Monday, July 23, 2007

The cold decks continue

I'm just about ready to give up playing online poker. Well, not really, but the frustration is palpable.

Let's take for example this land hand I played tonight. I limp from the LB to the BB with Q4o. The BB just checks. The flop come Q94 rainbow. I check, he raises the minimum I move all in over the top...guess what he has...Q9. This is getting old. The is almost 2 straight weeks of set over set and AA, KK, QQ, JJ being cracked by people calling with crap and completely random hands.

To make matters worse, I played some razz last night. Why not play the game were the worst hand wins...how bad could it be. I lost about $11 on one hand last night at the .50/1.00 razz ring game. On 7th st...the other guy hits the ace to 7653A...at 5th street I was at 76532. Oh...and that was the case ace.

ARRRGGGGG!!!!!!!

No live poker tomorrow night at poker league. Bodie25 needs to get out of the backyard and start building poker tables with OhCaptain...did you hear that Mrs. Bodie25??? Huh??? Did ya??? OK...I guess you gotta get the yard stuff done before return of the permafrost.

Sorry Jon! Jon gives lessons in the fundamentals of the ring game


I'm sorry Jon. I missed that! Thanks for pointing it out. Yes, that is Jon with almost one whole box of my chips in front of him. Way to rule the side game! Too bad the tourney didn't go better...but wait...you did better than Prof Jens at this night, didn't you...hehe

Congrats!
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Saturday, July 21, 2007

Co-ed Invitational III

Here it is the morning after our Co-ed Invitation III. We had 14 people join us for a 2 table tournament. We even had a new couple join us, Todd and Kathy.

A really big thanks goes to Jon for bringing the extra table. Dick and Bonnie brought the nummy bbqed weinners and Eloise, the girl from the deep, deep, deep south (think other end of the world) for creating our new travelling trophy!

I gotta believe, it was the craziest start to one of our events in recent memory. Bodie25 started off the evening by putting Kathy to the test. Kathy raised from the button on the first hand. Bodie25 defended the BB with a raise. I witnessing this hand immediately to left the of Bodie25 UTG....I got front row seats! I can tell by the betting that I'm quite sure both have a pocket pair...or Bodie25 is trying to be fancy. I did mention it was the first hand...right? Well, Bodie25 realizes he's got 2/3 of his chips in by the river and pushes the rest. Kathy goes in the tank and comes out to say call. She's got KK. Bodie25's got TT. I'm quite sure there will be a more detailed description of this hand at Bodie25's website. But needless to say...we now had a dealer at our table.

I patiently played very tight poker through all of this. What can I say, I was repeatedly dealt 8 2 o. I tried to play a little small pot poker, but lets be honest here. It's tough to win much money at all when the best hand you see for an hour is 10 7 of clubs.

I perfected my folding technique and even worked on some new ways to fold and we pretty quickly collapsed to the one table. Darrin even made the final table...did you here that Rian...Darrin made the final table! With the collapse of the extra table, a cash game formed, but I was intent on getting better at folding...so I just needed to concetrate.

I successfully navigated my way to the bubble. A few nice pots and some timely double ups kept me in business. The order of finishing up to the bubble goes something like this...

14. Bodie25
13. Trolkin
12. Bonnie
11. Jon Blixt
10. Darrin
9. Todd
8. Eloise
7. Chief Bourbonator
6. Dick
5. OhCountess

OhCountess put up a valiant effort to hang on, doubling up a few times, but ran into the buzz saw that was Prof. Jens.

We got to the bubble. Kathy and I were fighting over short stack. Each taking the opportunity to double through Mrs. Bodie25 and Prof. Jens. No real memorable poker played here. I was trying to mix up my betting patterns, but basically sitting pat for a hand that had some legs. It appeared that Kathy was doing the same thing.

On one ill fated button All-In, my A-10 ran into Prof. Jens holding K J. The price was right, he called and hit more jacks than were necessary to oust the host. I joined the cash game, wishing the we were playing razz...the decks were cold as ice for me.

Kathy battled admirably, but Prof. Jens and Mrs. Bodie25 had probably 90% of the chips in play between them. And the poker gods were gracing them each with cards.

The 2 monster chipleaders (let's just call them a cartel of chips), finally got heads up with Prof. Jens in the chip lead with the hand on the right.


Prof. Jens' pair of aces bested bested the pair of nines. We have our new champion! Congrats Professor! Don't forget to bring the trophy back next time. I'll need to display it prominently in the basement!

His championship was not really a suprise to any of us. With the elimination of Mrs. Bodie25, he ended the night for 8 of the 14 participants. The most ever at one of our events for a single person.

Congrats!




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Friday, July 20, 2007

Shuffling Chips - I HAVE NO CHIP TRICKS!

OK, I gotta admit, I have no chip tricks. I've been playing poker now for a few years, and I've got nothin.

Found this video today, gonna try it out tonight at the Co-ed Invitational III.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Sorry for the delay - The Poker League Recap

Poker league was on it's usual Tuesday evening, which also happened to be my birthday. Mr. and Mrs. Bodie25 joined OhCaptain and OhCountess for dinner at a local steakhouse. Tuesday was also their anniversary, so HAPPY ANNIVERSARY! Dinner was awesome and unusual for me since I rarely eat before playing live cards...but what the heck...it's my birthday and the DonkeyFest just keeps on going at summer poker league.
OhCountess joined me this evening which was FANTASTIC! Mr. and Mrs. Bodie25 thought differently and did something romantic..a movie or something BS like that. I ask all of you...what's more romantic than Bar Poker? Ok...I'm kidding...but it does make you think...
The room is filled with the usual people for summer poker. Comic Book Guy was even there again at my table. This table played for a while, I played a little small pot poker, built a little pile of chips, but no real memorable hands. I felt very comfortable at the table. I was really getting a great feel for the people.
Our table breaks and I get moved to a new table. No one joins me from the last table. There is a new guy at the table who suprisingly looks like BTK. He was wearing a University of Wisconsin hat. He says he remembers seeing me at a regional tournament. We never played together, but he remembers seeing me there. I know I've never played this guy, but it was striking to me how he talked about moving on to regionals. Well...let's see what you got!
BTK limps from the CO and it actually folds to me. I've never been able to fold in this position, so I checked. The flop is 10 10 6. Huh...I've got 10 8, let's see what he's made of. So I bet half the pot. He just about instantly calls me, but for some reason, he looked uncomfortable with the call. Now this made me think, I bet he's got a either a big ace or pocket pair that ain't seen any love. The turn is an ace, he bets about a quarter of the pot. Now, I need to think for a minute (no, I don't, but let's just say I did...sssshhhh). I call. The river is a blank. By his reaction...nothin. He got nothin out of this. So, just to see how much his paying attention, I min bet him. My experience is a better player would see this for what it is, the springing of a trap. He's not that good and reraises me 2.5 x my bet. Well, I'm not going broke to this guy, so I call. He turns over ladies. I turn over the set. Nice pot and all. Now he mutters something about slow playing. Maybe the lesson was learned. Although, I probably would have called a standard raise too if no one else had entered the pot.
The thing that really sucks about bar poker is the blind structure. It increases rapidly at the end. I was falling victim to a cold deck and lots of action. I'd been moved to another table. Chief Bourbonator was there and Jen. Jen. Jen. She makes the points frequenty, but I'm not sure she's not just aggressive and lucky. She busts me out this day on my birthday (shame, shame).
The blinds are 300/600 and I have 3500 in chips. Not good. I squeeze KK. Call or raise, call or raise or all-in. OK...all-in it is. A raise left me with nothin, a call could find a cheap ace or something even more nasty and heck...its a sizable portion of most stacks. One caller, Jen, who thinks for a minute, ponders the situation and announces "I'm ready to go home." OH CRAP! A SYMPOTHY FRICK'IN CALL! I'm like oh for infinity on the sympathy calls. She turns over A2o. Yes...she's calling an all-in for almost her complete stack with A2. I stand and prepare to leave because we all know what the flop was....3 4 5.

Fine

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Vanessa Rousso! What a great comment

When interviewed by World Series of Poker TV, Chad Brown is asked what his goals are for the evening. His response - "I wanna have at least 2 orgasms by the end of the night." Vanessa's reaction is priceless! Oh, and she guarantees him ZERO. Too bad Chad.

Poker League Returns – the beats continue

League resumed last night at Brother's Bar & Grill. I was excited to get back. I was full of confidence and happy to see some usual faces.

I was assigned to table 2. Summer leagues are much small than normal. I think there were 5 or 6 tables of 8 last night. Professor Jensen was on my left and Mrs. Bodie25 was 2 to my right. The Kid from a local church college that's not supposed to be here was directly on my right. Across from me was the Comic Book Guy. It seemed to me to be a pretty tight table.

I folded for a little. I'd started in middle position and half of the people I'd never played before, so I didn't want to get into trouble early with a marginal hand.

The first real hand of consequence came at the 25/50 blind level. I raised with pocket aces, a 3XBB raise. The flop came all heart and no aces. I made a continuation bet of about half the pot. The Comic Book Guy called me and everyone else folded. The turn was another heart. OK…I'm not sure what he has, but at this point, I'm really not sure I want to pay to find out either. Well, the river was yet another heart. OK. I've got aces, but neither of them is a heart. He called my bet on the flop and could very easily be slow playing a flush. I check. He checks…huh…he's got a set of 3s. We chopped the pot.

The next hand of consequence went pretty well. Like I said, I was very confident in my game. I was also keenly aware of how this table was playing. The blinds were still 25/50. I open the pot with a raise from UTG + 1 to 150. It folds to Comic Book Guy and he raises to 300 from the button. To my surprise, the LB and BB both call his bet. I join the call. I should tell you, I have 10s and miss the flop. I check, and it checks around. The turn, another blank and another group check. Now the river comes and it's a Ace. There's no flush, no straight and an ace on the river. Now, Mrs. Bodie25, I really figured she would raise the turn with ace high. I decided I should try putting a bet out there that looked like I wanted a call. I put out 250. Everyone folded! I was willing to lay it down to a raise…but they bought it hook line and sinker. I showed the semi-bluff and Comic Book Guy turns over his mucked QQ.

I think this play cost me the tournament in the end.

Later on Professor Jensen got into a little squabble. I limped to him in the LB. He raised it to 300. The blinds are 50/100. Well, I had squeeze AKo. I really believed he'd do this with either a medium/small pocket pair or a bigger ace. Not really wanting him to flop a set, I raised to 900. He called. Now, I really didn't expect this, but let the cards fly. The flop comes A 2 4. OK, I have top pair with top kicker. If he's got AA…I was dead a while ago, but I really don't think he does. I think he would have folded A 2 or A 4 preflop, those hands would be too vulnerable. So, I think he's now on a medium pair. I have the best hand. So, I raise to 1000. And he calls – AGAIN! OK. Now I sense a bit of frustration from him. He seems annoyed. The turn is a 3. I push him all in. 55 is too low and he'd never chase a straight draw for his tournament. AND HE CALLS AGAIN! So I get to see his cards at least. He turns over 88. SWEET! I'm way ahead. The dealer turns over the river…and as I posted from my cell phone. I frick'n 8 on the river! That was most of my stack.

Now extremely short stacked and the blinds growing fast, it wasn't long before I was all in with AQ and lost to Mrs. Bodie25. As is usual. She's taken me out several times now. Her A9 of spades, of course, hits the flush on the river…sheezzz…

I love this game!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Stupid 8 on the river & I'm 2 outed for a huge pot! Aaarrrggg!

Sent by a Midwest Wireless phone.
http://www.midwestwireless.com/

Monday, July 9, 2007

Now this feels familiar – Brick and Mortar SNGs

In only the second time I have played poker in a brick and mortar casino, I had both fun and success. Until Sunday, I had only played poker once in a casino that wasn't a tournament for the Minnesota Poker League. My only comparison is Treasure Island Casino, and that place only spreads limit games and a few tournaments.

Bodie25 had asked me to join him for the journey to Diamond Jo's Casino in Northwood County, IA. The trip took us about an hour. We were excited to try their sit-n-go tournament format. 10 players hit the list and they start the tournament. Well, that was a little bit less action then we had hoped. They only started one while we were there, the $35 dollar one. More will be written on that in a moment.

We got our names on the list right away. Bodie25 was really excited to sit and play some cards, so he got into the $1/$2 NL Hold'em game. I get a bit more nervous when I do new things, so I took a little time to do a walk-a-bout. I really find that this helps me collect myself. I also practice some of Joe Navarro's book, "Read 'Em and Reap: A Career FBI Agent's Guide to Decoding Poker Tells" about opening up your awareness.

I milled about the card area for a while, talking to the poker room manager, and got the nerve up to plunked down the cash and sit in on a newly formed $1/$2 NL Hold'em table. I was actually glad not to be on Bodie25's table. I won't soft play him, but I also hate being in pots…seems counterproductive for us to take money from each other.

I was locked down tight at this table, and only played the limped BB for about an hour. I have never played this before, I have never played any of these people before, and frankly, my cards sucked. I used this hour to build my dossiers on the people at the table. Attempting to guess their hole cards and get a good feel for their style of play. I'd categorize most a few of the people at my table as kitchen table players, some of those were even regulars as the staff new their names and talked like old friends. At my table, I'd guess there were only 2 players that really had a good grasp of the game and weren't just playing their cards. I avoided these guys.

I played only 2 real hands of note and baled on a few that saw more action than I'd care to venture my money into.

The first hand had 1 limper into me and I squeezed AA. I raised it to $6. Now, I must admit, the standard raise seemed to be to $7 or $12, but I wanted to project that na├»ve tourist image that people seemed to be putting me on. I got 2 callers. The flop came with 2 clubs and a K. Not a horrible flop with AA, and neither one of my aces was the club. The other 2 checked to me and I bet $20. One of the players then folded and the older lady called. The turn was the Ace of Clubs. OK…that's both good AND scary at the same time. It's nothing for people to call bets here with a flush draw. She checked to me and I really felt that she either had a weak flush or something else. The flop came a blank, she checked, and I value bet. She called and showed she had 2 paired the king. Yeah! A set of aces wins! Of note too were the comments from the table that not a single person at the table put me on aces. Yeah!

The pretty much locked me into a winning session of NL Hold'em. I lost a bit of that when I needed to lay down, but I ended the session up.

The Poker Room Manager came over and told those of us with names on the SNG list that it was time to go play. I was excited for this. I was looking forward to the tournament style I was used to.

Bodie25 joined me at the other tournament table with 8 others. Only one of the other players had been at my ring game, so the rest I was figuring from scratch. I left the headphones off, people were really chatting it up before the game and I was getting a lot about their personalities from this.

On my left, was a younger man wearing a Poker Player's Alliance shirt. I think he wore this to intimidate people. As the tourney progressed, he lacked any idea of aggression and blinded/called himself to death.

2 to my left was the only person from my ring game. She was a female that seemed confident in her game, and educated. She was aggressive in the ring game, but toned it down in the SNG.

3 to my left, was a quiet guy that I later found talked his reasoning out loud. (He would talk himself out of a call by listing the hands that would beat him before laying it down).

The guy on my right was definitely a kitchen player. He and his wife were arguing about how bad he played before we started, and his inexperience really showed.

2 to my right, was a bigger guy. He had been at Bodie25's table for the ring session. He came out betting strong to start things off. By the end, he was a bit of a gambler, but really didn't have much experience playing tournaments.

I found some big success early on in this event. The format for the SNG had use with 1000 in chips and 10 minute blinds. The structure only had 10 levels and was very steep. I decided to employ a tight strategy early and then find spots to exploit people's lack of skill later. I folded for the first 2 orbits without putting any extra money in. On the 3rd orbit, I found pocket 10's. I raised and got one caller. The flop came with no tens and 2 to the flush of clubs. I was in the pot with the girl from my first table. I really thought she was drawing to the flush, but her raise was more scared, so I was thinking that she was weak in the flush draw. The turn came and it was the 10 and put out 3 to the flush. In this steep format, I decided right there, to push her all in. If she's weak in the flush, she might not want to die right there. If she calls, I have all the outs that pair the board and the case 10. She thinks and calls. The river pairs the board. She proudly turns over the Q high flush, and I flip the full house. Oops…she was not a happy camper, but I now have a large pile of chips. I was able to switch gears and raise more often with position to steal and intimidate. That worked well!

As I played the tournament, I got some good cards at the right times, and avoided making any really bad calls. I never put my money in the pot dead!

After all the cards were played, I was in 2nd place and received a $90 payout.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Arrggghhhhhhh!!!!!!

Full Tilt Poker is down tonight! I was in the middle of a tournament! No live poker either! Arrrggghhhh!!!! Looks like we'll be playing solitare. And I'm off tomorrow...

Monday, July 2, 2007

A new venue - The Hangar Bar & Grill

Tonight I tried the Hangar Bar & Grill and their Monday night poker. This isn't a league at all, it just poker in a bar. Varying prizes. I've heard there is a $100 bill to first place. Tonight, there were only 17 people. I just can't imagine that this will last at this rate...that's a huge overlay.

I came knowing a few people. I recognized Walter and Virgina from Brothers and 2 other people that I don't know their name. John was also there. He's both a Bourbonator and a poker leaguer.

I know I went there way to tired. I was ready to fall asleep at dinner, but I really wanted to research this place and get a feel for the caliber of the competition.

Most of the pre-game conversations revolved around gambling in casinos. I took this to mean that people here liked to gamble and I might want to consider my action. I learned a lesson about this. They liked to gamble, that means they like to call. I tooked some knocks early on raising pre-flop with good cards. In the future, I might not do this unless I have a monster, but seeing the flop will probably be more profitable in the long run. Of the 5 hands I raised pre-flop in the first few blind levels, the minimum number of callers were 4. That's half the table. These raises were 4 - 5 X BB.

Suited connectors were popular and anything King or Ace high. A common expression at the table was "One time!" Like I said, they like to gamble.

Many pots were won with second pair. Chasing flush and straight draws was modus operandi. What I witnessed was, early on, it's best to lay back and limp if you must, but make sure you improve or you will be in a kicker war with 2 or 3 of your table mates.

The people here are very nice and friendly. Most people didn't show signs of even 2nd level thinking. I would say there were a couple of people the did, but there names were John and Quincy. To exploit most players, you need to remember that they are playing first level thinking. I spotted 2nd level thinking on Quincy, and used it later to double through him. I kept showing him my moves with aces, and how I was laying down others. When he was in the BB, I pushed all in with a Q J. He indeed did call me, and said that he knew I had an ace, so he turns over J 9.

There wasn't much for service here. I ordered a beer before we started, but didn't see a waitress return until break. It is also noisy here. It was very distracting.

I definitely think this venue is crackable and could prove to be very lucrative. There is not a lot of adjustment here, just limp early with hands that won't get you in trouble and remember, you are probably up against draws or medium pairs. I might right more in the morning.

Good night all!

June Bourbonators

Friday night, I hosted the monthly meeting of the whiskey club. After coming off the week before of not cashing in an event I hosted, the streak of cashing at everyone I'd ever hosted was over. I just really wanted to make that an aborition.

We got started late, as usual. We had 6 people to begin with, but a 7th we were pretty sure was coming, so we gave him chips and were blinding him out. He did show up about 15 minutes in, so all was well.

My plan for the evening was to concentrate on using betting patterns and previous experience of betting patterns only. No verbal tells were out for me that night. I find myself relying too much on these and while they are useful, I think that when I find nothing useful there, I panic and don't think the problems through.

Well all I can say is...this was very successful. In the first of 3 games, I took everyone out of the tournament minus one guy. By the time we were heads up, I was easily a 5 to 1 lead in chips.

Since my focus was on betting patterns, I really didn't have any hands that stood out. I played the whole game as a series of situations. Each moment there were cards in front of me, there was a decision about how to proceed. I stole a lot of pots situationaly and I let everyone make mistakes that I could profit from when I had cards. I bet into the calling stations and slow played the maniacs. This is something I forget to do with great regularity.

The second game started with a flurry of people making crazy moves. And sticking with my plan, I played the situation as it arose. There were no cards in the hole, so I just sat back and watched as the field just kept splashing chips around. This particular game I could have won somee massive pots if I knew what cards were coming, but let's be honest, no one bets their entire stack that 9 4 off suit will flop a full house. I ended 5th out of 7 when Ross hit the miracle 8 on the river to complete a 4 card straight on the river. I had him dominated, but all you can do is make sure you put your money in when you know you have the best hand. I wasn't really upset by this, I was hungry and we were guananteed a game 3.

Bodie25 and a friend and Lowell showed up for game 3. We had a full table now, with 10 people in the game. This one again started pretty loose and the chips were flying. Bodie's recap was realy good this month for a few key hands to examine. I generally stayed out of Bodie's way and focus my attention on being in pots with people I can profit from easily. Bodie ended up in 2nd. Since we now had 10 people, we paid to 3 spots...I got my money back on that one. Bodie and Cam were heads up and when we were done to 3...I was still at about par. Oops.