Friday, February 19, 2010

Stolen from Goat, had to share:
Needs sound, a non-office environment and an ability not to explode with laughter.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

"I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration" -Paul Atreides (taken from Frank Herbert's Dune - Bene Gesserit Litany Against Fear)

Here is a hand I had earlier where I hated getting my money in. I knew I was ahead on the flop of course, but the subsequent action had me fearing the worst. I don't mind admitting I was bricking it all the way to the river...

Absolute Poker, $2/4 No Limit Hold'em Cash Games, 6 Players

M12VMA (UTG): $1,414.20
THEFLOW (UTG+1): $766.20
HERO (CO): $1,213
MICKEYZEE (Button): $1,223.05
GAMBELLS777 (SB): $802
GEVS8888 (BB): $628.05
Dealt to: HERO
(1 folds), THEFLOW raises to $14, HERO calls $14, (2 folds), GEVS8888 calls $10,
Flop:($44) (3 Players)
GEVS8888 checks, THEFLOW bets $28, HERO raises to $68, GEVS8888 calls $68, THEFLOW calls $40,
After both the BB and MP called my raise, I knew one of them had a 7. I also knew that the most likely holding for anyone who raised or called a raise with a 7 most likely had a 6, 8, or Ace kicker. So imagine my horror on the turn when....

Turn: ($248) (3 Players)
GEVS8888 checks, THEFLOW checks, HERO bets $228, GEVS8888 calls $228, THEFLOW raises to $684.20 and is all-in, HERO raises to $1,131 and is all-in, (1 folds), HERO returns $446.80,
I have no idea what the BB folded, it likely wasn't a 7 but instead a terribly played overpair or flush draw. I was still horribly scared I'd already been sucked out on...

River: ($1,844.40) (2 Players)

HERO Showed

HERO wins $1,840.90

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Pics, Stats and... Videotape?

"The nice part about being a pessimist is that you are constantly being either proven right or pleasantly surprised" -George F. Will

Well frack me sideways, but this month has been tough. As you can see from the graph of this months hands so far, I've been running far from good. It can still be dispiriting to perform in the face of such adversity, but as we all know, if it was easy to be a pro then everyone would be one. Looking closer, you can see that there is a strong finish to bring me back to breakeven, and that 'finish' took place in just one day.

So what happened to affect such a good turnaround? You can see it wasn't a change in my allin luck (my EV stays well above my actual earnings), so it must be either running hot all of a sudden or some other change. In this particular case, I firmly believe it is the latter.

Stats from Feb 1st to Feb 15th: VPIP 22.8 PFR 14.9 3-bet 3.5
Stats from Feb 16th: VPIP 26.2 PFR 19.1 3-bet 8.3

Quite a pronounced shift between the two. While I only put in 2k hands on the final day, I think the results speak for themselves in terms of the impact of a much more aggressive style. So what happened to cause this increase in aggression? Well, I'd like to say it came naturally but in fact all I did was watch a training video on Monday detailing the best places to reraise and squeeze, then applied the advice to my game on Tuesday. I was 3-betting nearly 3 times as much as previously, and it made my life so much easier, and I daresay also helped pick up a lot of dead money. I also was focussing more on my opponents range, and trying to optimise my play into getting weak hands to bluff and extracting value from second best hands.

In retrospect I can't believe how weak-tight I have been playing over the last fortnight. I guess that was me shifting into defensive mode as a result of getting bent over nearly every time I played. The lesson I'm taking is frack them. They can suck out and run hot all they want, but I'm still going to push and fight back as often as possible, and claw back my money from their cold fishy hands. Balls to lying there and just taking it, enough is enough. Will keep you posted of course, but hopefully by judicious use of aggression and very occasional reversion to a weak tight style I can confuse and thereby crush my opponents. Who knows, I might even get good enough to move back up to 5/10!

Right, as promised here are some snowboaring pics taken from our holiday in Alpe D'Huez. I have to say first though that I'm not very good, and we didn't get many action shots. The views however were amazing, and you should get a small taste of what snowboarding while staying in a catered chalet was like....

The gang all ready to go

The view from the summit midweek

Booting up

Slowing down....

Smiles all round with blue skies and snowy slopes ahead....
Me and my lady:
Enjoying a well-earned jacuzzi before a well-earned 4 course meal

Enjoying a well-earned high-altitude drink(ing session)....
Yours truly demonstrates the ultimate slope safety position.

That's all folks!  ;-)
Publish Post

Friday, February 12, 2010

“The best way to destroy an enemy is to make him a friend” -Abraham Lincoln

Just think about that for a second. Think how beautifully relevant to poker it is. I admit I enjoyed a long slow smile when first I read it. After all, for those of us who play poker seriously observe how many people who suck out on us in awful way (read Enemies) will then become people we strive to become better acquainted with (read Friends) via the 'Buddy' system. For those of us who are good enough, we will of course destroy them if they stick around long enough.

I admit that I have a new enemy I have strong intentions of befriending, and then breaking. Here are 2 hands I've suffered against him in the last 2 days which have caused him to be on my personal Buddy list. Rest assured I will be going out of my way in future to attempt some retributive destruction...

Full Tilt No-Limit Hold'em, $2.00 BB (5 handed) - Full-Tilt Converter Tool from
Villain (Button) ($783)
SB ($106.75)
BB ($206.10)
Hero (
UTG) ($460.90)
MP ($178.50)

Preflop: Hero is UTG with K, K
Hero bets $7, MP calls $7, Villain raises to $31, 2 folds, Hero raises to $98, 1 fold, Villain calls $67

Flop: ($206) J, 4, 4 (2 players)
Hero bets $159, Villain raises to $685 (All-In), Hero calls $203.90 (All-In)

Turn: ($931.80) Q (2 players, 2 all-in)

River: ($931.80) 6 (2 players, 2 all-in)

Total pot: $931.80 | Rake: $3


Villain had Q, Q (full house, Queens over fours).
Hero had K, K (two pair, Kings and fours).

The very next day:

Full Tilt No-Limit Hold'em, $2.00 BB (5 handed) - Full-Tilt Converter Tool from
MP ($217.95)
Button ($200)
Hero (SB) ($229)
BB ($228.70)
Villain (
UTG) ($948.85)

Preflop: Hero is SB with 2, 2
Villain bets $7, 1 fold, Button calls $7, Hero calls $6, 1 fold

Flop: ($23) 5, 5, 2 (3 players)
Hero checks, Villain bets $13.50, Button calls $13.50, Hero raises to $48, Villain calls $34.50, 1 fold

Turn: ($132.50) K (2 players)
Hero bets $174 (All-In), Villain calls $174

River: ($480.50) 7 (2 players, 1 all-in)

Total pot: $480.50 | Rake: $3

Hero had 2, 2 (full house, twos over fives).
Villain had K, K (full house, Kings over fives).

OK, so the second hand isn't that bad considering he had KK, but the first hand was abysmal. He 3bet and got 4bet by an UTG raiser. I'm not a crazy player, and I'm certainly not a crazy player when deep.

So when he sees me put in 50BB preflop, he's got to give me some credit. AK is certainly possible, but JJ-AA is much more likely. Given that there is only 1 other QQ possible, lets say I have 25% of having either JJ, KK, AA, and AK. He must be thinking at least something resembling this, even in his semi-developed cerebellum.

So the flop comes out J, 4, 4. I lead for 80BB. He raises allin. What is he beating from my range? just the old AK unimproved, and if it's suited in Spades I'm not folding that am I? So I of course call and then get bent over for the inevitable turn shafting. Some days I hate the grind.

Anyway, rant over. I'm down 1k for the month, but there are still 2 full weeks left to make some decent dollars. This is obviously going to be one of those months where you really have to dig deep to come up with the goods. Luckily, I've been doing this over 2 years and I can take comfort from the fact that I know for sure I am a winning player, and that all I need to prove it is time. Feel free to wish me luck though, anything that might make my life a little easier is always appreciated.....