Monday, December 29, 2008

2008 Comes to an End

It's been a while since my last blog... I haven't played many tournies since May... have focused mainly on cash games... Pot Limit Omaha (PLO) for the most part. I put in about 55,000 hands in 2008 and finished in the black... see here for a graphical look at my results.

Looking back on my hand histories, I ran really well the first eight months of 2008 and spotted some major holes in my game. I had a disappointing September and December... although the cards did not cooperate, I did not do a good job of minimizing my losses, so I expect 2009 will be better than 2008. Oh yeah, moving up to $0.50/$1 PLO was a complete disaster (see the green line to hell on the graph). After reviewing some hands, I played like a donk. For some reason, I play way too loose and aggressive at the higher stakes.

And one other nugget... I took home 1st place in Kevin's home game in Livermore on December 5. When it got down to 3-handed (me, Yvonne and Bill), the play really got interesting... the three of us played for about an hour with the short stack surviving every time it needed to.

I think I lost only two significant pots all night... and must admit, I had lady luck on my side. Even when I folded, the flop seemed to hit me hard. I remember a hand where I folded K4... the board read K4x4x... two of the players played for a large pot and ended up splitting it... each holding K2!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

My First Bracelet

Ok, it's not a bracelet, but it's my first victory in a MTT and it feels good. I won an Aussie Millions first round freeroll on Full Tilt in 2007 (first out of 630)... but that doesn't count. It was a freeroll donkfest.

In this one, I took first (out of 110) in a $5 Omaha Hi tourney on Full Tilt. I never saw so many crazy river suckouts in my life... and not just in hands I was involved in. It was truly bizarre.

But before I talk about the suckouts, let me tell you how it started. I got absolute zilch to play with for the first 55 hands or so. I went back and checked the hand history... I had no pocket pairs better than 99 and a suited ace only twice. And none of these hands had two good cards to go along with them. Talk about card dead.

We started with 3,000 in chips. When my stack dwindled down to 2,160, I knew I had to loosen up a bit and take some chances. I was the first to enter the pot on the button with A 4 6 8 (suited A4)... I raised it up to 270 pre-flop and both blinds called. The flop came 234 w/ two diamonds. I got check raised all-in. I put this guy on a diamond draw and maybe an overpair. In desperation, I made the call and he had me crushed with AA56 for the nut straight. Ouch! But I pulled one of the 3 remaining fives in the deck on the river for a split pot... that's skill baby.

A bit later, my stack got down to 1,560. I went all-in with AA64, suited in spades. My opponent had AA43, suited in hearts. This looked like a split pot for sure when the flop came QT9 rainbow (we'll split about 88% of the time)... but running sixes gave me the pot and I doubled up. Are you kidding me?

After all that drama, I was back to about where I started with... 3,390 in chips. Still a long way to go to take home first place, which happens when I get all of the 330,000 chips in my stack.

Ok, I have to find the hand history on this one to discuss a few hands, but they might have been deleted. Regardless, this is how the tourney ended... I doubled up a couple of more times and somehow made my way to the final table (final 9). On my way to the FT, I could not get a large stack of chips... it seemed I was one of the smaller stacks the entire time. And when I got to the FT, things did not get much better... every hand, I was in danger of getting knocked out.

But I kept surviving. And then others started getting knocked out. And finally, we were down to 3 players. This is where it gets truly bizarre. I knocked out the 3rd place finisher and on that hand, I became the chip leader for the first time in the tournament. Then, on the very next hand during heads-up play, I flopped a set of 9's... my opponent pushed all-in on a gutshot straight draw... he missed, I win.

Click here for the details of the final hand.

Weird is all I can say. I held the chip lead for one single hand the entire tournament... and on that hand, won it all.

Monday, April 7, 2008

We Have an Appointment

Sheila and I met at The Paragon restaurant/bar at 11:30 this morning. It's a block away from AT&T Park, home of your San Francisco Giants, whatever the hell that's supposed to mean.

Anyway, we sat down and enjoyed a couple of drinks... I had a Mojito and she had a buttery glass of Chardonnay. Wearing our Giants gear, we soaked in the optimistic atmosphere that surrounds opening day. It didn't matter that the Giants were already 1-5 on the young season. It didn't even matter that Castillo and Bocock were the starting left side of the Giants infield... two players that I never heard of until about 2 weeks ago. It was Opening Day... and on this day, the season is new and if nothing else, it brings back fond memories of the past.

At least 30 minutes had passed by after ordering our lunch and we were well into our 2nd drink... hmm, did they forget about us? Sure enough, the table next to us received their order... in fact, I think they sat down after we ordered our lunch! Let me tell you... you don't want to be near Sheila when she feels dissed and when she's hungry. She calls out to our waiter passing by, "Excuse me... we have an appointment." I looked down at her pink Giants sweatshirt and I busted out laughing. Yeah, we have an appointment... with Bruce Bochy!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

First Blog

My wife Sheila has a blog and it looked kinda fun, so I thought I'd give it a try. I'm not sure how often I'll blog... probably not too often as I have some other web stuff that I like to do related to strat-o-matic baseball and poker.

I'm the commish of one strat league... CRL. And I play online poker at Full Tilt. If you haven't guessed, I'm a game freak geek... both of these games combine strategy and chance. When skill and lady luck are on my side, it smells like................... Victory.