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!