November 24, 2004
Al Can't Hang
Blame Al for this blog. His was the first I stumbled across four months ago and I've been expanding my list of regular reads ever since. My link list includes some of those I read almost every day. More will be added as I become more comfortable with posting and designing. Happy Thanksgiving to all the bloggers as you are all on my list of good things for the year. I've enjoyed all of your writings, been impressed by your skill and willingness to bare your poker exploits (and personal ones), and learned more than I have from any book. Eat and grow enormous tomorrow.
November 24, 2004
The Week Gone By
The Sit and Go process continues. I've now played over 100 $10.00 NL and have a ROI. I come in 4th the most with a 20% showing. Second is the next most popular spot at about 19%. I usually fold, fold, fold until I hit big hands and then push. The escalating blinds usually finish me off if I don't place. Debating whether or not to go ahead and move up to the $20.00 games and see if I can get the same ROI. I am placing about 40% of the time now. It's a slog to build the bankroll like this but I have not had to redeposit since I started with the original $100 on this cycle.
The Tuesday game ended early as I got shortstacked quickly. I passed up an opportunity to double up on what I am confident was a bluff but did not want to be wrong and be down to $5 with $1/2 blinds. It's a closer race now and should be exciting as the total prize will probably be about $170. We're debating a rule change for the next cycle which will allow a player to miss a night without it knocking him out of the running. I do everything I can not to miss but Kentucky is coming to town February 15 at 9:00pm and I can't miss that. I don't mind skipping the Auburn game the prior Saturday for our Second Annual Post Football Mountain Camping Extravaganza With Poker, Liquor, Hiking, and General Drunken Revelry, but Kentucky is different. My greatest sports experience ever (even better than sitting in Ted's seats and drinking his beer at a Braves game) is being there when USC beat Kentucky in 1997 in the Coliseum. My buddy and I couldn't get seats together, or even in the same section, but we were able to see each other and keep mouthing, "I can't believe this" over and over. That's the night Vitale said something to the effect of "It'll be a different story babeeeee when the Cocks go up to Lexington to face Kentucky on Senior Day." It was a completely different story. USC beat them without me there. 15-1 in the SEC after a 5-5 non conference start against a weak schedule for the greatest Carolina basketball season since the one and only ACC tournament championship. Back on track and ready to dominate for years.
Chicken curse. Coppin State bounces USC in the first round of the NCAA's. A 15 over a 2. GEEEEEEESH. The next year, traditional giant killer Richmond makes it a 14 over a 3 and not another sniff at the tournament until last year's suprising run. It starts Sunday against Western. USC is long and fast. ODom preaches big D. We got a chance.
Carolina-Clemson football tomorrow. This is a big rivalry. It gets no national press but the entire state will be watching. Clemson has traditionally dominated and wiped out the Cocks last year at home. Lou's last game? The visor waiting in the wings? Hotshot High School QB's around the country looking at maps to find out where Columbia is? C'mon boys. It's a short ride to the redneck riveria of Myrtle Beach. It (hardly ever) never snows and Carolina girls like to bare those shoulders in the spring. WIn a few games and you can run an auto dealership for life, sign autographs, and endorse chiropractors in fantastically produced local commercials. ESPN says it's happening. Everyone says it's happening. I'm waiting for the visor to say it's happening.
Played a Sunday night .25/.50 NL ring game and got beat solid. These games are usually four handed and I loosen up a lot. I hope it helps my image in the regular games as it it surely not helping the bottom line right now.
The big game was a 12 player NL at my house on Saturday. We set up two tables of six, consolidated at eight, and raised the blinds every hour. The top three got paid and some suprises finished in the money. Suprises mainly because they play less than most of the others. Hell, most of the "experienced" players got knocked out early. The Tuesday night crowd was at the side table early but for one.
ME? Fifth. No money but I made some mean ribs and was able to watch football and drink without distraction. We're going to shoot for at least three tables next time with a larger buy-in.
Poker is still the distraction I need it to be. Autumn is a great season with the leaves changing, the briskness approaching, and the turkey thawing. The reduced light knocks me out though. Seasonal Affective Disorder sounds like BS but lethargy seems to hit me every year about this time. The wife's worried I don't even like her anymore much less love her. It's hard to explain that I can't muster up much enthusiasm for anything right now. (Crap. The hammer just lost. I pushed hard on the turn but got a caller with two jacks on the board. He then went allin on the river and I couldn't call.) I'm not even playing as much poker. It's probably too much but it's not as much as it was. I'm like the guy who when asked how much he's had to drink says, "One. . .after another" when it comes to poker. I play too much but, for now, it's never enough. I guess it' sexy underwear time. Heck, I might even buy some for her.
November 19, 2004
One of our Tuesday nighter's favorite hand is A8, suited or not. I've never seen him show it down as a winner so I don't know the reasoning behind the thought. This game existed for a few years before I joined, so he may have won many a pot with it. Last night I'm in second chip position with three players left, blinds are 2-4, and I've got a stack of about $49.00. I get 10-10 in the hole and raise to $12.00. The reraise is to $24.00. I think and think and convince myself he's got 99 or smaller ( I make no claim of being a psychic. I can always convince myself I have someone beat). He just took a brutal beat to lose most of the chip lead and is prone to tilt after such an event. In fact, the previous two weeks, he's gone blind all-in at about 11:00 and that hour has already passed. He's had AA twice tonight and won huge pots with it both times. If he's got it again, it's a heck of a story. I push all in, convinced I'm best and won't get a call. Without thinking, he calls and flips over A8 off. No board induced changes and I'm in the lead. One bad beat received loses the lead and one administered wins the night. Four out of six weeks in the money with two firsts (one split) and two seconds.
Everytime I'm asked what my favorite hand is, I say AA. I've suffered the same beats as everyone else but we all know it holds up more often than not. My Poker Tracker stats show a win rate of 77% and more BB's per win than any other hand. Why have a favorite hand other than AA when all it can do is cost you money when superstition makes you play it too much or too hard? "No really, what's your favorite hand?" AA and KK is my second favorite. I do try to pick a random hand to push every time I play. It's usually J5. I have no delusion it's going to win unless I get extremly lucky or I can make everyone lay down their hands. I don't have the guts to use the hammer. The illusion of the high card power of the J gives me the strength to use it, albiet rarely. In the Tuesday night game, I'm tight. I fold as much as I can the first hour, playing only in position or premium hands. It's not unusual for me to lose over half my stack playing blinds before making a move. It pays off in this game as I still get calls when I bet. It's usually accompanied by an, "I know you got something, but I gotta call." It's hard to justify playing speculative hands as our initial blinds are 1/20 of our starting stack. I think our point system is going to tighten up the game as everyone is forced to see their results tabulated over three months. Everyone will be playing better hands, and raises will be respected. Maybe then, I'll bust out the hammer.
November 10, 2004
I joined an ongoing Tuesday night game about nine months ago. Two hours of dealer's choice, then a $20.00 NL tourney with the top two places paying. We started an ongoing competition for the last quarter of the year. We all pay an extra $2.00 a week with the overall winner getting the piggybank at the end of the cycle. First out gets one point, second out gets two, and so on with second getting a bonus point and the winner getting two. I've stayed solidly in the upper half so far by playing tight while the loose players get knocked out and then trying to bully my way to the money.
Here's our scorecard
And look. We're semi-famous.