Tuesday, March 28, 2006

League Tourny/Fantasy Baseball

Well, I decided to pull the trigger on the D. Wright and J. Reyes for Manny Ramirez, M. Tejada, J. Morneau and a 1st round pick. Our draft is tonight and im heading in with these 13 players- C. Delgado/M. Tejada/R. Sexson/M. Ramirez/J. Bay/A. Jones/G. Sheffield/J. Morneau/R. Johnson/B. Zito/M. Rivera/J. Nathan and C. Cordero. I also have C. Barmes and C. Kotchman who are rookies. I draft last in every round due to my 1st place finish last year and am missing some picks that i dealt away to bolster my team down the stretch last season. So this draft will be a challenge to be sure.

I played lots of poker on Saturday 4 tabling .50/$1 NL holdem on Eurobet, I managed to book a decent win of about $70 over 3 sessions totaling 4 hrs and 1000 hands. I also cleared about 450 pts towards the $600 Bonus. My total is now 2450 pts out of 6000 and I have till April 30th to get the remaining pts.

On Sunday we played our 5th League Tourney and it was extremely uneventful for me, I was quite hung over from a night of drinking on saturday and basically got dealt crud for 3 hours. I played AK early and lost T300 on the hand when I missed the flop and mucked when faced with a bet in a multiway pot. I then limped w/ A3s and flopped bottom pair w/ a flush draw and bet out T200, I was called by a player w/ midlle pair and I checked down the rest of the hand while misssing my draw. This had me down to T1900 early. I then buckled down and watched 4 players get eliminated but in the process I was get blinded down, I moved in w/ AJs and 44 but didnt get called and won very small pots. Finally with the blinds at 100/200, i was dealt 73 hearts on the BB, there were 2 limpers in, so i checked and saw a flop of 8-6-4 w/ 2 hearts, giving me a flush and gutshot draw, the SB bet T600, I had T1100 left and moved it in, he called with J6 and I ofcourse missed my decent draw and was eliminated in 7th. I am now in 9th place over all in the league 16 pts back of the final table.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Running Well,

Since My $320 win a day or three ago, I have played a couple of more sessions... The 1st one I 4 tabled .50/$1 NL on Eurobet for a few hours and won $80, the big hand came when I flopped the nut straight w/ JTs vs AA and stacked the guy. Last night I played $1/$2 NL Holdem om 4 tables for a 1 hour session and won $150, this time the big hand was flopping a Full House w/ 99 on a board of 9-2-2, we both checked the flop, a J came on the turn and he checked again, so I bet the pot $20, He raised it to $50 and I moved all in and he called quickly w/ KK. My hand held. So for all of you keeping track, dating back to my 3rd place finish in League play on Sunday I am on a $610 winning streak which basicaly has me back to even for the month of March. I really cant pin point what has changed since the dreded losing skid, but I do feel more patient and much more confident while Im playing and I do not feel like I am trying to force things.

Also, wanted to do a quick Fantasy Sports update, both of my keeper pool Hockey team's are in the lead right now, one of the pools is stil close and could go either way, but I feel that if my team plays decently I should come through with the win. Our Fantasy Baseball Draft which is also a Keeper Pool which has been running for 3 seasons now is on Tuesday. I am the defending champ and looking forward to getting started. We get to keep between 9 and 13 players going into the next season and we get 17 Draft picks each to round out our rosters. If you do drop below 13 you get extra picks before the guys with 13 get to make selections to fill out your list. Currently, I have R. Sexson, J. Reyes, D. Wright, C. Delgado (CI), J. Bay, G. Sheffield, A. Jones (we have 6 OF slots), Randy Johnson, M. Rivera, J. Nathan, which makes 10 Keepers.... I hace 3 sots remaining to fill and a bunch of guys to choose from including Cliff Floyd, Chad Cordero, B. Zito, N. Lowery, A. Pettite and B. Myers.

I have also been offered M. Ramirez, M. Tejada, J. Morneau and a 1st rd pick for D. Wright and J. Reyes which is a huge offer and I am seriously considering making the move. The only thing holding it up is the fact that I will have 0 SB'sif I trade Reyes.

Hope all is well,

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Finally... A Win!

The past few blogs have been about losses and bad beats, so this one will be a pleasant change of pace. I just finished an hour long session 4 tabling $.50/$1 NL Holdem on Eurobet and booked my self a $320 win, which is my biggest single session win of 2006 by a long shot.

My 1st big hand was having KK in position and re-raising a $3 bet to $10, my opponent called and we saw a 9-high unco-ordinated flop, I bet $20 in the $20 pot and he min-raises me, I moved him all in for $28 more and he called w/ QQ and my hand held up.

I then played a big pot w/ QTs(Hearts), where I limped in from the cut off, the board was A-9-7 w/ 1 Heart, we saw a free turn and it was another heart, it checked around to the button who bet out $4, I decided to call, thinking I could win a big pots vs an Ace or better, the river was the 5 of hearts and I now had the 2nd nuts, I bet out $15 into a $12 pot, My opponent took his time and raised me to $40, I didnt like that raise at all, and decided to just call rather then moving in for $50 more. My opponent showed KJ of hearts and I lost a pretty big pot, but felt that I saved my self $50 by not moving in.

After that, I went cold for a while but managed to stay a little ahead of even, then I went on a tear that saw me hit a set of 9's vs KK, then a set of 5's vs 99 and the finale was a set of T's that turned into T's full of Aces vs AK.

The deck was definetely on my side, but I felt I played some pretty strong poker, and I feel it was the best all around poker I have played since I started 4-tabling. I was paying attention to the little details, like pot odds from the SB, and attempting steals from the cut off rather then just the button. I also tested people a little more on the flop then I have been and stayed involved even when I was folding a lot.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Weekend Wrap-up

Friday I worked at the HHOF, it was March Break, so it was extremely busy and I was definetly drained when I got home. I was supposed to go out with some Friends for ST. Patrick's Day but the plan fell through, so I decided to stay and chill instead. Later in the night I 6 tabled the $25 NL tables at Party Poker and went through a strings of horrendous beats that I wont bother to describe. I also had some pretty good hands and actually hits quads twice. All in all I lost $40 and didnt finish the 2nd leg of the bonus in time to get the $75.

Saturday, I woke up and played some more $25 NL on PP, and completed a $25 bonus. Amy and I the headed to Alora Race Track for her Nanny's 80th b-day. We had a great dinner and played some slots. I was lucky enough to $55 playing the $1 slots and we called it a night.

Sunday was League Tourney #4, and I played a very Tight Aggressive game, I only limped or called a PF raise 3 times, other then that I was folding, Raising or Re-raising PF. I won a decent pot w/ T4 when I got a free look at the flop and hit two pair, these was a key hand as I won T1000 vs AA. From there it was smooth sailing to 4th, and I managed to double up w/ Q8 vs 33 to get my self into 3rd position where I went out w/ J8 vs K7, I had T3600 w/ blinds at 500/1000 and I moved all in and got called by my brother who was the run away chip leader. Darrell went on to win, but Im happy with my 19 pts and $60.

Currently, Im in 9th place over all, but I am now within striking distance of quite a few guys, I just need to string together some more strong performances.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

March Madness....

March is looking like a complete write off Poker-wise, I am having my worst month since July 2004. I feel like I am some what lost where Poker is concerned... What type of player am I? Tight? Loose? Aggressive? Passive? These days it seems like Im aggressive at the wrong times and Passive too often. I also cant decide on whether I want to concentrate on Cash Games or Tournaments, part of me would like to switch to trying Tournies Full-time and see if I cant improve my game significantly, but the other side of me thinks there are more bonuses to be made playing cash games, and that Tournies can be quite boring.

In terms of where my game is at, I think my run of success late in 2005, when I was able to win $3000 over the course of two months has made me too eager to have that type of success again and again. My patience seems to be on the brink, as when I sit down to play these days, I don't even consider just playing 1 table, its always 3 or 4, and if things don't go well early, I usually just lose interest and stop playing. This has had a negative impact on my tournament game as I feel I don't have the patience to play for the 3-4 hours necessary to get through the field, whether it be a big MTT online or an 11 person STT like we play in our league on Sundays.

I am currently reading a book called The Zen of Poker, and just by reading the 1st chapter I could tell that my patience and discipline are no where near where they need to be for me to be successful on the felt. It has gotten to the point that I just want to sit down and win the money in an hour or forget about it. If I could, I would take a nice break from the game right now, I feel it would be very beneficial, but with the league only in week #4 of 12 and me being the host I cant just stop playing. So, I guess I'll try to fight through this slump and try to regain the attributes that made me a successful player.

Yesterday, I read Mike Cunningham's blog who was a Track Coach at an American University and decided to quit about a year ago to move to Las Vegas and Give the poker life a shot. In his latest blog, He assessed his Strengths and weaknesses as a poker player and I think I may do the same in the coming weeks.

As of now, I am down $650 or so for the month, and my short term goal would be to atleast win back half of what I have lost thus far. In the grand scheme of things losing $600+ is not a crushing blow to my bank roll or my results. Mentally, how ever it is taking its toll.

Currently I am working on a triple bonus at Party Poker, I complete 750 in 3 days to complete the 1st leg, but I still have to clear 1000 and 1500 hands respectively to qualify for two more $75 bonuses over the next 6 days. Its doable, and I will give it my best shot. From there I think Ill head to Poker Stars to try to complete their bonus playing in $10 SnG's.

Quick Fantasy Hockey update, The Agile warriors are still dominating the FHEL, and I have moved my Blood Sweat and Beers team from 3rd in the Ultimate Keeper Pool to 1st by a margin of 7.5 pts over Red's team. Thursday was the trade deadline in the latter pool and I made two deals, the 1st I traded my 1st pick for J. Pitkanen, P. Boucher and B. Rafalski. I did this to strengthen a weak area on my squad which was Defense. I am also -14 Games for D-men, so I figure its worthwhile to have an extra blue liner or two down the stretch. The 2nd deal i made was a whopper which saw me send Lecalvier/Gionta/Selanne and E. Cole for M. Naslund/Shannahan/R. Blake and Zhitnik. Again I felt this deal strengthened my blue line and also increased my protectable list as The only guy that I traded that I would definitely protect would be Lecalvier, I figure Ill protect Naslund/Shanny and Blake so i should be in good shape for next year too. With less then a month to go, Im in 1st in both pools which could be about a $1600 score.

Wish me luck!

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Slump Continues....

Only poker I played this weekend was my Sunday afternoon League Tourney, Things were going ver smoothly when I got dealt AQs in late position, I had a stack of T2600 and the blinds were 25/50, a few players limped in and I also limped hoping to flop a monster hand or get away cheap if the flop was rags, well I flopped the nut flush and an early position player bet out, Rich called and I decided to call the 200 bet, not wanting to scare any one off. The turn paired the board 5's, Original bettor checked and now Rich bets 400, Decision time for me, I ofcourse do not love the board pairing but I also felt that I couldnt assume some one already had a FH, I think that would be too weak, I decided to make a raise to T1000 expecting to take the pot down right there, But Rich made the Call and an Ace hit the river, Rich checked to me, and once again I was faced w/ a decision, Do I check down the Nut Flush? Value bet? There was well over 2500 Chips in the pot and I had about T1000 remaining, I decided to bet 700, and Rich moved all in for the rest of my 300 chips and I called quickly. He flipped over A5 for Turned and Rivered FH to knock me out in 10th.

Any comments on how I could have played this hand better would be much appreciated... Should I have raised on the flop w/ the nuts? Should I have slowed down on the turn when the board paired? Checked the river? Or just accept the fact I got unlucky on this hand?

Hopefully others are running better then me right now, bc this is truly frustrating.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Tough go of it in March so far....

March has not been kind to me thus far, mostly bc of bad undiciplined play on my part. Poker is a game of Patience, Focus and Discipline combined with selective aggression. When Im not playing well I try to substitute aggression and forget about the other 3 factors, this usually leads to bad results.

I havent been playing a tonne, but when I have played I have leaked away money with bad plays and a few tough beats. Monday was my lastest session, I was 4 tabling .50/$1 NL Holdem on Poker Room and lost a tough hand w/ Trip T's vs J's Full, then I lost my patience and bluffed off another $100 w/ KJs and lost to AK deservedly so... So its been a down month as I have lost about $450 so far, but on the bright side I still have a very healthy bankroll and I just need to get back to the basics.

Today I organized all of the bonuses that are out there right now, so I deposited $600 into Poker Stars for my account and Amy's, this qualified us for two $120 bonuses, I also signed up Amy for Inter Poker under my referral w/ https://www.rakebreak.com/index.php?AFF=58/, so she is eligible for a $100 Sign up bonus plus a $100 March bonus and will be receiving 32.5% of her rake back which is clear of all bonuses. This a great deal and I reccommend that any one that plays on Inter Poker take advantage of this offer. To sign up with Rakebreak, just click the link located on the right side of my blog called "rakebreak", sign up for an account and go to add site and click on Inter Poker. Follow the Instructions and u'll be on your way to a bunch of bonuses and Rakeback on a pretty good site.

I also depoited $100 in my own Inter account and am eligible to receive $100 bonus there and was offered $25 from Party Poker to play 250 Raked hands on their site. So, once I get back to playing I'll be a busy guy.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Home game- Poker Room- League Tournament...

On Friday night I went to my friend Warezy's House to play in a $50 buy in $1-$1 NL Holdem ring game, only problem was we had a couple of no shows so we ended up playing 4 handed w/ myself, warezy, James and Rich. I got off to a hot start by making a flush and rivering a FH when I was all in with trip 5's vs Rich who also had trip 5's, both of us were playing the board as our kicker but I rivered a 3 to win the whole pot. That was my peak, up about $85 or so, from there i lost a bunch of smallish pots that took a little chunk out of my stack. Then I raised from the button w/ AA and got warezy to re-raise me all in, For $60 or so, I called and he flipped over TT. Ofcourse a T hit the board and I was basically back down to where I started. From there, I couldnt get much going and ended the session down $30 through 4 hours of play.

Saturday I played a short session on Poker Room and won $60 4 Tabling .50/$1 NL Holdem. I also completed 110 pts towards a $100 bonus. After that I drove into Markham and met up with a gang of my chum's at Zac's house, from there we hopped in Limo's and headed down to the Leaf Game. There were 16 in of us in two Limo's and we all watched the game in Zac's Box, it was a heck of a time, but The Leafs did lose to the Sens 4-2. We kept the Party going by hitting the Arms, while there I pulled off a trade in one of my Fantasy Hockey Pools. I am now in 2nd place in the pool that I was in 3rd and just two pts back of the leader. I traded M. Svatos, P. Bergeron, J. Theodore (IR), and my 2nd Pick for D. Briere, S. Fedorov and D. Tucker. Hopefully this will be the boost I need to put my team over the top.

Sunday I woke up hung over, but got the chips all set for the league Tourney and was ready to play. I had my 1st clash in the 4th level w/ QQ I came over the top of a short stack's raise from UTG and it turned out he had AA. It only cost me T700, so I was still in fine shape w/ T1750 and blinds at 25/50. I remained patient won a small pot w/ AA vs a small stack who was all in w/ 55. I got a scare when a 5 flopped but an A arrived on the next card. From there I made a couple of steals and won a decent pot w/ KQ of clubs when the flop came K-x-x w/ 2 clubs. I was up to T3000. I went on to get a bit short but then doubled up w/ AK from the button, UTG made it 700 to go and I moved all in and he called T900 more he turned over pocket 4's and I won when the flop came A-A-x. I was up T4400 and the blinds were now at 200/400 and we were down to 5 players, 1st hand after the 3rd break I looked down @ 86 sooted, I decided that I had a nice tight image at this point and it could be a good time to make a play and add some much needed chips to my medium stack, unfortuantely for me the SB found AA and I was out in 5th place and collected 14 points to move into a 3 way tie for 9th place.

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