Poker Through the Eyes of an Amateur

September 27, 2006

I Post Sometimes

I had something all written up and ready to post at home when my internet died. This is doubly annoying because I was supposed to be working from home today, but now I've had to come in to the office. Even better, I get to deal with crappy traffic on the way home. Fantastic.

I have been remiss in posting as of late, and for that I apologize. I have not been playing much poker, really. Work has been busy, and some family issues have taken priority in my life as of late. Unfortunately, my grandma's cancer, which had been in remission for over a year, came back suddenly and strongly. The doctors didn't think she would survive through last weekend, but she did. She's a fighter. However, she probably only has at most a few weeks to live, as both her liver and kidneys are failing. At least she's not in any pain, which is a blessing. It is very difficult to watch a loved one pass away, though, so you'll forgive me if my blog is somewhat lacking in the near future.

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On the poker front, I managed to play in the WWdN last night. I made the final two tables and busted out when Psycoma (sp?) called my all-in raise with A4s. I had pocket 7s, and she flopped a flush. Game over. After that, I decided to play some NL cash games on party. I ended up about two buy-ins at the $50 level, which is good for about an hour and a half or so. I know I can beat the game at the $100 level too, but every time I've tried to step up so far, I've been unsuccessful. It's usually either because of some ridiculous outdraw or because I made some stupid play I knew I shouldn't have.

Making plays that you know you shouldn't is a very odd experience, at least for me. It's usually me talking myself into people not having the nuts when that's what they've been representing all along. My brain is screaming "FOLD", my hands refuse to listen, and I end up making a donkey play. This doesn't happen to me very often at the $50 level, so I'm hoping that I can take my current level of play and move up to $100NL soon. I'm going to try and build a few more $100 buy-ins first, and then we'll see how it goes.

FOCUS!

I may or may not play in the Mookie tonight. We got DVR today, so I may be playing with that. That is, if the wife lets me. She's already working out her schedule of shows she wants to record. So maybe I can play the Mookie while she's distracted with the TV. Good luck to you all, and I will (hopefully) see you on the felt.

September 20, 2006

Matt's Musings #3

The only thing min-raising does is slowly build a pot that you will not win.

September 18, 2006

$10 Deep Stacks

I played in the $10NL deep stacks tournament at noon on PokerStars on Saturday. It was mainly something to keep my mind occupied during commercials that interrupt my college football. I ended up playing in that thing for over five hours and finishing in the money in 88th place. I would have gone deeper, but I had to leave to go out with some friends, and my stack wasn't big enough for me to care about it. So I figured I would just try to run it up quickly so I could sit out and make it several levels deeper or I would just bust.

I busted, but that was what I was expecting. My pair of eights ran into QQ. Oh well. At least the football was good. VT beat the ever living crap out of Duke, which I'm sure absolutely no one saw coming. That one was definitely out of left field. Also, Louisville proved what I thought all along, that they are going to be a force to be reckoned with this year, by taking out Miami. I'm pretty sure they will beat West Virginia, and then WV will be ranked where they actually deserve to be. No more of this 4th place BS.

VT is up to 10th/11th now, depending on the poll. Hopefully some people above us will lose some games so we can continue to climb the ladder.

September 15, 2006

This Entry Will Be Boring

Not much happening on the poker front the past couple of days. I played in the Mookie on Wednesday, and I made it to the final two tables, but I ended up busting out when I lost a race with the Lamer. I don't know why I continue to play that hand; it brings nothing but pain and suffering.

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In other news, Maryland got completely destroyed by West Virginia last night, which sucks. Not that I like Maryland, but I really hate West Virginia. I think WV is overranked at 5. Sure, they've been scoring a good amount of points, but their schedule is absolute crap. The only ranked team they play all year is Louisville, so it will be interesting to see how they fare there. I mean, they allowed MD to score 24 points on their own turf when it pretty much should have been close to a shutout. WV's offense may be alright, especially with Slaton running the ball, but their defense is crap. I'll be putting my money on Louisville when the time comes, especially if Louisville does well against Miami this weekend and also since WV will be on the road.

VT plays Duke this weekend. That's pretty much a gimme, but I'll watch anyway because I'm a good Hokie.

September 13, 2006

Deep Runs

I had some decent finishes in the MTTs that I played last night. I started out with the $10NL on Full Tilt, which I am a big fan of. There's tons of horrible play in this game. I was card dead for probably the first five levels, but then I doubled up with pocket 8s in what I thought was going to be a race but ended up with me being up against 57s. Good push; well played, sir. I lasted to the final two tables of this tournament, and I was poised to go deeper to the final table when my top two pair, top kicker ran into quads. Ouch. My opponent pretty much just let me hang myself, which I did in spectacular fashion. I busted out in 13th, earning me about $37.

While I was playing the $10 tournament on FTP, I also started the WWdN on PokerStars. I didn't pay very much attention to this game at all, as I was mostly concentrating on playing the Full Tilt game. However, I was able to make some big scores, and MsJoanne kept me afloat several times by trying to bluff me out of pots. I ended up making the money and the final table, but I busted out in 6th when my full house lost to a bigger full house. The weird thing is that all of the money went in pre-flop (huge blinds) and the hands were A7 and A9. The board came out 9x7AA. Crazy. I think I won $35-ish dollars in this game too.

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In other news, it looks like I will not be playing in the Sunday Million this weekend, because it's not being held. In its place is the WCOOP Event #2, which is a $530 buy-in event, so I can't even play that one. I may try to satellite my way into that game this week, but I'm not sure. Hopefully the Sunday Million on the 24th is a normal buy-in size and not the $530 size to make up for the replaced game this coming weekend. If not, I may have to wait until October to play the big game. This sucks.

I will most likely be playing in the Mookie tonight, so I hope to see everyone there. The game has moved to Full Tilt, but it's still at 10PM EST, and the password is still "vegas1". I hope to see you all there!

September 11, 2006

I'm Back

We had a nice time down in Blacksburg this weekend at my friends' wedding. It was a beautiful ceremony and a fun reception, and it was great to be back at Virginia Tech with all of my college buddies, remembering the good times we had. We didn't make it back in time for me to play in the Sunday Million yesterday, so I will be playing that tournament this coming Sunday. Wish me luck!

I should be at the virtual felt a good bit this week, as my wife is out of the country in Amsterdam at the World Melanoma Conference. So hopefully I will be going deep in some MTTs in preparation for the big game on Sunday. If you would like to jump in a game with me one night this week, let me know, as I will most likely be in the mood to play.

September 07, 2006

The Perfect Table

I sat down at what turned out to be the perfect table in $50NL last night. The guy to my right was incredibly loose pre-flop, and yet he was incredibly tight post-flop. I do not think I've run into this combination in a player before, and it definitely took some getting used to. I was always expecting a continuation bet of some sort, but 75% of the time it never came. He would raise almost any unraised pot, so if I wanted to play a hand, all I had to do was come along for the ride.

I could have reraised him on some hands, yes, but I found out that the best way to deal with this player was to just flat call any raise he made if I wanted to play. He was never able to get any information on my hand, so when he inevitably missed the majority of his flops and checked to me, I would bet out, and he would have to assume he was beat. For some reason, he never check-raised me on a board that he hit; he would always lead out, making any decisions on my part incredibly easy.

He had bought in short for $33, and within about twenty minutes his loose/passive style had somehow built him up to about $140. This was mostly due to a few suckouts and several sets he had hit. Over the next two hours, though, I was able to get almost his entire stack away from him by just playing smart, aggressive, and observant poker.

After about an hour of playing with this guy, someone sat down to my left who was also a bit laggy. But this guy had a massive tell. He would always massively overbet his mid-strength pairs preflop. When he made this raise/reraise of about 6x, you could narrow his range to precisely 88, 99, TT, or JJ. It was uncanny. I ended up getting a buy-in and a half from him with KK over JJ and JJ over 99. He even stayed in the hand to the tune of his whole stack with the 99 with two overcards on the board! After I reraised him!

After about two hours, I was up three buy-ins, and it was time for bed. The streak of bad variance seems to have ended for now, partially because of cards, and probably also due to the fact that I have tightened up considerably. Hopefully my adjustment in play will continue to keep me from losing too many buy-ins in the future. Good luck to the rest of you, and I will see you on the felt.

September 04, 2006

If You Write It, It Will Come



I don't know if I will be able to play this Sunday or not. It will depend on if we get back from Blacksburg in time. If not, I will be playing the next Sunday. Wish me luck!

PS - Thanks for the tip on the $11 double shootouts Smokkee

September 02, 2006

No Dice

Played in the Full Tilt $20,000 Guaranteed last night with a good group of people. Hoy, Jordan, Smokkee, Don, Hacker, and myself all played, but unfortunately for us only Hacker made the money. He played well, despite being card dead for a very long time near the bubble, so congratulations to him on his finish.

As for myself, I was card dead for pretty much the entire time I was in the game. I saw AA once and AQ once. After that, the next best hand I saw was 99. I managed to still make it deep, finishing in 283rd or something like that. I would make final tabling this tournament my new goal, but I probably won't be able to play it often enough to complete it, as it starts too late for me during the work week. I will play it when I can, though.

So right now, I have no goals. I met my goals of final tabling and winning an MTT, and I have also met my goal of having a $2K+ bankroll by December. I'm not sure what I'm going to shoot for next. I think I might make playing in the Sunday Million one of my goals, as I have never played in a big buy-in deep stack tournament before.

Yes, I think that will be it. My new goal is to satellite my way into the Sunday Million on PokerStars. Wish me luck!

September 01, 2006

Umm... So That Was Faster Than I Thought





I owe a big thank you to both Weak and Puck for railing me last night. Without their sage advice and attempts to keep me calm and sane, I fear I may not have made it as deep as I did at the final table. You guys rock!

And extra special thanks to the wife, who sat beside me during my play at the final table and shared in my win!

Also, it's about time I got to suck out!!