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Poker - So far so good!!

I don't particularly like going that long in between posts, but time is money. At the current moment I hope to avg. about $100 per hour. So you could say each post is costing me $100-200 depending on how much I put into each post. In the end, I hope posting can help me collect my thoughts and keep me focused on my goals, which should add up to something. Not to mention having a record of this exciting time in my life.

I have to say the start to this year was pretty dramatic. My friend convinced me to go down to a local casino in San Diego and play in their annual New Year's Day tournament. Usually tournaments there are fast structured crap shoots against pretty weak opposition. This time it seemed we had more room to play and I was slapped in the face with the deck pretty early, flopping sets a couple times and then used my big stack to beat up on everyone for a while until I lost half my stack making a huge laydown with a pair of QQ on a smaller flop to another big stack, who then showed a flopped 3 of a kind. It actually pumped me up and I was able to come back and build another big stack and re-continue my relentless attack until the bubble. I eventually made it to final table with such a big chip lead the entire table was tired and opted to basically give me 1st place (about 5K) so they could chop the rest of the prize pool!! To win a tourney, 1st day of the year, can't get any better than that!!

After that, I continued my "Double-up" SNG grind online for the rest of the month, but  had a renewed passion for mixing in some more multi's! Some time towards the end of January I started to get a little bit too confident and really started bumping up the number of table I play at 1 time from 3-4 to 6-8 and I started to slowly develop some nasty leaks (bad habits) in my game. Typically for me when I start to experience bad runs it's due to a lack of focus and recklessness and if you're playing 8 tables at a time even the smallest leak (let alone trying to play optimal strategy) can quickly cause an ugly dent to your bankroll!! Luckily, I was able to cut my losses after dropping $3,000-$4,000!!

In February I jumped a little heavier into the Multi tourneys and did score a few final tables, but got bent over a barrel a few times and finished 4th, 5th, and 9th for some moderate scores. I eventually lost my golden touch in multi's and began doing much better back in the sit in go's (SNG's) and grinded out the rest of February with solid results. One interesting side note for the month, my real job has semi annual meetings to discuss various business and last month we got bussed out to Las Vegas! I can't say I'll ever turn that down, despite some slightly torturous lectures and meetings. We did get put up at "The Palms" which was very nice, and In the evening we did get to roam free. The 1st night I grinded out some 1/3 no limit cash games, which proved to be at least some good practice considering I hardly ever play live games except on special occasions.

The 2nd night, however, I was determined to play something bigger, preferably a tournament, but there wasn't much going on except the Wynn had some things going on and a $200 nightly tourney. I didn't really want to pay for a cab ride there, but couldn't stand the thought of grinding out another night of 1/3 at the Rio. I found a free shuttle but it was stuck waiting on some NASCAR parade. I finally saw a cab and it was only $11 so I made the move hoping I could still make the tourney. I made it there and if you've never been to the Wynn, it is the epitome of fancy pancy wealth, but still a bit overwhelming. I still raced through and found the poker room just in time for the tourney. It only had about 40+ players and quite some odd opposition. Some guy next to me, nice guy, but looked like a coked out 45 year old surfer, but was wearing a T-shirt and shorts and about 150k in bling-bling jewelery? Anyways, I got KO'd 10th before final table after some guy limped 1st in with AQ with high blinds and antes and I shoved from the BB about 10X over him and the SB with KQs and AQ called and I missed.

Oh well, I was a bit dejected, but didn't want to end my run down about $300-400 and I seemed to always do very well actually playing live figuring everyone out, so I saddled up to the only open table (5/10 No Limit )at a decent limit with only $600. I say only because most of the players there started with or had about $1,000 and I didn't notice any donks right off the bat. To my delight they called me out for a 2/5 NL table immediately where $600 was a solid start. The table was pretty loose and I was able to hit a couple solid hands early building up to about $1,000 when I unexpectedly got involved in the hand of my night!:

Most of the hands had a bunch of $5 limpers or a raiser to $25 with a bunch of callers. This time everyone limped $5 around and I raised $30 from the button with A5 (both spades), which isn't a great hand, but with such deep stacks I took a shot at the weak limps and a few called. The flop came something like 853 (all diff. suits) and they checked to me and I bet about $80 and was called my 2 players. The turn was a 9 of spades giving me a flush draw to go with my pair of 5's and I was checked to and the pot was now about $300 and I think I bet about $200 and was check raised by the BB but only to $400. Given the pot odds I could have as many as 13 outs to win and effectively paying $200 more to win the $1000+ the $500+ he had in his stack, so almost 7 to 1.  Fortunately or unfortunately, the river drew a blank with a King of clubs and all I had was a pair of 5's. Then my opponent checked to me after check raising me on the turn, which is usually a strong play trying to get more money out of me, but I could tell the king legitimately bothered him and the pot had now grown to over $1,000 and he wasn't committed to following through with the rest of his stack. I basically couldn't beat anything but like a tiger in the wild I knew knew what I had to do and almost immediately shoved all of the $700 I had left in my stack with absolutely nothing! He was so pissed off I had to try not to laugh while there was also about $1,600 on the line. I was pretty sure he had 1010-QQ and the King on the river made him freeze up worried I had AK, KK, AA or 3 of a kind. He kept asking if I had 3 of a kind and finally after 5-10 minutes folded and threw his hand in the muck and I neatly stacked up my $1,600!! Myself and one other solid opponent basically cleaned out the entire table and I eventually finished off the night around 2am. up over $2,400! My best cash game night ever!! Maybe I should play cash games more, huh? 

Since then I finished up February pretty strong and my game has been pretty solid ever since. I have kept my # of tables down to around 3-4 and have some time doing poker homework, breaking down some hands and I think it really helped me. This month I have gotten more into 6 handed ultra turbos with good results so far. Wish me luck. I hope some of this success will carry over to WSOP.




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