Friday, December 30, 2005

Late night witterings

Crashed out of 3 mtt's making the top 100 in all but not the money.Tightened up when I was in the top 5 but it was painful folding K10 soooted and seeing a huge pot go down with a hand I would have won.Happened a few times.Though my luck had changed when I won all in with AK v KK but later some goof tried to steal my blind with a min raise.I had KK and put him all in ( 6th at the time).He called with A7 and hit on the flop.

Ok here's a wee hand from last night to show off my maniac side.Ok so I only called a $1 and got lucky but hey its a sweet hand!

* Game ID 391342387 starting - 2005-12-30 02:09:39
** Viera [Hold 'em] (0.501.00 No Limit - Cash Game) Real Money

- Acornman sitting in seat 1 with $151.65
- speakhorse sitting in seat 2 with $99.75
- ccripcc sitting in seat 3 with $309.58
- slowcoaches sitting in seat 4 with $60.00 [Sitting out]
- Dynnjansmakt sitting in seat 5 with $388.61
- unreal666 sitting in seat 6 with $325.16 [Dealer]

Acornman posted the small blind - $0.50
speakhorse posted the big blind - $1.00

** Dealing card to Acornman: 8 of Clubs, 4 of Clubs
ccripcc folded
Dynnjansmakt folded
unreal666 called - $1.00
Acornman called - $1.00
speakhorse checked

** Dealing the flop: 7 of Hearts, 6 of Diamonds, 5 of Clubs
Acornman checked
speakhorse checked
unreal666 bet - $2.00
Acornman called - $2.00
speakhorse folded

** Dealing the turn: 10 of Clubs
Acornman checked
unreal666 bet - $4.00
Acornman raised - $8.00
unreal666 called - $8.00

** Dealing the river: 2 of Spades
Acornman bet - $18.00
unreal666 called - $18.00
Acornman shows: 8 of Clubs, 4 of Clubs
unreal666 mucks:
Acornman wins $57.00 from the main pot

At one stage I was playing the Laddys $4k turbo Crapshoot,Interpoker turbo $3k gtd ( $11 fee) and Pokerroom $5 mtt all at once.

Ran out of time and ended up checking down trip tens on the Laddies table on a ragged board.I had good hands on both other tables and a smoke under construction.Got my bets some respect!

Down $30 tonight in tourney fees but really enjoyed a different type of challenge.

Last night I won a few $$ but I can see clearly that while luck has not been with me I've made some right donkey plays too.

I call a raise with A10 ( hmmm!) and raise the villan when he makes his continuation bet on a 4 7 10 rainbow board.This was 6 max nl with position so the initial call wasn't way off track and so far so good.He reraises me for $20 and I ......should be out of there quicker than Juice gives up his blinds but I make the worst move available and call.Blank turn and river later and its game over as he shows JJ to take it.

Obvious staring me in the face stuff certainly.It almost like going back in time to when I started and only concentrating on my own hand,barely glancing at the board and trying to will the pot over to my side of the virtual table because I'm damn well owed it.

I may have made some donk moves but its bad luck thats cost me and thats got to change sometime so instead of patiently waiting for the right moment I'll blunder blindly on into the abyss and hey you let the clock run down.I now know for sure your bluffing now.Where's the all in button?

There are tells online.If you tune into the betting patterns at a 6 max table you can pick up plenty from the time taken to bet and obviously bet sizes.See who lets you into the pot or draw cheaply and who denys odds and make life tough.

Check and see if the villans are multi-tabling too.More likely to give up their blinds and only raise with the goods.

The "raise any" button is interesting on some sites too.Villan bets preflop and I call with KQ.Flop comes giving me top pair and a straight draw.I bet and he reraises so quickly he must have used the auto option.I'm fairly sure then he has AA but the auto raise button only raises the minimum so I call knowing I'm behind but with odds and in the knowledge even if I do hit he's going to find it hard to let go and I could end up calling his all in.

Doesn't matter what happened. Ok you know I made the straight and took him out but his laziness cost him his stack.

Ok its 2.25 am and I aint even gonna read that drivel back before posting it!

Football tomorrow then friends come over for Hogmany.Should be a fine night.Oh and musn't forget flowers for Mrs A.Six years since we met just after the bells at New Year and I only wish I'd moved in sooner.

Here's a couple of ancient Chic Murray jokes a'fore I go...

•My girlfriend's a redhead. No hair. Just a red head.

•I drew a gun. He drew a gun. I drew another gun. Soon we were surrounded by drawings of lovely guns.

Have a good one and don't forget the Irn Bru for the hangover...

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Day after Dadi

Firstly a big thanks to Tripjax and Jordan for arranging last nights DADI tourney.A real pleasure to take part.It was 2am UK time and my only working day over the holidays was today so I'd decided on a fast n loose strategy.Managed to donk off almost half my chips by limping and hitting nothing and living up to the tourney name by drawing to outs I doubt existed!

Then despite the late hour I reverted back to normal mode.It was like when I used to join my Mum at the play money tables.At first I'd have fun and go all in a lot then even though I never ever play with play chips anymore I'd tighten up and want to win pots not throw them away.Silly when its only play chips but I must be more competitive than I think.

Anyway I did tighten up and ended up crashing out to Dnasty when his 66 held up v my AK.No complaints though as I did get to drop the hammer in the hand before when my shortstack all in move stole the blinds.

Enjoyed the play and the chat.Looked up Lady Falcon 's blog this morning as she was next to me and I'm glad I did.Well worth a look.Very well written and unlike when they write "hilarious" next to second rate comedy shows in the tv section of the paper her stuff really will make you laugh out loud.

I've only played live at Cardrooms twice but her descriptions apply worldwide not just in the US.
Check it out.

Before the blogger game I had been up $41 at Ladbrokes when I joined Juice,The Edge and Rosie ( hope your cold is better today) for some pokery fun at the .10-.20 nl tables.I'm sure I spotted Butroz at a 6 max nl table at the weekend.Hope nl is still treating him well.

I played ok but my poker game is still not at its best despite my attempts to blog my way back to my A game.I had AK and after raising prelop bet in to an A 3 5 flop only to get raised.Not much of a read on the villan as I was too busy chatting but I reraised thinking at a .10-.20 table villan could have anything from AJ to A6.When I was reraised back my instincts were to fold to 2 pairs or a set but I fell into the poker ego trap of treating it like a pissing contest and had lost my stack to quad treys by the river.

Was in bed for 2.45 am and up at 08.30 for my only day at work until the 9th Jan.Got the grandson staying tonight as well as Step A's wee friend so it'll be a busy house tonight.

I will manage to sneak some pokery goodness into my evening too.I'm going to look for good value Multi-table tourneys to play as they are a welcome change of pace from nl cash games.
My brain feels a bit frazzled from all my 2 and 3 tabling of the 6 max tables and tourney always seem more exciting due to constantly having to adjust my strategy according to numerous variables
I feel very inexperienced in some situations.I managed to go from Chipleader ( 300 left from 800 in a $3k guaranteed) to bust in record time and was very unsure of how I should play it.I tried to bully a bit and steal blinds but ended up getting invloved too often and in future will maybe try and bide my time better.

When I tried that last time though I went from a top 5 position to being back in the pack within a few orbits! Investing in a decent book such as the Dan Harrington one I've heard good things about is one way forward.Did anyone check the watch internet poker link from yesterday? They are now showing Mtt's and its great to get a better idea of what kind of hands people play and how they play them.

I may also play a satellite or two to try and get into the bigger tourneys.I've only ever played one as I'm a tightass and it seems such a long route to go down to qualify I never bother but I'd love to play in Pokerrooms next Grand Tourney or a 1/2 million game at 'Stars.

Go fry da fish!

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Post for my records. Year End Figures

Up $50 tonight at a .25-.50nl 6 max table.This post is for my own records and also a timely reminder to myself that I can play this damn game and I'll not be surrendering to bad luck or my own weak impluses to catch up on recent losses.I'll not push second best hands too hard,slow play my way to disaster ( too often) or play so weak passively I want to throw up.I will not play either if I don't feel in the mood or I'm so tired I can hardly focus.

I will take it on the chin,sook it up and come firing back.I'll be even more patient and willing to wait to pounce than ever before.I'll trust my reads but back off if they don't feel strong enough.

Sorry if that read like Gloria Gaynors new song.

Ok here's the boring record keeping part.Hope it helps clear any last traces of that stuck feeling from my pea sized poker brain.

Please move on to the most excellent links on the right...

From Nov 20th till today I'm down $154 or $234 inclusive of an $80 gift voucher xmas present.

Current scores on the doors are $636 at Ladbrokes ( $56 up currently tonight) , $1365 Interpoker and $708 Pokerroom. Total of $2709

Total profit after 1 year was $4239 .Bankroll stood at $2637 after cashouts.

$2709 -$2637 = $72 + $1500 withdrawl ( Nov 20th) + $80 voucher = $1652 profit for Nov/Dec 28th.

Total profit since 1st deposit on October 31st '04 = $5891

**Edited Feb 12 th '06.Checked back to October 28th post and realised I'd not subtracted my initial 1st year deposits from total profit.

Highs n lows

Played for 6 hours last night at Ladbrokes and Interpoker for a whopping $8 profit.I played a few Mtt's for a change of pace and managed to get quite deep in a couple but not to the money.I learned my lesson from previous posts and pushed with my JJ with 82 left ( top 40 got paid) but ran into the chip leaders AQ and he hit a Q on the flop to send me packing.

Moved to Interpoker to see if the poker gods would be kinder to me there and found the answer initially to be no!

To be honest I hope yesterdays post didn't seem to be laidback about my downswing.Sure I can be as philisophical as I like about it but I was feeling on a real poker downer.Almost as if I could do no right at the table and every decision was either wrong or cursed by bad luck.

I managed to reach a new low at Interpoker losing $360 in a couple more hours of poker hell before taking a break and telling myself to forget pathetic self pity,get a fucking grip and start playing MY game again.

Its strange but I still find it it hard to describe my game at 6 max accurately.I'd like to think I'm more than just a camp for monsters player but recently I've found when I try to dominate the wild tables I'm at or match the constant aggresssion it just doesn't suit me.At a passive table perhaps but when I get too fancy too often I pay the price.Playing very tight poker at 6 max almost doesn't feel right with all the family pots and big bets going down but as I won my way back up the ladder last night I realised apart from some terrible luck I really hadn't done myself any favours with my play either over the last few days.

There's a state of mind I deem as patient which comes nothing close to my usual actual patient tight state of mind.It didn't seem like I was being loose.Its 6 max.I have A8 and probably the best had so I'm raising 4bb.Its loose so I get 2 callers and miss the flop but bet out and get raised.I reraise and get raised again.Ooops.

On my normal game I limp unless on the button or cut off with only the blinds left and yes if I hit an Ace or 8 I may bet or raise but otherwise I treat A8 like the average hand it is and not like I've found the holy grail.

I also watched some more live ( 10 min delay) Internet poker.Here's the link for anyone interested.It shows the hole cards of online games and are showing an MTT just now.Go to the link and click "Watch Pokerzone" to see the show. Internetpoker live
I mention that because one aspect of the game I'm working on is betting amounts.I wont change my basic "bet big or go home" mantra but its important to judge how much will buy the pot at the table of noone has much of hand and to risk more than required.Watching the $2-$4 nl on the pokerzone has helped me here.

Back to my session and the turning point was a marginal hand at a 6 max 0.50-1nl Interpoker table.I'd only been playing one table at the time and had the player to my left down as a maniac loose player who liked to raise with any 2 painted cards.These are usually my favourite type of player to play against but in my fragile mental state I was feeling wary about putting my stack on the line again for any odds even if they were in my favour.

He raised it to $11 preflop and I called with AJ suited. Flop came 10 7 7 and he bet out $13 into a $24 pot which seemed weak to me.I also doubted he had the 10 or especially the 7 and reckoned my call would slow him down.My table image was tight at the time and I hadn't been seen to put any money in without a hand so that was also a factor in my thinking.I went all in and he called with KQ and with blanks on the turn and river I took it down and the villan left whilst 2 other players told me "well played" in the chat box. Was it though? Was I in that pokerzone where everything is clear and I'd outfoxed the villan with my cunning genuis?Had I actually been a bit loose and tilty and been lucky the villan never had a pair or even AQ instead of KQ as KQ is one of only a few peflop raising hands I could have been ahead of?

Before that hand though I honestly contemplated quitting the game I've been hooked on for over a year now.I felt sick to my stomach over some of the luck I'd endured and hobbies are supposed to be fun not misery after misery.

Part of me still hates my self pitying tone.If I cope with winning $1k in one night then I have to learn to cope better with losing $800 over a few nights.Maybe if I had a naturally easy come easy go attitude to money I'd be a better player but I usually find my strong chip preservation tight ass qualities help my game not hinder it.

After the hand described above I really started to relax into my natural game.Recent losses can feel like a huge weight on your shoulder.Every small win is put in context against that -$800 and getting out of the "chasing" mindset is not easy even if you feel free of it.

I did turn a $360 deficit into a $27 profit at Inter and that felt sweet .Hell I even had an early night and was tucked up in bed for 4.30am!

Lessons from the last few days?

1) Variance can be nasty

2) tilt can be more subtle than all out chip dumping.If you think your being tight and patient is this really the case? Be honest with yourself.

3) Calling down a couple of bluffs doesn't mean you've been declared Sheriff and every big bet from now on is a bluff which requires calling.

4) It's a thin line between poker genius and poker chumpery.

5) Don't play when hungover,very tired,looking to kill time or in either to negative or too cocky a frame of mind.If you don't feel like playing then don't.

6) Start with one table and get to know it first before opening another.

7) take breaks to keep your concentration focussed on the game.

8) In cash games there's always another hand.When you slow play trip Queens and the river brings a possible straight and the villan who has been calling until now suddenly goes all in think about it before calling!

9) Don't get too emotional.I've noticed myself clenching my fist when winning last night.After the last few days thats possibly understandable but a cold clear ( well smoke filled) head usually allows me to make better decisions.

10) fuck it.Just go all in with any two cards.Works for those fishy fuckers I've been playing...

On other stuff saw my Grandson Josh last night when Mrs A's boy ( 26) came round.Strange being a kind of Step Grandad at 33 but the wee man is very cute and very funny and it was great to see him again.Mrs A's boy is in the army based in Cyprus.He was in Iraq but is due to come back to Scotland permanently from about April.

My mate Wee Stu is friends with him and indeed that's how I met Mrs A.Wee Stu took me to a Millenium party and after meeting Mrs A's boy I was then seduced by his mother and lured back to her den!( where I stayed till day before I was due back to work).

Going to watch the Merseyside derby tonight between Liverpool and Everton.Not really bothered who wins but ( sorry Mr Speaker) but an Everton win would mean Chelsea are in a strong position so I should probably go for them.Liverpool to win by 2 or 3 is my prediction.

Watched Rangers draw 3-3 with Dunfermline on boxing day.They equalised with a soft penalty in the 4th minute of injury time after there were only supposed to be 3 mins played! If that was the other way around the tims would have been demanding inquiries etc into it.But then they are paranoid aswell as bitter and smelly on the otherside of the city!

Got to work tomorrow.How crap is that.I suppose its only one day and I'm off until the 9th Jan after it but its still crap especially as the Donkeys Always Draw tourney takes place tonight at Pokerstars at 2am Gmt.See Jordan,Garyc or Tripjax for more details. I don't plan on playing what with work and all but despite the time if I am still up I'll be there in a flash as getting round the table with these guys is always a laugh.Good luck to all taking part if I don't make it and f.u. all and good luck to me if I do! ( thats the Xmas spirit eh)

Jings did I really write all that and more to the point did you just waste 5 minutes of your life reading it? If so then thanks.If not then go back read it over and prepare for government...

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Game of two halves

Hope everyone had a great Xmas.Mine was like the old football cliche "a game of two halves".
On the home front we had a good one.Seeing friends I hadn't seen all year and enjoying a Xmas meal out at Bar Milano with the family were the highlights.Mrs A bought me a poker table top amongst other stuff so looking forward to a home game soon.We did play Holdem last Friday at our friends but only a £1 tourney as the wives didn't know how it worked and feared losing the house,car etc despite me trying to explain the concept of a freezeout.All good fun and KK managed to kick me in the junk in a live game too.All preflop v.......AA!

Did I mention I've dropped $800 since Xmas eve at the tables? I thought I'd seen what the variance beeeetch was capable of but the last few sessions have really tested my love for the game.

I pulled off a few hand histories to show just how sick things have been but that's not what this blogs about so I'll spare too many gory details.I will mention losing to two straight flushes last night with an Ace flush myself,losing all in preflop with AK v AQ v a polite fish who at least apologised,KK going down to A4 after getting it all in on the turn and a rivered Ace ( he had nothing till then),QQ losing to 10 7 once again all in on a ten high flop the turn brings a 7 and for another $200 my money went in on the turn with a J high straight and the villan made his boat on the river when the board paired.

I'm sure we've all been there to some extent or another.I've looked at hand histories and I'm not
blaming it all on variance but I can't honestly say I've ever experienced anything like it at the tables.I suppose in part its a consequence of playing the wildest craziest 6 max nl tables.

Areas for improvement include laying down a big hands when beaten.Easier to do when running well for me which should not be the case.I've also been 3 tabling the 6 max and have been guilty of playing the cards and not having any decent reads before making major decisions.I didn't ever go into full blown tilt mode but I did loosen up to much at times after being kicked in the junk and thats something to be aware of.I hardly take a break when playing either which is stupid when playing 2 tables for hours and hours as one error in judgement can cause rapid stack depletion.

Most of these losses came at $1-$2nl and while I'm not changing my bet big style I need to be more careful when playing loose players who will call a decent preflop raise with any two cards.Easy to fold when they miss or take top pair top kicker to the cleaners when it hits hard.

I kept telling myself that its villans like Mr A4 who have got my roll where it is today and without players like him I'd be much worse off in the long run but its not easy when you have an $800 loss staring you in the face.

I hate posts like this.I'd much rather be posting about winning all the time but I'm not a bs merchant and if the sky falls in I'll post about it.

My roll isn't entirely crippled.I have $708 at Pokeroom ( includes -$80 for Mums gift voucher),$600 at Ladbrokes ( arghhh!) and $1337 at Interpoker.

I am going to be very careful though over the next few days.If the losses continue and I feel I'm not playing well then I'm going to take a break from it to clear my head entirely ( shouldn't take long!).

Apologies to Mr Edge who said hello to me at a Laddys table.I was in the midst of poker hell and 2 tabling so I hope you'll understand my lack of chat and hope you had a fine Xmas.That goes for all fellow bloggers and readers.( well Rosie the reader!).

All this downswing junk came after nearly falling off my chair laughing at Jordan's description of me as an International sensation! Made my day that did.Pity my poker and luck haven't been able to live up to the billing over the holidays so far.I'd love to play in the Donkeys Always Draw tourney but the only day I'm working over Xmas is Thursday so the 2am start is probably too late.For anyone not working I'd recommend getting over to Jordans blog and checking out the details.

Ok I'm off to sacrifice a goat for luck...

Friday, December 23, 2005

Xmas is coming....

I hate wrapping presents.I asked Mrs A if I could blindfold her and get her to wrap her own presents but she said no.At least I'm organised and bought everything in that I need.

Still to buy my Mums Xmas present but that will be easy.A gift certificate from pokerroom.Mum blew her first real money deposit so hopefully this one will last longer! At least as its a gift she'll be able to tell my Dad about it this time.

Funny how this time last year she was the one giving lectures about degenerate gambling and a year later she's taking phone calls in another room from Dad and whispering about her latest bad beat!

Had a good night at the tables last night.Interpoker had a prize draw if you played one raked hand.Ended up 3 tabling .50-1nl full ring and was winning $82 when it froze up and booted me.

Moved to Ladbrokes .10-.20nl table with the usual suspects and played through till just after 1am for a $23 profit most of which came from my loyal reader Rosie.I was drawing and Rosies bets were solid but I still think I had odds to draw to my many outs! Thankfully Rosie won it all back from Juice just before leaving.....which was nice!

$105 up for the night and quite pleased that I've managed to register winning sessions over the last few nights.I should probably have more faith in myself and not start to panic that one or two bad hits mean I'll never win again.

Read an interesting post at cardplayers forum from a player who said he had lost the will to play poker.I mentioned before I seem to take ages to start my sessions and I wondered if it was due to burnout or boredom with the game.I only feel that way until I start though then I love it as much as always.Lets face it playing one table and folding for hours isn't much fun even if you are following the action closely.Playing live with so much to take in and observe is totally different.

Playing 3 full ring tables last night kept me busy and my stats said I was seeing aprox 12% of flops.3 tabling also seems to help keep it impersonal which helps although trash talk doesn't bother me at the table.In fact I welcome it because it makes me feel I must be a threat to the trashtalker and if he's chatting he aint paying as much attention to the game.

Ok the posts will probably be less frequent over the next wee while.

Latest figures are Ladbrokes:$1399 Pokerroom $789 Interpoker:$1337

Pokerroom total wil be reduced after I send Mum her Xmas gift certificate.

Someone has just pointed out that if you google "Bitter paranoid club bankrupt of success" and hit the "I'm feeling lucky" button it takes you to the site of celti*c fc.How appropriate!

Rangers signed the leagues top scorer yesterday.Kris Boyd joined the Champions for about £500k due to him being out of contract in the summer.17 goals so far this season.He's a good bluenose too and the move must have made his Christmas.I'm only 33 and haven't given up hope of getting the call from Ibrox yet.Even if its just to polish the trophies....

Not long to go then off to the pub for our team lunch then up the road to Mrs A and the mighty midget.( as i like to call Step A).

Going over to see friends tonight and they want to play poker.Mrs A is talking about staying at home rather than chatting with the girlies while we play but I'm hopeful bribery may work!
She's had a couple of nights round at the neighbours recently and I've stayed in playing poker so not sure if she's making a point.She's got the painters in just now so that doesn't help her mood!

Righty time to head off to lunch.

Have a great Friday!

Thursday, December 22, 2005

The final countdown

Grinder left an interesting comment ( see yesterdays post) stating he believes when the poker boom is over No Limit will eventually die off as the fish will figure out its not for them.Actually part of the reason I mentioned ave pot sizes yesterday was to question why people would bother playing limit holdem at all! If average pots at $5-$10 fixed limit 6 max are aprox $40 but you can find .50-1 nl with the same ave pot why would you want to play with $5-$10 players when you can play with us fishies at the lowest nl tables and make more money?

The answer is probably that fixed limit is a totally different game and that its some peoples personal preference but if you want to make money no limit has to be the way to go at the lower levels.

No Limit holdem on tv is the reason for the poker boom.( no shit sherlock) Who wants to watch a fixed limit yawn fest.Where's the buzz? Where's the heart stopping moment when you have all your money in the middle with the best of it and are awaiting your fate? Where's the moment when you have to pick yourself up off the floor after losing with the best of it and show the character and willpower to play the next hand optimally? And the one after that if that hand turns out to be another bad beat?

I admire those that have the maths skills and knowledge fixed limit requires but its not for me.In terms of a poker game fading into obscurity I doubt limit holdem will but it will always be the inferior game to the Rolls Royce of poker and the daddy of all poker games...No Limit Holdem!

I read Felicia's post about the lack of other games available apart from Holdem at some venues and I think they will die first if anything is to go in the longer run.Maybe I'm just a cheeky newbie but I'm well aware that NL takes a lifetime to master and as I've only got one lifetime I've no real interest in learning omaha,stud,draw etc. If people want to play them thats fine but its Holdem that brought me to poker and thats what I want to play.

If that seems disrespectful to the other poker games so be it but as players like me are the reason for the boom I don't see the situation changing.Sure I don't want to see any form of poker die but I won't lose any sleep if its wall to wall Holdem from now on.

To last nights No Limit holdem and I placed 19th from 747 for $16.80 in Ladbrokes freeroll.I won a suckout when my A9 hit an Ace v QQ but generally played a very tight game finally going out when my 44 was busted.Once again I made a laydown I'm unsure of when I folded 1010 to a bet preflop from a player I knew little about due to a table move.I had 18k in chips,he had 26k.Lack of mtt experience doesn't help but despite the small payout it still felt great to have outlasted so many even if it was just a raked hands freeroll.

Moved to Rosie,Juice and Mr Edges table after that and had a great time there talking nonsense and winning chips.Rosie and I both had the hammer ( well Rosies was soooted) again and split the pot when we beat off another villan who dared to challenge the power of the 72 off.

The chat was great but got me thinking how we could use it more effectively.For instance Rosie seems a solid tight player who rarely bluffs so when she'd raised big preflop I said "nice bluff" hoping she would get action next time.

Mr Edge wrote about "this stupid game" just after a big raise and I was hoping he was hiding a monster and going to get called.Just as Mr Fish was about to call ( I had a virtual read on him!) Mr Edge started typing "Double me up " or something similar in the box and I was cursing at the screen.Hope you were bluffing Mr Edge!

Who says there are no tells on line.I was playing the other night at a 6 max table when a player who'd played every hand fairly quickly suddenly let the clock run down before raising.I remembered the old "weak means strong,strong means weak" adage and felt he'd tried to leave a dramatic pause to pretend he was strong.I called and was spot on.Felt great! Won't mention all my other failed reads.Thats no fun to write about!

Ok got my half day tomorrow then a team Xmas lunch followed by a night at friends later on.
Really looking forward to seeing Mark n Vics.Its been too long.

Ho ho ho .Just seen Juices latest post ( nice photo btw) where he calls me out as a spy and an evil acorn! I show him the light, lead him into nl and bankroll leaps like he has never known and thats the thanks I get!

Poker office? Why would I need that when your easier to read than a Mr Man book Juice? ho ho .

This is evil acorn signing off...

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Merry Xmas!

Just heard from my friend Mark that he and Vicky are back in bonny Scotland for Xmas which is great news as they thought they'd be stuck in Miami due to flight prices.Much consultation with the other halves ahead but looking good for a Friday night or Boxing day session of drinking,smokin' and possibly even poker.Sandy ( who was up for a poker lesson a wee while back) has been playing online and suggested we make it a poker night.Spoke to Mrs A and mentioned the poker element and she's fine with that.Nothing final arranged but I hope something is because we've not seen them for ages.Mark also reckons he will be up for the ROW v US Sunday sng's which will start again in January.That's good news because despite our 3-1 lead we've been short on numbers.

Played and bombed out of Laddies Racehorse freeroll last night before heading to a $5 turbo mtt which lived up to its name and was over quick style for me.

Two .25-.50nl 6 max tables were next on my agenda and I left after 2 hours up $31 overall for my nights work.

When you've won $1k in one night $30 doesn't seem much but when I thought about it I'd be quite happy to make an average of $30 a night every night I play.Even 5 days a week that would give me $600 per month or aprox £300 which would pay my car loan and petrol.I mention the above partly to try and convince myself.We all play poorly on tilt but there's more to tilt than full blown money down the drain mode.I've found myself pushing edges a little too hard and being more willing to gamble than usual in the last couple of days.

Mind you at .25-.50nl the standards are lower in general so sometimes you can go with a hand that would be folded at even .50-1nl. An example for the full ring would be KQ.At $1nl thats a very dangerous hand to call a raise with but at .25nl full ring because players play worse starting hands KQ can be a winner.

One issue I'm always on about is average pot sizes .I noticed Matt at pokerchronicles asking why bother moving up to $100 limit games and better players when he's crushing the $30 fixed limit game and on a much much smaller scale I'm kind of coming to the same conclusion.

I've never ever played more than a few sessions of limit holdem in my life and to be honest I detest it.All this pushing small edges stuff does nothing for me.I did some checking last night at Ladbrokes re average pot sizes at fixed limit games and was astounded by what I discovered.

$5-$10 Fixed limit 6 max games with an average pot of $37! Another was $53.

Even the $10-$20 fixed limit 6 max had only a $130 average pot size!

At the .25-.50nl 6 max tables I was at the average pot sizes were $17 on one table and $14 on my other one.The .50-1nl 6 max tables average ranged from $15-$28.

At $1.50-$3nl it ranged from $56-$97.

The NL $2.50-$5 6 max tables had a higher average ( $133) than their 6 max $10-$20 Fixed limit counterparts.

Now obviously I realised that No Limit tables would have higher averages but just didn't realise the difference would be so large.I don't feel so bad about only making $30 for 2 hours work when I think that if I was a $5-$10 limit player grinding out 1bb per hour wouldn't be making as much.

The differences in earnings potential are the reason I kept pushing my blogger friends Juice and Mr Edge to leave the lower reaches of fixed limit and take the nl plunge.Judging by Juices bankroll graph I think the move has been kind to him and when Mr Edges brushes off a few rough edges and gets some luck he'll be up there too.

Visited their table last night whilst 2 tabling my 6 max and although I was too busy to say hello ( not easy playing 2 tables of 6 max nl,rolling a smoke and chatting to Mrs A) it was good to see Juice with well over his buy in and the Chip leader by a mile being Rosie another Ladbrokes friend of mine( and reader!).Actually another reason for not sitting down was that at a .10-.20nl table I wanna play with the fishies and there were 3 decent players there I'd have to get past first.( and Juice!).

Hope to join them again at a table soon.Last weeks many hours working off my bonus almost felt like hard work compared to a Laddys .10-.20 nl table.

One hint I think I took from Tan Orpheus ( hope I'm crediting the right blogger) is that if you are going to two table then open and play at the first table,get to know the players and only then open up the second table.Tried that over the last few nights and its been a definite help.

Will Wonka's excellent aggression post has also helped my game since I read it.I still tend to belong to camp for monsters school of thinking rather than the put them to the decision school but thats mainly for 2 reasons.Firstly at the wild crazy nl tables I like there's no real need to try and do anything other than play solid poker ( with adjustments) and secondly because I think I'll probably always be more Dan Harrington than Doyle Brunson in my playing style a it suits my personality more.

Having said that last nights table were not particularly wild and I enjoyed ramping up my aggression as per Wills post.Poker players naturally have to be deceitful liars at the table and I'd like to think I'm quite a straightforward honest person in real life and I think it takes time to adjust to the right mentality when I first sit down at the table sometimes.I need to be more aggressive and start stealing more pots from postion.The problem is that at my usual type of tables someone will always play back and when your bluffing that can be costly.The other problem is forcing myself to start "making moves".When you've won your first pot like that and feel like you've stolen from the sweetie jar and got away with it then its easier to do again.

How do I manage to ramble so much about so little?!

Only 2 working days left till Xmas.I'll probably operate like the Glasgow bus service over the festive period.There could be days between posts then 2 or 3 will come along at once.

Now anyone thinking that Acornman couldn't think of a title for todays post and decided to use it to wish everyone a happy Xmas as way round this dilemma should be ashamed of themselves.
Seriously I hope anyone reading this and their families have the best Xmas ever and you all ( Y'all!!) have a healthy and happy 2006.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Tues Update

Better night last night at the tables.Decided to two table at .25-.50nl 6 max and made $37 for a couple of hours work which may not set any heather on fire but will more than do for me.

I had a couple of moments which made me think.I folded a set of 8's when I was sure the board gave the villan a straight on the river and looking back I think my hand may have been good.I'm trying to avoid donking off chips when I've not been at the table long enough to see how its playing.I say trying because my first hand was KK .I bet $4 hoping I'll look like a maniac,get a caller and chicken out of the continuation bet when the flop comes with an Ace.I folded to the villans bet.Weak maybe but I didn't want to start by losing my first hand.

Called down a couple of bluffs and noticed that at .25-.50nl 6 max bluffing seems to be very popular just now.Missed your draw? Just go all in on the river.

I'll probably stick to .25-.50 6 max for a while and try and rebuild my recent losses bit by bit.I did try and tell myself I should have more faith in my game and the knowledge I have.I worked in sales jobs since I left school until recently and sales reminds me of poker in that your only as good as your last sale.

The film Glengarry Glen Ross summed it up beautifully.( Al Pacino,Jack Lemmon '92).Sad but true that a girl who worked next ( about 8 years ago) to me taped it from tv and lent it to me to watch over the weekend and when I came in on Monday to tell her how great I thought it was we were told the girl had hung herself.She had underlying problems but the pressure of our job didn't help.At one centre meeting they wheeled in a fake life support system so we all entered the hall to take our seats to the sound of beep..beep..beep.This was supposed to show us what a critical situation we were in.Fuckin' laughable.

Back to my point....

In poker your not only as good as your last session obviously because we all know its about the long term but shaking that "I'm a loser" feeling after a bad session isn't easy even if you have a decent record over + 100k hands.Gaining too much confidence from a winning streak can mean complaceny and sloppy play creeping in so you have to be careful and strike a balance.

Did the last of my Christmas shopping at lunchtime.Bought loads of stuff from the Art store for the wee one.All sorts of creative stuff from glass painting to fingernail stuff all of which will probably remain under her bed whilst she plays her X box but you have to try!

Busy time just now with the holidays coming up.Visited my Gran last night to give her birthday present.82 and still going strong.She's the only grandparent I have left and I've tried to make more of an effort in recent times to visit more.I did voluntary befriending work with local kids for 8 years until this May and always felt guilty about devoting time to strangers and very rarely seeing my own Gran.

Only 3 days to go or 2 1/2 including my half day for our team lunch on Friday.Looks like we'll be asking friends over for Hogmany but still not decided 100%. Mrs A and I are going out on the town at least once over the holidays to celebrate our 6th aniversary of being together.I'll maybe suggest a casino....

Remember your abc.Always be closing...

Monday, December 19, 2005

Ring of Fire

Gonna need some gravel in my guts and spit in my eye to get over last nights two nightmare hands! I promise this won't turn into a blog of whinges and moans but hey its my space to let off steam so thats what I'm gonna do.

The first hand was a bit freaky because a couple of hours earlier I'd replied to one of Tripjax's posts where he wrote about limping with 10h5h,hitting a flush on the flop and losing to a boat.

Mine was similar only I was at a 6 max $1-$2 nl table and had called a $4 raise from the button with Qh7h .$4 was a very small raise for the wild table I was at but in hindsight I'm now wondering if I should have insta-folded instead.I felt Trip was unlucky especially as he limped but my reasoning was that at a wild table if I hit I could win a lot and if not it was an easy fold.

Board gave me my Heart flush and I raised big when the preflop raiser led out.He reraised me and I put him all in.The Ace on the turn gave him dem quad Ace beetches and my ass was handed to me on plate whilst my $200 buy-in was handed to the villan!

Maybe I shouldn't have been in the pot in the first place but poker is a game of opportunities aswell as cards and if I get a chance to see a ( relatively) cheap flop then hit it big I'll take it.

My next battle with the beast of variance came when I'd not been long at another $1-$2nl 6 max table.I get QQ and bet $8 preflop and get 2 callers. Flop comes 2 2 7 ( where's the hammer when you need it?) and I bet the pot and get 1 caller.Hard to put him on a 2 after calling my preflop raise.I know the table is crazy but I've not been there long enough to get a read on the villan.When the turn brings another 2 I'm sure I'm ahead probably v a lower pp.I'm hoping its the 7 at this point.I go all in after a J on the river and of the villan shows A2 for dem quad duck beetches!

Quads had crossed my mind in the second hand but I couldn't see lightening striking twice like that.

Not on too much of a downer about it.Didn't tilt at all and actually won back $30 before going to bed late about 1.30am.

I may not have tilted but the one topic I was going to post on today was concentration and focus.
I played Friday night whilst drunk,Saturday night I was hungover and yesterday played when I was very very tired.

I'm going to take more breaks during sessions and limit myself to playing only the lowest limits or not at all if I'm feeling too tired.

The concentration issue is more down to the hours I put in as much as any tiredness.After hours and hours of "playing the right way" its easy to let the discipline slip just to see some variety on the screen for some kind of excitement.Easy to tell myself I'm experimenting or trying out new tactics when really I've just loosened up as an excuse to see more action and get involved in more hands.

I'll certainly be paying more attention to whether I'm fully focussed or not.For now though I intend to play through my bad streak and keep up the introspection to try and plug my leaks.

If your going to play poker you have to learn to take the knocks.I'll probably learn more about myself and my game after a bad run than after a good one.

Thankfully the one part of my game I have got right is as mentioned after my previous nasty night my bankroll management.I still have over $3k online and thankfully enough to cushion myself against bad luck/judgements for the level I'm at.

Playing at 6 max high average pot tables also means the swings will be greater than normal too.If you can't stand the heat get out the kitchen.I'm just going to open a window and let some fresh winter air in!

On other stuff I read today that 25 million ( about 1/2 UK population) watched the X Factor and Come Dancing reality shows finals on tv.You sad sad people is all I can say.Get a grip! Enjoy life! Spend your life in a cupboard playing poker.You know it makes sense.

Saw another story in the paper about a woman who received a bill from a utilty company but bill was for the shocking amount of £21000 due to a computer error.How many times do we have to read crap like that? Mistakes happen.At least once a month there's a photo of someone next to their computer error produced bill looking glum and upset as if their whole world has collapsed.
Try going all in with a flopped flush and watching the board bring the villan quads!!! Then you can get your damn photo in the paper and look glum for a reason.

Not sure if Mark will be up tonight for our playstation fest.If not I'll be taking it easy at the tables.I'll probably play the ladbrokes raked handsfreeroll.Specially being renamed the raked hands $370roll just for me.

Poker motto for today is Tight is Right!

A wee funny from The Herald before I go..

Bible John being back in the news, a retired Glasgow detective remembers visiting a house in the Gorbals one night during the case's initial investigation. When he returned to his unmarked police car, a youth was behind the wheel attempting to drive off. The officer asked if there was any chance of a lift, being told "Aye, but ah cannae start the car with this key."
"Move over," the officer replied, "I've a key that can start any car." The young ne'er-do-well was suitably impressed when the engine started up. As the two car thieves drove along Caledonia Road, the younger one felt relaxed enough to ask if he could smoke. He was less relaxed when deposited at Central Police Office.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

1 week till Xmas

Friday night was a blast.Had my pizza and a then a good bevvy with the lads from work before getting the last bus up the road.I hate bus journeys when your bursting for a piss but thankfully I made it back home after an hour of going over bumps and craters on the road.

Snuggled up with Mrs A for a while then logged on for some poker.I was quite drunk so I played and bombed out a couple of $5 sng's before deciding to hit the cash tables.I played for 3 hours and made $30 or $20 after the sngs entry fees.The alcohol certainly loosened me up a little but along with a smoke by the time I finished I could barely see the screen!

Saw Rangers beat Hearts 1-0 at Ibrox yesterday and just had the pleasure of watching Chelsea beat Aresnal.With celt*c dropping points that makes it a fine weekend all round for football.

Played in Pokerrooms major player point $6k freeroll and came 129th from 748 just missing out on a small pay out.I was nearly blinded away when I pushed with J9 on a K 8 9 board.One caller with A10 hit his 10 on the turn.I need to learn to steal more blinds earlier to survive longer.

Made $50 at $1nl and finally earned my $96 reload bonus.Feeling good I moved to Interpoker to start working off that bonus but things went quickly downhill at the tables.My trips were busted by a drawing donkey who hit his flush and after several more awful beats I was looking at a $700 loss.I'd actually kept my tilt monster at bay but the beast of variance is a whole different animal.

This was at 2am and I was 2 tabling £1-£2 nl.I managed to pull things back and built a £100 on two tables to £200.

Finally headed for bed at 7am down $270 but feeling good that I'd managed to pull so much back.Patience really is the key when the deck seems cold and the poker gods are laughing at you.Strange that I don't consider myself superstitous but when I was at my lowest point I noticed my signed Amarillo Slim Ace of Spades had fallen on the floor down the back of my pc.I still dont believe in superstition but restoring it to its rightful place seemed to give me a new confidence and thats when my mini fightback started.

Slept till 2pm and dropped Mrs A off at the shops before hitting the Interpoker tables again.Had more joy this time and left $70 up for an hours play at $.50-$1nl 6max.

6 max and full ring games seem like a completely different game and I need to learn to adjust more quickly if I'm going to switch between them.I don't intend to though.Now I've made my Pokerroom bonus I'll probably stick to 6 max as its been my most profitable game and feels more like a game of poker should do.Playing tight but playing the player more than the cards sometimes.Much easier to get reads and the majority of players are there for action.

Not much reading material out there for 6 max nl games.If anyone knows any good resources let me know.I could try the 2 + 2 forums but I don't like the forum design.Its a nightmare to plough through.

Well done to Interpoker.They had a promo where a player got $20 for playing 300 raked hands on Fri 17th.I checked my account but didn't think they'd paid out so I called them.I'd played 299 hands according to support.Got a call back from a nice Scouse lass who credited my account with $20.

The Sunday standings then are ( including bonuses) Interpoker $1261,Ladbrokes $1637 and Pokerroom $789.

-$149 for the week.Not good but over the long term I can't expect to win every week and I did see some horrendous beats and fight the tilt monster.Played for 17 hours at Pokerooms full ring and aprox the same at Inter and Ladbrokes.

Looking forward to the last week at work before being off over Xmas.( apart from 29th).I'm not into religion but I love getting together with the family.Many long lies in bed is another reason I love being off work.My poker addiction is taking its toll and I need some quality sleep to refresh me.

I say addiction and thats probably true to some extent.I managed 2 poker free weeks whilst away on holiday and didn't give it a second thought but I do love playing No Limit Holdem.
I'm very lucky that Mrs A is understanding and has her own hobbies ( and work) to do.I'm sure the fact I'm winning overall helps but even if I was raking in millions I'd still make time to spend with the family.Usually about 10 minutes just after the tv news.( he jokes!)

Ownership of the tv remote probably helps soothe things too along with the cashouts which have bought stuff from a new bed to some of the wee ones Xmas presents.

Not decided what to do at New Year yet.Hogmany ( Dec 31st) is an excuse for a major party in Scotland and Mrs A and I have a couple of invites.Its also our 6th aniversary together after the evil wench ( or love of my life) seduced me and dragged me to her lair at a Millenium party neither of us planned on being at.We may just ask a few friends over.I may only be 33 but standing outside at the George square party and hunting all night for a taxi home ( at 3 times usual fare) doesn't appeal much.

Ok gotta run.Sunday roast dinner ( roast beef,gravy,veg and Yorkie pud) ready and the Wizard of Oz is about to reach its thrilling climax.

I don't think we're in Kansas anymore....

Friday, December 16, 2005

Friday night calling

A quick update on my workmates Titanic dvd disaster.Someone else felt sorry for him and bought the DeCaprio/Winslet version for him and left it on his desk only to find out it was "Raise the Titanic" the 1980 version that the wee man was trying to get for his Dad.Just gets better and better.I have to say I did wonder why any self respecting man would want "Titanic" for Xmas. Maybe he should wait for the sequel "Titanic 2" to come out...

$35 up at Pokerroom after 2 tabling for 4 hours.Only need 64 points for my $96 bonus and should do that easily over the weekend.Still feeling a bit cold decked at the table.My biggest winner was calling a weak raise of $1.50 in late position due to so many being in the pot already with 10 7 offsuit and hitting 2 pairs for a $70 pot.

I've watched players at .10-.20nl at Ladbrokes fold their small blind for 5 c when there's a few $$ in the pot and can't understand it.Sure you won't hit 2 pair everytime and some hands just aint worth playing but when you get pot odds like that its got to be a call in most cases.

Made a decent read on a player when I had 77 and called a preflop raise.Usually if I don't hit my set I fold but I've been trying to sniff out more big slicks recently and try and take advantage if I feel they have missed the flop but bet anyway.

The board came with 2 queens and while AQ is a possible preflop raising hand I was sure the villan wouldn't have bet out if that was his holding.Sometime its hard to describe how you get a read but generally as its online past tendencies and more importantly betting patterns that give a lot away.If you raise $3 preflop and get 2 callers at $1nl then bet out $4-$5 into a $10.50 pot it screams of weakness.He'd have been better checking and not giving any info away.

He had raised $3 and then bet out $5 as described.I raised that to $12 which the villan put all in.He of course called with AK and hit his K on the river.

Now I'm usually so full of fine herb I don't get steamed up up these things but it did feel frustrating to have played it right and been suckered.I was even tempted to write "nice catch" in the chatbox but I'd hate my opponents to know it had bothered me so I didn't say a word.
That's not like me as I'm normally fairly emotionally neutral at the table.It could be the herb or simply that I've seen so many hands now not much surprises me anymore.

I saw one clown giving it "wow" when he outdrew another and was again tempted to ask if he'd ever won a $15 pot before.I do respect my opponents when they earn it but generally I usually have a healthy contempt for them.Maybe this is why I usually just chuckle at rivered 2 outers etc.I don't mean I'm completely immune to tilt after after bad beats but it not one of my usual triggers.

That is probably down to my bankroll as much as anything else.If a villan hit a 2 outer on the river in a $1k pot I'd imagine I would find it more than a bit emotional!

Rangers drew Villareal in the Champions League last 16 draw for the cream of European football teams ( and Arsenal).They are a quality team but probably one of the best teams to get if we want to progress.Arsenal or Liverpool would have been my choice or even the team I consider to be the worlds best Barcelona would have been great.Roll on February.

That will be all for today.About to head out for some pizza then straight out on the swally.Big thanks to Garyc,Juice and Chief for the comments left on yesterdays post.Much appreciated.

Much appreciated unlike my singing of football songs when I roll off the bus or out the taxi at some late hour.Drink seems to do that to me.I just can't help it.It starts out as a wee tune in my head and before I know it I'm belting out some Rangers anthem or another.I'm sure the neighbours will have wee tape recorders at the ready in case they are lucky enough to catch Acornmans greatest hits.Get your bootleg copy on Ebay from tomorrow....

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Grinding it out

Ok no more daft questions today.Did I really ask if any NL players bluff pre-flop? What I meant was how regularly do nl players make random bluff bets preflop as its not a move I generally make.

Between that and the most boring hand history ever posted it wasn't exactly quality output yesterday.

Played for 4 1/2 hours last night at Pokerroom for a $30 loss but not too upset as I felt I'd played quite well and earned over 100 player points towards the $96 bonus I'm chasing.

Two tabled $1nl again for most of the night and although I had a few swings of fortune I was never up or down too much.When I wasn't at $1nl I was two tabling .50nl tables with higher average pots than the $1nl tables.

Lost $20 in one hand when the curse of the Kings returned.I bet $2 preflop at .50nl and got two callers.I then lead out for $6 on a 9d 2d 7s flop.Fish boy raises to $12,the other villan folds and I reraise him for his last $6 which he calls all in and after a blank turn a J on the river gives him two pairs with J9.Hmmmm nice.

Looking forward to clearing this bonus and getting back to good old 6 max.I don't think I've adjusted my play well enough for the full ring game after playing so much 6 max over the last few months.Maybe I'll open another table and try three tabling $1nl.

The other difference this week is that due to the Pokerroom bonus having to be cleared by Dec 20th I've almost felt obliged to be playing there for hours everynight and it really does begin to feel like a grind.Maybe thats just a bit of frustration at playing for aprox 12 hours and being down about $10.

The $1 tables seem to be full of the same multi-tablers which makes it more frustrating that I screwed up my Pokertracker.

I did get a break from the grind playing in Interpokers Ipod freeroll at 11pm.I thought it was a 10pm start but was actually running quite well when I realised that if I was going to make the top 50 I'd probably need to be up till about 2am so I decided it was make or break and very quickly breaked!

Going out with the boys at work for a night out in Glasgow tomorrow night where I intend to drink a skinful.The last time I was drunk was on holiday back in September so I'll probably be sensible and go for pizza first.Up extra early tomorrow morning to get the bus into town.Should be a good night.

People are starting to get busy for Xmas so I think its best we leave the next blogger ROW v USA tourney until the new year.

The way this blog has gone in the last few days maybe I'd be better taking a break until then too.I can see why bloggers take breaks from it.The problem is that if I went by the old adage "if you don't have anything useful to say then don't say anything at all" that would leave a lot of blank pages so I tend to revert back to school diary mode. " I played poker last night and went to work today.Had shreddies for breakfast".

Maybe I try and post daily ( even if it is rubbish) because I don't have much of an attention span and fear if I miss one day that will turn into 3 or 4 and before I know it this blog will stagnate and die off.I'm actually quite a lazy person and have surprised myself with my dedication to this blogging lark.

I'm not sure if maybe it would be better to cut down my posts and try and bring a bit more quality to them.

Hmm something to think about.

Raise hell at the tables...

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Back on track

Bounced back with a $135 winning night last night but first a wee story that made me laugh.

A guy at my work ordered "Titanic" via Amazon as a present for his Dad this Christmas and paid £15 for it.He must have ordered via the "used" section because it arrived in a cardboard sleeve with a post-it note stuck to it thanking him for his order and best of all it was the dvd given away free by The Sun newspaper a few weeks ago and says "Free" all over it.He's raging about it and has complained to Amazon and phoned The Sun to report it to them.Look out for a picture of an unhappy wee bloke called Charlie in the paper beside the headline "Sunk"!

To the poker and after a tentative start I had a good night two tabling $1nl and earning more player points towards my $96 bonus.

It would have been more profitable if I hadn't made a crying call with a pair of Aces I just knew had been busted.Obviously not quite back playing my best game yet or they would have hit the muck.I reraised a $4 bet to $15 and got 2 callers.Board came a 9 Q K rainbow and I immediately thought I was behind to QQ or KK or even QK.I called a $45 bet and when another K hit on the turn I just couldn't fold to a further $30 ( all in) bet despite being almost certain I was beaten.I was beaten by a villan with AK which means I was actually ahead post flop and should probably have been the one making the raises at that point.

My heart sunk a bit and all thoughts of posting my happy comeback news evaporated as I checked and found I was only $25 up.Then I calmed down and told myself that after a bad losing night any win should be welcome and whilst in that frame of mind I won a few nice pots.

My night started well when I called a $40 preflop bet by accident when calling on another table.I had KK and had already raised to $4 and luckily the villan had 99 and I was the only caller.Not sure if I would have called such a big raise fearing Aces but I'm glad the villan made the move because another villan said they had AJ and the Ace on the flop which I thought had killed me would have done if he'd stayed in.

Curious but do any other NL players bluff pre-flop and follow it through with a continuation bet ? I've heard of players making random bluffs like that at preset times or with specific cards.I suppose despite The Hammers secret powers most people raising preflop and then following through are bluffing when they miss the flop.

On the subject of bluffs I decided last night I'm too honest sometimes and need to take better advantage of my postion and stop worrying about people slow playing monsters.In 6 max I don't mind looking weak and honest by checking from the button when its checked round to me ( not always) as I can use that "honest" image to steal later but at a full ring table I'm going to try and be more aggressive if its check folded to me in late postion and the board looks a bit scary.

An example of scary would be a flop of Kd 7d 4c.Anyone holding a King would have bet out on this flop to prevent giving a free card to someone on a flush draw so if its checked round and I'm on the button I'll take pot sized stab at it.Of course you could gamble that everyone missed the flop no matter what it looks like but with 2 suited cards or a possible straight if everyone checks then its worth taking a shot at.I would say it has to be a decent sized shot otherwise you tempt lower pairs etc to take a shot at you if they put you on a draw.

Oh while its in my head pop over and say congrats to Tan at Ornatepush for winning over $3k last night at an MTT 'Stars tourney. He's in the ROW team.Be afraid USA.Be very afraid!

On the subject of the blogger Stars ROW v USA tourney is anyone up for it this Sunday 10pm GMT/5 pm EST? I know its getting close to Christmas and people are busy so let me know your thoughts and whether you can make it. Its the 2nd most fun indoor money orientated activity in the world besides making your own porn movies...( see PSW).

On other news my Mum is now playing for real money having made her first deposit at Pokerroom.She has just turned 60 so if your playing there and wonder whose behind the little old lady avator then watch out as it could be my little old mother! I've tried to help and advise but she is as stuborn as me and insists she is playing for fun and will do it her own way.Every time I try and talk basic pot odds she shoots me down! Ah well at least if she blows her bankroll she's getting a $50 pokeroom gift certificate from me for Xmas.I mentioned before having a ruthless streak at the tables.I think I'll give the her the cert for Xmas then hunt her down at the tables to win it back.Nah just kidding...hmmm.

Ok here's a wee hand below which helped me realise I had my confidence back last night.Its not all abc poker you know!

Texas Hold'em $1-$1 NL (real money), hand #1,585,503,853
Table Belem, 13 Dec 2005 11:07 PM
View Previous hand for this table.
Seat 1: Zagga [KH,6C] ($100 in chips)
Seat 2: I Gotta Push ($95.95 in chips)
Seat 3: piscator21 ($123 in chips)
Seat 4: collinmalc13 ($43.60 in chips)
Seat 5: limpkin0 ($99 in chips)
Seat 6: Irishod ($100.90 in chips)
Seat 7: paddy_o_dour ($100.60 in chips)
Seat 8: Addexx1 ($101.90 in chips)
Seat 9: Bri3 ($113 in chips)
Seat 10: suurholkeri ($98.50 in chips)

ANTES/BLINDSsuurholkeri posts blind ($0.50), Zagga posts blind ($1).

PRE-FLOPI Gotta Push folds, piscator21 folds, collinmalc13 calls $1, limpkin0 folds, Irishod folds, paddy_o_dour folds, Addexx1 calls $1, Bri3 folds, suurholkeri calls $0.50, Zagga checks.

FLOP [board cards 3D,5S,KD ] suurholkeri checks, Zagga bets $4, collinmalc13 calls $4, Addexx1 calls $4, suurholkeri folds.

TURN [board cards 3D,5S,KD,8C ]

Zagga bets $5, collinmalc13 folds, Addexx1 calls $5.

RIVER [board cards 3D,5S,KD,8C,AS ]Zagga bets $12, Addexx1 folds.

SHOWDOWNZagga wins $37.

SUMMARYDealer: Bri3Pot: $38, (including rake: $1)Zagga, bets $22, collects $37, net $15I Gotta Push, loses $0piscator21, loses $0collinmalc13, loses $5limpkin0, loses $0Irishod, loses $0paddy_o_dour, loses $0Addexx1, loses $10Bri3, loses $0suurholkeri, loses $1

Hump day nearly over.Its all downhill to the weekend from here...

Nasty Night

Last night was one of those nasty poker nights I hope I can quickly recover from.I lost $300 after 4 hours of play but in truth probably shouldn't have been playing at all.Mark had text me to say he may not be up for our weekly ps2 fest and I was still feeling truly exhausted from the weekends fun.

My attitude was all wrong.Greed kicked in and kicked my butt.In all honesty my thoughts before starting were that I didn't feel like playing but that if I can make $185 in a few hours the night before I can easily do it again.

To be fair to myself I've not had a bad run of cards like it for a while either.Highest pair was QQ which was busted by an Ace on the flop.Didn't make one set from any pocket pair until I'd folded 66 to a raise and reraise only to see a golden 6 on the flop and a huge pot grow.

From experience I know that kind of situation is my worst tilt trigger.I believe Pokerroom use continuous auto shufflers but depsite knowing that when I see that my folded K10 would have flopped a straight and a huge pot and I'm already down I need show much more mental strength,brush it aside and move on.

I thought I'd managed to get back on track when I went from -$177 to -$88.Looking back that was when I should have gone to bed but greed and thoughts of pulling the whole deficit round took over and by 1am I was stuck $300 and went to bed as I realised I was simply getting more and more desparate to make up at least some of my losses.

In fact at that point of realisation I felt like I did years ago when I used to play slots and had just spent my bus fare home and was hunting round the floor of the arcade for enough change for one more game.It was the kind of feeling I feared when I first started playing poker with a £50 per month budget last October and though thankfully that kind of run is rare for me taking a glance into the pit of despair will probably do me good in the long run.

I should say that I don't want to give the impression I was into slots in a big way when I was younger because thats not true but age 15-16 when you feel the world owes you a living I learned that quickly from playing slots that it doesn't.

In many ways that early gambling experience probably means I have less gamble in me than most.I very rarely play slots these days and while I like the odd flutter on the football its only a couple of pounds a time and for fun more than profit.

At the poker tables I'm almost always the one with the made hand v the drawer rather than the other way although I will chase where I get the right odds.In many ways lack of gambool makes me bet bigger than most to protect my premium hands and as I play at low levels I make my money from the donkey drawers who call without odds.

The good news from last night is that I earned 135 player points and I'm well on my way to clearing my $96 bonus by Dec 20th.I also got an email from Interpoker who have scrapped their playing points system and are converting them to cash today.I have 4000 so that's an extra $20 in my account.

Patience,mental toughness,skill and bankroll management are the keys to good poker and thankfully the last part I seem to have got right and that means that while last nights loss was a nasty experience it doesn't dent my overall bankroll by too much and indeed part of the reason for keeping a decent size roll ( for the levels I play at) is to be able to deal with the swings that come with No Limit and in particular the 6 max game.

Last nights losses were at full ring tables and while 2 tabling does help with the folding I was still too eager for action and to get involved.I can see 30% of flops at 6 max and be the table rock but at full ring $1nl camping for monsters means seeing aprox 20% of flops on average for me not the 35% I was seeing last night.

I mentioned at the start of this post that my attitude was wrong and I've not changed my mind.It was almost as if I had a part time job and wanted to phone in sick but had forced myself to go to work as the money is good.Suggesting to Mrs A that she could give up her part-time job if I'm still doing as well by the end of April probably made me feel its even more of a job than the enjoyable profitable hobby it should be viewed as.

I'll probably be back at the tables tonight but will stop if I lose $100 not that I'm planning on that!

Last piece of advice to self: The $300 is gone.Last night is gone.Let it go.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Monday update

Ah well the weekend was over too quickly as usual.Went out with friends to the Taj in Biggar for a curry on Saturday night.I love Indian food and the quality was top notch.Back to their place where a night of fine chat,drink,smoke,space invaders and even some play money poker ensued.

We were up and away on Sunday in time for me to get back and watch Rangers finally clock up a win in the SPL with a 3-2 victory over Kilmarnock.

After that I watched Man U draw with Everton and then Inter Milan beat AC Milan 3-2 followed by some of the Barca V Seville game.

Hit the tables and realised that I have until Dec 20th to earn 575 poker points at Pokerroom to clear my $96 reload bonus so after bombing out of Ladbrokes freeroll when my AK soooted was beaten by A10 ( 10 was first card on flop) to knock me out in 91st I headed off to PR to start working off my bonus.I was quite pleased with my MTT performance as I managed to lay down a couple of second best hands for a change.I played quite patiently but still didn't steal enough.More thieving practice required.

At Pokerroom I two tabled $1nl full ring tables and made $180 for 3 hours work.

Most of it came versus a villan called xfactr21 who insisted on donating his chips to me at 2 different tables.I was able to follow the play at both tables and it was obvious I'd got to him because he played or raised in every pot I was in.I could sense he was desparate to take me down.I'm writing that as a background to the following hand where I could almost smell his weakness and desparation seeping out of my speakers!

I put him on AK/AQ or AJ.I had originally called hoping to hit my set as I knew if I did then I'd get his stack and was happy I had the implied odds for my initial call.Weak post flop continuation bets are usually fairly easy to read for weakness and his initial 7bb preflop bet smelled of a man wanting to take it uncontested.

Possibly I should have had more faith in my instinct and reraised him but he left after finishing up with 30c left.

Its not always the biggest $$$ money winning hands that are the most satisfying....

Texas Hold'em $1-$1 NL (real money), hand #1,577,984,968
Table Corozal, 12 Dec 2005 12:31 AM

Seat 1: mello181818 ($91.30 in chips)
Seat 2: kb2727 ($87.60 in chips)
Seat 3: Zagga [8D,8C] ($109.40 in chips)
Seat 5: POPICHANE ($85 in chips)
Seat 6: Tjodleik ($109.40 in chips)
Seat 7: Jeffran ($99 in chips)
Seat 8: sittingduck- ($291.80 in chips)
Seat 9: xfactr21 ($47.30 in chips)
Seat 10: J__D ($112.30 in chips)

ANTES/BLINDSmello181818 posts blind ($0.50), kb2727 posts blind ($1).

PRE-FLOPZagga calls $1, POPICHANE folds, Tjodleik folds, Jeffran folds, sittingduck- calls $1, xfactr21 bets $7, J__D folds, mello181818 folds, kb2727 folds, Zagga calls $6, sittingduck- folds.

FLOP [board cards 7H,4C,10S ]

Zagga checks, xfactr21 bets $10, Zagga calls $10.

TURN [board cards 7H,4C,10S,10D ]

Zagga checks, xfactr21 bets $15, Zagga calls $15.

RIVER [board cards 7H,4C,10S,10D,7S ]

Zagga checks, xfactr21 bets $15, Zagga calls $15.

SHOWDOWN xfactr21 shows [ 4S,AD ] Zagga shows [ 8D,8C ] Zagga wins $94.50.

SUMMARYDealer: J__DPot: $96.50, (including rake: $2)mello181818, loses $0.50kb2727, loses $1Zagga, bets $47, collects $94.50, net $47.50POPICHANE, loses $0Tjodleik, loses $0Jeffran, loses $0sittingduck-, loses $1xfactr21, loses $47J__D, loses $0

Earned 75 player points and still have about 500 to clear by next Tues for my $96 bonus so that's probably where I'll be 2 tabling for most of the next week.

No Sunday post so for my own records I've $1649 at Ladbrokes,$1421 at Interpoker and $800 at Pokerroom.

Only 9 working days after today until Xmas holidays....

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Luck be a pair of ladies

Turned out to be a fine night at the tables.Now got $1649 at Ladbrokes but seem to remember promising Mrs A a £50 bung last night so a wee cashout today may be on the cards.

I'll post one of my comeback hands but not sure why.Its almost as if I have to convince myself I really did win $340 last night.I guess I feel like pinching myself to make sure its all real when I look back at my first blog post in May where I had $471 and was "ready to hit the tables".

Jordan mentioned Hollywood being full of donkeys.Its a skin of Pokerroom and I have to agree with him.Maybe its the WSOP coverage but the tables seemed a lot tighter a few months ago.A full ring game was just 10 tight asses waiting for monsters but even those tables seem to have loosened up a bit.Long may it continue!

One player at 6 max last night called me a rock! I asked why and he said it was because I'd folded 4 small blinds in a row and he thought that was disciplined.Perhaps the fact that the if you added the 4 hands together they still wouldn't add up to more than 10 may have had a factor in it but its not often people comment on my play at the tables.

I mentioned playing with Tan Orpheus at Ladbrokes.He actually asked if I was Littleacornman and when I replied "errr yep" he said he enjoyed my blog.Thanks again Tan.First time I've ever met a reader at the tables and to be honest if felt strange to know I was playing with someone who'd read about all my plays and moves!

I'm not sure if I lost a bit of my usual ruthless attitude in a hand with Tan though.He'd bet into me when I'd made my K high straight and had a straight flush draw too.I would usually call and decide how much to raise the river bet if I felt I was still ahead and in the hand I'm sure I would have been.Instead I raised by about $40 and Tan got the message and folded.Made a similar play V Juice a while back but of course he called and lost ;-). I even showed my hand which goes against the grain for me.I very rarely show unless I'm showing down a bluff to show the table I'm not as rock like as they think!

Had trouble finding your blog Tan.Leave me a note of your web addy and I'll link you up.Hope to catch you at the tables again.

Ok here's one of last nights winners.Shouting "pair the board" after the turn card must have worked but Miami must have been kicking himself for checking on the turn. Oh and yes I would normally reraise with QQ at 6 max but at a loose table ( ave pot was $40) I preferred to let the loosey gooseys bet for me sometimes.

** Game ID 377088058 starting - 2005-12-10 03:11:23
** Adler [Hold 'em] (0.501.00 No Limit - Cash Game) Real Money

- Acornman sitting in seat 2 with $103.15
- MiamiVice sitting in seat 3 with $169.10
- dumbo36 sitting in seat 4 with $139.85
- nirish5 sitting in seat 5 with $571.27
- speakhorse sitting in seat 6 with $167.00 [Dealer]

Acornman posted the small blind - $0.50
MiamiVice posted the big blind - $1.00

** Dealing card to Acornman: Queen of Clubs, Queen of Hearts
dumbo36 folded
nirish5 raised - $6.00
speakhorse folded
Acornman called - $6.00
MiamiVice called - $6.00

** Dealing the flop: 8 of Clubs, Jack of Spades, 6 of Clubs
Acornman checked
MiamiVice checked
nirish5 bet - $23.00
Acornman called - $23.00
MiamiVice called - $23.00

** Dealing the turn: Jack of Clubs
Acornman checked
MiamiVice checked
nirish5 checked

** Dealing the river: Queen of Spades
Acornman went all-in - $74.65
MiamiVice called - $74.65
nirish5 folded
MiamiVice mucks: Ace of Clubs, 10 of Clubs
Acornman wins $234.30 from the main pot

End of game 377088058

Edit: 4am and $300 up after going back to my beloved 6 max crazies! Goodnight!

2am and currently $20 down overall thanks to this donk.Should I have pushed earlier?Grrrr.
Enjoying playing with TanOrpheus at Laddys just now and thankfully I'm sitting at $245 from a $100 buy in at $.50-$1nl full ring.

Kind of apologies for the bad beat but I don't post many.

** Game ID 377048886 starting - 2005-12-10 01:46:00
** Cicero [Hold 'em] (0.501.00 No Limit - Cash Game) Real Money

- burk123 sitting in seat 1 with $213.80 [Dealer]
- The_Bogeyman sitting in seat 2 with $102.58
- Acornman sitting in seat 3 with $98.35
- nirish5 sitting in seat 6 with $194.25

The_Bogeyman posted the small blind - $0.50
Acornman posted the big blind - $1.00

** Dealing card to Acornman: King of Diamonds, King of Spades
nirish5 raised - $2.00
burk123 folded
The_Bogeyman called - $2.00
Acornman raised - $9.00
nirish5 called - $9.00
The_Bogeyman called - $9.00

** Dealing the flop: 4 of Diamonds, 9 of Hearts, 7 of Hearts
The_Bogeyman checked
Acornman bet - $16.00
nirish5 folded
The_Bogeyman called - $16.00

** Dealing the turn: 5 of Clubs
The_Bogeyman checked
Acornman bet - $24.00
The_Bogeyman raised - $48.00
Acornman called - $48.00

** Dealing the river: 10 of Hearts
The_Bogeyman went all-in - $30.08
Acornman went all-in - $26.35
The_Bogeyman shows: 9 of Diamonds, 10 of Spades
The_Bogeyman wins $205.70 from the main pot

Friday, December 09, 2005

Scotland are World Champions

Yes tears of joy were shed yesterday at the amazing news that the Scottish team managed to beat off ( hmm perhaps not the right phrase!) contenders from all over the world to win............the Elephant Polo World Championship for the 2nd time in a row!The team captain called it a mammoth task.A proud day for Scots everywhere.Maybe I should trade Nacho in for an elephant and use the back garden to practice for next years title defence.

Bought a fine new cd yesterday I've not had off my car cd player."The Legend of Johnny Cash" is class from Ring of fire to A boy named Sue ( how do you do,my name is Sue!). I thought driving to work listening to The Blues Brothers couldn't be beaten but its a close thing.Looking forward to stepping into a ring game of fire later....

Heres' a couple of quick funnies from the paper today...
A cake walk: Yes it is the time of year when chaps in the bar start partying too much and start taking their brave pills. We overhear one chap in Glasgow just this week who asked his mate: "Well, did you get much of a row when you got home at two in the morning on Friday?"Not at all, bragged his pal. "She was standing behind the door with a rolling pin – imagine wanting to bake me a cake at that time of the morning."

Parting shot : Seems Glasgow is not the worst, after all. American songwriter duo Stacey Earle and Mark Stuart, appearing at The Arches this week, said they had played at some bars in Nashville that were so rough people searched at the door who were not carrying a gun or a knife would be given one.

Looking forward to the weekend.Poker tonight and off out with friends for an Indian meal tomorrow night before going back to stay at their place.( they stay an hour away).I don't remember seeing any Indian restaurants when I last visited the States and I wonder why that is.Can't beat a nice ruby murray.(curry). Lamb saag or Chicken Rogan Josh are probably my favourites but I love most Indian food even if we do only get the fast food version in the UK.Went out for a meal with an Indian colleague a while back and he explained that when done properley these dishes take 24 hours to cook to let the flavours come through.

Mrs A will probably be on the Space Invaders tonight.Not a form of lsd but the game that plugs into the tv I bought her.Its funny because I set a high score of 8000 after about 3 goes and she sits playing it all night and can't beat 5000.I must have put her on alien tilt by winding her up about it.

Played some poker late on last night.Won $30 at 6 max then left to concentrate on a .10-.20 full ring and dropped $9 there after a decent start for a $21 profit.Enjoyed playing with Juice and Rosie as usual.Rosie helped me without realising at one point after I called a raise with 22 and she announced the hammer before folding to a post flop bet.With only one duck left in the deck and a scary board I folded.

One small observation from playing at the very lowest limit available is that sometimes a weak post flop bet does not always mean weakness.In 99% of cases it does but some players are apparently so clueless that they'll bet out 20 cents into a $3 pot with the nuts.Just something else to look for at micro stakes.

Got the Rangers game to look forward to on Sunday.After weeks of specualtion the chairman has come out and backed the manager saying he'll have money to spend in January.Wrong move and a shame the manager didn't take the chance to go out on a high.I hope he turns it round and we start playing decent football again but one or two more poor displays and the sound of 50000 singing "Alex,Alex get tae f*ck" will ring round Ibrox and that would be sad after the trophies he's won and the dignity he's shown by not ducking any interviews etc.

Have a great weekend and remember if you don't like the table your at find a juicier one...

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Damn.How could that happen to me?!

Stayed away from the tables until quite late on last night.Watched the football and that Space Cadet programme I mentioned yesterday before firing up a table around midnight.

Bought in for $100 and after a couple of failed limps and paying the blinds I was down at $91 when Mrs A arrived home from work.I went to say hello and sat back down to Kd7d on the button.After telling myself not to kid myself this was a good hand despite it being the best I'd seen since I sat down I somehow ignored that inner voice and called a loose players small raise sensing weakness.The villan had raised more than anyone at the table and had an almost maniac image but this time the raise was 2 bb and was after everyone had folded to him.I'd hardly seen a flop so I was thinking that he thought he could push me out and probably take the blinds.

I called and can't remember the details but I do remember trying to bluff this loose maniac type player with a decent sized river bet ( representing a flush) and he called with his Q10 for 2 pairs.I suppose at least I was right about him being weak preflop but I should probably have gone on my instincts and made a large reraise to try and take it there and then or at the very least I shouldn't have been dumb enough to try and bluff a maniac and that clever move cost me $30.

My next move was to try out an idea I'd been meaning to blog about for a while and that was to fake anger and frustration in the chat box in the hope that on the odd occasion I would pick up a premium hand after a loss I could raise more than usual and act as if I was on tilt.

I saw Phil Lak mention after losing a hand that "I'm gonna be on tilt now" and although he was probably joking it made me think how chat like that could be used as a weapon online.Up until now after I'd played a hand badly or had a bad beat I've kept quiet but this time straight after my $30 nightmare I get KK and right away I type "Damn I don't fu*kin believe that".

The action folds round to me and I raise $5 ( 5bb) and get 3 callers.Board come 4 5 K rainbow and instead of my checkraise looking scary to the original raiser I'm sure it looked like the action of someone drawing thin and I was reraised! I never got to see the villans hand at showdown but the final pot was $115 and brought me from $40 down to $35 up for the night.

My original idea was to write my "Damnit" comment after every really bad beat/play but obviously I'd only be able to use the advertising to good effect if I got a premium hand in the next few dealt.

Maybe it would have made no difference to the way the hand was played out but when I think about how often I've seen players lose big then bet as if they are on tilt on the next hand only to showdown a monster it has to be worth a try every now and then.Expect more "No f*kcing way" ,"That's been happening to me all week" etc comments from now on! I don't berate my opponent though.No need.Just so long as the table think I'm full of self pity and anger that will do.

I was playing last night when another incident made me think how much I like the sheer honesty you get at the poker table.What am I wittering on about now? Well I've read a lot of blogs where people like me who work for big companies ( no names!) are sick and tired of all the corporate bullsh*t we hear every day.You want to "hit the ground running"? I hope its at high f*cking speed! Go tick your boxes elsewhere and shove your "No I in team" garbage where the sun don't shine.

Watched a player win with quad Jacks last night at a 10 seat full ring table and not one person said "nh" or "vnh" in the chat box.Sure I thought it was a nice hand but like everyone else only if it was dealt to me! Saw a player who lost with KK to K9 earlier say "lol KK" in the chat and nearly wrote "you don't really find losing $60 funny?" just to annoy but have to say I sometimes use that tactic myself to show I don't care about Mr Fishy and his suckout.

Off to drop off my Mums 60th birthday card and get back to my fine wee family.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Rangers make History!

Quite how a team who have not won for 9 games can go on and make history by becoming the first Scottish club ever to qualify from the Champions league for the knockout stage I'll never know but I suppose that unpredictability is why sports fans love their sports the world over.

The atmosphere was electric last night as the Italian superstars rolled into town.Adriano scored first after 1/2 hour and Lovenkrands equalised 7 minutes later meaning that so long as Art Media didn't beat Porto we were through.The 2-3 minute delay at the end of the game waiting to hear the score from Brataslava was torture but the joy and relief when it was announced they had drawn 0-0 and we were through was incredible.Its been a crap season so far but while our rivals can get excited about playing Inverness or Aberdeen the Champions go into the draw a week on Friday with the elite of European football ( and Juices team Arsenal).

It also means our manager,Alex Mcleish,can go out on a high having won 7 trophies in 4 years and made history last night.Doesn't change the fact a new man is needed and the rumour mill is in overdrive trying to guess who.Tomorrow is judgement day so we will see who will be only the 12th manager in our 132 year history.

Didn't get back from the game until quite late on but logged on to Ladbrokes just after midnight for a quick half hours play.( a quick half hour being much shorter than a standard half hour!).Hit up a .25-.50nl 6 max table with a $28 average pot and either played incredibly well or was incredibly lucky to finish $54 up for my short session.The reason I'm not sure is that I made most of my money calling down 2 bluffers using the logic that this was a wild loose table and that the reason the villans had made the bets the size they did was because they had nothing.

I'd like to say it was pure intuitive genuis ( ho ho ) but in reality I wonder if its connected to my usual habit of starting a session badly and bouncing back.If I was to finish my weekend games at 2am I'd probably be an overall loser but I usually have a word with myself,tighten up and manage a comeback.The key is tightening up as I'm sure I start sessions looking to play poker and show some reading skills etc then revert to tight and aggressive when I realise I can't read every player on every hand.

Interested to read Colins latest post on shorthanded table selection and why he prefers weak tight type players at his table as highly aggressive type of players run over the tight ones stealing blinds etc.This may well be the case in fixed limit 6 max but at nl 6 max playing a tight game at a loose table with a very high average pot is still the way ahead in my opinion.

For example last nights .25-.50 nl 6 max table had an ave pot of $28.Mr Loose aggressive can steal my blinds if he likes ( whoppee he made .50) but I know that when I get a hand they are loose enough to pay me off and if they are clever enough to notice my tight play then I'll get my blinds back by capitalising on my image and stealing blinds back from them.If they're all too clever then its goodbye from me and off to a better table.

Colin asked how aggressive we are at 6 max.Not aggressive enough is my personal answer but when you pick the type of tables I do then its more of a trapping game or making sure I have a hand on the flop and betting big if I think I'm ahead.No cheap draws from me.

Off to pick up Step A and a nice juicy steak from Mrs A's work before having a quiet night in.Since I discovered poker I watch a lot less tv but there's a new show on tonight called "Space Cadets" which I like the sound of.Tell 10 reality tv contestants they are being flown to Russia and 3 lucky winners will be flying to space in a Russian space tourist rocket when in reality they'e been flown in circles round the UK, landed at a remote specially fitted out warehouse and are going to space in a simulator!

Have a great night and remember if anyone offers you a free trip to space and the chance to be on tv tell 'em to stick up their booster!

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Amazing Hammer hand!

** Dealing card to Acornman: 2 of Diamonds, 7 of Spades
Quittenton folded
Onkelpoker called - $0.20
jon_o folded
Acornman called - $0.20
HAYCON15 called - $0.20
rosie_m called - $0.20
Jeinsen checked

** Dealing the flop: 3 of Spades, 5 of Diamonds, 6 of Spades
rosie_m checked
Jeinsen checked
Onkelpoker checked
Acornman bet - $1.00
HAYCON15 went all-in - $1.50
rosie_m called - $1.50
Jeinsen folded
Onkelpoker folded
Acornman called - $1.50

** Dealing the turn: Ace of Diamonds
rosie_m checked
Acornman checked

** Dealing the river: 4 of Spades
rosie_m bet - $0.80
Acornman raised - $1.60
rosie_m called - $1.60
HAYCON15 shows: 3 of Diamonds, King of Diamonds
rosie_m shows: 2 of Spades, 7 of Diamonds
Acornman wins $2.61 from the main pot
Acornman wins $4.14 from side pot 1
rosie_m wins $2.62 from the main pot
rosie_m wins $4.16 from side pot 1

This must be a world first surely! I expect the worlds media to be bidding for our stories.A Hollywood film and an appearance on "This Morning" surely await!

Rosie announced in the chat she had the hammer.Rosie is a reader (my only known non blogger reader and laddys regular!) and I thought she was bluffing.Notice how we both disguised our preflop monsters by casually calling instead of going all in.Great stuff.Maybe someone who knows maths could tell us what the odds are for 2 people being dealt the hammer then making a straight and splitting the pot!

I shouldn't really have been at the table let alone in that pot.Mark was up from about 9pm and we had a fine evening shooting the breeze ( and aliens) and crashing cars at high speed ( Need for Speed).

He left just before Mrs A got back from work and I should have gone to bed but the lure of Laddys was too strong and I ended up playing till 01.15am and winning $28 at the .10-.20 full ring table.I have noticed that I tend to abandon my usual tight game at these tables and loosen up a little looking for opportunities.There's more than a few fish there and if I can call a min raise with just about any hand I know I can get away if I miss but if I hit there's no way the preflop raiser can escape his top pair.To be fair its the lowest limit available and there must be people playing for the first time or having never looked at a book or any kind of strategy guide.

Sorry to hear from Juice about his sister being burgled while she was away.Its happened to me before and while items can be replaced the damage goes much deeper.I was actually in the house and had a knife held to my throat on one occasion ( it was a rough place and we were done 6 times in total) and it certainly changes your outlook.Even now I still leap out of bed at the slightest noise ( not Mrs A's snoring I'm used to that) and have only just got out the habit I had when I stayed in my flat of constantly looking out the window to see what was out there.This was 12 years ago when a friend and I got a council house in a bad area but I feel for Juices sister.Its more than just possessions lost.

Kind of got me thinking of life changing events and what's shaped me as a person.In recent times meeting Mrs A at a millenium party ( and Step A) then nearly killing myself in a car accident a couple of months later probably changed the way I view life.I feel as if life started at 27 ( 33 now) which has got to be a complement to Mrs A and Step A.My only real regrets in life are that I gave up on my childhood sweetheart too easily and that Mrs A and I didn't start trying for kids the year we first met.

I should have moved in with her just after we met but being a stubborn old stuck in his ways acorn I only moved in 18 months ago.I've always got on well with kids and nearly went to college to be a teacher ( passed the interview) and the thought that I may never have my own saddens me especially as after my sisters cancer op she won't be able to have any naturally either.

I know I'm very lucky to have Step A but I suppose another regret is that when she asked me a few years back if she could call me Dad I said it was totally up to her and that she didn't have to.I was probably a bit scared of the commitment and letting her down at the time as she now calls me by my first name and while I'd like to think we are close I'll never be "Dad". Doesn't bother me too much most of the time but when new friends of hers visit and I become "Mums boyfriend" it just feels inadequate considering I've known her for nearly 6 of her 11 years and adore her.

Ok I need to remember I'm Scottish and us Scottish men don't do soul baring of any sort.....ever! Except maybe at the football where shouting,singing and hugging strangers after goals is the main emotional release of the week.

Even when it comes to the poker I'm fairly laid back about bad beats and cold cards.I'm not saying I'm tilt free but even when I have tilted before I don't usually start by throwing my mouse about or getting angry.My tilt monster is far more subtle than that!

Maybe being a bit pessimistic and cynical helps with that.I don't mean I expect to lose but when I reraised last night with KK after a raise and a reraise I would probably have laughed and shaken my head had the villan produced the Rockets I was expecting after losing about 6 times in a row with the cowboys.Mind you with a K on the flop I damn well would have laughed if he had AA....

Rangers big game V Inter Milan tonight at Ibrox.Won't be back until late so it will probably be a pokerfree night.

Remember to believe and raise hell with a hammer!

ps I'm sure you dont mind me stealing the screenshot from your fine blog Juice!

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