May 24, 2010

What are the odds?

After being in a tournament for about 2 hours and being somewhat low on chips I'm dealt Ah/As. I make a sizeable raise from the big blind with several limpers in the hand, and get 2 calls. I make another bet about half the pot after the flop comes 10h, 2h, 7h. A guy goes all in behind me. I take a few moments to weigh the options and make the call. I have the guy covered by about 2,000 chips anyway. I'm up against a flush (Jh, 3h) that I can't figure out how the guy called the preflop raise, but whatever. I need another heart or the board to pair and an A to fall, but don't get it as the last 2 cards are complete blanks.

Somehow the guy tries to make a comment about my play being stupid. 2 things are wrong with this: 1) He won money from my play, he shouldn't complain or be insulting about it; 2) He called a large preflop raise with Jh/3h. That's stupid in and of itself. I tell him both things and get no response for the short time I'm left at the table.

The very next hand I get dealt Ad/Ah. I go all in with my remaining 2,000 chips. I get a call from 1 person who has As/Jd. The flop comes Ks, 10d, Qh. I'm drawing dead to a chop at this point. But no J falls and I go out from around 14,000 chips in 2 hands with pocket Aces.

What are the odds of being dealt pocket Aces twice in a row? What are the odds that you lose both of them also? If luck was balanced, I'm betting I should probably buy a lottery ticket for the swing back to good luck at this point.

May 17, 2010

Bad Luck Happens

I've been playing small wager large tournaments on Pokerstars. Like $2.20 entry (or sometimes the frequent player points) 4000 players type games. After 5 such tournaments, I've placed top 2.5% in one, top 5% in another and top 10% in the one I played last night. Pretty good. It's not been a lot of money made doing it, but I seem to do a little better in tournament format than doing cash games (I think table selection, lower bankrolls, and not knowing when to switch tables or "cash out" are my biggest downfalls here).

So today, I decide I'll take a foray into a tournament a touch higher. $4.40 buy in. When I joined there was just over 1200 players in the tournament with a $5,000 guaranteed prize pool. I figure one day, I might just win one of these things (yeah right!) for a nice payout. For example, this one would have paid around $1,300 to the winner after all the late registrants.

However, it was not to be today. I somehow managed to stay in the tournament for a little over an hour. This was a feat in and of itself. 85 Hands dealt to me, a total of 5 played. And 3 of those were cheap buy ins from the blind positions. It seemed like every time I was in the blind or in position, I would get terrible cards or mediocre at best (like J/4 suited) and get a big raise before me or a raise that would put me all in after a BB call in position. I bled chips most of the game, only getting 1 Ace, which was paired with an off suit 2 and the resulting flop was a straight draw. An all-in bet put an end to the hopes I was winning that pot though. Until the hand I went out with, the best I had seen was probably my K/9 of hearts that I flushed with and was probably the reason I got to stick around for as long as I did. I never had 2 paint cards (not even paint and a 10). I never got mid range suited connectors even. On top of this, watching the play after folding this horrible hands, I didn't see a single one that I could have won by the cards that came to the board. It was seriously the worst 85 hands in a row I've ever seen. I'd say you have about the same odds of hitting a jackpot as you would getting dealt a worse 85 hands in a row (with the subsequent boards being part of the hand). 85 hands, and could only win 1 (granted I can't be sure none would have won since I don't get to see everyone's cards and sometimes you don't even see the flop or the board is incomplete. But I didn't notice a single time when I truly thought I could have won the pot).

Down to $1200 in chips with blinds at $100/$200 with an ante of $50, I get a pair of pocket 9s. I'm out of position, but I pretty much have to make a move. I raise to $800, almost hoping to just take the blinds. I get pushed all in by a K/8 off suit on the button. Flop comes K, 8, 8. I have no idea what the last 2 cards were because I closed the window right there in disgust.

May 11, 2010

You've been left out

I have been playing poker a bit here and there for the last few days. After another somewhat annoying and bad live tournament game with my friends, I decided to go ahead and jump back into the online poker ring.

I've actually done very well. I've went from a paltry ~$2.80 back up to ~$45. I'm barely shy of my initial investment. I'm extremely happy about this, as I honestly thought I was never going to make it back to that level.

I'm also using a nifty little program called PokerTracker now. It helps me identify what cards I'm playing, in what position, and how I'm doing with those cards and/or positions. No surprise, I've made most of my money from late positions and the biggest sum on the button.

It also gives a HUD during play that gives nice information like percentages of how often a player raises preflop, how often he/she plays aggressive, etc. Really makes those tough decisions a little easier. I also think it will really help me out when I start trying multiple tables again. And yes, that is a goal. For one thing, I'm getting bored somewhat too often waiting on people to play, even in "fast" games. For another, this could really boost my potential profit. If I can level it at 75% of my normal profit between 2 tables, I'm making 50% more than I would by playing a single table, and I think it'll be less boring and annoying. It will also force me to forget that last bad beat or stupid play quicker and prevent tilts (hopefully).

I was mainly keeping up with my stats on here as a way of book keeping. However, poker tracker now does that for me. So, I'm discontinuing the tracking of my profits in so specific a way through the blog. I will however try to keep some updates, as this is a big experiment and that's part of the reason for blogging about it. I just don't want to keep such an accurate and detailed history on the blog, it's a waste of my time since I have another easier & quicker way of doing it now.

May 3, 2010

Break Time

I'm attempting to take a break from poker. Both my weekly live game and the online thing. I've been infuriated with the way the cards are treating me for about 2 weeks and I really need to just cool off before sitting back down to it. Otherwise, I'm just going to lose all the investment I've put into it.

Apr 29, 2010

Back to Basics

I'm so irritated with myself. I keep consistently getting out of my system and trying to play or overplay hands that I know I shouldn't. What's worse, is I'm doing it over and over after having a pep talk with myself about how I'm not going to do that and I'm going to stick to my game plan. Of course, I get a couple of wins with lower cards where I should be calling and I'm playing my game plan and it suddenly goes to my head and I think that I make that 3/5 off suit work from the small blind, flop a pair and then over bet it and get caught with my pants down.

Poker can be a lot of fun, but when you lose, the fun goes out the window. To win, you have to be patient and suffer through some boring times, and some points in time when you don't want to fold, but definitely should (and if you're going to win, WILL fold). Seems contradictory to me, but I really need to get back to it, which was how I doubled my money at one point in about 5 hours. I have a very small amount to work with right now, but I think I can do it. This will be a good test for my mettle and a good way for me to prove to myself that I can play poker the way I want to play it.

But first, I must go to the bank. No, not to get more money for poker or anything, I have a check to deposit and bills that need to be paid with it. Sheesh, I'm not that stupid!

Apr 27, 2010

Apple doesn't learn

As anyone who knows me at all can tell you, I have little love for Apple. However, that said, they do some things very well. UI design, marketing strategies, and being innovative as can be about once every 5-7 years (iPod, aluminum casing for laptops, iPhone, etc.). The iPad is not one of those times however. It's an iPhone with a 10" screen, slightly better specs, and a few small improvements in the core apps. Nothing more. Not to mention the markup is nearly 100% on the baseline version (probably more on the higher end versions) which is just plain theft. But, this post really isn't about the iPad or it's failures.

No, what I'm talking about Apple not learning on is from it's past. In the early 80's, Apple was king of the world. Schools used their computers, so did law enforcement, and basically everyone in between. Then IBM/compatible took over. I would say this is due to choice. People like choices. Apple eventually got smart and conformed to the idea of choice in a small way by using Intel chips (making their computer capable of running windows). Let's not kid ourselves, Apple would sell a lot less units to college students without this ability. So many programs that college students use & need don't run well or at all on Macs. But, since you can use windows on it, you can still do those assignments on a Mac now. Apple now cuts a large slice out of Microsoft's pie in this demographic.

iPhone was an extremely revolutionary idea (much like the iPod was at it's time). There were things that did similar activities with similar functionality, but nobody quite had hit like Apple did. It's flown off shelves through 3 generations, despite being left behind in many departments. Such as multitasking and the depth of Exchange support given. And now, they are going to finally add some of those features (similar to adding landscape keyboards, MMS, and tethering before this). They continually leave things out. Simple slip of the mind, or a strategy to give you something new and fun about the time you're bored of your new toy? Or are they playing catch up? Well, they're doing the last even if they don't want to admit it.

Now, Apple decides to start buying up chip makers. This way they can have the "best technology" for the chips that are put into mobile devices. This is also the same thing as using the PowerPC chips for years in their desktops/laptops. That went well, didn't it?

The #1 challenger for smartphone dominance? Google and it's Android OS, which is the king on choice. Don't like a particular cell phone company like Motorola? Fine, don't buy Motorola, you can get the HTC. Want a new UI? No problem, since companies are making their own UIs for Androids and there are a few on the marketplace. It's all about choice and personal style and flavors.

In the face of this, Apple is tightening up the proprietary shield and hunkering down for a long war. A war it's going to lose, just like it did in the desktop/laptop market for years due to the same thing.

"Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it." - George Santayana

Apr 26, 2010

Sinking fast

I'm trying not to let this game get to me, but after the insanity of the past couple of days, it's tough.

I'm now down to just over $12 in my account. It really seems like poker is just plain out to get me. It's going to be a tough road to climb back up in the bankroll as my limited funds will force me into lower games. Such as 5¢/10¢ games. It's gonna take a bit before I can build any money up to get back into the games I want to be in.

That's assuming this run of bad luck doesn't continue until I'm broke...