Monday, December 31, 2007

No Play = No Progress

Whirlwind weekend of boozin' it up with the fiance and friends means that I was never in a proper frame of mind to play serious poker. So goofed around on some $5 and $10 HORSE and Razz games.

Suprisingly successful with 2 firsts in the HORSE and a 2nd in the RAZZ.

Bankroll floating around $700-$725.

Got Doyle's Super System book for Xmas. Can't wait to dig in and do some learnin'.

Working on a 2008 Goals post. Will get it up soon (I hope).

See ya at the virtual felt,


Thursday, December 27, 2007

The MonsterStack officially joins the blogger community

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to everyone out there!

I am very happy to announce that frequent guest blogger on, the MonsterStack has started his very own blog. MonsterStack has made several very insightful postings on various topics such as 6seat SNGs as well as MTT. I very much am looking forward to digging into his latest strategy post, RAZZ, one of the few games left in the online role where a person with an "edge" can truly take the fish to town. I have added MonsterStack to my "must-read" list and I encourage you to do so as well.

See you at the virtual felt,

BR - ? (just got back from Iowa, can't remember where I stand)

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

My SNG Stats - per PokerTracker

As I mentioned a few days back, I entered all of my "tournament summaries" into PokerTracker. My results updated through today:

All SNGs:

$10 SNGs - Over 50% in the cash with the largest chunk being 1sts:

My timid foray into the $20 has become profitable this week:

and finally, no update would be final without my special "Lunch Break Poker" stats, $6 Turbos:
So there's my first stats. What do you think?

Tomorrow I'll post some stats that show my aggression level and whatnot. Will need some help diagnosing those so check back soon!

See you at the virtual felt,

FT Bankroll: $819
PS: $113

Another good night at $22 SNG

Sticking by my quote now in the title of my blog, I had another good night at the $22. 3 games, 3 cashes. 1 first and 2 seconds. Gotta keep this up.

See you at the virtual felt,

FT: $757
PS: $113

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Finally some success at $20+2

My bankroll dwindled to $560, mostly as a result of

1) playing MTTs and bloggaments outside of my strict BR rules (2% of bankroll max at any MTT or cash game
2) trying my hand at $25 buy-in NL cash games
3) playing when I'm tired or not in the mood and just donking away my hard-earned $$

So, yesterday I decided that since the $20 games are within my bankroll, I should play them until I dwindle down below the point that they are allowed under my bankroll management system (5% * x = $22 -> $22/.05 -> x = $440.00).

First game - Play solid and take a big chip lead early. Then get dumb, raise from button with k-10 sooooted and SB reraises all in for an additional 800 chips. I should have folded immediately but of course that is not what I did. Typed in "alright, let's gamble." Not much gambling when he flips over A-K, flop comes A-K-rag and I'm drawing dead after the turn. So that put me at even chips and then we headed into a 4 way marathon that would see everyone short-stacked at some point and everyone a chip leader at another. Blinds hit the 250/500 point before I broke through and trapped the midstack with a flopped straight beating his TPTK. From there I played the BigStack well and cut the legs out from my opponents for a 1st place on my first game of the night.

2nd game - Typical donk play by me although I knew better. 2nd or 3rd hand of the game, I get Kc-Qc on the button. Several limpers to me so I raise 3x BB. Get called by SB, BB, UTG, and Cutoff. Not exactly what I was aiming for. So I literally said out loud, if I don't get two pair or better I'm folding to any raise or check-raise. Flop comes K-J-4 rainbow. Checked all the way around to me. I continuation bet of half-pot (remember I'm being careful so don't want to put too many chips at risk). Folded around to cutoff who tanks for a bit. Then goes over the top and doubles my bet. I, like the fool I can be, call. Turn comes rag and I fire again. he goes all in over the top for our last 700 chips. Crap. Why did I put myself in this position?!

And then I make the dumbest of all poker players. Pushing all your chips in though YOU KNOW YOU ARE BEAT and most likely drawing dead! We flip over our cards and my pair of Kings+ queen kicker is dominated by two pair K-J. Well, that was $22 wasted.

3rd game - Extremely extremely loose game here. 2nd hand of the game a decent pot is built. around $560 or so. UTG makes a continuation bet of 3/4 pot. UTG+2 pushes all in on the rag flop. instacall by UTG who shows A-A. UTG+2 shows K-6off. No pair. One overcard. No flush draw. Turn gives him a gutshot straight draw. River gives him the straight. Wow.

So at this point, I just sit back on my heels and wait. All of a sudden I'm heads up down 5:1 on chips to the chip leader. It goes quickly but I take home a nice 2nd place profit.

During these festivities, I also was playing $5 SNGs at PokerStars. Managed to win a couple in a row and pushed that bankroll from ~$80 to $115.

I then decided to call it for the night as i was a) hungry b) getting tired c) been playing for almost 4 hours.

So what's the point of all this rambling?

Play when you are in the mood to play and don't over-extend yourself. Play within your bankroll rules. Finally, listen to yourself; you just may be smarter than you give yourself credit for.

See you at the virtual felt,

FT Bankroll: $643
PS Bankroll: $113

Friday, December 14, 2007

Entered my SNG results into PokerTracker

Took a couple hours but I entered all my results from SNGs into PokerTracker. I'll post the stats tonight and we'll delve into what means what and hopefully identify some areas to work on.

Played well in the Riverchasers last night. Got knocked out by DrPauly who made a gutsy all-in push with A-9. I had made a standard raise from the button with A-8. DrPauly had been playing pretty loose all night long. Also influencing my decision was about 5 hands earlier, I crushed him when I flopped two pair K-Q from SB and he pushed all-in with only K-9. He stole several blinds in between so I figured this was another case of his attempt to steal. I defended stupidly.

I have got to remember table position. I could have given up my hand and had at least one more orbit to catch something good and still have some fold equity if spotted a spot steal. Oh well. Next time.

In brighter news, I dominated $10 SNGs again. 2 Firsts, 1 second, and a 9th (bad read when I held pocket 6s vs someone who ended up havng pocket Kings.)

See ya at the virtual felt,

BR: $635.10

Thursday, December 13, 2007

One Game. One Win. Simple Enough.

Typical $10 9seat SNG. Get blinded down through first 3 levels not really playing anything, perhaps picking up the blinds every once in a while when I woke up with a-k or a-q. Beginning 4th level become a little more active on the button. Finally get down to 5 players and I'm the lowstack. Double up when my 8s hit trips off the flop. Hang around a bit more. Down to 4 players and I'm again the shortstack at the table. Big stack doubles the other slightly bigger shortstack. Big stack doubles the 2nd stack. I'm no longer the small stack. Former bigstack now gone. Bubble popped and we're down to 3. Time to get active.

But before I can midstack overplays ace-mid kicker vs big stack and is gone. Now its just me with a little over 2k vs around 11k. Double up when my a-j beats k-2. Double again when I wake up with pocket 8s again and he misses on j-4. Now we are about even and the games begin. I make a re-steal with qs-js and am suddenly up 3:1. Two hands later I flop trips and send him packing.

So that makes 5 first place finished in my last 8 games in the $10+1 9seat SNGs. Why do I try other games?

Because I know that $10+1 SNGs won't get me to where I want to be as a poker player. Playing poker is about challenging yourself to keep getting better. You don't get better by playing one game, one limit. You get better by playing "uncomfortably." For example, it's well documented that I'm not comfortable at the cash game. Out of 10 sessions, 8 have been losing sessions where I typically lose a full buy-in. But I know that's where the pros make the most consistent cash. Therefore I need to continue making the effort, continue to learn from others, and continue to fix my leaks in that game. Fortunately, my low-limit SNG game will help cover my losses while I learn.

AND I am going to STICK BY THE RULES of Chris Ferguson's Bankroll Management system. 2% of Bankroll on any MTT or RING. 5% towards any SNG. No more $24k guarantee until I have the bankroll to pay for it.

See ya at the virtual felt,

BR: $599

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

....sigh...why can't I play cash games?

Is it me or just incredibly bad luck?

First $10+1 9seat SNG:

Playing great, doubled up off the first hand then this:

Full Tilt Poker Game #4471140143: $10 + $1 Sit & Go (33889590), Table 1 - 40/80 - No Limit Hold'em - 18:47:32 ET - 2007/12/11
PUMPGUN81: you had a fat chiplead he must have sucked out on you
Seat 1: REDEEMED 3 (2,825)
Seat 3: DubsPoke (2,510)
Seat 4: PUMPGUN81 (2,400)
Seat 5: saxton101 (3,165)
Seat 6: wake196 (1,355)
Seat 7: amurophil (1,245)
REDEEMED 3 posts the small blind of 40
DubsPoke posts the big blind of 80
The button is in seat #7
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to DubsPoke [Kd Kc]
PUMPGUN81 folds
saxton101 folds
wake196 raises to 160
amurophil folds
REDEEMED 3 folds
DubsPoke has 15 seconds left to act
DubsPoke raises to 400
wake196 raises to 1,355, and is all in
DubsPoke calls 955
wake196 shows [Qh As]
DubsPoke shows [Kd Kc]
*** FLOP *** [Td 3d 2s]
*** TURN *** [Td 3d 2s] [5h]
*** RIVER *** [Td 3d 2s 5h] [4s]
wake196 shows a straight, Five high
DubsPoke shows a pair of Kings
wake196 wins the pot (2,750) with a straight, Five high
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot 2,750 | Rake 0
Board: [Td 3d 2s 5h 4s]
Seat 1: REDEEMED 3 (small blind) folded before the Flop
Seat 3: DubsPoke (big blind) showed [Kd Kc] and lost with a pair of Kings
Seat 4: PUMPGUN81 didn't bet (folded)
Seat 5: saxton101 didn't bet (folded)
Seat 6: wake196 showed [Qh As] and won (2,750) with a straight, Five high
Seat 7: amurophil (button) didn't bet (folded)

Alrightie...that happens. Let's reload and get back at. Fourth hand of next $10+1 9 seat SNG:

Full Tilt Poker Game #4471339877: $10 + $1 Sit & Go (33893151), Table 1 - 15/30 - No Limit Hold'em - 19:07:04 ET - 2007/12/11
Seat 1: Jezzibel (1,470)
Seat 2: zinc20 (1,925)
Seat 3: retrofx (1,500)
Seat 4: UsedToThis (1,165)
Seat 5: Ledosr (1,470)
Seat 6: hildomaniac (1,500)
Seat 7: DubsPoke (1,500)
Seat 8: HAZE VENTURA (1,500)
Seat 9: biggs813 (1,470)
UsedToThis posts the small blind of 15
Ledosr posts the big blind of 30
The button is in seat #3
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to DubsPoke [As Ah]
hildomaniac folds
DubsPoke raises to 90
biggs813 folds
Jezzibel folds
zinc20 folds
retrofx folds
UsedToThis folds
Ledosr folds
*** FLOP *** [3d 7d Jc]
DubsPoke bets 60
HAZE VENTURA raises to 120
DubsPoke has 15 seconds left to act
DubsPoke raises to 240
HAZE VENTURA has 15 seconds left to act
HAZE VENTURA raises to 720
DubsPoke has 15 seconds left to act
DubsPoke raises to 1,410, and is all in
HAZE VENTURA calls 690, and is all in
DubsPoke shows [As Ah]
HAZE VENTURA shows [3s 3c]
*** TURN *** [3d 7d Jc] [5h]
*** RIVER *** [3d 7d Jc 5h] [4h]
DubsPoke: damn
DubsPoke shows a pair of Aces
HAZE VENTURA shows three of a kind, Threes
DubsPoke: nh
HAZE VENTURA wins the pot (3,045) with three of a kind, Threes
DubsPoke stands up
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot 3,045 | Rake 0
Board: [3d 7d Jc 5h 4h]
Seat 1: Jezzibel didn't bet (folded)
Seat 2: zinc20 didn't bet (folded)
Seat 3: retrofx (button) didn't bet (folded)
Seat 4: UsedToThis (small blind) folded before the Flop
Seat 5: Ledosr (big blind) folded before the Flop
Seat 6: hildomaniac didn't bet (folded)
Seat 7: DubsPoke showed [As Ah] and lost with a pair of Aces
Seat 8: HAZE VENTURA showed [3s 3c] and won (3,045) with three of a kind, Threes
Seat 9: biggs813 didn't bet (folded)

So then I went on to play some MTTs. Got 16 in a $2 400+ person tourney for a whopping $4 profit. Played a $5 Knockout Tourney, got 416 out of 800+. and then proceeded to donk it up in the $24 - 24k guarantee. Add in my losses from the cash game and I'm down $100 tonight. Time to go back to my $10+1 SNGs....sigh....

Before I go, here's a typical big loss hand from one of my cash sessions tonight...:

I had sat down with $20 at this table so was up slightly and playing very well. Good reads on my opponents, pushing when I needed to etc.

FullTiltPoker Game #4474014768: Table Ernest (6 max) - $0.25/$0.50 - No Limit Hold'em - 23:08:26 ET - 2007/12/11
Seat 1: supersaul20 ($16.75), is sitting out
Seat 2: Comin4You ($50)
Seat 3: armstrongk ($16.20)
Seat 4: rickyroboto ($20.45)
Seat 6: DubsPoke ($25.85)
DubsPoke posts the small blind of $0.25
Comin4You is sitting out
armstrongk posts the big blind of $0.50
The button is in seat #4
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to DubsPoke [Js 9d]
Comin4You stands up
rickyroboto calls $0.50
DubsPoke has 15 seconds left to act
DubsPoke raises to $2 (i'm not a big fan of j-9 off, however, with a limper I want to know what kind of strength he has)
armstrongk calls $1.50
rickyroboto folds
*** FLOP *** [5c 9h Jh]
DubsPoke bets $1.50 (bullseye, hit two pair!)
armstrongk raises to $9 (a-j? k-j? 10-q?)
DubsPoke raises to $23.85, and is all in (I'm fairly confident I'm way ahead, this guy is a putz and will call down with top pair good kicker)
armstrongk calls $5.20, and is all in (as expected)
DubsPoke shows [Js 9d]
armstrongk shows [4h 8h] (wtf!?)
Uncalled bet of $9.65 returned to DubsPoke
*** TURN *** [5c 9h Jh] [As]
*** RIVER *** [5c 9h Jh As] [Qh]
DubsPoke shows two pair, Jacks and Nines
armstrongk shows a flush, Queen high
armstrongk wins the pot ($31.90) with a flush, Queen high
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot $32.90 | Rake $1
Board: [5c 9h Jh As Qh] (....sigh....of course, donk play gets rewarded)
Seat 1: supersaul20 is sitting out
Seat 2: Comin4You is sitting out
Seat 3: armstrongk (big blind) showed [4h 8h] and won ($31.90) with a flush, Queen high
Seat 4: rickyroboto (button) folded before the Flop
Seat 6: DubsPoke (small blind) showed [Js 9d] and lost with two pair, Jacks and Nines

It seems like I'm playing the cash games well but then I'll have one bad hand and an hour of profit is gone instantly.

I just purchased PokerTracker so I'll post some stats tomorrow or on Thursday. Perhaps we can identify some areas to work on.

See you at the virtual felt,

Bankroll: $585

Sunday, December 9, 2007

How would you have played it differently?

How would you have played this hand differently? EDIT: Edits from analysis are in Bold and Italics

Full Tilt Poker Game #4451886630: Bounty (33205444), Table 2 - 50/100 - No Limit Hold'em - 22:52:32 ET - 2007/12/09
Seat 1: DubsPoke (5,170)
Seat 2: roochie m (5,495)

Seat 3: WallStreetFish (1,990)
Seat 4: Beenzy (2,445)
Seat 5: zhdk (1,715)
Seat 6: BUSTEDFLUSH123 (5,525)
Seat 7: NEESE1 (1,610)
Seat 9: 16lucky16 (6,050)
DubsPoke posts the small blind of 50
roochie m posts the big blind of 100
The button is in seat #9
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to DubsPoke [Ac Qd]
WallStreetFish folds
Beenzy folds
zhdk folds
NEESE1 folds
16lucky16 calls 100
DubsPoke raises to 400
WallStreetFish is feeling angry
roochie m calls 300
16lucky16 calls 300
*** FLOP *** [6s Qh Ts]
DubsPoke bets 400 (My first mistake, making a value bet with only TPTK-top pair top kicker)
roochie m calls 400
16lucky16 folds
*** TURN *** [6s Qh Ts] [6h]
DubsPoke bets 1,000
roochie m raises to 2,000
DubsPoke calls 1,000 (Second mistake - roochie m's range of starting hands is very broad and he has played very aggressively in the tourney at this point, a 6 is definitely in his range, as well as q-10.....I should have just folded at this point)

*** RIVER *** [6s Qh Ts 6h] [4d]
DubsPoke has 15 seconds left to act
DubsPoke bets 1,200
roochie m raises to 2,695, and is all in
DubsPoke has 15 seconds left to act
DubsPoke: you call 4x preflop with a 6?
DubsPoke: ahh well, was fun, gl all
DubsPoke calls 1,170, and is all in
Uncalled bet of 325 returned to roochie m

*** SHOW DOWN ***
roochie m shows [5d 6d] three of a kind, Sixes
DubsPoke shows [Ac Qd] two pair, Queens and Sixes
roochie m wins the pot (10,740) with three of a kind, Sixes
DubsPoke: putz
DubsPoke stands up

*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot 10,740 Rake 0
Board: [6s Qh Ts 6h 4d]
Seat 1: DubsPoke (small blind) showed [Ac Qd] and lost with two pair, Queens and Sixes
Seat 2: roochie m (big blind) showed [5d 6d] and won (10,740) with three of a kind, Sixes
Seat 3: WallStreetFish didn't bet (folded)
Seat 4: Beenzy didn't bet (folded)
Seat 5: zhdk didn't bet (folded)
Seat 6: BUSTEDFLUSH123 didn't bet (folded)
Seat 7: NEESE1 didn't bet (folded)
Seat 9: 16lucky16 (button) folded on the Flop

Let's just say I didn't handle this beat well. Still learning to control the emotions and I apologize sincerely to roochie m and the rest at the table for the "Hellmuth antics" and verbal abuse.

EDIT: After some analysis it is obvious that I allowed roochie m to win this pot through my own poor post-flop play. I encourage everyone to read "the monster stack" comments to this post. Some excellent analysis.

On the brigher side, before this disaster in game, I won 4 out of 5 $10 9seat SNG.

Bankroll, after being down to $540 to start sunday is now up to $680.

See you at the virtual felt,

BR: $680

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Lunch Break Poker....

I seriously should just rename this blog to "Lunch Break Poker" as it seems my most common posts are related to my Turbo games I play over my lunch hour. Anyways, played a $6+.50 9seat SNG and a $6+.50 6seat SNG. Took them both down. I dominated the 9seater with good cards as well as good calls. My winning it was never in question.

However, the 6seater was a slightly different story. I dominated after taking down a huge pot after blinds raised to the 50/100 level. I was aggressive and stole many pots as well. Headed into heads up with a 3:1 lead. After two hands, I was down to 1700 chips! My A-j got beat by a-5. Very next hand, pushed with pocket 9s to get bested by pocket 10s. I pushed two faces my next hand and somehow won with overcards on a rag board. Somehow hung around with 3400 chips by poor play and a lack of aggression from my opponent. Found myself with a-k and beat his a-5 this time around and suddenly was back with a dominant stack. Flopped two pair on the final hand when it held up against his open-end straight draw.

2 games, 2 first places. Why can't it be like that all the time?

Unfortunately, I also decided to sit down at a .10/.25 NLHE with $25 and promptly donked it away. I really need to figure out how to play cash games.

Correction: I need to figure out how to take advantage of the loose donks instead of being one. My SNG and tourney play isn't horrendous; my cash game is.

See you at the virtual felt,

Bankroll: $605

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Back up once again...

During time cramps where I'm just trying to sneak in a game or two, I've been playing $6+.50 9seat SNGs on FullTilt. And I have been destroying this low-limit game. 3 games - 2 firsts, 1 second. Small sample I know but very interesting. What am I doing different in those games then in my normal limits (10+1 regular SNG).

Obviously, the blind structure is different in the 10+1. More people are willing to wait around and you see less pushing early. Additionally, the entry is higher so I would assume the level of play also increases slightly.

I definitely need to do more examining of my hand histories to see if I can spot any differences in how I play as well.

I downloaded TourneyManager yesterday as well. I like it but $40 seems a little steep for the full version. I'll have to make a decision on whether I want to purchase that. I also have the demo of PokerTracker. Unfortunately, I'm clueless on how to interpret the data. Anyone have any suggestions please leave a comment.

See you at the virtual felt,

Bankroll: $573

Edit: Played two more $6.50 9 seat SNGs over my lunch break. Got 2nd and 3rd. Should have won the one I got second in. Went into HU with a 10:3 ratio of chips. he doubled up when he caught a Q on river to beat my pocket 7s. Then crippled me when my KdQd couldn't catch against his pocket Js. Two coinflips, two beats. That's poker!~ New Bankroll: ~$590.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Moving Up in Limits is Hard...

So 3x this weekend, I built my bankroll past $650 by playing $10+1 9seat SNGs. 3x I moved up to $20+2 9seat SNGs and immediately went completely card dead or had a horrible beat put on me. My forray into the $20 game was frustrating and costly. Each time knocking me back down to the low $500s.

But I'll just keep on plugging away as best as I can. That's all I can do.

See you at the virtual felt,

BR: $510