Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Poker Bankroll Building - A Temporary Setback

Lately I've been really focused on poker again. That's not a bad thing at all, I really love the game. I've been playing long enough to see a few ups and downs, and I used to tilt after about 3 buy-ins of downs.

So, I'm trying to find a few hours here and there to play the game during the week. This is insane with my busy schedule but I'm making an effort. Recently my poker bankroll has been going up up up as I moved from 50NL to 100NL with no slowdown in a rather strong winrate. I'm playing well, reading hands well, being very aggressive and picking my spots.

The bankroll is on the up and up, well... it was. Tonight I caught a little hunk of variance. It happens, just a rough night of luck. No tilt here, just sort of depressing that all the progress I've made since moving up again to 100NL has been destroyed in one bad evening.

Here's the session highlights:

Came home from work, loaded up two tables of 100NL and off we go. My goal was to play for one hour and that's it.

Hand 1:

I raise 9-7 spades in the cutoff to $3, the button calls with a full stack.
Board comes 5-A-8 all my suit (flopped a flush).
I bet $5 into $7.50, he calls.
Turn is another 5 (A-8-5-5)
I bet $14, he raises to $28 and I tank for a second then push. He calls with Q5 no spade.
Q on the river... sigh.

Hand 2:

I have Aces in Big Blind with $160, Button (tight/weak and covers my stack) raises to $4 and I flat-call.
Flop is 8 5 7 with two clubs
I check, he bets $8 into $8.50, I raise to $22 (trying to build the pot), he calls
Turn is K diamonds
I lead for $35 and he min-raises to $70. I push for $63 on top of that and he calls.
Flips KK... sigh. $321 pot ships to him.

So I'm down $240 and quit on my hour, bummer run of luck but there's no getting away from those two badboys.

I do my work for the night, and decide I'm playing well, not on tilt, feeling good... lets play again...

Hand 3:
I raise KT spades to $3.50 from the button with $100 stack, Big Blind calls
Flop is 7 9 J with two spades
Big Blind donk-bets $7 into $7.50 pot and I raise to $25 with my huge hand, he pushes and I call
He flips JJ.
Turn makes my flush, river makes his boat. Sigh...

No chance I get away from this hand. Could have peeled one on the flop but I had a huge hand and the flush card would kill my action. I'm ahead of anything but this hand, and in this case I was a 3:2 dog. Otherwise I'm 50% + fold equity against JJ+,77,99 as a range for him.

Hand 4:
Folded to me I raise AKs ($100 stacks) to $3 from Small Blind, big calls.
Flop is A 8 7 rainbow, I bet $4 into $6 he raises to $12 (he was aggressive). I call planning to checkraise the turn.
Turn is another Ace. I check, he checks behind. This I find suspicious.
River is a 6. I go with my gut and check to him, he bets full pot $30 and I call. He shows A7 and I'm Toast. Lost the minimum though.

Hand 5:
Folded to a new player (seems aggressive) with $75, he raises to $3, I call in position with 89 of clubs.
Flop is 567 with two diamonds. He bets, I flat-call with the nuts hoping a scary card doesn't roll off the turn to kill the action because clearly i'm trying to get the money in no matter what comes off.
Turn is a Queen of clubs. he bets $10, I raise small to $25 trying to leave him with too few chips to fold if he calls. He makes it $50 and I push.
He calls with 55.
Yep, board pairs the 7 on the river and the pot ships to him.

Hmm, not so good huh? I mean, how can I complain about those hands really? That's poker I guess, just a bad run at a bad time in my bankroll building. I did suck out once for a $45 profit as a 3:1 dog.

-$430 for the night... there goes the padding on the bankroll... sigh.


Monday, July 21, 2008

Finding Action - TWGP July 19-20, 2008

This weekend my golf buddies played what's known as Auction Pool at my club. It's a 3-man scramble format with players grouped into A, B, C and in theory teams should roughly even out in handicap.

Then they go auction teams off for some real money, minimum of $500 a team and there are always some big spenders pushing up the action. Maybe sometime i'll play in this, but when i'm playing like a schlub there's no freaking way i'm going to pay up to $600 myself to buy my own team when i'm sucking balls, plus having to hack around with some hackers... meh... not my thing. If I'm hot, ok then I'll play maybe. Anyways, Matt's team went for $600, Harry's for $1200 (lol). Total pool is 23k'ish and it goes 50%, 30%, 20% for payouts, then there are side bets. Yeah, winning pays well.

So on friday i'm seeking some bets so I offer Matt $125 for half his share of his team, a nice 25% premium but he turns me down as he realizes he got a great deal. I offer Harry $75 for a half share of his, because I'm a jerk and wanted to rib him. He should have taken it and saved himself $75.

So, no action from the auction. I then decide we need to change the terms of the famed 2-handicap wager with Harry. He's a 5 handicap as of this moment, a 2 is a long way away... so I offer him 3 and 4 as well. That is, if he hits a 2 he wins $300. If he hits a 3 he loses the 2-handicap bet and wins the 3 and 4 thus netting $100. If he hits a 4 he wins $100 but loses the 2 and 3 bets so nets a less of $100. Fortunately, he took the bet so my efforts in dreaming this up were not worthless. Same rules apply, has to finish the season (see: no more golf) at the final tally -- that usually means fantasy football season near the draft for him :)

I made 2 nasty doubles in shooting a 78 at the club, lost my skin money... sigh. Neither of the horses i tried to buy in the Auction placed, so that was money well saved.

-1 Breakfast/Lunches
+$32 skins
+$2 side-bets

Monday, July 14, 2008

Woulda Coulda MotherF*ckin' Shoulda - July 12-13, 2008

This weekend in golf and poker is brought to you by the letter T.

Friday night I got a call to go for dinner at family's, but turned it down as I was on the tail end of a tough week of long hours at work. Grabbed a quiznos sub on the way home (FYI $5 after 5pm is a sick, sick deal) - Classic Italian for the win by the way - ate the damn thing and passed out on the couch.

I get a call at 7, same uncle, same offer. In my cloudy sleeping for one hour state I said sure and went there to eat a second dinner. And I wonder why i'm still fat... hmm. Drank a few light beer, not very many, and came home at a reasonable time, around 11pm.

I have recently decided to get back to being serious about poker. I think it's motivating to me to see my account balance growing, and frankly i've been in LOOOOOOVE with the game for a long time obviously. I'm really too busy to play seriously (a lot) right now but I spent some money on one of these newfangled poker training sites with great videos of good players but I'm hoping my workload lightens up a bit so I can go back to it. As such, I'm going to start bankroll tracking again.

That said, on Friday night I sat down to two tables of $100NL with a solid attitude, focus and determination. I only played 400 hands, but I made some cash and played well I think. Bankroll definitely allows me to play this limit at the moment, so hopefully it goes well as I continue.

Saturday golf started off shitty. Put my rescue into the trees right, hit another tree, doubled the first and was on my way. I ended up playing very well after that making two birdies on the front on 7 & 8 and finished at +3 for the 9. My back started well with a birdie at 10 to get to +2 but then I hit a rescue into the fescue on 11 (again) and bogeyed, then 3-putted 12 from 8 feet, then hit one out on 13. TILT ENSUED. Tried to put my driver through the centre of the earth on 15 after an errant tee shot right, and generally blew up. Birdied 16 to shoot 78, and felt awful. +24 on skins, +4 on side bets (hollywood).

Sunday I woke up dry-mouthed from drinking too much the night before, way too much. Fortunately no hangover. Started off with a bogey, as usual, but then got into a decent rhythm until I doubled 5 and 8. 41 on the front and by far the best in my group (sad). Back nine started ok but I faded near the end bogeying in from 16 to shoot another awful 41. -$10 skins and got the hell out right after the round -- was pissed off bigtime.

So, with my golf game I'm crap off the tee, pretty good with the irons, good chipping and putting. Just can't put it together yet.

My Overall Wagers:

+$104 Live Poker
-1 Breakfast/Lunches
+$42 skins
+$2 side-bets

Monday, July 07, 2008

Double Doubles & PLO - This Weekend In G&P - July 5 and 6, 2008

Saturday morning golf was a typical one. Woke up, went to golf, shot 80 (ugh) but only really had two horrible holes. Hit it into the red-marked fescue (hard to do) on 11, a short par 4 and knocked my dropped ball over the green into fescue (again, hard to do). Then I came up a hair short on 12 and my ball ended up in an unplayable situation. Double double might be OK in some people's coffee (canadian culture reference eh?), but it sucks when I was 2 over to that point and coming off a nice birdie at 10.

Here's where the weekend takes a turn. I had promised someone in my family that I would drop them off at a party and pick them up later (designated driver). So I went directly from golf to their place, dropped them off, came home did some work... went for dinner at the girlfriends' and picked them up. Good deed done? Not quite.

Then the girlfriend and her sister decide I can drive them to Port. Course, this means dropping them at 10, and picking up... they claimed around 1:30. So i drop them off, come home and play PLO.

Now, let me state that I'm starting to "get" PLO. It took long enough, but now I'm starting to appreciate hand strengths a bit better. No more going broke in a deep pot with an overpair for this donkey! I played 2-tables and made 6 buyins playing FAR more aggressively than my opponents. Big pot of the day went as follows against a straightforward, tight aggro player who is NOT getting this much money in awful.

Toast has 8c Qc Jh Jc in the SB with 300BB
Villain has me covered

MP calls
Villain raises POT in position
Toast calls

Flop is 7c Js Qs
Toast checks, MP checks, Villain bets POT, Toast check-raises POT, MP folds, Villain re-pots

What goes through my head here is... I've got a queen, so its less likely he's got a set of those. He has to have straight flush draws here... what the hell are my odds vs. a straight flush draw? Oh fuck it and I get all-in.

Villain shows the scariest goddamn hand: Ts As 9s Jd which gives him a tonne of outs to straights and flushes and straight flushes of course.

4s on the turn, ugh. I'm cooked. PAIR PAIR PAIR THE BOARD GODDAMN YOU FOR THIS 600BB POT! River is a beautiful 4 of clubs and the pot ships my way.

I ran the numbers afterwards. I'm sure every PLO player but me realizes I was ahead but I legitimately thought I was behind. I had him 58% to 42%.

So then I go pick up the girls at 2:45am... wonder how the hell im going to get up for golf tomorrow at 7:52am when i get to sleep at 3:45. Well, I didn't. Missed my time and slept till 10:30am. Fack.

Thats it folks.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Canada Day Wasn't Too Bad

Just one golf note from my day off yesterday (Canada Day). Shot a very reasonable 75, hit a lot of greens, generally kept my head in the game and was very relaxed. Made one 1-putt the whole round which is a combo of being on the green but not close, and also hitting a shit tonne of lips as usual. Just a little off with the flatstick, the stroke isn't bad. 3 bogeys on the back (we played it first) and one on the front, 2 were three putts. There's my problem area.

And that's it.

+$1 in skins, -2 in side bets (hollywood)

My Overall Wagers:

+$104 Live Poker
-1 Breakfast/Lunches
+$28 skins
-$2 side-bets