Monday, December 14, 2009

Getting Off the Rollercoaster

I'm back from my poker vacation. It started off bad with a hundred dollar loss at Hustler, I don't even remember the details. Then I went to Palm Springs and played at Spa Resort Casino. I played in a $40 no limit tournament. Sixteen people showed up. My first table everyone was playing so quiet and by the book. After not catching any cards the first 2 levels I picked up pocket 7's in the small blind just as the blinds went up. As usual there were a few limpers, so I shoved all -in, with about 15 blinds. The whole table gave me a crazy stare, I even got a "It's too early to be doing that kid". Well the big blind had Pocket Ten's and called. The door card was a seven and I was good. Well close to the end of that round I got 10-9 in the big blind. There was a raise and 2 callers, so I called being chip leader. Well the flop came 10-9-rag with two spades. I checked, initial raiser bet who got raised, the fourth person (didn't have enough to call the second raise) went all-in. I went all-in also and got called by the other 2. My thinking was that I'm chip leader, and it wouldn't destroy me by calling. With me having top pair the chances that I'm against a big set is small. I think I got maybe two over pairs, and maybe A-10. Well a four way pot, and I was ahead against 2 kings, A-k of spades and something I forgot like a weak pair of tens. I help up and busted 3 people in one hand, making the final table come together at 11 people. In this format they guaranteed a $1,000 prize pool and 5 places paid. I was chip leader going into the final table( never thought I say that). Well the money bubble busted in the funniest way I have ever seen. He was the blind and was forced all-in, there was a raise and 2 callers he just mucked and walked out the poker room. After that it wasn't too funny as I got 5th place when I made the mistake of flopping top pair with 6 big blinds left as short handed usually is at these tournaments. I won $65. (Don't think they kept to their $1,000 guarantee)

Then after this tiny win, I was inspired to hit the cash games again at Hustler. It was Thanksgiving day, I put in 2 four hour sessions for a profit of $160, the games were so alive it was strange on a holiday. Then on a trip back to Palm Springs, I dusted off my old limit poker skills and played 3-6 limit. The table was great I was right in the middle of four tourist and four palm springs retirees who you could tell well regulars. I made $120 there in about 2 hours, I had to quit cause I ordered a drink that gave me a bad headache.

So the years grand total ( not a grand like I expected ) comes out to $555 profit. A little over halfway of my goal, but not a disappointing year at all. At my peak I was up over $1400, and my low was about $200. I never was in the negative and I never gave up.

My next post will be about my poker year in general outside of the cash, with my 2009 wrap-up.

Friday, August 14, 2009

The 2009 World Series of Poker

It's been awhile since I updated. It's hard to write stuff when you keep losing, more about that later. I made 2 trips this year to the WSOP. I first went out for the $40K HORSE event and at the same time Champions Invitational. So randomly after watching a movie in L.A. I decided to go to Vegas with my old roomate. We get there at 9 in the morning and head over to the Rio. Doyle Brunson and Mike Carol were having a poker seminar. It was nice had good topics and I got a free book and got to ask Doyle questions. I also got to watch the $40K event final 5 players play. I even got my face on the ESPN broadcast.
My next trip was for the Main Event. I went for 6 days, because my hotel was comped and I could get off work. I got to see the not so great Poker Palooza. I did get a chance to play Jonny Loden thinks with Phil Laak and Antonio Esfandiri. I got to meet last years winner Peter Eastgate. Funny story Eastgate and Raymer had autograph signing right next to each other, no one was in like for Eastgate and Raymer was a 15 minute wait. I also ran into an old friend of mine who was playing in the main event. He made all the way to day 3, and I got to sweat him on the rail each day. Phil Ivey made the November Nine this year!
Now the whole week I was there I only lost $100. This is because of the big session I had at Imperial Palace for $300. Then I got a dumb tip to head over to the Ventitian and play. I way over played A-K while having top set, I lost 200$ to a straight. Then I went back to Imperial Palace and lost $200.
I have not had any winning sessions in a while. I put another $100 into Full Tilt to get a bonus, thats not working so well. I add up my year total to +$350. I know a win is good but I'm not happy at all with the results. I had about a thousand dollar downswing in a few months. My yearly goal was to make $1000. Now with 5 months to go I have to win a lot more. I definitly can contribute some losses to bad playing but I can also say I have got hit with bad luck.
I am not giving up, but I am just taking a break, I got a few other things besides poker that are taking away my concentration. Later.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Randomness

I played at Hustler and lost $110. The table was tuff I went in twice with the best hand every time but lost each time. I played 3-6 limit poker at Morongo, big mistake I know, lost $60. I also put $50 onto Full Tilt Poker, its all but almost gone, I'm going to claim it as a lost right now.

Year total: +775

The California State Poker Championship

I played in the day two of the $220, California State Poker Championship. I sat my first table with 3,000 chips. Two hours into the tournament everyone at my table was just exchanging chips. I had 2,800 when my table finally busted and I was moved to a new table right before the break. At my table was pro Paul Darden. My very first hand at the new table I got K-Q under the gun (UTG). I limped and the first behind me made it 350 total. One caller and then me I called the 250 more. The flop came Q-10-4 I bet $650, and the initial raised enough for me to go all-in. I tanked.

If I fold I will have $1800 and the blinds after the break is 100-200. I was already short stack at the table. All I could think he had was A-Q, or making a move on me before a break. Well I called with a bad feeling. I was right because he called, showing pocket tens. I didn't even make it to the break. 

I lost a 20$ last longer bet with a friend and then I went to the cash games and made $85.

Year total: +995.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Back to the Commerce

At the Commerce again, this time to register for the $220 poker tournament. Today was day 1a and tomorrow is day 1b. I will be playing 2b and it should get a field over 900 players. After i registered I played in the $40 cash game. I just played tight solid poker for a while because I was up just a little bit but mostly won all my money from one big hand. It plays itself pretty simple but its a good story. I had pocket Aces in the big blind. An aggressive middle position player made it $10, I min raised to $20 and we were heads up to the flop. The flop was 7-7-A. I have the second nuts and no way am I folding. I check and he did exactly what I thought. He grabbed a random amount of chips in a stack, it came to be $26. I think for 20 seconds and call. Now this player usually moves in dark after this move when he got a pair or better. He really looked like he was going to but he just bet $20 when the turn came out. I called. The river was usually to me and I can't even tell you what it was. I bet $20 and he just calls which is weird to me cause he had another $20 behind and I could only put him on a 7. Well he shows right away Ace-Jack even tho I am first to act. This is where I decide to be tricky I turn over my hand but my cards are one on top of the other. I show the Ace and then really quickly snap the other Ace out from behind and the whole table goes "Wow". I was actually mad I didn't get all his money on that hand. I cashed out shortly after for a profit of $160.

Year total +1150. 

Wish me luck in the tournament.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

I went down to Commerce Casino with a friend to play in the satellite they have for the upcoming California State Poker Championship. I played one $40 satellite. I got with when I had second pair and open ended straight draw on the turn but ran into Aces and didn't improve. My friend got second in one. After that we moved to the cash games. I played in the $40 game. I lost my first buy-in really fast ( one hand) and then I re-bought. I lost my second buy-in on this hand:

I had 5-6 off suit in the big blind. The button makes it $5 to go. I call and the flop comes 5-J-6, and since there is 3 other players I bet $8 hoping to get someone to raise or since there is no flush draws yet get weaker draws out. The button min raises to $10. I make it $40, leaving myself about $12 behind. The button just calls. Well only having $12 left I can't fold unless a Jack comes out but really I don't think I'll fold. Well the turn is a 5 and I act like Im just going all-in because I'm committed. I get a call and as I am about to turn over my cards the dealer turns over the river and a Queen comes out. YEP, the button had Q-Q!! Later the guy was involved in a hand where he said "Oh, if I called those would have been my chips too a player". I quickly said "All those chips should be mine so don't even start to complain. 

I thought I could outplay the table and bought back in. I was right I outplayed the players, but not the cards. I always got my money in good but was outdrawn again. Down $160 I did what any other poker player would do, I bought into a higher limit game to try and make my money back. I went to the $100 table and worked up to $140 before that game got busted and I was moved to a new table. I chipped away to about $100 again and was dealt Qc-Jc. I call the $3 and some makes it $20, and I call along with 2 others, one person makes it $100 and again 2 caller. I tank for a little bit. If I call the pot is $400 and If I win I would be up for the night. I know my cards are not the best pre-flop for sure. My other opponents didn't re-raise the $100 meaning they don't have a great hand. One player is All-in too so If the two lives stacks battle after the flop it is most likely one will move in on the flop. I think I am against 2 other players and I have a good hand to crack a big pair. I call which I know now is a bad call, but I was tired and desperate. The flop comes Jack high which I like. The 100$ bettor goes all-in the other folds. The turn is a Queen and I like even more. The river is a blank and Im first to act and I show still unsure. The next guy who went all-in after the flop has KK, but the third player has QQ. 

So I lose $260 all thanks to Q-Q. I am going to play the $220 tournament on May 16th. There will be a $200,000 guarantee and a field of about 2,000 players. 

Year total $990.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Every Streak Comes to an End

I knew it would happen, I finally lost. I played at Hustler in the 100$ max game. Got no cards better then 88 or A7 in about 3 hours at one table. I lost 70$ then asked for a table change. I went to the new table and added on $60 for $90 total buy-in and that was gone in about 2 hours. I played bad, but my cards were even worse. I lost $160. I also think that Hustler raised the rake of the game, now it is $4+1  nine handed.

Year Total : +1250

Monday, April 06, 2009

Hit and Run!

I traveled down to Morongo Casino  outside of Palm Springs. I went and played the $40 min and $200 max, with blinds at $1-3$. Last time I was here the game was $100 max and $2 for the big blind. I bought in for $100, expecting this to be the max. I play about 20 minutes and get down to $66. I am the big blind and post $3. The next person behind me straddles and make it $6. A straddle is a blind raise that gives that player an option still, as oppose to a blind raise. There is a few callers. Then the action is to me and I have pocket sixes, I instantly thought shove, but then i considered a few things. The player behind me was an action player and had over $1000 in front of him so I don't want to just raise a little and get committed with a crappy flop. The players who called I am unsure of also because I don't have much knowledge gather in 20 minutes. I call the extra 3$ and then the player makes it $15 total. There is one caller and the rest fold to me. Since I was considering shipping it earlier this makes it better for me to move in, because the loose person would call me and I might be heads up since the tighter player just called the reraise. I go all-in for $66 total and only the big action player calls because its his son's favorite hand Ace-2. I manage to hold and up $150. The very next hand I get Q-Q. I make it $15 total. I get two callers to the flop, one being the action player and a new person. The flop is 9 high with 2 hearts. I bet $40 and get one caller. It is the new person. The turn is the Q (non-heart) and I thought I went all-in but I had forgot the $20 stack of $1 chips. I must have made it look like I was stealing or that I wasn't sure enough to put all-in. He went all-in and I put my little stack in. The river came a non heart and he flipped over the busted Ace high flush draw. He went all-in on a flush draw because his friends wanted to leave. About 4 or 5 hands later I get  pocket 4's and limp to an unraised pot. The flop is 9-4-3, gives me a four and its checked to me who bets $25. I bet a bit more then my normal based on how loose the table is calling and to make it seem like I am trying to push around the table with my new money. The action player from before calls, and the turn is an 8. I know my hand is still good but I am not sure what he has so I stick with the same bet of $25. He calls. The river is a 10 which kinda scares me but I only think he has a straight like 5% of the time, because I really put him on a pair hoping he hit two pair. I  bet $30 and and he called. I showed and he walked away from the table, he had Q-9.  I stack up all my chips and I have $450. It has been half an hour and lots of new players who all bought in for $100 or less. Besides me one other player has over $200. I start to think. I have made over $350 in one round of the button in a half hour session. I also went to the casino with 3 friends that were trying to play the slots but just waiting at the bar for me . I say trying because the place was packed. I then decided to just take my winnings and go. YEP, I did a hit and run. Yeah I think I was a favorite over the table with my stack and skills, but there are many new short stack players and I was on a rush of cards not much was skill. I decided I rather just leave and hang out with my friends who are only at the casino because of me then try to win a little more. 

Year totals: +$1410

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

One Outer, One Large Pot

I went to Hustler to play in the 100$ game. I had about $120 when I got KK. An early player made it $8 and 2 callers then I raised to $28 total. Then one person called and then the initial raiser called, the next to act goes into the tank. He takes a while and ships all-in for about $90 total. One player behind goes all in for less then my original raise. I shove all-in too and get one caller behind. I had the 3 other players covered. The flop comes 2-K-8, the turn is an 8. I show first cause I hate waiting or dragging it out. Two of the other players show. First shows AK or hearts, the second player who tanked earlier has AA. Wow was I surprised but I couldn't play the hand any other way. The pot was $320. I cashed out shortly after for a winning session of $200.

Year total: +1060. 

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Just Keep Grinding

I decided to take a shot at the 100$ game at Commerce. That lasted about 30 minutes as my bottom set lost to middle set. So, I moved down back to the $40 to give it a try. I ended up doing really good and made $100 profit back so I went back up to the $100 game. This time I lasted longer but did not win any hands for a about 2 hours. I just sat and waited around for cards. This table was very loose and aggressive. At least 6 people had over $300. I realized that I was not playing well at this kind of table. With the blinds at $2-3$, that's $5 a round about 20 rounds.  I felt that with once I was down to 60$ or less if I call a raise and saw I flop I would have to ship it all-in. It basically took all the strategy away from my game and I just had to win coin tosses. I got Aces once and triple up to like $200 once and was going to pack up but then a new guy came to the table and after I raised $20 he moved all-in for 95$ and one other deep stacked player called. I then called the remaining 75$ with AhQh. The flop came Q-8-8 and I thought I was good until the new guy showed QQ. Then I was back to my little stack grinding. Well I was about to quit until I got AsQs and ship 70$ all-in after one player raised. I got to callers and the flop was 6s5d4c, one player went all-in and the other folded. He showed Aces, and I got out of my seat to walk away but then the board went spade, spade giving me the nut flush. I cashed out with a profit of $100 for 7 hours of grinding. I learned I might not be ready for the $100 game unless I have a couple of buy-ins for that game.
Year Total +$860

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Just for fun.

I'm going to start this blog with a term and definition which is something I had a request for and something I will try.

Rake: It is the money taken from the pot by the house. It can either be a percentage or a set dollar amount based on the number of players at the table. Part of which can also go to the casino jackpot collection.

I went down to Hawaiian Gardens with a friend who does not play much poker outside of home games. He only like to play the $20.00 buy-ins that they have here. I sat down and play a little bit. The blinds were $1 and $1. The game was nine handed and the rake was $3.50. This meant that for any player to make money from just betting the flop and everyone folds, they would only make $0.50. So just playing the blinds you would last 10 levels. Lets say that for every round of the button there is 7 flops, that's $24.50 taken off the table. Which makes this game hard to beat even with the bad players. I know all casinos take a rake because that is how casinos make money from poker games , but this rake is really high. The Commerce Casino has a $40 buy in game and that rake nine handed is only $3.00. That's double the buy in and less rake. That is why I told my friend he needs to find another game or a casino to play at.

I took my own advice and played at the $40.00 game there after loosing 3 buys in at the 20$. I got lucky a few hands and had about $90 at the table. Also, at the is game they only have $2 chips and they say bets in amounts of chips not dollars, so it takes a while to realize how much bets are and pots.  I got pocket Jacks in the Big Blind and raised 10$ so its 12$ total. I get 4 callers. The flop is Qc 6s 10h. I'm first and bet 16$ and get two callers. The fact that the guy to my left didn't raise meant he either had a real weak Queen or a Ten. The other guy who called me I wasn't sure about but he looked like he only called cause the other guy called and gave him odds. The turn is 7c and I bet $20 because I don't think anyone has a queen and I don't like the board having so many draws.  The guy to my left thinks for a little bit and thinks a little longer then takes he whole stack and pushes it toward the pot. The other guy folds and I think about how the guy reacted. On a previous hand he had two pair and raised me but didn't go all in. The guy looks like he is trying scare me away and has some draw. I decide to call thinking that I was 50/50. As soon as I called he said "Good Call", and my jacks held as he mucked. I cashed out $140 minus the $60 loss at the other table, that's $80 profit.

My year total so far is +$760

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Running Good Always Helps

I went down to Hustler Casino last Saturday night. I played in the $50 min $100 max No limit game and bought in for $100. My first read of the table was there was 6 bad players and 3 good players including myself (I had to say that). There was one player who played every other hand, and if he raised (which he did a lot) he would always make it $8. This hand happened while I was the big blind and had a starting stack of $140. The action player in seat 3 raise to 8, one caller behind him and then it was folded down to me. I had the King of clubs and 10 of clubs. The flop is Jc 4s 9c. I check and seat 3 bets 6$. This bet didn't mean much to me at first, because this looked like his standard continuation bet. The next player raised $20, making it $26 for me to call. This player was one of the players I considered a good player and I respected the raise. I thought for a little bit, I had 9 outs to a flush and a gut shot straight draw. I called. Then seat 3 re-raised to 66$ total. The other player folded and I went into the tank. The other player folded quickly meaning he did have a strong hand and was trying to push the aggressor off his hand, so i assume a pair of jacks or weaker. I also think about how much I put into the pot 26+8=34$. It cost me 40$ and I will have $70 left in my stack, which if I hit my hand I will most likely get paid off because the pot is real big and he wouldn't fold. I make the call. The turn is the King of spades. I decide now is the best time to ship all my chips in. I think that I'm at representing that I hit my straight or I beat his AJ or QQ. He calls really quickly and shows JJ for a set. Well the river is the Qc and I hit the straight flush. 

I was playing very tight poker and would only limp into pots with decent hands and get out if i missed the flop. One of the 3 times I raised pre-flop all night was with AK. I made it $12 to go and got 4 callers, including Seat 3 for before. The flop comes K-5-5. I bet 40$. One player folds and Seat 3 goes all-in for like 88$. I don't really think I could fold here and I call with a bad feeling. That feeling was right as he had 5h-9h. This hand really put me in a bad mood for a while that night. I wasn't sure if it was bad play on my part or just the fate of the cards on that one.  I sat quietly for a long time and the table changed players and there was more skilled and action players. 

I limped in with pocket 9's. The flop came 9s-5s-4d. Someone bet 6$ and I raised to 20$ and got one caller. The turn was Kh, and the other person just pointed to me, I asked if that was a check and he said yes. So I went all in, really not expecting a call, but this guy was talking so much about giving action that I thought maybe it would work. It did he called $70 on a flush draw and bricked on the river. I cashed out soon after that for a profit of $200. 

Year total- $680

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Two plus Two Poker Podcast Get Together.

This past Sunday I went down to again Commerce Casino to meet the Two Plus Two Poker Podcast Host and crew for a little get together. It also was day two of the Los Angeles Poker Classic Main event. I got there early so I went to the tournament room and railed for a little bit. I was surprised to see how packed the casino was but shocked how little people were watching the main event. I got to sit right behind Phil Ivey and only would have one or two at the most sit next to me to watch. By some sort of randomness I also got recognized while on the rail. An old friend of mine was playing in the event and later told me that he saw me. 

At seven o'clock I went down stairs to the sports bar to meet the crew of the 2+2 podcast. I have been a big fan of their show for a long time before they were sponsored by PokerStars. The host are Michael Johnson and Adam Schwartz. They were great guys to meet and hang out with. We had a few drink and hung out in the bar for a little while and I got to meet other fans of the show, TT who works with 2+2 and gets the guests and other stuff ,Bunner who does the technical stuff, Death Donkey who does training Videos for Deuces Cracked, Matt Waldron from Life's a Bluff. 

After a while in the bar, TT set up a private game for everyone one at the get together. The really cool thing was that they set up our private game in the high stakes poker room, where at the exact time all the pros were playing a couple of tables from us playing high stakes poker. We had two tables set up, one was a mixed game with limits of 4-8, and the other was a Pot Limit Omaha (PLO) game. I really don't have experience in either game but I choose PLO. I bought in for $100, that was the minimum basically. Other people bought in at the start up to 300$. I was playing really tight just trying to learn the game and pick only the good spots to play. I might have been up $100 before the game got really crazy for me. Everyone at the table, at the idea of the host Adam, decided we were going to play some $20 shooters. That was were everyone put in $20, and we each get dealt our cards but one would be face down. The dealer then deals all the way to the river and we see who ever wins. All I had was 2 pair with an 8 as one of my up cards and a pair on the board, but then I flipped my down card and it was an 8. I had a full house and got the first shooter. We decide to play one more, and I win again, two hands in a row!!! That was about $300 profit in two hands and no skill was needed. 

With me being a new PLO player I can't give much strategy but I think I played the next hand well. I was in the big blind with K-6-2-10. About 5 limpers to the flop. The flop is K-6-3 rainbow. I bet 10$ and get one caller, and now its heads up. The turn is a 4, which means a 5-2 hand gets there. I bet $20 and the player thinks for a while and calls. The turn is a 9, and I check. The board has no flush and only a 5-2 straight. The other player thinks for a while looks at his hand and throws in a rack of $1 chips( I think it was short 5$). I called right away, because I didn't think that he was pushing all of it on a straight when I have a very tight image and it looked like I gave up on the end. I read it as a steal or an unsure hand. I said two pair and he asked which, so I guess he had a smaller two pair. I played for about an hour more and left. 

I won $600 for the night which is the biggest win I've ever scored. That makes me up $480 for the year so far, much need toward my goal. I had so much fun hanging out with the 2+2 crew and fans. I even got mentioned in their next podcast. I think the Commerce Casino is my new favorite casino in Southern California.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

2009 LAPC

I went down to the poker capital of the world, Commerce Casino. It has the most poker tables of any casino. I went during the Los Angeles Poker Classic (LAPC). The day I went there were two events going on. The first was a $335 No limit event that got 1362 players, but they only were paying 99. The second one was the $10,000 H.O.R.S.E event. This is why I went to Commerce that day. There was a little under 100 players and all the well know pros were there. Many tables had 3-4 well known pros sitting next to each other. Like one table I called the Poker Road table, in seat one was Jeff Madsen(who ended up third in the event), seat two was Gavin Smith, then David Oppenheim, and seat four was Barry Greenstein. This was probably the best event I ever got to rail just because so many pros were just in one spot and there wasn't a huge crowd .

I decided to play in the $40 no limit game, there was no wait because I think every table in the place was open. I sat down at the first table and went through one buy in quickly when I flopped a pair of aces, but so did two other people who had better kickers. Then the strangest thing happen to me. I re-bought and had 40$ and a fifty cent chip, the dealer tossed me a $1 chip. I thought she wanted my fifty cent chip for change. She said, "No take it and good luck". Five minutes later she tells me I should go ask for a table change, and she told me again two minutes later to go tell the floorman. I have played poker in a casino for about 5 years and never have had a dealer give me a chip for luck or told me I should change tables.

I go to another table with 35$ because I called some blinds at the last table before I changed. This is the one thing I don't like about Commerce, I was told I had to come in with $40 exactly, even with a table change. I think this is a dumb rule  because I saw someone later do it with more then 40$ and they made him take chips of the table which is not fair to the players. Why would you want to take chips of the table? I'm also at this table for a about five minutes before we were told that our full game had to be moved upstairs. This was a mess 2 players didn't show up for  30 minutes, two players took chips of the table. However, our new location was upstairs where the tournaments were going on so I was a table away from the HORSE event. 

This table was full of real soft players, two boyfriend/girlfriend couples, and this really really drunk older woman who was one of most interesting characters I have met at the table. She would at random slam her hand as hard as she could on the table, and refer to everyone as a bad name or curse word. She is basically how the whole table made money. She would always do two things order a drink and rebuy. I lost count after $500 but she is what gave me my first double up when she call my all-in with middle pair. I just play by the book and picked my spots to play with good cards. I could afford to play tight and drain blinds, because as soon as I picked up a hand I could easily get paid off. After five hours I was up $100 and left only cause it was midnight and I had to go to work the next morning at 7. I plan on going back this weekend to watch the $10,000 main event they have and maybe play in the $100 game since there will be so much action.

Monday, January 26, 2009

2009 WSOP Schedule

Harrah's released the 2009 WSOP poker schedule. The wait is over, and the big news is that we will be waiting until the middle of November again for the Main event Champion to be declared. ESPN and Harrah's have decided to hold the final table in November to create another publicity machine they called the"November Nine". While ESPN's TV ratings went up and hundreds of fans slept outside the Penn & Teller Theater to watch the live event, many poker players and fans doubted the success of last years event. There was not much publicity outside of the poker community, and the actual TV show was more hype and interviews then great hand coverage. The WSOP and it's players committee have made mistakes before and learned and from them. Hopefully, this year the will finally present us with the product they so proudly promoted last year.

There will be 57 events this year, starting from May 26th through the first week of July. The big changes this year are the exclusion of rebuy events and the addition of the "40th Anniversary of the World Series" $40,000 No-Limit Hold'em Event. (Event #2). They have ten $10,000 events and kept the $50,000 H.O.R.S.E event.

Taking out rebuy events was released a little while ago, and caused some heated debate between pros Doyle Brunson and Layne Flack. I don't think rebuy events are only favorable for the more well off players. Everyone knows its a rebuy event, and they should know that a rebuy event means plenty of crazy players in the beginning levels. No one should go into a rebuy event expecting to only have one buy in. They also shouldn't think that because the person next to you bought in more then you that they have an edge or are "buying a bracelet". I think they should have at least one re-buy event because its popular, creates a greater prize pool and also generates more revenue for the casino.

I just hope they also scheduled what rules the tournament floor personal should stick to. 

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Bicycle Casino- 1st tournament of the year

On Sunday, I went to The Bicycle Casino in Bell Gardens, CA. This was my first time there, it is a really nice casino. Well organized, clean, big area, and lots of games are spread there. I came for the 7pm $60 tournament ($50 +$10 entrance fee). The structure is real nice. 2000 starting chips, with 20 minute levels, blinds starting at 25-25, and the ante's coming in at the 6th level. I registered early, (you need to sign up for the players card to register) and got Table 5. They let people register and enter up to 7:30. I started off really good, my first hand of the whole tournament I had Ace-Jack, raised four times the blinds and won the blinds. When I started there was 3 dead stacks, two of them being on my right. Within the first orbit I got pocket Aces on the button. A limper came in early to the pot and a late position raiser made it 75 to go. I made it 275. The original limper and raiser called. The flop went King, 8, 6 with two clubs. The first position player shoved all-in. The next to act player, tanks for a second and the asks the other player questions trying to get a tell. Then he folds in disgust saying its too early in the tournament. I instant called. The player showed Ace-Queen, no flush possibilities. I won the hand and had doubled my stack up over 4,000. I played very tight aggressive for the next hour. I was chip leader of my table all the way up to the middle of the fourth level. Then this hand came up right before the first tournament break:

I was the big blind, the blinds are 75-150. Two people limp, the small blind completes the bet. I raise 500 on top. The only person who calls is the person who just won a large pot and now is the new table chipleader. The flop comes , 5, 2, Queen, rainbow. I bet 600 , the player right away min-raises me to 1200.  I think for about 5 seconds and just call.I know this about the player so far, plays most hands pre-flop, won all the chips by going all in with second best, and getting lucky on the river. I was pretty sure the player didn't have an Queen. The reason I called was to push on the turn if a non Ace or King come, otherwise I check-fold. The turn is a 4. I instant shove my last little over 2,000 chips into the pot. He instant calls and flips over his hand; Ace- 3, for the nuts and I'm drawn dead. I'm out right before the break and way earlier then I should have because I was playing really good.

I went to the casino with a friend from work, and we discussed the hand and came up with different outcomes that might have kept me in the tournament. We both agreed my pre-flop play way good. When the flop came I bet 600 into a 1400 pot. When the player min-raised me, my read was that the player was trying to push me off the pot, that was what I thought I wanted him to do. My friend thinks I should have three bet here, if I was pushing on the turn anyway. This would get the player off any draws or weak Queen pair. If the turns gives him two pair or a better draw then maybe they call with better odds. I think I should have just bet 600 again on the turn or check-fold. It was too early to put all my chips in and not even with top pair. However if the turn does not come an Ace or a 4, my play wins me the pot and I regain chip lead.

After everything else, the tournament got 240 players, 1st place received $4,300. I went to play in a cash game and lost $40. Total trip down $100. I will definitely play this tournament again. 

Let me know how you would have played the hands. Comments are greatly appreciated. 


Saturday, January 17, 2009

2009 Goals

I read an article in Cardplayer magazine by Steve Zolotow about Planning your poker year. My goals this year are going to be based on 3 things. They are small and reasonable. My monetary goal is to make over $1,000 playing poker this year. My second goal is an improvement goal, it is too become more aggressive at the tables, I usually just sit and wait for action instead of creating it. I fall into the tight aggressive player, but when I get a hand no one will pay me off cause I'm to tight. I will usually just sit and wait for hands that are good to play instead of good situations to play. My third goal is to start playing in live tournaments at local casinos. I haven't played tournaments in a long time and think its a good idea to get better at them at the local cheaper levels. 
I really just to keep a positive outlook this year. I had a bad year last year and after too many things built up I had to quit for a while. This yeah I got more free time and extra cash to take shots more. I am looking for poker mentors that are more advanced then me. You can read all the books and articles you want but to have a conversation where more then one opinion is heard is better I think. 
Here's to a profitable 2009!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

First Session of the Year.

Went to Hustler with my friend Brian. Got there around midnight to play in $50 min -$100 max game. The first table we sat at was like a team table. There was 3 guys who knew each other and were real tight players. Two other friends were complete drunks and throwing away money. It was a great table until it got four handed and the table got broken up. I cashed out my $90 profit and went to the next table where this interesting hand came up.
I had 2h 3h in the big blind. Seat 7 is a drunk Australian who raises $5 more dollars, but he doesn't count chips he just grabs and throws into pot. This is usual for him.  We get 6 callers to the flop: Qh - 7h- 9d. I check, and its checked the Australian who already had his 20$ stack of chip ready to bet. The tight player to my right calls. I put the drunk on complete air. The tight player I think has a Q weak kicker or maybe a straight draw. He would have raised with a better hand with so many players in, and he looked hestitant to call. I have 26$ left, I can only consider all-in or fold. I think that my 26$ wont get anyone before me to fold, but maybe other will if they see there's so much action behind them. I also think about my odds, I have already 2 callers and a nice preflop pot. I don't put the two players behind me on a flush draw. The problem here is I have the lowest flush draw possible. I decide to shove it all-in. Well I get 2 callers behind me too, "Oh boy I'm in trouble". The turn is the King of Hearts. I make my flush but with 4 other people still in I don't think I have the best hand.  The second player to act pushes all-in for like 70$. All other players fold. The player shows two pair Qd 7d. I was so shocked, by his push on the turn and his even playing the hand the way he did. I was even more shocked when the Queen of spades hits the river. Well the pot would have put me over $200 for the night, but instead I end my session with a $10 loss. 

Monday, January 05, 2009

Preparing a Comeback....

Well done with college. Took a few moths off from poker to ease my mind. I am preparing a comeback. It's been over a year since I blogged. I will try to do it once a month now. I got new poker friends and some moved away when we got out of the dorms. I got some new poker books including both of Harrington on Cash Games. I plan on starting the grind of poker tournaments. Only the really low buy-ins at local casinos for experience or until they totally tilt me. I have a full time job now and no school so I can start to play more now. Well until next time.....