Thursday, March 23, 2006

HUC3 Was Not To Be

I have heard that some people hate hand histories.  If you want a short recap, here it is:

My first match lasted one hand.  I flopped top two pair and got it all in by the turn and faded the magic K that would have sent me packing.

My second match I got it all in with 1010 vs AQ and had a monster chip lead.  I then got it all in pre-flop with AKs vs Q9s (same suit) and was ready to claim victory.  It was not to be.

Dave was back in the game and it was time to play poker again.  Final hand left a mark, my junk is swollen like a pair of grapefruits and are a ugly purple yellowish mess of bruises.  Get it all in on the turn with my K10 (2 pair) vs 55.  You can guess what came on the river and caused the discoloration of said junk.  2 outers hurt my feelings.

Here are the three pivotal hands of the HUC3 round 1 match.  I am happy with my play and reads, Lady Luck just chose to desert me at the key times.

1st Hand of the HUC3

Full Tilt Poker Game #518895988: HUC#3-Donkeys (3384403), Table 2 - 10/20 - No Limit Hold'em - 21:00:30 ET - 2006/03/23
STeelerJosh posts the small blind of 10
iam23skidoo posts the big blind of 20
The button is in seat #2
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to STeelerJosh [Jh 8s]
STeelerJosh calls 10
iam23skidoo checks
*** FLOP *** [Jd 8h 7s]
iam23skidoo bets 20
STeelerJosh raises to 40
iam23skidoo raises to 140
STeelerJosh raises to 240
iam23skidoo calls 100
*** TURN *** [Jd 8h 7s] [2d]
iam23skidoo bets 150
STeelerJosh raises to 970
iam23skidoo raises to 1,240, and is all in
STeelerJosh calls 270, and is all in
iam23skidoo shows [Js Ks]
STeelerJosh shows [Jh 8s]
*** RIVER *** [Jd 8h 7s 2d] [Td]
iam23skidoo shows a pair of Jacks
STeelerJosh shows two pair, Jacks and Eights
STeelerJosh wins the pot (3,000) with two pair, Jacks and Eights
iam23skidoo stands up
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot 3,000 | Rake 0
Board: [Jd 8h 7s 2d Td]
Seat 1: iam23skidoo (big blind) showed [Js Ks] and lost with a pair of Jacks
Seat 2: STeelerJosh (small blind) showed [Jh 8s] and won (3,000) with two pair, Jacks and Eights

Last Hand of the HUC3
Full Tilt Poker Game #518965920: HUC#3-Donkeys (3384403), Table 1 - 40/80 - No Limit Hold'em - 21:31:45 ET - 2006/03/23
Seat 1: STeelerJosh (2,375)
Seat 2: presidentdave (3,625)
STeelerJosh posts the small blind of 40
presidentdave posts the big blind of 80
The button is in seat #1
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to STeelerJosh [Ts Kd]
STeelerJosh raises to 160
presidentdave raises to 480
STeelerJosh calls 320
*** FLOP *** [8d Jd Th]
presidentdave bets 960
STeelerJosh calls 960
*** TURN *** [8d Jd Th] [Kc]
presidentdave bets 2,185, and is all in
STeelerJosh calls 935, and is all in
presidentdave shows [5h 5s]
STeelerJosh shows [Ts Kd]
Uncalled bet of 1,250 returned to presidentdave
*** RIVER *** [8d Jd Th Kc] [5d]
presidentdave shows three of a kind, Fives
STeelerJosh shows two pair, Kings and Tens
presidentdave wins the pot (4,750) with three of a kind, Fives
STeelerJosh: ohh
presidentdave: ouch
STeelerJosh stands up
presidentdave stands up
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot 4,750 | Rake 0
Board: [8d Jd Th Kc 5d]
Seat 1: STeelerJosh (small blind) showed [Ts Kd] and lost with two pair, Kings and Tens
Seat 2: presidentdave (big blind) showed [5h 5s] and won (4,750) with three of a kind, Fives

Pivotal Hand of the HUC –
Dave’s first demonstration of his superior suckout powers
Full Tilt Poker Game #518940267: HUC#3-Donkeys (3384403), Table 1 - 25/50 - No Limit Hold'em - 21:20:03 ET - 2006/03/23
Seat 1: STeelerJosh (5,535)
Seat 2: presidentdave (465)
STeelerJosh posts the small blind of 25
presidentdave posts the big blind of 50
The button is in seat #1
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to STeelerJosh [Ad Kd]
STeelerJosh raises to 100
presidentdave raises to 465, and is all in
STeelerJosh: Q high last hand
STeelerJosh calls 365
presidentdave shows [Qd 9d]
STeelerJosh shows [Ad Kd]
*** FLOP *** [Qs 2h Kc]
*** TURN *** [Qs 2h Kc] [9c]
presidentdave: nh
*** RIVER *** [Qs 2h Kc 9c] [4d]
presidentdave shows two pair, Queens and Nines
STeelerJosh shows a pair of Kings
presidentdave wins the pot (930) with two pair, Queens and Nines
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot 930 | Rake 0
Board: [Qs 2h Kc 9c 4d]
Seat 1: STeelerJosh (small blind) showed [Ad Kd] and lost with a pair of Kings
Seat 2: presidentdave (big blind) showed [Qd 9d] and won (930) with two pair, Queens and Nines

Geek Milestone

It is official, I have achieved another geek notch in the belt of certifications. I passed the last required test to become an IBM Certified System Administrator 6/6.5 today. Soon I will have another fancy certificate to hang on my wall next to the existing Microsoft Certified System Engineer in NT 4.0, and the IBM Certified Associate System Administrator. Throw in a sprinkling of Dell hardware and Microsoft Office Specialist certificates and you have one nerdtastic wall decorated.

Nerd "I love me walls" aside, I am pretty proud of this one. There were not as many tests to pass as the MCSE, but there were enough of them. Add in the fact that many geeks consider Domino and Lotus admins to be practitioners of some strange black art and the cert gains some points. I don't think it will have any salary impact at work, but it will give some credibility and would aid in finding future employment (not that I am looking, my company is a great place to work (as evidenced by 8 consecutive years on the Fortune 100 Magazine list of 100 Best Places to Work)), but employers seem to like third party certifications in the tech industry. Bottom line is you have to be able to produce so paper tiger MCSEs and Lotus Admins will usually be caught pretty quickly.

I am hoping to parlay the excitement of passing the last test today into a win in the HUC3 tonight. I am fighting off some kind of bug and not at 100% right now, but hope is alive and well. I was able to register on Full Tilt and get some practice in on the site last night (by practice I mean getting used to the interface and losing some HU matches) and capped it off by winning a 4 person HU Shootout. The first match was tough, the second one was cruise control. Look out Donkey room, thanks Veneno, SteelerJosh, MCSE, IBMCSA, MCDLT, FBI,CIA is here to play!

This blogger is:

Monday, March 20, 2006

Eveno with Veneno

Poker was goot this weekend. Played two SNGs and won one.

Played several HU matches and won all of those.

Played some Limit and had my hands stand up. Refreshing.

It is amazing how fun poker is when the cards are going your way. Even being the first person out of a $20 SNG did not faze me. (Note, I broke my own rule which led to this early demise. K7h in the BB and I get to see it for free. Flop comes 275 rainbow and I check it. 4 way action and it is checked all the way around. K on the turn with only two cards of any suit. I decide to pot it and get one caller. No warning bells here, I put him on a K with a decent kicker. River is a not a threat and I pot once more wanting to end it there. Opponent doubles my bet. Hmmm. Perhaps that should be a warning but aggressor Josh decides that my two top pair will handle this bidness and I shove myself (and him) all in. He makes the call and shows 22 for a nice set. I cannot remember the last time I was first out. This was also in the first two levels of a SNG and where I broke my rule. I think it is a well tested strategy to play only super cards the first three levels or so and then start playing some poker once the herd has thinned. I don't know what I was thinking, but I really did not expect him to turn over a set. I cannot see myself playing it that way, but the net result was that it worked out for him. He got a monkey to push all in with the second best hand.

While it was not my biggest win in money this weekend, the win against Veneno HU was a sweet victory. Once again, the deck seemed to favor me and I made some good reads on her. It was easy to call her aggressive play with Ax on a Q high board when I had pocket cowboys and she kept potting until she was all in. I would not exactly call it a trap, (she did have outs) but I knew she did not connect with the flop and my Kings were good. That win brought us to dead even with each other and minus $2 each to the house in rake. That ol house is a tough competitor and not easy to beat! As usual, a HU match against a blogger is much more interesting and mentally fun than the average comp at the $10 and $20 HU levels I favor. Thanks for the workout Veneno.

Lastly, I am pretty sure that anyone who keeps tabs on this blog is already aware of the HUC3, but just in case check this out:

Heads Up Challenge 3 - Where luck beats skill 2 out of 3.

I am looking to avenge my dismal performance in HUC2. Bring it on...

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Poker Poisoned

I finally got a chance to better my record against the HU Queen, YoSoyVeneno. It was a fun first two matches, I was getting killed by the deck. My favorite hand was a flopped OESD with the hammer that hit on the turn. I potted and V called. Nice. I guess I should have stopped at two matches in a row because I pressed my luck in the third and she retains her winning percentage against me. Good stuff Veneno. Looking forward to being your antidote in HUC3….

I played a SNG on Stars after my matches with V and won. Nice $51.50 profit… it almost covered my buy in I lost earlier in the day on $1/$2 short handed limit. Do you ever feel like you will just not win on a certain site? For example, I am playing my same game on UB and Stars right now. I cannot lose on UB in ring play and cannot win in ring play on PS. Go figure. I am doing well on the Single and Multi SNGs on Stars, enough to finance the losing play on ring. I know it will come around so I just keep playing and trying to gut through it. I am not looking at the stats on the PokerStars ring games too closely (I should) but the numbers at the end of the session do not look out of wack. It is still fun and I am not chasing losses so I will press ahead. At least it is fun to watch the other players sometimes. Sometimes I am marveled, and I think that SirF summed it up when he said, “luckbox > skill”. In the short term, I am in complete agreement. My skills are weak and my luck weaker on PS right now. That won’t get you far….

So why am I doing well on SNGs and flailing in ring? I think it might have to be the larger “luck” factor in Limit. I theorize that I would be doing better in No Limit right now because I could potentially push the chasers out that catch the magic river card. This theory is consistent with the success I am seeing in the NL SNGs. So why mess with limit? Cause I am wimp. I don’t think I have the game/bankroll/fortitude for NL right now. I do well in the SNGs cause I can sit and wait for the blinds to escalate and then start to play some poker. Win one race (either from in front or back) and then get in the money. Fun and profitable. The dynamics of the steady blinds in NL are a much different animal and I am not sure I know the animal well enough to avoid getting bit (mauled).

That said, I think that ultimately that is where I need to take my game. My plan is to assess the bankroll and life demands at the end of March and take it to the mean streets of No Limit. I will have to make sure I play well within my bankroll as I cut my teeth, but I think I have gotten enough out of limit… there is not much more room to grow there and not much game to be played at the lower levels. Wait for good hands and push. Where is the progress as a player in that?

Monday, March 06, 2006

If you were there

If you were there

This would make sense:

“10:11 – Mookie calls my 450 raise with the Mook and Mooks out on me.”
-live blogging excerpt from the blog yet to be renamed.

Mookie was fun to play with and was getting some good cards. I think Waffles commented at one point, “Luckbox always beats skill”. That was quite a poignant remark as I had battled a luckbox on Stars earlier in the day and come out on the very short end of the stick. It was impressive, I kept telling myself to keep playing tight and aggressive and those little electronic chips will come back to me…. and they probably will in the long run or if I had the fortitude to keep playing, but I did not. It was tough going, every hand was getting cracked by the same two alpacas. Same old song you read about on the other blogs, 83o, 46s, etc cracking my pocket AA, AK etc. It was just weird to experience. At least I have the bankroll and was playing at the correct level to take it in stride. I know that I want those players, but I need to learn to give them more credit when they check raise me on the river…. But my brain takes over and tells me, “SteelerJosh, your set of A’s is good dude! No way he called all the way to the river with only one heart on the flop. Re-Raise him or just at least call” and I do one or the other and marvel at my chips sliding away.

After spending some of my Sunday morning reading I am getting a little concerned about finding the right balance. It is moving, real stuff and I feel for Joe. Besides a scary dose of how it can go to shite so quickly, I take from his writing a warning to make sure I don’t fall into the same hole. I need to make sure I find the right balance with my hobbies and my wife. The balance has been shifted in her favor for a few months as I was frustrated with my poker results and started to drift away some. Now that I am back in it and having a blast with my other bloggers, I know I need to be careful and not discount or take my time with SteelerSteph for granted. It is by no means guaranteed, no matter how sunny it seems today. All the best to you Joe. You really sound like you have your head straight and you appear to have a great support network. Even though I don’t know him, I too feel for especially for AJ. That has got to be tough.

So, armed with Joe’s advice and my newfound luckbox skillz, I am looking forward to playing with more of you this week and my try my hand at a yosoyveneno HU match again. She gave me the free ticket to deposit $5 or $10 into her account anytime I want. Maybe it will go down that like Veneno… maybe.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

TiltFest (aka, What should I call SirFWALGMAN's blog?)

Tonight was a tournament I was looking forward to all week, the Sir Old Farts Tiltfest. It was a great time, I started out of the gate hot!

I looked at AKo in the first hand and got it all in pre flop against DuggleBogey's 72s. I was sweating, but in hindsight I probably had nothing to worry about because it was suited. Those imposter hammers will hurt you. I figured it would be my one and only shot at being atop the leaderboard of a star studded event like this. Lotta talent.

As the game went on, I just sat and waited for hands..... but that got boring and this was a fun bunch so I decided to loosen up. I made some marginal calls and pushes, but I was here to gambool! Oddly enough (ok not really that odd), my favorite hand was a big suckout. I had been flooshed on twice and was getting frustrated. I forget how we got it all in, but it was me, the birthday boy, and Trauma (who flooshed on my earlier for a nice chunk). Menage trois, SteelerJosh style! A8s v JJ v AQ 8 on the flop, A on the river and I was tripled up into the lead again.

Apparently, I have also "earned" the right to rename Sir F's blog for a week. I woke up with JJ in the BB and he pushed all in from EP. JJ held up against 1010 and I did feel bad for taking him out... but took some strange solace in the fact that it was legit. He was having a rollercoaster of a game and and one point was big stackin' but STB and Mookie kept him in check.

Ran into AA twice when in the blinds or button and I had a pair. Not the recipe for success. 77 and 88 crashed into AA, the latter being my exit in 6th. Mookie was the benefactor, I really did not expect him to wake up with that. He probably popped a rod when I pushed all in on his reraise. In hindsight, I could have folded, I was 2nd or 3rd in chips, but I really did not put him on a hand. He played back at me twice earlier and folded to me once so I thought it could go my way. The A on the flop made him virtually suckout proof.

This was my first blogger tourney and it was all that I expected. I witnessed the Hammer take out AK. I sucked out. I got sucked out on. We laughed, we cried and it was fun. Thanks for getting older SirF and giving us an excuse to sling chips together.

Finally, I would be remiss if I failed to point out that I won the last longer bet (that I just made up) with the GCox mafia. They are a fun and talented bunch, I am truly surprised that I was the last one. You all owe me a beer in Okie Vegas this June.

When Hammers Collide

When Hammers Collide…

As a purist, I think that the offsuit should have won all the chips.  I guess that is why I am not running a poker site…

Thanks for the laugh Waffle.