Saturday, April 15, 2006

Stuck online

Can't manage to put together a live game tonight. Take 2nd in a $20 SNG. Midnight Oil almost sees my royal donkness out extremely early then I manage to double up with a K6s v AT when a K hits the flop then again with a 56 on a 447 flop, I move from the BB and the SB quickly calls w/Q4, turn 3, river A. Back to Square One. 69 in the BB, flop 477, I check, position bets, I check-raise, representing a 7, position re-raises, I call bluff and push all-in, position folds. But then I run into AQ w/my AJ and I'm out in 153rd. I swear I will make the final table of a Midnight Oil one of these days because so far I just can't get anywhere in them. Well, so far I've made back a quarter of what I lost the other night at the Grand. Try a $10 1+1 Re-buy. Pick up runner-runner trips w/an A8. 99 in a raised multi-way pot, flop 578, move all-in ahead of pre-flop raiser, calls w/K6, blankety-blank. KK twice early on; once flop Axx, all spades, I hold nut flush draw, comfortable moving on that board. See Vatche is up to like 18 thou then look again and he's gone completely?!? AK gets busted by an AJ or something-ugh. Down to 11, blinds at 1000-2000, I get AQ, 22 raises to 5000, I re-raise all-in for another 25000 or so, calls, 2s hold and I'm on the bubble, down to around 10K. Guess he really trapped me, huh? Douchebag. KK twice again then; 2nd time I limp UTG and JJ moves, is called by AK, I call as well. JJ v KQ stands too and I'm up to 100K. KJ flops KJ9, turn T, river K, 114K. River the ass-end of the straight w/the 9 but can't see the Ace for no raise H/U pre-flop so I call. Out in 4th as I flop top pair w/KJ on a 6J9 board but the BB check-raises me w/69 and I get no more help. It's still another $200 towards my blow-out at the Grand so I'm now only down a buck from that debacle.

End up playing a couple freeze-outs w/all the Pulleys late-night: Josh, Jer, and Joey. While playing the 10 dollar re-buy tourney online. 1st time around I make it down to heads-up w/Jer and get it all-in w/QQJ4 v QQA4, he rivers a goddamn wheel. 2nd time I blow out in 4th as my JJ44 loses to both Josh's and Jer's AA. Fucking brothers.

$5 MTT w/314 entrants. Down to the final table right before the 2nd break. 24K in chips. Should have thrown away the 55 was my first thought but end up calling into 77 and that brings me down with a final stand with 57s v 99-crap, 7th gives me an extra $40.

Analyst says down $400 in cash games but up almost $2800 in tourneys over the last 3 months. Lesson?

Friday, April 14, 2006

Aces Over Kings

Check out this sweet shirt Daron & Marcie got me for my b-day! It's got chips at the bottom and an Ace in the hole sewn into the inside of one of the sleeves! High Roller Fashions (they're on the web) even threw in an extra It's Good To Be King shirt since the order was severely delayed. And every order comes with a pair of their shades too-they have an Ace stamped in the corner of one of the lens. Thankfully won a $5 and then a $20 SNG for a little piece of my ass back but got outflopped right off the bubble in a MTT early this morning.

The goddamn cooler and a most unlucky night...

Spencer & I headed down to the Grand to play some NL; after 4 hours he was up a buck and a half, I was down four. There were 2 NL HE tables going when we got there, the "main game" and another one, which we started on. $2 on the button plus $2 and $3 small and big blinds. Buy in for $100. See some flops, lose some chips, get a pair of 6s in the hole and push what little is remaining of my stack into the middle, only to run into Aces. Next $100, wake up with Kings in the SB, after an UTG raise to $10 and 2 callers, I move over the top, but she calls so quickly I know she's got 'em, yup, Rockets again. Another $100. Make it $10 to go in the back w/KQs and get raised another $20 from one of the blinds, the same lady/dealer who kicked me in the nuts earlier when I had Cowboys. I call, in position, with that hand still fresh in my mind. Kxx, all hearts (both clubs in my hand), she checks, I opt to check as well. Turn and river both bring blanks, and she flips, you guessed it, AA. Again. Jesus H. Christ. Glad I didn't add any more to the pot and she was actually kind enough to check it down. Pick up a few nice pots with trips on the river on an until-then uncontested pot as well as a set of Queens on the flop and a nut flush from some donkey who watched too much WPT on the telly and I'm back to almost even. Limp w/KJ early, 5 players to the flop. Flop K42, checked to me so I shoot $15. Late player re-raises another $40 and makes it a heads-up pot. I put him on a flush draw (suited 2, 4) combined with a positional play since I can't put him on AK or KQ as I figure he would have raised pre-flop, especially in position, and can't see the re-raise w/a worse King, ruling out any 2 pair as well, and excusing a set from his hand also, and decide to move over the top for almost another $150. Because I just can't put this guy on a better hand right now. Boy, am I dead wrong. He thinks for some time before calling and showing 24. My hand doesn't improve and now I'm stuck for $300. One last $100 begins getting whittled away as I get moved over to the "main game." Feeling short and frustrated, and not finding any hands, I move in over the top for double the opening raise of the UTG player, getting 1 caller behind until the UTG player re-raises all-in for another few hundred dollars and the caller folds QQ face-up (Q on the turn but it was the proper laydown at that point). All-in flips, of course, AA, and I'm fucked for the 4th time with my AT. Hey, before I forget, I did get a pair of Aces in the hole once early in the evening-and no action. Shit, it's time for me to go home. (Note: When I logged onto FCP when I got home and entered the Plus 500-run into yet a 5th AA w/an AJ to bring me down to nothing then my AQ loses to a 45 to send me out for good?!? And then in 2 separate $10 SNGs, first my AA loses to QQ when the river brings a fucking Q! Then I run into a pair of Kings w/Big Slick. I did find some consolation in reading DN's blog re-counting his loss of $600K because what I lost was potato chips compared to him-he really took some horrific beats!) On the brighter side of things, wasn't the weather simply fantastic today? I mean, after 50 days of freakin' rain...

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Kid Poker in the Neg-O tonight!

It's raining cats and dogs. A well-known metaphor as we discussed in my poetry class yesterday, although personally I prefer "pissing buckets" but whatever, it's wet out, no arguments there. Play the Stage 1 ONPC ticket I won through an earlier Sub Qualifier SNG for a buck but bust out early then try my luck at a $5 MTT while waiting for the Neg-O and make an ill-timed move to bust out in the middle of the field unnecessarily. 117th out of 139 this week after I raise w/AK and get called all-in by QQ. I know it's not a calling hand but I did it anways like the donkey I am. What a disgusting follow-up to last week's performance. At least I found out today that Life of Sports doubled the payouts so I got another $300 making it over $1500 on Saturday! Maybe I can buy a new chair for my desk after all...

I made the executive decision to add Chris, aka acesfull3333, to complete our H/U team.


I was just thinking about this post on the FCP forum about all the new players in the game, seeking their fame and fortunes through the explosion in poker. Now that it's so big, everyone and their mother (and father and sister and son) is a self-proclaimed expert. Now I've only been playing semi-seriously for a couple years now but I have immersed myself in the subject. I fell in love with the game and now it is my current passion. I'm not claiming to be a world champion and I'm not relying on winning millions either as nice as it may sound. But I thoroughly enjoy the competition and skill associated with the game and I have done alright for myself over time, always learning and evolving. And that is the beauty of the sport, anyone can have a go at the Big Dance. Hey, look at Moneymaker, or Varkonyi. If a player can suck a 2-outer off the river, anybody can have a chance at a bracelet. Not to sound too cliche, but it's not so much about winning in that sense, it's more about believing in one's self and making the attempt and putting in the effort I believe. My goal is not to turn pro but to have a go at the World Series someday so I can say I tried when I look back at my life and recount my personal achievements

On the lighter side of things, I asked my mother to send me this old POW/MIA flag that was in my closet and it just came in the mail today. An old friend and I stole it off a church (yeah, we were shit-faced and young) flagpole in Utica, NY (or was it Ithaca?) when I tagged along on a college visit trip. Man, the things you do as stupid kids. Which brings me back to my original point: WWCND? Viva La Norris!

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Played a couple freeze-outs with a few buddies tonight (very first hand my AA gets crushed by Perk's AQ on a QQx flop-the bastard also flopped a Queen high straight flush against my boss full which even became quads on the river!) with no success then hit a $1 NL table @ FCP later on. Played solid for almost an hour then get stubborn and subsequently hammered by 8T on a J97 board after raising pre-flop w/KJs, leaving $50 lighter much to my dismay. Turn my attention to the $5 Plus 500 MTT. My 99 holds against KQs on an undercard 4-flush flop. Flop top pair in the BB with my Jack again on a JT7 board and push again, turning a 6 to give me 2 pair, and it is folded to me for a nice pot. 6340 @ the break. Push w/4s before the flop and after it's checked to me by the lone caller for another good pot; miss w/an AQ. The Jack situation keeps rearing its head: J9 in the BB, flop JT7, bet, turn a 9, check-check, river a blank, checked down again, safe (same exact flop very next hand!). Down to 110, 70 spots pay out of 562, can't see where I'm at though because my lobby "encoutered an unrecoverable problem" about an hour ago and if I click on it, I will be automatically logged off. Steal the blinds and we're down to maybe 90 or so I'd guess-unfortunately for me, I'm still about 1oK in chips behind the leader. Until I move on a pot pre-flop w/A6s and quickly get called by a pair of Hooks in the BB. Looking real bad on a suited flop but pairing my 6, giving me only the 2 remaining 6s or 2 of the 3 Aces left in the deck to survive as my opponent holds a suited J. The river brings a glorious Ace, a clean Ace that makes no 4-flush!!! My prayers are answered via an extremely nasty suck-out for 12K-OMFG!!! Right before the bubble too-wow, make it to the payout structure in the top 20. 45th place wins not even an extra 10 bucks-ugh. 11,216 chips, 22 out of 43 at the 2nd break. A4s in the BB, flop AQ9, decide to get out of the way, AJ v A6, river 4! AKs, KQ good, 22, no good. My JJ gets outflopped by a Queen and the next hand it's all-in w/A8 v 44, A flop! Blinds @ 1K/2K and running out of options. 22? OK-run into QQ though, flopping a Q to grind my nose in it and I'm out in 18th for an extra $20. Gotta start either making it deeper into the prize pool or paying bigger buy-ins.

My team is getting finalized for the first official season of the Full Contact Poker Heads-Up Poker League: Theresa, otherwise known as theresa113, one of our fabulous forum mods; Scott, aka sloshr99; weakdraw0 (guess I ought to find out his real name if he's gonna be on my team, huh?), who is a Protege Seat 7 winner; and Shawn, better known as hostile, a self-proclaimed H/U specialist. If not him, the spot will go to acesfull3333. And of course, moi, XX44466XX, fearless captain and clown of the Riders of Checkpoint Charlie's:-) Hope it keeps raining for one more day so I can play in the Neg-O and try to keep my point count up...

Monday, April 10, 2006

Finally made it out to Mike's house because it was Cassiopeia's 8th birthday in a day and ended up pretty much buying her an ice cream cake since I didn't bring a gift. Geez, they get big. Remember her when she was the size of a football. Now she's jammin' out to her new iPod-she's a Green Day fan she tells me. She's in the 2nd grade. Wow.

OK, if you haven't figured it out already, I pretty much play exclusively online at FCP. Sat down tonight after watching 24 at a $1/2 NL HE table with $80. AJ finally hits a J high flop. Call a super-aggressive player who raises the button w/TT, flop 989, check-raise, blank on turn, shoot, check 8 river, button bets, call down JT 'cause I can't see the pair, bringing me past $130. Raise it to $10 from the SB w/AK, 1 caller, flop all rag spades, hold 2nd nut flush draw, put the caller all-in, call, turn K, river pairs the board for a $100 pot. Decide that +$100 in 45 minutes is good enough and split, turning my focus towards the Midnight Oil for $20 that has me dwindled down to a little below 1K in chips in the 3rd round already. Back to starting when my AJs holds against KQs but then down again when I can't release an AK. Balls out with a 45 on a 36J flop from UTG, and w/99 very next hand, shutting down both pots. Getting to be double up or die time after the break for me. Almost attempt a steal play from early position w/46 but decide against it only to see a 6xx6 board. In the BB w/1260 and 100-200 blinds and opt to fold K9 then 47 and take an AT at 3-1 on my money but finish in 61st when I outflop AQ and AK but can't outrun JJ.

Have decided that I am a much better tournament poker player than a cash one. The finite-ness of the tourney structure allows the shrewd Jewish Ben to tighten up my game and focus over the usual gambling Asian Ben. Kinda hoping softball gets rained out again because every time something gets cancelled (softball last week, going to Vegas this past weekend), I make back-to-back final table appearances for some solid cash.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Oh Glorious Day!

14 hours of poker for a GRAND total of $1250!!! My best day ever on the tables to date! 8 hours of NL $1/2 Dealer's Choice at the house, going as low as -$200 at one point but ending +$170. Checkpoint Charlie's-Home of the Loose Call. Hold Em, Omaha, Super HE, Crazy Pineapple, 7 Card, Razz, Billabong, Alabama HE, Jiddy (5 Card Draw, 10s wild)-you name it, we played it-No Peek and Indian even made an appearance. It's all a blur of craziness now but here's what I remember... One of the first few hands of the evening, looking down to find Aces in the hole and just raising the minimum on the button and Ben, a hyper-aggressive player, immediately pushing over the top. His A9 was not a happy camper needless to say. Even more satisfying was showing him my bluffs as I took his pots as he is usually so fond of attempting to do the same to others. Calling out 79 as "the hand" as we watch it make straights 4 or 5 times early in the game then later calling a pre-flop raise with it only because of a gut feeling and actually making the nut straight on the hand. Throwing away quads because Jeremy "talked" me into believing he had the Ace kicker (in wild card Omaha!). Reading his hand better than he did in Billabong when I believed he held the nut flush on the flop and I only had the 2nd nut flush draw of a different suit (he was focused on his set of Kings and I would have hit my flush on the turn but I was so right!). Barked at the moon (but flopped an Ace and had to fold). Taking down a monster pot towards the end of the night betting on the come in Omaha with a nut straight draw vs a set on the flop and spiking it on the turn and the board not pairing, thank Christ! "Talking" Joey into dropping the 2nd nut straight on the river to my even lower straight somehow. About $800 splashed around between 8 clowns equals a ton of mayhem on my table, in many nutty hands not even mentioned. Such a change in my style from all the tourney play online. Good thing gambling runs rampant in my Asian blood:-)
$20,000 Guaranteed, 1+1 Re-buy: Donked off my chipstack stupidly death-gripping the straight-maker from last night as my opponent had flopped 2 pair to my 1 but make an amazing comeback from 175 chips to 2390 @ the break (and the add-on!): K8 v QJ, Kxx8x; unchallenged QQ; trap 55 w/AA; AK runs through KQ then another one blasts an AQ! Cold-call a re-raise w/AQ and we see a KTx flop 3-ways and it is checked to me so I pull the trigger and catapult myself to over 6K in chips. 47 in BB, flop J54, shoot a min. bet to see where I'm at and get raised back the minimum, call and turn trips, check-raise JT all-in, 12K! 78 out of 205 @ break #2 w/11,120. Run into a pair of Kings and then cold cards until I get committed enough to a pot w/ATs but can't pair to beat 99 and out in 122nd.