Friday, November 14, 2008
Despite all of this I'm only down about $4k on the month. So when the variance catches up to me I have the opportunity to be having a really terrific month.
I'm really proud of the fact that I've grinded my ass off this month. So far I've played 60 hours and just under 45k hands. If things were to go as expected for the rest of the month I could easily make $15k this month. If the variance were to catch up as it mathematically should in the long run then I could easily make +$20k this month. Right now I'd settle for a few sessions in which I didn't suffer multiple 4 or less outers every hour.
that is all for now.
Monday, November 10, 2008
Just one week after a historic election the Poker Players Alliance is pitted in a fight to keep anti-Internet poker regulations from being enacted and we NEED YOUR HELP!
The current Administration is hastily finalizing a number of “midnight rules” before they leave office and the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) is on the list. See the 11/06 story in Dow Jones. Just like UIGEA was snuck into legislation in the dark of night in 2006, our opponents are again trying an 11th hour sneak job. We need you to help us expose and stop this reckless rulemaking.
Please call the U.S. Federal Reserve and tell them not to approve the UIGEA regulations -- Consumer Complaints, 888-851-1920 or Public Affairs, 202-452-2955.
• The federal agencies responsible for our nation’s economy should not be focused on Internet poker regulations.
• Finalization of the UIGEA rules will add additional burdens on our already crippled financial systems.
• Internet poker is a game of skill and form of recreation for millions of Americans; it should be exempted from the UIGEA.
• Please do not finalize the UIGEA regulations until their impact on our banking systems and average Americans has been fully studied.
Tell us how the call went by clicking here.
Your call will make a huge difference and will add the public’s voice to these last minute policy decisions our government is poised to make. We can’t stand idly by while they make decisions that will impact our right to play America’s card game. PLEASE CALL TODAY!
Thursday, November 6, 2008
But that isn't going to happen for a number of reasons, most of which are out of his control. Our government is a fat bloated bureaucracy. Things don't happen quickly because radical change is scary, and democracies tend to err towards the status quo. So nothing drastic is going to happen anytime soon. Along with that we need ot realize that Barack is a very centrist candidate (and I don't really have a problem with that) but nothing in his campaign nor his political past leads me to believe that he is suddenly going to try and flip the federal government on its head. The Democrats don't have a large enough majority in the Senate to prevent fillibuster, and frankly I think that is a good thing. I typically disagree with and disdain both political parties (thanks college poli sci major for the disillusionment) so as long as they are my two options I prefer they do their best to cancel each other out.
And while he may be a great guy, Obama is going to make mistakes, every president has. In fact very few Presidents (if you study their history) deserve the credit or blame that we give them. Typically the really great Presidents did some good things but tended to have some of their policy run really good so to speak, and also just happen to be elected during an upswing during one of our economic cycles. The same is true of the Presidents that we typically bash. For the most part they were crappy for some reason, and probably made some stupid policy, but we also tend to blame them for everything that happened during their presidency when in reality they had little to no chance to make a reasonable impact on most of those issues.
So don't expect that Obama is going to fix the economy, health care, or the fact that you can't win a coin flip on the bubble any time soon. He may make some positive contributions to some things, but lets not suddenly bash him if things haven't changed drastically in four years. He has been put up on such a pedestal of hope right now that if things go crappy it could be a long fall. Lest we forget almost half of the country didn't vote for him and their ready to jump all over him if things go bad or he makes a mistake.
Speaking of coin flips, I can't win one. And my sets tend to run into higher sets. And I tend to miss my draws. And my overpairs tend to run into spots where I can only call huge bets on the river if I like burning money. So yeah I'm running bad. But I also feel as though I'm playing pretty well, and controlling my tilt well. So while I'm down about 8k so far this month, I think that actually isn't that bad. If I was tilting and or spewing I think I could easily be down 15k plus this month. But I'm not and I'm proud of that. Money saved is the same as money earned.
Also I can't find my jacket. I last remember wearing it tuesday afternoon, but I looked for it this morning and I can't find it. I'm pissed off. Really there are few things in life that gnaw on my brain like not being able to find something. I rarely can get anything accomplished until I find said lost item, and I tend to obsessively think about it while cursing myself out loud. It's probably somewhat amusing to someone else, but it's really annoying to me. And I'm pretty sure my keys are in the jacket, so that's good.
I just finished reading my third Chuck Klosterman book in about 2 weeks. I really enjoyed it. He is a writer for several popular mags including GQ and Spin, but I had never really known about him or read his stuff until a friend loaned me 4 of his books. I really enjoy his writing, and I find it scarily reminiscent to how I sit and think about things during the day. I suggest any of his books, although maybe the most accessible is Chuck Klosterman IV which is a collection of essays, articles, and some stories. It's great bathroom reading since its broken up into short reads, and the guy just says really insightful things. Warning to any ladies who may read this blog (unlikely since my readership is probably not large enough that a woman is statistically likely, considering the subject matter. if you happen to be a woman and reading my blog please prove me wrong in the comment section) he is a "guy" through and through. But at the same time I think most ladies/women would really enjoy the books, just understand that his subjects may be more accessible/interesting if you share his gender, although he definitely knows this and makes some self-depricating comments to the fact.
Final observation before I let you patient blog readers off to enjoy your day. I notice when I'm reading that I use various voices in my mind for the narration. And the tone and inflection of the voice depends on my estimation of the narrator. For Klosterman I tended to use a voice similar to my own, but maybe slightly more nasally and definitely speaking more sarcastically. I also had him speaking almost as a character in a sitcom or movie since he writes (speaks in my head) such witty insightful things that I can't imagine this timing would be natural in normal conversation. At least I think I couldn't achieve such timing. When I'm reading fantasy fiction I think the voice in my head tends to be more slow, deep, and typically like an older person is relaying something to me in a very serious tone. If I'm reading a woman's writing I probably would assign them a voice of various women that I know, although I'm not really sure since I can't really remember the last time I read literature written by a woman (recommendations anyone?).
anyway that is all. Hopefully next time I post I'll be back to even for the month and feel like blogging about poker. Maybe not though. I'm kind of enjoying writing about other topics. I find it somewhat cathartic (I know uber cliched) and I think it might be more interesting.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Lately for various reasons (most of which personal and I'm not sure I feel like delving in to) I've found myself emotionally uninterested in grinding. I constantly load up FTP, start mining hands and look to see if the games are good. I would say on thursday, friday, saturday, and sunday the games were all fantastic. Despite that I only played on thursday and couldn't find the effort to sit once over the weekend. Some might say this is fairly pathetic given I spend most of my time doing activities purely for my own enjoyment. Those folks would think that my inability to sit and grind for even a couple of hours shows a lack of dedication or just plain laziness on my part. While I could understand where this sentiment would be coming from, these I think would be the people that would struggle (and possibly fail) with the psychological aspect of playing poker for living, something I believe is the most difficult aspect.
One thing I've discovered in the last couple of years is that if you don't feel like playing, you shouldn't play. Just because you had planned on playing does not mean that you have to keep some kind of interpersonal gambling appointment. Poker is an entirely voluntary game and noone can tell you when you should be playing. I have no obligation to anyone beyond paying my bills and my taxes. If I am adequately taking care of those two responsibilities then I don't have a compelling reason to play if I don't want to.
While this all seems very rudimentary, I think there is a deeper message I'm trying and failing miserably at illuminating. The idea is not only that playing when you don't want to play will be -EV because it is unlikely that you will bring or sustain your A game to the tables, but it is also -EV for your personal quality of life. Earning money only has so much value as it allows you to do what you want with your life. In my case I enjoy playing poker, but I also enjoy a myriad of other pursuits. If monetarily I am not wanting, then the opportunity cost of not playing poker is no greater in my mind than the opportunity lost to enrich myself or in general enjoy my day. It's this idea that we (speaking mostly of middle to upper class Americans here) must be constantly accumulating wealth that baffles me.
Take the last 12 months of my life. I could have easily doubled my earn in that time if I had put in 2.5x as much time playing as I did (I say 2.5x playing because as you play more you won't be able to game select as much and you won't be able to be on your A game for as long). However the time cost, physical toll, and mental wear probably would have caused a significant dip in my quality of life (which was quite high imo). Would an additional $XXXXXX provide me with something that would have raised my quality of life from what the additional playing time took away? I don't know. But my quick random blog thought assessment says no. I can't think of any trips, meals, outings, or toys that I desperately wanted to go on, own or use that would have increased on any meaningful level my quality of life. For the most part in terms of freedom of personal time I have been in a nearly ideal situation over the last 12 months. Typically anything that I wanted to do I could do it. Both because I had the time, and I had the freedom. Once you've achieved that, what more can a job that you actually enjoy really offer?
I could ramble on and on about this and get into the levels that I find much more interesting. But chances are that my off the cuff 4AM blogging isn't really such tremendous prose. Most of what I find interesting about all of this relates much more to psychology, sociology, philosophy, and political science than to poker. And since I neither have the resources nor the knowledge of the people that have made these arguments before (and most certainly better and more clear than I am) anything further would simply be rambling conjecture on subjects that people who check out my blog probably have no interest or understand better than me.
Maybe I'll drag a friend to a bar sometime this week and wax philosophical over some octoberfest or an IPA, before it goes from jacket-weather to coat-weather.
FWIW I've been really enjoying a few bands lately that people may or may not know about. For some reason I pull these two out every fall and find there music appropriately moody (and dare I say emo) for the season. I tend to find myself matching genres with seasons, and fall is definitely my punk, alt, emo, rock time of the year. The bands I'm spending most of my time listening to are ...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead and Brand New. AYWKUSTD is much more out there, but very very interesting and Brand New (imo) is simply the only bad to make emo rock that I really respect. Then again I think its questionable if there stuff is really emo, or if its just serious alt-rock. Without a doubt I think they put out serious heavy albums of the type that I haven't really found since At The Drive-In split into Sparta and Mars Volta.
thats all for now. Still looking for a Halloween costume. Some of the ideas have been really solid, but nothing has really stuck. I think in general I'm looking for something a little more humorous, but at least one of the suggestions did make me lol. I'm still looking for an idea of what to do on Halloween as surprisingly none of my friends seem interested this year, so it could be that I won't even be doing anything interesting. meh.
Thursday, October 23, 2008
I started Google Reader tonight, and let me say its sweet. I highly recommend everyone give it a shot. Its super easy to use, and it really makes reading blogs/news/etc much easier. If you decide to give it a go and you read this blog give it a subscribe so you can get easy updates when I write something.
Assuming I keep playing well and running decent I'm looking for my 3rd 5 figure month in a row this month. Things are going pretty well, and I feel very comfortable playing 5/10 now. I rarely look for 3/6 games anymore, and I haven't played 2/4 all month. A massive downswing and resulting loss in confidence is all just one variance bitch-slap away, but I'm hoping that my transition into the higher end of mid-stakes can now be considered permanent. There are only really one or two stakes higher than this that you can actually grind, and I think making it to those stakes is going to take a lot of work on my part. Then again if you had told me a year ago that I would have changed from LHE to NLHE and have moved up to comfortably 6-10 tabling 5/10 I probably would have been a little skeptical. Not to say that I totally would have dismissed it, but I'm not sure that I thought my poker growth would have continued this upward trend for 12 months.
Speaking of which this is pretty much the one year anniversary of me going pro. In my first 12 months I can confidently say that I greatly improved as a player, and I think the proof is that despite averaging only about 65 hrs of play a month I cracked 6-figures for that 12 month span. I'd be really raking it in if it weren't for the IRS, but I pay my taxes in the hope that eventually some politicians will quit wasting most of what I give them.
Finally the contest! I'm looking for an idea for a sweet halloween costume. Something creative, funny, original, whatever. Basically something that is cool and can actually be had via a trip to a local thrift shop, retail store, or via ordering online. I'm taking ideas. I have a few of my own, but nothing that I'm really excited about. So if you post an idea in my comments and I choose it I'll ship $10 to you on FTP or stars. You'll know if I choose your idea because I'll be sure to take pics and post them on the blog. May the best idea win!
thats all for now. later
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
Saturday, October 4, 2008
I proceed to get about 2/3rds of an inch of rice noodle jammed like a splinter under my thumbnail. When it happened it was extremely painful (and I have decent pain tolerance/not squeamish). I immediately tried to remove it with some tweezers, but the end of the noodle just broke off and it was stuck under my thumb. At this point my hand is literally shaking from the pain, and I can see the noodle under my thumb. I called Katy and she was on her way to work and suggested I google it and maybe go to the ER. After looking it up I found not much help online. I tried soaking my hand to see if the noodle would break up, but the hot water was really painful and after half an hour I'd had no luck. I tried trimming back the nail and trying to get ahold of something with the tweezers, but no luck with that. Finally I steralized a needle and tried to poke it into the opening just to see if I could scrape out some of the noodle. This was also painful and ineffective.
I decided to try and get some sleep (I had been up late watching baseball/playing poker) and then see how I felt in the afternoon. When I woke up about 4.5 later my hand was throbbing and I could tell this was something I couldn't just ignore. So I headed to the ER where they checked me in. When I finally got back I was lucky that my room had a TV so I was able to watch the phillies and the brewers. First the resident came in and told me that everyone was getting a good laugh at my expense (Katy and her med school friends had also found this pretty funny) because the board just said noodle and they were all guessing what that meant. The resident informed me that they plan was to block off the nerves in my thumb with anesthesia (sp?) and then to separate part of the nail and remove the noodle. The attending came in and confirmed this, and after another 45 minutes or so they started sticking me with the needles trying to numb my thumb. My thumb had been continuously throbbing and having shooting pain about every 5 minutes, so the anesthesia was a welcome relief.
After the first 4-5 injections my thumb was getting pretty numb and the attending attempted to dig into my nail with some scissor/tweezer things. It was extremely painful and while I was trying to suck it up, he could tell that it was really too painful to keep going. On a side note isn't it interesting that when you are in extreme pain your body reacts the way it does? I was sweating and my heart rate had gone way up and my hand was visibly shaking. So they injected me another 4-5 times and gave me a couple of percocet. After waiting for that to sink in my finger was pretty numb and they gave it another try.
The attending used the scissors to dig a trench between my nail and the quick around the noodle. It was probably the most painful thing I can remember. I didn't embarass Katy by cussing or anything, but I have a new understanding for how horrible the bamboo under the fingernail torture must be. At one point I looked over to see his progress, and it really wasn't a pretty site. There was some blood coming out of the end of my finger and he was pretty forcible jamming the instrument into my finger.
When they finally finished getting it out my thumb was racked with pain. My hand was shaking and bleeding a little, and I just kept laughing and telling Katy how surprisingly painful it was. I mean I figure it would hurt, and I was not looking forward to whatever solution they had, but I have to say I really didn't think after all of those injections and the percocet that it would hurt that much. Let me just say I really really don't recommend ever getting anything jammed under your thumbnail. It's not fun.
The thumb is healing up, but it hurt pretty bad last night and woke me up a couple of times during the night. It's been getting better today during the day, and its draining and some of the sweeling and redness is going away.
Despite that not fun story, life has been good. For one I've started the month off on a nice heater. Secondly the Red Sox are playing great and picked up their second win against the LAA Angels. It was especially sweet because they got the win against K-Rod who I'm not a fan of. I had just been explaining to Katy why I thought he was overrated and why I really didn't like his post game celebrations when the Red Sox rallied in the top of the 9th and got three hits off of him including Drew's 2R HR.
that's about all I've got. hope the tables are good to everyone.
Monday, September 29, 2008
But as I should have learned, posting about success will guarantee a smiting from the poker gods. Obviously I don't believe in any of that, but I think all poker players have those laughably bad runs where we have to make these played-out, cliched comments. In a matter of about 5 days I lost back that $13k plus about another $8k for my new largest downswing ever. Wheeeeeeeeee!
So yeah, you read that right, after going on a $35k upswing, I followed that up with a $21k downswing. Oh variance, you are a cruel mistress.
But since then I've slowly climbed back up, and am back in the black with a very solid chance to book another 5 figure month with two days to go. So I can't complain in the slightest.
I spent 3 days last week in Chicago with two of my best college buds. We caught a couple of cubs games (including the clincher at wrigley against the cardinals) and hit the town pretty hard. Hilarious stories and memories were made, and the post-game party in Wrigleyville was truly epic.
After that I took a bus up to Madison WI to stay with another of my best friends, Eric, from college. He's in the middle of getting a Phd in English from UW so between teaching and taking classes his time was somewhat crunched for the 2.5 days I was in town. Despite that we were able to get some good food, drink a few tasty brews, and relive some great memories. I met his girlfriend and several of his good friends and they are all great people. Hopefully he'll bring his gf with him to Boston on his next visit so I can get to know her better.
Madison was a really nice town. UW's campus was cool, and the weather was great while I was there. I would definitely like to go back to visit Eric either during a UW football saturday or maybe at Halloween. I here the campus has some great parties and my sunday-wed morning visit didn't really overlap with any of those.
Since I've been back in town I've filmed an interview for the Boston cable access tv show Boston Baseball Heads. The show is about my teams championship in the Park League, and I appeared along with my manager and SS. It was a pretty good time and I'm looking forward to seeing it on tv when it airs. I'm going to try and get a DVD copy, and maybe if I'm lucky I'll find some way to upload it on the web and put it on the blog.
Also I attended the Bosox (official fan club of the Red Sox) luncheon where they honored the best amateur baseball teams in the region and our team received an award. That was really a good time as well and I was able to meet a former president of the Park League who was really nice to talk to. Talking with former Park League players and officials makes me really want to find away to bring back the prestige and interest that the league used to have. Years ago the league used to draw hundreds (sometimes thousands) of fans for regular season games and would outdraw the Red Sox during playoff games. All of the best players in the area wanted to play in the League and the teams really had a fan base in their respective communities. While there is still considerable talent in the league, and the players have the same reverence for the history of the league, the fans have long since dissappeared. I think at most we had 100 or so fans for a couple of playoff games. And while that is nice, its a shame that we can't draw more. The competition really is great, and the admission price can't be beat (free). The games are played on weekday nights after people get home from work, and its easy to bring food or drinks to the park and just sit back and enjoy a game on a beautiful summer night. My gf's friends in med school have come to some of my games and they've always had a great time. They really enjoyed a chance to spend a night outside with friends while watching baseball game, and found it a great diversion from their regular stress. I think there are tons of families in the Boston area that could bring their kids to the park watch a game, and have a better experience than sitting at home watching TV. I'm not old, but when I was a kid I pretty much took my bike to the ballpark every night and watched whatever game was being played while running around with friends. Plus we play baseball the way it was meant to be played, hard-nosed, with wood bats, and a real competitive fire.
But anyway I'll get off my soap box for now. Maybe if the teams in the League could get more active in the community during the off and pre season via baseball clinics or volunteering we might be able to attract more fans.
Tomorrow I'm going to get back to working out. I've been slacking since the end of the season and have probably only worked out a half a dozen times. But I really would like to put on 15 lbs or so this off season, and if I want those to be muscle and not burritos I really need to work on my lifting and training. I really hate lifting weights too.
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
When it was time to get on the plane and head back to Boston I had mixed emotions. I was glad to get back to my apartment and routine and obviously to see Katy (who I notice I miss more now when one of us is away then I did in the past). But I was also reluctant to leave my family since I felt I was in some way helping them get by in this difficult time. I think my parents tend to find my eternal optimism and goofiness refreshing, and I can help deflate some of their stress by doing some chores and being around to talk. I also realize now that every time I see my grandparents it could very well be the last time. And that is just really hard to deal with. I know that I am able to handle this stuff better than most, though I don't know why, but even I have trouble with that thought.
I got back to Boston on saturday afternoon and have put in a couple of sessions since then. So far things have been going very well this month and I have a chance to surpass my best month of the year, which is saying something. And that bring's me to the title of the post. August was my biggest winning month ever in poker. I actually cracked the 20k mark for the month and did even better when bonii and RB were taken into account. All of my play was on FTP and was spread between the 2/4 and 5/10 NL games with a little 10/20 and 15/30 6max LHE thrown in.
Here is the graph: link
So obviously I'm feeling pretty good about my game right now. I think I have improved quite a bit in the last month, and a lot of it has to do with game selecting better, cutting down from 9-12 to 6-9 tables, and trying to avoid bad spew against decent regs especially in 3-bet pots. I've been finding more and more good spots to make some aggressive plays both pre and postflop, and I've also been working more on taking advantage of position in postflop spots instead of just being over aggro in 3-betting (at the same time I'm 3 and 4-betting as much as ever).
thats all for now. I'll try to up the posts over the next few months as I have some interesting trips planned before the end of the year.
Saturday, August 30, 2008
During monday's game we were down 6-5 going into the 5th, but mounted a terrific comeback to win 12-6. Then on tuesday I got my second W of the series (also won game 1) when we were able to throw out the tieing run at the plate in the bottom of the 7th of a 7-6 game. That win got us a 3-2 lead in the series.
However game 6 found us facing a tough deficit right away. We gave up 3 runs in the first inning, and going into the bottom of the 6th we were still down 3-0. Then a series of singles and rbi outs got us 3 runs and leveled the score. However the other team put up another 3 runs in the top of the 7th and it looked like the series was going to game 7.
Just like we have done all season though, we found a way to battle back in the last inning and scored 4 runs in 5 batters without recording an out (including a 2rbi 3B and a 2rbi 2B). The walk off 2B to take the lead set off a wild celebration that included a dog-pile at home plate, gratuitous hugging and high-fiving, and lots of champagne spritzing.
It was the perfect ending to a great season. Probably the most fun I've ever had playing baseball, and arguably the best I've ever pitched. I finished the season 11-1 with about a 2.4 ERA and 2 saves. I had about a 3-1 strikeout to walk ratio, and got positive results in all but 2 outings (1 loss and one game where I allowed an inherited runner to score the winning run). Our team finished the year 26-16 which was a dramatic turnaround from last years 9-22 year.
poker update to come soon. gotta get on a plane.
Monday, August 18, 2008
I've moved up and am playing mostly 3/6 and 5/10 NL, but still playing the 2/4 games when I can't find any good games at the higher limits. I'm still mixing in some 8/16 to 15/30 LHE on occasion, but more of a change of pace than anything else.
We are currently in the middle of the opening round of the playoffs. The first series is against arguably the best team in the league and the only team we had a losing record against in the regular season. It is a best of 5 series and we got out to fast start by winning the first two games. They came back and won the third on thursday night, and tomorrow is game 4. Hopefully we can pull it out and make it to the championship where I really like our chances. Things have been going well for me. I'm 9-1 on the season with about a 2.3 ERA. I might be getting the ball tomorrow night, or I might be closing or taking the ball for game 5 if we can't pull it off tomorrow.
Poker is going really well this month. I'm running good and I think playing pretty well. I'm on pace to have my best month ever, and there is a decent chance I could crack $20k for the first time ever. By I'm not keeping my fingers crossed as I think it is fairly unlikely since I'll probably hit a nasty downswing before the month is over (tends to happen imo).
thats all for now. I'm going to try and get back to posting semi-regularly. Its been a fairly busy summer, and I think I'm going to be cramming in tons of good stuff this fall.
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
My changeup has become an extremely effective pitch for probably the first time ever. Its a pitch I've worked on and tinkered with since I was 11 years old, but at times I couldn't even comfortably throw it over the plate. I know that sounds weird as most non-ball players would think that throwing a slower version of your fastball would be relatively easy. But for the pitch to be effective it has to be thrown in the same rhythm and cadence as your fastball. This means your effort and arm speed must look close enough to fool batters at the time of release. The pitch also needs to have similar spin and you need to have good control of it. I've always struggled with blending it with my fastball, and I've rarely had great control of it (although my control greatly improved a few years ago when I was throwing it all of the time in an attempt to add it to my repertoire). But this year its just fallen in to place. Its a pitch I feel comfortable throwing in any count, and its given a new dimension to my fastball (ie an 88 mph fastball looks 95 mph after a hitter sees a few changeups). Also my changeup tends to tumble down and away from right handed hitters which contrasts nicely with my two seam fastball that runs in when thrown at its hardest.
My splitter has been effective, but my control problems with it has forced me to limit it to a mostly strikeout pitch. In a lot of situations I'm trying to pitch to contact to save pitches or to get a double play ball, and the change up is much more effective at that.
As for poker, sigh. I had a great start to the month. I was running and playing well and quickly was up $5k despite some ugly sessions at 15/30 limit and 10/20 limit. I really felt very confident in my 6max NL game. Then I faced the last week. Over the last week I've quickly given back that 5k due to some bad plays, and some really bad running. I'm running about $3k under expectation for the last 6k hands or so, and I've definitely made some spewey plays that cost me a couple of buy-ins out of some frustration.
I'm still up slightly on the month, and I still feel pretty good about my game. But its certainly taken the luster off of my attempt to grind 20-25k hands this week.
I'm also really excited about The Dark Knight coming out this friday. It looks to be a classic and I can't wait to go see it. Plus the X-files movie is coming out a week later, and that should be awesome as I'm a huge x-files fanboy.
Planning on going to see 311 and Snoop Dogg on friday. This will add to the other great concerts I've seen this summer that include Dave Matthews Band, and The Mighty Mighty Bosstones/Dropkick Murphies. The Bosstones show was last week and it was simply awesome. Only the second time I've been able to see my favorite band live, and it was almost as good as the first. I knew 95% of the lyrics and sang and danced along to ever song. The band looked like they were having a great time and I really hope they consider putting out a new album when they finish their summer tour.
I'm still planning on adding some thoughts about Vegas and various casinos in another post, but I didn't feel like getting to that tonight. Also hoping to getting back to blogging more often, but maybe shorter entries.
Monday, June 30, 2008
Started off the night fairly well, I made some good plays got some good value for several hands, but then I went totally card dead. All of my draws missed, all of their draws got there, I rarely flopped a pair etc etc etc. Before I know it I haven't won a hand in about 2 hours and I'm down to about $200 from my original $500. A few more bad flops and I'm down to $160. At this point I just feel that this game isn't working for me, and I'm going to get up and go to Caesars or something. My plan was to just play until my BB and then take a break.
Then the hand occurred that taught me a valuable LHE lesson, and maybe a little bigger lesson as well. And while it possible cost me a +$300 pot, if I correctly apply the lesson i guess it could make me money in the long run.
A little background: one of the main reasons I was staying at the table was because I easily had the best seat in the whole table. I had to two tightest players to my direct left, and I had a player to my right that while well ententioned obviously had no clue how to play poker. In fact he had to be briefed on the mechanics of play at least half a dozen times in the 2 hours he had been sitting. He had won several pots off of me by getting there every time, as well as not ever folding when I had draws that missed (to my credit I didn't waste too many bets bluffing him once he showed a willingness to call down with K-high in every HU pot no matter what the action). To his credit his biggest mistakes were betting and raising when his hand did not warrant it in the slightest as well as rarely folding if he had any SD value. While these are exploitable mistakes in LHE, and playing that way will surely cause you to go bust in the long they are mistakes that can only be exploited if people are hitting hands against you and this night he was hitting enough hands to stay afloat. There were also some other LP calling stations further to my right, so combined with this player I easily had the best seat at the table. If I could have played that seat for the rest of my life I think I'm easily a 5BB/100 winner in that game.
So back to the hand. I look down in MP and see 44. Two players have limped in front including our big fish. I limp as well and super tight player two to my left (who isn't very good but thinks he's good because he plays soooo tight and can't hand read for shit) raises. BB calls, limpers call and I call and we see a 5 way flop for 2sb. Dream flop of A84 rainbow comes down. The fish bets into me, I think about raising, but then I know that the guy behind me will raise with any Ax, and then I can trap the field for a c/r on the turn when he bets again. So I just call, tight guy raises as I thought, fish calls and I call.
Now the 6 comes on the turn. Fish leads again, I know tight player will raise all of his good Ax again, so I call playing on 3-betting the field when it comes back around. Tight guy raises (sweet), fish calls, and I 3-bet. Tight guy looks puzzled for about 3 seconds, then announces a 4-bet. Fish calls two cold (lolzers) and I realize that I'm likely now up against a set of aces. I call and we see the river.
the river is the 7 making the board A8467. Before any action the tight guy groans. I now know he has some kind of set and thinks that made someone a straight. Fish now bets into me, I decide "wtf, huge pot, I has a set, I call". Then tight guy lifts his hand off the table and shows me and other tight player to my left his AA before groaning and finally calling. Fish knuckles the table and AA scoops the pot. Now can you spot the big mistake I made that could have changed who got shipped the pot?
If you guessed that I should have raised the river then you deserve a cookie. If I had stopped for a second and realized that fish could very easily be betting the river with any two pair and that my hand likely has decent equity against his range, and that by raising the river I could rep a straight and possibly get the tight guy to fold. Now any good player will look at my action on the turn and quickly realize that I am much more likely to have a lower set than a hand with a 5 in it since the only hand that I could have c/3bet the turn would have been 75 exactly. But this player didn't hand read will, he only board read well. When I raised the river he wouldnt have considered that my range of hands on the turn had very few 5x hands in them he just would have figured "4 to a straight on the board someone has to have it" and possibly mucked his set of aces. Considering that there was over 20BB in the pot, I was going to pay one more to see the SD, that additional BB would only have to buy me the pot about 4-5% of the time to be profitable. I think the chance that I have the fish beat, and get the tight player to fold is definitely better than 5% if I would have raised the river.
Instead of taking time to think out the situation, and make the best and most profitable decision I made the standard easy make a call and see a SD decision. Afterwards I got up and left the table as I had planned, but before I could even make it into the bathroom I realized my mistake. I was immediately very pissed at myself for not seeing such a profitable river play. Sure it is a somewhat advanced play, but I played LHE for a living exclusively for about 5 months against much tougher competition in higher stakes games and I feel like that is a play I should have seen.
So lesson learned. In LHE whether or not you should call or raise the river is not based on whether or not you think you have the best hand, it has to do with whether or not you think that you can possibly fold out better hands while still getting called by worse. In this case the small parlay that I fold out a higher set and beat the fish was definitely a profitable play. The math of the situation is undeniable, and the best play on the river was certainly a raise.
The second and maybe more important lesson is that if you are faced with an action you didnt anticipate on the river (ie fish bets after the 4th straight card comes) don't play on instinct take time to think through the situation. While we as poker players should be prepared for all possible situations (ie don't bet or raise if you don't know what to do if they reraise) obviously new facets of complex hand can certainly present new opportunities for us to make profitable plays. Ignoring those opportunities, or failing to understand them costs us money at the table and probably cost me a fairly significant portion of a very large pot last night (since my play wouldn't always work but it had enough value to work some of the time).
next post is going to be more of a summary of my trip. My thoughts on vegas (both good and bad) and the various casinos.
thanks for reading
Friday, June 27, 2008
The I had a little more than our starting 4k stack when I limped on the button with A9s after three other people limped. Jeff Madsen had limped UTG with about 2.4k stack. The flop comes down A84 with two hearts and everyone checks to me. I bet 300 into the 500 pot, and Madsen thinks for about 30 seconds before c/r'ing to 800. Now I had stabbed at pots as the last one to act and had to fold to raises at least 2 times in the last 45 minutes, and I knew he had seen me be fairly active. Combine that with the fact that he made a non-committing raise, and he could easily have a flush draw and I decided to ship it in. My hand looks really weak there, and I figured there was a decent chance he was bluffing since its fairly unlikely he limps a better Ax from UTG with that stack.
turns out I was way off with my guess as he had limped AKo from UTG (huh?) and after he snap called and I didn't catch up my stack is down to crap. Plus we are now 1 hand away from the break and the blinds become 200. So I'll have 8BB when I get back from the break.
First hand we get back from the break a really good player that I talked with a little bit limps UTG, and I have AA. Normally I would have just raised to 3-4BB, but I knew that he would see that as a committing raise and I had just finished talking with him about how often I was going to be shipping it in during the break. So I thought if I thought for a little bit and then shipped it in that he might call me off light. Instead he basically insta-mucked and I got no value for my aces. In retro-spect I really think I should have just limped as well and tryed to get someone else to squeeze raise from behind and get it in with the AA. I also could have possible won a c-bet on the flop from the aggressive limper.
A couple hands later with about 1.8k in chips I ship it in from UTG with 55. Aggressive european guy 2 to my left thinks for about 2 minutes before going all-in for about 2.4k, then madsen directly to his left thinks for about 1 minute before going all-in for a little over 4k, then the guy two to Madsen's left thinks for about 30 seconds before going all-in for about 3.8k. So I know I'm going ot have to spike now that we have 4 players all-in LOL. I flip up the speed limit, next guy has 88, Madsen has JJ, and then the last player has AA. So I've only got about 10% equity in the pot, but if I hit a 5 at least I'll be up to 7.2k in chips. The AA held up though, and two of us were eliminated. Madsen must have busted a few hands later because I saw him out in the hallway not much longer. So I guess that hand basically eliminated 3 of the 8 players at the table. And I can proudly say I got it in with the worst hand. wheeeeee.
overall I think I played like crap. I think a lot of it had to do with the fact that I got basically no sleep for the last 3 days because of the baseball game, packing, couldnt sleep on the flight, and then went out last night and partied a little too hard. In retrospect I probably should have gone back to the room at a reasonable hour instead of going clubbing with the European guys from raktherake. We had a good time, but I was feeling it this morning.
Also I definitely didn't adjust enough to the 10 handed nittiness of live poker. I told myself to slow down before the tournament, and I tried, But with the short stack I could have been more patient and played the AA slower and probably should have just mucked the 55. I could have gotten down to 4-5 BB before needing to ship that light UTG. TBH I really didn't think anyone would call with JJ+ or AK. So I feel like I played like crap and basically bustoed my chance to win some good money. I guess busting out early is better than slowly busting out, but when you play bad you pretty much feel like an idiot. and I feel like an idiot.
So I'm going to grab some late dinner and find a cash game. Not sure if I want to go back to the Rio, check out the poker room here at the Palms or head to the strip.
Thursday, June 26, 2008
Another thing, I really really hate boarding planes early. I pretty much always sit until the last minute. The idea of rushing to the front and standing in line to get a seat on a cramped airplane just seems goofy to me. I'd rather sit here and type away on the free wifi.
Baseball is going great. I'm 4-0 with a 2.5 ERA and two saves. I threw a complete game 3-2 win last night, so right now my arm feels like its being repeadtedly punched by someone pretty strong. Yay for arm soreness. But the team is doing great, we are hitting well, and the guys in the field are playing terrific. We're solidly in second place right now after winning 6 straight, and I think we have about half the wins we need ot make the playoffs.
anway I'm off to vegas, so I'll be updating with poker playing and vegas shennanigans.
Sunday, June 8, 2008
VEGAS BABY! VEGAS!
So by being one of the top 54 most raked players on FTP last month I was entered into a freeroll by my affiliate. The prize was 2 $5k packages to the 2008 WSOP. So 27 of the 54 qualified players turned out, and I ended up taking first place and getting a package. I'll find out the full details in a day or so, but needless to say I'm totally stoked right now. I've never been to LV, and getting to go and play in a WSOP event is pretty exciting.
I may try to post up some interesting hands later, but I'm a little too pumped right now to go sort through them all. Also thanks littlebu for the sweat, always nice to have someone pulling for you.
Friday, June 6, 2008
So he then called me back about an hour later to tell me that they had to discuss a few things and that they would make a decision later that night and get back to me the next day around 1 PM (after their early 11AM game I'm assuming).
So I of course got very excited. I checked out their website and found that they had recently released a RHP who had been used in relief (which would be my primary role on the team) and I noticed that a few of their relievers had been struggling a little bit. I called my dad and of course he was excited as well. Katy was on call last night so I paged her and gave her a headsup that when she got back on noon on thursday there was a decent chance I might be packing up and heading to worcester to go on a road trip (the tornadoes are getting ready to go on a 6 game canadian road trip).
So I had plans for things I wanted to get done, but to be honest I was a little nervous and excited so I didn't play as much poker or do my laundry. Instead I pretty much just hung around the apartment waiting to hear the verdict.
Of course time started to move slow on thursday morning. Then katy got home around noon and still I'd heard nothing. Around 2pm I was assuming I would hear from the team anytime soon. Around 3pm nothing, and I started to figure that was as good as a no. I was sure as soon as the Tornadoes finished their home game they would be hopping a bust to head to Ottawa. So if they were going to pick anyone up yesterday it would obviously be before they left town.
By 6pm I called my Park League manager and let him know that I would be available to start on Friday since even if they decided to pick me up I wouldn't be playing with the team for at least another week since they were off to Canada.
To be honest I think it was kind of crap that they didn't even call me back on thursday to give me a thumbs up, maybe in a week or so, or a thumbs down. Its not like my life is hanging on the balance (I'm having a great summer so far playing baseball and poker all day) but I still would like to know whats going on.
Anyway I played a couple of sessions of NL and a little LHE yesterday and this morning. In NL I was down about 3 buy-ins, but to be honest I was really happy with my play. Most of my losses were coolers or coin-flips, and I think I only maybe spewed once or twice. Plus I ran some quality bluffs and really had great images on most of my tables.
In LHE I ran awful in HU and lost a ton of bets against a decent player at 8/16 (I know wtf am I doing playing a decent player HU), but in my defense he hit so many flops I didn't know whether he was playing bad or a good player. I'm pretty sure he was actually a decent player, but he definitely ran hot as the sun. The good news was that I made most of it back at 6max 8/16 and 10/20, so it was only a loss of about $200. So overall I've dropped about $1500 in the last couple of days, but for the month I'm still doing great.
I'm running pretty well, I think I'm playing excellently, and I'm enjoying the games. I think June could be a great month and I'm looking forward to getting a good start on the summer.
Also one last thing. I'm pretty sure I'm going to remove the remainder of my roll from AP. The NL games on there suck, and I'm just not playing enough LHE and their benefits (while really good) aren't worth the trouble each month. Plus after the UB cheating crap I just hate the idea that a company that tried to cheat their customers after already being caught once will be getting my rake. I really don't like the idea of only having cash on one site because if FTP has cashout problems I'm in tough shape. But I could probably find someone to do me a transfer from FTP to stars at the end of the summer and try out their games. I figure by that point my FTP bankroll will probably be big enough that I could afford to cut it in half without putting me in bad shape on there.
weather is pretty crappy here so I would say the chances we play tonight are about 50/50. I don't think its going to rain a ton this afternoon, but its been raining off and on for about 48 hours now, and I don't know that the sun is going to come out this afternoon to dry the field out. I wouldn't mind a rain out too much since it would give my finger a chance to fully heal. I'll surely rip it open if I pitch tonight, but I dealt with it the other night so whatever.
Also great job by the Celtics and Pierce especially last night. The 4th quarter was a testament to team defense, and I really want to see the good guy (KG) win it all instead of the guy who up until this season (and I mean right until the beginning of the season) was one of the worst teammates ever (Kobe).
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
I've started off this month very well, and booked nice wins the past three days. I'm also finding it nice to play early in the morning since I'm typically well rested and I think the games are soft though in a different way than normal. Usually when you are looking for soft games you think playing at night or in the evening is the way to go since that is when most of the fish are playing. And that is true. But that is also the time when all of the best regular players are playing as well. So you really have to work hard on table selection at those times, because some tables you have little to no edge on. As well as the fact that a table with 3 good regs, one meh player, and a fish isn't really that profitable. The other good regs are going to make your life hell, and you'll be fighting to iso the fish the whole time.
When playing in the mornings you find less big fish, but you find quite a few more very mediocre regs (or simply not very good TAGfish). These players have some very exploitable leaks (not playing enough hands pf, playing poorly postflop, not bluffing often enough, folding to too many c-bets etc) and you can find lots of profitable spots to bluff or run them over. If you are catching a few hands it makes it quite a bit easier. I actually tend to play a little more aggressive (both post and preflop) in the mornings than I do at night. The evening and night games are almost impossible to run over, and you have to limit your bluffing somewhat.
On the baseball front things are going well. I got my first start of the Park League season on friday night. I felt pretty good, and ended up pitching 8 innings (we normally play 7 inning games so we were in extras) and started the 9th before they pulled me when I gave up a leadoff hit. My control was so-so as I was having a lot of trouble adjusting to the mound for the first 3-4 innings (the fields we play on are in pretty lousy condition). I ended up with 11 Ks, but I had 8 BB as well. In my defense at least 2 of the BB were situations where I got behind and decided to not give the guy anything to hit because I had first base open and a guy on second. But that is still way to many walks. I gave up 3 runs, and the book had them all as earned, but I'm pretty sure at least 1 of them was unearned. I pitched well, my stuff was nasty (splitty was dirty) and faught through some fatigue and a really bad blister from my split finger grip. I think I threw about 160 pitches though, which is way way way to many. We had to stop the game in the 9th with a 6-3 lead because the lights went out on the field. So when we resume we will be in the bottom of the 9th with 2 on and 1 out and a 3 run lead. If we pick up a couple of outs then I'll get the win. My line for the game was 8IP, 3R, 11Ks, 8BBs, and I'm in line for the win if we pick up two more outs.
I also picked up a win last night when I came in for two innings of relief. I came in with 2 runners on and no outs in the 5th innings and we had a 6-4 lead. I got the first batter to ground to the shortstop, but he was going to his right (third baseman came off of the bag to try and field the ball) and he didn't have a play at first. The next guy laid down a nice bunt that took a bad hop and got under my hand so that I had no play (probably an error on me). Then I got a ground ball for a double play, and struck out the last batter of the inning. So overall not a bad inning considering that the team hit two balls in the infield that we couldn't make plays on and I had two runners inherited. They scored two runs to tie the game up, but things could have gone much worse. We scored a run to take a 7-6 lead and I mowed through the next inning. Leadoff batter grounded out to me. Then I went strikeout, hit-by-pitch (nasty splitter in a 0-1 count that he leaned into imo), strikeout to end the inning. I told the coach that I probably shouldn't go another inning since I'm planning on starting on friday. My arm was definitely a little fatigued, and the blister on my finger was openly bleeding the whole night (I had put super glue on it before the game but it wore off in warmups).
So my line for the game was 2 IP, 0 R, 3Ks, 0BB, 1H and I picked up the win. If we win that suspended game then I'll have 2 Ws on the year. Right now I'm leading the park league in IP, and Ks. If I get that other W then I'd be leading the league in Ws as well. Looks like the Tornadoes might have made a mistake in not picking me up. My stuff is nasty and last night I spotted my fastball better than I have in I don't know when.
Its pouring the rain here so we are likely going to be rained out for tonight. I wasn't going to be available to pitch anway, but it looks like I won't even be heading to the park. I booked a nice $2k score this morning on the tables, enjoyed some leftover tacos (I make outstanding tacos imo) and watched last nights episode of deadliest catch (huge fan of that show). Now I'm feeling a little sleepy so I think I'm going to go take a nap. Rumor has it that I might be drinking beers with a buddy and teammate this afternoon who has the day off work. Wouldn't mind having a night away from the tables.
Monday, May 19, 2008
FWIW I don't think I had an outstanding training camp, but then again I didn't really have much of a chance to throw to live hitters. The one time I did I got really solid results, so I can hang my hat on that. I honestly think that with a week and a half for them to make this decision they have to put a lot of weight in the players that have a proven track record with the team. Its a business so I can understand their decision, and I definitely appreciate the opportunity that they gave me.
The coaches did say that if other teams (or the Tornadoes) were looking for guys later in the season they would certainly give me a call or pass along my name. At this point I'm kind of divided as to what I want to do about playing baseball this summer. I can always just go back and play summer ball in the park league, which was certainly a good way to spend a summer last year. I could also get in touch with a few people and find out if they know of other teams looking to pick guys up this summer. The problem with that is of course that I could end up trying out for some team hundreds of miles away, and potentially end up spending my summer traveling around po-dunk towns in the midwest. And while I love baseball, there is a big difference between doing that when you are playing for a team that is affiliated with a Major League organization (and have the potential for a very large and rewarding future with the team) and doing it with an independent minor league team. Of course getting cut kind of hurts my confidence a little as well, which may be making me gun shy.
Plus there is something to be said for summer in boston, and all of the free time I would have to enjoy since I'll be playing poker this summer. I'm certainly making good money, and I'm really enjoying myself, so being here for the summer would definitely not be bad. Plus it might give me time to travel and see some friends.
Katy is on call tonight so I'll be hanging out in the apartment by myself for most of the night. I'm thinking about doing some cleaning and reorganizing because I always feel like I can think more clearly and get better insight into important decisions when my surroundings are neat and orderly. I guess its a feng shui thing.
Poker is going well. After my devastating run of cards to begin the month things are certainly looking better. For one I think I am playing leagues better than I was a few weeks ago. I've gained a ton more experience at 6max NL, I've gained more experience against the regs, and I think I've definitely avoided some spewey tilt that hurt me at the beginning of the month.
I'm on pace to have my best month ever, which is good because I have another hefty chunk of taxes to pay next month.
Saturday, May 17, 2008
I was scheduled to pitch the 8th and 9th tonight in an exhibition game against Brockton, but the rain started early this afternoon and we never got out of the visitor locker room. So I grabbed a sandwich and checked out the NBA games back here at the hotel room. I also logged in about 1.5k hands of poker and booked a small win despite playing pretty horribly (got all-in preflop with TT and JJ twice when I didn't need to and also tried an awful river bluff that cost me $300). I really feel like I played lousy tonight and I definitely think I tilted at one point after having AA and KK cracked in really lousy ways.
I finally used my long saved full tilt points to order something from the FTP store. I should have a 42inch plasma TV shipped to me in 6-8 weeks. So I'm pumped to have a huge hi-def TV in my living room to watch movies and sporting events.
I've gotta hit the sack because I've gotta be up in about 6 hours for practice tomorrow morning. I'm guessing I'll be throwing live indoors since our field is a lake right now. If the rain ever dries up we are supposed to play an exhibition game on sunday. Hopefully I'll still be around by then.
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
We have quite a few guys here trying out, so it is going to be interesting to see who they cut, who they sign, and who ends up making the opening day roster. I feel better about my chances after throwing well today, but obviously its going to matter what areas the coaches feel we need most as a pitching staff, as well as where they see me possibly helping the team.
Going to play a poker session in a few minutes. If I have any interesting hands I'll try to remember them and post them on here.
thanks for reading.
Today was a miserable day weather-wise, so practice wasn't too fun. We arrived at the stadium at around 7:30am and spent an hour and a half getting equipment squared away and waiting for the rest of the guys to arrive. Then we took some PFP (pitchers fielding position) which went well considering it was the first time I had done it in over 2 years (no mistakes from my part and I made a few nice plays in the process).
After that they had some live hitting with pitchers throwing and full squad in the field. Most of the returning starters pitched two 25 pitch innings and then wrapped it up. Originally the other 10 guys or so (myself included) were going to throw and inning, but the coaches decided that after standing in 40 degree weather with 40 mph winds (yeah it was freaking cold) that we wouldn't look to solid on the mound. So instead we threw pens on the side. To be honest I thought I threw lousy in my pen. My fastball was mediocre, and my splitty would not get down. I left it up probably 90% of the time. But the coach was only about half watching, and afterwards he told me he honestly didn't care how we threw today just how we performed when facing batters tomorrow. So tomorrow is another day and hopefully I'll get stuff straightened out.
Between the number and quality of other players here I feel like I probably have a 33% chance or so of making the squad. And I think a lot of it is going to depend on how my stuff is. One thing that frustrates me a little is that I definitely feel like I throw a lot better after getting really hot in the bullpen and really working hard on my stuff. I know sometimes during pens it will take me 20-30 pitches just to get in a groove. I'm hoping I don't end up in a situation where I have little time to warm up and end up going in the game without my best stuff. But I'll do what I have to do to get ready to go. I think they are probably going to make the first cut on friday, so if I get cut I guess I'll head back to Boston and see if there are any other teams in the league looking to pick guys up.
As for poker, I had my best month ever at the tables last month after spending about 95% of my hands +8 tabling NL400. I finally had my first 5 figure month from the tables alone, so when I combined my rakeback I really had a nice haul for the month. It certainly made the tax checks a little easier to swallow (ugh just thinking about those checks still sucks). Unfortunately towards the end of the month through this weekend I went on a pretty bad losing streak that then became a long break-even stretch after I started to grind my way out of it. I was running about $4k under expectation during the time period, and I also made some really bad and tilty plays. Overall I was not happy with my play, but I also had a lot of AK all-in pf against AK losing to a 4-flush type stuff. So there were definitely some sessions that had me wanting to puke afterwards.
Finally in the past 4 days or so I've really started to turn things around, and I'm back solidly in the black for this month. Combined with the healthy rakeback and bonuses I've earned so far and my month really hasn't been too bad. I've pretty much made 6max NL 400 my full time game since my hourly is so much better, but I'll probably mix in some limit later this month just to have fun.
One thing that isn't going well is Full Tilt's ability to get my cash to me. I requested bank transfers that should have hit my account about two weeks ago. Twice since then Full Tilt has assured me that there was a problem and the money is on its way, but I really need the cash (hello bills) and I think its absurd that I've been waiting almost a month for it. The most frustrating thing is that people who requested checks (at a later date than I requested my bank transfer) have already gotten their checks. If I had just gone with my standard method of requesting checks I would already have my cash and be financially comfortable right now. But after my tax day and to a small part my trip to costa rica, I needed those cash outs and I'm a little strapped for cash at the moment (which is hilarious because I have more money than ever online I just can't get to it).
Thats all for now. Hope everyone is running well and having a good spring. I'll be updating fairly regularly this week from spring training. Tomorrow I'll try and find some interesting hands to post if I have time.
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Crocodiles under a bridge we crossed during the drive from San Jose to Manuel Antonio
Standing under a waterfall we hiked to after zip-lining. I'm a pasty dude.
Sunset at the restaurant (and pool) where we ate dinner at the last night at Manuel Antonio.
and the cool bonus: While zip lining our guide offered to take a video of one of the "flights". I had just gone (next to last) and he was brining up the rear as he always did. He took my camera and recorded his ride and I it turned out great. Needless to say that trip was quite a rush, and I pretty much had to share. We were at least 400 feet over the river in that shot, but we might have been more at the highest point.
anyway here it is:
thats all for now. Poker is going great this month. I'm running super hot and killing it at NL400. I'm sure the downswing is on its way ;-) I'll update with poker stuff and some hands later.
Saturday, April 12, 2008
This morning I threw another bullpen to the manager Rich Geddy (sp?) and felt I threw much better. I had a lot better fastball location, my splitter had some good sharp movement, and my change-up was also good. Overall I felt really good about my pen, and after I finished throwing their pitching coach invited me to spring training with their team next month (sweet!!!!!!!!!).
Basically they will be putting me up in a hotel for about 9 days or so and I'll be working out with the rest of the team at spring training. If things go well and I earn a job I'll be playing in the Can-Am League this summer. Obviously I still have another step to go, but making the training camp was an accomplishment and really validated all of the work I have put in the last year and a half.
Another funny thing was that after I finished my pen the pitching coach mentioned that my motion really looks conducive to a slider (I'm currently throwing fastball, splitter, and changeup). The slider was my best pitch (and fairly devastating imo) for all of high school and 3 years in college. It wasn't until my senior year when my coaches were trying to change some of my mechanics that I started struggling with it. I then had a Rick Ankiel like senior year where I just couldn't throw a slider at all (it was really bad). So I picked up the splitty about 12 months ago so I would have something off speed to throw in the Boston Park League last summer, and it has been pretty effective in the last year. I know both teams were interested in the split finger because during my bullpen yesterday the first one I threw woke up all of the coaches from their casual conversation. All of a sudden the Nashua pitching coach was asking me what I was throwing and taking notes.
But Worcester's (pronounced Wuster for you non-Bostonians like myself) pitching coach thinks we could work on it and a get a slider back next month. I'm certainly excited about the prospect.
So baseball is going well, and I'm pumped that I could be playing pro-ball this summer. Also poker is going well this month. I'm mostly playing NL, as I've gotten really comfortable 8-tabling 400NL 6max on Full Tilt. My hourly is so much higher in NL (compared to 10/20 and 15/30 6max LHE) and the variance is so much smaller that I'm having trouble justifying playing LHE. Obviously most smart players made this jump a few years ago, but I wasn't playing pro then so I obviously played what I found to be more fun. And I still love limit, I just need to make more money after last month's lousy run so I'm going to play mostly NL this month. Maybe the limit games will get more juicy this summer and I'll mix more in.
Also going to Costa Rica on wednesday (16th) for 6 days. So that should be exciting. Probably won't be blogging much while I'm gone, but I'm going to take the laptop so I'll likely be playing some poker and might get up a blog while I'm away.
Life is good right now, and I'm going to go have a beer and enjoy my evening. Hope you are having a great saturday too, and thanks for reading.
Saturday, April 5, 2008
Poker also started off rough this month. After having a nice couple of session to start the month I had the worst session of my pro career two nights ago. I dropped $5.5k in 950 hands. The good news is that I can honestly say I didn't tilt, and I think I played well for the most part. I would say I made some bad mistakes that probably cost me 5-10BB, but that isn't that bad when you consider I lost 150BB on the session....in less than 1,000 hands!!!!! The frustrating thing is that I had great seats in great games with huge fish on my direct right. I just couldn't pick up or win a hand the whole time. It was just one massive beatdown. Unfortunately that concluded my shot taking at 30/60 for the most part. Until the end of this month I likely just won't have a big enough bankroll to feel comfortable.
But I've battled back, made back some money playing LHE and also played and run well at 2/4NL. I'm now pretty comfortable 8-tabling 6max NL 2/4, and I've had good result over my last 10k hands. So I'm back in the black this month, and I'm on pace to grind out more hands this month than I ever have before.
All of that poker stuff out of the way....I'm really excited that I have tryouts this week. On friday I'm trying out for three teams in the CANAM Independent Professional Baseball League. Originally I had planned on travelling to Bridgeport CT tomorrow to tryout for the Bluefish, but I ran into some scheduling issues. The Bluefish play a 150 game schedule and start at the end of April. Because of my trip to Costa Rica that I am taking in 10 days I wouldn't be able to practice with the team or find an apartment before their season start. Plus I'm not sure how much they were really looking for more players. I decided that I wasn't sure if I really wanted to join up with their club had they shown interest in me, so it just didn't make sense to spend all day tomorrow going down and back and paying the cost to tryout. I'm much more excited to tryout for the teams this week, and I'm really hoping that I have a good showing and someone will have some interest in me.
One final thing. We decided to shutdown the coaching forum over at CT because we simply weren't getting enough interest in order to keep it up. That being said I've had a surprising (in my opinion) amount of interest from people about coaching, and I plan on continuing to coach for those interested. I've thoroughly enjoyed all of my sessions, and I really think my clients have been both great to work with and very good poker players.
So if you have been looking for a NL or LHE cash game coach for mid-small stakes please contact me via email or by posting on this blog. I'll get in touch and we can discuss what I can do to help improve your game. I honestly think that I give more value/$ than most coaches you'll find and I think my clients all agree that I've been able to help their game.
COACHING INFO NOW STICKIED TO THE BOTTOM OF MY BLOG. IF YOU WANT TO READ MORE ABOUT WHAT I OFFER JUST SCROLL DOWN. THANKS! - JIM
next post to have some more fun poker hands and strategy thoughts. thanks for reading
Saturday, March 22, 2008
Duke scared the crap out of me yesterday, and I had to watch the game on the other side of my living room so that I was out of reach of expensive electronics that could be thrown. Tossing my laptop out of the window certainly wouldn't have made me feel any better about that game.
Honestly I was pretty dissappointing in the job that K did during the game. We have had success all season playing a run-n-gun style and just jacking up an early shot in transition. Last night we allowed Belmont to dictate the pace of the game and settled for trying to run a half court offense. In a game like that we need to take advantage of our two biggest advantages 1) talent and 2) depth. Instead of trying to run up and down all game with a 10 man rotation, we settled for playing half court in the second half with a 7 man rotation. That style would work with teams that had j-will, dunleavy, and boozer or JJ and Shelden. But on this years team we just don't have strong enough half court scorers (or balanced inside out threats) to succeed in that way.
I also think a lot of credit should be given to Belmont. They certainly looked the part of a team that deserved significantly better than a 15 seed. I thought we played a good first half and despite that only managed a 7 pt lead. With the defense and shooting they had last night I think they would have beaten a lot of high seeds from major conferences.
I was really dissapointed to see that Clemson lost tonight after having an 18 point lead in the first half. I think their coach is a really classy guy, and they had some hard working seniors on that team. Plus they are an ACC team, and I always root for the ACC in the tourney unless they are playing Duke.
Should be an exciting game tomorrow, but I think Duke will end up winning by 9-11 after making some late free throws despite it being a close game. I hoping that getting to the sweet sixteen will light a fire under this team the way that the overtime loss to Pitt seemed to.
Next post will have more poker content, and I might include some Cruise stories. However most of the cruise stories involved us drinking and partying a lot and really aren't that interesting unless you know us an all of our stupid inside jokes.
Last thought. I had two coaching sessions last week before I went on vacation and I really enjoyed both. I think both of my clients got a lot of help out of their sessions, and I felt like my reads and advice seemed to really help during their play. I love coaching sessions because it really focuses me on solid fundamental poker, and prevents me from creating bad habits that you form while you grind. If anyone is looking to get some (more) coaching let me know. I'm likely going to be raising my rates this summer since my time will be more infrequent, and It is getting to be impractical for me to coach at the prices I offer. Plus I don't know of one other coach that is less than 2.5x the price I charge, and frankly I think I offer a better product than many of them do.
hope everyone out there is doing well, and as always thanks for reading.
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
5 outer on the river in a $1.7k pot, this was by far the worse....
STAGE #928037754: HOLDEM NO LIMIT $4 - 2008-03-09 22:49:48 (ET)
Table: MONTAGUE DR (Real Money) Seat #2 is the dealer
Seat 2 - JHOOK17 ($181.80 in chips)
Seat 3 - DORIANGRAYY ($1059.10 in chips)
Seat 4 - THEMIGHTYJIM ($823.70 in chips)
Seat 5 - SAMMER79 ($467.30 in chips)
Seat 6 - JKOFALLTRADE ($443.50 in chips)
Seat 1 - STAINLESS9 ($788 in chips)
DORIANGRAYY - Posts small blind $2
THEMIGHTYJIM - Posts big blind $4
*** POCKET CARDS ***
Dealt to THEMIGHTYJIM [Kh Kd]
SAMMER79 - Calls $4
JKOFALLTRADE - Folds
STAINLESS9 - Raises $20 to $20
JHOOK17 - Calls $20
DORIANGRAYY - Calls $18
THEMIGHTYJIM - Raises $96 to $100
SAMMER79 - Folds
STAINLESS9 - Folds
JHOOK17 - Folds
DORIANGRAYY - Calls $80
*** FLOP *** [9c 4d 2h]
DORIANGRAYY - Checks
THEMIGHTYJIM - Bets $185
DORIANGRAYY - Calls $185
*** TURN *** [9c 4d 2h] [Qd]
DORIANGRAYY - All-In $774.10
THEMIGHTYJIM - All-In $538.70
DORIANGRAYY - returned ($235.40) : not called
*** RIVER *** [9c 4d 2h Qd] [7s]
*** SHOW DOWN ***
DORIANGRAYY - Shows [4c 7c] (Two Pair, sevens and fours)
THEMIGHTYJIM - Shows [Kh Kd] (One pair, kings)
DORIANGRAYY Collects $1687.90 from main pot
*** SUMMARY ***
Total Pot($1691.40) Rake ($3) Jackpot Rake ($0.50)
Board [9c 4d 2h Qd 7s]
Seat 1: STAINLESS9 Folded on the POCKET CARDS
Seat 2: JHOOK17 (dealer) Folded on the POCKET CARDS
Seat 3: DORIANGRAYY (small blind) won Total ($1687.90) All-In HI:($1687.90) with Two Pair, sevens and fours [4c 7c - B:7s,P:7c,B:4d,P:4c,B:Qd]
Seat 4: THEMIGHTYJIM (big blind) HI:lost with One pair, kings [Kh Kd - P:Kh,P:Kd,B:Qd,B:9c,B:7s]
Seat 5: SAMMER79 Folded on the POCKET CARDS
Seat 6: JKOFALLTRADE Folded on the POCKET CARDS
nuts on the turn when we get it all-in, ran into an 11 outer on the river in a $850 pot
STAGE #927997014: HOLDEM NO LIMIT $4 - 2008-03-09 22:08:22 (ET)
Table: DOGWOOD RD (Real Money) Seat #2 is the dealer
Seat 2 - MEGAX82 ($1076.45 in chips)
Seat 3 - IAINTCHASIN ($527 in chips)
Seat 4 - IKESTOYS ($800 in chips)
Seat 5 - THEMIGHTYJIM ($421.20 in chips)
Seat 6 - HAHAMUCK ($973.40 in chips)
Seat 1 - NOLA_DAS ($180.50 in chips)
IAINTCHASIN - Posts small blind $2
IKESTOYS - Posts big blind $4
*** POCKET CARDS ***
Dealt to THEMIGHTYJIM [Ks Ad]
THEMIGHTYJIM - Raises $16 to $16
HAHAMUCK - Folds
NOLA_DAS - Folds
MEGAX82 - Folds
IAINTCHASIN - Folds
IKESTOYS - Calls $12
*** FLOP *** [2s Qc 10d]
IKESTOYS - Checks
THEMIGHTYJIM - Bets $22
IKESTOYS - Calls $22
*** TURN *** [2s Qc 10d] [Jh]
IKESTOYS - Checks
THEMIGHTYJIM - Bets $46
IKESTOYS - Raises $150 to $150
THEMIGHTYJIM - Raises $330 to $376
IKESTOYS - Raises $602 to $752
THEMIGHTYJIM - All-In $7.20
IKESTOYS - returned ($368.80) : not called
*** RIVER *** [2s Qc 10d Jh] [10h]
*** SHOW DOWN ***
IKESTOYS - Shows [2c 2h] (Full house, twos full of tens)
THEMIGHTYJIM - Shows [Ks Ad] (Straight, ten to ace)
IKESTOYS Collects $840.90 from main pot
*** SUMMARY ***
Total Pot($844.40) Rake ($3) Jackpot Rake ($0.50)
Board [2s Qc 10d Jh 10h]
Seat 1: NOLA_DAS Folded on the POCKET CARDS
Seat 2: MEGAX82 (dealer) Folded on the POCKET CARDS
Seat 3: IAINTCHASIN (small blind) Folded on the POCKET CARDS
Seat 4: IKESTOYS (big blind) won Total ($840.90) HI:($840.90) with Full house, twos full of tens [2c 2h - B:2s,P:2h,P:2c,B:10h,B:10d]
Seat 5: THEMIGHTYJIM HI:lost with Straight, ten to ace [Ks Ad - P:Ad,P:Ks,B:Qc,B:Jh,B:10h]
Seat 6: HAHAMUCK Folded on the POCKET CARDS
I'm only a little over a 2-1 favorite preflop (which considering my range when I make this bet he is usually in much worse shape when I call), but in the context of the others (and considering the flop) this one also sucked: AKs < 79o
STAGE #928059637: HOLDEM NO LIMIT $4 - 2008-03-09 23:12:32 (ET)
Table: GALLEON DR (Real Money) Seat #5 is the dealer
Seat 5 - HARDCORY3011 ($475.20 in chips)
Seat 6 - MORG21 ($314.50 in chips)
Seat 1 - STAINLESS9 ($874.70 in chips)
Seat 2 - BRADVOLLEY ($432.25 in chips)
Seat 3 - SUPERMAN1966 ($412.05 in chips)
Seat 4 - THEMIGHTYJIM ($394 in chips)
MORG21 - Posts small blind $2
STAINLESS9 - Posts big blind $4
*** POCKET CARDS ***
Dealt to THEMIGHTYJIM [As Ks]
BRADVOLLEY - Folds
SUPERMAN1966 - Folds
THEMIGHTYJIM - Raises $16 to $16
HARDCORY3011 - Raises $52 to $52
MORG21 - Folds
STAINLESS9 - Folds
THEMIGHTYJIM - Raises $140 to $156
HARDCORY3011 - All-In(Raise) $423.20 to $475.20
THEMIGHTYJIM - All-In $238
HARDCORY3011 - returned ($81.20) : not called
*** FLOP *** [5s Kc 4d]
*** TURN *** [5s Kc 4d] [7d]
*** RIVER *** [5s Kc 4d 7d] [9h]
*** SHOW DOWN ***
THEMIGHTYJIM - Shows [As Ks] (One pair, kings)
HARDCORY3011 - Shows [7s 9c] (Two Pair, nines and sevens)
HARDCORY3011 Collects $790.50 from main pot
*** SUMMARY ***
Total Pot($794) Rake ($3) Jackpot Rake ($0.50)
Board [5s Kc 4d 7d 9h]
Seat 1: STAINLESS9 (big blind) Folded on the POCKET CARDS
Seat 2: BRADVOLLEY Folded on the POCKET CARDS
Seat 3: SUPERMAN1966 Folded on the POCKET CARDS
Seat 4: THEMIGHTYJIM HI:lost with One pair, kings [As Ks - P:Ks,B:Kc,P:As,B:9h,B:7d]
Seat 5: HARDCORY3011 (dealer) won Total ($790.50) All-In HI:($790.50) with Two Pair, nines and sevens [7s 9c - B:9h,P:9c,P:7s,B:7d,B:Kc]
Seat 6: MORG21 (small blind) Folded on the POCKET CARDS
but this one put me into the black for the night, biggest pot I've ever won in any game. FWIW this player is a good regular and I honestly don't know what he was thinking when he called the turn or river, but I'm guessing it had something to do with the tilty chat I was typing at another table he was also at. Ship the 3.3k pot......
STAGE #928064260: HOLDEM NO LIMIT $4 - 2008-03-09 23:17:25 (ET)
Table: BRANDYWINE AVE (Real Money) Seat #1 is the dealer
Seat 1 - BIGSEXYSLICK ($1015.05 in chips)
Seat 2 - STAINLESS9 ($870.50 in chips)
Seat 3 - HAHAMUCK ($1815.20 in chips)
Seat 4 - KASHISKING ($594.10 in chips)
Seat 5 - IKESTOYS ($2001.25 in chips)
Seat 6 - THEMIGHTYJIM ($1660.25 in chips)
STAINLESS9 - Posts small blind $2
HAHAMUCK - Posts big blind $4
*** POCKET CARDS ***
Dealt to THEMIGHTYJIM [6d 6c]
KASHISKING - Folds
IKESTOYS - Folds
THEMIGHTYJIM - Raises $18 to $18
BIGSEXYSLICK - Folds
STAINLESS9 - Folds
HAHAMUCK - Raises $58 to $62
THEMIGHTYJIM - Calls $44
*** FLOP *** [3d Kh 6h]
HAHAMUCK - Bets $84
THEMIGHTYJIM - Raises $196 to $196
HAHAMUCK - Calls $112
*** TURN *** [3d Kh 6h] [Qc]
HAHAMUCK - Checks
THEMIGHTYJIM - Bets $384
HAHAMUCK - Calls $384
*** RIVER *** [3d Kh 6h Qc] [5h]
HAHAMUCK - Checks
THEMIGHTYJIM - All-In $1018.25
HAHAMUCK - Calls $1018.25
*** SHOW DOWN ***
THEMIGHTYJIM - Shows [6d 6c] (Three of a kind, sixes)
HAHAMUCK - Mucks
THEMIGHTYJIM Collects $3319 from main pot
*** SUMMARY ***
Total Pot($3322.50) Rake ($3) Jackpot Rake ($0.50)
Board [3d Kh 6h Qc 5h]
Seat 1: BIGSEXYSLICK (dealer) Folded on the POCKET CARDS
Seat 2: STAINLESS9 (small blind) Folded on the POCKET CARDS
Seat 3: HAHAMUCK (big blind) HI: [Mucked] [Kd Ad]
Seat 4: KASHISKING Folded on the POCKET CARDS
Seat 5: IKESTOYS Folded on the POCKET CARDS
Seat 6: THEMIGHTYJIM won Total ($3319) All-In HI:($3319) with Three of a kind, sixes [6d 6c - B:6h,P:6d,P:6c,B:Kh,B:Qc]
I'll be in miami 48 hours from now, and then on the cruise with my boys on saturday. I'm looking forward to the warm weather, and the break from Boston and my normal routine.
Also I got my laptop in the mail. Its pretty sweet, and I've already got it all setup to play poker. Pokertracker on board with my DB, and the sites downloaded. So I'll be playing poker by the pool on friday. Man, life is tough......
Monday, March 10, 2008
But I managed to win a $3400 pot and finish the session in the green.
a new post with beats coming soon.
jezuz that session was crazy.
Saturday, March 8, 2008
GTHC GTH (for those in the know).
Anyone who has been waiting to hear from me sorry for the disappearance. Been super busy the last couple of days, and tonight is all booked up with Duke/UNC action.
I'll get all my stuff taken care of tomorrow.
Tuesday, March 4, 2008
I really think my 6max LHE game is one of the best at the midstakes online. Part of that is due to the fact that many of my really good peers have moved up or to NL, and it is also due to the fact that I've been playing professionally now for 5 months. I've really started to get a good intuitive understanding of hand ranges, hidden outs, and some of the more subtle math. Not to say that I couldn't have thought my way through these situations a year ago, but now they seem relatively obvious at the table.
I also had a good month of 6max NL, which was nice after such a lousy month in January. I still think I have some leaks in NL, and my game has a long way to go. I think it might be somewhat of a mistake for me to have jumped in NL400 after only two months of serious NL play, but I want the take the game seriously and improve. The winrates at NL200 were not keeping me interested, so I think moving up made since. I still play NL200 about 30% of the time.
March started off well, and I was running and playing quite well at 10/20 and 15/30. Then I played a bunch of NL yesterday and, well, it went badly. I lost 3.5 buyings in about 1k hands, although in my defense if I hadn't had a set over set for a stack or gotten two outed for 1.25xstack then I wouldn't have had a bad day at all. In fact without a couple of the coolers that I took I would have easily broken even. However I also made some really stupid plays that cost me at least 2 buyins or more.
But I did have a nice session of limit last night, so I'm up overall on the month. My goal for this month is to play 120 hours, and clear 5 figures again.
Updates in other things. Workouts are going great. I am a decent speed rope jumper now. I also have been able to bump up my resistance and reps in all of my workouts. And my last bullpen went really well. Maybe the best pen I've thrown in a couple of years.
Also I treated myself and bought a laptop last week. Originally I was going to get a relatively basic setup, but in the end decided if I'm going to spend $600-700 on a laptop I might as well spend $1k and get a really nice laptop. So I'm really pleased with my order which was a widescreen Lenovo with a really nice processor, lots of ram, great resolution and windows XP.
I'm now only a week and two days away from my Miami vacation and cruise with my college teammates. I'm getting super excited, and I hoping my laptop makes it in time so I can take it with me.
Also hoping to have updates about tryouts in next blog post, and of course I'll find some interesting hands to post up.