Saturday, February 25, 2006

Full Tilt Poker WSOP Giveaway

I noticed that Full Tilt Poker is starting to freeroll a ton on WSOP seats. They are giving away a total of 100 main event seats and $200,000 of spending cash. I don't really have the patience to play in those freerolls anymore, but if you have a limited bankroll or just want to play for shits and giggles, now is a good time to open an account there if you don't already have one. They still have the $600 sign up bonus too.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Changing Focus to NLHE and PLO

I've primarily played LHE for over 2 years and I'm just sick of that game. What I hate the most is not being able to protect a made hand. Often I find myself with a high pocket pair out of position versus 4 or 5 other players and then they outflop or outdraw me. I just can't take it anymore!!! Here are a couple of recent examples:

LHE, AA in the big blind versus 4 players and I get sucked out. Fortunately, I lose the least amount possible by folding the turn when a straight card comes off and I'm bet into. If this were NHLE, I would have made a large pre-flop raise and likely thined the field to 1 or 2 players and won a nice pot versus AK. Very, very frustrating!

LHE, open with AA but donkeys come along and hit on the river. I was simply not able to make a large enough bet on the flop or turn to get them to fold. Again, very, very frustrating to the point it makes me hate LHE. These suckouts lasted for 2 months and contributed to a 300 BB downswing at the 5/10 and 3/6 limits. Yeah, its been THAT fugly!!

So, I'm entering a new chapter in my poker life. I'm going to focus on NLHE and PLO. In my previous post, I wrote about my new adventure into NLHE ring games which started with a lot of success. One thing that I'm a little unsure about is how to best play AK (preflop - when to limp or raise) in various situations and I'm certainly open to suggestions.

My first few sessions of PLO have gone well too. I seem to be making good decisions and getting the money in the pot when I have the odds to win. Here are some examples:

PLO, flop 2 pair, flush draw and backdoor straight draw. 85% equity on the flop, 82% on the turn.

PLO, flop top set and nut flush draw. 81% equity when all the money goes in on the flop.

PLO, middle set and gutshot versus a couple of short stacks. 60% equity when the money goes in on the flop.

Wish me the best!

Monday, February 20, 2006

My Biggest Pot (so far)

I decided to go to Harrah's Sunday and found my way to a NLHE table after a long wait. The table was actually fairly tight with action rarely going past the flop. Somebody would raise to $20 or $25 (blinds 2/5), get 1 or 2 callers and then take it down on the flop. This is exactly what happened when I was dealt AA, KK and QQ. Hey, at least I was getting some cards.

A couple new players joined the table after about 30 minutes and I finally found some marks. Donkey#1 would play any ace and donkey#2 would play any two suited. Then it happened, my biggest pot to date. Donk#1 limps UTG, I limp MP with AKo, 3 others limp along and we see a flop of AK5 rainbow. UTG bets $15, I just call, donk#2 calls and everybody else folds. At this point, donk#1 gives away his hand by saying to donk#2, "I have an ace but you probably have me outkicked." The turn is the most beautiful Ace I've ever seen and the cash register is ringing in my head, cha-ching, cha-ching, cha-ching!! UTG bets $15 again, I just call again and donk#2 folds. The river is a 9 for a board of AK5A9, no flush possible. UTG bets $15 again and I put on an acting job, squinting my eyes and acting a little disgusted (I WAS disgusted that he didn't bet more!!). So, I raise $50 and he immediately says, "another $50" and I can't push all my chips in the pot quick enough!! He calls and shows A2 (lol) as I wrap my arms around a $500 pot and pull it forward!

Now, this post would not be totally complete without showcasing donk#2's donkiness. He limps EP, another limps and then a shortstack goes all-in for $73. Donk#2 immediately calls with...........26s, lol. Very next hand I limp UTG with AKo and he goes all-in for $45, it folds back to me and I call. This time he has K6s and HGHN. It was a very nice session!

Monday, February 13, 2006

Interesting Limit Holdem River Decision

I played a little B&M this weekend for a small profit and in the course was involved in a somewhat interesting river decision.

I raised 2 loose limpers with black K's and 4 of us saw a flop of Kd-4d-5c. I bet and got 2 callers. The turn was the 9s and I bet again and got 1 caller. The river was a scare card, the 6d for a board of Kd-4d-5c-9s-6d and now I get bet into! Despite this player being very donkish, the correct decision here is to just call. Why? Because if you raise and are ahead you gain either 0 or 1 additional bet whereas if you are behind you'll likely get re-raised and lose 2 additional bets. In the hand I just called and the donkey was bluffing with QJo. Had I raised he would have folded.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

KC Home Game

A big thanks to Performify for hosting a sweet home game Saturday night. Deliciously juicy beer brats and a smattering of cold beverages were served before-hand to much delight!

The NLHE game got rolling about 6:30 and there were about 30 runners buying T1000 chips for $20 with a $20 re-buy or add-on available. I drew the eight of diamonds which placed me at the red felt table in front of and beneath the gigantic projection-screen TV in the basement. I introduced myself to the table and seating went like this:

Seat 1: Chris???
Seat 2: Nick
Seat 3: Mark
Seat 4: ME
Seat 5: Liz
Seat 6: Charles
Seat 7: John
Seat 8: Brad
Seat 9: Performify

Blinds started at 10/20 and play was tight as people were feeling each other out. It wasn't until blinds were 20/40 that I voluntairily played my first pot. I raised AQo UTG to T120 and both Liz and Brad called. The flop was TTx and I had to check-fold to a decent sized bet by Brad.

As the BB rolls around to me I look down at J9o and I get to see a free flop versus 3 players. On a Jd-Tx-6d board, I bet T125 and only Chris calls. The turn was the 8d giving me an OESD in addition to TP and I bet T125 again. Chris thinks awhile and reluctantly calls. The river was an offsuit K and we check it down. He has As-Kd...ouch, down to T650. By this time, Grant had already busted out, re-bought and busted again. He got razzed a little since he's an experienced, solid upper middle-limit player, but he was a good sport and eventually stepped in to deal our table.

I never got anything going and took the add-on after the first hour to bump me up to T1600. Then, with blinds of 40/80, Chris, Nick and Mark limp. I look down to find JJ and with so much dead money in the pot I push. John says, "I really wanted to see a flop with this hand" and disgustedly mucks as does everybody else. John asks to see a rabbit flop and it came 5c-6h-7h. John nearly goes bizerk as he would have flopped the nut straight with an OESFD with 8h-9h. That's why you raise your high pocket pair preflop!

Then, with blinds of 50/100, Performify opens for T300 in MP and it folds around to me in BB. I check my hole cards and find KQo and decide to call (we both have a little north of T2000). FLOP: Q-9-8 and I quickly move all-in. Performify says, "Stop and go, huh, I think I have you beat." He thinks for a long time and eventually mucks what I think is TT.

Shortly thereafter, an insane hand occured between John and Brad. John raised to T400 preflop and Brad re-raised to T1400. After a little urging by Nick, John decides to go all-in and it was TT against AA. John flopped a T and turned another for good measure which got a roar from the table and seemed to loosen everybody up. From that point people started dropping like flies.

As the blinds hit 100/200 and the table got short, I raised with KQ and AT and got it up to about T4000.

Before I knew it we were down to the final table with 9 spots getting paid in a pretty flat structure. We drew for seats and I again turned over an 8 (Liz got an A) which put me 3 to the right of her and the button. When my T300 BB came around, Tyler (in a Full Tilt hat) decided to move all-in for T1900 in EP. It folded to me and I had a tough decision with AJo. I got the sense that he was not overly excited about his hand, but that it was decent. After thinking it over for about 15 or 20 seconds I called. He flipped over ATo and my hand held up! I believe Liz busted next and before long we were down to 5. I was 3rd in chips behind Bill (a LAG) and Cujofan, a strong player who placed 4th in the 2005 WPBT event in Vegas.

With blinds of 200/400, Bill opens for T1200 as he often does and I happily re-raise all-in with AKo from the SB and everybody folds.

With blinds still 200/400, the lone remaing loose passive player (didn't catch his name) at the table limps with only about T3000 behind. I decide to uncharacteristically limp OTB with Kh-Js to see if I can hit a flop. The BB checks and the flop comes Jd-9d-8d. It checks to me and I throw out 5 black T100 chips. They both call but I'm forced to fold the turn when another diamond fell and Bill bet out.

Then, for some reason the loose passive player doesn't raise his AJs and Cujofan ends up busting him with 35o from the BB.

Blinds have now hit the max of 250/500 and I have about T4500 with 4 players left. There is a raise and an all-in re-raise in front of me and I make a sick lay down with 99. The hands were A9s and 66 but I would have lost to Bill's runner-runner flush.

Down to 3 now and I'm easily the short stack. I start moving in pretty consistently with hands like KTs, A7s and 55 to take the blinds and stay afloat. Then, I pick up TT OTB and move in again for T4750. Cujofan mucks but Bill insta-calls with K7s! I'm in excellent shape to double up but the flop brings a K and I'm out. Ugh.

In heads-up play Cujofan wins a nice pot with AK and takes a large chip lead. Then, he drops the hammer and Bill calls with A6s. The mighty hammer flops a 7 and Cujofan is the champion!

Congratulations Cujofan! I had a great time and hope to play with all of you guys again soon!

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Cold As Ice

Here are a few examples of how cold I'm running right now.
Creelja is a huge donkey with 70 VPIP and 20 PFR. Unfortunately, sometimes donkeys pick up big hands.
I hit my card on the turn but was drawing dead.

I guess I should be happy that I didn't lose more on those two hands.
I miss the flop and couldn't even buy it on the turn against a player with Q high. What did he put me on, J high??? Jeez.
Here's a big pot that I had to split holding the nuts. For some reason the button didn't re-raise, costing us another $10 each in profit from the station in the above hand.

So yeah, it's been fugly, really, really fugly. I'm now a marginal loser at 5/10 over 8000 hands, but am very confident I can beat this level long term.