Thursday, January 31, 2008

Hand of the Day

On behalf of Steven:


This is from the usual SLP – NL, 1/1 blinds, you all mostly know the deal by now. The setup: 7-handed. Ryan limps UTG, Jay limps UTG+1, and I limp in MP with pocket 6s, hoping to catch a cheap flop. Nick to my left raises to 5 from the button, and it folds to Ryan, who calls. Jay folds, and I come along, putting 18 in the pot preflop. I hit the jackpot: J64 rainbow, about as dry a board as you could ask for with your middle set. Ryan leads out for 9 and (here's the key decision point) I call, slowplaying my monster in the face of two other hands. Nick makes it 27, Ryan thinks for a little while and pops it to 65. I come over the top all in for another 50ish, and Nick and Ryan both fold; Ryan jokes about whether he could get back half his money by guessing which set I had.

The last decision is meaningless, at least IMHO; I'm obviously not going away there, and either a flat call or a push effectively turns my hand face-up. Either all the money is getting in, or no one is putting anything else in the pot, and that'll happen regardless of what I do there. The interesting question to me is the first post-flop play, after Ryan leads out for 9; should I be calling or raising (presumably to about 25ish, like Nick did) there? What's the right play here?

"Pipped" = notched

Saw Poker After Dark on the Tivo-equivalent a few nights ago and I think it was David Williams' KT versus Annie Duke's QT on a T high board. After the hand she said she was "pipped" which makes a lot of sense to me and I'm not sure why I hadn't heard and/or thought of it before. Yet another poker/backgammon demographic crossover moment.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Monte Carlo Millions Ivey vs Jackson heads up bluff-fest

It's a classic. In the Monte Carlo Millions evet Phil Ivey has Qh8h and raises the SB limper who calls with 6s5d. Flop comes 7cJcJh. Phil leads, gets raised, re-raises, gets re-re-raised, then shoves.

Just found an article which does commentary on the thought process behind Phil's actions. When I first saw this hand I was more inclined to think it was just a pissing match but I can see what the article is saying about how Phil (correctly) but his opponent on a range of hands that how he could take it away from him. Still think that Jackson could have possibly won if he had shoved instead of min-re-raised for the fourth bet.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Anyone want to play some poker?

There have been a lot of scheduling conflicts with trying to get a weekend game together. I want to mix it up and play some Dealer's Choice and try some new formats out and figured if the weekends are too crowded with other stuff then maybe there would be more interest in getting a second night of WeekNightPoker going? Like a Thursday or something?

Monday, January 21, 2008

Jason's Blog Goes Semi Private

Just a quick note that I have made my blog by invitation only. It is at Martin, Marsh, Ryan, and Jeh Trey have all been invited and already have viewing priveleges. If anyone else from the WNP crew would like to be added, just let me know tomorrow at WNP.

Hand of Ryan's

Those of us that regularly read Decisions Not Results will have seen this hand before, but I wanted to put it out here because I want to know what you guys think.

You are Ryan, at a .05-.10 table, on the button with AcJd. UTG min-raises to .20, UTG +1 calls, and it folds to you and you 3 bet to .85. The SB calls and the original min-raiser calls, UTG +1 folds.

The pot is now 2.85. Three players see a flop of:
Kd Qd 10d.

You started this hand with almost a full stack of 9.55, SB had 24.00, and UTG had 4.88.

SB checks, and UTG makes a stab of .10. Now it's on you. You flat call the .10, slow-playing your flopped nut straight and OESFD.

How would you play this? Would you have raised? If so, why?

Action is now back on SB, who raises to 1.00 straight. UTG now calls the 1.00 in front of you and its back on you. You now 3 bet to 5.00. Good bet? Good size?

Now action is back on SB who min-raises to 9.00. (enough to put you and UTG all in). Yikes. UTG now calls off his last 3.03 in front of you and action is back on you. It's 3.70 more to call. Do you call? Could you really fold here? Should you?

This is a really interesting hand to me because the flop is a total MONSTER for us, but it seems pretty obvious that we are behind at least one of our opponents by the time the final action gets back to us. If both players are either unknown or at least non-maniacs, can we make a case for folding here? If we have determined that we have literally only 2 outs, probably we can fold. But if our J high flush would be good, then we can't right?

Pretty hilarious, I ran the numbers against the exact hands his opponent had, and it's damn scary.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

What do you do with the sucker end of a boat in Omaha?

Let's say you pick up JJ92 rainbow in the BB at a full O/8 table and you are satisfied to just get a free hand with those cards. Two limpers, the SB, and you all see the Flop which comes out AAJ rainbow. You have Jacks full of Aces and lead out for a half pot sized bet. There is a fold and then one of the limpers pots it. SB folds and it's back to you. So now you need to figure out what to do. You could be drawing dead to AJ or currently crushing Ax. However, assuming that they are just getting frisky with trip Aces, you would still need to fade three different ranks of cards assuming that they do not have any matching ranks in their hand as well as the Turn and River pairing, all of which would give your opponent Aces full.

How do you play this hand?

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

True Cake Challenge: $100.45

Finally busted into triple digits. Full report on my blog for all of the gory details.

My promising start was followed up with the adversity of running bad and some ill-timed tilt episodes. But overall I have found the Cake Challenge to be a tremendously useful tool. Being accountable to the line chart means playing for keeps and d0nking off a buy-in means you need to work that much harder to get it back. Bankroll management has been indispensable to really understanding what it takes to win at poker, given me new gears to incorporate into my play, and really has changed my outlook on poker and more.

For the record, this is the hand that put me over the top: KJ rivers the nuts and get paid in full by the sucker straight.

That's it for now. I'll post back on the mother ship blog when I do something else interesting. In the meanwhile, feel free to stop by my blog anytime you want to keep tabs on the True Cake Challenge.

Monday, January 14, 2008

The Ultimate in ROT.

This isn't poker related, but it is gambling related and pretty funny.

I caught this story about a couple who spent $20.00 every single day on the lottery, totaling $124,000 over their lifetime. Then on the same day, they won the lotto TWICE. The first hit was for $126,000, and the second was for $17M. The odds of that happening are apparently 1:24,000,000,000,000. (!)

And in true Jason form, when asked if spending $20.00 per day was reasonable, the lottery manager replied "I suppose this is playing responsibly," Walton said. "It paid off, didn't it?"

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Cake update - Marsh

We did it! 1,000!

Well I am temporarily in 4 figure range on the Cake Challenge. Definitely a big milestone, and don't it feel fine. I now am properly rolled for the .25-.50 game, which is a barrier level I think. When I played before on Party I started at this level. I think 50.00 is a reasonable amount for a lot of people to put down, that still has some meaning. I also think that generally speaking the play gets tougher at this point. I think a lot of novice's play here, but I think a lot of mid level players also visit regularly. That being said, Jason has told me that the play is slightly worse at .25-.50 than it is at .10-.20, and I believe him.

Even though this is a big step up in levels, I am confident that there are enough idiots out there that I will remain profitable. I still have to make the necessary adjustments though, and will probably hover around the .10-.20 for a while still. I am going to go 2 tables of .50 and 2 of .20 to start with and see how that goes. I will also continue with my PLO8 training, and my 6 man SNG's.

Anyway, thanks for all the support, couldn't have done it without you guys.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Las Vegas trip report is done

OK kids, finally finished up filling in the blanks on my blog. (Start at the end of December 2007) It's actually one of my rougher ones because I wasn't doing the blogging as real time as I normally do since I was socializing with the gang so much when I wasn't at the table. Still, it's there for the reading.

Enjoy and keep an eye out for the next trip report and real time blogging from the tables in March.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Marty Farha pays a visit

Not sure if anyone noticed but we had a special visitor to TuNP last night. Not sure why, but there is something oddly therapeutic about d0nking off chips with hyper-loose calls. Maybe it was to offset my nittiness at the 1/2 tables in Las Vegas or whatever but it felt good to let my hair down last night. Shoving on Royal's check/raise with bottom pair on a three Heart board? No problem! D0nking off my stack with an overpair after Ryan clearly has that beat (nut straight)? Sign me up! 38 (soooooted!) to a raise against AK? I like my chances!

It used to be that I had Sunday Night Poker (on hiatus but will be returning soon btw) to use as my d0nking playground. And even when I play .10/.20 with the Asians I don't like throwing my chips around as much there because I can't "out-loose-play" some of those around me.

Anyway, just had to clear out the system so I'm better now. Don't expect me to throw a party every week but I don't think you'll be able to say that I don't give enough action either. We now return you to our regularly scheduled starting hand requirements.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Trip Report: Marsh

Had a great time down in Vegas, here are the poker details:(this is long)

I didn't get to play as much as last time, as I was down there primarily to relax and have some fun with Rosa and company. I did however squeeze in some sessions.

First day I got there I had a short session where I was mainly card dead, but got some action on a straight and cashed out up $88.00 from the 1-2 tables at MGM. Re: MGM poker, I disagree with Jason wholeheartedly about the game being unbeatable. There were a few decent players around, and most of the good ones were TAGs. Jason mentioned a lot of LAGs running around but I disagree with that. There were very few LAGs, almost all of the players there were loose passive IMO. These are the best ones to play against, as all you need is a strong hand and the ability to bet large amounts. One problem for both Jason and I: We were running very cold. This makes it extremely difficult to play against these types of players. They just call you down and you have to have a hand. My starting hands were horrific for the majority of the trip. Had I played my A-game the whole time (I didn't), I would have sat there and folded for 98% of my poker time. Throughout the course of the trip for example, I saw AA and KK exactly zero times, and AK twice. I did have QQ 3 times I think. Really bad stuff.

Back to the stories; on day 2 I was feeling good and up 88 bucks. I sat for a long session as this was my poker day. After about 2 hours I had doubled my 200.00 buy in winning just a few hands here and there, but was still running pretty much dead. Then these 2 douchebags sat down. DB1 was a good player. But his buddy, douchebag2 was a moron. He sat down, raised his first pot to 15.00 straight, a normal raise for these limits (oddly enough). He gets one caller. Flop comes A K 7, rainbow. DB2 leads for 25.00, and and the other guy calls. Turn is a Q, and DB2 bets 50.00, with another call. River is a J and DB2 ships for his last ~100.00. Other guy tanks, then calls showing A7 for 2 pair. DB2 proudly flips his 10 10 for a runner-runner straight. Yuck but whatever. A few hands later, DB2 calls 15 pre with 34o HU against an old guy. Flop is A Q 3, DB2 checks, and old guy makes it 25.00. DB2 calls and the turn is a 4, he ships and old guy calls off with AJ. This trend happened throughout the session and he had 800.00 in front of him before you could blink. But we hadn't gotten mixed up together until now..

I pick up AdQd, and am thrilled with such a monster holding. I make it 15 to go pre, and DB2 calls along with Goofy Short Stack Guy. Flop comes 3d 2d 8c. Great flop. I am in position and they both check to me. Normally I am just going to hammer right here, but I decided to check, because I felt like even if I hit, I was gonna get paid by at least GSSG, maybe both. Also, I don't want to get check-raised here with A high. Turn is the As. Nice. DB2 checks, and GSSG ships for ~55.00. Strange sized bet here. I am for sure calling, but should I raise? I wouldn't mind isolating here, but at the same time, what am I really behind here? Even if I minraise it's going to be 110.00 cold to DB2, a tough call without a hand. I decide to call, because I want DB2 to come along and put his money in too, and plus, if he doesn't have a hand, he can't call the sizable 55.00 bet. He does indeed come along, and the river comes the 4c. DB2 leads into me for 80.00. Great. I have no clue what he has. Could have an A, which I am probably beating. Could be a bluff as he had bluffed earlier and showed. Could be 2-pair or something like that. I decide I just can't give him credit and call off. He shows 55 for a runner-runner straight, and I lose a pretty big pot. This pisses me off. I am not sure about how I played it, but the bottom line is that I just wanted to win that pot, as I was getting ready to leave. Now I was back down to like 200ish and not happy.

After about an hour of waiting I picked up AdKd. I popped it to 15 and DB2 called. Flop was Qs Js 7h, he checked and I cbet for 20.00. He called. Turn was 5c, and he checked again. I fired the second shell, for 50.00 this time (my image was super tight still), and he thinks for about 1 second and says, "100 on top of that". Fuck. I have to fold, and he whispers that he had a set to his buddy.. So now I am steaming really hard and it's like 3am to boot. NOT happy. I yo-yo my stack for another hour and a half, and cash out for 65.00. Bummer. DB2 had over 1200 in front of him when I left btw.

Next day we go to downtown Vegas with Jason and MB. I play a short session at Binion's. I see 3 of the first 5 flops, calling a raise each time with speculative hands. I whiff all and am at 150.00 right away. Not a problem. I lose another hand that I can't remember, and am at just above 100.00 pretty quickly. I pick up As5s and call a raise I think. Flopped the nut FD, and overship on a LAG's cbet. He has trips on the flop and quads by the river that I missed anyway. I step away from the table feeling sort of dumb, but not angry or anything.

Later that night we go to Mandalay to play some more cards. First hand, while the runner is still getting my chips, I pick up 55 and check my option. Lots'o'limpers and the flop comes Ad 5d 5c. YAHTZEE!!! Checks around. Turn is a second club, I think the 7. N00bish Donkey in Training stabs for 5.00, but gets 3-bet to 15.00 in from of me. I just call as does NBiT. River is a brick, with neither FD getting there, lame. But NBiT doesn't fail me and bets a reasonable 30.00 at the pot. Folds to me, and I grab one whole stack of 5's and slam it in the middle for 100.00 total. He looks at me for a minute then makes the call, revealing his monster: A8o. I am quite pleased to table my quads, and even more pleased when the deals shouts "High hand on 7!" SWEET! I sign a paper and they deliver me my 265.00 extra. I win some more hands but the table breaks and I cash out for just over 600.00. Back in black baby.

On my last day there we had some time to kill before getting to the plane, so I played at MGM one last time. This was awesome, because my table was good again, and because I finally ran normally. I wasn't hitting everything, and my starting hands weren't great, but I did hit SOME flops, and had SOME decent starting hands. Felt good to get back into a normal groove, even though it was a very short session. I build my stack up to 240.00 or so over the course of an hour. Then this fucking weird ass guy sits. He has big frowy hair that looks sort of like Slash's, and he has round, orange, reflective sunglasses on. He is huge too. His first hand he limps, and the flop comes A high. Someone stabs for 10, and he grabs a whole stack with his hand and nervously slams it into the pot. Everyone sorta chuckles as it folds around. After everyone has folded, he takes his hand, and throws it down, right on the board cards, triumphantly showing his A7o, and exclaiming that he "Had the aces". Wow. Hell of a start for this guy. He sees a few flops early and has to fold, after which he immediately asks whomever had bet "WHAT DID YOU HAVE?". Guys at the table give him different responses. A redneck but nice guy directly on my left makes it 15 pre, and gets one caller. Flop is AK5, and the caller bets out. Nice Redneck Guy shakes his head, and folds his QQ face up. Fuckface with the orange glasses promptly exclaims "WHY DID YOU DO THAT??". NRG slowly turns to him, and says "Excuse me?". FFWTOG says, "Why did you fold, you had queens, were you afraid he had an ace or a king?". NRG guys calmly explains "Yes, that was the general idea". Table laughs. I pick up the hand of all hands, the 9c3c, and limp on the button. FFWTOG and I see a flop. Flop comes with 2 clubs. He checks, I check. Turn is a blank. He bets, and tries to stare me down. I call, hoping to peel my club. River is brick. He shakes his head, and mumbles to himself, obviously very displeased with his hand. He checks to me, and I bet 25.00, thinking to myself, "well if he hates his hand so much...". He folds, and (of course) asks what I had. I tell him, "flush draw". He thinks for a second and is like, "why did you do that? why did you bet, was it just a bluff?". I say "yes". 2 hands later I limp with A6o, and am in a pot with him again. Flop comes A high, he checks. I bet again, but this time I tell him "I have it this time". He folds and I show my my Ace, just to be nice. His response: "Fuck you". ...... I said "fuck me? what the hell is that?" He informs me that he doesn't need my charity, and that he is from Brooklyn. I tell him I was just trying to be nice, but forget that. He asks me where I am from. "Seattle". "Oh that explains that". :/ NOT HAPPY. I tell him that yes, we are nice in Seattle and don't tell people fuck you when they do something nice for them. The table laughs and one guy backs me up also calling the guy an asshole. I am VERY unpleased at this point. I make a few open comments to the table about this fuck face, all of which receive chuckles. He then tells us three gripping pieces of information: 1. He is a lawyer. 2. Dumb people are better at poker than smart people. 3. He is pretty sure his IQ is higher than anyone at the table. Now he becomes the target of a lot of side jokes, but he doesn't know it. He asks me in the next hand we get in together what I had, and I look right into his reflective orange glasses and say, "Now you want my charity?? Hell no, I am not telling you a damn thing." I think he realizes that he pissed me off now, because after I win another small pot a few hands later, he proclaims "You are good at this". Thanks. I did clash one other time with him in between, where I had AQ and popped to 12, he made it 24 and said "This is how we play in Brooklyn". LOL. I ALMOST just shoved on him right there for 200 or whatever he had. Just so I could drop an awesome line like, "I am from Seattle bitch, you got the stones to play with me?". But being from Seattle, I am smarter than that and decided to just call him. I didn't want to get involved in a huge hand with this idiot, because if I shipped, he might just call me with K9 thinking its the nuts, and I can get my money in way better than that against this idiot. We both whiff the flop and it checks to the river where he slams 100 into the pot. I have nothing but Ace high and can't call. He shows his A4 for a runner runner straight that got there... lame. At that time I had to leave and didn't get to stack the guy, which was disappointing. I did however cash out up 66.00.

Over all I made almost 150.00 for the trip, which I was fine with after all. Being that card dead, flop dead, and then making some pretty gambly plays wasn't exactly the recipe for a profit.

Our flight was delayed 3 hours and we spent 6 at the airport. I played 2 SNG's on Cake at the airport. Is that bad? lol

cliffsnotes: Was card dead and played not that great, but hit quads for a big pot and a high hand jackpot that got me even. I had 2 other winning sessions and left up about 150.00.

Vegas Update - MB and Jason

Tale of 2 decks, a hot one and a cold one. I got the cold one and MB, the hot one. Total loss for me over about 24 hours of live play in the 4 day trip was about $800, MB was definitely up.

Depends of course where you go and what kind of table you are at but in general I would characterize the play as very good during the day, particularly at the MGM where we played most. Lots of LAG players, a few TAG players, and during the day at most 1 donk per table. At night, this could change to 2 to 3 donks per table, but still beating the 10 percent standard rake and tipping the dealers made the tables unbeatable, in my opinion, during the day at $l/$2 NL Hold’m.

Some of the play at MGM was exceptional. Tag player bets out on top pair (a 10) top kicker, LAG player calls. Next card is a King. Check Check. Next card completes the spade draw for the flush and TAG player is visibly pissed and checks. LAG player moves in for about $120 into a $60 dollar pot. TAG player thinks for quite a while and makes the hero call. LAG player announces one pair, TAG player says which one. TAG player shows his hand and LAG player mucks.

Here are the hand highlights for myself and MB as well as a few other cool hands I saw.

First couple hours of play at the MGM and I pick up KK in late position. Raise to $12 and get a call from the button and small blind. Small blind is a very aggressive young Asian dude who I consider to be a reasonably good player. Flop is 10,J, Q with 2 clubs. I bet out $25, button calls and small blind check raises to about $80. I have about $120 left in my stack and move in, button calls, and small blind hems and haws and calls as well. Next 2 cards blank, and I rake the pot as Asian dude has KJ, and button has A,9 of clubs for the straight draw and nut flush draw. I then begin the next 15 hours of a slow and painful cold deck. During this period, I show down trip Jacks when my pocket Jacks trip up on the turn, losing to a queen high straight, a couple of 2 pairs, all losers, and the most painful, a monster losing to a bigger monster. I actually play 15 hours without ever getting a straight or a flush in NL Hold’m cash games, or ever being able to show down 2 pair or better to rake a pot.

Flops never seemed to cooperate. I pick up 99 on the button and decide to min raise the early position raiser from $10 to $18, trying to represent a higher pair. Everyone folds and flop is JJ,7. He bets out $20 and I raise to $50. He says something like what do you have Queens and then moves in for $22 more. I make the crying call and see that his pocket 10’s crush my pocket 99s. The very next hand a different early position raiser raises to $10 and I make it $30 to go with JJ. The blinds hem and haw and decide to fold what they later said were big Aces. The flop is Ace high, he checks and I move in for my last $60 dollars or so. He hems and haws and decides to fold face up his pocket 10’s. The blind, dying to know what I have throws me a buck to expose my hand and I show my JJ.

Day 2, decline continues and I continue to play on hoping for 1 positive thing to happen. Fortunately Martin gives me a great piece of advice, “end your session with 1 good decision since the cards are out of your control.” My new goal, one good decision. I pick up AJos in early position and make it $7 to go. About 5 callers. Flop is Ace, 3, x rainbow and I bet out $25. Next to act min raises to $50, the other 3 callers fold and I decide to fold as well with about $100 in my stack. Min raiser exposes A3 and I leave having made at least one good decision.

I make one final table in a 40 person tourney and bust out when I go all in as the micro stack with 99 and the big blind is forced to call me as I only have 1.25X the blind. He has Q,10 and catches. I finish as bubble boy.

Day 3 Marsh, myself, MB and Rosa go downtown, have a great dinner, watch the light show, and Marsh and I sit down to play at Binions. Marsh busts out and I am ready to go about 1 hour later. MB, Marsh and Rosa are all waiting for me and I decide to play one last hand and only if it is a premium hand. UTG, who just bought in for at least $300 (they have unlimited buyin at Binions), limps and I see KK again. I raise to $12, one other caller and UTG calls as well. Flop is King of spades, 6 of diamonds and 7 of diamonds. UTG bets into me for $20, I raise to $50, other caller folds and UTG says all in. I instacall with about $160 behind me, and show my cards for the cameras. He shows 66 for bottom set. Turn is a 6, river blanks and my Kings full lose to quads and I am felted for the first time during the trip in a cash game.

Dav 4 I try the Orleans for $4/8 Omaha 8. The crowd is myself and 8 locals all over the age of 60 who seem to play every day. About once an hour a new tourist comes through and busts out within an hour or 2. I play for 5 and a half hours, never bust out and lose about $80, probably close to the amount I gave to the rake, tipping the dealers and waitress drinks. I was the only tourist to survive this long with this group and was generally happy with this accomplishment.

Rest on day 4 at the MGM and head out to the Venetian for late night poker. I get seated at a passive multi donk table, my first one. Two great examples of donk behavior are new player comes in short stacked for $42 and goes all in. Blinds both call and the flop is Ace high, no betting, next 2 cards blank and dealer says show me a winner. Small blind shows Q,10 for queen high, big blind shows K,9 for King high and original all in bettor mucks. A few hands later, older guy who will later get the megadonk award says all in on a board of 6,7,9,10. Bigger donk calls and shows 10,3 os, the young hand for top pair 3 kicker. He saw the guys stack of about $60 and said why not but neglected to notice the $100 bill clearly displayed and in play. Bigger donk donks off $160. All in player shows trip sixes and is a target donk now with a big stack. Good aggressive player gets involved in a hand with this guy. Flop is K,Q, 10 with 2 clubs. Some action on the flop with a raise, pot is now about $100. Next card is a low club. Aggressive player bets $100 and megadonk looks at this cards and says do you have AK. He calls, Final cards is a club. Aggressive player goes all in for about $60 more and meagadonk calls. Aggressive player has Ace high flush with AJ, for the flopped straight. Megadonk reportedly had K3 os, with the 3 being a club at least according to the player next to him who glanced at his cards.

I finally show down Ace 4 in the blind for a winner on a limped pot with aggressive player betting the river on a busted straight draw. My streak of 16 hours of live play without being able to show down 2 pair or better for a winner has finally ended. I later show down two pair, queens and fours, when my pocket queens beat 9,6 on a board of 9,8,4. All of our money goes in on the flop, though he is short stacked and has about $40. The turn was a 6, the river is a four and I finally see a friendly river.

Master of the Multi Way All In Strikes Again

Similar situation at Mandalay Bay with all of us ready to go. Marsh and I are both done playing. Marsh is up a few hundred as he flopped quad 5’s and was paid off. Mandalay Bay also has a bonus if you show down quads and he picked up an additional $265. MB asks for one last hand as she has the button. 2 Limpers, she limps from the button, the blinds are mucked on bathroom brake and 3 people see the flop with $8 starting in the pot. MB flops perfect on the 9,10, Jack rainbow flop with KQ os. Check, check and she bets $5. Call, Call. The next card is the 8 of diamonds, putting 2 diamonds on the board. Stack sizes are original limper about $250, aggressive Russian guy about $500, and MB about $260. Original limper checks, aggressive Russian guy bets $20, MB raises to $50, and original limper and aggressive Russian guy both call. The final card is the ultimate scare card, the 9 of diamonds, pairing the board and putting the 8,9, and 10 of diamonds on the board. Original limper checks, aggressive Russian guy grabs a big stack of about $150 or so, MB looks distraught but announces all in anyways, original limper calls, as does aggressive Russian guy. Dealer says show me a winner. MB says to the Russian, “Do you have the flush?” as she realized on the river that this was the most likely possible sick suck out. He was playing LAG crazy enough to hang on to a hand like that. Having watched him blow through 3, $200 buy-ins earlier, it became apparent that he had lots to throw around. Players show. The original limper had Q,10 os for the straight to the queen, aggressive Russian guy had K,9 suited in spades for trip 9’s and MB rakes the pot of $779 with the straight to the King.

MB also made her first cash in a tourney with fourth place for $200. She was complimented by one nice gentleman who said she played the part of the big stack bully well.

Definitely a humbling experience for me in Vegas. I played about 10 hands of NL Hold’m on cake this morning and stacked someone with pocket aces when I flopped perfect with a Q,3,3 board with 2 hearts with my Ace, 3 suited in diamonds. Where were these flops in Vegas?

Thursday, January 3, 2008

My Biggest Suckout Ever

Taken from my grind notes at DNR...

(QJo) My biggest suckout ever! And thirty minutes into the new year…how am I going to top that for the rest of ’08? I knew I was making a bad call, I just didn’t know it was that bad. I was just messing around because he had a short stack and thought he might be protecting two pair or a set. Now I’m just annoyed that it wasn’t runner-runner perfect, as I did have two outs on the turn.

The suckout is funny, but it also speaks to how I'm letting stakes affect my play at the upper end of a stake level. I'm slightly underrolled for a full buy at .05/.10, but I'm way overrolled for .02/.04. A full buy is just 2% of my roll, and when a short stack with under 1% of my roll shoves like that, I'm much more inclined to shrug and call.

As of last night, I started playing with slightly less than a full buy at .05/.10 to re-instill a little fear in me so I stop it with the whole orange-belt shrug I'm inclined to do when less than 1% of my roll is at stake.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

New Year's Resolutions

Now is the time of year when we reflect on the last 12 months and scrutinize our entire life, looking for leaks, bad preflop tendencies, and missed river value. It's funny how well these problems translate to poker.

What will you be doing to shore up your game in 2008?

My list:
  • Play more, both live and online. Practice, practice, practice.
  • Get into the habit of analyzing past sessions. Pokertracker is working, I need to use it!
  • Clean up my preflop game. Stop limping so much. Use position better.
  • Work on tilt issues. The main thing here is to let hands go when I'm facing aggression from good players. Wait for a better spot, don't be a station.
  • Study! Read books, read two plus two, talk about hands.