Thursday, May 31, 2007

"At some point in your life you will run worse than you ever thought possible"

I'm in the middle of the downswing that won't go away. I'll start posting more once I have the heart and am convinced that I know how to play poker again.

Roll = $882.10


EDIT: I'm on temporary poker hiatus until Monday night, I've played every day (for some length of time) since the end of April so some time off will probably do me well. Updates to follow.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Spicy Food and Coping with Failure

I just got back from having what could possibly be the spiciest meal of my life. I've been a vegetarian for about the last 6 months and the biggest problem with eating food without meat is having things that are too bland. With that in mind I went to a Thai place for dinner tonight. I ordered the Thai chow mein with tofu...then the waitier asked me how spicy (1-10) I wanted the dish. I thought 8 sounded like a good number because I've had a lot of bland food lately and I love spicy things.

Fast forward to me 25 minutes later...I was in a full sweat, my face was a lovely shade of red, my eyes were tearing up, I had gone through 6 cups of water, my mouth was still on fire, and the waiters were just laughing at me. It was really good food, but I'm pretty sure I'm going to have a solid 20 minutes of punishment for my toilet later...

On to poker related items. Lately I've been able to grind away in SNG's with a little $50NL mixed in there. My results have been positive but I've found myself going to sleep angry on a very regular basis. I have yet to have any real success in MTTs. I was going over my stats on thepokerdb and I've played in 74 tourneys and made the final table on 8 different occasions. Unforunately my best finish at any final table was 4th place and I haven't done better than 7th recently. Despite this, I'm still slightly above break-even with my MTT results (probably due to some of Bodog's overlays). It's so frustrating to get so close to some big cashes and fall short...8 times in a row. 8 final tables without a top 3 finish is terrible. I've either had the best hand or been in a race situation when I get my money in during the final table, so as of right now I'm chalking the results up to negative variance...but I'd be very willing to change that assessment if nothing improves over the next few final tables I'm able to make.

Bankroll = $1043.95 (first number over feels good)

On the life front I have some buddies coming over tomorrow night for the UFC fight and maybe a little partying afterwards. So it should be a nice start to this 3 day weekend.

EDIT: 4 MTTs tonight...made it past the break in all of them, more than doubled my stack in all of them at one point, bubbled one, cashed in zero.

Monday, May 21, 2007

I'm really good at being bad at poker

Turns out i'm still right in the midst of a downswing...I just had a slight upward stutter at the beginning of this weekend.

I am admittedly not playing my best poker, but the cards sure aren't ever bailing me out. I'm getting punished with my big hands and I'm not able to suckout when I make a mistake and get my money in bad.

I've been too aggressive as well. This is something I notice myself doing during a downswing...I'll push my draws like they were the nuts while I forget that people don't fold to those bets when I really have the nuts. I just let myself lose some discipline and my play gets out of hand.

It's been something that I've worked on for some time now and it's very frustrating when I see it coming and I feel unable to do anything to stop it.

I did manage to cash in a satellite to the 50k guarantee today for $3, but was unable to play in it. So I saved the $55 in tourney cash, donking off $33 in buy-ins tonight so I still have $22 of that left. Looks like I'll have to stop taking shots at the $25/2 SNGs for a while too...which is annoying because I've seen some really bad play there. There are 2 regulars that I have yet to see cash and they usually finish 6-10 so if I see them in a game I may have to go for it.

Bank Roll - $919.40 (T$22)

On the life front this is my finals week for school. Finishing up my 4th semester of college...I'm pretty stoked for summer and to be able to work enough to again to have some real money and maybe save up a for a Europe trip in late July. So we'll see how the rest of this week goes, but that should eliminate a lot of stress which can only be good for my poker game.

Some reading today came back across this post and this post over at 2+2. I really liked a lot of the theory stuff that gigabet did, it's almost retarded how smart he is about poker (of course I'm giving him a lot of credit for being right about things that I don't really do in my poker game). He's also the current chip leader at the championship event at the Mirage.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Running Bad/Insomnia/Bad BR Management/I'm A GOD!

So as of the last time I wrote I was running decently but had missed a few shots for some big money not being able to finish off a couple of big SNGs. So as I fired up Bodog last night I was expecting some big things as I've felt really good about my play lately. was not to be.

I played for about 3 hours and God knows how many SNGs (over 10 because I kept busting...and I like the turbos). The sickest thing was out of all the games that I busted in I only went all in with the worst hand 2 times. I couldn't win a race when it counted and I was watching my BR go down the drain. I take a couple of 3rds at the end of the night and won a few HU SNGs to put my nightly total at only -$20.

At this point it was about 3 AM and I tried to get some sleep...but I just couldn't, since I had no class that day I had slept in until 2 in the afternoon and just wasn't tired. I laid in bed for about 2 hours before turning on the TV around 5:30 and getting a little workout in. I took my sister to school and got some breakfast with her around 7 and then got home more amped than ever...sleeping wasn't going to be an option.

So as I usually do in this situation I drained a Redline
and fired up Bodog only to find out that my luck hadn't changed. I bubble a $6 SNG, 2 $15 SNGs, and busted out of the $2.5k guarantee. I got my money in every time as at least a 60/40 favorite (when I was the one all in) and in 2 of the SNGs actually went from chip leader 4 handed to bubble boy. So I was clearly discouraged by the results, but I was feeling realy good about how I was playing. So exercising my usual poor BR management during a downswing I saw a $55/5 Turbo SNG starting up... naturally I couldn't resist.

The tourney started out slow as I expected it would, but there was still a surprising amount of limping and multiway pots in the early levels. I took down a couple of early pots and stole a few blinds and was at 1700 and 10 players still in with the blinds just moving up 50/100. I'm on the button with A10o and a shortie pushes from the CO for 450, I flat call and the BB (to my surprise) calls all-in as well. The CO has A4ss and the BB has 58o (I don't know what to say about this). I flop a 10 and send them both to the rail. I'm at 2500 and cruising.

I'm able to steal a lot of pots and nothing too interesting happens until we're 6 handed with 100/200 blinds and I'm in the SB with AKo. The CO (3k chips) raises to 600, he had been very aggressive so I I'm ahead and push. I have him covered by about 1000, he instantly calls with 55 and obv presto is gold. So I'm on the button next hand and I had gone from chip leader to shortie in one hand. It's folded to me and I push with 97o. The SB calls and the BB folds. The SB shows pockets 10s and I need some help bad. I miracle a straight on a J 8 5 K 6 board to double up (still running bad?).

During 5 handed play I catch a huge card rush and make some timely pushes and take myself up to 5500 chips without a showdown. I knock out the 5th place player when his J10o can't catch my AKo. I raise almost every hand on the bubble (blinds 200/400/25) and eventually knock out the shortie when he had over half his chips in on the BB. I go into 3 handed play with over 9k in chips (15k on the table). First hand ITM and I pick up 77 in the SB and knock out the BB when his A8o couldn't win the race. HU I have a 13.5 to 1.5k lead with the blinds at 300/600/50. I pick up 33 on the button and push and he's forced to call with 34o, my hand holds up and $275 is shipped my way. BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM!!!!

The Roll = $998.84 (I broke that $900 barrier in a big and donkerrific way).

Thursday, May 17, 2007

And so it begins...

Tonight I logged my first session of poker after officially becoming part of the "poker blogger community." It appears to have pleased the mighty and fickle poker gods as they smiled upon me this evening and let me pull out a winning session from what seemed to be utter disaster initially.

I am mostly a SNG player, partially because I enjoy the idea of taking all of the chips on the table...and partially because I'm better at math than I am at poker. Generally I play turbo SNGs because I feel that players make more fundamental math errors (especially at the levels I'm playing at) when the blinds are moving faster.

Tonight I played through 10 SNGs at various buy-ins and 1 $10/1 MTT.

I played in the $4.5k Guarantee tonight on Bodog and I put together about the worst performance I've had in a MTT in a long time. I just leaked chips until I was short eventually and busted before the first break putting my money in as a huge dog. My MTT game has been off since I final tabled the $4.5k about a week ago, I just haven't been able to put anything big together.

My SNGs didn't start out much better than my MTTs as I only cashed in 1 of my first 5. I was running badly and as a result playing worse. I'm the kind of player that tends to make aggressive mistakes when I'm not running well. I overplay draws and will begin to overestimate my fold equity on almost every single hand. This can either lead to me getting lucky (obv preferrable) or me suddenly turning into one giant tilting machine that can't play enough tables at a time trying to get even and getting myself stuck even deeper. Luckily I was able to catch myself tonight and refocus my game before I did any irreversible damage to my roll.

Over my next 5 SNGs I cashed in 4 including a 1st in a $6/,5, 2nd in a $15/1, and 3rd in a $25/2. That was enough to get me not only even for the night, but up about $36. It was a great comeback for the evening for me. This may not sound significant to everyone else, but I very rarely win if I start my session on a hard downturn. More than likely I was able to turn it around because I didn't want to have to post losing stats on my first real post on the blog.

The Roll = $887.34 (I still have yet to break 900 and I've been dancing around it recently)

So I suppose doing this may have some value after all...

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

I Finally Broke Down and Did It...

So I started a poker blog...much to the joy of some and to the chagrin of others. This is intended to chronicle my progress and growth with regard to that game we all know and love. I may even be so bold as to make some strategy posts from time to time. I play online a couple hours a night and whenever else I can fit it in between school, work, and still having a social life. I've gone through periods where I was [quasi] addicted to playing poker and I like to think that I have a more proper balance in my life with regard to the time I spend staring a digital cards on a screen.

The only site that I play on right now is Bodog due to its ease in relation to transferring money and the fact that the play seems to be worse there than anywhere else. The software does suck a nut, but I overlook that since I never really played more than 3 tables at any time profitably.

At this moment I have $852 online to play goal right now is not to make money to cash out, but to build a roll that will allow me to play in the higher games. I started this most recent foray into online poker with a $200 roll about 1 month ago and I've been running well so I hope that I'm able to continue that level of success. I am mostly a SNG player, but I do also play a couple MTTs on a regular basis. I'm working on my cash game, but it's not where I want it to be at the moment.

I've been reading many poker blogs for a long time now and I hope that this effort I'm putting forth here holds to the high standards that many of you have set. I'm always open to opinions and if I post any hands, I would love the feedback.