Lucky Straights

The ramblings and mumblings of a wannabe poker pro

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

Areas of Improvement

Thought I’ll write a post about a few areas where I need to improve. It will serve as a reminder for me, and may stir you into thinking about where you can improve too.

The Big Post Mistake

In the online sit-n-gos’, even the heads-up ones I have been focusing on lately, and especially in home games with my friends, I suffer from something I would call the big pot mistake. This is where, I pick up lots of small pots, and manage to navigate out of trouble easily, until I’m faced with one big decision often involving a big pot, and I invariably screw it up. Its utterly pointless being skilled enough to pick up twenty or so small pots early on, if I then give away 3/4 of my stack to my opponent from making a stupid play or an horrendous call.

The Frustrated Push

The next mistake is often connected with the above, I loose a huge pot, either by making a bad decision or being sucked out on, both live and online, and I have a tendency to try and steel a pot away from my opponent by pushing my chips in on a draw, sometimes even with just an inside straight draw on the turn. Instead I should just concentrate, take my time and play my hand correctly, instead of making a risky move for the rest of my chips, where if I was patient I would have enough chips and time to still do considerable damage.

Passivity

My next mistake, evolves around my style of play in the online sit-n-go’s. I play to survive foremost and then for the win, this is my biggest strength but it is also my biggest weakness. I usually end up being far too passive around 4 or 5 handed, when my stack is around the average. These are the times where I should be pushing the action to try and build my stack to put me in a good position to make the money and to win.

I’ve often argued that I can’t raise with such and such here, because my opponents will always call me down, and that is often the case, but rather then accepting this chicken shit generalization, I should be assessing my table and my opponents, and making the correct moves to build my stack regardless of what my cards are. This is pretty basic stuff, and I’ll have to adapt again at higher buy-in’s or among friends who now this type of strategy, but down with the fish this is what works, so I should be doing it!

The Biggest Mistake of Them All!

Playing  when I am not able to, I do this all the time, and its a large part of why I’m not making money at poker. Besides a short period a couple of weeks a go, I’ve been in pain every day since before Christmas, yet I still keep playing. Its got to the point where I can’t sit still again, yet me being stupid, I keep sitting in games, as I have just done, and invariably I end up loosing.

There’s other distractions too of course, such as hunger, tiredness,  boredom, etc and I usually ignore all of these too, but seldom do I overcome them and do well. Part of this is me trying to get my bonus cleared, and part of it is me just wanting to play, either way i shouldn’t play when I’m not able to concentrate fully on the game at hand.

That’s all for now…

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

Today’s Poker

Haven’t been feeling too well over the last couple of days, so consequently haven’t gotten much poker in, and I’m feeling a little down about that.

Had a nice 5k starting stacks, 3 handed home game, which I won, but got lucky in doing so. Heads-up, I made a bad read and moved all-in to protect my hand I felt was good, eventually my opponent folds the better hand. Later on, the pots getting big and I push, with a small pair and a flush and straight draw, eventually my opponent calls with two overs and the nut flush draw, I mange to dodge his outs and take an astonishing lead. We later found out my edge was only around 2%, I felt my flush draw was good at the time, but my opponent was drawing to the same flush with his ATs, so I lost many of my outs there, and only just held on. Surprisingly he managed to double up several times before I managed to knock him out and eventually take the win.

Online hasn’t been as good, only just completed my first sit-n-go of the day, where I was knocked out in 4th, when my KT push runs into the chip leaders AK. I’m hoping to get in another game tonight, but I’m going to relax a while first to see if I can start to feel a bit better first.

January 29, 2008 Posted by | Home Poker, Tournaments and Freerolls | , , , , | Leave a comment

Biggest Win So Far…

I’ve just come first in a home poker tournament winning my biggest poker earnings from a single tournament so far, £20 from a £3 buy-in.

The crazy thing is I went in the intention to just watch and maybe deal for everyone but got too excited as people started to take their seats so I bought in, and I’m very glad I did.

There where a few irregularities, but nothing to major so it was actually a really good tournament, and I surprised myself by how much I was enjoying it. I tried to make sure some key rules where upheld, and in the most part they where, though a couple of people kept removing there cards or chips from the table and there where a few attempts to make incorrect bets. The only real nightmare was that almost everyone was acting out of turn, especially when they wanted to fold.

I amassed a nice lead, winning my first 3 hand, but after awhile with the chip lead, I started to loose concentration so lost the lead, I regained my composure though and kept playing solidly, gradually building my stack and knocking people out until it became heads-up.

After a few bouts heads-up, I landed AJo and hit top pair with the jack on the flop, I raised my opponent all-in and he called, the turn paired is 7, but my jacks held up giving me the win.

I look forward to the next game they host, besides a few issues with the blinds and the almost constant acting out of turn it was a pretty well run game, certainly compared to some games I have witnessed.

October 25, 2007 Posted by | Home Poker | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

No Greater Contrast…

Well, just finished the second game of tonight (NL Hold’em) and they could be no greater contrast between this in the previous game.

Started of on a less then smooth note by the new player(X) arguing and moaning about the rules, I can understand some confusion as a lot of things have changed, since I have actually found out how to run a “proper” Hold’em tournament (thanks go out to www.homepokertourney.com ) but trying to debate the rules to this extent rather then just get on with the game was a little OTT in my opinion, especially considering the rules in question (you can’t check to the blinds, etc).

Anyway, moans and groans aside, the game was a little too passive, well boring, yes even for a pocker nut like me. There was very little action, even when it was clear someone was ahead, all call’s and check’s. I would have loved to stir up the game and get a bit aggressive, but I simply did not have the cards, a fair way into the game with no knockouts and it was time for me to mix things up a bit with a couple of “large” raises, not wise considering the cards I held, but the game needed some action by this point.

… fast forward … a few blind levels, one player gets knocked out after a semi-forced all-in with rags who doesn’t improve, I’m next to go with an all-in on K9 suited, yes crazy I know, but was kinda worth it just to stave of the boredom which seemed deep within both myself and the player who’d just been eliminated.

So we had a heads-up situation with the two remaing players, both where roughly equal in chip stacks at this point. Player(X) picked up rather more pots then he should have simply by sensing his opponents weakness when he held nothing, I picked up on this so strongly that I asked him if he wanted to leave the room so I could make him aware of a couple of large tells, which certainly told me, if not player(X) he held nothing but rags.

Finally after several more hands, and a blind increase the remaining player to my left got the message, either through my repeated mentions openly of “when heads up you need to be more aggressive” and “when heads up, if you have nothing, chances are your opponent doesn’t either” or through improvements in his hole cards, he stepped up and made a few raises, and stayed in the hand a little more rather then folding his blind almost immediately.

It didn’t take long, and not too many wins for player X’s look of confidence to fade, a few calls to raises 1/4 size of his chip stack with nothing more then a high card soon made his stack disappear too, and not soon after he went all in to a trip jacks…. and that was that.

Not a game I enjoyed, more for how others played then my bad run of cards, but it did make a change from playing even worse players on line for play money, add my excellent “friendly” victory earlier and it hasn’t been too bad a night.

October 5, 2007 Posted by | Home Poker | , , , | Leave a comment