Saturday, March 28, 2009

Well, that was certainly a most unlucky trip to Vegas - for me, anyway. April did quite well, at least until we got to the airport. Her wallet may be fat but that burn is gonna hurt for a while! Let's hear it for idiotic coffee shop employees and ignorant airport security people!


A majority of my time was spent at MGM playing 1/2 NLHE...

Tuesday night, I was fairly unlucky but playing well. I was down a buy in after two ugly QQ beats. I made it out before the river, but the damage had been done. Lesson learned: 6x BB preflop raise, not enough at these tables.

Wednesday, I was getting killed. I found myself all-in early with KK vs KK, only to get flushed out by a 4-flush onboard. Sound familiar? Just like the QQ at Majestic a few weeks ago... there goes another buy-in.

Mind you - I don't push all-in preflop with these hands, but when someone comes over the top of me for all of it preflop, it's not likely that I'm going away... KK Quandry be damned.

By dinner, the donkeyfish were in my head. I was down 2 1/2 buy-ins on the trip, and having not been up for a single moment to that point, I was feeling run over. I'd succumbed to passive, scared play and I knew it.

April and I headed to dinner at the American place in NY NY, and between her and Randy on my texts, they screwed my head back on straight. My losses weren't unrecoverable, and tomorrow was another day. Wednesday night, I played 3/6 limit with April so I could have a few drinks and just chill. Straight-up math based decision making is actually relaxing to me :) That table was crazy too, and I was splashing around playing way too many hands - but I knew it couldn't ding me for any more than my $100 buy in, so I enjoyed myself a bit.

Thursday, I went back to NL ready to play my game - and play my game, I did. I made good reads on people and made some good plays. I felt good about my game on Thursday. Still, for the 11 or so hours I played, I still ended the day down 2 buy ins, finishing off the rest of my trip bankroll and leaving me fairly despondant over the whole ordeal.

While I would certainly change how I played for the last couple hours before dinner on Wednesday, it didn't cost me much more than walking away would have. I've soul searched for quite a few hours since Thursday night, and there isn't a whole lot I could have changed. I tried beating myself up over my play, but for the most part, I don't think I could have done much better. To illustrate my luck, the one set I flopped with a pocket pair (out of 17 pocket pairs held preflop), I got flushed out by a guy that had called my preflop raise with J4 and my flop bet with bottom pair, four's. That's just how it went. Too many calling stations and not enough players that played close enough to the rules to be "predictable."

I do have a few plays that I've stored in my memory banks as notches on my belt - good reads and good plays with good outcomes that I am proud of myself for. After spending hours dissecting the bad outcomes, I'm going to move forward focusing on the good.

Variance be damned, right?

April and I took a short break from the tables Thursday to check out the dolphins and baby cats over at Mirage. I forgot my good camera in the hotel room (I know, duh... the one thing I wanted to bring my camera for!) but took a couple pictures and videos with my camera phone. They will suck but I will post them anyway! I uploaded the video to YouTube yesterday and it's still not showing. Maybe it was too large. I'll have to check. Java, the baby leopard, is friggin adorable!

We also checked out Mirage's poker room (3/6 limit) and I was not impressed. The chairs were uncomfortable, and the tables were the old ones with no cup holders. Our particular table had been leaned on so many times on the player side that it was permanently slanted away from the dealer. I guess playing at MGM spoils a person... though I may need to find a different "nice" poker room, because I realized this week that as much as I love playing at MGM, I've had a grand total of one winning session there that I can remember. ONE. That's not a very good ratio. I've probably played there more than a dozen times.

Even more baffling is that I'm continuing to have really decent success at the online .50/1.00 NLHE tables. Yeah, me. How bizarre is that?

Ahh, well. And so it goes.

Oh - we didn't play at Excalibur's digital poker tables. We did stop and look at them and... well, it looked like playing online. After watching a few hands, I really had no desire to even try them. I don't go to the casino to stare at a computer screen. I go to play cards... with actual cards... and actual chips...

Another random note... I've been having so much friggin trouble with Postgres SQL and Poker Tracker that I think I'm going to give up on it and go buy Poker Copilot for the Mac. All I really want are basic stats and the HUD, and I can get that on the Mac. PT has better stats, but it runs dog slow for me, when it runs at all. So, back to Happy Land! Back to the Mac!

I'm off to concentrate on this 90-player SNG I have running on Full Tilt. I'm 3rd of 16 and top 9 places are dancing happy. I'm working on becoming a dancer.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

I'm gearing up mentally for a Vegas poker trip next week. What does that mean? Mostly, trying to forget how horrendous work has been this week, and how awful it will be when I return to likely hear that our CMS could not be restored from its recent crash and database corruption incident.

Nope. Those things will soon evaporate into the ether as I slip into my Happy Place. Temporarily, at least.

I plan to print out some tournament schedules. Any suggestions? I prefer NLHE tourneys that aren't complete crapshoots. Is there anything going on lately in Vegas with a decent structure? Low-stakes... like <$150 buy in... Suggestions welcome!

Mostly, though, I'll probably play the $1/2 NL cash games... likely at MGM. Any suggestions for a good 1/2 game at other casinos?

I'll probably try the not-so-new-anymore electronic tables, since I'm staying at Excalibur. Hey, it's close to MGM and for $41 a night, it may as well be the most luxurious suite on the Strip! I'm curious about the dealerless tables, but I have a feeling I will prefer having a live dealer (for the same reasons I prefer sitting at a live game over playing online). You just can't replace a good dealer. Sure, maybe I'll see a few more hands per hour at an automated table, but the personality of a dealer, the crowd control aspects that dealers offer, heck... just holding actual cards and shuffling actual chips... I'll try it out, but I doubt I'll favor it over having a live dealer.

I'm playing a tournament on Full Tilt Poker right now... an actual, 700+ person tourney. Haven't played one in ages. I've done lots of 90-seat SnG's, but haven't hit up a real MTT in a while. Maybe I'll get lucky :) I rarely have enough time to commit to these tourneys, but this evening is a wide open space full of whatever the heck I want to do. I thought of napping.

I don't really have any plans for my trip, other than to play poker :) Tues-Fri, March 24-27. I may go so far as to dig up some poker room reviews and maybe expand my horizons a bit... or not. I am, after all, a creature of habit.

Ya know, I've seen this situation on TV a zillion times, but just now experienced it for the first time: there's a raise, a re-raise, and a third raise in front of me. I'm holding AA. No way you're all outdrawing me. All in. Fold fold fold. Not a bad outcome.

Cash table, not the tourney. Folding a lot. It's funny how at one table I can be at a 33 VPIP while at another I'm at 13, all in the same session. LOL! Actually, I'm at 15, 16, and 33 over 5o hands at each of 3 tables. :)

As I mentioned in a previous post, I was trying out Poker CoPilot for the Mac. It's decent, but not anywhere near as robust as PokerTracker. Of course, PT's Mac version will likely never come out. So now, I'm testing out the latest PT, running Windows as a virtual machine on my Mac via Parallels. It's OK. PT gets a little sluggish at 3 tables and won't even run at 4 tables (well, the HUD won't run, which is my main concern). But, as has been established previously, it does some great number-crunching.

So we'll see what happens when this trial ends. I'm not yet sure which way I'll go. Do I forego the awesome number crunching for the joy of running flawlessly smooth under Leopard? My main desire is for the heads-up display. We'll see.

Here's a little bit of a poker nugget that's been around for a while, but that I've just finally come to know as true (and exploit). Back in the day, I spent a whole lot of time slow-playing when I flopped big-ish hands. I thought, "I don't want to scare them away!!" Of course, occasionally this is a reasonable approach, when it's unlikely they're holding anything they can call a bet with, and a free card is unlikely to decrease the value of your hand. But most of the time, especially at these low limits, you're giving your opponent way too much credit to think that betting actually scares them. They aren't that sharp. If you're holding what will be the likely winner, bet away. They'll call anyway. Only a few are strong enough as players to lay down top pair or two pair. They will call. Make the extra few bucks while you can (cuz a few hands later, you'll get sucked out on by that same calling station phenomenon!) :)

I am quite proud of myself right now. I just bullied the table captain out of a hand. Even better, I think it's a girl. Ha. Take that. Don't f with my raises, beyotch. TYVM, JJ.

My mouse hand is getting sweaty.

Tables are getting frisky. People are doing some whacked out stuff. I'm in push or fold mode in the tourney.

2nd break, I'm 224 of 331 remaining, 25% or so under the average chip stack. Not bad for seeing hardly any flops! Chip and a chair, baby.

I am curious. When my heart feels like it is beating in my throat, can you actually see my throat throbbing?

226th out of 1,170. Not bad I guess. No $.

Damn it! The best fish just got busted off my best table!! Nooooo! And my other table has turned over and a bunch of short-stacks sat down. Booooo. Methinks it is break time.

Farewell for now!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Is it any surprise that of the money I lost on the ring games tonight, more than 100% of the total loss (offset by some winnings) was with AA, KK, and QQ?

Nope. In one case, we were all in preflop and I was crushed (that was the QQ - up against KK). In the other two cases, I was pushing hard on undercard boards to players that flopped draws... and caught on the end. One could argue that they shouldn't have been in the hand for the 4xBB raise in the first place, but at the low limits, not only do a) players not know what the heck they're doing, and therefore can't be expected to play "properly," and b) raises look like a paltry amount of money anyway. A 4xBB raise, even at a 2/5 game, looks a lot scarier than $4.

And so it goes...

It's supposed to hit 70 degrees here in Chicagoland tomorrow. Have I ever mentioned that I despise Chicago winters? Tomorrow, I will be on cloud 9, and today's brutality on Full Tilt will be a distant memory...

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Can't beat a nice little hit n' run... Full Tilt ftw!

Vegas in 13 days and counting...

I'm re-reading Gus's book, since a few of his one-liners were serving me well until I forgot them. (Read Harrington's Vol 1 on cash games, then made the mistake of playing limit for a few sessions... how quickly the bad habits return! Like a reflex...)

Ya know, I feel like I play decently regularly on FTP, and I only have 13k points. I want a friggin FTP hockey jersey. Granted, I spent 10k or so points or so at one point, but sheesh. STILL not enough for the jersey? Can a girl catch a break? I coulda bought the jersey 10 times over by now, or hell - they're all over eBay. But I want to EARN one!!! Pipe dream...

I can't find my battery charger for my tag-along camera and it is pissing me off.

Now, bed.

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Sunday, March 01, 2009

My friend Ed made the money in the Saturday night tourney at Majestic last night. Haven't heard yet how he did.

I treaded water for a few hours and left down $18...

23 days till Vegas....

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