Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Foreign Opportunity

Travel makes a wise man better but a fool worse -Thomas Fuller

WARNING: Non-poker content.

I was training kungfu the other night and my instructor asked the class who would be interested in travelling to Hong Kong in 2010 for the third Wing Chun world conference. Upon learning it would take place in Novermber, my thoughts immediate turned to my girlfriend Faye who has her birthday that month. As my instructor was unable to tell me exactly what dates we'd be away, I decided not to commit as I didn't want to spoil her celebrations. Now, although this seems considerate (or maybe well-trained!), in retrospect I think I had the wrong mindset.

When you are offered an opportunity - such as travelling to a foreign country to pursue a hobby or any other kind - your mind should be thinking 'Great that would be a terrific experience how can I make it happen?'. If you find yourself thinking 'Wow that's a long way away and might be expensive and I wonder if anything else might happen then...' then you have a decidedly negative thought process. After all, how many times do you need to be reminded that you only live once? When presented with a choice you should always choose the option that takes you down the road less travelled.

Some people spend their whole lives in one town with the same people doing the same things. Some of them are even happy doing it. For those of us with intellectual, physical and geographical horizons to expand however we should always seek new places, activities, cultures, you name it. I'm nearly 30 years old, but I hope that as a person I'm far from fully developed yet. I want to learn and grow, and aim to keep doing that until I die. To learn and grow however requires new input or being challenged, and that doesn't happen by repeating old experiences. So, after some time to think (not to mention a nice little ramble here) I'm going to commit to the trip to China. And I'm going to take my girlfriend. Sorted.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

No Complaints

Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of suffering -Helen Keller

I don't know what caused it, but I've been running like a higher form of life these last few weeks. I have been studying again, and although that must be helping I'm sure it doesn't account for an insane 47BB/100 winrate at 2/4 over nearly 4k hands. As you can see from the below graph, my results are quite a way over my allin EV, and you know what? That's variance, the sweet side for a change, and I'll take it gladly.

I still have trouble in some spots, namely my decisions on when to raise with strong draws. I'd appreciate any input on the following hand which I think I played pretty badly....

NLHE $2/4 Deep 3 players
Seat 1 - AggFish ($751.22 in chips) at 34/21
Seat 3 - TAG($562 in chips) at 20/13
Seat 4 - Hero ($828.15 in chips)
TAG- Posts small blind $2
Hero - Posts big blind $4
Dealt to Hero [Jh 10h]
AggFish - Raises $12 to $12
TAG - Calls $10
Hero - Calls $8 --> decided to call here as JTs is an ideal multiway drawing hand
*** FLOP *** [Qh 4s Kh]
TAG - Checks
Hero - Checks --> hugely great flop for me to cr and hopefully get it in: chk to AggFish but...
AggFish - Checks
*** TURN *** [Qh 4s Kh] [2d]
TAG - Bets $28
Hero - Raises $88 to $88 --> here is where I make my mistake, raising when I have lost half my equity
AggFish - Folds
TAG - Raises $252 to $280 --> TAG puts in big raise (I'm thinking set of 2s or 4s at least)....
Hero - Folds --> ....and I can't call.
TAG - returned ($192) : not called
*** SHOW DOWN ***
TAG - Does not show
TAG Collects $210 from main pot

I really think I should have smooth called the turn and tried to entice AggFish along, but instead I put more money in too late and then got moved off a very strong draw. Thoughts?

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Slow Progress

Progress is not created by contented people -Frank Tyger

Well, I think today I made it back into the black for the month, or in other terms, I'm no longer paying for the privilege of turning up to work each day. Had a few good sessions this week, and thankfully few bad beats for the huge pots I've been in, and goodness me I'm grateful.

Have even been playing some low stakes PLO just to stretch my mind a bit, and I was playing pretty well I think. I even folded AAQ5, which surely shows that I'm progressing (doubters: it was utg and rainbow). I even think I've been playing well during my holdem games by making some good folds... but then who can ever tell when you don't get to showdown?

I have just borrowed Dan Harrington's
Cash Game books from a friend and plan on powering through them asap, since it's been far too long since I seriously studied recent pro poker strategie for improving my game. I have also been trying to catch up with my reading in several poker forums, as you can of course never read too much, and have also been looking at different poker websites like to see if I'm missing out on any key information or deals. This site even caters for various european nationalities, and includes the rules for NLHE (or for the German speakers "Texas Hold em regeln").

In non-poker news, I'm just getting back into kugfu once again after meeting a teacher while exercising at my local park. I went along to a few of his classes and being suitably impressed I am now a member of his organisation and hope to be grading very soon. I'm really enjoying being very active once again, and I'm sure it's helping my game to be in good shape. Am even hoping to start parkour or free-running later this year, but might just find myself pressed for time on that one!

Anyway, hope the tables are treating you well, will leave you with a hand that showed me a new way to play A3o...

NLHE $2/4 Deep, $1 ante
Seat #6 is the dealer
Seat 6 - HERO ($800 in chips)
Seat 1 - XXXX ($397 in chips)
Seat 2 - NittyFish ($959.50 in chips)
Seat 3 - XXXX ($298.37 in chips)
Seat 4 - SPAZFISH ($569.95 in chips)
Seat 5 - XXXX ($162.50 in chips)
XXXX - Posts small blind $2
NittyFish - Posts big blind $4
Dealt to HERO [Ks Kh]
XXXX - Calls $4
SPAZFISH - Raises $24 to $24
XXXX - Folds
HERO - Raises $88 to $88
XXXX - Folds
NittyFish - Calls $84 <-- cold calls a big 3bet, gotta be set mining here XXXX - Folds
SPAZFISH - Calls $64 <-- snap overcalls, no idea what he has doubt he has a big hand
*** FLOP *** [5s Js 4d]
NittyFish - Checks
SPAZFISH - Bets $276 <-- bets pot multiway, know I'm good against 1 opponent.... HERO - Raises $552 to $552
NittyFish - Folds <-- ...and now I know I'm not facing a set SPAZFISH - All-In $204.95
HERO - returned ($71.05) : not called
*** TURN *** [5s Js 4d] [7s]
*** RIVER *** [5s Js 4d 7s] [Qh]
*** SHOW DOWN ***
SPAZFISH - Shows [3c As] (ace high) <-- can someone talk me through his thought process? :-o
HERO - Shows [Ks Kh] (One pair, kings)
HERO Collects $1,234.90 from main pot

Friday, August 07, 2009

Anxious Times

Anxiety is a thin stream of fear trickling through the mind. If encouraged, it cuts a channel into which all other thoughts are drained -Arthur Roche

Been a long time eh? Don't worry, I'm still here and still playing that cruel game known as poker to keep me living in the manner to which I've become accustomed: specifically few working hours with no commuting but also no pension!

Work has been pretty steady up until a week ago, and I'm doing my best to save for a mortgage. Alas, my first week of this latest month saw me over 5k in the red, and I'm still nowhere close to being in profit for the month.

I can't tell you how tough it is to face the game when you have such a large obstacle to overcome, but luckily for me I've had plenty of practice playing the day after losing several thousand, so I'm back at the tables and slowly making headway.

I did go on a mini heater this morning and scraped back a little, winning what must be the most BBs in a single hand that I've played for a long long while. Nothing fancy here, just got lucky that the third guy in the hand added over 100bb before he dropped out...

Holdem No Limit $2/4 Deep - 6 players
Seat #4 is the dealer
Seat 4 - HERO ($1,212.25 in chips)
Seat 6 - VILLAIN1 ($2,039.70 in chips)
Seat 3 - VILLAIN2 ($941.50 in chips)
XXXX - Posts small blind $2
VILLAIN1 - Posts big blind $4
Dealt to HERO [9c 9s]
XXXX - Folds
XXXX - Folds
VILLAIN2 - Raises $14 to $14
HERO - Calls $14
XXXX - Folds
VILLAIN1 - Calls $10
*** FLOP *** [4h 6d 9h]
VILLAIN1 - Checks
VILLAIN2 - Bets $36
HERO - Calls $36
VILLAIN1 - Raises $196 to $196
VILLAIN2 - Raises $475 to $511
HERO - All-In(Raise) $1,162.25 to $1,198.25
VILLAIN1 - Calls $1,002.25
VILLAIN2 - Folds
*** TURN *** [4h 6d 9h] [Ac]
*** RIVER *** [4h 6d 9h Ac] [Kd]
*** SHOW DOWN ***
HERO - Shows [9c 9s] (Three of a kind, nines)
VILLAIN1 - Shows [6h 6c] (Three of a kind, sixes)
HERO Collects $2,948 from main pot

Yup, there were 737BB's in that bad boy pot. Why can't I win pots like that every day??? :-/