Tuesday, December 21, 2004

PokerStars Millionth Hand

Every millionth hand until the 1 billion hand is hit, players in the hand are payed out $500 each and $1500 to the winner, plus every gets a $500 seat in a PokerStars tournament. I was watching one of the $160 WPT shootouts when the hand was hit. I quickly went to the table to check out the winners and guess what I saw. The two players were sitting at a 1-on-1 Omaha PL table, stakes were .01/.02 I scroll through the display box and see the obvious pattern. They sat at the table when the hand got near and literally pressed fold as fast as possible until the hand hit them. There chat in the box was, "Yes, it worked, we won". Other players flooded in and obviously caught on to what they did. PokerStars manager Lee Jones came in shortly after, told them congratulations and gave the player who was big blind that hand an extra $1500 because he pressed fold quick enough to hit the hand. They both got their seats and a ton of money for exploiting the millionth hand and PokerStars didn't complain or do anything about it. I suppose they'd rather pay out two players instead of an entire table, right? Gotta love it...


Monday, December 20, 2004

Trip Recap

The holiday season is here and I'm heading to my parents house for Christmas break. My friends and I went to Turning Stone again this weekend so we can play as much poker as our hearts desired before going home for a bit. We left Friday night and got there around 10:00pm. Suprisingly the poker room was pretty empty. It looks like all the college kids have gone home for Christmas break and it was pretty noticable that there weren't as many young people around. As it turned out, this weekend was pretty bad for me. The night started off with me playing at the 2-5NL table, not getting many cards and when I finally did get a set of 8's on the flop I got flushed on the river. I ended up being down $250 the first night.

On Saturday I woke up and played the 5-10NL game that was running. The structure there is a little weird, the blinds are 5-10 but to limp in it costs $20. In other words, we were pretty much playing 10-20NL. I ended up losing $400 there before cashing out and heading to the 10-20 limit game after deciding against playing in the 20-40 game. I had some horrible 2 outer on the river suckouts and my $400 stack crumbled down to $40. I was preparing to bust out and leave when I picked up black aces in the SB, I raised it up and all of the limpers 5+ called. I ended up going all-in on the turn with the entire table still in the pot. Suprisingly I took it down and 4-5x up. I went on to build that stack up to $500-$600 and cashed out for the night. We rented a motel room and got some very needed sleep.

Sunday morning we arrived back at the poker room and it was pretty much completely dead. Two tables were running so we goofed around and played some 1-3 limit and 1-5 stud. I dropped $80 at those tables playing stupid mainly because it was fun. Sometimes it helps to cap it preflop with 72o and showdown your hand at the river with 7 high. I later went to play at the 1-2NL game when the cardroom began to fill up around noon. I lost most of my stack when I was in the big blind with J4c, lots of players limp and 6 or 7 of us see a flop of 789, all clubs. SB bets $5, I call, and MP raises to $25, it's folded around the SB who thinks for quite a long time and calls, I re-raise all-in and the MP player goes all-in. SB folds and the dealer deals out the turn and the river bringing the 2c on the turn. MP shows AA with the A of clubs and I throw my cards away with disgust. This was the last hand I'd play this weekend simply because I was sick of being outdrawn by people who grossly misplay their hand and still end up winning. Yes, this is the kind of things that I want, but when it continues to happen and I know that I'm on an unlucky streak I just cannot continue to play.

My friend entered the $100+$20 buy-in tournament and ended up placing 2nd in the 70 player field. He took home around $1400 for his efforts and was really happy after having a horrible live streak. My other friend played the $65 tournament the day before chopped with the final 8 players out of 170 and took home around $1000 for his efforts. Everyone had a very successful trip this time besides me, but that's poker, right? You can't win everytime :)

Some people commented in my last post wondering why I hate PokerStars so much. To tell you the truth, it's not that I really hate the site, it's just that I've had an enormous amount of bad luck there. PokerStars has great support, the best out of any other site. Their software is simple and fast. The players there are a little bit better than the average internet poker player, BUT they still suck. I withdrew all my money from that website simply because I was fed up with the bad luck that I was getting there. I played there mostly for tournament and out of all the tournament I played I ended up getting knocked out by some horrible suckout that sent me into a rage. I did well in one of the $10+rebuys $20,000 Guaranteed tournaments where I was only sucked out on once, I eneded up placing 12th or 13th out of the huge field. Every other tournament I would build up a very nice stack and then lose it to the only other player at the table with a stack somewhere close to the size of mine after they stupidly call and runner runner a flush or straight, or river their 3 outer.

So there it is, I 'hate' PokerStars because I have very bad luck at the site. Unless you're as unlucky as I am, you should be playing there, at least for their tournaments.


Friday, December 17, 2004

Dutch Boyd's Blog and PokerStars

A little while ago I ran across Dutch Boyd's blog that he recently started. I looked it over once and completely forgot about it. I ran across it today again and he's been blogging a little more often. Now I know that lots of online poker players hate Dutch because of the incident that happened with PokerSpot. If you don't know what happened, Dutch had opened an online pokerroom but the company that managed the money fell through and ended up not giving back any of the money to the players and Dutch. Dutch was left with nothing and all the people who played at his site were not given their online bankroll back. People blamed it on Dutch and while it was partially his fault that he worked with a company that wasn't established and had a reputation, he probably didn't see it coming and didn't mean for everyone to lose their money. It's not like he ran away with all the money that was deposited on his site. Becuase of this, Dutch has gotten an awful reputation and many people do not want to associate with him any longer.

PokerStars banned him from their site, not because he did something awful to them, but because of the person that he is and the reputation that follows him. I've said it before and I'll say it again, PokerStars sucks! If Dutch wants to play there, he should be allowed. He's not causing anyone harm or doing anything bad, he just wants to play poker. There's plenty of theifs, drug dealers, and criminals playing on PokerStars, but you don't see their management trying to find them and ban them from the site. I just don't think it's fair to the guy. A couple of weeks ago I withdrew all my money from PokerStars and I doubt I'll ever be going back to play. I truly hate that site.

I've added Dutch Boyd's link on the left.


Thursday, December 16, 2004

Grinding Back Up

First of all I just want to state that PartyPoker is having a 20% reload bonus, bonus code is DECBONUS, you heard it first from DoubleAs but incase anyone missed it I'll put it up also.

The past couple of days I've been running quite bad. I've lost the most I've ever lost in my entire poker 'career'. This is mostly due to the fact that I've moved up in limits and I'm now regularly playing 3/6nl and 5/10nl. I've rarely seen premium pocket pairs and when I do get them it's folded to me in the blinds or nobody calls my raise. My AK has hit maybe 5% of the time and my medium to low pocket pairs that are looking to flop a set very rarely hits. Last night after being down nearly 1.5k I finally hit a couple sets and they both paid off pretty big which helped me out a lot.

When you're running cold like this what do you do? For the first time since playing limit I almost found myself tilting but managed to not do the evil sin. The woman told me to stop playing, to play when I'm winning and stop playing when I'm losing but I don't think that will change anything, poker is poker, right? Instead, while I was losing a lot of money I just opened all my tables and continued to play normally and just adjust my play a little more. If you can't do this then go and play a different game for awhile, for a change of pace. I played very weak-tight, as to minimize my losses while I was in this stage. I think this is the best when you're on a downswing that you're trying to wait out. Nothing is hitting, or you keep running into bigger monsters when you flop your own monster, you need to not invest your money into the pot until you're sure you're a winner. I've began limping with AK since it is just losing me a lot of money during this period so if I don't hit I just get out. Analyze your play and really pound into your head the mistakes you've made. At this stage you usually begin to overplay your big hands, when you flop two pair or get a premium pair you feel on top of the world and don't even consider what your opponent has when he smooth called your flop bet and min check-raised you on the turn.

When you're running really bad, it's not going to go away if you go away, you need to play though it, so grind it out and adjust your play to lose the least amount from your drawing hands. Always play the best poker you can play and don't forget to think. That's poker for ya!


Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Running Bad

I'm running bad, and as most bloggers know, when you're running bad you don't like to post.


Monday, December 13, 2004

Turning Stone Again

On Saturday night my friends computer broke down and he had to head over to my place to use my roomates or my computer to play in the Million Guaranteed tournament on Party. He busted out half way through and we decided to just make a trip out to Turning Stone for the night and next day, just a spur of the moment thing.

We took off and arrived at Turning Stone around 10pm, I sat down at the $200 2-5NL game they had running and finish up around $300 after I hit a set of 8's in a raised pot, a player turned his gutshot straight after I checked to the initial raiser who also checked to give a free card, but I rivered quad 8's (second time I've had quads at Turning Stone and both times were quad 8's). So I dragged in a huge pot there.

I played the $120 tournament the next day at noon and outlasted about 2/3 the field and got knocked out when I was getting shortstacked and went all-in vs a shortstack but an early limper, who had me covered by just a bit also called the all-in with his TT vs my AQs. I hit my Q on the flop but he also hit his T, the other shortstack had 88. I needed to win that pot to make it to the final table. The tournament structure was pretty quick and blinds went up before you knew it, if you couldn't build a stack quickly you'd be blinded out. My friend ended up placing 2nd and winning $1100 even though he should've easily taken 1st, his opponent sucked out on him more than a couple times to stay alive and win. My roomate and I got our buy-in back from his winnings though since that was the deal.

I played some $100 1-2NL after I got knocked out and managed to win around $300 playing mostly short-handed. Flopped trips and a player I knew was horrible but would call with his draws continued to call my huge bets when I flopped trips. He missed his flush on the river like I guessed. Later on I flopped a set of 7's vs an EP raiser but check/called the flop to trap him. Turn brought a J and I check-raised him but he quickly called. River came and A and he went all-in for the rest of his stack, around $50-$60 and I had my chips in there faster than he did. He had AJ for runner-runner two pair but I took it down. The game broke up shortly after and we went home around 5pm on Sunday.

We hadn't slept for 30 hours so it truly was a poker marathon. We managed to keep our driver alive by hitting him and putting snow down his back from the back of his pick-up. We got to Tim Hortons (best coffee ever) once we crossed the border to the Canadian side and he woke right up for the rest of the trip. Roomate finish up $21.11, I finished up about $400 and my other friend finish up $2,000. $1,000 from the tournament and another $1,000 from 20/40 where he got a lot of nice cards that held up and dragged in a HUGE pot where it was nearly capped on every street with two players with KK, a player with a set of 7's and him with a stright flush 7 high. He was as happy as a 4 year old on Christmas day. Another fun trip for 3 degenerate poker players.


Saturday, December 11, 2004

$100k Guaranteed Today

I'm going to be playing in the $100,000 Guaranteed on Prima today at 3pm. Buy-in is $100+$10 and my friend and I are dividing profits if we get far since we'll both be playing. Maybe I can make a big score, we'll have to wait and see.

No real news in the ring games. Yesterday was a bit swingy at the 5/10NL tables. One hand I pickup KQh in LP and call a min-raise, flop is perfect for me, Qs7h3h giving me top pair and flush draw. Initial min-raiser preflop bets $30, MP min raises to $60 and I re-raise to $180. He calls in an instant and the turn brings another blank heart. I think I'm golden at this point and the player only has another $60 or so left, he checks to me and I put him all-in. He calls with ATh for the nut flush, no idea why he was min-raising and calling a re-raise with just the A high flush draw but it worked out for him.

Couple hands later I pick-up KK in MP and raise it to $40, 4 callers see the flop of K97 with two diamonds. I bet $120 into the $160 pot with my top set and LP calls. Turn is a Q of diamonds putting the flush on the board (why does the flush ALWAYS come when I have a great hand like a set or top two pair?). I check and so does he, I pray for the board to pair and it does putting another Q on the board and giving me a boat, K's full of Q's. I bet $250, get called pretty quickly and take down a nice $900 pot. Ended around even for the day.

Wish me luck in today's tournament, I'll post the results late on.


Thursday, December 09, 2004

5/10 NL Hands

I was playing 5/10 NL this morning again and have a couple of hands I'd like to post. First hand occurred against another player who also bought in for a shortstack of 50BB's like myself. I had around $500 and the main opponent had around $400. About 3 limpers to me in LP and I call $10 with KJs, the big blind min-raises and everyone calls. 5 players to the flop for $20 each, $100 in the pot. Flop comes J2J two hearts. A horrible player who is also in the next hand min-bets, which means he's on a draw, the player directly after him raises it to $40 and I re-raise to $120. Everyone folds to the initial raiser and he calls. Turn is a T and he checks to me. The pot is around $350 and at this point I believe I'm ahead so I figure since our stacks are quite short that if I do bet around $200 and he calls we're just going to be all-in anyways, I decide to go all-in which is just putting him all-in for $300. He calls, river is a blank and he turns over QJ, I win a bit pot and I'm up to $1,000.

This next hand is the one where I'm curious what others think. I pickup KK in MP, before the action gets to me the 'horrible player' (UTG) min-raises to $20 and the player directly after him (UTG+1) re-raises to $60, I know that the raiser wants to isolate this bad player which means he doesn't have to have an amazing hand, I decide to just smooth call the $60. The button also calls as does the min-raiser so it's 4 to the flop for $60 each.

Flop comes 972 with two spades, pretty good flop I guess. UTG bets $10 as he always does into the $240 pot and UTG+1 calls, I raise to $150 hoping to either take it down or go headsup on the turn with someone. Button calls and so does UTG, UTG+1 bails and 3 of us go to the turn with $690 in the pot.

Turn is a nasty looking Q of spades putting the flush on the board. This scares the shit out of me as I know that UTG will bet minimum and call big raises with draws no matter what the price. What scares me even more is that he checks, I check and so does the button, free river card for them :( Oh, I have the K of spades.

River is a 2c and UTG bets $10 so now I'm pretty sure he doesn't have a flush or a 2 because he would've actually bet a good size if he had anything worth betting with. I, however am still concerned about the button and want to see a showdown cheaply so I call the $10. The button comes out firing some random bet in the area of $350, something like $341.94 and UTG folds. I'm trying to put this player on a hand.

I've watched him play before and have seen him try some bluffs into big pots, I've also seen him call down huge bets with 1 pair, mid-crap kicker and hands like that heads-up. I don't believe he was on the flush draw since he called my large raise on the flop and he acted directly after me. With the flush out there I believe he would've raised the flop if he had a set. Maybe he flopped two pair with 97 or the Q with Q9 but the 2 on the river gives me a higher two pair. I don't put him on a hand that beats me and decide that he either has a small piece of the flop or is completely bluffing me. I call and he flips over a garbage hand with a 7 in it for two pair, 7's and 2's and I take the $1400 pot down. He says he can't believe I called and another person comments that he thought it was full house vs flush and didn't expect those hands. I suppose I should've also bet the turn but I was very afraid of UTG, not the button.

So, what should I have done differently, and do you make that call on the river?


Wednesday, December 08, 2004

That's No-Limit, Baby!

After dabbling around in 10/20 for a bit I couldn't stop myself from coming back and playing NL. Everything processed fine at The Gaming Club and I deposited $2,000 for starters, playing 2/4 and 5/10. I guess I'm the new generation in poker because limit is not my game. NL appeals to me much better, and people actually have to pay to draw out on me. I'm a no limit kinda guy and I'm sticking to it.

Playing in the 5/10NL game earlier today I had position on a very aggressive player who loved to raise preflop and bully you out of the pot. I only bought in for $500 and not the max $1000 stack so at the time of the hand I had about $470. The aggressive opponent who has me covered raised to $50 preflop in MP and it was folded to me in the SB with AKs, I called. The flop came T43 with two of my suit, I have two overs and a flush draw, a favorite to pair which he most likely he has, if not AK or AQ. I check it to him and he bets $100, I of course check-raise all-in since I believe I'm the favorite right now and at the same time I have some folding equity since this player doesn't get played back at often so this move can make him fold too. He calls though with 88 (dumb call on his part?) but I hit a K on the turn and double up. So it's been a good start to my morning and I'll continue playing later tonight, hopefully when the tables are a bit juicier.

I haven't been posting too often recently and my sleep schedule has been a little screwed up. Going to sleep at 10pm and waking up at 4am or 5am is not normal for a guy my age. Going to sleep at 5am and waking up at 3pm is more like it, so I hope to work back to that schedule soon. The bankroll is nearing 16k, I took a hit at the end of November which set me back a bit so in my eyes I've been making slow progress, not nearly as fast as I'd like (I bet it's the same for everyone though). What I really need right now is a big score, a nice tournament win would be nice, I'll keep dreaming though.


Sunday, December 05, 2004

Playing in the High Stakes

Well at least they're high stakes for me, kinda. After having stopped playing the NL/PL games on Party I had to find somewhere else to play or 'something' else to play. I've been getting some issues fixed with The Gaming Club and Prima Network, sending in documentation and that kind of stuff so I decided to put NL on hold for a bit. I looked at the limit games and sat down at the 3/6 for a bit on Party, it was pretty boring there, I think I finished up $50 but it seemed quite small. I didn't want to bother with the 5/10 so I went ahead and played some 10/20, finishing up around $500 or 25BB. That was a couple days ago and I'm still playing, only 1 table of course since I don't want to lose too much money if I were to hit a harsh swing starting off.

Contrary to what some people have said in the Mid to High Stakes HoldEm forum on 2+2 this game is very easy. In one post, a person asked what the main differences were between 5/10 and 15/30 full ring games, many people responded and someone posed the question, why would you jump from 5/10 to 15/30, what about 10/20? Forum regulars jumped at the chance to respond and tell this person that the 10/20 on Party is a tough game and 15/30 is much easier, all that's needed is the roll. The players at 10/20 are truly horrible though and as long as you can hit a hand here or there the rest is easy. These morons will bluff at any chance they get, and chase their gutshots and open-enders no matter what kind of action is before them. Some players were capping the flop with their non-nut flush draws and many people bet and call raises with their bottom pair. These are just certain players, but there are always 2-4 of them at a table, and usually when you're in a pot, you're facing one or two of them. It seems like they enjoy giving their money away and I like it.

I'm not sure how long I'll play at the 10/20 tables but for now I'm grinding out a pretty nice profit so I'll stick with it, I hope that I can continue to win and not run into a rough patch that takes me for a lot of money. I've sorted out the problems with TGC and Prima so I can start NL like I planned but I'm going to continue keeping it on hold for now and see how this higher stakes limit goes.

One thing I noticed is that when I first sat down to play 10/20 the money seemed big, "Wow, $15 an orbit", or "Jeez, I can lose $240 on one hand", and "Damn, $20 just to see a flop with 22?". Within half an hour all that was gone though. Whenever I first hit a new level I think, well, that's a lot of money, but once I play for a bit it doesn't even seem like money anymore. When I think about it now, it almost never feels like I'm even playing with real money. Money has lost so much value to me since I started playing poker. I get upset a bit when I lose a couple hundred dollars here and there, but it never occurs to me that I technically just lost a months rent, or that I could've paid for my utility bills and groceries with the bet I just made. Do any of you readers feel like you're not really playing with money at all, or that the money you are playing with isn't really worth what the poker software is showing you? I guess I've been desensitized, and some of my friends who have taken poker a little more seriously feel the same way.

I was reading some blogs this morning and noticed that many of them had posted the blogger $25 NL game that was played last night. I saw some of the Party names used and added a couple. SirFWALGman is playing 3/6 right now but he won't respond to me, how rude! :) Maybe I'll find some more bloggers on Party in the future, I wouldn't mind playing around in a small limit NL game once in awhile.


Friday, December 03, 2004

A Death In The Family

I've recently had a death in the family so things have been a little rough. Poor ol' Party Poker has died for me. I've been playing Party Poker for about 7 months and have moved up to the final level in NL/PL when I made the move to the 200's. Some of you may have noticed that Party Poker has stripped a lot of their 200NL/PL tables. Instead of the 15 tables they had before, they only have about 6 full ring tables running now, 3 NL and 3 PL (I almost always play PL now). The waiting lists, which were usually 1-5 people long before, are now almost always 15+ people long. It takes forever to get on a table and when you finally do get on, the tables are usually pretty rock solid, all the sharks are bunched together.

From reading posts on the 2+2 forums it seems that Party has closed a lot of the tables because they want the bad players to play lower limits, which makes them lose their bankroll and a lower rate which in turns allows them to generate rake for a longer time. It makes sense in a way since Party Poker is just about making money, but I think they should also care about their players want. By the looks of it, I won't be playing much longer on Party Poker and will have to move to a new site.

What sites are there to play mid-high NL/PL games? Well UB is out of the question for now, the games are usually rock tight which doesn't really suit my play. PokerStars is a maybe, I've been playing some of the 3/6NL there when the games are juicy and it's bumpy that's for sure. Check N' Raise would be good if their player database was larger. Right now they usually have the limit games running, sometimes even the high ones, but there isn't enough players to continually keep the games going. The NL games that run are usually the micro ones and not any of the higher ones I usually play. I've been looking into the games on the Prima Network and will probably end up playing there. They have games running from all limits from the micro to the big 25/50 games. The only thing that is slowing me down right now is the trust issue with that network. I've heard a lot about people's bankrolls being suspended while they 'investigate' something and sometimes even end up confiscating large sums of money because they believe the person was playing with fraudulent money. I've sent in my documentation to the site so withdrawls can go smoothly and once all of that has gone through and has been processed I think I will start playing there.

The month of December is now here and poker in November is done with. I only ended up with a profit of around 2.5k for the month of November after having two big losing days ($500+ losses) which really set me back and made this month disappointing for me. The holidays are approaching and with all of the family get togethers, dinners and all that stuff, I don't know if I'll be able to get in the poker time I usually do. That means I'll probably have another 'bad' month. I hope the rest of you finish off the year strong though.


This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?