Waterskiing and Poker

6/16/2005

Wednesday Night, Poker Night!

Last night at our weekly poker tournament started out well. Even after several Coor’s Light in the 90 degree heat of the garage, which gradually went down to 83, I exercised great patience in waiting for a hand. First hand I became involved in I had an open straight draw with KJo. Rainbow flop, and turn helped to alleviate the worry of a flush. Turn brought a Q, river brought the A, so I now had the nut straight. Brother-in-law made a large bet into me, and I said “all-in”, thinking that we may be splitting the pot. Well, brother in-law didn’t slow down to really look at the board and think about what I may have and called me with his top two pair, Aces and Queens. Showed my nut straight and more than doubled up, and knocked the brother-in-law out of the tournament. I say more than doubled up since we had a couple players that called pre-flop, flop, and turn bets before folding.

I continued to play well and finally got down to the final 3 with a healthy chip stack. Then the stupidity sets in and I loose a large percentage of my stack at an ill-timed bluff. Still healthy in chips but not as healthy as before. But a few hands later I had to outdo myself and bluffed all-in, and therefore all-out of the tournament at the wrong time. Patience #1 Grasshopper….Patience! I need to keep reciting this over, and over, and over.

Well, after I got knocked out in 3rd, I immediately went inside and jumped on Party for a quick game. I kept reciting the “patience” mantra while playing and did an excellent job of it. Played a $10 SNG single table tournament. The first hand I get involved in after folding for quite a while, I double up and take a player out. Details are kinda fuzzy on the hand at this point since many beers had been consumed by this time, but I made a K high flush by the turn to beat other players flopped 2 pair. The next hand I get involved in I had JcJd, with a flop of Js3d2d. I don’t want to let anyone draw to the flush for cheap and by the time betting was complete, one player with a smaller stack than mine was all-in, and the other folded. I called the all-in, having started with T$1690, and only having to pay T$570 when all the betting was complete. Turn was a Qh, and river was 5h. For a board of Js3d2dQh5h, no flushes possible. So what does the all-in genius have, why Ad 4s of course, for the 4-out suckout straight-draw. Oh well, I’ve been sucked out on before and I’m sure this won’t be the last time, that’s poker. I guess he also thought his Ace was an out if he flopped one, but nope, I had that angle covered unless he went runner runner.

I played the rest of the game pretty damn smart for a drunk and ended up taking second. Would write a little more about it but work beckons.
Good luck at the tables.

6/09/2005

Bloggers rule in Vegas!

After reading several of the blogs about the meeting in Vegas I became quite jealous that I did not attend. Hopefully the wifey and I will be able to make it to the next one, as I am 100% sure there will be a next one. I feel I need to start blogging again to be a “credible” blogger at the next get together. I know I don’t have any readers anymore (which means I lost one person, two max), but hopefully I can get regular with this blogging thing.

Haven’t blogged in a while since I was in quite the poker slump. I know, I know, “variance”. Well let me tell you variance is a true bitch, sometimes a bigger bitch than the Hilton Sisters can be. It’s not that I was losing a monumental amount of money, more just like letting it slowly bleed away in small doses. The biggest problem was I felt that no matter what I did I couldn’t win. I also noticed when the bankroll was low, I would play tooooo timid, not push the small edges, and definitely never bet enough to push someone off of their weak draw, which they always seemed to hit on the river.

Things are definitely turning around. I won a couple weeks ago in the “Jerry the Neighbor Guy Weekly Wednesday Tournament.” Our weekly tournament usually has anywhere from 8-15 people for a $20 buy-in. Winner take all, but usually a deal is struck and second may get his buy-in or twice his buy-in back.

The wifey and I took a little trip to a card room in Ebro, Florida. The nicest card room I have been in, but that’s not saying a lot since I haven’t been in a lot of card rooms. A friend whom has been in tons of card rooms agrees with my assessment though. They only have $1-2 limit hold-em due to Florida law, and it not being an Indian casino. These games can be quite loose. The wifey and I lost quite a bit the first time we went there, the next time not as much, and the third we more than doubled our money. It helped to read Small Stakes Hold’em. The downside of that cardroom is that you have to pay for your drinks, unlike Biloxi and Gulfport. I was quite happy with the third trip…buying drinks all night with the chips in front of you, and then cashing out for more than double your buy-in is quite satisfying.

Last Tuesday I went with a friend to Ebro again. Wifey couldn’t make it ie. No babysitter. We started playing at 4pm, played a 120 person tournament at 6:30pm and got knocked out within seconds of each other, and finally ended up at a table with a true maniac. He would cap it every round if possible with any two cards. He would bet, and everyone was so intent on trying to bust him they kept calling or raising. He went from one rack plus, with about $100 +/- dollars to about $380 in very short order. After a while I was down about $200 for the night, this being at about 10 p.m. which truly sucked. I had one more C-note in my pocket and almost didn’t tap into it when I went to the felt. Well, I got $40 more dollars in chips and waited for my shots. I didn’t just sit there and fold, fold, fold, waiting for premium starting hands. Helllll NO. They were getting cracked too often. The cards I played most were connected, and not necessarily suited when I had position. It was expensive to see the flop, $8, but if you hit it would be a monster since anywhere from 4-8 people would be along for the ride. It was truly insane, and if Maniac had any piece of the board or any draw, and I do mean any draw, he would raise it. Well it didn’t take long on this crazy table to make back my money for the night. I ended up taking quite a bit of the Maniacs money to end up almost even for the entire day. My friend took a chunk of money from the Maniac too. One old-timer sitting at the table to my left was totally steaming. No matter what he had, the maniac would draw out on him. I kinda felt sorry for him as many times as he bought in. I even took some of his money when he made the wheel on the flop and I caught higher straight on the turn. Can you say “re-buy”?

The long and short of it, playing at several different tables that day, and ending up at the maniac table last, really sunk home some key points in Small Stakes Hold’em (SSH). I felt like I made improvements by leaps and bounds in my post flop play with the maniac at the table. And utilized the “raise, raise, raise” with your strong hands and really strong draws. You do lose some when you miss, but by God, the pots were huge when you hit, which more than make up for the misses. When you do into some of the draws knowing you are going to hit “X” percent of the time it is easier to take when you do miss.

TELLS. I have really started to pick up and catch some tells on people. At the same time, the friend above whom has played in many large tournaments and placed in several, has basically been a coach for me. I have gotten a lot better at picking up some tells. Of course I have read Caro’s book and seen the video, but it has helped me to discuss them with someone else. He also watches me close to see if I am giving anything away. During the tournament he was completely surprised by the strength of my hands when we had to turn them over. Basically, I hadn’t given him any tells at all, and he even leaned over to the dealer and said “Look at my buddy trying to bluff at this pot.”
Boy, that’s a confidence boost when an experienced tournament player can’t pick up a tell on you. When I first met him, and found out we were darn near neighbors, I was giving him all kind of tells. When he started coaching me, the tells went away. He told me what tells he was catching on me, and of course I fixed them post haste.

Well, figure it’s time to go read a few more blogs, just to kill work productivity one post at a time.

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