Thursday, April 29, 2010

Two in a Row

Poker continues to be a real grind at the moment as I can't seem to take a couple of steps forward without taking three steps back.After yet another crap run at the $22's I won two back to back and fired up some more,only to go 0/8 in cashes again.My mindset has changed a little since my recent cashout as my whole roll is for playing with and I don't have a couple of thousand dollars set aside for bills.With this in mind I decided to fire up a couple of $55's and a $33 to finish my session last night after checking and rechecking with myself ( not being honest with yourself costs $$ in this game) that I wasn't feeling tilty or chasing losses.The only real change I made to my game at the $55's was to open for 2.5bb preflop instead of my usual 3bb.

With 7 players still left at 300/600 blinds I shoved 77 from UTG ( first to act) and was called by A6h with the Ace hitting on the river.In the $33 I was going well, sharing the chiplead with another big stack with 5 players left.I picked up 99 utg,shoved all in and of course ran into the other big stacks KK in the big blind.With the stack sizes as they were I could have perhaps made a 2.5-3bb raise with the intention of calling anyone but the other bigstack if reraised, but I'd been tight and didn't expect the other big stack to call me without a monster...

The good news is that I did take down the other $55 for $250 which felt quite sweet after another tough nights play overall.I also reached "gold" level on Party which means I can buy a $350 bonus with my player points.I've only played about 230 sngs on Party this month and will need to double that if I'm to get anywhere near my previous volume.Racking up 15 days of Modern Warfare 2 online play won't pay for any bills!

I'll see how I feel later but I may take more shots at the $55's with my $1576 Party roll and step back down if I drop 10 buy-ins.This shot taking lark may not last long!

Away from the poker Rangers did finally win the Scottish Premier League and will go straight into the Champions League Group stages next season.I only hope all the off/on takeover talk gets resolved asap as we haven't signed a player since July '08."Nae dough,Two in a row" as the t-shirts said! I was also pleased to see "Simply the Best" made number 9 in the charts, well ahead of our rivals effort which limped in at 33.

My back scan went well on Tuesday with only deep bruising and possible cysts given as reasons for the pain I'm still feeling.I've been on half pay since the 27th of this month and will discuss getting back to work the week after next at my meeting with the occupational health people tomorrow.

Ok,thanks for reading.Back soon....

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Simply The Best

With Rangers hopefully going to wrap up title number 53 this weekend, the supporters have been downloading Tina Turner's "Simply the Best" all week in an effort to get it to number one in the charts.Our rivals stole Liverpool's anthem years ago and are making a pathetic attempt to try and get it to number one instead.If you have any Gers leanings or you're not a fan of Neil "like me and you,he's a provo too" Lennon and his shitty team then get on to Itunes etc and get The Best downloaded!

On the subject of Rangers and celtc I read last week that there's talk in America of an Old Firm exhibition match being played in Boston.The article compared our rivalry to the Red Sox and the Yankees.Personally I don't think our American cousins would know what's hit them if they stage a Rangers v celtc game over there.Still,both teams need ther money at the moment so maybe it will happen.

To the poker and I didn't manage to keep up the grinding pace I set earlier in the week,mainly due to playing more Modern Warfare 2 until the wee small hours.After the 60 odd games from hell I posted about before I did manage to win about $400 over my next 60 before dropping about $80 yesterday over 8 games.Maybe the weed helps, but I still find it hard to hate on players who make poor calls.When my AK was scudded by some donk calling all in with K9 at level one blinds I could only think that it's hard enough to make money at this game when you play well and poor Mr K9 must be a huge loser overall.Here's hoping he went on to take it down,still thinks K9 is a great hand and will be back donating again soon!

Just watched Steve Davis ( now age 52) beat John Higgins in the World Snooker Championship.It's funny how things come full circle.Back in the 80's when he was winning six world titles,I used to always cheer for anyone playing against Steve "interesting" Davis and now I'm right behind the old legend and hope he can go on and make another final.I still piss my cousin off every time we play pool by celebrating like Dennis Taylor back in '85 when he beat Davis 18-17 on the final black.If you've never seen it and like sport I'd recommend watching the highlights of the final frame.Great stuff!

The final black ball from 3mins 30 onwards.One of the greatest sporting moments of all time.( just ahead of a fine 40 yard goal I scored for Clarkston Amatuers Under 12's back in the day....)

On the health front I finally get the scan done on my back this Tuesday and I'm going to see the works occupational health people next Friday.I intend to go back to work after my current line runs out in a couple of weeks although I've still not decided if I'll go back fulltime or 4 days per week.( assuming I'd be allowed to do so)

Righty,the s-man is coming over tonight for some more MW2 online gameplay and I'm popping across to my folks place to drop off the "In the Loop" dvd which arrived today from Amazon.I need to organise a van for next week as my folks are letting me have both their two seater leather couches next week when their new one arrives and the dvd is to say thanks.( yeah,cool story bro as the forum kiddies would say!)

Thanks for reading.I'll get The Bloggerment set up shortly.See you there....

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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Great Expectations

I was chatting to Rosie during The Bloggerment about going back to work in a couple of weeks and joked about how I should just quit my job and 8 table the 45 player,$12 sng turbo's on Stars all day."What's stopping you?" Rosie asked, and the answer is that after my recent 40 buy-in downswing at the $22's I just don't have the stomach for fulltime poker and the swings that would come with it.I've also never averaged 50 games ( the very min required to cover all bills) per day for more than a couple of days at a time and I'm not sure I ever could.

Playing very little poker over the last few months seemed to have weakened me mentally and made it far harder to cope with what are fairly standard beats and coolers.A 40 buy-in downswing over 60 games from hell would be hard for anyone to take, but as most pro's probably average around 100 sng's per day, my months of hell would just be a bad morning for those guys.

Anyway I have buckled down so far this week and although I'm nowhere near the volume required to play for a living,I did manage to six table the $22's quite comfortably yesterday and made $240 profit over 28 games.Before the last set of six I was up about $45 on the session and felt pissed off that I was still losing big hands at crucial moments.My expectation was that I should have been up a good few hundred dollars and a measly $45 profit was almost insulting.I then took a break and realised that $45 profit over 20 odd games would be about right running at a decent 10% return on investment.When I sit down and only play 3-4 games per night I'm not looking to make $8 profit, although realistically that's what I'll be doing well to make.Even after years of online poker it's still hard to get my head round the fact that I'm not going to win as often as I feel I should be.

I also 8 tabled the $12,45 player turb's on Monday and made a whopping $3 over a couple of sets.Despite a couple of 3rd places I felt should have been wins,I actually quite enjoyed the overall pace and quick decision making that came with playing so many games.

Hopefully I've shaken off some of the mental poker rust and won't hit another nightmare downswing,leaving me free to rack up some more volume and profit this week...

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Charity Game + Bloggerment Tonight

I dropped Nacho off at Step A's on Friday night and had hoped to catch up with her to see how she got on during her stay down South with her Mum last week.She was out, but her Dad told me that Step A had been told not to mention the smoking or staying off school to the ex Mrs A's new man and was also instructed to remove her makeup and not to venture downstairs after 9pm.She's now decided she'd miss her pals ( and the easy life she has at her Dads) and wants to stay in Scotland which I'm pleased about.Hopefully I'll see her shortly when I pick up my boy ( the dog!).

To the poker and although I didn't hit the tables until late last night,I had a decent night at the $22's, finishing with two wins and I also scraped a $12 ,45 turbo win on Stars.I did come 9th and 10th in a couple of other 45 player turb's but I play these games to build a stack and go for the win instead of just hanging in to min cash.

If Win = W,Cashed 2nd or 3rd = C and L= lost without cashing,I'd say my usual pattern for 9 player sngs tend to run like LLLW,LLCC,LLLLLWW etc.In other words I was bagging enough wins and cashes to make a couple of Dollars profit on every game on average.I've played enough games to be able to go 5-6 without cashing and still be confident that games 7-8 could be won if the big hands go my way.Recently though the first 5-6 games will be full of beats and games 6-12 and 12-18 etc etc have been the same and my motivation to play has dropped accordingly.A pro grinder would probably ride out my wee variance storm in a few sessions whereas a 1000 game break even streak could take me few months to get through.

Sorry for the tired boring post today.I finally got to bed just after 4am and was up to watch the Gers take step closer to the league title with a 2-0 win over Hearts.We would have won the league today if our rivals hadn't comeback from being 2-1 down to win 3-2 yesterday.Watching their over the top celebrations actually made me smile, as delaying our title party is going to be only the highlight of their shitty season.Well apart from when they signed a 4th rate Spurs reject on loan in January and were going to win the league.Here's what a couple of their more intelligent fans said at the time...

Back soon...

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Charity Tourney on Sunday

Copied the text below from Burnley Mik's post on RaisetheRiver.

We will be holding a charity game to help support Mary and her wonderful work for cancer research.

We are planning a game for Sunday 18th April at 8.30 (to run alongside the prestigious Bloggerment). It's will be a $10 Entry fee and all winnings to be shipped to Mary upon completion

For every entry into the game, RTR will donate $5 to Mary's cause. So 10 players would be $50 etc.

We will also donate a 3 month membership to GrinderSchool's Poker Training site.

It would be appreicated if you could put this up on your blogs and get it some publicity for Mary, as it's a wondeful cause.

Game Details:

Sunday 18th April
$10 Buy In
password: Mair38 (it's a capital "M")
Tourney Number: 261128458

Registration Open now!!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Tango Sucka!

Congrats to Rosie on winning The Bloggerment last Sunday.Just a pity neither of us could cash in the sngs's we played afterwards.

I've not posted this week as my poor run has continued at the tables and I really don't feel like writing about it.I will say that this is easily my worst run for over a year and the only upside is that my luck has been so bad that I know it can't continue indefinitely.It doesn't feel like it will ever end, but I've been through huge downswings and long break even spells before and have always come out on top and I'm sure I will again.

It was heartening to check another Party reg's Sharkscope stats and see that despite being ranked number 4 on the overall 2010 profit leaderboard ( $16-$35, 9-10 seat sngs) he was still down about $1k from his last 1355 games.It's easy to slip into a "woe is me and only me" mode and forget that I'm not the only one capable of running like a sick joke.

Party Leaderboard reg: 15,299 $1 $31 4% $12,643 Party Poker SNG Only x
Party Leaderboard reg: 1,355 -$1 $36 -2% -$1,045 Party Poker <1Mths SNG Only

My cashout from Party did hit my bank account last week and although it was quick,I was a bit annoyed that Party gave me a rate of $1.56 per pound instead of the actual rate of $1.52 at the time of the withdrawal.

First on the agenda is paying for my Rangers season ticket which has been frozen at £425 for next season.This season ( so far) is going like a dream and our rivals being gubbed by a first division team ( 2-0 to Ross County) in the cup semi at the weekend was the latest joyous moment for the blue half of Glasgow."Oh Robbie,Robbie,came up to celtc and he won fuck all".Happy days and only two more league wins required to seal a world record 53rd title.

Not much else going on.I was at the Docs on Monday and got a new line for four weeks.The new sick notes introduced on April 6th give more scope to do some work and I've spoken to my boss to let her know I could work from home if required.My back is still sore but the next step is half pay ( been on full pay since the accident in Nov) and I want to get back before that happens.

Righty before I go here's a quick random tip on how to avoid having to watch those annoying adverts at the start of youtube videos.Press F5 and it skips the ad.

Ok,the s-man is coming over this evening for some more Modern Warfare 2 shennanigans.Tango Sucka!

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Thursday, April 08, 2010

Cashout + Silly New Poker Idea....

I played ten more $22's without a cash before winning the last two of the evening on Tuesday and hoped the worst of my bad run was over.I played three without cashing on Wednesday before deciding I'd had enough and got back to blasting peoples heads** off in Modern Warfare 2!

** Usually their toes if I'm lucky,I'm a duff shot!

Last night I went 0/9 with more of the same sick beats and coolers before finally scraping a couple of second place finishes.I've been biding my time to cash out $2k to cover a few upcoming bills and now that the election has been announced it made sense to go ahead just in case the Pound strengthens v the Dollar on the back of a new Government being elected on May 6th.( honeymoon period for the new guy etc )The cashout was approved in only a few hours ( wp Party) and it felt good to remind myself why I keep playing even when I can't seem to win a hand.I resisted the temptation to take the whole bloody lot out and never play another hand of poker again! My roll now sits at just over $2000 between Party and Stars.

All this downswinging crap has given me a nonsense idea for a new addition to poker tables.

It's been years since I read Super System but I'm pretty sure Doyle writes about playing more when running well and less when running badly.( or something along those lines) This does seem to conflict with the maths/logic which says every new hand is completely unrelated to the last one and there's no greater chance of my Aces etc being busted this week than at some other time when I was running hot.

Anyway my new idea for poker will allow everyone who always runs badly ( usually called losers!) to still profit! The idea is to add a type of betting exchange to some of the tables,allowing players to give the rest of the table better odds than the maths if they want to participate.

Ok here's an extreme hypothetical example of how it would work in a standard 10 player sit and go: I'm dealt KK and get all in preflop against AQ.The maths says I have a 71.5% chance of winning and the AQ is a 28.5% ( just under 3-1 in betting terms) underdog.Play is halted before the community cards are dealt, because despite being a big favourite mathematically to win this hand, I've not had a hand hold up since Dudley was a boy, and as I just "know" the Ace is coming,I reverse the odds, ( in reality I wouldn't be quite as generous, but you get the picture) and offer the table 3-1 on my KK holding up.They all pile on and although I still crash out the sng when the inevitable Ace hits the board,I win the sidebets!

The shortstack gets it all with QK ( one from tonight!) v the bigstacks QQ on the bubble and the maths says he is an aprox 3-1 underdog to win the hand.I'm the other shortstack and on planet Acorn right now,he's a feckin' dead cert to suck out and win, so I offer the table a small edge over the real odds and despite my upcoming bubble boy status,I laugh like a hyena as the King falls on the river!

Yep dig out the sillyosaurus,I've finally completely lost the plot!

Back soon, if I can still type with a straitjacket on...

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Monday, April 05, 2010

Hard to Bear

The good news is that I finally put in some decent-ish volume at the tables and played thirty $22's last night.I even missed The Bloggerment as I was 4 tabling at the time but I reckon I'll be back next week.

The bad news is that I think I managed to take running badly to a whole new level and I'm now down 35 buy-ins over the last few weeks.I suppose I could look at it another way and say I've made about 15 cents per game over the last 730 games....

mentioned confidence being affected in the comments section of my last post and although a horrendous run does leave me second guessing myself at times, I've also played enough sng's to realise that seemingly impossible runs of coolers and awful beats will happen over a small sample size sometimes.

It's such a tough game at times.I tell myself that the next hand is a brand new one and logically it's completely unaffected by the last one and yet I just know my opponents going to hit his miracle card to beat me at the moment.It doesn't just seem to affect me when I'm in a hand.At one point during a long run of cashless games I was 2nd in chips with a decent stack on the bubble and one player had only a couple of hundred chips left.Thoughts of "well at least I'm going to cash here" were blown away by the shortstack continually doubling up with the worst hand and my QQ eventually losing to J7 when the fish rivered a Jack after a 7 fell on the flop.( that's the only bad beat story in this post from dozens last night!!)

I won't harp on anymore about how unlucky I was as I don't do the opposite on the nights I only play 6 games and win 3 for a nice profit.In fact I still get pissed off at whatever happened to knock me out of the 3 games I didn't win! It is only a game and should be enjoyable to some extent and I think part of the reason I've not played a lot recently is that it's just not bringing me any pleasure at all.I suppose having a good session and feeling like I've got over this downswing would be satisfying.I also know that the run I'm on is so insanely bad that there's no logical way it can continue for too much longer and that if I stick to my playing my best game profits will surely follow.

Just read this post by Spacegravy and feel a bit better about running badly.

Back soon...

Friday, April 02, 2010

Bad Thursday

Last night wasn't much fun at the virtual felt.I managed to play twelve more $22's and didn't cash in any of them,running into beats and coolers at every turn.I checked Pokertracker and I've played just under 700 sng's at Party over the last five months,making about $550 profit.I've never been a high volume grinder, but I did at least manage about 300-400 games per month previously and if I want to continue to make decent hobby money from the game I'll need to put in the hours.I've probably made more money over the last five months due to the Pound dropping in value against the Dollar than I have actually playing.

I have played over 12 days worth of 10 minute Teamdeath matches online at Modern Warfare 2 and certainly for the first few months after my accident I probably wasn't mentally strong enough to play good poker.I may have made $550 at Party, however I've still lost about 20 buy-ins over the last few weeks and I need to just ride it out and hopefully bag a few wins to get back on track.

Real grinders play dozens of sets of twelve games per day and probably wouldn't even blink at one cashless run.When it is only a hobby it's harder to find the motivation to play when running poorly and playing less games has made me more mentally rusty when it comes to just gritting my teeth and playing through bad beats and coolers.Time to stop being a pussy,man up and start putting in more volume!

Here's a hand from last night which did make me smile.The hand replayer didn't work but it's such a good lesson on how to knock out five players at once I thought it was worth posting anyway...

***** Hand History for Game 9083030691 *****
NL Texas Hold'em $22 USD Buy-in Trny: 51260469 Level: 3 Blinds(50/100) - Thursday, April 01, 23:23:53 BST 2010
Table Speed #1330314 (Real Money)
Seat 1 is the button
Total number of players : 10/10
Seat 3: AKQBT ( 1,690 )
Seat 8: Bobbes22 ( 3,970 )
Seat 5: Bouncing666 ( 430 )
Seat 1: Have_to_win ( 2,850 )
Seat 4: Zootycoon2 ( 960 )
Seat 10: bumbleberry ( 3,970 )
Seat 2: derSinnes ( 2,500 )
Seat 9: hertogjaap ( 250 )
Seat 6: Hero ( 1,910 )
Seat 7: wolffish11 ( 1,470 )
Trny: 51260469 Level: 3
** Dealing down cards **
** Dealing down cards **
Dealt to Hero [ 7h 5s ]
Zootycoon2 raises [300]
Bouncing666 is all-In [430]
Hero folds
wolffish11 calls [430]
Bobbes22 calls [430]
hertogjaap is all-In [250]
bumbleberry folds
Have_to_win folds
derSinnes folds
AKQBT is all-In [1,590]
Zootycoon2 is all-In [660]
wolffish11 is all-In [1,040]
Bobbes22 calls [1,260]
** Dealing Flop ** [ Jh, 6d, 8s ]
** Dealing Turn ** [ Ad ]
** Dealing River ** [ 2s ]
Zootycoon2 shows [ Ks, Js ]a pair of Jacks with King kicker.
Bouncing666 shows [ Td, Jd ]a pair of Jacks.
wolffish11 shows [ Qc, Kc ]high card Ace.
Bobbes22 shows [ Jc, Ac ]two pairs, Aces and Jacks.
hertogjaap shows [ 9h, 8d ]a pair of Eights.
AKQBT shows [ Ah, Kh ]a pair of Aces.
Bobbes22 wins 440 chips from the side pot 4 with two pairs, Aces and Jacks.
Bobbes22 wins 1,530 chips from the side pot 3 with two pairs, Aces and Jacks.
Bobbes22 wins 2,120 chips from the side pot 2 with two pairs, Aces and Jacks.
Bobbes22 wins 900 chips from the side pot 1 with two pairs, Aces and Jacks.
Bobbes22 wins 1,550 chips from the main pot with two pairs, Aces and Jacks.
hertogjaap finished in 10 place.
Bouncing666 finished in 9 place.
Zootycoon2 finished in 8 place.
wolffish11 finished in 7 place.
AKQBT finished in 6 place.

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