Thursday, July 15, 2010

Golf, Poker, and ... Business?

Yet another Vegas trips looms in the mist.  August sixth marks the date of departure, and the Father Man and I will pack up the SUV and blast out into the hundred-plus-degree heat in the dead middle of summer.  I hope the air conditioner doesn't crap out again.

Contrary to any other Vegas trip I've driven, there will be a stop up front this time around.  A two-day pre-gamer in Mesquite, Nevada is booked from the 6th-7th.  Father Man and I are meeting up with two good friends of his to hit the yellow links out that way.

I haven't golfed since the beginning of last winter, and hadn't even picked up a club in the same amount of time.  I went to the range the other day for two buckets of balls only to find: 1) I can only hit the ball straight one out of every two buckets; and 2) my knuckles aren't in as good of shape as I previously thought.  I awoke the next day with pins and needles hounding the middles of my phalanges.  With as much keyboard/controller/camera action as I see on an every-day basis, I didn't think shooting a round with a club in hand would hurt.  I definitely felt the after effects.

The good/bad news is that on our second day of the trip we'll be golfing Wolf Creek, a PGA Tour stop.  Considering that I can't even shoot par at the 9-hole POS in Mexitown, Ventura, I have no idea who thought it would be a good idea to book me a tee time in a stop so grand that I'll be walking the greens that pros have slopped around on for the past decade.

The problem with the first two days, even aside from possibly being thrown off the golf course for sucking so bad, is that the only hotels and casinos around are small, and third-rate at best.  It's not until the third morning that we venture from Mesquite to the City of Broken Dreams.

The first couple days we get into town will be awesome.  The usual antics and degeneracy will occur.  Father Man will get drunk, I'll follow suit.  We'll hit every video slot with every zany bonus round that we can, while we whistle, hoot, and hollar at the drink girls to bring us beers faster than we can hit the "SPIN" button.  The big opening tips always help.

From there we hit video poker machines.  That elusive 50-play payout is around the corner.  Father Man once put $300 into a $1 100-play machine during a friend's bachelor party.  With a beer in one hand, he wrapped his other arm around his good buddy.  "Whatever I win," he said, "I'll give half to you for your wedding present."  As if he already knew what was coming, he hit the button one time and smiled before the virtual cards even flipped over.  That hand, he won $6,000.

Since that time Father Man has been fighting age and illness.  In any past trips since those fading years, he's been shortstacked, short-healthed, and struggling to hang like the wolf he once was.  His gambling hasn't gone much better.  Without the zest or youthfulness he once brought to Sin City, the rowdiness and general camaraderie necessary to have a fully successful Vegas trip have been absent, as have the wins.

Recently his health has started to shape up.  While his pot-belly may be the only shape he'll ever be in until his last breaths, at least he has full control of motor functions, muscle control, and the ability to "gambol!"  Well...muscle controls aside from shitting his pants.  I don't think he's ever known how to not do that.

With an influx of energy and regaining youth, bowling, golf, and Vegas trips are starting to occur more frequently.   Hopefully this will be the trip where he and I blast each other of the sky in drinking wars, laugh so hard we can't breathe due to a huge payout, and come home more hungover and with more cash in our pockets than we've experienced in the past two years.

Then again, we're in town for a business convention for the last two days.  Pretty boring?  Perhaps.  But then again working for oneself has crazy advantages.  Showing up for a convention hungover out of your mind, shirt untucked, with blurry speech and slurred vision -- not something a boss would be happy to see.  Self-employed and showing up that way next to the Father Man?  Well I wouldn't have it any other way.

________________________________________________________________________________

By the way, Operation: Robusto is dead.  Click here or simply scroll down to see the last, burnt-out message for that one.

Operation: Still Busto

Once again broke and so over trying to build a bankroll out of pennies that I can't even blog about it.

Missed a nut-nut draw in Omaha Hi/Lo to someone who called with...a broadway straight draw with no low.  I even overbet the pot, because I figured, hey, even at penny-stakes people have brains.

No.  They don't.

So I reloaded $10 on Tilt to try to change things up and sat a NL game.  Got stacked with two pair to a set on the turn.

GG me.  Don't expect me to ever blog about penny poker again.  Ever.

Ever.

In other news, I won $50 playing Pauly's used-to-be-often-but-not-so-much-now cash games the other night, so all in all in poker related gambling numbers, I'm dead even over the past couple of months.

Operation: Robusto - session nothing
Bankroll: nonexistent

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Running Bad = Playing Not

After getting my soul crushed two days in a row last week, I haven't even wanted to open up PStars lately.

I have no stats and no poker tracker, as I really have no desire to keep such information on hand.  I started this thing just wanting to play some cards, and thought I was off to a good start.  Unfortunately, the tides have turned, and they've turned hard.

The plays I loved to see in the beginning weeks started winning against me, and I suddenly hate every move of every penny player with a fire defeated not even by our sun.

Downtick, downturn, turn off.

The one thing I do feel right now is the urge to gamble.  After seeing my odds turned upside down time and time again over a two-day span, the only thing I want to do is flip.  I definitely veered off of my plan when the cards starting acting against my favor, and I played a few bigger games and tournaments out of steam that I shouldn't have - my petty penny bankroll has paid.

If I want to play real cards and try to keep on track to build my bankroll, I need to rest again and realize my rules once more before I jump back into the games

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OPERATION: ROBUSTO - Session(s) Whatever

Gain/Loss: -$22.18
Tournament Gain/Loss: -$11
-------------------
Total Bankroll Increase/Decrease: -$16.93
Total Bankroll: $23.07

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Wha...but...ah...WHY??

My FIRST hand at the table (and yes, I do post my blinds no matter what seat I come in to first hand at a table)...I had to stare at this hand for a while in the hand replayer...

Poker Stars $0.01/$0.02 No Limit Hold'em - 9 players - View hand 747499
The Official DeucesCracked.com Hand History Converter

Hero (UTG): $1.00
UTG+1: $0.76
UTG+2: $0.95
MP1: $7.04
MP2: $7.16
CO: $2.00
BTN: $6.55
SB: $0.84
BB: $2.08

Pre Flop: ($0.03) Hero is UTG with A of hearts J of hearts
Hero raises to $0.08, 6 folds, SB calls $0.07, 1 fold

Flop: ($0.18) 8 of hearts 9 of hearts J of diamonds (2 players)
SB bets $0.06, Hero raises to $0.20, SB calls $0.14

Turn: ($0.58) K of diamonds (2 players)
SB bets $0.06, Hero raises to $0.30, SB calls $0.24

River: ($1.18) 3 of diamonds (2 players)
SB bets $0.26 all in, Hero calls $0.26

Final Pot: $1.70
Hero shows A of hearts J of hearts (a pair of Jacks)
SB shows A of spades Q of clubs (high card Ace)

Hero wins $1.62
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I just don't ever remember a time where that was a play in my bag of tricks...

Anyways, hacked out a small win after being up a bit.  I finally got caught in multiple hands going on at the same time.  I usually can handle it 12 tabling, but last night was the first time I got too confused, and it ended up costing me some bucks.  Probably should've been up another $6 on the night, but a win's a win.  I'll take it for now.

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OPERATION: ROBUSTO - Session 14

Gain/Loss: +$1.79
Tournament Gain/Loss: $0
-------------------
Total Bankroll Increase/Decrease: +$16.25
Total Bankroll: $56.25

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Session 13

Fear not my frantic followers (or at least friends, of which I know there's at least 2,) for your boneheaded blogger is back at the keyboard.

Session 13, as unlucky as it should have been in statute alone, was another slow grind.  I profited just over one buy (shortstack, ldo), and still am finding myself in tough situations.

Restarting a bankroll at penny stakes is a difficult task once one has had the taste of having thousands of dollars in front of him in a real live game.  Not only am I having to relearn the game from a new player's standpoint, but I have to be able to apply my knowledge of hand strength, which is proving to be quite difficult.  Without reads, calling all in with a marginal hands, or oppositely trying to put an opponent all in holding a marginal hands, is extremely difficult.  It's even more difficult when your opponent doesn't even understand the strength of his own hand.

At penny stakes, all of a sudden Jacks are Aces, and an inside straight draw is worth a whole stack with only a few blinds in the pot.  In one shot you could be in with middle pair and have your opponent drawing almost dead, and in another be drawing dead with TPTK.  There is, of course, the ability to take online notes, but with so many players at this low of stakes, how useful can those notes really be?

I followed a note I had on one opponent, and lost the hand.  Bad note taking?  Probably not.  Hard to take notes on a guy who doesn't know what he's going to do from situation to situation?  Probably.

When jumping into multitable sessions, a poker player, and especially a penny poker player, starts to adhere a certain formula to the hands that he's willing to see.  When he's in seat 8 with one limper and pick up AJ offsuit, and he has six other tables blinking at him with his action clocks counting down, he needs to have a solution ready before he even sees the table pop up in front of the other 20 tables.

I've started to do this, and not at all intentionally.  I do this because I need to in order to keep up, and I do this because I already have a base knowledge of the plays I have "available" to me, and because the more hands I see at this low of stakes, the more I learn about what works.  Here.  At these stakes.

Of course these sames moves would me crushed if I were to jump into a 10/20 game again, but at the penny stakes, the moves work.

Then there are hands that I have no idea what's going on.  Like this:

Poker Stars $0.01/$0.02 No Limit Hold'em - 8 players - View hand 743596
The Official DeucesCracked.com Hand History Converter

MP1: $2.99
MP2: $1.91
CO: $1.35
BTN: $1.85
SB: $1.36
BB: $2.24
UTG: $3.00
Hero (UTG+1): $2.26

Pre Flop: ($0.03) Hero is UTG+1 with Q of spades A of diamonds
1 fold, Hero raises to $0.08, MP1 calls $0.08, MP2 calls $0.08, 1 fold, BTN calls $0.08, 2 folds

Flop: ($0.35) A of hearts 3 of diamonds 9 of diamonds (4 players)
Hero bets $0.24, MP1 folds, MP2 folds, BTN calls $0.24

Turn: ($0.83) 7 of clubs (2 players)
Hero bets $0.66, BTN raises to $1.32, Hero raises to $1.94 all in, BTN calls $0.21 all in

BTN shows 2 of hearts 2 of clubs (a pair of Twos)
Hero shows Q of spades A of diamonds (a pair of Aces)

River: ($3.89) J of clubs (2 players - 2 are all in)

Final Pot: $3.89
Hero wins $3.74
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

All of a sudden, deuces are aces...

So when I see hands like that, I have a hard time folding hands like this:

Poker Stars $0.01/$0.02 No Limit Hold'em - 8 players - View hand 743605
The Official DeucesCracked.com Hand History Converter

UTG: $0.82
UTG+1: $2.41
MP1: $2.11
MP2: $0.77
CO: $3.00
Hero (BTN): $0.84
SB: $3.34
BB: $0.71

Pre Flop: ($0.03) Hero is BTN with J of clubs J of diamonds
UTG calls $0.02, UTG+1 raises to $0.10, 3 folds, Hero calls $0.10, 1 fold, BB calls $0.08, UTG calls $0.08

Flop: ($0.41) 7 of diamonds 3 of diamonds Q of spades (4 players)
BB checks, UTG checks, UTG+1 bets $0.20, Hero calls $0.20, BB folds, UTG calls $0.20

Turn: ($1.01) Q of clubs (3 players)
UTG checks, UTG+1 bets $0.54, Hero calls $0.54 all in, UTG folds

UTG+1 shows Q of hearts A of hearts
Hero shows J of clubs J of diamonds

River: ($2.09) 5 of clubs (2 players - 1 is all in)


Final Pot: $2.09
UTG+1 wins $1.99
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Of course being short stacked doesn't help me get away from hands like the Jacks.  In so many cases, I find myself painfully calling, just to see that I'm way ahead, and then there are cases where I feel at ease (not good, but only at ease) putting my chips in when I THINK that someone might be overplaying or overbluffing their hands.

This is where player data trackers come in handy.  In that case you automatically get a read of every opponents playing style even if you don't even remember their user ID.  I don't want to do this, though.  I don't want to download tracking software.

We learned the hard way.  We learned with our money, our losses and pain, and sometimes we even learned when it wasn't our money on the table.  When we were at Chumash grinding short stacked no limit games with a bunch of Goleta-tards, we didn't have a numeric readout above every players' head showing us how often he raised preflop or how many times he's been to the flop tonight.

We learned through feel and painful calls and positive reinforcement when we knew we made a good play.

And for that reason I won't be downloading tracking software anytime soon, or in the later future.

I'm learning again, and I'm learning more about my own discipline that, at many times, I never thought I had.

We learned through hands like this, which I like to call "Oops, Nice Hand, Sir":

Poker Stars $0.01/$0.02 No Limit Hold'em - 5 players - View hand 743669
The Official DeucesCracked.com Hand History Converter

SB: $1.65
BB: $1.25
Hero (UTG): $3.16
CO: $2.08
BTN: $2.99

Pre Flop: ($0.03) Hero is UTG with 9 of spades 9 of diamonds
Hero calls $0.02, CO raises to $0.10, 3 folds, Hero calls $0.08

Flop: ($0.23) 3 of hearts 8 of hearts K of spades (2 players)
Hero bets $0.18, CO calls $0.18

Turn: ($0.59) 2 of diamonds (2 players)
Hero bets $0.46, CO calls $0.46

River: ($1.51) 9 of hearts (2 players)
Hero bets $1.48, CO calls $1.34 all in

Hero shows 9 of spades 9 of diamonds (three of a kind, Nines)
CO mucks J of hearts K of clubs

Final Pot: $4.19
Hero wins $3.99
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So here's to looking forward, building bankrolls at penny stakes, and (hopefully soon) meeting up in Vegas to play some real cards - cards where I don't see Seat 2's VPIP or showdown win percentage.

Here's a few more hands to precede Session 13's results:

Poker Stars $0.01/$0.02 No Limit Hold'em - 9 players - View hand 743672
The Official DeucesCracked.com Hand History Converter

MP2: $2.28
CO: $1.13
Hero (BTN): $1.13
SB: $0.88
BB: $1.81
UTG: $1.52
UTG+1: $2.93
UTG+2: $0.78
MP1: $3.70

Pre Flop: ($0.03) Hero is BTN with K of hearts K of spades
3 folds, MP1 raises to $0.04, 1 fold, CO calls $0.04, Hero raises to $0.16, 2 folds, MP1 calls $0.12, CO calls $0.12

Flop: ($0.51) 2 of clubs 5 of hearts 8 of clubs (3 players)
MP1 checks, CO checks, Hero bets $0.36, MP1 calls $0.36, CO calls $0.36

Turn: ($1.59) 5 of spades (3 players)
MP1 checks, CO checks, Hero bets $0.61 all in, MP1 calls $0.61, CO folds

Hero shows K of hearts K of spades (two pair, Kings and Fives)
MP1 shows J of clubs K of clubs (a pair of Fives)

River: ($2.81) Q of spades (2 players - 1 is all in)

Final Pot: $2.81
Hero wins $2.71


Poker Stars $0.01/$0.02 No Limit Hold'em - 9 players - View hand 743673
The Official DeucesCracked.com Hand History Converter

SB: $2.22
BB: $1.48
UTG: $1.69
UTG+1: $1.69
UTG+2: $1.61
MP1: $0.65
MP2: $5.07
CO: $0.81
Hero (BTN): $0.92

Pre Flop: ($0.03) Hero is BTN with 3 of diamonds 3 of hearts
UTG calls $0.02, 5 folds, Hero calls $0.02, SB calls $0.01, BB checks

Flop: ($0.08) 5 of hearts 3 of clubs A of hearts (4 players)
SB checks, BB bets $0.10, UTG raises to $0.20, Hero raises to $0.44, SB folds, BB calls $0.34, UTG raises to $1.67 all in, Hero calls $0.46 all in, BB folds

UTG shows 5 of clubs 5 of spades
Hero shows 3 of diamonds 3 of hearts

Turn: ($2.32) A of clubs (2 players - 2 are all in)

River: ($2.32) 2 of clubs (2 players - 2 are all in)

Final Pot: $2.32
UTG wins $2.22


Poker Stars $0.01/$0.02 No Limit Hold'em - 8 players - View hand 743674
The Official DeucesCracked.com Hand History Converter

MP2: $1.00
CO: $5.73
BTN: $5.20
SB: $2.00
Hero (BB): $0.96
UTG: $2.91
UTG+1: $3.39
MP1: $2.15

Pre Flop: ($0.03) Hero is BB with A of clubs J of hearts
3 folds, MP2 calls $0.02, 3 folds, Hero raises to $0.10, MP2 calls $0.08

Flop: ($0.21) 7 of clubs 9 of clubs T of clubs (2 players)
Hero bets $0.16, MP2 calls $0.16

Turn: ($0.53) 4 of clubs (2 players)
Hero checks, MP2 bets $0.74 all in, Hero calls $0.70 all in

MP2 mucks T of diamonds J of clubs
Hero shows A of clubs J of hearts

River: ($1.93) 8 of spades (2 players - 2 are all in)

Final Pot: $1.93
Hero wins $1.88


Poker Stars $0.01/$0.02 No Limit Hold'em - 9 players - View hand 743678
The Official DeucesCracked.com Hand History Converter

UTG+1: $0.88
UTG+2: $2.34
MP1: $0.79
MP2: $1.07
CO: $2.78
BTN: $4.34
SB: $3.14
BB: $3.04
Hero (UTG): $1.18

Pre Flop: ($0.03) Hero is UTG with A of hearts J of hearts
Hero raises to $0.08, 1 fold, UTG+2 raises to $0.24, 6 folds, Hero calls $0.16

Flop: ($0.51) 9 of spades 8 of spades Q of diamonds (2 players)
Hero checks, UTG+2 checks

Turn: ($0.51) 4 of diamonds (2 players)
Hero bets $0.32, UTG+2 calls $0.32

River: ($1.15) 8 of hearts (2 players)
Hero bets $0.62 all in, UTG+2 folds


Final Pot: $1.15
Hero wins $1.10


Poker Stars $0.01/$0.02 No Limit Hold'em - 7 players - View hand 743680
The Official DeucesCracked.com Hand History Converter

BTN: $3.88
SB: $2.26
BB: $1.45
UTG: $2.07
UTG+1: $2.44
MP: $3.00
Hero (CO): $0.85

Pre Flop: ($0.03) Hero is CO with T of clubs T of diamonds
UTG calls $0.02, UTG+1 calls $0.02, 1 fold, Hero raises to $0.12, BTN calls $0.12, 2 folds, UTG calls $0.10, UTG+1 calls $0.10

Flop: ($0.51) K of spades 3 of hearts 5 of clubs (4 players)
UTG bets $0.14, UTG+1 folds, Hero raises to $0.28, BTN folds, UTG calls $0.14

Turn: ($1.07) 8 of clubs (2 players)
UTG checks, Hero bets $0.45 all in, UTG calls $0.45

UTG shows 5 of diamonds 6 of diamonds
Hero shows T of clubs T of diamonds

River: ($1.97) 4 of clubs (2 players - 1 is all in)

Final Pot: $1.97
Hero wins $1.92
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OPERATION: ROBUSTO - Session 13

Gain/Loss: +$2.28
Tournament Gain/Loss: -$1.10
-------------------
Total Bankroll Increase/Decrease: +$14.46
Total Bankroll: $54.46