Tuesday, October 25, 2011

I'm back

Obviously I haven't posted in a couple of months. Frankly until 2 or 3 weeks ago I was playing virtually no on-line poker. The post Black Friday on-line environment is pretty crappy and feels like a house of cards (pardon pun) ready to fall at any time. But about 3 weeks ago I deposited $100 on Lock Poker and began playing mostly micro-stakes PLO while I build an online bankroll. The PLO8 games are virtually dead and there just aren't enough to keep me 6-8 tabling. So I have moved to exclusively PLO Hi-only and the play is about what you would expect at micro levels. I ran the initial $100 to $500 then ran like death back down to $100 but have rebounded and see my bankroll at a whopping $450 at the moment. I hate having to play these micro stakes but I just don't trust the political/regulatory environment enough to put more $$ on and play at higher stakes.

I did make a final table in the Borgata Poker Open-Event finishing 8th in Event 15 the PLO8 http://www.theborgata.com/Main.cfm?Category_1=3000&Category_2=3500&Category_3=3510&SchedulePageID=726D71B6-D5B3-5F0A-95404FD0C8A1FD50

Also won ~1k playing a mix of 2/5 NLHE and 10/20 Limit Omaha Hi/Lo so that was a good trip. Will be back up to the Borgata for the newly formed Fall Poker Open and I intend to play some combination of these events:

Deep Stack
No Limit Hold'em (Re-Entry)
Day 1
Day 2

Mn 11/14
Tue 11/15


$350 $50 DETAILS
Omaha H/L 8B Mn 11/14 12pm $400
Six Max Deep Stack
No Limit Hold’em (Re-Entry)
Day 1
Day 2

Tue 11/15
Wd 11/16

$400 $50 DETAILS

Big Stack No Limit Hold'em (Re-Entry)
Wd 11/16 11am $200 $30 DETAILS
Day 1
Day 2

Wd 11/16
Thu 11/17

$400 $50 DETAILS
Black Chip Bounty
No Limit Hold'Em (Re-Entry)
Thu 11/17 11am $350 $50+$100 DETAILS

Anyway, I probably will only be updating here when interesting things arise. Prior to Black Friday I was trying to build this blog up partially because I was being considered for an affilliation with one of the sites. Obviously that possibility is ZERO-POINT-ZERO at this time so my updates will be fewer and further between. I will continue to update twitter when I am in various tournament series, etc.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Golf Update

Welp it has been a month since my last update and I really have nothing to say. My second trip to the WSOP was an utter fucking debacle. Cash games were painfully bad and I probably ran $5k+ under EV in about 40 hours of play most of it at $1/$2/$5 Big O and $5/$5 PLO and PLO8. Was really crazy and I think this hand illustrates it about as well as any:

I limp UTG with AK4T5

Probably 5 to flop of K72. I lead $25 and get 2 callers.

Turn is bingo 5. I bet pot and get 2 callers. At this point I have to put them on low with perhaps some piece for high. (Pot $400).

River K. So now we have K full of 5 with 2nd low. I value bet $400 trying to get full value out of lows assuming my A4 is no good. MP folds and Villain now shoves for $670ish more. I end up calling after 2 or 3 minutes to see A3K7x and am relieved of ~$1200. Oh well the good thing is that play was so bad that I actually squeaked out a small loss for the trip in cash games. Tournaments were equally frustrating with my only cash winnings coming in a chopped $325 single table SNG.

On to The Golf

For those who only know this blog as a poker blog I actually played pretty high level competitive golf as recently as 2009. In the 2000's I played 2 USGA Mid-Am's:

One British Mid-AM:

Made the quarters of the MD AM and won a bunch of club championships.

For whatever reason I became burned out by the grind of golf about 2 years ago and basically shelved playing competitively and just played casually for the most part. But with on-line poker basically gone for me I have started to get the itch to get my game back on the course. Not sure why but I woke about 2 weeks ago while on vacation and just decided I wanted to find my game and play some competitively for the balance of the year. I was a bit inspired reading Dusty Schmidt's blog (aka Leatherass9 in the poker world) about his attempts to get back into competitive golf (Dusty was an accomplished junior golfer on the west coast who became a successful cash game player on-line) http://dustyschmidt.net/2011/06/i-guess-i-didnt-forget-how-to-play/ and by watching a local club pro, David Hutsell, win the PGA Club Pro National Championship in late June. I don't know David all that well but have played with him a few times and remember a short 12-15 years ago when he was struggling to break 80 consistently. He worked his ass off and will be going to the PGA Championship next week. Nice win David!

So I have been practicing a good bit and saw an instructor so I could get my swing on tape and analyze it. Remarkably after 2 years of being virtually a recreational golfer my swing has held up and with a little tweaking is pretty much back. We'll see how it goes when i peg it for real on the 15th and 16th in the MSGA Mid-Am. I finished 2nd in this event 2 years ago and had a bunch of top 5 finishes dating back to 2005 when I first became eligible for the event (it used to be you had to be 35 to play but they have since rolled the age back to 25 to be consistent with the USGA).

Not sure where this will lead me but will write up any interesting results/progress/etc.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Quick June Update

June was a good month in spite of essentially bricking WSOP Part 1. Here is the lowdown:

On-line Cash -$631.02
On-line tournaments +$0 (played none)
Merge Rakeback +$205.87
Lock Poker VIP Points +$100.00
Live Cash/Single Table Sats +$9,365
Live Tournament +$665
Live Staking arrangements/swaps/etc. INC

Total +$9,704.85

The on-line cash might be a bit worse since I played on several computers and feel like I am missing another $200-300 in losses. Most of this came from being on the wrong side of variance and maybe playing a bit higher than I should have while I was in Vegas.

Of course, since a lot this play was live I spent probably $1,500 or so on expenses (hotel, airfare, cabs, etc.). But if I could grind that out every month I guess I would be thrilled. I still have a small bit of money invested in some horses that are in the $5k PLO8 and the ME. At this point I haven't really done a full accounting of those investments to know where I stand.

I am heading back to the WSOP on Friday and will try to satellite into the Main Event. I am basically giving myself 2 shots to satellite in at which point I will simply move on and find other tournaments/games to play. if I get in great, if not whatever. But I am certainly channeling my inner Darvin...(if he can do it it gives us all hope)...

Monday, June 20, 2011

Vegas Recap

Vegas will chew you up and spit you out. We've all heard this phrase and to a large extent it is true. Assholes and degenerates board planes, drive cars, sail (ummm ok probably not sail) but, whatever, they find their way to the desert. Inevitably most come home with emptier pockets, some drunken stories of retardation or sick and run down. Fortunately for me my pockets were heavier than when I arrived and I had a grand total of 2 Guinesses the whole trip.

What I did come home with is a kick-in-the-balls, full on sinus/ear infection. I started feeling shitty as I awoke for the 9th straight morning in the shithole that is the Rio. I mean it is the middle of the fucking desert where 100 degree days are the norm and yet I am freezing my cajones off the whole time. It's as if the place is built for two types of people: gambling degens and vampires. I try to get out to the pool or a walk outside every morning but that's half an hour each day. The remaining 23 1/2 hours I am bundled up like a vacationing Eskimo while protecting my bits from the inevitable shrinkage.

Add to this the collection of people with varying degrees of hygeine, long nights in juicy cash games and Rio essentially devolves into a giant Petri dish waiting to inflict its wrath on various assholes in the room. Once received there is nothing better than schlepping home on a Greyhourd, errr Southwest, flight with the great unwashed. I mean I have a love/hate relationship with the airline. I love their business model, pricing and on-time record. I hate the other retards on the flights, the cheeky canned jokes spewed by the stewardesses and the fact that every flight is packed more tightly than a can of sardines. Oh and the fucking singing...please stop with the fucking singing. I'm not sure what is worse the people doing the singing or the utter shitheads who giggle at them like they just witnessed a Chris Rock set. Anyway I think I am booked for another Southwest flight in July...lol.

On to the pokerzzzz. Despite the brickfest that was WSOP/Venetian tournaments the trip was quite profitable (at least for me). I had sold off half of my action in the bigger buy-in events and sadly had only one minor cash in those events. I hate losing other people's money particularly friends. Most, if not all, are poker players so they understood the variance that comes with these large field MTT's but still I want to deliver a nice return to the people who had the confidence to back me.

Cash games were CRAZY good. I played almost exclusively PLO8, of course, and most of that was the 5 card variety, Big-O. I played 1-2-5, 5-5, and 5-10 blind offerings and the play was equally bad in each, though the aggression in the 5-10 game was markedly higher contributing to a bit more volatility. The secret of the whole room though is the single table satellites. I mostly played the $275 satellites which pay one winner ~$2600 (though a deal is generally reached once heads up). The play in these is dreadful and anyone with half a brain as it relates to endgame SNG strategy will positively clean up in this section of the room. I made over $6k in these SNGs playing 10 or so games. Really super soft.

Anyway here are the quick reviews from the various MTTs I played (starting from after my last update):

  • $1500 Pot-Limit Hold Em-Got AQs in blind vs. blind at 150/300 with abt 7200 chips. Opponent was rather aggressive but showed up with AA.
  • $1500 HORSE- Grinded it out pretty well to a peak of probably about 12k until I lost a pretty large pot in Stud holding rolled up K’s. Bet every street facing the 3 bring in. He made a flush and I didn’t fill up. Then in Holdem portion I 3 bet pre flop (at 400/800 blinds) with TT from the SB got called by the BB and original raiser and saw a flop of AKQ. I checked and action went bet-raise and I had to fold. Finally got most of my stack in pre with 99 for 3 bets and saw another gorgeous KKQ flop.
  • $350 NLHE Venetian-Cashed in this one for a little more than minimum. Not much interesting really. Actually not true, I did play a huge pot at 300-600 with Q high. Folds to SB who min raises to 1200 and I call Q9 suited. Flop comes K78 rainbow. He bets 1500 and I call not convinced he has anything. Turn is 3 and he checks..I check back. Now know he doesn’t have K. River is a K and he checks. I decide to bet and maybe fold out A high or even some random middle pair like 55. I bet 2600. He quickly check raises to 7700 which makes zero sense. If he flopped a big hand like 77 or 88 he would not have checked turn and river and if he had A hi or weak 1 pair hand why would he turn the hand into a bluff by c/r me on the river knowing he is only getting called by better. So I ship it and he insta-folds T high. My bust out was pretty sick…I had like 18bb left. MP bad player ships 15bb…I reshove 99 from late position. SB then tanks and finally calls off his 20bb stack. BB then tanks and he finally gets clock called and reluctantly makes the call. Hands in order K7, 99, AK, TT. BB’s TT holds. He says if SB snap calls there he folds the Tens.
  • $1000 NLHE Got in a lot of weird spots. Not really sure I like how I played some of them. One was early before antes had even kicked in when I had 78cc on A669ccc board and just called the players bet. Pretty well had him on AK or AQ with the K/Q of c. River was an A obv and I folded to his bet. I also folded to a turn shove with KJ on a J672 board with 2 spades. Anyway busted out about 20 before the money when I shoved exactly 10BB holding AJ from the cutoff and BB snapped with TT. Obv I lost the flip. Played my cards too much in this tournament as opposed to situations, etc.
  • $1500 PLO Tom “durrrrr” Dwan got moved 2 to my left and was obviously happy to just gamble it up. I played 3 large-ish pots and lost all three. First I got in with 4568hh on 237 2h board. He had AQJxhh so my flush was no good. Then chipped up. Dwan opened to 350 at 75/150 another internet stud 3bet to 800. I 4b jammed like 3500 all in from BB with AAQx double suited. Durrrr called with trash and other kid had like KJT9 and rivered a straight. Left with 600. Chipped up to 1k then get it in with 1 other in 3k pot (with dead money) and my AAJx single suited loses to KKT3.
So that is the long and short of it. I don't think in the future I will have extended stays at the Rio or any casino for that matter. I need an apartment or condo or possibly house to provide some normalcy while I am in Fantasyland. My wife and I have kicked around the idea of renting a house in LV for the month of June and sort of hunkering down out west for the month. I could play and also schedule some away time with little trips to LA, SF or Grand Canyon with the kids. We'll see.

I don't think I am going back for the ME this year as we have a family vacation scheduled for mid July.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Vegas Update #1

In spite of the dire predictions post Black Friday about the turnout in Vegas this summer the poker population has shown up en masse to the desert. In fact, through the first 10 or so events the turnout was significantly higher than last year. Not sure what this means with respect to the Main but so far so good.

With that in mind I set off on my journey out here Monday. With dreams of bracelets dancing in my head I wedged my large frame onto the Monday afternoon offering of Greyhound in the sky (Southwest). All looked good as it appeared the asian fella in the window seat and this big fella would have the only empty seat on the plane between us. Sadly another "bigger" fella found his way onto the plane just before push off and shoehorned his way into the middle seat. Less than 5 mins later he was fast asleep and fortunately invaded more of the asian dude's seat than my own.

Any way 5 hours later I arrived and immediately caught a cab in time for the 4 p.m. playing of their Mega Stack Series $240 6 max Big-O event. Big-O is a bastardized 5 card version of PLO8 that is played exactly the same as PLO8 except for an extra card. The game tends to play super fast and is a ton of fun. My table draw was an absolute dream early with a ton of limping. I quickly combated that by raising virtually every other hand after the initial level or two. Employing this strategy my stack began to swell and swell until I had increased my starting stack from 20k to over 50k with very little resistance. The make up of this tournament was pretty interesting. A mix of old nitty O8 players, young hyper aggressive internet players who maybe didn't understand the nuance of O8 and experienced O8 regulars. I had a few conversations with guys whom I had played a lot of hands with on-line or was at least familiar with their screen names, etc.

Anyway I rode a fairly average stack from about 40 left to 25 left when I dialed up the aggression. At this point the money was in site (18 players) and many were tightening up to sneak into a paying position. I chose a different strategy of bulldozing and built my stack from roughly 65k to over 150k while we awaiting the eliminated bubble boy. Finally it happened and we redrew for seats. Right away it was apparent that my new group of table mates were more aggressive and less willing to allow me to run them over. I did successfully 3 bet an aggressive player and get him to fold but other than that my relentless aggression slowed down considerably. Whatever; fast forward an hour or so and we are at the final table and I am probably 3rd in chips. The final table is played 7 handed in most 6-max tournaments and once the 2 shortest stacks were eliminated the play slowed down considerably. I finally busted someone when my flopped 2 pair and low draw went runner runner into a backdoor flush to beat his same flopped 2 pair and I had a mountain of chips.

A few mins later a HUUUUUGE hand popped up. A guy with 300k full potted the button at 20k/40k blinds. I 3-bet the small blind with over 1M in chips holding A24QJ suited in hearts and spades. He gets in and shows AA599 or something. Flop comes KTx with 2 hearts and weeeeeeeeeee it looks like the Big Fella will have mucho chips; only to see running bricks for one of the sickest holds in a while. Blah.

A few mins later the blinds went up and were starting to get silly. I told the table that if i could get 2nd place money (I was 2nd in chips) I would chop. Although first paid $7500, 4th only paid $2k and with very little room to "play" I was fine with $4.5k or whatever second was. A deal was reached and BOOM a few more $$$ in my pocket.

Yesterday I busted the $1,500 in rather standard 2011 poker playing style. Got all 4k in holding KK at 50/100 vs. AK only to see the board run out JTTxQ and the monkey scooped a big pot. Last night I positively destroyed the $5/$5 PLO8 game and really should have made a lot more. Unfortunately, the play was so bad in a few spots that I made a few REALLY thin calls simply due to the "retardation factor".

So good start to the trip and today is the Venetian HORSE event.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

May month end review

May ended up being a pretty good month. I ended up playing mostly NLHE on-line for some reason. Time was split between NL50 and NL100 (all 6 max) but here is the obligatory graph:

Very pleased with my play and especially pleased with the red line. This represents $$ won without showdown (in other words getting the opponents to fold). Small sample but this is a good start.

Here are the results:

On-line Cash +$1255.78
On-line tournaments +$669.00
Merge Rakeback +$494.02
Lock Poker Rake Race +$297.00
Lock Poker VIP Points $91.31
Lock Poker Ipad2 New Player Bonus +$550 (FMV)
Live Cash -$575
Live Tournament -$510
Live Staking arrangements/swaps/etc. +$65

Total $2,337.11

Not sure how confident I am in Lock Poker to payout withdrawal requests. At this point I am totally freerolling since I only deposited $500, ran it up over $3.5k and then was able to transfer over $1k of it to friends in exchange for cash. That coupled with the Ipad that was to be shipped today means I will have gotten over $1.5k out even if I never received a check. Obviously I am still trying to get the remaining $2k off though.

You will note that my on-line cash is less than the graph and that is a result of some poor results in Omaha Hi-Low both limit and Pot Limit. But here is a funny winning hand playing 10/20 Limit...my preflop play is spewy but this cat was running like 75/60 over 50 hands or so and I felt like I was ahead of his range (guess i was wrong):

Merge $1000.00 Pot Limit Omaha Hi/Lo - 3 players - View hand 1328695
DeucesCracked Poker Videos Hand History Converter

BTN: $742.25
SB: $1464.50
Hero (BB): $300.00

Pre Flop: ($15.00) Hero is BB with 8 of hearts Q of spades Q of clubs A of clubs
BTN raises to $20, 1 fold, Hero raises to $30, BTN raises to $40, Hero raises to $50, BTN raises to $60, Hero calls $10

Flop: ($125.00) Q of diamonds 4 of spades T of clubs (2 players)
Hero bets $10.00, BTN raises to $20, Hero raises to $30, BTN raises to $40, Hero raises to $50, BTN raises to $60, Hero raises to $70, BTN calls $10

Turn: ($265.00) 2 of hearts (2 players)
Hero bets $20.00, BTN raises to $40, Hero raises to $60, BTN raises to $80, Hero raises to $100, BTN calls $20

River: ($465.00) A of hearts (2 players)
Hero bets $20.00, BTN calls $20

Final Pot: $505.00
BTN shows K of spades 4 of diamonds 2 of spades K of clubs
Hero shows 8 of hearts Q of spades Q of clubs A of clubs
Hero wins $504.00
(Rake: $1.00)

On the subject of red-line from above, here is a sure fire way to boost it...get your opponent to put in 90% of his stack and then fold the river...lol. I am checking turn to induce a spew from this aggro monkey...

Merge $50.00 No Limit Hold'em - 5 players - View hand 1328459
DeucesCracked Poker Videos Hand History Converter

UTG: $28.14
Hero (CO): $68.67
BTN: $57.70
SB: $59.33
BB: $38.35

Pre Flop: ($0.75) Hero is CO with A of spades A of diamonds
UTG raises to $1, Hero raises to $2.83, BTN calls $2.83, 3 folds

Flop: ($7.41) 5 of clubs J of hearts 6 of clubs (2 players)
Hero bets $5.55, BTN calls $5.55

Turn: ($18.51) 2 of hearts (2 players)
Hero checks, BTN checks

River: ($18.51) 8 of diamonds (2 players)
Hero bets $12.34, BTN raises to $42, Hero raises to $60.29, BTN folds

Final Pot: $102.51
Hero wins $100.51
(Rake: $2.00)

Most annoying river vs a fish

Sometimes when you play trappy vs. a fish it can backfire. I flop the fa-schnizzles and he obv goes runner-runner for a kick in the stones:

Merge $50.00 No Limit Hold'em - 6 players - View hand 1328460
DeucesCracked Poker Videos Hand History Converter

MP: $50.00
CO: $62.11
Hero (BTN): $57.39
SB: $15.00
BB: $54.00
UTG: $66.09

Pre Flop: ($0.75) Hero is BTN with J of spades T of spades
2 folds, CO raises to $1.12, Hero raises to $3.36, 2 folds, CO calls $2.24

Flop: ($7.47) 8 of hearts 7 of diamonds 9 of hearts (2 players)
CO checks, Hero checks

Turn: ($7.47) 8 of spades (2 players)
CO bets $7.47, Hero raises to $14.94, CO raises to $52.29, Hero calls $37.35, CO calls $0

River: ($112.05) 9 of diamonds (2 players)

Final Pot: $112.05
CO shows 8 of diamonds 4 of diamonds
Hero shows J of spades T of spades
CO wins $112.53
(Rake: $-0.48)

Any way, off to Las Vegas on Monday June 6th for a week of poker debauchery. Let's gogogogogo!!