Archive for August, 2006|Monthly archive page

you unlucky bodog, you!

My account balance is anything but golden.

 

Where I come from, there’s a saying, “Can’t win for losing.” That was me all day today. I think this is my first official bad beat post. Here are the “highlights” from various freeroll tournaments I played today. Read on and enjoy…

Pacific Poker $50 Freeroll

I got low on chips rather early, down to 650 with blinds at 50/100, but tripled up when i hit a set of tens.

With the blinds at 75/150, everyone folded around to me in the small blind. Pushing my remaining 1760 chips all in, I tried to steal the blinds with 96, the big blind called me with KJ, but I sucked out, hitting runner runner to make a queen high straight and doubled up (3520).

But karma came back to do me in. With blinds at 150/300, I picked up AJ in the cut off position. Again, everyone folded around to me. I raised three times the big blind to 900. The button and small blind folded. The big blind called. The flop came 8 of diamonds, ace of clubs, 6 of diamonds, giving me top pair with a very nice kicker and I had position. The big blind bet 600. I pushed all in with 1630. BB had me covered with 3858 remaining in his stack and he made the call. He showed 98 suited spades, and I was thinking, I’m good to go. The turn was the queen of spades. Still good. But the river was the 9 of clubs, giving Mr. Big Blind two pair. And I was outta there. I finished 611th out of 2466

CelebPoker $250 Qualifier

I was pretty much card dead the entire way. I played two hands. I limped with a pair of sevens around the third level but ran into a flop of overcards followed by a raise and a call before me. So I had to fold. When I had about 3 big blinds left I tried my luck with A7. I wasn’t very hopeful though when three other players called my all in bet. I busted out on that hand and finished 79th out of 160.

I busted out of a Cake Poker freeroll on the first hand I played, QQ, when I called a big stack’s all in bet, and was followed by about three other callers. I was good all the way until the river. Then an ace fell and that give the big stack a pair of aces with a queen kicker.

bodog $1000 Guaranteed

While waiting for a freeroll at bodog.com, I lost the last few dollars I had in my account over there. I was playing the $10 NL tables. I had about $2.60 left. I went all in with pocket kings, a guy called me with A4, I thought I might actually have a chance to double up. But, my run of bad luck continued with him catching an ace on the turn.

I also played in the bodog $1000 Guaranteed tourney, which is a freeroll with rebuys and addons. I made it to the 5th level, got crippled when I went all in with AK and missed. I busted out a couple hands later when my pocket jacks got cracked by a guy who called with A9 and made a set of nines with the board.

But in the words of Scarlett O’Hara, “I’ll think of some way to get him back. After all… tomorrow is another day.”

trying to make a dollar out of 15 cents

This past week has been a wild ride. Not soon after I had my poker epiphany and was confident I had improved my play a thousand fold, I took a couple of bad beats, went on a full tilt boogie and cannibalized my bankroll. So by last Thursday I was pretty much broke. That’s the bad news.

The good news is that the situation caused me to get creative. Until my blowout, I had pretty much focused on small stakes cash games. I would throw in the occasional one or two table $11 SNG for good measure. When I ran out of money I started looking at freerolls. One good source for information on these $0 buy-in events is freeroll.net. I found out that there is almost always a freeroll starting up somewhere.

Over the last week I’ve probably played in about 10 or 15 and I cashed in two events. I won a $50 freeroll over at PokerKnights.com, which is a part of the brand-spanking new HyperGlobalMedia, Inc. network. That netted me $13.50. Since then I have built that up to over $80 playing the $10 NL and $25 NL cash tables there. (Mini review: This site is new and is still building its traffic but during peak hours you can usually find a few micro-limit games, which are incredibly soft. PokerKnights is offering a 100% bonus on your first deposit up to $500 AND 30% INSTANT rakeback directly into your player account. This is a great deal! The software is decent but they are still working out a few quirks. I wholeheartedly recommend the site, though. Cashouts to my Neteller account took about 24 hours.)

I also finished 5th or 6th in a PKR.com freeroll, winning $7. However, I can’t use the money. I had trouble buying in at a cash game after the tournament and when I called support, I was told that U.S. citizens were not allowed to participate in real money play at the current time. The company, which I believe is based in the United Kingdom and is licensed in the States of Alderney (a British crown dependency, according to Wikipedia), is concerned about recent U.S. legal rumblings over online gambling. The customer support guy told me that I could request a check or wait a few weeks when he believes real money accounts would open up to Americans. Right now I’m just waiting. I don’t know if trying to cash a seven dollar check is worth the trouble.

But if you want to get some kicks, check out their software. To prepare yourself, just imagine if you were playing poker on Xbox or Sony PlayStation 2. It’s that intense. But the first time you run the program you might want to go make yourself a sandwich. Or two. It will take several minutes to install. Much longer than any other poker site I’ve used.

Also, I might mention that I found Professor77’s PokerNation site helpful in fine-tuning my NL tournament play. You can check out his tips here. His advice is geared towards getting you in the money without taking too many risks. I basically followed his chart by the numbers and I found some success with it. I believe my success rate will be even higher playing single table SNGs. I’ll keep you posted on that.

I can’t rave enough about PokerSavvy.com! I received my free iPod shuffle two days ago from them. The deals they offer are for real, folks. I paid zero, zip, nada for my little digital music baby. Not even shipping and handling. Yesterday I was browsing their shop section and I saw that I could’ve gotten $90 deposited in my Neteller account instead. I’ll have to do that next time. So, you ask, what did I do to deserve this wonderful treatment? Hell, what you think, man? Played poker, that’s all I talk about here. I just did the free signup with PokerSavvy, opened a new real money account with Mansion Poker, and played the required hands. PS has deals with about 20 different poker rooms. So I suggest before you open up another real account anywhere check with them AND BonusWhores.com and see who has the best deal. I found that with some sites you can get the same deal as BonusWhores plus the freebies with PokerSavvy. So just do your research my friends. I only wish I had known all this when I first started playing online poker.

The other thing I did when I went broke is that I took advantage of a couple of no deposit bonuses I found through BonusWhores. Each one was about $10. This was money I got just for signing up with Dream Poker, which is on the Prima network, and also Pitbull Poker. BW has all the details. I didn’t have any success building the funds up, though. I would have had a better chance if either site offered $2 NL tables. Their smallest NL games had $.05/$.10 blinds and I guess I just wasn’t up to the task at the time.

Whew! So I think I almost got you all up to speed. During my crash and burn incident I failed to keep daily records of my exact losses but I put the estimate at around $70 to $80. So when I consider my $80 of pure profit at PokerKnights, I am about where I started last Wednesday. Kinda funny, isn’t it? I think this is a good time to put a real plan in place to build a bankroll and start making some moves. The more I play poker, the more I realize that discipline and planning are big parts of any real, lasting success.

Starting tomorrow, when I anticipate seeing a $50 cashout to my Neteller account, I’m going to follow the plan of action suggested by titans01. On one of his recent posts he offers a path to building a bankroll up from 50 bucks. I’ll give it a whirl.

And as always, I’ll keep you posted.

spamalicious!

I hate 99.99999% of the spam I get. I cannot stand the stuff. And every night I fall down on my knees and thank God for email filters. But, I recently got an unsolicited message that was rather interesting and thought-provoking. So much so, that I wanted to share it in its entirety with you guys here.

You cannot spend 10 minutes at most any online poker room without running into someone complaining about receiving a bad beat or being outdrawn. I often hear other players speculating that Site X is rigged or something is “just not right.” Well, this guy, Roy Rounder, whom I had never heard of, offers one of the most sound, well articulated explanations for the “online bad beat syndrome” that I have ever come across.

One last thing: Now, Mr. Rounder didn’t just send me this message to earn frequent emailer points. He’s selling something. A poker program called SIT AND GO SHARK and also an e-book. I know nothing about either one. I haven’t used them, I’m not one of his affiliates, and I am neither recommending these products nor warning against them. I just wanted to share his letter. Here it is…

Makalani,

There are two types of bad beats:

BAD BEAT #1...

When you catch a monster hand but lose to a BIGGER monster
hand.

For example, let's say you're holding pocket Aces and the
flop hits A-6-6. That means you've got a full house.

Your opponent goes ALL-IN... and you call. You think your
Aces are the best hand but they're NOT, because your
opponent has pocket sixes, which gives him the
four-of-a-kind.

BAD BEAT #2...

When YOU have the best hand and your opponent has the WORST
hand but your opponent GETS LUCKY and wins the pot.

For example, let's say you have pocket Aces and go all-in.
Your opponent calls with pocket three's.

The flop hits 2-4-5 and the turn card is a 6, giving your
opponent the STRAIGHT and causing you to lose the hand.

Now that's a bad beat.

And let's face it, the SECOND type of bad beat-- the one
where your opponent gets totally LUCKY and outdraws you-- is
the kind of beat that just plain SUCKS. And pisses you off.

In fact, the second type of bad beat is the kind you
REMEMBER the most too. When someone says, "Hey man, how did
your card game go?", the first thing that will come out of
your mouth will be the story of that bad beat.

Am I right?

Now here's what's interesting...

MORE BAD BEATS HAPPEN IN ONLINE POKER THAN IN "REGULAR" LIVE
POKER.

Literally, you'll see more bad beats happen in an online
poker game than you'll see at a local cash game or in a
casino.

If you play both online and offline poker, I'm sure you
agree with this statement.

So what's going on here? Why would it be this way?

There are two popular "theories"...

1. Online poker is rigged.

2. There are more hands per hour, therefore it's an ILLUSION
that there are more bad beats.

My opinion is that BOTH of these theories are WRONG.

Here's why:

First off, I genuinely believe online poker is NOT rigged.
I mean, c'mon... Do you REALLY think these multi-billion
dollar casinos would need to RIG hands?

They make their money from tournament entry fees and
rakes... and trust me, they're making plenty.

OK, so what about the second theory?

Well, I do agree that there are more hands per hour in
online poker than offline poker. There's no disputing that.

But I don't think that's a good enough reason...

Because my belief is that there are MORE bad beats that
happen per X number of hands ONLINE than for offline poker.

For instance, let's say you played 100 hands. And let's say
you caught two really bad beats for every 100 hands at a
casino. That's 2%.

In online poker, you're likely to catch FIVE or even TEN of
those really bad beats per 100 hands. That's 5-10%.

So the fact that you're seeing MORE hands doesn't explain
the HIGHER PERCENTAGE of bad beats.

Still with me?

OK, so now let me give you MY "theory" about this.

It's not really a theory. Just good old simple logic,
actually.

Here it goes:

The reason there are more bad beats in ONLINE poker is
because the very NATURE of online poker leads people to PLAY
DIFFERENTLY.

The CARDS and ODDS are the same.

It's the PLAYERS that aren't the same.

What I mean is that for online poker, a LARGE portion of
players adopt the style of LOOSE-AGGRESSIVE.

Translation? Manic.

They act irrationally... play hands they shouldn't play...
and bet way too aggressively for most given situations.

Why?

Because online poker isn't as "real".

The money isn't as real. I mean, heck... the casinos give
you so much "free" money when you sign up, how COULD it feel
real?

The cards aren't real. The chips aren't real. The table
isn't real. NONE OF THAT STUFF EVEN EXISTS.

All you see when you play online poker are some silly little
animations. And you hear some "clickity-click" sounds of
fake chips.

That's it.

Nothing else.

Period.

And if you LOSE a game, all you have to do is make three or
four mouse clicks and you're INSTANTLY playing another game.

And hell, you can PLAY ten games at once if you want!

You can literally play poker against 100 players AT THE SAME
TIME!

It's a different world, my friend.

Now... let's get back to the bad beats.

The FACT that players are LOOSE-AGGRESSIVE is what leads to
the SITUATIONS where bad beats happen.

Here's why:

1. Players bet their draws more or call large bets with
draws or OK hands (i.e. bottom pair).

2. More players are involved in every pot.

3. The pots are bigger, since players are more aggressive.

When these conditions COMBINE TOGETHER, it creates an
environment where there are a lot of BIG POTS and bad beats.

It's not that the cards are "rigged".

It's that the betting patterns and playing styles are
DIFFERENT than what you're used to.

And when you combine that with the fact that you see more
hands per hour, it inevitably leads to seeing a lot more
"crazy" hands and bad beats than in regular poker.

OK, so now the obvious question becomes...

Is there any way to PREVENT bad beats?

The answer is yes and no.

Ultimately, bad beats will occur NO MATTER WHAT if you're
playing good poker. Because to win at poker, you've got to
be willing to take RISKS.

And most risks have a minimum 20% chance or more of NOT
working out in your favor.

With that being said, there ARE ways to prevent a LARGE
PORTION of the bad beats you'll see online.

Not only can you prevent them, but you can literally turn it
around and make it YOUR ULTIMATE ADVANTAGE.

The key is to "tilt the tables" in your favor and USE the
fact that players are so loose and aggressive to HELP YOU
win more pots.

The way you achieve this is by adopting a SPECIAL playing
style designed SPECIFICALLY for online poker...

My name for this "secret sauce" is this:

TIGHT-AGGRESSIVE SQUARED.

The concept of "tight-aggressive squared" is quite simple...

It starts with the logic that tight-aggressive is the most
effective playing style to use in poker.

Tight-aggressive means TIGHT with hand selection, AGGRESSIVE
with betting.

With online poker, there are more players in every hand.
That means you must play EVEN TIGHTER with your hand
selection.

You should ONLY play monster hands!

Period!

There's absolutely no reason to get involved with "decent"
hands because the odds are against you.

You're bound to run into players who are CHASING or who just
caught an extremely lucky flop.

When you DO get involved with a hand, you must be OVERLY
aggressive. The pot size will be bigger, so you can't lose
many hands or else you'll be out of the game in a hurry.

You must STRIKE... and you must STRIKE HARD.

You must risk ALL OF YOUR CHIPS-- frequently-- in order to
win.

Of course, it's much easier to risk all of your chips when
you have a GREAT HAND than it is otherwise.

You see, the goal is to do two things:

1. Force out all but one, maybe two players for any pot you
get involved with.

2. Have the odds so unbelievably stacked in your favor that
you win far more HUGE pots than you lose.

And when you win lots of big pots, you become chip leader
VERY QUICKLY. And that's how you take control over a poker
table.

The reason you want to force people OUT of the hand is
simple mathematics.

Let's say for instance you get pocket ACES.

Here's what three of your opponents are holding:

Player 1: K-K

Player 2: 10-9 suited

Player 3: Q-10 offsuit

Now, if you went heads-up against any of these hands
ONE-ON-ONE, your odds of winning would be about 80%. They'd
be 85% against Player 3.

BUT...

If you went up against ALL THREE of these opponents in one
single hand, your odds of winning is just 58.5%!

That's just over 50/50 with the absolute BEST starting hand
possible.

Get my point?

So when you GET pocket Aces, you need to FORCE OUT all but
one caller.

You've got to be VERY AGGRESSIVE.

In low stakes Sit and Go's and ring games online, that quite
often means going all-in.

Like I said, you've got to risk ALL your chips.

Now if you go all-in and one of those players makes a CALL,
you'll win four out of five times.

So if you get five big hands a game, you only lose ONCE. Of
course, that one you lose USUALLY won't wipe you out,
because you'll have more chips from the OTHER big hands...

Get my drift?

Literally, if I play low-stakes online Sit and Go's, here is
what my betting pattern looks like:

Fold
Fold
Fold
Fold
Fold
Fold
Limp-in
Fold
Limp-in
Fold
Fold
Fold
All-in
Fold
Fold
Fold
Fold
Fold
Fold
All-In
Fold

And so on...

I'm serious!

THIS IS HOW YOU WIN. It seems kind of "strange" to think
about, but this is it!

Now... when you get down to just a few players in a game,
it's time to bust out the strategies, bluffs, trick plays,
and so on.

BUT WHAT GETS YOU THERE is this TIGHT-AGGRESSIVE SQUARED
style of play.

OK, so now the question becomes...

If all you did was ever FOLD or go ALL-IN, why would anyone
ever CALL your bets?

What a great question.

And we've already gone over the answer...

It's because online poker isn't the same as offline poker.
The people on there are DISTRACTED and often STUPID and VERY
LOOSE.

That's all there is to it.

AND THAT IS PRECISELY WHY ONLINE POKER IS SO MUCH EASIER TO
MAKE MONEY AT... ONCE YOU LEARN THESE SECRETS.

Once you "crack the code", it's amazing how SIMPLE it is to
win at online poker.

It's actually SO SIMPLE and SO IRRATIONAL that I'm not sure
it will always be this way. It seems that all those fish out
there have GOT to go broke sooner or later.

But until that day comes, I'll be making hay while the sun
is shining...

And I recommend you do the same.

So, you've learned the basic style of play for online poker,
which is "tight-aggressive squared".

Use it, go win some pots, and let me know what you think.

If you find that it makes you some moola (which I know that
it will), then I invite you to download my software program
SIT AND GO SHARK(TM).

SHARK will "hold you by the hand" as you play Sit and Go's
and give you CUSTOMIZED ADVICE! It's pretty powerful stuff.

Click here to check it out:

http://www.SitAndGoShark.com/tl/422YQoW

Also, don't forget about my "underground" best-selling
eBook, "No Limit Holdem Secrets".

This eBook is jam-packed with strategies and techniques...
including many of the MORE ADVANCED tactics you can use to
win at Texas Holdem poker, whether it's online or offline.

Of course, even though a lot of the stuff you'll read in my
book is "pro-level", it's written in an easy-to-understand
and simple-to-follow way... just like this newsletter.

When you read the strategies, you'll be able to implement
them INSTANTLY.

So if you're ready to get a straight-from-the-hip, no B.S.
poker education, download my eBook right now... go here:

http://www.NoLimitHoldemSecrets.com/tl/423AvWx

I'll write to you again soon.

Your Friend,

Roy Rounder

------------------------------------------------------------
Disclaimer: I do not promote illegal, underage, or gambling
to those who live in a jurisdiction where gambling is
considered unlawful. The information within this site and
newsletter is being presented solely for entertainment
purposes. I will not be held responsible for any personal
loss of wagers or damages you may incur. Anyone concerned
about having a problem can contact Gamblers Anonymous for
further information.
------------------------------------------------------------

2 Old Brompton Road, Suite 191
South Kensington, London SW7 3DQ
England

reading is fundamental

Last night I experienced something strangely fantastic.

It was very much like when I got my first pair of glasses. After moving through life for so many years in a constant state of visual fuzz, all of a sudden things became clear. I could read signs off in the distance, I could tell if that girl across the room was really smiling at me, colors became more vibrant. I no longer had to squint out into world. I was more self-assured. Doubt dropped away from me like so much unnecessary clothing.

This is what I felt last night playing poker. Earlier during the day I had spent a few hours reviewing Renton’s articles (which I mentioned in my previous post). As I read and reread passages, my basic understanding of the game began to grow and expand. I began to see why I witnessed others make more money than me with identical hands. Leaks in my game became apparent. I started to see that I wasn’t just unlucky in many situations. I simply hadn’t truly understood concepts like hand strength and odds. I saw that I hadn’t known how to properly build a pot or how to get away from a hand that was most likely beat. I began to recognize my unhealthy and disproportionate fear of drawing boards. It slowly dawned on me that I had been missing countless opportunities every time I sat down at the poker table.

When I joined a $10 NL table at Pacific Poker last night, I only had $5.60 in my account. That was it. But, strangely, I didn’t feel that anxious. Rather I sensed a new confidence and I was eager to put into practice the information I had just acquired. I had a road map for my play. And I followed it.

I stuck to the guidelines Renton laid out, varying the hands I played based on position, preceding bets, consideration of who made the bets and the quality of my opponents’ play. I found myself paying more attention to the action in each round. I developed the ability to predict with some accuracy who would limp into each pot, who would call raises and who would fold. As I got deeper in the game, I was better able to put players on hands. And I slowly, but steadily, made money.

After two hours of looking at flops, I had tripled my money. Yeah, I know what you’re thinking. Big deal, 15 freaking dollars… oooohh! Well, you’re right, it’s not much money. I’ve had days when I’ve won $200 or $300 when it was all over. The thing that set this session apart from most that I’ve played was (1) the margin of profit and (2) the absence of wild dips in my bankroll. I can’t recall ever playing a session where, when the cards were put away and the computer turned off, I had tripled my money. There may have been periods during a session when, at some point, I had more than three times the money I started with, but I never left the table with that much. And that speaks to my other point—this session was characterized by a steady upward climb of my stack. Nothing fancy or dramatic, but always an increase in my chips.

Now, I’m aware that in the world of serious poker play, one cannot reasonably measure his success or failure on one day’s performance. One of those poker pros, probably Sklansky again, said something like the game never ends, the game is always running. So a better measure of my success will probably be a period of weeks, months, or even a year. Nevertheless, I am encouraged. It’s become clear to me that there are ever increasing levels of poker knowledge and play. I have only cracked open the door a bit.

I’ll keep you posted.

maybe i do want to be a french fry!

Yesterday I suffered my biggest loss since I started keeping this blog. $21.39. That is actually good news and bad news. Knowing that I’ll be sharing my performance with you gentle readers helps to keep me somewhat in check. The truth is, I went on micro-tilt.

By the time I sat down to play I was tired and, at the same time, over-eager to play. I had been out of the house most of the day and when I did finally get home, I took some time to make dinner for the family. The thing that really put me in a poor frame of mind was that I reviewed the upcoming household bills. As a result, that night’s session took on a new seriousness. My game had to improve and it had to improve now. If titans01 could make $125 a day, damnit, so could I.

I decided that I would review an article (Preflop, Postflop Part I, Postflop Part II) by Renton from the Flop Turn River forum while I played. He claims to have made $12,000 playing small stakes NLHE over a period of four months. In a series of articles he shares his winning strategy. So I made a hard copy of the piece, pulled out pencil and highlighter, and steeled myself for the influx of profound poker knowledge I was about to receive.

With all of the above swarming in my mind, I fired up Pacific Poker. Back to the $10 NL tables. I had just over $30 in my account. Okay, this is do or die, I thought. I would read a sentence from the article and then try to put it into practice while I played.

This approach didn’t work well. After just a quick scan of the techniques suggested by Renton, I got the impression that the biggest change in my game would be playing with greater positional awareness. Fundamentally I would be playing more hands based on seat position and table dynamics. That sounds reasonable. The problem with what I was doing was that I was splitting my attention between the article and the table. I hadn’t even gotten through the first page of the strategy and I was missing most of the action on the table. So I was actually playing with less awareness rather than more.

So let’s think about this… More hands, more aggression, less awareness equals…? Hmmm…. anyone, anyone? That’s right, increasingly shorter stack. But I gotta get this bill money! One hundred twenty-five dollars in the next 30 minutes! Damn, beat again! Let me reload. What? That guy who has only played 22% of the hands is raising from under the gun, I’m in middle position, let me reraise him with KT suited. Awww, f@#%, he has a pair of queens!!

And it went on like that for a couple of hours.

I began to think, who am I kidding? What do you mean you want to be a serious poker player? Get over yourself. You are a joke. You better go back to the play money tables where you actually had a chance. Then I reminded myself that there is a right way to approach a goal, any goal, and there is a wrong way. And with the right guidance, the right attitude, the right approach, I can find success.

So, today, for starters, I’m going to finish reading that article. The entire article. Away from the poker table. And I’m gonna take some notes and try to digest it.

And, yeah, maybe I do want to be a serious poker player!

you gotta know when to fold ‘em

Yesterday was all about damage control. I’m slowly getting better about pushing away from the table when I realize that I’m beat, either by myself or by my opponents across the digital felt.

I started off the day with a profit. After 4 hours playing $25 NL at PartyPoker, I walked away $17 ahead. I felt like I had got into a nice groove at the table and in fact I was the big stack there. I reluctantly left because I needed to eat lunch. After a hearty meal, I sat back down at another table but this time I chose a six max game. I had read somewhere that short-handed games were potentially more profitable. I wasn’t really that happy about my earlier session. Making 17 bucks over four hours works out to just over $4 an hour. I want the big money, baby! At least $10 an hour. I mean, make it worth my time, right?

I was mildly uneasy about the table I chose, however. The only open seat was to the right of a player who had over $90. And he was playing a big stack game. But after my earlier success I figured I could negotiate the table dynamics easily. A half hour later and $12 poorer, I remember the other part about playing six max tables. You can also lose money faster. The one thing I felt good about, though, was my decision to leave the table when it became obvious that I was at a disadvantage. In the recent past I would have stayed and tried to do battle with Mr. Big Stack. And I probably would have lost my entire buy-in.

By that time I had had enough of Party for one day, plus my bankroll there was getting dangerously low. I went back over to Pacific where I had about $35 and the option to play $10 NL. I started out well there, got up early and continued making money until I ended up on the wrong end of a straight. I thought I was trapping my opponent with a ten high straight. Turns out he had jack high. I lost most of my stack on that one hand. I played for another 15 minutes then went to bed. Again, I felt that I had played reasonably well. I didn’t make any outrageous mistakes and I didn’t tilt.

Another thing I remember David Sklansky saying is: After a losing session, one way to find comfort is to consider that a lesser player would have lost more money in the same situation. All told, my net loss was $5.60.

And I can honestly say I feel pretty good about that.

please observe the fasten seatbelt sign

Yesterday was one of those mildly frustrating days. One of those days when I’m just irritated with myself and my inability to avoid wild, negative swings in my bankroll.

I started off the day losing my last $10 over at MansionPoker.com. I had originally signed up over there to get the 100% signup bonus plus savvy points at PokerSavvy.com. I got enough points for an iPod Shuffle at PokerSavvy (which is a really sweet deal) and I’m working on more points for the Nano now. However, I didn’t earn any bonus money at Mansion. I probably will have to see many more hands to get even close, considering the small stakes I play. By the way, Mansion has a pretty nice site; homegrown software, clean interface, user friendly. With a few improvements (currently there is no way to see the mucked hands of opponents who go to showdown and getting to the hand history page at all is rather painful) and more player traffic, this new site will move up on my list of favorites.

Next, I signed on at Party. I had $50 in my account over there. I promised myself right away that I would play conservatively and smart. Avoid big pots was my mantra. I signed up for a sit & go one table tournament ($11 buy-in). After a few rounds of play I realized that it was Limit Hold’em. At first I was pissed at my mistake but I got over it after I won the tourney. So that was a $39 profit. And I was feeling pretty good by now.

I tried another SNG, this time a two table tourney. I busted out early in 16th place. My hand selection was decent but I lost a lot chips early when I got over involved in a pot with pocket 77s and had to fold to an all in bet and a board heavy with overcards. Later I shoved preflop with a pair of jacks and lost to a flush.

Okay… From there I decided to try my hand at ring games. I usually look for a game with a high percentage of players seeing the flop but, unless I’m missing this vital information somewhere, PartyPoker doesn’t list that data in the lobby. So I settle for tables with larger average pot sizes. With my current bankroll, I play the lowest limit games. I found a decent $.10/$.25 No Limit game. After two hours I was up 28 bucks. Not bad, considering the stakes. After all, I had more than doubled my buy-in. In my poker diary, which is just a table I have set up in Excel tracking my results, in the notes section for this session I wrote: “Played with patience, fairly tight, didn’t try to buy pots.” For the next session during which I lost $50 later that night, I wrote: “Did the opposite of above.”

By this time I was pissed off and tired (I hadn’t slept well the night before). I should have just called it a night. Although I knew better, I felt driven to win some of my money back. I did, however, make something of a compromise with myself. I chose to play another $11 SNG, thereby limiting the money I might lose. Sleep overpowered me about 15 minutes into the tourney. Hitting my ace on the flop, I went all in with top pair, I think I had A8. I remember thinking, “F*** it.” That usually isn’t a sign of a good decision. Another player called me and he showed AJ.

I busted out and took my behind to bed.

where everybody knows your name

Why I like online poker even when I’m losing…

Some sites, like Pacific Poker, are dead, it’s like a funeral parlor at the table. No chatting whatsoever, maybe due to the unwieldy chat box, maybe because many of the players are multi-tabling. Some sites have players that are just plain mean. Everyone is a poker snob, sitting around a $.01/$.02 table berating opponents who play badly. Hello… It’s the one cent/two cent table!! Then there are some sites, mainly the smaller, newer ones like Bodog and Mansion, where signing on to play poker is like going to your local bar. There’s always a lot of familiar faces (or screen names, in this case), plenty of laughs and good natured ribbing.

Some snippets from last night’s session at Mansion:

diesel1115 says: “all in GAYBOY”

diesel1115 says: “nh gayboy”

gaboy80 says: “thx”

blackscribe says: “there you go, diesel”

blackscribe says: “ha ha”

I played with diesel before and he’s a character, notice that the other guy’s name is gaboy, NOT gayboy. Makes me laugh even now.

blackscribe says: “hey, diesel”

diesel1115 says: “sup?”

blackscribe says: “i just started a poker blog”

blackscribe says: “when you get a chance check it out”

blackscribe says: “https://splashingthepot.wordpress.com/”

diesel1115 says: “sure, what kind of virus will I get?”

blackscribe says: “no, dude, this is real, look at the url”

blackscribe says: “it’s hosted by wordpress”

blackscribe says: “they are legit”

blackscribe says: “no banners or ads or anything”

blackscribe says: “just my grand thoughts”

Nothing like a little shameless plug, right?

blackscribe says: “you should let me bust you so i’ll have something to write about, diesel”

diesel1115 says: “I’d have to ‘let you bust me’ cause it won’t happen otherwise”

Well, he didn’t and it didn’t happen. I’ll get him next time.

And this exchange after I missed out on hitting trip queens:

blackscribe says: “damnit”

blackscribe says: “folded QJ”

diesel1115 says: “why?”

diesel1115 says: “and you have your own poker blog???”

Later, allinstu builds his stack up to $100 (this on the $.05/$.10 table):

allinstu says: “100”

gaboy80 says: “wowww”

blackscribe says: “wow”

gaboy80 says: “i thought u had the 9”

allinstu says: “118 last night”

gaboy80 says: “nice…gl”

blackscribe says: “what’s your secret, stu?”

blackscribe says: “just between you and me”

diesel1115 says: “quit hitting on the guy blacky”

allinstu says: “play everything”

blackscribe says: “diesel, do you have some deep, latent homosexual urges?”

allinstu says: “lol”

blackscribe says: “everything is gay with you”

Here’s me waxing sentimental:

blackscribe says: “i’ll deal with you later, gotta go see what my wife wants… brb”

allinstu says: “i got 30 on the 10/20”

allinstu says: “bad mistake”

blackscribe says: “had to go change my son’s diaper”

diesel1115 says: “tnks for the info blacky”

blackscribe says: “hey, you guys are like my poker family”

diesel1115 says: “that’s sad,,,,,,very sad”

blackscribe says: “i’ve got tears in my eyes over here”

So I enjoyed myself last night. And it only cost me seven bucks.

asleep at the mouse

Last night I shouldn’t have even been playing. It was late, I was tired—I had literally been on the computer all day trying to get this blog set up to my liking, checking out countless other web logs for design and content. When I finally did sign on to Pacific Poker, I found myself nodding between hands, this close to bouncing my head off the keyboard.

In the 25 minutes I’d been at the table I’d played three hands: a pair of tens (which I ended up folding on the turn to a strong raise and a probable flush on the board), a pair of kings, and KJ off suit from the small blind. I was playing $.25/$.50 No Limit ($50 max) and I was down $13. In the last hand of the night for me, I picked up pocket sixes. I ended up getting into a preflop raising war with the big stack at the table. I thought he was trying to make a play at me, since he was on the button. So I pushed all in. Bad move. He called. Neither of us got help from the board. But he didn’t need help. He showed pocket kings.

I guess I need work on my reads.

When he reraised me the second time preflop, I should’ve known I was beat. But I suffered from the offspring of fatigue and frustration—poor judgment. I remember watching a David Sklansky video and one of the few reasons he gave for leaving a cash game was becoming too tired. He said that he didn’t believe in bad cards or the concept of quitting while you were ahead. But he did say if it became obvious that you were at a disadvantage, whether it was that you were being outplayed, emotionally upset, distracted, or just tired, then it was time for you to get up and leave.

The truth for me is that I should have never sat down last night.