Thursday, June 29, 2006

Posted by Junelli 2:24 PM
Last night I had a big night playing $5-$5 NL. There was one hand that I played particulaly well based on a good read of the situation.

The players were a standard mix of 2-3 nits, 2-3 strong players, and the rest were maniac gamblers. Over the course of the night, I had tried to avoid marginal situations and difficult decisions with these people because it was likely going to be for all my chips.

After 4 hours, I felt like I had a very good read on most of the players at the table and was cognizant of the rhythm of the game. During this time though, I was stuck. But I felt confident that I was going to book a profit at the end of the night, and I even sent a text message to McAndrew at 12:15am telling him that, "I'm gonna win tonight. I can feel it." Of course, I said this while being stuck $200. Talk about wishful thinking!

This was my first time at this relatively new club near my house, but I recognized or knew about 80% of the players. Most of them are regulars at some of the other places I play. One Iranian guy in particular had a lot of money and was a gambler. He was constantly raising preflop (10x the BB). He liked to bet draws and also was caught bluffing on several occasions. He was stuck about 1,500 I think, and was clearly not playing well.

Late in the night, I got K7 on the button and was able to see a multiway flop for $15. The flop was K73 rainbow. I knew my top two pair was good, and when 5 people checked to me I bet $50 (about 2/3 the size of the pot). I was called by only the losse/aggressive Iranian.

The turn was an Ace. Clearly not the card I wanted to see, but I would still be ahead if he held a lone Ace. I was way behind if he held AK, A7, A3, etc.

He checked to me, and I quickly fired out $100. He called again, and at this point I started to worry about what he had. The pot was $275 and I was planning on checking the river if given the opportunity.

The river was a Q, making the board K73AQ. He hesitates for a brief moment and then leads out into me all-in for $475. Now I had a very tough decision.

I took an extremely long time thinking about what to do. I asked him if he called all the way with JT (i.e. rivering the nut straight). He didn't answer.

I started going back through my memory of the hand so far, and his betting. I didn't think he had a JT, becuase I felt confident he wouldn't chase a runner runner straight. However, even if he did do that, I didn't think he would lead out all-in for $475 into a $275 pot if he had made the nuts. His bet was very peculiar. Why didn't he want to get some action on his hand? Up to this point, I had been immediately betting on all previous streets, and he had no reason to think I would stop at this point.

Did he have AK, AQ, KQ? I didn't think so, because he would've raised me on the flop or turn. Thus far, he had been playing this hand very passively.

I also thought about my own table image. I had been playing extremely tight, and was generally folding 95% of the time. Several times I had made big bets, and then folded to a raise. It could be that he thinks he can push me out of the pot.

After going through all these scenarios in my head, I was genuinely perplexed by his bet. In my experience, if you're perplexed by the way someone is acting, it's usually because they're bluffing. They've played a hand a certain way up until the end, and then they drastically switch gears and represent something that's contrary to how they've been playing thus far. In other words, if something doesn't smell right, it usually isn't.

I call his all-in bet, and he immediately said "Good Call" and mucked his hand. I never even saw his cards. That was a nice $1,225 pot, and I felt really good about making a tough call.

(1) comments

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Posted by Dr Fro 3:39 PM
From the mailbag:

From: Jane Fro
To: Dr Fro
Subject: busted
Date: 06/28/2006 11:14 AM

Here is something for your blog:



From: Aces
To: Dr Fro
Subject: An Emmy in the making..
Date: Sun, 25 Jun 2006 18:50:05 -0400 (EDT)

Thank you for your patronage. First off, we would like to welcome the DPD andSWAT to the list. I hope you enjoyed the action. BTW, do you have as many cops looking for this missing two year old as you sent over last night? Well, it was fun while it lasted and while it sucks for us, this has been going for 30+ years and will be forthe next 30+. Lastly, we are asking our players if they know apoker/vice friendly and experienced attorney. We have a few poker friendly lawyers butwe are really looking for one with extensive non-drugvice defense experience. Asian tan, 8 liner etc typeof cases.

Sincerely, Aces
Aces Deep in the heart of Dallas TX 75111


From: The Muirfield
To: Dr Fro
Subject: Thanks for you support
Date: Wed, 28 Jun 2006 12:14:29 -0400

We're closed.

The Muirfield Society has closed its doors and we are in the process ofdisbanding the local chapter due to outside influences. We appreciate theparticipation and enthusiasm shown by all of our wonderful members. Likeyou, we are greatly saddened that it has come to this. Thanks to all foryour support these past four months!

Pokerati weighed in.

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Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Posted by Dr Fro 12:17 AM
Continuous improvement
I am not the best poker player in the world. I am above-average compared to the competition against which I play the most. Fortunately, this fact lends itself to winning more money than I lose, which is the basic goal in poker. Unfortunately, if I want to ever make some serious money at poker (and I do), I need to improve my game. I need to improve it a lot. A whole lot.

One thing I have noticed in poker and in life is that the first step toward improvement is simply admitting the need for improvement. My life was once a complete dead-end, and it was destined to continue that way because I was unwilling to admit that my previous decisions were bad decisions. Once I was willing to admit that there was a better way to live life - that my previous decisions were both wrong and reversible, I became open-minded. Over the course of a couple years, absolutely every single aspect of my life improved. The most obvious (but not necessarily the most profound) improvements were: losing 30 pounds, finishing a marathon, joining a church and dating (and eventually marrying) the greatest woman in world, Jane. Like most improvements, these improvements were contagious. That is, this step-change in my life only spawned more and more and better and better changes. It was a good time to be me.

I also went through a revolutionary change in my poker game around 1999. I stopped viewing poker as a gambling and started viewing poker as a game of skill. I recognized that only hard work and study would lead to winning results, and the result was very positive. The timing could not have been better as the poker boom was nigh and, I was prepared for the kill. I not only honed my general poker skills, I spent most of my timing mastering the art of sheering the sheep - a discipline that requires some very specialized poker skills.

My subsequent three year's profitability was only surpassed by my last two year's malaise. As discussed here before, I was slow on the take when the field changed from fish to solid poker players, and I consequently suffered. I made a few changes about a year ago that have helped. But alas, help is relative. I was doing better than I would have without the changes, but I was still well short of where I wanted to be. To rehash some old posts, those changes were:

  1. No longer assuming that all (or most) of my opponents were unskilled newbies ripe for the picking.
  2. Not drinking (well, not drinking during a real poker game. I am still unafraid of drinking heavily when the buy-in is less than I would tip in a real game.)
  3. Limiting online play and focusing on B&M play where my player-reading skills would be more handsomely rewarded and my general tendency toward boredom would be mitigated.
Lately, I have been trying to identify remaining leaks in my game. I had been unsuccessful at this identification for a while, but lately I have realized what these leaks are. I was a little bit surprised at their nature when I figured them out, but now that I have them figured out, I am going to be steadfast in my resolve to plug them. They are as follows:

    I don't play well when I am losing. A lot of people don't play well when they lose, and it would be erroneous to lump all causes in the same category. You have your Matusow Meltdown-types who take a bad beat and then completely implode. That ain't me. I am not completely calloused, but I sincerely do not think that I am vulnerable to emotional meltdowns. So what is my issue with losing? My basic issue is that I still have a tendency to ring-fence results and get too concerned about whether I win or lose in any given session. If I buy in for $200 and find myself down to my last $40, I will play like an idiot who is intent on either going broke or winning big. This is poker suicide. Not only is it inherently stupid to play "tournament poker" in a cash game, there is another, bigger reason to not do this: your opponents catch on to your desperation and adjust accordingly. I have been aware of my "it's better to burn out than to fade away" attitude for a while, but only recently have I pegged the root cause. The basic reason why I don't just cash out, pack it up and go home when things aren't going my way is simple: My busy life does not allow me to play all that often, and packing it up means missing an opportunity to play.
    I need to plug this leak in a bad way.

    SOLUTION 1: Walk away. When things aren't going well, leave. Pack it up. When things are just starting to not go well, get up from the table, walk around, think about what makes sense from a long-term perspective on your bankroll. Stay focused on the long-term.

    SOLUTION 2 : Be Über-staked. One way to avoid the "gonna lose it all anyway" mentality is to have much more than you can possibly lose. I always have a sufficient ultimate bankroll* that is high relative to the stakes of the game, but my immediate bankroll (i.e. what is in my pocket for B&M or what is deposited online for online poker) is often insufficient to bear some early beatings. From now on, I will always walk into a gun fight with a bazooka. Maybe I won't need it, but the gap between my immediate bankroll and my ultimate bankroll is wide and is causing some dysfunctional results. So, I'll narrow the gap.

    I make it easy for opponents to trap me. I learned in "New Manager Training" five years ago that most weaknesses are actually over-applied strengths. If that is actually true, then my biggest strength (sensing weakness and attacking) is often over-applied and becomes one of my biggest weaknesses (attacking when I shouldn't.) Good players recognize my "go for the kill" style and know to play possum when they figure to have me beat. Very good players will be patient over a couple of streets, waiting for me to bet, and they will wait for the check-raise until the river (when I am pot committed). This is absolute kryptonite to the professional poker player's mantra of "tight but aggressive", and I need to do something to address it.

    SOLUTION: Continue to be aggressive, but understand the risk that you are being played. Think through Mike Caro's advice on tells and notice the difference between a tell that is intended to be noticed versus an inadvertent tell. Remember Harrington's advice on probe bets only needing to be 30-40% of the pot (any thing higher achieves the same end with only bigger downside). Take every poker author's advice on varying play so as to put doubt in your opponent's mind that a slow play is a sure play against you. Let them know that you can also give up a pot.

    I am still very quick to get a feel on a game, but dang it if I ain't the last one to notice when the game has changed. First impressions carry for sure, but with me they seem to carry the day. I am absolutely certain that I have earned more per hour in the first hour of each game I have played in than in all play after the first hour. I am hyper-alert when I sit down, but I fall into a poker trance and stop noticing my opponent's behaviour. That needs to change.

    SOLUTION: The solution is clear, but implementation will be a challenge. Once an hour, I need to pretend as if I just sat down at the table for the first time. I do well at a casino where I keep getting bumped from the "must move" game. This forces me to refresh my view regularly. But, once I get to that main table, I fall asleep. It is very easy to beat a player that is asleep at the wheel. I need to stay alert.
So, there you have it. I have taken the first step and admitted I need help. Hopefully the second step was robust. That is, I hope I took an appropriate inventory of my leaks. Last, I hope that the identified solutions are the right solutions. We will see.

* To be clear on what I mean about "ultimate bankroll"… I have never been one to keep all my poker winnings in a shoebox and pull them out when I go play. I know the opening scene in Rounders makes this seem like a very cool way to live your poker life, but I find it a bit stupid. Personally, I manage my poker cash in the same way I manager non-poker cash: I keep x% in the checking account, y% invested in very liquid money market or similar short-term securities and the balance in investments with a long-term horizon. I know that one (of many reasons) that some players keep a physical bankroll is to avoid the risk of spending the winnings as well as to avoid the risk of gambling the rent money. Since my biggest winning and losing years represented 1.5% of my household earnings that year, I am not terribly concerned about either of these risks. Simply put, I don’t gamble all that much, so I keeping a poker fund seems less important than keeping a baby fund (which is proving to be more expensive than my poker habit!) Regardless, I have, as stated above, learned that being more liquid at the poker table has its advantages, so I will reduce the X, Y and Z percentages so as to increase my immediate poker bankroll.

(4) comments

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Posted by Dr Fro 5:37 PM

(4) comments

Friday, June 23, 2006

Posted by Junelli 9:00 AM
Does anyone else wish they were there right now?

(1) comments

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Posted by Junelli 4:39 PM
Several Puzzles. Let's start with an easy one...

1. There are 6 eggs in a basket. Six people each take one egg. How can it be that one egg is left in the basket?

2. Acting on an anonymous phone call, the police raid a house to arrest a suspected murderer. They don't know what he looks like, but they know his name is John. Inside they find a carpenter, a taxi driver, a car mechanic, and a fireman playing cards. Without even asking his name, they immediately arrest the fireman. How do they know they've got their man?

And now for the really hard one...
(supposedly authored by Albert Einstein)

There are 5 houses in 5 different colours. In each house lives a person of a different nationality. The 5 owners drink a certain type of beverage, smoke a certain brand of cigar, and keep a certain pet. Using the clues below can you determine who owns the fish?

The Brit lives in a red house.
The Swede keeps dogs as pets.
The Dane drinks tea.
The green house is on the immediate left of the white house.
The green house owner drinks coffee.
The person who smokes Pall Mall rears birds.
The owner of the yellow house smokes Dunhill.
The man living in the house right in the middle drinks milk.
The Norwegian lives in the first house.
The man who smokes Blend lives next door to the one who keeps cats.
The man who keeps horses lives next door to the man who smokes Dunhill.
The owner who smokes Blue Master drinks beer.
The German smokes Prince.
The Norwegian lives next to the blue house.
The man who smokes Blend has a neighbour who drinks water.

(4) comments

Posted by Junelli 3:47 PM
Card Tricks

This is my first try at posting a You Tube video.

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Posted by Junelli 2:21 PM
I wouldn't want to be the guy who created this website.

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Posted by Junelli 1:55 PM
When you're a sniper, you see some pretty weird stuff.

(you'll need to scroll down a little)

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Posted by Junelli 1:17 PM
A very good player recently gave me some very helpful advice for playing the big online multi-table tournaments. Here it is:


Generally, in the large-field tourneys, you have to give the deck a chance to hit you early. It's a big advantage to build an above average stack as you head into the blind- stealing middle stages. You want to see some cheap flops in the first 2-3 levels, particularly in position. And by cheap, that includes calling a reasonable raise multiway (ie 10-20 blinds, someone makes it 60, someone else calls and you have 2500 on the button - call that suited
2 gapper).

Take some chances early (slowplay, draw to a gutshot if the impied odds are there, bet a flush draw etc) to try and maximize your stack while the bad players are still in the tourney.

You build your stack early against the people who can't lay an overpair or TPTK down against your 2 pair, set, straight, etc. By the same token, you normally don't want to be going to the mat early in the tourney with one pair. Especially if there is a lot of action post flop.

Special note on AA-KK early in these tourneys. I'll either 1) limp with them, looking to play a small pot unless I flop a set or 2) I will open raise them between 1/6th and 1/5th of my stack. When I make a big raise (ie I have 2500, I raise to 450 when the blinds are 10-20), I am looking to pick a fight with someone who has AK or QQ-TT. A pocket pair is 7:5:1 against AA on the flop. So if they call 5:1 preflop, they are not getting correct implied odds to flop a set. In other words, if they flop a set, they paid too much to get there even if they get my whole stack. KK is a little tricky when an Ace flops after you made a big raise, but that only happens about 20% of the time.

I don't know if party poker has antes, but about the middle of the second hour, you should start to pick your spots to steal blinds. Play good in early position, but in middle position if no one has entered the pot, you can open up and raise most any reasonable looking hand. If you show down a bad hand, be aware of your image. TIghten up for awhile. You generally want to be raising the blinds twice an orbit from the 7th level on. Be aware of stealing opportunities on the bubble.

Stack awareness is key. If you have read Harrington, he says M is the ratio of your stack divided by the blinds + antes. In other words, how many "orbits" you have left. At an M of 5 or less, you
are in the all-in stage.

At Ms of 6-10, you are borderline all-in stage. In most internet tourneys, the average stack will have an M of 10 on the bubble, which gets to be an all-in fest. Hopefully, you'll have an M of 20 or more in the late stages.

Often you will raise and someone else will raise all in over the top. Here's a key concept. If you are getting 3:2 on the call, you can call with a hand that you think is in the pusher's range of hands. If you are getting 2:1 on the call, you can call with a hand that is a couple of notches worse than worst hand in the raisers' range. If you are getting 6:5, you can only call with a hand that is a couple notches better than the worst hand in the raiser's range.

Example. You have 20K and the blinds are 400-800. Your M is 17. You raise to 2000. A short stack goes all in for 7K. It costs you 5K to win 10,200, so you are getting 2:1. You figure the raiser has AA-99 or AK-AQ. You can call with AA-22, AK-AQ and suited broadway hands. If you figure the raiser is tighter, lets say AA-JJ + AK, then you can call with AA-TT + AK.

However, if the guy pushes all in for 12K, now it costs you 10K to win 15,200. You are getting 3:2. Now you have to a hand in his range to call.

If he pushes all in for 20K, putting you all in and giving you 23,200:18,000 or roughly 4:3 odds, now you need a hand significantly better than his range. If you put him on AA-JJ + AK, you can only call with AA-QQ.

Good luck to you.

PS - Don't get down if things don't work out. Most of the money is at the final table, and that's a hard place to get. To go deep in a 5000 person event, you are going to have to win all of your key races, suck out a couple of times with the worst hand, and not suffer any crippling bad beats. Your job is to make the best decisions you can and hope the deck is kind. Focus on process and not results.

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Posted by Junelli 10:35 AM
From the mailbag:

To: Junell
From: McAndrew

I wanted to tell you about my one hand last night in my $22 sng (limit hold em). I got 10s in the bb. (8 people still in the tourney – level is at 100/200 – blinds 50/100) UTG makes it two bets to go and almost everyone calls. I think about raising, and because everyone is still in there, I make it 3 bets. I get about 5 callers. I’m thinking “what the hell do all of you have?” – but I’m also thinking a bunch of aces and kings are out there so I may be in good shape.

Flop comes down 10s-10d-Qs. I check and everyone must have had bet/raise any pushed because it was capped when it got back around to me. I have quads for christ’s sake. So of course I’m in.

Turn gives a Jh. I check and as you might expect it is capped again before it gets to me. Now I’m pretty sure someone has queens and maybe someone has jacks and someone has to have AK. So as long as another Q or a Js doesn’t come up, I’m golden.

River is 3s. Naturally I check and all hell breaks loose again. So it’s pretty much capped with 4 all-in (some people didn’t have enough to call the last bet) – I call. Mind you I’ve never had to raise except for pre-flop (which apparently everyone forgot).

The hands these guys turn over were quite amazing. QQ, JJ (both had full house), AA (don’t really know what this guy was thinking), and (AK – spades no less – rivered the nut flush but had a gutshot royal – too bad JJ was holding his only out). I still can’t figure out why AA and AK and QQ didn’t cap it pre-flop – maybe they thought they were laying a trap or something…

So my chip stack goes from approx 3000 to over 12,000. Needless to say I ran over the rest of the folks quite easily. I raised every blackjack hand and picked up the blinds so many times it was hilarious (all because there were only 4 left and the remaining 3 wanted to make it in the money).

Truly a good experience. All because of a dream flop.

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Posted by Junelli 9:19 AM
Last night I had one of those sickening experiences that make you want to quit playing poker.

I played $5-$5 NL at a club that is infested with donkeys. I mean the real kind that call $45 preflop with A4 offsuit, or raise the river with 2 pair when there is a 4 card flush and a 4 card straight on the board. The kind of place where the action is juicy and the pots can get big.

They say luck only plays a part in poker, and that good players over the long run will beat the streaks of good and bad luck. Last night just wasnt my night.

On the first hand I had AQs on the button (with $380). An aggressive player under the gun raises to $50 (which was a larger than normal raise). I smooth call along with the big blind. The flop is Axx, and the under the gun player immediately moves all-in for $320. I think for a second, but my instinct tells me I have him beat. He wouldn't push like that with a set or even AK. He must have a smaller pocket pair, or an Ace with a smaller kicker. I move all-in for $330. The blind folds.

He turns up AJ, and I have him dominated. After the turn card I decide to take insurance against his 3 outer. The pot is about $780, but I can only insure up to $500 max. I lock up $320 to $40. The river is a Jack and the donkey wins the entire $780 pot. I get my $320 insurance, netting a loss of $60 on the hand.

It could've been worse, but it still made me sick.

The next hand was played properly on both sides, I just ran into a bigger hand.

I am in middle position with TT (only have $150 in chips). Someone has put on the $10 live straddle. I make it $45 to go. Everyone folds around to the live straddle (who is also a weak player). He moves all-in for $300. I call. He turns up JJ and I lose.

I buy back in.

On the button I am able to limp with 24s. The flop is 2K4. It's checked around to me and I make a small bet of $15, and get several callers. The turn is another 4 giving me a full house. The betting goes crazy as someone leads into me, and 3 of us are in a raising war. After the turn, we have 3 way action, with 2 people all in.

I turn up my cards and show the boat (22444). The other guy has Q4 (trips) and the other guy has a flush draw, with a 1 outer to a straight flush.

I'm looking at a total of 4 outs against me: any of the 3 queens would give him a higher full house, or the 5 of hearts for the straight flush. I am stuck in the game and decide not to take any insurance. "Just deal it."

The river is another deuce, giving the guy with Q4, the same full house as me. We chop the pot, because I can't even win with a boat. That one stung.

Later, the most aggressive and toughest player at the table makes a huge raise to $75 preflop. I have AK in late position. I move all-in. He calls with AQ and hits a Queen on the flop. I lose again.

The last hand of the evening was not much different. In the BB I get 45 and see a multiway flop of 67J. There are like 6 people in the pot, and I call a $15 bet since I'm open-ended. The turn is an 8 giving me a straight. I check-raise to $75, and get 2 callers. The river is a blank, and I bet $75 again. A new player thinks for awhile and then moves all-in. I only have $120 left, so I call. I don't even have to ask do I?? "Do you have the 9T?" "Yes Sir" My night ends when I run into the nut straight with my second nut straight.

Do you think it's too late to pick up chess?

(0) comments

Monday, June 19, 2006

Posted by Johnnymac 9:36 PM

Also, to be fair to the Argentines, they are responsible for the best goal in this year's tournament. Note too, that I didn't say, "so far" because I doubt this is going to be topped. There might be more athletic goals and there might be balls that are kicked harder or bent more severely and there are certainly going to be goals that are much more important within the context of their particular match, but this one takes the cake for being sweet to watch over and over.

(0) comments

Posted by Johnnymac 9:29 PM

As I do every four years, I have really gotten into the World Cup. For some reason, I have always been a fan of England, especially this year, and as a fan of England I am not supposed to like Argentina, so I don't, really. (Nor do I really care for Brazil, but that's a different story)

Anyway, I barely remember the 86 world cup twenty years ago when Argentina and Maradona rolled over the rest of the world. I found this today on Youtube and despite my not being an Argentina fan, I have to say the guy is amazing. There are some shots and tricks in this video that made my jaw drop. Check it out.

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Sunday, June 18, 2006

Posted by Dr Fro 7:35 PM
I can't remember if I posted this before, but a guy called Junell a douchebag. I can't say that I disagree.

(4) comments

Posted by Junelli 7:31 PM
I just got eliminated from the Sunday Million Tournament. I only lasted about an hour and half, and I am generally disappointed with how I played. I didn’t win any big hands, and only picked up a few small pots. If I had stayed out of marginal situations I would’ve last longer, and given the deck a chance to hit me a little better. Here’s what happened:

I picked up 2 small pots by leading out with middle or bottom pair on the flop getting everyone to fold.

With 4,900 under the gun, I get AA. I limp expecting to come over the top of a raiser. A middle position player who is extremely short stacked (580) limps. A late position player also limps and the blinds complete. There are 5 players and the pot is 200. The flop is 85T rainbow. The blinds check to me and I lead out for 125 (a little over half the pot). The short stack folds, and the late position player (who is about equal in chips with me) make the minimum raise to 250. I smooth call and the pot is 700. The turn is a 3 and I check to him. He bets 250 again (approx 1/3 the pot). I smooth call again and the pot is 1,200. The river is a 2 and puts 3 spades on the board. I check and he bets 40 into a 1,200 pot. I think my overpair of aces is good here so I raise him to 250. He smooth calls and turns over TT (top set on the flop).

Overall I think I played that hand well. Except for my improper raise on the river (I should’ve just called), I managed to lose very little (about 800). It could’ve been much worse with AA against a set. I’m happy to get out of that one alive. And I still have 4,000 in chips.

I manage to pick up a small pot with I raise with A6s on the button and make a continuation bet/bluff on the flop.

I fold about 15 hands in a row before getting KJo in middle position. I limp and everyone folds to the blinds, who complete/check. The flop is AA5. The SB bets 100 and I smooth call (pretty sure he wouldn’t bet an Ace here). The turn is another Ace and he checks to me. I decide to represent the ace, or a smaller pair which would give me a full house. I bet 200 into a 380 pot. He moves all-in for 1,844. I fold. Down to 3,800 in chips.

My defining hand came a few hands later when I was dealt KK in the SB. The chip leader at the table has been very aggressive and he’s under the gun and first to act. The blinds are 30-60, and he raises it to 200. Everyone folds back to me. I think about raising here, but since this pot is already limited to 3 people at most, and likely 2 since the BB will probably fold, I decide to smooth call. The BB folds, and the flop is 78T rainbow. I check and the chipleader bets 300 into a 460 pot. I raise it to 700, and he smooth calls. The turn is a disastrous 9, putting a 4 card straight on the board (789T). I decide to make one stab at the pot to represent the straight, in case he has 2 pair, a set, aces or something other than a Jack or a Six. I bet 1,300 into a 1,860 pot. He immediately moves all-in for 11,000. I have to fold.

That hand crippled me and I am down to 1,600 in chips.

3 hands later I get KT in late position. 6 people limp including myself. The flop is 3KA with 2 diamonds. The first 4 players check to me, and I check to the button. The button bets 200 into a 360 pot. The SB calls and the other 3 players fold to me. I call. And the turn is another 3. The SB leads out first for 60 into a pot of 960. I smooth call and so does the button. The river is a 5 and the SB again bets 60. I call again, and the button raises to 500. The SB calls the 500 and I have to fold. The chip leader turns over A3 for a full house. The other guy had an A6. I’m now down to 1,228.

In middle position I limp with A7s suited and fold when I miss the flop.

The next hand I get 33 in middle position. I see a cheap flop for 60 with 3 other players. The flop is KKJ. The blinds check to me, and I bet 200 into a 360 pot. The player behind me folds, but the SB calls. The turn is a 6 and we both check it. The river is an 8 putting 3 spades on the board. He leads out for 500 and I fold. Down to 900 now.

Blinds are now 50-100. A few hands later I get QTs in the BB. A late position player raises to 300 and everyone folds around to me. I call and the flop comes 678 with 2 clubs. I have no clubs. I check and he bets 700. I fold. Down to 608 now.

On the button I limp with ATs and fold when I miss the flop.

I only have 458. I limp for 100 with KJ and fold to a flop of A62.

With 358 I move all-in with AQ and pick up the blinds. I now have 508

The blinds move through me and I’m back down to 358. On the button I get AT. An early position player makes the minimum raise to 200. I move all-in for 358. He calls with AK and my tournament is over.

I am very disappointed with my play. I played way too loose and passive during the early rounds. Once I was crippled with KK, I should’ve just moved in with big hands until I got my stack back up to a manageable level. Instead I tried to limp and see cheap flops. When I missed them all my stack had been reduced to nothing. I would’ve been better off posting and folding for the first hour (away from the PC).

(1) comments

Posted by Dr Fro 7:01 PM

An ex-co-worker sent me this Italian training video before Saturday's match, but it is actually funnier given the way the match played out.

(1) comments

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Posted by Dr Fro 10:54 AM
So the Vegas plan is coming together nicely. Four of us (CC "Don Cheadle" M, Adam "Who's your Daddy?" H., Dr. Fro and Phil "Hellmuth") are coming from TX and staying together at the very prestigious Barbary Coast. Four married guys, three of which are accountants, are interested in exactly one thing when it comes to hotels: How much does it cost? Barbary Coast answered that question correctly. We all show up and leave at different days/times, but we generally show up late Friday and leave early Monday. Padilla is also coming to make his triumphant return to the Rio. Playing in Event #41 is very possible as it runs on Saturday and Sunday. I'd love to play in it, but I am a bit conflicted over several matters:
  • Do I pay the $1,500 or do a satellite? Say I pay $150 (plus a fee) for a satellite and lose. What do you think I will do next? You damn skippy I'll enter another. And say I pay $450 (plus fees) and lose three satellites. What then? I might rather just pay the money. I just don't know.
  • The blind structure is BRUTAL. It starts at 25-25 and moves up every hour, often doubling. Let's say it is Hour #2 and I get JJ and raise 3x BB. Now I am in for $200 and my stack is appr $1,500. If I get reraised, then the decision to call means that my whole tournament will be on the line. Say I get a call. Just about any sized bet after the flop has the similar effect on my fate. This is very different from the Main Event where you can play possum for a few hours if you want.
  • Is this the best use of my time or are the cash games super juicy at this time of year? I understand that they are.
  • On the satellite question, isn't it a bit silly to wait until Vegas to do one? I could sit down on-line at any time for any type of tournament for any stakes I want. Five minutes from now, I could enter a $200 SNG that pays $1,000 to the winner (and money to 2nd and 3rd) that I could use for (67% of) my entry fee. The juice would be lower too.
  • It would probably be more fun to play in cash games with the guys anyway. Of course, I will likely be quickly eliminated and have plenty of chance to play with them anyway.
  • Honestly, I only want to play in it to win a bracelet. Although highly unlikely to be successful, that is the Holy Grail that I seek. If it were any other $1,500 tournament going on in town, I would pass on it in an instant.

What to do, what to do...

(2) comments

Posted by Dr Fro 10:23 AM
Last night I played at The Vic (the Victoria Grosvenor Casino in London) It had been 3 long years since I last played there. Some things have changed; some haven't changed at all.

They have expanded the cardroom to include some of the space upstairs. They also now spread a lot more Hold Em as opposed to the almost exclusive spreading of Omaha High they use to have. Another change is that it is now legal to drink at the tables. So I had a pint of lager with my supper. Very nice, indeed.

Of course, it is almost entirely (if not entirely) pot limit. And being the UK, it has the somewhat odd practice of the small blind being equal to the big blind. (I know that some readers of this blog assume that the current structure with no ante and a small blind equal to half the big blind is the only way to play Holdem. All you have to do to debunk that myth is to read to first edition of Super System which gives advice about a game with all sorts of different structures, most notably the inclusion of an ante.)

I sat down at 3:30 when they dealt their first table, a £3-£3 pot limit holdem game. That is roughly equal to $6-$6 holdem, which is a big game by my standards. Even Junell takes such stakes seriously. UK tables typically seat 9 players. The other 8 bought in for about £2,000 each. I bought in for £200.

Early on, there was a very odd situation. Michael, who has a striking resemblance to Michael Caine albeit much older, was the luckiest guy of the night, if not the stupidest. The final board on the odd hand showed three diamonds. His opponent, Victor, value bet £20 and Michael called. Victor showed the suited King for a flush, and Michael just sat there for what seemed like an eternity. I later learned that he is just old as dirt, and it takes him forever to process information and respond. During this eternity, two players that were uninvolved in the pot got into a discussion over the possible contents of Michael's hand. One guy decided he had a set, and the other guy decided he had a lower flush. Michael was this close to mucking, but since the other two guys had a side-bet on the content of his hand, he showed them and declared, "just a Queen-high flush....Nick won the bet" Then another player pointed out, "You have a straight flush to the Queen, you fuckin wanker! Can you believe it? Michael called down the absolute nuts on the river. They should make him the manager for England ('s soccer team); he's fuckin brilliant!" Brilliant, indeed.

The game was going well: I was playing tight and there was plenty of maniacal play by others. Then I got TT in the big blind. There were several limpers pre-flop and I decided to check from the blind. I wasn't going to run anyone off, so why bother? Flop came AAK. It checked around to the button who threw in a very lame bet and got several callers. Turn was a 9. I thought that maybe I actually had the best hand, so I went for a feeler bet (aka not exactly a "lame bet") and got one caller, the cutoff seat. The river brought the most unbelievably beautiful ten I have ever seen. I bet big and Mr. Cutoff raises me. I reraise, and he re-re-raises me for my last £20 to put me all in. He showed KK for a bigger boat than mine. Crap.

I bought another £100 which disappeared when I flopped three spades while holding the King of spades in the BB. I was getting pot odds to call on the flop, so I did. No more spades came.

So, being out of pounds sterling, I pulled out $300, which got me £160 in chips. I was given £100 immediately, but the card room mananger, Jeff, had to go off to the cage for my other £60. My plan was to only play with the £100 and put the £60 in my pocket (for little things in life like a ride home, dinner, etc). However, Jeff brought me the £60 while I was distracted and put it in my stack (an understandable mistake). I didn't notice it until after I had seen my next hand, and I just knew that there was no way this crowd would let me pull money off the table, even if they believed it was an honest mistake.

Lo and behold, I shortly thereafter woke up with Aces. I was almost all-in on the flop when I re-raised American Dad (more on him later) pre-flop. I got the rest of my money in on the flop and then proceeded to double up. I sure am glad I made that mistake of putting the £60 in play!

One clear difference between the Vic and anywhere else that I play is the characters. I have played with some odd birds over the years (Don Murphy, the Nuclear Cockroach, Silk Suit Guy and The Mexican, to name a few) but the at the Vic, EVERYONE is off the charts weird. As a self proclaimed closet weirdo, I call them weirdos with the deepest affection possible. Most of the weirdos are foreign born (mainly in the Middle East) and have moved to London. There were plenty of those guys there, but the strangest individuals were two Americans who were apparently on vacation. American Dad (appr 70 yrs old) and American Son (appr 40 yrs old) sat at separate tables, and we got American Dad. On the first five hands, he raised the pot on every street. He successfully bought every single one of those pots. On the sixth hand, a grisly veteran decided to look him up. The veteran had top pair, top kicker, not a bad hand to use to slow down a maniac. The maniac got a runner runner straight. As with all maniacs, his luck wouldn't last. He started dumping chips at an alarming rate until he only had £500 left. He got involved in a hand in which he had invested £300 by the flop. His opponent bet another £200 on the river. American Dad CALLED WITH NOTHING BUT KING HIGH! He claimed that he was "pot-committed" but I suspect he was "pot-smoking." Not to worry..."Another £500 in chips!" And so it went. I watched him and his son purchase £3,500 in chips while I was there. There is no telling what the final tally was, but based on the wads of bills from which he pulled each £500, he clearly was planning on losing a lot of money.

I had earned back 75% of my buy-ins and knew I would be going home soon when I was dealt KJo (aka "Jack-King-Off") on the button. I consider this to be a big time "trap hand" and always throw it away to a decent sized raise unless I have good reason to play it. Good reasons granted: American Dad was the raiser, and I was on the button. I played it and saw the flop of KJ6, all hearts. A bet came from Nick which was re-raised by American Dad. Crap. Maybe in another game, I might have called without much worry. I had several concerns:
  • a loss would mean that I could not afford a taxi home, and it was a long walk
  • losing hurts. losing quickly in the night, rebuilding (most of) your stack over several hours, then losing it all again would cause more psychological damage than I could afford
  • I could have been behind to a flush
  • I could have been ahead of one or two four-flushes that could still draw out on me
  • I could have been behind a set (or two) that was trying to protect itself

The thoughts were o'plenty, but I finally settled on a bit of wisdom that I learned from a man once (at the Vic, of all places): "He who turns and walks away lives to fight another day". My version of this advice is to often bet all your chips but rarely call with all of your chips. So I folded. The original bettor re-raised and made American Dad fold, so I never learned if I made the right decision. What do you think? (btw, I would have gotten 2.75:1 on a call and been nearly all-in)

I was planning on leaving earlier, but the presence of American Dad (and another fishy individual with a French Canadian accent that was losing money at about half the rate of American Dad) convinced me to play longer. I stayed until 9:30, which was the absolute latest I could get away with given the amount of work I had waiting at the hotel and the 6:00 a.m. wake up call that was waiting for me. I spent the last 4 hours of play oscillating between about £250 and £350. I left at my high-water mark of the last 4 hours of just over £350, meaning I lost £91 on the evening. There is no rake, so the Vic takes £10 from you every hour. That means I paid £60 in juice and only lost £31 on poker. Not good, but not bad. I had a blast, and honestly, I would have spent a lot more than £91 had I spent my day wandering down Jermyn Street or watching the England v Trinidad & Tobago match at the pub. On a side note, don't you think it is amazing that England is so good they could beat both Trinidad AND Tobago all at once? Really! OK, that joke didn't work with my taxi driver either, so I won't be offended if it didn't work on you.


(0) comments

Friday, June 16, 2006

Posted by Junelli 12:38 PM
Here is a summary of the Qualifier I played to win a seat in the Sunday Million tournament. I am writing this more for my own benefit, so I can review my hand history and make note of mistakes, etc. If you’re interested, feel free to read and comment on anything.

Tournament was $11 buy-in with 40 players. The total prize pool was $400, with 1st place winning the $215 seat into the Sunday Million and the rest of the cash being divided up between 2nd-4th place.

We all start with 3,000 in chips and blinds are 20-40.

I start in middle position.

Fold T9, KQ, 34, J9, J2, Q2, 48, 56, QJ, 77, 37, JT, K8, J2

I have 2,900 and blinds are 30-60. In the SB I get AK. The cutoff seat raises to 160. The button folds. I call and the BB calls. Pot is 480. Flop is J69. We both check and the cutoff bets 160 (only 1/3 of the pot). I call the 160, and the BB folds. Turn is a 9. I check and he bets 160 again, into a 800 pot. I call. Pot is 1,120. River is a 4 (final board is J6994). I check and again he bets 160. I call and he turns over A6 holding bottom pair on the flop. I could’ve played this one better by folding/raising on the flop.

Fold T3

Blinds still 30-60. I have 2,260. In the cutoff seat I get QT (Morris’ favorite hand). 1 limper. I limp for 60. Button calls, and the blinds complete/check. 5 players, and the pot is 300. The flop is Q7T with 2 hearts. The blinds check and the first limper bets 250. I raise to 600. The button calls the 600 and the SB also calls the 600. The BB folds and the original bettor moves all-in for 2,108. I move all-in for 1,600. The other 2 players fold. Turn and river are A4. The original bettor had J9 (open-ended). I win a 5,900 pot with two pair.

Fold 94, 49.

I get moved to another table.

I have 5,900 (2nd in chips at the table) and blinds are 30-60. In middle position I get KJ. I limp for 60. The chip leader with 6,900 raises to 200. Another player moves all-in for 2,120. I fold. Chip leader calls. Chip leader shows KQo and the all-in player shows JTs (what a donkey). The board is 2A74K. And the chip leader builds his stack to 8,969. Note that this player eventually gets eliminated in 3rd place.

Fold T2, K2, K6.

I have 4,620 and the blinds are 30-60. I get AT in the SB. A middle player and the button limp. I complete and the BB checks. Flop is 78K rainbow. Everyone checks. The turn is 7. I check and the BB bets 100. Someone calls. I fold. River is a Q. The BB checks and the other player bets 500. The BB calls. Board is 78K7Q. The BB shows QJ and the bettor shows T7 and wins.

I have 4,560 and blinds are 30-60. I get 79s on the button. 3 limpers in front of me. I limp. The blinds complete/check. There are 6 players and the pot is 360. Flop is AQ8 (kind of missed me here). Middle player (“MP”) bets 100 and gets 2 callers. I fold. Turn is a K and they all 3 check. River is a J. The MP bets 500 and gets 1 caller. Board is AQ8KJ. The MP shows 8Ts for a straight. And the other player shows A6 for top pair. Note that the MP eventually gets heads up with me and gets 2nd place.

Fold 45, A2, J8. 96.

I have 4,400 in chips with blinds of 50-100. In the SB I get 35. The button limps. I call 50 and the BB checks. 3 players and the pot is 300. Flop is 53K with 2 hearts. I check and the BB bets 100. The button folds. I decide to slow play and see if I can dodge a heart on the turn. I smooth call. Turn is a 2d. I check and he bets 300 into a 500 pot. I smooth call again. River is a Qh (not a good card for me). Board is 53K2Q. I lead out first for 500. He folds. I think I should made a raise on the turn. My guess is that he was drawing to a straight or had a lone 5.

Fold K7, J2.

I have 5,000 with blinds of 50-100. I am in 4th chip position at my table. In middle position I limp with A6s. A player with 7,100 raises to 350. I smooth call. Flop is 5Q4 all diamonds. I have no diamonds. I check. He bets 100 and I fold.

Fold J8.

We now have 7 players at our table. I have 4,650 with blinds of 50-100. I get AK under the gun. I raise to 300 and get 3 callers (including both blinds). Pot is 1,200. Flop is 229. The blinds check to me. I bet 800 (2/3 of the pot). Everyone folds and I take down a nice pot.

Fold J5, T5, 53.

I have 5,450 with blinds of 50-100. I get 44 in middle position. An UTG player (the chip leader with 20,000) raises to 400 and gets called by the 2nd place guy with 9,650. I call. Pot is just over 1,200. Flop is 9TJ with 2 spades. I check. The chip leader bets 500, and is called by the other guy. I fold. Turn is a T. Chip Leader bets 1,050 and gets called. The river is the Q of spades. The board is 9TJTQ with 3 spades. There is a possible full house, quads, a 4 card straight and a possible flush on the board. The chip leader bets 1,200. The other guy moves all-in for 7,690 and the chip leader folds. I don’t think my 44 was good here.

Fold 56, 56, 79, 32, J7, 57, K6, 93, K2, Q8, 67.

I have 3,250 with blinds of 100-200. There are 3 players at my table over 10,000. In late position I get QTs. I call 200, and the chip leader raises to 625. I call along with another player. Flop is K5T all clubs (I have no clubs). I check and the chip leader bets 500 into a 1,800 pot. The other guy folds. I smooth call. The turn is a Q of clubs, giving me two pair, but putting a 4 card flush on the board. I decide to take a chance that he doesn’t have a flush and move all-in for 2,125. He folds and I pick up 5,300 in chips.

Fold K7, 28, A3, A8, QJ, A8, 23, 67.

I have 3,100 in chips and the blinds are 200-400. UTG I get AQ. I move all-in and pick up the blinds.

The very next hand I get 66. The chip leader raises to 1,000 and gets called by one player. I move all-in for 3,100 more. I get called by both players. Uh oh. Flop is 583 rainbow. Looking good so far. They check it all the way and the turn and river are K4. One player shows AT and the other shows 66 (same hand as me). I split the pot and win 5,650 chips.

Next hand I get TT in late position with blinds of 200-400. I get 2 limpers in front of me and I raise to 1,000. I get 1 caller a short stack who only has 920 left. The pot is 3,200. The flop is J44. I move all-in for 4,450. The other player calls all-in for 920. He has A5 with no pair and no draw. My tens hold up and I win a good one and eliminate the 11th place player. We’re now down to the final table.

Here are the chip positions:

Seat 3: morpa ( $16145 )
Seat 4: wilky53333 ( $1941 )
Seat 6: Zymilof ( $15604 )
Seat 7: babbababba ( $10083 )
Seat 8: mjnemo ( $21626 )
Seat 1: johnnytimm ( $19757 )
Seat 2: Geissbockhet ( $11772 )
Seat 5: PayForWiew ( $13189 )
Seat 9: K11NGH ( $1313 )
Seat 10: junell ( $8570 )

Fold 48.

I get lucky when a player gets eliminated and I miss a blind. I get AK and a whopping 4 people limp for 400 each. I move all-in for 8,170 and get called by morpa with 16,000. He has AT, and my AK holds up. I now have 18,340 in chips.

Fold Q4, QK, 72, T9, 82.

Down to 7 players. Blinds are 200-400. I get AQ in the BB. One limper and the SB completes. I move all-in for 17,940. They both fold.

Fold Q8, A2, 36.

I raise with A3 and pick up the blinds.

Fold 56, 82.

I have 19,840 with blinds of 300-600. I get A8. Geiss raises to 1,200. Everyone folds. I call. Flop is A7J. I check and he bets 3,500 (1.5x the pot). I go into the tank, but then fold.

Fold Q3, K7, J6.

I raise to 1,800 with QK and get called by a guy with 6,600. The flop is A96. He checks and I bet 2,500 and he mounts me for 4,800 more. I fold.

Fold 74, A7, K9, KT.

Down to 6 players with blinds of 300-600
Seat 1: johnnytimm ( $17,293 )
Seat 2: Geissbockhet ( $42,427 )
Seat 5: PayForWiew ( $9,256 )
Seat 6: Zymilof ( $12,204 )
Seat 8: mjnemo ( $26,280 )
Seat 10: junell ( $12,540 )

I get AQ on the button. I move all-in and pick up the blinds.

Fold 26, 94, 94, Q6, 24, J9, 32, J3, 3T, K3, Q8, 53.

I steal the blinds 9T.

I get KJ in the SB with blinds of 400-800. It’s raised to 1,600 with 1 caller. I call. Pot is 4,800. Flop is KK9 with 2 diamonds. Everyone checks. The turn is an Ace of diamonds. I bet 2,000 (less than half the pot) and get called by both players. The river is a 5h. I move all-in for 9,790 and get 1 caller with A3. I win a 31,000 pot.

I raise to 2,200 with JTs and get 2 callers. The flop is 776. The BB checks and I bet 5,000. Everyone folds.

Fold 69, A7, 83, 79.

Down to 5 players:
Seat 1: johnnytimm ( $20774 )
Seat 2: Geissbockhet ( $40473 )
Seat 6: Zymilof ( $13433 )
Seat 8: mjnemo ( $8690 )
Seat 10: junell ( $36630 )

I raise to 2,500 with J9 and get 1 caller. The flop is Q4J. Geiss checks to me and I bet 4000. He calls 4,000. Pot is now over 13,000. Turn is a 9d, giving me 2 pair but worried about the straight. He checks again and I bet 8,000. He calls. The river is a 5h. He checks and I bet 10,000. He folds and I win a 39,000 pot.

Fold 43, A9, 92, 34, 59, 78, 57,

Down to 4! I made the money!

Seat 1: johnnytimm ( $17749 )
Seat 2: Geissbockhet ( $24948 )
Seat 6: Zymilof ( $28573 )
Seat 10: junell ( $48730 )

In the BB I get 78. The flop is 63T giving me a gutshot. The first player checks and I bet 1,500 into a pot of 2,400. Johnnytimm makes the minimum raise to 3,000. I call. The turn is a 9 making my straight. I check and Johnny bets 8,500. I put him all-in and he calls with QT (only a pair of tens). Down to 3!

I get KK in the SB and decide to limp. Flop is 7J7 and we both check. The turn is a 6 and I bet the minimum 800. He folds. Damn.

Fold 26, J4, 83, 58.

I see a flop with 22. The flop is AQT all diamonds. I fold to a minimum bet.

Lots of folding and stealing the blinds (for about 25 hands).

Seat 2: Geissbockhet ( $34173 )
Seat 6: Zymilof ( $25573 )
Seat 10: junell ( $60254 )

I call with 9T to a flop of QQJ. Zym bets 2000 and I call. Turn is a 7. Zym bets 2000 again and I call. The river is a 4d, and I’ve missed the straight. But Zym checks to me. This check,.combined with his very weak betting make me think that he missed as well. I bet 7,000 (a pure bluff). He folds.

I fold K8 and then Geiss raises to 3,000. Zym reraises to 6,000. Geiss moves all-in for 30,343. Zym moves all-in 15,248. It’s KK against QQ. A Queen comes on the flop and we’re down to 2.

I win several smallish pots and have a slight advantage:

Seat 2: Geissbockhet ( $52746 )
Seat 10: junell ( $67254 )

On the final hand I get 37. I raise 4,000 on the button. He reraises me 6,000 more. I call. Flop is A79. He bets 5000 and I call. The turn is another 7 giving me trips. He bets 15,000 and I put him all-in for 24,000 more. He calls with AK and my trip sevens win the tournament and a seat into the Sunday Million tournament. He gets $92.50 for second place.

(0) comments

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Posted by Junelli 2:16 PM
I'm on a roll on Party Poker tournaments. Last night after JohnnyMac's game, I came home and played in a 5 table sit-n-go. I won 1st place.

Then I played in a single table sit-n-go and again won first place.

Today I entered a qualifier for the Party Poker $1,000,000 Guaranteed tournament. I won 1st place and a seat into the "Sunday Million" tournament. Wish me luck!

(3) comments

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Posted by Johnnymac 2:27 PM
We are playing 0.50/1.00 NL tomorrow night at my house - inside, with air conditioning - and after sending out an email to my usual distribution there are still a couple of empty seats. I guess 48 hours of notice before a Wednesday night game is just not sufficient. Shocking.

If you want to play and didn't get my invitation yesterday, send an email to (fix the address first) and I'll send you directions and more details. Generally, since this is my home we're talking about, you need to be someone that I know reasonably well before I'll just invite you over, and if I don't know you, someone that I do know needs to make a really good case in vouching for you. But anyone who meets those criteria is welcome to play, first come first served.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Posted by Junelli 4:34 PM
As I write this I am starting the final round of a shoot out tournament on Party Poker. I really like the format of shootouts, and find that they’re a good way to make money. For those that aren’t familiar with these new tournaments, I’ll explain.

The tournament can have any number of people, but you are only playing against your particular table. It’s like a bunch of sit-n-gos playing simultaneously that, each game, advance the top 3 players to the next round. Best of all, it pays money each time. Thus it’s easier to ensure that you recoup your investment.

Here are the details of this tournament. $6 buy-in. 536 players. Total prize pool $2,680. Therefore, there were 54 tables each playing their own individual sit-n-go.

For the first round the payouts were:

1st place - $11.16
2nd place - $7.44
3rd place - $6.20

So long as I finish in the top 3, I get my money back, and will essentially be playing for free from here on out. You don’t actually play to the very end, you just play until 3 are left. Also, your chip stack carries over to the next round.

I happened to get 1st place in the first round, so I pocketed $11.16 (or a profit of $5.16).

The second round is composed of all the top 3 finishers from the 54 tables that started. So there are 162 players left (3 x 54). The 162 players are divided among 17 tables, and we start another sit-n-go.

The payouts for the second round were:

1st place - $17.73
2nd place – $11.82
3rd place – $9.85

I had a commanding chip lead to start the table and I found that everyone was playing extremely tight (trying to make it to the top 3). I stole no less than 15 pots, and easily took first place in the second round, pocketing another $17.73 (for a total profit of $22.89).

The third round consisted of 51 players sitting on 6 tables. I started with $90,000 in chips and immediately ran it up to $140,000. Then I started to lose hand after hand, and soon found myself with about $75,000 in chips with blinds of $4,000-$8,000. Luckily players were eliminating themselves like crazy, and I soon found myself down to the final 4 at my table. I moved all-in with AQ and was called by the short stack with 88. I hit an Ace on the flop, and finished the third round in 2nd place, pocketing $20.10 (for a total profit of $42.99).

The payouts for the 3rd round were:

1st Place - $30.15
2nd place - $20.10
3rd place - $16.75

I am just starting the 4th round, which is played just like a multi-table tournament, with 18 players. I started with $166,000 in chips. The chip leader has $389,000, and the short stack has $49,000. I am about average.

On the 4th hand I get AJs on the button. Blinds are $6,000-$12,000 with a $200 ante. Two players in front of me smooth call the $12,000, and the pot is about $42,000. I raise it up to $50,000 straight. The blinds fold and I am called by 1 player, the chip leader. The flop comes 99A. He checks to me and I move all-in for $110,000. He folds and I pick up $241,000 pot.

4 hands later I get KQo under the gun. I would normally fold this hand here, but I decide to limp for $12,000. Another player calls, the small blind completes, and the big blind checks. The pot is about $49,000. The flop comes K9A with 2 clubs. I am first to act, and decide to find out if anyone has an Ace. I bet $20,000 (about half the pot). One player calls me. The turn is a 5h. I bet $35,000, and he folds. I pick up an $89,000 pot.

A few hands later I get 88 in middle position. I have $280,000 in chips. I raise to $40,000 (just over 3x the BB), and get called by the chip leader in the blind. The flop is KQ8 rainbow. The chip leader leads out into me for $12,000 (clearly a feeler bet, since the pot is almost $90,000). I smooth call. Turn comes a 2h, and he again bets $12,000. I know he is weak. I make the minimum raise to $24,000, and he calls. The river is a blank and I make a small bet and he folds. I pick up a $234,000 pot.

I get QQ in middle position. I raise to $50,000. A short stack moves all-in for $41,000. Everyone else folds. He has J9s. My queens hold up and I win another pot.

I am now sitting on $419,000 in chips (only $10,000 behind the chip leader).

Fold KTo in early position. I also fold K3, 56, 54, Q3, 69

I have $462,000 in the BB with A5o. The cutoff seat moves all in for $167,000. It’s 158,000 more to me. I fold.

Next hand I get AT in the SB. Everyone folds to me. I raise the BB to $50,000. He folds. I have $480,000TC.

Next hand I get AT on the button. Everyone folds to me. I raise to $50,000. The SB moves all-in for $277,000. I fold.

I get 88 in late position. One player calls the $20,000 BB. I raise to $100,000. The blinds fold, and the other guy moves all-in for $274,000. I call. He has KJ and catches 2 Jacks on the flop. That sucked. I am now crippled with only $135,000 with blinds of $10,000-$20,000 with a $500 ante. There are 12 players left. Chip leader has $560,000. Average is 285,000.

I have to fold K9, K2, 56, K3.

The blinds just moved through me and I have $103,000 left (I am the short stack in the tournament). Time to make a move.

I fold 75, 89, K4, J9.

Down to 11 players. Blinds about to move through me again next hand ($10k-$20k), and I only have $100,000.

Final table is set. I get AA UTG. I raise to $50,000 (half my stack), and get 1 caller. I pick it up on the flop, and now have $175,000.

The very next hand I get 33 in the BB. A middle position player makes the minimum raise to $40,000 and gets 1 caller. It’s $20,000 more to me in the BB, and I smooth call. The flop is TTT. I have a full house, and am only beaten by a higher pocket pair, or a ten. I move all-in for $135,000, and get called by the middle position player with AJ. My 33’s hold up and I win a pot of $406,000. Back in the game!

Fold 85, 75, 45, J8, 62, QJs, A8, J3, K4

This final round pays:

1st place - $134.50
2nd place - $80.70
3rd place - $53.80

Tournament has been running for 4 hours and 11 minutes and we have 10 people left.

I get Q8o in the BB. 2 limpers. The SB moves all-in for $367,000. We all fold.

I get K8 in the SB. 2 limpers. I complete, and the BB checks. All 4 of us check all the way to the river of 65JTJ. I fold to a $30,000 bet on the river.

Fold 92, K5. Q7, A4

We’re down to 8 people. I have $324,000. Blinds now $15,000-$30,000 with a $700 ante. Chip leader has $850,000.

I fold, but a guy with KQ just lost to JQ when the board was 77KTA. Absolutely brutal.

The very next hand I get AK in the SB. A middle position player makes the minimum raise to $60,000. I move all-in for $308,000. He calls with AQ. I have AK. Not a bad situation until the board reads 3JA8Q. AQ makes 2 pair. Fucking Party Poker. That’s twice in a row.

Next hand, I’m steaming and when it’s folded around to me on the button, I move all-in with QTs (for only $115,000). I get called by A8. I hit a ten, and am back in business. Note, that’s now 3 straight hands in a row where the person who got their money in with the worst hand ended up winning.

I have AT, and limp for $30,000 UTG. The same lucky middle position raises it to $97,000. It’s $60,000 more to me. I fold.

The blinds just went through me, costing me another $60,000. I now have $170,000.

A6s on the button. It’s folded around to me, so I move all-in for $170,000. The blinds fold, and I pick up $67,000.

Down to 6 players now. I am the short stack, but there are 2 players pretty close to me. The other 3 are in the stratosphere. Here are the stacks:

Seat 4: drifit111 ( $322,233 )
Seat 5: kingswing111 ( $910,366 )
Seat 8: junell ( $235,500 )
Seat 1: NIK333 ( $695,601 )
Seat 3: smoothkick5 ( $823,749 )
Seat 7: Razorclam1 ( $442,151 )

Fold 28, 36, T8

I get JJ under the gun. I move all-in for $233,500. I get called by QT. For once, JJ holds up and I now have $533,000.

Next hand I get AQ in the BB. Two players move all-in in front of me. I fold AQ. Their hands were AJ and KK. KK makes a set and wins

Fold Q3, KT, 72, 3T, T6, 65, 93

Blinds are $20,000-$40,000. Here are the chip positions:

Seat 5: kingswing111 ( $1,254,099 )
Seat 8: junell ( $406,000 )
Seat 1: NIK333 ( $546,601 )
Seat 3: smoothkick5 ( $779,749 )
Seat 7: Razorclam1 ( $443,151 )

I get ATs in the BB. The UTG makes minimum raise to $80,000. I call. Flop is rags. We end up checking it down all the way, and he wins with AJ.

Fold 5T, K8, 35, 73.

Down to 4 now. One more spot to get into the money.

Seat 5: kingswing111 ( $1,529,099 )
Seat 8: junell ( $299,000 )
Seat 1: NIK333 ( $1,374,202 )
Seat 3: smoothkick5 ( $227,299 )

Someone just got eliminated. I’m in the money!!!

Look at the disparity:

Seat 5: kingswing111 ( $1,592,099 )
Seat 8: junell ( $143,000 )
Seat 1: NIK333 ( $1,694,501 )

I am destined to get 3rd place. Or am I?? In the most unbelievable stroke of luck, I get involved in the following hand:

I get TT on the button. I move all-in for $110,000. NIK333 smooth calls the $80,000. Then Kingswing immediately moves all-in for $1.5mm!! NIK333 also moves all-in! So there are 3 players left, and all 3 of us are all-in!! I have TT, and they have AK and AQ. My TT holds up and I win the $334,000 main pot. NIK wins the $3mm side pot, and Kings is out in 3rd place. I slide into 2nd!!

I have almost no chance of winning. He has a 9:1 chip lead on me.

Seat 8: junell ( $334,500 )
Seat 1: NIK333 ( $3,095,100 ).

I manage to double through once or twice and run my stack up to $732,000 to his $2.6mm.

He eventually wins when I move all-in with KJ. He calls me with A9, and his hand holds up to win it all.

I get 2nd place, and profit another $80.70 (for a total profit of $123.69).

Not bad for a $6 investment!

(0) comments

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Posted by Dr Fro 8:00 PM
I rounded out the poker weekend on a good note (which was needed after getting sodomized at $5-$10 NL on Saturday) by winning 3rd place in a Planet Poker tournament. I won $300, and I was 9 outs away from getting first place ($750).

I am headed out of town now for pretty much all of June, so I won't be blogging much. I wanted to throw out there the potential for a Vegas trip. I think I'd like to go during the latter stages of the WSOP and try to win a satellite into one of the $1,500 events. Maybe go Friday Aug 4 and come back on Monday or so. Anybody interested?

WSOP events going on then:

Saturday 10:00 AM
No-Limit Hold'em (2 day event)

Sunday 10:00 AM
No-Limit Hold'em (2 day event)

Monday 10:00 AM
No-Limit Hold'em (2 day event)

(3) comments

Posted by Dr Fro 7:13 PM
Note to self:

if ever playing $5-$10 NL and you end up all-in pre-flop with AK against AQ...there is no guarantee that your opponent won't flop a straight.

(1) comments

Posted by Dr Fro 12:46 PM
Random Poker Updates

I played a little bit of poker on Wednesday night at Jackies. It was a very strange night. People came and went, but most of the night it was about 5 props and 5 players. All the props were fairly solid. Most props I know play tight because the last thing they want to do is to lose $200 just to work for 8 hours to earn, well, $200. The 10 or so players that came and went and occupied the other 5 chairs were pretty horrible.

Dude # 1 turned $150 into $850 (at $1-$2 NL!!) in exactly 15 minutes. He did this by going all in every single pot. The all in every hand strategy is also why he went home with empty pockets 2 hours later.

Dude #2 talked about what an incredible cash game player he was for 10 minutes. Then he lost $200 with JJ v AA. (He was the only one in the room surprised that his opponent had JJ beat, even though the opponent raised every bet on every street.) Even though this guy was a self-proclaimed pro, his bankroll was evidently exactly $200. He pouted for a while then went home.

There were lots of other dudes, and they all went home empty handed. The props did well, as did Jackie himself. I got bad cards all night long. In four hours, the best pair I saw was 99. Twice I got AK; both times I lost. Despite this horrible run of cards, I won $65. My high water mark was being up $170. I also left with a rare “bad beat story” (rare in its nature, that is.)

I only intended to play for about an hour, just enough to scratch the itch. That plan changed when I made the high hand (KKK99). The high hand jackpot pays about $130, but it wouldn’t expire until 12:30a.m. Crap. Now I have to play until 12:30 to get the darn thing. At 12:15 a guy makes quads, a hand in which I lost $5 that I put in pre-flop. When I announced that I suffered a bad beat, people looked confused. I pointed to the dry-erase board where I guy was busy erasing my name, and then they all understood. It wasn’t just the loss of the $130, it was also the fact that I stayed up late for nothing. Oh well.
I have continued on my journey to improve my O8 game. I still suck compared to real Omaha players, but given how very bad the bad Omaha players are, I tend to do better at Omaha than I do at Holdem. In fact, I got first place in an Omaha Sit and Go yesterday. It helped that an opponent knocked out 3 guys and quadrupled his stack early and that this guy played Omaha like Holdem. Example: he had the nut low with a poor high (not even a pair) and was heads up with me. He made a bet of about 1/3 the pot (a “come over here and kiss me bet”). Huh? I called, won the high and we split the pot. Me stupid at Omaha, but even I don’t do that. Either bet to run off a player that missed but would back into the high or perhaps check out of fear of quartering, but never underbet the pot in that situation. You want a free river or a fold, but a call does NOTHING for you if you are hoping to, at best, split the pot.

That’s my poker life lately.

(0) comments

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Posted by Padilla 9:40 AM
To reinforce how valuable hand histories can be………

I looked back at a recent ‘$55 +$5’ 9-man from Stars.
I have played with a certain opponent a few times recently, and he/she seems wise enough that I wanted to pick up on any tendencies that I could.

To my amazement, I realized that this opponent played ‘all-in or nothing’ poker this time around. I do remember thinking it was a bit strange that he went all-in early in the tournament into my big blind from 2nd or 3rd position. Now it makes sense, and I may be able to exploit that next time we play.

Scrolling through all 48 pages of the hand history (size 8 font) showed me the same thing. All-in or fold. To his credit, this aggression got him in the money, in 3rd place.

Naturally, I turned the microscope onto myself to see what any opponent disciplined enough to look back at this particular tournament would see from me….after all, I won the damn thing.

They would only see 4 hands, and probably think I was the luckiest bastard on the planet.

The first hand they saw all tourney was AQ, and I offered it up.
I was short-stacked with steep blinds (Turbo tourney), but finally started picking up hands. The first few times my only play was all-in. One of my opponents said “You pickin’ up any hands?” after I had taken 4 of 6 pots to bulk back up. I showed this hand voluntarily to prove my aggression was warranted.

The 2nd hand they saw was 9-5 diamonds. Huh? Yes, another player would be all-in in the small blind, so I called with 9-5s, hoping the BB would notice my play. He did, and my 9 held up over both players, getting us into the money. (That’s right, 2 hands shown and I’m in the money)

The 3rd hand I showed eliminated the 3rd place finisher. I had 3-5 suited and the flop came 6-7-9, with 2 of my suit. He had top pair (no suits) and called my all-in. I hit one of my 17 clean outs and my heads-up opponent saw my 3-5s.

Finally, I won the tournament with the 4th hand that the public got to see……10-8 offsuit. Call me crazy, but if your opponent is going to keep folding when he only has 2,000 in a 13,500 game, I’m going to keep pushing pre-flop. This time he called with a dead ace and I paired up and won the tourney.

Final notes:
--These aren’t the only hands I played, just the only hands shown to the table.
--I’ve modified the 10X-the-BB rule for all-ins late in a tourney. I adjust to 5x, depending on the opponents I’m acting into, where we are in the tourney, and table style.
--I’m looking forward to playing that certain opponent again. Can you say slowplay??

(0) comments

Random thoughts from a lawyer, an accountant, a commodities trader, an ex-Marine and a WSOP Main Event money finisher that don't know as much as they wish they did...



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The Doctor is IN

Dr Fro
aka "slow roller"

Which one is the fish?

aka "Sunday Stroller"

You go now!

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aka "Chop Suey"

You got to know when to hold em;  Know when to Mo' em ...

aka "Mo roller"

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"Baby's Daddy"

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