Tuesday, June 26, 2012

League Craziness - June

June 1st was a fun night. In an early hand, I had pocket kings in the cutoff. The UTG player raised and it was called around to me. Since league is often no fold’em hold’em, rather than raise, and win a smallish pot, I decided to set a trap. I struck gold when I flopped a set and the early position raiser led out. I thought a bit and called. The turn gave me a boat, and I thought before calling again. When he bet the river, I min-raised and was called. I showed my boat and he mucked. I took down a nicer pot than had I shoved preflop. In a later hand, one of the guys threw out a straddle and so I decided to do a double straddle. I continued to straddle when I could. That led to some fun hands, including another where I ended up all in, and flop top set with 8s. I finished 3rd and 2nd for the night.
I missed playing on the 8th of June, as my wife and I had friends in from out of town. Ended up staying up later than if I’d gone to poker. We talked until around 3 or 4am.

Off and on during league play, I'll text how I'm doing to my twitter account. I was checking out twitter to follow some of the WSOP results. I decided to search again and found a nice twitter app that I like, Tweetcaster. I've become rather addicted to it. It's been great following the results of my favorite players. It also keeps me from being bored between hands and sessions. I first used it during league on the 15th.

It was kind of weird, playing during the College World Series. Typically the bar is packed, but since the CWS moved from Rosenblatt, it's been no different than a typical night. 

I finished 5th/7 in the first session, busting out with AKs v AA on a K-high flop. I didn't have any memorable hands that I tweeted or recall. In the second session I had an interesting hand where I put in a blind double straddle. On a flop of 974, the UTG player shoves. I finally look at my cards and see a pair of Aces. I go all-in to isolate. He flips over K4. He turns a K and I call for a 9, 7 or A. I get lucky and river a 7. We started with 8 or 10, and when we got down to one table of 4, I had a huge chip lead. However, it quickly shrunk when two players were eliminated and it got to heads up. We went back and forth, playing mostly small pots until I won a big hand and took a solid lead.

On the 22nd, my wife finally was able to join me, as did a friend of ours from Texas, who was up here for her birthday, on the 23rd. She and I played one session. She had to buy back in, but played very well and finished in 2nd place, outlasting me. I was very proud of her. She was happy as well, especially after Jerry, who runs the league, jokingly made a comment to me, to tell her not to overplay her hand. She had shoved with something like AK, and he thought she was trying to get points for a pocket pair. She ended up knocking him out later when she rivered a flush to beat his straight.

I'm hoping to do well this week to finish up the quarter. Next week is the quarterly, and I'm planning on putting any winnings I happen to earn into my poker fund, so I can go play some $3/6 limit.

I've also been playing on my Zynga poker app on my Droid, and occasionally playing TH poker on my PC, both of which I'm doing well against.

Craziness of league play - May results

I decided to break post into two parts after the June results got to be a bit lengthy for my tastes. And, since I didn't tweet my results from the first two weeks of May, I don't really remember what happened.

Friday May 18th was one of those strange nights. At first it looked like there may not be enough people to play, then we had a few trickle in, so we ended up with 6 to start the 1st session. It was a great session for me, as I ended up eliminating every opponent to win, hitting quads along the way, for more bonus points. My final hand in the second session was also wild. I believe it was the 3rd level, blinds 50 & 100. I had QTo UTG and had raised to something like $250. It was a family pot with 4 or 5 of us in it. The flop comes 3Q2 rainbow. The BB leads out with a big bet, about 6 or 800. Based on earlier hands, I put him on hitting the 2 or 3. I went all in for around 2000. Incredibly, I got 3 callers, including the original raiser. I was worried at first, when I got the 2 callers after me, that one of them, the dealer in particular, may have hit a set or 2s or 3s. The player to my left had Q6, the dealer had A5 and the BB had, as I suspected, A2. I feel good about making the right read and decision. The turn is another 3 and the river a horrible 4. I was out and called it a night. The points for 1st and quads were good enough for me.
The following week was another night with solid results for me. Again, we had to wait for players to trickle in, but we ended with 6 or 7 for both sessions. I played well, keeping a decent stack throughout and finished in 2nd place in both sessions, and won a free shot from the DJ as well. Interestingly enough, I was able to be the first to identify a Queen song, and on the very next hand, I had AQ and flopped a Queen, taking the pot down with a c-bet.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Quarterly Quagmire

And I'm not talking about Glen from Family Guy.

Due to missing several sessions in the first quarter, I did not have my typical starting chip stack in the quarterly. We started with only 8 of the 10 qualifiers. I built my stack up a bit, but I ended up making a big mistake, losing much of my stack in a 3-way all-in situation when we were down to 7. I was in the SB with AQ. The UTG player limped in, and a couple of others did as well. I completed and the BB went all-in. The UTG player shoved over the top. I considered the situation and ended up calling, having both players covered. I incorrectly concluded that was ahead of at least one of them, putting the BB on a mid pair, and the UTG on something like AJs. However, he had pocket Ts, and the BB had AK. The flop comes A, J, rag. The turn is a T, and I’m praying for a K for a straight, but I miss. I last a while, but as we chip up, my stack gets shorter, and I finally shove with A9. I get one caller, who took his time, and he flips over AJ. I’m surprised he took so long to call, but not surprised when I’m out. That was the first time in years that I hadn’t cashed, and only the 2nd time I didn’t finish in the top 4 in a quarterly or year-end tournament.

Since then, I’ve made a plan to keep myself higher in the standings. After the first week, I was in 3rd place for the quarter, and moved up to 2nd place after the following week. A win in the first session, and another 3rd place in the 2nd session should propel me into the lead after last Friday. :)

I got a couple of nice surprises on my birthday that were poker related. My sister got a nice poker themed cake, complete with $30 in chips from the local Horseshoe Casino. My wife got me a new book, Unleash Your Hidden Poker Memory. I’ve only read chapter one so far. At the end of each chapter are some timed exercises to test your memory. Since I want to do more than just read the book, I’m going to make an effort to regularly do the exercises, working from the simpler suggestions to the more challenging ones.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

My first cash game at the casino

Well, just got home from my first cash game at the casino. I was seated right away at a $1/3 NL table.
I think I played well, as I was up about $100 at one point, but I eventually bled off my chips and had to buy more. Although I wasn't worried about the money, as I'd had it set aside for poker anyways, I was playing a bit scared. I need more practice playing, to work on being more aggressive, and to ease my nerves.

I went broke shortly after buying more chips. I made a good call with top pair on a board with a couple of draws, but on the next hand went out with the 2nd nut flush . Among the other hands I played, I'm fairly sure I folded one winner, and misplayed another hand. I flopped a straight flush draw on an A high board, called a c-bet and checked it down. I should have bet the turn when the A paired, but I was more interested in hitting a jackpot hand. I had several pocked pairs, mostly medium, 7's through 9's, but only hit one set, on the turn, which I did get paid.

I'm going to try and play in one of the tournaments later this month, to try and replenish my bankroll. Otherwise I'll have to save up a little at a time and add to it with anything I win at the quarterly league tourney in April. I also need to get my den finished, so I can have a place where my books are all together and I can study.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Goodbye 2011, hello 2012

I can hardly believe I've had this blog for a year now. I know I haven’t written in several months, mostly due to the holidays and missing a few weeks of league, leaving me with little to write about. This should catch me up to date with my results.

The fourth quarter of the poker league at Starsky’s was fairly good for me, but not great. I retained my overall points lead for the year, but was a distant 2nd for the quarter. I started off ok, but I was unable to play every week, and poor turnouts led to a few sessions being cancelled, so I had less opportunity to make up points. While I consistently finished 2nd or 3rd, Jerry fared better, including winning both sessions on one of the nights I wasn’t there. Fortunately, in the last week of the year, I was able to break my streak and won both sessions, facing the same player, Tim, heads up. I had the chip lead going into heads-up at the end of the 1st session, but had to come from behind in the 2nd session.

One hand from the last night of league that stands out, started with me holding 78o UTG. I raised, and got 2 callers, Tim, who was dealing, and Jerry in the BB. The flop comes 56Q with 2 clubs. I bet my draw and they both call. The turn is a blank. I don’t remember the exact betting sequence, but I believe it was either checked around, or Jerry led out and both Tim and I called. The river is a 4 of clubs. Jerry bet, I called, and Tim pushed all-in. I wasn’t positive what he had, but I was fairly certain it wasn’t the flush. Jerry has us both well-covered, and talked himself into calling. That convinced me that I had the best hand and so I shoved over the top. Jerry calls, and Tim shows 23o for the low end of the straight, Jerry had Queens up, and I take down a big pot with my straight.

The new year has also started well with good results in the quarterly and year end tournaments, where I finished 2nd in both. In the quarterly I was doing well, but had two straights lose to rivered full houses. I had a big chip deficit heads up, and couldn’t mount a come-back. In the year-end, I had the lead with over 300k, about half the chips in play, when get go to 3-handed. I was fairly sure that I would take it down, but shortly after I tweeted as much, the blinds go from 5/10k to 10/20k and I got a bad run of cards. I made it to heads up against Tim, but I was certain that I wasn’t going to win 3 in a row against him. He and I are two of the best players in league, and without getting good cards, I knew I couldn’t pull it out. In the final hand, I raised with QJo and he re-raised. I shoved, he called and showed AKo. We both hit top pair on the flop and I miss on the turn and river, giving him the win. Out of the 5 league events for which I qualified, I played in 4, I won 1, and finished 2nd in the rest. Not too shabby.

On the first night of regular league, I resumed my solid results, winning the first session and taking 2nd in the 2nd session.

My belated New Years resolution is to update more often, hopefully with casino results along with my regular league recaps.