Friday, April 25, 2008

Back in the Saddle

100 hands played at the impressive .10/.20 tables.. 2 hours exactly, with a take of a little under 4.5 BB/Hr. Still going through a rather dry spell of playable hands, but at least the hands I did get held up, which helps a lot.

Got a Vegas trip coming up next month, so I'm working out my Blackjack chops in preparation. Gotta try to figure out a poker schedule too. I'm meeting a friend out there who is also a poker player, and we're looking to get into some tournament action. If any of my fine readers have suggestions on low buy-in NLHE tournies, lemme know!

Friday, April 18, 2008


Okay, so since last week Tuesday I have had 15 losing sessions, and 2 winning sessions. 509 hands, an average of -22.42 BB/HR. This I believe goes down as the worst slide I have had since I started playing poker. I can honestly say, after much review, that this is just a legendarily shitty run of luck. The hilariously high BB/HR slide is from hands that statistically have a better then 70% chance at the river going down in flames. I'm not going to throttle back because, eventually, this will turn around. Of course, my horribly beleaguered bankroll isn't likely to make it much further. I'm back to playing .10/.20 trying to ride this out, but even at that level, sliding at the rate of just under 23 BB/HR, the remaining $15 is gonna get sucked down pretty quick. So, one way or another, something is going to happen pretty quick. In the mean time...

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

My Brain Is a Tomato

Nothing new to report... The slide continues, though it has slowed down a little bit. Nothing really new to report. Same stuff, really. Decent holdings getting run down when I get them, but I've been going 20 hands at a time without playing a hand. So, instead of insightful poker banter, I leave you with the worst music video ever. Enjoy!

Just to be sure, these three were signed by Sony BMG. And the record companies wonder why they're circling the drain...

Friday, April 11, 2008


So, I decided to do a little bonus whoring.. Absolute Poker has a 100% bonus up to $500, so I figured I'd throw $50 in and give it a shot.. To unlock the bonus, you get "points". 30 points and you unlock $5 of your bonus.

Sounds easy, right? Well, not so much. Here's the issue. You only get a "point" when you are actually INVOLVED in a hand up to the flop, and ONLY if that hand rakes $.50. Well, with $50 in the coffer, your chance of playing in a limit that sees a $.50 rake is pretty close to zero. When you've been having the kind of luck I've been having the last 3 days, you're pretty much solidly fucked, junior.

And, really, it's luck. The variance bitch is knocking at the door, and she wants to be paid. I've played solid poker and have just been run down time and again. Normally I'd have patience with this, but I am really chafed at getting boned by Absolute on this bonus deal. There's really no chance of me unlocking jack shit with the $15 I have left to work with in the time allotted, and truth be told, I can't stand the action, or lack thereof, at Absolute. Almost never can I find a table that's open, unless that table has no one on it. $.50/$1 tables are a good example. There's 5 of them with 9/9 players on it, there are 3 0/9 player tables sitting there, and there's 15 goddamn people on the waiting list. So, I either sit at a new table and hope that a few people trickle in, or I sit there staring at my screen for 15 minutes with my hand up my ass waiting for my number to be called. The bottom line is there's no table selection to be had and so I have to sort of play whatever is available. Not to say the tables haven't been beatable, but the steady diet of shitty hands and decent hands that get run down pretty much means you're not getting anywhere...

Haven't been back on Pokerstars since the start of this slide. The last session I had there I went down in flames, sinking about $10 in around an hour and a half. Same story. The cards have gone away.

So it goes. Perhaps I'll bust out of Absolute before I clear the bonus, which really wouldn't disappoint me at this point.

Actually, I'm sort of beyond caring at all for either. Nothing is worth this frustration. Not at this point in my life...

Monday, April 07, 2008


Hit and run here. Put in an rather solid hour of poker today and the old .25/.50 limit full ring, walked away almost doubled up again. It'd be great if the middle limits are this generous in their contribution, but the likelihood of continuing to post what is turning out to be just short of a +20BB/hr rate of return is way too much to hope for.

Really, the only things I've done is tightened up the pre-flop selection and I'm really trying to pay attention to my pot odds. There have been a few hands that I figured I was dead on, but the pot odds were such that it was worth it to call and I'm ended up scraping the pot. There is much to be said for straight mathematical poker at this level, but I'm hoping I don't get into such a rut as to not be able to play at people every once in a while. My next step is to start mastering implied odds. PT helps a lot by helping me see who's likely to call or raise me, but it's still a lot of seat-of-the-pants work.

Anyway, the bankroll stands at $48 and change. Almost back to where I started from, so I'm rather stoked.

Today's blogger link is my friend over on the other side of the drink. Ice-Cold Poker is a pro player from the UK who's putting bread on the table by punishing the no limit short-handed games. Good reads, and much more talented then my hack ass, so go forth and read!

Friday, April 04, 2008

Hanging In

"where are we going?"
"where they went."
"well, what if they went nowhere?"
"then this'll be your chance to get away from it all!" -- Dr. McCoy and Capt. Kirk - Star Trek II

After a few adjustments to the game, it would appear I might be meeting initially with some measure of success again. Taking a look at the information provided to me by PokerTracker, it seems I was making some rather loose decisions with starting hands, which were putting me in bad positions on later streets.

What with me now working the ultra-low limits I can't depend on the players I'm playing with to understand or care about how I play the hand, so the concentration must be on the statistical and not the implied. What sucks is, if I ever DO get out of the low limit arena, I will need to re-tool back to better play.

But I think I'm getting ahead of myself. First I need to get in a position to be able to play at a higher limit. Even though I had a very good night last night, I'm still far and away from even getting back to .50/1 tables. After an hour and 15 minutes of work at a 10 seat .25/.50 limit game, I walked off with +$15, a rate of +24BB/hr. The lion's share of that profit came from two hands right near the end of the session.. Prior to that, I'd been floating around plus or minus 5BB or so, taking stabs, missing, occasionally raking the meager pot. Then this happens...

I'm in middle position, and get dealt AsAh. Now already, my heart is sinking.

Lately, AA is been like that beautiful girl in high school. Even though you have no business being with the likes of her, you take the chance and to your surprise, she sort of takes a liking to you. You chat after school sometimes, trade smiles in the hallway. You think she really likes you and you're getting somewhere. Then one day you find her and the varsity quarterback feeling each other up near the lunch room and you come to the realization that she was only taking pity on you.

Okay, okay.. so anyway, 3 folds and I'm first to bet. Clinching my teeth, I shove out the obligatory raise and wait to see the rest of the table call me down. Remarkably, only the guy to my left and the BB stick it out, and we're three handed to the flop, which comes down 9s8hAc. Normally I'd be dancing a jig, but remember, AA has traditionally been the kiss of death for me. BB is first to act and he checks. No ace there, I'm figuring, so I bet out. Guy to my left folds and I'm heads up with BB who calls. Turn comes a 3d, and now I'm starting to feel pretty good about being me. Only a miracle will save him now, but to my astonishment, he bets. Somewhat perplexed but having an almost 98% chance of holding the winner, I confidently raise. He re-raises and I start grinning, thinking either he holds the case ace, or he has two pair. I cap and he calls. A 5s falls on the river and BB comes out firing again. We cap off the river and I show my trip Aces. He turns over 9d9c for the trip 9's also made on the flop and I drag a very nice pot.

Next hand. I'm dealt AdJs, 5 from the button in early-middle position. Folded around to me and I put out a feeler bet. 5 guys go with me to the flop, including the table gamboooler, who is 2 from the button. Flop is Jh9h5c, giving me top pair. Not too bad, but we are 5 handed, so anything is out there. SB checks, BB bets with what could be anything. I have top pair at the moment, so I raise to see if I can't scare off chasers (yeah, right). Guy to my left cold calls the raise and the BB calls. 3 handed to the turn which is a beautiful Jc. Boom. Now BB checks. I put out the bet, thinking BB is chasing the flush. Guy to my left folds out, BB calls. River is an even more beautiful 9s and a sailing boat. BB checks again and I put out the bet expecting to end it here. Remarkably, he raises. I can't imagine what he has, but unless he has a pair of nines I have the stony cold nuts, so I re-raise. He caps and we go to the showdown, where I turn over my Jacks full boat. He turns over 9c8h and the 9's full and I dance a jig. He wasn't chasing at all, he for some odd reason thought his second pair was good. In the words of John Spicolli, "gnarly"!

A couple more hands saw me grab a few more BB and I went off the bed instantly feeling better about being me. Again, not out of the woods yet, so to speak, with the bank a little under $30, but from a low of less then $5 a few days ago, I'm cautiously optimistic that maybe I've turned the corner.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Stop The Presses!

Okay, so rumors of my demise have been greatly exaggerated...

It would appear my math was erroneous, and as it turns out I wasn't totally busted out. I had $4.60 left in my account. Chip and a chair, right?

So, after some poking around I found my old copy of Poker Tracker, and after a quick consultation with the talented author of the program, was back in business, albeit with a completely empty database. Which really wasn't as tragic as one might think. Most of my history was from my time on PartyPoker anyway, which is verboten to us filthy Americans. I suppose it's just as well. It's a new dawn for the ICP, my friends. As Inigo Montoya might say, "I have gone back to the beginning!"

Anyway, back to the point.. I spent an hour and 15 minutes at the 10 person .25/.50 ring and ended up +$8 for the session... Not bad to almost triple your buyin. Sticking to premium hands and playing mechanical odds poker is definitely the way to go at this level... Every hand goes to showdown anyway, so finesse really doesn't bring home nearly as much as simply ramming and jamming statistically dominant hands and hoping you're just not hideously unlucky.

To be sure, I'm still very, very deep in the danger zone, but at least the slide seems to have stopped mere inches from the spiky bottom of the sinkhole. So, bank for this run, currently $12 and some change.