Friday, December 27, 2013

2014 A Banner Year?

I made a quick 4 1/2 hour trip up to my Grandmother's house Christmas Eve after work.  We ate and talked that evening then got up the next day, opened gifts, ate and made the short 4 1/2 hour trip back home so we could open a few gifts there and get ready for work the next day.  It went that quick.

This weekend I will probably just hang around the house making deer jerky, play with the kids new toys and play some poker.  Next week I am going to OKC for New Years Eve.  It's been a while since I have celebrated New Years.  This year I am.  2010 was a banner year for me and my family.  It's amazing what you can do with 25 days of vacation.  I am pushing for this year to be a better year than 2010 with only 10 days of vacation.

I was hoping to take a weekend trip to Las Vegas soon.  I have enough points for several free flights.  Now I'm running into a lack of time to do it.  I think I will just wait until the WSOP is going on, then go out.  That will give me some time to save up some money.  I have several fishing tournaments that I need to save up for now.  I'm looking at 2 - 3 thousand dollars between entry fees and expenses for the tournaments.

I would also like to take a family vacation this year with just my wife and the kids.  It looks like that isn't going to happen.  My wife's family wants to do a vacation.  I've been getting out of this for years, but this will be her sister's oldest son's last year at home, so it sounds like we're going to make it happen.  We'll just have to make it epic.

The thought of going on a cruise has been running through my head for a few years now as well.  My friend and his wife want us to go with them this year.  Take a number, it looks like we may already be booked for 2014.  I might want to grab a number as well.  There's just not enough time off to do everything I want to do.  Disneyland, Italy, The Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Appalachian Mountains, you'll all have to wait.  I'm losing control of the decision making in my household. 

Sports are already starting to take over, with the kids.  Basketball, soccer, baseball.  Next year we start football.  It's all fun to watch, and the kids enjoy it, but if your a traveler, it cuts into your free time greatly.

Then you have my job.  I'm required to be here Monday's and Friday's every other week.  That eliminates options for half the year.  I have to plan any travels during the other week.

2014 will just have to be banner in a different way.  I'm not sure what will make it so banner, but I will find a way to make it so.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Back On Track - I Have a Poker Goal For January

This weekend I missed Christmas with my wife's family.  There were some issues with the computer system at work that I needed to get through in order to finish my job.  It was taking a lot longer than anticipated.  I sent my wife and kids on their way and worked late into the night Friday and came back in on Saturday to finish up.

Since I was home alone, I thought it was a good idea to get in some poker on Sunday.  I loaded up a few tournaments and went out 2 before the money in 2 of them.  I was frustrated in the third and went from a top 15 stack to out in no time.  Dumb!  The last one was the 11.00 Sunday tournament and had I maintained my stack and played smart it could have been a big payday.  That's what I get for not playing online tournaments in forever. 

After the 11.00 tournament, I still wanted to play some poker but I didn't want to play cash or tournaments.  That doesn't leave much.  I loaded super turbo SNG's and played a couple hours loading as many 1.10 games as I could get into.  I didn't make any money.  Over the course of 38 SNG's I was down close to 4.00.  In order to profit at these I need to win.  I took a bunch of 2nds.  The thing that really hurt was the amount of times I got all in with the best hand and lost.  I would have players dominated and they would draw out on me.  That's all good.  It's poker.  If I run the session again and win half those battles that I have the other player dominated, or win a few of the times that I am behind, I turn a good profit.

I think I'm going to devote January to Super Turbo SNG's and see if I can turn a profit over the course of the month.  With the promotions and VIP's, I think if I put in at least a one hour sessions a night, I should be able to produce some kind of profit.  It probably won't be the kind of profit that would be worth the time I put into it, but, it sounds like a fun challenge for myself.  So, my goal for January is to play 750 1.10 SNG's and turn a profit.

Friday, December 20, 2013

POKER! What Poker?

The Cousins Playing in the Bleachers at a Basketball Game

This blog is getting less and less about poker as I am now playing less and less.  At some point that will change again, maybe.  I like all the time it has freed up for me not playing.  We have been going to basketball games, traveling to visit family and friends on the weekends, and I have been spending much needed time with the kids.  They may not like it as I'm not doing everything they want to do.

This last weekend I did not hunt or shoot like I had planned on.  Instead I cleaned a deer that somebody had shot and tagged and did not want.  That's just about as fun for me.  Dad and I got to work and spent most of Saturday goofing around with that.  We fried up some back straps for supper that night.  The boys couldn't get enough. 

This week has been bad for me as far as watching my weight.  It's been food week at work.  Each department has cooked a meal each day for them and the rest of the departments.  We all end up eating a ton of not so healthy food.  Tis the season. 

I'm going to have to keep some extra snacks on hand when we go up North this weekend.  My appetite is raging now that I have eaten so much all week.  To try to shut that down to smaller than normal sized meals now would be bad.  I've got to wean myself off of big meals.  Going cold turkey doesn't work.  Unless there's a lot of cold turkey.  Turkey sandwiches, turkey pot pie.  Wait, I'm getting off subject.  See, food week has gotten me all crazy.

BEWARE:  Poker Content Follows: KIND OF

On top of eating all week at work we had a magnificent meal for our end of the year poker tournament.  We had a fillet with sauteed mushrooms, sauteed asparagus, potatoes, rolls, appetizers, and dessert.  It was gourmet.  To top off the fabulous meal I took 4th place and got back a little more than my buy in. 

We start out Christmas vacation tomorrow and will be Christmasing it up until Christmas.  Yes, that's a word.  I just made it up, and it's the correct use of the word, since I made it up for that use. 

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Who Ya Gonna Call?

Last night there were out of town basketball games for High School and Jr. High.  I volunteered to stay home and take care of kids.  I had 6 of them total by the end of the night.  I was tired from staying up late the night before so I had them play in the basement if they were going to get rowdy or they could stay upstairs if they were going to watch t.v. or play xbox. 

The baby and I stayed in the living room.  I laid on the couch and she crawled around playing with toys.  Every once in a while she made a break for the family room and I would have to get up and grab her and play with her until she would forget about the other kids in the family room for a bit. 

Around 10:00 the extra three kids were picked up so I put the boys to bed.  The baby was already asleep.  She didn't make it much past supper before she was ready to call it a night.

Once the boys were in bed I grabbed my phone and loaded up a table of .02 .04 NL.  I started out getting pocket pairs over and over.  I was pot betting them and the other players kept folding.  Finally, one of them tried to 3 bet me at the wrong time.  I had just gotten pocket aces.  I called instead of my usual 4 bet, hoping that the flop would not be too bad.  It was a dry flop and the other player led out with a pot size bet.  I called.  He went all in on the turn.  I looked at the board again.  Did he have trips, or was he making a play at me since I had been playing the way I had.  His all in was about a pot size bet and I had already invested the other half of my stack into this pot.  I made a crying call.  He had JJ on a Q high board.  I swept the pot.

The rest of the game, I could tell the others were willing to gamble but I could not find a good spot to pick off another stack.  I finished being up more than a buy in after playing for about an hour.

This weekend I am traveling back North to my parents house with the 2 boys.  There's still more hunting and shooting to do.  My plans for working on vehicles and playing poker have been smashed.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

In Your Neighborhood

We got a night at home last night, and after posting yesterday I decided to jump on a tournament.  The problem was it was already 9:00 when I decided I wanted to play.  All of the tournaments running had over an hour of late registration left.  I got on anyway thinking that I would get knocked out before the late registration was over and go to bed.

That didn't work out.  I played overly aggressive in a 2.20 knockout game and started getting calls at the wrong times and building a massive stack.  We got down to 3 tables by the time late registration ended and I was 1st in chips by a mile.  My plans on sleeping were over ruled. 

I got moved to a table with several aggressive players, so I let them do all the work, while I waited on a hand to play back at them.  I got very few good starting hands and by the time we made 2 tables the players were catching up to my chip stack which was still over 100 BB's. 

I padded my stack a little more by the time we reached the final table and was now 2nd in chips.  I was looking for spots to play at the shorter stacks but I was 2 behind the chip leader.  He was raising every hand and I didn't have anything that I wanted to call to see the flop. 

It got down to 4 of us left.  Three of us had similar stacks and the aggressive guy had a massive stack. I had been patient long enough.  I came over the top of him with nothing.  I paired mid pair on the board and when he checked I bet.  He called.  River was a blank below my pair so I bet again, thinking he would fold.  He called again.  I thought I might be in trouble at this point and when an ace fell on the river I checked behind him.  He had low pair. 

With that little boost, he backed off and I was able to play at the small stacks for a couple rounds increasing my stack size and decreasing theirs.

The final table was lasting forever, almost 2 hours by the time we got down to the final 2.  He had a 2 to 1 chip stack against me.  I started getting aggressive again and it would work until he would catch, then I would go back to my original chip count when we began heads up.  We did this over and over for the next 45 minutes.  Finally he went all in and I had AKo.  He had A9.  3 9 9 hit on the flop.  Game over.

It was nearly 3:00 in the morning when I got to bed.  The game lasted way longer than I thought it would but I was not giving up.  I had put on my headphones, turned on some music, put my hoodie over my head and went about grinding all night and early morning.  It felt good.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

If There's Something Strange

It's getting ready to warm up this week and I'm ready.  I've been a trooper with the cold weather.  I can bundle up and stay o.k., but I have some vehicle work to do and I don't like to do it in freezing weather.  I'll be putting in a fan blower motor resistor on one of our vehicles and rotating the tires on another.  Neither jobs are real issues, but if it's going to be warmer, I might as well do it.

Last night we went to the High School basketball games.  It sucks being an adult.  I want to be out there playing again.  It does make it a little better that our high school team is playing really well this year and is a lot of fun to watch.  They play right on the line of out of control, they are moving so fast. 

I'm going to be coaching the 1st and 2nd grade basketball team this year.  That ought to be interesting. 

On our way to the game we stopped at the local pizza place to eat.  We eat at home a lot so this was a treat.  I got a salad, and was eating very healthy until the pizza came out.  Nobody wanted the last piece and I sure wasn't going to waste it or take home one piece so I did my duty and polished it off making that my 4th piece of the night.

After last weeks liquid diet, thanks to having my teeth taken out, I have been craving lots of solid food.  I am back down to 215 lbs for the first time since I left for Las Vegas.  I haven't been trying too hard, but am thinking that I should try to get down to 210 by Christmas and below 200 by March.  I just don't know if I have that kind of willpower right now.  I can eat healthy and light, but getting outside to exercise in the cold and dark may be a little more than I am willing to do.

We are staying home again this weekend.  It may be time to put in a little time playing tournaments on Sunday.  Then again, it could be a good time to make Christmas cookies and candy. 

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

There's Always Next Week

It's been six days since the last post and I only have one poker session to speak of.  My break continues.  I'm not sure what happened.  For a full year I played and played poker every chance I got.  Now it's a not even a second thought in the evenings. 

I'm not sure if it's burnout or just a shift in priorities.  I've taken extended breaks like this before, where I didn't touch the computer for months at a time.  I get tired of trying to find the time to play and wishing that I could play all the time.  I've been going to bed at 10:00 and getting full nights of sleep.  I feel better. 

Part of me feels I should get back to playing.  The rest of me knows that the time away from the table is precious.  My kids won't be young forever and I don't want to miss the time that they still like to hang out with me. 

I finally feel like I've struck a balance with my life and poker.  That balance is only playing 1 night a week for fun with friends.  It's scheduled.  Everybody knows I do it.  I am supported in playing this game.  I'm risking the same amount of money with better odds of a payout. 

The rest of the time I barely watch T.V.  I play on my phone a lot while I sit in the living room.  I can put my phone down and play with the kids if I want. 

In the foreseable future I plan to play at the local game once a week.  I may jump online from time to time to play a tournament if I find the time.  The rest of the time I will just hone my skills at the live table.  It's a lot more fun than being belittled for my style of play online when I win a hand.

In this weeks local game I started out ice cold.  I couldn't get a good starting hand so I played mediocre starting hands.  I would catch a pair and the other person would have the stone nutz.  I was very low stacked very early in the game and had to tighten way up.  I won a couple of crucial hands as the blind levels got bigger and finally got to above my beginning stack a little after break. 

The blinds started eating away at my stack and I was soon down to 1 bb left.  I found a playable hand and tripled up putting me in the top 3 in chips.  People were going to start dropping at any minute so I stayed really tight.  Within that blind level we lost a few people and only needed 1 more to go out to make the money.  She got low stacked and was put all in by the blind.  I called without looking at my cards.  I don't remember what I had but it caught and got me in the money.

From there I was looking to wait out for 3rd and start playing.  The low stack caught twice as they blinded down to all in putting me at the bottom of the pile with 1 bb left.  I made my move against the blinds with K7o.  BB had A10 and spiked an A on the first card of the flop.  I didn't improve and ended my night.  There's always next week.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Back in Action

After a long hiatus of not playing online I finally played a bit on my phone yesterday on the way home from the dentist on the hour and a half drive back home.  I had 2 wisdom teeth pulled.  The poker went well but once I got home I decided to play higher stakes and got sucked out on over and over again.  Cash games suck!  Probably just because I suck at cash games.  I'll play on the computer so I can play sng's and tournaments.  If they get those on my phone - Look Out Betty!

We had a pretty good Thanksgiving.  We traveled to my parents and then to my grandmother's.  My 9 month old daughter seemed to enjoy the food the most.  She was all about trying everything and a lot of it.  She was hitting up anybody with food all Thanksgiving.  Just like a puppy. 

The day after Thanksgiving we did some pheasant hunting and stopped at the gun store to look at a gun I have been eyeing for a while.  They had a .223 bolt action rifle.  I passed it up so that I could go research it more.  It had great reviews and I found it a couple other places for a lower cost.  The next morning I e-mailed the gun shop and asked if they would come down on the price.  He did, so we went and picked it up.  Later that afternoon we went out and sighted it in at 200 yards.  It was a lot of fun playing with guns.  My .22 rifle is still the most accurate gun I have ever shot.  I was hitting the bulls eye with it at 200 yards.  I had to aim high at that distance but once I got the height down it was nothing but bulls eyes.  My .223 needs a lot of sighting done yet.  I have a couple hundred rounds to play around with. 

The ammo shortage seems to be slowing down a little bit.  I was able to find reasonable priced ammo for all of my guns this weekend.

We walked several fields while we were hunting.  I should have turned on my runkeeper to see how far we walked and how many calories I burned. 

I weighed myself this morning and I am still at 217 lbs.  I went and bought new jeans and pants yesterday since everything I have now is too big.  I didn't buy a lot of cloths because I am still wanting to drop some more pounds.  It may help being on a liquid diet for a few days thanks to the teeth.

Dad bought the boys go carts since the last time we were home.  My oldest son was brave enough to try one out.  He went slow since we didn't have a helmet yet and was having fun until Dad talked him into trying to go a little faster.  He went past us and his eyes were so wide his eyeballs could have fallen out.  He got it to a stop and shut it off.  He was done.  We told him he had to pull it in the shop to park it.  It took some convincing and he finally rode it slowly to the shop. 

All in all it was an unbeatable weekend.  Lots of food, hunting, shooting and playing.  Can't beat that.  Now I just have to heal so I can eat a steak.  Now that I can't have one, I am craving one bad.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Tried For A Repeat But Had To Settle For Redemption

I was shooting for a repeat the Monday before last.  I started building a stack shortly after break and Poof it was gone in a hand.  I can't remember what I had but it was more than likely trips or better to stack off like that.

This week was redemption time.  We had turkey and all the fixings for break time and I had been looking forward to this game as I have slacked off on playing any online poker for a while now.  My plan was to play tight and take advantage of the players that had seen me playing so loose the previous week. 

I picked up a couple pots early, then settled in waiting on an opportunity to take another pot.  A little before break I won a couple of hands to set me up nicely for the blind jumps after break.

After eating an early Thanksgiving meal at break, I came back ready to make the money.  Things did not go so well.  I was instantly in the BB and had someone go all in for another BB.  I called with a less than desirable hand and lost.  The very next hand the same thing happened and I called again and did not catch. 

The very next hand a player went all in for 2 BB's again.  This time my stack was not looking great but I had a better hand.  I folded and would have won that hand. 

I blinded down to 2 BB's and made my move with 10 10.  I had another caller and another person go all in with slightly less chips than I had.  My 10's held and I tripled up. 

One player was dominating the table after that and knocking people out right and left.  I got one more knockout as I was in the BB and had the all in covered with the BB. 

It got down to heads up and I was dominated in chips.  I made a great run and was ahead in chips when I called down top pair to his normally large bets.  We both had the same hand but his flushed on the river crippling me.  The blinds went up the next hand and I was automatically all in.  I went out in 2nd and cashed for a little over triple my buy in, plus we got great food.

Last night I had some time to play some poker on my phone.  I did o.k. playing heads up cash against another player.  He was really aggressive and all I had to do was wait on a decent playing hand and call him.  I could tell right away when he started adjusting and I made adjustments to counteract.  I ended up doubling my buy in over the course of an hour of playing him.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Vowing to Stay Away From Slots - Hitting the Poker Room From Now On

This weekend I was able to stop by the casino.  I first stopped by the poker room to get registered for a $1-$3 NL game.  There were 5 people on the waiting list so I decided to wait a little bit and use some of my free slot play up.  I used it up quick.

Then instead of going back to the poker room, I tried out several different slot machines for the next hour.  I didn't have any luck.  I'm not sure why I continued to play.  I know I'm not going to make any money playing slot machines.  I just like to see the reels going round and round. 

When I got done playing around with the slots, I was dissappointed with myself for spending that money.  Instead of going into the poker room, thinking that I would want to make up for the money I gave away, I decided to instead go back home. 

From now on when I go to a casino, it will be to play poker, or it will be to goof around with friends with only a little bit of money on slots.

I'm not a great big fan of 1-3 NL yet.  I've only played a few times though.  I need to give it a chance as that seems to be the only option anywhere anymore.  The old days of playing fixed limit is over, now we have to play for real money.

I'm going to go play the local game tonight and will be the bounty since I won last week.  I'm shooting for a repeat.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Carbon Poker Mobile

This is the first I had heard of it.  It looks like its been in beta testing stage since October last year.  When I logged out of Carbon last night a pop up showed up with a link to Carbon's mobile app.  I grabbed my phone and loaded the web page it gave me and saved it to my main screen.  I put in my user name and password.  Bam!  I now have mobile online poker. 

In the little bit of time testing it out, it looked like you can only access cash games.  I'm going to test it out to see if I'm in a tournament on the computer and shut the program down and open the app, if my tournament will open on my phone.  It may be wishful thinking and I doubt it works, but it would be nice for those times that I have gotten in a tournament but realize I need to do something else, where I can't take my computer.

I did play on my phone for about an hour and made a couple of buy in's.  I ran really well.  Before that I had played a couple of tournaments.  I min cashed 1 and finished 10th in the 750.00 nightly guaranteed.  It was pretty disappointing as I had been chip leader for over 4 hours and lost when I called all in with trip 10's to another players boat on the flop.  Tens treated me well Monday but it wasn't my hand last night.  I didn't see it coming and then it was over.  There was no doubt in my mind that I was making the final table and making a run for the 180.00 1st prize money. 

It was still a profitable night.  I'll get them next time.  The final table was full of some of the toughest regulars I play against so I would have had my work cut out for me.

Coming so close to a final table got me fired up about online poker again.  It's been a while since I had last played.  This was a nice comeback.

I was sick last night while I was playing.  I was able to lay there and stay focused so I played.  After I was done I went to sleep.  It was pretty scary as I really felt like I was dying when I closed my eyes and drifted off.  My wife woke me up one time and asked if I was cold.  I was.  I guess I was shivering so hard it woke her up.  She threw an extra blanket across me.  I remember waking up another time shaking pretty hard. 

I had a dream I was outside in the snow and had build a mound out of snow and cut a square hole in the top to put water to do the dishes.  There were penguins sliding down the sides of the mound and I was trying to train them to do the dishes for me thinking that their flippers would work great for scrubbing pans.  It was cold. 

That was one of the strangest dreams I have had in a long time, so I thought I would share it.

I still do not have plans for this weekend.  I may stay home and try to save some money.  Driving costs so much and we both just got back from trips 4 hours away last weekend.  That's 200.00 in gas.  With the holidays coming up, I know we will be traveling a lot.  It may be a good weekend to just stay home.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

No Place Like 1st Place

Found this plant full of devils claws while we were out hunting last weekend.

Monday night I went to the local game even though I was starting to feel a little bit under the weather.  The week before I was the 1st one out and it stunk.  This week I was going to do what I could to not do the same thing. 

The first three hands of the game came out with somebody having a flopped flush.  The other players didn't think it would happen a 3rd time, luckily for me it did as one player had the ace.  I had K 10 and it all went out in the middle.  The fourth suited card did not fall for him and I got an early double up.

From there the 10's helped me tremendously.  I flopped a set against an all in.  He caught a flush, but the board paired on the river and I won again.  The final hand came down to my pocket 10's against QJo.  My 10's held and I won.  There were quite a few other hands that were instrumental throughout the tournament.  I think I took out all but 2 players.  I wasn't playing aggressive, I just waited on my hands and called their overly large bets that usually chase me out of the hands.  This time I had chips and was able to stand my ground.

There were 9 players.  The game paid 4 spots.  I took 4 times my buy in, which isn't too bad for a fun local game.

This weekend I am considering going down to Oklahoma City to play a tournament and hang out with friends.  I may have to go down the following weekend to help them move so it is a tossup right now.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Hunting Trip

It's been quite a while now since I have played online poker.  I think I needed a break.  I had played almost every day for over a year.  I'm not in a hurry to get back and play.  The latest change with Carbon Poker has changed my attitude about online poker. 

You work hard to learn to play a certain game and dominate it and the site changes so you have to learn all over again.  I'm not ready to commit myself to that again, knowing that as soon as I start doing well everything will change again.  It has happened over and over and over since I first started playing. 

With the option to play live now, I'm not so persistent about playing online.  I am going to start focusing my online play on 2 table sng's as those are the average size of games I play and could stand to get better at them again. 

This weekend was a family holiday, the opening weekend of pheasant season in Kansas.  We drove 4 hours north to my parents to go out pheasant hunting Saturday and Sunday.  They have been in a drought the last few years so the pheasant population is down from what it used to be.  We still managed to get one.  I'm looking forward to eating fried pheasant strips for the first time in a lot of years.  We have some homegrown sweat potatoes to fry up at the same time.  I think we will wait until next weekend and make an event of it unless we plan something else this weekend. 

I'd like to stay home and save money, but my friend in Oklahoma City is moving and he had helped me move from Ohio back.  I kind of owe him and he asked me to come down.

We may just have to eat that pheasant Wednesday night. 

I didn't think to turn on my runkeeper while we were walking fields.  It would have been interesting to see how many miles we hiked and how many calories we burned.  It was a lot.

I had fallen off the wagon of weight loss since I got back from Las Vegas.  I weighed myself this morning and was back up to 218 pounds.  I'm not going to obsess about it but I am going to try to eat a little healthier until Thanksgiving.  Maybe I can get back down to 215 pounds by then.

Monday, November 4, 2013

A Break From Online

This weekend seemed kind of short.  I guess the time change wasn't enough.  We stayed pretty busy all weekend so that makes the time go a little faster.

Friday night we cleaned a little and lounged around.  My parents were coming in to town on Saturday.  We got up and finished cleaning on Saturday, then I started lunch for when my parents got in.  They showed up right on schedule as lunch was finishing up.  We ate hamburger stew and homeade italian bread. 

After that we went to a craft fair.  When we got back we walked around town since the weather turned out so nice.  Later that night we went to dinner and a play in town.  They have those a couple times a year here.  The production was very good and you could tell a lot of practice went in to get ready for it.  The cast did an amazing job.  My sister in law stole the hearts of the crowd with her performance.  She is so talented on so many levels.

On Sunday we got up to see my parents off and go to church.  Both boys ended up with some type of stomach bug so we didn't end up going to church.

In the afternoon I took a nap and woke up realizing I had told somebody I would play a local game.  I got ready and got over there.  It was a 10.00 rebuy and had about 18 people.  There were around 20 rebuys and only paid the top place.  Usually they chop around top 3 but it was looking like it would not chop unless we got out 1 individual.  That individual took me out in 5th place when his 2 pair overtook my top pair.  I was short stack and had been looking to make a move anyway.  I was out 10.00 with a chance of making a good return had I won that hand.

It's been a while since I have played online.  My patience to sit in a game for a long time was wearing thin.  I decided to take a break as the long games are the ones I do good in if I have the patience.  I'm not craving the final tables like I was.  It must have been time for a break.  My need for final tables will return, it always does.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

I Absolutely Hate Pocket 9's

Monday night I had another local game.  Early in the game I could not get anything going.  I played a lot of hands trying to catch something, the hands I didn't play when somebody would raise would hit, but everything else turned to crap on the flop. 

I had to add on shortly before break and went into super tight mode.  It was getting close to the bubble and I caught AA to double me up.  When we got to the bubble me and 1 other player were the short stacks.  He doubled up 3 times on his BB as he would be all but out of chips and have to go all in.  I doubled a couple of times as the blind would approach me and I would have to push with the best hand I could get each round.  Another player got short and I tried to take them out with an A rag hand while I was in the BB and he was short stack.  He had 10 2 diamonds and got there with a pair of 2's.  The next hand I had A rag and went all in against another short stack.  He had 9 2 and caught a pair of 2's.  The very next hand I had A rag again.  I barely had the BB covered so he called me and took me out with a 9 7.  I was bubble boy. 

The game ended a few hands later.  There's always next week.

I didn't play any online poker Monday or Tuesday and considered not playing last night.  The kids wanted to watch The Hulk, so I drug out the laptop while we sat to watch the movie.  I late registered for a few games and got to work.  I made it to the bubble of the first tournament and got pocket 9's in the BB.  The SB raised all in so I called.  He had K3o and caught a K of course to make me the bubble boy.  Same thing exact same hand on the bubble of the next tournament.  Out as bubble boy.  I went all in with complete crap on the other table as I was peeved.  He had 99 and it held.  F 99.

I switched to 5.00 6 max sng's and played 4 of those.  I won 2 of them and was even for the night.  I loaded up quite a few 2.00 6 max sng's and lost in most of them.  I finally went to heads up sng's and played a few of them.  I ended up breaking even for the night.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

What Do I Need?

A lot of things in my life have me stressed right now.  I have been reading a book called Hike Your Own Hike lately and it's pointing out why I have been unhappy for so long.  Don't get me wrong, there are things that make me happy, but there are also things that drag me down. 

I have done a lot to improve my situation so that I can be happy.  I have lived below my means for quite a few years so I could get my debt paid off.  That in turn is supposed to allow me some freedom to not get trapped in the same grind that I have been in for years.  My debt is paid off now and I have successfully started saving money.  Unfortunately, I am very successful at spending money. 

I have looked at our budget over and over again and we could easily live on half our salary.  I am not liking the path that my career is taking me on.  I feel that I need change.  I have done the same thing for so long, I am worried that whatever I do I will not like.  I shouldn't be like that.  I did like what I was doing when I first moved back to Kansas.  Everything changed and I was pulled back into what I had been doing before I moved back.  Now I'm swamped with no chance of ever getting caught up and that will eventually lead to the end of my job.  It's not if, it's when.  There's no comfort in knowing that everything that I do is unappreciated because there is something else not getting done.

There are other forms of work around, some that pay better, some that pay worse.  I'm really not worried about the pay any longer.  I want to find something where I won't dread going to work.

Now that I have kids I use that as an excuse that I need to continue making money.  We all have so much we could live without.  Sometimes I feel trapped from all the crap I have.  It would take me a year to sell it all off.  I could live off that for over a year.  Maybe that's what I need to do.

I have thought a lot about it and can't come up with an answer.  I'm too exhausted to think too hard about it. 

Maybe I'll sell my boat, camper, and everything I don't need.  Give the rest of what I don't need to Goodwill and take off to hike the Appalachian Trail.  My Mom and Dad would hate it.  My wife says to go for it.  I want to do it while I still can.  I'd hate to leave my wife and kids for 6-7 months, but maybe it would change my perception in life and help me to be a better parent, husband, son, etc. 

I'm getting closer to making that decision.  The thought has been in my head for a few years now.  I think we could swing it financially.  I could give up on my career path that I have taken and not feel bad.  Maybe I could go back to school and work part time jobs when I get back so I could get into something I would enjoy more.  Maybe I don't need school for that. 

I am going to continue to ponder the idea. 

Monday, October 28, 2013

Got in Some Live Play This Weekend

Friday night I went to a local out of town game.  It was rebuy night, where there is unlimited rebuys for the first 2 hours.  There ended up being 30 buy ins for 25.00.  I started out playing with an open range while the blinds were low.  I couldn't catch anything so I tightened up to wait on hands.  A couple of players at the table said that I should try to bluff as it was getting to the 2nd hour and I still had not won a pot.

I told them that I was still o.k.  I am patient and will wait on a hand to play.  With about 8 minutes left in the rebuy period I had half my starting stack.  I figured I would open up my range again and call down any straight or flush draw.  If I catch I could possibly double up and if not I could rebuy for a better stack.  I got a 4 5 off suit and called a small raise to see the flop.  The flop came out 7 3 2 rainbow.  Two players in the hand were betting and I called it down to find my 6 on the river.  I had tripled up and was able to coast into the break.

After break I got AQ and raised it up.  The table aggressor called.  A 3 7 came on the flop.  Aggressor is know for loving the low cards so I couldn't rule any cards out of his range.  I led out a hefty bet and he called.  K fell on the turn.  I led out another large bet.  He went into the tank and said that he has A3 but put me on AK.  He finally folded.  The very next hand I got AK and raised.  I was called by the chip leader at the table.  An ace hit on the flop and I bet through the river.  He had a smaller ace as I had expected.  I now had a dominating stack.

From that point I stole a few blinds but did not get much action.  We finally moved to the final table.

At the final table I played fairly tight until I got AK.  The short stack at the table went all in so I called.  He had a pocket pair and doubled up.  The very next hand I looked down and had AA.  The same guy raised so I 3 bet.  He went all in and I called.  He had AK this time and was knocked out.

From there I couldn't find a hand I wanted to play until we were 3 handed.  One of the other 2 had just been raised all in and he called with a 5 9 off suit to double up.  I had QQ and he called my bb.  I went all in and he called as I had hoped.  He had A9o.  The flop brought a 9 and the turn brought another 9.  I had him covered with around 6 bb's left over.  I couldn't find a playable hand the next few rotations and the blinds went up again.  I was sitting with a little over 2 bb's now.  I waited for them to be in the blinds and went all in, in the dark.  I got a caller and when I flipped over my cards I saw I had 7 2o.  He turned over 10 7o.  I caught a 2 but he found a 10 to take me out.

Third place was worth 125.00 so I was able to come home with some money.

On Saturday we went to Wichita to do some Halloween costume shopping.  On the way home I convinced my wife to let me swing into the Kansas Star Casino to play some free slot play that was on my card.  She said o.k. so I stopped in for a few quick spins.  I thought I had 15.00 on the card but it turned out they had given me 35.00.  I ran through the slot play and did not hit anything so I put 10.00 more into the machine.  Right as I was getting to the end of it, I got some free spins and ended up winning 60.00 on the free spins.  I cashed out being up 50.00 on that stop.

On Sunday, we had lunch at my brother and sister in law's after church.  We sat around there watching some football for most of the afternoon.  Finally around 3:30 I decided I was going to slip home and play some Sunday tournaments.  I had 1 good run in the 11.00 Sunday game.  Everything else was a bust.  I made it to the final 4 tables in the 11.00 game when I got JJ.  I only had 10 bb's left so I went all in from UTG.  BB had QQ and knocked me out.  I won just enough to cover the rest of my buy in's for the day.  I was actually still down some after that cash.  I played some 6 man sng's and some heads up sng's, but could not get ahead for the day.  I finally gave up when I realized I had been tilty for some time and wasn't going to make a profit.  It wasn't my night.

I heard this weekend that the Kansas Star is going to start having tounaments on Sunday's in November.  It will be a deep stack event with 120.00 buy in.  My next couple weekends are booked, but if I find some free time in November or December I will try this one out.  I think it will draw quite a crowd. 

I have my next local game tonight.  We'll see if I can't increase my live bankroll a little more.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Playing Poker With No Plan of Attack

I used to always have a plan of attack when I played poker.  I would want to play so many hands per day or so many tournaments or certain tournaments.  I would go into a tournament ready to play tight and aggressive. 

Lately, I have been playing without a plan.  If I feel a need to play a certain game I get in and play.  There are some exceptions.  I try to stay away from games that are outside my bankroll limits.  There have been a couple times recently that I have gotten in a few of those too.  I try to stay away from those because if I ever do start playing with a large roll I will want to be able to maintain it.  My role now could be replaced a few times and it wouldn't hurt anything.

The point I was making is that playing the games I feel that I can beat at the time I am playing seems to be working.  There are times where I feel I can do well at SNG's over sitting for a long time at a tournament.  Sometimes I feel that a short run at NL cash is what the doctor ordered.  When I get into a game my only plan is to do what it takes to win.  If I can play aggressive I will.  If I need to sit low and stay out of several other aggressor's way I will.  I try to figure out the table dynamic, to figure out how I will play.

It doesn't always work out, but I have been doing better than I do with a plan.  I'm definately not an expert.  This just seems to work better for me.  After playing for many years I am finally making money online.  That has a lot to do with some of you other bloggers helping me out. 

It's fall now and this is usually where I start to crank up the online poker.  I have been playing steadily for the last year though so it's just another season now.  It still makes me excited about sitting all bundles up on the couch with my laptop wondering if this is going to be the day that I annihalate a whole large field of other players. 

This fall I think I am going to venture outside my normal realm and start playing more live games.  Being so close to Oklahoma I have several casino's within a 4-5 hour drive that have some pretty decent tournaments or series.  I also have the opportunity to play at several local games so I will take advantage of that. 

In the near future my weekends are booked for family time.  After that I may start planning a couple trips to some casino's.  For now I will start playing the local games more frequently.

Next spring, I do plan to start to do more things outside of poker again.  I will be fishing tournaments next year.  I will also chase storms in the spring.  If all goes well any free weekend I have, we will be camping at the lake.  This year has been about poker.  Next year poker will have a backseat to the rest of life.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Crab Legs and Gulf Coast Shrimp

There was nothing major to report in my weekend of poker.  I didn't hit any final tables.  I played a lot of tournaments on Saturday.  It seemed like distractions played a major role in me not doing well.  There was too much going on around me and I kept jumping up from the computer to take care of something.  I would blind down and come back to push and pray. 

SNG's were my savior this weekend.  I think I came close to breaking even thanks to 6 man hyper turbo's.  Thankfully I caught fire on those Saturday evening.  I was hoping to cover part of my buy ins for the tournaments and ended up winning more than that.  They were not so good to me on Sunday, the little bit that I played.  I played on America's Cardroom a little bit on Sunday and won my way into a 33.00 tournament.  I made a dumb call with 66 and lost a chunk out my stack when the loose aggressive cannon in the big blind raised all in with QQ.  I started to build again when I ran AK into AQ.  His flopped straight sent me to the rail.

After church, I cooked up some crab legs and gulf coast shrimp.  The boys ate about 3/4 of the 2 pound box of crab legs.  My oldest is getting pretty good at cracking them and getting the meat out.  My younger boy was reaping the reward.  He didn't have to crack any, but ate a ton.

During Sunday school my daughter said DADA for the first time followed by BABA.  It felt pretty good, but I went ahead and corrected her.  I said MAMA BABA.  It's not going to be long before she starts walking.

My kids got me talked into playing some Boarderlands 2 as they couldn't get past a certain spot.  I jumped on and realized they are getting better than me at the game.  Almost!

Sometime soon I am thinking about taking a poker trip to Oklahoma.  I may go down to play in part of a series, or I may just go down to play some daily donkaments and cash games for a weekend. 

We have a game tonight, so I may start talking with some of the other players to see if any of them are interested in a weekend trip.  With my lack of poker play in Vegas, I feel like I need to hit the felt.  A couple good tournaments would make me feel a little better.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Finding My Groove

Yesterday I had mentioned that I was registering late for tournaments.  Last night I had a little more time to play and mixed it up.  I late registered for 3 tournaments and started at the beginning on 3 tournaments.  I had about the same results 2 final tables, 2 other cashes, and 2 close but not cashes. 

I won the same tournament that I took 2nd in the night before.  I entered this one as it began both nights.  Looking at my results I realized I am min cashing the games that I late register in.  Although I have had a couple good runs in the nightly guarantees and lost in the final few tables the last 2 nights in at least 1 of the games. 

If the registration period is only an hour I will not late register.  If it is 3 1/2 hours I will.  By that point I am close to min cashing and with some luck can make a deep run. 

With the new tournament structures I have avoided the 5.50 tournaments.  Although a rebuy event like the one above is essentially a 6.20 buy in as I do my initial rebuy and add on.  If I see a 5.50 game that I cannot pass up, I will register. 

I will play this tournament quite a bit and try to find some similar tournament structures, as this one seems to treat me well.  There were only 38 runners, a 1 hour late registration, and 10 minute blind levels.

There seems to be a lot better tournament selection throughout the evening.  There are a couple games I have been playing and not cashing in the last couple nights that I think are beatable.  I will give them a few more tries and if I don't start cashing once in a while I will find alternatives.

I do need to stick with tournaments.  I have dabbled in heads up sng's and NL cash.  I lose more than I win in those.  If I don't have time for tournaments, I may play a few games, but I won't load up 6 tables at a time.  They will be treated as a training exercise as they both help to prepare me for tournament play.  I feel that I have a pretty good edge when I reach the final table with top 5 in chips. 

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Late Registering for Tournaments

The flu season started at our house the night before last.  I took yesterday off to stay home with my son and daughter after I had a dentist appointment to fill a couple cavity's.  My wife took the morning shift. 

It was a rough afternoon trying to keep a baby intertained and a sick kid happy.  Once school got out, I picked up my other son.  He said he was happy he finally got a day without his little brother.  I guess his little brother hangs with him during recess every day. 

In the evening my sick son and daughter both fell asleep.  I took that as a sign that I could get a little poker in.  I registered for 5 tournaments, most of them were late registrations as the registration period on a lot of games is now 2 to 3 1/2 hours.  I'd rather late register and take my chances than sit through 3 1/2 hours of re entry play, where at some point I will get beat by some idiot who doesn't mind playing any hand and rebuying over and over again.

I had a fairly deep run in the nightly 250.00 guarantee.  I got busted in the first hand of the nightly 500.00 guarantee when I got KK and an ace hit on the flop after I went all in and was called.  I made the final table in another smaller tournament but was busted in 9th when my AK met up with 99.  I went into the final table in 2nd to last place so I was looking to make a move anyway.  I lost another game that I made it close to the money. 

On the last game I had open I had made the final table 5th in chips.  It was only paying top 5 but had a good payout as it was a rebuy game.  We were all deep stacked when we reached the money and I had increased to 3rd in chips.  By the time the 5th place person went out I was short stack.  The pay jump from 4th to 3rd was quite a bit more than 5th to 4th so I was going to play tight trying to get 3rd. 

I started catching some hands and figuring out how to get some pots of the big stack to stay alive.  4th place finally went out giving 2nd place a good chip lead over myself.  I knew it was going to be a hard fought battle if I wanted to move up further.  I played against the big stack and caught him bluffing a couple of times.  I stayed away from 2nd in chips because he usually had the hand.  Finally 2nd in chips took a large chunk off of chip stack shortening his stack below mine.  The next hand I had QQ.  He went all in and I called taking him out.  The very 1st hand of heads up I got AK.  He called the blind and I raised.  He went all in.  He had J8 suited and hit a J on the flop.  I had invested 2.10 in the game to make 50.00, plus I had some min cashes in most of the other games. 

I have been playing 1.00 and 2.00 tournaments since I have been late registering.  If I keep posting decent results, I will add back in 5.00 tournaments.   

Tuesday, October 15, 2013


At the beginning of October Carbon Poker changed their VIP structure again.  I was playing at the tier right below Carbon, I think it was water, and finally getting 19% cash back on my VIP points.  I wasn't going to sustain that level of play, so it's not a huge deal to me.  There are 3 tiers now.  You can reach the 1st tier with 500 VIP's earned in the month.  This is probably where I will be for quite a while.  The first tier is 10% cash back on VIP's.  You can cash in 1000 VIP points for 10.00. 

On top of their VIP structure change, they changed a ton of their tournaments.  They now offer a great selection of evening tournaments with long blind levels.  Almost all of their tournaments have a guarantee now.  Some of the guarantees are pointless as a $25.00 guarantee on a 1.00 game is not attractive.  Most of those are going to have way more than 25 players anyway. 

There are several evening games that I have played so far.  There is a 1.10 500.00 guaranteed with 15 minute blind levels, a 2.20 750.00 guaranteed with 15 minute blind levels and a 5.50 1500.00 guaranteed with 15 minute blind levels.  They have a massively long re-entry period of 3 and a half hours.  It builds the pot but allows the donks to get deep in the tournament.  I have registered late in these and start with 5000 chips.  The chip leader is usually around 100,000 chips by this point and I get called down with any hand I decide to play until I at least double up.

There's quite a few games with 10 minute blind levels as well.  I haven't played a ton yet, but what I have seen so far looks like an improvement.

I finally cashed out some of my bankroll on September 28th.  The check was at my house on October 14th.  That was way quicker than I had expected. 

I had a couple final tables this weekend on the new games.  I outright won 1 of the smaller games for a 50.00 profit and finished the others shortly after making the final table.  I also won a 33.00 ticket in a 2.20 game.  I tried hard to go out 1 before the ticket to take the 31.00 cash.  I doubled up twice with horrible hands and got the ticket. 

I have been playing quite a few heads up SNG's if I get knocked out of the tournaments early.  I have been doing o.k. in those and usually make enough over an hour or 2 to cover my tournaments entry's and increase my VIP points.

I'm back in grind mode.  I tell myself not to play until late in the evening when the kids go to bed, but I want to get in some of the juicy games I see going on earlier.  Plus, I don't want to stay up the whole night in order to play the longer blind level games that I do better in.  Maybe I can start a little earlier a couple nights a week to give myself a better chance.  Especially on the weeks I have plans on the weekends.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Las Vegas Recap

It has been crazy since I got back from Las Vegas.  My wife left for Blackhawk, Colorado the day after I got back so I was in charge of the 3 kids for the week.  Work was crazy trying to get everything caught back up from taking time off.

My Las Vegas experience was fun as usual.  I had some issues this trip that I have never had to deal with before.  The most important being that I could not access my money for the first 3 days.  That put a halt on most any gambling.

I arrived at the airport with 25.00 in my pocket.  I had left the rest in my account expecting to access it as I needed it.  I didn't want to have that much cash sitting around.

I won a little bit on the slot machines pretty quick after getting set up in my room.  Then we went to eat at Circus Circus where I had enough comps to pay for my buffet.  I was doing good.  I had been to Las Vegas for several hours and hadn't even made a withdrawal yet.  Finally after 9:00 I went to make a withdrawal of 300.00.  After midnight I went to make a second withdrawal of 300.00.  It said I had exceeded my daily withdrawal amount.  I thought that was strange since it was now a new day.  I thought maybe it hadn't reset yet so I went to bed and got up the next morning to try it again.  Same thing.

I had some money left from the night before so I decided I would deal with it later since we were heading to The D for a poker tournament.  I finished a few places out of the money there after my KK failed to hold up to AA for a majority of my stack.  My next move was to find a spot to shove before the blinds ate up the rest of my stack.  I got A9o and ran into AK. 

We ate at Flavor's.  The guy ahead of us said that he could get 1 of us in for all you can eat and all you can drink if we gave him 10.00.  That was a substantial savings so I jumped on that since I was short on cash.

We hung around Harrah's for quite a while after that.  I tried my luck at some 4 spot Keno.  No Luck.  I eventually spent the last of my money on slots.

It was time to call the bank.  They said that since I had made a withdrawal after 9 there it was after midnight Eastern.  It also said that I had made a 2nd withdrawal when it said that I had exceeded my limit.  I convinced the guy to increase my withdrawal limit for the day so I could get some money out to go play poker that evening.  He said he would do it.  It was a little embarrassing when we got to Bally's and I could not make a withdrawal.  It did let me get out 100.00.  Enough to play some poker. 

It was tough to play short stacked.  I saw some opportunities that I would have liked to have tried a bet, but I didn't want to lose what little money I had.  I was about out of chips when I got an AK.  In my head I thought I have to play this to the end whether I hit or not.  The other guy put me all in on the flop.  I think he had QQ.  I hit an ace on the river to stay alive.  I got a double up with AA shortly after that.  After a couple hours of play I was ready to head back to the hotel.  I was getting really tired.  I cashed out with 10.00 less than I had started.

It was a fun walk back to the bus station.  There were all kinds of people wandering the strip.

The next day I called the bank again.  They said they had frozen my bank account to see what had happened with the withdrawal where I hadn't gotten any money.  Great! I thought, another day without poker.  I paid for lunch with my Credit card so I could get some cash to play around with.

We went all over that day checking out different sections of the strip and downtown, drinking along the way.  When we got downtown they started gating everything off.  We went to walk out of Freemont casino and were told we needed to have a wrist band.  I was o.k. with that.  Then we got outside and it was all kinds of crazy.  It took us 30 minutes to try to get to another casino through the gates where they were wanding everyone.  We didn't get through so we went back into the Freemont. 

We asked one of the Hundreds of Police officer's there what the deal was.  He said it's First Friday.  Must be a big party day downtown.  It wasn't my cup of tea.  We got out of there as quickly as we could.  Drinking + Law Enforcement = All kinds of me going to jail.  I was getting an attitude pretty quick.  They were walking around acting all pissed off and it was affecting my good time.  It was time to go.

When we got back to the hotel I was able to withdraw some money.  I had been without for too long.  I blew that over the course of the night.  The next day I was able to withdraw again.  We were sticking around the Riviera that day so no poker again.  Over the course of the day I went through that money as well and was able to withdraw again after 9:00.  I played late into the evening with that and was able to bring it home.

When we first arrived we were disappointed to see that the Riviera had taken out their poker room.  Part of our quest for the rest of the week was to see where we are going to start staying.  We really liked the location and layout of Harrah's. 

Next time I go out I will have cash in pocket, and will play a lot more poker.  I think I am going to try to make it out during the WSOP next year. 

Monday, September 30, 2013

Full weekend

Friday night I got permission to go play at a local game that I had been invited.  It was a rebuy tournament for the first 2 hours.  I was playing tight but got outdrawn on the river to get busted out for a lot of chips at the end of the rebuy period.  I bought back in but busted shortly after break.  My live poker skills have diminished terribly. 

Saturday we had our nephews 3rd and 4th grade football game to go watch an hour and a half away.  On the way home we saw several tarantula crossing the road.  The first one I saw was about the same size as my hand. 

We stopped by some friends house out in the country.  It was a really nice place and had a great outdoor area with lots of decking and a pool.  We sat around visiting there while the boys got to ride a 4 wheeler and pet some horses. 

We needed to get back to town as our friends from OKC were coming up for the fundraiser dinner that evening.  We got back right after they had arrived.  Everybody was a little tired so we sat around until it was time to get ready for the dinner.  We were all pretty pumped about the night out without the kids, a steak dinner and some alcohol.

They had an auction after the dinner.  Everything was selling well above regular price, and it was fun watching people bid each other up.  Towards the end of the auction they brought out plates of cooked steaks for auction.  One of our party was making fun, saying that they are getting a little crazy if they are selling already cooked steaks.  My wife said that means it's almost time to go.  She raised her arm and said woo hoo.  The auctioneer pointed in our direction and said SOLD!  At this point my buddy is freaking out.  He doesn't know what his wife just bought or for how much.  He just knows that everything has been going extremely high.  When they told him he paid 25.00 for a plate of ribeye's he was quite relieved.  It was our joke of the night.

Later at the bar, his wife was getting a little wild and kept raising her arm.  There was a bell right above her.  If you ring the bell, it symbolizes that you buy the whole bar a round of drinks.  She got lucky this time and missed the bell.  It was quite a night.

On Sunday, I took a 5 hour nap.  The last week had caught up with me.  When I woke up, I logged into some tournaments.  After a lot of play I was bubble boy in 3 different tournaments.  It was pretty ridiculous.  The last 1 I was sitting in 6th with 13 left, and 11 getting paid.  I had KK and called all in on a J high flop.  The other guy had QQ and hit a Q on the river.  I usually fold hands like this preflop near the bubble because I lose there 99% of the time.


Tarantula Crossing the Road

Thursday, September 26, 2013


Last night was one of those nights you just put behind you and move on.  After working late trying to get way too much accomplished at work, I was exhausted.  My wife was out of town picking up diapers and formula, so I lay on the bed and tried to get a game of FL Badugi going. 

There was nobody joining so I fired up a game of Omaha Hi/Low.  My lows would not get there and my hi's kept getting drawn out on.  It wasn't pretty.

I am taking a break from tournaments for a while.  They take a lot of time, and I have been feeling too tired to put that much time in this week.

My wife brought home Chinese.  It's a treat since we have to go 25 miles to get it.  We ate and decided to go to bed early.  I haven't slept well the last couple nights.  My shoulder has been hurting from playing a volleyball tournament over labor day weekend.  Instead of going to sleep I decided to see if I could manage to win back any of the money I lost in Omaha, playing NL Holdem.  I loaded up multiple tables and got to work. 

In an hour and a half I had AA once, and ran 2 full houses into 4 of a kinds.  At the end I did get some money back, a total of 26 cents.  I'll take it.  It was all thanks to a last minute heater I went on.  I was glad i played out until the blinds.

This weekend we have some friends coming up to attend a fundraiser dinner with us.  The house is a little bit of a mess and we have a lot of cleaning to do by Saturday.  There's an overwhelming amount to do at work as well.  I stay busy.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Wednesday Weigh In #5 - Las Vegas In 1 Week

This last week I slipped a few times with some larger meals, donuts, snacks, and lack of exercise.  That's probably why, when I stepped on the scale this morning, it said 213.8 instead of 212.

With one week left, I am going to push hard to try to reach my goal of 210 pounds.  It hasn't been too hard getting to this point, just a little change in eating and drinking habits, some studying on weight loss, and a little more execise. 

I have noticed a little change.  Mainly in the mid section of the body.  My handles are dissapearing.  Nice!  I can look straight down and see my feet.  Whhhaat?  My step is a little lighter and my back hurts a little less.  I feel a little more energetic. 

I thought 210 would be my ideal weight for my 6'3" height.  Maybe if I was ripped.  It's pretty close.  I still feel like the belly sticks out a little too far.  I don't know that I'd want to get much below 190.  I look at some of my high school and college pictures and I was pretty scrawny.  I want to still be a little intimidating.

Next week at this time I will be in the air on my way to Las Vegas.  There is a lot to do at work so it will get here pretty fast.  I'm ready for the Vegas tourist lifestyle.  Gambling, poker, buffetts, drinking, wandering around and checking stuff out.  We don't have anything planned.  I am hoping to meet up with Grrouchie at some point during the trip. 

My other friend and his nephew will be arriving out there before I do.  They should have a shot poured for me by the time I get to the hotel and checked in. 

After the shot, it's downstairs to the poker area for a little poker play.  If they don't have a game going, I'm going to go find a game.  I want to start this trip off right.  The last couple of trips have involved very little poker.  It used to be all about the poker.  The last few times those pesky slots have been trying to take our money.  Darn them and their mini games. 

I would really like to get into a couple/few tournaments.  With the Wynn being fairly close I may try to get in some tournaments there.  Last time we were in town we tried to hit up some of our old smaller tournaments.  We would sit there and wait and the games would never take off.  I played 2 sessions of poker the whole trip.

Exciting times are ahead. 

Monday, September 23, 2013

The Poker Maximus Series Is Over - Time To Settle Back Into The Norm

The Poker Maximus Series is over.  This weekend was crazy with poker.  I played games that I hope I have a chance to take a shot at again sometime when my bankroll gets larger.

We went to the high school football game Friday night.  Our team lost but played well against a team that looked very good out on the field. 

Saturday I got up and started playing NL cash.  I had a pretty good run and felt confident that I would do well in tournaments the rest of the day.  I played a ton of tournaments.  It didn't go to great.  I only made 1 final table in the PL HO where I finished 2nd.  That still left me down for the day.  I got in another tournament and played some HU SNG's while I was playing it.  I got talked into playing at higher stakes than I should have, with a player that I kept beating.  When the dust settled I was up a couple hundred dollars after hours of playing.  I was in 1st in chips on the tournament, with 3 tables left.  I was the table bully, and was doing really well, until I fell asleep.  I finished in 14th place. 

Sunday was Main Event Day with 6 Main Events going on and the 4000.00 guaranteed game.  I might have pushed it too hard on Saturday, because I wasn't wanting to play too bad.  I still played.  I was doing o.k. in the 2.20 and 215.00 games.  I couldn't do anything in the others and busted out when the blinds got high enough I had to push and pray. 

I lost the 215.00 game when I took a chance and raised AK suited from early position.  I got 2 callers as usual for that table.  All low cards and 2 of my suit hit on the flop.  I pushed hoping to get the other 2 players out of the hand.  I got called by big blind who had QQ.  My A K or other suited card did not fall.

In the 2.20 game I got to rolling right after we got into the money.  I doubled up then doubled again right away.  I became 2nd big stack at the table.  Then I ran into the big stack with JJ.  He was directly to my left and would re-raise me every time I raised.  This time I shoved my stack.  He called with K 2.  The rest is history.

I played fairly solid in the Maximus Series and had some semi-deep runs.  I cashed in most of the Maximus tournaments up until the end.  The last 2 days were a little harsh.  Luckily I had bought into most of those games with tickets. 

Now that the series is over and I have taken my shots, I will settle down again for a while.  At least until next week when I leave for Las Vegas. 

It will be back to playing after 8:00 on the few games I can get into.  Back to familiar territory with familiar faces (avatar's), with some extra poker thrown in on the weekends when we aren't doing somehting else.

Friday, September 20, 2013

I Love A Rainy Day

There were clouds rolling in last night as I got off work.  The air temperature was dropping as the wind slowly died down.  We were planning on going to the Jr. High football game.  They had to reschedule due to the rain and lightning. 

I cooked supper, then played around with the kids for a little bit.  Around 8:00 I decided to see what was going on in the poker world.  There were a few tournaments I could still get in.  I also registered for a 10.00 NL cash game.  The 3.30 PL HO game was over as soon as I started.  I had to re enter and lost again just as quickly.  My hands just would not hold up.  I got in a 2.20 game.  I also got in a 5.50 game. 

We reached the money in the 2.20 rebuy game first.  I had a middle of the pack stack when I got pocket jacks.  The big stack called my 3 bet with an A5 and caught an ace on the flop.  I checked waiting on him to bet and then raised him trying to get him to go away.  He called.  We checked it down from there and I lost a large chunk of my stack.  The next hand I had AK and went all in.  I was called by QQ and eliminated in 14th place with one tournament remaining.

I was disappointed that I did not reach the final table after getting so close.

The 5.50 game had 15 minute blind levels so I was able to wait for opportunities to play.  I eventually made it into the money on that game as well.  As we worked up the pay scale, I was also increasing my stack.  When we got to the final 2 tables I was 9th in chips.  We got down to 12 and I was the 2nd lowest stack.  I could have skated into the final table but was hoping for a double up and a shot at the win for close to 400.00.  I ended up getting it all in pre-flop with 10 10 to the big stack's 9 9.  He ended up catching a straight to the 9 on the river eliminating me from my last hope of the night to make a final table.

On a night I wasn't going to play, I was able to make a few dollars.  It was nice to have a couple good runs.  I have the taste of 1st still in my mouth and as I got closer, I started salivating.  Then it was taken away.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

200th Post!

This is my 200th post.  So far my poker adventure the last year has worked out.  I have learned a ton.  I still have tons to learn. 

This is what I have learned in the last year.  I suck at NL Cash.  My results are negative stellar.  I would love to be good and play somebody like me.  I am o.k. at SNG's.  It is not a very profitable game for me.  Tournaments have had the best results for me.  Breaking that down further, tournaments with long blind levels and deep stacks have shown the best results.

Over the year I have tried many things to help me to make a buck at online poker.  I paid for and downloaded poker tracker software.  I'd be lying if I said this did not help out a little.  Mainly to improve my play by seeing how others are seeing my play.  It helped my see what percentage certain hands were winning and losing and the amount I have won or lost with those hands.  It also helped me see that I do not belong at a NL cash tables, unless I'm just there to have some fun.

I tried Table Tracker out for a short time.  It wasn't a big help since there were so few tables to choose from in the first place. 

One thing that has helped out a lot is getting a subscription to Card Player Magazine.  There is a lot of technical writing in there that has helped me to improve my play and see why others have made the plays they have.  It's nice to get some new ideas once in a while from people who know what they are doing.

During this last year I lost rakeback on Carbon, and decided to switch to Lock to get rakeback.  It seemed like a sound decision and was working out really well.  I was getting rakeback, deposit bonuses, and cashing in on points.  In the course of a couple months I was building my bankroll quickly and looking to move up to play games I have never had the opportunity to before.  That all faded as I heard rumor they would not be doing cash outs any longer.  I hit the cashout button in August and it still has not processed.  I went back to Carbon as there are still players saying they can get money off there.  It just takes a long time. 

I took advantage of the deposit bonuses and attempted to grind enough hands at the lowest limit to get me to the maximum tier I could reach in a month.  The VIP points did not help my upside down graph that is supposed to show my earnings.  I decided to try something new.  I would just play for fun and not worry about making or losing money.  I got back into tournaments and SNG's and started making a profit for the 1st time in almost a year except for my stint playing on Lock.  My bankroll was growing again and I was playing the games I love. 

As the Maximus Series got closer, I decided to pre-register in a bunch of tournaments.  I told my wife that I would be disconnected for a few weeks from family activities on the days I played.  I had tried the rest of the year to play late in the evenings as it was getting close to the kids bedtime, so that I could still do family things.  This opened me up to play some longer blind level tournaments, that I felt that I could do some good at. 

On the first Sunday I ran well in all of my tournaments and finally cashed in the 4 digits.  The next couple days my streak stayed alive and I final tabled a few more tournaments, increasing my bankroll even more.

Since my winning streak I haven't had a lot of success.  I have made a few semi deep runs in tournaments to keep my bankroll even. 

I have considered withdrawing some of my roll.  It sounds like I may lose the bonus I have going now if I do so I will wait until I clear the bonus.  I am going to keep enough money on the site to play up to 5.50 tournaments and SNG's and 4.00 NL cash.  I know, I know, but I have to get better at cash sometime.  I have years of tournament experience and now I have close to a year of cash game experience.  One of these days it may start paying off.  Plus, I can play shorter sessions at cash, giving me more time to spend with my family. 

If it was all about poker, I'd be all about tournaments.  I'd lock myself it a padded room and play hour after hour.  Fortunately for me, I have already committed to having a family.  They have put up with an extraordinary amount of poker for the last year, quite ofter pulling me away from them.  It's impossible to balance the two.  I have to follow my dreams.  If I give up on them I will become a shell of a man.  I have had dreams fade away, this one has taken others over.  I may not be playing next year, I don't know.  I have taken year long breaks from it before.  It defines who I am now.  I'm a poker player - fisherman - husband - father - business professional - fun guy - etc.  Not necessarily in that order.  One of my dreams that I have fantasized over is for poker to provide some trips for me and my family to exotic locations around the world.  I understood then as I do now, that this may be years in the works.

When I hit 400 posts, I hope to look back and say that I'm glad I put all of this time and effort into this game.  Looking back 200 posts, I can say today, that I am glad I put all of this time and effort into this game. 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Wednesday Weigh in #4

After a week of not doing so well on my diet/excersize, I was happy to see that I am now down to 215.8 pounds.  With 2 weeks left to go I am still on track to reach 210 pounds.  I will have to do a little more than I did this week in order to get there, I feel.  I have changed my eating habits.  That is helping the most.  Last night I cooked my normal 3 cheeseburgers for supper.  When I got done with 1 I was full, so I put the rest in the refrigerator for later.  In months past, I would have at least ate 1 more just to eat. 

I thought hard about running last night.  After the day I had at work, I decided I was going to play some poker even though I had planned for a break for the night.  It helped me to get my mind off of work.  The kids were playing the xbox right next to me so I didn't get in any games that I would have to concentrate too hard on.  I played a bunch of 6 man super turbo's, heads up's, and finished the night with some cash games as my wife came in to watch T.V. with me after the kids were in bed. 

I started out losing, then losing, then losing some more in the sng's.  It was like the rest of my day.  I could get all my chips in with the best hand and see the runner runner flush coming.  Then it changed, just like that, along with my attitude.  I went on a winning streak.  I went from being quite a bit down to being up a little.  I thought about quitting at that point, but felt that I had been playing good all night, so I continued.  The streak continued and I had a good profit for the night.

In 2 weeks, I'll be leaving for Las Vegas.  Tonight I have a poker Maximus game, I have 2 on Saturday and 6 of the Main Events on Sunday.  We have quite a bit of football to watch on Thursday and Friday nights.  The weekend after this we have a dinner we are going to.  My schedule is booked.  I've got to keep myself busy.

Monday, September 16, 2013

The Brakes On The Van Didn't Need Changed

After all the delaying I have done the last several months I found out that the brakes on the van did not need changed.  Saturday morning I pulled the tire off the passenger side and there is more than half a brake pad.  I put the tire back on to check the other side and saw the same thing.

I thought it was strange that they should need to be changed so soon.  A rock must have gotten wedged in the brakes making that horrible squeaking sound a while back.

Friday night I goofed around and played a few sng's and tournaments with a friend.  Neither of us had any luck.  I was playing a poker maximus PL Omaha game and finished 31st in that as one guy got extremely lucky to catch the 2 cards he needed to beat me on the turn and river.  It seemed like I was going to easily make the final table.  I had the made hand, but then the absolutely horrible play of this guy takes me out.  Boo!

I had a couple other decent runs in Maximus games this weekend including a 36th place in a 2.20 holdem game. 

I barely played Saturday, but on Sunday I played quite a few games.  I started out well in several of them then would run into some ridiculous play that would hit by a big stack at my table playing a hand like 4 6, calling my re-raise with AA and him catching a 4 4 6 on the flop.  Wow!

Tilt may have caused me to quick exit out of a couple of games.  NL cash games were going well and I was up 23.00 in those at the end of the night.  I had one decent run in a Maximus game at the end of the night, to break even for the weekend.

I am thinking that where I play in the house is affecting how I play.  I heard that it takes 25 minutes once you are distracted to get back to the concentration level you were at before you were distracted.  My big wins have came when I was playing at the back of the house away from any noises.  I felt fully focused and was able to play well.  This weekend I played in the front of the house and even though I had the door closed I had a couple people come in to get something.  On top of that I could hear the doors opening and closing and crying and talking. 

Since I didn't have much luck on the tables last night I was able to get to bed early.  There's always a silver lining.

This week I don't have a lot of games scheduled for the Maximus Series until the weekend.  I will probably just play Wednesday night and spend the rest of the evenings with the family. 

Friday, September 13, 2013

The Brakes On The Van Need Changed

There was a Junior High football game last night.  My nephew is the starting quarterback for the team so I went to watch him and the team play.  It is fun watching them as they play together well.  It was out of town and was almost 9:00 by the time we got back.

We got the kids ready for bed, then I fired up some poker.  I was still able to get in the 1.10 Maximus game, it had an hour of late registration left.  There were some big stacks already when I registered.  I was able to double up pretty quickly.  About an hour and a half later we were getting close to the money bubble.  I had AKo and called a raise from early position.  They checked on a 9 high flop and I pushed.  They called with a set of 9's.  I was played.  It was mainly due to my late entry and trying to build my stack.  I still had a ton of play left with the long blind levels and should have played the hand differently.

While I was playing that game I also loaded up some NL cash.  I was owned in those as well.  Every decent starting hand I had was called down with crap and then they caught.  I was down a few buy ins in cash.  I moved to a different level and played for slightly higher stakes.  The hands I have gotten the rest of the week started coming and I was able to clean house for a few rounds. 

At the end of the night I was up 1.00.  I WIN!  The streak continues.

This weekend I am going to play all weekend and cap the weekend with an entry to a 215.00 game.  I have a couple of tickets for these that need to be used before I lose them.  With the way I have been running this seems like the best time to use one of them.

First thing tomorrow, I am going to change the brakes on the van to get that out of the way.  Then I'm going to run.  I haven't ran in quite a while.  I have had a couple opportunities to go after dark.  For some reason I'm scared to run at night.  Maybe its because the deer tried to jump on me or the dogs have tried to attack me.  It just feels all wrong.

I'm getting excited about our upcoming Vegas trip.  Wait.  I've been excited about this trip all along.  It has been a long wait.  The Maximus Series is taking a little bit of sting out of it.  With less than 3 weeks, I feel like it will be here in no time.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Magical Week Of Poker

Last night I was going to change the brakes on the van and go for a run.  Once I got home I got my tools ready to change the brakes, then went in to log off my Maximus game I had registered for.  It was a 2.20 game with 10 minute blind levels and 7500.00 guaranteed.  It was too good of a game to pass up. 

My wife said that I can change the brakes this weekend if I want so I left the game pulled up and found a few others to get into as well. 

The other games sucked.  I lost with trip aces on the flop in one, and played pretty horrid in the others losing in them shortly after.  I was still doing o.k. in the Maximus game, and had time to get in another set of tournaments.  I loaded 2 more tournaments and 3 NL cash games.

By this point I had around 30.00 invested in tournaments.  The cash games went really good and I got up by 3.00 on each of the tables after a couple hours of play.  I was getting fairly deep in a couple tournaments so I logged off those.  Once I got into the money on the Maximus game I struggled just to stay in the game and work up the ranks to get a better payout.  I finally went out in 78th place to break even for the night.  

That left me with the 5.50 500.00 guaranteed game remaining.  There were 30 of us left and 17 got paid.  I had gotten lucky against the big stack and caught a full house against his 3 of a kind to give put me in the top 3.  When we got to 3 tables I had figured out the big stack and was adding quite a few chips to my stack from him.  He was taking them just as fast from all the other players.

We reached the final 2 tables and he got moved to the other table.  I watched as a player on the other table worked him down and took him out.  I finally had playing room on my table and went to work building my stack.  I was in 1st when we reached the final table. 

I maintained my stack and took a couple shots at the short stacks throughout the final table.  When we got to 4 left I called an all in from the short stack with A8c.  He had A10o.  He doubled through me.  The next hand he doubled again through the new big stack.  He now had a monster chip lead.  Play didn't last long for the other 2 at the table.  We were heads up.  I had 40,000 chips to his 350,000 chips.  I was determined that I could come back from that as I was still sitting with 20 bb's. 

We battled back and forth and I had worked up close to 100,000 chips when he raised his normal raise.  I had 65o and thought if I hit with it, it would be disguised well enough to take some more chips, so I called.  The flop was 2 3 4 rainbow.  I checked and he led out a fairly large bet.  I went all in.  He called and had 4 2.  A 4 fell on the turn and put me out in 2nd place.

The last 4 times I have played, I have finished 1st or 2nd in a tournament.