Thursday, April 27, 2006

A Poker Free Night!

This blog is no longer about poker and from now on will only be about how much I work. I managed close to 17 hours yesterday and didn't leave the office until sometime near 2am. At my hourly poker rate I could have made $17 instead, dammit. Plus bonuses!

Last night was the first night in April that I did not play any poker and only the second night that I did not play any online poker. Hi, my name is Floppy, and I'm a pokerholic. I'm not getting the shakes or anything yet but if I don't get a dose of poker soon I'm afraid it could get ugly.

Five more days and all this madness is over.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Swallowed by Work

Things remain crazy at work as I am putting in at least 14 hour days or so. This only leaves 10 hours per day for poker, right?

I played a little bit of 6-max Limit and some O8 at BetFred late Monday and Tuesday night and managed to win small amounts each night.

Overall I'm still down $40 or so at BetFred to date and hope to turn that around soon.

Okay, times up, gotta run.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Where did the weekend go!?

I spent about 28 hours in the office this weekend which cut into my poker time a wee bit. Only one more weekend like that and then I should be in the clear for a while. Gotta love tax season.

I did get in a fair amount of play on Friday night on a variety of games. I bombed out somewhere around 1,000th/2,000+ in a $11, 20K guaranteed tourney on Party. I seem to recall saying I would stick to donating $3 at a time to no limit tourneys, but the timing worked out better on this one. I was up around $20 on 6-max limit, made a few bucks playing Omaha hi-lo and took a stab at one of the WSOP step SNG's for a loss of $5.

Getting home so late on both Saturday and Sunday nights and being completely wiped out translated to very little poker on those nights. I did play enough on Saturday to make me want to toss my laptop through the window though. I think I was a wee bit frustrated. I started out up $20 early on and then blew $50 of that away to end somewhere around $30 down. The number of hands I was winning until the river card came down was terribly high. For the most part, others just happened to be on good draws that came in for them with the very odd ugly bad beat thrown in. I have those nights where my draws come in too, so I can't complain too much but likely due to the lack of sleep and abundance of work, it was making me crazier than usual. I felt much better as soon as I closed the poker room.

I didn't get home until after 11pm on Sunday night and played a little bit of Omaha hi-lo while flaking out in front of the tv for a little bit. I was not getting good cards and did a lot of folding. I saw a few flops but missed them and I don't think I made it to showdown a single time. I finished down $10 or $15.

That brings me to a LOSS to date at BetFred of $60 or so. With the exception of Paradise, I do not have losses at any other poker sites and I hope to keep that trend going by pulling out of the hole on this one. I keep meaning to go back to Paradise to erase that loss also. That might make a nice May project.

I do not expect to get much poker in for the rest of the month, but when I do I will likely be chipping away at the BetFred bonus or enjoying a little Party 6-max.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Blog Hungry, Blog Eat Posts

Thursday Night Summary

Party Poker $0.50/$1.00 6-max Limit
130 hands

Party Poker $1/$2 6-max Limit
190 hands

Either I am going crazy or blogger just ate a couple posts. For the sake of my mental well being, I'm going with the latter.

I rode the roller coaster up very quickly last night at .50/1.00 and then rode it into the ground at 1/2. I was up and down on the 1/2 table for quite a while and then went on an ugly run which left me down $50. It took me quite a while to get used to the amount of money when I moved up to .50/1 from .25/.50 and I expect it will take me longer to get used to 1/2. I will keep taking little shots at it from time to time and expect that I will eventually find that I am comfortable with the new limit.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Speed Bump

Party Poker $0.50/$1.00 6-max Limit
400 hands

All good things come to an end and last night was the end of the line for my recent hot streak. Standard stuff for a bad night - flopping two pair and losing to a straight, pocket Kings running into a turned Ace to pair up, straights bumping into flushes and full houses running into bigger full houses. For a new twist, I lost most of those on the turn rather than the river. That was rather refreshing.

I was at work until 10, so I was playing tired which may have contributed but I actually feel like I played fairly well.

A constant frustration I seem to have at Party is tables constantly breaking up or going very short handed. Every table I sat at last night very quickly dropped to just 3 or 4 people. Often I will get up and find anoter 6-max table with one seat available, but last night I just stuck it out instead in most cases.

Tables breaking up quickly is what got me into 6-max in the first place. When I was playing full ring games, the tables would break up there too. I always felt that if I knew how to play short handed a bit better that I could have a huge advantage playing 6 or 7 handed at a full ring table. A lot of my winnings in full ring had been coming from those situations but I wasn't quite comfortable once it got very short handed. I ended up doing a lot of reading at 2+2 about short handed play to take advantage of full ring tables as they became short handed before I ever tried an actual short handed table. Now that I have been playing 6-max for a bit, I am hooked and not likely to return to full ring for some time.

The Party reload bonus of $100 is now cleared, and despite the losses last night, I won over $150 in the last week in addition the bonus, which is a very very good week for me. Thanks Party.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Hot Streak Continues

Party Poker $0.50/$1.00 6-max Limit
340 hands

I was lucky to come out so far ahead tonight as I lost a few really large pots. I built up some great pots with top two, sets and straights but got outdrawn several times on the river. I was down $20 or so on one table tonight but it was due to loose players hanging around in hands far too long, so I stuck it out figuring it would turn around eventually. Thankfully, it did.

Party has been treating me very very well this week, running at +10BB/100 hands. I wish that were a sustainable figure.

For the first time in a quite some time it looks like I will clear a bonus and make more money on the regular play. It is nice to see my winnings accumulate at a faster rate than bonuses for a change.

I still need to clear around 100 raked hands to finish the $100 reload bonus and will knock that off easily sometime over the next couple nights.

Could your Mom be a bot?

Amusing reading at 2+2 as teddyFBI's Mother loses Poker Stars access for being suspected of using a bot. Juggling 8 tables at a time, her multi-tabling abilities are way ahead of mine. Playing 43 hours at a time, her stamina is a wee bit ahead of mine as well.

Responses are 18 pages in and no one has asked if she is hot or asked him to post pics yet. The internet is slipping.

Read it here:
Stars catches a bot and it' mom

I think it is great that sites are taking bots seriously. It is not so great if their bot-detection kicks out false negatives knocking unfortunate innocent Moms off the internet though.

Holy Poker Blogs Batman

The more poker blogs I come across, the more I dislike two things about my own. First, all but three blogs have a far better name than mine. I'm kind of assuming I will eventually find three with a less appealing name anyway.

Second, there are a LOT of blogs on blogspot that use the Minima Black template. And I am pretty sure each and every one of them were here before me.

Neither of these things bother me so much as to actually do anything about it of course. I'm just surprised at the number of blogs I bump into that have the same colour scheme. At the time I created this blog (which wasn't long ago at all) that just happened to be the template that appealed to me the most.

With the exception of Ian's Poker Plan, I did not follow any other blogs and I had no idea there were so many. I had been keeping a blog of sorts which really just tracked my bankroll progress with summaries of the prior nights' play. Sometime in April I just copied it all over to blogspot and planned to continue to do nothing more than track my progress with summaries of my play. So, this post is out of character perhaps.

I just can't believe the number of poker blogs out there!! Lately, I will hop onto someones blog and then just follow a random blog link out to another, rinse and repeat over and over again. Invariably, I come across a blog with the exact same base template as mine. Every time I do, I feel a twinge of guilt as if I stole the template from them directly. And just to rub it in my face a little more, they always have a cooler name. Buggers.

I'll get over it I'm sure. Nice blogs everyone!

Monday, April 17, 2006

The Mighty Pocket Eights Cracked

Party Poker $0.50/$1.00 6-max Limit
300 hands

Party Poker $3 NL Tourney

Another good night of 6-max which got cut short in order to get some work done.

Rather than pay full attention to my work I played a $3 No Limit tourney in the background while I worked. This was only the 2nd tourney I have played at Party I believe and I can't get over how crazy-aggressive people are in the early going. 1,339 people registered and by the end of the first hour barely over 500 remained. Under 200 were left at the time of the 2nd break. I saw some crazy all-in's. People were pushing (or calling, I wasn't paying enough attention) with 3rd pair no kicker, King high and worse.

I got pocket Kings in the blinds fairly early and joined the mob mentality and pushed all-in with them. Someone in early position had raised to 200 and got many many callers. I would have been happy to just snap it off and take the pot preflop, but of course I got 3 callers instead. The Kings held up and I quadrupled up early and was the chip leader for a few minutes. Not much happened for a while after this. I reraised with AKo at one point and the initial raiser went way over top of me. I ended up laying it down and he showed KK. Other than that, I lost a couple large pots by missing a flop here and there in addition to making a couple really awful bluffs into players holding very strong hands. Oops. Some reads may have helped but my no limit tourney experience (read: next to none) has me as a big underdog in these things anyway.

With a shortstack I made some pushes here and there to stay alive. Usually just taking the blinds. It all caught up to me when a big stack on the button raised my big blind first-in when I was holding pocket Eights. I pushed, he called, his Ace found a mate and I got knocked out a few minutes before the money.

With a stack of 8K and the big blind at 1.2K I might have been able to sneak into the money which started at 140th had I just done nothing but fold for a few orbits. For the $4.01 I missed out on had I snuck into the money with a tiny stack, I am happy to have taken the chance to double up instead. I needed to double up a couple times to have any chance at going deep.

I may try a couple more of these over the next couple weeks as I can actually get work done while playing a tourney. I would not be able to do that at all with a 6-max ring game.

The tourney turned out to be a pretty good showing for me. Having low results to compare to rules. I should definitely quadruple up early on more often. Sounds like a simple plan and I can't believe I haven't thought of it before. Ha. ha. Sleep time.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Good Weekend

Party Poker $0.50/$1.00 6-max Limit
400 hands

It turned out to be a good poker weekend. I cleared just over 600 raked hands towards the 1,000 needed for the $100 Party reload bonus this weekend. I also managed to make $137 while I was at it which means I was running super hot.

I spent the entire weekend in the office and get to look forward to two more weeks of that. I'm looking forward to May. I'm wiped and off to do a little more work before snagging some sleep.

Results > Play Quality

Party $0.50/$1.00 6-max Limit
250 hands

The title is not meant to indicate that I feel results are more important than quality of play, as I feel quite the opposite. Last night was just one of those nights when my results were good in spite of how I played, not necessarily because of how I played. I got involved with a few pots I shouldn't have been in. I made a couple folds when I easily had pure odds to play on, let alone implied odds. I chased a couple hands further than I should have. Despite a number of mistakes, my results were good.

Despite a number of mistakes, the rest of my play was fairly solid though. None of the errors were huge on their own but there was a frightening number of them and they were very obvious. If there were so many that I recognized immediately, I wonder how many smaller mistakes I made that I am completely unaware of. In theory, it is better to play perfect poker and lose money than to play suboptimal poker and win money. Hard to tell that to the bankroll though, in the short term.

I have had nights that go the other way, when I have felt that I played very well but the results were awful. In those cases I always doubt whether I was indeed playing as well as I thought and I suspect that I probably wasn't. I definitely need to work on analyzing my game more often and more thoroughly. At this point, it wouldn't take much effort to improve upon my current practice as it is rare that I analyze anything other than a few of the hands that I lost the most money on.

I do believe that poker is about making correct decisions and not about short term results. The focus of this blog tends to be in direct contrast to that as I intended to really use this just to keep track of the growth of my bankroll (which would supposedly mirror the growth of my game). I'm not sure where all this wordy crap came from and keep expecting it to stop. Just a reminder to myself.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Friday Night

Party $0.50/$1.00 6-max Limit
600 hands

Party $1/$2 6-max Limit
60 hands

Eat, sleep, work and poker seems to be the order of the day lately. I worked until almost 7 and then flaked on the couch and played poker for the entire night, working off some raked hands towards the reload bonus at Party. My girlfriend flaked on the chair and played Party SNG's and $1 tourneys for most of the night as well. We both had a good poker night.

Apparently I am still taking little shots at $1/$2 as I finished the night off by sitting in on a $1/$2 6-max game. I ran hot for much of the night and my big hands got paid off very well. I also took down a couple monster pots with strong hands that I thought may be beat. One hand which stands out had me sitting with a King high straight which made the 2nd nut straight. The river ended up being raised, re-raised and capped and I strongly suspected that I'd be shown an Ace high straight but was instead shown a pair of Three's and a Queen high straight. The guy with the pair of Three's had capped the river, which made it two bets to me. He had been a nutcase all night but I was worried about the other person in that hand who had been slightly less nutty all night. I can not figure out for the life of me why someone holding a pocket pair with 5 overcards including an obvious broadway straight on the board caps the river but hey, I'll take it.

I seemed to have one or two maniacs at each table I was at all night. I paid them off when they caught river miracles. I paid them off when they had me beat the whole way. And they paid me off huge when I caught big hands.

On a whole other note, you know you are far too accessible when clients reach you at your desk at 10am on a Saturday morning and ask if they can drop by in a few minutes. Dude, what the hell, I'm blogging!

Thursday, April 13, 2006

My First Final Table!

My poker plan for the night was to deposit at Party and knock off some hands towards the $100 reload bonus. This plan started to fall off the rails a couple hours before I got home, as an impromptu "team meeting" was called tonight in our lunch room at the office. The fact that it wasn't even my "team" didn't much matter. The team meeting consisted mainly of consuming hard liquor which pretty much wiped out any chance of me playing any semi-serious poker tonight.

I had received an email earlier this week from River Belle about a $500 freeroll for people who had used Refer-A-Friend in the last month and managed to remember to register about 10 minutes prior to the start at 10pm. Only 62 people registered for the tourney, so I figured I would have a decent chance to finish in the top 60.

I did not get much in the way of cards but any time I did get a hand worth raising preflop, it was being folded all around. I was card dead for much of the night but managed to steal enough blinds to stay alive and in contention for a while. The table was quite passive and I probably could have taken more advantage of it than I did but I stayed reasonably tight and took calculated shots at steals from time to time. I slowly worked my way up to 15th or so and then raised first in from the cutoff with pocket sixes and the big blind pushed all in over top of me. I consulted the trusty drink at my side and my trusty drink assured me that he was pushing with nothing but overcards. My trusty drink failed to mention that overcards still had a pretty good shot at taking my hand out and completely overlooked the fact that this particular player had been pretty passive all night long and had not pushed at all. I got smacked down by pocket Queens and deserved every little bit of the smack down.

This put me in short stack mode and I got whittled down further by the blinds as I was not catching anything worth pushing. Eventually I was in the big blind and at the point where I had to push or call with any two cards. Someone pushed all in preflop, I called with crap and caught a straight to double up. This hand gave me enough of a stack to sit back and relax again for a while but I was still in short stack mode and pushed all in over top of this same guy when I was holding pocket Nines. Unfortunately, he was holding pocket Aces. Fortunately, I caught a Nine on the river for a very lucky and very ugly suck out.

I couldn't bring myself to say anything in chat even though half the table jumped on him when he started to complain as he had done more sucking out than anyone at the table all night. And it really was an ugly suck out, what am I supposed to say to that?

This gave me enough of a stack to cruise into the money, which I did. I was pretty quiet at the final table, taking down a couple small hands before my trusty drink notified me that I was holding two cards worthy of a Kill Phil push from the button when it was folded around to me. My trusty drink was correct but didn't pay much attention to the fact that the big stack happened to be sitting in the big blind. He called with suited crap, which ended up catching the flush and beating my suited connector crap. I went out quietly in the end and won $20. Despite the low payout, it was still a lot of fun to make a final table and scoop a little money out of a freeroll.

And I have lost all rights to complain about bad beats for at least 24 hours. Fun stuff.

Reality Check

Dear FloppyJT,

You haven't even been playing 6-max for a month yet, punk. Quit being in such a rush to move up. Be patient, you have the rest of your life to figure out this whole poker thing. Stop being so results oriented too! This is a long-term game, so there is no point getting flustered with a losing streak of one, two or three nights in a row. Chill out!

If you want to improve, study more and play less.

More importantly, quit obsessing over poker and pay more attention to work.

And don't forget to wear sunscreen.

Your pal,


Party Time

Thanks to mention in a couple other blogs, I just noticed that I have a 20% to a max of $100 reload bonus offer at Party Poker. So, it looks like I'll be taking a break from BetFred and hopping back into Party for a little bit.

I am looking forward to playing with a HUD again. Funny enough, I don't really miss having PokerTracker and a HUD while playing at BetFred, or any other unsupported site, but I definitely prefer to have the use of those tools available to me. At Party I regularly forget to start auto-importing hands and have played at tables for quite some time before importing and having the HUD update. I have been surprised more than once at some of the stats I saw and how they compared to what my impression of those players was from observation alone. The lesson learned was that I am not as observant as I should be at times. No drastic differences really, but I have had cases where I thought someone was playing just under 1/2 of their hands and it turns out to be closer to 80%. Is that a drastic difference? Maybe. Either way, they are playing lots of crap.

At any rate, I am aware that I should be more observant when playing and that is one of the things I do like about PT plus a HUD. It allows me to be less observant yet still have that info readily available. Not that HUD info can truly replace good reads but it sure doesn't hurt. I used to be a much more diligent note-taker prior to using a HUD. I still do take notes, but not to the same extent.

Summary: Yay Party. I like HUDs but could live without. I should rely less on HUD info and get better reads. I'm lazy.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006


BetFred $0.50/$1.00 6-max Limit

BetFred $1/$2 6-max Limit

BetFred PL O8

I continued my exploration into the world of $1/$2 6-max tonight and was welcomed with open arms by a table full of people who thoroughly enjoyed receiving my money. Nothing extraordinary happened really, just bad cards coupled with some bad play thrown in for good measure. The rare time I had a good hand it turned out to be second best. Standard bad night on the tables.

I am not sure how to deal with these butt kickings and as time goes on I imagine they just become easier to deal with. I was reasonably grumpy about the losses as they were happening but always seem to feel better after I stop playing. This whole writing (I use the term very loosely) thing is quite likely therapeutic as well.

I set a new record tonight for my biggest loss in the shortest period of time. I managed to lose over $100 in a session once before but it took me hours and hours while playing four tables. I managed to burn through $90 tonight in under an hour and a half on just two tables. Taking shots at the next level will do that from time to time I suppose. On the bright side, in terms of BB's, I didn't lose any more on the $1/$2 table than I did on my regular limit tonight. That is some bright side!

For a month or so I have been considering making the move up to the next limit but I will put that on hold for now. Everyone seems to have a different opinion on when exactly to move up. I have been fairly ( or very?) conservative I believe. Originally, I wanted to have at least 300 BB's of the next level before I move up. I'm not sure if that should be more seeing as though I am playing 6-max. I have been only considering my winnings and not factoring bonuses into the equation of what makes up my bankroll. Which leaves me quite over-rolled for my current level. Recently, I had been hovering around $600 in winnings which is about 300 BB's for the next level and I figured that if the 300 BB's rule should be higher for 6-max, I was covered by the extra bankroll from bonuses.

I guess for now I'll keep plugging away at $0.50/$1.00 and I'll take some little shots at $1/$2 now and then when I build back up to $600 in winnings. I'm really in no rush to move up...on most days.

I am still having a blast messing around with Omaha! Although, my results do not reflect it, I have been playing much better lately now that I have gotten over how pretty many 4-card starting hands look compared to their actual lack of strength.

Perhaps me and BetFred will make up tomorrow night.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

So Smrt

BetFred $0.50/$1.00, $1/$2, $2/$4 6-max Limit

After running poorly for a few days and coming home exhausted it seemed to be the logical time to try a higher limit. Makes perfect sense, right?

I had played a bit of $1/$2 full ring before but this was my first shot at 6-max. I got smacked in the face by the deck in the best way as soon as I sat down. In the first couple orbits or so I got dealt 88, 99, QQ, 77, JJ and every hand held up. The player to my immediate left challenged and bet hard against me on several of those hands and took the worst of it with the player to my immediate right a close second. After the first couple orbits I either got a walk on my big blind or had blinds folded to me for the rest of my stay on that table.

The table broke up after about 40 minutes leaving me up $35 overall. I had been up as much as $50 at some points. I couldn't find another $1/$2 table and I was obviously crushing this limit anyway, so I went in search of a $2/$4 table. Makes perfect sense, right?

Okay, I knew pretty soon after sitting down and watching my stack drop over $20 when my pocket Aces were cracked by a rivered set of Queens that I was a little out of my comfort zone at this limit. So, I did the very logical and tremendously smrt thing and stayed at the table in order to get my moneys back! In the end I did fight back and turned a profit of $20.

I do not anticipate going back to $2/$4 any time in the near future but it was a fun little visit. I was willing to drop $50 there after winning a bit at $1/$2 and was fortunate to come away with a small profit.

I expected much more aggression at the higher limits but did not encounter it at all. In fact, I don't remember having blinds folded to me and my pre-flop raises winning the blinds unchallenged as much as happened tonight. I imagine that I just ran into some strange tables and I did intentionally sit at tables with a couple really small stacks present.

After my little tour I settled back into a $0.50/$1.00 game where I watched the player two seats to my left raise and reraise at each opportunity preflop and follow up with a lot of aggression as well. 86o, T3o, 73s - all were worthy of capping before the flop and betting and raising with no matter the texture of the flop apparently. It was highly entertaining to see his hole cards after crazy rounds of betting. It didn't take long before everyone else at the table was tripping over each other trying to isolate this maniac. More often than not he was taking pots down with crazy suckouts or by eventually forcing everyone out of the pot. His stack was going up and down like a yo-yo but he walked away up at the end.

Somewhere along the way I dropped almost $20 during the maniac fest, made most of it back and then lost it again. $0.50/$1.00 is obviously rigged and I should clearly be playing higher limits where I get much better cards and players respect my raises. Har.

Played 20 minutes too many

BetFred $0.50/$1.00 6-max Limit

A few decent hours of poker followed by 20 minutes of awful poker made for a frustrating evening. On the bright side, I was getting some decent cards tonight. On the bad side, those decent cards were making the second best hand all too often.

I haven't put much of a dent in the BetFred bonus yet. I will try to remain patient and not start 4 tabling a higher limit to clear it faster.

I am still up $46 at BetFred but I was hovering around +$80 just a couple days ago. Perhaps me and BetFred will make up tomorrow night.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Omaha is Fun!

Sunday Night Summary

BetFred Omaha $0.05/$0.10 Limit & $0.10/$0.20 Pot Limit

BetFred $0.50/$1.00 6-max Limit

After spending most of the day in the office I unwound with some Omaha and 6-max. I had a blast again playing Omaha at micro-micro stakes. I am still pretty shaky but the bulk of the players at these limits seem to be pretty bad.

I was getting kicked around at 6-max and was down $40 for a while before hitting a good streak. I was not getting good cards all night and a lot of my gains came from taking down small pots on raggy flops and stealing blinds.

Prior to the small losses in the last couple days, I may have been on my best heater to date. Heaters are fun. I'll take more of those please.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Procrastination Expert

Party $10+1 $20k guaranteed

Party $0.50/$1.00 6-max Limit

BetFred $0.50/$1.00 6-max Limit

BetFred $0.10/$0.20 Pot Limit Omaha Hi Lo

I brought home a pile of work to do last night, so I figured I would play a no limit tourney first as I could maximize my procrastination time that way. I'm really not sure why I bothered with an $11 tourney as I am dead money and should keep my donations down to $3 or lower. I was doing okay for the most part, picking up some small pots here and there, staying tight and playing fairly aggressively when I did get involved in a pot. With big blind at T200 I open raised T600 from the button into the big stacks big blind holding pocket Tens. He had been very aggressive and had made several pushes so I was not surprised at all when he pushed his whole stack into me. I did not figure him to have a strong hand at all and called. He showed his K5o, which was even better for me than I expected to see, but he caught a K and I was done rather quickly.

Because I had not yet procrastinated quite enough time I played a bit of 6-max limit hold 'em and was having one of those nights where everything goes wrong. I kept getting rivered over and over and just did not have the patience to stick with it. When I am down to 10-15BB's I usually reload at least 15BB and re-evaluate whether the table I am at is worth sticking with or not. Rather than reload, I went elsewhere and ran into more of the same. I cut my session short and decided to get going on all that work.

But, before starting work I figured I would learn how to play Omaha Hi Lo. I had no clue what I was doing and had a complete blast. I was playing like a classic loose passive fish, which pretty much makes me a loose passive fish! I started to get the hang of it after a bit and had a great time with it.

I never did get around to doing that work.

Now I'm on my way to the office to take care of it. Right after I play a few minutes of Omaha...

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Poker Night

Again we managed to lose someone on the very first hand of the very first game. Wow. There were only seven of us last night so first place was paying $100 and second was getting $40. The first game ended up getting chopped $80/$30/$30 leaving me up $10.

I got bounced out around fifth in the second game.

I didn't think there would be a third game for me as it was already past midnight and I have to work all day today but I decided to stick around for one more. By this point there were a couple of us who had far too much to drink. One such individual managed to get all in with his Ace-rag against another Ace-rag and lost his whole stack very early in the game. After cooling off outside for a bit he came back with a grand plan to have rebuys for the first player knocked out. No one actually cared much and we did let him buy back in. He busted out again a few hands later. Approximately six people laughed very very loudly for quite some time.

I was very short stacked with four left in the game and the other short stack was pushing constantly taking decent pots. Heads up against him I caught middle pair on a raggy flop and he pushed into me. I called and my little pair held up, giving me his stack and a guaranteed $20 as third place was getting their money back for this game. With three left I started getting very aggressive and kept taking smallish pots. I took out another player and then lost quickly headsup running into a couple huge hands.

+$10 for the night.
6.5 hours of fun.
Wicked hourly rate.
Watching my buddy lose $80 when the max anyone could lose on the night was $60 = priceless.
Fun times.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Live Poker Tonight

A group of my friends have been getting together fairly regularly to play poker for a little under a year now. We haven't played in several months but are having a go at it tonight. There are usually between 6 and 9 of us and we essentially play $20 sit n go's. The blinds are set up in a manner which causes most games to be under 2 hours in duration. At worst, you lose $60 but everyone has a good time.

The last time we played had our craziest games yet. I'm not sure whether there was a full moon that night or more than normal quantities of alcohol consumed or what. In our second game of the night, there were two players who had arrived late, one who had never played with us before.

On the very first hand, New Guy re-raises all-in from the small blind and gets called by the big blind and the initial raiser. The initial raiser won the hand to triple up .

Second hand, the winner of the initial hand called an all-in raise by someone holding Ace's and lucked out to take down another huge pot.

Third hand, after I declared that there was no way this hand would be as exciting as the first two, one guy pushes all-in pre-flop holding TT, gets called by the guy next to him holding QQ, called by another guy holding 66 and then called by the winner of the first two hands holding 64o. By this time we had all been killing ourselves laughing for a bit now and we were all obviously tilting and we must have been drunk to boot. Of course, the 64o hit a straight on the river and after 3 hands was sitting on his original stack plus 6 others. Nice start. He won that game.

We managed 4 games that night due some quicker than normal endings. The guy who started everything with the all-in re-raise, went all-in on the first hand of the next game and lost again. In his third hand ever played with us, he managed to not get eliminated and he was officially dubbed "All-in (LastNameHere)".

The WPT/WSOP is not in any danger of being overrun by any of us.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Huge Money Night

Thursday Night Summary

Party Poker $0.50/$1.00 6-max
46 hands played
Single tabling
+$0.34 (yeah, that really says thirty-four cents)

In other big money news I transferred $0.29 (yeah, that really says twenty-nine cents) from Poker Now to Party. Apparently Party was giving some people bonuses for transfers from old skins back to Party, but Poker Now was not on the bonus list for me at least.

While I was moving my huge chunks of cash around, I cashed out of River Belle and Empire back to neteller.

Slow Night

Wednesday Night Summary

River Belle and BetFred $0.50/$1.00 6-max
56 and not much more than 56 hands
Single tabling
+$10 and +$4

It turns out that River Belle didn't pay out the bonus early at all, but rather, I just can't count. I played a lot more raked hands Tuesday night than I thought I did.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

River Belle Bonus Cleared, $2k Earnings Reached

Tuesday Night Summary

River Belle $0.50/$1.00 6-max
490 hands played
+$10, 2BB/100
2 and 3 tabling

I am a menace when it comes to multi-tabling and I really should stick to two tables max for now. I couldn't stand the River Belle mini-view, so was using tables on normal size which creates huge overlap on my laptop and really kept me hopping with three tables open. I should have just closed one and stayed on two, but as my brilliant mind works I couldn't close the one I was down money on because I had to get back to even and I couldn't close the two I was up money on, because I was up on them. WTF!? Eventually I did cut back to two and continued to lose money on the table I was originally down on and continued to win money on the remaining table I was up on.

River Belle Pays Early?

After last night I expected to receive $100 in bonus and figured I would have to play another 150 or so raked hands to clear the remaining $25 Neteller bonus. However, the full $125 was in my account this morning. Nice surprise.

I did not like River Belle at first (probably because I dropped $50 the first couple nights) but it grew on me a bit. Enough so that I will chase down a couple more bonuses at other prima sites anyway. I doubt I will do much more play at River Belle though. The players were a bit tighter there compared to other sights but not by much. Every 6-max table I have tried anywhere so far seems to have its fair share of super loose players, so there is usually a good game to be found. River Belle seemed to have more passive players though. A couple nights ago I kept misclicking raises when I meant to fold. This happened at least 5 times and only cost me money once. In a couple cases I took the pot down immediately with the misclick and in a couple other cases I felt compelled to follow up the misbluff with another bet and took the pot down then. I am pretty sure the moral is not to misclick more often but there must be a message about aggressive play in there somewhere. I still need to ramp up my aggression. 6-max is helping but I still have a lot of room to improve.

$2k Milestone

The River Belle bonus pushed me past the $2,000 mark in total poker earnings. I hadn't really set out to make any certain amount of money playing poker, so this $2k came much quicker than I was expecting. I would be more excited if a larger portion of it were from winnings rather than bonus but it is a much better start than I was expecting for myself either way. I owe many thanks to citanul at 2+2 plus the many posters in the internet bonuses forum for turning me into a mini whore.

When I first starting playing online poker in November a $2k poker bankroll seemed huge and unattainable to me. Not that $2k is really all that much money, it just seemed like a lot to have aside for playing with on the internet. Reading about all these people making (and sometimes losing) crazy amounts of money with online poker makes my $2k earned look mighty puny. Still, I am looking forward to breaking $3k next and I'll move on from there.

For a great example of someone making a ridiculous amount of money, while trying to lose his virginity, check out CaptZEEbo.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Summary to Date

That's it for another month, March is done and gone. It felt like my worst poker month to date, but actually turned out to be my best. I'm sure it felt like my worst because of hitting my two largest downswings to date, dropping 105BB's one night and then another 85BB's two days later while clearing too many bonuses on too many tables at Party. When all was said and done, I was up $10 at Party for the month, which is pretty ugly considering how many hands I put in there.

Overall though, I was up just under $200 for March, thanks largely to loose play encountered at Poker4ever. I also had some success with 6-max LHE towards the end of the month at BetFred and Empire.

In addition to my feeble earnings, I also had my best month as far as bonuses go, with $600. Having such a small sample size of months to draw from has been fun in that each most recent month has been my best to date so far. I expect that trend to stop in April as work is crazy busy and I won't have time to play much.

I will still be puttering on the RiverBelle and BetFred bonuses and knocked off an $80 reload bonus at Empire over the weekend.

So far in April, 6-max 0.50/1.00 LHE has been my friend with a nice upswing of $147 in three days plus an $80 bonus. I am on the verge of cracking the $2K mark, however, the vast majority of that number is still made up of bonuses.

Summary to date

Net deposits - $731.98
Winnings - $612.21
Bonuses - $1,370

Total available bankroll - 2,714.19
(I plan to withdraw the original deposits I made at some point but there is no rush)

Earnings by month:
Nov/Dec, 2005 - ($48.53) + $150 bonus
January - $149.22 + $100 bonus
February - $165.10 + $440 bonus
March - $198.93 + $600 bonus
to April 3 - $147.49 + $80 bonus

Pending bonuses

Poker Stars - $120
River Belle - $125
BetFred - $250

I should clear River Belle this week and will finish BetFred and Poker Stars eventually.


Part way through my 2nd read of SSHE right now. I have TOP, HOH1&2 and HEPFAP sitting around waiting for me to get to them still. I don't anticipate doing so until May at the earliest and may pick up Weighing the Odds before touching HEPFAP.


I am sticking with $0.50/$1.00 6-max for the near future with plans to start taking shots at $1/$2 soon. Whether I try full ring or 6-max I'm not sure yet. If I go the full ring route, I'll have to hit up some full ring $0.50/$1.00 first. I'm hoping that the recent 6-max play will have helped up my full ring aggression.

For SNG's I will stick with $5.50's at Poker Stars for the foreseeable future. I am playing them rarely and do not anticipate playing many at all this month.

Running History

In all my reading and lurking of 2+2 I had read countless times about how soft and easy Party Poker was. I came across an instantbankroll deal which would give me a $75 starting amount at Party and another bonus of $25 once I had played a certain number of raked hands. I was skeptical at first but eventually signed up for the deal and within a week or so, sure enough, I had $75 in a Party account and was ready to roll with 45 days access to the beginner tables there.

At the same time I downloaded poker tracker and poker ace hud which I had read a pile about and was immediately impressed with both and registered them. I decided that I would focus solely on limit poker and read GSIH and SSHE and hopefully learn how to play poker.

I started out at the 0.15/0.30 tables and got off to a nice hot lucky start. I quickly moved to the 0.25/0.50 tables and went on an even hotter streak. I ended up playing about 6k hands at 0.25/0.50 and churned a profit of about $160 or so. It didn't take long at all to take my original free $100 at Party and triple it. I couldn't tell (and still have no idea) if I was just getting lucky, or the books were helping, or if Party really is that soft and easy, or if things were just starting to fall in place from getting in a lot of hands. Probably a bit of a combination of several factors.

By early February I moved to the 0.50/1.00 tables and was getting the itch to chase some bonuses down at other sites.

A Whore is Born

All the while, my internet reading continued. I was curious about 'bonus whoring' but it really seemed like more trouble than it might be worth. I really had to force myself to try out Party as I was inclined just to stay at Paradise forever. I felt that I would be better off just learning to play proper poker and forego running around chasing bonuses.

But...There are just soooo many bonuses out there. Along came super bowl weekend and Paradise was offering a reload bonus. I had always liked Paradise, so I figured I may as well get my feet wet in the bonus world and opened up a neteller account. Threw a few hundred (cdn$) into neteller, paid the whopping 8.9% service fee and transferred $200US to Paradise to pick up $40 in bonus. I had intended to deposit $500 to get the full $100 max bonus but without a certified neteller account I was not able and for some reason, any attempt at credit card deposits were declined, although my original deposit on Paradise was by credit card and had worked fine.

The neteller account was certified shortly afterwards and then converted to a US account as I quickly realized I was going to be scalped on exchange rates. I then split play between Paradise and Party, doing fairly well at both.

At about the time I finished clearing the Paradise bonus, Empire was just offering a $200 reload bonus. I fired off another deposit using instacash through Paradise which I moved to Neteller to deposit at Empire. Originally, my intent was to never put in any more money after the original deposit of $200. Somehow this figure had grown to $861 with the creation of the neteller account and an additional $400 instacash deposit just to use for chasing bonuses. So, in mid-February I opened an Empire account. Quickly cleared the $100 deposit bonus and then immediately fired off another deposit to take advantage of the $200 reload bonus. I then slogged through what I considered to be awful table selection at Empire for what seemed like far too long trying to clear that bonus. I had access to the beginner tables but there wasn't much going on there so I found myself playing 0.50/1.00 on 6-max tables for some reason. I did not have much 6-max experience at the time but did some quick reading on it and adjusted accordingly. I did okay, but I found the swings at 6-max to be pretty vicious. I would be up a lot one night and then lose it all and more the next. To make a long and boring story short and boring, I cleared the Empire bonuses and made an additional $3.44 profit. The $300 bonus money was good for the bankroll but I'm not sure I learned too much other than I probably do not play optimally when I'm playing more tables than I'm used to and trying out 6-max for the first time.


Within just a few days of finishing the grind at Empire I opened a Poker Now account. I didn't realize at the time that these were on the same network and I would be playing with the exact same people at the exact same tables. Short story: Cleared $100 bonus quickly, played more 6-max 0.50/1.00, lost $25 while doing it, netted $75.

Again, I wasn't sure if making the quick bonus was worth it as I played like a robot and just wanted to finish the raked hands.

Poker Stars

It was now nearing the end of February and I had stuck to playing just limit poker for a month and a half. I had read a couple good poker books. I had learned a bit. And I had managed to satisfy my ADD nature by hopping around from site to site instead of game to game. So, time to add another site! Enter Poker Stars. I figured I would treat myself to some SNG's again. I knew I wanted a Stars account eventually in order to play some forum games there at some point. I had read a lot of SNG strategy material on 2+2 since I had last played any SNG's and felt like I was a little better equipped to tackle them again. Knowing that Stars only had a $0.50 fee on the $5 SNG's was a factor in pushing me to open an account there. So, I put aside $200 of bonus money and opened a Poker Stars account to be used just for SNG's.

In my first SNG there I found myself short stacked early due to a really stupid call. I called an all in raise with AK. I KNOW that AK is a great hand to move all in with but not the greatest to call all in with but for some reason I did it anyway. I hung in for a bit but as the blinds increased I was forced to push all my chips in several times. I managed to take down a lot of blinds this way as others were hesitant to put that much of their stack on the line. Anytime someone did call I had a great hand and it held up. This made people even more hesitant to call my all ins which enabled me to steal even more blinds. Eventually I caught up to everyone and just kept on rolling. I had no experience with Stars but after over an hour we still had 6 people out of the original 9 still in this game which seemed odd to me. The SNG went over an hour and a half after which I finally won it and was pretty pumped. My girlfriend had been watching over my shoulder and was freaking out everytime I pushed all in. I think the whole experience was more stressful for her than I and we were both pumped when it was over. It was a great (and very lucky, no doubt) start to my return to SNG's. Funny enough, the excitement far far far outweighed the actual monetary gain. Once again, I was a champion SNG player. I then proceeded to lose my next 4 straight SNG's. Ooops. Again. Deja vu. Okay, so I'm no champion poker-anything. Fair enough.

I then proceeded to finish in the money in the next six straight SNG's I played to close out the month. Missed the money in the next one and then hit the money in the next four straight followed by two fourth place bubble finishes. I plan to stick to the little 5.50's for a while until I feel like I really do know what I am doing. At that time I may pick up and move to Party for the $11's or may stick around Stars, who knows. I will be pretty conservative with bankroll management and am only allowing myself to consider original deposit plus SNG earnings for purposes of moving up.

Poker4ever, early March

Poker4ever was an interesting ride. Nice software and pretty soft games but the low amount of traffic made table selection tough. I ended up having to play 1/2 which was a step up for me in order to clear the bonus. I also found myself playing no limit and pot limit in order to clear it, which was stupid seeing as though I had played nothing but limit for the last while other than SNG's which really don't translate well to ring games. I was probably down a bit on the no limit play, took in a small amount from some of their nice freerolls and made some money on the 0.25/0.50 and 1/2 limit games. As I was nearing the end of clearing the bonus I was up $150 at one point but dropped $70 of that in my last hour or two. $200 bonus plus $80 of earnings for just a few days there was pretty good though. I liked the site and would play there more if there were just more traffic. I did keep some money there and will check back now and then.

Stars Reload Bonus and Party Triple March Bonus

Friday night seems to always be a great time to play on-line poker. I'm not sure if people are getting drunk and playing or what but Fridays always seem to be better than average for me. There were a lot of extra people out at Party as well due to the reload bonus.

I finished almost 450 of the raked hands I needed to clear the $100 bonus, despite playing more than 1,000 hands for the night, 3-tabling. I finished up $58 for the night, which makes it a good night for me. People playing much higher stakes must get a chuckle out of people like me calling +$58 a good night I imagine. This gets me all the more closer to moving up to 1/2, which I'll start taking shots at fairly soon, if I keep winning. (in hindsight, I should have never thought this, much less put it in print anywhere)

Saturday - March 11, 2006

Party $0.50/$1.00 limit
1,700 hands played
+$17, 1BB/100 hands booo
3 and 4 tabling

I got knocked around pretty badly on a few tables and was down for much of the day. Showed a small profit overall but it was a worse than average pair of sessions. On the bright side, I cleared the 1st $100 bonus on Party and now have a few days to clear another 1,500 raked hands for another $100 bonus.

Sunday - March 12, 2006

Party $0.50/$1.00 limit
1,500 hands played
3 tabling

A new record! I had lost 70BBs in a day twice previously, but today marks a new low. Either I am still numb or am getting used to the downward swings that occur with limit poker as I don't feel all that bad right now. I'll make some of it back tomorrow night.

Monday - March 13, 2006

Party $0.50/$1.00
1,000 hands played
4 tabling

Stars $5.50 NL SNG
1 game - 2nd place

Third day in a row of poor results at limit but at least it didn't result in a loss today. The SNG was pretty good and featured lengthy bubble play 4-handed and a long fight to determine third place. I let myself get pushed around a bit more than I would have liked headsup but got all my chips in the middle with the better of it a few times and lost. All in all, a fun SNG. I'm looking forward to the end of the Party bonuses. I have been playing far too many hands the last several days.

Tuesday - March 14, 2006

Party $0.50/$1.00 limit
880 hands played
3 & 4 tabling

Much better results than the last few days. I think I completed stage 2 of Party's triple bonus tonight but I probably won't find out until sometime tomorrow if I am credited with the additional $100.

Wednesday - March 15, 2006

Party $0.50/$1.00 limit
1,180 hands played
4 tabling

Awful night of poker. I started out bad, I continued throughout bad and I finished up really bad. Overall it was pretty bad. Bad. Bad bad bad bad.The only saving grace is that I'm still ahead this week due to bonuses. I have been playing far too many hands on too many tables and am looking forward to this Party bonus passing. I still need a ridiculous number of raked hands over the next two nights to clear the third bonus and doubt I will take a serious shot at it. Silly bonuses.

Thursday - March 16, 2006

Party $0.50/$1.00 limit
1,170 hands played
3 and 4 tabling

Blah. Winnings at Party are evaporating and stand at $265 now, down from over $400 just a week or so ago. Does bonus chasing translate to bad poker or am I just hitting a cold deck? My stats suggest I have been folding too much but when I do get to showdown I have been losing way more than usual too. Time to re-read the post-flop sections of SSHE. On my list of things to do when I stop playing a stupid number of hands every night.

Weekend Summary - Daily summaries are obviously bad luck

Party $0.50/$1.00 limit
2,050 hands played
3 and 4 tabling to finish bonus, some 1 and 2 tabling after

Party $6 Mini Step Tourney
2nd place, re-entry into level 1
7th place, busto with KK all-in getting beat by bigstack's AQ

Stars $5.50 SNG's
16 played(1st - 2, 2nd - 2, 3rd - 2, 4th to 9th - 10)

Many of the hands played this weekend were on 6-Max tables. I hadn't played 6 max in a while and it was a nice change of pace. What was really nice about them was all the crazy loose play I saw. I tried out a mini step tourney which was fun. I busted out on my 2nd try. I finished the Party triple bonus. I took a beating during this bonus, losing about $140 from play while gaining $300 in bonus. A net gain from a bankroll perspective but a big failure from a winnings and improvement point of view.

Monday - March 20, 2006

Party $0.50/$1.00 limit 6 Max
Few hundred hands played
Single tabling, while playing mini steps

Party $6 Mini Step Tourney
1st place, entry into level 2
5th place, re-entry into level 2

Stars $5.50 SNG's
2 played(1st - 1, 3rd - 1)

Paradise $5 Limit Tourney

Paradise $0.25/$0.50 limit

I got the urge to play in a fixed limit tournament, so headed over to Paradise for one. I forgot what a crap shoot these are. I didn't catch any good cards and was pretty much crippled after only playing two hands. I got really lucky and fought back to build up a bit of a stack but the blinds were getting big and I had to commit to a hand went out with a wimper, not a bang. I played a little limit at Pardise while the tourney lasted and made enough to cover the tourney fee plus a little.

Next I fired up two Stars SNG's and built up decent stacks in each of them allowing me to coast to the money reasonably easily. I can't remember how I got knocked out 3rd in one but it happened quickly. I was short stacked in heads up play in the other and we battled for quite a while before I won it.

I played some 6 Max limit at Party again while I took another shot at the mini steps. The 6 max table was a dream with super loose passive players to my right and the only tight player sitting on my immediate left. I had my best session in a while on this table getting both good cards and awful play from the others. In the mini step I got short stacked but hung on and came back to a long drawn out heads up battle that ended with my JJ holding up to an all-in to put me into level 2. In level 2 I was quiet for a while then doubled up on one hand and then in the very next hand flopped two pair and almost lost my whole stack to a set. With blinds at 50/100 and my stack at 300 it wasn't looking good. I got lucky with getting all-in at the right times against the right people to build back up and outlast a few people before running into someone all-in with pocket Kings. I ended up in 5th which gives me a re-entry to level 2. Seeing as though I was so close to being put out much earlier, I was pretty happy with the result. These mini-steps are fun but I doubt they will be profitable for me.

Tuesday - March 28, 2006

I played some more $5 SNG's at Poker Stars - probably won a couple and lost a few. Played some 6-max fixed limit 0.50/1.00 at Party and won a bit.

I signed up at RiverBelle for the $150 bonus which includes $25 for neteller and $25 for friend referral. I used a name from a 2+2 poster I knew played at RiverBelle and dropped him a pm to let him know. He got $50 for the referral and gave me $25 of it, which I thought was incredibly generous of him!!!

I just signed up at BetFred last night for a $250 bonus. I am playing both of these slooowly with no rush to finish. The Party March triple bonus wore me out a bit and work is crazy busy right now. Thank goodness for bonuses as I proceeded to lose $50 in just a few nights at RiverBelle. Up a bit at BetFred.

I got the urge and played a $3 MTT last night on Party. Didn't get a whole lot to work with and got ground down by blinds. Scooped some blinds on a couple pushes and then had my AT push called by A2 from the big blind, which I thought was fantastic until the river brought a 2 and sent me packing, finishing around 400th out of 1,700 or so.

I have been doing very little poker reading lately and I should try to change that and finish my 2nd read of SSHE and get going on TOP. I want to get at HOH 1 and 2 as well as I am getting increasingly interested in NL, both cash and tourney games.

After a couple weeks without working out I finally started again Sunday and spent all day Monday feeling good and sore. Another small workout last night and now I have a good sharp pain in my back today. I can't figure out if it is my back or some internal organ is going busto. Ahhh, the joys of getting old.

December - Found 2+2

In December I started trying some $10 SNG's as well. I did just as poorly on those as the $5 ones but as long as I was making money playing ring games and basically staying even, it didn't bother me.

I had increased my original $200 a little and took a little shot at $0.50/1.00 and promptly lost $70 which sent me scampering back to lower limits to rebuild my bankroll a bit.

Just before Christmas I stumbled across the twoplustwo publishing website when I was searching for poker book reviews. Given all the learning material available, I decided that I should focus on limit poker and actually learn to play a bit, so ended up ordering Getting Started in Hold 'em by Ed Miller and Small Stakes Hold 'em by Miller et al.

While waiting for those books to arrive and while on vacation between Christmas and New Years, I played a whole lot of poker and went on a bit of a nasty slide towards the end of December and played horribly in early January which left me right back at my starting amount of $200. I had received bonuses of $150 by that point, so I had essentially lost $150 on play but was still at my original deposit amount of $200. Not good, but probably a lot better than it could have been.

In the beginning there was Paradise

I finally entered the world of online poker in mid-November of 2005 after talking to some co-workers who were playing at Paradise. I started with a $200 deposit and immediately headed to the $5 SNG's and loved them. I got off to a lucky start and had some early success, finishing in the money in 5 of my first 10 played (this took place over the period of a week - no high volume player here). This of course clearly meant I was a poker champion destined for greatness. I then promptly lost my next 9 in a row. Ouch.

In the first month of on-line play I was very unfocused. I would play some SNG's, some multi table tournaments as well as no limit ring games. I just hopped around from game to game and played whatever suited me at the moment. Overall, I was clearly doing better at the ring games but the tournaments were the most fun for me.

When I had free time that wasn't being occupied with playing poker I was reading everything I could find about poker on the internet. All the beginner info I could find about starting hand selections, post-flop strategy, etc. Somewhere along the way I stumbled across this strange form of poker referred to as fixed limit. My only experience with poker was basically from all the tourneys on television which are almost always no limit, so limit sounded pretty goofy to me at first. I gave it a try though and immediately liked it. I think what appealed to me at first was the lower risk on a single hand. I could not lose my whole stack all at once. I played at the lowest limits available but quickly moved up and settled into 0.25/0.50 at Paradise. Anything lower seemed like play money and with a $200 deposit that seemed to be an appropriate limit. When I played no-limit I stuck to $10 max tables but would switch between full ring and short handed.

I was bad but fortunately, many others at the tables were worse. Basically, I made some money playing ring games and lost money playing SNG's and MTT's and it all evened out. All the while I was slowly working off deposit bonus and referral bonuses at Paradise, which essentially covered tourney losses