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Friday, October 28, 2005

A Stunning Upset

Somehow I just managed to win both of my matches against Veneno. I'm not sure if it's from luck or skill but when she pushed hard, I found myself with a hand and pushed back and won in both of the All In's in both matches. In the first match I had AK and I think I hit a king at some point, and we went all in on the turn which won me the first match. For the second match I had two suited undercards (6Td) and hit 2 diamonds on the flop, the turn brought my flush and I bet out, she pushed back, I raised, she reraised big and I pushed all in which she called. Good Game Veneno.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Repost from Veneno's Comments Section

Veneno: Come on DP..if I paid you..it would have to be better than that! I would make you come up with say a list of 10 reasons why Twitch will need luck..or something..lol

Why let someone else get credit for this? I'm doing to do this myself!

Joe said...
Top 10 Reasons Twitch Will Need Luck Against the "Mighty" Veneno

1: She's been in tournaments that have lasted longer than he's been playing poker.

2: He still has to look up starting hand selections in "Poker for Dummies" and gets timed out 75% of the time because of it.

3: He sometimes forgets he's not playing lowball resulting in a hand showdown of 9 8 6 3 2 thinking he's got a good chance of winning the Low hand.

4: She knows he's never even played Lowball.

5: He can never remember which is higher a straight or a flush.

6: She knows pot odds.

7: She realizes that there are more betting options than min bet and all in.

8: She can managed to IM, Talk, Listen, AND play poker at the same time.

9: She's actually played live poker before.

10. Because with names like Poison and Twitch the Poker Gods have already made their choice quite clear.

The Top 1 Reason Veneno Will Need Luck Against Twitch

1: He's dangerous because he's a little stupid.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

As the Smoke Clears

After a very well played match up, I managed to win my matches against Loopy in a High Noon(ish) Showdown. I would love to attribute my win to aggressive play and strategic dominance, however in truth I feel I simply got lucky at the right times. Thanks again to Loopy for a great match and to CMitch for sweating our match. Now on to Round 2!

I've also updated the HUC2 Bracket with all of the known matches. Since I'm facing the mighty Veneno for the next match up, I'm going to need all the luck I can get. Maybe I'll sacrifice a stuffed animal or two to the poker gods for some additional good luck.

In a slightly related subject, last night when I got home from work, I hopped on UB to play a SNG to help familiarize myself with UB's setup and joined in a 10 person $1 SNG. I got great cards to start off with and managed to build up a nice early stack. From there I continued to play aggressively throughout the tourney and when the bubble popped, I had 2x as many chips as the next person, and about 7x of the short stack. After a few minutes, I took out the short stack, and on the very first hand of the heads up match, I paired both of my hole cards on the flop and my opponent went all in. I obliged and won the SNG. This was my first real money first place finish in a tournament! I'd scored a couple of first place finished (few and far between) in the play money tourneys (mostly at Poker Stars) so I was very excited. I'm going to try a $5 SNG next so hopefully I'll be able to continue my streak. That is all.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

HUC2 Matchup

It's Official.

Time: 11:15 AM
Place: UltimateBet.com
Gunslingers: Twitch vs. Loopy

When the smoke clears, and the last echoes of the final draw fade into the desert vastness, only one will be left standing. The other will forever be branded with a large L burned into his forehead, tossed ungraciously aside. The one left standing will await the next slick talking, ace wielding, gunslinger to wander into town.

Weekend Update

All weekend long I was looking forward to Poker Stars which started at 4:00 PM on Sunday. I was out before I could blink. I lasted all of about 30 minutes, it was pretty pitiful. Rather than just leaving I decided to try my luck at a $1.00 MTT. The Poker Gods choose to reward me for my perseverance with my highest ever MTT placement, I placed 2nd winning me $10 to help rebuild my Stars bankroll (I pulled out $25 to transfer to UB for the HUC2). I'm looking forward to trying another $1.00 soon to see if I can't repeat the showing. I've still been doing rather well on the NL Ring Tables which has also helped in dragging me back into the world of playable bankrolls.

Saturday I made a $100 Deposit to UB and Choose a $100 Bonus from All In Magazine (Thanks All In!) but I haven't had a chance to play there yet to see how their tables play. I tried to do the sign up through Poker Source Online however I had already had a play money account through UB so I wasn't eligible. I also realized that I was probably ineligible for my Absolute Bonus I had set up, so I'm fully expecting to get denied that promotion which I was going to use to get Poker Tracker. If I do get denied, I'm just going to pull $50 from my UB account and buy the program directly.

I'm trying to set up a time/date for my HUC2 match up with Loopy so as soon as I have a definite time, I'll let everyone know so they can go sweat Loopy. Speaking of the HUC2, I've set up a page on my website for the HUC2 BRACKET. It is in no means a replacement for Heads Up Challenge, but rather, as a supplement. It has a more printable bracket if you would like to use that for your home use.

Due to a rather busy week, I'm not sure how much time I'll have to work on clearing my various deposit bonuses, however I'm setting a goal for myself to have a combined bankroll of $200 by the end of December. Considering that I'm fully expecting to lose $35 in the HUC2 and the $50 to pay for Poker Tracker I will have to quadruple my remaining $50. The good news is that I have $150 in deposit bonuses that I have access to if I can clear the money without loosing my bankroll trying. I'm hoping that Poker Tracker can help me plug the holes in my limit game which would help things considerably. Wish me luck.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Heads Up Challenge 2

As Poker Professional Joe Sebok so eloquently stated during an interview of the 2005 World Series of Poker, "I'm dangerous because I'm a little bit stupid." If this is true, I'm going to be very dangerous. I hope so because I've just gone and done something rather rash. I went and jumped on the Heads Up Challenge 2 Bandwagon.

In psychological terms it's known as immersion (I know this because CC told me so). It's one way a person can get over fears/personal roadblocks/challenges. The person totally immerses themselves in something they don't like (which would be kind of like dropping me off in the middle of Paris.)

I have a horrible track record of finishing tournaments in second once the game comes down to a heads up situation, something like 1 first place finish vs. over a dozen 2nd place finishes. So now that I'm working to get my bankroll up in part through tournament finishes, I figure it's high time I figure this whole heads up thing out. What better way to do this than with some fellow poker bloggers and fine poker players. So even though I'm fighting with a limited bankroll at the moment, I've jumped into the HUC2.

For those HUC2 members here to my site for the first time, welcome. I have explored at least half of your sites over the past few months, while others will be new visits. I look forward to learning from you all. And with a bit of luck, I might even make a few bucks in the process.

I'm currently working on a web page attached to my site which will show the tournament standings as it progresses. I'll be sure to post the site link once it's fully up and functional.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

New WWdN Tournament

Wil just announced his next WWdN tournament, I'm passing along the information to try to boost the participants.

What: WWdN: Decker711 Invitational
Where: PokerStars.
When: Friday, October 20th. 7:00 PM EST
Password: monkey
Tournament number: 13788952
Buy-in: $10+1

Unfortunatly I will not be joining in this event unless I can get my Poker Stars bankroll up to at least $50. Currently it's in the low $30's. If I can score $20 between now and Friday I might join, however as I'm working that day, the family might not think running home and jumping online to be the greatest PR campaign. We'll just have to wait and see.

This morning I did pretty well on Absolute's NL tables. I played for about 30 minutes or so and won about 58 BB's and more than doubled up my buy-in. It was still very low limit stuff, but it made me feel good, and that's the important thing now isn't it. Yes. Yes it is.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Slow Poker Weekend

I played a fair amount of poker on Friday and a bit on Saturday, however as Sunday was CC's birthday one of my "presents" to her was a whole poker free day.

Friday was pretty good because I actually posted my first winning session in what felt like weeks, not at the limit tables, but at the .10 No Limit table. It felt very good finally leaving the table with more money than what I started with. I even earned a few hands towards my bonus deposit which is always a good thing.

Friday night I played in the WWdN tourney and placed 26th out of 96. Not to badly but well out of the money. I finally went out when I went all in with AJ in Early Position (I was down to less than 1 orbit and vowed to go all in with the next Ace I was dealt) and was called by two players. The highest card either of them had was a king, however the board paired their kings without ever delivering me my ace. Oh well, such is the way of things. Considering how badly I was outclassed in terms of talent and experience I felt I played well and did well.

Today I picked up Harrington on Hold'em Vol. 1, so between that book, Vol. 2, and my new project, I should be kept very busy for the next week or two. The best part is that I can work on those three things while at the office (I am blessed with a fair amount of free time) leaving me free to play while at home.

Which brings me to my next topic, my new project. Up until now, I have rarely made any conscious consideration of pot odds while playing. This is a huge hole that I need to fill and is one of the (many) reasons I have lost so badly playing the $1/2 Limit Games. To help work on this aspect of my game, I'm manually pouring over hand histories analyzing each individual hand (that I played in) retroactively calculating pot odds as I go to determine if I should have stayed in a hand or when I should have gotten out sooner.

In reviewing these hands, I came across one that I'm not sure how to calculate. I would like your help. Please review the following hand:

***** Hand History for Game 2781789090 *****
50/100 Tourney Texas Hold'em Game Table (NL) (Tournament 16101932) - Mon Sep 26 23:09:36 EDT 2005
Table Mini Step 1 1014304 (Real Money) -- Seat 2 is the button
Total number of players : 7
Seat 1: GeniusJames (1550)
Seat 2: hurricaneboo (230)
Seat 3: Twitch1975 (515) (that's me!)
Seat 4: RubbinHood (685)
Seat 5: Luckybill888 (300)
Seat 7: GATORSTYLE91 (1310)
Seat 10: thompwe (3410)
Twitch1975 posts small blind (25)
RubbinHood posts big blind (50)
** Dealing down cards **
Dealt to Twitch1975 [ Th, Ad ]
Luckybill888 calls (50)
thompwe calls (50)
GeniusJames folds.
hurricaneboo folds.
Twitch1975 calls (25)
RubbinHood checks.
** Dealing Flop ** : [ 7c, 4h, 7s ]
Twitch1975 checks.
RubbinHood checks.
Luckybill888 checks.
thompwe bets (50)
Twitch1975 folds.
RubbinHood folds.
Luckybill888 folds.
** Summary **
Main Pot: 250
Board: [ 7c 4h 7s ]
GeniusJames balance 1550, didn't bet (folded)
hurricaneboo balance 230, didn't bet (folded)
Twitch1975 balance 465, lost 50 (folded)
RubbinHood balance 635, lost 50 (folded)
Luckybill888 balance 250, lost 50 (folded)
GATORSTYLE91 balance 1310, didn't bet (folded)
thompwe balance 3560, bet 100, collected 250, net +150

My question is this, for the previous hand, in calculating the pot odds, do I have to calculate the odds of runner runner ace or ten? Where do you abandon pot odds calculations when you feel you are beat and can't possibly win the hand? I'm sure I'll have many more questions and examples as I dig through my $1/2 hand histories so check back regularly for updated challenges. Thanks.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

So Much for My Game Plan

Like life, just when you come up with a game plan, something/someone goes and throws a wrench in the works. However it's to good of a deal to pass up, so I'll be transferring money into my Poker Stars account tonight for the tourney tomorrow. Guess I'll just be spending a bit more time at the .25/.50 tables than I had planed. I knew this whole working 4 days a week (10 hour days) would come in handy eventually. Wish me luck.

What: WWdN Where's My Burrito? Invitational
Where: PokerStars.
When: Friday, October 14th. 4:00 PM EST
Password: monkey
Tournament number: 13722477
Buy-in: $10+1

That Didn't Work! Hand me the Hydrospanners!

I think I may have finally found one of the biggest gaping holes in my game. It's a hole I knew existed however I chose to ignore it out of convenience, greed, and impatience. I have been playing way out of my league, both in terms of player ability and bankroll management. "Why was I doing something so fundamentally stupid?" you ask? (Just pretend you really asked) I did it because I wanted free stuff, and I wanted it yesterday. I wanted free poker tracking programs, free books, free chipsets, free hats, and free money. But few things in life are free, and the price for these things quickly was playing out of my league.

In order for me to comfortably play in the $1/2 games I have been playing for the past week, my bankroll should be around $600. At it's high point, it was just shy of $190. It is currently at $90, and that's after clearing $40 in bonus money and $10 in the Cracked Aces Program. So I'm heading back to the minor leagues where I need to put in my time before jumping up to the next level. I am restricting myself to the following games.

For those times when my bankroll is under $100 (like now)
.25/.50 Limit
$1 SNG

For those times when my bankroll is between $100 and $150
.25/.50 Limit
.25 No Limit ($10.00 Max)
$5 SNG

If/When my bankroll gets over $200
.50/1.00 Limit
.50 No Limit ($20.00 Max)
$10 SNG

I doubt it's going to be a very fast progression between levels, but it's not really supposed to be. If my knowledge and skill prove to be adequate then I should be able to do well at the No Limit and SNG tables to earn me bankroll funds and the No Limit tables should allow me to gradually clear my deposit bonus. Once I hit $150, I may even transfer $50 to Poker Stars to allow me to play over there on occasion. In the meantime, no more bonus chasing, no more playing levels that are out of my league, and focus (and take seriously) the levels I'm currently playing. I also need to work on my 2nd place finish streak on my SNG's. I'm even going to spend more time reading the poker books I have rather than trying to read books I'm not ready for, don't fully understand, and am just reading because they're there on the shelf waiting for me to buy.

As the great and wise Yoda once said, "This one a long time have I watched. Never his mind on where he was, what he was doing. Adventure. Heh! Excitement. Heh. A (grinder) craves not these things."

True dat. True dat.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Oh the Humanity

Variance is smacking me around like a French Circus Midget lately. I made my deposit over on Absolute Poker on Saturday and started working on clearing my $150 cash bonus as well as 400 hands for my free copy of Poker Tracker and Mike Caro's Book of Tells. I started off by playing my usual .50/1.00 game and quickly went up about $15 or so. I played for awhile and managed to keep my lead. After an hour or so, I checked my raked hands count only to find I was at about 20 (much like Party Poker, Absolute Poker only counts hands where the Pot is larger than $5. So later on when I decided to sit down and play again, I figured I'd give the $1/2 a try, after all if I took in my $20 and lost, I'd only be down $5 from my morning haul. I played for another hour and went up another $15, only this time instead of clearing 20 hands, I was up 100 or 125. All in all Saturday I was up around $50, I ended up clearing $10 in bonus money, and had even won $10 in their cracked aces program when my aces lost to runner runner trip Q's. Saturday was very good to my bankroll.

Sunday and Monday were not. I lost pretty much everything I had won save for my two bonus deposits (Absolute transfers $10 into your money account from your bonus account for every 100 raked hands). I could go on and on about bad beats, stupid players, and frozen cards however everyone's already "been there, gone through that" and in the end it's the price of variance. This morning I knew I wasn't in the right mindset so I only played a bit of .02/.04 and I still ended up losing .25 (I was up .50 at one point but decided that logging out at that stage was a bit pointless.)

As I don't yet have a registered version of Poker Tracker (and I've already reached my 1000 hand limit), I don't have the desire to pour over raw data streams of hand histories to help me plug the holes in my game, however I think I have the solution which I remember when I'm losing and promptly forget when I'm winning. Play to fold, not to win. When I play to fold, either because I'm new to a site, new to a particular new level, or just trying to clear bonuses, I try to play to fold unless I hold a monster hand, or I'm in the blinds and can see the flop cheaply. When I do this money stays in front of me. I don't spend money chasing straights and flushes that never materialize, I don't spend money raising in early position, and I don't spend money on trying to scare people out of pots when I have a garbage hand. I need to play to fold, let the others use their stacks to clear my bonus, if I happen upon pocket Aces or Kings great, if not, fold. Do not pass go, do not collect $200 (Unless of course that's the bonus your shooting for. Basically I need to do what every Poker Player advises when in a similar slump, straighten up, play tighter, and focus. I only need to clear 115 more hands to clear my Poker Tracker and Caro's Book of Tells. Then I can go look into starting a new bonus program and go for Super System, Super system 2, and The Theory of Poker. I'm not sure if those books will help my game at all, but at least they'll look good on my bookshelf.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Good News Bad News

Good News - I was finally able to get my Party Poker account reinstated last night. I was able to log in and re-request my withdrawal so it should be in my account and ready to import into Firepay next week. Then I can finally get started on my next (first) PokerSource Online promotion. For the first promotion, I'm going for a set of Poker Chips, however for the second I'm going for a free copy of Poker Tracker. Actually come to think of it, I'd probably be better off getting Poker Tracker first, and the chips second. I guess I won't have to burn my soon to be received Party Poker hat after all.

The bad news is that it's almost the weekend and I traditionally do horribly on the weekends. I only left about $10 in my account so I'd really like to get that up to around the $50 mark however one bad session and I could lose my small remaining bankroll. Typically I have my most consistent sessions around 8:00 AM, however my biggest wins and biggest losses have been in the very early morning hours when I get home from work. The weekends usually bring about horrendous losses so I have tried to avoid the weekends as much as possible. I suppose what I should do it just log in with $5 into the .5/1.00 and try to win a quick hand, then leave before I can run in to a chance to lose it. SNG's have so far proved a waste of time and money for me so I would like to hold off on those until I can rebuild some semblance of a bankroll. Maybe I'll just go for broke tonight with my remaining bankroll and either double up in anticipation of the weekend or lose it all and focus on play money tournaments. I'm also signed up for a freeroll on Sunday afternoon so I should probably be working on my tournament play anyway. If anyone sees me this weekend, please remind me that Harrington's book is only going to be useful if I read it.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Very Little Poker

Sorry I haven't posted much this week but with my Party Poker account locked out at the moment, I haven't been playing much poker online lately. Supposedly there's hope that my account may be reinstated tonight, but I'm not holding my breath. If my account gets opened up, I might be able to play for a tad bit.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Question for the Masses

Has anyone out there been asked to send a copy of their drivers license to Party Poker for them to "Verify my Security?" My account has been locked out and I have been on the phone with them for about an hour going round and round about why exactly it is I need to send a Drivers License to them as A: I didn't know I needed one to play poker online, B: The address doesn't reflect my current address (I have a Change of Address form for that), C: they don't have a copy of my photo/signature on file in order to verify anything. I find the whole thing very sketchy and am quite ready to never play there again. Of course they'll probably lock my funds and take them away if I refuse to comply (I did send them a copy of my Cable Bill to verify name/Address but so far they want something more and I don't really plan on being very cooperative). Of course all this came about because I tried to withdrawl money from my account, had I just played until they raked it all away, I'm sure this wouldn't be an issue. Anyway if you have submitted a drivers license to them and think I should to and think I'm just being a putz about this whole thing, please let me know. Thanks.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Oh I Did It All Right

Yup, I managed to do it quite well. Unfortunately it wasn't anywhere near the right direction. On Thursday I had my $150 all set and waiting to be transferred via Firepay out of my Party Poker account, and then through PokerSource Online to start on my Poker Chip set. Of course I find out Thursday night that Party Poker doesn’t accept Firepay as an outgoing payment method so there was major snag number 1. They do offer a check directly to your bank account, but that takes about a week to go through, and I didn't want to drain my entire account before the weekend if I wasn't going to be able to play again for a week. So I decided to play a bit on Friday. Woops, lost $16 gotta love when that happens. Oh well, I'll earn it back over the weekend. Saturday morning I started my great comeback with a $3 win. Not huge, but a start. So Saturday night I log in, and proceeded to blow $20 in less than an hour. So no my bankroll is down to $120 and I don't think I'll be able to get it back up to $150 any time soon. So I gave up and withdrew $110 leaving myself $10 to mount some form of comeback. If it happens, great, if I blow that as well, then I'm on a forced break until I can transfer the money to Absolute Poker later on this week. I'm entertaining myself back on Poker Stars on the play money circuit for the time being.