Friday, June 30, 2006

most people get to my blog by googleing "punched in the balls"

On the poker front;
*I think I made more money this past week playing poker than I have for a weeks worth of pay from any job I've ever had. I should mention that despite the fact that I am 29 years old I've never held a real job, so this isn't as impressive as it might sound.
*Right now when I play 7CS it's as if I am pushing down on the table in front of me causing everyone's money to funnel its way into my stack. It is a good feeling, I'll have to remember it when my good hands start to get sucked out on and it feels like I am getting buried.
*I am also doing well with the SNGs. I think I am starting to realize that the play in the $25 turbo's on stars is every bit as the $15 turbos. Donks galore!

Other stuff;
*Via Iggy's most recent post, I found this link from Jacks R OK and his Lite-Brite inspired blog. It's about first blog posts from various poker bloggers. It's funny to go back and read the stuff, but I also think it also demonstates that most of the poker blogs, even the "world renowned," came from very humble beginnings. I think people should keep this in mind when making snooty comments about newer blogs, because, you know, chances are your blog sucked too ;-)

*I feel like I am going to jinx it by mentioning it, but the MN Twins are fucking awesome now. It's amazing what happens when you replace a proven stiff at SS and fat Jesus-freak at 3B with 2 guys who can run and field and hit. Oh, and Santana, Liriano, Mauer, and Morneau are playing some decent ball too.

*Good luck to RGP regular 'Brewmaster' today. He is at the final table of the $1500 PLHE. I mostly lurk on RGP or get into silly political arguments, so basically I am a waste of space there, but it's nice an RGPer doing well.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

I named my dog Keith

"Seventh Street Decisions in Seven-Stud"

I got this doozy in my email a few weeks ago. No offense Keith, but come on. There is better 7CS advice in Hellmuth's book.

A few weeks ago, I offered some pointers for playing fourth steet in Limit Seven-Card Stud ( For this tip, I'm going and show how you might improve your play on seventh street.

My first suggestion for playing on seventh street is that you need to look at your pot odds when facing a final bet. When playing $5-$10 Stud, for example, you'll often need to call a $10 river bet while looking at a pot of $70. In this spot, where you're getting 7:1, if you have any suspicion that your hand is good, you really ought to call. The odds are so favorable that throwing away a lot of marginal hands would be a mistake. This is very different from no-limit poker, where you'll need to make some big laydowns late in a hand. If you're making the transition from No-Limit Hold 'em to Limit Stud, keep this very important point in mind.

This is okay enough advice, but if you have been playing for more than a few weeks and don't realize that, it's time to fire up the ice cream truck and start selling rocket pops to 8 year old kids again.

Some of the tougher decisions on seventh street arise when you're holding one pair. Let's say you start with a pair of 6s and your opponent open-raises with a King as his door card. He bet all the way, representing a pair of Kings, and you called. Neither of you seemed to improve on fourth, fifth or sixth streets, and he bet out on the river.

If you make a habit of playing hands like split 6s for raises and calling all the way on 4th-7th when you don't improve, I can guarantee that you will lose money. Especially if you are playing pots head up most of the time, which is likely in a 5/10 game. Furthermore, he is giving no consideration to what your 3rd card is. If it is an ace and none of the aces are dead, it is a much better hand of course. If it is a 10, this should be an easy fold.

At this point, you can be fairly certain that he doesn't have a pair of Kings. Most people don't have the heart to bet one pair on the river. So, in this case, you're likely up against something like Kings up, some sort of hidden hand, or a total bluff. Given this range of hands - and knowing that a bluff is a possibility - you should make the final call. You'll pick off a bluff enough of the time to make the call profitable.

Well, you should almost never find yourself in this situation, but yes you should call the final bet.

I want to point out here that, since it's proper to call with a lot of marginal hands, betting with one solid pair on the river is often a good idea. If you start with something like a pair of Kings and your opponent doesn't seem to catch anything, don't be timid on the river. Oftentimes, you should bet, knowing that a lesser hand is likely to call.

I don't really like this advice either. I think you're going to get raised enough by a made hand or called by a weak 2 pair to make this a poor play.

Now, let's look at another river situation. Let's say that after the river has been dealt, you have Q 10 9 8 with three clubs showing. You made a straight on the river after your opponent has been aggressively betting his hand the entire way, showing Ad Kd 9s 6h.

After betting into your hand on sixth street, he again bets into your hand on seveth street. In this situation, you have to think about what your opponent is betting into. Most players will not bet into such a scary board with one pair or even two pair.

We have to assume that our opponent is either bluffing with a weak hand and is unconcerned with our hand, or has a huge hidden hand and is hoping to get three bets on the river. This could be a situation where you might just call, especially if there is a third hand behind you who might over-call with a marginal hand that he would fold if you had raised.

I raise here every single time. A flush or a full house has to be perfectly hidden to be able to beat your hand and a higher straight is unlikely given your hand. It's much more likely that your opponent is still betting his aces or aces up because you haven't put any raises yet. You NEED to raise here.

When playing Limit Stud, be sure that you're making enough value bets and crying calls on the river. Keep the pot odds in mind and you're likely to make the right play.

--Keith Sexton

Honestly, after reading this again I think he is intentionally giving out bad advice here in the hope that you will take this new found "knowledge" and come play the 5/10 game at fulltilt with him.

Monday, June 26, 2006


The 30GB video ipod I ordered from Pokerstars in exchange for 20K FPPs arrived last week. While it said that it would take 4-6 weeks to arrive, it only took 2 weeks. Here are a few pics. Look how small that bastard is!

Fits right in the palm of my hand.

Monday, June 19, 2006

this is hockey...

Holy crap what 1st period in Game 7. Great stuff. Carolina has totally turned the momentum around after looking terrible over the last 4+ periods. Still 2 periods left. Here are links to some relevant hockey blogs:


Covered in Oil

update: One more period and the 'Canes are champs. It seems like the team have switched jerseys tonight.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Live flogging

3:12pm - This freeroll is boring as shit. Only 4 people playing at my table. One guy clearly sucks, and he just busted. I wish I had some beer.

3:34pm - Was 2 handed for a bit. Back to 3. We are taking turns stealing the blinds of those sitting out.

4:01pm - 1st break. Up to T6100. I just got moved to a table with a player that has 23K in chips. Seems he was by himself the whole first hour. This isn't fair to those who were at a full table the first hour, but what can you do?

4:20pm - nothing work talking about, we are 4 handed.

4:45pm - actually playing with a full table. Only around 7K in chips. About 500 runners left. This is going to take a while from here on out. (update: up to 10K in chips, I just checkraised someone with KJ on a J high flop. Took him a while to fold.)

5:10pm - 11K in chips. Just gonna try and hang around and find the right spots during the 3rd hour. I have been playing ultra tight, so hopefully people have been paying attention and I can get to stealing when more blinds get to $300/600 and beyond. 350 are left. Pretty nice overlay in the Stars sunday million. I tried to sat my way in, but didn't get the job done. I was doing well when I lost 2 huge pots with JJ on a 9 high flop, AK to KQ. The first one the money was put in after the flop, but to be fair the person had already committed 70% of their stack with AK. The last one some donk limped with KQ off and called my all in for over half of his stack. He turned a Q. Ugg. God I miss tournament poker!

5:29pm - Just made a bad play with AJ in the BB. Went over top of TripJax, he calls with AK. Board makes 2 pair. We split. Few hands later call reraise with QQ, run into AA. Turn a Q, river and A.

5:34pm - Busted with JJ. UTG short stack went all in. I popped it up another 4K. Comes around and the button pushes. I call off my last few hundred and button wins with QQ. Oh well. Back to playing some real poker at the cash games. I suck the big one at tourneys.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Raising with split aces in 7CS high

This seems like one the most simple questions regarding how to play your hand in 7CS. Let's make a couple of assumptions to set the table for my thoughts on the matter. Say you are playing a 2/4 or 3/6 game on pokerstars, which both have small ante's (.25). The table is fairly loose with 40% seeing 4th street and most pots going to showdown.

Let's say I get dealt (As 8s) Ac two spots to the right of the bring-in and there are 3 players who call the bring-in. Alot of times I will simply call the bet instead of raising in that position. My rationale is as follows: (1) I am disguising my hand by doing so and am more likely to get paid off on later streets. In the case where I pair my door ace or make two pair on 4th or 5th, I am more likely to get called. If I raise in that position, only the worst players would call if I paired my door card. (2) Adding an extra bet in that situation isn't likely to get anyone to fold since they will be getting about 8:1 to call, also raising here also gives drawing hands better odds to chase on later streets.

How do I play the rest of the hand? I always bet on 4th street, and if someone has bet before me I will raise. Betting and raising here is critical because you want to get 1 or 2 of the initial callers out of the pot. I will hardly ever flat call in this situation because it encourages people behind you to call, plus you get no information about where you stand. I might fold if someone has paired their door card and I have notes that they are decent, although I am more likely to raise in this spot. If the person keeps jamming it, I'll likely muck my hand by 5th, if unimproved.

How about if I have the same hand, but am first to act after the bring-in? I will almost always raise in this spot. I give away the strength of my hand, but raising here forces people to put in 2 bets with worse hand when they aren't getting such good odds.

I haven't diligently worked out the math to prove that this is the correct play, and I'm not even sure that is possible. In fact, it might be the exact wrong way to play it. But at the limits I am playing right now, I think it is a reasonable approach. I would like to hear others input.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Sunday Morning

After winning pretty much every time I sat down and played in May, the first week or so in June has been a little dose of poker reality. I dropped about 3 bills playing .5/1 pot limit omaha last week and have dropped back down a level. My SNG play has been good, but the results haven't been there. I've bubbled more times this month already than I did in the previous 2 combined and when I am ITM it's been 3rd most often. I still feel really good about my 7CS game, but I've had a few bad sessions recently. I had 2 pretty bad beats one night playing $5/10 or otherwise I would have been up ab out 25BBs. The table was pretty nuts and some players that I had labeled as decent started playing poorly after getting sucked out on a few times. After losing 2 $160 plus pots in a row I got up and left down a few bets. I also played my first MTT in over a month and felt like I had no idea what I was doing. This bodes well for the big blogger freeroll on stars next weekend.

To make myself feel better about the week I did this:

Dear rgpars,

Thank you for your order from our FPP Store.
This confirms that you have ordered the following:

Apple Video iPod, 30GB
FPP price: 20000
Color: Black

Hopefully I don't drop and break it walking from a metro station in DC like I did with my nano.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Which way to hell?

6/6/06 it is, fockers and cock rockers. There is no better time to talk about predictions, karma, and the like. A few weeks back I mused that the Brewers were in for some bad karma after keeping the roof shut the whole weekend on the visiting Minnesota Twins. Since that time the Brew Crew have gone 4-10 including dropping 8 in a row and look destined for mediocrity again. Lesson to Mr. Yost: Open the roof when it is 65 and sunny or feel the wrath of the shit storm you just invited.

Another prediction I made was that the Carolina Hurricanes would win the Prince of Wales trophy and march to their first Stanley cup. This pick was made with the head and the heart. Carolina was one of the best teams during the regular season and was the #2 seed in the East and a buddy of mine who I grew up playing hockey with plays for the ‘Canes. They managed to storm from behind last night to take game 1. Things look even better for them after Roloson got hurt and is done for the series. It’s a tough break for Edmonton, but the series is far from over. Stay tuned. Playoff hockey is sports at its best, IMO.

Monday, June 05, 2006

SNG weiner

I love looking at data, graphs, and charts. Maybe it's one of the reasons I went into science. I especially like looking at graphs that measure how much I beat the crap out of shitty SNG players on pokerstars over the last 1-2 months. I recently downloaded SNG tracker. Nothing too fancy, but it's a pretty decent little app. Here are some example graphs.

Another tool I started using was sharkscope. Here you are able to look up player names from pokerstars and get pretty much a complete history of their SNG play. They even put little fishy symbols by the really bad players. I've come to learn that there are alot of stiffs out there dropping serious coin in SNGs.

I'm not sure how much I can attribute my success over the last few months to these tools, but I know that sharkscope has helped me on more than a couple occasions.