Wednesday, January 30, 2008

long time no post

I've gotten busy and distracted lately and just haven't found time to post. Quick updates, I'm still running and playing meh in NL. I think I have some leaks in full ring and I need to table select better at 6max, but I've also been coolered and sucked out on a lot this month. I'm running at least 1.5k below equity, and had KK run into AA at least 5 times between NL200 and NL600 (not to mention the many times I've had QQ run in KK). I've also been experimenting with 12 tabling full ring NL200, but without much success. I think I'm trying to play too LAGGY and not giving the nitty regs enough credit. Even though I'm playing 12 tables I find myself playing a 20/14 style which is fairly LAG for full ring.

But, I still have limit. Of which I think my game is really really solid. I've been finding more and more spots to play looser and more aggressive, and I've found myself playing a consistent 33/25 style all month. I've definitely been running good, but I also feel like I've been really playing well. I do think that I have been a bit of a SD monkey in a few spots when it was very unlikely that my hand was good. But I think if you are going to err on one side or the other you are better off being a SD monkey than folding too much.

I've also been finding some good spots to bluff lately in limit when I likely would have given up on the pot before. Here was a hand that I thought I played well yesterday:

Absolute Poker
Limit Holdem Ring game
Limit: $15/$30
6 players

Pre-flop: (6 players) Hero is BB with jc 7h
3 folds, Button raises, SB folds, Hero calls.

Flop: ah qs 2d (4.67SB, 2 players)
Hero checks, Button checks.

Turn: ad (2.33BB, 2 players)
Hero checks, Button bets, Hero raises, Button folds.

Uncalled bets: 1BB returned to Hero.
Final pot: 4.33BB

This guy was an aggressive TAG/LAGTAG and we had been going at it on 3 different tables for several hundred hands. He had definitely seen me make some loose and spewy plays, but he also definitely had respect for my raises on big streets. My defense is pretty standard, and I was planning on c/f'ing the flop. But when he checks behind his hand reeks of KJ, KT, or a small pkt pair that didn't want to get c/r'd and wanted to SD. The turn bet is super suspicious because he would never check back with either an A or a Q on the flop, so when he bets the turn I know he either has total air and is bluffing, or he is trying to charge 6 outers with K-high or a small pair and then check behind on the river. I decide that if I c/r him on the turn he can only call me down with Qx or KK, and I really think he would have bet either one of those on the flop.

Plus I can c/r the turn and credibly rep an A. I would have c/r'd the flop with any A, and if he checked back I would probably check the turn again to try and pick off a bluff or c/r the turn with an A. It is also very likely that I would c/r the turn with any Qx since he pretty much never has an A after taking that line. So if I bluff the turn I can very credibly rep a strong hand.

So I make a c/r and he mucks it. He certainly could have been folding a worse hand, but I can't just call down and see him turn over K-high. Also I think he folds 33-88 enough that my bluff definitely has value.

baseball has been going so-so. My workouts are great. I'm getting stronger, leaner, and in all around better shape. But my throwing has been a little dissappointing. My fastball control has been a mixed bag. Sometimes really good and sometimes not so great. My splitter has been dropping like crazy, but I'm struggling at times to throw it for strikes. I probably have 2.5 months at the max before I tryout, and I need to make a lot of progress. I was hoping to tryout sooner, but I think it would be smarter to wait until I feel like I'm at my best.

When I have details about my tryouts I'll definitely post them on here. Also checkout the coaching forum on We are having a Feb, bankroll challenge for micro players, and the winner gets a free coaching lesson from yours truly or the very skilled jojobinks.

Here's the link:

looking forward to rooting for the Pats this sunday in the super bowl, but more importantly we are only a week away from Duke-UNC round 1. I think UNC is definitely a favorite on their home court. But our speed, depth, and ball-handling gives us a chance against anyone. I'm hoping that if things go well we will be 7-0 in ACC play heading into that game, which should only add to the excitement. Needless to say I'll be acting like a fool and jumping and screaming in my apt while I root on the Devils.

Also I'm thinking about picking up a laptop for poker use while traveling. If anyone has any suggestions about a relatively cheap one that is dependable, sturdy, has decent battery life, and good size screen let me know. My budget ranges from $300-1k, but I'd like to not spend more than $600. I really want to be able to have all of my PT data and stuff available when I travel, plus I think it would be nice to get out of the apartment some afternoons and go play other places.

thats all for now.

see you on the tables.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Holy Crap! I ran good at NL!!!!!

Finally got some cards, hit some pairs and draws, and even won a flip tonight. Made a cool $1.15k playing NL200 over 775 hands. Thats right folks, 6 buy-ins in less than 800 hands. A nice 75 bb/100 (or 37 ptbb/100). sustainable? prolly not. However I was certainly due for a hot streak. I'm still down quite a bit in NL for the month, but I'm at least well into the plus side overall.

I'm also only 3 buy-ins away from letting myself take shots at NL400 again. I promised myself that I wouldn't take shots until I had won 10 buy-ins at NL200. I needed the confidence booster, and to make sure I was playing fundamentally sound poker. Plus I knew by the time that happened I would be back in the black for the month and the losses (which they always happen) at the higher stakes wouldn't bother me as much.

I looked for some interesting hands that I played, but to be honest they all looked pretty standard. Basic stuff where I flopped good hands and either slowplayed where applicable or got it in against a worse hand. I plan on playing some limit later this morning, so maybe I'll find something more interesting then.

Also I've really been working out a lot more recently, and throwing 3 times a week. My last bullpen was kind of crappy, but for some reason I had the shakes while I was throwing (dehydration?). But the two before that were really solid. I feel like my velocity is coming on strong, and I just need to get better command over all of my pitches. I'm also doing cardio almost every day, and getting into a steady routine of core workouts (abs and back). I'm lifting weight some, but I don't like to over do the weights. Overall I'm really excited to see the progress that I can make over the next two months. I'm also planning on trying to narrow down what tryouts I want to do in the next few weeks. I figure I'm going to have to buy some plan tickets and make some travel arrangements so I need to get that squared away.

And finally I was really proud of how my blue devils finished the game tonight. They played somewhat poorly for most of the second half, but when it really mattered they made the big shots, made their free throws, and got the defensive stops that we needed to pull out the victory. Also ignore the idiots on ESPN and sportscenter that tried to make it a big deal that greg paulus kicked an FSU player and should have gotten a tech foul along with the FSU player that slapped him in the face. If the idiots at ESPN would have paid attention they would have noticed that Paulus did get a tech foul just like the FSU player. The ref (Ted Valentine who I despise btw) T'd them both up which is why duke didn't get any free throws after the foul. Instead they merely retained the possession which they got from the jump ball call. Another case of people piling on the Blue Devils just because its Duke.

thanks for reading.


Wednesday, January 16, 2008

running bad....

this month I've run KK into AA pf in NL 3 times. I've run KK into a small-med stack with a smaller pair who then flopped a set 4 times. I've run QQ into KK 5 times. And I've lost 5 coinflips with QQ vs AK. I would guess the total value of those losses to be around $5k of coolers or lost flips.

I'm only musing on this because I just played a 1k session of NL200 where I made a few bad plays and got down 1.5 buyins. But I battled back and worked my way to even despite running KK into AA for 1 buy-in and QQ into KK for .5 buy-in. Both of these were after I got back into the plus side for the session. In both cases they were players who sat down, limped a few hands. Then I get the pair and raise their limp, they come over the top, and I can't fold. I especially can't fold the QQ hand considering the guy only bought in for $90. The KK hand I did the shoving hoping to get called by JJ, QQ, or AK or AKs. So despite really battling for like 5 hours I end up +$2 on the session. If I cooler them in these pots I end up +$300 for the session. So that is basically how my month has gone.

Despite that I'm back in positive numbers (thanks the fact that I play LHE goot), and looking forward to trying to get in 2k hands or so today.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Back in the Green!

After some serious grinding the last two days, and really playing some of my best poker, I'm back in the green for the month.

I've been playing a super LAGTAG style at 6 max LHE (like 33/25 pf) and I think that people are really struggling to adjust to me. I haven't been running particularly hot with my big hands (AA, KK, and AKs not really getting it done) but I've been hitting draws and pairs in a lot of pots and really pounding on people for value.

I've also been table selecting well and finding some great games at 15/30 with some crazy maniacs. Nothing better than getting a guy on your right that you feel comfortable iso-3-betting hands like K8s against.

I had some interesting hands in my session today so I might dig through them and post them up here later. Also did anyone check out the Dukies last night? Despite the fact that injuries have given us almost no inside game (doh!) we absolutely dominated UVA. I'm hoping that are road shooting touch comes back a little on wednesday night when we play at FSU. I'm really pumped for the season though since this team is as exciting as we've had since 2004 ( thought not as good as 03/04 or 05/06).

Saturday, January 12, 2008

long week

It was a long and frustrating week of poker that has ended on an uptick. I have been playing NL400 and NL600 this month, and while I had mixed results at those levels in Dec (I won but it was such a short sample it didn't really mean anything), I've been running and playing horribly this month.

I made several really really bad mistakes, as well as the fact that PokerEV has me running about $1500 under expectation. All of that combined to me losing 10 buy-ins at NL400, which for those of you who don't want to do the math is $4000. Now I don't get really upset at poker losses because they come and go, but I was pretty frustrated. So after all of that I decided to drop back down to NL200 and start going back to grinding more limit.

The fact of the matter is that the NL400 games haven't been that good on FTP lately. I was sitting at a lot of tables with 4 regulars and maybe one somewhat fish. Frankly I just don't have enough of an edge to be sitting in those games. While I feel very comfortable in my ability to think about and analyze no limit, I think I still make some mistakes in the moment. And I don't know that I'm good enough to beat tables like that enough for me to be spending the majority of my poker time grinding those games.

The good news is that once I moved back to my main game (6max LHE) things started to pick back up. I can sit in most limit games and have an edge, even if there are a couple of regulars at the table. As long as I have a good seat I think I'm probably a favorite. I don't think there are too many players playing the 5/10-15/30 that are favorites over me in that game. Certainly if the cards don't go my way, or I have a bad seat I can be in a tough spot. But when I game and table select a little my limit results have really been good. I've been running super hot, so I expect the poker gods will curse me after this blog, but I was able to make back almost all of my losses over my last 3k hands of limit.

I also moved back to playing NL200 where I plan on winning 10 buy-ins before taking another shot at NL400, and then I'm only going to take a shot if I find a good game. So despite being almost $4k in the red at one point this month I'm now just about even. And we still have 2 and a half weeks left.

The good news is that I played almost 12k hands in the last 8 days. Which puts me on pace for a 40k hand month which would be the most since I went pro. I really should be playing +30k every month. But sometimes I just don't feel like forcing myself to sit in not great games when I could be working out, going out, or spending time with Katy. So I'm hoping getting past the holidays and getting back into a routine can help me really up my number of hands this month and through the spring.

I also had a nice result in the Chiptalk tourney on thursday which I hadn't played in for a few months. I ended up getting HU and had my opponent all-in with JJ against A7 but he hit the A. then he won a race where I had 33 and he had A9 to bust me out. I can't really complain though because I got lucky a few times earlier in the tourney, especially when I spiked a K at the final table after I moved in with KQs against a late position AQ raise and got called. It was still nice to have a result in tough field like the CT tourney, with a lot of folks who I discuss poker and life with on a regular basis.

I also have a few new clients for my cash game coaching that I advertised through CT. I'm excited because working with other players to improve their game always gets me more excited to play poker. Talking and working with others reminds me why I love the game, makes me think how lucky I am to play for a living, and helps me to refocus on solid winning play that should be everyone's foundation.

hope everyone has a great weekend, and enjoy the great football games on today and tomorrow. More importantly the Blue Devils open conference play against UVA tomorrow night, so I'm excited for that.

peace and fish grease


Saturday, January 5, 2008


after having another lousy session early this evening I had decided I was going to take the rest of the night off and just datamine FTP while I watched some discovery channel/ poker vids I've been meaning to catch up on. But the bug got me late tonight, and I sat down for a little 3-tabling session of NL400. I finally ran good, and I mean really good. I picked up almost 4-buyins in about 200 hands to get back in the black for the month (yah being up $15).

I stacked a guy in a BvB when I called his 3.5xbb pfr with 2c4c in the BB. He is a pretty standard TAG or LAGTAG at the level, but I think he plays bad postflop and I can float or take away the pot enough postflop to make this a not horrible call. Yeah it certainly was a little loose, but whatever. I flop deez nutz on a 424 flop. He lead out for about 4/5 pot on the flop and I called. Then he bet again for about 3/4 pot on the K turn and I minraised. I know minraising in NL is pretty bad, but I wanted action, and this is a pretty good way to induce it from not great TAGs. If he has a K I think we get it all in by the river, and if he has a med pkt pair I think I get a call a lot on the turn. Instead he shoved with AA and I obv insta-called and doubled up my 100bb stack. He then called me retarded :)

About 15 hands later I raised it up from UTG with JhTh, and got called in the SB and with same villain in BB. Flop was A5x with two hearts. I bet about 2/3 pot, the SB folded, and the BB c/r'd me about 3.5x my bet. I called because I was getting about 2.5-1 to spike my flush, and I think I get paid off a lot when I do because I have position and he is always going to fire the turn. I hit the flush on the turn and didn't even have to try and extract because he shoved (for about 1.75x the pot) with A5.

I also stacked a guy when I flopped bottom set in a m-way pot and he played a weird b/c, c/c, shove the river game with an underpair 66.

So after picking up a few more pots I called it a night with a nice green color in my PT stats for the first time in 2008.

Also watched Best in Show with Katy tonight while eating some take out Chinese which was good times. Its a pretty hilarious movie that I hadn't seen in a couple of years. Then I watched two episodes of Fight Quest on Discovery channel which was very entertaining. The episode about Kali fighting in Manila just shows you how comfy most of us have it growing up in America. Kali is a street fighting style that uses sticks and knives (Matt Damon was using Kali with the rolled up magazine in the Bourne Supremacy) that is taught to the Marines in that country. They say that many people learn it to survive on the street where you often have to be able to fight to make it.

The masters that were teaching the two hosts of the show made one comment that one of the host had a good heart, but was a typical soft american boy. I sometimes feel like that when I have trouble motivating myself to run, lift weights, do my reps of crunches or pushups, or in general push my body hard. I had 4 years of fairly difficult workouts in college in terms of endurance and muscle fatigue, but I worry that I'll get soft without the constant pressure to push yourself. So as cheesy as it sounds watching a very entertaining show like that featuring stories about people who push hard to maintain their bodies is somewhat inspirational. It makes me more excited about getting in my daily pushups, crunches, and getting onto the treadmill.

I also watched survivorman and man vs wild which are super entertaining shows.

one final poker note. Finally played a little limit today as I played a short session of 8/16 on FTP. I played and ran well and pocketed about $100 for my effort. It was the first time I had played limit on FTP in over a month. But tomorrow I'm planning on looking for some good 10/20 games on AP since I need to get in my points for the month on that site. I also need to cash in my AP points for cash which will be a nice boon to my bankroll.

also check out and their new updates. They have a fancy new look, more videos, more instructors, more forums, and are really generating some great content. If you need a code to see the beta of the new site just post up a comment in my blog and I'll send one along your way.

later folks!

Friday, January 4, 2008


SD numbers for my 1.5k hands of NL today were 19/47. I usually win about 9ptbb/100 with SD numbers around 25/50, so you can see why that isn't good.

I made a couple of really horrible plays (calling a huge shove in a massive pot with an OESD when I wasn't getting the right price AND calling a guy down with 33 in a BVB when he turned quads and I thought he was bluffing with a draw) and also ran pretty bad (lost over a stack with QQ against AK and lost just under a stack with AK vs QQ also lost almost a stack when I flopped topped two and got it in against an overpair on the flop and he river paired the bottom card to give him the pot). So I probably wouldn't have had a great day if I hadn't run meh because of my donkey play, but never flopping anything and losing flips doesnt help.

all and all it turned out to be my worst day of NL so far. Yay 2008! But I plan on playing another 2k or more hands tomorrow so hopefully I can pick up a couple of buy-ins and get back to even for the month. If nothing else I'll take a break from the NL and grind some limit during the afternoon.

I'm Back!

December was my biggest winning month yet, but I missed my goal of finishing in the 5 figures. Mostly I just didn't get in enough hands while home. I had some sick relatives, and got a cold myself. Between the travel, feeling run down, and trying to spend a good bit of time with family I just had trouble putting in many hands. I also had a problem with the video card on my PC so the colors were all screwy and it was giving me headaches to play.

I pretty much took off the 3 days around New Years because when I got back to Boston I had friends in town that were staying at my apt and we were spending lots of time with them. Today was the first day of getting back to normal. I played a session earlier and got in about 1k hands of NL400. Unfortunately I made a couple of really bad plays, and lost two really big flips and ended up down a little less than 1.5 buy-ins.

Planning on playing another session before I go to bed and trying to get in some more hands. Not sure if I'm going to play NL or limit. Also I'm really hoping to get back to writing this at least 3 times a week or so. Hopefully spending a month without major travel or holiday interruption will get me back into the flow. I'm usually the last person to want to see the holidays end, but this year was really stressful and busy during Christmas, and I've just been looking forward to getting back to my normal routine. Especially working out since that got put totally on the back burner while I was sick.

glad to be back, and let me know if you're out there reading!