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02/03/2006: "it hurts my think bone."

ah February! a new month; time for new challanges and fresh starts.

Jan was a crushing month pokerwise. i haven't reviewed the numbers lately, but in ring games i lost about 30% of my bankroll. yes, 30%. i have been on perma-tilt since mid-January. so what am i going to do? since February is about love with Valentines Day and all, i am renewing my vows - with tournament poker.

hit the jump for details....


i actually got an early start last weekend when i played in a charity tournament for ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease). this was the second annual tourney, last year raising over $100K for ALS. in 2005 out of about 300 players i came in 54th. this year out of close to 350 i came in 44th. overall i was somewhat pleased with my performance. while it is painfully obvious that i am not playing aggressive enough, in my defense i was very card dead for approximately the 3 hours catching no premium pairs, small pocket pairs only 3 times, and AK once. to top it off, i crippled myself right before break by trying a continuation bluff on a calling station. my read was right, he was ace-high, but i too failed to connect with the flop and he eventually rivered a pair. i spent the next couple of loops playing small stack poker and actually making an average comeback by dinner break. after dinner we were down to 5 tables and there were some big stacks in play; a guy with over 200K (i guestimated par at about 100K; i had 75K) got moved to my left and proceeded to play a few hands of big stack poker. with an M of around 4 and blinds coming, i found QQ in EP (level was 5000/10000/500 antes). i pushed all-in rather than stop-and-go and got 3 callers - which means i am beat for sure. the aggressive guy in BB bets into the dry pot and i begin collecting my gear. he pushed the other two players out and flips kings. i don't suck out and i am done. overall, it was a good learning lesson for a great cause. semi-cool moment? it was a rebuy tourney, with 5000 in chips for $60 ($50 to the tourney, $10 vig for ALS.) to make more people froggy, if you go all-in blind the first hand and bust, you can rebuy twice, but only pay once. not sure why everyone there didn't do it; i mean, more chips at the table makes looser play and it easier to get deep into the levels. anyway, six of us at our table go All-In For ALS (the tourney slogan. catchy, huh.) so $60K in the pot, i have J-10o. board comes jack-high and, even though i already have my $60 on the table, i am hoping i am good. turns out me and the ten seat each have J-10 and split the pot. up to $30K first hand. woot! i spend the next 7 hours in the same seat (eight) trying to make a run at it. oh well, maybe next year!

earlier that morning i finished out Full Tilt's Iron Man Challenge - so did 716 others. we play tomorrow. i'll need all the luck i can get. i am not going to play timid poker, since it is a freeroll. i am going to build a big stack earlier and use it as a weapon, or i am going to go broke.

on Sunay i went to Northside to play in their Sunday $100 freezeout. unfortunately, not enough people showed to play and i was "forced" into the $6/$6. no big whoop, since it still was January and in my silly head ring games were still allowed; i should have know better. i will not bore you with my sad tales of woe, but lemme just give you last hand of the night, paint the picture: it's late, around midnight and there are only seven of us playing. i have about $500+ in front of me and i am the small stack. 2 players have over $2K in front of them, the spoils from breaking other players. i am in the big blind and pull K-5s. two limpers are in, the UTG+1 and UTG+2. UTG+1 has me covered by about $40-50, and UTG+2 has about $1900 in front of him. with my power hand, i check and chose to see a free flop, of course. flop comes K-5-x. oh i am so good. the UTG players are aggressive; checking to them is a definite invitation to bet. i check, UTG+1 bets $30, UTG+2 calls. being snarky, i call too. turn is a blank. no flush draws on the board and i am pretty sure i am not facing a set. i check. UTG+1 bets $100. UTG+2 calls, and i figure it is time to spring the trap: RAISE! i make it $250 to go. the pot now holds a little over $600 and i have maybe $150 behind. obviously i am pot committed. UTG+1 doesn't even breathe before going all-in. UTG+2 immediately folds and i immediately call flipping two pair. the board is king high now guys, so what do you think UTG+1 has? pocket jacks. pocket JACKS! he is dead to two outs. now all night i have been taking insurance. sure, it is pussyish sometimes and Doyle says the only winners in insurance are the house, but i have been taking it. but with only two outs, IIRC, 22-1, i am thinking, what are the chances of a jack on the river? i mean, $900+ pot, what would have insurance cost me? if you can't tell from the tone, i don't know the cost of insurance b/c i didn't take it and he rivered a jack. i squared my tab and said my goodnights. live poker is so rigged! (btw, this last live hand of poker for January sums up my entire January in ring games. it went that way all month. i suck, what can i say. yeah, 30% of my bankroll. i am so bitter.)

yesterday i played several tournaments, both on Poker Stars and Full Tilt. i am working on ratching up my aggression and pushing players off of hands. i still have a lot to learn, since i only made the top 20% in one of those tourneys and crashed/burned in several. i am also finishing out HOH, vol 2 and i hope this will help me out. i need to learn to balance my aggression when my M is around 6-7. old me would hang around and double through with a premium hand, which might only increase my M to 8-9. i would then make some steals and survive till the money. while this usually pays my entry back, it doesn't win tourneys unless the deck smacks me around like Tyson did Givens. so i have some work to do, b/c i want to play all tourneys like i am going to play tomorrow's freeroll, but successfully. we'll see....

i downloaded, deposited and played a little on Full Contact Poker. first impression: yuk! i hate the GUI, the lack of hand history, and the chat. just awful. i would not look for me to continue playing there, no matter how much i like Daniel Negreanu or how soft the games are.

so who is watching King of Vegas? anyone? and High Stakes Poker? ok, maybe it's just me. King of Vegas is pretty annoying. firstly, it is hard to understand for the layman, and in the games they are playing i am the layman! i mean, competitive blackjack with some sort of math determining correct bets so you can "sit pretty"? okaaaaaaaaaaay. at least i get the poker. oh, and the smack talk, testosterone bullshiet that goes on at the tables between the players? please. someone should kick that fat fscking plummer in the junk. and, the smarmy kid blackjack expert? i am hoping the fat plummer gets to know him in a biblical way. they both suck. now, High Stakes Poker? it's pretty good, IMHO. i am enjoying seeing the pros play their game the same way our lowly $6/$6 goes: bluffs, chases, big stacks, weak/tights, loose/aggressives. it also is comforting to watch pros make the same errors i feel i make, such as Jen Harman hitting a set and instead of milking the pot, going all-in and telling the WHOLE TABLE her hand. of course, the other two players folded and she made a lot less than she could have. i think i do that at least once a session and then beat myself up for it for at least an hour. watching Greenstein chase his nut flush when Negreanu has a made king-high flush, and then hit it...i see that every session in low stakes poker! of couse, Barry was only playing for like $100K. only. heh. anyway, one thing i think they could improve is firing AJ Benza and turning up the player mics. we want to hear the players, not AJ, who is pretty clueless when it comes to poker. plus, he is a hack anyway - we all know it. at least Mr. Kotter plays poker, often at pretty high levels. i'm glad he is there.

tomorrow is Spoon here in Houston and i am pretty excited. first concert for the year and part of my promise to keep up with music in 2006.

that's about it for now. lot's of personal stuff going on, but as usual, i will keep that close to the vest.


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