Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Welcome, Everyone

Welcome to my world. Sucks, don't it!


OG Banned Internet Poker Player

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Adventures in Cash Games, Pt. 2

Thanks to those who commented on my last post. I agree with commentors in that I needed to bet the flop; check-calling gave me no information on whether or not my KK was good. Picking up where I left off, I took the turn check to read that he didn’t have a J, so I bet $45 on the river (less than commentors suggested) hoping to get paid off with AT & KT type hands. BB called and showed QQ instead.

Here’s another hand. Feel free to comment on the pre-flop decision along with flop question.

$2/$5 table. UTG raises to $35. He had about $800 behind. Notes on him during the session; he played his strong hands fairly aggressively, was capable of making good folds (flashed a K that he folded to my flop reraise on a K83 two-spade board, later claimed KJ), didn’t seem to get out of line with his betting. Standard opening raise was $15-$20, $20-$25 when there were limpers (as there often were in this game). Suffice to say the $35 threw me for a bit.

I’m UTG +2 with about $530 behind. Holding JJ, I call. CO calls as does BB.

Flop is 246 rainbow. UTG leads out for $120. If helpful, notes on CO and BB were that they were huge fish/donkeys who both had been stacked at least twice. What’s your action?

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Adventures in Cash Games, Pt. 1

Two poker posts in one month? What is this, 2008?

Went back to Tulalip to play another tournament (summary: finished 14/60 when I shove AK into AA). Had some time to kill prior to tourney so played about one orbit of $1/$3. Curious to get feedback about this hand:

Fold to MP who limps for $3. I'm in SB with KK, I raise to $16. BB calls as does limper. I've got basically zero information on either MP or SB.

Flop is JJT rainbow. I check, BB bets $20. MP folds, I call.

Turn is 6. No flush draw on board. I check, BB checks.

River is a 4. What would you do here?

Monday, February 07, 2011

OMG Actual Poker Discussion?

Played a tournament at Tulalip Casino last week. This one was structured a bit better than their smaller buy-in tournaments. $130 buyin, 6k in chips, 30 min levels with more intermediate levels & antes instead of straight up blind doubling. That said, it essentially becomes a push-fest late as average stack with 24 players left was maybe 11-12BB (although there were several players who were still willing to raise-fold at this point).

Two hands came up late in the tournament that got me thinking. Curious to see what others have to say about this.

Hand 1
The setup:

Down to 24 players. Table is overall pretty tight - at least half the table has open-folded in the SB and/or folded in BB to raise that they were getting good odds to call. Couple of 2-3 BB stacks hanging on, no one with more than 15-17 BB at 1000/2000/100 level.

In SB with A7s. Folds to button who shoves and has me covered but not BB. Here’s what I knew about him so far:

• He doubled up through me in a BvB battle when he 4b shoved me with K4s. I had AA but he nailed flush on flop; I couldn’t catch a 4th spade.
• I shoved UTG next orbit for 4400 at 300/500 level. Folds to him and he claims to fold 77, saying his stack (around 13-14k) was still too small to call.
• He min-raised then called min 3b on button. KJ8 flop gets checked, then button bet/folds to min-raise from BB on blank turn. (BB shows KK)
• He standard-raised from button at 500/100 then called my shove for 5k more with 77. (my A9s counterfeited him on KKJJ8 board)
• He became a bit more aggressive and open-shoved from button/co on at least 2 other occasions

Do you call off your stack here or fold? Folding leaves you with about 16k.

Hand 2
The setup:

At 1000/2000/100 level, you have about 15k left. Avg stack is 28700, your stack position at table is about 7 or 8 out of 10. 19 players left.

Folds to you at UTG+1. What’s your range for pushing here?

Friday, January 14, 2011

Sad Trombone

I have NOT registered to play in the PokerStars World Blogger Championship of Online Poker! The WBCOOP is a free online Poker tournament open to all Bloggers AS LONG AS YOU DON'T LIVE IN THE STATE OF WASHINGTON, so register on WBCOOP to play.


/end pity party.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Life Support

Let’s face it. This is pretty much a dead poker blog.

When I started this blog, it was for a couple of reasons. Three stick out in particular.

1. I wanted to become a better player and hoped my blog would be a place to discuss poker with others

2. I discovered the blogging community and wanted in

3. I hoped to document my progress on the arbitrary goal of making it to the WSOP this year

I haven’t written for quite some time because I’m no longer nearly as passionate about those three things as I was almost 5 years ago.

So what do I have to offer at this point?


Through my blog, I certainly became a better player, but that’s probably more of a statement about how bad I was before I started blogging. I never became nearly as successful as I dreamed I could, but over the past 4+ years, I’ve been able to improve my skill to the point where I’ve been a profitable player each year. Yeah, I dreamed of becoming the next Greg Raymer, or maybe more accurately, the next Steve Dannenberg, but I can say with a straight face that I improve my ability as a poker player by sharing my thoughts on this blog.

However, I hit a point a long time ago where my improvement as a poker player became stagnant for a multitude of reasons, the most important of which is that I was unwilling to increase the time or effort I needed to if I wanted to continue improving. My posts became less about poker strategy and more about poker outcomes or just creative and/or whimsical writing. Add to that the fact that I became less passionate about writing in general and you end up with the current state of my blog.


I’m certainly not the only one in this boat. I’ve lost count of how many blogs in this community have died, whether it’s long-time A-listers or one of the handful that pop up for a couple of months then disappear. The community is still there, but in my opinion, it’s no longer about being a community of poker bloggers, it’s a community of people who wrote (or still do write) poker blogs that became friends.

I never really wedged my way into the community in the manner as many of you. There’s still a group of people that I keep in touch with regularly, and I’ve still got mostly all of you on my Google reader (I’ve dropped the more long-winded, pompous ones from my RSS feed ), but it’s hard to call any of you a friend in the sense that many of you call each other friends. I’ve still never even been to a winter gathering (and won’t be able to attend this year as well) and, at this point, I’m wondering if I ever will even attend. It kind of seems too late for me, if that makes sense.

I mean, who even knows who I am anymore? (not meant to be an emo-type statement, just a legitimate question)

I’m happy with the relationships I’ve established and I know it would probably be a hell of a time to end up in Vegas one day and meet so many of you whose blogs I’ve frequently read and infrequently commented on. But at the same time, if I never do, I’m less bummed out about it each year.


Speaking of Vegas…

I’ve written at least once or twice that the whole goal of getting to the WSOP was really more of a financial goal of being able to afford the buyin (If I’ve established any kind of identity with my blog, it’s probably “the broke guy who used to write about grinding micro-stakes SNGs all the time”). For years now, I’ve been in the situation of essentially living paycheck to paycheck while I try to work on paying down my massive amount of credit card debt while simultaneously trying to become better with managing money.

As you can imagine, a hobby like poker was sometimes a solution to that situation, other times a contributor to the problem. When I was unemployed, I was able to provide myself with an extra 2-3 months of income from playing poker; the flip-side is that when I ran out and was living off of unemployment checks and increased support from my girlfriend, I was still depositing a couple bucks here and there and finding ways to play. I’d never say that I had a gambling problem, but I’ve definitely had (have) a money management problem. So being able to play the WSOP in 2010 (note that winning or making money wasn’t part of my original goal) was really more about getting out of debt than it was about becoming a better player.

As of today, I’m actually closer to that goal than ever before. I’ve reduced my debt significantly over the course of the past year, and I’m on a plan to have all of my debt (excluding student loans) paid off in the next 12-18 months. I’m actually positioned to possibly play in 2011 if I wanted to delay my debt reduction for a couple of months, but like most other aspects of my poker hobby, the desire to play the WSOP is not nearly as strong. It’s certainly not as strong as my desire to be more secure financially. For this reason, and for the reasons stated above, you can get why my blog had dried up.


Here’s the thing – I’m not ready to call this a dead blog yet.

For starters, poker is still one of my biggest hobbies. PokerStars kicked me out since I’m a Washington resident, but I’m still finding ways to play. I’m getting out to home games more and I’ve played more live tournaments this year than probably in all prior years combined. I’m still watching the WSOP on ESPN each week, and I’m still keeping up to speed with most of the same bloggers as well, however mundane your posts are these days. I’ve expanded my relationship with some of you to become Facebook friends, which is pretty much the same thing as real-life friends, right? I’ve had bloggers over to my place for parties where we explained to one of my friends the history of poker blogging. I’ve even done dial-a-shots with Schaubs.

Hell, on a whim, I just cranked out a pretty long, fairly well-written post – not bad for a nearly dead blog, eh?

So yeah, poker is still a huge part of my life. Maybe not as huge, definitely a part of my life in different ways, but it’s still there. And as long as that’s the case, I can’t call this blog fully dead.

Have fun next month in Vegas, everyone. Perhaps I’ll see you there one day.

(I don’t normally sign my posts – just wanted to remind everyone of my name)

Monday, May 24, 2010

How To Make $1k In 4.5 Hours

Haven’t posted in quite some time. I suppose a cash in a real live poker tournament should be enough reason to post.

The setup:

After taking 2nd at a home game Friday night for $165, I slept for 5 hours then woke up to play a tournament with my buddy Seth at Snoqualmie Casino. $60, 4k stacks, top 10 pay (usually about 85 runners), 1st place typically around $1400.

The story:

Took out a near equal stack with KK vs AQ on a Q-high flop. Pushed me up to approx 9500.

Relied on my near-impeccable poker skills to double up through chip leader & take out another short stack with KK vs AA and AK. I was in the BB and made the comment that I only need to see 1 hand to call, referring to AA. KK was good enough to call until I saw the CL’s pocket aces. 1-outer on the turn pushed me to nearly 20k and probably chipleader at the time.

Spewed some chips raising with A9c and KJd. Doubled up QQ with the A9 hand, had to fold KJd to PF shove.

Stole some chips from prev AA guy when his minraise wasn’t enough PF and was ruled a call. In BB with 63o, CRAI when he c-bet the A63 flop.

After spewing more chips with K9h, doubled up through AA guy with 66 vs TT when 6 hit flop.

Doubled up to about 45k with AK vs QQ when K hits flop.

Down to two table, grew stack to 70k at 3000/6000 level with hands like 77, 99 and KQ.

Maxed out around 80k when AT held vs KT.

Reached final table in 3rd or 4th place with about 65k, blinds at 5k/10k. CL had maybe 90-100k.

8 people agree to 10-way chop. CL and I decline.

Shrink down to about 35k when I call 24k push with TT. AK hits two aces on the flop.

Shoved K2 UTG, steal some blinds.

Win race with 88 vs AK to get back up to around 70k.

Down to 8, topic of chop comes up again. No one has more than 8BB with blinds soon to double. 8-way chop pays slightly less than 3rd place money, so we all make $530 after buyin.

The epilogue:

While my buddy plays blackjack, I sit down at a roulette table. Within 1 hr, $100 becomes $625 thank to a streak where I hit 6 out of 9 numbers by having at least $2 on the number itself and $10-$20 on the corresponding 2:1.


I run good sometimes.