Thursday, February 12, 2009

BANK ROLLIN': Stuck On a Speed Bump

Hey all. Long time, no blogging for ya. Well, I'm still trying to build up the bank roll from nothing, I was rolling along for a bit playing $1.25 Sit & Go's on Full Tilt.

At that point, the bank roll was at about $40 and I decided to try my luck outside of my bank roll range, contrary to bank roll management rules as laid out by Chris "Jesus" Ferguson of Full Tilt. I played in nine $5.50 sit & go's, finishing in the money in 5 of them, then playing four $11.00 ones, finishing in the money in 3 of them. My bank roll got up to over $65 before I went back down to play $2.25 sit & go's, back to sound bank roll management principles.

Unfortunately, I've been mired in a streak of bad luck overall. I've taken tons of bad beats, and went through my first stretch of actual tilt, where I felt like all my decisions were wrong ones and solid odds betting led to losing anyway. Fortunately, I'm still at $56, only $9 in the hole, but for all my solid play, I feel like I should be in better shape than this. But then again, I'm glad I had the discipline not to shift back to higher buy-ins while I'm going through this rough stretch, which could have left me bankrupt by now.

The milestone of the $100 bank roll feels miles away now...

Monday, January 12, 2009

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY: Sitting And Going On This Special Day

Six months. Six months of love, hate, highs and lows and we're still going strong. She brings out the best in me and the worst and I love her for it. "She" is online poker (Wow, this all sounds kinda pathetic, but whatever, I'm sticking with the analogy).

It's been 6 months to the day that I've started playing online poker. I've really learned a lot in this 6 months, although the money earned has been modest. The bank roll is up to $22.70 and steadily climbing by playing $1.25 Sit & Go tournaments on Full Tilt Poker

I came across an article on Drunk Blonde Poker about how poker is a metaphor for life. It is so true. The metaphor really rang through during one particular Sit & Go I played in last week. I was getting bad cards and unlucky breaks throughout the early stages of the tournament. But instead of getting frustrated, going on tilt and putting it all on the line, I patiently waited for a good opportunity, convincing myself that things would turn around. That's when I started a comeback, got a couple lucky breaks late to make it to the final two and needed about 20 mins to put away a solid opponent head to head. Oh, was it ever satisfying!

And on that note, here's to another 6 months and beyond of solid wins and big money finishes!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

MULTI TABLE TOURNAMENTS AIN'T MY BAG: And Now My Bank Roll's Starting To Sag

Happy new year, all!

In the last week, after my near misses in multi-table tournaments (MTT for short) on Full Tilt, I've faired worse since then. My bank roll was up above $21.00, then it sank to a low of $5.70. I'm at a point where if I keep playing MTT's I could potentially go broke and have to play in free rolls again.

So I figured my best course of action would be to start playing $1.25 single-table tournaments again, like I did on Pokerstars a few months back (When I steadily won over $50 and cashed out my initial investment). So far so good: I've placed in the money (top 3) in my first 4 one table sit & go's and my bank roll is back up to $10.60. As long as I avoid the temptation to play MTT's until my stack gets up to at least $30, I should be on a steady climb upwards.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

2008: The Year Of The Fish

Bahhhh... That's all I can say. Trying to build up my bank roll, playing in multi-table tournaments on Full Tilt, my last few outings, I've played solid. But being a middle of the pack stack going late into tournaments, you've gotta take chances here and there, and hope luck is on your side. Well, my last 3 tournaments that I've got into a money finish, I missed the big money because I can't seem to win a friggin' tossup. One tossup to lose a good portion of my stack, then another one to knock me out. Gross.

In the last 3, I've had 6 tossups late in those tournaments and lost ALL of them!!!! When is the other side of the coin gonna hit?!? A few times, I was the lower pair vs 2 higher cards, and the other times I was the higher cards that couldn't hit on a pair... AND to add insult to injury, my last tossup, I had A-J versus 8-8, I FINALLY get the ace to drop, and he rivers me with an 8 on the river.

Oh, and in the only other tournament I went in, an $8.80 multi-table tournament, I couldn't hit a hand against loose agressive players, then put in a big all-in raise with top-pair after 4th street, and the big stack calls me and hits on his flush draw on the river. Brutal... Totally bad poker play on his part, which he admitted to. That's poker (sigh)

And the bank roll drops to $14.05.

I guess all I can do is hope the universe will even itself out at some point and the percentages will eventually tip in my favor. Adios 2008, here's hoping for better luck in 2009.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

NO SOUP FOR U-E: The Kid Gets Turned Away From The Final Table... Twice... Not Nice

Remember when you were a kid and during family get-together dinners, you thought you were old enough to be at the adult's table, but alas, you were turned away? That's what I feel like right now playing poker. Stuck eating Spaghetti-O's while the adults have turkey and stuffing.

Now that I've won money on Full Tilt in the Canada Free Roll, I've been able to play in the money tournaments. In my last two tournaments, I've had respectable finishes: I finished 11th (out of 206) in a $2.25 tournament and 10th (out of 231) in a $5.50 tournament. But in multi-table tournaments, top 9 = the final table = way more money to be won. Sorry kid, you're not invited... :(

The 10th place finish got me $14.44 my biggest money finish. In the $2.25 tournament, I was above the tournament average and was 4th out of 11 at the time. But I didn't have the self discipline to fold to the super tight short stack (took on his A-A with my 8-8) and to not challenge the big stack in a tossup (My A-J vs his K-Q). Needless to say, I lost both confrontations and was eliminated way too suddenly for my liking. In the $5.50 tournament, I played way too tight at the end and ended up going all-in before I got blinded out (My A-K lost to A-A). Two different approaches, same result: no final table, no soup for me.

After the fact, I couldn't help but wonder how much more money I could have won. The jumps in prize money from 9th place to top spot are quite significant. I got around $5 for 11th place, but 1st prize was over $100. I won $14.44 for 10th place, but 1st was over $300... All I could do was watch the other surviving players play it out, wishing MY tournament was still going. Oh well, at least I know I'm within striking distance of bigger money. Now I just have to make better decisions at the end and actually WIN the bigger money!

So now, taking into account some other $1.25 tournaments I care not to mention, my current bank roll stands at $21.59, up from $12 last week. Onward and upward!

Friday, December 12, 2008

THE COMEBACK KID: A Runner-Up Finish On Full Tilt

Hey all! It's been a while since my last post. My apologies. I've been busy with a new job and trying to get back into shape after the nasty appendix surgery. Not too much online poker happening.

Since my last entry, my Pokerstars bank roll sank down to a single penny. I had previously cashed out my $50 in winnings, leaving me with a little less than $8, so I could start from true zero building my bank roll (I deposited $50 initially, then lost it all, then got back up to $50 through free rolls). Unfortunately, I lost 7 straight $1.25 one table Sit & Go's, leaving me with the penny. The most I'd lost in a row before that was 4 and I had placed in 15 of my last 20 one table sit & go's. I didn't think it was possible for me to lose SEVEN in a row anymore! But alas, that's Poker.

Pokerstars doesn't have any free rolls where you can win money right away, you have to win a weekday qualifier to get to a weekend money tournament. But with my new job, I'm not available for weekend poker anymore, so bye bye Pokerstars! ... For now...

So, I've turned my attention to Full Tilt Poker, which has $100 free rolls 3-4 times a day, including a strictly Canadian Free Roll. Since I haven't been playing that often, I've been making a lot of impatient donkey moves and as I make them and lose, I ask myself "Why the hell did I just do that?!?" But finally, I got back to solid poker and managed to finish in second place out of 2674!!!! That was my best finish of any multi-table tournament I've played in and I won $12, my best cash finish!!!!

I came soooooooo close to finishing first, with my stack 3 times the size of my opponent head to head. I pushed the other guy all-in with my pocket 8's vs his A-Q and he hit the ace on the river to give him new life. After that, the action was fast and furious and we were both going all-in on tossups. The tournament was over 6 hours at that point and I'm guessing we were both really tired, battling for only an extra $3 (First place: $15, Second place $12). As you can tell by all the exclamation points, I'm pretty jacked about winning $12 in 6 hrs, but hey, it's all about breaking new ground, reaching new milestones.

Speaking of milestones, my big win came on this day, Dec 12, 2008 exactly 5 months after playing in my first online tournament on Pokerstars (which was pretty much the first time I played poker - Thanks for the lessons, Dan Harrington!).

So now, I have $12, this time on Full Tilt Poker, trying to build my bank roll from nothing. Same story as before, different online poker site. The beat goes on!

Thursday, October 30, 2008


Hey everyone, it's been awhile. November's right around the corner for the "November Nine" World Series Of Poker final table! I'm excited to watch.

So here's my situation: not too long ago, I started winning in free rolls and weekly round 2's here and there and managed to win $5. But next week I'm starting an office job where I have to work weekends, so I won't be able to play in round 2's anymore.

So now, I'm turning my attention to single table Sit & Go tournaments. Pokerstars has lots of good promotions for Sit & Go's and right now, I'm finding they are the best place to work on my game. There's no crazy all-in people, and if there are, at least you get to stay at the same table and get a shot at them later. It's also a good place to study your opponents and use what you know about them throughout the single table tournament. You can also work on your end game and head to head skills if you get that far.

So after a couple weeks of single table Sit & Go's at $1.20 apiece, I managed to turn $5 into $57! BUT, I have to confess, I originally deposited $50 into my Pokerstars account from my credit card at the beginning in July, when I really didn't have the money! So really, getting to $57 is essentially just recouping my initial investment. So on that note, I cashed out $50 from my account, and now the $7 I have is house money and I'm basically building my bank roll from 0.

So now, here I am, with a $7 bank roll and stars in my eyes. Chris Ferguson was able to turn $0 into $10,000 online starting with free rolls and working his way up and I aspire to do the same thing. Wish me luck and I'll keep you updated!