Saturday, July 15, 2017

One week down in Vegas. Seven to go.

Well, my first week of grinding and working at Millionaire is over and done. 

Workwise, everything is fine.  It's cool to get paid to be here!  Free room, mileage and travel reimbursed, and free access to Bally's and Paris EDR's (Employee dining Rooms - hit or miss, sometimes awful).

Poker wise, two tournaments (PokerGo freeroll and The Giant) were both bust-outs, and I'm currently down $85 in cash games, with a $97 dollar win at Flamingo and a $182 loss at Bally's.  I haven't been taking very good notes so far here, so I don't have a whole lot to report, but I will try to be more detailed soon.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Thoughts on PokerGo

I ponied up the $10/month to watch the WSOP coverage (formerly free on the site, but, whatever) and didn't really plan on commenting, but I found myself laughing about this review .

Go give it a read.  Now, I don't know who Lorin Velle is, nor do I particularly care, but the guy (or girl, Lorin is one of those names) obviously is having problems at home or is emasculated at work because  the review, while accurate in some respects, is way over the top.

Yes, the site lacks some oomph in some respects, and minus the WSOP coverage, it will probably not quite work itself up to the price point of $10/month. But, if you're like me and like watching the WSOP, it's worth $10.  I probably won't keep it after the WSOP unless something earth-shaking occurs in the way of more content, but it serves its purpose.

What I found downright offensive was his mention about the Senior event. He )I'll keep calling him he because...well, I just am) seems to focus on this countdown like a liberal on a Russian leak, calling it a 'death clock' and dreading the day when he'd be the age to qualify (so he's young - a bit of justification for his rancorous and entitled tone) for the event.   The countdown is there because you can't possibly predict when a tournament will break to a final table, but the author obviously doesnt take too much time before typing to think things through (a recurring trait in this article).

My biggest problem is that he's complaining about something but not offering any alternatives or solutions of his own.  I doubt he has a clue about how difficult it is to get a network of ANY kind going.  But he does fashion himself to be a journalist.

Not one I'll be reading anytime soon.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Change of plans....

So, an unfortunate series of events has forced me to reschedule my trip to Vegas for WSOP frivolity. An unfortunate situation arose earlier this month when I received an email from State Farm telling me that I was no longer going to be offered coverage for my car due to the three accidents I had accrued over the past five years. Admittedly, two of them were my fault and the third one was ruled as Mutual negligence, a term I'd never heard of until that point, but either way, in the view of State Farm that also counts as a third accident against my record. So in the quest to find a new insurer,not only was I faced with a higher premium, but I also had to fork over a down payment to the tune of almost $1,000. This is ironically the exact amount I'd intended on taking with me to Vegas as my tournament bankroll.

But, like Manna From Heaven a new situation presented itself, and while it excludes some of the tournaments I wanted to participate in between the 9th and 11th of June , it's a situation where I will have a free hotel room from the last week of June to the second week of August. My GF has landed a job as an ad for who Wants to Be a Millionaire which will be recording at Bally's during this time period. Since my regular job reduces to 3 days a week during the summer, I will be PAing the show on and off during those dates. So first off, any readers that would like tickets to a taping of the show , I'd be happy to get one for you. Second of all, I'll be there playing a good deal of poker during those dates. I'm looking at  two tournaments in particular towards the tail end of the series. a later flight of the Giant, and either a pH or Golden Nugget tournament to satisfy my tournament sweet tooth. Otherwise, it will be a bevy of cash games from mid July and into mid-august, which should give me a rich supply of content to spit into this blog for the summer!

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

WSOP Plans and a question of syntax

So, its WSOP time and I'll be discussing my schedule at the end of the post, but first I want to discuss something that occurred in the comments section of my blog a couple of entries ago..

I view my blog as purely a leisure and entertainment source, where I tell stories about my poker sessions and surrounding events, and my only hope is that the few readers I have find the contents enjoyable and entertaining.

Here is what it's not.

if I say something like 'what would you do here' or 'what do you think of this hand' then that means that I'm inviting readers to post their opinions about my play, and they are free to do so. If I don't ask you that, then it should be patently clear that I have no interest in hearing about your opinions of hands I play, strategy I use, or criticism of my play in general. It's especially offensive in my opinion for someone in either scenario to say things like 'you really should have done this' or 'that's a bad play' ESPECIALLY when I haven't asked your opinion. If I want your opinion I'll ask for it, believe me. Now that I'm off that soapbox..

I'll be in Vegas from June 9-11, and I plan on these events:

$365 Giant
$200k Nugget Day 1
One PH event

The day 2 of the 200k tournament will be on the 11th, so obviously my plans will revolve around whether or not I make it into Day 2. I want to squeeze one pH event in there in lieu of playing a daily deepstack at the Rio, as they tend to draw gigantic fields that have to be completed by the end of the day without a guarantee.The Aria might be another possibility, and of course I'll be squeezing in a few cash sessions depending on how far my bankroll goes. Now, look what I'm about to do here. What do you think of this schedule? In looking at the structure of the giant more closely , it only has 20 minute levels but a generous 25k stack to start, so the levels dont particularly bother me. I also have no problem getting back to Vegas in July for the Giant day 2, for reasons that I will save for another post. All I'll say is that I may be in Vegas a lot more frequently in July and August.

I know that the beginning of my post came across as somewhat harsh, and while I make no apologies for that, I hope it doesn't make people gun-shy about leaving comments. As I said, I'm curious about people's opinions of tournaments occurring on that weekend, and if I have questions about my play I'm more than happy to ask for opinions on that as well. But if I don't ask, know what to do.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Part Two and the chewing of the gum

Sorry folks!  Life gets in the way so its taken me some time to get back to this.  But here we go....

I'll be honest - my note-taking wasn't the best from here on in, because I moved tables four times over the next two hours, mostly due to the number of busts, but also due to being BB once or twice.  I do want to focus on a technique I used in some spots that I want to develop as I make my trip to the WSOP in June (June 5-10, for anyone going).

The loudish guy to my right offered me a stick of gum. I was hesitant at first to chew it, but I was sitting on a 40BB stack with around 200 left, and I rarely play it safe, so I thought I'd mess with the rhythm of my chewing and see if I could develop some kind of tell that someone would try to exploit.  A spewy guy ahead of me raised to 7500 at 3K/6K and I three bet him with 8c9c. He calls.  Flop is K86.  He checks and I shove. I start a rhythmic chewing at a constant rhythm and look him straight in the eye.  Usually a sign of weakness, he didn't really know what to do with the 3-bet, as I hadn't really gotten out of line at this table yet and he knew it.  He agonized for a good two minutes, to the point where someone at the table considered calling clock, and then he said, "Will you show if I fold?"  Usually I'll say something witty like,  you can call and find out, but instead I just kept my chewing constant and said, "No."  Realizing that he was truly confused, I just kept going. Chew, chew chew. He eventually folded.  Over the next hour I used this technique three more times, all on a flope shove, all resulting in folds.  I was surprised no one picked up on it and tried to fight back, but sometimes I did have the best of it on the flop, to be honest.  Tables were falling fast and I was doing ok with about 25BB and the bubble approaching.

The bubble broke incredibly fast, you could hear 'seat open' in rapid fire over the next five minutes, so fast you couldn't actually keep track, but then the floor came by and said the bubble had broken as he headed to the mic to announce it.  Table cards are handed out and I sit at a new table, and wake up with QQ on the first hand.

There's no action ahead of me so at 6K/12K, I raise it to 24K.  two to my left, I guy who has me covered shoves.  I know nothing about this table, no read on the guy, so I figure he knows this and I shove.  He tables AQ and whee! I'm ahead.  Flop, blanks for both, turn nothing, and then the river, where I'm about 94% to win, the ace comes, and I'm out, in 51st place, min-cashing for my efforts.

That was just pure bad luck, and winning that would have put me n good shape, but I can't fault my play there, or realy anywhere on the day.  I put my chips at risk a little more than I'd like, but  interestingly enough it was the first and only hand I lost at showdown the entire tournament, which I guess you kinda need to do to win, right?

Looking forward to Vegas this summer, as I'm aiming to do a flight of The Giant while I'm there, play cash and some other tournaments - and I'll definitely be bringing my gum. :)

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

WSOP Circuit Event Part1

Wow, it's been a while!  Not like I haven't been playing, mind you.  It's just that I'm not so good at the note-taking, or I forget, or something.  I hit a big win on Ignition and was playing online a lot more frequently with that roll, and the newly renovated Hollywood Park casino has been my new room of choice because, well - it's just so new and sparkly.  But a live tournament, that has eluded me for a while. So, when the WSOP Circuit Event at the Bike came up, I decided to do the ever-popular low buy-in event that is the 'Facebook' event.

Basically the $75 buy-in geta you 5000 chips, like the casino on Facebook, they give you 2K more, and a $50 add-on gives you 4K more.  So of course, I did the whole shebang for $125.  And they give you a free meal ticket and a tote bag.  Not bad!

So, off I go to take my seat, pleased that it's Seat 10 as the eyes, they aren't what they used to be.  Although I usually take a while to adjust when I havent played in a tournament, I felt oddly comfortable right away.

Early on in the 1st level, whixh was 50/100, A9 sooted I raise to 250, 3 callers and I whiff the flop, bet 800 and take it.  Easy game.

A little while later my 5's find a 5 on the flop.  Two fold, one guy who was in mid-massage shoved for 5k, I call, he's gone.

To my right, this guy.  A little too talkative a little too loud when he talks, but not intentionally, if you know what I mean.  He's just a loud talker.  Never been to the bike, asks weird questions about the tournament, we all know this guy.  He's innocent enough, but I've gotten a little more 'get off my lawn' -esque in my old age, so basically I find him annoying. Moving on...

K!0H in early position.  I fold it.  By looking to my left, I noticed there was going to be a lot of action, and I don't want to play K10H 5 ways, which is exactly what happened.  King on the flop, but I would have been cracked by KQ.  Pat on the back for recognizing position.

Up to 75/150.  Jc10c call a raise, fold on the flop to a 1500 bet.

AA!  Eaaasy game.  I pop it to 500, two callers.  Flop comes 46J, two spades, I have two black aces.. One guy leads out for 1600, I call.  Blank on the turn, he goes 5000, I call.  The River brings in a second four and the flush.  OOf.  Lot of danger danger.  My read on the guy was a little reckless, he had lost a big pot earlier.  He almost insta shoves.  I have the black aces, so I discount the idea of a flush.  He's not betting like that on the flop if he flops the set.  So I put him on kk, qq, and if its JJ, then well, good for him.  I call, he shows KK, and I'm up to 21k.

Believe it or not, about 10 hands later, AA again.I make it 500 again, one caller,  JJK flope and we both check.  The Turn is a 9 checked around. River is a blank and he comes out with 4K?  He only has 2k more behind so I put him all-in, he calls and tables a9.  Up to 30K.

Im card dead for a while, then the real fun starts.  Tune in for Part 2 and the conclusion.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Hello folks, a trip to Morongo

Long time, no post!  Admittedly, there has been a severe lack of poker content to report. Despite the abundance of casinos in my immediate area, I've been unable to really make it there due to pressures at work and other things completely out of my control.

I still have not made a deposit on Bovada since 2009, and I still hold a pretty sizable stack of chips there, although I haven't had wins like the 11 K i scored in 2012. A lot of up-and-down , but as it remains my only online outlet, I continue to grind away there.

My last live casino poker session was in late October last year, but I've had a good win rate at some local home games in LA. But as we all know, the casino is where the big money is. So, on a quick trip about 90 minutes east, Morongo Resort and Casino was the place where I would make my return to the tables. My aim? Get back to basics, pay attention, and try to end the day with at least a double up.

Morongo is one casino I had.not yet visited in the four years that I've lived in the area. At first glance, it isn't a very attractive room in that it is completely enclosed in glass... about 13 tables, and a relatively sterile environment. As I stated before, the limits and blinds in California leave a little bit to be desired, but at Morongo, the limitations were a bit more liberal. The 1/2 tables have a max $100, while 1/3 is 100-300. There were five names on the 1/3 list, but there was a seat open at 1/2.  Begrudgingly I headed there.

My 15 minutes there was another snoozefest. No real money was going to be gleaned. Tighter than a hipsters pair of pants. Sensing this, I immediately made some $10 bets that prompted folds every time, but after collecting a few pots, I took notice at the rake being collected by the dealer, and I saw two red chips and one white chip on the cap. Well this certainly looks like $11 to me. An $11 rake? This can't be possible. Well, it turns out that even though I saw none of them in play, these were actually $2 chips, so the max rake was $5. The $5 chips were actually a confusing deeper red, which I would encounter shortly as my name was called for 1 / 3 after about 10 minutes. $20 up, I move to the 1/3 table and add on another hundred dollars.

As I usually do, I stayed out of the action for a good 10 minutes. Barring a superior hand, this is always something I do to get an idea of the competition. Immediately I noticed one spewy guy two seats to my right. Two seats to my left, a guy with a big stack yelled in unison with me "string" when the spewy guy made a string bet. I made a preliminary conclusion that the guy two seats to my left had a modicum of Poker knowledge, and might be somebody I should avoid early on while I gathered more information.

To alleviate any suspense, I was at the table for about 1 hour , as I achieved the aforementioned goal earlier in the post. I chipped up and down for about 30 minutes , missing a late position set-mine here, raising a king-high flop with sevens there. I didn't sense anyone at the table being particularly strong, and I probably should have stayed longer than I did. But, this was my first trip back to casino land in a while, and I wanted to record a win.

Up and down like this would not be enough, however. I needed a big hand. I woke up with JJ, and here comes a pretty decent story.

A guy one to my left, who.has been pretty quiet up to this point was the villain in this instance. I believe there were some limps ahead of me, and i made it $15 to account for them. $8 or $10 had been standard here so far.  Villain calls my $15.  The flop comes 8 10 3 rainbow.  I make it $22 villain calls. A black 6 makes draw.  I now pop it to $36.  He calls again. The river bricks, i think it was.a red 2. I count $50 out and bet.  Villain pauses, and almost too quickly says, "All In."

He has me covered.  I eliminate a better pair, he seemed competent enough to 3 bet me with qq-aa on the flop.  A set seems unlikely...with the club draw there a made set would almost certainly raise the turn.  66 is a story i could buy, but i could also buy a hand like AQ-A10. 

Then I see it.  The telltale neck vein.  Beat beat. Beat beat.  I look him up and down.  It increases (it was already fast). Now, in my experience this has meant two things- the nuts, or nothing. Or at the very least, nothing that he feels can beat my hand. We all look at tells and reads and you're never 100% sure that we can trust them. However, the neck vein and the overall body language gave me a lot of confidence that villain was bluffing. An overpair here is relatively well disguised, and it's entirely possible that he isn't incorporating it into his thinking. After about 30 seconds I decided to call.

He sees the JJ and promptly mucks his  hand.  A round of 'nice call' from the gallery, and i ask, "AQ? A10?"  he replied, "i figured you had AK and kept missing.  I had an 8."

About 30 minutes later i rack them up with $427. Trusted my read, clocked a win, and now to the pool and a pina colada.  Not a bad return.