Sunday, December 31, 2006

Looking back... 2006

2006 was a very big year for me with a lot of changes in my personal life. But since this blog is intended to be mainly poker and some other stuff, I figured I'd do a general review of 2006. But before I get to poker, I do want to throw a few things here. The year started off great. Actually, better than great. Fantastic. Steelers became the first team in the NFL to win 3 straight road playoff games to get to the Superbowl and finally win a Superbowl. Even better, it was in Detroit, the Bus's hometown. I watch the highlight reels from the playoffs and I still get goosebumps. Aaaaah, great year. Couple that with my fantasy football victory (even though I guess that's sooooo 2005) and the year could not have gotten off to a better start. And to think that I got to close out 2006 with another victory in fantasy football (albeit a different league) is great.

In terms of poker, it was a very up and down year with some close calls. One big change for me was actually not in terms of how I play but meeting some new people and finding a group of guys who are probably just as enthusiastic about poker as I am. Around midyear, a friend of mine called me to ask me if I were interested in filling in for this one guy for a one table $25 tournament that they have every week. Generally, I'm not too crazy about SNG's (sit n' go, ie generally, one table tournament) but I thought what the hell. I don't do much on Tuesday nights so I said I would. So I went to this game that I figured was a soft game. Guys play every week but they just play for fun. I've seen it all too many times, didn't expect anything different. Well, I was wrong. It was a very competitive group and even though the skill levels may vary, nobody was a donkey. Far from it. Well, I guess I wasn't too slow or a major donkey so I was invited back after that. It also coincided with the time when couple of the regulars were moving so it naturally opened up a few spots. So, basically, I found a relatively cheap buy-in tournament that is played by guys who take poker pretty seriously. That was a very big deal for me. I've been looking for something like this for a very long time.

I'll save the details for the Tuesday group for another time because they do something interesting so that it becomes an incentive to do better each week as well as showing up to play each week. Well, before I discuss online play, here's the recap of how I did on Tuesdays:
I played in 22 tournaments:
1st place - only once (I suck!)
2nd place - 8 times (ok, apparently, I suck heads up)
Net (only top 2 gets paid) - +$10.
I guess I don't have to claim this for the IRS...

This Tuesday group also had a few "big tournaments" which was a $100 buy in. Generally, there were 14-16 people. I was in 3 of them and didn't cash in any. I think I came in like 5th or 6th in all of them. Oh, except for one. I came in 9th place on a bad beat... Some guy called off the rest of his chips with A-10 against my AK and he took it down. Yeah, I'm still bitter.
Net - ($300)

Total tournaments played (this includes one table SNG's as well as MTT's - multi table tournaments) = 97
The two notable tournaments I played in would be the $500+35 qualifier for the main event of the WSOP. One, I qualified for by playing certain amount of poker (a lot) and another, I qualified by placing 3rd in a $24+2 buy-in out of 81 players. The first 500+35 qualifier did not go well for me. Out of 3,050 players, I busted out in 2,661. The other one had 786 players and I came in 36th place. I think top 20 qualified for the WSOP and when I busted out, I was in 22nd place in chips... So close.

Total # of tournaments I was "in the money": 31
Highest finish in MTT's = 3rd place
Biggest win = 4th place out of 218 players in a $69+6 tourney = $1,391.60
Next biggest win = 3rd place out of 81 players in a $24+2 tourney = $509.00
Most devastating performance = 184th place out of 185 in a $69+6 tourney
Net of all online tournaments = $630.41

One quick note. Another reason I like FullTilt is because in MTT's, when you make the final table, the skin (ie the background) changes to a "final table" background that you can only get if you make it to the final table. I remember when I first made it, I thought it was the coolest thing. It's very WPT ish. Probably as close to a WPT final table as I will ever get. Once you see that, you do long for more...

Quick hits on cash games online:
Total # of hands played = 45,457 (as of 12/31 morning so this will certainly change)
Total hours played = 707 hrs (this is skewed because when you multitable, I think pokertracker computes the hours for each table. So, if I had 2 tables going for one hour, PT computes that as 2 hrs)
Month where I logged the most hours = July (9,412 hands/150 hrs) and the result? Whopping $7.55. This is a result of multitabling fellas. I can only do 2 tables at a time successfully. I think I was 3-4 tabling here.
Month where I logged the fewest hours = May (those of you that know me well, I guess this may be obvious why (769 hands, 11 hrs)
Interesting enough, the next one was August where I played 2,364 hands for 39 hrs. You think I got burnt out after July? Clearly.
Most devastating month = April (lost $868.50)
Most successful month = June (plus $1,261.70)

This came as a surprise because I know that early in the year, I made a huge run. But then I noticed that I didn't get PT till late January so my January is a little skewed. For personal reasons (ie taxes), I will not be posting the total net from cash games but I will have to report my income on the tax return this year...

Saturday, December 30, 2006

I think I need to tighten up...

Alright, so just to give you the background of this table. I've been aggressively raising early because I was actually catching cards. Then, there was one hand where I lost a lot of money when I had JJ and this other guy had KK. But all night, I was raising from either the cutoff or the button when everyone folded to me, pretty much with anything. This guy, 44 AXE 44, earlier reraised me to $21 and I folded. So, this hand came around and this is what I ended up doing... Oh, my screenname is RecessRampage.

Full Tilt Poker Game #1504368091: Table Laurel Ridge - $1/$2 - No Limit Hold'em - 22:01:32 ET - 2006/12/30
Seat 1: RecessRampage ($138.75)
Seat 2: Miss_Rebel ($184)
Seat 3: 44 AXE 44 ($225.25)
Seat 4: majenks ($326.70)
Seat 5: novel20 ($200)
Seat 6: mrfony ($222.70)
Seat 7: full_tilting ($202)
Seat 8: nikfresrn ($78)
Seat 9: DogZLips ($179.60)
44 AXE 44 posts the small blind of $1
majenks posts the big blind of $2
The button is in seat #2
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to RecessRampage [8s 7d]
novel20 folds
mrfony folds
full_tilting folds
nikfresrn folds
DogZLips folds
RecessRampage raises to $7
Miss_Rebel folds
44 AXE 44 raises to $21
majenks folds
RecessRampage calls $14
*** FLOP *** [Jc 5d 7s]
44 AXE 44 bets $30
RecessRampage calls $30
*** TURN *** [Jc 5d 7s] [2s]
44 AXE 44 checks
RecessRampage bets $87.75, and is all in
44 AXE 44 folds
Uncalled bet of $87.75 returned to RecessRampage
RecessRampage mucks
RecessRampage wins the pot ($101)
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot $104 Rake $3
Board: [Jc 5d 7s 2s]
Seat 1: RecessRampage collected ($101), mucked
Seat 2: Miss_Rebel (button) didn't bet (folded)
Seat 3: 44 AXE 44 (small blind) folded on the Turn
Seat 4: majenks (big blind) folded before the Flop
Seat 5: novel20 didn't bet (folded)
Seat 6: mrfony didn't bet (folded)
Seat 7: full_tilting didn't bet (folded)
Seat 8: nikfresrn didn't bet (folded)
Seat 9: DogZLips didn't bet (folded)

Did I think it was possible that he had a high pair? Sure. But if he did, I had outs. This had more to do with the fact that I knew he was raising because he knew that I would raise from the button with a pretty weak hand (my hand selection would be a lot wider). I knew he knew so I played back like I actually had a hand this time. And again, if not, I did have a pair of 7s.... Risky, and not worth it? Probably...

Friday, December 29, 2006

Another FullTilt Tournament!

I actually wanted to post this last night but by the time I had the chance, it was like 2am and I was going to have to drive all day the next day (which is today) back from Ohio to VA so I decided to wait until I got back. Even though I don't have much money to show for, I've been feeling pretty good about my recent play. I felt like I was taking some good chances and when I'm involved in hands with big pots, I'm generally the one putting the others to big decisions (sometimes I have it, sometimes I don't but more often than not, I do). So, even though I'm generally anti tournaments, I decided to play in another one. Well, before I go into that tournament, I feel like I should explain why I am anti-tournaments. Hell, this is my blog, I'll explain whatever I want to. Generally, if I sign up for a tournament, in order to make any kind of money, you'd have to make the final table. I mean if not, you end up winning very little (like my net gain of $43 from two nights ago in that $75 tournament) after playing good, solid poker for over 2.5 hrs which is generally when you "get in the money." So, to me, I feel like the reward factor is very little unless you feel like you really have a shot at winning the whole thing (the pay out for that tournament for 1st place I believe was over $10,000). Instead, I could probably make that kind of money playing cash games in about an hour (on average). And, as we all know, you have to survive some bad beats and win some coin flip situations just to get in the money (it's hard to just "survive" for 2+ hrs in an online tournament because of the blinds). So, I'm generally not a fan of those things. However, since I've been feeling like I've been playing good poker, I actually felt like I could realistically win. I really did. So, I played in another tournament.

The tournament was a $24+2 buy-in (ie $26... for non-poker-afficionados, the $24 goes to the pot, $2 is the tournament fee ie profit for FullTilt and that's how most tournaments are described) with 1,841 players starting with 1500 in chips. And I'll post the highlights of this tournament below:

Hand #5 of the tournament, I was dealt QJ of hearts. I flop the nut straight, check check, turn a flush draw, villain bets, I call. Blank on the river, the guy bets again, I raise, he folds. Net +650.

No significan action till hand #30. I was dealt pocket 4s. I call, button calls, big blind checks. Flop comes J-5-5 with a club draw. Big blind bets the minimum (60 at this point), I call, button calls. Turn brings a 6d, bringing a diamond draw into the picture. This time, big blind bets 160, I feel my hand is good but not sure so I call, and the button folds. River brings.... 4! Even better, the big blind bets 460. I couldn't think of a more clever thing to do so I push all in. Big blind is a decent player (I knew from before) and he folds after thinking about it. Big pot. 1630 (net +895).

Hand 45. Really, it's not like I was playing tight but I wasn't getting anything. This is actually the 5th hand I voluntarily played (where I wasn't the blind). However, at this point, I had 2920 in chips. Still, not bad considering how I haven't been getting anything. I'm dealt 2-2. One away from the button. Everyone folds to me so I raise, just trying to steal the blinds. Big blind calls. Flop A-J-4 with a flush draw. He checks. I bet a very convincing 650 (size of the pot). He folds. Generally, when stealing from late position, people tend to have an ace. I'm sure that's what he thought when he called my raise which he correctly interpreted as a blind steal raise. So, this flop was relatively favorable, esp when he didn't bet. There were two diamonds so if he actually had an A, it would have been dangerous to check. The big blind is also a decent player so he has enough common sense to believe my bet since I only played like 5 hands till this point.

Very next hand. One early position caller (blinds now up to 50-100) so I call with 9-10 of clubs (I have 3400 in chips at this point, so I'm pretty comfortable). Everyone folds around, small blind calls and big blind checks. Flop comes 6c-7s-Kc. Gut shot straight draw and a flush draw for me! (12 outs to make either a straight or a flush). Small blind checks, big blind bets 300 into the 400 pot. Early position guy calls. So, easy call for me (calling another 300 into a pot of 1000). Back to small blind who folds. Turn is a... Qd. Not great, but ok. Gives me 3 more outs for the straight (double gutted. J would give me a K high straigh, 8 would give me a 10 high straight). 15 outs? Money. Even better when big blind checks, and the early position guy checks. I bet 700 into a 1300 pot. Fold Fold. Wow. Good size pot, taking it down with a semibluff. (net +900).

Hand 96. Played a few hands but nothing significant. Took down some blinds, etc but nothing to really boost my stack. Just keeping my chip stack healthy. At this point though, blinds are starting to creep up. 120/240 with ante 25. My stack is 3915, still relatively healthy. However, short stack when I got moved to this table! So I needed to make a move or a hand relatively soon. But no hurry. Until this one. I'm big blind and I'm dealt AQ. Middle-late position guy raises to only double the big blind. Small blind decides to call. I sensed weakness (I knew small blind was clearly weak, he had to call based on pot odds) and I hate playing hands like this out of position (ie first to act after the flop) so I pushed all in. I know, overbet. I just wanted to take it down without a flop. If a guy was a donkey enough to call that kind of an all-in with a hand like say AJ, then he has no business being in the tournament anyways. But, he calls. With 7-7. RACE! I love it when I get ahead at the flop. Q on the flop with no help for him doubles me up! I am now at 8,485. Very healthy.

Hand 100. I was dealt 8-8. Blinds at 150/300 ante 25. I raise from middle position to 900. Everyone folds except the small blind. Flop comes K-T-4. He checks. I didn't like that flop and this guy, I was kinda worried about so I checked to get another free card. Turn comes a 9 which now gives a potential club flush draw. Small blind bets 300 (into a pot of 2000+) so I call. River completes a flush with Qc. He bets 1200. I just never figured out where I stood in this hand. Very poorly played by me, I think. I fold. Net -$1225.

Hand 104. I'm in the big blind with 7-7. Guy from cut-off with more chips than me, raises to 900. Button and small blind folds and I, of course, call. Flop is a dream. Ad-6s-7d. Only concern is a flush draw but remember what I said about someone raising to steal? Well, that was my read on him so I figured he had an A. But I wanted to let him do the betting and since I haven't shown a check-raise to this point, I checked. He bets 1200 into a 2000+ pot. I wanted him to bet more but oh well. I raised to 3600, unfortunately, he folds. Still, net +2450 (blinds and antes really add up quickly).

Hand 105. Not sure where I was but... Two early position callers. I'm in the small blind with J-2 of hearts. Suited? No raise? I'm already half in? Ok, I call. Big blind checks. Flop comes J-6-5. Check, check, check, bet 900. I figured the last guy had to bet just cuz everyone checked to him. I just wanted to keep the pot small here because of my kicker (see, I mix in the small ball still). Turn is a 3 (damn!) so I check but he checks. Ah, guess he's done taking a shot at that pot. River is a 9. I really had a feeling that I was gonna take it down so I thought about checking and maybe letting him bet but instead, I bet 2000. He folded. Net +2000. My chips at 12,000+. Very healthy at this point in the tourney.

Hand 108. I am dealt AQ of diamonds, 3 seats from the button! So pretty.... until the guy before me (who only has 5000 to my 12000 in chips) raises to 1400 (blinds are now 200-400 ante 50). I, of course, call. Then the guy right behind me goes all in for a little short of 8000. That's 6600 more for me to call! Well, it comes back to the original raiser who calls for his remaining 3600. I had to think about this one. The original raiser was pretty much committed because of his short stack. But the guy behind me? For him to go all in, he had to have at least a pocket pair and a pretty high one at that because not many people pushes all in when there is a healthy raise from a short stack (where you know they'll pretty much call the reraise regardless) and a caller from a guy who really hasn't shown anything but good hands (remember, I never had to show my J-2). So I put him on high pocket pair, at worst AK. I fold. BOOM. Original raiser had AQ, the reraiser had AK. The only sick joke about this is the fact that AQ actually ended up winning by making a straight. Sick, sick... oh well, my read is accurate. I'm feeling good about my chip stack and my plays so far!

Hand 126. There were couple of hands that gave me + or - 1000 but based on the blinds, that's not much action. So here's the next significant one. I somewhat dwindled to 8400 because of the blinds and antes and some failed protection of my big blind. Well, this would be a good time to protect my big blind because I got dealt JJ. Another guy from relatively early position with approx 9000 in chips raise to 1500 (blinds are now 250/500 ante 50 see how I could dwindle quickly?). Everyone folds to me and some of you already know this but I don't like to play this kinda hand out of position so I did the only sensible thing I can think of. ALL IN. The guy types something like "I hate this hand." And calls. aaah, another JJ. Ok, I guess we're safe.... except someone must be looking over me. Cuz I catch a flush on the river!!! SICK, SICK, SICK!!! But I double up. 17,730. Nice!

Hand 134. I'm first to act with 8-8. Blinds are now 300/600 ante 75. I figured a first position raise would give me enough credit for the strength of my hand to make up for any lack of actual strength (so that some people would fold hands like K-10, etc). A guy with only 1400 called with A-10. Race. I won! Just adding to my big stack. Net +2895.

Hand 140. I have 18,275 in chips. Good enough to put me in like top 20 in chips. Very healthy! Well, these are the moments I do some silly things. I see A-7 from middle position so I raise to 2400 because the table has been getting kinda tight. Unfortunately, another guy reraises to 9600. I can't call that. Fold. Net -2500 (blinds increased to 400-800 ante 100). IDIOT!

Hand 150. I have 7-8 of diamonds. Two away from the button. I attempt a steal of the blinds. Successful this time. Net +2500.

Hand 154. Blinds are now 500-1000 ante 125. Middle position player calls. I'm in late position with A-5 of clubs. So, I raise. Yep, big stack bully. 4000. Everyone folds. It's sort of a steal. With the blinds and antes, it's really important to build on your stack even more. I wasn't trying to move up a few spots. I wanted to win the $8,000 first prize. Anyways, that steal netted me +3,375.

Hand 156. As you can tell, I am starting to become pretty active, compared to early in the tournament. I am in late position with AK. Still the same blinds as above. Middle position player raises to 3000. I hate AK esp with an aggressive player who has more chips than I did (he had 44000, top 5 in chips vs my 17000 in chips). So, I went all in. If it's a race, I figured I need to win this in order to really boost my level. Well, he folded. So, net +5,500.

Now, the swings of 2,000-3,000 is becoming normal due to the blinds...

Hand 166. Blinds are 600/1200 ante 150 (at a full table, that's a pot of 3300 before anyone else bets!). I have 21000 in chips so I'm healthy but the pot makes up a good percentage of my chips. I'm in the small blind. And the hand that I'm starting to fall in love with in this tournament. JJ. Middle position player raises to 3600 and another player who has about the same amount as the original raiser (both around 35k in chips) calls. Folded around to me so I once again, pull my usual move. ALL IN for 21000. Surprisingly, everyone folded. Net +9,600.

Hands 171 and 173. Had A-5 suited, raised from late position when it was folded to me and so I took down the pot which now nets me +4000. Same in 73 with pocket 10s.

Hand 188. I have approx 30k in chips. Blinds are 1000/2000 ante 250. I am in middle position with 6-6. So I raise to 7500. Short stack at the table (short stack, in this case is approx 13k... short but not THAT short) pushes all in. Well, another 5,000 to me so I have to call. Fortunately, he has 2-2. I win. Monster pot of over 30k. Net +16,000.

Hand 195. I have 42k in chips. Blinds still same as above. I am in middle position with AQ. I'm 3rd to act so I raise to 7,000. Everyone folds except for the big blind. He goes all in for the rest of his 25,000. This one, I had to think for a long time. I almost used up my time bank (which is not nearly enough, FullTilt!) because I thought, I already committed an extra 7,000. It was 18k more for me to call. Pot including his reraise already had approx 37k. So I was getting 2-1. And according to Dan Harrington, if you think there's a chance your hand is good, 2-1 is a monster pot odds that you are getting. So I put him on a range of hands. I'm f***ed if he had AA, KK, or QQ. Very, very bad shape if he had AK. But, if he had anything else, either, I'm ahead or worst case scenario, I'm on the bad side of a coin flip. Plus, if I folded, I'd have 35k in chips and relatively healthy. But, if I win this one, I'd be in top 10. Hey, I didn't last this long to freakin survive. I'm in it to win it! I called. He had JJ. Perfect. At least I was getting good pot odds. 2-1 on my money for a 1-1 situation? Flop 3-5-4. (Come on, A, 2, or Q!). Turn 3. (A,2, or Q!) River.... Q! Another BIG BIG pot. Net +30,250.

Hand 199. 72k in chips. I'm in top 10 right now with approx 50 people remaining. I'm in middle position with JJ again! Blinds are big enough that I raised to 8,000, and took down the pot which included just the blinds and antes but netting me +5400.

Hand 205. I really want to build on my stack. I'm in middle position. 7-10 offsuit. Raise to 8000. Everyone folds. Table kinda tightened up and started respecting my raises again so I figured it was a good time. Basically, I was starting to try to steal at least once per orbit (otherwise, the blinds and antes really eat away). Net +6000.

Hand 206. I honestly believe the hand before it set me up for this one. I'm 3rd to act and look down at AA (finally!!! first time tonight!). I do my standard raise to 8,000. I'm hoping for a call. Even better! ALL IN. For 28k. I call in a heart beat. The guy has QQ. I win. Big pot. 62k. Net +34k. I now have over 100k in chips and I'm top 5.

Hand 221. I have 106k. Blinds 1500/3000 ante 400. A-5 from middle position. I raise to 10,000. The short stack at 15000 pushes all in so I have no choice but to call. He has KK. Lost. Net -16k. Ouch.

Hand 223. I'm in middle position with A-10 so I raise to 10k. I think I was tilting for some reason here. A-10 from early position is a hand I never play. NEVER. It's a trouble hand, good enough to get you in real trouble. Well, there was a reraise all in so I cannot call. Net -10,400.

Hand 227. I just donked off 26k in the past few hands. Now is not the time I want to go on tilt. It's getting late, the field that had 1800+ people are now down to 40, I'm top 15 in chips still. I'm on the button with 9-9. It's folded to me so I raise to 12k (blinds are now 2k/4k ante 500). Big blind calls (pretty much because he's got the odds to call, I think). Flop comes K-9-7 with two diamonds. Big blind checks. I debated checking here but I felt like that would be so out of character for me to check when it's checked to me so I made my obligatory bet. 10k. Yes, very smallish. He folded. Made him think though. But damn. Trips. I wanted fireworks! Net +17k.

Hand 230. I have 90k in chips. I look at J-10 of clubs. I raise to 12k from middle position. Folds around to the big blind who proceeds to go all in for 90k. Obviously, I cannot call. -12k.

Hand 231. I have 77k in chips. First position player who is a short stack goes all in for 19k. I push ALL IN right afterwards with AK. Everyone folds so I successfully isolated the short stack. Q-10. Flop 5-6-7. Turn... Q. River 8. Motherf*cker! -19k. Uh oh.

Hand 235. I need to make a move. Down to 57k! Blinds at 2k/4k ante 500. I'm in the big blind. But I see AQ. NICE! Early position raises to 12,500. Everyone folds to me. Another 8,500 to call. I'm not quite at the point where I'm desperate because I got 57k so I decide to call to see what the flop brings. Come on A or Q! A-J-3. Perfect. I check, knowing (yes, KNOWING) he will bet. And he does. Even better. He goes all in. I call in a heart beat. He shows 5-5. Turn is a.... devastating 5. River is a blank. I was down to 12k with this loss....

I went all in the very next hand with K-9 or something (I was small blind, it was folded to me and I had virtually no chips). A-7 was big blind and I never caught anything....

36th place overall.... Net gain of $89.... I hate tournaments.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Proud of myself!

Ok, so this isn't a major post but... recently, I've started playing a lot more long ball poker... I don't know why. Maybe it's just the mood I'm in or maybe because I'm catching cards but I just know that before, I focused on trying to keep the pots small... now, it's like I tend to swing for the fences. Alas, there are more times that I strike out but also more times that I make a lot more than I used to. Tonight is another one of those nights... sort of. It started off bad. I was doing ok until this hand came along...

At a 1-2 NL table, I was dealt AdQc so I raised to $7. I get two callers and the flop comes 9d 6h Jd. So I check, villain bets $16, 3rd guy folds and it comes back to me. I figured he had the J but with two cards to come and also two diamonds on the board (and I have the A of diamonds), I thought this was a pot I could make a play at if the cards fell right. So, I called to see what the turn would bring. Well, the turn comes 3d, completing my fake flush draw. I check again, hoping he would slow down with the possible flush. Well, he bets out $35. Well, I guess I was feeling kinda frisky so I thought this is the right moment for the play. So I checkraised him. Except I checkraised the minimum, indicating that I wanted him to call (I was thinking this would add deception... like he would think I want the call so he would be more apt to fold). Villain calls and the river comes... a blank. 10h. I was really hoping for a Q or a diamond, obviously. Well, I can't let this pot go because it's too big so I bet $75. I still wanted to make the bet seem more callable. He thought about it, goes into the tank, types in stuff like "must be an overpair... maybe trips." I'm thinking to myself, what about flush? Didn't I sell you the flush? Well, he proceeded to call. Bam. Lost $148 (pot was like $300+).

Couple of donk plays later, I was down the whole buy-in ($200). Well, I bought in again and I had another table going where I was doing ok. Long story short, at the end of the night, I ended up being down only $35. Not a bad way to climb back out of a hole!

On a side note, a friend of mine signed up on Full Tilt as well and he seems to be playing a fair amount in the evenings. That's been kinda fun to have occasional chat at the same table. No, there's no cooperation or anything going on. Friends away from the table, enemy at the table. That's my motto, as should be every poker players'. I have no intention of cheating the game so hopefully, nobody would even question it. Doubt it but you never know with these conspiracy theorists. :)

A DVD player in the car!

I am personally not a big supporter for having a DVD player in the car... I always wondered how that may affect teaching kids the idea of patience (and the neverending question of "are we there yet?"). Having said that, since I don't have kids, I guess it's easy for me to say. Well, today, I was in the car for approx 8 hours and when I wasn't driving, I decided to check out the DVD player. The DVD? Why, WPT Season 3, of course. I love Christmas presents. I popped in the Tunica Open where the final table consisted of guys like Daniel Negreanu, Michael Mizrachi, Chiau Giang, Scotty Nguyen, and couple of internet qualifiers. Well, it was an awesome episode. Anytime Negreanu is at the final table, I think it makes for a good show because he's fun to watch. At one point, he was doing a Sexton and Patten imitation and it was hilarious... and that was the hand where he dealt a monster bad beat to Mizrachi.... so bad, that I gaped aloud when I saw the river.... Let me refresh the memories of those that don't remember (or never seen it). My chip count may be a little iffy but Negreanu had approximately 1.5 million in chips and was in the small blind. Mizrachi had approx 500,000 in chips and was in the big blind. Well, everyone folded around to Negreanu who looks down at 7-7 so he raises it another 100,000 (I think BB was 30,000). Mizrachi looks down at 8-8 and he goes all in. Negreanu, after some colorful commentary, calls. Well, if he hits the 7, that's not that bad. But here's how the hand went down. Flop comes out 6-9-10. Well, here's the sick part. One of the internet qualifiers folded 7-8. So the turn is a blank. Well, as you can tell, Negreanu hits the one-outer... 3%. OUCH! I'm a big fan of Negreanu but it hurt to watch Mizrachi get knocked out like that.... Who ended up winning the tourney? John Stoltzman (?), one of the internet qualifiers. But if you haven't seen this episode, you should try to find it somewhere. Great one.

Oh yeah, and I am liking the DVD player in the car....

Monday, December 25, 2006


I just busted out of the tournament.... I came in 28th place overall, paying me a whoppin $118... for over 3 hrs of hard work. My last hand was like this... The blinds were 1200/2400 with 250 ante. I am in late position with KQ of hearts. So I raise to 7200 which has been standard and usually enough to take down the pot preflop. The table was playing relatively tight. But not overly tight. Just tight in a nobody is getting out of line type of way. So when the big blind called, I figured he had a decent hand, maybe ace with a high kicker or couple of face cards, maybe middle pocket pair. Flop comes down K-J-3 with two diamonds. He goes all in which was enough to cover my approx 30000 in chips. I was probably like around 18th in chips at that point. I thought about it till the very end and I decided that doubling up here will give me a good chance to make a move towards the final table. Keep in mind the all-in was a big overbet to the flop so I actually thought that maybe he was bluffing with a draw. KJ also crossed my mind but it didn't seem to make sense to overbet a monster like that. Anyways, I call, he has AK and my hand doesn't improve so I busted out in 28th place (out of 429). I got lucky quite a few times in this tournament so I probably had no business (not probably, definitely) being there at that point anyways but it still sucks. Getting knocked out of a tournament is still a very sh*tty feeling...

Tournament on Full Tilt!

I'm in the middle of a tourney right now. The buy-in was $75 ($69+6) and it started with 429 players. It's down to 46 players right now and it's hand for hand because the top 45 places pay out. It's been an up and down tournament for me and I'll write more detail to recap later but I'm currently in 23rd place with approx 23000 in chips (blinds and antes are 600/1200 and 125). Been a very up and down tournament for me. Several suck outs later, I'm doing ok. I needed a lot of help though so I'm worried I used up all my karma for this tournament...

Fantasy football!!! I WON!

Oh my god! I don't believe it. Yesterday, I posted saying that I was probably gonna lose 105-104 barring any scoring change. Well, there it was! A scoring change that put me up 107-105! Now, I don't want to speak too soon until it is official because I don't want to jinx it. But I think one of my defensive players (this is an IDP league with one DL, LB, and DB) had a scoring change which is relatively common in this league because they can't track the tackles completely accurately (so it didn't surprise me too much that there was a scoring change). This could be huge!!!

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Christmas Eve, poker, fantasy football, etc

So it's Christmas Eve. We didn't do anything special to celebrate this evening besides going to PF Chang's. That's always a good time. This is also week 16 of NFL when every game seem to have some sort of a playoff implication for someone. My beloved Steelers got creamed (again) by the Baltimore Ravens... that means whatever minimal chance they had to make the playoffs is now gone. This was also the "superbowl" for our fantasy football league. I participate in two leagues and last year, I won one of them but I did not make the playoffs for that league. However, in my other league, I made it to the "superbowl"! It was a close game between my team and the villain but as it stands right now, barring any scoring updates, it appears that we lost... by 1! That hurts. If Willie Parker didn't fumble... if Drew Brees performed better.... if Larry Fitzgerald got 9 more yards..... yeah, I know. It looks like I'd have to settle for a second place prize.

Right now, FullTilt has a promotion going where if you earn 300 points in a day, you are eligible for a drawing for a pretty cool prize (yesterday was a 19" monitor, today is a digital camera, etc). You're also eligible for some cash prize at lower point increments as well. Well, I'm a sucker for points and promotions so I'm back it, playing a fair amount of poker. I'm still not at the level that I was about a year ago when I was literally 3 or 4 tabling and playing 5-6 hrs a day. I wasn't really making much money doing that (it's almost impossible for me to pay attention to that many people at once). So I still don't know how guys do 8 tables at once. I'd actually love to see that one day. I'm a pretty loyal customer at FullTilt but I have to admit, their points are hard to earn. Basically, you get points based on the rake of the hand that you are dealt. The maximum rake for a hand is $3 but at 1-2 NL, it's pretty rare for it to get that much. Basically, at a 1-2NL table, you probably earn approximately 60 points per hour. So if you think about it that way, that's a lot of poker. Good thing I took some time off. I'll be playing plenty this week. I am hoping that soon, I would start posting actual hands like I intended to when I first started this blog...

Saturday, December 23, 2006

poker and video games - perfect solution!

Recently, I'm not playing as much online poker as I used to, mainly because I'm hooked on video games... I've been playing a lot of NCAA 2007 and Rise of Nations. I guess that wouldn't mean much to nonvideo gamers but it's taking away from my poker time and I don't like it. However, whenever I am playing online poker, my mind keeps wandering away to the video games. Whether it's another country I need to conquer or another season I need to build my team towards National Championship... anyways, I digress. Yesterday though, I found a perfect solution. I normally play 1-2 NL but instead, I played .25/.50 NL while I was playing my PS2. Once I fold a hand, I can be totally into the video game. By the 4th quarter, the game is usally over so I can focus more on poker while I let the clock run out. Ok, admittedly, this sounds more like a bad case of A.D.D. but it works for me!

Friday, December 22, 2006

Still not poker related...

I honestly intend for this blog to be more poker related than anything else. Just haven't gotten to writing anything related to poker... weird. Today was kind of a sad day. Well, nothing kinda. My grandpa passed away. I was very close to him and I used to spend many summers with him when I was a kid because both of my parents worked. I remember staying up late at night, doing nothing really except listening to his stories or him playing along with whatever game my wild imagination came up with. I guess I'm not quite as sad because he was 87 and he was not in pain when he passed away. The only sad thing is that he is in Japan and I am in Virginia... a little far. And because of technicalities that I won't bother to get into, it would be tough for me to just go back home and expect to be back for work even though I have all of next week off. Unfortunate but such is life. I think my grandpa would understand. Oh well. I'll stop here. I swear, soon, I'm gonna write something poker related.... but then again, nobody might care... at least now. I don't think anyone reads my blogs right now... Good night now!

Sunday, December 17, 2006


Sweet. This is my first blog... not sure how dedicated I may be or how hooked I might end up being but I finally set this up... but, I'm tired so I am going to bed. I intend this blog to be a lot about poker. At least that's my intent... we'll see how this ends up going.