Monday, September 20, 2010

A Weekend of Everything but .....

Poker. Well thats not completely true, but I spent a lot more time away from the tables than I usually would. As any regular readers know, my game isn't the best at the minute and this has been brought on by a number of factors. Well this weekend I decided I needed a break from all things poker related. Friday night I had a family BBQ with all the people that are really important to me and we had a great time. Chicken, pork chops, and steak has a way of making me happy I guess. Just kidding, it was clearly the company present. Its really hard to let things get to you when you have two little nieces running around that don't have a care in the world and cant wait to smile at you.

Saturday morning I managed to get in an hour of coaching with a new student and it went well. Its strange to say that despite not playing well myself that coaching has been unaffected. I feel that I am still coaching things the right way and the results of some of my students is testament to this. The rest of the day was spent with Miss Nino making her the most important thing for once. Not that she isnt normally but I'm sure that sometimes she feels that she takes a backseat to poker. I must say I try my hardest to make this not happen but when its your job and you need poker to pay the bills I can easily see how she does at times. We met up with a friend to see a movie, The Town with Ben Affleck and it was great. The movie is one of the better ones I have seen lately and is definitely right down my alley. Its one of those that I will probably buy when it comes out. Affleck wrote the screenplay for it and I think it was cast tremendously well. After the movie, we did some shopping and to my surprise I got caught up in it a little and found myself giving 'A' game opinions on new outfits.

Sunday morning was reserved for Liverpool v Manchester United and whilst I dont support either team it is certainly a game that I will go out of my way to watch. It didnt disappoint either with Man United running out on the right side of a 3-2 scoreline.

The rest of Sunday, I attended a charity poker tournament put on by two of my good friends, Brack and Sharon. They are two of the most selfless people that I know and they would go out of their way to do anything to help any of their friends. This was no different as they were raising money for a friend who has stage 3 cancer and will sadly leave behind a wife and two small children. We managed to raise over $1700 that will be used for the boys in the future as and when they need it. The whole event was an amazing experience and its truly one of the first times in a long time that I have enjoyed playing poker. We had a great table and when it was all said and done I managed to best 34 others and chopped first place when heads up. I went home from the tournament with a new perspective on a lot of things and hope in the future to be a better person. Seeing the actions of others makes me realize that as a person I have so much more to learn. Hopefully in the future I will succeed in getting where I want to go.

This will probably be the last blog post that touches on personal stuff as I said at the beginning that I would only be talking about poker, and I would like to keep it that way. Lately, however, life is being effected by poker and that has caused the lines to blur a little. That being said I know my personal life doesnt make interesting reading so I will attempt to get back onto poker only from my next entry.

Good luck at the tables.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Poker: The Mental Battle

As many of you know, poker is a beast, it is all consuming and swallows you and your emotions whole if you let it. Well lately it has swallowed me up and spit me out repeatedly. I've had some outside issues that have been weighing on my mind and this has caused me to produce some results that are certainly not like me.

Through fourteen days of the month I was stuck $105. I can't remember the last time I went so deep into the month without being in the positive. I have said time and time again this month that today was going to be the day that I was going to be disciplined and grind out a profit. At the end of every one of those days, it hadn't happened. I knew that I needed some support and spoke to a friend in England on the phone and we talked out the situation. We came up with a few solutions and I went to bed last night somewhat at peace with everything and woke up this morning feeling fresh and ready to grind.

Well today has now come to an end and through 4500 hands today I was +$312. I've never been so happy to win $300 in my life. It got tough towards the end of the day as I took some tough beats but I was able to battle through them and kept my cool throughout. Hopefully now things return to normal and I can rescue the month.

The underlying message in this entry is, always come to the tables with a clear mindset. If your not in the frame of mind to concentrate and compete, don't even sit.

I will be coaching some tomorrow and might convince myself to go and play live tomorrow night. I'd originally decided not to do this but if I can put in another solid day I might reward myself with a fun night out playing cards with friends.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Winstar $2100 Tournament Review

Ugh is the way I'm going to start the write up about this tournament. I played day 1B and had what I would consider a bad table, I had Joseph Cheung (3rd in chips in November 9), and two very solid internet guys. I knew the face of one of them but couldn't place him. We started with 10,000 in chips and blinds at 25/25. This gives the illusion of a deep structure but antes were introduced in level 4 or 5 and therefore everyone becomes short quickly. It really just makes you want to gamble earlier than you really should in a $2100 buy in.

I managed to chop my stack in half in level 2 when i open AQo UTG+1 and proceed to get 5 callers!, I lead 3/4 pot on AQ7 and get a single caller from a poor local. He again check/calls a 7 turn for almost pot, the 7 on the turn brings a two flush in diamonds. The river comes a K that fails to complete the flush and after he checks, I proceed to make a thinnish value bet. He min check raises and I go in the tank, I obviously know its for value, just thought there was a small chance that he was value raises an A assuming we were chopping. Plus he is so bad that I wasnt prepared to fold with so much in the middle. He rolls over TJdd, having called with a gutter, turned a flush draw and then binked the gutter on the river.

I doubled up soon after by 3betting QQ pf and being called by KTcc. After the flop of QT7cc, we quickly got it in and I managed to hold. I got a small rush of cards after the first break and managed to get my stack to 14k before I decided to brain fart it all away. A solid player opened in the hijack and I sensed he might be weak so I elected to take a flop with A3hh. Normally its a standard 3bet but I made a mistake. We saw a flop of T25dd and I took a check/call line on the flop with the intention of taking it away on future streets. The turn Jh then gave me a gutter with a flush draw and here is where I made my second mistake. He lead for a pretty solid bet on the turn and I elected to check/raise. He bet 1750 on the turn and I check raised to 4k, leaving me 8k behind that I was going to shove on any river, if I was called. Sadly for me he took very little time to shove in on me and it left me in a gross spot. If I think my over is good then I have about 30% equity and I'm needing to call 8k to win 20k which is 2.5-1 on my money. Obviously not getting the absolute correct odds I was pretty confused what to do. With the tournament structure in mind, I made a crying call and was shown QJdd for top pair + flush draw. I blanked the river and was out. I think its interesting to note that the river was a Tcl which would of been a great card for me to represent had he decided just to call.

I had a second seat and entered Day 1C. This went a lot smoother and I played well throughout. The poker gods caught up with me after dinner when 88 < AQ and then AK < AA in a blind battle and that was all she wrote. Not too interesting but I finished a more respectable 155th.

I had the opportunity to join the Flux guys in Atlantic City for the Borgata series but things in my personal life aren't going to allow that to happen sadly. So much credit needs to go to Jared and Nick for the excellent job they are doing with their stable, really great guys to work for and a breath of fresh air in the staking world. Hopefully I will be able to get together with them soon.

Next major foray into live tournament poker is likely to be the WSOP circuit event at Choctaw in January.

I will post my August results shortly, after spending time away playing live I really need to log some