Wednesday, 30 June 2010

June review

I've managed to put in a decent online volume despite all the distractions in Vegas and its turned out to be my best month ever (for the 3rd time this year).

When I get back home I'm going to have to consider switching my main game to 100PL from 50PL assuming live poker in Vegas doesn't deplete my bankroll too much. I also want to try and play some more NL as there is no good reason I shouldn't be able win - I think I just have some mental blocks about it after a bad run when I was playing recreationally last year.

I'd also like to add more tables.. watching guys here playing 24 tables at a time makes my 2-6 tables seem pretty pathetic. I don't want to go all out to play as many as possible, despite the sick bonuses/rakeback they get, but I'm sure there is a good balance that will work for me - perhaps 8-10.

I've been playing some 6max tables recently and they are going well. Starting full ring tables and playing them shorthanded has definitely been good preparation and there are a bunch of bad players I wouldn't normally see at the full ring games.

EDIT: I'll post another Vegas trip report in a couple of days including a report on my sad exit from Event 47

Thursday, 24 June 2010

Friday, 18 June 2010

Vegas #1

My first Vegas post is long overdue now, so I better get on with it before I forget everything.

I arrived on Tuesday 8th after a 19hr trip into Vegas' oven-like atmosphere, picked up by Gary and DJ. We went straight to the Wynn where I managed to lose $300 playing $1/$3 (making a stupid shove on the river with an overpair when I knew in my head that the villain had tripped up on the river).

The house is cool.. not as balla as some places in Vegas I'm sure (no pool etc) but it is the Micro Stakes Grind House - perhaps if I come back next year we can upgrade to the Small Stakes Grind House! There are nine of us in the house, although 2 have left now, but more will be coming/leaving as time goes on.

I was pleased to see the guys had bought a Table Tennis table that is sitting in the garage. I used to play in one of the Edinburgh University teams years ago and I'd been thinking about joining a club at home as I'm doing no exercise and I used to enjoy it, but I've been putting it off for months. A few games in I'm starting to rediscover my skills and beating everyone in the house so I'll definitely sign up when I get home.

The heat in Vegas is like nothing I've experienced before, but I'm slowly getting used to it. Fortunately, we don't need to spend much time outdoors and there is aircon everywhere inside. I hope I'll be able to play some golf on one of the cooler days as the courses look pretty sweet. The casinos are huge and there are many more I'd like to visit - so far I've been to the Wynn, Rio (where WSOP takes place), Red Rock and Venetian.

We went out for Gary's birthday on 10th at Red Rock and had some food & drinks before going bowling and fulfilling one of my dreams of rolling the dice and playing craps in Vegas. I didn't really understand what was going on, but somehow made $7 :)

Live Cash

I've not done well at live cash at all so far.. its quite a different game from online (as well as being a much more expensive $1/$3 at most places or $1/$2 at the Red Rock). The games are definitely soft, but I haven't got into the right mindset for them yet I think. I have had a couple of coolers, but have also made some pretty bad mistakes. I'll definitely play some more so hope I can hit a heater soon as well as form some decent strategy. Having proper dealers does make the hands go faster than the self-dealt live games at the Circus in Edinburgh, but its hard to get through variance playing 25 hands/hr. Things like tipping the dealer or being able to straddle from the button (at the Rio) are all new to me.

Gary's run at Event 24

Gary played in WSOP Event 24 - $1k NL Holdem - the same structure as the WSOP event I plan to play. He had already won $5k from staking Kurt in a previous event and did an amazing job in making it to Day 3 and coming 29th in a field of 3300 to win $11,870. He'd sold 1/2 his action and I was lucky enough to have swapped 5% with him so he won me $540 :) I hope I can repay the favour and get something back for him when I have a go at my $1k event. You can read more about it here but I've never felt my heart sink so much at watching someone else losing a hand when his AK was beaten by K4 allin preflop, on a sick 2356X board at the beginning of Day 3 - not just because of my 5% either. He's as sound in real life as he seemed to be online, and for all his help with my poker game and the help he has given to countless other micro players on 2+2 etc. he really deserved to win that hand and make it to the final table. He had AA a few hands later and his allin attracted no action despite large stacks acting after him. It could have been so different if he'd won the AKvK4 hand and had a stack that the others could play against postflop :(

Live Tournaments

I've only played 2 tournaments so far - the 1st was a $125 sngo satellite to win chips for buying into WSOP events. We went from 10 to 3 players and agreed to take our buyins back from the prizepool. I knocked out one of the others in 3rd to go HU for the remaining prize money. In hindsight I should have perhaps proposed another deal at this point, but I felt I had a slight edge and as I'd already got my original buyin back I didn't have anything to lose. I missed some huge draws in one hand and then had to shove but lost. I'll probably try a couple more of these but be wiser about making deals.

We were going to play a $300 + $40 MTT at the Venetian Deepstack Extravaganza today, but it turned out to be a Limit game, so Dip, Gary and I played the $200 deepstack at the Rio instead. I was doing pretty well staying above average for the first 6 hours, but after my good table was broken up I lost a large chunk of my stack with set over set, and then lost my remaining chips when A8 beat my AK allin with an 8 on the flop to go out just inside the top 200 (from 720). Dip went out 8 places short of the bubble but Gary ran deep again coming 25th to win $830.

I'll definitely have a shot at the Venetian deepstack if we can get the right day this time! as a warmup for the $1k - it will almost definitely be Event 47 that I play.

Online Poker

Fortunately, I'm running great online this month, on target for a best month ever for the 3rd time this year, so it makes the live losses easier to deal with, especially as the money I earned from the contracting job is covering all the bills and mortgage etc back at home. We haven't done any decent sweats yet in the house, but being able to talk about and think about poker 24/7 with everyone in the house is sure to improve things further.

Touristy stuff

I haven't done much yet that doesn't involve poker, but I hope to play golf, go to a show, take a helicopter trip to the Grand Canyon, shoot handguns and go to a live UFC event at least before the trip is over.

You can see a bunch of photos I've taken so far although most of them are photos of some of the stars playing at the Rio.

Sunday, 6 June 2010

Its feeling good to get back to full-time poker again, and the last couple of days have gone pretty well with a few nice pots (I'll post some hands below).

With Gary picking up 7% of a $70kish WSOP event final table score I can't wait to get to Vegas to soak up the atmosphere, meet the guys in the house and play lots and lots of poker. It should be a balmy 41 degrees C when I get there! I'm not sure if the World Cup will have much effect on Vegas but I'm looking forward to watching a few games even if Scotland haven't made it again. There are two UFC events on while I'm there so will definitely try to get to one of those too. I haven't picked which WSOP event I'm playing but it will be one of #24, #36, #47, #54 - all of these are the same format and $1k entry.

Now for some not very interesting hands, but ones that made me feel good.

$0.25/$0.50 Pot Limit Holdem • 6 Players

Generated by

  • Pre-Flop ($0.75, 6 players)Hero is BTN
  • sK sA
UTG raises to $1.75, 2 folds, Hero calls $1.75, SB raises to $7.50, 1 fold, UTG calls $5.75, Hero calls $5.75
  • Flop ($23, 3 players)
  • dA d9 s9
SB goes all-in $5.65, UTG calls $5.65, Hero raises to $45.60, UTG goes all-in $133.40, Hero goes all-in $82.85
  • Turn ($290.50, 3 players, 3 all-in)
  • cK
  • River ($290.50, 3 players, 3 all-in)
  • s2
  • Final Pot: $290.50
  • SB shows two pair, Aces and Nines
  • cAdQ
  • UTG shows two pair, Aces and Nines
  • dThA
  • Hero shows two pair, Aces and Kings
  • sKsA
  • Hero wins $282.55 (net +$146.60)
  • UTG collects $4.95 (net -$135.95)
  • SB lost $13.15

$0.50/$1 Pot Limit Holdem • 3 Players

Generated by

  • Pre-Flop ($1.50, 3 players)Hero is BB
  • dQ sK
BTN folds, SB calls $0.50, Hero checks
  • Flop ($2, 2 players)
  • c2 h8 cQ
SB checks, Hero bets $2, SB calls $2
  • Turn ($6, 2 players)
  • dK
SB checks, Hero bets $4.50, SB calls $4.50
  • River ($15, 2 players)
  • cK
SB bets $15, Hero raises to $60, SB goes all-in $73.90, Hero calls $13.90
  • Final Pot: $162.80
  • SB shows
  • c6c9
  • Hero shows a full house, Kings full of Queens
  • dQsK
  • Hero wins $161.80 (net +$80.40)
  • SB lost $81.40

$0.25/$0.50 Pot Limit Holdem • 6 Players

Generated by

  • Pre-Flop ($0.75, 6 players)Hero is CO
  • c7 c9
2 folds, Hero raises to $1.50, 1 fold, SB calls $1.25, BB calls $1
  • Flop ($4.50, 3 players)
  • c2 dJ h8
SB checks, BB bets $2.25, Hero calls $2.25, SB calls $2.25
  • Turn ($11.25, 3 players)
  • cQ
SB checks, BB bets $4.50, Hero calls $4.50, SB folds
  • River ($20.25, 2 players)
  • c3
BB bets $20.25, Hero goes all-in $59.50, BB calls $39.25
  • Final Pot: $139.25
  • BB shows
  • c5c8
  • Hero shows a flush, Queen high
  • c7c9
  • Hero wins $136.25 (net +$68.50)
  • SB lost $3.75
  • BB lost $67.75

$0.50/$1 Pot Limit Holdem • 4 Players

Generated by

  • Pre-Flop ($1.50, 4 players)Hero is SB
  • s9 hT
1 fold, BTN calls $1, Hero calls $0.50, BB checks
  • Flop ($3, 3 players)
  • d9 d7 h7
Hero checks, BB checks, BTN checks
  • Turn ($3, 3 players)
  • cT
Hero bets $2.50, BB calls $2.50, BTN calls $2.50
  • River ($10.50, 3 players)
  • dT
Hero bets $6, BB raises to $12, BTN folds, Hero raises to $46.50, BB goes all-in $48.85, Hero calls $2.35
  • Final Pot: $108.20
  • BB shows
  • d6d2
  • Hero shows a full house, Tens full of Nines
  • s9hT
  • Hero wins $106.20 (net +$53.85)
  • BB lost $52.35
  • BTN lost $3.50