Thursday, November 30, 2006

Session at Harrah's

I went to Harrah's several nights ago to play some poker. I was very surprised to see that the room was full at 8:30pm. They had seven 3-6 tables going, five 1-2NL tables and two 2-5NL tables going on a Monday night. That is pretty impressive compared to Cypress Bayou (Shorty's) that has a $180,000 Bad beat Jackpot, and can only fill up 3 or 4 tables with usually three 3-6-12 tables and one 5-5 NL table.

My buddy Bill came meet me to talk about the site. Big Mike was there and had a big night. I wanted to get on a 2-5 table but wound up playing on a 1-2 NL table. The max buy-in is $300.00, so this is what I came in with.

First hand I look down at Big Slick, Ah-Ks. I make a $20 raise and get 4 callers. I am in position on everyone except an Asian Guy I have played before. Flop comes Qc-Jh-3c with 2 clubs. I do a continuation bet of $50.00, and only the asian guy calls. Turn comes the 9s. I make it $80.00 to go, and he goes in the tank for a few minutes and smooth calls me. The river come a brick and I bet out $80.00 again, and he goes in the tank again. He calls and shows the 9c8c.

So I donkey off over 1/3 of my starting stack on the first hand running a bluff with Big Slick, I could tell this session was going to be a rough one. I buckle down with the remaining $70.00 and played tight. When bill got there, I cashed out with $175 so I booked a $125 loser on that table.

Bill and I go across the street tot the bar and have a beer and discuss the site. We talk a little about the Dead Money Satellites, and we decide to go back to the poker room. I have had a little too much to drink, and I plan on just walking Bill to the room, getting my parking validated and then catch a cab home, but they were just opening a new 1-2 game, and Bill and I would get to sit next to each other, so I sit down with $200.00. I lose most of that running a bluff (Go figure), and I pull out another $200.00, and make a couple of hands to pull me back to $320.00. I finally realize that I had drank to much beer and leave the room a loser of a little over $200.00.

I pose a question that came up in one of the hands. I have As-3s and my opponent holds Jh8d.
The flop comes out Js4h2s. What hand would you rather have?

I made a bet after the flop and we checked it down from there as i missed my flush, but we turned them up and the dealer told me he would rather have the J-8 as "It is a made hand".
Not me. I liked my hand as I win with any spade, any Ace and a five. Plus my hand had lots of potential for a big score if an 8s comes on the turn or river. He has 2 pair against my flush.

I happen to watch one of my favorite movies recently, Reality Bites, and I really loved Ethan Hawks in here. This show reminds me of a lot of things in my past...good and bad.
Below is my favorite quote as it sums up a good poker strategy...Take pleasure in the details.

  • When you are the one that sucks out on the river...instead of your opponent
  • When you actually win with Big Slick
  • The sound of chips hitting the pot
  • The camaraderie of the table banter
  • Tipping the dealer
  • Pleasure in a hand played well

"Its all just a...random lottery of meaningless tragedy and a series of near i take pleasure in the details ya know? a quarter pounder w/cheese, those are good....the sky about 10 min. before it starts to rain, the moment when your laughter becomes a cackle...and i sit back..and smoke my camel straits...and i ride my own melt"
Ethan Hawk's Character Troy in Reality Bites

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving to all...Winning session at Shorty's

I want to wish everyone a Happy Turkey Day. I was suppose to go to the camp and go duck hunting with a buddy of mine and play a tourney at Coushatta, but I came up sick Thursday night with a sore throat and sinus problems. I felt like crap.

I had a good sessionat Shorty's Thursday night. I bought in for $400.00 and cashed out 4 hours later with $1450.00 a cool $1050.0 to the bankroll. There were some real gamblers there that night that were "slinging chips". I just stayed patient and had one guy make a $400.00 bluff on the river when I held 2 pair. Hand went this way.

I have J4s and call a small raise of $25 from "Action Guy". We have 3 callers. Me, Spoon, Billy and Action Guy. Flop comes AdJh4d. I got 2 pair , and I am imediately putting Action Guy on AK or AQ. I check, and he bets out $50.00 and Billy Folds, Spoon calls and I raise it $100.00 more for a total of $150.00 to go. Action Guy calls, as does Spoon which spookes me as Spoon is the chip leader at the table with over $3000.00 in front of him. He can take some chances where normally he wouldn't. Turn comes a 8h. I loved this card as it could not have helped anyone. I bet out $200.00. After Action Guy goes in the tank for about 5 minutes, he calls. To my delight, spoon folds. River card comes 5d. A scare card for me as it puts the flush and a low wheel out there. I check and he announces "OH No...not now...I bit 300.00" and he slams 3 stacks of reds in the middle of the pot. Now its my turn to go in the tank. My thoughts were below:

--He would never had played the hand that way with a wheel from the Ace. He was not even way
--He would have played Ace-Jack like there was no tommorow. He would have re-raised me.
--I did not believe he would have played the flush this way also as the Ace is on the board. What did he raise with originally? KdJd...QdJd...unlikely but possible.
--He did the "Classic" rookie tell of , "Act strong is weak" when he slams the chips in the pot...and vise-versa.
--No...I had to go with my original read on big slick, possible suited. He hit his ace on the flop, and the way the hand played out fits.

I call and show my 2 pair, and he shows AQ. I almost had him with the big slick read but hey, I still won the hand, and a huge hand it turned out to be.

I am heading to my little nephews B-Day party and I just left K-Mart. What a fiasco. Retail stores during the X-mas rush. It is maddening.

"I am going to let you in a little secret, Ray, Kmart sucks!!"
Tom Cruise's character Charlie Babbitt in Rain Man

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Hitting the BB Jackpot...but Negative Ghostrider!!!

The BB Jackpot at Shorty's is at $180,000.00, and I was in a hand last night with 4 aces and I beat Aces full of Kings...but it was not to be. All of the rules governing what cards must play...yada, yada, hand. It was a little aggravating, but I got over it. It was easier getting over this than the cards I received in the 5-5 NL game. Simply Brutal. I dumped $300.00 quick and got back in for another $300.00 and the game evaporated with me stuck $450.00. The cards tortured me.

2 of the hands that I remember vividly are below:

-Flop a set of 4's and lost a huge pot to a set of 6's
-Look down at Q-9s on the button. We have a raiser to $25.00 with 4 callers around to me. Raiser had just bought in the game for $150.00. I call to look at the flop. Flop comes Qc9h3d.
I am thinking of trying to take it down right there. I am happy with what is in the pot already.
So original raiser beats me to it and moves all in right off the bat. I know now he must have pocket A's K's or Q's. If he has Q's I am dead, but I think I am ahead. I call, and sure enough he shows AsAc. He spikes an A on the river to suck out like a champ. These are the kinds of hands I was in. If I had 2 pair, someone had better. If I had a set, someone had a higher set.

Well, I am a little disgusted as this is the first time that the game here at Shorty's has just "evaporated". Felt like they took my money and ran. So I am left with $150.00. I sit down at the 3-6-12 game to look at some cards and shoot for the jackpot. I win a huge hand with pocket A's to get my stack up to $300.00. The NL game fires back up at about 8:00pm, and I am able to suck out about another $85.00 before I have to leave. I walk out the door a $215.00 loser. With the way the cards treated me, I consider this a win.

I am heading back there now to give it some more hell...hopefully the poker gods will be nicer to me today. I have to get pumped for the big tourney in Coushatta, The Seven Clans Poker Cup.
Scotty Nguyen will be their

Side note...we have up. We have a lot of work to do, but come check us out.

With Coushatta coming up, I want to preview this quote. It's from Sammy Farha to Scotty Nguyen in the 2003 WSOP Main Event. Scotty just bluffed Sammy out of a big hand and showed the crowd his cards, but would not show Sammy. Sammy was visibly upset.
" OK Scotty...OK Buddy...We will go to war now...we will now go to war"

Monday, November 20, 2006

A session at Shorty's

I was able to get over to Shorty's to play in the 5-5 NL game there last Friday. The Bad Beat Jackpot is up to $174,000. How great that would be to win that baby. That would finance my tournaments for at least a couple of years without a win. There were some regulars in the game. I got in one hand that I played terribly, and one I played great and wound up a $128 winner on the 5 hour session. No much, but a winner none the less.

The first hand I will talk about will be the one I plyed terrible. I say terrible, but really the only really terrible part was the call after the river. I was in the hand with Big Slick and I made a modest raise to $15. I got 4 callers including a lady on the other side of the table that I have played before. The cards are just running over her, as she was up probably $700.00 at this point. I was able to maneuver my starting $300.00 up to about $470.00. Flop comes Ac-9h-3d.
(Here I will run through the hand and then analyze it from the hindsight) All four check around to me and I check. Turn come the 7d the lady bets out $40.00 and everyone folds around to me. I raise it another $100.00 to make it $140.00 to go, and she smooth calls. River comes Jd and she bets out $200.00 and I call. She shows Ad4d for the nut flush.

Having analyzed the hand with KW, the player to my left, the only thing I could have done to win the hand was "move all in" after the flop. After all, she had top pair with a modest kicker in the 10. We believe she would have called a $50-100 raise. She was up in winnings and she could have put me on making a move with say J-J or Q-Q. After the Turn, she is sitting there with the nut flush draw with top pair and modest kicker. At this point I could not have got her off the hand. Hell, she couldn't;t have gotten me off that hand if the roles were reversed. Yes, I think that moving in after the flop was my only hope of winning. So what could I have done to minimize my lost?

Obviously the play here was smooth calling her $40.00 bet and then folding on the river. Very easy in hindsight. I don;t think the raise was that bad of a play, but after she called, I should have put her on a flush draw. The call on the river was terrible. She never bluffs. Just terrible.
Calling off all the rest of my stack with big slick and top pair is just bad poker. to the good part. I got back in after the above hand with another $300.00. So now I am $600.00 deep in this session. I get Kc-Ks and make a $30.00 raise and get several callers.
Flop comes Kd-10c-3s rainbow. Everyone checks. Turn comes a 9h. This is a "Scare Card" for me as it eliminates the flush possibility but puts the straight out there, and lots of people play Q-J here. I make a $80.00 bet, and one guy from Lafayette calls, and the other from New Iberia raises me another $100.00. I call, as does the other caller. Now we are 3 handed going to the river with a huge pot. The river comes the 4c. I am spooked so I check as does Lafayette around to New Iberia. New Iberia bets out $100.00. I go in the tank, and am just agonizing that he has Q-J and I am about to call off the rest of my chips and am going to leave here a $600.00 loser. I just could not see folding a set of Kings here. I had already put too much money in the pot to fold. I know there are people out there reading this that are saying...", you can't lay down a set of Kings", but you had to be there. I was spooked.

I eventually call saying "I will go ahead and call and donkey off the rest of my chips". I call. Now Lafayette goes in the tank. I am agonizing in the wait. What could he have? I am standing up waiting to walk out the door, and this guy is just sitting there agonizing himself. What could he have?

He reluctantly folds and shows a set of 9's. I say "Good lay down, That ain't good enough". I look at New Iberia and ask him "What do you got Q-J or 2 pair"...he shows a set of 10's.

I say ..."That ain't good enough either", I show my K's and say "Ship it to the colonel".

It amazes me what a roller coaster ride this game is. 2 crucial hands and I go down, then back up.

"You know...That's the way it goes, but don't forget, sometimes it goes the other way too"
Patricia Arquette character Alabama Worley in "True Romanace"

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Work, Online Poker and staying busy

I have been very busy lately working on our regional website. I am trying to get a hang of the MS Frontpage. From what I hear its either "Love it...or Hate it". Now, I think I am hating it. I am going to Shorty's to play some NL. I have started back playing on Pokerstars. I am waiting for FCP to get their software together.

I have been running good lately. I made $200 a couple fo nights ago in a SNG.

Oh Yea...Dumb trivia...I found out that me and Daniel Negranue have the same birthday.

"Youth is a circumstance you can't do anything about. The trick is to grow up without getting old"
Frank LLoyd Wright

Monday, November 13, 2006

Chilly decks continue

Well...the title of this post says it all. I have been getting some really chilly decks in the past 3 weeks. I played in the $125.00 tourney at the Gold Strike in Tunica my last night there, and busted out with pocket Aces. I was really running good and got down to 2 tables left, but it was not meant for me to cash. I was staying at Sam's Town that night, so I went over there to play some 1-2 NL. Again, no luck and I left a small winner.

The next day I played in a $65.00 buy in at Sam's Town which actually gathered 84 people. I felt I was going to be able to take over my table, and play aggressively if I could accumulate some chips early. The very first hand I look down at pocket 8's. I am 2 off the button, and in the 3 seat. The blinds start at 25-50. There was a raise from the 8 seat to $100 and 2 callers in front of me. I call as does the BB. Flop comes 8c 3h Kc. The original raiser, seat 8, bets out $200 and the 10 seat calls around to me. I go in the tank for a few minutes wondering what to do. My 2 thoughts were 1) Move in here and take it down. The pot was nice size for being the first one, and if someone called I could get head up and double up thus putting my strategy in high gear of taking over the table with aggression. 2) play it coy with a solid raise and see what happens. Maybe get several, or at least 2 callers, and maybe get more out of the pot. Well, I decide on #2 and make it 900 to go. Seat 8 calls immediately, and 10 goes in the tank. He mentions something about having "Kicker" problems etc. I could not hear what he was saying. All in all, he reluctantly calls. Turn come the 10s. Seat 8 checks, seat 10 movbes all in, of course so do I and we turn over our cards. As I suspected he held K-10. It seems my penance to the poker gods have not been paid yet as a 10 comes on the river. See ya...on the first hand.

Hindsight...I should have chossen #1 as there is no way that 10 seat calls if I move all in with K-10.

A few comments here on this Tourney:
1) Icing on the cake was the guy in the 10 seat actually was "flustered" when the 10 hit throwing up his arms saying " Aw man...He hit a full house"...Someone had to explain to him that he had the bigger boat.
2) There was a young kid that said, "Man...that takes guts to get all your chips in on the first hand". What was I suppose to do, lay down a made set. When I play in tournaments I am going to play my hand, and "run and gun". I think it makes a statement at the table when people see you are not afraid to put all your chips in the middle on the first hand.

I had to wait to get my receipt at the counter and there was one older player that came up to me while I was standing there, and told me, "Son, I wanted to come over here and shake your hand. I know you must be playing poker for a living as you really played and acted like a true professional. You really took that beat gracefully, and wishing everyone good luck was a sign of true confidence. You will go far with that kind of attitude".

After this hand I could not get out of Tunica fast enough. I ran to my car in a full sprint, and it probablt looked to some like I had just robbed the place and I was making a getaway the way I bolted out of that parking lot.

Live by the sword, die by the sword
(Matthew 26:51-52)

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Tunica Turmoil

Well, I have been playing in Tunica for the past three days, and I have been running bad. I am playing bad also. Way to tight. A buddy of mine told me years ago that "he plays bad when he thinks his opponent has the nuts". This is exactly how I have been playing. Trying not to lose.
This goes against my game and personality as I am usually aggressive and can take the calculated risks. I think it is because I have been running so good before I got here, and I am afraid to lose ground. I hate it when my bankroll turns backwards. I am stuck around $700 for This Tunica trip.

I played in a $100.00 buy in freeze-out at Sams Town last night. I got in one of those hands you hate. You play it bad and get called on your bluff, but you just canlt understand how the guy could have called all your raises with A3 o, especially, when you raised pre-flop. I mean, he had to put me on an Ace? Oh well...The guy played it good, and I busted out like a donkey.

I started to play in a 1-2 NL game at the Gold Strike, and they had this women in the game that completely acted like she didnlt know what she was doing. Betting out of turn, asking stupid questions etc. I was a little wary of her myself because she looked familiar, though I don't know from where. Finally, she gets the chip leader in a pot and plays it beautifully, smooth calling all the way to the river and then trapping him when he takes the last stab at the pot after the river. The thing that stood out to me above anything else was that she was acting weak, asking dumb questions and analyzing situations post-hand. We all were rather chatty. Talking about "How I would played this and that" etc.

The thing about this monster pot she won that I noticed the most was that she didn't say a word after she won. all she did was stack the chips up in silence while the rest of the table babbled about what happened. I was listening to what they were saying, but I was also watching her. She was coy, she was confident and she was good.

Nice job lady Daphne...

James Gandolphini's Character- " So you think she mis-represented her ability"
Charlie Sheens Character "Ditch"- "I think she did for bullshit what stonehenge did for rocks"
Movie "Terminal Velocity"

Monday, November 06, 2006

Hand review from WSOP in 06

I was not able to play this weekend as I was spending time with my wife before heading to our Memphis office. While in Memphis, I will get to play alot since Tunica is a hop, skip and jump away. I did alright online this weekend playing in a 5-10 limit game on FCP. I have been playing mostly on FCP lately. I was able to take advantage of their WSOP promotion with the "Wear the name...share the fame" promo. I was able to pocket a little under $300 because Daniel N. did alright. My buddy Davey is the one that turned me on to the limit game on FCP, and it has proven to be pretty juicy. I added $215 to my online bankroll.

I want to take this post to discuss a hand I was in in the WSOP event 42. It revolves around playing flushes. I got reminded me of the hand when KW, a local player at Cypress Bayou, and I were talking about how many times you see people play medium pairs and draws when there is a flush draw on the board. I see it everyday at Shorty's. The guy is open ended on his straight draw and makes a huge call with 2 suited cards on the board. This is a recipe for disaster...but I digress...back to the hand.

I look down at A7c and smooth call a $125 small raise with 4 other players. I am on the button. The flop comes with 2 clubs on the board. original raiser bets again, and I again, smooth call as does the guy to my left. At this point the pot is getting nice sized. The turn comes the 5c. "Gin"...I have my flush, which at this point, is the nuts. Pot has about $1250 it at this point

Here is where the player to my left completely donkeys out, but ...I learned something from his play. Original raise checks to me. I am thinking to keep them both in so I just make a bet of double the existing pot. I bet $2200. Player to left immediately "Ships in" the rest of his chips which amounted to over $6000. I have him covered. Well, original raiser folds and I, of course, call. We turn over our cards and guy to me left shows K10c. He is stunned, "Hymming and Hawing" about a bad beat etc. Well, the river comes the 5h.

Of course this pairs the board, and it would have "Handcuffed" me from betting much more. So in hind site here, if player to my left with the K high flush just smooth calls the $2200, the board pairs and neither of us can bet, he takes a small beating and is still much in the tournament with around $4000.

Moral to the story...Never overplay your flushes as the board may save you in the end if the river pairs the board.

Instead, I bust the guy and he walks over to his buddy to tell his "Bad Beat" story

"Anybody that tells you money is the root of all evil doesn't F#@* *& have any"
Ben Afflecks character Jim in "Boiler Room"

Friday, November 03, 2006

Super Satellite's Part 2

Ok...Now I want to talk about another strategy around playing the supers. We all were trying to fiqure out what was the best tournament to play during the days. our choices were:

1) The Daily Super at 5:00pm with a $50.00 buy in with rebuys for tournament chips worth $1000
2) The Daily at the Beau Rivage with a $200.00 buy in freeze-out starting with 3000 in chips
3) The Daily IP second chance for a $225.00 buy in freeze-out starting with 1500

By the time Thursday had rolled around, we had all won our $1000 chips, JoeB and Tex had chopped an event at the Beau and BillP, PaulS and I had all cashed in the $200.00 event. Soooo...What do we do.

Bill and I felt that the super was still the way to go. We fiqured you could sell the chips or use them un other tournaments. We would start with the $50 buy in, and immediately rebuy to start with $2000 in chips. This would put us only $90.00 deep in the tournament. On top of this, if you want to, you could just sit out the first 3 rounds and buy in right before the clock expires, and do the standard rebuy. This would put you at a starting stack of $2000 in chips. Wait for the clock to wind down and do a double add-on and recieve another $2000 in chips.

So you would start the tournament in the fourth round only $170.00 deep with $4000 in chips, and it would in essence be a freeze-out.

We felt the supers were the way to go...

"Nobody calls me Lebowski. You got the wrong guy. I'm the Dude, man"
Jeff Brodges in the "The Big Lebowski"

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Time is on your side

We all were able to win our way into the main event at the Poker Classic thru the super satellites. Me, Bill, PaulS and Tex all were able to get in this way. The structure is simple, it is $40 buy in with a $10 entry fee. You can rebuy in the first three rounds whenever you get to $1000 in chips. You also start with $1000 in chips. So you can rebuy right off the bat and start with $2000. They would give out as many $1000 chips as they could collect in entries and re-buys. So if they had 46 people and collected $11,320, they would give out 11 $1000 chips and the remaing change to the bubble people.

In my tournament, I was the only one left from our crew. The final table was tough with a young girl from New Orleans named Gretchen as the chip leader. They were giving out 7 (Seven) chips, and the blinds were going up every 30 minutes. I was mid-stacked along with 5 other people with 1 or 2 short stacks. I believe the key to getting your chip in this game it to watch the clock and work the blinds. If you keep your eye on the clock and make sure you are in the small blind when the clock expires, you can gain an advantage.

At one point when we were down to nine, someone wanted them to turn off the clock on the TV so we could watch the world series. At that point I knew that I had an advantage as nobody was working the clock. After every hand, I would look at Jason and he would tell me how much time was left. I was the only one asking and noone else was paying attention.

Finally, I saw that that I was in the small blind with 5 minutes left and there were 2 players that were not going to make it another lap around the table. I had set this up with an awesome bluff where I went in the tank for several minutes, and then moved all in and everyone folded.

Now, I have to burn off 5 minutes. 3 players limp before me. I go in the tank...I am thinking...I am agonizing...I just can;t make up my mind. Finally after a minute or so someone says "Come on" man. I say, "Give me a break man, its either fold or I am all in". This got there attention. One of the shortstacked guys in seat 6 that was not going to make it even said "Give the man some time".

Finally, I muck with 45 sec left. 4 hands later seat 6 blinds out, and the 7 of us left got a chip, so remember that in tournaments, the clock can be your best friend.

Nothing valuable can be lost by taking your time
Abraham Lincoln