Sunday, February 29, 2004

Holy Shit...

I have never had a worse day of cards in my entire existence as a carbon based lifeform on this rock. There are simply no works

Hands played: 381
Hands Won: 4%
Showdowns Won: 32%
Flops Seen 23%
Win% if Flop Seen: 16%

Total loss for the day: -$78 ... and this is at .50/1. A nice 21BB/100 hands losing streak. Out-fucking-standing.

To say today was a complete bullshit day of cards would be like saying the sun is a little warm. For three hours, I endured so many bad beats that I have to wonder if I have any idea what the fuck I'm doing anymore. Let's go to the tape...

Big winner for the day: Pocket Tens. Yes, folks.. I played almost 400 hands today and my biggest winning hand was pocket tens. I scratched a measly $5 profit.

Big loser for the day: Me. Pocket Jacks 3 times. Never held up and sunk me for -$9. KQ offsuit 13 times! They held up once for $1.50. Not enough to stave the bleed, though, total loss on that hand was -$11.50.

The monster "fuck me standing" hand today was pocket Kings. I got the Cowboys 4 times!. Total times they held up?

Zero. Zip. Nada.

Of course, like any good post-flop pounder, I bet the shit out of the boys and they sunk me each and every time. Total loss, -$17.50.

I don't have much to say at this point. I'm just so totally stunned at the volume suckouts and losers I had today. A complete statistical anomaly, I know, but it still hurts. The worst of it is my confidence. The calling stations were killing me.. They had it each and every time.

I wonder if maybe I need some help. This is two big losing days in a row. I guess mathematically it can happen, but I can't take many more of these.

Hopefully soon I can turn this around. If not, I'm fooked! Good thing this wasn't on the 1/2 tables!

Saturday, February 28, 2004

Fun With Math

PartyPoker might be the nuts in terms of people online and willing to gamb000000l, but their technology sucks sweaty nutsa.... ummmm... it blows. Seems a few days ago some 5kR!p7 K!dDiE decided to launch a denial of service attack on Party and other poker sites. Apparently, this sent the house of cards that is Party's server farm tumbling MIR style out of orbit, and they still haven't managed to get their shit straight 5 days later. 3 days ago, it was I couldn't get on a waiting list to save my life, so I had to play "whack-a-mole" with the tables to try to get an emptied seat. On broadband, this is difficult. Since I was in the glorious NorthWoods, I was stuck with dialup. I'd rather chew on Plutonium then have to deal with dialup ever again. I don't know how people without broadband don't just inexplicably fall into a coma waiting for stuff to happen on dialup.

When Party's servers are cupping the bishop, I can imagine that dialup customers must get homicidal. Hmmmm.. Maybe this is a good thing.. They're already on tilt before they even hit a table! (rubs chin)....

Anyway, to the crux of my problem. According to the hand histories I got back from Party from my play on the 26th, I made $5. Well, no... Clearly that's not the case, as my account activity history shows a clear and definite losing day. I know I requested all the hands I played.. I was very careful about doing that, so that's not the issue. I did get some 5 emails of 100 hands each, so, theoretically, I have 500 hands of information. I played around 280 hands on the 26th. WTF, Gus? With overlap, 400 hands were requested on the 26th.

So, Party is still screwing up my hands histories. This is a Very Bad Thing(tm) as bunk hand histories foul my ability to accurately track my progress. It also pisses me right off.

When I have some time tomorrow, I'll look into what exactly those rocket scientists sent me and how it fits into what I actually did. Something is clearly jacked up, just not sure what, or if I can fix it.

Goddamn kids.

Thursday, February 26, 2004

Runnin' On Empty...

So, I've been up here in the beautiful Northwoods with my mother for the last few days. More on this later, but I've spent a few more days then I originally intended too here.

Since I haven't played any poker in the last few days, I figured I'd take a couple of hours and play some .50/1 tables. The results were completely and totally hideous.

Here's the breakdown... At least an estimation. I played around 250 hands. I saw the flop about 23% of the time. Won money when I saw the flop? 11%. Won at showdown wasn't too bad, though admittedly, not many hands MADE it to showdown, as they were clearly outclassed. It was one of those odd days where I would literally not get anything for hands. Anything I would get would often and obviously be dead by the river. Top pair on the flop would see a straight draw on the board, or 3 to a flush and someone would wake up. Suited connectors would make 4 to the hand but fail to complete.

The blessing of many callers to the river became a curse as scary board after scary board would come across... The chances someone connected were huge, and, if this can be considered a Good Thing(tm), at least I was making the right folds. Still, pounding winning hands to the turn or river only to see it get dominated cost me a ton.

Total take: -$29. Ouch.

Trying to play 3 tables at once on a 17" screen with a resolution of 1024x768 is near impossible. I had to play "popup" windows to play my hands, which meant I couldn't follow the action on any of them. Though I don't think this really cost me any money this go-round, it was annoying. Also, since I'm not at home, I don't have the notes on any of the players. I have enough notes on players at home at this point where I can be sure that at least 2 other people are someone I've seen before. It helps to have prior knowledge of these people. Most of all, though, it was just a bad card night. I played tight and smart... Just never got the opportunities, and took a few hard losses. Not bad beats, really, just typical Party shit like AKo pairs the K and goes down to a guy with K4o who pairs his kicker on the river, or the joker that runs you to the river with 83s and hits the runner-runner flush. I love that stuff. Today, I'll lose $30 to them. Tomorrow, I'll make $90 back. I'll pay 1 for 3 any day of the week, and twice on Sunday. I see the $30 I gave to the idiots as an investment in my future. Perhaps even better.. They get lucky, build a little bit of a bankroll with their nipplehead plays, and think that they've got the game covered for the next level. So, they might suck a sawbuck off me one day in .50/1, but I'll run into him again in 1/2 and you can do the math from there.

These are glorious times, my friend!

Tuesday, February 24, 2004

Fun With O'Hare Airport

So, I spent most of yesterday wandering around O'Hare, since my flight got in 'round about noon-time, and I had my interview at 3. I didn't want to take the flight that got in around 2, since if it somehow was delayed or cancelled, I wouldn't have a chance to drive down in time, and that would have sucked big. So, I wandered the Worlds Busiest Airport for 3 hours. Things I noticed:

- The new United paint scheme looks pretty damn good, actually.

- O'Hare isn't only busy, it's insane in that it's really organized piss-poorly.

- United sucks.

That last bullet point, coming from me, is quite the revelation. I've always been proud of United Airlines. It's been a part of my life for as long as I know. In the last say 10 years or so, though, I can't recognize this company. It really seems like they've sort of thrown their hands up in frustration. Now, I'm an airline employee and am riding United for pretty much free, so I have absolutely no latitude to bitch, and I'm not. What I have seen though is interesting, what with three hours to sit and really observe.

People riding United and United Express are pissed. I mean, beyond just unhappy that their flights are late and they have to walk 10 minutes with bags and shit to make it to their next flight, down right pissed off! Anyone who has been to O'Hare knows what that walk from the F gates to the C gates is like. Imagine doing that after the Express flight you just flew in on was delayed getting into the gate and now your 1 1/2 hour connection time has turned into 30 minutes! For those that don't know, the walk from the F gates to the C gates is, literally, a mile and a half. Try that with 2 kids, 3 bags and 30 minutes!

This got me to thinking further. United isn't out of the woods yet. They're on the right financial track, but let's face it, at the rate United is alienating their customer base, they may find themselves with much less revenue then they need to survive. In the last few months, United as managed to:

- Piss off 1 in 3 customers by lack of ontime service

- Piss off their retirees, who retired on advice from United so that they would protect the benefits United now seeks to cut.

- Piss off their stockholders by declaring the stock they hold to be worthless

- Piss off the industry analysts by spinning up Ted in the face of objection by everyone in the world, except maybe Saddam Hussein... Nah, He'd object to.

- Set up their low fare carrier to operate at a higher cost per seat mile then their mainline service, and at that, they've failed to actually, you know, set up fares that are low enough to be competitive with Southwest or Jetblue. Way to not only miss the ball, but forget to take the bat to the plate!

I'm no business expert, but I have a bad feeling about where all of this is going. Hopefully I'll watch from the sidelines, and not get sidelined by it. If United goes down, it's taking Air Wisconsin with it.

More later... Going to hit the road to Mom's place.

Sunday, February 22, 2004

Tonight's The Big Inaugural GrobLog Tournament!

...and I'm sitting here at work pushing tin. Doesn't that figure.

Have fun tonight, guys! Here's to hoping I can make the next one.

Just When You Thought It Was Safe...

Party Poker is screwing up again. Their servers were trying desperately to prohibit me from playing, timing out, and basically mis-behaving. I checked my connection with other sources and it certainly isn't a connection issue on my side, so it's clearly Party going tits-up again.


They're also not sending me all my hand history requests, which is not amusing in the least. What's worse, once you exceed 100 hands, the old ones roll off the server, so you can't get to them, so I am told. Even if they were still somewhere on party's servers, it would be a Texas sized goat rope to try to get them sent to me. They shorted me a few hundred hands yesterday, and it looks like they're on track to do it to me again today. Not worth the effort.

Anyway, today was another three table effort at 50/1. I crushed one table, did okay on the second and got killed on the third. I owe all my losses on the third table to the guy on my right. I had him pegged in his betting patterns, yet I ignored it completely and managed to call down to the river with him having me beat three times. His pattern was, if he hit, he'd turbo-bet. All three times, I had something like two pair. Twice I was in the blinds and had a weird card combination (like J4o that would hit a flop of JT4). Sure enough, the turn brought the 3rd suited card and Old Boy to my right would turbo-bet. I, like a tool, would call it down and lose.

Stupid stupid stupid...

Anyway, I did manage to make a positive number, up $13.50. I'd give you the details, but as you know, Party is shitting itself right now, so I only have 100 of the 350 or so hands I played today. Mas annoying. Suffice to day, though the day ended positive, some absolutely boneheaded calls led to a significantly less productive day then it could have been. Interestingly enough, it really had nothing to do with playing the 3 tables simultaniously either. I knew full well what the hell I was doing. I even admonished myself for chasing as I was chasing.

Maybe the stress is getting to me.

The ante has been upped in this bid for working at America West. I'm not at liberty to really talk about it yet, but suffice to say that I must now make an insanely difficult decision without all the information I'll need to know whether I'm right or wrong. Provided, of course, they offer me the job. I'm pretty sure they will, which is why this is weighing so heavily on my conscious. Obviously, if they don't offer me the job, this will make things much easier.

This certainly isn't the venue to talk about faith and devine intervention, but never more then now do I need that sort of guidence.

One thing for certain. It's tough to have to come up with an answer when you don't even know the question.

Saturday, February 21, 2004

Trying To Catch The Sun

Apologies for not updating for a while. Been a lot going on around here that has diverted my attention. Things much more important then poker.

But, this is a poker blog, so dammit, on with the POKER!!!

I suck. I decided yesterday to try my luck at a $10+$1 sit and go yesterday morning, seeing as how on the ring games at that hour I get my ass routinely handed to me.

I finished 4th.

Nice to know things haven't changed there. I did a little peeking at my PokerTracker stats for Sit and Goes, and it turns out my "in the money" percentage is still around 41%. A great in the money percentage, and certainly a profitable area, but in the short term I've been an absolute bubble boy on those. It always seems that, when it gets down to 4 people, everyone slips into "survival mode" and waits for the blinds to kill someone off. I made my move with pocket 8's and ran into AKo. Of course, the K hits and that's all she wrote. 45 minutes of work, -$11. Outstanding. S&G's are a great way to control variance when your bankroll is hurting, which is what I did several months ago for that very purpose and managed to claw back into the game. It has it's purpose, but if the bank for ring play exists, you'll realize a faster return on the ring games... At least, I think so.

Of course, after today, maybe that's not quite the case. Sat down and played 2 table of 1/2 for about 2 and a half hours. I got crushed. down about -$45.

It is bizarre. I saw very tight play on the 1/2 level today. On the passive side, but still tight. This created the problem of me losing big pots to passive guys who don't give me hints that they're sitting on monsters and winning small pots as any sign of aggression makes them fold. This, coupled with a steady diet of hands that don't flesh out or end up being second best, and it was a rough ride.

I tilted. Felicia gave the advice that perhaps during the daylight hours, it might be better to back off a level and play the 50/1 tables. Her words were ringing loud and clear in my head as I contemplated the beating I had just taken.

Off to the 50/1 tables I went. I started two of them and was quickly down a couple of bucks. Hmmm... I found myself lingering on the beats I was taking. Thinking too much about them. Contemplating how I'm going to exact revenge against the bastard that just rivered my ass... again... This is a bad way to be. Then it suddenly dawned on me. If I was able to move immediately to another hand (say the other table gets a playable hand), I wouldn't stew about the beat.. I'd just move on. Unfortunately, the games were moving at a glacial pace today, so I pulled a David Ross and opened up a third table. Three tables on a 17" screen at 1280x1024 is a challenge, though I could conceivably fit a 4th on there, if I'm sitting on a corner I can see myself on each table.

With 3 tables open, my attitude changed tremendously. I was still getting smacked around by the occasional suckout, but I didn't have the time to dwell on it as another table required my attention. A couple of other points:

- Playing 3 tables forces you to play ABC poker. You can't be concerned with reading into people's play and trying to make a guess at what they might or might not have. This makes having notes on players VERY important. Of course, the obvious bluffer or loose/maniac is still easy to spot and exploit, but since you're busy, you'll only do it when you have the best of it, and not when you thing he's full of shit and trying to make a play at you.

- You play tighter. You're too busy to try to massage marginal hands into winners.

- At least for me, I play more aggressive. I find I have less time to second guess putting bets out for fear of making a mistake. I pump or dump. No time to limp around.

- I don't worry about how my buyin is doing. See above point.

- With this many tables going on, I don't find myself surfing the net between hands. My concentration is better.

- I don't get bored folding a bunch of hands and loosening up just to have something to do.

Played for an additional hour and 15 on the three .50/1 tables, and made back all but $3 of my 1/2 losses. A friggin GREAT day, if you ask me.

The thought has crossed my mind that, once I build sufficient bankroll to support 3/6 play I might start banking some of my winnings. I've got some things I'd like to do that are outside the scope of my conventional savings plan (like this for instance) and by funding these little projects with poker winnings, I can do the things I want without compromising the family budget or my marriage! I don't have any aspiration at all to play poker professionally. I've already ruined one hobby by making it a career, and I don't think I can handle the stress of having to be a winner in order to make the mortgage payment. Besides, I like what I do for a living.

Thursday, February 19, 2004

Beat Down

Grrr... Late morning shift does it to me again! Ya know, you'd think after several attempts to make afternoon playing profitable and failing, you'd think that I would have learned my lesson by now...


2 hours of one 1/2 table yielded a -$16.25 loss for me. Weee. I was actually doing quite good, but I managed to get smacked down on two consecutive hands and turned a meager winning into a small loss. After several winning sessions, though, I guess I should have expected it, and let's face it, a $16 loss isn't exactly a catastrophe. Still, after treading water all day, it sucked to have to leave with a loss...

I've done a little looking at my play today, and it really looks like I couldn't have played it any other way. Simply some bad draw-outs. I'll have to examine the losing hands to see if I could have made any different decisions there.

Poker Tracker rules.

I still haven't quite figured out what the deal is with late morning play. One would think that, since there are less players on, you'd have less fish. This really isn't true, so far as I can see.. There are still some truly bad players on during the day. It just seems to me that I can't get the cards to pay off, or when I do I get sucked out. Perhaps this is the same problem I was having with pocket aces, and my impression of them falling constantly. My PokerTracker results bear out that AA is still a big money maker for me, but during that dry spell a little while ago, it seemed that AA was a death sentence for me. Proof positive that most players can recount, with painful detail, their worse beats, but don't recall with the same clarity the winning hands.

More tomorrow... I'll likely go right back and play some more late morning poker!

Wednesday, February 18, 2004

Faith, Hope and Charity

Had a rare day shift yesterday. Even more remarkable was that, after getting up at 4:00am, and working for 12 hours, I was still somewhat awake!

Evening off? Awake? Must be poker time!

Played two 1/2 tables for about 2 and a half hours. When I logged on, I saw 35,000+ online. Party rules.

Total take for the day: +$58.75. A great day by any stretch of the imagination, with a BB/hr rate of over 11.

The big winner hand of the day? The Cowboys!

I picked up KK twice.

First time I was in late position, two off the button. Two limpers to me and I raise it up. SB completes, BB folds and the other two call the raise... Flop comes Jd8c7h. Checked around to me and I bet out. All three call it down.

Turn is a 2d. Again, checked around to me and I bet. Remarkably, it's called down by everyone again. Hmmm.

River comes a 6h. Flush misses, and no overcards to my kings.. I'm feeling pretty good about this. Checked around to me again and I bet again. BB and EP finally fold away. The guy to my right calls and shows a KJo. I rake a $17 profit.

Second KK comes in LP 3 off the button this time. It's folded around to the guy to my right, who limps. I raise and the button cold calls. BB calls and GTMR calls. 4BB to the flop, which is QdTs6h. EP bets out, GTMR folds, and I raise. Button calls and EP calls. 7BB to the turn, which is a 2h. Possible flush draw developing, but nothing else to make me nervous. EP checks, I bet. Button calls and EP folds out. 9BB to the river, which is a Js. Uh oh. Possible straight out there now. I bet and button calls and shows AQs. +$13.50.

The big loser of the day? Pocket Rockets.

Yes, the aces fall in spectacular style twice.

The first time, I get them in middle position. 4 callers to my preflop raise and the flop comes JcQhQc. Fugly.

EP bets out and one call to me. I raise to see where I am, and get the message I was fishing for when it's raised and capped before it gets to me. The rockets hit the muck. The showdown showed that I was dead to a set of queens made on the flop.

Second time wasn't so clean. I get the rockets in early position (UTG+1). UTG folds and I raise. Guy to my left re-raises, button cold calls all three and the BB calls it down. I cap it and all 4 fill it in. 8BB to the flop.

4c5dQs. Harmless, it seems. Checked to me and I bet. We lose the guy to my left and Button and BB call.

Turn, 6d. Hmmm. Check, I bet. Button folds, BB calls. River is a 3. Suddenly BB wakes up and bets. I call knowing I'm going to see the straight, and BB doesn't disappoint, turning over As7h.

I was a 95% favorite on the flop, an 81% favorite on the turn, and I lose. Weeeeee.

Hopefully more poker goodness tonight... Hope the wife will let me!

Monday, February 16, 2004

Sputter... Sputter....

Played about 2 and a half hours of 1/2 on two tables... And the results were mixed, to say the least. I killed on one table, and got killed on the other... Isn't that always the way it works?

Ended up +$16.75 for the day.

Some interesting stats:

The big loser hand of the day: KK

I got pocket Kings twice, and both times they fell... hard.

The first time, I get the Cowboys in middle position. It's folded to me and I raise it. Everyone folds to the SB, who calls. We're heads up when the flop comes KcJc7c. I've got the set, but wait... All clubs. I'm weary, but we're heads up, so the probability of him having just flopped the flush is tiny.. Isn't it?

He checks to me and I bet with confidence. He raises! Uh oh. No way! My mind starts going through what this could mean. Pair of kings? Representing the flush? He's sort of a loose/aggressive player, so it's possible he's making a play at me. I don't like the vibe I'm getting, so I call it down (can you really ever toss a set of kings on this).

Turn comes a 5d. He insta-bets. I stare at my Kings just KNOWING I'm behind at this point, but I HAVE to call this down. I toy with the idea of raising back at him, but I have Han Solo's voice in the back of my head saying "I've got a bad feeling about this". I call, praying the board pairs.

River is the 2h. No help for the Klingon. He insta-bets again and I make the crying call. He turns over 9c3c. I puke.

The other table gave me a KK shortly thereafter in the SB. An MP and LP caller and I raise the SB. BB and the two callers call the raise and we're 4 to the flop which comes 4c4hJh.

Now, I have a question here. Has anyone else noticed that when you hold pocket pairs in Party the board invariably pairs up? I gotta check the actual stats on this, but it seems like any time I'm holding a pocket pair, the board pairs on the flop! Coincidence? You make the call...

Anyway, back to the action. Fearing the set, I bet out to see where I am. BB calls and the others bow out of the action. Since I didn't get re-raised, I put BB on a flush draw.

Turn comes a 2h. My eyes roll to the back of my skull. Well, here's hoping he was sitting on a Jack! I bet, he calls. Hmmmm... Neither of my Kings are hearts, so I figure he's still fishing for something... But if not the heart draw, what's he still here for? Am I being set up?

River comes the 3d. Possible straight now. I bet, he raises. Crap. I got roped. I make the crying call to see him turn Ah9h for the turned nut flush. I puke.

The big winner of the day? The lovely Ladies!

Twice they showed up in my hand. The first time, I pick them up in the big blind. Two bettors and the SB completes. I make the mistake of not raising it here, and check trying to set up some rope-a-dope action... With queens. Don't say it.

Turn comes 9sAc4h. Oooof. Okay, well, I'd better at least represent here. Checked to me and I bet. Everyone folds and I rake the monster. Poorly played on all streets.

The second time I pick them up in middle position. Folds to the guy to my right and he raises. I re-raise and late middle position and a late position player cold call the two. Blinds fold it up and Guy To My Right calls the raise. 4 to the flop and 13.5 SB in the pot. We see a flop of 2hJsTh. Undercard city, but damned if there isn't 2 hearts out there... This is becoming a recurring theme! Guy-To-My-Right checks and I bet and it's called all the way around. We go to the turn with 8.5 BB in the pot.

Turn comes a 4d blank. I'm feeling pretty good about my Queens at this point. GTMR checks and I bet. LMP and LP finally call it quits and fold out and GTMR calls it down. I'm thinking another flush draw again, but he raised pre-flop, so he might have ace-face suited or something big.

River comes the 8d. No flush board, and I breathe a sigh of relief. Check-bet-call and he turns over Big Slick offsuit. I rake with the ladies and post a nice $16.50 earning.

The table I was getting smacked around on was alot of things that got out-drawn. Those Kings falling to the flush really set me back on that table, and I never fully recovered. I did rake a decent pot right on my last hand that helped a bunch, bringing me to only a $18 loss on that table.. I was down almost $30 before that last hand.

I poked my head into a $25 NL table for an orbit, but there was a ton of pre-flop raising there, so I decided I'd best wait for more passive folk before diving in there and bowed out $1.50 lighter.

I think part of my problem lately is I'm having a hard time trying to figure out when I have the proper odds to play things like middle suited connectors. Today's tables seemed a little tight to me, and so I avoided them and only played premium starting hands. I think that saved me from having a losing day today. These tables encouraged "pump or dump" sort of playing, and, though I was getting out drawn and smacked around, it was through no fault of my playing so far as I can tell. The time where my set of kings were doomed at the flop I knew pretty much by the turn I was in trouble, but I just couldn't throw away the Three Amigos. I take it I had the odds to check/call to the river hoping for a paired board, but that's sort of like hoping the train will stop before it hits you.

Sunday, February 15, 2004

That's What I Get

Decided that life is too short today and made a bid on the 1/2 tables today after spinning my wheels on the 50/1 tables for about 30 minutes. Left the cheap tables down $2.

And dumped a good $25 on the 1/2 tables. Just couldn't put anything at all together today, and I could only play for about an hour and a half, so no chance to make a run at a comeback.

I couldn't quite get comfortable on any of the 1/2 tables I was on. The first one I bought in on was ultra-tight. I sat there for about 15 minutes and MAYBE saw 4 showdowns. I bailed on that one and picked up a live table. There were some pretty loose/aggressive folks on there, and there was one guy immediately to my left who would take any raise personally and make it his duty to re-raise you. By all rights, this was the place to be! Any good hand I would want raised would be dutifully taken care of by "oh, a raise eh?" boy and the table was loose enough where I could reasonably expect at least one chaser who would be happy to cold call 2 bets trying to fill a draw.

Only trouble was, they often filled the draw. I got smacked around pretty bad with made hands getting drawn out on for huge pots and when my good hands would hold up, I'd get no action. The proverbial "one step forward, two steps back" sort of day.

The second table was almost a carbon copy. The nut job on this table was in seat 3 and I was in seat 8, so this gave me some room to navigate, but again, anything that stood up saw little action.

So, I guess my thinking that trying to make that "magical" $400 mark (which I was about $16 from) was silly and I should move up now brought forth a Most Holy and Apostolic Smackdown upon thee.

I will therefore stay in 1/2 anyway. Screw it. If I get crushed down to $300, I'll back off... Otherwise, I will continue to fire away. I will not, however, play 2 tables at once until I get my bankroll back to 200BB...

I've been working the last 4 days, so I have been too busy demotivated to supply those promised stats... I'll break down the important highlights here the next day or so. For those who have been following along since early on, you'll remember that I was concerned about how often pocket aces would lose. We'll explore those stats along with which hands are the big winners for me and which ones are sucking my will to live. Also on tap is an invitation to analyze my pre-flop and post flop play. I think I'm slipping into some bad decision making, and I'd like to get some advice, and I don't feel like doing this at 2+2 because they're going to start asking for specific hands. I can't pin my decision making to specific hands, but I'll try to pick some of my questionable calls and post them up. I seem to be better at giving advice then following my own!

On the New Opportunities front, I have made contact with a couple of people who work in the dispatch office in Phoenix. Seems they're working on trying to get a new union contract. They need one. This is a major airline and their starting pay is what I make here after a year. Well, okay, about $1000 a year more, but who's counting. This is okay news in that I'm not going to take a pay CUT, but better news in that, for an airline that is considered a "major carrier", their pay is far and away lower then the industry average, so it can only go up from there. A telling sign though is that they're now in Federal Arbitration, so I guess they couldn't see eye to eye on some things. America West is into the Government for quite a few million in Air Transportation Stabilization Board loans, which they'll have paid off by 2007. I'm thinking what'll happen is, they'll settle for little or no raise, if the company will stipulate to a contract that either ends by 2007 or is amendable at that point. Another annoying thing I found out was they have an 18 month probationary period for new hires. Since most of the guys at Cactus have a fair bit of seniority, I'm willing to wager that that won't change, but there's still hope. I'd be more confident in America West surviving the requisite year and a half then I am in the place I work at now surviving that long.

I think I've pretty much decided that if they offer me a position out there I'm going to pull the trigger and do it. Life is too short to freeze my nuts off for 7 months at a time here on the Frozen Tundra, and I need to find a place that I can build a career at so I can settle down and start a family. It'd be nice to actually feel confident enough to buy a house, too.

Friday, February 13, 2004

Poker Godz

We all know that has pretty much turned into a cesspool of crap with the (very) occasional diamond floating around in there.

None the less, I still poke in there from time to time to see what's bubbling, and, shock of shocks, there is some decent content showing up there... One thing I caught from none other then Gary Carson was this little nugget of knowledge...

Probability is the branch of mathematics that's most relevant. Poker books
tend to not really get into that past combinotorial counting methods, which
doesn't really give you the concepts of probability you need. So, if you're
serious about I'd suggest looking elsewhere than poker sources.

Just when it seems my game is starting to stagnate, something like this gets my juices stirring.

Knowing the odds and understanding the odds are what separated good players from the true masters of the game. I get the cards and I know my odds for draw hands (for the most part.. I do space sometimes). This is great for the recreational player, and even this is far and away better poker then most of your opponents who, often times, are looking for that one card to complete that straight. But when you get into the high limit games, against the people who have studied the psychology of poker, you must have more then just a table of odds in your head.


This thing that we call 'failure' is not the falling down, but the staying down.
Mary Pickford

Well, yesterday I was able to pull an impressive win out of a rather, well, impressive losing session.

Not so today.

Two .50/1 tables and these tables couldn't be more polar opposites of each other. On the left, the table of loose/wimpy players. They were all "see the flop" kind of folks, but they were also all "fold the flop" kind of people. No real action there at all as any sign of aggression and everyone would fold right up.

On the right, we have the old Western Shootout table full of gamb00lers. Frequently capped pre-flop, at least three ultra-loose/maniacs and a couple of calling stations mixed in.

As is my luck lately, I was getting the monster hands on the folding table, and a steady diet of crap on the fast and loose table. What playable hands I did see I had to pay at least 2 small bets and often 4 just to see the flop. A few of these misses and it gets very very expensive.

At one point on the fast and loose table, I was down to my last $8 when I finally connected with a hand for about $15, but I never was able to recover my entire buyin, and ended up ending that table down around $6.

The passive table was a procession of small pots. I was up to +$10 at one point, but was whittled down to my original buyin or close to it. So, for the day, a loss of around $6. Not too bad, considering the hideous hands and table texture. Smart money said I should have moved, but that fast and loose table was the kind where you could rake some serious coin if you caught a nice high implied odd hand. The trouble is the preflop action was brutal.

I'm going to sit down and post some interesting stats for the last two days. I kid you not, there is some truly sickening things that have happened to Your's Truely these last two days at the poker table. There ought to be a law.

For those of you following along the drama of whether to move out west, I did cover some ground today:

The landlord is willing to work with me. I just need to find someone to move in and I'll be released from the rest of the contract, with my security deposit. This would normally be difficult, but we have 5 new hire dispatchers moving into the area this week and they'll be looking for a place to live. It's a very cool place and it's not too expensive, so it should go pretty quick.

Taxes will yield a pittance from the Feds, but the state tax return will be a very +EV, yielding some $800. Good times.

The Wife did some math and figures that we could have $3000 in pocket come move time. I'll need to check the math, and in order to hit this number we'll need to negotiate with some of our lenders for deferred payments, but this will give us the sufficient cushion I'd need to make this all happen.

I have been tapping some of my contacts and connections in the industry to see what insider information I can get on America West, but for now it's been pretty quiet. I have to do this rather covertly since I don't want any of my co-workers to know I'm fishing. I've got good opportunities here too if this doesn't pan out, and I think that if they catch wind of me talking with other places that might foul those waters... Never burn your bridges.

I might actually get out of work at a decent hour today, so if I do, I'll have some time tomorrow for Fun With Stats(tm)!

Thursday, February 12, 2004

Beating A Losing Day

I've been a little lax on my blogging lately. Clearly there are other things I'm busy doing right now, but I still should keep updating. It's therapeutic.

Okay, boring update on America West stuff. This only figures. The Wife works at a hotel, and today they offered her a little bit of a promotion. The catch is, she sort of has to take it or leave it by tomorrow. Here's the problem, and to fully understand this problem you must realize that my wife has a little bit of a self confidence problem. She's definitely smart and capable of holding down a real job that pays real money, but I can't seem to get it through her head to do it. This promotion (and yes, believe it or not, it's a promotion) pays $7/hr. For 35 hours a week.

-------------- SNAP! -----------------

Okay, it's an hour later... I guess she can put them off a little bit. I'll make a call to my landlord tomorrow to figure out what we can do about the lease. If she's not willing to play ball, then I pretty much can stick a fork in this whole idea... There's no way I can raise the requisite capitol to move and put some money down on an apartment without the security deposit from this place. I'm good, but not that good. Can't do anything else until then.

So, on to poker.

The last two days have been pretty damn good poker wise. Yesterday, ended up around $28 in the black after some more NL goodness. The rumors of soft NL games are absolutely true, though I never had the opportunity to put someone all-in, but I did get some good pots. The real secret to the NL arena is to play only premium hands and play them aggressively. Chasing will get you killed. It is truly a mind numbing grind, but ultimately profitably in a big way. I don't have enough hands yet in PokerTracker to really get a grasp on my BB/100 hands, but short term has been spectacular. The biggest problem is boredom from all the folding. I have tried to play one limit game and one NL game at the same time, but I've caught myself several times mentally mixing the games up and either playing the limit game like NL or worse, vice versa. Playing two NL games at once is marginally better, but it's still a big exercise of fold fold fold... Just twice as fast.

Today I stuck to the .50/1 limit game, it being morning and early afternoon. Played 2 tables for about 3 hours. Early on, the situation was grim. Suckouts were rampant, and in the first hour and a half, I found myself down $16 on one table and $14 on the other. Here's where it's nice to be working more then one table... I kept busy enough where if I got sucked out or bad beat on, I was too busy on the other table to steam about losing my good hand.

The second half of the session things started to click. Unfortunately I am at work and can't give exact figures, but from a $30 deficit I managed to bring home a $30 profit. Here's the kicker. When I looked at the PokerTracker stats for the day, almost every hand was red. Pocket aces got cracked twice. The Men went down at least once that I remember. Things just weren't coming together, and I paid dearly. The table was great, with one particularly fishy fish who would call you down with anything. By sticking to the game plan and not steaming, I was able to make the chasers pay big for the privilege.

I'll throw together something tomorrow with some more analysis when I can reference the PokerTracker database. There are some very interesting stats in there, and today's session is very worthy of study since it was, by and large, a terrible day of poker that ended up being a big winner.

Wednesday, February 11, 2004

No Limit To The Fun!

Oh yeah, that's right.. This is a poker blog...

Played some more $25 No Limit poker last night... Managed to bag about $10 in profit... There's hope for this yet! More details to follow.

The Call

"Regret for the things we did can be tempered by time; it is regret for the things we did not do that is inconsolable."
-- Sydney Harris

Anyone who has been following along with this Blog knows I work for the airline industry. Anyone who has been paying REAL close attention knows that the airline I work for is an express carrier for United Airlines.

Airline dispatchers are kind of like baseball players. You come out of school and you usually get hired on by a small regional airline. The pay is usually near poverty level and the turnover is incredible, so the workload is very demanding. After a few years there, you'll usually move on to a larger regional; one that flies jets on longer routes. Pay improves a bit, but you're still making only around $25K to $30K. After a couple of years doing that, you're ready to move onto the "Big Leagues"... A major airline carrier. This is where the decent coin kicks in. Not Earth shattering money, but at least you can carve out a nice living for you and yours.

I've been in the game for about 2 years. I started at a little turbo-prop operation in Wichita, Kansas, which I left after about 7 months. I spent some time running an Electronic's Boutique when I got the call to go to work here. I've been here a tick over a year.

Yesterday, I got a call from America West Airlines. They want to interview me for a position there.

So, the good:

--- They're a major airline, and are in charge of their own destiny.
--- They've made around a $50 million operating profit this year. Not an easy task in this economy for an airline.
--- They pay more, though I'm not entirely clear how much more.
--- Average high in Green Bay in January: 24 degrees. Average high in Phoenix in January: 65 degrees.
--- The Wife has family in town.

The bad:

--- They've had some serious problems that they're just now recovering from. Jury is still out.
--- I'll be back at the bottom of the seniority pile again... And in the airline industry, everything is dictated by seniority. That being said, if you're the captain of a sinking ship, you're simply the last to drown.
--- There is no relocation assistance.
--- I just signed a year lease agreement with my landlord last month. Dunno how that's going to go when I announce that I need to move out.
--- Average high in Green Bay in July: 81 degrees. Average high in Phoenix in July: 104 degrees.

The Ugly:

--- By my best estimates, it's going to cost me around $2500 just to move me and my shit to Phoenix from here. I don't have anywhere near that kind of scratch lying around at the moment.
--- The slum lords that I moved out from a couple of years ago are still getting jiggy with wanting their money. That's a story for another time, but suffice to say, it may pose a problem finding an apartment.

At the moment, I'm just a little overwhelmed. I mean, it's everything I've worked for these last few years, but there's those little alarm bells going off in my head. I can't put my finger on it. The moving money will hurt, but I can pull it off, I think. The lease thing I really don't think is going to be a huge deal, though honestly I don't know at the moment. Clearly, if they refuse to release me from the lease and demand payment in full, this deal is officially dead.

So, you're probably thinking, "you've come up with a ton of reasons NOT to go, so why are you still questioning this?" Well... Morale at work, in a word, sucks. Now, that's not to say that WORK sucks, because it doesn't. Our company has it's problems, sure. Which ones don't? There is no doubt of this. These problems manifest into unhappiness, and since we as dispatchers are the only ones left answering the phone, the ire and anger gets aimed at us. This, I can deal with. I was in the I.T. industry in one level of service or another for the better part of 8 years... This is Club Med to me.

The problem is there are a few people who I work with, and are pretty much paralleling my shift, who have such a negative attitude that it's literally painful to have to deal with sitting near them for the entire 10 (or longer, lately) hour shift. In fact, on two of the nights, the other three desks are populated with these people. And they feed on each other's negativity. They get so negative, in fact, they they fall wickedly behind on their work, citing a "fuck them, I can only work so fast" attitude. This is problematic on many fronts. The most troubling by far is, they'll refuse to answer the phones. Now, in a service environment, I can see putting your phone on "do not fuck with me right now" mode. In our line of work, though, the phone may be the only way an aircraft having a problem in flight might get a hold of us (though AIRINC radio, which operates via telephone). I, strangely, don't seem to have this problem of falling woefully behind, and if I do get so completely slammed, I seek assistance. I guess what really torques me about this is, someone has to pick up the slack. It's usually me. This puts me in a combative mood.

Now, I'm a patient man, but something about willful dereliction of duty just really twists my knobs. Lately, I've had a hard time keeping my frustration at these people contained in my pounding head. I'm about three "fuck this place" comments away from standing up, pointing at the door, and saying "yeah, why don't you?!" The attitude in there is like a virus. Hopefully, when we get new people in there, that attitude will improve. The company is doing what it can to help rectify the jacked up operation we're dealing with, but they're not helping any by staging these little "job actions".

There are 25 dispatchers in our office. Three of them have made me miserable. A fourth, who is (was?) a friend of mine is pissed at me because I was asked about something he made a decision on, and I came to a different conclusion. He stormed out of the office, leaving me about an hour and a half behind (he was behind when I relieved him, and he agreed to work the backlog), and without any sort of turnover report at all, so I had to basically figure everything out myself. Not a big problem for me, but very frustrating when you start the day buried through no fault of your own. That same day I worked through my backlog, then worked through someone else's backlog, then covered someone else's phones while they tried to unbury THEMSELVES!

Anyway, you can see that, clearly, I'm at an impasse here. A great opportunity, but at what cost?

My head hurts.

Monday, February 09, 2004


Ya know, all these blogs have some incredibly good advice in them (mine excluded... I say nothing of any real educational substance). One of the latest things going around is that the $25 No Limit games on Party are incredibly soft.

With this in mind, I plug into a nice juicy $25 NL game and get to work.

I walked away $10 lighter.

Really, it's my own damn fault. I did two things wrong. First, I hopped on a table 30 minutes before I had to leave for work, so I really didn't have the time to sit and play. Second, I couldn't get my mind out of Limit Poker mode, and called down some hands that, in NL, really should have been turbo-mucked.

Stupid hand of the day... I'm in middle position and get Ah8h. In typical Party NL fashion, just about everyone limps in for the BB of $.50, so I call. Flop comes A63 rainbow with one heart.


Okay... checked around to me, so I bet out a buck (stupid stupid stupid). Of course, it gets called down 3 ways and we're 4 to the turn, which comes a 7d. Hmmmm... Checked around to me again. Now what? I've got the ace, but I have a questionable kicker, and no chance for the flush. Logic dictates that I check/fold this. Nope... Genious me, I bet out $4 in a bid to run people out.

I kick out two of them, but the third guy hangs tough. Ugh. River comes a Js. No flush. No paired board. The aces are likely good. Checked to me and I wise up and check. He turns over A9o to outkick me.


Again, my own fault. I got in there and mixed it up when I didn't have the nuts, in direct violation of my own admonishment that I was going to muck this if the flush didn't develop. The flush didn't develop, that's for sure, but I just couldn't get away from the aces with the board that ratty and all the checking going on. A passable play in limit, but suicide in no limit.

I haven't quite decided on NL yet, actually. I've been doing pretty good in the limit games and I really want to get the bankroll to 200BB for the 1/2 game. Take a $25 bath in one hand would really not be a Good Thing(tm)... Of course, tripling up in one hand would be an outstandingly Good Thing! The question is, do I have the patience to wait for the stone cold nuts before trying anything.

One idea I had to break the monotony would be to play a NL table (sitting quietly until I had the nuts) and play a limit ring table... Trouble with that is, the playing styles of the two games would be so different, I'd fear mixing the two styles of play into each other's tables and end up losing on both. The other thing would be to play two NL tables, but I'm not sure I have the guts to sit on $50 at a time in no limit at this stage of my bankroll health. No Limit at Party might be easy money, but it's not without its pitfalls.

I've got a couple of days off coming up. Tomorrow will probably be a bust for poker. It's pretty much the only day my wife and I will be able to spend any sort of time together, so that leaves Wednesday as my poker extravaganzza day. I think I'll just grind until then and perhaps Wednesday night I'll hit up a $25 NL table and see if I can't strike gold.

Sunday, February 08, 2004

The Grind

Back in the saddle, I'm back to grinding away at the 50/1 tables. I found a very nice table this time around, and worked the whole session there. The table demographics were interesting, to say the least.

And I think I've experienced my very first true "bot". This character I've played with before, and my cool little automated note taker had him down as tight/semi-aggressive, only seeing the flop 19% of the time.

So, why did I think he was a 'bot'? Well, for the entire 2 hour session he made all if his decisions instantly. He'd either turbo-muck or turbo-bet. Never did we wait any time at all for a decision from him. It was creepy. That being said, I don't know whether or not he actually said anything since I don't have chat enabled in Party. Either way, it was about as ABC as you could get. I figured that, if he became aggressive and I was working on a hand that wasn't the nuts, I'd bow out. Never really ended up needing to make that decision, as the cards dictated that we never really locked horns.

The other players were a usual crew of tight/weak and loose/aggressive low-limiters typical of Party. No real maniacs, just calling stations that would happily pay you to the river with mid pairs or drawing hands. No real "terrible" players. At least there were face or s00000ted cards that were remotely connected being played, as opposed to the Party Poker Special (64o) and the likes. Took a couple of tough losses, but also raked in some nice pots, and ended the day right around +$20. Not bad for two hours of 50/1 work.

I've been hearing talk about the $25 no limit games. I dabbled a little bit in the no limit arena a couple of months ago and had mixed results. Granted, I really didn't play all that much, only putting in a couple of hours before moving onto something else. PokerTracker says I made about $6 overall playing NL. Again, though, that was several months ago and I have learned a lot about the game since then. Perhaps it's time to try that again. I'm not so sure I want to make a go at it during my working days, since that would require my playing in the late morning and early afternoon. Not sure how fishy the NL games are going to be then... Guess I'll have to do some sitting and watching.

The good news though is that the bankroll is back over $300... I don't really know the significance of that beyond psychological, but I do know that, for my limit grinding, I'm not going to go to 1/2 until I hit $400. If my expedition into NL is as successful as others, that shouldn't take too long at all. Even if I had to grind it out at the 50/1 limit game, I figure I'm good for it in about two weeks. I think it's about time to get myself solidly into the 1/2 contest. I've dabbled in and out of it, but with only 150BB of bankroll, I'm still not entirely comfortable with the variance.

I'm bummed out that the WBT Inaugural Event will be held on a Sunday evening. I, of course, will be working. I'd be wholly outclassed, but it would have certainly been fun and educational! I look forward to the after action report!

Looks like Iggy is going to take a little break. Gonna miss him on his two week break...

5 gets you 10 we'll see Iggy posting inside of 5 days.

Decker, who I credit with introducing me to the world of poker blogging (okay, it was the first site I ran into on the subject) is posting rather regular now. Keep it up, brother!

I have this sitetracker thing on my website that's pretty slick. It's amazing to see how some people find their way here. Welcome to all of you! Feel free to leave a comment telling me how much I suck at poker!

---- WARNING!!! Non-poker Editorial Content to Follow! Run Away!!! ----

NippleGate continues with unbridled furor. I've gotta wonder, had the media not made such a huge deal about the whole thing, how many people would even realize that there was exposed breastage to be seen? What's even more tragic is that the crap that's readily available to broadcast television viewers is FAR more insidious then a 1 second shot of Janet's pasty, flabby monstrous-nipple ring decorated mammary gland. The BBC has the right idea. A good hearty breast shot every once in a while is perfectly fine, but you won't catch them showing NYPD Blue over the airwaves, and I certainly don't see British school children walking into school with an arsenal and laying waste to their classmates. What the hell ever happened to television as a means of family entertainment?

It's a wonder kids are all fucked up.

Saturday, February 07, 2004

I hate 50/1

Here's why one shithead can ruin your whole day...

***** Hand History for Game 378714931 *****
mboyk has left the table.
0.50/1 TexasHTGameTable (Limit) - Sat Feb 07 12:43:39 EST 2004
Table Card Room Table 1752 (Real Money) -- Seat 6 is the button
Total number of players : 9
Seat 1: stockracer ( $13)
Seat 2: pljenkins ( $26)
Seat 3: tunaaaaa ( $32.50)
Seat 4: JILL0010 ( $24.75)
Seat 5: happiness434 ( $28)
Seat 6: Crankcaller ( $24.25)
Seat 7: CHOWDERMAN ( $23)
Seat 9: daddyos ( $15.50)
Seat 10: mattsavard ( $29.25)
CHOWDERMAN posts small blind (0.25)
daddyos posts big blind (0.50)
** Dealing down cards **
Dealt to pljenkins [ Kd, Ks ]
mattsavard folds.
stockracer calls (0.50)
pljenkins raises (1) to 1
tunaaaaa calls (1)
JILL0010 calls (1)
happiness434 folds.
Crankcaller folds.
CHOWDERMAN raises (1.25) to 1.50
daddyos calls (1)
stockracer calls (1)
pljenkins raises (1) to 2
tunaaaaa calls (1)
JILL0010 calls (1)
CHOWDERMAN calls (0.50)
daddyos calls (0.50)
stockracer calls (0.50)
** Dealing Flop ** : [ Jc, Qh, 5c ]
CHOWDERMAN bets (0.50)
daddyos folds.
mattsavard: interesting pre-flop raising
stockracer calls (0.50)
pljenkins raises (1) to 1
tunaaaaa calls (1)
JILL0010 folds.
CHOWDERMAN calls (0.50)
stockracer calls (0.50)
** Dealing Turn ** : [ 7s ]
stockracer checks.
pljenkins bets (1)
tunaaaaa calls (1)
CHOWDERMAN calls (1)
stockracer calls (1)
** Dealing River ** : [ 2c ]
stockracer bets (1)
pljenkins calls (1)
tunaaaaa calls (1)
CHOWDERMAN calls (1)
** Summary **
Main Pot: $23 | Rake: $1
Board: [ Jc Qh 5c 7s 2c ]
stockracer balance $31, bet $5, collected $23, net +$18 [ 6c 4c ] [ a flush, jack high -- Jc,6c,5c,4c,2c ]
pljenkins balance $21, lost $5 [ Kd Ks ] [ a pair of kings -- Kd,Ks,Qh,Jc,7s ]
tunaaaaa balance $27.50, lost $5 [ Qc 6d ] [ a pair of queens -- Qc,Qh,Jc,7s,6d ]
JILL0010 balance $22.75, lost $2 (folded)
happiness434 balance $28, didn't bet (folded)
Crankcaller balance $24.25, didn't bet (folded)
CHOWDERMAN balance $18, lost $5 [ Kc Kh ] [ a pair of kings -- Kc,Kh,Qh,Jc,7s ]
pcoff balance $25, sits out
daddyos balance $13.50, lost $2 (folded)
mattsavard balance $29.25, didn't bet (folded)

So, this fucktard calls a capped pre-flop with the mighty 64s, then calls two bets on post flop...

And I didn't even get the common courtesy of a reach-around.

God I gotta get out of this low limit Hell...

Working The Wrong Shift

One of these days, I'm going to learn that playing online poker during the late morning and early afternoon on the weekdays sucks. It turns into a rock garden at the bottom limits.

Two days of poker to cover today... I played Thursday morning and it was ugly the first hour or so. I sat down at 1 50/1 table and promptly continued my streak of decent starting hands gone horribly wrong, mucking my way to a -$12 hole by the end of hour one. FINALLY things started to take a turn... Though not exactly what I'd call a run, I did manage to drag some meager pots (remember, rock garden) to scratch back to a $1.50 deficit by the time I had to head back to work. Not bad, considering the crap I was getting smacked around with.

Yesterday saw two sessions. I played another morning/afternoon run (I know, I know...) and found pretty much the same results. I never really fell apart this time, only ever ending up about $6 down, and I managed to scratch up a $1.50 win... even for the two days. I then put in an ultra-late session around 1:15am this morning. I'd have started earlier, but the last time I left work after my normal shift was some 2 months ago. It's a complete and thorough goat rope there... But anyway, I logged off at around 2:30 with a buck of profit to show for it. Weee...

Party pretty much shuts down after 1:00am, I think.. I logged on to find only 22K people on. By the time I logged off, it was down to 17K. On a Friday night. Go figure...

Thursday, February 05, 2004

...And Sometimes You're The Deer That Ran Out Into The Middle Of The Kennedy Expressway At 5:30pm On A Friday

Holy shit.

That phrase left my lips so many times during today's session that, towards the end of it, I'd say it as the turn card would give me trips, knowing I'm still a loser.

So, your host has followed up the best win of his short but illustrious career with the biggest loss of his short but illustrious career. Some of the greatest hits?

How about AA going down to 83o when he two pairs the flop? Your's for the low low price of -$7

Or 9Ts makes trip 9's on the turn, goes down to a flopped stright. -$4.75 on a .50/1 table (I'll explain in a minute)

And if you call within the next 5 minutes, we'll throw in 23 hands that fell apart to crappy draws or never developed to begin with!

So, about the .50/1 thing... Well, it didn't take me long to hit my stoploss on the 1/2 tables. Took 40 minutes to bleed off about $20 and I decided that I'd better get the Hell out before I took more of a bath. It was hideous. Problem was, I forgot that "get the Hell out" means leave the tables completely. No, no... I had to press the issue, and off I went to the .50/1 table...

Where I leaked off another $25 or so... Big fun.

So, take for the day, -$44.50. Absolutely craptastic.

Basically today was just a steady diet of hands that either fell apart post flop or were nice enough to come in second. The only really bad beat I took was the AA going down to 83o. That sucked. The loss wouldn't have been so bad, but for some reason everyone was on a "let's raise it up" kick today. Any hand I wanted to play cost at LEAST 2 SB to see. This is part of the reason I decided to get away from the 1/2 game. Too many raisers and I'm in the middle of a card draught. Not a good combo. If I were getting hit in the head by the deck, it would have been "happy days are here again", but not this day.

So, in the short term, it's back to the 50/1 tables to work through this dry spell and try to get the bankroll back up to $300. And, dammit, I've gotta stop playing in the morning/early afternoon. I don't really know what it is, but it just seems like I can't make headway there... And it's not for the players being any better! They still suck, but they seem to suck-out more often.

Or maybe I'm just seeing monsters under the bed again...

Tuesday, February 03, 2004

Somedays You're The Windshield...

Well, the wife went off to visit her family in Chicago yesterday. Interesting choice of days, considering the crappy weather, but it all worked out. We'll see if she gets back today, since the weather here still sucks.

Meanwhile, I had to go to work from noon until 9. Between the hours of 5, when we went to get dinner, and 9 5 inches of show fell. Guess we got more snow then the weather geniuses thought! Sounds like a good day to play some poker!

I sit down and fire up Party around 9:30pm CST to find over 34,000 people online! I LOVE Partypoker! I sit down at a .50/1 table and start to work...

Or at least I WISH I could get to work.

Thanks to a couple of "wait until the clock hits 3 seconds then decide" sort of people, we make less progress then most live games. Top that with, I'm getting garbage on the flop and having to post and abandon a ton. This gets old, so I buy on a second table. Same thing there! Stall Brothers are playing! I suffer through this for a little bit and finally the tables break up. I log off of the first one and start doing some thinking.

34,000 people. Hmmm... Maybe it's time to take a shot. The bankroll certainly doesn't support any $1/$2 goodness, but my Fishfinder was drawing me to look into the game.

I poke my head into the 1/2 game list and see that there's an open seat beckoning me... A rare occurrence indeed, since the waiting list for 1/2 is usually pretty deep. I jump in and watch a half dozen hands, noting nothing remarkable at all about almost everyone's play. I do tag one tricky, though still bad player, post up the blind, and start the grind.

3 1/2 hours later, I leave up $105.50.

This marks, by far, the biggest win I have ever experienced. What was the difference? Well, it did help that the cards were falling my way, but I think there was a little more to it.. Let's go to the tape!

First off, the big winner starting hand of the day was 98s. Yes, folks, a suited connector! Something I, a mere week ago, would be remiss to play is good for a whopping $41 worth of profit.

Both hands I was in middle position. Sort of marginal to call up suited connectors in that position, but the table was rather passive at this point and I was pretty confident that I could get away without a raise ahead of me. First hand the flop comes 7TJ with two hearts. Boom. Flopped a straight. I pound away at it, helped by a guy who hit two pair on the flop and was kind enough to cap the turn. +$25

Second time I got it I was in the same position I was the first time, and again I managed to get in without a raise. The flop gave me the 7 and T, but also a 3, rainbow with one club. Figuring I've got the open ended straight and the runner-runner flush possibility, I bet out and get raised. Hmmm... Turn comes a 3. Hmmmm... Flop raiser bets and I call, still getting great pot odds. River comes the beautiful 6, with no flush possibility on the board. Flop raiser bets, I raise, and he call it down. +$16

What was the big loser for the day? Believe it or not, the lovely Ladies! I get QQ 3 times yesterday and only once did they hold up...

QsQc goes down when 4 clubs hit the board and the other guy holds out with Kc5h (having neither a pair nor any drawing hand at the flop) out flushes me. -$9

QhQd goes down when I make a misread and muck the winning hand on the turn. -$6

QcQh raised pre-flop, everyone folds out, so I take down the blinds. +$1.50

I think the key here is playing more middle suited connectors from late position. I still muck the middle suited connectors in early position and from middle position of the table is tight and aggressive pre-flop. On loose passive tables where there are a ton of callers, though, you can make a mint with them.

So, definitely an great day. My win rate was around 25BB/hr. Clearly not a sustainable rate, but my bankroll is certainly in better shape. I'm about 55BB away from having the 200BB bankroll for 1/2, so I'm still trying to decide if I want to continue to grind out at the 50/1 level until I get that magical 200BB or if I should continue to grind at the 1/2 level... I'm thinking I'll keep at the 1/2 level unless I fall to $300, then I'll drop back down. All I need though is another big day like yesterday, though and I think I can forget about the .50/1 tables. Thankfully.

Sunday, February 01, 2004


There's a radio station up here that plays all '80's tunes on the weekend. It seems that any time I turn the radio on they're somewhere into Lipps Inc.'s "FunkyTown". Which, by the way, isn't a good song, but it's one of those where you just simply cannot get it out of your head. So, there's your Sunday afternoon hum job.

You're welcome.

Grubby nailed down a victory in a multi-table NL tourney, pulling down a Kilobuck for the trouble! Seems every time I try to play a multi-table tourney on Party the whole system takes a big steaming... crash. Perhaps I'll take the last $5 I have on UB and pour them into a multi table tourney there. We shall see. Anyway, CONGRATS to the Mighty Grubby! You're buying.

I'm going to take a guess that the Bloggers Inaugural NL Hold'Em Championship will be held on the 22nd of February, better known as Sunday. To that I say... CRAP! I work Sundays! How about Monday night?

Been messing around with PokerTracker today. Appears, of the 10,600 hands I've played thus far, only 4,600 of them have been in ring games. Very interesting. I also appear at this point to be winning at .50/1 at the rate of a little over 3BB/100 hands. These are all off the top of my head, since I'm at work. Other interesting tidbits when I actually get inspired to write one of these at home!

Did about 3 hours of grinding at the .50/1 table today. Started off horribly. In the two days since I last played poker, I apparently forgot how to, you know, play. I get 88 in the pocket in MP on a loose/passive table full of people I'd never seen before. I call it along with 6 other people and the flop comes 442. Hmmm. Checked around to me, and I bet. 5 call. Turn is a K. Someone in early position wakes up and bets... What do you do?

HDouble had a rather prophetic quote on his site. Allow me to shamelessly gank it and post:

Any time you play a hand without firmly believing that you have a positive expectation, you are on tilt.

So, back to the original question. The board is now 4h4c2hKd and you hold a pair of 8's. Lessee. What could the bet ahead of you mean? He could have paired up a King in his hand. He could have been slow playing a set of 4's on you, or worse, he could be holding onto 4's full. So, assuming you're behind, what can save you? A 4 might be good, but with 5 people still in, the case 4 is a danger, and if someone has a king, you're dead. An 8 would be real nice, but there's only 2 left in the deck: 2 outs.

Not alot of options here... It looks so good, but it's really a death trap, especially for a grinder.

I called it. A rag hits on the river and EP shows the king. I stopped and thought alot about that. I sat out a couple of hands. And then it hit me... I'm playing loose. I'm chasing.

I've been on tilt!

Immediately, I changed up my game a little bit. I actually started loosening up a little on my pre-flop selection. The passive table allowed me to play alot more of the suited connectors and Ax suited stuff. Where the big change was made was in post flop play. I started really concentrating on what the board was holding. Started taking bets from others seriously. In a word, I was in the zone.

Total take for the day = 3 hours of play, +$37.

Textbook. Fold fold fold pre-flop and pound pound pound post-flop. If there's big evidence that you're beat and you don't have sufficient outs to continue, muck and get on with the next hand. The difference between a good player and a great player in Hold'Em is knowing when to abandon a hand. It's been said many times, and I'll say it again; you make money at poker by folding.

On the football front, I'm thinking that the Pats will win, but won't cover the spread. Not that I care. The Bears won't make it back any time before I die, and Green Bay sucks. You heard it here.