The Crooked Link

Life of a Low Stakes Gambler...

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

On a heater

Last night I had my most profitable single day of my poker career, making $460 in a 5 hour session. It was probably also one of the softest tables I've ever played at. I got to the poker room around 4pm and sat down with a full buy in at the 200nl game. I started off on the right foot this time, flopping a set of Jacks and slow playing it until the river, where I check-raised a $17 bet. I made it $42 to go, got called by God knows what, and just like that I was off to a good start.

That same player rebuys for another $100 and a few hands later I bust him again when I flop top two pair in a 6-7-8 all heart flop. I bet something like $20 into a smallish pot, he raised all in, $50 on top and I called, hoping he was on a draw. He was, as he tabled Ah7x. The turn and river brick and I drag in another nice pot. Then THE SAME GUY rebuys again, tilts off some of his stack, and I bust him again with QQ vs. his A-10 all in preflop.

That's 2 times that I felted the same guy, all within my first hour at the table.

Then I lose a somewhat medium sized pot when I call down an opponent on every street with KJ on a King high board and he shows AK. I don't let it get to me though, and a few hands later I pick up pocket ducks, flop another set, and get value on every street, from a guy who was wearing a donkey hat that got a good laugh out of the whole poker room. (see above pic.)

The same donkey hat guy pays me off again when I river trip fours on a straddled pot.

I'm not going to lie, I was running like baby Jesus the entire night. I think I got dealt pocket Queens four times the entire session and they held up each time. I also won another sizable pot where I had JJ in the big blind. A player in early position raises to $11 and gets like 5 callers. It gets back to me and when I look down at JJ, I throw out a green ($25) chip and then announce "Make it $25 all day." The dealer announces my action but the player on the button who had called the $11, protests, and says I made my verbal bet after the green chip had touched the felt, thus making my very obvious intention to raise, a call. Whatever, I don't make too big a fuzz about it and throw $11 out and take the green chip back.

The flop comes Q-J-x and I fire out $35 with my set of Jacks. I get one caller and the turn is another Queen, giving me a full house. I make a tiny $25 bet, hoping to get raised by trip Queens, but my opponent just calls. The river is a blank and I try to figure out a good value bet amount into the $175 pot. I finally settle on $75 and my opponent insta-mucks. In hindsight I should have probably bet a little less, maybe $50 or so, but then again, either he has the Queen or he doesn't so I don't think it made much of a difference.

I won a few more smallish pots the rest of the night and cashed out around 9pm for $660 ($460 profit.) Like I said, I was a card rack the entire night, but I also think I played very well and was able to avoid marginal spots by tightening up and not getting too out of line.

Today I decided to hit up the casino again for a quick session before work. I got to the room at 2pm and had work at 4pm. Since I got there just as the tables were getting started, I was stuck in a game full of regs, not exactly what I wanted. I got stuck $100 pretty quickly after calling a bet with 2nd pair on a wrong read and playing a bit too lose. I was down to like $110 and decided to straddle for $4. Five players call the straddle and I look down at pocket sixes. I decide to make it $20 on top, and get one caller. The flop comes 9-5-2 all hearts. I double check to make sure I at least have the 6 of hearts, which I do, and decide to shove ~$85 into a $60 pot.

My opponent calls almost instantly and I figure I'm drawing pretty thin. To my surprise he turns over 10-2off with no heart. He says he put me on AK and thought his deuces were good. My pair of sixes hold up and I double up. A couple of orbits later I pick up AK in early position and raise to $8. I get 4 callers and we see an A-4-5 rainbow flop. I lead out for $20, a guy to my left raises to $50 and it folds back to me.He only has like another $50 behind so I decide to push and he insta calls with AJ. My AK holds once again, and I drag in a nice pot. I left the card room around 3:30 and cashed out for $359. A $159 profit in 1.5 hours. Not bad. Then it was time to go to work, to make half of that in 8 hours, lol.

Anyway, the win this afternoon extended my winning streak at the charity casino to 7, dating back to this past summer. I hope to make it 8 in a row tomorrow. I have the day off from work so I look forward to putting in a longish session.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Two Wins

What's up blog? I feel like the last few times I've written on here, the posts have been prefaced with an apology for not updating this in a long time. (Okay, I just checked my previous entries and this isn't entirely true, but I digress.)

The reason I haven't updated this shit is because I hadn't really been playing any poker at all. I think the last time I blogged, I was headed to a poker game at The Loft, and that was over two months ago. I ended up losing $50 in that session, but chalked it up as a win after being stuck almost 3 bills. I got most of my money back on the very last hand of the night with AQ against pocket 7s and another players unseen cards in a 3-way $250 pot.

Besides that, I haven't been doing much gambling this past couple of months except some regular action on the Mexican soccer league with this guy from work. We each pick a team we like each week (we alternate 1st picks) and then bet $20 on both games. We've been doing it for a few months now and usually end up washing since we both pick the top favorites obv.

Anyway, last week I got the itch to get back on the poker grind and headed to the charity casino. I put in a brutal 6.5 hour session that netted me +$59. That's after being up almost $300 at one point. I think my stack peaked at around $480 ( bought in for $200) but a couple of key pots sent me home a small winner. The first involved trying to use my tight image to try and pull an ill-timed bluff against the wrong guy. I picked up 7-3off on the straddle, flopped bottom pair and fired all the way. After my $50 bluff-bet got raised on the river, I insta-mucked and got up, disgusted with myself.

About 10 minutes after getting back to the table, I pick up QQ on the button. A few limps, then the cut-off raises to $8 and I repop to $20. Him and another player call and we see a K-Q-10 rainbow flop. 1st player checks and the original preflop raiser bets out something like $22. I re-raise to $72 with middle set, and the cut-off's flat call after tanking for a bit, has got me a little worried that AJ might have me hurting bad. We go heads up to a Jack on the turn, (board is now a rainbow K-Q-10-J) and the cutoff immeditly fires out a $100 stack. I hate my life at this point, along with my set of Queens. I tank for maybe 5 minutes, and one of the problems was that I couldn't just flat the $100, it was either push or fold. I kept putting my opponent on AJ, and so many other hands are in his range with his pre-flop raise that ultimately I decided there was no way I was ahead. I muck my ladies face up and my opponent shows JJ. I feel sick to my stomach and want to vomit.

I don't know if my opponent really thought JJ was good there or if he was just bluffing at the scariest turn card possible, but neverthless, the hand put me on mad tilt and I began to bleed chips left and right. I was down to my last two green chips ($50) when I said to myself "Self, you made a good laydown. 95% of the time you are going to be up against a straight. Time to nut up, shut up, and play some poker" So I went into what I like to call my ninja poker mode, which includes hoodie over head, iPod blasting Jay Z on full volume, and complete focus on every hand with no bullshit chit-chat or socializing with anyone at the table. Ninja poker mode was good to me as I grinded my stack back to $259, cashing out around 11PM.

The next day I was scheduled to work but I called in for someone to cover for me and headed to the poker room again. I got there at around 5pm, and there was no list for the 200nl game so I immediately got a seat. And I also immediately got two-outtered pretty ugly. About 6 hands into the session I pick up 10-5off in the BB and check my option. I almost have to double check my cards when the flop comes 10-10-5. With five of us in the pot, it checks around. The turn is a 6, bringing two diamonds to the board. Gets checked to me and I bet $10 hoping not to scare away a flush draw. I get called in two spots and the river is a 7d bringing the flush to the board. I check, hoping to induce a bet from a made flush. The 2nd player to act bets out $22. Then the 3rd player tries to raise, but string bets and is only allowed to call the $22. At this point, I'm hoping they've both made their flush and I'll get paid off with my full house. I raise $53 more, making it $75 all day. One player tanks for about a minute and begrudgingly mucks his cards. The other player insta calls and I proudly announce full house, thinking how nice it's going to be to start off the session being up a cool hundo.

Oops! Not quite. My opponent flips over his cards and tables 10-6 for a better full house. I get that sick illy feeling that only a two outter can produce. I have no idea why he didn't raise me on the river though. Only hand that beats him is 10-7. He missed out on the rest of my stack, haha.

Anyway, that pot got me off to a rocky start and I couldn't get anything going for a while. I kept raising with big hands and then whiffing the board and having to check fold. Once again I found myself short stacked with about $35, when I decided it was time to go into Ninja Poker mode again. So on goes the hoodie and the headphones, and my luck immediatly starts to change.

I pick up Aces and win a smallish straddled pot. Then I doubled up with AK on a K high flop against KJ. A few hands later I pick up KK in the small blind, and make it $16 to go. I get 5 callers and the flop comes 2-3-4 with two diamonds.. I'm first to act and bet out $50 not wanting to fuck around, with such a draw-heavy board.. The guy sitting next to me, this young kid who is somwhat of a decent player tanks for a bit and then calls. Folds around to the button who goes all in for $67 total. I call the extra $17 as does the other kid. The turn is an offsuit 5. I hate my Kings at this point, but the pot is just to big so I throw in my last $45 or so hoping neither player has an Ace. The young kid tanks and finally makes a crying call asking if I've made my straight. Since me and the button are all in, we all turn our cards up, and I find out I'm up against the young kid's pocket 8s and the button's 9d-10d for a flush draw. The river blanks and I drag in a nice pot.

Then some weird shit happens a the table. The player in seat 2 comes back from smoking a cigarette or something and asks the dealer what the fuck happened to his stack of chips. At first the whole table thinks he's kidding, but it soon becomes apparent that he isn't. He says he left around a $50 stack on the table and now it was gone. I'm sitting in seat 4 so the dealer starts asking everyone on our side of the table if we saw what happened. I honestly didn't see shit. I definitely saw the guy get up from the table but I don't recall whether he left his chips or not. Just a few minutes before the guy had come back to his seat, the player in seat number 3, a white dude in his mid 20s, had gotten up to cash out. The table starts theorizing that maybe he accidentally grabbed the guy's stack when he was racking his chips. I honestly doubt this is what happened, but whatever.

The floor is called, and then the floor calls the guy who runs the entire charity casino. He has a long talk a few feet away from the table with the guy who lost his chips. I'm not sure what is said, but I guess the guy didn't want to fucking deal with this shit over $50 so he reaches into his wallet, and hands the guy a crisp Grant note.

The whole thing is forgtotten and we continue to play poker. I went on a bit of a heater and started dragging in small pot after small pot. The last big pot I won on the night was when I turned a straight with pocket 5s and got paid off by a terrible player who made Aces up. I cashed out for $430 (+$230 profit) around 10pm.

Today is Tuesday and I'm planning to head to the card room again around 2pm. Hopefully I can keep the winning streak going, and I'll try to post another update tonight.

Peace out homies and good luck at the tables!

P.S.- I've jumped on this twitter craze, so check out my tweets on the left hand side of the blog. I don't tweet too regularly, mostly when I'm at the poker table.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Comeback Kid

I know I haven't been keeping up with the online grind updates like I said I would but blogging about winning $10 or losing $20 just seems kinda boring. But I thought I'd post a quick blog since I'm about to head out for some live poker.

I haven't played live since I got my ass skinned about a month ago. Dropped $600 that session, the most I'd ever lost in a single day. But I'm back at it today looking to make some mad bank. I'm playing at this underground game called "The Loft" (because it's on the 2nd floor of a loft building, ldo.)

Not sure how soft the game is going to be but I'm packing two buy ins for the $200NL game. I'm probably going to nit it up a little bit and not try to pull off any crazy moves or anything. But who knows, the game plan always depends on the kind of players at your table so I've gotta see what I'm up against first.

If I have a good session I'll probably hit up the tables again tomorrow night at another game off Irving Park. Not a lot of charity casino events near me in the next few days so if I can get a bankroll going I'll probably do most of my grinding at these two underground games which are actually pretty well run.

Anyway, going to go hit the shower and then I'm off to the game.

Good luck at the tables!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Good Start

Off to a good start grinding 10NL. I didn't play Thursday night cause I got home and wasn't really in the mood to play. But I put in another session last night and ended up a litte over 2.5 buy ins. (+$26.70) in 215 hands.

A couple of hands from the session:

-$23 pot with 88

-Trying to figure out if I misplayed this.

Session graph:

I'm about to leave for work in like an hour but I'm going to play a $6.60 sng and try to cash in that. And then I'll probably play another 10nl session tonight.

Good luck at the tables! Peace.

edit: Bubbled the fucking SnG obv.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

1st Day of Grinding

Yesterday marked the beginning of my online grind with my new plan as outlined in my previous post. Tuesday night I was able to get $200 on Stars using one of the All Access Visa gift cards. I highly recommend these if you're having trouble depositing any amount of money on Stars. They're super hassle free and I'm going to see if I can use one of these to deposit on my sports betting account soon.

Anyway, I installed PokerTracker3 on my laptop and then spent 45minutes trying to figure out why my hands were not importing into the database only to find out my dumbass did not have PokerStars configured to save my hands to my hard drive. So after fixing all that I finally started playing.

I lost a buy-in @ 10nl pretty retartedly so I decided to play a $6.60 SnG instead. That didn't go to well either as I busted out pretty earlish when I flopped top two against a straight. I went back to the cash tables where I continued to get anally raped. Then another SnG where I bubbled pretty brutally. I was chip leader with 3 players left (top 2 get paid) when I suffered this massive cooler that was reminicent of the legendary Negreanu v. Hansen hand on High Stakes Poker. Sure that was a $600,000 pot and this was a $6 sng but still, lol. Losing to quads with a full house is never fun.

I still had some chips left after that cooler but ended up busting in this hand. Got rivered nasty and GG me. I went back to the 10nl tables where I tilted away two buy ins and finally decided to stop playing cause I was getting super tilty. At this point I was already down almost $50. (3.5 buy ins at 10nl and 2 $6.60 sngs) All of a sudden my $200 bankroll was down to $150.

I chilled for a while and went to get something to eat. I came back home and just planned to watch the America v. San Luis soccer game that I had $50 on. But since I was no longer steaming I decided to get back on the laptop and fired up another 10nl table. This time things went ALOT better. I played for about 2 hours while watching the game and ended the session up 5.5 buy ins cashing out for $64.55 total. I not only ran well but was playing an extremely effective tight aggresive game, imo. Part of this I think was because I was watching the game at the same time so I was really only playing premium hands and not really getting too out of line. Here's some of the bigger pots I won:

-$30 pot with Aces.

-Getting there with an open-ender.

-Aces again.

Anyway the session helped recoup my losses from earlier in the day which felt pretty damn good. I celebrated my robusto day by smoking a bowl of kush and watching It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia the rest of the night.


I'm beginning to love PokerTracker3 more and more each time I use it. It's such a powerful program but the thing is you have to know how to use it properly. It gives you a ton of stats about your session but that's all meaningless unless you actually take the time to study those stats and find leaks in your game, which is what I plan to do. I also love the pretty graphs that it generates! Haha.

This is the 5.5 buy in Session of 230 hands:

And this is the graph for the entire day:

Was down $35 at one point and ended the day up $20. 564 hands in total. Not a lot of hands per say, but I'm not quite ready to start multi-tabling.

I plan to put in a short session after work tonight. Hopefully I can run decent and make that bankroll grow!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

New Plan

I've decided to get back on the online poker grind. For a couple of reasons, one of them being I just don't have the time to play live as much as I'd like but I still want to keep growing as a poker player.

Now, being honest with myself, I know that I'm probably a lifetime losing player online. But I blame this more on the fact that I just have never really practiced "proper" bankroll management. I'll usually go on a nice winning streak, then start losing and play higher and higher. Evidence of this are the $50 HU matches I started playing after a few losing streaks in the $6 sngs a few months ago. That's something that I will try to avoid this time around.

The plan is to throw $200 on Stars sometime in the next couple of days and then start grinding 6max 10NL and 6max single table $6.60 SnGs. $200 really is a bit of a dangerous bankroll to start with, considering I'm playing 6max poker for the most part, which usually requires a larger bankroll, but I think I'm okay for now. If I start off on a huge downswing I'll just replenish the bankroll with another deposit.

My original plan for getting back on the virtual felt was to wait til I saved up around $800, then deposit that and start grinding 25NL exclusively. But I think I'll try to work my way up instead. I actually don't think I'm ready for 25NL as the games on Stars aren't as soft as they once were so I'd like to see me beat 10NL over a decent sample before I move up. I'll also be purchasing PokerTracker3 along the way to help me track results and put some graphs up on the blog.

Hopefully I can make the deposit tomorrow and begin the grind!


I won $40 in a couple of soccer games over the weekend off a guy from work. I had $20 on Mexico v. Costa Rica and $20 on the U.S. v. Honduras. I was going to double down on the Mexico v. U.S. game on Sunday liking the U.S. but backed out which was a smart decision as Mexico raped them 5-0.

I've got another bet on tomorrow's America v. San Luis game. I've got $50 on San Luis and the only reason I made the bet was because I was getting even money since I'm betting with another guy from work. The actual line for the game is San Luis -150 so I'm getting a bit of equity there. Hopefully San Luis comes away with the win.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

My Biggest Loss

I remember when I used to blog it up almost every day here on the Crooked Link. These days it's looking more like a couple of posts per month. So again, I do apologize for that. But like I said in my previous post, my job schedule has been kinda goofy the past few weeks. But now that my guy Z. quit and I'm working more days, it'll probably mean more time to blog since I seem to do most of my blogging from work.

So what have I been up to the past two weeks? Oh I don't know, just having the worst poker session of my life is all. But I'm getting ahead of myself here. First let's backtrack a bit to where I left of in my previous post (7/6/09). I decided to take that week off from Gigio's and try to put in some solid time on the tables. I had a solid session on the 8th, cashing out for $475 (a +$275 profit). It was kind of a short session, playing around 4 hours but I felt good about my game and was also running extremely well. In fact I won the my biggest pot that day like this:

5 limpers before me and I limp in the small blind with Ac6c. Big blind checked and 7 of us saw a flop of 9c-5-c-2x.

I check, as does the big blind and a short stack in early position goes all in for his last $12. The rest of the table and their pet Chiguagua proceed to call the $12 including myself. Then the big blind decides to go all in for another $100 on top. It folds back around to me and I contemplate for a bit before making the call, getting almost exactly 2-1 on my money. (There was $198 in the pot, and it cost me $100 more to call). I know at worst I'm a 3 to 1 dog here, but knowing I'd been running good lately helped me make the call.

As it turns out, I was in better shape than I thought, as my opponent turned over Q-9o for top pair and a look of disgust when he sees I called him with a flush draw. A beautiful club hits the turn and I have my opponent drawing dead. I dragged in the $300 pot as I'm serenated by the losing player's bitching about how unlucky he is...

Anyway aside from that pot, I just picked up a couple small ones here and there leading to the +$275 for the day.

I definietly loved the venue where that charity casino was held. It's probably the nicest place I've played live poker and a super nice contrast to the usual dirty smelly venues the charity casino usually hosts their events.

It was held in a country club out in Bensenville and I decided to snap a couple of pictures for the blog.

Outside the Country Club's banquet hall.

They had about 8 cash tables running.

Waiting for a table, with my $200 buy in.

Nice view.

Grinding out my stack.

Final cash out: $475

Anyway I left feeling REAL good that day because I'd managed to build a nice little $800 bankroll with the profits of the last 3 sessions (+$415 on the 2nd, +$150 on the 6th and +$275 on the 8th.)

Of course this all went to shit, and my ship came crashing down the very next day. I realize $800 can't even be considered a bankroll for playing 200NL but just knowing that I built up that $800 on the tables had me feeling pretty invincible. In fact $800 in just 3 sessions of poker had me wondering why the hell I still had a real job. I soon found the answer to that question.

So the next day (the 9th) I decide to hit up the 200NL tables at a private game. I got there around 9:30pm and by 10'oclock I was already down one buy in ($200). My second buy in didn't go to well either as I ran my top pair into a set and then lost a couple of smallish bullshit pots. I considered quitting at this time but said fuck it and reloaded once again. Bad mistake. I tilted off that buy in with stupid donkey plays like re-raising out of position with marginal hands and getting myself into some tough spots. I finally got all my money in with what I thought was a live flush draw only to realize I was drawing completly dead when my opponent called with a bigger flush draw.

I hung around for a while, trying to absorb the fact that I'd just lost $600 in about 2 hours. The guy who runs the game told me I could play on credit which I didn't want to do. I still had another $200 in my pocket as well, but I decided to just call it a night and left.

Now, for having just lost $600 (the most amount of money I've lost in a single day) I think I took it pretty well. I didn't let my frustration show as I left the game, and really the most upset I got was on the drive home. But once I got home I told myself I wasn't going to let the loss faze me, and instead I rolled up a blunt and chilled the rest of the night watching TV.

I haven't been back to the tables since. I used up the rest of my "bankroll" to go out with friends and shit, and since I took that week off from work, I haven't had any money to try and rebuild. I could still hit up that private game if I wanted to and play on credit since I'm a regular at that game, but I'd rather play with my own money.

Hopefully maybe by next week I'll have a couple of buy ins saved up and I'll go back to get my revenge. Til then I'm still going to try and update this blog as often as I can, just rambling about random bullshit.

Shit, this post is getting a little too long so I'm going to cut it off right here.

Peace and good luck at the tables!