Tuesday, January 27, 2009

8 game mix on PS

I still call this 8-ball, since most people are crazy bad. I played LESS THAN TWO FULL ROTATIONS and DOUBLED my starting stack. I made the most money on RAZZ and TRIPLE-DRAW, but even the PLO play was atrocious. If you have ANY money on Stars, 8-ball is a garden and you are the wheat harvesting machine. Go to town.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Come join my WSOP League on FT

There is a new WSOP league scheduled to start on March 3rd at 9 PM. The new series will be on Tuesday nights. It costs $150 up front (paid to the league administrator) & then the $10+1 each week. You score your best 12 weeks out of 16.

If you would like to play, the league administrator would like to have the $150 by 2/21. Invite your friends or anyone you think might be interested. You can transfer me the money on Tilt to carbidex3 or ask (columbo777 is my google mail name) and I'll send you his snail mail address for a check.

So far we are still @ 12., so not enough for a seat to be given out! We would need to be at 20 players for that to kick in, but hopefully we can find some players!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Injury Report

Wow, what a week. I injured myself pretty badly, made a drastic career adjustment, had to get through family January birthdays, and like everyone else had to watch my savings reduced drastically. All in all, its one of those types of months that if I was younger, I would take in stride. But as I get older, really affects me mentally as I have to look back on my career to date and notice and take inventory of what I have to show for it. On the positive side though, one of the things I did have to show for it was that my experience made me employable even in this market.

Although I dont get to play as much poker as I like, I am playing very well now. Working on my long ball game last summer helped me take a FT $27k title and working on understanding chip utility and when it is appropriate to play small-ball is starting to make me dangerous.

In my league, I have vaulted up to 4th in the standings by finishing 3rd the last 2 weeks. Interesting to note that in both cases, I did not find any large mistakes that kept me from getting higher up, just the way the hands played out.

In the Mookie this week, however, I made a KNOWINGLY BAD PLAY. I was tired, Lost was on, and I had 99 and called a big raise with it. The flop was 223 and when I got re-raised all-in, I knew I should fold and start over with half my stack. (I had just spent 2 hours in my league game coming back from the SAME situation.) DESPITE knowing that, I 'gave up' and called. Why? (He shows AA). Mental mistake does not even describe what was really a DESIRE to give up. Sad. I was unprepared to WIN and therefore did not give myself a chance. That is a mistake I will not repeat no matter how I feel. If I decide to play, then I will play until I am out. Even if I lose half a stack.

Looking forward to seeing my AFC Steeler's team, who I have followed since I was a kid, have an opportunity to put Arizona in their place.

I should be looking forward to my new job, but really I am not. I am going to work MUCH harder for the same money, but I could not stay at start-up company in this economy and still feel I was doing to right thing for my family. It's the tough decisions like this, that force introspection and put our dreams on hold...

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Test yourself in -EV situations

I decided to practice small-ball on Sunday. How? I bought into a deep stack table and saw nearly 50% of the flops. Try it sometime and you really gain some work on your post flop play. After losing a decent pot with TP to AA, I gained it all back and then some. Towards the end, not a single PP panned out and I finished up 6.5%. Playing 48% of the hands. Yowza.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Exposing how I am playing the big field MTTs

I am playing the $24k and $27k guarantees and I am recording my process so I can possibly get feedback but also so I can check back in a year and see where I am at...

Early Levels:
I want to play A LOT of small-ball. I am seeing flops with any 2-gapper or better, and suited ace and any pair. I will fold the 2-gappers and suited aces after its 3 bets, but never the pair. the implied odds are too huge. I will generally continue with this unless I am running very bad and lose the first 3rd of my chips. I am very aware of my 'chip utility' and I am trying to luck-box or backdoor into some big pots.

Middle levels (not near bubble): A mix between small-ball and long-ball. I will play big pairs strong now instead of for big payoffs. I drop the suited aces and wont play as many gappers out of position or with too much pre-flop action. I will watch my M, but I have been schooled to stop watching 'avg chip count' and instead concentrate on chip utility to determine action. It used to be that once my Q fell to .5, I would start going bonkers, but I am trying to avoid that.

This is the turning point in the tournament for me usually. If I can't get my Q and M up in the higher ranges, I am prematurely forced into long ball mode and have to skip some opportunities at the table in the middle rounds. I also have to take some pretty big pre-flop variance with hands KQ or better.

Middle levels at the bubble: I am changing my game here significantly. If you play tight long ball, you make the money but not the final 3 tables. I want to make those final tables, so I am going aggro here trying to steal and resteal pots. Pressure poker all the way if I can.

Post bubble: typically I am playing a traditional longball game now.

Final phase (last 3 tables): Here I can play my uber style of survival mixed with opportunity. (Its a variation of long-ball with a strategic overlay.)

Sunday, January 04, 2009

League Night

Last night was league night, a 21 player affair which is perfect for playing long-ball. Just one problem, I had 4 playable hands all night, and 3 of them I had to laydown pre-flop to two re-raises. (both times I had JJ and folded to KK and AA).

I only made one debatable fold. I have only 1800 in chips left and I post the BB of 600. I say to myself, "I guess I am committed" and the UTG raises to 1600. A tighter player at a full tables of 10. The buttons calls. I have 9To and should have called, but folded instead to what I expect was JJ,QQ,KK, or AA. (The flop, ironically, was T43).

I had not been this card dead in a while. The 4th hand I eluded to was AJs and after totally missing the flop, I c-bet AND fired a second bullet on the turn, which was called. I folded on the river.

Despite starting 7 handed, I could find no places to "make a move" due to the small blind structure where players would make calls with a wide range. I never hit better than bottom pair all night. I just folded my way to what I expect was about 16th. Like a tiger in a cage, all I could do was pace back in forth in front of the bars. Ugh.