Tuesday, April 27, 2010


So my friend just got his own web show on www.cardplayer.com . His name is Jon Friedberg and a former WSOP bracelet winner. Just watched the 1st episode..pretty good content. Link here...


The name of the show is Under The Gun and I guess he is gonna focus on the lifestyles of poker pros while adding other elements such as strategy discussion and his pursuits of poker related goals. His 2 goals in poker are to win a seat into the WSOP ME (which isn't that difficult) and to win $50k+ in online cash games over the next 6 months (pretty difficult). The reason why it is difficult is because he doesn't have much experience when it comes to online cash games having been primarily a tournament pro. I do think he's got a shot though because I've spent time w/ him playing poker (mainly mtts) and he's got a good poker mind. Also I will be helping him out w/ his cash games so that boosts his chances. He also tells me that he wants me on his show from time to time to discuss strategy so if anyone wants to put a face on this blog, check out the show when I'm on (or check it out all the time and obviously I will post here when I'm on).

As for poker, this month's been very trying to say the least. Still down about $18k in cash games and barring some sick heater over the next few days, looks like I will have a losing month in cash games. I will talk more about losing after I tally up the final totals at the end of the month. It's all good though because all of this comes hand in hand w/ being a poker player (and I am still up $140k or so for the year). The only thing it's really affected is my decision on whether to buy a new Cadillac Escalade to replace my Honda Pilot right now. I found out my Pilot repairs were about $2500 so it may not be worth it to pay that and better to just go w/ a new car. My wife and kid love the Escalade (fully equipped w/ nav, dvd player, and 22" alloy wheels) but I'm not sure if I want to shell out that much money (will be putting a hefty down payment if I purchase it) w/ the WSOP right around the corner. But oh does the car look pretty (actual pics of the one I'm considering)....

Friday, April 23, 2010

Random Musings

I'll get to poker in a min. Well, my buddy and I managed to squeak out 1st place in our 1 dime NBA roto league. With the win + sidebets, looks like we won about 30k. I've been running super good in fantasy leagues the past 12 months. A 1st in our 8 team NFL league (won about $3k + even better a T-shirt proclaiming me champ which I'll be wearing often next season), 3rd in the 3dime 12 team NFL league (+$60k or so split up 3ways), a 1st in our 14 team NBA league (+$700) and recently 1st in the 1 dime 10 team NBA roto league (+$10k for my share). If you guys need any coaching on how to manage a fantasy league team, let me know. I did pass on joining a MLB league because it would be too tedious managing the team on a daily basis w/ the sheer # of games played.

Also watched nearly the entire NFL draft tonight. I've never really watched it before...just checked the results when they finished but I was interested this year because the draft is pretty deep this year and I've been following college and NFL closer last couple of years (coincides w/ managing a team in fantasy football as well as betting on games). Not too many surprises except Jax reaching for a DT at #10 and probably the biggest surprise, Tebow going to Denver w/ the 26th pick while Clauson and McCoy were available. Personally I'm not too high on Tebow as an NFL qb although he does possess a boatload of intangibles and is genuinely a good guy. Also I agree with most experts saying Ndamukong Suh will end up being the better player than Sam Bradford over the long haul. I watched the Texas-Neb Big12 title game and I've never seen a lineman dominate a game like he did that game...it was amazing to watch. If you can't tell, I can't wait for the season to start already. This time I will grind some poker during the season (unlike last year where I played almost no poker at all during the season).

Where I run good in fantasy leagues, I run bad in automobiles. Just took my Benz in for a standard oil change and found out the gas tank had a leak and the ac was not blowing out cold air. The car's about 5 years old but runs and looks good still so I never bothered with getting an extended warranty. Total damage $2500...meh. I think it's more expensive to fix the upper end cars as well. Tomorrow I'm taking my Honda Pilot in as well. The back ac is not working as well but I was told it would cost only about $270 or so to fix that, so that isn't bad. We've had this car for 7 years now and I can honestly say it's been a great car over the years. Very few problems and great for all our family needs. With that said I'll be looking to trade in one of my cars for a new one later this year and then the other one next year. My personal choices are Audi for the Benz and Range Rover for the Pilot. My wife differs greatly though..she want's higher end Benz's for both cars. I tried explaining to her that they are charging a premium because of the brand and the other cars are more bang for your buck (well not really sure about Range Rovers tbh) but I guess it's hard to change a woman's mind when she likes certain things.

As for poker, I'm contemplating moving the bulk of my play over to Pokerstars. I just think it makes sense for me. There are more tables to play on and choose from at the stakes I play. Also getting to supernova then supernova elite would pay me a lot more than the standard rake back on FTP. I won't be trying to get sne this year but will probably try it next year barring some weird things happening (eg uigea on June 1st screwing up online poker). As for which site is tougher, I think they are close but I'm beginning to think Stars may be a little softer because some of the mass tabling regs are playing robotic to try to achieve sne whereas you don't see that at FTP. Also Stars being the biggest site seems to attract more fish. I do prefer the FTP software but I don't mind Stars' software. I guess I will need to use Table Ninja as well to be efficient.

At least I am winning again..albeit not much. 1st week of april I won $14k, 2nd week lost $40k (yikes!), and the past week I'm probably up about $8k. I'm still running way below ev and still feel like I'm getting on the wrong side of coolers more than usual. I can say that because I've played several million hands in my lifetime and have a feel for how often I should be getting coolered and vice versa. Oh well, all I can do is try to play my A game consistently and let the chips fall where they may.

Couple of interesting hands from recent sessions (also illustrates some about how I've been running)...

FTP, $3/$6 NL Hold'em Cash Game, 5 Players

LeggoPoker.com - Hand History Converter

Hero (BB): $618
UTG: $4,216.55
CO: $1,498.30
BTN: $621.90
SB: $600

Pre-Flop: K J dealt to Hero (BB)

UTG raises to $18, CO calls $18, BTN folds, Hero calls $15, SB folds

Flop: ($60) A Q 7 (3 Players)

Hero checks, UTG bets $45, CO folds, Hero calls $45

Turn: ($150) K (2 Players)

Hero checks, UTG checks

River: ($150) Q (2 Players)

Hero bets $125, UTG raises to $4,153.55 and is All-In, Hero calls $430 and is All-In

Results: $1,260 Pot

Hero mucked K J and LOST (-$615 NET)

UTG showed A A and WON $4,855.55 (+$4,237.55 NET)

I elected to slow play my hand this time. I hated facing the river shove as this villain is a good reg and not getting out of line too often. Tbh his line confused me because I would've expected sets and aces up to cbet the turn ip but didn't rule it out when he shoved the riv. I tanked forever and considered folding but let's face it, it would've been extremely difficult considering we both underrepped our hands by checking the turn. I guess I could've c/called the river. Chalk it up to being on the wrong end of a cooler (or maybe I suck and should've folded to the river shove).

I do like the way I played this hand though... (note: converter messed up..villain was utg and not bb)

FTP, $3/$6 NL Hold'em Cash Game, 6 Players

LeggoPoker.com - Hand History Converter

Hero (BTN): $743.25
SB: $600
BB: $624
UTG: $666
MP: $600
CO: $600

Pre-Flop: 8 7 dealt to Hero (BTN)

BB raises to $21, 2 folds, Hero calls $21, 2 folds

Flop: ($51) 6 2 4 (2 Players)

BB bets $33, Hero calls $33

Turn: ($117) 5 (2 Players)

BB checks, Hero bets $80, BB calls $80

River: ($277) A (2 Players)

BB checks, Hero checks

Results: $277 Pot ($3 Rake)

Hero showed 8 7 and LOST (-$134 NET)

BB showed J Q and WON $274 (+$140 NET)

Again vs a solid reg. Flop and turn are standard although I guess I can raise the flop sometimes. The river is where I feel like I played it well. When he calls the turn, his range are 2prs, sets, and bigger flush draws. If I bet the river I don't think he calls me w/ his 2prs and sets because the board is terrible for those hands and bigger flushes will check shove and I'll be hating life when I face that (again). So this time chalk it up to being on the wrong end of a cooler, again, but being smart enough to lose the minimum.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Still on the wrong side of variance

So these past 8 days or so have been terrible for me poker wise. After starting the month up $14k, I'm now down $23k in cash games. I did final table 2 mtts the past 2 sundays for about $8k total though I spent about $3500 in buyins. So I'm down about $17k total for the month now (closer to $14k if I include rakeback). This has to be one of the 2 worst stretches of poker I've been on playing online for the past 8 yrs or so. I am just getting constantly coolered, having 2nd best hands and running about $14k below ev. Again I went through nearly all my hhs to check for mistakes and for the most part I played ok. It just shows you how much variance is in this game. I've been playing mostly $5/10 w/ a little $3/6. I'm actually up about $5k at $3/6 for the month but just getting crushed at $5/10. I do not think it's because the games are tougher, although they are to some degree. I've just been running terribly at $5/10. FML!!!! (jk)

I've had success over so many years playing poker yet I'm still not immune to the feelings and emotions that come w/ such bad downswings. I am, like everybody else, human. I've questioned whether I might be doing some things wrong and even had thoughts of whether I can succeed but quickly threw those thoughts out the window when looking back at my 12 years of success in poker. I guess it's all part of human nature though. Question things and lose confidence when things are going badly. I will continue to play my normal game and hope to finish w/ over 120hrs for the month (at about 65hrs so far). All I can do is just try to play to the best of my abilities and try not to worry or care about the results because they'll take care of themselves at the end.

I am proud of the fact that none of my poker losses have affected how I act in the real world. I do not get more angry, ignore family, or just be in a bad mood because of my downswing. I do know of people that do when losing, including some of my friends (you guys know who you are and please try to be more professional in the future). Heck, if you were family or close friends you would not even know that I was on a really bad downswing unless I mentioned it. Also, being the spiritual and positive person I am, (and this will sound Hellmuthish), I'm lucky to be in the position I am today...w/ a great family, nice big house, nice cars, good health (although I need to work on that constantly now), and a job I'm happy to have. I have no doubt that things will turn around from a results standpoint.

With that said, this past week has been a very busy week for me. I had my birthday then got to do my taxes and ship Uncle Sam some more money. I am still trying to get my new desktop all set up. For some reason I can only seem to get 2 monitors working simultaneously and not all 3. I'll still need to figure that out although it doesn't really interfere w/ my online play. I gave my kid my old desktop and ordered her a cool 24" monitor and spent some time setting that up. She could be one of the most spoiled kids on earth but what can I do...she is the only child and I didn't have much growing up so I didn't want the same for her. Plus she excels in school (so far straight A's through 3rd grade) and her extracurricular activities. She also knows how lucky she is and is just a great kid overall so I don't mind spoiling her as long as it doesn't get to her head.

This also happens to be the beginning of an extra dimension in my poker career. I'm set to be on a buddy's online poker show from time to time (I'll provide more details when it happens), contemplating joining an instructional poker site to produce videos and possibly get into coaching more (again will provide details if I decide to go through w/ this), and a couple of more things on the horizon which may or may not trump these latest ventures. I also have the WSOP coming up in a few weeks and am planning on playing a big slate of events (and hopefully doing very well...again my goal is to win a bracelet..or 2). I'll have my fingers crossed, but then again, if I work hard and play well, I should be ok :)

Sunday, April 11, 2010


It was inevitable. I was running well and this whole year's been going smoothly for the most part so it's no surprise that I was due to hit a downswing sooner or later. Mind you it sucks and I'm not immune to the "god I feel like crap" feeling you get after such a bad downswing.

This is for the past 4 days. The 1st 2 days I lose close to $25k then the next 2 days I run like total crap even though I win some back. When I take such big losses I like to go through all my hhs where I won or lost $200+ and see if I made any mistakes and what I may have been doing wrong. I was somewhat happy in the fact that I did not make any big mistakes during this downswing. I did make about $5k in mistakes but they were not big obvious mistakes...eg calling a $1k shove on turn on a J hi board w QQ and running into KK.

I sorted out how much I could've saved if I played perfectly (which again was about $5k) and how much I was destined to lose no matter how perfect I played. This is during the 1st 2 days in the midst of the $25k downswing. Here is a brief list..

-KJs flops or turns 2nd nut flush and run into nut flush and both times 250bbs deep..total -$3500
-6x aipf w/ overpr vs underpr and lose..total -$4k
-Run KK into AA aipf 4x all at 5/10..total -$4k
-Get money in w/ big made flush vs set and lose..total -$3500
-Various hands getting in good or just typical coolers (set over set, etc.).. total -$5k

So that's about $20k worth of losses that I really couldn't do much about. Obviously I've been running like crap the last 2 days as well although I've been winning. Just standard hands like aipf w AA vs KK or QQ and losing, KK vs AK and losing, etc. With the recent downswing I am down $7k for the month now so I'll have to really crank up the hrs if I want to finish with a good month. There's still about 20 days left so I'm capable of going on a heater and hopefully not in reverse like 3-4 days ago. I have been playing more hrs than usual which I'm happy about. Not much more to say about poker other than that these downswings happen and just gotta weather through them and try to play your A game consistently.

Irl saw Clash of the Titans and Date Night. Titans was meh and fairly disappointed. Liked the original better. Date Night was surprisingly very good and had us laughing throughout the movie. Pretty well written as well. Been watching the Masters as well and am rooting for Tiger. I wanted to bet on Tiger to win it all at around 7 to 1 but forgot about it. Happy now because he's a long shot to win it but I wouldn't be surprised if he did come back and win it tomorrow. Speaking of tomorrow, can I ever luckbox in an mtt?? We'll see as well.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Finally a losing sesh and some hhs

It's been about 3 weeks since I had a losing session, but I had one finally...

Actually it feels like a win because I managed to recover $8k from my low point. Even though I've been winning this month I feel like there are a couple parts of my game that needs to be tweaked so I'm working on that. Poker's a job that you just can't get complacent with or it'll eat you alive.

I mentioned I got a new desktop. It runs smoothly and no more lagging. I have tried adding shortcuts and table ninja which are hotkeys/scripts to perform actions w/ the press of a button...eg. side button on mouse folds hands, tab button bets 2.5x bb, etc. I actually misplayed a hand because I wasn't used to the shortcuts....

No-Limit Hold'em, $10.00 BB (4 handed) - Hold'em Manager Converter Tool from FlopTurnRiver.com

BB ($1000)
UTG ($948)
Button ($1000)
Hero (SB) ($2033.30)

Preflop: Hero is SB with K, A
UTG bets $30, 1 fold, Hero raises $105, 1 fold, UTG calls $80

Flop: ($230) 9, 6, 5 (2 players)
Hero bets $130, UTG raises $270, Hero raises $280, UTG raises $280, Hero raises $280, UTG raises $280, Hero raises $1233.30 (All-In), UTG calls $8 (All-In)

Turn: ($1906) J (2 players, 2 all-in)

River: ($1906) Q (2 players, 2 all-in)

Total pot: $1906

Hero had K, A (high card, Ace).
UTG had 7, 7 (one pair, sevens).
Outcome: UTG won $1904

I was intending on folding to the flop min raise but I was typing something in chat and pressed enter and it must've min reraised back. So he min rer me back and again I was trying to finish my chat and pressed enter again only to min rer him back. You can imagine how bonkers I was going and had the biggest wtf thought going on in my mind. So he min rer me again! So with only about $300 left I just shoved and he shows his hand..77..lol. I had an excuse as to why I was min reraising but I wonder what his reasoning was. I could see it with a set or a straight to milk as slowly as possible but 77? Anyway reflecting back on the hand brings a chuckle. Oh, and fk shortcuts! Actually that's not true because the auto time bank is really beneficial for me.

The one mistake I made in this next hand is that I tried to bluff an unknown which I usually don't...and you can see why I don't...because they make some crazy calls....

No-Limit Hold'em, $10.00 BB (6 handed) - Hold'em Manager Converter Tool from FlopTurnRiver.com

Button ($2940.30)
SB ($2811.85)
BB ($1051.90)
Hero (UTG) ($1047.05)
MP ($1093)
CO ($375)

Preflop: Hero is UTG with 6, 5
Hero bets $30, 3 folds, SB calls $25, 1 fold

Flop: ($70) K, 2, 3 (2 players)
SB checks, Hero bets $52, SB raises $105.95, Hero calls $53.95

Turn: ($281.90) 7 (2 players)
SB checks, Hero bets $195, SB calls $195

River: ($671.90) J (2 players)
SB checks, Hero bets $716.10 (All-In), SB calls $716.10

Total pot: $2104.10

SB had 4, 4 (one pair, fours).
Hero had 6, 5 (high card, King).
Outcome: SB won $2101.10

Obviously it's a bad river card because I was going to shove a ton of cards including all flush cards and I believe he would've folded if a flush got there. Also the crazy part is that I would shove a river 5 or 6 trying to rep. a big K or better and he would've called and lost!

This hand tilted me some.... we ran it twice...

No-Limit Hold'em, $10.00 BB (5 handed) - Hold'em Manager Converter Tool from FlopTurnRiver.com

BB ($2511.75)
UTG ($2554)
MP ($1000)
Button ($1457)
Hero (SB) ($1232)

Preflop: Hero is SB with 8, 8
2 folds, Button bets $25, Hero calls $20, BB calls $15

Flop: ($75) 10, 6, 8 (3 players)
Hero bets $60, 1 fold, Button raises $180, Hero raises $1147 (All-In), Button calls $1027

Turn: ($2489) 9 (2 players, 1 all-in)

River: ($2489) A (2 players, 1 all-in)

Total pot: $2489

Button had 5, 7 (straight, ten high).
Hero had 8, 8 (three of a kind, eights).
Outcome: Button won $2485

Again I'm not sure how to post the 2nd turn and riv but he got there w/ another 9 at the riv. Obviously he played the hand terribly and got rewarded twice.

Speaking of playing a hand terribly...guess which player played his hand terribly here...

No-Limit Hold'em, $10.00 BB (6 handed) - Hold'em Manager Converter Tool from FlopTurnRiver.com

Hero (CO) ($2620)
Button ($1745)
SB ($1011)
BB ($1988)
UTG ($1047)
MP ($1376.20)

Preflop: Hero is CO with 9, 10
1 fold, MP bets $30, Hero calls $30, 1 fold, SB raises $125, 1 fold, MP calls $100, Hero calls $100

Flop: ($400) 3, 7, 8 (3 players)
SB bets $272, MP calls $272, Hero calls $272

Turn: ($1216) J (3 players)
SB checks, MP checks, Hero bets $1216, SB calls $609 (All-In), MP calls $974.20 (All-In)

River: ($3773.40) A (3 players, 2 all-in)

Total pot: $3773.40

SB had K, K (one pair, Kings).
MP had 8, 7 (two pair, eights and sevens).
Hero had 9, 10 (straight, Jack high).
Outcome: Hero won $4012.20

If you said the guy with 87s, you are correct. The pot's plenty big enough and he should just shove the flop to get me to fold. He'll stack KK as well and win a nice pot. My play was standard and I was expecting a call from maybe one but not two so it worked out nicely.

Finally a hand where I'm not sure if I played it well or just spewed and got lucky because villain folded (notice I inserted actual names here and decided villain's name wasn't holding any water hence my riv play)...

Full Tilt, $5/$10 NL Hold'em Cash Game, 8 Players

LeggoPoker.com - Hand History Converter

Hero (BB): $1,605
cjm627 (UTG): $1,047
WhiteWhale0928 (UTG+1): $1,015
Jonasty4 (MP1): $1,000
Buckaneer (MP2): $1,000
Gman-NJ (CO): $998
pay_u_off (BTN): $1,870

Pre-Flop: 6 6 dealt to Hero (BB)

5 folds, pay_u_off raises to $30, FIRETRUCKS folds, Hero raises to $110, pay_u_off calls $80

Flop: ($225) 3 K 8 (2 Players)

Hero bets $115, pay_u_off calls $115

Turn: ($455) A (2 Players)

Hero bets $235, pay_u_off calls $235

River: ($925) K (2 Players)

Hero bets $1,145 and is All-In, pay_u_off folds

Results: $925 Pot

Hero showed 6 6 and WON $2,067 (+$1,617 NET)

Preflop and flop are standard. Turn I elected to barrel because an ace is usually a good card to do so and my 66s are not good once he calls the flop. Riv is where it gets interesting and it's obviously not a good card for me but I elected to follow through with what I was trying to rep., AA, KK, AK, and maybe AQ. It helps that we were both deep and had a big shell left at the river. He tanked forever and not true to his name, did not pay me off..whewww!

Irl, watched a great NCAA basketball game the other night. Had some money on Butler +7 so won that but would liked to have seen them win it all. Duke is just irritating, idk why. Also managed to catch the 2nd half of the women's championship last night. It was pretty bad to watch as both teams missed tons of shots. I guess they're both good defensively (Stanford and UConn) but it really was tedious watching clunkers go up at both ends of the court. Also would like to have seen Stanford win to end UConn's 70 game winning streak or whatever it was. When you see such a long streak end you're witnessing history in the making.

Shout out to my buddy Joe T who managed to get 2nd in our fantasy basketball league after getting 2nd in our fantasy football league. Great job again Joe! Just try not to face me in the championship games in both leagues next time though! (that's right, I won both our ff and fb leagues!).

Ok, off for some sleep and if I don't feel too tired a day of skiing at nearby Mt. Charleston (yes we have skiing in Vegas).