Saturday, January 28, 2006

NOT HAPPY.......

I played in some MTT's last night.......the 16K and 8K on Full Tilt. I had a just above average stack in the 16K when I got my pocket Aces all in pre-flop against a guy who had me covered by alot with pocket 7's..........he ended up with a straight and sent me packing.......I'm happy with the way I played that one as most times I double up there and am in great shape to make a run deep into the tourney.

In the 8K I built a nice stack and was mostly top 30 or so in chips from the second hour or so on.......I was playing well when I again made an idiotic play that cost me! When will I learn? We were in the money and I was sitting with around T10,500 with the blinds at 250/500 with a 75 ante. I was dealt pocket dueces in EP and I raise it up to folds to the button who barely had me covered and he re-raises to T8500 pot committing himself. Should be an easy fold here as it was a questionable raise in the first place! But what do I do??? I push all-in without much thought.....I busted my butt and played my A game until there were 44 players left and I was still sitting with a decent stack and I push with pocket dueces knowing that AT BEST it was a race and at worst I was DOMINATED!!!! There was no way he was folding to the less than T2000 re-raise. He turned over AK and flopped an Ace sending me out in 44th.


All that hard work down the drain for roughly an $8 profit.....I put myself in a position yet again to make a run for it and shot myself in the foot again.

Maybe I'll learn one of these times.........

On a side note......factgirl was in the tourney as well and when my first table broke I was seated to her left which is exactly where I wanted to be.....I ended up knocking her out awhile later....sorry I didn't utilize the chips better.

Til Next Time.

Baz Out

Friday, January 27, 2006

Online MTT Results and Live Tourney This Weekend

I played a couple of MTT's online this week........both Tuesday to be exact. I played the 16K on Full Tilt and the 10K on Pacific which both started at 9pm. The Full Tilt 16K had over 700 people and I played very very well......for a long while. I ended up going out short of the money 111th. I was in the top 40-50 in chips for most of the tourney until I went out where I made a crucial blunder against the only person at my table that had me outchipped........I don't know how many times I'm going to make that mistake before I learn. I got pocket Kings and raised 4X BB and was called by only the bigger stack. The flop came J 8 4 rainbow and I was first to act. I bet 1/2 the pot and he raised me about the size of the pot. This is where alarms should have been going off in my head....but they weren' he was newly moved to my table so I had no prior info on what did I do......I come over the top of him push all-in which he insta-called with........wait for it.......wait for got it.....pocket Jacks for top set. I had built my stack with people overplaying top pair and without thinking about assumed he was doing the same........I think I could have survived this hand.....I would have lost some money but played differently I think I would have saved a portion of my stack.....I don't know.

The Pacific tourney went well. There were roughly 640 players and I finished ITM going out 49th. I built a big stack early and then the deck went cold. I picked spots to take pots to stay afloat but eventually the blinds caught up with me and I had to push. I started pushing with about 10-12 times the big blind with hands of medium strength or above when I was first in the pot. My stack was still big enough to damage most stacks at the table if they called and I liked this better than letting it dwindle too low where I'd get called by a wider variety of hands. My K Q offsuit lost to A 10 offsuit and I went out. I was happy with the way I played and hopefully I'll keep fighting for those top money spots more often as time goes on.

I'm playing in a live WSOP satellite Sunday. If I can keep playing like I have been I like my chances. I will post results after the fact.

Hopefully I'll get online to play tonight. No Trump for me this weekend....taking a short break from live poker for the next week or two. Went to Trump last Saturday night and played 6/12 instead of the 200 max NL game.....just wasn't in the mood for the NL game and the live bankroll is a little light at the moment. I cashed out up $100 so it was a good night and it actually felt good to be playing live limit again. I look forward to getting back to the 200 max NL game but might stick with 6/12 for the next trip or two.....we shall see.

Til next time.

Baz Out

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

RCG Tourney 1-13-06

Me, my brother, my Dad, and my future brother-in-law played in a live WSOP satellite tourney put on by RCG Friday night…….Friday the 13th. We all played in the 7pm session. They run two sessions of 250 people (2pm and 7pm) each with the final table of 10 from each session meeting after the 7pm session to play down to a winner. They pay top 20, which is a tiny percentage of the overall entrants. It’s a FAST structure but they improved it this tourney in my opinion.

You used to get T1500 for your $60 buy-in and had a re-buy you could use in the first hour if you got below T500. The $30 re-buy bought you another T1000. If you didn’t drop below the T500 then you could use it at the end of the first hour as an add-on. It was a one time use re-buy or add-on. This tourney we got T1500 for our $60 buy-in, had a $10 dealer add-on that had to be taken prior to the cards being dealt for an additional T500, and also had the option of a $30 re-buy/add-on for T2000 or $50 re-buy/add-on for T4000 more. You had to be at or below T2000 in order to take it, which meant you could take it right at the start and start the tourney with T6000.

That’s what I did………..I took the full amount right from the start and there was only one other person at my starting table that did the same. Only two of us out of twelve……that’s right……12. Actually it was 11 because our twelfth never showed up so he/she was just blinded away. The 12 people per table is another thing I hate but it is how it is and I just keep giving them my comments and input and hopefully they continue to make changes and improve it.

I played well from the start. The play was erratic as expected with three solid players at my table and plenty of any Ace or face players. I lost around T1200 early but with T6000 to start had time to chip up even with the fast structure. By the first break (first hour) I had T11000 and hadn’t put my whole stack at risk. By the second hour I had T19000 although the blinds were starting to escalate quickly. A young lady was moved to my table and she was very predictable. She played any face cards and if she caught any pair she bet it. If it wasn’t top pair she check called. She was almost out several times but made a big comeback and had me out-chipped when we moved tables. She had been seated immediately to my left and when I got to the new table she happened to get moved to the same table and sat two to my right. A short time later I was dealt A Q o UTG +1 when the blinds were 1000/2000. I had approximately T18000 and raised it up to T6000. It folded to the young lady in the small blind who flat called my raise. The big blind folded so we were heads up. The flop came J 7 2 rainbow. She bet into me T8000 which told me she paired her Jack. I thought for a few moments about pushing all-in but ended up folding thinking she would call without a doubt and I’d be behind needing an Ace or a Queen on the turn or river IF neither of those gave her two pair which was highly possible given what I’d seen of her play. I also thought I had enough chips to work a little before the blinds got me into push or fold mode.

When we got down to six tables of 10 my brother went out. He had been card dead all night and hadn’t played a hand outside the blinds until he pushed with A 9o and went out. He went out around 55th which told me that if you took the full re-buy and were patient you had plenty of time to work up some chips when you got a hand or a person to pick on. When we got down to 5 tables of 10 I was down to just 1 ½ times the big blind and found 5 6s UTG. I decided to push it in here rather than get a random big blind hand but got three callers and knew I was done when none of my suit hit the board. I went out around 46th. My Dad and soon to be brother-in-law were still battling with future brother-in-law going out 34th and my old man going out 28th to round out a nice showing by our group.

All in all it was a good time and I’ll go back…..especially if they keep the new structure. RCG is an organization that hosts these things for various charities so the structure can change based on the charity that’s hosting it. I might go back to this location on Friday February 10th for another chance. Between now and then I’m playing in another run by them in a different location. It’s Sunday January 29th in Rockford as well but a different spot. It’s limited to 120 entries but the buy-in is $150 with unlimited $75 re-buys the first hour and a $75 double bubble add-on at the end of the first hour. It’s a little steeper price but with the quality of play I think I’ve got a good shot at the money. We shall see.

Til next time….Thanks for stopping by…..

Baz Out

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Various Ramblings......

I’ve got several thoughts swirling around in my head and I want to get them down now so I apologize ahead of time for what will probably be a post that jumps all over the place………bear with me.

First off I want to state that I am proud of my brother……..he does not read this but he took up poker at roughly the same time as I did……poker of a more serious nature. His one problem is he doesn’t play online as he does not own a computer…..something he is working on remedying. We play a regular monthly home game together, which has shifted to mostly two sit and go tournaments. We also go almost weekly to Trump for live play. The fact that I put a lot of time on the virtual felt along with studying and working on my game put me a lot further along on the spectrum in terms of my development. He wouldn’t admit this fact in the beginning after several losing sessions at Trump. He admits it now and regular makes statements about me being better than him……not in a gushing sort of way but in a way that tells me he’s striving to improve and looks forward to the day when he can improve to a comparable level.

It all started when in mid-November we were talking on a drive home from Trump. My brother was a loser yet again and was frustrated with the amount he had lost over several months. I was shocked at the number and apologized for dragging him weekly as he kept losing. He made the statement that he wasn’t going to play again until the New Year and I asked what he was going to do to improve his game between now and then? We then started talking about starting hand requirements, flop texture, etc. He questioned me and specifically asked about a hand that night where I put a regular 6/12 player on tilt raising pre-flop with The Hammer. I ended up flopping two pair and turning a full house taking down a monster pot cracking his aces. (Behold the power of The Hammer) When I flipped up my cards he got loud and said, “You raised with that garbage!” I said, “I learned that from you…..any two cards can win, right?” Now he wasn’t an “any two can win player” but mixed up his game well and plays well after the flop. He had me pegged as a tight aggressive player and I threw him off with that one. I asked my brother how much action my raises had been getting prior to that after I had only shown down big hands and he recalled that people were giving me respect prior to the Hammer and after that I got paid off a lot more than I had been previously. I explained to him that I simply wanted to establish a new image at the table and it simply worked out better than planned. I then went right back to my normal tight aggressive game and got paid off more than I had been.

He seemed to be listening and eager to learn. My brother and I have the typical (I think it’s typical anyway) brother relationship where we are competitive with each other and don’t admit the other is better at things very often. Here my brother was admitting I was better and in addition to that looking to learn from me. I then offered to have him come to the house sometime and sweat me while I play online. He eagerly accepted and we continued talking the rest of the way home.

The next time I saw him I gave him my copy of Lee Jones’ “Winning Low Limit Hold ‘Em” and told him to read it and that when he was done with that one I had another one for him to digest. (I had already bought him “Small Stakes Hold ‘Em” by Sklansky for Christmas so it was perfect) He worked on his game using his only outlet which is a crappy PS2 game but began implementing and learning how to play tight and aggressive. He came over twice for a couple hours each and sweated me online as I played. We talked about the hands, why I was doing what I was doing, and it was even a great tool for me to re-learn some things about my own game.

Since the New Year is here we have gone a couple of times and he has been winning at 3/6 consistently playing tight and aggressive. He’s come a long way and I know he’ll be a solid player for people to look out for as time goes on. He says he’s going to stick with 3/6 until he builds his roll and feels confident in his game.

Even though you don’t read this……..I’m proud of you bro! Keep it up!

As a tangent to that it got me thinking. I never thought about it before really but playing online really speeds up the learning curve. I’ve heard it said before by older pros like Brunson that the kids nowadays play so many more hands online that it took them years to play live and learn the lessons we’re learning in weeks or months. I’m seeing it with my brother, as he only plays live right now, (minus PS2) so it takes him longer to see the same number of situations.

My dad hosted a poker night last weekend and we got nine guys to show up for two sit and go style tournaments. I won the first one and took second in the second one. My Dad stated, “You always get so lucky and catch the cards you need.” My reply was that I push edges and while it seems that I get lucky sometimes it’s just bad play by them. The specific hand he referred to was when he held Kd Jd with a board of As Js 4h. I held the Ks Qs and was the big stack at the table. My Dad was middle stacked and we were heads up and he bet a pot-sized bet with his middle pair. Pre-flop he had called the blind and then was the only caller with my raise of 4X the BB. I pushed all-in and he thought for a few moments before calling. I hit my flush on the river and that was it for him. He wasn’t happy but had way too many chips to make that call. I’d have to get the odds calculator and see what the odds on the hand are at that point but I’m guessing I’m the favorite with two to come. Can’t access the odds calculator here at work to see for sure. I also can’t remember the exact stack sizes here, which would help. The way I look at the hand is I had two ways to win…….he folds or I hit my hand because if he calls I know I’m behind and I have to get there to win. I was also not risking my tournament as I had plenty more chips than him still and would still be in great shape even if I lost the hand.


I pulled a play on my brother that I have been looking for the right spot to utilize. Call on the flop to set up taking the hand down on a bluff on 4th or 5th street. I had a good size stack and was one of the top three stacks at the table. My brother raised in early position 3X the BB and I was the only caller with 86s. The flop came J 7 5 rainbow. My brother led out with a pot-sized bet and I thought for a few moments before calling. I thought he had a top hand and with his bet knew the Jack hit him so I put him on a hand like A J and figured I could hit my hand or take it from him on 4th street depending on what fell and how he acted. When I flat called bells must have went off in his head because he knows when I’m in a pot I’m raising 90% of the time. I know bells went off because he actually said, “I can’t believe you called that bet.” The turn was a King and he checked to me. This made me sure he had a Jack and he looked uncomfortable so I got rid of K J as a possibility. He only had about 2X the pot size left so instead of a pot sized bet I pushed all-in and he went into the tank stating several times, “I can’t believe you just called the flop bet.” He folded finally and I showed my semi-bluff with my open ended straight draw. He tilted and made the comment later that he can never tell what I have because I am always aggressive and am not afraid to put my chips in if I think I have a good read on someone else.

I’m playing in two live tournaments coming up. One is tomorrow night and the other is the last Sunday in January. I will decide how many more live tournaments to play based on my play in these two. My plan is to play aggressive and look to accumulate chips as the structure is fairly fast.

I spent the last couple of days listening to a backlog of Lord Admiral radio pod-casts. I really enjoyed them and hopefully will get to listen every Monday or Tuesday here on out and stay on top of it. Wish I could link it up but again….limited here at work. I highly recommend it to anyone who hasn’t heard them already. Very enjoyable listening.

I’m thinking of going back to 6/12 for a little while in my live play. My bankroll for live play has dwindled for a couple of reasons: 1) A couple straight losing sessions at 200 Max NL. 2) Took out some to do a couple of nice things for my family over the holidays. (If I can’t do things like that then what’s the point) I could cash out some from my online account but I’d rather keep that in tact for the time being as I’m enjoying playing a MTT here and there which tends to slowly eat at the bankroll with stretches of no cashes. Lately I’ve been playing ring games or a sit and go for an hour or so making enough to cover the MTT buy-in and then registering. That’s great but doesn’t do much for building the roll.

I received Michael Craig’s “The Professor, The Banker, and the Suicide Kings” for Christmas and just finished reading it. I enjoyed it very much. It’s an easy read and this is from someone who doesn’t read “Stories”. The next story I want to get and read is “One of a Kind” the Stu Unger story. I wasn’t sure about it before but after listening to the review on Lord Admiral radio this morning I think it’s one I’d like to check out.

I also purchased a book and DVD with some birthday money I had hanging around. I bought Russ Fox’s “Mastering No Limit Hold ‘Em” to see if I can help my no limit cash game where I think I have begun playing too soft which partly has to do with my more limited live bankroll. I’ll probably hold off playing the 200 max NL game at Trump again until I build a little more of a live bankroll and finish this book. I also got Annie Duke’s DVD “How to Beat the Big Boys”. I was planning on getting the Final Table DVD of Phil Gordon’s, which sounds very interesting. It was too expensive, however so I started reading reviews of various others and this one seemed to have a lot of great things said about it. I have only watched a little of it but so far I am impressed and will try and give a full review when I finish it.

Well I think I’ve rambled long enough.

Til Next Time.

Baz Out

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Multi-Table Tourneys

I played in Full Tilt's 16K gauranteed last night.............

Not much to note..........played one hand 10 minutes into the tourney. Pocket Kings and the flop came K Q 10 with two clubs. I made a pot sized bet thinking to myself "push out the flush draws". It folds to a guy in MP who raises me all but T400 of his stack. I think to myself, "he's willing to committ his stack on top pair, top two pair, or a flush draw?" I push and he insta-calls flipping over A J for the flopped straight..........I think...."Oooops." Damn.....the board didn't pair and I was gone. No idea how I didn't see that as a possibility......wasn't happy with myself.

So I joined a $10 + $1 tourney that was starting in a little while. 315 entrants and I finished 10th. I got short stacked as we approached the bubble and used the table tightening up to my advantage by stealing the antes and blinds with greater frequency.......I got lucky a couple of times and doubled up. The blinds were 1,000/2,000 with a 225 ante and I had T20,000 when we were down to 10. There was a significant jump in the money from 10th to 9th ($30 - $60) and play was tightening due to this fact. I raised in MP with 8 8 and got one caller on the button. The flop came Q 7 4 and I led out with a 5,000 bet. He min raised me and I pushed.....he thought for awhile as he only had me outchipped by a couple hundred (we were the two shortest stacks) and finally called with Q 10 and I went out 10th sending them to the final table.

Overall I was happy with my game. I played with calculated aggression. I am playing in a live WSOP satellite Friday night and am signed up for another the end of January. I'll see how they go and go from there.

I'd like to play at least one MTT per week and continue working on improving my MTT skills.

Probably won't be able to make it out to Trump this weekend but hope to the following week.

Til next time.

Baz Out

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Trumped at Trump

My brother pulled me aside at my family's Christmas celebration on New Year's Day (Sunday) and said, "Let's go to Trump tonight and play cards." My brother hadn't gone in several months and had stated he was waiting until the new year to go back......He wasn't wasting much time.

I told him it was on and I picked him up at 10:30pm. We rolled into Trump by 11:30pm and I hadn't been there in several weeks. We had called ahead and were near the top of our respective brother for 3/6 and me for the $200 Max No limit. We both got seated rather quickly and it was on.....the room was jumping as we didn't know what to expect on a Sunday night.....New Year's Day.....with most people being off on Monday.

The feeder NL table was a frenzy of people trying to double up with less than stellar holdings before heading off to the land of potentially bigger stacks......I just hoped I could get a solid hand to break someone off.......I limped with A 7 suited and called the $5 raise along with 4 others. The flop came two clubs and I called the $20 bet into the $50 pot......3 of us left. The turn brought my club and I bet $50 when it was checked to me.....there were two Queens now on the board and I hoped someone had one......that is until the river brought a 3 double pairing the board. We had lost the third guy and it was checked to me. I checked it through as I figured I was only getting called by a full house and took down the $190 pot with my flush....him showing pocket Jacks.

I was moved not long after and sat at a table with three MONSTER stacks. I was in seat 6 and two of the Monster stacks were in seats 9 and 10. The third was in seat 3. Seats 9 and 10 each had around $1400 and seat 3 had around $1000. I proceeded to go card dead…….totally. About 10 minutes after I sat down the guy on my right raised to $20…..I folded…..and both of the big stacks in seats 9 and 10 called. The flop came three diamonds. The guy to my right bet $40, seat 9 called and seat 10 raised to $100. The guy to my right pushed all-in for around $140 total and both big stacks called. The turn was a blank and seat 9 checked. Seat 10 went all-in and seat 9 insta-called. The river was a blank and the guy on my right turned over pocket fives for a set of fives…..the board didn’t pair for him. Seat 9 immediately turned over the nut flush with A 7 of diamonds and seat 10 mucked in disgust………Seat 9 had him covered and won a $3200 pot at the $200 max NL table. Seat 10 stormed out of the room and I immediately asked for a seat change button and locked up his seat if he didn’t return in the 10 minutes he was allowed so I could be to the left of the now MEGA MONSTER stack at our table.

The guy on my left stated he had folded the King of diamonds so I can only assume the guy in seat 10 had a Queen high flush. Regardless……it was a HORRIBLE play on his part. There are only two stacks at the table he shouldn’t have tangled with without the nuts…….why go all-in there with the non-nut flush against another monster stack…’re only getting called if you’re beat. If he was up against one or more smaller stacks of $200 or $300…….fine…..nice play….but against the big stack on your right…….your only getting called if you’re beat…….He learned that lesson the HARD WAY.

I proceeded to be card dead once I moved to seat 10 and the MEGA MONSTER stack left around ½ hour later so I didn’t get a chance at any of it. I had pocket 7’s once and no set on an A K Q board….folded to a bet. I had A Q once and hit nothing on the flop….folded to a bet and a raise before action got to me. I had dropped below $100 a by a couple hours later and re-bought up to $200. Several orbits later with my stack sitting around $180 I looked down to find two red Kowboys! Finally! I raised to $20 in EP and was called by seat 1 and the last big stack at the table in seat 3. The flop came 8 9 2 rainbow…..a beautiful flop for my boys….minus the potential straight draw for a J 10 holding. I led out $40….was called in seat 1 and seat 3 made it $100 to go. I pushed all-in and was called in both spots. I figured one for a straight draw but had no idea what the other one held……an over-pair to the board? The turn and river were blanks and they checked it down. I turned over my boys and seat 1 turned over pocket rockets……Seat 3 mucked and I was felted. “Nice Hand,” I stated as I stood up and walked away……sucked but it happens.

My brother racked up his chips as well for a nice double up at the 3/6 tables. He has really worked on his game while staying away these past two months….tighter and more aggressive and he saw the benefit of it that night.

It was great to get back out to play live at Trump and I look forward to my next visit…..which will probably be Friday night…….we’ll see how it goes.

Meanwhile… is going well. Playing a few MTT’s lately and playing solid…..can feel a big cash coming soon.

Til next time…..

Baz Out.