Floating on Water: March 2006

Floating on Water

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

On The Road Again

The Spring Classic has arrived at foxwoods, so I made my trek down to the CT woods today for a 2 week stint of live poker and some NL tourneys. Three years ago when I first started playing poker full time after quiting my finance job, Foxwoods was my office. I logged hundreds maybe thousands of hours in the 2040 game. After the explosion of internet poker, and my bankroll growing, my hours slowly diminished at the woods. Then when I moved from Rhode Island to Boston, my time at foxwoods all but disappeared. Besides some random trips with friends, I only return to play poker twice a year, for the fall and spring poker tournaments. Everytime I get here, I hope they will be spreading a big hold'em game, and everytime I get her, I realize this will never happen. Every other poker trip I make I am able to find at least one 80-160 or bigger game, but not at foxwoods, here they spread 20-40 with the random 40-80 or 50-100. Today after busting from the first NL event, my options, were 20-40 Hold'em, 75-150 stud, or 75-150 HOE (holdem, omaha8, and stud8 rotating every 30 minutes). And since I have never played stud, my choice was between 2040 holdem or 75 HOE. I like the challenge of new games, plus this is a level where I can learn the game by watching some of the better players, while at the same time not lose too much money. I played for 5.5hrs, at my peak I was up 1200, and my low was down 1800, I finished a small winner.

The first event was the NL Double Play, a 2 day event Foxwoods created, which combines winners of single tables to compete in a Multitable tournament on day 2. Each player started with 2500 chips. On the second hand of play the player to my right criples an older man on my left by getting lucky on the river, leaving the old man with exactly 1000 chips in the form of 2 five hundred dollar chips. Before he had even stacked his winning, he leans over me, and asks the old man if he wants change for his chips...The old man just gave this kid a blank stare...I could read his mind, something along the lines of, you bleepen bleep, why dont you take my chips and bleepen bleep... hahaha

I managed to be elinited by this same kid about 2 hands later, the blinds 25-50, he opens for 500 from late position, and I decide to shove my stack in with 88. But I should have known this kid was trapping me by making this overbet with Aces to get my whole stack, ahhh gutta love tournaments !

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Online Poker May Be Rigged??

Well after getting hammered playing party poker 100-200 recently, I decided to go back to what has proven to be my cash cow, multi-tabling 30-60. Party Poker has been my home field, but for some strange reason I decided to go give Poker Stars a shot. Playing a full day Monday through Thursday, I was able to compile 4 decent wins and regain some of my lost confidence.

Poker, specficcally online is crazy. When you are losing and can not win a pot, you think the software is rigged, everyone plays better than you, and no river card is safe. But when you are winning everything changes, you wonder how you could have ever lost at this game. Its soooo simple, you are dealt AK three bet someone, flop a K get paid the whole way by his JJ, man that guy is such a fish.

During my session today, one of my opponents who seems to be a pretty solid player but appears to be going on a downswing was whining in the chat box. I couldn’t help myself, I had to chime in.

ME: your really running bad
OPPONENT: Its rigged
OPPONENT: Dont you see ??
ME: of course, just glad its rigged in my favor
OPPONENT: I must say, that i find it highly irregular, what has happened on this table the last hour..
OPPONENT: Oddsvise it is impossible
ME: im up 500, seems pretty regular

Anyway poker can be the worst game in the world when you can’t win a hand, but the best game when you snap off 4 big pots at the same time on 4 different tables.

Tonight the NCAA returns, with the Sweet 16 games. I have done fairly well in most of my smaller pools, and in the one big one, I control my own destiny. I guess I could not have asked for much more, but need to pretty much run the table from here on in to scoop the big prize. My three key games in this round: I need Florida over GTwon, Zags over UCLA and Nova to oust BC.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Losing + College Hoops = Very Little Poker

Since coming home from California, I have not been able to get into a groove. I have not been able to string together a streak of wins. While this has been happening I feel like I am compounding the downswing by missing bets with big pairs. I have become so accustomed to losing with them, that I am playing them too passively. I know in the past I have become more driven and motivated while losing, but for some reason this time, I don’t seem too eager to get back on the horse. I have not played nearly enough hours or hands lately to break out of the slump. I have been playing mostly 2 games instead of my normal 4, and playing fewer hours than normal. I know I will snap out of this, I just need to stay focused and continue to try and play my best every session.

Along with losing, which in itself makes poker less enjoyable, CBS has been showing 8+ hrs a day of college basketball. This makes playing poker and bleeding away large sums of money the clear second choice to watching the drama unfold in the fight for the NCAA Championship. With no basketball for the next few days, I may try to get a few thousand hands in….we will see.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

March Madness

The best time of the year for college sports is only a couple of hours away! Along with this being a great time for college sports it is also a great time for “office pools,” one of my favorite times of the year, with all day action Thursday through Sunday. This year I decided to approach my pools in a little different manner. Normally I enter around 5 different pools, and somewhat change my picks for each entry. Not this year, I decided to go for the scoop. I am in 5 different pools, with a total 8 entries (entered 3 of them twice). I used the same bracket for all of them, then with minor changes later in the tournament for my second entries.

This is the second year of the “poker office pool,” last year we wanted to do a $500 entry but could only get a handful of people, so we changed it to 300, and stuck with that number again this year, and quickly got 20 entries. This is the biggest buy in I am in, by almost 10 times any of the others. But as is the way with poker players, enough is never enough. Midday Wednesday, I get an email titled, “overs.” In the poker world an over is when some people at the table play for higher stakes than everyone else at the table by using “over” buttons, to show they are playing higher, an example would be at a 30-60 table, some people would be playing 60-120. So the banter began, and by late Wednesday night we had 7 out of the 20 people deciding to play a “1K over,” this is clearly a sick group of individuals!

My bracket shapes up pretty straight forward in the early rounds, with some later upsets. My Final Four being Duke, UCONN, Florida and Gonzaga. Regardless of the outcome the next 4 days of nonstop college basketball should be great.

Sunday, March 12, 2006


Taking a week long non poker vacation is something I have not done in a long time, but felt the time was right. I just returned from a week in the Caribbean on a Carnival Cruise. During the trip I visited St Thomas, Barbados, Dominica and Aruba. A good time was had. The best island in my opinion was Barbados, home of “The boatyard,” restaurant, bar, beach club. They had ocean trampolines, a rope swing, a slide and volleyball, making for a fun day.

Besides visiting a bunch of different places the best part of the cruise is the food. The main dinner in the fancy dinning hall was my favorite 2 hours of the night. All the meals being inclusive, ordering 2 appetizers, a salad, 2 entrees, and 2 deserts was a pretty common occurrence for everyone in my party. My favorite night (the menu is different everyday) was the lobster bisque, and melon wrapped in prosciutto, then the Caesar salad followed by the NY Strip, and a lobster tail. Capped with some chocolate cake…yea the belt was loosened that night for sure!!

While not planning on playing any poker, and very minimal casino gambling, I somehow managed to come home with a few hundred more than my total expenses while on the boat and islands. In general I am not a big casino gambler, but 2 short craps sessions and 1 roulette session tuned me nice little profit. But the most fun gambling was clearly the 5-10 limit hold’em. I only played 1 session for maybe 1 hour after the onboard club was closed for the night. At first I was raising every hand after looking at my cards, then decided I needed a new strategy and decided to raise every hand without looking. Either way, I was crushing them.

My favorite hand of the night, there was like 9 limpers, a raise then reraise and I am on the button with 68 clubs, so I toss in the 20 to cap it. 15 players to the flop of 4-7-10 rainbow, there is a bet and a bunch of callers, I raise someone reraises and I cap my big draw. The turn is a 5, someone bets, a few people call I raise everyone calls, the river is some meaningless card, the guy bets into me, the callers give him this are you an idiot look, and I raise and they all call. I begin hearing all the comments, “you capped preflop with 68,” “you capped the flop with a gut shot”, blah blah blah. I did have 68 sooooted and I didn’t have a gutshot. Anyway all in all I beat those guys for a smooth $150.

This week I am planning on getting some poker playing done in the beginning of the week, because I know the end of the week is going to be a little crazy. With “March Madness” beginning Thursday and St. Patrick’s Day Friday, I feel like there won’t be much “grinding” taking place.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Smooth Sailing

Red Sox opening night, err or well actually the first game of spring training, seems like a good enough season to have a few drinks celebrating that spring is only around the corner. GP decided he wants a bottle of Blue Label Johnny Walker. Unaware of the cost or what this actually is, I decide it can’t be that bad, so I go for it. I jump in a cab head to the packie, they give me some funny looks when I'm asking about the JW Blue, which they don’t carry, but ask me what the “special” occasion is, I laugh and say just some weird friends. He tells me the next best thing he has is JW Gold. After arriving and breaking the bad news to GP, he doesn’t seem too upset “settling” for the Gold bottle. I mix my JW with coke and ice, download the MLB package and pull up the Sox game, while GP proceeds to drink it on the rocks. Anyway spring training games just aren’t that exciting, watch some of the B’s victory, but before long the conversation leads to poker. Next thing I know we have an empty bottle of JW and 2 shorthanded online 100-200 poker games going which we both have 50% of the action. GP is driving (playing the games), yadda yadda yadda we are stuck (losing) about 5k. He decided to smoke a cigarette so it's my turn to drive. He passes out on the coach yadda yadda yadda we are stuck 8k. Man so much for a fun night out. I crack open my second and only remaining beer in the apartment and began to focus, time to stage a rally and get out of this mess!!! Not quite sure what started it or how it happened I began flopping pairs and the deficit was shrinking, in-between some snoring GP asks how we stand, -5k, -3k, -6k, -2k, daylight (getting even) is in sight. Badda-bing, badda-bang, a few hands later, and the tally is calculated and a victory is scored +2k, one-thousand apiece, was there ever a doubt??? Just in time to grab beer and slice of pizza before last call.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Back to the Grind

Manny just reporting to camp (we hope), 32 days until opening day, and the weather in Boston lately being waaaay below freezing I’m finally getting serious again with the whole online poker thing. Spending almost a month in Cali, then about a week here without playing much, I played the full Sunday Circuit of tournaments, capped off with the recently added HORSE event on Full Tilt Poker. Nothing too exciting overall. I did cash once, where I made it fairly deep on party, into the top 100 out of almost 3k, their new deep stack structure is great, but there antes need to be altered.

My favorite recent hand, was a 30-60 limit hold’em on party poker, *sigh,* any hand from 30-60 party must be pretty great for it to be exciting since I have played about a million party poker 30-60 hands in the last 15 months. This has been my main online game, 4 tabling on party. So anyway here goes, 2 limpers and I get a free play in the BB with 64 hearts. The flop comes down 237 with two hearts, I bet out first limper raises, small blind calls, I three bet, limper raises and I cap. The turn peels off one of the three jokers in the deck, a non heart 5, giving me the stone cold nuts !! Again we get to cap the turn 3 ways. The river comes the ugly 6 of clubs, to make the final board, 76532, now the small blind bets into me, arghhh, I think he must also have a 4 for the straight, so I just call hoping to get an overcall from the third player and split his money. Now the third player raises, and the small blind only calls ?!? So he doesn’t have a 4 so I three bet and the limper caps. On the cap I’m thinking this guy played 89 of hearts like a maniac and made a bigger straight, we both call. The small blind turns over 77 for top set, and the good old limper turns over 73 for his two pair that he slightly overplayed. A world of emotions on the river, first I think I am chopping the pot, and then I think I got scooped then finally I realize party poker rules and I scoop the $1917 pot!

Heading to Rhode Island Wednesday to take care of some personal business, might stop by the old stomping grounds tomorrow night, and see if the new Foxwoods WPT Poker Room is open yet.