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May. 19th, 2007 @ 10:43 am Take some time off.. still got the magic.
Haven't played in 8 months due to being 'busy'. I have a little bit of free time as of recently so I went to a regular spot to play some poker (while watching the Spurs/Suns game too).

I end up winning against a group of 45 on my 2nd game back. They stopped giving away cash prizes but that's okay, I just wanted to play for fun.

Not bad, just picked up cards and pressured at the right times. I wasn't even really trying. One of the regulars shouted at me when I told her I won, "Get The Fuck Out Of Here!" They're tired of seeing me and winning games when do I make an apperance. :p
About to lay it down
Dec. 13th, 2006 @ 08:34 am Hold'Em
What are you playing?: Hello Project 2006 Winter Wonderful Hearts Concert - Be All Right
On Sunday during the state championship, I managed to last 3 hours before being busted out. I was on tilt at that point so losing to a set didn't bother me too much. This is what put me on tilt.

BB is 500/1000. I have A J. I'm UTG, I raise it up to 3000, everyone folds, 1 person to my right calls. Flop is A 3 3. I put out 3000, he calls. Turn is a 5. Person to right puts out 5000. I match it but I still have chips. He's about to flip up his cards when I didn't even hear an all-in. If this was true, he would have put out the 2 10k chips by his elbow. He claims he didn't know how much he had. The whole table claims he said all-in. I didn't hear it, I only matched what he put out. But when he moved to flip his cards, I could see he had flopped a boat and tried to smooth call me.

I balk. I make the claim he just mucked his cards because he exposed them before putting out all of this chips when saying all-in and I only matched what he pulled out.

We call for a ruling. The whole table tries to argue in the guy's favor because if I did call his all-in, I would have been out. I try to argue that he technically mucked his cards by exposing prematurely which I've been ruled on before in prior games. I conceed that I'll take back my 5k and fold my hand.

The organizer ruled in my favor. Since the guy didn't put out all of his chips when saying all-in and I only matched what he put out, he allowed me to pull back the 5k then muck my hand. I know this falls under the gray area of Hold 'Em. I've been wondering what the ruling would have been if this was a real casino tournament. I probably would have lost the 5k but I've heard of stories where people lose a lot of money due to prematurely exposing their cards.

In last night's poker session, there was hardly any skill. The lady across from me was calling or raising on BS. She was catching straights and boats like mad. I was keeping up with her as I was hitting boats on some of my favorite hands. I just kept quiet. Finally I started getting cards. Big stack was being a big bully by pushing people into all-in on the first hand. I get a pair 7's. I said fuck it and called her. I hit a set on the flop to double up my stack then take half of her stack. Next hand I get A Q, flop top pair then take another half of her stack. Just a little bit after first break, I was big stack with 3:1 to everyone else. I got A Q 5 times over the course of the night and always won with it. When we came to final table, I was at 180k+, everyone else had 20k-50k.

2nd hand, I had Ac 6c. Someone goes all-in for 30k. I call. He has A 8 offsuit. The table moans saying I made a bad choice. He pumps his fist thinking he has it. Flop is 6 6 A, a boat for me.

A mid-stack sitting to my left wouldn't stop gabbing away. He said his favorite hand was 9 5. I made a stupid move to match him when he pushed all-in when I had 'his hand'. I lost and was nearly on the bubble as I just put him at big stack with a 6:1 advantage to me. From there I was getting cards again. I would push all-in several times then force him out to regain my stack. We get to heads up and I kept grinding away. I was hitting top pair so I'd put bets of 40-60k. He kept folding. We end the evening by letting me see the turn. I have 6 9 off, in the BB so I call. Flop is K 10 6. we both call. Turn is a 9, I hit two pair. I push all-in. He calls. He flips 10 7. He only called because he thought his mid-pair was good and was on a double gut-shot. River was a 4. He walks away disappointed after nearly pulling the rug from under me at one point.

For 2006, I've won $200 in free money along with 2 laptops. My losses from cash games are in the 4 figure range which isn't good at all. My skills are still very unrefined. Many have noted that I'm easy to read and find out that I don't have good bluff reading skills. I know I need to read up on the game. The books are on my wishlist. I want to continue to work on my game and rely a lot less on luck.
About to lay it down
Sep. 1st, 2006 @ 01:32 pm My first big prize
What are you playing?: Beck - E-Pro
I've won a couple cash prizes but now I've gotten my first big prize.

For winning 3rd place at the PESA Poker Challenge, my company gave me an option: Split the profits upon selling a $750 Golfsmith Gift Certificate or 2 Laptops.

I chose the latter. I will be giving one to gonsai and I will be using one for San Japan / Personal Use.

Very f'ing cool.
About to lay it down
Jul. 1st, 2006 @ 04:12 am The odds..
What are you playing?: ave;new - Oosaki Miwa - Pieces -Memorial-
What are the odds out of 30 hands, 5 of them are AQ, and you end up losing on 3 of them? This happened at an early evening of poker tonight.

Ever since my experience in Vegas, I've sharpen my hold'em skills. I'm getting better with position, learning how to switch between LAG/TAG, not be scared off when hitting middle pair on the flop and someone bets 3x or more BB (awesome story to post later on about this) and learning to read when someone is on a draw or bluffing. The one read I still don't have is when someone has a set or two pair and I only have top pair. Others are able to read it by their betting amount but I tend to be 'blinded' which hinders my reading skills.

Earlier this month, out of 4 freeroll tournaments I played in, I placed top 3 in 3 of them. If I don't reach final table for now on in most games, I'm disappointed in myself. I think my skills are improving compared to about a year ago. I do have a bad habit to play my 'lucky hands' (A 3, K 3, Q 3, 10 8 and pocket 3's. I tend to play a lot of hands I should just throw away if I hold a 3). I'm trying to breakaway and only taking stabs when pot odds are in my favor or just a parlay amount. I just like to play them so much because countless times I've flopped/hit 2 pairs or boats with those hands. No one suspects it so I rake in a huge amount when I play them correctly.

A couple hands I loathe a lot are J K & pocket 9's. I call the J K offsuit the "Just Kidding" hand. It looks good to bet 2x-4x BB but rarely do I ever hit anything or I end up being beat. On 9's, every time I've pushed 3x or higher BB, I would typically be called then someone would hit on a higher card on the flop, making me dead in the water.

I think AQ is gonna be called the ACK U hand. It looks great, plays great, but ACKs you in the end especially when someone has Big Slick. It stings to be outkicked on a Queen. This games stings a lot at times.

(Any regular player can tell you stories about THE DAMN RIVER. Who hasn't lost countless great hands due to THAT?)

BTW, I hate limit hold 'em. Not my cup of tea. I hate how it completely throws off my betting strategies. Saying ALL IN then pushing your chips in is so energizing. No Limit 4 Ever.
About to lay it down
Jun. 21st, 2006 @ 09:54 am A difficult way to play this hand
On the flop, you hit two pair, your opponent hits a set.

I got stung twice on this in Vegas. Ouch, it hurt.

At least my bluff reading skills is starting to get better.

After playing in Vegas, I've determined I like Freeroll style over Sit-n-Go, but I still have a difficult time winning it all. I seem to always get 2nd/3rd/4th. I know there's a different type of skills I need to learn to ensure I get first.
About to lay it down
May. 8th, 2006 @ 09:14 am One amazing poker hand
What are you playing?: Bubba Sparxxx Feat. Ying Yang Twins & Mr. Collipark - Ms. New Booty
Last friday, I had a poker hand that was truly unbelievable.

Scenario: I get moved to a new table with a mid-stack, sitting across from a big-stack player. The cards dealt to me is A 5. The big stack got Q J. The flop is 5 5 5. I just hit Quads on the flop.

The odds to hitting Quads are 9,799 to 1.

I slow play it, I bet the min. big blind bet. He calls.

The turn is an Ace. I now have an impossible 6 card full house. I can't hold my excitement any longer, I push all-in.

He thinks it over a while. Big Stack thinks I'm bluffing. He calls. I turn over my cards. The reaction is priceless. He is stunned in what he saw. He just immediately mucks his cards. I didn't even see the river. He was on tilt for the rest of the evening afterward.

I did make it to the final table with no problem because I was big stack but I became super-cocky for the rest of the evening calling or raising on dumb calls with stuff like A 10 draw then call an all-in preflop.

I learned I need to calm down when I get monster memorable hands.

Still, it is a hand I will be talking about for quite some time.
About to lay it down
Feb. 14th, 2006 @ 12:42 pm Playing Pocket Rockets Correctly
I've seen a lot of people play them correctly and incorrectly. Last night, I cracked someone Aces for playing them incorrectly. It was 2 people, I was BB, person called, no pre-raise. He was probably hoping something like KJ5 come out so I would play the K. Instead, the flop was 10 7 7, I had 10 7 in hand, I flopped a Boat on the flop. This guy went on the offensive by betting 2.5x BB. I countered with a 6x BB saying, "Not in my house." It should have been an obvious tell. I played it well to the point of forcing him to pot commit to all-in.

Now, if this person had raised 2.5x BB pre-flop, I would have folded. I've cracked before by people who slow play me. Letting me see the flop can be a dangerous move especially when it is 2 people. I'm right now trying the re-raise strategy by playing it slow then re-raise when I know I have top pair on the board then someone does a small raise.

When I get Pocket Aces, I always bet 3x-5x even if it ends up pushing people out and I get only the blinds. I'll maybe drop it down to 2x just to get a little bit extra but I don't let people limp in because I've gotten busted on this too.

Besides, I'll take Cowboys over Pocket Aces any day. I've been cracked more often on Aces and usually hit big with Pocket Kings. It all depends on how you play them.
About to lay it down
Dec. 1st, 2005 @ 11:00 am Good? Maybe..
In the regionals tournament that's on 11th. I got 2nd out of 60th in a Freeroll on Tuesday. That bumped me up to 9th overall for the location I like to play at to qualify. Still working on bluffing & aggressiveness.
About to lay it down
Nov. 19th, 2005 @ 10:48 am When I'm not working 12-14hrs
And actually have TIME.. I still play.

2nd out of 65 people last night. Just stayed extremely patient and let other people kick each other out. Was put on short stack at showdown but that didn't matter.

Later on I went to a cash-game and I let 3 bad judgement calls take me from big stack (early on) to short and just going all in on an AJ vs AK, which I knew she had. Pocket Kings, I knew the guy flopped trip 7's by his betting but kept playing in to it. Pockets 8's, I knew the guy flopped a pair on the highest card on the table, a nine with an all-in. I could read it but I kept letting emotions getting in the way. I didn't care, it was fun and only lost a small amount of money. I'm finally getting the "in" on small cash games even thought I'm usually anti-social at the freerolls. I let the cards do the talking. :D
About to lay it down
Oct. 12th, 2005 @ 01:39 am Changed it around and won it..
Tonight I took a more aggressive approach on playing. I was betting 4x-6x BB when I had decent hands (AJ or Pocket 10's) to scare people out or force a showdown. A lady across from me kept getting scared out. When they would Chase The Rabbit it would turn out she would have won if she had called me. It worked for me because I was tired of limping-in or only play 2x BB to only be knocked out by a better hand.

I made it to the final table with a small stack and I just let my inner voice take over. It called correctly on 90% of the hands to end up winning it overall.

55 people, 1st place. I'm happy to finally friggin' win a TFPL event.
About to lay it down