Sunday, May 27, 2007

People say the darnedest things

So far this weekend, I'm up. I'm making more money than I'm spending. YooHoo!

I'm writing because yesterday, during my morning Saturday tournament, I played my usual game for a sng and got heads up. It's been a long time since I was heads up, but I got there.
When I got heads up, I put the clutch in and switched geards. Raising a lot, continuation betting, the whole kit and kaboodal.

In one particualr hand, I was on the button and raised. I raise with 3d 6c. I'm heads up! The flop comes Q 6 4. Since I raised before the flop, I bet the pot. He thought really hard and called. The turn came an Ace. He checked, I checked (not sure at this point if he hit something - he had been one to trap). The river came an, 8, and he checked again. I really didn't think that helped him and he checked. I did a little feeler bet and he called. He was King high! Well, it would seem I played the hand like a donkey cause the complaining never ended. I was a JUNK PLAYER.

I asked, had he spent any time playing heads up and he told me how good he was and that he wouldn't play junk like me. I scratched my head and giggled. A few minutes later, I had aces and then kings. He was done. I thought I'd played everything like you were supposed to. Anyone think this is bad play? I like to mix it up heads up and make sure they never know what I'm doing...

Thursday, May 24, 2007

A win...ok...I just cashed...

It's been a long time, and I don't know why, but I finally cashed in an 18 person sng. It's been a couple of months, but they have just been the kiss of death for me. I can cash in a 90 or an 9 just fine, but the 18's have been a pain. Tonight I finally finished in the money and landed a 3rd. Not what I had hoped for. I was even in with the best hand when the money went in and lost to the ever popular 6 outer...If anyone knows how to play this with a better outcome, let me know!

Full Tilt Poker Game #: $5 + $0.50 Sit & Go, Table 1 - 300/600 - No Limit Hold'em

Seat 1: Junkhand12 (14,365)
Seat 2: coreman12 (7,985)
Seat 8: OhCaptain (4,650)
coreman12 posts the small blind of 300
OhCaptain posts the big blind of 600
The button is in seat #1
*** HOLE CARDS ***Dealt to OhCaptain [Qc 5d]
Junkhand12 folds
coreman12 calls 300
OhCaptain checks
*** FLOP *** [Qd 5s Jc]
coreman12 checks
OhCaptain bets 1,200
coreman12 calls 1,200
*** TURN *** [Qd 5s Jc] [2h]
coreman12 bets 6,185, and is all in
OhCaptain calls 2,850, and is all in
coreman12 shows [8s Qh]
OhCaptain shows [Qc 5d]
Uncalled bet of 3,335 returned to coreman12
*** RIVER *** [Qd 5s Jc 2h] [Jh]
coreman12 shows two pair, Queens and Jacks
OhCaptain shows two pair, Queens and Jacks
coreman12 wins the pot (9,300) with two pair, Queens and Jacks
OhCaptain stands up
The blinds are now 400/800
*** SUMMARY ***Total pot 9,300 Rake 0
Board: [Qd 5s Jc 2h Jh]
Seat 1: Junkhand12 (button) didn't bet (folded)
Seat 2: coreman12 (small blind) showed [8s Qh] and won (9,300) with two pair, Queens and Jacks
Seat 8: OhCaptain (big blind) showed [Qc 5d] and lost with two pair, Queens and Jacks

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

The Great Razz Experiment

I hate razz and love razz. Last night, after league, I played a play money sng of HORSE and then played the 100/200 Razz play money table. Weird thing...I made most of my money in the HORSE tournament playing Razz. And realized I sucked at both of the other stud games.

The ring game is where it got intersting. The action was slow and I was playing tight, so I played 2 tables. I felt last night, I was getting much better at reading the hands than I had ever done before. I even was developing a good sense of when they were bluffing or overplaying and when they had it. I didn't lose much money on hands, but quite often won the big pot when it happened. I ended up about 20,000 in play money chips after 2 hours.

I might just try the cash version this weekend again. There are a lot of really bad razz players...I just need to avoid being one of them.

If you are going to play poker...RAISE

Last night was poker league at Brother's Bar & Grill again. I'm completely out of contention to make any waves this league, so I'm still focusing on tweaking how I play. Last night, in all but one occasion, I played each hand as agressively as I could. Most of the time, the results were poor, but I had fun.

At the beginning of the night, I decided my standard bet was going to be 4 X BB. If I entered a pot, it was for that raise. The standard raise is usually 2 X BB (which just seems stupid), and some players are experimenting with the a little bit bigger raise, but my goal was to be consistent. I was called every time raised with the exception of one hand. The one exception was the time I had AA...of course.

The table I was at, was filled with mostly novice players. Many of them, really didn't know much in terms of card strategy, but seemed confident that they were good. A couple of the people seemed to have a bit of advanced thinking to their game, but most of them just played their cards.

There was a new guy on my left. He worked at a local bank and had moved down here from Fargo. He used to work in a casino by Fargo as a blackjack dealer. He tried to be agressive, but didn't read well.

The next guy, I've played before was a well groomed man in his late 50's. Nice guy, knew a bit about his cards, but didn't read players much. More on a few hands with this guy later.

Ginny is next. She a very nice girl. Plays pretty tight and will bet if she hits the pot. Pressure works to get her out of the pot.

The next guy always reminds me of Jerry Falwell in appearance. He's pretty much a moron at the table and will call any bet with any pair. He will call pre-flop raises with almost anything connected or paired, doesn't matter if they are suited or not.

There was an old biker looking guy next to him. He played tight, but I didn't really see him playing anything stupid. He was getting the cards and I could read him like a book. He dang near jumped out of his seat the moment he knew he was strong. This guy I could read with almost 100% accuracy.

And to my immediate right, a beginner to poker. This guy was really green and not faking. He turned over Q high more than once. No draws. He was eaten up pretty quickly.

Almost everyone at the table splashed it. Ugg. Tracy (Matt's wife) joined my table later. I didn't mix it up with her very often at all.

The Jerry Falwell guy is the first hand to talk about. The blinds 50/100. I opened the pot from under the gun with A K off. I opened for 400. He was in the LB and called, the BB folded. We are heads up.

The flop comes Q 9 4 rainbow. Calling the original raise was sizeable to his stack. With that flop, I wanted to make sure he knew I had a big hand and raised it to 600. He called me without thinking. There were no draws...did he pair his Q? I bet 600 on the turn with the 2. He called this time and said...yeah, he's got a big one, but I have to call. Now...what would he have that would call all these bets? I'm now thinking that he's slow playing a set, maybe 2 pair or a big Q. He checks, I check the river. I'm convinced he would even call a bet that would put him all in. He turns over 8s 9c. He had a monster and wasn't going to let it go. He had middle pair with what he called...a decent kicker. OK...moving right a long. What did I learn? In this case, I should have paid more attention to him being a calling station. I could have got the same information from the flop with a smaller bet, and given up if he called and my hand didn't improve. He would have checked it to the river. I've added him to the file cabinet.

This very next hand, I had A K again...this time it was suited! I'm under the gun and come out for a raise, the blinds had just gone up, so I made it 600 to go. I get called by the BB, old biker guy. This was my biggest mistake of the night. I missed the flop and we went check check after the flop. Now to be honest. I put him on an ace. Figured it was smaller than mine. We check everything to the river. He raised it 500 on the river and I called. Now, when the river came, he about jumped out of his seat. I don't think the river card helped him, but I think he realized, I missed the flop. He had ducks. A pair of dueces. The next better hand to mine. What did I learn? A continuation bet on the flop would have taken it down for me. Probably didn't even need to be that big. Even if he called, a send shot on the turn would have taken him. I saw no idications that he hit anything until the river and this guy had put cards in the muck before.

The next hand of note was actually earlier in the night, but it was interesting. Ginny was a short stack, but still playing tight. I had raised preflop and she'd called from the LB. She likes I can put her on paint, pair or bigger. I had raised with Ks Js (trying to mix it up). Well an almost dream flop came in Qs 10h 7s. I was sitting with nut draws. Man did I have outs. She raised to 300, I reraised to 1200. She thought for quite a while and then mucked. Her bet and actions told be she paired her queen. My 1200 bet was for her tournament. I looked it up at CardPlayer, and I was correct in that I was in the lead 2:1 at this point, assuming she doesn't have K Q. Even then...I stand a good shot at winning this. She eventually folds. She had a little Q and knew that she was probably in trouble.

The last couple hands of note are quick (all the chips moved preflop - and I was always the aggressor). This is the well-manacured guy. I moved all in for 1700 chips when the blinds were at 75/150. I really wanted to steal the blinds and get some chips before the break or go home. I got called by him when he was under the gun. We are heads up and turn over the cards. He's got JJ and I have Ac 7c. The flop comes 8c 9s 6c. Well, that worked out well. Another great drawing flop for me. I hit the ace on the turn. I think I celebrated, which was wrong, but it felt good to hit one from behind. A bit later after break, the blinds are 200/400, I raise under the under the gun with pocket 10s (mistake - I could have just called...people were always calling me). I got called by this same guy. The flop comes with nothing higher than a 10, but no ten. I put him in for his remaining 800. He has A Q off suit. He hit the Q...and I double him up. Karma restored? What did I learn? I should have paid attention of the size of my raise to the people behind me stack. Had I noticed that this was for all his marble, I would have thought that maybe he would be desparate and call me. Short stacks can do this, and I should avoid putting them to the test with just 10s.

I busted before the points...but we did learn more. Back to the felt soon, I hope!

Monday, May 21, 2007

Trying to move up...again

This weekend, I tried to climb out of the $5 9 person sit-n-gos again. And relatively poor results again. I moved to the $10 games and had limited results. I played 4 and only cashed in 1 and that was a 3rd place finish. A nineth, a 6th, a forth and the 4rd.

I finished ninth on the first hand...QQ vs AA. The flop came jack high. I hate those. I figured he had aces, but he just as easily could have had A J. He played out the tourney like a donkey. I just fell victim to the big hand beat by a bigger hand.

The game I took 4th, I went about 4 blind levels without seeing an ace, and during that time had 2 kings...each time with a duece. I stole what I could, but other people had the same plan. The guy to my left was getting the cards and calling just about everything. He took me out in my last hand when I flopped to pair 10's and 4's. A big blind special. I pushed, he had A K. Paired it on the flop and made the set on the river. And he was an ass most of the game.

These get to be tough experiments. I lost $31 on the weekend on total buy-ins of $71.50. Even the $5 games I played this weekend, weren't up to their usual. Played 4, cashed twice...but only a second and third.

Played 1 MTT, finished 37th out of 90. I need a lot more practice at these. All in all...a disappointing weekend. Have to build it back up again. This stagnation is driving me nuts!

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Bourbonators - a light month

Last night was the monthly Bourbonators home game. Darrin hosted, but, as can be typical in the summer, if was a very light turn out. Now to preface this game, I enjoy the game for more than the poker. This is a great group of guys, and it's just fun to hang out.

There were 4 of us to start with. Darrin, John W., Lowell and myself. We tried something different for a change from the straight holdem. We did a variation of H.O.R.S.E. Now, Lowell and Darrin had almost no experience outside of Holdem, with Darrin having played stud before a bit, but most of the experience is in holdem. To make things a little easier, removed the split games. Ohmaha we just played high, and the final game we just played pineapple. It didn't seem like it would be a lot of fun to chop many pots with only 4 people.

That was fun and a nice change, although, I think we screwed up some of the rules...

John B. showed up and bought into the first game. We basically just played cards all night with a bit of a freeroll feel.

The Canadia whisky we tried was, well, it was OK. It was a generic whisky with not much to be excited about. It was smooth but basically forgettable.

I've been taking it easy on the online play lately. This past weekend took quite a toll. I've figured it was best for the bankroll to just rest and not lose ground just because I'm too tired to care.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Home early - a nice change

The usual poker league night was tonight. I'm still exhausted from the State tournament. I busted early...and really didn't feel that bad. Got a laugh out of it. I raise preflop with A 5 clubs from a late middle position. The flop was Q J 9, 2 clubs. Huh...I got the nut flush draw, the backdoor nut straight draw and the guy raises into me. Well, it's donkey night so I put him on a Q. He raises to 300. I reraise to 600, he goes all in. To be perfectly honest, I was very tired and thought it might be fun to play the suck outer. I think I might have actually be ahead at this point, but at the worst, I'm 44% to win the pot...what the heck...I call. He wins the pot and makes a comment about my play. He turns over K were all in with a pair of queens. I was a coin flip but it really didn't matter, I was happy either way.

Erin announced Jerry and I placing at state. That was cool. Still hurts not winning, but then again, it always hurts not to win it all.

Tonight's poker league was an experiment for me. I wanted to try playing a little looser for a while to help get the tightness out of my system. I was playing well earlier and sticking around to pressure. I was correct each time that I wasn't behind in the hand...but split every pot. That sucked. I feel better and know I can loosen my play. I probably won't call many flush draws all-in when I know I'm just a coin flip early in a tournament...but it sure would have felt good to suck out on someone. As the pros say, if you are getting sucked out a lot, you are making the right decisions and reads.

Time to fire up Full Tilt for some online action.

The book is here! The book is here!

It just arrived! I ordered the book "The Mathematics of Poker" by Bill Chen and Jerrod Ankenman. Man it's like Christmas. I've been wanting to learn more about game theory and the math behind the game. The book was reviewed being as important as Super/System. I'll let you know how it goes and maybe even do some comments as I'm reading with updates.

Poker league tonight. I think I've recovered from Saturday. So tonight should be the first time I really try some the things I learned at state. Let's see if they work!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

The State Championship

As I wrote earlier today, I finished 15th at the Minnesota State Championship for the MN Poker League. I was both really bummed, but I also quite proud of the fact I took 15th. I really wanted to win it all, but it just wasn't in the cards. I'd like to recap the day that was my experiences at this tournament.

When I sat down at the first table (see picture at the left), the table seemed to be a mix of a handful of strong players and a few more dead money players. I was very happy to spot the suckers. I was able to do this in just a couple of minutes...I knew I was NOT the sucker! I started slow, as was my plan, I started out in the number 8th position. I really liked starting here. The button started in the 10 spot and I had a great view of the players at the table. The 10 and 1 spots couldn't see each other since we had dealer. There was nice grandma type to my immediate left, and an educated, upstanding leader type in my BB. So two passive players for me in position. My under-the-gun player was a different story. He was fairly aggressive and picked many spots and hands to raise. All 3 guys to my right were passive players as well.

At about the 3rd hand of the tournament, I was dealt an A Q o. I did a standard raise and the all folded. This was the last time my unbet stack was below the starting amount until I busted. Yes, that's right, I never at any moment in this tournament below 10,000 chips. I hadn't realized this until I started working on what I was going to write here.

The next time I moved my chips was when I was under the gun a couple of hands later. I was dealt Kh Qh and had done a standard raise. The only caller was the button. A player, that on very recent hand had put a big part of his stack on the line with pocket 5s. The flop came 10h Jh 4h. I floped the second nut flush! I bet out half pot size. He quickly called me. I figured this meant that he was either on the flush draw or had caught part of this flop. The turn was a As. I bet half the pot again and he smooth called me again. Now I'm wondering if had a straight draw or the ace of spades or a set? What could this guy have that would make him keep calling. I was also thinking about the hand earlier that he called it down with a pocket pair. Something was suspicious here. Well the river was a blank to anything I thought he might have. I was first to act after the river was dealt. I really didn't think he had the ace high flush. I would be suprised that he never reraised me at any point in this hand. I still had my entire stack when we started the hand and he was already missing half of his. I followed my gut and raised him all-in. My heart sank when he insta-called me. To my suprise, he turned over pocket 9s! OK...the donkey lost...and everyone at the table scratched there head there trying to figure out just what the heck he was doing in that hand...I guess, I didn't really care...I was now the table chip leader!

I stole a few blinds in the next few trips around the table and started really getting a feel for the table. A few loose players started to showing themselves. None of them sat next to me. The retired guy 3 to my right sure limped a lot of pots. After a few trips around the table, I played KK from in the whole with a standard raise. The only caller was the BB. The flop came K J 6 rainbow. The guy I was in the pot with was a pretty loose aggressive player and I chose to slow play my set. The turn was a 10. Now at this time, the guy in the pot seemed to change his demeanor and bet the pot. My feeling was he had hit the straight. I gave him a fairly large raise and he thought for a minute and called me. I was sure he hit something. The river seemed to be a blank for both of us. He bet out a value bet. I knew it...he hit the straight. I called any ways just to make sure. and I was right...he hit the straight. Thankfully, I had taken such a big pot from the other guy, I could afford this.

The next time I was in the BB, the retired guy limped into the pot and was the only one with money after the LB folded. I looked at my cards and found Js 5c. I checked the option and watch the flop. JJ5...Gin! I checked and he checked. The river was a 10. I checked and he checked. The river was an ace. At this time, he seemed to get really excited and I thought he was going to bet, so I asked for a chip count. He started to count his chips and the dealer started hounding me about needing to do something and I kept telling him that I was waiting for the chip count. I don't think the dealer got it. The retired guy and the guy to his right were busy counting the chips and came up with a number for me. I announced raise to that amount and he insta-called me and turned over A 10. He was really proud of those cards. I showed the J 5 and he was still really happy and the dealer needed to explain to him that a full house beat his 2 pair.

Now I had about 30,000 in chips! But here was my first really big mistake...I didn't play a hand again for a very long time. I had a big stack and just watched. In retrospec, I should have played it like I do online. Open up my hand selection a bit and splash it around some.

I had a feeling my play was too tight because when I opened a pot, everyone would fold. Now I did have a big hand each time that happened, but I standard raised each time from a variety of positions. I WAS PLAYING TOO TIGHT.

Well, just before dinner break, I was down to 23,000 in chips and had fairly recently moved to a new table. The blinds were at 3000/6000 (I think...I was getting tired and hungry at this time). Since I was now short stacked, I raised all-in with KK from under the gun. Brenda about died at this time and she said "I was think, Tim! What are you doing?" Everyone back to the BB. Now in the few hand I'd seen of this guy, he splashed his chips around a lot. Since it was only 17,000 more for him to call...he did just that. He turns of AK and I turn over KK. I had him dominated! There were no aces and my hand held.

A lot of people were busting out at this time. Most pots were getting splashed into a lot. I chose to stay out of the way when the deck tuned ice cold. Most hands now contained at least one duece. I was really hoping to switch gears, but geez! I just don't bluff that often with absolute crap...maybe I need to start??? Something to think about.

We kept busting down...people were dropping all over the place. Before I knew it...we were at 2 tables! I was in the top 20! But look at my stack. I was short stacked and the tightest player in the tournament. I could get a hand and opened my hand selection even further. I started moving all-in with K 10, Q 10. This bought me some blinds, but nothing else.

We were down to 15 player, and my stack was still tiny. I was in the 4 position and found KQ. The blinds are at 4000/8000. I have about 30,000 in chips and move all-in. It folds around to the BB. He thinks for a while and justifies calling because he's getting the right price. OK...whatever you need to do...and calls. He keeps talking about how he's pretty sure and hopes his cards are live and turns over K 10. According to the odds calculater at, I was a 3:1 favorite. To make a sad story quick, he hit 2 more tens and I was out in 15th place.

I'm happy I died with my boots on and lost to the inferior hand. I learned a lot playing in the tournament and met a lot of really nice people.

Brenda and I hung around to watch Jerry make the final table. He started the table in 3rd chip position, and finished in the same spot. For a detailed play by play, click here.

Thanks to everyone that called and sent text messages! Those were really encouraging and greatly appreciated. This experience has inspired me to keep going trying again to make a run at a championship.

Here's a pictue of me with 2006 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Finalist and Minnesota Poker League founder Brook Lyter.

A picture of Brenda with Heartland Poker Tour event winner Jennifer Kriewald.

Jerry at the final table! Gallery grew even bigger as the night drew on! Follow this link to see a play by play written by Brook Lyter.

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Sorry for not posting....I was busy!

3 guys from Rochester started the day with hopes winning entrance into the main event at the World Series of Poker. In the end, none of us made it, but it sure was a great ride.

I hope to write about how the play went in the morning. Right now, I'm really tired. Ed found out the AK suited isn't trump and left early. Jerry and I battle on for most of the day and found themselves at same table when we are down to 20 people.

I met my fate and busted at 15th...Jerry enjoyed a much longer day and finished 3rd. Neither one of us had ever been to the state championship before...not bad, if you ask me!

Congrats Jerry! He wins $300 and was ever so close to going to Vegas.

Good night.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Table Assignment

I'll start the day at Table 1 Seat 8. It's an end spot, so I should have a good view of everyone at the table. Seats 1 and 10 will have dealers between them.

Only a ten minute break to start. I probably won't post again until the 45 minute supper break. Hope everyone's weekend is good...the smoke is subsiding up here now, so Roch should be clearing up too.

Good Morning!

Didn't get the rest I wanted to, but I feel pretty good this morning. We had a 3am wake up call (aka...the fire alarm went off). Not sure what to expect here at the Shooting Star Casino. That pretty much sucked. I can't wait for a smoke free world...people will smoke everywhere here. Our room is smoke free, but you get whifs of it coming under the door as people walk by.

Registration is at 10am and the tournament starts at 11am. If I have a break long enough to get back to the room and blog, I will be posting.

We're going out for breakfast. We got a package of coupons that should work out well. We even got coupons worth $40 in quarters! Now to keep Brenda from spending them...that's for the other blog.

We made it!

We made it! We arrived at the hotel at Shooting Star Casino in Mahnomen, MN at about 9:30 PM. I thought we made pretty good time and only ran into a real stop and go traffic jam for about 10 miles leading into Rogers.

We ran into Ed Fink soon after we got settled into our hotel room. He's here with his wife. We traveled around the casino together trying to get a feel for where we were. This casino is much bigger than I thought it would be. I know how big Mystic Lake and Treasure Island are, but they are metro casinos and draw from a much bigger population. Turtle Lake Casino draws from a pretty populated area compared to this...but this place is closer in size to Treasure Island than it is to Turle Lake.

We register tomorrow at 10 AM and the tournament starts at 11 AM. A good night sleep should help me get off to a good start. I saw walking around, one guy from the Albert Lea regional...but outside of Ed, we know no one so far.

I dropped a line to show I HAVE INTERNET! Not all the rooms do, and this isn't wi-fi (although, someone seems to have a wide open access point nearby). I'll try posting tomorrow and we are going to try and take pictures in the hall where the tourney is being held. Most casinos don't allow cameras, but the tournament is in an event room. So hopefully we get some shots.

On the way up, I did see a few places we might try and stop at for my other

Get some sleep! Drop me a note if you want...the Internet is always open!

Friday, May 11, 2007


I couldn't be more excited to play tomorrow in the state tournament. I think that's gonna be the hardest part of this whole thing. Keeping my nerves in check. My plan is to start slow and settle into my game. The structure of the tournament start slow and we have a lot of chips, so that should work to my favor.

I'll be leaving for the 6 hour drive at lunch today. So until then, I'm expected to try and work. Ok...I'm out of G.a.S.

I had a pretty bad scare last night. It appears I misplaced my card topper. My beloved MN Twins chip. Not that it's lucky, but it's part of my routine. I spent a short time on a quest for another topper, and then got the bright idea to check the couch...Yo! It was in the couch! Crisis overted!

Hopefully, I have Internet access this weekend. I will try and keep this blog up to date if I do. Maybe even have pictures to share. If I don't, I'll be blogging as soon as the Wi-Fi light lights up on the laptop.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Bar poker can be so frustrating

Well tonight was poker league night at Brother Bar & Grill. There are a lot of new people there lately and spoils are going to maniacs right now. The sheer volume of underdogs be played is staggering. I've been trying to play tight agressive poker lately, but that doesn't seem to be working.

Tonight I had played several key hands that seemed to twist my fate to the win.

The first big hand that I played I got 88 from middle position. I did a standard raise (3XBB). Only one person called. Let's call her regular manic girl. The flop comes Qs 9c 10c. I raised pot size and she instantly called me. I figured she was on a draw. The next card was a 8c. She raises 2XBB. I'm quite certain now she hit the flush or the straigh, but her bet is small enough to call since I now have 3 of a kind. The river is a blank. She had A J and hit the straight. So I should have thought about the double belly buster. I'm just glad my read was correct.

The next key hand had me early with KK and a 3.5XBB raise from the same position as the previous hand. Now I know I read this hand wrong. She called me from the button. The flop comes A 7s 4s. She moved all in. Now...I was thinking that she might have an ace, so calling seemed out of the question, but the more I think about it, she wouldn't have moved all in with ace with my preflop raise. She might have thought I had an in retrospect, she would only move all in with a flush draw. Unless she had A 7 or A 4. I know the way she plays, and she only did this because she was on a draw. And that read would have been correct. I layed down my kings and she showed Ks 8s. She was on the draw.

The most frustrating part of playing bar poker is the never end string of people willing to call without really thinking about what they are doing. We were on the bubble, 2 people to bust to make points. I'm in the BB. The blinds are 200/400 and I have 2400 left in chips. A bigger stack who has been a calling station, limps. Another big stack in the cutoff limps. Dealer folds and the LB folds. I look down and find KK. My guess is that these limpers aren't strong, so I raise all-in for another 2000 to call. The first limper thinks for a couple of minutes and tells everyone that he doesn't have Q 7 like the last time he called my all in. But he calls anyways. Everyone else now folds. He turns over Ah 6h. I know I should be excited, but really, I'm ready to get out of my chair. According to the odds calculator at, tells me that he's a 2:1 underdog, but I've been down this road before. The donkey wins...and he did. He spiked his ace on the flop.

Now, the question I pose to the universe is, how the heck are you supposed to play these people? It's hard to wait and actually hit a hand to make some chips, especially, when you aren't getting cards. But when you do get a hand, you have to lay it down because your tournament ends with someone calling with A 6 suited. Maybe I should have waited. Maybe I should have smooth called. I remind myself, that at no time was I putting money into the pot without the best hand.

Nights like tonight, I feel like my level of preception is down. I can't seem to focus on reading the situation. Bonnie was all in tonight and I noticed her pulse increased. Fortunately, I wasn't in the pot. For some reason, when I've been in the pot, I don't look at the person making the move. In the past, I spotted things that help me make my decisions. For Saturday, I need to keep watching the person that is about to act or has acted. Last league, that was what helped me get to where I got. I also did this at regionals with a lot of success.

Remember...look up! Think the situation through. Why did they just do that?

Tuesday means live poker - and the tourney I forgot to write about

It's Tuesday, and as Matt writes so well at bodie25, it's free poker night at Brother's.
This short 6 week league has been a challenge for me, I haven't made any points yet. I've gone fairly deep each of the last 2 nights, but never deep enough. As the points are awared to the top 20%, I'd expect to make that pretty regularly. To be perfectly honest, I'm really focused on the game on Saturday right now. That's the state championship for the last league..lots more to come on that.

Matt did a review of the free poker we played at a local bar (The Sandtrap) on Sunday. This bar is known for it's very loose poor play. I like it for a change once and while, but I'm so looking forward to smoke-free poker there. The blue haze is noxious! I think I played well on Sunday, I really think I made only 2 real mistakes. Reading these players is like reading a blank sheet of paper. They may think they are really strong, but only have a suited ace. And as far as making a move on most players, don't bother, they are only playing their cards. I did get lucky at the first table I as at and had two astute players to my left. They both like to trap, so when the flop comes and I'm in position, a raise would either induce a fold, or get them to play. If it got them to play, it means they hit something. Now we just watch their eyes with each street and see if they improve. If not, take the pot on the turn.

The first mistake I made was a family pot developed and I was in the little blind. For some reason, I looked at my two rag cards and folded. Not really sure why, I had the chips, the guy on my left was sure to check (and did). Had I stayed, a betting festival had broken out, I flopped the nuts, a full house, and a pair of aces won the hand. Oh well, those kinds of mistakes are easier to take then the next one.

The other mistake happened at the final table. There are 6 of us left and I was in the BB. It folds around to the girl on the button with a mountain of chips. She minimum raises. The guy in the little blind folds and I look down at A 4. I reacted quickly and moved all-in. I DIDN'T EVEN LOOK AT HER! That was dumb, she had AA. By the river, I had a straight draw and flush draw and missed both. I was out in 6th position. I had plenty of chips and could have easily folded that hand or LOOKED UP, but I didn't. I was impatient for the first time of the night.
As with every session, I've tried to learn from that, and move on. Remember, always get as much information as you can before making a decision. Look up once and while!

More live poker tonight!

Monday, May 7, 2007

Razz...all I can say is Brick Brick Brick

I tried a ring game of Razz this morning. Man is that a frustrating game. I put my $20 down on the table and within about 30 minutes, it was gone. Basically, I lost it in 2 hands...both started perfect, improved on 4th st...and then went brick brick brick. Each time, someone started way worse than me and then improved. I just don't get this game. Is the goal to just get lucky? It doesn't seem to matter how much you bet...people will just call until they hit a hand. Seriously...anyone explain why I can start out perfect, show perfect, keep getting called and then get 3 straight cards all higher than the previous card? One hand, I was dealt A, 2, 4. 4th St. was a 5. The a 9 a 10 and finally...a K. The guy that won the hand had 8,7,6,5,2. I knew he was 8 low, but it must be wrong to count outs...I figured if 7th st was an 8,7,6 or 3...I'd win. Looks like I need to really start counting all the cards in play to make sure I deduct them from the number of outs.

Maybe next time...back to the hold'em tourneys to refill the bankroll.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Stepping up the number of people

I made a promise to myself to try to mix in a MTT once and while. I play a lot of the 9 person sngs but I know that's my confort zone. I win there, and regularly. But I really need practice in the MTT games.

Tonight I played a $5.50 90 person tourney. I actually played 2, and reminded myself of a big's never worth dying with top pair. Which I did in the first tourney. The second was a different story. I played almost no hands for most of the first hour. Fold, fold, fold. When I played... I had a monster. By the time we reached the bubble, I was in 4th chip position and had spent most of the last 30 minutes before the bubble with the chip lead. Then my cards went dead and I really don't know how to figure in antes. Anyone got a good suggestion on what to do when figuring antes into play?

Took almost 189 minutes. No wonder I don't play these most of the time, but I did take 6th! Not to shabby. I was very short stacked and moved in with 55...of course the guy next to me had KK. Why don't the famous FTP suck outs happen to me?

It's time for's very late.

Friday, May 4, 2007

Bread and butter - the $5 9 person sit-n-go

I haven't played online for money in a few days. Monday night was the regional tournament, Tuesday the regular league night, Wednesday....the lawn needed mowing and I couldn't have been more tired. A big lesson for all you newbies out there...never play poker when you are tired. I learned the hard way that that is one of the best ways to gurantee your bankroll will shrink.

Last night, after a good night sleep and my wife tuning in her soap opera on the DVR...I sat down in my usual $5 9 person sit-n-go. This is where I go when I want to play a little poker and more often than not, make a little money. Full Tilt Poker pays the top 3 players on a $5 + .50 buy-in. 3rd pays $3.50, $10 to second and $17 to first place. I've played well lately, but have been in a little funk in that I keep placing 3rd.

For the most part, that's an illusion. The last 2 weeks have been profitable for me. According to Poker Tracker, here are my results for the last 2 weeks - I've played in 15 tournaments, my average finish is 4th. Finished 1st x 2, 2nd x 3 and 3rd x 4. Meaning I finished in the money 60% of the time and have a ROI% of 47.27. Definitely improving. I attribute this latest run at only playing when I'm ready and free of distractions. I've been calm and patient.

Last night was not different, and I remember to mix in a little bad play at the beginning when it was cheap to help get action later. It was all working well. I also limited myself to just one tourney...I was a bit tired and by the was time for bed. I finished 3rd. Still in the money...but you ain't gonna get rich at $3.50 profit for a hour of play. My bankroll is still intact, and making a nice steady climb. This weekend...we might just move up the food chain and try the $10 and $20 games again...I'll let you know how it goes!

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Play Money Razz on Full Tilt Poker

I've started getting hooked on playing razz. I've been playing the play money ring games at Full Tilt so I could get comfortable with the rules and how hand get dealt. You really can't learn how to play the people at the table, because it is really common for people to just suck at this game. Last night, MISS47 sits at the table and just plays every hand and raises every street. There were 4 of us who just sat there and waited to be dealt perfect and then raise her raise until we had all of her chips. It was good for me to play her because it reminded me of the power in razz for just playing tight. I was in the pot as long as I could draw well to low and out as soon as I could be easily beaten. This left MISS47 with only get big pots from people that were new to the table and lots of little pots from the rest of us.

I think I will be trying the real money tables here in short order and begin the learning processes of the other aspects of the how to play against people that also know the rules...

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Welcome to OhCaptain Poker

Welcome to my poker blog. I'm going to try and post here when I get done with a session or a tournament. But first, a little about myself.

I started playing poker about 3 years ago, at the start of the boom. Living here in Minnesota, we aren't exactly the poker Mecca of the universe. Most of the card rooms only have fairly low stakes limit hold'em. And all of them are at least 1 hour from my house.

Lacking any place real to play, I started out at Party Poker for play money. An interesting way to learn the ins and outs of online poker. I got the hang of the UI and started winning pretty regularly.

About this time, I hooked up with a whiskey club that gathered once a month and played poker after trying a new whiskey, scotch or bourbon. Now I have learned a lot about both whiskey and poker. A great group of guys, we play 2 sit-n-go's a month. Low stakes but very competitive. I've learned a lot playing with these guys and I think all of us have ramped up our games over the years.

About 1 year ago, I found the Minnesota Poker League at Brother's Bar & Grill. Boy was I nervous at first. This was my first experience playing a large tournament. It was free, so the level of competition is all over the map, but I've really liked the experience.

This week I attended my 2nd regional tournament for this league. I made it to the fall leagues regional tournament and really didn't play all that well. This next trip to regionals I felt a lot more confident. I knew my game and I knew that everyone at this tournament was not Doyle Brunson. I can probably go more into this game later, but to make a long story short...I finished 3rd and qualified for State!

I'll be back later, maybe try to talk about regionals or even a bit about this latest league. Good luck all and my all your flops be monsters!