get… that… dirt off your shoulders


This blog has been left for dead for quite some time.

After the passage of UIGEA, many of my favorite ewallets and poker sites closed their doors to U.S. players. In fact, most of my bankroll was left suspended in limbo on BetOnBet, a Prima site. With no way to make a withdrawal, I was reduced to playing real money poker, in effect, just for fun. I played with more abandon and less enthusiasm and eventually went busto.

I began to question the point of all my hours online and my study of the game suffered. Also, I probably didn’t want to keep posting losing stats on this blog. So splashing the pot was left to die a quiet, unceremonious death.

Now I return for a couple of reasons. For starters, this blog originally grew out of my love for both writing and poker, in that order. If nothing else, this site makes for a great writing excercise. And I do still enjoy playing poker, although I continue to struggle with balance. And it is still painfully obvious to me that I have immense room in which to grow with both poker and writing. So why not do it in a public forum?

Recently, I was reminded that this is quite the public forum. Actually there’s a great commercial I saw the other day that warns the viewer that anybody can see what you post online. I found this out to be true in my own life. So I continue to post with that in mind.

I don’t know where I’m going with this blog quite yet. But that’s much like a poker hand when you don’t have the nuts–sometimes you just have to feel your way through it and, if the odds are with you, take a shot at the pot.

you are such a loser

I learned a very big lesson for the rest of my life as well. The lesson was, winning is great, sure, but if you are really going to do something in life the secret is learning how to lose. Nobody goes undefeated all the time. If you can pick up after a crushing defeat, and go on to win again, you are going to be a champion someday. But if losing destroys you, it’s all over. You’ll never be able to put it all back together again.

— from Wilma, the autobiography of Wilma Rudolph, the first American woman to win three gold medals

There will be few statistics today. No posting of hand histories. No hotbed of internet links (well, maybe one or two). Suffice it to say that I have been losing lately. And losing big. The last time I posted, my bankroll was over $300. Now it stands just shy of 200 dollars. (And that is counting the hundred dollar plus rakeback payment I received from BetOnBet.) Yeah, I have been running bad lately. And worse than that, I have been playing badly.

I came across the above passage tonight while I was reading a bedtime story to my son. I was reading from Listen Children, An Anthology of Black Literature. Although I was pretty well aware of the fact already, reading those words drove home the reality that I am not a good loser. Not just with poker, but with many things. Poker just sometimes brings out the worst of it.

The thing is, I had to know this was coming. From my study of the game so far, I knew that I was running abnormally well. Anywhere from 2-9BB/100 is commonly accepted as a sustainable winrate. For most of the month of December I was running around 20BB/100. That’s the positive side of variance. Yeah, I had a bad session or two during that time, but I always managed to recover. Most times, the same day. As a result, I was unflappable.

This time is something different. I haven’t shown a profit for any of 2007 so far. Okay, yeah, I know what you’re thinking… 2007 is only two weeks old. Well… yeah! But still, it feels more like two months to me. And I’m trying not to panic.

I found an excruciatingly appropriate post on The 2+2 Forums. I have been referring to it regularly. And, in an attempt to fight off my natural inclination toward obsessive-compulsive playing (Is 14 straight hours of poker extreme?), I’m exploring other interests. This Friday I plan to go to a little jazz club in Atlanta with a college buddy. I haven’t done anything like that in a while. Poker was supposed to finance the outing, but now I’m not so sure.

Also, I did take a look at my Poker Office stats. Not surprisingly, I noticed that it looked like I was playing way too many hands from early and middle position. That caused me to leak a lot of cash. I could probably pay more attention to the game, too. Trying to watch the latest episode of The Office, check my email, keep up with Yorkshire Pudding’s blog, AND multi-table isn’t the best strategy for winning poker. So from now on, I’ll just be listening to Jimmy Smith or an audio book of Beowulf (I must stay cultured somehow!).

Maybe I’m coming out of my slump. Today, I only lost $10. That’s an improvement. I think I may just be okay… if I don’t go busto first.

i saw momma get run over by a set of deuces

12/20 – 12/29: 2510 hands, 35.25 hours, $291.20 won, 57.79 BB/100, total bankroll $312.20 (after withdrawals totaling $325)

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Okay, first things first. Happy holidays to everyone! Gentle readers I hope you all are enjoying this time with family and friends. I know I have. My dad came up from Florida, I hung out with my big brother (who put the whole family on notice that he was officially rich), ate a lot crab legs, and witnessed my two-year-old son experience Christmas Day overload (he has doting grandparents and aunts).

And in between doing all that I managed to get in a few hands of poker. Earlier in the week I was very close to going on major tilt. It all started innocently enough. I earned my $100 bonus at BetOnBet and decided to use some of the money to join an online poker training site, So I withdrew the money from my BetOnBet account and was pleased to discover that the funds posted to NETeller almost instantly (within five or ten minutes). I had been used to waiting anywhere from three to seven days with other Prima sites.

I joined PokerFox as planned. Then I still had about $60 left. What to do, what to do, right? Finally, I decided to go back over to PokerStars, which was the first site I had ever played. I hadn’t played there lately because the bonuses are rather infrequent, there is no rakeback, and from what I’ve heard the games aren’t especially soft. But since PokerStars is the largest site now, according to various poker traffic reports, I decided to go see what I had been missing. After a a couple of hours playing $10 NL 6-Max, it seemed to me that I had been missing repeated ass whuppings. Maybe I just hit a bad run of cards, or I played poorly, or perhaps the fact that I was playing on a $60 roll screwed with my head, but something went wrong. I couldn’t win a hand. I started playing too many hands, then when I caught a decent hand, like a premium pair, all the other players would fold to my pre-flop raise. So after dropping 40 bucks in about two hours, I mentally gave Stars the middle finger and closed the software. (I have since gone back, playing the penny tables and fared somewhat better. Although I don’t spend too much time there because Prima is so much more profitable.)

While still upset over my losses at PokerStars, I withdrew another $100 and transferred it to Doyle’s Room, where I had found a rackback deal and would supposedly find soft players. But my bad run continued and I lost over half my money. Honestly, at this point I knew that I was playing badly. I was trying to make back the money I had lost earlier. I had grown impatient, impulsive and angry. Finally I called it a night. That was a week ago Friday.

Since then I’ve been doing much better.

On another note, for some time my computer’s performance had been dropping off. It would take forever to start up, lag when running multiple programs, and sometimes just lock up. A while back I got a really nasty virus while trying to run a serial crack program (I know, that’s what I get, right?) and my computer had never been the same since. I had run various anti-virus and anti-spyware routines. They helped only moderately. A couple of days ago I became so exasperated that I finally decided to reformat the hard drive.

I would have done this earlier but I had so much music on my hard drive that I knew it would be a major pain to back up. In reality, it turned out to be only a medium-sized pain (I used iTunes‘ back up feature) but I only had enough CDs to save about half my catalog. Oh, well, thank goodness for uTorrent!

Now that I’ve reformatted my laptop it’s like I have a new computer. Everything is running as smooth as a baby’s bottom! Now all I need is another gig of memory and an extra monitor! Benefactors where are you? (I think the term benefactor is a vast improvement over fish.)

I also got myself a nice microphone so that I’m better equipped to Skype. Already I’ve talked to my brother in Hanover, Germany a few times. I’m dying to use Skype even more so if you want to ring me up, my Skype name is (surprise) blackscribe.

Well, I’m getting ready to grab some breakfast, then hit the tables. I’m hoping to have another day like yesterday (I won over $150). In my next post I want to discuss some of my goals for the coming year, my aspirations for my personal poker play and for this blog.

Until then… I hope you find yourself on the good side of variance!

Blogged with Flock

what do you do on that thing?

12/17 – 12/19: 2328 hands, 29.75 hours, $84.16 won, 9.93 BB/100, total bankroll $235.25

Wow, I play a lot of poker. Just looking at the hours I’ve logged recently makes me realize that. No wonder my wife stays upset with me.

I had this thought that I was going to make this great, literary-minded post last night but I was just too damn tired.

Now it’s morning and I’m pressed for time. I will mention a few things though. I’m starting to run into a few of the same people online repeatedly, and some of them have been pretty cool. I especially enjoyed meeting TheNov, who I believe is from Sweden (I hope I got that right. I know people get upset about things like that). Late two nights ago (early morning for her) she was catching the same brand of hell from her boyfriend that I get in heaping helpings from my wife. Which is to say that we both probably stay on the computer too much.

Anyway, TheNov is pretty good, although she told me I was on her list as one player who “owed” her money. I laughed at that. A couple other players from Prima have come to my blog, including WILL_THETURN, and even one of the poker managers (aka censors). Of course there’s my arch-nemesis, yorkshirepuddings, for whom I selected a war song. I’m starting to feel a slight sense of community there but nothing like what I had at Mansion, Bodog, or even UltimateBet. I really liked Mansion for that and I even made a post about it awhile back.

I will say this, though, all the fraternizing often hurts my play. Especially when I multi-table, which is most of the time. Trying to play two tables, think about each move, and maintain a lucid conversation while the other window keeps popping up is enough to give me an headache.

Last night it seemed that the availability of $10 NL games was limited, compared to what’s I usually find. I had to keep changing tables due to games breaking up, but there was still a decent selection. The games were a bit tougher last night but I was able to adjust pretty good. There are so many hands I would like to talk about but here are just a few:

Stack ’em with Jacks. This guy was playing pretty loose and aggressive and I thought his push after my bet on a two-tone flop of two queens and a five a little suspicious. So I come over the top of him and I’m happy to find out at the showdown that my read was correct. I didn’t even need the jack on the river, making a full house, to beat him. He only had 85 off suit! One of yorkshirepuddings’ students?

I’m Not Bluffing You! Before this hand I had caught a few hands back to back and kept raising or reraising the pot. My opponent finally decides to make stand. Too bad his timing is off. Usually I don’t like to play big pots with just a pair but I figure this guy thinks I’m bluffing. I call his reraise on the turn instead of pushing there because I want to give him a chance to fold when I push on the river, no matter what comes. I guess this is a bastard step-child of the stop and go play.

I want to post a few more but I’m running out of time. Those jerks at my job have the nerve to expect me to be there as scheduled. And until I win the UltimateBet $200K Guarantee event, I don’t want to disappoint them. So until then…Good luck, all. May you flop the nuts!

mommie, it burns!

Thursday I took the day off from work and played poker. I made over a $100. Yesterday I left work early and since then dropped about $195. Here are my official stats…

1995 hands, 26.5 hours, -$194.97 won, -19.92 BB/100, total bankroll $161.88 (after $200 withdrawal today)

I’m sure my losses would not have been so severe if I had established and followed some reasonable bankroll management guidelines.

I really like the idea of not risking more than 10% of your bankroll on any given day. It’s a great ideal to strive for. But I also know that I’m the type of person who likes to take risks. So I’ll have to grow in that area.

I pretty much went on tilt yesterday (and I’m probably still emotional now). I had built up some pretty unrealistic expectations about my poker prowess and ability to make money. I had an entire dance company of dreams and fantasies prancing around in my head. Thoughts of things I would buy and trips I would take with my new and increasingly bigger winnings. And I got mad when I started losing and couldn’t stop.

Then yorkshirepuddings found me. And we played a few hands together. That’s when my ego really reared its ugly head. The brief history between us is that we’ve been reading each other’s blogs and I thought I was giving him helpful advice to improve his game and overall online poker experience. So, of course, when he sat down at my table I wanted to show him firsthand what a poker phenom I am. I did okay but, when he bluffed me on a hand using the knowledge of my game he got from reading this blog, I was incensed. The thing that bothered me so much was that he showed his bluff. The question in my head was, Why not be a decent bloke (that’s how you English guys talk, right?) and let me think I made a good laydown? Like I told him, I thought we were being friendly. I think anyone advertises a bluff for one of two reasons: 1) To show off and possibly piss the other opponent(s) off, or 2) To set the other players up to call a future bet when you really have the goods. I mean, Jesus, I’m trying to help you and you want to screw with me like that? Well, you don’t have to worry about me giving anymore unsolicited advice.

Am I blowing this out of proportion? Probably, right?

Anyway, after that incident I played a little longer, lost some more money and finally got too tired to hold my head up any longer and stumbled off to bed, where I fell into it like a black abyss.

This morning I woke up, somewhat refreshed, and got back into the fray. I continued to lose until I finally decided to move to the beginner’s pot limit tables on Prima. I played the .05/.10 level and actually showed a small profit. While I was playing I came across a badass article that just blew me away. It’s ostensibly about bankroll management at low limits for the beginning player, but it’s really about how to approach the game when you are new. It just really helped me to see that my expectations are incredibly out of whack.

When I look at my total stats (15k hands, 9.9 BB/100) since I started tracking them in late November, my winrate is pretty high. Ed Miller says, “It takes months and years of study, play, and self-examination to get to the point where you’ll consistently win at a rate near 3BB/100.” I guess the key word there is “consistently.” Right now I’m just running good. Frankly it’s stupid to get upset over one or two losing days. There are pros who have bad weeks, months, or even years. My focus should be on learning the game and having fun. It’s just that the idea of making money is so seductive and I’ve come across various posts and websites that brag about how this person or that person went pro in six months or a year.

The truth is, when I’m not worried about money, I do enjoy the game so much more. Yesterday when I sat down before the computer, I had it in my mind that I was going to make money to replace the money I would have made at work. That idea set an unpleasant tone. Playing poker was no longer a game. It was work. From there, things just went downhill.

So, I don’t know. I still have a long way to go in this thing. I guess I don’t have all the answers. But I know one thing… any of you reading this, don’t you ever bluff me and show!

ride it ’til the wheels fall off

Man, I’m tired. This will be a short (hopefully), simple post. First of all, my run continues.

Since my last post, here are my stats…

1136 total hands, 14 hours (7 hours on two tables), $221.75 won, 61.77 BB/100. My total bankroll is at $573.

This thing is crazy. I’m feeling good but reminding myself not to get cocky. I’ve read enough books, blog and forum posts to know that variance, or an up and down cycle, is to be expected. And I also know that a 61 BB/100 winrate is not usually sustainable (more like 7 to 10). But right now I’m just gonna ride this upswing for as long as possible.

Actually I moved up a level yesterday and I was a little apprehensive. This was really the first time I did it in the manner that many online poker experts and pros suggest. With the proper bankroll.

General consensus is that a winning player should keep at least 20 buyins for each limit he’s playing. Excluding poor beginner play, bad bankroll management is the biggest reason that new players go bust. Do yourself a favor and only play in games you can afford. — MicroNL Temporary FAQ, The 2+2 Forums

So, when I had over $400 I moved up. I remember reading something somewhere that said you should just keep doing the things that worked for you on the previous level when you make your move. So, that’s exactly what I did. I am a very aggressive player, but fairly tight as well. Actually, I just recently (over the last couple of weeks) tightened up my starting hands, and it has made a big difference in my profit margins. I never open limp. And with anything decent in late position (66+, KQs+, AJ+), I will put in a second raise, depending on the table. I’ve been doing these things as I grow more confident in my postflop play. I’m getting much better at dumping hands that are probable losers.

So I’ve been pretty much just eating up chips like Pringles. One thing I can say, though, winning poker does definitely have an inescapable element of boredom to it. Especially at these microlimits. In the past, as I surfed various poker sites, I have come across comments from successful poker players regarding how they eventually just got sick of poker. This always puzzled me.

These comments were coming from people who had supposedly made thousands and hundreds of thousands of dollars from playing poker. How do you get sick of making money for playing a game? While I am far from getting sick of poker, I can understand the disciplined grind it requires to win at cash games. It’s really pretty simple to win at microlimits. It’s mainly just a matter of discipline. And that’s where the grind comes in.

When I was losing consistently, now that was exciting. I would go on extreme tilt and push my entire stack in with 72. And sometimes I would win! That is real entertainment. I was truly gambling, and it’s no rush like that. Putting all your money on the line with only a hope and a prayer. On the other hand, there’s really nothing exciting about sitting in front of the computer for hours at a time, weighing each hand, thinking about expected value, position, another player’s VP$IP percentage, etc. “I bet the flop here, if he reraises I autofold… 1,2,3…1,2,3…”

I’m oversimplifying (a little), but at micro-limits, it’s not too much more complicated than that. And I think that is what some losing players don’t get. Without fail, everytime I sit down to a table online, I hear one player giving another player holy hell about one specific play. And usually the playing giving the lecture is the “good” player berating the “fish.” But a truly good player understands that over time, grinding it day in and day out, thoughtful, disciplined play will be profitable. I don’t need to do anything fancy. And if I’m losing over time, say months and years, maybe, just maybe I need to take a look at my own game.

But speaking of profits, in my last post I mentioned something about waiting until my bankroll reached $2100 to make another withdrawal. Now I’m admitting that that idea is pretty much totally unrealistic. I’ve decided that I’m gonna stay at my current level for a while (maybe 20,000 hands), take my time and enjoy some fruits of my labor. The first thing I hope to do is buy myself another mobile phone. I want to be able to leave in $450-$550 when I pull out the two bills I need for the phone. So I need to work up to at least $650. This bankroll management will be one of my greatest challenges.

I’ll keep you posted.

don’t try this at home

I had an interesting, overall profitable night yesterday. Here are a few notable hands…

This is the hand that sent me on tilt. I had been catching some great cards most of the evening. I checked my stats and I hit around 12 sets in a 90 min period. I couldn’t get paid off on the majority of them, though.

In all of my previous hands against this guy, he had always folded to my continuation bets. In this hand, the villain is in the big blind and I’m in the cut-off with QQ. It’s folded to me and I make a standard raise of four times the BB (.40). Everyone folds except the villain.

The flops looks harmless enough to me, although there are two clubs. The villain bets, I reraise the minimum, not wanting to scare him away. I’m surprised when he reraises me. I’m thinking that maybe he has a set so I just call. He bets again on the turn, I call. Then a King of clubs comes on the river and I have a bad feeling. He bets again, about two-thirds the pot and I call. He shows T6 of clubs and I am steamed that I gave him so much respect and let him draw out on me.

After that I am just determined that I am going to “get him.”

A few hands later I try a stone cold bluff. I even uncheck the box “Muck winning hands” so I can show him my cards when he folds.

And I lose my entire stack.

I’m really sick now because before the QQ hand I had been doing great (up $14 or 70 BB). Now I was down $10 at that table. I finally realized it was time to leave. I played a few more lackluster hands and finished the $0.05-$0.10 NL session after 664 hands with $7.57 won and 5.7 BB/100.

By this time it was getting late and the prudent thing to do would have been to call it a night but I was $15 shy of $300 total bankroll and, at one point in the evening, I had been over $300. I got it into my mind that I wanted to make up that money before I went to bed. Don’t worry, the story ends well.

Again, I did something I don’t recommend. I moved up to the $50 tables (and although I normally play two tables simultaneously, this time I played only one out of a sense of caution). After 45 minutes I had made $61 and 115 BB/100. I made most of that when I flopped a straight, improved to a flush and doubled up on a guy with AA.

My short-term results aren’t really that important. I want to focus on the behavior. Sometimes you can do the wrong thing and get favorable results. Like call a bet for your whole stack on a gut shot draw and win. But over time making bad decisions will most likely cost you. Recently, I’ve been pretty much playing within my bankroll, and I noticed that I was much more relaxed and I enjoyed the games more. I wasn’t stressed about every little hand that I won or lost. I was better able to look at the big picture.

The only time I really got upset was when I let ego slip in. When I let the game get personal. Usually one of two things happened to set me off. Either another player made some comment about me being a bad player or I became intent on beating a specific player or table.

In the past the biggest downswings I suffered were usually accompanied by me playing outside my bankroll, whether in cash games or tourneys. So, even though things turned out okay this time, I want to break the bad habit of trying to make up losses by moving up in stakes. This practice speaks to my lack of patience. It’s something I need to work on.

Just a little bit of honest self-appraisal, I hope.

P.S. Currently my bankroll is at $350. When I reach $400 I can prudently move up to $20NL.

tryin’ to catch me chattin’ dirty

Here’s an update on my stats since I last posted. This is for the period of December 1st through December 10th

$0.05-$0.10 NL, 3131 Hands, 43 hours, $94.61 won, 15.11 BB/100

I really feel like I’m getting into a rhythm now, especially while playing within my bankroll. Yesterday was a perfect example. I played a total of five plus hours. When I first started I suffered a few bad beats and I made some bad plays. I initially lost about two buy-ins or $20, but I started with a bankroll of $120. Because I was properly bankrolled I amazingly didn’t get emotionally upset. In fact, I was able to humble myself enough to leave a few tables at which it was clear that I was being consistently outplayed.

I eventually found the right tables and the right cards and ended the day with a profit of $57 (37 BB/100). It was nice to watch myself go through a little adversity, stay calm and play through it. It was kinda funny because I started verbally coaching myself, saying things like, “Don’t play that hand out of position…Be patient…Don’t get cocky…Okay, yeah, you’re doing good.” I am definitely seeing growth in my play.

Currently my bankroll is at $176 on Prima. I set a goal for myself to not make another withdrawal until I reach $2100. Then I will allow myself to withdraw $100. This will be a challenge because $2000 is a lot of money to me but I truly want to be able to play at a level where I can win a hundred dollars or so a session without too much trouble. I’ll keep you posted on my progress with this.

One more thing. There is one thing that happened last night that got me slightly pissed. Prima suspended my chat for mentioning a web site. Usually I am savvy enough to get around the censors by using spaces (for example, anysite . com). However, I really thought the content I mentioned was innocuous enough (I told someone about a poker blog). The next thing I know, a message flashes across my screen that my chat had been suspended. I immediately went to live support at BetOnBet, my current Prima site. I explained the situation to the support guy. After a few minutes he responded that he had “pleaded with Prima to restore my chat” and that I should have it back in a few hours. (I just checked and I can indeed chat once again) I was pissed that I had lost my chat but I liked that BetOnBet support had “pleaded” on my behalf.

small pots with small hands… what a novel idea!

I should already be asleep right now so this will be a really quick post.

Here are my stats for the day…

$0.05-$0.10 NL, 336 hands, 4.5 hours, $14.12 won, 15.57 BB/100

$0.10-$0.20 NL, 85 hands, 1 hour, -$66.63 won, -153.76 BB/100

I’ve gotten into the practice of squeezing in a session in the morning before I leave for work. Sometimes the time crunch works against me. Today was one of those days. I tried to 4-table at the $20 NL level and lost over $65 in 20 minutes. It’s a good thing I had to leave for work or I might have gone broke in a frenzied tilt-o-matic state.

When I got home this evening, I got one of those poker tips emails from Full Tilt and then came across an entry on Noted Poker Authority both emphazing the same idea: Play big pots with big hands, play small pots with small hands. This was major. I applied this new idea immediately and had a decent session tonight after dropping back down to $10 NL, which is where I should be anyway.

Patience, man, I have to learn patience. Well, it’s off to bed for me.

let me hold those chips for you

My writing muscles are rusty but here goes… For the past week I’ve been doing okay. A couple of big ups and downs, but overall I’m still profitable. The day after Thanksgiving I made about $125 in six hours (about 20 BB/100) playing $50 NL. Then the next day I lost most of my profit. Today I salvaged a mediocre day.

· 250 hands of micro stakes ($0.05/$0.10 and $0.10/$0.20) Limit; won 7.98 BB/100 for a whopping profit of $1.18.

· 230 hands of 6-max No Limit and Pot Limit ($5 up to $50); won .31 BB/100 and $68.13.

· What? How’s that? Well, I lost two buy-ins at $10 NL, got mad and moved up to $50 NL (I don’t recommend doing that… most experts suggest dropping down a level, not moving up two after suffering a major loss). There I found another player even more on tilt than I was and literally took him for $85 (161.17 BB/100).

Here are the two most profitable hands…

I had played about 20 minutes with opelastra and had noticed that he was extremely aggressive, so I made a mental note to wait patiently for a good spot to get his stack. In this hand I’m on the button, so my range of raising hands is a lot looser. I decide to reraise him here and hope for a good flop. Bingo! I flop trip sevens and I’m thinking that it’s no way he puts me on a seven. He raises and I pop him back. I’m not even surprised when he calls. On the turn he decides to push and I am absolutely loving this guy.

** Game ID 1057534209 starting – 2006-11-27 17:19:13
** Donetsk [ Hold ’em ] (0.25|0.50 No Limit – Cash Game) Real Money

– 21dec sitting in seat 2 with $49 .50
– opelastra sitting in seat 3 with $75 .54
– TwinFives sitting in seat 4 with $66 .20
– speedchaser sitting in seat 5 with $51 .00 [ Dealer ]
– RJ0204 sitting in seat 6 with $23 .00

RJ0204 posted the small blind – $0.25
21dec posted the big blind – $0.50

** Dealing card to speedchaser:
opelastra raised – $1.00
TwinFives folded
speedchaser raised – $4.00
RJ0204 folded
21dec folded
opelastra called – $4.00

** Dealing the flop:
opelastra bet – $5.50
speedchaser raised – $15.00
opelastra called – $15.00

** Dealing the turn:
opelastra bet – $53.50
speedchaser went all-in – $32.00

** Dealing the river:
speedchaser shows:
opelastra mucks:
speedchaser wins $100.75 from the main pot

By the time I play this next hand, I just don’t give the guy any respect now, he is basically a maniac. Again, I have position on him. So, on the flop I figure I have a good chance of out drawing him with my two overcards. I’m playing No Limit Hold ‘em, he’s just playing No Fold ‘em. (Ha ha ha! Boy, I slay me!)

** Game ID 1057552540 starting – 2006-11-27 17:27:57
** Donetsk [ Hold ’em ] (0.25|0.50 No Limit – Cash Game) Real Money

– 21dec sitting in seat 2 with $39 .16
– opelastra sitting in seat 3 with $41 .17
– TwinFives sitting in seat 4 with $65 .20
– speedchaser sitting in seat 5 with $98 .90 [ Dealer ]
– RJ0204 sitting in seat 6 with $53 .60

RJ0204 posted the small blind – $0.25
21dec posted the big blind – $0.50

** Dealing card to speedchaser:
opelastra called – $0.50
TwinFives folded
speedchaser raised – $2.50
RJ0204 folded
21dec folded
opelastra called – $2.50

** Dealing the flop:
opelastra bet – $0.50
speedchaser raised – $3.50
opelastra called – $3.50

** Dealing the turn:
opelastra bet – $4.50
speedchaser raised – $16.00
opelastra called – $16.00

** Dealing the river:
opelastra checked
speedchaser checked
opelastra shows:
speedchaser shows:
speedchaser wins $42.75 from the main pot

I must say here that I didn’t get too full of myself. I believe more than ever that poker is a game in which the best player is the one who makes the fewest mistakes. On any given day, under the right circumstances, our positions could have been switched. Watching him play I just kept saying to myself, “Man, that’s me.” He was playing too many hands, raising preflop, making big bets attempting to bluff. I say attempting to bluff because according to Ed Miller, “For a bet to be a bluff, there must be some chance that a player with a better hand than yours will fold.” This guy was just building the pot.

By the way, I am still reading Mr. Miller’s book, Getting Started in Hold ‘Em. And so far it is helping me identify and correct some of my biggest leaks. Some of these are playing too many hands, staying in a hand too long, going on tilt, and playing more loosely with a short stack (as in, hell I only got half a buy in left, I’ll just call his raise here and hope to get lucky).

One important idea that I have learned so far is that I need to think more in terms of the number of bets won or loss rather than the amount of money. This helps me get a better idea of my actual performance, especially across different game stakes.

A few parting shots… I just moved most of my money over to BetOnBet, a Prima site that offers rakeback (I went through RakeBrain). So far, so good. The customer service seems decent. I needed help with my deposit and got it immediately using the online chat feature. I still have a bonus to clear at PokerShare, another Prima site but I am wary about them now. The customer service sucks donkey private parts and it took me five days to receive my cashout to NETeller.

Well, good luck all, and I hope you flop the nuts (except, of course, against me).