Thursday, October 28, 2004

All in? Screw that.

No movie quote today, I have a little bit of info to blog about.

Firstly I have noticed that Fantasy NFL is a favourite among other bloggers. I don't really know how this works, but if you have to pick a punter for these things, I have an inside scoup for you. Darren Bennett, the former Australian Rules player who now plays for the Vikings I think owns a shit load of punting records in the NFL. Just yesterday, a guy by the name of Ben Graham signed as a free agent to the Jets. This guy is 6'6", and can kick an Aussie Rules ball 80 metres - thats just under 90 yards. 90 yards, that's just under the length of your small football field. The big left legger can also tackle like a line backer, although he serverly lacks aggression for somebody his size. All I'm saying is he is a longer and more accurate kick than Darren Bennett, and look what he did?

On to poker, have a look at this run last night. As the massive chip leader in an SNG, it was down to three and already in the money, the shortest stack, about 1.5BB posted the big blind. I had the Hammer, but screw it I have 25BB+, and as the small blind I couldn't let him make a steal, I had to put him in the push or fold stage. He pushed, with 83o. So on this one, I am a 38% underdog. He won with the 8 kicker would you beleive. So he doubled up, big deal. Then the following happens:

AJ - I force him all in, he calls with AT, gets a T on the river (69% to 22%)
T4, limp and see flop of T64, push him all in, he calls with QT and hits the Q on the river (after flop, 71% to 25%)
KJh - push him all in pre-flop with 86o, makes the straight on the turn (65% to 33%)
T9c put me all in and he shows 56h, flops the flush (61% to 36%).

Man I was shitty about that. Then, in another SNG with 20 people, I was keen to go. My strategy is to usually start slowly and wait for my moment to strike. Well, in the very first hand I was dealt the rockets, so I had to make a play. With 4 callers in front of me, I made a decent sized raise, happy with the pot already. Would you beleive it, the next person re-raised all in, and got 2 callers. Hell yes, what else can I do but call? One guy had KTs, and the board showed 279J8 rainbow. I was not happy (81% to 18% pre-flop, 89% to 10% post flop, 90% to 10% after the turn just vs this guy, not including the other 3 hands.) Don't know what all the otehr players had, because they mucked but I guess all the other aces were in their hands. I was not happy, as my $2.50 was wasted on the first hand. Then a glimmer of hope...

I had a look at Pacific Poker, and they have a fantastic deal running at the moment, invite a friend and if they make a deposit before Sunday, they get $50 free and I get $150 free! I sent the offer to a few guys from the live games and they loved it, and I decided to follow in JW's foot steps and offer them an extra $50 if they signed up. One guy already has and I am proud to say as soon as my Rockets were beaten, the $150 dropped into my account. So I anybody else is interested then drop me a line very quickly and th esame deal will go for you.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

World vs WGPBE

Bethany : Then - I don't mean to sound ungrateful - but what are you doing hanging around?
Jay : We're here to pick up chicks.
Bethany : Excuse me?
Jay : We figure an abortion clinic is a good place to meet loose women. Why else would they be there unless they like to fuck?

Hello folks, how are we all doing? Not much on the poker front happening at the moment. I have lost a few low level SNG with cold cards and bad play. One in particular makes me really angry at myself, when dealt a nice hand like KK and I hit the K on the flop, I slow played the set. Bad decision - could have been worse. There was a flush and a straight on the board by the river, and while my set still stood up I could not really cash in as much as I should have. Eventually it cost me the bubble. No great loss though, a lesson learned and the dent to the bankroll was in single figures so all is well.

The live game hopefully on this Saturday may be moved to my place, to use the new table, chips and Kem cards that I am so desperate to break in. Just hope we get enough people together for it to happen.

Other than that, there is very little going on in the poker world for me at the moment - I think I might have become a weekend warrior when it comes to online poker.

In other non-poker news, in case I have not mentioned it before, I am a video game junky. I just can not grow out of it. My all time favourtie game series is Grand Theft Auto, and as you may be aware GTA5 - San Andreas is due out this week. For some stupid reason, the Australian Government banned GTA3 because you could screw hookers then pound them with a Louisville Slugger and get a refund the hard way. It's just reflecting real life, thats all. Anyway, they had to re-release a censored version that while still ahd the main story line, no longer gave you the option of "relaxation therapists" (nice little Rounders reference there) or just beating up on other people. This was a stupid move from the Australian censorship people, as it can cripple the industry on one of the biggest selling series of all time. Why? Because I, and many others, can order the fully uncut game from New Zealand and have it delivered for abuot $3 more than what it costs to buy it in stores here in Sydney (due to the exchange rate.) I have done this with all three GTA releases for the PS2, and the new one is due later this week/early next week. It is going to be huge! Then Halo 2 is due a few weeks later, and our split level Halo Party's are always a real hit. BBQ, friends, gettign drunk playing video games and even sometimes throwing the cards around a little - it doesn't get any better than that for me.

Since I have not been playing much in the last few days, and the games are still a little way away (But I did just get Tony Hawk Underground 2), I thought I would answer the challenge of a few bloggers out there - whether they issued it or not.

Took me ages to figure out how to do screen capture. How about this blatant rip off...

That will do for now, hope the tables are treating you well (and FOLD that damn hammer!).

Monday, October 25, 2004

Bloggers know best - The Sequel!

Glenn : So Wayne, I hear you're putting on some kind of concert. That's good. People need to be entertained, they need the distraction. I wish to God that someone would be able to block out the voices in my head for five minutes, the voices that scream, over and over again: "Why do they come to me to die? Why do they come to me to die?"
"Wayne's World 2"

As a humble blogger...hang on, I proclaim to be the "World's Greatest Poker Blogger Ever", so I can't really say I'm humble. As an over-exhuberent poker blogger, it is my duty to send a shout out and a link up to "MtDewVirus" for taking out the latest bloggers tournament. One day ,people, one day I will make it to one of these tournaments and find out what every one is talking about.

So here we are, two posts since the dreaded whinging post, and what have I done? Again, as I did last time I had problems at the tables I listen to my fellow bloggers and took their advice. Damn, you guys are awesome. I have to say though, I am probably not going to buy any more books as this would seriously dent my bank roll (I know, I know - it will pay off in the end, speculate to accumulate and all that), and I am seriously pissed off at limit play. Here is how the weekend went.

Signed up for a low limit SNG, I think it was $2.50 or something. No probs, the table is almost full so I will jump in for some immediate action. How many people have made this mistake? On about the 7th hand, I get the rockets and go to make a bit of a raise. What's that? I raise $20? No, I want to raise $400! I can't raise $400, and by now you have all guessed the answer as to why not, it is a limit tourny! Yah, my demon hath spiked me again. To be honest, I can't remember much about the tourny at all but I managed to win it some how for a profit of about $6 again. Ok, woo hoo, maybe the limit monkey is of my back? Are my fortunes turning around? If the Poker Gods were listening to me talking to myself, I no doubt that the formed a huddle and said "Wouldn't it be funny to really fuck with him now?". And so they did. On the 8th Day the Poker Gods toyed with Heafy, and they said it was good. From now on in this post, the Gods will speak in this
colour and in italics.

I then proceeded to drop about $30 in SNG and ring games, proving that when it comes to limit games I still have no clue and I really won the SNG from good cards and very tight play. Mt entire bankroll is under $75, the lowest it has been in a long time and about 40% what it was just a few weeks ago. Saturday was not good to me, so the distraction and I got drunk, ordered pizza and watched movies - "2 Weeks Notice" would you believe (I must have been drunk.).

Early Sunday, I am awake before my distracting half and I know she has a day full of study in front of her (it's an accounting qualification thing, post degree) so there is a cnahce I will be down stairs by myself for the mourning at least. Poker? I thought so.

I tried one more SNG and it was no good, out in 9th when my top two pair gets out kicked. But one blogger, much wiser than I said "Stick to the MTT at Pacific, you seem to go well in them" (I can't recall the exact words, but it was something like that wasn't it
JW? There was a $10 pot limit tournament starting in under 10 minutes, why the hell not? It's not like anything else is working for me, may as well go down in flames I say. Oh no, the distraction is awake and has decided to study down stairs today. This can't be a good sign. The Poker Gods are now laughing their collective ass' off. 258 of my closest friends and I start our little game at about 9.00am Sydney time.

Early on I am dealt to rockets, I make a big pre-flop riase and I win the blinds. Damn it, too strong, I needed that win. The next hour or so was very dry. The hands are a blur, just the same old cold cards I have been seeing for all of October. I start to think how my next post will go when I tell everyone that it is all over. Then I get one hand, holding AKh, the flop brings 2 hearts. There is a fairly large bet in front of me, and I call - which was a pretty silly move as it should have been raise or fold on that draw at this stage of the tournament. The turn is another heart, giving me the nut flush - but there is a pair on the board. He goes all in, and I am forced to call and put my entire stack on the line. The river is a rag. He shows me his Queen high flush, and I am finally above average. In short order, I take out another shorter stack and have a look at the leader board - 5th out of 230 or so. Hey, perhaps the God's have forgiven me.
Hey Ken, come over here, want to bet I can make this shmuck cry?

I win a few pots, fold a heap more. I am getting sick and tired of folding crap like J9 and seeing a flop come of T89. Fold 23o and see A22. I know you will always see yourself folding wat would have been the winning hand some times, but this was like every 3rd hand at an 8 handed table. Far too often it seemed but I just keep folding. And folding. And folding. I think in 90 minutes my biggest pot win was 3BB and I saw maybe ten flops. I go from 5th out of 230 to 41st out of 56 by the next break. One player in particular has rivered me 3 times, and others at the table another 3 times. Damn chaser, I hate how they are chasing so many draws and hitting each and ever bloody one. This is just too funny. When is the bubble? I have an idea.

I had not noticed, but the ditraction had decided to take a nap and now had awoken. She asked how it was going and I told her my early dominance was now a distant memory. Well, I used far less words than that, in fact I think I used just one: "Shit". She delcined to ask any more questions. As it was still before 11am it was too early for beer during this tournament break so I grabbed a glass of milk. My stack was $1500, largest was $25,000 and the average was around the $4000 mark. This was it, I am ready to leave the poker world. Oi! What are you guys doing? Give the poor sucker a break or I'll asign you both to the nickel and dime tables and Aloha for the rest of the year!

How it happened, I can not recall totally. My trips were standing up, I hit a few straights, when it was 5 people in a pot I was able to split it with just one other. Sure, there were a few bluffs and stuff, but it was very nerve racking though as I never once had the nuts for the entire tournament. But when my ATd got over an all-in from a small pocket pair, I found myself above the average again for the first time in a long time. The bubble was approaching, and now I am coming 12th out of 32. If I make it to 30th, at keast I get my money back plus $1. I have fought and crawled my way to table chip leader, and when two small stacks go all in ahead of me holding The Helmuths, I raise to isolate. The board showed nothing over a J and I knock out both of the final two to head into the money and am currently in the top ten! I have a look at the payouts, and 10th gets $30, while 7th is just over $100. that is my target, at keast 7th for a big $100 win that will put me back where I was before October began. Mind you, first was over $700 which would be nice... He's looking at the prize money now...let's wet his thirst a little.

Don't you love how after the bubble all the guys that were waiting 20 seconds before folding are now looser than drunk chicks on prom night? I felt liek Jack Bauer in season 2 of "24" - taking out people all over the place. i wish I kept tabs on how many people I knocked out, because it was seemed that if anybody got knocked out on my table, it was me doing it. I seem to take this stance a lot though, and it usually back fires. Before long, my stack is up to $19,000, in second place behind $27,000 for first. I hover here for a while, then take out another player who was in the top ten when I had a full house to his straight. $30K+, and first position out of 20! Now I am guaranteed to at least double my buy in, but I am still focused on 7th.

We are down to two tables of 8 (This tournament doesn't allow anymore than 8 to a table), and four of the five biggest stacks are stiign along side me, including the one guy who led for most of the tournament. I noticed the "chaser" from earlier busted out in 33rd. YES! Justice is alive and well.
I didn't like her anyway.

Out people go, by my hand usually, and I leap up to $55K, the first player to break the $40K and $50K mark. I also have more than 25% of the chips available. Can you tell I had the calculator by my side? I think this is important for online poker, well it helps me anyway. Finally, we are down to 8 and the other table comes to join us when we are half way through a pot. I have Q9, and the flop is Q9A rainbow. The second place person and I get into a bit of a bettign frenzy, and I loose my way slightly. He goes all-in and by this stage I already have $39K in the pot of mine, I hold my breath and call. He flips over Q9 also, and I breathe a big sigh of relief. Heh heh, I've still got it!

What to do, what to do? How often do you make it to the final table? And how often are you the chip leader in such an occurance? Should I just limp through and let the others take care of each other? Oh, The Rockets, guess folding isn't an option here. I take out 10th place when I hit my Ace on the flop. The actino is quite good, with pre-flop raises usually getting respect, and re-raises getting LOTS of respect. 9th goes, and then 8th - I have made it! I am guaranteed $100 and back to where October began. Now the distraction is in full mode and sitting with her feet on my chair. She has offered several times to leave but I some what foolishly say no, she can stay. I guess it was because I was guarnateed money now. I look and see that third is where the money really starts, $259 to be exact. Another player takes over the chip lead by knocking a few out and we are down to four. I am dealt KTc, and make a pre-flop raise for one caller. Flop comes KQT, Queen is a club. I open the betting, and the other player makes a big raise - pot limit even. Shit, what is going on? Could it be the straight? I ask my distraction what I should do, and she does not comment. I think about it all the way down, and decided that since I have him out-chipped I can loose here and still be in it. What a stupid thing to do, as I looked and saw he had "only" another $5K - I didn't conside the $40K he had bet in front of him. I call, and the turn is an 8. Naturally, he bets his final $5K and I call. The river is another 8, and I show my two pair. He shows the Hiltons. Fuck. When we play home games, I always chastise Serena for betting two pair big, and here I was in front of her doing the same. It was the lack of action from everyone else that made me want to force something, and when he did not raise pre-flop with them i thought I might have still had it. I am left with $6K, or 2BB. What the hell? I don't even get to do it, this guy does it to himself! I'll show him damn it!

A few hands later I get pocket 3's, make my all in bet and get kicked out when KJ stands up. Out in forth, and very disapointed. Fourth paid me $192.25, which puts my bank roll at an all time high - but it should have been higer, which i recall the last time I won some money in a MTT the same thing happend. I finshed fourth on a bone headed play and it should have been more - that makes it twice and soemthing that while it is kind of a welcomed "problem", I should be making more of it than I am. I decide that maybe the Poker Gods have forgiven me, and I try a heads up game for $10 later in the day. About 2 seconds in, once again I realise it is limit. Dumb ass! He chases a straight draw on the very first hand and hits when I can not scare him off with my trips. I never recovered, and to be honest I can say it was unlucky to loose as he had me outkicked 5 times. 5 bloody times, two pair, top pair or trips was beaten by a Queen kicker, King kicker or even a bloody nine kicker! Fittingly, that was how he won, pair of Jacks with a queen kicker to my Jacks and a 7 kicker. That will teach him to ruin my fun - I still got it baby!

So my bank roll is at an all time high of $257.65, and I am considering using the Party Poker re-load bonus of REAL$100 that I had emailed to me. In the mounring I fully considered throwing it all in, and now it looks like I might have bought myself some more time. Thanks to everybody for their positive comments before, I do think they helped me. And congrats to anybody who read that massive write up - but you must understand where I am coming from. Hope this continues, and best of luck to all at the tables!

Friday, October 22, 2004

Small steps

William : Oi sir, what are you doing?
Chaucer : Uh... trudging. You know, trudging?

Chaucer : To trudge: the slow weary walk of a man that has nothing left in his life but the impulse to simply solider on.
William : Uhhh... were you robbed?
Chaucer : [laughs] Funny really, yes, but at the same time a huge resounding no. It's more of an... involuntary vow of poverty... really.
"A Knight's Tale"

Reading over my last post now in the light of day, I am a little disapointed. It was fantastic that readers decided to post some postive comments, but really it was a bit of a downer and in the end I guess you just have to get back on the horse. I have taken in everything everyone has said (in the comments and via email), and I think things are looking up. In yesterdays sessions, I have reverted back to teh SNG game to get soem hands back under my belt. On Poker Pages, with 8 left I make a pre-flop raise with AKo and get two callers. Flop comes King high with two diamonds. There is a bet, I raise (show aggression son!) and he re-raises all in. I call thinking I will have him out kicked or he is looking for the flush draw. I flip over AKo and so does he - unfortunatly he has the ace of diamonds and I only have the king. Runner-runner diamonds and I am out in 8th, well out of the money.

Hoping to get in one last game before the distraction comes home, I sit down at a $2.50 +25c SNG at Pacific Poker. On a side note, I found out that you can not multi table at Pacific, as I signed up for a MTT the same time as a SNG and could not play in the MTT when it started. At least I get my money back I guess. The play was solid for the first orbit, but then the distraction came home early and informed me we would be seeing "Wimbeldon" tonight. My God, it was like she hadn't seen me in months, she just kept talking. After the unlucky and foolish loss before I could feel the blood rising. Then this hand comes along. I have A8o, flop is JJ8. Not bad I think, but there could be a Jack out there. Few callers to my modest raise. Turn is a Jack again. Oh shit. Now pocket pairs could hurt me a lot, so I have to check. The river is a rag, and the second last person to act make a reasonable bet. What should I do humble bloggers? Call, hoping he is bluffing or maybe has the other 8 and split the pot, or fold thinking his higher pocket pair or perhaps the Jack are in play? I decided to call since it was less than 1/4 my stack, and he shows his Jack. I was happy with that loss because I was aware that quads was a possibility, and I didn't go out with my boat. I think this was the turning point for me as with everything that is going on - the bad run, the distractions, work is shit - this should have meant tilt factor 5.

Another cruical hand was when dealt 73o in the big blind, 4 players left, the small blind makes a raise. Oh well, lets call and see. Flop comes 73K rainbow. He bets, I call. Turn is another 7 giving me the full house - but what if he has the Helmuths? I bet, he calls. River is a rag, and he checks. Hmm, is he trying to check-raise me? Am I going to be betting into him? Could this be the second time tonight that my boat goes sinking? Screw it, I bet big. I think if he had the kings, he would have bet them stronger. He calls my big bet, which was enough to put him all in, then mucks his hand. I wish I knew what he had, perhaps just King rag or soemthing. But this hand put me in the chip lead and I never lost it from there. I took out the big $6.25 for first place, giving me a daily profit of about $3 - but a profit none-the-less. This means my account on Pacific is now back into triple figures which makes me slightly more comfortable.

Second bit of good news, the live game is back on in a few weeks. This will be my third showing at these games and I have walked out of there with a profit every time so far, and besides that even it is good fun. I'm thinking even about asking if they want me to host it this time, since the thrid bit of good news is that the KEM cards arrived today. WOO HOO! I must admit, they are thinner than I thought they would be, being used to casino cards that I am. I can't wait to get home today and give them a try out.

So yes, all up I am in a better mood than last post and I regret posting it. I was slightly disapointed that nobody posted a comment along the lines of "Stop whinging you bloody pussy!" but the positive coments were very much appreciated. We are moving along at a snails pace, but at least it is in a forward direction at the moment.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Down but not out

Evan : If anyone finds this, it means my plan didn't work and I'm already dead. But if I can somehow go back to the beginning of all of this, I might be able to save her.
"The Butterfly Effect"

Bloody good movie I say, saw it for the first time the other night. If you watch the DVD have a look at the alternate endings, I'm pretty certain they went with the right one.

Well faithful readers, I am now certain that the poker Gods hate me for some reason. I just can not win a bloody hand. At one stage, playing two tables I had pocket Aces at both tables! Here is the result:

TABLE 1: Strong pre-flop raise from middle position. The big blind re-raise all in, and I have to follow. He flips over KK, so now I think I am in a good position - well, slightly better than a coin flip. The flop? KKx. Buh bye!

TABLE 2: Strong pre-flop raise, 3 callers. Flop comes AKJ. One bet, I raise get called. Turn and river are rags, and the other player flips over QT for a flopped straight. Buh bye!

It's amazing how often my hands are playing backwards. If I get AK-AJ, the flop will be six high. If I am dealt 24o and fold, the flop will come 442. When I get sick of folding away the nuts, I try to see a flop with 68o it comes out AJJ. I am lost for words, and very much down on every session. I did manage to place second in a $5 SNG when I lost heads up with A8s to his KJo. What can you do?

My Aloha account is now dry, but to be honest it was going nowhere anyway. I guess I will continue to throw the dice on the free rolls there and try to build it once more. I think Pacific is still over $100, but only just. I am just lost for words (well, obviously not literally as i'm still writing) for how bad and how long this dry spell is going. Even a day with $1 profit would be good at the moment. It's not just that premium starting hands are very rare, but when I do get them they get spanked by shit cards or pay off is miniscule. If the bank roll was to go bust I don't know if I could try to build it again. Oh well, "what can you do"?

I'm still not getting the limit game. It seems impossible to push people off a pot and they hang in for the river (which seems to hit them 80% of the time). This is probably because I am playing the lower limits, but surely I should be seeing some better cards than I am. Perhaps I have over-estimated my own poker skills? Perhaps, as I have only been at it for 3 months really. I guess I should just keep plugging away and see if I can improve.

Not much else to talk about really. Guess it's probably best that I end the post here then.

Monday, October 18, 2004

Bonus? Where's the bonus?

Van Wilder : Are you stalking me? Because that would be super.
"Van Wilder - Party Liason"

Hello fellow poker enthusiats, and welcome to another installment in the life of the "WGPBE", and I have had an up and down week at the tables.

Finally I was able to download and sign up at Pacific Poker through fellow blogger and all around nice guy
JW. First thing I got to say about Pacific and their 25% sign on bonus - it's instant! No qualifying hands or bonus points to be earned! Got to love that - this means I got straight to work at making those bonus dollars work for me. I tried the micro limit tables (as there are zero no-limit tabes at Pacific, easily their biggest draw back), and got no love. On the rare occasion I got a decent starting hand, the flop would be absolute rags with a bet, raise re-raise before it got to me. I'd have AQ suited get spanked by AK off a few times, and then have KK beaten by A3o. i think thats why I don't like limit tables - I can't push out Ace rag or the like with just one bet. On this table, I bet 50 cents and Ace rag thinks, it's only 1 bet, I call. On a $25 no limit table, I would probably bet $5 or so for the Helmuths, and usually scare *most* people with Ace rag away. Anyways, that is how it goes. Maybe I need to loosen up with my starting hands at limit games, I don't know. Maybe I chase too much too, a rookie mistake that I'm sure we have all been guilty of at some stage. There was one hand where I thought I might finally get paid back. With J9o I limp, and see a nice flop of 8TQ giving me a straight. I bet immediately, two callers, no raise at all. Turn was a 4, I bet immediatly, 2 callers, no raise at all. The river is a damning T, I bet anyway, 1 caller, 1 raise. I hope they are just calling a set and call, as does the final player. I show my flopped straight, next player mucks and the final player shows pocket 8's. Man, I don' thtink I could have played it differently, it just wasn't my day. The whole day was like that too. I tried a few SNG's of various levels, and I think my best finish was 5th. I even tried a $15 MTT, thinking that even though there was 600+ people in this, it is a $15 entrance fee so there should not be many maniacs and re-buyers and get some good action - boy was I wrong. In the first 10 hands, there was an all-in called on 9 of them. Wow, some people were keen to get a big start on this. The first hand had AA stand up over KK even. I lasted about 2 levels and then dropped out in about 500th or so, can't even remember the hands but I think again it was AQs getting beaten by some crap.

I tried the $10, $1000 guaranteed at Aloha, and got no love. I saw one guy re-buy 4 times at our table, and I was bounced out in 24th out of 36 - and I checked later at the 4 time re-buyer was the eventual $400 winner. I hate when that happens.

I left the online poker world quite forlorn that afternoon. I had lost $10 at Aloha in that tournament, lost all the bonus money at Pacific plus a few extra and generally had a shit time. I went upstairs to watch soem movie on our new TV in our bedroom and fell asleep about 5 minutes into it. After a few hours nap, I decided to give it one more go to lift my mood and sat down at a $5 SNG. After pulling a few pots to be in a comfortable position I had folded my way to 3rd out of the remaining four and I noticed that the massive chip leader would push me off nearly every pot I limped into, but would fold against the other players. Usually I just put this down to me noticing something that isn't really happening, but then he typed in the chat box "Are you going to play a hand at all?". I couldn't tell if he was gloating or trying to coax me into playing some crap that didn't deserve it. I said back "As soon as I get more than 8 high, I will" which was not entirely true, I had floded K6 a few times. Eventually I get a decent pocket pair, jacks I think, and I knock out 4th place to make it into the guaranteed money. A few hands later, I take a chunk out of the chip leader, and before you know it I am in second and he is now in last. I resist the temptation to say "Should I stop playing these hands now?" and just let him go. Man, it felt great to knock him out a few hands later. Lesson number one kids, if you don't have anything intelligent to say then keep your damn mouth shut. The very first hand of heads up I am dealt AhKd, and I raise. I get a re-raise from the big stack who I know it just trying to push me off this pre-flop. I raise back all-in and they follow. I flip over Big Slick and I am very proud of myself, when he flips over Qd5d. Great, I am a 64% favorite here but of course he makes his flush on the river and I am out in second place. It HAD to be on the river, didn't it? I mean I was all-in pre-flop so it did not matter when the flush hit, but just to make it that little bit worse, they useed up all five cards to get there. Even hit an Ace on the flop that helped my confidence a bit. All up , this means I am about $3 worse off than when I satrted the day.

Where does this leave me? Well, I am going to give Pacific Poker about a month's trial to see if I can improve on the limit games. I am still way too much affected by my win/loss situation and stare at my bank roll a little too often. But I think my situation is unique. I can not just dip back into my wallet if that small bank roll goes bust - that is not the spirit of what I am trying to achieve. I think I am just going through a really cold spell that I must endure to see some gain. Yeah, that's it, I'll just blame the cards!

Friday, October 15, 2004

Like Finding Hen's Teeth

Genie : Aw, Al, I'm gettin' kinda fond of you, kid. Not that I wanna pick out curtains or anything.

By far and away my favorite Disney cartoon-movie. In my min this one is right up there with "The Princess Bride" - but I have already clued my thousands of readers into my love of these childhood classics, lets get to poker.

Had another little poke around on the nickel and dime tables last night at Aloha and found something extremely rare for a table of such a low limit - no maniacs. A pre-flop raise of 20 cents got a lot of respect. On times when I limped in and there were no bets post flop, a pot sized bet of 15 cents was enough to take it down. Don't get me wrong, they would bet middle two-pair to the river, but it was enjoyable to not have someone going all in on ace/rag every second hand. I was of course getting horrible treatment, as when I had AQs the flop came 789 rainbow, with a bet and raise in front of me and I was out. Later I had KQ and hit two pair on the turn with two hearts - I tried to scare off the flush chasers with a 50 cent bet but it wasn't enough and two callers came through to hit a Queen high flush on the river each (I folded before the showdown luckily). I did manage to crawl back to above my buy in and then stood up when the MTT free roll started, which as it turns out everyone else did as well. The free roll was equally disgusting to me as after a few levels I had still yet to drag a pot I was dealt Q9 and the flop was JT9, giving me an open ended straight draw. I pushed all in for about 5BB and got one caller, who showed K9 and hit his Queen draw on the river. Not much I could do about that - I mean I hate pushing all in with a drawing hand but such is the nature of these tournaments.

The reason for running around on the micro limit tables for the night was because I don't want to sign up to Pacific until the affiliate program for JW is sorted. I mean, I could use any old bonus code and get 25% on my deposit, but if you don't support a fellow blogger, what are you doing? Everybody loves Iggy's bonus codes, and I used one myself, and I think it is something we should jump on as bloggers. Poker Source Online do make fantastic bonus offers, so if you're going to sign up there you may as well list, say, DuggleBogey as your referral. It's all about sharing the love...And the profits. Yeah, love and profits, that's essential what poker is all about. Well, sometimes without the love. And sometimes without the profits. Never the less, poker is about - something. And it's a good something I think.

Some bloggers claim to ramble on, but only the "WGPBE" is able to turn rambling into an art form. I will take my curtain calls in a few moments.

And to prove that some times life can have a happy ending, with my recent troubles with Absolute Poker trying for the bonus points and failing miserably to even view them, it look like I might have pulled out in front anyway. Even though I missed out for some reason on the deposit bonus to my bank roll, my deposit bonus through Poker Source Online look like it is in the mail - two beautiful (no doubt) decks of KEM cards, a dealer button and a card cut *should* be on their way. I am very excited about this as ever since I learned what KEM cards were, I have wanted a pack. I can not justify spending $60 a deck which is the asking price here in Australia, and besides we can only get the thinner sized cards, not the wide, strong, masculine poker sized decks that I have become accustomed to. But hey, "free" is one of my favorite words. My account page says that the cards are "shipped", meaning I should get a UPS code for them soon. Woo hoo! My back room casino is one step closer.

Speaking of bonus codes (and good blogs), check out
Poker Grub, who is the newest edition to my blog roll on the side there. Gotta love the hammer!

That will have to do for now, there will be no poker play for today as I have a five hour drive ahead of me after work to my girlfriends grandmother's house. I feel like I should be picking off Little Red Riding Hood along the way or something. We have to drive 500 kilometers to get a 68 cm TV for $300 - the fact that any savings we made on the TV will be eaten up by travel costs is irrelevant to my better half, but hey what can I do? Here's a good story to illustrate my point - just today we went back to the real estate agent to renew the lease on our apartment for another 12 months. We had to pay $15 renewal fee (which is crap anyway) and I open my wallet and all I have were two $20 notes. Serena says no problems, she has a ten and a five and that will do. Then she says "I need one of your twenties." Now fellow alpha males, what did I reply with? That's right, I don't just think it, I say it. "No you don't, you just think you need it." Yep, I refused the woman! As I sat there basking in my glory for almost 90 seconds, I then pulled my wallet out and gave her one of the twenties. Even the real estate agent could sympathize with my plight. I was gallant, brave and courageous, but the dragon was just too great to oppose. I won a battle, but still lost the war. Oh well, very often I don't even get to the battle, so this is a win!

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Too little, too late.

Clem : [talking to fire extinguisher] Hey, You're talking to me all wrong here. It's the wrong tone. You better watch it, or I'll stab you in the face with a soldering iron. Hey, does your mother sew? BOOM. Get her to sew that.
"Joe Dirt"

Been having some good reading lately, which makes up for some shit times at the tables. I finally finished "Live from New York...", the book about Saturday Night Live. Some books claim to be "warts and all", but man does this book deliver on that. The first 100 pages or so are mainly about how much drugs they did in their offices all week. I did like reading about how a few of the early cast members (Belushi and Ackroyd I think were the main ones) who bought this little bar and ran it as a private club, where you could find the absolute best of comedic talent there, along with Chevy Chase (ok, they didn't say that last part, I just added that in.) I am about half way through "Tao of Poker" from Uwannabet, and found a little interesting piece of trivia - I can not remember the source but some study showed that a fireman is more likely to die on the job in his tenth year than in his first year, because after that amount of experience he tends to loose a little of his fear of the fire and thinks he has learned all about it. Here's another thought, how come the only female firemen you see are strippers?

I have to mention a fantastic post by
Double A's titled "Stupid plays at the tables." I wish I was as good at selecting tables as him - well, come to think of it I have sat down with people capable of similar plays in the last few days but it just hasn';t worked out for me.

At Absolute Poker again last night, one hand ended it for me. I think it was at the $1/$2 table, I am dealt AJo and raise pre-flop. Only the button calls, and the flop is ten high. I bet, he calls. The turn is a 4, I bet and he calls. The river is another low card, giving an outside straight draw. I have Ace high and there are no pairs on the board - should I have bet here? I decided not to and checked. The button called (damn, should have bet) and showed 24o. Now I reconsider, and no I should not have bet - if he was willing to stay in that long with 24o another $2 would not have made a difference. A few hand later, I am dealt AQs and the same thing happens, raise pre flop, call from the same guy. To cut through the details, the board showed a pair of jacks, at the showdown he peels off 44. That was it for me, I could not play another hand. I was down $15 I think and that was it.

I have posted in the last few times about my trouble finding the bonus points in Absolute to clear the bonuses. Despite everyone telling me you can see them in cashier under the menus, I still found it impossible. I sent two emails to their support team and the first was ignored, the second was given the old cut and paste job explaining what a rake was. No shit, after the beating I had taken over the last week I have had enough and decided to withdraw my (depleted) bank roll from their site and whore it elsewhere (probably pacific with JW's bonus code, gotta keep them bloggers in business!). So the withdrawal goes smooth, then it shows an account balance screen telling me my account has $0, $2000 in play money and 24 bonus points. Yes, AFTER I withdrew all my money it decided to tell me my bonus points. I tried to get back to that screen but to no avail. That's it anyway, I have removed Absolute Poker from my computer, never to be seen again. I mean I am not rubishing it for other people - the play is pretty juicy if/when you can find a game, but it just doesn't seem to be working at the moment. It's not you Absolute Poker, it's me.

I had another shot at the Aloha $100 free roll, which is seems less crazy tonight than usual. I am able to double up early on when my 99 becomes a set then a boat which I was of course happy with. A few hands later I get dealt JT and I limp in to see a wonderful 789 rainbow. I bet about 1/4 my stack (which was about average for the table), get two callers. Turn is a 3, I bet again for one caller. River is another rag giving me the nuts - Do I throw in the final $700 hoping he calls or try to induce a bluff? I decide to go with the second option and bet $255 (I thought I would throw in the extra five to make it look random-ish). He called, which I guess was a good result but I was hoping for more - should I have pushed? Anyways, this puts me into second out of the 200 people left (340 odd starters). What happens from here? I go from second out of 200 to 19th out of 38 in about an hour while seeing two flops. Two bloody flops, and they were big blinds where I could limp. I see Pauly posted his 69 hands of doom, I reckon I could beat him. How many bloody fours are in this deck? I had 54o, 24o, 84o, J4o, K4s (Yes! Limped with that baby!), it was just pathetic. Eventually, I was dealt K4s again, and saw a flop of AKx. The only other caller bets and I go to fold but press the wrong button and call. Shit. The turn though is another King and I am left with little choice now, I have to push all in. He calls and shows KQ to have me outkicked. I bow out in 37th, after winning two hands. Two bloody hands in over 100 minutes I suppose. Lucky it was a free roll.

I haven't added to my blog roll on the side there for a while, so I thought it was time to get some more over there. Man, it sure would be a lot quicker if I just copied Iggy's, he won't notice. But for now, I will add
Al Can't Hang, whom I assume most of you already read anyway. His exchanges with other bloggers, both at Party and in real life, are always great reads, especially since you get three or four sides of the same story with these guys. Also worth a read it It Ain't Gambling, and I cam empathic with the post about when it is time to leave the table. I have a really bad time saying things like "I'll just get over $40 then leave" or "Just this last orbit then it's bed" and it has cost me lately.

That will have to do for now, hopefully when I come back I will be back into the winners circle with some limit games at Pacific. Like I have said before, I am not experienced in limit games, but maybe I should get more practice in as there seems to be a more steady winning rate available if I can keep the discipline up.

Monday, October 11, 2004

Bloggers know best

Pyro : They say you're the bad guy.
Magneto : Is that what they say?
"X-men 2"

It is unusual for me to start of a post with two quotes, but here is the second quote from the comments section last week:

Party will fuck with your mind.

And that's just what it did. Have a look at my weekend: Friday night, trying out the $25NL tables (yes, I finally found them) and I had two tables going, doubled up on both and was ready for bed. I took time out to calculate all three websites I am now playing on to see how my total bank roll was looking - over $171, and I was happy let me tell you! I can not remember what hands I won with, but they were not monsters. Most of the time it was top pair or something like that. I tried my luck at some $5+1 SNG but to no avail. Extremely cold cards, and when I had not played a hand in 3 orbits, I was dealt pocket 6's and was happy to throw it all in from middle position. Naturally, the button had pocket aces, and even hit one first on the flop to rub salt into my wounds. Oh well, but a positive night all up.

Then comes Saturday. I am going well just on the one table (I found two table very hectic, how the hell does everyone manage 4?) and moved my stack to $39 plus change from a start of $25. I have the button and I say to myself - well, I get 4 free looks without paying for blinds, I will only play something worth while then stand up when the blinds come around, that is enough for today. About three hands later I am dealt pocket 10's, not too shabby. I raise it up a few pre-flop and get two callers, one very new to the table. The flop is 668 rainbow. I raise it again and get a caller from the new girl and one fold. Turn is a harmless looking 2, river is a 4. What does she have? 6-7. Trips on the flop. I was kinda annoyed and now I was down to where I started, so I thought I better hang around so at least I make a profit - a decision I know refer to as mistake number two. A few hands later I am dealt the Hiltons and the same thing happens. Pre-flop raise, she calls and then the flop is a harmless looking 773. This time she raises, I can't believe it and in full tilt mode I go all in. She calls, and flips over pocket Aces. Man, I was fuming - and because I knew I brought it all on myself with my little "oh, lets just stay for a few more hands" tactic. I was hurt, bleeding I tell you. Why, the poker Gods giveth, and they taketh awayeth through the mask of a vixen, clad in decent and bathed in lies. I mean I really can't be too disappointed, as like I said it was my fault and I was playing with other people's money anyway. Before this, I pulled out my initial deposit of $105 and decided to bonus whore it elsewhere - and now my party account sits at less than dollar after I went into a $20 SNG in full blown tilt mode - I was lucky to finish seventh! I would reinvest the $105 back into party, but the incentive is not there when I can get first deposit bonus else where. I decided to go through with poker Source Online's offer of a free deck of KEM cards with Absolute Poker - although it seems bloody impossible to find out how many bonus points you have earned already and how close you are to winning the bonus. I had a quick poke around, and really the only game I played was a heads-up against some other guy with a $5 stack each. Man, this guy was weak and I pushed him off the first 4 pots to take a commanding lead and I never looked back. Pretty soon, my stack was $9.60 and his none, so 40 cents went in rakes but I guess I was happy with that. I even made a few more dollars on Aloha, though I think I will stick to the MTT there for the moment.

Saturday night was another chance to test my live game at another Aussie poker enthusiast a few suburbs over. This was my second time here, and I really enjoyed it - I even feel like one of the boys now. There was another new player that they got into contact with from the same website as me I presume. It was $15 6-handed, with the winner getting 3 buy ins, 2nd getting 2 and 3rd getting their money back. One o the other new players, still very much learning, hit three rivers in a row to take down fairly large pots. Mental note 1 - you can't bluff new players. I remembered this, so I no longer tried. 3 hours into the game, the first player was knocked out. Wow, that took some time since last time I was in this game the first player bowed out after 4 hands or something similar.

Shortly after this I made a big move against the new player they met off the internet, who seemed to know what he was doing. On a ragged bored I made a massive raise of $7K and he had to agonize over it for ages. He even said fold once, but then reconsidered for another five minutes and called. He had a pair of aces, I had bugger all. Damn, that would have put me in second and it was very close. A few hand later, when I thought I was short stacked, I went all in in late position, after a few small raises and I was dealt KQ. The new internet player thought about it and asked me to count my chips - shit, I had $28K (start at about $30K, we like to be high rollers), a lot more than I thought. He thinks about it, and there is only one other person to call after him, and eventually he throws his stack in. The last player, a pretty good player and big poker fan also calls - shit. The internet player flips over KJ (phew!) and the other guy flips over AA (Fuit. That's "fuck" and "shit" all together. Fuit!) Six cards in this all-in, and all six of them are face cards. What about the flop? Two more picture cards straight off the bat - a beautiful King and another Queen. The rest were rags. Wow - it was a hand we talked about for the rest of the night. I tripled up and left the good player with less than the big blind, which he was out next hand when he was dealt 52o. With a run like that, I was sure to be headed for good things.

Forth placed went without any help from me, then a few hands later I checked my big blind and let the flop come for free. It was JJ2, the internet player went all in and I called with KJ - he showed a 2 and that was it for the night for him. We were down to three.

With the guarantee of profit for the first game now, I was feeling ok. After a bit of back and forth action, I called a minimum pre-flop raise and saw a flop of Axx. I bet, the host raised all in. Could I ask for a better result? I flipped over the Rockets for the win! What better way to scoop up a $30 profit than with the rockets, hey? In the second game, I again made it to the heads up but it was now 2am and the play was very solid, back and forth time and time again. Getting sick of it, as everybody was, I went all in knowing that even a loss here would still mean a small profit (and in some way, since I was a visitor I didn't want to win both games.), all I had was Q2s - my opponent had A3s would you believe. The spades were irrelevant, and he hit an Ace on the turn for the win. All up, I came out even on the day considering my online losses.

The biggest damage though was to my confidence, as the cold card run and bad play left me wondering if I should just pull the online bank roll out totally and buy something with it - after all it *was* free money. I don't think I will, but pretty soon I will be sick of Absolute Poker and more than likely have a look at Pacific Poker and use the sign up code from
JW at Outkicked and see how it all pans out. I might go back to Party one day soon, after I clear a few more bonus', but for now I will leave the Aquarium having had a bit of fun.

Thursday, October 07, 2004

First dip into the pool

Thornton Melon : Bring us a pitcher of beer every seven minutes until somebody passes out. And then bring one every ten minutes.
"Back To School"

First foray into the Party waters, and I must admit I was a little surpirsed. There is not as many tournaments running as I had hoped (but I guess with 60,000 people on they would be hard to get into at the lower limits anyway), but I decided to pull up at the $0.50/$1 table for a little while to get the feel of the action, and besides I only have a bankroll of $100 so the $1/$2 or $2/$4 tables could be a little out of my league just yet.

I chose a table with 3 others and started to watch the action. I must admit to a big rookie mistake, the table was limit hold'em and I did not realise this until after a few hands. I know this would be obvious to everyone else who ahs been to Party Poker a lot, but this was my first time there...and my first time playing limit. I prefer no-limit because at these levels I only need to win 1 hand every few orbits to get paid off. Just like I did earlier in the day playing at Aloha at the 5c/10c table - I have the Ace high nut flush, some guy bets into me, I raise, he re-raises, then I re-raise all-in and he follows. Doubled up my buy in on one hand, thats all I need. Back to the Party table, I decided to play tight but agressive when I have the best of it. I did not see many flops, but the few times I did it was weird. I was holding say KT, flop comes AJT with a few raises, that means I'm out of here. What does the eventual winner have when it comes to a three way showdown? A pair of 9's on the river. And that was good enough for a $7 pot. I could not beleive it. About 4 times I folded a winning hand - mind you, the winning hand was 3rd pair or something like that. It was just one of those nights, one player in particular who went to showdown about 80% of the time was just raking it in. He was over $50 from a $25 buy in with crap like bottom two pair or Jack high - yes, I saw a pot taken by Jack high! Now this is where I wished it was no limit, because when I finally did have a hand they called all the way to showdown and my straight won, but the pot was only $8. I managed to get back my buy-in and by then the table was full and I stood up. It was a good little learning session but this calling station was just getting too lucky and the cards were not coming for me. I decided to have a go at one of the Aussie Million's Satelite SNG, and I dropped out just outside the bubble. With AT I saw a flop of 567 rainbow with just me and the big stack in it. I bet, he raised to put me all-in. This was typical of his play and his stack size (I was $780, he was over $6K) so I thought my Ace was good enough to call and what do you know - he flips over 89o. Flopped the straight, sent me packing. Poor play, but I considered it a $10 lesson on Party Poker for the night. All up on the night I was down a few dollars, but it was ok to get my feet wet. Here's hoping when i get a chance to really put some hours in I can get something going.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Take me to the river

Captain : All hear this! Increase speed beyond reason!

UPDATE: Rest in peace Jacob Cohen , aka Rodney Dangerfield. Finally, you'll get some respect. My favourite one liner of his?
I have two beautiful kids - thank God my wife cheats on me.

Thanks for sticking around here during my brief absence. I have much to talk about but little actual poker play. This past weekend I travelled back to my home town for a family friend's wedding, where I proceeded to get pole-axed three nights in a row and now I have recovered about 66%. Amazing weekend - Friday night was a quiet night in with my grandfather playing 500 and sampling his home brew. Before I knew it, we had knocked back a clean dozen each. The next day was the wedding, and we all know how they go - I managed to crawl home about 4.30am which was about par for everyone else. Then on the Sunday, fully feeling the affects of the night before we were to go to the father of the bride's place for a recovery BBQ. I thought I would make an appearance, have lunch and maybe one drink then leave by 3pm to get some sleep. Well, when everybody below the age of 40 said they were heading to the club at 9pm, you could bet I was leading the way. At the BBQ we had an amazing time, there is no real way to explain it unless you were there but this happy little Greek fellow was sitting with us telling stories about when he played football and basketball with our fathers, and man did he love his Ouzo. He was putting it away like you wouldn't beleive. Anyway, while telling his stories he had a habbit of taking his cap off and then putting it back on. Before long a whisper started around the circle, and everytime he took his hat off we would all cheer and drink. This went on for 3 hours, and bu then end the entire party (about 50 or so) was into it and cheering and drinking everytime he tok his hat off. He thought he was telling the best stories, and we were laughing so much we were crying. It was just a fantastic day.

On to poker, Aloha have FINALLY given up some love and released some money into my Neteller account, so it is all systems go from here. I thought it over and had a look at the offers at Poker Source but decided that I really want to play at the Party. And as a blogger, I really should enter the code Iggy to be true to this little internet sub-culture that is my home from time to time. I'll get into it tonight and see what happens.

Got another live game going on Saturday night with the same group as before, should be fun. I won't be as worried about my well-being this time and be much more comfortable to play.

I have so many blogs to catch up on since the last time I was online, it is not funny. I think it will take me a good few hours to hammer them all out now. guess it is kinda a blessing in disguise as I have no actual to play to speak about...oh hang on, I did play a 15 minute game with my older brother and Dad but it was a real muck about game, with no folding what so ever. Other than that, all the cards played were 500 or Euchre, which was still fine by me.

On the movie front, I have an opportunity to submit a few scripts to a very well known production company in the next few weeks. What they have asked for (from me and about 100 others, mind you) are young funky scripts so it should bode well for me. I don't expect anything because there will be hundreds of scripts to be considered, so even if one of mine gets read then I consider that a good day. It's a slow process, but hey hopefully there is a pay off in the end.

Have fun people, I hope to see you at the Party soon!