Monday, June 30, 2008

Kansas Royalty

Was kicking around the idea of a post concerning an encounter at our local hardware store. Wasn't going to post it until I saw this and this. It also fits in with the subject matter I kick around here.

The wife, son, and daughter and I needed some primer for a home improvement project. We get the stuff and wander about the store. My son loves to play in the patio furniture display. He would spend the day there if we let him. After repeatedly asking him to leave, in my outside the house voice., he finally steps into the aisle. I see a very tall black man coming around the corner as my son steps out. Danny Manning almost flattens my 4 year old. Danny stops short and my son is like a deer in headlights. I tell him, in my most pleasant tone, to please move. I tell him, what feels like, a billion times. The boy finally moves and I apologize to Danny and his wife. No biggie. Accept it happens again while we are leaving the store. Sucks, because there is a small part of me that needs the greatest living Kansas sports figure to know that I am a good parent. He should know I can control my kid. Kind of like sucking in your gut when a hottie walks by. To my son, it was just the largest man he had ever seen almost running him over, again. To me it is like a brush with royalty. Someday he will understand.

I chuckle to myself thinking about what would have happened had the collision occurred. My son could tell his friends; "This one is from falling and hitting a stone wall. I got six stitches. And, this one is from the time Danny Manning kneed me in the face". "Yeah it was horrible, my Dad yelled at me, made me apologize, then took me to the hospital." "Oh and I had to work off the debt to my Dad when he insisted that we buy his liquid plumber and garden hose". "Thanks, my nose does look almost normal now. Amazing what they can do with a big toe". "Dad says stop complaining and that's why God gave us two sets"

Too bad Wilt is gone. Complete the family. Maybe I can find Paul Pierce.

Speaking of the Truth. Further proof that it is the year of the Jayhawk.

5 basketball players got drafted. Ties record. Kaun will be the second highest paid, but he was the last drafted. He is playing in Russia and the NBA team that ends up with his rights can have him in two years. Sweet deal for the team. Get the developed player for no pay.



Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Home Game and Rules Question

Not much to talk about. Ground out a $28 win. Got 4 pocket pairs in 5 hours. 44 55 x 2 and 77. Got AKs once and AQs once. Other than that just playing so so hands in position like QJs that won me a big one when flop tripped me up. Or AcTC on a flop with the nut flush draw and a gutterball. The guy min raised by flop bet and then small bet to the river where a Q gave me the nuts. I bet out 2/3 pot and he put me in with K rag. Top pair only. I don't mind raising there to see where you are, but you have to drive me out of the pot after the turn. He let me get there.

I lost half my $20 buy in and was seated between the two loosest players in the game. Folds to button who limps, I complete my small blind with 55 and the bb raises 4xbb. Button calls and I push all in. They both fold. Had barely enough fold equity there. Plus my table image as nearly a rock helped a lot. Before that I bluffed the only other good player at the table with 6h5h. I raised utg and he called from the button. Heads up and he checks in the dark. Ace on flop and I go all in. He insta folds and shows 66, good for second pair. I show him my bluff and tell him it's good for the game. I am starting to use my table image to get pots now. Opened up a whole new aspect to my game. Fun, very fun.

Oh the guy I bluffed, who had the 66, had an Astin like run of cards. In the first 3 orbits, 7 handed, he showed 8 pocket pairs. He later went on to get KK x4 times. Flop a set with 22 and get 99 three more times. Unreal.

Rules Question:

3 handed see a smallish pre-flop raised flop

Loose guy bets out about $6 which is about the pot. Loose guy # 2 raises to $15 while directly after, but clearly after the re-raise is announced, player 3 says "I will call you Terry" referring to the original raiser. The re-raiser had his cards hidden under his hands. Player 3 said he did not know he was in the hand. Player 3 , made obvious by his demeanor, would not have called the re-raise.

What is the rule here? I know it is a friendly home game, put #3 is a solid player and said he would leave his call of the original raiser in the pot. Is this correct, or is his verbal announcement of "call" obligate him for all of the re-raise? Or should he get it all back since he could not see #2's cards and thought he was not in the hand. Therefore not paying any attention to him to see his action. #2's verbal raise was very quiet.

Re-raiser won the hand after the raiser called and gave #3 back his money.



Friday, June 20, 2008

Small Victory

I have not been chronicling it here, but I have been on a dry spell. It is a combination of bad cards and poor play. Mostly poor play. Now don't get me wrong. I have seen set over set with me on the losing end twice in the last two weeks. I have not seen that in months. I flop a full house with QQ only to lose to turned bigger full house. The cards and my bad play conspired to drag me deeper into the abyss. The bad stuff happened and my game went to pot.

Tournament poker is my preference. I play cash games live mostly, but tend to stick to MTT and Sit n' gos on line. My game had deteriorated to the point I was just calling and catching. Not betting and taking. I'm a top damn it. Last night I decided I had enough. If I was going to lose, I would lose swinging away.

I have a standing appointment Thursdays to play online with my cousin from Hotlanta. I railed him as he busted out of the 28k and the token race. We decided to play a $3 ko sit n go. Now earlier in the day I was playing one of these and final tabled. I made a read on a player and check raised him with air and got him to fold. Nothing spectacular. I was almost sure he was c betting with missed AK. The key: I made the read. I had not been doing that recently. I had been reading blogs, watching TV, or talking to the wife. I final tabled without getting a pocket pair above TT, seeing AK twice, and AQ once in over two hours. TT was one of only 5 pocket pairs I saw. I did it by focusing on the game and playing the players. I had been playing weak poker and played only my cards. I had the guy who won in all in pf with 77 vs A5s he hit his 3 outer and went on a tear. Love this game.

Now with my cousin playing, it is easy to focus. We rail each other and root each other on. And in this sit n go, I got some cards. I hit my draws. I got out to the lead about half way through and didn't fall below 5th the whole way. Man, I forgot how fun this game is when playing with a huge stack. Raises are not respected, they are feared. I picked up so much free money. I entered the final table 3rd in chips and was in first with 4 left. I had a huge chip advantage thanks to getting QQ and AA consecutively when 5 handed. The QQ hand busted out the shortest stack and the AA left the 2nd place guy with less than one bb. AA vs AK 4 handed = cooler.

Then I started just leaning on the other two and got heads up like 210k to 60k. I wish the story ended better, but I got sucked out on the first all in, lost a kicker battle on the second and couldn't finish it out. Disappointing.

No major suck outs. Only one that was not really a suck out. I had A2o in sb as chip leader. Complete and flop is checked around. Turn gives me the wheel. I bet out and get called.
Flop is a 7 making a higher straight possible. I check, thinking I am ahead (Q was on board, put him on that) and he goes all in. He pushes and I call. He had 22 and was bluffing. I guess it was a suck out, but he never bet it. I hit 4 nut flushes, when priced in, and got paid nicely for them.

No wait, I did suck out on KK. My 99 flopped top set. All the money was in pre-flop. I had 3 to 1 chip advantage over him.

The combination of me concentrating on the game and finally getting some cards made for a good night. I was on the winning side of all in with pp almost every time. QQ > JJ. AA > KK. Was nice to be on the other side.

Hand Question:

In the 28k, 4 level
Villain and cousin both have about doubled up. Plenty of chips

My cousin picked up TT in the BB.

It is folded around to the button who puts in the standard 3.5 x the bb raise. Cousin calls and flop comes K82 rainbow. Cousin checks and the button bets about 2/3 pot. Cousin folds. I told him he should have re-raised there. He told me to let him play his game. He said that guy was conservative. Funny thing is that guy open shoved next hand and limped the following two.

Anyway, is this or is this not a good time to check raise? I got to think TT is ahead of this guys range. And in a $3 ko donkey fest, people tend to check flopped top pair heads up with position. I didn't tell him this, but I thought he should have re-raised pre flop. He had enough chips that the re-raise would not have crippled him.



Wednesday, June 18, 2008


While playing NL on Full Tilt the other day, I was dealt these hands in sequence.


Open raised all 5 and only lost a small pot with the second AQ

Stacked a guy with the last TT.

Pretty sure he thought I was just playing a rush or turned on the aggro switch. He defended his big blind. Flop comes KTx all spades. He bets I re-raise. He just calls. Turn is a non spade low card. He bet smallish. I put him all in . He insta calls with KTos. No K and I win.

Thanks for the pot FT rng.



Thursday, June 12, 2008


Which situation would you rather get your stack all in with?

Micro nl $4 buy in on Full Tilt .05/.10 blinds

Hero has about $6.


Hero in sb with QQ

Utg +1 raises the pot

Folds around to you and you just call. (this is what I did. Should have re -raised)

Flop comes K93 rainbow.

Villain c bets 3/4 the pot.

What do you do?


Same stakes and stacks.

Mp calls folds to Hero in bb with J2os

Flop comes 89J rainbow.

Villain bets 2x bb

Hero calls

Turn is 2

Hero bets out about the pot.

Villain re-raises you all in.

What do you do?

Which one of these do you go to war with?

Both? None?



Wednesday, June 11, 2008

I remember wihen misery thrilled me much more

I like to think back with great fondness to the fall of 2003. I had been infected and was full of fantasy about being a money maker at poker. I played live first at the KC casinos. Still remember the first two hands I played. Sat down and posted my blind utg+1 in a 3/6 limit game. Smallest game they have. How stupid is that? Look down at Q5os. Raise and re-raise later I flat call. I flop a boat QQ5. I check and call down to the river as the other guy hits his A high flush. I never raise. Never bet out. He was shocked that I had that hand. Next hand is A4os. I call two raises in the BB again. Flop the wheel. Win again. I was hooked like the donkey fish that I was and that I still battle today.

Fast forward couple months and I get some money on Party Poker. I play 3/6 at the casino , why not virtually as well. Ran $100 up to $1200 in a day. Didn't realize that online game is so much bigger. Played like a donkey. I didn't know the absolute turd A6os was utg, suited or not. I loved aces. Played em all the time every one. Chased everything. Flushes, gutter balls, you name it. Couldn't lay down AK. Couldn't lay down any flopped top pair. And I lost that and much more in a week. I was an ATM.

That's okay though. I loved getting my cards and getting an ace. If I flopped a pair of aces, it was like having sex. It was Christmas morning, Halloween and my birthday all wrapped up in one. And I played them fearlessly. Bet and bet and call and call.

Now a starting hand with an ace scares me. Anything less that AK makes my stomach turn. AQ absolutely blows. AT suited makes me weep. Its like a puffer fish. Such a pretty hand. So damn deadly.

I guess my point is this; early on I was optimistic, now I just wait for the rng on Full Tilt to corn hole me. I gotta get the mojo back. I gotta believe my card is coming. Believe, while being patient, aggressive and courageous, that I will be rewarded for my play.

Just another leak to fix.



Thursday, June 5, 2008

Blog Roll

I have added Poker Grump to my blog roll. It is a good read and updated often. And, it fulfills his long time wish and really, every bloggers wish, to be on my blog roll. Congrats poker grump, you made it. Que Barry Manilow. Call the family. Smoke a cigar. Throw a party. Bang a hooker. Bang a hooker at a party, smoking a cigar, while talking to great grandma. Multi tasking, leaves more time for poker.



Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Home game lovin

Long post coming. If you like you can skip to the comments and respond with "awesome" or "best post ever" or "I want that 5 minutes of my life back" or "you sir, are a poker genius"or my favorite, "more hand histories please"

Home game was back on last night after a two week hiatus as the host was on vacation last week. I used to take this game all serious like. I would fret over all the cards and the what what in the butt. I was running bad in cards. The good hands I did get would be outdrawn or would have to fold to pressure. I was losing $20 to $40 a week. No big deal, but I was just used to winning that much or small loses. It all came to a head for me one week when I raised a pot with AcQc and 3 of us saw the flop of 2dJc9c. Check to me and I bet the pot. One fold, one slow caller. I should have known then. That guy doesn't do that with air. He doesn't call to steal later. He would have moved here if he thought I was weak. Turn is my card, 2c. He checks and I push all in. He tells me he isn't going to slow roll me. And I know. Quads. I don't think I get away from this hand. Just because of the size of the pot and how few chips, relative to the pot, I had left. But if I was big stacked, I can. But that is not the point. I didn't see it coming. I was playing only my cards and not him. Big stack or not I was going broke here. By the way, I hate his slow play of his bottom set here.

So I made a decision. I would start treating the home game differently. Instead of being about poker, it would now be about learning, getting away from the kids, and drinking beer with friends. The cards I was dealt and the results I posted would be secondary. I would focus solely on playing correct poker and be happy in the fact that I was with adults only and a cold beer in my hand. If I lost, who cared, I was having fun damn it.

And it happened. I played tight and posted a small win. Then I posted my biggest win to date
Next week I won $40. This week. Well, I run good.

First hand of the night I look down at AdJd. Limp from middle position and call a raise from Sheik, a Saudi Arabian going to school here who bleeds chips. Flop comes ace high and I check to him. He bets the pot and I put him all in. His AQ beats me and I am down half a buy in. That is ok. I am happy with my play. I was way ahead of his range there and I will make that play every time. Against him that is +EV. So I was down but still feeling good.

Three hands later. Limps around to button. He bets six times the big blind. He is a solid player but is loose and aggressive in this situation. He likes to pick up chips. I look down at JJ in the big blind. I move all in for my last $9, ($20 buy in). Everybody mucks and he reluctantly calls and says don't show me your cards. Board is 9 high and I win. He had junk. Never showed me his hand.

Seventeen hands later I get AA on the button. Can you say woot woot? Three limpers and I raise it up 5x the bb with a lackadaisical bet mid sentence. I was trying to trap the sb. Last week I did the same type of bet with AK, 3 handed and he called. Flop came 9 high and I c bet. He reraised me and I had to lay it down. He showed the bluff and told me he had me on AK. Well done sir. Well I trapped him. Him and 3 of his friends. Should have bet more. Now I am thinking of how quick I can fold if the flop is scary. Fourth guy thinks and folds to a chorus of "you were priced in", and "why didn't you call". Flop comes 645os. Sb bets out for the pot and gets a smooth caller. I push all in for $6.5 more. Sb thinks and talks and says, oh you really have something. He calls, correctly, and so does the smooth caller. 9 turn and 2 river and my aces hold up. I rake it in and needle the sb with "didn't have AK, did I". He says he put me on 99-JJ. Didn't bother to point out that his play still made little sense and he was still behind. No, he had me on AK. The smooth caller had a busted straight draw. Oh and the guy who limp folded for all those crazy odds had 23os.

Picked up AA again 20 hands later. Raise it more this time. One caller in sb. Flop J99. I know I am going to the felt here. If he has JJ or a 9, good for him. He bets the pot. I think, drink my beer and double his bet. He moves all in for most of my stack. Now I have seen him play a hand like this before. Against me. I call and he says good call. His A7 is no match and he goes home. They asked him what he was doing and he thought my thinking and taking a drink of beer was a sign of weakness. Store that away in the vault.

Get AsQs and limp call a smallish raise. Flop comes AJx and I check. Mp bets and the original raiser moves in. I pick up my cards and show the other half of the table I am folding this. Two of them look at me with exasperation. How can I fold that. I wink as to say just watch. Mp calls and his top two pair take down AK. A month ago I probably call. Two months ago I definitely fold. I guess I am coming back. Seriously, come play in my game.

Few hands later I get AK in the bb and way over raise the 4 limpers. The same guy from my JJ hand calls. Hmmm. Flop comes 8 high and I check with the intention of putting him all in if he bets. Remember, he bets at the sign of weakness. It's Pavlovian. He obliges and I push. He goes into the tank. My phone rings. It's my wife. He says he has top pair and is almost sure I am dominating him. I can't get the ringing to stop with my hand in my pocket and take out my phone. Answer it on accident. Just say hello in a sing song way. Wife wants to know where the cable company put the Weather Channel. I tell her. She curses the company and I say I will talk to her later. He folds. Says my answering of the phone sealed his fold. Put that in the vault. We ran it out anyway and I turned a K. They kept needling me to show my TT. I showed the bluff and struck fear in their eyes. Yeah right. One guy I respect called me a donkey. I told him the correct response was nice hand. I got him to lay down the better hand. I out played him. I played him. Other guys at the table cannot lay down TPTK. He could and that is what made my play profitable. Next time I make that move with a made hand.

Last hand, I swear.

Limp utg with AK. Shorty raises. Looooooose player on button calls. I put them both in. Shorty calls. Button folds. I am dominating with AK vs AJ. Flop Q high. Turn J, river J. Oh well. Only cost me $20 or so.

Hands for the night 2x AA
5x AK
2x AQ

Finished up $70. My AK hand holds, I am up $110 or so. No biggie. I didn't play great poker. I just didn't foul up the good run of cards I had. Last three times at the home game, I am up a total of $270. The cards definitely help. But I like to think some of it is me.



Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Slow spiral

Still playing poker.

I tend to struggle with the patience aspect of the game vs the aggressive aspect of the game. If I am patient, it feels much too much like I am being a wimp. If I am overly aggressive, my bankroll evaporates. It is hard to find the middle ground. Recently, I have been way too impatient.

So, I decided to play one of those $3 KO tourneys and play uber tight. Folded, folded and more folding. Even folded small blinds with 4 limper's and the right odds to call. I was making diamonds baby. Finally limp on the button with A7cc after 3 limper's before me. Flop comes Qc9c3d. Checked around to me and I move all in for slightly over the pot. Folds around to big stack who thinks and calls me with A7 os. Free roll baby. Club turns and rivers and I more than double up. Guy gave away 1/15th of his stack for .50 bounty.

Folding and we are folding. 6 handed. I get A9 os in co. Folded to me and I push. I am nearly last in chips and need to make a move. 5k chips and the blinds were 300/600. Button wakes up with AK and igh in 22nd place.

Poor results? Yes. Happy with my play. Absolutely. I got AJ once utg early on. NO pocket pairs. Zero. No AK or AQ. I know how to do this. I have a few MTT scores in 4 figures. I just have to be patient. No wait aggressive. Frick. I don't know. I am scared. Damn it, there goes my courage. Double frick.

I love this game.