Glenn's Poker Journal

Husband to FeliciaLee.. here are some of my poker adventures in 'bilking the internet poker machine, six dollars at a time' (--quoted from Sean, Anisotropy).

Location: United States

NOT a poker blogger!

Thursday, April 29, 2004


This Tuesday and Wednesday, Felicia and I found us at Binion’s again. She wanted to be able to play more satellites, and I don’t blame her. She won yet another lammer (having chopped)! Go Felicia!

I, of course, played the no limit (NL) games. This time around, however, was not as successful. I sometimes wonder if it was my play, but really, I think it’s one of those situations where “they told me there’d be days like this”.

I suppose I should have known things would go down hill on this first big hand. Tight player I’ve seen play before raises in our 2/5 blind NL game to 20. Folds to me and I see AK (one heart, one diamond); I call. Ace on the flop. Good to go! He bets 60. I call; no raise, I know the player well enough; I’m putting him on AK too. Turn is another A, this time, the A of spades, which puts 3 spades on the board. He bets 80. Now I’m sure we have the same hand. After I called the flop bet, I really don’t think he’ll be betting into me with less than AK, and there are no other royals on the board to give him two pair or a possible set from a high-wired pair; so I just flat call. River, another spade. He checks his hole cards and makes it 300. Duh. I’m not stupid. I know we have the same hand, say so, but add that he ran me down and chuck my hand. He courteously shows me AK with the K of spades. I stick another hundred under my stack and play on.

Another hand comes where I raise to 15 UTG w/ AQo and get 5 callers. Not exactly what I was looking for. Flop is Q99, two hearts. I really don’t want to check it, and I know I got a lot of callers, but at the same time, they know how tight I am so I don’t put anyone on a 9. Still, I bet 15 as a feeler bet. I get one caller. This guy is loose and plays most pots. He keeps checking his hole cards and I figure I’m done with the hand until the dealer turns up another 9 on the turn. Hmm, does he now have me with four 9’s? I bet 15 again, thinking it’s now less likely that he has another 9, and I don’t want him drawing to a K for a higher full house. I suppose I could have made it more, it was argued as such, but I know how loose the guy is and didn’t want to lose him if he had a smaller wired pair. River is the T of hearts. OK, I have the best full house (without him having KK or AA in the hole), but he’s calling all the way, so I check, thinking it might be a split pot. He bets 20. I’m wondering if he has the case 9, but call anyway, too much money in the pot. He turns over KJ of hearts for the rivered, gut-shot straight flush! OMG. He drew to his flush with a boat on board, but got his one outer. I should have stopped playing altogether right there. But I couldn’t, I figured I’d get some of my money back from him.

I did the Mike Caro and got on the loose guy’s (LG) left once a seat opened. Caro talks about how the money flows clock-wise on the table. Being on LG’s right, I might raise him out of pots that I might otherwise trap him in for, at least, his bring-in. LG, however, gets in a big pot that doubles him up. It’s funny how you can see things so clearly when you’re not in the hand. Flop is Q4Q and it goes check, check, bet, call, raise, call all-in, reraise all-in, call. I figured two people for Q’s and one for 4’s full. I was dead on. LG had the 44, and although the first all-in made a higher boat when he paired his suited 5 kicker, he was so short stacked (wonder why) that LG still doubled through from the bring-ins. After that, LG played till his blind and left. Felicia came by a little later and I think we ended up going to get something to eat. I was 210 down.

After eating, I actually had a great session. Had a tipsy maniac (TM) at our table that wanted to see every flop. Would bet anything, and sometimes nothing. I almost doubled through him in one hand where I had KK and raised to 20 pre-flop (2/5 blind again). He called, stating that since I played with him when he raised, he’d do the same. Why thank you! Flop came Q63, two clubs. I bet around the pot, 70 (we had one other caller pre). TM looks at his whole cards and goes all-in for about 160. Dude in the middle looks at his cards, but mucks. I think for a minute. I could very well be possible for him to have 63o, that’s the way he played. But I have seen him bluff before and, although he must know I have a big hand and shouldn’t be bluffing me, I called anyway getting about 4-1 on my money. Well, I was close on his hand: 64o. He had middle pair and a 3 straight. He called an all-in earlier with a gut-shot and got there, so I wasn’t too surprised. He almost got there, he was 4 straight by the turn, but the river was another 3, giving me the winner with KK’s-up. I ended that session 140 ahead.

Felicia and I called it a night and found a room.

The next day I started playing again. Played another 2/5 for about an hour and a half and got nothing. I called a couple small raises with marginal hands with multiple people in, but never made anything. Mostly I was blinded down to 100 down before they called me for my table change.

Switched over to a 1/2 blind NL game and immediately started doing better. No big memorable hands, but I ended 68 up in an hour.

Felicia pulled me away for a Wednesday Poker Discussion Group (WPDG) meeting. We had never been to one and she really wanted me to be there with her, so I went. I would play all day if you let me, but I guess I could use some grub (-grin-), not to mention I really was interested to join in the meeting. I was a fun meeting (the Kung Pao chicken was great) and I actually participated in the discussion of a NL hand that someone brought up. Two respected people complimented me on my comments too. Bonus!

Back to the tables after dinner! You know I just can’t get enough. I was able to get into another 1/2 game fairly quickly.

Almost right away, a short stack bets 30 or his last 45 and I see AQs. Tournament mentality kicked in and I called. Before the flop he asks if I’m going to call his last 15, I say “sure” and he sticks it in blind. I really should have had bells going off, but for whatever reason, I stuck in another 15 and he showed his QQ. Ugh. I should have remembered reading in Ciaffone and Steward’s NL and PL (pot limit) book about bets that are large relative to the opponents stack size and known that he had a high-wired pair. 30 pre-flop is not that uncommon a raise for the 2/5 table and I had a calling hand for that table, but, again, didn’t think about where I was, at the 1/2 table. So, two errors on my part there.

Couple hands later, I have KQ in the big blind and flop top two. It’s rainbow, but anyone with JT would be drawing for free if I checked, so I potted it. I got a caller to my left. Turn is a T. I pot it again and get raised. I reraise, thinking he might have KT or KJ and want to charge him. River is a blank and, although a straight is out there, it would have been a gut-shot so I quickly dismiss it and pot it again, which puts me all-in. He shrugs and calls. He had the straight. He called a pot bet with a gut-shot. I quickly bring out two hundred more. With people this bad, I’m not leaving. I should have slowed down with the raise, but he didn’t reraise me on the turn, which just enforced that he didn’t have the straight. That part, at least, was a good play by him.

One of the pros from the WPDG came to our table. She sat three seats to my left (I was 6 seat, she was 9). Not good position for me, but I did want to see how she played. She bought into the 1/2 table for 500. Largest I’ve seen someone buy in for on that table.

I got some starting hands here and there that didn’t go anywhere and got a little blinded down to 173 when this hand came up. I was big blind: seat 8 limps, pro in 9 seat limps, seat 2 limps (the total fish at our table, saw every hand), seat 3 makes it 10 total. When it gets to me, I see 77 and call the raise, knowing that others will call to and I felt I had good implied odds. Everyone calls the raise, so there’s about 51 in the pot to start (5 people for 1, plus 1 from the SB that folded). Flop is 972, two hearts. I check my second set, knowing that seat 3 will bet. Seat 8 and 9 check. Seat 2, the fish, actually bet 10 into the pot. He would always bet a red bird if he had any pair, but 10 means he probably had top pair. Seat 3, I’m guessing, had an over pair and made it 30. I shove all-in for my remaining 163, wanting to shutout any flush and/or straight draws. Seat 8 folds. Pro in seat 9 scrunches her brow and asks how much I have and goes into a think tank. After a minutes she shoves all-in! What the heck? I wondered if she slow played top set. Her all-in folds seat 2 and 3 and we get heads-up. I ask her if she has top set and she says no, top pair and flush draw, turning over T9 of hearts. OMG. I couldn’t believe the move. I gathered she wanted to shut out any others drawing to the same flush, since she wasn’t drawing to the nuts. Of course, the turn is the 4 of hearts and the board fails to pair on the end. Again, with calls like that, I bring another 300 to the table, even being 400 down at that point.

I’m thinking that she felt to call the raise I must have had an over pair. It’s the only thing I can think of. After plugging some hands into, I find that if I had AA, she was actually a 52% favorite! However, my having a set, I’m a 68% favorite. She obviously did not put me on a set. I’m thinking as a pro, she was taking the odds that I hopefully had an over pair. If she knew she was a slight favorite in that situation, it makes sense. 51 in the pot pre-flop + 10 by seat 2 + 30 by seat 3 + my 163 makes it 144, but she had to call 163. This is where I get off track. It’s close, but she really didn’t have 2-1. Plus, there were two others in the pot that might have called and have to contend the pot multi-way. After she left, seat 8 (who was an excellent player) and I got into a discussion. He mentioned the viperous way I shoved all-in and put me on a set, like I was just waiting to spring. How she failed to notice this, I don’t know. Shrug. He felt, however, if I was deeper (had more money) she wouldn’t have been able to call. At the 1/2 table, there are few that have more than 200, so I don’t bother to buy-in for more than that. Perhaps I will bring more in the future.

After buying in again, I made 43 back. By that time, Felicia came back and was tired. We headed home, talking about the hands and her satellites.

So, I’m still learning this NL game. Although I lost big this time, I don’t feel I did too much badly. I always had the best of it to start. The straight to the top-two hand, I perhaps shouldn’t have gone all-in before he acted on the river, but I definitely put him on the wrong hand. The QQ vs. AQ, obviously, was a bad call. The other ones, I know I had the best of it. That’s what we do in poker, put our money in when we have the best of it. While the odds might be in my favor in the majority of the hands above, that’s no guarantee that I’ll win. They said there’d be days like this.

Posted by Glenn

Monday, April 26, 2004

Back to Vegas for WSOP $1500 Stud Event

This past weekend Felicia and I made our way back to Vegas so that she could play the WSOP $1500 Stud Event. Last time we were there she won two $500 lammers in a satellite shootout (go Felicia! : ) . While she still planned to play some more sat’s to try to win her way completely into the tournament, she was 2/3rds the way there.

We got there Thursday and played just a little. I think I made $44 in the 2/5 blinds NLHE (no limit hold’em) cash game in a record 15 minutes. I can’t even really recall what I had and how I won it so quickly. I just know, I love no limit!

I believe we ended up calling it an early night.

Next day she was off to do more satellites and I went back to my no limit games. I tried the 1/2 blinds some, but, while they only have a minimum $100 buy-in, the players will bet the same amounts that they do in the 2/5 with a $200 min buy-in; which is crazy for the stack sizes. Mostly I played 2/5, making a little profit here and there, usually no more than $50. Felicia usually took that profit and tried the satellites. Just call me “Sugar Daddy”. :p

Felicia ended up winning a seat to a super in one of the satellites. She had no intention of playing, just wanted to make a profit by selling the seat. Wouldn’t you know it? All the players already had a seat and were just trying to win a rebuy! LOL! So, she did what any tournament player would do…she played the super!

I rail-birded while she played. Luckily she was only one table away and, while I couldn’t make out the boards, I could usually see what she had when she was all-in. I watched her flip up some of those here and there: KQs once on a steal that didn’t hold up (BB was almost to the felt and defended w/ 66); Couple times with KK—last one didn’t hold up and put her in bad chip position. She went all-in in her next BB with her last 2 chips (classic Felicia-style) without looking. I know she needed to do this, but it hurt when I saw the 83o. No help and she was gone. Still, she was in a $250 tournament for $50; and she lasted a heck of a lot longer than I would have, being that I wouldn’t have been as aggressive as she. This is the type of play that makes her a much better tournament player than myself.

We tried the new Golden Nugget poker room. Very nice place. They are going to eventually move it, but I hope that they keep the look. I found a 4/8 Omaha 8 game open and joined. Boy these guys were bad. One lady calling every hand, any raise. One memorable hand, I raised in mid-position w/ AQsAJs and was called all around! (At this point we were short handed with 5 players. I bet the flop, as it gave me a nut flush draw, but then checked the turn when a low would have gotten there. Check, check, check. River: check, check, check, check, check. I spread my hand on the table declaring, “well the flush didn’t get there, so I still just have AA’s.” It was comical to see these boneheads all staring at their hands and having to muck. One or two hand top pair, but no one had more than one pair. No one even had a low! I scooped it. Unbelievable. I got counterfeited on the river on one of my hands—low didn’t get there once or twice. I ended up $44 for about 1/2 hour worth of play.

At this point, Felicia had me come over and play her chips in the 1/2 blind NLHE game they had going. She was going to play a $225 single table shoot-out they called a satellite for the $2000 NLHE WSOP event the next day. Either way, it was winner-take-all, whether or not that person chooses to do the $2000 tournament. She told me most the players from the NLHE game went to play the satellite and that the majority of them were horrid. So, I played her chips. I topped her off from my winnings at the O8 and played the short-handed game. Boy I suck short-handed. I lost about $50 in that game altogether; mostly from a flopped nut flush by the SB that probably just wanted to steal. I chose to defend that time with T8s and got two pair. He checked his nut flush on the flop and I took a stab at the pot and got called. When he called, I stopped betting. After my check on the turn, he bet into me on the river; no more diamonds, so I was hoping my two pair was good, but I certainly didn’t raise him. He showed me the nut flush, I showed him my two pair and told him “good hand”. Went back and forth a little bit, but after a while it got to 3 handed and I knew to get out. The two players that left I considered the weakest; of the other two that were left with me, I considered myself the weakest and got the heck outta Dodge. At least I can say that was the only loosing session for me for the weekend.

Back at Binion's, I even managed a $46 profit out of about 1/2 hour play at a 4/8 table. I didn’t like the way the table dynamics changed at the 2/5 NLHE table I was at, and the lists were long for the 1/2 tables. So I went over to the other side of the room where they had the low stakes. I was hoping to find some stud games, besides 1-5, with the $1500 Stud event coming up, but no way. That sucks; I really enjoyed playing the 4/8 games at Bellagio and the 5/10 at the Tropicana. While I know that I can win at the 1-5, it’s more of a grind. Ending up at the 4/8 HE game, I got my profit basically with one hand: AA’s of course ;-) UTG limped, UTG+1 raised, I reraised, and the SB was wondering whether or not to call. I know the more people in, the more chance I have to be out drawn, so I think twice, while the dealer was saying “8 more”, I was saying “TEN more to call”. He he. He finally figured out I wanted him to fold and did so. The BB took the flop though. I bet the flop and turn, but chicken out on the river when the board paired (not to mention the possible straight on the board). I showed down my AA’s and they were good. At that point, Felicia wanted to eat, so I cashed out my winnings and we headed out. Binion’s is my new favorite casino!

On the day of the $1500 Stud tournament, we slept in and took it easy. Had breakfast and made our way to the upstairs at Binion’s. I found a spot on the bleachers and kept myself rooted there. Mas ( came in at one point during the tournament, and I, unfortunately, didn’t get to talk to him much, as a very talkative gentleman was talking with me at the time. Interesting fellow though.

I watched Felicia during the whole tournament. She’s amazing. I wish I could see the table and cards more, but due to my vantage point, I could really only see when she was betting in a hand. I loved watching her though. Almost every time I saw her enter a hand, I saw her raking in the chips after. That’s my girl! She’s a tight player, however, and with increasing blinds and one river beat, she ended up playing on a short stack for a while. Then she had a great hand that I saw her call a raise with a 6-door card. Was curious about this, until she raised on 4th when she picked up an A: so, split 66s with an A kicker. There were two others in the pot with her, and I saw the middleman call the two bets cold. What the heck did he have? I found out from her later that he was on a straight draw that got there! Fortunately, once I saw that she was all-in before the hand was over, I was freaking out at her board: it was all black! I couldn’t tell if it was all the same suit though. It was; she re-sucked out on the straight with a flush! That’ll teach ‘em ;-)

Later I saw her go up against Ted Forrest in what was to be her last hand. I kept waiting for her to make a move, and with a K door, she did: “complete!” But what’s this? She’s calling a reraise! I couldn’t see what Ted had, but could only guess at her flat call that he must be showing an A. On 4th he lead out and now she raised. Even with his back to me, I could see the wheels turning in his head. He knew she had him at that point, but he had too many chips and she too little. He called. He called the bet on 5th too. On 6th, she was all-in. She had raised on 4th after she made KK’s-up. By the end, however, Ted ran her down with AA’s-up.

As the floor men seemed to be running the last of the $2000 NLHE event, the $1500 Stud event AND another super to the main WSOP event, no one was keeping the “players remaining” total updated. Felicia stood there and counted the remaining players. She was out at 49th out of 258. I was very proud of her. I know that she was very upset, but I still think she did a wonderful job.

I watched her play as the weakest links at the table kept getting busted, and she and Forrest remain at the table. I know she really loves Stud and she did a great job. I also know that she’ll be back! She was so close to the money this her first time playing in a WSOP event. I’m sure she’ll be in the money soon.

Posted by Glenn

Monday, April 19, 2004

Vegas WPT Satellite and Live No Limit

I'm sure most people that are here have read Felicia's site and, therefore, know that I won a seat to play a super satellite for the WPT event at Bellagio.

Felicia and I rolled into town on Friday night. We were provided rooms at the Monte Carlo. After checking in, we of course hit the poker room ;-) Once there, we put on names on the lists; one of which was for a NLHE game :-D Whoohoo! Walking around the room we chanced upon "Little Gene", one of the players that we knew from the Belle that also won a seat to the satellite (although he won his at the Riverside Casino). He was doing well at the 4/8 game, being about $300 up! We chatted a bit, and then I was called to the 2/4 (I put my name on all the lists). Typical game: a lot of loose calling; one semi-maniac raising. I didn't get much to play, so I didn't really get hurt. I then got called to 4/8. I got run down a bit there; for example, my reraised preflop with QQ getting cold called by K7s. Felicia got a couple good hands and covered my loss.

During our conversation w/ Gene, he tells us that we might want to check in at Bellagio. We called, and although we really didn't want to leave the hotel, we went to "check-in" and get a seat receipt. Once there, I kind of wanted to play, (of course ; ) but I could tell Felicia didn't (she doesn't really like how noisy Bellagio is), so we called it a night and headed back to Monte Carlo and bed.

In the morning we ate and headed over to Bellagio for the satellite. Man was it chaotic! Poker stars abounded. We saw several walking and playing. It was fun seeing all the faces live and in person. The only one I actually saw playing was Johnny Chan. I wanted to scope out my tournament seat, so I didn't watch for long. We found several people from the Belle there to cheer us all on; it was nice to see them. Little Gene informed me that we got WPT shirts and hats for playing the satellite.. kewl! So we went and got ours.

I scouted out my seat and was lucky to find that I didn't have any WCP to contend with (whew). One bearded guy (BG) came around and introduced himself to all the players sitting at our table; very personable. Found out seat 9, wearing shades (Shades) was from Cincinnati and has been traveling around playing. Hmm, have to watch him if he's a circuit player. Little Gene happened to be at my table. I told him to remember how tight I was, and that if I went all-in to just fold; he said fine as long as I did the same, haha. I was in seat 7, BG was seat 2 and Little Gene was in seat 4.

The start of the tournament I was a little nervous, but it wasn't too bad, being that Felicia and Little Gene were there too. Pauly showed up with his brother to watch and cheer me on and it was nice to meet him. Seemed down to earth, nice guy. (Was funny though, that Felicia told me later Pauly asked if I was mad about something when I was playing.. she had to tell him, no, that I always look like that, lol.)

Early on I got a lot of little pairs like 88 twice, 66, 55, and 44. Usually always in later position where I could get in cheap. Never got anything with them and had to give them up. Once or twice, got caught into calling a minimum raise with them (the players were being very passive in the early rounds). All these calls ate into my stack a little.

Since the players were being passive, and many times there were lots of limpers, I took the opportunity to steal the bring ins whenever I had a group 1 or AK and just went all-in. I was folded to every time but one. BG guy seemed a little upset after I went in about the 4th time. He called me with AQo; I had KK :-) He got no help and I doubled up, being that he covered me, but I left him crippled.

We started with T5000 in chips and this brought me up to a little over T10k. Ahh, feels good to double up. This was especially good, as we were into the 4th level, where they started taking antes. The structure was really good with 40-minute levels, but once they start taking antes, it really adds a little pressure to keep playing to accumulate chips to stay ahead.

During this same level I got 99 in middle position and it was passed around to me. The blinds being 200/400, I made it 1500 to go. BG was in the BB and I wanted to put him all-in should he call. I got called by Shades, who at this point had about 3x my chips (if not more). Shades had gotten one really lucky hand where, once again, a number of people limped then called a light raise, and he ended up making a flush vs. someone's top two of AK. When the guy was busted and was wondering how he could have called the guy's huge turn bet, Shades replied that he had a gut-straight and flush draw and a pair giving him what he thought was 14 outs. A bit of luck and solid play and he was by far the chip lead at the table.

Anyway, when Shades called my bet, I was clearly not happy. I figured, I know he's solid and I'm going to have to watch what happens. The flop was T8x. Putting Shades on a large ace, I fired at the pot with 2000, hoping to take the pot right there. I got called. Oh boy, I figured I was done with the hand. Then, what should come off the turn but a 9, giving me a set. I announced all-in, and Shades almost beat me putting in all his chips. What?? I couldn't put him on a straight, calling such a large preflop raise w/ QJ. about TT!! My heart sank. He had top set on the flop and let me bet it for him. I got trapped w/ turning my set and was out of the satellite, victim of set-under-set after 3 hours of play. Arrrrgg.

I, of course, replayed the hand over and over and over. I couldn't believe it. I must have misplayed. I talked to Felicia about it and she was unsure if she would have played the hand at all. Hmm, not sure I really could have let it go completely. I didn't want BG an easy chance at more chips, since it was his blind. I also knew that I probably was done with the hand once Shades called. The flop, however, with no ace and no king, made me feel safe versus what I thought Shades could be holding. Felicia did agree though, that once I had my set, there was no way out; I had to have all my chips in the center. *Sigh*

I wanted to play again right away, so we headed to the poker room. It was teaming. Felicia hated the noise. My legs felt wobbly. I finally agreed to go get out of there. We ended up eating and talking more of the hand; it sucked to be out. I wanted to play out my frustration. Felicia told me that Little Gene had talked about playing a satellite at Binion's that he won and got lamers that gained him entry into a super satellite for the WSOP. She wanted to play one of the minor Stud events so we went down there to see if they had any satellites for them. I didn't care as long as I could play. I needed to get my mind over the loss.

Felicia ended up finding out that the lamers could be used for entry into any tournament, so she signed up for one of the single table NLHE shootouts, while I put my name on the 2/5 NLHE game they had going. I was able to get in pretty quickly and Felicia watched for a little while. She whispered to me that it seemed pretty tight, and I agreed. She put my name on the 1/2 blind game that actually had a few younger faces in it. I actually did OK in the game, ending about 55 up. I got AK about 4 times. Twice, actually in the BB when a few people had already limped in. I noticed that one of the older guys liked to limp in with strong hands, even group 1's, so the time in the blinds I just checked to see a free flop. Not surprisingly, it came all little; most everyone in was holding high cards or pairs. I laid them down after strong bets on the flop.

My one big hand there was another of the AK hands. Middle position limper and I had AK on the button. I raised to knock on the blinds and get HU. Took a flop of 225 and check, check. K on the turn and the middle position guy bet 20. I raised to 40 and he called. River he checked, and I bet again and he folded, claiming to be on a flush draw and had missed. That was my one big exciting hand (-grin-).

After about an hour I got called to the 1/2 blind NL game and I found a lot more action, but no hands. By the time I got blinded back to exactly 50 up, I noticed that Felicia was now HU in the satellite! I had been poking my head over every now and again. Each time seeing one or more less people at the table, and her with more and more chips, lol. Once I saw her HU, I quickly just got my stuff and headed over to sweat her. Seemed like not long before she had 3 other people at the table.

As I watched, Felicia declared all-in, and her competition, another woman, called. Felicia had AK to the woman's KQ. King one the flop, no Queen, and Felicia now had at least 95% of the chips! The woman went all in next hand with Q-high, Felicia called with J high and no help to either. Felicia declared all-in again, and the woman called w/ AQ (I think). Felicia turned over AK...again! No help to either and my baby won on her first try! Two $500 lamers plus her buy in back :-)

She was high from her win and told me all about it. She put herself back on a list for another and I got on the 6/12 list. The 1/2 had a long list. The 2/5 game had broken up and I saw most of the same cronies at the 15/30, so figured I'd take the 6/12, as I'd be next up. I managed to get some chips, just to waste them chasing a 3 straight flush, that turned into a 4 straight flush, that turned into a 24$ loss, lol. All-in-all, I was only down 4$ at the 6/12.

Felicia said suddenly she didn't like the satellite situation. She said that a number of the people for the next one wanted to pay for the satellite with lamers that they already won! Uhhh, no, maybe not. Haha. So, we ended up back at Monte Carlo. We ate and went back to the poker room. After sitting in the 2/5 game again, and again finding it tight, I was able to get transferred to a wild 4/8 game. Wild indeed! I ended up being rivered by two pair or bottom/middle pair that tripped up so many times I couldn't count. I could, however, see that my stack was severely eaten into by about $200! Ouch.

The floor man, around this time, came to our table and stated that he almost had enough names for another 2/5 NL game, and a couple of the people at my table expressed interest. Oh joy, how I wanted to get these fishes into a NL game! Eventually it started and boy what a ride. I cashed in a couple hundred more. We had some interesting hands. One guy that got dubbed "Animal" from the guy to his left, since he raised about every other hand. One hand he got called down, he showed A4o, no pair. Loved my table.

Now, I'm rather new to NL cash games. I got AA and bet 50$. I wanted to shut out Animal and some of the others that I knew liked suited connectors, so I might have over bet just a tad ("that's a joke, son"). But, what have we here? The BB, one of the fish from the my 4/8 game shoving his diminished stack of 80-odd chips all-in. I quickly called. He groaned after seeing my AA vs. his KK. He left after getting no help.

One nice hand in the SB, I found AJo, after Animal, in late position, raised once again. I called, the BB called, and we took a flop of AQx. I bet 20 (Animal's pre-flop bet), and both called. I was hoping Animal had one of his Ax again. 20 again on the turn, and they both called. I wasn't worried about Animal, but I was about the BB. I've seen these guys call big bets with any pair on the board, almost just like the 4/8 chasers. I checked the river and showed my AJ, BB mucked, and Animal showed KTs; he was calling for a gut-shot, lol.

So, I'm somewhere around 440, hoping to pick up about 60 more to end even for the night. I pick up KJs (hearts) UTG and limp. There have been a ton of pots with just limping (whenever Animal didn't see fit to raise) and I hoped to see a cheap flop with my group 3. The cost went up to 20 by a tight player (TP) to the right of Animal. He hasn't played much, so while I respected his raise, I knew that the other limpers would call as well, so, so did I. We took my dream flop of QT9, two hearts. I checked my nut-straight, 2nd nut flush draw, and was happily bet into by TP, the preflop raiser, by another 20 bet. I slide in a stack of red to make it 100. TP pushed in his remaining 2 stacks of red and I quickly followed with the rest of mine. TP flipped up TT for 2nd set on the flop, and I flipped over my nut straight, which turned into a flush on the turn. No pairing of the board and TP jumped out of his chair and stormed out.

I played my blinds and the rest of that orbit. I then cashed out at $682; covering my loss at the 4/8 and ending about $150 up for Monte Carlo that night :-) It also felt kind of nice to bust someone with a set of tens, the same hand that put me out of the satellite.

Winning in that game really felt good. I like this thing called No Limit. I think I could get into it. LOL. Seriously, after busting out of the WPT satellite, this helped me feel justified in my playing. And at least here, I can take my chips and cash them in after a double through.

Posted by Glenn

Tuesday, April 13, 2004

Late Night Free Rollin’

I started the majority of my online bankrolls by playing freerolls. Yep, seriously. For example, I never have invested any money into Planet Poker, but I won $8 on a freeroll there and started playing the .05/.10 hold’em tables. I eventually found my way to the .05/.10 draw tables and found a game that I really liked and could consistently win. Of course, grinding away at such penny type levels takes time, but this was all past-time activity anyway, so what else did I have but time? I have made over $400 at Planet by now.

Another example is Pacific Poker. Felicia found out that they had been sticking $20 into people’s accounts who had signed up, but never added any money to play. Every day for a week or so she’d check the account. Eventually, what do you know? $20 mystically appeared in our account. She told me to have fun. I started playing the .05/.10 HE tables there as well. Eventually, I got myself up to $50. Playing live, Felicia and I would enter both the HE and Omaha 8 or better (O8) tournaments. I grew to like O8, since so many people played the game so badly, and that carried over to my playing at Pacific. I played the .05/.10 tables. Moved up to the .25/.50 tables, etc. I now play up to the 2/4 level when a good game is going, but mostly the .50/1 and (just recently) the 1/2. I have taken the initial $20 and turned it into around $500.

This is all leading me to last night. If you’ve played at UB (Ultimate Bet), you get that Aruba pop-up in your face every time you load the client. I noticed that they have freerolls going twice a day to get a seat into a super satellite and thought I’d like to try one sometime. I missed the one during the day and figured that, if I was awake, I’d play the one at night. Well, I was, and I did. OK, I forced myself to be awake. Then again, I did manage to get a few winks in… right up to just before my blind!

At least I did wake up before too many hands had gone by. I was thinking that late at night, I’d hopefully not be up against too many people. 1350 people had entered. Holy Goodness! And I had to make my way to the top 25 spots. Out of 1350 people. Good luck.

As luck would have it, people just don’t know how to play! My first blind hand I’m allowed to see for free. I’m looking at my blind hand of T8s and thought, I might call a small raise to see the flop with that. Heck, it’s a freeroll; if I get knocked out, no biggie. Two people limped and I see the flop for free: 79J, two spades. Baby! Times in the past, I think, “you slow-play check a monster”. But with the two spades, I’m hoping someone will draw so I bet 3xbb, I think. First limper folds, second raises! Kewl, maybe he flopped a set. I shove in and he calls and turns over KK. Oh man, take about slow-playing a monster. Thank you, sir, for giving me your stack.

After that I figured I might actually have a chance. I got QQ and got some more chips when I got a called. Then a beat when I got AA; gotta love those. Why does QQ hold up for me the 3 or 4 times I get it, and the two times I get AA: once I steal the blinds; the other, I get sucked out on? Dude raise-opens the pot. I pot it again. Dude calls. Flop is KQx and he goes all-in and I call. He has AJo! Great, I think, until I see the magic T to give him the straight. Either way, I still had chips and I move on.

One of the QQ hands that was rather interesting was against a very large stack and a very small stack. Several people in the pot before me (they just loved limping in) so I go all-in with my QQ to just take the blinds. Large stack goes all-in and small stack calls. Small stack: 22 (lol), large stack: JJ. Magic 2 on the turn. However, the small stack had so little and the large stack so much, I still doubled up (including the limpers).

So, a couple more premium hands here and there: QQ, KK, AK; and I keep myself around average stacked. One hour, then two, then 3! I keep watching the number of players, the stack sizes. Dang, I’ve got a shot! Gets within 50 and I’ve been getting blinded down here and there. One hand, I was able to limp in from the SB with ATo and flopped an A. I pot it and get called by one of the limpers. Bet again on the turn and get raised. I fold. That kind of hurt, but I didn’t want to lose my chance at this. Couple rounds later I get a free look at the flop, again, with KQs. Q on the flop and I pot it and get called on the button. Visions of slow-played KK in my brain from earlier, but I’m in too deep now and pot the turn all-in. Button calls all-in and turns over K7s, two of his suit on the board. Yes, he played 2 1/2 hours and gambled all his chips on a flush draw….and lost.

Newly doubled up, I feel good. Soon, we were down to around 30 players. I noticed one guy at our table with around T11K folding, folding, folding. I smiled. There’s a Sklansky if I ever saw one. I avoided confrontations. Once I did battle with a big stack. Same one that played back at me when I had the ATo in the SB before. As fate would have it, the exact same hand ATo, again in the SB, same A on the flop. But this time, I have been playing with him longer and know his M.O. If he had a good ace, he would have raised pre-flop. This time, when he raises me on the turn, I call all-in and get doubled up that time too, as all he had was 66 in pocket.

I did my Sklansky with my T50K chips, even mucking TT on the button; there were already a couple of limpers with over T200K each and they’d been calling all kinds of raises. I don’t know their deal; they just loved to play. Mr. T11K (now down to T10K) and I just folded away. 28, 27…26! Then quick as a flash, “Hey you won, tournament’s over, prizes are awarded and now get out of here!” Kinda went fast. I did get to say “gg” to everyone; plus, I plugged in a little “nice folding ;)” to Mr. T10K. I knew and he knew and he said “thanks”.

May 2nd I get to play in the super satellite. Only one will get the seat, and I’ll probably be up against a ton of people again. But that’s fine. It reminds me of how I started: with freerolls and other promotional giveaways.


Posted by Glenn

Sunday, April 04, 2004

Experiment in Failure; three steps forward, two back

OK, a couple days ago while playing some draw poker on Planet (yes, I play draw poker--not everyone is strictly a hold’em player) and Omaha 8’s or better [O8] on UB, and I get an announcement that Roy Cooke is starting a new 3/6 hold’em table and will be playing every hand. Playing every hand? Might as well say that he’s giving away free money.

So, off I go to 3/6 Hold’em.

Let me first say that before this, the highest stakes that I’ve played online for hold’em is 2/4, twice. Normally, I play micro up to .50/1. I played the 2/4 at TNT [Dynamite Poker] as part of a GoAllIn table two nights. Destroyed the first night: chased down at every turn (set run down by flush, top pairs run down by middle pairs pairing or bottom two—you know the deal, things you normally only see on micro limits). Second night I won 30 of the 40 back that I dropped the first time; got you that time chasers!

Therefore, this is my first time at a 3/6 table. I get the seat to Roy’s right. Bad, bad, bad. I don’t have position on him; plus, at times he forgets to do the “play-every-hand” and figures he needs to make up for this by raising the next hand. Why does he always choose to either: 1) decide to do this on my blind, or 2) when I’m trying to limp with a small pocket pair? And of course, since everyone knows that he could have any two cards, people are still coming in, giving me odds to call the raises. Live and learn.

I actually got myself back to the 100 that I bought in for just after Roy left the game. I guess they figured that since the game was going, that he could leave. Well, now I’m getting cards and don’t want to leave! Big mistake. I get AQ UTG and raise; bet the flop; get check-raised by the blind on a J-high flop. I call with my over cards. Turn, bottom pair pairs the board and the blind bets again. I figure he at least has the J, if not top and bottom, and possibly now a boat; I fold. Ace on the river; someone chasing 2nd pair calls the flop and turn bets; BB checks, check, shows down J2o. He check-raised me with top-pair-no-kicker. Good play, I knew he had the J and I gave it up before hitting my A.

After that, I really get no cards. Yet one guy at our table is raising every time he has suited cards: K3s, 84s, etc. Worst part, he’s hitting! Me, I dropped 53$. Ouch.

Felicia and I talked about it after. She was saying that I tried to go too high in limits (for online). I was thinking it wouldn’t be that big a deal, as I’ve played 5/10 and 10/20 live before. But of course, online is different. You get so many more hands per hour that it’s like playing a higher limit. Plus, I was just reading in Gambling Theory and Other Topics that some players play too low or too high for their abilities. Since I have been playing mostly micro limits and have high C.V.’s [coefficient of variation] for most the games, I felt I could move up in levels. Of course, I did go too high and ended going from playing too low, to playing too high.

Yesterday, therefore, I played some.25/.50 hold’em at Planet. This was to get my confidence back in playing there (once again, I normally only play draw poker on Planet). After winning $5 in a half an hour, I could tell this was under my ability. This time, instead of skipping levels, I went to .50/1; and promptly won 6$ in a rather short period before the game broke up. Kewl! I tried to go three steps forward, got stepped on, so, I took 2 back.

I also have been getting some help in the draw poker area and found some good old articles. That led me to Paradise Poker where there seems to always be some 1/2 draw poker tables going. I found a 2/4 going and decided to watch the table and takes notes on people who must be better since they are playing higher limits. Better? I think the pot was raised twice in the 20 minutes that I was watching and taking notes. Just as I was getting up the courage to join the table and take advantage of such a passive table, someone else took the one empty seat before I could. Shoot. Still, it made me want to play, so I searched out one of the 1/2 tables. I found one that looked good and sat down. I played for about a half hour before bigpooch sat down. He’ll play 4 tables at once and slow the game down. Plus, he knows how to play and will up the aggression on my table (plus, he’s on my left, bad position for me). I took my $4 and left and decided I’d do more of what I came to Paradise for in the first place: to watch and take notes.

That’s the nice thing about online poker; you can watch people whom you’ve seen, or may see again, and take notes on their play without them even knowing you’re doing it. Next time you meet them in a game, you have more information on them.

After that initial experiment in failure, I have been watching, reading, studying and learning. Maybe it wasn’t that much of a failure after all.

Posted by Glenn

Friday, April 02, 2004

Online Tournament, Experiment #1

OK, now that Felicia and I are no longer playing live, least not at the Belle, I thought I'd try my hand at one of the online multitable tournaments everyone else talks about.

What a rotten, dismal failure that turned out to be!

I started UTG+1. Muck, muck. Saw a free flop in BB. Nothing. Muck.

SB, I get 99s (they were both black -grin-). There were a couple limpers, and this only being a $5 tourney, I figure it's pointless to raise. Plus I figure, big bet poker is all about trapping, right? So, I see a flop of 579 (two clubs). Holy moley, top set! Two clubs though, so I bet the pot, screw the trapping, they can't draw to clubs for free. I get called by the BB. Turn comes an A, so I bet the pot again. Get raised all-in. "Kewl" I say, "I have a set!" Board doesn't pair, and I'm shown 68o for the flopped straight from the BB, that I allowed to see a free flop.

Two hands and I'm out. Sound familiar? Yes, I'm my wife's husband. LOL


Posted by Glenn

Thursday, April 01, 2004

Put On Your Poker Face

How is it that people can be so duplicitous? I guess it's the mark of a poker player.

James, the Card Room Manager at the Colorado Belle has seen fit to ban Felicia from the card room because she made public what happened when the floor man, Glen, vehemently yelled at her for talking to her table about their conversation. No one should have to endure being yelled at in public. Not to mention that James told us he informs his employees that they should, at all times, at professionally and NOT get in any kind of shouting match with a customer. So, strike against the Belle: Glen acted unprofessionally and STARTED a shouting match.

James has also told us (this was all in a meeting with us where he took us to dinner after the incident took place) that he can’t stop us from saying anything about what happened. Felicia presented him with a copy of the post she wrote—before she posted it—so that he could read it first. He stated that she had free speech and he couldn’t stop her. Yet he bans her from the poker room. That sounds like a little suppression to me! Another strike.

Additionally, Felicia was told that bringing up something that happened months ago is being vindictive. Anytime that anything happens we should report it. Well, James and Co., we have reported it. And nothing has happened. Ever. Someone is showing his cards to someone else? “Hey guys, you better cut that out”. Nothing there. Someone looking over the rail is telling a player he better call cause he can see the cards of the bettor and he’s bluffing? Again, nothing done. Someone complains up and down about not getting into a tournament because he left the tables (and everyone is told they must be seated in a game to get a card for a seat)? He gets a card so that he’ll shut up and not create a scene, as others sitting have to draw cards for the remaining two seats. What kind of justice/fair-practice is this? We’ve informed James about people palming chips and angle shooting. The next day, we over hear James talking with the same people, making dinner plans with them. Oh yeah, nothing done there! Strike three!

Felicia gets banned for complaining about the bad service she gets in a customer service related field. She’s told that she can write about what happens, and then gets punished for it. I don’t see why these people aren’t playing poker professionally. Sounds like they got the poker face down as good as a pat full house!


Posted by Glenn