Sunday, May 29, 2005

The trouble with Tilt

Tilting is the worst feeling in the world. It is even worse when you know you are doing it, and still can't stop. You are trying to play, but you are distracted. You are getting cold cards and call with J6 suited, as it is the best hand you've seen in 20 minutes.

I think that Tilt is worse online that in live games. It only makes sense. You get yourself into a state, and it takes your mind a while to "switch gears" and move out of that state. In a live game, if this takes a half an hour, you may see 15 hands, depending on the dealer. Online, especially with the ability to see multiple tables, you could see 60 hands or more. The difference can make a huge dent in your bankroll.

When you tilt, you play cards that you wouldn't normally play. You start to think "This guy has been pushing me around all night. It is time ot push back." That attitude along with a couple of coin flip losses (usually with cards you wouldn't normally play) start to spiral you out of control. I know. I just got off a major tilt. Luckily, I have been keeping myself at the low limits, and it only took about $40 off my bankroll. So it's not a killer in any sense, but it still stinks.

So, here is my thoughts on how to notice you are in the death spiral:

1. You start to think other people are pushing you around. And you know what, you are probably right. People can tell when someone is playing badly. You start to play Q10 offsuit and calling to the river, people are going to notice and take shots at you. This just makes it worse, when they start calling with junk and beating you. You forget. You are playing junk, too. So stop it. Fold on the flop when you don't hit. Tighten up your game for a good hour, or just walk away. Go watch TV, play with the kids, play with the dog, go for a walk. I just had to go out and mow the yard (yeah, it needed it anyway) before I made it worse.

2. You make maniac plays. You've been watching Gus Hansen play his 85 offsuit on the WPT and think, "It works for him, I should be able to do that." Well, there's a problem. People know that Gus is a maniac and expect him to play any two cards at any one time. Unless you are as famous as he is, that's not going to work for you. Pushing all-in when you are on tilt with junk is a horribly bad decision. Stop yourself. It takes a lot of self-control. I've been there, too. Trust me. Don't do it.

3. Your patience is gone. This one sentence pretty much sums up what Tilt is all about. Poker is about patience, waiting, watching, gathering information to use later. You start to tilt and the patience is gone. You want to win, and win now. Everyone has the fantasy of making fast, easy money. You see it all over on TV now (even the Speed Channel has a poker game? What?!?!) and think that you should be playing at that level. The problem is, you didn't see these guys on TV when they were starting out, making mistakes, and learning. You didn't see them tilting when they were building their bankroll and reputation. And very rarely do you see guys tilting on TV (other than the Mouth, but that's more of an act). These guys have learned to sit and grind out 10+ hours a day. They know that patience is all that it takes to turn a bad session into a winner. They have the self control to recognize their tilt, study it, and set it aside. I just wish I was there.

So that's my ravings for the day. Hopefully, someone will learn something. Being so new to poker, I am still in the learning stage and trying my best to pass on the thoughts.

Now, time for some deep breaths. And back into the game.......

Friday, May 27, 2005

Are you a teen, toddler, or adult?

Wondering what I am talking about? Go read this blog by Double As. He talks about the maturity stages of poker players as well as pressure points. His pressure point talk is right on the money. It is something that I have been noticing a bit lately, but I didn't know how to describe it, other than being aggressive to push people around. His postings are dead on. I just wish I was good enough to use the advice. Sadly, I'm still pre-teen, in my estimation. I've been playing casually for years, but don't think I have enough experience to make the big leagues, yet. Still looking around the blogosphere for more poker posters. I'll keep adding to my list as I find stuff I like.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Working on the Blog

Thanks to Iggy for pointing out that I don't have enough bloggers linked. So this week, less poker talk, more working on links and such. So, hopefully the list on the right will continue to grow...

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Some thoughts on online poker sites and Poker Tracker

I haven't thought about the difference in sites too much, until I read this post. It got me thinking. With all the technology out there, you are a sucker if you aren't using it. Well, I for one don't think poker should be about who is paying for the best tracking technology, it should be about old fashioned work. I think that even though using software like Poker Tracker is not against the rules, I don't like the fact that it is out there and available, especially with some of the new "features" at several sites that allow you to track games even if you aren't playing.

So what is so bad about this? As some of these other authors have stated, information is power in poker. If you can collect stats without having to risk a dime or be sitting at a table, what is the point? Online poker is, in my opinion, on the verge of a serious problem. How can people be agiainst collaboration efforts, such as found here, but be okay with having the ability to track hands without playing at the table? What is the difference?

To me, there isn't one. And for now, with everything that is going on at Party Poker, Ultimate Bet, etc, and the fact that people don't like the fact that you can't download Hand Histories at Full Tilt, and I think I know where most of my future play and future dollars will be spent. I hate to sound like a shill for Full Tilt, but I like that I have to ACTUALLY PLAY and PAY ATTENTION to get stats on people. I don't have a program running in the background to give me more of an edge.

Well, I'm glad I got that off my chest. Since no one reads this site anyway, this is more of a journal to bitch about the technology and get it all out. If you do happen to stumble on this, leave a note. Otherwise, I'll be forced to post as comments on other bloggers sites until I finally get some traffic around here.....

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Frustration pays off

Sitting in a NLHE $5 buy in last night on Full Tilt. Had been outdrawn twice on the river, once with my 88 vs K 9 offsuit that rivered a 9, and once by an ace - 4 suited that hit the river flush. So, I may be a bit steamed, when what should arrive, but THE HAMMER while I'm in the Big Blind. So, what does any good poker blogger do? You bet it on the flop! (I still don't have the nuts to raise with it pre-flop, but maybe soon. Here's the hand:

Dealer: Hand #113664285
Dealer: bbqboy posts the small blind of 80
Dealer: IlliniFan posts the big blind of 160
Dealer: You have been dealt [2h 7c]
Dealer: davepalo folds
Dealer: TheUsher folds
Dealer: Lucky Dog 2 folds
Dealer: DeadDough folds
Dealer: pumpkindn folds
Dealer: bbqboy calls 80
Dealer: IlliniFan checks
Dealer: The flop is [8h 3c Kh]
Dealer: bbqboy checks
Dealer: IlliniFan bets 160
Dealer: bbqboy folds
Dealer: Uncalled bet of 160 returned to IlliniFan
Dealer: IlliniFan mucks
Dealer: IlliniFan wins the pot (320)

So it pays off, and so does the frustration. Of course, now I still only have about T1000, so I'm soon out. But I'm play junk and like it. I think that is the first step in moving on to the next level. But I doubt it. I'll save THE HAMMER for special occasions, like a WSOP final table when I'm on camera : )

Monday, May 16, 2005

Close, but not quite there yet

Well, my first experience in seriously trying for a seat in the WSOP main event has ended in a cold deck. I was up and down around the Full Tilt original T2000, but could never do much with it. Got AK spades on the button a while in and ran into 88 and didn't hit, but had him covered by just over T1200. The next orbit, I had 77 on the button with 2 limpers and pushed it. One folded, other guy thought about it for a bit and called with A10 hearts. Of course, he hits the 10 AND an A to just rub it in after I missed with my AK earlier. Such is the way of poker.

The good news is that I won another $4+$0.40 for a $26 token. And I still have 33 W$ on PS to try to play around with (but a quadruple shootout? what does that take, like 8 hours? And a triple? I wish PS had a few more non-rebuys for the WSOP, but that's why I'm on FT now)

Maybe this is the year...and maybe the Cubs will win the World Series as well : )

Saturday, May 14, 2005

What the heck?!?!

Well, I decided to move onto FullTilt and what can I say? I entered a $4+$0.40 for a satellite token. I won the token. I entered a $24+$2 that feeds into the Sunday afternoon $200+16 with one seat guarenteed. The top 6 got a seat. After a few brushes with death, sitting in 7th of 8, I got KK on the button. Guy sitting in 6th is in an early position and raises about half my stack. I push all in, and he turns over A 10 offsuit. No A hits, so now I'm in the big tourney on my way to a possible WSOP seat. Off $4.40. I guess FullTilt is a bit better, as you don't have everyone and their brother going for a WSOP seat there. The tourneys don't have as many entries, so you aren't there for a marathon session. The only complaint I have will FullTilt is that you are stuck in whatever Satellite you are being fed into. They don't have a W$ program so you can unregister and use the money later. Glad I knew that and didn't get into a satellite to a mid-week tourney. So, if you are a FT player, come cheer me on tomorrow at 5:30EST. My screen name is IlliniFan.

So I was feeling so good, I decided to log back on to PokerStars and try the $2+R for today's 8pm $33+R qualifier. And guess what? One rebuy and add-on later, and I have a seat in the $33+R tourney. Since I am busy tonight (it is Saturday night, and my wife expects me to socialize) I unregistered, and I guess I'll use the W$ later.

So, here I am. Nervous as hell. I always dreamed of a WSOP spot, and now I'm one tourney away. I know, I is still a long road ahead, but FullTilt seems to have some solid players and some loose players. I'm hoping I hit a few of the latter, and not many of the former in my quest tomorrow. I'll play some good solid, poker. I have not played much tourney action lately, since I have been doing okay at micro-limit ring games, and I am a bit rusty. I checked my stats and saw the flop around 23% on the FT tourney, and 19% on the PS tourney. So, overall, not too bad. I'll post here regardless of what happens tomorrow.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Moving on to Full Tilt

Okay, so I may be somewhat of a bonus whore. The new 100% match at FullTilt got me thinking. I haven't tried any real money there, yet. But 100% match has me, what the heck? I'll try the microlimit stuff....nickel dime NLHE, maybe some $5 SnGs. So if you happen to see me there, stop and say hello. I'll post how I'm doing when I get a few hands played. I have heard that FT is easy money, but to an amateur like me, who knows?

And speaking of being an amateur, I guess I better explain why I think of myself that way. I have a day job, and I think of poker as a hobby/entertainment. I am posting here as a quasi-journal to see if anyone A) notices me or B) cares enough about my plays that I post here to comment on them. So this will be my training room, for now. I have no plans to move up out of the micro limits ($0.05/$0.10 to $0.10/$0.25 NLHE, and small buy-in type tourneys from $1-$10). So, we'll see where this goes.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Confessions of an amateur poker player (and blogger)

Hey all, welcome to my blog. No idea how you found me or why, but welcome all the same. Not sure how much I'll post or how often, but chack back if you just can't stand the suspense. Have to run and make dinner....I'll check in later.

(IlliniFan on Pokerstars and FullTilt...but somone already stole my name here....sigh)