Archive for May, 2009


The Rio bites back…

Day 2 at the Rio playing cash games. I was there for 8 hours. I basically made 3 bad decisions that added up to -$1200. The last one was by far the worst.

Early on in the session, I had 95s clubs in the big blind. Someone made it $10 and I called the extra $5 as there were 6 players in the hand. The flop was Q68 with 2 clubs giving me a flush draw and a gut shot straight draw. Someone bet, I called, and then old cranky guy went all-in for another $140. I thought for a while and called expecting to see AQ. He showed QQ. The turn 6 ended my hopes and kissed away $200+. This sucks because I actually have a sticky note on my desk that says “Don’t dig holes early” – meaning that it’s harder to have a winning session when you sit down and lose a buy-in right off the bat. Ugh.

A while later, I had two red Aces. Everyone was straddling so I raised to $40. I got only the straddle as a caller. The flop was all hearts – Queen high. I bet, he raised and I pushed all-in. He quickly called showing KJs hearts for the 2nd nut flush. I needed a heart to win but it didn’t come. I called because he wasn’t a very good player, but in hindsight I should have just folded to his check-raise. About two hands later, he got AA and lost a big pot, so apparently the karma police were hard at work. He went broke not too long after – unfortunately not giving me any of my money back.

The final hand of the night I was dealt KK. The table was quite aggressive and I decided to just call the straddle. Bad timing as everyone just called and the straddle checked. The flop was J83. I led out for $35, got 2 callers and then a raise from the straddle to $200. I thought for a long time and finally called (probably my worst possible choice). The turn was a 2, and he pushed all-in. He had been aggressive and at the time I thought he would do this with AJ, but I don’t think so – he would have raised instead of checked. My mistake. I called him and he showed 83 for bottom two pair. I needed a Jack, Deuce, or King to win. River was a five and I was on my way home.

It felt like a lot of this was rust from not playing live. After losing the first two pots, I had played very well building my stack back up a few hundred dollars, and then donked it. I was playing very patiently until this hand, and I almost folded it. I wish I would have. I’ll not make that mistake again soon hopefully.

I decided not to play the $1k event this weekend. I may play one later, but for now I’m going to focus on the cash games.

Oh, and in case any of you ever see a sign that says “Grab ‘n Go Poker Food” – just keep on walking. I bought a chicken BLT wrap that might as well have been dog poop.


THE WSOP arrives

May has been a shitty month for poker. Almost exactly like 2 years ago, I have been on a prolonged losing streak. It’s only cost me about $2000, but it’s pretty sick to watch AA get beat by KK all-in preflop every time. (Ok, not every time, but I’m not winning 81% of them like I should be with pair over pair.) Ah, but enough complaining. I’ve also been playing mostly online and hardly at all live since we’ve been here. I’m not sure why this is actually, but it’s just what I’ve felt like doing. However, with the WSOP here, I ventured back to the strip. Well – slightly off the strip to the Rio.

I had never been to the Rio or anywhere near the WSOP. It’s an easy drive from the house (about 20-25 minutes with some traffic). I arrived, parked and walked in on the red carpet WSOP entrance. They had a canopy with misters going to keep folks cool. And of course, there is the occasional scantily dressed woman who is trying to get you to sign up for something or another. Don’t make eye contact, or you’re going to get sucked in.

The $1000 No Limit Event starts on Saturday and I wanted to satellite into it. I went to the satellite room and stood in line. It didn’t seem highly organized, but it actually was once you knew what was going on. A sign out front for NOOBs would have been helpful. They have single table satellites that run from $125 to $1000. Ten people, one or two winners depending on the cost. I chose a $225 which had 2 winners and sat down to play. I made a bad call preflop early with KTs out of position, but it only cost me $100 in chips out of $1500. There were many bad players at the table so it was just a waiting game to take advantage. One guy was being reckless after losing much of his stack and pushed all-in the next hand. I looked down at AQo and called winning the pot and eliminating him. I then sat for a while playing no hands. I folded AQ preflop to the tightest person at the table because I thought he had AK. It turns out he had K9 but turned a flush anyway. The other guy had A9 and an Ace hit on the flop when they got it all in and a 9 hit the river. So good intuition to fold and save my stack. :)

We were down to six players and it folded to the button who limped (bad). I had JJ in the small blind and raised to 400 (blinds were 50/100). He gave a speech like “Really? Really? Hmm…” and then called. The flop was 987. Good flop for me. I led out for 500 and he took a while and pushed all-in. I called and he showed 97. My thoughts “Really?”. lol. The turn was a 9 and the river a King and I was out. Ugh. Well it turns out that my friend Rob lost with JJxx in his Omaha satellite and another guy I met lost with JJ in his satellite. JJ has been banned from the playlist for satellites. I was going to play another but I felt like $225 per satellite was a bit much and perhaps just buying in to the event was a better plan…or earning it at the cash game tables. Off I went to find a cash game.

The cash games were running in the same room as the $40k event. All the big names were there. It was also the same room as the final table and “Table 2” you see on TV.

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I put my name on the list, walked outside for a few minutes, came back and the list was gone. I immediately got a seat at a 2/5 No Limit game. I bought in for $400 ($500 is the max). I played tight at the beginning. There were 2 or 3 friends at this table and none of them were very good at poker. Seat 5, 6 and 9 were the friends. Seat 5 was an older bald guy who only had about $150 on the table. He said “call” and then threw out $15 in chips. The dealer made him take it back. I had AKs and made it $25. He then raised to $50 and I called. The flop had AQx. He checked (huh?) and I bet $100. He folded to my surprise.

Many more hands folded (like an hour) and I limped with JTo after 5 limpers behind me. It was raised to $15 and everyone called. The flop was 89Q. Nice. Seat 6 – a big guy in a Buccaneers jersey who loved to talk led out for $50ish. I raised to $160, it folded back to him and he went all-in. I snap called and showed him the nuts. He turned over 88 for a set. The turn was a 4, and river 6. Whew – no paired board and I double up to $800. He has $62 left and announces that when he bets it will be $62. lol. He of course loses this to Seat 2 who has been raking in tons of cash from the table by playing aggressive and hitting a lot of flops hard. Mr. Buccaneer pushes with Q2s clubs and gets called by 44 and loses. His friend in Seat 9 laid down AQo for him. Dumb. He leaves the table and is complaining about how people like me call with worse hands and get lucky on the flop. Even his friend thinks that’s dumb. He put $385 out of $400 in the pot when he had the worst hand. Nice job sir. My bankroll thanks you.

The action was a bit crazy. At least half of the hands had a straddle or Mississippi straddle (on the button). During one of the straddled hands I looked down to find AKs. I raised to $40 or $50 (strange that I can’t remember). I got 3 callers – Seat 9, Seat 2, and Seat 4. The flop was a beauty – Q63 – all spades. Boom – the nuts. Now I just have to extract money. I led out for a weak $50 bet. Seat 9 insta-calls and Seat 2 thinks and then comes over the top for $125 more. How sweet it is. I think for a while and push all-in for another $500 or so. Seat 9 again insta-calls. (He must have a set at this point.) Seat 2 picks up his cards, looks at them and says “I don’t think I can lay this down” and calls with a lower flush. Seat 9 has QQ for top set. The board doesn’t pair and I take down a $1700 pot. WOO HOO!!!

I had a few other hands that I made a little / lost a little on, and finished the night winning with a King high flush for another $200. I left with $2100 from my original $400. Not a bad day’s work at all.

It felt good to play live and I’ll definitely be going more often especially with that kind of action. I’m not sure if I’ll play the $1000 event or not yet. It feels like I want to play because it’s the WSOP, but it also feels like I’m just giving away $1000 as I’m not a big multi-table tourney player. So we’ll see how I feel. They have other events later in the month as well that I could play as opposed to this 4 day event. In any case, I’ll be playing at the Rio regularly now for a while.


upping the multi-table ratio

If you’ve been following along, you know I’ve been playing a lot of DON tournaments (double or nothing). I started with 6 $20’s, and then moved to 9. However, I would start 9 and play (without starting any new ones) until the 9 were completely finished. This meant for more than half of my playing time, I was likely playing only 5 or fewer tourneys, obviously finishing by just playing 1. So a while ago I tried replacing each tourney I finished with a new one. It’s pretty common to lose one of the nine before you win one, so I found myself replacing a few losers with new tourneys. However, I never seemed to get ahead. It was almost as if I was replacing losers with new losers. Clearly not a good situation.

I then moved to the $50 DON’s. With the step up, I would only play 6 at a time or mix in $20’s and play 8 or 9. I finally was comfortable at the $50 level. One time instead of registering for 6, I accidentally registered for 7. This didn’t feel overwhelming and so I moved to 8. However, the big breakthrough was that I then figured out recently how to replace the ones that are finished with new tourneys (and not lose them). I’m not sure if it was practice with having blinds at such different levels (10/20 vs. 200/400) or if I just improved my game.

In any case, yesterday was the first true test of this. I played 6 sessions yesterday. My first one included 22 tourneys of which I broke even…which means I lost to the rake. At $2 per tourney, that’s $44. I then played a session of 8 and lost 6 for a $216 loss. Doh! I came back for a 19 tourney session and managed to win 13 out of 19. I was now ahead for the day! Unfortunately I played an 8 tourney session right before dinner and lost 6 of 8 again. Back down. I snuck another 8 tourney session in before CSI Miami and won 5 of 8. I had won 33 and lost 32, which unfortunately meant I was still losing to the rake.

After CSI Miami (and the commercial that wasn’t in the show where Horatio says “Do you have a God?” and then shoots Ivan – why do they do that crap?), I sat down for the last session of the day. I lost the first tourney very quickly and replaced it. I proceeded to then win 8 in a row, lost a few, and then won 6 in a row, lost one, and won the final one. All in all, 17 out of 24 won. WOO HOO!!! This meant my day of 89 tourneys (and winning 50) had shown me a profit of $372. Not a bad day at all – here’s what that looks like in graph form.



the overdue Update…

Ok, so blogging hasn’t been my thing lately. April was a bad month – I actually lost money for the month. Most of which was when Art and Craig were here and I played at Bellagio. That’s to be expected since the variance of playing one or two live sessions is pretty high.

In any case, April did see the end of most of the house stuff that was going on. I got most of the 30 day warranty stuff wrapped up with the exception of granite, windows and grout. I had one tile replaced and the grout didn’t match. So they tried again – still no match. However, yesterday they made it perfect. And the granite guy showed up and fixed that issue as well. So now it’s down to the window guy and I should know more tomorrow.

I ordered shutters and a few honeycomb blinds for the house…mostly shutters. Crazy expensive – now I know why I only covered a few windows in the old house. :) Forty-two windows I need to cover with shutters. I guess a new car will have to wait a while.

I went for a bike ride today. Very fun. Here’s a few pics…

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And for those of you reading this for poker…

Towards the end of April, I decided I was going to focus on single table “Double-or-Nothing” tournaments during May. I was a consistent winner at the $20 level playing 9 at a time, and have moved up to playing 6 $50’s at the same time. Today I’ve played two sessions. I went 3-3, and 5-1. In the last tournament of the session, there were 6 left and after 2 all-ins one player was left with $43. (We start with 1500 and the blinds at this point were 200/400 with a 40 ante.) So he ante’d $40 and was in the small blind for $3. He wins this hand and has $200-ish. He pushes again and the flop has 3 hearts. He has nothing other than K4s hearts for the flush and triples up again to over $800. He gets it all-in on the next hand and triples again to about $3000. It was pretty entertaining. This is why you never give up and just put your last few dollars in. He won $100 for his efforts.

I have scripts that make registering for tournaments faster (takes one click instead of three). However, yesterday I clicked to register, but the tournament filled up and the highlighted tourney switched to a 6-max single table tourney (non-turbo). I dislike this in so many ways. I wasn’t very happy even though it was only a $27 buy-in. So I did what anyone would have done. I won it. :)

And finally…I started working out again yesterday. A sort of “biggest loser” before my Mom comes to visit in 24 days – I’ll see how much I can lose. And as always, if you’re going to be in town (like JJ this Friday!!!), let me know!