Tuesday, June 17, 2008

No WSOP, some APAT, tons of clapping and the usual cash.

It's being my 3rd eligible year to play in the WSOP due to my age and also since I started playing poker and I still haven't played!! This isn't a huge surprise, a few months ago I played a few satellites on Stars to try and qualify but I was only wasting money, played numerous Step 1s and never even made it on to Step 2, I could have played at least 7-8 of these and never to have progressed is just a disgrace I think. So what do all good poker players do when they can't beat a level or lose money at it......... yes they move up so thats what I did. I bought into a step 2 and was onto step 4 without having to replay step 2 or 3. So I decide to hold off on Step 4 for a few days and then one Friday evening I play, after about 4 hands I get a phone call and there is a mobile phone site down in Sandyford........ just great, have to go through the M50 traffic at 6pm on a Friday and leave me $215 buyin tournament. So I'm on the way over coming up to the toll bridge and I ring the network monitoring center and what do you know the site is back on air. Well this probably just sums up my WSOP attempt this year. I didn't play another sat after that and that was about 2 months ago now.

But I still really wanted to go as I thought my game has come on a lot this year and I have went from 50nl-taking shots at 200nl with 20Bi and moving straight back down to 50nl afterwards but I'm now back up at 200nl and very well rolled with over 40BI and getting closer to a magical 5 figure bankroll in so far less than 100k hands which is a good achievement in itself I think. I've also played a few live tournaments this year and played fairly well in them I thought so with that in mind I was going to buy into either the Stars 200 seat guarantee or the Full Tilt 150 guarantee but as it got closer to the time I realized that working Monday to Friday just doesn't really fit in with the playing satellites to 7am on Sunday morning. I could have asked for the day off and probably got it too but hell if my boss/parents/girlfriend thought I was going to take a day off work so I could play a poker tournament then this wouldn't go down well at all. Now don't get me wrong this wasn't really the reason I didn't do it. I just didn't really want it enough this year and I feel this time next year I want to be playing 600NL and 1kNL, then I will be in much better shape to be thinking of Vegas for the WSOP so I will have plenty of time and a much better bankroll to be playing such tournaments. I do intend to go to Vegas this year in October with my girlfriend and another couple, it won't really be to play poker thought but I'm sure I'll get a few cash hours in when I am over there.

I played the APAT on Saturday, was hungover as could be on Saturday morning, didn't get to bed to 6.30am but don't think it affected my game to much in the early stages anyway, later in the day I was getting tired for sure but in deep stacked tournaments this is probably to be expected. I started off on a table which has had 3 dead stacks and as these guys had paid in they weren't going to be lifted until they were blinded out which took about 5 hours, this left for lots and lots of easy steals and at one stage another dead stack came into my right. One guy from Birmingham wearing some Full Tilt gear had a dead stack to his left and 2 to his right, he had the best seat in the house as the guy who was button to his BB let him have 6 walks and this guy as counting them each time and letting the table know about it, unfortunately I was in way too early a position to be stealing them but that didn't stop me stealing other peoples blinds, by the time I was on 35k the biggest pot I had won was 4.5k which says it all really, the guy to my left who was just unbelievably tight I was able to take his BB 6 times in a row when it was folded around to me in the SB and he never played back once, same went for when I was on the button, nobody wanted to play back at me at all.

By the time I was on a stack of about 40k I got involved in a 36k pot against the only player at the table who was willing to play back at me. I opened AhJd to 3k at 600/1200 in early position and he called on the button. The flop was Ad3d3x and I lead for 5k, full sure I have the best hand and I was prepared to call a shove. he shoved for 9k more and I snapped called him, he tabled 7d8d with the flush draw and the fact that I had the Jd he was about 25% to win the hand, but he hit a 9d on the turn and even then I still had a good few outs to hit but it wasn't to be. After that I was back down to about 24k when I should have been on about 60k so it was a bit of a setback. My stack didn't get much bigger than this for a long time.

We got moved tables when we lost the dead stacks so I had to adjust a good because I had to go from 6 handed to 10 handed and straight onto a new table full of new faces. I played very few hands at this table, stole the blinds a few times and at this stage players were dropping like flies. When we got down to the last 30 people it slowed down a small bit as they were going to end the day when they got to 20 people or at the end of the 14th level, which ever came quicker. I was on about 25k and the blinds were at 1k/2k so I was in push or fold mode, I could never get a hand to push with and when I did someone else had pushed before me. I got 55 and 77 during this time but I felt they just weren't good enough to be calling off most of my stack with. So then a player with an 80k stack opens to 10k at 2/4k and I ship over for 13k more with TT and he calls with his AQs, I was feeling good about it as TT had been hitting sets on this table all day long, and when the flop came ATx I had the hand almost locked up. Now at this stage I felt is where I should have started pushing more to try and not get blinded out as the blinds were going to be 3/6k soon. Instead I played tight and eventually pushed with ATs and got called by AJ and he held up.

Now I was in deep trouble, we were on the 3/6k level and I had about 20k in chips and 1 more person needed to be knocked out before that day ended so it comes to my BB and I don't look at them until everyone else has, I don't usually do this but thought this was a good time as I don't want to be giving out any tells that I have 72o or something. So the SB pushes on me and I snap call him with my AJ, hes got 8sJs and even on a A8x flop which has 2 spades I get knocked out when the spade falls on the river. Overall I was very happy with how I played in this, don't think I done a whole lot wrong all day but just didn't catch the breaks when I needed to. I think I will play a few more live tournaments in the next few months, there is a €500 game on in my home county Donegal in 2 weeks so I might take a trip home to play that.

The one bad thing I would think about the tournament was the need to clap for every person that got knocked out, fair enough having a clap for the first knocked out and then one for yours truly when I was the last person to go on the day. It's just a bit annoying when you are in the middle of a hand and everyone all of a sudden and when it gets to the stage when people are getting knocked out quickly you are clapping every few minutes. Our table did have a really good clap when the first dead stack eventually got knocked out!! Was kinda funny to see people take a look around and nobody leaving the table!!

So I got in 5.5k hands of cash this week which wasn't to bad considering I didn't play at all on Saturday or Sunday. I ran good at 200nl and played less than 200 hands at 100nl. Will be playing 200nl full time now unless the games are really bad or I fall below 35BI for 200nl. I think I am adjusting well enough to 200nl and the added aggression so far. I started off really tight a few weeks back but I have opened up a lot more and have become more aggressive myself. I am also approaching 100k hands for the year so I will likely do an update with all my stats for each of the levels varying from 0.01/0.02NL to 10/20NL!!! Stats for the week and a graph are below:

Until my 100k hands update in a few days.......

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

A solid quiet heater of a week

Had solid week since I last wrote up here. I didn't play too much this week due to a mate being up for the weekend so had no poker on Saturday and very little on Friday or Sunday. Was hungover on both Saturday and Sunday and combined with the fact that I had little time to play I didn't bother.

Again this weekend is going to be similar, I have work day out on Friday. The boss is bringing us to the Rally School in Monaghan, I really can't wait to drive the Impreza rally car and the BMW, mk2 escort and the mini should be great craic as well. Heading on the beer then after than, followed by me playing the APPT in the Fitz on Saturday which is a 2 day event and should be good. Havn't played a live tournament in 6 weeks which is about normal for me. Hopefully I learned something from the JP Masters event and I can go deep in this one.

Sunday night I have bought in for the Full Tilt WSOP 150 seats satellite. The damn thing is on at 11pm on Sunday night so its not ideal. Its basically 1/24 chance of qualifying, there is one on Stars a couple of hours earlier but it works out at about 1/35 chance, buyin is smaller of course but I just decieded that if I was going to buyin I would give myself the best odds of going through. I could easily pull out of this at the last minute, will probably try a satellite as well as I'm not 100% comfortable with paying this much into a tournament ($535).

So to my cash games, I'm still grinding away at 100nl mainly and taking the odd shot at 200nl when there are some soft looking tables. I've been sticking to this fairly well and don't intend to play 200nl fully until I've got 40Bi for it, so cash BR has $1300 to go before I get to this stage. So I managed to play 500 hands of 200nl and 3.7k hands at 100nl. I done well in both and ran really good at 200nl. I only played the softest tables I could find and well it worked a treat. I won to pots worth $620 and $880 and a few other ones here and there. I'll post up the $880 one as I should have folded the flop but I decided to peel the turn and hit my set which turned out to be a real action card as it gave my opponent the nut flush draw on the turn and he went with it. Thankfully I held up and took down the biggest pot I have ever won. Screenshot of boards post below:

So the general consensus was to fold as he will only be firing the flop into 2 players with a strong hand and there are very few turn cards that I want to see and the size of the pot will be get really big and make it just to difficult to play.
So the weekly graph and stats are below:

So hopefully next week can go well with a couple of good tournament scores which would go down nicely. Would love to be able to go to Vegas this summer so fingers are crossed

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

It's been a crazy past 9 days or so

Things have been crazy since I last played, I've hit incredible bad variance at 100nl, played a tilted 18 hands shortstacking 2kNL, had a really good coaching session and done well at a small shot at 200nl.

So the bad shit first, well 100nl has been a disaster, I ran 11BI below expectation which has been damn hard to deal with considering I had played fairly well, just the usual bad beats from the donks but I have to admit it has just been really tough to deal with mentally. The strange thing was I ran the worst when the games were really really good. I went online on Saturday night and set up about 10 tables, loads of fish everywhere but I was down more than $700 in less than 30 minutes so I just left it and went to bed. Trouble was I couldn't sleep to well, just thinking about this bad beat and that one.
So next morning I get up an play some more, next thing I know I am down $400 more and tilting so bad. So instead of stopping I jump into a $2000 game with $200 and proceed to get stacked 3 times, each time it was like a 65/35 type hand in my favor but none of them held up so bah. Anyway this is just so wreck-less and I hope I learned a lesson from it. Funny thing is when I see some guy sit into my regular games with 10BB I laugh at him. Joke was on me this time. Graph and stats for the 100nl period are below.

Had another coaching session this week and I was very happy with it. I played some 200nl as I felt this would be better value and more educational for me and had valor watching me and advising on what he thought the best lines to take were and talking about the different situations that came up or could have arisen. I just played very tight and tried not to play OOP were possible. I then played about 2k hands myself in the following days and things went really well. I ran a couple of BI above EV and got paid off with a lot of my big hands which is nice when you start off. Graph and stats are below:

When I was trying to withdraw money from Everest the strangest thing I have ever heard off regarding a poker site happened me. I took out money twice from my roll to pay for the coaching and got it transfered to Neteller. About 7-8 days later I still hadn't received either withdrawal so I sent Everest a mail about it and they tell me that they never took out my original deposit of $500 from my CC as there had been some error with the CC company. Now the strange thing was they never told me this and let me play away with the $500. So now I need to withdraw another $300 and we are quits. So basically I withdraw the money to them!!! Quite bizarre I think.

There are 2 big WSOP satellites on Full Tilt and Poker Stars that I intend to play on Sunday 15th June, they are a $535 and $370 buyins with 150 and 200 packages guaranteed respectively. I'm not exactly rolled to buy directly into them so I will try a few satellites first but I do intend on playing in 1 of them and if that means having to buyin directly then I will. Other option is I have $600 on Full Tilt that I will probably try and spin up to the $905 required to play both.

Finally the total online BR at the minute is $5.6k with $4.8k of this for cash and the rest is on Full Tilt and GJP for the odd tournaments that I might play.