Monday, November 19, 2007

Another Tourney Lost

I played in a $50 rebuy tournament on Sportsbet yesterday, having won a satellite into the event. I ended up playing $100 for 1 rebuy and 1 add-on. In the first hour I had AA, JJ and 45s which won some nice pots. I had 8k in chips after the first break. 45 hands were dealt. In the second hour I managed to increase my chip stack to 17k in chips. My big had was my set of 4s against top pair. I also hit another set of fours when AA limped in to my bb. I had 74 and the flop was 844. That was a nice double-up. The third hour was just unlucky and unfortunate. I lost a nice size pot on the river to a queen, and with 11k in chips pushed all in with 77. The sb called with AT and back-doored a wheel. It was frustrating as I was only 14 spots away from the money. I thought I played well though. The players on Cake/Sportsbet are not very good.

I bought a new computer screen that I'm trying out. It's 22 inches, a ViewSonic. I think I'm going to return it though. I want one of those glossy HP screens. If they aren't that much more, I think I'm going to get one.

I've been depressed of late, and those old voice have returned in my head. So I have to be careful with myself, protect myself from getting too bogged down and sad. There are lots of things going well in my life right now. I just need to be patient, continue to work hard, do what I need to do and relax, take things easy and think things through. Poker has so many wonderful qualities to it, but it's sure taxing when you get knocked out on the river. I really hate that, especially in a tournament in which the payout is pretty large.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Overcoming Fear

I’m playing more aggressive poker and winning more pots that way. This is due to the sheets SNG videos I’ve been watching this week. They’re good. The math dictates I can re-raise all in with a lot more hands than I’ve been shoving with. I think I’ve been too passive with my play lately, so I’ve been mixing it up a bit, getting more aggressive when the blinds rise and putting more pressure on my opponents.
One thing I’m having trouble with is delivering the KO punch heads up when I have a 3x chip lead. I lose one or two all ins, then simply crumble with either weak cards or dominated hands. This has happened quite a bit lately and it’s frustrating.
I plan to play the entire day at the Casino San Pablo on Saturday. I can’t wait to jump into that no limit game. There are some really atrocious players who play that game, people who have no trouble trying to mix it up.
I’ve noticed one regular at San Pablo who’s good at button play. He loves raising huge on the button, then going all in when everyone checks to him. I’ve seen him do that three times. The only time I say him show a hand was when he had AQ with a queen on the flop. I can’t wait to one day trap him for all his chips. I still haven’t forgotten about the straight he went all in on, forcing me to push away at higher straight. He perceives me to be a weak tight player. I look forward to getting in a situation with him in which we can gamble it up a bit. This week I’ve been struggling with some very negative thoughts and moments of depression, feeling like a loser again. I haven’t done a good enough job in bringing my tools into action and using them as a means of feeling better. Kevin said something last week that resonated with me. I think I’ve had very low self-esteem in creating a lasting profession for myself. I lack confidence in my writing ability and see myself as a washup. This is what I tell myself anyway. The truth is I can be pretty good when I want to be, only I seem to lack the drive to continue creating more interesting and challenging work. I shy away from challenges that might expose my large limitations. Fear sometimes cripples me, but I’m staying focused on riding above those fears. Poker helps with this, I think. I don’t like playing poker from a place of fear. It’s far better to play from a position of aggression and strength. This is true about a lot of like I think.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Kevin's Poker Visit

Kevin visited over the weekend. A short visit. He delivered a paper at a conference in San Francisco, but stayed with me all weekend. We had our usual great time, though I have to say he crushed me in cribbage. I took my revenge in pitch. Poker was an altogether different story. We played at the Oaks for a few hours Thursday night. I ended up down $31. Kevin was down $18. We also played no limit at the Casino San Pablo Saturday afternoon. We started with limit poker while on the waiting list for no limit. I lost $120 in limit. I didn't win one hand. One of the last remaining hands I was in I had AJ and the flop was AKx. A two came on the river and a guy with K2 called me down. What a joke. No limit was a different story. I waited forever for a hand. Finally, with A9s in late position, five folks checked a limped flop of A24. The button, an old guy who is very loose, bet $20, I pushed him all in, and he called with A6. Then came my big hand. I had AA and limped in early position. The same guy bet $20 and four people called. I pushed all in for $160. Two callers. My Aces held and I was up around $400. I remained up $460 for the rest of the night. There was a bad beat at our table as well, which means the table won $150. Unfortunately, Kevin didn't fair so well. He lost $360 total on some horrendous river beats and two mistakes that cost him around $200.

I was happy with my no limit play, considering my cards were cold and I didn't play much. I'm a very tight player. I'd like to loosen up my image a bit so that I can be really dangerous.

A new week, let's make things happen this week!

Friday, November 9, 2007

Full Tilt Strategy Guide

Kevin is in town this weekend, and we’re hitting the card tables real hard. I haven’t been playing much live, so I feel my live game is rusty. My online game has improved a lot I feel. I could use more time studying videos and my own game through the player analyzer.

I reread the Howard Lederer’s chapter on “Leverage” in the Full Tilt Poker Strategy Guide. What a great chapter. I don’t use leverage enough. I will be mixing it up a bit more, trying new things. I’ve been reading some hand history comments on PokerXFactor and in particular placing my hand histories on the site for analysis. PokerXFactor is a wonderful service for players like me and I hope to reap the rewards of my study there by winning a big tourney soon.

I plan to study Annette_15’s hand histories this coming week. She’s on the cover of Card Player Magazine....After reading two chapters from Full Tilt’s strategy guide, I fell I’ve fallen back on my ultra-conservative playing style, waiting for premium hands and not getting too involved in pots. True, I’ve had some bad beats lately, but I also think I’m not mixing it up enough and not getting paid off enough when I actually have a good hand. That’s the trouble with LAG players who have no trouble putting their chips in the pot. They are dangerous and will withstand raises, reraises and the like. It’s hard to know what they have. True, though, the tables I play are filled with not-very-good players who will call anything, so it’s tough to bluff them.

The Full Tilt Strategy Guide is excellent. I plan to read the book cover-to-cover again. Great stuff!

Monday, November 5, 2007

Post-Daylight Savings

Uncle Chris’s 60th and Louanne’s 60th two weekends ago (before Halloween) was quite the family bash. Bob & Alice, Chris & Elizabeth, Mom, Leo & Louanne, were all there. Gwen & Mathew were there. Kim & Kevin threw the party. Lots of fun. I, unfortunately, had a major eye issue that really bothered me all weekend long. In fact, I later discovered my eye was infected. Couldn’t sleep at all Friday-Monday. It was horrible. Felt like I had a piece of glass stuck in my eye. I was fine Fri night, but Saturday morning I was a wreck. I couldn’t see well, my eye was extremely sensitive to light, and I felt horrible. I actually ended up sleeping at the Benicia Best Western from 10-3:30. I felt better after sleeping. I showered, got ready and took a limo with the gang to Kim & Kevin’s. Nice place. All decked out. Great food, fully catered. I had some great talks with Mathew and Gwen about family, life, etc. Gwen wasn’t drinking, and hasn’t been for over a month. She’s still taking her pills. Acts aggressive now and then. Good times all around. Mom was here a few days before. We saw Michael Clayton, which I liked very much. Strong film. Mom, Gwen and Mathew left Monday. I went to the eye doctor Tuesday morning. Dr. Horn gave me antibiotic eye drops that helped a lot. It’s been a week now and my eyes are almost good as new. I still have to be careful. Keep those eyes wet and use the Refresh PM.

Halloween was a great success again. We did a magician’s them this year and Rick was the star: “Welcome to my House of Magic.” Richard’s opening was killer. First rate! I loved it. I think we had more folks seeing the show this year than any other year we’ve put on H skits. Richard is a genius at these things. The special effects this year were truly fantastic!

Writing idea: Memoir: Romanticholic: Confessions of a Hopeless(ly lost) Romantic. It’s the story of my life, what I’d created thus far, all the failures, all the really awful failures, and all the silly stupid ridiculous cowardly things that make up my life. So sad. So pathetic. And oh so real. You can’t make this stuff up unless you’re crazy. I’m not crazy, but I do have issues.

Went to my first Cal game over the weekend, against WSU. Of course I was cheering for the Cougs. They lost by 3 but made the game exciting. I hadn’t seen Cappy in years, but he looks great and is lots of fun to hang around. His girlfriend Annette is cute and sweet and smart.

Sandy is doing well. She hasn’t had any hip issues in a while, and the new prescription diet dog food she’s been on has ready helped stabilize her digession.

My apartment is starting to look very good. My bedroom is now officially nothing more than a bedroom. No desk. No clutter. Just a clear space to sleep and change. It’s nice. I ordered cable the other day and now I have DVR to record shows. It’s basically a life changer. No more VCR. It was time to do that.

The racquetball league has started up and everyone is after me. But I have a few tricks up my sleeve. I’m working out, increasing my endurance, pumping iron, and hitting the ball very hard. Can I possibly win my 4th straight singles league in-a-row? A few players are saying no way.
I’m using the hand analyzer at PokerXFactor and it’s a very good way to learn how to play and improve one’s game. I don’t know why I feel so unlucky in poker, but I do. I feel I just don’t have any luck at all. It’s difficult to get out of that mindset. The number of 3-outers and 5 outers I lose to on the river is really amazing to me. I’m really good at getting it in with the best of it and losing. It’s rare that the reverse happens, but it did yesterday twice. What a surprise. Anyway, I’m studying the game big time.