Thursday, November 26, 2009

PokerStars Tourney

Was super bored on thanksgiving day, so I went ahead and deposited $10 bucks into PokerStars and played a $2 tourney with 180 players. On my first attempt, I got FIRST place! $110 dollar prize. Yeah! I love how I won with my favorite hand. I hope someday J10 gets named after me. haha!

I took a slightly different approach to this tourney, which was to play tight in the first few rounds and only enter the pots with raises as well as setting traps everywhere. Of course, I gambled a bit on some hands when someone went all-in, knowing they had AK and calling them with a small pocket pair. Winning those races definitely helped a lot.

By the final 3 players, I had such a huge chip advantage that the other two had no choice but to all-in to my raises. Too bad for them, that I had hands like AA, QQ, JJ or AK, AQ, AJ to their small pocket pairs or weak kicker.

I'll probably end up just using the prize money to enter some of the $10 dollar buy-in and try to win $1000 or bust trying.

I played alittle in the .5/.25 cent cash games, but online cash games are so boring for me and I lose interest fast. I did end up winning a extra $10 from the game.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

2nd attempt at AJ's limit mix game tourney

Wasn't going to play tonight, but been asking Chu to freeroll me (only if he made lot of money at the cash tables) for 50% of my profits if I placed. I really didn't want to disappoint him and felt I was going to go far in the tourney.

Oddly enough, I'm in the same seat as last time I entered. What a sign! I came in thinking I would be aggressive like last time, since it worked out pretty well. But, we had 3-4 other aggressive players and we had a lot of 3 -4 and even 5 cap bets preflop!

I finally slowed down and decided to let others be aggressive and just try to see flops cheaply and maybe throw in two bets if I'm UTG. Things weren't going my way until my second re-buy and I won a huge pot in a Omaha hand where I had a full house. Sadly, the guy next to me caught the wheel on the turn, but the pot was still huge, because everyone was drawing to the low-hand and someone had made a flush.

By the break, I had a awesome amount of chips and I think I was pretty much chip leader by 1k. But, since I didn't add-on for another 1k and everyone else did. I was even in chips when the game started again. Maybe a mistake?

I later won another huge pot in a omaha hand where I had KQ22 on a board of A 5 J 10 2. What I really hated was someone had a 8 low!!! I kept thinking, how could he still want to draw to a 8 low? But, he wasn't much of a Omaha player, since he called a 3 bet with 666J2 earlier. Everyone was all confused...lucky, he didn't win that one despite hitting a full house.

It wasn't until the blinds got to 100-200 that I ran bad and couldn't hit the draws I needed on valuable omaha pots I desperately needed. I even when all-in with a 3325 hand. Despite having a flush draw and a low hand draw, I didn't hit!

Still, I lasted longer than Chu. hehe! Next time, we need to get our other buddies into the game and have a last longer bet. $10 dollars maybe?

I made a deal with Chu that since I didn't place this one, I will give him 20% of any future winnings at a AJ tourney. I hate having this monkey on my back. So many final tables, yet so short of cashing any real money.....Soon please! I so badly want to beat richie's 2 first place finishes and jose's first place finish at the Concord tourney.

Notes: Not much, expect I liked how I played to adjust to the table by slowing down and drawing as cheap as possible by check-calling, since the table was so aggressive and knowing what people were drawing too. The way to win this tourney, is really to win some huge pots in the beginning and always be drawing to the nut hand in omaha or else, by round 5 the blinds are so high, the luck factor comes you need a lot of chips to gamble and kick out weaker hands by 2 betting or 3 betting, since people tend to fold alittle more when the blinds get to 60-100.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

embrassing performance at bay 101 midnight tourney

Urg! I don't even want to write about this tournament, but I like to keep records.

So here it is, Bay 101 midnight tourney. I've already played a couple of them and like the structure. I came in wanting to win it and hope to play good. Well, it didn't work out that way.

First hand, a couple of limpers ahead of me and I have Q 8 suited clubs in mid position. Wanted to raise, but opt to call instead. 5 to the flop.

Q 4 6. Someone bets and two callers.

10. Little blind who had checked earlier, now bets out. Original better folds and I call.

River is a J.

LB puts in a big bet and I feel like he has me beat, but since it was the first hand...I thought it was possible it could be a bluff. I call. He shows Q 4 for two pair as I kind of already suspected. Lost almost half my stack. Thinking back, I knew I should of raised! He called because of pot odds and he was on the button.

After that, won a couple of really small pots, but nothing brought me close to my original 10k in chips. I was around 3-4k . Up and down until level two. I'm in the big blind and was raised by the little blind to 3x. I push all in with A 10 and a caller folds and I made a mistake of showing my cards before the little blind called. He tanks for a bit and finally calls with Q K. I honestly think he would have folded, if I hadn't showed my hand.

My performance was so poor that I didn't care.

Note to myself: I should not play midnight tourney's, esp. when I had no sleep the day before.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Artichoke Joe's Limit Hold em & Limit Omaha Tourney

John, Hanso and I decided to go over to Artichoke's in San Bruno to play a nighttime tournament they had. This is the first time I been here and its a totally different feel than Lucky Chances.

We enter a limit texas hold em/limit omaha hi-low tourney with a $50 dollar buy-in. $20 dollar rebuys until the break with $40 dollar add on.

I was excited by the fact that this was a mix game tournament, like HORSE except without the RSE. John and I got put at the same table and here we go:

Just like my last limit texas hold em tournament at bay101, I decided to put pressure right off the bat and achieve two things: to control the table (meaning if they going to play garbage cards, then pay for it) and put the aggressive image out there. What good is play poker if everyone is in the hand? Trust me, there is a method to my madness...So I pretty much two-three bet every hand in the first round. Sure, I lost a bunch of chips, but I also gain a lot when I finally hit one of my hands.

It really seem like the whole table was after me. Some guy said "man, this aggressive", another guy "You won't make it to the final table" and a woman "raise again? ...gosh!"...Already right there! I got tells on all of them. They didn't have anything good in their hands, so I could put their range and read them better. They say its hard to bluff in limit, but I pulled one off when I represented a flush on the river.

When the Omaha hi-lo round came along, I had to give John and Hanso a crash course in the game. While I didn't see how hanso did, John did pretty well and hit a couple wheel hands (A2345) and scoop some huge pots!

Omaha rounds are the ones you can lose a lot of chips, because you are constantly drawing to a hand and when you don't really much choice except to fold. I tried to never draw to a low hand, except if the pot is huge. This is a game I still need to work on, but its basically if the pot odds are should call to hit...given your stack.

The event started with around 30 players and I played for 3 hours before it finally got down to the final table! I made it yet again to the final table! It's such a great feeling, especially since this was my first Omaha tournament. I've alway kind of pride myself that I took time to learn all the different form of poker games.

But, it wasn't long I was met with disappointment when I busted out in 8th.

At this point, the blinds were so high and I only had 2.5 bb left. It gets folded to the LB who two bets me and I push it all in. I couldn't afford to fold anyways. He shows 34 and I show 64. He somehow gets a straight on the turn and I'm dead.

Overall, it was fun and interesting. Not bad for the first time here. I wish I could have seen that guy's face when he told me "i've never seen you at the final table"

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Grinding it out

Up $600 dollars this weekend with 8 hours of play. Would have been a little more, but sometimes you cant avoid the bad beats, despite being ahead.

Lately, I've really been treating this as a business. My new motto is not to gamble, but make money. So not needlessly putting my stack at risk with hands that I don't know if I'm ahead or not. Most of it comes down to how well I can read the guy.

Example: A guy raised and I was sure he had jacks, so I laid down AQ suited. While another guy called and won the pot with AQ offsuit when he hit a queen on the turn.

Second example: Folded AQ offsuit again to a player who raised. I also put him on a high pair like kings. I would have turned the straight, but that player won when he rivered a full house. Whew~ I would have lost a lot here.

So this is how I've been playing. I figure its not tournament, so I don't have to worry about surviving. I'll choose my spots and play the cards when its on my terms, where I have a edge.

Friday. Had a pretty solid table of players who knew what they were doing. Passive preflop but aggressive on most flop. Out of the 9 players, about 5 of them love to bet on every street, no matter their cards. So, I played tight for about a half a hour and tried to see flops as cheaply as possible with hands I like.

Lost my first buy-in to someone who raised high on his draw. I pushed and he called. Hit his straight on the turn. Urg! Brought back in and doubled up on my first hand.

Most of my winnings came from a big stack player who was aggressive not only with his cards, but with his mouth. He so love bad-mouthing plays and the dealers. When I first sat down, he was constantly talking, until I started busting him up for about $400. It wasn't too long that he put me on tilt with his mouth.

So I table changed.


Saturday: Strolled in around 6pm and brought in for only $60. Left at around 8:30pm with $420. Not too bad. Pretty much played solid and felt the table up to identify players. Who was aggressive? Who was passive and who was the fish?

The biggest win came from this hand. A raised from a UTG player to $12 and a call. I'm in the big blind with aces and raised to $40. I get two callers. Flop comes out A 3 5 with two hearts. I pause with for a bit with my set of aces and trusted my gut that if I checked, he will bet thinking I didn't like the ace. My trap worked and he bets out $75. After a fold, I push for $160 total. He insta-called and mucks after I show him my set.

It wasn't long that the table got a whole lot of new faces. I was way too tired to try to identify these new guys, so I left, not wanting to lose what I won.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Rack Attack!

Won the rack attack tonight! Second time at lucky chances. Was lucky enough to hit a set of deuces on the river.

Tonight, had a stack of $300 after 3 hrs of play. Two bad beats and I lost it all. Later a buddy from work called me and asked me to pick him up to play at lucky chances also. So, after I came back, he staked me for $100 and asked for 20% of my winnings. Haha! Just like Kanish on Rounders.

I made sure he didn't regret that stake. Won a total of $420 for the night. After returning the investment and profit, I pocketed about $240 for the night.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Labor Day Tourney

Lucky Chances Tournament: $65 buy in with one rebuy at $50.

I wish I had more time to play these tournaments, because they are so fun. After you buy in, there's no need to worry about losing more cash and the competitive nature takes over. The feeling of winning a hand or outplaying someone is a great feeling.

Onto the tournament itself. Let me comment on the tournaments at LC. While they are fun, the blind structures are horrible. You start with 1500 chips with blinds at 25/50. Which only gives you 30 big blinds...and rebuy with 2500 chips which is just 50 big blinds, assuming you lose in the first levels. So, you can certainly expect to be all-in anytime you put a single chip into the pot.

I knew this from experience, so I had to really get in there and gamble early on. Raising with any decent hands I love that range from connectors to big pairs. Occasionally limping in with small pairs, hoping to catch and trap with them. The main reason you want to raise is based on small ball style...It lets you enter pots cheaply in a way, and if you are re-raised. You can narrow someone's hand better and hope to trap him.

So, I lost alot of chips early on by having one of those hands over hands. I had a straight to the King and guy next to me gets the straight to the ace. I'm so glad I small-balled it and only bet for value.

My all-in hand before my rebuy was pocket 5's which got out flopped by someone with Q8. Urg!

After rebuy, I bet, reraised any flush draws and always hit. This tournament, the flushes really help push me into a good chip position. I flop open ended straight royal flush draws 3 times in the tourney and while I never hit the royal flush, I always did hit the flush card.

I made it right up to the second break and had AK and raised. Everyone else had gotten up to take a break, but the big blind was contemplating a call...He finally called and the flop came a Ace. He checks and I bet out. He re-raised me all-in and I pretty much insta-called. He shows AJ.

The turn came a J. End of story.

I really hate it when I'm playing so well, but to end it with a bad beat.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

If you are going to play tight, make sure its a secret

played two sessions of spread hold em and been up $140 in both. Buying in only $60 bucks. Still doesn't cover some of the losses I went thru earlier, but its a start. I've been learning to grind it out and make money by putting it in there with the best hand. I'm basically re-building my bankroll before I start moving up.

Tonight's session was interested...and oddly enough I had the same seat two different nights in a row. Sat down and right off the bat, I had some great starting hands and opt to limp in. Missed the board several times and ended up folding on the flop, but had a good feel of how the table was playing, which was passive poker, except with a few guys who bet big with their hands. Easy read and easy exploitable...but also they were some very good players laying down monsters face up.

I pretty much got paid off on my big hands and scooped my fair share of small pots. Floped a bunch of nut straight and got paid off. Hit Quads and got paid off and hit sets that got paid off. its sweet to flop the best hand and finally just coming up with different ways to play them.

Two guys almost put me on tilt and ruined my game for about 30 minutes. And both of them were from seat 1. weird. Instead of playing like a donk, I chose to sit back and relax so I could calm down.

The first guy got mad when I said something like "same hand" and folded. He was like, "You cant do that!!" even though I never showed that hand, so he wouldn't even know what those cards were. So for a couple hands, I tried to tilt him by going "same hand" when folding.

After he busted out, another player sat down. I've played with him before. He likes to talk out loud a lot when trying to put you on a hand. We finally tango in one hand with a board of K K Q. I bet out 12 and get called by him. On the turn, I bet $25 and he stares me down for about a minute. I take a look at him and raise my eyebrows. He talks trying to range my hand. He says stuff like "QJ?" and then finally mucks his AQ face up. I show my AK and say that I knew he just had a Queen. He actually gets mad. Saying to me "why didn't you rolled me and check the turn if you knew I had a queen" I was like, cause I know you wouldn't put me on a king...and he starts yelling out, "what else could you have, I did know which was why I folded. "

I finally just said whatever and collected my pot. Then I announced I wasn't going to show anymore cards, if all I'm going to get is bs talk against me.

Soon enough, the table got really short handed and I decided to leave.

Monday, June 15, 2009

setting up the table

Strolled into LC last night and decided to play tight and limp in a lot of pots with big hands. 
The reason is because I had a table of a super aggressor and two gamblers looking for a chance to stick it in. So I really had to have a good hand if I wanted to be in any pots with them.

Having the super aggressor really changed the game, which was a curse and blessing for me. I couldn't limp in with too many hands that I like, but the good end of it was I always knew what people had by reading the way they play their hands. Since, they will usually only call those raises with a decent hand. 

He doubled me up each time with my Kings and aces. But, I lost some back to him when it went two pair over two pair.

I decided to follow some advice I read in a book about chatting the table up and giving a bad player props for being lucky and saying good hand and stuff. It was pretty cool, it allowed me to relax and the table had a good vibe where there playing too serious and took the bad beats lightly. The advice was "a laughing happy table is more willingly to give up cash than a table full of serious players".

Example: there was a guy who loved playing 10 8 no matter what the raise was. He won some huge pots with that hand and I would say how cool it was that hand always won him pots. Well, he went into a pot with me holding that hand and lost big. Yet, he took it lightly since I gave him so much props for it earlier.

I swear I must have spend a hour setting up this table, where I could manipulate the pot and catch free cards since I was "such a nice guy". I got paid off big on my aces, kings and jacks.

The nice guy act worked so well that when I was holding pocket jacks on a board of A K Q J 2. A guy before me goes all-in and I was thinking to lay my hand down, thinking he had a straight. I asked him if he had a "10" and he said he had "two pair" then I told him I could beat 2 pair and he said I should call. So I did and won with my set. I felt so bad afterwards, that I gave him back half his all-in bet.

Soon, I knew I was tired when I put in a 25 dollar bet into a board of K 2 4 9 8. Thinking I had the King, but I looked down and saw QJ of hearts. Damn it! So I decided to leave after that and because it was 4am. 

Friday, June 12, 2009

Satellite Tourney

I didn't have much experience playing in satellite tourneys at lucky chances, but really wanted to play this one since the prize was entry into a 100k first prize tourney that was 1k buy-in. The satellite buy-in was $140 and it was 10-handed.

Once when I sat down, I notice there wasn't a lot of chips on the table. Then when I received my chips, I counted that there was only 25 chips and they said there was no chip value. The blinds would start at 1/2. Right away, I was thinking "aw man, this is basically an all-in game" then it reminded me how I started off in poker playing this way in home games when we played with 50 chips each. Ah, the memories. So, I was hoping that experience would really help me out in playing this game. I was little blind for the first hand.

First hand, under the gun raises to 6 chips. Folded all the way around to button who calls 6. I call 6 with J3 of hearts and big blind folds. Flop comes out J 6 3. I push all in with my two pair and everyone folds. Gain 20 chips.

Since this was a very low stack tourney, meaning you can pretty much count on a "all-in" on every hand, people were choosing their spots and pushing in with A high or any pocket pair.

I doubled again when someone under the gun pushes and gets folded to me in the little blind and I'm holding A 9 suited. Usually, I'll fold, but since this is a winner take all, I opt to gamble against his pocket 5's. I hit two pair and send him home.

Down to the last 5 players and the blinds were extremely high at 8/16. So there was a lot of blind stealing involved and all in preflops until the last 4 players. I was left with the shortest stack, which was about two big blinds left. Had to gamble with any two cards and actually hit. Soon, I had come back to chip leader with 120 chips and down to 3 players.

Stacks were me at 120, the two others at 90 and 30. On the first hand of us at 3 players, I have KQ in the button. Blinds at 16/32 I decided to push all in to try to steal the blinds. Little blind calls me with A 6 suited and flops the Ace. Major hit! I'm down to 30 chips and big blind.

I bust out in 3rd place and get my prize money back. Urg! so close....that one major mistake cost me.

6 - handed Sit & Go tourneys

I've been playing on Full Tilt lately on the low buy in 6-handed tourney's and I've been doing very well in them. I think I've played in at least 10 of them and placed in 1st or 2nd in 8 of them.

I was mostly practicing a tight small ball strategy. I usually like getting in a lot of flops when the blinds are low, but instead opt to wait out other player mistakes, such as limping in with big hands and if they raise, I'll go over the top and they will push all in.

Other times are I'll check my hand all the way thru with a mediocre hand, but thinking its the best hand and calling all the bets. I've caught several bluffs attempted at me. Its a great feeling to see someone flip over AK high to my pair of 3's. lol.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Bad Beat Aura?

Didn't do too well in the online circuit of getting to my goal of $1000. Its weird, I really believe there was a bad beat aura hanging around me for the longest time. Sometimes I would hit top set on the flop, just to be rivered by someone with a better set. I trap so good online, but always happen to get bad beat. It was getting so sick for awhile.

I was losing on the first hand of a bunch of sit n' go's because of bad beats. I will have AK, they will have AJ and A10. Either they will flop a straight or two pair. I'm also the master of bubble as I'll get a massive chip lead of about 60% of chips in play and bust out in 3rd. No prize.

I was playing spadeclub's wsop qualifier prize on monday and lost that very quick. I ran into a better two pair when I hit two pair on the flop. Sucks, I rushed home from work to play in it and thinking to play it tight and trying to trap, but got played myself.

Chu did pretty good for awhile, but like always he tilts it off. lol.


Went to LC tonight to kill time and because I felt wired from a coffee I had earlier. In the beginning, I was missing a lot of flops with good starting cards and went all the way down to $12. Soon, I starting playing crazy after that and pushing it with 10 5 and 3 4 suited. Got lucky and doubled up twice! Later had AQ and a guy put me all in again and doubled me up. I was up $140 after only 3 hands!

After that, I couldn't believe how good I was playing. I was calling out people's cards and betting, reraiseing when I sense weakness and also making some very sick lay-downs.

Some note worthy hands:
I check the big blind with pocket Jacks and flop comes out. 9 5 2.
I check. Guy bets out 15 dollars, another guy calls 15 and I call 15, thinking I will re-raise on the turn after getting some more cash into the pot.

Turn comes a 10 and guy bets 40 dollars, guy behind re-raises to $140. I figured it might be one of those two pair vs. set hands. So I folded. Other guy goes all in and guy calls. It was a set of 5's vs. a set of 10's. So sick that I had the best hand pre-flop. I might have played it wrong pre-flop, but I figure the 10's would have called.

Holding 7 8 on the button. The board comes out 5 6 K. It gets checked all around.
Turn comes a 7 and its checked to me. I bet $12 dollars and its folded to the guy next to me who calls.
River is a Q and he checks again. I bet out $15 and he re-raises to $45. This bet was very familiar to me and smelled of a miss flush draw, so I call and he shows 9 10 for a missed straight.

Whoo! sick call! get praised from the table. Surprising this is not the last time someone tries to bluff me. Something similar happened when I had pocket 10's, and I made a laydown on a pretty safe board. Turn out to be a good read, cause he happen to have QQ.


Holding 3 5 of diamonds on the button. Everyone had called a raised of $8. Flop comes out 4 6 Q. Check all around. Turn brings another 4 and check around to a guy who bets out $10. I call and its heads up. River is a J and he checks. I bet out $25 into the $80 dollar pot and he shows me his missed flush draw with 10 high and mucks.

Haha! sick read on my part to sense his weakness.

There were also some hands where I raised on a flush draw and when I did get called, I hit it. Other times, the other person folded the best hand. Yeah, expert play right there.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

$10 Dollar Ful Ttilt Bonus

Full Tilt poker gave out some $10 dollar bonus for free. I only recently started playing on the site again because I love the low buy-in tournaments. So, I decided I will try to turn this $10 into $1000 playing a mix of limit, no limit and tournament hold em' poker. Wish me luck.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Good play, good read, easy money.... yet, bad bluffs

Sometimes, people ask me how should they play at LC. I tell them my #1 rule is to not bluff, since people rarely will fold their hands. I don't mean be tight, which is up to them, but to play your made hands for max value because they likely will pay you off. This is how I alway manage to win $200-$400 pots. I also wait for other players to make mistakes against me, which is a little more advance to teach in this entry, but I made go into it later on.

So tonight, I used my first rule well and tripled up within 40 minutes of sitting down...only to later throw my rule out the window and lose it all in the next 2 hours by bluffing like crazy. I had some of the best reads at my table and bet all my draws. I controlled the pot and got paid off when I made the hand.

Then for some reason, I started to want to bluff more and more. Only to be called by top pair with low kickers by other players. When I say low kickers, I mean like 3's, 4's and 5's. It was unbelievable how bad these guys were playing. Or them calling me down with bottom pair, then to hit two pair on the river. It was just so sick. They were trying to give me their money! Yet, the cards kept giving me bad beats.

I lost my last $80 in a hand I thought I had the perfect read on. I open from under the gun with a small raise of $5 with pocket 5's. Guy re-raises to $15. Flop comes out 4 4 2. I had checked in the dark. He bets $25 and I re-raise him to $50, thinking he is making a play with AK. He shakes his head and says how this sucks...sits there for a minute and then pushes all in for the rest of his chips of $80. I said to him, "are you serious? you think your beat and yet you push it all in?" I had no choice to call with the $20 something I had behind. And he shows pocket 9's to win the hand. I had a bad read on him, but to honestly push it in and not even thinking what I could have had.

I wanted to buy back in after that hand, but I felt on tilt and opt to leave. I really hope I get this table of bad players again. I couldn't believe how easy it was, but I just have to remember.."NEVER BLUFF A FISH!"

Monday, April 6, 2009

Bay 101 Midnight Tourney: counter to small ball

Used my winnings from friday's game to enter this tournament.

For some reason without realizing it, I totally threw my small ball style out the window tonight. I guess I shouldn't have kept psyching myself out by saying over & over "chip up fast or leave early!" before the tourney even started. I was playing a super aggressive game with tons of bluffs.

As usual, I tried to control the table with my small ball playing style, but kept getting re-raised and I kept calling the raises. My cards varied from suited cards to connectors. I missed a bunch of flops or missed draws with the occasional top pair here and there that won without showdown. I stayed at the constant $10,000 until level 3.

I lost more than half my stack on a big bluff I tried to pull on a guy. With blinds at $100/$200, I call holding Q4 suited. Three to the flop. I flop a flush draw and bet out $300 into the $600 pot. Get re-raised to $1200. One guy folds. I call. Turn is a miss for me, but I bet out $1000. He looks scared, but still calls. River is another blank for me and I bet out $4000. He goes all in for $6000 and I'm forced to fold, despite pot odds.

I gave this hand a deep analysis when I was done. I didn't use my small ball style at all in this hand, which was a big mistake. I should have bet only $600 on the turn for a cheap draw and I don't think he would have raised. If I was to bluff on the river, I think I should have only bet out $2200. At least, it would look more like a value bet and I wouldn't have risked so much of my chips.

After that hand, I was left with about $4000 and soon lost another $2400 by calling a big raises on my big blind with 2 7 and hitting mid-pair. The guy had bet $2000 in the dark preflop. I folded and he shows me an Ace. Urg!

Soon, I had no choice but to try to steal on the button with 3 8 offsuit. I push in $2400 with the blinds only at $200/$400 and get called by the big blind, I say out loud "shit!" and get some laughs after I show my 3 8 in my all-in moment. Big blind (tight player who always raises super high with good cards had called instantly, so I knew I was pretty much dead when he called my overbet.) shows me ACES!!! Flop comes out A 4 5. He hits his set and I'm getting ready to leave, until someone says "you need a 2". I touch my 3 of hearts and move it around the table asking the dealer to "do it!" and he tells me to stop touching the cards and let him deal. Haha! Turn is a blank...and the river is a 2!!! I double up. I tell him "I hope your remember that" hoping to put him on tilt and catch him again later.

Played a couple more hands and was chipping up slowly, but again. Called big re-raises with nothing and missing the flop or getting a piece, but folding anyway. I could tell my small ball wasn't working on this table of gamblers who love making pots big. I wish I had realized earlier that I was playing this way, so I could get out and sit back more. I think I was basically in about 80% of the hands I was dealt.

Later had AJ of spades in the little blind and opt to cold call. Same guy with aces earlier re-raises to $1000 with blinds still at $200/$400. I'm pretty sure he wanted to raised more, since it was only $600 more to both of us who called the $400 earlier. Three to the flop. I flop a spade draw and check. Big blind raises to $2000. And I push all in for $3500. He shows ACES again! and I miss my draw.

This is my earliest out of a tourney to date and I know what I did wrong, which was not sticking to my game and calling too many re-raises. I hope to do some more research into what to do next time I encounter this.

Until next time.


Advice from Daniel Negreanu I found about reraises:
In small ball poker, you must get involved in a lot of pots. And in many of those pots, you’ll get reraised. Make sure to maintain your composure when that happens. Don’t get away from your strategy by making sloppy calls.

Okay, say it’s early in a tournament. You raise to 150 on the button with 7h-8h, leaving you with 9,850 in chips. The small blind then reraises to a total of 500.

Not only do you have position, you also have the type of hand that could hit a home run if you get lucky on the flop. Go ahead and call with this hand, hoping to win the pot by hitting the flop or bluffing your opponent by using board cards that may scare him away.

Generally speaking, though, you don’t want to jeopardize more than ten percent of your chipstack on a hand like middle suited connectors or middle pairs.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Playing tight is no fun

Its been awhile, but finally had another session at LC. Decided again to play tight with a bit of loose calls, hoping to outplay players on the flop. For the first hour, I mostly sat around and folded or called and folded on the flop. There were lots of big bets and all-ins from stacks over $200. I knew I would have to pick my spots.

I check-raised a lot tonight than I'm used to in a cash game. I'm used to just calling down if I have two pair or top pair, but played aggressive tight game tonight and didn't want players to catch up. I was determined to play this way, until I lost. But, I never lost and rarely had a show-down with my raises.

I had my tight image reinforced by another player who at least announced to the table three to four times how tight I was playing. I just sat there thinking how weird it was to be called "tight player". I was hoping to use it, but mostly ended up just playing my cards and using my reads on other people.

I cracked pocket Aces when I called a raised with pocket 8's and hit a set. I tripled up to $300 here. I also cracked another big hand a few hands later. A player had raised after I limped in with 7 8 offsuit and call his raise. Player then goes all in before the flop came out. 7 2 4. I had hit top pair with the 7 and thought about the hands he could have. "AK, KK, AA?" I figured he probably has a big pair, but called hoping to suck-out and I also had to see if I was reading him right. Yep! he shows pocket Kings and as I tap the table, another 7 hits the turn. Boom! :-)

All in all, I made $180 profit, but didn't have as much fun with being so tight. I know I was setting it all up so I could do fancy plays later and bluff more, but by the time I had the image dead set into people's head, I was too tired to try any plays. Maybe next time.

I now know why I like the tight image, because it causes people to loosen up and bluff me more. I let them win small pots and love catching their mistakes in large pots I win.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Check-Raise a tight player

Another break even session. Disappointing, but better than leaving empty.

My first hand just when I sat down was AJ. I called. I haven't even gotten my chips yet. Flop comes out with A. I bet out $12 after checks to me. Get two callers. The turn comes and its check to me again. I bet out $24 this time with my cash and some chips. He calls. On the river, he bets $60. I'm shocked and confused. I start talking to him "check check and then raise?" He keeps still and stares blankly with his hat and sunglasses. I thought about folding, seeing it was my first hand, but I saw something that told me he had A-rag, like a weird smirk from his face. I called. He showed A 4. I win! Free double up. $200 +

After that, I discovered this table was interesting. A lot of good players who also check-raise a lot if they sense weakness or think they can outplay you.

There was a fool who check raised with 2 3 high, when I was holding top pair. I was thinking to fold, but I just couldn't when I saw my stack compare to the pot size and figure he made this play because he missed his flush, since I've made this play in my last session. After I won, I realized my image at the table was a tight player. Which is why so many of these guys pulled this move on me.

I was digging it. Having a tight image and letting other players try to bluff me. I just needed to let them steal a few small pots, which causes to bluff bigger in the game against me when I have the best hand. ( I checked a full-house all the way to the river, where the player then went all in. I insta-call and won $100 from him).

But, I also folded two winning hands with a pot of over $200. Damn it!
One was on a board of 4 7 7. Call all around and someone re-raises. I fold my pocket 10's. The guy next to me calls and wins with A high!..................urg!

Few hands later, I caught my straight on the river and get re-raised high. I gave him credit for a higher straight. Another player called him and he won with a set of 8's. ..............urg!

Knowing I had a table of aggressors, I decided to play tight and it worked well. I let them bluff and gather chips. But, I still regret letting them run me over in large pots. I should have used my tight image more to my full advantage.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Here's a Tip

Tipping. Every time I go into a tournament, I always think if I win it, how much of it should I tip. A first prize of $10k would be $1k and a small prize of $3k would be $300.

Did you know when Jerry Yang won the 07 WSOP, he didn't leave a tip. I thought that was wrong of him, until I started reading more into it and found that the WSOP had already taken a big rake with the entries.

Now, cash game is a different story where you tip every hand. I started thinking how much does it make sense to tip pot after pot? When I lose a hand, who tips me right? Not to mention, they already have a rake + jackpot collection. Say, the pot is three way action with all limpers. Pot is $12 and rake is $4. Now, the pot is only $8. Is this pot even worth playing? Say, you win the $8 with a min bet of $4. You tip $1. You won $7 dollars, but invested $4 dollars. So net gain would be $3. Not worth it!

I read on TV's high stakes poker, they only tip $1 every hand. 1 dollar!!! Here they are playing for thousands, not to mention getting paid per hour sitting there. Here I am tipping $2 - $5 on pots that are $40 bucks. Am I crazy?

I plan on rebuilding my poker bankroll and now realized how much was lost by simply tipping too much on pots that wasn't worth it. I know dealers need the tips to make better wages, but I'm the one sitting at the tables with my own money to risk.

So now, I'm going to be a more cautious tipper. Thoughts?

Friday, March 13, 2009

Playing well with the second best hand

I love it when I play well with good skills and not rely on luck too much.

Tonight, went to lucky chances and brought into the 1 1 2 game. My second hand, I had K10 and the flop came out 2 10 10. Someone bets and someone goes all in. To me, I was thinking he must have A10. I'm sure of it. But, I still called and he showed A 10. I cursed myself for not trusting my read.

Brought in again and made some huge lay-downs. I had KJ suited in the big blind and decide to check it. Flop came out K J A. I bet out with my two pair and get one caller and someone raises. I start to think he has Q10. I thought about pushing it all in, but opt to call, hoping to get lucky and catch. The other guy folds. The turn comes another A and I check. (two pair no good). He bets enough to put me all in and I fold face up. Everyone is surprised I didn't re-raised all-in on the flop when he raised me. Yet, he turns over Q 10 for the flop straight.

I love it when I read good! but hated how much I had to invest. I'm glad he showed me, or else I still be wondering until now if I made a good laydown.

I was down to my last few dollars so many times in the game, because of some major beats. I decided to played in big pots when I was short stacked and played odds when I was behind. All paid off and I soon had my cash back and a little more.

A hand I'm most proud of is when I bet on my AJ of hearts on the flop with two hearts. I bet out, get one caller. Turn, he check, I check. River is a blank and he checks again. In my head, I'm sure he had a low pair or probably had a flush draw too. I bet 50% of my stack and he insta-folds. whew!

best record? $17 dollars all the way to $220? no, i still think my best record was $40 into $800.

I had J 10 at least 10 times tonight. Each won me great pots! No wonder I love this hand. I also finally saw JJ, AA, AK, AQ, and a bunch of KQ, KJ, QJ, & my lovely favorite suited connectors tonight. Love em' all. Its nice to know I can't always be card dead.

Used the profit for a nice dinner.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Why do I have four cards? Omaha 8 session.

Walked into lucky chances expecting to play 1/2 hold em'. Played two hands and got called to Omaha 8. This is my first time playing Omaha 8 at Lucky chances, the game is just not popular enough to get more than one table. So I was excited I finally got a seat.

I already knew how to play Omaha from playing a bunch of H.O.R.S.E tourneys online, so I didn't come in blind.

My second hand I received was AAQQ. Not being sure how the betting went, I just called. Flop comes out AAK57. I have quads and there is another guy who is betting into me! I call him down with a couple raises in between and he shows a qualifying low hand. Damn it! So, the pot gets split.

This is the bad part of high/low because of a bunch of split pots, but it also creates more action. I learned from another player that its not smart to chase a low hand from the gecko because you are only playing just to win half. Why right? unless the pot is so huge, where the low half is worth playing for.

From there, I was getting some awesome cards with all my pocket pairs hitting sets. I got outdrawn a lot as well and left the table with more live experience in the game. Such as, I didn't know I could switch up my hole cards to play for High and low. Next time I play, my skills will be so much better.'em

This game is so much fun online, but so much more fun live. My head is constantly thinking and I'm trying to read other players at the same time. I hope we can get a live HORSE tourney sometime soon, either home game or card room tourney. I know I would do so well.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

SpadeClub T-Shirt

I submitted a t-shirt design to SpadeClub as part of their contest. Voting won't be until March 5, but I hope everyone who has a account with SpadeClub (or make one. lol.) vote for mines!

If I win first, I will buy everyone a t-shirt to represent. Yeah! Haha!

View details and other entries here:

Remember, vote for DAVEZ on march 5!

"Yes, we can!"
updated: I didn't even make it to their final selection. What the heck? That sucks! oh well, at least I get a free shirt still.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Card dead at midnight

Decided to go over to Bay 101 tonight and play a midnight tourney. Buy in $120 with 49 players.

I decided early on that I wanted to gamble and try to chip up fast or go home early with my aggressive small-ball strategies, except this time around I had a interesting table. Not tough players at all, but a bunch of show-boaters who run down the clock in every hand they were in. I was getting a little annoyed by some of the antics that were going on at the table. Some guy kept saying "the nuts" when he showed his hand, when it was only like a pair. He would also do it when other people showed their hands. The dealers kept getting confused as hell and took longer than usual to look at the hands showed, so there would be no mistakes.

This really sucked, as it wasted tourney time and blinds were being raised unevenly between the players. I didn't even get to play a hand in the second levels because of the show-boating! (blinds get raised every 12 minutes).

Throughout the whole tourney, I was basically card-dead with my best hands being AK, 88, 10 10 and a few KJ, KQ, AJ in bad positions. I missed every flop and couldn't even small-ball draws as people just kept over betting the pot by going all in.

I thought I could easily trapped and set things up, but just never had the hands to trap. I'm so sad that I haven't looked down to see AA, KK, QQ, JJ at all in the tourney.

Some mistakes might have been calling a big raise with 36, 27 and 56. I guess I was hoping to get lucky.

I outplayed ppls on couple of flops and think I made good reads, which is what kept me alive for so long. But, I pretty much threw away my aggressive style because didn't want to face the players who had one move. They even sucked me into their game, and I was pushing all in with hands like A5 and KQ, which doubled me up.

I busted in 16th place holding KQ of diamonds and was drawing dead with pocket 9s hit a set on the flop.

What I learned was that I should stick to my game, even when faced with interesting players. So many hands I wanted to see the flop with and something told me I should raise, so I could see a "cheap" flop, instead I opt to limp in and had to fold to big re-raises, or I called big raises and missed.

I'm hoping I will stick to game plan next time I play.

Note to self: Stick to your game, no matter how stupid the other players are playing. Don't get lured into their "game".

Friday, February 13, 2009

So close... 7-card stud session

Went to LC with a co-worker tonight and lost $100 pretty quick in the spread limit game. Two players trapped me when they flopped tripe aces and checked it. Its so sick how I'll always catch the turn card, so it makes me pay them off. Then there was one hand where I tried to bluff with pocket deuces only to get smoothed called and re-raised on the river.

Note to self: Be wary of players who check the flop quickly and bet/raise quickly on the turn. It seems they likely have it.

After that, decided to play 7-card stud. I'm still not sure how to really play this game when people just don't fold. I won only one hand the whole time I played and it was almost jackpot. Here's the run-down:

I'm dealt at 2 10 with a 2 face up. I bring in the bet for $1.
Everyone calls.

Next card: 10. Gives me two pairs. I smooth call the $2 bet.

Next card: 2. Gives me a full house. I raise and a couple players call.
I see one player with three 4's showing.

Next card: 2. I have three 2's showing, no one thinks I have quads.
The one with three 4's bets first.

I smooth call it. Two other players behind calls.

Last card face down is meaningless. I show my quads and asked him if he had quad 4s. He said no, and another guy said if he folded, the 4 would have went to him. "Wth? that sucks!"

Again, so close to that jackpot.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

"What? I can't go all-in?" - Limit Hold Em' Poker Tournament

Played in my first LIMIT hold em' tournament this morning at Bay 101 with 68 players. $80 dollar entry with $60 dollar rebuy. I went with three other co-workers and we made a pack that if any of us won the big cash places, we would split the winnings.

I didn't start the day too good, I slept at 3:30am and woke up at 7am. So, I really wasn't in the poker mood. I would have backed out of this, but I was the one who got everyone hyped up for the tournament. But, once we got there... I was excited to play. I love tournaments, but still had doubts about what to do in this limit game.

I played aggressively and two-three bet a lot. I took some pots and took two bad beats on the river. I was the first one to rebuy at my table. My rebuy didn't take long to get short stacked, but I managed to climb up to chip leader at my table for awhile by being aggressive.

Note to self: Aggressive small ball bets work great in early rounds, but also play a solid game to chip up. Aggression small ball also works well in later rounds when blinds are higher. You bet to see "cheap" draws while adding the semi-bluffs.

My best pot was when a aggressive little blind player raised my blinds, and I called with K2 from the big blind. (I think everyone got out of the hand because him and I were the most aggressive at the table).

Flop came out 2 7 9. He bets outs. I two bet. He calls.

Turn comes out a 3. He checks. I bet out. He says "I know I have the best hand" and mucks.

But I bluffed at two wrong times and it cost me, one with miss flush draw and another with a missed straight. I finally had to push with pocket 3's and ran into pocket aces.

Placed in 30th place, but one of my co-workers got 4th place ($680 dollars). He gave us back $100 each and treated us to dim sum afterwards. Good deal!

All in all, I'm not a good limit player, but it was fun. I may try it again someday. I feel I was too aggressive in some pots where I had no outs and totally threw my small-ball strategy out the window, because I thought it wouldn't be too useful in limit poker, but I was wrong. When I think back, smallball would have worked even better in this tournament because of how many ppls see the flop and call you down to the river.

So Next time, watch out.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


I've been feeling sick lately, so my reading abilities have shot to hell at the tables and home games. I decided to use this time to work on my online reading abilities.


So, I gave up on the 0.01/0.02 cent cash games. I was doing extremely well and making about a 0.80 cents per hour. Playing these games have definitely taught me to have selective aggressivenesses and know when to get value for big hands. But, after two weeks I decided to blow all my winnings into the tournaments. Time to reload.

Watching Rich play Spadeclub finally got me back into my account to start playing too. The reason why I was thinking to give up Spadeclub was because there are just too many players in the tournaments and the prize are pretty much worthless for the hours you put in.

I played in two last night. One with a field of 244 and I placed 5th.

Played in a sit n go with Rich who got 3rd, and while I was massive chip leader (10k vs. 1k). I still lost! Everytime I had a good hand, I was outkicked. Then when I outkicked the other person, he would pair his kicker. It was frustrating...but at least I proved to myself that I know how to play online poker.

I notice that Rich and I have totally different tournament playing styles. He tends to be tight for most of the time, bets too high on his hands and often make good calls. While I don't particular like this tight style, it seems to work good for him.

Me on the other hand, I play a aggressive small-ball style. So my hand ranges are all over the place from AK to low connectors like 45. Raise with connector and big pairs, betting the same on draws, top pair and mid-pair. I often make bad calls due to my curiosity of just wanting to see what the other person has. I set a lot of traps and often wait for other players to make mistakes. I have found that this has worked extremely well in early stages to give me a good chip accumulation, but fails in the later stages when I can no longer bet on draws without committing myself to the hand.

Note to self: Connectors cost a lot of chips when missed the flop completely at high level blinds. Call with connectors only when in late position during late rounds?

I need to learn late stage strategies as I see myself making more & more final tables lately. :-)

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Cheap Poker Games

I was reading Daniel Negreanu's blog about his goal to grind it out in the .001/.002 cent with $5 dollars and grind it out until he got $25 then move up in rank to .003/.005 cents. So, I've been trying to do the same thing to see how I'll do, but been finding it frustrating, yet educational.

I started with $3, but now down to $1.50.

Somewhere along the lines, I've been bluffing pot after pot trying my best to win every pot I was involved in and I have no idea where it came from. So, playing at these low stakes have really taught me to slow down, learn to bluff less or selective bluffing and letting the cards do the work. I really think this will help my game down the line to teach me to rely on reads and not only on pure aggression.

I'm also playing cheap $1 online tournaments to prepare for all the upcoming satellites offering WSOP seats. I hope all this training will pay off.

I will also try to enter some live tournaments once in awhile to keep up my live game play sharp.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Reno Harrah's Texas Hold Em' Tournament

There we are at the Reno's Harrah's Poker Tournament @ 10am.
About 30 players including alternatives entered with a $50 dollar buy-in.
We start with $4000 in starting chips. (There are a few players with more from bonuses).

I had Jose and Rich at my table, but we didn't tangle too much even though I did steal some of their blinds. I gained a lot of chips very fast and I'm pretty sure I was chip leader throughout the early levels of the tournament.

Some hands I remember that helped me:

Having 9 10 on a board with J 8 6. Open-ended straight draw and first to act. I bet out. Get called.
The turn comes a 10. Pairing me. I bet out again and get re-raised. I call.
The river comes another 10 and I bet out again. The player goes all-in and I insta-call. He shows me J 8. I win.

K 10 suited under the gun and min-raised. Get re-raised by player in the big blind. Folds all the way to me and I call. Board comes out 10 2 10. I bet the pot. The player calls with a disappointed look.
The turn comes: 9 and I go all in. He calls with pocket Queens.
River is blank and I win.

Had a few AK's in position and won pots on the flop. Had Aces on the button after half the table called a re-raised by a early position player. I re-raised the pot and win.

I am chip leader throughout most of the tournament until I tangled with the other chip leader.
He took a big chuck of me when I called the little blind with 4 5 suited. He re-raised as I knew he would and I called. Board came out 3 J 7. I check and he bets close to pot. I fold. I believe I played this hand wrong. If I could go back, I would have bet out.

Note to self: Not to get involved in small pots with chip leaders, its not worth losing lot of chips just to keep the aggressive image. Pick my spots!

Before I knew it, it was the final table. Jose, Rich, Joe and I made it. Ray busted out early by Joe. lol. I was second in chips, but soon got followed by some bad beats (AJ vs. K10 and player hits a King on the river. sick) and out of position from the other chip leader who took a big chuck of my stack early on.


Jose busted out in 7th with Q 8.

Soon, I busted out in 6th holding jacks. I limped in and a re-raised by someone in late position. My gut told me he had Queens, and I so wanted to fold, but instead called hoping to get lucky. He showed Kings.

Joe played tight for most of the final table, so it was odd to see him push it all in with 6 7 and busted out on the bubble. 4th place.

And the winner is... Rich in 1st place with $420 dollar prize. Congrats!