Friday, August 28, 2009
Wow, time flies when you're..........working your ass off.
I can't believe it's been nearly two months since Okie-Vegas. I also can't believe I've only posted 4 times since then, but you know me, slacker, in the most profound sense of the word these days.
I'd like to regale you with tales of 3 and 4 figure upswings in the bankroll, but, unfortunately, when you're playing $10 and $25 PLO -and you play as tight as I play- those swings are few and far between. I've had some good nights and, in general, have moved the bankroll upwards on a continuous trend, but playing at my limits does not lend itself to large upticks.
I'm still enjoying the game very much, such a relief from the grind that NLHE had become, and I think I am making strides at becoming a competent PLO player. I'm beginning to see why most like this game more than O8, who wants to split a pot anyway? I still see some horrendous play on a nightly basis, as well as the obligatory table captains who feel the need to educate the fish as to why they shouldn't call down THEIR raises with only a gut-shot straight draw. Guys buying in for $5 at a $25 PLO table, then playing every hand until they bust.
I had an interesting hand the other night and I took some crap from another player afterwards. I'll let you be the judge:
I have As - Kd - Ks - Jd in the big blind and call a pot-sized raise from the small blind with three other mouth-breathers.
Flop is Qs - 10s - 8h.
I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm probably gonna gamble for stacks here if it comes right down to it, however, the SB leads out with a pot-sized bet and I just call, hoping to bring along a few more to the turn. No such luck and they all fold.
Right now, I am putting the SB squarely on A-A and know full well that I have to catch one of what I think are at least 19 outs twice. (2 Kings, 3 Jacks, 4 Nines and 9 diamonds and the lone Ace if he indeed has A-A)
The turn is the 7 of clubs and I really don't see my outs changing much, still 19, at least by my poor count.
He, of course, bets the pot and I decide I'm going to the rail, if need be, with this hand and jam the rest of my stack in over the top. He debates, uses up most of his time and calls with ?????????
The river is the beautiful 9 of spades and I make my hand both ways with the nut straight and the second nut flush. He's mad now. I mean REALLY mad. Irate, in fact.
What do you think he had and what do you think he called me after I stacked him?
I'll give you a hint, he didn't wish AIDS on me, but it was pretty damn close.
On an unrelated note, I've received several inquiries about whether or not I'll be attending Vegas in December. It is still on my radar and I will be trying to make it work, but unfortunately, until you read BOOKED across the title of a post on this blog, I'll have to remain a maybe. It's not that I don't want to fly out and hang out in Vegas for a few days, far from it. December is a very busy month around GCox-ville.
We have to do some travelling around Christmas time, plus December is a huge hunting month, plus, I would have to come up with the money to fly out there and still have some semblance of a bankroll, once there. I'm not saying I won't be there yet, but it will be difficult, but something I am definitely working toward. I do want to be there, believe me, I promise you that.
For any of you thinking about that have never done it, you need to do it. There's no telling how many more of these things there are going to be, so you might not ever get another chance. Trust me, it's a once or twice in a lifetime thing and you won't regret making the trip.......unless you get rolled by a hooker, that is.
Until next time, I fold.
posted by GaryC @ 3:12 PM, ,
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
posted by GaryC @ 3:38 PM, ,
Thursday, August 13, 2009
I would think the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex would be anything but a "small" market, however, I understand the logic behind it. Their markets are based on television markets more than their fan bases. Large market teams get more exposure on television in their home markets, more exposure on ESPN and more exposure nationally than their small market counterparts. That all means more money coming in and the ability to spend at will on free agents, etc.
My Rangers are having a fantastic year. If you'll remember when I last wrote about the Texas Rangers, I said something along the lines of anything around .500 baseball would be a huge step forward for this club. Well, they've taken a monumental step forward without really adding any key pieces since last off-season. Almost every move they made was internal, rather than going out and signing high-priced free agents who don't want to be in Texas anyway. I think that's about to start changing.
Last year, the Rangers had the #1 ranked farm system in all of baseball. This year, we are starting to see some of the real benefits that come along with that ranking. Namely, youngters coming up and performing well on the big stage. They've called up pitchers on an as-needed basis and with the exception of some growing pains from Derek Holland, they've all performed admirably. Holland is really starting to get into a nice groove, using all his pitches and throwing that nasty change-up after a 95 mph heater on the hands on a regular basis. I really like his future.
Derek Holland is currently 5-7 with a 5.04 era. That's not great but he is working it down from there and if he throws anything like his last couple of starts, that will continue to drop down the rest of the year.
Tommy Hunter came up next and has stepped right into the spot vacated by Matt Harrison. All he's done is start 9 games, going 5-2 during that time with a 2.26 era.
Dustin Nippert got the call after Brandon McCarthy went down to injury. All he's done so far is go 3-1 with a 3.62 era.
How about the golden boy of the minor league system? Neftali Feliz was called up to work out of the bullpen just a few weeks ago. All he's done so far in 4 appearances is record 3 holds, struck out 13 batters in 6-2/3 innings and fashion an era of 1.35. By the way, he throws the ball 100 mph without breaking a sweat.
Had you told me that we would lose 4/5 of our beginning rotation at the start of the year, I would have thought very bad things. Thankfully, somebody decided that Scott Feldman should be a starter, not a reliever. After 3 horrendous outings from the bullpen, all he's done in 21 starts is go 12-4 with a solid 3.90 era, keeping the Rangers in nearly every one of those starts while he was in the game.
Add in Kevin Millwood's solid season, a hard-luck 9-7 thus far with a 3.38 era, and the pitching appears to be in good shape, as long as the youngsters hold up. I think Millwood easily reaches the 180 innings he needs to trigger the option on his contract for 2010. Do I expect them to overtake the Angels in the AL West? Not really. I think the Angels are a very solid club with good starting pitching and I don't think they will go on any prolonged losing streaks with their club. I also think Mike Sciosia, although a huge cry-baby, is a solid in-game manager.
The thing that I haven't talked about yet, but will now, is probably the Rangers biggest off-season move last winter. They signed Mike Maddox away from the Brewers to be our pitching coach and I don't think anybody can argue with how great a job he's done thus far. They look like a completely different group of pitchers out there, pitching with a purpose and not backing down. I applaud his work and the work of Nolan Ryan and Jon Daniels in getting him signed away from Milwaukee.
The hitting thus far has been a bit of a disappointment. Although they lead the league in Home Runs, as usual, their batting averages and on-base percentages have been fairly average. Of late though, they've started hitting the ball better and moving runners around, so there is still hope that they have a strong finish ahead of them. Josh Hamilton appears healthy for a change and has been swinging a hot bat for the last 10 days or so. Nelson Cruz and Ian Kinsler are poised to come back from their injuries this week against the Red Sox and that can only help an offense that has struggled to score runs.
I think the Wild Card is a possibility and I still haven't given up hope on winning the AL West. This team, with these pitchers, could go on a tremendous hot streak if the hitters catch up with the pitchers. If they get both of those things going at the same time, they're going to be a difficult team to play down the stretch.
With the trading deadline passed and nothing at all happening on the Rangers front, I'm a bit torn. Part of me would liked to have seen them make the move for Halladay, just for selfish reasons. (basically to make the playoffs this year and possibly next year, as well) The sane part of me though looks at their deadline non-deal making and applaud them whole-heartedly for standing pat and not trading away any of these kids. There is a reason that their minor league system is ranked #1 in baseball and you're going to see the fruits of those signings in the next few years in Arlington.
I expect Justin Smoak will be the first baseman next year in Arlington. I expect Julio Borbon will be the center fielder next year in Arlington. I expect to see at least Derek Holland and Tommy Hunter in the rotation in Arlington for the rest of this year and next year as well. I almost expect Neftali Feliz to be in the rotation next year, unless they make him a closer. The Rangers are loaded with young talent and as we have to say difficult goodbyes to veterans who have been around a while, it is time to let the young kids play. Hank Blaylock and Marlon Byrd probably will not be back with the team next year and I hate that. Hank's injury problem really ruined a chance at a great career at 3rd Base and Marlon will simply be a victim of the numbers game in the outfield. With Murphy, Borbon, Cruz and Hamilton all able to play multiple positions out there, the need for an outfielder is miniscule at best. Byrd and Blaylock will both be allowed to walk after this year.
I sort of expect one of either Taylor Teagarden, Jarrod Saltalamachia or Max Ramirez to be traded in the off-season and it wouldn't surprise me a bit to see one of either CJ Wilson or Frank Francisco traded away as well. With the depth that the organization has at catcher and pitcher right now waiting in the wings, they could fill some holes this off-season.
But, if you made me choose, I'd say the Rangers trade nobody, re-sign nobody and sign no free agents. They've said all along that they were going to stick to the plan of rebuilding from within and so far at least, they are on the right track.
posted by GaryC @ 4:44 PM, ,
PLO Experiment Continues
Tuesday, August 04, 2009
As most of you know, because of my so-frequent updates on this blog, BAH!, I have been playing PLO Cash almost exclusively for the last several months. I have money strewn out on 3 or 4 sites and, on most nights, I can find a .05/.10 or .10/.25 PLO game running.
One of the sites that I'm currently playing on, which shall remain nameless, I find the same usual suspects almost night in and night out. Some of them are very bad and a few of them are pretty good players. They recognize me, as I do them, and we mostly stay out of each others' way, hoping to prey on the people that we already have notes on. (and there are plenty of bad players to go around)
I sat down last night at a .10/.20 PLO 6-Max table and settled in, waiting for the BB to come around to me. It was apparent, almost immediately, that the player to my left was going to raise pre-flop every hand, continue to raise and re-raise every street and get all his money in the middle with ANY type of hand or draw. I waited patiently through a couple of orbits and finally found A-K-K-10 double suited and called his raise, along with two others who were just dying to get some of his money.
The flop came out K-9-3 rainbow. I checked from out of position and my new buddy immediately bet the pot. Two folds before me and I re-pot and he insta-calls. The two of hearts comes on the turn and I shove the rest of my stack into the middle and again, he insta-calls........with Q-10-7-5 and nothing suited. So, looking at that board, he has 4 outs tops. He has to catch a jack or he simply calls off nearly his entire stack and doubles me up in the process...................wait for it...................ha ha, no $1 for a bad beat here as another 2 comes off on the river and I double up with a full house.
How in the world do these people still have money in their accounts? I can see where they might go a while picking up mostly uncontested pots from weak-tighties like me, but sooner or later, they're going to have to show down a hand and if they cannot or will not fold when they get played back at, how do they continue to fund their accounts?
He ended up playing through two more $20 buy-ins while I was at the table, unfortunately, I couldn't get my hands on any of it. I understand that $60 is nothing in the grand scheme of things, but I know this guy plays that way every night, despite the limits at the table and despite conventional wisdom telling him, you should probably fold in this spot.
I'm a really good folder, in fact, I haven't really sat down and looked at my stats, but I would bet they aren't much looser than when I play NLHE. I don't see alot of flops with speculative hands unless a couple of things have already happened:
-If I double early then I will relax my starting hand requirements some, in hopes of hitting a big flop and being able to stack another player.
-If the table has a bunch of limpers and I have one of those nicely connected, double suited hands that everybody loves to play.
-If we have that one douchebag at the table that is trying to run over everybody with aggression.
Obviously, I wait for stronger hands more often than not on the last item there, but there are times when I'm going to play back at this guy, just for the sake of playing back at him and to let him know that I can only be bullied for so long. Sooner or later, he's going to have to call a check-raise or a shove and show down a solid hand against me and by playing back at him early, with less than stellar hands, I plant that seed in his mind. Of course, he isn't going to fold anyway, so, waiting for the primo hand or a great flop often works better in this situation.
I tend to play PLO almost exactly like I play NLHE:
Very tight pre-flop, sticking to a fairly strict set of opening hands, hoping to flop large. BTW, why is it that when I flop my top set, it's always a double-suited or straight-connected board? Anyone?
Fairly tight post-flop, unless I flop top set on a draw heavy board. Depending on the action before me, I have folded in this spot, but more often than not, I get as much as I can in the middle here and hope to dodge the outs or make my boat.
Basically, I play it as close to NLHE as I can, call alot, fold when appropriate, and jam when I make the nuts. It's a particularly nitty style that works for me and fortunately, there aren't a lot of online players that pick this up until it's too late.(obviously, bloggers excluded)
There are still a bunch of bad players out there, particularly at the lower limits, where I currently reside. I plan on continuing this little experiment for the foreseeable future or until I run out of money, which doesn't look to be a problem these days. Bankroll's in good shape for my limits and as long as I limit my exposure to higher limits or blackjack, I should be fine.
So, in summation, don't look for a whole lot more updates here than you've been getting for the past 6 months. I'm lucky if I have/take the time to post here more than once a week, sometimes even longer. I'm not sure of the reasons behind this, but Facebook surely isn't helping.
Until next time, I fold.
posted by GaryC @ 3:44 PM, ,