Saturday, December 31, 2005

Well that's it for 2005

It's been a year of learning about the game for me. I've stepped my game from newbie up to "decent" so who knows what 2006 will bring.

Finished off the year with two tables (1 50NL with 2 maniacs and 1 100NL with a couple loose passives). Came out down 3 buy-ins at 50NL (f'in maniacs) and up 75 at 100NL.

I hope these are the last beats im going to take this year. Here's the 50NL ones from today so I can get these off my chest before '06.

Beat #1:

I raise with KK, other guy re-raises, maniac calls, other guy calls, I re-raise to 12, original raiser calls, maniac calls, other guy folds.

Flop is 4-5-8 rainbow, I bet $30, PFR calls, maniac re-raises all-in (I have 25 more), i call, other guy calls.

Maniac had 67o. Feck.

Beat #2:

I flop TPTK with AK, on T7K board other maniac catches a gutshot when we're all-in on the turn.

Here's to hoping these things dont happen often in '06.

Peace to all and Happy New Year.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Toast On Playing Loose-Aggressive Style Poker

"Normally when I try and play back at a passive i'll only fire one, this time it was two. It's only spewing if he likes his hand enough to pay a lot to show it down."

Referring to a pure bluff against a loose passive player.

-- Yours Truly

Breakeven in December

Oh the weather outside is frightful, and so's my luckbox factor.

Yep, i'm breaking even. I've only played a bit of poker this month so far (3k hands) so i'm definately behind in a lot of respects. I think i've been goofing off more than usual though, as my stats include 50NL, 100NL, 200NL, and 2/4 Bad Beat Limit. PT says i'm up $4.50 for December so that's exciting.

I decided to take a payday (for the year) and cash out $1k USD from neteller. Exciting... not exactly but it makes me feel better that I'm reaping a reward that's not all digital.

Hopefully will get back in the profitable column shortly... but rakeback will help.

:)

Sunday, December 18, 2005

I'm not dead I swear.

Just wanted to let y'all know, i'm still around. I took about a week off of poker entirely in order to recharge and now I'm back to enjoying it.

Played a 2+2 25PL game the other night and had a great time donking it up and generally playing over-aggro to keep up. High variance those games as some people dropped 10 buy-ins. :P

Anyways, as I write this i'm playing my first game of 200NL. I'm seriously considering taking half my bankroll out of play right now which would stick me in 100NL for a while longer so I figure i'll take a shot and see what happens for the moment. Either way it wont kill me to see how the play is up a level -- plus i'm bankrolled for it.

I think it's a good omen that I got over the 20-buyin number while winning with 2+2ers. Will report back.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Visiting Austin Texas and November Results

Well, I just got back from business in Austin, TX folks... and I've got to say that's a hell of a town.

Depart Home: 7am Wed
Arrive Home: 2am Saturday
Wake Up: 1pm Saturday

Conclusions:
I didn't sleep much.
I did drink too much.
Austin's 6th street is fun.
Drunken coworkers are funny.
Drunken American customers can't hang with us Canucks.
I need to lose a few lbs.
Austin has better looking girls.

Oh... and my November Results are in. We'll ignore any deposit bonuses. I pretty much came back from that little downswing I mentioned in an earlier post.

100NL 6-Max
Total Hands: 4933
P/L: +$734.24
Winrate: 7.44 PTBB/100

I had that winrate up above 10BB/100 for a stretch but that bad run brought me back to reality. Still not quite ready for 200NL -- but i'm working on it.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Swing Low...

The poker blues are once again upon your humble hero, Toast. I'm losing money like my coworker Scotty loses hair... and that's fast... but as with his problem... its natural.

No tilt for me i'm happy to say, just some bad luck. For example, QQ on a QJx flop loses to running 9's for quads over my full house. Yikes! I just have to laugh about stuff like that... it sucks but theres not a damn thing I can do to prevent it so I wont worry about it.

I'm down $350 in the past 5 days of play -- around 2k hands. Could be much worse... hell, i've lost $350 in a single session recently. I'm working on plugging leaks still (downswings tend to make me take a good look at my game). I'm currently focusing on loosening up a bit, working on my continuation bet size as well as starting to use delayed continuation bets.

Started an interesting thread at 2+2 about continuation bet size, and had some solid responses.

Oh, and i forgot. Down $16 at casino niagara in 5 hours of play... damn rake. :)

Thursday, November 24, 2005

An Expensive Lesson

Last night I began my session by immediately dropping $50 on a hand. I got a bit unlucky when a donk caught two pair when I had him dominated, but that's poker.

Then, as usual, things turned around, and I quit for dinner around +$25. Returning to the game, I swung down to -$25 for the day, then ran it up to +$144 when I check/raised the flop all-in with Ace of Clubs on a 3-club flop against an extremely aggro player and he paid me off with an OESD (ace high wins).

I dropped a few bucks from there, and then once again got into it with the aggro player. I was sitting on $210 and he had me covered. Note, this is not how to play a hand... its awful on my part but I was blinded because the action player was in the hand and I had my dad watching the game over my shoulder.

I raise to $4 with A8o from the SB with no limpers and the BB (action guy) min raises to $7, I call.
($15) Flop: T-8-x 2 clubs.
I check, Villain bets $20, I call
($55) Turn: BLANK I check, Villain checks (BELLS SHOULD GO OFF HERE BUT THEY DIDNT)
($55) River: CLUB I bet $40, Villain raises to $200, I call?!?

Now, that's as bad a hand as I've played in a long time... yes, I admit I played it like an IDIOT and I deserved to lose every cent in front of me. I started to play tilty on my tables in the next 10 hands and quit quickly when I realized I was being over-aggro in anger. Unfortunately that hand cost me $210, but here's the lesson...

I do not play well with people watching me play my cards. It was true at the Degree Poker tournament, and it was true a few weeks ago when I dropped $350, and it's true last night when I played this hand. There's some part of me that wants to impress the people watching by "outplaying" the players, when all i'm doing is outplaying myself. And, what I end up doing is paying other players and looking like I dont know what im doing.

I'm not sure why it's any different when I play alone, but it is, and measurably different at that. I think the fact of the matter is that somewhere in my head, I believe that folding in front of a "sweater" means losing -- and I don't enjoy losing so I don't fold when I need to. Laying down hands when you should know you're beat is key to being a good player, and sometimes I act like i'm not a good player.

Then tilt sets in because I played it like an idiot. The way the cards fall can be unfair sometimes, but that's poker... but when *I* donk it up, that really upsets me...

So, this lesson has cost me a few hundred of the bankroll. I certainly hope the realization helps to fix the problem.

Hopefully will be playing some B&M tonight and tomorrow -- the yankees on thanksgiving should provide some solid fishing... but who knows if i'll get anything to play with.

Still plugging leaks... lots to go... Toast.

Monday, November 21, 2005

I Played Party Blackjack

Tonight, while waiting for a seat to open at a particularly fishy table, I decided to give Party blackjack a try.

I sat down with the minimum, $1. And I bet it all on the first hand.

I was dealt a J and a 2. Dealer showed 5. I hit stand, and the dealer busted.

On top of the world, ahead $1 at Party blackjack, I quit.

Will I return? Probably not.

Stupid -EV games.

:)

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Taking a Break From Poker

Poker has been very good to me. It's given me something to think about as a default whenever I become bored. Not paying attention to what the girlfriend is saying? I'm thinking about poker. Can't focus on programming code at work? That's right, poker.

But then a day comes along like last tuesday night, where I lose more than I've ever lost before at the game, and more than I'd ever thought I would play for. $350 USD gone in an hour and a half. That's only 3.5 buy-ins at 100NL which is the game I play, and that's not out of the ordinary to drop 3.5 buy-ins in a short amount of time. I first was down $100 due to making moves where players couldnt fold marginal hands (my fault), then I lost another $100 where my pocket rockets got out-flopped when we had $50 in each pre-flop.... he had 77 and flopped a set. I wouldn't have played this different. Then, my overpair queens lost to a guy who played 62o and slowplayed three sixes. I knew I should have folded but was pot committed and he had me covered... and then... it happened. I did what poker players need to avoid at all costs, I made that money real for a second. /gasp I just lost three-hundred-and-fifty bucks USD. That number was turned over in my head a few times, and I knew this was the day where I'd figure out if 100NL was as high as i'd ever climb and still be ok with the losses. Did I freak? Did I punch a wall? Did I swear off the game I've loved for the past year and a half?

No.

I gently shut my notebook lid, I grabbed a glass of water, and I went to watch a movie knowing I was done for the night... that's it. And since then i've just played very little poker due to my hectic schedule (travelling on business and house-related stuff). Not on tilt, and more importantly, not worried about the money. I'm fully bankrolled for my limit, and I'm beating it, and I can take it. 100NL won't be the end for me -- I didn't really think it would be.

Today, I made it out to Casino Niagara and sat at 3/6 while waiting for 1/2. Came out $28 whopping dollars ahead after 3 hours of play at 1/2, big money huh?

It reminds me why I don't like full ring.

Toast.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Small Stakes No-Limit Required Reading

In the hopes that this here blog actually serves to educate a reader (god forbid), here are a few posts you should read if you're a Small Stakes NL Player.

SSNL 2+2 Digest - Nov 2, 2006 - The good stuff from the past week at 2+2.



Strassa2's 2+2 Post On Big Picture Thinking - Too often we're caught up in the practical details of extracting money from the fish rather than learning to play better poker.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Back at Party

Well, finally I worked out an arrangement for PartyPoker so i'm back in the deep waters, and man are the games good. Stars in comparison has just a higher number of good players, but at Party i'm almost never at a table with good players.

The bankroll has been growing nicely still, and i'm looking forward to my next big move already. I'm taking the 2+2 advice and moving up as soon as possible when I hit the magic bankroll mark, likely by opening a single 200NL table with my 100NL games just to get a feel for it then making the jump. Hopefully won't get burned too much. WHenever I move up it always seems like the amount of $$ i'm playing for is a bit scary, but once I play for a few days/weeks, it no longer bothers me.

Also, i'm happy to report that the home game is back on weekly it seems so I've got a little live action to look forward to.

Thats it, i'll let you know when i hit 200NL.

Monday, October 31, 2005

Golf & Poker? Well, Just Poker For A While...

I think golf season is over. Yesterday was a very nice 15 degrees, good sun, nice breeze... a nice fall day. But I don't expect more of this weather in southern ontario for a while... so my clubs and shoes are clean and in my basement waiting for next season. Hey, I could get lucky and be able to go out next weekend who knows? I'm not going to bet on it though.

Yesterday's golf was typical of my year, a few good spots with a lot of little mistakes. I'm still striking the ball pretty well, but there's something missing in my accuracy and fine distance control. It's amazing how 5 yards extra carry can change a hole from a birdie opportunity into a bogey save opp. Oh well, it was a fun year. I didn't play as much as I wanted to due to the extreme temperatures, but I really can't complain.

On to poker... I finally caught some luck on Stars and made around 225 one evening. Also, my new account at Party is ready so i've been playing there for a few hundred hands so far... got sucked out on for a stack ($100) yesterday but made it back after a few hundred more hands.

I'll update on the bankroll in a few thousand more hands... it doesn't really have to be weekly. As long as it's moving forward at a decent clip i'm happy.

Perhaps I should start making some compilation posts of interesting poker web sites / pages each week... that sound good?

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Remind me again why I dislike tournaments?

Oh yeah, because I like to go deep in them and then do something really stupid.

The inaugural pokerstars blogger tourney was just exited by yours truly.

I did well for a while, running my chips up to 25th or so with 800 remaining, but then a cold spell of cards hit and as the blinds went up, my chips went down.

My final hand I held QQ on the button with 10k in chips, two limpers to me and I made it 2000 to go with blinds at 200/400 ante 25. One caller. Flop was 3-hearts with a King. Checked to me, I bet 4k into a 5k pot and he c/r's me all in which I call. At this point i'm praying he's drawing to his hearts as I dont see him limping AK but no... A3 hearts and i'm toast.

It was a nice flop for him, but I should have checked immediately on that flop and conserved my chips. DUMBASS.

Anyhoo, thats why I dont play tournaments... because I like to go 2 hours and then fuck it all up.

On the upside, I got to play with Matt "Jacksup" Matros for a few hands though we never tangled.

I finished ahead of a lot of players who I respect (277 out of 1473), so I figure i didn't donk it up totally.

Thanks PokerStars... you're the best!

My cash games have not treated me well this weekend. One of my first hands today I get AA and re-raise an early raiser, one donk calls, the raiser pushes for another $10, I re-raise to $50 and the donk calls. Flop is Kxx two hearts. I push my remaining 43, donk calls... blank.. heart.

Guess what the donk has? thats right bitches, J9s in hearts. That silly fucker called $50 of real no-nonsense money at a 100NL table pre-flop with fucking Jack Nine Suited.

After dropping a bit more, i worked it back to only be down $40 for the day.

I wish stars had a buddy list.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Going down down baby...

Today I played a short one-table session. Was down quickly around $90, then got back to even, then this. Two hands in a row... the poker gods have smoten me... SMOTEN ME.

Hand 1:
Villain has $31.50
Hero has a whole crapload more

Hero flops top set on a 9d8s6s board and bets out $3
Villain raises to $9, Hero re-raises to $30, villain calls all-in

Turn: 3c
River: 8d

What's villain got? You got it, a pair of 8's. Rivered his fabulous 1 outer. Can't beat variance fellows. 94% favorite here.

Hand 2:
(right afterwards)
Villain is a moron maniac and has 117, Hero covers

Hero has 5s Ks in SB and completes

($3) Flop is 5c 5h Js
Hero checks, both others check. No draws on board so I figure I need to let some rope out to make some $$.

($3) Turn is Ac
Hero bets $2, one fold, Villain calls

($7) River is 7c
Hero bets $5, Villain raises to $15, hero calls

Villain shows down Kc 6c for the runner runner flush.

UGH. Was a 95% favorite on the flop here.. rough.

Listen, i'm not complaining about bad beats. These things DO happen and I dont feel bad about losing the money when I got $$ in good. I suppose the river on the second I could have check/called but against this donk you never know what you're going to see in his pocket.

That's a loss of $70 for the session, and I'm overall down a whopping $44 at Stars right now through 2850 hands since I moved from Party Skins.

This below-average luck thing is getting old. I can't get ahead and am constantly playing catch-up in sessions. Perhaps I need to get out and play some other sites when the bonus clears... it really is just bad luck at the moment.

Feh.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Poker Bad Run Continues... Blah....

Yeah, it sucks. Lots of hands where I had to fold big hands to bigger ones, lots of hands where the opponent sucked out on me.

Was originally up around $100 for the day in a few hundred hands of 2-tabling. Then dropped a massive $170 at one table in an unending string of beats that actually had me pissed off (it takes a lot). Ended the day down $80... ugh. Ugly. Still not horribly bad numbers but its definately some shitty variance.

Last hand I played I fired un-improved KQ into the flop and turn against a calling station. When I do stupid shit like that it's time to quit. "Bluff Morons Less" should be written over my desk.

Meh, down around $100 at Stars $100 NL. That's really nothing as its virtually break-even but I feel like I can't get ahead so far. Still, I enjoyed that bluff yesterday though I think it was ill-advised. Sure was fun.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Position Power

Now, I won't justify this hand as being played well on my part, nor will I do this often, but it clearly illustrates how position at the poker table can be leveraged even against the craziest, loosest of players.

SB in this hand is a true loose-aggressive maniac.

Pre-flop, i knew he would raise thus my call instead of a raise on the button. Why not let the maniac OOP run the hand? He's likely to whiff the flop and I'll steal it with a raise.

Flop: carried out the plan, problem is, he called. My thinking at this point is that he actually connected, but does not like his hand as the maniac he is would have re-raised a hand he liked.

Turn: maniac's dont check unless they're c/r'ing and I dont think this one is so let's grow a pair and bet like i've got him killed. He pauses, and calls again. Hmm. Wants a cheap showdown it seems like.

River: No draws completed, he's clearly got my hand beat but he doesn't know that. I figured I was around 50/50 here on getting a fold. Worst case i'll get piles of action next time I'm in a hand with him :) Fire away!

Yes, i'm an idiot, but these were actually my thought processes at the time.

PokerStars No-Limit Hold'em, $1.00 BB (6 handed) converter



Hero ($75.45)

SB ($227.80)

BB ($90.30)

UTG ($31.90)

MP ($84)

CO ($24.85)



Preflop: Hero is Button with 7s, 7c.

2 folds, CO calls $1, Hero calls $1, SB raises to $4, 1 fold, CO folds, Hero calls $3.



Flop: ($10) Ts, Kd, 2c (2 players)

SB bets $4, Hero raises to $10, SB calls $6.



Turn: ($30) Jc (2 players)

SB checks, Hero bets $20, SB calls $20.



River: ($70) 3d (2 players)

SB checks, Hero bets $41.45 (All-In), SB folds.



Final Pot: $111.45

Monday, October 17, 2005

Running Bad

Wow it blows to run bad at this game. I'm getting pretty mediocre cards for the most part, so no easy money. Grinding like mad to keep up with the beats is mentally draining. A typical session at the moment is going, lose half the stack on a beat, grind it back, lose it again. Ugh.

Here's a few ugly hands, I think i'm on one of my natural downswings right now, and am not getting the least bit upset with these... check em out.

Bigger losers today:
Lose $34 with 99 as an overpair to a guy who flopped two pair
Lose $33 with AQ to A8 when he hit runner runner for a flush
Lose $27 with KQ on a Q high board against AJ when he hits running cards for two pair
Lose $27 with QQ as an overpair on a 66T board against a LAG (64s baby)
Lose $14 with AA on a 4-5-9 flop to a guy who pushes his tiny stack with J9 and hits a 9 on the turn

Meh... I can't get mad about that stuff... thats just poker... but the unfortunate thing is the poker gods like to stick those things together to bring doubt to a faithful player like me.

Either that or Stars is rigged! Umm.. nah.

Anyhoo, dropped $80 today on stars total. That's really not bad at all considering how my hands played out. Any time I escape a "bad day" without dropping 2 buy-ins, i'm happy.

Friday, October 14, 2005

This Week In Poker

Well, it's about that time again boys and girls.

Due to the party skinning issue, I was seriously out of commission as most of my BR was sitting in EuroBet. Finally that money transferred into Neteller, so I decided to at least push a few bucks into Stars for their current bonus. I still haven't decided what to do about party. They cost me at least a few days of play this week, jackasses.

Ok, i'll do my best. I played 1x$10 buy-in tourney at stars and finished at 304 of 1400 when I did a stupid and called an all-in on an ace high flop with AJ. DUMB DEE DUMB DUMB DUMB.

I played a few hundred hands of 100NL at Stars. I'm barely ahead, but adapting to their play. It is slightly different than party, and I actually had a decent lag at my table yesterday which is rare. Oh well.

BR:

Stars: $890.57
EuroBet: $24.43 + $25 bonus (which I dont know if i'll take the time to clear anymore)
Neteller: $1966.00

I have also learned that trying to work off the eurobet bonus playing 0.5/1 6-max is boring, and i'm not very good at it because I dont enjoy 5-to-the-flop limit poker anymore.

BR Total: $2881 + bonuses being worked off (they dont count)

The $100 is to extract my original online poker investment so my real-life people can't complain i'm blowing my money on the game. Thank you to all the people who i've ever sucked out on in order to build this rather tiny (but liveable) bankroll.

*smoochies*

Toast

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

The Sky Is Falling

I got skinned this weekend along with a few thousand other high volume players who enjoyed the bonuses at party skins better than partypoker itself. As i'm sure all of my poker-crazy readers have heard, Party created a private "skin" network, and kept the other 60k fish online at a time for their own network. That means I can't keep my Eurobet account open since the pond dried up.

So, of course, I cashed most of my eurobet bucks out, leaving only enough to work off a small bonus which is not cleared.

What this means it that I have a bunch of cash in Neteller with no clear direction to go. So many tempting sites to play on, so little time. Party itself I would love to not go back to, but what can i say... gotta go where the money is so that might be where I end up. Full Tilt, Stars, even iPoker network seems to be calling for a bit of my action though so we'll see.

Here's to hoping my eurobet cashout comes through shortly!

Played 9 holes saturday, 9 on sunday, and 18 monday over our long weekend for Canadian thanksgiving. Fun stuff and didn't come out behind on the bets so that works for me. I'm going to miss golf this winter.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Casino Niagara Tonight

Just finished up a short (3 hour) session at Casino Niagara's Poker Room. Unfortunately, I got stuck at 3/6 and couldnt get a move to the 1/2 NL games. On the up-side... the players were awful and I won a lot of bets from them (+161 in 3 hours play).

Not a big fan of bingo-poker, but if you nut peddle its hard to lose too much there.

You can't blow someone off a hand because they have never learned to fold. Seriously.... 2 hands didn't showdown at the table all night... scary.

NoSkillz kicked some butt too.

Oh, and for the poker room... the dealers are definately getting far better than when it opened.

Of course, there were milkshakes tonight, per ritual of a winning evening. Medium chocolate from McD's at 2:30am. Yeah baby.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Poker Makes Sense Again...

The good news is i'm on a bit of a heater in poker right now. The bad news of the week was that the expected start of the STGCCPT was cancelled due to illness on behalf of our host - twice. The other bad news was that I don't think we have enough regulars to put together a good game yet. Blah. I can't stand people who don't do what they say they're going to do.

Obligatory Bankroll Update:
Stars: no change
Party: $2512.74 (+$25 bonus being worked on but I won't count it)

Change: +$545.64 in 5 playing days.

I'll take it. That's progress though I know I've got lucky a few times which is unusual for me. Example, got it all-in on a flop with an overpair against a guy with a shitty two pair and caught a pairing card to corrupt him. I admit i've been a luckbox lately.

The other thing to note is that I've been tuning up the aggression a bit again. Post-flop streets are getting far better for me as I'm putting on huge pressure and it seems to be paying off. Note, nobody will ever call me a LAG (it's not my style), but I'm definately starting to push pressure points on the opponents more. NoSkillz thinks it's due to the fact that my bankroll is healthy for the limits I play and frankly I agree - without the ability to feel comfortable betting my $$ in the bad spots I'm screwed.

Also please note that my pal NoSkillz always has me sitting on his left re-raising when he flat-calls a LAG's bets... so that can't be fun.

There was whisper of a casino trip tonight. I won't put my $$ on that, but its possible I could have another fabulous B&M trip report for all one of you who read this blog.

Oh, and should have a good weekend of golf ahead of me! That's excitement.

Monday, October 03, 2005

100 Posts! Feel the excitement.

Yes, that's right, this is post #100 if my blogger interface is correct. Weeee...

Anyhow, down to the nuts and bolts.

Yesterday at golf I was not striking the ball awfully well, but yanked a 76 out of St. Catharines G&CC somehow so no complaints. Won a whopping $15 bucks after losing $10 in the nassau's and winning $25 for a skin on #6 when I donked it in from the greenside rough.

Yes, I donked it. Total luckbox.

Poker Bankroll:
Party Account: 1967.10
Change in the past 9 days: +$80.79

Well that's not very good. Unfortunately I dropped $150 last night, in one case dropped $40 on a moran where I didnt buy he had an ace (he did -- I'm dumb). In another dropped $50 on a true maniac where my JJ failed to beat Q7o (he flopped a Q and I was committed -- plus he was full of shit), and another 50 somehow I forget. In any case, I honestly think last night showed me my first real case of tilt, except it's not bad beat tilt, it's boredom tilt.

The guys at Up For Poker were talking about boredom tilt like this. That's a scary thought and perhaps i'll take their suggestion to take my non-nutpeddling tendencies to the smaller NL tables if i'm feeling like playing loosey goosey.

Oh well. Really looking forward to the PokerStars poker blogger tourney later this month... that's going to be fun.

Hope my next 100 posts are far better than my first 100. Maybe i'll express some actual strategy sometime. Believe it or not I actually have learned a few things about this game, but I don't feel like i'm good enough to give people my opinions.

Also, I think I might look for a poker coach... re-investing some winnings to make more winnings down the road seems like a +EV move.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Damn right i'm playing....

Poker Championship

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

This event is powered by PokerStars.

Registration code: 3462693

Friday, September 23, 2005

Bankroll Update - Sept 23, 2005

It's that time again folks.

Got off to a rocky start at 100NL and dropped a bit, no big deal. I have been sick this week thus haven't played many hands of poker.

Stars: Unchanged
Party: $1886.31

Change Since 1 Week Ago: +$24.76

Not exactly life changing numbers. Needless to say the party account did hit $2k from 50NL (as promised I waited), but I dropped back a bit immediately, then made a bit back so it's near even.

Golf continues, though not as much these days. Seems like we're having trouble getting weekend games together but hey... I can't complain when I can play both my games in the same day regardless.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Bankroll Update - Sept 16, 2005

Back to business:

Stars: unchanged
Party: $1861.55

Diff from 1 week ago: $360.67

Closing in! Look out 100NL.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

I think i'll have to wait for my TV poker debut...

Since I didnt actually play a hand on TV! They seemed to like my hole-cam because I flip my cards one by one to check them, but all I did on the program was folding twice pre-flop.

Unfortunately the TV commentators were awful. It makes Norman Chad seem like a real pro. I don't know if Landsburg is playing dumb or really has never played poker before and their percentages are wayyy off it seems.

Anyhoo... i'm still a TV virgin as far as i'm concerned. Who wants to pop my cherry?

Yours Truly On TV Tonight - in Canada

All you Canadians can catch me on TSN tonight at 9pm EST in Playoff #2 of the Degree Poker Championship.

/yikes

Hope I didnt say anything stupid in the interviews... yeesh.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Slow Wednesday Update

Hi everyone,

Sorry i've been "tardy" with the update. Hey, that's NoSkillz other nickname -- he's always late for everything.

Anyways, golf this past weekend was just Saturday. I played pretty decently on the front with a 37, birdied the first two on the back but had a stretch of 4 bad holes to shoot 76. Bah, I played much better than this score.

Poker has been good again. Running a bit warm, picking apart the lags, picking apart the over-tight players... basically learning to play the game properly. I've started to work a few moves into my game and it's been paying off handsomely. Semi-bluffs have worked, my pure bluffs (rare) haven't. Guess that says something about NL50.

Getting very close to my move-up line of $2k. Will have a bankroll update on Friday as usual but I'm looking forward to the transition. I haven't played very many hands of NL50 even, but when it's time to go, it's time to go. I know i'll never be satisfied if I just sit at a limit like NL50. Poker is as much about the challenge of improving as it is the money (since the money i'm playing for is relatively small).

I completely expect at the next few levels the money will become serious enough that my wagers will have real consequences in my life. Since i'm keeping a dedicated bankroll, that means little to my every-day life on downswings, but could mean a lot if it continues to grow. I would LOVE to be able to withdraw just 1k USD a month to invest. Honestly, I'm not even sure what my goal with poker is... 200NL? for now, yeah... thats the next level. I'm not the sort to take shots at 2kNL on a 100NL bankroll fortunately for my bankroll :)

Tell my a year ago I'd be playing poker with multiple-hundreds in buy-in... and I'd have told you you're nuts. Who knows what tomorrow will bring?

Friday, September 09, 2005

Bankroll Update - Sept 9, 2005

Well, its that time again boys and girls.

Stars: no change ($267.92)
Party: $1500.88

Change From 1 Week Ago: $410.80

Hmmm... that's better. Note that this increase includes the 10 hands at 100NL i played (foolishly probably) but doubled up for a hit&run so its all good.

I purchased a new book at Chapters yesterday - The Professor, The Banker & The Suicide King... yes... another poker book... good so far!

When (if) I hit $2k bankroll i'm on the move again. Somehow I doubt 100NL will be much tougher than 50NL... but going beyond that I know there's a tougher game waiting for me. Hope i get there sometime.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Luck Falls My Way For Once

Yes, rare I would post such a thing but last night I had some luck. Perhaps a bit of variance normalizing a bit? Anyhoo, I made $178 in a mere 229 hands so that helps a bit.


-----

Sorry Adam from previous thread, I think i'm too late for your Katrina tournament at royalvegaspoker.com. If not, it MIGHT be tonight at 9pm EST - $25 buy-in with half going to the american red cross.

Monday, September 05, 2005

An Outstanding Day

This being a long weekend, its a great chance to do all the stuff thats hard to do on a normal weekend.

Today Harris, NoSkillz, Preston and I went and played Grand Niagara golf club, a new Rees Jones design in Niagara Falls, ON. A nearly 7500 yard track, it's a test, and its awesome. I was a dismal 84 today... ugh. Still, there are some wicked holes including a 236 yard par 3 carrying a gigantic bunker guarding the right front of the green (playing into the wind, of course). Many raised greens with collections areas, lots of fescue, lots of tree and shrub filled hazards... it's tough. I highly recommend it, especially for the current deal of $99.

Fortunately, NoSkillz and I pulled off a victory over Harris and Preston, thus we were treated to dinner at Happy Jack's in Fort Erie. On Harris' reco, it's an awesome chinese food spot with top notch food. We totally devoured a huge and excellent meal.

Unfortunately, on the way home NoSkillz bailed out on Part 3 of the day -- poker. I'm actually getting used to hearing the bullshit excuses on this subject so I had the odds at 2:1 against even though he was gung ho the other day. Further, the golf pro's who were going to attend bailed too. As Harry would say when people ditch him... GO FUCK YOURSELVES. I always get a kick out of that.

I didn't let it stop me from completing part 3 of the ultimate day. Heading off to Casino Niagara around 9pm, I was put on the list for 1/2NL and 3/6 immediately. It took a bit to get a seat, so i wandered around checking out the new sportsbook which opens in a few days and the new bar. With the bar near the poker room, it's both too loud, and a bit smoky. GET RID OF THE CIGARETTES IN THE F'IN CARD ROOM ASSHOLES.

(By the way, i'm drinking while posting this).

And the reason i'm drinking beer as opposed to a milkshake (the traditional poker victory drink) is the fact that I KEEP GETTING KILLED at 1/2 NL at the casino. Here are all of my major hands.

1. I have JJ in MP and raise to $12 (typical raise here). One caller who is relatively shortstacked at 50 or so on the button. Flop is A-Q-x. I bet 15, he raises all-in for 38, I fold. No big deal. I've got to Continuation Bet that and had no info on the caller.

2. I have KQs in LP and raise to $12. Loose aggressive in the blinds calls. Flop is J-6-4. I CB 15 again, lag calls quickly. Turn is an Ace. LAG bets $5. I must have had a gus hansen face because I found that bet confusing, but at this point I've got nothing, but have a 4-out draw to the nut straight. River is the 10 completing my straight. He checks, I push, he calls w 88. Double me up i'm ahead again. Dumb bastard should have bet the turn 10 or 15 and the pot was his.

3. I have 77 on the button, 4 limpers, I limp. Blinds min-raise to $5, all call. Flop is 7-9-J. EP bets $10, I raise to $25. All fold to him. Turn is 10. EP checks, I check (the whole idea of pot control is something ive picked up recently). River is a beautiful 10 filling me up. EP checks, I bet $40 (about what he had left). He calls. I say "I have a boat", and flip over my cards. He said "So do I..." ... I PUKE... he flips over JJ for the higher full house. OH MY GOD. Nice hand i said. I didn't mean it... set over set sucks when you're on the ass end.

4. I have 79o in the SB with 5 limpers, I complete. Flop is PERFECT 6-8-T rainbow. I check planning to c/r. It's checked around... this table does not check around.... gah. Turn is a 7c. DAMNIT! I bet out $10. One caller. River is a Ac putting 3 clubs on board. I bet $15 as I figure we're splitting, nope... he had Kc-9c. Had the straight at the turn card, and a freeroll to the flush which he hit. UGH! DAMN.

REBUY!

5. I have KK in MP after two limpers. I raise to $12 and all fold. THEY NEVER ALL FOLD AT THIS TABLE! ugh.

6. I have AK on the button, 3 limpers to me and I make it $15. two callers. Flop is J-9-3 rainbow. Tricky-loose EP bets $20, I fold.

7. MP raises to $7 (his typical is $5) and I look down at JJ. I call from the button (should have re-raised but his raise was different than usual so I was wondering whats up). Flop is KK9. He bets $20 and stares weakly at the table. I take that as a tell that he's strong after a minute of thinking and fold. Not sure I enjoy this hand.

8. I GET THE HELL OUT. Down $140 for the night... fun huh? There's no way im getting away from that straight or full house hand... thats just awful.

I have NO LUCK at the casino. It's truly awful to be dealt good second-best hands so often. I played a typical tight-aggressive game with decent reads on the other players and I got murdered.

Feh. This is why im drinking beer instead of a milkshake.

Congrats to NoSkillz on his record 68 at St. Catharines Golf & C.C. on Saturday. That's pretty sick shooting.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Poker Results Update

Playing last night, I made a few VERY questionable plays. Both of them were all-ins. I also played a few hands brilliantly, still they did not even out and I was down $30 for the evening.

Bankroll:
Party: 1090.08
Stars: 267.92
-------------------
Total: $1358.00

Last Update: 9 days ago $1371.70
Change: (-13.70)

Well, that's pretty much break even poker for the levels im at. Hmm, not liking this whole break even thing.

Toast

Monday, August 29, 2005

A Weekend Of Golf And Poker

Saturday, I was lucky enough to play Rattlesnake Point golf clubs Sidewinder course with my bud Harris. This course was pretty sick and is on a HUGE plot of hand. Fairways are gigantic, greens were slick and smooth (well, not too slick, they had some rain), and the bunkers/fescue are omnipresent in landing zones. Fortunately, the fescue wasnt too thick or long so I was lucky enough to find and play my balls from it the whole day. That's called luck folks. Shot a quite reasonable 78 from the back tees (Gold) and putted like I knew how to.

Online poker was going well thursday, as I was up around a buy-in most of the night, when I had an awful hand happen to suck away every cent of profit and put me $20 in the hole. Full House over Full House... and not easy ones like you might expect... I dont think there's any way to get away from that one. Sunday I chased that with a few more rough ones including a set vs a straight, two pair over two pair twice, TPTK vs Aces, and AK v QQ on A7Q board. Ugh. Either I need to learn how to fold in these situations, or I need variance to give me a few hands on the good side of it.

Lost $87.39 total this weekend all-in. NoSkillz seems to be eating shit at NL as well, as his bankroll is almost in the reload stage which is NEVER good. Hmm... It would be easier to believe that I suck at this game if the hits im taking weren't rediculous. Im just not hitting much at the moment to make up for them. Oh well, i'm well bankrolled for the game and will stick with it till further notice :)

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Growth

I've been fiddling around with poker for a while now. Perhaps it has been a year or more i'm not really sure and I'm not in the mood to try and open my first PT database (back when it rated me a calling station).

While i've blogged my poker and golf exploits here for the last 6 months or so, I feel like it's time to start going beyond merely journalling my day to day results. I'm really not contributing any knowledge to the world other than how good or bad yesterday was, and that must stop. For all 1 of you reading this humble blog, I promise to do more, hopefully furthering your understanding of both golf and poker play. I do not claim to be good at either, but i've been around golf for the last 16 years of life, and poker for... well... not so long... but I am obsessed with the game and work hard at it so maybe something I say will help you.

I'll keep you up to date with my bankroll and results, but hopefully i'll also impart some knowledge (right or wrong :)).

To start, a tip about life..... Don't eat yellow snow.

Toast.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

The Bankroll

Well, it's time to find out where I stand with online poker once again. Last night was a $40 win at $50NL over a few hundred hands, so thats ok.

Drumroll...

Party: $1053.78
Stars: $317.92
-----------------------
TOTAL: $1371.70

Since last update:
18 days of play
(-86.37)

Well, that $400 downswing sucked hard but at least i'm climbing back into the saddle.

Seriously considering going back to the casino again shortly to try and make a bit of quick non-online cash. You know when I carry my watch and over 250 in cash that i'm considering playing b&m again :)

Monday, August 22, 2005

Wow, I went pretty deep in a big multi-table tourney

I have no idea why I don't play these more often. I think it's mainly due to the fact that I can money usually but not deep enough to make profit that justifies the 3-4 hours of play to get there. I suppose I should just open MTT and do other work at the same time to make it less boring. Really its pretty boring until near the money in my opinion.

Anyways, last night I decided to play a $3+0 stars MTT with 1845 other people. Doubled up the first hand with a set against an idiot with a small overpair to the board. I suppose people don't care much about $3. I can see why I guess. Anyways, i cruised along at about average chips the whole tournament. Never made a huge move up, and never scraped the bottom until the end. I placed 16th out of 1846 which isnt too shabby and made a whopping $41.54 back. I suppose that's better than minimum wage for the 4 hours it took but hey, it's fun right?

Near the end, blinds were 3k/6k with 300 ante and I had 20k. Red-zone if I ever saw it. So basically I was pushing or folding of course. I pushed and picked up the huge blinds and antes to make it to T$30k, then doubled through with AT v KJ to T$60k, then again to T$100k or so. This was still below the then 150k average with around 20 people left. In the BB I had the major chipleader to my right with 500k or so. Folded to us in the blinds, he raises to $40k (obviously he's going to pound me with that sort of chiplead) and I pushed in for my $100k with 88. He held ATs so we had ourselves a little coin flip and I came out on the short end.

All in all, i got my money in with the best of it every time I entered a pot, so I'm happy about that. I think I could stand to start playing more LAG in the mid-late stages as everyone's usually tight at that point but totally depends on chipcount. I was pretty happy... too bad I didnt make $1240 for 1st but there's always next time.

I think I might play a few more of these. Lots of dead money in the early stages to build a stack with and the payouts arent too bad given my meagre bankroll of $1200 or so currently.

Actually thought I had a shot at final table if I doubled through the last hand... *sigh*. Yes, definately must play more tournaments. I'm starting to "get" this NL thing.

ONE MORE THING

I made a big laydown at $50NL yesterday as well. Flopped a set of deuces and laid them down to a really tight straightforward player. Still feels weird, even wrong, but hey, its my read. I've never done that before so this is news to me. If I was right, i'm a better player for being able to put that to sleep. If i'm wrong, i'm a weakie... but again, against 99% of low limit players I'd never lay that down. It was weird.

Thats it for today, thanks for reading.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Golf Is Wierd, Dude.

So, this weekend I only had one round of golf scheduled -- my normal Sunday game. I dont know what sort of sissies I'm booked to play with, but only 3 people showed other than me. Oh well at least it was a foursome.

I played like garbage on the front nine. Two early scrambling pars and then bogeys with one double. Awful, crappy, and couldn't swing the club for the life of me. The back nine picked up a bit and shot 37 or something like that. 44/37. Hah.

Anyways, one thing that I did notice and the reason i'm posting this, is that I think I figured out a swing trick that helps me hit the ball better. I've found over the past few months while i've had a ... less than stellar performing swing... that I tend to have a whole lot of different things going on in my golf swing. That is to say, I tend to have different swingplanes depending on the day. My tempo is suspect sometimes too.

So here's the thing... On the driving range, when I hit my short irons (PW-LW), if I want to have dead aim, and I mean right all over the pin, all i've got to do is not finish my swing. I swing through, but up so that my hands finish high, but never wrap around back. My weight still transfers, my body still turns, but I dont finish the swing. I've always had a good ability to be dead on pins if I do this, but there is a cost of distance slightly.

After pissing myself off with my front nine performance, I started swinging a bit better on the back, but was still making sketchy contact with the ball in some cases (yes, I was making pars anyways). There's a big difference in low-handicap golf between "good" and "good enough"... the swing at this point was the latter of the two. So, with 3 to go, I decided to try and hit every shot with that wedge mentality of finish high and don't try and make a pretty follow through. Well, does that ever work well! In my last three holes I hit the ball on the screws and dead straight every shot. It was unreal. It's quite unorthadox to not finish my swing, but if the club is on that swingplane every time, i'll take the weird swing for sweet results.

Moe Norman would have been proud of this swing. The finish very much mimicks his and is likely where I got the idea from. No tricks in a golf swing like this, just back and through without the showboat finish. I honestly prefer a full finish as it feels better, but if I can NUT every ball and hit every ball straight with a slightly different swing, i'll do it 10 times out of 10.

I've still got a putting and chipping game though, which is good. Didnt make any putts today but the greens were shit so thats ok.

------------------------

Poker:

I've been on the 25NL tables again. I'm clawing my way back from where I was before I dropped 400 in a few days. Everything has been positive lately so thats good. Not getting any huge hits, but i'm making money so i'll take it.

I also noted that my Casino Niagara money is dwindling finally. I've been using it as my cash for the last few months (note that's no bank machine visits in months thanks to the people at the poker room at casino niagara). Will have to start going again. Perhaps I can get NoSkillz to go a few times.

--------------------

Other:

I've got a few side projects im working on lately to hopefully make some cash. We'll see how that works out. Heh. No gamble in killing time on my own work though I suppose. Need something to do for the winter.

Toast.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Stress Relief and Tilt

Now, i'm normally the most serene mf'er you'll ever meet. It takes quite a bit to get me upset, and I take this as a good thing though sometimes I let too much slide when I shouldnt.

Case in point, my recent poker downswing. When I had my troubles with the poker game, I knew when the beats were too much for a day and I quit. The nice thing about poker is you can just stand up and take your money when you take some hits. Golf is another story.

The problem with golf is, its a game of etiquette. It actually is frowned upon to just quit in the middle of a game so therefore you're stuck on tilt until you can get the hell off the 18th green. Now, some golfers handle bad events by swearing, some by internalizing it, and some by freaking out and slaughtering their equipment/nearby stuff. I do a bit of all 3. See the thing is, I can't like golf if I dont care about the game at any given time i'm playing it. So since I care about every hole for the most part... bad events tend to ... upset me. I used to just grin and bear it, but now i'm changing gears if you will to rid myself of that stress physically. In recent weeks i've thrown a few clubs, slammed a club into my golf bag, slammed a club into the ground and so on. Hey, Tiger Woods does it. The thing is, when i slam a club I usually walk away from my group for a minute or two... freak out in my own little world then come back like nothing happened. That's a good thing.

For example, today I had some shitty spell on #16 with a good round going, my hand slipped on my drive, and again on the 2nd shot. It was raining and I suppose this was a normal occurance but for GOD SAKES I had a decent round going and it's been a while since I had done that. I freaked after that double bogey... mostly internally though i did kick a metal thing that I knew wouldnt show the effects. The next hole I hit my tee shot (well struck by the way) in the bunker left, and instead of my bunker shot coming under the ball, the wet sand booted it up and out and I skulled the ball over the green again. From there I failed to get up and down, so went double double in a row. Sorry, that's enough to do me in after 15 holes of solid golf and effort. To have it slip away like that, oh shit was I upset.

So, I tossed my wedge towards my bag after I hit it.. no big deal... after the hole I walked towards the next tee with my bag over my shoulder.. then dropped the bag to the ground (didnt stand it up), kicked it, whacked it with the golf club, walked away slammed the club to the ground and generally internally exploded. I then made a nice smooth par like nothing happened. After the round I could hardly speak to people I was so upset, so went home quickly and made some soup.

Now i'm still pissed off, but feeling a bit better. I need to come up with something golfers can carry and basically wreck to release their stress and move on. I play so much better after I let go of bad happenings and leave them behind me.

The only important hole, or important hand of poker, is the next one I'm playing. History doesn't change. Tilt is tough to handle, and I never feel right showing it outwardly but sometimes theres no way out of that mood without exploding. I deal a lot better with poker than golf in this respect since I realize happenings in poker have an explanation, and in golf, it's all my fault -- tough to handle.

Suggestions are welcome in the comments.

Friday, August 12, 2005

[GOLF] Langley Cup Update

Today I was fortunate (or unfortunate) enough to play our new club champion, one hell of a golfer, Mike in the continuing saga of our club match play championship. I've always got along quite well with Mike, and he's one hell of a golfer so it was bound to be a good outing.

Today has been rainy and we had some early thunderstorms but it had cleared up this afternoon. The course was slightly wet, though the greens were still rolling nicely. Since a group of fossils were teeing off on #1 we decided to cart our way over to #2 and just skip the formality of playing hole by hole.

He's a scratch player so I was getting 4 strokes. I'll point out any special happenings.

Scores were as follows:
Hole Toast Mike
#2 5 4 (1 up)
#3 5 4 (2 up)
#4 3 3 (2 up)
#5 5(-1) 5 (1 up)
#6 6(-1) 5 (1 up)
#7 4 3 (2 up) - I three putted
#8 5 6 (1 up)
#9 4 3 (2 up)
#10 5 6 (1 up)
#11 4 4 (1 up)
#12 4 3 (2 up)
#13 x OB (1 up) - he hit it OB and gave up since I had a stroke here
#14 3 4 (even) - i made a sandie
#15 6 5 (1 up) - I hit my 3rd in the bunker from 175 and couldnt make my putt
#16 5 5 (1 up)
#17 2 2 (1 up) - I drained a BOMB from around 35 feet, he only had 6 to make his and did no trouble
#18 X X - I hit the trees on my drive left, second shot was towards the right rough and did not find it. Conceded the hole.

That's it! Lost the match 2 & 1. Oh well, i hit the ball OK, but not sharp, and made a few putts and missed a few putts. Was just OK. Guess my round was something around 77 if you factor in the holes with X's. He would have been around 76 if i count correctly. Not his best, not my best. I can't complain much I tried and didnt let the small stuff hurt me too much.

So there it is. Out of the Langley this year. Would have been nice.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Ok... Now I'm Upset...

I'm losing my bankroll VERY quickly right now and I'm starting to have serious trouble with it. I realize variance in cards is normal, but I'm going through buy-ins like they're candy right now. I'm getting decent starting cards, but when the big pots are played i'm on the ass end constantly right now. I'm even purposely playing smaller pots but to no avail. Here's a few from tonight, judge for yourself, dear reader. All 6-max

Two hands almost identical, check it.

25NL
I'm dealt A-7s and limp. Flop is 77K rainbow. Villain bets $0.75, idiot calls, I call. Turn is 4h, villain checks, idiot bets $2, I call $2, Villain raises to $6, Idiot calls, I push, Villain Calls
He shows 44 for the turned boat.

25NL
I'm dealt A7 and limp. Flop is 727. I bet, call, call. Turn is 8, I bet $3, villain pushes, I call. Villain shows 22 for the flopped boat.

50NL
I'm dealt A5s and limp. Flop is 327 rainbow. Villain bets 1, I call, idiot calls. Turn is a beautiful 4. Villain bets $2, I raise to $8, villain calls $5. River is a 7, villain bets $20 (the pot), I call. Of course, he shows 22 for a rivered boat.

I flop a set, he flops a straight. I hit TPTK, he makes a set. I have an overpair, he makes a set. I have aces, he rivers his flush (against odds of course). I make two pair, he makes a set. I have aces, he flops 88x with J8o.

Ugh... sorry just frustrated I know its bad form to talk about beats. I just cant win right now. I'm down $150 for the day, $310 in the past week, and $402 in the last 4 days. That leaves the bankroll rather low, and I'm going to have to grind it out at 25NL until things turn around because 50 will bust the roll entirely.

In the past 4 days, I've played 1500 hands, losing $402 at both limits, VP$IP is 27.16, PFR is 9.29, AF is 3.04, Won $ When Saw Flop is 30.50, Went to SD is 19.96, Won $ At SD is 28.70. That last number tells it all.

I've never lost like this and i'm shaken. I dont feel like i'm misplaying these much but i'll check a few at 2+2 of course. I always feel better to admit or find out where i made a bad play instead of just doubting myself.

Wish me luck at surviving this with a playable roll.

An Interesting Turnaround in Poker & Golf

Well, this weekend was officially weird. Starting with my Friday steep downswing at the NL50 game, I chased that Sunday with a $75 drop again. So, we'll just round off the weekend to be -$250 on the petty bankroll.

Times like these make me step back and consider how I could better have played, and the answer of course is to understand the game better to make less mistakes. So, yesterday evening I sat in a lounge chair in the gf's back yard and polished off Harrington On Hold'em Episode I. A great book. One thing that really stood out that differed between the book and my current game is the concept of building a big pot without enough information on the opponent's holding -- bad news. In my NLHE so far, I tend to bet pot or close to it when I think i'm leading, but the difference between pot and half pot is huge. In theory I should glean as much information from a half pot bet as I do from a pot bet, as a half pot bet will not give a single opponent odds to draw at either straights or flushes against me discounting implied odds. I suppose I tend to be over-aggressive in these situations though. That is to say, my continuation bets are often pot sized and should be cut down to save me money. I'm really enjoying Harrington's conservative style selective aggression , and I think it could be directly usable in the smaller NLHE games online. Obviously moving up you're going to have much better players playing a lot more of the deck and that has to be adapted to with better hand reading, but at the 100 and under it's often been said that playing the nuts most of the time is the way to go.

Anyways, down a bunch in Hold'em land. I'll fight back this week and see where it goes.

---------------------
GOLF is another story.

I've actually got somewhat of a golf game back now. Hows that for amazing? Was 76 and 77 this weekend with a couple of bad holes in there. Made a few putts, hit a few decent drives, nothing was great, but everything was OK. Too bad I didnt have this last weekend for the club championship. One of our club pros suggested that I go for a session on their preferred clubmaker's launch monitor to reshaft my driver. Since it tends to get a little bit all over the place -- still long though.

Driver is a Cobra SS440.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Ouch! At least I can grin about it...

Wow havent had a beat like this in a while. Get's pretty spensive at NL too. Surprising thing is i'm not pissed. BAD BEAT POST AHEAD

Playing $50NL @ Party

Maniac has $43, I have $37

Extreme LAG sits down at the table and proceeds to raise his first 5 hands to 6xBB.

Pocket Aces to me on the button, and I limp to the LAG. LAG raises to $2, one caller, I bump to $8 and just the LAG and I see the flop.

Flop is 8 T K rainbow

Maniac pushes, I insta-call.

Turn is 7

River is 9

Maniac flips over KJs and I lose to a runner runner straight.

I actually had to run that one through cardplayer to see the odds on losing it. I was a 4:1 favorite. Bah.

Oh well, that's poker. Thankfully I'm bankrolled properly for this level. Yeesh.

----------------------

UPDATE

I actually dropped another buy-in a hundred hands after that first one. This time when an Aggressive player played back at my KK on a QTx flop, I called his raise. Turn is a 10, he bets 15, I push he calls with AT. Ugh. Guess i should have pushed the flop if i was going to do that.

Just dropped yet another buy-in at another table (yow) when my set of 6's ran into a set of Kings on the flop. Ugh.

Fortunately, i'm up a little bit on my other table, 35 or so. Cards are rough on me at the moment.

Here's my stats today so far:

6-max NL50
Hands: 392
VP$IP: 28.83%
Pre-Flop Raise: 11.05%
Won $ WSF: 28.91
Went to SD: 17.19
Won $ at SD: 13.64

NOTE THE WON $ AT SD NUMBER. Jesus. It's not like i'm taking too many hands to the river or anything but holy crap. Thankfully i'm in a pretty good mood else this would really put me in a bad mood today.

As of 6:05, i'm down $125

Whew.

-----

UPDATE 7:01pm

Well, its officially the worst day i've ever had at the tables. Flop top set, lose to a straight that never bet. Flop middle set, lose to top set. Holy crap, variance came knocking today and of course it had to be on 50NL instead of the usual 25NL.

I'm calling it quits for the day. In 524 hands (yes, that's it) I dropped $173.27.

I should post a few of these on 2+2 to see where i could improve. Unfortunately my fun mood is gone after the continuous beats. Yikes. Never been here before, and it's not fun to drop that much that quickly.

Toast

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Bonus Cleared At Stars, Whew!

Damn that took forever. Played stars 1/2 to clear that 500FPP for my $100 bonus and it just went on and on and on. I didnt pay attention to see what constitutes a FPP hand, but damn it took a lot of them to make $100. Maybe when i'm up to 2/4 or some real limit it wont be so difficult. Anyways, cashed out $700 from stars to move it back to Party as I'm planning to start playing 50NL a bit more, and possibly 1/2 who knows.

The 1/2 game at stars seemed like a grind, though I was not catching much in the way of cards. One time my aces ran into KK with a K on the flop and river. One guy c/rd the river on me, I figured he just didnt have the K since he didnt raise PF but hey, tricky tricky worked for him. Through a very short sample at 1/2 (<1k hands) i'm winning at 1.06BB/100 which basically means NOTHING. Yesterday I was losing most of the day and came back up to only be down around 10BB for 500 hands. Starting to get used to the increased cashflow moving around, and i'm certain I can beat the game but it's just so boring compared to NL these days.

That said, i've been re-reading SS2's NL section and getting through HoH1 (about half way). A lot of stuff makes sense, but I dont think I can quite apply doyle's approach at the NL limits I play.

I think i'm going to start updating my bankroll on here, as it's relevant to anyone caring to follow my progress through poker-land. It started at $100.00 many moons ago.

Current Bankroll: $1458.07

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Funny conversation from a $0.50/$1 game today...

I have an icon of a rabbit with a pancake on its head at stars, yes that's right.

phoenix38: what's that on the rabbit's head toast?
phoenix38: a pancake?
toast: yes
phoenix38: lol

Hows that for amusing?

OFFICIAL NEWS: MY GOLF GAME IS SHIT

Yes, that's right, i suck. In the first round of the club championship today, I carded a mighty fine 83. Thats my worst round in a long time. Along with 2 double bogeys came a triple... that's hard to fight back against. Wasn't sharp with irons at all, made a few good putts, 2 3-putts - ugh.

It's depressing to realize that poker has officially killed my golf game, actually not poker but more the heat wave that kept me away from my normal practice schedule this year. Conditions today were perfect, light breeze, decent greens, and I still was shit.

Bah, i need to sleep for a few hours then play some cards I think. NoSkillz shot a more decent 78 though i hear he could have been a lot better. Good for him, good to see at least one of us might make the cut.

Bah, wheres a straight razor when you need to slit your wrists...

---POKER---
Getting a bit of teeth kicked in lately at NL though i'm making $$ still. I took $25 to $90+ on a single table last night before the idiots stole it away. Some fucking idiot pushed with 75s on a flush draw on the flop after my big TPTK raise, and of course he hit it. Oh well I was a 2:1 favorite what else can i ask for from this game? Im getting FAR better at putting people on hands lately -- feels like my overall understanding of the game is coming up one step. I'm starting to GET IT in a lot of situations where I had read about the right play, but never understood why it was right and couldnt quite vocalize that on 2+2 to get a straight answer. Things like playing middle cards against a raise against the right opponents and such rather than playing KT,KJ,KQ,QJ,AT,AJ i'm starting to appreciate. Post-flop game is progressing. NoSkillz finally caught a whiff of LAG play when i kept telling him my hands when he was out of a hand and he seemed to enjoy the whole betting with nothing idea -- that's dangerous. I'm trying to attempt all different styles and plays at the NL25 game before truly moving up.

Hopefully i'll shoot a reasonable score tomorrow and get close to the cut bubble. I dont really care if I play monday given my score, but it'd be nice to need a day off rather than just taking a day off for no reason.

Toast Out

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Bonus Whoring Stars At 0.5/1 and 1/2

Back to limit for a bit, as the piddly NL tables I play do not count as well towards FPP's needed to burn off my bonus. Have been playing 0.5/1 and 1/2 full ring for the past three days and am up around $190 outside of the bonus. Hmm. That's not bad at all.

Admittedly, i'm actually catching a few cards, though I am suckout out quite a bit. I'm also working on saving bets, like yesterday where at 1/2 I laid down top two pair when a flush draw river hit against 2 opponents. Normally I'll call that stuff, but to me it was an obvious situations where I can save a BB. Normally I dont but this was just too obvious a draw -- idiots. Anyways, I'm getting better at reading hands and checking where the traps are. Best part is, it's influencing the bottom line.

The 1/2 leap is new for me. I'm used to killing 0.5/1 but definately have the roll to play 1/2 or even 2/4 but i'm wary of the fact that a lot of quite good players roam these waters. We'll see how it develops.

Golf this weekend is the Club Championship... hopefully I wont shoot a pathetic score, and i'll be pretty darn happy if I can make the cut for Monday. Winning is way out of line against this field, it's very strong and my game isnt that good, but you never know. I'll give myself 8:1 against making the cut, and 100:1 against winning the thing. That's a long shot folks.

Toast.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

[Golf] Moving on up in the Langley Cup

The Langley cup is the match play championship at my home course for the low handicap golfers. My first match was tough against a guy who I was giving a few strokes to, and I expected the 2nd match to be tougher still, as it was to be played against Charlie, a regular in our Sunday morning group and the sort of guy who can shoot your lights out.

I won the first 2 holes, we tied #3, I won #4, he won #5, tie #6, and I win #8-#12 to win the match 7&6. He had a rough day.

Moving on to meet another damn good player... it doesnt get easier. It's now the semi-finals though.

My golf game was OK yesterday, nothing special.

Poker has been good. I won a monster pot at $50NL, had a good night last night at $25NL with NoSkillz, and generally things are looking up after I had a few down sessions.

The dedicated poker `roll is up as high as it's ever been, just have to stick with it and eventually i'll play for real money. :)

Toast out.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

No Limit... TO THE LIMIT!!!

I thought that would be a nice cheeseball title.

Anyways, i'm sticking with NL still. Playing $25NL online and i'm recently stuck $234 at the casino 1/2 NL game overall. Bah. Online is going pretty well. Took my first poke at $50NL and was immediately struck with the difference in the game with aggression levels. I had a guy re-raise my raise twice in a row (very agg. player so far). I re-re-raised with A9s and he called with all his chips with KJ. Hmm. Well, i guess that's one way to play the game. That was certainly a loose play for me, but I felt I was being beaten upon and was glad to take his money with the best of it.

I think i'm going to have to grow some bigger balls to be able to throw money around with more abandon which is necessary. I'm already an aggressive player, but when I get to the point where I can push with rags based on my read, i've taken my game up a level.

NoSkillz continues to learn the game as well, and is progressing in his reads and chip-action. I think i'll move up before he does, but I dont expect he'll take long to follow.

Already read Ace on The River by Barry Greenstein -- VERY excellent book if you're looking to become a poker pro. There is some hand-advice but the majority of the book relates to the psychology and culture of the game. I've put Harrington on Hold'em before HoH2 -- the way it should be done. I really enjoy the thinking behind some of the 'moves' he's advocating, but I dont think some of it's applicable to the SSNL games yet. When I move up to $100NL I expect to be able to use the trickier stuff.

Toast out.

Friday, July 15, 2005

I think i'm not doing so hot at 1/2 NL so far...

Went back to the cardroom to kill a few hours after work... yeah, not addicted, noooo. Anyhoo, I didnt play any hands exceptionally badly, but I feel like i'm not getting the NL full ring strategy quite yet. I'm not playing the pushy game that my 6-max normally is primarily because I'm not normally the first one in the pot and opening with a raise doesnt clean house enough. That, coupled with the fact that any single hand will cost a buy-in if bet reasonably hard.

Lets have an example:

I have 100, villain has 100.

Couple limpers, I open for $10, villain calls. Lets say its a $27 pot.
Flop is x-x-x (who cares). I bet half the pot ($15), villain calls. Pot is $57.
Turn is x (again, who cares). I bet half the pot ($30) or a bit more if I need to protect my hand ($50).

Guess what, that's me all-in. And those arent even big bets. Thus, i'm going to have to rethink the strategy at this game, since the buy-in is relatively small compared to the blinds. TAG is OK so far, i did lose against drawing hands, but regardless it's a totally different game than my online one due to the betting.

Down $36 and starting to wonder if a Looser Style would make or cost me more money :)

-----------------

Recommended Books for the Beginner:

There's limit poker, and no-limit. I play both now, but I started with limit and I recommend it for a beginner so as not to lose too much cash and get discouraged right away.

Limit Poker:
Getting Started In Hold-Em (Ed Miller)
or
Winning Low Limit Hold'em (Lee Jones)

Those will give you at least a beginning look at pot odds, outs, pre-flop hands, etc.

I wont delve any deeper than that, but my poker library is getting stupid big. I'm way behind on reading too. Bah. My two new ones from amazon shipped this morning (yay). Stay away from Super System and the like to start, they're not bad for theory but you've got to understand WHY doyle et al. can do make the non-linear plays they make.

Toast out! I'm tired.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Back To Ye Olde Casino - NL This Time

It's f-in hot here. I mean HOT. I think we were one of the hottest places on the planet this week (seriously) and the Toast man does not have a/c at home. Makes me want to go out and buy a/c actually, but i'm too ignorant to actually follow through on that (cheap is the word actually -- lets be honest).

So, since I had nothin to do -- as the golf course in 100+ degree humidity is a no-no for my sanity -- I decided to go for the free air conditioning and fun times of Casino Niagara. Went for a quick bite to eat after work here in Niagara Falls at our local Zehrs (Fried Chicken and Potato Wedges are tasty), got some cash, and headed to the cardroom.

Upon arriving I was disappointed to see that they only had 3 games going, a 1/2 NL, 2/4 and 3/6. Of course, since i'm doing fairly well at NL online now (note that I dont say i'm good, just doing well) I put my name on for that and 3/6. About 30 minutes later they cracked open a NL game and we're off to the races.

I'm trying to loosen up, especially at NL. Typical starting hands for TAG limit poker work, but adding in a few if I can see a cheap flop have HUGE implied odds at NL so they're working their way into my game. We had a local pro at the table, a bunch of home-game fishies, and a sunglasses.

Fairly early into the day i've picked up a tight rep, as I havent played a hand in a while. I pick up Js7s in MP and limp hoping to see a cheap flop, and I do. Flop is 8x 9s 10s. Hmm, thats a pretty good flop dont you think? I bet out $15, called at two spots. Turn is a blankeroo. I bet out $20, called at two spots. River is a blankity blank, I bet out the rest of my chips ($50 or so), two calls. Nobody raised so I figure i'm chopping, and I am. Pro in the corner says he put me on a huge flopped hand and said he folded a J. Hmm.

I treaded water for a bit, then played a hand where I was actually drawing dead with AK on a JT7 flop. Guy flopped a set, turned a boat, and was making bets small enough that I didnt put him on anything strong and at the same time had outs to call to my gutshot and overcards. I figured him for a jack. NOPE. Hate drawing dead, but my table-pro had AQ and was doing the same. I mucked without showing and topped up my cards with a small rebuy of $40. Dang.

Got into a hand with 99 on a 9TJ flop. I bet out $15, one call, guy raises to $30, I put him all-in for another $20 and we're heads up. I'm praying he didnt flop a straight, and i was right, top two pair. Q on the turn but we took all the draws out of play with the flop bets.

I had my stack up to $205-$210 with a bit of grinding, then played the big hand o' the night. I'm on the button with two red beautiful kings. 6 limpers, that won't do. I raise to $15 and have two callers. Flop is 2-3-6 two spades. Guy in EP bets out $10, call to my right, I raise to $50. Guy in EP mutters about me not having a high pair and folds. Guy to my right calls. Turn is a blank. Guy to my right pushes, I insta-call. River is a K.... of spades. Don't let anyone ever tell you that you can properly protect your hand at NL, they're full of shit. Fish flips over Q7 spades. Going to put this on 2+2 to see if there is anything else I could have done... that hurt the stack.

Lost another hand with 88 where I bet the turn hard, but should have raised the T-6-6 flop. I suppose that's just not thinking straight after that huge hand -- a form of tilt I suppose. Lost $42 there.

And, i'm spent. Took a $98 loss on the books and went home. :)

Monday, July 11, 2005

NL25 continues and Tournament Golf

My NL25 game is continuing to improve. I'm starting to tighten up slightly and it has been paying, but I've lost a lot of all-ins lately so that has kept my growth from being "HUGE". Otherwise, the growth has been "good" and the bankroll is pretty much allowing me to move up, though I think its still too early so i'll stick it out here for a short bit.

I've found a new attribute to my No Limit game, which I did not have at the Degree poker tournament. That is, I'm absolutely willing to risk every chip I have, and am actually looking for places to push in rather than looking for ways not to. In limit, getting your stack ground down by play after play of losing hands is hard on the mind, but No Limit... its to be expected that you're going to go bust every once in a while. Hopefully not more often than you take other people's stacks though :) My hand reading ability is slowly progressing, and i'm focusing on one table in NL (6-max) not the typical 4-tables of limit. Less hands absolutely, but forcing myself to watch the actual players rather than rely solely on pokertracker data is the way to go. The styles i have come across are so different, but almost every player can be pegged as having a style and not being able to change gears. I guess that's what I get for playing the lowest limit of NL there is at Party.

-------------------------------

Golf Report:

The handicap is, sadly, dropping again. I'm a pretty solid 4 right now. Fortunately, that means NoSkillz still has to give me 2 strokes - sucker.

Saturday morning got pooched for tee times -- it happens. Sunday I got called up to the big leagues to play on the Niagara Cup team. I teamed up with young whipper snapper Ben to play team best ball matches at Hunters Pointe here in Niagara. Our front nine started off OK. I was hitting the ball well, but had a few bad luck bounces on the first few holes. Ben made up for any trouble I got into and played pretty well. We werent making any putts but neither was the other team. Came back from 1-down to tie the front nine for 1/2 a point. Ben hit some rediculously good low iron shots.

The back nine started off well for us, as we took hole #10 and I took hole #14 ( I think ) a short 130 yard cross wind par 4. Stuck probably my only really good wedge shot today to a foot. Would have been a nice hole-in-one but what can you do. 2-up with 4 to go, Ben hit his tee ball to the right fence (in fescue), somehow knocked that away (he's left handed so it was an ugly straight-upright swing to hit the ball) into more fescue, then out into the fairway. The competition hit one to the edge of the water on the 2nd, and the other was in a poor position right. My tee-shot was right down the centre so the decision of whether to play in from 240 yards or lay up was made. With Ben's ball out of it and the competition in rough shape, I had to lay up and play safe as a ball in the water would have certainly gave over the hole. My wedge into the green was to a pretty solid 12 feet, as were the other team's balls. First player on the other team drains a nice double breaking putt for birdie so it's on me, and I just missed it. Oh well. The next hole I hit it in the left fescue and missed the green right, but Ben was in perfect position in the fairway. Unfortunately, he had second thoughts about half-way through his downswing and pushed his shot out right by me. We pitched on but could not make it down in par and lost this hole to have the match even with 2 to play.

17 is a long par 3 (225 yards playing downwind today). Ben stroked a 5-iron to land 4 inches from the cup but it bounced another 40 feet past. My 4-iron was in the same spot in a bowl in the back left of the green. My lag putt cozied down the hill to a few inches, and Ben's birdie attempt JUST missed. We halved the hole and took it to 18.

The 18th hole was playing short. Tee was up, water all down the left side and a creek running across the fairway at 260 yards. The other team laid up with irons off the tee, as did I. Ben's decision was to lay up as well instead of driving it over (he's got lots of power on the driver). Ben was first to play into the green across the water, and unfortunately his 4-iron from 220 was a few yards short (downwind) and was wet. Doh! My decision was whether to hit 2-hybrid or a 3-iron. I felt the 2-hybrid was way too much club and had a reasonable chance of snapping if it came off the toe. I said I would miss right if I miss with the 3... so I hit the 3. Unfortuantely, it missed right into a bunker by the green. The other team made it safely over the water short, and one long. My bunker shot came out with a bit too much sand so did not have the steam to get to the green (I hate splash shots from that distance). My chip following was to 2 feet uphill. Pretty good. The other team's chips were not that good, but unfortuantely for us, one of them made the putt and we were toast. Nice putt.

So, we blew a 2-up lead with 4 to go. Damn! Oh well, dinner was great! They've really made some huge improvements in staff, atmosphere and food. We lost 0.5 to 2.5.

NoSkillz won his match (2 points to 1 point) and our club ended up slightly down 5.5 to 6.5 in points. Could be worse.

I doubt i'll be playing the next matches in august, as I'm a petty alternate (2nd alternate even) and not on the team but I wish them luck.

Toast out.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

NL Cash Is Swingy

Have been sitting the $25NL 6-max at party lately, and through my failure to be found at my normal $0.5/$1 tables, NoSkillz tracked me down and after watching me push a table around for a while sat down.

Thing is, I've always treated NL differently than Limit, because in my mind they're not even the same game. It's like Omaha vs. Stud, neither of which I know how to play properly, but not even the same animal though in the end poker is poker of course. At limit, I typically just play T-A and it works. Nobody pays attention at the micro limits, and the fact that i'm playing 17% of hands raising 10% doesnt click in that hey, he's a f*ckin nut peddler most of the time.

I've found NL to have more players paying attention, though, I can't say they are much better than limit. It's been pretty rare for me to meet someone who changes styles at NL though, I either find the typical TAG tighty or the loose passive. I haven't found many loose aggressive as at NL, that means all their chips all the time. I'm sure there are some out there, and i'll have to buddy list them when I find it, but for the most part people still respect their money enough not to push every hand.

I have adopted a totally new style of play recently, which might have helped greatly at the Degree tourney i previously went on and on about. I still hope I dont look like an idiot on TSN and ESPN when it aires. Anyhoo, I'm playing far more hands, raising lots of hands I wouldnt even play at limit, and doing a lot of post-flop dancing with the opponents. Even to myself i'm not predictable, and it's working so far.

That is not to say that my style of play has not brought about some swings... it certainly has. I can easily be down 2 buy-ins, up 2 buy-ins, down up down up. Took a major suckout yesterday where my KQ ran into an idiot who pushed JJ on a K-x-x flop. I correctly put him on something other than AK,AA,KK but he turned a J to steal my money... meh... that's poker. I find that i'm happy when i get my money in the best of it, even if i did lose a 2-buy-in pot there.

Later, I flopped quads against NoSkillz. Unfortunately for him, he had Aces and I made it appear I had unconnected overcards with my bets. He went broke there, and I dont blame him one bit. To give me credit for a hand, hell, even I can't give me credit for a hand. He did the right thing.

Anyways, the NL battle rages on. My party account balance is growing, so that's good. I might start doing some tournaments shortly as I think I can play that game.

The poker library is on the grow again. Honestly, I havent even had time to read the books I have before I order new ones. I'm currently picking at HoH 2 EndGame but I only went through TOP once so far, I've gone through most of King Yao's limit book, and I currently have HoH 1 and BarryG's new book on order.

Speaking of BarryG, i'm starting to really like what he's all about with poker and his actions away from the table. Pretty neet guy, and I really like that he posts at 2+2 like the rest of us poker geeks.

Now that i've really picked up a love of NL - damn you degree poker tournament for giving me the pleasure of busting people left and right, i'm tempted to try some other poker variants. Hmm... well, perhaps I should stick to hold-em for a bit.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Addicted! Low Content.

Well, it's official. NoSkillz thinks i'm addicted to poker. Actually, I am addicted to poker so that's not really news. Damn game is addictive what can I say.

I havent played a lot of my addiction this weekend, as I've spent many hours chasing a white ball around a big green place -- that's golf folks. Played OK this weekend, nothing great. Made a few nice putts today for skin money though so this weekend was just barely profitable.

Spliffy hit the shot of the year so far today. 260, downhill into the wind on a Par 5 he hits his second shot with a 3-hybrid (Taylormade Rescue TP - Fujikura shaft to be exact) and crushes it to within 1.5 feet of the pin. Thankfully he also made the putt for the eagle. That shot was just sick. Outside of that, nothing spectacular at the golf course this weekend. My handicap is sadly down to a 4 again though so that should make things just slightly tougher for my upcoming match play tournament match with Charlie.

Anyhoo, I expect to spend much of the afternoon cleaning this pig stye i call home -- damn the summer makes me lazy for this stuff.

Oh, and my cat is currently sitting on a blanket underneath my desk, and is snoring. Just thought you would like to know.

Friday, July 01, 2005

Heatwave + Toast = Blah

Wow, all this bloody heat is really tiring me out. I'm damn psyched that party has 6-max tables now though.

Conversation from Golf this morning:

NoSkillz: wow, you're ahead of me
Me: get used to it

Ahahahha... well... what can I say we're competitive in all things.

Didnt play golf during the week this week. I sort of feel like a schmuck for not getting out there, but i'm seriously hurting from this heat. Playing with the idea of a new sideline business however... so that's keeping me fairly busy.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Lived A Fantasy This Week

I've only been playing poker seriously for a year now. In that year, i've watched a LOT of poker on TV. WPT, WSOP, EPT, even the freaking celebrity shows. Awful!

As reported previously, I won a walk-up seat into the Degree Poker Championship on Monday morning. That's luck right there folks.

Monday:

I played nut-peddling poker mostly, and threw in some bluffs that paid off. Didn't lose a serious hand, and built my stack into $45k, then cruised through.

A Notable Monday Hand:
I have 55 in the BB, and tightie UTG raises to 3xBB (200/400 I think), I call. I put him on KK, AA, QQ, JJ, AK -- tight. I flop a set and check to him. He bets $5k, i raise to $15k. He pushes and I call. Busted his KK and sent him home.

Busted a few people, and made it to the top 20 of the starting 250... yay.

Tuesday:

I don't know what it is about me at the poker table, but people always think i'm full of it. I must have that optimum bluffing frequency down because they have no clue. Busted a lot of people, including two women, one of which got back into the tournament by draw. She's got fingernails like freddy kreuger.

I cruised through getting my stack up to around 65k. As big stack at the table in the BB in the 2000/4000 level with 200 antes, the SB raised me all-in for 17k when I was BB. I don't think this was wise on his part as there were only 5 players left to be eliminated, but so be it. I checked my hole cards and found big slick unsuited. Hmm. At 65k chips I was in cruising mode, and had no interest in getting into some big volleys with players. At the same time, busting people put me closer to the money and it was only 13k to call. I figured AT-AK for him, or a pocket pair to risk his tournament. He seemed like a pretty solid player too. He seemed to get a little nervous when I didn't auto-fold, so that made me happy. I finally decided to call as the ante's and blinds made it a decent bet.

Me: AK
Him: 88

His pair held up. He thanked me later for doubling him up and letting him stick around the tournament. I don't hate the play.

I made it to the top 20 of todays 80!!! Round 3 baby.

Then the staff mentioned that each round 3 playoff game was going to be a full TV table. While they had handhelds out a bit for the round 2 action, and it didnt bother me, I was sort of stunned at the thought. Hmm... I'm going to be on TV playing poker. I'M GOING TO BE ON TV PLAYING POKER!!!!!!

I would like to say, in all honesty, that this tournament was a class act top to bottom. Upon passing round 2, we were photographed, invited to dinner at the high-end Noir 17 in fallsview along with TSN and the sponsors, and given a 3-night hotel stay at the casino itself. That was nice of them, and totally unnecessary. Huge kudos to all the companies who made this happen.

Wednesday:

Since i've never played a TV table before, I had to go down and see the setup while Playoff 1 was on. TSN filled the whole ballroom with fog to make it appear smoky, I assume to give soft edges to the photos. This tournament was being broadcast in HD after all (yow). The TV table was typical, with a lit-rail and hole-cams. Each player was mic'd to the table. They had a stationary camera (the sort of ones that hockey/football are shot with), a boom cam, and two mobiles capturing every action. Wow.

Honestly, the cameras didn't bother me. I must be confident enough in my poker game now, that I don't feel like i'm going to look like an ass in front of a few million people too often... either that or it doesnt bother me to look like an ass... hmm. After being mic'd to the table, they had us test our hole-cam card views, then we got going. $10k in chips each, winner advances to the finals.

One player in 5, Fernando, was raising wildly and playing aggressively. His raises were large and bold and the table was rock-like to begin. Unfortunately, my cards were... lacklustre. I went a full two laps of the table (which put us into round 3o of blinds) without playing a thing. Rob at the end of the table actually looked at me and said "PLAY!". I couldnt. I had low-aces in EP, nothing suited, 92o, 72o, nothing. Unless I wanted to bluff-re-raise Fernando and risk all my chips, there wasn't a lot I could do. I prefer to be the first raiser in if i'm going raise with crap cards.

Here's how my big hand went:

I have 33 in BB (200/400). Fernando raises from the button (one player out already) to 1200 or so. I call, figuring if i hit a set, i might get him to bluff off some chips on me, and if I didn't I had bluff potential myself as I hadn't played a hand in two laps of the button -- tight image. Flop came down A-9-6 (or close to that for the small cards). Since Fernando had been raising wildly and this was my first hand, I bet out $1k to represent the big ace. He called. At this point i'm putting him on a draw, possibly a small ace. Turn was a blank, I bet out $2k to make was appears like a value bet and give some poor drawing odds. He took 15 seconds and called that one too. At this point i'm suspecting a trap for my "big ace". River comes down, I grab my chips and briefly consider whether I should take a final poke at the pot, but decide to check. He pushes, I fold. I'm down to $5k of my starting stack.

Next time around, I made a questionable play. I had Q9s in the BB and called a raise for 800 more from a semi-loose raiser (this was one of my best hands today). Flop comes down K-9-x. I check, he bets $1k into a $2500 pot, and I call. Turn is a blank, I check, he checks behind. River is a blank, I check, he checks behind. Then immediately he says "I should have bet this" and flips over KQ or KJ. I guess I had him afraid... I should have folded this, I did have 5k before the hand pretty much, and burned 2k in it.

Down to 2500 and i'm feeling the blinds and antes now ($400/800 in 1 minute and i'm in the BB at $200/400). Still getting crap cards. Finally, in BB, UTG, a relatively weak player, raised to $1200. Folded around to me, and I pushed with 9Ts (figured him for picture cards or an ace so I wasn't dominated, and needed some luck anyways to stay in). I didn't want to lose another 1200 from my stack and be blinded into oblivion -- would have had ZERO folding equity at that point as well. He did some weird jedi-thing... I kid you not. I hope this is on TSN because this guy was really playing it up. Finally, he called. Flips over KJo.

Flop comes down with a J-9-x and i've got hope, turn is a blank, river is a K and i'm done.

I'm disappointed that thing's didnt go so well, but I feel like I tried to make the best of a bad situation when I ran my "perceived" good hand into a better one early. I'm sitting here at work, trying to focus on this, but I can't take my mind off what might have been had I been given something to fight with.

I hope I didnt sound whiney on my exit interview with TSN, I really had no cards but that's no excuse. I played that Q9s hand badly (shouldnt have played it at all) and $5k had a lot more folding equity than $2500 does. Bah. That one is going to grate at me for a bit.

Thanks to Unilever (Degree), TSN, and Fallsview for putting on a hell of a freeroll. I hope I make it back next year.

GO EAST!

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Survival Of The Fattest

Yes, I, Toast, did survive the Day 1 of the Degree Poker tourney. All chipcounts start over for tomorrow, Day 2, so my total today is irrelevent, but it was around average with 20 people left from our original 250.

Day 2 will be 80 people whittled down to 20. I'd give myself a better shot at this than I would have getting past the idiot-fest that was today. Couple good players, nobody i'm afraid of though, unless they get a huge chipstack going.

I'll give a full report when possible.

Monday, June 20, 2005

I actually won something for once!

Wow, what a day. I'm here at work and can't sit still because for once, I actually won something.

What you ask? A seat into the Degree Poker championship at Fallsview hotel in Niagara Falls, Canada. This morning on the way out of my house for the office I decided to drive to fallsview and put in a ballot for their 10:15am draw for seats into the tournament. Standing there among between 500 and 1000 poker-nuts -- who took the morning off work for this -- as they called out numbers from the box, I thought, hey, you never win anything, but something felt right. Around half way through, they called my magic number, 1802 and I was IN. Admittedly it's a stupid freeroll so the play has got to be bad early (which makes it way more dangerous for me). I expect the phrase of the day will be "All In" but who knows. I'll try and pick on some passives for the first few levels to surivive the idiots and see how it goes. Im my 'heat', i've got to make top 20 of 250 to move on to tomorrow's day. I'd put my chances at around 5:1 to get through today just due to the HUGE suckout factor. I figure the next few days will be filled with better players.

Anyways, a freeroll for $100,000 is pretty damn cool (along with a seat to the WSOP). This is a winner-take all tournament, with an early crapshoot format followed by some shootouts then the final table. Second place gets nothing at all.

Now, moving on to other things. This weekend was a tough one from a poker point of view, as I lost quite a few BB to suckouts. No tilt, just went to watch the US Open and chill out. Golf was good. I won my match with very crappy play on Sunday, and picked up a $110 skin ($90 profit) for a nice 5-iron to a foot and a half on number four. Almost thought I made that one.

Wish me luck at surviving the idiots early, either way it's exciting to be my first real live Multi-Table Tourney and certainly my first one-winner-take-all freeroll so that will change the game quite a bit.

I'll be back with an update later tonight or tomorrow.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Golf and Poker -- I must like stress or something

Just noticed that iggy linked me, that was nice of him. Welcome to all of you who are first-time readers of this brain-dump from a golf and poker obsessed idiot. You would think I enjoy putting myself through the wringer or something...

Lets get down to the real core of it, i'm basically an idiot. Most people leave the office, go home, watch tv, play with their kids, chill out, drink a beer, maybe even play a few cards online for fun. Me, No. I like to get beat up, then i come back for more. If it doesn't kill me, it will make me stronger... yadda yadda whatever.

At least with poker there is some financial benefit for pounding my head against the table as some maniac caps his J3o against my pocket aces, provided they don't get the best of you more often than you get the best of them. Golf is rediculous, in that i'm actually paying the MOST money for the courses that will beat me up the worst. Still, i play them, and I live a life that's never easy because of it.

There certainly is a temptation to go to the dark side, and stop playing these games, but in the end there is something gratifying about making each step ahead, even if a bad bounce or bad card kicks you back again.

I lost a lot of BB's last night to suckouts, and maniacs who i called down where possibly not advised -- they do catch cards once in a while. Things arent really with me at either game at the moment actually.

Still, I'd do anything to not be sitting here in the office right now.

And now, a random picture:

Monday, June 13, 2005

I hate this heat wave crap...

Well, I suppose I already knew I'm not a hot-weather guy. I tend to be able to sleep in the freezing cold far better than sweltering heat, but this past week or so of hot, sticky, nasty weather in the area is really bringing me down.

There's something wrong when I have to consume 5 bottles of water on the golf course and don't have to piss afterwards -- this was Sunday. NoSkillz said something similar about Saturday being way hotter, and I believe that, but i'm not meant for dripping sweat just from walking around a golf course. At least there could be some freaking wind. DAMN THIS WEATHER.

Down to business. I played a bit of both this weekend. Beer golf on friday at Whirlpool, then poker on Saturday during the day, and then golf and poker Sunday as per normal. Golf scores were garbage again... i wonder why i play this game.

Got around 750 hands of cards in yesterday, and ended up down 16BB. Got back to 4-tabling for a large section of my day, but my cards were very weak. So weak in fact that I only played 13.5% of the hands, and raised less than 7% of those. That's BAD considering my average numbers are around 18.5/10. Lots of suckouts, evil evil stuff. Oh well.

Handicap is up to 5 now... that's scary bad.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Swingy Cards

I feel like i'm playing good cards. I'm letting the bad beats roll off without much of a care, but it's getting sort of funny. I'll admit, as cool a customer as I usually am I've gotten upset by a few bad beats here or there i've suffered in the past 2700 hands at party.

Last night I got beat twice by quads over my nut flush, one time rivered, the other turned. In a span of 670 hands, that's pretty wild. I spewed off gibberish and swear words into NoSkillz' MSN window and moved on. Once in a while i'm catching a great draw and hitting, and often i'm getting sucked out... such is the nature of the beast.

I don't really know what the purpose of this post is. In one way it's a good way to get it off my chest and acknowledge that the beats can get to me still, in another it's a way for me to express that PARTY IS NOT RIGGED and things just arent quite coming together yet -- it happens and this is a VERY short sample of play. My numbers look decent, except my W$WSF but that's to be expected.

Overall, I'd encourage each and every one of you to go sign up at party and toss in GOLFPOKER as a sign up code... because i'm a huge, huge whore for referral bonuses. Hey, at least I admit it.