Friday, August 30, 2013

Fighter Pilot: Robin Olds

Just finished the Vietnam section of this book, which I had trouble waiting to read. Glad I didn't skip ahead though, because his experiences from pre World War II to Vietnam were interesting as well. Christina Olds and Ed Rasimus have done great work in assembling this book, which has been a thrilling ride to read.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Amarillo Slim Quotes

Picked up Amarillo Slim's memoirs at a used book store in town, and thought I'd add some quotes here as I read:

"You see, neighbor, I never go looking for a sucker; I look for a champion and make a sucker out of him."

"I was tall and skinny, and I could run like the wind-- a skill that would come in handy when I was old enough to bet."

"Part of the hustle may be pretending not to be smart, but behind every gambler is a razor-sharp mind."

"The easiest person in the world to hustle is a hustler..."

"I like to bet on anything-- as long as the odds are in my favor."

"The [Peabody] school offered the one tool that would be the most influential element in my education: a snooker table in the student-services building."

"When I was a kid, I had to get out of the bathtub before they pulled the plug."

"Smart-ass, popping-off skinny sonofabitch is how I would have described myself."

"Heck, while I should have been studying poetry at Peabody Academy, I was writing my own poetry on their snooker table."

Full Tilt Refunds

The Full Tilt Poker claims admin will begin processing refunds on September 16, which means I will finally get back the $54.41 owed to me.

#highroller  :-D

Brings back depressing memories of poker's Black Friday. I'm glad Bovada and a handful of other sites have somehow managed to keep US online poker players in the game. Hopefully more states will follow Nevada's lead and allow regulated online play.

Shakes fist in WDC's general direction...

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Comments on League Play

We have some solid players in the league, but there are some late-game moves people make that leave me scratching my head every time. Here's the biggest mistake I see:

-Calling a raise with 10 big blinds or less.

When you are short-stacked, your moves should be limited to shoving, folding, or calling a shove when you're strong. Calling a raise just to see the flop is weak and not very profitable long term. With a shove, you have a chance at fold equity depending on the raiser's stack.

Basically if your hand is good enough for a call when short-stacked, then it should be good enough to shove.

A good player to my left made the play in question at a recent final table. I made a min-raise + half a blind pre-flop from the SB, then a standard c-bet on the flop with nothing, total bluff, out of position, sweating bullets...

He just called pre-flop, then folded to my c-bet and gave me a fist-bump. Why was he in the hand?? What kind of hand was good enough to call pre-flop with such a short stack, but not shove knowing that I was raising pretty wide (K8s) and might fold?

I would have folded pre-flop or post-flop if he shoved at either stage, btw. That's what a 2.5 bb raise should've told him (otherwise I would have shoved pre).

Just parroting advice from the pros here, and reducing the chance of weak play creeping into my game. You never know when a moment of indecisiveness will severely shorten your tournament life:

I think I want to play this hand, but I'm not really sure, so I'll just call and re-evaluate on the flop.

Pffffffff! Entering a poker hand short-stacked is like aerial combat. You are either committed to fight, or you're burning toward an exit window. If you're fighting, then it's absolute life-ending aggression from the start. Nothing less.

Sunday, August 25, 2013


Just busted in 11th out of 60 in the RTR $500 Freeroll. Kind of a bummer because I was running hot pre-flop, and maintaining a top 2 to 5 position most of the way. Picked up AA three times and KK twice. Got drawn out on with KK when the villain river'd an ace, then had to shove spec hands afterward to stay afloat.

Shoved QTo from the SB in my final hand, against AJo. We both hit on the flop but my hand didn't improve, so no free money today. Probably should have picked a better spot since he had me well-covered, but I would have lost with much better hands on that board.

That is, how you

Thursday, August 22, 2013

End of Summer

A few fishies caught in the nearby lake, from earlier this summer:

No record-breakers, but they all fought hard. Hope to catch them again someday when they're bigger.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013


Registered for a $1000 guaranteed Knockout (bounty) tournament for $15 + $1.50, and was shocked to see four cards dealt to me pre-flop. It was Pot Limit Omaha (PLO)- not a game that I normally pay to play due to lack of experience, but I fared ok and slid into 18th out of 92 for the minimum payout.

Actually, I made a few bad all-in plays and simply got rewarded on the river...but I'll take it. Our league host wants to change things up next year by switching to PLO for the 2nd tournament of each event. Fine with me because it is considered the game of the future for high-rollers, and tends to make one a better Hold'em player.

As soon as I realized my registration mistake, I quickly googled "top Omaha starting hands", lol...n00b.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

August League Results

Ran well in our league tourneys Fri night. Here are the results, and I'm currently in 2nd:

I finished 1st out of 19 in the first tourney, and 5th out of 20 in the second tourney. Although poker is considered a skill game, it takes luck to win tournaments due to coin-flip situations in which you start with the worst hand. I had my share of luck in the first game. Here were a few situations:

-3-bet shoved KQs from the SB, then the BB 4-bet shoved to isolate me. I knew I was crushed and he flips up AA to confirm, but I hit a K on the flop, and another K on the river for the bad beat.

-Tripled up with QQ in the BB vs ATs and 88, which sent me to the final table as chip leader with a few bounty chips.

-Ran terrible for a while, then with a stack of 30k and blinds at 5k\10k, I faced a min-raise to 20k holding K2o...a really gross spot. I tanked for 2 minutes and realized I'd only have a few chips left after paying the SB, so I reluctantly made the call. Villain flipped ATs but I flopped two kings and river'd a 2 for the full house...unbelievable.

-Final hand, heads-up: Shoved Q8o from the SB and got insta-called by QKs. He hits two pair but I hit runner-runner spades for the queen-high flush.

Can't remember much from the 2nd tourney, which ran until 3am or so. Pretty much standard play on my part, and I busted on the bubble with QTs vs KTs. What I do remember is Shaun J with a stack of 9 bounty chips, which grew to 11. He knocked out over half the field and went on to win 1st! Sick, sick run. 

Even though my tournament results are solid, especially having missed the first month, I think Shaun and John Dar may be the best poker players in the group based on hand-reading ability, and picking up tells. Several others are good at tournament flow (especially Charlie), but I wouldn't want to play those two guys for very long in a cash game, where serious sustained poker skill is required.

Looking forward to next month, and hope to keep making final tables.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

67vsKK = Fireworks

I'm uploading a beautiful hand to Youtube and will post it here. Unfortunately I wasn't in on it, but nice to see it play out well for someone.

It's an example of why you want to call a raise occasionally with suited connectors. Most of the time you won't hit, but when you do it can be worth a lot.

Stay tuned, imaginary reader...


Be sure to look at the stack sizes of UTG+1 and UTG+5 at the start and end of the hand. That is real money changing hands.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Rush - Zoom - Zone

Bovada introduced Zone Poker yesterday, which is their take on the innovative Rush Poker concept from Full Tilt, and Zoom Poker from PokerStars.

The idea is the same. If you don't like the hand you are dealt, you can fold and immediately see a new situation in which to invest your chips and your time. You don't have to wait for the current hand to finish.

I like it so far, although the "whoosh" sound and animations are a little clumsy. Rather than a copy of the Rush Poker sound, I'd rather hear something more in the electronic style of Bovada. Overall though, it's a welcomed feature, no doubt.

EDIT: On the other hand, the sheer speed of the game accelerates the "easy come, easy go" factor. In one case, I made a quick all-in decision that would normally have been an easy fold. I followed that by getting set-over-setted (QQQ vs KKK), and had to downshift for tilt-control. Speed and greed are not necessarily a profitable mix...

Little harm done though, acct is back at $943.26. Still looking to break the elusive $1000 glass ceiling again.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Tournament Sunday

Played three tourneys today:

The $1000 and the $12000 Guaranteed Deep Stacks, and the $3000 Guaranteed Super Stack.

Got nowhere in the first two, but made a deep run in the $3000 SS. There were 1044 players and I made it to 37th for a whopping $18.50 six long hours later. Hardly seems worth it until you see the final table payouts. First place was around $985. Not a bad investment off a $5 buyin.

Someone will be jumping for joy. Wish it were me, but I'm confident that it will be eventually. Just need to be patient, pick good spots, and not get too results-oriented.