Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Planning Vegas

It's time for me to start planning my yearly October trip to Las Vegas.  It has became a tradition for my friend from Ohio and me to meet up in Sin City once a year. 

His favorite hotel and casino is the Riviera, so that is where we usually stay.  This year will be the most expensive stay for us out there.  Part of it is because we will be staying through the weekend.  We are usually out there through the week when the rooms are less expensive.  We will also be getting seperate rooms this time, as his nephew is coming out too. 

I'm all about getting more bang for my buck.  The less I spend on the flight and hotel gives me more money for gambling and food.  I decided to get a little creative now that we have Southwest at our airport. 

I signed up for a Southwest card to start getting reward points to use towards some free flights.  The initial offer for signing up is enough points for 2 free roundtrip flights after you spend 2000.00 on the card in 3 months.  That won't be hard for me to do.  I can pay for everything we normally get with the card then pay it off after each purchase.  It is also through my bank so it will be easier for me to pay it off each time.

Usually I am willing to sacrifice a couple of things to get a lower price.  This time however I am going to pay the price.  I could leave a day earlier and save 125.00.  I could fly a different airline and have a layover and save 75.00.  I want a direct flight and want to spend my time there rather than in another airport or on a plane.  With a non stop flight it will take me 2 1/2 hours to get there and I leave and get there at the perfect time of day for me.  The layover flight is 7 1/2 hours.  I'll pay for convenience this time.  I must be getting older. 

I will also opt out of taking a bus to the hotel this time and take a cab.  We'll see once I get there.  I'm still a little cheap.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Knock Out

It was a long day at work today with month end work that needed to be completed.  I seem to be the go to guy when there is any kind of issue.  It makes it hard to get my own job done.  That's o.k. though.  It keeps me busy and I find out what all I can really accomplish if I put my mind to it.  I couldn't believe everything that I got taken care of this evening once everybody left for the day.

I got home around 10:00 and really wanted to play some poker.  I didn't play last night since I got home late then as well.  There was a 2.20 knockout game that had just started.  There wasn't much else that wouldn't take me all night to play, so I loaded it up.

I got 7 knockouts and ended up finishing 3rd for 37.00 plus some change.  There was some luck involved early on, and I made a call that I would ordinarily fold.  It worked out very well and got me a good stack early.  Then I got placed on a table with a guy I knew would go all in with anything.  I waited my turn and called when I got a decent starting hand.  That doubled me up. 

At the end of the game, I would work myself up then blind back down against the final 3 players.  They were monster stacks compared to mine and were playing hard against each other.  They just couldn't take each other out.  Then they started working against me.

I'm happy with a 3rd place finish against 330 entrants.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Productive Poker Day

Today was a poker marathon that started out with me getting in every 1 2 or 3 dollar tournaments I could.  At one point I had 9 games going at once.  It was going ok as I made 2 final tables, a 5th and a 2nd, early and won a 9 man sng.  I was a little above break even at the half way point of the day.  Then I decided that I was only going to play a few tournaments and give myself a decent shot at the 3.30 HO tournament that I finished 5th in last night. 

The 3.30 HO game was going good as I had some lucky breaks and held the chip lead for quite a while.  When we were down to 2 tables I took a beating by the short stacks and ended up being in last place by the time we reached 7 left.  I got the cards I needed to pull back into the lead by the time we hit the final table. When we were 3 handed I chased a open ended straight draw 10 J.  I held KQ and thought I had outs.  At show down I saw her aces.  I didn't have as many outs as I thought. 

We were all even at that point.  The other two swapped chips a few times but couldn't take each other out.  In hold'em, I got AK and was raised by the big stack.  I re-raised and he went all in.  He had AQ and flopped AQ.  I was dissappointed but should be happy about my third final table of the day. 

Unfortunately none of them were for 1st.  I still had a profitable day.

In the future I am going to limit the number of short blind games I will play.  I am going to try to play the games with 10-15 minute blinds.  Those are the games I keep getting to the final table on.  I did have a 12th place finish today in the 1000.00 guaranteed 1.00 rebuy game for 13.00.  I should have made the final table on that game but the blinds were eating my chip stack and I had to make a move or blind out. 

Friday, July 26, 2013

Less Play Better Results

Tuesday night it was just me and my daughter at home.  My son had his final swim meet so my wife and other son were out of town for that when I got off work.  I didn't play any poker so I could keep her entertained.

Wednesday night I decided to see if I could continue my streak of good play.  I loaded a few too many games to play effectively.  Fortunately the buy ins were inexpensive.  I got in the 50.00 freeroll, the .10, .25, and .50 rebuy, and the .06 rebuy.  I also got in the 2.20 badugi and the 2.20 100.00 guaranteed.

I tried to lose out of the freeroll quickly but doubled up twice with horrible starting hands.  The .06 and .10 games were the same way only I doubled with better hands.  The other games there was not much happening.

I decided to continue with them all.  I lost out of the badugi game first when I had an aggressive player catch a low badugi on the river to my made 9 badugi.  He was betting into my 0 draws and got lucky.  I should have raised on the first draw.  I paid for playing incorrectly.

I was soon out of the .06 game and freeroll.  I was getting close to the money in the .25 and .50 games when I pushed AK into pairs on both games.

I was left with the 2.20 100.00 guaranteed and the .10 game.  I was in 1st position when we reached the final 2 tables on the .10 game, but I went majorly card dead.  I still won a few blind steals to keep my chip stack.  I was around 10th when we reached the final 2 tables of the 2.20 game. 

I made it to 5th in the .10 game before I finally pushed with 22.  The other 4 at the table were sitting with 4 times my stack at this point.  I was called by JJ.  I took .99 for my effort.  I love final tabling, even in small tournaments like this. 

In the 2.20 game I continued to play and we were getting close to the bubble when I got AK suited.  I raised and was raised by the short stack.  He was all in.  I called.  He had KK.  An ace hit on the flop but he ended up catching a runner runner flush to put me down to 2.5 bb's.  I went all in shortly after with K7 suited.  I was called by 95o.  He caught a 5 on the flop and I never improved. 

I have been playing just for fun this last month and it has helped my bankroll out quite a bit.  As soon as I start trying to make money, I don't.  If I play for fun, I seem to do a lot better.  I think that staying away from the cash games has helped me out a lot too.  I lost a lot of money at those and needed rakeback to have a chance at making money.  I also have reached some of my deposit bonus and cashed in some of my VIP points.  I have only been playing when I really have time to play.  I have played less days than I have taken off this month.

I am enjoying the deep runs I am getting.  I am considering using my 215.00 ticket this Sunday since I have been playing well.  I also have 150.00 in free slot play at the casino on Sunday, so I may go there and see if I can cash enough out of it to sit at the 1 3 NL game in the poker room.  There's also a live tourney in the area that runs at the same time. 

I have quite a few options, but I'll probably go with the free 150.00 and another shot at the 1-3 NL game.  I can get in the 215.00 game on a different Sunday.  It's hard for me to go to the live game on Sunday as that's the 5.50 deep stack, as well as any other tournaments I can win tickets for.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Tournament Win

Monday night I was itching to get in some more tournaments.  My semi-deep run Sunday night had me ready to try again.  This time I only loaded a 2.20 knockout tournament and the 2.20 100.00 guaranteed with 5000 starting chips and 15 minute blind levels.

In the knockout game I knocked out 3 players to get a little more than my money back.  As the blinds raised quickly I was soon playing for my tournament life.  I ended up losing before I reached the money.

The 100.00 guaranteed game was going well at that point.  I hadn't had to make any tough decisions as the blinds were increasing slower than I was increasing my chip stack.  I would fold any questionable holdings and wait for better opportunities. 

When we got down to the final 2 tables I was chip leader.  I continued to play cautiously, while looking for good spots to take down a pot.  There was plenty of time to wait on a hand as I had well over 100 bb's.  We made it through the money bubble and to the final table.

I started playing a little more aggressive, but there was one other player that started playing really aggressive.  We made short work of the rest of the table.  At three handed we worked over the short stack.  There wasn't much he could do. 

When we reached heads up I was a 2 to 1 dog.  I wanted the win and we had lots of blinds so I played very patiently.  I eventually caught a flush on the turn and doubled up through his trips as he had to slow down his play to keep me in a pot.

I turned up the heat once I was chip leader.  The final hand I had QQ.  He raised and I raised.  He raised again and I went all in.  He thought about it a bit before calling all in with JJ.  The board missed both of us and I won, collecting my 44.00 prize.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Bubble Bubble Bubble!

Saturday my wife was out of town with the baby.  I had a chance to play some tournament poker.  I hadn't played much the last week and needed most of my 100 points to get into the 50 free seats to the Big Ticket on Carbon.  That morning I loaded up some cash games.  I did o.k. and was a little ahead by the time I got my 100 VIP points. 

I got into a couple 33.00 ticket tounaments trying to get me a ticket for one of them but didn't have any luck with that.  I also tried to win some 11.00 tickets and got chased out of those games.

When the free seats game started I concentrated on just that game.  I really don't remember if I was short stacked or big stacked at all in the event.  I know when it got down to bubble time, I was sitting o.k., and didn't have to play.  I did make a play at the short stack and got them to fold, causing them to go out shortly after as the bubble boy or girl.  I felt a little like a jerk, but if they would have called my raise, they would have had a good chance of beating me and lasting to get a seat.  It's poker.  I'm bubble boy in a ton of tournaments myself.  Somebody has to be one.

I now have another shot at the 215.00 tournament that I was bubble boy in last time I played it.  That hurt as it was a 450.00 bubble.  Sometimes I should make sure I get into the money then go after 1st place.

On Sunday I tried my luck at more tournaments.  It was ugly as I played the 5 min blind level type tournaments that are played by half of the players like an all in or fold tournament.  I went out 2 before the money in a 5.50 tournament when a guy making an obvious blind steal called my all in.  His Q3 dominated my pocket K's when he hit 2 other Q's on the flop.  Love those KK's.  By 2:00 I was ready to play a real tournament with deep stacks and 15 - 20 minute blind levels.  I got into the 5.50 4000.00 guaranteed tournament on Carbon.  I really like this game and opted to play in instead of the 215.00 game. 

After the 1st hour I was still sitting on 10000 chips.  Nothing had really happened.  As we were starting the 2nd hour I decided that I was going to make something happen or lose and go play a local live game that was starting.  Not long after that I had AA and had a player pot raise and get called by 2 limpers.  I did a pot raise and the inital raiser went all in.  The other 2 went all in as well.  I called.  They had QQ QQ and K10.  My aces held and moved me up to 50000 in chips and 5th place overall.  I was in it for the long haul now. 

At the end of the 2nd hour I had lost a 10000 chip pot when I ran AK into AQ.  I was in 17th with 42108 in chips.

The 3rd hour was unproductive and I ended the hour in 66th with 43296 in chips.  There were 590 players left out of the original 1400.

In the 4th hour I started out winning several hands then had a player go all in on a K high board after I raised pre flop and post flop with my AK.  He had 10 10.  The turn and river brought clubs to give him a flush and cost me a 45000 chip pot.  He donked those chips away within 3 rounds of play. 

Right after that I got moved to the worst table ever.  I had 3 big stacks to my right that were raising every pot.  I couldn't find any spots to play and did not have the cards to come over the top.  They weren't folding to anything from the other players and were showing down good hands.  All I could do was wait for cards or the table to break. 

At the end of hour 4 I was in 194th place with 263 remaining and left with 263 in chips. 

In the 5th hour I doubled up twice and was thinking I had a good chance at a deep run.  I got dealt an A10 and raised.  The bb called.  Flop came A 9 A.  I bet a little over pot and he goes all in.  I called quickly.  He had 8 10.  The turn brought a 7 and the river brought a J.  Sick.  I finished in 129th place for 12.95.  I was break even after a whole weekend of playing tournaments.  I should have been happy, but I wanted a better score.

I got on another couple 1.00 tournaments and made a final table in one of them finishing 5th for 7.00.  One person at the table literally would go all in or fold.  He built up a monster stack doing that.  I doubled through him once but got burnt at the end when I called his all in with 22.  He had JJ.  OOPS!

I felt a little better after that game since I was up after playing all weekend.

Last night I played the local game that I finished 2nd in the week before.  This time I ran good at the start but couldn't do anything when it counted.  I lost AJ all in when I was called by the short stack with 10 10 .  The next hand I was in the BB right as the  blinds doubled putting me all in exactly.  I had 2 callers trying to make me bubble boy.  I didn't look at my cards.  The blinds were at 2000 4000 with a 500 ante.  We had started with 5000 in chips and there were still several of us left but all of us were all but out.  Neither of the other players paired the board.  I turned over my first card.  Nothing.  I turned over my second card.  Bubble Bubble Bubble!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Playing A Lot Less

I have continued to play sng's with a few tournaments thrown in here and there.  I have eeked out a 15.00 profit so far this month.  My play has diminished considerably.  I now only play about an hour a night.  I've realized that my concentration level drops considerably after that.

With my full workload lately I am exhausted when I get home.  I have taken on a new role at work and will be handing off some of what I had been doing to others.   This should be good for me in the future, but for the last couple months has kept me extreemly busy, learning a new position as well as training a few other people. 

I will have access to a couple of live games now so I may not be online as much.  The casino is only an hour and a half away.  There is also another weekly tournament I was able to get into.  This week was my first time.  It was a lot of fun and I ended up finishing 2nd this week to double my buy in.  I will look forward to it each week.

There are a couple other games in the area I could play in.  I feel that I have a huge advantage in live play against the regular live gamer's that I will be coming up against.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Sticking With SNG's

The idea of trying to be on the SNG leaderboard sounded good in my head.  As I play I am not into it.  I am playing to win and increase my bankroll.  I don't have the drive or the desire right now to play as much as I need to to get into the leaderboard.  I'm hovering around 200th right now. 

Last night went pretty well.  Usually I end the night and I am only up a few cents to a few dollars.  Last night I had a great run at the SNG's and finished being up 11.00. 

SNG's may be my only hope.  I have put in ton's of time at NL and did not get anywhere.  Tournaments have been o.k. for me but I do not have the time I need to play well structured tournaments. 

There are a couple games in the area that I am going to start playing live.  Buy ins are inexpensive which is what I need since I have a small live bankroll.  If I play my cards right I can use that money to make enough to pay for my trips to Las Vegas or a casino closer to here.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Live Poker

This weekend I decided to go to our closest casino.  It was an hour and forty five minutes away.  I played some slots and lost.  Then decided to step into the poker room for some 1 3 NL. 

The table was aggressive.  For the first couple hours, I got nothing for cards and when I did attempt to play I would get pushed right out of the pot.  Finally I got pocket 2's and min raised out of position.  Five players called.  A 2 fell on the flop along with a 6 and an 8.  I bet 2 bb's.  Everybody had been paying attention to my tight play and folded.  Except for one sleep deprived guy.  The turn was a 10.  I bet about half pot and he called.  The river was a 10.  I thought about checking to get him to throw out a bet, but judging from his previous play, he would have checked so I put out a pot size bet.  He called with a 10 J.  I finally won a decent pot.

Another hour went by and I didn't do much but lose a few chips.  Then a hand came up.  I had pocket aces and the table aggressor raised.  Everybody folded up to me.  I considered raising but he has been folding to 3 bettors some and I wanted this hand to play out so I called.  Everybody else folded. 

The flop was a 3 5 J rainbow.  He led out 25.00.  I figured he had the J or Q's or K's.  I didn't put him on a lower pair with that bet.  I raised him to 50.00.  He sat staring at me for 10 minutes before he finally raised me all in.  I called.  Before we got our cards turned over the dealer was flipping the last 2 cards.  I saw the Q on the turn before I saw the other players hand and thought I was probably in trouble.  I looked at the other players hand and saw his pocket Queens.  The hand had played out like I wanted it to.  I was all in with the best hand, it was just unfortunate he cuaght a 2 outter.

I told him nice hand and left the casino.  I have played 1 3 NL twice now and have ended both times exactly the same way, losing my pocket aces to pocket Q's to the table aggressor.  This time it was a 500.00+ pot.  The first time it was only about 100.00. 

It's only 1 hr 45 min to the casino but it seems like such a long drive.  If it was closer I would go there weekly to play.  I may have lost 150.00 this time, but feel that I could do decent in this game, most of the time.

Friday, July 5, 2013


Since I had the day off yesterday and no plans, I decided to play some poker.  Since I have not been playing lately I loaded .11 SNG's.  I was winning pretty easily, then I thought to check the SNG leaderboard.  I was 3rd on the Streaker list after winning 5 straight sng's. 

A friend and I had talked about a year ago about this scenario.  I had told him that if I ever had a good streak early in the month I was going to play a ton of sng's and try to make it in the top 25 on the sng leaderboard.  I was in 429th place when I checked yesterday morning.  By the time I finished playing that afternoon I had moved up to 134th place.  There are a lot of points between me and 1st place. 

There are 3 of us now tied with 5 straight wins.  I doubt I will stay on the streaker board all month, but I think a top 25 finish in the SNG leaderboard is definitely achievable, and if I play well, I should even be able to bring in a small profit.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

How Out Of Shape Am I?

I saw somebody running down the street yesterday and it made me tired.  I am out of shape but I am a little better now that we have moved 500+ bails out of the field and into the hay barn.  On the 3rd day of moving hay I was feeling a lot better and more energized.  My body needs excersize.  I feel better when I excersize. 

Why can't I get motivated to start running again?  I enjoy it when I start.  I think of the initial pain to my knees and my back.  It's inevitable.  I will feel pain.  My body has been through quite a bit and it comes back to haunt me.  I wouldn't change a thing though.  My life has been good.  Sports were the highlight of my younger life.  They helped shape me into who I am today.

Still, I feel the need to sit on the couch and not move at night.  My job is not physical but it is mentally taxing.  I feel exhausted when I get off work.  Somehow, I need to find a way to go to bed earlier.  During my poker kick the last year I have went to bed later every night.  Now I'm not playing as much.  Now I need to change my habit of staying up so late.

Last night I decided to play a little bit.  I loaded up a 3.30 PL HO tournament.  I had fun in the early rounds stacking up a pile of chips.  It's crazy how people will chase with their full stacks in Omaha when you have had the made hand over and over again at showdown.  I made it all the way to 7th place before those chasers finally caught 3 times in a row to send me to the rail as the bubble boy.  I was feeling good about my Omaha 8 game so I got on a cash table.  After a little over an hour of play I was up a little.  Nothing to brag about.

It's nice having my evenings free again.  Baseball and Soccer were taking up a lot of my evenings.  I don't know what I'll do with myself now.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Machine Pitch Tournament

What a fun weekend!  It started out with machine pitch on Friday night.  The boys lost the 1st game and were going to have to play a lot of games to have a chance to make it to the finals.  Saturday morning they came out ready to play.

The first game was close but they pulled out a V.  The next game was close and we never could pull ahead.  We tied it up in the 6th inning.  That sent us to an extra inning.  We held them and when we got up to bat we had a runner and 2 outs when my son got up to bat.  He hadn't been batting great but I thought he might be able to keep us going. 

The first pitch came and he crushed it deep into outfield.  He got our runner home and made it to 3rd base.  The game was over and we were moving on.

The next game started out looking bad.  We were down 7-0 in the 3rd inning.  Then we put together a 5 run inning.  By the 6th inning we were able to tie the game sending us into a 7th inning.  They scored 1, then we scored 1.  In the 8th inning we held them to 0.  We got 2 runners on base and my son was up again.  I saw his stance at the plate and said, "We got this."  He crushed one out to the fence and got an in park Home Run to win the game and send us to the next day. 

I was pumped, as was everybody else in town.

The next day we came up against the team that beat us the first night.  They were good and no matter where we hit the ball they were there and getting us out.  Even if we crushed one into outfield they would catch it.  Our baseball year is over.

My son, as well as the rest of the team,  made huge improvements throughout the year.  I'm excited about next year.  Now it's on to Swim Team.  They have their 1st swim meet this morning.