It may surprise some people to learn that I have never read a poker book.
Ok, that's not entirely true. I own "Positively Fifth Street" (though I don't think that really qualifies as a poker book); I've skimmed through Sklansky's "Tournament Poker for Advanced Players" in Barnes and Noble once or twice; I read a few pages of Cloutier/McEvoy's "Championship No-Limit and Pot-Limit Holdem" on the bus to the Borgata one time; and I picked up Hellmuth's "Play Poker Like the Pros" long enough to realize that it is not one of the better poker books ever written.
As my "poker career" moves forward, I often wonder how much I am costing myself by never having really read any poker books. I think I've learned quite a bit through experience, through the Wednesday night UCB poker game (we pool our knowledge on a web-based messaged board), and by reading the Two Plus Two Forums (fora?). I'm certainly never above learning and attempting to improve, but at this juncture, how much would the typical poker book, which I imagine is geared more for beginners, help me?
Friday, July 30, 2004
It may surprise some people to learn that I have never read a poker book.
Thursday, July 29, 2004
I try to avoid educating people on Party. Their bad play is +EV for me. But after reading Iggy's post yesterday, and then my own post from last night, the following hand occurred in a SNG this morning and I couldn't help myself.
First level, blinds 10/15. There are two EP limpers before a raise from MP to 8xBB. The big blind and both limpers call the raise, and the flop comes down Q-Q-T, two hearts. One of the EP players bets 15 into a pot of 385. The preflop raiser meekly calls, the big blind folds, and the other EP player calls.
The turn is an offsuit J. The flop bettor now leads out for 65 into a pot of 430. The preflop raiser and other EP both call. The turn is an offsuit 6. The guy who has led the betting now moves in for his last 450, and is again called by the preflop raiser. They open KK for the preflop raiser, and Q5o for the other player. Predictably, the PFR was steamed and wanted to blame the EP player.
PFR: figured everyone with a q,5 would be gone preflop
asphnxma: you misplayed it.
asphnxma: after the flop.
Different Player: who me?
asphnxma: no, marie
PFR: yep should have folded
PFR: should have know that some stupid XXXX would have had q,5
asphnxma: blame it on his bad cards if you want, but you misplayed it after the flop
DP: people are horrible
DP: no she didnt
asphnxma: sure she did
asphnxma: she weakly called all the way to the river
DP: only thing she couldve done is lay it down
PFR: yep I did
DP: what u think if she raised hard he wouldve got out
asphnxma: nah, a raise on the flop would have defined his hand
DP: werent two queens on the flop?
asphnxma: as soon as he calls a decent sized flop raise, you check behind on the turn and fold on the river
PFR: I know
I think what's most telling about this is that the PFR claimed that she knew what she should have done, but didn't do it, and was instead content to blast the EP player for calling a huge raise with a toilet paper hand. That's bad on two counts.
Wednesday, July 28, 2004
Barney: Hello, my name is Barney Gumble, and I'm an alcoholic.
Lisa: Mr. Gumble, this is a girl scouts meeting.
Barney: Is it, or is it you girls can't admit that you have a problem?
Iggy makes an interesting and valid point about losing in his latest "uber-post". His basic premise is two-pronged: 1) losing is part of poker; and 2) losing is more often caused by flaws in one's own game than flaws in the game of one's opponents, or "the cards", or any other cause.
He's right, of course - just take a look at my stats from July. I have 24 recorded sessions at the 3/6 tables on Party in July. (I count sessions differently than PokerTracker; if I get up and immediately move to a different table, I count that as one session, whereas PokerTracker would count it as two.) Of those 25 sessions, 19 were winning sessions that netted me a total of $1,239, for an average of $65 per session, or almost 11 BBs, and an average of about 6 BBs/per hour. Not stupendous, but not terrible either, right?
Now let's look at the losing sessions. 5 losing sessions were I dumped $572, for an average of $154 per losing session, or 26 BBs. Ouch. To be fair, the hourly loss was a tad over 4 BBs/hour, and a full half of that loss came from one very long session where I dumped $288, but even then, the other sessions are still averaging a $71 loss.
On the $288 day, could the players have been "sucking out" on me that entire day? Of course not. I probably steamed away at least half of that loss. Tilt comes in many different forms, and for me, the tendency is to start "running scared". We all know that scared money doesn't win, or at least doesn't win as much as it could/should. I also know for certain that when I was down $190, I told myself to stop playing for the day, but a half-hour later I was back on dumping another $100. That's another form of tilt; not being able to stop when, in our gut, we know we need to stop.
Too often, though, losing players blame the cards, or suckouts, or any other of a host of reasons. In LA, a favored response is to blame the dealer -- as if the dealer has any control over what cards come out or how players bet their hands.
Psychology is a big part of poker, both on and off the tables. Winning poker players have learned how to deal with the psychology of losing. They understand that it's all one big session, and that if they are continually introspective, analyzing and improving their game, the short-term losses will be offset by long-term gains. They avoid tilt in all of its various forms, and they minimize their emotional investment in the game, even when the bad beats do come. Winning players understand that poker is a game of processing information through logical filters and detach their emotional feelings from that process as much as possible; they also understand that sometimes, you can play a hand perfectly and still lose. Losing poker players just curse at the screen and wail about how an opponent sucked out for a pot that they "shouldn't" have won, never once even pausing to consider if they misplayed the hand in any way.
Yes, bad beats happen. They're a part of the game. But so is bad play. It's like the driver in a car speeding down a street who, because of a car/pedestrian/goat in the street in front of him, hits his horn before he considers that he is speeding and hits his brakes. Which one is more likely to make the driver "feel better", and which is more likely to result in a long-term positive outcome?
Ugarte has challenged me to do a write-up of Monday night's Blue Parrot game. Normally, I would leave that to Pauly, but he can't seem to find his notes. Frankly, I looked at his notes before the game broke Monday night, and I'm not sure how much help they would be even if he DID find them.
So, as best as my shattered memory will allow, here's a write-up from the action at the Blue Parrot. First, the players in order around the table:
Adam (friend of Charlie)
Nicholas (friend of Charlie)
Coach (later replaced by Ugarte)
Holdem was called more often than normal. I think that was because Charlie and his friends, who made up 3/8 of the table, spend most of their time playing holdem. Whatever, fine with me. I started with the dealer button and called a round of holdem, but things didn't get interesting until Anaconda was called. Pauly and I both let out the same, exasperated sigh in unison when Ferrari (I think?) called it early, before the button was even around the table once.
Any regular reader of this space should know how I feel about Anaconda. It's not that I hate it so much, just that third, fourth, and fifth streets usually cost $20 each since we use $0.25 - $5 spread betting with one bet and three raises max. Add to that the "declare" and subsequent betting round, and it's easy to see how this one game can decimate your $100 buy-in in short order -- which is exactly what happened to Pauly. I saw it coming. Joel's board showed A-A-Q; Ferrari had 4-5-5; and Pauly had 9-9-9. (Coach was in with a low, but is relevant for the hand only in that he was the "low" guy pumping the pot with the help of the high raisers.) I knew Pauly didn't have the case 9, because on the last pass I debated passing him a J or the 9 before settling on the J. On the other hand, Ferrari's bets on the first three streets were screaming quads to me. I was sending brain waves to Pauly, telling him to "GET OUT" (Amityville-style), but it wasn't working. On fourth street, Joel opened another queen, Ferrari showed the third 5, and Pauly opened an 8. The betting was capped, the declare put all three of them against each other for high, and Pauly finally decided to dump his hand, faced with the probability that they probably weren't BOTH bluffing. Sure enough, Ferrari had the case 5.
That set the tone for Pauly's night. He lost a couple of massive pots; one or two in Anaconda, one or two in 7-Stud Hi/Lo where, again, fifth, sixth and seventh streets are often capped at $20 each. It seemed like a comeback might be in order for Pauly when his A-K sucked out against Adam's 5-7 in holdem, board Q-Q-7, when runner-runner queens showed up, and Pauly then scooped one or two Omaha pots, but 7-Stud later demolished him.
Meanwhile, Joel was on quite a rush early in the night. Every time he showed down a hand, he had the nuts or the near nuts. He scooped several Omaha pots, took down some large Holdem pots, and was simply en fuego, despite Ferrari berating him for repeatedly playing 4-5-x-x in Omaha. I eyeballed his stack about an hour or two after we started and he was easily up over $100. He did give some of it back by the end of the night, but he still left a winner.
As for me, I never had even half of a hand in any of the "big money" games, and I didn't catch any rushes, so my stack wavered from -$30 to +$30 throughout the night. I called Razz a couple of times, as a bit of an experiment, but each time I started with two cards ten or above, prompting quick folds. I finished +$15 after Ferrari sucked out against my KK on the last hand of the night by calling a preflop raise with T7s and then calling a flop bet with nothing but an inside straight draw when the flop came down 8-J-Q. His 9 came on the turn. I paid him off (I at least gave him credit for middle pair by putting him on J-T), so the last hand wound up costing me $14.
By far the best hand of the night, though, was a holdem hand. I had just lost a pot to Ferrari when my A-K didn't pair up and he showed unrelenting aggression. That's not always a sign that Ferrari has something, but with no ace or king by the turn and no draw, I didn't care to find out. The next hand, UTG, gave me the Hammer. We hadn't seen the Hammer at all the entire night. I raised. Adam, to my left, three-bet. It folded to Pauly in the big blind, who called. The flop came down something like K-J-x, two clubs. I check-raised Adam's flop bet. I think Pauly folded. The turn was another king, and the river the ace of clubs. I led out on both streets, and Adam glumly folded his cards on the river. With a flourish, I slammed my cards down on the table face-up and shouted "HAMMER!" The predictable amusement came from the table, even moreso as Pauly added, "I folded the same hand."
Ugarte has a short write-up of his half hour at the game after Coach left, and Pauly may have one if he ever finds his notes.
Tuesday, July 27, 2004
How many times can a guy bust out of an MTT with AA all-in before the flop in one week?
Apparently at least three. This last one hurt the most. 1,082 player $30 multi on Party, we've just made the money, I have a moderately small stack with 4000, blinds 400/800. Aces on the button, folds to me, I make the standard raise, the BB comes over the top all-in with a piece of garbage hand, and, well, you know how this one ends. asphnxma goes out 102nd.
My quest for a final table goes on.
Don't kid yourself, Jimmy. If a cow ever got the chance, he'd eat you and everyone you care about!
I finally submitted my rent control complaint to the Santa Monica Rent Control Board. Who knows if I'll ever collect on it. That's not my main goal. This is all about spite.
For those who might not know the backstory, I left my job as a corporate lawyer in New York City in August of last year and moved to Santa Monica, CA. The first month there I crashed at this god-awful "short term rental" after two CraigsList sublets fell through, but at the end of August I found a decent enough apartment a few blocks from the beach for $1300. It seemed a bit pricey, but everything else was good - less than a half-mile to the freeway, walking distance to everything I would want to walk to, parking space under the building, and the sublease was basically open-ended.
In mid-February, an eviction notice came to the apartment. Even though I had paid the February rent to my overtenant on the last day of January, he failed to pay the management company, so they sent a 3-Day Notice to Pay or Quit. What was interesting about the eviction notice was that the total rent overdue was $886.
"That smells like rent control," I thought.
One of the nice things about living in a super-rich community like Santa Monica is that they have the resources to put all sorts of things online. Lo and behold, I found a Santa Monica rent control website on which anyone can look up the current maximum allowable rent for any rent controlled unit in Santa Monica. I plugged in my address. Bingo. There it was. $872 plus surcharges. He had illegally overcharged me about $2400.
Being the nice guy that I am, I tried to work things out with my overtenant. Unfortunately, he's one of these people who thinks that the world owes him for some perceived slight in the past (probably his failed "books on cd" business). Despite offering to settle the $2400 overcharge for only half of that, paid over 3 months by me giving him a reduced rent, he decided that possession is 9/10 of the law and offered me none of my money back. He also remarked that he thought it was "a little unfair" for me, "a New York lawyer with your thousands of dollars", to be coming after him, "a guy with lots of debt", for $2400. Outrageous and infuriating on any number of levels. His only concession was to allow me to stay in the apartment without any further overcharges.
I stayed for two more months while I pursued other options before ultimately moving back to New York for career-related reasons. I had given him a $700 security deposit, and told myself that if I got the security back, I wouldn't file the complaint (I held off on filing the complaint for the very reason that I knew I would be kissing the security goodbye if I did file it). I worked hard to leave the apartment in the exact condition that I found it, scrubbing and cleaning for a few days before leaving. Then two things occurred in rapid succession which brought out my mean streak:
1. He showed up on April 30, surprised to find me still in the apartment. After initial pleasantries, he remarked that he was on his way to a music festival in Palm Springs (Coachella) with two friends and had planned to spend the night in the apartment. I pointed out that I had paid for the entire month, and really, why wouldn't he have double-checked that I would be gone when we spoke on the phone a few days earlier? I told him I had no place else to go and had no intention of leaving. He then suggested I stay with my girlfriend. What gall. It was irrelevant, though, as she was out of town. Whatever. He got pissed. I asked for my security back, and he said he would not give it to me until I vacated the apartment, despite the fact that I was leaving within 24 hours and he was standing inside the scrubbed apartment at the time. Sigh.
2. After I left the apartment and he returned from the music festival, it took me at least five phone calls and three or four further subsequent visits before I got any money out of him. Predictably, he harped on the little things that he could find that were wrong with the apartment -- because I left no "big" things wrong. I didn't water the plant. The shower mat was dirty. There was cat hair on the couch. My patience level, infinite at times, was worn to the nub with such petty tactics. I'm normally very mild-mannered, but when I get angry, watch out. He cowered in front of me like the little girlie-man that he was while I verbally assaulted him with all of his past inequities, including the rent overcharges. We finally settled on $600 to be returned to me. I agreed to that sum simply to be done with him. Wouldn't you know it, he claimed not to have his checkbook, so I had to return the next day (took two visits) to get the cash from him.
The whole experience left such a sour taste in my mouth that before I left LA for good a few days later, I stopped by the Rent Control Board office and picked up a copy of the overcharge complaint form. I filled it out a month ago but was lax about making printouts and photocopies of the appropriate checks, paypal receipts, rental agreement and email correspondence that proved my story.
No more, though. All of the paperwork was assembled and dropped in the mail on Friday afternoon. Like I said up top, I might not ever get one red cent out of this guy, but the RCB informed me back in May that it's a pretty open-and-shut case, so at the very least I'll fuck up his credit, and that's good enough for me.
It's a thorny legal issue, all right. I'll need to refer to the case of Finders v. Keepers.
Ethics, ethics, ethics. Shades of gray, fine distinctions -- the quandries we find ourselves in on a day-to-day basis.
Yesterday, Pauly reported that some sort of new casino/poker site ripped off some content from his blog. If I'm reading his posts correctly, they took verbatim his list of poker links, in addition to some written poker content (from time-to-time he expounds upon trouble hands, tournament strategy, etc.) Predictably and justifiably, he was livid. And at first, it seems easy to join the bandwagon of "How dare they! Plagiarism is wrong and bad!" Who wouldn't get on that bandwagon?
Plagiarism and copyright infringement are hand-in-hand, though, and I'm quite sure that some of the same people in support of Pauly have downloaded copyrighted material off of the Internet (hello, MP3s) for their own personal use and enjoyment. Yes, yes, it's "that old argument" again. Really, though -- where's the distinction?
I suppose you could argue that the poker site which stole Pauly's work had a profit motive behind doing so (they put together a fancy-shmancy website loaded with content as a draw to get players to play on their site), whereas most people who download video and audio files do so for their own personal use. I'm not saying that's a persuasive argument, but it's at least colorable -- the idea being that it's not ok to screw over and make money off of the labor of Joe Anyman, who writes for free, but it is ok to screw over large corporations when you have no profit motive behind doing so. The line between the two seems very, very thin to me, but you could argue it.
There's no "right" answer, but like (almost) everyone else, I support Pauly 100%. In fact, I'm now going to throw in a gratuitous link to Truckin', his literary ezine, and also encourage you to stop by The Tao of Poker so you can read how I outbluffed Pauly's Hammer bluff last night with... The Hammer.
Saturday, July 24, 2004
I'm normally not a praying man, but if you're up there, please save me Superman.
The $30+3 treated me nicely again on Party today. I finished 36th out of 600. Not much money for 36th (only $99) but it's better than nothing. I was in stack trouble most of the way, so to even make it to 36th feels like an accomplishment.
That's three money finishes in five tournaments last week, the first week I've returned to play MTTs on Party. Let's hope similar results continue and that I can force my way to a final table one of these days.
Thursday, July 22, 2004
Turns out that the company that interviewed me last week wants to bring me back in for a second interview. This is an encouraging sign. Again, please keep your fingers crossed for me or engage in whatever other irrational, superstitious, good-luck-bringing activity you choose to believe in. Except for ritual sacrifice. That's just gross.
I've learned that life is one crushing defeat after another until you just wish Flanders was dead.
...Above Malibu, featuring guest star Ugarte, who put in an excellent showing and came back from near death to win the tournament. Remind me never to invite that guy again.
In all honesty, good showing, Ugarte. I'm sure everyone looks forward to your return to the UCB game in two weeks so they can kick your ass and put you in your place.
As for me, I finished third out of 25 when my AQ preflop all-in was outflopped by T9. That, as they say (they? who they?), is poker.
Tuesday, July 20, 2004
Duffman can never die, only the actors who play him. Ooh yeah!
It seems to me, that in any NL tournament, there is always "that one hand" which really defines the tournament. It either helps you get to the money/final table, or it prevents you from getting there. You never realize it at the time, of course. It's only when the hand is over that you can step back and examine it.
In today's $30+3 tourney on Party Poker, that hand was the first hand after the second break. We were down to 76 players, with the top 50 getting paid, and I had T5140 when I was dealt black tens in the cutoff. With blinds of 200/400, UTG+1 (T3614) and MP1 (T4985) both limped in. I knew I had to raise, so I settled on 1600 for a raise, hoping to either take down the pot right there or to get only one caller. The button and blinds folded, and then BOTH remaining players called my raise.
The flop came 7-8-7 rainbow, and the action was checked to me. I was confident that I had the best hand going into the flop; AA, KK or QQ would have reraised me before the flop to get me heads up, and frankly QQ and JJ wouldn't have been limping to begin with. So I had to like the flop. My gut told me that I was up against overcards and a pocket pair, so I needed to bet out. There was only one question - did one of them have 88?
The problem was that the pot was too big. I had only T3540 left in my stack; I couldn't make a small bet and allow the overcards a cheap chance to catch on the turn. So I pushed. I liked the flop, after all. There were only two hands that could beat me.
UTG+1 folded, and then MP1 laughed, called, and turned over 77 for flopped quads. Ugh. There went the tournament. Screwed, screwed, screwed. I had exactly T155 left in my stack after that debacle. Three hands later, I was dealt a face card -- Qh 8s. Not exactly a monster. I threw in my last 155 and got called in two places, further ensuring my demise. The flop came 6-K-A and I knew I was dead. There was some betting and raising on the flop, but eventually one of the players folded and the other, the guy who flopped quads against me, turned up A-J. There it was. So dead. The last two cards came out 4 and A and I prepared to go figure out if I had played my TT too aggressively, but then I noticed that chips were being shoved my way. Hmm?
Oh! Runner-runner flush.
I made a nut flush with two running hearts and two hearts on the flop. How silly. The blinds were still approaching and were going to put me all-in, but fine. Still alive. Next hand - QQ! I pushed, of course, and was called by Mr. Quads, who had A-J again. He flopped a jack, but I survived. Now I had T1640, and suddenly I didn't look -quite- so dead.
I type into the chat asphnxma: do you believe?
and Mr. Quads responds Mr_Quads: no
Well, I made it past the blinds, but was down to T1040. Still cursing that awful flop with the pocket tens, and basically looking for any hand to push with. I folded another 4 hands until I was dealt presto - pocket 5s. I pushed again, got called in one place by AKs, and flopped a set to double up again. Stack size: T2280. 4 hands later, in the BB, I got my dream hand - AA. UTG called, the SB completed, and I pushed in again, hoping to look like a desperate short stack trying to pick up 800 chips. The SB, a big stack, decided to try to take me out, but his pocket 4s were no match for my aces. Just like that, I was back up to T4960, and it's like that awful hand with the 7-8-7 flop was just a memory.
I managed to slide into the money, going out 45th out of 470 with presto again, blinds 400/800 and only T2660 left in my stack. I got called by AK again, and this time AK won.
There's no question that the TT hand defined my tournament, though. One bad flop cost me the chance to finish much, MUCH higher in the money.
Monday, July 19, 2004
Updated the blogroll with three "new" blogs -- in reality they're all old blogs, I've just been uber lazy about updates. There are more to come, of course.
This morning I played in the $5+1 NL tourney on Party favored by Pauly. I need training for the Borgata Open in September and I'd like to get it on the cheap, which is why UCB's Above Malibu tourneys are so great. I don't think the $5 tourneys on Party are worth it, though, based on the caliber of play I saw this morning. Truly staggering what people would call with. I doubled through early on with AK, then stole the blinds a few times to stay level. Eventually, though, the limits started climbing. I had to lay down a few small pocket pairs to big raises, but finally with only 1650 and blinds of 100/200 I couldn't ignore "presto" -- pocket 5s. UTG limped in for 200, the player to my right (stack size: about 1800) min-raised to 400, and I pushed all-in. Folded back to the player on my right, who called with A8o. He caught an ace, the end. 284 out of 1001. I hate his play there with both the min-raise and the all-in call, but that's life. Maybe he was pot-commited to call my all-in. Maybe.
Other poker thoughts: For limit holdem, PokerTracker tells me I make the most money (by a long shot) when I play between 10pm and 2am. Interesting. It also tells me that my AQ play has improved somewhat, but KJ is still kicking my butt. Need to review those hands and figure out why I'm leaking so much money there.
Oh, and on a non-poker note, I'm in the running (I believe) for a job. Waiting for a few other candidates to be interviewed. Knock on wood and/or keep your fingers crossed for me, please. Thanks.
Friday, July 16, 2004
Kids, you tried your best and you failed miserably. The lesson is, never try.
I miss it sometimes, more than I realize. LA, the whole life. You never appreciate these things as much as you should when you have them. Afterwards, you realize what a great thing you had, but it's too late by then. I'm listening to Kruder & Dorfmeister right now, and it reminds me of LA again, sitting in Irene's place and just chillin. There are lots of things that remind me of LA, and they make me sad. Or maybe not sad, but wistful.
The little things are sometimes the most painful. I miss driving down the freeway late at night, when there are as few cars as you'll ever see on LA freeways, with the windows down and a strong breeze blowing through my hair. I miss my car. I miss being able to go sit on the beach and watch the sun set over Pacific blue. I miss my fifteen minute ocean swims. I even miss the stupid karaoke with Ruth's gang, not so much because of them, but because it was something uniquely "LA" for me -- I don't have any karaoke group here in NYC.
Even smaller things. Weather. We have "California days" here (that's what I call them), but not as many as California. Yesterday, when I went to get lunch, there was a cool breeze blowing that reminded me of the ocean breezes in Santa Monica. Sometimes that's all it takes; just a breeze on my face to make me think of what I left behind.
In certain ways, I envy the friend whose footsteps I followed to LA; he did it the way I should have done it from the start -- full-fledged, 100%, both feet, jump in the deep end. No apt in NYC. No subletting in LA, but getting a real apt. Too late for me now, though. All I can do is lay out a new plan to get back there and "make it so". It's good, though. I was without direction for a long time before I moved to LA. I was following a path that was laid before me, rather than one that was really of my own choosing. Now I can devise my own plan for figuring out how toget back to LA.
Thursday, July 15, 2004
Homer: Your mother has this crazy idea that gambling is wrong. Even though they say it's okay in the Bible.
Lisa: Really? Where?
Homer: Eh, somewhere in the back.
My performance at UCB's "Above Malibu" tourneys has been somewhat suspect for the last 4 to 6 weeks. I missed a few tourneys, and in the others I played like a complete jagweed. I was experimenting with some different styles that relied less on stellar starting cards and more on "making plays". It didn't go very well. So last night I decided to return to the tried and true -- relying more on good starting hands and making the occassional play where it seemed prudent to do so.
End result: a 2nd place finish out of 21 players (we were a few short of our normal 25 last night). I hit a few bumps in the road early on -- my stack was down to 1000 of the starting 2000 by Level 3 -- but I climbed back out by playing aggressive poker. I also found a new player, who was VERY tight-weak, to pick on a bit. My favorite play of the night was getting him to lay down his pocket jacks to my pocket fours. Sweet.
We made it down to heads-up when I got out of the way of an all-in and a call while I was in the BB. Blinds were 1000/2000 with a 200 ante at that point, and the winner of the battle had about a 3 to 1 chip advantage on me. He wasn't interested in playing to the bitter end, though, as it was already close to 2am, so we agreed to chop the $90/$60 prize money at $85/$65.
The quality of play at UCB is so vastly improved since last August, when I left NYC for LA, that it's truly amazing. At that time, I could be counted on to finish in the top three (of 15 or so players) just about every week. It is much more difficult now, which is great. I think the Wednesday UCB tourneys provide me with some great training at a bargain price of $10 and no juice, which I will definitely need if I want to meet my goal of moneying in the Borgata Open in September.
Tuesday, July 13, 2004
Ever have one of those days where it seems like everyone at the table is hitting all kinds of retarded draws against you? Anybody have any tips on how to deal with those days (besides "don't play")?
This seems to happen to me on Party about once a month, and the tilt it can cause can be a real problem. One solution, obviously, is just to get up. But on the other hand, if you're at a table with people who are willing to make ridiculous preflop decisions, you want to stay on the theory that they're going to give the money back. Unfortunately, it often seems to not work that way; you keep playing the way you know how, they keep making ridiculous calls and hitting miracle flops/draws. Or, worse yet, you seem to have a target on your back, and EVERYone starts hitting draws against you.
How do you deal with it?
Wednesday, July 07, 2004
Now that all of my various comings and goings are over and done with, I've been back at the tables with a passion. I consider myself a no-limit tournament specialist; it's how I started learning texas holdem and has always been my fondest style of play. I'm always looking to improve my no-limit tourney skills, especially if I hope to have any shot of placing in the $1500 Borgata Open even in September.
But for now, with no job in hand or on the horizon, cash is of paramount importance, so I'm back to the 3/6 tables on Party. I haven't played any 3/6 since I left California; for some reason, I always preferred the LA area 3/6 tables to the Party Poker 3/6 tables. I found the games there very easy, predictable and beatable, and I just like being able to see the players in front of me. I find I have an easier time putting a style of play to a face than I do to a screen name. But there are no 3/6 games in NYC that I care to play, so Party Poker it is.
I'm pleased to say that the first 11 hours have been an unqualified success. I'm averaging 7 big bets an hour. It's not an overwhelming number, because I do have my issues (especially with AQ -- some things never change!) and occassionally I do stupid things like try to bluff players who are unbluffable, but overall I'm pleased. There's no doubt that a few big pots have helped smooth out some of those idiotic plays -- including a $187 pot I won with a full house, the biggest 3/6 pot I've ever won -- but I think that my play is solid enough that I can continue to expect good things.
Now if I can just plug some of the leaks, I'll be in even better shape!
Tuesday, July 06, 2004
As hard as it may seem to believe, I made it back in one piece from GA/SC last night. My brother's wedding went off, tho hardly without a hitch -- as the appointed hour for the start of the ceremony came and went, I was told that the groom was off getting his hair cut. I spent some QT with the fam and even managed to bring back a bunch of freshly picked peaches. Mmmmm.
Now it's back to the poker tables and back to work! I made a quick $50 last night in about an hour, and I'm sure I'll spend some time at the tables today, in between prepping for an interview tomorrow morning. A pinch of luck would be handy for both endeavors.