Wednesday, August 31, 2005


Last night I saved some money. I had the option of driving to Manassas for a cash game, but I was also very very tired. I chose not to go, instead of bringing my T game. I got a good night's sleep. Good for me.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Boogster's DC Cash Game - Aug 29, 2005

I was playing a tight, reasonable game for about 3 hours, and I was slightly ahead of my buy-in, and then during my last 20 minutes I had a melt-down, recognized that I was on tilt, and got out without obligating myself to throw away the remainder of my buy-in. Factors that lead to the tilt, in no particular order:

Poker Exhaustion Tilt: The beginning of the tilt was when I raised on a pocket pair, and misread the board thinking that I hit and made a chunky raise and got a call from the big stack. (Big Stack was gobbling up everybody's all-in bets like there was no tomorrow.) I realized what I had done on the turn, and stopped chasing. Once I realized that I missed the trips, I stopped throwing away money, and my opponent checked it down and showed a larger pair.

Angry Tilt: There is one player who shows up late at this game who appears to neither respect the game nor the players. He needs a den mother to remind him it's his turn to play, takes way too long to make the simplest decisions, and pulls really stupid show-offy crap when he's the dealer. (When you're the dealer, just give us a flop. Don't F*ck around, ok?) Moments before my tilt, he had walked away heavy. It wasn't my money, but that stupid inner voice continued to say 'where's the justice?' Shut up, inner voice.

Where's the Justice Tilt: The big stack did not appear to be a good player, but he was catching on a regular basis. I'm sure he was also running stone cold bluffs on a regular basis, but since I rarely caught cards, there wasn't any way that I personally could punish his bluffs.

Tick Tock Tilt: I had been at the table for 3 hours and hadn't made a single kill. On the few hands I was in, I barely got action at all. As the hours got late, I kept thinking 'One good kill and I'm gone.' I should have had the resolve to say 'I'm up, not down. I'm tired and going home.'

Good Starters, Bad Flop Tilt: One of my last and most expensive hands, I make a raise with premium suited starters. I catch nothing, but bet large into the pot. Big Stack calls. I bet large again, BS calls. I check and fold when the river misses me and I have an Ace high hand. I didn't need to bet large into that board. BS was calling raises with trash hands, so there was a reasonable likelihood that he had a weak pair. However, if I don't have a medium pair against this guy, there's no sense running the voodoo down.

I think I need to set time and exhaustion limits on my cash game play. Big Stack was drinking cheap beer all night, but it wasn't taking him out of his game. It was taking me outside of mine.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Poker Exhaustion

On Friday I played my usual tourney, and coasted into fourth place. I probably could have made it one place (and twice as much prize) if I had had just a tad more patience, but once I was in the money, I went all in on nothing and got what I deserved when big stack called me and had one of my cards covered.

On Saturday I played Rake's big tourney with some hot players, and I started out hot. Then I started bleeding as the blind were raising, and I was at 10 M 2.5 hours into the tourney. I lost a couple hands, threw away a lot of trash. More importanly, I developed a bad case of 'flush blindness' in which I failed to see flushes on the board until I had already wagered without that suit. Then my biggest faux pas, I was the dealer, and mistakenly assumed everyone had folded to a raise, and passed the cards to the next dealer. There was some confusion, and the better showed pocket aces and was quite enraged. It was a bummer for the player, and the player took it quite badly, creating quite a bad vibe at the table. I went out within 20 minutes of that incident, in which I raised on good started, caught top pair, and failed to notice the flush again. When I saw the flush, I went all in on a stone bluff, but he was big-stacked enough to not worry about whether I was bluffing. Sure enough, he had a low ranked flush, but it beat my no-flush.

I'm going to scale back my playing for a while. My regular game will be the Friday after the kids have gone to bed, and I'll probably play some on the road. I'm going to bring down my Columbus social group playing to about once a month for a while. Flush blindness is a clear symptom of playing too damn much, as is misdealing.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Private Club, Manassas VA, Aug 24, 2005

Played some cash NL and then a tourney with some very loose novices and some skilled players, and came close to breaking even for the night, but the following hand put me back in the red.

Me: KK - raise 6BB (a standard high raise at the cash game)
P2: Call
P3: Raise - 12 BB
(2 folds)
Me: Call
P2: Call

Flop 9 -8-2

Me: Bet 1/2 pot
P2 &P3 both call

Turn- 8
Three Checks
River - X
Three checks

P2: QQ
P3: AA


In a tournament of 17 I made the bubble, and I went out on a decent decision. The player on my right went all in and I called (had him covered). The player on my left put ME all in, and I called that too.

Right: 55 (30.7%) , Me: AQos (33.9%) Left: JhTh (35.5%)
I just looked this up and was surprised to see JT suited as the fave. If AQ were suited in a different suit that nobody else has, they become the 37.2% fave
Flop 3h, 8s, 4h (32.5%, 12.5%, 55.0% are now the respective odds)
Turn: Qs ! (2.4%, 69.1%, 28.6%)
River: xh !

(Looking at the odds, not quite the horrible beat I took it for last night. It's always a bummer to lose it on the river though. )

Great club. It's a screened environment, like most of the games I play at, so you've generally got a decent level of play, and a minimum of jerks.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Boogster's DC Game - August 22, 2005

I threw away quads last night. I re-raised with trips on the turn, and faced a huge re-raise that gave me about 1.5 to 1 odds for a draw on trips when I could see he already made his straight. I had 10 outs for a boat or quads and so I folded. I asked for a rabbit, and out pops my quad. Bummer.

I also had a monster suck-out in which I accepted an all in with a pair of 6s against a bluffy. Bluffy actually had a pair of queens, but the cards came runner runner for a back-door flush.

There was another interesting all in battle with 3 of us, I came in on a double belly buster draw since there were two other players in the hand, I felt it was a reasonable bet. I failed to hit.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

August 19, 2005 Tourney(s)

At the local second hand smoke shop. I went to defend my title, so I was naturally knocked out within 40 minutes of sitting down. One big blunder I made was not playing the pot odds: There were two small pairs on the board, and I had neither of them. On the second pair, the other player bet into me, and I folded a flush, when I was getting at least 4 to 1 or better to make the call. Stupid overthink that was.

Later the same evening, I failed to listen to Mike Caro's book of tells, and a player was betting into me with pocket Aces, but I didn't recognize the physical symptoms until I had already taken the bait. D'uhhhhhhhhhhhh.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Manassas VA Cash Game

This was at a motorcyle repair shop in an industrial part of town. I was up to double my buy in, accepted an all-in with pocket kings on a nothing board. My opponent, who was a big bluffer and risk-runner had A-9. He caught9 and then A on the river to take it. I rebought and played for another 30 minutes and walked away having lost about half my original buy-in.

Good game. Nice folks. There were some different playing style to adjust to, so I'll definitely go back until I've got their respective numbers. One guy who seemed tight lost three buy-ins, another guy who seemed tight waited hours to catch a hand and rarely got action. Another guy had such a defeatist attitude you'd play against him with 2-7 and expect to win. There were two agressive bluffersons who I kept skirmishing with, and another guy who seemed a little more sensible.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Boogster's DC NL Cash August 16, 2005

This is the second time I've played with this group of players in downtown DC, less than a mile from the Capitol and the White House. When I got there last night, they were temporarily banished to the roof till the clubhouse was open. Not great for poker, but great views of the Washington Monument at least.

Early on I went all-in on pocket Aces against pocket kings with a king on the board. Oops. I was able to make up for it on the second buy-in and leave ahead of the game.

After having played with these guys twice, I feel like I'm starting to get a feel for their starting hand requirements, and who bluffs, and who almost never bluffs, which makes it a little easier to lay down a hand or two even when I feel like I've got decent holdings. I've laid down two pair at least once or twice, depending on who I'm up against and what's on the board, of course. They're starting to catch on to me as well, of course, which means that I have to change gears enough to keep them guessing. After I had taken a few players in on all-in bets in which I had the nuts, my raises were given much more respect than they had been early in the evening.

Here's a cute hand from last night:

Me: BB with K2os

Flop K2x with two hearts.

I re-raise the initial SB post-flop bet from 3BB to 10BB. Bluffy calls.

Turn: x-Heart

I make another 10BB bet. Bluffy thinks a while and calls.

River: 2

I go all in (another 27BB or so). Bluffy thinks a while and calls.

Bluffy was trying to sucker me into pushing him off his hand. He apparently wasn't ready to throw away his Nut Flush to my potential boat. Maybe he should have value bet on the turn.

Is it just me, or does the betting sequence above remind you of the climax in the move 'the Cincinnati Kid' where the Man bets incorrectly and the kid misinterprets the disinformation?

Monday, August 15, 2005

A Quick Rant about On-Line Kidz

At a few casinos and games I have noticed a clearly delineated set of players, who I refer to as 'on-line kidz' regardless of their age bracket. There's no shame in being an on-line player, but....

When you're in a tournament with humans, I recommend that you play accordingly. I've heard that many on-line players try to put their foes on tilt all the time. If you constantly perform actions and stupid bluffs in person that are designed to put people on tilt, you should expect to be put out of your misery sooner or later, and the rest of us will be saying 'good riddance.'

Another quirk worth mentioning about on-line kidz. Some of you have dedicated zero percent of your mental effort in developing any kind of personality other than 'the quiet dude back in the shadows.' I guess that's fine, but you're not gonna get on my 'most desirable guests' list any time soon. At least some part of live poker is about the social interaction, and if there's nothing there, you're simply someone to be beaten and forgotten.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Big Social Group Tourney - August 13, 2005

48 players, WSOP blind structure.

First table, less than one hour in, I get agressive with pocket jacks, and when the flop comes in 9-6-3ish rainbow, I go all in. Of course, I'm facing pocket aces. To my great shame, I suck out with a jack on the river and double up.

Same table, I'm facing a true WSOP veteran who has made a bet which states he's got top-class holdings. I've got position and suited paint that I can't put down, and I catch lucky, much to his chagrin. Living on the edge, I guess.  I looked it up at, and if he had what his bet seemed to imply, I was the 4 to 1 underdog, and I was being offered maybe 1.5 to 1 odds at the initial bet.

Same table, I limped with 7-8 os or some other inferior holding with four other players. A-7-x comes up. My probe bet chases 3 away, and I assume I'm facing an Ace. Turn - A, river 7. He makes a huge bet on the end, and I can't fold my second-best boat so I call. He's pulled such a stone bluff on me that he doesn't even show his cards. Sigh of relief.

Next Table, I make a raise into two very good players who are SB and BB, and they both call. I flop the nut straight, and I check from early, and I'm happy to hear a bet and a raise. My all in pushes off the probe bet, and the raiser takes my all-in offer. He explains before calling that he knows what I've got, but that he's got to go for the nut boat because he's too low-stacked to continue in the tourney otherwise. puts the odds as 82.1% in my favor. He failed to suck out, but it was not a bad play on his part, as he was very pot-committed.

Another interesting hand involved an all-in battle after the flop with K2 vs K7, except that K-2-x was already on the board. K-2 is the 74.4% favorite at that time.

Final Table Syndrome (FTS) - Losing one's focus after hours of play because one is so excited about being within reach of the prize money.

After much patience and more than a few skirmishes, I make the final table. I've got a healthy stack, and I personally take out at least two players at the final table, but then I go haywire.
My focus wanes just when I need it most, I make a couple of bad decisions and I'm desperate and looking at the bubble. I pull pocket 8's from the SB and offer an all-in to steal the blind. BB happily agrees from his pocket aces and takes 90% of my remaining stack. (Same player pulled pocket aces on me the last time we butted heads and crippled me there as well. Maybe I'll wait for pockets before I go against this guy again....)

One hand later, I accept an all-in offer from the chip leader, who has KQ to my Q9. I fail to suck out.

I didn't use the notebook this time, but I was constantly counting my chips.

I need to learn more about final table focus, or I can see repeating this behavior over and over. Getting cocky at exactly the wrong time.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Big Local Tourney August 12, 2005

Starting chips were 50 each, with a blind structure like this:
1-2, 2-4, 3-6,4-8,5-10,10-20,15-30,20-40, 40-80,80-160,100-200,200-400

The tourney ended about 6 hours in at the 80-160 level.

I got pocket q's on the second deal when I dealt them to myself. I raised from the button, and one caller went all in and I accepted. He had lost 21 chips in the first hand, so when his A-9 hit on the river, I was down to 21 chips 2 hands in. I semi-tilted and called a raise with limping starters and was down to 15 chips.

It took me the better part of 2 hours of careful play to build 15 chips into a decent stack.

I made it to the final table, or rather the final table made it to me. I didn't need to change my chair during any of the consolidations.

I offered a chop when we were down to 2 players, and I think I may have been the chip leader. The dude passed and said he preferred to play it out. Two hands later I go all in and he accepts, and he takes all my chips. Fortunately, I make sure we both do a chip count to make sure he has me covered. He didn't and I still had almost 2BB in chips left (he must have had more than 10-12BB in chips at that time.)

I plow onward and within 1 hour of that point he bluffs an all-in that I accept on A-3. He's got 2-4 suited. My 3 pairs and he doesn't pair. Game over.

It was a sweet sweet victory, especially since I had to endure 6 hours of second hand smoke. When I go back next week, there will be a bounty on me. Did I mention that I took out the champion of the prior week and got that bounty too?

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Quick Poker Update

Haven't had time to blog, but have been active with poker.

Played some small stakes Pot-Limit Omaha. It's kinda fun!

Played a local tourney at a bingo parlor. A nice combo of good players and dead money. I plan to go back regularly.

Played a cash game at a condo clubhouse in Washington DC near the capitol, and came out with double my buy-in. I plan to go back regularly.

Any questions?