Lucky Straights

The ramblings and mumblings of a wannabe poker pro

Recently, Poker

Firstly, I just want to apologize for not posting very frequently recently. Don’t really know why I haven’t, the blog is usually my first port of call, probably down to the amount of heads-up games I’ve been playing recently. There usually isn’t much to write about with them.

Anyways, recently in poker, I have been doing okay, and feeling good about my play, and perhaps more importantly I’ve started to have some fun, especially on Full Tilt. I completed my first sit ‘n go’s on Full Tilt just before the weekend, busting out early in the first, and then finishing 4th out of 18 immediately after. I didn’t mind failing to cash in the first one, I just needed to adjust to the new structure, but I was terribly disappointed about my premature bust-out in 4th. I had more chips then anyone else, and lost it all within around 4 hands.

We did get in a 4 handed home tournament after that though for some loose change, and we even implemented some re-buy’s, though after 3 each it was getting out of hand lol. I made 2nd, with a huge mountain to climb and pushed all-in with middle pair, chip leader woke up with a flopped two pair to send me out and take the win, but I had fun.

Since then, I’ve been focussed back on the heads-up matches, trying to earn points for my bonus on Poker Stars as fast as possible, whilst still earning a small profit, and I’m also using them on Full Tilt to try and build a modest bankroll from the $15 a friend transfered for me. Since doing them for so long, I feel like I’ve lost a bit of patience with the regular sit ‘n go’s at the moment, but as long as I’m doing well in the heads-up games, I’m not too worried about it.

Today, I’ve been stuck on Full Tilt, with 4 heads-up matches completed so far, 3 of which where against the same opponent, whilst I wait for Poker Stars to restart there servers so I can get some games done there, and earn some points for my bonus.

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February 12, 2008 Posted by | Home Poker, Sit-N-Go's 2, Tournaments and Freerolls | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Poker Review

I haven’t been playing much at all recently for two reasons. Firstly my eyes are shot to shit, so even if I do sit in a quick heads-up game, I’m often too distracted to play well, and I’m sick of loosing money just to pick up points for my bonus. I have played a few recently though, picking up 6 wins in a row from the heads-up sit ‘n go’s, before loosing two games earlier today.

I’ve been on a bit of a high today though, most importantly I’ve picked up a new concoction of medication, which I’m hoping will have my eyes back to normal in a week or two and I’ve also been helping a good friend with his own Sit ‘n Go play on Full Tilt, which included me taking over his $10, 18 player match before the bubble when he had to take an urgent phone call and making 2nd for a nice $44 profit!

I also had a fun time, giving the loose aggressive style a try on two friends in a 3 way home tournament, busted one within 4 hands, and after he re-bought I busted both of them within two more hands, I couldn’t ask for more could I really. 🙂

So, haven’t played much, but I have been watching and reading quite a lot of poker recently, and with my eyes hopefully on the mend I am very excited about getting back to playing some regular Sit ‘n Go’s. I’ve asked my friend to sit alongside me when I start them up again, as a boost to my confidence, as I haven’t played a regular game for ages, and even when I was my confidence hasn’t been great, so hopefully his support and encouragement, will see me rapidly build my bankroll. I seem to be doing just fine mentoring him on Full Tilt, so I should be able to do the same for myself on Poker Stars.

February 6, 2008 Posted by | Sit-N-Go's 2 | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

PLO Hi

After watching Mike Matusow among other pros on Full Tilt last night playing Pot Limit Omaha cash games, I decided I’ll finally sit in a play money game and get a feel for it myself. Its been a game I’ve wanted to learn to play for ages, just never gotten around to it, until now.

The only table available was a 25/50, I would have preferred something lower, but even with only 4k in play money, I regular sit in the 1k/2k limit razz games, and didn’t expect this to be any different and at first it wasn’t. Only played a few hands and quickly doubled up, then it all went pair shaped and I was quickly felted. I would start of with solid drawing hands or strong hands, such [7s 8s 9hTc] or [AAKJ], but would either end up with little more then a weak pair with my draws or have my premium pairs beat, by a strange two pair or straight, which I suppose is understandable giving the wide range of possible holdings in the game.

The really frustrating thing was, I just couldn’t get a fold, the guy on my immediate left would call almost any bet, with almost any hand it seemed, are more often then not come up smelling of roses, I was obviously missing something (besides the board, lol) so I’m going to try and learn some basic hand selection criteria for the game and see how I do with that.

A quick search on Google found this article which may be of use :

http://www.pokerlistings.com/pot-limit-omaha

Yep, a quick skim read was enough to win back all of my play money roll, plus a nice bonus within 5 minutes or so, on a much lower limit game.

January 30, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Online Poker Rooms

As I’m still yet unable to get back to some regular games, I thought I’ll take the time to write about my favorite online poker rooms.

Full Tilt Poker

The first poker room where I deposited was Full Tilt Poker, where I deposited $50. That first $50 lasted me around two or three days. I began playing 0.25/0.50 limit cash games, and with no knowledge of bankroll management I was unaware that I was out of my depth even if I possessed the necessary skills to beat these games, which I clearly did not have.

Full Tilt left an impression with me though so I kept playing on the play money limit and PL cash tables until I learned what I was doing and could afford a re-deposit. It was only when I discovered bankroll management that I realized I couldn’t afford to play at FTP for awhile and reluctantly looked to find a new poker room.

The main thing I like about FTP is the look and feel of the tables (with the racetrack theme), and the lobby interface. The lobby is very easy to navigate, with convenient tabs taking you to your preferred game and variety. The cashier button is another nice addition too and saves going though a drop down menu to add funds or check the status of your bonus. I even like how the adverts and promotions and organized at the top of the lobby window, generally out of the way, but just noticeable enough that anything your interested in catches your eye.

Another clever thing I like about the lobby is the simple key of tournaments symbols, giving you a simple description of what each symbol represents. This is so simple yet is lacking in many poker rooms I’ve visited, where I simply don’t know what all there symbols mean.

There are a few things that I dislike about Full Tilt however. The first is that the lobby doesn’t have handy buttons to limit the viewable Sit-N-Go’s and tournaments into different stake categories, such as micro, low, medium, high, etc, although you can fine tune this, by clicking the small edit tab and entering a minimum and maximum buy-in. Another small dislike I did have with Full Tilt was that the freeroll and “point” tournaments where mixed in with all regular tournaments, but this has now been changed.

My biggest issue with Full Tilt however, is to do with the way in which player notes are entered. You basically have to open a new dialog box for each opponent you wish to make notes on, which isn’t a terribly bad thing, I just prefer to have one dialog box tucked in the corner for notes and chat, like Poker Stars.

Overall I think Full Tilt Poker is an excellent poker room and despite not playing real money games there for awhile it has remained one of my favorites. If I had to give it a rating I would give it an 8.6/10, if they offered the note taking method I prefer it would get an unequivocal 10/10.

Poker Stars

Poker Stars was recommended to my be a member of the Home Poker Tourney forums, as it offered the smaller stakes cash games that would suit my bankroll better. As with Full Tilt I deposited $50 and have been playing most days since.

Initially I wasn’t keen on the look and feel of the tables on Poker Stars and I even began to look elsewhere, thankfully however, I found the Hyper Simple theme and I was able to settle in, eventually coming to prefer Poker Stars over Full Tilt.

I’ll start of with what I like about Poker Stars. Firstly the lobby is very easy to navigate and as a simple look and feel, which I prefer, as with FTP I like cashier button, and the game clock. I really appreciate the “stakes” buttons within the tournament and sit-n-go tabs where you can quickly narrow down the available list of tournaments to fit your individual bankroll, which saves struggling to find a suitable buy-in game hidden by hordes or lower or higher stake games.

The instant hand history took some getting used to, but I now prefer it over the graphical system used on Full Tilt, as you can copy and paste the data from a hand, whilst in a game and have it ready to upload to a hand converter, such as pokerhand.org.

The biggest attraction with Poker Stars fro me though is the way the interface manages player notes, it doesn’t sound like a big thing, but I make notes on every player I sit down with, so its a key thing to get right for me to feel at home.

I can’t fault Poker Stars and would give it 10/10

Sun Poker

The latest poker room for me to visit is Sun Poker, and its already earned the number 3 spot without me even playing there yet.

How?, you ask, well firstly the nice people at support gave me $5 when I signed up, always a nice bonus, but even more importantly the use the same player notes interface that Poker Stars do, told you this was a biggy didn’t I lol, the lobby is also familiar being very similar to both PS and FTP, so its naturally easy to navigate.

Now to a few things that separate Sun Poker from FTP and PS. Firstly you have to use the menu to login, as there is no automatic login window as with FTP or no convenient login button like PS, you have the option to have your loging details remembered, but you still have to login via the menu.

The Sun Poker lobby to me is a kind of blend between the FTP and Poker Stars lobby’s, I think its harder to find a game from the available list for each game type, as they are so many different buy-in’s and varieties returned, but the lobby makes it very easy to find other games such as 7 Card Stud or Omaha which have there own tab within the main lobby window. Another interesting thing with Sun Poker is that you can find games listed in both £ and $ from the same account by default.

So far, I would rate it at 9.4/10.

January 15, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | 5 Comments

Razz

After an emotional NL cash game, I didn’t expect to be playing at my best in any Sit-N-Go soon so decided to have a try at Razz on the play money tables on FTP.

loads of people would sit down with only 1000, which is a little daft in a 100/200 game with a 20 ante in my opinion.

It took me a while to get the hang of it and lost half my buy-in in the process, but soon had it doubled, although it was easy to loose plenty of it again.

I was a little supprised with how much action there was, out of the entire table I think only one player could actually play razz, she seemed pretty consistent and new when to make a move and such, most of the other oposition came, busted and dissapered within only a few hands.

November 30, 2007 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Full Tilt Freeroll

I’ve just got busted out of my first ever Full Tilt Poker freeroll. I was a little disappointed with not making the final table but have no doubt I played the best I could and feel I did well to reach as far as I did, considering I’ve never sat in an FTP freeroll before. I made it to 22 out of 2,364 entrants.

Unfortunately there was only one prize on offer for the 1st place finisher, Phil Gordon’s Final Table DVD, so my hard work didn’t reward me with anything, though I did really enjoy it, far more then any other freeroll I’ve done on Poker Stars in fact. Some of the players, well lots of the players went to the river with nothing rather a lot, but otherwise it seemed far more “real poker” then what I’ve experience on Poker Stars freeroll’s so far, I guess that could be put down to the larger field.

I was fortunate enough to flop a full house here, and I wasn’t short of action :

flopped-a-boat-yipeee-eddited_blog.png

Biggest bets I got to witness, guess this is high stakes :p

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I couldn’t hold out any longer so go all-in here. I won this hand, but lost to the next hand seen bellow.

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Heres the final hand that busted me :

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November 9, 2007 Posted by | Freeroll | , , , | Leave a comment