Archive Aug 2007: Southeastern US Poker

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My Best Month Ever

I just wanted to report in about what my best month ever looked like:

click to enlarge the image

+$690 at online full ring cash games
+$725 at live $200NL at the Horseshoe-Bossier City
+$160 in MTT sharing
-$100 in Insurance
-$25 at online Omaha 8
+$200 in Home Games

Total profit of $1,650.00
This breaks down into $26/hr total
Online win rate was 31BB/100 Hands

I know this isn't Balla or anything, but Brian Townsend once played $50NL too!

In Retrospect:
Going busto on Full Tilt was the best thing that could have happened to me. It got me to quit playing $10NL and got me back on Bodog where I ended the month playing $100NL.

My live cash game is really going good right now. My game fundamentals are getting stronger coupled with the research and reading that I have done in the past concerning tells, I feel that I am really on top of my game.

Insurance is getting costly, I'm out $250 so far in the 2 months that this experiment has started. I have been running very goot though, so I might make up the difference when things turn south.

My boy BJJIII is a new dad and w/ the pregnancy and birth out of the way, I hope that he can now rejoin me on the felt, he's been missed.

Going Forward:
I'll be in Biloxi, MS for the Gulf Coast Poker Championship next weekend. I'll be playing cash games exclusively so don't even entertain the thought that I might come back with a "I Luckboxed my way into a win at a $10,000 buyin WPT event" blog.

I just got Professional No Limit in from Amazon.com, I hope to have it read quickly so that I can start it again to really get the meat out of it.

I'm hoping that my reduced time spent at home games will allow me to make more trips to the Horseshoe- Bossier City . I don't know if the wife will let this float, but if things keep going like this for a while, I don't see how or why she would try to keep me from it.

Things keep getting better!!!

Sputtering start, but a start indeed

My week started off very well as I picked up a buyin at $50NL on Monday night. On Tuesday night I played 9 hands online for a $0.50 win. I felt that my eyes were heavy and that I wouldn’t be sharp, so I quickly got offline. After watching some T.V., I decided to try my hand at Omaha 8. I know very little about that game but have played plenty of Stud 8, so I thought, what the heck! I quickly dropped my $25 buyin and decided that I might want to learn a little something about that game before I try it again.

I played about 2 hours on Wednesday night, though I still didn’t feel that strong of a drive to crush the tables. Only intending on playing for a quick 30-minute session, I found myself a slight loser when the 30 minutes was up. Not having booked a losing session in my last 9 trials, I didn’t want to swallow that bitter pill. A couple of big hands cost me about $30 or so and all of a sudden I was down to a $40 loss at the hour and a half mark. I hit a big hand to the good to bring my loss back below $20 and decided that I had had enough for the night and I crawled into bed at 11:30.

”Tournament of Champions”

My intention had been to play a few quick hands then get off since I had a big tournament on Thursday night. We played 12 tourneys at a friend’s house and have held back $5 per head every week. In these tourney’s, you get points based on how well you finish. The top 6 point earners were allowed to play for the set aside prize pool with starting stacks in proportion to how many points they earned compared to the other 5 top players.

On Thursday morning I’m up at 6:30 and at work at 7:45am. I have a really busy and stressful day at work and know that this isn’t conducive to great poker playing. When I finally get off work, I was fortunate to have an empty house to come home to as my wife and kid were still at the school where she works. I got a few quick tasks done then found some classical music on Rhapsody to help calm my nerves. Lying down, listening to soothing music and focusing can do incredible things for your poker game prior to game time.

At 6:30pm, I’m seated at my friend’s poker table w/ him and 4 other “top point earners.” My stack is the smallest starting stack at the table at around 8,500 chips, the largest stack is on my left at around 12k. The blinds started at 25/50 and go up every 25 minutes, so I’m in no big hurry to start making moves. I win some small hands early to make up some ground on the other stacks, then a key hand happens in my BB to change the distribution of the chips. I’m dealt the AQ and the table folds around to the SB who just completes, he started out 3rd in chips. I knew that this guy might think that I was making a move, so I made a standard raise to get some money in the pot. He calls. The flop is Q high with some straight potential and the SB leads into me for 1k. I really feel that I am ahead here w/ my TPTK but I want to let him keep firing and I also want to see a safe turn card before I really make this a huge pot. The turn is a Jack, which completes some of the straight possibilities, and the SB leads into me for a 2nd time. I call his 2k bet but am starting to get a little worried about my one pair hand. The river is an off-suit King, and thankfully the SB just checks and I am happy to check behind him. He shows Q-6o for TPNK and I rake in the first big pot of the night. About 2 hours in, this same player was the first of us to get knocked down to the felt. The player who started the tourney w/ the largest stack was soon behind him due to being completely card dead.

How you act and react toward your hole cards matters!

The rest of the night consisted of me stealing the BB from my SB or stealing the blinds when the player to my right just completed his small blind. About every 3rd orbit I was able to steal one of these based on some key tells that the players to my immediate right and left were giving off. The player to my left always capped her cards when she wanted to play and did something else w/ them when she didn’t. The player on my right never bothered to conceal his opinion of his holdings and between his face and his handling of his cards, I could always make a reasonable estimate of whether he would call my raise after he completed his SB.

We’re down to 4 handed, I’ve got my quarter of the chips in play and I pick up pocket 6s on the button. I make my standard raise to 2.5x BB and get called by my friend in the BB. He defends w/ a lot and is a very tough player post flop. He also very rarely reraises preflop, so it’s very tough putting him on a hand. I guess you could say that he is a small ball type of player. The flop is 5-9-5r and he leads into me for 2k. I have played thousands of hands with this guy and he will make this bet both when he has it and when he doesn’t. My gut said that he didn’t have it and I went with it. I assume my subconscious mind realizes or sees something that my conscious mind does not, but I have an overwhelming feeling that I am ahead here, though I can’t put my finger on exactly why. I call, the turn is an off-suit 4 and he fires 4k into me. I don’t like my hand much anymore, but he’s capable of firing all 3 streets and my gut initially said that I was ahead, so I stick with it. The river pairs the 4 putting 2 pair on the board and my friend just goes irate and throws over pocket ducks like he just all of a sudden got caught up on. I rake in a nice pot to recapture the chip lead.

Queens don’t beat Kings!

The lady at the table is eventually knocked out when her pocket queens don’t hold up against the BB’s K-10 and we’re down to 3 handed. We play 3 handed for about 20 minutes and I lose the chip lead on a hand where I had a flush draw and an OESD on the turn. I picked up the str8 draw on the turn and the SB over-pushed to get me off my big draw. If I’m holding this combo draw on the flop and he makes this same play, I’m going to the felt w/ it, but w/ one card to come facing an over bet, by 15 outs didn’t seem like enough to call for my tournament life. This hand put him into the chip lead and left my friend and me w/ about 18k each. With 24k in chips, he agreed to an even split. So for the night I was +$230 and my best month ever just keeps getting better!!!

I also picked up a buyin at $50NL this morning when my flopped set crushed a Bodonk w/ top pair. I’m thinking of taking a shot at $100NL soon, word on the street is that NLHE on Bodog doesn’t get any tougher until $400NL. May this good run never end!!!!

A parting question: When you crush your goals for a given month, how do you keep yourself motivated to keep playing your best and actively trying to find new fishing grounds?

A Tough Day at the Horseshoe - Bossier City

This trip to the Horseshoe-Bossier City was filled with perils and pitfalls for me, both on the table and psychologically. If you keep up w/ my blog, you know that I am on a total heater for the month of August. One of the problems with running hot is that you can become over-confident in your own abilities. Over-confidence leads to bad play, bad play leads to resignation to the variance of the game, resignation leads to acceptance of failure, and acceptance of failure leads to playing not to lose. Playing not to lose isn’t winning poker; it’s a slow bleed of your bankroll that demoralizes you. It’s a downward spiral and is very tough to pull out of.

I continue to run WHITE HOT: Parts I & II

Part I

In the first hour at the table, I was playing tight and well. I had basically broken even for a little while, when I got dealt Pocket Rockets in MP. There were 2 limpers ahead of me and I made it $12 to go. Both of the blinds called and the two original limpers folded. Pot = $40. The flop hits TT9 and the SB pushes AI for $28. The BB thinks a second and smooth-calls the $28 and I make it $100 to go, thinking that if the BB is on a flush draw that he will fold to this bet. The BB mulls over his options again, and eventually calls the additional $72. I put him on a JT or a flush draw and decide that I am probably not ahead at this point. The turn is the most perfect card in the deck, the A. The BB checks again and I give him the speech, “You hit your flush didn’t you?” I check behind to lure his last $70 into the pot on the river. The river is an absolute brick and when the BB checks to me again, I grab a full 20 stack of reds and spike them into the pot. He thinks briefly again and announces that he calls. I don’t even wait for them to reveal their hands, I flip my hand over and tell the dealer to ship it over my way. The SB shows his K5 for the nut flush and the BB shows the JT for the flopped trips. How good do I run? This pot gets my confidence swelling and I’m the first big stack to emerge at the table w/ $445 in front of me.

Part II

The next hand is questionable, but I had a gut feeling and the BB was $300 plus deep after the SB made his own very questionable move. I limp into a multi-way pot from MP w/ the 65 and am joined by a few more late position players. The SB completes and the BB makes it $7 to go. This pot-builder raise doesn’t dissuade anyone and we’ve now got a pot. When the action gets back to the SB, he pushes $30 more into the pot and has $1 behind. The BB calls and it folds around to me. I evaluate the situation as follows: there’s around $40 already in the pot prior to the SB’s move, the BB is almost as deep as I am, I’m being offered >3 to 1 preflop with a very deceptive hand, I am unlikely to get reraised out of this pot from the LP players who have just called twice already, the SB isn’t likely to have a very strong hand since he didn’t raise initially and the BB isn’t likely to be super strong since he didn’t make an isolation raise to get the pot heads up. I elect to call and the LP players all fold. The flop comes Ace high, all hearts and they both check to me. I attempt to bet $1 to put the SB AI, but the dealer informs me that the minimum bet is $2. They both call, so we now have a $2 side pot! Woo hoo!!! The turn is a total brick, the BB checks to me again and I figure that I am through with this charade and push a $50 stack out into the middle, which gets the BB to fold. The river is another heart and the SB shows down AT for TP and I flip my flush over FTW. This stirs the table up a little and I am now on uber card rush tilt!!!

Hubris sets in…

Seizing the momentum, I start playing around 60% of the hands dealt to me because I am INVINCIBLE. This goes on for about an hour. I get called down bluffing after I semi-bluffed the flop and turn by an old man who ends up having my number all day. I mean, I flop TPGK against this guy and I bet the flop and turn, the river pairs the bottom card from the flop and we get his entire short stack into the pot, and he flips over his rivered trips. Sometimes there is just nothing that you can do!

At this point, I am back down to only a $90 profit on the day and I have resigned myself to accepting a small win to a loss. I figured that this rush of cards has got to end eventually and that this could be that time. I tightened up and began to play some weak tight poker, trying not to give away the small profit that I had left.

Even nits make money when they are running goot!

I’m convinced that AJo is a very neutral EV hand in cash games, so I play it accordingly. One particular hand, I limped in from MP3 w/ it, along w/ 6 other players. The flop was J52 and a lady in the SB leads out for $10. Typically, a $10 flop bet is called by everyone, but this lady hadn’t played too many hands and no one seemed to want to tangle up w/ her, so the table folded around to me w/ my TPTK and I just smooth called to await further developments. The turn was a brick, and the lady fired off another $15 into the pot. I smooth called again, trying not to fall into any traps because I was playing like a weak-tight nit. The river finally made me feel that I had the best hand by virtue of my kicker as the J fell off. I had put the lady on a jack the whole way, and I was just hoping that she didn’t have some sick two pair that had just filled up on me. She led for $25 on the river and I reluctantly made it $75 to go, and was prepared to call an AI for her remaining $50. She called the raise and mucked to my top trips w/ top kicker.

Admitting that you have a problem is the first step to recovery…

At this point, I took hold of myself mentally and did a little self-assessment. I realized where my mind was and how I was playing the game—not to lose. I missed $50 of profit on that hand, I was just playing my cards and wasn’t playing my tight aggressive A game. My session ended shortly after this mental recap because my friend and ride back home had gone busto. I racked up my chips, still $200 up, and headed out satisfied that my overconfidence didn’t run me aground, and that I had recognized when my game had spun out of control. Note to self: leave the hubris at home next trip!

Landlord79

I'm still on FIRE!!!! May this card rush never stop!!!

I'm running so good I keep pinching myself and I have the bruises to prove it!!!

Bodog No-Limit Hold'em, $0.50 BB (9 handed) Hand History converter Courtesy of PokerZion.com

saw flop|saw showdown

MP1 ($21.10)
MP2 ($47.56)
MP3 ($41.35)
CO ($49.25)
Button ($77.65)
SB ($68.65)
BB ($41.60)
UTG ($24.30)
Hero ($131.55)

Preflop: Hero is UTG+1 with 6 , 6 .
UTG calls $0.50, Hero calls $0.50, MP1 raises to $2, 6 folds, UTG calls $1.50, Hero calls $1.50.

Flop: ($6.75) 5 , 4 , Q (3 players)
UTG checks, Hero checks, MP1 checks.

Turn: ($6.75) 7 (3 players)
UTG bets $2, Hero raises to $6, MP1 folds, UTG raises to $10, Hero calls $4.

River: ($26.75) 6 (2 players)
UTG bets $12.3 (All-In), Hero calls $12.30.

Final Pot: $51.35

Results in white below:
UTG has Q 4 (two pair, queens and fours).
Hero has 6 6 (three of a kind, sixes).
Outcome: Hero wins $51.35.

I also had 10s and Aces 3x apiece tonight and they held up every time. I hope this heater never quits!!!

Mark it for the night, +$129.50 in 400 hands, that's 64.75 BB/100 hands for the night. I did lose w/ Queens early on to a short-stack w/ a set, but I didn't let that slow me down! Hopefully, I'll be making a trip to the casino this weekend and can add to my current card rush and my collection of trip reports. Later!!

Bankroll building Cont: En Fuego!!!!

I'm not going to claim that I'm a good poker player, but as of right now, I'm having the best month of my poker career!!! Well, except for the month that BJJIII and I hit the BBJP at the Goldstrike in Tunica, MS, but that wasn't due to poker skillz, that was just dumb luck! It's goot to travel w/ a luckbox like BJJIII !!!

I moved up to $50NL on Sunday night and have been killing that game! These folks fold and they fold after committing money to the pot. They also commit their stacks on 2nd best hands way too often. I'm up 5 buyins over the 4 short sessions that I have been playing 2 tables on Bodog. I'll move back up to 3 tables when I get my gig of RAM in that I ordered this weekend. I'm currently running w/ 256mb of RAM, and anyone who knows anything about Bodog knows that you need a ton of RAM to scratch all your itches on the Dog. I also just bought PAHUD, though I am a little undecided on whether or not I like it better than GT+. The "Folds to CB" number may be quite useful and may be worth the cost of the software by itself.

I know that this kind of rush won't last forever, but I'm gonna ride that pony straight outta town until it bucks me off. I'm earning 33.35 BB/100 Hands for this month, even after going busto on FT. I know that kind of earn rate is unsustainable, but hey, it's rolling good now, so I'll keep plugging away.
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