afternoon/evening, but if the numbers dictate, I will have to come up with an alternate location for the tournament. I can probably accomodate three tables at my house, but it will also be hotter than hell in July and at least one, if not two, of the tables will have to be in the garage. So, again, depending on the number of attendees, the tournament will either be at my house or at a location nearby. I have several options available, so neither will be much of a problem.
-Earlier in the week, should you want to arrive before Thursday, I plan on a trip to the lake. I am taking the entire week off, so if you want to do that as well and arrive on Sunday or Monday, we can go to the lake, fish, drink, play poker and/or hang out on the water. There are also a couple of Casinos down there, as well as enough players at the bar for some SNG action, if you so desire. If you plan on arriving early, please let me know as soon as possible, so I can make my plans to pick you up at the airport, stock up on supplies, etc. There will not be any noodling tips from me, but I do have all the necessary equipment and can put you on to some catfish in my lake. I will also be securing the use of a pontoon boat for that week, should we have enough people to warrant that.
So, there you have all I know for the time being. If you are interested, you at least have a date to look toward and if anything changes, I will post about it right here as soon as I know.
Until next time, I fold.
posted by GaryC @ 5:50 PM, ,
Thursday, January 25, 2007
10:46 … My neighbour across the lake, VinNay has his QQ beaten by Gcox’s KK, and that’s that for him. - Vinny had been abusing my blinds with his short stack for some time, so I had to take a stand. Of course, it is easy to take a stand with pocket Kings.
11:00 … The velvety-voiced Gcox catches a full house, sixes over kings, and alas DonkeyPuncher had only 3 kings (of orient are, had to, sorry); so he’s off to look after DP Junior (who is cute as hell I might add). Weak’s ducks turn into triplets, and Surflexus’s cards are found to be the weakest link - goodbye. Yes I know that one was like, so five minutes ago, but I’m reaching here. File it under literary license. - The Puncher of Donkeys was short and I was stuck in middle position, but I felt like I was ahead if I could get it heads up, so I pushed too, then I got lucky, lucky, lucky and flopped my set.
11:05 … Second break and the chips counts of the survivors look like this:
DubbleBogey - 18,048
Lightening36 - 8,775
mclarich - 7,496
NumbBono - 7,320
BrainMc - 6,456
GCox25 - 6,140
Maudie - 6,058
photojenn - 6,040
dnasty13 - 3,860
Otisdart - 3,606
HighOnPoker - 3,148
weak_player - 2,778
Don Morris - 2,775
And on that note, I’m going to turn it back over to Mookie. Have fun all! - happy to still be in and in decent chip position.
11:36 … NumbBono raises PF and GCox moves in …The Hammer for Numb and 66 for GCox…The best hand loses as GCox’s 66 end up on top…he doubles up. -the actual thought of the hammer did not even enter my mind, but I was thrilled to see it and to double through in this spot. I expected a coin flip at best.
11:42 … GCox 10K, Numb 41K, photjenn 12K and lightning 17K. - I still have a chance here, but I need to find a hand pretty quick, the blinds are craptastic right now.
11:47 … Numb raises PF and GCox moves in…AJ for Numb and KK for GCox… Jack on the flop and an Ace sends GCox out in 4th. Ouch. -Ouch, indeed. As has been the case lately, I made a good run and just cannot seem to win that one big race, no matter how far ahead. I can feel it though, it is going to happen soon. I am very happy with my play in this tournament and my overall tournament game has been strong of late. One of these days....
I am still very happy overall with this tournament showing. As I have said many times on this blog, these fields just continue to get better and better and there are seemingly tough players at every seat now. Thanks again to Mookie for hosting and to everybody for their kind words.
Do not forget about CCs tournament tonight on Stars and the Good Reverends Riverchasers event on Full Tilt. See the banners in the last post or click through to their web-site for all the details. Barring unforseen circumstances, I plan on playing both tonight, you should too.
Until next time, I fold.
posted by GaryC @ 6:06 PM, ,
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
Okay, first things first here in PIMP-ville. Join in on the hilarity that is the weekly Mookie on Full Tilt tonight. Details are on the left and if you are missing this tournament every week, you are the one missing out. you have been warned.
Second and certainly not to be swept aside. CC has dropped the buy-in for his weekly tournament from $22 to just $11 in an effort, I assume, to draw more donkeys. Count me in as I will be two-tabling this one and the Riverstars tournament that the good reverend Al is throwing on Full Tilt at around the same time. Please see his blog for all the details and let's build these tournaments into a juicy payday for some lucky monkey.
I stood on the approach to open the 10th frame last night with a semi-quiet bowling alley all around me. I had been in this spot several times before, but it had been better than a year since the last time. You see, I had opened this particualar game with 9 consecutive strikes and not a lucky one in the bunch. I was in the zone and every ball was a carbon copy of the one before it, slamming correctly into the 1-3 pocket and blasting all ten pins into the pit nine consecutive times.
Not having been this far in a while, I had quite a battle going on with my nerves that I had not experienced lately either. I did all the requisite deep breathing, made sure it was my turn to bowl, double checked to see that I was on the correct lane and walked out onto the approach, trying to accomplish what I had only accomplished one other time in my twenty-plus years of bowling.
I got set in the spot I was comfortable with, eyed my mark, took one more deep breath and pushed away. Five steps later I was sliding to the foul line and releasing my ball, heading a board or two inside of my mark. Damnit! It was a bit inside of target, but it was grabbing oil and appeared to be holding. I started talking to it while mumbling to myself about wasting the opportunity. It did hold its line, but got back to the pocket late and left a shaky seven pin and the streak was over. Wasted opportunities indeed.
Dissapointment flooded over me as I got up to shoot my spare. I made it and then struck on my out ball for 279, but I could not help but feel like I had failed. I got a smattering of applause and a couple of pats on the back, but to be that close to the prize and then not fulfill it, well, I threw up a little bit in my mouth, I think.
I have been to that exact spot at least ten times, including last night, and failed every single time, save that magical Valentines Day nearly 11 years ago. Oh, I have thrown the ball good enough to carry that big strike at least half of those ten times, including last night, I just simply could have thrown it better, like, say, the previous nine balls and the last one. I had no doubt on any of those 10 strikes, but I had doubt as soon as I let the tenth ball go out of my hand. I hear the same thing every time I get this close from friends and fellow bowlers. It is just a matter of time, you will get there one of these days, blah, blah, blah!
It is dissapointing for sure, but not the end of the world. I looked around the bowling alley last night before the third game started and realized that more than half of the guys in our league had not and probably would not get to experience what I had just experienced EVER in their lives. That rush of adrenaline when the ninth one carries and you know you only have three more to go is a bit like flopping the stone cold nuts on a table full of lemurs. The heart was racing, that is for sure, but I was under control and threw a decent shot. Next time, I carry three more and shoot 300. Next time, indeed.
Until next time, I fold.
posted by GaryC @ 3:02 PM, ,
Tuesday, January 23, 2007
Well, I won a token last night, but not without some interesting events occurring to secure it.
I have taken to playing the $6 + .60 two-table SNGs, with the hopes that the increase in blinds will not kill me as quickly as the $8 + .80 turbo SNGs have in the past. The turbos are certainly a crap shoot, at best, by the time the final table rolls around and the regular levels in the other ones suit my liking and style much better. We had gotten down to 6 players fairly quickly and were all jockeying for position and trying to stay out of harms way. Not long after moving over the 4K level in chips, I took a bit of a hit and was knocked down around the 2200 chip mark. At about this time, we also lost the 6th place finisher. We are down to five, which means we all win a token, right? Uh, no dumb ass, the turbos award 5 tokens, the regular SNG only awards 4. I figured this out quickly, after moving all-in on the button with 2-5o. Thankfully, I did not get a caller and was able to add some precious chips to my stack and I was able to parlay that, along with my unmatched ability to fold, into another $24 + 2 token. I plan on using it this Sunday in the WPBT event on Full Tilt. It is a deep stack tourney and I do love me some deep stacks.
I also played perhaps the longest one table SNG of my life last night on Ultimate Bet. I fired up my normal $10 + 1 one-table SNG, which I have been killing lately, and we went to work. After just 45 hands, we were down to 4 players left. After another 131 hands, we were in the money. That is correct, 176 hands of a single table tournament before we were even in the money. It was the longest bubble battle I have ever been a part of and we were all the big stack at one point, as well as the short stack at different points.
I started out as the short stack and we had one monster stack who was playing the role of table bully. I immediately went into push or fold mode against him and picked up Q-Q twice in the span of about 10 hands to double up off of him. He would eventually succumb to our patience and go out in fourth place after having more than 9000 of the chips in play at one point. The other two players and I had the exact same idea. Wait for a big hand, isolate against the LAG and push when given the opportunity. He doubled all of us up at least once, before going out in fourth place. I went out shortly thereafter in 3rd, which was a bit disappointing, but I was fairly happy with my play, just to be able to hang in and make the money in this one.
I have cashed in 9 of my last 11 SNGs on Ultimate Bet, with four 1st places, three 2nd places and two 3rd place finishes. That is a nice shot in the arm to the bankroll and one that is much needed at the current time. I have just about given up on the cash tables, for the time being, since I feel like my tournament game is really starting to come around. My reads have been good, my aggression has been up (is there any other place for it to go?) and the amount of premium hands has been at normal or higher for the past couple of weeks. There have really been only a couple of marginal calls either way lately and for the most part, my hands seem to be playing themself. Other than getting involved in a hand with mediocre holdings and/or out of position, there have not been very many instances where I even had to make a decision and that makes for some fun times at the poker table. I hope I continue to feel this way and although I know that SNGs are not the bankroll builder that the cash tables CAN be, I am taking the slow and steady approach, as always, and hoping to build it up a little at a time.
I have also been playing at least one MTT per night and, although my results do not indicate it, I have been playing well in these also. I did manage a final table at Poker.com last week, as well as a 30th place finish in one of Full Tilts Jackpot tournaments. I really could have gone farther in that one, but for some bad luck in a dominating situation. That could be said for just about all of us on a regular basis and I know that my day is coming soon. One of these days, I am gonig to win those big coin flips down the stretch and make a run to a nice final table finish. I can feel it in my bones.
Thinking back to the few tournaments that I have won, there is one underlying theme to all of them:
I did not have a clue, the entire tourmament, of my position in the field, or the average chip stack or even how many players until the final table. I did not check the tournament lobby one single time and was actually surprised when we made it to the final table. I think lately, anticipating being in a position to get to the final table, I have put more pressure on myself by constantly checking the standings, average chip stacks, etc. and that is no way for me to be able to play successfully. I need to just sit back, play my game, take notes on the other players and let the rest of that crap take care of itself. The less I think about where I am in the tournament and the more I think about how I can steal a pot or two here and there, the better off I will be in the long run. I know what I need to do in the future, it is just a matter of making myself do it, which is often easier said than done.
So, for now at least, I am going to keep plugging away at my SNGs and the occasional MTT and see if I can keep that bankroll on the upswing. It has been a while since I added a nice chunk to the roll and if I could make a nice score in a MTT, that would even be sweeter.
I certainly do not know any more than the next guy when it comes to the future of our on-line game, but I have already started to see the damage happening on an almost nightly basis. In my opinion, the play has already tightened up considerably from pre-Netellerpullingout days. I am not sure if it is the fact that everybody senses that they need to protect their now-limited bankroll or if a majority of the fish have already gone broke, but there have definitely been better players at my tables for the last two or three nights.
In my token SNG last night on Full Tilt, there were at least 7 at the final table that could have easily won their tokens in that particular event. But for some luck here and some un-luck there, all seven players were as good as the other six. Same thing on UB, obviously the first 6 went out in short order, but normally when that happens, it takes about 20 more hands to win the thing. Obviously, the other three players and I all had the same idea of making the money and the play was excruciatingly tight from then on, something that has NEVER been the case on UB, at least at the levels I play.
I am hoping that the fish are just in hybernation and are saving their rolls for some late night donkey sessions, but I fear that this is going to be the exact scenario that plays out and every time we sit down to play, there are going to be more and more good players sitting across the table from us. If this happens, the profitability of a large number of players is going to go straight into the toilet. It could turn a mildly profitable player (me) into a mildly unprofitable player in a hurry, as well as break the players that were just breaking even before. Of course, it is also a huge opportunity for all of us players as well. We could be the one that develops our game and evolves into a much better player because of the changes in the characteristics of the opposing players. Perhaps, some of us will learn how to amp up the aggression at the right time and turn into a steady tight-aggressive monster at the lower limits. Eh, either that or go broke. 220, 221, whatever it takes.
Have a good Tuesday night, I am off to the bowling alley for the evening.
Until next time, I fold.
posted by GaryC @ 3:08 PM, ,
Home Game Recap
Monday, January 22, 2007
The First Annual Dead Money shootout in GCox-ville is history.
The weather was supposed to be horrible on Saturday, with some morons predicting 10 inches of snow for Oklahoma. It freaking rained all day and that's about it. Oh, it was cold and I am sure the drive home was not pleasant for some of the players, but at least the roads were not horrendous and keeping your speed under control made it a safe ride home, I am sure. I never left the house.
We started with 13 runners on my first attempt of the New Year, which is right around the average most likely from all the past events. With chip stacks of 4K and blinds of 25-50 for 45 minutes, there was much jockeying and donkeying going on in the first 45 minute level. I think I played three hands, all in position, all for raises and all taking down only the bilnds and limpers.
Steve was the first casualty, moving all in wit a small full house, only to see the bad news that RC, who had been blinded down as a result of arriving late, held a bigger full house. Damn those paired boards. RC was the next victim however, learning quickly that K-J s00ted is really not that great a starting hand.
My table, which began as the toughest, soon caught several breaks, moving the chip leader out of the big bind twice to the other table. This also led to an inordinate amount of chips at the other table, though, which would be a problem once we combined. We literally had 5 short stacks at my table and 5 big stacks at the other table. The action continued hot and heavy at the big stack table though and they soon eliminated a player and we combined for a final table of 9. That is the only thing that saved me in the long run. I stayed extremely conservative, made two or three timely all-in re-raises and survived until all the shorties were gone.
With 6 players left and me on the shortest stack, it would require a few key hands to advance any farther. I continued my folding barrage until finding J-10 s00ted on the button and called a raise. Calling here only left me with about 1900 behind, but I had hopes that one of the blinds would call also and they obliged. The flop came down 10-9-3 and contained two hearts (my s00t) and the original bettor fired at the pot. I thought for a minute and moved all-in for only 1300 more and the both folded. With the big draw and top pair, I was way ahead, but I did not know that at the time.
The next hand I played was K-J of hearts on the button again. Only one other (LOOSE) player and I saw a flop of K-5-8, with the 5 and 8 being hearts. He led out with a bet and I moved all-in again and he thought for a second and called with an open ended straight flush draw! I certainly did not put him on 6-7 of hearts and when he flashed them to me, I thought for sure he was folding, so, I, er, flashed him my hand to show him just how far behind he was and he thought about it for a minute and made the call. No help came for him, no flush came and my pair of Kings was goot for the double up.
I parlayed that into a final four finish, outlasting two more players and making it to the bubble as again, the shortest stack at the table, although there were two of us with about an equal number of chips. We took a break and one of the guys (the other short stack) suggested that we take $5 from 1st, 2nd and 3rd place money to give to the fourth place finisher and we all agreed. It was only a $25 buy-in, so at least 4th would get part of their buy-in back. Little did I know, or even remotely think at this point, that I would be the one collecting $15.
We traded chips four handed for a while, but with the size of the blinds, it did not take long before I had to make a stand. With only the button calling my big blind, I made that stand with K-7, hoping that he would again lay down to a re-raise. He did not, with 6-9 s00ted. I thought I was goot when I flopped two pair, but runner 5, runner 8 sent me to the rail as his straight filled. Live poker is so rigged!
I moved straight to the cash game and did not watch the finality, but Mike (hunter76 on UB) won first place, Jack (basshunterjac on UB) took down 2nd and Casey (my nemesis) went out in 3rd. I was pleased with the turnout for such a bad weather forecast and we actually had about 6 or 7 stick around for the cash game afterwards.
Funniest line from the cash game:
With two players already all-in pre-flop, my wife makes the insta-call, as well. Mike asks:
Do you have Aces MrsGCox25?
Yup, and his Kings lost a huge pot to my wife when the Aces held up. I ended up donating another $20 or so to the cash game with a series of ill-timed raises and bluffs, but we had a great time since it was for such small stakes.
I already am looking forward to the next one.
I spent nearly all day yesterday watching football and updating my karaoke books, the job that will NEVER seem to end. With five full CD holders full of 15 or so songs each, as well as another book of 10,000 songs to work into our book, the job is a grind. I am happy to say that I am more than half the way finished with the job, but that is after nearly a month of working on it, so, while having the new machine is freaking awesome for running a show, doing without an updated book for the audience is a pain in the ass.
After hosting the home game on Saturday, I was not in much of a mood to play alot of poker yesterday and, in fact, I took one break and played one, single SNG. I entered a $10 + 1 SNG on Ultimate Bet and was lucky enough to take it down. There appeared to be only one other player at the table with any skill at all and luckily for me, I tagged him as extremely LAGGY very early on in the proceedings. I ended up taking two key pots away from him while four handed and took a pretty sizable chip lead to heads up with him. It was only a matter of time until his A-6 ran into my J-J and I was rewarded with $50 in my UB account.
I did not play particularly good or get particularly good hands paid off, but I played a solid, postional game to my advantage and was lucky enough to take it down.
I plan on trying to play quite a bit this week before another home game tournament this saturday night. I am not hosting this one, but have found a backer that is buying me into a $100 NL tournament. It is some type of fund-raiser for a kids baseball team, but there are prizes and/or money involved to the top finishers, so I am going to give it a shot under the ruse of CHARITY. I hope to get to check-raise a douche bag or two for sure on Saturday night.
The wifey is leaving us for a week this Saturday, as well, so the little one and I will be spending some quality time alone next week. What that means, I am sure, is very little alone time for Pops and not alot of poker time either. I never look forward to the wife being out of town, whether for work or pleasure, and this time is no different. We have a hard time functioning around our house without BIg Momma around to keep us in line. I will be looking forward to her arrival on Thursday night from the time she leaves for the airport on Saturday.
The inaugural WPBT event is this coming Sunday night, so keep your eyes open for that banner and get to collecting those tokens on Full Tilt. It should be a good time and I do plan on playing more of these events this year, including this one. That is all I have for today.
Until next time, I fold.
posted by GaryC @ 3:14 PM, ,
Neteller & Tourneys
Thursday, January 18, 2007
Wow. What to do now that Neteller has pulled out of the US market?
That does not leave a ton of options for the on-line poker semi-amateur now does it?
I know one thing for sure. The amount of on-line fish, there for the taking every night on the major sites, will dry up soon and I mean REAL SOON. Without the ability to deposit their disposable income onto the poker sites, the opportunity for them to give money away on a nightly basis will go right the fuck away, leaving us all with tougher, harder-to-beat games as a direct result. The next time they go busto will probably be the last time they busto for a while, since our government has seen fit to protect us from ourselves.
The thing I have trouble understanding the most is this: If it is completely legal for me to go into a sports book in Las Vegas and plunk down any amount I want to wager on an NFL football game, what exactly is the difference? If I can walk into any Indian Casino in the country nearly and plunk down a buy-in and play poker LEGALLY in nearly every state in the union, what is the difference? Hell, we can even play blackjack right here in Oklahoma, right in the center of the Bible Belt. There is an ante involved that makes it suck balls, but still, you can sit and play blackjack LEGALLY at a ton of casinos all across the country, again, tell me please, what is the fucking difference?
You surely know what the difference is, right? Uncle Sam and his bunch of jack-off representatives are NOT getting their cut of the on-line game and for that, we must all pay the price, at least for a little while. I am hoping that, in time, they work out something with the on-line sites or AN on-line site, to where it can be regulated, taxed and again, LEGAL to play on-line poker. These money-grubbing mother fuckers could give a shit whether or not cousin Tommy gambled away his whole paycheck at the craps table or your Granny lost her life savings playing bingo. NOT.ONE.SHIT. The only thing they care about is the fact that they are not getting a cut of it.
I would warn you not to be fooled by these conservative bastards, but you have all heard the stories about just how conservative they are when it comes to interns and pages. Need I remind you that WE elected a good lot of these morons. The next time an election is held, you might want to think twice about who you vote for and if you are NOT voting, you might want to get up off your ass and cast a vote. You never know, we might be able to put some people that have a clue in office and turn things around a bit.
The most important question we face now is this: What are we going to do in the interim, while we wait for alternative E-Wallets to come along and clip us for a bigger RAKE than we have ever seen at a poker table? I, for one, will be nut peddaling at the low limit tables and tournies for the duration, until a legitimate option becomes available to us. How long will that be? I do not think anybody even has a good guess right now, but it certainly is not going to happen overnight. With the arrests of the co-founders of Neteller this week, it appears to me that the government is trying to scare the hell out of not only the companies that would step in and take over for Neteller, but also the average, everyday poker player. That is correct. You and I. AND you know what? I am a bit scared.
It is a bit disconcerting to me to know that our government can basically do and act how they please, with complete disregard for what the peeple that put them there in the first place, care or think. It appears to me that we should all be scared of what they will do next. It also appears to me that the elected officials should start taking note of the feelings of the very people they represent and stop the tyrannical bullshit of trying to force their views down our throats.
What it all comes down to, in the end, is money. When they make some kind of deal with some huge AMERICAN corporation, it will suddenly be legal again for us to play on-line poker at THAT site. It will be monitored, regulated and taxed heavily. This will, in turn, increase the rake that we pay at the tables, increase the fees involved with transferring money to and from a poker site and eventually, at least in my opinion, make playing on-line more trouble than it is worth.
I guess I had better start scouting out the local Indian casinos for some good games, because this poker boom that we have all been riding for the last two or three years is going to go away, at least to some extent. No, I do not think the sky is falling, I just think in the end it will be more of a pain in the ass than most people are willing to deal with on a regular basis.
Oh well, I guess that is about all I have on that topic.
I played a bit last night, including the Mookie and another MTT at the same time on Poker.com. I made it to somewhere around 20 in the Mookie before overplaying K-K and running into a flush draw for all my chips. I cannot really complain much, I might have made the same play were I in his shoes. Well, maybe not, but I would like to think I could put someone all-in with just a flush draw. The fact that he had my chip stack more than doubled had something to do with it, I am sure, but nevertheless, it was a tough beat for me. I had played very well up to that point and had somewhere in the neighborhood of 4500 chips. Of course, I had also seen A-A three times, K-K once and Q-Q once and either got no action or re-raised somebody off of their hands.
Then came the hand of destiny. I raised it up fairly early 4x the BB with K-K and got one caller, the chip leader on my immediate right. I was chatting away with the wife during the hand and was pretty much on auto-pilot, but I would not have played it one bit differently even if I had taken more time. The flop was all unders with two spades and I made a pot-sized continuation bet, basically committing me to my hand and to the pot. The chip leader re-raised enough to put me all-in and I insta-called. He showed Q-10 of spades and the two of spades hit the river to seal the deal. It was a gutsy play on his part and it paid off. Not a play that I would probably make, but it worked and he chipped way up as IGHN.
I have to admit a bit of steam leaving my ears after the hand there for just a second, but I was able to close the table down before saying something I would later regret. That tilt-monster never completely goes away, you know? He might seem under complete control but there are times, like last night, when he wants to roar. Luckily for me, I was able to avoid that altogether.
In the MTT on Poker.com, we were nearing the bubble at preciesly the time I got ejected from the Mookie and I was on a bit of a short stack there. I was going to sneak in the money fairly comfortably, but I was not going to be a factor in the money if I did not begin chipping up immediately. The first hand after the bubble broke, I see 6-6 and decide now is the time to take my coin flip. Oops, J-J for the big blind, but a flop of 3-4-5 and a river 7 brought the pot my way. I parlayed that, along with my unparralleled folding ability into a 7th place finish and a little scratch. Again, I am so close I can almost feel what it is like to win one of these things. I went out with A-K against K-J s00ted, so one more time, my money went in ahead. If I could just begin winning a few meaningful coin flips now and again, I might have a chance to take one of these things down.
It really sucks to feel as good as I do right now about my game and know that on-line poker, as we know it, is changing for the worse already. I am really looking forward to playing every night and I am playing well every night, making tough decisions easily and forcing more and more aggression into my game on a nightly basis. I am excited about playing tournaments again and about poker in general again. It has been a while since I could say that. I just wish it would continue for a while.
That is all I have for today, until next time, I fold.
posted by GaryC @ 4:25 PM, ,
Pimpage and Ramblings
Wednesday, January 17, 2007
All excellent opportunities to get in the game and measure your game against the luckbox/donktard poker skills of so many people you read on a regular basis. You just have to ask yourself one question: DO YOU FEEL LUCKY, WELL, DO YOU PUNK? Cause if you do not, do not even sign up because without alot of luck, nobody has a chance in one of these events.
Anybody notice what I have referred to as the TWO TABLE PHENOMENON happening alot lately? The phenomenon that I refer to is when you are two-tabling and your hand on one table is all over the flop on the OTHER table and vice versa time and time again throughout the night. It happens to me ALL the time. I fold the 7 and 8 of hearts due to an early raise, click on the other table and the flop is 6,9,10 of hearts. It is downright eerie how often I see this happen. EVERY time I have a small pair on one table, the other table comes up with one of those pair for what could have been a set, if not for the whole OTHER table thing.
I assume that I am the only one that sees this on a regular basis, otherwise there would be more tin-foil hat wearing folks coming out of the closet to protest that ONLINE POKER IS RIGGED. There has been more than one post out there lately questioning the fairness of the online game and I, for one, do not believe that anything is rigged. But, G, what about when you are at the end of a SNG and the short-stack wins four straight hands to double up and take the chiplead back, surely that is rigged? No sir, that is incredible luck on his part, but I have done it before too and it CAN happen, no matter what cards you hold in your hand. It is called variance and you are experiencing the bad end of it in that particular example.
But G, what about the last three times I have had K-K and somebody always has A-A on the exact same hand? Exact same answer, variance. Have you ever stopped and counted how many times your big hands held up? I would venture a guess that if you looked over a significant amount of time and/or hands, they are somewhere in the 80% range. The times that you have run them into a bigger pocket pair will fall somewhere into the 20% range overall.
The thing that I have found about playing online is this, there are so many more hands being dealt than when you sit down at a live table, that there are bound to be more instances of set over set, A-A vs. K-K, etc. basically, things that you do not see as often at a live game. What is the difference in the number of hands per hour? Is it 3x or 4x as many hands played per hour online as opposed to playing live, even with a dealer? Add in the multi-tabling facet and those numbers jump even higher. The hands that you see that are statistical improbabilities still have a percentage of occurance and over a large number of hands, they are going to happen.
I understand that when they happen to you or me, to knock us out of a tournament or stack us at a cash game, the eyes with which we look at become slightly blurred in our favor and against the villain, but the facts are that those types of hands do happen a certain percentage of the time and you just have to hope that they happen FOR you rather than against you the next time.
I, personally, do not think the sites would set games up that way for fear of losing their share of the market. I am not saying that some of the random number generators do not need tweaking from time to time, but for me to say that they are intentionally set up the way they are, for devious purposes, would be completely incorrect, IMO. The sites are making way too much money, hand over fist comes to mind, to jeopardize their relationship with their customers with even a hint of something devious or rigged. So, the next time you run your Kings into Aces, remember, if you would just adjust your tin-foil hat properly before the hand, you would have had the Aces or flopped a King. Remember that.
Here is a question I have seen posted on the internet hundreds of times and was asked yesterday by one of my friends at work:
What if you were playing in the Main Event and on the first hand, you are dealt Aces and make an opening raise and a guy at the other end of the table moves all-in? On the first fawking hand?
My answer: I beat his ass in the pot and yell I CALL!
I fully understand that I have 10,000 starting chips and it is the first hand of the tournament, but A-A is the best starting hand in the game we play and I will take my chances to double up with it every.single.time. Of course, when he turns up K-K and spikes a K on the river, I look like the biggest jackass to ever play in the Main Event, but that is a chance I am willing to take right there. The way I see it, this is an opportunity to take advantage of overwhelming odds in your favor and this game is all about pushing your edges.
There are times when he is also going to turn over A-A and one of you will be free-rolling to a possible four flush as the only means of winning the hand outright. That would be bad luck, but it COULD happen, it is NOT statistically impossible. Improbable, yes, but not impossible.
If he does not hold A-A, he is looking for one of two possible outs, discounting straight draws and flush draws after the flop. I will personally take that chance at any point in any tournament I play and yes, I have been knocked out of plenty of tournaments and felted at plenty of cash tables, while holding A-A, but I will not play that hand any differently than the way I already play it and that is for all of my chips at any time pre-flop.
Now, post-flop is an entirely different story. Say the guy smooth calls your raise, you see an uncoordinated mostly low flop and THEN he moves all-in. Then, I at least give some consideration to folding the hand, but I probably go broke in that situation as well, if he flopped his set. I am one of those guys, you see them at the cash tables all the time, that CANNOT fold A-A to save his life, in most instances. Of course, I have won a bunch of all-ins with it as well, but have gone broke with it at times too. It happens, but I do not know of a better way to play the hand than to get it all-in and hope for the best.
Enough rambling, althouth I have to admit, it feels pretty good to just sit back and hack out a few posts about poker. I have been playing about three or four nights a week lately, sometimes more, sometimes less, but I really am starting to feel good about my game again. It has been a long while since I felt relaxed, comfortable and in control of most of things going on at the tables and I am starting to feel that way again. My tournament play has been strong as of late and I really feel like I am going to take something down soon. It is there for the taking, it is just a matter of making the correct decisions and winning a coin flip here and there. It is good to have the fire back.
I also want to send out a thank you and a hearty welcome to a new reader, Kyle. Kyle lives in Oklahoma, as well, and sent me a nice email yesterday saying that he had been reading and enjoying my blog for a while now. I think we all enjoy receiving comments from readers and it was nice to see that somebody is out there reading and enjoying what I put out on a daily basis. Thanks again, Kyle.
Until next time, I fold.
posted by GaryC @ 3:19 PM, ,
Doing The Impossible
Tuesday, January 16, 2007
I did not think I had it in me, to be quite honest. How, in the final 45 or so players of a tournament, could I make a standard, 4X the big blind raise under the gun and then FOLD pocket Kings?
Had only one player pushed, I probably make that call roughly 1000% of the time. I have a soft spot for those Cowboys and I generally play them just like Aces, but last night, anticipating the possiblity of a run to a final table and some decent jack, I laid them down. The blinds and antes were completely out of control by this time and I had about 14K in front of me. I was above the tourament average, but just barely. My table, however, had one 100K stack and a bunch of guys right around me, so there was only one bully and he was on my immediate left.
I open-raised UTG with K-K and he insta-pushed his entire 100K stack into the middle. Now, had everybody else folded, I probably run my Kings into Aces there and go to the house, but, to my surprise, there were three callers before it got back around to me. The pot was HUGE and had I won it, I would have been in the top 3 for the entire tournament. BUT, something about his raise just screamed I HAVE ACES!
So, after using up most of my time, I did what I did not think I could, I folded pocket Kings and the cards turned over. Pocket Aces for the big stack, pocket Tens across the table, 6-6 from another guy and pocket Jacks on the other end. I would have been in 2nd of the five hands, just as I suspected. No help came on the board for anybody and I quietly moved up two more spots and the big stack got even stronger as his Aces held up in a hotly contested pot.
I ended up running the Hilton Sisters into J-J and, of course, the Jack came on the turn and sent me packing in 30th place out of some 1100-1200 players. I played well for most of the tournament and was happy to have lasted as long as I did, but I could sure smell that final table money.
By the way, the tournament was Full Tilts new Jackpot A & B at 9 pm EST. It costs $10 + 2 to enter each tournament and there are several different payouts based on cashing in both, final tabling both and/or winning both, etc. TripJax turned me on to it yesterday when I got home from work and I figured what the hell and gave it a shot last night.
In the money started somewhere around the 160 left mark and I SHOULD have easily slid into the money in both last night. I would compare the play to Party Poker at the $25 NL tables. I went out of the first one somewhere around 300 when my A-K could not best the almighty 8-9 s00ted. To be clear, I had let myself get entirely too short in that tournament, because I was on such a heater on the other table. It was still a 2500 chip push, unfortunately the chip leader at the table had a horseshoe up his ass, made the call with 8-9 and made a straight on the river to send me packing.
That was pretty typical of the other tournament as well. We had alot of stalling going on at the bubble. One guy in particular was stalling every single hand and later mentioned that he bubbled out of the other tournament. Somebody asked him why he did not just stall over in the other one, like he was doing in this one. I thought that was pretty funny. The big stacks were routinely calling all-ins with A-Xo or K-J s00ted and the opportunities to double up and stay alive seemed endless, if a guy were to just pick up a hand every now and then.
Needless to say, I think these tournaments are doable for the blogging community at large. I know they are not as sexy as the 100K over at Mansion right now, but there was a ton of dead money in this thing. I think first place was around 2.5K or thereabouts in both of the tournaments, so for the small investment ($24) and the possibility of a nice bonus for doing well in both tournaments, I think these tournaments are well worth the time and money. Check out Full Tilt for all the specifics on the bonuses.
For the unitiated or in case you have been living under a rock, Falstaff has taken the reins from April and is beginning the process of setting up the WPBT Summer Gathering, set for Vegas this June. I want to first say a HUGE thank you to April for doing such a fantastic job in December and another HUGE thank you to Falstaff for taking on the onus of ORGANIZER this time around. I can only imagine what trying to organize anything with this group of people must be like. I believe it has been referred to as TRYING TO HERD CATS and I would not disagree with that one bit. I have cats at my house and those fawkers do whatever they please, whenever they please, kind of like me in Vegas last December.
The dates are June 6-10 and as yet, they have not identified a central hotel, although he is working on that, as we speak. Check out his blog for all the details.
My wife and I are going to do our level best to make this trip happen together this summer. I sent her the information this morning and told her to start twisting arms and scraping pennies together so that she and I could make it out there this summer. I would love to be able to win some kind of on-line tournament worth a buy-in to one of the smaller events at the WSOP, but I do not think it would be as much fun as hanging out with that many degenerates for 72 hours or so straight. I do, however, plan on getting considerably more sleep this time around, as it has seemed to take me all of the last month to catch up from the bender in December!
Live Poker In OKC This Weekend!
I am planning a little live home game action this weekend for my house. I have invited Maudie to drive up from Norman, but I already realize that this is the Tunica weekend. Damnit! I knew that was going to happen. Just the same, if something happens and you want to join us on Saturday, give me a shout on the cell phone, you are more than welcome to join me at the First Annual Dead Money Shootout. I have invited a bunch of guys from my work that are avid watchers of the WPT and Celebrity Poker Showdown. They absolutely NEVER give anybody credit for a hand, regardless if you have folded for 4 straight orbits. It should make for some entertaining bad beat stories, at least.
I am trying to keep this gathering a bit smaller than my games in the past for one simple reason. Setting up one table in the house requires moving a lot of shit around. Setting up two tables requires moving twice as much alot of shit around. Of course, we could set up both tables in the garage like normal, except for the fact that it is 3 FAWKING DEGREES outside right now and my garage is just slightly warmer than that. I am hoping for one full table (8-10) in my front room, in plain sight of the big screen TV and with a cooler full of Keystone Light at my feet. The buy-in will be a small $25 per player and it will be a freeze-out. I am sure the cash table will more than make up for any losses in the tournament, so if anybody is in OKC this weekend, email me and I will get you the information.
I think I am going to try to pseudo-live-blog the tournament. By that, I simply mean, taking a legal pad and keeping good notes of all the action to document later right here on the blog. Some of the hands these guys play will at least start a book that could be titled WHAT NOT TO DO AT THE POKER TABLE. I hope it will be entertaining.
That will have to do it for today. I will be at the bowling alley tonight and entertaining the drunkards on Friday night with my version of Honky Tonk Badonkadonk, but look for me Wednesday at the Mookie and probably somewhere on Thursday, as well. Is there a Riverchasers event this week? Cause I could use another final table cash desperately.
Until next time, I fold.
posted by GaryC @ 3:13 PM, ,
Yup, I Am A Dog
Monday, January 15, 2007
Nursing A Short Stack
While I was playing the Riverchasers tournament on Thursday night, somewhere in the middle of the second hour it occurred to me that I was NOT accumulating chips near fast enough to stay in contention. That is about the time I started employing my own, personal short-stack strategy. It is nothing that any of you do not employ on a regular basis, so do not expect any earth-shattering revelations from me here today. It is simply called push-or-fold.
When we start getting late into the tournament and I have an M of 10 or less (really, I base mine on 10x the big blind) I go into this mode almost exclusively. There are a few, certain times that I will slow-play a premium pair, but for the most part I either push all-in or fold the hand. I fully understand that this is nothing exceedingly brilliant on my part, but when it works to perfection, it is sweet indeed.
Rewind to the bubble portion of last Thursdays tournament. 109 runners, 18 get paid and there are 21 of us left. I am in 21st place at this point and the immediate goal is to try and sneak into the paying spots and at least retrieve my buy-in. I think I pushed once and got the blinds, but otherwise it was fold, fold and more folding. Once the bubble burst, I think I was 17th of 18 remaining players and I set my sights on advancing up another spot in the payoffs, which I think was three more spots.
You Dog - mentione by Tripjax many times in the Yahoo chat-box, as I moved up yet another spot due to my unparralleled folding ability.
I do not remember any specific hands when we got down to three or even two tables, but I remember my strategy. Get it all in or fold immediately. Try to put pressure on anybody that acts behind you. Granted my stack was short enough that me putting pressure on anybody was really not going to happen, but hopefully my table image was such that they would at least think twice before calling with Ace-rag.
I also got extremely lucky twice, although, technically I was ahead both times when the money went in. I pushed with 6-6 and 9-9 only to be called by big Aces both times and I caught my set on the river both times to double up. There are alot of times I would rather be lucky, lucky, lucky than good and both of those times I was lucky to double through.
Once we got to the final table, I believe I was 8th out of 9 or possibly 9th of 9 and I had a very aggressive player on my immediate right. It did not take long to see that he was going to be playing his hands very aggressively and I went into immediate fold and trap mode with him. I think he ended up doubling me up 5 or 6 times at the final table. Obviously, he was the big stack and I was the small stack at the table, so he was all about taking coin flips. I just waited until I thought I was ahead and pushed and was lucky enough to hold up on him every single time.
I won a huge hand against Hacker59, I think, when I pushed with 6-6 and he pushed over the top to isolate and turned up A-K s00ted, but my 6's held. Pretty soon we were down to 5 left and I was no longer the short stack, although compared to my aggressive friend on my right, I was still a micro-stack. I do not remember alot of key hands during this stretch, but it seemed that every coin flip he took with anybody else, he was winning, but every flip with me, I was able to win and we were soon down to 3-handed. I had two big stacks on my right and I had just enough chips to do some damage.
I was able to double up a couple of times and pretty soon, we all had about the same number of chips. That is when the biggest flaw in my game reared its ugly head. I stopped for a second to look at the prize money and started to think I could win the thing. Not that I could not have won the thing, but my mindset of survival serves me extremely well in these tournaments and had I stayed in that survival mode a bit longer, rather than starting to push back, thinking I could take it down, I would have been better off. I might have still finished third in the thing, but the hand I went out on might have never occurred had I been thinking about surviving, rather than playing back at the big stack.
I have Q-10 in the big blind and the aggressive guy on my right raises my big blind for the 875th straight time. I think for a second and decide that I NEED to play back at this guy. (In retrospect, I did NOT need to play back at him, we were almost even in chips and I had some momentum at the time) I make the call and we see a 10 high flop and rather than proceed cautiously, like I am wont to do, I lead out with a pot-sized bet and completely lose my mind and call a re-raise. We end up getting it all in on the turn and his A-A is goot and IGHN. Now, I should have never made it as far as I did with my stack of chips and the 3rd place payday was a nice addition to my bankroll, BUT, the fact remains, I had a chance to take down this tournament and I let it slip through my hands, because I changed my gears at an inopportune time.
I fully realize that changing gears at some point during a tournament (or many times throughout a MTT) is very good for your game and troubling for your competition, but at that precise time in that precise tournament, changing gears was unnecessary, IMO. I should have stuck with my conservative strategy, at least for a while longer, because I think I could have done more damage and possibly won the thing had I done so. I was honestly at least 14 or so spots better than I should have finished though, so I have absolutely no regrets. I played as well as I could play for a long time during this tournament and just made an amateurish mistake at the end that cost me.
Obviously, there is no great secret on how to nurse a short stack. I simply pushed when I had a playable hand, got lucky more than a few times and folded all the garbage. A little luck goes a long way in these tournaments and it never, ever hurts to get lucky a few times and that, for the most part, is why I was able to last as long as I did.
Thanks to TripJax for railing me to the end and for the words of encouragement. I am, indeed, a DOG!
I played for quite a while yesterday and went on quite a nice little run at UB. I ended up with 6 of 8 $10 sngs in the money, with three 1st places, two 2nd places and one 3rd place finish. In fact, at one point, I was 6 for 6 in the money until I ran into a bit of variance and was put out of the last two with tough beat-downs. I am not going to go into the hands, but I was a considerable favorite in both when I got put out, so, my sng game was strong yesterday, for the most part.
That success did not translate to success at Full Tilt, however. I was able to win 5 $26 tokens over the course of Friday, Saturday and Sunday, but unfortunately, was not able to work my magic and turn any of those into a $75 token, in order to play in the Big Game last night. I was pissed that I missed it, but that buy-in is only manageable for me if I can freeroll into it through token sngs and that was not meant to be this weekend. Hopefully, I will start a little earlier next time and be able to join the big boys (and girls) for the deep stack tournament.
Two quick funnies from this morning on the drive in to work:
You know you play too much poker when:
Slow down you fawking donkey - when a moron passes you doing 55 on ice covered roads.
Ha ha, well played sir! - when you pass said donkey in the ditch up around the curve.
The New And Improved State Of My Game
Just a few short weeks ago, I was lamenting the fact that my game was nowhere in sight and I had no idea where to go or what to do to find it. Luckily, after much consternation and some long nights of bad beats, it found me. Well, it kind-of found me.
I was playing the $25 NL tables, looking to build my roll and move up in limits, almost exclusively and running into more LAG-tard, calling station, suck-outers than I care to recant today. I would win a buy-in with solid play then turn right around and, with the exact same solid play, lose a buy-in just as fast to some fawker with a gut-shot straight draw. The variance was keeping me at even or just below and there did not seem to be a thing I could do about it.
I decided to dive back into my trust SNGs and see if my luck was any better there. I started off with the 30 player and 45 player SNGs and almost immediately, I took 3rd in a 45 player SNG and began to think these would be my new calling. After again crashing and burning in these tournaments one too many times, I decided I would go back to my old familiar haunts and give them a shot. I logged on to Ultimate Bet this weekend and signed up for a $10 + 1, NON-turbo, one-table Sit-N-Go. These are where I really cut my teeth back in the day and I used to have relatively good success here, before discovering cash games and bonus whoring.
You know what? I won my first SNG. Then I won my second SNG. Hey hey, that was a pretty quick $80. I took 3rd in my third sng of the day, fired up another and took 2nd in it after giving away a large chip lead. Regardless of the end game, I was cashing consistently in my old favorite stomping grounds and it appeared that my game was back on track.
I think the thing I can take from this is that I am a tournament player, way moreso than a cash game player. I can hold my own at the cash tables, but only for so long, it seems. After a certain amount of time, I either become bored, restless or just plain tired of folding away, hand after hand. In a SNG, it is completely different. Let me first say that I could never play more than two of these at a time. I simply do not get enough information about the other players and their betting patterns, etc. if I am trying to play more than two at the same time. I have taken to playing one of these $10 + 1 SNGs on Ultimate Bet and logging into Full Tilt to play a Token SNG at the same time.
I do not like to play turbos and I am sure this is costing me money in the long run, but for each individual tournament, the amount of time before the blinds get huge allows me enough time to be extremely picky in what hands I play. I am very conservative by nature and this is reflected in my early table play at these SNGs. You can almost bet your house that if I raise early on in one of these tournaments, I have one of three hands: A-A, K-K or Q-Q. I leave the speculating to the other lemurs at the table and they are normally always happy to oblige. Just last night, I find A-A early on, maybe the second orbit and I have not played a hand to this point, but I raise to 120 in LP. (blinds were 20-40 at this point) The small blind and big blind both make the call and check to me after a flop of K-J-6 rainbow. I fire out the continuation bet of 360 and am re-raised by the small blind. The big blind smooth calls that bet and I move it all in immediately. A-K for the small blind and K-5(?) for the big blind and I now have almost 4500 chips after not even two orbits around the table.
There have been plenty of times when that 5 hit the river and allows donkey boy with K-5 in that position to triple up, but thankfully, last night at least, the gods of poker allowed my favorites to hold up.
My success this weekend could be just that old variance turning around in the correct order. It could also be that I got hit about the face and head with a great run of cards. I think most assuredly, that some of the above is correct, but I also think that I got back to my roots a bit this weekend and I moved back to a game with which I am extremely comfortable and that HAS to count for something. So, for now, my immediate goals have changed a bit. Rather than moving up in limits at the cash tables and trying to play $100 NL, I will be concentrating on trying to move up in limits at the one table SNGs on various sites. They are, after all, where I cut my teeth and the games that I know best and have experienced the most success. I did win the inaugural SNG Challenge, sponsored by HighOnPoker, after all. That has to count for something.
So, I will be hard at it, folding and folding away, waiting patiently for my premium hands, in order to see just what combination of starting hands can suck out on my K-K next.
I hope everybody has a great week and to steal a line from MiamiDon, have a profitable week, as well.
Until next time, I fold.
posted by GaryC @ 3:31 PM, ,
Sunday, January 14, 2007
Well, I have had a really good weekend, other than the fact that the weather completely sucks here in Oklahoma. We are in the midst of one of the worst ice storms we have seen around these parts in some time. Luckily, the electricity has stayed on in the city and the wife and I loaded up on supplies on Thursday last week. We have plenty of food, firewood and all of the necessities to make it through the long weekend.
Having taken Friday off last week, I haven't been out of the house since Thursday night, other than to retrieve the paper each of the last three mornings. I have spent alot of time at the tables with mixed results.
At Ultimate Bet, I have placed 1st, 1st, 2nd and 3rd in my last four $10 + 1 sit-n-gos. I have also obtained a $24 + 2 token the last three times I have tried on Full Tilt. However, I have been unable to parlay any of those into a $75 token yet. The last one, in particular stung, when I flopped a full house, only to see the four-outer hit on the turn in a big pot. I went out shortly thereafter when the same guy called my push with 10-8 s00ted. I GUARANTEE you that donkey did NOT win a token.
Oh well, that's all I have for today. I am going to give the token run one more try today, in an effort to freeroll into the Big Game, you should too.
Until next time, I fold.
posted by GaryC @ 12:18 PM, ,
Friday, January 12, 2007
I HEART AlCantHang.
He has graciously invited all of us out to the Riverchasers On-line tournaments time and time again and again last night, I was able to make a little scratch in their tournament. If you'll remember about a month or so ago, right before Vegas, Drizz and I ended up chopping 1st and 2nd place in their tournament. Well, last night, after nursing a short stack through the final three tables, I finally went on a bit of a rush, helped by spiking a set on the river not once, but twice, and I was able to take down 3rd place out of 119 runners.
Granted, it wasn't a huge payday, but any cash is all good and I could definitely use the infusion of funds to my bankroll. I want to send out a huge thank you to Al and to the guys at Riverchasers for hosting. It has certainly been a money-maker for me and I would highly reccomend checking out their site, as well.
I am home from work today and plan on putting in a little time at the tables as the weather here in Oklahoma is horrid. Freezing rain is turning into ice as we speak and we have a few frigid days ahead of us. I have plenty of beer, cigarettes and firewood stocked up and I don't plan on leaving the house until at least Monday.
I hope everybody has a great weekend and until next time, I fold.
posted by GaryC @ 6:10 AM, ,
Pimpin' and Evaluatin'
Wednesday, January 10, 2007
Tonight is the Mookie on Full Tilt. Come on out and test your tournament game against as strong a field as you will find iin a $10 tournament on-line. Details to the right or on his blog.
<--------------- This Sunday marks the return of MiamiDon's blogger Big Game. Get after those tokens in order to try and cash in on one of the biggest prize pools in any blogger tournament.
Also, the Reverend AlCantHang has announced another Riverchasers Tournament on Full Tilt tomorrow night. Head over to his blog for all the details.
I have evaluated my play more than a few times on this humble little blog and for the most part, everybody knows that I am pretty much weak/tight. While this strategy/style does not work well against a table full of TAGS/LAGS in a blogger tournament, it nearly always works like a charm at the $25 NL tables that I am still inhabiting. Until I get my roll up to a much more comfortable level (it is on the rise) I will be hanging out at these tables/levels because I know I can beat them consistently. Oh, I have my bouts with variance, just like everybody else, but I have routinely posted profits at these tables and will continue to do so for the immediate future.
I still have my sights set on moving up, but I am in no hurry and have set no timetable for the immediate future. I am slowly plugging away and working on my game at the same time. The opponents that I am facing on a nightly basis are, for the most part, new players to this game, new to on-line poker or losing players. There is very little variation to their game and most can be read for what they are holding with minimal effort. I have been concentrating on putting notes on nearly everybody I have faced recently and it is amazing to me how some of these folks continually have the money to keep throwing around on a nightly basis.
My note-taking usually only consists of two or three words: fish, donkey or solid. That will tell me just about all I need to know when I am faced with a decision during a hand. I ran into a guy on UB the other night that gave away 6 buy-ins at the $25 NL table before finally succumbing and logging off. I think he went busto because his last reload was only for $19 and some change. It had to have been the last of his money on UB. I got two of his buy-ins with A-A and K-K, other than that, I stayed out of his way and the other opponents at the table, as we were all gunning for this guys chips. Just for the record, he had A-Qo when he pushed over the top of my re-raise with A-A and he had K-J s00ted against my Kings.
I also ran into the same type of player the other night at Poker.Com. I sat down in the big blind and found A-K and raised two limpers. The small blind (our resident idiot) calls my raise and continuation bet when a King high rainbow flop comes out. He re-raised me on the turn for a min-bet and I called and then checked on the river and folded to his all-in bet. He gleefully showed his K-4 s00ted and I immediately made notes on him.
Not too long after that, I found J-J in the big blind and just checked with the entire table (6 Max) in the hand. The flop was Jack high and our friend, the idiot, bets the pot immediately. I smooth called him and only one other player called him. The turn was another rag and he again fired a pot-sized bet out there. I really wanted to keep the other guy in the hand, but I felt like this was the time to go heads up with my new friend. I pushed over the top of his bet, the other guy folded and our friend insta-called. He had slow-played Q-Q and I had outflopped him to double up.
A few hands later, with only $9 in front of him, he pushed over my raise with A-K and I insta-called his ass for a change. His K-8 got no help and I busted him. Now, obviously, this guy was going to go busto at this table (and probably every other one he plays on) but, the fact that I got him was like a bit of a revelation to me. I can outplay most of the donks at this level and it should not take a guy calling me down with garbage to prove that. I should be able to sit down at these tables every single night and turn a tidy little profit. Too often lately, I have started out nearly every night in a hole and been forced to try and dig my way back to even before even thinking about a winning session. Since my run-ins noted above, my attitude has changed and it has been directly responsible for the tiny little profits I have posted in the last week or so.
I fully understand the concept of one big session and of variance, as well, but, in my opinion, your attitude when sitting down to play poker has a direct correlation to the type of session you are going to have that night. I have taken to trying to get rid of any negative thoughts I have at the time and instead, focusing on all the positives going on around me. It has certainly helped my outlook and my results at the tables. If I get home and find that I am still pissed off from work and not in a good frame of mind to play my normal game, I will fire up one single $5.50 sng and plug away at that for a while, in an effort to pacify my hunger for the game and to try and get my mind in the right spot to grind away at the NL tables.
The money is there to be made every single night and I assume it is the same way even at higher stakes. Everything I have ever read has said the same things over and over, the higher stakes do have a few more good players, but for the most part, there are fish up and down the limits on every single site. The trick is to find them and have yourself in the best possible frame of mind at the time in order to extort funds from them.
I also have a new favorite play. I have actually used this play for a long time and I believe I have even written about it here before, but it has come back to light at the cash tables in recent days.
You are sitting at a full 6 Max cash NL table and 3 players (including you) have full buy-ins, while the other three donk-tards have short stacks in front of them, hoping for the inevitable double, triple up or busto!
You have K-K on the button and make a standard 4X the big blind raise and one of the blinds (a small stack) smooth calls. You see a flop of 9-4-2 rainbow and the caller checks it to you. At this point, my standard operating procedure is to make a very small bet (definitely smaller than the pot, sometimes only about half the pot) in order to exude weakness. This move, at least at my levels, ALWAYS works in either one of two ways. The caller senses weakness and tries to raise you off of your hand, which is exactly what you want to happen in this situation OR he can tell by your small bet that you still think you are ahead and just trying to keep him in the pot, which should result in a fold and, although you did not get paid off, the pot is yours. Most of the time, again, at MY levels, they will sense weakness and try to raise you out of the pot. This particular hand, the caller pushed all-in for his final $7, which is exactly what I wanted to happen, and I called. He showed Q-9 and did not hit his 5-outer. Most of the time, in this type of scenario, these guys are looking to double up and it does not matter what you do or how you play it, they are pushing with their top pair, questionable kicker. Sometimes, they hit their miracle card, but that is okay also, that just means there will be more money in their stack to take from them later in the game.
Here is almost the exact opposite of the above scenario. This happened in a CAP game on Full Tilt, so I only made $7.50 on this hand.
I am in the small blind with K-K. Three players limp in and I raise to $1.00. I get two callers and the flop is K-K-x. Now, let me just say that my standard play here is to check (again, in order to look weak) but with that flop, I know it hit nobody but me. If I check here, they are certainly going to check behind me, right? I think about it for a while and make a pot-sized bet.(I love the pot options on FT, you can take as long as you want to bet, or you can fire the exact amount out there immediately, looking strong or weak, whichever you prefer) The first caller uses all of his time up and eventually folded, but the other guy smooth-called me. I have to think the amount of time that I took before betting and the amount of time the other player took had to weigh into his thinking because his call was almost instant. The turn was a Jack and the board was a rainbow with no straight draws. Had there been a potential straight or flush draw, I probably would have gone with my standard very small (weak) bet here, hoping to induce a bluff from him, but with only $4 going into the pot maximum (CAP game remember?) I decided to insta-push, hoping he might think I was trying to bluff/steal the pot. He rewarded me with a quick call and his pair of Sixes were drawing dead.
Now, the thing I have learned the most recently is this: You have to change up your play on a fairly consistent basis in order to remain successful over the long haul. Granted, we all have those nights where we get run over by the deck, play strict ABC poker and just tear up the entire table for as long as we sit there. Those nights do not count, because they are rare indeed, wonderful to experience, but rare nonetheless. While most of the people at your table are either A) not paying attention at all to anything except their cards or B) multi-tabling any number of cash tables at the same time, rendering their attention useless at any one of the tables, you have to be the one paying attention to their play, taking notes on as many players as possible and constantly changing up your betting patterns, starting hand selection and stealing opportunities. I have found lately that my best opportunity to steal is UTG at these 6 Max tables. For some reason, whenever I raise the pot from first position, it gets more respect from the players than when I raise on the button. I assume that makes sense to me also, as I would certainly respect an UTG raise more than a Button raise, which I would probably look at as a possible steal.
Wow, this really was supposed to be an evaluation of my recent play and where I think I am right now, in terms of poker. It kind of got to rambling off in a few different directions. Sorry for the rambling post, but it feels good to write about poker again, it feels like it has been a long time for me.
So, my evaluation of my game right now? Eh, I give it about a C+ for the time being, but I definitely feel like I am making progress in the right direction, but I definitely feel like I still have miles to go. BUT, I am working on it, so watch yourselves tonight at the Mook.
Until next time, I check-raise, er, I mean I fold.
posted by GaryC @ 2:58 PM, ,