Monday, April 23, 2007

Low Key

Poker is taking a major back burner to work these days, so there isn't much new on the poker front. I got smoked at Paradise again Friday night but am not sure what the total damage is as I haven't updated in a week or so. All I know is that I am losing in April. Yay for monkey tilt.

I have done a bit of play at Full Tilt as well but have only managed to clear $4 out of my $600 bonus so far. This may be the first bonus that I am unable to clear. I have until sometime in early August I think but I do not anticipate getting the whole thing. I had heard that FT was an absolute rock garden, but love the fact that I can open a pile of tables and grab data before sitting. Saturday night I opened a dozen tables or so and then just ignored them while trying to relax a bit. I didn't really plan on playing at all but there were several very juicy tables with some surprisingly loose players, so I just HAD TO sit for a little while. So far I am up a few buy ins at 25NL and will stick it out at that level until I can grow my balance to closer to the $1K mark and then test the 50NL waters there.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Poof goes the Money

I am in full blown crazy work mode again, being stuck in the office until past 11pm every night this week and expect the rest of April to be more of the same. Despite being wiped out when I finally get home, I insist on unwinding with a bit of poker before crashing.

Monday night I was splashing around on a mix of 50NL and 25NL tables and was getting smoked. There were a couple coolers mixed in where I lost with set under set or fullhouses that ran into bigger rivered fullhouses, but there was some awful play on my part where I was up against obvious sets but refused to release my over pair or TPTK which did most of the damage. I dropped a few buy-ins at 50NL and 1 buy in at 25NL, which really isn't that awful but then I committed a cardinal sin. I knew I was frustrated, I knew I was tired, yet I decided that sitting at a 200NL table would be a good idea for some reason. Tilt city. Anyway, I dropped that buy in with a brilliant AQo push. So, in no time flat I wiped out the first couple weeks of April's profits plus a little. On the bright side, I didn't lose any limbs or anything, and I can now say that I have played as high as 200NL. On another bright side, I finished off my last $30 of Paradise bonus along the way.

Hopefully I learned something. Not that I didn't know it already but stopping play when tilting would seem to be a good idea. Further reinforcement that playing late and tired is an awful idea. And the one mistake I always chuckle about other people doing repeatedly is moving up to chase losses. How stupid is that?

Anyway, I'm looking forward to playing some 200NL again some time in a better frame of mind. With my schedule for the rest of the month due to tax season, it looks like I'll end April with a bit of a loss which is disappointing after such a strong March and very solid start to April. I'll have to get it all back on track in May and will continue to play 25NL and 50NL.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Messing around with 50NL

I have been taking some small shots at 50NL this week with mixed results. In the first couple sessions I was up and down and up and down to end up finishing down a few bucks. Monday night I got beat up to the tune of just over $100, mainly due to playing against dream opponents who kept catching a weak piece of the flop and calling down and hitting 2nd pairs with junk on the river. I added to my own demise a bit by pushing a draw or two a bit too hard.

Last night I made those losses back and more, playing with the same type of opponents who would call every value bet I could toss out there. I had one particular player on my immediate left for a while both Monday and Tuesday nights who was a frustrating call station. Monday night I lost a good chunk to this person when I was ahead up until the river on several hands. Last night I stacked her twice within about 15 minutes after which she informed me how F*ing lucky I was, and abandoned the table. I took a fair amount of glee in this turn of events.

My withdrawal from PokerTime didn't make it to Neteller on time, so I have $50 stuck there to play around with.

I am nearing the end of my Paradise bonuses, with only about $40 left to clear now and will be heading back to Party for another $50 reload bonus first. The Party EFT limits automatically get jacked up after the first successful deposit, so now I have way more room than I ever expect to utilize there.

Monday, April 09, 2007

UFC Upset

I am still in shock that GSP lost the belt to Matt Serra.

This unfortunate upset tilted me into moving up to 50NL where I proceeded to go up, then down, then up again and finally finish a couple bucks on the bad side of even in the end.

I tried to cash out the tiny balance I had stuck at Poker Time only to find out there was a $50 minimum, leaving me $25 short or so. Exercising the utmost caution in bankroll management, I doubled up to $50 and cashed out to Neteller.

I guess that yesterday was my last chance to move any money around using Neteller, so that takes care of whether or not I am going to move any money around. I have way more than I need at both Party and Stars and have ample amounts sitting at Full Tilt and Paradise as well. Four sites should be more than enough to keep me entertained for quite some time. I am a bit overrolled at each site for my current limit, so I had considered pulling a little out of the system but it looks like I'll have to take cheques or some alternative cash out measure down the road.

I tinkered around on Full Tilt for a little bit this weekend to get PA HUD all set up and cleared about $0.82 of my $600 Full Tilt bonus in the process, and lost $7 while doing it. I suspect this is a bonus I may not clear a whole lot of.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Coaching Rules

I had a free coaching session Thursday night with a 2+2 small stakes player, Novles, and it went quite well. He observed me playing a couple tables at Party for about 45 minutes or so and took notes on my play which we discussed afterwards. I relayed hole card information to him over AIM while he watched and otherwise we did not interact during the hands being played. I had to fight the urge to play more like I thought a 2+2'r would think I should play and keep to my normal game in order to maximize my benefit out of the session but it was definitely a bit odd to have someone watching me play for the purpose of critical discussion about my play.

On the bright side, he thought I played quite well, which is a nice confidence booster. On the bad side, it was one of those sessions where lots of things just go right so there weren't many sticky situations for us to discuss. When I whiffed flops, I was taking it down with a c-bet. In multi-way whiffed pots when I didn't c-bet the flop, a delayed c-bet on the turn was working. Almost all of my draws came in and in at least one case, I missed my draw but was still good. Actually, this was a crazy hand: I cold called a pre-flop raise from a very active player while holding ATs on the button and both of the short-stacked blinds also called. The flop came K53 with 2 of my suit, the sb pushed all in for $9, the bb called with $3 behind, the initial pre-flop raiser folded and I sat there trying to figure out what to do. Not sure why I had to think about it really, pushed the bb all in and then watched the cards roll off without another heart hitting and figured I would watch the pot get pushed to one of the blinds and had to do a triple-take when my Ace-high won the pot. It turned out that the sb had pushed all in with A6s with a back door flush draw and the bb had called all in with Q8s for the flush draw I had dominated with the Ace.

Anyway, we discussed some of the hands afterwards and apparently I had only made one major mistake in calling a 3-bet with a small pocket pair plus missed a couple value betting opportunities. We talked about a few specific situations where I wasn't quite sure I had made the right play and how the play would have changed given different variables. It was a good experience to get some insight from a more experienced player and I hope to have another session with him.

After taking a break for a bit, I fired up a couple tables again later and by the end of the night found myself up almost 5buy ins. Having cleared another reload bonus at Party, I wandered back to Paradise Friday night to continue working on the remaining bonus there and by the end of the night found myself up another 5 buy ins again. Gotta love the upside of variance and a nice bounce back from the slow start to the month.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Fullhouse under Fullhouse

I am on a wicked streak of losing with fullhouses. Well, four or five days in a row with at least one big pot lost with a fullhouse, so maybe not a wicked streak, but a minor streak at the least. In one case the money went in when I was beat, so I probably shouldn't count that one. In another case, one opponent was a silly short stack, so perhaps that doesn't really count either. Hands like this early in April have helped contribute to losses of $60 or so and I consider myself very lucky to get off that good.

There turned out to be a good reason that my transfer from Paradise to Neteller was not showing up in my Neteller account, as Paradise decided to send me a cheque instead. When I cashed out, the message indicated that the transfer was to Neteller, so I'm not sure how they managed to turn it into a cheque.

I tried my first electronic funds transfer from my bank to Party and it went off with no major problems, so it looks as though I'll still be able to take advantage of reload bonuses there. I'll lose a few points on the exchange on the way in and out as setting up a US$ account is not an option for whatever reason due to Party insisting on dealing with CDN funds only. The only other issue appears to be the low limits. I was only able to transfer $500US without having to wait a few days for the transaction to clear my bank and $500 appears to be the weekly limit as well. I'm sure there is a way to get the limits increased and it probably involves me sending all my banking and credit card info as well as a dna sample off shore, so I'm in no rush. I'll find out in a week or so how painless an EFT withdrawl is.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Free Coaching

Thursday night I get a free coaching session from a 2+2 poster who is thinking about giving some coaching a try. I saw the post on 2+2 and didn't think much of it initially as I rarely post there but dropped him a line after a day or two and eventually heard back that he decided to go with me for the session. This should be an interesting learning opportunity and I'm looking forward to it.

The timing is shaping up to be pretty good as well, as I'm spewing out buy-ins all over the place the last few days. I ran into a few nasty hands last night where I was way ahead until the river. In a couple cases, the money was already in the pot and I can't really ask for any better than getting it in way ahead, but I also paid off a couple more rivers than I would like to. Pretty standard stuff.

I transferred a good chunk of money from Paradise back to Neteller about a week ago, just after the announcement that they were pulling out of Canada and have yet to see that transfer hit Neteller. So, moving that money around before Neteller ceases to deal with online poker sites for Canadians could prove to be a little difficult. Given the limits I play at, I have more than I need at any given site anyway, and may just pull some back to my bank anyway. Having the option to move it around would have been nice though. Buggers.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Bye March

March was very good to me as I got off to a nice start on the 25NL tables. I took a bit of a dive in the last week as I managed to drop 5 or 6 buy-ins before making back a good chunk of it last night.

I put in quite a bit of play at Paradise this month as they kept throwing sweet 100% to $100 reload bonuses at me. After clearing almost $300 in bonuses there in March, I still have another $150 to go. The games are pretty nice over there as well, likely due to it not being the most friendly PT site out there. Going into March I was in the red at Paradise to the tune of $220 or so and got spit out on the other side up $170, vaulting Paradise from my worst site up to my 2nd best. I am not a huge fan of the software but the games are so nice there, I will have to make sure to leave some funds behind.

Paradise played a minor April Fools joke on me this morning when I flopped a delicious set of 7's in one of my first hands in April, which I proceeded to jam right into my opponents straight. Oops!