The Crooked Link

Life of a Low Stakes Gambler...

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!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Quad Aces

I got to the game last night around 9:15 and bought in for $200. We were playing 7 handed so I decided I'd loosen up just a little bit but that did not work out all too well. Within in the first 30 minutes I was down $100 after missing my draws and firing big river bluffs. Then I got pocket Aces, decided to get cute and limped in early position, only to have the rest of the table and their pet iguanas limp behind. With a very coordinated board I decided to dump my Aces on the turn after calling a bet and a raise on the flop, all the while kicking myself for not raising preflop.

So as I'm grinding a stack of around $60-$80 I get Aces again and this time put in a pre-flop raise of $8. I get three callers and the flop comes A-A-2. Nice! I can't bring myself to bet my quads on the flop or the turn which is a 4. When the river 5 hits, a player bets out $8 and I mini-raise to $16. A third player calls and the original bettor folds. I drag in the smallish $64 pot when I realize that if this game was taking place at Mike's place (the place that got robbed a week ago) I would have been able to lock up a nice $100 bonus that is handed out at the end of the night for the highest hand made using your two hole cards. It would have been pretty tough to beat quad Aces.

But anyway as I'm grinding along I keep fluctuating between $80-$150, until finally I hit my much sought after heater withinin the span of about 5 hands. I get Queens and get paid off, very next hand I get Queens again, and make a gutsy call on the river to drag in another big pot, then right after that I get pocket Tens, flop top set and get value on every street. A couple of hands later I call a shortstacks all in with AQ. He as pocket Fives and I catch up with an Ace on the turn.

So my heater has my stack up to about $375, which I was very pleased with given that I was down $150 at one point. As the game draws to a close I decide to protect my win and don't get involved in many big pots. I lost a couple smallish pots along the way but still ended up cashing out for $350. A solid $150 profit that has me on a winning streak that I hope will continue.

I ended up getting home around 2:30am last night and fell asleep around 4am. I woke up around 11:30am today and the plan is to first go take out an ID because I've been too lazy to replace the one I lost a while ago. Then grab something to eat, come back home to shower and hit up the Charity Casino in Elmhurst to keep that winning streak alive.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Summer Is Here

Damn, I've been away for a while, lol. I've actually got a good excuse though, besides being a lazy bastard. I started working at my job full time about a month and a half ago because this other guy quit. So my schedule was pretty busy with work from 9am-5pm Monday thru Saturday. I also could not bring my laptop when I was working mornings because we were always busy as hell, so I just never had any chance to update the blog.

Well, today was my last day working full time at Gigio's. I've decided to take the rest of the week off and then start working the phones again part time starting next week.

So what have I been up to this past month and a half? Not much really. A little bit of poker and a little bit of sports bets.

Let's begin with the latter.

I've been collecting on sports bets from co-workers almost every week the past month, mostly on Confederation Cup soccer games. I've been picking mostly heavy favorites and laying decent odds. I did get burned badly on a game when Mexico lost to I think El Salvador and I was laying 4 to 1 on that game. I think I ended up losing like $200 but other than that I've been collecting on small bets between $10-$50 every week. I haven't yet deposited any money on my online sportsbook yet, but I'll probably throw some money there a little later this summer.

I've also played poker a couple of times with decent results. My last session at the charity casino was about a month ago. I think I hit the $200NL game for about a buy in. Then I played at this home game in Wrigleyville, where I ended up losing $100 for the night after being up a little bit, losing a big pot with Jacks and then going on tilt.

Interesting story about this game at Wrigleyville, it's not really a "home game" per say. It's just a raked game that this guy ran out of his place a couple of times a week. That is until the game got robbed at gunpoint about a week ago. The game is set up in a small 3rd story apartment, and apparently what happened was, this guy Spencer, a regular at the game whom I've played with before, went out to the fire escape to have a smoke and got confronted by two big dudes with bandanas over their faces. They put a gun to his head, walked him back into the apartment and they proceeded to rob everyone at the game, inlcuding taking everyone's cellphones/mp3 players and shit.

Obviously the guy running the game was pretty shook up so he's no longer running it. Instead he gave his player list to a couple of friends who are going to run the game out of a much safer location. I went to the game at this new location on Thursday and it went pretty well. They have a much nicer set up with room for about 5 tables, although only one was running since it was the first night. And they have this off-duty cop running security in the room to make the players feel alot safer.

Anyway I played on Thursday from about 9pm-1am and ended the night up a nice $415, cashing out for $615 total. I got hit in the face with the deck pretty hard though, getting Aces like 4 times, Kings once and hitting my draws when I needed to. I was actually sitting with around $800 at one point but lost a key pot with Aces after I should have been able to get away from it on the river but I paid off a value bet like a donkey anyway.

I also played another interesting $400 pot where we got it all in on the turn with me holding an over pair to the board and my opponent (a decent player who played a couple of WSOP events this year) holding top pair with an open ended straight draw. I didn't wanna take a bad beat here with one card to come, for a $400 pot, so I proposed to run the river twice. My opponent somehow bricked both times and I dragged in a nice pot.

Anyway, that's really all I've been up to this past few weeks. Like I said earlier, I've taken the rest of the week off work so I plan on hitting the poker tables hard, starting tonight. I'm about to leave for a game in a few minutes and if things go well, I'll be back at it tomorrow again.

I'll try to write an entry when I get back, or if not then maybe tomorrow.

Wish me luck!