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November 18, 2010


Some Results

September 5, 2009

Some random results:

Been playing .10/.25 PLO8. I love this game and my results are very good so far. I seem to have a knack for it.

Since the WCOOP is starting, they are running steps with various games.   I decided to take the step 4 ticket I won before the WSOP (I just couldn’t get to step 4 in time) and use it to play a PLO8 step 4 and I win it.  So now I have a step 5 ticket or entry into a $215 tourney.  I’m considering cashing it in on one of the WCOOP $215 tourneys.  It would be fun to play in a big one and see how I do and if I bust out in 10 minutes, oh well, I payed the $7.50 twice to get to where I am, so I’d be down $15.

Played a night at the charity poker thing again. Still don’t like the action there, but I won about $100.

Bad day at work a couple nights back, feeling surly so why not gamble. I went to the Grand Victoria and sat at a dream table. A terrible player has lucked his way into a big stack and was calling down with any pair (called down with K4 off suit on a board of TJA49 with 3 hearts). I ended the night up $400.

Played the full tilt $6 NLHE deep KO tourney and won for a $144 prize. I haven’t played that tourney in a while. I love the deep stack tournament and 90 players is a nice size. Would love to play that tourney live (for a bit bigger buy in).

Hosting my first poker game in the middle of the month and I’m stoked. I bought a table a while back but it stayed at a friend’s house. Now that we’re all moved into a new place I can’t wait to break it out and have some fun.

Oops, I’m a bit behind here

August 20, 2009

Since the last time I posted I’ve…been to Vegas and Montana again. The reason for so few posts is because I’ve running so much. I’ve been all over the place. Let’s see…results…

Vegas…played at Mirage (4th in 70-person tourney…for $300 profit), Wynn, Treasure Island, Mandalay Bay, Planet Hollywood, Bally’s and Caesars (4th place in 20-person tourney…for $0). I’m there working for Harrah’s, staying at Bally’s for free, so I’m freerolling. Last hand of the whole trip at Mandalay I’m down $200 for the trip with $250 on the table. I get JJ and have been playing like a donkey so players are trying hard to get in a pot with me. I bet $15 and I get a caller behind and the BB. The flop comes 9-high and the BB bets out $45 and has me covered. I go ahead and make a donkey-looking shove, the other caller folds and the BB tables KK…and the river drops a Jack on me…I hold in the desire to shout a little “ship it” to solidify my donkey-image…only my flight leaves in less than an hour and I have to return the rental car, so I stand up and rack my chips. I can feel the hate coming from the table.

Montana…as opposed to Vegas I play pretty well and lose, lose, lose. I’m down about $350 for the whole trip. Oh well, a lot of it was playing $2/6 spread limit and with way too much to drink. I never drink and play…heck I seldom even drink, but we had an open bar every night. I hate spread limit!

Online I’m playing mostly O8 and I’m playing well. I’ve been playing a bunch of tourneys to try and hone my game cheaply. My results are pretty good.

The reason I’m posting at all though is because of the following hand, I’m on the big stack with a 5-1 chip lead with 10K to his 2K, but the blinds aren’t small, 150/300. He’s been potitng on his button every time. I go ahead and re-pot with 2h 4c 7d 9d which would put him pretty close to all in. He shoves and I call for the tiny bit more. Check out the final board…it couldn’t have run any better for me…


Tulsa Poker

July 31, 2009

On business in Tulsa.  It turns out there are two very nice casinos within 15 minutes of the city.  When I arrive…errrr…very late I bee line for Cherokee casino.  It turns out that in three days it will be Hard Rock Casino Tulsa.  I almost drive past the huge building because the signage has already been changed.

Apparently the Cherokee used to host Scotty Nguyen’s tourney.  Ever since his 50k final table it has just been a poker tourney.  The poker room is big, with around 35 tables though there were three 1/2 NLHE games going on what the regulars hailed as a big thursday.

The play was very familiar 1/2 play, with the regular mix of players, except they might have had a few extra seniors at Cherokee.  I’m pleased to say that I think I played excellently.  After a while I did whittle my original $300 stack down to 100, by taking a few bad beats and making a few marginal calls (like getting it in on a 9 high flop against a good LAG with JJ).  The big turning point came near what had to be the end of my session– daybreak was coming and I had to get to the customer site.  I had grinder a big stack at the table of about 750, my opponent in this hand and I had been playing pots all night and he had me barely outchipped. In late position, I called 2 straddle-limpers with KK because I know this player behind me is virually certain to raise.  He did, to 35.  The limpets fold.  I go ahead and repop to 120.  He flat calls.  Flop comes KQ6 rainbow.  I work hard to calmly count out 150 (which I suspect could look like a cbet since I probably cbet 90% of all heads up pots).  He thought for a bit, based on his action I put him on TJ or AQ.  Eventually he shoved and of course I called with the current nuts.  He tables AT for the gutshot.  My set holds and I scoop my largest pot to date at around $1,550!

I put 500 on that table and left with 1600 and some change.  Not only that, but the table was full of some other music lovers and we had a blast making top 5 lists of artists by time period and genre (top 5 all time rock/pop acts: beatles, who, stones, zeppelin, rush with shout outs to the kinks, u2, aerosmith and pink Floyd.). One dealer, Paco, directs me to the Port City Diner (just on the other side of the highway) and I have an excellent country fried steak breakfast.  My day is going awesome.

My customer engagement ends a bit early.  I’m still riding super high from my big take at the Cherokee and I have an hour and a half to kill before I have to get to the airport.  I decide to make my way to River Spirit Casino, a sparkling new casino.  The whole casino is beautiful, including the poker room.  I get right into a game and chip up immediately thanks to the dealer giving me AA and JJ in the first two hands.  Though here’s where things change.  My $200 buy in is already $300.  There are 5 player who called the $5 straddle.  I have As 3s on the button.  Flop comes 334 rainbow.  Loose player opens for $10.  Tight player re-pops to  $35.  I don’t have a lot of respect for this player based on what I’ve seen from him so far.  I go ahead and repop to $110 and he thinks hard talking himself into shoving for about 180.  I said “you know I call and what I have”. He says “not a 3”.  I said “well then what?” and he says “two overs or a pocket pair” and then he flips 77.  What an idiot.  He’s only beating me if I re-popped him with a bare 4, two high cards (which I’ve shown I will raise with preflop) or a pocket pair worse than 7s.  Nice cars reading.  Of course, I’m only upset because he spiked a 7 on the river.  I didn’t have much time left and could only manage to chip up to a $75 loss for the session.  I shouldn’t play short sessions like that if I can help it.  Either way I got it in good.  I’m Sklansky-buck rich.  

Not how I wanted to end what was a great trip, but oh well.  I took over 1500 out of the Tulsa poker economy.  I’m glad to be playing well because I’ll be in Vegas for work next week (one of the largest casino companies is a customer, so I need to go out and help their technical team and stay on the strip for 3 days next week).  The week after i’ll be in montana again.  So I have a lot of hours of live poker coming up.  

Added: My History in Chips

July 21, 2009

I added a page to the site today called My History in Chips. I have collected a $1 chip everywhere I’ve played (almost) and this is an index of that collection.

Check it out

Book Review: Pot-Limit Omaha Poker by Jeff Hwang

July 20, 2009

I wanted to make sure I didn’t get left out.  Word on the street is that people are moving to PLO and that this is the “future of poker”.  I want to make sure I know what to do, so I researched a little and picked up this book.  I researched because I don’t really want to read 20 Omaha books yet.  I wanted to make sure I didn’t get Omaha for Dummies or anything too boring either.  This book was absolutely perfect for me.  It gave me what I needed: straight-forward, scholarly, rational.

IThis book lays out a clear strategy for taking on all three games and win.  It explains the how to, the logic and also give some great teaching exercises.  FYI, Hwang basically shuns any low-ball apprach to Omaha, instead opting for a big-pot approach, but does explain the rationale for that stance.

would recommend this book for any hold ’em player who would like to learn PLO, PLO8 or O8 (that’s what us in the know people call pot-limit omah high, pot-limit omaha high/low 8-or better and limit omaha high/low 8-or-better.)

Northwoods Poker: Year 2

July 13, 2009

My folks have a lake house in northern Wisconsin that I visit every year.  [Total sidenote: Phil Hellmuth’s parents also have a place up here.]  I’m up here every summer.  Since there’s an Indian Casino up here, I visited last year and got a chance to spend just one night there this last week.  Sadly the poker room is only open Thursday-Sunday–and I went last night (Sunday) and they had shut down the game for lack of interest (by the time I got there at 8 PM!)

It was good night of poker.  The table is all old guys, so the game is pretty slow and tight.  Here are the three hands that were interesting.

All hands $1/2 NLHE.

First hand after I sit down and buy in for $200.  I don’t have to post and I sit down on the button.  I love that.  I have 88 and I raise the two limpers to $12, BB calls as do both limpers.  Flop comes 8c Ac x.   Check, check, check, I bet $25.  Fold, fold, call.  Turn is the Jc.  Check, I bet $40, call.  The river is Tc.  He leads out with $65, I don’t hesitate to fold.  He shows his Kc Qc royal flush anyway.  I think my turn bet was a bit spewy anyway, the river fold was easy, but it was fun to see a royal anyway.

I end up losing a little more and add on $80 to top up my stack to $200.  I catch some good hands for an hour and I end up with a $300 stack, which matches most of the big stacks on the table.  This time I get 99 in the CO and I raise the three limpers to $15.  I get 2 callers.  The flop comes 2h 6d 9d.  Checks to me and I bet $35 and get a call.  The turn is something like Jc.  I bet $80, this time to protect, he calls.  The river is a 2, giving me a full boat.  He shoves in front of me for less than a half-pot bet and I don’t have any hesitation calling.  I show the 9s and he turns pocket 6s.  Boat over boat in my favor!  He had something like $150 on the table, so that was a nice pot to win.

I have some more success, nothing insane, but I stack up a little more even.  I’ve got a stack around $550 or so ( I could figure it out exactly if I weren’t so lazy).  They tell us that this is the last hand.  I instruct the dealer to make it the bad beat so we can take the $14K jackpot.  She deals me KK in the CO.  Early position bets $8 and gets a call.  I make it $25 and both call.  The flop comes something innocuous like 2x 4c 7c.  Early position shoves for $110ish, other player calls with $40 behind.  I shove to get the other $40 on the table and they both flip over small flush draws.  Early position has a gutshot to go with it.  Unbelievably my kings hold up and I take down the pot and drive back $450 richer.  Kings held up with 2 other players in the pot all in on the flop!

Wish I could play there again.

My Everest

July 13, 2009

If you haven’t read many of my posts, let me get you caught up.  I’ve been playing poker for money for around 18 months now.  My records indicate that I’ve lost several hundred dollars playing very low stakes (usually $.10/.25) online and won a few thousand playing $1/2 live.  If you haven’t taken time to read my About Me page, you might not already know that it all started innocently enough with a visit to a Bozeman Montana poker room.  Since then, I’ve played a lot of poker and done okay.  I’ve also been back to Bozeman a handful of times.

Here’s the problem.  I haven’t been able to win in Bozeman for some reason.  I don’t know why, but every trip to Bozeman leaves me feeling unsatisfied with my poker-playing.  It might be because the people in Bozeman play a lot of poker (and are therefore very good).  It might be because they play spread limit a lot, which I find hard to play for some reason.  It might be that they are big fans of the dealer’s choice and you end up playing hold ’em, omaha hi, omaha 8, stud hi, stud 8 or even a variant of hold ’em called Tahoe that I’ve never seen elsewhere within just a few hands.  It might be that when I go there, I play several days in a row and end up losing to the rake.

Either way, one of my personal goals has been to beat the game there and come home with some extra money in my pocket.

A couple weeks back I did it!  I was there for 3 days.  I played $2/5 NL Omaha (both Hi and 8) the first night.  I booked a nice $150 win.  I played $1/2 NLHE the next night and booked a $200 win.  I played $1/2 dealer’s choice (only hold ’em and omaha hi were options) and booked a $100 win.  I took $450 out of the Bozeman poker economy and couldn’t be prouder.  Not only that, but I had a lot of fun (I always have fun playing Bozeman poker, but winning+fun >>> losing+fun).

A couple interesting hands

June 25, 2009

Played at the Grand Victoria Casino near home in Elgin, IL last night. Had two interesting hands. Sorry about the first, its a bad beat story.

Normal $1/2 live NLHE live game. Tons of limping. I was playing my normal semi-loose aggressive game. I was limping occasionally and raising more than anyone. In this hand I had raised in early position to $8 with TT. A newer player at the table raised in late position to $16. The button called and so did I. The flop came A A T rainbow. I was very pleased. I checked, the older guy bet $16, the button folded and I flat called. The turn was a jack. I checked, he bet $40, I shoved and he insta-called. The river was meaningless. I showed my tens and he shook his head slowly turning over his jacks. Luckily, he was playing a shortish stack with only $100 or so.

Much later in the night, I’ve been moved to a new table. There is a lot of money on the table. Several players have stacks around $500-700. I’ve built my stack to just around $280. In this hand, UTG has bet $8, 4 people have already called and I see 2c 3c on the button, so I call to see the flop. The flop comes 2d 4d 5h. Check, check, check, tight regular in seat 7 bets $15 into the $50ish pot, next guy folds, I call, fold, seat 4 calls, fold. The turn comes Ah. Seat 4 checks, seat 7 shoves for $55. The pot is roughly $150. I put seat 7 on a high pair or a set. Seat 4 has been playing pretty conservative. I haven’t seen him play anything crazy like 3 6 (the only hand I’m worried about). I want to make sure he doesn’t have odds to chase the flush, so I bet $125. I’m surprised when seat 4 calls. The river is a harmless 7s, he checks. I shove the rest of my stack in, around $125 and am very surprised when he calls. Seat 4 had Ad Jd. Seat 7 had QQ. I rake a pot around $580.

Still Playing…

June 16, 2009

I’m not sure what happened but I kind of ran out of blogging steam.  As I’ve commented before, part of that is that nothing surprises me in poker anymore.  People hit 2 outers on the river (I did it the other day).  People call down with flopped gutshots to big bets and catch on the river.  They don’t seem like bad beats as much anymore.  They seem like the way I’ll eventually make money at this game.

But, don’t take the lack of posting for lack of playing.  On the contrary, I’ve played a lot in the recent history.

I’ve made a couple of trips to the Horseshoe in Hammond (my favorite Chicago-area location to play, though a long drive).  I’ve played a couple times at the Grand Victoria (snagged a $600 $1/2 pot when pocket aces held up to two callers).  I’ve played a lot online (lately, I’m one of the many weak players trying to win a WSOP main event seat).  All that said, I’ve hit a couple of milestones.

I made my first trip to Vegas.  It was like a poker bender.  I think I played 40 hours of poker in 3 1/2 days.  I had several big-win sessions and a few small losing ones.  I cashed in a multi-table tournament and won another one.  The best part is that my poker-playing paid for the trip (with a profit of $82, woo-hoo).  Short trip report: the nicer the room, the harder the competition.  So, in order of descending niceness or descending hardness, I played at: Venetian, Bellagio, Caesars, MGM, Hard Rock, Harrah’s, Excaliber and the Flamingo.

Favorite hand in Vegas: I have to leave Harrah’s to catch a plane in 3 minutes.  I decide this is the last round of the table and and UTG+1 with 2s 6s and bet $8.  CO calls as does the loose BB.  Flop comes 345 rainbow.  BB bets out $15, I re-raise to $40, CO folds, BB calls.  Turn is irrelevant except that there’s now a potential flush draw.  BB checks and I bet $75 and he shoves and I insta-call.  River is a blank and I scoop a $250+ pot, play two more hands and fly home with a smile on my face.


When I get back, work sends me to Lansing, Michigan to work with a customer.  I’m less than thrilled, until I realize 2 things.  Lansing has a poker room in it and I’m driving right by the Horseshoe, the Blue Chip and the Four Winds casinos.  The Blue Chip is newly renovated (by the same people who own the uber-nice Borgata in AC) and looks very nice.  The Four Winds advertises in Chicago all the time.  The poker room in Lansing is at a bar called Tripper’s.

I get to Tripper’s on Wednesday night in time for the $50 hold em tourney.  I get to the final table and bust out in 7th (they paid 4 spots).  Oh well.  I play cash for 3 hours or so and end up with $2 more than I started.  Oh well, that’s entertainment.  Tripper’s is one of many local spots to play cards.  Apparently they have a poker room at the Days Inn.  They have a place called Club on the River (clever name) and a couple other places.  Tripper’s is #2 in niceness according to the locals.  As with a lot of places like this, it is populated by just locals and they are mostly decent players.  Though the college town does make for a little more action than most locals-only poker rooms.

On the way home, I stop for 2 hours (just to avoid Chicago rush hour) at the Four Winds.  First off, this casino is very nice for being in the middle of nowhere.  The poker room, which is in the back corner, is the biggest all-electronic poker room in the world (according to the floor woman).  They have around 25 PokerTech tables.  This day two of them were full playing $.50/1 NLHE.  I sat with another group of regulars who were all very friendly and ground out a $200 profit in my short stay.  I had some fun insulting the regulars who did their best to pretend they didn’t play that often, while the waitress asked about their families and they recounted stories of tournaments from weeks past.

Tangent: I’m finding that I can’t stop myself from making fun of anyone at the low-stakes cash tables I play at who wear sunglasses at the table.  My favorite line is something like “man, do you think we could get them to turn down the lights in here, my eyes are killing me.  Oh, it probably isn’t bothering you with those sunglasses on.”  $1/2 is not the WSOP main event.  Sunglasses make you look like you’re trying too hard.

Anyway, I’ve been playing and playing and my results are the same.  I’m a consistent winner live and small loser online.  I can’t seem to become a winning online player.  I’m not sure what I do wrong.  I’m afraid that it might be that the stakes don’t matter enough to me, but I’m not going to play much higher online unless I can consistently eek out a profit.