Friday, February 8, 2008

ship it!

i went nowhere in the free roll i had at pechanga a couple weeks back. i raised some limpers on the button with AK, the first limper min-raised me, others folded, i called. flop was K high. he check raised, and with half my chips in the pot already, i had to call, not liking it too much. obvy he had KK. nice hand.

i went to pechanga again last night, this time to purchase the main event seat from the guy who stole it from under me (kidding, doug). so the syndicate is the proud owner of a wsop main event seat (with my name on it!!!).

since i was there, i figured i might as well gamboool it up with some locals. it's kind of nice to be able to play in a room where i don't know 75% of the people at the table. plus i like playing in "casinos" vs. card rooms. i just seem to do much better.

so i'm glad i went last night. i played 5/5 NL and had one of my best nights ever. the players in that game were by far more gambly than the 2/3 at oceans. i more than doubled up at the must move table in less than an hour, then got a seat in the main game, which proved to have a much higher level of gamble than the must move table -- pretty amazing.

here's an example of a hand i witnessed soon after sitting in the main game: limps to SB who raises to $60, BB makes it $160. SB calls. flop is 8 high. SB moves in for $395. BB thinks for a minute, stacks and counts his chips, and calls. turn J, river 3. Showdown: small blind 9c9s, big blind AsJc. ummmmmm, shizzle my dizzle, mr. rogers! wtf?! such a crime that farha jr. left with $1200.

and for the most part, besides two full timers, most of the others were pretty bad. i did have the best seat in the house, i can't complain there. probably the worst player at the table had a huge chip stack ($3k) as he kept hitting draws and sucking out by making trip 6s on the river. it was like 3 times he was dead to a 6 which hit on the river, giving him winning trips. anyway, i was sitting to his direct left. i re-raised him preflop several times, and he called and then folded on the flop every time. of course i had him beat every time, but he was calling 15-20 big blinds preflop with like 65s and the like. it was brilliant.

i felt like i was in the zone and making the right reads and the right plays. in fact, i usually vividly remember the details of lots of hands, but today i can only remember a few select hands. i used to get that feeling in water polo, when i would score and then realize i didn't remember the preceeding minute of time. we called it "the zone".

here is one hand i remember: EP raises to $30 (fairly standard raise). three callers to me, including 1 player who is all in for the $30 bet. i call with Jd9d in the small blind. [i normally wouldn't play a drawing hand like that out of position, but with deep stacks later in the night, implied odds were there]. flop is K high with 2 diamonds. not a terrible flop for me. i check it, and it checks around. turn is another diamond. i lead for $50 with my J high flush, and the initial raiser makes it $115 more. now when 1 player is all in, the dynamics of a hand changes. there will be a showdown and the side pot is dry, so typically the betting is mild, unless two active players really like their hands. i call his raise. i'm thinking he might have AK with the nut flush draw. the river was a brick. i know jamie gold would cream himself for a J high flush, but i thought i would bluff catch with my flush. if he missed, there is a good chance he is going to want the side pot, which now has become significant. and i was pretty sure i would be calling any bet by him, since i would be getting 3:1 on his shove. so i check, and he shoves the river. i say outloud, "i hope you have pocket Kings.....i call." he shows KK for top set. bummer of a slow play for you bro. funny thing is, the all in player made the nut flush and won the main pot with all the $30 calls. glad he didn't have any more money on the table.

i felt like i was definitely getting respect from the full timers, like i was in their fraternity. one of them didn't believe me that i had a job. why would i lie about being an engineer?

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

what up

wow - it's been a while. too long, i know.

quick update:
i took 2nd (of 160ish) in a WSOP Main Event qualifier at Pechanga this past weekend. Had to settle for about $3k instead of the seat + cash. bummer. so close to dancing again. the luckbox got AA on final hand. who gets AA heads up for the title??? the final table all got a voucher to play in the same tourney later this month, so let's see if i can get heads up again!

the next night in the syndicate tourney i got heads up again with the Season 1 winner of the seat. Season 1 vs. Season 2. He went in with at least a 3:1 advantage and i got close to even, but no cigar. his 6-4o made 2 pair vs. my KK for most of my chips. i'm now in 5th place overall with 8 tourneys left. i'm feeling hot and ready to make a run!

i guess i could do worse than 2nd two nights in a row.

also, i noticed that the you tube links below are dead, so here is a new one:
(2:45 in)

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

this week in poker!

i got back from mexico from jed's bachelor party this weekend just in time for the Syndicate event. the turnout wasn't huge, i think we had about 15 people. i started off very slow and had to make moves to stay alive as i was pretty card dead. one hand that really sucked to chop: i had J-10 suited in a re-raised pot preflop (keep in mind that we were short handed). flop is JJQ. checks to me, i go all in for about the pot. i get called by AK. turn Q. river Q. chop it up. ugh. my favorite was busting john with 88 when i raised on the button and he shoved with KsQs which amounted to about a minimum raise. i called and flopped a boat : 8-J-J. the turn gave John an Ace high flush and he erupted in cheers. i quietly reminded him that he was drawing to 1 out, the 10s for a royal flush to beat my boat [verrryy niiiiice (borat voice)!!!!] i busted in 5th with KQ all in vs. Q3 and 78. flop was 10-J-J. pretty damn good flop for me. turn 4. their 9 outer hits with the river with a 7. oh well -- i got up to oceans and had a quick but good session there.

i played last night again and there were a couple of noteworthy hands. in a limped pot, i held 8-9 and flopped the top 2 pair on a 896 board. i bet and i got 2 callers. the turn was 6. the early position player led into me, so i raised, others folded, he called. the river was a 9 to fill me up. he checked, i value bet and he called. he showed down 7-5 for the flopped straight. ummmmm.....what the fuck were you thinking guy? he let me get there as best as he possibly could and when the hand came up in conversation a few minutes later, he hadn't realized that he flopped a straight! i should have gotten his number to start having him come to our home games.

i did well at the beginning of the session after flopping a set of 4s on my very first hand at the table. i also flopped top 2 pair with AQ and got a caller, which is pretty amazing for me to win a nice pot with that hand. then our table broke and it all went to shit.

early at my new table i turned top 2 pair with AK and got raised. i called and it turns out that he had called my 3 bet preflop with J-10 and made the nut straight as i hit my top 2 pair. ouch. oh then a really brutal hand came up when i made the nut 10 high straight on the turn and bet it big to protect against the flush draw and got 1 caller. of course the board paired on the river and it was the 8-9, 2 pair ---> boat hand coming back to bite me in the ass.

i just continued to get cold decked. not a good stretch in there. i was getting ready to leave after a long sucky session, when the following hand came up:

i folded. !!!!! yea! that was my best play in this hand. i wasn't really watching the action that closely, but i know it was 3 bet preflop and there were 3 players in the hand.

the flop was AQJ. bet, call, raise to $200, call, call.
turn 3.
short stack all in for $150, all in for $500 from the middle position, insta-call all in by the button. wow. as the three players revealed their hands, we saw JJ from the short stack, QQ from the middle position, and AA from the button!!

set over set over set. wow - what a hand. brutal cooler for the Queens and Jacks. but wait for it............

river J! BAD BEAT JACKPOT BABY!!! and the crowd goes wild. if you ever want to see a bunch of old fat men get excited and hug / high five each other, this was it. Aces full of Jacks beaten by Quad Jacks! $31,000 split 40% to the loser, 20% to the winner, and 20% divided among the rest of the table. pocket AA pocketed over $12k and the winner of the hand with 4 jacks got just over $6k (incidentally, it was this kid's first time ever at oceans 11. nice.....). the table share was just under $1800, which isn't bad after running cold for several hours. pocket QQ got just a table share after stacking off, which kinda sux for him.

weird though that i almost felt guilty about leaving with more money than i came with since i didn't deserve it from the poker. but i guess that's why we pay $1 a hand in perpetuity.

so after a good start and a terrible middle, the session redeemed itself pretty damn well!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

jerrett baker

you probably didn't know him if you're reading about poker, but a friend of mine died on sunday in a car accident. he was 33 and a firefighter in san diego. he was probably the most fun loving guy i know, always making you smile. whether it was laughing at him or with him, it was always good times. he was a great volleyball player and golfer and knew how to take advantage of the fun opportunities that life offers. he was a great guy and i will miss him.

here are a couple of pics from estero 2006:

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Jackpot, Nevada........?

Radness! Can’t remember being happy about finding a 3-6 limit holdem game, but I was last night. I drove most of the way up to boise yesterday with 3 work colleagues (for a conference). We stayed at a town along the border of idaho and nevada called Jackpot, Nevada. If you ever get a chance, I wouldn’t recommend going there. There were 3 motels / hotels, 2 little casinos, and 1 stoplight.

I haven’t played a lot of limit holdem, but I think the adjustments aren’t too difficult… least to play 3-6 holdem in the middle of nowhere in the middle of the night. it reminded me of Swingers when they play blackjack at the $5 table with the blue hairs and bikers. it was a fun time regardless of the outcome (I doubled my $100 buy-in within a couple of hours). though you can’t price people of out of chasing draws, you can build pots as a favorite and you can get people to pay off with 2nd (or 3rd or 4th) best hands on the river.

Anyway – I’m stuck in boise for the rest of the week, so I look forward to reading any of your poker exploits to tide me over. Ready……..go!

friday 9/28 @ O11

12 hours and dead even. It could have been worse. I could have lost money. Tried to catch the last of the drunkards on Friday night, but didn’t find any at my first table. Early on I doubled up a guy who flopped trip 5s versus my pocket 10s. then I lost a $500 pot with the 2nd nuts to da noootz. I made a king high flush and of course he had the acey deucey of diamonds. I am certainly not good enough to lay down the 2nd nut flush on an unpaired board with just 3 board flush cards. I guess I’ll have to continue paying that hand off.

I finally started making some hands and made it back to even about 6am. Even wasn’t good enough though – what was the point of leaving even? I figured out that leaving even meant I could have gotten some sleep. Our table broke and I got a seat at a table with 6 ladies who were there from oklahoma for the women’s tournament. It was a bad omen to flop 2 pair with 10-9 and win my first hand there. I proceeded to miss about a bazillion (or maybe it was a gazillion, I can’t quite remember) flops in a row, and get check raised when I continuation bet with AK high. I don’t think I flopped a set all session.

There was a terrible player who was sitting 2 seats to my left. He had mentioned that he was down close to $3k. I raised in late position with J-10 and he called, which didn’t mean much, cuz he played about 70% of hands. The flop was J-9-2, which looked pretty good to me. He lead out and I raised him big, being pretty sure I was ahead. Whoops, he insta-pushed for over $300 more and I had to lay it down. He showed 9-2 as he folded. And he wondered how he could be losing money.

I did, however, make 1 nice hand. I was getting a little frisky at about noon and re-raised a middle position raiser to $25 on the button with AhJh. He called. This player was pretty tight / weak, and I hadn’t seen him play big pots except when he flopped a straight flush with Qh10h. The flop was K high with 2 hearts and he check raised my $40 bet to $100. Ok, so he’s got KQ or AK. I thought about re-raising him all in, but my hand had a lot of potential and I didn’t necessarily want to lose him. I had the nut flush draw and a back door nut straight draw with an overcard. So I called the check raise on the flop. The turn was a Jack, so I picked up a pair to go with my nut flush draw. He checked to me on the turn (see, I told you – he was weak tight). I thought about moving all in with at least 11 clean outs plus some fold equity. In retrospect, I think I should have shoved here, I’m not sure he would have been able to call with 1 pair, albeit top pair. I checked the behind on the turn. The river was the lovely 9h. he checked to me again. I value bet $125 on the river and he called pretty quickly with AK.

The last hand I played I raised in late position with Qc9c. I think 4 people called the raise. The flop was all low cards with two diamonds and an early position player lead out for $15 into a pot of $75. This was almost always either a weak made hand or a draw and I didn’t think he could stand much heat. I raised to $55, he called. Heads up to the turn. The turn was a brick and he checked, I bet $105 and he thoughtfully folded. Think long, think wrong, right? He showed QdJd for a flush draw. Of course he asked what I had and of course I had an over pair. It was either that or show the bluff. I didn’t need to generate any action though as I was planning on leaving soon. That pot put me almost back to dead even for an eventful but non-winning / non-losing session.

Friday, September 28, 2007

1/2 NL fun

played the other night at winstar casino ( just across the texas border into oklahoma. i should move there. [or not]

despite being in the middle of nothing (kinda like state line in nevada), they have a really nice poker room. they were spreading all kinds of games too, including PLO, omaha hi/lo, and no limit holdem games up to 5/10 NL. there were at least 2 maybe three tables of the "big game" going on and this was a wednesday night.

i didn't really bring much of a roll with me this trip, so i decided to play 1/2 NL. right away it was evident that these blumpkins were not serious poker players. most hands would see several people limping in or mini-raises to like $7. when i had something i would 3 bet preflop, or out of position i would call small raises with almost any two. the first hand i won was 8c4c when i picked up straight and flush draws on the turn, hit my straight and got paid by 1 pair.

i did help my image early on when i raised in early position with AA and flopped top set. i bet out into 4 other players and got 1 caller. really the only draw was a flush draw, which missed on the turn, so i went all in for about a pot sized bet thinking i would take down the pot. he called with KK!! wow, i guess he could beat a bluff or a missed flush draw, but i think he just saw his cards and they looked so nice, that he had to call. so i got to show my top set having played the hand fast and aggressively.

i almost got paid again when i flopped top 2 pair in the big blind with 10-6. i would have probably dumped the hand if someone had raised, but pocket 8s in late-ish position failed to raise preflop. he almost called my check raise all in! i showed the table my 2 pair letting them know i "always" had the goods. this gave me license to steal with any pair / any draw.

later after showing down some winners, i took down a pot with 7h4h. i called a raise to $10 in position with 5 players to the flop, which was 2c3h5h. [the other thing they all liked to do was make massive underbets.] the guy who bet the flop, bet $10 into a pot of over $50. i raised to $30 and everyone folded. i showed them my 7 high.

i can't even remember how many times i raised with middle pair or a straight draw and took down the pot. after about 5 hours of them giving me money, the crowning hand of the evening took place. the pot was unraised to me in the big blind with 99. i made a nice raise. i got 2 callers. the flop was A high, so i checked, middle position bet, the other guy folded, and i raised. he called. whoops. i didn't put him on an ace as he didn't raise preflop, and definitely not a strong ace. i thought he was probably a good enough player to lay down a bad ace, but most of the rest of the table would definitely call off their stack with top pair no kicker. i wasn't quite sure how i was going to proceed in the hand before the 9d hit the turn. i checked, hoping he would take a big stab at it. he didn' i made nice value bet on the river (which did happen to complete a flush draw), and he raised! i just didn't believe him. i called and he tabled pocket 6s. i guess he was planning on stealing the pot the whole hand and figured i would be able to laydown a one pair hand. too bad so sad, i had better than 1 pair and plus i had him beat anyway.

i logged close to a +5 buyin session which was some of the easiest money ever with virtually no difficult decisions. thanks oklahoma, you're OK!

[am i seriously spewing out dad humor already.....? i'm not even pregnant.]