Friday, September 11, 2009

Missing reads yet seeing them at the same time...

What is up? So I had a pretty bad weekend, compared to the last 10 sessions, I took a couple of losses. No worries, you got to take these hits every now and than, yet, I believe I could have got away from them. This is the difference between amatuer (Me) and pro (Phil Ivey).

Okay, here are a couple of rules you should follow before going in to play live action. 1) GET A GOODNIGHTS REST! 2) Have your strategy set and adjust during the game 3)When making a big decision-slow down, walk backwards and understand the action up to this point.

Well Friday night, the cards were just not coming and the best hand I saw after two hours (actually one hour) just felt like two hours, was q 10 in middle position, I limp in so does the button, small blind and big blind taps the table. The flop came out Q 4 6 rainbow, I fire out a three quarter bet hoping to take the pot down, button calls and the blinds fold. The turn is another Q...I decide to bet $55...now the button says, "How much?" The alarm bells should have gone off in my head, BUT THEY DID NOT. I say what I bet and he calls. The river is a blank, I fire out $100 and he says all in...could I have gotten away from it before betting $55? Nah, could I have not bet the $100 on the river after the call on the turn, if my spidey senses were up, YEAH! Well, I call the extra, whatever, and he shows Q 6 suited. Now, we are not talking about the beat here, we are talking about how I could have possibly gotten away or paid less for that river.

Saturday, did not get enough sleep AGAIN! Even though I thought I did. I'm doing alright until about an hour into the session and I am under the gun and had straddled, six people called the four bucks, when it gets back to me I look at pocket 10s and pop it to $35. I get two callers, middle position and the button. The flop is 9 2 3 rainbow, harmless. I bet out out $55, middle folds and the button says, "HOW MUCH?" (YOU FREAKING KNOW HOW MUCH LUNCHBOX, YOU WATCHED ME STACK IT AND PUSH IT ACROSS THE FREAKING LINE!!!!!). "$55", I say. He called. The turn is a Q, I quickly...again I say, quickly run through what he may have, here is what I say to myself, "AQ, did he float with AQ, nah, he made those over bets when flush draws hit earlier, lets make sure and bet $100." Yes, that is all I thought about! What should I have thought...here, over pair, aces to jacks. Set of nines, deuces or threes...two pair maybe. A whole lot that beats me right? After I bet he goes all in, now I should againg think on it, right? I DON'T! I call and he shows a set of threes! The funny thing is he thought he out played me, NO LUNCHBOX, you profited off my freaking MISTAKE! I make bo bo you make money! YOU SUCK!!!! Sorry, I uh, got a little out of hand there. I basically beat myself this weekend and hopefully this will be a cleansing for me.

In conclusion, I may not have gotten away from these hands but I could have paid a lot less to see the beating.

What quesitons might you have?

Stay nice as rice and mello as jello!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

chris my nemesis from the state of Mass. Let me tell you how he crushed me and how i came back!.jpg

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Greetings and Salutations!
What a day! Got to meet some cool guys from the state of Mass.etc and a ringside judge for boxing matches. What I want to tell you about is my quick win, sudden loss and huge win after a four and a half hour rollercoaster!

So I get into Harrahs at about 1:45pm four 1-2 nl games going and they tell me that they are opening a game on table 12 at 2 pm. I set up in the three seat. Nine other guys that I don't know sit down...SWEET! Talked to a guy from Oklahoma on my left who had a cute girl sitting behind him telling me about the soft games he plays in and makes a $1000 a week there...WHERE? Get me that info bro! As we are talking he tells me that he told his girl that I seem to be the guy that he needs to look out for. As he finished this statement, he raises on the button. I smiled and looked down at two kings. Now, the right thing to do here is try to get heads up but these folks were very readable and I wanted to know how many aces may be out there. There were five limpers, and six callers to his raise. The flop was 10 high. I check, as does everyone else to him. He bets about $40, I call...everyone else folds. The turn is a Jack, I check again and he shoves all in..."Crap," I say as I look at him, "Did that , Jack hit you?" He tightened up even more, 'nope, it sure didn't' I telepathically said to him. I called the last 125 and turned my Kings over, he nodded and shoved his hand in the deck and pulled out another $100.

So by 4:30 pm I'm up pretty good. I'm talking to a kid from Mass.etc who is on his bachelor party, and one of the party is in the six seat. I've been getting hit in the face with overs, AJ, AQ, AK, A10...so i've been opening to get the junk out, the table seems to be getting anxious. So with a decent hand I opened from the hi-jack and, Chris, the guy in the photo, part of the bachelor party comes along with four others. I miss the flop but Chris, bets out $40 and takes the pot down. Two hands later I am in the cut off seat, while talking to the guy to my right about .357 magnums that have bullets that fire pelts for home security, I look down at KJ off and open again, I get six callers. The flop is K 7 5 two diamonds. They check around to me and I push out $40, Chris, my nemesis, is the only caller. The turn is a diamond. MISTAKE COMING! I bet out $100, Chris, gets REALLY excited and contemplates, I know as the 100 is flying in the air that FUCKED up. So Chris pushes all in for another $85. I need to fold here, no matter what I need to fold here...MISTAKE COMING! I called. Yes, I CALLED! River is a blank and Chris shows the A 6 diamonds. GEEZ RAY! I am so pissed at myself that I don't get up and continue to tell myself to learn from that obvious mistake and grow. Well I play for another hour and 15 minutes and am close to doubling my buy in when this hand comes up.

I am in the hi jack seat and Chris is under the gun plus one. He opens to $15, gets two callers before I look down at 8 10 spades, normally, I FOLD. In my spot, as I noticed the cutt off and button don't want to play, I called. Now I called because I can outplay Chris and the other callers at the table, I know which spots to mess with and which not to, but if I can hit my hand, Chris will never get away from his, at least I hoped. The small blind called and we went to the flop five handed. The flop was a 9c 8c 4c, sb checks, Chris bets out $40, fold, fold to me...now here is what I am thinking, AcKh, AQ, AJ, A10 maybe, 1010, JJ, qq, KK, AA and does not have the flush draw or is trying to bet off the flush draw. This is the range I put him on, more the over cards versus the over pair. I called. The sb folds. We are heads up folks. The turn is the 10 of hearts! YAHHHHHTTTTTZZZZZEEEEEE!!!!! Chris bets out $60, okay, now I put him directly on an over pair. I raised it to another $125, Chris tanked...so now I knew I was against an over pair, no set, no made flush. After a bit Chris went ALL IN! Crap! Over pair with a big flush draw now...Uhhh, $245 to you Ray. CRAP AGAIN! Okay, I call. River a red five! Stepped away from the table turned my back and did a weak Tiger pump and sat back down. Pulled in the pot and smiled. Chris came over, yes came over and shook my hand and told me he thought I was on a move because he had bluffed me two hands before the diamond hit and thought I was pissed at him. I told him he did the best he could to get value out of me it just worked out for me is all. We talked I asked him if I could get his picture and told him about the site and hopefully he is reading this, told you bro, no shit talking. You played the hand well enough. Maybe you could have played it different to get me off but remember Chris and folks...That's Poker!

Stay nice as rice and mello as jello!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

brandon doing work..jpg

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8-15-09

The picture above shows my boy Brandon on the bottom left with the back of his head to us, my seat is to his right, a few stacks there with my water, mp3 player and the rest of the players on my table, who were there after hour four.

Bachelor Party! We started the festivities at the Beau Rivage in Biloxi, Ms. Four of the eight played in the $200 tournament and myself with the other three did other things in the casino. The later part of the day we were going to hit Bourban street in New Orleans, just the thing that my bud Alex was looking to do for his bachelor party, that's correct, no strippers!

Well I sit down in a 1-2 NL game, I LOVE THE BEAU, I adjust my my chair, get the cocktails that I want, pass my card over for my comps, place my cell phone on the table and plug in my mp3 player and start to play some poker. The reason why I went through this is because the only thing you can do at Harrah's in New Orleans is get a cocktail, except for RED BULL! What's up with that, unless you want to pay for it or you're a diamond club card holder, which means you have gambled over $50,000! Whatever!

So I am in this game and use my tight aggressive strategy and I will only play small pairs deuces and up on the button. The jackpot is quad fives beat. My goal is to find the regulars and non-regulars, find the nits, weak tights and loose aggressive players in the first two dealers. I found all of them by that time. In the one seat was a weak tight player, who happened to be winning, in seat three was a loose aggressive regular with Auburn attire on. He mixed it up well and his betting was varied and well done for the most part. If he is reading this, I figured you out by the time we played that big hand. In the five seat was another weak tight player. In seat six was a regular loose aggressive player with big sunglasses on, the other black guy at the table in the begining. In seats 7 and 8 were two more weak tight players.

Well I am going back and forth with my stacks and get somewhat back to even in about my second hour of play Brandon sits down to my left. I am on the button and there are four limpers to me, I look down at A 5 of spades. The flop comes K A 2 rainbow. Check to the big sunglass wearing black guy who fires out 15, I float (call) and the rest of the table folds. The turn card is a 7 of hearts, now there is a flush draw, BSBG fires $50 and I call. The river brings a non-flush 2. He contemplates and fires another $50. This is what I saw, I have more information than you as the reader, I know that when he has the best hand on the river he overbets a bit, but since he bet the same as the turn it made me suspicious plus the only thing he could have is a weak ace or maybe two pair but again if he had that he would have bet more to get that value out of me. I call and he shows air as I turn over the A5. He nods.

I am now in the cut-off, very next hand, one before the button and I look down at AJ diamonds. I really don't like this hand especially to a raise. Well in middle position a weak tight player makes it $15 to go, BSBG calls, I reluctantly call and we get two callers behind. Now let me tell you why I called and why it is dangerous to call here in other circumstances. When the raise occurred I looked over to the Auburn geared loose aggressive player who would act behind me and he looked like he was not going to play and I really wasn't worried about Brandon and the other two between him and I. Normally, if you don't know the table yet, this hand should not be called by an early raiser, that is a strong raise into the field and you are either facing AK, AQ or the top pairs, JJ, QQ, KK, AA. What is AJ going to do? Maybe hit the nut flush, or you hope for AAJ, JJA or q 10 k, is about it. Your kicker is not good here but with this field I new I could play with them. The flop cam A Q A, raiser bets out $30, fold to me and I call, I instantly put him on AK...AQ will not bet here, should not bet here and this guy does understand poker so I gave him a bigger kicker. The turn brought the 7 diamonds, which is a flush draw for me. The raiser bets out $50, I called for the flush and my J, so there is about 11 outs so I am about 25% to get there so i am a 4-1 dog, the pot is giving me about 3-1, I should only call at even or 5-1 on my money. When you look at the implied odds, if I hit my flush, maybe not my jack, with what he had left I was an easy 5-1. The river brought a hold'em card(blank). He put his remainder one hundred plus in the pot. Now I could call and HOPE that he had a weaker ace or be beat by my first thought, AK. It was AK, AQ that were the only two hands that beat me but I folded my hand up for the table to see. The BSBG said you called me with an ace but wouldn't call him with that ACE! During this same orbit (dealer) I am under the gun, and I make it $15 to go with pocket kings, I get SEVEN callers! My LORD! Well the flop comes K 8 8, two hearts. I check, Brandon looks like he is going to bet but decides not to and it gets back to Big Sunglass Black Guy, who bets out $50. I call and everyone else folds. The turn is the Q of hearts, I hesitate and check again, he bets out $100, I call. The river is a hold'em card and I want to bet but I may not get a call, so I get the remainder of my chips, about $130 and hold it in my hands looking at the board. He says, "Save your money."
I instantly plop it across the line, and say, "all this?"
He called quickly and I turned over my full house he showed me the A of hearts and King of clubs, without that hand he would not have doubled me up. Without my showing that I would not call with the AJ of diamonds he would not have called. If I would not have called him down with the A5 of spades he would not have called. Basically, when you are playing against the better players, you have to consider everything you do while they are there, they will remember. The weak tight ones only remember the hands they are in. Play chess?

You all be cool and stay nice as rice and mello as Jello!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Young and consistent...brandon and brett, harrahs regs that normally leave with your money..jpg

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So I get into Harrah's on a Wednesday afternoon...yes I snuck in and no one at home knew...my wife thinks i'm addicted to gambling and my answer was..."Only when there are lunchboxes at the table, babe."

The funny thing is I have not been in the poker room for at least 15 months...since my daughter was born. Well, when I got in there I saw a couple of guys who used to grind it out before I left on my hiatus. There they were killing the table. Still grinding it out on the 1-2 NL game and killing it! Usually the young ones want to get into the 2-5 NL game quickly but Brandon has done a pretty good job at staying in a spot where he knows he will make money and make money he has! Brett does play in the 2-5 game and does pretty well in both games. These guys are solid and I respect their games.

I get into the game after checking on my buddy AT&T(yep, he has those initials, pretty cool) and Davey both are pretty deep in the Wednesday tourney and look to final table, they both did and cashed! Nice job Davey and AT! I think AT&T is 7 for 8. I hate him for this, he has a pretty cool job, he goes off shore to West Africa for a month and comes home for a month! So now I tell my kids to study hard and become engineers! I mean if AT can graduate from PENN STATE and get a gig like this...shoot...Ya know?!?

Back to poker, so I'm at the table and look at the line up, a lot of regulars, guys who can't get away from hands, you know raise with pocket aces, get called in eight spots, a flush draw hits the flop they don't even have the ace for that draw, two people go with him to the river and check raise him all in when the flush hits and he says, "Pots too big, I can't fold!" When I'm thinking...you were probably beat on the turn, no further details on this type of player but you know the one I'm talking about...MARRIED TO THEIR HAND! There are a couple of spots that I decide I don't want to mess with, why give myself a headache trying to outplay them. I really want the one seat, older guy, who is splashing around and calling down with stuff like 7-2 suited and gets there to snap off a decent pocket pair in a three way pot, it was brutal.
In an hour I'm up one bone and doing pretty well, there are a couple of guys who keep grimacing every time I raise, looked like they wanted to play but didn't. I did not mind as the freaking deck keep smacking me in the face.

I usually go in with a tight/aggressive strategy even tighter because I try to only play jackpot starting hands. Any Ace none suited I folded unless I was in the cut-off or button where I would open with them. Any suited or gap connector I would limp from early to middle position with bigger than 6-5. I would call a raise only if I felt like I was last to act or with anything suited 9-10 or higher from the early to middle position. I played AK, AQ, and AJ suited from any position...I considered AJ off and A10 off bad hands from early to middle position...just trouble. This helped me to DO WORK! this session. There is more to this strategy but it involves reads, bet sizing and some body tells.

A new player sat down in the 7 seat, I was in the 10 seat, and made some money on his first hand. I am now in middle middle position and look at two red aces. I make it $15 to go and proceed to get FIVE callers! What the HELL! The flop comes J 2 7, two spades, I have the ace of spades, the deuce and seven are the spades. They check around to me and I push out $60 and only the new guy calls...now my heart starts to race, and my palms are getting sweaty but on the outside I'm looking at the cards and looking at him for any signs as the turn card comes off which is a red deuce. QUICKLY I diagnose his hand, if he called with j7, j2, 72 he would have raised on the flop to get rid of flush draws or he may have just called because he knew I had a big pair and was sitting on J7 or J2 for two pair and just got a full house on the turn or I just counterfeited his two pair with the second deuce or he would have raised to try to take it downd to get it done if he was savy enough...he was not savy. Now I am putting him on a big J, KJ, AJ, QJ, J10, possibly J9 and he could be suited and looking for a spade. He could have pocket queens, kings or jacks but I think he re-pops pre-flop with these hands so I discard those. He checks to me again and I push out $125...he freaking beat me to the pot! No raise so he must be drawing or has a big jack. The river brought a 6 of hearts, he checks, now I can do one of three things...check behind because he may not pay off a bet anyways and I can show my monster so that folks at the table don't think I am making moves...2) I push out a value bet about 1/3 of the pot and hope to get paid off...3) I push all in trying to make it look like I am buying the pot. I go with option two and he folds his hand up showing the J10 of spades. These situations are scary because that could have gone the other way, the freaking spade could have hit the river and he gets paid!

I've rambled long enough, I get into the poker room when I can and I hope to build the bankroll so that I can get into the 5-10 NL game one day, most guys sit with 2-5k in that game. Usually your bank roll should be about 10-15 times your buy in depending on how you play so, one day. My next step is the 2-5 NL game and the usual buy in is 500-1k, but we'll see.

After the tourney, AT&T and Davey come over and look at the table and laugh, as they also knew it was pretty soft. They wanted me to pick up and go to the Beau with them so they could play in the 6pm tourney on the coast. Tell you about that at another time and about the two footlongs that I ate...and the near bet for $300 to eat a third loaded with chilli and all kinds of shyte!

Until next time you all stay nice as rice and mello as jello!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

harrahs poker room in back.jpg

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The blurry picture above is the back part of the Harrah's poker room. This is the way it looks after a 10 hour session...SERIOUSLY!

On to the good stuff...so I went into Harrahs, was going to try to make a move to the coast but after having a lazy day with the kids and wife, it turned out to be about 6 pm before I started moving around to get going. A drive to the coast takes about an hour and half, dependent on how fast you like to move. The coast has the Beau Rivage, Imperial Palace, Isle Of capri, and Hard Rock Cafe...there are more casinos but I am naming the ones with poker rooms, that I know of, because there could be more poker rooms that I don't know of. So I roll into Harrahs snap a few pictures and get into a 1-2 no limit game. I am at table 10. Table 10 and table four have got to be the coldest tables in the room, the freaking AC blows directly on these tables...good thing I always carry my jacket. So if you are in Vegas and you see somebody carrying a jacket into a casino, he's probaly going to play poker.

It has been a long time since I played at a table where it was weak not even weak tight...just weak! I got to play with the owner of Collettes...i hope I spelled that correctly, a bar/club that is for people of weird tastes (can't get into here but if you want to know message me)...good guy though. He had a lot of the chips on the table until he ran into quad queens.

I started a little loose, gave away $50 and reprimanded myself, got back into the groove and went into tight/aggressive mode. In the next 30 minutes I made $150, in less than two hours I'm up 3 beans!

HOW? Stuff like this. I'm limping under the gun with AJ suited, get five callers, hi-jack makes it $15, I re-pop to $45, all the limpers fold to him and he calls. Flop is 8 high. I lead for $40 and he folds, I take it down. I am in the hi jack seat and under the gun makes it $15 to go, three callers to me on the button and I see 89 suited, I put out $60 and get called in one spot, he is out of position, and probably has a big ACE. The flop is jack high, he checks, I bet out $50, he folds. WEAK...or was it? I mean, look...new kid sits down and is in the cut off seat, I look at A10 in the hi jack seat, i limp in as did five others in front of me, new kid opens to $10, all five limpers call! When it gets to me, (I was just going to call at first but when I saw that $60 in the pot they asked me if they could join my stack), so I re-pop to only $45! They all folded! WEAK! I can't really talk strategy here, it was like I was in a movie, like Rounders, yeah, when Mike was making his moves at the end of the movie to make all that money back and his reads were right on everytime, I was in that moment. I can play a bit but not as good as these folks were bad, I mean they made me look GOOD! It did help that the cards slapped me in the face also. I am on the button and look at 89 diamonds, there are six people limped into the pot. The flop comes, 5 6 7 rainbow. The nice lady in the big blind bets out, two people call behind as do I and the small blind. The turn is a deuce I believe, the small blind leads out, the lady raises, the other two fold and I feel like taking it down here, so I pop it again basically putting the sb and bb all in, sb folds and bb, the lady, calls quickly and tables the other side of the straight, 3 4. I made plays on several pots that would have got snapped off by good players! IT FELT GOOD! This is why I try not to ever talk badly to them, I offer them gum, I offer to get them drinks, you just have to keep them comfortable and happy as you take the money...'nuff said about that.

It was a good night, four hours of work that could have easily...EASILY gone the other way! You all stay nice as rice and mello as jello!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Harrah's jackpot sitting at over 100k

I got in two sessions last week and came away winners through both. I did spend a lot of time playing though, I believe I put in about 36 hours in those two sessions...SICK!
Playing tight-aggressive nearly nit like is tough but I pulled it off my first session and came away a decent winner. My strategy going into this session was tight/aggressive, observe the table, play gap connectors and small suited connectors from position only, play pocket pairs from any position and be able to call one raise with them. Muck A baby off suit in all positons, call in position. This strategy worked out great, I think I got one big pot every two orbits. There was only one time I had to outplay someone and he was the loosest player at the table, I had to bet the river with Ace high and he contemplated calling but let it go due to the way I had played the entire session...normally this guy would call me without hesitation, because of my past before this session. That was good to see because I am sure he had a small pair.

My second session had me busting out in my third hour when my kings ran into aces. The only thing that stung here is the type of player, and I should have know better to just call and look at a flop but would I have been good enough to get away from the flop that was 9 high? I want to say yes but if I would have picked up this guys tells pre-flop, which I should have, then I could probably say yes, but this was a lesson learned for me. Here is the deal, the kid was pretty loose, he entered most pots and tried hit his hand. I've played in the past with him and I was just waiting. I saw him snap someone off with K2 hitting the king on the river for two pair, but it was the other players fault they barely bet! So this is how the hand went down...I'm in middle middle position, I have one limper, I make it 15 to go, small blind makes it $100 to go, the big blind(MR. LOOSE) simply calls. The limper folds now I have another $150 left, with $200 in the pot, and yes the small blind is all in, I decide to get a nice side pot so I shove! And the loose kid smiles and turns up his aces, LUNCHBOX in the small blind turns over pocket 10's. The flop is 9 high and I don't improve. I get up for a second come back to the table and the loose guy is racking up! I move to another table and sit there for awhile and finally another loose one sits at the table, well I proceed to get my kings in against 9 high and a flush draw on the board, there are three of us and J7 of hearts takes out queens and my kings. O for Two with the kings. This guy is like, don't worry i'm not leaving, i'll give you a chance to win this back. He wasn't being a dick he was truly sincere, and he went on a spree snapping people off with the worst and I just sat back and picked off other folks. I just kept waiting, it got so bad that the kid next to me with a titelist hat got busted and came back with a vegence and made four times his initial buy in through the j7 guy. At one point, after he had accumulated a monster stack, I make a raise into him he folds as does everyone else. He turns to me and says," I laid down AQ to you, you're too tight, i'm not going to take my chances against you." Inside I am laughing my ass off! If anyone that knew me heard that they would not believe what they heard but he said it and I took it as a compliment and felt like I did finally change up my image somewhat. Well, 15 hours later, the j7 guy busts out even after pulling out another $400. Three hours later I am up a bit and decide, especially after all the texts my wife sent me, that it was time to go. So good seeing you Wild Bill, and thanks, Good seeing you Joe Buesch and thanks! I hope to get back into Harrahs sometime soon because the jackpot is still pretty high, 144k...they hit the 230k on tuesday or wednesday. So remember your style of play may not matter but your image is what counts. Stay frosty!

Stay nice as rice and mello as jello!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Six man sit and gos...

So I can't get to the mortar house and play poker so I've resorted to playing online where sit n gos are my main event. I've been working with my bud, Mitch, and trading online strategy. I've been pretty successful at the six man tables. The play here should be tight/aggressive...you can't make moves out of position with suited connectors etc. When it gets four handed, loose aggressive play will work to a point.
Feel your table out look for the one who wants to give away his chips by calling out of position.
Wait for them to make a mistake and JUMP on them.
Sit back and be patient...it will work for you.
When heads up be somewhat aggressive.
Don't Tilt!
HAVE FUN!

You all stay nice as rice and mello as jello!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Down but not out...

So in the year 2009 I have not pulled out a win in six attempts so I am down, thus far, for the year! I cannot remember the last time that I had a bad start ahhh, yes I do, when I first started playing back in '02, and if it wasn't for that bad beat jackpot that I gave Dave the cab driver at the end of that year to get me close to even, that would have been my worst year.

So let me get into my last cash session, I got to the beau a few weeks ago and some of the fellas were out there some playing in the tournaments that were going on and one playing cash at the same table I happened to sit down at...he introduced himself by asking me how much I had behind when I raised my second hand after sitting down at the table with pocket kings. Parfait shocked me a tad bit and we got a little laugh from it.

So yes, second hand I look down at two brotha kings...i'm in early middle and I open for $15, hijack,button, small and big blinds all call. The flop is 447 rainbow, sb bets, bb calls what should I do here? Well I called, and hijack calls behind leaving the button who folds. The turn is a 3 but brings a flush draw...sb checks, bb checks I contemplate and push out $100, I look at the hijack seat, a pretty lass with a lot of chips in front of her and she contemplates and I feel like she wants to raise but eventually she just calls, sb fold, bb fold. The river is a 3, I believe, not so sure but it was a baby and the board was double paired. I FELT LIKE I WAS BEAT WHEN THE LASS CALLED...so I feebly check and she pushes out two stacks, covering me...now odds say call but I really felt like I was beat...I painfully mucked my big pair and watched her take it down. Now what I am about to tell you is somewhat embarrassing for me and it is something I really do not like, this was the first time that I had ever done it knowing that it is an asshole thing to do. The pretty lady got into a hand heads up with the 10 seat, she was in the 9 seat and they went to the river on a paired board and either he checked (he had position) or bet but it was a called river and he turned his hand over to show a full house, she smiled and threw her cards face down towards the dealer, the dealer reached for the cards and I asked to see them. She got upset, floor came over and explained that on a called hand any player at the table can see the other hand etc. She had pocket queens, which she probably had in the hand with me or Aces as the rest of the table told me as she had slow played them earlier against two other guys. Well she racks up a few minutes later and leaves...one of the guys said, "Way to chase away the best pair at the table," got a good laugh from that and when I re-looked at her she was better looking than I thought. Ahh well...

So I grind it out for another two hours and I get this bald guy on my right after Parfait took a pretty bad beat, and he proceeds to widdle his $300 down to about $100 plus bucks, he's in the sb, I am in the bb and hijack opens for $12, he's pretty tight aggressive and I know he's got a decent pair or AJ and higher, bald man calls I look down at a couple of street walkers (pocket queens...there is a reason why I'm calling them street walkers) I want to take this pot down now, i'm out of position with a good hand but would rather not see a flop and fold to an ace so I repop to about $35, hijack, reluctantly folds, sb shoves! HUH!!!!! Did you really slow down on aces or kings just to wait for me to open? Freaking confused, I SHOULD FOLD THE STREET WALKERS, but I feel like I have the best hand and he's just trying to make some ground up, so it is about $70 more to me...FOLD! But I did not I called and we watched the flop come 7710A2, when the ace hit I said you got there huh? He said, not in a vicious way at all, I got there all the way on the flop and he turns over pocket sevens. I smile and just watched him beat me every time we were in a pot heads up, I have A7 in the sb, he limps on the button, flop comes ace high, I check to him he checks, turn is a Q I bet he calls, river is a deuce I bet again, he calls and turns up A8...he wins, finally down to my last $40 bucks I'm under the gun and he pops it, I just shove with pocket 10's, it gets back to him and he calls. The door card is...YES A 10! For a 1089 flop, the turn is a 2 and the river is a Queen he goes, dude i'm sorry but I hit a straight, as he turned his pocket Jacks over...I get up and say thanks guys, but I gotta go, he's got all my money. Ever have that kind of night? It has rarely happened to me and I have always been the guy on the other end of it but it was so eerie being abused by this guy, yes abused, so that is my sad tale but there will be bad times, must fight through them and get positive, I know it'll come around. 'nuff said. You all stay frosty!

Talk again soon...stay nice as rice and mello as jello!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Guest Blogger...a local's point of view...Welcome P-Back.

I returned to Harrah's this weekend and sat down at a juicy table and got felted after two and a half hours...fraking embarassing. One good thing is I ran into one of the young regulars that I used to play with and against...used to think he was a lunchbox...not really...he wanted to give you a little of his perspective and I told him to write me something, thinking he was messing with me...he did. Enjoy...

Return to the poker life/ Harrah’s New Orleans Gripes It had been awhile since I last sat down. Lots of changes in my life have come since. A baby arrived, a real job, and also having to cater to the needs of a fiancĂ©e who is still in college. It had been exactly 11 months since my last “session”. What I consider a real session of poker would consist of a minimum of 6 hours of uninterrupted poker. As we all know, with these added responsibilities, my poker life had been put on the back burner. Being a New Orleans native my whole life, Harrah’s has always been the home track. So when I walk in to Harrah’s on March 7th, 2009 it was sure to be an exciting return to the world I was so accustomed to. But Harrah’s, arguably the most profitable business in NOLA, had to make some changes. The first sign that I had returned to my home for so many years was the beautiful sound of the word “cocktails” flowing out of the mouth of our lovely waitress. So I ask for the usual, a tall double crown and coke. She informs me that due to the current state of the economy, Harrah’s will not allow her to serve me a double. In a stunned silence I finally muster the courage to just order a single. If Harrah’s cannot afford to offer drinks to their players, doesn’t that take away from the “house advantage”. Think about every poor decision you have made in a casino. How many of those were NOT alcohol influenced? Back to our girl. Now I understand that people may call me an asshole for the following exchange I had with her, but it is what it is. She kind of brought it upon herself. After I have had around 6 of these “single” crown and mostly cokes, she must have realized I was only tipping her every other drink. She notifies me that she will be leaving and this is her last round and kind of stands there for a second. So I turn to her and say, “well with the current state of the economy, I can only tip you every other drink.” I don’t think it went over well, but it got quite a few laughs from the guys near me. Harrah’s is ridiculous. I feel bad for their waitresses who work off of tips because they give them no wiggle room to hook you up. That’s how they make their money. Not anymore. On to poker. I kind of prepared myself for a session full of getting a feel back for the game(1-2 NLHE). My expectations weren’t set very high. I had a couple of goals in mind for the night. 1- Play a patient game- Premium hands only so I could cut down on tough decisions and not risk a lot of $. 2- Pick my spots well- Recognize which players I could profit from most. 3- Pay attention- Pick up on everything that used to come natural. Betting/Raising patterns, tells, % of hands each player was involved in. All of which are crucial to playing winning poker. Needless to say, I felt much like a kid playing his first session of no-limit. Nervous, timid, and somewhat scared to stick my foot into the water. Kind of embarrassing. The first hand I choose to get involved with is my kryptonite (J10s). Older fella raises to $17 preflop and with 1 caller to me and the button in front, I opt to call. This guy had been playing a ton of hands and 75% of them that he played were a raise and take situation. Not many people had stood up to him. This was evidenced by the $1400 he had sitting in front of him. Flop comes down Jc8s7h. He leads out with a $25 bet which prompts the other player to fold. Well, I decide to just flat it, keep the pot small and see if he is going to fire again. Turn card is 2s. Picking up 8 more outs here makes me feel comfortable raising if bet into. He shoots $50 into the pot of approximately $105. I have only $145 more so I ship it. I can’t recall the last time I had that feeling. Hand shaking towards the betting line with a handful of checks, heart pounding, and hoping to just take it down now. God do I miss this. He eventually folds showing 99. I drag in the pot and a little confidence. By the end of the night, I had opened the game up. Raising suited connectors in position, calling raises with any 2 cards knowing I could steal at some point. I did happen to get caught in a pot drawing out at a nut flush/gut shot draw for a little over $100. All in all I leave my first session after 8 hours up a shade over $300. Not bad for a night where I cost myself at least $200 more. 2nd session I return on Tuesday after working early that morning. I arrived around 3pm. The room was surprisingly full. I sit down and immediately flop set over set against the big stack. This guy played with a reckless abandon that I hadn’t seen since the Biloxi days. He was the type that if you bet, he pushed in. It just so happened I didn’t have to wait that long for my double up. Sitting on $600 after about the first hour was nice. I was knocking back single shots of crown at an alarming rate and I know I’ll be here awhile with the old lady at the Britney Spears concert. I knew it was just a matter of time until I loosened things up a bit. Enter the douche bag. This guy was 6’2 275-300lbs, approximately 23 years old. Announces his presence at the table prior to sitting. No bull shit. Proceeds to inform everyone that he is an internet player and that he only knows 2 things, raise and fold. Super was the first word that popped into my head. This is gonna be fun. First hand, he calls the $12 raise. A weak continuation bet of $10 is shot into the pot of $38 and insta-raised to $35 by our internet soldier. Takes down the first pot. Very next hand, he raises preflop to $22 and takes it down. At this time we are switching dealers. The new dealer sits in and asks everyone how they were doing. This douche bag announces that once he doubles up twice through that guy(pointing at me) he will be doing better. LOL!! Can’t wait! Another interesting thing he was doing is whenever I took down a pot, he would ask me for a count and rebuy for ½ my stack. Nearly an hour and a half in and after telling all 3 dealers the same thing about doubling through me I had had it. Our little internet tough guy raises to $22 and gets 3 calls around to me on the button with 67o. I decide its time. 5 way pot with a flop of A Q 3. It checks around to me. First thing that hits me, is that this guy isn’t the type to check an AK or AJ in this spot. Too aggressive. Hasn’t missed a bet yet. So I decide to see where I stand with the other 3 players. I fire $45 dollars as to which our tough guys looks down and decides to raise to $135. I am sitting at nearly $900 after my bet and he is around $550. Quick folds around to me and my first thought was to fold and not to get too deep. WRONG!! “Go with your instinct”, I told myself. “He doesn’t have an A and you know it.” I put him on JJ or 1010 just trying to steal from me. So I re-raised to $285 total and waited. He goes to moaning and telling me I have 2 pair and I am lucky and how he can’t wait till I miss a flop and folds eventually. I gladly turn over my 67o and show him the goods. He freaks out and calls me a sicko and wonders how I can make that play. “Because I know you have 1010 or JJ” to which he then says he had 1010. Not too much went wrong on this night. My reads were pretty strong and I played well. End up leaving after 8 hours up $975. Strong work for the second night back. 3rd /4th sessions back I returned Harrah’s Friday night and immediately picked up where I left off. I was sitting on a gold mine of a table. No familiar faces, all young guys and all here for different bachelors parties. You don’t find games any softer than this. All drunk 21-25 year olds with money to spend getting drunk and carrying an ego problem. Not to mention not much in the way of live NLHE poker experience. This one guy from Staten Island was obnoxious. If he didn’t say the word fuck or a derivative or it 500 times, he didn’t say it once. From a poker standpoint there really wasn’t much to this night except for wading through all of the bull shit and bluffs. I have never in my life, besides at a 3-6 limit game, seen more gutshots hit while people were banging the pot. I witnessed my biggest pet peeve about these jackasses who chase this shit is that when they finally hit it, they don’t bet! Chase a 4 outer and hit it and then are too scared/stupid to bet it. Were you really taking less than 2 to 1 odds to hit this and then sit on your hands when you get there? I really guess I should be thankful they don’t bet because I would’ve lost a lot of $ early. My night was cut a bit short because a family emergency and I end up with 5 hours logged and another $509 to the good. Saturday night saw the same stable of players. Mostly the same crew but a little more intoxicated than the night prior. I sat with $300 instead of the normal $200 because I was very familiar with the game and felt good about making big money. I run into my first barn door when I run my 2 black Aces into a flop of all hearts with 6, you read right, 6 players for $25 preflop. Jh6h3h and I lead out a feeler bet of $40. To my surprise, I only get 1 caller and he isn’t part of the stable crew. Actually, he was a pretty solid player. On the turn was a Kc. In my mind I was looking to check raise at this point depending on the strength of his bet. His bet turned out to be a bit stronger than I hoped at $60. At this point I was confused as to what he could’ve been holding. I tanked for about a minute and a half and decided to call. The river was a 2c putting a board of Jh6h3hKc2c which didn’t seem too bad. I decided to check and let him dictate the action hoping one of two things. 1- I put him on Ah Jx meaning top with flush draw on the flop and hoping he would take another stab at the pot thinking he was good or… 2- He had 2 pair with KJ or a small flush Well bet he does with $50. Here is my dilemma, either way I feel I have to call. Couple reasons. 1- $50 into a pot of nearly $400 with an overpair that has what I felt as a 20% chance of being good is plenty enough odds. 2- He is an unknown and I would just like to see how he played this hand for future considerations I make the call and this guy had 4d5d for the straight. I was totally confused. Did he really think I had shit? Had I raised preflop and then led into the pot with 5 donkeys waiting behind me? Was he really expecting to take the pot down on the turn for $60 into $280? Doesn’t matter. After that hand I had to rebuy and was now in for $500. I switch tables/stables after a couple of those guys leave and “rocks” sit down, whom I am all to familiar with. I find a table that looks a little weak besides one young Indian guy I have played with 2 of the last 3 days. He is all kinds of tight and in my opinion, overthinks himself way too often. First day I sat down with him he folded 88 preflop for $12 and told me he didn’t want to be in a coinflip. OK? It’s a flip for the first $12 and then you decide your fate after the flop, right? Wouldn’t you want to see a flop of A85 and have a chance to stack another $300? I would. I think that’s what makes me dangerous. I’ll play any 2 cards at any time in any position. DECEPTION. You never know what I’m holding. Back to the action. About 5 hands into this new table I have noticed that every pot has been raised preflop. Not the normal $15-22 raise, the chicken shit “I have nothing” $5-10 raises. Well this guy in early position, who looks as if he has no business at a poker table, raises to $12. He looks like he belongs in the middle of a mosh pit at a Limp Bizkit concert. Well I look down at QQ. I repop it to $26. As he is completing the bet I point out to a guy on my right that his hand is trembling. I know this guy has AA and tell this guy that I am about to stack him if I hit a queen. Flop comes out Q103. He checks to me and I know he is going to check-raise. I lead out $30 and he makes it $90 and I jam it in there. He insta-calls and proudly fires over 2 Aces. Really? I didn’t know you had those? I show my QQ and the dealer(Maria) shows me an Ace on the turn. Done and Done. I am shipping another $250 on top of the $90 he already has committed. Great game! Knowing where you are the whole way and having your nuts kicked in on the turn. I wonder what thoughts if any went through this guys head? Any rational and decent poker player in his spot should know that the 1 hand that he still has beat with that flop is KK. Would I reraise twice with JJ, 1010, 99 or AQ? Wouldn’t you think you were beat and save the other $250? Or even give it a second to settle in? Na! Insta-call. Steaming, I proceed to rebuy for the last $200 that I am willing to donate with the way the night is going. I dump off about another $30 in a rage with shit like 3d6d, 94o, A4. I go take a walk and regroup determined to play my game and get this back. Well I get into a pot with Mr. 2 outer when he raised to $17 and I had 77. 4 handed flop comes down AA4 and we check it around and the turn was a J. Fred Durst himself checks and I bet out $20 bucks and both fold. Before he mucks his cards he shows them to the guy next to him and under his breath says, “it’s ok, he only took $17 off of me when I took $400 off of him with the same hand”. He is lucky, lucky that I didn’t get up and kick the shit out of him. Punk bitch! I can’t wait for the next time I sit down with him. I think Keith was his name. He’s got red hair and a long goatee. Also, he has those earrings that stretch your earlobe to the point where you can put your fingers through it. If any of you sit with this assclown just watch his hands tremble and hope to flop him. He will give it all to you. I sit for the next couple hours grinding my ass off. No real big pots, just a bunch of $25-60 pots. I make one move on our Indian friend who is ever the thinker. I raise out of desperation to represent a hand with A9o in the cutoff. He flats out of the BB. Flop is A75 rainbow. He checks over to me and I bet $25 and he min raises to $50. I know if he didn’t flop a set or is holding AK that he is going to fold. So I push in my last $185 on top and he quickly folds face up AQ. WOW!! This guy either respects my game too much or doesn’t have a spine. Either way when I look back at it, this was the key hand of the night. Up to around $550 and an old friend arrives. Big Ray comes and graces the table with his presence and instantly tightens the table. I dunno if it is because they are scared that if they take his money that he will follow them outside and literally crush them or what. But, he has that effect. I immediately open my game up. Playing all sorts of madness. One of the key hands is 4c5c. I have a great record with this hand, probably around the range of 76-0 with it. I call a raised pot with 5 players to me. Nearly $75 in the pot preflop. I am in position and board falls Qs9c4h and we check it around. Turn another 4 with a rainbow on board. Bet of $45 into me and I flat it. River is a 2 and the guys lays another $100 to me. Am I beat? I think not. He was not the original raiser, and not the type of guy that would check a set into 5 others. I call and he says he missed. I guess J10? Or maybe KJ. Who cares. Here’s a story about the legendary 4c5c. My buddy B and I went out to Vegas in Dec 05. We were there for nearly 2 weeks. First night there I get hit in the face with the deck. I couldn’t miss. I pull $3500 out of a 2-5 game at the Rio. The rest of this trip was basically about proving a point. I wanted to break a table so bad. Just sit down and take every dollar off of it. B and myself go to the Mirage and sit in a 2-5 and for the most part, stay out of each others way. Well I bought in for $500 and was sitting on nearly 2K when I looked down at what else but 4c5c. I was on the button and action to me was a raise to $35 and B going all in for $120+. I am not folding my hand and this other guy, who I didn’t think was going to repop it but I knew he was going to call had nearly 1,500 in front of him. So I call and the flop is Kh 3c 2c. I remember it like it happened last night. This guy bets out $300 and I push. He tanks for awhile and calls with KQ. Nice call sir! What are you still doing with this hand? My buddy B starts cheering for an Ace because he has AQ. I look over at him and say, “B, you don’t want an Ace man.” The turn was the Ace and he turns his hand over and says, “what do you mean I don’t want an Ace?” I show him the 45 and he goes crazy. “Mike blah, how do you call $125 preflop with 45 blah?” I didn’t have an answer and probably never will. It is my hand and I don’t know if I can ever fold it preflop. I’m a sicko I guess. That trip was great. I made over $6k in just cash games. I got more hours of massage than I did of sleep and stayed in one on the nicest suites I could ever imagined. The best part, it was FREE! Saturday’s session ended with me leaving the table with $1350, extremely happy with a profit of $650 on the night. For the 4 sessions since I returned I am up a total of nearly $2500. Much better start than I could've expected considering the fact I was on a limited bankroll and still a bit rusty. Hope things keep up!

P-Back

Thanks P-Back...

You all stay nice as rice and mello as jello!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Dead Money tournament...my goals, the fun and my mistakes.

A couple of weeks ago I was invited to play in a satellite with nice deep stacks and levels set up for those who like to play poker. The week before I went I thought of some goals I wanted to accomplish. Everyone there knows that I can be aggressive and if I get chips...LOOK OUT! Here was my gameplan...play tight aggressive, get a feel for the table and then start making moves against those that you can make them against. We had two lunchboxes, and I mean that in the nicest way, who I had to watch closely. My other goals were this, I wanted to knock Tex out very baddly, not because I don't like him-far from it-because he is one of the better tourney players at the table besides Davey. Again, I wanted to knock him out, I did not want to see anyone else do it. I also wanted to get into it with Geno and WildBill. I wanted to outlast Davey and Parfait, two of three that I wanted heads up. So there we have it, I know that the other guys had ideas on what they wanted to do but I wrote notes to myself about how each of them played from my many sessions of watching and playing with them, in a way...it helped.

So I tried to play tight aggressive, I was in the hi-jack seat on the first hand and almost everyone limped to me..."YOU CANNOT LIMP TO ME, WHEN I AM IN POSITION!" I wanted to play tighter but I looked down at 9-5 clubs and raised about 5 times the big blind. Everyone folded around to me. Davey, wanted to see how a master played so I showed him and we had a chuckle. I did try to play tight aggressive and my clues as to what the others were doing fell right into line, it took a while but my reads became good and I was happy.
The day went well and we talked about the different guys who we've played with, Big Mike going to jail, Flyboy, the old 5-5 no limit game where you could buy in for whatever and listening to the stories of the local boys, most of the table were from Houma. We watched the game and I did call the Arizona Cardinals that day and forward into the superbowl. Basically it was well worth the trip and the experience was like none other.

Well, one of the lunchboxes is getting hot and heavy and involved in a lot of hands but is not showing down many of them. He is up and than he starts to lose a little bit, I have him covered in this hand...I open from position with A2clubs and get two callers, the flop is all clubs...he bets into me, I call the other player folds. The turn is a blank, he bets into me again, I min raise and he shoves. Now I have him beat but can he have a set here, or does he have a lesser flush and thinks I'm making a move on him. I try to get a read, just in case the board pairs and he shows a set for the full house. He is stoic and seems like he wants a call, must have a flush. I call he turns over 9-7 clubs, I show my hand and we shake hands as the river bricks out. First one out caused by me, I proceed to put lots of pressure on the table. Tex is getting into hands with good hands and cannot connect, I see the frustration but I also see the calm before a storm brewing in him. He raises and I believe the blinds are 50-100, to $1000, he threw the wrong chip out there. Everyone folds to me in the big blind I look down at a couple of 8's, normally I put him on a big ace and I don't want to race, but he is short stacked, and he is my primary goal. Now, I only made this play to tell him to fold but alas he did not. I say "All In." He contemplates and eventually calls, I think he had AK or AQ. He missed, I have more chips. YES! I KNOCKED TEX OUT! I DID! YES! At the same time I felt bad, I do consider him a friend. Well I got involved with Geno three times and went 2-3 against him, he ended up finishing right outside the mula. I only bluffed you once Geno, if you had a pair on our last head to head you had me beat, the one where you took a while to fold. I got involved with Wild Bill and could not get him to go away. I can't remember the hand that well but there was three to a flush on the turn and he bet into my flop raise, I contemplated and talked out loud on what he might have and raised him BIG on the turn and he called. I gave up when the fourth flush card hit. He showed Ad 8c for the winning hand, he had me the whole way but I could not get him to go away. Maybe he'll talk about it but it twisted me up for a minute. Davey went on a long run and made me fold some good hands because he was to my immediate right, good meaning K 10 suited, q 10 suited, junk like that, LOL! We really did not get into many confrontations. Parfait got smacked around by the other lunchbox, Robert, hope I got that right, he's a cool cat, the cards worked well for him and he chipped up against the likes of Parfait, Geno, Davey and eventually me.

Finally my mistakes, well not plural I just kept making the same mistake over and over again and it kills me! We got three handed and i was short stacked, well I chipped up twice, had both of the other two smashed but could not do anything because after playing for eight hours I believed that both Joe and Robert would eventually start making moves against me. Alas, I was wrong everytime, they were card racks but I stayed in there with second and third best everytime...that is what cost me this satelitte. I was not outplayed. I gave it away. Do I sound arrogant there? Sorry, I really am not trying to but I am telling the truth I messed it up for myself...I got involved in two huge pots when I had the worst of it because I did not believe he could have the hand that he eventually showed me. LOL!

So, I have rambled on long enough, it was a great time and I hope Davey, Wild Bill or Geno set one up again, heck maybe play one of those every other month...this time for the cash...

Well until next time...

Stay nice as rice and mello as jello!