Thursday, June 23, 2005

Royal Vegas Poker

Have not had a chance to play much online poker this week. I did get some 1/2 NL at Greektown Casino in Detroit. It was going well until I ran into slowplayed AA. The table had been very tight, so I guess I should not have been so surprised... but I would have loved to have sucked out on him for slowplaying. My KJo hit a J on the flop and his raise of $30 after a call preflop from EP did not worry me when I had TP and a good kicker. I thought the bet was odd, maybe he had a J so I pushed all in. I had him covered, but it ate my profits and dipped into the bankroll when he showed AA and I did not improve. Fun time nonetheles.

Lastly, I am proud of my bankroll on Royal Vegas Poker. In comparison to DNasty's gain, it pales, but I turned a free $10 into over $200 so far and it seems that my losing sessions there are far and in between. I have found that I really enjoy the 5 person SNG they offer. The time investment is minimal and the payout structure favors the tighter player. 3 places pay, third pays the buy-in minus the fee. (i.e. a $50+5 pays $50 for 3rd) I have only busted out of one tourney (4th) and have placed second in a bunch winning 1 or 2. It keeps the bankroll headed up, a good thing as far as I am concerned. It is also a change of pace from the Limit Grind Challenge. I have been slacking in that because I have been winning on Royal Vegas. A few bad trips there and I am sure I will be back on UB at work. As DNasty and HighOnPoker draw near the end if their challenge, my money is on Jordan. He seems to be playing more than D and I can see the same feelings in his posts that where in mine before I hit the 1/2 brick wall. I hope his experience is different, but if it is similar, D might have a chance still. Good luck to both of you.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Royal Vegas Poker Tournament

25+2.50 Entry for a 4,000 guaranteed

176 players

Before I get into the tourney, this hand happened early and it was painful to watch.

Look at this horrendous bad beat. A one outer!

> Game # 392,138,709 starting.
> Dealing Hole Cards
> rick047422 called for 30
> pjnow99 called for 30
> sanderfr called for 30
> rickytrickyt called for 30
> Jonkeboy called for 15
> STelerJosh checked
> Dealing the Flop(A23)
> rick047422 bet for 30
> pjnow99 folded
> sanderfr raised for 150
> rickytrickyt folded
> Jonkeboy raised for 270
> STelerJosh folded
> rick047422 went all-in for 1,060
> sanderfr folded
> Jonkeboy went all-in for 790
> Extra chips returned to rick047422, 30

Both Players flip. Jonkeboy has a dominating 33 for a set and rick has 22 for the under set.

> Dealing the turn(9)
> Dealing the river(2)
> rick047422 wins 2,450 with Four of a Kind, Deuces
> Jonkeboy has left the tournament in 144th place

Trip 3's over trip 2's and a 2 falls on the river. Wow.

[Observer]Jonkeboy> is it for real?
STelerJosh> ouch

Here is my tournament log, last time I tried this, it went awry mid way through. It helps keep me focused, so I tried it again.

Level 1 10/20 Blinds: Played one hand AQo, folded to my raise. Won the blinds

Level 2 15/30 Blinds: No hands played. 1,470 chips

Level 3 25/50 Blinds: KK one seat before button, raise 200 (Pot), one short stack reraise all in 200. I Call. KK vs A5o. A on flop, I am down to 945 chips 98 of 109 remaining. Need some card help here.. Damn it. A7o in SB and complete for three handed. Fold to big river bet. Next Hand, AA on Button, AA vs QQ. They hold up. Whew. 1,915 chips. Two hands later, 99. Raise to 150. No callers. 1,945 chips. 57 out of 93.

Level 4 50/100 Blinds: AJo in BB. 2,695 chips. Still running middle to bottom of pack. Avg. Stack is 3,277. 45 out of 80 players. AJs, raise to 400, no callers. Win blinds. 2,795. Large stack is 17,755. Q7 in BB, flop is A77. Check, and raise 1170. I hope someone has that A. I call the all in bet (made by an A I hope). Dolla Dolla, yup, I am ahead. Turn is another 7 for overkill. The Quads get me to 5,890. 11th out of 72. Try to steal short stack blind and he reraises all in. Lose 200. 5,690.

Level 5 75/150 Blinds: Start level 10 out of 71. Fold QJs two hands in a row. Glad I did, both times someone else went all in. Wouldn't mind seeing a cheap flop with that, but.... AJs raise 600. Short stack pushes all in. Complete for 290. AJs vs 88. Turn a J and 6,805 chips now. Still in 10th with 67 remaining. Chip Leader just sat down at my table with 17k in chips, Q4 in BB, check and flop Q4x. Bet 450, take it down. 7,105. 12 out of 64. The top 20 pays. Work to do. Stay tight and aggressive. Avoid tangling with chip leader unless I have the nuts. Play J9 from BB when checked to me and F Up with a OESD on the flop. Don't improve, pair of 10 beats my pair of 9. 5,605 chips at break, 17 out of 55. Damn. I am nervous. Grab a glass of water and crank up the Dave Matthews. Wish myself luck cuz the dog and cat cannot and, this is for you DNasty...."The wife is out of town". Have to admit, I am thinking of DNasty and his first tournament win on here. I would be pleased with a final table seat, cannot imagine winning. I don't know how D does it. Impressive that he has cashed over 2k in two tourney final tables. Go D Go.

Level 6 100/200 Blinds: Fold K10s reluctantly. I don't know why that hand looked good to me and required a second thought. Glad I folded, two players all in AK vs AJ. AK wins and takes second in chips. I have some big stacks at my table. Wow, 2 hands later, K10s again. (Hearts both times.) Fold easier this time. 15 out of 44, stack is below 6k average - 5,330. AKo, raise to 800. xK9 flop. I raise to 1,200, reraised to 2,400. call. Turn is an A, I push all in. Caller has K9. I double and have 11,160. 8 out of 39. Fold pocket 66 when out of position.

Level 7 150/300 Blinds: Chip leader is now 25,615....I have 10,860. 8/36. Drop to 11/32, no hands this level yet. 4 mins remaining. 9/30 as level 7 expires without playing a hand.

Level 8 200/400 Blinds: 55 on the button, raised in front of me. I fold avoiding a run in with KK. Whew! Fold K10o without even thinking about it. I still have enough chips to wait for the right time. 13/26 with 9,810 chips. String of crap cards. Try to steal with 33, big stack bullies me all in. Fold. 7,610 chips. This guy is really pushing hard. 14/24, hope I get some cards soon. 16/23. Come on cards. I think I will be called no matter how much I push in. Will have to get lucky or just get by. So close, almost two tables. Patience Josh, Patience. You will get you AA beat by 72 anyway! Relax!

Level 9 300/600 Blinds. AQo first hand, my favorite hand. Beat an all in by KK with A on flop. We were all in pre flop. Whew again. 15,520 chips. 6/23 Starting Hand for Hand Play. 6/22, top 20 pay. Fold KJs... wanted to call. Getting better at this discipline thing. Would have won, but table bully is making it next to impossible to see a cheap flop. Can't blame him, but it can get frustrating. K9s in BB. It is folded to me, amazing. I get my blind back. 15,220 after the blinds pass. 8/22. Come on bubble, pop!!! I also just noticed that I have not moved tables the whole game. I like that. 9/22 Come on short stacks, catch some nice hole cards. Short stack is 585. High is 27k. KQo on button. Fold to 2k bet. Damn bully is in the BB and I cannot be sure he will not push all in. Would have liked to call. 9/22 with 14,320 as we get into level 10.

Level 10 400/800 Blinds, Short stacks still hanging tough. I am not playing a hand unless I am in the money now. They have to go soon, right? Right? 9/21. One more. 9 out of 20, in the money....honey! Next goal is to make it to the top 5. The money starts getting nice there. Sweet! The bully just busted out. He was a Swedish A-Hole with the screenname "VildBill" Then he spammed the chat. I had trouble seeing what he busted out with. His 66 vs 9x. Board of 933 when he pushed all in on the turn. Bye Bye!! 3 mins left in level 10 and I am 10/17. Was just tempted by QJ suited....Resisted. A4o in the BB. Fold to 2,400 raise from MP. 13,120 in chips, 10/17 as we get into the second break. 12AM here, starting to feel the day I had. Rode ST down to a GoldWing event in Ashland, OH with buddy that rides a wing. Mowed the lawn before it rained. Going to go get some more water.

Level 11 500/1000 Blinds ...Ouch!, No need to rush though, I can do several orbits before I get desperate, and I may even get to keep my blinds now and then. Tempted to steal, but do not want to bust out on a stupid steal. Uh Oh, AKs in the SB. Stack o chips to my left... should I push? I do and then have to call an all in by smaller stack. AK vs AJ. I hold up. 19,760 in chips. 7/15 No stupid shit Josh. Just watched K10 bust AA, not as bad as first bad beat. K on the flop, 10 on the river. Ouch. 8/14. Steal the blinds with AJo. 19,760. 2:30 left in level 11. 8/14 with 18,260 in chips. Fold AJo to 4xBB raise. Had position, gonna wait a little longer as I have just moved below average stack of 19k. Last hand of the level is the Hammer in the BB!! Folded to me and I show. That seems to be a good omen.

Level 12 600/1200 Blinds: I start the level 8/13 with 18k in chips. Folding good hands is killing me, but I know that I will have to pick one to stand on eventually. Just folded A10s to a raise from EP and the button went all in with AK. Fortuitous raise and fold. Want to try steal, but the BB has a grudge against me and more chips. I doubled up with my AK vs his K9 earlier. May have to wait to see if we are moved before I make any SB moves. 8/12 and falling farther below average. Chip leader is 46k. I have 16k and no cards in position. These blinds are starting to really pinch. 8/11. Need a hand here. 9/11, 12K chips. Steal blind from grudge buddy. 14.5k in chips. 1 min in level left, 8/11. 99 in the BB. Win without showing last hand of level.

Level 13 800/1,600 Blinds: Start with 22.9k 5/11. Still below average in chip count. A10 all in vs Q 10 with 10 on board. Sweet! Board gets trips and we split. Booo. 6/10 after I make a few bucks with AKs. 26k in chips. 9 players left. Excitement is building. Still have the feeling like it will go horribly wrong... 5/9. Goal is reachable. If I make 5, will shoot for 1. Come on Dave Matthews, get me through this.... 1 min left in this level. Holy crap, how much higher can the blinds get?

Level 14 1,000/2,000 Blinds: Start the level 5/9 with 24k in chips. AKo in the BB. Making a move. Dumbass player pushes me out of pot, we both called a short stack. The short stack ended up with quads so it was a moot point, but why not check it to the river? That is an unwritten rule in poker known by any tourney player worth a clay chip. Don't bet into a dry side pot. Idiot and when I asked him why and told him it was dumb move, the rail birds started chirping. Oh well. I am crippled now and will have to make a move with decent cards. Here they are, all in with 10 10. They same idiot that did not have the nuts and we tripled up the short stack makes another Donkey play. He finished me off after betting out another player by betting into dry side pot and gets lucky on the river. Almost had it:

> STelerJosh went all-in for 6,791.25
> millers132 folded
> amexos folded
> RonnyD folded
[Observer]reverend85> all in josh....make me and * proud!!!!!!!!!
> WolvesFI raised for 8,791.25
[Observer]skillsnils> aj..
> Harriis called for 4,791.25
> Dealing the Flop(8?6?6?)
> WolvesFI bet for 10,000
> Harriis folded
> Extra chips returned to WolvesFI, 10,000
> Dealing the turn(8?)
> Dealing the river(Q?)
> WolvesFI wins 29,373.75 with Two Pair, Queens over Eights
> STelerJosh has left the tournament in 8th place, winning $110.62

Dumb ass did it again. He got very lucky, I would have loved it if he had not gotten lucky and Harriis would have been able to beat me. I am amazed that I see that kind of donkey play at a final table. He then busted out two positions later. I can't believe he made it that far. He was only alive still because of a very lucky 4 on a river giving each of us a full house earlier at the final table. WolvesFI you stink.

Overall, I was pretty pleased with my play and the amazing part is it is all profit. The $10 I started with on the site was free for installing the software. And I now have some seed money to try other tournaments. Overall, the play seems pretty weak on this site, a lot of European players, not sure if that is why. Will keep playing until the well is dry. Doing better on when compared to UB.

Friday, June 17, 2005

UB 1/2 = Kryptonite

It is a stretch to compare the Man of Steel to myself (Man of Too Much Pizza and Beer) but we both become powerless when exposed to a seemingly harmless object.

I cannot beat 1/2 on UB with any consistency. I find this frustrating because other levels have seemed pretty easy and the cards came often enough. I am not sure if it is my perception, or if I am not getting any cards at 1/2 and if I do, they miss the flop by a mile. Last night I paid off way too many times to the marked fish I had to my left. I chose the table because he was there and it turned out his luck was amazing. He was playing over half his hands (56% to be exact) and was very passive. I was playing tight aggressive and twice I got good hole cards in the SB and bet into his BB. The first time with AQo to his 7xo. I bet all the way to the river, he spikes a 7 on the river and takes the pot. It happens. The next time I have A6s in the SB and it is folded to me. I complete because I know that he will not raise and I want to see the flop. A6x rainbow. "Ha Ha", I think to myself. "I am not going to try any funny stuff, and I hope he caught a piece of that." I bet, he raises, I reraise and he completes. Turn is a rag. I bet, he calls. River is a 9, I bet, he raises. "Hmmm, no straight of flush draw on the board. He has to have two pair or was sitting on pocket 9's and made his set" I call with that bad feeling, but I cannot put it past him making a move with two pair or a single pair. Showdown he flips A9 to beat my flopped two pair of A6. I love it.

That was par for the course as I sat down with $90 and stood up with $70. Time to become a lower limit dweller again. I know that I will eventually beat this game, but it has become my nemesis for the time being.


Wednesday, June 15, 2005

1/2 on UB remains my Huckleberry

I am at it again on the 1/2 tables on UB. I entered them with much more confidence but it was shaken again. Back to .50/1.00. I know I will be back, but it is frustrating. True there are very few "fish" I have seen at this level, but I keep getting frustrating beats like set over set, suckouts, etc. After two losing sessions this evening, I decided to pony up 14 for a TEC SNG. Playing as a type this. Decided to have a little fun (like it used to be!!), hoping for the best. If DNasty or HighOnPoker make it to this game before their deadline, I think it will be anyone's game. The swings are much greater and the losses sting more. GL to both of you.

Update - My perfect record on UB SNGs is shattered!

Final Hand:
Hand #6522474-84 at EntryChip-401e (No Limit Hold'em Sit and Go)
Powered by UltimateBet
Started at 15/Jun/05 21:30:04

jimlo is at seat 0 with 5450.
STeelerJosh is at seat 1 with 9550.
The button is at seat 0.

jimlo posts the small blind of 100.
STeelerJosh posts the big blind of 200.

jimlo: -- --
STeelerJosh: Ah Kd


jimlo raises to 400. STeelerJosh re-raises to 1200.
jimlo calls.

Flop (board: 6c 4s 4c):

STeelerJosh bets 2400. jimlo calls.

Turn (board: 6c 4s 4c 2h):

STeelerJosh goes all-in for 5950. jimlo goes all-in
for 1850. STeelerJosh is returned 4100 (uncalled).

Tournament all-in showdown -- players show:

jimlo shows Ad 9s.
STeelerJosh shows Ah Kd.

River (board: 6c 4s 4c 2h Js):


jimlo has Ad 9s 4s 4c Js: a pair of fours.
STeelerJosh has Ah Kd 4s 4c Js: a pair of fours.

STeelerJosh wins 10900 with a pair of fours.>

STeelerJosh wins $10 and 1 TEC

Did I mention that I hate AK? I think I tend to overvalue it, but HU, I felt I had to press.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

The Road to Recovery

Well, I appear to have made it through the bad run (knock on wood). I am disappointed that I lost so much of the ground I had gained, but pleased that I did not tilt my entire stack away and I stuck to the limit challenge rules. That is what saved me I am sure. I do not know the exact lowest the bankroll was, but I think it may have been a dollar or two shy of $25 at one point and I started building back up. Still about $40 short of my high water mark, but running well again.

I supplemented the Limit play with some cheap NL Hold 'Em. I saw a fish that I really beat up on when I first installed UB. He has been playing the Play chip tables recently so when I saw him on .05/.10 NL, I jumped at the chance. He is my third all time money maker on UB (I love looking at that stat in Poker Tracker). I figured my exposure was limited ($10 or $25 max buy in) and he was worth it. I doubled up twice on some maniac from France at the same table and got my marked fish's buy in. It helped that I was actually hitting some flops and I played very tightly. The French guy even typed that he "did not believe I had it AGAIN" and proceeded to call my bet that put him all in the second time that session. I made a believer of him and it felt great!!

I am back at the 1/2 tables with a nice start on my first trip back. Almost the exact opposite of the session that started this downward spiral..... Up $36 in 90 hands of play with only 5 show downs (and I was 4/5). My tight aggressive play was getting a lot of respect and I was hitting many of my flops, or had a good read that would allow me to manipulate the few calling stations at the table. One guy would go to the turn almost every hand and would fold to a check raise every time!! I quickly figured that out and stole a few decent sized pots.

Sooooo, where does this leave me? I guess overall a slightly more mature player. I demonstrated to myself that I can stick to my plan and not tilt off the bankroll even though I know in the back of my head it would be very easy to load on another $100. I want to earn this, it is not about size of the wins/losses right now, it is about developing as a player and proving to myself that I can be a long term winner at this game. DoubleAs is much more of an inspiration than he will probably ever appreciate. I know I am leagues away from his level, but I think he has proven that with some luck, a lot of work, a lot of reflection, and diligence and practice, it is attainable. Thanks DoubleAs and also thanks to all the other bloggers that entertain and teach me as I feed my addiction to this "poker fad" ;-)

I enjoy these "What would you do?" type posts on other blogs, will try my own here.

The Setup: .50/1 Limit Hold Em table that is playing normal to tight. I am in the SB.

Hand #6358101-9814 at Manilla ($.50/$1 Hold'em)Powered by UltimateBetStarted at 14/Jun/05 17:49:11
brownzfan is at seat 0 with $29.45. (maniac)
DrEazyE is at seat 1 with $36.05. (good player)
pigglywiggly is at seat 2 with $36.90. (LAG)
jonnypow is at seat 3 with $38.10.
STeelerJosh is at seat 4 with $53.10. (Hero)
River Mouse is at seat 5 with $104.70. (Solid Player)
betqueen19 is at seat 6 with $19.35. (Tight Passive)
housemusic19 is at seat 7 with $34.80.
punkrocker21 is at seat 8 with $14.20. (Fish)
Froggie1 is at seat 9 with $46.10. (Fish)
The button is at seat 3.

STeelerJosh posts the small blind of $.25.River Mouse posts the big blind of $.50.

betqueen19 calls. housemusic19 folds. punkrocker21folds. Froggie1 folds. brownzfan folds. DrEazyEfolds. pigglywiggly raises to $1. jonnypow folds.STeelerJosh re-raises to $1.50. River Mouse folds. betqueen19 folds. pigglywiggly re-raises to $2. STeelerJosh calls. (1 limper and it is folded around to one seat off the button. A place where I might take a shot at a steal with a halfway decent hand)

Flop (board: 3d 8c Jd):
STeelerJosh bets $.50. pigglywiggly raises to $1. STeelerJosh re-raises to $1.50. pigglywigglyre-raises to $2. STeelerJosh calls. (Two diamonds on the flop. Nice! Call the re-raise in case I miss completely)

Turn (board: 3d 8c Jd As):
STeelerJosh bets $1. pigglywiggly raises to $2. STeelerJosh re-raises to $3. pigglywiggly re-raisesto $4. STeelerJosh calls. (Couple ways I think I can win this hand now. TPTK, nut flush draw. Warning bells are warming up, but I am only afraid of one hand right now, and if a diamond falls on the river, hakuna matata)

River (board: 3d 8c Jd As Kc):
STeelerJosh bets $1. pigglywiggly raises to $2.STeelerJosh calls. (Have to call here, right? I am only afraid of AA or KK. I don't think he wold have been capping with Q 10. No flush draws or Full House and I have top two pair. I thought about raising the bettor, but had that bad feeling that he could have played KK or AA this far and my bet would probably be reraised. I called)

What do you think pigglywiggly was holding? Was there a happy ending? I would enjoy any comments on what (if anything) you might have done differently.

pigglywiggly shows Ac Ah. pigglywiggly has Ac Ah Jd As Kc: three aces.
STeelerJosh mucks cards.(STeelerJosh has Kd Ad.)
Hand #6358101-9814 Summary:
$1 is raked from a pot of $21.pigglywiggly wins $20 with three aces.

If you are like me and hate suspense, highlight the blank space above with your mouse and see the result.


Saturday, June 11, 2005

Cure for the Shanks?

STeelerJosh: If you're the Mexican Mac O'Grady, DNasty, you gotta figure out why I'm still shanking the ball.
What's the problem? I'm catching it on the hosel, right? Moving my head? I'm laying off it, I'm pronating, I'm supinating, I'm clearing too early, I'm clearing too late, I'm off plane, I ain't dropping in -- oh, God, my swing feels like an unfolding lawn chair.

DNasty: You got a virus in your brain. I got to kill the brain to kill the virus.

STeelerJosh: Anything. Kill me now!

DNasty: Put all your change in your right pocket.

(STeelerJosh follows orders, not questioning the logic.)

DNasty: Very good. Now tie your left shoelace in a double knot.

(Again, STeelerJosh dutifully follows orders.)

DNasty: Esta bueno. Now, turn your hat around backwards and put a blue tee behind your right ear...

STeelerJosh: I'll look like a fool.

DNasty: What you think you look like hitting those squirrelly chili peppers up HighonPokers' ass, eh? Do what I say or I quit.

STeelerJosh: Okay, okay...

DNasty: Perfect... now hit a seven iron into that tree over there. You're ready.

STeelerJosh hits a perfect seven iron into the trees.

STeelerJosh: How'd I do that?

DNasty: You ain't thinking about shanking, you ain't thinking about the doctor lady, you ain't thinking period. You just lookin' like a fool and hittin' it pure – your natural state.

STeelerJosh: Fuck you.

DNasty: You’re cured.

I wish I had a caddy. I am sitting in front of my monitor wearing my backwards hat, blue tee behind my ear and my one pocket heavy with change......wondering how to get rid of my shanks.

I have "shanked" off over half of my bankroll in the limit challenge and 3 hours of play this morning have only led to more frustration. My stats have not changed much (besides the BB/Hour going negative), if anything I am playing tighter. I am not sure what is going on. A few weeks ago I was steadily climbing, feeling in control and the past week I have entered a flat spin killing Goose and trying not to eject. I think that I am going to turn off the computer for awhile, too bummed/embarassed to update the bankroll. Suffice to say that I am relegated back to the starting levels. Think I am going to go for a ride and come back to my other addiction later.

Steeler "Tin Cup" Josh

Sunday, June 05, 2005


Just got back in from Cobleskill, NY where I met with about 75 other ST1100/ST1300 riders for a weekend of great roads and greater people. It was NESTOC 2005 and I think it will a regular event on the riding calendar. Now my Memorial Day weekend will be bracketed by two great weekends of riding each year. Nice!!

I will see if I can post some pictures, but I did not take too many. Upstate NY is amazingly rustic, green, and hilly but it was going by waaaay to fast to get many good pictures. The roads are in great shape up there, no pesky gravel in the corners and no potholes. The biggest nuisance was "tar snakes" which by the end of the ride on Saturday had heated up enough to get loose and cause a danger. I caught one pretty good in the middle of a sharp left hander at about 70 and the bike broke track on me. The shimmy, slight pop up, and resumption of course usually happens too fast to react (incorrectly probably) so the danger is over by the time you realize you are in trouble. Thankfully, most of them were short or sparse enough that they could not combine their evil power and really mess you up! Curious what a tar snake is, here is a pic.

I might be able to get some poker in tonight, but the forecast is not looking good. I left my house Friday morning at 5:45AM and just got back. The wife is making some noise like she needs attention. Maybe a movie and some popcorn will get me back in the good graces. This marks the umpteenth weekend in a row that I have not been able to play any poker when all the fishies are on UB and PP. I wonder how different my bankroll would be if I could get some of the weekend action.

Hope all the rest of the riders made it home safely......