Sunday, July 30, 2006

Sweet Stud Hi-Lo hand

Here is a hand from a Stud Hi/Lo tourney I played on Stars today. I started the tourney terribly, losing to higher two-pairs twice when no lows/straights/flushes were on anyone's board. It was frustrating, but I realized that even though I was down, in limit tournies you can come back easily when the blinds start rising...

and comeback I did!

PokerStars Game #5740719040: Tournament #28500184, $10+$1 7 Card Stud Hi/Lo Limit - Level III (50/100) - 2006/07/30 - 20:49:21 (ET)
Table '28500184 27' 8-max
Seat 1: smiles@aces (1495 in chips)
Seat 2: cruisifier (727 in chips)
Seat 4: Meanhappyguy (869 in chips)
Seat 5: VvoxX (4420 in chips)
Seat 6: UUmpaloo (2939 in chips)
Seat 7: Keefers80 (834 in chips)
Seat 8: alien001 (1141 in chips)
smiles@aces: posts the ante 10
cruisifier: posts the ante 10
Meanhappyguy: posts the ante 10
VvoxX: posts the ante 10
UUmpaloo: posts the ante 10
Keefers80: posts the ante 10
alien001: posts the ante 10
*** 3rd STREET ***
Dealt to smiles@aces [9d]
Dealt to cruisifier [2h]
Dealt to Meanhappyguy [As 5h 4d]
Dealt to VvoxX [Ts]
Dealt to UUmpaloo [Qc]
Dealt to Keefers80 [Jh]
Dealt to alien001 [7d]
cruisifier: bets 50
Meanhappyguy: raises 50 to 100
VvoxX: folds
UUmpaloo: calls 100
Keefers80: calls 100
alien001: folds
smiles@aces: folds
cruisifier: calls 50
*** 4th STREET ***
Dealt to cruisifier [2h] [4h]
Dealt to Meanhappyguy [As 5h 4d] [Ac]
Dealt to UUmpaloo [Qc] [9c]
Dealt to Keefers80 [Jh] [6d]
Meanhappyguy: bets 50
UUmpaloo: raises 50 to 100
Keefers80: calls 100
cruisifier: calls 100
Meanhappyguy: calls 50
*** 5th STREET ***
Dealt to cruisifier [2h 4h] [Qd]
Dealt to Meanhappyguy [As 5h 4d Ac] [8s]
Dealt to UUmpaloo [Qc 9c] [8d]
Dealt to Keefers80 [Jh 6d] [6c]
Keefers80: checks
cruisifier: checks
Meanhappyguy: checks
UUmpaloo: bets 100
Shasundow is connected
Keefers80: calls 100
cruisifier: calls 100
Meanhappyguy: calls 100
*** 6th STREET ***
Dealt to cruisifier [2h 4h Qd] [2c]
Dealt to Meanhappyguy [As 5h 4d Ac 8s] [7h]
Dealt to UUmpaloo [Qc 9c 8d] [5s]
Dealt to Keefers80 [Jh 6d 6c] [Qs]
Keefers80: checks
cruisifier: checks
Meanhappyguy: bets 100
UUmpaloo: calls 100
Keefers80: calls 100
cruisifier: calls 100
*** RIVER ***
Dealt to Meanhappyguy [As 5h 4d Ac 8s 7h] [7s]
Keefers80: checks
cruisifier: checks
Meanhappyguy: bets 100
UUmpaloo: raises 100 to 200
Keefers80: calls 200
cruisifier: folds
Meanhappyguy: raises 100 to 300
UUmpaloo: calls 100
Keefers80: calls 100
*** SHOW DOWN ***
Meanhappyguy: shows [As 5h 4d Ac 8s 7h 7s] (HI: two pair, Aces and Sevens; LO: 8,7,5,4,A)
UUmpaloo: mucks hand
Keefers80: mucks hand
Meanhappyguy collected 1285 from pot
Meanhappyguy collected 1285 from pot
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot 2570 | Rake 0
Seat 1: smiles@aces folded on the 3rd Street (didn't bet)
Seat 2: cruisifier folded on the River
Seat 4: Meanhappyguy showed [As 5h 4d Ac 8s 7h 7s] and won (2570) with HI: two pair, Aces and Sevens; LO: 8,7,5,4,A
Seat 5: VvoxX folded on the 3rd Street (didn't bet)
Seat 6: UUmpaloo mucked [Kh Qh Qc 9c 8d 5s 8c]
Seat 7: Keefers80 mucked [Th Td Jh 6d 6c Qs 3s]
Seat 8: alien001 folded on the 3rd Street (didn't bet)


Saturday, July 29, 2006

180-man $4.40 tournies

These tournaments on Stars are nuts. I'm sure you've either heard of them or played them. A lot of "interesting" hands get showdown in these tournies, which inevitably leads to one or two people breaking away from the pack early and accumulating 10k or more chips within the first 30 minutes.

I'm assuming it is either dumb luck, or playing against people who will call you down with less than stellar hands, but for some reason I have ended up at the chip leader's table in each of the last three 180-man's that I've played.

It is starting to get annoying, because with one person having such a large chip lead over the rest of the table, it seems like we are all playing with a disadvantage. "Moves" are hard enough to pull off when the whole table is calling anyways, but when someone has 10x your stack, they just don't fold very often.

The strategy I try to use to combat the loose-calls and the large discrepancy in stack sizes is to tighten up and try to play better starting hands.

This *sounds like it should work, but when I don't see many ideal starting hands, coupled with missing the flop, my stack dwindles and dwindles as the blinds get larger and larger.

I don't really consider this "running bad" because it feels like I have been playing terrible and haven't been able to adapt to the looser, casino-type games. I haven't had much success at casinos for this very reason. I think I tighten up too much, which then leads to me not playing "my game," being very easy to read, and feeling clueless at the table.

*big sigh*

Well, I just got moved from the chip leader's table and got dealt AKo in the BB. UTG went all-in and I was the only caller. He flipped up AQ and got no help from the board. I sure hope this isn't a sign that complaining works, because I don't want to keep whining on this blog...


Friday, July 28, 2006

Pot Limit Omaha Hi/Lo

Played a $5 PLO H/L MTT on Stars last night. I’ve never played one of these before, and thought it might be a fun change of pace from the NLHE blogger tournies.

It was, but not knowing a strategy to take severely hampered me. I played very passively throughout and got lucky shooting for Low’s on the river. I wasn’t very happy with my play, and really should have been able to pick my spots better. I ended up ‘bubbling’ at 54 out of about 450 players, top 45 got paid. I had an extremely short stack due to my passivity, and ended up pushing with JJ54 into A346. I was in the small blind and probably should have just passed. The antes still hadn’t appeared, so I might have been able to creep my way into the money… but I was pretty ashamed of my play thus far in the tourney and really just wanted to double up or go home. So go home I went!

Took a little break and fumed for a bit about my bad play, then fired up a $5.50 STT.

[Enter maniac]

This guy talked the whole tournament and made some nice 40xBB raises. Got to give it to him though, he basically owned the table. Nobody stole his blinds throughout the entire tourney. Because he was getting hit in the face with the deck, but also playing very recklessly, he ended up slow-playing his rolled up aces and let me turn a broadway straight and double-up. I usually steal with abandon in these STT’s, but the maniac just wouldn’t let that happen, so I sat back and waited for him to get tricky with a slowplay, or for me to hit a hand.

I was really the only one at the table who had his number. A few guys tried to bluff him off pots and of course he’d flip up top trips, or a flopped flush, or whatever other nut hand you can think of. I just waited.

It got down to four, and I had a slight chip lead when I got KK. I raised UTG 3xBB, maniac called and the BB went all-in for about 1k less than I had. I went all-in and the maniac folded (getting pretty nice odds though).

The BB flipped up AA and I flopped a K.

Funny how that is sometimes. I try to play the best poker that I can, and have my fair share of bad beats, but it comes full circle.

Shortly thereafter it gets down to me and the maniac heads up, about even in chips. He’s started to slow down, and it becomes fairly obvious that he is card dead. I get up to about 9k to his 4.5k when this beauty happens.

Maniac min-raises from the button, I call with K-3o.

Flop comes 7-6-4 rainbow. We both check.

Turn comes a 3c. I bet ¾’s the pot, thinking I am ahead. He raises all-in. He *could* have a five, or a higher pair, but I just don’t think he does. If he had a five, my read told me that he would min-raise (Hoy?) to induce me into the rest of the pot. I called and he showed A-2d. River came a 5 for the board-straight and we chopped.

A few hands later he flops a J-high heart flush. I have a Kh and an open-ended straight draw (which didn’t do me much good). I bet, he min-raises, I go all-in. True to my read, he had a “monster” and no other hearts came on the turn and river.

I go out a few hands later with Ax vs. K7.

This STT was such a striking example of how results based thinking just isn’t where it is at in poker. I’ve read blogs where people think “hey, I *DESERVE* to be at this final table!” After showing us how they caught a 3-outter on the river to jump to the chip-lead. You don’t deserve to be there, buddy.

When the STT got to heads up, I felt like I was just as likely as any of the other players to be there, but I definitely didn’t deserve to be there. The guy whose Ace’s I cracked was playing great—he just got unlucky. The maniac didn’t deserve to win, but he chopped a pot on the river, flopped a flush, dodged outs and hit his 40% preflop hand.

He had little-to-no control over any of those things.

I guess what I am getting at is that control in poker is a big thing. What you can control and what you can’t control (in STT’s and MTT’s) has a lot to do with the size of your stack in relation to others. You can afford to suckout if you have 95% of the chips. If you play weak-passive poker and continually complain about your aces getting cracked, you might fail to realize that they were calling off 3% of their stack to call your all-in.

I spent late last-night watching high-level limit and no limit holdem on Stars. Luck seems to factor in *very* little there. And when it does, it is in the form of player A flopping trips and player B flopping a full-house, then all the money going in. I would get decimated at those levels, but it is fun to watch the battles without showdowns—it is a very skillful game.

I’m debating between cash games and tournies right now. I think my tourney game is a lot better than my cash game, and I like getting a lot of play for my money. I’m leaning towards tournies right now, but don’t think I will stop dabbling in fun stud h/l cash games J


Thursday, July 27, 2006

Riding the Six (7/27/06)

I got to the bus stop with plenty of time to spare this morning. I’m wearing my blue and white collared shirt and my need-to-be-washed khakis. They have a few spots, from what? I’m not sure. Probably butter from my morning bagel.

My pockets are bulging with the usual—keys, bus pass, ID for work, wallet, cell phone. In my hands is a 1500-page behemoth of a book on the history of Europe. I’m on page 85. I’ve got a ways to go.

The bus comes before any of the other regulars get to the bus stop and I hop on to a relatively full ride. I stand for a few blocks until three people from the lofted back-section of the bus get off and I take a seat in the corner of back row.

It takes both of my hands to open the book—it is that big.

I begin reading about the Minoan civilization, apparently the oldest known civilization in the world. They had a monopoly on the sea trade in the Mediterranean and lived in unfortified palaces on the island of Crete. The author weaves in and out of mythology, touching on the subject of idols, worship, and sacrifice.

I’m a big fan of ancient Greece and Rome, as well as mythology. I’m not sure if I necessarily believe it (I don’t think I do?), but the stories sure are fascinating.

A huge eruption on the cone-shaped island of Thera decimated Crete, almost all of the islands around Italy and Greece, and the coasts of the mainlands themselves. This explosion came to be known as one of the first world-wide natural disasters. Evidence of sulphuric acids in Greenland, along with carbon-dating at Thera itself, shows that the eruption occurred around 1628BC. The debris from the explosion created some very well-preserved tombs, which was another way historians and scientists are able to date the eruption.

The Minoan's trade and homes were crushed by the natural disaster, which eventually led to the take-over by the Dorian warriors… which is where the chapter ended and the bus pulled up to my stop.

I hopped off the bus downtown, wishing I was in Crete searching for signs of life from 3000+ years ago.

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Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Education Paradox

I’ve been thinking a lot about becoming a professor somewhere down the road. I think it would be very rewarding to teach bright, young students and watch them grow and develop as human beings. At a small, liberal arts college I think the toughest task I would face is turning spoiled brats into people who can exist with people outside their social class. They are basically given the world and it is up to them how they want to use it.

On the flip side, instead of teaching these gifted children, what about using my teaching talent elsewhere? Kindergarten? Middle School? Children with Special Needs?

Arguably, this type of teaching would be much more difficult. But it might be much more rewarding. I’m not going to run into Children with Special Needs who are given the world and who think they are better than everyone else—which I can easily see at the college level. As my supervisor at work pointed out—some kids with special needs are amazed and excited at the most mundane things in my life. Say… tying their shoelaces. Or coming in last in a race—merely finishing is a great accomplishment.

I know I won’t find this at the college level!

Right now I am leaning more towards the college level, because I believe the material I encounter will be more engaging for me, personally. I can see getting burned out working with younger children and the same material year after year. I know each classroom would be very different, but teaching material that isn’t engaging can lead to me losing the ‘spark’ that makes me want to be a teacher right now.

Do you have more respect for a great college professor, or a great kindergarten teacher? Or a great children with special needs educator? Not that I am fishing for respect… but I want to make the most of my talent.

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Wednesday, July 19, 2006

1 year

Things I want to do in the next year, starting today.

1) Go camping.

I want to go camping a lot. I want to see the wilderness of the Pacific Northwest. It is a very basic need of mine. I don't want to be 80 years old and have the forests gone and regret seeing them in their majesty.

I want to take a lot of pictures while I hike.

2) Get more into photography.

This could easily get put on the back-burner, but it would be fun to take a class like Stacey did and mess around with more than a digital camera--or at least more than a crappy digital camera. I want a SLR.

3) Find something or work towards doing something I love doing.

First thing that comes to mind is teaching or coaching. I would love to coach youth sports sometime soon. I would also like to work towards getting a master's degree.

4) Travel.

Somewhere outside of the US. If it is only Canada, so be it. If it is Mexico, all the better. Thailand, Australia, maybe??

I also want to go to Tahoe in the next year.

5) Have fun.

Easy peazy!

6) Read and write.

Done! hah! But seriously, writing and reading go a long ways when it comes to my happiness.

7) Surprise Stacey

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