Poker Ramblings of cmitch

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Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!!!

Here's to an awesome 2010 (pretty crazy)!!!!

When I was a kid, I used to wonder what I would be doing when 2000 rolled around. I never wondered what I would be doing in 2010. That was way too far out there (Sci-Fi stuff). Surely, we would have flying cars, robot maids, recreational space travel, colonies on the moon, etc, etc.

Hmm.... I wonder what I'll be doing when 2050 rolls around.

Happy New Year George and Judy Jetson!!!

I'm Still Alive/Lame New Orleans Recap

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Wow. Has it really been over 3 weeks since my last post?

I was going to do a New Orleans recap, but never really got around to it. Everything is pretty fuzzy now, so I'll give you the quick version.

We stayed in NO for four days. I only played 2 sessions of poker - one session Saturday late morning/afternoon and one session from about 1 AM - 5 AM Sat night/Sun morning.

Saturday Morning Session

I put my name on the list for 1/2NL and 2/5NL. There were a few 1/2 games running and they had a list to start a 2/5. I got called for the 1/2 first. When I sat down, I asked the chip runner how much was the maximum buy-in. She turned to the dealer and he said it looks like about $800. (Apparently, the max buy-in is up to the biggest stack on the table.) She laughed and said how much do you want to buy-in for. The second biggest stack was around $500, so I bought in for $500.

Nothing real exciting happened during this session. My biggest hand was an open ended straight flush draw with QhTh.

Seat 2 raises to $6 from EP. 4 calls. I call otb.
Flop comes Jh9h4x.

Seat 2 (stack around $250) bets around $15.
MP (stack around $150) calls.
I raise to $60-$70 (don't remember exactly)

Seat 2 agonizes and eventually folds.
MP insta-shoves.
I call.

MP has A9 and I miss.

I finished up the afternoon down approx. $100.

Sat Night/Sun Morning Session

I wound up deciding to play 1/2NL again after my wife went to sleep. I got down to the poker room around 1 AM after drinking from about 2 PM. It seemed like a pretty good idea at the time. I even decided to stop drinking after my first beer in the poker room and switched to Diet Coke.

I think if I ever go back to NOLA, I will only play poker late at night on the weekends.

I was getting hit by the deck and running over the table for about 2 hours. The best part about the game was that the players had a clue, but they did not know how to fold.

I stacked one guy for $300 with my 67 against his AK on a 668JA flop. He had put almost all of his money in before the river after only betting $6 preflop.

At one point I had built my $500 starting stack up to $1,300. Another table broke and they moved the players to our table. There was a guy sitting two to my left that had me covered with his $1,600 stack. LOL.

I would give more details of the late night session, but it is definitely a little cloudy. After losing a big pot with KK vs. AA I decided it was time to cash out with a tidy little $650 profit. Not too shabby for someone that had been drinking for 11 hours straight.


I'm bummed out that I didn't go to the WBPT. There are a lot of great recaps of the trips out there.

Go congratulate Hoyazo - He had a huge score in one of the Mini-FTOPS events last night!!!

I'll try to start posting more.

I was in New Orleans this weekend (trip report to follow later today or tomorrow) and forgot to unregister from the FTOPS Satellite Challenge Freerolls. They had 4 separate freerolls that you qualified for by winning 2, 3, 4, and 5 satellites to different FTOPS tourneys. (I think I won sats to 6 different FTOPS, but didn't play any of them).

I checked my email when I got home last night and I guess I finished in the bottom money spot (90th out of 291 players) in one of them.

"You finished the tournament in 90th place.
There has been $40.00 added to your account."

Forgetting to unregister cost me $13.40 in rakeback. So, thanks to sliding into a money spot in a freeroll that I didn't play, I netted $26.60 in online poker over the weekend even though I didn't log into my poker account once.

Joe Cada - Letterman Recap

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

I was going to post a Recap of Joe Cada's Letterman interview, but Short Stack Shamus has already done an awesome job of recapping his appearance. Go check out his post.

I only had a few additional thoughts:

1. Cada seemed stiff at times, but more relaxed than most of us would be on Letterman at 22 years old. (or ever)

2. Letterman was prepared for the interview, but at times seemed to be at a loss for questions, or maybe at a loss for funny commentary.

3. Kudos to Cada for mentioning that he started playing on "Pokerstars" at 18 instead of 17. Also, Kudos for not wearing PS logos for the interview.

4. Cada did a decent job explaining that poker was different than gambling, but missed the opportunity to explain how the skill aspects of the game outweigh the luck factors.

Overall, he did a great job and should be a great spokesman for poker.


EDIT: Link to his CNN interview

Link to his CNBC interview

Joe Cada on Letterman Tonight

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Just wanted to remind everyone to set their DVRs to record Letterman tonight. Joe Cada is going to be on his show. The guy is young, but from some of his initial interviews it sounds like he is going to be a good spokesman for the next year. He has a true internet background and is very likely to speak in support of internet poker. He told Time magazine, "I support the right to play poker online. Poker isn't gambling. It's a hobby, an activity, a game. It's not about luck.""

Also, if you missed Saturday Night Live this weekend they mentioned him during the weekend update. They showed a picture of him with the $$$ and mentioned that he dropped out of college to play poker and won $8.5 Million. Then said something along the lines of, "This should be a lesson to other kids thinking about dropping out of school. You aren't him and you aren't going to win the WSOP ME."

Should be interesting to see how well he does on Dave tonight.

Random WSOP ME Thoughts

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

One of the better players at the Final Table won (even if he did have to suckout a ton to win)

Bax/Sheets run good.

The people that take the Luck side of the Luck vs. Skill argument where given some ammunition.

ESPN did a great job of editing the FT in such a short time.
- I'm glad they added an additional 30 mins to the coverage for the heads up portion.

- My biggest complaint of their coverage is how quick they rushed things after Ivey busted out. At 10:50, there were 4 players remaining. By 11:00, they showed two bust outs and two commercial breaks.

- I really wish ESPN would sell a DVD set of the entire Final Table with whole cards. They could dub the Bluff Radio coverage over the top of the footage that doesn't have Norm/Lon commentary.

Next time you see one of those posts where someone is complaining about online poker being rigged because their opponent flopped a set against them or hit a 3-5 outer on the river, remember some of these hands. Live poker is so rigged.

Saout must have been playing really tight and staying out of Ivey's way for Ivey to let go of those Jacks preflop when he was so short.

How long is Kevin Schaffel going to be having nightmares of his AA losing to KK?

How do you get all in preflop as the biggest stack against the 2nd biggest stack with AQ?

How do you get all in preflop with 22 against a very solid player for 40BBs?

Every time I started feeling like Darvin Moon was a decent player trying (a little too hard) to portray the "I'm the worst player here image," he would do something really stupid.

- I can understand his logic for trying to bluff people out of pots, but I don't understand his thinking with KQ. I also don't understand why he lied to his family about what he had (QQ instead of KQ). Maybe he was too embarrassed? I did enjoy his reasoning for why he would have folded QQ there getting 1,000,000,000 to 1 pot odds to call.

- The not calling with KQ will probably be talked about for a while, but I think his QJ hand was a bigger mistake. How does he call off his entire stack heads up with QJo? He still would have had plenty of chips if he folded. I know that once the hands were turned up it was the correct call, but he couldn't have known that he was against an underpair.

I think non-poker players probably enjoyed the coverage. I played in golf tourney on Monday. A couple of non-poker players started talking about the WSOP ME. One guy immediately said, "Don't tell me who won. I'm going to watch tomorrow night and I don't want to know who won." He doesn't gamble or play poker, so I was a little surprised how into the WSOP he was.

Goodbye, 2009 WSOP. Time to start planning for the 2010 WSOP. I have the itch to play in the 2010 Main Event now.

New Orleans Questions

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

I am getting one small benefit of the poor economy - severely discounted vacations. As recent as a year ago, the only offers that I ever received from Harrahs were for free nights in Las Vegas during the week and reduced/free nights during the WSOP. I guess Harrahs started getting desperate to fill up their hotels around the country, because I started receiving weekly (sometimes 6-8 per month) free/reduced air/hotel offers to various Harrahs properties around the country. A couple of months ago, my wife and I decided to book one of their offers to New Orleans. Airfare for me and my wife, transfers to/from Harrahs New Orleans, and four nights (Thurs-Sun) all for $198 total.

We don't head out until later in the month, but I am starting to try to figure out the best places to eat, drink, play poker, etc, etc. We haven't been to NO in 9-10 years.

Hopefully, some of you have been there more recently.

Where is the best place to play poker? Harrahs? Are there even any other places?

Do they run any daily/weekly mtts?

What limits usually run?

Any suggestions on bars/restaurants/things to do?

October Results

Monday, November 02, 2009

My plan for October was to try to get back on track. I decided to really focus on my game and try plugging as many leaks as possible from major leaks all the way down to the minor leaks. I played mostly 50NLHE/PLHE during October with a sprinkling of 100NL mixed in (usually on the weekends). I also wound up playing more live poker than usual this month.

Online Cash Games = $+1,018.95 (avg of 3.30 ptbb/100)
Online Tourneys/SNGs = -$3.20
Rakeback = +$439 (including 2 a day bonus from Sept)
Live Poker = +$560
Staking = -$26

Total Online = $1,428.75
Total Live = $560
Overall Total = $1988.75

Biggest Winning Day of the Month = $562 (all at 50NL)
Biggest Losing Day of the Month = -$229 (all at 50PL)

Overall, I feel pretty good about my play this month. I actually lost 3 buy-ins at 100NL, and still finished up decent for the stakes that I played. I had a little trouble adjusting to 50NL at the beginning of the month, but think that I eventually made the correct adjustments. I still have some leaks, but at least I have identified them and am doing my best to avoid them.

My biggest leak by far is playing after being out drinking. Almost all of my biggest losing sessions this month were after a night out. I remember one night specifically this month. I went to a professional organization meeting after work that included several beers. I made it home around 10 PM. It was a Tuesday night, so I fired up the WSOP on the DVR. I had decided that I wasn't going to play since I had been drinking. About 30 minutes later I decided to fire up the laptop, convincing myself that I was just going to play long enough to get 200 FTPs for the day. I wound up turning the computer off 3 hours later down 4 buy-ins.

My second biggest leak is playing when I shouldn't be playing. I am doing much better with this one. A good example is this past Saturday night (Halloween and FL/GA football game day). I drank a few beers while watching the Gators stomp the Bulldogs. I switched to water towards the end of the game. Once it started getting dark we took the kids trick-or-treating. Several hours later we got the kids to bed. I was sober, but exhausted. I was still tempted to play some online poker, but forced myself to not to. Yeah me!!!

I am going to continue to play mainly 50NL/PL for at least the next week or two before hopefully switching to mainly 100NL.

Good luck to everyone in November.


My wife and I made a quick trip to Biloxi this weekend for our anniversary (9th one - just like another blogger) thanks to a cheap air/hotel offer from Harrahs. (I guess those Rio table game hours are paying me back a little.) The offer gave us the option of leaving from Tampa or Jacksonville. My Mom lives in Jax and agreed to watch the kids, so Jax it was.

I felt a little sketchy heading to the airport Friday morning. We had no tickets, emails, or letters showing that we had reservations. I had expressed my concern about this a week prior to one of the Total Rewards reps and she said, "No worries. Just go up to the Continental counter with your IDs. They will give you the tickets." Amazingly, we arrived at the airport and the lady behind the counter gave us our Continental Express tickets. She also charged us $20 for a checked bag - guess we should have taken two carry-ons instead of one big suitcase.

The flight was pretty quick. We landed, picked up our suitcase, boarded the shuttle to the hotel, and were in our room at the Grand Biloxi in few short hours later.

After showering and changing, we headed down to check out the casino. No poker room. I knew that going in, but it obviously wouldn't have been my first choice of places to stay since there was no poker room and the casinos with poker rooms were about 2 miles away. I did LOL at the people playing the table games. The Grand Biloxi was running a promotion - play 30 minutes and get a free buffet. Of course we sat (at a roulette table) to grind out our free buffet. During our 30 minutes at the table, I heard two people ask the pit boss if they had been there for 30 mins yet. We left the table when my $100 buy-in was gone (about 35 mins). My wife had doubled her $100, so we broke even plus two free buffets. Wooohoooo!!! :)

The Grand Biloxi had one good thing going for them that helped make up for the lack of a poker room - free limo service even if you were heading to their competitor's casino. Not too shabby. It was the same cost as a cab after tipping the driver. After grinding out our free buffet, we took the limo to the Beau Rivage.

The Beau Rivage was much shorter than I imaged from pictures that you see online. I called it the Mini-Bellagio because the casino was like a miniature version of the Bellagio - same fonts on the signs, similar chips, similar finishes, etc - only with less stuff. We basically checked out the mini-B to get our bearings, grabbed a drink at the bar and then headed next door to the Hard Rock.

I was pretty impressed by the Hard Rock casino. My wife was going to head to the Rick Springfield concert while I played some poker in their very very small poker room. The room had probably 6-8 tables, but there was only one running when I arrived. We managed to get a second 1/2 NL uncapped game going about 30 minutes later. The table was full of nits, especially for a live low limit no limit game. No joke. I saw several hands that wound up with chopped blinds when the table was full and a ton more that consisted of raise to $5, fold around. I managed to stack someone for $100 with AQ against their KK on a Q high flop, Ace turn.

About 45 minutes later the poker room manager thankfully moved me to a seat at the other game running. It was so much juicier. There were at least two really soft spots with a lot of money on the table. I saw a donk chase a flush with horrible odds all the way to the river. He overbet the pot on the river when he obviously hit and was called by top two. (Top two later proved to be one of the better players at the table, so there must have been some history for him to make the call.)

I won a few big pots. One against the donk when I had about $375-$400 in front of me. He had about $1k. (I was really kicking myself for not buying in deeper.)

Two limpers.
I raise to $7 from mid position with AQo.
Donk otb calls. BB calls. Two limpers call.

Flop is TJKr. Bingo!! Now, how do I extract as much as possible from the donk.

Checks to me. I bet $20. Donk and BB call. Two limpers fold.

Turn is a blank.
BB checks. I bet $75. Donk makes it $275. BB folds. I shove. donk calls with KT. River blank. Just like that I'm up to $850ish from my starting stack of $200.

I run it up to as high as $1,050 before leaving with $800 (+$600) in about 3 hours of play.

The Rick Springfield concert was over pretty quick. It started at 8 PM (doors opened at 6:30) and the women (and a few poor men that were dragged to the concert) started filing out of the concert hall around 9:30.

The guys at the poker table started talking about the concert. I sat there and just listened for a little while until one of them said, "There are a lot of 40 year old guys that are going to get laid tonight."

I jokingly replied, "Hey! My wife went to that concert.....but I'm not 40 yet."

Less than 30 seconds later my wife walked up to the table. :)

We had some drinks at the bar with a few people that she met at the concert before heading back to our hotel.


Saturday was a great sleep in day. It has been a while since I've slept in that late. We had a late lunch at the crappy Grand Biloxi Buffet. If I had know how bad the buffet was, I don't think that I would have grinded out the free buffet.

The rest of the day consisted of playing poker at the mini-Bellagio (Beau Rivage) while my wife relaxed, followed by watching the Gator Game and some more late night poker.

I had some ups and downs at the poker table playing 2/5 NL and wound up down $800 for the day thanks in part to a couple of hands. One I played poorly and one I don't think I should have played differently.

Poorly played hand

I was on the button with 8h2h (around $400 stack - hadn't topped off after bleeding down a little). The entire table limped to me, so I called also - mistake #1.

BB raised to $20. He only loses 3 players, so I decide to call again - mistake #2.
SB calls.

Flop (Pot - $155) - Flop 88T

BB checks. Mid position bets $60. I decided to just call. SB thinks for a minute and calls. I really didn't like the SB calling since he was playing 100% of his hands preflop and giving up after a lot of flops.

Turn (Pot - $335) - Ax

SB checks. MP bets $80. I just called - didn't really like this, but I had gotten too deep into the hand and the pot was too large relative to my remaining stack. SB shoved. MP folded. I really knew that I was behind but the pot was now $575 + $250ish ($825). I had to call $250 to win $825. I can't fold here even though I'm fairly certain that I'm beat. Can anyone make the case for folding? I don't think so because there are too many river cards that could result in chops against his range of random 8x hands. There is even a possibility of the pot currently being a chop of the outside shot of him having something like AT.

I reluctantly called. He had K8. I didn't improve on river.

Top pair and Flush draw - no reads on player

The next big hand that I lost was literally my very first hand after being moved to a new table late Saturday night. (Our table had just broke after a couple of players decided to call it a night.)

I was in Seat 10 in the cutoff. Two limpers. I limped along with 9h7h.

The button (Seat 1 with around $550) raises to $20. Both limpers call. I call.

Flop - 9x6h4h.

Checks around to button. He bets $75. Fold back to me.

I raise to $275. - Thoughts on the size of this bet?

Button thinks for quite a while and finally shoves for a little less than $300 more. I call and don't improve. He turns over TT for the win.

I don't mind getting all the money in on the flop in that spot. Any thoughts on playing this differently?

A little while later, I left the Mini-B down $800 at poker for the day.

All and all, I had a great time despite being up $900 overall at one point and leaving down $100. I don't think that I would recommend Biloxi for a vacation unless it was to someone within driving distance that was looking for a weekend get-a-way just to gamble. There wasn't much else to do there. The casinos where relatively small, but had that small local feel to them plus the southern hospitality.

50NL Adjustments

Monday, October 19, 2009

I have been playing a lot of 50nl and 50pl full ring since the beginning of the month. There was definitely a learning curve when I first started playing these limits, but I am doing well now that I have made some adjustments based on the players. There are quite a few differences from 50nl and 200nl. Below are some of the major differences I have run across:

1. Nit runs rampant - Table selection can be difficult at times. I usually wind up only wait listing for deep stack tables since a lot of the regular tables are full of short stackers. There are times where all the tables are full of 8/6s to 14/10s. It would be easy to laydown KK pf to some of these guys. I have found myself leaving tables a lot more often than I used to.

2. Loose passive calling stations - On the flip side of nits running rampant, I was surprised how many 50/8 type players you find. They come in different varieties but generally call any pf raise or 3 bet with any two cards. The majority of these players either fold to c-bets on the flop, call when they are chasing a draw, or re-raise on the flop when they flop a monster. They are very predictable and very easy to play against.

The minority of these type players take more adjustments. They are the loose passive players that call any raise with atc pf, but have a fold to c-bet of 0.0 or close to it. Position becomes paramount against these guys. With position, you can milk a ton of $ out of them. Without position, you can wind up building big pots without knowing exactly where you stand. If I have one of these guys to my direct left, I usually wind up tightening up to extreme because most of them don't adjust to your play and will still pay off your monsters.

3. Bluffing of missed draws - I was surprised how often you will see someone over shove all in when their draw misses on the river regardless of their stack size. It is usually the random player that sits down at the table, not the regulars. I was buying in for 100bbs at the deep stack tables but recently increased that to 200bbs mainly because of this over shoving seemed to be happening way too often.

4. Some players get more frustrated when you 3 bet them too much. - A few nights ago, I had been pretty aggressive on the button on one table. A nitty guy (10/8) to my immediate right was obviously getting frustrated when an ideal situation arose. It folded to him in the cutoff and he raised 3x. I had AA on the button and raised like 2.5x his pf raise. SB and BB fold. CO insta-shoves for 100bbs. I call and he turns over AQ. (This was actually at 100nl)

5. Most players don't get all-in with draws that are favorites. - This is mainly the nitty guys. I can't tell you how often I have seen players just call each street hoping to hit their monster draws (straight draw+flush draw, etc) that have to be favorites instead of raising with it. Once they hit their hands become very transparent.

There are quite a few other differences, but these are the ones that come to mind first.

Tampa Hard Rock Trip Report

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

It's been a while since I've updated, but here goes........

First and foremost, GO GATORS!!! The FL/LSU game was a little boring, but effective. The Wins are what count and the Gators went into a tough stadium (especially at night) with a quarterback that wasn't 100% and came away with a win. GO GATORS!!!!!

Hard Rock Tampa Trip Report (Cash Game - $2/$5NL)

I decided to head over to the Tampa Hard Rock last Tuesday afternoon since I was slow at work - one of the benefits of being my own boss. I arrived at the Casino around 5 PM and sat down at the first available $2/$5 NL game with $100 max buy-in. (Yes, you read that right. Florida max poker buy-ins are $100.)

The table was comprised of several nitty players and one really awful guy that I don't think had a clue.

Typical example of a hand with the clueless guy:

Clueless limps utg ($100 stack). 2 more limps. I fold. Guy to my left ($200 stack - hasn't played a hand in 3 orbits) raises it to $60. Clueless guy UTG calls.

Flop 925r.

Clueless guy checks. Guy to my left goes all-in for the UTG's last $40.

UTG calls with J2o and doesn't improve. Guy to my left of course has AA.

I managed to get my stack all the way up to $400 before losing $200 to clueless guy when we got all in preflop with my JJ vs. his Q6o.

Later in the session I ran QQ into AA for $100 or so.

I finished the cash session down $60 and decided to register for the $100 MTT that was starting at 7:30 PM

Hard Rock Tampa Trip Report ($100 MTT)

I was hoping for a bigger turnout in the $100 7:30PM MTT than the 48 runners that showed up, but I wasn't expecting much since it was a Tuesday night. 48 entrants meant that the top 5 places would be paid.

Nothing really eventful happened for the first few hours of the tourney. Fast forward to 2 tables remaining......

The average stack was getting relatively small compared to the blinds when I went on a rush. I was winning races like never before (most against a lot shorter stacks):

My TT>AK and 66
My AK>99
My AQ>AJ (not really a race)

I chipped up huge and was bullying the table when we were down to around 12-14 players remaining. Then my luck ran out:

Me: AK
medium stack: 99
All-in PF

Flop - KJT
Turn - 7
River - 8

My opponent got up from the table pissed and whined about how he can't win a race until the dealer started pushing the pot in his direction. He had no clue how he won until his neighbor explained that he made his straight.

Not much exciting happened until we hit the final table. I was probably a little above the average stack of 25k with blinds at 1k/2k no antes.

The final table was pretty comical from a mtt strategy stand point. Maybe 3 total people at the FT has a clue. A typical hand would see 3-4 limpers pf (most of the limpers in the 6-8 bb range). Flop comes down. One person bets minimum and everyone folds.

I chipped up twice with air in the BB after several players limped to my BB, I shoved, and everyone folded.

My favorite hand was one I wasn't involved in.

8 players; avg stack 33,000; blinds 2k/4k

I fold UTG. The entire table limps.

I don't remember the flop. Checks around to a guy with 3k remaining. He puts his last 3k in. Everyone folds. LOL.

When we got 6 handed everyone agreed to an even chop for a little better than 3rd place money ($680). I wouldn't normally agree to a chop in this spot because of how horrible several of the remaining players were, but I had 28k and was going to be in the BB with 3k/6k blinds. The chop seemed like a good idea since after the blinds I would probably be the shortest stack.

I forgot how horrid the play can be over at the Tampa Hard Rock. I may have to try to make it over there more than twice a year.

Free Poker Training

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

If you aren't signed up for free poker training, you are missing out. If we play at the same tables, please ignore this post.

Get Cardrunners/Stoxpoker for Free

I continue to receive CRs and Stoxpoker for free thanks to their truly free poker training program just for playing on FTP.

The link:

The details:
Earn 5.5k FTP points in a month and get 1 month of CRs free
Earn 3k FTP points in a month and get 1 month of StoxPoker free
No hit to rakeback
You keep your points
Pretty simple (I guess it is FTP paying ppl additional RB to play)
Go sign up

To follow up on Bayne's recent post about the FTC requiring "Thus, bloggers who make an endorsement must disclose the material connections they share with the seller of the product or service" I was not paid anything to make this post. I just can't imagine why people wouldn't sign up for it. If you hit the required number of points then you get free access to the training sites. If you fall under the required number of points then you can get discounted access (I think - may need to read the TFPT website info)

TV, NLHE, Football, and Blogger Tourneys

Monday, September 28, 2009


Poker on TV isn't dead, but they definitely need more cash games. I watched two weeks worth of episodes of Poker After Dark this month. That is probably as many as I have watched the rest of 2009 even though my DVR still records every episode. The reason that I watched every episode of PAD for two weeks this month - cash games. The show is just so much more interesting when they have cash games. There is always action when you get the right players at the table. The 6 max SNG format is very boring when you drag it out over five days. The early levels (first part of the week) are usually tight and the later levels (mid-end of week) become all-in or fold as the average stack dwindles relative to the BB. IMO, PAD should switch to 100% cash games.

WSOP ME - The jury is still out on the extended Main Event coverage, but I am starting to think it is going to be overkill. I feel like 2 more weeks of coverage before the final table would be more than enough, but there are still 6 more weeks of new ME episodes before the Final Table. Yes, we will get to see more interesting spots, but do we really need six more full weeks of coverage? How many more human interest (fluff) player profiles do they plan to squeeze in? Is the casual fan (occasional poker player or non-player) going to stick around for six more weeks? Surely there will be a pretty significant drop in ratings when people start realizing how long they have to wait until there is a conclusion.



After an extended stint at the LHE cash games, I am starting to dip my toes back into the NLHE waters. I am going to keep very stringent bankroll guidelines and start at NL50 full ring. I have reviewed some old NLHE hand histories and discovered some big leaks and a couple of small ones. There are two in particular that are costing me a lot of money in the long run, but on the surface seemed very small. I will post more on those leaks and how I am doing with plugging them in a future post.



College Football is so much more interesting than NFL imo.

How many NFL games would you really be interested in if you didn't have a Fantasy Football team? Would you even care to know the score of a Browns/Rams games if one the players wasn't starting on your FF team that week? I find it funny to watch friends rooting for teams that they would normally hate, because they have X, Y, or Z player.

Don't get wrong, I still enjoy watching NFL games, but the excitement and energy level of college football seems to be a few steps above the NFL. For the top 25 teams, each week is like a playoff game - a must win.

Maybe I'm just having a harder time getting excited about the NFL this year because my three favorite teams in order are Miami, Jacksonville, and Tampa.


Blogger Tourneys

Hoy had a post last week about "The Death of the Private Blogger Tournament." I don't agree with some of his points, but it is worth a read. People used to play the Blogger tourneys for fun, but somewhere along the way things changed for various reasons.

I always tried to avoid the drama surrounding the blogger tourneys. I found it funny when grown adults would get into pissing matches about how someone played AJo or how someone "should have known that their gutshot draw was way behind." Some people were joking or purposely fanning the flames and others were seriously hurt or upset. No reason to want to beat someone up because they made a donkey call and sucked out on you. It doesn't matter that they think that their call wasn't bad. You don't need to convince them. LOL, it is just a tourney that you are supposed to be playing for fun.

My reason for playing less of the blogger tourneys may be different than some. I got burnt out on them during the last BBT. It seemed like we were having to play almost every night and by the end, I just didn't feel like playing them for a while. There were too many different tourneys even when the BBT wasn't going on.

I really think/hope that the right connected person could get a more casual blogger tourney series running again. It would just need to be something simple - maybe once a week. I'm sure that FTP or Pokerstars would donate all of the rake during the tourneys into an overall leaderboard prize pool or final tourney.

MTT - Flop Decision Results

Monday, September 21, 2009

I meant to get around to posting this last week.

Follow up of my last post. Thanks for all the great comments.

What do you do when he donk bets the flop?

Full Tilt Poker MiniFTOPS Event #12 $109 (antes from the start) No Limit Hold'em Tournament - t30/t60 Blinds + t7ante - 9 players

The Official Hand History Converter

UTG: t5586
UTG+1: t6265
UTG+2: t7350
Hero (MP1): t5965
MP2: t3921
CO: t5477
BTN: t7879
SB: t3224
BB: t5149

Pre Flop: (t153) Hero is MP1 with J of hearts J of clubs

3 folds
Hero raises to t180
3 folds, SB calls t150
1 fold

Flop: (t483) 5 of clubs 3 of diamonds 8 of clubs (2 players)

SB bets t540
cmitch ?????

What is your action?

a. Call. Why? Plan for rest of hand?
b. Fold. Why?
c. Raise. Why? How much? Plan for rest of hand?

I got a lot of good responses.

I really felt like the guy was on a draw or a pair and a draw. I was with the majority and decided to go ahead and raise around 3x his bet with the intention of calling a shove. He shoved and showed..........


I think Pokerfool must have been watching the hand since he put the guy on exactly QQ. :) - Maybe he should start playing a lot more mtts.

Heffmike had some pretty good arguments for flat calling, but in the end I think the result is the same. I like his thoughts on maximizing value.

"Devil's advocate here:

Maybe it's too weak/too smallball, but what's wrong with using position, flatting, and reevaluating on the turn?

I guess it's all about reads. Would he be smart enough to donk lead and bomb the pot with a big draw/hand here? If so, then he's jamming to your reraise and you're going to get it in for 50 BB flipping at best.

If he's a aggro muppet just trying to blow you off AK, because EVERYONE has AK when they raise preflop, why cut him off now by raising the flop? Let him hang himself on the turn when he whiffs and donks again with his club draw or 8x. Sure, you take the chance of letting him catch up, but maybe with this player that's not such a bad thing.

I just get the feeling that if you raise/shove this flop, he's never going to come correct with something you crush like TT/99, or spew with 98/77, but he'll have some donk two pair/trappy AA/KK/QQ/or Ac3c type of hand.

If we prefer to play JJ fast here, be prepared for a ton of variance."

I thought that this was an interesting hand because of my reads on the player. He seemed loose and frustrated, so I was willing to get all the money in the flop. I'm guessing that I might have played it a little different with no history on the player or if the player seemed really tight. I think that it could have gotten really interesting if he was twice as deep - would make it a tough decision between a flop call, raise/fold.

Thanks for all the thoughtful comments.

MTT - Flop Decision?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The SB had been playing a ton of hands. He hadn't won any significant pots in a while and seemed frustrated often making big bets into pots. Most of the time his big bets were met by folds, but I had seen him lead with a big bet and fold to a re-raise.

What do you do when he donk bets the flop?

Full Tilt Poker MiniFTOPS Event #12 $109 (antes from the start) No Limit Hold'em Tournament - t30/t60 Blinds + t7ante - 9 players

The Official Hand History Converter

UTG: t5586
UTG+1: t6265
UTG+2: t7350
Hero (MP1): t5965
MP2: t3921
CO: t5477
BTN: t7879
SB: t3224
BB: t5149

Pre Flop: (t153) Hero is MP1 with J of hearts J of clubs

3 folds
Hero raises to t180
3 folds, SB calls t150
1 fold

Flop: (t483) 5 of clubs 3 of diamonds 8 of clubs (2 players)

SB bets t540
cmitch ?????

What is your action?

a. Call. Why? Plan for rest of hand?
b. Fold. Why?
c. Raise. Why? How much? Plan for rest of hand?

Home Game Fun

Friday, September 11, 2009

The home low limit cash game the other night turned out to be a lot of fun. I got to see a few people that I haven't seen in ages, drink some beer and splash around some chips. I played a ton of hands and ran pretty good. We played $0.25/$0.50 NL with a $50 buy-in. I walked away +$80 (after buying beer.)

We were using multi-color poker chips without denominations, so Steve printed a list of how much each chip was worth and posted it on the wall. The denominations were so confusing that it took about 2 hour before I finally stopped referencing his list.

I won a big pot pretty early. I was the big blind. It folded to Steve in the sb and he raised to $3. Since I was playing almost every hand, I decided to call with 3c4c. The flop came 256. Steve bet $7. I called. The turn was a 9. Steve bet $12. I shoved. He called with AA.

2 outer ftw
About 10 mins later Dave raised to $3 in mp. One person called. I made it $9 otb with AA. Dave called. Everyone else folded. The flop was Q99. Dave checked. I bet $14. He shoved. I called. Dave had QQ. I was drawing pretty slim until the Ace hit the turn. Yikes!!

We started out 9 handed and lost a couple of people after about 2 ½ hours. We lost 2 more people about 1 ½ later and wound up playing 5 handed for a while which made things a lot more interesting.

Overall I had a great time getting together for some poker and beer. I think (and hope) it is going to become a once a month thing.

Home Game Tonight - Old School Style

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

I am going to a home cash game tonight. Usually, I get excited about a home game when there are fish with money, but tonight there are different reasons. We are playing a very low limit cash game ($50 max buy-in I think), but it should be a little like a time warp to 2003-2005. One of the regulars from our old Wednesday night game is trying to put together a semi-regular game (once a month or so) in his new game room above his garage. A few (maybe 4-5) of the regulars from the Wed game should be there tonight - maybe even a couple that I haven't seen in years.

My original connection with the old regular Wed night game was due to random luck. My wife and I were in the UB Aruba check-in line in 2003. We started talking to the two guys in line directly behind us. They were both from Orlando also. One of them had won the Aruba package online and his friend was lucky enough to come along for the ride. I don't remember how, but we wound up meeting a couple more people that were also from Orlando later in the trip. I doubt there were more than a handful of people there from Orlando and we randomly had met 4 of them. We all exchanged numbers and email addresses when it was time to head back to the real world.

Fast forward to a month or so later - I got a call from one of the guys that we met asking if I was interested in coming to a home game. It started much like most home games - we shoved the dining room table and the kitchen table together and played $20-$40 sngs. There was even a ramp (part of a pizza box) between the tables since they were different heights. The game gradually grew with real tables, dealers, tourney clocks, and of course rake. It was no longer our "home game." It was now called Orlando-UPC. The sngs turned into 2 table sngs and ranged from $80 - $250 on Wed and Sunday. I tried to make it every Wed night and always had a great time.

My visits to the game became few and far between after our son was born in Sept 2005. Loopy (the originator of this blog that has stopped posting) even wrote a trip report in 2005 after our first time back months.

I rarely made it to the game over the next several years and it gradually morphed into something different. It was moved from it's original location to a guy's house near downtown. The games got bigger and there was even a bouncer from one of the downtown night clubs there for security. The original regulars gradually stopped coming to the game as often (for a variety of reasons) and were replaced with new regulars. I remember heading to the game a year or so ago and knew only 3-5 people of the 20 or so that were there.

Orlando-UPC closed it's doors sometime last year shortly after the guy that ran the game got married. They had a pretty good 5 year run.

I'm looking forward to seeing some of the old faces tonight. There should be plenty of beer flowing and chips flying.

Ever Google your screen name?

Friday, September 04, 2009

I googled my screen name the other day and came across the usual stuff - blogger game hands, hands people post that didn't involve me but I was at the table, a random suckout, other blogs that link to mine, etc, etc.

A few pages in I stumbled across the following post I made on a poker forum way back on 7/16/03:

"I have been playing on Poker Stars for a while now. I just signed up for Ultimate Bet. I've only played a few hours so far, but it seems like UB is not as user friendly as PS. Maybe I'm missing something or haven't found all the features yet. Maybe you guys can help.

UB - Is there any way to view other tables in a tourney? Is there a way to make notes on players (other than my own pad and paper)? Is there a place where you can see the chips that each player has during a tourney?

Thanks for your help. I guess I might be spoiled by the features (or familiarity with) at Pokerstars."

I laughed on some many levels:

- It was over six freaking years ago. I had been playing since probably the end of football season - Jan 2003 (a few months prior to Moneymaker). I can't believe that I have been playing online almost 7 years.

- UB's early tourney lobby really sucked.

- Shortly after that post, UB became my favorite site and I rarely played anywhere else until FTP came on the scene. It could have something to do with me winning an Aruba package about 1 or 2 weeks after I made that post (It may have even been a couple of weeks before that post). I remember having no real clue about how to play tourneys when I won my Aruba package. I played my cards, my draws, and remember constantly asking myself "Will/can he call if I raise all in here." (Myabe that was my first clueless exposure to hand reading)

- Wow, how the mighty have fallen. UB lost their original market share and failed miserably to capitalize on their early entry into the online poker world long before anyone even knew the term "superuser" The main reason was piss poor management and customer service. They started having weekly and sometimes daily crashes and were horrible at sorting things out.

- I miss the early UB/online poker days. I don't miss UB, but I miss the "friendly" feel the site had back then. You were playing against the same people all the time and most of the regulars knew each other and chatted during tourneys. I enjoyed watching final tables because at least 2 or 3 of my online "friends" were at most final tables. Jack asses and abusive chat were few and far between.

- I miss the small field medium buy-in tourneys that ran regularly. My decision to play a tourney or not back then was sometimes based on whether or not it was going to be over 100 players. Between 50-99 players they paid 10 spots and 100-200, they paid 20 spots. I regularly played the $50 - $100 75-150 player tourneys during week day peak hours (8PM EST - 10 PM EST)

- I think a MBA class could use the online poker early years through the initial launch of FTP as a great study in online business launches in the early years. It would and interesting study of what was done right and wrong and how that translated into the poker site's current revenues.

Wow, this turned into a rambling post that could have probably been summed up as, "I'm old and I miss the early years of online poker even before I found Party Poker.:


Wednesday, September 02, 2009

WCOOP starts tomorrow and the Mini-FTOPS is right around the corner. I haven't played many tourneys lately, but will probably play a couple WCOOP events and several Mini-FTOPS events.

The WCOOP schedule sucks during the week for anyone with a job (me) and sucks on the weekend for those with families (me again - I rarely play when the kids are awake on the weekends). They do have a few 8 PM EST events that I may try to play.

On the other hand, it seems like the Mini-FTOPS is geared towards the working man with a ton of 9 PM EST tourneys. I will probably several of these not only because of the time, but because you can buy into any of the the events with FTP points. I currently have around 100k ftp points and will probably use most of them during the Mini-FTOPS.

Right now I am considering playing the following events:


Event #5 - $109 8 Game $50k Guarantee (Fri 8 PM) - I feel comfortable playing all these games and am probably weakest in the stud and stud h/l. I should have an edge in the LHE rounds because there are a ton of NLHE players that don't have a clue about all the nuances of LHE. I haven't played triple draw in a while, but played it occasionally way back in the day when UB first starting spreading it (5 yrs ago?).

Event #8 $215 LHE $400k (Sat 4:30 PM) - I would really like to play this but it is during the day on the weekend and it is also on the first day of college football, so it is probably a no go.

Event #23 $320 NLHE (10 min lvls) (Next Fri 9/11 8 PM) - I will probably play this one if I satellite in.


Event #1 - $22 NLHE $200k guarantee (4,400 ftp points)
Event #3 - $22 O8 $30k guarantee (4,400 ftp points)
Event #12 - $109 NLHE antes from start $250k guarantee (21,800 ftp points)
Event #14 - $55 HORSE $50k guarantee (11,000 ftp points)
Event #15 - $22 NLHE turbo 6 max $100k guarantee (4,400 ftp points)
Event #17 - $33 NLHE 6 max rebuy $200k guarantee (6,600 ftp points)
Event #19 - $22 LHE 6 max $50k guarantee (4,400 ftp points)
Event #21 - $33 RAZZ $25k guarantee (6,600 ftp points)

I'll try to post some interesting hands/tough decisions.

I stumbled across FTP's $75 LHE mtt last night. I'm not sure if this is a regular tourney or just on Sunday nights, but it was fun (and a little frustrating since it was LHE after all.) When we got 3 handed I had 60k and the other two had around 85k. The limits were 3k/6k and about to go up to 4k/8k. I figured it was a crap shoot and I might as well lock in 2nd place cash.

I think that I made a decent deal, considering anything could have happened. What do you think?

Original payouts
1st - $1,678
2nd - $1,022
3rd - $734

Chop adjusted payouts
1st - $1,176
2nd - $1,170
3rd - $1088

Gambling Boat Trip Report

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

I was excited to head out on the gambling boat when I woke up at the beach condo on Thursday morning. The boat was supposed to leave at 11 AM and return at 4 PM. Our plan was to get the kids dressed, head over to the my Mom and stepfather's hotel, eat some breakfast, and then my stepfather and I were going to head out on the boat. My phone rang right before we left the condo. It was my Mom asking when we were coming over for breakfast. She also informed me that my stepfather no longer felt like going on the boat. Huh? WTF? He is the first to try to plan any trip that involves slot machines, so I wasn't sure what was going on. I guess the main problem was that they brought their dog with them and the dog and the hotel were not getting along. Oh well, I decided to open a few beers after lunch and forget about the gambling cruise.

Fast forward to later that night.....We decided to head to the Port for an early dinner (a few miles from our condo). The gambling boat was docked literally right next to our choice of restaurants. The gambling bug then started to take full effect on my stepfather - having to deal with the stressed out dog all day may have played a part also. After not wanting to head out on the cruise 10 hrs earlier, he decided it was a great idea. I agreed.

I wasn't sure what to expect in the poker room since the last time I was on the Suncruz was probably before my 7 year old daughter was born. I had seen their poker room advertised and talked to a few people that had gone out years ago. They used to have some limit games (5/10 and 10/20) and several NL games (1/2, 2/5).

After boarding the boat, I immediately went to the poker room on the top floor. If they had a list I was going to get on it. I didn't want to be left waiting for a seat when we only had a few hours to play. All (6 or 8 maybe) of the poker tables were covered and no one was at the poker cage. No big deal. We hadn't left port yet and gambling wasn't allowed until you get 3 miles offshore. Time for more beer while waiting for the boat to leave and make it's way to international waters.

Disney Boat coming back to Port next to us

I went back to the poker room a little after we left port. No one was at the cage, but there was one table with people playing poker. I walked over and asked if they started early and was informed that this was a $20 sng with 1 rebuy ($20). Money would be collected after we reached the 3 mile point - until then the dealer would hold onto your ID. The dealer urged me to grab the last seat. The bar sounded like a better idea than a $20 live sng. The dealer said that I might want to reconsider since he was the only dealer on the boat and that the cash games wouldn't start until the sng was finished. I expected a small turn out on a week night (Thurs), but this seemed a little ridiculous - one dealer and one cash game. WTF?

I decided to head to the roulette table with the money my wife and Mom gave me to bet for them. Five dollars from my wife to bet on black and $5 from my Mom to bet on red. :) I was playing the outside and was up and down from my initial $100. I decided it was time to leave and check out the poker room. I had $120 left, took my initial $100, set it aside, and bet $5 on four numbers. One of them hit for $175. I bet a few more numbers on the next spin and left with $240 (+$140).

The sng finally ended about 20 mins later and we were ready for the cash games to start. It was a $1/$3 NL cash game with $200 max and $30 min. Several people bought in for $30. Dealing with short stackers online is bad enough, but live is even more frustrating. I decide to the keep the beers coming and play almost every hand.

Some fun hands

Trapped by a short stacker
I was in the CO with 7s8s.
There were a couple of limpers, so I raised it up to $15.
The SB shoved all in for $27 total ($12 more).
The BB thought for about 20 seconds and called the $27 (leaving about $20 behind).
The limpers folded.
I called.
I wiffed on the flop, turn and river. We checked the flop, checked the turn.
I folded my 2 unders (I think) to his massive overshove of his remaining $20 on the river.

The SB had KK. The BB had AA - he didn't bet his last $20 with his Aces on any street until the river. He told me that he was trying to trap me. I told him that I was lucky there wasn't an Ace on board.

Toothless Old Timer (well only missing one tooth, but it was in the front)
Shortly after one of the short stacks lost his $30, a seat opened up. A toothless old timer named Charlie sat down with $60. I wound up doubling him up($50ish) a few hands later with 77 against his TT. He was grinning ear to ear (minus one tooth). I started chatting with him quite a bit (thanks to the beer) - nothing disrespectful, just something along the lines of him being a shark that comes out on the boat to take all of our money. For some reason it made him decide to come after me.

I'm a little fuzzy on the details (against thanks to the beer), but we were in a hand. I had been the aggressor and an 8 hit the turn gave me the nut straight with JTs. He immediately shoved all in for around $100 into a $60 pot. I immediately called. He had hit 4th pair on the turn. Yikes, I guess he picked the wrong time to "make a move." I was sad to see Charlie leave right after that hand.

Ummm, you have pot odds or something like that
I was dealt J8s in late position and decided to limp along with every other player before me that had already limped in.

Flop was T99. (Pot - $27) - 2 hearts
Seat 9 bets $10
Seat 2 calls $10
Seat 4 calls $10
I call (in seat 6) $10

Turn Q (Pot - $67) - hit the str8; hope it's good
Seat 9 bets $15
Seat 2 folds
Seat 4 moves all in for $35
I raise to $75
Seat 9 calls leaving $50 behind.

River - low card heart(Pot - $252)
I put Seat 9 all in.
He thought for a while, so I knew I was good.
He looked at his $50 in front on him and said, "I was about to leave, if I fold now I am even."
I went on to explain how much money was in the pot and how much he would win if he called his last $50 into a $352 pot. He finally called with A9. I scooped the side pot and shorty all-in on the turn was pushed the main pot with his rivered flush.

I wound up leaving the poker table losing -$145 including drink tips (bluffed $100 off to a calling station and lost $120 on the last hand of the night with KT vs KJ on a King high flop). Total for the night was a waffle like -$5 after drinks.

I forgot how much fun live low limit NLHE can be, especially when you are enjoying a few cocktails. Waking up and heading back down to the beach again the next day was pretty nice too.

Gambiling in Hurricane Waters?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

I'm planning to head out tomorrow morning on a last minute trip aboard the Suncruz casino out of Port Canveral. Since there is very limited gambling in the state of FL (only $100 max buy-in poker), there are several gambling boats along the shores of FL that head 3 miles offshore to international waters and offer full gambling. I think Suncruz is the only one left in Port Canaveral.

There might be one big problem tomorrow - Bill, Hurricane Bill. Bill isn't supposed to hit FL but is going to be close enough to make the seas extremely rough. I'll cross my fingers that the boat goes out tomorrow.

I'm not sure what games they will have running on a daytime cruise during the week, but I'll report back on all the action.

Blogging is fun

Monday, August 17, 2009

....for (I think it was Phralad that said that - no need to practice avoidance though.)

Man, am I a slacker or what? I have been horrible when it comes to posting updates. There are times when I sit down to write a post and decide that I don't really have any poker content worth sharing. I could put up the random mindless posts (and have done that) but I prefer to put up something worth reading.

I'll blame it on work, which is a good thing.

I hope to start posting regularly again, but won't post just to post. (*warning - you might be subjected to limit holdem content)

Misclick TURNS good

Friday, August 07, 2009

I was playing a few tables of $5/$10 LHE the other night when this hand came up. I was checking how a player on another table played a previous hand in HEM. The CALL button popped up in the same area where my mouse was scrolling and I misclick called. It turned out to be a good misclick.

....and yes it is boring LHE FR :)

Full Tilt Poker $5/$10 Limit Hold'em - 8 players
The Official Hand History Converter

Pre Flop: (1.5 SB) Hero is SB with 99 of hearts 77 of hearts

UTG calls
4 folds
BTN raises
Hero calls - oops, misclick out of the SB. Was checking something in HEM and action popped up in the same area that I was scrolling.
BB 3-bets - loose bad player that tilts hard and always comments everyone's bad play
1 fold - not sure what he limps utg and then folds.
BTN calls
Hero calls - guess my misclick prices me in to call.

Flop: (10 SB - $50) 44 of clubs 55 of hearts 66 of hearts (3 players)

Hero checks, BB bets, BTN calls, Hero raises, BB 3-bets, BTN folds,
Hero caps!, BB calls - I'm definitely getting in much money as I can in on this flop

(9.5 BB - $95) 88 of hearts (2 players) - Weeeeeeeee!!!!

Hero bets, BB calls

(11.5 BB - $115) 77 of clubs (2 players)

Hero bets, BB calls

Final Pot: 13.5 BB ($135)

Hero shows 99 of hearts 77 of hearts (a straight flush, Nine high)
BB mucks QQ of spades QQ of diamonds

Hero wins 13.2 BB
(Rake: $3.00)

Most misclicks suck, but I didn't mind this one.

Random Thoughts

Monday, August 03, 2009

I like the new FTP Lobby. The lag seems to be gone!!! yeah!!!!

The FTP "Biggest Bonus Ever" is a little ridiculous since the bonuses are smaller than the initial deposit bonus and the most people's mid year iron man bonus. Poor marketing imo. I'm not knocking FTP for giving us free money, but if you are going to market something as the "Biggest Ever!!" shouldn't it be at least bigger than the current initial deposit bonus?


Face the Ace - I think it is definitely geared more to the non-poker player or casual poker player. I hope it somehow catches on and improves. IMO, they need to get rid of the guy from the Sopranos. I saw a lot of negative reviews on the forums, but I think it was better than mediocre from an entertainment only pov. If by some fluke it takes off, it can only be good for the game.


Full Ring LHE - Last month when FTP's 5x Happy Hour started running, I fired up a couple of $5/$10 Full Ring Limit Holdem tables because you can earn points, clear bonuses, and rack up the RB really fast. After playing for a couple of weeks, it has become my new favorite game again. I know, I know. Some of you are saying WTF? Why would you play LHE? and if you are playing LHE, why would you play full ring? All I can say is that you would be surprised how poor some of the play is on the FTP FR LHE tables is. Just ask DrPauly. I've run into him at the tables a lot lately.

More LHE adventures in a future post........


How many more days until college football season starts??? Go Gators!!

WSOP Trip Report (Cash Games)

Friday, July 24, 2009

Wow. Where has the time gone? I have been back from the WSOP for a month and am just now getting around to writing my final WSOP trip report (not sure if anyone cares at this point). I’m going to blame the lack of posts on my computer (even though it has been back up and running for 2 weeks.) I had some minor but very annoying battery issues, so Dell shipped a motherboard. The replacement of the motherboard caused my hard drive to crash. Fast forward a week and I had a new (2nd) motherboard and new hard drive. I didn’t lose any work stuff but lost my HEM database and player notes on FTP because I was so worried I was going to lose work stuff. Oh well.

Losing my HEM db and FTP notes has probably been more of a blessing than a curse. I find myself thinking more about each player and how they are playing instead of relying too heavily on old notes and stats.

Anyway, on to my final WSOP recap (a few cash hands)....

Favorite Hand of the Trip
My last day in LV was far and away my best day at the cash tables – mentally and monetarily. I was playing great and was feeling “in the zone” more than I had the entire trip.

There was one particular hand on the last day that I probably would have played differently if I wasn’t so focused and had a great feel for the table. I had a fairly tight image and had gradually built up my stack from $500 to around $1k or so.

$2/$5 NL
Me – BB
EP (very active aggro but solid player) raises to $15.
3 calls including SB
I look down at JdJx and make it $50.
3 calls, 1 fold.

Flop Kd9d4x (Pot $215)

I bet $100 hoping to take it down right there. The table had been really loose pf but other than 1 or 2 guys most were fairly tight post flop.
EP (orig raiser) folds
MP (fairly weak player) thinks for about 3 or 4 minutes and finally calls – obviously with something like a weakish King.
SB takes a long time and tells MP “I would have called if you hadn’t.”

I ask MP, “How much do you have left? About $200?” He looked very uncomfortable when he said “Yeah.” I was putting him on a hand like KQ, KJ, KT and planned to put him in on any turn other than a K, Q, or T.

Turn Ad (Pot $415)

I think for a couple of seconds and then slide $200 out.
MP looks disgusted. He thinks for probably 5 minutes and finally folds.

I don’t normally show, but I had such a tight image and planned to keep playing tight that I thought this was a good time to show. I turned up my JJ and everyone went nuts. MP said he folded KT. EP tilted a little because he said that he almost called the flop bet and would have turned two pair with his A9.

Showing the JJ turned out to be one of the best decisions that I made. Over the course of the next several hours at that table I ran my initial $500 up to around $3k before cashing out and taking a break.

Bad Beat Hand of the Trip
(skip this hand if you hate bad beat stories)

$2/$5 NL

Me on the button - $900
MP = very tight passive player - $700
LP = bad shortish stack - around $250

Folds to MP whose raises to $20
LP calls
Me (with AA) raise to $60

MP thinks for a second and calls (I'm 90% sure that he re-raises with AA, KK, QQ, calls with AK, TT, JJ, possibly AQ and folds the rest of his range.)
LP calls - could have any two literally

Flop comes K83r ($187)

MP bets $70.
LP calls.
I raise to $250
MP insta-shoves.
LP insta-calls.
I call

MP has AK
LP has KQ

Turn (Pot $1,650) - K (last one in the deck)

Live poker is so rigged!!

I “Slow Rolled” someone? – You Make the Call?

I had been sitting at a 2/5 table since it started (about 2 1/2 hours.) The guy to my immediate left had been there since it started also. He was playing very tight and making comments under his breath about how horrible some of the play was at the table. I hadn't seen him put a lot of money in withouta monster during the 2 hours. I once saw him flat call a c/r with QQ on a T high board and call the turn and river. Basically, it didn't seem like he was putting all of his money in without the nuts or close to it.

I'm a little fuzzy on the preflop action, but something along the lines of....

Me - dealt 44 in LP.
Guy to my left (Left) was CO.

3 limps.
I call.
Left raises to $20.
2 calls.
I call.

Flop J84r

2 EP check
I check
Left bets $40
1 fold
1 call
I raise to $120
Left thinks for a second and shoves for $350-$400 more (had him covered)

Folds back to me.

I was taken aback by the raise. The only other time that I saw him do something like that he had flopped a set. I asked him if he had flopped a set of Jacks. He didn't say anything but seemed uncomfortable. I called about 2 secs after I asked the question (less than 30 secs from when action folded to me.)

I was actually shocked when he turned up J9o. I had either read his play wrong up to this point or he decided that this was the time to make a move.

The turn and river were no help for him. He stood up and says, "Nice Fucking Slowroll!!" as he leaves the table.

Does it sound like I slowrolled him because I took 20-30 secs to think through whether or not my bottom set was good against someone that I had pegged as extremely tight when it came to putting his stack in the middle?

I'm still here

Friday, July 10, 2009

Sorry for the lack of updates. Between getting back from LV, my laptop dying and being swamped at work this week, I haven't had time to post my final WSOP trip recap. I'll try to put it up tomorrow or at the very latest Monday.

In all the craziness, I think there are a few emails from the last week or two that I haven't responded to. I will get back to you this weekend.

After following the ME coverage online, I'm wishing that I would have gone out for the Main Event and at least attempted to win a ME seat. (I didn't play one ME sat this yr - live or online after spending way too much trying to win a seat in '07)

It feels good to get my laptop back up and running again!!!

My Laptop joined MJ

Monday, June 29, 2009

I still plan to finish my WSOP trip report (at least two - cash games and the 2k recap).

I was having laptop issues before I left for LV. It wasn't a huge deal - my battery (and replacement battery) wouldn't charge. I had a few other glitches related to an attached monitor and incredibly long load time at startup. Dell decided the fix was to replace the motherboard.

The replacment motherboard and tech arrived Friday morning. After he finished installating the new mb, he turned it on and everything seemed to work fine.

I got home early Friday night to watch the kids because my wife, sister-in-law and nephews were heading to the Dane Cook show. I decided to pass on the show after falling asleep at his last Orlando show (combination of lack of sleep, too many beers, him coming on 1 1/2 hr late, and him just not being that funny). After I got the kids to bed, I fired up the laptop with plans to play a long cash game session. My laptop had other plans. Windows XP wouldn't load all the way and I could only start it in safe mode. After 4 hours on the phone with Dell and several diagnostic tests later, they informed me that it had to be a software issue because nothing came back on the tests. I suggested, "Umm, I dunno much about these here computer thingies but it seems like the new mb might have a loose connection or be bad since I didn't have this problem until it was replaced earlier today." The Dell rep from India named "Bob" informed me that because the tests came up negative for hardware problems that it HAD to be a software problem.

Sunday, I got around to calling Dell back and they walked me through the reinstallation process. The Windows XP re-installation was complete about 45 minutes later. The machine went to start and wound up in the exact same loop as before. Yeah, definitely a software problem. aklfjafkdlafjslkl.

They are now sending another new mb and hard drive (with some preloaded software) tomorrow. Hopefully, this fixes the problem. As of now I am working on a new desktop that I bought today that will double as our new server once my laptop gets fixed.

I'm jonesing a little for online poker since I wasn't able to play over the weekend.

A few hours into the $2k NLHE WSOP event that I played, I was moved to a new table. My new seat had been previously occupied by Vanessa Rousso. She was the talk of the table when I sat down. They were not only talking about how poorly she played her bustout hand, but also how she had dogged the entire table on twitter. Apparently, a friend of one of the players at the table follows @VanessaRousso on twitter. This is what she tweeted about her table:

"Just sat down...danny wong at my otherwise weak table"

LOL. It doesn't seem to say much, but this could be useful information and probably was useful information to the solid player two to her left. His friend had texted him the tweet.

Below is the description of her bustout hand:

Vanessa Rousso moved all in for 5,300 after a flop of KdJd3s and got a call. She didn't like what she saw when she tabled AhKc while her opponent showed AsAc.

Rousso failed to catch her two-outer when the board ran out 6 6, sending her to the rail."

From the description it sounds like she got unlucky, but from what the table was saying it sounds like she played her AK very poorly against the "otherwise weak table." (FWIW, I always seem to play AK poorly.) Also, for some reason, I could have sworn they said she had KQ. I'll give her the benefit of the doubt though.

What I was told is that she had around 5k to start the hand (call it 5,300) - blinds 75/150. It folded to her otb. she made it around 600. The SB raised to 1,800. The BB smooth called the 1,800. She thought for a while and finally flat called the additional 1,200. King high flop - SB/BB check. She shoves. SB folds. BB insta-calls with his AA.

Maybe if she didn't think the table was so weak, she would have either folded or shoved the AK preflop. The BB was a very solid internet player living in a house with a bunch of other internet players. After a short time at the table, I knew that he wasn't smooth calling in a situation like that without an absolute monster.

Maybe the tweet didn't influence the way he played the hand, but it might have. Careful how much information you tweet at the poker table. You never know who is reading, especially if you are a known player.

WSOP Trip Report - Part 2

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

I guess I can call this part 2 since I posted a quick random update while I was in LV.

The Results (of 7 days in LV)

Tourneys = -$1,760 ($2k NLHE WSOP-report to follow; $340 DS Venetian - $580 cash)
Satellites (incl. tequila shots) = -$150 ($125 sat, $20 last longer, $5 towards tip for shots)
Magic Game Bet = -$55 (I didn't have much faith with them down 3-1)
Cash Games = +$1,400 (report to follow - last day saved me here)

Net Loss = -$565


Live Bloggers

Thanks to everyone that I met/hung out with in LV!! I had a great time!!!

It was great to meet up with some of the bloggers that were out in Las Vegas while I was there - some new faces and some that I have met before. I'll try to remember everyone that I ran into (although a couple of nights were a little fuzzy):

CK - Was able to sucker me into playing HORSE+Triple Draw where I didn't win one pot. She is going to be worn out by the end of the WSOP after being the unofficial blogger LV host. Good Luck today in Day 2 of the $2.5k O/8. She is kicking ass and taking names so far. Hopefully, she will break through to a final table.

LJ - Got to see her tear through the field in the $1.5k HORSE. A win would have been great, but 10th is pretty freaking awesome for her first time playing HORSE live. She is out there to, ummm, work. It seems like she has reasonable bosses and can set her own schedule, which is definitely a good thing in a 24 hour city. Kick ass in your next events!!!

Bayne - Only saw him briefly since he was in town with his wife and daughter and he had to spend a lot of time with them. (with them = at the craps tables methinks)

F-Train - No rest for the weary. He is doing a kick ass (trying to see how many times I can say kick ass in one post) job covering the WSOP including the $1.5k HORSE that LJ was in. We had dinner a few nights while his IPhone timer was counting down the minutes until the usually 60 minute dinner break ended for the tourney that he was covering.

AlCantHang - Was looking forward to meeting him after all the kick ass stuff he has done for bloggers (BBTs, free stuff, etc). For some reason I thought it was a good idea to have a couple of double SoCo shots with him after I busted out of the 2k NLHE. It seemed like a very good idea at the time. The next morning, not so much. If you don't follow his twitter account, you are missing out.

MeanGene - Ran into him at the bar with Al. I don't think he wanted SoCo shots but somehow we coerced him. That consisted of: "Do a shot with us." "Naah." "Ah, come on." "OK."

- Seems like a great guy. I only got to hang out with him for a short time at dinner and the HORSE+TD. I'm looking forward to reading his trip report. I'm guessing that he probably went deep in at least one Venetian DS.

Lightning36 - When I ran into him, I was expecting to see a seventy year old man with a cane since he said that he was going to be playing the Senior's event - just kidding. I knew that he had just barely qualified for the senior's min age of 50. We had lunch while I was nursing my hangover. I really thought he was going to tear through the senior's event field, but I guess the short starting stacks had other plans.

Blogger sprstoner - I wasn't going to put him on the list because he hates being called a blogger. Blogger, Blogger, Blogger, Blogger. I seem to randomly run into him every year, usually at the Hooker Bar - hmm. He is kicking ass at the WSOP and everywhere else this year. So freaking huge. If he really was a blogger, he would probably just be bubbling the money instead of making deep runs. Still a few more events for him to win his bracelet which would be a great accomplishment for a BLOGGER.

Lucko21 - I ran into Lucko briefly during the drunken hours after the $2k NLHE. I had met him once before (again briefly 2 years ago at the pocketfives party.) It is very fuzzy, but he did hang for a few mins while I degened it up at the Roulette table at the end of the night. I'll be rooting for him at the ME - time for the run goot!!

I'm sure alcohol is making me forget a couple of others

More to follow...................

FT of FTP 50/50 - out in 4th :(

Monday, June 22, 2009

I played the FTP 50/50 tonight mainly due to jetlag after coming back from LV. I'm glad I did because I wound up final tabling and busting in 4th for $3.5k. I was really hoping for a win, but I'll take it since it is a nice way to end my LV week before heading back tot he real world in about 3 hours.

I couldn't win the race at the end for 800k chips with 55 vs. AQ.

I had a blast in LV and will update tomorrow or the next day.

WSOP Quick Update

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Random Thoughts...

Magic choked bad, but I'm still happy that they made it to the Finals. Oh well, there is always next year.

Sunday - Two short cash sessions +50 and -250, watched Magic lose :(

Monday - Woke up way way too early and couldn't go back to sleep (6:30 am)

Went over the Venetian around 8:30, registered for $340 mtt, played cash for a while, was down almost two buy-ins after losing set to flush draw, and KK to a medium stack flush draw. My hands held up after that and I finished up barely to then negative side (-70), which I consider a big win after being down 800-900 at one point.

Played the Venetian $340 (819 players - 72 paid) to get back into the live tourney swing of things. Never got anything going and after a couple of breaks I was sentenced to perpetual short stack hell. I was in shove/fold mode and wasn't getting a lot of opporutunities to shove because a lot of the big stacks were raising and 3-betting before I could even act. When I did get a chance shove, I rarely got called. I doubled up a few times here and there. I eventually cashed in 53rd for a $570. It was brutal to play that long, finally get some chips to work with after the bubble burst and then lose a big pot where I was way ahead to become a short stack again. I can't complain though. I feel like I played great despite riding the short stack.

After the tourney I headed back to the Rio to see how LJ was doing in the 1.5k HORSE. I got there right before they ended for the night at 24 players. Day 3 starts at 1 today. Goooooo LJ!!!! TID!!!!

Was going to play the $1.5k NLHE donkament today, but made the decision last night while still in the Venetian tourney at 1 am that I wouldn't be worth a crap today. I am leaning towards playing the $2k donkament on Thurs.

Cash games and maybe some satellites today.

Funniest comment that I heard yesterday after two guys in their late 40s/early 50s got into it and then were apologizing to each other:

"Come on man, let's just calm down. It's just a game. I'm sure both of us are successful and worth a ton. I mean, I have $100 Million in the bank. I am just playing this for fun." LOL $100 Millionaments.

WSOP Tweet Tweet

Sunday, June 14, 2009

I'm heading out to LV in the morning. If you are interested in following my play out there, I have signed up for a twitter account.

You can follow me at @seemitch

Poker Prop Bets

Friday, June 12, 2009

It seems like all the poker pros at the WSOP are making prop bets to keep their interest in the grueling daily grind of playing long hours often with nothing to show for it. I listen to a lot of the poker podcasts and still have trouble keeping up with all the prop bets players have with each other. The one that everyone knows about is Phil Ivey's bracelet bet that he won earlier in the week, but the it seems like I hear a different number every time the story is told.

So, instead of trying to keep track of what all the prop bets out there, I have decided to make a few of my own on Bodog. Looking through the list on their site, a couple jumped out. My bets are as follows (I am sure some will disagree):

Which player will last longer in the 2009 ME
Phil Hellmuth -110
Tom Dwan - 130

My Pick - Hellmuth -110 (I know durrrr is a cash game monster, but Hellmuth somehow seems to always tear up donk filled large tourneys)

Which player will last longer in the 2009 Ante Up for Africa tourney
There are 14 Celebrities on the list and I'm guessing a few of them probably won't play or will register/donate the money and not show up, so it is probably more like a last longer out of 10 players.

My Picks - Hank Azaria 8-1 (He seems like he a more of a clue than most)
Charles Barkley 10-1 (I had to pick him since he was the only one that gave the Magic a chance against the Cavs. Prob a bad bet since he will be itching to hit the table games)

2 days til I leave for Vegas!!!!!!!!!

The Flea Market has it all

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

I had to post this picture that I took the other day. Strange what you can get at the flea market.

EDIT: Not sure how I could have posted this without putting up the Oldie but a goodie:

Live Poker - It's OK to talk

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

I know that Tommy Angelo advocates "Mum Poker." It definitely has it's place, but I think talking at the table, especially, to those that like to talk also has it's place as long as you are mindful about what you are saying. People like to talk about themselves and generally, the more they talk the more information they are giving you. When I sit down at a cash game I always try to strike up a conversation with the guy on my left and right. If you know their thinking/how they play then you have a huge advantage. They won't tell you flat out how they play, but they are usually more than willing to tell you if it is the first time at the WSOP/playing live poker/etc or how great of an internet/live player they are. If you ask where they are from, they may volunteer more information like where they play poker on a daily, weekly, every few month basis. You may even be able to give them just enough information about yourself for them to think you don't know as much as you do. You don't have to lie - just don't tell them everything.

Even though I rarely play live I can think of a couple quick examples off the top of my head:

Example 1
Last year, I was over in Tampa at a deposition of the opposing expert witness in a hurricane damage case. I'm a consultant that sometimes works on legal cases. I'm definitely not a lawyer and don't dress like one, but I dressed like one that day. After we butchered the opposing expert, I headed over to the Tampa Hard Rock. I was minus the coat and tie, but I still looked like a business guy that wandered into the HR to gamble after work.

After a couple of hours, I wound up in a SNG (equivalent of an online turbo SNG). A few orbits in, it folded to me in the SB. I completed with I think 2 face cards. The BB, who through conversations thought that I could send some work his way, over shoved all-in. I folded. Not a big deal - nothing too unusual about the hand for a live SNG, until he started to give me lessons on how to play poker. He told me to never just limp from the SB because the BB can just shove and you will have to fold. He went on to further explain some of the "finer nuances" of poker to me. I politely thanked him for all his advice.

There was no reason to let him know that I had ever played poker before. He created a better image for me at that table than I ever could have created on my own. The entire table now viewed me as a businessman without much knowledge of poker.

Example 2
Last year, I sat down at a 2/5NL game in the Rio after one of the donkaments thinned out enough for them to open cash tables. The guy to my immediate right and I were talking a lot about poker. We talked about FTP and PS. I let him ramble on and on and I was soaking it all in. He went on to tell me how easy and juicy live cash games are. "All you have to do is raise and then c-bet and everyone folds." I noticed that he was getting way too liberal with this plan and was always firing 2nd and 3rd barrels whether he connected or not. His pattern became predictable, even more so because of our hand discussions.

About and hour or so into the game, I called him down very light on every street including his river bluff. His line made no sense. He wasn't playing his made hands the way that he played this one. He went ballistic and couldn't believe how horrible my call was for calling him down so light. He wasn't talking to me anymore. He was no longer my "friend."

It is OK to fold AA

Friday, May 29, 2009

I was reading some of the coverage of the 1st level of the $40k NLHE WSOP event yesterday. The starting chip count was T120,000 and the blinds were 200/400/w 50 ante. There were several players that got all-in with AA in the 1st level. I will put in the caveat that I wasn't there so I may not know all the cirucmstances surrounding the hands/player's histories with each other, etc, etc, but on the surface and from the pokernews descriptions it just seems like horrible play.

First Example:

Jim Bechtel Eliminated by David Chiu

We already have a man down only thirty minutes into this event and unfortunately, it was 1993 Main Event Champion Jim Bechtel.

Bechtel, David Chiu, and Per Ummer saw a flop of {9-Diamonds} {2-Spades} {2-Hearts}. Bechtel checked, Chiu bet 6,000, Ummer folded and Bechtel called. The {6-Diamonds} cameon the turn and Bechtel checked again. Chiu fired out 9,200 only to be met with a shove from Bechtel for his entire 119,000 stack.

Chiu made the call and flipped over {9-Hearts} {9-Clubs} for a flopped full house, cracking Bechtel's {A-Clubs} {A-Spades} . The river was the {3-Spades} and Bechtel's tournament was over while Chiu doubled up to 245,000.

No real explanation needed on why this was horrible. What was he thinking? Is worse hand ever calling?

Phil Laak (mr uber-tight on High Stakes Poker) was involved in the 2nd one:

After a flop of {J-Clubs} {8-Diamonds} {2-Clubs} Phil Laak announces to the entire tournament floor that he is all in. Camera crews rush over to see Laak turn over {8-Clubs} {8-Hearts} for middle set against the pocket aces of his James Calderaro. The turn and river are blanks and Laak doubles up to 245,000. Calderaro drops all the way down to 7,900.

The Laak showmanship plus his ultra-tight early tourney play makes this seem very bad by his opponent. Maybe there was more to the hand since the description doesn't have how the action went down, but it just seems bad, bad, bad.

Not too sure about Tony G's getting all in with Aces either - even though we won:

With the board showing {5-Diamonds}{3-Clubs}{7-Diamonds}, Tony G just got it all in with {A-Clubs}{A-Spades} versus Erik Cajelais' {8-Diamonds}{6-Diamonds}. The turn was the {A-Hearts}, further improving Tony G's hand. And the river was the {8-Hearts}, giving Tony G the large pot.

Tony G is quickly up to 248,000, while Cajelais falls to 3,800.
I think we need to know more information on how this hand went down.

As LJ pointed out to me - Brian Townsend also posted on his blog that he couldn't believe how horrid the play was, especially considering players had to shell out $40,000 to play the event.


Short Stack Shamus at Hard Boiled Poker (which happens to be one of the many places I am following the WSOP) pointed out Tony G's interview about the hand. It makes it seem a little more reasonable. The other two still seem horrible, especially the first one.

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