Random thoughts about my interests which include (in no particular order) poker, finance & investing, politics, football and whatever else I happen to see that piques my interest

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Be careful what you wish for.............

you might get it. Or as Spock said, "You may find that having is not so pleasing a thing after all as wanting. It is not logical, but it is often true."

I got done with the WBCOOP qualifier about 7pm, the Derby Lane tourney started at 8 so we hustled down there to sign up and play. After the disappointing cards I got to look at for 4 hours I was hoping the next 4 hours would bring me better cards. I was right.

Early in the first orbit I fold 4-3 in late position to a small raise but the guy to my left calls as do a couple of others. The flop is 7-5-3, all spades. A guy in middle position bets and the guy to my left calls him. The turn is another 3 and the guy in middle position bets again. Again the guy next to me calls. I'm figuring the middle position for an overpair and the guy next to me for either a flush or flush draw. I'm wondering if I folded in error since I now had trips with a straight draw. The river is a 6 completing my straight. Now I'm really wondering. Middle position makes a pot sized bet and gets raised by the guy next to me. Now keep in mind we started with 10K in chips and the blinds are 25 and 50. One doesn't expect this big a pot in the early going. I am really surprised then when the middle position goes all in and is called by the guy next to me. The middle position showed 3-5 for the full house, the guy next to me flips over 4-6 of spades for the flopped straight flush. Man did he play that cool. A big double up to start for my neighbor and the other guy maybe shouldn't have wished so hard for that full house.

A little later on I get QQ in middle position. Make a standard 4x raise and get called by the big blind. Flop is Q42. I bet out half the pot and he calls again. I see a lovely 4 on the turn. I check and then call the BB bet. River is a low diamond putting a diamond flush on the board. I bet a third of the pot but he folds. I was really hoping he was on the flush draw but was denied there. Still a good pot early on and a nice hand rewarded. A bit later on I call a raised pot in late position with 76 of clubs. Not my normal play but I was feeling lucky and wanted to push a little 5 people see the flop putting almost 2K in the pot. The flop is perfect, 458 with one club. It gets checked to the guy 2 spots to my right who makes a big pot sized bet. I was a bit surprised by that but decided to not waste time with a possibly vulnerable straight and raised all in. I had him covered I was sure but if I ended up losing I would be in serious trouble. Of course I knew at worst I was tied for the best hand at this point. I half expected him to fold at this point but he pushed in. I flipped over the 76 and he had 45 for bottom 2 pair. He did not improve and I knocked out my first player of the game and made a big double up.

And that is how it went for me at that table. I was getting some cards even AA once which someone thought he could beat. He called my standard raise and when the flop was all low, he bet hoping I had a big ace. Of course he was right, but I had a second big ace with it and it cost him more chips to find that out the hard way. Weird things kept happening and I kept on winning hands. I bullied and stole a bit but was smart enough to avoid getting out of hand and convincing people it would be wise to call me. I remembered what I read from Hoyazo's blog about playing mid pairs and I went to town. I pushed every time I got a pocket pair and no one wanted to tangle with the big stack till I pulled pocket 9s on the button. Made my usual raise and got called by the big blind. Flop was 8-6-6. I felt pretty safe with that one. Big blind bet out 3K leaving him about 8K behind. I didn't even think and raised him all in. He thought and folded JJ face up. I figured what the hell and flipped over my 9s. He was not happy as he put me on KK or AA. Big stack poker rocks. I wouldn't say I have a lot of practice at playing that way, I'm very good playing the small stack but when I get a lot of chips early I tend to either piss them away or become too cautious. Not this time.

The wife comes up to me and she is pisssssssed. She was out early, couldn't make anything happen and got knocked out by this woman who knocked me out a few weeks ago. Wife had her but she rivered a straight to knock her out. She took me out on two hands the time before. Both times she called with crap hands and the board hit her in the face. Such is life but it sucks. I gave the wife 60 bucks and she went to play 1-1 no limit holdem. 15 minutes later she has KK, gets raised all in preflop by a guy with AQ, flops a K, rivers the quads, and wins high hand for the half hour and $500. She was definitely happy then. Two weeks in a row for her to hit a monster hand for big bucks.

At my table people were just looking for ways to screw up. Guy to my left made a set on the same card I made my flush. He pushed in and it was buh bye. A gal who replaced him made the mistake of not raising her pocket rockets from the big blind. I called from the small blind with 6-2 of clubs. Flop is all clubs and I felt very vulnerable with my flush so I bet immediately. She pushed all in over the top and it was buh bye to her as well. I've played in a number of knockout tourneys and knocked out no one or one person max. Last night I was Mike fricken Tyson. Good night people. I had to have knocked out 5 people from that table alone. I get moved to a new table eventually when we got down to 2 tables - we started with 60 players - and now I'm not Mr Monster Stack anymore. There's 2 guys with about as many chips as me there. One two places to my left and one two to my right. But not for long.

My run of good cards comes to a complete stop for a while. I just fold along for a while, made a couple of steals, and maintained my stack. Then I get AK on the button. The guy to my right raises to 10K and I think for a second then figure, time to play big stack again. He's been playing a lot of hands with so-so holdings and pushing some of the smaller stacks around. So I push all in. He hems and haws and thinks for a bit then asks me if I'll show. I figure if it gets him out of the hand, fine by me. I would rather not play hands with AK if I can avoid it, it loses too many times to shit hands like J10. He dumps it and I pick up a quick 10 thousand and flip over the AK.

The big stack to my left on the other hand is a calling station. He plays a number of hands and his stack varies big. He lost a chunk to big stack on my right then gets most of it back from him later when the idiot to my right tries to bluff him. Hello McFly, anyone out there. Still he found a nice time to donate his entire stack to me a little later. I'm sitting with Q2 of clubs in the big blind. 3 people call and I check my blind. Flop is Q42 rainbow. I bet 8K cuz I wanna take it down here and now. Calling station raises to 25K. Now that makes me think. I figure he either has a set of 4s or a decent Q like KQ or QJ. I couldn't put him on AQ, QQ or something like that cuz he didn't raise so I figured if he has 44 in his hand I got 2 outs or I am a sudden small stack. But I just don't see it. So I push all in over the top and he calls. He shocks me and flips over AA. No improvement for him and I am a monster stack over 120K .

****** Time out here. I'm no great shakes as a player but I did learn one thing. TJ Cloutier said and I believe it, if you're not gonna raise Aces, don't go broke with Aces. In other words, if you get aces and slow play them preflop, you gotta be prepared to dump them to a big raise because you gave anyone who wanted to the opportunity to hit their hand. I can see the value in sometimes slow playing aces, especially in a pot where no one has called the big blind and you're late in the hand. You hate to get a great hand and end up with blinds and antes only. But it beats the hell out of losing your entire stack with them, doesn't it? Two people could have raised preflop and pushed my crap hands out but didn't and gave up their entire stacks. One should have easily made it to the final table. End of Time Out **********

I don't do too much more but let some of the other stacks cannibalize each other we get down to 11 between the 2 tables and I pick up my buddy Big Slick again. Ace of spades and K of hearts. I raise and the guy next to me pushes all in. He's got a fair sized stack, about 26K so I have to give him some credit for a hand. Blinds aren't crushingly high for him yet at 600 -1200. Everyone folds back to me and I think for a moment and then call. He also flips over AK, his all diamonds. Looks like a split pot unless diamonds flop. Unfortunately for him, the flop is all hearts and the turn is another heart giving me the flush with my King. And final table here I come with about 140K making me the top stack.

Final table was frustrating. Everything good that happened for me before stopped happening for me there. Cards were bad, hands went bad, I was second a number of times. I didn't play badly I don't think but lost a chunk to this woman to my left, the one who knocked out my wife. I got antsy and pushed a 34 off suit and she calls of course. Flop is all low with 3 spades. I bet and she calls again. All I have is an inside straight draw and a low flush draw. Gotta figure she has me beat. Turn is a queen of clubs, river is a low spade and I lose to her pocket tens as she has the spade 10. Cost me some chips. A couple of people get knocked out and we're down to 8 then 7. Top 6 get paid, 6th is $236, first is $1625. We agree to pitch in $20 each for the bubble boy and I'm just taking it carefully as my stack starts to dwindle down to around 100K. I'm about 3rd in chips but still a big stack. But I can't get anything going and most of the times I'm in position to steal, someone has already raised preflop. Finally we get number 7 out as he runs JJ into AA and we're all in the money. We play for awhile. I take a stab at a pot with 10-3 off when a J-10-6 flops but get called by a guy with half my stack. Turn puts a 3rd spade on the board and he pushes all in. I'm already figuring him a spade flush, a big jack or most likely a made straight and I fold. Most of the table was disappointed by that. Stacks keep going back and forth for awhile and we start to talk about a 6 way chop. No one is super short and no one is super large. We total it up and everyone gets $780 which is slightly better than 3rd place money. We keep playing while we talk about it and I get AQ on the button. I make a good raise and get called by 2 guys much to my dismay. Before they called we all finally agreed to the 6 way chop. So why call?? But they did. So we have to play it out. Flop is AJ7. I bet a goodly amount and they both fold. And we split it up. Since I won that last hand I am now the chip leader again and am declared winner though we all get the same amount. $780 sounds good to me. Daddy's bringing home some cash and Momma is too. It was a happy ride home at 2:30 am let me tell you.

Part 2 AKA It's a hard way.....

To make an easy living. When we left off our hero was tied to the railroad tracks and a train was bearing down on him at full speed. Actually he was sitting with 2100 chips or so and had gone pretty card dead after the first hour. It was probably for the best as a few more good hands would have broken me I fear.

A little after the first break I call a min raise in the big blind with 4-7 of spades. Flop gave me an inside straight draw and a back door flush and the beotch errrr fine player who had rivered me earlier made a smallish bet which was called by one player and myself. Turn filled my straight and I put out a half pot bet which she raised up. I reraised all in and she called with KK much to her dismay. That put me over the 3000 chip stack for the first time since the game began. I remained card dead and the few times I tried to steal I had to dump to big reraises. Seemed like people were sitting on hands whenever I made a play. Very frustrating.

Later on I'm getting short again and from the button I'm sitting on 45 suited. I figure I'm going to have to push soon. Guy 2 places to my right min raises. I had watched him and figured him for a fairly weak hand. So I push all in for my last 2K. Everyone folds but the raiser calls and turns over the Josie. So I read him right but he read me right too it seemed. Still I had the last laugh as the J10 did not hold up this time. Flop came 552 and I'm still in. I channel that win into a 66 that I raised to 3x UTG. Only the big blind calls and I flop a sweet 6. The big blind bets to 550 and I raise all in for another 2100. He insta calls with KQ suited and sees the bad news get worse when turn quads. By the 2nd break I have about 2/3 of the average stack but I'm still in it at least. I have yet to see a premium hand, nothing better than AK twice and 10-10 once. But I have had some not so good hands turn into something good.

After the break I start to wear out the the fold button. It's just a never ending string of crap. I get AJ in the big blind and end up folding it to an all in reraise from the UTG guy who has been playing pretty tight. Best hand in the last half hour and I have to dump it. We get down to 220 and I have about half the average stack now. I push all in soon after with A7 in mid position. Get called by the big stack with KQ. Flop has an A and the river does too and I get a badly needed double up. We're down to 200 and I'm in 120th with a bit less than 2/3 stack. I get another big double up when we get down to 170. I push all in UTG with AK and get called by a guy with AJ. Neither of us catch and I'm up to 13K and almost an average stack. Why this guy called is beyond me. I've been a fold monkey and now all of a sudden I'm going to push with a less than premium hand? He only had me out chipped by 4K, he is then the shorty and is out before reaching the pay level. The very next hand I call a min raise with 53 suited in the BB. The flop is all low, I catch a 3 and push him out of the pot.

A few hands later I call in late position with KQ off. Flop is KQ5 but all hearts. I call the big blinds half pot bet and get bingo on the turn when another K hits. The big blind puts out a pot sized bet and I'm torn between raising him and smooth calling hoping he'll bet into me again. I just call. Think now I should have reraised. If he has the A of hearts he might call now but won't on the river. Anyway the river is a blank, he finally slows down and I bet 1/3 pot which he folds to. Not a great result but I'm up to 25K and well over the average stack as we hit the next break. Still no AA, KK, QQ, or JJ

Out of the break my streak of crap hands goes on but the bubble soon breaks. I take down one pot with 99 preflop and am getting some respect for my raises but I'm choosing my spots judiciously. People start dropping like flies and within 10 minutes we get from 155 to 135 to 120. I'm sitting 34th when I raise preflop in middle position with 10-9 of diamonds. Not a judicious time to raise as the big stack calls me with A10 off. Flop has a 10 but also an ace and I keep my losses to a minimum. After that its 5-2 for about the 20th time. Every hand seems to be a deuce in the first or second card. Or 10-5 which I got about 10 times. Tried to steal again and got raised and reraised preflop. Tossed that crap away. This was getting ugly but then I could have been like this shortstack who pushed with KK, got called by AQ and saw the A flop.

Getting short again I push with 55 in the small blind. Get called by 7-3 in the big blind and KQ who had called from middle position. Lose to the 7-3 when a 7 flops. I cannot believe he calls that but then watching him play, it wasn't a stretch. Out in 86th place which was disappointing considering all I had been able to do but I was fairly pleased with how I played. When you're not catching any really big hands and not that many decent hands you're eventually gonna lose out. Played for nearly 4 hours, never got a big pocket pair. But losing to 7-3 hurts. Still it was probably for the best as the wife and I were heading out that night to play in a live tourney at Derby Lane. I was hoping the cards would improve there, and guess what - I was not disappointed. But I think I'll post that one separately, this has been long enough don't you think?

It's Hard Work

being this prett-ay. But as John Keats said "A thing of beauty is a joy forever"

Today I am a bit on the joyful side. And why shouldn't I be. I got my health (mostly), I got my dog sitting by my side, my wife in the kitchen, and my daughter going back to school. Hopefully my wife doesn't read this line about the kitchen. I even got a little wealth. Yes joyful indeed.

Yesterday was poker day for me. I was up fairly early and had my usual large iced coffee to start my day. It's become a tradition except maybe on the coldest days that we pick up iced coffee and donuts and my wife takes them over to her sister's house for them and the kids. Of course she drops off an iced coffee and a donut or 2 for me first. We used to get our donuts from Dunkin Donuts or Krispy Kreme (before they closed the one close to here) but some years ago, a bakery was built near us named Frida's. OMG the joys of Frida's. They make the best stuff and the donuts are awesome. I grew up on Dunkin Donuts up in RI where they're everywhere and I still like them, but Frida's kicks their ass all to hell. A couple of times I've brought Frida's to work and the people there scarfed them up like they were gold nuggets.

Anyway, yesterday morning and early afternoon I spent getting some stuff done, doing a little blog posting, picking up the dry cleaning, and a little shopping. Because at 3pm was the last WBCOOP qualifying tourney and I really wanted to do well.

The tourney did not start well. In fact it went rather poorly. I was getting good hands but my results were in a word crappy. I avoided getting felted but was quickly down from 3000 chips to less than a 1000 within 20 minutes. I got 10-10 early, raised it up, and then had to fold after the flop when both an A and a J hit the board and my opponent reraised my C bet big. I lost with TPTK on the river to a straight or flush (or both) when my big raises on both the flop and turn could not force this chick out of the pot and she put in the big raise on the river. I lost with AK to a shorty who called all in with AJ and rivered the J. I was just sucking. And like I said, I kept getting good hands. In the first 20 mins I got 10-10, 9-9, 3-3, AK and AQ twice. The hands I won were only preflop except for one but the ones that went any further cost me a chunk more. I thought I made good decisions on raises and especially when to fold but it was frustrating watching my chips going to others.

Late in the first hour I had J10 on a J87 flop. The small blind bet 200, called by the big blind, and I pushed all in for my last 965. Small blind folds but the big blind calls and tables 9-10 for the made straight. DUHHHHH, I felt so stupid. Turn is a queen but the river brings me joy and a split pot with a 9. WHEW I made a bigggg suckout. Wouldn't be my last. I'll continue this later as I have to drive the daughter back to school. I'm going to sign up for the WBCOOP main even but doubt I will be back in time to actually play which sucks. Still there's always next year.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

It's the stuff that dreams are made of......

Did you ever wonder what dreams meant? Are they your subconscious speaking to you, a prediction of things to come, or does it mean you watched the wrong movie last night? I usually don't remember my dreams unless they were unusually strange or vivid. That often means I only remember crazy dreams or bad dreams but that's not always true. Occasionally I've had dreams that were so good I was pissed off when I woke up and found them not to be true. Those dreams usually involve winning the lottery or a big poker tourney or something like that.

Do dreams foretell the future? For some people they seem to. Maybe we forget dreams that foretell our future. That could explain deja vu, it's not that you were there in another life or something, maybe you just dreamed it and forgot about it. Then you went to that place or saw something happen and it resonated with you. You felt something was familiar but you had never been there, never done that, never seen whatever it was that happened. I remember once as a teen I dreamed of catching a fish where the fish didn't swallow the hook, it was hooked under the mouth. Foul hooked I think they call it. What was weird was I was fishing at the pond where I normally fished but it didn't look the same. The water level was way lower than usual and I had to walk out where the water normally was to fish because it was all exposed. Later that year we were over at the pond. The water level was way lower because they partially drained the pond to fix the dam. I was fishing and hooked a bluegill. When I pulled the fish out of the water, damned if it wasn't hooked under the mouth. I had never seen that before or read about it but boy did it bring back that dream I had. That is really the only time I have ever had a dream I felt foretold the future. Which means I probably won't be in a kung fu fight with 8 other guys and kick all their asses. Now that was a memorable dream.

Hopefully last night's dream doesn't foretell the future. It was way too weird. I blame it on the chocolate chip cookies I ate while playing in an Omaha Hi/Lo tourney. It was a good tourney, 180 people. I was up, I was down. Made a big hand right near the bubble to scoop a pot and put myself in position to go. Then hit another good hand and jumped up to 15 out of 60 people left. Went card dead for a good while, stole a couple of pots to keep chipped up then got into it with a guy who was a little smaller stacked than I was. I flopped top two pair. There was a flush draw and a possible straight draw so I took it slow and checked the flop. I have learned through painful experience in Omaha that a big push post flop will not push out many people with flush draws, especially if they have a small pair as well or a back door straight draw. But if the turn doesn't hit, you can usually get them out with a big raise. Turn was a nothing card. I pushed all in on the flop. And the idiot calls with only a flush draw. Of course he hits and I am now the shortie at the table when we are down to 30. I got back into it on a 3 way pot where I flopped a set of fours and the low draw. The fours held up. We got down to 20 people and I was about 13 but I'm still getting short compared to the blinds and antes. I get a decent hand, KJ1010 double suited from middle position. I push all in and get called by the UTG player who just called the big blind. She flips over AQJ4. Flop comes QJ6 giving her 2 pair. I don't improve and I am down to 2K in chips. Soon after I went out. Got almost $20 bucks for my work but really wanted to finish high up and score some real dough. Oh well it was fun.

I do like Pokerstars for at least providing a goodly number of Omaha and O8 tourneys to play. Much more than I got on my last site. Later today is the last WBCOOP qualifying tourney at 3pm. I will probably play in it. Hopefully I will perform a bit better than my other tourneys. Have a great weekend everyone. For anyone in this area, Happy Gasparilla Weekend. Stay lucky you nuts.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Back to the grind

Played in the NLHE tourney last night for the WBCOOP - it did not go well. I missed the first hour doing some stuff with the family but when I got in there I still had 2275 of my starting 3000 stack. I immediately got some good hands which went down in flames. Just not my night. I ended up pushing all in with AQ suited and getting called by A10. I knew what was coming. Flop was 10-10-4 and it was good night. I watch Josie play for a while and played in an Omaha 8 tourney for a while. I did ok but missed the money when I made an ill advised push. Josie was all over the place, up to 75K, down to 40K, just bouncing up and down. Not all her fault as her AA got cracked by A2 but she also pushed a couple of hands I wouldn't. Then again she cashed again and I didn't so who am I to say.

Tonight was the Omaha 8 tourney. I hated the 10pm start time. I did a bit better busting out 108th for a cash at least. I am disappointed as I pushed when I flopped top 2, got raised by a moron who pushed a lot of not so good hands, and pushed all in over the top of him. He had a straight draw and bottom pair as well as a low draw. Of course his bottom pair becomes trips. Still I made mostly good decisions I thought. Wanted to finish higher but had to make a stand and if my hand holds up I am all of a sudden in top 20 and looking for a nice cash. Figures.

I won't be playing in tomorrow's tourney as I will be busy working my fingers to the bone and my bosses would look askance at me playing poker online while I work. I probably won't be able to play in the Friday event either as it starts at 5 and I will still be hard at work. Perhaps I will be able to register before the tourney and pick it up when I get home. So maybe this is my last WBCOOP until Saturday. Or maybe I play the 8 game mixed event which will be difficult at best for me. Either way, I am enjoying these tourneys. So until I see you all again on the virtual felt, stay lucky you nuts.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Time to give kudos

It was a good weekend even though I didn't cash in the tourney at Derby Lane. I did pretty well online cashing on Saturday for 24 then taking down another 85 on Sunday in a 180 person MTT. Finished it up tonight by taking in another 10 bucks in an Omaha Hi/Lo tourney. So kudos to me.

Big kudos to Mike Tomlin, Ben Rothlisberger (much as it pains me to say that) and the rest of the Steelers for taking down Sexy Rexy and the Jerks err Jets. Not only did they finally shut up ole Rexy, they made me some cash to boot. I got Pittsburgh at 7-1 to win the AFC championship and 15-1 to win the Super Bowl at the beginning of the season. If Pitt takes it down in 2 weeks I will be a very happy camper. And I am far from a Steeler fan yet I will be rooting for them.

Kudos to Josie taking third today in the PLO blogger tourney. I will be playing tomorrow's tourney with any luck. Well time to hit the hay. Nite all.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Do not take counsel of your fears

George Patton used to say that but I believe it first came from another great general, Stonewall Jackson. Wish I had listened to that a couple of more times last night. Of course, a couple of other times it might have gotten me into significant trouble. But I digress.

Played the 8pm tourney last night with my wife. Nice structure with a 10,000 chip starting stack and 25 minute blinds. You can get a lot of play in that. Unfortunately, too often I didn't have much to play. I remembered to keep patient and avoided splashing chips in when I didn't have to, especially early. There were a few players early who couldn't wait to bust it seemed but the Poker Gods kept rewarding them for poor play. I just folded my hand for most of the first 2 orbits then finally pick up QQ in middle position. Lady under the gun raises to 325. She has been playing a pile of unadulterated horse crap and had been in a lot of hands. Her crap kept winning though. Calling a raise with 74 off and hitting two pair, 86 off turning a straight (against my TPTK), 92 suited making a flush against some guy's KK. That kind of crap. So I'm putting her on a decent hand but nothing all that great and not AA or KK. Lady next to her calls. She has been all over the place so far, up and down, and playing like a maniac. She called down some guy with middle pair who raised big and took a hit when he flipped over aces. But she still has over 6K at this point. Comes to me and I reraise to 1350. I want to isolate against the first raiser take a big chunk out of her. I don't want to take QQ against 2 people.

Everyone folds back to the UTG lady. She takes a second and then pushes all in. Now she has me covered but not by much and I'm thinking I'm going to call here. I have the feeling she is pushing big with a hand from a decent Ace down to J10. I am sure she doesn't have AA or KK so I know at worst I'm a slight favorite. Then fate intervenes. The lady next to her who I am certain will fold doesn't waste anytime in pushing all in as well. Now this is for her tournament life, we are still in the first blind level and even though she is down to 6K, she has over 100 big blinds left. So there is no need for her to bet it all on anything less than a monster at this point. Especially with my reraise behind her after I have played a grand total of 1 hand. Of course she would have to be aware of someone else to know I had only played one hand at this point and that is a lot to ask of some people, but still she has to have some awareness doesn't she? Anyway now it comes back to me and I have to think. I feel good about the first raiser but I just can't see the second player pushing in like that with worse than KK now. Why would you? So I think for a little while and then toss QQ in the muck.

And get to see both of them roll over AK suited. WHAT?????? You're gonna push all in with that over a reraise by a guy who has played one hand? And then you're gonna call all in for your entire tourney with that?? Are you kidding me? I was unhappy at that point let me tell you. Of course a king hits the flop and I would have been eliminated so I was able to avoid that. Taking counsel of my fears probably saved my ass. And thinking these people were better players than they actually were also helped.

We play 4 blind levels and my stack fluctuates between 7500 and 9000 the whole time. I can't buy a good hand after that QQ while I'm watching these other yahoos get AA, KK etc. I pick up AK one time, raise it up and watch as 4 people call. Flop is 8 high, big blind bets and I toss those cookies. I played AK 4 times that day and never hit an ace or king once. I do get back up over 9k when called from the button with 89 off. Flop is 10-7-7 with 2 spades. Big blind bets, lady to my right (caller of the all in) calls and I reraise my straight draw. Call and call. Next card is a 3 of clubs. Checked to me and I take it down with an almost pot sized raise. That was about all that happened good for me in the first 2 hours. When we go on break I'm sitting with 7800 in chips.

The wife comes by, she is in about the same boat as me as she hasn't gotten much to work with. She took down one decent pot but then lost one when she flopped a pair of aces and ran it into a guys flopped set. After the break I know I need to get to work big time as I have less than 20 big blinds to start out. Not long after that, I pick up AK of clubs UTG. I raise to 4X the big blind, short stack to my left pushes in for about 900 more. Everyone folds around to the big blind who calls. He had made some hands to build his stack right before the break. Prior to that he was in a lot of hands with draws that hadn't panned out and like me, had not seen great cards. But then he pulls AA and gets a guy to push all in after a queen high flop with AQ. Then he wins another nice pot with J10 when he flops JJ10 and another guy bets hard into him with A10. So he is nice shape now. I ask the dealer if I can reraise but she says I can't because the all in was less than another raise would have to be so I just call. I want to reraise this hand and get in heads up with this guy. Anyway the flop comes low but with 2 clubs, I push and get the other guy out and never improve from there but the all in had AQ and didn't connect either so I take it down. I'm finally over my starting stack then.

A little later on I get 99 in the big blind. Now I hate playing mid pairs most times but have been reading Hoyazo's blog and how he likes to play them. And he make sense. 3 people call the big blind and when it gets to me I push out a healthy reraise. Everyone folds except the small blind. Now I know since he didn't raise he probably has a suited connector type of hand as he likes to play them and he likes to speculate. He might have a weak ace as well but I figure he will put me on a strong ace if one hits. Of course the flop is QA3. He checks and I bet out. He thinks for a while and cuts out chips like he is going to call. Then says "I'm just kidding" and mucks. I laugh and tell him when he did that I figured he made a set of 3s cuz I had top two pair. Lying in poker isn't really lying is it?

Just before the next break I get AK again 2 to the left of the big blind. I just call because I can see how my day is going with AK hands and I had done a bit of raising already. I figured this would be a good time to sneak into the hand and try to actually flop something when no one expects it, all the while figuring I might run into someone who flops two pair on an A62 flop. One thing I do keep in mind when I don't raise good hands is that I am giving someone the opportunity to out flop me so I'm not going broke on that hand unless I hit really strong as well and just get unlucky. Well that point is moot as the short stack to my left pushes all in for about 5800 (blinds are 400-800 with 100 ante) and everyone folds to the big blind who starts to think about her choices. This is the same woman who pushed over the top of me with AK when I had QQ. She really thinks for a while and I'm putting her on a hand like a small pocket pair 66 or below or a semi big ace like AJ or A10 down to maybe KQ. And I'm thinking she is going to call here but this bet is about a third of her stack. I'm hoping she will call because I can't wait to go all in over the top of her and take her out or make her fold. Either will be fine because I am pretty certain I am ahead and if she has a small pair I think she will fold as now I have her outchipped. She surprised (and disappointed) me when she finally folded and I called. Small stack turned over QJ and neither of us improved - I wasn't surprised when I didn't - and I took him out. Lady tossed A10 so it was too bad she didn't call as well.

We got to the second break and I have a slightly above average stack of 27,000 and I'm pleased with my play. Even though I still haven't gotten much in the way of hands, I've played aggressively and been pretty much on point with my plays. Then when we got back from break I took counsel of my fears. Damn me. First off I was under the gun with 99 after not having a hand for a while. Threw away an assortment of 93s and J4s and stole a couple of blinds with crap like 74. Made one hand when I turned a flush with 65 suited and picked up some chips but the blinds and antes are starting to get serious. Not that I'm in trouble yet but you start to get antsy when you keep putting in chips but not get any in return. And I know this so I'm not gonna go wild if I get something decent like A10. Well I get 99 two off the big blind. UTG player min raises and I'm faced with either putting in a big reraise or calling as I'm not tossing this. Like an idiot I just call. 3 others call, flop is king high and someone bets out. I'm pretty sure a big reraise preflop takes that one down as the original raiser didn't contest the hand. She had played fairly well and I was afraid she might be sitting on a big pocket pair and hoping someone would reraise her preflop. But still at that time I needed to be more aggressive damn it. That cost me some. Next orbit I'm in the big blind with 44. It gets folded around to my nemesis on the button who raises to 3x the big blind. Small blind called her so I had to put her on something. I thought about tossing my hand but figured it was worth seeing something so I call. Not sure if a reraise there was a smart idea but I definitely should have pushed after the 885 flop. Small blind checks and I was torn about betting or not. But I took counsel of my fears again and made the wrong play and checked. Button checks. Turn is a queen, this time I do bet and the button calls and when I don't improve on the river I lose to QJ which I wouldn't have had to lose to if I bet the flop. I felt so stupid.

And the poker gods went on to punish me something fierce. I saw the worst crap hands imaginable and anything I had playable was raised up preflop and usually reraised. it was amazing. I would be in early position with crap and fold and a bunch of folds would happen. I would be in early position and raise and get 5 callers. I would be in the blinds or on the button with a decent hand and see a raise and a reraise. We get down to about 18 players (6 get paid) and I'm getting short. Not desperate but it's push time. I'm in the big blind with 77. Ok, now we can play. Tight guy across the table from me pushes all in for about my stack size. Lady to my right pushes over the top. Well I can see where this is headed. I think about it when the betting gets to me and I toss my hand. Guy shows AQ suited. Lady shows QQ. They flop the final queen and he's out. I was glad I didn't call as I was right to think I was behind but damn, why are these hands appearing when I finally catch something.

Later on I am the shorty with about 8 big blinds. I push in early position with 77. It gets folded to the big stack on the button and he calls with A10. He flops a ten and it's good night Irene. I go out in 14th.

I was fairly satisfied with my play, made some good laydowns, made some good and timely bets, and really I did pretty well considering I didn't get my share of good hands. I saw AK 4 times and never got anything with them but still managed to win some nice hands, saw AQ once, AJ once QQ once and JJ once. Never had AA or KK and I played for 5 hours plus. Never made a set the few times I did have a pocket pair and made only one draw. But damn those 2 misplayed hands really hurt. A bigger stack allows me to play more aggressively later on and I never could get more than a little above average the whole time. Misplaying and losing those 2 hands, even though they weren't really big pots, really cost me because I wouldn't have been in such dire straits later on. But otherwise it was a learning experience and I am still trying out some things so I will chalk it up to experience.

When I got knocked out the wife texted me to come play 1-1 no limit with her as she had a fun table and was doing ok. But I just wanted a drink and to forget about poker for a bit so I sat at the bar with a beer and worked on a couple of sudokus I brought with me. I could just see her table from where I was. So as I'm drinking and thinking I hear an announcement that table 6-1 seat 1 just won $300 for hitting a queen high straight flush. I looked up and thought, hey isn't my wife in seat 1 on 6-1. Yup she sure was. She flopped an open ended straight flush with Q10 of diamonds and turned the big banana when the 8 of diamonds hit the turn. Guy had bet into her on the flop and on the turn he made 2 pair and put her all in. OOPs , that didn't go so well for her. So my wife took $40 and turned it into $400 and we went home happy.

By the way the online Omaha tourney didn't end well either. I went out 15th. I pushed all in over the top of a guy who min raised when I had AJJ10 with the J10 suited. Not the greatest hand but not a bad one either. Unfortunately the guy had AQ23 and flopped a queen while I got no help. I thought I made the right play as I was getting short and the blinds had gotten pretty big then. Again I was pretty satisfied with my play and though I didn't score big, 24 bucks on a 3 buck entry isn't complete crap either. Well that's all from sunny and 55 Florida today. I hope everyone is staying warm and those damned Steelers better win today. Not only do I hate the Jets and Rex Ryan pretty heartily, I took a flyer on Pittsburgh at the beginning of the season. I got 7-1 on them winning the AFC and 15 -1 to win the Super Bowl. I am no Steeler fan and in fact they are one of my least favorite teams (behind Baltimore and the 2 NY teams) but there's money on the line today. So I will wave a yellow stained dish towel and cheer them on. Cuz if I see any more of Rex Ryan this year I may end up going postal. And my weekend profitability depends on a team I don't like beating a team I truly hate. Good times indeed. I'm doomed. Stay lucky you nuts.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

If you're going to shoot, shoot.......

Don't talk. My fave line from The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly. Just watched it again last night. Now I've got Kill Bill on. Some good lines in there too, but I'm not really watching it.

Playing a small buy in Omaha Hi Lo MTT on Poker Stars. I just signed up here recently to hopefully play in the WBCOOP tourneys and so far I like the site. I'm still learning my way around here but so far it seems a pretty good site. This tourney started with about 240 runners but still had late registration for quite awhile so it ended up with 867 players. Many of them seemed to be NLHE types who were willing to push nut flushes into boats etc.

Top 99 got paid. The bubble broke about an hour ago and I was about 88 out of 99 at that point but a couple of good hands later (flopped quads with 7755 in the big blind) and I was feeling good. Can't seem to get better than an average stack but people keep falling and we're now down to 39. I'm sitting 22nd now with a little below average but because of the blind structure, I'm not feeling forced to push in . Unfortunately the real money doesn't come out till the top 7 or so. Total prize pool is a little over 2600 and 1st makes almost 500. So I have my work cut out for me yet but it's nice to finish in the money and make a few bucks here.

Looks like the wife and I are gonna play in the 8pm tourney tonight at Derby Lane. Gotta bring a jacket as the low tonight is supposed to be about 34. Not New England temps but pretty danged cold for these parts. It was very cloudy and gray when I got up this morning and the temps were in the low 50s. The clouds blew out and its now pretty sunny but the temps are going down instead of up and the wind is blowing pretty hard from the north. BRRRRRR. Better get my hat and gloves. Nah, ain't that cold out. After all I'm not Josie and I definitely don't have a hat like that.

Back from break. Down to 36 and I'm still 22nd though I have a few more chips. 28 to 36 pays a little over $11. Yay, in for a double digit score.

On the work front, it's still busy but not quite as bad as earlier in the year. It will pick up again next month. My company just reported it's quarterly earnings this past week and they killed it. Up about 90% over last years same quarter and beat the earnings estimates by over 20%. Needless to say the stock had a nice pop, up about 1.75 the next day and another .52 yesterday. I am especially loving this when I see Goldman Sachs (The Devil Incarnate) and Bank of America (We want to repo your home, even if we don't have the right paperwork) both miss their estimates badly and got crunched in the market.

Now down to 26 and I'm in 16th. Still a little below average but I'm working on it.

I recently sold some stocks after they hit my price targets and I am looking into some other companies to invest in. I have a few in mind but I'm not sold on any of them yet. I think the market is gonna correct down a bit over the next couple of weeks so I'm not in any hurry to put more money in. But I don't want to sit with 25% of my account in cash for too long.

Just busted a short stack who pushed all in on my big blind. I liked my hand AQQ6 and liked it even more when I flopped a Q and the board paired on the turn. Good thing as I was getting short myself. Down to 18 and I've got about half the average stack now in 13th place. Need to move up some more but went card dead for a while there.

Well guess I should wrap this up. I'll post a bit later after I'm done in the tourney or maybe after I play tonight. Either way I hope everyone stays warm and if you know some real good stocks to invest in, I'm all ears. Stay lucky you nuts

Monday, January 17, 2011

WBCOOP for me?

Online Poker

I have registered to play in the PokerStars World Blogger Championship of Online Poker! The WBCOOP is a free online Poker tournament open to all Bloggers, so register on WBCOOP to play.

Registration code: XXXXXX 083242

And the winning lottery numbers are........

Not Mine.

Has it been that long since I posted on here? Why yes it has. I'd love to say the reason I didn't write was due to the whirlwind surrounding my recent lottery win and all of the travel I've been doing since then. But I'd be lying. Actually it's more due to me working like a dog lately and just not being motivated to write anything. I've started a couple of blog posts and just dropped them as I can't get the words right. Maybe I will this time.

As I said, I have been working a lot lately and it's been very busy. We always get busy after the first of the year up until April 15 as FA's (Financial Advisors) try to get their client's accounts in order to properly report capital gains and losses for the client's tax return. Add that the new laws that went into effect at the first of this year regarding what we now report to the IRS as well as restrictions on some of the things a client used to be able to do at anytime and you can imagine the extra amount of emails and phone calls we have been getting, even before the end of the year.

One of the things I expected to do on this blog is talk about financial matters, what I think is happening in the markets, what I'm doing, etc. Working where I do gives me a pretty good view of what's going on day to day plus there are a few guys I read regularly who seem to have a good idea of what's up in the markets and also what they think will happen and why. I did some market posts a couple of years ago but really haven't talked much about it since then. I will rectify that in the near future.

Now back to our regularly scheduled blog post. I haven't been playing a lot of poker either online or in the local card rooms due to a lack of time, a lack of free cash, and a lack of want to. I know I am not at my best when I'm tired and I've been tired a lot. I also haven't been sleeping particularly well and a couple of times my b**ch has awoken me at some odd hours demanding I take her outside. And no I would never refer to my wife or daughter that way............................ at least not where they might read.

One of the reasons I haven't played online much is because I lost a good amount over the last couple of months of the year. I kept playing while tired and not at my best, made some bad plays, and had a fair amount of bad beats while almost never inflicting any on anyone else. So I basically gave up all poker for a few weeks and all online poker for a month. I just got back into it again this past week but on a very limited fashion as I still am tired much of the time.

I did play twice live in December. And then played last weekend. The wife was taking the daughter back to college and I had all of this free time and nothing really going on so why not play. Besides I have finally gotten a good night's sleep and felt pretty good. So off to Derby Lane I go. I sign up for the Omaha Hi/Lo table, 4th on the list and start playing some 1-1 no limit holdem. I go up and down like a yo yo, making a couple of good hands but also missing a couple of big draws. I also flop top 2 with a 7 5 suited on a 357 flop and of course lose to a guy who called my preflop raise with a 6-4. I got him back a little later when he thought he was Craakker and called my preflop AA raise with K6 suited. He flops two pair and pushes after the flop on my continuation bet. By then I'm short enough stacked that I have to go in but am elated when the A hits the turn and I take a chunk back out of him. We tangle a bit more later on when I flop top pair top kicker with A9 and he pushes all in over my bet. I tank for a while and end up folding. Don't know what he had but figured him for a flopped set or bottom two pair with more shit. Maybe I was wrong but when the called my name for the Omaha table a surprisingly short time later, I am even for my session there.

By the way, if you haven't read Craakker's blog, you need to take a look at. Here is the website: http://craakker.blogspot.com/. While there it would behoove you to read the trip reports of the Ironmen of Poker trips to Vegas. OMG I haven't laughed that hard in a very long time. My wife is watching TV and looking at me like I'm nuts as I read about the insane prop bets, the poker hijinks and some of the greatest comments ever. This one made me laugh so hard I almost cried.
“Sahara, Colt and Fat Jesus are playing together. While in a hand together, Colt needs Fat Jesus to change a $100 bill into chips for him and throws the bill over to him. Less than a minute later, Fat Jesus goes all in and gets called by Colt, who loses to FJ’s trip aces. Sahara immediately pipes up to Colt, “Let me know if you need another loan with the same interest rate and time commitment.”

Seriously I could barely breathe I was laughing so hard and every time I thought of that line I just started cracking up again. If I have just violated anyone's copyrights I will remove that section but it was so funny and I just couldn't paraphrase it and do it justice.

Omaha started great. Made a couple of big hands early and before I knew it I was up $150. From there it just descended into frustration and anarchy. Good high hands would see all low flops. Good low hands would see all high. A great hand like AAK2 double suited in hearts and diamonds sees a flop of 2 7 8 all black cards. I bet anyway get called by 3 people and see a 9 hit the turn. When one of the others bets out I fold knowing I am cooked. 2 people end up going after each other, one with QJ78 and the other with 8765. Never could get anything going and when a couple of luckbox maniacs start pushing hands and hitting shitty draws I end up getting out before I get completely destroyed. I really tightened up after they started pushing knowing if I hit anything I would be well compensated but the few good hands I got received no help from the flops. The one time I did hit flopping top set with KK23 on a K84 rainbow flop, I pushed every street only to see a 9 &10 hit the turn and river and losing to a 67. I lost all my winnings plus part of my starting stack when I packed it up. I decided to play a little more of 1-1 no limit hoping to tally a high hand but the lousy luck traveled with me to Holdem and I ended up getting squashed a bit there too. At least I can't say I had great hands busted. I just got no hands to speak of and the few draws I went after never panned out. Such is life. I got tired and decided to call it a day while I still had cash. Good decision.

On the non poker front I have been doing some cooking lately. My wife turned to my yesterday and said “I really like it that you're cooking all these things on the weekends”. I told her I liked it that the kids aren't here and I'm just cooking for the two of us and we can try a few new things without worrying about everyone liking the dish. Last night I made this dish with bow tie pasta, italian sausage, and broccoli. The weekend before I made this chicken piccata dish my wife and I both love but remembered to add chopped bacon to the sauce when I made it. Yummmm bacon. The sauce on the chicken was great with the bacon added, (it wasn't nearly as noticeable on the pasta) it just brought out so much more flavor. The leftovers the next day tasted even better as the bacon flavor seemed to have permeated throughout the sauce so much more thoroughly. There is even this dish roasted red pepper chicken penne dish I got from one of my daughter's many cookbooks this past summer. It was so good that both my daughter and my niece immediately named it one of their favorite meals and I have made it on average about once every 2 weeks since then. Neither of the girls are known accepting a wide variety of foods so I was very surprised by their reactions.

As I was saying, I have cooked a bit lately. Nothing spectacular. Most of my recipes would fall under the heading of semi homemade. I take some fresh ingredients like onions, mushrooms, garlic, mix in a pasta sauce like Classico Alfredo sauce with some meat and voila, dinner is served. We also have tried a good bit of tasty wines as well. Last night we tried this red wine from the San Antonio winery in California named Cardinale. It's just a red table wine. My wife and I both prefer whites to reds in general as we find most reds much too dry for us. We tend to like fruity and/or sweet whites. I'm sure I mentioned in previous posts how much we both like Gewurztraminer wine. Well this Cardinale is our new favorite red wine and may even give Gewurztraminer a run for it's money for favorite wine. It was fresh and fruity, almost Sangria like. A delicious wine to have with dinner or to drink with cheese and crackers or for just relaxing. I may go pick up some more this afternoon it was so good. After dinner I even cleaned up which made my wife happier still.

Well I guess that's about it for now. A lot of the same old, same old. The most exciting thing this weekend is another trip to Total Wine to get some more Cardinale and if they have it still, this late harvest Gewurztraminer from South Africa we discovered last month that we both enjoyed immensely. I hope everyone had a great Christmas and New Year. Stay lucky you nuts.