Monday, June 19, 2006

Casino Report - Argosy Casino, Lawrenceburg, IN

Okay, time to talk about the live game from last friday afternoon. I had a work thing over in Lawrenceburg, IN and ran down to the boat afterword. Got there and they had a TON of games spread. Lots of LHE, NLHE, and PLO as well as PLO8 games going (see post below for limits on these games). I got into the $4/$8 LHE game. I wasn't sure what the action would be like, so I bought in for $320, wanting to stay above 30 BBs. The rake was a little high at 10%, but capped at $5 which I found reasonable for the 4/8 game.

Sat down at the table and realized that I bought in for a little much, and had the big stack at the table. Looked like most had between 150 and 200. So I had some room to be flexible. And boy, did I need it. The entire first hour was just painful. AJ on the button. Raise. 4 callers. Miss the flop. Fold. Limp with AQ from EP. Gets raised and reraise. I fold. Chips bleeding away. Finally decide to change my game up a little when I have KQ sooooted UTG. I raise. Folds to the button, a young kid that has been chatting with me a bit. He reraises. I decide that I have a tight image and I'm gonna bully so I cap it. He calls. Flop is K 10 8 rainbow. I bet it, he raises (and alarm bells go off) but I'm in bully mode and reraise. He calls. Turn is a 4, no flush still. I bet, he calls. River is 3, still no flush. I bet. He calls and shows QQ. Whoops, suckout by me. But now I have a semi-loose image and should get action on my next big hand.

And I don't have to wait long. UTG after an orbit I have 88. Just before my KQ hand, a new guy sat and was pushing people around with junk hands. Manic, loose. Calling reraises with hands like 64 off and hitting a straight. So people were getting a bit upset with him. I decide to go uber-aggressive again. I raise. Reraise, capped. 5 players see the capped flop. Flop is 8 9 10 with 2 hearts. I decide to check-raise to see if I can cut some of the field. I check, bet, loose guy raises. I reraise, it caps again. Turn is a Q, but not a heart. I'm a bit worried as one of the players has been playing AA-JJ and just jamming the pot with bets and raises no matter what hits. I decide to see where I am and bet it. Folds to the guy who plays the high pairs who calls. Loose guy folds. I'm now HU with big pair man. River is an 8. That's right. I hit quads, live. I think about checking, but want to get his cash as he may check behind me. I bet, he calls. I show. He mucks AA. I rake a damn big pot, and finally get into the black.

After this, the deck starts hitting me. In my last 1.5 hours I have AA twice, JJ twice, 99, 77, 66, AK, AQ. My first AA hits a set on the flop but is not called. I have a run of three hands in a row with the 77 that fills up on the river, but didn't get paid off. Next hand I get my AA cracked by KQ off when they river two pair. Then my 99 goes down to a flop of 10 6 4 when the button plays an A10 suited (as well he should) but I minimize my losses and only lose one bet per street (he never raised me). My aggression is paying off, however. Tight aggressive is the way to win this game. People were afraid to raise me as I was jamming a lot of pots.

Finally, I need to get home to Mrs. Fan and have some dinner, so I cash out. $125 in 3 hours. a little over 8BB/hr, even after being cold for the first hour. This is definitely a beatable game. I'll be back.

For those that are interested, they have NLHE tourneys. $95 buy in at noon Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday. Monday at noon is a Bounty tourney where you pay $20 more and collect the $20 from every player you bust. Same thing on Sunday at 6pm. Overall a nice room. Non-smoking amongst non-smoking slots, so you don't have to worry about cigarette smoke at all.

If you are there on a Saturday afternoon, maybe I'll see you there. Meanwhile, I'll cya at the tables.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Confession..good for your soul, good for your game

Well, the blog is about confessions. So it is time to bare my soul. Confession helps you put things in perspective. It helps you work through your problems. It makes you think critically about why you act, think, live in certain ways. Reflections on your confession help you learn. The pain helps you grow, and, hopefully, not repeat those mistakes. I have confessed what I have written here to others already personally, but have not posted to the world. I think my personal interactions helped my game, and I think posting the story will help others.

I started this post a week ago and decided to finally publish. I think others can learn. So, without further is my confession.

I had a horrible week. Started the week with about $500 on Full Tilt, doing very well, playing good. solid poker. Owning the $1/$2 game when suddenly, everything went wrong. I was sitting there, in a $1/$2 session, and had a table open at PS doing the limit challenge when the bonus window on FT opened. No big deal, right? Wrong. I had forgotten during my European Adventure that I had made a deposit in mid-April. When the bonus window came up, I went to look and realized that I had just cleared $80 of the $250 in bonus money I had.

So I started to think. "Hey, that's free money! I can't let that go by! I'm doing well here, I'll just play some other games and clear that bonus faster!"

Wow, what a horrible, horrible, bad, horrible idea. I opened up some NLO8 and PLO8 (that's no limit Omaha Hi/Lo and Pot Limit Omaha Hi/Lo to you poker newbies). It didn't matter that I had been playing Limit Hold Em pretty exclusively for the last 3 months and built up a pretty substantial roll. I was playing 1/2 limit, how much different could it be, right? And the pots were so big, I could clear bonus faster!

Talk about an amateur blunder. Being good at LHE won't translate to being good at PLO8. Heck, it won't even mean you are a good NLHE player. I'm not. I should know better. My brain is wired to play LHE, and I struggle everywhere else. But hubris got me. Made me think I was bulletproof.

If you have been around poker for a while, you know the end of this story. I lost the full $500. And then some. I had about $200 over on PS, so I brought over $100 and am now hovering around the $125 mark, with about $60 in bonus that got released during the freefall.

So what's the moral of this story? Heck, there's a laundry list, not just one.

Even when you are running well, you are not bulletproof. Just because you are good in one game, doesn't mean you should be playing at that level in others. Don't jump into games that will drain your BR in just a few buyins. Don't play just to get the "free money". Play your game and play it well. If you are going to jump to different games, start at low limits and work your way up. I'm sure there's a ton more, but those are the biggies.

So now I'm back to low limits. I still post and hang out on, and we have a $0.10/$0.25 NLHE table that will show up if enough people are playing online. To get back to my "roots" I had a few people help me get the table to show up (Full Tilt now only has one "empty" table on the list at a time, so you have to sit at it to get the next to show up, and the forum table is down the list a bit) and sat and had a good time there for a while just to get out of my funk. Talks with the Cat, Dee, Grumpy, steeler, Khan, Zooks, all helped a lot too. Thanks to everyone for letting me unload a bit.

So where do I go from here? Here's another addition to this post pre-publication. On Friday afternoon, I had a team offsite at work that was over in Lawrenceburg, IN. Argosy casino is right up the road, so when the team event was over I decided to head up there for some LHE action. I wanted to make sure I hadn't completely destroyed my game. I promised the wife that I would be home for dinner, so I knew I would only have 3 or 3.5 hours, tops. It would depend on what the waiting lists were like when I got there.

I joined the players club for the comps, then headed down to the poker room. I was worried as it was a Friday afternoon (granted, it was only 3:30pm) but I had heard that the place had long waits. When I got there there were 2/4, 3/6, 4/8, 6/12 and 10/20 LHE, 1/3, 2/5 NLHE, and they had PLO and PLO8 running as well. It is a pretty nice setup, an non-smoking room next to the non-smoking slots, so people can't just hang out smoking at the rail, they have to go outside to get their nic fix.

I asked to be put on the 3/6 and 4/8 LHE lists, and they told me there was a seat at 4/8 that was open. There was one on the list, but 2 seats available. So I hit the cashier and sat with $320. 3 hours later, I left with $445, thanks to some great cards and some loose play. Oh, yeah, and those quads that I hit. But you'll have to wait until tomorrow for that post. It's bedtime now.

Cya at the tables.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

I hate to use the word nemesis, but...

Wow. Another WPBT event, and more action with vegaas. As a fellow "basement blogger" (hell, yeah, I'll steal it) I just can't seem to get on the right side of a flop with this guy. Two cases in point from tonight's WPBT event:

Full Tilt Poker Game #689282909: WPBT Circuit 7 (4397409), Table 2 - 100/200 - Limit Hold'em - 22:23:29 ET - 2006/06/04
Seat 1: IlliniFan (3,035)
Seat 2: lucko21 (1,105)
Seat 3: presidentdave (1,450)
Seat 4: hoyazo (1,370)
Seat 5: BadBlood (742)
Seat 6: vegaas (2,655)
Seat 8: StatikKling (1,553)
BadBlood posts the small blind of 50
vegaas posts the big blind of 100
The button is in seat #4
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to IlliniFan [Kd Qd]
hoyazo: very impressive lucko
StatikKling folds
IlliniFan raises to 200
lucko21 folds
lucko21: thanks, disapointing
presidentdave folds
hoyazo folds
BadBlood folds
hoyazo: i know what you mean.
vegaas calls 100
*** FLOP *** [4c Ks Js]
lucko21: did well in the stars million too
HighOnPoker sits down
HighOnPoker adds 1,683
hoyazo: but very impressive nonetheless.
vegaas checks
IlliniFan bets 100
hoyazo: nice.
vegaas calls 100
*** TURN *** [4c Ks Js] [3s]
lucko21: busted out 180 something
vegaas checks
HighOnPoker is feeling happy
IlliniFan bets 200
vegaas raises to 400
hoyazo: how many people in that one?
lucko21: 5200
HighOnPoker: looks whose coming to dinner
IlliniFan has 15 seconds left to act
IlliniFan calls 200
*** RIVER *** [4c Ks Js 3s] [7s]
presidentdave: hey Jordan
hoyazo: hey jordan
vegaas checks
IlliniFan checks
*** SHOW DOWN ***
vegaas shows [Kc Jc] (two pair, Kings and Jacks)
IlliniFan shows [Kd Qd] (a pair of Kings)
vegaas wins the pot (1,450) with two pair, Kings and Jacks Yep, outkicked and he picks it up...again (see my earlier post about him having my number)
IlliniFan: nh
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot 1,450 | Rake 0
Board: [4c Ks Js 3s 7s]
Seat 1: IlliniFan showed [Kd Qd] and lost with a pair of Kings
Seat 2: lucko21 didn't bet (folded)
Seat 3: presidentdave didn't bet (folded)
Seat 4: hoyazo (button) didn't bet (folded)
Seat 5: BadBlood (small blind) folded before the Flop
Seat 6: vegaas (big blind) showed [Kc Jc] and won (1,450) with two pair, Kings and Jacks
Seat 8: StatikKling didn't bet (folded)

Hand #2
Full Tilt Poker Game #689348015: WPBT Circuit 7 (4397409), Table 2 - 120/240 - Limit Omaha Hi/Lo - 22:46:36 ET - 2006/06/04
Seat 1: IlliniFan (2,955)
Seat 2: lucko21 (315)
Seat 3: presidentdave (957)
Seat 4: hoyazo (2,370)
Seat 5: BadBlood (1,458)
Seat 6: vegaas (3,155)
Seat 7: HighOnPoker (2,383)
presidentdave posts the small blind of 60
hoyazo posts the big blind of 120
The button is in seat #2
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to IlliniFan [As 3s Ad Ks]
BadBlood folds
vegaas raises to 240
HighOnPoker folds
IlliniFan calls 240
lucko21 folds
presidentdave folds
hoyazo has 15 seconds left to act
hoyazo folds
*** FLOP *** [4d 9d 3h]
vegaas bets 120
IlliniFan raises to 240
vegaas calls 120
*** TURN *** [4d 9d 3h] [Qc]
vegaas bets 240
IlliniFan calls 240
*** RIVER *** [4d 9d 3h Qc] [Jh]
vegaas checks
IlliniFan bets 240
vegaas calls 240
*** SHOW DOWN ***
IlliniFan shows [As 3s Ad Ks] (a pair of Aces)
vegaas shows [Qd 3d Ac Ah] (two pair, Queens and Threes) Yep, again. I have him dominated and he sucks out. Who is this masked mystery man?!?! Damn him!
vegaas wins the pot (2,100) with two pair, Queens and Threes
The game is now 150/300 Limit Razz with an ante of 25
No low hand qualified
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot 2,100 | Rake 0
Board: [4d 9d 3h Qc Jh]
Seat 1: IlliniFan showed [As 3s Ad Ks] and lost with HI: a pair of Aces
Seat 2: lucko21 (button) didn't bet (folded)
Seat 3: presidentdave (small blind) folded before the Flop
Seat 4: hoyazo (big blind) folded before the Flop
Seat 5: BadBlood didn't bet (folded)
Seat 6: vegaas showed [Qd 3d Ac Ah] and won (2,100) with HI: two pair, Queens and Threes
Seat 7: HighOnPoker didn't bet (folded)

I finally went out in Stud when I was dealt 272 (closest thing you can get to the hammer in stud) and got it all in the middle. Lucko21 called me with his flush draw to win it on 7th street, but I was close to getting back into it. Finished 20th out of 33 starters. Was as high as 3rd before vegaas started stealing my chips.

Well, at least some good news. I am finally out of .10/.20 limit hell and am actually well on my way out of .25/.50 and back into .50/1. I'm up to $25.27, so I'm less than $5 away there. Should make it by Weds. I'll cya at the tables...

Grinding is rough

Hello all. Thanks for stopping by to check things out. Didn't get to play poker yesterday, as I had a TON of yardwork to catch up on since I was gone for 3 weeks. However, I did play for about 5 hours on Friday evening. And I'm up a whole whopping $0.75 for my troubles in the Limit Challenge.

Sat with my usual 30X BB in the .10/.20 game, $6. Had that slooooowly drain away when I couldn't hit flops for about 3 hours. Got to the point where I was going to just get it all in the middle by betting/raising just out of sheer frustration. But I held back, and continued on the grind. Finally found AJ on the button and raised. Four callers. Flop was AJA, two hearts. Beautiful. BB bet it, one caller, one fold. I decide that they are going to pay me off no matter what, so I raise. BB reraises, other guy calls. I cap it and both call. Turn is a blank (maybe an 8?) but still no flush yet. BB bets it again. I started the hand with $1.05 and manage to get it all in by raising here on the turn and having the BB reraise me for my last $0.15. The MP guy was along for the ride as well. River brought the flush, and the other two capped again in the side pot. BB turned over A4 offsuit. (yep...all that for a set with a crappy kicker). MP player scooped with KQ hearts for the nut flush (and almost royal, whew). I tripled up in the main pot and was on my way out of the hole.

But getting back to even still took some time. Variance is a bitch around the donkeys. They tend to get lucky and their A-x hits two pair when you have them outkicked. Ugly, ugly stuff. I am still wary when a bunch of middle connecting type cards flop (like 784) as you never know who played connecting cards here and is sitting on the 56o. It happens. The nice thing is that these donkeys usually will pay you off and even raise into you when they have TPTK, or even just TP, crappy kicker.

So after 5 hours, I was up to $6.75 and decided to call it quits. I might be playing for a bit this evening, but I still have more yardwork to catch up on today. Have all the flower beds prepped for mulching, so I need to get the mulch down. I'll update later.

Cya at the tables.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Limit Challenge Update

Okay, I was gone for three weeks, but here's the latest. To catch you up (read it here), I had made it all the way up to $41.07 from my initial $1.20. I had gone from $0.02/$0.04 (level 1) up to $0.50/$1 (level 5) and was knocking on the door for the 1/2 game. Then variance hit and I got knocked back down to $0.10/$0.20 (level 3). I slid through a few levels on the way, but hit bottom and started to climb back out.

Now I'm moving up slowly, two steps forward, one step back style. Played when I got back on Monday evening and made a whooping 4.5BB (well, a bit more...$0.95) to bring me back to $12.02 total and closer to moving up a limit. But then last night I lost $1.65 back to push me down to $10.37. I'm still way, way up, so I have no complaints. I thought the challenge would be about making money in the higher limits, and I still think that when I get there it's going to be tough. But right now it's about grinding out in Low-limit hell when people call all the way down with AK - A10 off, any two suited cards, any two connected cards. I found myself slipping a bit and starting to emulate that play, just being lazy. This challenge is all about the grind, not about being fancy.

So here I sit, at the $0.10/$0.20 game again, grinding. To combat the boredom, I joined a $10+1 SnG that I won, so things aren't all bad. I hope to be back to the $0.25/$0.50 game by the end of the weekend. I'll post again in a bit with an update.

In other news, I'm stoked to be playing in the next Blogger Event, which will be Sunday night HORSE. I'm doing well in mixed-game formats, so I'm hoping to earn some more points here soon. No way I'm going to win it, let alone crack the top 10, but top 20 is a possibility if I can make some more events. Click on the WPBT logo to the right to learn more about the World Poker Blogger's Tour.

Oh, and I'm hoping to take down the "World Blogger Championship of Online Poker" over on PS on the 18th. Or at least do better than my abysmal finish last year in the bottom 10%. Click on the link up there and register if you have a blog. First place is a WSOP main event package, and the whole FT gets a WSOP seat in a $1500 buy-in event. Should be a fun time.

I'll cya at the tables....