Floating on Water: September 2006

Floating on Water

Saturday, September 30, 2006

The Day the Music Died

Not quite sure what direct effect this has (or how long this will take to materialize) but the Senate appears to have passed a bill that will ban online poker in the United States.

More Info

What will US based online poker pro's do ? Move to Mexico ? Canada ? Seems like a somewhat easy fix. How about the fish ? I don't anticipate the fish moving, doh !!

Strictly live poker coming soon .... California here I come!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Couple Poker Hands

I Decided to venture out of the friendly confinds of Boston yesterday and head down to Foxwoods. I was planning on playing the tues night tourney @7 and screwing around in whatever cash game was going on at the time.

I jumped in a four handed 75-150 Omaha/Stud 8 game.

The Omaha game was pretty passive preflop with very little raising. I was in the SB with 685J and the button limps, I toss in the quarter (I had posted a $50 small blind) to see the flop. The flop came K95 and it gets around. The turn is the 7 of clubs, giving me the nuts, but also making 2 clubs and 2 to a low on board. I bet out and the BB, thinks for a couple seconds and says "I have to call." I immediately think he has a low draw and a club draw. Its kind of foolish to call with just clubs or with just a low draw in such a small pot. Anyway the river came a big club and I check folded. Not a big deal but him "having to call the turn," I think is a big mistake. Him putting $150 into a $375 pot, where he will get scooped 42.5% of the time and only scoop me 22.5% of the time(thats if he has 3 live low cards), and the rest of the time we split the pot.

After a couple hours in that game, the 7pm tourney began. Its a 150 buy-in, with 60 rebuys and a 120 add-on. During the rebuy period I had full intention of shooting it up, playing as many hands as I could. I had just doubled my stack up to ~4k with the J4 of clubs, so my image was a little tainted to say the least. Now a FW regular limps so I limp in the cutoff with AJ, the blinds come along. The flop is JJ5 with 2 spades, I have the A of spades. The FW reg bets 150, I splash out 525 and clear out the blinds and get it heads up. The turn is and 8 of spades, he checks I check, the river is a 5, making the board JJ855, giving me the virtual nuts. He immediately moves his stack in and I call. He shows me Q9 of spades. The hand seemed pretty standard, but for about the next 15 minutes the other end of the table cant stop talking about his turn check...."you shoulda shoved," "you cant give him free cards," "he woulda called anyway," "he just won with j4soooooted".....blah blah blah it was rebuy period, I had three jacks and the ace of spades, sorry boys' I was getting that pot.

A few hours later we are at the 600-1200 level, with 200 antes. I have ~10k after I post the small blind. By this point in the tourney everyone is short stacked relative to blinds, and the most aggressive players are the ones that will survive. Its folded around to the button (an older man from NY) who open limps, I pretty much know I am not folding before I look at my cards. Anything that resembles a poker hand and all my chips are going in the pot, and any piece of cheese I will call and hope to get lucky, getting a great price. I look down and see the seven deuce of diamonds. I call. The BB checks, the flop comes out 258, with 2 spades. With 5600 in the middle and 9400 left in my stack, I move in hopping to take it down right now. The BB gets all mad saying he wishes he raised preflop (later he says he had QJ) and the passive old man on the button casually calls the 9400 (leaving himself with about 3k) and turns over A8sooted. This is normally the end of the story, but the blank turn was followed by the 7 spades on the river! Ship The Bread to Fred !!!

I ended up busting out with about 35 people left, I decided to try and win a big pot with QQ rather than just taking down a smallish one. I thought the play was right at the time and I stand by my decision now. Blinds 1k-2k with 300 ante, the button goes all in for 1700, I am in the Small Blind with QQ. My three options are A.shove my 25k in and get the BB out of the hand. B.Limp in and allow the BB to see a free flop or make a preflop move to get me out. or option C.Make a weakish raise tempting the BB to reraise me. Based on my feel for the player I chose option C and raised to 5k the BB immediately says "allin" he has me barely covered and I beat him into the pot with my remaining 20k. But this wasn't meant to be, as he rivered a straight with his KJ, sending me to the rail.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Threshold of Pain

Stones Hat ... Souviner from Wednesday's Show


The Past two months have been my worst consecutive months of my poker career.

some saggy boobs .... or my current poker graph

But due to my struggling, I have been playing less hours and fewer hands. I have been spending more time thinking about the game and thinking what I am doing wrong. A friend recently asked me why I thought I was losing. I think there is no simple answer to this question. Its a combination of running bad (bad luck), tilting or playing less than optimally, poor game selection, and not "fully reloading" my account. These factors combined have created a spiral effect. I would take a couple bad beats, get frustrated, push a couple hands too hard against opponents who can sense blood and come in for the kill. Then when I ran out of money, I would only reload for a couple buyins; this was done out of convienience of smaller buyins.

For now I am just going to continue to play a light schedule and really focus until I play my way through and get back on track. Not really nervous about my ability's and I'm not in jeopardy of "running out of money." But all of this "sole searching" made me think about my entire poker career from the beginning. I have a bunch of funny / scary situations that were major issues at the time before my current comfort level. But now it made me think of my "threshold of pain."

The Scene: 3 1/2 years ago, the Saturday before Easter, on my Tanglewood couch in RI. I'm not sure of the exact numbers, but I would say I had about 60-70% of my bankroll (or total value of everything I have) in my Pokerstars account. I jump in the full stars 100-200 game, and lose a little as the game breaks down to Rabs, Jdags and Myself...clearly not a good spot for me. But hey, I was stuck a little and may get lucky. FASTFORWARD 14 hrs later, about 20 1k heads up sit n goes, and a little headsup with Toronto Toro and I had busted my stars account (this was my first major bust on stars, but a pattern that would repeat itself over the years). Now its about 2 or 3am and I have to drive to an Easter Brunch in the morning. The beating had really taken a toll on me. Spending a day with the fam, talking about my "new poker career" which was going great with the exception of the precious 24 hrs. FASTFORWARD Now almost 4 years later and my current downswing being more than triple that single day loss. I have created a new threshold. But I still can not recreate that same "pit" I had in my stomach on that dreadful EasterSunday.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Vegas Net Result + 12 LBS

After "Senior Week" in college I did not think I would ever party as hard on as little sleep as I did that week, but to my amazement I outdid myself. This past week in Vegas with a big group of friends was simply out of control. By the last night there (a Friday night, in the greatest party city in the country) we only had 6 troops remaining for dinner, and only four that made it out past that. Seven days pushing ourselves to the limits severly took the tool on all of us. During the week we hit up numerous clubs/ bars/drunk buses /restraunts and by the end everybody was ready to just get home!How did we miss out on this ?????

Before and After

Light @ Bellagio

The Drunk Bus

A couple jagger bombs before we head out....

Vegas does bring out the best in everybody !

Finally after spending the better part of Saturday 30,000 feet above the ground, I returned to Boston around 1030pm, which was just in time to catch the tailend of my good friend Sean's Bachelor party. MINGHA was I beat, but hey, if he was ready to lock it up for good, I wanted to make sure he went out in style! The wedding is this coming weekend, congrats and gl Sean!



Ehhh, poker is kinda dumb...I ordered season 1 of the show "High Stakes Poker" on DVD and have spent the last couple of days on the couch napping and recovering. I sure dont bounce back like I did in my prime....

Friday, September 01, 2006

F Mr Grant !!!!!

Nothing too exciting lately...I have been playing poker @ FullTilt like its my job. I have been playing alot of headsup and shorthanded limit holdem, with good results for the most part. I have been using "the trick," with a few modifications. The "trick" is a preflop strategy used when playing headsup when the button is the small blind (party poker has the button as the big blind). There have been a few opponents that have come up with ways to counteract my game plan, but for the most part I have been successful.

I have also been playing a lot of Omaha 8. Mostly 50-100, but some 100-200 and a session at 200-400. Kind of crazy/ stupid to be playing 200-400 Omaha when I'm not even sure if I can beat the 50-100 game. Anyway all in all I am a small winner thus far playing O8.

Tomorrow morning I am going to Vegas for a week. This will be pretty much a week long party with a bunch of good friends from college. I am bringing enough money to maybe sneak in a session or two of poker, but no biggie either way.

Today I stopped by the bank to pick up some cash from my friendly teller, when she decided she wanted to give me all fifty dollar bills (which I absolutely HATE!!). I nicely asked her for large bills. She in turn shows me the 50's, as if to say "these are large bills." I then ask for hundreds and she says "there are none in my draw." I kindly ask her to look in another draw. She explains they cant go in each others draws. At this point I am beginning to get a little frustrated. I explain to her that I am traveling and 50's just wont cut it. I couldn't imagine what she would have said if I explained to her that 50's "don't play" at Bellagio, which is true, if you have 50's on the table you cant use them, you can use 100's only. Anyway, after this ordeal goes on for a while I end up getting mostly hundreds after she "made a few trades." I will have to make sure I burn the unwanted 50's before I enter the poker room!