Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Vegas! Jan 2-4

Booked for 2 nights while my buddy Joe is in town - staying at my favorite cash register, the MGM Grand.  It'll be my early am - late Pm spot, and other poker will be dependent on other plans - I'll probably find the fishiest tourney to play on the 4th when Joe leaves and I check out.

Poker has been pretty good online - my bankroll is up to about $800 on the B but still looking for a big score this year (no 11K like last year).  More pros have been coming to the site despite the anonymous tables - so soft there, I can't blame them.

Stay tuned for much poker content after the trip!!!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013


Hey all my poker bloggers - Please add www.hollickandedge.com to your blog rolls, especially if you play Fantasy Football. Our weekly podcast is the bomb. Thanks!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

One Benjamin

There it sat, in my wallet - 1 crisp, mint green $100 bill.  It had traveled with me from my last stop out of Vegas at Southpoint(see previous post), 4 hours west to LA, and there it sat still - untouched, un-deposited - pristine, almost virginal.  Oh, dear Benjamin, I've been contemplating corrupting you, sending you to that Lion's Den, the Airplane Hangar where $100's go to die - the Commerce.  There, at the $100 2/3 table, would you meet your end, as so many of my $100's have before, or would you come out with new brothers and sisters?

Time to buy a new house, Benjie.

It's true, my record at Commerce has not been stellar.  The oft-mentioned 'non-destination' locations in LA have been -EV for me over this past year, but I reckoned that a Saturday at Commerce would be as good of a day as any to hit the felt, and I was 100% correct - well, actually 400% correct, as you'll see.

After a leisurely meal of Veggie Pad Thai at the Wood Dragon and a 15 minute wait for a seat, I sat down at 7:45pm.  My initial assessment was that the table seemed soft enough. The first five hands or so went without nary a raise.  Two guys at 3 and 4 seemed utterly disinterested - young studious Asain in 6 was the most active, and this dude in 7 - who had an accent similar to Malkovich's in Rounders, just looked tilted.  And I was right.

After a sea of limpers I get JQss in the 9 seat and raise it to $15.  Malkovich calls. The flop comes x-Q-x, and M checks, and I make it 20.  M calls.  I'm not seeing much on this board that he'd be playing, but I decide to keep barrelling - at 2/3 with $100 stacks, you sometimes just have to take the high pair and go with it. He checks the turn, I make it 35, he calls, the river brings a gutshot possibility but he checks, and I check behind.  Pot goes to me.  Malky goes tilt, and for the next couple of hands, both of which I was involved in, he pops it ridiculously high to induce folds from all of us - but I could tell it was one of those chest-thumping ego-fests, and he would become my target when his ego takes control.  I find QQ.  He opens to 15 and I raise to 45.  He calls.  Qxx with a diamond flush draw.  He bets out 25, and I call.  I dont see him with diamonds, this is his ego talking. The turn pairs the board with a 3, and he checks.  I make it 60 with my boat, and he puts the rest of his stack in.  Silly rabbit.  I call, and he tables 55 with one diamond. He says he was coming back, but he doesnt (sad) and I'm up to about $260.

Two more hands summed up my night nicely - I get a little gambly with 78os, limping ahead of two other limpers.  The BB, a nice guy who I had just had a pleasant exchange with about something, I forget, checks. The flop is 356 rainbow, and the BB opens to 12 everyone folds to me.  This guy had not been getting much out of line, fairly quiet.  I am sure he has hit the board somehow, especially since he was checking any 2 in the BB.  I figure him to be on an up and down draw, but that I was on the higher one, so I didn't even bother to worry about it. I call.  The turn brings a sweet sweet 9.  He checks, and I decide to check as well.  His check told me that he probably had the 4, no set, and no viable flush draw so I'm ok with seeing one more card, hoping it catches him somehow, and the river brings the 7.  He bets out 20 and I shove.  He says "Well, I think we have the same kind of hand, but you've got me beat."  He tables 2-4.  He flopped it!  Good read, but he took a bad line there. I am now tripled up and then some.

After some solid non-showdown play, I was sitting on a $400 stack and was contemplating getting up after 2 hours, but then I get KK.  I bet 17 and gt one caller. The flop? Bing! K-10-8, two clubs.  I get a check, and I make it 25.  I'm surprised when he calls, so I suspect a flush draw.  The turn brings a brick non-spade, and he leads out.  ?  Hm.  Well, I have the best hand here, so I pop it up to 60.  He shoves for not much more.  OK!  Nice guy, but he had the case K, and a 10 for two pair, classic cooler.  One orbit later, and I leave the table at 10:30 with $515.

So, I think the weekend is when you hit these places.  Although I hit the deck hard in that session, it bolstered my confidence about playing places like The Bike and Commerce.  While sharks do swim in these waters, my Benjamin found a family out there.

Monday, June 10, 2013

WSOP Trip, June 7-8

Quite honestly I was a bit worn out after the 1st two days, so I didn't really do anything until the $235 Deepstack at the Rio at 3pm.  IT turns out ckbwop(Carol) was playing in it as well, so it was nice to finally meet her!  15K chips, 30 minute levels, 1240 runners.  I really cannot complain about my play, even though I lasted only 5 hours, finshing around 400th.  I hovered around 15K in chips through the first break until a set of 9s filled out to a boat that jumped me up to 35K about 3 hours in.  After some considerable up and down I was at 22K with the blinds at 800/1600/100 when I get QQ UTG.  I ship it and get called by a splashy girl, who had 10K behind.  No biggie, happy to play against her - but then sunglass wearing mullet guy ships it in for 15K!  I have them covered, and sure enough I am ahead preflop. Girl - AdKs, Mullet - AxJx.
By the river I had come in 3rd place behind the girls flush and the guy's straight, and I suddenly find myself with 3BB left.  Two more hands and I was out.  I don't fault the ship here with about 15BB on a weak table.  Nevertheless, it was a tad demoralizing.

This bust freed me out to attend the TPedge event at PT's Pub, which was a lot of fun.  Played some Golden Tee and pool with the guys, had a few beers, and talked poker with everyone.  I definitely hope to make this kind of trip every year.  Even though my birthday was approaching, I was sooo tired, and was in bed by 1am.

the next day was checkout day, with no clear plan on what I would do.  I decided to do one of those single table $125 satellites, and even though I busted it early(X99 flop and my K9 ended up behind a9), I probably should have added more of them to the mix.  10 pays 2 your buyin back plus $550 Tchips(called lammers) that are pretty easy to sell, or use.  Two wins and you're in a WSOP $1K.  One read of malmuth's SNG book and you have a pretty solid advantage, as it seemed like they were filling up quickly with a lot of fishy people.  I decided that bad beat was enough, and I packed my bags and headed home.

But then I realized - I'd hit bad Saturday traffic in LA if I left now - so - curiousity got the best of me, and I stopped at Southpoint.  I'm glad I did!  First, I got a great sushi meal for free because it was my birthday AND I found an incredibly soft table that I sat down at with $150, and left with $410.  The biggest hand there was getting a 9 on the turn for a 10 high straight against another guy's lower straight.

So, the tally for the trip:
Rio 1/3 -270
WSOP $135 BUST  -135
Caesar's $125 Mega BUST -125
Wynn $140 Bounty BUST -140 +$50 Bounty -90
Bally's 1/2 +220
WSOP $235 BUST - -235
WSOP Satty $125 BUST -125
Southpoint 1/2 +260

With the rooms comped,  I ended up down $496.  Obviously my cash advantage in Vegas has been pretty constant, as I am up almost $1K over 7 sessions since September.  I think a more optimal strategy is to play cash in the morning or late evening, and let my results dictate my tournament play instead of the other way around. While I played an ok cash game this week, I pressed for thin value in some hands and ended up beating variance, and I think I did it because I felt the need to play catch-up.  I don't really have the bankroll to beat variance in the tournaments, so if i plan on making this a yearly thing, I need to let my cash game advantage dictate my temp tourney bankroll.

All in all a fun trip, albeit a bit tiring - I'm still playing catch-up sleepwise, but if you've never been, treat yourself and do the WSOP for even just a few days.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

WSOP, June 5-6

For years and years I dreamed about coming here, and now that I'm here, seeing it all - I wouldn't say it is a let down or anything like that - The Pavilion and Amazon rooms are huge, like you'd expect - the final table sets look just like they do on tv.  You say hi to Jason Mercier in the hallway.  Gavin Smith takes a picture with you.  But in reality, to those of us with small bankrolls, it is almost too much to ingest. The isea of even a $1000 buyin is daunting to me, so us little critters scurry around the big boys, buyin into Daily Deepstacks, satellites and smaller buy-ins off campus at Caesar's, Venetian, etc.   That's not to say I haven't enjoyed that chase (although aside from $75 in bounties, I've busted everything I've played, and only cash games have softened my losses), but I feel somewhat like the bastard child at the Thanksgiving table.  Anyway, a shrt summary -

1. While I decided what to do when I got to the Rio, I sat down and lost $200 on one of the worst bad beats I've ever experienced.  AA v. 88.  I go to 10 with a call.  Flop is x8x, I bet out 35, he calls.  Turn, an A.  He shoves, and I ship it all in.  The river?  You bet.  An 8.  Quads to my full house.

2. I elect to play the $135 WSOP 10pm Daily Deepstack.  I stay about even throught first break, and then a hat trick of hands - aq v a2, jj v 99 and 77 v JQ  --- I lose all of these???and the final one sends me to the rail.  At 3am, no less.

3.  Tired in the am, but manage to get to the Caesars 10K guarantee.  $120 well spent, I think. It was a lot of fun and though I only lasted through half the field of 300, I was having a ball with it.

4  I was, however, bleeding away, and needed some cash to even the ship. Right as rain, I take $150 to a 1/2 table and turn it into $350 in about 40 minutes, mostly with an AQ that made a straight on the turn.

5. I then went to the Wynn, and the lack of runner for this bounty was disappointing.  Only 30 people, 3 paying.  I ran like a god for most of it, but then made a stupid all-in call, really stupid, two pair against what I should have totally seen as a straight.  Out in 9th, but $75 in bounties made it less painful, plus I made a flier bet on the Spurs that put me in the plus territory overall for the day.

Right now I am exhausted and am not sure what my next step is. I still have $460 of WSOP bankroll left out of the $600 I alotted myself.  One certainty, the $75 Turbo Sat at 9am tomorrow.  The other definite, if I have enough, is the $200 Limit O8 tournament on my way out of town on the 8th at Golden Nugget. I'm also seriously contemplating a massage - hey, it is my birthday, after all.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

WSOP Trip Booked!

Yep, my first trip to the WSOP ever, signed, sealed and delivered.

The catch?  I'm probably not going to play any WSOP events.  I AM staying at the Rio, and I DO plan on playing in some single table satellites, and maybe their daily tournaments.  Instead, I am going to hit the lower buy-in events at the other series around town, hope I get a big score, and maybe parlay that into something bigger.  Either way, it will be fun to see it all in the flesh.  I never have and I'm totally looking forward to it!

My schedule:

Arrive Wed June 5.  Pick between Binions $200 HORSE or Golden Nugget's $125 NLH.

Thurs June 6.  Caesars $130 NLHE

Fri June 7. Venetian's $300 NLHE Bounty

Sat June 8, my bday, and I'll head out of town with Binion's $200 LO-8 event.

Bsnkroll dependent, I'll play in some Rio satellites and their daily tournaments, and possibly a little bit of cash if I am up.  My hotel is a total freeroll as I had $200 worth of RC's   So, I'll be at the hotel and will be able to soak it all in, but my bankroll can't handle the buyins without some help.  Wish me luck everyone, and by all means, if any of my readers are in town, let me know.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Pechanga and the 'free' tournament

Hello, readers!  I know my posts have been scant, but that doesn't mean I haven't been playing.  For 2013 I'm up roughly $1K, but my record hasn't been so great at the non-destination casinos (Commerce, Bike).  In Vegas I've done well, but Pechanga, well - it has been very, very good to me.

Pechanga is about an Atlantic City-NYC drive, so it isn't ideal, but it seems I head down to the SD area a lot, so it is a natural fit to stop there on the return trip.  So, yesterday I headed down for an evening audition, and using my trusty Bravo Poker Mobile App, I spied an interesting promotion Pechanga was running - log ONE hour of play between midnight an 10:30 am and you will be entered into a FREE tournament with a 2K guarantee! Who can beat that?  So, after my audition I stayed with a friend in SD and then headed to Pechanga to log my hour.  When I got there there was only a 2/4 limit game going so I took a seat at about 8am. Shortly thereafter came a LOT of people and games started firing up all over the room - so despite the juicy 1/3 NL action I've experienced there, I exercised discipline and stayed at limit for about 90 minutes, losing $20 of the $60 I put down.   I went dowanstairs, had a nice little breakfast, and then settled in for the action.

Now, let me just say now that I final tabled out of 68 runners and we chopped it 9 ways for third place money($200).  I thought that because this tournament was free, people would be splashy, and in the beginning, they were.  My first double up occurred when my QQ bested a Q9 (??) He had a nine on the board, he thought that was good?  Then this annoying Asian dude who is a regular, and liked to say checkcheckcheck over and over to confuse the table,raised my 200 bet with another QQ, with some sort of odd hand like 48, I put him all in and took his stack - so I'm up from 4500 to about 12K two levels in. Then it seemed apparent that the splashies were disappearing and the nit-work began.
Aside from the beginning I was never really at risk for all my chips, but at 400/800 I did run a little good.  I bet out 1600 with 10s.  Smaller stack, a meek Asian lady, shoved for about 2300.  I go all in on top to isolate, but then this loose dude goes all in too, with a stack of about 5500?  I'm at 17K and have them all covered.  Meek asian lady shows KK, and loose dude JJ.  10 on the turn, and I send two to the rail.  I didn't fault that isolate - I didnt expect to run into that kind of trouble, but the structure was fast and you pretty much either have to go big or go home. 

I then took a hard beat with aj against ak that dwindled me down to 10K at 500/1000, so it was shove time.   A really short stack shoved and I went all in over him with Aq.  He had 44 and hit a set, but another guy with lots of chips shoved too, and though 44 guy took the side pot, the other dude shoved with Q9(again?) and I took his chips.  So this landed me at around 19K, and to be honest I dont think I got involved with a single pot again after that.  the drop from 18 down to 9 came pretty quickly, and when I heard the tournament folks really pushing the chop as we bubbled, I knew I didn't really need to worry about my stack size entering the final table. So, I drove home about $180 richer.

If this promo continues, I think I'm going to make another trip!