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?


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.


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.