Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Happy new Year

Happy new year to all! It has been one heck of a ride in 2008 and I am looking forward to the new year with some new plans and new changes.

Quick update on where things are.. not a lot of details because well, I don't want to share too many :)

- Job is going well. Work is well, work. Gotta be done, but not to bad.
- Married life is not going as well. Estie and I are seperated and she will be moving back to jacksonville in February most likely.
- Sports betting is the devil!
- Poker is well.. poker. Still the love of my life, but god I hate her at times.

On to new news... Harrahs has started a combined promotion that was too good to pass up.

Every day when you play between 8-11 AM or 6-9 PM they give you a certificate. If you come back within 24 hours, you get 10% of your buy-in back (max $30). So if you play every day between 6-9 PM then every day they pay you $30. Expand that over a month and that is $900 to play poker!

On top of that.. at the end of January if you have played over 50 hours you get a cashback check of $x per hour played. the X is from 2 to 5 depending on how many hours you played. Play 50 hours get $2 per hour (total of $100), play 101 get $4 per hour (total of $404), and it caps out at 126 hours for $599. Making the net promotion of 126 hours and 31 days of poker worth just over $1500. Now since I have a real job.. I won't make 126 hours, but my goal is 76 hours which gets me in the $3 per hour club and hit the everyday thing for a nice profit of just over $1100 on top of what I make playing!

I started out on this quest January 1st putting in right at 5 hours and up $700. An excellent start and far exceeded my expectations. I manged to flop 3 sets, ending in 3 boats, and 3 large pots. I am amazed at what people will pay off with. Unfortunately for me.. this lesson didn't hold as I did well for a few days before degenerating into a "I am smarter than you" pissing contest which ended in me being stacked by a guy with top pair, top kicker on a Q high, 3 spade, straight possible board. Technically he SHOULD have folded for his whole stack with something as weak as top pair.. but he didn't. I am still up $600 over 6 days which is perfectly acceptable ($100 a day would be just over 3 grand in profit for a month. I can live with that). I just have to remember the situations where they pay me off with monsters and NOT try to force stuff.

Monday night we had a nice little Omaha 8/B 4-8 limit game going to break up the no-limit grind so I jumped in and after 3 hours turned a $25 dollar profit. Hardly life changing, but it was fun and I didn't lose. So hard to argue with it.

One funny hand from the first day. I flop a set of 5's, turn a boat on a queen high board. I check raised the guy on the turn and he called. On the river an Ace hits and I pushed all-in for about $150 into a $300 pot. This guy things for awhile and eventually says you must have flopped a set of 5's and turned the boat. Now I was shocked he had such a good read on it, and a bit disappointed as I was sure he would fold now he had put me on my EXACT hand. Then he called. This guy will be dangerous one day when he learns to fold the 2nd best hand...

Another fun hand that demonstrates it isn't about your cards but about the story you are telling. In this case, the story was unintentional. Flop comes down K66 two spades and I have 6/7 of hearts. Bunch of players in the hand as it was limped and early position leads out. I called in middle position and everyone else folded (not what I wanted but oh well). Turn is the 3rd spade, original bettor now checks and my read is he is scared of that spade, so I bet. He calls. The river is the 4th 6. Now he leads out and I reraised him all-in which he instantly called. The funny thing about this hand is I had firmly represented hitting the flush and then being an idiot (noone with a flush should reraise on a board with 3 6's on it). I didn't MEAN to represent the flush.. but the reality was I did by accident and that was the nail in his coffin. If he thought I had a 6 he would never have bet into me, but thinking I hit the flush on the turn meant he was sure his King for the fullhouse was good.

Back to the casino tonight for a few more hours of poker, see if we can go back to no-limit and start the winning back up.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Life lessons

Do you have feel like you do the same things in life over and over again in numerous aspects? When I do something for the first time I research it to death, make sure I do as good a job as I can at it, and am very focused on what I am doing. In general when I do those things I succeed. This is in and of itself a marvelous thing... however once I do something and succeed at it I either get overconfident or lackadaisical and then start to suck at it.

It happens in poker, sports betting and in life and it leads to a rather vicious cycle of succeeding at something, then failing, then re-analyzing and succeeding again, etc.

Sports betting has gone into the failing cycle as I was/am becoming very confident and betting on too many games in too many ways. The end result is an 8 day losing streak that really sucks! The good news is it has been counter-balanced by a good run in poker where I have re-analzyed my play and really improved. I have started to play more within myself and wait for my spots. I managed to cash back to back tournaments last week and have been doing very well at the cash games.

The one thing I have really improved on is quitting. Giving up on a hand when I THINK I am beat but don't want to be (a big problem I have... I want to win the hand, even though I know I am losing). Also, a huge part of poker is confidence and when you are playing with a lot of confidence the other people believe you.

In the past 2 weeks I made a guy lay down QQ on a 9 high no flush, no straight board as he was 100% sure I had flopped a set. I thought he had AK and my 5 I hit was good... the reality was it didn't matter because I had a HUGE amount of confidence in my hand and he believed me. Another hand I made a woman lay down the same exact hand I did, simply by believing my hand was better. (actually made the same lady lay down basically the same hand as I had twice in less than an hour).

The key to just about everything in life is confidence, confidence in yourself, confidence in your play, confidence in your decisions. Many times your decisions are poor... but even then if you have confidence in them and keep your head about you you can turn poor decisions (such as pushing all in with 4-5 suited on a 9-5-2 board against Q-Q) into good results. Then you just have to keep yourself from getting OVER confident which is the fine line I have to walk and one which is (and probably always will be) a challenge for me. So far I have been keeping over-confidence out of my poker game, and I have to keep focused on that. I also have to remember that even though I may know more about poker and in fact be a better player than them.. I don't have to show them that EVERY hand.. it is ok to let a few get away, pick your spots as they say.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

I have been playing a little more poker lately with a couple of runs at the trasure island tournament and a couple of Venentians. My last venetian I went really deep but just missed the money finishing 28th out of 140 but they paid 18.

I played exceptionally well and patient, except for one thing. When I have a good hand but a bad flop I WANT to win the pot. I just couldn't back off the hand and ended up giving away a lot of chips. At the 3rd break I had 15K and I had given away 20K just because I wanted to win the chips.. I can be so patient pre-flop picking my spots, and staying out of trouble. Then I get into a hand and all that goes out the window.

I played Treasure Island on Wednesday night and did much better, keeping my nose clean and riding some nice conservative play (and a nice suckout with 22 vs AA) into the final table and a 4 way chop. Add this in with a nice win in the cash game this past weekend and I finished this week up. Been awhile since that happened and hopefully I can keep it rolling this weekend.

Sports betting is going well as well, hitting 3 out of 4 second halves and only missing the Neworleans 2nd half on a stupid late FG when they were trying to run out the clock and "accidently" got into FG range and kicked it.

I have started watching for a very specific 2nd half situation which is cashing at a monsterous rate. Large favorites who are trailing at the half, this bet has been super-money so far and I expect it to continue. It isn't a surpise for a big favorite to lose, but they normally find a way to come back and make it close. Perfect examples this past weekend Oakland led SD 15-0. SD was a 9 pt favorite. I got SD -7 for the 2nd half.. no way Oakland beats SD by more than a TD, they might end up winning by 3, but SD *IS* going to come back. Same thing on the Dallas/Washington game.

Looking forward to a big weekend of Poker at the venetian and some nice football. GOO ALABAMA! I want a rematch in the SEC championship game bitches!

Monday, September 08, 2008

Hilton Football and TI Poker

The weekend started off with a nice day at Treasure Island. I love the BBQ Cobb Salad at their buffet, not to mention good Sushi and BBQ. The tournament didn't go well, getting knocked out early. I only really played 3 hands.

AQ vs AK early losing some of my chips, then just sitting and folding while the blinds went up and up and up finally waiting for a hand and get AA in the SB. The table had been very loose agressive so I was waiting for the raise with 3 callers to push over the top. It is FOLDED to me in the SB, the only time ALL night it folded to the blinds. I raised and the BB folded.. whee.

Finally down to 2000 chips with blinds at 100-200 I saw a good chance to get some chips when 6 limpers to me in the SB with 6-8 suited. I pushed and got called by 55. Flop is 4 to the flush but a 5. In an appropriate ending to my tournament the turn paired the board to leave me drawing dead, while the river gave me my flush for a wasted catch.

On Sunday I went down to the Hilton to check out their sports book and Sunday NFL party. I have only one thing to say about that.. OH MY GOD! Now first of all we are talking a 1000 seat theatre with every game on, free crap give-aways, $2 beer and $1 hotdogs. Now if that wasn't absolutely wonderful... I then found a seat in the real sportsbook which was SOOO much more comfortable, much less crowded and the drinks were FREE! I noticed in the TI and Ceaser's sportsbook last week that the drinks were free there as well.. must be a new thing in Vegas, and I LIKE IT! How much better does it get than Free Beer, Comfortable seats, all the games on TV, and a waitress bringing you the beers! I got and held onto my seat through both the 1 PM and 4 PM games before heading home up slightly from betting there.

Overall betting was mediocre this weekend ending it up just a tad with an AWFUL day in College (I think I picked too many games as I had 16 games and 2 teasers going) but got it all back in the pros even tho I lost my biggest bet of the day with Cincy tanking it vs Baltimore.

Tonight I have to work but am keeping an eye on the games on ESPN. I like Minny and the under in the early game and Oakland in the late game.

baseball picks today are on Cincy and Arizona.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Let's get caught up

I have been SERIOUSLY slacking lately with a lot of things. So let's get caught up and back on track.

1) New job - Going well, working in an office now. Getting paid regularly is nice and having weekends off is AWFUL nice.

2) Online Poker - Going great have run my $5 free money up over $650. I have won several big 180 person tournaments and am rolling right along.

3) Live poker - For some reason I just can't seem to win anything. Tournaments, cash games, everything goes bad. I just don't get it... Part of it is impatience, but part of it is just plain bad luck. I got knocked out of the Venetian tournament on Saturday after flopping a flush against 2 pair. We both have 7200 in chips with the blinds at 25/50. Early position makes it 500, this guy makes it 1500. I put him on a set, as he had limped pre-flop and the board was Ace high, or potentially AK with the K of diamonds but seemed rather unlikely. So I pushed. He called with 2 pair and his boat rolled right off on the turn. I just don't get how you call a 7200 chip bet with 2 pair on a 3 diamond board, WTF did he think I had! He even said "I think you flopped a flush but I have outs if you did". Sheesh... I will give it some more attempts this weekend to find the right mix of tournaments.

Now for some new stuff. I have gotten back into sports betting with a new adjusted Reverse Line movement system and some additional resources that have done fairly well. Doing $50 bets I managed to clear a little over $1300 in the first weeks, so liking it so far :)

Here are tonights bets: (now that I wrote them down it will surely lose)

OAK vs BAL - OAK +100
PHI vs NYM - PHI +117
KC vs CLE - KC +125
ARI vs LAD - LAD -128
Chicago Cubs -145

Conn -9.5
NY Over 158.5
PHX under 177
LA +2 1H
LA/SA under 143.5

College Football:
Navy under 61.5

Finally... I am looking at getting a new mode of transportation. Something other than the nice reliable Camry that has gotten me this far...


I am going to go in a few weeks to take a safety course and get my license, then go out for some test drives.. little nervous but excited! There isn't a better place in the world to ride a motorcycle that Vegas. Lots of backroads, easy parking for bikes, no rain, etc... can't wait.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

TV and Poker together at last

With the writers strike TV pretty much sucked... and with the difficulty in getting money into online poker it also pretty much sucked. Well that has turned around a little.

TV has picked up some with BattleStar Galactica restarting for its final season in April (catching up with Season 3 on DVD right now.. WOO!). Just for the record the 4th episode of Season 3 may very well be the best SciFi episode of a TV show I have ever seen. I was actually tearing up when Adama started his "It has been an honor to serve with you" speech.

American Idol has restarted and BAH! These people suck! I can barely even stomach half the final 12 singing and the other half don't make me want to spend a dollar on Itunes for a song much less a real album.

Dancing with the stars is also back and I have always enjoyed this show, but even more so this year since Shannon Elizabeth is on there. Shannon is an avid poker player for those who don't know, and is semi-decent but not really GOOD. She played at the world series last year in several events and was at my tables a few times. We had some nice conversations about Allergies and dry air (I know.. I am smooth), and she turned out to be fairly nice. I am excited to see someone I have actually had a conversation with on Dancing with the Stars. On a related note.. I watched American Pie again and now it is just wierd, I thought she was super-hot when I saw her the first time on there... but now that I have seen her in Jeans and a pony tail she is just like any other girl. It really makes you realize how much the camera/makeup make a difference on these people.

My Dad is off on the Apalachian trail just passing the 1 month mark. He is expecting to finish it in about 5-6 months and so far so good. His trip history is on his website www.piperhiker.com and it is a really good read. I am going up with Estie to see him at the end of May and I wish him the best of luck and know we are all pulling for him.

I have been continuing my online tournament effort and managed to cash in 6 more multi-table tournaments including a 3rd in a 180 person tourney, I also cashed another 180, a few 45's and have run my total on there up to 240+. Not a bad run up from $5.

I took my newfound tournament skills to the Venetian on Sunday for the $150 and managed to outlast 10 of the 117 players before getting knocked out pushing all-in against Quad's. Would you believe I thought he would fold? yeah turned out he won't fold Quads.

I played the 4/8 Omaha H/L game for awhile afterward and ran it up to up almost 200 before I decided to change seats. The guy who took my seat went on to win about 400 more while I proceeded to lose all I had won and cash out just barely above even. Luck of the draw I know.. but it sucks.

Estie is heading to Florida for a week with her friends.... so I am going to be a poker playing fool while she is gone in a valiant effort to allay my grief over her being gone for SOOOO long. I just hope that I can survive :) I will surely miss her, but I know she will have a great time and I will live through it (I hope)

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Quick Update

Well... been a month or so since I updated so let me give everyone the scoop. I have been hitting the 4/8 at the Bellagio about two to three times a week and playing pretty well. One bad session on a Saturday where I couldn't hit anything and they could cost me $600. (Yes.. I really lost 600 dollars in a 4/8 game), but a few 400-500 winning sessions brought it back up to the positive.

Work has made it tough to play during the week and weekends are so crazy sometimes.... I wish I could play more.

AllVegasPoker (www.allvegaspoker.com) had an inviational tournament last weekend and Estie (being a member) and me (being a lurker) went and played. She was out early but I finished in the money in 5th out of 36 for a 50 dollar profit.. not much but a start. I won $110 earlier in the day at 4/8 so bring my total for the year to a meager, but positive +620.

A month or so ago PokerStars gave me $5 for free... just enough to tease me back to their site, blah blah blah. So I decided to take them up on it and go play the 2 cent/4 cent tables. What better way to practice against suckout artists than there! Well I played for 6-7 hours over 3 days total and managed to run that up to $8.67. Not a bad run... at 4/8 that would have been over 700 dollars.

I wanted to work on my tournament game some as I felt like I was having issues adjusting to the tournaments now. I saw a 25 cent 4,000 person tourney so I gave it a shot and then I also noticed a few $1 tourneys, so lets rock em out and see what happens. Well low and behold I manage to win one of the 45 person $1 tourneys for $14 and decided to reinvest in a $4+$0.40 180 person tournament. Well bingo again 6th place (could have been much better but I have an issue I will tell you about later) and another $36 to end the day up to $41 dollars from $8.

The next day I went back and played that same $4.40 tourney again as well as the 25 cent 4K person and a few $1. I took a first and a second in the 45 person $1 tourneys and ANOTHER 6th in the 180 person $4.40. the 25 cent I went out in 400 and something out of 4,000 for 53 cents! Oooohhh baby.

Well after all is said and done my $5 has turned into $87 and I am improving dramatically at the tournaments...

I still have a few issues...

1) Not calling with big hands against bigger hands. Stuff like AK shrinks down real small against 3 all-ins.

2) Not tangling with the other big stacks.

3) Changing my game when the game changes. Several times I was cruising along, picking up blinds, pushing people off hands when the bubble bursts and they start playing back at me.

4) Not getting too creative too early. NOONE folds for the first 2-3 blind levels. So you have to sit back and be OK with folding... wait till the money means something after the first break when Antes kick in... then go after the money.

5) Steal with a hand I don't like. Most of the time when I raise I don't want/expect a call. If I *DO* get a call then I might as well have 2/3 instead of A/7. At least I won't get attached to my Ace or want to call the all-in if I get reraised.

6) Pay attention to the stacks, don't raise to 5500 when a short stack has 6500 and can snap on you. Keep your options open!

All in all improving and growing... time to step it up this weekend with the Friday night at Ceaser's for $150 and some 4/8 at the bellagio. See if I can make a little money to keep the momentum going.