Monday, August 28, 2006

The rollacoster ride.

So I know that I haven't posted for a while and there are several reasons for this. Firstly like all my brilliant ideas this one lasted a few days until the novelty factor wore off and I became lazy. Secondly after not posting for so long I had forgotten my password; but all is well after some good guessing. And lastly I don't like posting when my online poker isn't going well, as measured by bankroll size, you know the saying a gambler always tells you when he is winning but not when he is losing. Well I prefer to think about poker when my bankroll is up and not down so I guess it applies to me quite accurately.

Anyway after a request for more posts from a good friend I am making an effort and after thinking what to wirte about; I did manage to come up with some situations and thoughts that I consider interesting. This is my second go at this post since my computer crashed half way through the first and that really pissed me off since I had written quite a lot. (btw this is going to be a loooong post)

So going back about a month when I posted last I had had a good few weeks and was doing well. And then I managed to lose several buyins after some bad play on my part and I was annoyed with myself for virtually giving that money away because the bad play was me making the same mistake over and over again; obviously it takes me a while to learn from my mistakes.
Some days when you sit down at the poker table things just don't go your way; you can't pick up a hand for ages or when you eventually do find something half playable you simple can't connect with the flop no matter what. What you are supposed to do is sit there and wait longer or leave and come back later patience is a virtue and very important when it come to good poker. What happens with me is that I get bored and start trying to 'outplay' my opponents.

The problem that arises is that at the low limits most players don't really know what they are doing; they don't seem to be aware of table image and they don't understand the significance of bet size or interpret it incorrectly and in omaha bet size is especially important given the drawing nature of the game. So whenever I would make these plays I would always get called down by sucker straights or bottom sets etc all the sort of donkey stuff that better players are supposed to make their money off and it is true that whenever you have a good hand you are very likely to get paid off.

Anyway after a few days and some more losses for other reasons I don't remember I decided I hadn't played a tournament in a while and decided to have a go the first one coming up was the $10 rebuy which is way out my bankroll but after losing quite a bit of it I thought why not; a bit more won't hurt. The tourney went my way for the most part; I managed to build a huge stack during rebuys and didn't donkey it off like I normally do I was playing good TAG poker and things were going well I even won a few 50/50 which is quite rare for me. I ended up coming 37 out of 1100 players for $140 when I lost a crucial flip my QQ against AK flop Q 10 x and I'm sure you can guess what came on the river. I felt that had I won that I would have made the final table oh well not to be. What that tourney did was to show me that when I am playing really well I can get quite far even in these lottery events.

So after that few days went past and I decided to go back to the cash table and after I clicked on the wrong table I found myself at a 0.25/0.50 table and for some reason I decided to stay. I played good and was patient and built my stack up when an interesting hand came up I had 10c8c9s5h in the big blind few people limped in and we saw a flop of 9c7c5s giving me two pair and an open ended straight flush draw. So I led out and bet and got raised by another player; everyone else folded. I put him on a set of some kind probably sevens; in retrospect this was probably wrong as I had seen him play his draws very hard several times. I ofcourse called and turn comes Jc. I check to him my thinking at the time being that the club would be a scary card and hoping he would fill up on the river and pay off my straight flush. He did a curious thing and moved all in I call and he shows the AcQcxx. That gave me a nice pot but I got lucky there, I suppose I was ahead on the flop and had blockers/outs.

So recently after a few good sessions my bankroll on Stars has hit $330 not bad from starting with $15 although there have been ups and downs along the way. In addition since my bank has extended my overdraft I decided to invest a little into trying to get a Partypoker bankroll going as well. Here I started with $75; first thing I did was play a regular $10 MTT out of 900 runners I came 62nd for $22 this wasn't a rebuy but still had a 2k first prize which is quite tatsy especially given the poor standard of play generally. Again I had been playing good TAG poker but this time I was broken not by a coin flip but something a bit more intresting.

In the late stages of the tournament blinds were very high and stealing them added a significant proportion to my stack and I was one of the bigger stacks with about double the average chips. What I started to notice was how little the other players on my table challeneged a raise almost every hand it was raise fold fold fold. I suppose with blinds that high people felt a reraise would pot commit them for their entire stack and due to the gap concept its hard to do this without a premium holding. Recently since I had started to take poker more seriously I have started reading articles by successful online players on pocketfives.com in order to try and gain some insight and I remebered reading somewhere that you have to adapt to your table situation. So seeing as my table was so tight I started raising with any two cards when it folded to me in mid or late position; even once under the gun. This may be a shocker to anyone who knows me as I am generally a very solid player but the stealing these massive blinds was very plus EV.

Anyway that was the background for the following I believed I wasn't the only one who noticed how tight the table was; so I got dealt A9s in mid position when another relatively large stack raised utg+2 and my instincts told he didn't have a massive hand therefore thinking that he wouldn't want to get involved with another big stack I reraised him. He thouhgt about it for a while which also told me he didn't have a big hand since I thought he would have moved in on me trying to protect his hand. Instead after a while he called and saw a flop of Q rag rag and he moved all in. I thought about it for a while and decided I had to fold still not sure if it was the right move felt like he stop and go'ed me. After that I had few chips left and the blinds just went up had to move in with 88 called by KK no miricle and I was out. However I feel I am actually gaining some ability to read people something I never could do before unless they were very inexprienced and my ability to change gears for the appropriate situation has also improved. Furthermore after reading an article online I've realised that situations like that are where tournaments are won and lost as stealling high blinds is crucial to coming to the final table with a good stack to give yourself the best shot to win.

Lastly I will mention a hand that happened on a holdem cash table on party their lowest ones are $0.10/$0.25 player utg min raises I have 77 in mid position and call the guy to my immediate right reraises to $2 and I instantly put him on a big hand AA or AK the utg player flat calls as do I nothing wring here I hope to hit my set and bust one or both of them. The flop comes 7QA utg bets out 2/3 pot and I flat call the guy behind me min raises and utg goes all in and I knew exactly what each of them had and in typical donkey fashion by me instead of folding I call all in as does the guy behind me utg has QQ other guy has AA leaving me to draw for the case 7 turn rive both blanks and I've just lost a buyin d'oh. What are the odds of set over set over set anyone?

Oh well party roll down to about $50 but I live to fight another day. In the words of bugs bunny That's all folks. Tune in next time for more tales of the rollacoster.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

If it wasn't for luck I would win everytime.

So I went and watched Superman Returns at the cinema the other night, I could have gone to a house party a friend was having but him and all his mates are all stonners and I couldn't be bothered to be around them when they are in that state or worse.......

Anyway I thought the film wasn't bad can't say I would like to watch it again but it filled up an evening. Althought the reasons why hollywood always insists on turning perfectly good movies into bible epics I will never understand. The man who died to save all humanity and then was ressurected hmmmmm does it ring any bells I wonder. Perhaps it has to do with the ever increasing rise of the Christian right in American politics and ideology who knows.

Anyway I've had a good few poker sessions lately. Currently my bankroll stands at $180. I made quads in holdem the other day and got paid of by king high and queen high although there was a full house on board by the river I don't know if they thought their hands were good to start with or if they were fishing but I appreciated their donations none the less.
And earlier today I flopped a full house in omaha and got all the money in on the flop against another guy holding the same house however things went my way when I turned a bigger full house. It has happened to me quite a few times and today was my turn I suppose. I think the thing that I have improved most in my game lately is the ability to lay down a good hand when I'm quite sure I'm beat; that used to get me into a lot of trouble before.

Anyway I've also been watching some episodes of high stakes poker and although I'm sure lots of people get annoyed by Daniel Negreanu's impressions of Mihn Ly I have found them to be rather comical. I have also gained a huge respect for Phil Laak's solid and very profitable game. It's interesting the way the tv companies portray poker and how playing a good solid game is almost discouraged by them simply because they want to make the show more interesting and excititng for viewers with no regard for the fact that small fortunes are won and lost in each hand. This extends beyond high stakes poker and includes most poker tv shows.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Hmmmm....opening comments.

I never used to like english when I was at school; I suppose its because you had to organise your thoughts before writing essays and thats not how my mind works; random stuff just floats about. How this is relevant to blogging is as follows this is my first ever blog, I haven't had a lot to do lately so I thought I would try it, and secondly the fact that coming up with something coherent isn't as straight forward as it seemed when I had the idea.

Now this blog is probably going to be quite poker related although general stuff will appear form time to time as well.

Currently I play poker online on PokerStars very good site or at least I like it.

So going back about a month or so I had finished uni and had very little to do with my time while I looked for a job and equally no money to speak of having almost maxed my overdraft and credit card. So I decided to see if I had any money left in my stars account and did find about $15. With which I decided to try my luck (I suppose I should say luck/skill but with that amount it's basically luck). Sat down at a 10cent/25cent omaha table and didn't do so well to start with and went down to $5 then managed a double up and a comeback and cashed out about $40.

At that point I decided to see if I could grind my way to a decent bankroll. Technically you are not supposed to play with more than 5% of your current bankroll at one time but grinding at 1cent /2cent I considered below me so I moved down to 5cent/10cent at least there I had 4 buyins.

Anyway several ups and downs later yesterday I reached the nice round number of $140. I like round numbers to the point that I even sent one of my friends $0.02 just so as to get such a number.

Just a quick hand analysis of one that I played yesterday. I find Jh8h on the button and there are a few limpers and the cutoff raises to 3bb. So i decided to call with position and because I just thought my hand looked pretty and had potetial. Everyone else folded and we took a flop of 10h3h7d. I immediately thought jackpot, having flopped a monster draw, now my opponent bet out about pot and I had to decide how to play. I'm not keen on the call and try to catch your card approach if your opponent has top pair or an overpair you call and get lucky and make your had it's going to be difficult to make more money out of him/her unless they are a paticularly bad player. So I decided to raise to try and build the pot but also to see if he had a hand or just two big cards that missed the board. I raised min by accident and he called so I still wasn't sure what he had but I thought that I was probably favourite. The turn came the Js and he bet out again and I raised all in for like another $2. The guy thought and thought for ages and called I suppose he had to call only another $2 into about a $16 pot by this point. At that point I was sure I had the best hand river came the 2d and he showed As10s giving me a nice pot. According to cardplayer.com odds calculator I was a 54% favourite on the flop and a 91% favorite on the turn. So the best hand won.

Enough rambling for one day.