Sunday, September 30, 2007


Since losing in my heads up match with Johnny last Wednesday, I've been playing a lot of heads up at Poker Host in the $5 tables. I've won around $50 or so. Not bad. The blinds go up pretty fast, which makes for a quick game. I'm developing a good reading ability on the players. There really is a lot to reading how players play their cards. You can tell how a player plays pretty quickly.

Tonight is Sunday and I'm sending Chris the first draft this evening or tomorrow morning. Maybe tomorrow morning. The first draft of the first act is pretty good.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Goal Updates

Another solid weekend of activities, projects and items to work on in my quest to complete my six 12-week goals. Goal 1: Work out, eat better, and follow the path presented in the Body for Life book. So far my progess has been pretty good. Chris’s visit threw my schedule off a bit, but I should be back on track this week. Goal 2: First draft of new script with Chris. Good progress was made this week in outlining an acceptable first draft. I’m working on the story this weekend. Goal 3: Don’s script. I haven’t touched it yet. Goal 4: Complete home remodel. When Chris arrived I did a few things to the apartment that made it much more comfortable. I got rid of lots of unnecessary dish ware. And I purchased a few things at Walmart. I have made some progress on this goal. Goal 5: Win $2,000 playing poker. I have been winning lately. I’m up around $100 or so. Not bad, but I need to do better. So That’s where I’m at. I’m also paying attention to the stock market, playing lots of racquetball, reading and spending time with friends. It’s a very busy life.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Chris in Town

The weekend with Chris. Excellent work. We got Act I cooking and now I have to write and revise, write and revise. We saw three movies (3:10 to Yuma, In The Valley of Elah, and Superbad), ate lots of great food, talked about women a lot, and films and what not, played some cribbage, walked Sandy, hit some golf balls (I’m terrible). I want to create a situation where we’re writing together. I know I’ve said this in the past, but I am determined to make this happen. Our new script is very interesting with lots of good ideas. It will be a fun script to read I think. I did a reasonable job eating good food with Chris. No burgers or milk shakes, though I did over do it on popcorn and had a Coke last night. I also ate a lot of food. I went to the gym every day but one and only slept in once. I’ll get back on track now that I’m alone again. My schedule will return.

Friday, September 21, 2007

In San Francisco with Uncle Chris

I met Chris last night in San Francisco at his hotel The Villa Florence on Powell. Cute little place, small rooms, great location. We walked to The R&G Lounge on Kearney for some excellent Asian cuisine. We order hot & sour soup, R&G Special Beef, and the seafood combination in clay pot. Really tasty meal. Very good food (though not cheap). We talked about Gwen and Jill and the depression that our family suffers from. Chris seemed a little bit down last night, not too peppy, and not really wanting to talk script stuff. We waited until after dinner when we discussed the characters in our new story. We went to a Starbuck’s close to his hotel and talked for an hour or so. We brainstormed titles and ideas for the gimmick we’ll be using in the script. Then we walked around the city for a 15 minutes or so before going to bed. The morning I worked out at Club One at the Fairmont Hotel. The place is tiny, but it felt good to get my cardio out of the way. I ate breakfast at Lori’s Diner on Powell, a 50’s-style diner with five vintage pinball machines! I love this place. I could see myself going into San Fran just to play some pinball for a couple of hours. What a great thing. Makes me want to go to pinball conventions and play more games!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Body for Life

I’ve begun a new routine with my exercise. I picked up “Body for Life” last week and will incorporate the 12-week program into my daily workout. Today is Day 1. I actually started a few days earlier. I’m paying a lot more attention to what and when I eat. I have great confidence that in 12 weeks I will look better, feel stronger and have more energy. I like how detailed and specific the programs are. They are also very manageable, lasting only 20 minutes for cardio workouts and 46 minutes for weights. Along with my racquetball, I should be in superb shape by December.
Chris arrives this week. I have created an action agenda for us. I expect us to complete a good amount of work on our script. We’ll have a lot of fun doing it. We’ll also catch a movie or two as well.
I have outlined six goals to accomplish in the next 12 weeks. 1) Complete the Body for Life 12-week program; 2) Complete the rewrite of Don’s script; 3) Complete a first draft of my and Chris’s new script; 4) Complete my apartment remodel; and 5) make $2,000 profit in poker. If I apply some of the tools I’ve learned from “The Secret” and “Life’s Golden Ticket,” as well as “Good Mood,” I might just surprise myself. Unlike last week, which was full of indirection and insecurity, I have a lot of optimism and direction this week. A lot of it has to do with the tools I learned in “Body for Life.”

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Lacking Focus

Wednesday, September 12, 2007: I lack focus this week. I have a lot on my plate and am easily distracted. My writing projects. What are they and how do I plan to achieve my objective? I have two projects right now, one lasting two years, my rewrite of Don’s script. I haven’t touched it since March or April. I want to get that monkey off my back. My new project with Chris is actually a very good idea. No title for it yet. No pitch, though I see one coming. Poker is taking up more and more of my time. I see I have so much to learn about the game. I’m at the point where I need to develop my own philosophy and approach to no limit. This game is different from all the other poker games because the bets aren’t structured. It’s in a class by itself and I have to figure out how to best take advantage of my opponents. Playing and learning at The Casino San Pablo is excellent training, I think. The players are loose and dangerous. They like to represent hands. There are some skillful players though. Very good players. I would like to be one of them. I am generally a very tight player. I don’t play a lot of hand and feel uncomfortable getting involved in confrontations. I’m not a confrontational person, and that comes out in my poker play. If I can make the opposite sorts of moves of my natural style, I will be a lot more dangerous. This will be one of my goals in my play. It’s called mixing it up, and I could sure do a lot more of it. I’m too ABC. I’m scared of losing all my money. I’m not as good a player when I play scared. I need a goal when I play tonight at Craig’s. I’ll have a bounty placed on me, so that means folks will be taking their shot. They’ll gamble, which means I’ll have to play tight. No problem. I just hope I catch cards and they hold up (like last week).
Anyway, back to being focused. Let’s put together a schedule and tasks. It has worked before. Let’s do it again. A list of 40 action items to accomplish. I can do it. I’ve done it before. It give me energy when I write things down. Go get them tonight at Craig’s.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Where I am in Poker

Assessment of where I am in poker:
OK, I know a lot about no limit. I know the basic strategies and proper plays in given situations. I make mistakes all the time and I’m more conservative than reckless. I have to learn to take more chances and go out on a limb. I have to learn how to switch gears. Allan Cunningham and Phil Ivey are players I want to emulate. They don’t talk much. They keep to themselves. They think through situations. And they put a lot of pressure on their opponents.
In cash games, I don’t put pressure on my opponents on the turn. I think I can do a better job of this. What Howard Lederer calls leverage. I need to apply more of that to my game.
Also: I’m not very focused. I can’t sit there and analyze a game the way I thought I could. I always assumed I’m a good observer. Not so. I daydream and lack focus of what’s going on. I need to do a far better job of paying attention to the table and how things are playing out.
Confidence. It’s of the utmost importance to show confidence at the poker table. When going with a hand, go with it. Sometimes you’ll win, and sometimes not. Stay positive and hope for the best.
Don’t allow the negative voices to interfere with your ability to play aggressive poker.
Another thing I need to be mindful of is at the $1/$2 level the players aren’t really thinking too hard about who’s got what. They’re thinking about their hands. I saw all kinds of mistakes at the table, and players pushing real hard with top pair. When they have a super monster hand, the slowplay. I saw that several times. I often gave players credit for hands they never had. Understanding the skill level of a particular player is crucial.
There’s an awful lot of limping in $1/$2. Not so much raising, to players like to call raises out of position. This happened a few times. There were some obnoxious players showing bluffs. Really obnoxious. One guy out of position check-raised a player on the turn, then flipped over the bluff as he was scooping the pot. So unnecessary and wrong. He lost with everything in short order.
Yes, there is money to be made in poker. One step at a time. I need to increase my bankroll and focus on cash games instead of tournaments. I do well in cash games and no limit is where it’s at.
Detecting who is weak and who isn’t is something I can do a much better job paying attention to. I’m not focusing on that as much as I should. Is he weak or strong? How can I tell, based on how he bets chips in the pot. What can be done to manage the size of the pot but still leverage pressure on my opponent.
I didn’t place much pressure on my opponent in certain situations. I lost some pots on the river because I checked the turn.

No Limit in Vegas

Some difficult hands over the weekend:
QQ in Planet Hollywood tournament. The blinds were 100/200. I had around 4500 in chips. I raised to 600 and a tight player who hadn’t played a hand re-raised to 1200. Another guy called his 1200 and the action went back to me. I just knew the one guy had AA. But the other guy, I felt, had a hand I could beat. I gambled that the other guy would call the two all-ins. If I lost to the AA and beat the other guy, I would have 2500 chips left. But if I won both all-ins, I would have 12,200 chips and be in excellent shape. There was also a very slim possibility that they both had AK, though it was really doubtful. Anyway, I went all in rather than just calling 600. I was out of position and wouldn’t know how to play after the flop anyway. I’m not sure it was the right play, but it was certainly the most gutsy play. Anyway, AA called, AK folded, and I was down to 1200 chips. I pushed with 66 and lost to AA again, and that was that.
The second Planet Hollywood tournament I was involved in lasted an hour as well. I had A3s on the button in a limped pot with 100/200 blinds when the flop came AQ3 rainbow. Everyone checked and I bet 700. One guy called. The turn was an 8. Bet bet 500 and I raised to 1600. He called. The river was a Q. He went all in. I had 1200 left. I didn’t know what I could beat. I was essentially playing the board. The only thing I could beat was a bluff. KK seemed unlikely and no other hand fit what he had. I suspected 88. Or AK, AJ, or AT. I folded. He later told me he had KK, but I find it hard to believe. I wonder if he had KQ. I lost to an all-in a few hands later.
I am just not very lucky in tournaments.
How to behave when I have a good hand. Most of the time I was out of position (it seemed) when I had a good hand. I tend to go all in on the river when I have the nuts. 50% of the time, people call. I should make a smaller value bet sometimes to induce folks to call.
Ceaser’s was tough. I had no hand, only bought in for $100, and played very tight. I lost two hands on the river that I ended up paying off. It was my worst session of the weekend.
I notice the players just do not know who to value their hands. They think they’re strong when their hand is actually totally worthless. One of the worst played I’ve ever seen occurred last night at Bally’s. This one guy who had shown only the nuts in previous hands, went all in for around $600 or so into a $140 pot on a AJT rainbow flop. Another guy who had around $500 in chips went into the tank. I figured he had a set. I might have been best to fold there. There just wasn’t enough money in the pot to warrant a call. Anyway, he called with AKs. It was such a bad call. The AK lost, and the KQ ended up with 1200 chips. It was a horrendous call.
I won $240 playing cash games and lost $120 playing tournaments. Not bad considering my inexperience in playing live. There are a lot of regular poker players now. Some of them are not that great. I have a ways to go, but I’m on the right path. I’m a very tight player and try to pay attention to the game and what’s going on. I do need to improve this though. With more experience and knowledge I should continue to do well at this game. I really need to make going to the Casino San Pablo a regular part of my routine. That’s where I can learn a lot about the game. That’s where I’ll cut my no limit teeth.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

At Mom's

I spent six days in Bellingham at Mom’s, playing cribbage and online poker, watching movies and enjoying the relaxing atmosphere. I love lounging in Bellingham. For the first time I could see myself moving back. I need to make a big score, however. Doable. Very. I’m in such a good place right now. I feel really good about myself and my prospects. I’ve turned into a pretty good poker player. I may not be the luckiest player around, but I usually know what’s going on at the table. I played at the Nooksack once and lost around $170. The players were extremely loose and gambly. Very aggressive and had lots of bluff to them. I didn’t pick up much in the way of cards, but I did trap someone with a set. Other than that, I was in fold mold. At mom’s I played poker online and was able to build my Poker Host account to above $900. It began at $300 and was down to $220 at one point. Two weeks ago it was down to A$550. There was one day at mom’s where I lost around $120 to three sets in-a-row. I had overpairs in two cases and trip 9s on the third case. Brutal. I picked up a set of golf clubs in Bellingham. Dad gave me a set of Nike’s. Sweet! We had a great day together. I feel as though I can hang with Dad and just be. That’s a nice feeling. I’d like to actually get good at golf so Dad and I can play a few rounds together. I think he’d love that. I would like to get fairly decent at the game though. Unfortunately, I’m not very good. It’s a difficult game. But I did manage to get good at racquetball. I can get good at golf, too. Mom, Craig, Craig’s son-in-law Mark and Mark’s son Jake and I played 9 holes at the Country Club. It was lots of fun. I played horribly, but had a few nice shots. My favorite golf score was 8.

This weekend I’m heading out to Las Vegas for the weekend. Should be interesting. I’ve never been more prepared for the no limit tables than I am now. I feel I at least know how to play no limit and know what to do in certain situations. I’m expecting good things to happen. I leave tonight after work.