Home game, 1/27

Nice turnout:
Pete & Robin
Rick & Jennifer

Got down to last 4; Pete, Kenneth, Rick and I. I was under the gun and pulled pocket 9s. I bet 500. Rick called, Pete and Kenneth folded.

Flop comes 9, 5, 3 of diamonds. I went all in. Rick called. He flips up pocket 3s. Okay, he has trips 3's, but I have trips 9's and neither of us has diamonds. I flip 4th street...nothing. Flip the river...well, I hit a full house to better my hand. Problem boat was 9s....full of 3s. He hit the quad 3s. Thus ended my night.

tournament outcomes

My first 3 tournaments went like this: 3rd, 3rd, 1st. It was not until my 7th that I finished out of the money, so I was pretty happy with that. So here is how it looks after 89.

In 9 plyer tournaments I have played in 70. 13 times I have suckered into the first hand all-in. That leaves 57 tournaments where I have played. 22 times I have finished out of the money: 9 6ths, 5 5ths, and 8 4ths.

I have 10 third place finishes, 16 seconds, and 9 firsts. That means 25 times I was in the final 2, or over 40% of the time.

In 18 player I have 1 second, 3 thirds, 2 9ths, and a 12th. 4 of 7 in the money. Need to work on this level.

In 27 player I have 1 second, 1 4th, 2 9ths, 1 10, 1 19th and twice have busted out first hand.

In 45 player I have 1 2nd, 1 15th, 1 25th and 1 36th. Not so good.

All-Star Gaming

So Saturday was another Casino Night for a group to remain nameless. On the bright side, prior to the party starting I was pulled aside and given a tip for the previous event. We were paid 40 bucks up front....and the tip was 50. 90 bucks for 3 hours? I like...

This time they needed someone to deal Texas Hold 'Em. Hmm....get paid to deal a great game? Okay.

There was a slightly rocky beginning when for the first couple hands I neglected to have people lay their blinds in. Also, I occasionally have problems reading hands...I really need to practice that. Several times people had Full Houses....fortunately, everyone else was reading the hands far quicker than I could so they usually had their chips by the time I had identified each hand strength so I need to work on that. Also, some people habitually hid their cards so I would occasionally skip over them on the 2nd, 3rd, and later rounds of betting. So I need a better means of identifying who has folded...a second thing to work on. Third, when there was someone all-in, I need to work out a method of quickly determining what the side-pot consists of. other than went really well and was a lot of fun.


1/10/07 45 person

first hand 4 people go all in pre-flop. I was not one of them. 3 people had paint...A/K, K/Q, K/J and A/10. One person had 2/4 suited...and of course he won when he paired them both. Dude to my right made a comment, I agreed, and we both were instantly on the hit list of the chip leader. Since he was immediately to my left it made it pointless to bet unless A) he had folded before it got to me or B) I had a REALLY good hand. Presently both those options presented themselves and I ended up more than doubling my stack to a shade over 3K, just slightly less than what he had dribbled down to. That pretty much settled him down so I could play.
was not catching cards and this time I only played when I had paint on both or any Ace. Won about 5 straight hands and it got to where if I bet into it people folded. Added quite a bit to my chip stack but was hovering between 6th place and 9th...needed top 7 to be in the money...goal 1, be in the money, goal 2, have enough to have a chance to win so I took a couple chances. Got up to 11K and chip leader, got switched tables, called a couple of hands on the draw with chances to add 4 - 6K and got down to about 7, played cautiously, rebuilt...then we all combined into 1 table and someone had 30K. He shortly added 10K when the #2 guy foolishly went all in on a bluff and he called it. I put out the guy who had gone all in first hand. Got down to 3 of us, then I was heads up but only had about 8K while he had over 59K. I battled my way to about 15,500 when he suggested all-in. Well, I needed to be leaving so sure, why not. Naturally he pulled Q/J, I pulled J/6...and when he paired the Q on 4th street it was all over. With more time I think I was a better 1 on 1 player but I just did not feel like taking the time to work my way through it.Still, 2nd place in a 45 man when I was short stack from the first hand for quite a while against someone with a feud with me...I feel pretty good about my performance.


1/9, round 2

27 person tournament. plan to be a bit more aggressive.

got trips js, won 1720.

lost hand 2.
6/9 off, hit the boat, won the hand.

get a phone call, lots of folding ensues.

nothing of note, make top 4 mostly by sitting

with 3900, the next guy has almost 7K, the leaders have 13 and 18K, have a straight with flush draw, go all in....and someone hits larger straight. finish in 4th.


10 person tourney. sat out first three hands, one person eliminated already, checked in bb with j/7 off, folded when the board was A,A,5 and someone bet into it.

sb, 7/8 off. Board was 2/2/5, folded to first bet.

7/9 off, fold when someone raises 180 pre-flop. guy goes over the top all-in for 900, 2 call. He loses, one left with 130.

10/5 off, fold. the 130 goes all-in, 3 call. another goes all in on flop. 1 call. the 130 wins, the last raiser out.

10/7 off, fold 2 go all in. another person eliminated.

5/8 suited, fold.
in bb, J/2 suited, call raise of 60 pre-flop. flop misses me completely, person under the gun raises, fold.

sb, A/6 off, call, flop misses, someone raises 600, next one comes over the top all in,fold.

j/q off, call. someone raises 40. call. flop is J/8 suited & a 6. same guy raises 120. I come over the top all in. he folds.

K/6 off. fold.

6/8 suited. fold.

6/9 suited. fold. normally play that, 6/9 is a strong hand for me. I was under the gun and it just did not "feel" right though. flop, 8, 10, j. 4th street a 5. someone raised 270. 1 call. river a 5. good fold.

5/9 off in bb. check/fold. 3/4/j, fold to a bet.

sb, 7/9 off. call. flop misses completely, fold to bet. 2 people get in ego betting and one cripples himself.

j/5 off. fold.

q/3 off. fold when someon goes all-in pre-flop. someone calls and is eliminated.

5/10 suited. fold. another all-in pre. called. the caller had 10/j vs big slick and hit the 10 to win.

3/5 off in bb. fold to 565 pre-flop raise.

sb, q/6 diamonds, call & check to river. fold to bet with nothing.,

j/5 off, fold.

q/8 off, fold.

bb, 3/2 off, check. flop has 8,9,j, fold to bet.

sb, 5/10 off, fold

2/3 off, fold

k/4 off, fold

bb, 8/10 off. fold to 100 raise pre-flop

10/2 off. fold.

7/9 suited. call 100 pre-flop raise, fold when only 8 helps on flop.

q/9 off. fold

bb, 4/6 off, check fold.

sb, k/6 off, fold to 150 pre-flop raise. 4 people left, severely short stacked with 1140. mostly being blinded out.

a/8 call, fold with nothing when he bets into paired board.

k/4 off, fold.

7/9 off, go all in, one caller. hit a straight to beat his paired kings.

next hand, hit a straight, he checks, go all in and he has higher straight. out in 4th. won exactly 2 hands. wheeee..



Entered a 10 person tournament. Decided to try a new strategy. Since someone goes all-in pre-flop first hand almost every time, whenever 3 or 4 people call...they end up with such a huge chip lead it becomes quite difficult to overcome that. If they are a decent player, by the time you get to top 3 or heads up they can have a 5 - 1, 6 - 1 or greater chip lead. So this time, I saw Q/J off and decided I would call just so I would either have chips to play with or else be out the door early. Yes, it is a point of pride that I finish top 3 almost all the time (and have won probably a half dozen tournaments even with the handicap) but I figured it was worth being an idiot on the first hand for once.

As it turned out, only one guy went all in, everyone else folded and so it was head to head. He ended up with Q/10. I hit a Jack on 4th street so he was drawing dead. Just to add insult to injury the River gave me trips and I started out with a comfortable 3500 chips after the first round. Since almost everyone had called the big blind, only 1 other person even had 1500 chips.

I then went into passive-aggressive mode, paying to see the flops and then folding if they missed. Most of them missed but at one point with A/2 someone raised 100 pre-flop. I called. The flop paired the 2, nothing else super flush draws, no straights. I called a bet. 4th street was another 2. I raised 500. He called. The River was harmless, I raised 500. He came over the top to go all-in. It was only 300 more, only a boat would beat me so I called. He had 2/Q....trips 2s with a Queen kicker...a good hand, just not good enough to beat the trips 2s with an Ace kicker. So I had put a second person out.

Missed a bunch of flops, then hit one where we all kept checking, hit the 7 high straight on the River. The problem was...someone else hit a straight as well...they had A/3 to my 3/7. So they went all in. A quick check showed they could do no better so I called...and sure enough they had the lower straight so I had busted my third opponent.

Soon we got down to 4 of from London who was sitting out after taking a mild beating from me....maybe 300 chips when I raised the Cowboys pre-flop, the board had a long-shot gut shot straight so I raised again to keep anyone from calling on the draw....they folded, i showed the Cowboys, he started sitting out. I had about 6000 chips, dude from Idaho had 5200, the dude sitting out about 750, and one other guy about 1800. Myself and the other chip leader said "let's check around and get rid of the sitter." This would assure he would finish out of the money. Instead, short stack decided to try and steal all the blinds. Twice he raised pre-flop and Idaho called him, busting him the second time....when the sitter had 40 chips left. One more round and he would have finished in the money because he lost his last 800 on the all-in. Stupid.

The heads up started slowly. We basically just kept checking it back and forth. Then I started betting into it when I paired and he would call....and I won them. He won hands with a full house and a straight....but did not bet into either one so it became an inexorable grind as my stack grew and his got shorter until I was charging him 750 just to see the flop...and I was hitting them more than he so it became a foregone conclusion and I put him away with an all-in at 750 chips for him to take down the tournament.


1/7/07 the worst beat I have ever had

Now, as a general rule, i don't really hold with the bad beat theory...I figure if your hand is vulnerable, it will get thumped. People with 2 pair that get hit by trips on the river...whatever. happens. a lot. Well, last night I almost changed my theory.
Sat down to play in a sit & go 10 player. Played very few hands because A) the cards were not coming and B) people were going all-in pre-flop like mad. After 6 hands I was in the money. Maniacs. Well, the 2 guys I was against were both a hair above 5000 chips and I was at slightly over 2. They went at it, I played a hand here and there, everything stayed about the same, for a while one of them would have the lead, then the other.Presently one of them thought he had a hand, went all in and then out because his hand was not quite good enough.
So I had just over 2000 chips and he had over 12000. I hit a couple hands, he doubled me up, got up to where we were both above 6500...I think he had maybe 7500 or something. Well, he turned slippery, anytime I bet into it he folded and vice versa so it stayed about the same for a while. Then I caught the pocket rockets. I had tried smooth calls, tried all-ins, tried a couple hundred...he would not call anything. I bet 1000 and to my surprise he called. The flop came A/K/K. Holy moley! I had the boat, Aces full of Kings. I bet another 2K...and he came over the top for another. I went all-in and he called.
There are exactly 3 ways to beat a full boat. 1, higher top card. I had the aces, that was out. A Royal Flush...but he would have had to been on a draw and no way was that happening. The only other way would be 4 of a kind. And sure enough...he had the cowboys. I busted out with a full boat, Aces up.


Playing on tilt

didn't really feel like playing last night but it was too early to go to bed and I was just...uninspired, so decided to play a couple of rounds of poker.

First off, picked up a 27 person sit & go tournament. The opening hand saw 5 people go all-in pre-flop. Whatever. The guy that won went all-in with...get this...6/10 suited. That is a marginal hand to play any time, much less from under the gun. Even worse...he HIT IT. Beating out pocket rockets, big slick, a Q/J o-s and some other random hand that was even a 2/3 off or something. Well, with the massive lead he was doing the bully thing...betting in 2, 3, 4, 500 EVERY pre-flop. You knew he wasn't hitting every one...but when you only have 1500, you better have a good hand to even play so I was not getting in to many hands. I think I played 2 hands and hit one to get to about 2500 chips. Then I caught Cowboys, the Night Riders came on the flop and the other two cards were pretty widely spaced so I bet into it and he called. 4th Street was an Ace. Not good. He bet into it, but not so much that I should fold, so I called. Sure enough, the River was an Ace, but the last call essentially had me pot committed. Even knowing he had me beat I called and sure enough, trips aces. He bet on runner runner Aces on the flop. I went out in 7th place. You read that right. I played 3 hands and was the 20th person out. Methinks people were playing a bit loose.

So I hit a second one, this one a 9 person pod. Still wasn't catching cards. It was not until the 9th hand that I saw a flop. That is when I realized it was pot limit.Obviously I was not paying enough attention... I did not have the patience, so I announced, "Can't catch cards, watch for the tilt bet". Sure enough, I bet into everything...and was winning. With garbage. 2/4 off? Sure, I will bet the pot. What? The flop is 3 4 4? Crap.
Fortunately I was still able to bust out pretty quickly and move on. I hate pot limit, I played it yesterday (and won, I might add...) and did not have the patience for it last night. What I really wanted was to play hand after hand after hand.
So I dodged the tournaments and went to the fun tables. Whereas in the tournaments was I was playing less than 20% of the hands...yes, the cards were running bad enough that was actually too many....I was playing almost 90% of these hands. I did not want to lose too much, though, so I only started with 1000 chips. I got down to about 450 before I caught a real playable hand. I bet into it, everyone followed, I had 2500 chips. After that, anytime I bet into a hand they folded so it got boring. I called it a night and went to bed with a net gain of maybe 300 chips for the night when you take my tourney entry fees into account.


January 3rd, round 2

fresh off the debacle of my opening game, the only thing open was pot limit. I am terrible at pot limit which means it is one I need to work on.

Pot limit is so different because to get value out of any possible hand people (at least online) habitually re-raise each other until they hit the maximum so just to see the flop you are paying 100 chips or more. On the one hand, this means you s/s/would play fewer marginal hands like a 5/6 off suit....but a lot of people do anyway. But then you have to hit it or in no time flat you are short stacked.
I adopted a new strategy. I decided to work on my patience so I sat in on a sit & go version. I went in with a new plan. I would only play with painted hole cards or a pair. It makes for a slow, boring, grind it out game. I saw the flop on all of 1 of the first 17 hands...but I did win that hand. In fact, I quickly became the chip monster when I hit the next two hands. It turned out to be an easy win. I only saw a handful of flops, but when I saw the flop I usually hit it and since everyone was contributing large numbers of their chips pre-flop they felt pot committed and would then overcall my subsequent raises.
I do note that online "table image" means nothing. Even though I folded hand after hand after hand and the few hands I played I won, people would still call to the showdown no matter what possible hands were on the board. Bluffs simply don't work in that environment.
I ended up dominating the tournament and winning easily.

Almost instantly I bopped in on a No Limit game. First hand,2 people went All-In. One of them had Q/J off suit...the other 6/10 suited. And he won when he paired his 6s. Next hand 3 people went all in. Next hand another person went all in. 5 straight hands saw people go all in. By the time I did not fold before the flop 4 people had been eliminated. The 6/10 dude had rivered one more person and had a huge chip stack. I played conservatively again, caught a coupe hands here and there, slowly built my chip stack while the all-in machine steadily bled chips. Came down to three of us, all within about 1000 chips of each other. We traded the lead for a while until I caught the pocket rockets, they both called and I had back to back tournament wins.

Played a couple other tournaments. Finished 3rd and 2nd. In the one where I finished 3rd I was not catching many hands and by the time we hit top 3 the other guys had about 9000 each while I had less than 2. They were betting strong into the pre-flop and the antes and blinds were bleeding me dry so I had to make a move a hair early. I paired my King but he had pocket 8s and hit trips. Not much I could have done different, I just did not catch the cards I needed. When I did have the cards I did what I could...when I got pocket rockets I bet into them strong and they folded...the next time I tried a value bet, got a few more chips, but not enough. It is a valuable lesson; getting into the money is nice, but to really have a chance you have to hold enough chips to withstand a dry spell. I need to be a little more aggressive before reaching the money round.

In the one where I finished second I opened with pocket rockets. I did not want to go all in so I bet 500. 4 people stayed with me. The flop was not bad at all, no straight or flush draws so I laid out another 5. 2 people stayed. 4th street brought a third suited card to the board so I checked as did they. I king came on the river, I checked, one guy put in his last 500, I called, the other guy folded. Sure enough, he caught the river king...and had nothing else. I instantly had almost 5000 chips. On the 11th hand I got them again and again took people for a ride.
Then I did not catch a hand for a while and bled chips. by the time we hit top 3 we were about even, all of us with between 4900 and 6800 chips. We went back and forth for a while until we all three caught hands at the same time, got pot committed, and on the river my King/Jack pair with Ace kicker ran into an Ace high straight.



jan 3rd

while making dinner, jumped in 45 player tourney. first hand, caught fishhooks. Raised to drive everyone off. Nobody driven off. They checked the flop, low flop with outside chance at straight draw if someone stayed in with 2/3. Someone re-raised. Misread their raise, called...that pot committed me so when someone else went all-in, so did I and sure enough...cowboys. short and ugly, very poorly played by me.

January 2

Was super tired. Literally never went to bed all night of the first. Got back from "Charlotte's Web" (2006), decided to play in the last day of Texas Hold 'Em sit & go tournaments on
First up was a pot limit game.

Typically in pot limit people will reraise each other until it hits the maximum. This severely alters play. I like to see the flop and tend to pay into almost every pot in no limit...I will pay 10 on the chance of hitting the flop and getting someone to bet into me. Well, in limit hold'em...the raises are limited so you should really only play when you have a strong hand. If you bet into every pot, even the ones you win aren't going to pay you back for all those you miss. The math simply isn't correct. This means I am a poor pot limit player since I bet into too many hands holding 5/6 off suit type stuff. As a result, I rapidly get short stacked and unlike No Limit where one hand takes you from short stack to chip leader, Pot Limit requires more of a slow, steady climb where you only play hands like high pair from anywhere, low or medium pair from late position when only a few people are in the pot, Big Slick, etc. Normally I enjoy the challenge and adjust my game accordingly but last night I was not in the mood to sit out hand after hand after hand catching nothing. At one point I had seen the flop something like 3 of 23 times. Then i got bored and just went nuts, calling everything, doing what they call "tilt" betting. Essentially, if I had a pair i bet it like a straight, a straight I bet like a flush, and a flush I bet like a full boat. Not that I got any straights or flushes...actually, I was lucky to catch a pair. Of course, in limit, you can't really bluff people as they can easily and inexpensively match you. Got down to 400 chips, managed to get all in...and won. Went all in with 490....and won. Went all in with 560....and won. Ridiculous. Got up to 1100 ish before my luck turned and I was able to bust out. Which I was trying to do.

So I went back to my first love, no limit Hold 'Em.
Started with my the big blind, see the flop, fold if it misses me. Requires discipline, especially when nothing is hitting. Fortunately, this time I had a King in the pocket on the third hand and 2 more came on the flop. I smooth called, then when someone bet 200 after a 9 on 4th street I came over the top for a thousand more. When you start with 1500....that's a lot. I figured the big bet would drive people off. It didn't. Three people called and my Alabama Night Riders held up to give me the comfortable chip lead.

There are a couple of choices I had at that point. One would be to sit on it, only play big hands and shoot for the final two, planning to win heads up. This is the conservative way. Or you can play my way...see every flop regardless of your hand. Well, playing that way I was missing flop after flop after flop. So when I pulled 4/8 off suit I folded...and the flop came with a pair of 4s.

*** When you start a strategy, stick with it. I knew going in I would pay a lot of pots a small amount, but then get it back when the flop hit me. By stopping 1 hand early I cost myself. ***

Got to about 3500 chips and the guy before me stold my blinds twice. I told him I had my eye on him and his blind stealing, to be careful. He called the blinds once, then raised them a hundred. At that point the blinds were something like 15/30, so that was a substantial raise. He had a habit of "sitting out" when he had enough chips to be top three, then coming in to play when he was out of the money. He had just gone out of the money so come back in to play. I had about a 2 - 1 chip lead and K/10 off suit so I came over the top and went all in. The other 2 (we were down to top 4) players dropped, he called so we were head to head.. He had J/Q suited.
I caught a King on the flop, he caught a 10 Queen. 4th street gave him a nine and possible gut shot straight but the river gave me the Alabama Night Riders and put him out.

Don't blind steal me. I will put you all in as soon as I have a hand and it will cost you.

I went back to seeing every flop and pretty quick picked up a straight. So did the guy who had been going back and forth with me for chip lead so we split the pot. The next hand the short stack took him for a ride, dropping him from about 6K to 3200 and putting her in first. The next hand he made a bit of a tilt bet and I put him away.

Heads up went back and forth. It is hard getting someone to bet into a hand they don't have. Finally I caught Big Slick when she had Q/J and we went all-in. I just had to avoid the Jack..she paired her Jack on the flop...but I paired my King. We both hit the Queen on 4th street and the River was nothing so I had another tournament win.

The Home Game

Friday, Dec. 29th, 2006
Held the first Hold-em home game. Kenneth, Stanica, Phillip, Pete, Robin, Alan and I got together to play Texas Hold'em. It was Stanica's first time playing. She was playing almost every hand....and won far more than her share to twice become chip leader. I was overcalling 2 pair and was short stack until I hit the Ace High Diamond Flush against Kenneth to become chip lead. Not too long after that put Pete out and at the end it was Kenneth and I heads up. Ended up defeating him. Alan had been the first out, then Robin, Stanica, Phillip, Pete, Kenneth. Good learning experience.