Thursday, January 31, 2008

a funny NL day

I lost 3 2 card flush under higher 2 card flushes, a set under set, a top full under quads and I still broke even on the day. What a day.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

ski trip, HU nl and broken bumper ftw

Well, the ski trip was a super fun time but as far as ski trips go it was a pretty big bust. The snow was super windblown and crummy thick with subzero temps for the first few days and the sun beat it down for the middle of the trip. Brad and I both got a semi-nasty cold which worked out ok cause the skiing wouldn't have been great anyhow so we took a few days off and skied short days for most of the early part. This didn't bother us because it looked as if a big storm was coming in for the end of the trip and we were really enjoying focusing our attention on learning heads up no-limit together. More on this later.

Well, the storm was a little slower than anticipated so it looked like sunday was going to be the only sweet fresh powder day but the weatherman was very confident it was going to snow nicely, so this kept spirits high. We were excited to wake up to 8" sunday morning. We quickly got ready and got out only to find the main lift was broken. A lot of resorts have plenty of lifts so if one goes down, it may be a pain to get to where you want to go, but Whitefish isn't like that. Well, they have an old rickety lift that can get you to part of it but that wasn't open either. Given that it was a sunday and it snowed, a lot more people came than normal (probably 4x the other days) and we were all stuck on a couple small lifts with some okish terrain that got tracked out really quickly. It was also kind of sleeting at this point and we were soaked. We went to lunch and afterwards they said they doubted it was going to be fixed so we decided to play the sunday tourneys instead. Ugh.

As we are playing the tournaments it just keeps snowing harder and harder and it's really piling up. Brad kept insisting it was soothing, but I found this very tilting as I felt screwed out of good snow and I wasn't going to be able to ski it as we were leaving the next morning. When we got back from dinner a fresh foot or so was on the driveway. :(

I read the snow report this morning to find 18" new and a mid-morning update said that this was the best skiing he'd ever had on the mountain. ugh ugh ugh. Days like that are the ones I dream of and keep my head up in low times. When I say I live for days like that I pretty much mean it. Not a whole lot compares. This is life though, there will be enough in the future, it just sucks to miss one by 'that much' especially after such a bad day the day before and a week of mediocre skiing.

We looked into staying but since brad lives in vail and they were going to get snow it didn't make sense to extend given it would have cost a bunch for him to change his flight because he fly's into eagle airport in vail. I thought about switching my flight and joining him but I had made plans to visit kels and it makes more sense to just go there and watch the weather and go next week if it's good.

Brad and I decided to chop action and make a huge effort to learn heads up (1 on 1) no limit. We played a combined 25k hands at mostly $2/4 ($400 buyin) during the week and ended up down 4 buyins but running 13 buyins under all-in expectation. In other words if you took the luck out of it and split the all-ins by how much equity each player had in the results of the hand we would have had 15 buyins more of money. So while in reality we lost money, we played well enough to win 12 buyins. This includes some 'dumb' plays we made because we were learning or tilted from all of the sick beats. We played a lot of sessions with one person controlling the mouse with the other sweating/giving opinions.

While we are competent, we still have tons of room to improve but we've made leaps and bounds in the learning process and it was a really good experience. If a few hands went a different way I really think we would have done a bunch better because I find it really frustrating as far as the learning process goes when you get a ton of negative reinforcement from good play especially when it's vs the same donkey over and over and he has quite a few stacks of your money on the table. (basically we tilted a little :( )

By the end I'd had enough and felt like winning again so I pulled up some 6 max for the last 2 days and crushed while even running terrible (5 buy-ins under expectation). I'm giving serious thought to just playing 6max nl for the entire month of february just for some total peace of mind. It seems like if I put 2-3k hands in every day, there really isn't a whole lot of frustration. Sure you lose a handful of buyins some days, but the edge is just so much greater and it's not all to the same guy and it's not in the tilting ways of high stakes limit holdem. It really seems like so many more days are the very grindy win a couple buyins and quit satisfied days. I feel like i really keep going on about this in my blogs and I really should consider it for a little while. The other games are just often fun and interesting. Time will tell but maybe I'll give it a shot. I really think $30-50k is doable most months doing this so that is very tempting. It's just pretty boring and takes a super good work ethic (which I feel like i have but most poker players don't)

Weather is so annoying. It made me upset cause i wanted to ski, then delayed our flight a couple hours which I'm supposed to just get home at like 7pm and drive 2 hours to visit Kels, but the timing of the freezing rain/snow is a little further into the evening, which I may not be able to get there now and tomorrow is a snowy/blizzardy day with wind chills reaching -40 and I can't drive there in my TL (baddd in snow esp cause I am lazy and never bought winter tires) and that would put me in on wednesday which is her last day off (she has tues and wed off). Again, this is life but just like I was looking forward to the snow, she's really been looking forward to spending her days off with me (and me with her, but with her just starting work and me travelling it's a bit different...) I'm on the plane now so i don't know what the weather is like but I'm really crossing my fingers I can make it out tonight.

/update I made it but when I got here the rain had frozen in the parking lot into a glare sheet of ice on a slight slant so my car slid at about 2 mph into another car. Her car has a scratch on the fender and mine has a cracked bumper. Stupid weather.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

finally an update

The past month has been super hectic. The holidays always are and throw in there kels graduating, her grandpa dieing, going on a cruise (ok that was a nice break from everything) and then getting her situated in her new apartment. I ended the year by dropping a billion dollars straight over 6 days so from the 29th until like the 10th of january I didn't really play any poker. I shouldn't complain too much because if I would have quit on the 25th of dec it would have been one of my best months ever and I still ended up a healthy amount for the month. I think I talked about things going well and waiting for the innevitable floor drop in my last blog. It came. I was due. The world is fair and right. I ran sick hot for quite awhile.

Since coming back I've spent 90% of my time playing no-limit and 10% limit and man has that just been so much better. The limit I've played has been sick (in a bad way) judging by my stats. I don't ever have anything, and when I do have something, somebody has something better...and in the aggressive upper limit games that's just a recipe for disaster and it's wore me down a lot. I've been making money still because no-limit has been the bulk of my games, but it's really too bad I can't perserveer through the limit at the moment cause I feel like there is still a lot of money in those games if you can put up with the misery. Then again, pretty much everyone I knwo who plays limit is in the same boat (hates the variance) and that makes me feel better that I've made it as well as I have 2.5 years into being a pro playing almost 100% lhe.

With no-limit I've been playing mostly 3/6 and 5/10 chopped between the best games on pokerstars and fulltilt for now.

All that complaining about limit aside, like I said there is still a ton of money to be made at it and people who are interested in getting their piece, so I've decided to join up with to make instructional videos. My first video should be out soon where I played heads up vs a friend of mine john hoppman.

Given how much time I spent at limit holdem HU my next undertaking is NL HU and understanding how to play with deeper stacks. I feel pretty comfortable in the midlimit 6max nl 100bb games now and want to expand my knowledge base. For that I've been playing some co-op sessions with friends as well as watching cardrunners videos. I checked out CTS's latest HU vid and liked it a lot.

One cool thing with poker is the network of people you make. Right now I'm on a flight to montana to meet up with brad L and his family to ski for a week. Brad and I have known eachother a few years though poker and 2+2 back in the day and have hung out a few times in vegas/LA and talk on aim from time to time but other than that don't know eachother super well. It's jsut a cool opportunity to meet new people and have a good time.

Blogging is like working out...if you don't make it part of any regular routine it's so easy to not do it and then so much has happenned so it feels I'll try to get back into doing it more.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008


Like I said, I kept waiting for the inevitable bad run at poker...and it came in full force.

I lost hard 5 straight days and now am on a vacation from poker until after I get back from the cruise Kels and I are taking on friday until the 10th. I think I'm going to come back playing no limit more for a little as it just doesn't seem to wear on me as limit does and kind of give myself some more lhe healing time.

I'm so used to being in a "if i don't have anything i WANT to do I play poker" mode that taking these vacations is kind of interesting. I got medal of honor heroes 2 for Wii for christmas and jon and I beat it yesterday. He is always mister working man (60 hours avg, sometimes 70+) so our paths don't cross as much as we'd like so it was nice to spend a bunch of the day with him.

New years was a fun time. Went down with jon and his gf and 3 of her friends to a local bar with some live music and what not. It was an older crowd but a great atmosphere cause it wasn't trashy, packed, or too loud for conversation.

I wish I could go golfing right now, I'm really in the mood. I booked a ski trip to Montana with brad L the 20th of January so I better get back to working out or it's going to be a struggle. Good luck to me on that one!