Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Another Month

May Summary

BetFred $0.50/$1.00 and $1/$2 6-max Limit

Party Poker $0.50/$1.00 and $1/$2 6-max Limit
+$100 reload bonus

Poker Stars $5.50 SNG's
95 played
26.6% ROI

$11 SNG's and misc. tourneys

+$2,500 milestone hand bonus

Wednesday Night Summary

Poker Stars $5.50 SNG's
6 played, 1 - 1st, 4 - 2nd, 1 - 5th

Tuesday Night Summary

Poker Stars $4.40 & $3.30 tourneys
30th/180 & 265th/1,473

Poker Stars $5.50 SNG's
2 played, 1 - 5th, 1 - 6th

I played a pile of SNG's this month, knocking off 95 of them at the $5.50 level. The more I played, the lower my ROI fell as reality started catching up to my early hot streak. Not that I really expected a 40% or high 30%'s ROI to continue, but it sure was nice while it lasted. Given my low amount of experience with the SNG's, I am very happy that my ROI is hanging in there above 25%. If I expect to do decent at higher levels though, I am going to need to throw some more studying into the mix but I did get a nice bump in the experience department this month.

My initial goal before moving to the $11's was to play at least 100 SNG's at the $5.50 level and build my bankroll from my initial $200 to $500. I passed the 100 figure this month and ended the month up $225 which gets me within $75 of the winnings criteria. I have been fairly patient so far but I increasingly feel that I am a huge wimp when it comes to pushing myself and moving up, so I may not wait out the full $500 bankroll. If history is any indicator though, I will hit that goal and go well past before I convince myself to tackle the next level.

Speaking of next levels, I have been talking about moving to $1/$2 6-max Limit for months I think. I did play a bit at that level in May, with some success at Party, but got sidetracked somewhere along the way by SNG's. In June I hope to get back to 6-max limit hold 'em and take some more shots at $1/$2.

On the bonus front, I don't have many raked hands left to finish up a $250 bonus at BetFred but it seems everytime I play there I get my butt handed to me in some fashion or other. It isn't the tough competition either, I have just run bad there ever since the second week I was there. Also, I am almost done a $120 bonus at Poker Stars which will be easy to wrap up in June if I just play a few more SNG's there.

May turned out to be a banner month for me. The huge amount of bonus is due to hitting a milestone hand at Poker Stars as their 5 billionth hand approached. It also turned out to be my best month to date in terms of winnings. I have won a little bit more each month since I started playing poker in November. This of course is a trend that can't continue forever but so far so good and I hope it continues for another few months or longer should I be so lucky. I took a big downturn with the SNG's a few days ago and it looked like if I continued to run poorly I could lose enough in the last few days of the month to slip below April's winnings. That turned around tonight though when I placed in the money in 5 out of 6 SNG's. I finished 2nd in four of them, 1st in one and 5th in one. A couple of those 2nd places really should have been 1st places but I screwed myself with over-aggressive headsup play...if there is such a thing. On the flip side, I really snuck into the money in a couple others and was happy to take 2nd place. The +$43.50 night inflated the winnings at the end of the month, bringing me back to where I was a week or two ago before leaking away some winnings. As fun as the SNG's are, my best bet for making money likely lies with 6-max limit poker. The variance is definitely more pleasant with SNG's though.

Last night I gave myself a little reminder why I shouldn't play MTT's as I donated a few bucks to a couple tourneys. I played far too tight for far too long, letting myself get blinded down. I have to loosen up and play some more hands after the first couple levels. I outlasted a pile of people but that is all I did as I was always well below the average stack and never gave myself a fighting chance. I did have fun though!

I'm wiped and rambling and boring myself now. Not good.

Hope your May was great and your June is even better.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Not much poker lately

I have only managed to play a handfull of SNG's since last Thursday and didn't play them particularly well. I have been busy building up GBP's as my girlfriend was offering double good boyfriend points for a limited time only for the painting of her new place. I have my eye on the threesome in the points catalog and figured this would be a good opportunity to push me over the edge in points. She moves in today, so it may be the end of double points, but there is still a lot left to do so who knows.

As far as poker goes, it doesn't look like I am going to finish either the Poker Stars or BetFred bonus in May. Both of these bonuses have taken me a long time and should make for easy bonuses in June. I think I said that about BetFred for May though also. May will definitely close out as the month I earned the most bonuses simply due to hitting a $2,500 score at Poker Stars for a milestone hand. Without that it would have been my worst month to date as I only cleared a $100 Party Poker reload bonus otherwise. May could also be my highest winnings to date as well but that depends on whether I am able to play the next couple nights.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Strange Hand Followup

Just the other day I posted about a Strange Hand I played when the big blind folded a pot of 1,350 to the short stacked small blind for an all-in bet on the flop of only another 22 chips. I had forwarded the hand history to Poker Stars support and heard back from them today:

Hello Floppy,

Thank you once again for reporting your concerns to us. Although we do monitor the games for collusion, we always appreciate vigilant players such as yourself reporting any strange or unusual play to us for review. I have completed my investigation into the accounts of XX and YY.

We have investigated these players and they are clearly related. From time to time, they engaged in softplay or avoided confrontations.

In your tournament, they appeared to play straight up, and as such, the final results of this event will stand. We have educated the players on these rules available here:

As a further precaution, we have also flagged their accounts so that they cannot play together in real money ring games and Sit and Go tournaments.

Thank you once again for helping us keep our games honest and fair.

PokerStars Support Team

Softplaying is a far cry from straight out collusion I suppose but it is so easy for this to happen online. In this case, and many others I'm sure, the people may not even have a clue that they are doing anything at all wrong.

I once played a SNG with my brother while we were on the phone together at the same time. We played tougher against each other than we did against others in the tourney. He would raise my big blind with nothing when he had position and I'd go over top of him with my 83o - thankfully he didn't spite call in that situation. We did talk about the game, but never about what we held until one of us was out of the hand. I like winning and money just as much as the next person, but damn, respect the game and your opponents by playing on the level please.

Per a post on 2+2 a couple days ago, a team of 8 people were apparently shut down on Stars for working together in Omaha. I am not sure whether they all worked together at the same table at the same time, but even with just a few of them there would be a huge advantage simply due to the number of hole cards known amongst the team members, not to mention team betting to manipulate pots.

I'm sure the sites will do whatever they can to stay on top of the various forms of online cheating as it poses a pretty major threat to their revenue stream. No matter what the sites do though, they will never be able to come close to preventing all cheating.

So don't cheat, M'kay?

Thursday, May 25, 2006

2+2 Forum Game

Poker Stars $11 2+2 Forum Game
20 players

Poker Stars $5.50 SNG's
4 played
1 - 2nd, 1 - 4th, 2 - other

One of the main reasons I created a Poker Stars account a few months ago was to participate in some of the 2+2 forum games. I finally got around to playing in one last night and ended up burying myself with a stupid play. I stayed quite tight for most of the tourney managing to steal some blinds here and there with legitimate hands. For the most part, everyone was playing very tight as many hands were being taken before the flop or on the flop.

I finally got involved with a hand that was raised 3xBB pre flop when I called with ATo from the blinds. The flop came Ten high, giving me top pair top kicker and I threw a donk bet for about one-half of the pot at the pre flop raiser who then doubled my bet which I called. The turn was a J, I checked and was faced with a minimum bet which stank to me of begging to be raised. So, because I like to oblige, I did raise and wasn't surprised at all to have the bet doubled on me again which I yet again called. The river came down and he pushed the remainder of his stack in the pot leaving me with a tough decision. There was a possible straight on board, no flush draw and I had no clue where I stood. In a normal $5.50 SNG, I probably walk away from this hand but because I was playing with 2+2'rs I was hyper-sensitive about being bluffed and I felt there was still a very good chance I was ahead. I had him covered, but not by a lot and I eventually called after almost folding the hand. He had a busted straight draw and my hand was good. I was happy to win the hand but it left me wishing I had a much better grasp on no limit.

For a time I had a good stack and stayed quite tight with the odd standard pre-flop raise taking down the pot uncontested. I finally managed to get myself in trouble by re-raising with AQs only to be reraised behind which I stubbornly called despite thinking I was looking at AA, KK or AK. The flop came KJx, with none of my suit. I checked and he bet out . I was already kicking myself for calling the reraise prior to the flop but the bet was so small I felt I had to call. The turn checked through and then he again bet very small on the river. I made one last crying call and got shown pocket Aces. Turns out the K on the flop slowed him down as he had me on KK. So, I lost a huge chunk of my stack on a pretty stupid play...but at least I didn't get bluffed!!!

After this I was pretty short stacked, which is actually the part of SNG's I am probably most comfortable in playing, as I can just push when conditions are right and not worry about getting outplayed on later streets. I doubled up when my pocket nines held up against overcards and managed to take down blinds a few times with a couple standard raises. Eventually I got blinded down though and was back in push or fold mode and pushed an A-rag into a KQs which hit the flush and was sent on my way. With the exception of the two hands detailed in agonizing, yet still incomplete, detail above, I was pretty happy with my play and I faired better than I expected to. It was a lot of fun to play with the 2+2 bunch and it sure was different to play in such a tight environment. Next time I would be doing myself a favour not to worry about who I am playing with though and just play my game.

Afterwards I played a few SNG's. And that is all I have to say about that.

In other news, I got a mega major promotion after a big meeting with all the pooh-bahs in our firm to discuss my productive (or lack thereof) hours. Great news for my life bankroll but potentially awful news for my poker bankroll as I will have to slim down my forum and blog reading during the day. I figured I might have to become a mature and responsible individual one day. I could stand to do a little more work at work so I'm sure it will be all good, plus working for oneself will be all the more rewarding.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Strange Hand

Given the very low level of stakes I play at I have never been very concerned about collusion but I saw a hand that was so bizarre the other day it made me wonder. We were down to 3 remaining in a $5.50 SNG with blinds at 300/600 and a 25 ante. I folded the button with a stack of 9,000, the short stack was in the small blind and limped in leaving her with t22, the big blind with a stack of 4,000 or so checked. The flop came down TJ8 rainbow, the small blind bet her remaining 22 chips into the pot....and the big blind folded. I know that I have made some really stupid folds when I was getting odds to call but never in my life have I considered folding to a t22 bet for a pot of t1372. You could rip up and throw away both of your hole cards and make that call.

Now, given the very low level of stakes, I can't really seriously consider that there was any collusion going on but wow, that hand was crazy. That must have been a misclick. Please please let that have been a misclick. I know they happen as I make them fairly regularly. The last misclick I can recall was raising pocket Aces with blinds at 10/20 in the first level of a SNG. There was one limper and I wanted to raise 80 but hammered an extra 0 and smacked return right away for a pre flop raise of 40xBB. Smooth champ. Strangely enough, everyone folded. Then again, at the $5.50's I wouldn't have been all that surprised to get 4 callers either, it could have been a brilliant move.

It had to be a misclick! Or I had really really pissed off the big blind somehow. Or it was some strange metagame tactic. Whatever it was, I thought it was pretty hilarious.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Winning SNG run comes to an end

Tuesday Night Summary

Poker Stars $5.50 SNG's
6 played
1 - 2nd, 1 - 3rd, 1 - 4th, 1 - 5th, 2 - 6th
(-31.8%) ROI

I had a nice little winning streak going with SNG's but my luck finally ran out tonight. Some bad play added to the lack of luck issue. I made one very large blunder to get knocked out 6th in one SNG when I failed to believe that the very aggressive big stacks river check raise meant anything significant. It did. Other than that, I just lost a couple races and got all-in with a short stack against dominating hands more than once, running my AK into AA, AQ into AK and AJs into AK. Given the relative stack sizes and blind levels, I was fine with all of my pushes for the most part.

I was pretty tired tonight so didn't push for any more than 6 tourneys and almost bailed before that. Time to recharge my batteries.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Another Pile of SNGs

Monday Summary

Poker Stars $5.50 SNG's
20 played
4 - 1st, 1- 2nd, 3 - 3rd, 1 - 4th, 7 - 5th, 2 - 6th, 1 - 7th, 1 - 8th
18.6% ROI

I spent the final day of my long weekend just like the first two days of the weekend, playing a buttload of poker. I spent much of the day getting my arse handed to me but salvaged it with a hot streak towards the end which had me placing in the money four games in a row and taking down 1st place in three of them.

My no limit game still needs an awful lot of work. I know just enough to stumble through these SNG's with some success but find myself feeling like a fish out of water at times, even at the $5.50's. Fortunately, others are very willing to make some pretty significant mistakes in the early going. I would like to convert some of my bubble finishes to money but I am happy to be winning and have been pleased with my results so far. I will definitely need to do some learning before I go too much further though. I still have Harrington Volumes 1 and 2 I haven't cracked open yet and mean to get to those just as soon as I get through Theory of Poker, which I will do soon seeing as though I finally finished reading Small Stakes Hold 'Em for the second time.

More review and analysis of my play would help as well and I should probably do a little more reading and maybe even some posting over at 2+2.

Back to the office grind tomorrow. More sitting on my butt looking at a computer screen but with a significant boost in my hourly earning rate.

SNG Fever

Late Saturday Night Summary

BetFred $0.50/$1.00 and $1/$2 6-max Limit
few hours of play

Sunday Summary

Poker Stars $5.50 SNG's
25 played
7 - 1st, 2 - 3rd, 4 - 4th, 3 - 5th, 5 - 6th, 3 - 7th, 1 - 8th
27.6% ROI

Late Saturday night I played some 6-max at BetFred and gave back $49 after having been up $63 earlier in the day. It was a bad decision to play so late as I had exhausted myself with all the Poker Stars milestone chasing earlier in the day/evening. Just another reminder to watch my session lengths and fatigue levels. I get lots of these reminders and am pretty sure I will get more. I was playing with LAGs who kept hitting their hands and caught myself playing way off my game as a result. By then the damage had already been done and I eventually, and reluctantly, shut everything down and got myself to bed.

The weather on Sunday turned out to be cooperatively poor afterall and I got in a pile of SNG's. I have never come close to putting in 25 SNG's in a day before and doubled my month total to date with that run. I played 3 at a time and for the most part found that to be quite manageable. I did try one set of 4 at a time and found that to be fairly unmanageable once all 4 were still going after 45 minutes. I can see how people can play a large number of these at a time if using a good monitor which can handle 4 windows with no overlap. I play on my laptop which has MAJOR overlap and is very difficult for me to follow the play well and get good reads and notes on players. Even still, 3 tables at once at the $5.50 level is okay, though far from ideal for me.

Not surprisingly, my ROI and ITM dropped when playing multiple tables and everything took a big turn south after I had played 8 hours straight, yet continued to play for another few hours. Towards the end of the night I did make some pretty nasty mistakes and got yet another reminder to watch my session lengths and fatigue levels. Deja vu.

Strangely, I had a lot of 1st place finishes relative to my normal distribution. I had been a bit worried about the lack of 1st place finishes compared to 2nd's and 3rd's but after this mega session I now have a distribution of 17 1st, 15 2nd and 14 3rd place finishes. I was playing for 1st all day and as a result I bubbled a lot, finishing 4th or 5th 7 times, never finishing 2nd and only finishing 3rd twice.

I took some time this morning to review a few of yesterdays SNG's and this is something I should definitely spend more time on. While I do want to be the best player I can be, I do get much more enjoyment out of playing rather than studying and this leads me to spend the vast majority of my poker time on play rather than learning. I reviewed a few SNG's in Poker Tracker and spotted some ugly big errors (this was pretty easy to do in the last few SNG's of the night) and a few on-going leaks to work on. I also reviewed a few SNG's in SNGPT in order to identify situations where it was +EV to push all in. Unless I am short stacked I usually opt to raise a portion of my stack rather than push it all in as long as a normal 3xBB raise doesn't represent 30 or 40% of my total stack. SNGPT is a great tool for identifying situations where I should be pushing as it analyzes relative stacks, position and blind levels and provides EV calculations for a push given different calling ranges. For anyone who plays a lot of SNG's or MTT's, this is an incredible tool worth many times what it costs to register. Check it out at Sit n Go Power Tools. For anyone who plays SNG's or MTT's against me, this software is a piece of crap, don't waste your money.

Saturday, May 20, 2006


Alternate title: I want to birth Lee Jones' babies!

That was one helluva day of poker...or sorta not poker. Due to hitting Poker Stars milestone hand #4,995,500,000 my poker earnings reached a milestone I didn't expect to hit for quite some time. The $2,425 bonus plus another $63 won at BetFred $.50/$1.00 6-max while all the Poker Stars folding was going on pushed me through the $5,000 barrier. I wish more of it were from pure winnings rather than bonuses, but I'm pretty jazzed about the big bankroll boost anyway.

Check out all the milestone hand winners during the Poker Stars promo. Several tables and individual winners, including one of the final table winners, are 2+2 posters or lurkers. I would imagine a blogger or two got in on the action too but I haven't had a chance to do the rounds yet.

Major props to our entire group! The six of us who were together at the very end had stuck together for almost 11 hours straight to the end of the promo and had the process down to a science. Two of the group members had been at it all night long as one of them was part of the original group we formed at 10pm Friday night and another was my replacement at 2:30am. Another joined up with me this morning and the two others got picked up sometime during my 5 or 6 hour overnight nap. It turned out that we were a bit of an International crew with the Netherlands, Greece and Canada covered in addition to California, Texas and Rhode Island. This was by far the longest amount of time I have played poker with the same group and it was quite fun. I made $1 in folded blinds over the course of the day.

I owe Poker Stars some real play after all of this and plan to rattle off a pile of SNG's tomorrow if the weather is cooperatively poor. Quite some time ago I had laid out a plan of moving up to $11 SNG's once I had played at least 100 $5.50's and had grown my $200 deposit to $500. I will hold myself to the 100 played part of the plan but I highly doubt I'll have the patience to hold out for the full $300 in earnings. My results to date at the $5.50's are a pretty good indication that I have been running very very hot. Of course, the number of SNG's I have played is so low that I can not take anything from the results to date. That said, I do not anticipate having any major difficulties with $11 SNG's once I get there, despite my current (-18%) ROI at $11's. And if I do, well, I don't mind moving back to the baby SNG's anyway.

I hope to finish up the BetFred bonus sooner rather than later too. I covered a bit of ground in that regard today while I partially dug myself out of the hole. I am still down $44 and plan to be well above even by the time I finish up there.


Alternate title: I love Poker Stars!
Alternate title: The Best Hand of my Life!
Alternate title: Holy Crap!
Alternate title: Yay!
Alternate title: Eating my Words!

Anyone remember when I said "I am certain it would be more +EV for me to sit at tables and raise just to steal blinds as everyone else folds but oh well." Okay, probably not, but I was dead wrong. I was feeling a little silly about hunting the Poker Stars milestone hand bonus by folding rapidly in order to get in as many hands as possible as the milestone approached. Well, I am not feeling the least bit silly about it right now.

My group hit milestone hand #4,995,500,000 on Poker Stars earning each of us a cool $2,000 and the winner of the hand $5,000. As fortune would have it, all 6 of us are 2+2 posters or lurkers. A couple of these guys had stayed up literally all night long trying to get lucky and hit a milestone hand. I woke up early and couldn't get back to sleep, so got up and fired up Poker Stars to do some folding. And Bingo! Major luckbox hit a few hours later.

So, now I get to feel like even more of a tool as I play my big $0.50/1.00 6-max with a bankroll in excess of $5k. All in good time though. Due to bonuses, my bankroll is growing much quicker than my skill and comfort level. Actually, I feel that my skill level is ready for $1/$2 but I'm waiting for my comfort level to catch up still.

Now I have a very odd "Best Hand of my Life" as it turned out to be a 75o that I folded without seeing my cards as the glare of the hand #xxxxx00000 blinded me. For further let down on the biggest hand of my life, the hand got folded around to the blinds. There were about 100 observers in our room immediately afterwards screaming about the fact that we donkeys just folded someone $5k. I think we'll all live just fine, as the winner of the hand graciously chopped the difference equally amongst us all. They were also screaming that we were bots, all the same person, the hand wasn't dealt and thus didn't count, we were all witches and should be burnt, Poker Stars was going to take back the money when they heard about this and other various niceties. Even though HostJacob repeatedly posted in the room that the hand indeed was dealt and there was nothing at all wrong with the win, the crazed mob carried on. It was kinda cute really.

Friday Night Summary

Poker Stars $5.50 SNG's
7 played
1 - 1st, 2 - 2nd, 2 - 3rd, 2 - 6th

BetFred $0.50/$1.00 6-max Limit
3 hours

It was a pretty good night for SNG's last night too. One of those 2nd place finishes should have (could have) been a 1st as I was very much in control of that SNG but it went headsup during a rush of folding on 8 tables for milestone hands and I would either push all-in or fold pre-flop depending on whether I had time to slide the bar all the way to the right or only had time to click fold. That guy must have thought I was a complete donkey and I probably made his buddy list.

In between folding sprees I managed to play some 6-max limit at BetFred in order to try and work of some more of the raked hands I require for the $250 initial deposit bonus. In standard BetFred practice, I got beat up for most of the night. The combination of river suck-outs and just plain ole outdraws was crazy at times. In many cases, people were chasing total crap and catching on the river, which is great in the long run and I'm cool with. In many other cases, people were just on good draws that were coming in for them on the river too, which isn't as quite as fantastic in the long run but I'm cool with that too. I guess overall I'm cool with it. But it sure does make me want to break things sometimes. In the end it was a pretty minor loss for the night anyway and I did get a bit closer to the bonus.

As for now, I am still folding like a madman on Poker Stars for another 5 hours or so as the 5 billionth hand approaches and sneaking in some 6-max play on BetFred in between. I am looking forward to playing a pile of SNG's later tonight and tomorrow at Poker Stars. Running well at the SNG's plus the nice bonus pay off there has me feeling pretty good about PS right now.

Between the lack of sleep and the adrenaline shot to the heart when we hit that hand, I could really go for a nap.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Stars SNG's and Milestone Hands

Thursday Night Summary

Poker Stars $5 SNG's
5 played
1 - 1st, 1 - 3rd, 2 - 4th, 1 - 8th

There isn't much I can say about the SNG's last night. I won some, I lost some more but came out slightly ahead in the end. I got extremely unlucky at times and extremely lucky at others. I was getting run over by aggressive heads up play in but eventually overcame it with some luck to take the 1st. I would get whittled down and whittled down some more and then push all in and double up. This went on for a while. I couldn't tell during the downward runs if I was just up against better cards or not but when this guy had the chip lead he applied tons of pressure and was betting my stack on almost every flop it seemed. I was catching a whole lot of air so really couldn't call. I pushed back hard a couple times, sometimes with absolutely nothing with some success but really got lucky on a couple key all ins in the end.

I got unlucky on a couple of the bubbles and on the 3rd place finish, but that is poker and fortunately I have forgotten all the gory details now. The only other hand of the night I remember was pushing all in from the button with my AQs, getting called by 66 and watching a flop of 888, followed by a brick on the turn and another 8 on the river to give me the hand and send some poor soul packing. Standard stuff really.

I then lost $3.45 in blinds while folding around on a pile of tables as another milestone hand approached. I am certain it would be more +EV for me to sit at tables and raise just to steal blinds as everyone else folds but oh well. A quick $2k score would be much more fun than making a few bucks stealing blinds. Even the thought of a quick $2k score is more fun than stealing instead but in pure EV terms, I'm a sucker on this one.

Tonight, I expect I will play some more SNG's and then lose some blinds.

What's up Doc

I hate being sick. I am a big suck about it and just lie around waiting to die. I took Monday off and slept until past noon. The next three days, I went home immediately after work and slept for 1 to 2 hours each evening and still got to bed at a decent hour. I have consumed so much orange juice this week that a crack addiction may be a cheaper habit.

My girlfriend has been at my place the entire week coughing evil germs at me and it turned out that she had some sort of bacterial throat infection. As I was showing near identical symptoms I figured I had better go see a Doctor sooner rather than later as I must have the same problem.

If there is something I hate more than being sick, is being told by a medical professional that I'm not nearly as sick as I think I am. While it could be a bacterial infection, apparently it could also just be allergies, so while my girlfriend takes antibiotics and gets hopped up on freaky narcotic-filled cough syrup, I am supposed to take over the counter allergy medication. I had been taking allergy medication all week long already. I hate Doctors. I did feel a bit for this poor guy though. It was a walk-in clinic and it was very busy this morning. He was the only one on staff and is trying to get out of town for vacation. The patient he saw immediately before me had her 2 year son with her who screamed like he was being tortured for the entire visit. Apparently the kid had a 'bad experience' at this clinic another time. I'm sure I could have been holding my severed arm on my lap and he would have told me to take a couple aspirin and drink plenty of fluids. I hope he enjoys his vacation. And gets leprosy.

I won't even start about my own Doctor, who I'm beginning to think doesn't even exist anymore as his office is always closed and when it isn't, I can never get an appointment within the next month. This is the same guy who told me about three years ago that I don't need another physical until 2011. Canada's free health care system rocks!

In other exciting news, my new neighbors moved their couch in through my window on the seventh floor this morning. The couch was too deep to fit in the prehistoric elevators in our condo (built around 1920 or earlier) and apparently this couch has a lot of sentimental value to them. They have a young daughter and my best guess is that she was conceived on the couch. Apparently it has travelled all over the world with them and they were pretty intent on keeping it. My unit is the only one on the floor with windows large enough to get the couch through, so I offered the use of it to them. Getting the couch in the window turned out to be a breeze as they hired a boom truck or crane or something. Getting the couch out of my place into the hall was not. For a while it didn't look like it would fit, but a few gouges out of my walls and a bit of twisting, squishing and cracking later, it popped free and the rest was easy.

I played some poker last night as well. Maybe I'll post about that later. Doctor hatred took precedence today for some reason.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

More Stars Play

Wednesday Night Summary

Poker Stars $10 SNG
1 played, 3rd place

Poker Stars $5 SNG's
3 played
1 - 2nd, 1 - 6th, 1 - 8th

Poker Stars $0.50/$1.00 6-max Limit

I have been on a bit of a SNG kick this week while Poker Stars is offering double frequent player points. SNG's are almost the only form of no limit poker I play, as I rarely play MTT's and almost never play NL cash games. I would eventually like to get into NL cash games as I suspect that is where a lot of the fishiest of the fish are hiding but I want to take some time improve my limit game first before moving on to NL. As a result, SNG's are a bit of a treat for me and tend to suit my game as far as no limit goes, allowing me to play a weak-tight game for much of the tourney. The difference in my aggression level between limit and no limit is huge, but I had to force myself to be more aggressive in limit so I expect to be able to learn to play more aggressive in no limit eventually as well.

I am not weak tight, I just tend to play that way sometimes.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Poker Stars

Tuesday Night Summary

Poker Stars
$11 SNG
1 played
5th place

Poker Stars
$5 SNG's
3 played
1 - 1st, 1 - 2nd, 1 - 6th

Poker Stars
$0.10/$0.20 Full Ring LHE and $0.50/$1.00 6-max LHE

I played a few more SNG's at Poker Stars and then hopped on a few limit tables for a bit as the next milestone hand was coming up. I was on a few 6-max tables with some 2+2 posters who were intending on just posting blinds and folding it around in order to get in as many hands as possible as the milestone hand approached. A couple of the lower limit full ring tables I was on had people doing the same thing, however there were some where people were still playing out the hands. I'll have to keep an eye on the forums as these guys are doing a good job at nailing the times on the next milestone hand.

We were going through piles of hands and I was folding like crazy. I did pause briefly a couple times when AA and KK came up. It felt awful to fold those hands, but actually made sense under the circumstances. Due to timing of the blinds folding around, I finished up a whopping $0.75 on the 2+2 tables. What an overrated site, I pwned them hard (sarcasm emoticon thing goes here).

Monday, May 15, 2006

Live Poker Plus

Friday Night

Friday night was live poker night and a great way to kick the weekend off. We had our regular nine, plus more who wanted to play. My first of many mistakes of the evening was to show up a couple of hours before we usually start. I was supposed to take my car to the dealership, which just happens to be within a few blocks of the hosts house, first thing on Saturday morning. I figured there would likely be some drinking going on during the poker games and chances were high that I would not feel like leaping out of bed first thing on Saturday morning to take the car in, so it made sense to drop the car off Friday evening instead. Anyway, by the time anyone else showed up we had polished off a few more drinks than we probably should have.

Everyone finally arrived and we got started a bit late. The first game of the night is always brutally slow because most of these guys are just happy to be out of the house and are busy catching up with each other and paying minimal attention to the poker. I am plenty happy to see them and catch up as well, but think it can be done while keeping the game moving along too. It turned out to be a really tight start compared to normal. We made it all the way to the second hand before someone was eliminated. The second person eliminated lasted a good solid four hands. I have never seen so many people fall so in love with ace-rag. Well, I guess I have actually. The game slowed substantially at this point as people stopped getting ace-rag at the same time.

I was card dead for the entire first game and made my exit somewhere along the way in very undramatic fashion. I think 1st and 2nd chopped and we finally got on with game two. We got back to our regular looseness in game two and lost someone on the first hand. Once again I was completely card dead and ending up bubbling out.

By the time the second game was over it was past midnight and we lost a couple players before starting up a third game. By this time the host and me were into our sixth hour of drinking and at least one of us was showing the classic symptoms. I am certain that I was under full control and not being the least bit obnoxious, but I can't really remember very well one way or the other. In the third game I started catching decent cards and while I still had to show down a lot of hands in order to win pots, pre-flop raises plus continuation bets started to take some pots down uncontested as well. I pretty much controlled the entire game and rubbed out the host with my QTs against his AK along the way, which made for a good fifteen minutes of entertainment afterwards. He was a little pissed. I had raised first in from the button, he had pushed his remaining short stack into me and it wasn't enough to allow me to fold. I hit my flush and he hit the roof. Good times. I went on to win that game eventually.

It was about 2am by the end of the third game, so we lost a couple more players and decided to play one more. Brilliant plan. We were down to five people and decided that first would get $80 and second place would get their money back. I don't have much to say about the last game as the combination of fatigue and nine hours of drinking have made it all a hazy memory. I learned Saturday night that I finished second as I got it all in against 52s which hit a straight. So that left me up $20 for the night. It was great fun but I was a wee bit tired on Saturday as I finally crawled into bed around 4:30 am.

Saturday Summary

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

I slept in fairly late on Saturday but managed to knock of a few hands towards the Party Poker reload bonus in the afternoon. I started out hot, winning $18 in the first 10 minutes or so before that table cleared out. Then won another $8 in the next 10 minutes before losing $10 over the next hour. I had to cut the session off there as I had a ticket for the Sens playoff game Saturday night.

We got out to the rink with plenty of time to spare and had a couple drinks while waiting to meet up with some other friends. We watched Buffalo rub out the Sens playoff hopes in overtime and headed back downtown. I met up with a couple friends from work at a pub not far from my place and my girlfriend came out to meet us. To make a long story short, there were plenty of drinks, a bit of dancing and another very late night.

May generally goes like this for me. I work like mad all winter and then things let up a bit in May. I party my head off until I get sick, then ease into the summer. My girlfriend has had a nasty cold since Thursday or so and has been staying at my place all through the weekend. Coupling her cold with those late nights and plenty of partying meant that by Sunday I had a cold for myself.

Sunday Summary

Party Poker $0.50/$1.00 6-max Limit
1,304 hands played

Party Poker $1.00/$2.00 6-max Limit
185 hands played

The onset of a cold plus back to back late nights with a healthy dose of hangover thrown in for good measure added up to feeling like crap on Sunday. I suspect that I wasn't playing my A-game given how I was feeling, but I did play a pile of poker anyway. I ended up putting in a marathon session of over nine hours pretty much straight, so I won't bother complaining much about losing. I suspect that the majority of times I play that long I will come out behind. I did play some 1/2 after taking a break for a few hours and faired a bit better.

Monday Summary

Party Poker $1/$2 6-max Limit
242 hands played

Poker Stars
$5 SNG's
6 played
1 - 1st, 2 - 2nd, 1 - 3rd, 2 - 4th

I woke up long enough on Monday morning to call the office and let them know I wouldn't be in. I've always been a big suck when I'm sick and I'm not about to change that. I then proceeded to sleep until past noon and felt quite a bit better when I finally dragged myself out of bed. I hopped on Party poker and knocked off the rest of the hands required for the bonus while playing 1/2 on a single table. I was up and down a little for most of the session and finished off strong. The tables are notably tighter during the day as compared to evenings and weekends. It seemed to agree with me though for the most part.

I took a long break and then played some sng's at Poker Stars in the evening. I have a $120 bonus stacked up there that I have barely put a dent in and figured now would be a good time to play a bit there as they have double frequent player points from May 12 to May 21 while they celebrate their upcoming 5 billionth hand. In addition to the double FPPs they are offering some bonuses for selected hands. If you are lucky enough to be playing a ring game in the actual 5 billionth hand they are paying $10k to each person dealt in and $50k to the winner. There are a number of other pre-selected hands along the way with $2k to each participant in the hand and $5k to the winner. There are under 50 million hands to go as of right now. Each of those bonus hands will come along about every 1.5 million dealt hands between now and the 5 billionth hand. Even though the odds are crazy long against actually hitting the big hand, I will certainly be tempted to play a bit there as the big one approaches. Stars even has a deposit bonus right now as part of this celebration. I have never known them to have an initial deposit bonus before, but I am new here. With the bonus only being $25, I think you can find better deals out there. I'm sure there are affiliates ( who offer $50 for signing up through them. I probably just broke blogging protocol by not having myself signed up as an affiliate and offering up my own code to be used, but as I said before, I am new here. I am pretty sure the two people who read this blog monthly already have Poker Stars accounts already anyhow.

Anyway, I played six SNG's and had piles of fun with them. I play them in tiny sets of two at time and finished 2nd in both in my first set, 4th in each game in my second set, then had a 1st and 3rd in the last set.

The end.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Party Time

Thursday Night Summary

Party Poker $0.50/$1.00 6-max Limit
240 hands, single tabling

I deposited another chunk at Party to take advantage of a reload offer for $100 bonus. They have been offering piles of reload bonuses lately it seems. This works out well for me seeing as though I enjoy playing there even with no bonus.

It was a fairly uneventful night on the tables. I won more than my fair share of pots and a took a couple of them when I was 'sure' I was beaten. Thank goodness for crying calls sometimes. I played three different tables over the course of the evening, while watching television, as tables kept breaking up on me. I have been on a big kick of only playing one or two tables at a time lately, which is probably good for my game. I have run into problems playing four tables at a time in the past.

Tonight is a live poker night with the gang. I expect a fun night filled with bad poker. Most of these guys start out hyper aggressive and just get worse with each beer.


Wednesday, May 10, 2006

A BetFred Win

Wednesday Night Summary

BetFred $0.50/$1.00 6-max Limit
1 hour played, single table

After a couple days without, I managed to get a little poker in tonight. It was a nice night for me at BetFred with my good hands holding up and really no bad beats to speak of. It was actually a fairly quiet hour of poker with a lot of very small pots. On both tables I played at play was fairly weak-tight with a single flop bet taking down the pot often. I only saw one very loose player all night and he busted out quickly.

I missed poker last night due to an emergency sleep session. After a big bike ride and some grocery shopping I konked out super early and woke up only long enough to move from the couch to the bed. A few more nights of 10 hours sleep and my system should be back on track. Unfortunately, I only get that much sleep about once every 2 years, so catching up will take some time.

Monday night was hockey night. After arriving at the stadium with only a few minutes to spare, my buddy realized he left all our tickets on his kitchen table. Oops. We lucked out and were able to get three tickets for below face value and we went on with the show. It turned out to be an expensive way to watch the home team lose.

Hey, I won money at BetFred!
Yay! Only $98 to get back to even there. I'll aim to get that back and tack on a couple hundred before finishing up that bonus. Good luck me.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Spring Cleaning

Sunday Night Summary

BetFred Omaha hi lo $0.05/$0.10 Pot Limit
1 hour played

I'm in the process of slowly losing my $10 buy in at Omaha while winding down for the night and writing this. I meant to get some more poker in this afternoon but the day just got away from me completely.

I did a couple things this weekend I haven't done in quite some time. Yesterday, I went on a major clothing shopping spree. I'm not a big fan of shopping, so I tend to ignore it for years at a time. Eventually, I need to stock up for the next few years and end up going on a slightly insane shopathon. Sometime during the four or so hours of the shopping event, I half-jokingly mentioned to my girlfriend that credit card security was probably trying to contact me to find out if my credit card had been stolen. Sure enough, when we got home, there was a message from the credit card security department asking me to phone them. Needless to say, I spent a sick amount of money yet somehow still seem to 'need' a sick amount of clothes. I definitely need less today than I did prior to yesterday though.

I meant to get in more poker this afternoon but have some spring cleaning that needed taking care of. After six hours of working on it, I have barely put a dent in the cleaning. My little kitchen is looking pretty spic 'n span though.

I'm still feeling dead tired after the crazy April at work and am finding I don't have a lot of energy to devote to poker. I just feel too tired to play much. Which is why I am just toying around with a little Omaha hi lo tonight. I won't get in much poker tomorrow night either as tickets have landed in my lap for game 2 of the Ottawa Senators vs. Buffalo Sabres series.

I am only down a little more than $2 at O8...victory is mine!

Down and Up

Saturday Night Summary

BetF'ingFred $0.50/$1.00 6-max Limit
5 hours played
1 and 2 tabling

This turned out to be an exercise in frustration, while watching a couple movies. The movies weren't much better than the poker. This is turning out to be one of those bonuses really not worth the trouble. I still can't figure out why I am losing at BetFred but I am starting to look forward to finishing this bonus there and moving on. Okay, other than playing for far too long while leaking too much focus onto things other than poker while multi-tabling, I can't figure out why I continue to lose. Maybe I was lucky to come out only down $9. Another 1,000 raked hands or so to go and I'm done there either way.

Sunday Morning Summary

Party Poker $1.00/$2.00 6-max Limit
300 hands

Weekend morning poker at Party agrees with me for some reason. The last couple stabs at $1/$2 have gone well also. The big test for me when moving up limits is losing sessions and how I react to them. I don't mind not testing my reaction to that situation however. I'm sure I will get plenty of practice soon enough.

So far in May I have won $194 at Party and lost $87 at BetFred. So much for bonus chasing.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Saturday Morning Session

Saturday Morning Summary

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

I had an hour this morning to chill out and play some poker while enjoying breakfast and coffee. When I considered playing at BetFred for an hour and went into convulsions at the thought, I figured it would be better if I hit Party instead. That turned out to be a good choice.

It was one of those sessions where almost everything went right. When I had the best of it, I got paid off very well. I managed to get away from a few bad hands relatively cheaply. I caught some decent cards and hit a few flops. Sometimes poker is easy. I wish it were that way more often.

Friday Night Beating

Friday Night Summary

BetFred $0.50/$1.00 6-max Limit
1 hour, single table

BetFred $1.00/$2.00 6-max Limit
40 minutes, single table

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

I continue to get my butt handed to me at BetFred for some reason, while I continue to do very well at Party. I wonder how much of this phenomenon is due to my own mental state of expecting to lose at BetFred and win at Party now. I feel that I am playing the same way on both sites though, so perhaps this is just variance in action. Who knows.

Tables kept emptying out on me last night at BetFred which always bugs me to no end. No sooner would I finally get a seat at a table and everyone would leave. Argh! It bugs me even more when I sit down, lose several hands immediately and then the table clears out. I probably wouldn't be complaining at all if I was up. After I got a seat at a table and lost $7 in 7 minutes after which I was the only one still sitting at the table, I packed up and headed to Party.

Party was much nicer to me last night. Tables emptying out happen to me all the time at Party also and last night was no exception. The first table I sat at lasted for about 40 minutes before breaking up, leave me up $13. The next table I sat at cycled through a crazy number of people. It was very short handed a couple times but I was too lazy to get up and find another table. I was down for most of the session but walked away up $5 with a rush near the end of my stay.

Friday night usually seems to be a nice easy night to make money as the drunks are out in full force giving it away. My head feels fine today, so I am pretty sure I wasn't all that drunk, but I was still in the camp of those giving money away. Next Friday is mine! Actually, next Friday is likely a live poker night with the boys I believe.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Heads Up Recovery

Wednesday Night Summary

BetFred $0.50/$1.00 6-max Limit
1.5 hours of play on a single table

That is right, I won money at BetFred tonight! I don't know what sort of funk had befallen me at BetFred in the recent past but I managed to shake a little of it off tonight and posted a positive session there for a refreshing change. If it weren't for the last 10 minutes of play, I would have been posting a small loss. The table cleared out quickly towards the end leaving just four of us, which turned into three and then heads up before I knew it. I almost got up and left but the remaining player was down to his last $10 or so and for some reason I felt like I could do well against him based on our previous play. A combination of aggression coupled with good enough cards when we did go to show down gave me the rest of his stack fairly quickly. It is rare that I feel like I'm in control of a table and even more rare that I feel in control of a heads up situation, so this turned out to be fun. I raised almost every time I had the button and continuation bets on the flop took down most pots. The few times he picked to take a stand were just unlucky timing on his part as I had the goods. Fun!

I am still down $70 at BetFred and I'm not sure whether that place has gotten in my head but I didn't even think about playing more than one table tonight. I am still wiped out, so it is probably just as well I didn't bother trying to multi-table at all. At this rate, clearing this bonus will take another month or more. Ugh.

May Kick Off

Tuesday Summary

BetFred $0.50/$1.00 6-max Limit

BetFred Omaha hi lo $0.25/$0.50 Pot Limit

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

Party Poker $1.00/$2.00 6-max Limit
150 hands

Poker Stars $5.00+$0.50 SNG's
2 games played
Finished 5th and 6th

I couldn't decide whether to play at Party, work off some of the BetFred bonus or start up somewhere new. After pondering this very important decision for far too long, I decided to deposit another $500 at Party and see if one of the recent reload bonuses would work for me. I knew they were supposed to be account specific reloads but a lot of people were getting them when depositing with the reload code. It looks like Party fixed the leak after a few days as there was no bonus waiting for me after the deposit.

I figured I would knock some hands off for the BetFred bonus at the same time, so I loaded up one table at each of BetFred and Party. Between the two tables I was staying pretty much even, up a bit at Party and down a bit at BetFred. Then I went on a huge rush down at BetFred and finally shut down that site after losing almost $30. I finished up about $10 at Party and took a big break.

I started up a couple other tables at Party later and went on a nice rush and decided to take a little shot at 1/2. I started out by dropping about $10 at the 1/2 table, got back to even and stayed there for a while before going on a great rush which left me up $37 overall. Taking shots at the next limit is great fun when it goes well.

To celebrate my 6-max limit success at Party I drifted over to Stars and dropped a couple SNG buy ins. I hadn't played a single SNG since late March, so I was looking forward to playing a couple of these. I forgot how boring SNG's can be and both of mine turned out to be fold-fests. I didn't get any cards worth playing and just slowly got blinded down. In each game, I pushed all my chips in with sketchy holdings in steal situations and got called with sketchy holdings that held up against me.

To celebrate my unsuccessful return to SNG's I rounded off the night with some pot limit Omaha. Pot limit Omaha is definitely not my best game, but it is a lot of fun. By this time, it was well past the time I should have been in bed, I was fully horizontal with the laptop on my chest, and I was playing with one eye closed. I somehow managed to lose $20 before falling asleep despite my heightened state of alertness.

So, May started off lousy at BetFred and great at Party. It was encouraging to have a good session of 1/2 to start the month and I hope for many more of those.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006


Okay, this poker blog is now about poker again. No more work.

April turned out to be a pretty good poker month for me. I was up $524 for the month and although February and March were higher overall, I didn't play the last week in April and I had my highest monthly winnings to date. I won $219 and made bonuses of $305 along the way. I like bonuses and all but I would rather see my winnings grow, so I am happy with these results.

April winnings by poker site:
(-$68) BetFred
+$37 Empire
+$173 Party
+$77 River Belle

April bonuses by poker site:
$80 Empire
$100 Party
$125 River Belle

Party Poker was back on top for me this month after taking a break in March and beating me up.

I still have a $250 bonus to clear at BetFred which I am about half-way through clearing. Other than finishing that bonus off, I don't have much in the way of goals for May other than to continue winning and continue taking shots at $1/$2.


Wow, what a month and what a week to finish it. Six straight days without a drop of poker to finish up April. I ended up working 102 hours in the last week and just over 300 hours for the month. That really really cuts into my free time for poker.

Keeping with tradition, our office had a big party last night and after exhausting ourselves working like dogs, we further exhausted ourselves by consuming ridiculous quantities of alcohol. Everyone is enjoying the day off today, though I suspect many are nursing hangovers. It is almost noon and my girlfriend still hasn't moved too much so far today, so I'll have to count her in with the 'many'.

I have piles of things to do, but I suspect I will spend much of the day just relaxing on the couch. Maybe I'll figure out if I still remember how to play some poker.