Chewing the poker cud

  1. 2009-06-21 01:03:12

    WSOP Event #36 $2000 NL Holdem - 109th place out of 1695 - 171 paid

    Once again I had a nice long day one in a wsop event. Once again I was at a low numbered table so it never broke during the day, allowing me to get comfy in the same seat for the duration of the 10 hours of play. Once again I started out great, being above the average stack for over six hours. And once again I went card dead the last four hours of the night, causing me to finish below average, but still in a much better position than last time.

    Interesting hand:

    Guy sits down in the 10 seat, European kid who signed up late in level two, and it is his big blind. So I say out loud that "in honor of his first hand at the table, I am going to raise." I have and make it 275 with blinds 50/100. Everyone folds to him and he looks at me and then calls. Flop is . Yay...he checks and I make a standard cbet of 350 which he check raises to 850. I sit for about ten seconds looking a bit uncomfortable but not overdoing it, and call. The turn is . He leads out quickly for 1525, leaving him now with only 3200 left of his starting 5800 or so. I think for a while and say, "man, I guess I'm starting to not like the new guy very much already", and call. River is leaving me quite confident I still have the best hand and he checks now. So he has 3200 left. The pot is over 5k, so normally I would just put him all in here, but with him checking the river, I assume he doesn't have a very strong hand...maybe an A8 at best. So I try to figure out what looks like the weirdest move I can make here to get more chips out of him. So I bet 2000, a small bet that could look strange considering I'm leaving him with only 1200 more after that. And fortunately for me, he quickly calls, and gives a disgusted grunt when he sees my hand. After he busted out, the table agreed that my talking actually got him to pay me off and play the pot the way he did, which made me proud :). Another guy had folded J8 that hand...lucky for me.

    Another intersting hand:

    The big blind on my right was short stacked early on with about 2k when blinds were 75/150 with ante and so I told myself that I was going to limp big hands under the gun so encourage him to push over the limpers with his short stack. So I pick up and limp. The big guy two to my left looks at his hand and throws out a 500 chip and it was in a way that I wasn't sure if me meant to raise or not. The dealer says that it is a call because that's the rule when you put in one chip without saying anything, and he doesn't flinch and just agrees that he meant to call. I still wasn't sure though. Couple other limpers and it gets around to the big blind who tanks for a while. He is thinking of shoving, which I very much wanted him to do. He eventually checks, however, and the board of has me quickly check folding my hand. Well eventually two people get to showdown and the guy to my left who threw in the 500 chip ends up showing down and admits that he DID in fact mean to raise. So his accidental non-raise and the big blinds decision not to shove both saved me a LOT of money and trouble that hand. I was so relieved to realize what a bullet I had dodged.

    So I show up for day 2 with 35400 in chips, with 213 players left and 171 going to get paid. There are about 100 stacks shorter than mine, so I feel good about making the money, but also good about getting to stack some shorter people and build my stack for a deeper run. Unfortunately the cards decided for me that I wasn't going to really have a chance to go far that day. I never picked up any hands of any value in any position. To further smack me in the face...I was moved from my table three times in the first 90 minutes from the button or cutoff directly into the big blind at my new table. That's the most unlucky crap. My stack dwindled as I folded for 3 hours and occasionally stole blinds down to around 24k. I did bad beat a guy who shoved his little 11k stack in on the cutoff and I shoved my 25k stack over him on the button with my . Blinds were huge so I knew he'd shove most anything. Unfortunately he had but the ace on the flop saved me and put me back up to around 37k. So back to being down to 24k, I finally picked up my first good hand of the day... on the button... and with everyone folded around to me, made my very comfortable all-in. The small-blind instantly shoved all-in over the top and my heart sank. The BB folded and he turned up . The king on the flop further cemented the end of my journey. The Queen on the turn gave me an iota of hope, but the river blanked and I was sent packing in 109th place for a payday of $4658.00. Disappointing end, but nice to get that first WSOP cash in.

    Thanks for reading.

    P.S. I played a long time with some pretty well known players. Shannon Shorr doubled through me. I took a big pot from Michael Craig, the author of the Andy Beal story - The Professor, the Banker, and the Suicide King -, and Melissa Hayden (long time poker player and girlfriend of Allen Cunningham). She never stopped telling stories about pros all day long so it was entertaining. I took a decent amount from her as well despite her being on my left. She likes to make moves.

    Posted by WeezerMoo at 2009-06-21 01:03:12 | permalink | Discuss (5 comments)

  2. 2009-06-13 01:11:45

    WSOP Event #13 $2500 NL Holdem - 120th place out of 1088 - 117 pay

    So as the title suggests, I played Event #13 on June 5th and 6th. I wanted to write something up on it just to show how few things have to happen to get you to the money in one of these events.

    The blinds started at 25/50 and we had 7500 in chips to start (150 BB). Which is a very nice, very deep stack to start. The blinds went up every hour and, unlike some events, there was even a 75/150 round making the 5th round the first time antes were introduced instead of the 4th like most events in the past.

    I played pretty tight as one might expect until a hand where I was under the gun in level two. I told myself if I got AK or better, I was going to limp because every pot was getting raises and callers at my table. I looked down at and did just that...limped. another limper and then a guy who had just shown himself to be a bit wild and crazy raised to 450 and everyone else folded around to me. Now I could easily have 3bet here, but I decided that playing small ball was my best chance to go far in the tournament, so I just called and the other guy did too.

    The flop came . Beautiful. I checked and the overcaller checked. The preflop raiser/crazy guy led out for a reasonable 800. I naturally check raised him to 2300. The other guy folded and he thought for less than two seconds and nonchalantly put in two thirds of his stack up to a bet of 4500. I didn't really know what to think because most people would do this holding KK or AA, but having just seen him prove himself to be a wild player, I calmly shoved all-in. Luckily he didn't call immediately and after thinking for over three minutes, finally mucked his hand. He must have had nothing at all to fold to four to one odds there.

    So now my stack was up to almost 12k, well above average at this point. From there I played selective pots and won every single showdown I was in, including 3 huge bluffs that worked. My stack reached over 17k when the average was 10k.

    From then on (about 6 hours of play) my cards were HORRIBLE. I just kept hovering around 15k to 17k until the average stack surpassed me and the blinds were getting huge. I got to a point where it started making sense to just all in or fold, so I did. I shoved maybe 12 times and never got callers. This including QQ twice, AA once, and TT once. I guess the bad card run I had made me look super tight so nobody was calling me. I also took the blinds with hands like K4s and JTs and K4o.

    Unfortunately I ended the night with only 16k and the blinds about to hit 600/1200 with 100 antes. Giving me about 6 revolutions of chips. At least I made day 2 yay! At this point there were 180 players left, 63 from the money.

    Despite my dire situation, the next day I stayed positive and patient. I stole the blinds a couple times up to over 20k and finally got in the small blind after a raise and a button call. I shoved it in and fortunately the raiser folded a medium pair and the button called me with to double me up. I was feeling good at 45k, but proceeded to go card dead from there. I dwindled back down to around 30k and there were 121 players left in the tourney, 4 from the money. Another player dropped and I started thinking about just blinding to the money because my stack was so short that I didn't have much of a chance to go further anyways. I ultimately decided against that and as I looked down at , I raised and then called when the big blind shoved (he had just doubled up from a tiny stack to just over my stack size.) He showed . The flop was giving him all kinds of new outs. The turn was and I sat down feeling good. This was only to see the hit the river :(. Sigh. I finished in 120th place and was very upset about it.

    All in all I played freaking great, but was very disappointed with the result. At least I got to go watch Stephen climb his way a decent ways into the money.

    My main point for posting this is to show that all I did was get one big hand and ship it in. Then make a few good river bluffs and calls. Then shove all in about 24 times and I was 3 from the money in a WSOP event. :) I really played very few hands overall and look how close I got. Definitely left me feeling encouraged for the next one on the 18th. I think I want to get involved in a few more hands early this time, but otherwise going to play about the same. Wish me luck! Good luck to you guys as well.

    Posted by WeezerMoo at 2009-06-13 01:11:45 | permalink | Discuss (8 comments)

  3. 2008-02-22 06:26:31

    The Game of Pips

    One of my favorite games to play in those dealer's call home games is called Pips. Here's a run down of the game.

    It is a 7-card-stud game with a pot that is split between the best poker hand and the most pips on all 7 cards. What is a pip? A Pip is a suit symbol down the center of the card. Face card, fours, and sixes have zero pips. Aces, fives, sevens, and nines have one pip. Twos, eights, and tens have 2 pips. And the coveted threes are the best pip card with all 3 symbols on the card being pips.

    This 7-stud game is also played Philadelphia style. That means that plays will "purchase" their four up cards by selecting from one of two cards that are shown to them, or by taking the top card off the deck. The cost of each varies. Basically you set a price for each up card (arbitrarily saying the first card turned over costs xx and the second costs double xx). So let's say the cost of the two up cards is 10 cents and 20 cents. The top card of the deck is free because it's a gamble. You have no idea if the card will help you. The exception is that people can purchase deception and buy the top card of the deck face down for a price that is usually 2.5 times as much as the highest up card. In this case, purchasing the top card of the deck face down would cost 50 cents. This is how the flow of the game will go...

    The dealer deals 2 cards face down to each player, like any 7-stud game starts, but no more. The first up card will be purchased. He then turns up the 10 cent card and the 20 cent card. The player on his left now has first choice. Let's say he takes the 10 cent card. He puts the 10 cents in the pot, takes the card as his first up card, and a new card is turned up in it's place for the next person to choose from. This goes around until the dealer has chosen a card as well. Now that everyone has their 3rd card, a betting round ensues, starting with the player on the dealers left. If the dealer took one of the up cards, the card should not be replaced until betting is over and it's time to select a 4th card. The 2nd round (or 4th card round) starts with the person 2 to the left of the dealer, meaning the first selection and first to bet in any given round rotates each time. The same process happens until everyone has 6 cards. For the final card, the dealer will deal them face down off the top of the deck. There is a betting round after each selection round and after the final card is dealt. Having a betting round after dealing the first two cards, before selecting a third, is optional and in my opinion is a pointless pot builder.

    One important rule along the way is that if any player comes to a decision where he is looking at the same two up cards as last time, meaning nobody took an up card in between... only top decks, then the up cards get swept and two new cards are turned up for them to choose from.

    Strategic notes: Generally 11 or more pips will win for the pips. Generally a full house will win the high hand, but oftentimes a good flush can win as well. Something to watch out for is that person who keeps taking all the pips ending up with a full house of eights over threes or something like that and scooping the whole pot. That is the ultimate coup in Pips. If you start with alot of pips down, it is often best to just take one-pip cards instead of drawing off the top of the deck and risking a zero pipper. It's also important to be defensive. If you can choose between two diff cards with 2 pips on them, pay attention to the suits or the ranks in terms of how they could help the players after you and steal the more beneficial card from them. And sadly the biggest advantage in Pips is sitting to the dealer's left. This is because you get the first choice of two freshly turned over up cards. Not a huge advantage, as the game is generally fair, but it does make a difference over time.

    If there are any questions, please post them so I can make things more clear in the original post.

    Posted by WeezerMoo at 2008-02-22 06:26:31 | permalink | Discuss (7 comments)

  4. 2008-02-02 14:17:08

    WeezerMoo and the Seven Donkey Dwarves

    So one day Stephen was bragging about pwning a player named MyNameIsNobody on BugsysClub and described him as having become bluffy and floaty because of what had transpired. I then responded by saying that Bluffy and Floaty were two of the Seven Donkey Dwarves. He said we had to name them....so I did. The seven dwarves I am about to describe are now the way I describe the players I play with online day in and day out....especially at Pokerworld. Some days I will literally be sitting with one of each of them all at one table. It's so much more entertaining to name them like this instead of just calling them all donks. Here they are and how I play against them.

    The Seven Donkey Dwarves: Bluffy, Floaty, Limpy, Shovey, Tilty, Minny, and Station. (One has to not follow the sound scheme of the other names...like Doc).

    • Bluffy - This character is obvious. He loves nothing more than to make a player fold a hand, only to show him the bluff and laugh in his face. These players are everywhere. They don't last long as their bluffs start to get picked off and they don't know when to stop. Any card that could complete a scary hand, they will bluff at.
      • Response - call Bluffy down light more often than other players and check to him to give him the chance to bluff into your big hands.
    • Floaty - This player will call your raises preflop alot and then call any continuation bet you make on the flop just to see what you will do on the turn. They are always suspicious and love to take down that pot with 4th pair when you check the turn and river to them.
      • Response - Fire a 2nd barrel at this player more often than you would other players. He will fold. Also check more often with good hands on the turn so he will suspiciously call your river bets when he would have otherwise folded on the turn.
    • Limpy - This guy almost never raises preflop. He limps almost every hand because he thinks every hand deserves to see the flop. He hit that four of a kind that one time with 4-7 offsuit and is now convinced every hand is going to. He can't stand to see a flop that would have hit a hand he folded.
      • Response - punish this player by raising in position after he limps over and over and over and over.
    • Shovey - He loves nothing more than to have all of his chips in the pot. Pot is 40 dollars; he has 240 dollars and top pair...let's go all in over the 30 dollar bet you made..WOOHOO! He has no concept of bet sizing. He is scared of being drawn out on.
      • Response - He puts you in a lot of tough situations with no pot odds. You simply play tight and wait for the made hand to call his shove with. You can't draw against this player as he never lets you. You will slow play more often vs. this player than you do others.
    • Tilty - This dwarf is hilarious. He need only get bad beat or coolered once and all logic and sense leave him. He starts opening pots for 10 big blinds or shoving 100 big blinds in after a simple 4 big blind opening raise. He's the best of all the dwarves to play against because you always know when he is going to explode.
      • Response - Play him normal until he takes that beat then wait for a hand. It doesn't even have to be a great hand. Sometimes A9 offsuit is good enough to call Tilty when he's going insane, convinced the world is rigged and out to get him.
    • Minny - Minny is the most annoying and pesky of all the donkey dwarves. Minny is named as such because she bets and raises the minimum every single time she puts money in the pot. 80 Dollar pot?...let's bet 4 dollars!! Yay, I'm a good player! This player will lead out for the minimum almost every hand no matter what they have. How then can you tell what to do?
      • Response - I raise this players min bets endlessly. When they lead out for min with a good hand, they will almost always let you know by reraising the minimum and you can get away. Otherwise, they hand you tons of decent sized pots by folding to your raises of their min bets. They love to fold, thinking that they only put the minimum in that betting round and it's no big deal, ignoring the pot that has already been built.
    • Station - He's the guy who just calls every bet you make...the calling station. If he hits anything at all, he calls the flop, calls the turn, and then calls or folds the river based on whether he hit his hand/improved or not. He can't handle being bluffed.
      • Response - Never bluff Station because we know he is going to call. Station doesn't bet much, mostly calls, so you can get to showdown with alot of medium strength hands cheaply. Take those opportunities. When you make anything better than that, like top pair or better, fire fire fire at him and get the maximum value.

    I hope my entertaining myself with the term Donkey Dwarves is at least slightly enjoyable to anyone who reads this. Keep in mind that some players are multiple dwarves at the same time....a jackpot of dwarfiness. And the next time you play online poker with one of them, make sure you visualize them as little dwarves donking away money at their computers.....because they are!

    Posted by WeezerMoo at 2008-02-02 14:17:08 | permalink | Discuss (5 comments)

  5. 2008-01-27 06:39:36

    Cheating at Life

    What happens when you take a person who has the ability to be good at and accomplish almost anything and pair that person up with extreme laziness and an overwhelming lack of motivation? Well, in my case, the result is a professional poker player.

    Hi there. My name is Jeff, I am 29, and I play poker on the internets with chips and cards to pay bills and buy yummy food to eat. How did that happen? I have to start with a warning that some things I say will sound arrogant or ridiculous...well that's because I am arrogant and ridiculous at times :). As little as five years ago, playing poker professionally never crossed my mind. To figure out the how and why, I guess we have to go back to the childhood (as that is where all the answers lay (or is it lie, I never could figure that one out)) <---double parentheses are cool, which brings me to the first key to how I got here. I am a nerd...

    As a kid, I soaked up all information around me as if I needed merely to be shown that a truth existed for me to realize I already knew it. Everything came easy when it came to academics, especially math. I was also introduced to competition at an early age through sports and academic games in school. I ate it up and have basically spent my entire life playing games and beating most people at them. This I attribute to my dad because he taught me tons of games at a young age. One of those games was poker. I was probably seven years old when he taught me some basic poker games. Whenever I learned a new game, the optimal strategy of the game was as clear as day to me to the point that I didn't understand why other kids/people couldn't see the same things I did within the games. For example, when we played monopoly, I figured out at a very early age that having the orange properties were clearly the most profitable properties to own because getting sent to jail puts opponents in prime position to hit them. Other kids just wanted the big shiny properties because more expensive = special. I didn't understand why they couldn't see what was so obvious to me. Naturally, I soon figured out that it was because I was different...(yeah I was a nerd). School was just as easy for me, with straight A's coming with little to no effort because, like with games, the processes of learning, gathering, and processing information didn't need to be taught to me; they were already there. It was an unfair advantage, but it had negative results as well. I never learned how to study or what it meant to work hard to accomplish something. Every path was easy and I didn't know any better...

    Which led me to forgetting about math/science (i wanted to be a geneticist) to studying theater in college because it was different, brought me out of my nerdy shell, and was the biggest challenge, yet path of least resistance. That major obviously leads to no real world jobs, so when I started playing poker again a few years ago at a friends home game, soaking it up to the point that I wanted to play all the time, it was only natural for me to figure out a way to play that game until I didn't have to have a real job.

    I started on Party Poker playing 5 dollars at a time (the minimum buy in) at .10/.25 NL holdem. I deposited 50 bucks to do this and have never redeposited money into online poker sites. After a few months i was easily making more money per hour than my crappy real job, so the choice was clear to me. Work on poker until I was a millionaire. I'm not a millionaire yet; mostly because of what I mentioned in the very first sentence of this blog, I am lazy. But I will get there, even if I only play for twenty hours a week; hence the title of this entry...I am cheating at life. More on what I've learned while cheating at life to come...

    Posted by WeezerMoo at 2008-01-27 06:39:36 | permalink | Discuss (4 comments)