Saturday, August 25, 2007

Car Crash: Our Buddy Shawn Needs Help!

One of the members of Cardschat Poker Forum, Shawn AKA Brutus, was in a car crash and can't work for a while. While he should heal just fine, his lack of income is putting a strain on his family. There is an online fundraising account set up for him for folks who would like to donate via credit card or PayPal:

For more on the story or to donate via Full Tilt or PokerStars transfer, try this:

Any little bit will help. Cheers.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Needing to Believe!!

I've identified another leak in my game. It is the affliction of disbelief. At the stakes I play, I often tend to not believe players when they raise, re-raise, or check-raise. Here's a perfect example of me wrongfully thinking this guy had AK or AQ:

FullTiltPoker Game #3343752977: Table Bataan (6 max) - $0.10/$0.25 - No Limit Hold'em - 19:56:28 ET - 2007/08/23
Seat 1: bedrick ($14.80)
Seat 2: arcios ($39.70)
Seat 3: imadonkey21 ($28.85)
Seat 4: Superion ($26.35)
Seat 5: kiahbree ($20.15)
Seat 6: MrSticker ($19.45)
arcios posts the small blind of $0.10
imadonkey21 posts the big blind of $0.25
The button is in seat #6
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to MrSticker [Td Tc]
Superion folds
kiahbree folds
MrSticker raises to $0.85
arcios raises to $2.80
imadonkey21 folds
MrSticker has 15 seconds left to act
MrSticker raises to $8.60
arcios raises to $39.70, and is all in
MrSticker calls $10.85, and is all in
arcios shows [Qd Qs]
MrSticker shows [Td Tc]
Uncalled bet of $20.25 returned to arcios
*** FLOP *** [Kc 3d Qc]
*** TURN *** [Kc 3d Qc] [8s]
*** RIVER *** [Kc 3d Qc 8s] [3c]
arcios shows a full house, Queens full of Threes
MrSticker shows two pair, Tens and Threes
arcios wins the pot ($37.20) with a full house, Queens full of Threes
MrSticker is sitting out
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot $39.15 Rake $1.95
Board: [Kc 3d Qc 8s 3c]
Seat 1: bedrick is sitting out
Seat 2: arcios (small blind) showed [Qd Qs] and won ($37.20) with a full house, Queens full of Threes
Seat 3: imadonkey21 (big blind) folded before the Flop
Seat 4: Superion didn't bet (folded)
Seat 5: kiahbree didn't bet (folded)
Seat 6: MrSticker (button) showed [Td Tc] and lost with two pair, Tens and Threes

Lately in the heat of the battle, I just go for it and hope. I know if I had more time to think over the situation, like you do in live play, I wouldn't react like this. But it is just too easy to click "Max" and "Bet" without thinking. It has almost become a subconscious action for me and it is costing me a lot of money. Even though Full Tilt has caught up with Pokerstars by implementing their new "Time Bank" feature, it still doesn't seem like enough time for me. I must find a solution within myself. Either that or start playing live more, which I actually am thinking of doing.

(I'm about 3/4 through "Why You Lose At Poker", so a book review will be coming soon.)

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Clearing Up Online Poker "Account Sharing"

I've seen some debate on forums about online poker account sharing. Say you have to go somewhere important and you are in the middle of a tournament. So you call up a buddy to come over or just have him sign on from his house to finish the tournament for you. Is this morally acceptable? How about if you are playing on your dad's account because you want to conceal your identity and avoid those old PokerTracker stats in your opponents' databases that are usually attached to your avatar? Well, "morally" no longer matters. Actually, it looks like the poker rooms themselves are cracking down, no matter what the reason is for the sharing. Here's the story:

Can your wife play for you if she makes you walk the dog? Can your buddy play for you if you have a hot date? I guess we now know the answer is "no".

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

The Most Amazing Thing Since Sliced Bread

So between 8/1 & 8/6, I lost $213 from my bankroll. This wouldn't be too bad if it weren't for the fact that I lost $427 last month and I was looking forward to righting the ship. I had been reading a book called "Texas Hold'em Odds & Probabilities" by Matthew Hilger, but it was getting a bit difficult to keep my head in the book through this bad streak. I knew poker math wasn't my problem. So I thought "Wait a minute! I have other poker books that might help me get my head together." So I looked at my bookshelf. I thumbed through "The Tao of Poker", which have read before. But it didn't seem to have what I was looking for. As I was putting that one back, the answer hit me. I saw a book called "Why You Lose At Poker" by Fox & Harker. "Excellent! I forgot I had this!" Boy, am I glad I did.

After reading just a few of the shortish chapters, I was back on my game. 2 positive days at poker and I was learning a ton from this book. It is really rattling the cobwebs from the good ol' brain. I will definitely share a book review when I am finished with it. So far, so good.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

A Month of Dealing With Tilt = Big Trouble

Profit-wise, July was the worst month of my poker career. Things got out of control during the first half and I couldn't turn it around in the second half.

As I wrote previously, I discovered that I had a tilt problem involving over-aggressive play. But I struggled to find a way to cure this problem. This month, I am going to try a few experiments.

One is figuring out how I can educate myself about how to handle my ego in regards to poker. What got me thinking about this was an article by Irexes on CardsChat called "Poker and the Ego". My ego is definitely a problem for me in poker. I grew up racing motorcycles and bicycles with a little bit of football, baseball, and basketball sprinkled in. So competition was always about instantly beating the other guy. A guy passes you on the course and you have to get him back right away. Unfortunately, this instinct has crept into my poker game. When someone beats me in a hand, whether with a bluff or a poor play that gets lucky, I seem to get this feeling that I want to get him back right away. I must find a way to change this feeling. It is definitely NOT a good instinct to have in poker.

Here's a few other experiments I am willing to try:

  • Play more SnG's and maybe a few more MTT's.
  • Switch to $25NL 6-player rings. I liked playing at $50NL 6-pl., but the variance is a bit too high for someone struggling with tilt.
  • Taking more time with decisions within a hand.
  • More investigation on the effects that caffeine has on me.

I will update as I find results with each one.