Thursday, July 20, 2006

Limit Hold'em is a Blast

Well I have an interview next week with a company in West Chicago. The pay isn’t what I want but I’ll take a look nonetheless. The position is for a Quality Manager and should fit well with my experience.

Well, today I threw some money onto Pacific Poker just to give it a try. They give a 50% bonus up to $100 that is put into your account right away. So I’m looking around the site and see a $10 + 1 tourney starting in 10 minutes so I sign up. After we get started I realize it is a limit tourney so I get to use skills I have been neglecting. A few hours later, I’m on the final table and end up in fourth. I also took second in a SNG so during my first to games I’ve doubled my money. Not a bad start if I may say so. Anyway, I’m not to happy with the structure but the players are bad. I’ll continue to mess around here for a while just to see what I can do.

After hitting an all time high a few weeks ago, I gave back a good chunk when I started to play stupid. I‘ve gain back about half of my loses from that point and hope to continue the run I’m having.


I’m trying to get an idea for cash game bankroll management. My thinking is that I should have 30 buy-ins for the level that I’m playing. Is this conservative or is this about right? Does this line of thinking work for SNGs and tournaments? I think it’s OK for SNGs but I’m not so sure about tourneys because of the higher variance involved with them. Also, should I keep my cash game money separate from my tourney money. I’m not sure this is needed but it is an idea.


No game tonight. We have a ton of rain since yesterday and the fields are a mess. It’s to bad because I was really looking forward to playing tonight. One other side note is that If I get a job soon then I will go play in the NAFA World Series in mid August.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Chicken Salad Out of Chicken ****

At times, I’ve been a chicken shit and not willing to move up in levels because I don’t want to lose money. We I made the move to $10 SNGs today because I have more then enough bankroll to do it. In fact, I should be playing $20 games so I’m still full of crap. I haven’t seen a big difference in play except that the lunatics are smaller in number. Tight aggressive play will win the day and has so far. In the limited number, I’ve played so far, my ROI is well above 100%. This will change but for now, it’s fun to look at.

My wife made a comment the other day that I found interesting. She said that winning at the rate I am now isn’t worth the time or effort. It doesn’t bring enough money into the household for the time commitment. What this told me was that if I play at the higher levels, within my bankroll, and thus bring in a better rate that the time is better justified. Now this is pure speculation as to the meaning of what she said but I will use any justification I can to continue playing. I know if I won a big tourney with a large return, she would be more then happy to put some of it in the bank. We had a discussion on the increased level of my bankroll and what we should do with it but more on that some other time.

I’m thinking about playing in DADI 8 later this month. The only problem is that I’ve gotten away from Poker Stars because I don’t like their SNG structure. Those antes add up in a hurry and my return wasn’t nearly as good there. I guess I can throw in enough money to cover the re-buys and play some cash games after words but with all the blogger sharks out there it is –ev. I’ll probably play and just have some fun.

I’m playing ball again on Thursday night with one of the local teams. I played with them earlier in the year but had to stop because of my coaching commitments. Now that the in-house season is over I can play a few more games. By the way, I’m fully recovered from the abuse that I put my body through last weekend by playing 4 games in less then 24 hours. I remember the day when that wouldn’t have fazed me at all but those days are long gone.

I worked with both L and M on their pitching last night and I think I figured out some things with L. To make a long story short, L was popping the ball as hard as ever and even threw numerous change-ups for strikes. I hope she can bring this to the field on Saturday as we will need her to be on her game. M still continues to get better and should be ready to play a major roll on the pitching rubber next year for her 10u travel team.

On the job front, I spent almost all of Monday sending out resumes and making inquiries to various companies. Later that day I got a call from my headhunter about a temp to hire position that isn’t a terrible commute and would pay me what I was making before. It’s not the ideal situation but I’ll take it if they make an official offer. Of course, my poker time will be hurt but I’m not making enough playing poker anyway.

Happy birthday to
CC’s blog that turned one year old today.

Monday, July 17, 2006

My 102th Post

I just hit my 100th post the other day and forgot to bring it up.

The weekend is over and it’s back to the weekly grind. The only difference between you and me is that I’m not heading to work this morning. I think it’s time to start putting more effort into finding a job and getting my life back into a routine. It has been nice to be around the kids but being a domesticated, stay at home dad isn’t really my style. I’m not good at keeping on task for the daily workload.

So after an early week spike in my bankroll I thought I would try the NL cash games for a while. I have the bankroll to play the $25 dollar tables but I decided to play low at the $10 level. I lost part of a buy-in so I moved up to the $25 level. Needless to say chasing a lose is stupid and so am I. I didn’t drop it all but I did drop part of it. My next thought was “lets try $50”. I ended up about even before I came to my senses and quit playing. Looking back on the incident, I fell victim to some suckouts after making the right decision after the flop and turn and will gladly let people continue to make these calls when they are behind in these hands. In the end, I returned to the cash tables later that night and regained most of the loses I had incurred.


Well I played ball for my old fastpitch team last weekend and I’m paying the price. Being out of playing shape and playing 4 games in less then 24 hours isn’t good for the body. Add the fact that temperatures were in the high 90’s and you have the recipe for disaster. I drank lots of fluids and didn’t begin to cramp up until the 5th inning of the last game. In the end, we beat a top rated team in the country and lost 3-2 to another ranked team. It was fun to be back on the field with my buddies and also realize I can still play the game at a high level. I was 5-12 with a couple of walks and hit good change-ups as well as some real gas. I felt comfortable and may even go to the NAFA World Series with the team in August. I just have to get the OK from the wife and figure out a way to have spending money. One of buddies on the team said he would cover me but I don’t like to take handouts. We’ll see what happens but more then likely I won’t go. I would have to find a babysitter for the kids on the first day and I would be at the mercy of my bankroll for spending money. I don’t want to use any of that money.


I have caught myself being timid in a couple of situations as of late and I don’t like it at all. I think the junk kicking I had taken in the cash games put me onto a passive wait and see mode that has caused me to lose some bets. I got out of it in my last cash game by going to the other end of the spectrum. I was ultra aggressive and test my opponents hand when I thought they were week. I also returned to putting them on a hand and trying to mask the hand I have at the same time by playing non premium hands once in a while. They paid off when they hit and it kept the competition wondering what I had. I think that I need to learn to separate my tourney game mind set from my cash game mind set. The goals and styles are not that much different but one is a game of accumulation and survival while the other is a game of accumulation. Get knocked out of a tourney and your done. Get stacked and you re-buy. I’ll try and remember.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Screen Shot

I just wanted to try a screen shot so I thought this strait flush would work.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

More of the Same

I play three more MTTs today with more of the same success. Though I busted short of the money on the first one, I made a final table in the second and earned 11th in the third. I screwed up in the 11th place finish because I could have coasted to a higher finish and more money. I felt a guy was stealing so I called his push. I held AJ suited but he had pocket jacks and I was done. My final table appearance saw me get knocked out when I pushed the BB and he called with pocket 4s. My AQ was no good. It would have been nice to get a little farther and to a bigger payday but oh well. I did get lucky at one point when I pushed with jacks and got called by queens. I hit a four flush to take the pot. Some luck is needed to get deep some times.

I hooked up with
JJOK on the chat box last night. He was playing the Mookie while I was playing two MTTs. We made some small talk about Titan/Noble and lamented our misfortune at the tourney tables. I busted just short of the final table in one event while bubbling out of the other.

I put some money on Ultimate Bet the other day. I have played there in the past but I have stayed away because of the bad taste it left in my mouth. You see, it was the site I put my first deposit and as you know, most people drop their first deposit. I put $185 dollars on the site about 8 months ago and saw it climb to $400 on the first night. I was playing way above my bankroll and saw most of it gone in less then a week. I hung around with around $25 for about a month, playing $1 sngs until I got frustrated and lost it all on one hand at a cash table. I was the poster child for fish and tilted like crazy. Shortly there after I figured out the poker blogging community has good information and that I should use it. I thank all of you for your help.

Anyway, UB gave me a %100 bonus so I threw $200 back on their site. It takes forever to get the bonus back but it is free money. And I don’t have a time limit. So far I’m up $35 bucks in just two day so well see how it continues.


I’m playing ball this weekend. My old team asked me to play so I’m heading to the field for one game Friday night and three on Saturday. I should be just about cashed come Sunday morning. I’m sure Pastor Bob will be looking for me so I better go to church that day. I’m already excited about playing and will see some of the best teams in the US. This isn’t the nationals or world tourney but it is a good invitational tourney. The pitchers will be throwing hard and I’ll be swinging and missing. Maybe I’ll have L throw to me some tonight just so I can get some swings. She needs the work to.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

On the Road to Obscurity

I cashed in two more MTTs today. I didn’t reach the big money but came close by taking 23rd and 20th in the two events. In both tournaments I pushed with pocket pairs and got called by QT and J8 respectively. Each opponent ended up getting a strait and knocking me out. I’m more then happy with my decisions and failed to win the needed hand.


Boy, I’m enjoying reading the trip reports from the WPBT. I would have loved going to Vegas for the fun and the sun but not this time. We’ll see if I can swing next time.


I was in a funk earlier today. It started when I was knocked out in 5 strait SNGs and continued when my wife got home. As far as the SNGs go, I never put myself in a position to win by playing a passive game. I don’t know why I continue to fall back on this but I ended it before I quit. And my wife is just tired. She is running a girls scout camp this week and comes home drained of life. She walks around in a zombie like state with a glassy look in her eyes. This goes away after a short while but I can see it draining her life force.


I tried to load some pictures but I'm having troble moving them to the spot I want them. I will experiment some and see what I can come up with. By the way, my talk of Charles Bukowski got me some extra hits yesterday. Maybe I should add something like.... I'm not interested in more hits.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Reaching for the Sky

So after 41/2 months of play, here is how I stand with my goals/

So my goals are: 1) Move up levels in LHE staying within my bankroll a) Need 30 buy-ins for each level b) Stay within buy-in limits

I have change this to reflect NLH as well. I have ignored this goal for the majority of my quest because I didn’t have sufficient funds to accommodate the requirement. At this point I am following this guide line.2) Play SnGs as bankroll allowsa) Need 30 buy-ins for each levelb) Stay within buy-in limits

I’m playing well within the guide lines I have stated. I actually could play at a higher level then I am but I don’t think I’ve played enough to justify moving up. My good fortune could be a result of favorable variance.

Right now my ITM % is 50.8 and my ROI is 52.1%. If I can continue to maintain similar numbers I will jump to the next level. Of my ITM finishes, I winning 42% of the time.3) Play MTTs as bankroll allowsa) Need 30 buy-ins for each levelb) Stay within buy-in limits

I have had on again off again luck in MTTs. I have been staying within my bankroll with the exception of playing a $100 buy-in when I was in a stupid mood. I don’t have very accurate records of MTTs but I have had some success.4) Win a MTT
I achieved this goal last week. When I won a $10 MTT on Noble. It wasn’t a huge victory but it was a victory none the less. I’ve also had many final table appearances with a 3rd place being my previous high.
5) Prove to my wife that poker is an investment, not gambling.
This will not happen. She is happy for my good fortune, but will only support me in spirit.
6) Achieve a bankroll of $3000.

I’m about 1/3 of the way to my goal. I had originally felt that this goal may take 1 year or more but now I think I can be done within a year. I will need to move up in levels to achieve this but It can be done. I also think that a couple of tourney wins could put me there sooner. I’m not ready to work on the cash games other then an occasional session because I’m doing well in the SNGs.


I’ve been in a state of malaise lately. I think the grind at home being a house dad has been a bigger burden then I expected. I’m truly happy to be at home with the kids but the day to day grind is tough going. I lose focus on the important things and concentrate on the insignificant. I need to over come this or I feel I’ll drift into a pit of despair. At least I have my family to help me through this or who knows to what levels I could fall.

I’ve been reading Charles Bukowski after reading about him at
Pauly’s site. He can guide you into the depths of your soul if you let him. His book The Captain is Out to Lunch and the Sailors Have Taken Over the Ship is a great example of someone chronicling his life of depravity and self retrospective. He captures you with his insight of self observation as well as candid thought with his journal of life. Great stuff about the human condition.


The grand father of one of M’s teammates paid her a compliment last night. He commented on her improvement this year and the hustle she shows on the field. I would love to take credit for this but I can’t. She has done most of it on her own with guidance from her travel team coaches. Though I have work a lot with her, they seem to get more out of her. I think this has to do with me being dad and that she will listen to them better. Regardless, I’m proud of the improvements she has made this year and felt like gloating.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Fed Up.

I’ve been fed up with many things lately. The way parents see their child as equals to other children with more talent, even though their kid hasn’t gotten a hit all season. It’s easy to walk through life with blinders on. Many of us do it every day, thinking the world is against us because someone else has a different opinion. It’s hard work evaluating your self and the things you stand for. Taking off the blinders has a way of opening up your soul for the word to see. Except that you don’t realize that most of the world doesn’t care.

Playing time for the kids should be kept as equal as possible. That means that some of the best players have to sit while the less talented uses up precious playing time. This is fine because you only get better while practicing or playing the game and everyone needs to work to get better.

There are three types of parents. First are the playing time/position parents. This type of parent views their child as one of the best players on the team regardless of skill level. They feel that the coaches show favoritism to their own children and while ignoring the obviously more talented players. The blinders are an avenue for the parent drive down when comforting a child who doesn’t get to play the position they want, all the time.

At the other end of the spectrum is the win at all cost parent. The feel the best players should play every game regardless of the team concept. They love to explain how they line-up should be and how their daughter would help the team more if she play position x. I give them credit for having a passion for the game but their blinders block out the need for growth as a team.

The third type sits and watches the game. They cheer the wins and mourn the loses while supporting their children the whole time. They see the different talent levels and don’t give their children false direction. They challenge their child to become better through hard work and determination. They don’t tell their child that the coach is wrong and that they should be playing you at the position of choice. If all children had parents like this then the athletic fields would be a better place.

While preparing for last weekends tournament, I set lineups for each game in an attempt to keep playing time as equal as possible during round robin play. I feel this is important because when we get to bracket play, the best team is going to be on the field. In all fairness to the players, the best team isn’t determined until the conclusion of the round robin. This gives every child the chance to step up and put themselves into a coveted position. Most parents don’t see it as fair. I see it as necessary because we are trying to teach the children to work hard and be team players. Part of being a team is cheering for your teammates while you sit on the bench, disappointed because you would rather be on the field playing.


The coaching staff had a meeting the other day. It was called by one of the coaches who felt his daughter wasn’t getting an equal share of the playing time. As we go through the meeting, he says to me” L is doing better then I thought”. I wasn’t sure how to take this at first so I asked for clarification. He continued with “ I thought she had a lot more strikeouts then she has.” I responded with “she’s had two all season”.

As the meeting went on, I realized he was trying to circumvent the system so that his less talented daughter could play the position she wanted to play regardless of the consequences to the team. Eventually, a new system was invented to give each girl a chance to play the position they wanted to play while maintaining equal playing time for all. I’m still the manager and I’ll play whomever I want to play.

After the meeting I met with said father and asked him if he felt I was showing favoritism to my daughter. He said at first he thought I was but after looking at the stats, he realized she wasn’t getting anymore time then anyone else.

After this last weekend, L is the second leading hitter, has the most RBI, most walks, and is pitching like crap. I’ve pulled her in each of her last two starts because she was having trouble throwing strikes. I even had a relief pitcher get ready after the first batter during her last start because I could see her troubles continuing. I love my daughter and she loves to pitch but she won’t pitch again until she can start throwing strikes.

I don’t think I have blinders.


Poker is confusing the heck out of me. There are time when I’m really enjoying the game but other times when I feel obligated to play. I don’t know if it is reaching a four figured bankroll or not but this feeling surfaced around the same time.

I moved up to $20 SNGs the other day. I retch as I recall the incident because I lost my first three games at that level on the bubble. My head spun as I got knocked out of the first one while holding pocket queens to my opponents 89 suited. I was ready to jump during my second loss. AK is not good vs. KQ. By the time I got through the third loss I detested the game. The utter putridity of the circumstance left me in a state of bewilderment. Variance is a bitch and I’m the alpha male. I will not be denied.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

I'm Back.

I have been absent for the last few day. Part of this was out of choice but most was because of time commitments. The kids have had a full plate and thus I haven’t had time.

Let’s start with poker. I just reach one of my goals when I took down the $10 buy-in freeze out on Noble this morning. I could go into a long explanation of how well I played and give you some hand examples but I won’t. It wasn’t a huge win but any win is good. In addition, any time you can add 40% to your bankroll it is a good day.

As for the game itself, I was very patient early. I chipped a little and then sat and waited. When blinds reach 50-100 I started to push preflop and stole blinds. This kept my head above water until I could double with a bigger hand and did just that. As we approached the bubble I stepped up the aggressiveness by picking out targets that were passive and pounded them every chance I got. As the bubble broke, I was involved in hand that cost me 1/3 of my chips which made me a short stack at the final table. I then proceeded to stay one step ahead of the blinds by stealing at least twice every round until we got down to 4 platers. I had 10% of the chips in play and pushed every edge I felt I had and doubled up through the chip leader when he called my push. He held Q10 while I held AQ. From this point on a raised or folded every hand and won numerous hands un contested as the other stacks were willing to let me take control. When we heads up, I laid down A9 when my opponent pushed. I held a 2-1 chip lead and didn’t want to reverse the situation. He showed A10. This set up the eventual winning hand when he pushed with KJ. I called with A8 and took it down. There were many hands that could have changed the outcome but I don’t think I could have played it much better. Fun times.

I have some other news but I will save it for later.

Have a great day.