Monday, May 31, 2010

2nd WSOP event

Today was the $1500 nl event and I busted in level 3. Before delving into my play I'm gonna talk about something that happened at a table next to mine. My buddy Dave (who won a $1500 nl bracelet 2 yrs ago) was sitting at the table and got involved in a hand that had some unfortunate Tom McEvoy of all people. Hijack opr, co calls, Dave w/ JJ 3bets to 1k, hijack shoves for 2500 more, caller folds, Dave's got 3k left and reads the guy as really strong and contemplates his move, leaning toward folding, and starts talking w/ his opponent...and after 30 seconds of talking and thinking Tom McEvoy who was on his table but not in the hand calls the clock on Dave! Really Tom, really? Dave tells Tom that he has a tough decision and Tom responds by saying it's all Hollywood on Dave's part and no need to do that (good read Tom).

Now I talked w/ Dave about it and we think the reasons Tom called the clock on Dave are for a couple of reasons (none of them warranting the clock)..1) Dave is in his late 20's but looks younger and Tom probably assumed he was some internet kid that was squeezing light there and was saving face or hollywooding to pretend he had a real decision and 2) Tom probably thinks that's an easy call or fold spot because how can you fold a good hand after putting in 1k for 2500 more. I questioned Dave's decision on not knowing what to do there after 3betting to 1k, saying he should know ahead of time whether to stack off if he was going to 3bet (just good fundamental poker) but he defended his play by saying the 3bet was alright because if he got the initial raiser off, the caller may call w/ worse because he had a lot of chips and was playing a lot of hands and that he would evaluate later if anything else happened. Also Dave is only a live player, mostly tournaments, w/ a lot of success (his real name is Dave Daneshgar and he's got over $2.3 mil in live mtt winnings, link below )

and told me he goes on live reads to base a decision even when it goes against the grain of good fundamental poker (I can't argue w/ that based on his enormous live success ). Anyway as you can see Tom was clearly out of line here calling the clock after 30 seconds for what was essentially Dave's tournament life. Also Dave ended up calling even though he felt his opponent was very strong and lost to a bigger pp, partially because he wanted to show Tom he had a tough decision and wasn't hollywooding. A little bit later Dave busted.

So I really feel Tom was way out of line here because 30 secs is not much time to think about a big decision for one's tournament life. It's a $1500 buyin and that's a lot of money, and for some it is their main event. On Saturday I talked about a hand between the Russian and Sam Stein where the Russian tanked for at least 5 mins and finally called. No one on the table said a word because we know how important decisions like that are. I always thought Tom was a good ambassador for poker because he seemed like he had integrity and repped the poker world well, esp. as a former champion but after today I lost some respect for him.

Anyway as for my day it ended early. Started w/ 4500 and I chipped up to 7500 then played this hand right before break. I opr to 250 w QQ, lp call, bb call, flop TT4r, chk, I bet 350, fold, bb chkr to 900, I call (not happy but have to call once), turn 8, chk, chk, riv 4, bb bets 1k, I call and he shows 88. After break chip up to 5500 then play this hand... butt opr my 150 bb to 400, sb folds, I rer w/ QQ to 1100, he calls, flop JhTh3d, I bet 1300, he shoves I snap call (w/ fistpumping going on in my head because I just read him as behind, but also obv. I have to call w/ the odds I'm getting), he shows KsJs, turn J, I'm out the door. Would've given me 11k which would've been way above avg. at that pt. but whatever. Anyway it's a nice day and I'm about to head to the pool w/ my kid so life isn't that bad.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

My day 1 at the WSOP

Pretty much sucked. Played well to get to 14k at dinner break when avg was about 9k. After dinner went totally card dead for about 50 mins at 150-300+25 lvl. Russian guy w chips opr utg to $775 then Sam Stein calls lp and I call w TT from bb (thought about rehitting but still relatively deep and didn't want to have to call or fold to a shove for basically my mtt life). Flop comes JJ8 w 2 clubs, epr cbets $1700, Stein calls, I think and fold. Turn offsuit 7, chk, Stein bets $2800, Russian thinks for a bit and calls, riv offsuit 9, chk, Stein shoves for $5500..Russian tanks for 8-10 mins and finally calls w KK and Stein tables ....76s...what??!! And no he didn't flop the flush draw. I only bring this hand up because Sam Stein floated w/ total air in mp 3handed w/ nearly zero equity and if he had folded I would've won a nice pot. If he folds, I call w TT..turn I chk, Russian prob checks behind because he'd be worried I have a J or T9 that got there but even if he bets turn I prob. call w/ my gutter and pp and then I'd lead the riv w a 2/3 pot bet and maybe he calls..even if he folds I win a decent pot. GG Sam Stein.

So later I finally get a hand...J7s in the hijack and open to $750 and get called by button. Flop comes 723 w 2spades none of my suit, I cbet $1300 into $2k pot, he calls, turn 5 of spades so 3 spades, I think and decide betting is best because I could still be ahead and c/c'ing would put me in a tough spot and lots of bad river cards for me so I bet $2800, he tanks then shoves for $5800 more and I have $6500 left...gross spot.. I tank and decide he's not making a move (don't think he has big Ax type of hands because he prob. rer preflop) so looks like he has a flush, set, 88-TT, maybe 87, 44, and 66...he's on the abc nittier side so folding seemed best. I guess I could c/f turn but that seems pretty nitty w/ top pair there.

We move on to the next level of $200-400 + antes and I pick up 88 mp and open ship for $6500 and guy 2 to my left tanks for a couple of minutes and finally calls w AQo... nothing like drawing dead on the KJT me.

That's a live tournament for well for 8 hrs..go card dead..finally flop top pair, lose half stack, then lose the rest in a flip. As for the overall play, there were a lot of guys that didn't understand how to play fundamentally well, and even if they played a hand right I think they didn't know why they played it the way they did. I guess that happens in a $1k event w/ 4k entrants.

Then I decide to go play $10-25 nl cash but have to get on the waiting list so I go play $5-10 nl while I wait. I play 2 laps and never play a hand (others prob. thought I was some nit even though I'm one of the laggier online players). I get bored out of my mind seeing 20 hands in about 40mins and decide to quit and go home. I guess that'll happen when I'm used to playing 1k hands/hr online.

Now I'm not sure what I want to do online mtts or play the 5pm $1500 Om8 at the WSOP...both cost about the same since I prob. play about $1500 worth of online mtts on Sundays. I'll probably just play online mtts so I can play the $1500 nl at the WSOP Monday noon. I do like to play limit Om8 and have cashed in it at the WSOP once before. Maybe I'll flip a coin and decide....ehh....speaking of flipping, I seem to lose a lot of them lately.

The WSOP is here

I'll be updating my WSOP exploits here and more frequently at (nicolakpoker) for those interested. Went out to Red Rock Hotel tonight w/ wife and friends and caught the George Clinton and P-funk concert...was pretty cool. Good way to relax and enjoy others' company before embarking on my quest for a bracelet. I haven't played any poker the past few days (except a quick hu sesh yesterday) and actually I think that may be good for me. I feel fresh and ready to roll!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Life outside of poker

Basically I haven't been playing any poker at all lately. I'm not running bad or anything (well running well below ev but not losing). I've been spending a lot of time w/ my wife and kid. The main reason being that I will be busy during the WSOP and won't have much time to spend w/ them so I'm spending time w/ them now. Actually correction, the main reason is that I like spending time w/ my family. I love my wife and kid and I've mentioned this before but I do live a charmed life.

I've gone to the movies twice w/ them the last few days. Saw Shrek 4 and Iron Man 2...Shrek was meh..the 1st one remains my fav. and Iron Man 2 was good..loved the references to Captain America (his shield) and the Avengers..if you can't tell I'm into all the comics..grew up on them. I try to watch all the summer blockbusters when I can. Also we've been going out to eat often and just spending time together. It's funny when I'm not playing poker and doing something unproductive like watching tv or playing video games I feel like I'm wasting time and money (money I could be making if I was playing) while when I spend time w/ my family it feels even more valuable than money I could be winning. I think for the most part that's how everyone should feel. So in my life it goes God, family, friends, then money...for some poker players it goes money, money, money (paging Sam Grizzle).

Anyway I'm trying to figure out exactly what I want to do during the WSOP. 2 years ago I'd play an event, bust, come home and grind online, win buyin back + some more, repeat. Last year I'd play WOW for a few days, play an event, play more WOW, play another event, more WOW, then Main Event (those of you that have played WOW can relate). This year I'm not sure if I want to focus on live cash games after mtts or just grind online. I'm leaning towards live because I heard they're awesome during the WSOP and I know of guys winning $100k in a week at $10/20 to $25/50 (games I'll be playing). Steve Yea (yes that Steve Yea of FTP fame) told me he won $100k in a week last month in Vegas in those games..and he struggles to beat the games online. Also I do think I have a bigger edge live than most good online guys because I have a lot of live experience from my 1st few years as a pro, so I can read players well live and combine my knowledge from online play..should make me pretty good +ev in live cash games. I'll probably lose $50k during the WSOP

Also I'm planning on playing more golf this summer and getting to know some of the 2+2 guys in person..I've held out for a long time in doing so because I felt there was a generation gap..although I do act more like a 20yr old than 30 yr old. I may start tweeting as a twitter account that's been dormant. I know the guys that bought pieces of me want to sweat me while I'm in the tournaments. Anyway I'm planning on playing the best poker of my life during the WSOP and hopefully the results will show that.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Golf is fun

It really is, once you don't make an idiot out of yourself on the course. I happened to have my best score ever today...still didn't break 100, or 110 for that matter but I hit the ball crisply and my long game was on. I can't say the same thing about my short game but I had some decent putts. I really need to work on my chip shots...most beginners (which I am) struggle w/ that part of the game since it takes touch and some practice and getting used to. Overall I was happy w/ how I played today and felt like I made a lot of progress in my game. Gives me hope for the future that I can play w/ the big boys (poker players that play well and play for money that matters a little bit).

Anyway I went out to Pahrump (about 30 miles west of Vegas) on a course called Mountain Falls and it was a beautiful day, although it was a little windy. The foursome were Joe T, Todd T, TK aka Alabama Hustler, a well known Bellagio reg, and me..basically all full time poker pros although TK specializes in other aspects of gambling which he is usually +ev in (he told us he won a good amount betting against Viffer in pool last night...there is a thread about Viffer taking on pool sharks this week in 2+2). Anyway Joe and I were matched up vs Todd and TK and we ended up on top and won a little bit, although I lost a bet where I laid 4-1 to Todd that he couldn't 2 putt a tough shot 50 feet out...nice shots lucky. I'm hoping to play some more golf this summer when I'm not playing in the WSOP. Also planning on playing some basketball w/ some of the online guys I've gotten to know this year so it should be a good time.

As for the WSOP, I'm planning on playing at least 20 events including the main event. I'll prob end up playing 25-30 overall so it should be a busy summer to say the least. I only have half of myself in the 20 events I'm playing for sure as I sold most of the other half to guys at Leggo... link here for those interested in my schedule and how much I sold'em for...

I have the same blog over there that I cross post from here but I tend to have more posts here than there. I sold all my action pretty quickly but that was kind of expected based on my track record and the fact that I undersold myself. I should've charged 1.25x - 1.3x minimum based on my past but wasn't sure how much interest I'd get considering this was the 1st time I've sold some of my action. It's good to know I can sell my action anytime I want, in case I want to play more live mtts. I would probably sell my action even faster on 2+2 where they have their own marketplace for buying and selling stakes but elected to go on Leggo and do so because I've gotten to know some of the guys over there pretty well.

I may have to bink a WSOP tournament to have a shot at $1mil this year. Longshot but def. not out of the realm of impossibility. I have final tabled a WSOP nl event before (8th for $70k) couple years ago and made a deep run in the ME as well (73rd out of 8k entrants for $65k). I only played 4 events last year as I basically took all of last year off from poker (only avg. 13hrs/wk playing poker last year). I'm hoping to make up for it w/ a great WSOP this year but we all know you need some luck to do well at the WSOP (1 time!!).

I know guys like checking out graphs so I'll post my updated May graph...

Pretty much all at $5/10 and $3/6. I'm happy w/ my play overall but again just running like crap...about $16k below ev. Played a hand yesterday where I opr w QJ of spades and flop comes T98 w/ 2 hearts and get it all in vs KQ of hearts and run it twice and lose hands like those blow and widen the gap between real money won vs actual all in ev. I'm up $12k or so in mtts and another $3800 or so w/ rakeback and races so that's over $29k total for the month so there's really no reason for me to complain (but oh where or where do I spend all these sklansky bucks?!).

Monday, May 17, 2010

Most hands played revisited and couple of thoughts

So there is a thread on 2+2 about who has played the most hands of poker ever. The link is here..

I was mentioned because of my blog post of assuming that I have played the most hands ever but tbh idk. I just speculated and thought it was possible because I am one of the very few that have been playing poker full time online since the inception of online poker. Again as I mentioned I don't really care if I have played the most hands or not and did not even think about it until I read that Bluff article about Leatherass having played the most hands.

Tbh I don't think the discussion is all that interesting nor that relevant to anything. I think knowing who the biggest winners of all time is way more interesting. I do think after reading some of the feedback in that thread that there may be others that have played more hands than me, eg the guys that chase sne on Stars and play 24-30 tables at a time 40+ hrs/wk. Idk how guys like that can play that many tables or so many hrs consistently. I struggle to find time to play 30hrs/wk...but I guess having a family makes it somewhat more difficult.

Also a good midstakes reg (whose play I respect) mentioned how arrogant I sounded in my blog so I just thought I'd comment on that (although for the most part I don't really care what others think because it's more important on how my friends and family perceive me and none of them would ever think arrogance, cockiness etc would ever apply to me). Anyway since this is my blog I was just gonna say whatever was on my mind when I wrote it and if some of it came across as arrogant, so be it, but again, those who know me know that I'm not like that in person. Also in order to be successful in poker over the long run, you can't be arrogant or definitely need a good amount of humbleness. The cocky guys may have a good year or 2 but they usually tend to flame out eventually because they think they're really better than they really are. If you look at the guys that have succeeded over a long period of time, eg Doyle, Ivey, Greenstein, none of them are considered arrogant or cocky by any means although I'm sure they have a quiet confidence within themselves. I like to think I'm the same way, albeit w/ a much lesser successful career than theirs (side note: certain guys do seem arrogant eg Hellmuth and Matusow but for the most part it is just an act for them and from what I've heard, they're really good guys irl). Anyway I think a lot of peoples' personalities tend to come across the wrong way in online forums or when writing something for others to read.

With that said, when I was writing the Most hands played blog the topic veered off to basically saying how successful I was and that was not my intent originally. I was just reflecting on my career while writing about online poker through the years and I guess I felt a little frustration in the fact that lesser players got sponsorship deals w/ a limited amount of success while I've done well over many more years and have not received any kind of offer. With that thought I just started writing about how successful I was and actually I considered deleting that part because I felt like that's not really how I am as a person...telling everyone how successful I am, but in the end I just left it because I wrote it and and felt like, meh, whatever. I DO realize it's a more of a business thing for poker sites to try to sign players that may attract more customers and to not necessarily sign the most successful players.

Anyway the reason I started my blog was not to show how successful I am (if so I could've started one years ago) but that I wanted to write about a normal guy w/ a family and a couple of mortgages trying to make a good living playing poker full time, esp w/ most of the full time poker pros today being single and in their 20's. People don't stay single and in their 20's forever so I wanted to show how to live a normal and sane life as a professional poker player while having a wife, kid and obligations like mortgage payments and such (I mentioned this before but Doublefly's blog listed on my blogroll captures the same essence but w/ more humor and on a more frequent basis). Actually I guess I do want to show success in how to live a happy and fulfilling life balancing family life w/ playing poker full time (along w/ a few degenerate things from time to time but none that impacts my family life in any way). I added the $1mil goal this year to really motivate myself to get better and play more hrs and I thought anyone that follows my blog regularly would find it more interesting to see how I do in my challenge, although tbh it's a longshot to reach my monetary goal (again mentioned this before).

Anyway I thought I'd get those thoughts outta my head, esp. w/ my blog getting a ton of hits due to that 2+2 thread above. As for poker, it's going eh, ok. For the month up about 10k in cash games w/ my all in ev at +23k so still running below ev but thats just variance and comes w/ the job. I did finish 4th in the mid HORSE scoop yesterday for $12,400 so I'm over +$20k total for the month (I do subtract the mtt buyins, unlike poker magazines and websites). W/ the WSOP coming up I'm planning on playing a full slate of events and am seriously considering selling half my action mainly because I want to play in a ton of events this year. I think the preliminary estimate is about 50k worth of events so I'll probably look to sell about half of that w/ very little markup..maybe around 1.1-1. I'm probably deserving of a bigger mark up based on my track record in mtts but I feel and have always felt weird when asking others to pay a premium for taking a piece of me for playing tournaments when it's basically my job. I guess I will post on 2+2 soon that I will sell shares of myself and outline specifics inc. projected schedule and my track record in tournaments.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Check me out

So I got on Jon Friedberg's show UTG and had a round table discussion w/ Jon and Brian Rast, who is a successful high stakes player. Link here...

It's weird seeing oneself in front of a camera. I happen to think my voice sounds different in real life vs on camera but idk. Anyway I had fun being on the show and nothing was scripted so it was cool to just express our thoughts as the show went along.

Lately I've been busy w/ family. My wife's 2 sisters are in town and I'm in the whole showing them around town mode. Considering Vegas is a mecca for tourism, there are lots of things to do and show, esp. for 1st timers. So far we've taken them to the Fountains of Bellagio (great scene of it at the end of "Oceans 11", the remade version), the Gondolas of Venetian, the new City Center and Aria hotel/casino, Fremont Street, Bryce and Zion Canyon, Red Rock Canyon, and various restaurants and shopping centers around town (latter one only inv. the girls..I do not like shopping at all). We're set to go watch Cirque Du Soleil's "O" show at the Bellagio tomorrow night then maybe hit up a club or 2 then go to Los Angeles for a couple of days so I'm gonna be busy for the next few days. It really is exciting and fun living in Vegas, for my wife and me anyways.

As for poker, I guess I can say it's going. Good news I'm winning, bad news I'm $11,500 below ev...fml. Again I'll just keep on keepin' on until I run good again (wow that seems like ages ago now).

Funny thing happened other day playing a drooler hu...

No-Limit Hold'em, $6.00 BB (2 handed) - Hold'em Manager Converter Tool from

SB ($224)
Hero (BB) ($1223.60)

Preflop: Hero is BB with 10, 10
SB bets $9, Hero raises $39, SB raises $212 (All-In), Hero calls $179

Flop: ($448) 5, 9, J (2 players, 1 all-in)

Turn: ($448) K (2 players, 1 all-in)

River: ($448) 4 (2 players, 1 all-in)

Total pot: $448

SB had K, K (three of a kind, Kings).
Hero had 10, 10 (one pair, tens).
Outcome: SB won $447.50

Not very exciting hand I know.. very next hand..

No-Limit Hold'em, $6.00 BB (2 handed) - Hold'em Manager Converter Tool from

BB ($447.50)
Hero (SB) ($999.60)

Preflop: Hero is SB with 10, 10
Hero bets $13, BB raises $441.50 (All-In), Hero calls $431.50

Flop: ($895) 9, 9, A (2 players, 1 all-in)

Turn: ($895) 3 (2 players, 1 all-in)

River: ($895) Q (2 players, 1 all-in)

Total pot: $895

Hero had 10, 10 (two pair, tens and nines).
BB had K, K (two pair, Kings and nines).
Outcome: BB won $894.50

Seriously?! Identical cards back to back w/ even the suits the same... more fuel to the fire that online poker's rigged (it's not btw). Even worse he quit right dude.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Most hands played? (History of online poker thru my eyes, tl;dr)

So I was reading the recent issue of bluff magazine and one of their writers reviewed Dusty Schmidt's (aka Leatherass) book (don't remember the name, something about treating poker as a business). Anyway he says a lot of positive things about it and says one of the reasons that aspiring pros should listen to Dusty is because he's done well and probably played more hands online than anyone. I've played some w/ him and he's basically what most good regs make him out to be.. a bumhunter that multitables well and plays solid most of the time. I have nothing against him and would back him in most online cash games if he ever came asking. I do agree w/ a lot of regs that he touts himself too highly and puts himself on too high of a pedestal.

Anyway I was thinking about the comment that he's played more hands online than anyone, ever. Tbh I think I've played more hands online than anyone in the world. I was playing poker professionally before online poker existed. I signed up when the very 1st online poker site started accepting real money (Planet Poker)...heck I played w/ free money on the beta poker sites before they allowed real money play. In the beginning I started putting in half my time online (other half still in brick and mortar poker rooms) then slowly transitioned to online full time , 1st w/ Planet Poker, then Paradise, followed by Party Poker and now Full Tilt and Pokerstars. This span is over 12 years. I'm not sure if they are many pros left from the Planet/Paradise Poker days..I would say the # is very slim. I would also say that I've probably avg'ed the most hands played and money won on an annual basis among guys that have played since the inception of online poker. Obviously guys have made more money than me in a limited time span but I don't think anyone's that's been around since the Planet Poker days have played more hands or made more money than me. Also since I've been multitabling anywhere from 4-16 tables since the beginning (actually the most tables you could play on the 1st couple of years was 2-4 if I remember correctly) I think I've played more hands online than just about anyone in the world.

What's the significance of this? Actually there is none except that I never thought about it and I guess I could pat myself on the back a little for making it through the years through all the different eras of online poker and making a good living doing so. There was no software like PT or HEM the 1st 5-6 years so there is no concrete evidence that I played more than anyone. Also I didn't start using PT until 3 yrs ago or so so I don't have a lot of the hhs I've played over the years.

Early on (starting around 1998 I believe), just like brick and mortar poker rooms, limit hold'em reigned and there were no tournaments online. I remember playing $5-10 or $10-20 limit hold'em games online for a couple of years, mostly on Paradise Poker since that was the big site at that time. Party Poker came unto the scene a couple of years later and I remember Mike Sexton promoting it like hell. When you thought of Party Poker, you thought of Mike, and vice versa (that's how he became a very wealthy man and from what I know, deservedly so for all that's he's done for poker and for being a classy guy overall).

Well Party started becoming the biggest site, mainly because of their affiliate program and rakeback (wow I wish I was more business savvy back then and started my own affiliate program w/ Linda Johnson who made a fortune doing so). Anyway I took most of my action there because they had the most limit hold'em games and they had them as high as $15/30! (funny I know, esp. when you look at the biggest stakes online today). I also made the choice of becoming mostly an online player because I liked playing many hands/hr and I made more per hr than I ever did in a live game. Plus I got to stay home and spend more time w/ my wife and kid. I remember grinding several tables of $15/30 limit hold'em for a year or so. Then they introduced $30/60 limit and 6max games and I started playing in those. Grinded those games for another year or so before they added $50/100 and $100/200 limit hold'em games. I didn't play those as much because they were pretty tough. I table selected those games but they're weren't many of those games going. I would like to say that I was one of the biggest winners during that time but idk because no one really knew who was winning how much and who were losing.

Well shortly thereafter the sites started introducing tournaments. I think Paradise started it 1st. I remember thinking..suiiiiiiiiiiite.. because I enjoyed playing live tournaments and felt like I could win lots of money if I ran good in one (which I eventually did when I won a $640 buyin Party Mil on a sunday for $250k in '05). Well they introduced nl tournaments 1st and eventually the sites began introducing nl cash games. I was still focused on limit hold'em games since I was doing well in them and had no idea how to play nl (did well in nl tournaments because nobody knew what they were doing but I just happened to know a little more than most just by instinct and natural ability, I guess). Anyway the biggest games they had were $1/2 nl for awhile. Slowly they started adding $2/4nl and 6max games.

I didn't play in them because I was crushing $30/60 limit hold'em and $2/4 nl was still relatively small compared to $30/60 limit. Anyway Party added higher stakes and when $5/10 was added I started looking into it because the money won/lost was relatively similar to the limit games I was grinding at the time. All the games were 100bb max buyin although there were shortstackers (who invented these guys anyway?). So the limit games were getting tougher and my hrly was slowly going down so I started dabbling in the $5/10 nl games on Party. Right off the bat I did well even though I really had no clue what I was doing. I was just going off my reads and instincts and did well. Looking back at it, I played so fundamentally incorrect but so did just about everyone else. The winners were the guys that had good hand reading ability and didn't tilt (like me). Obv. a guy like Bldswtrs (or whatever) absolutely crushed because he figured out how to play fundamentally correct and knew how to 3bet and 4bet light before anyone else.

I remember multitabling $5/10 nl games for the longest time and doing well. That's when we decided to buy our 1st house (which we still own today and rent out). It was so efficient in the mid 00's. Play $5/10nl, win, cash out to Neteller, have Neteller xfer most of my money to my bank account, repeat (left some in Neteller for deposit bonuses across various sites..believe it or not, but there were actual "pros" that made their living breaking even in poker but taking advantage of all the different deposit bonuses available across the various sites back then).

A little before that time Moneymaker won the WSOP main event and wow what a ripple effect his win caused. NL cash games and mtts boomed. There were so many $5/10 and lower games spread across various sites but Party remained in the forefront. They started adding $10/20 nl games and I think that was the biggest stake they had for a long time. I never played that high on a regular basis because I was content on making what I was at that time (which was a lot) and I was providing a great and very stable life for my family and myself. I do regret not playing $10/20nl back then because I probably could've made more money. I guess I was too content ..meh. Party stuck to $10/20nl and $100-200 limit as their biggest games for the longest time. I remember reading that it was because they were afraid their customer base would shrivel if they introduced bigger games because the few elite winners would wipe out a big % of players if they had bigger games.

Anyway, more and more sites opened in this highly profitable but unregulated market inc. FTP and Pokerstars. Party continued to remain at the forefront and had the most # of tables by far, maybe more so than all the other sites combined. I was chugging along making lots of monies on Party but unfortunately not playing as much as I would and should have. Just plain laziness, family obligations, and being able to make money anytime I felt like it contributed to this.

Then boom! the USA unscrupulously passed the UIGEA (which was attached to a safe port bill that was supposed to prevent terrorism along our ports so just about every politician had to vote yes on it even though most had no idea what the UIGEA was about). Well Party didn't want to get in trouble w/ the US since it became a publicly traded co (on the London Stock Exchange) and withdrew from the US. I remember having money on there and not being allowed to sit down on any of their real money tables. I guess they were ok w/ leaving your money on their site (obv. to accrue interest for themselves) but you were forbidden to play on any real money table if you lived in the US. I remember thinking, well this sucks, and I made plans to xfer my money to FTP and Stars which catered to americans. Alas the games would not be as good as before because a lot of losing players got scared and stopped depositing money to online sites because of the UIGEA. The glory days of Party were over.

So I started grinding on the 2 big sites, mainly FTP because of the rakeback and the software. Then Taylor Caby came along and introduced Cardrunners and made the games infinitely tougher. For some reason I didn't subscribe nor improve my game during this time, maybe because I did well every year prior. Along came all these 20 year old's and college kids who thought poker was the easy way to make good money, and for a few it was. But for every Cole South or Tom Dwan, there are so many kids that fail that no one knows about. So now that's what online poker is nowadays...encompassed by a lot of college kids and 20yr old's and a select few making little to a whole lot of money while a guy like me that has gone through the times is a rarity. Oh but will the games get too tough for me, will I get pushed out by all the 20 yr old's? Obviously it's a very definite no because I've shown that I have what it takes to succeed year in year out and for most, they can't say that.

I've continued to grow as a player and have spent time improving lately as much as I can ever remember at any point in my career. Also I've finally decided that I wanted to aim higher and play as high as I can until I can't beat a particular limit. Heck I have no idea how I will fare at $25/50+ but if I was betting, I would bet on myself to succeed. Along the way I'll continue my expert (maybe nitty is a more appropriate word?) management of my bankroll and never risk a chance of going broke because my obligations to my family and our lifestyles will always come first. This will obviously make me wait a little longer on taking shots at the higher games but I'm young and only in my mid 30s....I have all the time in the world. :)

Also I totally flew under the radar in the world of poker even though I was making more money than just about anyone annually (I'm talking from '98-'08). 1 reason was because I didn't put enough volume in a given year to have a year like Leatherass did and win in the high 6 figs and get recognized. I was content on making a certain amount per year ($150-$400k) while having time for my family and whatever else I enjoyed doing (video games and sports mostly). Also I didn't play much higher than $5-10 mainly because I wanted to make sure I provided a stable life for my family and myself (and making low to mid 6 figs annually made me very content as mentioned before) and didn't ever want to take a chance of going broke (I guess I've always been a bankroll nit, but hey having a family will do that to you, or it should anyways).

Also since I was making such good money consistently year in year out I had no need to play in a bunch of live tournaments even though that was the surest and easiest way to fame as a poker player. Yes I played the occasional live tournaments and some of the WSOP events. I think I've played in about 3 or 4 10k WPT events and the last 6 or so WSOP MEs. Because of the limited # of live tournaments I played I didn't have a big recognized score. I have won $70k a couple of times and ft'ed a WSOP nl prelim (alas one of the few that wasn't televised during the boom) but did not do enough to garner any attention.

Tbh I did not care to become famous, even during the boom. My goal in poker was always to provide a great and stable life for my family and myself, which I have so far. It does bother me slightly that much less successful poker players get so much attention and even more so, secure endorsement deals where they make some kind of passive income or get freerolled into big tournaments while I've won more money and have succeeded on a consistent basis for the past 12 years but have yet to get any kind of offer or affiliation w/ a poker site. Can I live w/o it, sure but obviously would be nice to get some kind of deal w/ a site, especially if you measure success in poker the past decade or so and that there are probably less than 30 people, if that, that have made more money than me (although I realize the reason players get signed nowadays is because of exposure for the sites, not necessarily because how successful you are..meh). Also I've shown that I'm consistent and will win every year inc. all future years, which can't be said for a lot of pros, inc. well known ones. I do what it takes to adapt, learn, and stay one step ahead of the curve always, not to mention I have the intangibles to be successful always.

I will end this post on that note...I noticed I kinda strayed away from the original topic at the end, and ended up hyping myself a

Wednesday, May 5, 2010


This has been my month so far... been grinding all $3/6...

So I had a crappy month last month and looks like it carried over early on. I did manage to pull even for the month but as you can see I'm effing $11k below ev! That's fricking 18 buyins! I can post endless hhs where I was ahead when the money goes in but come out on the losing end but it would take all day.

That's the end of my rant. Again I'm proud of how I kept my composure during this bad stretch and got even. Hopefully I can just run at ev (is that too much to ask?!) or better from this point on.

Shout out to my buddy Todd T aka Hellhound who won the $16 badugi scoop. Beat out 2400 entrants and won $5700 (ship the 10% swap!). I played it along w/ the mid $160 buyin but did nothing although I had lots of fun playing them. I do love to play non hold'em games more than hold'em. I just play tons of hold'em because that's where I make the most money.

In other news my buddy Jon F just did another show for and he talks about changing his goal of making $50k in 6 months to $100k in 12 months grinding online nl games. I think this is better because the WSOP is coming up and I know he'll be busy playing a lot of the events there. He also talks about having a mentor throughout his He says how I'm one of if not the best small to mid stakes player in the world. When I saw that I told him idk about that. I said I'm up there but not the best, just the most consistent from a year in year out perspective (yeah, even over Leatherass because I've been winning for many more years than he has). Anyway here's the link if anybody wants to check it out (also talks about sponsorship in poker and chats w Gavin Smith and Jason Newitt and plays softball w/ a bunch of Vegas poker pros)....

I'm gonna go golfing tomorrow w/ him and Todd so hopefully I can teach them a valuable lesson on the course...jk...I suck at golf (but wait til next year).

Monday, May 3, 2010

April Results

So April was one of my 2 worst months ever. That says a lot considering poker's been my job for the past 12 years. Tbh like any other poker player, I don't like posting my results when I've had a bad month but I want to be honest w/ everything in my blog and post bad results along w/ my good ones. Also I can share w/ readers the experiences of having a bad downswing and how to deal w/ them. Also poker is just one long game and even for the best players there will be extended downswings. Anyway here are my April results...

I elected to show my graph in big blinds because it's a more accurate depiction of how I'm actually running. I ran like crap at $3/6 and worse at $5/10. For the most part I'm happy w/ how I played. I just ran into opponents' top of ranges so often as well as running $7k below ev. It's funny because I do feel like my game's become better after the month because the losses made me think a lot when I wasn't playing. Downswings are a good time to take a step back and reflect on your game and I did that and think my game is better for it. Hopefully my results will reflect that in the future.

I did win $3400 over 3k hands at hu so I'm still crushing at hu. I think that's good because I'm planning on playing bigger games down the line and the higher you play, the more hu you gotta play. I did play this hand hu at the end of the month and pretty much summarizes my month...

No-Limit Hold'em, $6.00 BB (2 handed) - Hold'em Manager Converter Tool from

SB ($1878.95)
Hero (BB) ($1137.50)

Preflop: Hero is BB with K, A
SB bets $15, Hero raises $48, SB calls $36

Flop: ($108) K, 4, 3 (2 players)
Hero bets $65, SB calls $65

Turn: ($238) 8 (2 players)
Hero bets $170, SB calls $170

River: ($578) 9 (2 players)
Hero bets $425, SB raises $1589.95 (All-In), Hero calls $423.50 (All-In)

Total pot: $2275

SB had 9, 8 (two pair, nines and eights).
Hero had K, A (one pair, Kings).
Outcome: SB won $3015.95

Villain is a reg as well so not sure what the hell he was doing floating the flop w/ a hand where he has almost no equity most of the time.

Couple of more points regarding my month. As you can see 100k hands is not a large enough sample size to depict how good/bad you are in poker. I've been one of the biggest winners at my stakes coming into the month yet I lost $20k over 120k hands. So next time you win x amount over x hands and consider going pro, make sure you have a large enough sample size to guage how you really stand among everybody else. Also I did manage to profit in mtts. Made about $4k in profits. I don't know what's more having a losing month in cash games or having a winning month in mtts (over 50+ mtts). W/ +$4k in mtts and another +$6000 in rakeback + races I finished the month down about $11,700. Tbh that is not that bad considering how bad I ran.

I did manage to log in about 125 hrs playing cash games so I'm happy about that. Too bad most of that was while I was losing. I did lose most of my money when I was playing past midnight so there may be a connection there. I was probably tired and not focused 100%. Therefore I will try to avoid playing past 2am and to play more during the day. I managed a +$10k day last day of the month where I started around 11am and played 2 different sessions before 10pm so I'm going to try to schedule my days like that going forward. I will have to have a good month if I want to play in all the wsop events I'd like starting next month. Considering I don't have a backer (and never had one), and also w/ my overhead, I will need to be selective of which WSOP events I play.

Anyway I've been busy recently. My kid had her birthday over the weekend. She's been sick lately so she didn't get to enjoy herself that much. We did take her and her friends bowling so they enjoyed that. I seemed to have lost my bowling bag w/ my ball and shoes in it so that sucks. I'm an ok bowler..probably avg. around 160-165/game. Obviously like to gamble on it (most poker pros like to make prop bets or bet on just about anything and everything). I did win $200 on the Mayweather-Mosely fight sat. night. Laid $400 to win $200 that Mayweather would win by decision. Hated my bet during the 2nd round when he nearly went down. Considering I paid $65 for the fight (on HD), I'm glad I won the bet.

I had my friends over to grind mtts yesterday. I did ok breaking even over 15 or so mtts. I cashed in 7 of'em but none of'em for more than $400. It was a pretty big day for tournaments yesterday w/ the 1st day of scoop and the final day of ftops. I cashed in the $216 scoop me but busted midway through the ftops me when I held 99 on a Q93 w/ 2 flush flop and we got it all in and villain had QQ (had an above avg stack at that point so that sucked). I felt like I was freerolling twice in that mtt though because I won my seat playing a $100 supersat (buyin was $640 or so) and I laid down 33 on a 953A7 rainbow board to same villain (well known and successful online mtt player) at riv for all my chips where I felt the line he took was indicative of a set.

Finally I'm gonna hold off on buying the Escalade until after June. I want to see how the UIGEA legislation impacts online poker. It goes into full effect June 1st and I guess the consensus is that it will make depositing money into online sites much tougher. I don't have to worry about that too much but I do have to worry about how much tougher the games will become because of that. If bad players have a harder time depositing money (which they do often) they may stop playing altogether. Let's hope and pray that the US will wise up and decide to legalize and regulate online poker (that's my hope and prayer anyways).