Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Reflections on 2013

Overall, it's been a great year. I repainted and sold a home, and transitioned to self-employment where I'm making way less than before but am much happier. I am now completely debt free, and just realized that I forgot to do my Dave Ramsey debt-freedom scream, so here goes:



I've managed to cross the $2k mark on Bovada, and I've been playing reasonably well in league (3rd of 20).

Some things that have not gone well are that I engaged in market timing and sold some equities too soon, and speculated in the domain name market without fully researching it. So yay, I have a portfolio of domain names that may be mostly worthless. I will trim those down to a few hopefuls and be done with it. I did get a $,$$$ offer on one of them, but it has gone to collections at SEDO and is likely a non-paying bidder. EDIT: update :)

On the other hand, a penny stock that I've speculated in had a nice run. I sold it too soon as well, but still made a 200% return. It is a company called Geltech (GLTC) that sells an amazing fire-suppression product called FireIce. I've put in a limit order and hope to pick up some more shares.

Most importantly, I am now located much closer to best friends and family, which has made a positive difference in my life. Living 3 hours away for the last 11 years has been seriously inconvenient at times, and I'm glad that I made the move. I am closer to my favorite casinos now too. :-)

What else?

Oh yeah, the odometer rolled another digit:

I feel pretty good for being middle-aged, but I want to keep working out and getting in top shape.

Well that's a wrap. Farewell 2013...and old acquaintances.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

CardsChat 100k seat added, Boxing Day $8k GTD $22+$1

Mincashed the CardsChat tourney in 5th of 22 for $8.80 ($5 buyin). Busted in the $8k GTD. Lost half my stack early on with KK, and never doubled up afterward. Mostly played ok in both, but was being kind of a nit in the CardsChat tourney due to an aggressive shover on my left. Never quite got a hand to shove against him, so I folded a lot from the small blind...disgusting.

Merry Yesterday!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

CardsChat Freeroll on Carbon, Bovada RTR Freeroll and $15k GTD

Nothing to report really, since I played badly in all three. 

Was doing ok in the RTR when I shoved AJo from utg for 26bb...like an amateur. I'm not sure what happened to the small ball strategy that worked well last weekend. Guess I reverted to throwing hail marys. Well, the BB (chipleader) looked me up with AQo and took me out. This is precisely why a minraise would have been a good enough raise.

Way to waste an opportunity.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

League Update...meh

One of our members is on a spectacular run, with four consecutive 1st place wins for a total of 6 this season. Then there is me...lol.

Ok, I'm not having a terrible season, but 2 firsts and 4 second places is not what I had hoped for by now. I didn't cash Friday night, and busted in 8th both times. Played mostly well the first tourney, but made a questionable play in the 2nd:

With blinds at 500\1000, I raised 99 3x from utg from an 11bb stack on the full ring final table. Got 1 caller who had me covered. There is a K on the flop and two hearts. After a moment, I shove; he calls and flips up TT. I believe he had a read on me from past history and the way I put my chips out, but he also likes to gamble after the flop and would have been set-mining the river even if I had AK, lol.

I'm not quite sure how to play 99 from utg with 8 players left to act and only 11bb. If I shove, I'm coin-flipping. If I limp, I may get raised all-in and have to fold. If I raise 3x and check-fold the king-high flop, I've lost 3bb and may lose 1.5 more when the blinds hit. Maybe just folding is actually ok here. Bluffing a call-station was not a good plan, but maybe that will set me up to stack that player in a later game.

Oh well...two more tourneys until the final table. Adjusted points were sent out and I'm still stuck in 3rd, so I will be just 1000 chips off the chiplead at the final table as long as I maintain at least 3rd place.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

RTR 4th place and $2k goal reached

Played mostly solid in the RTR Freeroll and hit 4th place out of 73 for $60. Had to play out of position a lot due to frequent ATC minraises from a particular player and I played back at him fairly well. There were a few hands on the FT that I'll need to review. Could have gone better, but happy for the score. 

In my last hand I shoved over two limpers with A4s and got called by TJs. We both hit a piece but he won. Felt like a fairly thin shove since the caller was the chipleader who had me well covered. Probably should have just check pre. Oh well.

Also played a $3 rebuy with a points-to-ticket voucher and made the money for another $25. The combined scores put me at $2019 and some change. Woot.

Purged some play money sessions from my PT4 db, made a backup and stored in the cloud. It's as accurate as it can be, although I missed a hand history or two from early August and a couple in November that never downloaded.

Now I just need to continue reading Building a Bankroll Full Ring Addition by Pawel Nazarewicz, and start learning what all the hud stats mean. Fun fun!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Overall Poker Tracker 4 Stats since 2010

Ok, this is after importing my corrected freeroll stats, and correcting a downswing related to a $100k tourney entry that I actually freerolled into.

This graph includes real money cash games and tourneys played on Full Tilt and PokerStars before Black Friday (4\15\2011), my bankroll management fiasco on Juicy Stakes in 2012, and my results on Bovada and America's Cardroom in 2013.

I have a ton of studying and hard work to do, but this gets me started on the right foot with using Poker Tracker 4 and puts the last three years into full perspective.

PT4 rocks!

PokerTracker 4 Troubleshooting: Importing Freeroll hand histories from Bovada

I mentioned in a previous blog that my tourney graph was off because my Bovada freeroll winnings were not being counted. PT4 seemed to interpret them as play money tourneys. The Bovada Hand History Converter probably wasn't designed to convert freeroll tournaments into something PT4 would interpret as a real money tourney.

To troubleshoot this, I set up a new db in PT4. Then I found an original RTR Freeroll hand-history file where I had finished in the money. I compared this to a real money tournament file and saw that the freeroll was simply missing the buyin amount or "tag", so I copied my freerolls to another folder and made the following change with a freeware find\replace tool called TextCrawler:

PokerStars Hand #2776892893: Tournament #3773109,  Hold'em No Limit (10/20) - 2013/06/06 20:36:09

PokerStars Hand #2776892893: Tournament #3773109,  $0+$0 - Hold'em No Limit (10/20) - 2013/06/06 20:36:09

It changed 2600+ instances, then I was able to successfully import the histories and see the missing $400 appear in stats:

Now I will need to identify and purge the original hand histories from my main db, then import the updated histories and voila (I hope). The tourney graph should roughly match the old graph from OnlinePokerManager.

I'm really digging PT4 and can't thank CardsChat enough for selecting me as a gift winner in the holiday promotion.

Tilt Happens...

Busted way too early in the Derrick's $2500 WPT Champ Freeroll today on Bovada. The crazy thing is there were only 4 active players out of 9 on my table. All the others were absent and getting blinded away, except for several times when one of the active villains still hadn't noticed that the absentees were all snap-folding, lol.

I tilted from getting reraised by a player on my left, so I 4-bet shoved over him with a marginal hand and he flipped up AA and improved to a flush.

Note to self: Even repeated reraises are often due to legitimate strength. Pretty sure we've been over this before.


I seem to tilt less when:

-I am well-rested and have just showered (wakes me up a bit more).
-I am playing at least two tourneys at once (helps me not to get tunnel-visioned on any one player). Hmm...tilt-dispersion.
-I've gotten daily tasks\chores done.
-Family doesn't try to talk to me while I'm trying to play. STFU Yallz!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Poker News

First, a must-read article for online poker enthusiasts published at The Federalist. I consider it one of the best articles written on the subject.



Now I get to see how bad I suck since before poker's Black Friday...

Stand by for suck update. :)

Bovada HH converter from AcePokerSolutions:

Wow, I folded lots of hands...

Well, it's worse than I thought due to two things:

1. Terrible bankroll management on Juicy in 2012.

2. A problem with converting and\or importing hand histories from Bovada. It doesn't seem to include my winnings from freerolls. I've won $400 in the Rake the Rake freerolls, but they don't seem to be in the results. Plus there is a tournament downswing that doesn't make sense, just before the large upswing. 

The good news is the cash graph for Bovada hands matches the previous graphs from Online Poker Manager, and cash is the area where I need the most improvement.

All in all, I'm enjoying the product, but I have some testing and troubleshooting to do regarding tournament HH imports.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

My day hath been made. :)

Won a gift suggestion in the CardsChat Holiday Promotion: PokerTracker 4. This can potentially help to improve my game, as long as I use it wisely. Here were my video presentations:

Monday, December 9, 2013

Sometimes you just shouldn't play.

Played the RTR Free yesterday and a $3 rebuy and a $0.45 rebuy. Played ok in the freeroll but blew it in the other two approaching the bubble. Just couldn't (er...wouldn't) fold in a couple of spots where I was obviously beaten.


Raised QQ from mid-pos and was 3-bet from the SB. Called and saw a K x x flop with a flush draw. Villain shoves. I tank and call. 

Really self? WTF range are you putting him on when he 3-bets you pre from the SB? Might AK be in there somewhere at least?

He had AA. Way to call like a donkey. Next time when you don't have a read, just go with your gut and fold.


4bet shoved 55 from the SB, with no read. What???  Apparently wasn't serious about winning.

AAA > 555

Note to self: If you're not in it to win it, save your dime for another time.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

RTR Freeroll

Mincashed the freeroll on Bovada:


Thankful for the bump, but was unhappy to bust in that spot. Chipleader was on my left and I shoved K9s. He flips up KTo. I'm ahead on the flop with a 9, but he fills a straight on the river, ouch. He's so deepstacked compared to everyone that maybe I should have considered folding since I'd seen him call with nearly 100% of his range. Just hoped he would fold in the SB and I'd be headsup with another shorty.

The good news is I'm closing in on $2k. My acct is at $1958.95. Onward...

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Added ACR + Carbon

Haven't played much lately, just a little cash game action on Bovada. 

Played head chef on Thanksgiving and got the approval from my sweet niece. She's a straight shooter so I took the compliment seriously. The secret to a big win in the kitchen is to screw it up royally the year before (too much sage in the dressing), so last year's fail helped make me a winner this year. :)  Or just a turkey...ha!

CardsChat is doing some holiday promotions so I've entered those. Won $10 in an avatar scouting contest, so I opened an account on America's Cardroom to receive it and will try to grind that up to decent roll there. (Thanks Debi! ;). It was originally going to my Juicy Stakes account where it would have increased my roll by 12500% lol, but Juicy doesn't have a P2P transfer option.

Also joined Carbon Poker to participate in freerolls.

Will be eligible soon to participate in CardsChat freerolls, and ACR has an RTR freeroll like Bovada.

Received another promo from Winstar for four nights free in the Pool Tower in December. Not sure if I can do all four, but I'm looking forward to going back again. It's a relaxing time there, away from the tables anyway. 

Bring on Christmas!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Final Table Advice from a CardsChat member

Note to self: Read Me

Another Deep Run

But no monster payout. :(

Played the $15k DS today and just busted in 21st of 1579 for $56.05. I was the shortstack at my table with 92k vs several 300k+ and the 700k+ chipleader, so it was tough to find spots. 

In my last hand, UTG minraised and I shoved AQs. He flips up KK, ouch. No ace and didn't fill the straight.

No regrets with how I played it; just wanted to get to the final table and somehow rocket closer to 1st which paid $2527.48

In other news, I made a deep run in the RTR Freeroll as well, but busted just short of the final table for $0.

Happy to win some buyins back. Account is at $1911.55...so close to $2k. 

Friday, November 22, 2013

Thursday, November 21, 2013

You're the condensation. I'm the flame.

Love this...

Tournament Leak

This may be a repeat, but apparently I need it.

Played the CardsChat $5.50, $100 added tourney tonight. Pretty good value. With 30 players, 1st gets $60 + $40 bonus.

I pick up A6s in the SB and shove with 14BB, get called by AJo and I'm out in 19th. This is a flashback from the $10k when I shoved A5o and was out in 4th. 

I'm actually not 100% sure this is a leak because most of the time I'm folding out hands like A9 and below, but I'm crushed when someone has a pair or live cards such as KQ. Need to run some simulations in PokerStove or EquiLab to be sure.

But from now on, I'm minraising these hands at best.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

New Bovada Bankroll Goal

Previous Goal: $1300

Current Bankroll: $1897.64

New Goal: $5000

Shooting for $5k because $3k is the minimum cashout for wire transfers (cheapest cashout method), and I need to leave at least $2k in my account for tournaments.

Here's hoping the DOJ doesn't get restless and pull another Black Friday stunt. That would suck for obvious reasons; especially because Bovada is an excellent training site due to the faceup hand histories. Need all the online experience I can get for live play situations.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Weekend Wrap

Friday night league: I had some tough beats but managed to maintain 3rd place, while my best friend JD hit two home runs and won both tournaments. He pocketed $400+ and rocketed from 6th place to 1st. Sick points and money run. He was headsup with the same guy both times and just destroyed him.

I'm only 2 points away from 2nd and 19 points away from 1st with four tourneys to go before the final table. Hope to get there in 1st for the chiplead.

Had a two night free stay at Winstar so we headed up for some cash game action. I ran through some Instapoker hands to warmup, then played a four hour session that ended break even to the dollar. At one point I was two hundred down but a drunk guy sat next to me and couldn't fold top pair shitty kicker on a jack-high board. I tabled KK and he doubled me up with J6. I was embarrassed for him, but guys like that make the game profitable. 

At most, I was up $50 at one point but ended the session with an even $300 so I could buyin to tourneys on Monday. 

Played the 1pm $60 and the $115 7pm. Lasted slightly better than midway in both and went out with QQ vs AK in the first tourney, and QK vs AK in the 2nd. Overall I was happy with how I played in the first tourney but made a couple of costly mistakes in the 2nd where I lost 25% of my stack by calling a pf raise and floating a flop. I was tilted a bit by this maniac that kept raising and I wanted to stack him if possible, but picked a time when he could have easily had the better hand. 

That's ok, because he hung himself by calling all in twice with a pair of aces with a bad kicker. He never gave a thought to being outkicked with his A10. I wasn't alone in being glad to see him gone. 

Won a crucial flip early on in the 2nd tourney. I raised KK to 3.5 bb (350) and was repopped to 2000 which told me I was up against AA. I resigned myself to my fate and shoved, and he flipped up AA and was pissed when another K hit on the turn and he was out. The guy was all tatted up and had a black eye. He also had some threatening word spelled in tattoos across his knuckles.

He complained for a while but skulked off to the cash tables. That's poker. I gave an obligatory apology before he left but was naturally happy to win the flip.

From now on I will only play the $60 tourneys at Winstar. Even though the administrative rake is 20%, I don't like the structure enough to pay more than $60. There is a jump early on that cuts your M in half and forces everyone into suicide mode where the cards mostly decide your fate.

All in all I ended down $285 for the weekend but the hotel room was quite nice, and free, so had a great time anyway. Needed the vacay.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Stats Again

This includes the recent 4th place bink in the $10k guaranteed.

While this indicates that maybe I should stick to tournaments, I will keep plugging away at cash games at the micro level; cash is where you really learn to play poker as opposed to picking spots to go all in.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013


I have (finally) manually added my SnG and ZonePoker results since the tool is not importing them. At some point I plan to purchase a HH converter and a product like Poker Tracker or Holdem Manager, because automation rocks.

This is before the most recent big score, and I will add an after pic tomorrow when I'm able to download the HH:

I'm missing just a couple of HH from August when I got busy moving and allowed the download period to expire on a few.

Now that my bankroll is up to $1897.75, I'd kind of like to hop on a 1\2 and try to send my cash graph in a northerly direction again. The problem is it could just as easily drop, so I will continue 3-tabling the micros and try to improve my game from the bottom up, which is what I should have done after the upswing I had over the summer.

Interestingly, I am only 24% in the money (ITM) online, but I'm about 46% ITM in my poker league. This confirms what Jonathan Little and others have said, which is that online players generally tend to be better than players in live games. I may also be experiencing the lucky side of variance in our league.

click click BOOM!

Duked it out against 1253 players tonight, placed 4th, and turned $11 into $828 and some change. This marks my biggest single cash in a live or online event. 

Big Mistake: In my last hand, I shoved A5o from UTG with 16bb and ran into TT which improved to a set. Almost completed a wheel but it didn't happen. I overplayed the hand, as I was covered and likely getting called by AT+ and most pairs. I just got tired and wanted to go out swinging I guess, but clearly minraising or folding was the most correct move.

Until the end, I think I did a pretty good job of respecting the pay jumps on the final table. In one hand, I raised AQo from UTG to 2.5bb, then UTG+3 3-bet shoved and had me covered. I tanked for as long as possible and looked at the remaining pay jumps. Since we had a few shorter stacks left to bust, I opted to fold in that spot, which feels correct in hindsight (EDIT: Hand history showed that he had me beat with AKo...good fold).

It was a $600 difference if I had busted in 7th.

Time to go to sleZZZZzzzzzzzzzzz

Sunday, November 10, 2013

An Actual Transcript from an Obamacare Chat Support Session.

[10:55:58 pm]: Thanks for contacting Health Insurance Marketplace Live Chat. Please wait while we connect you to someone who can help.
[10:56:01 pm]:  Please be patient while we're helping other people.
[10:56:08 pm]: Welcome! You're now connected to Health Insurance Marketplace Live Chat.

Thanks for contacting us. My name is Cindy. To protect your privacy, please don't provide any personal information, like Social Security Number, or any other sensitive medical or personal information.
[10:56:25 pm]: Cindy
Good Evening. Thank you for calling the Health Insurance Market Place Live Chat. How may I assist you?
[10:56:57 pm]: Omy 
I am here for one reason. 
[10:57:23 pm]: Omy 
I have a proposal. 
[10:57:45 pm]: Omy 
Will you marry me? Like right here? On chat? 
[10:58:04 pm]: Omy 
I just love the name Cindy. Pretty much ever since Brady Bunch.
[10:58:12 pm]: Omy 
[10:58:34 pm]: Omy 
Don't leave me hanging... 
[10:58:52 pm]: Omy 
This is embarrassing. 
[10:59:35 pm]: Cindy
How is it that I may assist you with your Health Care information?
[11:00:30 pm]: Omy 
You can start by accepting my proposal for marriage. Then we can move on to other topics. My health will greatly improve if you marry me. 
[11:01:06 pm]: Omy 
I have a ring. It's pretty awesome. 
[11:01:57 pm]: Cindy
I do apologize but that isn't something I have any control over.
[11:04:00 pm]: Omy 
Ok, I understand. But before you kick me to the curb, I should admit that I am shockingly handsome. 6 foot 4 and full of muscle. 
[11:04:11 pm]: Omy 
You will like me a lot. I promise.  
[11:05:24 pm]: Omy 
I can cook too. How many guys can do that? Pretty much the fat guy and the bald guy on the The Chew. The other guy can only make crafts with glitter, but I'm more like the two guys that can cook, but WAY cuter. 
[11:07:01 pm]: Cindy
Is there a specific question about your market place account that I can help you with?
[11:07:45 pm]: Omy 
Oh yes, I'm sorry. I was distracted by your name. One sec... 
[11:08:08 pm]: Omy 
...Ok, when I hit ENROLL, it doesn't let me. Any ideas? 
[11:08:50 pm]: Cindy
Improving HealthCare.govNEW Weekend Alert: The Health Insurance Marketplace online application isn't available from approximately 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. EST daily while we make improvements. In addition, between Saturday evening, November 9 and early morning on Tuesday, November 12, there will be times when you can fill out your application, but you will need to return and log in Tuesday afternoon to review and submit it. The rest of the site and the Marketplace call center remain available during these hours.
[11:08:56 pm]: Cindy
Thank you for your interest in the Marketplace and for sharing your feedback. We apologize for any technical difficulties you may be experiencing as you use HealthCare.gov. We know this can be frustrating, and we're working around the clock to improve HealthCare.gov and to make sure your experience with it is a positive one.

I will make a note of your feedback. In the meantime, you can still complete an application right now by selecting the following link to download a paper application:
http://marketplace.cms.gov/getofficialresources/publications-and-articles/publications-and-articles.html. Choose the application that best fits your needs under "Marketplace Consumer Application."

You may also call the Marketplace at 1-800-318-2596 for help with completing an application or to request a paper application by mail.
[11:09:58 pm]: Omy 
Right then, now back to my original question. When would like like to get married? 
[11:10:27 pm]: Omy 
I have money, so your dad will not have to pay for anything. It's a pretty good deal! 
[11:11:38 pm]: Cindy
Thank you for calling the Health Insurance Market Place Live Chat. Have a great evening.  you understand im transgendered right?
[11:12:51 pm]: Omy 
I see, your going with the Crying Game defense. 
[11:13:11 pm]: Omy 
It's ok, I'm flexible. We can work around it. 
[11:13:35 pm]: Omy 
I'm open to new things.  
[11:13:50 pm]: Cindy
I do apologize somebody else started typing on my computer.
[11:13:56 pm]: Cindy
Thank you for contacting Health Insurance Marketplace Live Chat.  We are here to help you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
[11:14:08 pm]: Omy 
Plus I have already fallen in love. 
[11:14:18 pm]: Omy 
Ok, Cindy. Maybe next time? 
[11:14:44 pm]: Cindy
Have a good night. I am going to end the conversation here. Have a good night.
[11:14:57 pm]: Omy 
I'm pretty much the guy from 50 Shades of Gray! 
[11:15:12 pm]: Your chat session is over. Thanks for contacting us, and we hope we've answered your questions. Have a great day.
[11:15:12 pm]: 11/10/2013

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Ryan Riess "Best in the World" controversy

Riess The Beast made a post-game comment that got the poker community abuzz:

"I just think I'm the best player in the world."

In a community of several repeat winners, I can see how this sounded naive, but I don't have a problem with it. In his mind, there was no other option but first place. Whether he is actually the best in the world or not will be up for debate, but he had to convince himself of greatness in order to win, and it worked.

Although I was rooting for Farber headsup, I admire Ryan Riess for his confidence, hard work, and winning attitude. #LFG

Interesting FB comment on WSOP Final Table play

"Wow Newhouse made a huge rookie mistake against MC... He checked on the turn with a pair, with only one card beating him on the board... If he throws even 250k on the board he forces MC to fold... But instead he checked and left MC with his 5's to check as well and river the nut 5 for trips. When u have a chance to win the pot with the leading hand u do it when it comes to over powering your opponent on the turn. Worst case scenario he rivers the winning hand especially when he has less the 15% of winning the hand on the turn lol.. And he ended up busting out before the break... bad move by a not so experienced player! This is coming from a 3x WSOP dealer and 15 year veteran." -Gino Foggia

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Found while shopping for a thermostat with lockout features.

36 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Appropriate for Men - Excellent Thermostat, May 11, 2010
By Reviews for Men
Amazon Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Honeywell TH8110U1003 Vision Pro 8000 Digital Thermostat (Tools & Home Improvement)

Of course, we all know that real men don't need heat, and even if you do, you ought to be fine with a lever, a spring, and a vial of mercury. So I felt a little silly ordering this. But once I got over that, I realized that this is a truly great thermostat. Here's why:

1: It's confusing - anything except a temporary override requires several screens and sequences of commands. It's enough to deter even the most determined women, who are undoubtedly trying to make the place into some kind of "heat nest".

2: It's lockable! That's right, you can lock everyone out from modifying the thermostat! And even if you don't want to go that far, you can set limits on what the temperature can be set to. Awesome!

3: And this is the best one of all.... You can program it to show a different temperature than the actual temperature!!! For obvious reasons, this is the best feature ever built into any thermostat since the dawn of time. It takes some digging to get through the manuals to figure out how to do it, but it's worth it. Here's how a conversation about an actual temperature of 68 degrees might go:

Woman: "Honey, it's awfully cold in here, can we turn up the heat?"

Man: "It's already 85 degrees in here."

Woman: "It can't be... (gets up and checks thermostat)... Hmmph, I guess you're right."

Man: "Maybe you should take some more thyroid medicine. And while you're up, make me a sandwich."

Ask yourself - does it really get any better than that?

As much as I love this thermostat, it could be improved by having some sort of fingerprint scanner, or retina ID device on it, allowing only certain people access to the thermostat. But since no competing models yet offer this feature, this is about as good as it gets for keeping YOUR castle at YOUR temperature.
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Sunday, November 3, 2013

GSPO 100k

Down in flames, 950th place, just before the first break. Had a weak trips situation similar to Morgenstern vs Newhouse in the WSOP, except it was 55 vs AJs with a 5JJ flop. Pot-controlled the turn and the river but he high-valued me by betting the pot each time since he knew I had a J. I should have know when I c-bet the flop and got two callers that one of them may have the fourth jack, and the other could've had 55, but it was hard to lay it down since the bets left me with 100bb.

Ran into another weak trips situation with a similar result. Should have just folded the flop in that one but talked myself into trying to improve. It happened but improved the villain to a full house.

Picked up AQs (clubs) and 3-bet shoved for 30bb and got three callers. The other hands were KK and 99. I had a flush draw on the turn and at least 10 outs to win, but hit a queen instead of an ace or any club.

Why me? Any tournament but this one. 

Well, at least it was a freeroll...................................................but 1st gets $20,000+.

Time to walk it off.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Movin On Up!

Well, nothing to get excited about; just moving from 3-tabling 5nl to 10nl because the players at 5 just do silly things like repeatedly shoving garbage until someone calls with AA, then they manage to crack aces. It's a form of tilt where you do things you wouldn't do at higher stakes because it's so cheap.

Also, I tend to call when I shouldn't because it's cheap to pay for the information, but I hate myself for making donk-calls regardless of the stakes. It's just easier to take it seriously and avoid micro degen-ing when you have a little more to lose, hence the jump.

I've had some lucky hands in the last two sessions. Flopped quad-queens after heavy preflop action in which I was squeezed. I've never felt so good about passively calling! Got some action on the flop and turn for a nice profit.

Also flopped a set of nines on an all heart board, then it turned into 999QQ by the river and I got some reraise action from the button. Nice 30% gain on that table.

Then I called a 3bb raise with 89s and another caller in the hand and I flopped a king-high flush. The preflop raiser bet the pot and I 3x'd him to isolate, then he shoves and I call. He flips QK for two pair that doesn't improve and I stack him.

It's fun to run good but I don't want to let it go to my head, especially after a couple of positive sessions. The point is to learn to grind well at the micros, take notes, and experiment with some advanced moves from time to time.

Acct is at $1,128.13

P.S. Before a session, I've been reminding myself: Good players make good laydowns (folds).

Tuesday, October 29, 2013


Nothing much new to report, just a slow grind up from the micros in the bottom graph for some ultra-nitty bankroll management. Would love to post a big win soon. Sunday is the $100k and the $500 RTR Freeroll. 

Gonna get the home office in order, to have a good place to concentrate. 

In other news:

My friend JD, a cash game specialist and very solid tournament player, just redeposited $50 on Bovada after busting for $100 earlier in the summer. In three days, he has run that up to $637. What a run!

I signed another friend up via the referral program and received a $100 bonus, which I will split with him.

WSOPC Bossier City is coming up. I'm looking at buying into a non-ring event or one of the nightlies for $250 or less. Hope to have a good experience there. 

WPTAPL is hosting a $500 tournament on Saturday at the newest venue in my city, which is about 3-4 miles away. I hope to run well in that so I can freeroll a WSOPC event.

The 2013 WSOP Main Event Final Table (The November Nine) will happen on Nov 4-5.

November is gonna be a busy month for poker!

(annnnnnnd turkeys)

Sunday, October 27, 2013

RTR Free

Ouch. Busted 48th of 65 today. With blinds at 40\80, I made a nice bluff in position against the SB raising me 3x pre and continuing 1\2 pot on the flop. 3x'ed him with trash and he layed it down. The flop was jack high with two hearts.

A big stack two to my right had been raising on me from the button. I figured he was doing it fairly wide so I defended all-in with A7o. This time he had a hand: AQs. I'm only 25% to win against his hand, and around 48% against his range, but I nailed a 7 on the river...

...except it was the 7c which completed his ace-high flush.

Down in flames.

I had two moves there, folding or shoving. Calling was definitely out. I had about 20BB left, so it was clearly too early to make this move, because I'm essentially coin-flipping against someone who has me covered. If he's raising wide, there's a chance he's calling wide. Too aggressive, too early.

Saturday, October 26, 2013


This is a donkey bingo situation in a Cheap Seats Tourney for entry to the GSPO Main Event. Unfortunately I decided not to play bingo and folded what would have flopped as a full house. On second thought, I think calling was the right play strictly on pot odds. I'm getting 5-1 here and there are going to be lots of overcards in play and a few small to mid pairs. 

The initial shover flipped up QQ and was called by 22, 44, and KK. My hand would have held and I would have been an instant chipleader. :-|

A few hands later, I shoved AKs after a 6x raise and he called me with KJo and held.

Damned if you don't, damned if you do...

Friday, October 25, 2013

Good poker song


Proud of myself for sticking to .2/.5 lately. I've only ground up two buyins, but I'm ok with that. A while back, I was two-tabling .50\1 and had a bad session due to getting outplayed. It was a playing scared situation that caused me to lose a $47 pot with the best hand.

I've reviewed it a lot and patched an info gap regarding 3-betting lite, and in the meantime I want to maintain discipline and grind up what I lost, with the goal of reaching $1100, and keeping above $1000.

Looks like a guy from league will be joining Bovada soon and I'll be splitting the referral bonus with him. It's a sweet deal because he gets an instant 50% bonus from me plus the chance to earn another 100%. It'll give us some hands to talk about too.

Another friend bought back in for $50 after busting a while back and is up over 300% within two days. He's a killer cash game player and great at tournaments too. I hope to see them both spending Sunday afternoons playing the RTR Freeroll and hitting big.

In other news, I've purchased Jared Tendler's two mental-game books on Kindle, and I'm about to purchase Jonathan Little's Going Pro series of videos, where he coaches a player named OneTimeJoker who has been a big winner on PokerStars lately with a recent win of $42,000 off a $55 buy-in. Nice!

I'm far from going pro myself, but the info will hopefully put me closer. Have to keep investing in my game.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Faulty Heads Up Game

I think my heads-up game has some leaks. I have four 2nd place wins and only two first place wins in league, which suggests I have a problem closing out tourneys in first.

At one point in our last game, I had my opponent dominated at least 10-1, then couldn't win my flips. I think part of that is I wasn't properly ranging the villain, who in this case is known to be one of the weakest players we have. So I made some calls with some hands that were fine to shove with, but not great to call with, just hoping to hit the right piece of it and win.

A simple way to fix that, hopefully, is to follow the gap concept against tighter\weaker players:

Monday, October 21, 2013

Healthcare Marketplace Update

It's been a roller coaster trying to sign up for an individual policy, but as of last week I was able to review and select a plan...but that's as far as I get; as soon as I click ENROLL, nothing happens, in Chrome or IE.

Last week, the premium for my plan jumped drastically one day, but went back down a few days later and is reasonable now. Hopefully they'll get things working eventually.




RTR Freeroll yesterday: Shoved the bottom of my range from the cutoff to pickup dead money from the BB sitting out. Blinds were 75\150. Unfortunately the dealer woke up with a primo and took me out with AKo.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

"It's 3:17 in the AM, and you're watching Perspectives."

Just got in from league. Ran late tonight because there were 26 people in the first tourney...and guess who was first to bust? I had a flush and broadway draw on the turn, thought I had 12 outs, but a new guy was drawing to the nut flush and had already paired on ace on the flop. It was a bad spot to fast-play a 2nd rate draw. I got the pf raiser to fold, but not the other and was only 6% to win on the river. Ouch and out.

There were 20 players in the 2nd game, and I made it to 2nd place but couldn't close it out even when I was ahead pre. I could have played better heads-up.

Having missed Feb, I'm in third, just 10 points off the lead.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Grinding, and Poker Coach Pro

PCP is not just a drug from the 60s. It's a poker coaching app for Ipad that is the electronic form of Winning Poker Tournaments One Hand At A Time, vol 1-3.

I actually have the books but prefer the electronic format much better, because you don't have to keep turning back to the picture of the table, and you can step thru the action. It's a less-slick version of InstaPoker, but I'm enjoying it a lot.

Basically it gets you into the minds of three successful players, and what they are thinking at every step in a given situation. Because you're stepping thru the action, you also get to relive the victories and defeats on the turn and river cards.

I can already tell that this is having a positive impact on my thoughts at the online tables. I've just been grinding and bankroll nitting .2\.5 for about 30-45 for the last 5 nights or so, and I'm not crushing but have ended each session positively to some degree.

No SnGs lately because I want to go into league Friday with a mind full of new info. I have been reviewing tournament hand histories though and taking notes. I want to re-review some of them at a later date and see if I have more comments to add after learning some ideas from the pros.

My acct is at $1,009.12. Once I get it north of $1,025 or so, I'll add in some triple-up SnGs and try to work my way to $1100.

This is really small potatoes compared to some of the guys at the forums I visit, but when I started playing in late 2010, the idea of breaking $1000 (even with a $300 deposit, lol), was just a distant dream.

Even my deaf cat Whiplash is excited.

Sunday, October 13, 2013


Busted 21st out of 53 in the freeroll today. Made a loose shove from the button with 33 and faced AKo in the big blind. This exact situation won me the advantage a couple of weeks ago at the final table, but he landed a king on the river to cripple me.

Probably should have limp-folded, but would have had the same result if I had shoved 44-QQ, AJ, AQ. Just got unlucky that he had a strong hand to call with. I guess the problem with shoving 33 though is he crushes me with 44-AA, plus numerous over cards, so yeah, it was a loose shove. Should have min-raised at most.

Will need to temper the aggression somewhat before playing the 100k. We start with 5000 so there's no need to overplay low pairs.

Here is today's prize pool for the $100k:

Saturday, October 12, 2013


Finished 25th of 409 in the Lucky Draw Weekly on Bovada, which gives me a free ticket to the $100,000 Guaranteed tomorrow, or one of the upcoming Golden Spade Poker Open 100k events. Ticket value is $162.

Made a couple of crucial mistakes after a lucky double-up early on, and got smacked back down to my starting stack. I was bumbed but stayed in the fight. 

When it gets down to the bubble, which was 41, everyone abuses the time-clock and the tourney drags on. I tend to do it too when we have a shortstack trying to survive, or if I am the shortstack. 

The shortstack to my left caught a miracle. With blinds at 1500\750, he had 1000 chips left and was definitely the bubble boy at 41. I let some time pass before folding, and he rode the clock as well. The blinds were both sitting out and he had two live players ahead.

Then the player shoves his last 1000, gets a call from the button, flips up AA, and wins the hand! Someone on another table busted out instead. I was happy the shortstack at our table pulled out a miracle. Hopefully the person who busted will get another shot.

I think I'll postpone playing in the 100k event tomorrow in order to get more studying done. I want to patch up as many leaks in my game as possible before playing for big money. 1st place would get around $21,000.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Interesting Video

4:55 for the good stuff.

RTR, Lucky Draw Weekly, etc

Haven't played so much lately. I put my thumb in the dam of a downswing and my account is at $1,002.98 for $702.98 profit since June, down about $69 from the most recent high point. I've just been reviewing SnG hand histories and playing micro cash games at .2\.5 risking $5, 1 table, no tv.

My plan is to grind up some SnG buyins and keep the account from descending below $1000. In short, I'm being a bankroll nit, and the discipline feels right.

Also I'm reading Jonathan Little's first book on tournament strategy, which is quite good.

Monthly league is next Friday and we have 3 more event nights in which to rack up points before the final tournament. I'm listed 3rd, but am actually 15 points in the lead after lowest 2 scores are dropped. Hopefully I'll maintain that and have an edge in the final by starting with a higher chip-stack. We'll see.

Need to really concentrate and not get caught up in random table banter.

Other than that, RTR freeroll is coming up on Sunday, and Bovada is doing something called Lucky Draw Weekly in which 1 ticket for every 10 players will be given for entry to the $100,000 Guaranteed on Sunday afternoon. Droooool.

I've been railing the $20k Guaranteed final table lately. Pretty interesting to see what hands people are shoving in certain scenarios.

Saw a shortstack get KK in on the flop vs something like A6 with the 6 paired on the board. A third 6 hits the turn, giving the chipleader the advantage, then a third king slammed the river, giving the shortstack a full house and a ton of chips. That's the kind of hand people cheer about on ESPN. Pretty cool.

At that point, the next person to bust out earned $1200+, and the winner was to get around $4850. Not a bad return on $55! I'll play that one at some point, but I'd like to grind the account up to something like $1500 first.

Makes more sense for me now to play the $8000 Guaranteed for just $10, where 1st gets something like $1500. That would seriously rock.

Back to the books.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Desperate to Play

Saw this funny ad on Craigslist:

I don't think that's a +EV trade. :-)

Healthcare Marketplace

I'm self-employed now and scouting for health insurance. I wouldn't dare risk bankruptcy, so I have purchased a series of temporary high-deductible policies to cover the gap since I left the corporate world in 2012.

I managed to get on healthcare.gov and fill out an application, but subsequent attempts to log in have failed due to numerous glitches in the system. So far, the interface of The Affordable Care Act has been a disaster for up to 99% of applicants. Not great odds.

I recently developed a kidney infection and went to a direct care clinic for treatment. The nurse at the window informed me that she didn't recognize my insurance and that I should call them to determine if the facility is in-network; otherwise it would cost $365 just to speak to the doctor. Ouch.

My other option is to visit an Urgent Care facility with lower rates. Instead, I've experimented with natural remedies with good results so far.

I've tried the following two drinks:

Diet Cranberry
A teaspoon of baking soda
Lemon Juice

And Cranberry\Parsley Hot Tea:

Fresh Shredded Parsley (a noted treatment for UTI problems)
Cilantro (tastes great)
Ginger Root
Diet Cranberry Juice
Lemon or Lime Juice

With these two treatments, the infection appears to be clearing up, and the pain is going away. If it returns, I'll visit Urgent Care for antibiotics. I don't recommend these treatments as a substitute for antibiotics, but am just sharing what is working for me.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Freeroll Sunday

No free money today in the RTR $500. I was chipping up nicely until I picked up AA in early position, raised 3BB and got a caller.

I cbet the flop and he called.

Checked the turn and he bet the pot, so I shoved for his last 115.

He calls and flips up JJ.

The river: J of course

Had my AA cracked in a triple-up SnG yesterday too. UTG shoves and it folds around to me. I call and we flip AK vs AA.

He has a broadway draw on the flop, hits it on the turn, then the poker gods dashed my wounds with salt by landing an ace on the river instead of a king.

That is- how you say -the pokers.

Gonna enjoy some sunshine instead. The weather is incredible!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Fast-playing Combo Draws

A couple of months ago, I learned a tough lesson about combo draws on a $1\$2 risking $200. I picked up KK in the SB and popped to $20 and got a caller.

The flop had two suited connectors, and I bet the pot and got a call. The alarm bells were ringing.

Thinking he was on a nut-flush draw, I bet big on an innocuous turn card. The villain shoved and I was pot-committed and called. He hits one of his numerous outs on the river and stacked me for $200. Not a fun way to head into league night... :-(

I went back and analyzed the hand in Poker Stove, and it was eye-opening to see how behind I was on the flop even with a strong overpair, and that was my introduction to the power of combo draws.

Last Sunday, in the RTR Freeroll, I was in a hand where I hit an open-ended straight flush draw on the turn card, and I had already paired the board with a mid-pair. Coincidentally, I had lost some chips early on to the villain in the hand. I recognized an opportunity and fast-played the draw all-in. The villain hit two pair on the turn so he was committed and made the call.

Fortunately I hit one of my numerous outs and stacked him, then went on to take down the tourney for $200.

Here is an article that explains how powerful a combo draw is.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Nonselective Aggression =


Despite the previous note to self, my biggest leak in SnGs lately is shoving hands with marginal equity against big-stacked limpers- who can afford to call with A5o etc, and realize (correctly) that I can't have a good hand every time I shove.

I'm taking a few days off to decide if I want to play to win, or play to play. There is a huge difference.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Note To Self

Push/Fold Strategy on the Bubble

The most important exception to basic push/fold poker is when you’re on the bubble of a tournament or sit and go.
Because of the massive equity difference between bubbling and making the money you need a much bigger edge to justify risking elimination with an all-in.
This concept is best illustrated by the math formula known as the Independent Chip Model (ICM) but as a beginner all you need to know is that if you’re moving all-in or calling all-in on the bubble, you should have a very good reason.
If you think you’re flipping a coin just fold and wait for a better spot.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

RTR Freeroll review

I went back and reviewed the hand history for a June RTR freeroll in which I placed 2nd for $120. I've made some costly mistakes\shoves since then, but if that HH is any indication of how I was playing tourneys back in June, then I believe I've improved. I've never made so many deathwish donk-shoves in a tournament; it was ridiculous. Players at my tables must have thought I was running like a god, but I was shoving hands like 35o to punish limpers, and it mostly worked.

In the final hand, I got it in preflop with A5o vs Q4s. I miss, and he lands a 4 on the river for the win.

Overall, it was an example of how you can play pretty badly (against supernits) in terms of game theory, but still land in the money.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Bankroll Management Revisited

In comparing the two graphs above, it's easy to see that in the top graph (tournaments), the only wild swings happen when I manage to hit big in a tourney, then there is the gradual downward trend until the next hit. And then there's the bottom graph...

The cash game graph starts out with a mild downswing that gets more pronounced, then there is a large upswing from when I was playing well and getting good situations, with an almost vertical rise before it nearly crashes back to break-even in shark tooth fashion. What that means is I took shots and some higher buyin levels like $1\2 (risking $200). Naturally it's a rush when the game is running your way, but a total bummer when the downswings hit.

Sometimes the downswings were due to solid play on the flop, where I got all the chips in ahead and simply got outdrawn on the turn or the river. It's part of the game that you have to embrace. But other times it's from getting outplayed on the turn. That's a leak that I'll be working on, but I'll be doing it at .10\.25 (risking $25) and below.

Even though my overall poker bankroll is well above $1000, I want to cap it online at what I've managed to earn there, and grind it up gradually. I'd be far better off now if I had dropped back down after the large upswing, but that's a lesson all poker players learn. You never really quit while you're ahead, you just play at reasonable levels so that you don't get rattled when the next downswing happens, whether from variance or from your game unraveling.

Tournaments have been my bread and butter in this experiment, so I will keep playing those at the $10 buyin and below, and keep learning cash game play at the micro-levels. It really sucked to drop below $1000 a few months ago, and now that I'm above that threshold again, I'd like to keep it moving up gradually.

It takes a lot of discipline not to hop on the $1\2 tables to try and win a monster pot, but I think I've learned my lesson about bankroll management in the cash games.


Found a good example of floating in poker, which is calling a flop bet without a made hand in hopes that you will improve or your opponent will give up. In this hand, the player in position (last to act) floats both the flop and the turn where he improves to a 2nd-best straight draw, then takes control on the river after the pre-flop raiser surrenders with the best hand.

I hate to get outplayed like this, but there's not much you can do when you're out of position, unless you happen to know that your opponent floats most flops and turns, and that he's probably doing so in the current hand.


Phil Ivey Floating


The Right Place, Time, Hands, and Players

I reviewed the hand history from the RTR Freeroll that I won on Sunday. It's funny how you feel like a boss for a while after winning, then the hand history reveals thin ice. Once you see all the hands 24 hours later, you realize that you made more mistakes than you remember, and that some of the situations you won have to do with the kind of player you are shoving against.

Prime example:

-UTG shoves for 15.
-UTG+1 (me) shoves 5311 with JJ.
-Total pot is 5901.
-It folds around to the Big Blind who is the chipleader with 9970, and he elects to FOLD AQo.


The board runs out 9 A Q Q T, so the big blind would have busted me and the microstack with a full house if he hadn't made such an ultra-nitty fold.

Talk about a gift hand. I never feel great about shoving JJ but, if I had minraised, the big blind would have called and won the hand. Who knows, maybe that player lost a hand with AQ previously and was too superstitious to flip, even though he had me covered. Either way, I owe him my thanks. :-)

Monday, September 30, 2013

Stats and Other Stuff

Unfortunately this still does not include SnG and Zoom sessions. I will need to enter those manually at some point, or wait for the dev to update to tracking software to include those session types.

Lost a couple of micro SnGs today, but we're still well above $1000. Happy the graphs are trending up, albeit only slightly in the cash graph.

In other random news, I have an idea for a novel that I've been working on. (Yeah, yeah, doesn't everyone?) I'm not a great writer, and certainly not a novelist, but I have an interesting idea; so much so, that when I searched for the initial title it was already taken by an upcoming horror movie that's listed on IMDB and slated to come out in 2014. Similar concept but my tale is different enough to make it stand apart, and it's more of a crime thriller.

My goal is to rise to the challenge of telling my character's story, get it critiqued and polished, and self-publish it on Amazon for free or very little. It's going to be an incredible amount of work, but so far it doesn't feel like it and the dialogue and scenes are more or less writing themselves. 

November is National Novel Writing Month, so I hope to make a lot of progress on it then, while not backsliding too much in poker and other things.

Unbelievable SnG Play

I just saw the craziest play while reviewing hand histories on a $4 beginner tourney. This guy picked up AJo twice in a row. The first time, he's in the BB and is minraised preflop, so he raises half his stack and gets a fold (he's already down to 2\3 of his starting stack).

In the next hand, he calls a 3x raise preflop with AJo again in the small blind. The flop comes A 5 K rainbow. He donk-bets 240 and is reraised to 600 which he calls. 

The turn is a Jack, giving him two pair, and there is a possible broadway straight on the board. He checks, the other guy jams, and he FOLDS his last 300. Unbelievable. You have to assume that he's calling on the flop reraise with an ace, hoping to improve. He improves on the turn, but folds anyway to leave himself crippled. 

That has to be a misclick. Maybe he's multi-tabling and clicked the wrong button. If not, then this is an example of why microstakes SnGs are still profitable. Even if he's 100% convinced of the straight, he's still getting 7 to 1 pot odds to improve to a full house.

Guess what the winner had: 

KJo for 2nd best two pair. Hope he's checking his hand histories so he can fully appreciate winning the hand.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

BOOM! Happy Happy Happy

We're back in four figures; after 277 hands in a 3hr 9m grind, I placed 1st out of 50 in the Rake The Rake Freeroll today.

Final Table:



Epiphany: The value of your chips increases late in the game especially on the bubble, meaning you have to really think about bet-sizing on the final table and not get in over your head. I kept that in mind this time instead of proceeding with the usual suicidal aggression. Need to remember this in league and be more selective on shoves and resteals.

Crucial hand on the final table: I shoved on the button with 33 (pretty loose) after a mid-position raise. He had been folding to my shoves so I gave it another go. The chipleader in the small blind called and I got worried, then he flipped up AKo and my tres miraculously held giving me the chiplead by 2x.

Final hand headsup: Shoved pocket threes again after a 3x raise and he called with A4o. He was four outs from making a wheel, but I nailed a set on the flop and it improved to a full house: threes full of kings.

So far, I've won $360 in the RTR Sunday freerolls since June, after snagging a 2nd place for $120, and a 5th place for $40 over the summer. Hope to play well and nail another one before year's end.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013


I was reviewing a hand history from a downswing I had on a .50\1 table a while back, and witnessed the power of 3-betting light, and continued aggression on the flop. It also made me realize how often I'm misplaying the turn by checking behind. Long story short, I was outplayed by pocket fours when I had pocket kings, because the guy in the big blind reraised me 4x preflop and there was an ace on the flop.

Obviously I'm not putting him on 44. I called his c-bet on the flop, but checked behind on the turn when a queen hit (mistako), thinking he may be trapping further with a set or two pair. He bet nearly half the pot on the river, and I gave up with by far the best hand. Disgusting.

He did the same thing to another guy, so it wasn't just me. Plus I wasn't at the table long enough to get a read on him, so I thought he at least had the ace. No excuses. I should have 4-bet him preflop, since I'm almost never folding kings before the flop if he shoves.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

September League Results

I slipped from 2nd to 3rd in points, but since the league host drops the lowest two tourney scores, I'm essentially still in 2nd.

Made the final table in both tourneys Friday, but I busted in 7th place each time. Doubled up early in the first tourney but lost a crucial flip later against my best friend, with AJo vs QKo. He hit runner-runner flush to cripple me (I even slid the chips across early because I historically don't flip well against him). Coincidentally, that's the second time I've lost a flip against him with those exact hands. He went on to win first which was great. No regrets on the shove; only the result.

Made a crucial mistake in the 2nd tourney that cost me 1\3 of my stack. With the bb at 1600, I called a minraise with 9Ts. I caught a 9 on the flop and tried to donk-bet into him but got min reraised and had to call because he gave me good odds. Checked a K on the turn, and he moved all in. Thought about calling because I had an open-ended straight draw, but he had me covered and I didn't want to drop too far in points. Ugh...courage fail.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Weds SnG

Loaded a $3 triple-up and a $4 beginner. Played well and cashed in the triple-up, and min-cashed in the beginner. Went to the final four with a slight chiplead and then I was like a frog trying to cross a busy road. One guy who had played fairly tame before the bubble just put the hammer down and destroyed a couple of us. I couldn't get a good situation to move all-in, then he called on the button and I shoved with Q8o with enough chips to damage him. Annnnnnnnd he flips up AQo... :-|  Been seeing that move alot lately.

The time to be suspicious is when the chipleader does it. He is either\or:

a. Going to call a shove pretty wide, so you want to shove with solid equity.
b. Slowplaying a monster hand.

He had been shoving left and right and suddenly just called. That was a good time to be suspicious.

Well played, Villain, but beware...

...Grasshoppa learn good.

Account is at $865.55

Full Tilt Poker

The claims administration process begins today, although I don't see a login at the website.

Played some low stakes cash and SnG yesterday. Suffered what I call apathy tilt, where one tends to gamble against the odds more because it's cheap. Not a good frame of mind to establish before the weekend. We have league Friday night, and I'll be grinding 1\2 at Winstar on Saturday. Gotta bring the A game, regardless of the stakes.

EDIT: Found the login for claims administration and filed my claim. The confirmation ended with this:

Please be advised that submission of your Petition for Remission does not guarantee that you are eligible to participate in the Full Tilt Poker remission process.  All payments are subject to approval by the Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Section of the United States Department of Justice.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Tournament Report

No winnings today unfortunately. Busted 12th in the RTR $500 Freeroll, 219th in the $2000 Guaranteed ($2 buyin), and 578th in the $8000 Guaranteed ($10 buyin).

I got unlucky in the $8k guaranteed. Had AA on the button (sweet), and UTG+1 raised to 3.5BB. I 3bet to 7.5BB, he 4bets to $1k (a third of his stack) and I 5bet shove and get a call. Of course he hits 888 on the flop...overplayed his hand but got a good result. Somehow I doubt he survived to the cash. Note to self: The way to fold him out preflop was to 3x his raise.

Made a crucial mistake in the $2k guaranteed. With blinds at 250\125\30, someone in late position raises to $537 and gets a call from the chipleader. I had Q4s in the BB and elected to fold. Terrible play because it would have only cost me $287 more to win a pot of $1961. As it happened, I would have flopped a queen-high flush and could have won another $2500 in chips from the pf raiser, and maybe the same from the chipleader.

Sometimes you have to call with the worst hand when the math supports it. When your cards suck, try doing the math.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

5 for 5

Cashed in a $3 Triple-Up SnG while watching Game of Thrones Season 1. Took a lot of patience to find good spots to shove. Got down to under 10 big blinds a few times and had to shove rag hands. Luckily I won my flips.

Going to keep it up with the SnGs. Good way to inch up the bankroll with minimal risk.

Account is at $882.28 for $582.28 profit.

Looking forward to the Rake The Rake freeroll tomorrow. I've gotten close lately but hope to score again.

EDIT: Busted in 12th of 52 in the freeroll. Had a solid chipstack until some guy slowplayed KK. Then I shoved 55 against two callers preflop, and the chipleader flipped up 88 and held. Iffy spot to shove because you know you're at least going to be up against two overcards. He was UTG as well, so I should have been suspicious. Bad move, no free money. Need to play better approaching the final table (he says, so often in hindsight).

P.S. Most of these Miss America candidates can't dance...but I forgive them all.

Bovada Golden Spade Poker Open


Definitely going to try some of the low stakes events starting September 21. May also try a mid stakes event depending on the results. Time to study up and bring it this fall.

Family and Personal Finance

My 26-year old nephew visited for financial advice yesterday. He is a year into marriage and is having trouble paying the bills. You see, before getting married he bought a big gas-guzzling truck for $38,000...and before that he owned Dodge Ram pickup (paid for) and spent $3000 for repairs, tires, and rims, before trading it in on a black Ford Mustang. I warned him against piling on debt before entering the marriage, but the salesman convinced him it was a sweet deal.

A year later he missed his old truck and traded in the 'stang for the new truck he couldn't afford. In order to get it, he convinced his fiance to trade in her paid-for Chevy Cobalt. Then he eventually bought her a new ride and enslaved them with 5-6 years of two car payments.

Shortly after his wedding, he got into an apartment for $900 plus. "Why not find a cheaper place?" I asked. He recently broke the lease and I helped him move into an apartment with lower rent. 

Later, they asked me for a $45k loan for a downpayment on a new home. I said no because it was an unreasonable request, and because he has a history of non-payment...with creditors and family.

He'll be transitioning to a new job soon with lower pay initially. Despite the lower rent, he's still struggling to make ends meet and asked for advice on cashing out his 401k. We calculated what he will get back, and what he will lose at the end game when he retires in 40 years (between $150k-$200k). I offered solutions that would help him avoid cashing out, but they were unacceptable. 

I hope he will begin to take money matters more seriously now that he has a truly darling wife to support, and future kids to think of. Hopefully he will steer their financial ship in a way that earns their love and respect. Until then, he will receive occasional help from me only in the form of guidance; clearly loaning him money would be a disaster.

I asked if he realized that cars have been his Achilles Heel and he said yes, but I'm not convinced that he fully understands the opportunity cost of being easy prey at dealerships. We all make money mistakes and I've made my share. He still has time to recover from his own, and I really hope he does.