Every time I think Iím out of my slump I get kicked in the teeth again. I came within $48 of losing my entire Empire buy in on Sunday night. My original play had been to build up the bankroll and play 3 Empire games and 1 Party game to maximize the rake-rebate. The $900 I lost at Empire on Thursday and Friday left me without enough of a buy in for 3 games so Iím playing 2 of each. Sunday night I got wiped out on one table and rebought on the other and was down to my last $48. I cannot transfer funds between Party and Empire so I had to do a withdrawal from Party to Neteller to make another deposit, and that will take some time. I was losing at Party as well and it looked like a horrible start to the week, but I made a bit of a comeback at Empire to finish down only $200 and with enough for 2 buy inís at Empire still. Then on Monday I caught fire. A $200 afternoon and a $540 evening gave me a $740 day and put me up $540 for the week. It was my first day over $500 in 3 weeks, and it felt very good. I even lost two flopped full houses that would have made the win even bigger. On one I had TT on a flop of AAT and got run down by JJ when a J turned. And I had A5 on a flop of AA5 and got beat by AJ when a J rivered. And I have to be fair since Iíve been critical of Partyís cashout delays, my 1,000 was in my Neteller account in less than a day. I transferred it to Empire although after last night I probably wonít need it.
It seems like a lot of the truly horrible players are gone from Party, but all of the table ďexpertsĒ are still there. Every night I have some guy telling everybody what they did right and wrong. How come they never seem to go bust?
Baseball playoffs start today. Itíll give me something to watch during my afternoon sessions. I havenít watched one game yet this year, but Iíll keep a close eye on Pedro Martinez, one of the many former Expos we let go for next to nothing in order to save money. Iíll have to root for the Cubs too, wouldnít that be a great World Series. Someoneís jinx would be broken.
Iím not going to tell anyone what my alias is on Empire for 3 weeks. I wonít confirm or deny any guesses during that time. I need to be more careful though, I made a familiar comment to a 2+2íer thinking I was on as davidross. He must have wondered who the hell I was. Iím pretty sure some of the guys that play 3/6 regularly will figure out who I am just by the number of times we play against each other.
This game seems so simple when your hands hold up. I missed a couple of river bets last night though due to my fear that I had been rivered. A hang over from last week no doubt. On Monday when I ran so bad at Empire I had won 5% of 600 hands. Last night I won 8% of 800 and had a huge win. But some of my big losses last week had me winning 10%. The numbers donít tell the whole story I guess. I actually won some big pots yesterday.
You know the tide has turned whenÖ.
I limped behind 3 others in the CO with KJo. Button called too and the BB raised. We all called. Flop is Ac Jc 8s. BB bets out, and there are 2 calls before me. Iím getting 15-1 and decided to take one off without really thinking it through. This is another example of the problem you face playing multiple tables. Iím used to reading the board quickly, deciding that 15-1 is fine for middle pair to take one off so I call. If I think about it, there is a very good chance my K is not an out if the BB raiser has AK, a very real possibility, and Iím drawing nearly dead if he has AA. Probably a very bad call. Turn was the Jd. BB bet, 1 caller and I raised. BB raises me back, and weíre heads up. I just call starting to realize that I might be up against AA or at the least AJ (unlikely given the BB raise). River brings the case J. He bets, I raise and he just calls. He never uttered a word either.
Not 5 minutes later I have QQ in EP and raise an UTG limper. I get 3 bet on my left and 3 people call the 3 bet. I cap it and 5 of us see the flop. Flop is 7c 5s 2d. UTG bets, I raise and Iím 3 bet again on my left. This is a very bad sign. I know lotís of players who will 3 bet AK pre-flop, but not on the flop. I think I am behind. One guy folds, but 2 others call the 3 bet as do I. Turn is the 6d. Now utg bets out. I just call, but the guy on my left raises again. LP calls cold again and utg caps it. Uh oh this is not good. I still call, and I canít really explain why at this point. UTG might be making a play, but I know Iím beat on my left. I think this is a bad decision. 4 of us see the river. River is the Qs. UTg bets 1 chip all-in and I bump it up to 6, hoping to win the side pot at least. I get called by both guys. Guy on my left did have AA, so I cracked another AA hand. Unbelievable the guy who cold called the whole way had 77 for a flopped set. He never raised once. UTG who really chose the wrong time to try this, had 4c 2c, and was semi-bluffing in a horrible spot. $188 pot.
A good river bet.
I open raised 9s 9c in LP and both blinds called. Flop is Ah Ac Jc. I bet and 1 guy called. Turn is the 5c and I bet again. I know an A wouldnít fold but a J might. No probably not. River is the Kc. Again I bet. He calls and had 66 with the 6c. Last week I probably would have checked the turn and river losing 2 bets.
When youíre in the middle of a slump you keep telling yourself that sometime soon all these river beats are going to stop and your big hands will all hold up. On Tuesday that happened. A $300 afternoon followed by a $650 evening and I had my biggest day since June, winning $950. Of course the bad side of winning big is you have to listen to all the whining about your hands holding up and theirs losing, but I guess I can live with that. Just to keep me off balance though on Wednesday I struggled again losing $300, but coming back nicely from a $600 deficit at one point. Iíd love to know what my winning rate is between 1:00 AM and 3:00 AM. Iím sure I make more money then than at any other time. So Iím up $1,200 for the week.
Zoo tournament tonight and itís no limit, which I love, but have no chance at against some of these sharks. I just need to stay away from MS Sunshine who has been my nemesis in these tourneys. Womenís soccer against China is tonight too so I will get a late start at Poker tonight.
Winter is coming. Oct 2nd and I had to turn on the heat today for the first time. Ice on the windshield this morning. Maybe I should go work for one of the online sites in the Caribbean.
JTrout is the first person to identify me under my Empire alias. I have no idea how he figured it out but he kept making subtle hints while we were seated together yesterday, and finally made a comment that only I would understand. I didnít think it would take too long, but I didnít expect it that quickly.
River bluff raise. I get bluffed at on the river a lot. Iím sure it happens 3 or 4 times a night where someone suddenly comes to life on the river with a raise, and I swear and call only to find out they have nothing. I just donít fold on the river like that and Iím always surprised at the move. But maybe I need to re-think it. Yesterday I played the following hand. I have 77 in the BB and call an EP raiser, a poster who called and the SB. The flop is Q 8 2, two spades and it gets checked around. Turn is an offsuit J and I bet. Only the pre-flop raiser calls. River is a 3, no flush, and I check. One of my other screens pops up and I go to click on this window to make it active again and I click right where the raise button has appeared. The pre-flop raiser had bet, and I accidentally raised him. He types AJ in the window and folds. More than likely he had AK and I was good anyway, but it got me wondering if I shouldnít try a river bluff more often.
A hand Iím very proud of. I have to set this one up. Another table expert has been spouting off. He claims to be a 15/30 online player who is only playing 3/6 to show his friend how to play, but weíre all so terrible he canít teach him anything. Then he proceeds to top up his stack to $1,700 in chips to impress us. I resist the urge to bring 5 or 6 thousand to the table, or to ask how he plays 15/30 with such a small stack, but the whole table has turned on this guy. Expert open raises in EP and gets two cold calls. Iím in the SB with Ah Jh and I call too. BB plays and 5 of us see the flop. Flop is Qh Td 9s. I check, BB checks and the Expert checks too. MP bets out and LP folds. I decide to raise. I think the expert either has AK or a monster like QQ. If he has AK I want to put pressure on him to fold, and make my A good if it should fall. I f he calls or raises I will know he has a big hand, but Iím still drawing to the nuts with my open ender. I actually thought of all this before raising. 3 months ago those thoughts wouldnít have entered my mind, I would play my draw as cheaply as possible. BB folds and so does the expert. MP calls. Turn is Qd, and I bet out carrying through on my semi-bluff. He calls. Damn. River is the Ts and I check. He checks behind me and my A is good. He had 87 for the other end of the straight draw. Iím almost positive my raise saved me half the pot.
I guess I havenít turned the corner yet. Miserable days on Thursday and Friday saw me drop another $530 between the two days. Same old same old. For the first time in 6 months Iím not looking forward to playing. I seem to sit down and start losing right away. Most of my loss on Friday was on my single Party table. I checked my stats around 2:00 AM and I had played 300 hands, won 4%, 34% of my showdowns, seen 24% of the flops and won 17% of the flops I saw. On all me tables combined I flopped 11 sets, and lost 9 of them. I guess Iíve said it before, but I donít remember ever being this frustrated. Every time I bet I cringe waiting for the raise. Thank god I had those two huge days or Iíd be in big trouble. Iím still seeing a lot of bad play, so I donít think the bad players are gone, but I do think there are more good players in these games. There is a lot more pre-flop raising going on and Iím getting caught with some of my favorite limping hands, having my implied odds killed. I need to make some adjustments. I also am getting pushed off hands. I folded 3 more winning hands yesterday, that would have been $150 in pots, two of them on the river. On one I was just completely outplayed by a guy who won a $80 pot with A8o unimproved in the BB. I had AK and folded to his river bet. He 3 bet pre-flop and 3 bet my flop raise. He then bet the turn and river in a 4 handed pot and amazingly he was called on the river by a K high.
I also misread a board for the first time that I can remember. I had the Kd on a board that had 4 diamonds including the A. I raised a river bet and he 3-bet me, I checkedÖsaw that there was no straight flush and capped it. Unfortunately the A was a heart, not a diamond, and although I did have a flush, his A was better than my K. Doh!!
Made a good read on one of the few on-line tells we get. I raised pre-flop with JJ and got 3 bet by a straight forward player. 5 of us saw the flop which were under cards to my Jís. I bet and one of the guys took a long time to act. After he called the 3-bettorís action raised immediately indicating he had clicked the raise check-box ahead of time. That was enough for me and I folded. He did have AA.
There is no doubt that the more people seeing the river, the stronger your hand has to be to win. The chances of 6 people seeing the river and one pair winning are pretty slim. SO on a night where I lost with 9 sets, this hand was remarkable.
UTG open raises and gets cold called. I call too with Qc Tc, and the calling frenzy is off. 7 of us see the flop. Flop is Th 8d 4d. 3 checks to me including the pre-flop raiser and I bet my top pair. All 6 call me. Turn is 5s. Again checked to me and I bet and I get 5 callers. Iím going crazy now. All night I canít seem to dhake people when Iím ahead, and unless I improve itís pretty unlikely my 1 pair is going to be good. River is 3s. Again I bet, and all 5 fold. $103 pot. Unbelievable.
This hand sent me to bed. MP raises and a cold call. Iím on the button with TT and I call too. Flop comes Ad Td 9c. Another set. Bet and a call to me, and I get cute and just call. Iím almost positive there will be a bet to me on the turn and I will be able to raise the expensive street. Turn is Ac. Again a bet and a call and I raise. MP folds, but LP raises me. Iím sure he doesnít have AA, he would have 3 bet pre-flop, so A9 would seem to be the only hand I need to fear (AT is unlikely) so I cap it. He calls. River is Jd. He checks and I bet. He raises, and I just new the J killed me. I just called and sure enough AJ. Every big pot Iíve played for 3 weeks seems to end up like this. I get all the money in while Iím ahead, but KABOOM on the river. Sigh. Tomorrowís another day.
I crashed out of the Zoo tourney early. Some pretty bad play on my part led to my downfall. I started with MS Sunshine on my left and the empty seat on my right was soon filled by Lorinda, giving me truly horrible position. Lorinda is a truly gifted tournament player who has been dominating the Zoo tourneys. She is also a great supporter of all the 2+2 regulars. She will stay up all night to watch a tournament if one of our own is participating. She is very outspoken and doesnít suffer fools gladly though as I discovered a long time ago. Iím sure she doesnít remember this but In early 2002, when I had been playing for only a couple of months, Paradise had a promotion on for someone to win a seat in the WSOP main event. In order to qualify you had to play a crazy number of single table tournaments and do well. I was only vaguely aware a promotion was on and vertainly wasnít trying to qualify. But I did play a $10 tournament and Lorinda was in the same tournament. In the 1st two rounds she went all in 4 times. I understand now the strategy was to double up early and have a great chance of winning, or get knocked out and start again. 4th place was the worst thing that could happen to you if you wanted to qualify for the WSOP seat. Of course to me it just looked like a maniac was risking their whole stack for $25 in blinds. 3 times she won the blinds and the 4th time she was called and her AK lost to a pocket pair. I typed in the chat box ďThat was just a matter of timeĒ or words to that effect and she went off her nut on me. Calling me names I didnít think genteel English women even knew. She was steamed enough at me that she stayed to watch the rest of the tournament and give me another barrel when I busted out (4th or 2nd I canít remember which). Shortly after that I noticed her name on posts at 2+2 and over time I have completely changed my opinion of her. I admire her in every way now.
Back to the tourney, it was very tight at first. I won a few hands without showdowns with AK and KK, no callers, and I lost a few limps when I folded to big raises behind me. I had some tough decisions in my BB with AT and A9 against a button raise, hands I would play in a ring game, I folded here. My first mistake was a free play in the BB where I had Ks 8s heads up against an EP limp. Flop came 874 rainbow and I checked. I think the pot had $75 in it. He bet $90 and I raised him 90. He raised me 90 more and I called. I have to fold to his re-raise. I showed strength and he came right back at me. DO I really want to go to war with a pair of 8ís? This same problem plagues me in ring games too. I seem to feel everyone is making plays at me when it doesnít make any sense for them to do so. A J turned and I checked. He bet 200 and I called again. A T rivered making a straight possible, lucky for me he checked and showed a set of 4ís. About 500 came out of my stack instead of the 200 I probably should have lost. Very soon after that I limped with Qh Jh, completely forgetting what trouble hands they are in No Limit. Iím sure a great player can play them properly, but for someone like me who is better off just pushing all-in, itís a tough hand. Sure enough Sunshine made a big raise behind me and I called it (Mistake number 2). Flop came T high with 2 hearts. Sunshine pushed all-in. I had him covered by 70, and I had odds to draw for the flush so I called. He had 88 soI had more outs than I thought, actually a favorite to win I believe with 14 outs twice (He had 8h), but none of my outs hit and I was down to the felt. Then my comeback began. In my BB for 50 Lorinda raised me from the SB with T7. I had 86 and a rivered 8 doubled me up to 140. I went all in with AK and was called by 99. QJT on board gave me a straight and I doubled up again to 280. A few hands later I went all-in again with 88 and they held up for me and I had 560. A few orbits went by where I was able to win the blinds and stay even. I ran a blind steal with AJ and got called by a small pair. An A flopped and I had chips again. I immediately resolved to play a little more conservatively and of course I got KK on the very next hand. One raiser in front of me and I raised him. He pushed all-in and I called. He had AQs and I looked pretty good until an A flopped and just like that I was out. Thatís no-limit.
Saturdays are going to kill me. After being up until 3:30 AM Friday night, I had to get up at 7:00 to drive my eldest to her job at the barn. My youngest had a soccer practice at 9:00, and my younger son had soccer at 3:00. My older boy had hockey at 4:00 so I dropped son #2 off, drove # 1 to his game and then went back to pick up #2 and then go back to watch the game. Finally my youngest was invited to a friends to watch a movie Sat. Night so she had to be driven again. I feel like a bus driver. This is my reality for the winter. Anyone thinking about having 4 kids keep that in mind.
Saturday night poker started out like the last 3 weeks. Winning small pots and losing all the big ones. I was ahead on 1 table but well behind on the other 3. Finally I got some cards and go t a little ahead, then lost 3 huge pots in 5 minutes to be down again. My frustration was ready to spill over. Then I started winning again. I made the same hands, but now they held up. I am happy to report I manaded a $325 win to put me just over $1,000 for the week. Thatís the 3rd week in a row Iíve finished below my target and I need to get back on track.
Soccer semi-finals tonight. Canada upset China and plays Sweden tonight. The 2 best teams USA and Germany play in the other semi. I canít wait.
I am concerned about the long term viability of making a living at this. I donít know if a) Iím just running bad, b) I was just running good before and this is normal, or c) the games are getting tougher. I think itís a combination of A and C. There donít seem to be as many bad players cold calling and chasing lately, and there is certainly more pre-flop raising going on. But I seem to be getting unlucky as well. All my big hands seem to be when Iím first in, allowing everyone to fold. I guess weíll have to wait and see.
She was steamed enough at me that she stayed to watch the rest of the tournament and give me another barrel when I busted out (4th or 2nd I canít remember which). Shortly after that I noticed her name on posts at 2+2 and over time I have completely changed my opinion of her. I admire her in every way now.
Thanks for the kind words.
I certainly let loose a barrage or two back then, and although I have calmed over time, I'm afraid I still occasionally provide great examples of how not to behave.
It seems that the better your ability to manage tilt, the worse it actually is when you finally DO lose the plot.
I apologise for the incident, it is the perfect example of why not to shout at newbies, look what you have produced now.
Although you are more level headed than that, it would have been tragic had I scared you away from the scene.
I watched a game you were playing at Party Wednesday night with Acesdad I believe, and eventually joined the table. You obviously weren't getting good cards because for the couple hours I watched and played you lost a little, about $80 or so. While I was watching I complimented you on your posts on this forum and you actually caught and responded to the chat. Quite impressive since I know you were probably playing a few tables.
As I read your recent posts about running bad I actually feel a bit encouraged. I am a regular B&M player up to 10-20 US or 15-30 Cdn. and just started on party about three months ago. I had your experience right off the bat - runner runner flushes beating my flopped trips was a regular occurence. To say nothing of being rivered what seemed like a million times a day. This was even more frustrating given I tightened up after the first few hammerings. Still got run down. If anyone ever thinks they are a good poker player, I suggest they play online 3-6 for a while. I was on tilt and questioned why I won at higher stakes B&M but couldn't beat 3-6 online. But thanks to reading your experiences I understand the swings, see more flops and generally adapt my game. All of this to say that playing well will win you money and that you're on a bad run, don't sweat it, keep up the good play and you'll be back to your winning ways.
On another matter, I am just up the road from you in Ottawa and was wondering if you ever play in B&M rooms and whether you've been to Rama? Forgive me if this has been asked and answered in your posts. Would love to chat poker with you sometime. Make the chasers pay!
It looks like things are (slowly) starting to turn around for you. I certainly hope next week will get you back on track.
I don't play 3/6, so I can't really comment on your suspicion the games are getting tighter. I can say the 2/4 games seem to be getting softer (I just booked my second week in a row above $500, and I work part-time), so I suspect some of the 3/6 fishies are swiming in my pond now.
If the games are getting tougher you'll need to adjust your game accordingly. The two of us have very differnt playing styles (not to mention you have slightly more expereince than me ), so I'm not sure if I'm in a position to offer any advice on what to do. Just try to take an objective look at your game and see if the plays that were once profitable have now become leaks because of the changing game conditions (or vice-versa, like the river bluff, perhaps).
I still think you should be using poker tracker. The new edition auto requests your hand histories for you and it would allow you to examine these sort of issues more carefully. I also find it's nice to be able to review the play of my more regular opponents closely to improve my notes on them. I can say that it has improved my game significantly, and I think you could also benefit from it.
I'm also looking forward to the World Cup tonight, USA v. Germany is going to be a great game.
I guess we can be civil until the playoffs when the Leafs and Senators hook up again. (Just kidding I'm a Habs fan).
I haven't played Rama, it's a little far for me to go for a 6 hour session, which is all I can fit in usually. Last year I played Brantford (10/20 and 5/10) once a week for a couple of months with unspectacular results. I was not nearly as good a player as I am now though. I found the pace extremely slow though, and the rake and tipping a further obstacle to overcome. I will certainly play again if I go to Vegas, but I'm in no hurry to play locally again.
My general thoughts on the Party games? I've been playing online for a month now, but in that short timeframe, the games have definitely not gotten any tougher, definitely not noticeably so. I play 3 5/10 tables and have yet to find a tough table. I don't really exercise any table selection (besides sitting down at the shortest tables possible and sitting down if I recognize a name as some horrible player I saw previously) nor do I have PokerTracker or keep any stats/player notes. I play only the 6-max tables. Not sure whether you're playing full or short, but if you're playing full tables, I'd suggest trying something like playing one short table to work on your game. You'll have a much bigger advantage playing shorthanded against most of these players.
Two more specific comments regarding your current streak.
1) Given your general posting history and hands you've described, I'm sure you can beat 3/6 and 5/10 games handily.
2) I average about 2 hrs/day. I've played 5 hours a couple of times, but generally after 2 hours or so, I start to get bored and a little burned out. Perhaps it's tough for you to really maintain your concentration and solid play for all of the hours you put in? Might actually be more profitable for you to play a little less at higher limits. This may or may not have any validity, but perhaps something to think about...
I totally agree with Jason regarding PokerTracker, especially for you since you're playing full time. I imagine you could compile thorough data on your opposition rather quickly...
For me, the first thing I do when I sit at a table is open up the data on my opponents and look at their PF% and the % of the time they go to showdowns/win them. I find these three stats give me a good makeup of whether they're a solid player or weak player. If I see stats that can't help me decide, I look into the individual hands that they've voluntarily put money into the pot with. Then to make sure this effort isn't a one time thing, I'll note what I find in my stats, and date it, so I don't have to check up again for another couple weeks/months. It's really handy to give you an idea of table composition when you first sit down, and then you do this when a new player sits down as well. Very helpful, and takes about 5-10 minutes of time when you first sit in at tables...
Im sorry to hear you came in under your goal this week. Since moving from 1/2 to 2/4, I think the tables in general are definitly tighter. The more profitable hands are the hands that play well against few players, and you have to be much better playing heads up (this is 2/4 compared to 1/2). We all know youre an earner, so you just have to have faith i think. The question is: are your goals attainable? and is your play optimal? Maybe it would be more optimal to play some 5/10. I know youve already tried this, so im thinking it would not be closer to optimal. Its disapointing if you cant get the necesary money out of the game, but its impressive that you could actully support a family with youre poker winnings for 5 1/2 months. Play well, and I hope next week goes better.
Saturday night poker started out like the last 3 weeks. Winning small pots and losing all the big ones. I was ahead on 1 table but well behind on the other 3.
David- I'm not sure it's a general rule but Saturday night on party I always seem to be playing the "heads-up maniac" types at the table. Some of these guys are often decent players during the week but seem to be hitting the bottle on the weekend.
Anyway my variance is just wild on Saturday nights.