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Archive for June, 2010

Went to play at LC last night.  Told myself that should I have a good evening, I’d enter today’s Poker Stars $370 WSOP Qualifier.  I did, and I did (Fathers Day was the ticket, “sure, honey, ignore the family for several hours!”).

I’m not really bummed that I crashed out after a couple of hours.  I knew it was a longshot, long online tournaments are antithetical to my game, I didn’t prepare, and I was very tired.

But what irks me at least a little bit is the fact that I DID have a plan, one that I failed to follow.

The plan essentially boiled down to “be aggressive and unafraid to take big chances, don’t get into speculative calls.”

And yet there was calling pre-flop raises with moderate hands.  So I bled, finally losing my stack on a semi bluff all in bet that got called by top pair.

So be it.  I’ve been wanting to try this tournament for a few years, I finally did.

It is confirmed that I am just not that into online nor tournaments, but next year I’ll prepare a little bit.  I would like to play the wsop at some point.

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Its not just that I beat up on the 2/5 game at Bellagio the two nights I was there, and got to do my little stroll across the bridge late at night all happy like a couple of times.  I just love the whole thing.  I love the restaurants (Border Grill at Mandalay Bay is a great little find).  I love just walking around.  I love seeing the crazies waiting for an Insane Clown Posse concert at House of Blues.  I love eating at House of Blues.  I love walking around Luxor for no reason.  Etc.

But perhaps the best part of this trip, poker notwithstanding, was Thursday evening.  My last meeting ended around 4:00, my flight wasn’t until 9:00.  I decide I’ll relax in the Mandalay Sports Book.  Lots of open tables on the upper level.  I start thinking I could get the computer out and get a little work done.  I ask if its OK.  Waitress says yes.  No power outlets, except for a closed off section on the right.  Waitress says go ahead.  So there I sit for a few hours, getting through a bunch of emails, going through several Coronas, and watching the NBA finals (hitting a first half parlay in the process).  Very, very nice.  Here was my view:

I didn’t even mind the convention I was walking while I was there, ostensibly the real reason for my visit.

Ready for another run…looking for reasons.  Maybe I should try a WSOP qualifier.

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The 3/5 no limit game at Lucky Chances has been phenomenally good lately.  One must remember that if you are in a game that is phenomenally good, what happened on Saturday night is an occasional inevitability.

QQ in the BB.  I have a little more than $700, ends up being the effective stack size.  One raiser and a couple callers.  I pop it to $100 and get 3 callers.

Flop is Q 2 4 with two diamonds.  I bet small, $125, hoping to look weak and draw a raise.  End up with two callers.  Turn is a 3, not a diamond.  Board now reads Q 2 3 4 with two diamonds.

I push my remaining $500.  First guy slowly calls.  I feel pretty good.  Next guy, a young Asian, takes forever.  Obviously I know I am good.  FINALLY he shrugs and calls.

I turn over the set.  And, of course, the river is a 5 (not a diamond).  The Asian guy hesitates, and then shouts “all right!” and quickly turns over AK.  Not even AK diamonds, just AK.

Huh.

Now: of course I am happy there are people out there that are willing to play like this, to make calls like this.  Ultimately any hope of long term profit comes from them.  And I stayed calm, much calmer than anyone else at the table, which was buzzing in confusion.  I was ALMOST ok with it, no meltdown.  Fairly at peace.

However, the presence of an anonymous blog that almost nobody reads allows me to vent some of my true feelings about the AK caller:

___

You fucking dolt.  You idiot.  How could you possibly go all the way with that hand?  How fucking STOOOOOOOOOOPID are you?  What were you thinking?  There were two players in front of you!!!!  What did you possibly think AK was good against?  Two diamond draws?  AJ?

A mean, how do you get through the day being such a complete fucko?  Do you realize how stupid you are?  I hope you choke on that pot.  Not fatally, mind you, just enough to suffer a bit.  Before we play again.

___

OK, now I am calm, and off to Vegas tomorrow.

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A decent, winning session last night, but an odd one.  I am normally at my best when I’ve built a big stack (not necessarily when I bought in with it).  I am good at massaging it, growing it, leveraging it, not risking it.  But not last night.

I got up big really early on, thanks not only to my stellar poker ability but also to a nice run of cards.  But then I ended up giving up more than half of the winnings, some to suck outs, but a good deal to bad judgment and passive play.  And I think the problems started on a hand I won.

3/5 NL with about $2100 in front of me (peak of the night): I called a pre-flop raise from the BB with A7 suited.  The raiser is about as ABC as they get.  His continuation on a 9 high flop for 1/3 of the pot was very, very weak, and, playing very well at that point, I called with nothing, intending to take the pot from him later.  A 7 came on the turn and I decided that I was good.  I checked and he bet about 1/3 of the pot again, I elected to call (for what I perceived to be value).  I intended to bet the river, but a K put me in check/call mode.  However, he checked behind, and bitched and moaned about my three-outer.

Here was the issue: in my head I was thinking “dude, I was going to take the pot from you with or without the 7, you are weak, give it a rest, I used to play high stakes, I am cooler than you peons” and I think that is a fair assessment (well, maybe not the cooler part), and I think that’s exactly what would have happened.  Problem was, I must have been tired, because I then  felt this silly chess-pounding need to prove to myself that I could manipulate the table however I wanted, that I could take down a pot any time I wanted, and, of course, this led to some really poor calls on the flop, some ill-timed bluffs, and to getting myself into bad river situations.

I did still get up and leave with a decent win, but I do think ego cost me a good deal of money last night.

In Vegas next week.  Going for work, but methinks there is a good chance I might be seen at the Bellagio once or twice.

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First bad session for a while last night.  Bad cards, horrible play, and, most unforgivably, the inability to get off my ass and mitigate the loss.

I did manage to get all in at one point (short stacked) on the flop with top pair on a 9 7 2 rainbow board.  Really strange player (well, player with really strange playing tendencies) calls.  Immediately starts saying “I have nothing, you win.”  And he meant it.  Turn is a Q, he’s about to muck, river is an 8, he says “wait a minute!” and turns over his 56.  Poker Gods playing jokes on me.

Anyhow…

Its hard to adjust when the cards aren’t coming.  I’ve developed an uncharacteristic laggy approach over the past several weeks.  This was helped, of course, by the fact that every flop and turn seemed to help me in some way, making hands, picking up draws, or setting up good bluffs.  None of that was happening last night, yet I failed to slow down enough.

Worse though was the inability to recognize the situation and leave early.  I am preventing big money losses simply by not bringing all that much with me.  Nonetheless, last night would have been a great night to simply get up and leave after winning a couple pots and mitigating the loss.  Instead I hung around and got sent home by some guy flopping 2 pair with 5 8.

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