Thursday, May 31, 2007

Poker Wednesday

I knew I was ready to play some poker. I have been reading a new book by Ken Warren on playing no limit hold'em and I was ready to go. Should I say that again, I was ready to go. I drew my seat and ended up between 2 sharks. This table tonight was full of very good players. I was in trouble. These guys are getting ready to head to the WSOP. Again, I was in trouble. Ok, enough of the feeling like I was a guppie in a shark tank.

Play your game and be smart. Play conservative and get some chips from these guys. At this table as well there were two individuals that were new to the game. They have played online and so I figured the sharks will go after them. Which they did right off the bat. They were showing these two what they were going to do and they were playing super aggressive with them. When they would limp or raise the pot someone would reraise them. I tried to stay away from getting involved.

My first good hand was pocket K's. Raise it up and get it down to one person. I get 3 total that call. The flop comes out 1089. My K's have to be good. I threw a raise in and I get called and raised by 2 individuals. After that I knew my hand was no good. I ended up throwing the hand away and thank goodness I did. The winning player had a straight. I could have lost more than I did. Again this puts me down to about 1300 in chips.

A couple of hands later I get AQ. Here I go again and raise the pot after 3 individuals call and I then go all in. Then I get 2 callers with all-in and now we wait for the 5 remaining cards. I didn't get anything and was out of the tournament.

I was not into this game tonight. I played too loose and was not paying attention. Got to do better. So, I decided to go do something I knew I could handle. I went over to the Blackjack table and started playing. I won back half of the money I spent on Poker so it wasn't a complete loss for the night. This part of the evening was fun. When the table got down to just me and the dealer I decided to call it quits for the night. I was up in chips and I don't do well playing one on one with the dealer. Oh well, better luck next week.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Poker 5-23

Wednesday night poker and I am ready to go play. I got a call last night and was told that the group I play home games with was having a tournament and so I figured tonight I would not play at Islands and go play the home game.

When people put beer and poker together it just doesn't work for me. I try to serious when I play and when I do play a hand it is usually the best hand, at least I think so, and I want the person that beats me to be playing their best hand as well. To go all-in with nothing just to be doing it doesn't go very well with me. In this tournament it was decided you could rebuy if you go out. Now even if you go out 3rd or 4th and you wanted to rebuy you could. This was going to make for a long evening as well.

I eventually went all in with a KJ and was beat with A6 and the A came on the flop. I did do a rebuy at that time. Played a few more hands and you could tell the beer and the trash talking was getting more and more at the table. I got a AK and decided to go all-in and was called by someone with Pocket 10's. Of course I did loose the hand.

Ok, I decided I had had enough and went home. Not feeling very good about the game I just played. I will have to chalk this one up to just for fun and even though it wasn't a lot of fun I did get to play.

I have been thinking about getting back into blackjack. Island's does have a blackjack tournament on Thursday's and Friday's that runs the same time the Poker tournament runs. At least give it a try and see how I do with this tournament style. I do enjoy Blackjack and the strategy that is played. I do not count cards and figure it would be too much to try to do that. Just watching the cards and playing the best hand with what the dealer shows is good enough for me.

Next up is Memorial Weekend and Golf on Sunday.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Change the Game

I was ready for some poker tonight. I was sitting between two aggressive players and I knew that tonight was not going to be easy. I wanted to play aggressive as well and try to get the pot before we went to the turn and the river. I was going to be satisfied playing small ball. Bring in chips slowly and not go crazy by playing a lot of chips at one time. This table was very active tonight.

Right off the bat everyone was getting good cards. The first hand contained 3 pocket pairs and one of them went all in. Two hands later I was dealt Pocket Q's and again two others were dealt pairs as well. I ended up laying down the Q's. One of the players went all in again. It was too early to fight for the pot. I would have lost to pocket Aces if I would have played the hand. The one hand that did take me for a few of my chips was the hand I got pocket 10's. I led out with a raise and was called. The flop came out AQQ. Two pair at this time and I figured he didn't have an Ace. I led out with another raise and was called. Was he trapping me? Did he have the Ace? He wasn't playing that way. The Turn card was a Q. Now I have a Full House. I must have the best hand. I raised again wanting to extract some more chips. He called me and the River was a card that didn't help anyone. When we finished betting on the River we turned the cards over and I had the Full house and he turned over the Q for 4 of a kind. I was stunned to say the least. This meant that I would have to go conservative or push the action and try to get back into the game.

I did win a couple of hands to stay in the tournament and continued to play semi aggressive. I needed chips to keep up with the blinds now. The tournament started with 25 players and I ended up placing 18th. Not a good showing by any means but I did try changing to being aggressive and it just didn't work this time. AB was playing tonight as well. He was unable to play his normal style as well.

It will be interesting to talk with him tomorrow and see what his take was on the table. I did play one hand wrong. I knew I did it when the cards were turned up and finding out the person beat me on the river. I was betting on the flop, turn, and I checked on the river and allowed the person to catch a card on the river to beat me. I have to continue to bet when I know I have the best hand and try to get the player to fold. I didn't do that and I lost the hand.

What did I learn tonight? Maybe aggressive isn't the style that fits me. I am not aggressive in life so maybe conservative is better for me. I can wait till I get to the final table. I just need to be myself and play within myself. Next week I will go back to a conservative style of play. I tend to do better with that. Don't tell anyone. Aggressive out and Conservative in.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Weird Poker night

Tonight I played poker at Island's Casino and I have never experienced one of these nights. I hope to stay away from these in the future.

We had 25 players tonight. That means we have 5 alternates and tonight we should move a little bit faster than last friday evening. I was sitting in the number 1 seat. In seat number 4 there was a player that was not very friendly to anyone. On the first hand he made a play at the pot and won and the person in seat 3 said to him nice hand. Seat 4 tells him not to give him compliments. Basically not to say anything to him. He does sit there and during the next 30 minutes or so he makes the most bizarre plays. Holding his cards out over the line as people are making plays and standing up talking to the player saying he wanted to go home and call him and then saying he has the best hand and not to call him. Then in the last 30 minutes I was there he didn't say a word and he basically did not play a hand. He just shut down. He was aggressive and then turned conservative. Whatever he was doing he did outlast me.

I was very conservative tonight. I did get A3 and played it for 2 pair and won the pot but other than that it was stuff like 74, 92, 102. Stuff that is hard to even try to bluff or even try to see a flop. The one hand I did not play that would have been a good one to play was 44. There could have been 3 of us in the pot with the players showing 99 and JJ. A 4 came on the turn. I would have had a set. I could have won a good size pot with that. You have to pay to play. The last hand I played was KJ suited. I lost to A6 and two pair. That was my evening. I did get to 12th place out of 25 players. Two out of the final table where anything can happen.

I finished reading Dan Harrington's volume one and will have to read it again. I have now started volume two and this one talks about different styles of play. I have been wanting to sign up for the WPT 2 day class where I would be able to attend a workshop on how to play and then the pro's would watch you and critique your play. The closer I get to that time I am wanting to attend. They are coming to Wildhorse in November or December.

Well, back to the drawing board and will wait till next week to try it again. Golf this Sunday at 6:42. Of course it is Mothers Day.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Friday Poker

I was called at work by D wanting to know if I wanted to go play poker tonight since our wifes were going to be working on the Yard Sale and getting everything priced. I didn't have to be asked twice on that one. Friday evening poker.

We arrived at our usual time around 5 PM and already they were in the second page of names. Island's Casino only has 2 tables available so once they get to 20 then the alternates start. We went and had dinner while waiting for 6 o'clock.

The first 20 got seated and the cards were in the air. At that time we found out that there were 23 alternates waiting to get into the game. Total players 43. That is the most I have ever seen in a tournament. I was hoping I could last through this many and at least see the final table.

I started out seeing some good cards and started building my chip count. D was on my left again. That now makes twice he is sitting on my left and I really don't like that. At one point I played A8 and an A8x came on the river. We both got some chips in the pot and he told me sorry steve I have to do this. I figured I was going to start loosing my chips to him again. He turned over A2 and I ended up taking the pot. I was thinking he had a possible AA a when he showed the A2 I was relieved.

I did get taken out 34th. The table was very tight and even the dealer was making fun of everyone auto folding. Everyone was trying to last as long as they could. D was taken out at 24th place and this now was 8:30PM. That was 2 and a half hours for almost 20 people to go out. The way the Casino does the alternate thing is they will hold the blinds at 100/200 until the last alternate is in the game. Once this takes place they will then play one hand at 100/200 and then go to 200/400. It starts to really take off from that point. Blinds are moving faster and players will need to play or get blinded out.

It was fun. This next week I will probably be playing on Thursday evening since I will be doing something that will take me till 5PM for work and then I will be involved with taking stuff down.

I have been reading Dan Harrington's book and have been paying attention to the chapters on Pre-Flop and now reading about Post-Flop play. How to bet, when to bet and how much to bet. The more I read I hope I can use the information during tournament play.

Sunday is golf day. It has been two weeks since I played last and we will have to see how rusty I am. The group is going to be playing a Best Ball tournament in June. We will be ready.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Poker Night

As I said last week I have been trying to read poker books and learning as much about strategy and how to properly play the hands I am getting. When I play tournament poker my first goal is to get to the final table. When you get to that elusive final 10 seats anything can happen. You start to play more hands in position and of course you have to start playing more hands because the blinds are so high at this point. You start looking at the short stacks and either work on taking them out or trying to play heads up with them with the best hand.

I find it very hard to sit through a tournament and then try to write about the hands that I received and how I played them. Sometimes it is better for me to write about the evening and some of my thoughts on how I did. How did I attack the table, so to speak. I didn't mention it last week but when I sat down at the table I was uneasy. I almost felt scared to be there. Was I not learning anything and should I give it up. I was almost afraid to play the hands dealt to me.

This week I went in with a different attitude. I felt better. I wanted to be there. There were about 30 people signed up for this tournament. I did draw the #1 seat at my table. I have never liked sitting next to the dealer. I can't see the players on the other side and I can't tell when to play my hand. I am forced to pay more attention when I am in this seat. Maybe that isn't a bad idea as well. I started winning hands tonight as well. I did raise a few times and I even got the chip leader to sort of lecture me on how I am supposed to play my hands and how I am supposed to raise the pot. A few times tonight he would look at me and tell me he couldn't call me because he couldn't figure out what I had. He didn't want to take the chance.

Well, I did make it to the final table tonight. I even made it with a good share of chips. I had enough I could wait on a few good hands and wait for position. At the final table tonight I came in 5th place. Out of 30 people that made me feel a whole lot better about how I was playing. When I was out of the tournament one of the players looked over at me and told me that I played well tonight and that I am one of the scariest people to play against. They couldn't figure out what I was playing. Again I had the chip leader at the table second guessing himself. He would not play against me even though he was chip leader.

I must say that I am a conservative player but when I do play a hand I will play it through if I get the cards I need on the flop. I did throw away pocket pairs tonight. I even laid down AK when it just didn't look good. I played Pocket Q's and won with them. I was able to get a flush tonight. I laid down hands that would have given me straights if I would have played them. Again, I tried to keep the table guessing at what I might have. What would I play. I have learned I never show my hand unless I have to.

Well, back to the books for the week. How do I play post flop? I do need to improve on that skill. Just like golf when you think you might have it you got to keep practicing. Maybe even start doing a little bit more online play to see more hands. I know it is different but seeing the hands could help a little bit on strategy.

Back to having fun.