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Sunday, October 31, 2010

Multi Tasking

I had a good night at Tin Man's $5 NLHE Tournament last Friday.

Fifteen runners showed up to pitch some cards. I was seated at table 2, with Bondo Chris seated to my immediate left, followed by the Music Man, Philly Phanatic, Random Order, Bluffing Bev, and Lil' Okie Annie.

I started fast, winning a couple decent sized pots off of the Music Man, out kicking him twice when we both paired our aces. It only took about 30 minutes to get to a final table, which is unusually quick for this particular tourney.

Mama Chas had a HUGE stack when final table play began. She plays a very laggy style. I mentioned how many chips she had collected and Tin Man observed that she had drawn out on several people to build her stack.

I was card dead for the first hour at the FT, but managed to double thru Mama Chas. I checked a limped pot in the BB with the hammer, and hit bottom two pair on an A-7-2 rainbow flop. I checked, knowing Mama would C-bet as sure as the sun rises in the east. She didn't disappoint, throwing out a pot sized bet, which I smooth called. I check- called the turn and pushed the river, getting the call I was hoping for. Mama tabled top pair, but it was only good for second place.

Double R busted Random Order on the bubble when his J-5 outdrew Random's K-8. I busted Mama Chas in third place a few hands later and Double R and I agreed to chop the first and second place money. I walked away with a $25 profit in the tourney.


My first hand in the $2 cash game was interesting. I was in middle position when I looked down at Q-9 offsuit. I limped, but Philly Phanatic raised to .50 cents and I called. The flop was 9-4-4, giving me top pair. I bet out for .60 cents, with Philly my only caller. The turn was another 9, giving me the boat! SAH-WEET! I shoved and was insta-called by Philly, who quickly flipped over his flopped quad fours!

Busto on my first hand. Geez!

I had to rebuy three more times before finally hitting a few flops and finished with a small $1 loss.


Online poker today has been interesting. My phone rang at 4:30 this morning, requiring me to get out of bed and stay by the phone as a family situation unfolded.

I had a 9:00 meeting at church, giving me a couple hours of down time before I had to start getting ready. I figured I might as well get a few tourneys in while I waited by the phone and fired up two $6-18 man, one $6-90 man, and two $3-90 man tourneys, thinking that two hours would be plenty of time to finish them all.


I bricked one of the 18 man tourneys, finishing in 11th, but won the second one, assuring a profit of at least $17 for the session. I also busted in the $6-90 man shortly after the first break when my A-Q ran into A-K, felting me in 46th place. Nothing better than getting it all in when you're dominated! Yeah, I'm that good.

The $3 tournaments went much better. I final tabled both of them, but my problem was time; I was running out of it. I needed to start getting ready for my meeting, but the tourneys were running longer than I expected.

What to do, what to do?

When we hit the second break, now two hours into the tournament, I decided my only chance of completing the games and making the meeting on time, was to multi-task.

So now, for the first time in my poker career, I'm playing two final tables while brushing my teeth! I bust quickly in one, finishing ninth for a minor cash. Now down to one tournament, I play a hand, shave, rinse the razor, and play another hand.

WOOT! Double up! Oops, spilled a little Afta on the keyboard. That won't hurt anything will it? It goes nicely with the Colgate stain.

I busted over half the players at the FT, building a 2-1 chip lead when I finally got to heads-up play. I limped the final hand with an 8-6 offsuit, hitting bottom two pair on an A-8-6 flop, with two spades. The villain min-bet for $8,000 and I smooth called, hoping he was putting me on a flush draw.

The turn was an offsuit J, and the villain pushed for his last $70,000, tabling A-5 for top pair. I called and shipped the tournament when the villain didn't improve on the river.


No time to celebrate, I was now running late. I jumped in the shower barely long enough to get wet, dressed and was out the door in record time! Fortunately, I hit most of the lights green and arrived two minutes early. Gotta love that!

As I turned into the parking lot, I received a phone call from Sonny Boy, alerting me that the family situation had been handled and all was well. Whew.

I netted a little over $95 in my session, all before 9AM. Not a bad start to my day.

Happy trails.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

I'm Baaaack!

"Hello boys... I'm BAAAACK!" (Russell Casse, Independence Day)

After a $250 downswing in my Full Tilt bankroll, I finally made it all back, plus a little!

After placing third in a $3- 90 man tourney Saturday, I decided to play a $6- 90 man Sunday and finished a respectable fifth, going out when my pocket sixs lost a race to K-Q offsuit. Fifth paid about $50. Since I was running good in the 90 mans, I decided to try it again yesterday.

Bad decision.

I came in 88th.

I lost when my top two pair were outdrawn by an OESD that hit on the river. I don't think gambling your stack on a draw that early in a tourney is +EV, but with the knockout bounty considered, I could be wrong. It certainly worked out for the villain in this instance!

I also played a total of nine $6- 18 man tournaments, winning one and placing second in three for a net win of over $75 for the evening, putting my FT bankroll at a record high. SAH-WEET!

Hopefully, the hot streak I've been waiting on has arrived!

Happy trails.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Poker And Baseball

I played my first live poker in almost two weeks last night at Tin Man's $5 NLHE Tournament. I have to admit, I was going through withdrawal!

We had 11 runners for the tourney and I got off to a good start, winning quite a few small pots early and was able to coast until we got down to four players. Sonny Boy was short-stacked and open-pushed from the small blind for 2 BB. I peeked at my cards and called with my A-7 offsuit. Sonny Boy tabled 8-4 offsuit and caught some flack from the other players, but I was okay with the move. He needed the blinds to stay alive, and unless I had a good hand, I couldn't call. The flop paired his four and I didn't improve, giving him the double-up and putting me on the morphine drip.

James called Sonny Boy's open shove a couple hands later, tabling his Q-T versus Sonny Boy's baby ace. James paired up and knocked Sonny Boy out on the bubble.

I open shoved for 3 BB two hands later with A-2 and was called by Jamie's K-9. The flop brought a 9 and I cashed in third place for $10. James and Jaime chopped the remaining tournament money.

As has been the case at Tin Man's the last few weeks, I was absolutely
card dead in the cash game. The only hand I won was an open raise for 3 1/2 X the BB with pocket queens and it was folded around. That NEVER happens and I only won the blinds. I did split one pot with Bluffing Bev with the nut straight, but ended up dropping $6 before heading home with a $1 net loss.

None of us were focusing on poker as we should, because the ALCS was on in the background. The Rangers are my second favorite team (behind the Astros), and I was excited that they had a chance to go to the World Series for the first time.


Add to that the fact they were playing the Yankees (AKA, The Evil Empire) just made it that much sweeter when A-Rod took strike three for the final out. If you combine A-Rod's and Sabbathia's salary, it's more than the entire Rangers roster. And they got their asses handed to them. Gotta love it!

My online game is going okay. I decided to play a $3-90 man KO tourney. I usually don't play these, mainly because I don't like part of the equity going towards knockouts, but it was a deep stack tournament, so I invested my $3.30.

I was able to double up my starting $3000 stack quickly and chipped up through the first hour, sitting in the top 15 for most of the time. My first hand after the break was A-K and I open raised 3X the BB. The button, who was slightly shorter, shoved and tabled A-3 SOOOTED. Of course I called, but he rivered a flush, knocking me down to less than 1 BB.

I got decent hands the next three times, shoving all three. I doubled up twice and tripled up once and was suddenly almost back to where I was before my bad beat. I was able to chip up and then knock a couple of players out and made it to the final table with an average stack.

Scanning the final table to see if there were any players I recognized, I saw none other than Very Josie sitting across from me! She was one of the shorter stacks, but soon doubled up when her soooted ace completed a flush on the river. Her villian had called with a bigger ace and went totally friggin bat crazy nuts when he lost the hand. It was pretty funny and VJ handled it well by just ignoring him.

We got down to three players, with Josie and I filling two of the chairs. I had the lead when we got three handed and was excited to see A-J and open shoved for 8BB. Josie folded, but the villian called. I felt like I would probably be ahead of a lot of his range, but he tabled pocket kings.


I didn't improve and now I was the shorty. The very next hand I open shoved from the SB, trying to steal Josie's blind. She was in second and I knew she would need a big hand to call. Unfortunately, she had such a hand, flipping over Q-Q. My 6-4 soooted was no match, and just like that, I went from chip leader to out of the tourney in two hands. But when you're three handed and run into pocket kings and pocket queens in consecutive hands, it's not your night!

Josie finished second and was disappointed, but a second and a third in a 90 man tourney represents a good showing for us poker bloggers!

Good luck to everyone in the Sunday tournaments!

Happy trails.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Crawling Out Of A Hole

No live poker last week as the host at both of the home games I play had other obligations. Where are their priorities?

In my last post I mentioned that I was down about $250 from my bankroll's high water mark on Full Tilt. It was time to do some homework and plug some leaks in my game.

I found my main problem was playing too tight once the blinds got above $50-100. I hate, hate, hate, playing out of position and that was causing me to fold some playable hands from early and middle position. Another issue was my lack of re-raising a late position or button raise. I still won't with a junk hand, but let's just say that my 3 bet range has widened somewhat.

So far the results have been encouraging. I've made back half of the $250 and more importantly, I'm feeling better about my game. Hopefully, the winning will continue!

Happy trails.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Plugging Leaks

Live poker last week was uneventful.

We had chicken fajitas at J-Dawg's Poker Extravaganza Thursday night. Larry the Mailman grilled 'em and they were mighty tasty!

We only had eight players and I was lucky enough to draw a seat where I could watch my Nebraska Huskers whup up on K-State while we played.

Ollie the Accountant was the big winner, cashing for $47, better than doubling the $20 buy-in. Bobby Dee won the high-hand jackpot with quad aces. Ollie had a grip on it with quad tens, but it didn't hold for him.

I finished with a $1.25 loss for the evening. I'm pretty sure my bankroll can take the hit :)

We had 13 show for Tin Man's $5 NLHE Tourney on Friday. I was extrememly short stacked with four left (the tourney pays three places), and figured I was going to be the "Bubble Boy'" but Bluffing Bev and Jamie played a big pot, with Bev busting on the hand. Jaime raised my BB on the next hand and I was all in when I called for two more BB with K-3 offsuit. Jamie tabled A-5 and paired his ace on the river. Third paid $10, so I doubled my money in the tourney.

The cash game was well under way when I joined in. "Horseshoe" Ron already had increased his $2 buy-in to around $15 and the game was once again, wild and wooly! I was able to get my stack up to almost $5 when I doubled up with pocket queens.

Ron was being a bully with his big stack. I was seated two to his left and was getting tired of watching him raise every hand. When called, he would usually turn over a crap hand, but draw out to win another big pot. He was up to $25 when I finally got a decent hand. Ron raised to $1.00 (5X BB) from the button, without looking at his cards. I looked down at A-J offsuit, not the best hand in the world,, but certainly ahead of a random hand. I pushed for my last $4.80 and Ron called with "Doyle," T-2 offsuit. And like Doyle, he flopped two pair. I paired my J on the river, but it was too little, too late. I called it a night after losing 3 buy-ins for a net $1 loss.

I also requested a pillow for Ron, stating that he was "probably uncomfortable sitting with a horseshoe up his ass!" Thus a nickname was born.

You're welcome Horseshoe.

Online poker has been rough. After a record August, September wasn't as profitable, but I did manage to win a little scratch for the month. October, however, has been awful. I'm down $250 from my record high bankroll on Full Tilt. At the $6.50 buy-in level, that's almost a 40 buy-in downswing.

Obviously, I've developed some leaks in my game. Time to look at some hand histories and figure out what I'm doing wrong. Boring stuff, but it's gotta be done.

I hope my next update is a little more "upbeat"! Until then...

Happy trails.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Out Early In The Very Josie

We only had nine runners at the Josie tonight and I managed to take eighth. I guess it could have been worse.

I had built my starting stack of 3K up to around 3,500 when I got pocket jacks. Three of us saw a 7 high flop, all clubs. That's a lotta popcorn!

Both villains checked, and I bet 3/4 pot (700T) with my overpair. One fold and a call from Josie. The turn was an offsuit queen, with Josie and I both checking. The river was another small club and Josie put out the perfect value bet. I tanked and finally made the call... and lost half my stack on the hand when Josie tabled her flopped nut flush. But, it was well played by VJ, so props to her.


My bust out hand was pocket tens. I limped from early position and saw a 5 high flop. I bet out, Heff raised, I pushed, and Heff called with middle pair and an open ended straight draw. I was playing five tables at the time, so I don't know if Heff hit two pair, trips, or a straight, but I do know that my screen told me I had finished eighth. Not good.

I can't be too upset though. I got it in as a slight favorite and was out drawn, which was the theme of my evening. I can't tell you how many three outers felted me tonight, but it was ugly!

As always, it was a good time playing with my fellow bloggers. Josie, G-Man, lightning, Wolfman, Bam-Bam, and the rest kept the banter rolling throughout the tourney. Hopefully, I'll redeem myself next month!

Poker is fun, poker is fun, poker is fun, poker is fun, poker is fun...

Happy trails.