Tuesday, December 16, 2008

PokerStars Blogger Tourney

Denied by these clowns...they let some awful bloggers in, but quality doesn't matter.

Online Poker

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

This PokerStars tournament is a No Limit Texas Hold’em event exclusive to Bloggers.

Registration code: 099869

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Taking a step back and reflecting

Well, I'm not one of the most active posters on the Poker Lizard Blog, but I've been doing a lot of reflecting on this beautiful game of poker. In the bar leagues that I play at, I'm considered one of the most respected and dangerous poker players out there. In fact, I overheard someone tell me that if they had to pick a top 10, I would be in the last. Very humbling to hear since I haven't played seriously in such a long time.

The reason why I'm writing this post is in response to what Mr. Devonshire wrote in his blog. He wrote something that hit me at home. He said the following

"The other thing that I've been thinking a lot about these last two weeks is how sick this game is. Y'all know about my gnarly run from July to December last year, losing 100k and breaking myself. After the soul searching and everything I did, I had decided in January that if nothing good happened by the 25k next week I was quitting poker. Why? I wasn't having fun anymore

That's the way I felt for such a long time about poker. Granted, I'm not a true grinder, a consummate pro. In fact, I'm still longing for the days where I get my butt back into the casino and start dominating the games again. However, I wasn't having fun either. It felt more like work, and when you have such a mentality, then you don't want to do it anymore. I think the beautiful thing about poker is that it brings people together (Sidenote: That's how I met my girlfriend is through poker), but it was the same stuff over and over again. It wasn't that I was playing poorly and not up to par, but sometimes, when I played my games and saw someone do a "donkey" move and get paid off on it, I would be like, "Why do I work so f***'ing hard and not get results." The mentality was getting me in trouble.

Here's the thing that I wanted to say is the most important. If you need a break from something you love, then take it. A poker game will always be there whether it be at a casino, poker room, or home game. What I really needed was a break from it all, and from that, I started developing other games that I'm becoming more adept at. It took a break from poker for me to realize why I love the game so much, and if you are hitting that wall like I did, it might be something you need as well. Don't get me wrong, I didn't completely take a break from poker cold turkey. I always wrote in my poker journals, set up situations for myself to see what I would do, but I dramatically cut my playing time to get my mentality back. If you need a break, take it.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Freerolling to the WSOP take 2

So in the last blog I talked about trying to satellite into the World Series of Poker main event by entering free rolls and low buyin events. If you read this blog, you will know that I played in about 200 hundred of the freerolls on Full Tilt Poker and gave up trying the freerolls and qualified for a satellite by using points.

This year it took about 10 of these things for me to win, turns out the top 2 make it in the next round satellite, I made it to the final table in the chip lead and cruised to the finish...getting quad tens didn't hurt. I'll play in a round 2 and if by some miracle I finish high in that one, it's on to the real satellite for a seat.

Last year I would go in every first hand no matter how bad my holding was, this year I changed it up a bit, I'd wait until I had a decent starting hand then jam, it seems to work better, I made it deep in about half of the freerolls I got into.

Good luck to all you other low rollers trying to make it.

Freerollin' to the World Series of Poker

So I'm trying to satellite into the main event, played a few Full Tilt freerolls where you go all in the first hand no matter what since only 1 person goes on to the next qualifier. Some people actually play these things tight..silly.

Also, played an $8 shootout style where I got JJ and went all in on the first hand and lost to KJ when one guy got a straight on the river.

Then I played a $14 satellite to a bigger satellite, had to finish in the top 8 out of 36 to make it to the next satellite (30 min qualify for the 150 seat giveaway). I basically played super tight until my BB's got under 10, then I jammed whenever I was in position...got TT and tripled up when there were 15 people left and coasted to the end. So now I'm playing the second step on June 1st.
Pokerstars let's you play in a freeroll once a week if you qualify through that you can play in the 200 seat giveaway...total crapshoot but for free...why not.

Play doesn't get anywhere near realistic until you're down to the last few tables. It would be cool to be that guy who parlays a few bucks into a seat.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Slot-Boom-Bam! by SmoothCaller

I'm reading Rolf Slotboom's "Secret of Professional Pot-Limit Omaha". If you've never heard of Rolf, you probably should have. He's one of the best long-time contributors to Cardplayer magazine and editor of Cardplayer Europe. He's also one hell of a strong PLO player and has built quite a legacy among the biggest games in Vienna and Austria.

He starts by outlining the system that made him a lot of money at the start of his career. (and for all I know, he still employs it today). The premise is simple: buy in short (about 20 BB's) and wait for a monster hand to get all the money in pre-flop. Sounds corny, right? Hard to imagine one of the winningest PLO pros of all time championing a playing style that seems so....basic. Well, he does, and the beauty of the system is how little thinking and risk is involved. Without going into full details (of which there are plenty), you try to get a seat at a loose-aggressive table, preferably to the right of a maniac, limp and then re-raise preflop with a monster hand and hope for the best.

What will happen many times is that the maniac will either isolate you or bet the others out of the pot - players that may have beaten you, but who are now out of the picture. And if you've played even 40 hands of PLO, you know that a lot can happen by the river...

So I started on Ultimate Bet, one of my favorite sites next to FullTilt, with a small roll of $288 last Friday. I had been building it up from $100 playing tiny NLH and PLO games, but was ready to put the Rolf system into action and see how it went. Another key to keeping the EV positive is you have to have at least 2 tables going at once. So 2 it was. (I tried 3 and PLO gets exponentially harder to pay attention to above 2 tables...at least for me).

The only problem with UB is their low-level games of PLO aren't ever all that full. I like the .50/1 tables, and .25/.50 as a backup, and there just are never more than 1 or 2 tables at those levels with players. So I put $30 into a $.50/1 table and on the very first hand of my Slotboom adventure, picked up double-suited aces. Then, believe it or not, I got it all in pre-flop with no less than 5 callers! Flopped one of my flushes and felt only semi-good. Of course the board paired and I got boated, losing only my $30 but also a chance at $150. Oh well.

The next few days have been a rollercoaster. Went down to $200, up to $280, down to $140, back up to $215, and finally tonight got to $297. Every session was at least 30 minutes long, and 2 tables. Yet another tenet of the Rolf system is that once you've doubled up or more, pull out...unless you're still a very short stack in relation to the rest of the table. What you don't want is to be in the middle of the pack. Stacks are deep and the decisions get tougher. Of course, on a site like UB where you may not have multiple options to hit and run, you're stuck - cause you can't leave a table and jump back in with any less than what you left with. Makes sense, but also tough to keep the system moving if you hit some big pots.

All in all, I love it. Great way to keep you focused on only playing the most solid PLO hands, and yet not risking much of your roll even if you're all-in. I've had a few major triple and quadruple ups, which are always fun. The book runs down some odds which are very interesting, as well as other tips on table selection and betting patterns. I'm only about 1/3 of the way through and can't wait to see what lies ahead.

I'll post back in a week or so with some more results. At this point, I'm not too concerned with building the bank too much, just making the right plays. Still, would be nice to say I'm up a few hundred...oh, and go pick up Rolf's book, pronto!

Hope to see ya at the UB PLO tables. I'm the tight arse one they call Smooothcaller.

Happy Holidays!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Sit n Go Ramblings!

So last night I am stayed home with the kids and decided to play some poker on-line. I play on UB. I like the interface, can always get a game pretty quick and I have not had problems depositing or withdrawing money from the site. All pluses in my book.

I try to play two sit and gos and one cash game. Occasionally, I will play 4 tables at a time. But once my tourneys get down to three people I need to get up from the cash games to better concentrate. Playing three or four tables prevents me from getting board and playing to many marginal hands.

$10 Tournament number One just started and already two people waiting for my second $10.00 tourney. I think I will play a .25 - .50 NL table tonight. I am torn on weather I like the new bad beat jackpot on UB. I like the twist they added that any one playing at the time it is hit at the same limits will get a share of the pot, but I do not like the fact that UB takes 10%. It seems to me they make enough on the regular rake. I think it would have been more palatable if it was 10% up 30K. Just my opinion though.

Okay so second $10.00 SNGs started about 5 minutes apart and I sat at a .25 .50 NL cash table that I bought in for $30.00 bucks. Unlike, Texter, I think SNGs give excellent value. It is pretty easy to consistently be in the money. A single table generally plays for an hour to an hour and a half. If you win you get 5 times your buy in. You are not going to get rich playing SNGs but you can generally stay even and slowly increase your bankroll if you play smart. My general attitude in sit in go is let the loose cannons blow each other up. Here is a recap of my play on all three of my tables tonight. Pretty typical.

Tourney #1, Buy in $10 + $1 for house: I raised in first position with nines got two callers. Flop comes A 9 J! Jack pot. I am first to act. I check. Second person checks. Third person bets 3/4 of pot. I smooth call. Turn blank. I check they bet I call. River I go all inThey call. One down 8 to go. Now I sit back and wait for hands to raise with. A K raise. Two callers, miss the flop entirely, continuation bet, get a caller, no more of my chips going in the pot unless I hit the turn. Nope. Check he bets I fold. Wait patiently.Mean while someone else gets knocked out. Limp in with 67 suited. Miss bet min. everyone folds. Back to waiting. Play is a little nutty.Blinds are only 15-30 and guy went all in for 870 with KJ in 2nd position. Gets called by QQ. Hits a K on flop. Doubles up. Seems reckless so early in the tourney like that. Two all ins again. Both have AK split pot. They each had over 1350 in chips. Conservativeplay at the beginning of these SNGs is the way to go. Another one bites the dust. I have lost some chips to some calls. I am not third in chips.Well I have the AQ suited in the little blind and the button raised. He had half his stack in and I felt it was a steal so I pushed all in. If I lose then I would be seriously short stacked. Alas. I was right. They had the A6. I hit a queen and another one is out. Down to 6 and I am 2nd in chips. AA take out two players in one hand. 4 left. I am now 3rd in chips. Pocket 10s raised, guy goes all in. Deep breath call. He has j9. I win. down to 3. $$$ Loss some chips when I hit top pair and they hit a straight. Feeling short stacked. Blind 150 300, I have 1920.Need to make a move. AK big stack raises. I go all in. He calls. He has K10. I double up. We all have about the same in chips now. Pocket 22s.Board comes 10A7 turn comes a 10 and as does the river Check to river. He bets pot. I call. DOH he has an ace. Short stack again. Playing three handed for a while now. Guy went all in with pocket 66s and got called by the big stack with the AQ. Spikes an A. Two left. I am short stacked. Need to push with almost anything and hope. Pushed with 85 and hit an 85. Need to double up three more times to be even in chips. I have battled back.We are almost even in chips. Wow went totally card dead. Being patient. Raising with questionable hands now and then. I am bleeding chips. Doubledup with A5 vs K5. I have slightly more chips then him now. Patient. Fold a bit. Win another good hand with high card. Raise all in with KQ they call with QJ. High card Wins. Pays $50.00

2nd $10.00 tournament: Playing a little loose and call with the 6 8 suited. Flop 884. Check. they bet, I come over the top they fold. Well tight play did not last long. I raised with pocket 9s and found myself pot committed. Oops. Luck out they have two big cards that do not hit. I win the race and double up. Things going poorly. Guy raises. I have AQ so try to push him off his hand. I go all in. He calls. He has pocket 55s. I get knocked out 5th. Can not win them all.

Ring game
So far I have 20 hands played 5. Sit and wait. Like to see flops with two high cards, suited connectors and pairs. I fold A LOT! Limped in onthe button with KQ, flop the nuts. Some one bets pot. I just call. Turn a blank. They check I bet slightly bigger then there previous bet. They call. River makes a runner runner flush and pairs the board. I am not happy. They check. Safe play would be check. But I just do not thinkthe way they hand unfolded they had two pair. So I go all in for my last 13.50. After much table talk, non by me. They call. I now have $45.50.So far so good. Back to sit and wait. Been playing for a while. Have not hit any flops and I am down to 40 bucks. I get up.

Net for this session. $50.00 tourney$40.00 cash gamesubtract 22 for tourney buy in and 30 for ring game.
$38 bucks up an hour and a half later. Not to bad to get paid for my entertainment.

Next time I think I will babble about low limit Omaha H/L. Till next.. Bet if you got it, Bluff if you think they don't!

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Story of my SNG life

so I got $75 in my Pokerstars account due to someone signing up with pokerstars through one of our affiliate deal...so I decided to play only Single table Sit N Goes with the money to see if I could work it up and to test some SNG strategies. Since I only started with $75 I decided on the $5.50 non turbo NLHE SNGs.

I'm beginning to think it may be impossible to beat these things...even if you finish 2nd every third SNG you aren't making squat...you pay $16.50 and get $13.50...that's a $1 loss per SNG.... You'd have to play 43 at a time like Hevad "Rain" Khan and win 1 out of 3 to make this crap worth your while. Not to mention the fact that you are guaranteed to have a long stretch of getting screwed. Due to their nature you will take bad beats aplenty...here is a nice example.

I have AA with about $2500 early in the SNG I'm currently playing...the guy UTG goes all in...I go all in over the top...and the BB calls us both...UTG shows TT and the BB shows KhQh...

so the flop comes down all spades...none of us has a spade...turn...another spade...river the Ten of spades...brutal.

So at my high point of this experiment I had $118...after several unfortunate beats I'm down to $85. Currently, I'm 1st of 4 to go...wish me luck..this may be my last one...I've concluded that SNGs kind of suck.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Low Limit Poker and Chad Brown....by Texter

Well I'm covering the WSOP for Pokerlizard.com again this year from my cushy digs at the Gold Coast. I brought the wife with me this year but she is 6 months pregnant so we don't do a whole lot of sight seeing...but we do do a lot of playing very low limit poker.

All the Gold Coast spreads is $1/$2 NLHE and $2/$4, $4/$8 Limit Hold'em with half-kill...big time baby! The first night I took the first available seat and it was the $1/$2 NLHE...I was up about $60 when I decided to bluff a guy when I held 44...oops. Eventually, I quit down about $79 from being tired from the trip. The next night, I took the first available seat and it was $2/$4 Limit Hold'em. I played for about 5 hours and won $255...It was unbelievable how bad the players are; they cannot get away from a hand, so I snapped off several big pots on the river.

The next night I figured..may as well play the $2/$4 again...cashed out up $116 after nothing too interesting. After covering the WSOP all day I headed back over to the poker room to meet the wife for dinner, since it was July 7, 2007 the casino was having all kinds of specials...$7.77 buffet etc.

I started playing the $2/$4 again since I'm such a playa...and the poker room manager says...anyone who gets two 7's as their hole cards will win $100 if they are the same color; and if someone gets quad 7's..they will win $100. So about an hour later my first hole card is the 7 of hearts, so I'm hoping for the 7 of diamonds...sure enough I get it...so now I want the hand to end quickly before someone else tables two sevens...the flop comes Jc7cQs...so I bet out to protect my hand get about 4 callers, sure enough the case 7 appears on the turn and I win a big pot and $200 extra...not bad for $2/$4...i tip the dealer $20 and start drinking coronas faster than Men the Master...I quit about 4 orbits later up a total of $283.

Only one more night here at the WSOP so it looks like I may actually be able to cover the wife's losings!

Today I interviewed Chad Brown during the first break of day 1c of the Main event. That guy really does have some pythons for biceps and he seems to be a very nice guy. I didn't needle him about dating his daughter...I'm sure he gets enough of that. The guy has 7 cashes at the WSOP this year in several different types of poker but he still is being eluded in getting that first bracelet...he told me he had Erik Seidel all in 3 times during their headsup match for the 2-7 triple draw title but got outdrawn each time...he wasn't upset at all...he said as long as I play my best I can't be unhappy.

Seems like a good philosophy...of course going home to Vanessa doesn't hurt too much either.