Monday, May 24, 2010

Upcoming posts: Redonkulous, smashing 2nl stakes, BIG GAME qualified!

Upcoming posts... listed in title.  Here are a couple hands from my session which I will comment on later..
But ACE ON THE RIVER says it all!  LOL! 

Hand #1

Poker Stars $0.01/$0.02 No Limit Hold'em - 7 players - View hand 712442

The Official Hand History Converter

Hero (BTN): $3.28

SB: $1.73

BB: $0.34

UTG: $1.64

UTG+1: $2.74

MP: $0.84

CO: $4.80

Pre Flop: ($0.03) Hero is BTN with 9 of clubs 9 of spades

UTG calls $0.02, 1 fold, MP calls $0.02, CO raises to $0.06, Hero raises to $0.22, 4 folds, CO raises to $0.44, Hero calls $0.22

Flop: ($0.95) J of clubs 3 of clubs K of hearts (2 players)

CO bets $0.02, Hero calls $0.02

Turn: ($0.99) 9 of diamonds (2 players)

CO bets $0.58, Hero raises to $2.08, CO raises to $3.58, Hero calls $0.74 all in

River: ($6.63) A of spades (2 players - 1 is all in)

Final Pot: $6.63

Hero shows 9 of clubs 9 of spades (three of a kind, Nines)

CO shows A of clubs A of diamonds (three of a kind, Aces)

CO wins $6.33

(Rake: $0.30)

Hand #2

Poker Stars $0.01/$0.02 No Limit Hold'em - 9 players - View hand 712443

The Official Hand History Converter

UTG+2: $2.90

MP1: $1.61

MP2: $1.90

CO: $4.84

BTN: $4.03

Hero (SB): $3.08

BB: $1.50

UTG: $0.65

UTG+1: $2.05

Pre Flop: ($0.03) Hero is SB with J of spades J of diamonds

UTG calls $0.02, 1 fold, UTG+2 raises to $0.10, 4 folds, Hero raises to $0.32, 2 folds, UTG+2 calls $0.22

Flop: ($0.68) 6 of clubs 6 of spades 6 of hearts (2 players)

Hero bets $0.50, UTG+2 calls $0.50

Turn: ($1.68) 9 of diamonds (2 players)

Hero bets $1, UTG+2 raises to $2.08 all in, Hero calls $1.08

River: ($5.84) A of hearts (2 players - 1 is all in)

Final Pot: $5.84

UTG+2 shows A of diamonds K of clubs (a full house, Sixes full of Aces)

Hero shows J of spades J of diamonds (a full house, Sixes full of Jacks)

UTG+2 wins $5.59

(Rake: $0.25)

View all 2 hands

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Poker relates to life so often.. but then maybe a lot of other things do, too?

Before I start my grind on PokerStars I thought I'd share some thoughts that relate to every day life as much as to poker.

Making the right choices all of the time.  Doing the right thing is worthwhile, even when you think no one cares or benefits from it.  YOU benefit from making the right decisions even when you don't see it.  The same is true in poker, where you will do best by making the right choices all of the time.  There are of course, exceptions to every rule, and common sense will help you here, but in general, the more you make the right choices in poker, the less of a problem you will have with variance, which is already bad enough on its own, so no need to make it worse with a few wrong choices :)

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Editorial.. Fish drvin' me crazy!

Some rambling thoughts about poker..

I grind.  Everyday.  For hours.  I play tournaments.  Several a week.  I cash in some, but haven't taken down anything sizable yet.

I get to deal with fish everyday.  Especially at 2nl on PokerStars and it drives me nuts.  Fish do crazy things, and get lucky.  And you get to deal with higher variance.  In the long run, you'll make more than the fish, but in the short term, certain fish can leave a big dent in your days profit.  They can also lose some rediculous pots to you.  It takes money to make money.  But I usually have a more relaxed time when NOT playing fish.  I prefer to play good players.  Then it's more like a game of Chess, and less like a game of CRAPS!  Crapshoots are not for me.

Software.  I used to complain about PokerStars software, until I played on Full Tilt.  I had an install bug with HEM where I could run Full Tilt once, but after that I would get an error, and could not get around it until I uninstalled and reinstalled the software.  Finally after about a week of asking for help and uninstalling and reinstalling software, we finally got the HEM fix that stopped this bug from occuring.
However, when multitabling on Full Tilt, you cannot easily cycle through the tables.  As you cycle forward or backwards, the z-order of the windows is changed! So you can't cycle back two tables to a table you were on, because the order changes, and it takes a while to find, and something else may take you away from that table when you find it, and start the process all over again!   PokerStars, does not have this problem! 
Why Full Tilt has not fixed this problem is beyond me.  More people being able to multitable = more rake for Full Tilt, so it's in their best interest, as it increases happiness of their grinders as well.   You can only play 16 cash tables max on Full Tilt, whereas on PokerStars you can play 24.

HEM is faster if you vacuum your database regularly (at least once a week as often as I play) but making the suggested buffer size changes in the advanced help, does the most good to avoid lag at more than 16 tables!

I wish TN would fix their set aside table slots.  I'm tired of the bugs associate with that, where you move a table and then can't view it as it redraws scrambled, and you have to move it again to get it to redraw.

Good BankRoll management is a must for a poker pro, but watching your PTR too closely is not conducive to playing well.  Play the best you can in the time allotted for as long as you are able to play your A game.  Then stop.  Take a break, mix in some reading, keep your mind healthy and alert.  Don't play sick, while drinking, while heavily distracted, etc....

So often, the thing I help people with the most, is keeping a positive mindset in spite of fish sucking out and getting lucky ;)  .... I have seen every kind of bad beat you can think of in the 300,000 hands i've played in the last 9 months. 
Some people should play tournaments, some should play cash games, and very few will be good at both.  My insistence to be good at both is part of my trouble, but I have goals and will meet them.  Sometimes I have to do things the hard way before deciding the easy way is best, but such is life. 

Review your hand histories.  Talk to people about them.  Read about poker offline where you have more time to think things through.  Continue to work hard, as that is what it takes to be great these days at Poker. 

May the flop be with you!

Monday, May 3, 2010

So much to cover, brief update: PokerStars, Full Tilt, Scoop, BankRoll, etc

I have a list of things written down to cover, but it will take me all week to catch up probably.

First thing first:  NBC HeadsUp Challenge.. after almost qualifiying to appear on TV, I hardly got to watch any of it :(   I really need TIVO or to set up a DVR on my PC.  Congrats to Annie Duke on taking down the victory!

Televised Poker: A whole lot of my friends and poker associates watch poker ONLINE. which has EPT, NAPT, etc, Poker Channel ATDHE , 247poker , or even live feeds from WPT, LA Poker Classic, Bay101 Shooting stars, or Livestreams like Chiren80 aka Athene and even  TheWookieWay .
Note: I can't link Daleroxxu or he'll call me a fanboy...

Now NAPT was on ESPN, but I missed that. I have been watching for it to be aired again, but ESPN seems to think I'd rather watch the 2009 WSOP AGAIN!  Give me a break!  The only part of that I'd like to see again is the Final Table!  GET A CLUE ESPN!  I can't help but feel whoever is in charge of Poker on TV doesn't play much poker.  Myself, I play every day. I talk to people who play almost as much as I do.  I read several poker forums.  I watch Poker After Dark and have for a couple years.  And you know what is missing the most?
TIMELY broadcasting!  Who wants to listen to old news???  Welcome to 2010, where I can retweet relevant news faster than any major site.
The leader in the future of Poker Broadcasting is going to be the one who can provide a timely turnaround on major productions, and LIVE event coverage like some of the links listed above.  There is NO reason there can't be simulcast concerts, tournaments, meetings, parties, ... you name it, the technology is here NOW.
If the right person isn't listening/reading, then maybe I'll just have to take it upon myself to see it done right ;)  I *did* have other plans though...

The Big Game is going to be the next big thing in High Stakes Poker type action, and I look forward to qualifying for this one, as it would be a HUGE boost to starting a career in poker :)  Certainly much more rockstar'ish than grinding the micro stakes (shoot me now!)
PokerStars is going to provide a qualifier with $100,000 buy in for the Big Game, and any profit they make over the initial $100,000 (that I hear they have to return) they get to keep for themselves.  I wonder how many people are going to get to experience playing with the pros on TV, let alone the chance to win a lot of money.  Poker is a game with a lot of variance, so even the worst player could have a GREAT day!  But it should make for good TV too.

I recently did well in a tourney, where I got well under 4BB, and made a nice comeback, to further add to the argument that you only need a chip and a chair to have a chance at victory.  I had some hands marked for posting to illustrate this, but due to bankroll issues, my priorities changed, and this got pushed to the back burner.  I will revisit this one likely soon, due to the SCOOP tournaments that started today.

Bankroll issues! Run Bad! Variance! Mistakes!  LEAKS!  Playing while too sick! Family problems. Frustration with a lack of consistency, etc etc etc ... quite a recipe for a bad beat story, eh?
Rather than waste time on a bad beat story, I'll focus on some of the leaks I found in my game.
LOOSE vs tight players, or TIGHT vs loose players.  The biggest part of my problem with lack of progress has been this.  When you play LOOSE tables (or fish with gamble-itis) you should be playing tigther, more premium hands. When you play TIGHT tables with a bunch of nit regs, you should be playing a little looser, albeit carefully and wisely.  I was doing exactly the opposite.  Tightening up on the nits, getting no where, and loosening up on the fish/gamblers, and experiencing HIGH VARIANCE.  Nothing worse than playing well, and being 15+ buyins UNDER EV.  This will truely test your patience and resolve when starting out in poker trying to build a bankroll.

I'll hopefully catch up with some detailed posts on certain subjects that a lot of beginners have been asking me, and that I am more than willing to share what I have learned so far.  There is so much to know about poker overall, just pertaining to No Limit, let alone all the other variations.  I feel like I have been studying in College for over a year now.  And yet, I still have a baker's dozen books and magazines to catch up on, and plenty to think about and discuss with other poker players.  See you next post.