General: Tales from a bottom feeder

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"Small" update

Well I've kind of fallen off the wagon when it comes to my poker blog, and for those 10 (accidental) readers out there I apologize! I've pretty much just been grinding away, basically running hot/killing the games, but also being a huge nit and not moving up despite almost having 100 BI's for my current level. Sigh @ me being so conservative/scared.

I'm thinking about getting some coaching and/or joining a training site in the near future, but can't decide which will provide me with more value. With the training site your money "lasts longer" in that you have the entire subscription throughout the year and can watch/download videos whenever you feel like it vs. 5 hours or whatever with a coach. However, I can definitely see myself being lazy as usual and not watching as many videos as I should. Also, the videos aren't tailored to you and your game; it's entirely up to you to watch them and then try to apply the lessons being taught. If you get caught up IMing during the videos or you don't grasp the concepts in the video, short of rewinding and watching it again, you're SOL. Another thing that I've noticed about videos is that when I watch them, I ALWAYS want to start playing about halfway through the video. This either leads to me being distracted while watching the video, or stopping it and starting up the tables.

As for coaching, it's personalized and you get direct feedback on every play you make, along with an explanation. It'll help you plug your own personal leaks which inevitably leads to higher win rates. However, the negative is that your time is very limited (and extremely expensive). I can also see myself missing the "crutch" of having a coach sweating me while I play. I know it would improve my game greatly, and would most likely be a great investment that could easily pay for itself in a couple of nights, but I keep going back and forth on coaching vs a training site. Unfortunately doing both isn't an option for me atm.

I still have a few more weeks before I make my decision, so I'll talk to some people and get opinions. In other news, I'm going to Florida in 2 weeks to visit my grandfather, and I'm really excited for some sunny weather. 4 degrees with the windchill just doesn't do it for me. I can't say I have a terribly taxing life, but I haven't had a true vacation in almost a year, which is very unusual for me as I'm lucky enough to be fairly well-traveled. If you couldn't tell already I'm looking forward to laying out by the pool and soaking up some rays. There's also a pretty big poker room 20 minutes away, so hopefully I can take some snowbird geriatrics's pension money while I'm there too, although the $100 buyin cap is pretty absurd. They run games as high as $5/10 and $10/20 but I guess if the games are running long enough they can get normally deep stacked. As usual I've written a lot but managed to say shockingly little, but if you got this far thanks for reading. Take it easy.


Expensive noodles

I'll start w/ the CN's first since my writing tends to be tl;dr material:

Brags: 2nd in a 180, now have a stars roll

Beats: got blinded off HU while I was making noodles during the break. I thought we were 3 handed. also missed a night out at the bars w/ German au pairs

It was Friday night and I wasn't doing anything because my friends and I had gone pretty hard the night before (yeah I know, lame, but I was ready to go; those pussies went to bed early). So I decided to play a couple 180's. I've had success in the past when I played these, making 3 FT's out of the 10 or 12 I've played, but with finishes of 5th and 6th at said FT's, nothing special results (read, $$$) wise. I was in the final 3 tables on 2 of the tournaments when I got a call from one of my au pair friends saying they had just decided to go to a bar and that I should come. I was at a serious crossroads; I could either intentionally bust from the two tournaments and immediately go drink with hot german girls, or I could wait it out and hit up the bar after I tried to play my best. Pride, soft tables, the desire for money, and the fact that I would still have to shower were a few factors and I decided to keep playing. Besides, I partied with the girls last night and I'll be partying with them tomorrow night.

Anyways, I ended up making the FT in one of them (busted the other w/ KK vs an obvious set for a 30k stack with 15 left) and got down to 3 handed with a relatively short stack. I started to get hungry and we were approaching the break. The instant stars notified me that we would be on break after the current hand had finished I rushed downstairs & started cooking some pad thai noodles. I came back up to my computer and watched confused as I was sat out for the last hand of the tournament but came in 2nd place. Apparently on the hand before the break the big stack coolered the shorter stack (he rivered a straight vs flopped trips). If I had known I was going to be HU with one of the worst and spewwiest players I've ever seen, I probably would have said f the noodles. What made it even worse was looking at the hands I auto folded while the noodles were being prepped. KK, AK, A10, 99. To top it off, by that time the girls had also left the bar. Huge sigh. But on the bright side, I now have the beginnings of a stars roll, so I don't have to xfer money from Cake.

Aside from the 180's, I've been playing a decent amount of 6m over the past few weeks. Although I've been keeping busy with school and my social life, I've still found time to play 3 or 4 nights out of the week. For a while I was doing quite well; I was within one buyin of reaching my goal of having 30 full buyins for the next level. I'm not sure where the line is drawn between being scared/nervous to move up and being conservative with my bankroll, but if I haven't already crossed it I'm pretty damned close. However, I had a terrible night last friday, dropping 6 buyins in probably 400 hands. I misplayed 2 hands pretty badly, but aside from those I was just getting coolered left and right. The kind of hand where you say to yourself, "well, if he has _______, he's got my money". And sure enough, they always had it. I'm on the road to recovery though and I know I'll reach my goal soon. That's all for now. Take care.


Running hot is fun

I just wrapped up my best cash game session to date, or at least in recent memory. I ran absolutely sick hot and came away with 6 buyins, which is pretty good considering I was only 4 tabling for like an hour and a half. I hit two straight flushes in quick succession, one of which I got paid off on. Every time I had aces I would hit top set but the other guy would just shove into me. I also think I played pretty well when I wasn't getting hit in the face with the deck, but it's nice to not worry about how to play the hand aside from extracting max value. Hopefully the fire will stay lit for a few more days and I can continue this nice upswing. Pretty soon I think I'll be forced to stop calling it "taking shots" and realize I'm fully rolled for the next level. Thanks for reading; take care.


Quick update

I'm sorry I haven't updated this in a quite a while. I basically had an amazing end to the summer, with great and frequent trips down the shore with my friends. When we weren't drinking at the beach, we were drinking around here, so I've generally been keeping pretty busy. I also started school last week, so that will be occupying part of my time going forward. I even had to turn down an AC trip because of class. Following my return from my beach week I tried to get back into playing regularly again, but I had a pretty nasty 10 BI downswing for a like week and a half. Most of the time my money would go in good, or even great (KK vs AJ aipf, etc), but I wasn't getting the best results. Variance is part of the game though, and I took a short break.

Upon resuming I quickly erased my downswing and even managed to turn it into a nice upswing. I've almost exclusively been playing 6m cash games, with a few HU sng's thrown in just for kicks/variety. My BR is currently at it's highest ever, thanks in part to FTing a $5k 15 gold chip freeroll on Cake. It was a lot of hours to play and my friends were pretty pissed that I showed up 3 hours late for the party, but I was happy with my play, as well as the result. It's funny how you always love tournaments when you go deep in an event, but then hate them when you start the next tournament with hundreds or thousands of players to go through and a meager starting stack; it just feels like such a monumentally uphill climb. I don't know how you tourney players do it. That's all the news that's fit to print, so until next time (which won't be as far apart), take care.


I’m going going back back to Cali Cali; TR’s and more

As I said in a previous entry, I had a lot of traveling coming up, and while I’m still in the midst of that crazy period of the summer, I just got back from my two week visit to California’s gorgeous Bay Area. Unfortunately I got really lazy while I was out there and basically relaxed and enjoyed my mom’s cooking (since I obviously don’t make actual meals for myself); I probably only played online once or twice while I was out there.

However, I did manage to head over to Lucky Chances to play a little 1-1-2 spread-limit hold’em. I arranged to meet up with 2p2’s Goofyballer that night, and within a few minutes upon arrival I had shook his hand and forced him to ask for a table change…and then the seat to my left opened. Figures that likely the only competent, thinking player at the table will be on my left. However, this wasn’t all bad, as Goofy’s reputation as a super, uber-nit proceeds him wherever he about 3 miles. It also gave us the opportunity to chat a bit, which was cool because I basically only talked to him during COD and occasionally on AIM about poker. I would also like to take this opportunity to dispel any notions about Goofy being as nitty as his reputation would make him out to be. Hell, I even saw him raise in EP w/ 1010! According to the legends, those should have instantly hit the muck.

The entire live session was, not surprisingly, pretty frustrating. None of my small pairs or SC’s hit, so my stack was slowly bleeding throughout the night. I picked up 3 good/playable hands the entire evening. I nearly doubled through when I had Aces against AK on a K high board. Then AJs flopped the NFD, but everybody folded to my cbet.

Lastly I picked up AKs in the CO. There were a couple of limpers in EP (wait, open limpers at live, low-stakes games?), and it got around to the HJ, who made it $25. The HJ was a young guy who hadn’t shown down a hand yet, and was either as card dead as I was, or was actually as nitty as Goofy’s reputation. I 3bet to $80 and it folded back around to the HJ, who very meekly said all in. I would guess it was around $50 or $60 more, so I’m obviously calling, but I asked for a count to see how much more I owed the pot. However, for some reason the dealer thought the HJ had just called, and dealt a King-high flop. Some confusion ensued, and I tell the kid that I certainly would’ve been calling his raise and that the only reason I didn’t snapcall was that I wanted a count. Goofy immediately backed me up, telling him that he 100% guaranteed that I was going to call. Eventually it was all sorted out and my AK held against what was his QQ. Even though it was basically a race that I won, I still felt terrible about how it went down. I could definitely see how he could feel I was angling, but it obviously was not my intention. I apologized profusely, and he reloaded.

I finished the session up a whopping $10, which probably didn’t even cover the gas I used to make the drive. However, Goofy finished -$5, so I made sure to let him know I had clearly dominated him.

The next night Goofy and I drove into San Francisco to meet up with another friend, Snipe from 2p2. We didn’t actually get there until around 11, so Snipe had a few bars and quite a few drinks behind him. He’s a really cool guy, and is definitely someone that makes going out to bars/clubs a great time. Since Goofy drove and Snipe was already in the zone where you’re always smiling and laughing, I decided I owed it to myself and everyone else to play catch up. I proceeded to pound a few beers in fairly short order after hearing the bar didn’t have Stoli Blueberry. If you’ve never tried some I suggest you do. Mythology books fail to mention that ambrosia is actually Stoli Blueberry & Red Bull.

The bar we were at was really cool. The place had a total of at least 5 bars that I saw, and had a mix of everything. There was a section to chill and drink on the bottom floor, a dance floor that could have been in any decent club, and an upstairs that looked over the dance floor. However, the cherry on top was the roof bar, which gave very nice (if a bit foggy) views of the city. San Francisco is surprisingly temperate pretty much year round, and I was a bit chilly even in my pants and long sleeves, but fortunately the roof had heaters. We basically spent the entire night talking to a rotating group of hot girls, so it was obviously a good time. Snipe is a ladies man, and I would definitely hire him for a month of pimp-coaching if I actually had any money. The only bad part of the night was when the hottie working behind the bar decided I needed a Stella spilled all over me. I wasn’t pleased, but I also ensured that Snipe, Goofy, and I drank for free for the rest of the night, so no big deal.

The rest of my trip was mostly just relaxing. I checked out an outdoor jazz concert that was really chill. I also went down to Gilroy to check out the Garlic Festival with my mom, which was awesome because I love garlic, and food in general. The festival is absolutely massive, and extremely well-run. It’s basically half tents filled with people selling garlic everything (french fries, chicken, tacos, even ice cream), and half artisans from around the West Coast selling their wares. While this isn’t exactly my scene, some of the artisans have interesting and creative stuff, and we sampled food from at least 4 different places over the course of the day. While my mom was visiting some friends who she knew from working for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society at the festival, I ended up joining the National Marrow Donor Program Registry, which is a an outstanding organization that matches up people who need bone marrow transplants with willing donors. It’s really cool when you think that you have the potential to save someone’s life with a very simple procedure (in 70% of cases, they’re able to get the marrow that they need solely from your blood, so it’s very non-invasive). For anybody who would like more information on this noble cause, please visit

Getting back to the poker, I’ve been trying to get back into the swing of things online, but it’s hard to do. It’s like when you get into a solid routine of going to the gym, then stop for a while. You can’t just pick up and get back into your rhythm right away. The past week has been spent pretty much playing breakeven or dropping a few BI’s poker. Not exactly the best motivation to get back into full swing, but I’ll get there eventually.

I’m heading down to the Jersey Shore (Wildwood) this weekend for my buddy’s beach house for a week, which should pretty much be non stop waves, pizza, and beer. I’m really looking forward to it, especially since it’s only like a 30 minute drive from AC. Hopefully I’ll be coming back with a nice tan, plenty of girl’s numbers, and a sick TR. After that, I may or may not head up to Turning Stone for a few tournaments in their Empire State Hold’em Championships.

Last but not least, I’d also like to give a huge congratulations to my buddy Thac who was finally picked up by DeucesCracked. I know it's clichéd, but it really couldn’t have happened to a nicer or more deserving guy. After watching him play and listening to how he thinks about the game, it’s hard not to be impressed. I think what put him over the hump however were his videos that he posted on 2p2, one about low stakes play, and the other about 3bet pots. His first DC video should probably be up and running on the site within a month, and I would expect his coaching schedule to get even more jam-packed. If you’re in the market for a solid coach or an excellent video training site, check out Deuces Cracked. That’s all the news that’s fit to print, so until next time, take it easy.

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