Monday, February 25, 2008

Confessions of a two face monster

To all of my loyal readers, those of you who have stumbled upon my blog and in particular bayne_s and Kajagugu, I have a confession to make to all of you. I have deviated from the path of righteousness and travelled down the road unsavory.

I played AQ. And I won.

I know how I have travelled these here intertubes declaring this hand as evil. Going so far as to call it the hand of the devil. I still believe this. This is the hand should never be played. But alas, I did play it.

Lets examine the reasons why I might have chosen to dance with the devil in the pale moonlight.

FullTiltPoker Game #5337976538: The Mookie (40010845), Table 4 - 300/600 Ante 75 - No Limit Hold'em - 0:26:02 ET - 2008/02/21
Seat 1: emptyman (9,970)
Seat 2: ZowieZ (30,774)
Seat 4: surflexus (31,169)
Seat 5: Mean_G (5,617)
Seat 7: NewinNov (11,081)
Seat 9: OhCaptain (25,389)

We are at the final table and into the money. As you can see, I'm 3rd in chips and EmptyMan has an M around 10. The table walks to us in the blinds.

OhCaptain raises to 2,250 <--I'm gonna raise here. I have a large stack. Blind vs blind, AQ is theoretically a favorite to two random cards.
emptyman raises to 9,895, and is all in <-- This is not unexpected. In a way, I assuming he's gonna either fold or push. His range of hands to push with falls within expected parameters to call with AQ
OhCaptain calls 7,645 <--Is there anyone here that would not do this very same thing? I know, the hand of the devil, but you see, I rarely go to church any ways. Let's face it, I'm an agnostic.

Now, Card Player's Hold'em Odds Calculator says QQ should win this hand 68.97% of the time with a 1.33% chance of a chop. AQ is a pretty good dog here. There is 2700 in the pot after my raise. After the all-in, there is 12195 in the pot and I need 7195 to call. That's roughly 3:2 pot odds. But what range of hands would a short stack push with in this situation. Any pocket pair, almost any ace or king. The vast majority of these hands, I'm way ahead. Its only the other bigger hands I'm behind. Heck, even JJ is giving me the right price. I just don't see how I could fold this hand...even with the devil pulling the strings.

*** FLOP *** [Ad Kd Js] <--Its a Mookie Miracle! But wait! I need to dodge a 10 for a split.
*** TURN *** [Ad Kd Js] [5h]
*** RIVER *** [Ad Kd Js 5h] [2h]
emptyman shows a pair of Queens
OhCaptain shows a pair of Aces
OhCaptain wins the pot (20,240) with a pair of Aces

This is not proof to me that this hand is worth playing. I did it here because frankly, I loosen my standards way up in this situation. I'm gambling. But faced with this same situation, who out there would fold this hand? I figure the axiom remains, if you NEED to win a hand, never play's certain doom. If you don't need to win the hand, glory, glory hallelujah, we've found the promise land.

Did I play this hand that I speak so poorly of. Yes, I confess that. Will I do it again? Yes I will. I hate this hand with a passion, but at the end of the day, sometimes you just throw caution to the wind and say screw it. I want to win the friggin Mookie!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

What? Where does the time go?

Wow, I finished 3rd in the Mookie last Thursday and then somehow looked around and figured out its Sunday. I even had a live session of poker on Friday night, and still no posts. I really had hoped to post a detailed synopsis of the play that was the Mookie, but alas, I haven't had the time. I got tons of screen caps...even got the hand where I actually won with the hand of the devil. AQ can win...I still don't believe it, but it did.
Thanks for noticing bayne_s!

I think I have been running pretty well in the Mookie lately. This is my third deep run in 2 months. I'm not the most confident MTT player. Probably because I play so many SNGs and don't get the chance to play many bigger tournaments. The Mookie is different for me. The level of play is better than I'm used to in the micro SNGs. I know, I know...its a donkey fest for some of you. I still really enjoy it. Creative, tight/aggressive play is doing me well there. Most of the Mookies I've gone home early, I know I made a mistake to bust.

This past week, card death was the status quo. The Mookie, not so much. What did I go 600 hands without aces or kings? The Mookie, I got aces. More than once. One of them didn't pay when the table walked to me. But the way I got the most chips? Calling bluffs when I had the cards. Its been my experience that sitting around and letting people impale themselves on my stack usually pays well. Many Mookie players don't think through their aggression and will just throw their chips away. Be there when it happens. Even the great and almighty Hoy will over play 99.
Friday night was Bourbonators. Not much poker to talk about there. 12 runners showed up this month. 2 guys fairly new to me. 1 guy was back after a 2 year absence. I bubbled the first game and then the booze started kicking in on the second game. Man did I get loose! I blew a ton of chips trying to get tricky. Not a good plan when there were times I thought I had double pocket pairs and was playing Omaha. Oops. This month, the host doesn't live all that far from me, so I wasn't worried about getting home. Drink up bitches!

I'll be frank, I didn't get to play much poker this weekend online either. Between being exhausted from the new job. The late nights because of the Mookie and Bourbonators, I think I'm maturing and knowing when its bad for me to be getting my money in. I'm tired and pre-tilted. I railed of few of you, that was fun. I even figured out about some of these other big $$$ MTTs. I might even try a few of these. Look out! I might actually try one...maybe.

The home game returns to our house Friday night so OhCountess may have me busily getting ready for the guests. For some reason, she also scheduled us to host a Pampered Chef party this week. Ugg! I can't wait for the card game. Live poker, in my basement.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Suck, Re-suck, Re-Re-Sucklexus - He does it again!

It's pretty late and I have to work in the morning. I gotta feeling I'll be writing much more of a post in the morning, afternoon or evening...maybe Friday.

Congrats to Surflexus! He took down his 7th Mookie and he took me out in 3rd again. Yes, I took 3rd in the Mookie. I know believe this is the only tournament I can cash in.

Thanks Mookie for a great time! Again, I had a ton of fun. Thanks also to BuddyDank for not only the great but I'll be damned he picked me with his first pick!

NewinNov fough a great battle as well. We were at the same table most of the night. Congrats on losing to the "Tiger Woods of the Mookie."

I just realized, the final 3 were all previous Mookie winners. Goooooo Team!

I'm exhausted. See you in the morning. Here's the screen cap of my horrible beat. Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Kaja - You seen a hand lately?

I typed the words "card dead" into Google's Image search tonight. I had to giggle. The poster for the Mookie was on the first page! It brought a chuckle to my life.

I played the free poker at the bar again tonight. I really felt like donking it up and I have to tell you, the cards didn't disappoint.

The card death continues its slow, painful march to oblivion. In live poker at the bar, we don't see a lot of hands per hour. The games are self dealt. So, explain to me how in the H E double hockey sticks I was dealt the hammer 4 times! And to make life even better? I got teaser hits on the flop! Once, bottom pair and a sea of limpers and the other an open ended straight draw.

I lasted longer than Bodie25 and I even pulled off a bluff to stay alive a little while longer, but alas, I just couldn't with stand the awesome poker of K5o. That's the hand the called my all in shove from the LB into the BB. Sure it was a little more than half his stack. But good poker strategy says you should always call an all-in from the BB with any K or A. That's gotta be coming up in Stupid/System. Julius...I'll take a few copies of that book when it comes out.

The Guitar Hero III is proving to be the distraction I've needed. Riggstad, you are right to fear that game. I couldn't wait to fire it up when I got home from work today. I even got OhPrincess2 dancing up a storm to it! Seriously, I could see this being a great play date for us Dads. Just let me know!
Congrats to Hoy! 2 huge cashes in a week! That will be you a lot of Mookies this year!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Where did all the good times go?

Poker has really been a challenge for me lately. I just don't feel like I'm playing very well and I've been wondering if my whole strategy and rhthym aren't just f.u.b.a.r.

I know one thing that pretty much made the weekend suck. I was getting nothing for cards. I hate excuses, but this just struck me as odd. I played 613 hands of tournament poker this weekend. I got AA twice. Each time paid well, but that just seems to me to be out of the norm.

I also only saw KK twice. All the AA and KK hands happened on Friday. I didn't see either hand Saturday or Sunday.

I got 96o, J8o, 43o 4 times this weekend. Sweet! I love these hands. Ok. I really don't.

Now, we here it from the pros and the experts, its not about the cards. I made it deep quite few times this weekend and bubbled. This is a sign to me that maybe I'm not play a good solid strategy. If anyone wants to comment on this, I'd really appreciate it.

We are at the bubble of the $3 KO tournament. I've played about 6 hands this entire tournament. The blinds are getting silly. The two hands prior to this, I had pushed all-in and stole the blinds. I'm the shortest stack in the 10 remaining players.

FullTiltPoker Game #5291924096: $3 + $0.30 KO Sit & Go (40234662), Table 3 - 800/1600 Ante 200 - No Limit Hold'em - 13:06:12 ET - 2008/02/17
Seat 1: Sullyrules (27,567)
Seat 2: Killer Phlop (12,985)
Seat 3: OhCaptain (BB) (11,110)
Seat 5: Ruffrdraj (13,065)
Seat 6: PimpJoel (27,930)
Sullyrules antes 200
Killer Phlop antes 200
OhCaptain antes 200
Ruffrdraj antes 200
PimpJoel antes 200
Killer Phlop posts the small blind of 800
OhCaptain posts the big blind of 1,600
The button is in seat #1
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to OhCaptain [8h 8d]
Ruffrdraj folds
PimpJoel folds
Sullyrules folds
Killer Phlop has 15 seconds left to act <--I'm not sure what to make of this.
Killer Phlop raises to 5,800 <--Is he stealing or does he have a hand?
OhCaptain raises to 10,910, and is all in <--I decide he's stealing. But I really considered folding here. What would you do? Killer Phlop calls 5,110
OhCaptain shows [8h 8d]
Killer Phlop shows [Kh Kc] <--Of course. This really sucks. I really believed he wouldn't do this with this big a hand. I figured for AK, AQ or KQ.
*** FLOP *** [Ac 4h 9d]
*** TURN *** [Ac 4h 9d] [Th]
*** RIVER *** [Ac 4h 9d Th] [Kd]

No love for me and trips for him by the river. What about this? 88 is a pretty strong hand short handed, isn't it? As you can see from my stack size, my options are pretty limited. I had just survived 3 full orbits with no card higher than a 10. Since this is a KO tournament, the amount of crazy moves seems higher, I figured to wait for better hands, but they just never came. Is it possible to make moves at this stage of a KO?

I seem to have settled into a very tight/agressive playing style, but the agression I use at the end of the tournament just seems to get me into trouble. How do you play this style and then never get AA, KK or another large hand?

In other news, we got a Wii over a year ago. In that time, I've been a good Dad and we've only gotten family (girl) friendly games. We've played the Disney games and gotten plenty of miles out Wii Play and Wii Sports. This weekend, we picked up some "Daddy" games. Guitar Hero III and The Simpsons Game. I gotta feeling, these will be distracting my poker habit and this may not be such a bad thing.

The Simpsons game is a lot like other games except its actually funny. Its a series of puzzles and misadventures. I've enjoyed it so far. If you don't like the Simpsons, you may not get some of the jokes.

Guitar Hero III is everything I heard it was. Most of my friends play this one. I had tried it only once and found out I really sucked at it. Now, I have my own copy and a bunch of drunk guys that can play it aren't standing behind making fun of the fact that I have no idea what I'm doin. I think Friday, if the cards suck, the Bourbonators might have a new player at the axe.

Stay tuned!

(Got any Wii tips? Leave me a note!)

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Holy Post Happy Batman!

I finished day two of new employee orientation at my new employer today. My new manager asks me when he met me today, "Your brain a little mushy right now?" Mushy is the perfect word. I got home from work, opened up Google Reader to find 97 new posts from all of my poker feeds. Good gracious! Everyone post today?

RaisingCayne asked a question in the comments of my last post.

Let me know if you have any epiphanies! I've been consistently dead money at the low stakes cash tables, so do feel free to share any specific revelations when/if experienced!
You know, that's a great idea! I should start sharing more about what I'm learning trying to figure out this cash game stuff.

RecessRampage posted some fantastic advice last Friday. He discusses something he learned from Fuel55. It was all about controlling pot size. This idea was not that you want to keep the pot small, but keeping the pot the right size for what you have. You have a little hand, keep it small. You have a big hand, get it big. This to me was an epiphany.

I normal play SNGs. Since I'm a low limit player, I've been successful by playing the math and staying uber tight early and then playing big hands to pad the stack. I tried this playing the cash games. This doesn't work at all. A raise isn't likely to thin the herd much. Two suited cards or some paint is all you need to justify playing a hand at a low stakes ring game.

So where am I going with this? I think what I learned was to be patient and play the pots but keep it small until you have something and then bet the pee out of it. This is just my first run at an explaination. I'm gonna try and play some more when I'm not so close to utter exhaustion. Read the liked stuff and tell me what you think. I found it really useful!

Since its Tuesday, I figured I would take my mushy brain down to poker league. Poker for points. I need to find a different live poker venue. Tonight just sucked. My reads were fantastic. I got my money in ahead and ahead big, only to find that Doom Switch exists in free bar poker.

It took me just over 30 minutes to hand over all my chips to river card improvers.

First hand. I flopped a set of 5s. Yep, pocket 5s in the whole. I over bet the pot, got called. I over bet because there were two clubs. Sure as shiat, another club on the turn. I bet at it again to see how strong his flush was. he was pretty happy with his hand. The board didn't pair the river and he was tickled to win with his 10 high flush.

Second Hand. I've got J9h. The flop comes AJ6. I'm LB and check. BB checks. Turn is a Q. I get no information that this helped the BB either. I raise a pot size bet. He just calls. The river is an 8. I only have 2nd pair, so I check now. I can't image the 8 would help. There are no flushes or straights...but he raises, I call...hey! what do you know. A set of 8s. Son of BIATCH!

I turn up the aggression to steal a bunch of blinds. Get myself back up to 900 chips. I look down in middle position to find AK. One limper ahead of me. The blinds are 25/50. I make 250 to go. Dealer calls. The flop comes K high. I move my last 650 chips out, he calls. He's got KTo...anyone want to guess what the river is?

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Bonus money - like a freeroll..but with no profit

I got an email last week from Full Tilt offering me the wonderful opportunity of making some free money. My experience with this is is that is rarely free. I actually think it might be one of the triggers for the doom switch. Oh, but I'm a sucker for a chance at free money and besides, I have a different outlook on this. I'm gonna try me some ring games!

That's right, I've been playing ring games this week. Let's recap my poker career. I've been somewhat successful as a tournament player, heck even the great Hoyazo didn't win a Mookie last year. But if there is one great all inclusive law of the universe, it is I suck at ring games. Not even just a little, I'm actually horrible.

I really like playing ring games in the casinos. The casinos in these parts are filled with people that play with their cards face up. I like all the extra information, but online ring games. A nut I can't crack.

These bonuses are great for ring game players. The can really ring up the player points on those tables. I'm not really sure why it is, but SNG players don't get near the point power. It takes a lot of SNGs, especially at low stakes, to accumulate a bonus.

So this week I mixed in ring games to pad my bonus. It went better than expected! Don't think for a minute that I was profitable. I wasn't, but I was able to play SNGs and ring games for one week to make NO money! And best yet...I didn't lose any either. After I reached the first payout point, the bonus was added to my account and my bankroll was right where it was when I started! I'm a breakevener!

By the end of the night last night, was actually starting to make a steady profit and seemed to be adjusting to this style a little better. I think I can say the experiment went better. Don't be surprised to see me sitting down to these a little more often now.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Tis' Wednesday - A recap and a loose ends

Since today is Wednesday, memories tell me that yesterday might have been Tuesday. Tuesday usually means live poker at Brother's. I went. I folded for an hour. I got bored. I flopped top two pair. Kept betting, called an all-in on the river. I didn't think two pair, tens and nines, were any good, but called any way. Yep, he hit the straight on the river. Sigh. RaisingCayne is right, poker for points is ghey, but this part of the northwoods, its about all we got. When I feel like playing to win a live tournament, I can keep myself motivated to stay on top of my game, but then there's last night...not even Zuppa could keep my attention.

There were no magic hands last night, no questionable plays (by me, several people did some crazy stuff...but that's nothing new).

In other news, if you do one thing I say in this blog - it had better be this. Go check out Julius Goat's series of excerpts from his upcoming book "Stupid/System: Poker Strategy For Huge Donkeys." I love this stuff! Its pure online poker GOLD! Julius and I actually stumbled into the same SNG this weekend. Kinda funny. That marks the first time I'd ever just stumbled upon another blogger I recognized in a SNG. Julius, if you are reading this...tag these posts so we can link to the series! I promise to link to the tagged search!

Tonight, we had back down to the Mookie. The highlight of my poker week. 9pm CST on FTP. Sure to be a tournament of sick beats and questionable decisions. I'm hoping that many of the high rollers are distracted by the start of FTOPS Event #1 that they won't notice they are losing chips to me in the Mookie. Well just have to see!