Friday, October 13, 2006

That didn't take long

Dear Nick,

In light of the new reality about to come into force in the USA with the “Federal Unlawful Gambling Enforcement Act”, NoblePoker has regretfully decided to stop accepting new real-money players from the USA.

As you are probably aware NoblePoker, is part of the Empire Online group (www.ep.com) and as a public limited company we respect the decision of the United States Congress and will abide by its ruling.

What this means for you as a member of our poker room is that you will be unable to place any more bets or make any new deposits, however, you will of course be able to cash-out any money still in your account, in any way you choose.
We’d like to take this opportunity to thank-you for choosing to play at NoblePoker, we appreciate your patronage and we look forward to welcoming you back at our tables, under better circumstances in a brighter future.

Should you have any questions or concerns regarding the above, please do not hesitate to contact us at support@noblepoker.com.

Yours sincerely,

Edward Spencer
Manager
Noble Poker
"The odds are in your favor"
http://www.noblepoker.com

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Nothing changing

I am playing in a 3 table sat. tourny for a shot at a 250k tournament on sunday tonight. The top 5 payout, 2 getting seats in the big tournament. I get down to 7 people with an average chip stack.

The table has been pretty active with a lot of raises recently.

I am in first position with QQ and decide to get fancy with the active table.
I limp (I know I am cursing myself and calling the poker gods to come get me)

Fold,Fold,Fold, Raise +400... YES it worked....

folds back to me (except the guy to seats to my left who had $10 left)
I look down at my $2250 and try to decide to limp to the raise or push back. If I push back she probably folds and I get the $400 which I need with the blinds at 50/100. If I limp I can fold to an Ace on the flop and keep my seat, albeit short stacked. I decide that I dont want to play short stacked anymore and I am putting my money in the pot. I go all in. She thinks about it and calls, flips over AK off. The guy two seats to my left shows A10 off.

Flop
5510

Turn
J

River
KING!

Of course. I was racing from the beginning (although I was slightly ahead because of the two aces), but why do I feel like I knew that king was coming. She had me covered by about $150 chips.

The thing that gets me is her making this call. I know I cant complain about people playing badly, and I am not sure it is even a bad move, but I think it is.

I have seen this limp-all in move done a handful of times. Every single time the person has had a pair. I have never seen anyone limp-all in with AQ off. In fact 80% of the time I have seen the limp-all in move it is with AA,KK. I am seriously thinking about folding AK in that situation for my tournament life. I am not sure I can make that call...

Any ideas?

Monday, September 11, 2006

Some people have asked me

Some people have asked why I haven't been playing cards as much. Why I haven't been blogging as much. Well they kinda run hand in hand. I have not had a winning session in I don't even remember how long. I don't think I am playing bad, but I must be. I have to be doing something wrong here, but I can not spot it. I have watched big stacks slip away. I have watched myself claw back into tournaments with small stacks. I have peddled away. I've done it all, same result. I want to take a few minutes to chronicle my last couple sessions just to clear my head of them. I know I really have only made one big mistake in these sessions (well probably two). I spot my mistakes. Usually its too late when I spot them, but I still spot them. I learn from these mistakes, at least I try. Here we go

3 weeks ago
$100+$30 local tournament, about 86 people.

We are just after the first break and I have a decent chip stack. By decent, I mean slightly more then average. We are probably down to about 50 or so people. The guy to my left has kept his stack alive by bluffing big at small pots. I have only seen him show down a couple big hands, and he played those slowly. Classic mistake. Overplaying weak hands, underplaying big hands. I have raised two hands in a row with AKs, QQ. I am on the button now and get dealt A4s. It has folded around to me. I attempt to limp, but like an amateur idiot I throw out $400 when the blinds are $100/$200. I think I said call before I put the money in the pot but I quickly notice my mistake and let it go. I don't want to get in a argument with anyone over $200 chips. I think the table sees my mistake and will probably call the $400 as if it was just the $200. The small blind calls and the big blind folds.
I deal out 2310 rainbow.
The small blind moves all in.
I was shocked at first at this overbet, but then I remembered how he has been playing. The pot was $1000, he just moved in for $8000. I have 12000. I can not possibly make this call, but yet I find myself thinking about it. I mean this guy has been playing like this all night right? He is probably bluffing. If he isn't bluffing, I have outs right? I know I have 4 outs, but probably 7 outs (if he doesn't have the ace). Still cant make the call. What do I do? I make the call. I trusted my read.
"I don't have anything but a bluff catcher.... but I think your bluffing"
I said that directly to him and looked at him. There he sat, crossing his arms with a "either call or shutup" look on his face. He looked intimidating. Quick quiz, what does that usually mean? His style, his demeanor, it all said "I am bluffing but you don't have the balls to call an overbet like that with nothing" Little does he know. The tight image I have shown most of the tournament isn't my style as we start to get deeper. I play looser taking advantage of my reads and (usually) chip position (whether big or small). I call, and about kick myself for doing it. He flips over A10 off. Why didn't I see that? (sidenote: this inspired my humble yourself post). What hand is he going to call the min-raise but want to end right there? A10.

Ok, time to pick your jaw off the floor and move on with the story. I was injured but not killed. I had about 4000 chips and the blinds where 100/200. Two hands later (the last hand before break) I (almost) double up with K10 when I hit two pair on the flop. I am sitting at like 7000 going into the break and blinds are about to go to 150/300 with a $25 ante. I have an M of over 10, so as long as I play tight I can build my stack back where I need to be. I also have to play tight. I cant throw my chips around to build my stack up because 2 hands before I made that stupid call three new players joined my table. All they know of me is that I called an all in bet with nothing but ace high, weak kicked and a gutshot. I have to use that to my advatange. Get a big hand and double up when they think I am playing "any two cards".

I sit around folding, folding, folding. My stack dwinldes a bit. I get into a position where I feel I can limp into a pot, or move all in, but nothing between. I have made a few calls (KQs,AQs to a raise,10Js on the button) but haven't been able to do anything with them. Meanwhile the blinds are at 200/400 with a 50 ante. I have like 5000 left, so my M is a little over 4. I get dealt 55 and decide I don't want to push with this hand, but I want to play it. Why? I have no reason. That was as good as hand as any to move my chips in the pot preflop with only 2 players left looking for a race. So I make the limp. The flop comes a pretty harmless 34J rainbow. I like this flop, but I have a problem. The guy who was in the big blind put a 1200 bet out. The pot was 1600. I have been watching this guy a lot (as I had been watching the other guy previously) and I felt weakness. I thought he probably has KQ,K10,A4, something small like that. I really couldnt afford to be wrong here, but the question was could I afford to fold? If I fold I have about 4600 left. Basically the same position I was before this flop. The pot is 2800, and I have two moves. I cant call, because I am giving him another card for free if he doesn't yet have me beat, while committing myself to go to the end with my hand. I finally move all in. I know its not the best play here, but it is probably not a horrible play. He quickly calls ( I almost expected him to call with a lot of hands). Shows down KJ, and despite hitting a 6 for an OESD on the turn, I don't improve.

I feel pretty bad about this tournament. Actually, I feel really bad about this one. I haven't cashed in a local tournament in a long time (busting on the bubble twice), but I haven't played this bad in a local tournament in a long time either.

I give it a week to recoup, and saddle up for the next one the following Saturday.
Same place, same buyin, less people. This time about 40 show up. This is what I need to get myself back in the black. I need a small tournament like this where I can outplay a lot of the people and make an easy 600-1800. Short story, I get knocked out before the first break. I get a pretty easy table, but forget one thing... you need cards to play poker.

I play pretty tight early on in this tournament, not really showing a lot of hands down. Meanwhile there is a guy three seats to my left just adding and adding onto his stack. He is a bad player. Calling with anything. Calling raises with 7Qoff. You know the kind. I keep my eye on him and hope to double up once or twice threw him. My stack dwindles down to about 4k (started with 7) when I am dealt 89d. I limp in from mid position. The big stack is in the big blind. It folds to him and he checks.

Flop comes 5c6h7h. Holly shit, I cant believe the situation I am in. I am going to double up here. No doubt in my mind. I check the flop to him (knowing he is going to bet, even if he has 2 hearts he is betting here, so I am not giving him a free card after I push my chips in the pot). Sure as the sky is blue, he puts out $1200. I count out 1200, look at the rest of my stack look back the 1200, look at my stack again and then say All In. He quickly calls and shows down Akoff. I say, I got the nuts and resist collecting my chips before the next two cards fall. They fall harmlessly and I collect my prize. Thing is, that didn't phase this guy. He continues his horrid play. Which is great for me. I can sit around a bit more and get into another good situation to put my chips in against him. The next rotation comes with me collecting the blinds when I raise with AK, and KK without being called, and folding the other junk I had. I then wake up in first position with AA. I through out a raise of 3xBB. The guy to my left reraises me to about 6xBB. It folds back to me. I look at him and say All In. I start to count out my chips after I announced my all in, and he utters, it doesn't matter I am calling, we can figure it out later. Well, now I know what he is going to turn over. Sure enough, he flips up AA. Neither of us get kicked in the junk and we split up the blinds. Probably 3-4 hands later I am sitting with AKs. It was raised to my left by my early victim. Once he announces raise, Im thinking about pushing. The problem is, the lady to his left calls. She is a good solid player who I have played with a lot. I know that she knows that he is a bad player. This is my big mistake of the tournament, that actually ends up saving me my chips stack. I should have pushed. If I push she gets out of the way. I know she is limping here hoping to outplay him after the flop. She is in perfect position to do that. I ignore this detail and smooth call his raise. It is just the three of us to the flop.

8s10sAh

Hmm, interesting flop. Mr. Loosey bets outs. I expected that. What I didn't expect was the lady to his left to move all in. She didn't have much, but enough to hurt me. I count out my chips and think a bit. She has a little less then half my stack. He has about 5 times my stack. I think about just calling her raise, which I quickly eliminate. If I am in this hand it is to the end. I either push all my chips in and hope he calls or I fold. She has two pair. I know she has to pair. In fact I think she has A10. He is going to call my push 95% of the time with weaker hands than me. If I push, and he calls I can make chips off of him and still loose to her. Its a fancy idea, but I think it might work. I announce all in. The only problem here is after thinking for a while Mr Loosey decides to fold. Uh oh. I look at her and say, you got two pair huh? She nods and flips over 810. Well, Im not in as bad of position as I thought I would be, but I am in pretty deep. She wins the hand and I loose a bit of my stack.

I tighten up for a little while, until I get KQs on the button. Mr. Loosey limps, as does another guy to my left. I limp as does the SB, and the BB checks.

Flop comes
34Q.
Check,Check,Check,Check.
I do the only thing I really can and push all in for about 2k. The pot is at like $3200 and offering me a great situation on top pair second best kicker. The blinds fold and Mr Loosey quickly calls. I almost expected that, and I actually want him to call here (figuring him for A4, or worse). What I don't expect is the guy to my left to call also. It took about 1/3rd of his chips to make that call, and I am a bit concerned here.
Turn comes J. I don't like this card, but I don't hate it either. They both check, so I am feeling a little better about my situation. The river comes 2. This card has to be harmless. Mr Loosey makes a small bet and my stomach starts to turn. The guy to my left moves all in and I think, I guess I am out. Mr Loosey quickly calls and shows off his 56 for a rivered straight. Ouch. The guy to my left shows off Q2 for his rivered two pair. Ouch. I flip up my KQ and say nice game guys as I collect my stuff and make my way to the snack bar. I was ahead the entire hand. I didn't think I was ahead after getting two calls. Both of them came from behind (although it only took one) to beat me on the river.

I don't feel as bad about this tournament as I did the one past. My mistake was pushing all in with AK. Oh, I forgot to mention, Mr Loosey folded a flush draw in that situation (a bad fold mathematically) and would have hit not one, but two spades on the next two cards. So my mistake actually save me money. If I pushed preflop with AK he calls with KQs, and she folds her 810. I don't loose to her two pair, but to his flush. If I just call her all in bet, he probably calls and I loose to his flush but she gets knocked out also. So the only right move there is to fold. Its a tough laydown, but I guess one I need to make. BTW, I am happy that I protected her there because I feel she could probably take all of his chips if she sat at his table long enough.

So that brings me to tonight. I will keep this one short. I am playing in a 6 player SnG. A cheap $10 tournament hoping to build up my roll a bit. I get dealt 68 in the SB. 2 players call before me, so I limp for an extra $20. The BB checks and the pot is $160. The flop comes 8h6d10d. I check my two pair in first position awaiting a bet from the horrible player to my right. Sure enough, I get check-check-small bet. I make a big raise to eliminate any draws and see if I can get all in with the guy to my right. Fold-Fold-Reraise. Thats interesting but I push all in figuring to be ahead. Sure enough I am ahead. He flips over a HORRIBLY played AA. He is dead to the Jack, Jack that hit on the river and turn.

Ouch.

That hand brings me to this post.

Hope you all enjoyed and got this far.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Why?

I really out-think myself sometimes. I play in local tournaments where if I just sat back and played my game I could win/place a lot. Instead, I get myself into situations that I shouldnt be in. I have strecthes where I play great poker. I have stretches where I am absouletly on top of my game. These stretches give me hope. They make me feel like I can play with the big boys. I get confident. You need confidence to be sucesfull right? I feel like if I only play my game, dont let small things distract me, dont "outplay" myself I can dominate. I am not talking about winning a few bucks here and there, I am talking about sitting at a big tournament and getting deep enough to gaurentee a big payout. I am talking about sitting at a big cash game and walking away with a deep bankroll. I am talking about bluffing johny chan off of a hand in atlantic city (nice little rounders shout out). What happens? Why dont I walk away satisfied? Why do I walk away with less money then I walked in with? I outplay myself. I out-think myself. I call all in bets that cost me 60% of my stack in pots that start with less then 5% of my stack, because I think its a bluff. I raise calling stations. I overplay middle pair. I do these things because I think I am better then I am. One thing we all need to learn in poker is that we are not bigger then the game. No matter how much experience we have, no matter how many books we have read, no matter how good we have played up to this point, all that matters is the two cards we have, what is on the board, and our opponent. We cant overplay 55 and expect to win everytime. We run into AA with KK. Our opponents will make stupid calls with A10 off. Our opponents will "keep us honest". We give off tells. These things happen. They happen a lot. We can't outplay these situations. No matter how good of a poker player you are you will loose with A3 more then you will win with it. Sometimes we just need to simplify our game. Get back to basics. Humble yourself...

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Telaat and other Misfits...

Stay off my blog. If you do not have any better way to make money then to SPAM peoples blogs you really need to get a life. I already have to put up with word verification because you guys cant be trusted, and I really dont feel like having to go back and delete a ton a comments that you leave. Stay Away!

Sorry for that rant, but it had to be said...

More poker coming soon.

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