27 July 2005

What Happens After Bankroll Evaporates?

There are three options for next steps once the online bankroll has gone: free money online, home game with the family, and the restaurant/bar freeroll tourney. To give you some context of the third option: go to Atlanta Bar Games and you'll find no less than thirty locations in and around Atlanta. I would assume there are at least another thirty-sixty not listed. I played last night at Barnacles in Alpharetta. Play started at 7:30, and I received permission to play from (passed on stir fry at home which became pancakes and cereal after I pulled out). So this is how low it has gotten for me. Seven people at my table, including myself (five tables). Top two places get $50/25 Barnacle Bucks. $400 in chips, blinds start at $5/10. Two oddball rules: no sidepots until the final table, and (this one not uncommon at these bar games), the minimum raise is the bb, not the previous bet.

So this is bar poker. One guy gets knocked out with JJ after the flop with a K on the board, a railbird takes his seat. I fold the first half dozen hands, raise $40 to go with two limpers in front of me with ATo, new railbird calls. Flop is K32, bird checks, I bet $35 (had lost track of what I was doing exactly), bird raises to $100, I fold. Two hands later, I look down at AsKs, I raise to $40, 60-something guy I had seen hovering with his buddy excitedly before we started calls. Flop comes KKQ, I bet $65, he calls. Turn is 9h (second heart), I check, he checks. River is 6h, I bet $125, he beats me into the pot with an "I'm all-in", I call without blinking, turn over my top trips top kicker only to see his top trips second top kicker (which would be a queen, which would be a boat). Which would send me to the car at approximately 7:53, which would get me home at approximately 8:02, which would get me in the shower to wash off the smoke smell at approximately 8:06. So, me and Jennifer Harman, we can commiserate with getting knocked out early when dominating before the flop (I think she got crippled in the main event with KK, K on the flop, turned a boat, river gave the guy a straight flush or something like that, a runner runner straight flush). So, could I have sniffed out the boat? It's all still a blur. I've gotten brutalized twice playing my iPod (first time I had KK, flop was AKT, panic-attack guy had QdJd).

It has been a good discipline break to get away from party for a bit. I am a book buyer but don't really read books very much. I bought 1776 a couple of days ago and am reading it. I am on page 25 or so. It's pretty neat to read, although you have to re-read most of the pages due to multi-tasking (watching the end of Star Wars I, then watching Survivor Season I on OLN). That is a major hoot--I think Jeff Proebst must have had to edit and produce the shows, as well as host. Plus, he didn't have all of his rote schtick down (he patted the should of the lady who was voted off when she brought her torch up and walked away).

Last iMusic downloads: Dare You to Move (Switchfoot), She Will Be Loved and This Love (Maroon 5).

22 July 2005

Dropping the Last $500

Dealt: 85 hands, played 18% of hands, won 4% (that's 4 hands for those keeping score). Last hand was typical, I raised with $133 UTG with AT, guy to my left reraised, I call with sb. Flop comes JTx with two diamonds, I check call with the sb, turn comes xd, I check call, turn comes Tx, I check raise, guy re-raises my last $13 (KdQd). Played a couple of hands poorly after the flop, caught two hands but never got paid off (AK, caught K on turn, straight on river; JJ flop was JTx, two fold on turn). A few major mistakes:
  • Playing when I'm not 100%. This was another rough week, and today was a stressful end to the day. Sat down finally at 8:15 or so and should not have played.
  • Played at too high a level when my bankroll was down. Bankroll was down to $513, I couldn't find a $5/10 or $10/20, so I played $15/30 (normal cash game and frequent online). Without adequate bankroll protection, this is no good to do as you can't handle the fluctuations.
I now am confronted with what to do next. To start the bankroll over means withdrawl from account, which is not good to do. My plan today is to cut bait for the next week, wait until August bonus comes around, then jump back in. This is a good illustration of the challenges for the closet poker player. I have yet to really crack the code, making strong runs only to stumble backwards either from bad runs, bad closet poker behavior, crazy partypoker freaks, or all of the above.

Treading Water

I won't start with bad beat stories. Suffice it to say I had pocket aces four times in two hours: won the blinds twice, then lost $150 twice. Got down to where I could see the felt, built back up to +350, then worked my way down, giving away $140 on the last hand. Three diamonds on flop (raised with KdJs UTG), Jd was highest on board, immediate left raised my flop bet, I re-raised. Diamond on turn made his ace, and I check called to the river. Losing so many monster hands was particularly brutal. I've been able to significantly change my online game, getting in the 17-22% hands played, so these solid hands need to hold up. Getting rivered should help me in the long run, getting paid off by the chasers, but the short term fluctuations don't help matters. Up $57 for the session, which I would call a disappointment (one big bet per hour).

Final poker note: going on tilt for laying down hands pre-flop. Dealt KJo in middle position, raise to me, I fold, button re-raises. Flop is KJJ. Button has AA, early raiser has KQ. KJo is a marginal hand for me, and I'll play it suited probably three times more than I will play its offsuit variations. It normally is a hand that can just cause leakage or get you into trouble, similar to A8, QTs, etc. Suffice it to say I picked the wrong time to lay it down...

21 July 2005

How to Drop $900

AA loses to AK; AK loses to 58, AJ loses to 8To, AA loses to 8To. This is when I get away from it, although I need the discipline to stay away for a period. Online bankroll down to $500, so I'll need a solid session to rebuild. This is my challenge, being able to stay ahead and build vs. big fluctuations. Last $350 lost in 30 minutes at $15/30 with first three hands.

20 July 2005

Top Hazards for Closet Poker Players

A closet poker player is an individual who secretly plays cash poker, primarily online. He/she is in the closet primarily due to a loved one or parent disapproving of poker on the grounds of overall negativity toward gambling, financial concerns, concerns over addictive behavior, or lack of quality time for other important live concerns, including family. Top hazards closet poker players should be on the lookout for:
  • Playing poker in short bursts. This can include the following hazardous actions:
    • Playing poker secretly at work
    • Playing poker after work but before going home
    • Playing poker at lunch
    • Sneaking in less than 60 minutes of play at a time
  • Playing all night. Individuals may sneak to play from bed or never go to bed, playing through the night. There is risk of not playing your best due to fatigue.
  • Hiding bankroll movement. This is probably the most dangerous hazard for the closet poker player. Bankroll funding can escalate beyond control, similar to any gambling or other vice. Hiding funding may cause significant distrust with loved ones amid concern that you have a serious problem.
The effect of these and other hazards can be boiled down to three results:
  1. Not playing your best; primarily, making poor decisions
  2. Impatience tied to #1
  3. Inability to grow your bankroll
  4. Inability to improve
  5. Looking for quick fixes to win
The main question for the closet poker player is whether to stay in the closet or to come out. For those living near a brick and mortar casino, this adds another dynamic to the decision.

19 July 2005

How to Play Big Slick

$10/20 on partypoker: poor player sb, Hero is UTG+1 raises with AsKd, button-1 calls, sb calls. Flop comes AhAd8d. sb checks, hero bets, b-1 calls, sb calls. Turn Ks. sb checks, hero bets, b-1 raises, sb calls, hero calls. River 7h. sb checks, hero checks, b-1 bets, sb calls, hero raises, b-1 re-raises, sb folds, hero re-raises, b-1 calls with AcJc. $397 pot/net $247.


Jumping into blogosphere. Interests: wife, children, faith, poker, coaching soccer, golf. Have wonderful wife and three boys (9, 7, 1). Own consulting and marketing firm, previously humming along, now challenged to find new clients.

Prefer live poker, but live in Atlanta so no casinos nearby, can't find home games, have gotten reprimanded for playing on party and losing. Able to build party bankroll back to $700 (includes returning $500 back to checking account). Live bankroll at $1,300. Preferred location to play: Bellagio, $15/30. Other brick and mortar poker visits: Las Vegas (Mandalay Bay, Binion's, Golden Nugget, Rio, Mirage), Reno, Tunica, Atlantic City, Phoenix, Seattle, Detroit, Foxwoods. Tournament experience: minimal online (yet to cash).

Photos of the Crew

The three boys: Joseph (1), Jamie (9), Allen (7); Angel the ole bird dog (Gordon Setter)
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