Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Reasons I don't play tons of tourneys

The tilt factor is definitely one of the main reasons I don't play tons of tourneys. Since I can not manage tilt well, I prefer not to play if I'm not in a good mood.

Hard to continue playing (at least for me) when your days start like this:

PokerStars $100+$9 (Rebuys)
Hold'em No Limit - Level II (15/30) - 2006/05/31 - 14:31:06 (ET)
Table '25455500 6' 9-max Seat #2 is the button
Seat 1: xhalvisx (1050 in chips)
Seat 2: Simon Sun (2840 in chips)
Seat 3: mickey2 (2590 in chips)
Seat 4: #1PEN (2930 in chips)
Seat 5: sirio11 (2870 in chips)
Seat 6: mohamar (1600 in chips)
Seat 7: actnjksn1 (1590 in chips)
Seat 8: monster555 (3330 in chips)
Seat 9: Pet Monster (3700 in chips)
mickey2: posts small blind 15
#1PEN: posts big blind 30
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to sirio11 [Th Tc]
sirio11: raises 60 to 90
Pet Monster: calls 90
mickey2: calls 75
*** FLOP *** [4h 6d 6c]
mickey2: checks
sirio11: bets 180
Pet Monster: calls 180
mickey2: folds
*** TURN *** [4h 6d 6c] [7s]
sirio11: checks
Pet Monster: bets 350
sirio11: raises 2250 to 2600 and is all-in
Pet Monster: calls 2250
*** RIVER *** [4h 6d 6c 7s] [9c]
*** SHOW DOWN ***
sirio11: shows [Th Tc] (two pair, Tens and Sixes)
Pet Monster: shows [9h 9d] (a full house, Nines full of Sixes)
Pet Monster collected 5860 from pot

I love the way I played the hand, but still lost the 96% favorite. Even we were in the 1st hour, I decided not to rebuy because of the tilt factor, and usually after starting the day like this, I find pretty hard to play more. I know it's silly to get mad and I know I don't follow my own advise about just concentrating in the things you can control. But oh well, to my defense I'll cite Walt Whitman:

Do I contradict myself?
Very well then I contradict myself,
(I am large, I contain multitudes.)

Walt Whitman, "Song of Myself"
US poet (1819 - 1892)

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Hasta cuando

I need to win the Main Event in the WSOP this year just to break even in luck for the year. Really. This endless bad luck streak is really amazing. I don't know what to think anymore. I'm a mathematician, but this streak is really making me to lose my faith in science. Maybe things are just evening out; I have been so lucky in life and maybe I deserve some bad luck in this silly game. As soon as May comes to an end. I'll post some amazing numbers for 2006, so some of you have an idea about what I'm taking about. Variance in tournament poker is really something else.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Day One (Part IV) Bellagio Championship

I'll comment here some hands played by Scotty Nguyen.

With blinds 200-400 and 50 ante, Scotty raised to 1400 in LP, I was seated exactly to his left in the CO, I had AQ and the first important decision was to call or raise, with deep stacks, I don't like to build big pots with AQ, still, most of the time I raise in this spot, but in this case I decided to call, one more reason why I decided to call was the old man in the BB, since I thought there was a good chance of him calling the raise with Ax and he have showed a willingness to call with one pair hands. He didn't disappoint me and he called also. The flop came As7c3s, which looked like a good flop for me, old man checked, Scotty decided to make a probe bet of 1500 into the almost 5k pot. I knew Scotty was going to make this bet with no hand or with a monster, so his bet gave me no information, but I knew also Scotty is a pretty logical player and not the kind of player that will make wild random big bets in future streets, also, there was a chance the reraise would make the old man fold, nah, if he had the A, he was calling. Still, I decided to just call again the 1500 and old man called also. Now the pot had about 9500. Turn was the 8d, old man checked and Scotty checked, now I knew I have Scotty beaten, no way he was checking here with a better hand than mine, so I decided to bet 5000, old man called, I was almost positive Scotty was folding, he thought for a while, played with his chips as if he was going to raise, but he decided to call !!!!, mmmmmm, what the hell is happening, old man could have by now a weak ace or a flush draw; but what about Scotty, I didn't think he had an ace, or any made hand, most probably he was drawing also, I didn't think he had the flush draw, what did Scotty have?. Probably he caught a draw in the turn with something like T9, maybe he had 65; with 2 callers, I felt like my hand was really vulnerable. The river was a terrible card, the Js, flush got there, straight got there, even AJ got there, old man checked, good, Scotty checked !!!, nice, I knew I had Scotty beaten, Should I value bet here? Nah, too dangerous, and old man was the kind of player who could check a flush or AJ there, so I checked. Old man showed A5, Scotty mucked and I raked a nice pot. I was surprised by Scotty, what did he have?. After the hand, he seemed mortified and later told me, he misplayed that hand, he told me he had KK and thought I may bet a flush draw in the turn, but still he should have folded after the old man called. He was mad at himself because of the way he played the KK.
The day didn't go well for Scotty and he was down to about 30k when the following hand happened; Italian young guy with about 70k fumbled to make a raise UTG, the blinds were 300-600 with 75 ante; this guy spoke almost no English at all, not even the numbers; so when he wanted to raise, he could not raise something like 1800 if there weren't 100 chips in his stack, because he couldn't say "1800", so he always raised to even amounts depending on the chips he had, I remember him raising to 5k in earlier rounds because of this same problem; happily here he had 2 1000 chips, so he raised to 2k, Scotty reraised to 5500, and Italian guy called. Flop came T63 rainbow, as soon as he saw the flop, his face literally lighten up, you could tell the flop hit him, and what did he do being first to act? Well, he went all in for about 65k !!!!. Scotty looked like he could not take it anymore and called almost instantly; Italian guy had 66 for a set and Scotty had AA. I don't know if I'd folded AA there, but at the very least, I'm not calling instantly, and you just have to see the guy, he looked so happy; as soon as he went all in, I knew he had a set, Scotty should have taken some time; and more importantly, he should have remembered a hand they both played earlier; in the 1st level Italian guy raised preflop to 600, Scotty called and I called, flop came 973, he checked, Scotty bet 1100, I folded and then he check raised to 5000 and Scotty called. 2 in the turn and he checked again, Scotty bet 6000 and Italian guy just called, 3 in the river, Italian guy checked again, Scotty bet 10000 and he called again and showed JJ, Scotty mucked. If you analyze the way he played the JJ there, it was unlikely he had an overpair in the T63 flop and went all in with it; and you add the analysis of the JJ hand to the big smile he had in his face and I really think the AA belonged to the muck; but Scotty looked impatient, he knew he was at a very good table, he was the best player and he hadn't been able to get some chips; so, he just decided to go. That day we just lost 2 players in the table, Scotty and Victor. In the last level I won a nice pot with 87c, I already posted that hand here. I finished the day with 68k, better than the average, I didn't want the day to end, since I really liked my table. But I felt confident with my game and eager to play day 2.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Slowly coming back

I'm yet to have a great result, but I have had some regular ones. This Sunday I made it deep in the Full Tilt $200K and in the Stars $1 Million; I won $380 in the Full Tilt and $1400 in the Stars. Later I almost made the final table in the Stars $100 Rebuys, got 11th for another $1146. Tuesday I made the Final Table in the $30 Rebuys at Paradise, got 6th out of 1225 and won $3914.68. Yesterday I made the final table in the Stars $150, got 4th out of 482, good for $5061. I have made some adjustments, but mostly I'm coming back to winning my 80/20, 80% of the time, to win 50% of the time my coin flips. I know things will get better.
I still have some trouble playing marginal hands in a final table. My last hand in the Stars $150 was A6, again the dreaded Ax. We were playing 4 handed, I was the short stack with about 92k, but with 4-8k blinds, I was not desperate, UTG folded and I was in the button with A6, what to do, any raise will commit a lot of my stack, and if they reraise, I'll be committed to call; if they just call the raise and stop and go me in the flop, what am I going to do?. Should I fold A6 in the button 4 handed?, no way, so I decided push was the best course of action, BB called with 77 and that was it. Really, I just don't know how to play this hand with the conditions described. If any of you find a better way to play it, please post your opinion, I'd appreciated it.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Bellagio blog entries still to come

These are the entries related to the Bellagio 25k tournament that I'm yet to write:

Day One (Part IV): Some Scotty Nguyen hands and his busto hand.

Day Two (Part I): Table with Huck Seed, Josh Arieh, Prahlad and Varkonyi.

Day Two (Part II): The wild ride with Jean Robert Bellande, Arnold Spee and Paul Darden.

Day Two (Part III): Table with Doyle Brunson and Vanesa Russo (with some incredible poker comments by somebody who later got 7th in that event).

Day Three is already posted.

Some general comments about the whole experience.

That's about 7 entries, so, at the rate I'm writting these days, most probably by Christmas 2006 my Bellagio Trip report will be done.

I made some Final Tables this month and have had a lot of cashes, but all of them really small, I'm barely ahead in the month. I really need a good score, winning is so 2005.

WSOP is coming !!!!!!, I really, really want to play in as many events as my bankroll allows. Lets see, I have like a month to build a WSOP bankroll. For sure I'll be playing the Main Event, hopefully I'll play more than 1 event.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Monkeys writing masterpieces

What are the odds if you put 100 monkeys to type on 100 computers, they ended up typing Hamlet or Dante's Divine Comedy in your lifetime?
I remember reading about this talking about the nature of probability.

Jeans, 1930
... It was, I think, Huxley, who said that six monkeys, set to strum unintelligently on typewriters for millions of millions of years, would be bound in time to write all the books in the British Museum. If we examined the last page which a particular monkey had typed, and found that it had chanced, in its blind strumming, to type a Shakespeare sonnet, we should rightly regard the occurrence as a remarkable accident, but if we looked through all the millions of pages the monkeys had turned off in untold millions of years, we might be sure of finding a Shakespeare sonnet somewhere amongst them, the product of the blind play of chance. In the same way, millions of millions of stars wandering blindly through space for millions of millions of years are bound to meet with every sort of accident, and so are bound to produce a certain limited number of planetary systems in time. Yet the number of these must be very small in comparison with the total number of stars in the sky.

Sir James Jeans.
The Mysterious Universe. New York: Macmillian Co., 1930, page 4

Sorry for the lack of updates guys, but I'm going crazy, I'm going f-ing nuts, all I see these days are monkeys writing masterpieces; they just don't stop. Hopefully they have internet connection in the mental institution I'm heading for. Haha, kidding, but you know what I mean.
Actually, you don't. Especially if you're a young poker player or if you don't have enough years playing poker. But don't worry, you'll be there, you'll see monkeys writing too. Hopefully you'll see your monkeys and laugh; I can't laugh, I want to kill the motherfuckers.

P.S. For my non-poker readers, I'm fine, really mom, I'm good, Diana and the kids are doing great. There are no monkeys being killed at home. You know we love animals.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Day One (Part III) Bellagio Championship

The important hands I remember from the second level 100-200, were the following ones.
This hand involves my 2 marks for the day, Victor and old man. Old man raised to 1200 in MP, Victor called in the BB. Flop came KT7, and Victor fired a 5k bet !!. Old man didn't like it but still called and had like 35k behind. Turn was a 3, Victor checked !!?? and old man checked behind. River was a Q; Victor checked again; now old man decided to bet 5k, I was confused by this bet, I put old man in AK or AA. AJ and QQ didn't make too much sense since he called the big 5k bet in the flop; now Victor raised to 35k, what? I just couldn't believe Victor had AJ, but who knows, I though maybe he had KQ, but his turn check does not make too much sense; probably a busted QJ and he was trying to make the old man fold; a very, very bad idea since he had showed before that he had a strong willingness to call anytime he had a good pair, old man was really nervous and I can tell he was afraid to be out of the tourney, but of course he called, Victor didn't show and old man showed QQ for a set in the river. Old man called a 5k bet in a K high flop with QQ !!, and Victor made a 35k bluff in the river against a calling station!!. This hand reassured me I needed to take their chips. I would have the opportunity to play with the 2 of them in this same level. Unfortunately, I lost both hands, but I think I played them well and didn't lose much.
The first big pot I played with the old man was the following. With 100-200, I raised to 600 UTG with JJ, European guy called and he called. Flop came Th8h3d, I bet 1200, European guy folded and old man raised to 3000. I decided to call. Turn was Td, not a good card, I checked, he bet just 2000, which was weird, to me it meant he didn't have the T; it was a scary bet, problem with raising there was he was a calling station; so, maybe he had a flush draw, a str draw with something like J9s, maybe a pair of 99, but most probably KK-QQ, but I though he would have reraised with KK, so, I decided to call. The river was a Kd, I checked, he checked and showed QQ.
The first big pot I played with Victor, was the following one. He limped in LP, I was in the small blind with 43 and completed with 100-200 blinds, BB checked. Flop came 4d4c2d, I thought this one my chance to get some of Victor chips, I bet 400, BB folded and Victor just called. I was a little disappointed with that, since he kept making all kind of overbets. Turn was a 5h, now I had my trip 4s and the open ended straight draw, I bet 1000 and he called again. The river was the 9d; I didn't think Victor had the flush, so I decided to make a 3000 value bet, he quickly raised to 15000 and he had about another 17k left. Yikes, I knew Victor was the wild type; but I also knew he made hands sometimes, lol, Was this one a real hand?. I took a lot of time in this one, trying to get Victor's reaction. I asked him "Do you have a full house?". Nothing, but he seemed kind of confident. I asked him, how much he had left, like I was going to put him all in. He wasn't thrilled about that option, but he seemed like he was calling if I did that; so I thought he had the flush and folded, he showed me the Ad6d.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Proyecto Abel y Mesa final de Pot Limit Omaha

El fin de semana en el poker no fue bueno, varios torneos grandes, el de $1000 en PokerRoom, de $200 Rebuys en Paradise, el de $500 en Stars y el de $350 en Party. No hubo suerte en ninguno de ellos, pero el domingo ya lunes en la madrugada decidi jugar un torneo de $20 de Pot Limit Omaha, para acumular puntos para el concurso que tenemos en el foro de 2+2 y llegue a la mesa final, quedendo en 3er lugar. La verdad esta muy divertido cambiar de juego, en Omaha te dan 4 cartas, de las cuales necesariamente tienes que usar 2, las manos son iguales a las de holdem, pero pues con tantas cartas, parece que siempre tienes juego; el problema es que los demas tambien, es muy facil que alguien tenga los "nuts". Tambien jugue un torneo de $30 de NLH y quede en el dinero, la verdad es que claramente se ven las diferencias en el nivel de juego entre los torneos de > $100 y estos de $20, $30. Este mes estare jugando torneos de todo tipo, para acumular los mas puntos posibles en el TLB de PokerStars.

La parte mas importante del fin de semana fue el inicio del Proyecto Abel. El proyecto Abel esta dedicado a estudiantes de preparatoria; los mejores estudiantes en el area de Matematicas de las escuelas de Ciudad Juarez, un grupo de compañeros lo iniciamos en 1988 y desde entonces ha estado funcionando año tras año. Es un proyecto muy bonito basado en el amor a aprender, el objetivo es darles a los muchachos clases especiales y conocimientos avanzados en el area de Matematicas y Ciencia que regularmente no les dan en la escuela; tambien discutimos temas de indole social, problemas de la comunidad. Todas las platicas son completamente gratis para los muchachos y año tras año tenemos experiencias muy gratificantes. En este proyecto conoci a Diana, ella fue alumna del proyecto y mas tarde fue organizadora del mismo. Nuestro amor, tiene mucho que ver con el espiritu de Abel. Abel es una de las cosas que he hecho en la vida de la cual estoy muy orgulloso, es una de esas cosas que haces que hace que tu vida tenga sentido. Para nosotros en el mundo del poker, es dificil decir que nuestra vida es muy productiva socialmente hablando. Abel es una oportunidad de darle algo a la sociedad en la que vives, aunque Abel ha estado presente en mi vida desde mucho antes de empezara a jugar poker, para mi transformar el entorno de manera positiva con tus acciones es sumamente importante, Abel es una de mis pequeñas contribuciones para hacer este mundo un mejor lugar.