Thursday, July 31, 2008

Session Report

Played a short (3.5 hour) session at Garden City tonight. As per usual I walked into an open seat since they had three 20s and two 40s going, and as per usual my table eventually broke. The cast of characters included:

Clark, the "Judge". Clark is an old (60 maybe?) alcoholic (as fast as she can bring 'em) irritating and arrogant fish. He does immature things like throwing his cards at his opponents and the dealer. He curses a lot. He has the following quotes to his credit:

"The only difference between you and me is I have 48 million dollars"
"I can lose 4000 a day. If I do that I'll be broke in 20 years"
"You try living on six hundred thousand a month. It's tough"

He is truly, truly awful. I have no real Clark stories to add from tonight, other than the fact that he racked off 1500 dollars in the game and made not 1 but 2 trips to the ATM in mid-session. It was a thing of beauty.

Sean, dude who plays 30 hour sessions. So every once in a while I'll Sean, a very nice and affable "asian-ish" (I think he's probably half white) guy sitting in the 5 seat of a 20 table with 8 racks of chips in front of him. Tonight was one of those nights. Sean admitted to having been playing for 28 hours straight and it showed. Sean does things like open raising 34 suited, but actually isn't that bad of a player by local standards. He calls down with any pair always, but that's honestly not that big of a mistake in the game most of the time, and people seem to keep trying to bluff him even though it should be obvious he is going to call you down with bottom pair EVERY SINGLE FREAKING TIME. From my point of view Sean is on a lifetime heater. He just always seems to suck out on everyone, every time. Some Sean moments:

1. Half the table limps in and I raise 99 in late position. The flop goes off 7 handed for two bets and is K63 rainbow. I bet, 4 people, the dealer, and somebody's pet iguana call. Turn is like a 2 or something, and it checks to me and again I bet. Let's take stock here...I'm in a 5 handed pot with one pair that has an over on board. This time only 3 people call. River Q and Sean just donk bets right into me....Q6 ldo. Your hand is good sir....

2. Sean raises somewhere and I defend my big blind with T9. Pot is 4 handed or some such. I flop top pair and I know it's the nuts and check raise him. Unfortunately the turn is an Ace, one of his 2 outs (there was a flush draw on board, so that ace was no good) and he wins another monster.

3. On back to back hands Sean flops one pair (the first time the board was 994, he held KQ...that's a pair right? second time he had 36 which he played under the gun) and runner runners a full boat. I tell you this guy is just better than everyone else or something.

Sean and Clark will probably be recurrent characters here, as I always try to sit at their tables.

What went wrong tonight?

I did a couple of stupid things tonight. First of all I missed a value bet against Sean with top pair. My head wasn't in the hand completely for some reason and on a final board of JXXXX (where all the Xs are below Ten) I for some reason checked behind on the river. Sean had bet out on the flop, and I had raised with my JT. He had called, and he also called me on the turn in his fashion of "I check, it's on you man...I'm just following you, is that cool?". Against a normal opponent this would be a thin value bet, as it would be hard for him to call all three streets without a jack and I can only beat like 3 jacks (most of the rest have me out kicked or made two pair). But against Sean this is an easy bet because he'll call with any pair and would have donked (bet into the aggressor on the previous street) had he made two pair. $40 slipped away.

I missed a speech. Folds to me and I open raise the button with 44. SB folds, but the BB 3-bets and makes a comment about "going kamikaze". He has a short stack, but enough to play the hand reasonably. Flop is A33 and he says "Oh no" and checks. I bet, and he says "Do you have an ace?" By this point he has talked WAY too much not to have a monster. Alarm bells should be going off in my head. Anytime a player makes a speech like this he has a monster. Turn is 2 and he donks (this will be a common term). I should fold here but reason that I probably have 6 outs (all the 5s will give me straight, and the 4s make me a full house) and make a bad call. The river is blank, he bets, I fold, and he shows AA for top full house....oops.

I missed some seat changes. I just wasn't paying attention and missed the seat on Sean's left once and Clark's left another time. Just have to be on my game more.

Net result for the session....+138. I left right after they broke my table, lamenting the fact that just 90 minutes earlier I had been up 850. It's all just one big session though.


I'm going to assume that nobody has found this blog by accident, and therefore I don't need to give a whole lot of background. For starters, a good deal of information can be found in my 2+2 Pooh Bah Post in which I detail my plan and how I got to this point. To summarize:

1. I am tired of my job, and have not enjoyed it for over 2 years now.

2. I have been playing Limit Texas Hold 'Em here in the bay area seriously for 1 year now with excellent results. I have logged somewhere around 800 hours of play in that time.

3. I am taking 6 weeks off from the world of software development to see if I enjoy the lifestyle of a professional poker player. I am very confident that I can win enough money to support myself, somewhat confident that I can replace my entire compensation from my previous job, and cautiously optimistic that as I improve and move up I can make substantially more money playing poker than writing code.

4. I will play between 40 and 50 hours each week, and at the end of the 6 week period will take a day or two to reflect on my situation. At that point I will either make the decision to jump into this "permanently" or dust off my resume and hit the pavement.

I hope to achieve two things with this blog. First, it will serve as a place for me to record my thoughts, experiences, and feelings so that when the aforementioned time of reflection comes I will have a place to turn to remember just what went well and what went poorly. Secondly, I am hoping to give other poker players a glimpse into the life of a "full time professional" to help them better understand what they might be signing up for if they decide to follow a similar path.

My last day of work is tomorrow, August 1st, 2008, and my 6 week trial period officially starts on Saturday. I'll try to make daily updates to the blog, but this is my first time at this so no promises.