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!

Sunday, November 28, 2004

Sklansky vs. Hit and Run

Someone asked me why I hit and run when I’m a Sklansky reader/believer. Meaning that many times I talk about making some money then getting out of the game. Why don’t I stay if the game is good?

Well, this hit & run is done online, not live. There are differences in online play. There is much more turnover in online play; so much so that it makes online tables look like a revolving door compared to live. In live play, unless the table is bad, you pretty much stay where you are. You get to know the players and how they bet. Online, you might not play with the same players for long enough. And if you do, it usually seems the looser ones go bust so fast and leave that now that information is moot.

I’ve tried sitting and playing for hours online, however for me, I seem to make less and less. Who knows, maybe it’s undiagnosed A.D.D. –grin-. Or the people that DO stay also get to know my play and won’t give me action. Either way, I find it better for me personally. To each his own.

Posted by Glenn

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Touring Arizona - Part 2

The next day Felicia and I went to the Biosphere II. It was really neat to see the place and take the tour. $20 was a little high, but we both really enjoyed it. After hitting Red Lobster, we went back to the Desert Diamond.

I started out playing 3/6 again. I made a mistake of calling early position with a small pocket pair during a kill pot. I didn't realize the kill was on and after I called, late position raised and I had to call that. Then I get a straight draw with the pair and now I'm stuck to the river. I ended up having to muck to the river bet, I was pretty sure the raiser was wired, and I was right. There was an all-in player in the hand and I got to see the showdown: QQ. I ended the table almost even when AK stood up.

Then I got called to $3/6 Omaha. Felicia, since there was no Stud being played, ended up playing in this game. She said it was good, so I tried it out. I got so few hands that when they called the list to open a 6/12 table, I couldn't rack my chips fast enough. Yeah, it was a good game, but I was getting no playable hands.

At this $6/12 table, oh my! It was great! There were two ATC players. One had bought in for 2 racks from the get-go (they use $2 chips for the $6/12 game, so he bought in for $400)! Once again, I was getting no cards though. I did make a good isolation play that brought me up a few chips. 88 in early position. Mr Two-Racks raises UTG (I saw him raise _limpers_ with ATo) so I reraised. My tight image did not go unnoticed, and I get the desired effect of heads-up. He bet the flop and I raised, he reraised, I capped. K on turn, he checks, I check. K on river; check-check and MHIG. Not long after this, the game broke as people started to head to their tournament table.

I ended up finding out that the first 5 rounds were played LIMIT and then the rest of the tournament was NL! HUH? Weird. Felicia wanted to cash out right then, but they wouldn't let us.... we already paid. Felicia ended up doubling up rather fast. Yes, during the limit portion! Can you say "bad tournament players"? My table was a bit more aggressive. I get AA and I had someone capping it on ME! Of course, 74o took down the pot. I am now at one win for the last 7 times I held AA. Did I mention it was capped preflop? As I said, "bad tournament players".

Then I get AKo taken down. Flopped a K, but someone else flopped a set. With another AK in the hand with me, the pot was bet hard. I ended up having to take a rebuy (I didn't have to do one the previous tournament). Before the first break, I got AKo that stood up and I had some chips again. Then, last hand before the break, I have QQ in the SB, the BB reraises all-in, and Mr 74o caps; limp-reraising. I catch a Q on the flop and am all-in by the river, which paired the board and I double through again. Chip and a chair baby!

Later in the tournament, someone shoves all-in with AQo and I end up with KK on the button and reraise all-in. AQ has almost as many chips as me and I almost double up when he gets no help. Now I have 6000T and pretty much sit on them. I try to steal the BB when I'm SB, but both times the BB ends up going all-in. What am I going to do with 85s for 2000T more? Muck, that's what ;-)

I go for a steal in late position with ATo and get reraised all-in by a short stack. Fortunately it's not much more for me to call and I get shown a worse Ace. He gets no help and I add back to my stack.

Finally, I get to the final table! This is the first time for me in a while.. final table in a live tournament (not counting satellites; remember I made the final table during a WPPA super multitable satellite).

Did well. Made steals with good cards. AT, AQ. One time I got AQ, someone else had the same hand and we chopped the SB (he was BB).

Then the killer happened. I was BB and the SB thought he'd try to steal my blind. I woke up with KK and reraised all-in. He looks at me and says something like, "I really have a hand", and then he sees my KK and groans, tabling his AJo. Yes, he got his Ace on the river. This left me with almost no chips (Mr Ace-Jack-off just doubled through no too long before the hand and had almost as many chips as I).

With blinds at 1000/2000, I ended up shoving in with K7s and I got called by the BB. He ALSO had K7s. Would you believe the flop was K7x?? Amazing. So I end up chopping the SB with the BB. 'woo hoo' (lower case intentional -grin-) Once the BB got back to me, I called the SB raise blind to find KQo. SB tables JTs. I flop a King, he flops a flush draw... and of course, he got there. However, I got 5th place money, about double what I put into the tourney, making it even for Felicia and I.

Ah well. I had fun and was happy with my play. The current chip lead was very aggressive and I felt like I could take him out if I could trap him enough if those KK's would have held. Such is poker.

Again, I was happy with my play. I had so many good reads on the players. I could usually tell when the people behind me had a hand and when they didn't. They always looked at their cards first. Sometimes holding chips when they were going to raise. Some of the older people holding them to stop others from raising. One of the young guys to my left would shuffle his chips or tap the table when he was going to muck; hand over the cards to protect when he was playing/raising. I pretty much knew when I could steal and when I couldn't, but I always made sure to have something; worst I ever had was Q9s on the button.

As long as I have a good structure (like the non-doubling all the time and 20 minute levels), I know that I can do well. I look forward to entering more in the future. I'll keep you posted on results ;-)

Posted by Glenn

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Touring Arizona - Part 1

It's been a while since I've posted. Mostly I have just been grinding it out online, which is really not as interesting as live play, so haven't felt the need or desire to post anything about it. I suppose I could vent on how my AA's and KK's have been cracked (even after flopping sets), but you're not here to hear me whine... at least I doubt it.

Most recently, Felicia and I have been traveling around Arizona. Felicia did a lot of touring of the state looking for a house before we both moved. I was still in West Virginia at the time taking care of selling the house. Now, Felicia decided that I needed to see some of the state that we're living in. Plus, visit some of the casinos that I've not been to along the way. Bonus! :-D

First stop was Casino Arizona. So big they have two! We went to the "tent" that had the poker room. The place is huge! Big screen tv's all over the walls; ton of poker tables with all kinds of limits. Of course they made sure to include house games like Blackjack so they can profit from the operation ;-)

Felicia got on a $15/30 stud list, but people weren't moving too fast. I found a $5-150 spread limit game... yes, $5 - 150 spread limit. This is their version of NLHE. They have some kind or rule (for the tribe I'm assuming) that there can be no wager over $150, so this is their answer. It pretty much worked. Since they have a max buyin of $300 for the game, there were only a couple times that I was sitting there that someone would have liked to shove in, but had more than $150 and therefore had to stick to that wager.

Felicia was told that the $5-150 game was no good, but when I was there watching, I saw just a few too many young faces and had to take the open seat. Sure enough, it proved to be just enough of a good mix; some tight players, some loose. First time that I raised, I had AKo and made it $15 to go. One caller, KTT on the flop, I bet, he folds. So, they were observant enough to see me fold-fold-fold for the first round or two to figure out my hand. Was nice to get my blinds back :-)

I managed to get one of the kids' stack when I got to see a free flop with Doyle's hand: T2o. Flop is T32 and I bet the pot. I got called in 2 places. Another rag on the turn, I bet the pot again, around $70 this time, and one of the kids, raised all-in for about $72 more. With the rags on the flop, it was possible to have a straight, straight draw (he had bluffed before on a draw), or a lower two pair. I called. After the dealer put on the river, I told him I had two pair and tabled my hand. The way he was acting I thought it was good. Sure enough, he looked at my hand, looked back at his, back at the board, mucked. This brought me up to almost exactly $500.

Then I get a string of cards that went nowhere, and made, I feel, a couple good laydowns. The oldest guy at the table, probably in his 60's, would make it $15 to go pretty much whenever he was first to open. Not a bad stradegy. I never had anything worth defending in the big blind the majority of the time. Then I got QQ. He made it $15, I looked and saw the QQ, so made it $45. I figured if I just double it, I'd get it head's up, but do I really want to make it cheap for him to spike an ace or king? Unfortunately, an early position limper reraised $150 more. Old guy mucks, and I study the kid. Early position and limped. I watched him since he sat down and have mostly watched him fold-fold. I put him on AA or KK, most likely AA. He probably was waiting for the old guy to do his normal raise and reraise him. I just happened to get caught along for the ride. I mucked. Someone across from him told him to be careful when folding, he flashed an Ace. So, I felt pretty sure I made the best move. Even if he only had AK, I'm not about to spend $300 (since after his raise he did have about another $150 behind--he had bought in for the full $300) on a possible coin flip.

A few hands later I get JJ and raise open for $30 and got reraised another $30 to $60. This was the guy that went all-in earlier in the session with AQo. I had just gotten to the table, someone had raised in early position to $15, I muck AQo myself (figuring I'm dominated), and then a couple people call the $15. Until it gets to my man. He shoves in for about $70 more. Folds around to the kid on his right who calls with 44. My man turns over AQo and spikes a Q on the flop. I had wondered if he was capable of shoving like this often and that's why he got called with the pair. After watching him for about an hour, I think it was more just that he was looking to steal all the limpers and just got lucky. After that hand, he played pretty tight.

So, back to my hand. By this time, my man here has about $300. I'm putting him on a higher pair, just because his eyes are bugging a little bit and he's usually very calm. With him reraising only another $30, I called in the hopes to spike a set. Qxx on the flop, I checked, he seemed in a hurry to get in a $150 bet, I folded. Later in the session, I got to talking to him, and he stated that he had KK. Now, he could be lying, but after watching him go from the AQo steal to fold-fold-fold, I think I made the right move.

It sounds like I make a lot of folds and that people could be making moves on me. It's possible, but at the same time, I feel that I often make good reads. There have been too many times in the past that I have made a read, called anyway, and found that my read was right. For example, when Felicia and I were at Foxwoods, I played the $5/5 NLHE game there; twice I was able to catch bluffs. Ironically, both times I had A9s and turned two pair. Both times on the turn, the 9 brought a flush not of my suit and someone acting before me bet out. Just didn't smell right. Bet was too big and I was the flop bettor in later position. I either expect a check-raise or a smaller "feeler" bet. Shoot, with two pair, I'd probably call if they bet small too. Both times my hand was good. One, a guy was semi-bluffing with one of the suit. The other time, the kid was shaking his head saying, "I have nothing, small pair".

Then this happens. Game just started, older guy is UTG and straddles. Few hands later there are a ton of limpers and I have AA on the button. I make it $40 to go and get called in FOUR places. Checked to me on a flop of J62 and I bet $160. Older guy check-raises all-in for about $300 more, which is what I have. First thing that goes through my mind is "set". Next, I recall him straddling and wonder if he's on AJ. I think about the other hands that I caught people bluffing and figure that I'm probably not too wrong in calling. I call; I get shown a set. Once again I feel that I should have acted on my read.

Interestingly enough, I did get confirmation on my call. I was able to met Greg Raymer at Foxwood's through Felicia. The two of them had contact through 2+2 and were finally able to meet. I told him about the hand. He said something to the affect of "unless you're clairvoyant or crazy, you can't lay that down" (based on the chip counts and lack of any real read since the game pretty much just started). He's a very nice guy and it was great to meet him.

So, at Casino Arizona, I went from my $300 buyin, to a high of about $500, to cashing out around $360. Still up, but it did kind of suck having to lay down so many hands. I had so many pocket pairs that just didn't hit. 33 in the big blind, gets raised to $15. For $10, as long as the guy has at least $100 behind, I'll see the flop for a chance to bust him. I bled off some chips, but it could have been worse, and a win is a win. :-P

to be continued...

Posted by Glenn