Saturday, October 13, 2007

Just the One!

A trip to the maternity unit at the local hospital yesterday for the 3 month scan dispelled any thoughts of twins coming in 6 months time! The scan showed a 'normal' baby, wriggling around like the preverbial pig in shit. Can't help being amazed sat watching our little baby - just 3 months 'old' (or should that be -6 months old?) - on the screen wriggling around in mummy's tummy, waving arm and legs, heartbeat clearly visible. Amazing what technology can do these days.

Anyway, mother and baby appear to be doing very well, all tests came back spot on where they should be - so we look forward to the due date of 20th April (10 days after Mia was born - odds on being 10 days early?) and now have to decide on a name. Which is not proving easy.

Poker has continued in the same form as my previous post, a few downs, but mainly ups and my balance has crept to the £550 mark with about another £60 in my poker account. I've gone back to Ladbrokes, one of the first sites I played at, and stuck to the 10/20c BB level.

Things have been going well overall, and last night was a pretty roller coaster night, losing 2 buy ins when I flopped a str8 and saw the two cards I was holding hit the turn and river and my opponent had the high card to make a better str8.

Feeling a bit 'tilty', I headed to a 50c BB table, and was dealt AA early on. A raise and call before me so i raise it up 4 x the original raise- 3 players call!

We see a flop of J J 10 so I pot bet and all 3 call!

Turn was an A so I bet half my original bet, attempting to show weakness. One player pushes, 2nd and 3rd call, as do I. I push on the river and everyone calls. 3 Full Houses and a Str8 and I profit about 150$ :-).

Shut down the 50c tables and snuck back to the 20c and, apart from the above, have stayed fairly disciplined.

Anyway, off to Biddulph Gardens tomorrow, so let's hope for some nice weather!

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Oh Happy Days

Another succesful night on the tables (although only at the 5/10c levels) and after doubling my Joker Stars BR on Sunday, I doubled it again last night. Oh happy days.

Trying to stay away from the higher limit games, where variance can bite your ass much harder and hence longer to recover from. Once my total BR gets to 500£ I'll have a peek at stepping upto 25 & 50c BB level, where I have played comfortably in the past. I'd not looked at my overall BR for a while, just been putting a little away here and there after seeing it depleted from almost £800 8 months ago to just £200 8 weeks ago. The 50 and 100$ here and there I'd put in have added up quite nicely and I was very surprised to see £435! Oh happy days.
Combined with the 110$ I've got in Joker Stars at the mo, close to £500. Oh happy days.

At home, Cathy continues to grow and the twins are looking a distinct possibility. She's a slim lass, so maybe it just stands out more - but she's much bigger than when carrying Mia. The scan is middle of next week, so all will be revealed in time. Oh happy days.

Mia is not the little baby anymore, and started her pre-school nursery this last week. Mummy and Daddy took her for her first day and she took to it like a duck to water. Some kids were crying and refusing to let go of the parents - and there was almost as much the other way round. She had her uniform on and looked much older than 3! I warned her about boys at school, and not to let anyone push her around. Whilst she should never be mean or unkind to other children, she should stand up for herself if the need arises.
Basic translation: left hook and drop kick to the balls.

Anway, just finished watching United beat Roma 1-0 in a fairly cagey game (oh happy days!) and sitting 10$ up at my cash table, so a pleasant evening overall.

Toodle Pip all.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

They Don't Like It Up 'Em!

The Scots fell by the wayside.
The Welsh were put to the sword.

And the English? Well, they won again.

Not Rugby.
Not Football. (Yet. )

But the Blogger Tourny. Happy to do it for my country.

Bollocks to that mallarky - it's all about me, me, me!!

Really enjoyed the game and felt really focused and patient (something that has been missing from my game for the last couple of weeks!). Got some good cards at vital times and generally, my decision making was pretty good.

A few hands stand out:
A 6 x BB raise in mid position from Res Evil and I was holding 10 10. Blinds were 50 and I think I was in the SB. Did consider putting him all in, but as there were 2 more players after me, decided to just call. Flop was A Q x and Res took a while before betting (I thought, at the time) weakly. I just didn't put him on an Ace - though JJ was an option. Overall, I thought he was weak, so I called. He checked the turn, as did I and he made another small bet at the river. Again, I thought about pushing here as I thought I sensed weakness, but just decided to flat call as I still had the possibility of JJ in my head. He had 99 and this put me to CL for a short while.

Also had a big hand against Dan (Portdeco), whom I would later go heads up against. I check / call holding 77 on a 7 5 2 flop. turn x, again I check call and the river was also a blank and this time I check/raised and he called with pocket 5's - also flopping a set. Unlucky for him, but he recovered really well and became CL himself for quite some time!

Did think I'd knocked him out with my Q10 against his 6 4 on a K Q 4 flop when we were down to 3 - but a 6 on the river almost put me out - down to less than 3k. From here, it was push with any decent hand and after a few folds, Dan called my A8 with KQ (I think) and neither improved and I was back!
Dan took out Hammerheid for 3rd, then a battle that seemed to go on for ages was fought. First I was CL by a mile, then he was, and there were more swings than on general election night!
It came down to final hand when my 78 came against his 94 (i think it was a 9?) on a J 8 4 flop. I bet at it, he called, and when another J hit the turn, I was confident I was ahead. I bet and he pushed all in. He'd made a comment a few hands earlier about being tired and 'time is getting on' and I thought he was trying to steal. I called and the river didn't help him and I picked up my 2nd Blogger victory.

That's mostly the way I remember it - don't think I sucked out once or made that many bad decisions and really enjoyed getting back into Blogger game after an absence of several weeks. Came back 3 weeks ago and was out early, managed 7th last week and now 1st.

I'll be back to defend the title next week - where I am sure Burnley Mik will be one of the more vocal challengers!

Proud to do it for country and Queen, Mik :-)

Monday, September 17, 2007

Nightmares and Dreamland!

Had a bit of a session at the tables last night, the longest session I have played for some time. Cathy was in bed, feeling the effects of the several dozen babies she is carrying (ha ha) and the possibility of twins is increasing as much as her waistline. We both seem to feel the opposite, she is in dread, whereas I think it would be fantastic. We shall see, scan in 4 weeks when all will be revealed!

Anyway, poker. Began quite brightly, taking my $130 up to $160 and I felt I was playing well, stealing a lot from the 2 passive players at the table. Them got dealt KK 4 times in about 40 hands. First time I folded to a big re-raise on an A high flop, then the next 3 occasions, ran into AA each time. Not sure what the odds of this are, but getting dealt KK 4 times in 40 hands must be high, seeing 3 of them run into AA on a 6 seater table must be substantially higher.
To make matters worse, the flops were low making me sure it was high pair v high pair - alas I was the underdog each time and 2.5 buys-in were gone :-(

Then, making the sensible (not) decision that, if I stepped up to the 50c BB level, I'd make back the money I lost much quicker. Why do these things seem so sensible at the time, yet so stupid when you think about it afterwards?

Anyway, not sure if this is the biggest pot I've been involved in on cash games, but certainly up there! Maybe there was one poor call on my part during this, but anyway, it went like this:

I'm on the BB with Q 10 sooted. First player to act raises it to 1.50 (3x bb) and everyone round the table calls. My decision, I think, is an easy call. $8.50 in the pot already - another $1 to me seemed good odds, so I call.
Flop is Ah Kh 7d. I'm first to act and did consider taking a stab at this - nut flush (and royal) and nut str8 draw - but worried that AK is out there and could get a big raise that I couldn't call.
Anyway, I check and a player in mid-position bets 5$. 2 callers and I think for a while before making the decision to call. 5$ into almost 20$ with (assuming no cards in hands) with 13 outs - and at the time I thought this justified a call, certainly the implied odds if one player had trips or 2 pair (as I suspected). Thoughts?
Anyway, one more caller after me - and I get a bit hazy on the bet sizes from now on (apart from the final pot!) so these are approximates.

Turn was a Jc - I'd hit the nuts.
Problem here is I had a feeling one player had AK, one AQ - but possibly trips. If I push and get a caller and the board pairs on the river, I'm fucked - and my notes on these players indicate that they won't be folding 2 pair let alone trips, so I check. 1st player bets 10$, one folds and 2nd player raises to 20$.
This is getting tasty so I flat call and see player 1 raise another 20$, one caller and I flat call also.
River was a 2c.

At this point, I'm pretty happy a heart didn't hit the river, as I doubt the following would have happened if the obvious flush was out there. But, more importantly, the river doesn't pair the board so I have the nuts. I decided to bet 10$ here - hoping to look a little weak and maybe a feeble steal attempt, player 1 pushes all in, player 2 calls.
I have the most chips now, so I push all in and player 2 calls after some thought.
One player had Trip 7's and the other had AK. My reads were spot on, which I was quite pleased about - but not as pleased as the 233$ pot that came my way!

This pushed my BR up to 301$ - which I'm chuffed to bits about, especially with my mood over recent weeks. Hopefully, this is the beginning of a good run and the knowledge from the 4 poker books I've read are having an effect.

Or am I just damn lucky?

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Morning readers, hope the weekend is as bright and sunny as it is here in Cheshire!

Life is very busy in my household at the moment. The office is contnuing to grow and I now have over 40 staff in the office, and business is running about 25% ahead of budget - with September's achieved in the first 2 weeks of trading! Our financial year starts 1st July - so with the first quarter almost over, we've had a great start to the year.
Staff are stretched with workloads very high, this being our busiest month of the year usually - so really trying to keep everyone happy, calm and motivated. Lots of cakes and chocolate on Friday, and lots of my stupid jokes!
It also means I'm getting to the office earlier, and leaving later, and then taking over when I get home for the last hour or so before Mia goes to bed. Not played a great deal as I've been too tired, but managing to steadily build my BR, even though I'm playing at the 10c BB level.
My 50$ stack of a couple of weeks ago now sits at around $130 - which ain't bad at the 10c level!
The problem is at this level, is the general standard is just so bad, it's hard to put anyone on a hand. You raise with AK (e.g.) hit a K high flop with 2 suited cards and your opponent (who you know has done this several times already with either a flush or str8 draw) pushes all in with his smaller stack. You're pretty confident you're ahead at this point, but can you avoid the flush or str8? Sometimes I fold, sometimes I call. Last night, after calling a particularly bad player,he shows a flush draw, a gutshot (neither hit) and trips. Then, on the 4th occasion, he had lowest pair with top kicker, so my hand won 3 out of these 4 confrontations - but the moral of the story is you just can't predict or second guess what your opponent is holding, so it's just a lotto at some times. Guess you've just gotta keep playing the %'s. Trouble is with online poker, %'s don't mean a great deal!

Anway, Cathy is still upstairs, not feeling too great at the moment so she is having a morning in bed, and I'm taking Mia out shopping (for colouring and reading books) and then off to the park to give Mummy a bit of peace and quiet.
Beacuse of this, no live poker this weekend, so will have to play online if the urge takes me!

Good luck all.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Pokery fun

The fun bit refers to some live play I participated in over the weekend. Certainly not at the blogger game where a combination of an afternoon's drinking, serious tiredness and, at times, a distinct lack of knowing what was going on!
I logged on to a few blogs to see where I could get the monkey from, and was pleasantly amazed to see the finishing table and see that I wasn't last - someone beat me to it by a couple of hands! So, that pleasure awaits me for another time, or hopefully not!
The hand that did me was my KJ running in to Amatays KK, on a J high flop. Bad read on my part, I put him on an AQ or AK hand - and got it really wrong when I raised him and then pushed on the turn. Hay-ho, ces't la vie and all that.

Anyway, back to the nice bits. Played in another live tourny on Saturday and feel that this is real poker. The stuff online is like Texas Hold 'em on LSD by comparison.
Anyway, played in another £5+1 and there was about 60 in when we kicked off around 3pm. Don't think I played a hand for the first 50mins, lots of new faces and I tried my best to watch the different styles and methods in play. Didn't have an aggressive player at the table for this first bit, but met one a little later. The players at this table were playing the cards, and after almost an hour of me being incredibly tight, I got dealt KK and this seemed to spark me into action. Got a couple of callers to my 6 x bb pre-flop raise, one folded to my half pot bet on the raggedy 10 high flop, and the other fold to my bet on the turn, which I think was a Q.
I told him as I bet I put him on AK, and that he'd never call past the flop, not sure if this put him off - but if it did, I had an advantage I may use later on.
Anyway, this seemed to give me a bit of impetus, and after raising next hand with A 10 suited, and everyone folded, I turned on the aggression almost every hand, from position, for the next 6 or rounds and took advantage of the passive table I was at.
My stack was about 4 times my starting amount, when I was moved to another table and boy, what a difference. 2 seats to my left was a maniac like I haven't seen in a live game before. Unfortunately, sat next to my right, were 2 more!
I never had a hand to challenge for ages, and my stack was dwindling, and AK came my way. I flat called, hoping for a raise after me, and sure enough, maniac 1 raises and maniac 2 calls. Back to me and I just push. There is something quite satisfying doing this live. Calling 'All in' and pushing your chips slowly to the middle. Anyway, after a few mins, maniac one calls and maniac two folds. This was a huge pot, the biggest I have contested live. He turns over AQ sooted.
I flopped a K, but he flopped 2 more hearts and after a slow motion turn and river, there was no runner runner trips, nor a flush on the river, and I won a huge pot!
I'd lost track of the rest of the tourny by this point, guess I was in the 'zone', you hear sports-people talk about. Being an athlete myself, cough cough, well, compared to dart's players I am!
Anyway, lost track of time and other tables and I was moved away to another table about 10 hand after my AK v AQ hand. I was a bg chip leader at this next table, seemed to be all the stragglers here, so I took full advantage and pushed my big stack around!
Feeling good, I was moved again and was about to ask the tourny director how many times I could be moved, when I realised it was the final table! No more moving now.
I think I was about 2nd or 3rd at this point, but with no electronic scoreboard or chip counter, it was just guesswork looking at other players stacks. After a break we resumed, and I was able to portray a pretty aggressive table image after getting AQ, JJ and KK in the next 5 hands. The next hand I had the mighty 7 2 on the button, and had decided to raise if here was no raise before me. Alas, someone pushed and I had to fold. The table shortie pushed and I was in the BB with 10 8 sooted. With only another blind and a half to call, and no one else in the hand, I thought I had good odds, so decided to call. He had AK but I spiked an 8 and he went out.
A period of card-deadness hit me and before I played another hand, we were down to the last 4.
For the first and only time, I got AA at this point and fortunately for me, ran into the 'shortie' with JJ so was probably chip leader as we went to the last 3.
The other 2 then seemed to go on some sort of personal battle against each other, and I was happy to sit back for a few rounds and see what they did without me involved. Before too long they were both all in and we were down to heads up.
It did swing back and forth a bit, finally ending when I re-raised with AQ and ran into his 88 - and with no A or Q to be seen, he won and I got 2nd.
Nice payout, another really enjoyable live experience and I feel my live play is strong and I'm looking forward to trying to get a regular involvement.
Best we forget and I not talk about my game the previous weekend, when I busted out 5th. Unfortunately, 5th from the start, not the end.
Can't win 'em all, eh?

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Hand Analysis

Evening chaps and chapesses.

Almost finished reading Harrington, and after finishing Greenstein last week, I'm trying to put some of my new found theories into place. The biggest thing I have learnt, I think, is that I don't watch enough of what's going on around me. I make notes, and read them regularly, but there are things I ain't picking up. Maybe my recent bad run has made me concentrate too much on my losing hands, and I've lost some focus on my opponents and my other hands.

So, I played a 5$ NL $1000 added tourny last night, 350 were in, and whilst I only managed to hit 46th (money paid top 30) - I felt my game was spot on. I didn't have a premium pair all tourny, and had it not been for two hands out of the blinds, where I flopped monsters on unraised pots, I'd have gone out much earlier.

This hand, was a pivotal one in the mid stages, and prolonged mty participation until I went out later.

Maniac sat two spaces to my right, and has been raising about half the time. He's shown a range of hands from trash to slighty better. Most of the table, including me, have been folding to him pretty much all the time. In my defence, I had nothing better than 9 high almost every time he raised, so could not do too much.

So, I'm on the BB and am dealt KQ sooted, the best hand I'd had so far. A couple of limpers and Mr Agressive puts in his 4 x bb raise. and it folds to me. My thought process here involves several things:
We have pretty similar stacks
2 players after me have yet to react to his raise
I'm out of position whoever says in.

If there were no one after me, I'd consider re-raising here, but the 2 latter players may be holding a strong hand, but relying on Mr Maniac to do the raising for them.
With the bets in the pot, and my BB already in, the odds were favourable, so I just flat call (good decision?).

The other 2 players flat call, and we see a flop of KQ7.

So, what to do here? It's impossible to put the maniac on a hand seeing his play so far, and there are 2 other players in the hand, so I check (right?) and the other 2 check to maniac - who also checks. This confused me, as he's always put a cont bet - yet doesn't this time.
Has he realised he's been playing loose, or does he have a monster? In the time I'm thinking about what he has, I almost time out as the turn brough another K.
I bet 3 x bb (enough?) trying to tempt in a caller.
2 fold and maniac raises me 3 x my bet.
What does he have? He can't have KK, could have AK, or even QQ crosses my mind. I don't think he checks the flop with AA, so I'm pretty confident it's either AK or QQ, but can't dismiss a JJ or even 10 10 hand he thinks is good with me checking on the flop.
Now, a decision. If he does have QQ or AK and I reraise him, he ain't gonna fold. But if he does have JJ or 10 10 I don't want to scare him away.
I flat call (right?) and we see a 2 on the river.
I have the nuts, and have a decision of what to do on the river. If I bet about qaurter the pot, he will flat call unless he feels he has the strongest hand and I won't make any more. His raise on the turn indicates he thinks he has me beat, or he want's to scare me away, so I decide to check (right?) and he bets about half his stack.
He's not going anywhere, so it's an easy re-raise to put him all in. He calls and turns over QQ.

The irony, he bets with such trash on almost every other hand, and the moment he flops a monster, in position, he checks and lets us all have a free card. Guess he can't have envisioned those cards, and hitting a FH on the turn, must have thought he had the nuts!

Anyway, I (more than) doubled up and he was out. Maybe the hand plays itself, I was interested in getting as much as I could out of him, but with his hand and mine, I guess he was always committing everything, as I would in his position.

I feel ready for the bloggerment tonight - look forward to joining in again after several weeks absence!
See you then - Poker Stars / 9pm / Private Tourny / password Bloggerment.