Monday, December 26, 2005

Victory! (And a Few Minor Defeats)

Well, it has been a while since I blogged at you. I have been busy……busy kicking Veneno’s butt. Yes, she is only getting waffles here. She is whining in her latest post about how I sucked out on her. The fact is that I was on the mat earlier in that session and she let me back in.

In the final hand, I held AK and she held 77. Half of my chips are in the pot when the flop comes J5J. She goes all in, I call. The river is a king. Game, Set. Match. I figured she may be bluffing, but most likely she has a pocket pair or a 5. Given that I only need the one game to win the match and she needs two, I think it is a call. Let’s take a back-of-the-envelope look at the EV:

I call:
28% + 10% chance she is bluffing = 38% chance to win the match right then and there.

I fold:
I am a 2-1 underdog by the chip count. That makes me about 33% to win the match in that session.

I can afford to lose that game, as I would still have another shot at it. Call seems to be the correct play. So, I think more baking, photographing, shipping, and image hosting and less whining would be in order. Boo-yah!

The bad news is that I seem to have totally lost my focus. I have stopped tracking my sessions on my spreadsheet (although, my Poker Tracker stats are still in order.) I have stopped going back and analyzing the best and worst of my play after each session. And, I have stopped forward progress on my reading list.

This all started about a week ago. I had a couple of really bad beats. I should have just walked away. Instead I played harder. In the end, I made back all the losses from a really bad session. But that isn’t the bad part. I kept playing and playing. The cycle of wins and losses repeated several times. Finally, this morning, I realized that I had been sucked into a swirling vortex.

To put it simply, I had, in the last week, become outcome oriented, instead of process oriented. That seems to be the worst thing I could be doing. The whole point of this exercise is to have a process, use the process, and use the feedback I from the process to improve the process.

Where do I go from here?

  • I need to forgive myself for screwing up.
  • I need to resume tracking all of my sessions in my spread sheet.
  • I need to estimate my time and win/loss for the sessions I missed.
  • I need to set aside some time to catch up on my reading.
  • I need to get back into the habit of reviewing the best and worst of each session, immediately after the session.
  • I need to celebrate kicking Veneno’s butt.

I am going to be in AC (and probably NYC) tomorrow through Friday. I plan to bring my laptop and blog after each session.


Friday, December 16, 2005

Bonus Whoring and Stuff

I am somewhat pissed at Party Poker right now. After quickly earning my initial deposit bonus, I got a re-deposit bonus from them. I have been up the whole time, so I hardly need to re-deposit. But, it is hard to pass up a free $100. The problem is that they pulled a bait-and-switch on me. The first bonus had a 500 raked hand requirement with 30 day expiration. The second one has a 1,000 raked hand requirement with 7 day expiration. I am a raving poker fiend, and even I am not sure I will be able to do this.

I have been three and four tabling 2/4 limit. I was mostly up until my last session. Therein, several knuckle draggers laid some nasty bad beats on me. For example, one of them made jacks and threes on the river against my flopped TPTK. Oh well. I am not giving up until I get my bonus. Fark them.

In other bonus whoring news, I still have half of a re-deposit bonus pending at Tilt. I guess I will be taking a break from Party, soon as I get my bonus from those cork sucking bastages. And, then, I can re-deposit at Tilt for another bonus. Good times.

I was wondering why these sites keep offering these bonuses. Then it hit me! Oh this is so good. There are lots of losing players and fewer winning players. The winning players are in the habit of withdrawing funds from time to time (ka-ching, ka-ching, ka-ching.) That leaves the overall level of funds lower. This means less action, so less rake. To induce the losing players to keep it going, they offer bonuses. Because they don't want to piss-off the winning players, they offer the bonus to everyone. After all, you kind of have to be a winning player to make the required number of raked hands before going bust. And on top of it, I get rake-back. Except at Party. Those fargin iceholes.

If you don't know about rake-back, we need to talk. Next up: Atlantic City trip soon. Good times.


Thursday, December 15, 2005


Last night, in the 6:00pm UB 40+4 MTT, I was close to making the money. It would have been the second cash in a row in a MTT for me. In fact, I probably would have made the final table. There were 22 left, 20 pay. I had about 13,500, an above average stack. All I have to do is not screw up and I am in the money.

The blinds are 200 and 400, ante 50. I wake up in mid-postion with AA. I make it 1,800 to go. I get one customer in late postion for a call. He has me covered. The flop comes Td8hQd. I don't like the texture of this flop at all. With the straight draw and the diamond draw, I want to take this down right here. I go all-in. I get called by TT and get sent to the rail in 21st position. Oh well.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

WPBT Trip Report (Part Two)

The live games I played in were at Rio, MGM, Wynn, and Excalibur.

I played two sessions there. The room is smoky (it is a non-smoking room, but is not divided from the rest of the casino or the sports book.) The players were drunk, obnoxious, and bad. They spread 4-8 limit and 2-5 NL. In my first session, I eked out a $270 win at NL in 3 hours without any exceptional hands. I feel that I could have made a bunch of money had I stayed. But the players were just too rude. Normally I tolerate rudeness when I am in a +EV situation, but I just wasn't in the mood.

The second session, the players were not as annoying, but I was card dead. I left even after an hour.

I like the room. They spread pretty much whatever you want, within reason. I first sat in the 5-5NL game, and bought-in for the max ($1000.) It was a tough table with some moderate action. The scary thing is that I recognized some of the players from big games that I have played in the past in Reno and AC. The one I hand I played that is worth writing about was a real lulu.

I am in the CO. There are 5 limpers around to me. I see A7c. I limp. SB calls. The BB checks. Flop comes AQ7r. The action checks around to me. I bet 65. SB calls, everyone else folds. The turn is a brick. I bet $200. SB calls. The river is a brick. SB has me covered and goes all-in in front of me. What is my action?

I can't put him on AA, QQ, or AQ as he would have raised pre-flop, for sure. I can't put him on a turned or rivered set as he would have folded the flop. I can't put him on 77 as he would have check-raised the flop or turn. So, I can't put him on anything that beats me. I am on the verge of soiling myself as I call for all my chips. We chop.

After another two orbits of no hands, I decide that I don't want to swim in the shark tank anymore. I go play the 2/4 mixed stud games. I drink, play and break even. I get tired, go back to the Rio and lose some money playing craps.

The Wynn:
This is one of the nicest rooms I have ever been in. It is very classy and well decorated. Not only will they let you lock up a seat in advance (for a deposit of $20,) but they will also give you a pager (for a deposit of $100.) The decor is really classy. It is away from the casino and it is truly smoke free. The waitresses are nice, attentive, and hot. The tables and chairs are nice. Everything is nice. Except for the competition, that is. It was a rock garden. That is not too surprising, I suppose.

I sit in the 2/5NL game and buy-in for $500. SoxLover is on my right. Several orbits go by with very little action. One person busts out in a hand in which I was not involved. He leaves and is replaced by another player that buys in for $700. What? I thought it was $500 max buy-in. The dealer informs me that it is unlimited buy-in. SoxLover and I immediately buy up to $700.

Several more orbits go buy with very tight play. Then I get involved in a hand with the gentleman that sat with $700. I am UTG and he is MP. I have AA. I open for $35. He makes it $70 to go. The action folds around to me and I smooth call. Flop comes K83r. I check to him. He bets $200. I go all-in. He calls. He flips up KJ!!! The turn and river are blanks. He is de-stacked. WTF???

I was also involved in a very memorable hand with SoxLover. But I will let him tell the story, since he outplayed me.

The third hand that was notable in the session was really great, even if it was not the biggest. I am MP my opponent is LP. I have AK. I make it $35 to go. He thinks for a while and calls. He has about $120 remaining at this point. I see the dealer peel off the flop cards. I see a king come out, just before they are spread face up. The flop is K-rag-rag. I instantly announce all-in. I acted so quickly that he may think I did it in the dark. He thinks. And he thinks. At this point, I am sure I have him beat, and I am bored, so I start taunting him. "Just give me the pot and no one gets hurt" I say. He continues to think. "I know you are going to fold. Just go ahead and do it. Stop wasting our time." He calls and flips over JJ. Turn and river are bricks. I take it down. Another opponent busted.

I make a few plays at some small pots and mix it up a little more after that. After 4 hours, I cash out for a $950 profit.

The second session was also a rock garden. But I got paid with aces and with a flopped set against my opponent’s aces. Aces have been very good to me. I cash out for a $530 profit.

They only spread very small games. But that's okay; we were there for some donk poker. I sit at the 1/3NL table, $200 max buy-in. G-Rob is on my right. F-Train is on my left. He busts twice and leaves. G-Rob bluffs me off a good hand with the hammer. The most fun was the $1 prop bets on the color of the wheel of misfortune. I cash-out for a $50 profit.

Net live game total: +$1800. Ka-ching!

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Ka-ching, The Register Rings.

I just finished 2nd in the UB 8:00pm 40+4 MTT. The cash was about $2200. I had Jordan sweating me at the final table. Thanks, man. I am way too tired to write about any of the hands. Besides, you want to hear about the big action live games I played in Vegas, right?

Reading List Update

As I mentioned in my last post, I just finished the book that I was reading. The book is "The Professor, the Banker, and the Suicide King: Inside the Richest Poker Game of All Time" by Michael Craig. I absolutely loved this book. This post is about why I loved the book and why you should read it.

First of all, this book is not instructional and contains very little in the way of detailed descriptions of hand play. Yet, it is about poker. When I heard the stories and rumors about the big game, I wanted to know all about it. It was just incredible to me that some rich dude would throw down the gauntlet and get the huge game he was looking for. When I heard that there was a book out about the game, I jumped on it. I was expecting to learn the story of the game and how it went down, and that's about all I was expecting.

Instead, what I got was an inside look at the lives of the top pros that were involved in the big game, the games they played with each other, the dynamics of the group that formed to play the challenger, and lots of interesting other tidbits. Most significantly, through reading this book, I got to know the challenger, and got to understand that he was anything but some rich dude looking for a game. Michael Craig paints a compelling picture of an extremely bright, extremely motivated challenger that went to unprecedented lengths to prepare himself for the matches. The fact that the mystery gentleman was competitive in his games with the top pros was just unbelievable to me until I absorbed the entirety of who he is and what his motivation seemed to be. The author does an excellent job of weaving the background of each of the pros, the life of the challenger, and the game details into a compelling story. It was more exciting to me than playing poker. Wow.

In the end, I ended up admiring the challenger even more than some of the top pros that played him. I found the story inspiring. While I may not achieve anything of the same magnitude, ever, I still found the story very inspiring. I can make myself a better player; a much, much better player. I may never be in the position to beat the top pros, but that's okay.

Not until I heard Michael Craig speak about his experiences writing the book did I understand what an achievement it was for him as a writer. The people involved in the big game are all very private people. The challenger is an even more private person. Nobody wanted to give any information out about the huge sums of money involved, the strategy and tactics, etc. Yet, using just one or two casual contacts, the author was able to work his way into the inner circle of the top pros, and into the confidence of the challenger. It must have taken a huge amount of determination and perseverance to pull that off.

Thank you, Michael, for writing the book. And, thank you for taking the time to speak with me at the WPBT event. It was great.

Next post: a break-down of my live action play during the WPBT trip.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Guest Book

Please Sign Here. Thanks.

WPBT Trip Report (Part One)

I am still hung-over. But, I wanted to capture at least the essence of my trip and some of my key thoughts about it before they start to fade. First and foremost, I want to give much thanks to Bill Rini; it must have been a whole lot of work to organize all that.

When I decided to go, it was mainly to hang out with SoxLover; I didn't have a blog at the time, and wasn't sure I wanted to have one. I eventually decided that this is something I wanted to do. But, by the time I committed to the trip, the tournament list was full. So, I started out with very low expectations. I showed up at the main event just to see what it was like.

I was pleasantly surprised. It was a big thrill to hear Barry Greenstein speak. While I really enjoyed hearing Michael Craig speak, much of what he had to say I either knew or had inferred from having just finished reading his book. I got a chance to speak with him later about the book and the things that I liked about it. Talking to him was great. My next post will be about his book. Seeing Wil Wheaton was cool. In addition to having poker in common, we are fellow Farkers.

I wasn't expecting to get to play, but Bill made sure that the alternates would get to play as people busted out (for the first hour.) I made it in half way through the second level. I was card dead for almost the entire time. I picked up a few blinds. I picked up KQ in MP, blinds 200 and 400. I made it 1200 to go. I got raised to 1900 (all-in) by the SB. He had aces. I was crippled. Two hands later, I picked up the hammer. I went all-in for the last 1000 chips. Russ Fox called me with JJ and I was gone. At least I went out in style.

I got to meet lots of interesting people and had a good time. I am not really good with names; sorry. You were all cool. I hope if I stick with this, I will know most of you for next time. Please sign my guest book.

Next two posts: why you should read Michael Craig's book, and my cash game play (serious and donk-fest.)


Tuesday, December 06, 2005


I am in good shape in the $40 UB tourney. It is just before the first break. The villan's play is inexplicable. Even more inexplicable is that he makes near perfect runners to beat me. Okay, it's not like that crippled me, but it really fucking pissed me off. I shouldn't have let it shake me, but it did. I busted right after the break with a bad hand. If I had to do it over again, I would have taken a walk or something during the break. Live and Learn.

Hand #10108419-78 at Tue6pmA-011 (No Limit tournament Hold'em)

ALL-IN is at seat 0 with 10820.
Clayton JC is at seat 1 with 4560.
FrewDiggs is at seat 2 with 7375.
Triplesec is at seat 3 with 2315.
JDogg 20 is at seat 4 with 1980.
yre2e is at seat 5 with 1425.
COgolferguy is at seat 6 with 1845.
sdaan1 is at seat 7 with 1170.
quietwhine is at seat 8 with 2610.
weak_player is at seat 9 with 5250.
The button is at seat 4.

yre2e posts the small blind of 30.
COgolferguy posts the big blind of 60.

ALL-IN: -- --
Clayton JC: -- --
FrewDiggs: -- --
Triplesec: -- --
JDogg 20: -- --
yre2e: -- --
COgolferguy: -- --
sdaan1: -- --
quietwhine: -- --
weak_player: 8h 8d


sdaan1 folds. quietwhine folds. weak_player calls.
ALL-IN folds. Clayton JC folds. FrewDiggs folds.
Triplesec folds. JDogg 20 folds. yre2e calls.
COgolferguy checks.

Flop (board: Qh 8c 5c):

yre2e checks. COgolferguy checks. weak_player bets
180. yre2e goes all-in for 1365. COgolferguy folds.
weak_player calls.

Tournament all-in showdown -- players show:

yre2e shows Qd 2s.
weak_player shows 8h 8d.

Turn (board: Qh 8c 5c Qc):
(no action in this round)

River (board: Qh 8c 5c Qc Qs):
(no action in this round)

yre2e has Qd Qh 8c Qc Qs: four queens.
weak_player has 8h 8d Qh Qc Qs: full house, queens full of eights.

Hand #10108419-78 Summary:
No rake is taken for this hand.
yre2e wins 2910 with four queens.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Veneno is Getting Waffles, For Sure.

Too bad it will be at be at IHOP. hehe.

ghengis_socrates: you said you don't cook. why would I want your cookies?
ghengis_socrates: can't make cookies without cook.
yosoyveneno: lol
ghengis_socrates: I want photos of you making them. hands only would be okay.
yosoyveneno: okay
yosoyveneno: deal
ghengis_socrates: and packing them and shipping them. posted on the web somewhere I can link to.
ghengis_socrates: you can have the same with the waffles, if you want.
ghengis_socrates: still a deal?
ghengis_socrates: and I want race to 7 on the matches. 2/3 not good enough.
yosoyveneno: okay
yosoyveneno: deal
ghengis_socrates: cool

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Police And Thieves

Well, my live game didn't go so well. And I don't mean because of the $ result. I got my chips all-in in the right spot, and busted in the $100 tourney. I was acting late. The blinds were 25 and 50. It was 175 to go. There were three callers in front of me. I had TT. I call. There was one caller behind me. The guy on the button (solid player that likes to gamble a bit) goes all-in for 1000. The action folds around to the guy on my right. He thinks for a long time before laying down. I think that the guy on the button has a big ace, and the guy that layed down had a big ace. So, I call. The one caller behind me folds. So, we are HU. He shows AJ. The guy to my left says he folded AK. An ace hits the flop. I am crippled. Oh well.

I spend an hour reading my book while waiting for the cash game to get going. I got to the part where Jennifer Harman hands Andy Beal his ass. Sweet! The game starts. It is $400 NL, blinds are 2 and 5. I draw the button. I am dealt QJ. UTG makes it 15. He gets three callers. I call. Flop comes QTK, rainbow. UTG bets 30, only has 30 remaining. I put him all in. He shows Q9. Turn 2, river 4. I take it down. So far, so good.

Then disaster strikes. A thunderous knock rang out. It was coming from the door. It was as though it was being kicked down. Except, it was louder. A quick check of the surveillance camera shows some masked thugs with a battering ram. Seriously. The door withstands three blows. I was wishing I had my compact .380 auto with the frangible ammo. Then, upon reconsideration, I am glad that I didn't have it.

The would be robbers ditch. The proprietor calls the cops. With clock like precision, the chips are counted, stored, along with table #2, and all the chairs. Table #1 is covered with a table cloth and food. The tournament board is replaced with Sunday Night Football. We all whistle as the cops come and take a report. The cops leave.

The proprietor is someone I like and respect. He is in a bad spot. He has a bit invested in this setup. But he also fears for the safety of his customers. Here, robbery is a much bigger threat than the law. This is not even close to the first sign of trouble in the underground scene here. Several armed robberies have already gone down. One place got busted, but it seems that none of the charges stuck. But I think underground poker is doomed. Much more doomed than it seemed it was in NY. Fuck.

Bankroll Managment

Okay, I believe I have been substantially following my goals. This morning, I went through and analyzed all of the big hands I was involved in recently. On the plus side, there were some major luck situations, some of which I get points for getting maximal extraction. On the minus side, I found one hand that I was in for no appearent reason. It was so abhorrent, I am not even going to post it here. The problem is that I think most of my good work was in the middle, stealing small pots, and getting away from potential big losers. Any thoughts on how I can use PT to find these? I probably need to keep hand written notes as I go, and then add these notes to the PT db later.

I have been on a tear lately. Since 12/1/05, I am up $788, including $130 of bonus whoring. Thinking about my current heater, one thing is appearent to me: While having to re-load a given poker account is not a problem for me (most of my roll is in Neteller,) it is a big psychological downer. I have been playing mostly $100NL games. I think I could play bigger and still get good results. But, the varience would be too big for any one of my poker accounts individually. So, I plan to stay at this level at each of the sites I play until I have about $1200 in a given account. At that point, I will start taking shots at the $200NL game. When I get over $2000, I can start thinking about a withdrawal.

For live games, my roll is probably big enough. I have 10 buy-ins for a $400-$500NL game, which is what I like to play. My main problem is that I tend to use this cash for other purposes. SoxLover told me that when he does this, he writes himself a marker. I think I will start doing this. For the upcoming trip to vegas, I will need to divide that into a craps/BJ roll, a poker roll, and a spending money roll. I am thinking $1000 craps/BJ, $2500 Poker, $500 spending money.

I am having a hard time coming up with firm rules for bankroll managment. I don't do this for a living, and can add more money anytime I want. But, it clearly is part of the regime of discipline. I want to avoid re-loading any of my poker accounts, and I want to avoid using Neteller (or my real bank) to reload my live game roll. I will do this by playing no more than 1/6 of my roll at a time on any given on-line site. Ideally, it will be less than 1/10 of my roll. I know it should be a far smaller percentage, but that would involve playing at fewer sites, and keeping more cash at the sites than I keep in Neteller. I would prefer to not do that. My other challange is that I would prefer to get most of action at Full Tilt, as I get rake-back there.

Obviously, I have not thought this out enough. Any suggested reading or pointers?

Saturday, December 03, 2005


I think I am making good progress. I have kept perfect records of all of my sessions. I have also made progress in eliminating distractions. And, I am half way through the first book. I had surgery yesterday; this is why I haven't posted lately. I am fully recovered. Weak Player isn't really weak.

I did make two mistakes, though. I lost my temper after a really bad beat, and starting calling my opponent a donkey. He was a donkey, but I shouldn't have said anything. Also, I played two tournaments last night while I was high. I was still high from the anesthesia. SoxLover made me play even though I explained that I was high. It was his fault. Personal responsibility is un-American.

Site Type Net
Noble NLHE 100 $95.00
Noble NLHE 200 $102.50
Party NLHE 50 $50.00
Party Stud 5/10 $54.00
Party NLHE 100 $72.25
Party NLHE 100 $46.40
Stars NLHE SNG -$22.00
Stars NLHE SNG -$22.00
Stars NLHE MTT -$22.00
Stars NLHE MTT -$11.00
UB NLHE MTT -$33.00
UB NLHE MTT $23.10
UB NLHE MTT -$33.00
UB NLHE MTT -$33.00