Saturday, January 28, 2006

More fun than a barrel full of Monkeys!

I’ll abbreviate the hand history ‘cuz y’all know how this went. The funny thing is that tilted the entire table. The maniac (all he needed was one face card to raise, and you can see what he did with Kto) gave me the patented “r u ***kin serious?”, then LEAVES THE TABLE!

Three hands later, we were 3-handed – 7 people left the game! They should’ve been licking their chops!

*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to BigSlickNut [7s 2c]…
BigSlickNut: raises $1 to $2…
TheDevil42: raises $1 to $3 (Maniac)…
BigSlickNut: raises $1 to $4…


*** RIVER *** [Td 5s 7h 6s] [2d]
BigSlickNut: bets $2
TheDevil42: calls $2
*** SHOW DOWN ***
BigSlickNut: shows [7s 2c] (two pair, Sevens and Deuces)…
TheDevil42: mucks hand …
BigSlickNut collected $18.75 from pot
*** SUMMARY ***
Seat 2: BigSlickNut showed [7s 2c] and won ($18.75) with two pair, Sevens and Deuces
Seat 7: TheDevil42 (button) mucked [Ts Kh]


Jiminy Christmas, that was more fun than doubling up at the 5/10 table earlier!

I'm a bad boy

Sometimes, I like to look for ring game tables with high percentages of players seeing the flop and big average pot-sizes, and jump right in. In this case, I jumped in the deep end.

5/10.

Pretty doggone deep for me.

I took a quick look at the table and saw everyone had stacks below $200. So, I bought in for $200, and spent an orbit watching two guys keep re-buying super-short for $50 a pop, then raising the crap out of everyone pre-flop. Variance was really high.

Earlier, I spoke of possibly being targeted as a fish. Well, one of my suspects popped in on my direct left and ALSO bought in short for $50. Since I’d last seen him earlier this week at 1 / 2, I know he was also playing over his head in the hope of relieving me of some of my hard-won money.

He only entered my pots, too. I raised in the SB with KK after folding 12 hands in a row, and the BB (the guy targeting me) and all 3 limpers complete. All 4 called my flop bets, and 2 were calling me down on the river.

Nice.

I picked up a couple more decent hands and made nice money off of them also, mostly because the short-buy-in players misplayed strong-but-vulnerable hands.

I walked away with $223 profit, my biggest profit yet for anything, in just 18 minutes – the very definition of a hit-n-run.

Nice getting away with that once in a while, especially since I just today processed a small cash-out to spoil (ok, buy the affections of) my family.

I know, I know, I’m the ultimate fish, but I got away with this one. Back to the grind!    

Question

Does anyone know if there are rakeback deals for ‘Stars?

I’m thinking about abandoning the bigslicknut screenname and going with something more anonymous. Since ‘stars doesn’t let you change screennames, and I’ve hit my limit of 2 avatar changes, I’m locked in with what I have. Since I’m being followed around when I play ring games (which gives you an idea of how BAD a ring game player I am), I’d just feel more comfortable hunkering down for bit.

IF I do, I’d prefer to sign up for a rakeback deal, but I’ve never seen them for ‘stars.    

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Mega-in-laws visit this week. Mrs. Big’s mom came down, and her sister and her family popped over in their new RV.

When one group or the other visits, it’s ok. When they overlap, it can get stressful. Y’all know, I don’t need to tell you.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my wife’s family. It’s my own family that changes in ways I don’t like when the rest of them come around. Mrs. Big reverts to adolescence, and I mean that really annoying 16 yr. old teenage girl, I-know-everything-you’re-so-stupid-make-me-dinner teenage girl. The kids want to be with Grandma or their cousin 24/7, leaving me sitting out in the cold.

Before this devolves into a rant against my loved ones, I better stop. I just get ticked off when I make plans to do something with my kids, and they get dropped without a thought because our visitors want to check out the busiest breakfast place in town (“You were here during the week, but waited until Saturday morning to out to breakfast?”).

Grrr…

[Long rant filled with righteous indignation edited for the sake of marital bliss]

So there!

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

What's happening?

Weird stuff, these $15 turboes. When I was single-tabling them, I was ITM ~35% of the time. But, when I cashed, I took first 75% of the time.

Multi-tabling? Same damn thing. Exactly.

But, doing the math, it’s better monetarily to take two second’s than one first and a bust-out, so I definitely need to work on a strategy for more consistency. I’m profitable, but my hourly rate is nearly identical to the rate I was running in the $6 turboes. If I were more consistent about cashing, I should be doubling that hourly rate.

I can’t figure it out. I do recognize that players in these games are more likely to call continuation bets on the flop with anything playable, knowing it’s likely to just be a bluff. A key difference from the weak play in the $6 games. I don’t consider them to be bad calls; rather, the players are tougher and more likely to think through the action and maybe throw a test bet out there before folding second pair. For instance, playing AQ pre-flop for a 3-4X raise may get you a caller in the BB in levels 1-2 with almost anything, and when you lead out at a flop of raggedy low cards you’ll find someone playing back at you since the most likely hand you have is two big cards rather than a big pair (BTW, big pairs early get paid off nicely – but you’ve gotta them first).

So, I lost some early SNGs by getting too short too early. But, in each set of 3, I lose the first two and win the last. I have no explanation for my success once I’m in the money, except that I’m nearly always the most aggressive player from the bubble to the win. I’m finding that heads-up, the other players are folding way too much pre-flop given the blinds. In my last two wins, my stack rode the rollercoaster from massive chiplead to having less than 2 blinds, and I came back each time by relentless aggression.

If I’m wrong, please let me know. But, if there are 13,500 chips on the table and blinds are 600/1200 with ante’s of 100, every decision is pre-flop. Each time, they tried to complete small blinds so we could play “poker” post-flop [sarcasm intended]. Even with even chipstacks each player’s M is only 3 – 4. In this situation, I’m pushing with any A, K, Q, pair, and connectors 7 and above.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Whew...

Whew…     

Just finished a wild $55 turbo. Took second place, it was finished in 32 minutes! I doubled up on the first hand, flopping the nut straight to beat AQo. At least 6 other players had multiple tables going. One of the single-tablers, though, played every single hand. He sucked out on me after he called a 4X raise in level 3 with 6-9o, calling big raises from me (top pair, great flush draw) to fill his inside straight on the river. After that, I just picked a pair and pushed in level 5. He called me with JTs.

Yep. Every hand. What the hell, he was a coin-flip, so technically he was right to call me.

After that, I shared the chip lead with the guy on my immediate left. I didn’t let his stack keep me from stealing since he was playing 4 tables – a big MTT, an Omaha table, a limit hold ‘em table, and this SNG. He was totally playing big cards pre-flop and fit-or-fold post-flop, so I figured the risk was minimal since I could easily fold if he called my raises and bets. The guy on his left was in third place and had hunkered down to protect his minimal lead with 6 left, so he also wasn’t calling without great cards. He was also playing 3 tables, and he went on to beat me heads-up. He had a 5-1 advantage when we got there and put me in every hand. I had to finally call with J5o. Do you know how much it sucks to have your final hand of a tournament be J5o?

So that was fun. I may hit one more later if I stay awake through SNL.

Well

Well…

I took another shot today… at the $105 Turbo…

No, didn’t cash this time… but I’ll be back… I don’t know if it was just because it was Friday and the wild men are out or what, but it was rocking! Lots of all-in’s on the flop with 2nd pair and bottom pair… and some of those were CALLING all-in with those hands!

Oh. My.

I got bounced by a 3-outer when the SB tried to steal with A8s in level 5 and I was holding QQ in the BB. He put it all-in PF, so I didn’t hesitate with my call. We both had big stacks relative to the table with M’s in the 11-12 range, so there was plenty of room to maneuver. It was an obvious steal, absolutely no attempt to get any value on his hand. And this was going on all over the place. Wild!

And, again, I’m fine with it. I love knowing these kind of juicy games are out there. I’ll take another shot soon.

Anyway, today was definitely Friday the 13th at the tables. No, I’m not going to re-hash it all. Suffice it to say, I’m fine with MY play and MY decisions, but that 3-outer wasn’t even the worst that happened to me today. I’ll sleep fine tonight, except for dreaming about getting back in that game.

As I move up through the levels, it seems there are more players with the mindset of wanting to build a big stack early or bust out. Especially the 55 and 105 turboes. Probably multi-tablers wanting to get a stack they can sit on until they cash. Fine with me. The multi-tablers are making way more per hour than I am. I just haven’t built up my multi-table skills enough to compete that way. But, I’ll go out on a limb and say that a solid, tight-aggressive SNG player focusing on one game is never a dog to someone with 8 tables going, regardless of their bankroll or how many hands they’ve played. Break-even to small edge, perhaps, but never a dog.

Like I said, I’ll be back. This $114 was just an investment.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Today was good

Today was good.

Lots of positive karma thrown my way by the poker gods as I settled back into my SNG games. Mixed a $5, 45-seat SNG in there, too, and managed to finish 2nd despite being in the bottom 3 stacks from about 35 players on. My middle and baby pairs held up for me today. Lucky to get them when I did, and I was so short that my decisions were easy. Had very positive results in my single-table games and recovered most of a slide I experienced in my single-table games last week (five consecutive days of negative results) in about 3 table hours. Fortunately, I have no ego or pride about moving back down, and kept the damage to a minimum while I worked through it and re-plugged my frickin leaks.

Well, that, and the bad beats stopped for little while… ;-))

No micro-buy-in, big field MTTs today. Feeling a little burnt out on them after a minor cash in the wee hours last night. I got severely short-stacked and crawled into the money. Once there, I pushed with QT UTG (I think my M may have been 2, I’d have had to go in with my BB on the next hand anyway), and got bounced by KQ. Wished everyone a good night and good luck, just thankful it was over for me.

I took that as a sign to quit them for a few days. I need to start final-tabling, not cashing, to make them worth my time.

Not including the SNG MTTs, I’ve played 14 big-field MTTs in the last 14 days, cashing 4 times and bubbling once. A lot of table hours for very little ROI, but fantastic experience, nonetheless. In the same period, I played 6 SNG MTTs, cashing in 4 for a much better ROI. I mostly play them because I suck so bad when it comes to making the final table in my deep runs – I’m trying to learn some, and perhaps develop some “muscle memory” for lack of a better phrase, about handling the deep end of a tournament. It isn’t an exact science, but it’s the best I can do without spending 4 hours getting to that last 45 seats. Today I got to experience crawling in as a short-stack, something I’ve never been good about in the latter stages of the big-field tournaments.

Um, yeah, they’re also pretty soft… I suck, after all, as anyone that’s played with me can attest.

-----------

Re-discovering my aggression.

One of my worst leaks is not being aggressive enough when I’m seeing the hit parade of bad beats, bad cards, or just plain bad luck. It all ends with the same thing from me: bad play.

Seems like every time I decide to just “play right”, make solid PF raises and continuation bets, things magically get better.

Magic. Go figger.

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Re: Internet porn

What is this? Are you telling me I can see pictures of nekkid women on the computer?

This Internet thingy might just catch on…


Thursday, January 05, 2006

In Process

So I’m in the $3 Stars MTT, 2000+, on the second break. I have an average stack and we’re already in the money. Managed to have a top-30 stack while 2-tabling a $5, 27-seat SNG, but then, when I cashed and busted over there, I tried a little fancy-play syndrome and semi-bluffed 1/3 of my chips away to the table’s resident $3 Pro.

Or, he was until I told him how glad I was he was here to let me know EVERY TIME a bad beat occurs.

He’s been quiet ever since, just check-raising the hell out of me.

So, anyway, with the 20% payout structure, it’s nice that I’m not losing my $3 but, let’s face it, none of us is playing to be happy going out 343rd with a $1.98 profit. I am still pleased with my decisions in the tournies last night, and have stuck to the same strategy. I’ll hope to keep my focus and forget the FPS and try to go deep again.

Wish me luck.    

Update:

At the third break, I’ve managed to pop back to a top-30 stack. Not playing many hands. Had a 66 that held up to an all-in maniac that pushed with QT. It was about 50% of my chips, so I figured I’d gamble. I’d still have had enough chips to maneuver. Luckily, it held up.

Later a newbie at the table flat-called the button, and I completed the SB with K5, planning to lead out. Flop came AK7, 2-hearts. I led out, and he raised it up.

Shit. Slowplaying? Semi-bluff? I was getting good odds for the 5-outer, believe it or not, so I called and the 5 came on the turn. I checked, he put me all-in, and my 2-pr holds up against Aqo.

Baby Jesus hates limpers.

Update:
    
10 minutes ago, with 45 players left, I was 45/45 with a little over T7K left, an M right at 1.

Now, I have over T100K, exactly average.

Multiple triple-ups are nice.

31 left.

Update:

Made the 4th break. 19/24. My stack is half the average. I picked up 99 in EP, made a healthy raise, and the SB called me with Q7 and picked up the Q on the river. I don’t blame him, he was short enough to make the desperation call. I wouldn’t have done it with an entire orbit of possibilities available before the next blind.

But, I’m glad he did. (

Continuing to play my hands tight-aggressive. Doing a great job the last 2 hours of getting my money in ahead (even when I was the severe shortstack, I was ahead), but poker isn’t engineering and if the favorites always held up it wouldn’t be any fun.

Update:

Just busted out 24th with 99. MP raised my blind. SB called. I should have dropped it. I pushed (it was about 2X the raise, roughly pot-sized), hoping MP was on a steal, and maybe I could go heads-up with the SB. Nope, MP had JJ. We all had fairly even stacks.

SB took his time, then called all of his chips with KQo.

Two Queens on the flop, and he busts both of us.

Oh well. Now THERE’s a bad decision that cost me my tournament. I admit it. I could have folded. I had enough chips to go around a few more times. My spidey-sense was tingling. I ignored it. My bad.

---------------------

So, another top-1% finish. While I hate the way I went out tonight (as opposed to last night, when I got it in with great hands), I still like the way I managed the rest of my game. I’m feeling like I’m on the verge of a breakthrough.

Or maybe that’s just gas from all the iced tea I drank tonight.

Played two strong MTTs last night

Played two strong MTTs last night

I was already in a little $1 MTT with 1000+ when I saw the $45K guaranteed on Stars last night. $10 rebuy tourney with 1200+ registered. I always suck at rebuys because I don’t… um… rebuy.

I decided if I was going to do it, I’d do the first rebuy immediately and take the add-on at the break if it looked like I was going to be competitive. It did, I was, and I added-on.

Meanwhile I two-tabled these two and played well. Making good decisions, staying aggressive, making substantial continuation bets, yadda, yadda, yadda. I can’t recall much luck being involved this time.

Eventually, I cashed and went deep. But, it was the $1 tourney, so I got all of $3 for 20th place. Not important, I just needed to go deep, needed to continue to get that big-field experience under my belt. I was generally pleased.

In the $45K, which eventually became a $51K+, I was holding between 30th and 50th well into the third hour. I was just playing your standard tight-aggressive survival poker, trying to pick up a little more than my share of the small pots, with an occasional big one thrown in with made hands. Stayed away from big stacks, and all that. A top-100 finish would be my biggest payday.

I know nobody wants to hear the bad beat story. And I don’t have $2 to send anyone. Suffice it to say, losing with AK to KQ and AA to 95-suited in a matter of minutes left me dazed and confused… and out, 8 from the money.

Still, I made good decisions all night long and was pleased by THAT.

The benefits of a tight table image and polite chat personality: Oddly enough, there were railbirds I’d played with earlier at my final table rooting FOR me even though it was in their interest to see me busted. You just don’t see that outside of the blogger tables, and I was happy they respected me enough not to rub it in.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

SNGs

Continuing to play a butt-load of SNGs, floating between $10 and $25 games, standard and turbo. Gone back into break-even mode, which is better than the losing-my-ass mode I normally see when I enter a down-cycle. While I’ve been playing over my bankroll per my SNG challenge rules, lately, I’ve been dropping back. I’m just waiting until I feel like I’m playing well again, then I’ll take another shot at something over $30.

--------------

I was going to take a shot at an SNG strategery post today, but decided against it because: a) I THINK I play better than I really do, and 2) I’m really tired, and c) I’d mostly just be plagiarizing.

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Just finished a $12, 6-handed SNG at Stars. You’d think it would go fast.

You’d think.

90 minutes for a 6-handed game. We played over 160 hands, and HALF of those were heads-up!

I was the short-stack most of the time. I place 1st more than any other position by a significant margin, usually because I go heads-up with a significant chip lead. Tonight, I just played tough, hard poker. Didn’t close it out, but not for lack of trying. I had all my chips in the middle with a wide range of hands, tried lots of traps, and took a final whipping trying to raise my T9s into AA – doh!

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The post I was planning was about bubble play, because that is where I accumulate most of my chips to wind up heads-up, but not necessarily with the naked aggression some might expect. I actually bubble-out less often than I place 2, 3, or 6, and exactly the same as 5th. Everything I do is more along the lines of “it depends”. I do need to get my thoughts down on paper, though, more for my own sake than anything else. But I’ll probably skip the blog post since most of it is based in part or in whole on HoH (The. Best. Thing. Going. Today! Wooooooooo……).

If you’re not reading Action Dan, you’re giving your money away.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Decisions

A little ticked at myself right now.

Why make a read, then ignore it?

Yeah, I did that, twice in MTTs where I was in nice shape, and both times it cost me all my chips.

Then, I wanted to get in an SNG, and mistakenly signed up for PLO8!!!

What is with my focus and decision-making today?

Time to sign off, as soon as this last SNG finishes. Hope I finish on a high note.