Back in the groove
Saturday November 11th 2006, 7:09 pm
Filed under: Bodog,Heads Up,No-Limit Hold'em,Poker Stuff,S&G

After a long week and long day of “playing” with databases at work yesterday, it was time to hit the tables before heading out to a birthday party.

No long session but I managed to squeeze in 8 HU matches. 6Ws later and I’m out to party…


1. Post about today’s play.

2. Post about new opportunities to make some dough.

3. The first sponsored post in poker-tastic’s history.

4. Probably tomorrow: post about the last year (first year of poker-tastic in the online poker blogging realm)…yup, it’s almost a year since the first post on november 13th 2005

…so…stay tuned…

Still running bad, Tilt and playing beyond the push
Tuesday November 07th 2006, 11:26 pm
Filed under: Bodog,Heads Up,No-Limit Hold'em,Opinionated,Poker Stuff,S&G

Wow, what a title. 🙂

Let me work through it in sequence:

I. Still running bad. I don’t know what it is, but I just can’t seem to catch a break these days. Maybe it’s just the bad side of variance, or what not, maybe it’s just me being not up to par. I don’t know. But I guess it’s a mixture of all of the above…

a) Nice: hitting your two pair with crap cards on a ragged board against an opponent HU and getting all his chips in the middle.

b) Not so nice: exact same situation but you holding the TPTK (or similar) and getting all the chips in.

This situation made me pause today. It’s weird how nice it can be to be in situation a – you basically outflopped your opponent and don’t give it a second thought. Once the opposite scenario b arrives you curse your opponent and call it bad luck. Hmm…

II. Tilt: This happened to me again today after getting sucked out on in consecutive hands. I jabbed my way to a 3:1 chiplead and hold a monster after the flop. We get the money in and my opponent is nearly drawing dead. He needs to go perfect-perfect to beat me. Turn perfect. River perfect. Hmm…now we’re even in chips again, aka back to square one and the tilt-bells are ringing in my head. The very next hand I’m looking more than good on the flop again and guess what…he still calls my overbet and we get the rest of it in after the blank turn. River…perfect…boom headshot. Now the tilt-bells are so loud in my head that I can’t get my normal game on. I should have taken a pause right there, but didn’t…so I put a little dent in my HU record and my bodog roll…nothing too dramatic though.

III. Playing beyond the push:

Waffles wrote something interesting about postflop play and pointed to a nice post by the oreo man about the same topic.

Not pushing All-In preflop all the time, not looking to take races at all times, etc is something that has really been on my mind in the last few weeks, especially since I started to play an excessive amount of HU matches. It’s funny to see how often people are pushing in those things – without any necessity to do so I might add.
A few months back, I would have called some of these pushes in a heartbeat – nowadays I think hard and more often than not, I’ll not call. Why? Because I have to take a look at the situation first and there are MANY situation that I don’t want to risk a lot of chips, especially with five cards to come. Let’s have a look at two of those situations (especially in the HU SnG situation):

1. I hold a strong drawing hand (e.g. AK), BUT I have a substantial chiplead. Why should I risk bringing my opponent back by taking a coinflip (or worse)? I’m not going to start saying that I don’t like coinflips because I never win one, because that would be bs, but I don’t like playing a big pot with marginal edges/deficits, especially if there’s no need to do so (e.g. level 1 – the classic donk move: pot is 15 chips, players start with 1000 chips…third hand in and the donk opponent pushes preflop…hmmm….I would have to call of 990 into a now 1015 pot…hmm…good odds…no wait…are you kidding me? Unless I got Aces/Kings here I hit the fold button so hard, it’s almost crumbling)
2. I hold a small or medium pair, BUT I have a substantial chiplead.

I don’t know if it’s the tv boom and all the all-ins that are shown all the time or if it’s just the “ultimate equalizer”-approach of many (inexperienced) players. One way or another all the pushing is crap. During my excessive series of HU matches I found my love for playing pots again. Nothing is more satisfying than having your opponent right where you want him, “knowing” what he’s holding and acting accordingly…beautiful! Although it won’t work out every time, it’s still so much more fun than looking down at your cards and playing the old two-gear-box…push or fold.

On another note: the push, depending on the situation, can be one of the biggest tells too. I mean, nothing is certain until the last card is dealt and the cards are turned over, but more often than not, the push will leave you with a hand full of explanations…you “just” have to make the right decision which one it is 😉

From my HU diary:

1. Push preflop as a massive overbet into a tiny bet…

I. Small pair [Player is scared to play postflop; 90% of the time at the low levels I play]

II. Medium to big pair [Player is sneaky trying to represent the “scare push” or totally inexperienced player or plain and simple a total donk]

III. Strong drawing hand (e.g. AK, KQs,…)

IV. Random hand
But enough talk about pushing. What’s even worse is all the fuss that is made about “taking coinflips”, especially over here in germany. With the poker boom finally hitting the main-stream television, it’s hard not to catch some sort of poker tourney [interrupted every 10 minutes by PokerStars or PartyPoker commercials] every other day and you wouldn’t even believe what crap some of the commentators are telling the viewer: (Paraphrased translations from their original (german) comments)

1. “What is he thinking about, he’s looking at a coinflip. […] He’s the big-stack, he should look for such situations” – yeah right, did you have a look at their respective chip-counts? Table-image? Prior hands? Nope? Didn’t think so…
2. “Coinflips, the situations you should look to take advantage of, especially in tournaments” – errm excuse me, what the fuck are you talking about? Are you retarded or what? How can you take advantage of a coinflip? Wheeeeee I’m a 2% favourite…I guess there won’t be a better spot in the next gazillion hands I can play with my stack…yeah right…

3. etc etc

Sidenote: Now we all know that you will have to win a coinflip or two (or some more) in order to win a big tourney, but why in the world would I look for those situations? Don’t you think that I would like to get my money in with the best (let’s say 60/40, 70/30, …)? Yeah, thought so…but that’s not something that isn’t said in those broadcasts…

So maybe it’s really the tv shows that are putting the “race me and push me for all my money”-crap inside many players’ heads…sad…sad…but enough of the rambling for today…

Some lessons are cheaper than others
Sunday November 05th 2006, 8:11 pm
Filed under: Bodog,Full Tilt Poker,Heads Up,No-Limit Hold'em,S&G

Lesson learned today: You should stop playing immediately if you see/you’ve got the feeling that the cards are against you ALL THE TIME!

– If you get stacked in a cash game in the first orbit because your opponent catches a lovely two-outer on the river. That sucks. If you go ahead and close the cash tables and head over to another site to play heads up and you lose the first match to a two-outer on the turn (top two vs mid pocket pair), the second one to a two-outer (top two vs low pocket pair) on the turn and the third one to a three-outer on the river, while choping unreal hands that should have busted your opponent (Did you EVER see hands like 24o turning into trips…then boating up…just to see your opponent holding 24o too? I did and laughed…I didn’t laugh as it happened again five hands later 35o vs 35o, trips, boat, all-in, chop). That sucks even more.

Price of this lesson: xx$

Realising that you can be 1 gazillion percent better than your donk-opponents and it ain’t going to matter one bit if you get cold deck after cold deck in such a horror-session and you should quit now without a second thought: priceless.

Should have learned that already, but now I’ll hopefully stick to it in the future.

Have fun in the big game tonight and a great week… 🙂

Yesterday’s news
Sunday November 05th 2006, 5:31 pm
Filed under: 7 Stud,Bodog,Full Tilt Poker,Heads Up,nine,No-Limit,S&G,Shorthanded

Didn’t get the chance to write about my results yesterday, so here it goes:

1. Bodog: Same ol’ same ol’…busted some donkey balls…still only up a little on 6 of 10 Ws

2. Nine: Won’t give me a break, not even the tiniest. Down a nice junk…yet again.

3. FullTilt: No joy either. The session had everything…from the two outer on the river to the runner runner goodness of straights and flushes, nice to see that my opponents were running extremely good…someone’s gotta be lucky…

Down and up, and down and up and up
Saturday November 04th 2006, 3:08 am
Filed under: 7 Stud,Bodog,Full Tilt Poker,Heads Up,No-Limit Hold'em,S&G,Shorthanded

Today’s sessions were quite exciting. It was the first time in ages that I was on stone-cold-tilt, only for a short period of time, but still.

I started out the first session with some NL25 at FullTilt and everything went quite well. Almost doubled up early before giving all back, including my buyin. Two hands in a row got the best of me:

1. I hold KhKd in the BB…button does the little 3xBB standard raise. Small blind folds. I reraise to 10xBB…all fold around to the button. He ponders and pushes his remaining stack (only around 10xBB more), so I’m pretty much insta-calling it, hoping for Ax. He shows AdAs. Flop doesn’t help me all that much, but it could have been worse: Ac10h8h…turn 9h…outs…outs!…outs…river…guess….Ah…yeah, make me my nut flush just to lose to Dem Quad Aces Beetches! Nice…not.

2. Next hand I’m in the SB and look down at AJ sooted. LP puts in the standard raise…I call…flop comes AJx rainbow…I push my remaining chips in, hoping that he has Ax or something…nope…Ac7c…turn xc…ooh…two clubs on board…river xc…nice…not. Dastard!

After that one I was on stone-cold-tilt, but as I had to run to footie training it didn’t hurt me. After I came back from footie training I fired up bodog to mix things up and the HU gods weren’t with me early on. Then I jabbed and grabbled my way back to being ahead, before a donk-face luckbox hit his miracle on the river three hands in a row…which lead to two tilt-outs in the first level. I got my shit together though and went on a little run to finish 8 out of 15…at least ahead a little.

Back to FullTilt and I hit the Shorthanded CAP tables…I leave after I bust two players. Nice. Then I fire up a Stud table and play around 10 hands. I didn’t want to push my luck any further after this hand happened:

I start out with (J8)8…I complete and two players stay in…10 for me…now obvious straight or flush draws just overcards, so I two-bet…one player folds…one calls…10 for me…I bet…he calls….10 for me…I bet…he calls…(10) for me…I bet…he ponders long and hard and folds, what he said was a boat 9s full of Queens – he had 9QQ I guess he was indeed telling the truth…this was the first time EVER that I received FOUR consecutive cards of the same rank…pair…to boat…to Dem Quads Beetches!

What a way to finish the night 🙂

Bank holiday and headache
Thursday November 02nd 2006, 12:28 am
Filed under: Bodog,Casual Play,Full Tilt Poker,Heads Up,nine,No-Limit Hold'em,Omaha H/L,Pot Limit,Razz

Well, it was a bank holiday in germany today, so I had a little time for some poker. First of all I watched some of the WSOP 2006 coverage. Good stuff there, especially Dimitri telling CJ about how he would tighten up and all after spewing chips.

Then it was time for some poker of my own. Quick summary:

1. Nine: I’ll be damned, but once again, “cold-deck” after “cold-deck”…down a nice junk and still not in reach to clear the bonus. Sigh…

2. FullTilt: Busted some fish at the CAP SH tables…then thought it was a good idea to play some Razz and PLO8 SnGs…no g00t….still up for the night though…

3. Bodog: If you’re running not all that good and want to finish the night on a high note…fire up bodog…play some HU…won the first two…lost the third…

Time to catch some sleep now as I’ve got a grueling headache and I need to get up for work in 6 hours…so…night and night…and have fun at the Mook!

Hold’em wheeee, Stud wheee, Stud H/L booo, PLO boooooooooooooo
Wednesday November 01st 2006, 2:12 am
Filed under: 7 Stud,7 stud H/L,Casual Play,Full Tilt Poker,Limit,No-Limit Hold'em,Omaha,Pot Limit

That pretty much sums up my session at FullTilt. Started out with busting some donkey balls at the CAP Hold’em tables. Then decided that it was time to play some other games again. Stud went fairly well. Stud H/L in return didn’t go well at all. Then I fired up two PLO tables and the shit really got sour.

I mean, I’m certainly no expert at PLO (in contrast to one of my better games PLO8), so it might be that I played some hands the “wrong” way, but some hands just went so bad that I couldn’t believe it.

Example: I hold AsKs4c5c, flop comes 2s5sAh, so I’ve got top two with and inside straight draw and the nut flush draw…pot by my opponent…raise pot = CAP by me…admitted loose call by my opponent…he shows QQ77…hmm…turn 7c river Qd…nice, NOT!

Example #2: I hold As2sAd2d…now that’s not the best hand in the world, but not the worst either…pot preflop…two callers…flop Ah6dJh….EP pots it….I reraise CAP…other player folds…showdown 6s6h2h2c…wheeee….turn 7h…d’oh…one time dealer…pair the board….as if…damn it 😉 …river…10h…

Oh well…slightly down for the (playing) session, still slightly up due to some cleared reload bonus dough so ‘s all good…