Friday, February 29, 2008

Can't beat the fish today

Picture it. A $1/2 NLHE table full of fish. You are in the BB with AKo. The first player raises to $46. Everyone behind folds, but the small blind insta calls! You jam, for $154 on top. The original raiser sensibly folds, while the small blind again insta-calls.

The cards get flipped....

Losing to people like these, along with FTPs recent server/upgrade issues, is really making me wanna switch sites! Just kidding, really would like to win a pot today though.....

Tuesday, February 26, 2008


My 3rd week as a pro poker player did not go well. I had 2 days at the start of the week where I was playing very poorly. Too much unfocussed aggression on the later streets, along with the normal bad beats, left me recording losses of 1.3k and 1.7k respectively for those days.

The rest of the week I got my game back on track, but still finished the week 1.2k down, with an ugly average of -$36 over the 33 hours which I played. This loss leaves me up about 4.8k for the month.

Yesterday I was back on track, and getting hit full in the face with the deck for a change, and I had my best day so far: up 1.8k over a 7 hour day. Sure do hope I can keep things moving in that direction!

Today I haven't played a lick (apart from some $0.25/0.50 NLHE on Party and a little Omaha on UB) as I had food poisoning last night! Managed to pass out in a Big Easy restaurant when my body told me it wasn't keen on what I'd fed it (1/2 a beer, spare ribs and lobster!), then spent the night with a fever throwing up. Only just recovering now, hence the lack of real work.

Dinner tonight is my favourite meal of spaghetti bolognese, providing that I'll be well enough to enjoy it....

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Bad day

Yesterday was a bad day. Sets, flushes, two pairs, idiot straights on the river: I was losing to them all. Gonna go through yesterdays results on PokerTracker now and look for leaks before starting again today, and see where I could have saved some dollars.

In the meantime, here is a hand history I'd love some input on:

FullTiltPoker (6 max) - $2/$4 - No Limit Hold'em (6 players...)
Seat 1: xxxx ($90)
Seat 2: Hero ($764.95)
Seat 3: xxxx ($68.50)
Seat 4: xxxx ($404)
Seat 5: Villain2($519.30)
Seat 6: Villain1 ($453.20)
Hero posts the small blind of $2
xxxx posts the big blind of $4
The button is in seat #1
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to Hero [Jh Jd]
xxxx folds
Villain2raises to $14
Villain1 calls $14
xxxx folds
Hero raises to $60
xxxx folds
Villain1 calls $46
*** FLOP *** [7s Qh 9s]
Hero has 15 seconds left to act
Hero bets $108
Villain1 has 15 seconds left to act
Villain1 calls $108
*** TURN *** [7s Qh 9s] [3h]
Hero has 15 seconds left to act
Hero checks
Villain1 has 15 seconds left to act
Villain1 bets $285.20, and is all in
Hero has 15 seconds left to act
Hero folds
Uncalled bet of $285.20 returned to Villain1
Villain1 mucks
Villain1 wins the pot ($351)

I didn't like the fact that the Q was the non-spade, as if the villain was stupid enough to call the preflop reraise with KQs or AQs, then he would be looking at strong pair strong draw and happily get it allin. I just don't know what to make of the smooth call on the flop.

A set? Maybe, but given the pot size I think he would have pushed there and then given the flush draw. A flush draw with AsKs? Much more likely, given his call of the preflop re-raise and the call on the turn with overcards and nut flush draw. Something like 9hTh, where he picked up lots of extra outs on the turn and so happily pushed? I just can't say, and PokeraceHUD hadn't registered the FTP table, so didn't have any stats on the villain.

Any comments would be gratefully received. I really feel I should have pushed the turn myself, but can't be sure that in this spot I wouldn't just be gift-wrapping my stack!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

HUC Update

I played LJ (a.k.a. PvanHaribo) last night for round 2 of the HUC6, and it was a tough lineup. When we finally got started (getting onto the same table on FTP is a joke), we faced off over our 2000 strong chip stacks. The first game was fairly unremarkable: LJ was pretty aggressive, but it felt like we were just feeling each other out. We ended up getting allin with my KK vs her 99 pretty shortly, and the first match went to me.

The second match was not quite so favourable. There was a feeling that LJ changed gears somewhat, although she still seemed quite aggressive preflop. I think there were more check raises on the flop, but either way I was not having an easy time stealing her chips. Then came the defining hand.

As I recall I was on the button with 87o, and completed. LJ put in a raise. Figuring my 87 was unlikely to be dominated, I called. The flop came down something T 6 5 with 2 spades. She led out, and I called with my OESD. The turn was the Ace of Spades - no help for me. She leads again, and I call behind, hoping for a good river. The 9 of Clubs. Perfect. I have the nut straight. She checks now, and I bet 2/3 pot for value. She raises allin. I click call, confidently saying to myself "No way she has the flush" as I do. She turns over Ks2s. She has the nut flush. GG me.

Both the first two games were over in about 10 minutes. The third lasted more like an hour. It was epic. There were multiple times we were both on the ropes, with what felt like a 20 minute period where I was around 700-1000 chips while LJ had the lead. I started off well finding AA vs her AKs allin preflop, but she had chips remaining and managed to fight back very well. She was very aggressive preflop, and whenever I had a pushable hand I often called and let her raise before pushing over the top just so I could stay afloat.

As we reached my breaking point (my girlfriend had returned home over an hour ago and not finishing soon would cause irreparable damage) I picked up KK, and managed to get allin vs her underpair. It held up, and LJ only had around 300 chips left. A few hands later, I was lucky enough to pick up AJ or AQ to defend her allin, and then it was all over.

To her credit, I think I got lucky and I really needed to close down every other application to focus my attention. She was tough, and it really could have turned out with her advancing to the next round instead. GG LJ, thanks very much.

So I'm onto the next round, where I will be playing the winner of Schaubs vs PercentileDoom. Good luck guys...

Saturday, February 16, 2008


Another week has gone by already, making me a professional poker player of a whole fortnight. This week I suffered from a terrible cold all week, and only just managed 23 hours work over the last 6 days. Even today I'm still coughing and feel less than %100, but it's on it's way out and I may even enjoy a drink when we go out tonight to meet some of Faye's friends. After all, it has turned out to be another good week....

For the second Monday running, I managed to win over $1k in under 5 hours. Even better, over the entire week I didn't have a losing session - though that's only because I eeked out a $20 win in 2 hours today after first being down over $600! I'm running really well so far, and think I've been getting very lucky to go along with any good playing I've done.

There have still been bad beats (like KK losing to AK allin pf just yesterday for $840), and the occasional poor play by yours truly (like not folding 99 against KK despite obvious pf strength, or paying off a fullhouse handsomely with the 2nd nut flush). But, through good fortune or better-than-average skills, this week has seen me stay firmly in the black: winning $3.3k in my second week of full-time gambling. This achieved an hourly rate of $140, well above my desired average of $100ph.

Money aside for a moment, I do feel my game is much stronger this past week as I've become more familiar with my new style: 22/17 for the week. I still haven't joined cardrunners yet (I know, I know!) but it's on the list - and I have been reading lots of stuff off 2+2, linked to from this little gem of a lineup. So I don't feel my game is stagnant or anything at the moment, and I'm still putting effort into the learning side of things.... not just pounding on all the fish ;- )

What I need to do now is carry on and see whether this lucrative recent run turns out to be a short-lived sprint, or progresses into a long-distance performance. Here's hoping it's more about the marathon....

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Foolish fold?

FullTiltPoker 6-max - $1/$2 - No Limit Hold'em
Seat 2: Hero ($212.75)
Seat 3: Villain1 ($316.75)
Seat 4: Villain2 ($317.25)
Hero posts the small blind of $1
Villain1 posts the big blind of $2
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to Hero [Tc Td]
Villain2 raises to $8
JJProdigys Gran folds
jazzdock folds
Hero raises to $26
Villain1 has 15 seconds left to act
Villain1 raises to $76
<--- raising happily into a raiser and re-raiser.... monster here!

When I saw the raise from the BB I knew my Tens were miles behind, and decided I was done with this hand.

Villain2 has 15 seconds left to act
Villain2 has requested TIME
Villain1: lol
Villain2 calls $68 <--- trapping with a monster

When the second villain smooth called the re-re-raise in position, I knew I was up against 2 monsters, and as I already suspected, my Tens were nowhere near the best hand.

Hero has 15 seconds left to act
Hero folds

However, when the second villain chose to flat call the raise, it was only 50 more to me to call and close the action, then hope for a set. If I hit, I knew from the preflop action that I'd triple my stack. I think that meant I was priced in for set mining.... but I folded.

Was this a mistake??

*** FLOP *** [Th 7s 3d] <--- frack me!

Villain1 has 15 seconds left to act
Villain1 bets $104
Villain2 has 15 seconds left to act
Villain2 has requested TIME
Villain2 raises to $241.25, and is all in
Villain1 calls $136.75, and is all in
Villain2 shows [Ad Ac]
Villain1 shows [As Ah]

Look forward to any feedback....

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Weak week? Maybe...

A few people have expressed an interest in knowing how I've actually done during my first week as a professional poker player. Results aside for a minute, the week has been an enjoyable but draining one.

I've changed my style from borderline tight aggressive to fully loose aggressive, and overall this week I've run at VPIP23/PFR17. This means I've been getting lots of action on my big hands, and have been enjoying my opponents calling down my monsters with things like TP7K! It has been a tricky style to adjust to personally (hence the brain-ache at the end of each day) but it's definitely worthwhile: the weaker opponents simply cannot adjust.

Haven't had the chance to join cardrunners yet, but will get on that next week. I did watch a few stoxpoker vids and they are pretty helpful (or will be when I start playing tourneys). I have also been reviewing my play each day using PokerTracker, looking for leaks and analysing problem hands. I've learnt a lot about my game this week, and I'm the first to admit that it isn't perfect. But I hope I've taken a big step forward with it this week, and I aim to keep improving it til I'm soundly beating my goal of $100 per hour. On that note....

During the week, I recorded almost 30 hours of play, at limits from £1/2 to $3/6. In that time, I made just over $2.5k, giving me an average of $88ph for the week.

I'm happy with this result, but far from thrilled, as there were numerous spots where I either played a fairly strong hand badly, or should have found a fold. I know I can play far better than I have this week. That said, I didn't notice myself tilting for more than a few hands, and feel that I handled the bad beats pretty well - almost 'professionally', you could say ;-)
So there you have it, my first week is over and done, and things as a pro don't seem too bad. Watch this space though, I'm sure there's a mean losing streak in the post!

Before I leave you with the VNH of the week, would like to mention that I got very lucky against Loretta8 in my first round of the HUC6, all I can remember is the final 2 hands of each match. The first was over almost instantly when I called a raise and flopped a gutshot and nut flush draw while Loretta8 flopped 2 pair, and then I caught my straight on the turn. In the second match there was a few back and forth hands, where I think the flop was favouring me, and then the money went in when I flopped top 2 pair while Loretta8 flopped top pair and a flush draw. Was short and sweet, and I admit I got lucky. Thanks to Loretta8 for taking it well.

Anyway, til next week my friends, don't think I'll play much tomorrow as I've having high tea at The Ritz. Naturally...

This guy opened, then called a massive preflop reraise with what you will recognise as an extremely quality holding. Then when I pushed on the flop, he obviously couldn't lay down his monster.... got what I deserve for donkey shoving A-high I guess!!! VNH minipaintballer, you inspire me.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Aces? No thanks.

Some people think poker is an easy game. Other people think it's all down to luck. A lot of people think pocket Aces are unbeatable. I'd like to prove otherwise....

Allin pre-flop #1

Allin pre-flop #2

Allin on flop #1

Surprisingly, after I finished this morning I was down about 3 buyins. I've been playing a very aggressive loose style(23/18) these last 2 days, and it's been helping me get lots action on my big hands. Unfortunately, bad beats have been denying me my just rewards when I do actually have a hand.

For those who want to know what it's like going pro, it involves losing sessions. Yesterday it was someone hitting a 1-outer. Today it's a lot of someones hitting 2-outers. That's how it goes. I can handle it though, and for the moment it's still good fun...

Monday, February 04, 2008

Nothing compares

Today was a good day. I woke up, kissed my girlfriend goodbye as she headed out to work, enjoyed a bowl of cereal with cold milk then started to work. Later in the day, I stopped working, made myself a late lunch then thoroughly cleaned the house. Well, a few rooms of the house. Fairly thoroughly.

Now, I'm thinking back to my session. As usual, there were a few things I was unhappy with, including getting stacked at $2/4 with A9s on an A A K Q 5 board - my opponent obviously had AK. That said, I really felt like I was in control of my game, and my reads were solid all day. It might be because I had several days off poker recently, but I think it might have more to do with the fact I got to play while I was fresh instead of after a full day at work. I did feel it was a lot easier to focus, and I was 4-tabling with ease throughout most of my session.

The highlight of today (and any day for that matter) was the following hand, where I faced a raise from the cutoff with Ah9h on the button. Knowing that I could outplay my opponent in position(I was in the zone, see?) I decided to call, and we were heads up. No outplaying was required however when I got lucky and flopped the nuts. My opponent led out for $10, and I raised to $25. My opponent then re-raised allin right then and there! I couldn't call fast enough, desperate to see his cards and work out what I had to dodge.....


.....nothing! He had a lower flush, and no cards could help him. He was drawing dead! It's a beautiful sight, rare and special, and it made my day. I don't think I'll ever get sick of seeing such sights, no matter how long I play for.

So my week has started off very well, and the absence of any serious bad beats was very welcome for my confidence. Don't think I'll post any numeric results, as would like to remain focussed on good play instead. Tomorrow I plan to visit my cousin and fellow professional player for a tutorial, then sign up to cardrunners so the home learning can begin. Can't wait to see what the rest of the week has in store, sure wouldn't mind a few more days like today, however unlikely!

Anyway, thanks to everyone who's wished me luck, and offered their support of my new role.

Friday, February 01, 2008

1 day and 1 k

When I woke up this morning I was excited and decidedly frisky. Why? Because I had 1 day left to go at work. Tonight I will celebrate in true Western fashion: by getting very very drunk with lots of friends! No job lined up, and no interviews either, will be relying on perseverance, patience, and a pretty good understanding of probabilities to see me through the next chapter in my life.

As an amusing coincidence, today my blog hit counter surpassed 1000! I know this number to be infinitesimally small compared to those of the blogs I regularly read, but considering when I started blogging about a year ago I had no readers I'm prepared to give myself a small pat on the back. As of next month I'll be blogging far more regularly, and hopefully the amount of interesting content (and thereby readers) will rise accordingly!

Anyway, all the best for the weekend guys, will fill you in on the detail next week....