Saturday, August 12, 2006

Riverside Fun

Many things have been said about me. Mostly true ;) One thing that is usually never said is that I'm boring. There is always some controversy stirring up around me, for whatever reason. Some of it is brought on by myself. I seems to tackle issues head on and never veer away from looking at the world critically, rather than through rose colored glasses.

In my personal life, I'd say I'm pretty boring and most of the time uneventful. The gardening, the poker, the husband and 1.5 dogs (we actually have three, but all three together only weigh about 10 lbs.).

Anyway, things at Riverside are never dull. Always some huge happenings there. Someday maybe I'll write a book.

I took 4th in the tourney last night by dumb luck alone. I literally was all-in blind three rounds in a row. I hate to get "blinded out," but it was the oddest thing. Either so many people would go out on one hand before I could stick my chips in that suddenly I was in the blind again, tables would combine, or some other combination of craziness which necessitated I had no choice but wait until the big blind.

In one bizarre hand I had only 6k left. The blinds had just increased to 2/4k. I put in 4k with J9o and flopped absolutely nothing on a queen high, all heart board. So when the table passive, calling station bet out (she always bet the minimum), I knew I was dead and kept the 2k for the all-in SB. This is not something I normally do.

In my all-in SB, I just happened to wake up with AJo and turn an ace while I was up against Ax and K4s (K4s had flopped a king all-in).

Then the next round, I was all-in blind when the blinds suddenly increased to 4/8k and I had A7o. I runnered a straight against the same passive calling station who had only limped on the button with AQs.

Since it's summer, the tourney had a low turnout of only about 40 players. Top 8 got paid, and somehow I made it to the final table with a blind left. I was in good position, and one player was already out before the blind got to me. UTG I pushed with AQo, never one to try to just fold my way into the money (especially since no one had any chips, not even the chipleader). The BB had KT and got his ten, but I also flopped my queen. Ship it.

Soon the bubble busted, and we were in the money, albeit very low money. I once again picked up AQo and pocket tens called. I got an ace.

I then got blinded down like mad, with nothing above a ten for the next few rounds, and had no chips. Finally I busted out in fourth when the SB let me see a free flop with Q3o. The flop came AA3, two spades. I pushed with my trey, he happened to have two spades. I then got a queen, but he got spades and IGHN.

The NLHE game was already rocking next to me. I knew I had a better expectation there, so immediately bought in, without even getting paid for the tourney first. The combination of crazy Californians, crazy locals and too much discretionary income from many sources led to pots raised to $100 blind by a player almost every hand. He must have had unlimited funds, because even rebuying for 1k only lasted him four hands. He was in for probably at least 4k by the time we left.

I was rattled during my first hand because the ace of spades was so badly marked that my opponents could see the marking at the opposite end of the table. I had AKo. I was playing handcuffed and not happy at all about the situation. The guy sitting to my right had pocket tens. I had position on the table, obviously, but flopped nothing and got out. The floorman replaced the whole deck and gave a serious warning about cheating by marking cards and how someone might end up in jail that night if they didn't shape up.

I never really got anything going on in that game, although the money was very deep. I kept looking the the soft 4/8 Kill game next door to me. Eventually I requested a move to greener pastures.

I have learned the hard way that repairing a bad table image, one of being too tight, too passive, paranoid and easy to get off of hands is sometimes next to impossible. While I could have made a nice score simply sitting and waiting for a monster, I decided I'd rather play more hands and run over the 4/8. I made a little over $100 in the next hour or so, and I was happy with that.

Because of getting aces cracked, I am now in the freeroll on Wednesday. While I don't trust Riverside any farther than I can throw them, I'll show up anyway. Glenn won his entry a few days ago, so I was going regardless. This is only a 1k freeroll, but something is better than nothing, and that is what we pay the rake for.

I would like to continue with my psych series, but I just don't have the steam for it. We are playing every night except Monday's, in an effort to see how fast we can make 10k. It's not a race or anything, but this is the first time we've made an attempt to actually do something with our poker earnings rather than just build our bankroll.

Our car is five years old now, and we would like to go to a smaller car, hopefully diesel, which we can convert to bio-diesel. So we'll see how that goes.

Right now we're earning about $100 each per day, so it should only take 50 days to do this if we continue to run well.

Hope you are having a good weekend!

Felicia :)

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Not Much of an Update

Glenn just posted a couple of tourney reports. I just can't seem to write much. My head is pounding from allergies. My choices are to either take some meds that make me sleepy, or just sit and try to relax though it.

My friend Bill at Riverside (PT dealer) gave me a CD of his music. He plays native american flute. It is excellent, but then again, I love these types of meditative CD's. Glenn knocked Bill out on the bubble the other night at the Riverside tourney. I think I need to throw Bill a redbird or two for the CD and for busting out right before the money.

If I can get some allergy relief, I'll try to continue on with my psych series. Right now my head hurts too much to think. I am still running so ridiculously well that it's just nuts. It's like I can't lose, and I know that things will turn soon, but it sure feels good now. I even played a pit game, the WSOP game at Riverside. Not my bag, but the dealers were so horrid at reading hands that I think a player who keeps his mouth closed could possibly beat the game.

Okay, so it's off to hayfever hell for me. Talk to you soon.

Felicia :)

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Riverside $2-6 Spread Limit O8

A lot of you know that when I was recovering from chemo I had a hard time playing poker. I was never very good as it was, but my biggest strengths were rendered pretty much null and void.

In Omaha, I've never had to look back at my cards. I memorize them first time through, and then watch the players on the flop and after, instead of constantly sneaking peeks.

I also like to fish and trap a lot, a holdover from my spread limit Stud days while learning poker. I like to put in lots of bets and raises late in the hand, not early.

Well, chemo kind of killed that, too, because half of the time I couldn't read my hand. The suits and ranks sometimes just blurred together and I wasn't sure where I was.

Finally I am recovering some of my poker skills, small as they may be ;)

I have also loosened up considerably, and make plays now that I formerly didn't consider due to my lack of ability to read boards and take advantage of good situations.

While this is mostly just an update on me and my play, I do have a funny hand to talk about.

For three years I've been playing O8 at Riverside in Laughlin. Anyone who has been here knows it's still a pretty shady place and virtually anything goes. The dealers have to pay to work there, and hustle tips. If you don't want to tip, well, you just won't get dealt in. There are many other stories on my journal about Riverside. Suffice it to say, I could probably write a pretty interesting book about the past three years, and how the "modern" mob is still alive and kicking in Laughlin.

So anyway, the player in the O8 game are very, very loose. If I'm in a pot, it's 10:10. If I'm not, it's 9:10. Yes, every hand. It's typically passive, so not many players are worried about the pot being raised up to the full bet ($2+6=8 in 2-6 spread limit). Only if certain players are in the game will the pre-flop limping reduce to less than 100%.

I have learned not to bluff or try to steal pots in this game. Ditto raising and reraising nut low hands. They overvalue low hands to the point of almost ridiculousness.

Yesterday, however, the game was typically loose and passive pre-flop, yet was being bet regularly with nut high hands post-flop.

So I have this hand on the button: A23To

The flop comes down with a ten, two spades and two non-counterfeited low cards for me. I decide that no one has the nut flush draw since it isn't bet.

The turn completes the flush in spades with the 2s. Now I have the nut low, with two pair. I decide to bet my two pair (tens were still high pair) and nut low, figuring anyone sticking around with A2 was just killed for low. Since it was passed to me, I want to represent the nut flush and take it away from the non-nut flushes. I absolutely know that no one has the nut flush because it was passed to me twice on the button.

I got four callers, lol. So much for that!

On the river, I made one last stab, knowing that even if I was quartered, I'd still get my money back.

Not only was there another A3, but there were two flushes! One was an eight high, the other a jack. So much for representation!

No, I didn't know either of these guys, and they didn't know me, which is probably the only reason why this play didn't work. A couple of guys I've played hundreds of hours with at this table were chatting, "Now you know his non-nut flush is no good. She's not betting anything else, she's a rock!"

Boy, were they suprised when I turned up my two pair with the bare nut low!

Suddenly the whole table erupted. "What was she doing? What was she thinking?"

Although my play backfired this time, it was still a good play that I haven't been able to make for over a year, and would have worked with the regulars in the game, to give me 3/4th of the pot.

I still made over $100 in two hours, which is not abnormal for me at this game. I have my brain again. Thank God!

Felicia :)

Heater: ON

We are back on heaters again. It's so hard to consistently lose at Riverside.

Glenn won the $80 tourney last night. I won in both 4/8 Kill HE and 2-6 O8 (didn't play the tournament).

Just as the NLHE game was getting started, Glenn was wrapping up the tourney and didn't want to stick around for the loose NLHE action. Oh, well. Next time!

Hopefully I can finish my psych post today. I feel so tired and uninspired trying to play and write at the same time. Not even going to mention the allergies, ugh!

Felicia :)

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Rocks Can't Win Anymore! (Re-Re-Re Introduction)

Before the series, I had an idea for a new type of poker psychology/theory theme that I wanted to explore. Somehow, big festivals once again got in the way of my writing. First, Glenn won a freeroll on Party into the main event, and wanted practice playing deep stack tournaments. So off to Orleans we went. For about a week (off and on) we stayed at Orleans, making several trips back and forth to make sure our garden didn't die and our dogs were being taken care of.

Then the series kind of eclipsed everything. Not only did one of my best poker friends win a bracelet (Max Pescatori), but I found myself in the position of cheerleader and counselor to some of my world class poker friends who are finding out that without heavy backing, they aren't going to be able to continue in big festivals.

The series became a circus, even featuring a real chimp. Sex and poker took on a new role as more important than ever, and I was left baffled, shaking my head and contemplating my future.

One day I saw Max sitting in the Doyle tent, signing autographs and shaking hands. I was flabbergasted. I'd never seen anything like this. A dozen "fans" stood patiently in line waiting to meet Max! I cut behind the ropes and after a hug exclaimed, "I can't do this! I can't live like this, Max! It's not about poker anymore!"

It dawned on me that poker has become something I never wanted it to be. While I am loving the fresh fish that are flown in everyday, and loving that it's more legit than it ever was, I don't like the super-star aspect of poker. I don't like the sex, the circus, the frigging chimp. I just don't fit in anymore. So back to cash games for me, if I want to stay anonymous. I always said I wanted to be the Cissy Bottoms of poker. Most people ask, "Who is Cissy Bottoms?" I respond, "Exactly."

So now it's time to move on with this psychology series that never truly got underway.

In the introduction to the introduction (lol), I outlined what type of games seem to fit what type of player. I pretty much stole Ray Zee's work on that one, but updated for present times.

In the real introduction, I talked about Hold'em coming full circle, why HE is the ideal game that spans both tournament events and cash games, and why HE will most likely continue to be the popular game in cardrooms. Obviously, we pay the price for playing all hold'em, all the time. Boredom. But when we need to pay the bills, we must put aside the boredom and keep grinding.

In the first post, I told you that rocks no longer win in poker. Not in tournaments, certainly, and we are costing ourselves a lot of dead money in cash games, as well. It is not a viable strategy for today's game. Yes, it cuts down on variance. Yes, it decreases our bankroll needs. Yes, it teaches us how to get away from hands. But we don't maximize our wins! And that is something that is being lost by rocks. So we have to loosen up.

Thank God we have Ed Milller's book, Small Stakes Hold'em. It teaches us a tight, yet very aggressive form of low limit cash games.

But many of us can't "force" ourselves to play Miller's style, when all we were taught, all of our experience tells us that being even tighter and more conservative is a winning strategy with very little variance. So we eventually go back to playing like rocks, Miller or no Miller.

Thankfully, we have a savior. Our savior comes by way of John Vorhaus. John wrote a poker psychology book without even knowing it. I have elaborated before, so go read my old posts about it if you would like to dig further into my thoughts on the subject.

What John did, I have decided to expound on. It's not some earth shattering news. It's not going to turn you from a dead rock to a world class player overnight. It's not going to change the poker world and turn it onto it's head. It's simply going to give you instruction, the best, oft-repeated instruction I can possibly give, in order to help you maximize your wins, if you have been stuck in boulder city for awhile.

And if you are already a loose player? If you are loose-passive, loose-aggressive, almost maniacal? Well, you can see how the other half lives, while at the same time, if you are cognizant, switching some of the psychological tricks around to change your own style to a better, more winning approach to poker.

So there really is something here for everyone. Unless you are already an expert, that is, and I really doubt that if you are an expert you are reading my lame bloggo, kiddies. I am the suck.

So yes, once again I've written and introduction to the two introductions and first post that I've already written. Oy, vey! I think I'm the record holder of false starts in the poker department ;)

Really, truly, though. Put on your seatbelt and helmet. This time, I'm going to un-rock your world and give you some excellent exercises to take your game to the next level.

Get ready to win!

Felicia :)

Sick in the Head

Boy, am I in a lazy mood. I can't seem to play and write regularly anymore. I could do it in 2004 and prior to that, but since then, it seems like I'm either playing a lot, or writing a lot, never both.

I love the Riverside, in a sick, twisted, demented way. It's like Commerce wrapped up into 10 tables. A big argument/fight broke out between the one and three seats in our NLHE game there on Sunday. Guess where I was? Yeah, the two seat, and loving every minute of it.

The one seat was this messed up biker guy who is pretty much a maniac. He busted my aces when he called a 6x BB raise, out of position, with 64o, lol ;) He also busted my nine and queens during the course of the night, yet still went busto by 11pm (having bought in three times already).

The three and four seats were some LAer's originally from Iran. Decent couple, but not hugely experienced, just had a lot of money, and some gamble. They took almost an instant liking to me, as most middle easterners do (I have always gotten along extremely well with those from the middle east, go figure). Not sure to what extent they were working together, but since Glenn and I often find ourselves at the same table, too, I am in no position to say much about it (we avoid it like the plague if at all possible, but in a small town like Laughlin...).

Anyway, I was happy as a clam in the two seat while the one and three duked it out. I tried to somewhat keep the peace while ripping on both of them a little bit (good natured kidding), but I figured if the one seat ever crossed the line and mentioned the three seat's wife, all hell would break loose and fists would fly.

It finally did happen, when the one and four got into a big pot together. I was howling like a hyena as they both got up and started threatening physical violence.

Glenn spoiled the party by making me move to the nine seat after that.

Unfortunately, it just wasn't my night, and the streak I was on finally broke. I had almost every big hand busted, and got little action the times I didn't bust (AA, AKs). I reaped about a billion Sklansky bucks when my AA, QQ, QQ, 99 and AKo got beat either pre-flop, flop, turn or river. No love for me.

We took off last night (Monday's are typically the deadest night in Laughin during summer), and should be back in the fray tonight.

That no-cap NLHE cash game at Riverside is the absolute nuts. I have never played in a better NLHE cash game. Not at Bellagio, not at Commerce, Wynn, Excal, etc.

I can honestly say that in that regard, Laughlin has it by far. And yes, I have typically ripped on Laughlin poker. In every other regard (limit games, spread limit, Stud, O8) they suck, but at Riverside, that NLHE game is more live than any game I've ever played.

Felicia :)

Sunday, August 06, 2006


Sorry for the lack of posts. I'm just running so ridiculously well. It seems a shame not to make the most of it. So we're going out playing quite a bit.

I also just don't seem to have the motivation right now. I have lots to talk about, from trip and tournament reports to psychology and theory. I seem to be simply lacking in desire to write. Maybe when my energy fully returns.

Ted is out of the main event :(

So is Chad and almost everyone else I mentioned (luckily the cheater, too).

Hope you are all having a great weekend!

Felicia :)