Returning the Favor and other Slices of Life

Returning the Favor
Returning the Favor
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Thursday, July 28, 2005

Goals are good. Right?

This is all stream-o-consciousness shite from an email I sent Felicia after her generous offer of advice with O8. Thought I'd share/document, since that is kinda the point of a blog. Go check out her blog, she's a helluva good person with a wicked sense of humor.

I'll dump the SNGs, and move into some of the cash games. I see what you mean about the longtermnature of the game, and I'm trying to spend some time this summer and fall shifting my game intoa more longterm game in general rather than being one of the school of fish that dabble in pokerreloading another $100 every couple of weeks into my internet bankroll. Not that I see me quitting a 60K/year job any time soon to play cards, but I am starting to set goals for myself.

1) Become a winning ring game player. Play within the limits of my bankroll and don't play stupid $1 NLHE tourneys on Stars just because I'm bored. The risk/reward ratio in those MTTs sucks with all the crazies.

2) Read at least one solid poker book each month for the rest of 2005. Starting with Harrington's 2 volumes. I think SSII is next after those, but not sure what should follow.

3) Be more selective in my tourney entries, going for the tourneys that suit my bankroll & style better.

4) Play at least one event at the WSOP 2006 and/or qualify online for a WPT event. That'll involve a summation of the first three and a shitload of luck, but why not have goals.

5) Blog more. It helps me think out issues with my game to write them out. And brings me people that give advice and invites to tourneys, so that's fun too!

So I have goals. Shit. That means I need to pay attention. Well, I'm not quitting my day job any time soon, but it would be nice to be a little more lucrative at this hobby, rather than having my entire upside for the year be based on one tournament win. Not that I'm complaining. But if I'm going to spend the time on poker that I'm spending - I need to spend it better and do it right. By separating the fish from the burden of their money.




Got my Harrington on Hold 'Em vol. 1 & 2 yesterday, and I think I've sworn off tournament play for a couple days/weeks until I can read and absorb what Action Dan's saying. Too many people are speaking too highly of these books for me to ignore them, and the books (at least so far) are pointing out too many good things/concepts for me to not take the appropriate time to try and absorb the ideas.

For example - I've gotten into a rut in our weekly game of just playing the cards preflop. That's costing me money, and that's also making me almost incapable of running people out of a pot with a bet. My table image is becoming too much the super-aggressive type and I'm getting lots of action,even when I don't necessarily want it. That said, I don't want to stray too far from that style, but I want to make folks think I'm playing crap when I'm not, which is more profitable. So I need to tighten up my starting hands without letting people realize that I've tightened up a little. And that means working other things than just the cards, namely position.

Let's see what I get out of tonight's reading.


Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Omaha Multi-Table

So I've been playing around a little with Omaha Hi-Lo Limit Tourneys & Sit n Go's, and I'm running into a problem - I can't hold onto a big stack.

I can accumulate a massive amount of chips in the earlier - middle stages of a limit Omaha tourney by a combination of seeing a LOT of flops and getting a lot of outdraws that pan out, which is kinda the nature of Omaha - it seems to be a drawing game, and you don't have the nuts until the river usually, because the nuts can change with the drop of another card.

So last night I'm in a $10 O8 multi-table tourney on Stars, sitting pretty. I'm consistently in the top 10-15 in chips, and then for a while I'm dancing around the top 3. But as the bets get up to the $200-400 level, I seem to need to tighten up, and I guess I don't understand enough about the outs and the draws to make good decisions at that point. Early on, I'm calling a lot, leading out a lot more, and I'm winning 76% of the hands that I take to a showdown. But midway through the 2nd hour, I'm calling less, generally tightening up trying to hold onto my lead and only make moves when I have real hands that can go both ways, and getting hammered. Some of it is just outdraws, when the guy who's all in with two pair and no flush draws hits a two-outer on the river to double through me. Some of it is just absolutely silly for Omaha, like when the unimproved pocket Aces beats my unimproved pocket Kings. I expect that crap in hold-em, but I expect a little better than top pair to win a big O8 pot.

Maybe I should read a book. Or at least another article or something. The thing I worked on last night that I was pretty proud of was I very seldom played a hand all the way down when all I had was a low draw (unless it was a nut low). This led to me getting quartered in a LOT fewer pots than usual. I think I need to move away from middle straights, because I end up holding the idiot end of the straight too often, and that costs me chips. I also think I'm overvaluing my middle pocket pairs, because they're only good as part of a set or a boat, and I really need to see that set or boat cheaply to make holding pocket 7s a +EV move in Omaha.

That's what I think I think, and I welcome any advice.



PS - my Harrington on Hold 'Em volumes 1 & 2 should be here in a day or so, so maybe I can kill the next Actor's Theatre tourney. Or at least not give Esposito all my f'n chips when we get down to heads-up.

Friday, July 15, 2005

More Tussin

50-something out of 1000 or so people in a Pstars $1 MTT last night. I remember none of it. Good times.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

low-buy-in SNGs & Tussin-X

I take back what I said last night about not playing while stoned.

This is a beautiful combination. I had more fun playing online poker last night than I have in a loooong time. Now I wouldn't suggest playing that at any limit more than a $3 buy-in MTT, but baby, I had me a good ol' time playing the $1 SNGs at Stars last night. When you're stoned off your ass, you'll call with ANYTHING. Course I don't really remember much of the session, but I finished 3rd in a 45-person $1 SNG and ended the night about even, so not bad for dozing (and dosing) mid-hand.

And at that level, you're not playing any worse than anybody else there. Even if you're fucked up and they aren't. Good Times.

Go to Pokerstars and sign up for the Charlie Tournament. Now. This from Iggy -

Rumours are swirling about poker celebs playing in it, too.
All proceeds go to charity, so please, sign up and play with us.
WPBT "Charlie" Tournament
When: THIS Sunday - July 17th - 6pm EST
Where: PokerStars - Listed under the Private tab
Cost: $20 - Every penny goes to charity

See you there.


Wednesday, July 13, 2005

WPBT Charlie Tournament

WPBT “Charlie” Tournament

When? 6PM EST Sunday July 17th

Where? PokerStars

How Much? $20 - every penny goes to charity

What Do I Get When I Win? The comfort of knowing you’re doing something good for someone else

No, Really… No. Really.

All proceeds to go to wherever Charlie Tuttle’s family wants them. Come on out and play

The above was lifted from Up for Poker, among other spots. Come out and play. I'm registered under, originally enough, Jhartness.



PS - do NOT multi-table microlimit MTTs while on prescription cough syrup. You'll call more shit than you usually do.

Sick Again - and STONED

I don't know what the fuck was in those pills the Dr. gave me, but I am f'd upright now. I have bronchitis, I am at work (don't ask), I feel like ass, and I'm too stoned to drive home so I might as well stay at work.

Laughing Wild opens tomorrow night - the show that I've made myself ill working on. The lights look pretty good, not as good as I'd hoped, but I lost the first day of hang & focus to set shit not being done, so I didn't have all the time to work that I needed. We did put up 4 color scrollers in the theatre, though, which adds a lot to our flexibility - lots more pretty colors. So I'm pretty pleased with it overall.

Registered for the Charlie tournament on Pokerstars this Sunday. All proceeds go to Charlie's family - go SIGN UP NOW!

Monday, July 11, 2005

Actual Poker post

So last weekend it was time for the Celebrity Poker Tourney - 4th of July edition. Jeremy was in town from his Branson gig so we threw together a tourney for him. Not a bad turnout for a holiday weekend - 13 total.

Donna & Wes (the Great Scotts)
Tom (the other Great Scott)
Nate Frankel
Chip (HatBoy) Decker
Carver (Shades) Johns
"Uncle" Phil Taylor
"Wildman" Jim Esposito
Michael Nester
and a couple of others that I can't really remember

One hand in particular that I remember went something like this -

I limp in on the button with pocket 9s. Donna min-raises about T300 to double the bet. Folds around to me, I call. Flop comes rags, Donna bets out about T1000. I call. Something smells fishy. Turn is another rag, so I actually have an overpair with 9s. Donna bets out T2000, and I call. River comes with a K, and Donna only bets out another T2000, so I put her on unpaired overcards, and after a couple minutes, call. She turns up AJ o/s, and my 9s take it down.

Two out of three times I get pocket 7s and lose a pile of money to Jacks or Queens on the turn, so I openly declare that I'll auto-fold pocket f'n 7s if I see them again. SO of course about 8 hands later, there they come. I limp. Nate bets out aggressively, as he has been doing all game, but I call. My set flops, and I call his big bets all the way down. When I turn up my set of 7s to his crap, everybody calls me out on my 7s. "I lie." I say, scooping a mountain of chips my way.

Down to 2 players, me and the Wildman, Jim E. We've seen this movie a couple of times before, but this time I'm the one with a big stack of chips. Important poker lesson gets learned RIGHT HERE - if a tourney starts at noon, and you think you've got a shot, probably food would be a good idea. It's now 3:30, I'm the final two, and all I can think about is a cheeseburger! So I piss away a pile of chips and take 2nd for $50, a $30 profit. IN play money of course - NOTHING TO SEE HERE TAX MAN.

Then because I'm not just hungry, but stupid too, I piss away my $30 profit in a side game so end up even for the day.

GO to Iesha's for a July 4th party and make back $20 teaching newbies the game. Aaaahh, rookies. If only they'd had more cash.



Been a while - catch up

How pissed am I that I'm not in Vegas to watch the Main Event - LOTS!

yesterday = LONG DAY. Went in at 5:30 to hang & focus lights for Laughing Wild, a show I'm designing because TJ is directing and he's playing Rosencrantz in R&G are Dead for me, so I kinda owe him one. Theory is that we start focus between 6-7PM. Yeah right. I get there and the turntable doesn't work. Or works, but only in one direction. At 7 we start hanging the flown scenic elements and I know my night is blown. I was right. 'Long about 9:50 (gotta be kicked out of the venue at 10), we get the last scenic piece in the air. So I'm blowing off an hour or so of work today to go in and work on the shit I didn't get done last night. Lovely. And I've got a summer cold. Sweet.