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Thursday, September 29, 2005

I Did It!

This morning was quite a productive one on the poker front. Not only did I manage to clear my bonus, I even managed to more than triple up my $10 buy in for today so that when I finally logged out, I had an additional $25 to add to my account, and the $25 bonus on top of that brought me to my desired goal of $150. Almost. My actual balance was $149.52, less than 1 BB of my usual .50/1.00 ring games. I decided that if I tried to log on then and there I would be playing on tilt, and would lose $5 trying to win .50. I decided to take a nap instead. It was a good idea as I logged in when I woke up an won a quick $3 to take my balance officially over $150.

Not only did I clear my bonus, AND meet my monetary goals, but I also managed to earn enough points to get myself a Party Poker Baseball Cap.

I ran into a snag tonight though when I tried to set up a Neteller account but couldn't when I found out that Neteller doesn't operate accounts for Maryland residents. Thankfully I was able to open up an account with Firepay which looks as though it should do the job nicely. It's still going to take a few days to set up, but with a small bit of luck, I might be able to use it to transfer my bankroll to Absolute Poker in time for Absolute's 100% First Time Deposit Bonus and PokerSource Online's Double Chip Set Offer.

I'm sure everyone will be seeing more and more of them as the weeks go by, but I just signed up for Poker Stars Blogger Freeroll tonight, they finally made one for a weekend (October 23rd, 2005 – 4:00pm EST / 1:00pm PST) so I'll be able to play in one for a change. I'm very excited about it.
And finally check out Dr. Pauly's Tao of Poker, I made his Top 15 Referral List! Go me! I so rule. Good luck at the tables this weekend everyone.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Almost Home

As of this morning, I only need about 75 more hands to clear my $25 bonus on Party Poker. The really good news is that my account is currently at just under $100. What I'm hoping for is to be able to win another $30 which would allow me to cash out $150 that I can invest over at Absolute Poker for their 100% match offer for first time depositors.

Unfortunately I don't think I'm done in time for September's bonus specials and will have to wait to see what kids of deals the month of October brings us.

Hand History

Below is a hand history where I actually made a Straight Flush, unfortunatly I didn't make much money on it. I'm looking for suggestions on where (and if) I could have possibly gotten a bit more out of the other people playing at the table. Any suggestions are welcome. Thanks

#Game No : 2788675128
***** Hand History for Game 2788675128 *****
$0.50/$1 Texas Hold'em - Wednesday, September 28, 03:32:49 EDT 2005
Table Table 31009 (Real Money)
Seat 3 is the button
Total number of players : 9
Seat 10: alpit ( $26.53 )
Seat 7: Twitch1975 ( $13.38 )
Seat 3: PapaDagon ( $71.50 )
Seat 8: BALLS_R_US ( $3.25 )
Seat 9: J_Hero ( $29.50 )
Seat 6: luckwillwin ( $14.75 )
Seat 4: DeuCe7WiNZ ( $22.60 )
Seat 5: SLOWHAND79 ( $22.75 )
Seat 2: MsKat2u ( $7.50 )
DeuCe7WiNZ posts small blind [$0.25].
SLOWHAND79 posts big blind [$0.50].
** Dealing down cards **
Dealt to Twitch1975 [ 8h 8d ]
luckwillwin folds.
Twitch1975 calls [$0.50].
BALLS_R_US calls [$0.50].
J_Hero folds.
alpit folds.
MsKat2u calls [$0.50].
PapaDagon folds.
DeuCe7WiNZ folds.
SLOWHAND79 checks.
** Dealing Flop ** [ 8s, 6h, 9h ]
SLOWHAND79 checks.
Twitch1975 checks.
BALLS_R_US checks.
MsKat2u checks.
** Dealing Turn ** [ Th ]
SLOWHAND79 checks.
Twitch1975 bets [$1].
BALLS_R_US calls [$1].
MsKat2u folds.
SLOWHAND79 folds.
** Dealing River ** [ 7h ]
Twitch1975 bets [$1].
BALLS_R_US is all-In [$1.75]
Twitch1975 calls [$0.75].
Twitch1975 shows [ 8h, 8d ] a straight flush, ten high.
BALLS_R_US doesn't show [ Ts, Kh ] a flush, king high.
Twitch1975 wins $7.25 from the main pot with a straight flush, ten high.
Game #2788677130 starts.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

So This is Variance

As of Sunday evening I was up to about $106 from my initial $75 Instant Bankroll "deposit" and I was feeling mighty good about myself and my "skills". Sunday night however I flopped, badly. I all but lost my $25 buy-in on the .50/1.00 tables at Party Poker and a couple of times, I was all in with my last dollar or two. Somehow I managed to battle back to only losing half of my buy-in, but by the time I logged out to go to bed, I had lost about $17 or $18. Monday I managed to drop another $10 during a couple of sessions which brought me to just a few dollars below my initial $75. The good thing however was that I had cleared about 200 hands towards my $25 bonus bringing me to within a few hundred hands of the bonus goal. I was a bit hesitant to play Monday evening (CC was sick and I put her to bed early, then put the kids to bed at their appropriate times). This time I only bought into the tables for $10 thinking that if I doubled up, great, if I lost my buy in, then I wasn’t down to much more than I was already. Thankfully I managed to double up, and decided to keep playing to try to kill some more hands towards my bonus. By the end of my session I was up an additional $10 and logged out with upwards of $30 which brought my bankroll back up to about $96 or so.

I did try something which I have tried briefly in the past, and need to quit trying as I am not quite good enough to pull it off. Multi-tabling. This time I tried playing my Limit .50/1.00 and a Mini-Step tourney. It didn’t work out well, however I only lost $2.00 on the tourney ($6.00 buy in, managed a $4 finish) and I lost about $4 on my table game which I was able to win back once I had busted out of the tourney. Tonight I’m going to try to get even closer to my goal of clearing my bonus (only need about 150 hands), hopefully I can manage to clear my bonus and at least break even. With that done, I can start my goal of getting a chipset from PokerSource Online.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Blogger Challenge - Everyone Must Read!

I'm on a mission, and I wish to extend this mission to every single one of the people reading this blog. This challenge will cost you less than $1 and will take less than 5 minutes of your time. I would like you - ALL of you, to do one of the following:
  • 1: Buy a Postcard

  • 2: Buy a sympathy card from your local grocery store

  • 3: Get out some stationary and an envelope

  • Write on any of the above "Here's some sunshine and a smile"

    Now put the following address on it.

    The Fletcher's
    P.O. Box 5003
    Alexandria, LA 71307

    Now mail it. Now. Today. Not tomorrow. Now.

    I would like you ALL to do this because my wonderful In Laws were forced to leave their house Sunday August 29 (along with thousands of other residents of Southern Louisiana), and they have only been allowed back less than a handful of times, and usually for only a few hours at a time. Think about that for 1 minute. What would it be like to be kicked out of your home for over a month?

    When they were finally able to return, they found mildew growing unchecked throughout the house, all their electrical appliances destroyed (including their new washing machine that had been delivered and installed on Saturday August 28), their carpets ruined, portions of their upstairs ceiling collapsed, and their backyard garden destroyed. They are considered lucky, and they consider themselves VERY lucky.

    I do not want you to send money, if you would like to donate money, go to the Red Cross, they will help distribute it to where it most needs to go (hopefully), what I would like though is a simple piece of mail (postcard, card, or stationary, even a picture of a flower from a magazine in an envelope) sent to their PO Box to show that you care. It can even be a general statement for your concern for ALL the people affected by this storm. I would like you to do this because it's what I would like to have happen to me if I were in their position. Sometimes in very bad situations, a little unexpected piece of mail can brighten one's day. If we ALL send a card, it might just bring a smile to a friends face, even if we've never met before. So please, this is a chance to do something personal, take a minute, buy a postcard from wherever you are in the world (even if it's someplace boring) stick a stamp on it, and mail it away. This is YOUR chance to do something special, take the opportunity to do something nice for someone you don't know.

    Also if you have a blog of your own, I would appreciate it if everyone interested would do a quick write up about this idea, and post a link to this site. The more people we can get to send their support the more fun it will be. Thanks.

    Monday, September 19, 2005

    A Much Needed Vacation

    I've decided to take a much needed vacation from the Professional Play Money Poker Circuit, quite possibly to contemplate my early retirement. I've decided instead to spend some time swimming with the fishes in the REAL money waters of Party Poker. I didn't want to do it but I came across a deal that was just to good to pass up, good enough in fact that I might just have to give up being a play money professional altogether.

    I happened upon a blog by someone named Chipper and on his site he had a link called InstantBankroll.com , I clicked on it just to see what the gimmick was. The strange thing was, there really wasn't a gimmick, as a matter of fact, they seemed to go to great lengths to prove that there wasn't any gimmick. Here's the deal, InstantBankroll.com is funded through PokerSourceOnline.com which gets money from Party Poker (as well as others) to refer new players to them. InstantBankroll.com allows 60 users a day to register and must be authorized by a live support person. When the dust settles, you (provided YOU are a new user to Party Poker that has never made a deposit to a real money account) have $75 in your real money account. On top of that $25 is added to a bonus account which is cleared by 500 racked hands in the ring games. $100 to play poker online. Free.

    I only played for about 15 minutes (cleared 17 hands so far) on Sunday which my new money, and I'm happy to announce that I didn't lose any of it. I played in the .50/1.00 games and I left with a $3 profit. Not huge by any standards, but a good feeling nonetheless. I didn't sign up for the Party Points Program until after my session, but the next time I sit down to play, not only will my hands go towards clearing my bonus, but also towards a nice spiffy Party Poker Hat. My main goal is to clear this bonus (hopefully with my $100 intact, then transfer the balance to NetTeller and sign up for a new Absolute Poker account through PokerSourceOnline and see if I can't earn myself a nice pretty new chip set.

    I think I'm going to enjoy retirement immensely.

    I will so be putting up links to both InstantBankroll.com (already done) as well as PokerSourceOnline on my blog. If you have any friends that you've been trying to get to play, but they never had the money, email them my site and have them link over to InstantBankroll and sign up. I'll post my referral code as well, and maybe, just maybe, I can get even more free poker money.

    Friday, September 16, 2005

    This Week in Poker

    This past week I have been spending my morning playing Freerolls. The first one I found early in the week was at Absolute Poker which has a number of morning Freerolls, there is one that starts just as the kids leave for their bus so the timing is perfect. There are an awful lot of all in pre-flop plays which I'm not particularly fond of, but I stuck around for awhile but went out somewhere in the 200's.

    This morning I tried playing two freerolls at once one at Absolute Poker and the other through Card Squad which is Ultimate Bet. Ultimate Bet wasn't' a bad freefoll, but the prizes are in bonus dollars rather than "real" money prizes that Absolute has to offer.

    This weekend I'm going to try to play a bit, although at this point I haven't decided if I want to focus on Freerolls, play money SNG's, or maybe go back to some play money limit Hold'em. I'm still reading Super System 2 as well as having just picked up Harrington's Endgame so I'll have plenty of reading to do.

    Good luck at the tables everyone.

    Wednesday, September 14, 2005

    Hand History Reviews

    On a suggestion from Drizztdj I'm posting my questionable hand histories to get people's opinions of how I played them. Feel free to be as brutaly honest as possible, I'm still a rather green newbie and am open to suggestions.

    PokerStars Game #2457542850: Tournament #11930842, Hold'em No Limit - Level V (75/150) - 2005/08/30 - 10:31:19 (ET)
    Table '11930842 1' Seat #6 is the button
    Seat 3: Vision21707 (9890 in chips)
    Seat 6: RobCoish (3610 in chips)
    RobCoish: posts small blind 75
    Vision21707: posts big blind 150
    *** HOLE CARDS ***
    Dealt to Vision21707 [Th Qc]
    RobCoish: calls 75
    Vision21707: raises 150 to 300
    RobCoish: calls 150
    *** FLOP *** [5d 9s 6s]
    Vision21707: bets 450
    RobCoish: raises 450 to 900
    Vision21707: calls 450
    *** TURN *** [5d 9s 6s] [5s]
    Vision21707: bets 450
    RobCoish: raises 450 to 900
    Vision21707: calls 450
    *** RIVER *** [5d 9s 6s 5s] [Tc]
    Vision21707: bets 7790 and is all-in
    RobCoish: calls 1510 and is all-in
    *** SHOW DOWN ***

    Vision21707: shows [Th Qc] (two pair, Tens and Fives)
    RobCoish: shows [4s 7s] (a flush, Nine high)
    RobCoish collected 7220 from pot

    *** SUMMARY ***
    Total pot 7220 | Rake 0
    Board [5d 9s 6s 5s Tc]
    Seat 3: Vision21707 (big blind) showed [Th Qc] and lost with two pair, Tens and Fives
    Seat 6: RobCoish (button) (small blind) showed [4s 7s] and won (7220) with a flush, Nine high

    For this hand, I was playing agressivly and trying to buy the pot initially, after reviewing this hand I'm thinking I should have folded but at what point? Should I have just dumped the hand after the flop, or were the pot odds still there? (I'm still a bit fuzzy on the whole pot odds calculations)

    PokerStars Game #2457547378: Tournament #11930842, Hold'em No Limit - Level V (75/150) - 2005/08/30 - 10:32:47 (ET)
    Table '11930842 1' Seat #6 is the button
    Seat 3: Vision21707 (5905 in chips)
    Seat 6: RobCoish (7595 in chips)
    RobCoish: posts small blind 75
    Vision21707: posts big blind 150
    *** HOLE CARDS ***
    Dealt to Vision21707 [8c Js]
    RobCoish: raises 600 to 750
    Vision21707: calls 600
    *** FLOP *** [Jh 5d Th]
    Vision21707: bets 1050
    RobCoish: calls 1050
    *** TURN *** [Jh 5d Th] [Tc]
    Vision21707: bets 1050
    RobCoish: raises 1050 to 2100
    Vision21707: raises 1050 to 3150
    RobCoish: raises 2645 to 5795 and is all-in
    Vision21707: calls 955 and is all-in
    *** RIVER *** [Jh 5d Th Tc] [3s]
    *** SHOW DOWN ***
    Vision21707: shows [8c Js] (two pair, Jacks and Tens)
    RobCoish: shows [Ts Kd] (three of a kind, Tens)
    RobCoish collected 11810 from pot
    *** SUMMARY ***
    Total pot 11810 | Rake 0
    Board [Jh 5d Th Tc 3s]
    Seat 3: Vision21707 (big blind) showed [8c Js] and lost with two pair, Jacks and Tens
    Seat 6: RobCoish (button) (small blind) showed [Ts Kd] and won (11810) with three of a kind, Tens

    Question: Should I have simply called after the Turn as he already made it clear that he wasn't going to fold the hand away and then folded if he made a large bet?

    PokerStars Game #2552678627: Tournament #12437278, Hold'em No Limit - Level X (400/800) - 2005/09/11 - 17:27:33 (ET)
    Table '12437278 4' Seat #3 is the button
    Seat 2: zingtard (37677 in chips)
    Seat 3: Vision21707 (29823 in chips)
    zingtard: posts the ante 50
    Vision21707: posts the ante 50
    Vision21707: posts small blind 400
    zingtard: posts big blind 800
    *** HOLE CARDS ***
    Dealt to Vision21707 [Ac 4s]
    Vision21707: raises 800 to 1600
    zingtard: raises 2400 to 4000
    Vision21707: raises 4800 to 8800
    zingtard: calls 4800
    *** FLOP *** [9c 3c 5h]
    zingtard: bets 12800
    Vision21707: calls 12800
    *** TURN *** [9c 3c 5h] [Qc]
    zingtard: bets 16027 and is all-in
    Vision21707: calls 8173 and is all-in
    *** RIVER *** [9c 3c 5h Qc] [9s]
    *** SHOW DOWN ***
    zingtard: shows [Ah 5d] (two pair, Nines and Fives)
    Vision21707: shows [Ac 4s] (a pair of Nines)
    zingtard collected 59646 from pot
    *** SUMMARY ***
    Total pot 59646 | Rake 0
    Board [9c 3c 5h Qc 9s]
    Seat 2: zingtard (big blind) showed [Ah 5d] and won (59646) with two pair, Nines and Fives
    Seat 3: Vision21707 (button) (small blind) showed [Ac 4s] and lost with a pair of Nines

    Same basic question, at what point should I have gotten out of this hand?

    Tuesday, September 13, 2005

    Hand History Help

    I have a couple of hands in my hand histories that I'm going through that I could use some second opinions on (obviously they're ones I lost in, otherwise I wouldn't care about them). If you'd like to take a look at them and wish to find out how big of an idiot I really am for playing them in the first place, please shoot me an email and I'll send some to you. Any second opinions would be welcome, if I don't like the answer I'll just say that you wouldn't understand the life of a Play Money Poker Player anyway. Thanks :)

    Weekend SNG's

    I played in about 10 (play money) SNG's over the weekend and overall did pretty well. I made about 2.067 for every 1 credit I put in so I can't really complain about that. More importantly, I have learned of a big hole in my game and am in the process of analyzing the situation. What I have discovered is that I am a very poor heads up player. In the past month or so, in the 7 tournaments that I have gotten into a heads up situation, I have managed to win only 1. The odds on that show me that it's not just the "luck of the cards" but something which I need to work on.

    So over the weekend, I ran out and picked up Harrington on Hold'em Expert Strategy for No Limit Tournaments Volume 2 Endgame as it has a specific section just on heads up play. After reading that section, I have gathered together all of my hand histories and am in the process of isolating just the heads up sections to compare my hands to the suggestions in Harrington's Book. I should have the analysis done in a few days or so, and I'll be sure to post the results when I get them.

    Thanks to the guys at Card Club on Lord Admiral Radio for not only reading my letter out loud, but pimping my humble blog. I'm highly honored. I also created an account at the Card Club Network so I look forward to poking around there and seeing what they have to offer there.

    Thursday, September 08, 2005

    Play Money Mania

    I have spent most of my afternoon here at work (what else am I supposed to do?) reading through various poker blogs, and adding most of them to my blogrolling list in a sad attempt to make it look like I actually have poker blog friends. During a trip to the lunchroom to warm up my gourmet meal of rice/steak/peas (all mixed up in a large Chinese soup container) I had an epifony epypheny ipefony really good idea. In all of the poker blogs, everyone is always talking about the real money ring and tournament games that they play in, and not one among them talks about playing any of the play money tables or tournaments. This has led me to the following conclusion, only hardcore poker players gamble with play money.

    The reason for this is simple, play money games are much akin to Russian Roulette. All those fancy books and game theory have no home in the chaotic Play Money Circuit, everything they think they know is wrong, their logic is fuzzy, and their carefully developed insights are useless. This scares most poker players so much so that they opt to stay in their "safe zone" of real money rings and tournies.

    So I have decided to forego my initial goals of playing for real money to focus instead on both trudging through the play money circuits, and battling it out in the massive player freerolls. Because that's the kind of guy I am. I also plan on being the sole voice reporting in to those of you on the rail, those to afraid to jump in with the REAL sharks, so that you can at least catch a glimpse of the other side of poker, the side the TV's are afraid to show you. I will show you the live of a Professional Play Money Gambler.

    My name is Twitch, I'm going in...all in.

    P.S. I have posted my usernames for the sites I play at (usually at Poker Stars) on the right hand column, if you're looking for a play money game, look for me, just don't look at those sissy real money games. I'll be in the trenches.

    Wednesday, September 07, 2005

    Playing the Freerolls

    In my last post I mentioned that I had gathered information that helped to justify my continued participation in my current hobby/obsession that is poker. This evidence comes in the form of two freerolls I played over the weekend, and I faired pretty well.

    The first Freeroll I played in was a Poker Stars 3:00 AM Freeroll this past Sunday. There were a total of 4493 players, and I hung in there to secure a 44th place finish, only about 34 places out of the "money" which was a buy in for future tournament (Omaha). Not to bad of a finish if I do say so myself.

    I started off kind of slow and lost about a third of my chips when my Hiltons (Queens) were beaten by someone who sucked out a king on the river to pair up. A few hands later however my AKo held up and I tripled my stack from 950 to 2870. I doubled up again a bit later when an opponent went all in with A8o preflop and I called him with Jacks. I even managed to double up yet again when my QJ held up against two players playing hands they really shouldn't have. I busted out both players at once giving me a significant chip lead for the table. I was at 12600 and the closest player had 4065. That was pretty sweet.

    I continued to play fairly conservatively, however I managed to pull a pretty spectacular suck out when I made a King high flush when both the turn and river came down spades. Then in the 1000/2000 blind level my Hiltons once again help up and I more than doubled from 19485 to 54470, a 34985 chip increase! A couple of hands later I won an additional 11026 chops when both my hole cards paired off on the flop.

    Probably the best hand of the tournament, from an entertainment point of view, came in the 1500/3000 level. I was dealt a 9sQh in the big blind. Two players called so I check to see the flop for free. The flop came down Ts 6s Ks, now I'm on a straight draw, and a flush draw. I check to see what the other two players do, one of them checks and the other goes all in for about 20k, I raise as well to go all in to scare away any potential chasers. Sure enough the other player folds, and it's down to just the two of us. The cards show and he has a pair of 6's and with the one on the board from the flop he's got a set. The turn comes down with a 2s making my King high flush, now all I have to do is worry about a 10 or a King falling to pair the board and give him a full house. The river comes down with the Kh. He had the hand after the flop, I sucked out a lead with a flush on the turn and he re-sucked me out with a full house to win the hand. Ouch.

    I finally busted out in the 2000/4000 level when I went all in with AKo and the board paired an 8 in my opponents hands (Q8o) and missed me completely. All in all I placed 44th out of 4487 which puts me in the top 1% of the players that competed. I can live with that.

    My second Freeroll was my first Freeroll tournament at Full Tilt Poker, which actually pays small dollar amounts for many of their Freeroll tournaments. The one I played in offered $5.00 for first place, $3.00 for second place and paid $2.00 for places 3-18. They limit the playing field to 900 players which filled up in less than 1 minute from the opening registration time.

    Since this was my first time on Full Tilt in quite a while, I forgot to turn on my hand histories so I don't have a very detailed account of how I did there. Out of 900 players, I ended up placing somewhere in the 130's or 140's range. Had I won my last hand I probably could have lasted into the double digits place and maybe even into the money, who knows.

    My last hand I was dealt pocket aces, sweet. I played it somewhat slow to try to entice the preflop callers (of which there were a fair few). The flop came down at K-x-x and I went all in. I think two or three people called called, both the turn and the river were garbage and I put my opponent on AK for a pair of Kings. Unfortunately what he really had were Pocket Kings which flopped a set and beat my bullets and ejected me from the tournament. It was late anyway (1:30 AM start time, and I played for a good 2 hours) and I needed to get some sleep anyway.

    Tuesday, September 06, 2005

    A Plethora of Poker Posts

    I don't usually post much during the weekends due to preferring to spend my time working (part time job), spending time with the family, cleaning/organizing/rearranging the house, cooking, watching TV/Movies, and of course actually PLAYING poker instead of just reading/thinking/writing about it as I have to do during much of the average work week. As I sat down today and created a list of events I wanted to blog about, I realized that I've got at least 5 posts to do, and it'll probably be up to six or seven after a trip to the Bathroom (See Vision Knights - August 9, 2005) . I'm hoping to get a couple of posts up per day until I get caught up, of course once I am, it will be the weekend again. The circle of life continues.

    For my first post, I need to start off by saying that I've been doing very well at Poker Stars 300+20 Play Money SNG's. In the past week or so I have placed 1st in a 27 player game, and have placed 2nd in two different 45 player games. I've had a few bad games in which I didn't place, but generally when I look back on those particular games, I realize I probably shouldn't have been in them in the first place. Unfortunately I don't have access to any of my hand histories at the moment (I'm going to have to start a spreadsheet one of these days to help me track them more efficiently) so I don't have an exact number of the games I've played versus the games I've placed in the money on.

    And now comes the frustrating part. On a bit of a high from my well played 300 SNG's, I decided to tackle a few 2000 SNG's. I busted out of both of them well before the money. I don't mind losing (much) however what made me nervous was, questioning weather or not I was good enough to play at that level? And if I wasn't, how could I bring myself up to that level? I've read some books, (and will continue to read more), websites, magazines, played conservatively as I was supposed to do, and yet I still found myself looking like Matt Damon in Rounders after Teddy "KGB" busts him out in the opening scene. One of my concerns is that I'm fairly alone in my Poker hobby/obsession as none of my friends play, and I haven't yet made any good online friends with whom I'm able to discuss my play and help analyze where my errors are. One thing I have decided however is to more carefully maintain my Play Money Bankroll and treat it more like a real money bankroll for discipline practice. From now on, I'm not going to play in a 2000 SNG until I have built up a bankroll of over 10,000. I should be able to do it by playing a few more 300 SNG's and I might try a bit of Limit and maybe some No Limit Ring games.

    I have come to the conclusion that these games should just be added to the pile of games and filed under the category of "Games I didn't win" and not be to overanalyzed into leading me to believe that I have no chance of doing well in real money games or tournaments. I happened up on Card Squad the other day, and they have a section where you can email them a question or a hand history and they will (try) to review it and get back to you, so I decided to give that a shot. I have yet to hear back from them, but I hope to sooner or later. Until then, I have gathered my own evidence and data and drawn my own conclusions. The evidence for this comes from the results of two Freeroll's that I recently participated in, and is the topic of my next post.

    I could still use some Poker Friends though; feel free to send me an email!

    Thursday, September 01, 2005

    My First Online Tournaments

    My first tournaments are over, and I'm very happy with the results. I ended up playing in three, two play money SNG's and a Freeroll event that had over 4000 registered players.
    My first ever play money tournament was an 18 person 300+20 No Limit Hold'em SNG. The biggest pot I won was 550, yet I still managed to pull a 3rd place victory overall, finally busting out in the 50/100 Blind Level. I played about 44 hands and folded over 90% of them, but I still collected 1080 in prize chips so I was very happy with my first ever SNG. My last hand I started off seriously short stacked (370 chips vs. 24325/2305) however I had crap hands all night long so I don't feel too badly about it. My best starting hand was AQo which I won 105 chips with and was my first win of the evening.

    As I still had time before my 3:00 AM Freeroll Tournament, I decided to register for another Play Money SnG. This time I went in for a 300 + 20 SnG with 45 other players to see how I would do. Unfortunately my cold card streak was still in effect so my best hand of that tournament was the first hand of the tournament, I won 220 but that was it for quite a while. It was all downhill from there, and I finally busted out after just 25 hands when I went All In with TJo and lost to a Full House (A's over 6's) when the board came down AdAh9h6dKh. I still managed to place 11th which wasn't bad, and I didn't feel to badly as my Freeroll was starting in about 10 more minutes.

    I took some time to go to the bathroom, kiss my girlie CC (she was sleeping downstairs on the bottom bunk of the bunk beds so she could be close to me while I was Pokering it up), and get some water before the big tournie began. I was so excited my legs were bouncing like crazy, my pals were a bit sweaty, and I had butterflies in my stomach. After a few more minutes the dealing began and I was in my first official tournament! Let the Pocket Aces begin! My first hand came in at 3/4 diamonds. I called UTG but folded when the player to my right went all in. So I waited until the next hand, sure to get my Bullets then. Sure enough, on the next hand, I got 3/5o - fold. The next hand, J4o - fold, and so on and so forth.

    This was actually my initial strategy, I folded most everything and only played decent hands and when position allowed. This simple strategy helped me stay alive while over 2000 of the 4000 players eliminated each other. My patience finally paid off and I eventually caught my monster hand. I stared off the hand with 3602, and in medium position with the blinds at 200/400 (25 ante) and was dealt Pocket Kings. I called 400 and had two callers join me. The flop came down 5/3/3 rainbow. Not good. I always get killed at the lower levels by three of a kind when the board pairs, so I checked. One of the remaining two players bets 800 and the other folds. I called figuring it to be a position raise. The turn is the beautiful but fearful Ace of Spades, now my Pocket Kings are in some pretty real trouble. I check and the remaining player in the hand bets 1200.

    With the blinds so high, and my stack pretty low I decided that if you can't make a move with Pocket Kings, then why play poker at all, so I call his 1200 bet. The turn comes down a Ten of Spades, I check, and he bets 1200. With no flush or straight possible, a 3 unlikely at these levels, the only thing I had to fear was one of the 3 remaining Aces. I call with my remaining 1177 chips and am All In.

    I would love to end the story here but I realize that if I did, I'd probably wake up tomorrow with tons of hate mail, and no one would ever visit any of my sites again, so I suppose I'll finish what I started.

    He had 8/7h, he was bluffing the whole time and I took the 8354 pot with 2 pair, Kings and 3's. I eventually busted out when I went All In later on in the tournament with Q/Jo and lost to a High Card Ace which put me at 215 of 4187. In my next tournament, I'm shooting for the final table.