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Sunday, January 31, 2010

Live Blogging The WBCOOP Main Event

WBCOOP reaches its apex today. Tons of SCOOP tickets up for grabs. About 2,000 entries playing for 153 prizes. Here we go:

15:00 ET: Zzzzzz.

15:30 ET: Zzzzzz.

16:00 ET: Zzzzzz.

16:30 ET: Zzzzzz.

16:51 ET: *snork* uh wha oh um hai.

16:55 ET: Wake up enough to realize that I blinded out about 16:30 in 1005th place.

Felt lousy today so I decided to take a nap about 1:00. Other than a brief moment of adrenaline brought on by my neighbor's car alarm going off, I was out until almost 5. Yeah good luck sleeping tonight. I hate missing out on the event but you do what you have to do.

Thanks to PokerStars for putting on this great series of Blogger events and I'm looking forward to using my SCOOP ticket!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Tagged For Future Reference

Yup. This is a Rush Poker player. I'm overbetting for value obviously but then it happens:

FullTilt Poker NL25 Texas Hold'em (9 handed)
Hand Converter: Poker Sleuth Software

SB (34.47)
Hero (27.26)
UTG (36.67)
UTG+1 (26.65)
MP (34.35)
MP+1 (25.38)
HJ (26.65)
CO (9.75)
Button (66.17)

Pre-flop: (9 players) Hero is BB with 3♠ 8♠
UTG folds, UTG+1 raises to 0.50, 6 folds, Hero calls 0.25

Flop: 7 3 7 (1.10, 2 players)

Hero checks, UTG+1 bets 0.50, Hero calls 0.50

Turn: 3♣ (2.10, 2 players)

Hero checks, UTG+1 checks

River: 3 (2.10, 2 players)

Hero bets 4.80, UTG+1 goes all-in to 25.65, Hero calls 25.65

Final pot: 53.40

Donkey showed [Qc Ks] and lost with a full house, Threes full of Sevens
Hero (big blind) showed [3s 8s] and won (50.73) with four of a kind, Threes

Hero lulz.

Hero is also iron this month. Woot.

***

Event #6 of the WBCOOP starts shortly over on Stars. NLHE today.

Yesterday's 8 game mix was pretty interesting. People had no idea how to play a lot of the games and were openly afraid of Stud/8 in particular. Other than one massive suckout in NLHE - I doubled when TT > JJ AIPF oops - I pretty much made all my hay in the weirdo games.

And then I screwed it up. I made an ace high flush in Stud/8 on 6th and also thought I had a 6 low, so I pushed hard. I got called on 6th and popped on 7th by a guy who made quads on the end and it turns out I didn't have a low. Fawk. Crippled I ran JJ into QQ and it was gg in 190th.

I'm not digging these near-bubble finishes. If I'm going to survive 1500+ donks I need to complete the job. There are literally several T$ on the line here. Yeesh.

Friday, January 29, 2010

It Doesn't Always Work Out The Way You Planned It

A little more "hey this is the boring **** that I'm up to" content.

Last night's WBCOOP event ended in less-than-glorious fashion. I accumulated some chips early, then left the office very late and missed about half of the second hour, returning to a stack of T7500 after the break.

I folded dreck for an orbit or so before getting 97o in my big blind. Three limpers (!), the SB folded and I check my option. With blinds of 250/500/75 (ish) there was about T3,000 in the pot.

Flop of Q 9 7 rainbow. With bottom two pair, being first to act and with only about T5,000 behind I think my only option here really was to shove. I didn't really think it through - I had been thinking stop-and-go while people were limping - but even in hindsight I don't think I do anything different. I simply didn't have enough chips to get anybody to fold otherwise and on that board people are going to have outs. I guess I could have squeezed preflop but meh. Not really my game and I'm not a donkament player so I dunno.

As it turns out only one guy folded anyway. I got two callers - JTo had an open ender and KQo had top pair good kicker. The straight got there on the river and I went home in 182nd place.

Not bad, not a beat, just how it happened. One of those times you lose and say - paraphrasing more people that I would have guessed - "I regret nothing."

***

Rush last night was a real grind. I think I may try playing the regular tables this weekend some - I want to see if they might actually be softer than the Rush tables. Always looking for an easier way to accumulate those play chips. This may be a sign that my fascination with the game is easing - aided by the rise of both nittery and rampant three betting.

Getting to the play, for a change I decided to go up early instead of stacking off a few times, but things swung into the red when I lost a steroid-enhanced stack to this lovely setup:

I get JJ in position. It's raised, I three bet. Raiser and one other call.

Flop is A J 6 with two spades. EP guy bets and I raise. Call.

Turn is Qd. EP fires, I raise, he shoves, obviously I call.

EP shows AQo.

River A. Sigh.

Same as above - no regrets. I made the correct play and it just happened to be one of those times where the other guy hit his ten percenter.

I worked at it for a while and got back to a loss of a little over one buyin for the night.

***

Hey, I know. How do you make a bad post worse? Talk about your dreams!

Okay, okay. I know. But humor me anyway.

I never remember dreams. This is probably because they're rarely memorable. But over the last week I've had a couple of good ones, memorable because they've been so vivid. It's been like watching my life in HD and for once there are no natural disasters, flunking out of college because I forgot I registered for a class until the final or other downers.

I woke up on Monday while I was waiting for a pit boss to come back with my check after I hit a slot jackpot of just under $120,000 - you want to talk about waking up in a good mood let me tell you that will do it. Also: WTF man I barely play slots they're dumb.

Yesterday I woke up just as I was taking down an event in the FTOPS. Again, it was a very specific amount, heck I even had the event number down. After doing some checking this morning I've come to the conclusion that it had to be a Mini-FTOPS event - the dollar amount wasn't large enough to be the regular FTOPS event. Also: I looked up the event number and the odds of me winning a 6 max NLHE donkament are probably worse than those of me winning the Mega Millions tonight.

Really I have no idea what prompted these happy wakeups - it could be the sleep deprivation, it could be the excessive pokering, it could be some other stuff going on in my personal life, but let me tell you I can't remember the last time Monday morning felt so good.

Anyway that's it for the moment, more stupid content later, presumably after I donk out of whatever tonight's WBCOOP event is. I think it might be 8 game mix night but don't quote me on that. If it is I predict that my bustout hand will involve brick-brick-brick-dammit.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Another Show

WBCOOP week rolls on.

Event #3 last night. I planned to play from the comfort of my couch. I guess technically that's exactly what happened. I was late leaving work and by the time I got organized and downloaded the software update it was the first break. I came back to a little over 1,000 chips and the end of the 40/80/10 level. Not much room to maneuver there.

Folded three hands. The fourth one I saw was AKo. I raised, player to my left shoved, I called and lost to JJ. That's the way it goes. The critical mistake was not playing the third hand (72s). Dumb.


More events coming starting tonight.


***

Rush quota was uneventful. As usual a graph of the session would have a crater to start followed by a long slog upward. It was not a fun session as I folded an unusually large number of crap hands and continued to see a lot of 3 betting of my raises. Got a few cards late, won some pots and ended up a couple buyins to the good.

Sigh. I need to go do something interesting just to liven up the posting.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

iPad Free

No, not FREE iPAD. I bet if you posted that a few times you'd get a bunch of hits though.

Just a very brief update since I have a few minutes to kill while on a call. I bustoed very early (in the 1100s I think) in WBCOOP Event #2 yesterday. I got mixed up in a three way all in with some kind of wrap - I may have had pairs also - only to find out that I was in much worse shape than I thought. Obviously I didn't get there on the turn or river. So it goes. I don't think I would have committed my entire stack with that hand but for the need to chip up or go home thanks to work but I did. No worries.

Congratulations to Lightning36, BrainMc and BadBlood for cashing tickets. Nice work.

Event #3 starts in a couple hours and I'm looking forward to playing from the comfort of my couch.

***

I also got in my usual swingy session of Rush. As is entirely standard it started out with a buy in flushed over the course of two typical hands - I doubled up a shorty on a KKQ35 board, my 33 against KQo (obviously pushed turn) and the other one involved someone mugging my large pocket pair gone set with a runner runner draw that got there.

So it goes.

Bounced back, stacked a few tards - I always love it when they push AJo on an all low card board where I'm holding a set - and just kind of muddled along getting points until Full Tilt froze on me. This was different - it just sat there. I had KJo on the button on one table and Q5o in the SB on the other.

Usually I get reconnected after a brief period of the client "not responding". Not this time - it was truly frozen. The process started consuming more and more memory and after a while of nothing happening - I mean, I caught up on a couple blogs, read some 2+2, that sort of thing first - I had to kill the process and open it back up. I found that I had enough points for the day and was up like 1/3 of a play chip buyin so I called it good.

***

One thing that I did notice during last night's session was that I got 3-bet a lot more often than usual. I responded by paying a little more attention to whose blinds I was trying to steal and who played back at me. I got one guy to knock it off by four betting him a couple times and I picked off a couple guys who were three betting pretty light.

It will be interesting to see if this continues. I kind of hope it doesn't, it's a lot easier to read nits.

***

One more hand for grins. This was toward the end of the session and I was up a decent amount.

I have Ks 5s in the SB. It folds to me. I raise. The big blind 3-bets. I call. I may be donkus maximus but I smell a rat. I think the BB is full of shiite here.


The flop is 467 with two spades. Yay. There is action.

Turn Kc. Double yay. There is more action but not as much as on the flop.

I have not pushed at this point because I'm dumb and I hate money.


Approximate number of outs against any hand that's ahead of me: 1,000,000 -- NOT that I think that the villain is actually ahead unless he has AK.

River is the Jd.

That's not one of them. Fawk.

The big blind shows Ah Ad and wins the pot, somehow not getting my whole stack.

nh sir.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Live Blogging Event #2 of the PokerStars WBCOOP

LOL no. Too busy.

The plan is to play for a short while, see if I can build up any kind of stack, then sit out while I deal with my 6:00 meeting. I really shouldn't play at all since I overdosed yesterday - five hours in Event #1 followed by a few hours of that other stuff I've been playing.

I will say that I'm a little bummed that PLO is tonight - it's like crack but it's my favorite game - instead of later in the week with one of the later start times. Oh, well. I'll play hard and hope to get lucky again.

Good luck to everybody playing.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Live Blogging Event #1 of the PokerStars WBCCOP

Monday, 25 Jan 2010
Location: My office
Mood: Foul

16:24 EDT: In less than one hour we will see the beginning of a week long online poker event the likes of which the world hasn't seen since the halcyon days of late aught eight.

That's right: It's back and it's on. The PokerStars World Blogger Championship Of Online Poker (WBCOOP) begins now. This time it's for pride -- and for free entry tickets into SCOOP, the Spring Championship Of Online Poker.

Let the donk-on-donk violence begin!

16:35 EDT: Our friends at PokerStars have been good to the blogging community. This is something like the third time - sorry, I'm not motivated to do any actual research at the moment - that Stars has hosted an event for bloggers. If you're not fully up to speed on what the WBCOOP is all about, the details can be found here.

16:40 EDT: As of this moment there are 1,598 players registered for Event #1. 153 places pay. Today's game is No Limit Hold'em, the Cadillac of poker preferred game of donktards every where. Expect the kicks to the junk to be quick, brutal and frequent.

16:42 EDT: Linkage for a few invisible blogger pals who are signed up to play:


Wheee, self-linkage!

Okay, scratch that idea. Let's just say that there are a lot of you - many of whom appear on the sidebar to the left - and I'm sure I'd miss a bunch. I don't really want to tick anybody off unnecessarily. That and I still have work to do.
Stupid Eastern Time.

16:49 EDT: Reality check. Live blogging is going to be sparse for a while. There's this whole work thing, followed by the part where I go home. I'll have to round up a few wretched souls to crank the generator that powers my Ye Olde (tm) PC and wait for it to boot. Hell, by the time all this stuff happens I'll have probably blinded out of Event #2.

Grunch: Don't expect to much out of this live blog because it totally won't deliver.

Ten minutes to game time.


16:51 EDT: While we're waiting, here is a strategy tip for tomorrow's Event #2 which is Pot Limit Omaha:

POT POT POT POT SUCKOUT WIN

You're welcome.

17:00 EDT: What time is it?

First hand = WIN. Pocket tens take down a modest pot. Rigged.

17:09 EDT: So for I've had to minimize the window for a work question once and one opponent has donktarded his/her way out of the event by overplaying ace high. I'd say this about standard thus far. Three players sitting out at my table.

18:38 EDT: And we're back. Since I last checked in I doubled up with something, sat out while I listened to a detailed account of the end of the Vikings-Saints game, left the office, grabbed a pizza from Little Caesar's for dinner and had my midget minions fire up the puter.

First hand: QQ. I flop quads. Wheee. Currently 90th out of 455 remaining players with a bit over 10K in chips. T35k is leading.

18:45 EDT: Hey how about that. I briefly make an appearance in the top 10 chip stacks after AKo > AQo and A8o on a king high flop. Happy to have them shove on me. T24k. I have yestbay1 at my table, the only blogger I know that I've seen so far.

19:39 EDT: Kind of bored. Table captain on my left is dishing out advice and shoving hundreds of BBs any chance he gets preflop. I'm folding. A lot. 79/184 with about T18k. Zzzz.

19:55 EDT: Third break. Right at the break I got moved for the first time. Now, instead of an aggro dork on my left I have the 2nd largest chipstack on my right. Yay. 162 left, 153 paid.

20:18 EDT: The bubble has burst and we're now into muppet time. I've folded every hand for about an hour so I'm low. Time to puuuuush.

20:30 EDT: Waiting to push. I feel like I should be telling knock-knock jokes or something to pass the time here at this, the worst live blog ever.

And of course as I type this I get it all in with AKo against AA and 66 ... and I river broadway. Gross. T37k.

20:40 EDT: Losing focus. Actual muppets:





20:55 EDT: Fourth break. AA > AKo a few minutes ago gets me to almost T60k. Currently sitting 31/63. Second level payouts just kicked in, the next bump is at 36th place. I forsee additional raise or fold poker coming up. In anticipation, more muppets:



21:30 EDT: We've just reached the third payout level. 35 players remain. I have about T50k and will just be picking spots. Soon. Very soon.

21:42 EDT: Yes, in fact it HAS occurred to me that I'm going to need to double up at least twice to have any kind of shot at reaching the final table and the $215 ticket prize level. Argh.

21:55 EDT: And out. Last hand before the break, getting very short with T36k. Open shove 98s, called by QQ. I flop a gutshot, turn the open ender but don't get there.

Thank you Stars and railers!

PokerStars Tournament #280000001, No Limit Hold'em
Freeroll
1740 players
$5096.50 USD added to the prize pool by PokerStars
Total Prize Pool: $5096.50 USD
Tournament started 2010/01/25 17:00:00 ET

Dear on_thg,

You finished the tournament in 21st place.

You have won an admission ticket to 'SCOOP - $33 Entry'. This ticket allows you
to participate only in a tournament of this type. Tickets are not redeemable for
cash or Tournament US Dollars; if you register and then unregister from the
tournament, your ticket will be returned.
/End liveblog

All Future Bad Beat Story Payouts Will Be In Sklansky Bucks Only

{Note: If you hate reading my results posts you may as well just skip this one. Sorry, but it's all I have this morning and I feel like venting posting.}

Well that was both the same and different at once.


I fired up a little Rush last night while waiting for the football game to go final. At least initially it was the same: KK into AA. AKs into KK on a king high flop. QQ into JJ - JJ flopped quads. AA into 99 - 99 flopped a set. JJ into KK. Goodbye several buyins. This kind of start has become way too typical.

The part that was different was the number of nitty opponents. I've never seen so much folding ever. After that terrible start I changed up my game and went super LAG (by my standards anyway - which may differ from yours) especially preflop. Raising range: WIDE OPEN.

Super LAG worked. I picked up the blinds hundreds of times. I relentlessly ground my way back up despite not hitting much. There were a couple of brief setbacks - I jammed with Kd Jd on a Kx 7d 5d board and bricked out to AKo; I also lost with 6h 4 h on a 5s 3s 2h board to a set of 5s who jammed the flop and got there on the river. Flopped straights never win. But otherwise I just fought hard and stole like I was in that movie where they steal everything in sight. You know the one I mean, right?

Right.

Anyhow, thanks to the speed of Rush I got in 1500 hands. In those 1500 hands I flopped exactly one set (although I did river a couple others). I got zero good action on my big pairs...

And I ended up a couple play chips in the black. Yee hah.

***

I hope that the incredibly nitty play isn't a sign of things to come.

The Rush Poker tables do require one or both of two things - an influx of new players to seed the pool and/or a steady base of well-rolled regulars. I haven't seen much of a sign of the former, so I'm assuming that it's the latter that is keeping the games stocked with a decent number of players.

Here's hoping that double guarantee week and whatever else Full Tilt has in mind for promotions builds a little extra traffic for Rush.

Edit: It may not end up mattering very much. It appears that one of the major database software providers has already put together a way to effectively use a hand history database with Rush Poker, meaning that the tables may become just another domain of the multi-tabling HUDbot. Kind of disappointing if you ask me.

***

Don't forget that the WBCOOP on Stars starts TODAY. I think Event #1 is at 5:00 pm ET but don't hold me to that - check it out for yourself and get registered.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

I Lose, Haiti Wins (A Little)

A Saturday of do-nothing is limping to a conclusion.

By do nothing I mean do nothing. I think the couch cushions are never going to be the same.

Since I wasn't doing anything, I played the Sundays with Dr. Pauly event. Frustrating. I never got much of anything started and mostly just folded crap hand after crap hand. By folding a lot I managed to hang around with a micro-stack right up to the final table bubble.

Whether I made the final table (9, with 5 places playing) had implications. The host had a bet with KJ where if either made the final table the other would contribute fifty bucks to Haiti relief. On the final table bubble KJ was 9th in chips.

I managed to suck out once or twice to double but finally went down. KJ survived and Haiti got fifty bucks from the Doc, matched by the good folks at PokerStars. Nice.

Next time, Stars, please deal me fewer unsuited disconnectors plzkthx.

***

I also attempted to get in my daily dose on Full Tilt but had to give up. I'm on ever-increasing computer tilt and it was just completely non-workable. I did manage to dump a couple buyins before quitting no thanks to disconnections (in part, the rest was bad play). If I can get this sorted I can still easily reach Iron for the first time ever. Please don't let it be a hardware problem.

Yesterday featured a marathon session that was a total rollercoaster. I went down several buyins immediately - running into quads FOUR times in less than two hours. I managed to not tilt, hung on, and finally started hitting. Oh, and the donkeys finally came out to play. I actually ended up a couple buyins.

You gotta love the Rush.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Keep On Rushin

I know that I'm probably starting to bore people with all these posts on Rush Poker.

Oh well.

I'm still enjoying it. I love the fast pace and yet I never feel hurried like I do when I play 6 or 8 regular tables.

It probably doesn't hurt that I've had some success. I forget what yesterday's score was - maybe 6 buyins - but it was good. Of course I'm playing in the kiddie pool.

Rush Poker has been good for my game. For one, it's really driven home just how stupid it is to EVER open limp. I mean I knew that intuitively and all but it's just been hammered home.

I still suck.

There have been a number of blogger sightings. I played several hands with Bayne last night and I'm pretty sure I saw Peaker too. I've seen cmitch slumming and some other folks too.

More rushin' in my future.

***

Tomorrow (I think) brings the return of a beloved institution: Saturdays With Dr. Pauly. Hey, I know, I can just flat steal his graphic with all the details:


So come play on Stars tomorrow. I'm not quite sure what I've got going on but if I'm hanging out on the couch I'll be there.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Again With The No Content

Things done yesterday:

1. Logged on to Stars and confirmed that all systems are go for the WBCOOP. I found tournament lobbies for events #1, 2 and 3 so I went ahead and signed up for those ... and then this morning I got an email that says registration begins two hours before each event. Um. OK. Whatever.

If you have no idea what this means, scroll down a couple posts and find the graphic for the PokerStars World Blogger Championship of Online Poker. There's a helpful link to all the info.

2. I tried out the Rush Poker PLO on Full Tilt. Not bad but not as intense as the NLHE action. I think that's a function of two things - Omaha is just a slower game, and there weren't as many players in the pool which slowed down the spawning of tables. It was profitable, though. I don't foresee myself playing too much of this, since my PLO skills are rusty and it doesn't seem like it would attract the same level of gomer that the NLHE Rush games should.

3. Played a little of the NLHE Rush but started having some major disconnection problems. Fortunately there was no "need" to play, for points or otherwise, so I quit.

Things to do tonight:

a. Reboot.

b. Try playing Rush with animations turned off. "Fade" is definitely better than "Slide" btw - much less likely to induce seizures.

c. If they've been spawned yet try the PLO8 Rush games - not active as of yesterday but in the lobby so they're coming.


d. Get a life.

All Hail Stars Support!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Quite A Rush

Rush Poker. Full Tilt. Awesome. Really.

Sorry about the ADD posting style but it matches up well with the game. I have no idea about the long term but for now I think FTP has a major hit on their hands with Rush Poker. It really is a revolution in play. The forums are buzzing with more positive comments than I've read about anything in a long time. This is big. And fun.

If you haven't tried it, Rush Poker is a simple concept. You're seated at a table at your chosen level against 5 or 8 random opponents (you can play 6 or 9 max). The blinds are allocated semi-randomly (not exactly but the results are close enough to random). Play proceeds as normal and as soon as you're out of the hand you're "moved" to what is effectively a brand new table with new opponents.

You also have a "quick fold" button which will let you speed up the process even more. It will fold you in turn but you don't have to sit there and wait for other people to act. If you have 82 offsuit in MP, click the quick fold and you're on to the next hand. In effect it's a lot like playing a stack of an infinite number of cash tables without the drawbacks.

Really, I'm not sure which is better, the concept or the implementation. I had very few problems with the software - given how fast this moves I am VERY impressed. Disconnects are annoying but they were not much of a factor yesterday.

The game is crazy fast, especially if you quick fold a lot. I played 1 table for about a half hour and later on I played 2 tables for about 2 hours. Over less than 5 table hours I got in 2100 hands - playing five table hours of regular full ring NL I'd expect to get 300 hands or so. If you're trying to accumulate points for Iron Man or if you have a rakeback deal this is pure gold. (Incidentally, I have no recollection if I'm tagged to an affiliate or not. I wonder if FTP would tell me if I emailed support?)

I will say that it's kind of weird to never see the result of a hand that you fold. There were a couple times where I folded in multi-way pots to aggressive action that I would have loved to see the showdown. Basically there are two ways to see what happened - sit out and watch the rest of the hand, or pull up the hand history after it's over.

It won't be long before someone figures out optimal strategy. I really have no idea at this point. I did find myself playing tighter than I have recently - really giving careful consideration to preflop hand selection. I still play bad - I stacked off twice, once with JJ on a T98 rainbow flop (to QQ) and once with 99 on a 876 flop (I think) to 77. See a pattern there? Still ended up with a nominal play chip profit.

So there is my scatter-brained review of Rush Poker. I like it. Will it last? I dunno. In part it's going to depend on a steady stream of players discovering the game. Will new players know about it or will they just play regular cash? Beats me. But it's new, it's exciting, it's fun. Give it a go.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

FTP Updated

It looks like I picked the wrong month to stop sniffing glue. I guess this would be a bad time to quit Full Tilt for the month.

Reading the forums this morning it sounds like the overnight software update is major and does a couple of good things. Minimum buyins are increased - from 20bb to 35bb in my preferred games - which will have an impact of some sort on the shortstacker universe. Good work.

But the really interesting thing is "Rush Poker". I can't even describe it adequately - in part because I won't get to try it until later - but it sounds awesome for ADD types.

Revised plan: Try out Rush Poker. Try out ring games with higher minimums. Move down. Way down. Deal with relentless tide of bad beats and just hope to stay alive man stay alive. Also: Email FTP support and ask them to turn off the doomswitch.

Despair

Well, there was good news and there was bad news.

I rebooted my computer after making changes. It did boot much faster - 12 minutes from power button to FTP table launch. The downside, however, was that I could not access the internet. Full Tilt worked fine as did a torrent client. But neither Firefox nor IE would load a page (nor for that matter would the now playing page in Media Player). Sigh.

This of course meant that I played poker instead of surfing the web.

Why couldn't it have been the other way around?

***

A new worst session ever was established this evening.

It started off on an absolutely brutal note. On one table I ran into an absolute buzzsaw.

8:27 - I river a straight on a 54436 board, run into a full house. Okay. Well disguised.
8:30 - 3 hands later I river a full house on a flush board and jam. Same guy has the quads.
8:51 - I flop an OESD, don't get there, run into top two pair. Same guy.
8:56 - I have AKs. Same villain has AA.
9:18 - Same villain rivers trips to beat my top pair.
9:25 - I abandon ship on pocket 8s after the flop. Same villain shows AA. Again.

One opponent, one table.

After that run I was kind of disgusted. Not so bad, right? Well, the worst was yet to come.

I proceeded to lose every single hand I got my money in good. AA checkraised all in by KQ on a Q high flop? Here's a K on the turn for you! Need a runner runner four flush? Sure why not. Hey that was fun let's do it a couple more times. Every single time. No exceptions.

I also lost every single flip. At least there weren't as many of those - for whatever reason the shortstackers left me alone more than usual. But I still went 0 for whatever it was. No exceptions.

The last of the beats - I flop a straight with T9dd on a Qx Jd 8y board. There's a bet, a raise and I F***ING JAM. I get called by Q8dd who goes runner runner diamonds to pip my flush by one. Je&&S F&&&ING CHRIST. I am reminded that flopped straights never win.

I quit. I am filled with deep despair. For the last few beats all I could do was jam it in and wait for the axe to fall on the river. Nothing holds up. Nothing. Ever. This is an all time poker low. I am drained of all anger, all rage, all feeling. I'm just numb. This is horrible.

Misery. 100% pure misery.

***

I think I'm done at Full Tilt for the month. Going to take some time off, play the WBCOOP events at Stars and otherwise give poker the finger. If I get bored and start jonesing maybe I can talk myself into spending the time figuring out exactly how far below EV I've been running lately instead.

If and when I do come back I really do need to move down a few levels. I'm still up over the last six weeks but I've dumped well over 50% back and it wasn't like I was rolled for this level to begin with. My play chip bankroll just can't handle the swings.

Poker sucks.

***

Anyhow, it appears that my computer has a case of ZoneAlarm poisoning.

I used to use the ZoneAlarm firewall. I have never been able to uninstall it, so I wait for it to boot up and then shut it down. Annoying.

One of the things I tried disabling on startup was ZoneAlarm. And boom the internet doesn't work when I do it. I remember trying to kill it this way before and having the same problem. So after the poker debacle I launched the ZA client application and then killed it. Voila, the internet works again.

I guess I can deal with the extra startup time for now but one of these days I'm going to get myself some virtual Raid and take care of the problem.

It might be sooner rather than later since it looks like I'm going to have a bunch of unexpected time on my hands this week.

Monday, January 18, 2010

I Will Not Demean

Seeing as how today is the official holiday celebrating the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., of course I immediately thought to title this post 'I Too Have a Dream'. But that would not have been real cool, since my primary dream this morning is that I'd like to have this day off like so many of my friends and colleagues. But no, I have to work in a county run by old white dudes. It's just another Monday.

***

I had a couple more small winning sessions to close out the weekend. Overall it was still a net loser - and a significant one at that - due to Friday's debacle. Both sessions started out down as I played poorly, but I'm encouraged that I managed to buckle down and get into a groove.

Last night's session should have ended up a loser. I took a flip against a shortstacker who had just doubled up the hand before with ace rag. I probably shouldn't have, but I did. Ahead on flop, hosed by two outer on the river. Grumble. I resolved to play one more orbit and then quit - and I promptly got a timely set-over-set. The good kind. Hooray.

***

If I had the day off I think I'd spend part of it updating the blogroll. I've been doing a little surfing - from people that find their way here mostly - and there are a lot of poker blogs out there that I should link up. I've been very lazy in that regard.

***

NL2 may not be the answer after all.

I popped up a table to mess around.
AA in early position. For variety, I over-raise grossly. To 23x the big blind. Let's see if I can make it look like a mistake. No, really, people I didn't mean to raise to 23x the BB.

Button aggressively calls for half his chips.

With 99.

Do I even need to mention what the flop was?

I didn't think so.

***

Something else that I need to give a little thought to is whether continuing to use the "auto top up" feature makes sense. Logically it does - you can't win a full stack at any given time unless you have one yourself - but I do wonder if it blinds me a bit to how much I'm frittering away on call-check-fold type hands and contributes to needless spewing after I get coolered and tilt.

***

Last thought for the moment. I made a number of changes to my system to see if I can get it to boot faster but I haven't had the chance yet to test it. I'll probably do that tonight - keeping my fingers crossed for under 20 minutes.

I do think at some point I want to go to a two box setup - there would definitely be fewer hiccups if I could offload the music playing / twitter/ web surfing onto a computer that's not dealing with poker. I'd use my old desktop, but it's still running Windows ME and doesn't have USB 2.0 ports among other deficiencies. I think a cheap Windows 7 box would work or we'll see if I can snag a castoff from somebody local who's upgrading. Fortunately I'm in no rush - this is very much a want and not a need.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Spiralling

You people are way too nice.

I wrote up and posted that epic fail of a hand yesterday the way I did with the intent of collecting some good flames. Lord knows I deserve it - that may have been the single worst played cash hand I've ever had. Set it up perfectly and flat chickened out. I know that I've been coolered constantly of late but there is absolutely no excuse not to play that one flat out.

Anyway, it's there for posterity and as a reminder to myself that I really should move down a couple levels. Like to NL2. I think that's about where I'd need to go to deal with my aversion toward getting stacked.

***

I had a dismal session yesterday.

I should go back and review the hands, but I don't think I was playing particularly poorly (in absolute terms, not relatively). It simply was a session where I did not have a single draw come in - I must have flopped the nut flush draw or at least a decent flush draw or an open ended straight draw a dozen times or more and I got there exactly ZERO times. Zero. I'm 100% sure of that.

The rest of it went wrong as well. Every single time I had a big pocket pair that wasn't aces one of the 12 aces in the deck came on the flop and someone always played Ace rag. I got four or five walks when I had AA or KK in the big blind. One hand I got some action with aces - three players called my raise. We saw a flop of J96 rainbow. The first to act shoves in a short stack, less than the pot. I elect to flat call to see if I can get some one else to come along for a side pot. Nope. Two folds, shorty shows a set of 6s. Sigh.

This is all standard. It's just hard to overcome solely by stealing and bluffing. I did more of that than usual - with a significant amount of success - but come on let a brother get there ONE time.

One of those days. Not quite as bad as the killer session that ended my good run but pretty close. Ugh.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Unleashing ANGRY DONK ON TILT

More cards. No content.

I put in what was for me a marathon session last night. I have no idea how accurate the software's hand tracker is but it showed over 2200 hands played.

From the start it was a roller coaster but mostly moving in the down direction. After a while the beats got to me. I think it was having four big pairs snapped off in five minutes that finally pushed me over the edge. I became: ANGRY DONK ON TILT.

You know what? Things actually got a little better.

ADOT is more aggressive than plain old me. ADOT is playing hard to win those 3BB pots. ADOT laughs in the face of your feeble effort to raise his big blind. ADOT says "f--- you. And you and you and you" as he rakes in a winner. ADOT plays a wider range of hands and when he hits he hits big.

If I'm honest with myself I'll admit that I'm never going to be a full time LAG. I can do loose, but aggression is just contrary to my nature. It is the a number one reason why I'll never be anything in poker.

But if I can channel just a little more of ANGRY DONK ON TILT - while keeping the tilt part of it in check - I think I'll have better results.

***

I finished my session feebly after another series of ridiculous beats, ending up down about half a buy in. The takeaway from that - other than how annoyed I continue to be at how far below expectation I'm running against short stackers - is how fine the edge is between profit and loss.

Really. All I needed for a profitable session was for one of these hands to hold up. AA went down to a four flushed QQ. AKs lost to AQo. AKo lost to KJo. All hands where I have the better cards, play them strongly and simply get run down. It happens.

I lost three flips to the same short stacker (on two different tables) and he also sucked out on me once. Standard.

The board could have paired one time when I ran a flopped set into a flopped straight. Nope.

I had probably five or six hands where I held a winner on the river and bet into a opponent who had either showed strength or called down. I tried bet sizes from 1/2 pot to double pot. I didn't get a single call. Again, all it would have take is one (or maybe two) marginal calls and I'm in the black.

I don't need to play better, I just need stupider opponents.

And I was SO disappointed not to make money on what should have been gold. I hold 7c 6c on the button. Four players see a Ax 3c 5c flop. Turn is a brick (Js I think). I've bet the flop and turn - modestly - to disguise my hand. River is the cash card - 4d. One of my opponents underbets the pot, I overshove for value and and am PUMPED to see him call ...

until he flips 7s 6s for the chop. Dammit.

That kind of night.

Oh well. I'm not fazed by the small loss. There are going to be losing sessions.

***

One hand I'm still wondering if I foozled.

I'm dealt AA in the big blind. It folds around to the SB, who raises to 3x. I reraise to 10x, SB calls.

Flop is K55. Check, I bet half pot, SB instashoves for 3x what's in (basically a shove of 90 when the pot's at 29).

I folded. Still not sure if that was right. KK, AK or other?

After a hand like that I'd like to see a button where you could potentially pay to see what your opponent had. The opponent could set the price - I think in a situation like that if someone wanted to pay me 1/2 the pot on top I'd let the software disclose what I had.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Most Of These Are More Like Notes To Self

Very good session last night. I still have a ways to go to recover from the many buyin downswing I've been on but at least I had one good stretch. I think the really encouraging part was that I was up even excluding the one time I got someone to bite on an overbet for value.

Man do I ever love the overbet for value. Guy donkbets 1 on the flop, I float. I hit an ace on the turn for TPMK and donkbet 2, opponent just calls. I fill the nut flush on the river, push and get an insta snapcall for the rest of the guy's 100. Joy. I never get tired of that. I forgot to check the hand histories to see what he had, might have to do that tonight.

I do note that I'm running way below expectation on flips. I've been losing far more than my share of AK versus small or mid pocket pair confrontations (regardless of which side I'm on). It would greatly help my results if I could win a couple more of those -- especially since they're inevitable due to the infestation of shortstackers.

***

There have been any number of threads on 2+2 about shortstackers and I recall a FTP rep commented that they play to do "something" in early 2010. I'll be very interested to see what, if any, changes they make. If I'm guessing, I think they might bump the minimum buyin from 20BB to 30BB - which won't change much. Really, I don't know how much I care - I do find it annoying when I end up at a table with 6 or 7 shortstackers but there's nothing stopping me from leaving - but the topic sure has some people riled up.

***

I timed the start up of my computer yesterday. It took 32 minutes from the time I pressed the power button to the time I could click to open a table on Full Tilt. I'm going to mess around with some of the stuff that Ken linked me to this weekend - it would be a really wonderful thing if I could get that down under 15 minutes.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Computer Stuff

Nothing much to say today.

I put in a decent session yesterday. It wasn't profitable - thanks largely to KK being worse than AKo, AA and 10c7c all in preflop- but it was very close to break even. At least the AA guy was super short. Also, as it turns out I did manage a couple points on Monday so I'm still on some kind of streak.

When I was about ready to quit I went to pop up the lobby. Mistake. Computer lockup. Something redlined the CPU - considering that I only had Full Tilt, Firefox and IE open those are your contenders - and it took forever to close anything. After about a half hour I finally gave up and did a hard reboot, which meant another half hour waiting for startup. So aggravating.

All this mess did give me time to ponder a question, though: Would it make more sense to get a better computer - I think my laptop has a Pentium Centrino chip and it's about five or six years old running Windows XP Pro - or would it make more sense to have a separate computer to run Firefox, Twitter, Windows Media Player, Youtube, whatever else I might have open? If I switch windows in my current setup I'll get a sluggish response - programs will show as 'not responding' - frequently resulting in timing out at the tables and worst case in computer lockup. I have a router and all the other jazz necessary, just not a second CPU.

This is really an academic question - the money's not there for either right now - but I'm still curious. Every once in a while something interesting pops up - Slickdeals had a barebones HP desktop with Windows 7 for dirt cheap the other day. Given how much time I spend on the computer it seems like a logical place to invest a few dollars when I have some.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Zoned Out

I broke a pretty good streak yesterday.

I would have to go back to December in order to get an exact figure, but I think I was approaching four straight weeks of playing a decent amount every day. IIRC I only had three zero hand days in December and none thus far in January.

I logged on last night and suffered through a couple orbits on two tables. By "suffered" I mean I got disconnected about twenty times and timed out what seemed like every other hand. It was miserable. My internet connection was a bit choppy but it seemed like this was a Full Tilt issue.

It was still early - something like 9:00 - so I figured I'd try rebooting. I hate rebooting. It takes like 20 minutes. Maybe more. Of all the things I hate about Windows, startup time is number one on my list.

Hate rebooting.

While I was waiting for the magic to happen, I fell asleep. When I woke up, it was 3:00 am.

So much for yesterday. I'll have to check but I don't think I even earned one point.

Streak over.

Friday, January 08, 2010

I am not registered

for the



but I hope to be at some point once support responds to my email and we figure out why the registration page won't take my info.

***

Back to back positive sessions after the big dump. Not major wins. Small wins. Very small wins. But I've played smarter, more disciplined poker so I'm happy.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Oof

Well, so much for the run good. I was overdue for a bad session but it really wasn't necessary to load it up with horrible play as well.

Things got off to a terrible start. I 4-bet shove AA, 3-bettor aggressively calls with QQ for all of his chips, Q in the door. Standard. I flop a set with TT, boat up on the turn, play it hard, get run down by someone who played Q7s like it was the nuts and got there runner runner style. It happens. Donated a stack with AA on what looked like a non-threatening board. Nope, the button cold called my MP 3-bet with 87s and was rewarded with trips. Okay. There was also a lot of folding. As bad as I play I know enough to surrender when I raise in early position with KK, get 3 or 4 callers and an ace hits the flop. That happened a couple times.

Whew. Ugly. I managed to tighten things down and focus for quite a while, even recovering somewhat, but at the end of the session I just lost it. Total tilt. The last two stackings were 100% my fault and stupid. Really, really, really stupid.

I raise AQs in EP and get a button call. AJ6 flop. I get raised on the flop and take time. Up against a very solid regular I have to fold here. He's not raising me with anything I can beat. Fold you dumbass. I don't fold. Stupid. Spew.

Finally, I get into a hand against the donktard that called QQ vs AA earlier. Much earlier, on a different table. Same guy, though, so I don't give him credit for anything. I raise JJ from EP, he flat calls from the button, I aggro donk the whole way and donate way too many chips to his unimproved AA. Just bad play. Bad, bad play.

In the end the results were probably twice as bad as they needed to be. Bad day. Worst day in a very long time, possibly ever. And yet after typing this up I feel okay about it, since it was just a reduction in profit. If I can learn from it and not tilt so hard next time it'll be worth the short term pain.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Post Worth Millions

How can you tell that I'm a full fleged pokertard?

I'll tell you how: I wear a hoodie when I play.

Online.

From my couch at home.

And you know what? The hood is usually UP.

***

Every once in a while I get an idea that could be worth millions. I had another one last night.

***

I play with the hood up because my ears get cold. It's a stupid reason and one that I could "handle" by growing out my hair or by cranking up the heat but natural gas is expensive. Besides it's not like anyone ever sees me nerding out.

***

Last night I decided I needed more gear. I had the heat turned up a bit more than usual. I was wearing layers. I had a blanket on - not a Snuggie but I kinda wished I had one at that moment. The hood was deployed. Everything was good, except ...

My hands were cold.

Insight.

Cold hands. Gloves.

I need a pair of POKER GLOVES.

The world needs poker gloves.

Think about it. They would not only be useful in cold conditions - think about how many tales you've read about how cold it is at the World Series of Poker and in other card rooms - but they would also keep some of the grime, germs and general muck of the cardroom away from your hands. You could throw them in the wash after a session - hot water, extra bleach - and feel confident that you're clean.

Poker gloves. Do want.

I don't like being cold.

***

What I do like is running good. I hope it continues. PLEASE let it continue.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Conversations Imaginary

Hey, Poker King Santa!
I has a question ... I mean wait, what do you mean you're busy??
I uh, um, I wanted to ask you ... do you think that the people that actually, you know, READ this blog would get pissed if I put up yet ANOTHER post on how to play 76 offsuit?
No, I'm pretty sure it isn't. I'm going to chance it:
Full Tilt Poker 100 NL Hand Converter: Poker Sleuth Software

SB (102.30)
BB (33.80)
UTG (70.90)
UTG+1 (19.30)
MP (100)
Hero (161)
HJ (42.75)
CO (36.50)
Button (147.25)

Pre-flop: (9 players) Hero is MP+1 with 6♠ 7


3 folds, Hero calls 1, HJ calls 1, 2 folds, SB calls 1, BB checks

Flop: 9
K A (4, 4 players)

SB checks, BB checks, Hero checks, HJ checks

Turn: 8♣ (4, 4 players)

SB checks, BB checks, Hero checks, HJ checks

River: 5
(4, 4 players)
Hey, you know what happens here Poker King Santa?

Yes!
SB checks, BB bets $3, Hero goes all-in to $160, 2 folds, BB goes all-in to $32.80

*** SHOW DOWN ***
Hero shows [6s 7d] a straight, Nine high
BB mucks [3h 8d] - a pair of Eights
Hero wins the pot (66.60) with a straight, Nine high
Hey, NOW what are you doing?

Come on, leave Ivey alone - he's probably got an alimony payment to make.

Level Zero Thinking On Holiday

The year got off to a pretty good start poker-wise. Eventually. I needed to play for a while to get into any kind of groove and I needed to dig myself out of a bit of a hole after the same shortstacker got me twice - he doubled through me when his KTo was >>> AKo, then doubled again with ATo >>> QQ. I really want to know what the deal is with ATo. These guys play it like it is the stone cold nuts.

I had pretty much clawed my way back to even when I went on a heater. As with all good heaters, it started with one really stupid decision from an opponent:


Full-Tilt Converter Tool from FlopTurnRiver.com

Hero (SB) (174.85)
BB (97.65)

Preflop: Hero is SB with 7, 6

1 fold, UTG+1 calls 1, 1 fold, MP2 calls 1, 2 folds, Hero calls 0.50, BB checks

Flop: (4) J, 5, 4 (4 players)

Hero bets 1, BB calls 1, 1 fold, MP2 calls 1

Turn: (7) 3 (3 players)

Hero bets 3, BB calls 3, 1 fold

River: (13) 2 (2 players)
Hmmm. What should I do in this spot Poker King Santa?


Good advice Poker King Santa, I think I'll do that ...
River: (13) 2 (2 players)

Hero bets 169.85 (All-In), BB calls 92.65 (All-In)

Total pot: 198.30 | Rake: 3

Results:

Hero had 7, 6 (straight, seven high).

BB had A, 5 (straight, five high).

Outcome: Hero won 195.30
Additional outcome: Hero LOL'd. Thank you opponent, one bad decision from you and this session is in the black. Things heated up from there, a couple big hands held and I picked off a couple shorties with better hands.

Anyhow, things are off to a good start. I can't say the same about my blogging - really, I had visions of getting things going on a different foot this year with a quality post, but c'est la vie I guess. It'll probably be another year of tilt, bad beat stories, stupid brags and precious little worth reading.

[O/T] Say Yes To Detroit

From an article in today's Free Press on the new law requiring self-extinguishing cigarettes:
But Detroit firefighters don't expect a major impact from the new cigarettes on the number of smoking-related fires, according to one official.

"I don't feel it's the one thing we've been waiting for," said Detroit Arson Lt. Joseph Crandall.

Crandall said arsons are a bigger problem in the city, along with fires set by careless cooks and space heaters. "What you need is self-extinguishing Molotov cocktails."

Friday, January 01, 2010

Happy Noo Yr

Year in review post: 2009 = worst year ever except for poker.

Year in preview post: 2010 has to be better. I just has to be.

Have a good one.