Friday, October 14, 2011

Pokertober

The 3rd quarter of the bar league finished with me solidly in the lead by about 100 points. I even missed a few sessions to do some work on my dad’s house. We still don’t have a date set for the quarterly tournament, but it’s likely to be November. While I really like playing on Friday, as opposed to Sunday night, turnout has dropped some, in part due to other conflicts for some of the players, and possibly the DJ & karaoke music. Besides the music not being to my taste for the most part, the volume is extremely loud for a small bar, and it’s not well balanced. The highs are very grating and almost painful.
The start of the new quarter went very well for me. I finished 3rd in the 1st session, and the 2nd session was nearly a repeat of the previous week, heads-up vs. Jerry. However, the outcome was different, as this time I was able to come from behind to win and collect the 5 point bounty on him.
I’m going on vacation to Dallas later this month and I’m considering a trip to one of the Oklahoma casinos for a tournament or cash game. I really need to start getting some more experience in bigger tournaments and cash games if I want to have a successful trip to the WSOP in Las Vegas next year.
I haven’t said anything about the Full Tilt situation, even though I do have some money tied up there. I’ve always been hopeful that the situation will be resolved and that the US (and now all) players would get their money back, and with their recent sale, that looks more and more promising. I’ve always felt a loyalty to them, as I’m a fan of most of their pros, and like their software a lot more than Pokerstars or any other site I’ve tried. It’s unfortunate what happened to them, and I’ve lost a lot of respect for the big names listed on the indictments, especially Ferguson, who was my favorite player. If they are ever back up and running again in the US under the new ownership, I would still play there. However, I would definitely have a different plan for managing my funds.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Running good

No poker last Friday due to a birthday party and dart tournament taking over the bar, but the move to Friday night has been great for my league score. I’ve won 4 of the 8 sessions starting with a back to back wins the first week, followed by back to back 2nd session wins in weeks 3 and 4 keeping my bounty. I think I'm finally figuring out how to beat the game consistently.

Unfortunately, I still haven’t made it over to the casino for a cash game. Between not being well rested and having a few outside distractions, I haven’t felt like I could play my A game.  I am, however using the time I have to strengthen my foundation. I recently finished Sklansky & Miller’s No Limit Hold’em, Theory and Practice. I’m fairly amazed by both what I didn't know and their presentation of ideas which previously I thought were relatively new. I’m starting Harrington’s two volume set on cash games next. Hopefully I can get in the cash game mindset without ruining my ability to do well at league.

I've also been practicing when I can with DD Poker, playing both limit and NL tournaments. I've looked into other software for practice, but haven't found anything in my price range with all the features or games I want.

I will be playing a cash game in the next few weeks. Wish me luck. I will let you know how it goes.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

League play

Sunday was another good night in the league I play in. First session was tough, and I had to do a rare rebuy, but still ended up out in 5th in a 4-way all-in hand.Second session wasn't quite as tough, although I think that was due to actually getting dealt slightly better hands.One skill I need to work on is 3-handed play. Although my results were better this week than last, one result doesn't change that fact. I did manage to pull out a victory in the 2nd session, after getting a lucky double up when I called and was all in with K8 clubs vs. AK diamonds. I hit an 8 to double up and stay alive. The final hand that won it for me was Kx vs Tx. We were all in on the river when he hit his T and I hit my gutshot straight.

Finally poker is moving back to Friday nights. One of the owners finally decided that Sunday wasn't such a good night, especially when we're the only ones in the bar after about 10 or 11pm. I think that will be a big help for me, as I won't have the worry about getting up for work early the next morning anymore.

I still haven't made it to the casino for a cash game, but I'm hoping to soon. Work has been pretty busy with an upgrade to our invoicing program, but once that's over I should be less tired at the end of the day and feel more like playing.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Quarterly results

I played in my league’s quarterly tournament on Sunday. I started 3rd in chips and finished in 3rd. I feel I played very well, although I suspect that I missed a few opportunities when we were 3 handed. Blinds had started at 30 minute intervals, then moved to 15 minutes as we got short handed. Once we got to 5/10k, when we were 3-handed, the guy running the league kept them there, as they were eating a big portion of the stacks every circuit. For a long time the chips were just moving back and forth, each of us having the lead and then the short stack at some point in time. My elimination occurred in BB, when I let myself get down to less than 2BB and had to shove. J9<QT and I was out in 3rd.

In the following regular session, I continued my strong play, and made come great reads, doubling up early and keeping control of my chips, instead of donking them off as I am sometimes prone. I made a few crazy bluffs which were successful, to my surprise. When we got down to heads up, I was slightly behind in chips, but knew I was much better than my opponent and had a simple, yet effective plan to win. He's a regular, but not a good player and very easy to read. I simply raised almost every hand and bet almost every flop, quickly retaking the chip lead. The last hand ended when I raise with A7o and he shoved with a small pair. I called and hit the 7 on the turn to win.

My play has finally given me the confidence to make a trip to the casino for a cash game. With the chips I received for my birthday and other money I've set aside, I am prepared for a long session at the Horseshoe. I'm hoping to make a big enough score to be able to play in a couple of the circuit events in August.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Friday, May 27, 2011

Man Cave

My wife an I live in a 3 bedroom house. One of the reasons we picked it was so that we would each have our own hobby room. Mine is going to be for my computers, stereo system and books and hers will be used for crafting and as a guest room. Originally my man cave was going to double as the guest room, but we decided to switch rooms because there’s a cable outlet in the smaller room, which will make it easier for me to network all my computers. My desire is to have a poker theme. I’ve been looking for ideas online, but not really having any luck. Most of the results I found were to create a game room with a table. Unfortunately, I don’t have that much space. So I started looking at ideas for a computer room, which yielded better results. I plan on getting a sign to hang in the hallway, pointing to the poker room, and a couple of other poker related pictures or posters to hang in the room.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Lack of motivation

Even before “Black Friday” was something that I had trouble with, at least in regards to playing online. When I open my laptop with the intention of playing, I usually also end up opening email, twitter, facebook and a game such as solitaire. Now that I can only play for play chips on Full Tilt or Pokerstars, I spend even less time there. I have found a place I can play and win cash prizes, but it’s not quite the same as playing on FullTilt. I had apparently signed up a couple years ago, on Card Player magazine’s site, NLOP.com. I tried a couple of tournaments with cash prizes. I came in 3rd in one, just missing the cash. With that, I also had an invite to play in a $1000 tournament on Sunday. However, it conflicted with poker at Starsky’s, so I didn’t register. However, I wasn’t feeling well and ended up not playing at the bar for the 2nd week in a row, which is unusual for me. I had tripped and fell the week before, banging up my knees, and didn’t want to move around much.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Presents, results and a nod to the poker grump

My wife organized my birthday party on the 9th, in order to have as many friends and family as possible. As a group present from her and my in-laws, they got me some chips from the local casino, so now I can go an play in a live game. I do need to call the poker room to see if I need to do anything special, since I’m bringing chips instead of buying them at the window.

After pizza and cake were consumed, we had a small cash game. That didn’t go so well for me. We started with just 4 players and I ended up being heads-up against a family member whose play is a cross between what Phil Hellmuth would call an elephant and a jackal. At one point I said we could stop at any time. I should have said I was ready to quit, as I couldn’t hit a thing. He was raising every pot pre-flop and betting every street. He doesn’t really bluff and rarely folds.

Sunday went much better, however. I played in the quarterly at Starsky’s and was able to pull out the win. Usually there are 10 players, however, only 6 were there, 2 had conflicts and the other two apparently forgot. After seeing 8’s hit a few times in a row, I played pretty much any hand with an 8, and had good luck, especially with red K8s, hitting a boat once, and winning with the paired 8 two other times.

As a side note, I was able to pay tribute to the poker grump. I got 24o a couple of times during the regular session, flopping 2 pair and turning a full house the second time I was dealt it.


Saturday, April 2, 2011

Enter the matrix

Took my step 3 ticket and played a matrix tournament on Fulltilt. A matrix is where you play 4 tables at the same time against the same players. The payout is split between the top finishers at each table and the overall top finishers. I'd forgotten how much I liked them, and how well I do at them. I turned the ticket into a little more than it's face value, taking 1st and 2nd on two of the tables. Since then I've played four more matrix tournaments and cashed in all of them.

I played in one last night when I saw that Perry Friedman, a red pro on Fulltilt (and one of the Tiltboys) was signed up. I got to heads up on one table with him, but couldn't pull out the win. I still finished 1st overall, but I really wanted the t-shirt for knocking out a pro.

I also finished part of an academy challenge last night, playing some limit hold'em at the micro-stakes. The challenge was to play a minimum of 100 hands and leave the table with at least a 3 big bet profit. It was tough, as at one point, I was down half my buy-in, but I finally got there after 151 hands at a 6-max table. I was a little bit frustrated when I noticed, after playing in the matrix SNG, that happy hour was running, and I could earn double points. However, it was very late and I needed to get to bed.

Last month I wasn't able to get to the casino in time to play in a tournament, which bummed me out, but I'm going to make up for it by playing twice this month. I headed over last Sunday to play in the 2pm tournament, but when I got there, there were already 15 people on the waiting list. That's the 2nd time that's happened to me, so I'm definitely going to make sure I get to bed early tonight so I can make it to the 10am tournament in plenty of time to get a seat.

Found some old notes that I took while playing play money tournaments a few years ago on Fulltilt. I'm going to go over them and may start doing that again. It seemed to help my play, and should help me see my mistakes. I can't fix it if I don't know it's broken.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Horrible beat

Played quite a bit yesterday and did ok, until I switched to rush poker. Ended up losing 3 buy-ins. I need to go back and see when I've done best and when I've done worst playing rush. That way I'll know when it's best for me to play, and when to try a ring game or SNG/MTT. I probably should work more on the MTTs on Sunday, since that's when the bigger ones usually are.

I only played the first session last night at Starsky's and finished 3rd. I played ok, but I'm getting bored with playing there. It's not that much of a challenge for me and it seems like there's nothing in it for me. I've proven I can beat the game. I need to find something else to challenge me. Either another bar game, or move to the casino and try either the $3/6 limit game, or whatever they're spreading at NL, assuming I've got the money for it.

I also need to work on my studying, as I've said before. Unfortunately, I never had great study skills in school, mostly because I didn't need them. I generally soaked stuff up and either knew it or didn't.

Played in a stud hi SNG tonight and busted in 4th when I was short stacked. Got dealt 222 and got it all in on the turn. Opponent had nothing but Ace high and proceeded to get two more Aces to knock me out. At least he apologized. lol. I wish the small stakes stud and mixed game SNGs weren't so slow to fill up. I seem to do pretty good in them most of the time. I may try the ring games, as I've heard they're soft. Just busted in 5th in a stud/8 SNG. Was doing well until I got it all in with 2 pair on 6th street vs. a 6 high straight. Hung on for a few more hands but busted when my 8 low was beat when my opponent rivered a wheel. And now for the trifecta, playing (and finally winning!) a Razz SNG.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Low volume

Not getting a whole lot of volume in lately. I'll play a handful of SNGs one day, and then not play for several days or only get in one SNG or MTT. Down a little bit so far this month, but I do have a step 3 ticket which I should be able to turn into cash, probably playing in a Matrix SNG. I am tempted to try and turn it into a step 4 ticket, but that could be difficult, and harder for me to cash out.

I finally finished Harrington's book on online 6-max NLHE. It's a rather tough read, but I think it will be good for me. I'll need to review it again, to get my HUD setup and review the strategies before I start playing ring games.

I also signed up with CardRunners after downloading a video linked from twitter.

I feel like I'm drifting right now. I think I should set some definite immediate goals, like playing so many hands a week, or set a schedule of spending time daily with study, play, reviewing videos or my hands and contributing to the forums.

Friday, March 4, 2011

News of the world

There's been a lot of talk about who's been invited to, and who's been snubbed by, the NBC National Heads Up Poker Championship. I don't have a whole lot to say, but I do agree that there are several big names that should be there. Perhaps there needs to be a change to the selection process. My favorites are Chris Ferguson and Huck Seed, but there are a lot of others who I'd be happy to see win it. Links to the brackets are all over, including here on Pokernews

In other news, Greg Raymer, who recently left Pokerstars, where he was a sponsored pro, is now wearing the Full Tilt logo. Congrats to both for what looks to be a very good pairing.

Played well at Starsky's last Sunday, finishing 2nd in the first session and winning the 2nd session. That should vault me into the lead for the quarter. Haven't played a whole lot of volume, but have been trying to play daily this week. Played well in the 6-max deep stack on Tuesday and Wednesday, although I finished well out of the money. Missed the deep stack 6max last night as I was engrossed in reading the Full Tilt Forums. Did get into a couple of MiniFTOPS satellites, a Stud Hi where I was the 2nd one out, and a 2-7 triple draw, where I finished in 4th/20, just out of the money.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

A little knowledge is a dangerous thing

I’ve recently started using PokerTracker for Texas Hold’em. It’s been a great tool, however, I wasn’t using the information it provided correctly and it ended up costing me. I was trying to use the stats is provided to make decisions before I had enough data to make the stats meaningful. I went on a bad run because of that mistake, tilting some in the process, and am just now starting to hopefully recover. Last night I finished 16th in a deepstack 6-max for my first cash in 2 weeks.

Yesterday I also finally purchased Harrington on Online Cash Games; 6-Max No-Limit Hold 'em. I love 6-max, the reviews are good and they indicate that the book is geared towards using Pokertracker . I think that studying it will be a big help to my game.

Tuesday I played in at the Horseshoe, in a re-buy tournament. While I did fairly well and may play again, due to the cost of re-buys and add-ons, it'll have to be after I have a good bankroll built up for live games. I had a rather large stack after my first and only re-buy, more than doubling up twice, including once when I slow-played my flopped boat. However, I ended up giving a lot of those chips back when my opponent hit a boat. He raised in early position and at least one of the two players between us called. I was holding A9 hearts, but because of the other players in, thought I was getting decent odds and made the call, and I believe one other person did as well. The flop comes 3J9 with two hearts. He bets, I'm the only caller. Turn is another black 9. He bets and I push all-in. He calls quickly and shows pocket Js, the worst hand I could be up against. I had put him on an overpair like Qs or Ks, or maybe AJ. I missed the case 9 and became rather short stacked. He had been very aggressive, and I just couldn't put him on Js. However, I was able to hold on to my stack until we made the final table. I missed a couple of chances to potentially pick up some chips, based on the final hands shown, but I feel made the correct decisions at the time. My final hand was KT spades in the cutoff. I push and the button calls, showing AK clubs. Ouch. Looking into it later, I find I'm a 70-30 undedog, although my equity is good until I'm only getting called with about the top 13% of all hands. While normally that's probably a good play, especially with a bigger stack, in that position, I think I should've waited until I was in the money to try that.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

One step closer to a big goal.

I'm making progress in some of my goals, but still having trouble with others. I am having trouble making the time to visit the forums and playing every day, although most of the times I do play, I'm doing well. Also, I've been trying out PokerTracker 3, and am pleased with it so far. I've found the Heads Up Display to be very helpful, and my wife has offered to help me purchase it.

Last Friday I was geared up to try out a semi-private cash tournament. However, when I got there, it had been cancelled, as there was no one to run it. So I came home and got online. I played in a 6-max NLHE tournament, but busted just 3 hands into it when my Queens ran into Kings. I then found an Omaha Hi/Lo tournament. I was doing well, holding my own, even among the chip leaders for a while. As the blinds went up, I started getting fewer winners, but was able to make it through the bubble and finish in 4th for another nice cash.

Saturday I played some in the morning, finishing 2nd in a 7card Stud Hi/Lo SNG. Later in the day, I played in some more 6-max tournaments. I finished just out of the money in a turbo, busted early in a deep stack, then took down a regular 6 max.for another big cash. I won the last 4 hands, first taking over the chip lead, then eliminating each of the remaining players on a hand. That pushed me over one of my money goals.

I was amused during one of the tournaments as the following occurred:

Full Tilt - |200/400 NL - Holdem - 6 players
Hand converted by PokerTracker 3: http://www.pokertracker.com

CO: 6,580.00
BTN: 8,155.00
SB: 6,600.00
Hero (BB): 3,825.00
UTG: 805.00
MP: 11,647.00

CO posts ante 50.00, BTN posts ante 50.00, SB posts ante 50.00, Hero posts ante 50.00, UTG posts ante 50.00, MP posts ante 50.00, SB posts SB 200.00, Hero posts BB 400.00

Pre Flop: (900.00) Hero has 4s Ks

UTG raises to 755.00 and is all-in, fold, fold, fold, SB raises to 800.00, Hero calls 400.00

Flop: (2655.00, 3 players) Kc 3s Qs
SB bets 1,000.00, Hero raises to 2,975.00 and is all-in, SB calls 1,975.00

Turn: (8605.00, 3 players) Qd

River: (8605.00, 3 players) Ac

Hero shows 4s Ks (Two Pair, Kings and Queens) (PreFlop 27%, Flop 86%, Turn 90%)
UTG shows 9d Ah (Two Pair, Aces and Queens) (PreFlop 25%, Flop 6%, Turn 5%)
SB shows Jh Js (Two Pair, Queens and Jacks) (PreFlop 48%, Flop 8%, Turn 5%)
Hero wins 6,040.00
UTG wins 2,565.00

After this hand, the SB starts ranting in the chat box about my play. He incorrectly claimed that he re-raised the all-in call of the UTG. Technically speaking, since the UTG did not make a full 400 raise, the SB did not re-raise. Oddly enough, I'm surprised he did not shove and isolate with his pocket Jacks. He even continued ranting about others playing badly after he was eliminated. Fortunately, I have observer chat disabled and rarely pay attention to the chat box.

Sunday I didn't make it to the casino early enough for the 10am tournament. There were already 20 people on the waiting list, so I passed and came back home. I played in an 8 player SNG, but was rather tired and didn't play my best, busting out in 7th. Sunday night I did well at the bar, playing in just the 1st session, since the grill was closed and I needed to eat dinner. I built a big chip stack early when one of the regulars played his drunk and shove blind game. I ended up busting him out twice. I had to rebuy once when I flopped a pair of Qs and a flush draw with KQ suited. I was all-in by the river, but ran into AQ and hadn't hit any of my outs. I earned points for quads and a pocket pair on my way to finishing 2nd. Heads up I could've done better, but I got a bit impatient as my opponent shoved about 4 times in a row and I finally called with a less than stellar hand that he easily had dominated. I was down to 2 BB, and was eliminated a couple of hands later.

I've found a few things I need to work on, first, I shouldn't start playing when I'm tired, especially SNGs. Second, I need to work on a weekly poker schedule, fitting in times to play and study. Finally, as part of my goal of participating more in the forums, I need to post hands, and the one above may be my first one. I'm also considering posting links to news articles of interest, and creating a twitter account just for this blog and my poker results.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

I think I can win this!

While preparing to write this blog entry, I was going over my records and noticed something I wanted to double check in my hand history. Unfortunately, none of the software I have will load and replay all of my saved hand histories. Both fpdb and Pokermemento freeze when trying to load my saved files. I did report the fpdb bug, but I haven't figured out why Pokermemento is hanging, just where. On top of that, I realized that the hand replayer in fpdb doesn't work yet anyway. I finally used Pokermemento to read in just the tournament I wanted to review before continuing this entry.

It was very frustrating, looking for a simple hand database and replayer that would work with every variation I play, or even just the 3 main ones of 7 card Stud, Omaha and Hold'em. There’s really not a whole lot out there. The big two, PokerTracker and Hold’em Manager are both relatively pricey for a small stakes player like me, although it is an investment I’m considering. However, neither have full support for anything other than Hold'em and Omaha. PokerTracker has a Stud tracker, but it’s a separate product, and as of May 2011, will no longer be updated. HEM is rumored to have a stud app in development, but I could find nothing to confirm it.

On the 27th, I played in a couple of the 90 player KO tournaments I'd cashed in before, but only scored 2 knockouts and finished well out of the prize money. On the 29th I tried again, but quickly went on tilt, again with only 2 KOs and no other cashes out of the 5 tournaments. I even tried a HORSE tournament but was out of it early. On the 30th, I wasn't feeling well, and skipped playing at the bar. I got on Fulltilt and found some Stud games, but busted early in 2 tournaments and 1 SNG before finding a HORSE SNG where I broke out of my rut with a much needed victory. However, I was still in the hole for the month. But I was feeling much better, and no longer tilting.

The next night I signed on again and looked for a tournament to play in. I knew that the 90 player KOs were out of the question. I pondered a satellite into a FTOPS, but it was a winner take all tournament and I didn't think I had a chance at it. I signed up for the deep stack 6-max (again, having forgotten playing in it just over a week before), and pondered another tournament, but for some reason I wasn't very enthused about it, especially with it starting after the 6-max.

I played cautiously at first, building my stack, but staying below average. I was only at risk once, when I raised with AQ and the big blind doubled my bet. I call and the flop is king high. He leads into me with a bet of 480 into a 1000 pot. I call, as the small bet seemed weak and I thought I could take the pot on the turn with a big raise. Turn is a queen and again he bets small, 880 into a pot of 1960. I push and he calls with AA, having me covered. River is a Q and I double up. It's fairy smooth sailing from there all the way to victory.

One thing that helped me win was following the advice given in Winning Poker Tournaments One Hand at a Time Volume I, and the companion book, Winning Poker Tournaments One Hand at a Time Volume II, both of which were Christmas presents from my wife. Throughout the tournament, I thought about what I had read. I tried to mix up my play, and paid attention to my table image. When I had been aggressive with frequent raises, I made sure to back off before the table played back at me. I also made sure to take advantage of the money bubble and picked my spots, not raising without a playable hand, especially with a small stack in the blinds. I felt very confident throughout the middle and late stages of the tournament, even remarking to my wife, as I was among the chip leaders at one point, "I think I can win this!"

With that win, I increased my online bankroll by over 60%. I somewhat wish that I had the FullTilt Academy bankroll challenge active for the tournament, though, as that would have completed the task of increasing my bankroll by 25% again. While I don't have any particular number set in stone, I am close to one of the numbers I have in mind for wanting my bankroll to reach.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Sunday results

My first tournament at the casino this year ended without a cash, but I still played fairly well. If I remember correctly, I only had a few big hands.

AQo, heads up, I flop top pair, with 2 clubs and bet about 2/3 the pot. Turn is another club. I have the Q of clubs and push. My opponent hems and haws before folding.

AJs in late position. Two or three limpers in front of me and I make a big raise and take it down.

AJ hearts, again in position. Middle position raises, the same from the previous hand. Flop comes K, rag, Qh. Opponent bets. I'm the lone caller. Turn in another heart. Opponent bets small, I think less than half the pot. Turn is the magic 10d. Another bet and an easy call. He turns over KJo for top pair. I floated the flop on this hand because I thought he was weak and that I could take it away on the turn. He grumbled that I called him with the gutshot, but I (unknowingly) had 7 outs on the flop and was getting about the right odds. Someone else pointed out that I also had the flush draw on the turn.

AJ hearts again in the BB. Button limps, SB completes and I check. I should've made a big bet to take it down, but I thought I would hit the flop and bet. Stupid. Flop comes 789, all clubs. Check check, button bets and takes it down. Shows the 6 of clubs.

Down to the final two tables. I've been up and down, never able to build a big stack. I get pockets 8s in the SB. UTG pushes all in for the 2nd hand in a row. I call easily, putting him on an ace. He flips over pocket Js. Flop comes 8 T 3, all clubs. He's got the jack of clubs. Turn in a Q, giving him another out. River is a painful Jack and I double him up. However, I think I would make the same call again.

I'm short stacked for the rest of the tournament. I make a couple of all-in bets to keep in it, including one hand where I push, get a caller and and a raiser. The raiser does me a favor by knocking out another player who would have won the hand with a set of dueces.

Couple of hands I pass on but regret include K9s, although that may have been the hand where I would have been up against AA, and folding 56o in the SB when the button just limped. I should have called, or pushed. Now, I know this is incorrect thinking, basing my thoughts on the results, but I would have flopped trip 6s.

My tournament ends when I'm dealt QJo UTG.  I get a call from the button, who is all in and the BB calls as well. I should have been paying closer attention. We were down to 16 players, and although I was down to about 4 Big Blinds, I had more chips than the button, and could've waited for him to bust. Button shows A5o, and BB shows KJo. King on the flop and I'm drawing virtually dead. I played fairly well, even though I didn't have a lot of quality hands, or even chances to steal. I think this was the 2nd time I had made it that far, although the turnout was smaller.

Sunday night I get to the bar, and find out poker had been cancelled. I'm somewhat relieved, as that would mean an early bedtime for me. I stay for one drink and the first half of the Jets-Steelers game before heading home.

Once home, I decide to log onto FullTilt. After searching for a tournament to join, I settle on a 6-max deep stack. 245 players total, and I am not too active, just trying to stay close to the average stack. I bust out early, in 138th. Pocket Ts, a very strong hand 6-handed. I raise and get one caller, a big stack. Flop is 8, 3, 2. I bet big, more than half the pot. He raises. I put him on top pair at best. If he's got me beat, he's got me beat. I push and he calls, showing A8. Turn is an A and I'm out. Not much I can do about that.

I find another tournament, an Omaha/8 (Hi/lo split, where the low hand must not have any card higher than an 8). One of my favorite games, but I was probably playing a little too loose. 100 players total and I bust in 53rd after losing a big portion of my stack in a hand where my low was counterfeited, then committing myself to a hand that I shouldn't have played.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

A new year, new goals, and a new blog.

In my journey to make a living playing poker, I've decided to set some goals for myself, both long and short-term.

My short-term goals for the year include playing at least once a month in a Hold'em tournament at the Horseshoe Casino, building my bankroll on Full Tilt, participating in the forums on Full Tilt and Two Plus Two and blogging regularly about my progress.

Some of my long-term goals are to improve my skills at multiple variations of poker, to play annually in the WSOP Circuit Event at the Horseshoe casino, play in one of the small buy-in events at the WSOP (which I have planned for 2012), and to derive some sort of income, however modest, from poker.

Over the past year, I have made a few small steps toward my goals. I made my first deposit on Full Tilt, and despite a few ups and downs, and not playing as regularly as I'd like, I was able to increase my bankroll by 65%.

Some of my best results include:

3rd in a 180 player NLHE SnG, 7th in a 468 player NLHE MTT, 2nd in an 89 player HORSE MTT, 5th in a Stud/8 MTT, 2nd in a 90 player NLHE KO SnG with 9 KOs, 1st in a SnG with a buyin well above my bankroll guidelines, 2nd in another 90 player NLHE KO SnG, this time with 10 KOs, and 5th in a 70 player Stud MTT.

My most recent accomplishment is having finally won the year-end league tournament at Starsky's, the bar where I play regularly.

My first tournament of the year at the Horseshoe will be this Sunday. Hopefully I'll have some good news to share.