Waterskiing and Poker

3/30/2004

Out of the water and up on the bank.

I may have turned the corner! Emphasis on "may". Last night played in a couple tournaments (5+1) and got 1st and 2nd. I think the main reason is that I have finally followed my own advice: "Patience #1 grasshopper....PATIENCE!" I have made a valient effort to stop trying to make a hand out of nothing, stop chasing so much, especially when the pot-odds are not that strong in my favor. This has helped out immensely. I know what the good pre-flop starting hands are and am working on patiently waiting for them. Sometimes it's difficult to do as my hand involuntarily bets on hands I shouldn't even consider playing, so now I have a ruler on the desk next to my computer to smack the shit out of my disobedient hand when neccessary. Seems to be helping.

Played in a NL super-weekday qualifier last night, close to 500 players entered, busted out on an amazing hand. Had pocket 3's, called big blind. Flop came either 4,3,7 rainbow, (if I recall correctly) giving me the (weak) set. I didn't have a lot of chips left so all-in I go, and several other players were now in the pot too. Would have been a huge pot to take down. Well, was in the lead after the flop even with all the other players in. Then come turn and river 5 and 6, so now I have the straight. Another player also had the straight, which would have been fine with me to split the huge pot at that point (well at least my portion of the main pot since I didn't have enough chips to cover side pots). Well, player next to me had pocket 8's giving him the larger straight, taking down the whole pot and knocking 2 people out at once, myself included. Oh well, there comes a time when you just have to go all-in and gamble a little, unfortunately this time didn't pay off for me. It was awesome to watch though.

Best news, I ended up the night with more money in my account than I started with. It has been a long time since I have done this. Like I said in the beginning, maybe I have turned the corner.

3/29/2004

Success-Failure and Going out on the Bubble.

Well I have had my greatest "near success." Sunday I played in a $10+1 multi-table buy in to qualify for a Million Dollar Tournament on PartyPoker. 289 people entered. Early on I was in big trouble, down from starting TC1000 (tournament chips) to 205. Decided to be patient, patient, and more patient #1 grasshopper. Finally, since blinds were still low and I didn't get blinded out I was able to pick up a good hand and triple-up. More patience and did it again. Finally started to get a respectable stack as I watched the status board and kept seeing others get knocked out. Somewhere around 3-1/2 hours later we are down to 2 tables and miraculously I am still in. Had about TC35,000 at one time but a couple bad bets and I lost a lot of chips. Then lo-and-behold, I make it to the final table.

Pay-out schedule for the tournament:
1-4 Bought into the Million Dollar Tournament
5-7 Leftover money from entries split. ( Believe that 7th got $66, just going from memory)

Players #10, and 9 both get knocked out. Myself and another player keep swapping places on the lowest chip count. Was able to win a hand or 2, thanks to a nice river. Finally get Ad,Kd, and go all in pre-flop as I didn't have a large chip stack. One person calls me, he had a large stack and chips to burn. Other person has JX (don't recall what other "X" card was but it wasn't suited and he didn't have a pair). Well, Flop, Turn, and River yielded no A or K but did give up a J. So I am out! On the bubble, 8th place, losing to a pair of Jacks. No money, no million dollar buy-in, nothing but a huge adrenaline rush to crash off of.

So out of 289 players I was quite happy with getting 8th, though not as happy if I had placed 4th or better. I AM getting better.

There's always next time........................

3/27/2004

Once again: the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. Wife wasn't home yet when I got home from work so immediately jumped on Party for a SnG (5+1) and a .5/1 table at the same time. Had spent most of the day at work reading articles/instruction written by Bob Ciaffone and saw some holes in my game that needed plugging, mainly not being aggressive enough when neccessary. Well, both tables went great, ended up $23 up on the .5/1 table and 2nd in the SnG. Didn't get first in the SnG because I simply gave up, wife was home with the baby and needed some relief, so yes, outside distractions do have an affect on your game. Final hand was something like T3o, went all in (still having plenty of chips to hang around and play tough had I not had other things to do), and lose to JJ on the board, other player had an A kicker. Enjoyed it immensely and was glad to finally be back in the final 3 again after a long drought at SnG's.

Didn't play for a few hours and when I finally got to play again, after the baby went to bed, was doing fine. Then guess what...baby decides it is not time to stay in bed and gets up. Here we go with distractions again. Hard to play with a baby in your lap needing attention, so here comes the bad. Out early in another SnG and losing at the .5/1 table.

Later, baby back in bed, sign up for a multi-tournament for entirely too much money. Realize it is a limit tourny after it starts, probably didn't catch this fact while registering due to a couple C-Lights and a Guinness. (Speaking of IGGY and Guinness, he hasn't posted since Wednesday, what's up? Oh well, I have done ok in these before so I continue on. Well damnit, baby gets out of bed again, here we go with distractions again. Now I also start to realize I am more tired than I initially thought when I registered for the tournament. Beer+Baby+Tired=Not Good. So what's a guy to do, keep betting on one hand until you have no chips left. Either you're going to double up or be out of the tournament, the outcome of the hand will definitely influence your attitude about the game and dedication to play properly. Don't remember if I had the AA or the KK, but one of them was on the board and one of them was in my hand. Other person kept betting so I did to. Well, my two pair, AAKK easily lost to the other players boat since he was holding one or the other (A or K). Had I not had the Beer+Baby+Tired=Not Good equation in effect I would not have kept betting and would have not went out of the tournament #422 out of 427. Had the other player been bluffing everything would have changed, but I knew I was beat and didn't really care.

So with all that being said we now arrive at (what I hope to start doing on every post) the lesson for the day.
Lesson: When the Beer+Baby+Tired=Not Good equation is in effect, log off and quit, don't waste your time and money. Wait til you are in better shape to play.

Aces, Kings, and especially Queens for all my men!
Michael

3/25/2004

Last evening was good and bad. Played a little on line before going to the next door neighbor's weekly tournament, winner takes all, $20/person entry. Was up enough ($18) to almost cover my entry fee for the tournament, even though Party still had the $18 in my account, where it will stay until it makes me more, or I lose it all. Well, lost a majority of my chips on one of the few hands I played. I had A high flush made, board 8 2 X, making the flush, (forgot what card the X was but my flush was made). Serious betting, end up heads up with one guy who is notorious for throwing chips around and betting wild. Felt strong with my hand even with turn being a 2, did not put him on a boat as he didn't push all-in, just made another bet. I called, river comes up an 8. Uh-oh. Well, guess what he had in his hand, 8 2. He had the boat going both ways so my "nut flush" gets spanked by the boat. Oh well....So down a lot of chips I tighten up considerably. Everyone else was playing pretty tight as well, which is unusual for this table. I attribute a lot of it to the fact we have been doing this tournament for several, possibly 6 or more months now, and everyone is getting better...which is both good and bad, depending on how you look at it. Also, everyone at the table has started to play on-line and improving their game that way also. I like the fact that we are all getting better, makes it a bigger challenge, not as many suck-outs, and still a blast to sit with the buds, drink a beer and play poker. I could see the game was going to last for quite a while and decided to risk it with a pocket pair, go all in, and either double up my short stack or be out. Since I was doing well on Party prior to the tournament I was little anxious to get back to it. A little too anxious as it turns out. My pair was beat by a set and I was out. So off to Party I go.

Was doing well in ring games .5/1 and sucking the hind titty on 5+1 tournaments. The same malady that bit my ass in the neighbors tournament stung again on Party. I can be so stupid, pig-headed, and did I say stupid. Didn't do well in any or the tournaments, so finally bailed out and stuck with the ring games. Was down a little money because of the tourney's but made it up in the ring games.

One tournament had (Ad,Ah), called the 135 bet prior to the flop, 4 people still in the game prior to flop. Flop comes Td, Tc, 9c, one player folds, the other 3 including myself are in for 150 bet. Turn Kh, I check because the warning bells and whistles are going off in my head, one person goes all-in, and miraculously my hand didn't hear all the warning bells and whistles and called the all-in, damn that hand! My two pair (AATT) get spanked by the boat, Kings full of Tens. Yep, the all in had pocket Kings. So, I'm out of this tournament in 9th place...boy do I suck, or is it just stupidity. I believe it to be the latter on occassion.

In attempt to stop my ass from getting spanked for stupid moves, which I deserve to teach me a lesson, I am going to put a sign/post-it note above the screen which will say "Patience #1 grasshopper, Patience!" At the bottom of the screen will be another saying "FOLDING is always an option, use it!"

With these little reminders, hopefully the stupidity won't reign supreme in these small tournaments. They still cost me money and my ass is getting a little sore from the much un-wanted, but deserved, spankings I have been getting.

If you have stumbled across this blog without checking out IGGY's he has a huge new post. I can't imagine anyone coming here first, unless they like stories of the less fortunate, stupid plays I have been making. But hey, it's all about learning and getting better, and I definitely haven't had to mortgage the house yet to keep playing, and I never will.

3/23/2004

Friday night entered a satellite for entry into $200K tournament on Party. Never really had a huge stack but stayed in the game. 1-13th place won you a ticket to the $200K tournament. I was getting short stacked and waiting for something to go all-in with. Well here it came, KK. Push all-in. Board comes up with no other K or A. Only thing that can beat me is pocket AA. Well, person next to me had AA and I bust out at number 19, six away from winning the $200+15 entry into the bigger tournament. Oh well, was the best multi-table tournament placing I have had yet. Tournament started with 310+ people, don't remember exactly since I'm not at home while writing this. Watched the next had after I busted out and of course the Kings I needed showed up on the board, so much for timing.

With the adrenaline from the tournament, continued to play poker ALL NIGHT once again. At one time was up $75 on the .5/1 tables, was doing well standing on the bank with the rest of the fishermen, but a snake jumped up, bit me, I slipped on some mud, fell right back into the water with the rest of the fish, and slowly but surely gave all of my winnings back, ending up down $25.

Spent the rest of the weekend at the lake with no internet connection, fortunately brought along our poker table and chips. Got a family game going. One player, brother-in-laws fiance, kept on catching sets. It seemed no matter what I had she would beat me with a set. Well patience, my wife going to bed and giving me her chips, and with pocket Q's I went all-in when the board flopped nothing. The "set queen's" luck had run out, she called me and I ended up the night +$40. Lucky me.

Home from the lake and on-line again won the first $5+1 SnG I played on Monday night. Stupid moves and bad calls in other games cost me though, so back with the schooling fish I go.

3/19/2004

Well, as IGGY so eloquently speaks of the "Catch and Release Program" for fish, I am FINALLY proud to say I was not a fish last night. Actually quit while I was ahead and didn't stay up all night. Therefore I'm not suffering from "desk-cranial-impactitis" (falling asleep at work and banging your head on the desk). Played on a couple .5/1 tables last night, after a slow start and going down about $13, I corrected the recto-cranial-inversion problem I was having and pulled my head out of my ass, tightened up, and started winning. See previous post about patience, and another thanks goes to IGGY as he instructed me in an email to be patient, wait for the hand, then pounce. Advice heeded, and if I can continue to execute like I'm supposed to I would definitely love to drink a pint (or 4, or 6, or whatever) of GUINNESS with you. I love GUINNESS too but stick mostly to Coor's Light, cost issue mainly.

Interesting article IGGY points out:

NY Times

Check it out.


Best and Worst. Had some excellent hands last night. In a $5+1 SnG I had pocket 10's (Td, Tc) one time, flop came up (Ac, 2c, Th), so I flopped a set. Four of us left checked around. Turn-(As), so now I have the boat, 10's full of aces. I bet 30, get one caller, the others fold. River-(3c). Board now looks like this-( Ac 2c Th As 3c) So now there is a flush possibility on the board also. Well I've got any flush beat (of course), but have to worry the boat with Aces full of something else (2's or 3's), which woulda spanked me. I decided to go all in as I didn't think the caller had Aces unless he was really slow-playing it, which of course worried the hell out of me. He calls with the flush, ace high, king kicker, the nut flush but beaten by the boat. So caller was knocked out of the SnG tournament. Unfortunately, I didn't go on to place in the top 3 of this SnG, squandered my money and busted out later. Of course after that I can hear the voices in my head "Patience #1 grasshopper, patience!" Oh well.

On the .5/1 tables I had another kick ass boat, Kings full with no aces on the board. Fortunately it was a limit table and not a NL table, otherwise I would have lost a lot of money. That's right, busted by quads. Don't remember what the quads were since it doesn't really matter. A little while later I ended up with QUAD ACES, unfortunately I wasn't able to make a lot of money off that hand since the aces on the board scared everyone and caused the betting and raising to a screeching halt. Oh well, once again.

Hopefully the slow ascent from the depths of the Marianas Trench (36,000 feet deep by the way) has begun and will be on the plus side of the money. Fortunately, I didn't go to the bottom of the Trench, just a little ways down. This fish is definitely learning how to swim better, hopefully I will be joining the rest of you fishermen on the bank shortly to help out with the "catch and release program."

Good cards to all!
Michael


3/17/2004

Advice heeded IGGY , I'll try to stick mostly to poker. Last post was a way for me to vent about our dog, made me feel better anyway. So on to poker.

Sat down in a .5/1 game last night at Party and was up $24 within about 12 minutes due to some great cards. This was my first venture away from the single table tournaments (5+1) and super-qualifiers(9+1). Had a couple flushes and straights that held up. Then the well dried up and I called to many hands, saw a school swimming by and unintentionally joined the fish, finally bailed out $13 down since I needed to get some sleep...therefore avoiding the "napping at the desk syndrome" at work the next day. Analyzing my play from the 2 SnGs I played I find that I need patience, patience, patience, and more patience. I can coach/preach "Patience #1 grasshopper" quite well, but like college football (or any sport for that matter) the coach is not the best player on the field. So, if I would listen to myself and heed my own I'm sure I will do better in the long run. In the mean time I plan to continue reading and studying to get better.

I am also going to heed the advice of IGGY once again and load Poker Tracker tonight. Why I haven't done this yet I do not know. Fear of unknown? Possibly. Being stupid? Most likely (The only smart thing I have done is not getting on more expensive tables). Enjoy being a fish? No, not at all. I do know that I am tired of all the swimming, I'm getting waterlogged, and it's time to get out of the water and be the fisherman.

3/16/2004

Well, last night wasn't the greatest for me in playing poker. 0-4 in SnG's, fortunately the cheapest tables on PartyPoker. Seems the flushes were out to get me last night. Had top two pair, went all in before the turn since I was short stacked and only had one caller left at that point. He called me and of course the turn and the river gave him the flush and I was out. Impatience on my part? Maybe a little. Should have played it different? Hind sight is 20/20 (or 50/50 according to an actual quote from a blonde friend of a friend) but I don't think I would play it any different next time, could have hit a the boat and I would be the lucky one. Other player got lucky on the turn and river, and I have been the "lucky" player before. The other time I lost to a flush was just a dumb-ass call I made, not being patient, folding and waiting to see another hand later. Hopefully the God of Luck and God of Patience will smile favorably on me when I play tonight so I can make up for my losses.

Someone recently posted a question on www.wptfan.com something like "Is anyone else consumed by poker and not getting the sleep they should?" Well, I for one am one of those people. I have played all night 3 times in the last week and a half. Two of those nights I had to work the next day. I was fine until I got to work and then the adrenaline dropped off and I was napping at my desk on a regular basis. Not really a good thing! So, I must impose some limits on playing when I have to work the next day. That being said, if I go on a big winning streak I'm sure I will show up at work the next day without going to bed again.

Home Front News:
What kind of a (insert your own string of 15-20 derogatory explicatives here) walks into your front yard and shoots your 8 lb. Poodle/chihuhua mix dog that is 14 years old, half-blind, hard of hearing beloved family pet that would lose a fight with a blade of grass in a strong wind? He wasn't shot from the street as the bullet (or pellet) went straight thru his back and out his stomach. He was halfway between the house and the road when he was shot, therefore the killer had to walk onto my property to commit this horrible crime. He was so old he didn't bark except to come back into the house and only went outside for 10-20 minutes at a time to go the bathroom. Someone is very lucky that I hadn't walked out of the house when they did this! We have a suspect in mind but pinning it on him will be difficult, if not impossible, but wierder things have happened. What worries me is that all the shows on serial killers state that almost every one of them started out by getting their thrills killing small animals. So now I have to worry, do I have a future serial killer in the neighborhood? As for the neighborhood: it's a brand new subdivision 1/3 complete, all new houses and quiet (until this incident). This has devastated my wife since she has had him for 14 years, and tore me up pretty well too. This also helps account for not sleeping well at night, fortunately I can play poker to get my mind off him a little.

Skiing News:
Went skiing last Saturday on Lake Seminole, in Georgia. Water was a little cool when I first got in but got used to it quite quickly. Barefoot suit also helped keep me a little warm. Didn't try to get fancy, just get back on the water and wake up the "barefooting muscles" that haven't been used all winter. Frontwards, one-foots, and a few backwards runs. Didn't push it so I didn't have any bad crashes, which makes it easier to move around the next day since your neck isn't stiff from crashing.
Check out a sight one of our skiing friends (Teresa) put together. I am the one with "Michael" in the pix. (NOT "Mike", Mike is the other guy.) Check it out at www.headpackers.com

Luck to all. Michael

3/15/2004

Creating a new blog to talk mainly about poker and a little about skiing. Mostly barefoot waterskiing which is what I do the most of. Bitten by the poker bug and really enjoy playing it. I feel like I am one of the fish right now that are talked about on other sites, therefore IGGY should love me already. Inspiration to start my own blog comes from IGGY and Lion Tales. They are both links from www.wptfan.com so go check them out if you haven't already. Well, more to follow as the trials and tribulations of poker and barefooting occur. Best of luck to all.

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