Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Horseshoe Tunica's New Poker Room Opens

The renovation is complete and the room opened yesterday, Christmas Eve, at 9am. It looks really good in the pictures! The following photos are from their facebook page. I probably won't get to see it in person until the tournament on January 3rd. The new tables have built in cup holders and built in chargers for phones/ipads along with free wifi. How cool is that?! Take a look at the larger room...

I love the entrance/desk area and the WSOP logo in the floor tile. I might've went with a darker color for the chairs, but I am not the designer, now am I? Ha! They look comfy, though. It does look great and I can't wait to see it in person. Great job, Horseshoe! Merry Christmas, all!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Wrong Read on the Interstate

If you follow me on twitter (@jusdealem), you may have read where all of my rungood went before I even arrived at the tournament in my last post. If this pre-trny incident had not occurred, I'm quite certain I would've hit my club, doubled up and went on to win the tournament. Yup.

But my luck had already been used up that night. You see, I was on my way to Tunica for that 7pm daily and running a little late, as usual. I had my cruise set at 78 or 79, because I've always heard if you're doing less than 10mph over the limit on the interstate, you won't get a speeding ticket. True? I dunno, but that's what 'They' say and 'They' always seem to know what they're talking about, don't they?

So, I'm driving along, minding my own business, when this vehicle starts coming up on me really fast. I think about getting over and letting them pass, but there is an 18 wheeler just up ahead in the right lane. If I moved over right then, I'd have to slow way down to 60 or so and I have a tournament to get to, right? No time to be slowing down. So, I decide I'll pass the truck and then I'll let this hammer foot, maniac get by me.

But, his headlights keeps getting closer and closer to me. He is right on my ass at nearly 80mph. I hate that! You need to keep a safe distance to the car ahead of you at all times, no matter the road conditions! He was really pissing me off. So, I did what they call a 'brake check', I hit my brakes hard to let him know that if he would just hold on a damn minute and get off my ass, I would move over as soon as I passed the big rig and he could carry on doing 100mph. Welp, he responded to my actions not with a polite "I'm sorry" or even by slowing down, he responded with some flashing blue lights.

That's right, it was a cop. Of all people, I had to brake check a freakin' cop. A state trooper, actually. Doh!!!

I couldn't believe myself. Idiot. You're an idiot. Good job, way to go.

After pulling over, I get my license ready trying to think of something to say. My mind is blank. And if you've ever been pulled over, you know they have to blind you for some reason. There's a spotlight pointed directly at your mirror and then they walk up with a flashlight in your face that could rival the sun in it's brightness. I squint in the direction of the light and say, "I can't see you."

"I don't want you to see me!" came the angry growl behind the blinding light.

Oh shit, he's pissed. Fabulous.

I quietly hand over my license to the beam of light. Then the ass chewing starts. I remain silent and try to look pitiful. I was feeling pitiful, so it wasn't a stretch. After he goes on a bit, I decide to go with the truth, "I really thought you were just being a bad driver. Speeding and getting too close to me." He tells me he was so close because I was speeding and he was getting my tag number. I have no comeback other than "I didn't know that, I'm so sorrrrrry".

He calms down a little and goes on to tell me that even if he were just a random "bad driver", that's still really dumb because people are crazy these days, have guns and people have been killed over road rage. Now, I'm getting a read of some sympathy and understanding. Milk it, milk it! So I do. Which, I did actually, truly agree with him. It was a stupid thing to do and I was thankful for the reminder that yes, people are crazy and it's best to just let them be crazy and let them by.

He left me with a stern, "Don't do that again." instead of the ticket for speeding and reckless driving that I thought was coming. So yea, I used up my rungood that night before I even got to the poker room. But that's fine with me! I lost less than the ticket would've been, so I'm calling that a win! :)

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Gettin' Too Frisky

I am on a roll with busting tournaments before the 1st break, lately. Something I've never done before. It's happened in the last 2 tournaments I've played. Twice. Two in a row. Back to back. I never understood people who bust early to anything other than a cooler. Now I am one of them! What's the deal?

In the last tournament, it folded around to the button who limped in. I called in the SB with QcJs. (Yes, I could've and should've raised I suppose, but I thought I'd see a flop and go from there against these 2 particular players.) The button and BB have me covered. The BB, a young, newbie tourist, made a min raise. It meant nothing, he'd been raising often from any position. The button calls, as do I. Good spot to squeeze here...the more I think about it, the more I'm glad I busted, serves me right the way I played it! LOL

Anyway, 3 to the flop which came Jc 6c 3c

So, I have top pair, decent kicker and a flush draw. Pretty good flop. I check to the raiser. He makes an expected continuation bet. The older man on the button raises a large amount. I don't remember exactly, it's been a while, but it was for most of my stack...say I had 8k and he made it 5k. I knew he had a made flush already. I knew it. But I thought my club draw was higher than his made flush. If I could get another club, I would take it down and get a nice double up. It was about 70/30 on the flop. I don't know what's got into me lately, but I have been taking these unnecessary risks. I move all in, the BB folds and he of course snap calls with 10c 7c. No club came and I was out.

I hate how I played it the whole way. Also, in my quest to be Vanessa Selbst Jr...haha just kidding, I could never be that aggro I don't think...but I have been taking more risks, probably not the best risks in hindsight, but I'm actively trying to mix things up. It's a fine line between creative lines and spew, though. I'm still trying to find the balance.

However, in my next tournament, feel free to run over me for the first few levels. I'm not playing a hand 'til after the 1st break. Ha!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Horseshoe Poker Room Promo For New Room

The Horseshoe poker room announced this tournament on facebook yesterday. A $25,000 guarantee with 3 WSOP main event seats thrown in. Nice! I'll be there. The WSOP circuit events start January 23rd at Harrah's. Here's a link to the schedule of events. See you there!  

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Math is Hard

A poker obstacle I have to overcome; math. I only have some many fingers and toes, ya know.

I'm the one trying to discretely use my phone to constantly calculate the number of bbs in my stack. Don't judge me. LOL  

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Guys Are Way Easier

Making friends. I'm the quiet type. The shy type. An introvert, some would say. Sometimes, especially in my freelance photography job, I have to pretend to be a social butterfly, overflowing with smiles and small talk. It doesn't come naturally, but I have enough experience that it seems like it does. I can fake it well enough. I have my camera, I have my media pass. That gives me a reason to walk up to a complete stranger and strike up a conversation. 99% of the time, they are very receptive to me and even when they're not (for instance, the person they are with at the event is not their spouse, ahem, and they don't want photos taken, fine), they still decline politely. I've never had someone be rude or blow me off as they walk away as quickly as possible. It's a good thing, too, because I wouldn't be doing that job any longer if they did! Rejection sucks. Twice as bad when you're shy.

So, lately I've been trying to use this 'pretend-I'm-sociable-and-not-an-awkward-dork' method from work in making new, real life poker friends. I've been actually walking up to people in Tunica, introducing myself and starting conversations. Without my camera, my security blanket, mind you. This is a big deal for me lol. It had been going really well, too. In the last month, I've met several guys, who like me, love to talk poker, which is exactly what I was looking for. Up until now, I've only had my husband to discuss strategy or general poker stuff with and all the pros say "to get better, surround yourself with people who are better than you and who care about it as much as you". Sometimes I get to talk with the Bovada & Tunica Tournament Crusher, aka Memphis Mojo, usually on a tournament break and I enjoy those brief talks. But other than that, it's just been my husband to talk with. And while he's won more money than I have in tournaments, I had to laugh the other day when he turned away from the youtube video he was watching and asked me, "What is a value bet?" Yea. And he's on Hendon Mob and I'm not. Sigh. lol.

It took a lot of nerve to talk to these people, because of my shyness, but like I said, all was going great until I had the thought, All of the the poker players I'm talking to are guys. I need to make some female poker friends, too. So, I spotted this female tournament reg in Horseshoe (Roadhouse) who had walked by the table when I was playing the GS main event and wished me luck, saying she pulled for all of the female players. She seemed nice to me then, so I figured I'd walk up and try to get to know her. Umm, noooo. When I attempted to start a conversation by asking how she'd been doing since I saw her last, she totally blew me off with a hurried "I've been running bad in everything.." and straight up walked off!

Oh. Ok then. Hurt my feelings, heifer. Fine. Maybe she had just busted out of the tournament and I should cut her some slack? Umm so had I...I don't think that's any reason to be rude? It was a daily, not a championship, geez. So, I guess I'll just stick to guy poker friends for now, they are way easier to approach and talk to. And for that, thanks, guys, you rock. :)

Monday, December 2, 2013

Crazy Time of Year

Hope you all had a happy Thanksgiving! This is a super busy time of the year with all of the cooking, cleaning, shopping, tree trimming, entertaining, family visits and working, so I'm not sure how much I will be playing poker this month. The blog may be a little neglected until January when life gets back to normal. I may not be playing, but I'm still thinking poker pretty much all of the time lol. An awesome blog reader sent me a copy of Ed Miller's hand ranging book How to Read Hands at NLHE, which was a super nice thing to do. Big thanks to him, it's a great book.

In the last post, I mentioned we played cash after the tournament. It was pretty uneventful for me as far as cards go, but it was a lesson in tilt control for several others at the table. I don't know if it was a full moon that night or what, but there were some crazy people out, y'all.

It started in the tournament registration line at the Shoe, when I spotted a man in a cash game looking an awful lot like a Nick Nolte mugshot...

His long, greasy hair wasn't as wild as Nick's, but he was very similar looking, shirt and all. What really caught my eye was the little green, hair clip he was using to pin his hair back on one side. The kind mom's put in their little girl's hair. I had the perfect spot to snap a pic, but I totally chickened out. Lame. I know.

Then at Harrah's in the cash game, the first thing I heard the 3 seat say was, "Hey, we're at the WSOP final table. I'm trying to win the tournament! I'll play how I want to." as he tabled his 7-3 offsuit winner.

Should we tell him we're not in Vegas on ESPN, that we're actually in a shallow stacked 1/3 cash game in the middle of nowhere? In my opinion, of course not. I don't have a problem with crazy. I welcome it, entertain it. Be crazy, play crazy. It's good for the game. But there were 3 men at the table who had a problem with Mr. WSOP and just had to let him know about it. He continued to defend himself with talk of final tables, I took his side with a smile and a "nice hand". Who cares if he doesn't play 'correct starting hands' or if he doesn't want to chop the blinds? There are several regs at Harrah's who don't chop. Who cares? Outplay him post flop. I noticed that while his opening/calling range was wide, he was fit or fold and if he did get a piece, he would overplay top pair/bad kicker like it was the nuts. That's a great player to have at the table! But they didn't think so, obv. He took a a long break and just when he came back, it was time for me to leave to go meet my husband. Sad face. I wished him luck as I was leaving, he was the nice kind of crazy, hopefully I'll get to see him again at the tables. I'd much rather play with him than the tilted, ego driven players who were berating him. Shame on them.

Monday, November 25, 2013

I Hate Post Titles So Ya Know

I was off Saturday so I played the Horseshoe tournament, the one Russell chopped last week. Went out right before the 1st break. nh gg. I don't think I've ever busted before 1st break! First time for everything, I guess! Probably should've folded pre, especially since I was running like dog doody and all...but, at 100/200 I raised in EP to 500 with AQdd. An older lady in MP 3 bet to 1500. The big blind called and I called because she was 3 betting often, not your typical old lady only 3 betting AA & KK. She would stab at pots, too, and try to outplay people, so I didn't trust she had a super big hand. I was the shortest stack of us 3 with about 8500 (42 bbs) left after the call.

Flop: Q J 9 with 2 spades.

BB leads for 1600 into me and Mrs. 3 bet.

What do you do there with TPTK on a draw heavy board? If you're me, you eff it up, obviously.

The big blind was a young guy and I always think young guys never have it lol. On a draw,huh, kid?! is what I think most of the time. I need to work on that, ha. He was pretty decent though, so I took KT, even sooooted, out of his range. He didn't 4 bet, so I took AA, KK, QQ, JJ and TT out. That left hands like KQ, KJ, AK, AJ, AQ, 99,  mayyybe QJ, JT etc.

If he had a set or 2 pair, would he lead out into us raisy-daisy ladies? I decided that no, he would not. He would lead with less than top pair and draws. Mostly draws. He's a kid, right?? He'd check-raise his big hands, but not lead with them. Spoiler alert: I was totally wrong.

So, with my thoughts on his leading range, I raised his 1600 to 3500. (I think smaller raises tend to look nuttier than larger raises. I could be wrong, of course, but it generally works for me.) The older lady folds without a thought and he pushes out a stack of orange chips, more than I had left. I said the F word.

You're supposed to have a plan before you bet. My plan was that he would fold. (EZ game!) If he re-raised, I would have to fold. But I didn't. :(

It's a super easy fold. But I looked at my sad, little, lonely grey 5000 chip and said whatever..and I threw it in anyway. He had a set of nines, of course, that became quads on the river. I coulda/shoulda/woulda folded, I mean 5000 was still 25 bbs. I have come back from way less before..I don't know why I did that. Dumb.

But hey, everybody makes mistakes, right? Live and learn. The rest of the night was fun, as Russell busted out not long after me and we had dinner and played cash for a little while. More on that game in the next post. Stay warm, y'all, it is brrrrrr out there!  

Sunday, November 17, 2013

The Husband's on a Heater

Although I had to work all weekend, my husband did not and went on a heater at Horseshoe for almost $4k. 

It all started in the Saturday $10k guarantee tournament at the Shoe. He made some good reads, good plays, had some rungood and ended up chopping it heads up for a few hundred less than the $3400 first place prize money. Then on Sunday, he sat in a 2/5 NL cash game and won another grand. 

He makes me sick. 

Haha, just kidding, dear! That's awesome! Way to go, Russell! 

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Gold Strike Poker Room To Close

Just saw on 2+2 that the poker room at Gold Strike Tunica will be closing in January. This is horrible news! They held the best tournaments; 3 big series each year. Now all we will have is the WSOPC at Harrah's (until they close! ugh!) and Horseshoe might run a smaller series in June like they did this year. It's a sad day for local players like me who can't travel for tournaments. Why is Tunica not the great poker destination that it used to be?? This is the 3rd poker room to close in Tunica and I will bet Harrah's will not be far behind Gold Strike in closing. I wouldn't be surprised at all, in fact I thought they would close before GS did. Sad news, y'all, very sad news! :(

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

GS ME Winner

So, the guy on my immediate left that I kept having to fold to, ended up winning it all. Proof of the terrible table draw and bad position I was in, ha. Congrats to Mick Donovan from Nashville! He won just shy of $60k for the win. He's a nice guy and would show me his hand after I folded, which I had to do every hand we played. sigh. Good game, sir. 

Monday, November 11, 2013

Best Tweet Ever

So awesome and encouraging...this totally made my day/week/year. Thank you, sir! 

Sunday, November 10, 2013

ME Day 2 Recap

Card dead, bad position, big stacks all around me. I don't play many trnys, so I don't know how the table breaking works, but I had hoped they would break mine first when I saw the seating chart this morning, because even though I was like 25th of 56 players, I was 6th of 8 at that table with the 2 biggest stacks directly on my left. Terrible position to be in. But, nope. Instead, they just kept sending more big stacks to my table. The chip leader got moved to my right, of course. Super. Oh well, couldn't catch a break and busted THREE from the money. nh gg.

"And still not in Hendon Mob.." -Memphis Mojo with the needle as I'm walking out. Ouch! I was already feeling like I'd been hit in the stomach by a linebacker. Thanks for the reminder, Mojo! Thought we were friends, geesh!! But yep, still not in it. Russell, my husband, is in it and pretty much every poker player I know, but me lol..Oh well, maybe next year...

It was fun though, I had the chance to play with some great players, meet some pros I respect and had a pretty good run. Not bad for an $80 satellite.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Main Event at Gold Strike Day 1 Recap

As you know, I won a satellite seat to play the main event of their Fall Poker series. Flight 1A started yesterday and there I was, little ol' me, in the same tournament as WSOP champions, RunGood pros, circuit grinders and some all around good freaking players. Surreal. Pinch me!

We started with 77 players and ended with 15 through level 12. I was one of the 15. :)

Instead of getting super wordy and all TLDR (too long, didn't read lol), I'm just going to hit some highlights for ya...

Players I spotted in the field:

Jonathan Taylor, who won this event last year when it was called the Winter Poker Classic. He was just in Vegas railing his friend, Ryan Riess, to his WSOP Main Event victory. This guy is a true beast and I really hope he does not make it through to Sunday (sorry, Jonathan!), although I would love to watch him a different tournament, of course. ;)

Chris Moneymaker. This guy does not need a link. If you don't know who he is, I don't know why you're reading a poker blog. lol

Kyle Cartwright, a local player and RunGood pro. I was actually wearing a RunGood shirt under my pullover. (It's super cold at Gold Strike.) And I love their tagline, by the way.."We are the Grinder, the Underdog, the Longshot, the Comeback, the Dark Horse, the Write-Off, the Unknown, the Upset. –” 

Kyle got moved to my 2nd table. Not gonna lie, it made me nervous, but I tried not to show it and won a couple of pots against him. I introduced myself at dinner break and he said, "You 3 bet me, we can't be friends." LOL! I told him about that being my 1st main event and he gave me the greatest compliment when he said, "I can't tell. You're 3 betting often and your sizing is good." I almost passed out, y'all. I got a compliment from a known pro! He is a super nice guy, I really enjoyed meeting him and playing against him.

Michael Sanders, another RunGood pro and great player. He was at my 3rd table and will be at my table on Sunday. He is also a super nice guy and it was great meeting and chatting with him at the table. He bagged 83,100 for Sunday.

Austin Buchanan, a circuit grinder who I don't really know much about other than he has been making a lot of final tables lately. He bagged 139,600 for Sunday.

So that's a few of the ones I recognized, lots of money won between those fellas! Then there's me. To be honest, I really don't feel like I played my best. In some spots, I played like total crap! I'm super disappointed with some of the mistakes I made. For instance, I made the absolute worst call of my life for 40% of my stack in one of the later levels with the ass-end of a straight. I have never done that before and I did it the biggest tournament I've ever played in...UGH. I did get a little back from that guy a few hands later when I check-shoved over his river bet with a busted draw and he folded. Risky, yes, but I had to do it as I knew he was scared of my check raises from a previous hand. I'm glad I found the nerve to make that play.

Made another dumb play with 55 and had to bet/fold the turn...just burning chips, y'all. So yea, I'm not too happy with myself. But I've got to shake it off and get ready to rumble again tomorrow as I bagged 54,600. I'm 9th of 15 in my flight. There will be 4 flights total with the survivors combining tomorrow at 2pm for Day 2. We won't know until late tonight/tomorrow the total prize pool and how many spots will be paid. Last year's winner took home $56k.

My first main event, my first day 2. Let's go!!!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Hand Ranges & Flop Texture

As I was skimming through some threads on 2+2 this morning, I came across a discussion on ranging your opponents to successfully bluff/take away pots when their range misses the flop. It's a concept I've been trying to work on improving this year. It helps a bunch when your opponents are inexperienced or so tight that they are super easy to read post-flop, as was the case when I won the Ladies event at Horseshoe back in June. I also used it sparingly, but successfully in my recent satellite win. They are talking about 1/3-2/5 cash games here, but it applies to tournaments even more, I think.

The question asked in the thread:

Could you talk about being aggro with a wider range? I am pretty ABC and only bluff in lol obvious spots. Rarely am I squeezing light pre or bluff raising flops/turns. What hands/conditions/board textures are you looking for?

The answer from the OP:
Before you start to expand your ranges pre you need to work on your post flop game more bc you will be put in way more marginal spots post the weaker your range is. My advice would be to really focus on ranging your opponents fairly accurately first. Once you are able to see what the majority of their range is in a given situation you will start to see what board textures go well with what ranges, if an opponent has a stagnant range (to tight and doesn't vary much from that range) then you will be able to exploit sooooooo much on the majority of boards, just bc it's so damn hard to make a pair in this game. And that is how you bluff effectively post flop, don't ever do something just to do it...I hear a lot of people say that they had decided on the flop no matter what they were going to bluff the hand all the way down which is absolutely idiotic. Learn ranges vs board texture and will start to set yourself apart from 95% of all players.

The best part of his response to me was the "don't ever do something just to do it". I think a lot of people ( I know I have in the past) decide even before the hand is dealt that they need chips, they're bored waiting for a hand or whatever the reason that, I am taking this one down no matter what! That usually does not end well and they've lost a ton of chips for no reason. Been there, done that.

In his next response he said:

The thing is playing live double and triple barrels work a lot less than online, same goes for a high frequency of bluff flop/turn raises. There is nothing more exciting/fun then to play a complete session as a successful lagtard...the thing is in these lower stakes it's tough to execute it successfully consistently bc people aren't quite on the right level of thinking.

Ed Miller wrote a book "playing the player, how to move beyond abc to dominate your opponent", absolute greatest book I've ever read. His thing is you don't want to have your game labeled as "abc" "tag" "lag". Your game is based off of your opponents game, so you develop aspects of all 3 styles and you crush games when you successful sift thru all your tools and use the most optimal line tailored to your opponent. 

I haven't read this book by Ed Miller, but I have listened to him talk about it in interviews. I believe it's a $50 book (last time I checked) and so I probably will not read ass alert lol. But I think the idea can be summed up in the 2 paragraphs above; don't do anything just to do it, know your opponent's ranges and how it relates to the board texture, if they will fight back or fold 2nd pair, AK with no pair, etc. Play the player. :)

Welp, the main event starts tomorrow at Gold Strike! I'm excited & a bit nervous, but all I can do is play my best. As long as I don't play like an idiot, I'll be fine with however it turns out. No pressure. LFG!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

WSOP Main Event is Heads Up (Spoiler Alert)

They were still 6 handed when I went to bed last night. I figured I would wake up to the news of Ryan Riess heads up with JC Tran this morning. Nope! It was Riess, the guy I picked to win, heads up with Jay Farber, the guy my husband picked to win. How about that? Our two picks made it! That's pretty cool.  

Riess, Farber

Here's the link to the Poker News story on the final table play. I was not expecting to see Farber still in this, but there he is. Go, Riess the Beast! 

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Satellite Win Recap

Ok, I have a minute to blog, short work day today, yay. So, as I wrote in the last post, I played a super satellite for a main event seat in the Fall Poker series going on at Gold Strike Tunica and won one of the two seats. :)

First off, I wasn't even planning to play that day. It was Day 1A of the $100k guarantee, a $350 re-entry. My husband was playing and he thought I was, too, but I changed my mind at the last minute and decided I'd just stay home and enjoy my day off from work. Well, I could tell he was disappointed, he wanted me to go because he thinks I'm his good luck charm..awww. Anyway, I just didn't want to play event 1, so I told him that I'd go and just play a satellite or something. He was happy and off we went.

I decided on the main event satellite and it was small at 16 players, but 2 seats were guaranteed. I liked my table. It started 5 handed with all recreational players, no hoodie wearing grinders, pros or semi pros to worry about. One 40 something guy was wearing a black WSOP '13 jacket and sunglasses, but I read him as a habitual bluffer. He was. I eventually busted him when he bluff shoved with J-4 offsuit. I only had QJ, but I knew I was ahead, so I went with it and I held.

There was only 1 thorn in my side, an aggressive guy who sat down right before registration closed. He apparently knew he was overly aggressive, because he would win a pot and then go talk a walk..sometimes missing almost an entire level. I see that from time to time, guys afraid they're going to spew chips in dumb spots, so they leave the table often. He was one of those. Fine with me, I liked it when he was gone. Everyone else was much easier to play against! (He ended up the bubble boy, by the way.)

This one poor guy, I really had his number. He was on my left and I noticed that he could fold a made hand (very rare), so when we were in a pot and I thought he wasn't that strong, I would float his cbet and take the pot away on the turn. One key hand against him at the final table: He was two to my right at this table and he open limped for 1600, I raised QJ in position to 3500. He was the only caller. We were about even in chips, neither of us very deep. A mistake at this point would've been pretty much the end. The flop came A T 6 rainbow and he led into me for 4000. When a player leads into the preflop raiser, I tend to look at that as a 'blocking' bet, it doesn't necessarily mean a strong hand, it's more to 'see where they're at'. To me, it felt like he probably held a Ten, maybe KT/QT/JT since he limp-called my raise or a smaller pocket pair. If he had an Ace, wouldn't he just check-call my (likely) cbet to get more out of me? I just did not believe he held an Ace and hey, I've got a gutshot, so I called his 'donk' bet, as they call it.

The turn was another Ace for: A T 6 A That 2nd Ace was perfect for me, as it's a blocker to any possible Ace in his hand, so my read was pretty much confirmed that he did not have one and when he bet out 7000, I had to go with my read and raise him. He snap folded saying, "Well, she made a believer out of me.." :)

Another key hand at the final table was against the chip leader. He wasn't that good, but he was running reallyyy good. I don't remember my stack size exactly, but I was semi-comfortable. He had heaps. With the blinds at 1k/2k, I open raised AQ to 5k in early position. He was the only caller. The flop came out 3 5 Q. I hit top pair and bet out 7k. (I actually had a hand this time, how bout that haha.) He responded with a raise to 14k. Normally, I would sigh and fold this hand quickly, thinking, he raised me, he must have the nuts! But this time, I paused to think about it instead of auto-folding. Yes, he has been hitting everything, but does he really have yet another set? I looked at him, looked at my chips, looked at the pot. I can't just call, it's fold or shove. We were down to six players. So, I looked at him and said, "You're running so good..", trying to get a reaction. He chuckled and smiled, but it was an uneasy was a nervous smile. I saw a hint of weakness in his face and instantly I said, "I'm all in." He folded. He folded! He was just trying to push me around! After that hand, I just knew I was getting a main event seat. I just knew it. I was too focused not to.

I'm not one to brag on myself or toot my horn, but I am pretty proud of how I played this tournament and it wasn't due to the deck hitting me in the face (because it most certainly didn't! lol), I just played my heart out, didn't give up, panic or make too many mistakes. I did make a couple of mistakes, one was really dumb that cost me half my stack at the final table, but I didn't give up and I recovered. The main thing I did differently was to really pay attention to the mistakes others were making, make a plan to exploit those mistakes and actually follow through with the plan. So many times I think, I should've done this or that after a hand, this time actually I did what I knew I needed to do and it worked liked a charm. :)

I am so excited to play my first main event and my biggest buyin tournament ever. I'm sure the players will be much tougher than the ones in the satellite, but I am not going to be intimidated (hopefully). As long as I feel like I played well, I'll be satisfied. I play Friday at noon...I'll let you know how it goes...:)

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Main Event, Here I Come

Last night, while my husband was in the $100k guarantee at the Gold Strike Fall Poker Classic, I played an $80 rebuy super satellite for a $740+$60 main event seat. We ended up with two tables and two seats (+$50 cash) were guaranteed with 3rd place getting almost $500. I don't have time to blog about it today, but I played my heart out, y'all, and I won one of the two seats!! It'll be my 1st main event of any series and the biggest buyin tournament I've ever played. I am so excited! Will try to write up a recap soon, I had several interesting spots throughout the tournament to discuss. :)

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Negreanu Wins 2013 WSOP POY

Congrats to Daniel Negreanu on picking up his 2nd WSOP Player of the Year. The first was in 2004 and he's the only player to win POY twice. Impressive these days for a non-whipper snapper, eh? Also, congrats to Vanessa Selbst for making my morning with this gem of a tweet:


In other news, I dusted off my tournament game last night in a Horseshoe daily. Smaller than usual turnout, probably because of the temporary move to Roadhouse next door. I did ok in the beginning and mid-stages, but my late game play needs work; way too tight. To be fair, I *was* card dead at the final table and in a really bad spot for late position steals with Memphis Mojo in the small blind and a very active player with a lot of chips in the big blind to my button. For my Cutoff, I had the active player and an extreme short stack, who would likely shove over an open raise from me and then I'd have to call off with air...So, I just wasn't in a good spot in late position. To counter, I tried an UTG open for 3x the blind with a marginal hand, 9d10d. Fail. The active player 3 bet shoved. Blah. I folded, he had Tens. Lost a few hands later, King high to Ace high. C'est la vie. 5 spots paid and I got 5th. Sigh. Maybe next time! It was fun to final table with you, Mojo, looking forward to many more. ;)

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Was He Fishing??

The husband and I went over to Tunica yesterday to play some cards. He wanted to play the 3pm $10k guarantee Horseshoe tournament and I played a 1/3 NL cash game. I went to the cage to get chips and saw my husband was seated right next to every poker blogger's favorite Cardinal's fan, Memphis Mojo!   My husband had position on him, but that didn't stop Mojo from taking nearly all of his chips when he hit a straight vs. my husband's set of nines. The flop came 9 Q x and Russell incorrectly put Mojo on AQ, he said he never even thought about JT...big mistake, Russell. ;)

Anyway, he was out not long after and went to 'hustle' pool downstairs while I tried to get somewhere in the cash game. I started off with a slow and steady climb, then I guess the doom switch got flipped and it turned to not so slow and steady downhill freefall. I was getting frustrated, which I try hard not to get frustrated and keep emotion/tilt out of my game, but sometimes it creeps in. But luckily I can get up and get out when I feel like I'm about to 'frustration spew' my chips away. So, that's what I did, I cashed out down half a buyin and went to find Russell. The pool game went better than the poker game for him and he had won enough beers to be pretty lit when I got there lol.

Now on to the title of this post..During my cash game, I went to get a coffee, because that's what nits do, drink coffee, dammit. Haha! So, I was at the coffee machine when this tall, distinguished looking Asian man came up and started chatting with me. He was not drinking coffee, obviously. He asked if I was up, I was a little at the time. He asked if I ever played 2/5 and that he saw me playing and I should come join him in his 2/5 game. He said it's too hard to get anywhere in 1/3, the pots are so small, the players so tight, etc. But in 2/5, the players gamble more and you can win much more...I'm nodding and agreeing with him, but at the same time, I'm thinking, Is he trying to reel in a fish here? OMG am I the fish?!? What part of me looks like I want to gamble, I am drinking coffee for goodness sake?!

So, I dunno how to take that nice man's invitation LOL. What do you think?? I just told him he would see me in his game soon. ;)

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Horseshoe Tunica Poker Room Reno Underway

It looks like the poker room renovations have begun at Horseshoe Tunica. I saw this tweet this morning:

 : Our poker room has moved temporarily to while we renovate, enlarge, and add a Lounge!

A WSOP lounge?? I wonder if that means the Horseshoe will start hosting the WSOP circuit series in January rather than Harrah's where it is usually held? Hmmm, it sounds that way to me. I think that will be a nice change! Can't wait to see the new room, which is expected to be ready in 6-8 weeks. 

I read some gossip on 2+2 a while back about how they put a lot of money into the new Roadhouse poker room only to close it a short time later. So now it's being used as a temporary room for Horseshoe. (All 3 casinos, Harrah's, Horseshoe & Roadhouse, are Caesars properties.)

The following photo is from their facebook page and they said the room is located on the 2nd floor at Roadhouse. As far as I know it will be business as usual, with the same games and same daily tournament schedule at this new location, which is right next door to the Horseshoe. I think I'll check it out soon.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Gold Strike Fall Poker Classic

This tournament series hasn't been promoted very well, as it's only a few weeks away and isn't even on the Gold Strike website yet. There's not even a thread on 2+2 in the tournament forum, which is very unusual. Johnny Grooms is usually great about promoting the Gold Strike and Beau Rivage trnys and really on top of things, but he seems to be dropping the ball on this one. Anyway, I found the schedule on the GS facebook page. With so little promotion, I don't expect great numbers, but you never know. Maybe word will get out in time. There's a $100k guarantee to kick things off and an Election Day Voter's Choice on the 5th, which is interesting. I plan to play an event or two. Anyone else playing?

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Still Alive

From a $60 buyin 

Yep, I'm still here, y'all. Haven't forgotten about this blog, I have just been super busy the last few weeks! Between work & family events, my free time has been so short. I haven't even been able to squeeze in any poker time! It will be at least Tuesday before I can make my way to Tunica again...but for now, I do have a poker story involving my husband to share. 

He's a truck driver and his most frequent run is a delivery in Reno, Nevada. There are mini casinos in the stores & gas stations everywhere out there, including the truck stop where he stays. They have a small poker room that's usually spreading just one table of 3/6 limit holdem. They will switch to NL if requested, but everyone at the table has to agree, so that's rare. 

The above picture is one he sent me a few days ago. He was seated to the right of a guy who was getting wasted on shots of Jager and beer chasers. Drinking one shot after another, playing crazy with any two cards, tipping dealers when he wasn't even in the hand and even throwing chips to the nearby blackjack dealer...LOL. Tipping everybody, losing pots he'd capped all the way. Literally throwing his money away. Good times!

Eventually, the Jagermeister got to him (not sure, but isn't that German for instant asshole?) and turned the nice guy into an aggressive jerk. He was trying to get Russell to do shots with him, but he kept declining. Then the waitress came by and the guy ordered his shot plus one for my husband. Russell was about to say no to her when the drunk guy suddenly grabbed his head! He had one hand behind Russell's head and the other covering his mouth in an attempt to keep him from saying no...Well that didn't go over too well with Russell. He didn't want some stranger's dirty hands on his face, I don't blame him! So, he grabbed the guys hand, twisted it hard and told him, sternly, he needed to relax. I guess he realized he'd went too far and he did calm down for a little while, but then he started being rude to the dealers and was eventually told to leave for the night. But not before Russell got a nice chip stack from the guy. And a story to tell, ha! 

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Local Poker Game Robbed

Last night I had a free evening, so I drove over to Tunica for some pokers. I've been trying to grind up a bankroll at Harrah's, but they only had one 1/3 game going, so over to the higher variance Horseshoe I went. I'd like to say it went well, but it did not. The short version (because I really don't want to talk about it lol) is that I was winning the small pots and losing the big ones. Losing to backdoor flush draws of all things...TWICE. Backdoor flushes. Ok, then. That was enough for me. Good luck, see you later. So, it's back to Harrah's and watching paint dry next week. ;)

At the table, I overheard the guys talking about the poker game armed robbery that happened last week at the Colonial Country Club in Memphis. I have often wondered why we can't get bigger games going in Tunica on a regular basis and private games like this are likely the reason! I don't like private games or home games, as robbery is a big possibility. No thank you. I'll stick with the casinos.

They said this is usually a much bigger game, but at the time of the robbery, there were only 6 players still playing that night and about $16k was stolen from them at gunpoint. Scary stuff. The robbery was apparently set up by a country club employee who knew about the large amounts of cash in the game and had access to the gate to enter the property.

The Memphis paper requires a subscription, but I found this article that tells the story. Moral of the story; be careful in private games! There is more than one way to lose your money...

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Pics For Lightning36

These pics are for the comment left by Lightning on my last post. I don't know what he did exactly, but DN's hair has definitely changed recently! From Jason Mercier's twitter:

As for me and my hair, we have been lazy lately. Well I wouldn't say lazy as I've been working a lot! But for my free time, I've just been relaxing, no poker. But I will be playing for sure this week. It looks like I'll have a free night this Wednesday, so there will be a blog post on that for sure. See ya then. :)

Monday, September 9, 2013

Poker Dreams

I've been thinking about poker so much, I've started having silly dreams about it! Last night, I was at a party in Barcelona with a group of poker players that included, of all people, Daniel Negreanu, new hair plugs and all! ;)

That's extra silly, because for one, I'm not that big of a DN fan. I find him kinda annoying sometimes. I know he has haters..I'm not a hater, I have a lot of respect for the guy, I'm just not a big fan. The second reason it's silly is because I do not fly. I have no desire to travel the world playing poker, so dreaming of being in Barcelona doesn't make much sense at all!

I'll blame Bart Hanson and his podcasts. I've been listening to them in bed on my ipad just before sleep, which is probably not the best time to listen to them, because although the content is excellent, his voice is soooo relaxing, it's really hard not to fall asleep listening! So, I probably need to pick a better time for listening to the podcasts. Hopefully, that will end my partying with Kid Poker! haha :)

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Saturday Picks

I think I'll just make Russell a football the meantime, he says: 

Pigs get fed, hogs get slaughtered. What a brutal day in college football. We went 2-7 with the late total addition in Miami. I've seen blind chicken pick better. Lets look for a better day in the pros today. We're going with the Bills +10.5, Titans +7, Saints -3, Bengal +3, Browns +2, Panthers +3.5, and Dallas -3.5. I also have a couple of totals I am looking at. Follow me on twitter @RussellRoss75 for those and any other late decisions I make. Lets get 'em!

Friday, September 6, 2013

Guest Post for Football Picks

Here's a message from Russell with his football picks...

Well we hit both of our picks last night in the NFL thanks to Peyton Manning's career performance. The first week in the NFL is difficult to pick because we don't know what teams are doing yet. So, we won't have many plays this Sunday. One that I like for sure is the Bengals +3 at Chicago. As for college, I have a few gems that I like. We had Temple last week in South Bend and they hung in there to get the cover. We're going to ride them again at home getting 3 vs Houston. Cincinnati made Purdue look silly last week and I think Illinois is another bad Big 10 team. I'm eating the 9.5 and taking the Bearcats. Also like Syracuse +17, Oklahoma -21.5, Texas -8, Notre Dame +4.5, Washington St +16 and Stanford -26. Follow me on twitter @RussellRoss75 for all my picks and any last minute plays I decide to make. 

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Odd Lines with Aces and Some Football Picks

I noticed some strange plays with pocket Aces the other night at Harrah's. In the first example, the player (a younger guy who looked like an aggressive player, but obviously was not) limped on the button against 3 other players. You don't see that very often, especially from late position. Too much can happen, garbage 2 pair hands are the usual culprits busting limped Aces. But it worked out for the guy as the flop came J high and he got all the money in on the turn against KJ and won. Why KJ was 3 bet shoving, I have no idea, but he did. Nice hand, AA guy.

In another hand, a middle aged guy raised UTG with AA to $6. Six whole dollars, first to act. You are inviting a multiway pot with such a small raise and that's the last thing you want with Aces! But he did. He only got a few callers, though, so it could've been worse. He won a small pot, but he did win...maybe they know something I don't...but I don't like their play too much. I feel like the guy with the $6 bet really missed out on some $, because the pot was only $18 preflop. I also got dealt Aces that night and I got $72 in the pot preflop and took it down with a c-bet on the flop. Bet as much as they will call is my motto! If you've got people at your table who love to see flops (we had 3 at the time), raise it up, they'll call it.

On to the football. My husband likes to bet on football. He's pretty good at picking winning bets, too. Last weekend he was 8-1 for the college opening weekend with 7-0 picks on Saturday. He's considering getting into paid handicapping next season (football only), so I thought we'd follow along with him this season to see how he does and have a record of it on the blog. He's been doing this for 5 years and hasn't had a losing season since he started, so let's see how he does...

Tonight's pick:

Denver Broncos vs. Baltimore Ravens 9-5-13

Broncos -7 and over 49.5

I don't know what that means...hope you football fans do. ;)  

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

My Sad Little Winrate

Well, I signed up for Bart Hanson's Crush Live Poker training videos and the podcast, too. The videos involve live cash games from The Bike with the games being 5-5 NL and 5-10 NL. That's higher than what I play, but I'm hoping Mr. Hanson can take me to 2-5. Although 2-5 basically only runs on the weekends in Tunica and that is the highest game ever run here (so says Bravo). I don't know why we can't have more 2-5 games with some 5-10 here! I may have to move lol.

Anyway, there are some videos where the buyins are $300-$500 and that's the same stack sizes as the 1-3 here, so it should play similar enough. The opening raises are only about $10 more than the average in my games, so not much difference. I like the way Bart thinks about hands and he explains his thought process well, so hopefully this will help the way I think through hands. We shall see.

I'm posting my embarrassing winrate here and we'll see if the training helps improve it any in the coming months. I've kept very detailed notes in a day planner since I started playing NL cash games in March, because if you don't track your sessions, you're just lost really. You might think you can remember your P/L and hours played, but you really can't, so if you're serious about improving, either get an app like Poker Journal to track it on your phone or do it the old fashioned way like I do and write it down. ;)

If I didn't have the results on paper, I would think I was a big loser (that's what it feels like!), but actually, I'm not losing...I'm just not winning very much. My YTD numbers for cash games since March are:

17  1-3 NL cash sessions
P/L + $171
71.5 hours played
for a whopping winrate of $2.40 per hour

Yep, I should retire and go pro already, right?? Ha! I'm pretty embarrassed to post this, but it is what it is. BUT! I am determined to get better, move up and uh...crush live poker, yo. Off I go to study...

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Penny PITA

This is our Penny, an American Pit Bull Terrier. This is not the breed of Pits recognized by the AKC, as they are considered a mix breed and sadly, are mostly bred for fighting in this area. They are high energy, friendly dogs who love and crave attention. Whatever is going on, she has to be in the center of it. That's mostly why I changed her middle name to PITA (pain in the ass lol), jokingly of course. :)

She and her brother wandered into our backyard back in February while I was out doing some spring prep yard work. They were super friendly and so cute, but I didn't want another dog! We already had one, a 7 yr old mutt rescue, who is wonderful, but enough to clean up after. I tried very hard to find their owner. I put up flyers in the neighborhood, I posted about them on facebook and called the shelter to see if anyone had called looking for them; they hadn't. I left my number in case they did; no one ever called. I think they were let out on purpose. They had no collars, no tags. We took them to the vet to see if they had ID chips; they didn't. They were about 4 months old, not house trained, most likely a Christmas present and deemed too much trouble to care for, so they were turned out. That was my read, anyway. I felt sorry for them, but still, I did not want to keep them at the time. Especially after all of the mess I was cleaning up after them!

But my husband instantly fell in love with this face and my arguments against keeping her failed. My father in law agreed to keep the male and we kept the female. It wasn't long until I fell in love with her, too. She was house trained easily, she's so smart. She's had some issues with chewing things, but keeping her exercised helps a lot with that. She does require a lot of physical activity. But she is great..funny, smart and a big part of our family. We love her. <3

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Set on a Flush Board

Last night, I decided to make the 45 minute drive over to Tunica and play for a few hours. (I really need to remember to take some photos for the blog, it makes it much more interesting than just a wall of text. My friend Mojo does this very well for his blog posts! You'd think I would remember since I am a freelance photographer and all..sheesh!)

Anyway, I arrive at Harrah's and am sent to a new 1/3 table they are opening. One of the guys who bought in for the max, $500, is antsy to play, so we start 4 handed with 1 blind. Since I hadn't played in over a month, I was planning to 'acclimate' a minute; sit back, watch and fold for awhile first. Nope, since it was 4 handed, I had to jump right in. Fine.

I played badly in the beginning, it was awful. I called bets when I knew I was behind, barreled bluffs in bad spots when I knew they wouldn't fold etc. What are you doing?! Snap out of it!, I thought to myself. Play well or just leave! 

After the talking to I gave myself, things turned around and I won back my losses and ended with a nice profit for the night. Plus my image was not completely ruined, because the table had filled and it was like a new table after that. As you know, image is really important at the tables! Mine sucked at first lol.

I had one interesting hand I'll share. We were 9 handed and I had just got back to a little over my starting stack due to my my Aces holding up against 2 players. My image was back to good/winning by this time. I opened 10h-10d UTG to $11 and got 2 callers, the blinds folded. Effective stack $220 (mine), they cover.

The flop was: 8c 4s 6c

I c-bet for about half pot; $16. First guy folds, other guy calls. This guy will call anything preflop (he's the one who bought in for the max so he could play lots of hands), he likes to see flops, but he doesn't continue without a piece. So now I'm thinking he's probably on the flush draw and I should've bet more...

The turn is the 10c

Yay and boo at the same time! It's never easy is it??

So if he was on the flush draw, thar she blows. Fantastic. I can't check, because it has been my experience as a female player (this does not seem to apply for men at all), that when I check for pot control, they will bomb it every time. This comes in handy when I'm slow playing the nuts, but it never works when I'm trying to keep the pot small. So, I've had to get used to the bet/fold approach to avoid getting bluffed off of my hands. Since he's got about $600 behind, I know he will fire a big bet if I check, so I barrel again for $25. It's a decent sized bet, but small enough that I can fold if I get raised and not be too sad.

He just calls...

Really? Just call? Ok. I am fairly confident he would've raised with a flush there. Now, I have a glimmer of hope he doesn't have the flush, so what does he have? Big pairs would've 3 bet pre to take the lead. 2 pair hands don't make sense. 5-7 is unlikely and would've raised the flop with the flush draw out there. 9-7 doubtful. Hmmm...

River: Jd

At this point, I'm thinking I may have the best hand, but I'm still pretty concerned about the flush, likely a small flush, but again I can't check or I'll have to face a large river bet when my hand is basically a bluff catcher. I bet really small; $35 and hated it inside, fully expecting a raise.

He snap just called and said, "I gotta set. " and flipped 6-6.

"Me too." :)

Thank you, Mr. Passive Man! Thank you for not raising the flop, turn or river with your flopped set! Because, I could've been raised off of that hand soooo easily. He realized it, too, after he saw my hand. I heard him comment to his neighbor about it while shaking his head.

So even though I didn't get max value from a set over set hand, it was a decent pot. One that I was not expecting to win..and that makes it even better. :)

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Can't Fold This - Remix

Srsly Sirius did a remix of the Mimi Luu hand from yesterday. It's so good haha! Had to share. :)


Monday, August 26, 2013

Nitroll at SHRPO

Saw this vid on twitter today. Bluff magazine caught this hand between Mimi Luu and Tony Sinishtaj in the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open main event last night. I don't really know what to say except "wow". It's embarrassing for female players IMO. Mimi has KK vs Tony's QQ. He moves in preflop and as she states (repeatedly) in the video, she doesn't know what to do. Yikes. The guy handled it well, though. On a side note, he's still in it with about 75 players left. Mimi is out.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

WPBT 10th Anniversary Winter Classic Dates Set

The 10th annual installment of the WPBT winter gathering will take place Dec 6-8. The Aria Poker Room staff are excited to have us back! The Tournament will be $125 and will follow the regular Aria daily tournament structure. -CK

Wow! 10 years of poker blogger get togethers in Vegas. While I have yet to make it to one of these, for the last 7 years (yes, 7!), I've eagerly looked forward to reading the trip reports and seeing the pics after. It always looked like such a great time! Will I get to attend this year? I'm going to throw out a very slim 'maybe'. When you have 5 children, December is a pretty expensive month! Trips with just the husband and I are few and far between during the year and pretty much non-existent around Christmas. It would be cool though and who knows, maybe I can be a fish on a heater between now and then, haha!

So, are you going???

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Interesting 2+2 PG&C Thread

If you read 2+2, you've probably seen the Poker Goals and Challenges section on the forums. There's a ton of threads by players trying to reach their goals, get better and move up in stakes or just beat their current stakes. Some titles are pretty funny, I remember seeing Moving Out of My Mom's Basement (part 2)..I guess part 1 was a failed attempt lol. But some are serious and actually very good. One that I've been following is from a guy who plays at Winstar in Oklahoma. He quit his job that he hated in February to take a 1 month shot at grinding live poker for a living. Well it's August and he is still going strong, crushing it actually, at about $70/hr over 850 hours in 2/5 NL.

He did get a backer within a few weeks to take some of the pressure off his bankroll and moved up from 1/2, which he really wasn't doing that well in, to 2/5 and it took off from there. He posts hand histories, lots of chip porn pics and some life pics, which makes for a pretty interesting blog. I've enjoyed reading about his progress so thought I'd share it here. Here's the link to the thread if you'd like to check it out, too. It's pretty inspiring if you've ever thought about doing the same.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Crush Live Poker?

Well, my injured hand is coming along. I'm able to use it again. It still looks awful, but I keep it bandaged, hoping it heals completely in a couple more was a really bad cut! But I can type again, so here I am. :)

So, I'm thinking about a subscription to Bart Hanson's Crush Live Poker, which is video training for live cash games. I've listened to Bart's podcasts before and also enjoy his commentary on Live at the Bike, I know he seems to be respected in the poker community, but I can't find any reviews of his Seat Open Poker or CLP training anywhere. I'd like to read an unbiased review or 2 before I subscribe, but apparently I'll just have to do it and make my own review about it. 

I follow him on twitter and he does make me think from time to time. This is one I saved on my phone that I re-read often as a reminder. 

This one was so true for me, because as you may remember from my ridiculous cash game fold with KK, I can make big folds! That is not always a good thing. lol And when an observant opponent sees that you can make big folds, they then know that you will fold pretty much anything and they will try to exploit that, so sometimes you just have to call to counter it and bluff catch more often if you think they are trying to test you. That situation came up in my last cash game. He knew I could fold, so he tried to bet me out with air. I thought it over and called with a very weak hand, because his line just didn't make much sense. My hand was good and he (as well as the rest of the table) then realized he/they couldn't bluff me as easily as they thought. Thanks to the above tweet.

I hope the CLP videos will get me thinking more at the table and hopefully improve my results. If you subscribe to CLP or the Seat Open podcasts, please leave a comment and share your thoughts, good or bad! 

Monday, August 5, 2013

Player Down

Had a dog walking accident on Friday. The neighbors dog was in our backyard and my dog, who was on a leash, didn't want her in our yard barking at us..long story short because it's hard to type with one hand..I was trying to hold my dog back so she wouldn't attack the neighbor's dog and ended up being pulled thru the gravel by my dog. Cuts, scrapes, swollen knees and having my hand glued together was the result. Painful. I can finally walk a little bit today. I'll be back to blogging again when my hand is more useful. We've asked them numerous times to keep their dog out of our backyard..If that should happen again, I will let go of the leash for sure. If their dog gets eaten by ours, oh well. We warned them. Back soon.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Tough Decision? Not Really

Here's a pretty interesting hand that occurred not long after I started playing NL cash games earlier this year. It showcases my biggest leak, one that has cost me around $1000 in profits so far. Needless to say, it must be fixed asap.

But let me give you a little background pre. I'd been playing NL cash games for about a month at this point, having switched from Limit Holdem with the occasional NL tournament. I began my NL cash foray at Harrahs, because of the 3 poker rooms in Tunica (Hollywood makes 4, but it really doesn't count for NL action), Harrahs seemed the 'safest'. The players there are far less aggressive (on average mind you, there are occasional exceptions, of course) than Horseshoe or Gold Strike. The pots are smaller and you're going to win less on average, but you can also lose less and reduce your variance and that was my goal as a beginner.

So, it's about a month later and I'm up a little. It's a Monday evening and there's only 1 table going at Harrahs. I waited 30 mins and decided those guys weren't going anywhere any time soon, so reluctantly, I went to Horseshoe. I say "reluctantly" because that is where all the true gamblers and crazy action supposedly resides and I wasn't sure I was ready for all that! But sure enough, I found the gamblers and their crazy action at a 1/3 must-move table. Ready or not, here we go. The chips were flying fast and furious. The all-ins with the super light calls, the numerous rebuys, half the table trying to straddle at the same was a world away from the quiet little Harrahs game I'd been playing!

To my surprise, I had a little run good in that game, nearly doubling up early with a set over set situation. I stayed out of trouble that night and the next night. I was doing ok against the action players, so I decided I was done with the quiet Harrahs game lol. Then on the 3rd night playing there, The Hand came up.

This table was not too crazy, there was only one aggressive guy at the table, a 30 something Asian man. He was a pretty good player; fearless, could sense weakness, liked to 3 bet to thin the field. He had about $700 in his stack and I tried to stay out of his way. My stack was up to $605 and the rest of the table was between $200-$300 to start the hand.

UTG limps to me in early position and I raise to $15 (standard raise at the table) with KK. 3 callers and the Asian guy makes it $50 in the BB, obviously trying to thin the field. UTG limper calls...

Now, here I make mistake #1. This is a 4 bet spot 100% of the time. But I am kinda concerned about the limp/caller. I've seen this done with AA before and I'm worried about a cooler. I decide to just call and reevaluate on the flop since I have position on the 3 bettor & the limp/caller.

I did not expect to get 2 more callers behind plus the small blind! That's right, SIX players to the flop. A $300 pot pre in a 1/3 game. This was a first for me. "Welcome to Horseshoe", my husband said later.

The flop comes Th 7c 4s. Not really a great flop for KK..would't it be likely for TT to be in this 6-way freaking pot?! I really don't think 77 or 44 would call pre for $50, but would TT? As I'm cussing myself out in my head, the small blind leads out, silently sliding in his remaining $167. Freaking fabulous.

The Asian calls quickly. The limp/caller guy (the one I was originally worried about) folds pretty quickly. It's on me. In the biggest pot I have played so far. I look at my stack, $555, that I worked so hard to get! The Asian has me covered and he's still in it. It's either shove or fold, if I just call, he's going to put me in on the turn no matter what falls, that's what aggressive players do, right? Plus, I've still got 2 players behind...FML. Are Kings ever good here?? Shove or fold, shove or fold...

I fold.

It folds around. Heads up. Turn: Qh, river: Ad. The small blind turns over 6-7, the Asian laughs and turns over...5-7. They chop. I want to throw up.

Two players said they folded AK, I admitted to folding KK like a scared little girl. We all laughed after, but I had to rack up. I just couldn't believe I'd folded, or not even 4 bet to begin with..I knew I wouldn't be able to forget it and move on, so I had to call it a night.

Looking back, if I had just stopped to think for a minute and rewind the hand and used info from previous hands (the small blind liked to gamble & semi-bluff and was running bad and taking risks to get unstuck) (the aggressive Asian liked to 3 bet with a very wide range and continue if he caught any piece, no matter how small. If he'd had a strong hand there, he would've raised vs calling). It was all clear once I left the table, but at the table, in that moment, all I could think about was risking my whole stack with an overpair. Am I the biggest nit ever or what??? If it had been a tournament, I would've snap shoved there. I would've hoped not to see TT, but I would've shoved anyway. I let the fact that it was $ chips, not trny chips influence my decision. So stupid.

So, my biggest leak is folding out of fear. Also, not taking the time to think through a hand (does this line make sense?). Being scared of busting and folding because of it. Scared money never wins, they say. I am proof, unfortunately. But if you are aware of a problem, you can fix it. That's what I'm working on now. I made a call with 3rd pair in a cash game the other night and was right, ha! It wasn't in a $600 pot...but it's progress. :)

Thursday, July 25, 2013


Thanks to a tweet from Greg Merson, I just discovered PokerTube, a website full of poker shows and videos. If you like poker..which, I'll bet you do if you're reading this ;)..then check it out. I watched a few episodes of High Stakes Poker (love that show!) and a pretty interesting documentary about Sam Trickett, who went from not even knowing the poker hand rankings (he used a cheat sheet on the wall) to playing high stakes games a very short time later. He picked it up pretty quickly, I'd say! So, yea, glad I found this site. Thanks, Greg.

PS. In the photo above, Croak folded the turn. Nice bet, Vanessa!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Do You Hear What I Hear?

"Tournament poker is fucking heartbreaking." That's the text I just sent my husband. And it is. Sometimes.

Sometimes, you make the correct fold against 2 opponents, say TT vs QQ vs JJ for instance, feel like a genius, then the board runs out and you hear a loud, evil rumble in your ears; that's the poker gods laughing at your genius preflop 'hero fold'. They not only laugh at you, they mock you. That's what you get for folding, genius. You could've tripled up. You woulda hit your set! Hahaha! The laughter continues through the next two levels where finally, you're forced to bluff shove 10 BBs on the flop after a check from a guy who tanks and says, "Eh, I'm tired anyway. I call." Thank you, sir, for putting me out of my misery. Much obliged. Good luck to you.

Then sometimes, you make a terrible call and get lucky. It all evens out, I guess. The good and the bad. Sometimes the poker gods mock you, sometimes they cheer you on. Today they mocked me. Hard. On nearly every hand I played and a few I didn't play. But that's the way poker is and I suppose I accept it or I wouldn't keep playing, eh? Yep. On to the next one. :)

Tuesday, July 23, 2013


Saturday night at a 1/3 cash game, the table is a mix of older & middle aged men, it's a very friendly table, everyone is talking, joking, it's a very light, relaxed atmosphere, more like a home game than a typical 1/3 table..Then the following happens and everything changes.

The two friendliest of the table are on my right and they get involved in hand that's heads up by the river. The board reads 676-T-A. I'm not sure of the pot size by this point, but the older man, first to act, has led the whole way with the other guy just calling. As the older man is thinking about what to bet on the river, he's looking at his chips and says, "How much do you think you'd call?" The younger man says, "Oh, I'd probably call up to $120." So, the older man bets exactly that, $120.

The younger man, on my immediate right, likes to hold his cards where I can see them when I'm not in the hand. He holds up 57o as he folds. The older man quietly shows 66. Everyone says "nice hand", the pot is pushed and we get ready to move on to the next hand when the dealer suddenly looks at the guy on my right and says, "I think that's binding, you said you'd call $120. I think I have to call the floor."

Now, I know technically verbal is binding, but really? It was clearly just talk, not to mention he had used the word "probably", but sure enough, the floor agreed that he had to honor the $120 and pay him anyway even though he'd folded. Everyone at the table was surprised by this.

Was it an angle by the sweet 80 year old casino-savy man? Did he set up the younger, mostly home game player? I don't know, he never asked to call the floor, the dealer did that, so who knows..But, be warned readers, I guess it's best to just stay quiet during a hand, even in a seemingly friendly game. Lesson learned!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

World Poker Open at Gold Strike Numbers Up

The World Poker Open tournament series started Friday with a $340 buyin, 200k guarantee. Poker is not dead in Mississippi obviously, as the numbers for Day 1A & Day 1B were up from last year and they actually ran out of tables, dealers & room. Last year, the total entries for Event 1 was 1,105. The tournament director, Johnny Grooms, announced on 2+2 last night that 1,173 was the final count for this year's Event 1. Day 1A had 503 and day 1B brought 670. I am wondering how many entries they would've had if there had been enough tables.

I talked to several players who either unregistered or didn't register at all on Day 1B due to the large number of alternates. My friend and fellow blogger, Mojo, wrote about his experience here. The Ladies event, which I planned to play, was scheduled on Saturday at 4:00 and because of the 670 players in the noon event, there were no tables for the women. Again, they were taking alternates and I decided to skip it. I feel like we really got screwed on this. Dear, Johnny Grooms, please do not schedule the Ladies event on the same day as a big guarantee that's expecting a huge turnout! Numbers were up for that event, too, as only 49 women registered last year and there were 65 registered when I was unregistering, plus there were others waiting to register who also changed their mind because of the alternate situation. I'm interested to see what the final number was, as he didn't mention that in his 2+2 post, because hey, it's just the ladies event, right? Who cares...ugh.

So, there's that. They weren't expecting the large number of players that showed up and couldn't accommodate everyone. Disappointing to say the least.

As for me, I played day 1A of the 200k and had a decent table, but just couldn't get anywhere. I don't even have any interesting hands to discuss.

After I decided to pass on the ladies event yesterday, I joined my husband and father in law at Harrah's to play some 1/3 NL. He heard the waiting list at Horseshoe was at 157 (wowzers!). I had a good table and a good session at Harrah's and my husband finished 3rd in their nightly trny, so it was a pretty good night anyway.

I do have an interesting floor decision to discuss from my cash game that I'll write about in my next post.

I am so out of the poker blog loop, if you can recommend any good blogs to read, please let me know in the comments. I've linked a few in my sidebar, but found most of the ones I read back in the day are no longer active. Booo :(

Monday, July 15, 2013

Getting Caught Up

So, this year started off with a renewed interest in poker, probably because my husband had a great run in an event in December at Gold Strike's Winter Poker Classic taking a 2nd place finish and making it onto the Hendon Mob database. He beat me on there and I am not happy about it. ;)

I played that same trny, but didn't even get close to cashing. It started off great, tho, I had a great table draw, a great image and lots of 'girl equity'. Then a LAG got moved 2 to my left and 3 bet every single time I opened. I didn't adjust well, gave him too much credit when I should've just been prepared to 4 bet shove any hand I opened, instead I let him run all over me and my stack took a big hit. I never recovered and was soon out (as was he, for the record). So I railed my husband for the rest of the night and he did very well. That was exciting.

Then I played a nightly during that series and ended up chopping HU with another woman. She obviously didn't want to play it out, I was fine with it either way, but I was not going to do a bad chop when she was only ahead by a little, so I was able to negotiate a great chop with her after her initial decline. In hindsight, I feel I could've closed it out, but it's really a crap shoot by the end and although I'm confident in HU play, I felt a good chop and 2nd place was fine with me.

With that boost to our bankrolls (what was left of it after Christmas anyway lol), we drove down to the Beau Rivage in Biloxi for a big guarantee they were having in January. I don't remember the name of the series, but neither of us cashed there, even though Russell did make day 2. I had a tough table draw, several trny grinders and Beau regs and the runouts were just killing me, like having to fold a flopped set of Kings to an obv turned straight. I really think I played that hand poorly, though. I screwed it up from the beginning and let him get there...totally my fault and it went downhill from there.

After the Biloxi trip, I decided I was going to switch to NL cash games instead of tournaments. They say there's not as much variance in cash games as trnys, so I thought I'd give it a shot after all these years. The only cash games I'd  played previously were limit games; 3/6 and 4/8 because I'm very conservative with money and betting the amount you need to bet in NL seemed really scary to me! I had to get over it tho, so I jumped in and realized it's not so bad. Nothing to be scared about at all. I'd like to say I won a ton, but after 65 hours of playing 1/3NL, I am actually down $50 and on a cash game break. Meh. I'll play again soon, but I want to do some reading and study more before I return to the cash tables.

In June, I played my 4th tournament of the year, the Ladies Event in the Horseshoe Summer Classic in Tunica. It was a very small turnout, but I won it! I guess Horseshoe doesn't report their series cashers because I'm still not on Hendon Mob.  :(

The ladies trny was like no other tournament I've ever played. They were soooo passive, it seemed too good to be true really. It was on the same day as the Main Event and I guess most of the better female players were in that, thankfully. We were playing short handed for a long time due to a cashier who signed a player up for the wrong trny and so that stack was just getting blinded off and keeping us 11 handed on 2 tables. That worked out so well for me. I had stacks and stacks of ante and blind chips. Stealing the blinds and limps and antes is what put me in the chip lead. Hands were not going to showdown often, so they never saw my hands and just assumed I was on the rush of a lifetime with big pocket not true, but I just smiled and agreed with them lol. When they finally realized the entry mistake and combined the tables to one, those women were so mad! They didn't like playing short handed and were really upset with the TD. On the other hand, I had loved every minute of it!

One hand at the final table that just blew my mind: It folded to the HJ who limped in, I raised 2.5x in the CO with QcJc. All fold. The button says she folded 99 and the limper said she folded 88. I have no reason to doubt either of them. They both had decent stacks to call there, or even 3 bet..I had been so active, it actually would've been a perfect spot for the button to 3 bet me..but both assumed I had AA and folded. After that, I said to myself, if I don't ship this, I am quitting poker forever lol.

It was all pretty crazy and when we got down to 3 handed, I had a massive chip lead against a bad LAG and a folding station. I doubled up the LAG twice. She was open shipping any Ace and I took 3 shots at knocking her out. The 3rd time was the charm when she shoved A5o and I rivered a flush with KdJd. Heads up only lasted one hand. I raised A9, she shoved KJ and my A high was good. :)

This was the first live tournament I've won without chopping. I've had several cashes and near misses, but this was my first straight up win! (Wish I had taken a pic, but didn't think about it 'til after.) It was a fun one and I'm glad I decided to play it.

I know this was pretty long and wordy, sorry about that. I don't like long blog posts, either! I'm caught up for the year now, so future posts should be shorter! Now I've got to figure out how to do the blogroll thing and refresh my memory with blogger. I'm kinda lost right now, but I'll get it together, hopefully.

I'm Back, Y'all!

Well, here I am again, blogging about the pokers! You may remember me from the poker blog boom several years ago..Mine was called What are the Odds and I was known as "jusdealem", "jus" and sometimes "Jude Salem", a name I got (and loved) from an apparently dyslexic Waffles :) I had a pretty decent following, met some awesome people from it and formed friendships I have to this day. Blogging was a totally positive experience, but for some dumb reason, I deleted it. So, here we go again with What are the Odds (Take 2)! That name is pretty lame lol, but it is what it is, so...

 I have to say up front that my grammar has been ruined over the last few years with text messaging and facebook, so you Grammar Nits out there be warned. I'll try to refrain from using u and ur, but I can't make any promises about anything else. I may not use commas appropriately, either. I will most likely use "y'all" a lot and repetitive smiley faces. I am a habitual smiley and winky face user and I am unapologetic about it, just lettin' y'all know. ;)

 So, what have I been up to during my long blogging absence? Just life basically, nothing interesting. I actually stopped playing poker for about 3 years, from '09 to '12 I only played a handful of times during those years and I really regret that, because you only get better by playing, duh. My interest in it returned this year with a fury and I have played more this year than I ever have live. That's probably why I've decided to start up this blog again and OMG I HAVE SO MANY BAD BEATS TO SHARE!!! Haha, I'm just kidding, I will not bore you with those, but I do love to discuss hands and writing them down really helps me think through them, so here goes!
Thanks for reading! :)