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.

Friday, September 13, 2013

More SnG action

Tired... Loaded two SnGs tonight and they ran longer than usual. $4 beginner and $5 regular again, and I cashed in both. Had them each down to 3-handed and it was annoying getting beeped at constantly for decisions. I don't know how the real masters like Greg Merson et al can stand it, running up to 24 six-handed cash tables for several hours.

I busted in 3rd in the $5er. With blinds at 300\150\30, we were fairly even and the button and small blind just limped. Had KJs in the BB and shoved, then the button gets a woody and calls with AJo...nice slowplay. We both catch a jack, so I'm outkicked and out.

Busted in 2nd in the $4. Made an iffy shove headsup against the chipleader with 8To, and he flips up queens. Had some outs but they were in the burn cards or the rabbit hole, and I was sent packing.

Played mostly well except for two spots. I had 66 in late position once and elected to fold for some reason. Would have landed trip-6s on the flop. Why the hesitation?

In another hand I had 7Ts in the small blind and elected to fold with no raise ahead. Would've flopped a straight vs two pair. Again, why hesitate in these spots? Need to figure out where that's coming from, because it is probably -EV and feels weak.

Happy to cash again running two SnGs though. This is a good warmup for league play next Friday. I hope to crush it again and post another 1st place, for the cash and the points; our final table stacks in January will be based on points so the more chips the merrier. Currently in 2nd place but that could easily change.

Bovada account is at $872.36, for $572.36 profit. Looking to cross $1000 again, but trying to get there patiently.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

SnG stats

I reviewed a hand history from the last SnG played\won, and gathered some stats on hands won\lost\folded.

Total Hands: 123
Hands folded: 83 (67%)
Hands played: 40 (33%)
Hands won: 33 (27% of total hands; 83% of hands played )
Hands lost: 7 (6% of total hands;18% of total hands played)

Late Game (Hands 71-123, last 53 hands with 5 of 9 players left):

Folded: 29 (55%)
Played: 24  (45%)
Won: 22 (42%)
Lost: 2 (4%)
Won by default (SB folded): 9 (17%)
Hands won where I'm behind preflop: 9 (17%)

Late-game hands won in green (bottom bar):

I was definitely helped by the weak player on my right, who didn't shove enough from the small blind position. He gave me a late-game edge, which was nice. I think showing a lot of aggression after hand 71 (when crippled to two big blinds) helped me to establish a kind of maniac image too, which may have prompted him to play more conservative.

There was at least one horrible shove that worked out in my favor (resteal with And one weak fold (AJ suited), that would have knocked out two of the four remaining players. Need to study that one and decide if it was really a mistake, or the right play; we were on the bubble.

Once again:

"In order to live, you must be willing to die." -Amir Vahedi


By comparison, here are stats from the SnG played\won simultaneously. I ran very well preflop here, and a few people overplayed hands and donated to me. The percentage of hands folded vs hands played is almost identical, just 1% difference.

Total Hands: 90
Hands folded: 61 (68%)
Hands played: 29 (32%)
Hands won: 20 (22% of total hands; 70% of hands played )
Hands lost: 9 (10% of total hands; 31% of total hands played)

Late Game (Hands 50-90, last 40 hands with 5 of 9 players left):

Folded: 21 (53%)
Played: 19  (47%)
Won: 15 (38%)
Lost: 6 (15%)

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Cash Games

Loaded a .5\.10 and a .10\.25 for a couple of orbits tonight and added another $25+.

Gift hand: 

-Picked up AcAd in UTG+2. UTG raises to 3bb preflop and I repop to 7bb. 
-Flop is 3d Ah 2s (yay). He checks, I bet half-pot on the flop and he calls. 
-Turn is a 6d. I bet roughly $5 into the $7 pot due to the diamond draw and he shoves. I call.
-River is the Qc.

Cue fire and money animation...AAA smashes AA with a king kicker.

Thanks for overplaying TPTK out of position, Mr. Villain. I did 3-bet you pre-flop so AA was certainly in my range. For future reference, I'm not 3-betting light from UTG+2. Save your bankroll and learn to pot-control my friend...

Account is at $863.18.

Choctaw Fall Poker Series


Thinking about driving up to do battle. On the other hand, I could risk $10 for a $12,000 guaranteed online every Sunday, from the couch. Hmm...

Need more live play experience though, no doubt. 

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

SnG x2

Had a productive night at low stakes sit-n-go's, 9-handed. Played a $4 beginner and a standard $5 simultaneously, and took first place in both for $35. Had some good hands\good luck on one table, then recovered miraculously well on another.

On the $5er, I lost a hand with AQo vs AKo which crippled me to 2 big blinds on the bubble, with blinds at 100\200. Shoved all-in four times in a row to claw back to 1500 or so. Took out the bubble boy later, then turned up the heat 3-handed.

The chipleader busted the shortstack, then I went on a raising frenzy and we evened up a bit. I checked trip-8s on the flop a few hands later and let him bluff all-in with nothing. He was down to 2 big blinds so I shoved every hand to close it out.

Account is at $837.38.

Time to watch Stacey Keibler talk about her experiences at Burning Man on Kimmel.



Missing a few hand histories. Got busy moving furniture out of storage in August and missed Bovada's download period. Not happy with either graph, but here they are (account is at $810.68, for $510.68 profit):

Had an opportunity to play live at Winstar last weekend, but opted to pass, or read while a friend played. Wasn't ready to embrace the possibility of losing $200, despite winning that amount at our last league tourneys. Been off my game lately and don't like to risk much when rusty.

Also we were going to see Tim Hawkins on Sunday, and I didn't want a potential downswing to ruin...the fun:

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Monday, September 2, 2013

Words to Swim (live) By


"I got three messages," an exhausted and happy Nyad told reporters. Her face was sunburned and swollen.

"One is we should never, ever give up. Two is you never are too old to chase your dreams. Three is it looks like a solitary sport, but it's a team," she said.

"I think that a lot of people in our country have gotten depressed, pinned in, pinned down with living lives they don't want," Nyad said.

She continued: "I do write all the time about -- you tell me what your dreams are. What are you chasing? It's not impossible. Name it."

Time to dust off that dreamboard...