The Crooked Link

Life of a Low Stakes Gambler...

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Swingy Session Part 2

Okay, so I'm back to finish updating on my 8 hour session from Tuesday, as well as the home game I attended last night.

So in my last post I had just finished writing about the heart-breaking cold deck I suffered against Mr. Korea. I actually posted that hand in the strategy forum on FCP to get a little bit more insight and criticism on how I played it. Check out the thread here.

Opinions ranged from it being an insta-shove on the river to being able to find a fold on the flop (completely disagree with this).

The problem in the hand arises from the fact that I know Korea is a straight forward player, so for him to check-call the flop for $15 is a bit out of line with only a gut-shot. I don't think my call on the river was in any way terrible as Korea ends up showing a set a lot more than 9-10, in my opinion.

But anyway, on to the rest of the session. I was still up $150 after that hand but tilt got the best of me and I slowly started bleeding chips again. I make stupid plays like calling a player's all in after I bet a flop of K-10-x with Q-J. Villain surprisingly turns over A-10 saying something about how he KNEW I had Q-J and decided to go with his read. Of course I brick the turn and river and lose a big pot.

Then a short while later I have Q-Q UTG and make it $10 to go. I get 1 caller, a shortstack on the button with like $50 left behind. Flop comes down something like Q-J-7 rainbow giving me the absolute nuts with top set. I decide to make a small $10 bet into the pot and he insta-ships his stack all-in. I immediately call turning over my hand and he says "Aw shit, I thought you were making a play at me. I'm pretty sure I'm drawing dead."

As he says this, he still hasn't turned over his cards, and is holding them over the muck about to fold them. Mind you, if his cards are to touch the muck his hand is dead and I win regardless of the turn and river. But the dealer deals the turn and river in lighting-fast speed. A King and then a 10. The button immediately double checks his cards and says "Oh shit, I think I have a straight" and sure enough he flips over a retarded A-3off. Nice hand sir.

He runner-runner'd me but as bad a beat as it was, it did not hurt as much as it should have because he was so short stacked, so I only lost like $60 on the hand.

I had however, dwindled my stack to around $250 after having almost $500 in front of me a couple of hours earlier. I rely my frustration to Z via text:

10:31 PM: I am heartbroken Dr. Z. Im up a measly $47 bucks. This hurts...

He in turn does not offer much consolation with his response:

Zhagui: Lol,oh the swings, how I miss those.Weren't u up like a cool 100 a couple hours ago.

F*ck you Dr. Z.

Haha, anyway so I'm feeling like shit and ready to leave but Z has agreed to pick me up after he gets off work at midnight. So I have about an hour and a half to make something happen, and make something happen I did. In all honesty though, I have no idea how I was able to make a comeback in the last hour of play because I didn't really play any big pots. I did win a nice one when I limped with J-3, flopped two pair and got paid off by what was probably A-J, but other than that I guess I just built my stack with small pots here and there. Finally, when the table was about to break I had a nice $434 stack in front of me.

Final numbers for the session:

Buy in: $200
Cash out: $434
Profit: $234

Hours Played: 8.25
Hourly Rate: $28.36/hr

Sustainable? I think not! LOL.

So that was Tuesdays session after which I was completely exhausted both physically and mentally. It's definitely one of the longer sessions I've ever put in and I tip my hat to the guys who do this day in and day out grinding it out everyday at the poker table. The phrase Poker is a Hard Way to Make an Easy Living never rang so true to my ears.

On Wednesday I woke up around 10am to say goodbye to my mom who left for Houston for a couple of days. Seems my grandpa is pretty ill, but hopefully all goes well with him. Anyway, I went out to eat, came home and bummed around then left for a home game I got invited to out on the west side. Now, the way I came upon this specific game was a little bit shady, and I didn't know a single person who was going to be there, so I was a little skeptical about the whole thing.

I sent my guy Z the following text:
7:11 PM: Ok dude im about to go to this home game i found on craigslist. In case this is a set up, the address is xxxx xxxxx, aight, lol.

His response:
7:13 PM: Lol alright bro don't get raped tell me how it goes later.

Somehow I don't think he was referring to getting raped at the poker table. After all, we all know about the dangers of craigslist....but I digress.

So I got to the game which wasn't actually a home game at all. It was being held in this commercial office space that apparently one of the guys organizing the thing owns. It's a pretty nice set up with about 4 poker tables and a fridge full of all you can drink beer, wine and soda. We would also ended up ordering a couple of pizzas later in the night.

A couple of snapshots I took before people started arriving:

But anyway, I'm one of the first people there and we chill around till we have enough people to get a game going. We start off six handed 1/2NL , and I buy in for $200. Everyone else at the table buys in for around $50-$80 except for the guy on my left, a hilarious dude named Gabriel who also buys in for $200. As the only threat to my stack I've made up my mind not to get involved in any big pots with Gabriel unless I have a monster hand, and instead try to focus on bullying the shorter stacks.

All that goes out the window when I'm holding K-Q on a J-10-2 board. The pot is still pretty small at this point since there was no pre-flop raising. We check check the turn which is a blank and then I hit the nut straight on the river with an Ace and no possible flushes out there. I bet $10 into the still small pot, and it's music to my ears when Gabriel announces raise and goes $25 on top of my $10. I cut out my chips, announce re-raise and make it $75 all day, double checking my cards one more time just to make sure I do indeed have the absolute nuts. Gabriel announces all in and at this point I'm a little upset at the realization that we're going to end up chopping the $400 pot because we both have KQ. I insta-call and Gabriel does indeed turn over K-Q as well. Yikes, why couldn't he have a set there, just one time! Haha.

So the game is pretty dull for the next hour or so with not a lot of action, yet somehow I'm managing to lose a bunch of small pots by playing way to loose, doing random shit like calling with Q-8 out of position and check-folding most flops. Then a bit of drama ensues when a guy named Rick makes it $7 to go from middle position and another dude named Albert re-pops to $27. Rick tanks and calls the $20 while Albert announces that he is all in for his last $50 blind before the flop, despite the fact it it's an out of turn bet. The flop comes 4-4-2 and since Albert's all in bet was binding despite it being out of turn, Rick insta-calls the $50 and flips over.....4-2 offsuite, lol!

The turn and river don't seem to help what Albert says was pocket Aces and he doesn't take the beat well as he storms off to get a drink. When he comes back he rebuys for another $50 and over the next 30 minutes we have to listen to Albert's bitching about what a bad call Rick made pre-flop with the 4-2. Not only that but he continues to berate Rick's plays until I guess Rick has had enough and tells the dealer to cash him out. Keep in mind Rick is the big winner thus far, up about $200, including a nice pot he won off me when I paid him of with a weak Ace on an uncoordinated board and he woke up with a two pair.

So as Rick is cashing out Albert starts talking. " I'd sure like to leave a winner too Rick. You know if you leave right now, every single person at this table is going to be pissed off at you. Don't you have any idea what ethics are?" Rick in turn responds "That has nothing to do with it Al. You just can't handle a bad beat and I'm tired of your bitching bro. I didn't even want to come tonight but Gabe asked me to." As he walks out Gabe informs me that Al and Rick are actually pretty good friends.

Alas, the game continues 5 handed for a few more minutes until the pizza arrives and we take a short break. When play resumes I add another $100 to my stack because I've lost about $150 of my original buy in. So I'm now in for $300 when a bunch of other dudes arrive so we finally have a full game going. My bad run continues though as I just can't seem to get anything going despite having some ultra-fish in the game including this guy named Richard who has been sipping on wine the whole night and is falling asleep at the table.

My impatience gets the best of me and when I look down at A-Koff in early position I raise it up to $12. A player in late position 3bets to around $30 and I push my remaining stack. The other guy, who seems to be somewhat of a decent player calls nonchalantly although he does not turn over his cards. The board runs out all small cards and I figure his over pair is good. It is indeed as he flips over pocket Jacks and drags in a monster pot leaving me with around $30 left.

It's around 1 am at this point and I figure I'll lose the $30 and head home, having gotten my ass kicked. I dwindle the $30 down to about $7 or $8 bucks and go all in blind UTG with several callers. The board runs out something like Q-10-6-3-2 and when I finally look at my cards I see that my 10-5 is the best hand. Then I manage to crack a dude's Aces with 6-2 in another blind all in and before I know it I'm back to $100.

I announce to the table that this will be my last round, and limp with K-7 of spades on the button. 4 of us see a flop of K-Q-6. Player in early position bets $15 and gets 2 callers including myself. The turn is a 7, giving me two pair, and the previous raiser now goes all in for around $50. Folds to me and I make the call hoping I haven't run into a set. Nope, the other guy flips over Q-6 and when he doesn't improve on the river I drag in yet another big pot putting me down only around $75 for the night.

I play the last few hands of the round losing around $25 in some straddled pots but finally call it a night being down $102, which actually feels like a win after having been stuck close to $300 and grinding my last $7 all the way up to $225.

I ended up getting home around 3 am again exhausted from what was a longish 6 hour session.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Swingy Session Part 1

Okay finally some good content I can throw on this blog. As I said in my last post, I hadn't really played any poker in a while so there was really nothing much to write about. But I decided to hit up the casino last night and had quite the swingy session. I played some monster pots, took some massive beats but ended the night in the green.

As I made my way to the casino I was fully intending on playing either 2/4 or 3/6 limit. Needless to say I've never played limit poker in my life, but I've been wanting to learn the game for a long time now and I figured I'd give it a shot. Unfortunately when I got there, there wasn't a single limit table running. So I decided to sit in my usual 200NL game instead.

Before that though, I had a bit of a problem at the cage. I didn't have an ID with me because the charity casino rarely cards. In fact I can only remember being carded like two times there in my life. But the guy refused to sell me chips with no ID. I decided to go talk to this floorguy T.C. and see if he could help me out. T.C. went and talked with the guy at the cage and told him I was a fairly regular player there despite the fact that I haven't played there in months, so that was cool of him.

So I finally sit down with a rack of $200 at the NL table around 3:40pm. I'm pretty much card dead for the first hour at the table, getting dealt like K3 and J2 every other hand. I'm slowly bleeding chips and then lose a biggish pot with Ad 10d after chasing a flush draw, not getting there and giving up on the river. So after that hand I'm steaming a bit and decide to gamble it up and raise with 5-2 of spades UTG. I make it $12 to go and get 4 callers to the flop. Flop comes A-Q-5 and I figure I can represent an Ace here with my pre-flop raise. I lead out for $22 and get one caller, this older lady who kept reminding me of Mac's mom from It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Anyway, the the turn brings a second Ace on the board and I decide to check. Mrs. Mac's Mom checks behind and I'm now fairly certain she has a Queen and I need to bet big on the river if I want to get her off it. Mind you I still only have a pair of fives at this point. Luckily the river brings another five, giving me Fives full of Aces. Now instead of betting big I try to figure out an amount to bet that she can call with a Queen. I settle on $25 and she thinks it over for a bit and finally calls. She seems a little shocked when I turn over the 5-2 of spades and mucks KQ face up.

I then send this text to my guy Z who is asking about my session.

4:50 PM: Bro i just won a sick $140 pot wid the good old 5-2 of spades.

So that pot brings me up to about even and then I go on a mini heater raking in a few smallish pots in a row. So I'm sitting with around ~$240 when I get pocket Jacks in MP. A couple of limpers before me and I pop it up to $10. Then the small blind, this gangsta looking black dude re-pops me to $30. Folds back to me and I have a bit of a decision to make. I can 4-bet and commit myself to the hand there, or wait to see what the flop brings. I decide to smooth call and we go HU to a flop of 2-2-2. Gangstalicious thinks it over for a bit and then throws two green chips out ($50). I go into the tank a bit, asking myself if he would do this with anything other than AA, KK or QQ. Tens seem possible and I say fuck it, and push all in. He calls rather quickly which makes my heart sink thinking I've run into Queens most definitely. But surprisingly he flips over AK of clubs and I sweat the turn and river and can't help myself but to fist pump in celebration when he goes brick brick. I drag in what's probably one of the bigger pots I've won in my life and send the following text:

6:33 PM: Just won a $445 pot bro! Now netting $245 for the day.

Shortly thereafter though, I suffer a heart breaker. I'll tell it as best I can remember.

UTG and MP limp in before me and I look down at 4-5 of diamonds on the button and decide to limp in as well. The SB folds and the BB checks. The flop comes down 6-7-J rainbow. BB checks, UTG who I have a bit of history with (more on that in a bit) checks and MP, a player who just sat down, bets out $15. I call the $15 on the button with my open-ender, BB folds and UTG calls the $15 as well. The turn is an 8, completing my straight. UTG checks, MP again bets $15 and I raise it to $45 on the button. To my surprise they both call my raise and we see a blank river, something like a deuce of hearts.

So the board now reads 6h-7c-Jd-8c-2h. To my surprise, UTG leads out for $70. Now, UTG is this older Korean guy in his 60s who I've played a lot with in the past. He's a straight forward ABC player but he puts me on tilt every time he seats at my table just because he acts like the biggest douche bag in the world. Every single decision the dealer makes, he wants confirmation from the floor which slows the game down. He berates the dealers for absolutely no reason and is just an all around jerk. A few hands earlier I asked if he could trade me some of his white ($1) chips for some of my red ($5) so I could pay the blinds, and he refused, mumbling something about how he likes his stack to look bigger with the white chips or something, so the dealer had to call a chip runner to bring me some whites.

Quick snap shot of Mr. Korea I managed to take with my phone for the purposes of this blog.

But ANYWAY, back to the hand. Mr. Korea (is this racist? I don't really think so, I just can't come up with a more clever nickname for him) leads for $70 on the river and MP tanks for about two minutes before making a crying call. Now I have a huge decision with what is effectively the second nuts. The only possible/reasonable hand that beats me at this point is 9-10. (9-5 beats me as well but makes no sense what so ever.)

So I make the call as well, not even remotely considering a raise, and of course Korea turns over the 9-10. As soon as he did, I wanted to grab my cards and throw them in his face. I just could not believe I had gotten cold decked in such a sick pot against the one person at the table I'd hate to give my chips to the most. But I kept my cool, said nice hand and went for a short walk, sending the following text:

7:11 PM: Major tilt dude. Just lost a $350 pot wid the 2nd nuts. Woulda been up $500 for the night man. still up 150 tho.

I actually have to cut this post short for now because I gotta get ready for a home game I'm headed to tonight. It's another 200NL game and hopefully I can create a bit of a win streak for myself. Anyway I'll try to update the info for the rest of yesterday's session as well as the results for tonight. Peace!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Drunken Soccer Bet

Geez, more than a month since I updated this thing. Let's see, I think the last post I made was right after blowing up my roll on Stars. I started talking about giving up poker, how I can't handle the bad beats, blah blah blah. Lol, basically all the shit that goes through your mind after a bad session.

But of course I haven't given up poker, I just haven't been playing much lately which is the reason this blog's been neglected the past few weeks. I've been wanting to hit up the casino but work has got me tied up. Everytime they have an event close by, I usually have to work.

For example today I wanted to go donk around in the $20+$5 Early Bird crapshoot at 2pm but I had to be at work by 4pm. And it's not like I can head over there after work because since its a charity casino, they're only allowed to run the events til midnight. Blah, can't wait to turn 21 so I can f*cking drive to the Horseshoe at 3 in the morning if I feel like it.

Hopefully I can put in a good session sometime soon though. I think my guy Zhagui is going to be working again with me during the summer so that'll definietly make my schedule more flexible.
I know those donkey's at RCG are just dying to give me their money. :-)

Anyway, I've also cooled off a bit with the sports betting as well. Haven't reloaded my Bookmaker account but I have been making small $10-$20 bets on soccer matches with the dudes from work.

Actually, about 3 weeks ago I was at this party where a bunch of the guys from work were at. Needless to say I was quite wasted and towards the end of the night I found myself in the washroom of the banquet hall, discussing soccer with a driver from work who I never talk to. (Alcohol will do that to you, I suppose.)

Anyway, that day my team Chivas had played against and beaten his team Club America 1-0, so the shit talking began and we somehow ended up making a $100 bet on who would accumulate the most points in the last 3 games of the season between Chivas and America.

Now even as drunk as I was (I'd been drinking non-stop since I got there around 7pm and it was already 1ish am) I knew I was making a bad bet because of the remaining 3 games for both teams, Chivas had 2 away games and 1 at home while America had 2 at home and 1 away. Home field advantage is HUGE in soccer, but despite all this I still went ahead with the bet.

Well in the 1st of the last three games for both teams, I caught an early break when America lost 2-1 at home against Tecos and Chivas managed a 1-1 draw in an away game against Pumas. So I was up 1 point on the bet but then last week America managed a miraculous last minute win against Monterrey while Chivas couldn't take advantage of their home turf and again only managed a 0-0 draw against Puebla.

So it looks like the bet is going to come down to the last game of the season for both teams. America has accumulated 3 points to Chivas' 2. It's not looking good for me since America will be facing a weak Necaxa team at home while Chivas will be visiting an inspired Indios squad. I need America to lose and then Chivas to draw just to push the bet. In a more unrealistic scenario I could still win the bet if America draws and Chivas pulls off the away win.

Meh, anything can happen I guess. Definitely going to be sweating the games big time this weekend.