Friday, December 28, 2007
Full Tilt Poker Game #4624345801: Table Sunrise (6 max) - $1/$2 - No Limit Hold'em - 20:40:52 ET - 2007/12/25
Seat 1: smithroger_777 ($302.75)
Seat 2: ludko ($200.20)
Seat 3: RecessRampage ($375.55)
Seat 4: CSDROCKS ($172.50)
Seat 5: End Your Trauma ($293)
Seat 6: nortmansdad ($67.05) <--- my nemesis
RecessRampage posts the small blind of $1
CSDROCKS posts the big blind of $2
The button is in seat #2
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to RecessRampage [Qc Qd]
End Your Trauma folds
nortmansdad calls $2
RecessRampage raises to $8 (from the SB)
nortmansdad calls $6
*** FLOP *** [2s Jd Tc]
RecessRampage bets $14
nortmansdad calls $14
Fairly standard so far. The opponent limps from EP, I raise from SB and he calls. Flop comes J high, I bet out and he calls. At this point, I figured he hit a piece of the flop. The guy only has $45 left behind after this call so I'm gonna bet regardless of what card comes on the turn...
*** TURN *** [2s Jd Tc] [Ah]
RecessRampage has 15 seconds left to act
RecessRampage bets $45
And this is where I think I made a mistake. I am fairly confident that he doesn't have AJ. If he had AJ, he woulda raised preflop. He could have KQ even though I would be a little surprised that I don't see a raise. And if he just had a naked ace, he wouldn't call my flop bet which was essentially a quarter of his stack... I think. Of course, all these things are just my reads but that was what I shoulda thought during the hand... I obviously didn't because I bet out the remainder of his stack when the ace falls, knowing that most likely, that ace didn't help him. So in other words, I knew that the ace didn't help him and yet I continue to put pressure on him.
This is what happens...
nortmansdad has 15 seconds left to act
nortmansdad: great card
Uncalled bet of $45 returned to RecessRampage
RecessRampage wins the pot ($43.70)
The reason I think this was a mistake was I may have left $45 on the table. If I check the turn, I would at least be giving him the opportunity to bluff at me. If my read was what it was that I described above, his bet should not scare me. Because the board was starting to become fairly draw heavy, I don't mind my bet but I also do wonder if I coulda taken some more of his money. He later reveals to me that he had KJ. If I check the turn, who knows if he woulda bet but I woulda loved to have given him that opportunity. But I don't know. It's probably so close that either way is excusable. Just another way for me to dissect my hand.
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
Full Tilt Poker Game #4636187257: The Mookie (34950110), Table 6 - 25/50 - No Limit Hold'em - 22:26:59 ET - 2007/12/26
Seat 1: leftylu (2,610)
Seat 2: RecessRampage (3,275)
Seat 3: schlepp571 (5,730)
Seat 4: heffmike (3,815)
Seat 5: IslandBum1 (6,015)
Seat 6: Drizztdj (2,840)
Seat 7: muhctim (2,725)
Seat 8: katitude (1,065)
Seat 9: BigSlickNut (3,720)
schlepp571 posts the small blind of 25
heffmike posts the big blind of 50
The button is in seat #2
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to RecessRampage [Qs Qh]
IslandBum1 calls 50
muhctim calls 50
leftylu calls 50
RecessRampage raises to 325
muhctim calls 275
*** FLOP *** [Kh 7d Kc]
RecessRampage bets 550
muhctim raises to 1,100
RecessRampage raises to 2,950, and is all in
muhctim calls 1,300, and is all in
RecessRampage shows [Qs Qh]
muhctim shows [Ks Jc]
Uncalled bet of 550 returned to RecessRampage
*** TURN *** [Kh 7d Kc] [6s]
*** RIVER *** [Kh 7d Kc 6s] [As]
RecessRampage shows two pair, Kings and Queens
muhctim shows three of a kind, Kings
muhctim wins the pot (5,625) with three of a kind, Kings
When he checkraised me, I figured he was trying to see where he was with his middle pocket pair. I thought the only hand that had me beat would be 77. Did I overplay my queens? Would anyone do anything different here?
Even in looking at my hand, I just can't imagine getting away from this hand. Any thoughts would be appreciated.
1. Switch to 6 max - I think this is critical. In looking at/talking to a lot of the profitable players, they all play 6 max or are starting to focus on 6 max. And I continue to read that if you are a good poker player, 6 max would be more profitable... which makes sense. Poker is a game of decisions and in a 6 max game, you are put to the test more often, you have more decisions to make because you end up playing more hands, and as such, if you are good and you make good decisions, the profitability should increase. Just look at guys like Gnome, Cmitch, Hoy, and Lucko. They continue to play 6 max and they are killing it. I want to be able to put myself on that list.
2. MTT win (or big cash) - I personally love cash games. Profits are instantaneous, good decisions are rewarded (more often than not) immediately, you could get up and leave whenever you want to, and you can choose your opponents by careful table selection if you want to. However, I want to become a better MTT player... or at least be able to produce results. I just don't want to be one dimensional and the prospect of a large win is always exciting. Also, greatness of poker players always seem to be measured by tournament wins or winnings. All the PT stats I put out still seem to pale in comparison to tourney results as evidenced by the number of comments I've received when I won the Mookie for example for a few hundred bucks as opposed to when I post my cash game results showing thousands of dollars in profit. And it's no secret. I wanna be great.
I think those are my two main goals for 2008. In order to do that, there are some things I obviously have to do.
1. I gotta keep blogging. I guess I learn a lot by writing about my hands. It gives me time to think about the situation, it gives me the opportunity to hear other people's thoughts and opinions on the hands, and so it just helps.
2. Study - I need to do more of this. I read a lot of blogs. I also read a fair amount of poker books. I recently joined Pokerxfactor and I have good intentions of joining cardrunners. The only thing that's holding me back from joining cardrunners is because since I just joined PXF, I don't feel like I would have time to watch videos from CR and PXF. So, maybe when my membership expires for PXF, I'll switch to CR for a few months and then switch back again or whatever... we'll see. PXF has been fairly helpful (though I don't have any results to post - a few cashes in the 50-50 is really not enough) and I will review some of the videos I watch on my blog.
3. Play more - Well... sort of. I don't think I can increase the amount of poker I play. But what I need to do is increase the amount of games I play for the ones that I need to focus on. So, I'll probably drop down a few levels and play more 6 max. I'll do something similar to what Cmitch is doing with his 25k hands challenge. I'll also play more MTTs. Currently, I play probably about 5 MTTs a week including the three blogger tourneys. I'll try to bump that number up.
I sure hope I can experience another year where I can reflect and say I grew tremendously as a poker player. Happy 2008 to all!
Sunday, December 23, 2007
Crap... I missed it. My one year anniversary on my blog. I thought I started my blog on the 23rd of December last year... but I was wrong. December 17th was my first post... had nothing to do with poker but that was the day this blog was created. I guess the reason why I remembered the 23rd was because that was the first "real" post... which again, had nothing to do with poker. It was the day my grandpa passed away. It was such a sad day. And I was in the US and I never had the chance to come home for his funeral... nor did I have a chance to go visit him before he passed away. I am not one to have regrets in my life but if there was one, that's the one.
Well, after grandpa passed away, my mom and her brothers went to help grandma clean up and just go through a lot of grandpa's stuff... old photos and such. Well, grandpa apparently liked to keep little notes for himself on small pieces of paper... nothing crazy... just little "life lessons" type of stuff. Who knew? Grandpa was a blogger too... he just happened to blog on little pieces of paper instead of the internet.
In my bedroom here at home, there was this script that was written by my grandpa. He just scribbled it on a piece of paper, probably more for himself than anything else. But funny thing is, it's almost exactly how I am... goes to show how much influence my grandpa had on me... and how similar we were. As lame as it may sound, it's as if grandpa continues to live within me... This is what it said (general translation):
- Happiness is determined by your heart.
- It's easy for anyone to just say it but not everyone is capable of doing it.
- No matter how important, please discard whatever I leave behind... including my body.
- Everybody has struggles they can't tell others. Everyone has sadness they can't tell others. They just keep their mouths shut. Otherwise, they just sound like complaints.
My translation probably doesn't do justice but it was so touching to see his writing. And the principles that I truly live by. People always said I'm so lucky because nothing bad ever happens to me. Please. I live my life just like everyone else... I just don't complain about little things - you know, the bad beat stories of life. Life's too short to focus on the negatives. It was nice to see that there was another person who thought exactly like I did. Too bad he's no longer here for me to share that with.
So while we were railing the TOC final table, most of us were just being silly on the table chat. I'm not even sure how that wasn't distracting the players... maybe they turned off the observer chat... but if they did, they may have been able to concentrate but they sure missed out on some quality entertainment.
Well, during that time, I decided to do what I see a lot of people do... which is the online begging. "Can you please send me $5? I'm desperate." I see shit like that on the chat screen a lot. I figured, we're all bloggers here so I thought I'll just have fun with it. So, I typed that in a few times until much to my amusement, I see that two bloggers actually sent me $5...
I found that to be quite hilarious... So now, I thought, ok, what should I do with this $5? I thought about maybe playing a SNG and then giving them a portion of my winnings... but then again, I'm not that good at SNGs so maybe that won't be fair... until VinNay cleverly left me this message:
"So do cmitch and I get a % of your 5-10NL winnings for shipping you the $5 you were begging for?"
So, I figured, being the cash game donk that I am, why not. I two tabled 5-10NL games and at the end of the night, I was up $1,000. That's a 50% profit (2 tables, both full buy-ins) so, cmitch and VinNay, enjoy! $7.50 coming your way! Don't spend it all in one place.
Thursday, December 20, 2007
Full Tilt Poker Game #4570970908: Battle of the Bloggers Final (30643270), Table 3 - 30/60 - No Limit Hold'em - 22:41:39 ET - 2007/12/20
Seat 1: SnailTrax (5,352)
Seat 2: jjok (2,897)
Seat 3: RecessRampage (3,540)
Seat 4: Loretta8 (2,609)
Seat 5: Kajagugu (2,076)
Seat 6: twoblackaces (3,175)
Seat 7: Julius_Goat (3,041)
Seat 9: jeciimd (1,975)
jjok posts the small blind of 30
RecessRampage posts the big blind of 60
The button is in seat #1
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to RecessRampage [Jh Ad]
SnailTrax raises to 159 <--- from button
RecessRampage has 15 seconds left to act
RecessRampage raises to 460
SnailTrax calls 301
Now most of you already know that I know better than to think AJ is a great hand. So, for what it's worth, this was my thought process. I didn't have much going for me early on in terms of cards. Without cards, I know I'm not gonna take this down. So, if I'm not getting cards early, my only thought/prayer was that I would get cards later (if I could make it till later). And if I do, I want action at that point so I didn't want to look like I was playing too tight in this TOC early on so that I would get action later on when I actually have cards. Silly? Maybe. Does anyone think like that?
Another thing was that it was a raise from the button. I felt that the range was a little more wide open so I was basically going for a resteal. I didn't want to be folding my blinds too easy. Again, my theme for this tournament was to make sure I stay aggressive. If I miss the flop, I figured I'll fire one cbet and if that doesn't take it down, I was going to shut down... but then this happens...
*** FLOP *** [Ts Ac Js]
RecessRampage has 15 seconds left to act
RecessRampage bets 680
SnailTrax raises to 4,892, and is all in
RecessRampage has 15 seconds left to act
RecessRampage has requested TIME
RecessRampage calls 2,400, and is all in
SnailTrax shows [Kd Qs]
RecessRampage shows [Jh Ad]
Uncalled bet of 1,812 returned to SnailTrax
*** TURN *** [Ts Ac Js] [8c]
*** RIVER *** [Ts Ac Js 8c] [8h]
SnailTrax shows a straight, Ace high
RecessRampage shows two pair, Aces and Jacks
SnailTrax wins the pot (7,110) with a straight, Ace high
RecessRampage: gg all
RecessRampage stands up
I really had to think about that bet on the flop. It did feel a lot like an overbet for value. But then again, there were two spades so I wasn't sure if he was pushing an ace with a spade or something. It was a very close call for me but in the end, I just couldn't fold the top two. Should I have been able to? Or should I have not been in the hand at all? I just feel like I couldn't get away from the top 2 pair. Again, any thoughts here? Maybe I made the move a little too early in the tournament. Who knows. I really wanted to build the image as an aggressor but maybe I tried it a little too early. Who knows. Even if this was a mistake, I'd have to think that it was a marginal mistake. Again, all thoughts are welcome.
To make things worse, I got stacked at 3-6NL... just like I was saying to Fuel and Chislodc... 3-6NL is like my worst game... but then again, on the more positive note, I've more than doubled up at 5-10NL... win some, lose some, I guess.
I am flying out to my home land in less than 8 hrs and I haven't packed yet. So, I guess I better go pack...
Happy holidays to all. I hope you all have a safe and happy holidays. Good night now! And good luck to everyone who is left in the TOC.
I got lucky and won a seat to the Tournament of Champions (TOC) by winning the Mookie about a month ago. There will be 27 of us competing for the grand prize... the $18,000 Aussie Millions package. It's gonna be crazy and I really look forward to it. I know I can hold my own but I am not truly crazy enough to think that I can outplay everyone. Nonetheless, it's one tournament. 1 in 27 chance. It could happen.
Good luck to everyone in the TOC, good luck to everyone in the tournament leaderboard freeroll (I'm the only one in the TOC who is not in the TLB, I think...), and may the best player win. Regardless of who wins, hopefully, we can send a great representative for this whole crew of poker degenerates. See you all tonight!
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
"You prove them wrong Alan"
Just like with diaries, teen girls tend to blog more than their male counterparts, but boys post more video, a new study finds.
(Credit: Pew Internet & American Life Project)About 35 percent of all online teen girls blog, compared with only 20 percent of boys, according to the Pew Internet & American Life Project "Teens and Social Media."
"Girls continue to dominate most elements of content creations," the study finds.
About 54 percent of the girls online post photos compared with 40 percent for boys, but boys are nearly twice as likely as girls to have posted video online (19 percent vs. 10 percent).
Overall, 28 percent of online teens have their own blog, up from 19 percent in 2004, while 27 percent of the teens maintain their own Web page.
But how safe are teens being in protecting their personal information and images? More safe than adults, apparently. About 66 percent of teens with a social network profile restrict access in some way and 77 percent of teens who upload photos restrict access some of the time, while only 58 percent of adults who post photos restrict access.
For video, a smaller percentage (54 percent) of teens restrict access, about the same as adults.
For teens who use a variety of communications, 70 percent say they talk daily on the cell phone, 60 percent send text messages every day, 54 percent instant message, 46 percent talk to friends on a landline, 35 percent see friends in person and 22 percent send e-mail daily.
Not surprisingly, cell phones are the primary form of communication for teens, with 63 percent having one.
Yeah, my friends are hilarious. And seriously... what does this say about us poker bloggers??? Based on these stats, there should be a lot more female poker bloggers... where are they? All I know is a bunch of dudes and an occasional girl here and there. I can probably count with one hand, the number of female poker bloggers I know of.
And yes, I know the article is talking about teens. But I thought it was funny. We're bunch of girls.
"Hope you don't mind me imposing, but I've felt like your blog needed a banner for forever, so I made one today. Let me know what you think."
After I asked him to tweak it a little, this is what he got me. I like it! I've always wanted a banner. Let me know what you all think.
Going into tonight, the pot for the Player of the Year award was up to $625. With 9 players showing up tonight, another $15 was added to the pot to make it $640. There were only two other players who had the chance of catching me. Both Ramel and Shaun had 52 pts and I had 61 pts so one of them had to win this week and next week. Keep in mind, next week is Christmas day. But I'm pretty sure that if one of them had won tonight and they needed a win, they woulda scraped together enough people to have a tournament next Tuesday. So, this was starting to become like a NFL playoff scenario. I win the POY award by winning or Shaun and Ramel not winning. Odds were clearly in my favor.
Well, I got to the tournament a little late and surprisingly, by the time I got there, the two were already shortstacked. Without much drama (or rather, apparently, I missed all the drama), Shaun busted out when his AQ ran into AK. Ramel couldn't make much happen either when he busted out, courtesy of JT. Good work, JT. So in other words, I did nothing to really earn my money but I got paid. So I thought maybe if I win tonight, it would be a good way to end the season and also kinda put an exclamation mark to my PAPT POY win... alas, that didn't happen either when my top pair no kicker ran into TPTK in a blind v blind battle.
So, fairly anticlimactic end but then again, I'm $600 richer tonight so who cares.
One hand of note though... At PAPT, I have like these super jinxing powers. I mean I will call out a card that would lead to a bad beat and sure enough, the card will come. I did that to Tyke a few times and he generally now wants me to shut up... so I figured today would be a good day to repay my debts... the karma debts, that is. So, there's a preflop all in and Tyke calls with 88... much to his chagrin, his opponent has QQ. Even worse when the flop comes Q-5-6. Everyone goes "oh man, it's over." At this point, I was dealing the cards. So, right on cue, I go "7 and a 9 would do it." I peel off the turn card and sure enough, it's a 7. River? Do I even need to tell you? BOOM. 9. For a runner runner straight. Courtesy of me. Tyke, I'm glad we could end the year on a positive note. :)
Oh and the percentages? Hey PAPT crew, I told you. It's like 3% right. According to propokertools, Tyke had 3.33% chance of winning. You're very welcome.
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
I honestly can't believe I'm actually getting involved (or got myself involved would be a better term) in blogger drama. But more and more, my "real" world and blogger world are mixing/colliding so I guess it makes sense. So here's what happened.
I make my rounds on the blogging world and I come across Chad's post. I basically didn't read anything he wrote but I saw the pic of LJ on a photoshopped Bodog poster. I scroll down (because I wasn't reading it full screen) and I see a pic of Lucko and then Waffles in the corner. I thought this was funny because he was playing on the whole "everyone wants LJ" theme. So, I scrolled past the rest of the blog which I think were all pics and clicked on comment. I left a comment about how I thought was funny... even though I knew LJ wouldn't like the post itself because her picture was on the post and she likes to keep her personal life (pic, name, etc) away from the blog world.
Well, few minutes later, I tell LJ about the post, she goes and reads it and she's pissed. At me. Because of my comment which was essentially egging Chad on to keep posting stuff like that. Which was NOT my intent. But after rereading Chad's post, I saw why she was mad and I also saw how I was totally in support of what Chad wrote. So, for what it's worth, I deleted my comment. But the damage was done.
So here I am, publicly apologizing to LJ for being an idiot. I generally don't pick sides and I don't like to be involved in the "who are you friends with?" type of thing but after reading (reading, along with thinking is also generally a good idea) Chad's post, I will say that that was f*cked up. I will man up and say that I was retarded enough to not even pay attention to the fine details (which once you read it, you'd wonder how I missed it). If that qualifies me as a guy who wants to sleep with LJ or if that makes me ghey for taking back my comment, so be it. I know who I am and I don't have to justify that to anyone. But I do apologize for my dumbassness. This wasn't the first, nor would it be the last. But it's certainly not worth losing a friend over so hopefully, she will find it in her heart to forgive me.
Sunday, December 16, 2007
I'm not going to go through bad beat stories because that's not my thing. But one thing that was consistent throughout this trip was that whenever I played for a big pot, I missed my draws or my hands didn't hold up. It's variance and it happens. I got aces dealt three times and I had to suck out to win one. I lost the other two. The suckout? 9 high flop, ten on the turn which is when all the money goes in. The guy has pocket tens... but I river an ace.
Really, this isn't a complaint or anything. It was just how the week was going to go. Another hand that illustrates the big pots not going my way was when Fuel and I played at a 1-2NL table and we got all our money in on a 6-9-10 flop with two spades. I had the set of sixes. Turn is a 7, river is a spade. Fuel shows Ts7s and his flush is good. Again, on the flop, I wasn't a significant favorite or anything so this is certainly not a gripe. Just a good illustration of when all the money went in, it seemed like the cards just didn't fall my way. I keep telling myself it's variance.
But, like any diligent poker player, I don't like to attribute my losses to bad luck. Surely, some of it had to do with my poor play. So, I went back and thought through my hands. At least the big pots that I lost. And there were a few adjustments that I failed to make. And in a little bit, I'll go into why in the past, I made money and not this time.
Over the course of the year, I've become a very aggressive player. I don't like to give up on pots and sometimes, I'm caught bluffing on every street and lose a big pot in a hand I had no business being in. Fine. That's a leak and I am trying to plug that but I also get paid on my big hands. Well, online, at least on Fulltilt, raises are generally respected. Typically, you see a flop heads up. Maybe three players if there was a raise. So, of course, that's the mentality I have. I quickly realized that live play is totally different. Let's say I'm on the button with a legit raising hand... for argument's sake, we'll say AK. You see 5 limpers before you and so you bump it up (at a 2-5NL table even though it's the same for 1-2NL) to like $45, 9xBB. What happens? Call, call, call, call, call. Limp call a raise was totally normal. So unless you bump it up to some ridiculous amount where you are almost committing a fifth or more of your stack preflop on one hand, you can't get rid of anyone.
Lesson #2 that I learned. It doesn't matter what you represent because most of them are such donkeys that they don't pay attention to what you do or your betting patterns. They don't care that you raised preflop. They don't care that you are betting big on every street. If they hit a piece of the flop, they're not going anywhere. I think I lost half my stack just to find that out. The live calling stations put online calling stations to shame. You can represent aces all you want. If you don't have it, you're not getting them off their hand... even if it's like top pair, no kicker.
Lesson #3 is something that I knew and yet I failed to adjust. Online, you can multitable. Dealers don't have to shuffle, players only have like 15 seconds to think about their hands, they aren't distracted by waitresses to try to order drinks, etc. In other words, you see a lot more hands online. A lot more hands. In live play, you probably see maybe 20-30 hands per hour... that's my guess. Live players, correct me if I'm wrong. Online, you probably see close to 60 hands per hour. At one table. So, if you are 4 tabling like I do, you see 240 hands per hour. That's an equivalent of 8 hrs in live play. What does that mean? Well, you are bound to see more playable hands online in a shorter amount of time than you do live. Also, even if you are on the bad side of variance, you are bound to get through it quicker.
What do all those lessons mean? Well, I failed to adjust and that was my biggest mistake. When I had a big hand, I didn't raise enough to get rid of most of the players. If you see a 5 way flop, your TPTK is probably no good. Even if it were good on the flop, by the river, it's very vulnerable. Betting big to represent big pairs will go unnoticed. Many a times, I had to muck my hand on the river to a guy who flips over middle pocket pair with two higher cards on the board because he called every bullet I fired. And yet, I didn't adjust quick enough to play patient and wait for good cards. I got involved in way too many pots with marginal holdings.
In the past, the reason why I always came back from Vegas with more money was because I played abc poker. Play tight but aggressive. Wait for big hands, good cards and bet when you have it, fold when you don't. Don't play marginal hands and if you do, don't try to represent something you don't have. Just limp in cheap and hope to hit the flop hard. If you do, you will get paid. In other words, I needed to go back to the basics and yet I failed to do so. When I think of it that way, I can attribute most of my losses to my poor play. Luck is only one part of poker. I gotta control everything else.
Saturday, December 15, 2007
I'm sure a lot of you have read the numerous trip reports that are now out there so if you have, you know that this started off with a cool twist. While we were signing up for the tournament, InstantTragedy brought the guitar that was going to be sent to Dr Chaco who is currently serving in Iraq. If you've never seen his blog (and up until recently, I never had), he's got some very cool pictures from Iraq. Well, Sean (IT) told me about this several weeks ago and when he told me, I begged him to let me help in any way I can. In the end, the only thing I could do was send Sean some money for the purchase of the guitar - which as we all know led to my good karma Mookie win. Well, it was very cool to actually see the guitar in person. Sean's idea was that we were going to have all the bloggers sign the guitar to wish Dr Chaco well. I've had some random nonbloggers come up and ask us what we were doing... so I said "well, bunch of us are friends and we have a buddy over in Iraq so we're all signing this guitar and sending it to him." A lot of people thought that was awesome. I agreed.
Once everyone signed the guitar, we presented the guitar to "The Wife" of Dr Chaco who also showed us the U.S. flag that was to be presented to the winner along with the certificate that read "You're the great American I fight for." Now I'm no American but that was touching. Also, this prize was being announced through the mic by Sean... which could be heard through the entire poker room. When he was done, everyone, including nonbloggers were applauding. What a nice start to the tournament. "The Wife" topped it off with the "Shuffle up and deal!" and we were on our way.
Here's a pic of Tragedy and "The Wife" with the signed guitar. Crap, I signed it upside down!
The structure of this tournament was surprisingly good so I decided to play fairly tight early. But admittedly, the greatest part about this whole tournament is that I got to sit next to Pauly. As most of you who met him know, he's such a down to earth guy. I love reading his posts and it's a rare occasion for me to talk to a guy who does poker reports for a living. It's interesting to read the "behind the scenes" stories that he has in poker tournaments and I can also sympathize with how much of a grind it can be to cover poker tournaments, even if at first it seems like such a cool gig. Well, I was playing fairly well and I chipped up to about 5k in chips (I think we started with 2,500 or 3k) when an interesting hand happened.
What was funny about this hand is that right before this hand occurred, Weakplayer came over to the table and decided to share with us a bad beat story about how his big pair got cracked by some rag hand like 4-7 or something like that. Well, I look down and what do I see? A beautiful sooooted 6-3. With a few limpers already in the hand, I choose to limp also (there was an UTG limper and those are always tricky so I decided to see a flop here). Little did I know that this would be the hand that would basically determine my fate in the tournament. Flop comes out 4-5-6, giving me top pair and an open ended straight draw. It's checked around to Pauly who bets out 700 (blinds were 75-150 so I think that was like 80% of the pot size. I thought about my options here. I could raise and try to take the pot away. Or I could call and wait for another card on the turn. I didn't want to get into a raising war with a mere top pair and 3 kicker plus I wanted to give the impression that I hit this board hard. So, I chose to call. I think the question I asked myself was "what would I do if I held 7-8 here?" Turn comes a 9d, now putting two diamonds on the board. Pauly bets out approximately T$1,000. I try to agonize over the bet here because weak = strong, right (though in this case, weak = weak)? I then raised a suspicious T$2,000 more, leaving me a little more than T$2,000 behind. I thought this looked like a monster hand. I mean if not, why wouldn't I shove? Right? Well, Pauly calls which at this point makes me very suspicious. The river is another 4 and Pauly puts me all in. I agonize for a while and then eventually fold. It was clear that this was a rag vs rag hand and it was a lot of fun trying to put Pauly on a hand and him outplaying me. The problem was, as I thought more and more about the hand, it was very poorly played by me. Fuel put it best when he said why did you play such a big pot, only to fold on the river? If you're gonna build a pot like that, you have to be willing to go to the felt with that. Very true. Also, the other thought was, why would Pauly put me all in if he had a monster hand. I think I made it obvious that I liked my hand (even though I didn't) so all indications were that if he checks, I would shove the river (I wouldn't have but he doesn't know that). So, if he had a hand, he would be stringing me along instead of trying to push me off the pot. Well, thinking that 24 hrs later didn't help in the tournament and I lose a big pot and I'm down to approx T$2k in chips.
Next time, I was in the SB, everyone folded to me so I jam with 3-4. Tragedy, who was in the BB ponders a call but eventually folds (thank god). Few hands later, I find KQ. I raise it up to 3x BB, Tragedy calls and we see a flop of 8-9-10. I jam with two overs and a gut shot straight draw, Tragedy thinks for a while and eventually calls T$1,600 more with pocket sixes. (Sick call, Sean!) To his defense, he put me on two high cards and thought I was trying to buy the pot (I was). The turn came a 7, giving him a straight but adding 9 more outs for me to a flush. No jack, no club and I was out of the tournament. I only made it to the second hour but I have to admit, the tournament was a blast. Live tournaments are certainly a lot more fun than online tourneys.
After that, we went back to playing more poker, had dinner at the Mirage, played some craps later (where I earned the reputation of Iceman cuz I cooled down the table in a hurry) and just had some fun.
This whole trip was a blast but by Monday, I was ready to leave. The sleep deprivation finally caught up with me and I was all kinds of messed up. However, I can honestly say that I can't wait for the next bloggers gathering. This trip ranks very high up amongst all the Vegas trips I've made. Like everyone else had said on their blogs, there are so many of us and some of us are very different from one another. And even within this group, there are plenty of drama, disputes, and maybe even some hatred. But most of the time, people are very open, very welcoming, and most importantly, we all have at least one thing in common. We love playing poker and after all, what more do you need if you're in Vegas?
Friday, December 14, 2007
Based on what I read on Hoy's blog I tried to do the same thing he did by going to Google Documents. Fortunately, my donkwork has not blocked this site so it appears that I may still be able to post from here. This would be key. I still won't be able to comment on people's blogs (if you see a comment on me during normal eastern standard time work hours, it's from my treo) but at least I will be able to post. That's a small win in my book. Anyways, here's a test post to see if it works. If it does, then I guess for now, this is how I will be posting to my blog.
EDIT - it appears that the title doesn't show up even though on Google Docs, I clearly have a title to this post... Maybe I'll try to figure that out later but I guess this will do for now.
And now this... On Wed, I go home, still feeling the slight effects of Vegas and get ready to play the Mookie. I boot up my laptop and am greeted by the blue screen of death. Yes, I have Windows. After a few attempts, I'm on the phone with Dell support which after an hour or so they tell me that it's very likely that my hard drive is dead.
By then, it's 8:30pm. 1.5hrs till the Mookie starts. Dell tells me that they will get me some software so I could at least get to windows to try to salvage what's on my hard drive. Most important would be my PT database and my Quicken file.
Well, in the meantime, I will be without a computer. My work laptop can't even download unauthorized softwares... So I did what any uber degenerate would do. I hauled my ass to the nearby Apple store and bought me a Mac book. $1,099. I then hauled my ass back home. It's like 9:50pm at this point. 10 more minutes till the Mookie starts. Still haven't registered for the tournament.
I boot up my Mac. It takes you through some welcome setup phases which I quickly click through and voila, there's the desktop. I hurry my way to fulltiltpoker.com, download fulltilt, and I finally get to register... with 2 minutes to spare.
Though I didn't cash in the Mookie, I did make up for about half the cost of my laptop playing cash games with cmitch, lucko, fuel, ck31, and a few other bloggers so that worked out well.
And, of course, most importantly, I got my 200 pts for the day.
I have one more piece remaining for the winter gathering which will recap the tournament and then I'll go back to some poker content.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Today is my first day back at work and we moved to a new building. I boot up my laptop, open gmail and bloglines, read a few and go to comment... except the comment window is redirected to a site that tells me that my donk work is now filtering so I can't comment from work anymore... What's worse is I can't blog from work anymore either. I mean holy cow... So now, I'm reduced to writing this post on my treo....
From where, you ask?
I mean you know... where I most frequently use my treo at work.
Ok, I must now go wipe...
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
And that's perfectly normal. I mean think about it. There were like 90+ bloggers at this gathering. There was no way you were going to spend a lot of time with each bloggers. Instead, you end up hanging out with a few bloggers all the time. And naturally, the few bloggers that I ended up spending the most time with were LJ, Fuel, and Schaubs. I was (and still am) fairly disappointed that I didn't get to spend as much time with Don since he and I would really get along, I think, based on our personalities. Same goes for Tragedy. I wanted to spend more time with him but you really can't spend all the time with everyone. You just pick your spots I guess.
So, what ended up happening is that on Friday, we had a big meal planned over at the Bellagio (Prime Steakhouse) where it was myself, Fuel, Schaubs, LJ, Surlypokergnome, Kurokitty, and CC. It was hilarious watching Fuel pouring over the what seemed like a very extensive wine list and listening to him grilling the wine steward about the year of the wine - "you don't have '03? Because if I recall correctly, '03 is much better than '04." Seriously... hilarious stuff but you just had to be there.
I will say though... the wine choices made by Fuel were fantastic. I mean I sure hope so considering the bottles were like $120 a piece. But honestly, it was really worth it. At that dinner, I also learned that some of the sickos like to "high card for the meal." Surlypokergnome pulls out a deck of cards (who does that!? it made me laugh...) at the end of the meal and whoever wanted to join in would high card for their portion. So, the dinner was like $220/person. If you choose to join in, you would pick a card out of the deck. The person who picks out the lowest card will have to pay for everyone else. I couldn't risk $880 to win $220 (cuz there were 3 of them that was willing to high card... Schaubs, LJ and I backed out), even with the whole deck of cards thing... but it was entertaining to watch.
We didn't do any major dinner on Saturday night (if I recall correctly - my memory is starting to blur a little) but on Sunday night, once again, LJ, Fuel, Schaubs, and I did a nice dinner over at Caesars... actually, now that I think about it, Saturday night, the same crew (the 4 of us) + Bayne did dinner at the Mirage at a place called Japonais. Noticing the trend? The four of us were definitely spending a lot more time together and it was really nice. It's like during this trip, we went from being blogger buddies to being actual friends. We've shared pieces of our personal lives (for all my nonpoker playing buddies, I did tell them about my doggy-style bad beat story... you know... the one that made me fake it as well as the Tony's pants incident at the Rhino). It was just a lot of fun to really get to know them as people and not just a blogger or a poker player.
I honestly can't even begin to tell you how fun that was for me and how great it was to get to spend quality time together. It wasn't just playing poker together or losing money at craps together (Bayne, I'm due for a monster roll). Again, it's unfortunate that I didn't get to spend time with others but because so much is crammed into such a short period of time, it is what it is.
Funny thing though is that during the day, we'd play poker and we'd all be at different tables. Once in a while, some of us will play at the same table but even that was very rare unless we make an effort to sit at the same table (like WeakPlayer and I sat at few tables together). The only problem with bloggers sitting at the same table is that other nonbloggers will eventually figure out that we're online players... I mean I felt awkward when Weak was introducing me to another blogger in front of everyone else at the table (who were nonbloggers) as Alan aka RecessRampage. But I can't deny who I am I guess.
Next up - Blogger tournament at the Venetian
Well, honestly speaking, right now, I feel exhausted. Staying up till wee hours of the night or more like morning really does a number on my body and I am feeling the effects today. But, there's also so much I want to write so I figured, while I wait to board, I'll start typing up some stuff.
I've been debating how to do this. I wasn't sure if I should break it up into a report with each day I spent in Vegas being a separate post or if I should just lump them all into one uber long post. I have no idea so I'm just gonna start typing and see where I end up.
Last time I posted was a Tuesday, I believe. So much has happened after that. Of course, more poker was played and I'm gonna go into the whole poker thing later because I have so much to say about that as well. Well, on Wednesday, LJ arrived to Vegas so we decided to grab a few drinks before I got the official invite to go over to Chad's. Chad actually has a decent write up about that so you can go over to his blog and read that as well. Long story short, we had a blast. LJ and I took a cab and when we got to Chad's, Buddy and Don were already there. We exchanged greetings, started setting up for the BDR radio and got our laptops ready. I'll post some pics but it was very funny to be in this one room where Chad has a kickass setup with two big monitors (that's the secret to 16 tabling, apparently) and we're all sitting on the floor with our laptops playing the Mookie.
As most of you heard on the radio, we were having a great time. Somehow though, somewhere along the way, Don got really trashed... we don't even really know how it happened. But he was on fire with all the trash talking... now some of the things did get personal but we were all too hammered to care, I think... I know Don paid the price next day recovering from what had to be a massive hangover.
Well, LJ, Buddy and I decided to go back to the strip after it was all over (and congrats to PirateLawyer for taking it down btw) to meet up with CK who arrived later that evening. This was the beginning of me meeting a few of the bloggers.
Well, Thursday arrived and this was certainly a much anticipated day for me. As a blogger gathering virgin, I was very excited to see what this whole thing was going to be like. Also, I was really excited to meet in person, the people that I talk to a lot online like Fuel55, Schaubs, InstantTragedy, Bayne, etc. And I have to say... for those of you that have never been... it's a very interesting thing.
So, basically, as you talk to people and see their avatars on FullTilt, you start forming an image of what these people look like right? Well, some of them look nothing like you would imagine. The biggest shocker to me was Astin... for some reason, even though I knew he was like our age, I just had this image of him being older looking. Instead, he looks like he just walked out of a Abercrombie catalog or something (Astin, that's a compliment, FYI). And the same must go for the way I look... since apparently, Fuel and Schaubs had a prop bet with how much I weighed... Fuel apparently suggested something like 130lbs... (maybe he has no concept of lbs? Shoulda gone with kilograms, Fuel). Schaubs gave him extra 10 lbs but I weigh like 165 lbs... so I cost Fuel $5. Apparently, I was a lot taller than they expected (I'm 6'0, 165 lbs). All goes to show just how funny it is that the image you have of people and what they look like are totally different.
Anyhow, it was a blast meeting all these people and it certainly was a very interesting experience. Hopefully, many of you who have yet to come out to these gathering will one day experience this as well.
I'm noticing that this post is starting to get really long so I guess I will break it up into pieces.
Next up - from blogger buddies to friends.
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
Well, last night, I flew in to Vegas and we touched down at approximately 9pm. I was fairly tired since that translates to midnight eastern time so I was gonna take it easy. After all, I've been here a few times so the whole "Vegas mystique" is not quite there anymore. I get off the plane and stroll through the airport like I'm at any other airport. The sights of slot machines in the terminal do absolutely nothing for me and even at the baggage claim area, all the signs for shows really don't get me excited anymore. So I figured, it's no big deal. I can play as much poker as I want to tomorrow so I'll just check in, go to my room and go to sleep.
Fast forward 2 hrs later, I'm sitting at a poker table at the Mirage, doing shots of Jager bombs with a bunch of canadians. There were 7 of them and me... It was a bachelor party and somehow I got sucked into doing shots with them... btw, doing shots at the poker table is key... $1 shots? How can you beat that!? Better question is, of all the times we've been here for bachelor parties, how did we not ever do that!? Now, that's a bad beat...
Well, that party was fairly short lived since they all wanted to go out. Well, I came to play poker so that's what I did. And I guess there's a reason why I usually don't drink and play. After that table broke (it was a 1-2NL table and really, we probably only played like 20-30 hands), I was seated at a 2-5NL table. I sit down, right in time for the BB and what do I get dealt? Pocket aces! I thought to myself, "holy cow... this is gonna be a good trip!!!" So, there were a few limpers and I bump it up to $30. I get one caller and we see a ragged flop of 9-5-2 with two spades. I bet out $45 and the guy minraises me to $90. Now, generally, minraises from someone I don't know are red flags for me. I mean why else would you raise the minimum unless you had a monster? Well, so I sense trouble (even with the alcohol flowing through me) so I just call. The turn is a harmless card that brings another spade, putting 3 spades on the board for a potential flush. Now one of my aces was a spade so now, if I'm behind, I should have 11 outs (2 aces and 9 flush cards). Or, there's a chance I'm ahead here... or so I thought. So, I checked the turn to try to keep the pot small, the guy bets another $90... smart thing for me to do here would be to just call... however, I guess the alcohol loosened me up a little. I decide to jam, the guy agonizes but eventually calls with his pocket 5s (for a set). I don't get any help on the river, and poof, my initial buy-in of $400 was gone after one hand.
Eventually, I stopped playing but I've witnessed some very poor poker... and everyone plays a basic abc poker/calling station... in other words, they wait for decent cards but when they have top pair, they won't go anywhere... I learned that the hard way when I pulled what I thought was a decent bluff, only to be called by top pair middle kicker... I think the phrase I heard was "I don't think I can fold this..."
I'm not gonna go into more hand histories because really, is anyone interested in a live HH? Only other thing is that I'm starting to really become an internet poker donk... As I was sitting at the table, I noticed myself getting bored because I don't have 3 other hole cards to tend to. I can't remember the last time I one-tabled (except tournaments)... sure, I can pay attention but when everyone is becoming insanely predictable, it gets boring... and I've been fairly card dead (and since we don't get dealt cards at the rate that we do online), fairly card dead translates into really not doing anything for a few hrs... Nonetheless, I did play 3 hrs Monday night after I flew in and I already logged in 7 hrs today... and it's only 8pm Vegas time... I'm about to head out to the Bellagio or the Wynn to see if I can change my luck... or I might go back to the Mirage.
One quick note on Imperial Palace. This hotel is a dump. But the rooms are decent. Actually, it's better than decent. I really can't complain with what I'm getting, for what I paid. So, all you IP haters out there, it's really not bad. After all, how much time are you really gonna spend in your room anyways???
I look forward to seeing everyone here. Hopefully by then, I would have turned a profit...
Saturday, December 1, 2007
On the Fulltilt site, here's a reason for me to be excited. Assuming I'll hit Ironman December, that's $1,175 in bonuses. Good times.
I'm headed out to Vegas on Monday. I really can't wait to be there and see all you guys.
For what it's worth (probably not much), all the money didn't go in until the flop...
Full ring game - starting stacks of the two parties involved
Seat 3: raylapsley ($560.10)
Seat 9: RecessRampage ($739.10)
raylapsley posts the small blind of $2
jerleibfried posts the big blind of $4
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to RecessRampage [Kh Kd]
RecessRampage raises to $14
CO and Button folds
raylapsley raises to $46 <--- from SB
RecessRampage calls $32
No need to get crazy here. Since I'll have position and in case he has aces, I figured I don't have to be in a hurry to get my money in.
*** FLOP *** [Td 3c Kc] (gin!)
RecessRampage bets $72 <--- bet 3/4 pot amount hoping he has AK or AA.
Also by betting this much, it's hard for him to think I flopped a set. The pot is $92 and most people will probably bet closer to half the pot if they flop top set, trying to value bet.
raylapsley raises to $160 <--- he clearly has a strong hand
RecessRampage raises to $576
This is the only move that I don't necessarily like. I am overbetting for value here, sort of, but raylapsey is a decent player so it might not be a bad idea to just smooth call, indicating to him that I have AK. That way, on a blank turn, he'll fire out a bet and at that point, he would be completely pot committed.
raylapsley has 15 seconds left to act
raylapsley has requested TIME <--- please call, please call, please call
raylapsley calls $354.10, and is all in
RecessRampage shows [Kh Kd]
raylapsley shows [Ad Ah]
Uncalled bet of $61.90 returned to RecessRampage
raylapsley: nbh <--- he's trying to jinx me! And he misspelled nh...
*** TURN *** [Td 3c Kc] [4d]
*** RIVER *** [Td 3c Kc 4d] [6d]
RecessRampage shows three of a kind, Kings
raylapsley shows a pair of Aces
RecessRampage wins the pot ($1,121.20) with three of a kind, Kings
raylapsley is sitting out
In reviewing this hand, the flop reraise was bad. I need to be playing this hand just like I would play AK and it would be extremely rare for me to put in a 3rd raise/shove like that with just TPTK. I would if the opponent is loose and I know that he's capable of making that play with a draw but absent that, there's no reason to commit my entire stack. So, by putting in that third raise, all of a sudden, I'm indicating I have a monster hand. Later in the chat, Raylapsey made a comment that he was capable of folding (when someone else said, "no one can fold that there") which I know he is as well. He just didn't know me enough so he wasn't sure if I had a monster or if I was just overplaying TPTK. He also commented that at the other table, he just made $600 in a identical situation because the other schmuck overplayed his TPTK. I need to think through the hand better in order to a) make sure I get all the money in the middle when I'm ahead and b) so that it doesn't become so easy to read my hand strength. This was a dead giveaway and I hate that. I got lucky this time (to get a call) but he surely has notes on me now...
In order to improve my tournament game, I decided to join PokerXFactor and one of the cool features they have is the tournament playback to basically recreate the whole tournament based on the hand history that you upload. Within there, there's what's called a "PUFF" factor... I don't know what it stands for but basically, it's the luck factor in terms of the cards dealt. 50 is average and 100 is the highest.
I expect to fall victim to numerous set over set situations, opponents catching ridiculous runner runner draws, and lose every coinflip in the coming months...