Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Back Where I Started

It was fun while it lasted.

I requested another cashout from FTP, a little more than half of my remaining bankroll. Shockingly, the check was delivered within days of the approval. I'll still hold on to it for a couple of weeks in case something wacky happens & the checks bounce.

The cashout was a necessary measure as finding a new job has been a continued struggle. I was in the running for a great opportunity, only to end up the bridesmaid. My unemployment checks are still coming in, but only for the next two months, and some additional income was needed. Additionally, I could sense in the way that I had been playing poker lately that I needed to get the money out of there. I was flip-flopping between cautiously tight & aw-fuck-it loose, and neither of those methods tend to work very well.

So after seeing my bankroll climb to nearly $5k, I'm back to where I started a couple of months ago, just a shade over $300. I was able to work out a swap to move the other half to PokerStars. Aside from blogger games, I think I'm done with FTP right now. The withdrawal issues over the past couple of months have really soured my impression of FTP, so I'm going elsewhere to work on building my bankroll back up.


I found my way to another live tournament this past week, the same place where I played a bounty tournament a few weeks ago. $40 buyin, same horrible structure. The first couple of levels allow for a little bit of play, but once it goes 300\500, 500\1000, 1000\2000 then 2000\4000, it quickly becomes a shove fest. I ended up in 15th or so out of 87 when my AT couldn't fade JJ. I could have folded since I was up against an EP push & had a couple players to act after me, but all things considered (an M of 2.5, a fast approaching BB, and the PF shover's intoxication level) told me that this might be my best chance. The structure certainly makes it a high variance game at the end, but I believe the number of horrible players still makes it a beatable tournament.

I think my goal next year will be to incorporate a lot more live play into my game & start phasing out online poker. As a whole, live poker is so much more fun to play than online poker, and I've got plenty of places to play within an OK driving distance. Sadly, few of those places offer tournaments with even a decent structure, and I don't have the flexibility (and probably skill) to sit at the cash tables just yet, but once things shape up elsewhere in my life, I have every intent to start hitting the card rooms a lot more often than I currently do.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Waiting For Aces

When I first started this blog, I almost gave it that title. Just Another Donkey seemed more appropriate.

I went back to my semi-regular home game for the first time in a while last night, and finally took the whole thing down. $10 buyin with rebuys through 1st 4 levels (30 mins each). And for the first time as well, I didn't have to rebuy, thanks to a fortuitous Q on the river with AQ vs AK (as well as big stack deciding to fold JT only to see a JJ6 flop). From there it was all about getting AA; 3 times within less than an hour, and getting action each time on them. That, combined with much less bluffing & a more tight-aggressive approach netted me $100, which I used to take the lady out to dinner tonight.

Of course, AA doesn't always mean victory, as these two hands (which happened within minutes of writing this post) will illustrate:

AA #1

Full Tilt Poker Game #7776344681: $24 + $2 Sit & Go (59137436), Table 4 - 15/30 - No Limit Hold'em - 2:17:21 ET - 2008/08/24
Seat 1: Little Alaskan (1,485), is sitting out
Seat 2: razz12345 (1,470)
Seat 3: Porn Star 77 (1,500)
Seat 4: binhan111 (1,545)
Seat 5: Pawkit Jaes (1,500)
Seat 6: Seeing Blind (1,500)
Seat 7: JTMYERS (1,500)
Seat 8: NOVAcane81 (1,500)
Seat 9: mclarich (1,500)
razz12345 posts the small blind of 15
Porn Star 77 posts the big blind of 30
The button is in seat #1
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to mclarich [Ad As]
binhan111 calls 30
Pawkit Jaes folds
Seeing Blind folds
JTMYERS calls 30
NOVAcane81 folds
mclarich raises to 150
Little Alaskan folds
razz12345 has 15 seconds left to act
razz12345 folds
Porn Star 77 folds
binhan111 folds
JTMYERS calls 120

As you may have noticed by the starting stacks, this is the 2nd hand in

*** FLOP *** [4h Kc 9d]
JTMYERS bets 275
mclarich calls 275

If he hit top pair, I don't want to reraise since his pot bet looks like he'll keep betting into me. I'll wait to get him committed before I repop.

*** TURN *** [4h Kc 9d] [Kh]
JTMYERS bets 925
binhan111 has been disconnected
binhan111 has reconnected
mclarich has 15 seconds left to act

Another pot bet? Now, a K isn't starting to make sense. 99 is definitely a possibility, especially if he puts me on AK preflop. But the whole puzzle doesn't piece together: if I don't have AK, then his flop bet scares me away when he may extract more with a CR or seeing the turn. I really think I'm ahead here.

mclarich raises to 1,075, and is all in
JTMYERS has 15 seconds left to act
JTMYERS calls 150, and is all in
mclarich shows [Ad As]
JTMYERS shows [9c Ac] (lols)
*** RIVER *** [4h Kc 9d Kh] [9s] (motherfucker!)
mclarich shows two pair, Aces and Kings
JTMYERS shows a full house, Nines full of Kings
JTMYERS wins the pot (3,075) with a full house, Nines full of Kings
mclarich stands up

AA #2

Full Tilt Poker Game #7776376520: Table Birdwood - $0.25/$0.50 - No Limit Hold'em - 2:20:58 ET - 2008/08/24
Seat 1: Big Orange 1 ($52.85)
Seat 2: poopsex420 ($47)
Seat 3: Chesst ($14.60)
Seat 4: ted22ny ($18.60)
Seat 5: bewizz ($86.20)
Seat 6: justimblake ($10)
Seat 7: Dremaway ($64)
Seat 8: nalpniak ($10)
Seat 9: mclarich ($49.25)
Chesst posts the small blind of $0.25
ted22ny posts the big blind of $0.50
5 seconds left to act
The button is in seat #2
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to mclarich [Ah Ad]
bewizz has 15 seconds left to act
bewizz raises to $3.50
Dremaway raises to $10
nalpniak folds
mclarich calls $10

I smooth-call here for two reasons: One, I've played against Dremaway before, stacking him twice; once when he overplayed AK, again when he bluffed with a gutshot when I held trips. We also split a pot when he called with bottom pair & a gutshot despite my heavy action preflop (the gutshot hit for both of us). Two, I don't want to announce my hand just yet.

Big Orange 1 folds
poopsex420 folds
Chesst folds
ted22ny has 15 seconds left to act
ted22ny folds
bewizz has 15 seconds left to act
bewizz folds
*** FLOP *** [2c Jh 8s]
Dremaway has 15 seconds left to act
Dremaway bets $6
mclarich raises to $12 (same pattern I've done before: he can't resist coming over the top of a minraise)
Dremaway calls $6 (showing some restraint this time(
*** TURN *** [2c Jh 8s] [Th]
Dremaway checks
mclarich bets $27.25, and is all in
Dremaway calls $27.25
mclarich shows [Ah Ad]
Dremaway shows [Jd Jc] (doh, I got played)
*** RIVER *** [2c Jh 8s Th] [8h]
mclarich shows two pair, Aces and Eights
Dremaway shows a full house, Jacks full of Eights
Dremaway wins the pot ($99.75) with a full house, Jacks full of Eights
mclarich is sitting out

Hope your AA's are treating you better than they've been treating me lately.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

It's Time

It's always around this time of year that I start posting from this blog more often. Sadly, it has nothing to do with poker though.

Yes, it's Fantasy Football time.

This year, I'm in four leagues:

1. My standard $100 league that I've been in for several years now, and took first place in last year. You may or may not remember my weekly recaps from last year.

2. A free ESPN league that a former coworker runs. I don't care about this league & didn't make any changes to my lineup after the first game.

3. A Yahoo league with some poker friends from the area. I think I'm still in this, I haven't heard anything since last month.

4. Skidoo's Yahoo League. Schaubs pimped this one to me, and for any bloggers looking for a league to join, I thus pimp it to you. Check out Skidoo's post here for more information. I think we only have 5 right now, so we could definitely use some more players.

Honestly, I haven't done any preparation for any of my FF leagues this year. I'll probably sit down later this week and do some studying, so look for my FF strategy post next week.


On the poker front, not much is new. I've blown through most of the $T I won a couple of weeks ago, using them to buy into SNGs. A quick glance shows that I'm probably about even between what I've won from these SNGs and what I could have added to my bankroll if I just converted them outright to real money at 5% commission.

Still donking around at .25\.50 level staked from time to time as well. I've been playing most of these without Holdem Manager; I'm only about 1500 hands deep anyways. Unfortunately, I'm showing a $82 loss so far at this level, although I'd been in the positive if I were to exclude one hand where I lost a buyin at a deepstack game:

Full Tilt Poker Game #7521588602: Table Palos (deep) - $0.25/$0.50 - No Limit Hold'em - 15:50:21 ET - 2008/08/05
Seat 1: Chaucer11 ($50)
Seat 2: Tarl Cabot ($152.15)
Seat 3: TGalbs ($99.25)
Seat 4: Tilt_Me19 ($50.65), is sitting out
Seat 5: hbeni27 ($34.05)
Seat 6: mclarich ($104.10)
Seat 7: rastarobin ($54.95)
Seat 8: Rodrigo-A1 ($99.50)
Seat 9: Newmy17 ($49.15)
hbeni27 posts the small blind of $0.25
mclarich posts the big blind of $0.50
The button is in seat #3
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to mclarich [6h 6s]
rastarobin folds
Rodrigo-A1 folds
Newmy17 folds
Chaucer11 folds
Tarl Cabot folds
TGalbs raises to $1.75
hbeni27 folds
mclarich calls $1.25
*** FLOP *** [6c Tc 3c]
mclarich checks
TGalbs bets $3
mclarich has 15 seconds left to act
mclarich raises to $9
TGalbs calls $6
*** TURN *** [6c Tc 3c] [Qh]
mclarich has 15 seconds left to act
mclarich bets $16
TGalbs has 15 seconds left to act
TGalbs raises to $50
mclarich has 15 seconds left to act
mclarich raises to $93.35, and is all in
TGalbs has 15 seconds left to act
TGalbs calls $38.50, and is all in
mclarich shows [6h 6s]
TGalbs shows [Kh Ac]
Uncalled bet of $4.85 returned to mclarich
*** RIVER *** [6c Tc 3c Qh] [7c]
mclarich shows three of a kind, Sixes
TGalbs shows a flush, Ace high
TGalbs wins the pot ($195.75) with a flush, Ace high


Sad to say I won't be in the Mookie tonight. I was able to score some Radiohead tickets for tonight's show in Auburn, WA. To mark the occasion, I leave you with some performances from Radiohead that I dedicate to some of you bloggers.

Jamyhawk: Lucky (for the nice run he's on lately)

Instant Tragedy\Buddy Dank: Talk Show Host (LPR represent!)

Schaubs\Pauly: Paranoid Android (for all the stoners)

Waffles (no explanation needed)

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Happy Birthday To Me

Woot, I finally got my FTP check. After much patience and delay, it arrived two days after it was cut. Nice little birthday present for me on the day before I hit the big three-o.

It's sad that I'll still be waiting about two weeks before I spend a single cent of it just to make sure there's not any additional problems with the funds.

Not much else on the poker front. Somehow FT'd the Mookie earlier this week but went out first when my UTG hammer was no match for the SB's AKo. Fucking rigged.

GL to everyone this weekend, I'll be celebrating my descent into old age with this, this, and probably this.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Stupid Live Poker Recap

Skipped the FTOPS Turbo game like an idiot because I thought it was last night. Probably would have skipped it anyways even if I knew it was tonight. In it's place, I decided to drive up to Tulalip Casino to play their $60 Bounty tournament. Never played there before because it's a bit of a drive, but had the time today so decided to treat myself to some live poker.

I should have stayed home. I spent more time driving there than I did in the actual tournament.

I thought it was going to be a good night when the following occurred on the first hand:

1. UTG announced "check" & did so without putting any chips. When the dealer advised her of this, she said "Oh, OK, sorry. I'm used to playing $4\$8."

2. Player immediately to right of me fired out two bullets in a limped pot with a 4-high bluff, getting called down by the button who called all the way with TPTK.

However, I couldn't get any momentum. Raised two hands preflop: AQo and AJs. AQo missed board against 4-high bluffer and had to fold to his turn push with 6789 showing. I made a comment to the effect of "Did your T5 connect?" and he flashed me a T. Raised AJ from CO, got called by button (Mr. TPTK from 1st hand) but check-folded a KT7 flop without my suit showing.

The rest of my chips went to the ultimate luckbox ever. Not necessarily because she was a huge donk, although she was fairly easy to read. But she hit every. fucking. hand. By the time she took me out, I was her 7th bounty within two levels. I think I can remember most of them:

1. AA vs K9 on K-high flop. K9 limp-called preflop, then check-raised her huge bet.
2. 99 vs 75. She took out the 4-high bluffer when he flopped top pair + gutshot to her overpair.
3. AK vs A3. AIPF against mega-shorty; flopped flush draw, rivered a 3.
4. AK vs A9. AIPF after limp-calling a 1700 shove, went runner-runner for flush.
5. 77 vs 66. Took out $4\$8 lady after on 6 high-flop with a river 7. Of course, if the $4\$8 lady didn't min-check raise like a fucking limit donk, the river might never have happened.
6. 89 vs T7. I got bored so I limped UTG with sooted connectors, because raising my better hands wasn't working. Flop came ATT, checked all around. Turn was a 6, I took a stab & she called. River was a T, I'm left with $1k now and didn't feel like playing the short stack with soon to be 5BB or less at next level, so pushed & prayed. She called & sheepishly showed the case T. Luckbox.

But, all was not lost on the evening. I took my last $40 and played my bread & butter game: roulette. As expected, I hit my numbers twice in a row (17 then 3) then won a little bit more when 27 hit and I had $10 on 25-36 to not only recoup my buyin but also replenish whatever gas I wasted on the drive up there, plus a nice little cheeseburger & Diet Coke treat. The MTT is super soft; it just wasn't my night, but any time you can walk away from the soul-suck of a casino with more than you came in with is a victory no matter what.

BTW...happy birthday to LJ. Go Leos! (even though I don't believe in that shit.)

Monday, August 11, 2008

Stupid FTP

Man, all of you living in states with the cash pickup option available from FTP, consider yourself lucky.

On the otherhand, I am still waiting for a check that I originally requested at the end of June. Originally, they had "issues with their processor" so they had to cancel my check request. Around this time, they debuted the cash pickup option. I was able to get $500 but didn't request more, fearful of tying up so much of my bankroll in this new unknown withdrawal option. Sadly, that was the only time it worked for me before it became "unavailable for my geographic location." So I requested another check after being reassured that the processor issues were worked out.

So much for that. All I got was another apology email from FTP with ANOTHER reassurance that my check would be sent this week.

To their credit, FTP has compensated me for the issues. The first issue resulted in a $100 bonus, the second was just a $100 outright deposit into my account. Of course, all the bonuses & credits in the world don't mean a thing if I'll never get them.

So I'm still waiting on one check while simultaneously considering moving a large portion of my bankroll to PS. As much as I prefer FTP's software, I like being able to play with money that I might one day actually see.


After much deliberation, I decided against playing the FTOPS tonight and elected to take the $T instead. One, it's a single-stack turbo format, and I'm not looking forward to playing that. Two, and more importantly, I have a second set of interviews for probably the best job opportunity I've found since getting laid off back in May. So at least I have my priorities straight. As much as I was looking forward to taking a shot in a larger buy-in MTT, it's the right decision. I'll probably use the majority of the $T for other MTTs like the 50-50 or maybe a shot at the late night Turbo Hundo.


I've got a birthday coming up on Saturday, and I think I'll probably treat myself to a tournament (perhaps two) this week at Tulalip. If I can find a way to wake up before 11am to make it there, I'll try my best to provide some Jordan-esque recaps.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Who Makes This Call? Part 2

Sorry it took me so long to finally finish this post.

The general consensus from the three comments was that the villain was on a draw. It certainly seems like it with general weakness throughout the hand until the huge overshove to my reraise. What I was curious about was the argument for calling this raise even if you have your opponent on a draw.

However, considering the limp, I think we can exclude some of those drawing hands. Most AcXc hands would probably raise preflop, but almost certainly AcTc and better. Ac8c is a possibility. Any two-club hand is also a possibility, with Jc8c, JcTc and Qc8c\QcTc making him a 60% favorite. But his bet is designed to induce a fold, so it's also possible he's pushing with two overs & a draw, like KT or JT, or maybe Ac8s. Two pair, a pair with a draw, or even a straight can't be ruled out here as well. Long story short: even if he's on a draw, it's still a wide range.

The villain had only been at the table for just over one orbit when this happened, and I had no information on him from any prior games, so there's definitely an argument for folding as well. But in the end, two things stuck out in my head the most:

1. The action, IMO, screams "draw", and there's only a few drawing hands that I'm behind right now.
2. It's only the first break, but I have TP2K with a stack nearly 1\2 the size of the average stack.

I felt this was a good opportunity to get my chips with as a favorite and stay in contention for the rest of the MTT. So I called. Here's the hand in the entirety:

Full Tilt Poker Game #7411961375: $24,000 Guarantee (55623099), Table 116 - 40/80 - No Limit Hold'em - 14:49:38 ET - 2008/07/28
Seat 1: ItsOnlyIVIoney (3,256)
Seat 2: FishyLuckbox (7,320)
Seat 3: JohnnyBax (2,375)
Seat 4: Django_M (5,360)
Seat 5: jotan83 (2,550)
Seat 6: mclarich (2,795)
Seat 7: DMC5x (6,165)
Seat 8: jas225 (3,785)
Seat 9: buriedatsea (6,759)
jotan83 posts the small blind of 40
mclarich posts the big blind of 80
The button is in seat #4
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to mclarich [Ks 9d]
DMC5x folds
jas225 folds
buriedatsea folds
ItsOnlyIVIoney folds
FishyLuckbox folds
JohnnyBax folds
Django_M folds
jotan83 calls 40
mclarich checks
*** FLOP *** [6c 9s 7c]
jotan83 bets 80
mclarich raises to 200
jotan83 raises to 2,470, and is all in
mclarich has 15 seconds left to act
mclarich calls 2,270
jotan83 shows [8s Qh] (woo hoo, just as I called it)
mclarich shows [Ks 9d]
*** TURN *** [6c 9s 7c] [5c] (puke)
*** RIVER *** [6c 9s 7c 5c] [Ac]
jotan83 shows a straight, Nine high
mclarich shows a pair of Nines
jotan83 wins the pot (5,100) with a straight, Nine high

So the results show that I got my chips in at about 60\40 favorite. Villain ends up hitting a brutal turn card and nearly knocks me out. Obviously a horrible play by him: there's so many hands I could have in that position that have him even more dominated that K9, but he finds a position needing only 12-outs and picks it up on the turn.

I wanted to post this because so often, there's the refrain, especially amongst bloggers, along the lines of "top pair is gold" (looking in Fuel's direction), but there's also a time when it's a good call to make. I hated putting my tournament life on the line with TP9K on the board, but given the way it was played, I felt there were more hands I was ahead of than I was behind, and it was a good place to "double up or go home" at this stage in the tournament. I was hoping to get some more feedback from other MTT players to determine if that kind of thought process is common, or if those that are more successful opt for the fold here & find a better spot at this stage.

Thanks for the comments everyone, and I look forward to any additional thoughts.