Friday, August 26, 2005

Variance Sucks

So I started my 7th Poker Source Online promo this morning at Paradise Poker. After getting my ass kicked at Full Tilt, I wanted to play a little tighter until I got the feel for the tables.

Well, I started off pretty hot. Getting some great cards and dragging some nice pots. I open up a couple more tables and am playing 2 $50/NL and a $100/NL. At the 100/NL I'm there to rack up the promo points, only playing hands from the top 2 tiers of Sklansky's ranking system. I get AQ on the button, and see the flop of QQ7, turn is an A, and I win the $45 pot. Sweet, I've doubled my buyin. On the other two $50/NL tables, I'm up and down, nothing really fancy.

So I'm up at the $100/NL table, and get AA dealt to me in the BB. I raise to $10 and get one caller to my left. Flop comes KJ8. I fire a $20 bet into the pot, and guy to my left goes allin for $20 more. I call, and he flips up KJ for two pair. Turn and river are no help.

So I'm now down $30 from my buyin and a bit later (after bleeding blinds and calls) I'm dealt KK on the button. All-in for the rest of my stack. I get called by a guy with A2 spades. Flop comes - spade, spade, spade. I"m dead after the flop and I'm out of the table.j

I told the guy it was a great call with A2s, he said thanks. I told him that was not a compliment.

As the title says, Variance sucks.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Finished Full Tilt Promo

Just finished the Full Tilt Promo.


I'm down $110 from my original deposit, and I haven't cleared any of their bonus money yet. I'd like to chase the bonus money if it was faster to accumulate at the levels I play ($50/NL), but I've played well over 500 hands there over the past 24 hours and only have $14 of bonus money in my "pending" account. It has to reach $20 before they'll release it.

Besides gwaking at SpiritRock and Phil Ivey go all-in for $20k each, I'd say Full Tilt is by far the worst place a beginner/intermediate player can play.

I was the fish, and I got caught. [frown] I'm not -$110 bad.... Couldn't catch a flop to save my life. Had tons of pocket pairs (99, 77, 33, 66, 55 all at one table), but hit NOTHING on the flop. Had tons of AK, AQ, AJ, A10, and each time, a different over card would hit the flop. I couldn't bet anyone out of the pot, and generally felt bad about each and every flop. When I did hit a flop (A7 - flop brings AAQ, turn 7, river 2), I check to the river and get $2 out of the hand.

I bet all the players there had me tagged "green"!

I'm not going back.

Interesting Strategy for Tournaments...

Found this while reading some other blogs... Location is:



EARLY POSITION (Seats 1-7), play only a pair or AK 1. With JJ or
lower, limp in.
--for tighter play, fold 66 or lower.
--for more aggressive play, limp only on Level 1; after that, raise or
fold with 77 or better
--If re-raised up to 3BBs, call2. Open-raise 3BBs with AA, KK, QQ, AK;
more if several limpers
--for more aggressive play, bet 200-300. When playing aggressively,
you need to be prepared to also play the flop aggressively as you are
investing more of your stack.
--If re-raised, go all-in (OK to raise all-in with AKo, AKs, but don't
call an all-in with it unless significant portion of stack already
invested and one opponent only)

1. Raise at least 3BBs with 77 or better, 200-300 for more
aggressiveness (limping with 77-JJ is always a good option)
2. also limp in with AQs, AQ, AJs, ATs, KQs, QJs, JTs if there are
calls ahead of you, raise if there are not.
--Fold if reraised.
--AQs is marginal in early position but strong later
3. On the button, limping with hands like T9s, 98s, 87s, AJ, and KQ is
an option, but requires experience.

Early rounds: AJo, KQo, ATo, KJo, QJo, JTo (and worse) are generally
big trouble.

Open-raise (at least 3BBs, more if limpers ahead of you) from all
positions with:
1. 77-AA, AK, AQ
2. AKs-ATs, KQs-KJs, QJs, JTs

Raise with KTs, QTs, KQ, AJ, if you are first in the pot
Raise with 2 cards J-A, T9s, 98s, or 87s if you have a good stack, LP,
and no raisers already in pot.
Limp if there are already lots of limpers

Never enter a raised pot without AA, KK, QQ, AK unless raiser has ½
your stack or less.
If a small raise to you, go all-in with these hands and call with a
few others (AQ, JJ, TT,)
-experienced players can enter pots with less, but good judgment is necessary
-If short stacked on bubble, you want to be first in the pot; bet big or all-in
-If shortstacked, push (if first in) with Axs, A7+, pairs
-When calling down shortstack all-ins, you want to have AT-AK and pairs 77-AA.
-If shortstack has 2BB or less, it is worth calling from BB with almost anything
-When playing with a huge stack, be careful of other huge stacks even
with AK, KQs, JJ, etc….

General Prefop Considerations
-When calling a raise, you need a better hand than you needed to raise
in the first place
-When a raise has already been called, you need an even better hand
-When in the small blind, you can limp with slightly worse hands than normal
-When calling min raises once already in for one bet, almost any
calling hand is still playable


On the flop, raise the amount of the pot with the following, otherwise fold:
1. top pair with a good kicker
2. 2 pair (no pair on board), set, or boat
3. 4 flush with overcards or other possibilities (bottom/middle pairs,
straight draws, etc…)
4. open-ended straight with lots of outs (3-flush, 2 overcards, etc.)

Open ended straights are highly overrated.

Play drawing hands aggressively (you need to have good stack to play a draw)
1. best to act last: bet the pot
2. consider semi-bluff in LP
3. if bet to you on flop is ½ the pot or less, raise to size of pot if
you have large stack
--If re-raised, fold Do not slowplay monster hands, especially when
draws are on the board.

Post-flop, all bets should be size of pot.
If any recommended bet (3BBs, pot, etc.) is 40% or more of stack, go all-in.

If short stacked, Level 5 and later, go all in or fold.
--Play only with pocket pairs, AK-AT, or KQs
--On button, aim to steal about 25% of blinds with hands like A7s-A9s, KTs-KJs.
--Play very tight with 4 left, much looser when in money.
--Don't worry about second place: gamble for 1st, settle for 3rd.
--Don't worry about attacking the short stacks. Quickly increasing
blinds and their own loose play will take them out.
--With three players left, any piece of the flop becomes valuable. Do
not be afraid to bet middle pairs if there is no reason to believe
opponent has stronger hand. If there is a raise preflop and an ace or
king comes on flop play cautiously

--The turn and river should be more easily played. The flop is where
your most crucial decisions are made
--When you think you are beaten on the river, a fold to a small bet is
usually a mistake unless you have no hand at all

-Top pair, top kicker is usually considered risky in NL, but Party's
structure forces aggressive play.
-Experienced players; if flop is rags and pot not raised ahead of you
preflop, bet the pot.-AKo, AKs are good for an all-in bet, but not to
call an all-in. AK or AKs all-in bets work best pre-flop so hand has
full board to work with.
-If any recommended bet is 40% or more of your stack, go all-in.
-When holding middle pair, if flop is checked all around and turn
brings no scare cards (3-flush on board, 3 straight on board, cards
higher than your middle pair, etc…) play that pair aggressively on the
turn. When raised, be prepared to abandon if you suspect a trap.
-Anytime you are prepared to check and call, it is better to bet in
the first place-If you do decide to expand your play to include more
creativity, this plan is tilt protection should you need to fall back
on more straightforward play in rocky times.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Full Tilt

So I started the Full Tilt promo today through Poker Source Online in order to rack up some more PSO points. Plus I wanted to see the "pros" play ;)

The first 200 hands or so kicked my ass. I hopped on the $50/NL tables, and opend 3 of them. Right off the bat I'm thrown QQ . Blind is raised to $2.50, I call. Flop comes 7-10-10. I fire a $3 into the pot, 2 callers. Turn brings a 10. I bet $3 again, one caller, one folds. River is a rag. I check, player bets $12 putting me allin. He flips up 10-6 for Quads.

So I'm down one buy-in. No biggie.

Other table. I get QQ on the button. folds to MP who raises the blinds to $3. I raise to $6 and MP calls. Flop is a 349. He bets $10, I reraise all-in. He flips up KK. Turn or River are of no help to me.

This place doesn't have many fish, at least not while I'm at the tables (hmmmm, I wonder if that means Im the fishey :)).

I'm halfway to my 200 necessary points for the promo, doubtful I'll stick around after the PSO promo.

Full Tilt

So I started the Full Tilt promo today through Poker Source Online in order to rack up some more PSO points. Plus I wanted to see the "pros" play ;)

The first 200 hands or so kicked my ass. I hopped on the $50/NL tables, and opend 3 of them. Right off the bat I'm thrown QQ . Blind is raised to $2.50, I call. Flop comes 7-10-10. I fire a $3 into the pot, 2 callers. Turn brings a 10. I bet $3 again, one caller, one folds. River is a rag. I check, player bets $12 putting me allin. He flips up 10-6 for Quads.

So I'm down one buy-in. No biggie.

Other table. I get QQ on the button. folds to MP who raises the blinds to $3. I raise to $6 and MP calls. Flop is a 349. He bets $10, I reraise all-in. He flips up KK. Turn or River are of no help to me.

This place doesn't have many fish, at least not while I'm at the tables (hmmmm, I wonder if that means Im the fishey :)).

I'm halfway to my 200 necessary points for the promo, doubtful I'll stick around after the PSO promo.

Why I like poker

This morning, I was thinking about why I like to play poker. In no particular order, here are the reasons that came to my head...

1. Competition. I'm a highly competitive person, and am always looking for a way to compete. Just the other night, my brother and I competed to who had the lowest blood pressure using one of those home jobbers you get from Walgreens. Poker provides a very easy and reliable way to compete. It also has a WIDE range of competition from folks who have no clue, to folks who are 10x better than me.

When I play golf, I tend to play with those who are at the same level or worse than me (because I'm not very good) In poker, I'd rather play with folks that are better than me, so that I can learn and get better.

2. Money. Too often I compete with nothing on the line. Money makes your decisions a lot harder and more important. I'm not playing poker to make money (as an income producing machine, that is), but having money on the table creates a different "high" than that of playing a game for the next "drink" :-)

3. Thinking. In high school and college, I loved to play chess. It made me think, hard. Most of the things that we (Americans) busy ourselves with, do not require thinking (such as television). Playing chess allowed me to think bigger and better than my opponent. In the same way, poker makes me think, and requires me to think bigger and better than my opponent in order for me to win (which is the ultimate goal, right?). Actually, in some regards poker requires more thinking than chess, because you're playing against up to 9 other people and their unknown cards, opposed to 1 person and a known board (chess).

4. People. I like to read people and try to figure out what it is that they are thinking and doing. I also like to figure out why they make the decisions that they do, and what drives them. Poker provides a window into people by how they make their decisions and why. This really only applies to playing live poker.

5. Fun. Poker is fun, period. Throwing chips around over a couple of beers on a table that you built from a couple of sheets of plywood is just plain fun. Getting together with 8 other dudes and taking their money, is fun.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Off Topic - Gas Saver on Ebay

Gas Saver, Ebay

Check out the questions section!

Wedding Weekend...

So I just got back from marrying off my younger sister this past weekend...... and I'm flat out tired.

A few hits about the weekend...

- wearing a black tux in 100+ heat flat out sucks.
- chasing my 3 year old around the church in said tux, doesn't make your body temperature go down.
- Sleepling less than 4 hours for 4 straight nights because of allergies doesn't make for a fun trip.
- Speeding ticket when you're not guilty (see explanation below)
- Groom getting duck taped to the hood of a car (naked) and being driven through a carwash during the bachelor party.
- Groom being wrapped in plastic saran wrap with food coloring on the inside from the neck down. That stuff is not coming off for weeks (yes, he's going to the beech for his honeymoon).
- Gas prices at $2.50+/gal.....over 980 miles of driving in my Montero (15-18 miles to the gal).
- 2 kids under 3 in a car for over 16 hours of driving time.
- Cell phone batteries not lasting very long.
- Golfing with fellow groomsmen, and the groom loses a farkel match (rock/paper/scissors) and proceeds to jump in the pond to retreive a golf club.
Speeding ticket...

We're coming back from the wedding yesterday, and my family has been sleeping for most of the morning. We're 4 hours into a 6 hour trip, and my family wakes up and starts to get a little restless. I'm cruising along the interstate at a set speed of 76 (70mph speed limit here).

I cross over a bridge, see a cop to my left and keep cruising. I'm well within the speed limit enforcement...or so I thought. Cop spins around and flips his liights on.

I pull over to the shoulder, and he comes bounding out of his car. "license and registration please".

"Sir, was I speeding?" I asked
"How fast"
"I don't know, I'll have to check the gun"
"I had my cruise control set"
"This is a 60mph zone"
"Yeah, about a half a mile back, the speed changes from 70 to 60, you were speeding."

So, he brings a ticket back to my car for $150. Tells mee that that court will dismiss the ticket if I show up in court. I live 2 hours away from the town where I have to show up in court.

I say thanks and pull away. Not 200 yards down the interstate is a speed limit sign: 70mph.

I was pissed. What a freaking joke.

I did get a few games of poker in with my extended family (non-poker players), and a family friend who turned out to be a "hotshot" player who was throwing around poker terms left and right. We're playing $10/NL with 8 at the table, blinds are .25/.50 and hotshot raises to $1. A couple of callers. Flop comes 648 rags, and hotshot leads out for $1. My uncle lays out a couple stacks of chips, then puts another stack out there for $3 total. Hotshot yells "You can't do that, that's called string betting". Everyone at the table peers over to this guy with a look of "are you kidding"? Hotshot folds to the reraise. My uncle takes the pot down.

Needless to say, this was a friendly game of poker, and hotshot was trying to make it into this ultra-competitive game. He left shortly thereafter.

Back to work.....

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

River Catchers

Ever feel like you're playing at a table with a bunch of chasers that ALWAYS hit their card on the river?

Just got through playing a S&G, and the guy two seats to my right was all-in against me 4 or 5 times and caught his 1,2,3 outer on the river every time.

JediHog - 74s
Riverman - 10-2s
Flop - 334
Turn - Q
River - 10

JediHog - QJs
Riverman - Q-10o
Flop 34Qx
Turn 7
River - 10

JediHog - K-10o
Riverman - 68s
Flop K-10-9
Turn - 2
River - 7

Over and over and over again. It's tough to play a solid hour of poker, playing really well, to get rivered out of the tourney.

My last hand of the tourney - final 3 at the table:

JediHog Q2s
I call BB of 200
Riverman reraises to 400
I call
Flop A-4-A
Riverman Checks
JediHog bets 1500 (2x Pot)
Riverman calls
Turn - 8
Riverman bets - 1250 (all my chips)
I accidentally clicked the "call any" button while on the phone....didn't realize it was checked. So I'm all in.
River - 3
He flips up 3-3 for the rivered boat

I was on a bluff, but how in the world can the guy call a 2x pot sized bet with 33 when AA is on the board? Amazing.

I finished 3rd despite being in the chip lead until Riverman started his river run.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Absolute Screw Up

So, I'm completing the Absolute promo through Poker Source Online and it looks like I'm going to get screwed out of 9,000 PSO points. Seems that Absolute has me tracked through another affiliate, which makes no sense to me at all. Not very happy about this right now...


PSO just got back with me and confirmed that I did in fact sign up through them. They didn't see that I registered almost 2 months ago for the pomo and found it yesterday. All is well. :D

Thursday, August 11, 2005

New home chips

Just got my Desert Sands chips in the mail today via PSO. They cost me 38,000 PSO points (19,000 per 300 chipset), and they're awesome chips.

Here's a picture of them:

I'd love to have some paulsons or other clay chips, but these will be a HUGE upgrade from the crappy dice chips I've been using for the past 2 years or so. Here's the breakdown of the denom's I got:

175 - $5 (red)
200 - $25 (green)
125 - $100 (black)
70 - $500 (purple)
30 - $1,000 (yellow)

New template

I'd love to make my own template, a la Trip Jax, but I do not have the time.

So I'll use this one for now, and modify the pictures and colors to my liking later. Some of the blogger templates are so drab.

Happy pokering!

Poker Tracking Software

So.... Do any of you folks use tracking software such as Poker Tracker?

I've been reading some posts at the Poker Source Online forums from those who use this software....and it totally pisses me off. Having an unfair advantage such as stats when making a decision during play online seems to me to be cheating. If this software has "watched" my betting patters for hours on end, then the person using that information can make bets against me that statistically "make sense".

Is this the nature of online play now? Should I change my expectation to allow for this type of play to enter in to my games? We're all using very fast and smart computers, so I guess it's safe to assume that folks are going to use that it their advantage every way possible.

What are your thoughts, is this type of software cheating?


Just found a blatant cheating site:

That is total crap.

Thoughts between Online vs. Live play

When I first started playing poker, 8 or 9 years ago in college, my roommates and I would gather all our change and sit at the dining table and play 5 card draw. At that time, there was no ESPN coverage of the WSOP or any mention of Texas Hold'em at our poker table. The only rule we had: only silver coins, no copper.

5 years ago, my buddy and I decided we wanted to host a poker cash game. Our first game was in my garage with a 4'x4' folding card table. We drank cheap beer and smoked a few cigars. We played a bunch of different games, "Screw your buddy", "black jack", "5/7 card stud/draw", and that game (the name escapes me right now) when you stick the card to your forhead and bet. We had a ball.

Now, 5 years later, I've built my own poker table, have opened numerous online poker accounts, and play in a fair amount of local games.

I prefer live games over online, but have come to appreciate the online play over the past few months.

In live games, I love to watch how people bet and see patterns. The social interaction is also more fun, and gives you something to look forward to should the cards not "fall" in your favor. When my local group gets together, I know how each one plays, and normally place well in our tourneys.

I have a hard time keeping up with the pace of play online, and rarely put betting patterns on more than 2 or 3 folks at my table. Especially with the turnover so high at the $50 & $100 NL tables that I play.

In online games, I play a lot tighter and less aggressive to minimize my losses. This has worked thus far in online play (+$375 off of a $100 deposit), but doesn't really work at live play. Sometimes I get in trouble with my live games, because they go slow. I'll overcompensate for the slowness of play, and will try to open things up. This has backfired on me a few times to the point that I'm the first one out of a tourney b/c I was too loose.

Quick Pros/Cons for Online and Live poker:

- Betting patterns better realized
- "tells"
- More time to make a decision
- Little turnover
- Physical chips and cards (there's something nice about having a large chip stack in front of you)
- Overall, more fun (at least in the games I play)

- Multiple options of what tables to play
- Always a game going
- Ability to play on multiple tables
- Tourneys & Ring games
- Faster play, more $$/hr won/lost
- Fishers

Live Cons
- Little to no change in play
- $$/hr is a lot less
- People can read my tells
- Regularity
- Slower play by less experienced players

Online Cons
- Not enough time to get reads on people
- Suckouts galore
- Poker "tracking" software gives advantage to those who use it.
- Loose canons who call allins with 64 suited and catch trips to knock out your pocket KK
- Can suck away multiple hours of your life in what seems like a matter of minutes.

There you have it. My 10 minutes of thought as to the differences of Online versus Live poker play. comments welcome.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Nice oops

So I'm in a MTT at Absolute, and The following happens.

I'm in the BB, get 4s 6d dealt to me. I click on the "check/call" button instead of the "check/fold" button. I turn around to my laptop to answer some emails, and when I look back at the screen behind me, I see that I was put all-in by someone else. That someone had AKo, he was called by J6c (who was the person that put me all in).

Flop comes 10d, 9d, 7s
Turn 4d
River Kc

I end up doubling up with a pair of 4's, while the AK fellow doubled up (800 in chips) with his pair of K's.

Fellow with the J6 was busted out of the tourney.

I'm sure he was cussing me as he left the table.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005


In the process of clearing my Absolute promo with PSO. Playing on the .50NL tables, shorthanded (6). Dude to my right is raising with crap, and always raises on the button. We've hit about 10 orbits, I'm up $10 or so on the session. I'm in the SB and get dealt KK. Sweet, I can get some chips out of this guy.

SB bets $1.50, Button raises to $3.50, I reraise to $6.50. SB goes All-in. Button goes into the tank and calls SB's all in. I of course call.

SB flips up AJo, Button flips up 64h.

Flop comes 10Q6
Turn is a Q
River is a 6 for the 2 out effing full house.

Who the hell calls an all-in ($75) with a freaking 64 sooted?

I left that table, and the other table I was sitting at.

I guess the only mistake I made was not shoving when I re-raised. Though the chap would have still called with his 64 suited.


Any suggestions about Absolute?

I'm about to start another Poker Source Online promo with Absolute Poker. Can anyone give me some ideas on how this room compares to the others out there (bodog, poker rewards, pacific, party, etc).


Saturday, August 06, 2005


Played my necessary hands at BoDog this weekend to complete my 4th PSO promo in as many weeks.

Their software is my favorite so far. Much better than any of the Prima networks (PokerRewards, Pacific Poker, Aztech, etc). Anyway, the play wasn't as slick as I was expecting. I didn't feel all that comfortable at the $.50NL tables, but I couldn't find any PL tables open so I had to settle down at NL. First few hands I'm just getting the feeling of the new site and players (this after playing at PokerRewards and their ultra soft PL games). 4th or 5th hand I get dealt QQ and I'm in MP. I raise up to $2, and get a couple of callers. Flop comes JA4 Rainbow. I bet out (I live and die by the pre-flop raise followed by a strong post-flop bet) and get one caller. Turn is a 5. I again bet out, this time quite a bit more to find out if anyone's got an A paired, or two pair. I believe I threw out $10. The guy calls. At this point, I'm putting him on a flush draw or straight draw, but maybe he was playing Aces with a low kicker. River comes an 8. No flush. I again bet, player calls and flips up a 76 offsuit for the river river straight. Unbelievable.

I told myself that this could be a long PSO promotion should the bets continue this way.

Alas, I continued through it and kept on playing. I opened up another .50NL table to help hurry my promotion points along. This table had two loud mouths jabbering on and on about how bad of a player each one is. I sit down with the max buyin of $50, and at one point turn off the chat because these two guys are just unbearable. I start hitting hands at this table, and my $50 buyin raises to $75, and up to $95 and up to $125. At this point I've turned the chat back on to listen in. Both of these guys are still going at it (one had 22 in the hole and called a raise of $2 preflop. he hit his set and took the pot from the other guy).

So I'm at $120, up $70 at this table, but only up $25 or so b/c of my awful bad beat (76off straight) at the other table. I get QQ in the BB and raise it 3xBB. Get a couple of callers. Flop is Qd8dAc. Sweet, trips, I love flopping trips (don't we all). Well, I decide to slow play this to see if anyone's got 2 pair or a pair with a high kicker. One guy bets out $5 or so, likely attempting to steal the pot, so everyone calls, and I raise to $15. Everyone folds but one, he goes allin for an additional $20. I immediately call, and he flips over Ad4d. Turn is a rag, and river is an 8. I get my boat and drag a $68 pot. Boy, that felt good.

So, I've got $175 in chips at this table and this one guy (JRyan8478) starts going off on how bad of a player I am, and how I never bet unless I have a good hand. He tells everyone at the table to stay out of a pot if I'm betting because I never bluff.

It just so happened that the next 10-20 hands, I decided to bluff as much as I could without throwing money away. I must have won 90% of those pots, and each and every time I won the pot, I clicked "show cards". Everyone else at the table was laughing because I was rubbing it in this guys face.


I cashed out of that game up $177, which is by far my biggest single session win yet.

I had QQ 4 times at that table, hit trips 2 times, and a boat twice. I love getting paid off on the nuts.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Changing mid-swing

I learned a very important lesson the other night while playing at a S&G at Pacific Poker: You've got to know how and when to change your style.

I've read about this, and heard the pros talk about the ability to change betting patterns and styles mid-game. I discounted it as something that really only needs to be applied for the "big gamers" or the "high stakes players". Boy, was I wrong.

Up until Sunday night (the S&G at Pacific), I'd pretty much played all my ring and tourney games the same. Tight, build the pot when I have a made hand, but always cautious when someone begain raising me or betting into me.

Sunday night, I made the final 3 at said S&G, and appeared to be playing against much weaker and inferior opponents. I was right on one account, but wrong on the other. I knocked out the guy I was right about, leaving me against the chip leader with his 2-1 chip lead over me. I'd been watching the way he was playing throughout the tourney, and saw that he NEVER raised, but only called. When he did bet, he bet the minimum and would fold to a strong bet. Seeing that I had him "pinned", I went for the kill. I played every two cards I got, and began making a dent in his chip stack.

He was a calling station. I would bet, he would call. I would bet, he would call. I would bet, he would call. I would win the pot, he'd muck. SO, I figured this to be the easiest heads up match ever, and went on auto pilot. At one point I got the chip lead at 3-2, but that didn't last long.

I began getting frustrated because I could never buy him out of a pot. Therefore, bluffing was not working because he would call, and he was beginning to win the pots with sets, straights, flushes, and quads. It was even more frustrating when I would see his hand (said quads) after losing the pot, and realizing that he only bet the minimum into me after nailing his quads.

Well, change my style, I did not. After 10 more minutues of me betting and him calling, I was out of the tourney in 2nd place. It was obvious he saw my style, and played it perfectly. Slowly and surely chipping away my chip stack until I'm forced to bet with less than premimum hands.

I should have became uber tight and played his game when I had the better hands. When I exited the table, I told myself, "you just got your ass kicked all over the felt". It's one thing to lose a tourney when you just didn't get the cards, or ran into some bad beats....but when you get beat like I did, it forces you evaluate and find a way to change.

So, I've now taken it upon myself to change mid-game how I approach the betting and calling. If I've been playing loose and aggressive, I change and become tight. And vice-versa. Changing your betting patterns will confuse and throw-off your opponents read on your cards. This gives you the advantage in a game where advantages win.

It was a good lesson to learn, and I've alrleady seen the benefits of using it at the tables.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Finally, a good game

I signed up for the Poker Source Online promo with Poker Rewards this past weekend, and have been having a ball at their PL and NL tables. I don't think I've had a losing session yet, and I've racked up over 500 raked hands in 3 days. Normally the play has been fairly slow, with a few $30 pots here and there.

Last night I ran into some good poker players. I'm not sure what they were doing at the lower buyin NL tables, but I was very impressed and could tell they were not "trying to figure things out". Lots of re-raising on rag flops to see who had the balls to continue seeing cards. At one point my buyin of $40 was down to $23 after a couple of bad flops (my pocket AA vs AQ, flop hits QQxxx), but built it back up to $60 after losening up and playing "their" game of lots of bluffs.

It was a lot of fun. The best player of the group had $75 (from $40 max buyin) when I arrived at the table, and when I left, he had $193. Fish kept arriving in droves, and he'd just easily and simply take their money. I tried to avoid any confortations with him, as I didn't want to felt my chips to him...but you can't avoid it always with 4 at a table. I out bet him a few times, and it felt good to go up against a good player. I cashed out +$7 after 30 minutes of play, which considering the circumstances, I was thrilled.

I then moved over to two PL games to keep the raked hands going. Hit some big hands there. One was pocket 9's and I reraised the raiser. He called and the flop came 392. He bet, I raised, he went allin ($20) and I called. He flipped over JJ, and I got a $60 pot. That was fun.

Hit another set with QQ and slow played them into getting the guy with AQ to go alliln. Called his $15 and won the $40 pot.

Just got notification that my bonus through pokerrewards cleared, so I'm +$160 in this promotion, not to omention the $90 in PSO points that I'll get when I play 40 more raked hands.

Gotta love winning!