Monday, November 24, 2008

Happy Holidays

It's that time of year, and I feel that I have a lot to be thankful for. Specifically, the heater that I've been on for the past month just continued burning right on through the weekend, like so:

21-Nov 20/40 Limit Garden City 2018
22-Nov 20/40 Limit Garden City 1033
24-Nov 20/40 Limit Bay 101 696

My win rate at live 20/40 has gotten above 1.5 big bets per hour, and my standard deviation is just a tad over 11 big bets per hour. Using this tool with those numbers, you can see that I have reason to be happy. Mason Malmuth's bible on gambling for a living explains that the ratio between your expectation and standard deviation is the most important number in determining how successful and stressful your career as a professional gambler will be. He sites 1:10 as excellent. Mine is 1:7.3, which is clearly fantastic. If these numbers are accurate (and there is a chance they are not), then I have almost nothing to worry about :)

Now, on to the poker. As you can see above I continued to devastate the Garden City 20/40 game on Friday and Saturday. Over the course of those two days I ran hotter than the sun. In my very first hand Saturday I posted in and made a one card king high flush. On my 3rd hand I was dealt pocket jacks, bet them all the way down, and won the pot. In 3 hands and 5 minutes I was up over 15 big bets. I could simply do nothing wrong. Later in my session, just to illustrate the point further, the following happens:

A fellow two plus two-er (bakku) is waiting around to get into the game. I need to run to the bathroom, as I drank a round of beers with Stockton Thunder (who coincidentally asked me to go to Vegas with him "you know, just for a night or so, play a little, kick the tourists asses,"), so I decide to take advantage of the new Garden City rule that someone can play up to a whole round in your seat. I ask bakku to play my next hand and head off...when I return, the cards have just been dealt (I barely missed it, but wouldn't have gotten a hand) and get to sweat bakku. He beholds the monstrous pocket 3s and open-raises from a "few" spots off the button (perhaps only 2, but I think 3). This is a close play, and my default is to fold. The situation is then complicated by a 3-bet from the incredibly nitty button. One of the blinds joins the party and bakku flops just well enough to ensure he's gonna have to put more money into the pot: 652. He calls a bet, and all the while I'm standing behind him (at some point I finished my Guinness). The turn brings him no help, but the blind donks all in. In theory he probably has 6 outs (2 to make his set, and 4 more to the straight) so he can call profitably if the button isn't planning to raise. He hollywoods a bit, tries to get a tell, and eventually just calls. On the river.....4. bakku bets, the button calls, and he drags a pretty big pot. I cheer whole-heartedly and retake my seat to set about stacking the spoils.

Later on in the evening I open-raise the button with King-Five offsuit. I of course flop a king and bet all 3 streets. The same woman from the hand with bakku calls me all the way down and on the river asks "Ok, what is it?" and I respond "I've got a king". She says "What's your kicker?" and I respond "Oh that can't be good" and roll my pair, no kicker. She laughs out loud before mucking her hand (which I can only assume was like 2nd pair or something). I probably won't hear the end of that one for a while. Good players open-raise lots of stuff on the button, and the bad players in the game don't really know that. They seem to think that it's rude or impolite to raise on the button like that, when in fact it's just part of the game. Anyway, I was hearing about that raise for the rest of the night.

In closing, this poker thing is awesome.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

This will be long, but hopefully good

Today is my day off, and I'm spending time taking care of those nagging little things that seem to keep piling up. My fantasy football co-manager is on a plane from NYC to Hong Kong as a permanent move, so I've assumed full responsibilities for this week. Last week we started John Carney, which to say the least was foolish. We're 7-4 and need to make a playoff push.

Believe it or not I also bought some ETFs today, since I figured if I was buying stuff 3 weeks ago I should be buying more now that the prices are even lower, right? I'm buying stuff that is like 50% off it's 52 week high....that has to be a good move right? Time will tell.

I also finally booked a trip to San Diego that I've been thinking about for a week or so now. My college roommate/best friend is going to be in town for like 10 days on business, and I figured I don't have much of an excuse not to go visit him. If you live in the area and play at Ocean's 11, I'll be in town December 7-11 and should be easy to spot.

Now, on to the pokers....

My fantastic run of late continued the last two days. On Tuesday I started the day at Bay 101, won 2+ racks in the 20/40 game, and decided to go home so that I could attend obedience class with Tyson. Afterwards I drove to Artichoke Joes and tried to get unstuck lifetime in the 15/30 game (200 dollars would have done it), but instead dropped 200 waiting in the 6/12 game and 900 more once I actually got into the 15/30 game, leaving me with a profit of 80 dollars for the day. The 15/30 game was putridly bad, with only one player who was even close to a fish, but I felt like I'd put in so much effort to get into it (driving home early, then driving up there, then playing 90 minutes of 6/12 waiting for a seat) that I couldn't give up so fast. I then played a couple of hands badly, tilted a little, ran bad, and that was the end of it. I'm putting myself on probation from that game for the short term future.

So yesterday, as I drove to Garden City, I was a little bit nervous. I had played pretty poorly the day before and my confidence was not, shall we say, high as a kite. Garden City has cured what ailed me in the past, though, and yesterday again proved to me why I still go there despite the fact that my car was broken into in the parking lot. Through just under 7 hours of play I booked a massive win, almost 2300 dollars, which could have been even higher had I not missed 4 flush draws in a row at one point. The three 20/40 games were filled with fish of all colors and varieties, my favorite of which I will detail now.

Stockton Thunder (his real name is Matt, but the first day he showed up at Bay 101 he was wearing a Stockton Thunder T-Shirt and claimed to be a part owner of the team. Jared (or Jerry, I'm not sure), a regular in the game used the nickname and it has stuck like glue) was at Garden City yesterday. I think I've written about his exploits before, but I can assure the legend only grows. I was sitting in what was already a fantastic table (with Orange Shirt Guy and Max on my right) when in comes Thunder to the 4 seat. After an orbit or so of folding, I enter my first pot with him.

Thunder power-limps from the high jack (calls the big blind, as the first one to enter the pot, from 2 spots before the button). The cutoff and button fold, and I complete the SB with the monstrosity of a hand that is Ten-Six offsuit. The big blind checks, and off we go:

AJQ all diamonds

I hold the Ten of diamonds, and normally I might consider a bet as a semibluff here, but not against the Thunder. He will show down any piece on this flop. So I check. The big blind checks, and Thunder bets cause he has two cards. I call, and the BB folds.

6 of diamonds

I now hold the second nuts, and again make an expert check. Thunder bets, again because he has two cards. I call only...the Thunder is bad, but nobody is stupid enough to call a raise here without holding a diamond...a normal human being would probably play almost perfectly against my hand, folding practically everything I'm beating and re-raising me with the nut king of diamonds. Stockton would call with more, but I have a problem....against one of those normal human beings I could probably fold safely to a 3-bet. Against the Thunder, I'd have to pay it off, and that is not what I want to have happen.

The river is a brick. I still hold the second nuts. I check once more, and the Thunder bets. For the same reason I call only, and he tables T8 with no diamonds for...Ten high. Had I raised at any point in the hand he'd have dropped it, but I got him to bluff off 100 dollars. He is visibly upset by this, and seems to understand that I just owned him. Sure I got lucky and am being a bit results oriented, but ownage is ownage.

A few hands later I end up in a large pot with 65 off from one of the blinds (I think it was 5 handed and I called a Stockton Thunder raise from the big blind). The flop comes off

678 with two of a suit

Giving me a curious holding. I go ahead and donk bet it, and Thunder raises. Max calls and is almost all in, which is the only thing that stops me from 3-betting (the other two players dropped out).

The turn is a black 3 giving me no help. I check and Thunder bets. Max calls all in for less than a full bet, and I seriously consider raising. Against a normal human being I could barely call. There is a player all in who cannot be bluffed out, so logic would dictate that Thunder must have some sort of hand. This pot is "protected". He can't be bluffing, he can only be value betting. But logic and Thunder do not co-exist, and I know this, and I think after yesterday he might know I know this. I call only.

I believe the river was an 8, for a board of 876-3-8. That's a great card for me, since I wasn't beating anyone who had an 8 anyway. I check and Thunder does his thing again. I call, and he tables KJ for....king-high. No draw. I table my pair of 6s and he is dumbfounded. Max actually laughs out loud before tabling The Hammer for a pair of sevens, deuce kicker, with which he called a raise (cold) preflop. As he's dragging the main pot and I'm collecting the modest side pot, we exchange a look. Max is a bad but aggressive player, and he's a smart guy. In the regular GC lineup he might even be a small winner, since he exploits players well. Against 8 of me he'd get demolished, but whatever. He realizes that something odd just went down, and looks at me knowingly.

10 minutes later during a setup change Stockton Thunder table changes. Max actually says "A moment of silence for the departed, please" and I actually bow my head. Then I order some fried rice and start the clock. I vow not to change to Stockton's table for 60 minutes.

I post into Thunder's game in front of the button 65 minutes later and find a gem of a hand, 43 suited. I get a free flop and because we're at Garden City there are 7 of us still holding cards.

478 rainbow with one diamond (my suit).

That ain't too shabby, I say. I check first to act, one of the blinds bets, and I call closing the action getting like 11:1 or something ridiculous like that. Stockton is of course in the hand, two seats to my right in late position. And the turn is of course:


I just donk it. Why not, Thunder's in the hand and might raise for me. 4 people call, including Thunder. Pot is getting large, and I have an incredibly vulnerable fours up, 5 handed. There is a flush draw on board, I'm literally dodging probably like 30 cards or something on this river, but whatever. My heart actually quickens a little, which rarely happens to me anymore.


Gin! I do declare I have just made Gin! I bet, two people call, and Thunder declares, as is his custom, "Raise!" and begins the long arduous (for him) process of placing 16 chips into the pot. This often takes him 3 or more trips to his stack, and he usually uses two hands. I 3-bang him without declaring shit, and do so crisply and flawlessly by picking up one stack of chips and deftly cutting 4 stacks of 4 right next to my original bet (doing this just makes you feel hard core). Both other players fold before Thunder even realizes what has happened. The dealer tells him "3 bets now sir" and he calls. I table my bottom full and he reluctantly shows 94o in an attempt to gain some sympathy I suppose. Monster dragged, and I go about the stackin'. Stockton is looking a little bit upset and takes out his pack of Skoal and does the thing where you whack it against your thumb for a few minutes.

Like 3 hands later....

Stockton open-limps and the next guy follows him in. I raise AJ of spades and get a couple of callers....I don't remember how many, but a fair number. Stockton back-raises me, which again for a normal human being means "I has monster. MONSTER!!!" but for Stockton probably means "I am going all in. Watch and learn baby, watch and learn!" I of course cap it up and let's say we see the flop 5 ways (I think the limper between me and Thunder managed to fold).

KT7 with two clubs on board.

Gut shot. Not bad, not bad at all. Stockton bets, and he only has 9 chips left. I just call, and so does everyone else. Let's say there are now 26-30 small bets in the pot, and we're still 5 handed.

KT7-4 and now we have two flush draws, clubs and diamonds

Yikes. The small blind (an Asian female prop) checks, and Thunder bets 8 of his remaining 9 chips. I call with my 4 outs (two of which are mighty dirty), and another guy calls, maybe two. The small blind now raises, and Thunder throws his last chip into the pot. I count it down and supposing there are no more raises I'm getting about 20:1 on this call. I have two outs at the nuts, and 2 more that might be good. I consider folding, but declare to the table "I can't fold" and call. More people call, I don't know, maybe Thunder was playing two hands, and we see the river in this 800+ dollar pot.


Small blind donks and is called by the big blind. I expertly cut off my raise again, as I have the absolute stone cold nuts. She is furious and beside herself but calls anyway. Big blind folds, I table the cajones and go about the stacking. Stockton Thunder shows K8o and actually folds the cards in half before returning them to the dealer, who is now forced to call for a new setup. When the floor man brings over a package of new decks and asks who did it, I quickly take the blame. I don't think he fell for it, since I was still stacking 1000 dollars worth of chips, but perhaps he did, and perhaps this earned me a small amount of credit with Stockton, who just rebought for not his customary 200 dollars, but instead 2 full racks. He looks angry now, and I think he is plotting his revenge. 30 minutes later, after I have basically folded 20 hands in a row, he table changes a final time. I vow not to follow him this time. An hour after that I see him at the ATM looking frustrated...he walks away with no cash, undoubtedly because he's over his limit for the day. Then he disappears, not to be seen again until, I hope, Friday.


I swap tables one more time to sit with Vernon, a loose passive fish of the outstanding caliber, and find myself with Max again, who had left but came back. I cooler Max out of two pots in which I river and turn the nut flush (I had AK and AQ suited respectively) and he turns the nut straight and a smaller flush. In general I run like God, and eventually go home, slightly concerned that Stockton Thunder might own a hand gun.

Monday, November 17, 2008

You have what now?

Today was a good day, despite the bad beat story I'm about to tell you. I played about 7 hours of 20/40 at Bay 101 and brought home somewhere north of 1700 dollars in profit. I was absolutely on top of my game, making excellent reads, saving bets, and extracting maximum value from my opponents. The deck was also cooperating, which pretty much made for smooth sailing the entire day...except the 30 minutes I played 40/80.

I'm at a fantastic 20/40 table and look over to notice the must move 40 game is...well, better. It's 5 handed at the moment, and as I'm watching a player I know only as WTK takes a seat in the middle. I once said to Hammerin' Hank "I've heard stories about WTK" he simply licked his chops while walking over to the 40 game with WTK in it and said "It's all true. All true and more." The other players in the game weren't very good either, so I decided to suck it up and play some short-handed 40/80.

My first hand I take the big blind and am dealt K9. It folds to Abe, a friendly dealer who refers to me as Cousin (I do the same). he raises from the small blind and I call. The flop is something very dry, like 448 or some such, and I call his bet. He checks the turn and I check it right back when another blank comes off, but I river a King. He doesn't even call my bet though, so I suspect I might have been winning the whole way.

The very next hand it folds to me in the small blind and I raise it. WTK 3-bets it (he has...two cards) and I call. I flop a gut shot at broadway and call him. On the turn I still have Ace-high, but against this guy it might actually be good, so I call one more time. The river brings a blessed Queen, and I do in fact make broadway. I get in a check/raise, and he cries as he calls (I guess Ace-High wasn't very good). I'm over 500 to the good in 2 hands.

Then the following happpens:

I raise black 7s UTG (in what's a 6ish handed game). Only Sin, the small blind, and Cousin Abe, the big blind, call. The flop rolls off:

764 with two hearts. Sin check/raises me and I 3-bet instantly. Sin is an aggressive player, and is one of the reasons I'm in the game. My 3-bet will not dissuade him from check/raising again on the turn, and I have enough hand to 3-bet him again if he does this.

The turn is another 6, giving me basically gin. Basically. He checks, I bet, he raises, I 3-bet and he says "Oh...Pocket 7s?" and calls. To the river.

764-6-8, with the 4, 7, and 8 all being hearts. He checks, I bet, he raises again, and I call only (pocket 8s actually make perfect sense for him to have) and he rolls 65 of hearts, for a straight flush. I am dumbstruck and take my 20/40 seat when it's called 15 minutes later, down 7 dollars, deciding that if that's going to happen, so be it.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Random Post

Through 3.5 months of playing poker professionally, I have won 1.6% more money than I would have earned, pre-tax, from Oracle, in 7 pay checks.

I've taken more days off, but am now paying for Health Care and don't have a 401K match, so I'll admit to being slightly behind. But just slightly :)

Saturday, November 15, 2008

James Bond is Awesome

Tonight I'm going up to San Francisco to watch Quantum of Solace with some friends I've lost touch with. It's going to be awesome. Beforehand, I guess I can fill everyone in on the last two days of pokering.

Friday I played at Bay 101 from about noon until about 8pm. I ended up posting a 600ish dollar win, and managed to post 3 hands thanks to my iPhone (which allows me to write down hands after they happen and have it appear that I'm just texting someone). Here are the hands, which as of this writing don't have many responses on 2p2:

Hand 1 - A strange board on which I river a full house.

To make a long story short here, the board ran out Q44-Q-T and I had the misfortune of holding pocket Tens. I got raised on the river, called, and my opponent's shaky hands revealed quad fours.

Hand 2 - I lay down top pair good kicker in a massive pot.

I decided to fold the turn when villain (who was known to slow play sets badly) raised the field in a massive pot. Turns out he only had two pair and a river 3 counterfeited him, which would have sent the pot my way. The board was like Q63-9-3 and he held 69 against my QJ. It was a tough spot.

Hand 3 - I barrel off into a dry side pot.

The title basically sums it up. Someone goes all in preflop and I proceed to bet my Queen-High flush draw on two streets. This is somewhat counterintuitive, as I can't really win the pot without showing down, since someone is all in and guaranteed to show down.

The most interesting part of Friday was the pure number of 2p2ers I recognized at Bay 101. Counting myself, there were a dozen that I could name. Early in the day Captain R, myself, Hammerin' Hank, and undertheinfluence were sharing the three 20/40 games. The other three of them left, and mikeca showed up to play some 6/12 and sweated me for a few hands while he was waiting. Then Professor Ben, CDC and bakku rolled up, but decided to leave before CDC got a seat and go see Quantum of Solace (I declined their invite because of the aforementioned city trip tonight). Finally, another pack of 3 whom I've met and played with before (but who's screen names I don't know) showed up to play 40 and 80 as I was leaving. Quite the crew imo.

Today I only played 2.5 hours at Garden City. I won two massive pots in my first orbit, was up 800 dollars, and couldn't really stick with it after the guy walked past me and knocked a bottle of soy sauce on the ground, spraying my legs and shorts with brown salty specs of liquid. We also had a horrible dealer error that went down like this:

4 players preflop. Board comes down:

349 with two spades.

A checks, B bets, A calls

6 of hearts

A bets, B calls

2 of diamonds, for a board of 349-6-2

A checks, B bets, A calls

B tables his hand and says "I think I missed". He shows 85 of spades, for a 6 high straight. A looks at it, sees no pair, and tables something like A3 for a pair of threes. Dealer looks at both hands, picks up the winning 85, mucks it, and shoves the pot to the losing hand. The problem is that that player had won the previous pot and not finished stacking, so now we have no idea how much money is in the pot (3 of us caught it, saying "that guy tabled a straight"). Dominic (the nicest floor-man you ever want to meet) had to go to the camera to confirm what I said..."There should be 55 chips in that pot....4 players preflop is 16, and a bet and a call from each of them on each street is 40 more, minus one for the drop, is 55" The guy who had to give the money back was a real asshole about it, and the whole situation just put me on tilt. Then the soy sauce hit the fan and I decided to just book a 500 dollar win and call it a day.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Days off are nice

I've been trying to enforce a strict two days a week off policy, but it's been tough. I suppose it's a positive sign that I'm having trouble taking enough days off....In general I'm trying to not play on Thursdays (like today) and have had no trouble taking off Sundays. Today I had some errands to run and am enjoying now generally sitting on my couch with plans to do nothing productive for the next 8 hours other than set up my new iPhone (my account just became eligible for an upgrade, meaning I got 200 dollars off the phone...I'd been waiting for this for 4 months).

And now some poker results. Tuesday was a very long day, which saw me log about 13 hours of live play in two separate casinos. I first went to play at Bay 101 early in the day and had to play 30 minutes of 8/16 before I got a 20/40 seat. The only thing of note to happen was this hand, where I made trip 5s on the turn and actually folded it. If I had the hand to do over again, I think I'd grit my teeth and call down, but you just don't see players at that level raise the turn with anything I had beat. My logic was that I was gonna have to put 3 big bets into the pot to try to recover half of a 14 big bet pot. Didn't seem logical to me.

I finished 8/16 up $154 for once (I'm actually a lifetime loser at 8/16, over less than 20 hours of play) and moved up to 20/40. I played for about 5 hours and booked a $1725 dollar win, then decided to bail early and hit up Artichoke Joe's later that night after taking Tyson to obedience class. I didn't post any hands from the session, but did observe the following monstrosity.

Ed, a younger Asian player who is solidly good (he has leaks, but wins in the game for sure...In this same session I watched him check behind on the river with A4s on a board of A35-6-7 just because a 3rd diamond fell on the river. He had open raised the hand in a blind steal situation and I'm sitting there willing him to value bet like pocket Jacks....then he checks behind with a straight and I just shake my head in awe) raises and some players call, including Gordan the prop, who had already limped in UTG. The flop comes down 992 and Ed of course does his thing and bets. Two players, call, including Gordan. The turn brings a third 9, for a board of 992-9 with two diamonds and two black cards. Ed bets again, and again Gordan calls, although this time after a few seconds of thought. The river brings the case 9 and Ed is just shocked in disbelief. He now has King-high with quad nines on board. Gordan checks and Ed just checks in amazement to see Gordan roll K3 of diamonds for a chop. Ed proceeds to walk for the rest of the dealer's down, paying 6 dollars in lobby fees, coming back 30 minutes later still visibly shaking his head. While he was gone I ran over the table for like 2 racks, so I guess I couldn't complain.

Aside: A prop is a player employed by the casino to play in the games to ensure that they are full. In theory if the lists get long props are "picked up", but this seldom happens at Bay 101. They are usually decent, but conservative and tight players. Seeing a prop play a hand this horribly (calling a bet on the turn with a king high flush draw with Trips on board) is pretty astonishing.

So I eventually leave and do the obedience class thing, then head to Artichoke Joe's where I am immediately seated in the 15/30 game. I logged 120 hours in this 15/30 game and am still a small lifetime loser (basically about 200 dollars). I played many of these hours before I was "ready" for mid-stakes and the last few times I've played I have found the game to be very soft and very profitable. I played for about 5 hours, running through down 700 to book a profit of 200 bucks. Two fish left the game, so I decided to treat myself to some 6/12 and bud light, which was a disaster, watching me lose almost 200 dollars in about the time it took me to finish my bud light. I put my name back on the 15/30 list, lost another 100 bucks, then got called back into the game, won my 300 back and left 30 minutes later. All in all, you can never complain about a two K day :)

In other news, the iPhone I purchased today is going to have a drastic effect on my life at the tables. I'll actually be able to post hands right after they happen, and will in general be a happier person I think. The cost is substantial (something like 40 dollars more a month than my old phone), but I think it's going to be well worth it.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Nothing to see here

I don't really have anything interesting to post, but I realized it's been a while and people are probably interested in what's going on. Here are some results:

5-Nov 20/40 Limit Bay 101 791
6-Nov 20/40 Limit Bay 101 -1674
7-Nov 20/40 Limit Garden City 260
7-Nov 8/16 Limit Garden City -127
8-Nov 15/30 Limit Ajs 139
10-Nov 8/16 Limit Bay 101 3
10-Nov 20/40 Limit Bay 101 550

The only really interesting thing here is that I've been mixing up where I play a good bit the last week or so, even throwing in a trip to Artichoke Joe's on Saturday since I didn't really feel like putting in the hour of driving to get down to San Jose. That game was surprisingly soft, and had I been able to adjust to it properly I think I could have come out a much larger winner than I did. Alas, you can't win them all.

Thanks purely to luck, my "monthly" numbers have been good. In October I booked a solid win, but ended the month with a massive down swing. That down swing ended just as November took off, so so far this month I've won just under $2,000. If you look a little deeper though, I am stuck $1000 since October 15th....Scary stuff.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

$1500 pot imo

My experience yesterday at Garden City was a positive one, so I decided to head back today for some more 6 way raised 20/40 pots. The games at Garden City are looser than the ones at Bay 101, but also more aggressive. I find it easier to play at Bay 101, but the Garden City games are probably a bit more profitable for me (with a great deal more variance). These two hands should sum up the situation nicely.

So I'm minding my own business, playing pots, flopping sets, rivering 6 high straights, etc, etc, and find myself sitting on a $2900 stack, up 1900 bucks in about 3 hours. Then the following happens:

Asian Hat guy raises in very early position. Loose passive guy calls two cold, and young laggy guy on a life time heater takes two to the face. I find four big titties and make it 3 bets. Like one or two more people call behind me or in the blinds (I don't know, it's Garden City....4 handed pots are rare) and Asian Hat guy caps it up. We all call, and lets call it a 6 handed capped pot to the flop of:

AKQ rainbow

Huh. Now I have six big titties, but I need to be careful. Somehow it checks to me and I bet, and someone calls, and Asian Hat guy raises (the old cap check/raise line is always suspicious). Loose passive guy calls two cold, and I 3-bet, and they both call (Laggy guy on lifetime heater called too, cause I remember thinking there were 37 small bets in the pot at this point, 25 preflop and 12 on this street). I'm still a little concerned that my set of queens might not be good, what with the guy capping preflop and all, but I need to proceed like I have a monster, cause, well, I do.

6 of hearts, putting up a flush draw

Asian Hat guy, Loose Passive guy, and Laggy Heaterman all check. I bet. Asian Hat guy turbo-check-raises. I am a bit sad, and start wondering if I can lay this down if it get 3/bet. Loose passive guy calls, and blessedly Laggy Heaterman folds. I call only, and estimate the pot at 24 big bets.

Final board reads:

AKQ6-T with no flush possible.

Asian Hat guy bets, and Loose Passive guy calls. I call, sadly. Asian Hat guy rolls J9 of hearts for the most impossible to comprehend spewing of 5.5 big bets in recent memory. Loose passive guy rolls AJ for the same Ace-High straight. I am stunned, and make a note that Asian Hat guy might be aggressive.....

So I keep playing, and slowly but surely find my stack all the way down to about 1700 dollars (still a big winning day, but a 30 big bet down swing is never fun, even after a 50 big bet up swing). And then....

I am dealt the 7 and the 8 of spades in the big blind. Some players limp, and someone raises, and since it's Garden City a few people cold-call. I call, and the flop comes down 6 handed, for 6 big bets

QK4 with two spades

I am first to act, and I just donk right out (the preflop raiser is a little passive post flop, and he might not cbet a good bit of his range here, and I want to make sure some bets go in because I have like 33% equity so long as my flush draw is live). Someone calls, the preflop raiser calls, and then Gino raises. Gino is a nice old man who has sucked out on me in like 3 pots in the last 45 minutes (with stuff like A9 on a board of 842-J-A where I had 85s from the small blind). A loose passive awful player on the button takes two to the face, and I decide "what the heck, 3-bets" and 3-bet it. I do this because 5 ways, so long as my flush draw is live, I have an equity edge even if Gino flopped set.

Lifetime Heaterman (wait, it's coming) thinks long and hard and eventually calls. Preflop raiser calls, and Gino caps it. Loose passive button calls, I call, the dealer calls, two guys from the next table, and somebody's pet iguana tosses chips in and asks for two off the top. In all, 5 players go in for the cap and see the turn, with 16 big bets in the pot.

QK4 -T with still just two spades

I check, cause now I'm looking at 9 outs once, not twice. Heaterman bets (uh-oh) and preflop raiser makes it two bets. Gino calls, looking concerned, and the loose passive button also calls. I think about it for a minute (mostly holly-wooding it for the cameras) and calls. Heaterman 3-bets it and the preflop raiser caps it up. Gino, now obviously concerned, calls two cold again and loose passive button calls two more again. I call quickly now, and Heaterman calls the cap. 5 of us see the river, with 36 big bets in the pot, to the river....


I donk. Heaterman is beside himself and eventually folds. Preflop raiser folds as well (they both claim to have folded the previous nuts, Ace-Jack). Gino calls, the button folds, and I roll my flush. Gino mucks, and it takes the dealer 5 shoves to get the whole pot to me, which I spend the next 4 hands stacking. For the next 20 minutes everyone is calling me lucky and saying things like "well, you paid for it" and all sorts of stuff like that. At the peak I had 3300 dollars on the table and left about 30 minutes later. It was one of those moments that makes me remember why I'm doing this :)

Monday, November 3, 2008

I'll take potpourri for 200, Alex

So I have a lot of random stuff to write about in this post, so here it goes.

First of all, here is my live 20/40 graph from October, complete with annotations. I've been saying it all along, but now hopefully you can get a picture of just how much variance is involved in this game. It's pretty sick. Also, to catch everyone up, I won a contest on 2p2 to design an avatar for a fellow poster, which is what is referenced in the graph. For details on the thread and avatar designing process, you can see the Small Stakes Thread in which I won $100 and the BBV4Life One in which Leo gave away $400 for what turned out to be a very ballin' avatar.

Next, I've made a few decisions regarding how I'm going to move forward now that I'm officially a professional poker player. I bought a book (which came highly recommended) that I'm currently working on that is teaching me a lot about the ins and outs of filing your taxes and the like. To make a long story short, this year I'm still going to file as a hobbyist, but next year I'll basically be filing as the equivalent of a small business owner, and therefore be able to make certain business deductions. For example, I might be able to write off my cell phone, a percentage of meals at the table, and things like lodging and travel costs if I travel to, say, Reno, Las Vegas, or LA. In preparation for this, I've started keeping written records (not just excel spreadsheets) of my wins and losses, and am planning to write a business plan. Scary stuff.

Also, in an effort to stave off any sort of ill will or just plain getting wise by my opponents, I've decided I'm going to make an honest effort to play at Garden City more. I've fallen into a rut and had played at bay 101 something like 25 or 30 times in a row before last week. I played at Garden City today, and things were just as I remembered them (for those of you who don't know, I played basically my first 200 hours of live 20/40 exclusively at Garden City). Once or twice a week should do the trick.

Next...results from the last few days have been pretty uninteresting and uninspiring. I played an hour of 40/80 today and lost 500 bucks basically just by folding my blinds, winning one or two small pots, and losing one or two small pots. I then broke even in four hours of 20/40. Friday and Saturday also amounted to a wash (up 200 something Friday, down 200 something Saturday). Here is one hand from a few days ago worth reading about. In it I make a couple of thin calls (preflop and on the turn), and then do something on the river that was very, very read-based.

I guess that's all for now. Happy Voting!