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!

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