Posts Tagged ‘online poker’


Friday Frenzy: 15/30 LHE & Rattlesnake Trophy Hunting! (LIVE BLOG)

May 11, 2018

Since I last posted on Tuesday, something big happened: I finally won an event in a Global Poker series. If you’ve been following along here, you probably know I’ve had two runner-up finishes in the Rattlesnake Open already and I also took second in an event during January’s Grizzly Games as well. Needless to say, even though the money is nice, finishing in second is super frustrating – especially when things like oversized trophies and Global swag is on the line!

My final opponent in this tournament is super accomplished (based on his Sharkscope stats) on Global, but it didn’t take me long to see that I had a massive advantage over him in heads up play. He was playing very straight forward and letting me get away with murder, like getting folds in spots where it’s blatantly obvious that my range is weak and he seemed to almost never bluff. It’s pretty hard to win heads up if you are relying on having the best hand every pot. With a decent chip lead, I thought I was going to have to get very unlucky to let this one slip away… and then I did. I think I had about a 2 to 1 chiplead when we got all the chips in preflop with my AT vs his A2 and he spiked a deuce that held up and suddenly I had a 2 to 1 disadvantage. My wife was already asleep and my brother-in-law that lives with us was also asleep and I have to admit I was struggling to contain my volume after losing that hand.

Still, I recognized that I was a favorite and I wasn’t too worried about things, but I also knew that another unlucky all in confrontation would result in yet another second place finish. I could really feel the pressure I was putting on myself. I have to admit that shipping one of these events was pretty damn important to me. I ended up regaining the chip lead through pure exploitative poker and eventually got him all in with another dominated ace and managed to hold on this time for the win! Much like when I lost the chip lead, I was struggling to contain my volume and excitement as I was quietly celebrating my win all by myself. I did it. Finally!

My first Global Poker trophy! I’ll post a pic when I get this thing.

Not only did I finally ship a trophy event, but I finally had success in one of their bigger buy ins and the actual win was almost triple my previous high on Global. This also put my online bankroll north of $6k and gets me out of the $3-$3.5k range I seem to get stuck in before falling back down. I didn’t set out to do a bankroll challenge or anything, but it’s worth noting that I have only deposited $300 on Global. I feel totally comfortable putting money on there now, but initially I was pretty skeptical about depositing any serious money online and now I’m hoping I’ll never have to.

This win also boosted me back into the Player of the Series race. After playing only one of the three events on Tuesday, I had dropped all the way down to 41st. Apparently you get 10 points for every tournament that you play, so the 11 events I’ve missed so far was having a dramatic affect on my place in the standings. Prior to Wednesday’s win, the 110 points I would have from playing those 11 tournaments was the difference between 41st place in the PotS race and being in the top 8. Pretty sick. After managing one measly min-cash on the day of the series I’ve been looking forward to the most (Limit Hold’em Day), I now sit in 10th place on the leaderboard. Now missing 11 tournaments is the difference between 10th and… 1st. Assuming I cashed zero times in the 11 additional tournaments (unlikely), I would currently have a 20 point lead over second place. Ugh. Who needs an extra $5000 I guess?

My wife still doesn’t seem to embracing the opportunity here. We are heading to her parents house for Mother’s Day tomorrow and then my parents house for Mother’s Day on Tuesday and then next Saturday we are apparently attending a wedding. As has been noted, missing tournaments has been detrimental and Saturdays and Sundays are especially important as there are six events each day. I basically have the green light to play tomorrow – either by visiting for an hour in between the day and night events or by playing on the iPad while I’m there – but I’m not sure how I’ll manage Tuesday and there’s no way I can play next Saturday unless she shows mercy on my soul and doesn’t make me go to a wedding for two people I don’t even know. I suppose if I fall out of contention by then it won’t matter, but if I’m in the thick of it, those last two days are going to be super critical. I can’t really blame her though, especially since I’m going to be gone for six weeks for the World Series of Poker, but I’m right there! I can ship this thing!

Something else interesting has happened because of my recent win. I’ve been contacted by both a Global Poker representative for inclusion in their upcoming press release and by PokerNews. I’m still waiting for questions from PokerNews, so not exactly sure what that will entail, but seems like I’m going to be getting some publicity in the near future. The PokerNews editor mentioned reading my blog, so hopefully they will include a link in their write up and if I happen to get any new readers please feel free to subscribe and follow along!

I am definitely NOT a fan of multi-tabling on my iPad while playing live poker, but I kind of have to do it. My live play volume has been waaaaay down this month – mostly because I’ve been staying home to play online. Even with the iPad multi-tabling, I’m still only on pace for just over 80 hours of live play for the month of May. That’s roughly half my normal volume. Kind of inexcusable. The $3500 cash was really nice and the chance at a $5k package is appealing, but the kind of money I can make in these online tournaments pales to what I make playing live poker.

So I will be heading to Palace shortly and hoping that the 15/30 game gets off the ground if it hasn’t already (I haven’t checked for a bit). Unfortunately tonight’s Rattlensnake events are all 4-max tournaments, so it is going to be really challenging to play live while playing 4-max on my iPad, but I did manage a 2nd place finish doing exactly that last week.

Expect this blog to be live for a little over an hour or so before I get involved in the tournaments, then I will probably go mostly quiet for a few hours, and then back to regular updates when I’m back to playing live only.

See you in an hour!

4:25 PM: Sitting down in 8/16 and should get an hour worth of updates in before online poker takes over.

I was hoping to play 15/30 all night but the game looks a ways off. There are 8 names on the list but one of them (the Gnat) is MIA and there are multiple potential flakers. Looks like I’ll be playing 8/16 for a while, which is probably for the best considering the distraction level I’m about to experience.

8/16 lineup: The Queen, FBI Guy, Grumpy (yay!) and some other random I’m not overly familiar with.

4:53 PM: Wonderful start. Admittedly playing a little sloppy so far and then I get to add this gem to torment: two limpers, I limp T8ss, someone raises, some blinds call, FBI Guy comes through with the limp-raise and six of us see the flop for three bets. It’s pretty nice! J93 with two spades and one heart. FBI Guy checks and I start the fireworks as the original PFR helps me get it capped with five of us still in. Turn is gin: 7 of hearts! We have the nuts. I go ahead and lead because the PFR screams of draws that check the turn and three players call me. River is a 2 of hearts and now the PFR raises me. Jx of hearts is my primary candidate to be losing to but instead this guy was capping the J9x two spade flop with four opponents holding the KThh. AS YOU SHOULD.

I have spotted them a rack of blue already.


5:10 PM: The Man is trying to start 15/30 super short-handed and as appealing as it is to play 3-handed with The Gnat, it’s going to be tough enough 3-tabling 4-max while playing in a full live game. That’s a pass from me for now.

5:15 PM: Here’s something that annoys me:

What the hell am I supposed to do with that chicken? Cut it up myself? Eat it like a Neanderthal? Seems like I shouldn’t have to ask the kitchen to cut my chicken in a way that makes sense for a salad.

5:25 PM: Sigh. They are starting 15/30 right as my tournaments are about to start and there are only four players that have bought chips so far. Spectacular.

This should be… interesting.

Finish 8/16 -$191.

5:29 PM: Part-Time, The Gnat and some random are in the game… and now The Man is sitting down to make it 5-handed while he’s working… because beating up on the floor man at 15/30 is what I want to do. 🤦🏻‍♂️

5:57 PM: The Global tourneys all have two rebuys and one add on. I have been playing splashy in the Low, running my stack all the way down to 270 from 3k starting before building it back up 1800 and getting stacked when my AA ran into the mighty 74 blind defend.

On the bright side, I’m back up to 3k stack.

6:20 PM: On bullet #2 of the $22 Medium. I open 66 and guy with 30 bigs left jams on me. It’s a rebuy so I’m willing to gamble here. I somehow hold against his T2o.

He reloads and then stuffs 100 bigs on the button. I have 77 in the small blind and even though I’m flipping most of the time I can’t resist the gamble. It’s not a flop – I have his Q7 crushed. But he spikes a Queen on the turn and now I have 30 bigs.

A few hands later, he opens on button and I try to induce by making a small raise. He jams, I snap call, and his 44 holds to bust me.

And then they move that player that player the next hand… only to replace him two hands later!

No justice!

6:38 PM: Final bullet of Medium, as my 30 big blind reshove with AQ can’t shake AJdd and he makes a flush to bust me.

6:51 PM: And QQ < KT to bust the Medium. Sometimes you just run awesome.

I have about 30 bigs in the Low and same in the High.

7:03 PM: And out of the Low. 12 big button jam with A2ss loses to 55.

Then I get 16 bigs in pre with JTdd vs TT, flop a jack and lose to the one-outer on the river in the High.

Second bullet there.

And now my live game waits for me to bust two tournaments before going on pause. We are 5-handed… one player is felted… and two others are on break.


7:08 PM: Weird hand against The Gnat. Some limps in front of me, I raise KJo on the button, and then The Gnat check-raises and caps on J95. He checks to me on a blank turn and I’m wary, so I check back. River is another blank and he checks again so obviously I have to to bet now and he check-calls mewith… AJ!

Unknown opens, I 3-bet 66 on button and he caps out of position. I call down on Q7752 and he shows me 22.


7:35 PM: On break in the High and I added on 3000 chips for $50 to my 7000 stack. Meh. Not great value but whatever.

I just flopped sets in back-to-back huge pots in the live game. I’m crushing it but the game is on fumes.

7:51 PM: The Gnat just went runner-runner flush on me, so he’s obviously singing now.

Gosh dang, he’s so good!

7:57 PM: And I’m out of the High. Solid 0-3 showing tonight. 3-tabling 4-max NL while playing 5-max live poker is haaaard.

I basically never input my own bet. Just bet half pot, pot, or whatever preset sizings there are.

Plus I do cool things like this:

Yes, that’s me timed out and folded with the nuts.


My wife is here now and we are about to have dinner and then time to focus up on this live game.

8:38 PM: Well I was up $1500 in the 15/30 game but it’s come crumbling down quickly.

First I lost with AK on QTxK9. Then I folded JJ on A77xK. Then I had TT vs QcJc on T98cc and never improved. And just now I bet the K65 flop, Gnat raises all in to $20, big blind calls, and I call because that’s the only thing I can do. The 6 pairs on the turn and the big blind fires the first $60 Overs bet of the evening. I’m perplexed but call. River 9, same action, and he rolls K9.

Solid -$700 swing in one orbit.

10:13 PM: We have gone card dead, folks. I did pick up the QQ once and got out flopped by KT and then I missed the nut flush draw in a 3-bet pot, but those have been my only hands of note. After turning the faucet on for an orbit, my downswing has becomemore of a slow drip.

10:17 PM: And immediately after posting that last update, I 3-bet KK and it goes cap and cold call behind me. Four of us see the T33 two hearts flop and I get it capped with the preflop capper. One player calls two bets but winds up folding so we are in Overs for the turn action. I’m running kind of bad at the moment so leading out for $60 feels almost spewy but I’m only losing to TT and AA, so bombs away! I’m quite relieved to see him just call. The river is the queen of hearts and now we are only beating JJ. So I check and he checks behind with the one hand we still beat.

10:57 PM: The Tick, Gnat, and Flea are all in the building and I left my insect repellent at home.

11:14 PM: Kung Fu Panda in the game! Threatening to buy in for less than $400…


12:22 PM: Kung Fu Panda and Snowflake are sitting next to me totally distracting me. I am crushing though. These guys keep commenting on how I win every pot I play, I always have it, they give me too much action, etc.

One big connection I have KJdd in a 3-bet pot and then get the QT3dd flop with Overs in play. Bink the flush on the turn and get six bigbets from my opponent.

Here’s Kung Fu Panda’s stack:

So you can see why he’s jealous.

1:57 AM: Snowflake is now in the game and he’s possibly wasted and telling everyone he’s going to 3-bet me every hand. I have a feeling my variance is about to get tumultuous.

The Leak is also playing in this game for some reason.

The Gnat felted. The Flea is in.

2:06 PM: This just happened: Snowflake is being so annoying that The Flea just asked for a seat change to move away from him.

The fucking FLEA wants to move because someone is annoying HIM!

3:15 AM: Session is over. Sorry for the lack of content tonight. Snowflake was sitting behind me and Kung Fu Panda and talking to us for hours before he got in the game and writing about hands became very hard to do.

It was a good, smooth session though. Very minor hiccups for the last several hours as I cruised to a +$2209 finish.


Global Poker: LEGAL Online Poker for U.S. Residents

September 26, 2017

Yes, this is an endorsement. Global Poker is Dark Knight approved. With that said, I have no personal gain in writing this post. Global doesn’t even have a referral or rakeback program yet (insert sad emoji: I’ve referred around 20 players already). I’m writing this because I truly care about the growth of poker – not just in our local card rooms, but worldwide.

Bringing new players into the game is difficult these days. Even at the lowest levels in a live poker room – such as $3/$6 limit hold em or $1/$2 no limit – a brand new player can easily lose $100 or more. Learning a game $100 at a time can be a tough pill to swallow. Not only that, but they have to assume this financial risk while playing with people that have hundreds or thousands of hours of experience under their belts yet little patience for anyone that slows their game down or beats them with hands they “shouldn’t be playing.” I’m not saying everyone in the poker world is like that, but I do think a brand new player will frequently feel unwelcome or embarrassed while getting their feet wet and this might be enough for a number of them to never come back.

That’s the beauty of online poker. New players can play in the privacy of their own home for incredibly small stakes. As I’m writing this, early on a Tuesday afternoon, Global Poker has around 35 full tables of no limit cash games between the stakes of $0.02-$0.04 and $0.10-$0.20. The $0.02-$0.04 level has a max buy in of $4. A $100 deposit could go a long way at those stakes. It’s a cheap way to learn how to play poker without having to face the scrutiny or shame one might experience in a live game. Sure, online players can be brutally insensitive and mean, but no one has to read the chat and I imagine Global will eventually add the option to remove chat entirely if you so desire.

But online poker isn’t just great for brand new players, it’s great for everyone. Unfortunately, ever since the FBI shut down the major sites in April of 2011, most players have given up on the concept altogether. That hasn’t stopped sites like Bovada or Ignition or America’s Cardroom from popping up, but everyone knows what they are doing is technically against the law and their funds could disappear at any moment in time. Thus, players view these sites (and rightfully so) with an air of skepticism and the sites basically only attract the most die hard of poker players and, sadly, gambling addicts. People that play purely for recreational purposes and brand new players simply aren’t taking the risk. And judging from what I’ve read on Facebook and various other places, a number of people feel the same way about Global Poker.

So what makes Global Poker different? Why is it legal? In their own words from their FAQ page:

“We are pleased to announce that Global Poker is the first social poker site that offers a safe and secure cash out of winnings to players in the US. We are a leading poker site that offers a unique Sweepstakes model which has been approved by high profile companies such as Facebook and PayPal. These companies have conducted their own due diligence on our $weepstakes Model.”


“Global Poker sells virtual currency (Gold Coins). These are virtual chips which you can accumulate and play with but they cannot be redeemed for real money.
When purchasing Gold Coins, players are given bonus sweepstakes prizes by way of $weeps Cash. The $weeps Cash can be used to buy into the $weeps Cash tournaments and ring games however any of these that are accumulated or won can be cashed out through PayPal as real cash prizes.”

In laymen’s terms: Global Poker found a loophole in the system by creating multiple currencies and treating every pot as an individual sweepstakes. I’m not going to pretend like I understand all of the legalities involved, but here’s what’s important: PayPal is cashing players out and you can use Facebook to log in. Yes, very convenient; but more importantly, those are two giant corporations whose lawyers have vetted Global Poker’s business model and gave it the thumbs up. That’s good enough for me. Am I personally guaranteeing that this is, in fact, legal or that the laws will never change to shut the site down? No. I don’t have enough knowledge of gambling laws to promise anything personally, but if Facebook and PayPal are on board, so am I.

I waited until I tried the cash out process myself before fully endorsing Global Poker. This was my experience: I requested a $50 cash out and almost immediately received an email requesting two forms of identification with my current address. This is something Global only requires the first time you cash out, so future withdrawals will be much quicker. I sent them a screenshot of my driver’s license and a utility bill. I received an email back requesting I send a more recent utility bill, so I obliged. Even with this minor hiccup and going through the verification process, my withdrawal was in my PayPal account within 8 hours of my initial request. Very fast and very easy. I haven’t made another withdrawal, but I imagine it will be even faster the next time.

I feel like I should point out a few other reasons why Global Poker is a great place for new and recreational players. The site is web-based, meaning you don’t have to download any software to play on it and, more importantly, meaning that tracking software and HUDs cannot be used. If you want to exploit your opponents’ tendencies, you’re going to have to do it to old fashioned way: by actually paying attention! Global uses avatars and screen names, so players are not anonymous and you can add notes and use color coding to categorize player types, but no one has to worry about playing against “robots” that know how often they make every possible move.

In addition, the tournaments on Global do not allow late registration. I didn’t like this at first, but it has grown on me and considering most of the tournaments on Global offer a guaranteed prize pool, it’s actually quite selfless of the company.

For those of you that take your poker playing a bit more seriously, Global is more than just a site to build up from the micro stakes. There are stakes for NLHE and PLO going as high as $10-$20 blinds. On a Tuesday afternoon there are five tables of $10-$20 NL in action, plus Global has stakes for $0.50-$1, $1-$2, $2-$5, $3-$6, and $5-$10 NL and PLO as well. These are stakes you can make a living at.

The tournaments on Global are quite a bit smaller. The MTTs (multi-table tournaments) almost all fall in the $3.30 to $11 range and almost universally feature at least one rebuy and an add-on. This is obviously great for smaller stakes grinders, but people looking to make a living playing online poker tournaments might be a bit disappointed with Global’s current selection. I expect this to change as the site grows, however, and the reason I decided to make this post now is because Global has a big tournament series coming up next month called the Eagle Cup (you can read about it and check out the schedule here). This series kicks off on October 2nd, so start creating your accounts and get in action!

Global Poker is not perfect and there is still plenty of room for growth and not all markets have been tapped. If you want to play no limit Hold Em or pot limit Omaha, Sit and Goes, or MTTs, the site is great. If you want to play anything else, it’s still a work in progress. Global only recently started offering limit Hold Em cash games and it doesn’t seem like anyone is really playing them. If you want to play limit Omaha 8 or better or any mixed games, they aren’t even an option yet – not even for tournaments. As a mixed games player myself, this is incredibly disappointing, but Global support staff seems to be confident these things will roll out eventually.

Global Poker is something everyone involved in the poker community should be embracing. IT’S LEGAL ONLINE POKER FOR U.S. RESIDENTS and it’s backed by Facebook and PayPal. Make your accounts. Tell your friends. Tell your families. Let’s make this something special and start building our game again. And for those of you that work in the casino industry, in actual poker rooms, recognize this: the more people that start playing online poker, the more likely they will eventually trickle into your rooms and play live. Online poker is not the enemy, it is your friend. Anything that helps grow the overall player pool is great for poker. Learn to love it!

I am happy to answer any question anyone has about the site. Just message me on Facebook or comment here.

Visit Global Poker to start making your accounts today!


July 2011 Gambling Results

August 1, 2011

Maybe Black Friday was the best thing that could happen to me. For the second straight month, I killed the live small stakes games and turned a profit of $1500+. I certainly wasn’t turning that kind of profit online.

It’s been an interesting month for me. My cover is blown. I’m no longer a decent player that ventures into the casino a couple times a month. I play several times a week for many hours and when you crush a game consistently over a couple months people take notice. I think I’ve been a somewhat respected player for a long time, but this past month things elevated to a new level. Here are some of the things people have said about me:

“You’re the last person I wanted to see walk in right now.”

Opponent: “I have to raise.”
Other Player: “Yeah, but you’re raising the wrong guy.”

“Normally, I would call, but I’m not playing against you.”

“As far as I can see, this kid is the chalk. If I had to put my money on anyone, it’d be him.”

“Best player in the county.”

Ok… I can admit, it’s nice to hear things like that and quite an ego-boost, but there’s also a downside. I definitely don’t want to hear people saying, “normally I would call.” If people are adjusting when I’m in the game that’s never a good thing for my bottom line. I want them to gamble with me, not tighten up.

Also, as good as my results have been the past two months, I still have some severe leaks in my game. I don’t play a ton of $3-$6, but I’m starting to think I shouldn’t play it at all. I’m -1.65 BB/HR over 55 hours the past 3+ months in that game. I mostly play that game on Wednesdays to kill time between tournaments. Aside from the harsher affect of the rake and tipping on my win rate, the day game seems to play much tighter and passive than the night games… which means if I get stuck it’s much harder to get even and I can play a lot less hands profitably. It’s just not my kind of game.

Playing tons of hours over the past couple months has helped my steam factor quite a bit. In the past, I could start to tilt if I was down $50-$60 to start a session… but now, I understand the concept of a “it’s all one long session.” Many nights over the past two months, I’ve been stuck $200-$300 at some point only to show a profit by the end of the night. If the game is good, the variance is going to be a lot greater, but so is your chances of turning things around. If you’re stuck in a tight game with little action, you might as well go home. I’ve learned to take my beats in stride because the money comes back eventually.

Even so, I haven’t completely freed myself of the Tilt Monster. For the second straight month I had a 85+ big bet downswing in the final week, turning a spectacular month into a merely good one. I use the word downswing loosely, however, because I can’t blame it all on bad luck. During my past four sessions, I was mostly playing poorly. I’ve gotten used to my aces being cracked, losing to flushes and straights on the rivers, but when you’re continually losing to 2-5 outers on the turn and river, while missing your big combo draws all in the same session, it can be incredibly frustrating… and when I’m frustrated, I don’t play good poker. Frustration probably cost me about $400 over the past four days. It’s a leak that needs to be addressed, because like it can turn a great month into a good one, it can turn a winning month into a losing one.

Future Plans

With a decent bankroll built up, I’m looking at playing some bigger events. I’ll be playing the $300 NL event at Muckleshoot on Friday, September 9th, and I’m planning on going to The Fall Poker Round-Up in Pendleton, Oregon at the Wildhorse Casino in November. At the moment, I’ll be playing the first six events, but that’s subject to change based on how well I do the next three months and how much backing I can get.

July Results:

Overall Gambling: +$1791
Overall Poker: +$1875
Live: +$1568
House Games: +$307
Pit: -$84
$3-$6: -$40 over 22.66 hours
$4-$8: +$834 over 103.08 hours
NL: +$465 over 6.83 hours
Tournaments: +$418 (13 tournaments, 6 cashes, 2 1sts)

YTD Overall: +$4756.80


Check-Raise: The Road To Professional Gambling – June 2011

June 29, 2011

Poker is a cruel game. Even for the educated player, it can play tricks on your mind. For the uninitiated… good luck staying sane.

As many of you know, my goal this year was to make money gambling and through the first three months of the year, I had managed to eke out a profit, but it was almost entirely due to the rakeback I was receiving from Full Tilt Poker. You can read my update for the first three months here.

April changed everything for aspiring poker players when the FBI shutdown the three major online sites: Full Tilt Poker, Poker Stars, and Absolute Poker, making it impossible for players to gamble online in the United States. Of course, that happened just as I was realizing some of the major leaks in my game and starting to turn things around. I was already killing tournaments, but my cash game play was starting to come along as well. I had turned a profit in online cash games for the first time in many, many months. To make matters worse, I made my biggest tournament score of the year the day before Black Friday. So when the sites shut down and access to your funds became restricted, I happened to have significantly more money online than I usually do; and it’s still there.

With online play no longer an option, I turned to the local casinos, a bold move for someone trying to build a bankroll with limited money. I went from playing $0.50-$1 limit online to playing $4-$8 live, a significant jump in stakes even though the latter game is almost certainly much softer.

I had already identified cash games as a leak in my gambling. I previously noted how bad I was doing online, but my live stats weren’t much better. For the year, through April, I was down roughly $400 playing live cash games… plus in April alone, I was down $625 playing live period, whether it was tournaments or cash games. With online play no longer an option, my poker future was looking grim.

Then I went to jail for most of May. In jail, I read several poker books and came out on May 20th thinking I might have a shot at making money playing live poker. I only played for one week in May and 15 hours total and promptly managed to lose $298, logging my first losing month of the year. Also, on May 24th and May 25th, I managed to lose $450 in 3.5 hours of total play, such an absurdly bad run that I strongly considered quitting playing altogether. I was completely demoralized.

Being the gambler I am though, that notion didn’t last very long and I was quickly back in action in June. I got off to a hot start and by June 10th I was up $549 in the live game. Then, June 10th changed everything. I hit the Lightning Strikes Twice jackpot at Chips Casino for $1562 and had my best session of the year on top of that. By the end of the night, I was up $1809 total (after tipping the dealer $200 for the jackpot) and suddenly had a legitimate bankroll. By June 20th, including the jackpot hit, I had beat the live game for $3038 in profit. I felt unstoppable. I had a losing session here and there, but I was on a serious upswing, and my confidence was soaring. Unfortunately, the last week wasn’t so kind and is the reason I opened this post by saying how cruel poker can be. I’m down $715 in the live game over the past week and have felt completely defeated at times. Fortunately, I have the bankroll now to withstand this kind of big downswing, and at -89 Big Bets of my current limit, this isn’t even close to how bad it will be some other future time.

That’s the thing about poker that most people don’t understand. Even the best players are going to go through terrible streaks due to bad luck. It can be incredibly painful when it happens–which is not uncommon–but even a 200 Big Bet (-$1600 @ $4-$8) downswing is almost inevitable. But if you’re a good, winning player, luck always evens out in the end, and you have to win in the long run.

In total, I made $2406 gambling in June (more than at my day job). I got lucky with the big jackpot, but it was a great month besides that and now my goal to play for a living by 2013 seems plausible. Grinding it out at $4-$8 is going to be a long road, but now I have the bankroll to gamble with comfortably and never have to touch any of the money I actually work for. Also, if Full Tilt ever gets their shit together and cashes out their players, I’ll have a large enough bankroll to move up in stakes to $8-$16 and potentially double my hourly rate.

June Stats

Live play:
$3-$6: -$372 over 11.92 hours (-5 BB/HR) <— potential leak?
$4-$8: +$1342 over 85.67 hours (1.96 BB/HR)
+$1362 Lightning Strikes Twice Jackpot
+$164 in Tournament play
+$2496 total

Additional Gambling:
BlackJack Match Plays: +$15
Sports Betting: +$10
House Games: +$38
Side Bets: +$20

Overall Gambling since December 1st, 2010: +$3287.80


Poker: September 2010 Results

September 13, 2010

This is a bit premature, but I self-excluded myself from playing online poker for the rest of the month, so it’s not going to change much. Here are the results:

Starting Bankroll: $109.75
Ending Bankroll: $0.04
Net Profit: -$100.71
Deposits: $25
Cash Outs: $100
Transfers: $0
Rake Back: $35.71 (through Sept. 10th)
Bonuses: $50
Tournaments: +$69.20
Cash Games: -$341.33


-I went busto on September 2nd and had to deposit money for the first time in ages. I put in $25 and got about $20 in rake back and built that $45 up to a peak of $366 within a week.

-I only cashed in 3 of 23 online tournaments I played before banning myself, but all of them were final tables. My best showing was 1st of 135 for +$149.50.

-When my bankroll reached $366, I decided to do something rare: cash some out.

-After my cash out and a couple days basically treading water, I decided to take a shot at a $100 buy-in NL cash game. This was 10x higher than I was usually playing and it seems whenever I decide to take a shot, the Gods punish me for it. The pivotal hands:

—I have Tc8c in the BB and someone raises it to $5. I’m going to fold if it folds around to me, but the SB calls and I decide to take a flop. The board comes T83 with two hearts. SB checks and the opening raiser has about $42 left and my objective is to get as much of it as possible. I figure if he has an overpair, I’m stacking him no matter what. If he has unpaired high cards, he might not call if I bet, but he’ll likely make a continuation bet if it checks to him and maybe even price himself in. Since checking seems to make me more money, that’s what I do. He goes all-in. Yay! The small blind calls $42. Boo! Not what I was hoping for at all. What does this guy have? I go into the tank for a bit… It’s really unlikely that he has TT or 88 since I have two of those cards and two of them are on the board… 33 is certainly a possibility, but I convince myself that it’s probably a big heart draw. Since I’m playing way over my head, the safe play would be to fold, but if I end up folding the winning hand, I’m not going to forgive myself. Since I think my hand is good, calling is out of the question, and I go all-in for $108. The SB calls and shows AhKh and the 4h comes on the turn and I don’t fill up. $270 pot and roughly 40% of my bankroll gets shipped to him.

—After that last beat, I decide to call it a night, but I can’t sleep at all because I’m steaming so bad. So I get back online and sit down in the same game looking to make my money back quickly. After a few hands, I pick up KK and make it $3.50 to go. Someone re-raises me to $10.50. Ugh. Am I really going to be up against aces right now? The button calls him. It folds back to me… only one hand has me beat, but do I believe it? I decide to go Matt Damon in Rounders and just shove it all-in for $100+. The re-raiser folds, which is great, but the button calls, which is shocking. What does this guy have that he’d play that way? Amazingly, he shows 22 and before I can even get over the shock of seeing his hand, he spikes a set on the flop, and stacks 70% of my remaining bankroll. Unbelievable. I’m playing on a Rush table, so I don’t even get the satisfaction of being able to berate him for such a horrendous play.

—I’m down to like $45 and take it to same $100NL game and decide that I’m getting it all-in at the first sane opportunity. After a few spots where my opponents fold, I pick up AQ and get one caller with position on me. I bet the pot on an A high flop and he calls. I get it all-in on a blank turn and he shows a flopped set and I’m busto for the second time this month.

-I played live for the first time in a loooooooong while. I went into Bremerton Lanes to see if they had a tournament and it was super dead. There were about five people waiting around in a live game and I decided to sit down against my better judgement. I bought in for $100 to play $4-$8, to kill the hour before the tournament, and basically just dwindled. I won two pots and they were both small and I never picked up any big hands. Lost $66.

Highlights from the live tournament:

—blinds @ 50-100 on deep stacks. One person limps, I limp with 66, SB calls, BB raises to $600. First limper folds, and since we are on deep stacks and I know this player will dump if I spike a set, I call. SB folds and the flop comes 953. He checks to me and it looks like a bet, but I’ve played with this guy before and I don’t think he’d make that raise w/out a pair, so I check behind and take one off. Turn is a 2 and he bets $800. I’m still pretty sure he has an overpair, but his check on the flop leaves enough doubt that I speculate with a call, plus I should have six outs, position, and some other river cards I might be able to bluff with. River is gin: a four peels off. No flush on board, so I’m sure I have the nuts. He leads out for $1000, which looks like an ace. I doubt he’d make that bet with KK/QQ/JJ, so I expect to get paid off and raise it to $2700, hoping he might even re-raise. He just calls and I’m surprised when he tables 99 for top set. hahaha… sorry buddy! Nice pot for me. It’s a pretty odd river call for him, but sometimes I think people need to show how bad of a beat they took… and I appreciate it!

—blinds @ 200-400. UTG goes all-in for about 1900 and I’m UTG+1 with AA and about $12K. I decide to just call because some players behind me have been raise happy. Everyone folds except the small blind, who calls also. The flop comes AT9 with two hearts. SB checks to me and even though I have top set, a bet is in order because that board is super draw-friendly. I bet out $1500 and the small blind becomes exasperated. I’m all for the cooperation play in a lot of spots, but this is not one of them. After throwing a mini-fit, he says “Fine, I’ll all-in” and raises about $7500 more. Hahahahhahaha. I call and flip over my aces and he tables QQ and walks away sonned.

—blinds @ 300-600. I pick up AA and raise to 1500. I have over $20K at this point and a player behind me has even more chips. We are easily the chip leaders at the table. He’s been really raise happy and doesn’t disappoint when he makes it $5500 to go. It folds around back to me and I go into acting mode. I count my chips, see how much I’d have left if I call and fold later, basically trying to sell AK or some other hand… After a minute or so, I go all-in and he instacalls and shows JJ. I hold and I have an enormous chip lead. I got chastised by a couple players after this hand, including my opponent. Some of the comments: “he had to think about that one” — “yeah, he must’ve been worried I had a set” etc. Uhhh… okay noobs. If I shove all-in without thinking about it, my hand range can be narrowed down pretty easily. I know if I had JJ in his spot, I would fold it. Hell, I wouldn’t have re-raised in the first place. Maybe my acting job didn’t play a role at all and he would have spewed with JJ regardless, but there’s certainly no rule that says if you have aces you must reraise as soon as possible.

—Per usual, when I get a huge chip lead, I get card dead for a long time and eventually dwindle down to an average stack. I make the final table with a good amount of chips, but all my opening raises get shoved on and I have to fold my attempts to steal the blinds.

—Busto hand: blinds are 2000-4000 and I have about $21K. Two people limp in, SB calls, and I have AT in the BB. I have enough chips left behind that the limpers can’t call me without fear and the limps indicate there isn’t a lot of strength out there, so I shove and take my chances. First person folds, but the second hesitates for a bit, sighs, and decides to call. She tables 99 and flops a set. GG. 7th place for money back. Laaaaaaaaaaaame.

Another shitty month… but on the bright side, I cashed out more money than I put into gambling this month, so my wallet actually saw a profit. I keep saying that playing above my bankroll is one of my biggest leaks, but I don’t think it’s wrong to take shots. I don’t want to grind it out for nickels and dimes and no one makes it big by playing it safe. It would just be nice if one time I took a shot something ridiculous didn’t happen. Sigh. Until next month….


August 2010 Poker Results

September 2, 2010

Disclaimer: Since I live in a state where gambling online is illegal everything I’m about to post is clearly a figment of my imagination. I’m a law-abiding citizen.

I started viciously tracking my results this past month in an effort to improve my game and be honest about my results. When it comes to gambling, unless you happen to make a huge score in a tournament, it’s a daily grind that features a lot of ups and downs along the way. In the past, I liked to start tracking my results after a good day and then suddenly lose interest when things turned sour. This past month, I confirmed a lot of what I have long suspected have been leaks in my game. Here are my results:

Starting Bankroll: $163.41
Ending Bankroll: $109.75
Net Profit: -$53.66
Deposits: $0
Cash Outs: $0
Transfers: $0
RakeBack: +$243.49
Tournaments: +$254.98
Cash Games: -$552.13


-My bankroll peaked at $716 on August 19th. I combined terrible luck with poor bankroll management and sketchy play over the last two weeks of the month, resulting in a horrid stretch that left me in the red for the month.

-My cash game results are terrible and represent the biggest inconsistency in my poker game. I can dominate for long stretches of time, but if there’s one thing I’ve noticed about myself it’s that I tend to implode when I start to hit a bad run. I never seem to have a minor losing stretch, I always compound my bad luck with horrible decision-making.

-I played 61 tournaments in August, with an average field of 586, and cashed in 14 of them, which gave me a respectable 23% In The Money rate.

-My biggest cash was a net profit of $363.73 for a 7th place finish in $3.30 No Limit rebuy tournament that had a field of 1,761 players.

-I went on a sick tournament streak in the middle of the month. I cashed in 10 of 17 tournaments over five days, including five final tables in a wide variety of games (3rd in HORSE, 5th in Pot Limit Omaha, 1st in Stud, 3rd in NL, and 7th in NL+rebuys). During this stretch, I made $555.94 playing tournaments.

Goals For September:

-Limit my cash game play even though it’s how I build rakeback. I obviously lost more playing them than I made in rakeback.

-Take some days off.

-Make at least one big tournament score.

-Have a winning month!


Royal Flush Online

March 14, 2010

This is my 10th career Royal Flush… all of them online and none of them in a B&M where I could win a ton of money from a jackpot. I run so gross! Click image to view the full size.


Poker 101: 101 Poker Tournaments In A Single Day

February 16, 2010

I’m not really sure what inspired me to do it, but one night, I was laying in bed and thought, I’m going to play 101 poker tournaments in a single day and blog about the experience. Why 101? Well, the real goal was 100 1-table online Sit & Go tournaments, but since I knew I was going to play a live event at Bremerton Lanes in the morning, 101 was the number… plus it’s like I’m taking you cats to school anyways, so it’s fitting. Ya dig?

My morning started off with a really uneventful showing in the Bremerton Lanes tournament. Maybe even my worst showing to date. I feel a little ashamed of my performance in that tournament so far. Considering how I raved about the structure and how it was much more tailored to my playing style and rewarding skill instead of luck, the fact that I’ve had one minor cash in eight appearances is below my standard. In a field that typically ranges between 30-40 people and usually pays the top 5, I really feel I should be cashing around 20-25% of the time, especially since I’m playing these people face-to-face… my advantage is that good and yet I have nothing to show for it. Thankfully, one big cash will have me at least even and possibly even showing a profit… but it needs to be soon. Today?

I can’t even really remember any hands from the tournament, but I do know I blew about half my stack early on a hand I felt embarrassed about… so yeah, not my best showing. Then I missed the board after calling a raise and lost a race as a small favorite to bust out. I’m not sure I even won a pot.

After that, I came home around 1 P.M. and began my mission to complete 100 online Sit & Go tournaments. In retrospect, I wish I would have done things a bit differently. I estimate that I have a bigger edge in the regular Sit & Goes, so I decided not to play turbo tournaments, even though I probably would’ve completed the task in half the time. Also, since I had to cash out a substantial portion of my bankroll last week I was playing with less money than I would prefer and went with a smaller buy in tournament and if I could maintain the same win rate, I wish I would’ve risked playing higher. I started off playing 12 tournaments at a time, but when I got short-handed, it became a hassle (since I only use one monitor), so I ended up playing 9 tournaments at a time the rest of the way. I took about a 45 minute break to get some food and completed my task around 2 A.M… well, sort of. For some ridiculous reason, Poker Stars stopped registering new No Limit Sit & Go tournaments after I was in my 95th tournament and majorly cock-blocked me. It’s pretty annoying to get that close and not really live up to my promise… but never-the-less, I pretty much did what I said I was going to do.

The results:

95 tournaments
39 cashes (41%)

19 1sts (20%)
12 2nds (12.6%)
8 3rds (8.4%)
7 4ths
14 5ths
17 6ths
9 7ths
6 8ths
4 9ths

Some notes about the results:

-I finished in the top 2 in nearly 33% of the tournaments.
-I won 61.3% of my heads up battles.
-I finished 1st more often than any other finish.
-I cashed 85% of the time I made the top 4, so my bubble play was pretty solid.
-All of my 9th place finishes were the result of some sort of horrible beat or sick cooler (i.e. KK vs AA early, set under set, etc.)
-I increased my bankroll by 31%.

Some notes about my strategy:

-I see a lot of flops in the early rounds of the tournaments. This not only means I play a lot of hands, but I also play some bigger hands much more conservatively. For instance, I’ll limp in with JJ and TT, sometimes after people have already limped in front of me. I’m also prone to simply calling with hands like QQ and AK if someone has raised in front of me. The reason I do this is because so many people are willing to ship all their chips in the first two rounds with hands like 88, AK, AJ, etc. and I think it’s stupid to risk going broke early on in a coin flip. I also like to limp in with unsuited AK and AQ in early position for the same reason. Simply put, I like to see the board before I get heavily invested in a pot, unless my hand is AA or KK. My ability to play much better than my opponents after the flop is too big of an advantage to give them the option of re-raising or shoving all-in preflop against me. With big suited cards, I like to raise the pot since I don’t really mind multi-way action.

-I respect position. I play pretty conservatively when I’m out of position and get called on the flop even with a hand like AK on an A high board. This rule isn’t set in stone as some situations require a bet on 4th street, but generally speaking, I like to keep the pot kind of small when I only have one pair, no matter how good it is. While this strategy might prevent me from acquiring some needed chips, it also keeps me from going broke early in a tournament with one pair hands. I also check behind on the turn sometimes, in position, with the same type of hands… or even on the flop…. for the same reason… but also to add a layer of deception to my game and make me harder to read. Most of the time, I’ll have a very clear idea of what’s going on by the time the river action hits.

-I start raising more hands when the blinds hit the 25-50 level as people tend to tighten up around this stage of the tournament.

-When the blinds hit 50-100 and beyond, I find that simply raising the minimum is enough to get people to fold mediocre hands. I have never adopted this strategy before, but in playing nearly 100 tournaments yesterday, I found it to be a very effective tactic. Of course, stack size alters this strategy and the less chips you have, the more reasonable it is to simply shove all of them in for either maximum fold equity or profit, whichever you prefer for your hand.

-Raising on the button 100% of the time in heads up play is probably the right move. I find that when someone does this to me, I find it very difficult to play against… so I started doing it myself. The reason? You make the pot bigger when you have position on your opponent and force them to do all the guessing. Eventually, they are going to have to start making plays at the pot in mediocre situations… or check-raising you with bottom pair or a draw or a bluff, just to stay afloat. If you get your opponent jamming the pot out of position with weak hands, you have pretty much won the war… just wait for the right moment. Either that, or they just fold, fold, fold and you win, win win. I really haven’t found a good way to counter this strategy when it’s used against me, so I might as well use it myself.

That’s all! I’ll never do that again and playing Sit & Goes for a living is not in my future. That shit is mind-numbingly boring. Now it’s off to Bremerton Lanes to finally take this bitch down. LET’S GO!!!!


Good Online Poker Tournament Week

February 6, 2010

Just started trying to build up an online bankroll again a couple weeks ago and I’ve had a pretty good start. This past week I had these finishes:

-4th of 85 in NL Hold Em Tournament for 8 Buy-In profit
-2nd of 180 in NL Hold Em Tournament for 32BI profit.
-457th of 6230 in NL Hold Em Tournament for 2BI profit. I think this is only worth noting because it’s the equivalent of cashing in a WSOP main event sized field.
-4th of 88 in NL Omaha Hi-Lo Split Tournament for 9BI profit.
-6th of 360 in Pot Limit Omaha Tournament for 14BI profit.

I consider that a pretty great week… four final tables in fields of at least 85 entrants, 3 top 5 finishes, and cashes in three different forms of poker. Your boy’s got skills.