Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Midnight Tournament @ Bay 101

Just got back from the bay 101 midnight tournament. I had so much fun because from beginning to end was straight up poker with the exception of mid-levels where short stacks had no choice but to push all-in preflop. I think I busted out around 6 players. Kept to my small-ball strategy, but added a bit of semi-bluff aggressiveness as well. Not to mention my reads on people were awesome.

Here are the highlights: Stacks start out with 10k. Blinds at 100-100.

Early Levels:

I played 3 hands on the first level that chip me up nice.

On the very first hand, someone min raised and I called with J 9 suited.
4 people to the flop. (800 chips)
Flop came out: 10 Q 3. This gives me a gut shot.
Check. Someone bets 300. I call. (1700 in pot)
Turn is a 9. Check. Check. I bet out 800. Fold and original raiser calls. (3300 in pot)
River card is a 8. I got my straight and guy bets out 1200. I raise 2400 and he calls with AQ. (8100).

I'm chip leader!

The very next hand. Same guy re-raises to 400. Someone calls and I call with Q 9. (1200).
Flop comes out: 9 A 2. Guy bets out 600, player folds and I call for some reason.
Turn is a 9. Guy pushes all in and I instantly call. He shows AK and river was no help.

I'm massive chip leader!

Few hands later, I get dealt AJ of clubs. Bet out 300. 2 callers.
Flop: 7 9 3. Check all around.
Turn: J. Someone bets out 400. Guy behind calls. I re-raise to 1200.
Guy folds and player behind calls.
River: A. He checks and I bet out 2200. He calls. I win.

I'm ultimate chip leader!

The hand that put me at over the top was when 5 players called a 4000 raise. I call with pocket 6's because of pot odds. I flop a set and bet out 8000. Guy behind goes all in with top pair and I call to win.

I'm super chip leader! About 80k in chips.

Funniest poker hand:

Blinds 600-800
Two short stacks push in with AQ, AJ and I have A4 in the big blind and had to call 4k more. Flop comes out with a 4 and that's the end of that. I become a hero.

Late Mid-level:

Lost some big pots with missed boards. Staying with my small ball strategy, avoided race situations and folded AK, 44, 22 and KQ to all-in pre-flop bets. They all turn out to be good folds.

Soon, many others at my table bust out and chip up to nearly my stack. Two new shorter stacked players enter and one goes all in and other calls. I look down at pocket queens and call.

AQ (20k) & J5 (6k) show. River gives AQ player a flush and I take a big hit.

I'm down to 40k in chips and become short-stack at 400-600 blinds. Average stack at my table: 70k-100k in chips.

Final table:

Couldn't climb back up after the hit, but still made it to the final table with only 25k in chips. With blinds at 2000-4000. I was running low and blinds were approaching. Pushed all in with pocket queens and big blind calls with 27 suited. Wtf right? Flop gives him a flush draw. Turn pairs his deuce and river misses him. I double up despite all his outs.

I'm big blind and push with AQ suited. Little blind calls with J 9 and loses. I have 60k in chips, which was still short stacked. From here on out, most of it was all-in pre-flops and the only raisers were the chip leaders.

Down to the last 7 players, I bust out with KJ to someone's AQ.

I'm 7th place out of 58 players who enter. Bubble prize was my buy-in back.


All in all, this tournament was super fun, despite the fact that it ended at 5am for me and I went to work at 9am. My table had to be some of the top players of the tournament and toughest, because 4 of us ended up at the final table together. This proved to me that I can play.

My first two tourneys I played at bay 101. I was super-tight and played predictable. Never really tried to outplay and always stayed low stacked or average. This time I came in saying to myself "I want to be deep in chips early or leave early".

I love how I played tonight and no longer have doubts about small-ball strategy. If I hadn't gotten unlucky with pocket queens, I might have taken it down. I played most of my connectors, but also folded a lot of them thinking they were more valuable later in the tournament. Yet, I found it harder to call connectors mid-level, because I didn't want to commit myself. So, note to myself.

WSOP, watch out.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Sit & Go

(Any two cards will do for me...haha!)

Played a bunch of online sit & go tourneys with the style of being the ultimate aggressor while keeping true to smallball strategy. Minimum raises and check-raise, re-raises and firing bullet after bullet when bluffing. Making pot size bets when hitting the nuts and hoping to be paid off due to bluffs set up earlier. Usually I do get paid off, cause of the caught bluffs on pots that didn't matter.

I played 2 HORSE sit & go and alway end up busting out in stud. I keep getting unlucky when another player makes his better hand on the river. I placed in 3rd and 4th on the 9 player tables.

Believe it or not, I dominate in Razz. I guess its cause people don't really know how to play it. I saw a guy calling all the way with KQJA on his face up cards, and to be even more curious, he bet out on the river and the other guy folded!!! wth?

I so need to convince the guys to get a HORSE tournament going on. :-)

Then I played 3 no limit hold em' tourneys. Each one, I knocked out all the players and get to be the chip leader for the longest time, but then got busted out in 3rd twice!

Just finished one earlier and finally got 1st after with no doubt, knocking out 7 of the 9 players. I almost got busted out early on when I raised someone with top pair and he went all in with ACES. I hit a set and bad beat him off the table. Whew~!

I am feeling so ready to hit the tournament scene. I just hope I can keep the nerves to play this aggressive in live tournaments like I do online.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Playing against drunks

I have to say, playing against drunks is very fun. They will limp in  a lot, they raise with nothing, bluff all their money with nothing and they will call a lot of all-in pre-flops. Yet, I get a little scared because drunks also tend to get lucky most often.

Two frustrating hands:

I went all in with AJ and got called with 68. He caught two pair and I'm playing ace high.
I went all in again with AQ suited and got called by 5 6. the flop comes out two sixes.

So my advice is to have patients and take the beats, because eventually you want these type of players at your table because it will help build your bankroll.

But be warned that you will win some and you will lose some.

My last entry was about the "tattoo table" and although the styles of play seem the same, its not because at this particular table, since they all know each other, I think in a way they also back up each other when one of them goes all-in or calls a all-in.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

donks have the most luck on the table

I played in two online tournaments today and one I placed in last place just in the money and the other I placed 24 out of 130. John C. also was in that tournament and we played a table together for awhile. He had position on me and kept re-raising my bets. damn! He gain a quick chip lead and lost it in 15 minutes after I left his table. I have no idea how. Haha!

Ray also came over to borrow my Daniel N. poker book. Hopefully, he doesn't learn all my secrets. lol.


Later Jose messaged me to go to Lucky Chances. We got there around midnight and I was seated at what I like to call the "tattoo table". This is my third time sitting with them. Let me explain what this table is: Its a bunch of guys with tattoos all over, they know each other and they just like to keep raising with garage hands and pushing their cash into the pot with the worst hand. Basically, the table is about luck games. I hate this table!

I guess the people at LC think I will see this opportunity as easy money. Tonight, I thought so too, but I finally figured out that I really don't have any luck. I lose everytime I sit with them. This table was just stupid in general cause the non-tattoo people were playing the same way as me. Waiting for good hands and pushing it in. No real poker here.

I finally figured it out. These players control the table and the way the game is played. Everything is in their favor as they are the ones raising and calling. They are involved in all action and force you into decisions you don't like, therefore putting them on a hand or reading them is out of the question. My advice if you want to play these tables is patience and play your cards.

So my note for myself tonight: DON'T play at the tattoo table ever again! I always come into the table with too much ego and play their version of "poker". Playing with luck rather than skill. Sigh, didn't I learn this from last session? Next time they put me here, I will stand up right away and yell "TABLE CHANGE!"

Well, I'm down another $100. Not looking good for my poker bankroll if this keeps up.
Funny note: After I saw down at the table, Jose came up to me, later Clay came up to me and then Jed came up to me all to say hi. The guy next to me goes, "Damn! do you know everyone here?" It was scary to answer "yes, I think I do."

Monday, December 22, 2008

Calling to gamble

Tonight was very frustrating, because I would fold on the flop with a gut-shot, only to always hit it on the turn. What's worst is that those pots are always huge. Urg! Honestly, what do I expect to hit when I play 6 7 suited? I guess last session really made me hate chasing draws, when in fact I realize this is my strongest plays. When I tend to alway represent straights, when the board looks to have it. Negreanu calls these cards "bluff outs". It just seems some days I'll hit it, and other days I'll miss it completely.

All my positional bluffs worked tonight. I would call a bet on the flop with nothing, yet "knowing" they are just building the pot for their straight draws or flush draws and when I think they missed it, I would bet out on the river. Easy money.

I think this decision is going to haunt me for awhile. A player goes all in for his last 9 dollars.

Player B calls. Player C re-raises to $29. I look down to see pocket jacks and call the raise.
Player B re-raises all-in for $160. Player C insta-calls. Thinking they are holding aces and kings, I decide to call hoping to get lucky even though I know I'm behind.

Both flip their cards and its exactly as I thought Aces over Kings. The aces hold up and he wins the big pot. I make such amazing reads these days, but still make stupid decisions of playing luck games. I guess I still can't resist the temptation of making easy money by putting it all in and see who hits.

I hope I learn from this that I should just fold when that little voice tells me I'm behind, because what's the point of playing skillfully and winning a lot of small pots, only to lose it at the end because I wanted to play the luck game.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Just one of those days...

Urge to randomly go to LC tonight after work and there was tons of parking, so I thought it was going to be my lucky day.

There was so much on cash on the tables tonight....yet, my highlights were:

-I will keep flopping up and down straight draws or flush draws on every flop, but never hit.
-Having pocket queens, only to be out-flopped by another person holding ace-jack.
-Hitting top pair and not being paid off.
-Having two pair counter-fitted.

oh well...its just one of those days when the cards just don't want you in the game.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Even fishes get cards

I'm down $160 tonight.

I had a bunch of loose players at my table who would not play real poker and would just all-in most of the time on the flop with $200 dollars or put large overbets. (some guy bet $60 dollars into a 8 dollar pot...and was called. wtf?)

I figured I would play a lot of connectors and try to bust them out. Example was when I put a live 8 and was called by all the players. I checked and flop came out: 7 K 9. giving me a up and down straight draw. First to act, I bet out $12 dollars and get called by three players.

The turn: Q. I bet out $25. get called by two players.

River brings out the jack. Gives me the straight, but I worried someone might have been playing a A10. So I bet out $25 and first player folds and second player calls after what seem like forever of thinking time. I win.


After awhile people got really loose with their money and there were at least 3 pots with 5 players all-in pre-flop! Let's just say 2/3 pots went to players who had no business in the hand and just called to gamble.

I think I might have had a big ego problem on this table and playing a little on tilt after losing a big pot when I had pocket 10's and went all-in pre-flop for $100 only to be called by two players who had Q 4 and K 9. Fish got a Q on the river. I win side-pot, but it puts me now at $60 dollars.

I out-played the fish on tons of hands, but he finally got it all when I hit top pair and bet the whole way. He calls the whole way up to river when he goes all in. I saw that his face looked excited and I figure he had a good hand, but I didn't want to believe it and called. He shows me tripe 8's for a full house and I leave the table.

The player next to me who I played before and knew my style was thinking the same thing that even fishes get cards.

next time.

Friday, December 12, 2008

poker at work

Haha! after work, three of us decided to play a short handed poker tournament of $5 dollar buy-in. Raise blinds every dealer button pass. After 20 minutes and two heads up poker hands, I won.

was there any doubt? lol.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

003- poker notes: don't bluff too much!

So tonight, I left with a $300 dollar profit for about 6 hours of playing.

My first buy-in of $100, I had already bluff away in two hands about $70 dollars. I was so disappointed in myself at how I was playing, which was too crazy. (I only play stupid and crazy in home games. haha!). I didn't know why I was bluffing so much, but after re-buying I started to tighten up and relied on my reading ability of other players and waiting for them to make big mistakes that I could cash in on. Well, it worked! I kept my idea of playing small ball and not trying to get committed to a hand and waiting for the perfect time to trap opponents or out play them on the flop. I love it when I set them up to say "all-in" when I have the nuts. Its so beautiful.

There was one hand that really ticked me off, was when I had QJ on a board of K Q 5 8 6 and bet the whole way, trying to get weak hands out and knock out a King with a weak kicker. Instead, I was called by a K 4 from some guy across the table who reluctantly called the whole way and then said to me "what's your kicker" and well, he won. Inside, I was so mad, then I suddenly reliazed that I can trap him later on and get all of his money, because I forgot for a second that I was playing against gamblers, instead of skilled players.

Well, eventually I did get all of his money, when he went all in on the river. That was the hand I had to think over in my head for a minute and I put him on two pair, but that he likely had a flush. I just wasn't sure how high his flush was. Since the whole board had pretty low cards as I was trying to chase a straight and only assume he was chasing a straight too. I soon put him on a 2 3 heart flush and called him with my 5 9 heart flush. He showed me a 3 7 heart flush and I won. How sweet it is to bust a player who put me on tilt earlier. Haha!

I finally almost finished reading Doyle Brunson's Super Systems about concepts. Along with Dan Harrington's book on how to win in small stakes games. The have really improved my reads on people because most people try to play like the concepts in Super systems. It all makes sense now. :-p

Friday, December 5, 2008

002 - poker notes : stop playing when i'm too tired.

Left with $100 profit tonight, which is disappointed, figuring how many times I kept doubling up. I had about $400 profit, but kept calling on my draws and missing, thus the lost.

The biggest pot was when someone put a live $8 bet. Everyone called and the live 8 re-raised to $20. 5 people called including me, then to someone who re-raised to $100. Then someone called instantly. I thought about it for a bit and decided it was worth it (pot odds: $70 dollars to try to win $400) to called, person behind me called too! (now $600 in the pot, but I can only win $500 if I win). So basically, everyone was all-in with the biggest chip stack being $160.

Flop was like 4 4 2
Turn 7
River 9

All hands were shown which were Q 5, J 6, J 10.
I won the pot with pocket 10's. So cool!

And the guy who won the side pot ($200) was with Queen high. That's so funny!

Earlier I kept having to go all-in a lot preflop with hands like 7 8, K Q, 8 9 because the odds to call were so good, even though I knew I was really behind. I got really lucky and hit my straights on the river, giving bad beats as well. I can't believe how many times I was "all-in" tonight and survived.

Finally, I have added position bluffing into my cash & tournament game plays. I'm still a little nervous when I do it and really hate it when I'm check-raised, but more than half the time, I win the pot.

I'm also trying to slow play very big pocket pairs lately like 10's, Jacks, Queens to see what type of things happen and it ended up costing me a lot of money because worst hands would often win or I ended up folding when I saw a overpair. I think the problem is slow-playing with too many players.

After 6 hours of play, with $100 profit...that comes out to $16 per hour. Haha!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

001 - poker notes: luck or skill?

went to lucky chances tonight to play some texas hold em' and won $540 profit tonight for 5 hours of play. Not bad at all. I recieved no bad beats, instead I gave bad beats. Haha! Its funny, because I alway felt so bad afterwards and kept apologizing.

I kept most of my pots small, but the other players keep pushing the all-in move.

Big pot when I got a king high flush to someone's set of 7's. Lucky I was so short stack, or else I wouldn't call on the flush draw.

Another big pot came from the same guy, who flop a set of 7's again only a couple hands later. I had pocket queens. He bet small and I push him all-in. I thought I already lost and was about to muck the hand, but instead turned it over because I wanted to show him I didn't push him in with nothing and someone said "you have a flush". I was shocked that I didn't see it and gave the dealer a good tip because of that.

After that player left, another guy doubled me up twice because he kept using the all in move every time I bet. He went all in on the flop with Queens when I had Aces. Sucks for him.

Another hand was when I was in the small blind with 7 3. I rivered a full house and he had a straight. He reraised me by going all in and I thought about it for about 1 minutes because I thought he might have had a better full house. Eventually, I called & won. Picked up a couple more pots after and left.

The games have been pretty good lately.