Monday, July 26, 2004

Square One

That's all I can say over the cold run I was having over the weekend. You could not get a worse run if you tried. Looking over the stats, in one game on Aloha I had no calls, no bets, no raises, 22 folds. That's just wrong. I couldn't even protect the blinds. Eventually, I was down to my last chip and went all in with some crap like 93o, which was pretty standard for the night. But this continued onto other tables for me...Again and again. I pulled 1 pot our of 128 and my miniscule winnings from the week were gone. Just like that. I can not re-interate enough just how bad this run was. I had not one picture card for 7 single table tournaments. I had 4 and other low card on 8 consecutive hands - I was beginning to question how many fours were in the pack. This run was devastating, and from now on will forever be referred to as "Uranga" - an African beast with powers of frost that are un-matchable.
All 23 cents gone in one weekend. Well, I guess it is back to square one and onward we go.
I did say when I had the points before that this was my "first" start. So I knew I would probably loose it all some time, I was just hoping to have a little longer to play with it.
The best thing about having those points, as miniscule as they were, was that I could play a real money game anytime. Now with my bankroll back at $0 (where it never left really), I have to wait for the scheduled free-rolls again.
Maybe No-limit isn't best for me? I think it is the most fun, and at these low levels limit games tend to get capped on every round of betting - making it a bit of a joke. I think I need no-limit for now and move on to limit when there is more than $1 on the line. For now, we go back to the freerolls with the rest of the Rounder wanna-be's!
After loosing all I had, and going through the worse run of cold cards in my life I needed to went some, so I entered a free roll tournament with no prize but the pleasure of winning. I don't do these tournaments very often anymore because they do not contribute to my challenge, but I needed an outlet and I decided to play this game very aggressive - I had to, I wasn't getting the cards to play super tight.
I got a little lucky with some sets and steeling a few pots, and before I knew it I was up amongst the leaders around $70K (start at $10K). Flopped a nice straight with KQo in hand and Jh Tc Ad on the felt, and went all in. I was followed by one player on $40K who had 9c3c. Well, I wouldn't be telling this story unless it went bad, and the turn was 6c, river Jc. A Jack high straight took the wind out of my sails, and I was playing against that one player from then on. That's no way to play, let alone the terrible mood I was in due to "Uranga", so I was out not long after that. But the purpose had been served. I had a few good starting hands (even pocket Kings, I was most proud.) and got that ll out of my system, so here we go again...

Friday, July 23, 2004

Sinking sailors

I'm not going to post daily on this blog, but since it is still new and my enthusiasm is up, I will for now.
Had a few quick games last night on Bugsy Club, and I managed to add another 8 cents worth of points to my tally. The Aloha tournament was juts awful. 17 folds in a row. Not one bet, not one raise, not one call. 17 folds. That is mind blowing. In those 17 hands, I had one picture card (It was the mighty Queen of spades herself. My, what a woman.). When on the 18th hand I had K7h, I was all in out or bordem. My small stack of $280 was quickly eaten up by a pair of Jacks on the river. I was playign with some maor annoyances in the background, so it was probably not going to be my best game regardless of the cards.
But like I said, I did manage to add some Bugsy Bonus Points to my account. With my grand 15 points, I can now enter single table tournaments for 1 point or 10 point, with the chance to win 10 tens that amount. Causiously, I am only going in the 1 point tables at the moment. I don't think many of the other players took these games as seriously as I did. Could you blame them? The grand prize was 10 cents! Hardly worth the time when you think about it (so I didn't think about it). But I'm on a mission.
Here is my gripe today: I had pocket Jacks and went all in on one hand, and was followed by another player who had ATh. The flop came ATx, then x, then the river was the J I needed to win. No big deal, small pot really in the sceme of things but the other player posted a message along the lines of "If it wasn't for that lucky river...". I don't get it. If it wasn't for that "lucky"  ace on the flop, he wouldn't have been in the hunt. I knew I had only 2 outs on the river, and he was well ahead on the flop, but he was really pissed that he lost it on the river. I don't get it - it wasn't like he had a monster in two pair. You know why they put five cards out in the middle of the table? So you can use all of them. ANY of them! I know I get annoyed too when I get beaten by the last card, but this guy really went off. Like I had no right to win because he was ahead after the flop. The river is there for a reason - you either sink or swim. I'm allowed to use it.  I've had my bad beats on it too - but when your stack is gone the only things you can blame are the cards and yourself.
 And there is NOTHING you can do about the cards.

Thursday, July 22, 2004


Even though Poker is a skill game, you still need a bit of luck on your side, especially when it comes to tournaments and especially when you want to make $6K starting with zero. Your luck is a roller coaster with it's ups and downs and even a few loops. I have been having the worst "Lucky" run ever. That needs an explanation.

Just last night I was playing in two freeroll tournaments, one on Aloha and the other on Poker Pages. The Aloha pays about $28 for first place, while PP pays in "Bugsy Bonus Points" - frequent player points that can be transferred into tournament entries or cashed out for 1c a point - so the big prize was equivalent to about $4. Either win would do, all I need is a start to get going.
I was traveling well on PP, doubling my stack on the first hand with Jacks full. After an hour, I have moved from $10K to over $100K and sitting in about 3rd out of the 77 players left. I'm reading everyone like a book, playing like a champ and feeling good. Even on the few times I have called some of the short stacks when they went all in, I'm getting the great river cards to throw them out. Dealt A6o in the BB, and the action is limited but there are 3 callers. The flop comes A6x - checked all around back to me, time to top up my stack a little bit...
Mean while, over on Aloha I made a bold early move (because with low starting stacks you have to), and go from $400 to $1060 on top pair with ace kicker on the river, with no action before it. I have no idea why the followed with what they must have been holding, but hey that's not my problem. A few hands later, again on the BB I'm holding poker 4's - not a great hand, but since I'm on the big blind I can be hopeful. The flop comes and there is a 4, so I start to get a little more confident and think "I'm killing at both tables, this could be the night I get started!".
I flip back to Poker Pages to raise a thousand or so, and the player immediately to my left is trying to make the decision to call or fold.

Gee, he certainly is taking his time.

Don't they have a timer on these things?

I mean, it was only a few thousand, his stack is $60K, throw it in if you don't have it.

Where is that timer?

Oh...Hang on...Oh no...

I looked over at Aloha, and the same thing is happening - nothing. For some reason my raise on the flop is not showing. My internet connection is down. I frantically press the reconnect button but to no effect. I go all the way out then all the way back in, take the phone cord out (yes, still on dial up), restart the computer but nothing happens for 20 minutes. I even used a trace on Poker Pages, and the only sites I can connect to for the time being is in Australia. My ISP has cost me. So, for the record my ISP is Optus and I say they now owe me $28, $3 more than my monthly access fee. They won't get me to upgrade to broadband that way!

I was pissed off. I had put nearly two hours into Poker pages, and was just getting a run on Aloha. I checked this morning and I finished 27th on Aloha by folding away my $1K, and 16th on PP by folding away my $100K. 27th gets you nothing, 16th however did put me in the money! 15 Bugsy Bonus Points! That's the equivalent of 15 US cents. Sound better if I say approximately 22 Australian cents. Yes sir, one more monster like that and I can play two-up!

And what about this game the other night? In four consecutive hands I had the following either on the flop or the turn:

  1. Quad 7's
  2. Ace high straight
  3. Ace high flush
  4. Queens full of 5's

Not a bad little run for four consecutive hands. And what did I make of this bevy?


I folded each one before the flop. I had cards like this (I say like because I can't remember exact):

  1. 73o
  2. T2o
  3. Qh2s
  4. Q5o

It only took one raise before the flop to convince me not to start with a hand like that. Four monsters in a row, all folded and all good enough for the money. I am having the best of luck and I still can't capitalize on it.

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Let the saga begin...

You know, I was thinking that the internet needs another Blog. Hey, I'll even be original with it and blog about my poker exploits. Why, there can't be ANYONE who ever thought of that before...
With the knowledge that what am I doing is hardly original and no where near revolutionary, you are now reading the beginning of "Poker On Film" - A  poker blog (a "plog" - no. Defiantly no.).
So what is the point of all this? I will give you the short version and the long after it.
My goal is the make enough money through poker to buy a video camera and begin a career in film.

There you go, that wasn't hard was it? Now the long, semi-autobiographical version.
My grandfather on my mother's side (hereafter referred to as Pop) has always loved playing cards, and taught me and my brothers how to play poker before we could read (something my mum was not very happy about). Soon, we learned Euchre which became our favorite game for the next ten years or so, and that migrated into 500.  When I left the thriving metropolis of Broken Hill for Sydney, the highlight of my return to the Silver City was tea around Nan's and "dessert" with Pop that meant either 4 handed 500 or six handed Euchre. Anyone who is familiar with these games know that they produce great card-counting skills. Oh, and just for reference, no 10 points for tricks, no "gentleman's hands" and anybody who calls Misere in our house gets thrown out never to return.  In Euchre, Pop's score cards are always the spades - but that's another story.
I graduated from university (I will not say which one because I tend to speak about them in a very bad light - another long story) with a degree in Commerce (Marketing) , but I knew that I wanted to make movies. Not "films" - I didn't want to express my deepest emotions through characters that over-state every emotion decision their pitiful lives present them with. I didn't want to hold a mirror up to societies faults and display the idiosyncrasies of the modern day upper class. I wanted to make movies that people want to watch - that people want to go onto the internet and create fan sites and fan fiction about. Fans of Steve Odenkirk and Broken lizard share a world that doesn't seem as geek-ridden as Star Trek fans. Hell, they can even be seen as the eccentric, cooler version of Trekkies. I wanted to make those movies.
As original an idea is was to create a poker blog, a video store worker trying to break into the movies is even less original.
As a broad generalization, anybody trying to make a career in the movies needs a few things -
  • Contacts in the business (Nepotism - all business' thrive off it, don't be jealous now).
  • Film school education
  • Money

I can't magically change the occupations of my family, so contacts are out. And besides, one day when I write my auto-biography on my vast business empire (I like to plan ahead), I wanted to say I started from scratch by myself. I can't do film school, because I have a full time job and many debts, as well as a girlfriend who wants a very large (and expensive) engagement ring, wedding, house and family in that order. Besides, I'm making movies remember, not films! And money? Well, I'm sure I saw some coins behind the couch the other day. My net worth is firmly in the red, and will be for some years to come unless something happens.

But that's the great thing about money - something can happen. I can earn more. I can get a second job (not happening again), or I could win lotto (I know, a tax on the mathematical inept - but hey, somebody has to win!). Yeah, I don't really see a solution there, and since this is a poker blog you should have by now seen how I came to my conlcusion.


The original poker game for us as kids was a simple draw poker. Like many people now in the poker boom, my interest started with "Rounders" (the hard-core poker player either hates my type, or loves taking their money). Texas Hold'em was a new world, and I was quickly hooked. When I was playing a few games for fun on Yahoo, I realized there was no fun to be had. 10 handed games, 9 hands making it to the river, 7 of them showing 1 pair at best. Besides the fact that there is nothing to win but the satisfaction that I did, this game did little to quench my poker thirst. Trying to get my friends into the poker mood didn't work either, and I can't remember how many times I had to explain that 2 pairs beats a 4-straight even though they are both four cards. A flush vs a straight? Forget about it. Nothing is more demoralizing than having the novice cringe at loosing to my set, only to have me correct them and explain AGAIN what a flush is and hand over my chips. So I visited to world wide web again, and found a real poker place!

I started at PokerPages, and I really enjoyed their freeroll tournaments to hone my skills. This has two problems - the first is everybody knows that in these tournaments, guaranteed 2 people per table at least will go all in on the first hand pre-flop regardless of what they have. Second problem is again if I win, I only get the satisfaction that I won. So I moved onto PokerStars, where I can win real money for nothing if I beat 6000 other hopefuls. AlohaPoker is also a favorite, as I can win $28 by beating 400 others, though you need to make a move early as the starting stacks are quite small in comparison to everywhere else.

So here lies my challenge. I am not looking to turn my bankroll from $100 to $10,000 (although I hear that is very popular), I want to start with $0 and make enough to make my first movie, about $6K US dollars. I really only play online because there is no Brick and Mortar games here in Sydney.

Poker will never be a full time job, only a part time hobby for me. Come along for the ride if you feel the need, or just visit now and then and read my bad beat stories.

After all, my pocket 6's will hold up, won't they?