Saturday, April 28, 2007

NFL Draft

For Prop Bets.

1. JaMarcus Russell
2. Calvin Johnson
3. Brady Quinn
4. Gaines Adams
5. Joe Thomas
6. Laron Landry
7. Adrian Peterson
8. Levi Brown
9. Darrelle Revis
10. Leon Hall
11. Patrick Willis
12. Amobi Okoye
13. Jamal Anderson
14. Adam Carriker
15. Lawerence Timmons
16. Dwayne Bowe

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Austin Days 1 and 2

I'm finally starting to feel "normal" again after 4.5 days in Austin and a day on my ass in back home in Vegas. Yesterday was mostly catching up on the DVR, reading a couple blogs, studying my fantasy teams, and bubbling the final table at the MATH. Not much motivation yet today but I'm hoping to get to the Venetian at some point for some live action.

Quick edit. It's now Wednesday and yes I played at the Venetian yesterday. Was basically card dead but hit two hands hard. Flopped bottom set and slow played it enough to trap an aggro donkey for a big pot, then flopped a Q high flush in the SB in a 7 way limped pot. I check BB bet $40 it folded to me I called, turn a blank, he bet $75 I check raised to $225, he pushed for about $2700, I called he mucked. So I scooped a nice $1700 pot there. Nice to have a dream session like that, completely card dead except for flopping monsters as it keeps from bleeding chips on spec or 2nd best hands. Three hours just over two racks. Wish they could all be like that.

Alright time to recap Austin. First off a big thanks to Scott, and Mr & Mrs Mookie for their wonderful hospitality. Underground poker, rides, great restaurants, beds, golf, the Big O, on and on it goes. Next year we really need to make this thing our spring break spot as it fits nicely in between the Winter and Summer Classics. Start planning for 2008 because its well worth it.

Weak and I got into Austin around 5pm and headed over to Scott's game for a $70 buy-in MTT with 21 players. There was some unusual play and I for the most part played only good hands and let the donks knock each other out. Down to 7 or so at the final table and on a few hands we saw an EP min raise with three callers. On either two or three occasions the big stacks wound up battling with the 2nd stack getting eliminated so really I folded my way to third place for a +140 profit. Sat in the must move cash game for a couple hours afterwards and played small balls for a few pots.

Thursday was a marathon day. We played from 1pm to midnight with a 90 break for a couple Sam Adams and Patrons at this happening bar right down the hill from the game. What was extremely strange is a couple players at the game recognized me and said they read my blog and they said they were excited to be playing with a Vegas pro. I guess I do play for a living even though I'm only playing $500 or $1000 buy-in low limit games here in Vegas and while it was kinda cool frankly it was a bit awkward and to hear that for the first time.

I bought in for the standard $200 and was able to win a nice pot early. I had 55 in the SB and called after a raise and two calls. Flop was KQ5. I checked, initial raiser bets, button calls, I check raise, intial raiser and caller both push. My bottom set was up against KQ and a nut flush draw and it held up so I was off and running.

The game was slighty loose and the common theme is most players where ready to go to the felt with either TP any kicker or any flush draw so I played a very tight and aggressive style. No sense mixing it up and trying to outplay postflop when you could be facing an all-in with what could amount to the pusher having any two cards.

I called a raise on the button with 9T and saw a flop of 9TQ two clubs. I made a stab and taking it down with a reraise but we lost nobody and a 8c on the turn certainly didn't help. Luckily it was checked around and the river brought a 9 for a full house. EP lead out and it folded to me and I reraised but she folded a straight face up. She was worried about the flush so that killed my action. That is one of those hands you are hoping someone has the nut flush so you can take down a big pot.

I grinded my way up to about $900 in chips though by nut peddling or taking down smallish pots that nobody seem to want when I pulled this hand out of my ass. I announced I was playing my last orbit and mucked around until I was UTG and I told the table I was going to live straddle and play the hand in the dark as long as I could.

I think four players limped in for the $5 and I made it $30 to go using my straddle option. I get one caller and we see a flop of 775. I made it $50 to go and the player called. Turn was an A and I said I don't think I have the sac to bet this so I checked and the player checked behind. Now I'm not in the habit of playing hands in the dark but I was really trying hard to watch the other player to see if maybe he would show how strong or weak his hand might be. Regardless I was a tad buzzed, I had been winning but I was nervous that I was going to look like a complete ass when the hand was over.

Anyway the turn is a 2 so there are no straight or flushes but I check. Again not enough sac to bet into this guy who was smooth calling. He fires $35 but there is no way I can fold to that smallish bet. Even in the dark its a no brainer to call a $35 bet into a $200 or so I say I call. This other player amazingly says, "Fuck nice call I got nothing." I'm thinking well buddy you're nothing might beat my hand because don't forget I haven't looked at it yet. Somehow in only playing his cards he forgot that I hadn't looked.

By this time every one is on the edge of their seats and its gotten real quiet so I throw in $35 worth of chips and turn over AK for two pair. The place goes crazy. No fawking way. I get pushed a $200+ pot and say, "Well I guess that's how you play AK." What a luckbox donkey. Things were going well and that capped what was a very profitable two days in my first experience playing in an underground club.

I will say if any is going to Austin look Scott up and get to his club to play. The owner and his girlfriend are very friendly and hospitible people and the room if full of snacks, waters, soda, beer, and every day they have a hot meal prepared that last all day. We ate pot roast, brisket, sausage, rice, veggies which was all delicious.

That's it for now. I'll get to the remainder of the trip tomorrow or Friday. Right now I'm going to rest a bit and get ready to head down to Bellagio and Caesars. I'm starting with some cash games but I might try and satellite into one of the WPT events at Caesars. We'll see how juicy the cash games are first.

Stay Profitable.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Live Hands

Doesn't look like I'll be able to play in a BBT event until at least next Monday and that will probably be the only one for the next two weeks so you donks will have a chance to catch up in the standings. Get those points while you can because when I come back I'll be fresh and ready to spank some more ass.

Alright a couple of live hand histories for you're reading pleasure. The first one I didn't play but the guy who did gave me the breakdown and I thought it interesting enough to post. Feel free to comment with your thoughts about how the hands were played and how maybe you would have played them.

$10/20 NL Bellagio. Almost everyone bought in with $10K and as you can imagine it's a wild game. Major bluffs, players representing hands, and this is only the AAA game as the $25/50 game has $50K stacks. Anyway bad decisions can result in 5 figure loses so you definitely need to be on top of your game.

My buddy is on the button with 9d 9h. UTG, a maniac raises 12x to $240 and gets a call from both the hijack and CO. First tough decision is either raise or call and my buddy elects to call playing this hand both from position and for set value. As most of you are probably aware the higher up you play the more valuable position is, and in most cases its more important than you cards.

So there is a nice $960 in the pot as the flop comes Ks 9s 8c. UTG immediately fires $750 into the pot and the hijack and CO both fold. Decision number two, raise or call. My buddy elects to call hoping UTG will keep firing and he can slow play his way to a big pot.

Pot is $2460 and the turn is a 7d making the board even scarier. UTG checks decision time again. Straight and flush draws everywhere perhaps facing KK, my buddy checks again. His reasoning here was he didn't want to bet then face a check-raise for what probably would have committed his stack and if he is ahead he might induce a bluff on the river. As I move up I've noticed that good players will mix-up C-bets or overbets for value with checking the turn. Sometimes by checking the turn with good hands, even on scary boards, the hope is of inducing a semi-bluff or that the opponent will improve the hand but not catch up. I think I bet in this situation and hope not to be behind KK or JT and also hope I don't get drawn out on the river.

River is a 6s completely making a mess on the board. There is four to a straight, three to a flush and the maniac UTG could have anything. UTG bets $1800, about 3/4 pot. What now? Is he value betting or is he bluffing? My buddy winds up calling again and UTG turns over AA. So my buddies 99 takes down the pot but he's not at all sure he played the hand correctly. He did ask for a lot of different opinions on how he played the hand and he got a wide variety of answers. Of course playing at that level makes the decisions much more tricky but still you have to play the hand relative to the stacks.

Alright my hand from this weekend. I'm playing $2/5 at the Venetian with a $1000 max buy-in which makes the game more like $5/10. There are maybe only two soft spots at the whole table and its mostly a aggro game with lots of plays and bluffs being made.

I limp UTG with 6h 6d. Aggro guy to my right makes it $15, MP calls, CO calls, both blinds come along so of course I call. So ugh, six way flop with $90 in the pot. Flop comes 4d 6c 7s. What to do here?

Both blinds check so I bet out half pot $45 as an info/blocking bet. Hopefully this will give me some info as to where I am in the hand or at least we can narrow the field. Initial raiser makes it $90, MP calls, CO folds, SB check-raises it to $200 and the BB folds. Decision time now.

I have middle set and I have two players to act after me. Initial raiser has about $1700, caller has about $250, and SB has about $450 left after his raise and I have about $700.

Sets are not always golden and I've laid down bottom set on a couple occasions. Nothing worse than having set under set and seeing your stack dead to a two outer. Also lot of players will fold middle set here, hoping to find a better spot to get all their money in but I'm not sure thats the way to go either. What's the decsion here?

I really go into the tank on this one. Did SB wake up with 58 and flop a straight? Thats my main concern. No way he just calls if he did flop the straight as he's got to try and get maximum value and if he thinks someone has a set he has to worry about the board pairing. He also can be making a play at a scary board trying to represent a hand in hopes of landing a nice pot.

Also what might the caller have. No Limit Theory and Hold'em has some interesting points about "Beware of the Overcaller," and I know sometimes I'll call in situations such as this with a great hand or a draw in hopes of either inducing a bluff into my made hand or getting value and odds if I'm drawing.

I'm really taking my time here trying to decide what the small blind has and finally one of the donks calls time on me. Floor comes over with the whole speech and after about 15 seconds on the clock I jam all-in. If the SB has 58 oh well, I still have outs, if he has 77 oh well again, I'm going broke on this juicy pot with set under set.

Initial raiser folds and the caller calls again. Yikes. The SB immediately calls too and now I think I'm dead. I turn over my 66 for middle set, caller turns over 75 for TP and OESD, and SB turns over 44 for bottom set. Wow I'm ahead. Now the math here is not perfect as I'm doing this from memory but we have a main pot of about $1200 and a side pot of about $620.

The turn is a Jh. Nice, one card left to take down a monster pot. The river is a 8h giving the short stacked donkey the straight. Fuck live poker is rigged. Just like that down I go. I went from profiting $1000 on that hand to down $50 since at least I did win the side pot.

Anyway, some good examples of decisions faced playing deep stack cash games. Usually its one sometimes two hands that dictate whether or not the session is good, bad, or indifferent. BTW the guy who lost that pot with bottom set rebought for $500 and lost it all about 5 hands later with flush over flush. Poor fucker. I wound up down about $125 for the session but man what could have been.

Off to Austin tomorrow.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Record Turnout

Wow. 53 players, a $3657 prize pool, and a fat $1389.66 for first place which was chopped four ways for $786 each. Again wow.




Thanks to everyone who played and to everyone who pimped this game on their blog. This turnout and prize pool is what I envisioned when we started the Big Game back in October '06 but I guess we just needed some things to come together to get it to this height. The BBT and its season ending freeroll, the Token Frenzies, and some major pimping has put the Big Game on the map and hopefully to stay.

Next months Big Game will be May 20th, so get those tokens early and lets see if we can get 58 players next month which would give us a $4,000 prize pool.

I have a few very interesting live hands to write about so I'll get those up for tomorrow then Wednesday its off to Austin to play in the live Mookie.

Again thanks to all who made it out to the Big Game last night.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Live Action and Donkin the Mookie

The Bellagio is an absolute zoo with the Five-Star Tournament in town so yesterday's live action was the $2/5 $1000 max at the Venetian. They had a main game running when I got there and quickly the list filled up so they started a must move game on the 2nd table. Most of the table bought in for around $500, so I started there but as a couple others sat I bought up to $800.

I only got involved with one hand at the must move when I raised four limpers to $35 from the button with KJo got one caller and saw a flop of K83. He checked I made it $50 he called, turn was a T and he leads into me for $100 leaving only $50 or so behind. I folded and he showed KT so I dumped $85 but saved money on the lay down.

After only 30 minutes or so I got moved to the main game which had a good amount of money on it. There were three stacks at about $2000-$2500, and three stacks at around $1000-$1200 and the rest were like mine around $700. I played there five hours and was card dead basically the whole time, I saw only three pocket pairs, one AK sooted and the rest mostly garbage. I open raised a few times with hands like 57, or 8T just so I didn't seem like some local rock, and those hands mostly broke even either wining on a C-bet or seeing such an ugly flop with too many callers that I surrendered the hand.

I did float on one guy that was a decent player and I picked up a few small pots whenever he didn't fire the second bullet but that was really it as far as playable hands until I got in the mix on this particular juicy pot.

There is an EP limper then a tightish Asian dude makes it $20 from the Hijack, CO who I'd been been floating on calls so I call on the button with Ad3d. Both blinds and the limper call so the pots is $120. The flop is Ah 8d 5d. Decent enough, TP shitty kicker but a nut flush draw, lets hope I can see a turn cheaply enough.

It checks around to the CO who makes it $75 to go. Now I'm in somewhat of a tough spot because do I reraise here on my draw or do I call and hope that none of the four who checked don't check raise it and take away some of my odds. I decide to call with the intention of reraising if one of these guys makes a play on the pot. Both blinds fold, the initial limper calls the $75 and the initial raiser folds so I got my odds only having to put in $75 into what is now a $340 pot.

Turn is the Jd. Very nice. The initial limper makes it $150 and CO mucks. Now with three diamonds on the board my immediate thoughts are how much do I bet so I get this guy to call. If I push I'm almost certain he mucks so this is not a time to overbet for value, and I also want to leave some money behind in case he also has a flush and might just push in instead of calling me and it also might have given the appearance I was weak and trying to steal the pot. I had about had about $600 or so left behind me and he had about $550.

I decide to make it $350. He instantly jams and of course I call. He has a set of 5s gets no help on the river and I take down about a $1450 pot. Now IMO he made a huge mistake on the flop by not check-raising the two $75 bets. I'm not a fan of check-raising flops but if ever there was an opportunity to do it this was it. With $275 or so in the pot and even having only bottom set he definitely should have made a move as you would have to think one of the six players who saw a flop in drawing to the flush. If he raises the two $75 bets to $250, he probably gets two folds and takes down a nice sized pot. Now I'm also a huge fan of slow playing and trapping but its always situational and this was definitely not the time.

That was about the only significant hand I got involved with. The game was tight for a while and then as a table we agreed to put a live straddle on so the game loosened up quite a bit. My cards were crap and I took a shot with some speculative hands pre-flop but nothing clicked. Still for having barely any cards I hit that one big pot to have a winning session.

On to the Mookie from Wednesday. I made a bad call that resulted in losing my stack and it was such and obvious play I was kinda pissed at myself for falling for it.

I had JJ in SB. The blogger in the CO raises 3.5x and I call. Now in the SB I'm not reraising this hand and really I'm hoping to either flop a set or that they have AK, AQ or some smaller pocket pair and miss the flop and they'll let go of the hand post flop. We see a T high flop HU. The pot is $360 I think and he bets $180 at it. Now this is where my first red flag should have been. A half pot C-bet means either I hit the flop hard or I have KK or AA and I'm setting a trap.

I check-raise to $375. This is a basic move for info. Did he have AK and miss or does he have a hand. Well he waits and waits and lets the timer move down and re-raises me. Duh. Thats one of the most obvious plays in the book, acting as if its a tough decision and jamming right before the timer expires. Now combine that with the half pot C-bet and the hand screams AA or KK.

Now here is how stupid my play is. I type in the chat box AA? Then I type in fuck it lets gamble. I push in my remaining chips and he of course turns over KK. If I fold the hand I still have 950 chips and its plenty early that I could have gotten back into the tournament without having yet to be on push monkey mode.

Online I've found 90% of the time players will play a hand exactly as described above. If you find yourself in a situation where you have a half-pot C-bet, then a stall until the timer is gone followed by a jam, don't be dumb like me, fold to the AA or KK. Its a blatantly obvious play.

That's it. Live poker today and tomorrow followed up with Sunday's Big Game.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

What a Run

This MTT run has been unreal to say the least, which is somewhat ironic since I'm the biggest shit talker against MTT out here. I like cash games, we all know that, and we also know that running hot in MTTs is not unusal, as months of total frustration can pay off in multiple cashes in a short period.

I did it against bloggers which of course is no small feat, guys like Hoyazo, Iak, Smokkee, and Lucko have gone deep in many much bigger events both player wise and cash wise. That's what I look forward too, cashing on their levels.

Cash donk vs MTT donk has always been a debate, they are two totally different games though similiar yet different. What I've been trying to do lately is incorporate traits from cash games and use it to my advantage in MTTs. Yes, luck is involved, a suckout here or there is necessary, we have to win our coin flips when they matter, and good cards are important too, but there is also a level of skill that can be a deciding factor as well. Here are a couple of thoughts on how I've tried to improve my MTT play.

I don't write many strategy posts, mostly because I'm lazy, but I read a ton about poker and I study and simulate hand histories and what I'm finding to be most important for me right now is getting to the turn. IMO poker is about being the best player over time playing the turn. I've found most MTTs are played pre-flop and flop, what I'm trying to do is get a hand I'm involved in to the turn where I feel I have better experience playing then those who mostly play MTTs. Thats been the primary adjustment that has helped my MTT game, getting to the turn.

Poker is also about reads, and playing online has been great practice for me to work on reads without the body language involved, so that means betting patterns and style. Does weak equal weak or does it equal strong, or vice versa, who is capable of folding and who is going to the felt with TPTK, who will fold their blinds unless they have a monster. This is an aspect that I think is not truly used by most players. Yes we have our reads but how much do we really focus on them and more importantly how often to we use them.

I try to avoid coin flips early on unless I'm going backwards fast. I think I can find some easier money as a 70% favorite or with some serious fold equity than I can by trusting the flip of a coin. Sometimes it's unavoidable but I work on trying not to get in that spot. Now later on I think there are spots you need to gamble on what might be coin flips and some of that gamble has to be by calling. Yes calling.

As a shortie, its first in all in and only calling with a monster but if you get a above level in chips I think sometimes its worth a gamble to resteal or even call an all-in bet with small pockets pairs or hands like AQ. Here its about the player you are playing against its also about whether winning or just getting in the money is the goal.

Enough about that. Of course there are tons of other factors but those are a few things that have made my game better. Now on to the Big Game this Sunday. Here are some sample prize pools based on the amount of players.

25 players $1725 prize pool.
1st- $862.50
2nd- $517.50
3rd- $345.00

30 players $2070 prize pool.
1st- $931.50
2nd- $517.50
3rd- $372.60
4th- $248.40

37 players $2553 prize pool.
1st- $1021.20
2nd- $587.19
3rd- $408.48
4th- $306.36
5th- $229.77

Token Frenzy 21:45 nightly $14+1.

Cash Donk Again?

Who let the cash donk in here?



It was hard fought and we did chop three-way.

Had a blast.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Back-To-Back

Can you believe it?



Back-to-Back baby.

I'm amazed. What a very tough field and I got lucky at the end as all my hands held up. Props to new blogger OSU or Cowboy Poker for his 2nd place finish. Well played. It was also nice to play some hands for the first time with Blood too.

Also a shout out to the Host Mookie for running things and for his back-to-back final tables. See you in two weeks bro.

I'll make sure I'm here next week to see if I can pull off the impossible. Had a blast.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Another One Year

Happy 1st Birthday to this here blog. Hopefully there are many more to come. Also I managed to write 165 posts which to me is rather amazing given my lazy and procrastinating ways.

About the only thing close to being 41 and living in Vegas would to be 21 and going to school in Gainsville. Those donks have all the trophy's and I'm sure everyone has been partying and getting laid frequently so congrats even though that pussy school won't play Miami in football. Come on Urban maybe you'll start playing us now since you have a title?

I do get satisfaction seeing the Luckeyes lose again. Is there any state that has more shitty cities and towns than Ohio? Seriously they put the Rust in Rust belt. If you're from there well sorry you can't help where you're from, if you still live there that's on you.

The BBT kicked off with 47 entrants in yesterday's MATH which I personally am very impressed with. This is a great tour and after 40 events we should have a very good idea on who the best players really are. I look forward to the competition.

Is there any chip stack this guy can't donk off as the leader of a blogger event? Some day man you'll finish one of these off.

Congrats to Surflexus for winning the Super Donkeys NCAA Hoops Contest and a free entry into tomorrow's Mookie. It's doubtful I'll be able to play as I'm meeting Drizz for the 11am donkament at the Sahara. I'm sure some poker and cocktails will follow so I doubt I'm back in time.

A shout out to OSU and Wippy two new bloggers that played at my opening table. BTW that's Oklahoma St. Gary so you now have a rival blogger that's not a UT donk.

Start planning ahead for the April version of the Big Game. It is in the rotation for the BBT and 29 entrants will give us a $2000 prize pool so get those tokens now. One of my favorite ways to get in is the $14+1 token frenzies run daily on FT at 16:45 and 21:45. These are actually satellites and a great way to get that $75 for cheap. So get those tokens and come out for a shot at some big prize money and valuable BBT points.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Weekend

Tonites MATH starts the Battle of the Bloggers which should be a very interesting challange. Great prizes, great competition, and great friendship, so get out there and play.

My Champions Profile is up over at Mookies. Don't laugh too hard.

They say money saved is money earned and that was my situation this weekend. I was all prepared to bet Saturday's games and make up for my loses of the previous weekend but something happened on the way to the window. I realized that I'm a decent football and NBA handicapper but my college hoops picks have been either bad or unlucky so for some reason I didn't pull the trigger on Georgetown and UCLA. Good thing. Hey it's all about the laydowns right?

Yesterday was an interesting day on the poker front. I played nearly five hours and lost $6.50, the price of a Token Frenzy. I decided to use that token and try to satellite into the the $400K on FT. Sure enough after nearly 3 hours I win the seat. 111 runners with 12 getting seats and I fought off the bubble at the end and got in.

The $400K was fucking boring. Harldy any cards to speak of and I busted just after the 2nd break. Things were so bad my high water mark was only T3330 just barely ahead of the starting stack. Oh well, I'm going to take a couple shots at satelliting into some of the bigger buy-ins in the hopes I can get lucky and go deep for a big cash. That's one thing that rocks about FT is their satellites.

Alright that's it for now. Baseball is back so I'm excited about fantasy baseball and I'm also looking forward to tonights Florida-Ohio St game.