Monday, December 28, 2009

La virtud de ser paciente: sometimes you just have to let it go ... yet again.

Una de las diferencias notables entre jugar poker online y live, es el numero de manos que juegas; mientras que online puedes estar jugando muchas manos a la vez y literalmente estar tomando decisiones importantes cada segundos, live la mayor parte del tiempo es contemplacion.
A veces los juegos son tan buenos live que simplemente una buena dosis de paciencia y tu ABC game es suficiente para ganar. Sin embargo este concepto de paciencia es tricky, a veces piensas que estas siendo muy paciente y por fin te llega una mano jugable contra el maniac, la paciencia no se debe terminar preflop, el hecho de que has tenido suficiente paciencia para aguantar jugar en muchas situaciones marginales, no garantiza que este pot sera tuyo, no debes echar el analisis por la borda, no hay tal cosa como merecer ganar un pot, no cometas el error de desesperarte postflop, esto me ha pasado montones de veces y es un leak que es muy costoso. En mi ultima sesión perdí todo mi stack por ejemplo con un par de 88, en un board T9494, porque el maniac me debía seguramente de estar blofeando, y aun cuando si existía esa posibilidad, analizando mas detenidamente la jugada, era mas mi willingness to play a pot que un objetivo análisis de los posibilidades de estar siendo blofeado lo que me hizo perder un buy in. La paciencia no solo se aplica preflop, nunca eches tu analisis por la borda, la paciencia es importante pero sin tu analisis situacional en realidad no vale gran cosa. Even when you have waiting a lot, sometimes you just have to let it go, yet again.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Live Poker is much better than Internet Poker, I mean if you enjoy having fun

What a night yesterday at Aria, it was full of good poker action, playing 2-5 NL and I was involved in so many good hands to fill the remainder of the year on the blog.
For example one hand I raised preflop with JJ, 2 callers, flop came QJ9, I have a pretty good hand right?, well, I folded in the flop after a bet, call, raise, reraise, all in, all in, fold !!! (my actions bolded), the other 2 guys happened to have QQ and KT !!!!; another one when I was "trapping" with the same JJ and a board QJ447, raising the guy in the river, just the "correct" amount and just being called with QQ !!!!. Another one preflop with a raise, reraise, rereraise, call!, and me going all in and doing my best AA impersonation, making both of them fold !!
I won't tell the details of this and other hands right now, but I do want to make this point. Hands like this is why we love poker, and it's a hell of a lot different to experience them live than online, live all the action mounting, all the decisions, the whole table excited, the all ins, the agonizing sick fold, the agonizing sick call,looking into the souls of your opponents, the trash talk, the mind games, the word games, analyzing all your options, just being there !!!, I guess all that beats the hell of "Honey, can you believe what just happened" (that's when you're one of the lucky ones, some have to settle with talking to their dog about the incredible poker hand).
I know internet poker and live poker are two different animals, hell yeah, just saying live is way, way more fun than online.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Are the nuts, really the nuts? La importancia de la posición cuando compartes las nueces.

Esta noche jugue en Aria 2-5 NL otra vez, esta vez solo unos 90 minutos, gane unos $350 y me fui porque la mesa no estaba muy buena.
La mano mas interesante que jugue fue la siguiente, en la que se puede ver claramente la importancia de estar en posicion:

Con 10c7c llame en LP, quizás era MP que parece LP porque el juego era 10-handed, lol. Llame porque llamaron varios antes de mi y la mesa no estaba haciendo mucho raise, asi que la probabilidad de que alguien hiciera raise despues era poca; llamaron varios mas los $5 y como unos 7 vimos el flop:


Checan yo checo y todos los demas checan, jajaja

Turn fue Js

Como pueden ver tengo los nuts pero pues con tanta gente jugando, seguramente alguien mas las tiene, aqui mi estrategia es tratar de ganar lo que se pueda, es decir si alguien apuesta solo llamar, si no, apostar poco, para que agun KJ o algo asi se quede, so much for the plan, BB apuesta $20, EP le hace raise a $60, mmmmmmm, no me gusta la accion pero pues los nuts son los nuts y solo llamo los $60, los demas se tiran y ahora BB decide irse all in con $261 mas, arrggghhh, porque arrrggghhh diran ustedes, despues de todo tengo los nuts no?, pues si, pero el problema es que a la mejor todos los que estamos en la mano los tienen y alguien puede tener 10s9s por ejemplo, o sea nos puede ganar en el river, asi que a lo mas vamos a ganar poco (casi nada) o perder mucho, EP se queda pensando y decide llamar los $261 (tiene como $500 mas atras), demontres, ahora mas probabilidad de que alguno tenga el flush draw, pienso un poco y decido que como EP no se fue all in, no tiene el flush draw, asi que si existe un flsh draw solo es posible que lo tenga BB, pero pues este no era particularmente un buen jugador, asi que igual y solo tiene el T y ni cuenta se ha dado del flush draw, asi que decido llamar los $261 y me quedan como $600 atras.

El river es un Ad

Perfecta carta para mi, pues tengo posición sobre EP, el checa como era de esperarse y que hago yo, pues obviamente ya se que tiene así que me voy all in, se queda piense y piense y piense como 3 minutos, agonizando pensando que me llego el full house y que yo andaba llamando con 2 pares, jaja, seguramente, pero pues al final decide llamar y se alivia al ver que todos solo tenemos el T, y hacemos un split, BB efectivamente ni flush draw tenia solo el T, lo cual hace que su movida all in sea bastante mala. Fue una mano divertida donde casi no gane nada pero jugue el river perfecto y casi me sale, pero pues se puede ver claramente la importancia de la posicion y la importancia de poner presion en tus oponentes.

Les dejo aqui una foto mas de City Center, esta es en Crystals, son esculturas de hielo, si, hielo de verdad de ese de agua congelada, jaja, y como dije en el pasado blog, todo City Center es espectacular.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Aria opened at Vegas and of course I was there to inaugurate their poker room

City Center grand opening was today, Aria casino opened at 11:59PM Wednesday, I tried to be there on time, but I couldn't find any parking and wasted a lot of time, at the end I could find one between the Montecarlo and New York New York casinos, I wasn't really late since by 12:10AM I was already in the poker room which was really packed, and by 12:15AM I was already playing my first hand at the Aria, probably the first 2-5 NL game that opened ever !!, my table was good, since only 4 of us (out of 10) bought in for $500, rest of the table bought between $200 and $300 which is always a good sign. My stack at the beginning of the session

The first hand I was UTG, so I was the first to fold a hand, next hand I won my first pot betting a K22 flop with my 78o; everybody started to play really careful, but as usual after a little while people start to get anxious to play pots, and my table didn't dissapoint, there were two German guys, one of them who tried to bluff me a little too much; one guy who was known by a lot of the people there since he was a WPT finalist or something, 3 young friends with one of them pretty happy and drinking, tipping dealers left and right and just hemorrhaging money at the table, 2 other middle age guys who looked like pros but played pretty tight for my taste, basically the table was pretty, pretty good for me, since I could not identify a single player who was going to be a threat. Don't remember many hands, one I raised to 20 with 88 in EP, German guy called me, flop was J72, I made a $35 continuation bet, he called, next card was a 7, I decided to check and he bet $50, I called, river was a 4 and I checked again, he promptly bet $100, I thought for a while and was going to muck but he insisted on showing his hand to his friend and when I hinted I was gonna call, he made a motion to show his hand, there was something about his willingness to show that didn't add up, so I called and he just had AK. Another hand I remember was a pretty funny one, between German guy, happy guy and a pretty nice lady, they were all in after the flop, German guy won the main pot, but happy guy and lady didn't realized there should be a side pot and both mucked their cards !!!, which I found pretty hilarious.
Session went pretty smooth and I booked a pretty good win, without too much effort to be honest, they let me win some pots because they didn't use too much pressure and also some of them insisted on calling all my value bets, so this was my stack at the end after 5 hours of playing (with $3 chip on first plane)

By 5AM I was really tired, so I decided to call it a night, but I think I will be back today and the weekend and hopefully I find some other good tables to play, there is a good chance since the place is new and everybody want to play and be there.

This is a picture I took from the outside when leaving

The place is really something, all City Center looked beautiful, Aria, the Veer towers, Crystals, the tram, everything was great and it was very enjoyable just to walk here and there, there was art everywhere and all was really modern and cool, man, I love Vegas.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Golden Globe Nominees

I'm yet to see 3 out of the 5 best picture drama nominees, I so want to go and see Avatar, trailer looks great, I liked The Hurt Locker but not as much as the critics circle, and I liked Inglourious Basterds a lot, being a big Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction fan, I'm glad Tarantino is back up there in the awards circle. Hopefully I can find some good movie bets and hopefully I don't chicken out this year and bet like a man, lol, but seriously, I have left money there by not betting more last years, every year I have made money betting on movies so far and I want to continue that lovely tradition.

Motion Picture, Drama
The Hurt Locker
Inglourious Basterds
Up in the Air

Motion Picture, Comedy/Musical
500 Days of Summer
The Hangover
It’s Complicated
Julie & Julia

Actress, Drama
Emily Blunt, The Young Victoria
Sandra Bullock, The Blind Side
Helen Mirren, The Last Station
Carey Mulligan, An Education
Gabby Sidibe, Precious

Actor, Drama
Jeff Bridges, Crazy Heart
George Clooney, Up in the Air
Colin Firth, A Single Man
Morgan Freeman, Invictus
Tobey Maguire, Brothers

Actor Comedy/Musical
Matt Damon, The Informant
Daniel Day Lewis, Nine
Robert Downey Jr., Sherlock Holmes
Joe Gordon Levitt, 500 Days of Summer
Michael Stuhlbarg, A Serious Man

Actress, Comedy
Sandra Bullock, The Proposal
Marion Cotillard, Nine
Julia Roberts, Duplicity
Meryl Streep, Julie & Julia
Meryl Streep, It’s Complicated

Kathryn Bigelow, The Hurt Locker
James Cameron, Avatar
Clint Eastwood, Invictus
Jason Reitman, Up in the Air
Quentin Tarantino, Inglourious Basterds

Best Supporting Actress
Penelope Cruz, Nine
Vera Farmiga, Up in the Air
Anna Kendrick, Up in the Air
Mo’nique, Precious
Julianne Moore, A Single Man

Supporting Actor
Matt Damon, Invictus
Woody Harrelson, The Messenger
Christopher Plummer, The Last Station
Stanley Tucci, The Lovely Bones
Christoph Waltz, Inglourious Basterds

Neill Blomkampt & Terri Tatchell, District 9
Mark Boal, The Hurt Locker
Nancy Meyers, It’s Complicated
Jason Reitman & Sheldon Turner, Up in the Air
Quentin Tarantino, Inglourious Basterds

Original Score
Michael Giacchino, Up
Marvin Hamlisch, The Informant
James Horner, Avatar
Abel Krozeniowski, A Single Man
Karen O. and Carter Burwell, Where the Wild Things Are

Foreign Language Film
Broken Embraces
The Maid
Un Prophete
The White Ribbon

Original Song
“Cinema Italiano,” Nine
“I Want To Come Home,” Everybody’s Fine
“I See You,” Avatar
“The Weary Kind,” Crazy Heart
“Winter,” Brothers

Monday, December 14, 2009

Perdí, pero estoy feliz

Porque estoy jugando !!!, en estos 4 días logre jugar mas de 2500 manos en Internet cash games, lo cual es un tremendo logro para mi, jugué 2-4 NL, 3-6 NL, 5-10 NL y 30-60 LH, de hecho hasta algunas manos de Razz 30-60; ja, hasta un torneo de $33 (en el cual llegue al dinero, a whopping $62). Gane en todos los limites con excepción del .... 2-4 NL, así es, el que se supone debe ser mas fácil para mi y me fue horrible, tan horrible que opaco mis ganancias en todo lo demás y salí perdiendo un poco por los 4 días. En un siguiente post explicare porque creo que se dio este fenómeno, por lo pronto me siento muy bien porque estoy jugando bastante lo cual es bueno, solo paciencia y los resultados vendrán.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Checa el flop y dejalos imaginar que el pot ya es de ellos

Con la agresividad de los jugadores en internet hoy en dia y puesto que la mayoria de ellos son buenos, no dejan pasar una oportunidar de apostar, hacer value bets y comprar pots, tienes que ingeniartelas para contrarrestarlos .
Por lo general si tu hiciste raise antes del flop, no es bueno dejar de apostar el flop con manos marginales, pero a veces sobre todos con jugadores que se creen que al checar tu el flop ya el pot es de ellos conviene hacerlo.
En la siguiente mano eso fue lo que hice, es un juego de 3-6 NL en Stars, hice raise en posición con una mano marginal, me salio solo un 7 en el flop lo cual es bastante marginal, pero eso fue suficiente para ganar unos $70 extras nada mas por checar el flop.

***** Hand History for Game 36436115598 ***** (Poker Stars)
$600.00 USD NL Texas Hold'em - Tuesday, December 08, 05:10:31 ET 2009
Table Walhalla III (Real Money)
Seat 5 is the button
Seat 1: kocobeware ( $600.00 USD )
Seat 2: radocz999 ( $668.85 USD )
Seat 3: MuckeDBoY ( $1849.05 USD )
Seat 4: sirio11 ( $602.10 USD )
Seat 5: TheKaas ( $600.00 USD )
Seat 6: tallie23 ( $759.00 USD )
tallie23 posts small blind [$3.00 USD].
kocobeware posts big blind [$6.00 USD].
** Dealing down cards **
Dealt to sirio11 [ Js 7s ]
radocz999 folds
MuckeDBoY folds
sirio11 raises [$18.00 USD]
TheKaas folds
tallie23 calls [$15.00 USD]
kocobeware folds
** Dealing Flop ** [ 7h, Kh, 3c ]
tallie23 checks
sirio11 checks
** Dealing Turn ** [ 2h ]
tallie23 bets [$18.00 USD]
sirio11 calls [$18.00 USD]
** Dealing River ** [ 3d ]
tallie23 bets [$48.00 USD]
sirio11 calls [$48.00 USD]
tallie23 shows [Ts, Jc ]
sirio11 shows [Js, 7s ]
sirio11 wins $171.00 USD from main pot

algunos de estos jugadores compradores de pots no lo pueden evitar, les checan el flop y automáticamente viene su apuesta en el turn y como les llamaron pues tienen que aventarse otro bluff en el river; quizás a muchos les pueda parecer mi jugada pasiva, pero en el medio actual tan duro de jugar en Internet donde parece que todos son pros o semipros pues te las tienes que ingeniar. No digo que jugar al check-call sea bueno, lo que digo es que en ciertos spots quizás sea la jugada mas profitable.

Monday, December 07, 2009

I hate folding trips on the flop, but it was the right thing to do, or so I think

This Saturday, Sunday morning I arrived at The Winn to play 2-5 NL at 1AM, I started winning but at the end after some 11 hours it would be a disastrous session, pretty good table but I just couldn't win; I've been there, so I just need to suck it up and hope to have better luck next time.
The most interesting hand was the following:

UTG raised to $15, everybody called and I had 87o in LP, so I called with the rest of the table, family pot.

Flop: 7h7d2h

pretty nice, exactly what I want, UTG bet $20, UTG+1 raised to $80 !!, folded to me, I didn't think much of his raise, but I wanted to price the flushes over there, my options were call or raise, the original raiser was a bad player and if he had a big pair he was going to play his stack with that flop, I opted for raising, and I did it t $215, now the fun came, the next guy pondered my reraise and flat called !!!!, damn, I did't like it at all, but then the button guy went all in for like $1600, what???, what the fuck, folded to me, pretty big pot by now and I had about $600 left, so I thought my chances now where pretty, pretty slim to win and most possible I was way behind (one of the two HAS TO have 22 or something like A7 right?), so I decided to fold, next guy since he had more than $1000 behind agonized to make the decision and at the last moment decided to call his stack with 74s !!!!
Button guy had AQh !!!!!, blanks (Td and Kc) on the turn and river and 74s guy won a monster pot. It was the most commented hand of the night, everybody commenting about if button's decision to go AI was terrible or just pretty bad, if my decision to fold was right and if 74s guy decision to call was the right move.
Pretty, pretty interesting to analyze the 3 decisions, what do you think?

Friday, December 04, 2009

Creando tus pots en un torneo

Just for a change, decidí ponerme a jugar un torneo online, el de $150+12 en PokerStars, no se porque razón, pero me dieron ganas de jugar un torneo.
A pesar de tener mucho tiempo de no jugar torneos me sentí cómodo, la verdad no capte grandes diferencias con respecto a la ultima vez que jugué torneos online seguido, aunque una cosa que me extraño, fue que no se completaran los jugadores para el guaranteed de $100,000, con 661 jugadores, casi se completa.
Para ganar un torneo necesitas de toneladas de suerte, ganar all in tras all in, pero en medio de todas esas manos en las que solo te queda esperar la gracia de los dioses del poker, existen algunas manos básicas en las que tu creas tu suerte y son las que te permiten seguir adelante. Aqui les mostrare un ejemplo:

***** Hand History for Game 36257336803 ***** (Poker Stars)
Tourney Hand NL Texas Hold'em - Friday, December 04, 06:09:09 ET 2009
Table 234011045 19 (Real Money)
Seat 3 is the button
Seat 1: CORNDOGGOLF ( $3020.00 USD )
Seat 2: Kalimeth ( $3070.00 USD )
Seat 3: ALbaNiAnStaR ( $2830.00 USD )
Seat 4: PRETTY ILLY ( $2960.00 USD )
Seat 5: paulgees81 ( $2690.00 USD )
Seat 6: bdamages ( $2980.00 USD )
Seat 7: Yingda ( $3700.00 USD )
Seat 8: 12eeDe12 ( $2920.00 USD )
Seat 9: sirio11 ( $2840.00 USD )
PRETTY ILLY posts small blind [$10.00 USD].
paulgees81 posts big blind [$20.00 USD].
** Dealing down cards **
Dealt to sirio11 [ Ad Tc ]
bdamages folds
Yingda calls [$20.00 USD]
12eeDe12 folds
sirio11 raises [$80.00 USD]
Kalimeth folds
ALbaNiAnStaR folds
PRETTY ILLY calls [$70.00 USD]
paulgees81 calls [$60.00 USD]
Yingda calls [$60.00 USD]
** Dealing Flop ** [ 6d, 3s, 9d ]
paulgees81 checks
Yingda checks
sirio11 bets [$240.00 USD]
paulgees81 calls [$240.00 USD]
Yingda calls [$240.00 USD]
** Dealing Turn ** [ 3h ]
paulgees81 checks
Yingda bets [$140.00 USD]
sirio11 raises [$620.00 USD]
paulgees81 folds
Yingda calls [$480.00 USD]
** Dealing River ** [ Jc ]
Yingda checks
sirio11 bets [$1100.00 USD]
Yingda folds
sirio11 wins $1100.00 USD
sirio11 wins $2280.00 USD from main pot

Esta fue una mano en una etapa no tan relevante del torneo, pero fue la mano donde gane mas BBs de todas las manos que jugue en el torneo (unas 67), y lo mas importante, fue una mano creada, donde solo dependí completamente de mis acciones y los dioses del poker fueron simples espectadores.
Tenemos un caller en early position, mi raise con AT es digamos semistandard, tengo posición sobre el caller, llamaron las blinds, asi que tengo posición sobre todos lo cual es magnifico. El flop no me trajo nada, pero al checar todos, es un buen flop para hacer un continuation bet, aunque 2 de ellos no cooperan llamando. En el turn BB checa y EP hace una apuesta debil, es hora de mostrarle que mi raise preflop si significaba un par grande así que le hago reraise, BB se va pero EP llama; así que o tiene un flush draw (good) o tiene un 9 y no me cree (bad, but not that bad), en el river checa y apuesto pero no all in, para que parezca value bet y se tira. Muchas veces es difícil tirar el tercer barril, después de que ya te llamaron flop y turn, pero hay circunstancias en las que tienes que hacerlo y esta es una de ellas.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Playing a big hand live when you just sit down

This Friday (Saturday morning), I decided to go to play some 2-5 @ The Venetian, I got there around 2AM (nice starting working hour heh), and ask for 2-5 NL, there was a table with 2 seats open, so they sent me there and looking the stacks at the table I decided to buy $600, at the Venetian you don't need to post your first hand, so you get to play it for free and since I was on late position I decided to start playing. I got Kd3d, I was still busy with my wallet when the action came to me, nobody has called, so, I decided to just play the hand and call the $5, nobody called, just the blinds and we got to see the flop.

Flop: Qd7d4d

Wow, really nice for a first hand, but since almost no people in the pot and no preflop action, usually you don't win much, they checked to me and I of course checked. Turn was the 4s, LB bet $15, BB called the $15, nice, somebody had to have something, so I decided to raise to $65, why $65, since I was new to the table, they have no image of myself and I wanted them (or the one of the two with the better hand) to think I was buying the pot and called me if they have a Q, well, little blind didn't disappoint, but instead of calling me, he reraised to $115, BB folded; interesting, what does he have?, I saw no point on raising, so I decided to just call the $115 and see what happens with the river, river card was Kh, so we have a board:


He then decided to bet $250, mmmmmm, wait, a Q does not make much sense, so maybe he had a 4, a flush or a boat; or maybe he was full of air, continuing a failed resteal on the turn, betting that much with a 4 didn't make much sense either for me, if I was weak, that was way too much if he wanted me to call, so, flush, boat, air, I didn't see much value by reraising, so I decided to just call. He had 10d3d and I won the almost $800 pot.

Probably I would have played differently if this wasn't my first hand at the table, but I was pretty content with the way I played it, some may say I should have gone all in after the $250, but I don't really think it's the best play in the long run, since most of the hands that call my all in with that board (boat, A high flush) had me beat.

It was a good thing to start winning that night (morning?), since for the next 3-4 hours, I was not winning anything, not flopping any pair, lost the minimum with AA and KK, lost a turn all in, when I was a big favorite, all that crippled my stack, but I didn't lose my temper, just wait and wait, and eventually things came my way and after playing some 9-10 hours I scored a pretty good session.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Mis Lugares Preferidos para jugar No Limit Holdem en Las Vegas

Hasta ahora he jugado live NL cash games en Bellagio, Ceasars, MGM, Venetian, Planet Hollywood, Winn, Excalibur, Mandalay Bay, Mirage y quizás algún otro por ahí que no recuerdo al momento.
Solo he jugado 1-3 (1-2) NL, 2-5 NL y una que otra vez limit holdem, aunque muy rara vez, inclusive el 1-3 NL también rara vez lo juego y me he concentrado mas en jugar 2-5 NL, regularmente me siento con $500 y dependiendo de los stacks que haya en la mesa a veces me siento con mas (si es permitido por el casino).
Definitivamente mis 2 lugares favoritos para jugar son el Winn y el Venetian, a toda hora (de las que yo he ido) hay juegos, y el ambiente de estos 2 casinos para mi es mucho mejor que el de los demás. El parking lot en el Winn es super conveniente, aunque igual y no tengo problema en caminar lo que sea necesario para llegar al poker room de un casino, pero quizás el que el poker room del Winn este ubicado en un corredor rumbo al parking lot lo convierte en una distracción, imagínense nada mas la pasarela interminable de mujeres guapísimas en altas horas de la madrugada !!; el Venetian seguramente se convertirá en EL lugar para jugar poker en Las Vegas si no es que ya lo es, quizás ahorita vayan demasiados pros ahí para mi gusto, pero hasta ahora me han tocado suficientes mesas buenas, inclusive alguna vez que estaba en una mesa no muy buena por que parecía que todos eran regulares/pros, me pude aprovechar un poco de la situación puesto que ellos me veían a mi como el "turista" al que había que ganarle las fichas, y pues como no me conocían, eso hacia que no jugaran optimamente contra mi estilo de juego.
Trato de variar y jugar en la mayor cantidad de lugares posibles para tener un bajo perfil, pero sin lugar a dudas mis preferencias son por el momento el Winn y el Venetian.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Mas live poker que Internet poker por ahora

Ya esta llegando el tiempo de que empiece a jugar en serio, o es eso o a pedir welfare, jajaja, pero si es una realidad que mi bankroll se ha ido extinguiendo, me he dado cuenta que es muy dificil ganar dinero cuando no juegas :)
Por lo pronto creo que jugare mas live games que Internet, principalmente 2-5 NL en los casinos de Las Vegas, he jugado un poco en los meses anteriores y me ha ido muy bien, esperemos que esto siga así y pues ya relatare mis andanzas en Sin City.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Win small, win small, win small, lose big, rinse, repeat

I have had pretty few losing sessions this year, but usually I lost a lot when I have them. I have had many winning sessions this year (almost all of them), but usually I win just a little. I played just a few sessions on April, winning all of them, but of course, I gave all of it back with my first losing session on May, losing big playing 30-60 razz this Friday night, Saturday morning.

I know better, I know it's pretty unprofessional of me playing this way; I should play the same amount of time despite my sessions results, and maybe just play a little longer if the table conditions are about right; but despite all my years playing poker I can't. It's a bad poker habit, despite all my mathematical background, I'm still pretty session results oriented; I have made pretty little progress on this issue, maybe now when I'm stuck, I play pretty long sessions, instead of the marathonic sessions I used to play years ago and big losses today don't bother me as much as they used to and that's probably why I'm able to stop now.

Still, one of the things I would like to solve, it's to play more when I'm winning, hell, I would like to be able to play more in general. My playing time is a big, big problem. I'm just winning enough money to get by, and while I have never had any pretensions about being rich and have lots of money, not winning more money now, it's going to be an issue on the long run. It's an issue now, since I don't have the bankroll to play on the WSOP for example, and I would like to be able to do it; but it's going to be a bigger issue in the future, since I'm not saving, and I'm not that young anymore.

Friday, May 01, 2009

El universo adentro

No escribi en Marzo y Abril y vuelvo ahora empezando Mayo, no han sido buenos tiempos, los problemas de depresion y ataques de ansiedad are back with a vengeance. Dificil hablar de un tema en el cual casi nadie te entiende, quizas ni uno mismo se entiende, muchas veces tu propio cerebro conspira contra ti, vives una existencia dividida e incomprensible, lo importante es que de una o de otra forma sigues adelante; regresas al mundo, al universo afuera, interactuas, vives, aunque nunca dejes de salir del todo de ese mundo tuyo que nadie conoce, el universo adentro ........

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Academy Awards 2009

This Sunday I watched the Academy Awards religiously. I really don't remember not watching it all my adult life, I love it.
Still, this time I was a little pissed because of the no nomination for Best Picture for The Dark Knight, the no nomination for The Wrestler song by Bruce Springsteen and for the little love showed for Milk and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, which I consider pretty damn good films, and before some nits tell me, "little love"? TCCOBB was nominated for 13 Oscars, what are you talking about; well, I'm talking about it was pretty strange to me to read everywhere, they didn't stand a chance versus Slumdog Millionare, which while I think it's a pretty good movie, I liked TDN, Milk and TCCOBB more, and never understood the endless love for SM.

The show for me was fine, different format, not awful, not fantastic like I have read somewhere, just fine. The best moments for me were:

- Sean Penn win and speech
- Dustin Lance Black speech
- Kate Winslet speech (despite I love Meryl Streep, and it's really sad she has only 2 Oscars so far)
- Philippe Petit at stage when Man on Wire won best documentary, the guy is so awesome.

And about betting, I did pretty well, as always, I have won money on the Oscars all the times I have bet on them, I bet some on Penelope Cruz and Viola Davis, because the line for Viola was pretty good and Penelope just to assure a profit. I bet a little on Meryl Streep and lost. And I bet a lot on Sean Penn, I couldn't believe my eyes with the line for Sean Penn and Mickey Rourke, I just wish I would have bet more. I took Sean at +200, 2 to 1, are you kidding me?, it was a gift. Mickey was outstanding in The Wrestler and he's a really cool dude, but Sean Penn's Harvey Milk was just mesmerizing, amazing, not enough adjectives to describe his acting, if you have seen Dead Man Walking, Mystic River and then Milk, you know what I'm talking about. At the very least the real line should have been around even between Sean and Mickey, even I think Penn was the favorite.

All in all, a pretty good night, I have always enjoyed the show no matter what, and i think I'll always do.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

A river value-bet, a check-raise bluff and a good call

I think this limit holdem hand from the 50-100 game is pretty interesting, especially the play in the river.

PokerStars Game #24784067754: Hold'em Limit ($50/$100) - 2009/02/10 7:14:58 ET
Table 'Maia IV' 6-max Seat #2 is the button
Seat 1: sirio11 ($2892 in chips)
Seat 2: petknet ($3916.50 in chips)
Seat 3: eso_memory ($4750 in chips)
Seat 4: cherry1020 ($1382.50 in chips)
Seat 5: Zzeigler ($6336.50 in chips)
Seat 6: THE D0NAT0R ($13071 in chips)
eso_memory: posts small blind $25
cherry1020: posts big blind $50
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to sirio11 [4h 4s]
Zzeigler: folds
THE D0NAT0R: folds
sirio11: raises $50 to $100
petknet: folds
eso_memory: folds
cherry1020: calls $50
*** FLOP *** [3c 8s 7s]
cherry1020: checks
sirio11: checks
*** TURN *** [3c 8s 7s] [Tc]
cherry1020: bets $100
sirio11: calls $100
*** RIVER *** [3c 8s 7s Tc] [8d]
cherry1020: checks
sirio11: bets $100
cherry1020: raises $100 to $200
sirio11: calls $100
*** SHOW DOWN ***
cherry1020: shows [4d Ks] (a pair of Eights)
sirio11: shows [4h 4s] (two pair, Eights and Fours)
sirio11 collected $822 from pot
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot $825 | Rake $3
Board [3c 8s 7s Tc 8d]
Seat 1: sirio11 showed [4h 4s] and won ($822) with two pair, Eights and Fours
Seat 4: cherry1020 (big blind) showed [4d Ks] and lost with a pair of Eights

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Let them 3 barrel, a hand from 10-20 NLH

Playing against no fear 3 barreling players, no problem, let them do it

PokerStars Game #24680985801: Hold'em No Limit ($10/$20) - 2009/02/07 5:36:29 ET
Table 'Turandot IV' 6-max Seat #5 is the button
Seat 1: wayne120 ($1552.40 in chips)
Seat 2: Zelijostocko ($2291.75 in chips)
Seat 3: sirio11 ($2000 in chips)
Seat 4: ALLIN9865 ($2000 in chips)
Seat 5: jsizzle20 ($2337 in chips)
wayne120: posts small blind $10
Zelijostocko: posts big blind $20
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to sirio11 [Kc Qs]
sirio11: raises $40 to $60
ALLIN9865: folds
jsizzle20: calls $60
wayne120: folds
Zelijostocko: folds
*** FLOP *** [3c 8d Kh]
sirio11: checks
jsizzle20: bets $100
sirio11: calls $100
*** TURN *** [3c 8d Kh] [As]
sirio11: checks
jsizzle20: bets $215
sirio11: calls $215
*** RIVER *** [3c 8d Kh As] [7s]
sirio11: checks
jsizzle20: bets $525
sirio11: calls $525
*** SHOW DOWN ***
jsizzle20: shows [Js Ts] (high card Ace)
sirio11: shows [Kc Qs] (a pair of Kings)
sirio11 collected $1828 from pot
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot $1830 | Rake $2
Board [3c 8d Kh As 7s]
Seat 1: wayne120 (small blind) folded before Flop
Seat 2: Zelijostocko (big blind) folded before Flop
Seat 3: sirio11 showed [Kc Qs] and won ($1828) with a pair of Kings
Seat 4: ALLIN9865 folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 5: jsizzle20 (button) showed [Js Ts] and lost with high card Ace

I insta called the river by the way.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Time, the inexorably flowing of time

Today is my birthday, another one, and this one will also pass as all the others, as any other day does, the important thing it's I'm still here, I'm living life and I still have dreams. It does not matter how much time you have left, it's what you do with the one you have that counts. Sometimes I think I'm old, sometimes I think I'm young, but I don't know, there is something about life that make you be really appreciative, even if you're not a very religious person. I started this year more conscious of my health, I want to live a good life, spend quality time on Earth, with my loved ones, with so many people I'm yet to meet, I'm ready, life goes on and so do I. Still too many great things to do, life is good, time is a good friend ........

Monday, January 19, 2009

Some 50-100 Limit

I played yesterday 2 tourneys, a $100+9 and the warm up $200+15, I made the money in the warm up and actually I was playing pretty good, but happened to have KK at the same time some other guy had AA, I was left with very little an finished the tourney 237 out of 4180, bummer, good showing anyway, good for $836, bleh.
I couldn't sleep, so I decided to play some 30-60 and 50-100 limit holdem, I played close to 1000 hands, I was pretty stuck in the 30-60, and at some point I was losing near $3k, but I came back, lose a little on the 30-60 but won on the 50-100, for a net gain of around $500.
I felt comfortable playing 50-100, hopefully I'll play more in the future.

One hand from the 50-100, we were playing 4 handed at that moment:

PokerStars Game #24056739924: Hold'em Limit ($50/$100) - 2009/01/19 9:00:12 ET
Table 'Tros' 6-max Seat #3 is the button
Seat 2: DrArpadElo ($5397 in chips)
Seat 3: pokkermon ($5272 in chips)
Seat 4: sirio11 ($2174 in chips)
Seat 6: stormi22 ($2000 in chips)
sirio11: posts small blind $25
stormi22: posts big blind $50
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to sirio11 [7c Qc]
DrArpadElo: folds
pokkermon: folds
sirio11: raises $50 to $100
pokkermon said, "gg"
DrArpadElo is sitting out
stormi22: calls $50
*** FLOP *** [6c 7s 3d]
sirio11: bets $50
stormi22: raises $50 to $100
sirio11: calls $50
*** TURN *** [6c 7s 3d] [3s]
DrArpadElo leaves the table
sirio11: checks
stormi22: bets $100
sirio11: raises $100 to $200
stormi22: calls $100
*** RIVER *** [6c 7s 3d 3s] [Jd]
sirio11: bets $100
stormi22: calls $100
*** SHOW DOWN ***
sirio11: shows [7c Qc] (two pair, Sevens and Threes)
stormi22: mucks hand
sirio11 collected $998 from pot
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot $1000 | Rake $2
Board [6c 7s 3d 3s Jd]
Seat 2: DrArpadElo folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 3: pokkermon (button) folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 4: sirio11 (small blind) showed [7c Qc] and won ($998) with two pair, Sevens and Threes
Seat 6: stormi22 (big blind) mucked [2d 7d]

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Please vote for online poker !!!!!

The new Obama site is open to vote on ideas and for sure they'll take a look at the ones with the most votes

Move up the Online poker one with your vote !!!!!

Vote here, it takes seconds

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Does poker make you a worse person?

I made a post (Changing Paths: Experiences about leaving poker) on an internet forum about this, and wow, I received pretty good responses. Some of the are really interesting and I think I'm gonna post them here because they are good, deep and offer a pretty interesting perspective for us poker players; and I'll offer some of my thoughts in the topic.

This response from "Ice" caught my eye and opens a pretty good discussion: Do we get worse as persons playing poker?

Here is the post, I quote:

"Ive been playing for about 2.5 years and im thinking about quitting or at east taking a long break. its probably for different reasons then other posters here, TBH i just feel like poker has turned me into a worse person then i used to be. i remember when i started playing poker i was a pretty honest and genuinely nice guy(for a poker player lol) and i don't remember intentionally trying to make some other person feel bad for no reason. but recently i've just noticed that ive turned into kind of a dick at the poker table. i despise almost everybody i play against. i show people bluffs only to **** with them and make my opponents feel bad. ive noticed myself become more greedy and selfish over the last 6 months or so. u can just see what poker does too people when u play live, all the douchebags that u see at the casinos at 3AM. i mean it just cant be good for somebody to be around these types of people.

It also just makes no ****ing sense to spend your 20´s in front of a computer grinding 12 dollars an hour when i could get a job and make more then that for half the time and probably feel better about myself while doing it.

i think poker has just turned me into a really miserable person and i would be doing myself and everyone around me a favour if i quit or take a long break or something."

I certainly can feel related to a lot of things Ice mention here, I started my career as a poker player in a B&M casino, and I remember the long hours, the terrible smoke (thanks God now is banned almost anywhere from good), and the scumbags/degenerates anywhere. Despite finding online good friends and pretty nice people, most probably in general the online poker scene is no much different, super greedy people, cheaters, lairs, sociopaths, people with no morals aside from using everybody to make some bucks, I sometimes lol at the "moral codes" some poker players think they have, probably they saw the Godfather or something and pretend they have some untouchable honor and "deep" respect for the game and their peers; most of the time this is just BS, of course it's not general, hell I'm a poker player and a pretty decent human being :), and of course there are plenty more, but I agree with Ice that for those who have the scumbag gene, poker accelerates their path to scumbagland, and some who otherwise would be pretty social and nice people, poker deteriorates them. There should be a minuscule minority who poker helped them to be better human beings. And I'm not naive, I know there are plenty of professions who make people worse (in general), just pointing out mine (sadly) is one of them.
Even for us who try to avoid all these shit and are constantly fighting against it, it takes its toll, definitely. I think if you want to go pro or if you are already one, you need to take a hard look at this and answer yourself if you like such environment, if you are not bother by it or if you can be one of the uncorruptibles.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

New Year, Same Job? and you're never too old to live.

2009 is here, and one of the biggest decisions I need to make, it's if I want to continue without a "real job". I'm going to enter my 13th year playing poker, with some breaks from playing here and there, specially when I finished my masters degree at the beginning of the 2000's. There have been really good times, "the golden age of online poker", but as today, at least for us here living in the States the games are tougher every day. I left teaching at UTEP like 3 years ago, but I wonder if it's time to come back to teach at the college level, to look for a new path of make a living, be a movie critic or something, even to go back to school and pursue a PhD. Even if I do something different, I would still be playing some poker part time, hell, I have been playing poker part time (no time? hah) for a long time now; one of the funny things it's that I used to play plenty more when I had my full time lecturer job at UTEP, for some reason, having more free time, made me play less. Then I was very good in my job as a professor and I was very good playing poker, but I have to admit I was usually pretty tired since I used to do also some other projects like the Math Olympiad (still do), the Abel project (dead now), the UACJ (still going). The free time on my last 3 years have allowed me to spend a lot of time with my family, travel a lot, and that's priceless. My kids now are almost 6 and 4 and we have also another decision to make with them, homeschooling them or not?, and obviously since we need time to do that the 2 decisions are connected, Diana has also her own plans about what would she like to do and whatever we decide, our life is most probably going to change. Should we move from El Paso? If so, where? Should we come back to school? Diana for her masters, and me for a PhD or maybe even a masters in a very different area, Am I too old for that? Nah, the last question is easy, you're never too old to live. YOU'RE NEVER TOO OLD TO LIVE, don't ever forget that.