Monday, April 25, 2005

Advice Needed!

I ordered four poker books last week and they arrived today. I have no idea which one I should start reading first. Here is what I ordered:

  1. The Tao of Poker
  2. Zen and the Art of Poker
  3. Tournament Poker and the Art of War
  4. Harrington on Hold'em

My goals are to improve my overall play but to concentrate on no limit tournaments, both SNG and MTT. I am finding that I enjoy tournament play much more than ring game play so I want to focus a little more on that. Focus is the other thing I need to work on. I have cut out most of the distractions while playing but my mind still gets scattered about half-way through.

So, which one should I read first?

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Smuggling Illegal Moose

Last night Maura and I saw the funniest show ever. In fact, we were laughing so hard that Maura almost had an asthma attack. The show was An Evening With Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood. If you have ever seen Whose Line is it Anyway? (British version > American version) you will have a good idea as to the style of the show. Basically Colin and Brad play improve theater games with help, in the form of suggestions and "volunteers", from the audience. While we had great seats, we were not close enough to be "volunteered", which made me extremely happy (ask Maura about the time we saw Brad at The Improv and she was volunteered after I chickened out).

The night didn't start out all fun and games however. While I was on my way to Maura's I realized (thanks to the honking of passing cars) that I had a flat tire. After three phone calls it was decided that I would abandon my car in the McDonald's parking lot and Maura would pick me up. We ate dinner and ended up arriving at the theater with minutes to spare. My dad later fixed my flat and drove my car home for me.

I'm not going to go into a play-by-play of the skits because it wouldn't be half as funny but I do want to mention the one that closed the first half of the show. On the web-site the game is described as follows:



Crime Scene: Colin or Brad is sent out of the theater while the other gathers detailed information from the audience regarding an unusual crime that was committed, including what worn, the scene of the crime, and what evidence was left behind. The "criminal" is then
brought back to the stage. Using a series of obscure hints and clues the criminal is "interrogated" by the other until he confesses, word for word, to the crime committed.

This is the crime Colin had to confess to:

"While wearing a pointy sorcerer's hat, a trenchcoat and hockey pads, I smuggled an illegal moose into the country, put a twinkie under my hat, and mutated Laura's hamster into a tiger. I did this in Portola Valley at the Poop n Scoop, (I forgot this part), and Caber Sales with a talking jaguar (the evidence he left behind)."

It took a while but he did get it word-for word. Every time Brad would say "go with me on this" we knew he was going out on a limb with some weird clue while Colin would just shake his head in either dismay or frustration, it was hard to tell. All-in-all every person in the theater was kept in hysterics for well over two hours.

For more information on the show and other games they play (the mouse trap/alphabet game has to be seen to be believed) as well as the schedule of their upcoming appearances check out the web-site. If they happen to be performing in your neck of the woods, get off your ass and go check them out. You won't regret it!

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Quick Update

The money at Full Tilt is gone so I am playing exclusively at Ultimate Bet since I have a bonus to work off anyway. I'll definitely deposit there again but they better stop adding new avatars and get to work on making hand histories available.

Speaking of Ultimate Bet, I played in the $1 last night. Over 1000 entries and I finished 84th for a big 60 cent profit. I had fun though and I deserved the beating I took. I held on to AK when I should have let it go. I might have made an 80 cent profit instead had I not been stubborn. Mourn was also playing and was tearing it up. He had the chip lead for awhile and ended up finishing in fourth.

That's about it for poker. I'm mostly playing ring games with the occasional tournament thrown in for a change. Work and school have kept me busy so I've been playing for relaxation and having better results. Still losing some but not like the last couple of weeks. I also have a couple of more creative posts wandering around in my head. Hopefully I can get them typed up soon but one of my classes entails a lot of typing so I'm not overly enthusiastic to do more.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Random Sunday

Random Music

All week I have been enjoying the posts of other bloggers in regards to their poker music selection. The blogging community is definitely a mix of musical styles. Most offered a sample list from their I-pod shuffle but I don't have an I-pod. Trust me when I say that this is a good thing. If I had an I-pod at the poker table I would only serve to annoy my opponents to the point where they would probably gang up on me to take all my money. See, I have a tendency to sing along as the music is playing and I don't always realize I am doing it. As much as I love to sing, there is a reason I am not on a world tour right now and it has everything to do with my voice. To those of you who may hear some of my vocal stylings in Vegas (alcohol + music = more singing) I deeply apologize in advance.

Since I don't have the ability to share an I-pod shuffle with you I have come up with the next best thing, my station on Yahoo LaunchCast. For the past 2 weeks I have rated around 400 artists and songs to create a fairly accurate representation of my musical tastes. The music represents several genres and goes back several decades. So here it is.....my version of the I-pod shuffle.

1. Push - Matchbox Twenty
2. Hotel California - Eagles -
3. In Your Eyes - Peter Gabriel - My favorite movie scene revolves around this song.
4. Dreams - Fleetwood Mac
5. Your Song - Elton John
6. I'll Stand By You - The Pretenders
7. Sweet Home Alabama - Lynyrd Skynyrd
8. Ring of Fire - Johnny Cash
9. American Idiot - Green Day
10. Ironic - Alanis Morissette

That list doesn't even begin to show the wide range of music that I like. Throw in some country like Faith Hill and Toby Keith. A lot from the 70's and 80's as I love to relive my miserable childhood (the music was 100% better than the memories). Pat Benetar, Duran Duran, Queen, Pink Floyd are only a small part of that exhaustive list. There is also some guilty pleasure type of stuff on the list like Kelly Clarkson and Hillary Duff (laughing is allowed). About the only thing I don't like is hip-hop or rap or whatever it's called these days. It just doesn't do anything for me.

Random Suckout

It was actually a BB special and I was the perpetrator. I had 47o in the BB and no one raised so I saw the flop for free. Flop was 4K7 for two pair. The rest of the hand was rags and I eventually found myself all-in when the other guy thought (rightly) that his pair of kings would hold up. So I doubled up and sucked him out bad. I expected a plethora of swearing aimed at me but he stayed quiet and was taken out a few hands later. I felt bad but he should have raised pre-flop with his suited KQ.

Random Results

Every year, before NASCAR season starts, I sign up for fantasy racing on Yahoo sport. Most years I do okay, finishing in the top 5,000 out of 500,000 teams. Last year was an exception. Every race was the same, my drivers would start out well only to end up falling out of the race, usually near the end and often crashing on the last couple of laps. It was so bad I didn't even play the last four or five races. I was leary of playing this year but it makes the races more exciting to have something riding on the results (even if it is just a ranking).

My results after the 4/10 race: 437th - I have never been this high in the rankings.

I'll keep you all updated as the season progresses.

Random Poker Movie

I finally watched High Roller: The Stu Unger Story. I didn't know much about the man before watching the movie so I don't know how accurate it was. I did think it was very well done although I don't know who thought casting Vince Van Patton was a good idea. He's supposed to be acting but his voice is always in WPT commentator mode. It was actually kind of funny in an annoying way. But if you are expecting to see re-plays of Stu's WSOP wins, this isn't the movie for you. There is actually very little poker play shown. It is about a man's struggle with drugs and a gambling addiction, in other words, the side of poker we don't see on TV.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

It's The Nuts!

Wow, I don't know what to say. My twin just informed me that we are featured in "The Nuts" over at Up For Poker and have been labeled the "WPBT twins". I don't know why we were chosen for this honor but I like free publicity so I will say a very heart-felt thank you to the guys who run things over there. So, I guess this means I should post something. Since tomorrow is "Random Sunday" and I actually have some interesting content, I'll just give a brief update of my current bankroll situation.

I am down to my last $6.50 on Full Tilt. I was up over $20 but I busted out of a couple SNG's to lose most of it. I have been playing at the $10 max NLHE tables and have gotten the roll up to $8.50. I'm not really worried about it as it seems everyone goes through losing streaks. Maybe it means I'm normal (first time for everything). I still have about half my bankroll left on Ultimate Bet. After dropping a buy-in last night on a stupid call, I took second in the longest turbo SNG in history. It got down to five people and we just kept trading chips for the longest time. There was one play, when we got down to four, where I would have taken 2 players out on the same hand but, of course, I folded pre-flop to their all-in's. Sometimes you fold the best hand but that's poker for you.

I also want to thank everyone for their Poker Tracker suggestions. I will try it again when things settle down and will purchase the Poker Tracker Guide for extra guidance. Right now, between life and school, I'm not in the right frame of mind to deal with something that seems so foreign to me. Next time I open Poker Tracker up I plan to be prepared so I will cover the couch and walls in plastic so the clean-up will be easier when my brain explodes.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Back to the Grind

Poker has not been kind to me lately and by lately I mean since last Friday. I'm not exactly sure what's going on but I can't seem to do anything right. It all culminated last night when I lost two buy-ins on Ultimate Bet within about a 60 minute time span. If I had a set, someone had a better set. If I had a boat, someone had a better boat. The second buy-in was probably more of a stupidity loss (should have quit after the first loss) but I've blocked it all out so I can't say for sure.

I know what your saying....get Poker Tracker, it will help you figure out what you are doing wrong. Here's the thing, I downloaded the trial version of Poker Tracker on Sunday and ran it for about an hour while playing on Ultimate Bet. My head exploded soon thereafter. Seriously, all those numbers and statistics flying at me was way to overwhelming for my math disabled brain to take. I really don't know what to do. I don't want to pay the bucks for something that is going to leave me so frustrated I would rather listen to nails scraping across a chalkboard.

So I'm not sure what my next step is going to be. I want to make this Poker Tracker thing work but I get a headache just thinking about it. The only good news is that the losses haven't set me on a big downward spiral. I still have decent bankrolls left on Full Tilt and Ultimate Bet and I know, with patience, I can make the money back. Plus I have almost cleared my bonus on Full Tilt and can then consolidate my bankroll if I so choose.

For now, I am going to grind away and think things through. I have a birthday to hide from on Thursday. (I plan on eating cake with buttercream frosting all weekend long. Not that I need an excuse for cake, I'm just saying..) Maybe by Monday I'll be ready to dig down deep into my game and figure things out....... unless my head is hurting from all the sugar withdrawal because adding a math headache to a sugar headache is just asking for trouble.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Random Sunday

I had a post....blogger ate it....my head hurts to much to recreate it.

Hope you had a good weekend!

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Whatever

That's my mood this week "whatever". I don't feel like writing so I am just going to leave you with a couple of links and let you all know that I am still around.

First, for all the Amazing Race fans, go check out Maura's site. Every Wednesday she posts her insight's about the show and it's a fun read. Besides, I haven't seen any of you over there introducing yourselves. She doesn't usually bite, loves Krispy Kremes and good beer(not necessarily together but could be persuaded into trying it) plus she will be in Vegas for the blogger madness so saying hello wouldn't hurt.

Second, say a warm welcome new poker blogger Jaxia. She chose my blog as one of the first few links on her new blog (haven't figured out why, but I'll take it) so I thought I'd send some traffic her way. She is well on her way with 3 posts to her credit so far and could use some advice on a recent hand.

And third......I got nothing...told you I didn't feel like writing.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Random Sunday

Random Tournament

There is a charity tournament tonight on Full Tilt. The 11 p.m. EST start time is a little late for those of you on the East Coast but it is for charity so if you can make it they would probably be appreciative. The buy-in is $10 + $2 with the $2 going to Cystic Fibrosis research. Oh and some Phil guy that I hear hosts some celebrity poker show has signed up to play (doesn't mean he'll show up though). There could be other pros signing up as the day goes on.

Random Chat

April98: you were annoying me so I called (My explanation for a call I probably shouldn't have made, but I did win the hand.)

Guy who kept losing: only a girl could be so lucky (Because we all know that poker is rigged in favor of the female players.)

Random SNG Progress

I've been bubbling in the SNG's on Full Tilt all weekend. It's been frustrating. On the other hand, I finally figured out how to cash in the SNG's on Ultimate Bet. I have to play in the 10 player turbo tourneys. The regular ones are taking way to long and I think I get bored. When I'm bored I call with marginal hands more often.

Random Non-Poker Stuff

My week day off from work has changed from Monday to Friday. I'm not thrilled with the change but someone had to do it. Plus, my co-worker is off this week (don't ask) so I am going to be very busy. Luckily my birthday is coming up and I never work on my birthday.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

That's What I Call A Chip and a Chair

Last night (or early this morning for those on the East coast) I played in the $10 + $1 tournament at Full Tilt (bonus code April98). I’ve played it a couple of times before and done okay but haven’t made the money. This is also the highest buy-in tournament I have ever played (not counting blogger tournaments).

The tournament started out rather slow. I wasn’t seeing much worth playing and just stayed out of the way. When I did get a hand I played it must have played it well because at the first break I was in 9th place with T6150 and 50 players still in.

The hand of the tournament came at level 10. I had AK of hearts, made a raise, and the chip leader called. The flop was JA4 and my opponent made a big bet but nothing I would call an over bet. I thought for a few seconds and called. The turn brought a 4 and my opponent made a big bet that resembled a steal attempt so I called again. The river was a 9 and I waited to see what he was going to do. He went all-in and had me covered by a couple thousand. I would have been crippled if I didn’t call but there was a chance I could recover. The thing was it smelled of either a steal or a pair of aces. Since I had top kicker I called and held my breath. He flipped up A, 10 and, suddenly, I was the chip leader.

At the second break I was in third with T14,346 and 21 players left. The top 18 got paid but my ultimate goal was to win and the short-term goals were to make the money and then make the final table. A few hands after the break, I reached the first goal. As the field dwindled I had started to bleed away some chips. Some went to the blinds and antes while others went to pre-flop bets that produced no help. We were down to two tables and I needed more chips to make the final table. Suddenly we were playing hand-for-hand. One more player and I would be at the final table but the short stack. That’s when the second hand of the game occurred.

I was in early position when I was dealt AK off. I think, by this time, my brain had died because I did the unthinkable, I limped. When it got around to the big blind he raised for about half my chips. It was now or never, so I called. Flop comes a not so scary 8 3 10. Big blind goes all in. Alarm bells started to go off….what did he have? I thought maybe high pair or maybe a set but I wasn’t sure and I called. He flips an 8 2 off for middle pair. I realize he has me beat but with two cards to come I start praying. On the turn my prayer was answered with a beautiful king. I think God was playing a late April fool’s joke though because the river brought an 8.

I had the guy barely covered so I wasn’t out and, all of a sudden, we were at the final table. I looked at my stack and realized I had a whopping T7 in chips. I couldn’t even cover the ante. All I could do was sit and watch. Believe it or not I actually won the first hand to get to T63. Again, all I could do was watch and on the next hand, I was out 9th out of 113. I won about $25 so I more than doubled the buy-in.

Friday, April 01, 2005

WPBT and Other Stuff

First I want to thank everyone for the comments on my previous post. The situation caused me to take a hard look at the hand and that is something I don't do often enough.

Lessons learned + still doing well in SNG's = it's all good!

As for the WPBT tournament on Wednesday, I think the words, I sucked, pretty much sum it up. Coming in 85th out of 109 is not going to move me up on the leaderboard. I just couldn't get into the game. I had been unexpectedly called into work that morning and proceeded to work the entire day by myself. I was exhausted by the time I got home and was in no condition to play poker. I was crippled after hanging on to AK for too long and finally ended up all-in with a pair of 3's. I already knew I was beat when I went all-in but I was too tired to care. One of these days I am going to play in a WPBT event and be well-rested and in perfect health, then you all better look out.

I took my winnings from Full Tilt and deposited them at Poker Stars for the tournament. I had planned to play some SNG's there to see if I could increase the bankroll. That's when I got an e-mail I couldn't refuse. Ultimate Bet is doing a 50% re-load bonus for today only. I always like the idea of getting free money for playing poker so I took the money out of PS and put it in UB. As of this moment I am in 3rd place in my second SNG so I think I can live with the decision. I also still have my original buy-in plus a little more over at Full Tilt as I have a bit more of my bonus to still clear. I also have free "come back and play" money at 3 other sites plus a mystery $50 in bonus money at Absolute (seriously, I have no idea how it got there and I hate clearing bonus at Absolute).

So I guess I'll be playing a lot of poker. My screen name is April98 almost everywhere so feel free to introduce yourself if you see me around.

Gotta go as I just took the lead in the SNG at UB!