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Epic Bump!

Date: Mon, Jun 21, 2010 Internet

Holy bumpage. It's been almost 2 1/2 years since my last post but I figure I'd update my progress once again. In the 2 years since, I've built a roll on stars and bodog to where I could play 100NL, cashed out all but a couple hundred on the dog, had a huge downswing in cash games on stars, and finally switched to tournaments come this summer (yeahh no school/part-time workaments!). It has been a wild but fun ride and I have had my patience and skills tested time and time again, and they have improved by leaps and bounds.

Since I switched to tournaments things have been going fairly decently. As stated I kept a couple hundred on my beloved bodog (my first poker site), and so I had to start with some lower tournament buyins. Lately I have been crushing the 1k Gt'd donkaments which are generally either a $12 super stack, $11, or $5 rebuy tournament. These tournies usually get between 80-120ish players. It seems that these medium fields suit me much better than the monster fields on stars. As proof of this, I have had 5 final tables in the aforementioned tournaments, consisting of a 1st, 2nd, 5th, 7th, and 6th place finish (in addition to 13th and 15th), vaulting my roll nearly into 4 figures. I am a huge bankroll nit and so while skill-wise I could be playing 30's-100's (omfg sick brag!), especially on bodog, I choose to grind my roll up with these tournaments. Tournaments have a ton of variance and it is not uncommon for even great players to go through 15+ tournaments without cashing. My results are pretty sick considering that I have played about 18 of these tournies and made the final tables in 5 of them, with ~7 cashes.

Stars has been a different story, albeit nothing too terrible. The average field of the tournaments that I have played on there comes to about 3k, and I get pretty fkin deep a lot of the time but haven't broken through (yet!). For instance a couple days ago I grinded my stack real hard to 77k and raise in late position with 22. Some donk minreraises me and the pot is huge so I call. I flop a set, on a 276cc board, and I check-shove to his 15k bet. He thinks a few seconds and calls with AJcc. Unfortunately the 4c comes on the turn and the board doesn't pair on the river. gg. So I have basically broken even on stars while crushing on bodog.

Overall I really enjoy tournies a ton more than cash. Still debatable whether cash is more profitable or not, but I just felt like complete crap after losing day after day with the standard combo of run bad and play bad in cash games. Losing 1.2k in a day does not feel good, believe me! With tournaments, its like oh well, if I played bad or got a bad beat, I have only lost 1 buyin. It is harder to tilt and lose a ton of money because what am I going to do, buy into a ton of tournaments and tilt shove every hand? For instance yesterday I made a bad call and was a little ticked off at my play, but instead of tilting I just went to the gym because I knew grinding more tournies would probably be a bad idea (and take too long). Saves a ton of money imo. With cash its like "Ok I'm reloading I'm going to get this donk-motherfker's money! I practice sick bankroll management so on stars even with a roll that I could easily play 100NL with, I am playing like 5-20 buyins/rebuys with the occasional 30-40 mixed in. I have heard that 200 buyins for tournaments should be a minimum, so that's what I'm gonna do.

Today I placed 6th in a field of about 80 players in a superstack 1k Gt'd tourney on bodog. I first doubled up to 10k when some donk raise-called preflop with T7s, hit two pair, and I stacked off. Fortunately the board paired on the river, giving me a better two pair (T7494). Then I doubled to ~20k when I cold called with AQ, flopped a straight and stacked a guy with AA.

I doubled up huge again to 48k when I cold called in position with AQ, led an AJ9 flop when checked to, tank-shoved when I turned top two pair on a Q turn against a huge turn checkraise, and the guy called my shove with AJ for an inferior two pair. The very next hand bothered me a bit because I raised in early position with AKo and a guy 3bet me pretty big (999 --> 3275). I 4bet shoved and he called with TT and I couldn't catch an A or K. After the hand I kept thinking maybe I should have called the 3bet instead of shoving. While shoving is certainly fine, I think that since the fields are weak I should have just called because I have an edge postflop (and pre as well), and I could have kept my monster stack which is always valuable. It was a 14k hit but I was still chipleader (albeit now narrowly).

After that the blinds took their toll and I had to grind it out to the FT. I think I lost a couple small pots then had to shove a couple hands. I got to the FT 8/9 with a measly 14k, and a couple people busted. I then almost doubled (from 11.5k) after calling a minraise (tons of money in the pot) with 65o and shoving an A64 board (with about 13k left) and then shoving another hand preflop. After than I shoved with A9o in the big blind against a small blind open, and he called with 77. I hit my A and held, and had 34k. The next hand I lost a flip when the same guy from the last hand shoved with 66 and I iso-shoved with AQs and couldn't connect. A few hands later I got 77 and shoved with 23k left and 1k/2k blinds, and the chipleader who was playing like a maniac happened to pick up KK and held. gg.

One of my teammates in undergrad has been going on a sick run. After cashing for about 20k in tournies this year he decided to buyin to the Super Tuesday $1k (yeah that's right, a $1,000 buyin), and shipped 2nd place for 45k. I remember maybe about a year ago him asking me for a $20 stake a couple times to play in some donkaments and now he has been crushing tourneys for huge scores. Pretty awesome. I personally would never play so high without at least 100 buyins (and that's taking a shot), if the field looked decent. It is pretty sick, but I am happy for him nonetheless. Risks payoff sometimes. Although every time I had tried taking a shot in cash games I ended up getting owned. Maybe donkaments are different. :)

Well that's it for now, I'm trying to check out CamStudio so I could put up a video one of these days. I know I've been promising to do it for about 3 years now, but it will happen sometime! Good luck on the felt.

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Climbing the Mountain

Date: Tue, Jan 22, 2008 Internet

Straight ownage this weekend. My last post was about a week ago, where I doubled up from 2 hundo to $400 playing stricly 10NL. Well, I got to $500 by this Friday, and after hitting $543, I decided it was time to move to 25NL. I was consistently beating the 5c/10c stakes and had enough buy ins to move up (20 buy ins minimum rule). So onward and upward I went, and I had a pretty good weekend. I had a couple sick pots to triple up, including a full house versus a Q high and A high flush, and two moster pots off of the same guy who everyone hated at the table (doubled to $50 with my 10 8 sooted trip 8s versus his 99 overpair, then stacked his remaining $43 five hands later with QUAD 10s to his QQ overpair. I did manage to take a couple bad beats, but I also got lucky myself in a couple instances (including QQ vs AA when the board went 58796 for the straight and a split pot). So I made like $200 or so playing 25NL over the weekend and my roll stands at about $750. It is progressing nicely and I am thankful for my overall good luck. It is just amazing having basically not had a losing day in over 2 weeks (cash games), and I am playing pretty well, although I am constantly learning new things about the game from playing many hands and learning from both my mistakes and successes. I am planning to reach a bankroll of 1k via 25NL by the end of this month and moving up to 50NL in the near future. I also had a lot of fun railing my buddy CavalaoMontoya (See Interview from December) during one of his deep runs (14th, 2k Guaranteed) in a tournament this weekend. Its fun having friends that you can talk poker with. On the tourney side, I've had a couple cashes but no final tables in the last week. I've sustained a couple cruddy beats, but I've mainly been focusing on the cash games as they are more convenient and higher EV+ (for me at least) when you don't have enough energy/time to play a tourney (i.e. only weekends). Good luck to all at the tables.

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10NL Grindin'

Date: Wed, Jan 16, 2008 Internet

Bodog has been real good to me over the past week or so. After dabbling in 25NL and even taking a shot in 50NL (quasi-tiltage) I decided after a walk with pops 2 Sundays ago that with my $200 roll I would grind 10NL (5c/10c) until I hit about $500. So with some discipline and a refreshed outlook, I tried it out. I was getting tired of the swings that came with playing out of one's roll. Plus, if I happened to get stacked on a bad beat at 10NL, it would not nearly bother nor affect my roll as greatly as getting stack at 25NL or 50NL. So after a little more than a week, I have doubled my roll to over $400. Yesterday was really the first day that a couple of my big hands didn't hold up (i.e. my top set vs bottom set vs flush draw which won a $35 pot). I made a couple huge laydowns (QQ vs AA preflop, AA vs set of Ks [if the guy was honest]). On the AA vs set of Ks, I was pretty sure the guy had me, because I reraised his $1.35 bet preflop to $4 and he called. The flop was 22K with 2 spades, and the guy though a while, then bet out only $2.50. Having put him on KK-QQ and maaaybe AK (but likely not, I believe only a very strong hand would call my $4 reraise pf, and he wasn't a maniac, having been the same guy with the AA vs my QQ earlier). I flat called feeling something suspicious, and the Q of spades (a third spade) came off. I pretty much knew I was done, as the range I was putting him on both would have sets at this point, plus a possible flush. I laid down my AA and he told me he had KK, which although he could be lying, I felt strongly about my read. I made some tough laydowns and perhaps one bad call against a LAG (loose aggressive player), but overall I played well. Down .99c yesterday, but up $200 in 10 days in 10NL, which is a pretty awesome result in my book. GL to all.

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Weekend Recap

Date: Sun, Dec 30, 2007 Internet

Overall I guess I can't complain. I pretty much crushed my goal of reaching two hundo on Bodog, and I went deep into some MTTs, altough not reaching the final table means that the cash is almost insignificant. Although about 10 minutes ago I just finished a 10$+1 90 man SNG and finished 5th for a decent 60$. Lost a coinflip when the bigstack pushed with 1010 from the button. I figured he might have been trying to steal and did not expect him to actually have a pair, although i called with AQo which was a coinflip. Winning that one would have vaulted me into 2nd place, but alas it was not to be and I got knocked out in 5th, a not so bad effort. I think there were a couple spots where I could have pushed my stack, but I really didnt want to get caught with a mediocre hand (K10s, KQo), and so I waited and occasionally pushed when I was closer to the blinds. I guess sometimes you have to be reckless to win a tourney, but I wanted to get it in with the best hand whenever possible. Been runnin like doodoo the past day and a half, but that's what you call variance. Hopefully I can keep my wits about me and keep the bankroll intact.

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Merry Xmas Recap

Date: Tue, Dec 25, 2007 Internet

Weekend Recap: Played pretty well this weekend, but unfortunately I wasn't able to make it to a final table (except for a 45-man SNG, 3rd place). Once again I went out with pocket queens, this time where I was in a dominating position to more than double up to be in the top 5 in chips. With 28 people to go in the 3$ rebuy, here is the hand:

Full Tilt Poker Game #4594222235: $6,000 Guarantee (Rebuy) (34221058), Table 41 - 3000/6000 Ante 750 - No Limit Hold'em - 0:41:35 ET - 2007/12/23

*** HOLE CARDS ***

Dealt to Mehr10sAK [Qc Qh]

Mehr10sAK raises to 18,000

FullTilter20 folds

papanicks folds

superbird6 folds

IH8CallStations folds

thewood503 has 15 seconds left to act

thewood503 raises to 151,670, and is all in

MrNic2302 folds

Steemn folds

Mehr10sAK: so sick

Mehr10sAK has 15 seconds left to act

Mehr10sAK has requested TIME

Mehr10sAK calls 66,586, and is all in

thewood503 shows [Jc Jh]

Mehr10sAK shows [Qc Qh]

Uncalled bet of 67,084 returned to thewood503

AnthonyMaze (Observer): hey

*** FLOP *** [Js 7c 4d]

*** TURN *** [Js 7c 4d] [3s]

AnthonyMaze (Observer): :-)

*** RIVER *** [Js 7c 4d 3s] [8d]

thewood503 shows three of a kind, Jacks

Mehr10sAK shows a pair of Queens

thewood503 wins the pot (184,172) with three of a kind, Jacks

Mehr10sAK stands up

I think I played as well as I could have, and its just too bad that I got sucked out on, but hey that's poker. My Bodog Cash Game adventures are going pretty well so far, aiming to get to $200 by the end of the week depending on how much time I can get in at the tables. On one hand (25NL) I called a standard raise and flopped a set. We both got our money in on the turn and apparently he had a higher set (of Jacks) but I got a 4 on the river to make quads. I would have traded that one for the 3$ rebuy suckout (1.2k first prize), but it was still pretty nice to suck out on occasion. I'll try to post a vid this week. Happy Holidays!

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Today's Tutorial: How to Flop a Straight

Date: Fri, Dec 21, 2007 Internet

So, um, I flopped 5 straights today. Too bad I was only in three of them. In one of the hands that I wasn't in, I decided to fold 2h6h in early position, as I have been trying to avoid limping with them so early and having to fold to a raise/call one and commit myself if I see a nice flop. Well, guess what the flop was? Meh, just 3h4h5h. I merely flopped a straight flush, too bad I folded! But overall, I am simply glad that things went my way for the two huge hands that are illustrated below. Note: I tried my best to accurately display the hand histories; its a bit tougher to do so because of the way Bodog maintains their hand history database.

Here is a hand where I flopped a straight and more than tripled up (Bodog Cash Games, 25NL, $15 buy-in):


Community Cards 8c 7h Js Ac Kc

da rat Showdown Show card: Three of a Kind
7 7 7 A K

ShipItMehrAA Showdown Show card: Straight
J 10d 9d 8 7

regtufnel Showdown Show card: Two Pair

ShipItMehrAA Hand result $ 49.90

Here I flop a straight and flush draw, and call 2 all-ins:


Community Cards 5s 7c 6c Jd Qc

Ulvtand Showdown Show card: Three of a Kind
Q Q Q J 7

EvilRODemeus Showdown Show card: Two Pair
6 6 5 5 Q

ShipItMehrAA Showdown Show card: Flush
Qc 9c 7c 6c

Ulvtand Hand result $ 27.49 (side pot)
ShipItMehrAA Hand result $ 30.71 (I win the main pot)

I also flopped a straight to the ace for a small pot, and would have quadrupled up in another hand had I limped in and called a 5.5xbb raise with my A5o (which you almost never should do), but the hands above were the 2 big pots I won this evening. I am going to continue buying in $15 into 25NL unless I get felted, in which case I'll move back to 10NL. Hope everyone did their Christmas shopping already (so that the stores won't be too packed when I go, lol)! Its the weekend baby!

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Start Good, End Bad

Date: Thu, Dec 20, 2007 Internet

After last night's tilt-fest I decided to formulate some super-strict rules to follow, and posted them right above my monitor. Things were going well in the beginning of my session today, as I ended up winning a 3-way pot with AA to triple up from $10 to $30 (Bodog Cash Games, 10NL). After that I somehow ended up multitabling trying to enter into tables with higher average pots. That didn't work out too well. I somehow ended up dropping my profits plus a couple bucks. Great. Fittingly, the last hand for me was getting felted with...AA, versus 78o. I raised 3.5x, got a couple callers, and one evidently flopped a straight draw. He, acting before me and to my immediate right, bet the pot (~$1.40ish), and I tripled his bet (~$4.20). But people love chasing their draws without knowing a damn thing about pot odds, and so he ended up calling and hitting his straight on the turn. When the turn came I immediately put him all in, not at all putting him on 78, and, hooray again, another draw had materialized for my opponent against my monster hand (see yesterday, AJ 2-pair vs heart flush).

Update: So I couldn't help myself, and i bought in short for one last hurrah for the night ($10 into 25NL). I had K10 and called a big stack's bluff on the turn and river on a 4 10 A A 5 board to double up to $20 before I called it quits. He checked the flop, bet half the pot on the turn, took a while to think, and then put me almost all in on the river. He interestingly also bet $5.55, which felt like a tell translating to "this dude's a deuchebag, $5.55: you are trying to intimidate me out of this pot." I made a pretty good read, called him down (he had QJ for squadoosh), and took the pot to double up. I feel a little better ending the day up $7.

A lot of times in cash games, I end up doing well in the beginning and then somehow giving it all away by the end, like I am renting a friggin car or something. I guess I am seriously going to A. stop multitabling and B. stop playing when i feel the slightest bit of fatigue. I really didn't think that I was tired, but I guess I was. Maybe I should just set an amount of time to play, and then get the hell out after that amount elapses. We'll see. I also just purchased Harrington on Hold 'Em Volume 2, which I plan on reading soon. I believe that this book will help me close my tournaments better and get to the final table/win, as I have gone extremely deep several times (see previous MTT posts), including one 3rd place for $300 and another 3rd in a live tourney for a couple hundred, but have not yet closed the deal. I need to spend more time studying the game. Particularly getting idiots to fold their draws...buts that's a whole another story. Enjoy your Friday folks.

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Hooray for Tilt

Date: Wed, Dec 19, 2007 Internet

Even the best of us have done it. No matter how disciplined we stay, its bound to happen to us at some point. Especially to young 22 year olds. Today I tilted my a$$ off.

It all pretty much started with an 18-man sng at Full Tilt which I bubbled out of the money after having a huge chip lead. Then the roller coaster began. I tried multi-tabling a 10+1 MTT, and two SNGs. On the first hand of one of them I lost KK to AA. What a super deck. I also bombed out of the other two.

Then I ended up playing 50NL, flopping 2 pair with 2 hearts on the board. Each time I overbet the pot to give him bad odds to call, but he ended up calling. He was rewarded by his bad play on the river by hitting his flush, and I got stacked.

These things happen, but when it does, it really sucks. Well, there's always tommorrow I guess.

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Cash Games - Hell Raisers

Date: Tue, Dec 18, 2007 Internet

Bodog is truly the site with the craziest poker players alive. I plunked down on my chair and played about 40 minutes of cash games after dinner out with the parents. With Bodog, I'm trying to build my bankroll gradually and adequately, so I decided to sit at a 10NL table. What I witnessed was play never before seen in my entire life. These guys at the table should have filed a patent because their play was friggin unbelievable and so extraordinary that I wholeheartedly endorse their categorization as "Hell Raisers."

These maniacs would routinely raise 10x, 17.5x, and even 21x the Big Blind. Who does that? I saw a couple all ins from people in early position, and I planned to wait for a good hand to stack off these donks. The saddest part of all is that I only broke even before this table dispersed. The best hand that I got was 1010, but upon raising this hand I was reraised to 12.5xbb by a guy a couple spots to my left. Despite the maniac tendencies at the table, my poker sense really felt like I was dominated by Kings or a higher pocket pair. I contemplated folding right there, but with the opportunity to stack him if a 10 hit the board, and the additional plus that I had position on him (i.e. would act after him, so I could get some information by his bet/check before I acted) I cold-called his raise. The flop came all undercards, and he bet the pot (~2.60). I pretty much felt he had me with KK or AA, so I folded right there. I was convinced that I would have a much better opportunity later rather than risk all my chips (inevitable) with my 10s on this hand.

I was down to like 8.50$ and decided to raise it up 4xbb with AQ, but I got 4 callers, and after someone check-raised my continuation bet (the flop missed my AQ), I went down to 7.40$. No problem though; I took down a few smaller pots sensing weakness each time via checkdowns, and I was able to take down a decent-sized pot to put me a little above my buy in (10$) when i cold-called a preflop raise of 3.5x with 88 and led out on the flop and turn despite 2 overcards and 3 spades by the turn (which I think helped me and scared the crap out of my opponent). After a couple rounds went by and people started to leave the table, I ended a few cents above my buy in. Not much, but hey I'm following proper bankroll management here! Most of the time I get to stack these guys, so I'm not worried, even if I get stacked myself. The only time you need to get mad at yourself is if you fail to make good decisions. Just make sure you get all your money in with the best hand(or at least objectively think you are), and everything else will fall into place.

I only got to play at another table for like 10 mins (so I could have some time to get this entry in!), but I made ~12.5bb; most of it was with KK when I got 4 callers after my 4xbb preflop raise and everyone folded to my pot-sized flop bet to take down a ~3$ pot. That was about it. I tried to get the microphone working today but there was a bit of a compatibility issue. Not to worry, I'll get it resolved and we'll have the vids up soon! Cheers.

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Poker Off Day

Date: Tue, Dec 18, 2007 Internet

Decided to avoid the online felt today (i.e. not play poker). I was pretty tired after work and lifting weights, and by the time I came home it was fairly late. I preferred to rest the brain, have some money (awesome) steak and rice (thanks parents!) and watch some Monday Night Football. One update of note: I added a definitions link to the right of the page in case some of the poker terms I periodically use are unfamiliar to any of you (credit: Ryan). Feel free to ask me or post in the comment sections at the bottom of my posts as well. I guess I don't feel so bad not posting much tonight as I had two posts yesterday. I'll say this though...some ShipItMehrAA vids will be coming soon! Actually it is Tuesday morning, so you'll be seeing another post "today" towards the night hours. Until then.

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MTT Madness with guest "CavalaoMontoya"

Date: Sun, Dec 16, 2007 Internet

Just busted out of another MTT a couple spots from the money, although this one was only a 90-man deepstack tourney. We started with 3k in chips and within the first two levels my stack went up to over 9.5k. On the third hand of the tournament (15/30bb) I limped in with Ad3d along with a couple others. The flop came Kxx with two diamonds, pretty much what I was hoping for. One guy bet out 90, i called, and one another person min raised. This being a deepstack tournament, and with the potential to get a ton of chips if I hit my draw, I called, along with the original bettor. The turn was a diamond, and I had hit my flush. I bet out 270 (~1/3 pot)trying to look weak and I got a call. On the river (As) I bet around half the pot to try and induce a call, which happened, and I was up to 4.8k.

A couple hands later my 5x raise with AdQd brought along a couple callers, and the Ac7c10h paired my ace. Despite betting the pot (660), I got two callers, and the turn was a 5h. I then bet 2200, putting at least one of the players on a club flush draw. One player folded and the other called with....a club flush draw. Fortunately for me no club came on the river and I was up to 9.5k.

And that is the end for the good part of the MTT. I basically got no hands at all, and none of my steal attempts worked. The one time that I did pair my ace for a decent-sized pot, I had to lay it down because I was pretty sure my kicker was no good. So yeah, I placed 24/90 which was so-so. It was pretty tough having such a cold run of cards, but sometimes that's how they are dealt. I also placed 3rd in an SNG and got felted once in a cash game, and I immediately called it quits for the day. I'm getting better at knowing when to stop, because if you don't, you can kiss your ability to make good decisions and your bankroll both goodbye.

Now onto my online interview with one of my teammates from college. Here's a pic of us (UMBC, America East [D1] Conference Tennis Champs 2007), with yours truly holding the trophy and our interviewee, CavalaoMontoya, kneeling with both arms raised (hell yea, we are #1). College was indeed a blast, culminating with us winning our conference my senior year. I hope some of you guys in the pic get to see this blog, and that you have a great season and defend our championship. BTW, where the hell are our rings?

"CavalaoMontoya" actually encouraged me to play on Bodog, and he frequently tears it up on the 12 and 20 dollar SNGs at BD. We were discussing poker via IM and he told me an interesting hand with him at the final table of a 20$ MTT. This hand made me feel a little better about my AK getting sucked out on vs. A8. Nevertheless, it was rather sickening to hear. Here is the story in his words (thank you cut and paste Gods):

CavalaoMontoya: "After playing solid for aproximately 4 hours in a MTT $20 on Bodog, I am at the final table with aproximately a 40,000 stack in front of me (chip leader has 45,000). Average = 25000. There are 5 people out of 155 and the winner gets 50% (of the prize pool) which was $500 bucks. So with 5 people left i got dealt KK on the button. The guy on my right raised to 4000 (blinds 1200-600). Thinking that he has AJ, AQ or even KJ for bodog players (LOL, so true) I reraise to 20000 expecting maybe a fold or if he called praying not to see an A. He calls and the flop could not be better for me. K 10 2. Looking at my set I check. He goes all in ...(idiot). I laugh, wait til the last second and call. I am looking at 100,000 chips, and everyone else at 20000, but.......

He hits his straight on the river. I go out of the tournament and win 40 bucks. I almost cried. LOL."

My buddy CavalaoMontoya is quite the poker player. Him and I used to battle it out in college during trips and in house games. He is a tricky player with an aggressive style, and judging from his recent winnings (2k in ~4 months), all from SNGs alone, He should be due to win an MTT one of these days. Hell, I hope we both are. I remember losing a race, my QQ vs AK, with 15 people to go, and if I had won that race, I would have been top 3 in chips. First paid 1.2k (3$ rebuy). I guess it wasn't meant to be that day, and neither was it time for CavalaoMontoya's big win. In time we will win the coin flips and the races, on on those days we will claim our prize and savor the victory. In time my friends. Thanks for the interview CavalaoMontoya.

Go Retrievers.

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Deep in an MTT Version 2.0

Date: Sun, Dec 16, 2007 Internet

Woke up and decided to play another 5$ MTT on FT. Guess what the hell happened? I got very deep again and virtually placed the same as yesterday (16th/301). I played pretty well but unfortunately a luckbox big stack got real lucky and hit his 3 outer to knock me out a couple spots from the final table.

Starting stack sizes are 1500 as always, unless its a deepstack tourney. I made a pretty huge call early on, raising with QQ and finding one caller. The board came Kd9d3s with two diamonds and I led out for about 2/3 the pot. My opponent calls. I then bet out about 1/2 the pot to continue and represent a big hand. The guy goes all in and I hit the Time button. I put him on a flush draw and call despite the King on the board. He flips up 9 10 for middle pair and I take the pot. A couple people type in "nice call" on the chatbox, and I'm up to 5k.

Then something very cool happened. I was dealt JJ and the blinds were getting higher (150/300bb), with me chipping down to 3k. A talkative guy to my left minraises to 600, and I immediately shove my jacks. Everyone folds and he immediately calls with...10d8d (LOL). He had me well covered with about 12k in chips. The guy types "misclick" and I say "really" to which he follows with "you think?" I thanked him for his misclick and I was up to 6k in chips.

I blind-stole my way to 9k, when I was dealt AA in early position. Not wanting to mess around and have a junk hand catch two pair or some crap at this stage in the tourney (~70 left) I raised it up to 3xbb (1800). A couple folds and then someone immediately shoves. My eyes light up and I snap call, and my poor opponent flips up KK. He doesn't hit his 2 outer and I double up to 18k in chips (top 10 at this point).

I chip up to 24k but thanks to the ridiculous blinds (600/1.2k) and one failed pot steal attempt I go down to 15k. Finally, an extremely loose bigstack with over 66k min-raises one from the cutoff. I immediately shove, and after a few moments he calls and shows A8o. I'm in great shape but...this is poker, and he hits his three-outer (an 8 on the turn). Everyone immediately starts lambasting him for his loose call, and that he is a lucky donk. On the previous hand, he called someone's all in with only an inside straight draw and hit his 4-outer on the river. Sometimes people get lucky. Real lucky. If I had won that hand I would have been top 5 in chips and in position for the final table. Final Result: 16th/301. Once again I played quite well, and at least this time I didnt go out making a bad call but rather with the best hand. Perhaps I could have smooth called, or reraised (in which case he would have likely called anyway) but I didn't really have enough fold equity, having only 15k in chips, so I think I played it correctly. Didn't really expect to get this far again in a tourney so soon (see yesterday), but then again I did. I likely will play again tonight or this evening. Until then, peace out. A8o sucks.

Full Tilt Poker Game #4522600515: $5 + $0.50 Tournament (34182355), Table 12 - 800/1600 Ante 200 - No Limit Hold'em - 15:03:44 ET - 2007/12/16
Seat 1: djrichla (38,938)
Seat 2: Sambuca44 (66,767)
Seat 3: BigLas24 (21,779)
Seat 4: Mehr10sAK (15,836)
Seat 5: Mr_Drada (13,628)
Seat 6: whitecloud55 (23,197)
Seat 7: M50 Rider (28,343)
Seat 8: JC_CC (29,543)
djrichla antes 200
Sambuca44 antes 200
BigLas24 antes 200
Mehr10sAK antes 200
Mr_Drada antes 200
whitecloud55 antes 200
M50 Rider antes 200
JC_CC antes 200
Mr_Drada posts the small blind of 800
whitecloud55 posts the big blind of 1,600
The button is in seat #4
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to Mehr10sAK [Ad Ks]
M50 Rider folds
JC_CC folds
djrichla folds
Sambuca44 has 15 seconds left to act
Sambuca44 raises to 3,200
BigLas24 folds
Mehr10sAK raises to 15,636, and is all in
Mr_Drada folds
whitecloud55 folds
PAPA_TEFLON (Observer): weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee
Sambuca44 calls 12,436
Mehr10sAK shows [Ad Ks]
Sambuca44 shows [Ac 8c]
*** FLOP *** [5h 6h Qc]
*** TURN *** [5h 6h Qc] [8d]
*** RIVER *** [5h 6h Qc 8d] [7s]
Mehr10sAK shows Ace King high
Sambuca44 shows a pair of Eights
Sambuca44 wins the pot (35,272) with a pair of Eights
whitecloud55: damn man
Mehr10sAK stands up
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot 35,272 | Rake 0
Board: [5h 6h Qc 8d 7s]
Seat 1: djrichla folded before the Flop
Seat 2: Sambuca44 showed [Ac 8c] and won (35,272) with a pair of Eights
Seat 3: BigLas24 folded before the Flop
Seat 4: Mehr10sAK (button) showed [Ad Ks] and lost with Ace King high
Seat 5: Mr_Drada (small blind) folded before the Flop
Seat 6: whitecloud55 (big blind) folded before the Flop
Seat 7: M50 Rider folded before the Flop
Seat 8: JC_CC folded before the Flop

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Bodog Cash Games, and going deep in an MTT

Date: Sat, Dec 15, 2007 Internet

I played some cash games on Bodog around noon. It went pretty well. I decided to 3-table 10NL and basically played ABC poker, doubling my buy-in on one of the tables (20$), tripling it at another(32$), and breaking even in the third one(~10$). I also went pretty deep in a 5$ MTT (multi-table tournament), placing 15th/520 before busting due largely to a huge call that I (unfortunately) made.

You definitely have to look out for the huge donks in the MTT's. Super early on, I was dealt QJo and elected to limp in. The blinds were 15/30 (the 1st level). There were two other callers, and the board came J10A. Everyone checked around, and the turn was a golden K. I bet around half the pot to look weak and perhaps solicit a call when this maniac dude to my left minraised me (240). There were now two clubs on the board and I didn't want to let him draw cheap so I reraised to 600. He went all-in and I figured that he had a queen for sure and we were going to split the pot. I call, and he flips up A3 with only one club. With four cards to a straight on the board he pushed all in with Ace and a crappy kicker. Some players puzzle me, but hey, thanks for the easy double up.

A couple hands later with 3k in chips I was dealt a shiny-looking AKs and raised it up 3x the Big Blind. I get one caller , and the board is Kxx. I bet pretty aggressively, and he calls. I put him all in on the river and he calls with KQ. My top pair top kicker takes the pot and I am up to about 5k.

I then lose half my stack with AA, playing a very poor hand. I raise 3x the BB and get a couple callers. The board is 862, and I bet around 2/3 the pot, hoping to induce a raise from someone with top pair. Mistake #1. I get a caller, and the next card is a 7. I then check the turn: Mistake #2. He check behind, and the river is a 9. I check, and he bets 1/3 the pot (1200 into ~3600 pot). I reluctantly call, and he shows 10 8s for the 4-card straight. I played this hand very poorly and let the turn card scare me into thinking that he somehow turned a straight with a 45 or 910. I should have just shoved.

I go down to 1.4k in chips. There are 6 limpers and 900 in chips in the pot. I look down at Qh5h and my mind screams "Squeeze play!". So I go all in, hoping that either everyone folds or I get some hearts/queens on the board. Everyone folds, and I am back to 2.2k.

I moved to a new table, and promptly the dealer gives me AKo. There is a 3xbb raise from the cutoff position, and a call. I go all in, the original raiser calls, and one other guy calls. The raiser flips up QQ, and the other guy shows 55. Fortunately I win the raise, catching a K on the flop, and I triple up to 7.5k.

Many hands later, I get dealt 1010 in the BB. Everyone folds to the BB, who raises 4xbb. He did this often, and a couple times I defended my blinds with success (happening to have good hands both times). I elected to just call here, and the flop came rags with a King. There was already more than 4k in the pot, and I checked to him. He bet 1.5k. I called, feeling weakness with such a small bet and only one overcard to my 1010. Turn came a blank, and he bet 1.5k again. With such great pot odds (1.5k into a 7k pot), I called again. River was a Q, and my opponent bet out 3k. I had 8k at that point, and figured that A. there was no way in hell I was folding (3k into a 13k pot) and B. this guy is weak, but if he does have it and I call, I only go down to 5k instead of being knocked out (he was basically pot committed and would likely call my all in. So I call, and he shows AJo for Ace-high. I rake in the 13k pot and go up to 21k and am in the top 20 in chips (with about 90 people left).

Now for the hand that screwed me. With 24k and blinds at 500/1000 and 125 ante, I limped in behind a couple others with KhQh. Several limpers follow, and the flop is 9Q9. A couple people check, and I bet half the pot (~4.5k). A couple folds, and one guy min-raises me to 9k. At this point I should have had alarm bells going on as a minraise often means strength. Nevertheless with the enormous odds I called. As soon as the turn came, he immediately shoved for 8k. Now this really looked like a bluff to me, but I should have known that he was actually protecting his hand from the flush draw on the board. So with 16k in chips and an enormous pot, I called, and he flipped over 10c9c for trips. The river was no help, and I was down to 8k. What a blower.

I get moved to another table, and steal blinds a couple times against some enormous stacks. Finally I get caught going all in with 6d9d by AQo. The board hits none of us, and I am out in 15th/520. Not too bad but its a bit disappointing considering that I was close to a final table and was looking at around 600$ for 1st and a couple hundo guaranteed for the top 4. Oh well, that's poker. I made my buy in back plus a couple bucks, and I gained some more experience (i.e. fear the minraise, keep pots smaller without the nuts). The Bodog-Ferguson project is going as planned and I played fairly well on FT. Not too bad IMO. We'll get to the final table again in time.

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Friday Night Poker

Date: Fri, Dec 14, 2007 Internet

After what felt like a pretty long work week, I decided to hunker down in my little room and play some poker. I played some cash games on Bodog (BD), and a couple tourneys on FullTilt (FT). These are pretty much where I exclusively play poker. I wouldn't mind playing some on PokerStars, but BD and FT are the most convenient in terms of deposit and withdrawal options. Two rooms are enough for now, until I bust out a huge MTT win or something. I'm actually playing a 5$ MTT and a cash game while blogging.

Bodog is so money. It is just friggin insane what people push and make huge calls with at this site. After hearing some rave reviews about the fishiness of the players, I said to myself, "what the hell, let's see what I can do on here." So I decided to try and pull off a Chris Ferguson. For those of you who don't know, Ferguson is a world class poker player who managed to turn nothing (i.e. 0 dollars and 0 cents) into $10,000. That's pretty sick. He won a few bucks in a freeroll on FT and then followed the most stringent of bankroll management rules, like only playing with a max of 5% of one's roll in a cash game or SNG, and a max of 2% spent on tourneys. Obviously he had to break his rules in the beginning (there is no 8 cent tournament if you only have 4 bucks in your bankroll), but he achieved his goal and gave all the money to charity, which was a cool thing to do.

Anyways, after depositing 20 bucks on BD to screw around with, I actually feel like I can pull off a mini-Ferguson, although I am starting with 20 bucks and not zero (screw you, freerolls!). After less than a week's worth of play, my roll is up to $100. So I bet you're thinking, "Huh Mehr, follow that strict bankroll plan, did we? How in the hell did you grind up to 100 without following Ferguson's rules?" Well, the answer is that I doubled up like 435326 times. With the exception of one SNG, all I did was buy into 10NL games (that's .5/.10 folks) with half of a full stack (5$). Top pair top kicker is like gold on Bodog. People here will routinely stack off with top pair worst kicker on a straight and flush-heavy board. It's really not worth it bluffing here except for the occasional continuation bet. You basically come in, raise big with your AA-AQ, limp in with pocket pairs or suited connectors when it is cheap and/or profitable (i.e. many callers behind you), and trust your reads. Its a pretty good site to grind it out at the cash games, and they have huge overlays in the tourneys. You''ll take a bad beat or two though; yesterday some donk arrived at my table and went all in on the first hand. My poker sense tingling, I called his all-in re-raise with my AKo, and the maniac flipped up his all-mighty powerful J3o. I paired my Ace on the flop, and he paired his 3. Hooray I thought, he only has 5 outs. The turn was a blank, and the river was a beautiful Jack to give him the winning two pair. But hey, the other 90% of the times I take his whole stack. People like Mr J3o, I salute you.

Here's a hand for your reading pleasure (I busted out of a couple FT tourneys, and have one left for the night). Damnit why the hell did I check my straight flush on the river...!!! Sorry, as you can tell I'm playing...guess I shoulda value bet that one. Anyways, here is the hand:

I have a full stack (10$). I am dealt 3h6h in middle position. I call a 4.5x raise after two additional callers and the board comes 345 with one heart. The original raiser min bets (.10) and I call. Then an extremely loose player to my left reraises to 15x the original bet (1.50). I have bottom pair, and open ended straight draw, and a backdoor flush draw. The other two fold and, admittedly perhaps incorrectly (though I really though he had nothing), I call. The turn is a 5 of hearts, giving me a flush draw in addition to my straight draw. The guy to my left bets about half the pot (~2.50), and I call, figuring he is just continuing his attempt at a bluff. The river completes my straight (2 of spades). I check, expecting either a check behind or a shove. He does the latter, and I call. I win the hand, and double to 20$, but I badly misread the hand. He had 57, for trip 5s and an inside straight draw.

Mr. Trip 5s actually had set this up perfectly; unfortunately for him I hit one of my 16 outs on the river. In the previous hand he called a preflop raise and immediately shoved on the flop of KKx and showed the bluff. I certainly thought he was a maniac. But people vary their play, and often people get too caught up with their reads sometimes. It's all a mixture of pot odds, stack sizes, blinds (in a tourney), and reads. He should have probably bet more on the turn or shoved, as his half pot bet gave me good odds to call. Well, it all worked out. ShipTheMonies Bodog!

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