Wednesday, March 31, 2010



I had a pretty good time this weekend. I met a pretty cool guy who is an actor in the play Wicked that is playing downtown. He says he is good friends with Taye Diggs, star of Private Practice on ABC, so that lead into other conversations about golf, the health care reform act, Tiger Woods and being happily married. Playing poker though, I made FIVE bad plays in six hours and they are living with me as I write this because they were embarassing.

So today I am going to talk about what could have been. We go into our sessions looking to come out on top with a profitable session, some come in to play for fun, and others just want to make people fold to bluffs. My goal is to win but to win through a correct process. That process involves thinking the hand through, making the right decision, pre-flop, during the hand and on the river. If I can do that, I should be able to leave with a profit. Or leave happy with my play.

One way to leave a session saying I could have been up so much money is playing a hand in this manner, I am early middle position and I look down at K 10 off and limp in, four people follow suit. The flop is K 7 2 with a flush draw, under the gun bets, I call everyone else folds. The turn is a 10, but completes the flush. UTG bets quickly, I DO NOT think the hand through and call. The river is a blank and he fires a big bet in, I DO NOT think it through and call. He shows a Jack high flush. "CRAP"!

Let us break this hand down. K 10 early middle position...should have folded. Since we played it, we go to the flop and get a bet into you, there are a few things we can do here, fold-10% of the time(We are out kicked, he is betting into three other guys so he is pretty strong, he may have two pair or a set already and wants the flush draws gone), Call-50%(We have a weak kicker, we want to see how the two behind react to the bet, we are looking to hit our kicker or another king) of the time, Raise-40%(Get heads up, we feel like we have the best hand because it was a limped pot, find out exactly where we are, if someone re-pops we are beat) of the time. The turn brings the 10 completing the flush. We are heads up and the player is playing FAST, he has his chips ready before the card comes off and when it hits he fires, no contemplation, maybe making it look like he has the King, he may not have seen the flush, or he has the flush and is being sneaky. Well we know he had it but I did not think it down because he was playing fast, his comment after was you didn't think I had the flush huh? I was playing it like I wasn't. He was being very respectful but I was not going to give him the satisfaction that I had played this hand as bad as I thought I had.

I made several other bad plays and wish I could have taken them back, but this is my forum to get it out and try to make myself get better. My point is, take your time, don't play fast and don't walk away telling yourself "could of been..."

You all stay nice as rice and mello as Jello!

Monday, March 15, 2010

MAJOR of my many...


Made it over to Harrah's this past Saturday and had to drive around for a bit as the parking garage was closed, but after about 10 minutes of looking for off street parking I head back over and it is opened.

I do not claim that I am the best player but I know my way around the poker table and have had success over the last six or seven years but I discovered a MAJOR LEAK this weekend that I need to get pass or it will eat me up!

Let me tell you about my day leading up to my major leak. I love to brag on the good things I have in life, not to the point of being an asshole but just so that I let folks know that life is good. I have the most wonderful wife ever. I know that those of you out there may seem to think the same thing about your wives, I hope you do, but I would like to share some reasons behind the rant. I am trying to act my age but still feel that I am still working on getting over being 21! I still play video games, stopped collecting comics and action figures due to space constraints and trying to grow up , but if I had the room...shoot, I would be doing it now! I love poker and have cut the playing time back considerably. My wife allows me to play Call of Duty 2 Modern Warfare (If you play look me up...Goondingy is my x-box live account), if I want to get on-line to play some poker, no problem. She backs me, as she is the CFO of the family, on playing poker at the casino. When I get home from work, a hot meal is ready for me and my family. She is a clean freak and has to clean the house, in stages , weekly. So I come home to a clean house, daily. She somewhat enjoys doing laundry but again her favorite thing to do is cook. She takes care of me in every way! Me and the kids are her priority.
So, I am able to provide the necessary tools for her to do what she needs and we were able to pick up a new washer and dryer from BEST BUY this saturday. The one in Metarie did not have the one we wanted but it was at the store on the Westbank, so I borrowed the truck from AT@T and rolled over to pick up the washer and dryer, this was at noon. I get back we unload and start to set up, it is about 2pm now, we picked up lunch and got through that, now it was time for the set up. At about 7:30 pm we finished...very frustrated but finished and my wonderful wife was HAPPY! That is key to a wonderful marriage, keep them happy. Now my wife and I knew that I wanted to play today as the following weekend I would not due to work commitments and some family outings we would be doing this coming weekend. So at about 6pm, I felt tired and even told myself..."SELF, you may be too tired to play today."
I made it clear that we would work through that because the DOCTORS were in town and they wanted to give their money away.
I got to Harrahs and into a game by 10:15 pm. I do a decent job and at about 5:30 am my table breaks and I am up two and a half buy ins. I was not at full alertness and they gave their money away I did not have to work too hard for it.


"Seat left on 19, Ray." The floor informs me.
"I'll take it, " I respond. I take my winnings to the cage and sit down with a buy in.
There is a good bit of money on this table as well so I am happy I made the move. They do not seem that strong, but I have an aggressive player to my right, to my left, two passive guys in the 9 and ten seats and probably the strongest player in the two seat who has about a grand at this point. I am in the seven seat.
SIDENOTE...Of course I see this guy snap guys off to put over $2500 in front of him the next two hours, it was fascinating that he caught the set on the turn because of the weak flop bet. How he did flop a king high flush when he was re-raised by a newbie lunchbox and got two callers behind the re-raise so it made the decision easier for number two seat to call the re-raise of two extra bets. The flush comes the lunchbox bets the two behind fold the two seat MIN raises and the lunchbox shoves with J 9 off suit, oh the jack was a diamond which was what the flush was on the board. If was amazing watching a guy get slapped in the face by the deck and have other players make moves into him and get it broken off in them!

I digress, I am at this table for ten minutes and under the gun has limped in...young caucasian, sitting back in his chair with less money than myself but enough to hurt....foreshadowing...I am in early late positon, right after the under the gun player and I make in $15 to go with Q 9 of hearts...

LOOSE AGGRESSIVE guys do stuff like this I should not! First mistake!

It is me and this guy heads up. The flop comes out 9 6 8, with a club draw. He checks and I fire out $40, trying to make any draws pay the price. He contemplates and calls.


The turn brings the six of hearts. He checks again and I bet $80...he contemplates and shoves all in. CRAP!


"I call," I say after about five minutes of agony.
"Good call," he says and turns over the K 7 of spades.


This is somewhat funny, there are some ohhs and ahhs about the call and when the dealer turns the river, the two seat goes "Dang, that's poker!" as she turns over the 10 of clubs. Not a bad beat story but where my next mistake was, I STAYED. I should have gotten up and left with the 70 or 80 I had in front of me for an overall win of at least one buy in. NOOOOO! I can get it back, shoot this guy put it in bad against me, who else is willing to do that. Well, he was willing to put it in bad but he did it against the kid in the two seat. I went against the kid in the two seat and bluffed him off the pot, probably with a weaker ace. It was hard to read him so I had to go off of betting tells and the way he cut his chips, it was weird to figure it out but when he had it he did a certain thing when he did not he did this other thing, very subtle but I caught it and played one pot with him and won. That was the last time he and I played and I watched him decimate everyone else. It is about 8 am and I am TIRED! My eyes are hurting and I am snoozing between hands. Not the way I like to play...but I want my money back. I now have my entire, come to casino limit, on the table and that has widdled down. I get it back to at least a one buy in win for the day by 9am but continued to play...very tired...another mistake. I eventually watched all that money go away as a guy made the nut flush on the river by making some bad calls to get there. I am down to my last hundo but I still continue to I am embarrased and upset with myself for sitting down and opening with Q9...another mistake and my last as I berrated myself and gave away the last hundred. I even got more money and playe with that until 11 am and lost it as well as a lunch box hit his flush, with 3-6 suited from middle position, after limping and calling a raise! I hate talking about bad beat stories so I will not tell the tale. I should have left after the first beating and now I have taken another.

I left beating the hell out of myself, but the root cause was I got too greedy! This is a huge leak that lead to others like playing too tired, making bad moves out of position, making moves with AK into a bad board. I know what I did but writing about it should provide some therapy for me as I felt embarrassed at that table when I knew I was one of the better players there but did not act like it. I need to fix this leak and I hope I do but if you take anything away from this, get your rest and play until you have hit that wall, do not force yourself through...pick up and come back later the game will be there tomorrow or the next weekend or so, believe that, beat yourself up about the small loss instead of the bigger one that you may cause that I caused myself.

I saw Tex in there playing his ass off doing work. He got on me about my Steelers hat as we are both Cowboys fans. I also so Joe "The Grinder" doing work as well. He is always happy and fun to talk to. I also saw my bud LT, we met back in 2004 or 2005, when he started playing 10-20 limit and eventually played 5-5 no limit as well. I used to pound the snot out of him, now he is playing the 2-5 game with at least 3k in front of him, he's doing well and I am proud of his growth. Heck he rags me about my game, which has helped in some regards. I used to play Ace off from any position, he broke down the reasons not to and was disappointed that I played that bad. Thanks LT.

So you went through my embarrassment with me and I hope you learned something...I have, now I need to apply it. Stay nice as rice and mello as jello!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Time Limits


At times I may put myself on a time limit when I go play and when it gets closer to that time to leave I tend to play a little more aggressive. I also, forget to go through my progressive thought process during proper decision making. That is an opportunity for me to fix and I will figure it out. Let me take you through my last hand of the session and what I learned and need to apply going forward. The guy involved in the hand with me is an older gentleman who sat down with $300 and as most calling stations, passively called it off to everyone even me at times. Well he rebought and started playing a little better and got his stack back up a bit, but was getting very lucky.

1-2 NL game and I am in the cutt off seat (one before the button) and look down at a couple of nines. Three people limped in so I make it $17 to go. Everyone folds but my buddy calls.

He is in the hi-jack seat (two from the button) his range of limping and calling is wide open. Plus he made a comment earlier that I had a lot of chips and he likes playing with me. So I do not have him on a big Ace, maybe a small pair, a weak Ace, some type of connectors, I do not put him on anything bigger than pocket 10s he is just not that savy or he just has crap.

The flop comes 8 5 3 rainbow, he checks and I fire out $30. He calls.

Now, if I would have went through my progressive thought process I probably put him on at least second pair, A 5, or even top pair with a six being the weakest kicker, since he only called. I would have also looked at the call as him thinking I am on a big ace maybe even an over pair, and he is hoping to hit his second pair on the turn or even his eight, remember he is a calling station.

The turn brings another 8. He checks, I think for three seconds... and fire out another bet. He says how much, and calls.

My freaking radar should have gone off at this time. Everything in his body is saying, I have three of a kind, and everyone at the table can probably see this but me, because I am leaving after this hand and if I get this guy to play a big pot here I can leave up quite a bit of money! YES!

The river is an off suit 3. He grabs his chips and puts in a nice value bet. Now I go into the think tank and start thinking the wrong things.

"Did you call me with A3? I freaking bet you called with some kind of three, what else can you have?" Inner small voice..."Fold Ray." Yet I did not do the right thing in this spot. Think about his range here and what he may have, think about what you beat and cannot beat. I can beat pocket sevens, sixes, fours and deuces or a bluff. He could have everything else that beats me and the way he bet it looked like he wanted a call. I was not in that place and thinking like this during the hand, I usually do this, but at that time, before I was going to leave, it all went out the window.

I called and he showed the 8 7 off suit. Now it was a lunchbox call from him pre-flop but I played this hand so bad and did not catch all of the blaring reads that told me that I was beat on the turn. I hope you learned something from this, yes I play bad 70% of the time, but seriously, do not rush your decisons and if you have a way to play the hand back do it and 8 out of 10 times you will be correct. 80% is a pretty good figure.

Some other notes of interest:

I believetheir is a huge convention downtown this week that involves Doctors. Doctors have a lot of money and they do love to play poker. So if you get to Harrah's this weekend look me up, I will be there extracting as much money as possible.

AT&T is back in town and he may roll through with me. Harrahs has a tournament twice a month with a $300+$40 entry fee. 8000 in chips and 40 minute levels...maybe something to jump into, hopefully this takes off.

Alright, until next time you all stay nice as rice and mello as jello!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010



I made my move and hit the felt for my second session of the year. It was Saturday evening at about 4 pm and it was pretty cool as the convention center must have been having a cheerleading contest of some sort as multiple sets of matching young ladies in ribboned hair and colorful, skirts moved into and out of the convention center. Took me twenty minutes to get to the freaking garage!

I went into the session with a plan...I screwed that plan and 10 hours later I booked a session that paid 5.50 an hour! ARGH!!!

Here is a highlight on how well I played, after about 20 minutes of folding...about four hands. I look down at 7-8 of clubs, three limp to me and I open for 15. A young asian girl and a black guy come along. The flop is K 7 2 one club and two hearts. They both check to me and I fire out half the pot. Black guy folds and the other player calls. Must be a heart draw? The turn brings a 3 spades, she checks again, "Goodie," I think "She should fold to this BIG bet."
I fire 3/4 of the pot and she makes what looks like a crying call. What range does she have here...must be a KING, maybe? She must be a genius, getting me to bet this, I freaking fired two barrels...GO AWAY LUNCHBOX! YOUR KICKER SUCKS!!!! The river is the A of spades. She checks again, I fire in a bet to put her all in...she thinks on it, shrugs her shoulders (I now KNOW she has at least a KING at this point) and she calls. OH SHE IS A GENIUS! I say one pair and turn over my cards, she gets up and turns over K 10 offsuit, and looks to be leaving...the rest of the table say you win, she looks back and smiles big, sits down and buries her face in the black guys chest in embarrassment, "I thought he had three of a kind!"
LUNCHBOX! Of course she proceeds to bleed those chips off to the table and gets up an hour later with $50 and leaves.
What's the lesson learned? You cannot bluff a calling station.
So now, I am disgusted with myself and am down quite a I change tables and get position on a long haired, asian kid who has been playing since friday night. Ahh, I remember those days.
After about two hours of play I open from the button with 9-8 clubs, I get five callers, this was maybe the third hand I played, FIVE CALLERS! The flop is 2 9 3 rainbow, they check to me I push out half the pot and the only caller is the asian. The turn is an A, still no flush draw, the asian checks and I fire another decent bet...he calls. At this time, my thought process is this bet and he should fold, bet and he should fold...he called again. I give up! The river is a blank, he checks again and I check right behind...he tables the A 2 off suit! I don't know why, I usually don't do this, but I wanted to know why? What were you drawing for the deuce or the ace? I gave the guy a little lip and had to stand up and stretch before I sat back down. Not really like me to berate people as I am a HUGE guy, and I really don't need that attention. Moving on, this guy had about $1100 in front of him and I figured he was big stacking me. No problem, if he continued to play this way...I would see this stack dwindle away. If I continued to play this way I would be busted very soon myself. Last highlight....
I am playing so bad that I am straddling in a 1-2 nl game! I decide that no matter what I have, if I get three callers, I am going to raise. Five people call, I fire out $45. Two of them call me one being the long haired, asian kid. I check my hole cards and I see pocket threes. The flop is 6 7 4 unsuited. They both check to me and I fire out $75 the other guy folds and the asian raises, making it $105 to go...go ahead and fold ray. Yet I sit there and think about it, four fives and two sixes versus what's in the pot...I should push or fold. Another bad decison, here it comes, I called. My LORD, he must have been looking in on me as a FIVE hit the turn! WHAT THE HELL AM I SO HAPPY ABOUT! He could have raised with 7 8 suited and the five gave him the bigger straight...hell he may have raised with the 8 9 and now has the NUTS. The asian checks to me and I push in what I have left, about $300, quickly. He thinks on it for a few seconds, if he has me he just slow rolled me with the delay otherwise I don't think he has it, and calls, the river brings a deuce..."I got the bitch end of the straight." He looks at me and I turn over my threes and he tosses his cards into the muck. Someone yelled to see his cards and the dealer turned over the 6 7 off suit! WOW! I SUCKED OUT!!!!! Well I hope you enjoyed this view into my dumbass thought processes. Next time...I look for the results to work along with the process both being positive.
Untill next time...Stay Nice As Rice And Mello As Jello!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Goals and my first session of the year

What is up? Long time since I have written anything. It is funny how we all think we are on the cusp of greatness in this game and still can not get there. I am going to work hard to try to get there and maybe with a little feedback from the readers, I may get over that hump. I have put together several goals, personal, work, and of course in this game we love poker. I have a large goal to win a medium buy in tournament this year ($500 or more buy in) my smaller goals are to keep playing the $1-$2 nl game and continue to beat it for at least one buy in a session. Even smaller will be the way I approach the game. I will be doing a lot of learning as I am not in the hand, watching players body language and betting patterns against the flops and from what positions they enter pots. I will also be on here at least twice a week. I hope by the end of the year you and I have learned quite a bit about this game and maybe ourselves.

Let's talk about my first action of the year. I entered Harrahs at about 10:30 pm this past Saturday and had a plan of action in place. Got into a game at about 11 pm and by 3:30 am was up two buy ins! That game broke and I got into another and proceeded to bleed off my winnings for the next six hours. During my last hour of play I got it all back! HUH? I KNOW!

The question is...Did I get lucky? Yep.

Well I went into the game playing tight/aggressive, told myself to not get involved with weak aces up front nor in back. If I did open it would always be for a raise, so I was only playing quality hands. I only played J 10, Q J, etc. in position if there was a raise into me otherwise I folded, and they had to be suited, so I sat around for awhile. For the most part it worked, my first three dealers were uneventful as I was only up a little when this asian player came over and plopped down in the four seat and started playing crazy, raising just about everything. Then I caught it, I got a nice tell on him, when he had a hand he leaned in a bit and would bet every turn. When he had a weaker hand, usually a drawing hand he would fire at the flop and check the turn, yet when he fired at the flop he sat back a little and thought on it for a few seconds. Well, I was on the button and had pocket sixes, under the gun limped, asian guy pops it for $15 one caller to me and I call. The lady in the three seat, in the big blind, comes along as well. Four to the flop of Q 7 4 two spades...I am watching the asian guy, indirectly, don't want to stare at him, he is sitting back a bit...good he missed. The lady checks, asian guy fires about forty into the pot, other guy folds and I call so does the lady. The turn card brings an off suit three, the lady checks again, the asian guy does it again thinks and fires about $80 into the pot. I am now looking at the lady, who looks nervous, because I am trying to figure out if she is going to come along or if I need to raise to get her out, but the nervous look told me she may not call. I simply called and she made a crying call. The river brought a beautiful card, an off suit deuce. The asian guy leaned back a little more and started talking to himself a little, he than fires out thirty dollars! Now how much do I want to raise is what I am thinking, how much can I get out of him? I am not worried about the lady to my left....I make it another $200 to go, the lady insta mucks and the asian guy just smiles and says something under his breath, probably something derogatory and he eventually folds. I instantly turn up by sixes and said,"that had you beat huh?" He smiled and nodded his head. Actually folks making that raise into both players probably was not the right move but I felt like I was way ahead yet it was probably not the right move. The table broke an hour later. I move to a new table yet I am really ready to go and should go but GREED is calling me to get more money because the line up was WEAK!!!!!

I gave away a few hundo the next few hours of play. At about 7am Tex, who blogs here as well, sat down next to me, he was not clear headed and was trying to get there but he sat down and picked up aces and got paid off, an hour later he got up, racked up his winnings wished me luck and went to get some sleep. Hope he slept it off well...nice play with the AQ, Tex!

Well it is 9:30 am and I rebuy, tell myself to start playing correctly and I start to build my stack back up. There is this dude in the eight seat, who was so easy to read. One of the easy tells that you all should look for is when a player is in the hand, and hits the flop their hand will move towards their stack, it is an involuntary muscle move. Well the eight seat did this several times and was snapping people off left and right with sets. He built himself a nice stack but he just could not outplay people during other hands, when he would miss with AQ he would make a continuation bet and when called, he would give up. Everytime he did so he did not make that move towards his chips. A very solid tell. I am on the button and look down at 5-6 off suit. Five of us limp in, the flop is A 8 7 two clubs. Three bets into me and I call, only for an off suit four! The last player folds. The turn is an off suit FOUR!!!!! Check, check, eight seat bets the pot, I make it three times the bet to get the flush draw out and the other two behind me fold. The bettor raises back into me!
"YES! No, wait am I reading the board correctly? Yep, I have the nuts right now! So he must have a set, two pair or the same hand."
I ask him how much he has left, he instantly says to me, "I'll go all in if that is what you want."
"All in!" I said.

He called and turned over A 4 off suit for two pair..."please no ace, no four!" The board bricked out and I take down a monster pot.

I continued to play much tighter and built back what I had won, packed up and left.

So yeah, I got lucky...because me and my opponent hit our hands at the same time otherwise I do not get paid off the way I did.

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