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A renewed sense of vigor

May 7th, 2009 1 comment

After my “Poker Vacation” post, I took a good 48 hours away from my laptop. I just needed sometime to really clear my head, and wash out the negative thoughts. I mean, I was catching what I called some REALLY terrible beats, and to some degree, they were. But a recent post that I read on cardplayer (http://www.cardplayer.com/magazine/article/15786) kind of renewed me as a poker player.

I started to go back to those losses, and asked myself “If I was in the other player’s shoes, would I have made the same call.” In the heat of the moment, I can emphatically berate my opponent for what would otherwise be a crumby read, and a bad move. But not everyone plays poker the same way. That’s what makes this game fun and challenging. If all of us played the same way, it would be a boring game.

I have to start giving credit to the guys that are calling an all in with A-5os when I have KK. That just takes plain guts. I should commend guys for chasing that dream when I’ve got a set of 10′s on a 10 high board, and he goes runner-runner flush. I should praise players for their grit and their tenacity for breaking AA and KK on the same hand with 7-6 suited. Those plays, while statistically improbable, are far from impossible because I’ve seen them. They happen, and they happen a lot. All that I can do is say “nice hand sir,” and move onto the next one. Because it’s a game. This isn’t personal, or some vendetta that someone has. It’s a couple of people playing a game of cards.

I still want to win at it though, and I’ve sort of switched gears to some degree. Patrick Sebastian (or @Sebastianrocks on Twitter) had started a new contest idea that proposed a race to $250. The idea was, start with a bankroll of $10, play in games for no greater than 10% of your bankroll, and the first one to $250 wins. It was exactly what I needed, when I needed it.

One of the videos that I’d watched on the Full Tilt Poker academy was by Chris Ferguson where he detailed his bankroll building strategy on his quest to turn $0 into $10,000. It took him quite a while to get things really going, but once he did, he simply adhered to strict bankroll management strategies in order to steadily move in the upward direction. I liked what he had to say, and I wanted to follow it to some degree, but I lacked 3 things that good poker players need to be successful: 1) Patience 2) Discipline and then eventually 3) Confidence

Playing at the micro levels can be intensely frustrating. A $45 player S&G win at the $1.25 buy in level produced a whopping $17 prize, or a $16 ROI. That still doesn’t really give you enough cash to move up to the larger levels. And each loss puts you further and further into a hole.

I’ve made the decision not to upload several hundred dollars into my online accounts simply because I want to prove to myself that I have the capability of playing well enough at the lower levels before testing myself completely at the higher stakes. I think that from time to time, I can play with those players. And I’m starting to build my confidence enough to the point where I feel that I have enough experience to belong.

I needed that run of just really bad cards. I needed that run of unfortunate beats, and disappointing results. I needed it in order to grow as a player, and learn how to roll with the punches in this game. It can be cruel. But it is a game. And it should be fun.

I’ll be attacking this $10 to $250 challenge with a renewed vigor and doing everything that I can to get there at my own pace. If I win the challenge, all the better. But I really simply want to begin to build my online bankroll, one session at a time.

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The U.S. Poker Directory – A Fantastic Site

May 5th, 2009 No comments

A couple of months back, I started a discussion post on the Twitter Poker Tour website (http://www.twitterpokertour.com/ – for the plug). I was curious as to what card rooms everyone was playing in for live poker, and what stakes they were playing in. I was hopeful to find good tournament action wherever I went, and got some really great feedback from several players as to where they played, and what limits, and their likes and dislikes about certain venues. It was a very surface level chat that, while I enjoyed, didn’t really answer the questions that I had about poker rooms across the US.

Recently I ran into Jeff Becker on Facebook. Jeff has a website called US Poker Directory (http://www.uspokerdirectory.com/). On this site, I found all of the information that I was looking for, and then some. Jeff led me to a virtual map that used Google maps technology to have mapped every Brick and Mortar poker room in the US. It sounds pretty improbable, but I encourage you to check it out here (http://uspokerdirectory.com/poker-room-locations/). I was WAY impressed with what I saw.

If you scroll over any individual city, you can zoom in to see all of the casinos/card rooms in a geographical layout. By clicking on the icon, you pull up the casino/card room’s contact information, address, and a review of that card room by anyone who has stopped by. It’s EXACTLY what I was looking for.

I encourage you to give the site a look, and provide some commentary on the card rooms that you’ve played in. The more participation and feedback that we can generate, the better the site becomes. Congrats Jeff on a marvelous site!!!

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I'm taking a poker vacation

May 2nd, 2009 2 comments

So tonight at Pablosplace, we had 13 players show up for Traci’s birthday. An impressive turnout for sure. It was one of the single most bizarre nights EVER in the HISTORY of Pablosplace.

It began with a Mona Vie taste testing, that was really more of a sales pitch than a taste test. It was interesting to see the history of the product, and the tasting was actually pretty good. But really I could have done without the attempt at gathering us in as sales people. I just don’t think that it’s something that I have the time for, nor the ability to commit to at this time.

Once we actually began play, there were players EMPHATICALLY stressing the needs for a Turbo Blind. I was out voted on the 30 minute levels by the group who insisted on 15 minute levels, which is WAY too short for our play. We actually went up 2 levels on our table before we made one full rotation. Sick.

I caught a dead run of cards, and made it to 8 handed. I finally caught AK and raised the 3-6 blinds to 18 after Jason limped. Tim asked me for a count from the BB and eventually raising to 60, the remainder of my chips. Jason made the call for his last 20 or so, and I called. Tim said that I was ahead which actually shocked me. He tossed J-8o and Jason, K-8. But it didn’t matter any. A Jack hit the flop and I was done.

I’m done with poker for now. I just have to admit that my play is just terrible. I can’t believe that it’s just bad luck, or bad beats, or anything of the sort. It’s OBVIOUS that it’s my play because the losing is just too consistent. I’m giving up poker for a while. I’m not sure how long, but I need the break apparently. No online play, and no live play until I can get my head right. This game has just ceased being fun, and I hate it. I’m so mad, and it’s my home game. It’s just not right.

I’ll blog again when I’ve got the confidence back. Though I have no clue when that will be.

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A 4th place finish in the TPT

May 1st, 2009 No comments

I got to the Twitter Poker Tour a little late tonight. I left the office in Santa Monica after 4:00 PM, and thought that I would have plenty of time to get home. But, apparently a Police officer riding a motorcycle was struck on the 10 Freeway, and LAPD answering an “Office Down” call shut down the 10 Freeway. So the surface streets were more packed than the non-moving freeway, and it took more than 2 hours to get home.

But when I did, I’d only missed a few rotations, and started the chipping up. I got to around $4k and then I couldn’t really find a hand that would get me past that mark. I hovered there for a long time, and then slowly I dwindled as the blinds increased on the final table.

6 handed, I got lucky as I shoved with 6-6 and won a race against A-Q. I survived 2 more bust outs, and then ran KQ into AJ to be eliminated in 4th place. It was my first cash in the TPT in a few tournaments. I was definitely happy with the run.

Tomorrow should be a good game at Pablosplace. It’s Traci’s Birthday, and we should have 2 tables in action for poker. Also, I’ll be taking the final order for Team7Deuce Shirts on Friday, as I want them to be back in time before the wedding, and definitely for Seven-Deuce Day.

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