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