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Thursday, February 24, 2005

$300 BONUS!

If you're looking for a bonus to do then here's a recent one for you. PokerRoom is having a reload bonus until February 27th (Sunday). It is 30% up to $300 which means you deposit $1000 and get $300 to work off. PokerRoom gives you points for playing and you get 2100 points to clear the $300. If you're a low limit grinder (1-2 and less) then this bonus may take long for you because you get 1 point once the rake is over $1 ($20 pot). 2-4 and up then this is a go if you multi-table. You have 60 days to clear the bonus!

If you do decide to play at PokerRoom and haven't signed up yet please sign up through me. You'll also receive a 20% up to $100 ($500 deposit) on your first deposit.

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Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Poker Night

Hey all!

It's Tuesday night and while Wednesday is usually poker night at the club this time they switched it over to Tuesday. So I'm gonna head off to the game around 8:00pm and see if I can make some kind of score this week. The game is the usual weekly $2-5 $400 game with lots of crazy wackos playing.

The Turning Stone trip went well for me and my roomate but my other friend who plays the much higher games after making his score in a large tourny didn't do very well at all. It just wasn't his trip this time, and I keep telling him that he will hit a streak of bad luck sooner or later since he's been running so good. He had AA KK and QQ all in one orbit at the 30-60 game and they all lost. Had some flushes lose to higher flushes and that kind of thing. The next day at the $5-$10 NL game he lost his entire stack when he called an all-in and lost set over set on a harmless looking board. The board was 67A with no big preflop raises and he knew that the only hand that the player could have that beats him was pocket 7's, turns out he had them. He managed to lose $3k over a couple days. I managed to win around $300-$400 at the 10/20 and my roomate made around $500 at the $2-$5 $200 NL game. Fun times, I can't wait to turn 21 to head to AC and Las Vegas, we're already planning the trip :D

Online poker has been kind of slow lately. I had a big hit to my monthly profits the other day but then managed to pull a very nice win yesterday to make myself up about 1k since the beginning of February. I've been mostly playing on PokerRoom. I'm not sure how many of you have played at PokerRoom but while the tables can be a little on the tight side sometimes, they are usually quite soft. The software is quite nice looking once you get used to it (I have to get used to every new site I play at, even starting with PartyPoker and PokerStars). The graphics can hog the computer memory a little bit also but otherwise it's fine. They recently added in new stats option and a 'Session Browser' that lists all your recent sessions and all the hand histories and stats for them, good stuff. They have a 20% bonus up to $100 which isn't too hard to clear in my opinion if you're multi tabling. As long as you're a player who can actually win and doesn't depend on the bonus to make a profit then it's a good deal. If you do want to sign-up for PokerRoom please use me as an affiliate by clicking the link, it would help me out a lot.

I read both The Poker Chronicles and Iggy's site on a regular basis (more of TPC simply because he updates more often) and it seems like they've really began hating each other. They don't usually mention names when they're posting but it's obvious for the most part. I know that Matt likes to smack talk at the table and he has a large ego but that's who he is. Nothing wrong with thinking you're a good player when you really are and bashing people who suck, it's fun too! He seems to get under people's skin quite easily. I'm not really sure why people let him though, it's just part of his game plan. Fellow bloggers and readers who have had trouble with Matt, don't let someone you don't even know get under your skin, he's messing with you. And Matt, if you want, you can bash me whenever you'd like, as long as I get a discount on your book! :)

Anyways, going to have some food and head out to the game, wish me luck!

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Thursday, February 17, 2005

Roooooooad Trriiiiiiiippppp!

And we're off to Turning Stone again. Another 3 hours trip, another 2 night stay, another action packed weekend filled with poker. Are we addicts or what? I'm bringing around $1,000 and I'm going to use it to play 10/20 limit at first. Depending on how that goes I'll either stay at the game or lose a few hundred, get pissed off, and go back to trying to grind out some kind of shitty profit at the 1/2 $100 NL game. If I make a big score tonight I'll play in the $5/$10 ($20 bring-in) NL game on Friday, but that probably won't happen. I hope they don't hassle us at the border but I doubt they will.

Last night I went to the club to play 2/5 $400 NL. Within the first hour I lost around $200 when my AK was beat by AJ on an AJ8 rainbow flop. A bad player had raised and I check-raised him on the flop, he had bet $50 and I raised to $150 but the other player in the hand which I though would probably fold because he had limped in in early position called my re-raise and went all-in for another $50 which I had to call. That took a nice hit to my stack and I spent the rest of the night rebuilding the $200 I lost. I ended up making $100 profit for the night but I had I made a few calls without getting the proper odds I easily could've made a profit of more than $500. That's poker though, sometimes you fold and your card comes, and sometimes you call and your card doesn't come. It's luck of the draw and that's what makes this game so appealing. My roomate made a nice score in the game and cashed out up $700. The players in this game are horrible and their money is so easy to take. Ex. EP raises to $20 with AJo, 3 callers and the flop comes low cards with two diamonds. Checked around to the button who bets with his flush draw $50. EP calls with his AJ, two overcards. Turn brings the diamond to give the button his flush, 7 high or something. AJo (with the A of diamonds) checks and the button bets $100 into the 180 pot. EP calls the $100 with his flush draw on the river and hits. He shakes his head, lets out a large sigh, says "Damn diamonds", and checks to button expecting him to bet. The button wasn't THAT stupid though and checked behind, smashing the table in the process.

Another fishy hand. EP raises to $20 with QQ and MP calls with JJ, 1 more caller who later folds comes in, flop comes KJ8 and it's checked to JJ who bets quite big, QQ calls. Turn is another rag and JJ bets 3/4 of the pot again, quite a large bet and most of his stack......QQ calls. River is a Q and they both go all-in. JJ punched the wall and smashed the table, QQ laughed, good game.

A fight almost also broke out after this hand happened. UTG raises to $20 with KQdd, this player is a little loose but a good player for the most part. MP calls with AA, he is a rock. Flop comes low rags with two diamonds and UTG bets out $40, MP raises to $160 and UTG re-raises all-in for around $400 total (more than MP has). AA thinks for awhile and finally calls. UTG does not reveal his cards but says he is on a flush draw and has 9 outs. MP tables his AA and they both wait for the cards to come out. The turn is a K but the river doesn't help EP and he loses. Now he takes his cards, which he hasn't revealed yet and throws them towards the muck. MP who's raking in his chips asks to see UTG's cards! How rude and disrespectful is that. After winning a monster $800 pot he asks to see the persons cards, like a kick in the nuts. UTG starts to swear, takes his remaining chips ($37) and literally throws them at MP saying, "Here, have the rest of them too, you fucking asshole!". He got up and left and everyone else was stunned. If MP has been seated closer to MP he probably would've punched him. Everyone later said that he was correct in asking to see his cards, while I tried to tell everyone that it wasn't rish and if he wanted to see his cards he shouldn't have turned his cards over but waited for UTG to show first. Either that or ask right away to see his cards before the turn and river were dealt. After this the owner of the club made a rule that when two players are all-in they must turn their cards over right away before the rest of the board is dealt even though it's a ring game. This is to prevent future occurences like this one.

This game is great and the players are quite easy to read and put a hand on. Lots of suckouts though, but that's what happens in a loose game, right? It's held every Wednesday and I intend to play it every week, just need some nice cards and need to play my A game and I'll come out a winner.

Well, wish me luck at Turning Stone, I hope I win big!

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Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Be The Aggressor

When you think of all the top players out there and pro's that are making big money in the cash games in Vegas and around the world, what do they have in common? They're aggressive. I don't see Negreanu or Ivey playing like calling stations. The key to being a very successfull poker player is aggression. I bolded very because you can be a successfull poker player without being aggressive, you just won't win as much.

I won't lie, up until now I've been playing a very weak-tight game and I'm sure that this has impacted my winnings a lot. Everytime you make a big hand you won't get payed off, especially as the stakes get higher. This is where aggressiveness plays a huge role between winners and losers, the winners win some big pots and many small pots, and the losers or breakeven players win a few big pots and no small pots. You need to be able to pick up a lot of small pots using post-flop aggression, even when you don't have the best hand. Other players are just as afraid of certain cards as you are, however you need to take the pots away from them when the card scares both of you. Weak-tight players are the best to steal pots from because they're only in the pot if they have the goods. Put in a decent sized bet and they'll fold top pair like it's nothing. If a flush hits the river and you bet or check-raise them big, they'll fold two pair and sets. Poker has a lot to do with playing the scare card and I've been really trying to improve my game using it.

I'm not sure how well this works in lower limits but try to find a game that isn't too loose (yes, I know, it's probably really hard) and just be the aggressor. Win those little pots because they are what really add up and using those winnings you can then play a draw aggressively also. When you play a draw aggressively and it hits you cash in big.

When you believe your opponent and you have the same hand like a 4 card straight 9TJQ and you both hold the K, when the river brings a flush you can bet big here. You both may have the exact same hand but he'll have a hard time calling if he doesn't have the flush. Many big pots can be won this way (a couple can be lost) because the pot was built up on the turn. Take advantage of your opponents weakness and scare cards.

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Monday, February 14, 2005

Emotions, Emotions...

I was a little upset when I made my last post. I've been pretty upset in general over the past 2 months with poker. I was finally winning again and then it all went downhill a second time. Over the past 2 months my bankroll progression has barely move. It goes up, it goes down, but at the end it just goes back to where it started and it gets frustrating. 2 months and nothing to show for it is disappointing, but that's poker. I'm too emotional with this game and I wish I wasn't.

When I started this blog I wanted to have a log of how I moved along. I'd post the stakes I was playing, a couple of hands, and my progression so one day I can look back to see where I once was, how I once played. I'm still playing poker and I should still post on how I'm doing, not just for the few readers out there but for myself personally. Learning how to play poker, improving my game, moving up in stakes and increasing my profit is an adventure for me that I enjoy doing even though I can become an emotional wreck sometimes. In the end it's all worth it.

I'm going to try to concentrate on not only posting about my progress and what's been going on, but on strategy that works very well for me. So if there's anyone left out there, don't worry, I'm not gone completely.

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Monday, February 07, 2005

3rd Place Finish

After having a great day at the table ($750+) I decided to relax and play a $5 PL rebuy tournament on Prima. Only 65 people entered so with the field being quite thin and Prima's tournament structure being pretty good I thought I'd have a good chance at making it far. I finished 3rd! Go me!

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Good Start

On Thursday I went with a couple buddies down to Turning Stone until Staurday afternoon. We got the poker room rate so we could sleep in the hotel for $75 a night which was pretty good. On the first day I played the $100 max game and didn't start to make good money until much later on in the night. My friends went to sleep around 3am because they wanted to wake up and play all day the next day. I on the other hand stayed up all night playing, from 12am until 12pm. 12 hour session with some breaks for food and stretching, and I cashed out around $500 for a $400 profit. I took my money, headed upstairs and went to sleep. When I went to sleep my friends woke up, so it was kind of like taking shifts.

One of them signed up for the usual Friday $5/$10 NL ($20 bring-in) game but by the time he got to the board the list was already 17 people long. That game started at 5pm on Friday and he finally got on around 9pm. I woke up at 6 and went to play the 2-5 ($200 MAX) game. I cashed out after a couple hours only up $75. My buddy at the $5/$10 game made a couple grand and he was very happy, especially after making 1.4k at the 20/40 the night before.

On Saturday I played the 1-2NL game again for about 15 minutes before taking my seat at the 10/20 game but it turns out both my friends wanted to head home while it was still day light out. I only played for about 20 minutes and made $20, woo hoo. I really wanted to stay, the game was a bit on the tight side so it was easy to steal pots, just had to be aggressive. ex. I raise UTG+1 with AQo, 3 callers. Flop is 822, I bet, 1 caller, turn is a blank, I bet, he folds. We took off after a bit and I finish up about $300 for the trip after paying for the room, gas, and food. My roomate finished up around the same, and the high roller finished up around 3 grand, not too shabby.

In online poker news, I'm having a great start to my month. I've played the Party $200 tables again for a couple of days and made a killing. The table selection is small but the players are still horrible there. I'm up around $1200 this month, and going strong. I hope it continues because I've gotten pretty sick from losing on a consistant basis. Winning is feeling great right now.

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Wednesday, February 02, 2005

January Review

As I mentioned before I have just recently finished the worst run I've ever had. Back in December is when it started. By the end of the month I had posted a $2600 profit however the bad run started near the 20th of December and without that hit I would've been up around 3.5-4k for the month. In January I took a nice dip but managed to come back. On the 31st I played a $30+3 3-table tournament on PartyPoker. TheVenetian was at my table when we started but the cards didn't seem to go his way and he busted out quite early. I went onto the final table with a little below average stack. The blinds continued to increase and I had to push with Q9 in the CO when there was 7 of us left. The BB called me with pocket aces, but I cracked them after I flopped a Q, turned another Q, and even rivered a 9 for a boat. I picked my spots nicely and got into the money when the I eliminated the shortstack (same stack as mine) with AK vs his QT. Another shortstack busted out and I got QQ against an all-iner to knock out 4th. Soon after it was heads up, I played very aggressive picking up all the little pots and Ihad the player outstacked 19k to his 11 but he doubled up when his KT beat my AK (rivered a T). He knocked me out after a few more hands when the blinds were too big and I had to push. That netted me my final $200 to make me just shy of even for the month and I was very happy to make a comeback.

Through the rough times I just tried to continue playing my A game, even though sometimes I noticed I wasn't playing my best. It just got so frustrating after awhile of consistantly losing, not because I was playing bad but because either my cards weren't holding up, or I'd always have a nice hand when someone had a better hand. It was tough, but I noticed that I played better after I had taken my break, and things did turn around. I managed to win back all my losses starting on the 26th of this month, about 5 days, not too shabby.

Below I posted my bankroll progression chart starting in September when I moved away from home and started living on my own.




As you can see I just consistantly lost from days 105 to 135. Hopefully now that it's over I can continue my normal ways as shown from day 0 to 90. If only it could always be like that :)

Tonight is the World Poker Bloggers Tour! It starts at 9pm EST on PokerStars. Under the Tourny tab click Private and it will be listed there. It is a $20 tournament and the password if you'd like to enter is thehammer. My PokerStars username is z0d1ac so if you'd like to say hi, don't be shy. I look forward to playing and eliminating as many bloggers and readers as I can, especially DoubleAs so that I can rename his blog. Check out the official WPBT website here.

Good luck to everyone, see you at the final table! :)

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Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Even

It's really late now but I've been playing pretty much all day and had an okay day putting me very close to even for the month after being down almost 2k. I'll post tomorrow with my stats and I may post my bankroll chart which shows how it's been progressing.

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