Wednesday, November 25, 2015

$50 bucks in rides, and I get $20

Help fund my next tournament.  If you're in an area that has Lyft, download the app using my link.  You get $50 in ride credit and I get $20 when you take your ride!  That easy.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Back to the Normandie

A little extra cash this month, so back I went to the Normandie for their weekly $30 tournament, which this week reached a total prize pool of $3,600. Not bad for 30 bucks!

I finished 37th out of 127 and it paid 12.  I call this an achievement because the best hand I saw all day was pocket 9's.  I cant remember a day of more card deadness.  Beyond some suited connectors and a couple suited aces, nothing.  So In reality there were very few spots where i got involved.

I'd have to say my table (table 2, so i never moved) was more active than previous tables here, lots of raising and wacky bet sizing. But, at 100/200 I call a 450 raise with 5 people in with Qs8s in the bb.  Flop comes 8 high and i check, two bets and i call. Turn brings another low with some straight draws and a second diamond, i figure i'm ahead but play a small pot, check call.  The turn completes the diamond and i decide to make a stab at it and (whoops) two callers. One tables an a10 whiff, and the other hand holds and im up to 10k.

One bad play, i take a6 all the way to the river and am outkicked by a10...but as i said, it was one of my better hands!

Q5 in the bb and Im at about 15bb at 200/400.  Queen comes, i shove, all fold.

Then my lucky hand, the pocket nines.
At 500/1000/25 im at 6000 i shove it, get called by qj.  The flop, 8qj. The turn is a beautiful 10 for the straight and i double up.  The guy, who was new to the table, took it well.

And then, more and more deadness.  Not even a face card.  With my stack dwinding down at 600/1200/100 i take Jd7d for the shove against kq and although two diamonds came, i didnt hit the third and was out.

Of course, j7 was not the right hand to shove, but it was the first face card i had seen in an hour and i was at 5bb or so.  To say i was thrilled with my play would be a gross overstatement, but i did what i could with what little opportunity i had.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Vegas, Sept 18-21, Part 2. The Flamingo

As I said in the last post, I expunged the Venetian demon effectively, so I decided I should keep that Mojo going by revisiting the Flamingo, where I've had such wonderful bad beats as AA vs. AA.  Need I say more?

One plus, and something happening more often in Vegas and elsewhere, the neat USB outlets to plug in your devices.  I had no idea when Melissa would be done, so I needed the phone charged, but my aim was, quite simply, to leave up.  Kill the bad Flamingo mojo.

And I did.

First off - the table I sat in might have been the tightest table I have ever sat in, save some friendly home game.  It was so tight that I started raising to $8 with even marginal hands late - fold, fold, fold, fold.  People seemed miffed that I was quickly captainning the table, but no one seemed to want to do anything about it, either.  To add to that, this one dude who I was swear might have had some sort of mental defect kept getting up and leaving, to the point where a lot of the players were asking the floor to remove him. He was immediately to my right and was making some ridiculous bets, so I mostly just stayed out of his way, lest I get sucked out on - of course, I couldn't resist raising him with 27off in the BB and showing him when he folded.

I wish I could say something interesting happened, but I just hit a lot of flops....set of 4's, set of 6's, typical trap, rake in the pot.  Couple that with the tightness of the table, it was all too easy.  I got a call that it was time to go after about 2 hours when I came up with AsJs, I made it $11 and got one caller.  Board comes out all low, two spades.  New guy at the table, with PokerStars/EPT jacket (but still just as tight as everyone else) donk bets the flop for $20, and I call.  Turn is no spade, but a Jack. He checks, and I bet out $25, and he calls!  The river is an Ad and gives me two pair.  PS guy thinks for a fee seconds, and rolls out $50.  While I thought he might have hit a set with ne of those low cards, I read that he really liked that ace.  I had him covered by about $100, so I shoved.  So did he - and he tables AQ.  Cha-ching!

I play nice and fold for a few orbits to make sure no one blames me for a hit and run, and I'm gone, with a profit of $250.  I cast thee out, demon!

All in all, a fun couple of days of poker.  I'll be probably be back right before Thanksgiving in November, but I'm sure I'll have something else to talk about before then.


Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Vegas, Sept 18-21, Part 1

Rather last-minute, but my new lady friend Melissa(yes, in the romantic sense) was working a job in Las Vegas, and we've reached a point where it was totally unspoken that of course, I would join her.

Let the poker commence!

The first night we met up with some of her friends that happened to be in town at Caesar's.  We ate at Trevi in the Canal Shoppes, quite good, then made our way to Fizz for some cocktails, where I think we were both propositioned and invited to a swingers party.  But I digress....

I woke up a bit later than I wanted, but the afternoon was fairly free until Melissa was done, so I headed over to the new Caesar's room that I have yet to see. We were staying at Bally's, but I hate the low ceilings in that room, so I would not be going there.  This was a bit of a frustrating first session, where I re-learned the '1/2 player betting te river probably has it' rule, being bested with a two pair a7 from my AK.  After a bit of up and down I left $32 down at $168.  We ventured over to the Venetian where we met her friends again, all USC fans, to watch the game at LaGasse's.  I have no investment in this game, so I bowed out and headed to a place where I haven't had much success historically, but I wanted to blow that hex out - at the Venetian's snooty poker house.

Within four hands I was dealt the dreaded pocket Kings. I was in the hand with a fellow who was talking to the man to his left - the man to hs left, we've all had this guy before ---"Oh yes, I stone bubbled the Collossus/Jonathan Little and I had coffee/I normally dont play these limits..." you know what I mean.  The other guy was foreign from the accent I couldn't place, but he had Beats headphones and obviously fancied himself quite the player as he inserted comments with this fellow about all the wonderful WSOP stories he had. Trying to contain the vomit in my mouth from all this banter, I raised three limpers to $15.  One caller across the table, as well as Foreign guy.  WSOP talker, out of the hand, took his typical Im-oh-so-serious-im going-to-look-for-your-tells pose.

The flop is a relatively harmless J58, with two hearts, and I have the heart K.  Foreign guy leads out for 25.   Hm.  I quickly make it $70.  He asks how much that is, thinks for a second and calls.  Turn is a brick, and he pushes out $50.  I shove it.  He tanks, then folds.  A tidy sum that broight me up north of $300.

The demise of foreign guy came about 20 minutes later, when I check my option in the BB with j9 off. The flop came k8T, two hearts.  I check, foreign guy bets out 15 I believe, and I call.  The turn is another heart, I dont recall what, but it was low.  Now Foreign guy bets out 25.  If he has teo baby hearts, good for him, but I didn't read him there.  He limped - then donk bet again like he did before. He hadnt played many hands since KK so I had little concept of his range, but I thought KT might be likely.  I've still got the up and down draw, so I call.  The river is a beautiful 7, masking my straight perfectly.  He bets out 60, and I start the talk.

Me: "Can you beat a straight"
Me: "You don't have hearts."
Me:  " I mean, I have the straight.."
FG: "It does not matter."

That's all I needed. I raise him double, he calls, and mucks. He later said he had pocket 8's, but I doubt it. He left soon after.  I'm now around $450.  I think I flopped a set somewhere in there and won a small pot, and was north of $500 when I made what I thought was a major error.  A very beautiful African-American girl sat down - she seemed to know what she was doing, but in the few hands I saw, she seemed pretty straight forward.
I have black AKos and call her $8 bet(I dont tend to 3bet AK in Vegas).  Flop comes A63, two hearts.  She checks, I bet $17, she calls. The turn comes a heart K.  So, now I have two pair, and she bets out $35 bet.

Me: "Hearts?"
Her: smile
Me" "You have Hearts."
Her:" You can pay and find out!"

Hm.  I smelled a rat, so I said "This is what I'm folding." and showed.  She asked if I really want to know what she had, and she turned over black deuce 5. Why is she raising that?  Maybe she was 25 or something, but she bluffed me off successfully.

I left with $467 from $200, the voodoo successfully expunged from that room.  The next post will involve exorcising another demon at Flamingo....


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Wednesday, July 8, 2015

They are testing my brain playing poker...

So, no actual poker hand content, but Ive been selected to take part in a neurological study at USC where they are going to test my brain activity while I play poker.  Should be interesting.

I do it on Tuesday morning, so I will report back with what happened!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Vegas is a no-go.

I hate to say it, but I'll miss my first WSOP trip in 4 years. this year. the car accident deductible, plus a wedding I have to go to NYC for at the end of the month, makes it completely irresponsible to put $ at risk at this point. For now the weekly Normandie tournament and every cash opportunity I can reasonably take will have to do. :(

Thursday, June 4, 2015

TENTATIVELY on the way to Vegas June 26-29

...I say this because after an emergency room visit that ended up being just dehydration and then a car accident where I had to pay a 2K deductible two weeks later, money has been a bit scarce. Still, I am going to endeavor to make it. I've had some good runs on Bovada and America's Cardroom and I'm feeling good about my game. Two weeks ago I stone bubbled a satellite event for the ME out here in LA. That stung - just the opportunity to play in the 10K ME has evaded me twice now )getting close in another sat in 2011 online), but I'm going to keep trying to take a stab or two every year. I'm not sure how I will proceed in terms of scheduling should I go. I usually play a daily deepstack at the Rio, along with a Phamous event and something at Binion's or the Nugget (as I usually stay at the Downtown Grand - hands down the best hotel for the money in town). I will play a good dose of cash Day 1, and my fortunes there will largely determine how high my buyins go. I may head out to play sometime this month to see if I can't build up some more $$ to take with me. Admittedly I have no been playing a lot of cash recently, so I need to sit down and put some hours in to get comfortable. Good luck to all making the trip!

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Again at the Normandie, 4/11

I think this Saturday Normandie tournament will be my new poker fix. With the $10 discount and a $2500 Guarantee, it offers plenty of play, the people are nice and they have a pretty tasty lunch you can have beforehand. Things went a lot better this week, though I did not cash. Re-entries are allowed through the first three levels, which happen to be 30 minute levels at 25/50, 50/100 and 100/200. then things start to go up quickly and levels shorten to 20 minutes. A lot of these people know each other and play this tournament every week. In fact, one elderly fellow at my table called it 'his home game.' While I was friendly and chatted with everyone, it was obvious that they know each other's tendencies well, and didn't know mine. Throughout the first three levels my 3bets were rarely challenged, so I opened my pre-flop range considerably to take advantage of this. The thing I noticed the most, especially as the levels went up, is that with a couple of exceptions, people had NO concept of how much money was in the pot, and people were giving others incredible odds to call.I caught two baby flushes this way, and over the course of the game, I felted three players, one with a baby flush and two others with AA twice(I know, run good helps). 109 entries were going to pay 10, and I went out in 21st. The average stack was 20BB as the blind levels started to get crazy, and while I did my best short stack ninja work that kept me treading water, at 300/1000/2000 I had dipped to 18K and called a shove from a larger stack with AQ. I was ahead of his KQ, but a King came on the flop and though I had a straight draw and the A over as outs on the turn, I didnt get there. Typically, if I get that kind of action ahead of me, I would pick a better spot, but I had seen him win at showdown with much less than AQ, so I dont really fault my play - I was ahead, after all. I think this field is very beatable, and I'm getting to play live for a cheap price, which my wallet likes! I'll be back.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Coin flip

Made it back to the live tables after a couple of month's absence, with one of the local poker groups here floating a $10 discount on a $40 tournament at Normandie Casino, which I had yet to go to, so I figured I would check it out.

Kind of a dreary place...bad lighting, low ceilings, but the staff was nice enough. I make my buyin and sit down to play. 6000 chips, 25 min levels

Lots of limping.  I took advantage of that by raising late with not much, maybe 10's being the best hand I saw all day.  We are roughly an hour in when this happens.

Im utg with starting stack, 100/200.  I look down at QhKh and raise it to 500.  Folds until the button who conpletes.  I tangled with this guy ince before, splitting a pot with Ax and neither of us beating the board. He had been routinely linping.

Board comes Ah Jc 3h.  With 1300 in the pot And liking this draw, I make it 1000. Villain pauses a bit, and matter of factly, says, I'm going all in. 

He's got me covered, and im fairly cerain he has an ace...but i have a nut flush draw and a straight draw. With all the hearts and 10's, i come to thr cinclusion its a coin flip (in reality im a 53/47 dog, after looking later). 

This is always tough, staking a tournament on a coin flip this early.. But, if i hit, Im in great shape with well over 12k.  I call, and its all black for the turn and river, and Im out.

I dont fault the play, and in a cash game it would be a no-brainer call.  Still, i could have gotten away from that and still been ok. But in theory, the move is, essentially, a $40 bet.  Thats it.  In a 1k wsop event? It would be a 1k bet, and with that perspective I went home thinking a lot about how buy-in anount might be affecting my play adversely...assuming i felt my call with kq was just.  To say that in another scenario I would fold to that shove is an interesting reflection on where my game is...and isnt.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Want to make $1000?

If youve got a 2003 car or later, and youre in am eligible city, do this tonight!!! Sign up for Lyft and get $1000 if you drive by March 5th.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

After a long hiatus...

It's been a long time since I've written. Money has been tight so live play hasnt been an option for me despite living 10 miles away from three different card rooms, but that will all change on Friday, as I will enter one of the cheaper buy-ins at the LAPC at Commerce on Friday. I'll be looking forward to it. Otherwise, I'm still on that same first deposit I made on Bovada in 2008. As some might remember, I clocked about 15K in two scores three years ago that padded the bankroll there for some time(of which I cashed out all but $500), but for the first time, it is trending downward close to zero. Mostly that has been due to a serious lack of volume. I'll min cash here, bust out there, never really making any really deep runs. Wile I don't see my $ situation changing drastically anytime soon, I'll be trying to save up for the WSOP.