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.