Sunday, November 05, 2006

Money on Midnight Ukulele disco

This is a great ukulele song.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Cops bust North Denver poker club

Bad boys, bad boys what you going to do...

From the RockyMountain News:

The Denver Police Department arrested 36 people Tuesday night in a suspected illegal gambling shack.

SWAT teams and agents busted the Matterhorn Social Club located at 3918 Tennyson Street at about 10:30 p.m., said Sonny Jackson, spokesman for Denver police. Authorities found a large amount of cocaine, a minor and $10,000 in cash in the club, said Jackson. The suspects were playing poker.
I can understand playing poker but you lost me on the cocaine. The cops probably would not have busted the place if there was no cocaine. I'm sure they'll go lightly on the gambling charges and go harder on whomever organized the games and the drug charges.

Gambling in Colorado

IMHO, The Gambling laws in colorado are too restrictive especially for card games. You can play limit ring poker up to $2-5 at the historical mining towns in the mountains (cripple creek, black hawk, and central city) and they have no-limit tournaments but you can't play no limit cash games. So poker is treated the same as a slot machine or no spread table games.

I'm convinced the casinos like it like this was because they can make more money and take a higher percentage of the rake/pot in a limit game than they can justify in a no-limit game. So the casino's have no incentive to change this rule. There have been some initiatives in the last few years to bring indian casinos to the front range and I'm all for it if they have no-limit and higher limit cash games. But I would especially like to see card rooms legalised in Colorado. I think a card room would be great especially in a location like Lodo or Commerce city. You could still have the slots up in the mining towns, but have card rooms else where.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Bankroll update 8/28

Taking a Break, slowly growing

My bankroll has increased a little, I've taken a break from poker for a few weeks, while I was on vacation and started a new assignment at work. In terms of poker, I've just concentrated on playing patiently and waiting for things to happen. I also started playing some sit-n-go's on FTP to get some Satellite tokens. I want to build my $26 tokens to about 10-20 and then attempt ot get some $75 tokens.

I also played some live $1-2 NL in Niagara Falls NY. I played well when I limited my game to a few hours. I was so happy to play NL live and I can't wait to go back.

Funny clip from GSN's High Stakes Poker.

Current bank roll
Full Tilt Poker: $549.15 + 3/$26 satellite token
Pokerstars: $117.44
PartyPoker: $0.00
Live: $100.00

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Bank roll update 7/11/2006: Tilty


I've been playing very tilty lately, I was up to almost $600 on Full Tilt Poker and I was feeling very confident in myself. I then hit a very bad spot. I was bluffing too much, not playing to the near nuts, and none of my nut draws have been hitting. I checked my poker tracker stats and it indicates that I'm Tight-Aggressive/Aggressive (TAA). I'm thinking that I may be too aggressive post-flop and not waiting for the cards to hit well. I'm going to tighten up a bit and play the $0.10/$0.25 games on FTP, until I can recover my bankroll up to $400 before I can try the $0.25/$0.50 games.

I'm at a state where I look down and see AA's or KK's, and I say, "Well, how much am I going to lose this time?" The most important thing I think is to play as correctly as I can, and not get too passive.

So my goals are to:
1) Play correctly.
2) Play small pot poker with small cards
3) Play big pots when you have the near nuts.
4) Draw to the nuts when you have the correct pot-odds.
5) Don't play fearful, call when you have the odds pre-flop to big raises.
6) Folding to a raise is a small mistake.

Current bank roll
Full Tilt Poker: $367.45 + 1/$26 satellite token
Pokerstars: $117.44
PartyPoker: $0.00
Live: $150.00

Monday, June 19, 2006

Bank Roll Update 6/19: Scared Money.

I had a pretty good run the last week on Full Tilt Poker, I ran it up to $600. I'm pretty happy with the results and I feel pretty comfortable on the 0.25/0.50 NLHE tables and sometimes I take a shot on the 0.50/1.00 NLHE tables. FTP updated their software to create a custom listing of tables and I choose to display at a minimum the 0.25/0.50 NLHE and up to 1/2 NLHE games.

Scared Money
I went up to Black Hawk this saturday night and I played at the Gilpin casino. I went up to play a C-note ($100 buyin/$100 rebuy) tournament at 7PM. I got there a few hours before hand so i played a 2-5 limit hold'em game. I was up $40 in that game after 1.5 hour of playing but I made some big mistakes.

I was gathering up my chips and I looked down to see pocket 77's, I called the $2 raise and then the $5 re-raise. There were 4-5 callers, so I had the correct odds to call. The flop came 45K and I bet out and I got re-raised so I folded and left the table. I should have either folded pre-flop or not raised after the flop. It was a dumb mistake that costed me $10.

C-Note Tournament.

I did okay in the tournament, I wasn't getting any cards so I had to let go some good calling hands pre-flop to a re-raise. I let go KQs in UTC after a re-raise and some other games. I called a all-in with another caller with QTs in the BB because it was only 2BB's to call. I hit a Q on the flop check check and a K hit on the river. The all in tripled up with a pair of Kings. The table was pretty loose aggressive, so I was looking for spots to put some pressure on other people, so I wouldn't get pushed around. I called from the Blind with A8d, The flop came two diamonds, I check raise all in and got a pretty aggressive player to fold. My last hand, some guy in middle position who was very loose aggressive raise 3-4 BB, I knew he was weak and probably just had an Ace or small part and just wanted to pick up the blinds. I went all in with AJs, when he thought about it for a while, i knew I had him and he called with A4s. He sucked out with an 4 on the turn and I was out.


I went back to the limit hold'em table and the game was very loose. Money was just being poured on the table and I wasn't picking up anything. It's more easy to play a tight aggressive style in NLHE, because you can pick up 20-30BB in a pot if you wait for good cards. I didn't open up my game and I was lost. I need to revisit SSHE some time and review how to beat this game.

The main thing is I was 'scared money' I was putting up 30-40% of my live bankroll on the table and I wasn't willing to gamble it all. When you have 5-10% of your bankroll on the table, the risks are smaller. I really want to bet that game up there, but I have a lot of work and reading to do to do that.

Current bank roll
Full Tilt Poker: $601.90 + 1/$26 satellite token
Pokerstars: $117.44

Live: $150.00

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Bank Roll Update: 6/15

Super, Thanks for asking.. - Big Gay Al, South Park

My Bank Roll has improved, I've been playing .25/.50 NLHE on FTP and I feel pretty comfortable at that level. On PokerStars, I took a bit of a hit and I'm back down to .05/.10 NLHE. You have to play a bit different on Pokerstars versus FTP. There are four times the players on Pokerstars than Full Tilt Poker, so you have to expect the variance in players to be different as well.

The New York Times published an article in it's Sunday Magazine entitled The Hold-'Em Holdup. Their whole magazine was about debt and this article was about how college kids are playing high stakes poker with borrowed money instead of attending classes. There was even a honor roll kid who stuck up a bank to get some money to paid for his gambling debts. The same can be said for those cheap credit card offer every student receives. I'm sure there are cases of sophomore shopaholics who have done the similar things.

Debt is a big problem in this country, whether it be from the Federal Government's huge deficit to retail 'Check into Cash' stores. American's love their debt.

Poker really should be called Patience.
- Mike 'the Mouth' Matusow on The Circuit.

I think of this as an opportunity. Money and Time Management should be part of any college education . I propose a Poker 101 class for all beginning poker players. The first few sessions would not even talk about the cards.

The first lesson would be about the self-psychology of poker. The importance of Discipline and Patience to your game. The extreme highs and lows of gambling. Going on Tilt. Walking away when you are bested. Knowing when you are addicted and programs like Gambler's Anonymous.

The second lesson would be about Expected Value. You have to expect to lose. The game is about making the correct decisions, even though you might lose that hand. The Fundamental Theory of Poker, making more correct decisions than your opponent.

The third lesson would be about Bank Roll management. Keep your normal money separate from your bank roll. Never risk more than 5% of your bankroll. Never put all your bank roll on the table. Build slowly.

After this base is established, then you can start teaching about the fact that there are cards involved in some way in poker.

Current bank roll
Full Tilt Poker: $473.65 + 1/$26 satellite token
Pokerstars: $103.19

Live: $300.00

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Bank roll update 6/1: Tighten Up

We're gonna tighten up. Let's do the tighten up.
You can do it now. So baby get to it.
- Tighten Up, Archie Bell and the Drells

Tighten It Up by Archie Drell and The Drells is such a great song. Most people have heard this song covered in the Titan auto insurance commercial as 'Titan Up'. This original song was recorded in Houston in 1973. If you like early 1970's soul and r&b jammin' music, this is it.

This is what I have been doing in my poker play. Tighting up my game and trying to make it mellow. My bank roll has been getting healthy since as well.

So tighten up.

Current bankroll
Full Tilt Poker: $283.55 + 1/$26 satellite token
Pokerstars: $178.44

Live: $300.00

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Denver Poker Tour: Oriental Theater 5/30

The Place
This week we played in the Oriental Theatre itself. The new owner replaced
the theater seating with box seats. Three of these box seats had a poker tables set up in it. The Oriental Theatre hosted three tables and the waiting list had about ten folks on it. I called before hand on the day of the tournament to put my name on the list. The game started at 7PM. As usual two smoking table and a tight non-smoking table.

My Play
I played for about three and a half hours and got out of there at about 10:30. I made it to the final table and was out at about 8th place. I played well during the first levels, but I didn't get any cards. The best hand I had was a pair of Ten's.

This hand got me thinking. I was in mid position and I raised three times the BB. The person on the button raised and the BB went all in. I call and the button called. The flop came JTx, I checked and the button went all in. The turn came X and the river came a K. The button turned over KK's and I lost. He was about a 10% chance to pick up one of those two kings. I was thinking about the hand, perhaps if I went all in on the flop, I could have forced the button (with KK's to fold), it's unlikely, but a show of strength could have forced him out.

The mistake I really made was that I waited until my stack became really short before attempting to make a move. By the time I went all in with 89o, my bet was really weak versus the blinds. I could have pick up a few blinds by raising a few times pre-flop.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Denver Poker Tour: Table Steaks East 5/28

The Place

Table Steaks East is located on South Parker Road just north of the I-225 exit. Look for the Taco Bell on the West side of South Parker Road.

The poker games are played on the patio. There were 5 tables with about 10 people on the waiting list this Sunday night. According to the recent DPT calendar, they play several times a week there including Friday night, Saturday afternoon and Monday night. I've played on the Friday night games before and the Patio can be full of tables. They don't accept phone in sign ups, but the sign up sheet is available in person two hours before the starting time of the game.

My wife and I arrived there a little after 5pm. We played pool and hockey for a hour and half and had a good time drinking some beers. They have a good selection of beer. They have full size pool tables along with standard bar pool tables. They also have darts, some video games, air hockey, and various other bar games. They have a full kitchen and I've had the buffalo burgers there once.

My Play

There were 5 starting tables. I played pretty well and was able to put pressure on other players. I loosen up my game but when I hit the near nuts I was very aggressive and portrait a very tight aggressive image. I didn't get called when I had the near nuts. I hit a straight with a 3 flush on board, trips with a 3 flush on turn. I showed it once to show that I play the nuts, but never got called mid-way in the game.

The play started very aggressive and I just sat back and waited for them to beat up on each other.

I lasted for 3 hours and was up to about 1500 in chips. I made it to the 100/200 level. I had A2s and raised three times the blind to try to steal the blinds and the BB went all in. By his aggressive bet, I though he was weak so I called. He had KK, and I hit a Ace on the river, but he made a straight. One mistake I made is that I could have raised 2XBB and bailed when he reraised.

I didn't have any high pair (JJ, KK, QQ, AA) all night, but I was happy with my play.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Denver Poker Tour: Oriental Theatre 5/23

The Place

The Oriental Theater is located in Northwest Denver at 4335 W. 44th Ave near Tennyson. The Tennyson district is an up and coming neighborhood. There are lots of shops and new development along Tennyson. The Elitchs Gardens development site, which was an old amusement park is located at 38th and Tennyson. Elitchs moved downtown and that area was re-developed. This caused a lot of satellite development around that area. The Oriental is just one of the re-development projects in this area.

The Oriental started hosting Denver Poker Tour a few months ago and judging by the number of tables (3) and the number of people on the waiting list (11). It looks like it gaining popularity. The place has a small bar with beer and liquor. Usually the game is in the theater itself, but last night we played in the lobby. The Oriental theatre was hosting a Dylan Birthday Tribute for the Denver Public School Foundation Music programs. So we got the hear the sound check all night. The noise and the bands were not too bad.

Apparently when they host the poker tables in the theatre, they will play movies on the big screen. One night they played Rounders. They are considering hosting the regional DPT events at this theater. It's a good location and I'm considering making it my weekly game. I'm going to play there again to see what it's like to play inside the theatre.

My Play

Awful awful awful. Tight Passive. I think my cash game play leaked into my tourament play and I didn't play as many hands or raised when I should have. The table was very weak, and I was playing very tight and passive. I managed to play for 3 hours and get down to the final two tables, but I was just awful. I needed to open up my game and play more marginal hands (eg J7s, 9To) in late position when people were limping in. I also didn't see any pairs or aces all night.

Two hands I think I should have played better are:

I was in late position and woke up with J7s. I thought about it for a bit and folded. The flop game J73 and everyone just checked around to the river. I think a pair of nines won. I should opened my game especially early on to build my chip stack.

The final hand I played awfully. I was really disgusted with myself. It was late into the second to the final table and we were down to 6 players. The BB was down to 1/2 BB so she was all in. I was in MP and I had 44's. I limped in and the SB called. Right there I should have raised.

The flop came 237 with two spades and I bet out 2BB. The SB called. At this point I put him on either two over cards or he hit a two or three. He would have raised with the 7 and I think the spades scared him.

The turn was a blank and it was checked around.

The river came a spade and he fired at the pot, I didn't think he had the flush, but was trying to steal the pot. I reraised with my remaining chip (<1BB). He mentioned that I probably hit the flush. He turned over 23 with two pair and took down the pot.

My mistakes were that I should have raised to isolate preflop.. Even gone all in with the pair of fours, just to pick up the pot. The only calling hands for the SB would have been two overcards or a high pair. I was attempting to trap and got retraped. At that point just picking up the blind would have been a good option for me.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Bankroll Update 5/23/06: Taking a shot.

I've updated my basic bankroll strategy. I was getting sick of grinding it out on micro limits and I wasn't seeing any big movement in my bankroll. I knew that if I played like a rock, waited for cards, bluffed very rarely I could beat the higher low-limits games.

So this weekend I've adopted the following strategy. I would start on a low limit game with 40 BB. Once I've made a enough for the next level's minimum buy in, I would move up and take a shot at a higher limit.

On Full Tilt Poker, I started with a $4 buyin on the 0.05/0.10 NLHE. I played very patiently and was up to $16. I tried the next limit 0.10/0.25 NLHE with a buyin of $10 and quit when I was over $30. I eventually had enough for the $0.50/$1.00 NLHE on FTP with a buyin of $40 and I left this game ahead. I won my biggest online pot of over $40.

I really had fun with this strategy. I didn't quite succeed at Pokerstars, because I got drawn out(AQ vs AT flop AKx with a T on the river). But I'm sure I can increase my BR there. I especially like the fact that I can take a shot at the higher limits and still maintain my bankroll.

Current bankroll
Full Tilt Poker: $246.75 + 1/$26 satellite token
Pokerstars: $95.84

Live: $300.00

Poker Stars Blogger Tournament. June 18th, 2006 - 4:00pm EST / 1:00pm PST

Poker Tournament

I have registered to play in the PokerStars World Blogger Championship of Online Poker!

This Online Poker Tournament is a No Limit Texas Holdem event exclusive to Bloggers.

Registration code: 7330476

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Bankroll Update: April 16, 2006

My downturn continues. I haven't quite plateau out yet, but I'm really not bother. I haven't been tilting, but I have made several bad calls.


I was in the small blind with Q8s, It folded around to me and I raise 3xBB. The BB re-raised to 6xBB. I called

Flop: 8x2s5s

So I had top pair with a flush draw. I bet, and got reraised.

Turn: 7d

At this point I was getting 4 to 1 on my money and I went all in. I figured I had 15 outs ( 9 spades + 3 q's + 3 8's ). 32%

River came a blank.

Analysis: The reraise preflop by the bb indicated a strong hand and the reraise on the flop should have indicated a trip's or a overpair.

The reraise pre-flop indicated a big hand, if I didn't hit exactly on the flop. Since I was betting on the come, I should have checked and see what he did.

Micro-limits psychology

Sometimes when the stakes are really low, the money doesn't mean as much and you call just to see what the other person is playing. I've been trying higher limits like .10/.25 NLHE and playing Pot Limit Omaha Hi-Lo. It's more money that I'm risking so I play more scared. It's a game I'm not familiar with so I play more conservative.

Current bankroll

Full Tilt Poker: $132.95 + 1/$26 satellite token
Pokerstars: $113.91

Live: $300.00

Monday, May 08, 2006

April 8 Bankroll update

I played a bit online this weekend. Although it doesn't look like it from my bankroll I did pretty good. I'm getting my control back: I'm folding to re-raises, I'm not calling to see what the other player has, and I'm tightening my hand selection so I'm not playing every suited connector out of position.

I also did some multi-playing between NLHE and Pot Limit Omaha Hi-Lo on Full Tilt Poker. That was a lot of fun, I can see how people get into muli-tabling. I haven't read much on Omaha Hi-Lo, but I like playing it. Because I didn't know how to play omaha I had to tighten up a bit. In the Omaha Hi-Lo game, people were playing anything because they didn't know what hands were good and the player were just interested in seeing flops. I figure, I'm going to need the nuts to plays, so I waited for A2 or A3 suited, high pairs or connectors to cheaply see the flop for flushless straights.

My favorite hand of the night was when I started the hand with TTAQh in late position, I raised it to .30 and got four callers. The flop came:


I had the the nut straight with a full house draw but I didn't have the flush draw. I reraise the pot and got called. The other player also had the straight, but with the nut flush draw. The turn came the flush, but the river came the K which gave me a full house. That was cool. I need to figure out if I was ahead or behind. I sense I was ahead because he need the flush to win (9 outs) 32%, but half of those combinations would have given me the fullhouse.

Current bankroll
Full Tilt Poker: $141.30 + 1/$26 satellite token
Pokerstars: $119.28

Live: $300.00

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

April 2 2006 Bankroll Update: Plateau?

I've hoping I've plateaued out. This week, I've was down to $119 on Full Tilt Poker but I've managed to build it back up to $141.

On Pokerstars, I made it to 7th place in a $1.00 45 player sit and go. It wasn't a win, but psyche-ly, it was a big win for me. I have been playing awfully and I needed to prove that I'm not that bad. I was playing depressed and weak. This is really bad. you need to be strong and believe in your ability to play poker.

I made some good plays the last few days. I've stopped playing too loose. I've stopped playing every suited connector in early position. I've folded when I've been re-raised when I was weak. I've also called off bluffs correctly when I suspected the player was weak. I'm also thinking more about the hands and how they have played out before I play out.

Current bankroll
Full Tilt Poker: $141.90 + 1/$26 satellite token
Pokerstars: $119.28

Live: $300.00

Friday, April 28, 2006

Trip Report: Pocket Aces Poker League 4/27

Pocket Aces Poker League
AJ Gator's
Chesapeake Square, VA
April 27

I've been traveling for work, and so when I found out that there is a bar poker league around Norfolk, VA I jumped at a chance to try it.

The Structure

This game has a homemade feel. The game starts at 7pm and another one starts up as soon as the other finishes. You start with 1000 in chips and the blinds start at 25/0 and double every ten minutes. There is no dealer and each player takes turn being the dealer. The game is like being in a turbo sit and go, with some very slow players. Misdeals are common. There are prizes you can win like a trip to the WSOP or other stuff when you complete in the championships.

My Play

The blind structure of the game force you to play fast and loose. When it made sense by the pot odds to call, all of my nuts draws failed. When there were a flush or straigh draw on the board I folded the best hand a few times (2 pair vs top pair). There is no time to wait for the nuts and you just have to take a hand that hit (2 pair or better) and go for it.

It was fun, It was more of a poker outing then a sophiscated game. I like it because the folks are friendly and were all there to gamble with no money. I will go back if I'm in the area with some time.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

April 25, 2006: Bank roll update.

What can I say? I'm in the middle of a big down turn. Tilt is part of the problem, but I'm losing patience with myself and the cards. I started up PokerTracker to look at my stats and I'm rated as 'Semi-Loose Aggressive' which isn't as bad as I expected.

I had to tighten up my game a bit and improve my after flop play. I keep playing hoping that the cards will improve.

Current bankroll
FTP: $139.20 + 1/$26 satellite token
Pokerstars: $119.68

Live: $300.00

Thursday, April 20, 2006

DPT Trip Report: My worse hand ever

Denver Poker Tour
Junior's/Famous Door

The worse hand I've ever played.

I've been playing worse than Phil Hellmuth lately, I can't laid down anything. It was the first hand of the night.

Starting chips: 500, Blinds 5/10 (11 handed)
Preflop: Hero is MP with AA
UTG calls, MP calls, fold, fold, fold, Hero raises to 60, SB calls, BB calls, UTG calls, MP calls.
Flop: (pot: 300) J 3 4 (6 players)
SB checks, BB bets 75, UTG fold, MP folds, Hero raises to 200, SB folds, BB goes all in.
Hero calls.

BB turns over 44 and shows trips.
Hero has AA.
Turn and river fails to hit another AA .
Total pot: 1240

Mistakes I made

After this hand, I had to go for a walk to clear my head. I listened to the Circuit podcast from Cardplayer magazine. They had some discussion on how to play early in a tournament and to avoid big pots and to laid down when you don't have the nuts.

I think I made the following mistakes.
1) Preflop: Since the pot only had two players who can play anything, A raise of 40 could have force some folks out. The pot also would have just been 240. I wouldn't have felt so pot committed after the flop.
2) Flop: After the initial bet of 75. I could have raised all in and represented trip Jacks. This would have apply more pressure to my opponent. The 200 raise was weak.
3) Flop: I could have folded after the reraise all in, the player could have trip 3, 4, J or two pairs. It was early in the tourament and I could have shown the laydown. I would have been left with 200 in chips.

Mistake #3 was probably my best option. I've recovered from worse deficits in this tournaments.

Bank roll update: April 20, 2006: Downturn.

I've taken a bit of a hit on my bankrolls. My bankroll is down about 25% on both of the sites I play. I've been thinking about my play and I think it's related to a few things:

  1. I've been attempting to move up in limits. I've been so confident in my game, that I forget how to play with better players. The players can be more tricky. Some games are weak, but there are better players at $.10/$.25 limits. So I can not just play looser.

  2. Bluffing more and not folding to check raises when I have nothing. I've been more confident when I have to chips to be more aggressive and bet higher when I think my opponent is on a draw. So i've been semi-bluffing and bluffing more. I've made some big bluffs, but I've lost alot attempting big bluffs. Bluffing is a good addition to my game, but I have to tone it down a bit.

  3. Tilting when losing a bluff and not being patient enought to wait for the nuts.

I'm going to go down to $.05/.10 games to build up my confidence and my bankroll before I attempt to play some of the higher limits.

Current bankroll
FTP: $157.15 + 1/$26 satellite token
Pokerstars: $120.88

Live: $300.00

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Yahoo Buzz Log: Poker Isn't Played Out (Yet)

Yahoo has a buzz log about poker. Isn't it interesting that 'How to Play Poker' is ranked number 11 , after Free Poker, Video Poker and Poker Superstars.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Trip postponed, Bankroll update April 4

We didn't make it up to blackhawk this weekend. With the new child in our family, My wife and I decided that it was just better to hang out in Denver. Since we already got a baby sitter, It was actually a good idea.

I wanted to play a NLHE tourament at the Gilpin Casino and that would take a few hours. I was getting kind of frustrated with Fixed Limit HE games. Fixed limit poker is a game of fear. Sometimes, you just have to hope your hands are good. I still want to improve and when my bankroll is healthy, I might practice again online.

This weekend, I played online for a few hours. I increased my BR a little.

I'm still playing the FTP WSOP games. I like to play on the .com 200K giveaway freeroll.
These games are pretty lose and crazy at the beginning. I've gotten my AA's cracked by 44's a few times. Even after I had all the villian's money in pre-flop. I made it once to the 2nd round.
This weekend I won't be able to play the second round game.

Current bankroll
FTP: $203.05 + 1/$26 satellite token
Pokerstars: $153.13

Live: $300.00

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

No fold'em hold'em, Black Hawk and Bank Roll.

This weekend my wife and I are planning on going to Blackhawk, Colorado for the day. Last time, I was there, I was very frustrated because I lost all my bank roll playing a 3/5 spread limit game.

But I would really like to beat the 1/2 limit hold'em game there. Limit is not like No-limit where you can't push folks with your big stacks. With limit, you have to win on the river. I'm going to practice the rest of the week on the $.10/$.20 fix limit games on Pokerstars and FTP.

My basic strategy is:

  1. Play tight. Following the starting hands chart from the Miller, Sklansky and Malmuth 's Small Stakes Hold'em book.
  2. Review the that Small Stakes Hold'em for strategies.
  3. Avoid big pots unless you have or are drawing to the nuts.
  4. Small pot vs Big Pot poker.
  5. In multiway pots, Top Pair with a second kicker is deadly. The nuts have to be
    1. Trips if no straight or flush on board
    2. Two card Straights, Higher straights, not dummy ones. 45 with 678 on board.
    3. Flushes with K, A or Q
  6. Don't raise for the free card,
    1. unless you are playing against one other person.
  7. Get in as cheaply as possible.
  8. Watch other people play for what they play and how they react.
Some things I need to learn to do in Small Stakes Hold'em
1) What to do with bottom two pair?
2) How to limit the tilt factor when people draw out on you?
3) How to play to increase my EV.

My bankroll is doing pretty well this week. I'm up to $200 on FTP and moving up on Pokerstars. When I get both up to above $200, i'm going to move up to higher limits.

Current bankroll
FTP: $201.70 + 1/$26 satellite token
Pokerstars: $150.61

Live: $300.00

Monday, April 03, 2006

Bank Roll Update: April 3 2005

I've been trying to recover from some bad sessions. I got my FTP back up to $191 and I increased my Pokerstars account to $145. I've been playing mostly $0.05/0.10 NLHE games on both. I played the $1 NLHE Sit and Go on Pokerstars Sunday night. I think my record on those SnG's are pretty good. I usually make the money or have been the last 3-4 times I've played. I think it's a brilliant game to practice basic SnG strategics. I wish the SnG's on FTP will fill up as fast.

I can't wait to increase my bankroll to over $200 on Pokerstars, so that I can play the $5 Sit and Go's on Pokerstars.

One thing I have noticed about slowly moving up, is that bad beats are easier to handle. They still suck, but I've sucked out other folks as well.

Current bankroll
FTP: $191.10 + 1/$26 satellite token
Pokerstars: $145.77

Live: $300.00

Personalized hot stamped poker chips.

For my birthday, my wife got me some personalized chips. In Denver, at the Southwest Plaza, there was a gambling store called 'Gambler's edge'. It was closing, so we were able to get a deal on some chips. We decided on the 'Bee Chips, with the confetti sides'. We would have had them hot stamped there at the shop, but he already sold the equipment to a guy named Gunnar.

We went to Gunnar Nitzkorski, who worked with us to design the hotstamp. The hand is my favorite (67s) and the line is from the movie The Cincinnati Kid. Lancey Howard just beat the hell out of the Cincinnati kid in 5 card stub with a straight flush vs Full house.

Lancey Howard: "Gets down to what it's all about, doesn't it? Making the wrong move at the right time"

Cincinnati Kid: "Is that what it's all about?"

Lancey Howard: "Like life, I guess. You're good, kid, but as long I'm around you're second best. You might as well learn to live with it."

Gunnar Nitskorski does this work part time out of his home. He does hot stamping but he also makes poker tables. If you're in the Denver area and you are looking for some poker supplies, I would recommend him. His phone number is: 303-594-6755. If you need his email address, please contact me.

Monday, March 27, 2006

March 27th, downturn.

I've been on a downturn on FullTilt poker, so I've went down to play the $0.05/0.10 tables. I'm doing a bit better on Pokerstars, but I'd like to get my Bankroll up to $ 200 again on FTP.

Current bankroll
FTP: $177.40 + 1/$26 satellite token
Pokerstars: $131.82

Live: $300.00

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Bankroll update, March 19th.

I've been struggling a little on pokerstars, trying to build up my bankroll there. I've believe I been playing the same as I do on FullTilt Poker, but I've have not been progressing as well as I think I should. The players on Pokerstars are a little more looser which can be frustrating. I have been playing much attention to the table as I should. I realized that each table of players have a different set of winning hands and possible starting hands. One night, I played a few rounds on FTP, just to gain my confidence again.

Beating the 1/2 limit or 1/2 3-5 spread limit games in Black Hawk, CO

One of my poker goals is to beat the limit games in Black Hawk colorado. Because there is a
$5 bet limit in Colorado, the casino's don't offer anything other than low limit games. There are tournaments with buyin's from $20 to $200, but the majority of the action is on these low limits games. I played for a few hours once waiting for a tournament at the Giplin Casino at the spread limit game. I started with a $160 bankroll and was $10 a head in a few hours. I was very happy, but I think that table was easier to beat.

I also played at the Colorado Center Station waiting for another tournament. I knew the table was going to be tough because while we were waiting for a dealer, no one talked to anyone else. I remember Mike Caro once said it's better to be a table with laughing people than quiet people, you're more likely to win more with laughing people. These people at my table there were very quiet. The players were different as well, they were a few people who thought they were Gus Hansen and played any two cards to the river. I was amazed that they kept any pocket pair to the river and would pay bottom pair like it was trips. I did notice that these players kept on dumping money onto the table.

After a while, I went on tilt because my starting hands didn't hit or my draws didn't hit. I think I learn a few lessons

1) The more people in the pot, the better hand or draw you need. Top Pair Top Kicker isn't good. Even QJs with QQX on the boardmight not be good because some one probably have XQ or smooth called with AQo. It's better to draw to a flush with JTs, QJs, KTs, or Axs because many folks will play J4s, they are getting the right odds to draw, but only to the second best hand. You want trips, top two pairs, straights and flushes.

2) Poker Jiu-Jitsu. Players think that power poker wins and will bet on anything. But against very aggressive players, let them lead themselves to the river. Raising for the free card is insane. If you have 4 or 5 players in the pot and your are drawing to the nut flush with A5s, chances are some one is holding Q4s and is drawing along with you. Remember that in your # of outs.

3) Small pot poker is a good strategy. If you are playing tight and just pick up a pot because you betted out on the flop, that's a good thing.

4) If you have control on a table and have a tight image, you can bluff a little. The biggest pot I won on at the Gilpin casino was when I missed my flush draw but a Ten hit and I betted out as if I hit. Big Bluffs are harder because some players over value their cards.

5) Don't go on Tilt. If you lose a little on that table, consider it to be a lesson, but in the long run you will probably do better.

Current bankroll
FTP: $209.35 + 1/$26 satellite token
Pokerstars: $123.87

Live: $300.00

Monday, March 13, 2006

PokerStars Icons

One of the nice features with the PokerStars site is the ability to upload your own image. The downside to it is that you can only change it once. So let that be a warning.

Unless you've won a WSOP main event, you can't change your Pokerstars Icon more than once. I'm sure they let Joe Hachem update his icon. :)

This is such a bummer. When I first signed up on PokerStars, I used my new born daughter's picture. I thought this was a cute picture and I really like it.

Now that I've been on the site, I want to update the picture with either a newer picture of my daughter or a new icon. My daughter is seven months old now and needs a new picture. I would also like to publicize my blog with this URL.

I hope Pokerstars will change this feature so that you can update your icon once a while. I can understand limiting it, you wouldn't want anyone to update it it every day. It sounds like the pokerstars review the images, but to limit the poker players to change it only once is bad customer service.

Current bankroll

FTP: $202.00 + 1/$26 satellite token
Pokerstars: $125.66

Live: $300.00

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Bankroll Update, March 11th

I didn't play much poker this week because I was traveling for work, but I did play one night. I was down to about $100 on pokerstars, but got myself back up to 113.66, mostly by playing very tight.

Hit and Run

I went down to the $0.01/$0.02, I was going to try a 'hit and run' strategy where you play only AA/KK/AKs/QQ and just put all your money in with these cards. When you double your bankroll, you move up to the next level. The theory of this kind of play is that the players online are so lose and weak that they'll call an all in pre-flop with JTo or A6s. I quickly ran out of patience with this strategy because it took so long to hit such good cards. Perhaps if I was going to play a long tournament and wanted to try it with $2 again.

Current bankroll
FTP: $202.00 + 1/$26 satellite token
Pokerstars: $113.66

Live: $300.00

Friday, March 03, 2006

Bankroll, Poker Podcasts, Junior's Sports and Table Image.

I've increase my bankroll on pokerstars to $100, but i'm struggling with it later at night. I get impatient and try to outdraw or just play my card and not expect players to be tricky.

There are three poker podcasts on my ipod that I really like to listen to when I'm walking around:

Denver Poker tour trip report
Junior's Sports / formerly Famous Door II

On Thursday, I went to Junior's Sports to play. I play tight and I was thinking about my table image. When I raise big i wouldn't get any action, I assume it's because they knew I had something good when I played, I think I should have done two things.
1) Played more marginal hands like 78o when it made sense. 3-4 callers.
2) Slow played AA's so that they didn't expect such a good starting hand.
3) Raise big with 67s or 78s, to mix things up more.

Current bankroll
FTP: $202.00 + 1/$26 satellite token
Pokerstars: $102.48

Live: $300.00

Poker Player Alliance Alert

The Poker Player Alliance issued an alert about banning online poker games.

Again, Congress is trying to ban something instead of regulating it. There is so much that Congress can do to regulate online games of chance to protect the players and make it more fair for everyone. I would like to see the following done to online poker.

  1. Legalize card games (poker, blackjack) as games of skills.
  2. Regulations to tax or gather revenue.
  3. Regulations that will help protect the poker players:
    1. Cheating - bots,
    2. Security - hipaa like regulations.
    3. Identity/Agency -
      1. single user, single person, single machine
      2. 21 years of age.
    4. Posting rack structures on the game.
      1. When will the rack wars begin?
    5. Bankroll protection
  4. Legal regulations to protect online gambling companies
    1. Fraud - Legal action against cheaters
There seems to be problem with identity and people losing too much money, I think you could address this by limiting the size of bankroll you can start with and credit transaction. Under age gambling may be a problem as well, but banning it will not solve this problem.

Here's the alert from the Poker Players Alliance.

Recent actions in the nation’s capitol are clear signs that federal lawmakers are determined to ban online poker. On February 16, Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., and his supporters held a press conference to announce the introduction of H.R. 4777. If passed, this bill would make outlaws of on-line poker players!

Goodlatte and other members of Congress use this bill in a misguided attempt to lump poker in with other forms of gambling. Although they claim to have an exclusion for games with a “predominance of skill,” poker has been singled out. As Goodlatte says, “…technology has allowed for new types of electronic gambling, including interactive games on the Internet such as poker and blackjack, which may not clearly be included within the types of gambling currently made illegal by the Wire Act.” So he is really targeting poker players who enjoy the game online.

Rep. Goodlatte’s bill has already gathered 115 co-sponsors representing districts in 36 different states. Use the links in the box to the left to determine if your Member of Congress has signed on as a co-sponsor of H.R. 4777. Please click here and voice your opposition to this legislation. Let your member of Congress know that we are a strong and unified voice to keep poker legal.The Poker Players Alliance is committed to defeating this kind of egregious government intrusion into our personal lives. And with your help, we can succeed!

If you have a minute, please contact your representative.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Milestone and lesson learned

On Full Tilt Poker yesterday I got lucky on the $0.05/0.10 NLHE tables a few times and made it up to $200 in my bankroll. So I can graduate to the $0.10/0.25 NLHE tables on FTP with the minimum buy in of $10.

I'm still at $80 in Bankroll on Pokerstars. I'm going to work on building up my bankroll there on the $0.05/0.10 NLHE games. I want to play the higher games there.

I still intend to play on FTP for this week. I'm been trying the $200K WSOP Monthly giveaway. There are "Round 1 freeroll qualifier" with 1800 players daily. I made it into the top 36 once last week which qualified me for the weekly freeroll. I had plans for the weekend, so I missed Round 2. I'll try it again this week.

A immediate lesson learn.

Risk/Reward. As opposed to tournaments, I think, you must be willing to lose all your chips if the odds are right.

In one hand last night, I started with 98 of spades in late position. Four or five players limp in or called a small raise. The flop came K74 with two spades. I bet small, and player one raise and then player two reraise putting me all in. I folded and the first player called the all in bet. The turn came a T and the river was a 2 of spades. The first player turned over KQ with Queen of spades and the second player had trips 7's. I would have taken the pot.

Odds analysis.

This is probably not 100% correctly, but this is my thinking. On the river, I had about 9 outs, or a 36% chance of making my flush and having the nuts. If it was one raiser I think my pot odds would have been about 50%. A single big raise would not have given me good odds to call (2:1). With three players in the pot (first raiser, second raiser, me) I would have gotten 3:1 which would have given me good pot odds to call. Given my bank roll management and the cash game, I think I should have called here.

Player analysis

Given the size of the raises, I don't think they were raising for the free card but they were trying to protect their 'made' hands. During the hand, I think I could have put these people on a trips, two pair or top pair top kicker.

The small risk of losing just your buy in if the odds are correct on a single hand is probably the big difference between tournaments and cash games.

Perhaps I thinking about this all wrong...

Current bankroll
FTP: $202.00 + 1/$26 satellite token
Pokerstars: $79.53

Live: $300.00

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Denver Poker Tour

Many bars in the US are now offering free poker games. There are several leagues round town, but one of the more popular ones in the Denver Colorado area is the Denver Poker Tour.

I've been playing these games for the last year or so. I've also played at some others games in Denver and through out the country when I travel. But I've become of fan of these games.

Game Logistics

Various bar location allow you to sign up either before the day by calling. But some others have a sign up sheet available at 6PM depending on the bar. I like to call ahead so that I'm not on the waiting list.

The games usually start at 7PM with 500 in chips. The blinds start at 5/10 for at least an hour or until the waiting list is finish. The blinds go up to 10/20 at 8PM and can increase every 20 to 30 minutes. Later in the game in a bigger game they have antes at 200/400 level.

There is a dealer. This is so important, I've played games in other bars where there is no dealer, this makes the game run more smoothly and quicker.


There is bar tab for 1-3 place finishers. First place finishers at the location get into regional/monthly finals where the top finishers can win a seat to a WSOP circuit event.

Why play?

Why play in a free bar game when the games are loose and silly. It's legal. Live Poker is different from playing online. I felt I needed to learn about social playing. When I play at these games, I look for tells and watch people react to cards and try to figure out what they have. There are the betting patterns, but how they react to the game is interesting. There are some good players at higher levels. The regulars at bars who can play after 9PM tend to be better players. So if I can beat theses players I know I'm improving.


  • Don't bluff or force people off hands until 9PM. Continue bets are okay, but fold if challenged.
  • People who don't know what they are doing tend to over play their hands.
    • They don't see what's not out there. (eg, an overpair)
    • Over estimate any pair good kicker. I've won a lot of pots with bottom top pair.
  • Going all in on straight draws with (8 outs) is common. Call with 15 outs or trips okay
  • Tight works well, but you can afford to be loose at beginning.
  • Different bars play differently
    • The bars downtown have lots of younger folks who are aggressive and tend to check raise and force you off hands. You can smooth call AA/KK's and they will raise and call with Axs.
    • Some bars have more drunk folks who go in with trash and try to draw out
  • Short stack strategy.
    • There is not a lot of play. One raise and you can be basically all in.
    • Loose play can work at beginning.

I've made it to the monthly tournament twice so far. My goal this year is to win at least twice.

Monday, February 27, 2006

The Chris Ferguson Experiment

The Chris Ferguson Experiment.

In my poker experience, I've decided to use a conservative Bankroll management style. My goal is to beat the lower limits and move up when I can afford it. I also want to build my bankroll up so I can 'harvest' some of it later.

This was inspired by a recent Full Tilt Poker episode where Chris Ferguson talked about changing $1 into $20000. I have a similar goal, but it's to change $50 into $2000 in a year. I was reading the FTP forums and I was amazed how many people got this wrong and was risking everything.

The rules are as follows.

  1. Don't buyin for more than 5% of your bankroll at a single table or tournament buy in.

  2. When you made double your buy-in or more, quit that table.

  3. Play mostly cash games to limit variance. NLHE or PLHE.

  4. If you play side games like Omaha, LHE or big tournament, earn the buy in first, but
    don't risk much of your pay roll.
Seeding the clouds

I started in earnest with $50 in Pokerstars and $50 in FTP last november. I cleared the bonus in FTP and used that money ($50) to buy pokertracker software. I also have some live poker bankroll from a charity raffle I won at a Denver Poker Tour event last year.

Where I'm at.

With my current bankroll, I will have to pay the $0.05/$0.10 NLHE with the $4 Minimum buy in until I reach $200.

Current Status
Full Tilt Poker: $174.90 + 1 * $26/ Satellite Token
PokerStars: $81.78
Live Poker: ~$230.00